Know your enemy: MSU defense

Know your enemy: MSU defense

Submitted by massblue on June 26th, 2014 at 3:44 PM

There is a nice blog on ESPN about defensive strategies and a portion of it is on MSU.  I found this part rather interesting:


"Narduzzi recalled about how when he first joined Mark Dantonio's staff at Cincinnati, he had to convince Dantonio, who had been Ohio State's defensive coordinator, to buy into a speed-based approach. Dantonio wanted sturdy linebackers and tall cornerbacks, probably because he could get them at a program like Ohio State. 
"It was like, 'God, coach, we're not doing that,'" said Narduzzi, Dantonio's defensive coordinator since 2004. "I had the philosophy of speed. We gradually got him thinking like we do. That's worked to our advantage."
The emphasis on speed has certainly worked for them, and I was surprised how well it has worked even against smash mouth teams like Wisconsin and Stanford.

Sending Them On Their Way: The Big Ten And The NFL Draft Since 1990

Sending Them On Their Way: The Big Ten And The NFL Draft Since 1990

Submitted by LSAClassOf2000 on June 26th, 2014 at 11:13 AM


If you include the likes of Nebraska, Rutgers and Maryland just for kicks, then teams that are now currently part of the Big Ten have sent 1,018 players into the NFL since 1990, but of course the typical contributions of individual schools vary significantly. As you might expect, nearly half of those players came from only a few of those schools. Indeed, just a little under half of the total comes from Ohio State, Nebraska, Penn State and Michigan. It takes the contributions of the other ten current members to make of the rest of that.

So, what are we looking at this time, Lorne?

Well, after some of the questions that arose as a result of my last diary, I began thinking that the next level of this analysis was to take a conference – the Big Ten, naturally – and see if there was any interesting pattern not only within the average contributions of the conference to the NFL Draft, but also to see anything interesting in the contribution patterns of different teams since 1990.

This is, of course, where including Maryland and other schools which were later additions to the conference might seem a little dicey, but strangely enough, only Nebraska’s average contribution (nearly five players per draft on average) would affect averages derived here in any significant way. In any case, for certain calculations such as the average total contribution of the Big Ten to the NFL draft, the timeline of entry for schools was accounted for.


The table below shows the average number of players taken per year in the NFL Draft as well as the team’s percent contribution to the 1,018 who have been drafted since 1990.















































 photo PerYearAverageBTNDraft_zpsfc4310ad.png

As I mentioned, the top four schools in the above table constitute nearly half of the total contribution of players -  46.86%, to be precise. However, if you extend this to the top seven schools on the list, the lopsided nature of the numbers becomes even more intriguing. Those seven schools comprise 71.91% of the 1,018 players taken since 1990 from these 14 teams.

Another interesting thing that I found in the numbers is something that I assumed but had never really bothered to flesh out statistically until now. With volume contribution comes a certain amount of volatility. What do I mean by that? Well, the most prolific contributor on the list above – Ohio State – also has the widest distribution with a standard deviation of 2.77. The steadiest contributor in that sense is also one of the teams not usually remembered for its contributions to the NFL Draft, and that would be Indiana, which came out with a standard deviation 0f 0.99. Of course, Indiana – on average sends only 1.24 players to the NFL each year, so yeah, only slightly worse than Northwestern.

What about Michigan specifically though?

One thing I did was compare total contribution of the team to the average contribution of the conference (adjusted for entry timelines for a few times) and it turns out that, at least until recently, Michigan has managed to exceed the conference average most years:

 photo MichAverageBTNDraft_zps69e9bbda.png

Bonus histogram to show the somewhat bimodal distribution of number of players in a given year:

 photo MichHistogramBTNDraft_zpsd05f2c8b.png

What about Michigan against others?

Here’s how we compare to Ohio State in terms of raw totals:

 photo MichVOSUBTNDraft_zps21545ec8.png

Here’s the three-year rolling average:

 photo ThreeYearRollingBTNDraft_zps30b45d49.png

If you look at this one closely, you will notice that it has been quite some time since we’ve outperformed Ohio State when it is analyzed this way. Indeed, 2001 would coincide approximately with a rather successful run in Columbus spearheaded by a man who would resign in disgrace in 2011. It is interesting, however, that for stretches the curves are somewhat similar, almost as if we shadow one another both in recruiting and in churning out talent. Actually, it might be more than “almost” – I think there is some strong numerical evidence that this seems to happen.

So, let’s see this with just Ohio State against the year-by-year average:

 photo OSUAverageBTNDraft_zps9a40bf59.png

What about just others?

For kicks, let’s do Michigan State too:

 photo MSUAverageBTNDraft_zps0450e7b0.png

Penn State here:

 photo PSUAverageBTNDraft_zps8a20ec1f.png

And Wisconsin:

 photo WiscAverageBTNDraft_zpsf7702f4b.png

With some exceptions, Michigan State seems to perform at the average, whereas Ohio State has mostly remained firmly above it. This probably will not shock anyone who follows both our conference and the draft, of course, but there it is in graphic form.  The graphs for Penn State and Wisconsin make think that another direction that this can go in is trying to correlate winning percentage to the number of players taken. That could end up being a dead end, but the question seems to arise, at least in my mind.

Although they are a recent addition, here’s how Nebraska would look against the yearly mean:

 photo NebAverageBTNDraft_zps6f67055a.png

The 1990s were good times in other places as well.


I don’t have one. Just the usual playing with numbers and answering weird questions. 

OT: Renderings of new Atlanta Falcons stadium released

OT: Renderings of new Atlanta Falcons stadium released

Submitted by Don on June 26th, 2014 at 10:41 AM

Architectural renderings of the new Atlanta Falcons stadium have been released.…

Bowl of tortilla chips? Origami? An architectural reference to the Falcons logo?

Maybe it's just me, but I think they might have overdone the whole "rise up" exhortation thing.

OTish?: Coming To A Stadium Near You! (North Of The Mason/Dixon Line)

OTish?: Coming To A Stadium Near You! (North Of The Mason/Dixon Line)

Submitted by phork on June 25th, 2014 at 10:20 PM

ND has finalized a home and home game with Georgia.  Georgia will come to SouthBend on Sept 9, 2017 and ND will travel to Athens Sept 21, 2019.  

Great inroads to have the SEC come north, no?

Detroit News Bans Use of 'Redskins' In Football Coverage

Detroit News Bans Use of 'Redskins' In Football Coverage

Submitted by LS And Play on June 25th, 2014 at 9:31 PM

The Detroit News will no longer use the term 'Redskins' in its football coverage, "reflecting the growing view that the term is offensive to many Americans." No word on whether the paper will discontinue referring to the state of Oklahoma as such, considering it quite literally means 'red people' in Choctaw.


[Ed-S: Reinstating this thread, but we're gonna be moderating closely. Don't be an asshole no matter how much you think someone else is being an asshole rules in effect.]

ESPN: Moneyball and Iowa Recruiting (totally not Moneyball)

ESPN: Moneyball and Iowa Recruiting (totally not Moneyball)

Submitted by Bodogblog on June 25th, 2014 at 12:43 PM

ESPN NCAAF front page, posts what looks to be an interesting story re. Iowa's recruiting tactics.  Moneyball, from Ferentz?  Really?  That's worth reading.

It is not worth reading.  Their recruiting approach has absolutely nothing - not even a tangential relationship - with the concepts put forth in Moneyball.  It is in fact quite the opposite.  They do not use advanced statistics, instead foregoing them ilo guiding principles such as noticing "there was "something different" about how Midwest players reacted in games when compared to players from outside of the region."  And, ""You need to at least be thorough in your state and the surrounding states because those kids bleed that school's colors."

The most interesting items of note is that they look for overlooked kids with good frames, and look to switch their positions from high school.  Which is what a lot of mid-tier schools do.  And they like taking QBs and moving them.  And the story quotes their former recruiting coordinator who's now opening a Culvers, who likely not coincidentally believes Ohio Stadium is the Taj Mahal of college football.  And that in addition to OSU and Michigan, MSU (the finder of all hidden recruiting gems) also passed on Micah Hyde despite his brother playing there. 

Iowa's approach has worked, I'm not slighting it.  I am directing my ire at the leader.  This is silly.


Mlive story on Stephen Loszewski

Mlive story on Stephen Loszewski

Submitted by BlueCube on June 24th, 2014 at 9:34 PM

First I'd like to apoligize to the mods if they determine that this should be part of the other thread. I thought it would get lost there and it's a story that should be read by all.


picked up this story and I know many were wondering what the full story was. Apparently Stephen has lived with luekemia for 3 1/2 years. He was a member of his Grain Valley, MO football team. His father's side of the family are huge Michigan fans and he grew up loving Michigan. When Make a Wish asked what his wish would be he said to be a Michigan recruit for a day.

This started when Jake Long knocked on his door with a arm load of recruiting letters from the Michigan coaches.

I'll let you read the rest in the story but I will say his dog's name is Desi which made Desmond Howards appearance that much more meaningful.

I'll add a few pictures here but there are more at the link.


Most importantly, Stephen is in remission. July 24th is his cure date which means he has been in remission long enough to be classified as cancer free.





Summer Torrents: 2013 Football - Indiana at Michigan

Summer Torrents: 2013 Football - Indiana at Michigan

Submitted by MGoArchive on June 24th, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Original broadcast

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