The Meeting

The Meeting

Submitted by Ziff72 on December 2nd, 2010 at 3:48 PM

So I have no idea what happens in an evaluation meeting between AD's and their football coaches, but do you think RR gets a chance to plead his case?

Does he get an hour to put up graphs of Freshmen starters, FEI indexs, returning starters, WVU highlights,academic progress, recruiting etc.. and sell it to Brandon while he is sitting at the table? 

I thought of this going thru the excellent thread on the state of Stanford's defense.  The last few days have been filled with a lot of garbage, but I have been impressed with the number of charts and graphs and arguments people have laid out.  It got me to wonder if Brandon actually looks at stuff like that?

On one hand you would think he is the man that has to make this decision, he should know every single thing about the program and have looked at it from every different way and he has had his staff put together the same type of graphs and records for him to look at.

On the other hand I can't picture Brandon looking it over and saying "boy the FEI index shows us as the #1 offense RR is back".   I'm picturing him making a decision on more of an overview and feel. 

Curious how geeky you think Brandon gets on this stuff.  What do you think?

NCAA Football Game on the iPhone

NCAA Football Game on the iPhone

Submitted by bklein09 on December 2nd, 2010 at 3:41 PM

So I was looking through the available games on my iPhone the other day, and saw that EA Sports has come out with an NCAA football game for the iPhone.

Its $5 and of course I downloaded it.

It is essentially exactly the same as Madden, but has a limited number of teams. The instructions say you can create your team if they are not one of the available options.

The game does a surprisingly good job at representing Michigan stadium, and the into to games in the Big House is not bad. Hail to the Victors blairs as the camera pans over the crowd. Its definitely worth the 5 bucks.

Another bonus to the game, Sparty is not one of the included teams. Central Michigan is on there, Houston is on there, but no MSU. I found that comical. Its just another indication that they'll always be little brother. We don't have to beat them every season for that relationship to hold (although that would be nice!).

OT: Capital One Bowl Mascot Challenge

OT: Capital One Bowl Mascot Challenge

Submitted by hartattack26 on December 2nd, 2010 at 3:31 PM

First off, I am completely prepared to get neg-banged for this post but let me plead my case.

The Old Dominion Mascot is close to beating the Oregon Duck in the Final Four of the Mascot Challenge. This is crazy because Old Dominion just got football 2 years ago and aside from basketball is virtually unnoticed in the sports world. I call upon the mgoblog community to help the ODU mascot Big Blue by voting at www.capitalonebowl.com  I was hoping he would be facing Brutus but o well. Heres why:

1) Michigan doesn't have a mascot so why not?

2) When is the last time you got to beat Oregon?

3) His name is Big Blue...close enough right?

4) It's a distraction from all the CC posts and negativity on this board

5)  It would be funny to see a mascot nobody has even heard of beat out every major mascot in D-1 football

Eight UM Football Players Named to Academic All-Big Ten Team

Eight UM Football Players Named to Academic All-Big Ten Team

Submitted by FL on December 2nd, 2010 at 3:18 PM

From mgoblue.com:

Eight U-M football players earned Academic All-Big Ten recognition, including redshirt freshman starting safety/linebacker Cameron Gordon (Detroit, Mich./Inkster) and redshirt sophomore starting offensive lineman Patrick Omameh (Columbus, Ohio/St. Francis DeSales). Redshirt junior offensive lineman Zac Ciullo (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Brother Rice) also earned his first spot on the academic team. He will forego his fifth year of eligibility and enroll in U-M's Law School next fall.

Football (8)
Zac Ciullo, Sr., LS&A Honors, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
John Ferrara, Sr., History, Staten Island, N.Y.
J.B. Fitzgerald, Jr., Sport Management, Princeton Junction, N.J.
Cameron Gordon, So., General Studies, Detroit, Mich.
Will Heininger, Sr., Sport Management, Ann Arbor, Mich.
John McColgan, Sr., Economics, Saginaw, Mich.
Patrick Omameh, Jr., Sociology, Columbus, Ohio
Joe Reynolds, So., LS&A/Undeclared, Rochester, Mich.

http://www.mgoblue.com/genrel/120210aab.html

While we are thinking of potential DCs, let's look at the Benjamins

While we are thinking of potential DCs, let's look at the Benjamins

Submitted by iawolve on December 2nd, 2010 at 3:03 PM

Since we have a bit of time and DCs are a hot topic, I looked around at some publicly available competitive salary information in regards to names floating around as well as some interesting comps since they are new DCs which should reflect the market:

 

Greg Robinson: $270,000

Jeff Casteel WVU: $320,000 

Chuck Heater UF: $305,000 (as a DB coach!!!)

 

New DCs or other DCs

Vance Bedford UL: $300,000 (ex-UM, new DC with Charlie Strong)

Vic Koenning UI: $325,000 (new DC brought in this year to rescue the defense)

Teryl Austin  UF: $440,000 (the new DC, ex-UM)

Todd Grantham UGA: $750,000 (new DC brought in this year to rescue the defense)

Justin Wilcox UT: $600,000 (new DC brought in by new coach Dooley)

 

You could continue this with a number of data points, but what is interesting to me is that Gainsville, Knoxville, Athens, Urbana-Champaign, Morgantown or Louisville do not have higher costs of living than Ann Arbor which further exacerbates how out of the range we are on the pay scale without even considering the really high salaries like Monte Kiffin at $1.2M/yr. It is striking that a first year DC like Bedford makes more than GERG. Casteel would be a bump to $400k, just to break even (!) if you use a cost of living calculator for Ann Arbor and Morgantown. Heater needs $350k using similar metrics to break even. Additionally, the big name turnaround guys seem to demand a bigger bump still. 

Based on the above, we have a more basic problem than just finding candidates. We need a paradigm shift regarding how we pay coordinators and the assistant coaches or it seems doubtful that we will be able to assemble a NC quality staff. The UM name goes a long way, but it does not pay the bills nor do many high performers look to often take pay cuts.

 

Safety Sheldon Royster visiting in January

Safety Sheldon Royster visiting in January

Submitted by Magnus on December 2nd, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Sheldon Royster, from New Jersey, is visiting in January.  I thought this quote on Rivals was interesting:

"The coach that is recruiting me told me that they are in need of DB's and they don't have too many that are going to be staying," Royster said. "If I did decide to go there it would be a good move for me athletically and they also have good academics. That's always a plus and will be one of my main reasons for picking a college."

It's always possible that the kid misquoted what a coach said or maybe didn't quite understand the gist of what the coach said, but I thought the boldfaced part was interesting.  As far as I know, the only defensive back who's departing is James Rogers, who plays cornerback.  Royster is probably going to be a safety in college.

Like I said, it's probably just a miscommunication/misquote.  But I certainly hope that's not an indication that our underclassman defensive backs are having thoughts of transferring.
 

CC - In depth anaylsis of Stanford's D under Harbaugh

CC - In depth anaylsis of Stanford's D under Harbaugh

Submitted by Papochronopolis on December 2nd, 2010 at 2:03 PM

There has been loads of analysis done on Rich Rodriguez's progress so far as Michigan's head coach.  Many are not satisfied with the improvements that Rich has made in this football team so far, and after watching the defense this year this viewpoint is very understandable.  With many calling for a coaching change, and with the majority of those who want this set on bringing in Jim Harbaugh, it's time we take a look at exactly what Jim Harbaugh has done for Stanford's defense during his tenure as their Head Coach.  We will look at four things; recruiting, personnel, coaches and performance.  This will give us an idea of whether he will be able to turn the ship around if he is indeed brought in.

Most people know Harbaugh's records at Stanford.  Coming off a 1-11 year in 2006, Harbaugh took over and posted the following records:

Stanford Football Record 2007-2010
Year Wins Losses
2007 4 8
2008 5 7
2009 8 5
2010 11 1

 

1.) Recruiting

As many of you know, recruiting is the lifeblood of a football program so we'll start here.  Lets take a look at Harbaughs ability to recruit on the defensive side of the ball.  Note: Rivals star ratings used to evaluate talent.

Stanford Defensive Recruiting 2007-2011
Year 2-Stars 3-stars 4-stars 5- stars Total
2007 3 2 0 0 5
2008 5 4 0 0 9
2009 2 4 2 0 8
2010 0 6 2 0 8
2011 1 6 3 0 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harbaugh clearly stepped up recruiting at Stanford.  He was able to start bringing in more talent , but it also seems that he is near the ceiling in bringing in top-end recruits.  Harbaugh should definitely be credited with the improvement in recruiting for his ability as a recruiter.  Part of it is also due to the improvement in Stanford's record. 

This trend is impressive, but not overly so.  Stanford has plenty of things to pull in recruits (academics, location, playing time) and the last two recruiting years have had less competition from other in-state schools.  Also it must be noted that California is one of the top recruiting hot-spots when it comes to bringing in talent (and particularly talent that also peforms well in school).  Harbaugh should be able to bring in better talent at Michigan, however there is nothing to show that he will out-peform Rodriguez.

 

2.) Depth Chart

In order to evaluate Stanford's performance on the defensive side of the ball, it's necessary that we take a look at their roster composition and the experience in the two-deep.

Stanford Football Starting Defense 2007-2010
Year Fr  So Jr Sr Upperclassmen %
2007 0 4 3 4 63.6%
2008 0 1 7 3 90.1%
2009 0 4 2 5 63.6%
2010 0 2 5 4 81.8%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stanford Defense Two-deep 2007-2010
Year Fr  So Jr Sr Upperclassmen %
2007 3 8 5 6 50%
2008 4 5 10 3 59.1%
2009 2 8 5 7 54.5%
2010 3 6 6 7 59.1%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stanford has never started a Freshman or RS Freshman on defense under Jim Harbaugh.  They have never had a two-deep with more underclassmen than upperclassmen.  This is primarily due to a lack of the attrition that was faced by Rodriguez at Michigan.  Harbaugh can be credited for keeping his players around more effectively than Rodriguez.  Rodriguez has lost some of his recruits and that is definitely on him.  However when it came to keeping Carr recruits, Rodriguez could only do so much.  Harbaugh on the other hand wasn't dealing with kids that were dedicated to a coach that had departed, the kids were dedicated to their school as most were trying to get a Stanford degree.  I'll give Harbaugh a slight advantage over Rodriguez in identifying the right players that will stay in school and keeping them around but I don't think we can entirely rule out that Harbaugh wouldn't have problems keeping players (particularly RR players) around at Michigan.

 

3.) Coaching Staff

Here is the list of defensive coordinators at Stanford during Harbaugh's tenure.

  1. 2007 Scott Shafer
  2. 2008 Ron Lynn
  3. 2009 Andy Buh
  4. 2010 Vic Fangio

While Harbaugh did not change defensive coordinators every year because his defense was underpeforming, it should be noted that he went through four defensive coordinators in four years and was still able to find success on that side of the ball in year 4 after bringing in a seasoned DC.  His ability to keep a consistent staff on that side of the ball can be questioned just as much as Rodriguez's ability to do the same.  This also shows that even with transition you can come out doing well (2010 Illinois is another example).

 

4.) Defensive Performance

Stanford Defensive Ranks 2007-2010
Year Scoring D Rush D Pass D Total D PE D
2007 65 77 107 98 109
2008 75 77 85 80 83
2009 65 63 104 85 95
2010 11 25 34 24 21

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interestingly, Harbaugh struggled with his defense for 3 years and had a breakthrough this year in his fourth year.  There's not that much separating Rodriguez and Harbaugh in terms of defensive performance in their first 3 years.  The only differences were that Harbaugh had an experienced group and was able to keep players from leaving the program.  Stanford faced a talent disadvantage when compared to U of M but the defense was never decimated as much as it is at Michigan.  Rodriguez had some experience on D in his first year but after that many players left, others didn't pan out and the rest are now starting.  I think Stanford's experience and lack of attrition and Michigan's talent advantage cancel each other out (I actually think that Stanford has been in a better position).

Year 3 specifically is something to look at.  Their talent was slightly worse than what Michigan has in year 3, but their experience level was leaps and bounds above Michigan's.  That said, Stanford peformed only just a bit better defensively than this year's Michigan team has.

Moving on to Harbaugh's 4th year we see drastic improvement across the board in the defensive rankings.  This is definitely a resume booster for Harbaugh, but if we look behind the rankings, what do we get?  Let's take a look at the scoring offense of each of Stanford's opponents this year and Stanford's performance against them.

Stanford Defense Per Game Performance 2010
Team Scoring Off Rank PPG Points against Stanford
UCLA 103 20.73 0
WAKE 91 22.75 24
ND 77 25.75 14
Oregon 1 50.45 52
USC 40 31.25 35
WSU 109 18.82 28
Wash 100 20.91 0
Arizona 47 29.82 17
ASU 32 32.45 13
Cal 72 25.83 14
OSU 80 24.82 0

Looking at this table, Stanford's good looking defensive numbers come from shutting out some terrible offenses and slowing down a couple decent ones.  Outside of Arizona and ASU, Stanford did not have any defensive performances to write home about.  They gave up 52 points to the only top 25 offense they faced, and gave up more points than the season average PPG of three weak to average opponents (Wake, USC, and Washington St.).  Stanford put up some nice looking defensive numbers this year, but the fact is that the competition left a lot to be desired.

 

Conclusion

After looking through these numbers it's hard to pinpoint exactly what Harbaugh is going to bring to Michigan over Rodriguez in terms of improving the defensive side of the ball.  He had 3 below average to terrible years during which faced challenges that weren't greater than what Rodriguez has faced at Michigan (less talent but much more experience).  Those who point at year 4 as a reason that he is going to fix Michigan's defense should think twice.  First, one year is way too small a sample size.  And two look at the competition.  The Pac-10 had one amazing offense, and the rest ranged from mediocre to terrible. 

Many things are similar between Michigan's defense under Rodriguez and Stanfords defense under Harbaugh.  The first three years look strikingly similar to Michigan's numbers the last three years (in what I would argue a weaker conference).  Once Harbaugh was able to get enough talent, experience, and land a decent defensive coordinator (all of which he finally had in year 4) he was able to field a half-decent defense.

In the end I think this shows that Harbaugh is not the savior that many are making him out to be.  He has made nice strides as the Head Coach at Stanford, however he has not done that much to set him apart from Rodriguez even on the defensive side of the ball.  I'm not arguing that Rodriguez is the best man for the job, but to boot himin favor of Harbaugh based on Harbaugh's resume to this point would seem unfair to me.  I'm hoping that Dave Brandon is looking at these types of numbers when he's doing his analysis of which coach is better for the future of Michigan.

Blowout Clarification

Blowout Clarification

Submitted by Ziff72 on December 2nd, 2010 at 1:38 PM

I've seen this in arguments over the last month and I would like to ask that you refrain from using it as it is driving me crazy. 

When you are arguing about  RR in the big games please do not use Iowa or Penn St as games we "were blown out" in or "overmatched".

PSU Score was 38-31 with 7 minutes to go and they were facing a 3rd and 5.  A 1 score game with 7 minutes to go is not overmatched.  If you asked any PSU fan at that point if they fely comfortable they would have said no.

Iowa Score was 35-28 with 3 minutes to go facing a 3rd and 8.  Again BHGB may have had a brown stain in their gold pants on this 3rd down play.

I can argue with you about turnovers and yardage blah blah and you'll say scoreboard and we can agree to disagree in the other games but these games were tight.  End of story.

You can now resume you regularly scheduled venting.  

 

In Barwis I trust. (re: Chocolate Milk)

In Barwis I trust. (re: Chocolate Milk)

Submitted by Mustachioed Ge… on December 2nd, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Caught this little gem on Reddit today. Now if only wolves were allowed IN the weight room.

 

http://articles.courant.com/2010-10-11/news/hc-energy-drinks-athletes-1011-20101010_1_energy-drinks-chocolate-milk-plain-white-milk

 

Search terms used in case of double posting: milk, chocolate milk, courant, hartford.