Come on the podcast, Mahmoud. The former president of Iran is on team Harbaugh:
With a hard work ethic Inshallah the U of M will return to its glory days.
— Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (@Ahmadinejad1956) October 16, 2018
The replies to this tweet are all the same joke but it still works. Because the former president of Iran is on twitter, offering takes if Allah wills it.
That's a shame dot gif. Nick Bosa has peaced out permanently, per Tim May:
Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa and his family apparently have decided to focus on the next phase of his football career, which means his emphasis will be on training for the 2019 NFL draft once he is cleared to do so, several sources told The Dispatch on Tuesday.
That means he will not try to return to play for the Buckeyes this season.
The preseason All-America suffered a core muscle injury in the win against Texas Christian at Arlington, Texas, on Sept.15. He underwent surgery in Philadelphia late the next week to repair the injury, and he has been on the mend since.
The sources said that Bosa met with OSU coach Urban Meyer and some of his staff on Sunday to let them know of the decision he, his father John Bosa and the family had reached about his future.
They elected him captain. Whoops. If 74 more OSU players get injured by the time the Game rolls around then we'll be even in the recent history of the series.
A defense that can be had. Post-Bosa OSU defensive performances have been getting steadily worse, culminating in a game against Minnesota where the Gophers moved the ball most of the day only to shoot themselves in the foot at crucial moments. OSU's seemingly total unfamiliarity with RPOs was a major contributor:
Minnesota is an RPO team, and the Golden Gophers used that to great effect all day, slicing Ohio State up in the middle of the field and forcing the linebackers to feel like there were wrong no matter what they did.
Minnesota hit slant after slant, the Gophers throwing for 218 yards and putting together four drives of at least 58 yards.
"We knew the looks we were going to be able to get," Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck said. "They played the exact looks we want to be able to get, and we took advantage of that."
All those inside throws were RPOs, or run-pass options. The Gophers go to the line with two options on a play, and decide whether to hand off or execute a quick pass based on how the defenders, often the linebackers, react.
With Ohio State's linebackers typically playing close to the line of scrimmage, and the OSU secondary playing man defense, Minnesota threw to open windows inside with no defender in a passing lane. When Ohio State's linebackers stayed back, they ran.
Hopefully there's another long con in progress from M.
[After THE JUMP: S&P+ items!]
Bush on the Journey. The sideline shot of Bush running down a flare against WMU is excellent work:
He calls himself "the glue" of @UMichFootball's top-ranked defense.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) October 15, 2018
RIP Bill's mentions. S&P+ is relatively down on Michigan State, which sits 33rd in the fanciest of all stats despite being 24th in the AP poll. This is the major reason why:
MSU was projected 13th in S&P+ and began 11th in the AP poll, but losses to Arizona State (No. 57 in S&P+) in Tempe and Northwestern (68th) at home justifiably dropped the Spartans quite a bit. Their narrow win over Utah State has begun to look more impressive — the Aggies have destroyed all comers since then and are up to 20th — but the two losses and a mostly mediocre performance against CMU dragged them down.
Plus, they needed significant turnovers luck to survive against PSU. They fumbled four times and lost none of them, and they had 16 passes defensed against them, which would typically result in about four interceptions instead of one. So while they got dinged for their losses, they also didn’t get a ton of statistical credit for their big win.
MSU also recovered the one PSU fumble. Connelly called this luck, which made the usual suspects angry just one week after they were moaning about Dave Warner and the doom facing MSU. And it was a stunning amount of luck. S&P+ calculates it as almost three touchdowns' worth.
Texas: weird. Also of note from Connelly's article above is how incredibly strange Texas is this year:
One Texas is 3-0 against the three top-50 S&P+ teams it has faced (No. 3 Oklahoma, No. 30 USC, No. 46 TCU), winning by an average of 38-25. The Horns pulled away against USC and rode turnovers and late-game defense to a comfortable win against TCU. Then they surged to a commanding lead against Oklahoma (with help from the turnovers fairy), gave it all away, then calmly drove for the game-winning field goal.
The other Texas is a top-60 team at best. The Horns lost to No. 55 Maryland, beat No. 59 Baylor by six at home, beat No. 88 Kansas State by five, and beat No. 93 Tulsa by seven.
That has created one of the strangest dichotomies you’ll see:
- Average scoring margin vs. the top 50: plus-13.7
- Average scoring margin vs. the bottom 80: plus-3.5
That is not how that’s supposed to work.
That results in the #7 team in the country, per voters, landing 43rd in the fancystats. Both are right, depending on your perspective.
Other S&P items. Michigan's profile has some numbers of note:
- Michigan's offense is first nationally at getting into third and short—21% of the time—and second at avoiding third and long. Their average yards to go on third down is 5.6, which is also #1 in the country.
- Unfortunately, their third and short conversion rate is mediocre and they're horrendous at converting third and long—129th. However, since they rarely find themselves in long distance situations their third down success rate is 3rd in the country.
- Redzone offense continues to not be a thing. Michigan from the opponent 30 to their 11: terrible, 115th. Michigan inside the 10: quite good, 20th. That's indicative of a thing that's not a thing unless someone can come up with an explanation why there would be a non-shruggie explanation for that division.
- Michigan is incredibly slow: 127th in tempo. This causes grumbles and it probably should. If you're the favored team, and Michigan has been in almost all their games, you should be playing reasonably fast. The more plays, the more likely your quality will win out over time. OTOH this may be a function of Michigan's season to date. Only two of their games were competitive in the fourth quarter, so there's been a lot of running into the line and waiting 40 seconds.
- Michigan's leading tackler is Devin Bush, and when he makes a tackle the opponent averages barely 2 yards a play. Yowza. Chase Winovich is just two tackles back of Bush, and his average tackle is for loss. Of 0.2 yards. But still!
As the Durkin turns. The Athletic has a piece quoting three parents of Maryland players about the potential return of DJ Durkin:
Said another parent: “There’s nothing for them to gain by coming forward. They cannot win. This is a no-win for them. … It’s not just some disgruntled players.”
Said a third parent: “We are worried that this narcissistic sociopath is going to come back. To me, he should never coach again.”
They are not in favor.
People in charge, etc. I'm not going to trash the "google some stats and then find out who's responsible" method of finding coaches. It landed Michigan Don Brown, therefore it is good. But make sure you actually do the "find out who's responsible" bit:
via @DBriggsBlade on our first FBS coach firing of the season.
— Matt BOO-rown (@MattSBN) October 15, 2018
So, a couple things: Texas Tech was indeed the legitimate, opponent-adjusted O champion in 2015. Jinks was… the RB coach. He'd been a college coach for all of three years. He was probably not the driver of the Tech offense.