# "How Big Is The Big Ten?" - Position Analysis - Defense

Submitted by LSAClassOf2000 on August 10th, 2012 at 9:39 AM

“HOW BIG IS THE BIG TEN?” – POSITION ANALYSIS – DEFENSE

INTRODUCTION:

This is yet another portion of the series “How Big Is The Big Ten?”

This time, we shall take a look at how average heights and weights stack up at various position groups on the defensive side of the ball. I have made a few minor formatting changes at the suggestion of some MGoUsers here – I have listed the heights in feet and inches rather than just inches, and I have added a column next to Michigan’s which shows the averages of all other Big Ten teams and compares it to Michigan.

SOME METHOD / BREAKDOWN STUFF:

You will note that this is simply broken down into five groups – DE, DT, LB, CB and S. The reason for this is that not every two-deep I could find (and I did search for updates since it has been a couple weeks), makes the distinctions to which we might be accustomed when describing the defense, such as SDE, WDE, MLB, WLB, FS, SS, and so forth (whatever nomenclature you prefer). Further, I did not want to wager guesses in those cases (although for some teams I would have a fairly good idea) and risk presenting something inaccurate.

The hope was to create a composite of sorts here, actually focusing on that more than I did with the offensive portion of this analysis. I tried to be careful about this, of course, to ensure that it would be descriptive enough even if you wanted to talk about weak side / strong side and the like.

Beyond this, I did not really change any methodology from the offensive portion.

TABLES:

Below are the compiled statistics. The second table illustrates the relative lack of dispersion across position groups by showing both standard and average deviation. Averages for the "Big Ten" column exclude Michigan for purposes of comparison.

 DEFENSE - LEGENDS DIVISION AVG. HEIGHT IN TWO-DEEP Position Michigan BIG TEN MSU Iowa Minnesota Nebraska Northwestern DE 6-4 6-4 6-4 6-3 6-4 6-4 6-3 DT 6-4 6-3 6-5 6-3 6-3 6-2 6-4 LB 6-2 6-1 6-1 6-2 6-2 6-1 6-2 CB 5-11 5-11 6-0 6-0 5-11 6-1 5-11 S 6-1 6-0 6-0 6-2 6-0 6-1 5-11 DEFENSE - LEGENDS DIVISION AVG. WEIGHT IN TWO-DEEP Position Michigan BIG TEN MSU Iowa Minnesota Nebraska Northwestern DE 246 253 261 255 244 263 251 DT 296 291 302 273 289 291 283 LB 227 226 231 214 227 218 227 CB 178 186 180 185 187 198 176 S 199 199 195 195 199 203 198 DEFENSE - LEADERS DIVISION AVG. HEIGHT IN TWO-DEEP Position Illinois Indiana Ohio Penn State Purdue Wisconsin DE 6-4 6-4 6-3 6-3 6-4 6-4 DT 6-3 6-3 6-4 6-3 6-3 6-3 LB 6-2 6-2 6-2 6-2 6-2 6-1 CB 6-0 6-0 5-11 5-8 5-10 5-11 S 6-3 6-0 6-1 6-0 5-11 6-0 DEFENSE - LEADERS DIVISION AVG. WEIGHT IN TWO-DEEP Position Illinois Indiana Ohio Penn State Purdue Wisconsin DE 240 258 264 252 243 255 DT 280 299 294 301 290 301 LB 222 229 231 231 225 227 CB 190 185 189 185 183 190 S 210 204 200 202 183 206

DISCUSSION:

Looking at these particular statistics, it would appear that, at least physically, we stand up well to the average Big Ten defense in 2012. Indeed, we match the average height at DT and CB and exceed it by an inch in the other groups. For weight, we are lighter at DE and CB on average, slightly heavier at LB and DT and on par at S. Again, different teams recruit and develop for different schemes, and you can definitely see that looking at the individual team statistics here.

One other thing that sticks out is the relative lack of variation across teams, save in a few notable instances. What that says to me – in a way – is something that we may (or at least, I) already assume. The Big Ten is indeed a mature conference, if you will, with a fairly entrenched prevailing philosophy on this side of the ball. That isn’t necessarily profound, but these tables do seem to support that notion.

CONCLUSION:

Although this did not end up being quite as transparent as I wanted it to be because of the widely varied levels of detail between teams, I wanted to share the results with the community for their edification. Hopefully, these analyses are helpful in some way, for they have certainly increased my appreciation for the complexity and the considerations of the modern game.