"How Big Is The Big Ten?" - Position Analysis - Offense

Submitted by LSAClassOf2000 on August 2nd, 2012 at 12:10 PM

POSITION ANALYSIS: OFFENSE

HEIGHT AND WEIGHT COMPARISONS ACROSS BIG TEN IN 2012

 

INTRODUCTION:

Arising from a discussion regarding the size of our own players, I decided to embark on a conference-wide comparison of players on both sides of the ball. I already had much of the data that was required from a previous diary entry, but in order to expand on the concept, I needed to get depth charts and two-deeps.

 

SOME STUFF ON THE METHOD:

For purposes of simplicity and to show approximately what teams may feature in a starting capacity in games, I opted to go with the two-deep comparison.  As it turns out, two-deeps in the Big Ten are fairly easy to find, so this did not take long at all. I tried to use the most current data available in terms of the two-deeps – not every team is in the habit of updating their sites regularly, but there is enough current data to get good results, I believe.

Next, I had to delve into the schemes and nomenclatures used by teams and find a way to put them into tables without losing too much of the descriptive aspect of this analysis. I found a simple way to do this on Rivals.com, oddly enough, which formats their two-deeps as an 11-man unit, and this served as a basis for organizing the tables. Because much of Rivals data is not as current as other sources when it came to two-deep data, I searched and found the individual depth charts.

 I have, for example, turned offensive tackle and offensive guard into a category – some teams differentiate RT, RG, LT, LG, and some do not. I did, however, find enough data on centers to keep this one separate.

For receivers, tight ends and back, I was able to get enough on schemes that I could differentiate them within the tables (i.e., sort of illustrate different combinations of rushers / receivers rather than collapse them into still larger categories).  As you will see in the tables, there is an alternate position in some rows. For example, “WR / TE” – the first one will be the “default” position for each team in that table. Where a team uses another player in another role, the corresponding height or weight will be emboldened and italicized. I believe this also gives some insight into how different teams and their prevailing formations compare. There is admittedly some redundancy – “FB” is in two rows, for example – but again, an effort was made to simplify with losing too much transparency.

 Some teams, for example, utilize halfbacks, tailbacks and fullbacks, and others line up three wide receivers, and others still use some combination of all of them. Using a similar base organization as Rivals, I was able to come up with what I believe is a good (albeit simplified) visualization of the variation across teams.

After all  this, it was merely a matter of average the appropriate player data by position or position group for each team. If this is sound (and I do welcome feedback), I will do something analogous for defensive positions.

 

TABLES:

The compiled tables are below –

 

OFFENSE - LEGENDS DIVISION AVG. HEIGHT (INCHES) IN TWO-DEEP

Position

Michigan

MSU

Iowa

Minnesota

Nebraska

Northwestern

QB

73.0

75.5

75.0

77.0

73.0

72.5

RB / TB

68.0

72.5

70.0

71.5

70.0

70.0

FB / WR

72.0

72.0

72.5

74.0

74.0

74.5

WR

72.5

73.5

73.5

69.5

74.0

71.5

WR / FB

69.0

72.0

75.0

74.0

71.5

70.0

TE / HB

76.5

77.0

77.0

76.0

76.5

76.0

OT

78.8

77.8

78.3

78.3

78.5

78.5

OG

75.5

74.3

76.5

75.3

76.5

77.0

C

75.5

76.0

74.5

75.5

73.5

76.0

OFFENSE - LEGENDS DIVISION AVG. WEIGHT IN TWO-DEEP

Position

Michigan

MSU

Iowa

Minnesota

Nebraska

Northwestern

QB

200.0

206.0

206.0

233.0

200.0

200.0

RB / TB

183.5

229.5

197.5

210.0

195.0

210.0

FB / WR

229.5

247.5

235.0

194.5

195.0

205.0

WR

191.5

200.0

202.5

177.5

202.5

195.0

WR / FB

178.5

194.0

202.5

237.5

182.5

185.0

TE / HB

244.5

268.0

247.5

250.0

242.5

260.0

OT

299.0

310.8

298.5

295.3

311.3

307.5

OG

309.5

298.8

288.3

303.8

303.8

302.5

C

277.5

285.0

274.0

293.0

275.0

297.5

 

 

 

OFFENSE - LEADERS DIVISION AVG. HEIGHT (INCHES) IN TWO-DEEP

Position

Illinois

Indiana

Ohio

Penn State

Purdue

Wisconsin

QB

73.5

73.0

74.0

74.0

75.0

76.0

RB / TB

70.0

71.0

70.5

69.9

70.0

70.5

FB / WR

73.5

75.5

74.0

75.0

71.0

73.5

WR

71.5

74.5

71.5

69.5

71.0

73.5

WR / FB

73.5

70.5

73.5

74.5

71.0

74.5

TE / HB

76.5

77.0

77.0

77.0

76.0

76.0

OT

77.0

77.5

78.8

77.5

77.8

79.0

OG

76.5

75.0

76.3

75.8

76.5

77.8

C

77.5

74.0

74.5

73.5

76.0

76.0

OFFENSE - LEADERS DIVISION AVG. WEIGHT IN TWO-DEEP

Position

Illinois

Indiana

Ohio

Penn State

Purdue

Wisconsin

QB

200.0

187.0

208.0

206.5

217.5

218.0

RB / TB

212.5

205.5

216.5

197.5

189.0

204.5

FB / WR

250.0

211.5

245.5

202.0

175.0

233.0

WR

175.0

202.0

191.5

170.0

175.0

187.0

WR / FB

190.0

183.5

194.5

210.5

180.0

212.0

TE / HB

240.0

262.5

246.0

262.5

247.5

251.0

OT

296.3

290.0

303.8

293.8

271.8

323.0

OG

313.8

287.8

308.0

293.0

269.3

318.3

C

292.5

276.5

287.5

296.5

303.0

308.0

 

A COUPLE OBSERVATIONS:

One thing that I struck me immediately – at least when it comes to formations – is the differences you see if, for example, you swap  out a wide receiver for a fullback, and how little things like this do markedly change the size composition of the offense.  It also seems to say a little about what aspect of the offensive game teams tend to lean on, in my opinion.

Save for some notable instances, there actually is not a huge amount of variation across most teams at most positions. Purdue’s OTs and OGs seem undersized to me, given the data, especially when you look at the team right next to them in the table – Wisconsin.  That being said, a few inches and a few dozen pounds seem to make quite a bit of difference on the field, so while statistically, many of these are close, coached scheme, conditioning and other factors can make these little differences seem big.

 

CONCLUSION:

As I have never embarked on something quite like this before, I encourage feedback since I plan to have a defensive version of this ready later in the month and would like to hear suggestions on how to improve this. If there is any additional information that the board would like, I can do my best to answer any questions as well.

 

Comments

BursleysFinest

August 6th, 2012 at 7:32 PM ^

 Good work here, but I do have 2 suggestions

1. Put heights in 6'1" form and not 73 in...for me, its just more easily readable and more natural

2. Add a table/column where the average of all Big Ten teams is right next to the Mich numbers (and yes I could do the math in my head, but again, it's a lot more easily understandable and accessible if you just add the extra info in the post)

Good job and great idea!