A Plea For Patience: Secondary Experience - Top Five - Bottom Five

Submitted by cbuswolverine on October 31st, 2010 at 11:38 AM

 

This information is taken from the player participation lists from each of the following team's latest games.  This is the starting secondary of the top five rated pass defenses in the nation along with the starting secondary from the bottom five pass defenses of teams who are .500 or better.  That leaves out Louisiana Tech, Rice, and Memphis, who are a combined 6-18.  What year their players are is irrelevant.  Bad teams are bad.  
 
This is pretty eye-opening:
 
TCU - 1st
S - Tekerrein Cuba - RS junior
FS - Tejay Johnson - senior  
CB - Greg McCoy - RS junior 
CB - Jason Teague - senior
SS - Colin Jones- RS senior 
average experience: 4.2 years
 
Texas - 2nd
S - Blake Gideon - junior
CB - Curtis Brown - senior
NICK - Aaron Williams - junior
S - Christian Scott - RS junior
CB - Chykie Brown - RS senior 
average experience: 3.8 years
 
Nebraska - 3rd
S - DeJon Gomes - senior
S - Courtney Osbourne - RS sophomore
CB - Alfonzo Dennard - junior
CB - Prince Amukamara - senior
average experience: 3.5 years
 
LSU - 4th
CB - Patrick Peterson - junior
SS - Brandon Taylor - junior
CB - Morris Claiborne - sophomore
FS - Karnell Hatcher - junior
average experience: 2.75 years
 
Ohio State - 5th
CB - Devon Torrence - senior
CB - Chimdi Chekwa - RS senior
FS - Jermale Hines - senior
SS - Orhrian Johnson - RS sophomore
average experience: 4 years
 
 
The top five passing defenses have a combined total of one starter with less than three years of experience in the secondary.  The bottom five?  Not so much:
 
 
Tulsa - 120th
Free Safety - Marco Nelson - freshman
CB - John Flanders - junior
CB - Charles Davis - senior
Bandit - Dexter McCoil - sophomore
Spur - Dewitt Jennings - freshman
 
Texas Tech - 119th
DB  - DJ Johnson - sophomore
CB - Tre Porter - freshman
S - Cody Davis - RS sophomore
DB - Jarvis Phillips - RS freshman
 
Michigan - 117th
CB - JT Floyd - RS sophomore
CB - James Rogers- senior
S - Ray Vinopal - freshman
S - Cameron Gordon - RS freshman 
S - Jordan Kovacs - sophomore
 
backups
CB - Terry Talbott - freshman
CB - Christian Cullen - freshman - not on the player participation list but he played?
S - Carvin Johnson - freshman - ditto
CB- Courtney Avery - freshman - ditto
 
USC - 114th
FS - TJ McDonald - sophomore
SS - Jawanza Starling - sophomore
CB - Nickell Robey - freshman
CB - Shareece Wright - RS senior
 
Oklahoma State - 113th
CB - Andrew McGee - senior
S - Markelle Martin - junior 
S - Johnny Thomas - junior 
CB - Brodrick Brown - RS sophomore
 
Ignoring the outlier, Oklahoma State, please raise your hand if you recognize a trend here.  Step away from the ledge, people.  Firing RichRod will not add experience to our secondary.  We can discuss our record in the Big Ten and THREE YEARS OF SUCK FIRE HIM!!!111!! until we're blue in the face.  That does not change the obvious shown in the above:  Experience is CRUCIAL to the success of any team's secondary.  We all knew this was an issue going into this season, no?  What has changed?  Believe me when I say that I am as frustrated as anyone here.  Time is the cure for this problem, though.  Patience is in order. 
Ignoring the outlier, Oklahoma State, please raise your hand if you recognize a trend here.  Step away from the ledge, people.  Firing RichRod will not add experience to our secondary.  We can discuss our record in the Big Ten and THREE YEARS OF SUCK FIRE HIM!!!111!! until we're blue in the face.  That does not change the obvious shown in the above:  Experience is CRUCIAL to the success of any team's secondary.  Patience is in order. This information is taken from the player participation lists from each of the following team's latest games.  This is the starting secondary of the top five rated pass defenses in the nation along with the starting secondary from the bottom five pass defenses of teams who are .500 or better.  That leaves out Louisiana Tech, Rice, and Memphis, who are a combined 6-18.  What year their players are is irrelevant.  Bad teams are bad.  
 
This is pretty eye-opening:
 
TCU - 1st
S - Tekerrein Cuba - RS junior
FS - Tejay Johnson - senior  
CB - Greg McCoy - RS junior 
CB - Jason Teague - senior
SS - Colin Jones- RS senior 
average experience: 4.2 years
 
Texas - 2nd
S - Blake Gideon - junior
CB - Curtis Brown - senior
NICK - Aaron Williams - junior
S - Christian Scott - RS junior
CB - Chykie Brown - RS senior 
average experience: 3.8 years
 
Nebraska - 3rd
S - DeJon Gomes - senior
S - Courtney Osbourne - RS sophomore
CB - Alfonzo Dennard - junior
CB - Prince Amukamara - senior
average experience: 3.5 years
 
LSU - 4th
CB - Patrick Peterson - junior
SS - Brandon Taylor - junior
CB - Morris Claiborne - sophomore
FS - Karnell Hatcher - junior
average experience: 2.75 years
 
Ohio State - 5th
CB - Devon Torrence - senior
CB - Chimdi Chekwa - RS senior
FS - Jermale Hines - senior
SS - Orhrian Johnson - RS sophomore
average experience: 4 years
 
So the top five passing defenses combined have exactly one player with less than three years of experience starting in their secondary.  The bottom five?  Not so much:
 
Tulsa - 120th
Free Safety - Marco Nelson - freshman
CB - John Flanders - junior
CB - Charles Davis - senior
Bandit - Dexter McCoil - sophomore
Spur - Dewitt Jennings - freshman
 
Texas Tech - 119th
DB  - DJ Johnson - sophomore
CB - Tre Porter - freshman
S - Cody Davis - RS sophomore
DB - Jarvis Phillips - RS freshman
 
Michigan - 117th
CB - JT Floyd - sophomore
CB - James Rogers- senior
S - Ray Vinopal - freshman
S - Cameron Gordon - RS freshman 
S - Jordan Kovacs - sophomore
 
backups
CB - Terry Talbott - freshman - the only back up who played last night
 
USC - 114th
FS - TJ McDonald - sophomore
SS - Jawanza Starling - sophomore
CB - Nickell Robey - freshman
CB - Shareece Wright - RS senior
 
Oklahoma State - 113th
CB - Andrew McGee - senior
S - Markelle Martin - junior 
S - Johnny Thomas - junior 
CB - Brodrick Brown - RS sophomore
 
Ignoring the outlier, Oklahoma State, please raise your hand if you recognize a trend here.  Step away from the ledge, people.  Firing RichRod will not add experience to our secondary.  We can discuss our record in the Big Ten and THREE YEARS OF SUCK FIRE HIM!!!111!! until we're blue in the face.  That does not change the obvious shown in the above:  Experience is CRUCIAL to the success of any team's secondary.  Patience is in order. 

Comments

PurpleStuff

October 31st, 2010 at 12:19 PM ^

If we had a middle of the pack, serviceable roster, we could have a defense just as good.  Do you remember Brian's season preview?  Everyone knew this is what was going to happen on defense when they looked at the preseason depth chart.  Complaining about it and searching for alternate causes at this point is kind of nuts.

PurpleStuff

October 31st, 2010 at 12:51 PM ^

We all want to believe (and do believe on gameday) the team will win and I think that weighs in on any prediction a little bit.  I just don't understand the folks who read all the predictions/analysis and then complain when it comes to pass and pretend that they are mad about only the manner in which the predicted result is coming to pass.  Things like "I knew the defense would suck but why is JT Floyd making this particular mistake covering receivers" seem insane.  Everybody knew JT Floyd wasn't good going into the season and that the only option to replace him would be true freshmen.  Did they think he would do everything right, be in position to make a play on the ball, but then the pigskin would magically travel through his body and into the receivers hand, ruining the performance of the defense?

PurpleStuff

October 31st, 2010 at 3:44 PM ^

Are you suggesting I am being too pessimistic after the loss?  Or that I should be more understanding of others pessimism?  And I wasn't optimistic after a win, but rather approaching the void with optimism (and more of a best-case-scenario than a prediction) so I don't quite see the correlation either way.

For the record, I think our defense will continue to suck the remainder of the year.  I think they will be much improved next year and combined with the offense's continued improvement we will have a very good team (if not I'm all for job security speculation).  What I don't like is people who assume this is the ceiling of Rodriguez's program (when the team is so young and set to return 20+ starters next year) or who complain that young players who everyone expected to play poorly are playing poorly but aren't failing in the right way or with the proper "fundamentals" (whatever that is supposed to mean).

mejunglechop

October 31st, 2010 at 4:03 PM ^

You're basically saying that though you said 9-3, I shouldn't treat that as a real prediction (despite it being labeled a prediction thread) because it was before a game and people get optimistic before games. So my question is what makes you think you're seeing the situation more objectively now? I submit that you're just fooling yourself in thinking you can.

PurpleStuff

October 31st, 2010 at 4:12 PM ^

I am no longer sure of anything.  The world has no meaning.

But on a serious note, I think there is a big difference between picking a number out of a hat the night before the season starts and saying "This team will be much improved next year because they return virtually the entire two-deep and that kind of boost in experience almost always lead to on-field improvement."  Seems pretty objective to me.

mejunglechop

October 31st, 2010 at 4:23 PM ^

Well yeah, that makes sense as long as you're content to be vague and broad in predicting improvement. But where the rubber meets the road is when you answer the question that naturally follows. That is, "how much?" Then we're back to essentially picking numbers out of a hat.

This is a very roundabout way of trying to convince you that if 9-3 was your expectation, it's preposterous to say our current situation was foreseeable, even likely, in hindsight.

cbuswolverine

October 31st, 2010 at 12:47 PM ^

This is a decent indicator, though, no?  No?  Okay, I'll keep going:

West Virginia - 6th

senior, senior, RS junior, sophomore

Miami - 7th

junior, RS sophomore, RS senior, RS junior

Boise State - 8th

junior, senior, senior, RS sophomore, RS senior

Air Force - 9th

junior, junior, senior, freshman

Utah - 10th

freshman, senior, RS junior, senior, and a guy who has been on the team since 2005(?)

Arkansas - 11th

senior, junior, RS junior, RS senior

Kentucky - 12th

sophomore, junior, junior, junior

I wonder how far we will have to go before we find a secondary that has even two starters with less than three years of experience?  I'll keep going later when I have time.  I am interested in the answer.

cbuswolverine

October 31st, 2010 at 1:17 PM ^

 

Louisville - 13th
RS senior, RS freshman, sophomore, senior
There it is.  The highest ranked secondary with more than one starter with less than three years of experience.  Let's hire their DB coach.  :-)
 
FIU - 14th 
senior, RS senior, sophomore, sophomore, RS freshman
Or hire this guy.
Or hire this guy.Louisville - 13th
RS senior, RS freshman, sophomore, senior
There it is.  The highest ranked secondary with more than one starter with less than three years of experience.  Let's hire their DB coach.  :-)
 
FIU - 14th 
senior, RS senior, sophomore, sophomore, RS freshman
Or hire this guy.- 13th
RS senior, RS freshman, sophomore, senior
There it is.  The highest ranked secondary with more than one starter with less than three years of experience.  Let's hire their DB coach.  :-)
 
FIU - 14th 
senior, RS senior, sophomore, sophomore, RS freshman
Or hire this guy.Louisville - 13th
RS senior, RS freshman, sophomore, senior
There it is.  The highest ranked secondary with more than one starter with less than three years of experience.  Let's hire their DB coach.  :-)
 
FIU - 14th 
senior, RS senior, sophomore, sophomore, RS freshman
Or hire this guy.

cbuswolverine

October 31st, 2010 at 1:41 PM ^

If there was a list out there somewhere that ranked everybody's secondary by experience, believe me, I would use it.  The only way I know to  find this information is to go through the rankings team-by-team, player by player.  It is tedious.  I have a lot of free time at work so maybe I'll compile the entire list this week along with side-by-side rankings of experience and pass defense ranking.  What a blast that will be.

cbuswolverine

October 31st, 2010 at 2:02 PM ^

How can we say that there is a lack of developing talent when it comes to our secondary?  They haven't had a chance to develop yet.  Let's not talk about guys like Turner and Emilien, either.  Vlad's knee not being the  same and JT liking pizza and donuts too much is not on the staff.

cbuswolverine

October 31st, 2010 at 3:55 PM ^

I just realized that it isn't necessary to do all 120 teams, either.  The experience level of  the secondary of 0-9 Akron or 1-7 Western Kentucky is completely irrelevant.  I'd kind of like to drop teams like Washington State, Duke, and Vanderbilt, maybe who will more than likely have a poor ranking regardless of experience level.  There are so few of them in BCS conferences, though, that it may not matter.

Here's what I'm thinking:

I could include all BCS conference schools and the independents plus all teams from the other conferences with a .500 or better record plus BYU, who is 4-5 right now but should be in this just so we can see what a secondary of 25-year old mormons looks like.  That makes it somewhere around 85-90 teams.  

I would like to just start over and do 2009 so there is an entire season of data.  It would be more difficult to find accurate rosters for every school, though. 

BaggyPantsDevil

October 31st, 2010 at 2:22 PM ^

...if I would use Air Force to support your argument since they are more of an example of what good coaching can accomplish with guys who are simply playing football as a diversion from studying engineering while waiting to become fighter pilots. They basically have four Air Force cadet versions of Jordan Kovacs on the field. The fact that a service academy--in this day and age--can do what a traditional football powerhouse like Michigan cannot, just makes the situation all the more sad. Michigan doesn't have to have the best pass defense in college football but it sure would be nice if they were near the absolute worse.

PurpleStuff

October 31st, 2010 at 11:51 AM ^

This should illustrate that talent (all those guys are still blue-chip recruits) and coaching (I've heard Monte Kiffin knows a little about defense) are secondary (puns galore!) to experience. 

A2MIKE

October 31st, 2010 at 1:45 PM ^

USC has faced some pretty potent offenses and QB's in Locker (Wash), Luck (Stanford) and Thomas (Oregon).  Outside of Stanzi, we have not faced an elite QB, and no Cousins is not an elite QB.  You saw what a good defense did to him.  

Webber's Pimp

October 31st, 2010 at 11:58 AM ^

I hear what you are saying. Another factor imho is the talent we're putting out there. I guarantee you that USC defense will be better next year. They have reason to be optimistic given the way they recruit. But from an athletic standpoint we are NOT on the same level.

The trouble is this all becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. RRod won't be able to recruit well enough if he's on the hot seat. And make no mistake he is on the hot seat. As things stand this is the lowest ranked recruiting class I've ever seen at Michigan. I know we have Dee Hart and a couple of other intriguing guys coming in next year. I definitely feel good about that. But as a whole the class is not as solid as it should be (that's especially true of the defensive recruits which are the one's we need most). I want to see RRod do well but for the first time since his arrival I have serious doubts as to whether or not he can survive the shit storm. If what I read last night on this site is an indication RRod will not be the head coach at Michigan after the 2011 season...

ajscipione

October 31st, 2010 at 11:59 AM ^

research you did regarding the obviously young secondary. However, the problem is deeper than just the secondary, It is also the missing fundamentals, the missed assignments and poor play at linebacker. Yes, the secondary is young and should improve but their defenses problems run much deeper than that.

PurpleStuff

October 31st, 2010 at 12:08 PM ^

We're starting two sophomores at linebacker too.  Why do you think inexperienced players produce poorer results than experienced ones?  Precisely because they miss assignments, have poor fundamentals, miss tackles, etc.  Does anybody remember our 2005 defense with Burgess and Harris starting for the first time (as juniors mind you)?  They couldn't stop anybody and a year later they were world beaters.  It takes time.

Thrillhouse

October 31st, 2010 at 12:02 PM ^

The secondary isn't the only problem on the defense. Sure, the inexperience of our DBs paints a part of the picture, but to bury your head in the sand and say that the defensive coaching has nothing to do with this melt down is asinine.

A2MIKE

October 31st, 2010 at 1:49 PM ^

assign a percentage to this defenses problems.  I say 50% coaching, 25% talent, 25% experience.  A good coach makes a world of difference.  If this team lacked experience but was sound in the tackling game they would have won last night.  That's not the case and fundamentals come down to coaching.

Victory Collins

October 31st, 2010 at 12:07 PM ^

but I think it is valid to criticize RRod because this is his third year, and putting aside how bare the cupboard may have been when he arrived, if he and his defensive staff had paid sufficient enough attention to recruiting DBs, we would at least have some RS Sophomores or true Juniors as starting DBs.  I think that is the problem most people have.  In year 3, we should not be stuck with this amount of youth. 

I think it is also a little naive to assume that the coaching staff is 100% blameless on the flamouts (Cissoko, Turner, Emilen, Smith).  This staff recruited them, and for some reason has not had a great track record so far of developing 4-5 star talent on defense (add Campbell to the mix there).  Maybe RRod, who coached hungry 2 and 3 stars with chips on their shoulders while at WVU, does not realize that 4 and 5 star guys sometime respond differently given the amount of adulation and coddling they are used to -- more and more, coaching top talent in CFB wouls seem to require more managing of egos that NFL coaches have to do, given the explosion of HS recruit worship that has taken place over the past 5 years.  I think a lot of 4 and 5 star kids come in with a sense of entitlement and maybe not the work ethic they need.  Motivating them is very different (and in some ways harder) than motivating a kid like Kovacs.

MileHighWolverine

October 31st, 2010 at 12:38 PM ^

that we had guys who had experience leave the program for lack of playing time.  Now, is Vinopal really better than Vlad?  Vino was in position to make stops last night but he was run over repeatedly.  Maybe a bigger guy (like Emilien) would have been better there?

I guess we will never know...

cbuswolverine

October 31st, 2010 at 12:38 PM ^

most definitely

It's been three years of pain.  I hate it, too.  It just seems like this is the worst possible time to make a change, though.  We need to see this through to 2011 with 19 starters back.  We all knew the issues with this team going in.  Next year is the tipping point, one way or the other, imo.