Barwis affect?

Submitted by toomer18 on September 23rd, 2010 at 9:34 AM

First off I want to say that I have been a believer in Mike Barwis.  He looks and acts like a guy I want running the S & C progam.  But this is year three now.  Have we seen any real affect of having him on our staff.  He was one of the main guys in the NCAA investigation. 

It seems that especially on defense we get pushed around.  I know we want to be fast, but in my opinion we need a little more mass.  Are the players on defense just not good enough?  Are they not smart enough to know what to do?  Do we not have enough depth?  How is any of this an issue in year 3 of RR and Barwis?  Is it just youth?

I think that people go crazy over Barwis.  I just think he is overrated, and we need to see some real evidence that these guys are getting stronger and faster, and more importantly it has to translate over to the field.  Again, this is more about our D.



September 23rd, 2010 at 9:53 AM ^

One of the things I keep hearing over and over again from the players is that Mike Barwis has helped them tremendously with their conditioning. In fact, I think it was Roh or Martin who just said in this week's post-game presser that because of Barwis, the defense just doesn't get tired down as easily (I'm too lazy to double-check, but someone can correct me if I'm wrong). So, I would say Barwis has done an excellent job of getting our guys ready to play at an elite level.

Furthermore, one thing that someone else brought up in a previous thread about Barwis is that the workouts and the exercises that he has the guys doing should help in recovering from injuries. The fact that Vincent Smith is back to 100% less than a year after tearing his ACL is incredible.

And where would you like to see more mass? Martin is proving that he is a beast in the middle, despite being smaller than your typical NT. Mouton and Ezeh seem about average sized for LBs, and Van Bergen is not small. I could see why you would want to see Roh bulk up some more, but he added a lot of mass in this last offseason, and he's just a true sophomore; not to mention he's proven to be an effective player at his current size.

Edit: willywill has the video from Roh's press comments.


September 23rd, 2010 at 9:51 AM ^

Here's one angle you haven't considered.  Against UMass, the defense was on the field for huge periods of time.  Through all that, RR never made a substitution in the secondary.  The backfield was in shape to take every snap.  Skill can be debated, but that is quality conditioning.


September 23rd, 2010 at 10:47 AM ^

Our defense is still pretty young and probably haven't experienced the full Barwis effect. Also it takes two for the system to work so it relies heavily on the athlete completing full workouts, especially over summer. Like people have said, Martin and Roh are pretty sound examples imo

Greg McMurtry

September 23rd, 2010 at 9:56 AM ^

follow the UM football team?  Seriously.  Everything that I've heard is that Barwis has been doing a great job and has been getting quite a bit of praise.  Not to mention the huge mass gains that have been made in terms of playing weight  if you had bothered to look at the roster year to year.


September 23rd, 2010 at 10:15 AM ^

I actually had to look it up.  It is affect.  I love all the responses.  Im not saying he is doing a bad job, it's just that everyone seems to think he can take any player and turn him into a beast.  I know Martin and Roh are good examples.  Martin was already a beast and was going to become more of one because of his work ethic.    Will Campbell on the other hand cant get in the rotation?  I don't how they let him get out of shape. 

Again, I know he does alot of good.  We need to measure up with teams like OSU, and that goes back to RR getting recruting guys that can play defense (and tackle, and be in the right position to make the tackle).  I would have thought by year 3 we would physcially dominate some of our opponents.  Especially in our first 3 games this year.  If you are happy with what we have right now today as far as a team and a defense, I think your going to be disappointed. 


September 23rd, 2010 at 10:25 AM ^

Call me stupid (please don't really call me stupid) but I'm not sure what your last sentence means . . . are you insinuating that the team and defense is going to regress and get worse?  Or are we going to be disappointed because the team will lose some games?  Or are you implying that the team is not as good as they appeared in the past three games (with the exception of the defense in UMass game)?


September 23rd, 2010 at 10:28 AM ^

I actually had to look it up.  It is affect.


Affect as a noun is more a psychological thing - a feeling, an emotion. It's an abstract term. Effect as a noun is a result - sometimes tangible, sometimes not.

Poor, off the top of my head example follows: better example follows:

MGoBloggers that believe the Barwis Effect is the real deal show normal affects.


September 23rd, 2010 at 10:53 AM ^

it's pretty clear that the offense, developmentally, is a year ahead of the defense, and that includes in the weight room. I don't really understand how you could question whether or not Barwis is doing a good job when the offensive line is now 2 deep with Big Ten size linemen- without guts! The defense just doesn't have that kind of depth, and I think part of that is that they were focused on recruiting spread personnel the first two years and didn't really turn the focus to defensive recruits until last year. Give it another year when the Marvin Robinsons and Carvin Johnsons of the team start to blossom. There is no question the defense is somewhat disappointing (depending on your expectations going in), but they have improved and I would certainly lay none of the blame at the feet of Mike Barwis.


September 23rd, 2010 at 11:16 AM ^

So, OP, let me get this straight.  You "looked it up" and it is still "Barwis affect?"  It is semi-excusable to use affect as a noun once, but to "look it up" and still believe that the incorrect usage is the correct one is either criminal ignorance or a very clever and subtle job of trolling.  Either way, the post is terrible even without the incorrect usage. 

Anyway, since usage apparently isn't your forte, lets try a couple of equations:

Affect = verb

Effect = noun

Affect can be used as as noun in psychology to denote em0tion or feeling. 



September 23rd, 2010 at 10:37 AM ^

defense and that there is a lot of room for growth.  The 3-3-5 replaces a lineman with a hybred, so there is less mass by design.

The issues on defense, well documented here and at other sites (except Ritinberg), are more related to a young secondary that has to play it safe and poor decision making by the LBs.  Martin is HULKSMASH and the others are servicible.  Again, by design, the DL occupies the OL and the LBs are the cleanup crew.

Oh, and your bit about Barwis being investigated really makes me wonder where your head is at.


September 23rd, 2010 at 10:40 AM ^

I am not sure whether you have watched the first three games of the season, but if you can't see the results of Barwis, than you should ask Stevie Wonder for some vision pointers.

Look at the ND game - our offense and defense were playing with the same speed in Q4 as they did in Q1.

Look at the UMass game - while the score was close, UMass wore down over the second half and our team looked fresh throughout. 

Martin - he has turned into the Hulk.  I expect that at some point this season, he will turn green.  I attribute this to Barwis.

Roh - he added 15 pounds of good weight and actually appears faster.

Mouton - yes, he is not so good at the whole learning how to play football thing.  This is either a Mouton issue or a coaching issue - but look at his physical play.  The man can hit hard and get there with speed. 

As for the rest of the defense, we have so many true freshman playing that there has been no time for Barwis to take an effect. 

To me, if we manage to out-hustle teams in the 4th quarter, this will be the difference between a win and a loss in at least 1 or 2 games this season.  Given our defense, it is likely that many of our games will be shootouts that will be won / lost in the last few minutes.  Think back over the past 5-6 years to the number of games that we LOST during the last few minutes when our defense looked exhausted and was sucking wind.  Barwis' training seems to have eliminated that problem.


September 23rd, 2010 at 10:42 AM ^

Am I the only one out here that was hoping with Barwis and this being year 3 that would be more physically dominant on defense?  It may happen down the line, but it hasn't happened yet. 

Moe Greene

September 23rd, 2010 at 10:43 AM ^

Barwis has many people endorsing his methods of course -but those of us in the NYC metro area surely cringe at Jeff Wilpon as an endorser.

It would seem to me the problem with the Mets is they haven't used his methods enough.....


September 23rd, 2010 at 10:54 AM ^

This thread is (marginally) better than the "Is Barwis to blame for Tloy Woolfork's ankle/Mike Jones' broken leg/Vincent Smith's ACL?  I thought he prevented injuries, but it seems like he's causing them.  Too much chocolate milk?" thread that appears every few weeks.


September 23rd, 2010 at 10:55 AM ^


While I strongly disagree with a couple of the OP's inferences, I think he's in part responding to the over-the-top hype that many here have indulged in about what getting "Barwisized" can achieve on the field. Mike Barwis can get Obi and Jonas into the best shape they'll ever be, but he can't cure them of taking bad angles, of losing contain, or misreading a play. He can't turn Jordan Kovacs into a 4.4 guy. He can't turn a pure freshman who's still learning how to play safety or cornerback into Charles Woodson. Unfortunately, he can't get into the mind of J.T. Turner to persuade him to stick it out and work hard enough to earn a spot as a starter.


September 23rd, 2010 at 11:23 AM ^

40 time now v. upon arrival

standing broad jump now v. upon arrival

shuttle time now v. upon arrival

standing vert now v. upon arrival

clean and jerk now v. upon arrival

These measure the fast twitch, explosive athleticism that Barwis seems to emphasize.  Once we find these numbers, let's compare them to the comparables at other D 1 schools.

I believe that Barwis does a great job with the guys; especially at this level, it can be as much about buying in to doing the work as anything else.  I also agree with his emphasis on movements other than standard bench and squat, which don't necessarily mean anything on a football field.

HOWEVA, I have seen other good strength coaches in action, and have witnessed some pretty impressive gains.  I don't generally join in the Barwis homage; this isn't because he isn't good - I think he's quite proficient at what he does.  Brock Mealer 's entrance into the Big House is a great piece of anecdotal evidence showing what he can do.  I just remain unconvinced that he's head and shoulders above what other schools have.

Zone Left

September 23rd, 2010 at 2:49 PM ^

I want middle linebackers that make proper reads too, but that isn't on the S&C staff.  The defensive problems are simple, everyone behind the defensive line just isn't very good.  Add to it the inexperience and shocking lack of depth in the secondary, and you have a crappy defense.  I'm actually impressed that they can still stand at the end of games considering there are exactly zero subs.

Sextus Empiricus

September 23rd, 2010 at 11:11 AM ^

I doubt this can be researched authoritatively (please someone try) for good reason.  I remember last year ... after Cox (?) made a run in a game ... Barwis ran up to him on the sidelines and gave him a very excited speech.  I don't recall too many other S&C guys with his visibility.  He brings something to the program. 

There's not any 400 lb lineman out there.  There are limits to excellence.  Barwis pursues it with a passion that is rare.  What more can you ask of a S&C coach.

NOLA Wolverine

September 23rd, 2010 at 11:20 AM ^

As it turns out, Michigan actually did have a strength coach before Barwis came, and I think maybe one or two other colleges have strength coaches as well, so that has probably diluted any 'Barwis effect.' Since we don't look like slow blobs, I'd say the Barwis effect is in action.


September 23rd, 2010 at 11:36 AM ^

How about this quote that Mgouser BigTex gave us from a guy who is a national scout for the San Diego Chargers:

He asked if I knew much about Mike Barwis (to which I responded he is the only person capable of beating Chuck Norris in a fight)...he said Barwis has done amazing things for this program, and Barwis' abilities/expertise is legendary even among the professional ranks.

'Nuff said.

Link to thread:

st barth

September 23rd, 2010 at 12:24 PM ^

So I just check out the Barwis website for the first time.  It's cool and all...but then I stumble upon the product description of the Agility Bag in the store and it says:

"This bag is embroidered with BarwisMethods on the front and a dragon on the top."

...and naturally, I think, what's up with the embroidered dragon?  I do some more digging on his website and he's got dragons on his shirts and other gear too.  It's cool and all...but I can't help but think of that Will Ferrell gay prison character where he's infatuated with dragons now every time I see the name Barwis.


September 23rd, 2010 at 1:31 PM ^

Its not like our S&C coach was terrible before either. So the jump from good to great isn't going to be as noticeable as say, nothing to great. Barwis is a good S&C coach and has helped the team tremendously, but thats not the only thing that wins football games.


September 23rd, 2010 at 3:12 PM ^

People always say this about Barwis, as if showing guys how to work out and train effectively also provides them with greater skill and ability as football players.  BG and Mike Martin have gained under Barwis because they already had the skill and he simply helped to push their bodies to another level (though it's not like the previous S&C coach was a joke).  Guys like Ezeh are probably good people, but no amount of lifting will make him read a play correctly and not get smushed by linemen he should be running around.  Barwis is good for the program, but he's not a miracle worker.