M Falls One Spot in AP Poll

Submitted by marlon on September 16th, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Not sure how this happened.  Michigan fell one spot this week, from 17 to 18.  Meanwhile, Notre Dame leapt from 20 to 11.  This doesn't quite add up to me, but I suppose applying logic to this poll will only result in frustration.

Edit to add link: http://espn.go.com/college-football/rankings/_/week/4


Mitch Cumstein

September 16th, 2012 at 5:43 PM ^

He agreed that Denard produces excellently.  He also said in addition to that production Denard consistently gives the other team points via boneheaded plays (then gave a stat to back that up).  I'm not sure where the extreme discontent with his statements comes from?  I think that is a very reasonable comment.  


September 16th, 2012 at 6:05 PM ^

Except he only provided the raw stat.  You can't make a blanket statement that Denard makes boneheaded plays, use 4 interceptions as your evidence, and not present all the facts.


He made one ill advised throw in the Alabama game that was not intercepted.  He made a throw to Roundtree in the same game who was shoved to the earth as he was making the pass.  There was an interception on him because of his footwork, but considering that he was being hammered all night, not the worst performance possible.


Air Force

The ball went off Vincent Smith's hands and was intercepted.  This could be argued whose fault it was, but this was not really a "boneheaded play."


Poor footing on this interception as he had his left foot pointed almost 90 degrees from the intended reciever.  Not boneheaded so much as poor mechanics on his part.



September 16th, 2012 at 6:55 PM ^

I'll give you the first Bama INT where he challenged Bama's best CB against Tree. The pick 6 against Bama was horrible, the 3 yard bullet to 2 Guns was his fault against AF and the UMASS pick 6 was all his fault. You guys act like this is something new with Shoelace. He's a Senior and he has made the same mistakes for 3 years. Why are we still using the "mechanics" excuse? Regardless, I love the kid and know he's humble and gives 100%, but the things people use as excuses for him is the exact reason he will be playing WR and returning kicks in the NFL. Like I said, i will gladly take the good with the bad, but i wish the bad was not so inevitable almost every game. Can one of you stat guys tell me what percentage of Denard starts has been turnover free where he hasnt fumbled or thrown an INT?


September 16th, 2012 at 8:22 PM ^

If you want to say that Denard 2011 was very bad at turnovers, I'll give you that.  That isn't what you're saying though.  Extracting the numbers you're asking for wouldn't prove much without something to compare it to, so I made this little chart instead.


Andrew Luck (2011) 288 404 10 2.48%
Andrew Luck (2010) 263 372 8 2.15%
Matt Barkley (2011) 308 446 7 1.57%
Matt Barkley (2010) 236 377 12 3.18%
RGIII (2011) 291 402 6 1.49%
RGIII (2010) 304 454 8 1.76%
Peyton Manning (1997) 287 477 11 2.31%
Peyton Manning (1996) 243 380 12 3.16%
Kirk Cousins (2011) 267 419 10 2.39%
Kirk Cousins (2010) 226 338 10 2.96%
Chad Henne (2007) 152 278 9 3.24%
Chad Henne (2006) 203 328 8 2.44%
John Navarre (2003) 270 456 10 2.19%
John Navarre (2002) 248 448 7 1.56%
Matt Stafford (2008) 235 383 10 2.61%
Matt Stafford (2007) 194 348 10 2.87%
Denard (2011) 142 258 15 5.81%
Denard (2010) 182 291 11 3.78%
Michael Vick (2000) 87 161 6 3.73%
Michael Vick (1999) 105 181 5 2.76%
Vince Young (2005) 212 325 10 3.08%
Vince Young (2004) 148 250 11 4.40%
Pat White (2008) 180 274 7 2.55%
Pat White (2007) 144 216 4 1.85%
Cam Newton (2010) 185 280 7 2.50%

What you have here is a comparison between some prolific passers in their Junior and Senior seasons (and Denard in his Sophomore and Junior seasons).  At the top you will find the traditional pocket passer, and those guys average an interception 1.5 to 3% of the time.  The dual threat type quarterback has a much wider range 2 to 5% being the norm.  If Denard can get back to his rate in 2010, then I'm not so sure what the great big concern is.


September 16th, 2012 at 8:55 PM ^

This only shows how bad Denard has been with his decisions. He has 2 of the worse percentages on the entire graph and it's not even close. If we're hoping for the third worse stat on the chart then we are in major trouble. Either way, I'm still believing he can lead us to a B1G championship and he is in my top 5 favorite CFB players of all time.


September 16th, 2012 at 5:32 PM ^

Now you're just being biased and dickish.  One pick in the Alabama game was Roundtree being shoved to the earth, the Air Force pick was from a ball that went off Smith's hands.

So yeah, he has had a couple throws that were ill advised, but you make it sound like he's shitty, or something.  He is very far from just chucking it every play.


September 16th, 2012 at 5:39 PM ^

Nobody loves Shoelace more than me, but the one thing he himself preached all summer was cutting down on turnovers. He has shown improvement in every area except that one. Nobody expects him to be perfect, but he still makes ill advised decisions and throws. It not a sin the bring that up and we all know the last thing we can afford in the next 2 games is bonehead turnovers.

coastal blue

September 16th, 2012 at 5:40 PM ^

1. There needs to be no rebuttal in regards to how stupid that post was and the fact that it was greeted positively, other than to note how stupid it was. Someone had to say it. 

2. I was referencing the above poster's wish for a QB who can hit a "wide open man 50 yards downfield" as if this is a common, highly simple task that QBs routinely accomplish. As if there are wide open receivers with no DB within 5 yards of them that Denard is simply missing. Watching the NFL today, I've seen half a dozen QBs miss open receivers downfield. Its not an easy task and people who think Morris is going to be dead accurate on bombs are out of their minds. Then again, they are the same people who think that benching Denard for Gardner is a good idea, so it makes sense. 

3. Quite frankly, its attitudes like yours and the above that are ignorant. You act as if Denard takes more away than he gives. Does he throw a few more interceptions than I would like? Sure, but he also scores more TDs on the ground than the pro-style QB some of you crave. He creates plays out of nothing with his feet. When our pro-style QBs are getting dropped for sacks that Denard would have avoided, I have a feeling we'll all remember things a little differently. 

Also Chad Henne's interceptions per year: 12, 8, 8, 9. Completion percentage: 60.2, 58.4, 61.9, 58.3.

Denard's interceptions per year (two years starting): 11, 15. Completion percentage: 62.4, 55.0. Remember there's a coaching change in there. 

What's the point of this? Well considering Henne missed a large chunk of his senior season we he tossed up 9 picks, I'm not seeing that much of a difference between what people want and what we have in regards to the passing game by the numbers. Henne did all this a handful of NFL receivers and a consistent running threat at his side at all times. Since this is what people want to go back to, it seems like we would be eliminating the occasional bad interception while at the same time giving up the advantage of having a quarterback who can rush for 1000 yards, 15 TDs on the ground,  break teams for big plays with his feet, avoid sacks, etc. 

4. I've never seen a player who has given more great moments to a team as disrespected by supposedly intelligent people as I have Denard Robinson. I assume you're the type who said things like "DEVIND GARNER WOULD BE QUARTBACK WHO WIN"  last year and "CANT WATE FOR MORIS, HE WILL HAVE %94.7 ACCUACY!" this year and since this is obvious, maybe you should just quiet down till he gets here or Devin starts, so we can accurately compare what we had to what you want. 


September 16th, 2012 at 5:47 PM ^

4. I've never seen a player who has given more great moments to a team as disrespected by supposedly intelligent people as I have Denard Robinson.

When our offense is vanilla and full of 6 yard play action passing to tight ends, we will think back to a day when a player named "Shoelace" made magic on many a Saturday.


September 16th, 2012 at 1:13 PM ^

Last year through three games (WMU, 8-5 ND, and EMU at home) we were giving up 4.8 ypc and had produced 12 TFL and 3 sacks. 

This year through three games (Bama on a neutral site, AFA, and UMass) we are giving up 4.3 ypc and have produced 19 TFL and 3 sacks.

I think it is fair to say that Bama > ND, AFA > EMU, and UMass with Cox > or = WMU in terms of rush offense.  I know we all like to parrot back the coachspeak and everybody wants to assume Coach Hoke walked into a nightmarish situation (despite his 13-3 record), and Bama certainly can make you look bad, but this team is better than last year's on both sides of the ball (Devin Gardner has already caught more TDs than Hemingway did in 12 regular season games), especially at this point of the season and they are only going to get better as some first time contributors find their legs.  Losing to an ND team with a freshman QB and no secondary would/should be a major disappointment.

One Inch Woody…

September 16th, 2012 at 1:29 PM ^

^ Here's the truth. ^

The one thing that we really benefitted from at this point  last year was turnovers. Our defense was being shredded to bits by everyone, and one of the main reasons for our defensive stats were turnovers. Well, this year we don't have those turnovers, but our defense and offense are playing better than they were at this point last year. Improvement will come. That and most of the data people are using to say that our defense is bad is a game in which we gave up ZERO offensive touchdowns, a triple option team, and the undisputed best football team in the country. Michigan in its current state would probably beat most of the SEC (UK, Ole Miss, Vandy, Arkansas, Miss. State, Auburn), and go toe-to-toe with the top-of-the-middle (Florida, Tennessee, Mizzou, TAM). 

By the way, Air Force is consistently ranked between 35-45 in advanced metrics, so your comparisons should go like this:

Bama >>>>>>>> ND
AFA >>>>> WMU
EMU => UMass with Cox + 3/4 transfers from ND.


September 16th, 2012 at 1:49 PM ^

I'm all about being an optimist and all, and you can slice and dice the stats all you want, but our O-line and D-line have been consistently outplayed each game.  This didn't happen last year.  But for a couple games we were on the plus side of controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.

Denard won the Air Force game by himself (with some Devins sprinkled in).  The line play should scare the hell out of us.


September 16th, 2012 at 2:08 PM ^

The last two games we've averaged roughly 7 ypc and our QB has been sacked once.  If that constitutes "consistently outplayed" I just hope our offensive line can keep sucking like that all year.  UMass didn't score a TD, ran for 3 ypc, and put up 259 yards of offense.  Guess I must have turned my head away from the TV during all their dominating plays.  Air Force (a very good offense that is tricky to defend) racked up some yards on the perimeter because we had a shitty gameplan and our corners played poorly in run support when faced with a difficult task.  Our defensive line had little/nothing to do with it.

Oh, and we played the best team in the country, a squad that hasn't allowed a point to anyone else yet this season and didn't let LSU pass midfield in the national title game.  Yeah, we probably should have kicked their ass up and down the field.

Last year EMU ran for over 200 yards against us at 4.5 ypc.  An 8-5 ND team ran for 198 yards on 6.0 ypc.  Our running backs put up 10 yards on 8 carries against the Irish.

But just go ahead and continue saying "The lines suck, dude! This wouldn't have happened last year!" without any factual basis for the statement other than your knee jerk impression/opinion.


September 16th, 2012 at 2:26 PM ^

Watch the games! I couldnt care less what the stats say or what the rankings are. We have not shown one glimpse of dominance on either line and we have had the opportunities to do so. You guys need to stop making excuses for the Bama and AF game. Bama is great, AF is tricky, blah blah blah. Bottom line we want to compete for a B1G and BCS championship and the effort on both lines do not speak well to either goal!!!


September 16th, 2012 at 2:33 PM ^

Here's Denard's increased load in the passing game from last year to this year,



Western Michigan 9 13 69% 98 7.5 0 0
Notre Dame 11 24 46% 338 14.1 4 3
EMU 7 18 39% 95 5.3 2 1
TOTAL 27 55 49% 531 8.97 6 4



Alabama 11 26 42% 200 7.7 1 2
Air Force 14 25 56% 208 8.3 2 1
Umass 16 24 67% 291 12.1 3 1
TOTAL 41 75 55% 699 9.37 6 4


All of his stats are up except his TD/INT ratio is the same as last year (albeit he has 20 more attempts). 


September 16th, 2012 at 2:44 PM ^

In this string of posts you mention Denard.  So it is worth discussing his statistics as well.

It is also worth noting that anyone who touches the ball almost every single play, is going to make some mistakes.  There appears to be an additional burden on him this year, compared to last year.  It also looks like he is on track to settle down a little sooner than he did last year.  We'll see.



September 16th, 2012 at 2:50 PM ^

Yeah...that makes sense. He's on track to settle down as the schedule gets tougher. Say that out loud and then tell me if it still makes sense. I love Denard, and I'll gladly live and die by what he does on the field. I just cant see how anyone can feel comfortable with our line play going into the next two weeks. Especially after watching MSU and ND play yesterday.


September 16th, 2012 at 2:33 PM ^

The last two games we've averaged roughly 7 ypc and our QB has been sacked once.

but it's conveniently covering over the fact that Fitz has had little to no room to run so far. Even against UMass yesterday he sometimes struggled to find space


September 16th, 2012 at 3:07 PM ^

He and Bellomy were the only ones to average less than 6 YPC yesterday. Something tells me that the issue might not be with the line. The reason that he's struggling is that he dances around behind the line instead of cutting it up or just straight up bouncing it outside. That stuff works when you have one or two guys to beat, but it doesn't work when you have 5 or 6 guys around you trying to tackle you. If he'd be more decisive, I'm thinking he'd be getting 100 yards per game without a sweat.


September 16th, 2012 at 3:09 PM ^

The drop in production from Fitz (4.0 ypc as opposed to 5.7 through 3 games and 5.6 on the year) is leaving teams open to other things.  Denard is running for 8.8 ypc (he was at 7.0 through three games last year and finished at 5.3) and we've thrown the ball 20 more times through three games than we did a year ago while still hitting at 9.3 per attempt.

Teams are probably keying on Fitz more than they did a year ago when he was more of an unknown and they are doing so at their peril.  The offense as a whole is doing just fine.  Despite playing Bama and being -3 in turnovers instead of +6, we're scoring 36 ppg (as opposed to 33.3 at the same point a year ago). 

As teams realize they are getting killed by Denard's legs and Gardner/Funchess/Gallon things will start to balance out more, or they will just continue to get killed that way.  You didn't see USC hanging their head after the 2007 Rose Bowl because they only ran for 2.1 ypc and 48 yards against our D.

Ali G Bomaye

September 16th, 2012 at 10:21 PM ^

FIguring out averages for our production through three games, when one game was against one of the best college defenses in the last 20 years and another was against a baby seal, is useless.  So far 1/12th of the season has consisted of Russell Bellomy trying to run clock behind an offensive line made up of walk-ons and 1/3rd of the season has been against the toughtest defense we'll see all year... and you're drawing conclusions from that?


September 16th, 2012 at 2:35 PM ^

do you watch the games?  keep throwing out stats all you want.  i will base my conclusions on what i see.  watching denard run for hundreds of yards on broken plays doesn't constitute a good o-line.  we likely lose to air force with any other QB in the country.  the lack of production from the RBs is proof our o-line is suspect.  i doubt our RBs have regressed.  pass protection is their strength, but denard avoids many sacks.  even the smallish air force d-line was getting consistent penetration against the run.  it was denard's playmaking ability that saved the day.

watching the center of our d-line get consistently pushed around doesn't constitute a good d-line.  i really want what you're smoking if you think our current d-line is any where close to last years'.  regarding Umass, they haven't scored a offensive TD all year and Cox averaged over 4 yds a pop; 70+ yds. UConn shut them out (Cox 5 rushes for minus 4; 59 TOTAL team yds).  Indiana gave up similar total ydsas us but Cox gained 36 on 15 carries.

i'm not saying these guys can't improve, but they have a long way to go.  i think it's obvious to almost everyone but you that the last years' lines are better than this years.  this shouldn't be a newsflash.


September 16th, 2012 at 3:20 PM ^

I'm pretty sure he said the same thing before and after every game last year during the season.  I'm pretty sure he'll say the same thing every season he is coaching here.  If he ever says anything other than "We need to be more physical and play better up front" you'll be able to knock me over with a feather.


September 16th, 2012 at 3:43 PM ^

That doesn't mean it's not true. Our rushing numbers the last 2 games have been greatly skewed by Denard taking it to the house 3 times. Against Air Force he accounted for more than 100% of the total offense because nobody else managed overall positive rushing yards. They didn't need to, but they also didn't manage to. I really think our lack of success running between the tackles will continue against ND, unless it's Denard with an extra blocker. To date the majority of those plays he's been tackled by a defensive lineman shedding their blocker, too. Later in the season I think we can, but not by next Saturday.

coastal blue

September 16th, 2012 at 5:02 PM ^

I, for one, am fairly pissed that Denard's long touchdowns don't count towards the final stats or scoreboard. If only they did, we might be 2-1 right now, instead of 1-2 with that terrible loss to Air Force.

It just seems patently unfair that the rulebook is biased against one player to such a degree.  


September 16th, 2012 at 7:42 PM ^

Dude, we were talking about how effective the oline blocking has been in the run game. He was using stats as an example of their success. I was saying the stats are skewed by denards ability and don't reflect offensive line production. Join the discussion, or start a new one, but don't be a smartass prick. The offensive line needs to improve its run blocking if we're going to beat our rivals and win the B1G Championship.