Phil Steele's List of Returning OL Starts: Michigan #8

Submitted by Bambi on June 14th, 2016 at 8:26 AM

Link

As the title states, yesterday Phil Steele released his list of returning OL starts for the 2016 football season.

Michigan comes in at #8 overall and #1 in the conference with 105 returning starts. We knew we had a veteran OL returning, but it's nice to see that we're tops in the conference and top 10 nationally in that regard.

We all know that the OL's success really boils down to if a 5th OL (Newsome/Kugler/someone) can step in an produce, but generally a experience at OL leads to success there. With the talent on the roster, the experience at the other 4 OL spots, the improvements made last year with the OL, and Harbaugh and Drevno coaching them up, I like to think this will be Michigan's best OL in a few years.

Some other rankings of note:

#1: Bowling Green - 140 starts (Ohio State's week 1 opponent)

#17: Penn State (2nd in B1G) - 91 starts

#51: Alabama (4th in SEC) - 64 starts

#60: Wisconsin (7th in B1G) - 62 starts

#71: Ohio State (9th in B1G) - 57 starts

#81: Iowa (10th in B1G) - 52 starts

#95: Clemson (13th in ACC) - 46 starts

#102: Michigan State (12th in B1G) - 42 starts

#113: Oklahoma (7th in Big 12)  - 32 starts

#117: Notre Dame  - 27 starts

Comments

Rabbit21

June 14th, 2016 at 9:05 AM ^

I hope so, the only thing that holds me back is the Braden-Kalis-Magnuson O-line has never been that impressive and I wonder if it's going to take a couple of recruiting cycles to really get the kind of O-line Harbaugh wants to use going.  

Experience is better to have than not, but mt O-line heebie jeebies haven't quite yet passed

LKLIII

June 14th, 2016 at 12:52 PM ^

You know what I'd also love--similar to what you mentioned?  Longitudinal UFRs.  Like, plot out a graph on how XYX player did over the season--X axis is what game it was & Y axis is the overall UFR score for that game (or maybe average UFR score per downs played to account for if a player played more or less downs each game).

You could easily track how XYZ player did relative to himself in prior games that season.  Or you could do the same for entire units (O-Line), etc.

Hopefully you'd see improvement throughout the season.  The problem of course is also quality opponent.  If a unit or a single player gets lined up across a monster super-star from another team, it's possible that person's average UFR per snap for that particular game takes a dip.

I'd still be cool to see the aggregate metric though.

FauxMo

June 14th, 2016 at 5:14 PM ^

I have been queasy about the Bag of Dick market since 2012. They are really volatile and have been trending negatively against both the Dollar and the Euro. Plus, the uncertainty in the Vagina commodities market...

ElBictors

June 15th, 2016 at 4:00 AM ^

Are you suggesting a translation risk when bringing a Bag of Dicks back from Europe and converting it into a US bag?

I'd always heard it as a Bucket of Crushed Dicks

As in (in the context of undergrad) ..."after all those shots and dollar pitchers at scorekeepers last night, I feel like a bucket of crushed dicks!"

Gulogulo37

June 14th, 2016 at 11:27 AM ^

But what were they last year?

I'm not gonna bother to check, but let's assume they didn't lose anyone from last year's OL. PSU played 13 games last year. I imagine they had roughly the same starters, so if 5 guys started all 13 games, there's 65 starts more than last year. They're at 91 now, so last year they would have been at 26, which would put them below 117th ranked ND.

So yeah, the roughly 118th OL was shit. Obviously not a guarantee they'll be good this year, and I don't know much about their roster, but generally returning a bunch of OL, even from a bad one, is a good sign. Not unreasonable to think they'll be much improved.

Goggles Paisano

June 14th, 2016 at 10:38 AM ^

Like any product, you get what you pay for.  Some bags are full of dicks that don't command much in the market. These are usually the bottom of the barrel dicks which are often full of imperfections whether it be size or an odd shape (an upside down banana for example). A bag of premium dicks could cost a pretty penny.  So I guess to answer your question....it just depends.  

True Blue Grit

June 14th, 2016 at 10:46 AM ^

O-line is the one position group where Michigan most needs to build up where we match the Ohio States and Alabamas of college football.   Of the last two classes, really Bredeson is the only guy you can really say is elite talent.  And after the 2013 class implosion, I share your heebie jeebies.

WolvinLA2

June 14th, 2016 at 10:52 AM ^

I agree our last two classes haven't blown anyone away, but I think Onwenu is elite talent as well. He needs to keep his weight under control, but he's a very unique blend of size and athleticism with super long arms. He's a guy who could play tackle too, despite his height.

MChem83

June 14th, 2016 at 12:37 PM ^

Before we have an offensive line that is deep, talented and experienced. For 2016, I'd settle for the experience we have, modest improvement in run blocking, and good health, so that depth is not such a problem.

Expecting a championship level Oline this year is not realistic, but as long as injuries don't tear us up, it should be good enough, with everything else we have, for a 10 win season.

DrMantisToboggan

June 14th, 2016 at 8:32 AM ^

I'm torn between being pretty confident that we will win the B1G and being pretty nervous because the last time we had this much hype preseason was 07. Then...yeah. 

 

But Jim won't settle for less than our potential. Gonna be a great year. 

coldnjl

June 14th, 2016 at 8:39 AM ^

I hate being too confident that we ill win the B1G or get to the playoff: alot needs to go right for any team to accomplish that. Injuries, weather, other teams momentum/confidence can make any game a possibility to lose. All I can say is that I know we have the team and the coaching staff to do it and that is good enough for me.

DrMantisToboggan

June 14th, 2016 at 10:04 AM ^

Much higher ceiling than Speight. Put up video game numbers in his freshman year at Houston. Pros for him vs. Speight are his arm strength and mobility, whereas Speight has been more accurate to this point. I think with a fall camp to work with the 1st team and work with Jim, O'Korn will pull ahead. HIs potential and his mobility are just too much for Speight to beat out for a whole camp. 

EGD

June 14th, 2016 at 9:32 AM ^

I guess I view the uncertainty at QB as more of a positive than a negative. We don't know who will start, but it's because we have several capable QBs competing for the job. It's not like a 2008 situation or the pre-Rudock part of 2015 when all of the candidates looked rough. There is strong competition at the position this year so we ought to have confidence in whoever comes out on top.

LKLIII

June 14th, 2016 at 11:39 AM ^

Agreed.  My biggest concern isn't QB.  My expectation is we'll get a least Rudock-like play from somebody.  

My biggest concern is the depth on the O-Line and our linebackers.  Even the linebacker issue might get papered over with the outstanding rest of the defense.  We could be one Mason Cole serious injury away from a major O-Line problem again.

Don't get me wrong--I still expect a solid season.  It's just that we've had our expectations raised to traditional Michigan standards.  Last year we were thrilled with 9-3 and a solid bowl win.  Now I'd say that's "normal"--we could go 9-3 this year even with O-Line issues or an OK QB.  I'd be disappointed in anything less, and my bar for a good season at this point is at least 10-2 plus a real push for the Big Ten title & possible playoff spot.

What I'd love to see is our O-Line experience not only improve but also even out.  Instead of getting "feast or famine" O-Lines, I'd much rather get into a pattern where all we are doing is breaking in 1-2 new guys per year--"new guy" being defined as a RS Sophomore or Junior at least.