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Date Title Body
04/05/2011 - 11:35am Connections...

IU, Kevin Wilson -- Wilson has known Rodriguez for over a decade.  When Wilson was the offensive coordinator at Northwestern, he and Randy Walker went down to Clemson to learn the spread from Rodriguez (see: Northwestern 54, Michigan 51).  Since then, Rodriguez has been close with Bob Stoops and his staff.  So it's no surprise that Wilson, in his first HC job, hired two available Rodriguez assistants with Big Ten experience.  Smith and Frey are, IMO, the two Rodriguez assistants most deserving of AQ-conference jobs.  Both the QBs and OL made noticeable progress during their tenure.


Pitt, Todd Graham -- Graham was an assistant of Rodriguez for three years at West Virginia.  He has already worked on the same staff as Magee and Gibson.  Graham and Dews never worked together, but it is pretty obvious that Dews would come with high recommendations from people that Graham trusts (Rodriguez, Magee, Gibson, etc.).

03/24/2011 - 11:44am Moeller...

had both a dominant rushing attack and an offense that produced two NFL QBs.  But that offense didn't really fit with Chait's thesis, so it was conveniently left out.

09/07/2010 - 10:10am Northwestern...

should not be ranked.   they barely escaped a very bad Vanderbilt team.

04/07/2010 - 10:20am 2006 recruiting class

should be graduating.

01/12/2010 - 2:15pm my only concern regarding Snyder is recruiting

we're not hiring him as DC or HC, so I'm not concerned about his failures there. this guy coached up a couple All-American LBs at Ohio State and a couple all-Big Ten DEs at Minnesota. however, we need more than one recruiter (Gibson) on the defensive side of the ball. Robinson and Tall are not good recruiters.

01/09/2010 - 11:34am why is Oklahoma ahead of Nebraska?

especially considering...

Nebraska (10-4) 10, Oklahoma (8-5) 3

01/09/2010 - 11:30am explain Georgia...

#10 Georgia (8-5)
L -- UF (13-1), LSU (9-4), OkSt (9-4), Tenn (7-6), UK (7-6)
W -- GT (10-3), Ark (8-5), Aub (8-5), SC (7-6)

#15 Virginia Tech (10-3)
L -- Bama (14-0), GT (11-3), UNC (8-5)
W -- Neb (10-4), Miami (9-4), BC (8-5), Tenn (7-6), ECU (9-5)

12/08/2009 - 2:41am like you said...

there is no "one way" to compare conferences. winning % is good, but overall quality of opponents and meaningful wins are also very important metrics. the Big East has a vastly superior bowl winning % to the Big Ten over the past 4 years, but that's not because the top of the Big East is vastly superior to the top of the Big Ten.

12/08/2009 - 2:34am not just the top few teams...

5-7 NC State -- beat #17 Pitt
5-7 Wake Forest -- beat #21 Stanford
6-6 Florida State -- beat #14 BYU

12/07/2009 - 7:37pm no, but it puts the winning %s into context

the Big 12 has beaten no one. the ACC, while erratic, is a dangerous conference capable of picking off high-quality opponents.

12/07/2009 - 6:21pm Personally I prefer to compare the..

errr... "scalps" (no PC) each conference collects.

#9 11-2 Georgia Tech (ACC champ)
#11 9-3 Virginia Tech
#16 9-3 West Virginia
8-5 Clemson
9-3 MTSU
9-4 Ohio
6-6 Florida State
6-6 Texas A&M

#14 10-2 BYU
#17 9-3 Pitt
#21 8-4 Stanford
#22 9-4 Nebraska
11-2 CMU (MAC champ)
9-4 ECU (C-USA champ) (x2)
7-5 Oklahoma
7-5 UConn
7-5 USF

Pac 10
#8 10-2 Ohio State (Big Ten champ)
#23 9-3 Utah
11-2 CMU (MAC champ)
7-5 Tennessee
6-6 Notre Dame (x2)
6-6 Minnesota
7-5 Idaho
7-5 SMU

Big East
#18 8-4 Oregon State
9-4 ECU (C-USA champ)
9-4 Ohio
8-4 Fresno State
8-4 Northwestern
8-4 Navy
6-6 Notre Dame (x2)
6-6 Florida State
7-5 Southern Miss

Big Ten
#20 8-4 Arizona
8-4 Fresno State
8-4 Navy
9-3 Temple
6-6 Notre Dame
6-6 Iowa State
7-5 Air Force

Mountain West
8-5 Clemson
7-5 Oklahoma
8-4 Nevada
7-5 SMU

Big 12
7-5 Georgia
8-4 Nevada
7-5 Southern Miss
7-5 BGSU

12/02/2009 - 11:05am You can lead an MSU football player to a ski mask...

but you cannot make him put it on. Dantonio is not responsible for his players getting caught.

11/20/2009 - 9:49am Henne is a nerd

Henne is a nerd

11/17/2009 - 10:52pm Coach Tall (and Barwis)...

is where I see player development on defense.

Graham is playing like an All-American. Martin and Van Bergen are on track to being great by the time they leave. Banks and Sagesse are mid-level talents who have developed into competent back-ups. Campbell is still extremely raw but has shown improvement throughout the year.

Patterson is a bust, but a 100% success rate is unrealistic.

11/16/2009 - 12:24pm "In Rod We Trust"...

can't be a big money maker these days.

11/16/2009 - 11:54am Why 6-4 Texas Tech and not 7-3 Clemson?

Clemson is more deserving. 2 of their 3 losses were by a combined 7 points to top 10 teams (GT, TCU). They also have wins over Miami (7-3) and BC (7-3).

11/16/2009 - 10:40am yup

Iowa has beaten 3 top 25 teams.
Penn State's best win is Temple.

11/10/2009 - 7:28pm Sumlin = no defense

Houston is 11th in C-USA and 116th in 1-A in total defense. Not the change we need.

11/10/2009 - 6:07pm my answers

Fat Charlie, ND (~$4 million)
Stan Parrish, Ball St ($350,000)

Kevin Sumlin, Houston ($750,000)
Butch Jones, CMU ($308,000)

11/10/2009 - 5:05pm updated the diary...

to address this question. seems that we've been on the low side of normal for the past several years.

11/10/2009 - 1:47pm yes he did.

my new "if I controlled the universe" coaching changes...

Rodriguez - HC/OC/QB (same)
Magee -- OC/RB/TE (what he did at WVU)
Smith - QB (same)
Frey -- OL (same)
New hire -- WR/SR/TE

Robinson -- DC/hybrids (same)
Tall -- DL (same)
New hire -- LB
New hire -- safeties
Gibson -- CBs (reduced role)

New hire -- recruiting coordinator

11/10/2009 - 1:14pm RVB


glad to have him around two more years.

11/10/2009 - 1:12pm that would take a lot of work...

but I did go in and look at the numbers of upperclassmen for a few teams that are in the top 10 in both scoring and total defenses...

Florida - 22 (#1 scoring, #2 total)
Ohio State - 22 (#4 scoring, #6 total)
TCU - 21 (#3 total, #5 scoring)
Bama - 18 (#4 total. #6 scoring)
Texas - 17 (#1 total, #8 scoring)

Florida... has arguably the best defense in the country, which should not be a surprise given their high levels of both talent and experience.

Alabama and Texas... have a little less experience, but compensate with elite talent and elite defensive coaches.

TCU... lacks top end recruiting (though probably under-appreciated), but compensates with experience and top-notch coaching.

11/10/2009 - 12:53pm no...

my handle is a play on another Oakwood (not in Michigan). but i have heard Oakwood Hospital referred to as such by UM med students and residents.

11/10/2009 - 11:23am agree

I have higher expectations for Ezeh and Mouton than I do for Williams, which makes their play even more disappointing (and makes me angry at Jay Hopson). However, I do have an expectation of baseline competence for RS-Sophs and older. They do not have to be game-changing playmakers, but they should be able to diagnose simple plays (cover the RB on the wheel route!) and tackle ball-carries in front of them.

Banks, Sagesse, and Woolfolk are examples of players who meet my minimum expectations of 3rd-5th year players without greatly exceeding them. None of them are or will likely be stars, but all bring a baseline level of competence.

11/09/2009 - 10:23am I appreciate the honesty

It tells me this coach's comments are less fake than others'. He's not blowing sunshine up my ass trying to convince me Johnson is better than a former Louisiana defensive POY, college All-American, and current NFL player.

11/08/2009 - 2:41pm Nick Saban runs a notorious complex defense.

You wouldn't want him.

11/06/2009 - 2:29pm Stability and patience

Iowa did not reach its steady-state of defensive excellence until year 4 of Ferentz's tenure. While Ferentz inherited players as unheralded as the ones he recruited, it took time for Iowa's defense to gel. He needed the right kind of defensive players for his system and everyone to have experience in that system. It was not an instant success.

'97 - 13.3 ppg
'98 - 26.1 ppg
-------------- Ferentz hired
'99 - 31.5 ppg
'00 - 27.5 ppg
'01 - 21.5 ppg
'02 - 19.7 ppg
'03 - 16.2 ppg
'04 - 17.6 ppg
'05 - 20.0 ppg
'06 - 20.7 ppg
'07 - 18.8 ppg
'08 - 13.0 ppg
'09 - 15.8 ppg

11/05/2009 - 1:07pm Red Zone Offense

I prefer "points per appearance" over the NCAA's ranking by scoring percentage, which equates field goals and TDs. Here are a few notable teams with their current ranking and points per red zone appearance.

3. Wisconsin - 5.83
9. Cinci - 5.68
14. Oregon - 5.60
22. Oklahoma - 5.43
23. Texas - 5.37
35. USC - 5.13
53. Iowa - 4.89
92. Michigan - 4.26
96. Ohio State - 4.22
97. Alabama - 4.18
101. Florida - 4.11

I'm not sure what these numbers tell us regarding offensive style and red zone efficiency. I wish our numbers were better, but we seem to be doing better than Ohio State, Alabama, and Florida. Of course, I also wish we had their defense.

11/04/2009 - 9:58pm hmmm...

11/04/2009 - 9:41pm Similarly...

I ask Michael Williams to stop playing in a manner that embarrasses his mother.

11/04/2009 - 9:30pm WVU -- points per drive

West Virginia
'09 -- 2.27 (likely to fall w/ Pitt, Cinci)
'08 -- 1.90
'07 -- 2.96
'06 -- 3.27
'05 -- 2.33
'04 -- 2.13
'03 -- 1.98
'02 -- 2.03

'09 -- 2.03 (likely to fall w/ Wisc, OSU)
'08 -- 1.42
'07 -- 2.07
'06 -- 2.15
'05 -- 2.12
'04 -- 2.16
'03 -- 2.65
'02 -- 2.08
'01 -- 1.78

I use a slightly different methodology...

- all FBS games included
- only offensive scores (no def or ST)
- no over-time
- pick-6s and off fumbles returned for TDs are scored negatively against the off

11/04/2009 - 2:10pm also...

your diary was terrific, btw. thanks for the effort.

11/04/2009 - 2:08pm My numbers...

I've calculated an adjusted offensive points per drive for Michigan as well as several other conference and national peers.

My adjustments are...
- only off. scores are counted (no def. or ST scores)
- pick-6s / fumble return TDs are counted *against* the off.
- overtime scoring is excluded (OT inflates off. stats)

Also, I kept in the highs and lows.

'09 -- 2.03 ppd (excludes DSU since they were a JV team)
'08 -- 1.42
'07 -- 2.07 (includes ASU since they were not a JV team)
'06 -- 2.15
'05 -- 2.12
'04 -- 2.16
'03 -- 2.65 (Navarre!)
'02 -- 2.08
'01 -- 1.78

I'm guessing that after facing the Wisconsin and Ohio State defenses, our overall offensive efficiency will drop below 2 ppd.

11/04/2009 - 1:29pm so...

we could possibly have a Cornelius, a Conelius, and a Carvin all in the same class. sweeeeet.

11/04/2009 - 10:01am Minor quibble with points per drive

I think you're taking total points scored and then dividing by offensive drives. However, not all of the points scored can be attributed to the offense. For example, you're crediting the Michigan offense for the Burgess pick-6 and the Woodley fumble return TD in the '06 Notre Dame game. The offense actually scored 2.4 ppd, not 3.4 ppd.

11/03/2009 - 10:54pm I dub thee "Pinto"

we need the dues, man.

11/03/2009 - 11:54am Stand by our man

And show the world we love him
Keep giving all the love we can
Mary Sue, stand by our man.

11/01/2009 - 5:37pm Play #1

Is there any reason for Mouton to bite on the RB with Graham crashing down the line and Kovacs standing next to him, ready to clean up if Graham whiffs?

I almost threw up yesterday watching this play.

11/01/2009 - 3:47pm players are heavily recruited by their position coaches...

even if the recruits reside outside the coach's recruiting area. as a coach you own your position, and you cannot just hope that someone else on the staff lands you quality players from their region. no one commits to a school without a strong relationship with his position coach.

11/01/2009 - 3:28pm they're responsible for both

Smith does a lot of the heavy lifting in Florida, but he also worked hard to get Forcier and Gardner.

11/01/2009 - 3:17pm remember how much LB play improved in year 1 with Szabo?

it's been 2 years with Hopson, and LB play has gotten much worse. yeah, we did stupid schematic things under Szabo/English like cover 170-lb slot receivers with 240-lb linebackers. but when not faced with match-up nightmares, our LBs made plays.

right now i'm seeing LBs either take themselves out of position (largely incorrect reads, not scheme) or completely whiff on tackles. and even Szabo the "poor recruiter" brought in better talent than Hopson.

10/31/2009 - 6:29pm the sad thing is...

we can't even bench him.

10/31/2009 - 6:27pm RR is chewing through his goodwill quickly

there will be little room for error and excuses next year.

10/31/2009 - 12:11pm Purdue run defense looks bad

Wisconsin drove 80 yds for a TD without a single pass. That's good news for next week.

10/30/2009 - 5:35pm QB play should be pretty good in the Big ten

This bodes well for our deep, experienced, and highly talented secondary.

Adam Weber -- 4th yr starter
Ricky Stanzi -- 3rd yr
Terrelle Pryor -- 3rd yr
Ben Chappell -- 3rd yr
Tate Forcier -- 2nd yr
Scott Tolzien -- 2nd yr
Kirkeith Nichousins -- 2nd yr

Penn State is the only team that takes a series hit at QB. Purdue and Northwestern always seem to have an adequate QB somewhere on the roster. And I'm not sure how much worse Illinois' offense can get, even with the loss of Juice Williams.

10/30/2009 - 5:21pm Illinois

#11 Expected points - offense
#11 Expected points - defense
#11 Offense - season+
#11 Defense - season+
#7 ST - all - per game
#11 Team - turnovers

I'm detecting a large degree of suck.

10/30/2009 - 10:40am maybe Texas' defense looks so much better because...

there is simply a lot less offensive talent on their schedule.

UL-Monroe... bad
UTEP... bad
Wyoming... bad
Colorado... bad

Texas Tech...
Graham Harrell -- graduated
Michael Crabtree -- NFL

Sam Bradford -- injured
Jermaine Gresham -- injured
Juaquin Iglesias -- NFL
4/5 Oklahoma OL -- graduated/NFL

Chase Daniel -- graduated
Jeremy Maclin -- NFL
Chase Coffman -- NFL

10/29/2009 - 4:47pm Compare to offense...

Retention, defense -- 58.3%
Retention, offense -- 66.7%

The offense had a higher retention rate *despite* undergoing a much larger system overhaul.

Total, classes 2005-2009 -- 38/57 (66.7%)

CLASS OF 2005 -- 5/13 on team (38.5%)
Bass (knee) -- gone
Bulter (NFL/brains) -- gone
Criswell (quit) -- gone
Forcier (transfer) -- gone
Manningham (NFL) -- gone
Schifano (quit) -- gone
Simpson (transfer) -- gone
Zirbel (knee) -- gone
Grady -- back-up
McAvoy -- back-up
Moosman -- starter
Ortmann -- starter
Savoy -- back-up

CLASS OF 2006 -- 6/7 on team (85.7%)
Boren (fat) --- gone
C. Brown -- starter
Cone -- team muse
Dorrestein -- back-up/starter
Mathews -- starter
Minor -- starter
Schilling -- starter

CLASS OF 2007 -- 5/11 on team (45.5%)
Babb (quit) -- gone
Clemons (transfer) -- gone
Helmuth (quit) -- gone
Horn (quit) -- gone
Mallett (transfer) -- gone
Rogers (moved to D) -- gone (from O)
Watson (moved to D) -- gone (from O)
Hemingway -- starter
Molk -- starter
Huyge -- starter
Webb -- back-up

CLASS OF 2008 -- 12/16 (75.0%) on team
Feagin (drugs) -- gone
McGuffie (transfer) -- gone
O'Neill (transfer) -- gone
Wermers (transfer) -- gone
Barnum -- back-up
Cox -- back-up
Khoury -- back-up
Koger -- starter
Mealer -- back-up
Moore -- back-up
Odoms -- starter
Omameh -- back-up
T. Robinson -- back-up
Roundtree -- back-up
Shaw -- back-up
Stonum -- starter

CLASS OF 2009 -- 10/10 on team
Forcier -- starter
Gallon -- redshirt
Gordon -- redshirt
Lewan -- redshirt
D. Robinson -- back-up/starter
Schofield -- redshirt
Smith -- back-up
Stokes -- back-up
Toussaint -- redshirt
Washington -- redshirt

10/23/2009 - 12:34am ND is asymptotically approaching a Big Ten schedule

3 Big Ten schools
1 Big East

the next step is to drop Stanford for Northwestern.