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rock flag and eagle

Member since 17 June 2013 | Blog

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Comment 13 Apr 2014

You know what's funny?  According to the article linked below, the combined spring game attendance for Minnesota, Illinois, Purdue, Wisconsin, Maryland, Indiana, and Michigan was 58,034.  Nebraska, Penn State and OSU all beat that number on their own.

OSU had 61,058 at $5 per head.  Penn State pulled in 72,000, free.  What's really impressive is that Nebraska brought in a little more than OSU (61,772), and they charged $10.  Nebraska fans, be it spring games or ESPN polls, always seem to show up fervently.



Comment 08 Apr 2014

Here's a few stats, in case anyone wants to see how OSU stacked up against other B1G squads in 2013, and their respective proportional use of tight ends.

According to my quick research (I use, please let me know if you see any calculation errors or typos) Ohio State had 238 receptions, 34 of which went to Heuerman/Vannett.  That's 14%.

Illinois had 302 catches, 52 of which were made by tight ends.  17%

Indiana had 279 catches, 36 of which were made by tight ends.  12%

Iowa had 213 catches, 57 of which were made by tight ends.  27%

Michigan had 237 catches, 70 of which were made by tight ends*.  29%

Michigan State had 248 catches, 23 of which were made by tight ends.  9%

Minnesota had 137 receptions, 33 of which were made by tight ends.  24%

Nebraska had 218 catches, 22 of which were made by tight ends.  10%

Northwestern had 241 catches, 0 of which were made by tight ends.  0% (none of the catches were made by players cfbstats or ESPN list as TE)

Penn State had 241 catches, 60 of which were made by tight ends.  24%

Purdue had 235 catches, 59 of which were made by tight ends.  25%

Wisconsin had 217 catches, 52 of which were made by tight ends.  23%

*The Funchess Phenomenon needs to be taken into account.

Ohio State TEs accounted for a higher percentage of their team's receptions than Indiana, Northwestern (laugh out loud), Michigan State and Nebraska.  They accounted for a lesser percentage of their team's receptions than Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin.

Interestingly, in 2012, OSU TEs accounted for 20% of catches (compared to only 14% this year.)  In 2011, TEs at Iowa State (Herman's former team) accounted for 9% of catches.  In 2010, TEs account for 27% of ISU catches.  In 2009, TEs accounted for 21% of ISU catches.  Looks like Herman doesn't have a propensity for or against utilizing tight ends in the passing game.

Comment 27 Mar 2014

Sochi is Russia's most popular summer beach resort.  Its peak months, when it population doubles with tourists, is the summer.  It's the off-season.  It's supposed to be empty this time of year. 

Plus, those pictures are primarily of the Olympic village in Adler, some 30km away from Sochi's primary resort areas.  I'm sure Sochi is the same as it ever was, and next winter will be the first opportunity to see whether Adler will become a winter destination and whether or not they can convert the Olympic village into hotels and accommodations.  The spring months aren't really great for skiing or relaxing on the beach.     

Comment 15 Mar 2014

Ohio State shot 66% from the line (8-12).  Michigan shot 52% (10-19)  It was Michigan that put themselves in a disadvantageous position with poor free throw shooting, not Ohio State.  Michigan hits 76.3% of their free throws, and today they barely shot 50%.  They were the team that was choking away the game from the line.

Comment 15 Mar 2014

This season, Michigan has committed the fewest fouls of any DI team in the country.  Michigan doesn't foul very much.

Ohio State is 28th in the country.  They've committed 522 fouls this season.  Michigan has only committed 439 (all stats prior to today's game)


Comment 15 Mar 2014

Last year, Miller ran for 6.25 yards/carry behind a very effective, senior lead line.  I have a tough time believing that Miller will more than double his rushing yards/carry average playing behind 3.5 new offensive lineman. (Elflein is still green).

I see where you're going though.  You're suggesting that with more experience, more refined ability to read defenses and better pocket presence, Miller will run far fewer times per game but choose more opportune times to run.  But, in college, sack yardage counts as running yards.  Unless you think that the new offensive line won't give up any sacks, that yards/carry average is way too high.  

Comment 12 Mar 2014

I don't agree with most of your comments on scheme and blitzing.  It seems fairly obvious that what OSU was doing in rush defense was working.  Their scheme?  They finished in the top 12 nationally in both yards/game allowed and yards/carry allowed.   Also, they finished 5th in the country in "least long runs allowed," allowing only 42 runs of 10+ yards all season.  Only four teams did better in that regard, and those were Alabama, Michigan St., Wisconsin and Memphis, all very good rush defenses.  Even more impressive is that OSU played 14 games, compared to Alabama and Wisconsin (13 each) and Memphis (12).  They were right up there with MSU as the best in the country at containing the run.  They had no problem stopping the run, and their scheme was sound in not allowing teams break big runs.  Also, as Jeff Beck's article demonstrates, OSU did get pressure on their opponents behind the line of scrimmage.  Scheme and blitzing were effective this year.  They did, however, accomplish these things against some very poor rushing attacks and some of the poorest offensive lines in the nation. 

But, I do agree with you when you say "stats do not tell the entire story."  The most commonly cited stat, both in the media and on message boards, for how good a rushing defense was is yards/game allowed.  When you open the NCAA website's official ranking for Rushing Defense, teams are ranked according to that stat.  According to that stat, OSU was elite (9th nationally.)  But, if we put that stat into a bit of context, we see how Football Study Hall may have found that OSU's D line underachieved. 

Comment 10 Mar 2014

but I think surprisingly the defense was why we were in this game until the end

OSU was in it until the end, but I have a tough time giving the defense credit for that.  When you let your opponents complete more than 77% of their passes, and rush for more than 5 yards/carry, you're not keeping your team in the game.  I'd be more likely to cite Clemson's self-inflicted wounds (15 penalties for 144 yards).  At times, the referees and Clemson boneheadedness did more to slow Clemson down and shift field position than the OSU defense.

People saw the big plays yes, but they didn't see the stops as well.

The average OSU opponent converted 35.6% of third downs.  Clemson converted 53.8%.  Yeah, the defense forced some stops, but they did so at a worse rated than usual.  If they had performed at their average level, OSU wins.  The defense performed even worse than usual.  OSU lost.

Comment 09 Feb 2014

Andy Staples (Sports Illustrated) did a study a little while back about elite recruits that flip.  (By elite, I mean he only studied the kids that were ranked in the Rivals Top 100.)  Basically, recruits who flip have a higher washout rate than those who stay loyal to one school.

The decommitment numbers do tell a story, though. Of the players who decommitted, 34.2 percent either failed to qualify, transferred or were dismissed...Of the players who made one commitment and stuck to it, only 18.7 percent either failed to qualify, transferred or were dismissed.

Staples does not speculate why recruits who commit to more than one school tend to washout at higher rates. 


Comment 05 Feb 2014

You're right.  Recruits definitely don't like when coaches play hardball and put ultimatums in front of them.  They probably wish every door would remain open for them until they were comfortable with their own decision.  Coaches pressure recruits all the time and I think your use of "manipulated" is very fitting.   I recall feeling uncomfortable when Meyer played that game with Bri'onte Dunn and told him (re: Michigan) “You are not going to visit there, and if you do, you better like it because that’s where you’re going to go."

Comment 04 Feb 2014

Before he starts trying to outfit himself accordingly, he needs to learn Ohio State's actual colors.  His response to the next question was: When do you get used to putting on Ohio State gear after so many years at Penn State?

LJ: .....I've got on the red and look forward to wearing it moving forward.


Comment 29 Jan 2014

Penn State is now 2-6 in Big Ten play, with wins against Ohio State (1/29) and Nebraska (1/23)

They play Ohio State for the second time on February 27th.

Comment 29 Jan 2014

I don't think Carolina was questioning UC Irvine's academic chops.  By saying "bringing up...from the minors" and "we bring in someone who's never been in charge of a university of any size" Carolina meant (I think) to imply that Drake isn't a current sitting president at a University and that OSU should be able to poach a top dog from another research institution.

However, I don't think Carolina realizes that the "Chancellor" position is the University head at UC Irvine.  Each UC campus has a chancellor, and Janet Napolitano is President of the entire UC system.  The Chancellor is the top administrative office at UC Irvine, so it's wrong to say Drake was "never in charge." 


Comment 09 Jan 2014

bamas offense wasn't the juggernaut it usually is this year

Mgoblog confirmed that Nussmeier was encouraged to leave.  I'm not disputing that part of your post.  But, I don't think you have your facts straight about Alabama's offense.  Nussmeier's two year's at the helm were the top two of Saban's tenure in terms of yards/game and pts/game.  Alabama's offense from 2007-2009 was so far below what it is now, it's not worth showing the stats. But:

2013- 454 yards/game (Nussmeier OC) 38.2 pts/game, Offense FEI 9th nationally

2012- 445 yards/game (Nussmeier OC) 38.7 pts/game, Offense FEI 5th nationally

2011- 429 yards/game (McElwain OC) 34.8 pts/game, Offense FEI 11th nationally

2010- 444 yards/game (McElwain OC) 35.7 pts/game, Offense FEI 3rd nationally

They averaged more points/game and more yards/game these past two years (Nussmeier's years) than anytime in Saban's tenure.  It's clear that this offense hasn't taken any steps back under Nussmeier.  In fact, all indications are that Alabama's offense has remained extremely consistent the last four years, always hovering in the top ten of offensive efficiency.  You basically said that this year's offense didn't stack up to other years, but that is false.

Perhaps Saban felt that Nuss underachived with the talent on hand and a senior McCarron.  But, he certainly didn't underachieve relative to Alabama's recent history.


Comment 08 Jan 2014

Fair enough.  I shouldn't have assumed you comparing OSU and Stanford.  The comment you agreed with (x1,000,000) did.  I guess I should have directed my comment to that post.

Thanks for not responding with the impetuous click of a mouse, but rather with a fair comment.

I personally don't think Stanford has been overrated.  I think David Shaw is very overrated, but not Stanford.  When I watched Harbaugh roll out extra heavy sets, or run power on third and short, I always thought "Damn, that's bad ass."  When I watch Shaw do similar things, I just feel like he's doing a gimmicky version of Harbaugh's bad ass-ness. An impression of Jimmy H, if you will.

Comment 08 Jan 2014

I don't think it's unreal.  Stanford finished ranked higher than Ohio State this year (AP, tied with OSU for 10th in the Coaches poll) and they return more starters than Ohio State (15 to 13).

Both OSU and Stanford struggled in the same area: pass defense.  But, Stanford was young and will return all four starters.  OSU only returns two, and they are losing their best DB.  Stanford will likely improve on pass defense next year due to returning experience.  OSU?  Who knows what they will put on the field.

Even if you don't agree with Bovada odds, it seems a stretch to call faith in Stanford "unreal," considering that they performed just as well as OSU this year and return more proven commodities.

Comment 04 Jan 2014

This performance wasn't surprising or an anomaly.  Clemson led the nation in tackles for loss this year and Beasley is their best lineman.  

The top defensive lineman in the Big Ten in tackles for loss and sacks was Randy Gregory (Nebraska) with 16 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks.  Ohio State didn't play Nebraska, so Mewhort didn't have to face the Big Ten's best.  The second best B1G lineman in these stats was MSU's Calhoun (tied with Noah Spence).  He had 14 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks.  That's the best that Mewhort, and OSU's line, faced.

Beasley is miles better than Gregory or Calhoun.  He finished the season with 13 sacks and 23 tackles for loss. 

Mewhort hasn't faced anyone this good in the B1G and his inexperience showed.