tragictones's picture


Member since 09 July 2012 | Blog

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Comment 03 Nov 2013

Michigan and Notre Dame don't have the same record.

Michigan is 6-2

Notre Dame is 7-2

But I wouldn't blame you if you still kept UM higher because of head to head with  same amount of losses

Comment 12 Aug 2013

not exactly.  They rank the OSU, Minn and Nebraska units all the same in the individual team previews.  (7.5/10)  I'm not sure why they decided to rank them 3rd, 4th and 5th as opposed to listing them as "tied" for 3rd place. 

CFN has always been lighthearted.  They let a chicken named Clucko compete in their weekly pick'em.  It's a website that doesn't take itself too seriously (aside from Zemek).  I just happen to agree with them that OSU's line is about a 7.5 and in the top half of the conference's OLines.

Comment 12 Aug 2013

Yes, I agree that the OLine came through.  However, Michigan had a mediocre defensive line that gave up more than 200 yards to Alabama, Air Force, Northwestern and Ohio State.  Three of those teams are option based.  Alabama just simply dominated them with an elite Oline. Not to belabor the point too much, but a defense knowing that you're staying on the ground is not the same as knowing whether the QB or RB will carry off the read option.  I think that the OSU OLine is good enough at run blocking to keep holes open for a two headed attack, but not good enough to dominate like Alabama.  Every article I have ever seen about the read option restates the basic premise that it's simply a mathematical advantage.  The running QB gives the offense one too many attackers. 

I'm not saying the line isn't one of the better Big Ten lines, but I guess I just agree with College Football News 2013 Unit Rankings.   But, make sure to note that this article claims OSU has the #1 Offense overall, #1 QB unit and #2 Running Back unit.  I'm not disparaging the OSU offense.  I'm just saying it's a good thing that OSU has Miller.  Having a talented backfield can make a good OLine look really good.

Offensive Lines

1 Michigan State
2 Wisconsin
3 Nebraska
4 Minnesota
5 Ohio State
6 Michigan
7 Iowa
8 Penn State



Comment 12 Aug 2013

When a pro-style attack slams away with a power set including 2 extra big blocking TEs, no one ever says, "yeah, but we can't credit the center and OG on that play, it was really the TE . . . "  

Yep.  That's true.  I guess that's why I looked at possible draft prospects.  I felt that getting a better sense each player's talent or potential can help me avoid the mistake of confusing excellent scheme with excellent individual performance.  The draft rankings are subjective, but they are also probably more accurate than any of us regular viewers can discern.

And, Hyde...well, those are some good numbers in the latter part of the season.  If he did that with Guiton in the game, I'd praise the OLine more.  But, Braxton prevents defenses from cheating.  I just can't separate Hyde's success from Braxton's.  I'm sure there are metrics out there that are designed to explore offensive line efficiency irrespective of who else is in the back field, but I don't know them.    


Comment 12 Aug 2013

I suspect that this will not be a popular position, but I do not believe that the offensive line is as elite as they are portrayed.  I have a few reasons. 

I believe that OSU's running success is mostly about Miller, not the OLine.  I did some research and 2011 is very telling.  From my memory, Miller and Bauserman shared duties through the Michigan State game.  For these first 5 games, they tried lining up in a pro-style offense, and they had a tight leash on freshman Miller.  Starting in game 6, against Nebraska, Miller became the true starter and the coaches asked him to run more.  In the first 5 games, he averaged 7.8 rushes per game.  In the last seven games, he averaged 15 rushes per game.  Not coincidentally, the OSU ground game was rubbish in the first five games (3.7 ypc).  In the last seven, with Miller as true starter, they averaged a respectable 4.83 ypc.  Just telling Miller to run, they improved their ypc by more than a yard.  This had nothing to do with the OLine playing better.  Miller makes average OLines look better than they are.  Give him more rushes, and the yards and ypc will increase.  In 2012, Miller averaged 18.9 rushes per game, about 4 more rushes per game than in his 2011 prime time.  Meyer practically ran him into the ground and he seemed to get dinged every game. Is it really surprising that the output improved again?

Secondly, if you look at the pre-draft talk, no one on the OLine is considered a strong NFL prospect.

Mewhort, the best prospect, is at best a 2-3 round prospect and they believe 10 other tackles are better.  Norwell looks like an undrafted free agent and the 15th best guard.  Marcus Hall is ranked 24th guard.  Linsley is pegged as the 10th best center and also likely undrafted. 

These draft rankings show that there isn't a lot of star power there.  They are not individually among the elite of college football.  You could argue that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but I think that that sum of OSU's strong run game is based on Miller's excellent talent.

Lastly, we all know that this line was terrible in pass protection last year (90th in the country in sacks allowed per game.)  I believe Ross and Chad have argued that much of that is Miller's problem for holding the ball too long.  Even if we are generous an attribute 5-10 sacks last year to Miller's apprehension, the stats would still show that this is a mediocre pass protection unit.



Comment 12 Jun 2013

You know who might be a better comparison is a different 2012 first round draft pick: Ryan Tannehill.  Both are 6'4", were athletic enough to play wide receiver (but not superstar wideouts) and both began playing QB mid-season and performing well.  (RT went 6-1 in 2010, DG went 3-2)  Tannehill had a higher completion percent (65% to 59.5%) but Gardner had a better QB rating (137 to 161).  Both had near identical TD/INT ratio (about 2.2 TD per Int)

However, the similar rushing numbers are what really stand out.  Tannehill, though athletic enough to play wideout, only rushed for 76 yards during his half season (1.5 yards/rush)  Gardner ran for 101 (2.1 yards/rush).  After Tannehill got more comfortable as full time starter and grasped the offense, his first full season he ran for 306 yards (5.3 yards/rush).  It wouldn't surprise me at all if Gardner put up similar rushing stats this year.  But, he's not a track star like Denard, and he's not a sharpshooter like RGIII.  He's not going to put up RGIII numbers.      

Comment 03 May 2013

You know, I think I would agree with you.  In the big picture, I think Meyer left Florida in a better situation than what he inherited at OSU.  I don't think either situation was particularly easy to walk into.  And if Muschamp insinuates that the program was in total shambles, I think he deserves to be called out.   


Comment 03 May 2013

Hi Michael.  I understand your impulse to defend Coach Meyer.  A big problem with twitter is that comments are short and succinct but rarely come with context.  I believe if we add a little context, we can demonstrate that Coach Muschamp faced a lot of challenges upon arriving in Gainesville, without impugning Urban Meyer's coaching ability, recruiting track record or program stewardship. 

Meyer's final defense at Florida was good.  They finished in the top ten nationally. In his first year as UF coach, Muschamp's Gators also finished with a top ten national defense (#8).  Last year, they finished fifth and, in my opinion, they were the best defensive team I saw last year.  Meyer deserves credit for recruiting almost all of those defenders.  But, also, let's remember that Meyer is an offensive coach and Muschamp is a defensive coach.  I am sure that Muschamp deserves a lot of credit for the successful maturation of these players.  Both deserve credit.  We should also note that the Gator's draft success was primarily defensive players (5 defense, 2 offense, 1 ST.  The first three players drafted were all defensive.) 

I believe when Muschamp refers to a broken program, he means it in a holistic sense.  I bet he was thrilled to inherit so much defensive talent.  I think we can all agree that Meyer left the cupboard well stocked on defense.  But, as a whole, the program did have some problems, especially on offense.  Muschamp's tweet said "a little broken,"  not a flaming pile of rubbish.  In Meyer's final year at Florida, the offense was painful to watch.  Muschamp's teams have been even worse.  Just as credit needs to be given to both men for Florida's defensive success, both likely deserve blame for the offensive problems.  (Muschamp hired Charlie Weiss for crying out loud! He deserves some blame.)  Since Meyer specializes on the offensive side of the ball, why did he leave the defense in much better shape?  Why are most of Florida's  2013 draftees defensive?  Meyer recruited both sides of the ball, right?  Obviously, Tebow graduated. The Gators were transitioning and new-ish OC Steve Addazio was asked to lead an offense with John Brantley, not heir apparent Cam Newton.  There was a lot of rebuilding to do on offense and three years later the Gators are still struggling.  I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest that Meyer could have left the program in better shape, but it's also fair to claim that he left the defense in fantastic shape.

Comment 16 Apr 2013

I agree with your points here.  Last year, Ohio State had the number one scoring offense in the B1G, while Nebraska had the edge in yards per game.  It definitely wouldn't surprise me if this remained the case in 2013.  That is not because I think Nebraska's offense will be "better" than Ohio State's.  Rather, given Ohio State's high likelihood of improved defense, they will likely consistently win the field position battle, have shorter offensive drives and won't require as many yards to lead the league in scoring.  

Also, I did a some quick research and OSU scored more points on special teams and defense in 12 games than Nebraska did in 14 games.  (if my count is correct, 2.5 pts/game from OSU's defense vs. 1.8 pts/game for Nebraska's defense.)  Remember pick sixes and safeties contribute to scoring offense but not total offensive yards.  I think OSU will score a number of points without accruing any offensive stats.  That's why I think Nebraska will likely lead in total yardage.

Comment 19 Mar 2013

Hi Chad, I know many on this site mentioned that the O Line was the most improved and most reliable unit last year and praise for Warriner is very high.  But, the O Line was near the bottom of the B1G and NCAA in terms of sacks allowed.  (84th in overall sacks allowed, and because OSU only played 12 games, they were even lower in sacks/game at 90th.)

I assumed that as they improved in run blocking, their pass protection would improve later in the season, but in November they were 114th in the country and allowed even more sacks (3.67/game).  Do you think pass protection will improve this year?  Was Fragel's strength pass pro or run blocking? 

While I would assume Miller could become a better passer by working with a guru, I am a trenches guy and think the O Line needs a lot of improvement if Miller is going to take off.  Or, is it Braxton's fault for being indecisive and holding the ball too long?  In which case, seeking out Whitfield's help was necessary.  There's a problem in the OSU passing game and I would like to know your thoughts.