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Comment 1 rec
Mea Culpa on the snark
But both inside and outside OSU’s fanbase, I’ve seen a lot of "no, OSU is fine, it’s just the DC" and "OSU is basically the OSU of the Bruce-Cooper era again [as if that’s horrible or something, and those guys weren’t mostly consistent 9 game winners that got darned close to a few national championships]." And it’s presented as a binary choice between the two.
I really don’t think either are correct. OSU’s problems on defense are very real and far deeper than the DC. It’s not gonna get fixed this year, and might not get fixed next year. But the offense is going just as well as ever, it’s just an adjustment after losing literally the most efficient QB in B1G history.
Comment 2 replies, 3 recs
I think I expressly said that the sun isn't setting on them being consistently really good
I was probably more down on OSU than anyone in the country coming into the season, and even I thought 9-10 wins was probable.
All I’m saying is that the problems on defense are (1) real, and (2) contra the ostensibly-overwhelming belief of OSU’s fans, not the DC’s fault.
Comment 1 reply, 9 recs
The sun isn't setting on OSU being consistently really good
But their problems on defense are far deeper than the DC, and there’s no quick fix.
If you asked the OSU commentariat, Kerry Coombs should be at least fired, maybe executed. But this is not his fault. In fact, OSU spurning Coombs is the reason for this. When Coombs was the DBs coach and defensive recruiting coordinator under Schiano, OSU had consistently excellent secondaries. They signed 11 top 100 defensive players in the last 2 years under Schiano.
When Schiano went back to Rutgers, Day went with Hafley over Coombs as DC. Pissed off, Coombs went to the Tennessee Titans. Hafley proceeded to secure 1 top 100 defensive player in the two years Coombs was gone, and that was DE Zach Harrison, who doesn’t suck but hasn’t played like a top 100 dude, either.
And that’s just part of Hafley’s mismanagement. They had an inordinate number of guys hit the portal, and a whole lot of that was Hafley’s refusal to rotate guys and pull starters in blowouts. Turns out, players can deal with being benched for a guy that’s better, but they want to play when they clearly can and should.
Hafley parlayed gaudy defenses built by Schiano and Coombs into the BC job. Coombs came back, but inherited a mess on that side of the ball. And contrary to pretty much every other OSU season of the past decade, there’s no guy named Bosa or Young who is so good he can magically make everyone else appear better.
OSU fans see a defense that was good under Hafley and now isn’t under Coombs and blame Coombs. And then there’s the every fanbase urge to fire the coach as some sort of ritual sacrifice to the football gods to be good again, as if that’s how this works. But if OSU did fire Coombs, who is if nothing else very obviously an excellent recruiter, he wouldn’t finish packing up his office before Greg Schiano hired him to recruit Ohio and the Florida-Georgia line (which he does extremely well) for Rutgers. And then the problems compound.
Comment 7 recs
Penn State 45 Auburn 17
Auburn has a solid DL, quite good, if undersized, LBs, and good athletes, if nothing else, in the secondary. That’ll get it done against the bottom half of the SEC and look awesome against the Akrons and Alabama States of the world, but against the backs and receivers Penn State has, is gonna lead to a lot of poison picking.
On the other side of the ball, it’s Road Bo Nix and a RB against the Penn State defense. So basically Wisconsin. An Auburn TD in garage time makes the total appear more impressive.
Comment 2 replies, 1 rec
SP+ so far this year
has gone 30-21-2 (58%) ATS in games when the start is before 6 PM Saturday.
After 6 PM Saturday? 10-27-1 (28%)
SP+ says Auburn covers, if by the slimmest of gambling margins. This game starts after 6 PM Saturday. Be responsible with this information.
Comment 2 replies, 5 recs
I think the undersized bit at LB is really gonna hurt them
Against Akron, they did a ton of run blitzing.
Did they have to? Not to win, but probably to make the game blowout-beatdown on the level it was.
Against Penn State, they’re gonna have to. Because those LBs cannot handle 4 quarters of Penn State’s RBs. Especially out of 2 back sets where they’ll be asked to make 1 on 1 tackles on a back with some steam behind him. They’re going to need to angle the line into gaps and bring up safeties a lot.
That’s going to lead to a whole, whole lot of Parker Washington and KLS very open in the middle.
The alternative is to follow the Wisconsin blueprint of pack the entire middle of the defense and run crazy stunts every play up front. Just be confusing up front and tight in the back middle. The problems with that are (1) as you mentioned, this team does not have Wisconsin’s level of execution, and (2) Penn State figured out that problem; they had over 250 yards and were a missed PAT and missed FG from PAT range from having 20 points in that second half. So yeah, I mean, it’s an option, but probably not a good one.
Comment 3 replies, 16 recs
We know nothing about Auburn, really
We know that last year this was a meh offense and more meh defense. But new coach, a lot of new pieces. Two opening opponents against whom they took care of business but let’s be honest, an all star team of those teams would lose convincingly to Ball State.
But the flipside to that is that Auburn doesn’t really know anything about Auburn either. If there’s a worse environment in which to learn for the first time, I don’t know of it.
SP+ says Penn State 28 Auburn 23, which means it’s taking Auburn ATS. But fun fact: SP+ has been excellent so far this year at picking games ATS in games that kickoff before 6:00 PM EDT, atrocious picking games that start later.
Penn State 45 Auburn 17
Comment 1 reply, 1 rec
Because Nebraska is Nebraska
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Oklahoma win in a blowout.
But because Nebraska’s offense is clearly very capable of picking up good consistent yardage and big plays, if nothing else, and Oklahoma’s defense is capable of giving up 35 points in a close game with Tulane, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Nebraska hang around in this one for a long time.
Comment 2 replies
Maryland-Illinois: If either of these teams won by 30, I wouldn’t be surprised.
Nebraska-Oklahoma: Nebraska is a couple dumb plays from 3-0 and Oklahoma is a couple dumb plays from 1-1. This is closer than it looks.
Cinci-Indiana: 2 good defenses. 2 offenses that have a couple good players and an entertaining QB but aren’t, like, good.
Michigan State-Miami: Either Michigan State will get to claim a road win over a team that was ranked at the time or Miami will get to claim a win over an undefeated P5 team. Either seems like in injustice.
Northern Illinois-Michigan: If this was your older brother’s Northern Illinois, it might be the best team Michigan has played so far and kinda interesting. But this Northern Illinois is the 3rd best team in the MAC West at best.
Minnesota-Colorado: See Maryland-Illinois. Both teams have looked pretty good at times and pretty bad at times.
Purdue-Notre Dame: Both teams are undefeated, and that feels like a mirage, but contra that being a mirage, both have been far better statistically than their final scores show. The winner of this game is probably a pretty good team.
Kent State-Iowa: Kent State isn’t very good. But Iowa has to be the most statistically unimpressive team ranked in the top 5 after week 1 ever. Taking Kent State + 22.5 seems like the best bet on the board.
Tulsa-Ohio State: Preseason, I thought this might be a game. And while Ohio State is who I thought they were, Tulsa is not.
Delaware-Rutgers: I’m pretty sure the Rutgers defense is decent and offense is below average but competent. Delaware is a good FCS team, but Rutgers should win easily.
Northwestern-Duke: These are bad football teams. But they are bad football teams with very manageable schedules. Somebody is going to win this game, and that could mean bowl eligibility. If ever there was a game that should get canceled for covid to prevent that from happening, it should be this one.
Comment 2 replies, 15 recs
I greatly enjoy that Auburn is so confident in their defense when
(1) an all-star team of Akron and Alabama State would be 17 point dogs to Ball State gmafb; and
(2) they felt the need to scheme for Akron’s run game. LOL. If you’re so concerned about Akron’s ability to run that you’re willing to give up 80% passing and over 7 ypa to Akron, you’re in for a bad, bad time. Because you can run blitz all day and give up the middle to Akron and that will go fine. When you can’t even keep Jahan Dotson in front of you, you’re about to star in a nightmare.
Comment 3 recs
Look, it’s head, shoulders, and better part of a torso the best program west of Texas. Loads and loads of local talent. School that ain’t give a crap about the rules.
And all they really demand is that you’re better than Clay Helton. Which, given those conditions, doesn’t sound hard.
Though with me, there’s always the possibility that I’ll mention what a great back OJ Simpson was and say Reggie Bush shouldn’t get his Heisman back because Tamba Hali and Vince Young both deserved it more in the same press conference just for the lols. But hey, USC, that’s the risk you take.
Comment 2 replies
Moorhead will undoubtedly be a P5 head coach again
And USC could definitely (and likely will) do worse.
But c’mon. It’s not like hiring an Oregon OC with Big Ten ties could work at USC. Don’t google John McKay.
It’s Urban Meyer or Luke Fickell’s job if they want it, but I’m not sure either do. After that, what NFL coach is getting fired soon?
Comment 3 recs
These numbers are not adjusted
This is just what happened in the game.
I do produce opponent-adjusted numbers and will discuss them when relevant, but it’s week 2. There’s just not enough data for those to mean anything.
"Ball State just gave up 4.45 maypp to a team that was averaging 1.40 going into the game! Ball State must have (by far) the worst defense in history!"
Except, obviously, (1) we’re talking about a unit that returns literally everyone from a defense that was solidly above-average last year, so they clearly aren’t, (2) Penn State had only played one game, and that was a road game, week 1, against what very well might be the best defense in the country (returned most of its production from one of only 2 P5 defenses that were top 5 in both defensive F+ and FEI in 2020), and (3) that 1.40 mark, accurate though it is, was meaningless to their week 1 game; Penn State was waaay worse than that in the first half and waaaay better in the second.
But I am experimenting this year with an index ranking that’s opponent-adjusted net maypp + (K1) * opponent-adjusted net spr + (K2) * opponent adjusted net %npp + (K3) opponent-adjusted net big play percentage. The experiment is figuring out what K1, K2, and K3 are.
Comment 2 replies, 9 recs
Yeah, I’m pretty sure Iowa is just Iowa
The defense keeps everything in front of them and makes opponents take forever to score. The offense is bad but doesn’t beat themselves.
Unlike some other Iowas, this one does Iowa well. But it’s still just Iowa.
I think anyone who can run well enough to force Iowa to bring up their safeties in run support can have success against them. If they can’t sit back in zone, big plays can be had, and then they aren’t Iowaing so well anymore.
Comment 6 recs
Purdue ostensibly made some deal with the football gods
whereby they get way more wins and very competitive losses against Ohio State than they should, but aren’t allowed to beat Penn State, and it’s mostly not even competitive.
Since beating Penn State (by 7) in 2004, Purdue has not only not beaten Penn State, they’ve only ever had one 4th quarter lead on Penn State (2007). That lasted for all of about 75 seconds. Penn State would have a double digit lead with less than 4 minutes to go.
The only other game that was within 1 score (2011) wasn’t really as close as the final made it look. Penn State took the lead in the first quarter and never lost it; the stats across the board favored Penn State.
They’ve beaten Ohio State 4 times and came darned close another time since that win over Penn State in 04.
I, for one, am perfectly fine with this.
Comment 5 recs
This is also true
Having various Bosas and Young will blot out many a deficiency in talent or scheme elsewhere. Because when you’ve got one guy who’s simultaneously that good of a tackler, that good of a pass rusher, and that unblockable with one guy, the opposing offense suddenly becomes far more predictable and everyone else’s job is much easier.
Comment 1 reply
The 2018 OSU defense
wasn’t elite, but it was a far cry from bad or even average. And it returned for 2019.
Last year’s defense was a lot like the 2018 OSU defense in terms of overall quality. Except instead of it all coming back, it lost all of its top 5 tacklers and 7 of the top 9. And instead of filling those spots with top notch recruits who saw quality minutes for Ohio State in backup roles in the past, they were filled with a hodgepodge of thoroughly untested and transfer portal dudes.
Will it get better over the course of the season? Idk. But I’m not surprised it sucks now.
Comment 2 replies, 9 recs
On paper, yes
But Purdue has weird, anti-Ohio State voodoo. They’ve won 2 of the last 4 and 4 of their last 9 with Ohio State, and are a questionable PI call in Columbus away from 3 of the last 4 and 5 of the last 9, including a win in Columbus.
And this voodoo doesn’t only extend to Purdue wins; it also makes OSU wins unconvincing. Of Ohio State’s 9 wins over Purdue since 1999, (1) 4 have been within 4 regulation points, (2) one that wasn’t involved an OSU win where OSU didn’t score a single offensive TD (2008), and (3) one was vacated (2010).
I don’t ask it to make sense; I just accept that it is. Purdue will somecrazyhow at least give OSU a game.
Comment 1 reply, 1 rec
Comment 1 rec
Typical Alabama in recent years
will have about 3.80 maypp for the season against a schedule that gives up about 3.2 maypp for the season to an average offense. Average for an FBS defense being about 3.35, Bama is in the 3.95 area, opponent-adjusted.
But yeah, (1) Alabama’s offense was great and above their norms; anyone who says otherwise is wrong, and (2) the only way you come away substantially more impressed with Alabama’s offense against Miami than you do Penn State’s against Ball State is if you just assume Miami’s defense is much better than Ball State’s because brand name. I’m not even saying it wasn’t better, week 1 at a neutral site is tougher than week 2 at home. But Penn State’s numbers were better against what’s probably, based on last year’s (problematic as it was) performances and returning production, a better defense.
Comment 1 reply, 7 recs
Bama had 4.38 maypp, 53.3% spr, 29.3% non-positive plays.
2020 Miami had the #44 defensive F+ and #59 defensive FEI.
Granted, that was week 1 at a neutral site, not week 2 at home. But there’s no denying Penn State’s numbers were better against what is likely a better defense.
Hence my thinking that this could still be a team that wins 10 games in the Big Ten East
They avoid Wisconsin and Iowa and get their two toughest games, IMO (Penn State and Oregon), at home. There’s no such thing as a Big Ten East schedule that’s "easy," and certainly not one that includes a quality non-con opponent, but this is as manageable at they come.
But between Purdue’s inexplicable, math-defying way of beating Ohio State way more often than they should, a Maryland offense that typically looks awesome against meh to bad defenses (first team to 70 wins!), and Penn State and Michigan teams that have thus far looked legitimately very good, I could easily see them dropping 2 more.
Comment 4 replies, 10 recs
In the offseason
I said I thought Ohio State would have a very good, but clear step back from the Fields era, offense and average-at-best defense. I thought they were a 9 +/- 1 win team.
I have seen nothing thus far that would dissuade me from that.
Comment 1 reply, 6 recs
His stat line looks good, but not amazing. But on a day when nobody’s stat line looked amazing and Ball State sold out to take away big plays, he was the focal point of a brutally consistent, efficient offense on a day that demanded it. And again, the stat line is good.
Comment 1 reply, 4 recs
Yes, especially where Cliff is a running threat
Look at #5 and #14 from Ball State. They’re watching for Cliff up the middle / going the other way. And rightfully so. And as a result, 5 is too far away and 14 is a sitting duck for a good block from Ford.
- From Black Shoe Diaries
Comment 5 recs
OHIO STATE IS FOR POOR PEOPLE
Yes, this is permission and encouragement from the original creator of that sign to copy it.