1. Cameron

    Isn’t this just a Big12 specific observation of Bill Connelly’s stuff on returning defensive production? In case you are unaware, the five most important numbers in returning defensive production are, in order:

    1) Overall passes defensed
    2) Overall tackles
    3) Defensive back passes defensed
    4) Defensive back tackles
    5) Defensive back tackles for loss

    So Texas Tech’s defense might not be good per se in 2018, but it should improve. Same with Kansas. But by the same token though, teams like Oklahoma and Kansas State are likely to regress. Just an FYI.

    • ianaboyd

      I wasn’t familiar with his specific formula but I think having multiple program guys (3rd-year or better but have been back-ups or benched) can be just as good as having returning production.

      Those numbers really just sum up whether or not you have much playing experience on the field, I’m actually offering a slightly different take on it.

      OU probably won’t regress, lol, they were so bad last year…they might though. K-State’s secondary actually fares well in the Connelly formula because they return both starting safeties and a starting cornerback. Additionally, the three main back-ups coming along (Walker, Parker, Durham) all played a lot in 2017 and probably register by the Connelly formula.

      The worry for K-State would be up front where they lose Kirby, Tanking, and Geary. Before last year everyone was saying that K-State would be in trouble because they were replacing Elijah Lee and Mike Moore but Tanking and Kirby were more than ready to step in. I think overall the LB play from 2016 to 2017 for K-State was probably about equal. Next year they have Elijah Sullivan back at LB who had 28 tackles in back-up/spot duty and showed me a lot, and then Sam Sizelove who’s a senior that has played some in each of the last three seasons. LB will be fine again, I think.

      Replacing Geary at DT is another matter, not sure how that’ll go. Agree that Tech and Kansas should improve.

      • Cameron

        Having guys in your program as backups for a while is probably a very positive indicator. But I figured I’d share that returning “live fire” experience is pretty important as well.

        OU loses most of its best players on a bad defense. I think that’s ominous.

        Maybe KSU will be fine. But I suspect it’s going to be tough sledding for the Wildcat defense early on while they are breaking a lot of new parts in.

        • ianaboyd

          There’s definitely a good chance that OU is terrible on D next year. I think K-State is probably fine, they open with South Dakota and Mississippi State and then UTSA. Then the B12 hits them early with a road trip to Morgantown and then the Longhorns at home. They need to figure stuff out quickly but they usually schedule a buffer early on.

          That Mississippi State game should be telling.

  2. […] I like what OSU is doing scheme-wise and am intrigued to see Kenneth Edison-Macgruder at boundary safety and Thabo Mwaniki at field safety (or nickel, it’s not clear to me which spot he’s practicing at) but overall they’re pretty young AND in year one of a new scheme. [Concerning Sports] […]

  3. Will

    Hi Ian,

    Quick update on WVU. They just added Denzel Fisher from UCLA. He had a fairly non-descript career out west but is a 5th year guy with good size (reportedly 6’1).

    Hakeem Bailey came out of spring workouts as the guy at CB. Washington and Fisher and Derek Pitts (True So., was at safety last year) will be competing for the other spot. It seems to be the spot on defense that the staff seems most worried about right now.

    • ianaboyd

      How is Bailey looking? Like “he’s definitely a starter” or “the next Rasul Douglass.”

      • Will

        The easy answer is somewhere in between, but probably closer to “definitely a starter” than “Rasul.”

        I think a reasonable upside is Daryl Worley’s final season, but even that seems like a tall order. That would be a lot of disruptive play balanced out with some big whiffs, particularly against the top receivers in the league (Corey Coleman destroyed Worley that year, for example).

        Douglas was the best corner WVU has had in a long time, I think it will be a while before they get another kid with that kind of ceiling (although they’ve been quietly positive about a couple sizeable RshFR who played well this spring). Maybe that will change though, the program is about to have its 5th DB drafted (White) in the last three years. That might translate into an uptick in DB recruiting eventually.

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