Thursday, August 21, 2014

How good is your coach? Bob Stoops: The most impressive record, bar none

Stanford's Shaw Has the Best Win Percentage, While Oklahoma's Stoops Has the Most Impressive Record

August 19, 2014

From Darren Everson's "How College Football's Coaches Have Fared Against Top-25 Teams"

The Associated Press college-football poll came out Sunday, which got us thinking: Which coaches fare best against ranked (i.e., real) competition?

The Count compiled the records of all 64 major-conference coaches (plus Notre Dame's Brian Kelly) against AP top-25 opponents. We included both their career record and their record at their current school.

Granted, this is a harsh measuring stick. Coaches who faced ranked opponents while they were rising through the profession at small-conference schools are at a disadvantage. So are the coaches of traditional doormats. But it is interesting for once to see coaches' résumés against elite competition—as opposed to their overall records, which are larded up with cupcake opponents.

David Shaw, Stanford (14-4): The best winning percentage (.778). Granted, it is a relatively small sample size—Shaw has been a head coach for only three seasons, and he took over a strong program—but 18 ranked opponents in three years is a ton. Urban Meyer has faced seven in three years at Ohio State. (Also, two of Shaw's four losses were in overtime.)

Bob Stoops, Oklahoma (50-23): The most impressive record, bar none. Consider: Nick Saban, the gold standard of college coaches, is 28-12 against ranked opponents at Alabama—a slightly higher winning percentage (.700 versus .685), but barely half the games. Stoops's big-game reputation took a hit in Oklahoma's 55-19 loss to Southern California in the 2004-season national-championship game, but looking back at that now, that USC team was one of the greatest teams of all time—and its Bowl Championship Series title was later vacated because of rules violations.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Madden 15 Ratings: Marshal Yanda’s Toughness Skyrockets

By Rocky Friedman

August 18, 2014

Right when the Madden 15 ratings came out, there was one rating that really stood out for the Baltimore Ravens. Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda was essentially rated at an 86 for toughness, which is totally out of whack. The veteran has been the Ravens’ best offensive lineman ever since Jonathon Ogden retired from the league in 2007, and he is as tough as nails.

A couple of EA sports employers were at the Under Armor Performance Center (the place where the Ravens’ practices take place) Wednesday and they told the Ravens PR that they saw this video and made some adjustments based off of that.

Ravens Players React To Madden 15 Ratings

Guys, watch the video in the link above and you’ll have a great laugh – take my word for it!

When the ratings originally came out, there were 25 Ravens players rated higher than Yanda in toughness, including rookie quarterback Keith Wenning. That’s almost half the roster. Now that’s insulting.

After the EA Sports staff took a visit to the Ravens’ locker room, they found out the truth and bumped Yanda’s rating up to 99.
That's more like it.

“I mean, obviously that’s inaccurate,” says offensive guard Kelechi Osemele on Yanda’s low rating. “This guy broke his leg, came back weeks later and played against the Steelers. He’s like the only guy I know that can separate his shoulder and play at a Pro Bowl level.”

In 2007 when Yanda was a rookie, he volunteered to be tasered three times. In 2011, Yanda played a week after having emergency surgery on his calf. “He’s country strong,” Osemele says. “What do you expect?”

It’s good to know that people are still willing to fix their mistakes – as Madden did in this case. To see all the original Madden 15 ratings for the entire Baltimore Ravens roster, just click here.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Vikings' Jeff Davidson doing a "marvelous job"

Top 25 Vikings of 2014: No. 7 OG Brandon Fusco


August 1, 2014

The offensive guard from Slippery Rock has been one of the great success stories of Rick Spielman’s tenure. Drafted in the sixth round in 2011, the unheralded Fusco has developed gradually over the years into one of the better interior linemen in the NFL.

The numbers don’t lie. When PFF ranked the 2013 offensive lines, the Vikings finished sixth, and it was largely thanks to the right side of Phil Loadholt and Fusco. PFF called Fusco “a legitimate All-Pro candidate.”

You didn’t need the PFF scores to know that the Vikings’ run blocking on the right side was near-dominating. It wasn’t just Adrian Peterson either. Those guys even madeMatt Asiata look good.

The Vikings have already locked up Phil Loadholt, arguably a top-five right tackle, to a long-term contract. Fusco is a free agent after the season but you have to believe the Vikings will extend him before he can hit the market. He, Loadholt and center John Sullivan are core players for this franchise.

Not bad for the sixth round pick out of tiny Slippery Rock who once seemed on the verge of losing his job to Geoff Schwartz. A tip of the cap to Vikings offensive line coach  Jeff Davidson, who has done a marvelous job developing Fusco, Sullivan and Loadholt. There’s a reason the Vikings decided to bring Davidson back.

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