Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Big Ten - Out-Of-Conference Record Thru Week 11

 Big Ten - Out-Of-Conference Record Thru Week 11


Top 50 A&H is a team ranked not in BCS Top 25, but in Anderson-Hester Polls Top 50. 
Top 75 A&H is a team ranked not in BCS Top 25, but in Anderson-Hester Polls Top 50.

Atlantic Coast Conference - Out-Of-Conference Record Thru Week 11

ACC - OOC Record Thru Week 11


Top 50 A&H is a team ranked not in BCS Top 25, but in Anderson-Hester Polls Top 50. 
Top 75 A&H is a team ranked not in BCS Top 25, but in Anderson-Hester Polls Top 50.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Baston By The Numbers

By blue_62

If you haven't already, I suggest TI members look at the "Tigers at the Beach" video of a few days ago which featured Kourtnei Brown in a prominent role. A fellow TI member suggested I watch it and see if I agreed with his assessment. Watching it not only has me agreeing with him, it also caused me to look closer to find more proof that something is wrong with the strength and conditioning program under Joey Batson.

The TI member I talked to basically described Kourtnei Brown as looking more like a basketball player(forward) than a fifth year defensive end. He was correct in his description. At the same time, I find his description an insult to Harold Jamison, who looked FAR more impressive physically.

This post is not an attack on Kourtnei Brown. He is a good player and I am glad he chose Clemson and appreciate his efforts. However, when I looked at the video, I couldn't help but notice he didn't look nearly close to where he could be considering his high school rating and the fact he has been on campus so long. Further, I noticed Tig Willard, in similar fashion, looked more like a SAFETY than a linebacker. These guys not being where they could be physically inspired me to look a little closer.

Kourtnei Brown made quite a splash when he signed. The very next year, Georgia signed basically his clone, Cornelius Washington, out of Burke County, GA. Living in the same town, I met Washington his Sr. year of high school. Having seen him since, he is MUCH more imposing than Brown. Despite being on campus a year less, Washington is 6-4/269 lbs. though he came in at 6-4/220. Brown, on the other hand, is listed at 6-5/250 after being signed at 6-5/230.

Washington put on 50 SOLID lbs at Georgia, while Brown only added 20 lbs. That is 20 lbs in FIVE years. Sorry, but that is pretty weak. Those are just two players, though. I began to wonder if this trend went beyond two individuals, and also followed a similar pattern among teams. The data I found was overwhelmingly a further indictment on the player development program at Clemson.

I decided to look at the depth charts of several teams and compare their current weights with what they weighed when they signed. I chose to analyze Clemson, of course, along with Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida State, South Carolina, Wake Forest, Alabama, and LSU. Figuring Alabama and LSU are the gold standards as programs, they represent the elite. South Carolina is the main rival while Florida State is the division rival. Georgia Tech represents to cross-division rival/thorn-in-the side, while Wake is the divisional over-achiever/thorn. Finally, I looked at Georgia because of their border-state/SEC position.

For the sake of clarity, among other reasons, I felt focusing on the defensive side of the ball made the most sense. Further, I limited my analysis to non-Juco players in either their Jr. or Sr. years. I compared the weights and categorized them into DL, LB, and DB groupings.


Of the 8 teams analyzed, Clemson finished LAST or tied for last in all three positional categories. Of the defensive line, they average weight gained was 17 lbs. The LBs averaged 14 lbs. gained, and the DBs averaged 9lbs. On the DL, only Wake was about the same, but they only have 1 player to analyze. Other than that, Clemson and LSU are tied for last at DB. Yet we all know the punch those guys bring and coverage skills are way better than their counterparts at Clemson.

DL 17 lbs
LB 14 lbs
DB 9 lbs

Wake Forest
DL(only one JR/SR) 15 lbs.
LB 17 lbs
DB 20 lbs.

Florida State
DL 51 lbs.
LB 20 lbs.
DB 14 1bs.

Georgia Tech
DL 27 lbs.
LB 20 lbs.
DB 18 lbs.

DL 38 lbs.
LB 20 lbs.
DB 23 lbs.

DL 23 lbs
LB 25 lbs.
DB 11 lbs.

DL N/A (Note: no non-Juco Jr./Sr. start.)
LB 25 lbs.
DB 9 lbs.

South Carolina
DL 53 lbs.
LB 21 lbs.
DB 15 lbs.

South Carolina AVERAGED 53 lbs gained on their DL compared to the 17 lbs. gained at Clemson. Devin Taylor went from 6-6 225 to 6-7 260. Melvin Ingram went from 6-2 224 to 6-2 276. Travian Robinson went from 6-4 230 to 6-4 303. At the same time, we see guys like Renny Moore go from 6-5 260 to 6-4 270. Folks, Batson put 10 lbs on a DT in five years. That is criminal.

Want to hear more? Dequan Bowers came in listed as 6-4 267. His Jr. numbers were 6-4 275. Compare his gains to, say, Cliff Matthews at South Carolina. It ain't even close. Genetic freak. Two years. Eight pounds. Enough said.

Keep making excuses for him. The guys that need to gain don't, and the guys that need to lose weight keep it on or add more. Every time I look to find evidence Batson needs to go, its there. EVERY TIME. Numbers don't lie; Joey Batson is not getting the most out of his players. They deserve more. The evidence is overwhelming.

Monday, November 28, 2011

More Evidence Of The Batson Problem

by blue_62

To me, seeing less talented teams get more out of their players is the best evidence that Joey Batson is possibly the biggest albatross around Clemson's player development efforts. If someone asked you to name some teams that have been Clemson's achilles' heels in the ACC, who would you name? Larry Williams has done just that, as a matter of fact.

Georgia Tech is numero uno, no doubt. Boston College and one other team are fighting for second place. That team? The Maryland Terrapins, of course. Remember the ole "if you punch them in the mouth, they will quit" game? The fact Clemson, as a rule, gets tripped up by Maryland in much the same fashion as against Georgia Tech and Boston College prompted me to look a little closer.

In addition to the other inexplicable losses over the years to Duke and Wake, I have long believed our buddy Joey Batson deserves much blame for GT, BC, and Maryland more often than not physically overwhelming the more talented Tigers. From the James Davis-headlining class in 2005 up to the class in 2008, Clemson's recruiting ranking averaged 15th. Maryland during that time averaged around 40th. Without a doubt, I wanted to look closer to find why they were getting better development among their players. What I found is troubling, and surprisingly related to what happened a few nights ago in Columbia.

Doing a little research, I found this gem of an article I have linked at the bottom of this post. I highly encourage folks to read it. The "put the weight back on the right way" and the "designed to peak in November" quotes particularly caught my eye. You see, the guy who was at Maryland during the period they often upset us was hired away from the Turtles last year and is now at Vanderbilt. Take a glance and see what he is doing there. Just as interesting is finding out who he replaced.

Vanderbilt is basically an SEC conference version of the ACC's Wake Forest. In 2008, Wake Forest whipped them 23-10. They played again in 2010, and a 3-10 Wake team stomped them 34-13. Analyzing the recruiting of both schools during this period, one will see the talent brought in is rated about as close as you can get. The first two games saw Grobe's team whip the Commodores. But suddenly, a decent Wake team who defeated Florida State and outplayed Clemson in Death Valley is destroyed 41-7. What happened? Read on.

Looking at the history of the Vanderbilt Strength and Conditioning department reveals much about the necessity of an outstanding coach and his role in player development. For the Clemson faithful, most relevant is the fact that looking into Vandy's situation is another look at Joey Batson's legacy. Follow along as we analyze that legacy.

Almost a year ago, I made a post showing how another Batson protege', Ruben Mendoza, had a track record at Ole Miss and Notre Dame that was basically a mirror image of the on-field problems at Clemson. Losing in the fourth quarter, losing close games, late season collapses, poor functional strength, and NFL teams noting poor development are some of the parallels.

How does the Vanderbilt situation relate to Mendoza? Well, lo and behold, the guy who was at Vanderbilt when Wake was blowing them up was none other than John Sisk, ANOTHER Batson man who coached under him at Clemson. Followng the Batson template to a T, it seems the Mr. Sisk coached teams at Vanderbilt were getting whipped by the equally talented bunch at Wake. I cannot say I am in the least surprised.

Back in the early days of Bowden's tenure, the section of the program that featured the Strength and Conditioning department showcased pictures of Batson and his two top assistants. Sisk and Mendoza were those two men. Neither of those men are now coaching in the top division of college football.

Gayle Hatch has a legacy of developing great strength coaches. Moffitt at LSU, Cochran at Alabama. Carlisle at Southern Cal. And on it goes. Dwight Galt, the guy that helped Maryland and Vanderbilt punch Clemson and Wake respectively in the mouth has a decent legacy himself.

Not only did Galt max out the potential of studs like Vernon Davis for the Terps(would have been nice to see the same with, say, Daquan Bowers at Clemson), he has had quite a few understudies go on to coach in the NFL. Even more interesting is his impact in college.

Craig Fitzgerald, the strength coach South Carolina hired in January, 2009, both played and worked under Galt. Seems like ole Galt's legacy of turning the tides like that of the Vandy-Wake battle goes much wider.....his understudy has helped turn the tide in the Clemson-SC battle. To add insult to injury, BOTH his sons are working under Fitzgerald at South Carolina. The score: Fitzgerald-3, Batson-O. ZERO.

John Sisk currently finds himself now at FURMAN. Vanderbilt's new coach, unlike Tommy Bowden and Dabo Swinney at Clemson, knew the importance of establishing great player development via a great strength coach. So long SEC, hello Furman. FURMAN. Surely one trained by the great Mr. Bench press should at least get a lateral move!!

How about Mendoza? After an SEC stint at Ole Miss, he moved on to head the program at Notre Dame. After the Irish basically were the Midwestern, Catholic version of Clemson on the gridiron, Mendoza is no longer in South Bend. Like Vanderbilt's new guy, Brian Kelly(again, unlike Swinney and Bowden), realized he needed to change up things in the all so important realm of player development.

Where is Mendoza now? Well, he finds himself heading up the department at his alma mater, WAYNE STATE. So long, SEC. Goodbye South Bend. Hello WAYNE STATE. Another lateral move, huh? Boy, those Batson guys define upward mobility, don't they?

Anyone still unconvinced? If so, there is no help. This post may come across as harsh. Well, Clemson needs a LOTTA harshness. Mr. Mendoza and Mr. Sisk are probably great guys. Unfortunately, they didn't learn from a Moffitt, a Hatch, or even a Galt. They learned from Joey Batson. Nice guys all, perhaps.

But Clemson doesn't need nice guys. There are too many there already. Clemson needs a nasty sense of urgency. Don't worry about Batson. Charleston Southern or Newberry will scoop him up. Chad Morris said it well: the cream rises to the top. Clemson needs to identify the cream and hire him as a strength coach. We don't need anymore skim milk


Thursday, October 13, 2011