Saturday, April 30, 2016

Why we were all wrong about Andrew Billings

Stephen White of SB Nation does phenomenal draft breakdowns every year and he NAILED why Andrew Billings wouldn't be a top selection in this piece.

In short, Billings' dominance against the run isn't valued as highly in the NFL particularly when his shorter reach doesn't translate to him being able to 2-gap and control the middle. If he had more on tape to indicate he could be a good pass-rusher he might have gone higher but alas, it's not so.

Rough deal for Baylor, who now not only lose arguably their best player from 2015 before his eligibility was up and not only don't have good replacements lined up, but now they don't have a high draft pick result to sell to future recruits.

Urban Meyer isn't terribly worried about losing half his depth chart to the NFL because he knows it makes it that much more likely that he can reload. For Baylor that's a slightly tougher sell with every spot Billings drops. Their switch to the 3-4 combined with their ability to sell the top offensive players in the state means they have nothing to worry about here long-term, though.

The question I'd love to tackle here though is this: How could a player that was able to dominate games in the spread passing-heavy Big 12 due to his run defense could be so overlooked by the NFL?

The answer is the prevalence of run/pass options in college football (RPOs). They make all the difference.

In the NFL, RPOs are increasingly common but they are limited by the fact that OL can only get one yard downfield before a pass can be thrown beyond the line of scrimmage. In the NFL RPOs are usually quick hitters and aren't a major part of the offense. What is a major part of NFL offenses is the drop back passing game, and nose tackles aren't that helpful in stopping those.

In college, OL are allowed to get three yards beyond the line of scrimmage on RPOs and thus these schemes are dominant and major features in Big 12 offenses.

Big 12 teams hardly ever run the ball without attaching quick pass options on the outside for their QB, which often has the effect of forcing defenses to vacate the box and stop the run with only five or six defenders.

In that world, having a nose-tackle who can beat double teams and negate the disadvantage of moving linebackers out of the box to stop quick passes is INVALUABLE. If opposing teams can't run on five in the box and have to try and beat you throwing quick routes on a spread out, cover 2 defense they aren't going to get very far. That's tough sledding.

The result is that a guy like Billings, who often dominated interior OL in the Big 12 and allowed Baylor to flood the field with quick, spread out linebackers, may not have as much value to NFL teams that are trying to figure out how to disrupt the timing and throwing windows of a spread, West Coast passing attack.

Hopefully some team still drafts him for his awesome potential as a run-stuffer on standard downs, he'll probably still be a good player but this is why his value doesn't translate cleanly to the pro game.

Friday, April 29, 2016

5 things that stood out from the 1st round of the NFL draft

I didn't watch the NFL draft last night, frankly I don't see much appeal unless you enjoy the spectacle but much of that is captured immediately on Twitter anyways. The only downside to consuming the draft via Twitter is that the sheer volume of commentary forces everyone to channel their inner Donald Trump and try to say the most shocking thing possible in order to stand out.

Every draft selection was either the worst decision of all time that will bring ruin to a franchise or it was a perfectly orchestrated example of Machiavellian brilliance.

For instance, I like Josh Doctson as much as anyone but I think Will Fuller could be pretty dang good as well so I'm not ready to say that the team who chooses Fuller over Doctson will rue this decision for the rest of their days. Trading up to do it? Now that's more questionable.

So here's what stood out to me:

#1. Joey Bosa going number 3 to San Diego

I was a big fan of Bosa coming off his Ohio State's championship season simply because of the speed, power, and motor he demonstrated as a sophomore. However, there were a number of red flags from his junior year that really bothered me.

First was his somewhat limited pass-rush production, which SB Nation's scouting guru Stephen White noted results from a lack of bend and flexibility. He's better as an inside rusher than he is on the edge, but at 6'5" 270 he's not quite big and strong enough yet to show as a promising interior guy. So what you're getting with Bosa is probably a guy who's highest ceiling is in a role he hasn't really performed in yet.

And unlike with Myles Jack, there aren't as many positive signs that indicate he can be great there.

The second red flag is his attitude and the season that Ohio State just had. Despite having, by far, the most talented team in college football they underachieved last season. They started the year with a high profile match-up against Virginia Tech, who had handed them their only defeat in the championship season, and many teams have surmised that Bosa and some of his teammates took this game so seriously that they put themselves in a position where they had to refuse to take drug tests and got themselves suspended for the game.

Does Bosa have the drive to be great? The motivation to take on new challenges and roles in the NFL? Those all add up to some serious uncertainty about a guy that's going no. 3 overall.

#2. The Cowboys doubling down on offense with Elliott

Setting aside the fact that Elliott was mentioned in the linked article above as being a possible partier and user of "hard drugs" and even a bad influence on Bosa, using a number four pick on a running back when you already have a brilliant cast of WRs, a top 10 QB (if he's healthy), and one of the best offensive lines in the league is an interesting choice.

What's more, the Cowboys have been atrocious on defense for the last few years and could have drafted either do-it-all DB Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack, or ANY DEFENSIVE PLAYER NOT NAMED JOEY BOSA. They were all available.

Dallas desperately needs players they can build their future defenses around and there's no better place to find such a player than in the first round. Running backs capable of having success in this offense can be found all over the draft and also in free agency, heck you could pull someone off the streets to run behind Tyron Smith and La'el Collins.

On the other hand, the NFL is a match-ups league and one way to ensure success is by having features to your offense or defense that no one can handle. For instance, having two truly great pass-rushers is not something opposing offenses can really protect against and now Denver has a Super Bowl trophy.

You got two dominant DTs that have to be doubled at all times? No one is going to be running the ball on your defense. That's how the Ravens destroyed everyone back in 2000 despite having Trent Dilfer as their QB.

You have a great QB with two no. 1 caliber receivers? Teams can't double them both, Aaron Rodgers brings a ring to Green Bay.

The idea here is that with a feature back like Zeke, Dallas could have an offense so overwhelmingly good that it becomes the decisive factor in games and allows them to win a Super Bowl. However, they still have to be competent on defense.

#3. Everyone throwing thunder bolts from Mt. Pious after Tunsil's totally unshocking admission

I learned virtually nothing from Tunsil's awkward confession on draft night because I would have already been willing to bet large piles of cash that Tunsil received money while at Ole Miss. There's no doubt that under Hugh Freeze the wealthy boosters around that program have put a lot of investment into their team and been able to successfully outbid other schools.

That last part is key, make no mistake the reason that other SEC schools (or anyone else really) is mad is because they're struggling to pony up enough cash to consistently outbid the Rebels for top talent.

If you think the players at your school aren't receiving cash and are all totally free from marijuana use you are just burying your head in the sand.

The Dolphins ironically got a steal taking Tunsil 13th.

#4. How undervalued Laquon Treadwell has been

The key with first round selections is to get versatile players that are easy to build around and Treadwell is exactly that. The people complaining about a 6'2" 220 pound dude that runs a 4.6 just make me laugh, as if that combination of size and speed was common or remotely simple to deal with on a football field.

The dude is plenty fast, he has great hands, he loves the game, and he loves to be physical and block. There isn't a system or a group of skill talent in the league that wouldn't benefit from adding a big, powerful receiver that is an asset on every down.

I'm not sure how many big, sure-handed receivers that lack ideal 40 times need to have success in the NFL before everyone gets wise. If the dude had bad hands you'd worry about the fact that 5'11" quick guys might be able to hang with him on his route breaks but since he has great hands...I'm not sure what the fuss is here.

#5. There are still 1st round caliber, "foundational pieces" left in this draft

There's Myles Jack for one, who was passed up because he admitted his knee will probably need micro-fracture surgery in the future. Considering the percentage of players just drafted that will need surgery within the next few years I'm not sure why this is quite as big of a deal as it is. Someone is probably going to get a steal.

Hunter Henry, the Arkansas TE, is still bafflingly on the board. He's a solid run-blocker but a fantastic route-runner that Arkansas would split out wide regularly over the last few years and use as a go-to guy on 3rd downs. When did everyone stop being excited about great TEs? Is there an offense in the NFL that has a really good TE that isn't very difficult to stop?

Mackensie Alexander put a lot of good WRs on lockdown over the last few years at Clemson, in a man-coverage league I'm not sure why arguably the best cover corner in the draft is still available.

Most of the knocks on Andrew Billings are related to him being young and inexperienced. The dude has already proven he knows how to translate his awesome power into production on the football field. For any team that still sees value in having a nose tackle Billings should be a top priority. I think his value will become more apparent next in the B12 when teams see what happens to Baylor's run D.

Hassan Ridgeway is also better than a lot of people realize, he could play either DT position and provide either pass-rush or gap control. His lack of production in 2015 is largely explained by some nagging injuries and the fact that they played him as a 4i-tech DE in the 3-3-5 rather than allowing him to just feast on interior OL. I think he'll surprise at the next level.

Finally there's Cody Whitehair who is a potentially dominant NFL guard that played "lead tackle" for Kansas State the last few years. He was really strong in pass protection despite lacking ideal length (6'4" and not with long arms either) and they would pull him a ton on "dart" runs where he excelled. You want pass protection inside? Whitehair brings it. You need flexibility, a guy that can move around as needed? This is your guy. Run a lot of power and like to pull the guards? Look over here.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

How does Jerrod Heard fit in the veer and shoot?

Over at Inside Texas we start to suss out the ramifications of Shane Buechele proving to be the best QB on campus. Amongst them is an honest assessment of how to best use Jerrod Heard's talents in this offense. Read it for free!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ohio State moves on from the Chris Ash era

Ohio State is always loaded with good athletes, that's largely why they're always great on defense, but Schiano is going to have to replace a lot of really good pieces for them to have success next year.

In this post about the Buckeye D I talk about the Spartan-inspired "solo" coverage for trips formations, which is a major tool for teams with a good boundary corner and a space-backer they want to set up for success. Lots of Big 12 teams use this coverage as well and it'll probably play an important role in the 2016 season.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Myles Jack, a different type of space-backer

I did a write-up on Myles Jack for Football Study Hall and his prospects as an NFL player which are quite good if he takes to inside-backer.

What's interesting about Jack is that he played as a space-backer for UCLA but he was really more of a "big nickel" because where he excelled was in making tackles in pursuit or playing coverage, not in blitzing the edge like the B12's own star space-backer, Eric Striker. Follow the link and read all about it!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Projecting Carson Wentz, Matt Johnson, and Paxton Lynch into the NFL

From the way things are currently trending, I think Paxton Lynch will be the steal of the draft at QB while most teams seem eager to spend all they can to get a hold of Wentz. I like Wentz and wouldn't bet on that blowing up on people but the inflation rates on QBs is making him quite the expensive take.

Read about how these guys project here.

The Texas spring game

There was a lot to be gleaned from Texas' spring game last Saturday. Now these are just scripted scrimmages with vanilla schemes so it's dangerous to take too much but you can learn about how a team is doing at executing the fundamentals of their system. You can also learn what a team's basic strengths and weaknesses are and guess at what their identity will be.

Between this spring game, weekly practice reports from Inside Texas, and having watched the program closely over the last few years I've got a pretty good idea of what kind of team the Longhorns will put on the field next year. Read about it for free here.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Big 12 late-spring power rankings

Much of the Big 12 has wrapped up or is wrapping up their spring practices, which means we may have some answers to the big questions I asked about each team a couple of weeks ago.

Let's dive in and see what we've learned about how the league's teams are shaping up and what the pecking order looks like heading into the summer.

Texas's QB position

The Longhorns will hold their spring game this Saturday and that should actually reveal quite a bit about how far along the team is in installing Sterlin Gilbert's take on the Briles "veer and shoot" offense. I'll have more coverage of that game and it's takeaways than non-Texas fans may be able to stomach.

The Sooner pass rush

From the sounds of it, this is still very much in question. Obo Okoronkwo is the presumed answer but I'm not sure the Sooners have a developed, dominant pass-rusher on their roster right now and I have trouble believe that Caleb Kelly or Mark Jackson will be ready to fill that role as true freshman.

Long-term, the Sooners look great here, but in the interim I don't know. On the bright side for OU, with this DL and this secondary they may be able to set up their blitzing LBs for easy opportunities because of the attention that guys like Charles Walker will command and the time this secondary may buy.

This is less of an issue in terms of trying to repeat as B12 champs and more of an issue in terms of what happens if OU makes the playoffs again.

Kansas' need for a home run hitter

LaQuvionte Gonzalez had a good spring game and he was evidently the only Jayhawk offensive player who did. Suffice to say, I think it's going to be another long fall in Lawrence next year waiting for Self's basketball squad to start playing. It is worth noting that Ryan Willis didn't play in the spring game due to a wrist injury and whatever Kansas coaches or insiders may say, I think it's pretty well established that Montell Cozart is terrible.

Combo blocks for Campbell's Cyclones?

While breaking down Matt Johnson tape for an upcoming feature on some of the non-AQ quarterbacks dominating 2016 NFL draft discussions I caught some more Toledo tape and was surprised to find Campbell's Rockets running tons and tons of man/zone combo schemes and pulling the center all over the place.

I no longer have any confidence about what to expect from Iowa State's offense next season except that it will undoubtedly feature Mike Warren on downhill running schemes and it'll probably be fairly clever. Maybe we could guess if we knew absolutely anything at all about the Cyclones' starting OL but all I've seen is that it may include some redshirt freshman that I thought were promisingly light on their feet out of high school.

Tech finding safeties or riskies?

Hat tip to Barking Carnival's Scipio Tex for that phenomenal term we can apply to safeties who's play doesn't alway fill us with feelings of security. There hasn't been too much out of Lubbock that I've picked up other then the fact that sophomore Payton Hendrix seems likely to join Jah'Shawn Johnson at safety next season and add a little more muscle and tackling to the equation.

I'm guessing they'll play Justis Nelson in the nickel and drop Hendrix or Johnson down to get Gibbs' preferred 5-2 fronts. They're going to be young on defense next year with Johnson, D'Vonta Hinton, Hendrix, Dakota Allen, and Breiden Fehoko all likely to play major roles but the good news is that all of those guys can actually play.

If Mahomes is back in 2017 look out for Tech.

K-State's Cat safety

Kansas State got going on their spring practices later than everyone else so not a ton of info has come out about how their team is shaping up, particularly not in the secondary. The front is looking very solid though with so many returning players like NT Will Geary, DE Jordan Willis, and three quality linebackers in Mike Moore, Elijah Lee, and Will Davis.

Dante Barnett is back as well, of course, which makes the safety position a possible strength rather than a gaping wound. Smart money is probably on Donnie Starks making some improvements and resuming his role in the nickel but it's also possible that improvement from him could move him out wide to corner. We'll see.

The TCU run game

I'm leaning towards giving TCU the preseason nod for having the best defense in the league. They're keeping Nick Orr at weak safety, which allows them to mix their version of cover 3 in with the rest of their quarters concepts and aggressively play strong safety Denzel Johnson as an extra man in the box as needed.

With Ranthony Texada back at one corner they should be in really good shape and the fact that they return DE Josh Carraway, MLB Montrel Wilson, and SLB Travin Howard with increased weight means they are probably going to be pretty dang good when they can slip Johnson in there to outnumber offenses.

But about that run game, with Joseph Noteboom and Aviante Collins anchoring the tackle spots they are looking pretty experienced and solid there and the spring depth chart they released has the OL going:
LT: 6-5, 320 Redshirt senior
LG: 6-3, 300 Redshirt junior
OC: 6-6, 300 Junior
RG: 6-7, 350 Redshirt junior
RT: 6-6, 305 Senior

That's a pretty big group blocking for Kyle Hicks and Shaun Nixon and there'll be plenty of ways to constrain defenses from packing in extra numbers (like TCU's defense does) by utilizing Kavontae Turpin on the perimeter.

Skill athletes in Stillwater?

I don't think we'll know what OSU looks like on the outside at corner or DE until they line up and play in the fall. If they've found one really good pass-rusher from their young group of DEs and one good corner from Ramon Richards and Ashton Lampkin then they could challenge OU at the top and make them worry about whether they have enough pass-rush to win the league.

Holgorsen's future in West Virginia

With Ka'Raun White back at WR along with Shelton Gibson and David Sills, the Mountaineers are kinda loaded if they can get better play from Skyler Howard at QB. In particular I could see them doing real damage on play-action from diamond and spread-I looks because their run game is going to be fierce and you can't double everyone.

It's hard to believe the defense will be very good. If they are solid or better we'll have to give some real props to DC Tony Gibson.

Baylor's alien quotient

This is a really big deal for the Bears and their chances of having another big season in 2016. You figure the QBs will be good with Jarrett Stidham pushing Seth Russell at QB, the OL may not have a Spencer Drango but it's hard to believe they won't be pretty good, and Shock Linwood and Johnny Jefferson makes for a very strong backfield.

But if Baylor doesn't have guys on the outside that can rip your heart out unless you double them then it's all for naught.

The spring depth chart has KD Cannon moving outside and Lynx Hawthorne stepping up as the likely go-to slot receiver, so far so good. Ishmael Zamora and Blake Lynch are the other outside and inside guys in their four-wide sets while the TE formations will include either Jordan Feuerbacher or Sam Tecklenburg (nothing like a pair of Germans to act as mobile bludgeons for Briles' blitzkrieg) both of whom I suspect will be better than future pro-wrestler Laquon McGowan.

KD Cannon has flashed brilliance in his time at Waco and he's probably a safe bet to have a phenomenal season. Who else? We may not know if the Bears have another alien until they travel to Austin on October 29th and face man coverage from the talented young Longhorn secondary.

As things stand with what we know about these teams after spring, here's how I would rank the teams in this league purely based on quality not on the likely results that their respective schedules will generate:

1. Oklahoma
Established identity with Mayfield, Perine, and Mixon on offense + a ton of talent on defense.

2. Oklahoma State
Because the D won't be awful and Rudolph-to-Washington is one of the most well-established features of the league.

3. TCU
The best defense and plenty of potential and time for the offense to put together something special.

4. Baylor
Worried about that defense and whether the offense will be as overwhelming as in prior years. Off the field distractions can't be helping either. Teams 2-4 are fairly interchangeable here.

5. Kansas State
I'm going to give the Wizard the benefit of the doubt that the QB play and thus overall offense is much improved and that the defense can shore up their weak spots. This team was devastated by injuries last year, hard to see them having such misfortune again. 

6. Texas Tech
Tough to put them this low but that defense is so young and the offense needs a few of these young skill players to step up. They probably will but not enough to allow Tech to beat the teams that play defense.

7. Texas
They're going to be one of the most talented teams in the league and perhaps the most talented, but I'm not sure if it's all going to come together cleanly for at least another year.

8. West Virginia
By all accounts there's a lot of talent on this team rising up the ranks, but is any of it ready to lead the team? Can Skyler Howard lead comebacks on the road? How do these young LBs and DBs respond if Mahomes starts burning them?

9. Iowa State
I've got my eye on Iowa State as a team to watch and perhaps the most likely to shoot up the rankings if Snyder has lost his edge or Holgs gets the stanky boot.

10. Kansas

Thursday, April 14, 2016

What to watch for in the Texas spring game

There are things you can learn from a spring game, even as many head coaches are making them more and more about spectacle and entertainment rather than real football. I break down what we can hopefully glean from the upcoming Texas spring game over at Inside Texas (free!).

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The 3 running plays virtually every offense is built around

At Football Study Hall I have a new piece up about the inside zone running play explaining how it's been used by tons of offenses across the country as the foundational play of their running games. It's a particularly good play for the teams that can find and develop big, mauling OL that are able to drive defensive linemen off the ball.

The schools reigning at the top of the Division 2 and FBS levels, Mount Union and Alabama, both rely on inside zone to make up the basis of their running games and indeed much of their offense in general. Alabama has always made it their focal point under Nick Saban but it's been easily adapted to suit the "pro-style spread" system that Kiffin has been utilizing at Tuscaloosa of late for reasons I explain in the above article.

The team dominating the level in between Mount Union and Alabama is my son's favorite team, the North Dakota State Bison.
The Bison build their running game around the Power-O play, which was also the foundation of the Tressel-era Buckeyes and a big part of the Malzahn Auburn offense. Power is also fairly versatile and used both by spread and pro-style squads.

Power is about getting mobile guards that can pull and find targets in space and using double teams to drive people off the ball rather than relying on brute size like inside zone teams often do.

Then there's inside zone's counterpart, the outside zone play. Most teams carry all three schemes in their playbook but generally recruit and develop OL to excel in one or two of these concepts and then build around that play. Outside zone linemen need to be quick so they can execute the reach blocks since the goal in this scheme is to create creases for the RB by putting horizontal stress on the defensive front rather than vertical stress like on inside zone.

This is an ideal play for schools that can recruit lots of quick, hard-working dudes that can be molded into gifted technicians but may lack NFL-size or power.

Here's what schools in the Big 12 are built around:

The outside zone teams

TCU had some fairly big OL last year and would run some inside zone as well but their specialty was running outside zone and inserting lead blockers into the horizontal creases or using speed option with Trevone Boykin to add extra stress.

Texas Tech
Tech has found that the long, quick guys they like for pass protection tend to do best with outside zone as the main run game complement since it matches their proclivity for beating DL with their feet and length rather than with strength. Kingsbury studied the Oregon run game for inspiration here and the Ducks are very much an outside zone-based team.

Oklahoma State?
The Cowboys aren't much good at anything. TE coach Jason McEndoo is a power guy and OL coach Greg Adkins has a history of using IZ, OZ, and power as part of a pro-style approach, but OSU could really stand to nail down just one scheme to help Randolph out. Considering their OL is marked by experience and lack of talent, I'd say outside zone is probably the better path for them in 2016.

Like the Cowboys, the Jayhawks weren't that great at anything last year, in part because they have some terrible players on their OL. When they want to set up their screens and RPOs though they are often working off outside zone.

The Sooners ran a lot of counter-trey in 2015 and mixed in some interesting schemes in their run game but they've been an outside zone team for a long time now and it's where they really shine. When you consistently have massive and athletic tackles like Orlando Brown combined with an insanely powerful plant and go runner like Samaje Perine you often aren't going to want to do anything more than aim at the perimeter and then cutback when teams over play it.

The inside zone teams

Kansas State
You could put the Wildcats just about anywhere on this list and it'd be defensible. The basis of their running game is using the QB to create advantages and running every scheme known to man. My guess is that with 6-5, 300 pound center Dalton Risner as the sole returning starter in 2016 and Jesse Ertz or Alex Delton the most likely starting QBs (zone-read guys) that K-State will feature a steady diet of inside zone next season.

West Virginia
The Mountaineers have run a fair amount of power in the last few years as Dana Holgorsen has continued to evolve his variety of the Air Raid down the "smashmouth spread" path. By hiring OL coach Joe Wickline and with what they look for in their players (massive guards) I think it's safe to say that inside zone is still their foundation and power is an effective counter punch.

Iowa State
Iowa State was very good at inside zone last year but lost almost every single OL and the entire coaching staff. At Toledo, Matt Campbell tended to run a lot of different schemes like pin & pull and power, but his Mount Union roots emphasize inside zone and that's the scheme that Mike Warren dominated in last year. I'm not totally sure what to expect here but I'd guess they stick with inside zone as their building block play.

The power teams

The Bears run a lot of inside zone and power, like other smashmouth spread teams, but I'd say power is probably their typical go to play. This is a big reason why they use blockers at TE rather than seam-stretchers, they need guys that can kick out a DE and blow up a LB in the hole more than they need guys that can stretch the seam. Heck they line up outside the seam anyways and use track stars to accomplish that aim.

The Longhorns are now a veer and shoot team, like Baylor, so power is a major part of the formula but they were best at power and counter last year anyways so it was always likely to be a big part of the formula in 2016.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Lovie Smith wants you to feel the Illinoise!

Somehow Illinois got Lovie Smith to agree to come and coach their football team. I noted in this article for SB Nation that if he can just get in-state kids to come to Champaign he just might have a chance.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

One of my new favorite darkhorses for 2016: Fuente's Virginia Tech Hokies

Fuente has walked into the ideal scenario, once again, and is now looking to pair his spread offense acumen with brilliant, longtime Hokie DC Bud Foster to make Virginia Tech into an ACC power.

That conference is going to be fun to watch next season with Clemson and FSU both aiming for a national title and Fuente and Babers joining the party to try and make Syracuse and VT contenders in the future.

Read about Fuente, his incoming JUCO QB, and how it all might come together to solve the Hokies' offensive woes sooner than later.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Looking more closelier at Baylor's new D

Earlier I posted some notes on what each Big 12 team will be focusing on this spring in order to have a chance to win a (relatively) acceptable number of games in 2016. Now I'd look to dive deeper with all (or at least some) of these teams on some of the factors that will have a big impact on what kind of team they'll field.

My main interest is identity formation and overall strategy. We'll start with Baylor.

In that post linked above I glossed over some of Baylor's defensive issues relating to next season but over at Football Study Hall I dove much deeper into their defensive designs for the coming year.