Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mailbag question: Phil Steel

Mailbag question: Phil Steel


A few years ago I was reading Phil Steele's season previews and he said something interesting about his system for predicting success. If a team has a lot of turnovers one season, he assumes they will have fewer the next, because the coaches will really stress avoiding them. If a team has hardly any turnovers one season, he assumes that it probably won't last and they will have more turnovers the next year.

I was hoping this would be true for the team this season but of course this hasn't happened. Do you agree with Phil's rule? Do you think this could be a point of optimism for next year?




Thanks for the question.

We are not certain (not even close) one can make assumption’s of the nature stated above. There may be a pattern that crops up now and then, but every event (season) is independent of the other. Such a correlation is likely because coaches after a season of extreme turnovers make protecting the ball and cutting down on interceptions a major, major point of emphasis. Some call this the yin-yang theory and some believe it to be the order of the universe. GBMW is a little more old-school and believes there are other causes of fumbles that exclude planet alignment or triangle placement. We believe ball protection and the associated fundamentals might have more to do with turnovers.

As exhibit one we offer the fact that UM had a ton of turnovers last year and look what has happened this year, another ton and another day in debt. Michigan just had a terrible year with turnovers in 2008 and this did not go unnoticed as the staff emphasized cutting down on turnovers this spring. We all saw this in practice with our own eyes.

But Michigan has had a terrible second half of the season with regards to turnovers. Turnovers have killed this program for the last two seasons. Why so? The margin of error is thin. As of now UM is not good enough to recover from turning the ball over, time and time again. Only if another team is equally generous can turnovers not be a major deciding factor.

Until Michigan gets the turnover problem in order, we will continue to see the same problems resulting in the team struggling.

Thanks for stopping by Go Blue Michigan Wolverine
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Written by GBMW -- CoachBt and ErocWolverine

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