Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Lions Get a Big Foot

Yesterday afternoon I got a tip that Columbia's special teams would be in good hands for years to come. I mistakenly thought the person was talking about a special teams coach.

But it turned out that one of the top high school punters in the country was about to officially commit to the Lions.

The punter is Drew Schmid from La Jolla Country Day School in La Jolla, CA. Drew's brother Zach is a junior punter at Harvard.

You can see more of his highlights here.

The new list looks like this:

1) Seth DeVary OL 6-4 275 lbs. Larue County HS Hodgenville, KY

2) Josh Kaminsky DL 6-4 280 lbs. Seton Hall Prep West Orange, NJ

3) Jared Noble DB 5-10 185 lbs. St. Francis de Sales HS Columbus, OH

4) Bailey Rotsky DB/WR Mayfield Heights HS Mayfield Heights, OH

5) Drew Schmid P 6-0 205 lbs. La Jolla Country Day La Jolla, CA

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Up to Four

Jared Noble

Over the weekend, we learned of a fourth confirmed commit to the 2017 recruiting class.

He is 5-10, 185 pound DB Jared Noble from St. Francis de Sales HS in Columbus, OH. Former Lion Luke Melsop, who left the team, was the only other documented St. Francis grad to come to CU football.

Having four confirmed commits seems like a good time to start the "list":

1) Seth DeVary OL 6-4 275 lbs. Larue County HS Hodgenville, KY

2) Josh Kaminsky DL 6-4 280 lbs. Seton Hall Prep West Orange, NJ

3) Jared Noble DB 5-10 185 lbs. St. Francis de Sales HS Columbus, OH

4) Bailey Rotsky DB/WR Mayfield Heights HS Mayfield Heights, OH

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Mystery (Probably) Solved

Twitter tells me that the "Northern New Jersey tough guy" who committed to Columbia last week is 6-4, 280 pound DT Josh Kaminsky from Seton Hall Prep. Kaminsky lives in West Orange, NJ.

Kaminski has been turning some heads in development camps this summer. His size and experience make the reasons obvious.

According to my LionFeeders database, Kaminsky will be the seventh documented Seton Hall Prep grad coming to Columbia. A new freshman coming to CU this summer, TE Rory Schlageter, is a Seton Hall grad.


USA Today was the first to report that the Ivy League will start all kickoffs at the 40 yard line beginning this season. This will probably eliminate most kickoff returns, but only most of them as I think just under half of the kickoffs I've seen for years from the 35 still fall more than five yards short of the end zone. Let's see which Ivy teams employ the proper strategy to take advantage of this change.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Empirical Data! (for real this time)


Already a miracle worker

After Columbia's disastrous 2013 season, (even by the worst Columbia historical standards), fans calling for major changes were told by then-Head Coach Pete Mangurian that "empirical data" proved the program was getting better. 

Of all the insults and delusional statements we had to endure from 2013-14, that was possibly the worst. 

But now that Al Bagnoli and his staff have thankfully taken over, what can we say about the real empirical evidence of improvement from 2015? 

As it turns out, we can say a lot. I admit this post has been a long time coming from me as it probably would have been best to document much earlier the amazing statistical improvements we saw last year compared to 2013 and 2014. Getting two wins in a season after two straight 0-10 records doesn't tell much of the story. The numbers you're about to see do.

Let's start with the real eye-popper. In 2013 Columbia had 519 net rushing yards. In 2014 that number moved slightly higher to 556. In 2015 the Lions rushed for 1,402 net yards, a 170.1% increase from 2013 and 152.1% increase from 2014. Amazing. 

Columbia scored just 73 points in 2013 and 103 points in 2014. The 143 points the Lions scored in 2015 are a 95.8% increase over 2013 and a 38.8% increase from 2014. 

Columbia averaged 24 minutes and 44 seconds per game in time of possession in 2013, and 28:40 in 2014. In 2015, the Lions held the ball for an average of 33:31 per game. That was a 35.5% improvement from 2013 and a 16.9% improvement over 2014. 

In 2013 Columbia converted just 17% of its 3rd downs, and just 28% in 2014. In 2015, that number jumped to a respectable 36%.

There was one offensive stat that fell compared to 2014, but not compared to 2013. In 2013, the Lions passed for 1,524 yards. In 2014, that number jumped to 2,185 yards, but fell to 1,565 yards last year. Of course, Columbia's strong turnaround in rushing the ball was the biggest factor in that but improving those passing numbers will still be a priority in 2016. 

Now to defense. And on that front, all the categories showed serious improvement. 

In 2013 Columbia allowed 5,141 total yards. In 2014 the Lions gave up 4,945. In 2015 that number plummeted to 2,901, which was 43.5% down from 2013 and 41.3% down from 2014. 

In 2013 Columbia allowed 2,429 rushing yards and an even worse 2,534 yards in 2014. In 2015 the Lions allowed just 1,032 rushing yards, down 55.9% from 2013 and 59.2% from 2014. 

In 2013 Columbia allowed 2,712 passing yards and 2,411 in 2014. That was down to 1,869 yards in 2015, a reduction of 31% from 2013 and 22.4% in 2014.

Columbia allowed 402 points in 2013 and 389 points in 2014. That fell to 198 points in 2015, a 50.7% decrease from 2013 and a 49.1% drop from 2014.

In 2013 Columbia allowed opponents to convert on 3rd down 43% of the time. That got worse in 2014 as opponents had a 47% 3rd down conversion rate. In 2015, that dropped to just 27%.

Finally, Columbia's turnover ratio has been improving too. In 2013 it was minus-15. In 2014 it was minus-14. In 2015 it was minus-10.

Just take a second and consider these numbers. They are stunning by any objective measure. I know we all wanted more wins last season, but these statistical improvements are beyond anything anyone could have hoped for. To make a similar set of statistical improvements on a percentage basis, Columbia would basically have to lead the league in every major offensive and defensive category.

So congratulations to Coach Bagnoli, his staff, and the players he so clearly inspired to transcend all reasonable expectations for improvement. Not many people outside of Columbia recognize what you have already done, but maybe now they will. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

New Cleveland Commit

Bailey Rotsky

Not all the news coming out of the Cleveland area is about the Republican convention. 

Mayfield Heights HS DB/WR Bailey Rotsky has announced his commitment to Columbia. 

Rotsky comes from a football family as his father is the head coach of the nearby Euclid HS football team.

Rotsky joins OL Seth DeVary as our two confirmed commits for 2017.