Spencer Hall recently wrote an article for the Sporting News examining the changing emphasis on speed in college football. A good portion of the article talked about Michigan’s shift in focus after the Rich Rodriguez hire, and how the changes could pay dividends in the future. Here are a couple excerpts:
Consider the case of the Big Ten Sloth Myth. The myth began with softness through the middle of the conference in national rankings and in bowl season performance — even despite the fact that the twin flagship programs of the conference, Michigan and Ohio State, were busy piling up a superb record in bowl games against the SEC (the former) and making three national title games in the new century (the latter.)
Now, consider if you will — as I did, in between gasping for my life and making the term “agility drill” an ironic joke — the rationale behind the “ESS-EEE-SEE” speed myth. Weather? Unlikely. A different caliber of athlete? The bell curve and years of measured athletic performance rule out this argument, especially since Big Ten athletes run times comparable to athletes from other conferences at the combine.