Does a Bigger Defense Equal a Better Defense? The Wolverines Hope So

Charles WelchCorrespondent IJune 9, 2010

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 19: Linebacker Craig Roh #88 of the Michigan Wolverines sacks quarterback Andy Schmitt #7 of the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Michigan Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Michigan won 45-17.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

In a conference like the Big Ten, with its reputation for being physical, having a lot of size up front is important on both sides of the ball. Upon reading Phil Steele's preview of 2010's college football season, something jumped out at me.

When comparing the spring rosters of the Big Ten teams, Michigan's average weight is relatively high, particularly in the front seven of the defense. 

In fact, here below is a chart just to give the fans a frame of reference to compare Michigan to other Big Ten teams.

The chart is a list of the average weight of the front seven (defensive linemen, linebackers and any hybrids) men playing in the box, of the top Big Ten teams.  Also, compare this to Michigan in 2009.               

Team               Average Weight In Lbs. Per Player

Michigan          260.43                      

Iowa               260.14

Ohio State       259

Penn State      257.57

Wisconsin        256

Michigan State 255.86

Michigan (2009) 246.43


The good news is Michigan has a the second biggest defensive front in the Big Ten and is nearly 15 lbs. heavier per man than 2009, but the bad new is Michigan is ranked behind Indiana so I'm not sure exactly how important this will be, or if it means much at all.

The important thing to remember is with all the talk of the physical nature of the Big Ten and Michigan's apparent lack of it in 2009, 2010 may finally be a more physical season for the Wolverines. Hopefully a season in which they end up delivering more abuse than they end up taking.