I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
Update 12/19: Added MI S Aaron Gant and MI DE Quintin Woods, removed IN DT Dexter Larimore(OSU) and re-added KY DT Corey Peters, who was apparently just offered. Reaction to the Larimore commitment? Removed WR Percy Harvin(UF). Added GA RB Carlos Brown as a commitment. Updated Jonas Mouton's school list based on a Scout article header: Nebraska is out. Final three are USC, LSU, and UM... where have we heard that before?
Also, here's a Daron Rose article.
Editorial Opinion: USC can't take a third safety away from us, can they? I would regard that article as good news. LSU hasn't been mentioned much for him and given the internets chatter it seems like if he's going to leave home it would probably be to go to Michigan. So Mouton gets to choose between OMG USC/mom/two five stars at his position in the very same class and Michigan/cold/one safety in the last two classes and Steve Brown. That looks good, but USC hasn't lost a recruiting battle against Michigan since they stopped sucking.
And, hey, remember Carlos Brown? I'm betting you do, since he committed yesterday. Well, do you remember that goofy AJC photoset featuring David Cone and his Army of Midgets? Yeah, they did Brown, too. (Original AJC link gone but reproduced at BuckeyePlanet; get a load of his ideal car: a 1996 Impala... um, okay(?).)You can see him at right holding a perfectly innocent football hostage. There are also a number of pictures available for perusal on Scout.
Other than the "are you sure? Really sure? Sure you're sure?" Brown commitment, the interesting news in this particular update is the emergence of two instate players who got offered (or are apparently on the verge of being offered) based on strong senior-year performance: DE Quintin Woods and OLSM's Aaron Gant, a safety. Someone claiming to be an OLSM alum popped up on BuckeyePlanet and offered these words:
Word around here is that Gant is going to Michigan. Michigan wants him at safety or linebacker. Gant is good friends with Michigan committ Brandon Graham, and his cousin is Dionte Allen- a kid whom many around here expect to be a Wolverine next year. Gant is a good player, he really came on strong his senior year, and that is why he's getting alot of recruiting attention right now.
and then again:
I have no idea if he really has an OSU offer. I do know that he has one from Michigan though. If there is a quality OLSM kid that wants Michigan, Michigan will almost always offer him. OLSM is a pipeline to Michigan, and the staff at Michigan doesn't want to disrupt that pipeline. Especially when you look at the prospects they'll have in the 2007 and 2008 classes. Michigan wants to keep the pipeline open, and if they land Gant, they can pencil in Dionte Allen in '07.
As always, take such unconfirmed Internet speculation lightly, but I buy it. There are enough ancillary factors in play here to believe Gant's offer is not strictly a Mouton backup plan--OSU got in on him, the OLSM pipeline thing, Dionte Allen--so I don't think Gant and Mouton commits are mutually exclusive.
As for Woods, he emerged late and has been the subject of a recent flurry of articles($). Iowa offered him (scroll down). A Google search turns up a lot of basketball hits but nothing on football, as he didn't even play the sport until his senior year--shades of TE Carson Butler last year.
Coach Tim Barron said Brown just gave him the news a few minutes ago. Barron said Brown told him he settled on Michigan "because he felt it was the best place for him to go."
Is this surprising? Um... I don't think "surprising" covers it. I mean:
Brown had earlier indicated to his coach his choice would be either USC or Georgia.
This is an uber-recruit (#32 according to Rivals) who 1) lives in the south, 2) had already eliminated us, and 3) was considering home-school UGA and
freakin' USC er... the Other USC (South Carolina). Um... lessee... lessee, Answers.com, thesaurus section...
Intellectually or emotionally overwhelming: "a mind-boggling bazaar of competing manufacturers and overlapping technologies" (William D. Marbach).
Brown never once appeared on the recruiting board for the above reasons and any and all references to him were mentally blocked by my "useless information" filter due to the whole blue-chippah-from-the-South thing. So I dunno anything about him. Update coming when I do.
Top traits: An elusive runner who amassed 2,103 all-purpose yards --- 1,284 rushing, 567 returning, 113 receiving and 139 passing --- last season. "Wherever we could get the ball to him is where we put him," Heard County coach Tim Barron said. "They love his speed. He's a 4.4 kid." Has 88.8 average in school and qualified on the SAT as a sophomore. He's slated to play mostly QB this season. "We're going to put the ball in his hands on every play," Barron said. Colleges are recruiting him as a running back, wide receiver and defensive back. He has 27 TDs that went for more than 40 yards. Bench-presses 280 pounds and squats 440. "I have good balance, pretty good vision and pretty good speed," Brown said.
Offers: Georgia, Auburn, Ohio State, Michigan State, Alabama, Kansas State, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, Louisville, Ole Miss, Duke, Wake Forest, South Carolina and Purdue
Favorites: Former Michigan State assistant Paul Haynes was the first to make an offer to Brown, after his fourth game last season, but he's now at Ohio State, where he coaches defensive backs. Brown said he's looking for "a school that specializes in what I want to do after football. Right now, I want to be a pilot." Growing up, he used to like watching Florida State.
Aha! Wants to be a pilot, hmmm? Anyone thinking what I'm thinking? That's right: Space, bitches! Space! Congrats to EDSBS for being the number one hit on Google for that critical search term, by the way. Scouts, Inc., also thinks he's the bee's knees:
Brown may be the best overall athlete in this running back class and could be a difference maker at the next level.
So that's cool. Here at MGoBlog we try not to get too high when high schoolers we've never seen promise to go to our school or too low when they spurn us just like everyone we've ever loved, but yay and stuff. I promise to scream "Space, bitches!" whenever he scores. Or takes the field. And at random times during meetings at work.
I'm so happy. Said picture is courtesy BC&RS. Sam also provides a selection of other wondrous images from fifth graders. My favorite is titled "Disco Car" and features either Kid or Play (the one with the giant novelty haircut), a pink car flying off a cliff, and a THRILLING CONCLUSION you must SEE TO BELIEVE!
Also from Sam comes my proudest moment as a Michigan engineer. That's a brief movie; please watch it with the sound on. If anyone out there has some video editing skills, please fade in the Michigan fight song towards the end and then bring up a giant block M with "The Michigan Difference" under it. You'll see what I mean.
The scales of fate balance out... or something. Starting Nebraska OLB Barrett Ruud broke his arm and will miss the Alamo Bowl. Backup DE Wali Muhammad is also suspended for a violation of team rules. Two less guys for the offensive line to sort-of block.
Who had 23 games in the pool? ESPN.com headline: "Marbury no longer Isiah's fave." Newsday:
Something's got to give, and Knicks president Isiah Thomas recently indicated that if it ever comes down to a choice between Brown and point guard Stephon Marbury, he'll cast his lot with the coach.
Nary a loss passes without Brown questioning the toughness or basketball IQ of his players. ... Thomas was hailed for acquiring Marbury and now he has no other option but to trade Coney Island's Finest.
THOMAS: MARBURY NO LONGER NUCLEUS OF KNICKS
Who saw this coming? Everybody? Oh. The Knicks are 6-17. Brown is HEY! HEY! HEY!-ing his way to drafting someone who is not Greg Oden this summer. The Pistons are 18-3 and clearly better without The Great Millstone around their necks.
Dear Larry, the city of Detroit would like to extend you a warm...
Gracious? Er, not really. But let's review: Pistons battling for their playoff lives; Brown attempting to leave town before season even ends.
If I am alive this time in 2009-10 I (and you) will be watching a team that misses both Minnesota and Northwestern in the Big Ten. That should be just enough time for Mason to flee to greener pastures and Northwestern to resume its historic uselessness. Remember, the answer to the question "Who are the two worst teams in the Big Ten?" is always "Whoever Michigan misses." I would be very afraid if I was Iowa.
Also: yet another Big Ten team is slated for two years without both Michigan and Ohio State. This time it's the Wildcats. It wasn't relevant this year, but what are the chances that Iowa doesn't skeeze out a questionable Big Ten title in '07 or '08?
(Thanks to reader Douglas Dillon for the pointer.)
Okay... I have the fluttering beginnings of something cool. I have hacked my way through the various jungles of variable data input from hell to compile a database of... er... most of this year's football plays. For everybody. Bad news if you're an Eastern Michigan fan (other than "you're an Eastern Michigan fan"): I'm still working on an especially head-meets-wall section of plays that should work but do not. Other failures are scattered throughout the data.
Despite this, there are still over 100,000 plays that have been dumped into an SQL database (by hand! Uphill both ways! Wearing communism on my back like an extremely red, not-yet-shot-into-space monkey!). I think better than 95% of the plays from scrimmage made it in safely. Now things like this...
...exist and appear fairly sane. That's a breakdown of the Michigan D's third down performance YTD: blue are unsuccessful conversions, red vice versa.
So that's cool but totally without context and somewhat silly on the surface. Is this good? Is it bad? If you find yourself in second and nine should you attempt to lose two yards to access Michigan's horrid 3rd-and-11 defense?
So then we've got this:
The background there is the NCAA average; the foreground is Michigan's success at halting their opponents. Now we have something to relate it to: surprisingly, Michigan's defense on third and one is subpar despite Gabe Watson. Those seismic spikes towards the end are way stupid, though... so we need to smooth us some data:
This is better, but still wonky.
[WARNING] Those who experience seizures at math talk should skip the next section. [/WARNING]
I had two ideas for the smoothing:
- a sort of moving average based on the percentages. Unsatisfactory because this particular graph does not appear to be linear... there's a steep drop at the beginning and then a levelling off. Also, tends to ignore the fact that 4/6 on third and eleven isn't quite as meaningful as 6/22 or whatever on third and ten.
- something similar to #1 except adding up each success and failure instead of treating each yard line as a monolithic percentage. This more properly weights stuff that is frequently experienced (like 3rd and 10), but also has a distorting effect that you can clearly see around 12 or 13 yards to go... with so few instances of those distances, their lower conversion percentages are drowned out by the vast quantity of 3rd and 10s.
#2 is currently in use, but I'm highly suspicious. The preponderance of 3rd and 10s seems to be dragging items nearby to its level, like a gravitational well. Someone somewhere has tackled data like this before and come out with something better than either of these alternatives. Are you one of these people? Please say yes. Any help is appreciated.
Anyway, I'm a couple tweaks away from releasing a little app that will give you these graphs for any offense or defense in I-A, but before I do it I'd really like to get some better smoothing so that the results for individual teams don't look goofy. Consider this an APB for assistance.
(You can come out now, mathophobes.)
Look, so one of the nice things about this blogging enterprise is that you sort of get to know the person behind the blog. Freed of the restrictions and general demands for sterile decorum (or, even worse, forced lame-o "personality" in columns titled things like "The Rant") imposed by Writing For Money, the blogging thing allows the writer to be who they am, in the parlance of our times. So if you peruse this space regularly you should know a few things about me:
- Likes football.
- Disturbing opinions re: kittens.
- Charmingly absentminded.
The last bullet is the relevant one. I, uh, er, well... thoughttheUCLAgamewasatnoonanddidn'twatchitatallokaybye.
Right. So, I turned the television on at two and said to myself, "self, why is the Michigan game nowhere to be found?" And then I swore. And then I checked the score and swore some more. And then I checked Horton's line (5-17) and Sims' line (1-2) and hoo, boy, it was a festival de # and & and % and * and ! all put together in distinctively implicative ways. Thus, I have no opinion on the game except what I've gleaned from the box score and message board postings. Luckily for you, the voracious blog reader, others are not so hampered. I personally subscribe more to Yost Built's opinion...
I'm not ready to hit the panic button like a lot of people on The Wolverine are. Michigan had a bad game. It happens. Yes it sucks that it happened the first time we played a "real" team, but you can't watch that game and say that Michigan lost because they were facing a more-talented opponent. If Michigan has even a decent day from downtown (and it's not like UCLA had a hand in their face and was making Michigan miss shots) they win that game going away. At one point in the second half, UCLA was 10 of 20 from behind the arc and Michigan was 2 of 18. That's not going to get it done, especially when probably 14 of those 18 were high-quality looks.
...than a lot of the overheated rhetoric you can find on any relevant messageboard you have access to, but then again I didn't actually see the thing. Joey checked in with a lot of bile re: Michigan's strategy... unfortunate misses of wide open threes or inexcusable coaching failure? I have no damn idea. Next time I'll check the tipoff time so I can have opinions of my own.
In the larger scheme of things, Michigan has a selection of nummy morsels left before hitting Big Ten play. If they can take care of Miami (the other one), Coppin State, and Chicago State, they'll come out of the nonconference schedule 10-1 and in good position to make the tournament. The sky isn't falling, though it's probably because the thing never got very far off the ground in the first place.
(HT on the lame-o personality to Mayor Kyle King.)
So... yeah. Much has been ado-ed about Lloyd Carr's latest press conference wherein he advocated a 16 team playoff despite having come out and said that the 12th game "treats the players like professionals" and thus should result in the players getting paid, as professionals often are.
- OMG LOL, LLLLoyd just wants a system where he and his LLLL get to play for a championship despite the LLLL omg lol teh funny.
- Preach on brother!
- Who are you and where have you stuffed the broken remains of Lloyd Carr's body?
- Dude, 16 is way, way too much.
- GODDAMMIT STOP PLAYING SOFT ZONE.
Obviously I went with door #3, though I heartily endorse door #4 as well, a fine door with many qualities to recommend it like, um, good grain and a paucity of knots and stuff. Johnny of RBUAS went with door #5 and also collected a couple of useful links for your edification. Peruse, I say.
And there's actual newsbits, too. Lost in the playoff hootenany is much in the way of injury updates. Revelations of note:
- Mike Hart will probably go; the injury which was supposedly just a mild ankle twist is The Dreaded High Ankle Sprain.
- Jake Long will play.
- Mike Kolodziej had hand surgery and will not.
- Henige will be replaced by Rueben Riley.
- Kraus is questionable.
- No mention of Woodley and his (presumed) stress fracture.
I personally doubt we'll see much more from Hart than we did towards the end of the season. He'll make a valiant attempt to go but his essential Hart-ness will be absent.
Also FYI: Three star Colorado DE Greg Banks committed. Banks may end up at DT down the road, since he's already listed at 260. I have no opinion on this as of yet, but I will attempt to acquire one.
No comment. Um... someone asked this question of Chad Henne:
How do you work on that, just discussions with you and Coach Loeffler, do you do role-play?
Hmmm... sex or dork? I'll go dork: perhaps someone should have told Henne to spend experience points on accuracy when he leveled up instead of buying totally sweet new flattop haircuts.
And this quote from Pierre Woods, well...
Do you have expectations, with all of the bowl talk, were you disappointed? ... "Disappointment is Tennessee. They are not going to a bowl game [for the first time], I guess in the last 26 years, so I'm not disappointed.
That's very poetic: Disappointment is Tennessee. Fat Bastard Chili Cheese Fries is Tennessee. Getting The Short End Of The Cutler is Tennessee. Peyton Manning Didn't Deserve The Heisman Any More Than Ron Dayne Did is Tennessee.
Mas Cogs. He scored again; he's a lock. And I doubt anyone who cares about hockey isn't reading the Rivals message board, but Michael Spath posted an extensive evaluation of several players gathered from talking to people close to the program.
Shaky head. The Peach Bowl is no longer the Peach Bowl. It's now the "Chick Fil-A Bowl," which means you should never go to Chick Fil-A again. I fail to understand why corporations think this sort of thing is a good idea. The Citrus Bowl is still the Citrus Bowl to me, changing it to the "Capital One" Bowl changed nothing except my opinion of said bank and the likelihood of ever patronizing it (now holding steady at zero).