"Coach Mattison told me what the Ravens were about, what he thought," Beyer said. "He definitely encouraged me. I hold his opinion in high regard."
1. In his "visiting lecturers" series posted on Every Day Should Be Saturday over the past few months, Orson Swindle asked each participant to explain which country, during which historical period, their team most resembles. Let's bring everything up to the present day and ponder: Which current sovereign nation is your team? Or to look at it another way, how does your team fit into the "world" of college football?
Like Georgia, Michigan has flung off the shackles of a backwards, stagnant system and now looks to modernize with the help of a controversial leader. However, there are problems, mostly in the form of red-clad douchebags who are either in tanks or just plain tank-sized.
Throw in some whiny breakaway republics trying to defect to the red-clad douchebags and a war that looks like it’s going to go very poorly over the next few months and voila.
2. Every preseason roundup has to have some discussion of who's overrated, but let's go beyond that. Which team do you think is poised to crap the bed in the biggest way this season relative to high expectations, and which game do you think will begin their slide into ignominy?
Even though I overrated them, the answer here is obviously Clemson, because it’s always Clemson. 50-50 they roll into Wake at midseason 5-0 and implode spectacularly.
The other answer is West Virginia, now under the direction of Super Friendly Smiling Special Teams Coach “Stew,” who reminds everyone of super nice player coaches and utter failure Bobby Williams, similarly promoted from position coach to head coach after an emotional bowl win despite the fact he was tabbed the interim coach specifically because there was no chance anyone would even think about hiring him in a spasm of sentiment and hope.
Also, many people are focusing exclusively on White and Devine and ignore West Virginia’s secretly excellent defense—7th in yardage last year. Unfortunately for WVU, they lose seven starters off that defense. Also also, the nonconference schedule steps up considerably with games against Colorado and Auburn. Also also also, Mike Barwis doesn’t live here anymore.
In the context of this question, the prediction is that the Auburn game starts a slide which sees WVU drop from A-list national title contender to Gator bowl participant.
3. On the flip side of that coin, which team do you think is going to burst out of nowhere to become 2008's biggest overachiever -- this year's version of Kansas '07, as it were -- and what's going to be the big upset that makes us all finally sit up and take notice of them?
Always look for a team with an awful schedule for this question. Also look for a team on the upswing in talent level… so… Pitt? Wannstedt has recruited very well and finally has a star in LeSean McCoy. The noncon is actually pretty decent, with two tomato cans, Navy, Iowa, and Notre Dame, but all of those are winnable. Then it’s the Big East.
4. Here's an "I'll hang up and listen" question. I put Ohio State and Oklahoma #1 and #2, respectively, despite their recent high-profile BCS face-plants. Where did you rank those two teams, and did those BCS issues have anything to do with it?
Ohio State was #1 on my ballot, so obviously the face plants didn’t dissuade me. People forget that last year Ohio State was supposed to be rebuilding. Okay, they lost to a veteran, talent-laden LSU team. BFD. They return virtually their entire two deep.
I ranked Oklahoma high up, too, because it’s just one game, and that against the geniuses now running Michigan’s offense schwing.
5. Last season was a statistical outlier in countless ways, not the least of which was the fact that we ended up with a two-loss team as national champion. Do you think anyone plays a strong enough schedule to get MNC consideration as a two-loss team this year? Conversely, do you see anybody managing to sail into the national-championship game undefeated?
Maybe Georgia, since their schedule has been hyped up so much in the preseason and they’ve got an actual nonconference road game against an opponent that has some cachet (Arizona State), but they’d have to smoke ASU like LSU smoked Virginia Tech, and then pray. LSU wasn’t picked over any reasonable one-loss teams despite the schedule and the OT losses.
If Ohio State beats USC they’ve got an excellent shot of going undefeated.
Bumped from the diaries; I'm a sucker for footnotes.
In my opinion, from reading the few articles I could find on stadium noise, the lack of noise in Michigan Stadium is because of the fans.
First of all, from scanning the internet, many articles claim noise levels, but do not describe how they were measured. The best I could find on other stadiums was quotes of "the ESPN Crew measured noise levels of XdB. But at least for the Big House, the Michigan Engineering department stepped in for something scientific.
First the bottom line is that the noise measured 100 dB. Which changes to the stadium they estimate an improvement to 110 dB. Unfortunately this is still far behind the Oregon claim of 127.2 dB. Now to the best of my memory, 3dB is a doubling of noise level. so with Autzen (Ducks) Stadium at 27dB higher, that's 9 Doublings of noise level!! Or 2 to the 9th power for the computer engineers. Looking at the pictures of Autzen stadium I can't see how the shape can possibly be responsible for all that, although admittedly I'm not a sound engineer, and don't have any experience making these measurements in different shaped enclosures.
But check out the images at that page yourself. Here's the quote from the section on crowd noise. Notice that when anyone wants a measuring stick to prove how "awesome" they are, it is frequently Michigan that serves as that stick.
"Autzen is known for its crowd noise. On October 27, 2007, during a 24-17 defeat of the USC Trojans, a record crowd of 59,277 fans was recorded at 127.2 decibels. A similarly-loud 31-27 upset of third-ranked Michigan in 2003 prompted a Michigan Daily columnist to write
|“||Autzen's 59,000 strong make the Big House sound like a pathetic whimper. It's louder than ... The Swamp at Florida, The Shoe in Columbus, and Death Valley at Louisiana State. Autzen Stadium is where great teams go to die.||”|
Autzen Stadium seats just under 60,000 fans.
And here's the quote from the Daily article when the Professor measured the Big House.
"Crowd participation was almost entirely located in the student section. If all 109,840 individuals had yelled at the same intensity, Navvab said the measurement would have increased to 102 or 103 decibels - a significant sound increase."
In conclusion, I think the Big House will definitely look more impressive when the construction is completed, but I don't think it's going to come close to sounding imtimidating.
So finally here is a link to Top 15 Stadiums that provides good pictures of the "conventional wisdom" on most intimidating stadium.
A reminder for MGoBlog aficionados in New York: on Tuesday I’m going to be in your neck of the woods having a talk about the 2008 season. Festivities begin at 7 PM. Details here, online registration here; if you’re planning on coming please register so the event organizers have happy feelings.
It’s free if you’re part of the alumni association, a measly five bucks otherwise.
Not a great day to be out of pocket, as Rich Rodriguez’s brief media-talking time at the Brock Mealer charity bowling thing was unpleasantly newsy:
- Cory Zirbel’s knee injury is severe and he may miss the season.
- Terrence Robinson “tweaked” his knee and will be out “several weeks.”
As mentioned before, Zirbel’s injury strips the interior line of its one reasonable backup, as David Molk steps into the starting lineup. The next guy off the bench will be either a true freshman—probably Rocko Khoury—or a guy who was a defensive tackle until Zirbel went down. There’s zero margin for error here.
Robinson’s injury isn’t as bad with Martavious Odoms, Sam McGuffie, and Michael Shaw all impressing. It is still not fun times.
Programming note: I'm moving, which is going to seriously cut into posting time today and possibly the next couple days. It also was not accounted for in my estimates of what I could get done re: other Big Ten teams before the season. Monday the weeklong Michigan preview extravaganza starts; prepare thyselves.
I have the powerful desire to sex you on the puce shag carpet. One thousand cocktails to whoever gave Michael Phelps the sexbomb Spitz mustache he's sporting on the cover of Sports Illustrated. (It's Wednesday, Swindle, get to it.)
If you're not tingling, I don't want to know you.
Phelps, by the way, will be honored at the Wisconsin game. Insert hacky "can he play quarterback?" joke here.
Vote for Marques. Dude's never going to play for Michigan but he can make the Deadspin Hall of Fame. Vote or die. Slocum is currently just above the 75% cutoff line.
R. Lee Emery is wearing JoePa's skin. No, seriously.
The Big Ten Network needs to start running this during every commercial break instead of their current annoying university promo stuff.
All Hail Dan Feldman. When it comes to Michigan beat writing, the Daily's Dan Feldman is killing all comers. He was the guy who uncovered all sorts of useful information during the Women's Football Academy while the Free Press was concerned with Tae Bo. Just a couple days ago he clarified the George Morales situation that's had everyone confused since February; he wrote two other interesting articles on the same day and then dumped some useful bullets in a blog post. Excerpts:
- Redshirt freshman guard Mark Huyge was in crutches. With redshirt junior Corey Zirbel out with an injury, Huyge started last Tuesday’s walk-through at right guard. Redshirt junior David Moosman started the walk-through at center. He moved to right guard after a few plays, and redshirt freshman David Molk played center.
- J.B. Fitzgerald stood out to Jay Hopson as the best freshman linebacker.
- Freshman safety Brandon Smith, who Rodriguez said could see significant playing time, said the talk of moving to linebacker was just a rumor, and it was never seriously discussed.
It the starting line for Utah appears to be Ortmann-McAvoy-Molk-Moosman-Schilling, with Perry Dorrestein the first guy off the bench and Hold Me I Feel Like Dying the second. (He's foreign.)
Moose and squirrel? Actually, the second guy off the bench may be true freshman Rocko Khoury, who's been impressing at center:
“Rocko is working in there [at center] and he’s willing to put his face on somebody,” Frey said, when asked about redshirt freshman David Molk.
“He’s getting consistent with his snaps,” redshirt junior lineman David Moosman said. “When you’re as young as he is, and he hasn’t played center before, it can be tough making sure every snap is good. But he’s doing really well and becoming more consistent.
There is the possibility that Rocko will play next to Moosman at some point, at which point the band has to play "Rocky and Bullwinkle" after every play. There will be no discussion.
There are additional interesting quotes in that article, like this on the slot electrons:
Clemons, working out of the slot position, has spent a good amount of practice time with Martavious Odoms and Terrence Robinson and isn’t ashamed to admit they have something on him.
“They’re quicker than me. Faster? We can always line up and race,” Clemons said, laughing. “They’re real explosive and they’re tough guys too. You look at them and you think they’re undersized but they don’t play like they’re small. They play like their 6-2 even though they’re both 5-9. It’s exciting to watch them work because they work real hard. They’re very explosive, very quick and fast.”
We should place bets on which freshman skill player is has the most buzz after Utah. I'm going with Odoms.
|2||Ohio State (17)||22.9||2.0||24|
|3||Southern Cal (15)||22.9||3.0||23|
Total Ballots: 78
Hurray that's the poll hurray. And it's a little meh, with a swap of WVU and Clemson the only difference between the AP and the blogpoll until you reach #14. From there there are some multiple-spot differences. The blogpoll is
- bullish on VT (14 BP, 17 AP), Oregon (18 BP, 21 AP)
- down on BYU (20 BP, 16 AP), and Illinois (22 BP, 20 AP)
I blame myself for not providing more organization in the run-up to the season. Details after the jump.
<span style="font-style: italic;">Now on to the extracurriculars. First up are the teams which spur the most and least disagreement between voters as measured by standard deviation. Note that the standard deviation charts halt at #25 when looking for the lowest, otherwise teams that everyone agreed were terrible (say, Eastern Michigan) would all be at the top.</span>
Now on to the extracurriculars. First up are the teams which spur the most and least disagreement between voters as measured by standard deviation. Note that the standard deviation charts halt at #25 when looking for the lowest, otherwise teams that everyone agreed were terrible (say, Eastern Michigan) would all be at the top.
The most interesting thing here is West Virginia's extremely high standard deviation, unusual for a top-ten team.
First up are "Mr. Bold" and "Mr. Numb Existence." The former goes to the voter with the ballot most divergent from the poll at large. The number you see is the average difference between a person's opinion of a team and the poll's opinion.
Normally I come down hard on these folks because when we get deep into the season they're defying poll guidelines, reason, and justice by placing Hawaii in the top ten or something. In the preseason everyone's entitled to their stupid opinion (again: all opinions expressed here are stupid) so, like, whatever.
Saurian Sagacity takes the first Mr. Bold of the year for such oddities as QB-less LSU #2, QB-less and OL-less Michigan #8(!?!?!?!?!?!), Florida State #10(!?), Miami #15, Notre Dame #16... is this poll from 1988?
Mr. Numb Existence goes to newcomer Michigan Sports Center. There's nothing interesting to say about this category ever because the ballots in question are pretty much like the poll you see above.
Next we have the Coulter/Krugman Award and the Straight Bangin' Award, which are again different sides of the same coin. The CKA and SBA go to the blogs with the highest and lowest bias rating, respectively. Bias rating is calculated by subtracting the blogger's vote for his own team from the poll-wide average. A high number indicates you are shameless homer. A low number indicates that you suffer from an abusive relationship with your football team.
The CK Award is a dire one; last season only the overwhelming black hole of suck that is Notre Dame could forestall the inevitable humiliating loss suffered by the team supported by the unlucky doof who overrated his team more than anyone else.
So, good news Cal fans: the "Enlightened Spartan" ranks Michigan State #10 and clocks a massive 15.65 bias rating; a total of six other blogs (in 78!) bothered to vote for MSU; this ballot provides well over half of MSU's 27 points. This is a truly egregious violation of poll ethics and will no doubt be severely punished.
Also note that Tennessee blogs are far more enthusiastic about the Vols than the poll at large. Sort of...
College Game Balls is your victor here for placing VT #21. Another Tennessee blog futilely attempts to divert the wrath of the CK Award by slightly underrating the Vols, and Bruce Ciskie's probably right about Wisconsin.
Swing is the total change in each ballot from last week to this week (obviously voters who didn't submit a ballot last week are not included). A high number means you are easily distracted by shiny things. A low number means that you're damn sure you're right no matter what reality says.
Swing doesn't exist in the preseason poll, obviously.