at least it's not just us?
Prediction for MSU: The FEI Forecast for this Saturday is Nebraska 27 – Michigan 24 with a 57% Probable Win Expectation for Nebraska. This difference is entirely the home field advantage. Basically a toss up and, like the Purdue and MSU games, FEI is wrong and Michigan wins the game 31 – 10. For whatever reason, FEI remains unimpressed with the Wolverines. As you can see below, M is ranked better than Nebraska in every FEI category except offense.
Fremeau Efficiency Index: Even though it was a low scoring and close victory, FEI rewarded Michigan and moved M from #47 to #36 because MSU is still ranked very high by FEI (#29 if you can believe that!). The S&P Ratings (Also from Football Outsiders) is a play based analysis (rather than possession based) and M is ranked #11 overall, #5 in offense, and #29 in defense.
The FEI is a drive based analysis considering each of the nearly 20,000 drives each year in FBS college football. The data is filtered to eliminate garbage time (at the half or end of game) and is adjusted for opponent. A team is rewarded for playing well against good teams (win or lose) and is punished more severely for playing poorly against bad teams than it is rewarded for playing well against bad teams.
National Rankings: The rankings for offense and defense are based on scoring (yardage statistics are inherently flawed). These are simply raw numbers without any adjustments for opponent, garbage time, or anything else. The data is from TeamRankings and includes only games between two FBS teams.
FEI Details: Here are the FEI numbers for Michigan and their opponent ( Football Outsiders FEI ).
Cumulative PPPo is 2.7 for the offense and 1.4 for the defense. M finished 2011 outscoring opponents by almost a 2:1 margin with PPPo for offense of 2.8 and defense of 1.4. The 2 charts show the raw data for offense and defense with the number of possessions adjusted for "kneel downs" at the half or end-of-game (maximum deduction = 2).
Using Scoring Offense and Scoring Defense National Rankings for the past 5 years (FBS AQ teams only), this table shows the percentage of teams that finish the season with a +WLM and a +5 WLM. For example, teams that finished in the Top 40 in both offense and defense had a 100% chance to be +WLM and an 82% chance to be +5 WLM (9-4 or better).
Preseason Prediction: Michigan will end the year with a +8 Turnover Margin (TOM) or better (2011 was +7). The prediction for TOM for M for this year is based on the prediction that M will be a very good team again this year and is not based on the actual TOM of last year. (Very good teams will have a TOM of +5 or better.)
Denard Robinson Interception %: Except for a completely meaningless interception at the end of the first half (why in the hell was that play called and why in the hell did he even throw that pass?), Denard did not have an interception for the third game in a row. The chart shows a comparison of Denard's Int% for 2011 and 2012 subdivided by out-of-conference (OOC) and Big Ten games.
Back To Michigan Football: Michigan did not run the ball as much this week with 30 pass attempts and 32 rushing attempts for a 52% run play percentage. Overall M has a 63% run play percentage (ranked #10).
In 2011 M ranked #11 at 65% run play %.
Synopsis for Turnovers: The official statistics will reflect a TOM of zero for this game but since the M interception occurred with – 0 – time left in the half, it was completely meaningless and the effective TOM was +1 for Michigan.
M added 1 interception gained (Kovacs) for a total of 6 interceptions and is ranked #53. M had two forced fumbles (Ryan and Beyer) but could not recover either and remains at just 5 fumble recoveries for the year (ranked #68). The fumble recovery % remains at a paltry 38% (ranked #98). The total of 11 interceptions lost is still ranked at #113. M did not lose a fumble and the total of just 3 lost fumbles is ranked #17. Michigan now has 10 different defensive players that have either forced a fumble, recovered a fumble, or intercepted a pass.
Synopsis for Expected Point (EP) Analysis: Turnovers resulted in a net of 1.5 expected points benefitting Michigan and M kicked a field goal on the drive after the turnover. IMO, the Kovacs interception was a significant factor in Michigan winning the game.
The folks at Football Outsiders – FEI are also doing weekly "Revisionist Box Scores" that strips out TOs, Special Teams, and Field Position. For FEI, the Special Teams Advantage (Field Goals) was a determining factor in the M victory. FEI calculates the value generated by each drive and then lost on the drive up until the turnover, as if the drive had concluded at that spot on the field. Thru Week #8, FEI has 15% of games where TOs were significant.
(See the Section on Gory Details below for how the adjustment for Expected Points (EP) is calculated.)
National Rankings: All rankings include games between two FBS teams ONLY and are from TeamRankings except for forced fumbles which is from CFBStats. The four columns with *** show the best correlation to offense and defense (per Advanced NFL stats).
The Gory Details
Expected Point (EP) Analysis: Basically, the probability of scoring depends on the line of scrimmage for the offense. Therefore, the impact of a TO also depends on the yard line where the TO is lost and the yard line where the TO is gained. Each turnover may result in an immediate lost opportunity for the team committing the TO and a potential gain in field position by the opponent. Both of these components can vary dramatically based upon the down when the TO occurred, the yards the TO is returned, and whether the TO was a fumble or an interception.
Here are the details for the game.
The analysis is a bit tricky because: (A) the TO may directly result in lost EP for the offense but (B) only modifies the EP for the team gaining the TO because the team gaining the TO would have gotten another possession even without the TO (due to a punt, KO after a TD, KO after a field goal, etc.). The Net EP Gain must take into account the potential EP gain without the TO. The EP gain without the turnover is based on where the field position would have been for the next possession if the TO had not occurred.
The expected point calculations are based on data from Brian Fremeau at BCFToys (he also posts at Football Outsiders). Fremeau's data reflects all offensive possessions played in 2007-2010 FBS vs. FBS games. I "smoothed" the actual data.
Here is a summary of the smoothed expected points.
Ok, so after a week off from wallpapers (good thing MonuMental dazzled with his wallpaper!), I got back at it. This week, I chose a theme that placed Michigan's stars as "cornhusker servers." Essentially, I love corn on the cob, it fits with the cornhusker theme, and it was fun to make Denard and Jake into little yellow plasticky corn on the cob holders/servers. I think it turned out pretty well, considering the fact that this was done in the least amount of time of all of my wallpapers thus far. As usual, I welcome your suggestions and/or comments. So far, just the 16:9 version is done, but I'll work on getting a mobile version done ASAP.
Enjoy and Go Blue!
(Click the image to view full size)
What a game. Just wanted to pay tribute in some small way to the Bear. Kid had a rough start but has been an absolute clutch performer for us. Hats off to our celebrated bearded and flow-possessing pla
On Thursday we look ahead to a big showdown... in Nebraska of all places.
In light of all of the mayhem over the weekend, plus a really frantic week of serving as a de facto tour guide for visiting in-laws, I opted to push back the Caption Challenge to next week. I obviously also wanted to do a piece on the MSU game, so it turned out to be win-win. I'll present the Caption Challenge next Tuesday in all its confused glo
Those taking part in the first ever Caption Challenge include: ESPN's Tom Van Haaren aka TomVH (duh!), JustCoverBlog's JamieMac, MLive's Kyle Meinke, The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan, Tremendous's Steve Lorenz (the artist formerly known as Aquaman), MVictor's Greg Dooley, Maize n Brew's Anthony Mammel, The Hoover St. Rag's Craig D. Barker, Maize n Blue Nation's Brad Muckenthaler, Midnight Maize's own The Shredder, and some guys named Seth and Brian that you might have heard of.
I'll work them all up, and we may even have a poll. The winner will receive a free
all-inclusive trip with Charlie Blockham to Ms. Katzenmoyer's office. Look for it next week!
THE BLOCKHAMS™ runs (typically) every Tuesday here at MGoBlog,
and at least every Thursday on its official home page. Also, don't forget to
check out Friday Roughs, a spontaneous low-end comic based on trending
Michigan events, available on Twitter and Facebook every Friday.
The last two weeks, THE KNOWLEDGE had mentioned on these very pages that msu posed an insignificant threat and implied that we should overlook them; but some people did not heed the words of THE KNOWLEDGE
as a result, these people were unduly anxious about the outcome of the game
msu struggled mightily on offense, scoring only 10 points even after a fake punt play (which was their best offensive play of the day)
Michigan won this game rather comfortably, as THE KNOWLEDGE had mentioned. Michigan just let them hang around and let them take a lead (by missing an open receiver in the end zone for fun) - like when you let your little brother take a lead - only to come back and put them in their place
THE KNOWLEDGE has soared again as his revelation has come true yet again
the Protege Of The Week (POTW.5) award goes to Trebor who was off by 5 points (predicted 17-10)
congratulations to this person for achieving this great glory
Michigan has 5 more games left in the regular season. Two of these are against middling teams (Iowa, Northwestern). The upcoming game against Nebraska is the toughest challenge. The remaining two are, of course, virtual bye-weeks for Michigan.
as THE KNOWLEDGE has mentioned before on these very pages, Michigan will win them all
the most important game left for Michigan fans is the "civil war" game between Oregon and OSU, because that will determine who Michigan faces in the Rose Bowl
as for this week, the 'raska 'huskers pose a great challenge, not because they are very good, but because it is an away night game and Denard has not historically performed well in those
as THE KNOWLEDGE has mentioned before on these very pages, in the original space-time, this was supposed to be Michigan's second loss of the season. However, due to the irregularity that occurred, Michigan will now win this game
so, the question is how close will this game be. and the correct answer to that question can make the reader the Protege of the week when they participate in THE KNOWLEDGE CHALLENGE 2012.6
pointers to the game:
- Michigan will win
- Nebraska will lose
- Turnovers will not play as important a part as everyone is expecting
- Taylor Martinez will play much better than last year
Life intervened last weekend, preventing me from scouting a high school game in person. Thankfully, the amazing MGoBlog community came through in the last couple weeks, so I have scouting reports to post on 2013 commit Patrick Kugler and 2014 prospects Montae Nicholson (offer), Mason Cole (offer), and Artavis Scott.
We'll start with reader Eric, who attended the Gateway/North Allegheny game a few weeks back and delivered this report on senior line commit Patrick Kugler:
Patrick Kugler looked definitely larger then most of the other students. Gateway spent most of the night running away from him when he was covering the D tackle position. Kugler, who plays both ways, definitely looked winded as the first quarter and early second quarter wore on. His pad level on defense leaves something to be desired but a solid first step allowed him to push double teams in the backfield on a few snaps. His offensive line work is a completely different animal. The kid switches gears and is a brick wall at left tackle. Great hand work (from what I could see) and good leverage on single coverages. Consistently gets to the [defensive] backfield for second level blocks. Has a tendency to stop once the play is not headed his way, a lot of standing around and watching (playing both ways leads to energy conservation at all costs). North Allegheny definitely a solid run scheme, a lot of off tackle running, and misdirection bubble screens etc.
Gateway's Montae Nicholson and Ricky Rogers WR tandem was a lethal combination (sort of). The two have slender long frames that could definitely use some more weight but they looked the part of D1 WRs. Nicholson was the smoother route runner of the two, coming out of routes and cutting sharply. Rogers more of the slot style slice and dice his way to several 10+yd gain catches near the sideline. Gateway was having some success on the ground so the air attack never really got going negating any real flashy WR play from either guys.
A hard fought victory for North Allegheny of 14-3 but the score isn’t as lop sided as you may think. Gateway is a very good squad and there is a reason it was the Pittsburgh game of the week. A lot of talent all over that field, Michigan is getting something they can mold into a tough O Lineman in Kuglar for sure.
And here's reader Mike, who caught Cole and Scott in action last weekend:
I caught a portion of Mason's game on Friday night... Let me start with the limitations of my review... My daughter cheers for the East Lake team so my attention is split (when you have daughters, you will understand). I got to the game after the first quarter started. As I was walking towards the ticker booth East Lake scored and the announcer attributed the TD to Artavis Scott. I didn't see the play so I'm not sure if it was a pass play or not, I assume it was. The stats for Scott are based on what I saw except I am including that first score in his TD total.
Mason once again dominated. I did not see any pressure on the EL QB that could be attributed to Mason not blocking his man. As I was seated in the lower level, I didn't have much of a view on the running plays (not that EL ran often).
Scott was a stud. I saw 7 throws in his direction of which he caught 6. His one drop was on him, square to the throw, right in his chest. And while I am pointing out this one glaring muff, let me note that two of his catches were highlight reel candidates. The first was a sideline catch and an impressive 25 YAC. The next was a one foot in bounds end zone grab for a TD. Three TD's in the first half. Not bad.
I did not see the second half so that's all I have... In summary, these two were men amongst boys.
No stats for Cole—not a surprise, given that he's a lineman—but I found Scott's: nine receptions, 189 yards, four touchdowns. Not bad.
Thanks to Eric and Mike for taking the time to check out these games and write them up. If anybody else knows of a game in their area for which they'd like to do the same, or want to know if there's a prospect nearby that they could check out, please email me.