...says Denzel Valentine of Big Ten Tourney favorite MSU, which is 5-7 in its last 12 games. Cumong, man.
[Ed-S: Bumped to diary]
|Jordan Kovacs||S||RS SR|
|Kenny Demens||LB||RS SR|
|J.T. Floyd||CB||RS SR|
If I could pick one senior to come back for another season, it would be JT Floyd. Kovacs is great and I would love another season of Big Will, C Roh, and Kenny Demens, but M seems much better equipped depth wise to deal with the loss of those 4, when compared to the CB, and the loss of JT Floyd. Brandin Hawthorne is great on ST's but his loss is the most sustainable.
Depth and experience aren't so great at Safety either, and makes me tempted to go with Kovacs, but for the missed season and uncertainty surrounding Blake Countess at CB.
|Richard Ash||DT||RS SO|
|Kenny Wilkins||DT||RS SO|
|Quinton Washington||DT||RS JR|
|Keith Heitzman||DE||RS FR|
|James Ross III||LB||FR|
|Antonio Poole||LB||RS FR|
|Jake Ryan||LB||RS SO|
|Mike Jones||LB||RS JR|
|Cameron Gordon||LB||RS JR|
|Josh Furman||S||RS SO|
|Thomas Gordon||S||RS JR|
Let’s head straight to a revamped chart. Now fixed to time, as opposed to play, to give a better feel for the flow of the game.
What jumped out at me right away was how this game was played between 25% and 75% virtually the whole way. In fact, the first play run with either team have a 75% or greater win likelihood was Denard’s completion to The Threat. I combed through my database and Saturday’s game was the longest a game had stayed within that range in the last ten years. No other game had gone 59.5 minutes with neither team being closer to winning than being even. Of course as soon as Michigan’s odds dipped on Toussaint’s ill-advised reception, the offense comes through with a huge completion to set up a 65% chance of hitting the game winning field goal.
Biggest swing plays
Michigan would have been looking at about 70% win odds, but the 26 yards and a new set of downs on Sparty’s fake punt brought Michigan St back to square at 50%.
Andrew Maxwell had a third down and four on Michigan’s side of the field when he threw the ball straight to Jordan Kovacs. Prior to the snap Michigan was at its current low for the game around 39% but the pick and return quickly pushed them to about 53%. The number would have been about 5% higher if part of the return hadn’t been called back.
Michigan was down 1 with the ball at their own 25 with about 5 minutes left. Denard found some room and went 44 yards for Michigan’s longest play of the day. That jumped the game from 44% to 67% in Michigan’s favor.
With less than a minute to go Denard couldn’t find anyone open downfield so he chose to dump it off to Fitzgerald Toussaint a yard behind the line of scrimmage. The ball was low and Toussaint instinctively went down to catch it, which he unfortunately did. The loss of a down, yardage and time pushed the win percent down from 32% to 15%, the first time all game either side crossed the 75% mark.
Michigan would bounce right back and Denard’s strike to The Threat would reverse that 15% in no time. With only a field goal attempt left, the offense handed the game to Gibbons with a kick an average kicker would make 65% of the time.
And of course he did. +35% to Gibbons and all the brunette girls.
[Hit THE JUMP for an updated season projection, Dumb Punt of the Week, Nebraska prediction, and more.]
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.