mesmerism! presidential assassinations! circuses on fire!
(Click the image to view full size)
That Pam... what a card.
Tomorrow will see my official (aka final) "Christmas" strip, and then the Blockhams will go on hiatus until after the Outback Bowl. Thanks for a crazy year, my friends.
THE BLOCKHAMS™ runs (typically) every Wednesday 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.
“MUSINGS ON THE COMMUNITY OF MGoBlog"
Several threads and occurrences in the last several months here started to get me thinking about just how advanced a cyber-community MGoBlog actually is ,and this seemed even semi-appropriate with the holidays now upon us to reflect a little bit on what we collectively bring to this place.
Some may disagree, but to me, this place has both preserved its initial intent as being a premiere source for information and discussion of Michigan athletics, but it seems as if it has evolved into something far more than that. It is a combination of various items, I believe, ranging from the general parameters of the site to things as simple (or complex, depending on your view) as the sort of people we generally are as fans of the University of Michigan.
It is a virtual space, but a well-developed one. Our usernames are associated with particular styles of commentary, certain opinions and even specialty content. Whether it is karma or the soon-to-be returned voting system, our perceived credibility is judged on a daily basis. Indeed, being one of the most visible Michigan fan sites if not the most visible, the system of feedback is vital to maintaining the quality of the site and its content by showing newcomers to the community what the shared expectations tend to be.
Sometimes, we miss the mark, sometimes we hit upon something humorous or insightful, but in watching comments attain ratings, you gain visibility into community norms, some of which Brian laid out in the beginning, but many of which have developed above and beyond the basic tenets of the site. Some of them are humorous, but some are not - Muppets, for example, after a big victory are humorous and deserved, but someone posting a link to one of Bleacher Report’s slide shows is not.
It is a moderated space, so in a sense, it is a governed one, both through site moderation and the community at large. As if you were speaking at work, you don’t necessarily have the right to say whatever without consequence, and this alone strengthens the sense of community around here. We do an excellent job of looking out for one another, but this is a group also unafraid to let people know in some fashion when lines (both external and internal to the blog) have been crossed, either deliberately or by definition as in the odd Kate Upton GIF. To safeguard against this, we can see posts and threads labeled as “NSFW”, for example, or indeed, when things get ugly, threads or posts are locked and/or deleted. People may quibble about the amount of moderation, but it is undeniable that without it, this would not be a close-knit group.
We’ve donated to and even taken on the causes of other site members, some of which include former players at Michigan, which I think is one of the most apparent pieces of evidence that ours is a fairly advanced community as cyber-cultures go. We’re also a connected group with some influence on affairs in the physical world and group with diverse areas of expertise, so when we aren’t talking plays and strategy, we sometimes find ourselves helping people in this community accomplish real world things or resolve real world issues. To me, that is evidence that we collectively care about each other’s well-being, so there are shared values that have arisen from this thing called MGoBlog.
The core element, of course, is our devotion to University Of Michigan athletics as well as to the school itself. Whether we are alums or not, students there or not, it is the one institution which has, above others, made the deepest impression on all of us. The Wolverines are that team (whether it is football, basketball, hockey and so on through the varsity sports) to which we feel the deepest connection. Deep enough, as a matter of fact, that many of us digest almost every single bit of minutia, as evidenced by threads on travel itineraries for the team and posts obviously made while in line at the Spring Auction. From this center, through the years, a viable community – albeit virtual – has sprung, in my opinion.
Indeed, all this is why I come here, not just to be part of a group that shares my obsession with sports and the University Of Michigan, but to be part of the community that has developed around it.
With Michigan picking up two commits—and jumping back into first place—the recruiting rankings are front-paged this week. Also of note: Indiana and Wisconsin essentially changing places in the standings. Changes since the last rankings:
12-6-12: Rutgers picks up Dean Crozier.
12-9-12: Illinois picks up Marchie Murdock. Penn State picks up DaeSean Hamilton. Minnesota picks up De'Niro Laster.
12-10-12: Illinois picks up Dallas Hinkhouse. Indiana picks up Kristopher Smith.
12-11-12: Rutgers picks up Skai Moore. Indiana picks up Steven Funderburk.
12-12-12: Tiquention Coleman decommits from Wisconsin. Minnesota picks up Damien Wilson.
12-14-12: Penn State picks up Tyler Ferguson. Iowa picks up LeShun Daniels.
12-15-12: Delano Hill decommits from Iowa. Michigan picks up David Dawson and Delano Hill. Jonathan Cook decommits from Nebraska. Nebraska picks up D.J Singleton. Indiana picks up Noel Padmore.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||24/7 Avg||ESPN Avg||Avg Avg^||POINTS*|
^The average of the average rankings of the four recruiting services (the previous four columns). The figure is calculated based on the raw numbers and then rounded, so the numbers above may not average out exactly.
*The product of number of Commits and Average Average
NOTE: Unranked recruits are counted as two-star players.
On to the full data after the jump.
Let me start this by stating I was born and raised in Michigan, graduated from U of M in 1981 and have lived in Northern Ohio since 1987. In the 25 years here I have become a Cleveland sports fan and recently (thanks to my wife's father giving us his PSL as a wedding gift) became a Browns season ticket holder. Because he first got his tickets in 1954 these are fantastic seats - 3rd deck but row 1 (on the rail) and on the 50 yard line. The Browns suck but I love football so I've enjoyed going to the games and taking my family with me.
This past Sunday my wife and I took our 8 year old son to the game and for the first quarter things were pretty uneventful. The Browns were playing relatively well (for the Browns) and everyone in our section seemed pretty happy. I must add here that because of the quality of these seats everyone around us are season ticket holders and most attend every game. You get to know your neighbors so to speak. But with about 10 minutes to go in the second quarter all Hell broke loose It started with smell of cigarette smoke flowing down upon us and went quickly downhill from there.
For those of you who've been to my wife's website (inshapemom.com) you know she is more than a bit of a health nut so the smell of cigarette smoke drives her insane. And when you couple that personal bias with our 8 year's presence and add in big "no smoking" signs everywhere you get her yelling out "please put out your cigarette - no smoking" loudly. Twice. Now obviously this was a mistake - what should have happened was a simple non-confrontational walk to an usher to inform them of the offense but this didn't happen. So after the second "No smoking" yell from my wife "F-You" was the response. Here is where I made my first tactical error - I turned and looked in the direction of the yell.
At that point I made eye contact with the cause of the smoke and the F-You - two guys in their late 50's about 6 rows up and on the isle. Both started yelling F-You at me now but I wasn't too worried as I'm 6'4", about 245 and work out daily. These guys combined were about my size, very drunk and looked like they had not seen a gym in 40 years. In the words of Mark Dantonio - where's the threat?. I sat back down and went back to watching the game.
With about about 4 minutes to go in the half I made my second tactical error - I went to the bathroom. Upon returning to my section I had to wait for a second to get back into my row (something was happening on the field) when all of sudden one of the guys came running down the steps and started screaming F-You about an inch off my face. Once the shock of what was happening wore off I realized that if I hit this guy I would: 1 - get arrested, 2- spend the night in jail, 3 - probably get sued so I stood my ground and just kept telling him to sit back down. Meanwhile my wife is frantically gesturing to the female security guard one row over who is simply watching all this unfold and not moving an inch. I must add that I'm NOT wearing any Michigan gear I've got all my Browns stuff on so that wasn't causing any provocation.
Anyways after a minute or so of this back and forth exchange between me and drunk angry guy I see his friend stand up and start moving down the steps towards me. At this point I've got a decision to make cause it sure seems like I'm going to be fighting both of them at once in about five seconds. Security guard still hasn't budged and screaming angry guy seems to be getting madder. I notice that the guy coming down the steps is picking up speed and I as I watch him literally start to run down the steps I realize he has lost control and isn't going to stop. I move to my right and he passes both me and his angry friend, almost at full speed, and slams into the back of the head of the guy sitting at the end of our row (sort of a reverse tea bag) at which point he does a slow-motion cartwheel over the rail and onto the mezzanine seats about 10 feet below us. He lands on top of a group of fans who all start yelling obviously and that excitement finally gets the security guard to move. The guy screaming at me sees his friend, forgets about me and runs over to see if his even more drunken buddy is ok. Security arrives, escorts both out of the stadium and I return to my seat hoping my 8 year old somehow missed all this while watching the game.
Can't wait for Sunday against the Redskins. This week I'm taking my 26 year old son instead of the 8 year old.
Edit: If you scroll down a bit you can see a picture of where all magic happened. I just found it on my phone and posted it
SEEKING RELATIONSHIPS: PASSING OFFENSE IN THE BIG TEN
The object of this experiment was to look for highly correlated data within some of the regular season passing statistics. Data from all 144 regular season games within the Big Ten conference was collected from box scores and team sites. What is being sought is to confirm essentially some of the relationships that people notice with the so-called “eye test”, plus potentially find ones that are not so obvious.
A matrix of statistics was created using six variables – passing attempt, pass completions, total passing yards, yards per attempt, yards per completion and completion percentage. For purposes of this diary, interception data was not included, but is part of a future planned diary along this vein of discussion.
So, in all (n=144 for each variable), there were 864 individual values which were either reported or calculated from existing data. The assumption made was that 144 trials would be sufficient to show some interrelationships inside the data.
Fifteen potential relationships were examined and their r-value calculated.
The six most correlated variables are as follows –
Completions / Attempts - r=0.88
Yards Per Attempt / Yards Per Completion – r=0.82
Completions / Yards – r=0.77
Attempts / Yards – r=0.65
Yards Per Attempt / Comp. % - r=0.57
Yards / Yards Per Attempt – r=0.49
Two relationships showed a relatively meager positive correlation; Completions / Completion % (r=0.37) and Yards / Yards Per Completion (r=0.36)
A few relationships even showed very slight negative correlation; Attempts / Yards Per Attempt (r=-0.29), Attempts / Yards Per Completion (r=-0.29) and Completions / Yards Per Completion (r=-0.26)
TABLE AND CAT PHOTO:
Below is the table of summary conference statistics (including a thumb of the matrix I used to calculate "r") and a cat photo -
Gale Catlett coached the West Virginia Mountaineers from 1978-2002.
That’s 24 years. In that time, the Mountaineers moved from the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference to the Atlantic 10 to the Big East. Catlett was able to reach the NCAA tournament 8 times. When West Virginia moved to the Big East, things got toucg for Catlett. He managed to reach the NCAA tournament just once in his seven Big East years, finishing his 2001-2002 campaign at 1-15 in conference. The game had passed him by, the program had gotten out of control, and it was time to move on.
In one of the more bizarre transactions in the history of college basketball, this led to the hiring of Bowling Green’s coach Dan Dakich, and his resignation 8 days later under the pre-existing threat of West Virginia NCAA sanctions(click http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/sports/basketball/basketball-star-jonathan-hargetts-story-is-a-cautionary-tale.html?_r=1&ref=sports if you must, but college basketball was the "Wild Wild West" back then.) And if you look at Michigan's program in the 90's we've got no room to talk.
Long story short, a laundry list of coaches turned the job down after that(including Bob Huggins) until John Beilein took on the challenge. He was tasked with rebuilding the program as well as the culture from the ground up. That is exactly what he did, taking West Virginia to the Elite Eight, the Sweet 16, and winning an NIT Championship in his 5 years as West Virginia’s coach.
When Beilein was hired at Michigan, the West Virginia job was finally good enough for Bob Huggins. The rest is history.
On Saturday Michigan joins the West Virginia mountaineers, heading off to Brooklyn New York to help break in the Nets new digs
The mountaineers enter Saturday’s game at a disappointing 4-4 on the heels of a painful loss to Duquesne in which not a soul could hit the broad side of a barn for West Virginia(33% from the field for the game). That has been the general theme of all their losses, as they shot 36% against Oklahoma, 40% against Davidson(whom they beat up pretty good on the boards too…Davidson just had a really good shooting night), and 27% against Gonzaga who absolutely throttled them in their first game 84-50. West Virginia averages something like 43% from the floor in their wins.
The West Virginia Mountaineers typically enjoy very balanced scoring and distribution from their starters(2 upperclassman big men and a bunch of smallish underclassman guards) as well as their bench.
Speedy 6-1 sophomore point guard Juwan Staten
is their nominal leading scorer/distributor at 11 points and 2 assists per game. He spent his freshman year at Dayton where he led the Atlantic 10 in assists. I obviously don’t expect he will keep up with Trey on the offensive end, but he is a pesky enough defender to slow Trey down a bit at the other end. He shoots 40% while contributing 3 boards, 2 steals, and 2 turnovers. Like I said, balanced.
Straight out of the streets of Istanbul, 6-9 big body senior forward Deniz Kilicli
adds 10 points, 6 boards and 3 turnovers shooting 41% from the field.
6-10 junior center Aaric Murray
is their most efficient scorer, shooting 53% from the field, 50% from downtown(1 attempt/game) for 9 points, 7 boards and 2 blocks/game. He’s pretty agile for his height, which he uses to his advantage finishing on the move and swatting balls in the lane. He transferred from La Salle, whom he led in pretty much every statistical category.
5-11 sophomore slasher/creator guard Jabarie Hinds
shoots 35% from the field and 27% from downtown(3 attempts/game) for 7 points, 2 boards, and 2 assists.
6-3 three star freshman shooting guard Terry Henderson
shoots 33% from the field and 26% from downtown bringing in 6 points and 4 boards for the mountaineers. Henderson splits starts with Gary Browne.
Baby faced 6-1 sophomore point guard Gary Browne
shoots 32% from the field and 26% from downtown for 9 points, 4 boards, and 2 assists.
6-2 freshman guard/energy man Eron Harris
plays only 10 minutes, but dumps in 5 points and 2 boards shooting 52% from the field and 33% from downtown(1 attempt/g).
Then you’ve got a bunch of guys(6-6 wing Matt Humphrey, 6-7 forward Keaton Miles, 6-10 forward Kevin Noreen) who play 15 minutes/game without contributing much in the way of statistics. Well, Noreen did combine with center Aaric Murray to carry West Virginia past Virginia Tech shooting a combined 12-20 for 29 points and 19 rebounds, but that was a bit of an anomaly.
So what does this all mean for Michigan? Well, as a general rule West Virginia doesn’t shoot the ball very well. They don’t turn over the ball a ton. Surprisingly they rebound at a decent rate despite their “two bigs and 3 hobbits”
rotations. I think West Virginia is going to keep the score within 13-14 points throughout, with Michigan slipping a bit while trying to kill the clock. Eventually they’ll put it together and get Beilein the win against his old school.
I've got 75-69 Michigan. Go Blue!