maybe i should have had greg howard write the brandon obit.
Hello: Jayce Vancena
Prep Baseball Repot (PBR) reported in mid-October the verbal commitment for the 2014 class of Jayce Vancena, a 6-4, 210-lb. right-handed pitcher out of Lake H.S. (near Millbury, Ohio, southeast of Toledo). His PBR profile has this scouting report:
Vancena is a big, projectable right-handed pitcher and definite follow over the next two years. On the mound, he uses an over the top arm slot and short arm action. With his delivery, he hides the ball well. His fastball sits between 79-82 mph. When throwing his 59-62 mph curveball, he tends to slow down his arm speed. His changeup, which sits between 69-72 mph, shows some fading action. At the plate, the right-handed hitter shows pull tendencies has he creates solid contact with power potential.
Hello: Oliver Jaskie
Also in mid-October, another 2014 prospect committed to Michigan: Oliver Jaskie, a 6-4 southpaw pitcher from Forest Hills H.S. (Ada Twp., near Grand Rapids). In addition his profile, PBR has this brief scouting report from a September scouting notes item:
Jaskie continues to show that he knows how to pitch and pitch effectively. His breaking ball was tighter than what he have seen in the past and his change up again was a really effective pitch. His change is advanced for such a young age.
An earlier rundown indicates that PBR had Jaskie ranked #12 in the state:
Jaskie continues to improve this summer. A Midwest Futures Games invitee, Jaskie is an intriguing lefty that is only going to get better. His velo might not jump off the page right now but he knows how to pitch. His changeup is his best pitch and he uses his height, 6-foot-4, to create good tilt. Jaskie is currently ranked No. 12 in his class.
Hello: Grant Reuss
Apparently the most highly ranked of this trio of 2014 commits is Grant Reuss, another left-handed pitcher, who's 6-5, 210 lbs., out of Cranbrook Kingswood in Bloomfield Hills. Reuss verbally committed to the Wolverines earlier today. PBR has Reuss as their #3 prospect in Michigan for 2014 and offered the following scouting report in this July rundown:
Reuss is one of the best lefties in his class and currently checks in at No. 4 [now #3] ] in the class of 2014. He has been up to 89 mph in the past and he was 86-88 mph on this day. Reuss continues to raise his stock. Standing at 6-foot-6 Reuss is long and loose. He also has the makings of a good breaking ball. Consistency in his delivery will be the key to Reuss' development.
MBP ranks Reuss #2 in the state, and they also have a profile page for him with several videos.
With the addition of these three commits, Erik Bakich now has six commits for the class of 2014, with the others being Jake Bivens, Brandon Hughes, and Drew Lugbauer (see the previous recruiting update for details).
Michigan's 2013 baseball class includes about a dozen commits, including Ethan Cohen.
High pressure moving over Nebraska will continue to slide eastward Saturday morning. This will cause winds to shift overnight to become southerly for tomorrow, and we'll also see clouds build in ahead of an approaching low pressure system during the day/evening. The chance of precip looks to stay in northern NE and the night looks dry. Dress in layers as it's warm for tailgating and cool at night. High pressure over IA/WI will keep Ann Arbor comfortable and dry with some clouds.
If you're headed to Lincoln...
Winds shift to become southerly by sunrise, but stay light until mid-morning. Mostly clear, but still in the upper 20s at 8am! We warm up quickly, getting to 40 degrees around late lunchtime with southerly winds around 10-15mph (leaves blow about), might get a couple gusts around 20mph. Hit the high for the day in the afternoon- 49 degrees (wind chill has it feeling like low 40s) with winds out of the south at 8-10mph. Cloud cover will slowly increase throughout the day and towards kickoff, and grab the long sleeves as you head into Memorial stadium!
41 degrees for the start with mostly cloudy skies. Winds are out of the southeast at about 10mph.
Grab a drink to keep you warm! We'll continue to see mostly cloudy skies. Temperature lingers near 40, but expect the wind chill to have it feeling like the mid 30s. Winds are out of the southeast at 7mph.
Only dropping a couple more degrees by the end of the game, but although the temp will be at 36, expect the wind chill to make it feel more like 30! Winds stay out of the SE at about 8mph and will remain that way overnight. Still mostly cloudy as you leave the game, but we will start to see the cloud cover decrease into Sunday morning. With those last call rounds of celebration - partly cloudy skies and temps have fallen into the low 30s with wind chills in the low 20s! Some sunshine, 30 degrees, and light SE winds greet you at 8am Sunday morning. Have safe travels if you're headed to the game, and go blue!
If you're staying in Ann Arbor...
Topping out around 52 with partly sunny skies. Winds are out of the north at about 10-15mph, with gusts around 20mph in the afternoon. 43 degrees and partly cloudy for the game's start, but cloud cover will go down during the game. Upper 30s and partly cloudy, N winds at 7mph if you're going home at the end of the game... if you're staying out to celebrate the win, we'll have mostly clear skies & temps in the mid 30s (wind chill in the upper 20s) so hopefully you grabbed that jacket!
Christina Burkhart is a meteorologist for NBC/ABC in Traverse City, MI, and temporarily for NBC25 in Flint/Saginaw, MI. She grew up in Ann Arbor and associates Saturdays with Michigan football. Go Blue!!
[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.