We need to do something about B1G officiating to make sure these problems are minimized in the future. It can be done. (NOTE: I've updated this thread to account for comments here and on the regular board.)
As a historical reminder, it was the Big Ten that introduced instant replay to college football. In the 2002 season, Joe Paterno was furious that blown calls on fumbles had cost Penn State several games. As a result, the Big Ten introduced replay in the 2004 season.
The same thing can happen again, if Jim Harbaugh and Warde Manuel make it a priority. We can improve the replay process and get the officiating subjectivity out of important parts of the game. Here are some areas that are relatively easy to improve. Perhaps you all have others?
1. Pass interference. In the CFL, coaches are allowed to challenge interference calls and non-calls. The Big Ten could adopt this rule, and also make any pass attempt on third or fourth down, or over 20 yards, reviewable if the replay booth wants to review the call or non-call. The replay booth wouldn't have to review the call each time, like with a fumble, but rather if the call was clearly worth reviewing.
2. Spots. The problem with the fourth down call was that the replay was at a bad angle, and therefore didn't produce what officials would consider indisputable video evidence (though it is geometrically obvious that he was short). There has to be a way to get better spots in situations where the linesmen can't see what's happening. Perhaps cameras can be put on poles at the first down marker and at ground level to look over and under the play on each side of the field—or perhaps from cameras with telephoto lenses higher up in the stadium. You could have a camera on one of those pulley systems directly above the ball's yardage line at all times, kind of like the goal line cameras in the NHL.
3a. Higher quality refs (pay them). As we've discussed on the board in the past, the B1G refs are part-time and don't appear to conform to a rigorous quality standard. The conference could easily afford to have full-time refs who are high end. NFL referees made $173,000 on average in 2015; the Big Ten could easily serve as a farm team for near-NFL quality referees by paying them.
If a full-fledged B1G officiating crew cost $400k a year, times 7 conference games a week times 9 conference games a year = $25.6 million annually. The B1G's latest television contract pays the conference $440 million a year, and that doesn't include bowl game revenues and other income sources.
If the conference feels that's too much to spend, the conference could instead have two full-time officiating crews that rotate through the conference's most important games each week. That would cost $8.4 million a year ($400k x 10 regular season weeks x 2 games/week + championship game).
3b. Higher quality refs (grade them). Furthermore, the conference could have a weekly, public, grading of the officiating teams in each game, giving awards to the officiating crew that did the best, and caling out the ones that made mistakes. It would be after the fact game-wise, but it would give fans confidence that the B1G takes officiating seriously.
3c. Higher quality refs (eliminate conflicts of interest). As noted in this thread by Magnus, the official who called the personal foul on Harbaugh was in Ohio's officiating hall of fame. It appears that the B1G used to have a rule that refs from Ohio and Michigan couldn't ref The Game (h/t NYCBlue). While I'm sure that there are officials who can call the game fairly even if they are from the same state as one of the teams, there have been too many instances of poor officiating associated with this problem.
Another way to address this solution, suggested by researchers at Miami University (NNTM) and Florida State, is to nationalize FBS officiating. This is apparently done in most other NCAA sports. The researchers found that there is significant bias toward the home team in college football officiating, among other things, and suggested that officiating be run by the NCAA nationally rather than by conferences. Such a change would limit the likelihood of a local official or conference-associated official biasing the outcome of a game.
4. Replay booths at a neutral site. Instead of the booths being at the site of the game, have them in Chicago. This is what the NHL does with all replays being reviewed in Toronto. This removes the pressure on replay officials to play to the home crowd.
The Big Ten has an opportunity to be a leader in improving the integrity of competition in its flagship sport. It should take advantage of it. Warde Manuel, the ball's in your court.
Last week we were lucky(?) enough to end up under a good band of lake effect, wind, and brutal cold. It won't be nearly as bad in this game with any of those aspects! High pressure moving across Arkansas to Kentucky will keep the horseshoe dry, but clouds will be slow to move out. At least temps will be close to normal - actually similar to 2014 if you were at that game - and we'll have just a bit of a breeze. Hopefully you've had a wonderful Thanksgiving and Black Friday! Being able to do these forecasts every week is definitely one of the things I'm thankful for & I'm glad so many find it helpful or simply a light-hearted forecast read. Let's dress warmly & get ready to cheer extra loudly for the guys! C'mon blue, you got this!!
If you're traveling to Columbus... turn around! Just kidding :)
You'll want all those warm layers once again this week, including the gloves for setting up that tent! If you're up early, temps will be in the mid 30s, but a NW wind around 8mph (leaves move in the breeze) will have it feeling like the upper 20s. We'll begin our Saturday with overcast skies. By mid-morning we'll have the sun trying to break through some of the clouds, and attempting to warm us up a bit! Temps will be nearing 40 by then, but a WNW wind at 10mph (leaves and small twigs blow around) will give us a wind chill in the low 30s. It's another good game to have that hot chili before leaving the tent, and a hot drink walking towards the entrance!
Our game starts at a cool 41 degrees. Anyone wishing they had spiked that hot drink on the way in yet? Winds will be out of the WNW at 10mph, keeping us well-chilled in the mid 30s. The sun will continue to try to come out, but won't have a lot of luck against a solid layer of clouds.
The clouds are still winning out over some brightness, but A for effort sun, you're trying. And if you forgot the little pocket hand warmers last week, well, hopefully you learned for this week haha. We'll hit highs in the afternoon in the low 40s, but thanks to those WNW winds hanging on around 10mph, it'll still feel like the 30s. Yeesh. Anyone else skipping the halftime show for hot chocolate?
Walking out with mostly cloudy skies - prolly matching the spirits of the buckeye fans after losing. Temperatures will be in the low 40s with a 10mph wind out of the W, making that wind chill sit in the upper 30s. Last time I asked my friends if anyone wanted to go out in Columbus, no hands were raised, but hey to each their own! If you're headed to dinner, evening temps will drop into the upper 30s with a WSW wind at 8mph. We'll have some breaks in the clouds. By the late-night we fall to the low 30s. Winds will become light, to around 5mph, out of the SW - just enough to make it feel like 30 degrees. As that last call shout is yelled to you brave Wolverine fans, expect a temp near 30, a windchill in the upper 20s, & partly cloudy skies. If you traveled, you'll have a few clouds in the morning with light SW winds and temps in the 30s, hitting 40 around lunchtime.
If you're staying in Ann Arbor...
A similar story but just a tad cooler here. After a few spotty showers/wintry mix overnight, Saturday morning will start off dry with cloudy conditions. It'll be chilly with temps in the low 30s - feeling like the mid 20s with a 10mph WNW wind. By gametime we're looking at 40 degrees with plenty of clouds. A W wind will also make it feel like the lower 30s. We could see a few gusts in the mid teens for the afternoon. Things are then pretty quiet for the evening with temps in the mid 30s, mostly cloudy skies, and a W wind around 5-8mph (wind chill low 30s). Sunday will have good travel weather with some sun, highs around 45, and a light S wind. Let's go blue!!
Christina Burkhart is the morning meteorologist for ABC in Flint, MI. She grew up in Ann Arbor and associates Saturdays with Michigan football. Go Blue!!
(James Coller) The result of too many DZTOs and OMRs
- Michigan actually wins its first CORSI game of the season...I think? Lake State is also 44th in RPI. They got the puck deeper and between the circles more as the game went on. They also did not convert. This is the other end of the luck they have been receiving all season. Outplaying an opponent and not converting. Sounds like an inverted Michigan game.
- They did create chances and forced some penalties. That is a positive takeaway. Unfortunately, I'm more inclined to believe this is more because of the opposition, though...
- Wilton Speight will play, it seems. That would be encouraging. If he can hit something deep and stretch the field...sigh, that would be greeeeeeeat
- Maybe some of the better defense that M has played this year. Most of the 5v5 opportunities were pushed away from the circles and out towards the blue line...which is where you want attempts to come from. They did not give up TOO many chances, but both of the non-emptynetters were on the defense and not JLF.
- De Jong was beat behind the net and there was not rotation to the Laker in the slot on the first goal. That would be a DZTO The second was a hustle OMR...it will be touched on later.
- Peppers has to make a big play, right? Huge INT or forcced fumble. It's going to turn The Game
- Again, Michigan finds a way to score on the PP. Calderone took a quick shot from the slot, keeping the puck on the ice, and slipping one between Defiel's pads. That was it on the power play, however. 1 for 7 in total, tonight. Woof.
- Michigan mostly tried to go 1-3-1 with whatever lines were on the ice. That was new. Usually, they stay away from that after Line 1. It also came back to bite them because they did not have a 2nd defenseman to keep the puck in the zone...which lead to the turnover...which lead to the 2v1 on which LSSU scored the winner.
- On the PK, Michigan continued its great success, forcing LSSU to go 0 of 5. That's still too many penalties, though...especially for a team that struggles on offense.
- Kenny Allen has been solid since his early season hiccups. Converting on trips into OSU territory will be a must, tomorrow.
- JLF played lights out, tonight, despite letting a couple goals get by. He really couldn't do much on either goal. His overall ability and positioning were again on display all night.
- Michigan does not appear to be a very good team, overall. However, goaltending is not an issue. Neither is backup goaltending.
- He also momentarily saved the game as the PP gave up a breakaway.
- You know Harbaugh has been gameplanning for this since M was run off the field, last year. Hiring Don Brown was evidence of that. This is his time.
ODD MAN RUSHES
After not giving up many OMRs over the last few weeks, old habits die hard, apparently. Michigan surrendered four, tonight. The first couple were nothing of note as LSSU couldn't complete a pass or even get a decent attempt on net. The third was a Michigan PP breakaway conceded that JLF just stoned. The last, however, was a hustle 2v1. After a PP faceoff win, Kile couldn't keep the puck in and Piazza got back to shut down the break. However, the 3rd man into the zone was a Laker and he fired one past a bare JLF. OMRs up a man can happen in a 1-3-1...but this one lost the game for Michigan.
- Advantages for Michigan, tomorrow should be in pass defense, Peppers-ing, and general experience. If not now, when?
FINAL CORSI SCORE
I had: Michigan 51, Lake Superior State 34
collegehockeynews.com said: Michigan 48, Lake Superior State 31
The Game. The Wallpaper.
Buckeyes are tough, toxic nuts (and people). The wallpaper this week features the only nutcracker strong enough to crack even the biggest buckeyes. I'm still working on a catchy name for the Harbaugh nutcracker, but it works great. Simply put a buckeye in the mouth and watch the strong jaw crush it. What should you do with cracked buckeyes? Toss 'em.
And just for fun, here's a GIF of the Harb-o-matic Buckeye Cracker 2000. #BeatOSU
— Joe (@joefedewa) November 23, 2016
I posted this last season but haven't had the time to expand on it (still hoping to in the future). It has been updating all season though, so should reflect all the UFR's for this season so far (and will update tomorrow when someone views the tool after the UFR O is posted. I probably should have posted this link again as a reminder sooner.
Things it can do:
- Make plots of individual players pluses, minuses, and total +/- from the charts of all the UFRs since the end of 2005.
- Look at position group totals as well in the same way as above
- Aggregate numbers to their mean by year for cleaner viewing
- Compare players +/- side-by-side on the same scale
- There is a sortable table for looking at best/worst career/season/game or for looking at the raw data for any players
- RPS/other team metrics can be viewed in the Single Player Tab, their position is "TM" in the Sortable Table if that matters
- Top 10/Bottom 10 lists - quick look at a wall of fame/shame to get context for particularly big or rough games.
- Automatically checks for new UFR data on viewing. Should keep it up to date as long as it's used (probably at least by me) every 4 games or so.
Things to fix (at some point.... sorry for the laziness):
- Pressure metric for D is missing since 2010 due to a typo in my scraping. I'll fix it at some point but this is a side project for me so timeframe is unknown
- iOS support bug - for some reason there is a resizing issue on iOS devices. No clue why; will try to fix it later
- Possibly change hosting do to some of the restrictions on that current host. I'll assess that based on traffic
Things to add(at some point later than the above, sorry for the laziness):
Panel for Top 10/Bottom 10 lists - I already have the functions to do that and it's easy for anyone to check on their own with the table, but it would still be nice to have a dedicated panel to quickly look at a wall of fame/shame to get context for particularly big or rough games
- "Similar players" tool for trying to get an idea for who is grading out similar to players past - good and bad.
- Add ability to adjust for # of plays in a game. Would be even better to adjust for playing time per person, but that might be ambitious.
I've started sharing a few of the plots in UFR threads in order to finally get the mgopoints to be able to post (Been a lurker since forever...). Some examples are below. The x-axis labels should be more legible on the web app:
I hope the community likes it, please give feedback! Feel free to "Save Image As..." and share images at your leisure, though obviously I'd appreciate the source being mentioned.
As we slide into another holiday season here at MGoBlog and, perhaps more importantly to many of us, the most meaningful iteration of The Game that we’ve witnessed in a decade, I think we should take a moment to look back and reflect about how wonderful this season has been for the most part and how the spirit of community seems to live on around our shared Internet home.
When Jim Harbaugh first landed at Detroit Metro on a cold December day in 2014, I don’t know that any of us really imagined just how sudden – in relative terms – the transformation of a floundering Michigan football program would be. I don’t know that many of us thought that, in his second year, we would walk into Columbus playing for a shot at the Big Ten Championship Game and quite likely a shot in the College Football Playoff, assuming all goes well. For myself, I figured we would get there, but a mere 23 months into his tenure? My estimate was admittedly more conservative. I am rather pleased that I am wrong on that one, of course.
I think that is definitely one thing we should all be thankful for – we’re nationally relevant, we are talked about daily in mostly positive terms and we have a team that we always knew could be good, but that it would take the right guidance and the right staff. That is what we’re seeing, this rapid transformation of talent into the best that it can be, taking the program to heights that many of us took for granted in years past. Hopefully, we never take it for granted again, having seen “the other side” of the football equation now.
As for the blog itself, for as many times as I sit here and threaten to ragequit the whole modding thing for various reasons, I don’t actually pull the trigger, and the reason I haven’t to date has much to do with the community here. This blog really is a unique one in sports, full of informative content generated by the staff and users alike. It attracts the highly engaged, well-educated fans which brings the level of discussion in a lot of threads to places that many other blogs could only dream of going. This blog is fun place to be of service, and I am thankful for that opportunity to be of service.
More importantly, of course, I think we should all be thankful for each other being here, as many of us have gotten one or two other users through some hairy moments in their MGoLife or MGoFandom, and that’s more a tribute to the professional and personal resources made available by simply having the contributors that we do. There’s a certain power in that which I feel cannot be underestimated, and despite personal differences and other things which might divide some of us, we seem to come together as Wolverines at all the right moments, and that’s hard for a lot blogs – let alone organizations – to achieve.
As you sit down with family this Thanksgiving to share a meal, share stories, or in my case, psychologically prepare yourself to be upset with the Lions, take a moment to remember that even in your online life, as an MGoBlogger and Michigan fan, you have so much more to be thankful for, and who knows? Perhaps those thoughts distract you from having to listen to the same stories being rehashed at the dinner table tomorrow. After all, I know which site many of us will be on when we can no longer take the tedium of some uncle our aunt or whatnot.
Have an excellent Thanksgiving and Go Blue,