"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
Preseason Prediction (Which Is Looking A Little Better): 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.)
Where Have All The Forced Fumbles Gone?: Yikes! M has only ONE forced fumble in 5 games. The opponents have basically dropped the ball (bad handoff, muffed KO, etc.,) another 9 times for a total of 10 opponent fumbles. It is, therefore, not really a surprise that M's recovery rate is a measly 40% because many of the unforced fumbles are in the backfield of the opponent with few M players around the ball. Last year M had 7 forced fumbles thru 5 games. Poor tackling, maybe? M is ranked #115 in forced fumbles.
Denard Robinson Interception %: This chart shows a comparison of Denard's Int% for 2011 and 2012. It is subdivided by out-of-conference (OOC) and Big Ten games because DRob did show marked improvement last year in his interception % over the final 9 games going from 8.3% in the first 4 games to 4.8% in the final 9 games. (BTW, average Int% for FBS is around 3.0%.)
As you can see, Denard actually finished the OOC this year with a lower Int% than last year (still horrible, just slightly less horrible than last year). If he can get his Int% down to just average, we should all be dancing in the streets. The Purdue game was a great start as Denard did not throw an interception (he also did not throw an interception in the first conference game last year).
We got back to Meeeechigan football against Purdue with just 16 pass attempts and 54 rushing attempts. That is a 77% run play percentage and only 6 teams ran the ball more last week. In 2011 M was ranked #11 at 65% run play %. M is now ranked #15 with a 62% run play % (M was ranked #31 with just a 57% run play % prior to the Purdue game).
Synopsis for Turnovers: With a TOM for the game of +3, M improved to – 4 TOM for the year (ranked #97).
M added 2 interceptions gained (Gordon & Taylor both got their second interception) for a total of 4 interceptions and is ranked #54. M recovered 2 fumbles for a total of 4 for the year (ranked #52). The total of 10 interceptions lost is ranked at #119. DRob did lose a fumble but the total of just 2 lost fumbles is ranked #14.
The folks at Football Outsiders – FEI are also doing weekly "Revisionist Box Scores" that strips out TOs, Special Teams, and Field Position. 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 #6, here is their summary:
(See the Section on Gory Details below for how the adjustment for Expected Points (EP) is calculated.)
National Rankings:M improved significantly. 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
Details for Turnovers: Here is overall summary for all games by player (data in yellow was affected by this week's game).
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 that saw me put up a wallpaper in the eleventh hour before the game, I decided to make sure I got this out earlier. Poor Illinois, they're so bad this year it's like men versus boys this coming Saturday - hence, this wallpaper idea. I know it's not totally original, but the Illini are just that uninspiring an opponent. I also didn't necessarily want to wander down the path of the non-politically correct Native American references. Anyway, as usual, I appreciate your comments and insights. Also, should you have any ideas for other designs for this week or the coming weeks, let me know. I am somewhat happy with the little Michigan field logo I created to house the team logos. Enjoy!
[bump: we got guys yo]
This might be one of those things that's cool only to me, but the chart below depicts the current rankings of prospects in the class of 2013. I used 247's composite rankings, which combine those from 247, Rivals, Scout, and ESPN. Each colored sliver represents a committed recruit. The total number of commitments for each program is provided next to the school's name.
I've binned these by 50s, so there's some rounding going on. Basically, if you look under the "1" on top, you'll see a sliver for every player ranked 1-50 in the national composite rankings. OSU has four of those, Penn State has two, and we have one (Morris). The last group ("1001+") represents recruits ranked 1000 or lower or, in almost all cases, unranked recruits.
I had to be creative with the rankings for a few recruits (e.g., JC guys), but I just figured out where their ratings would place them on the regular high school recruit scale.
A few of my observations:
Big two, little ten. For real. Those two programs are drawing from an entirely part of the distribution from the rest of the Big Ten programs.
These group together pretty nicely. It looks like there are basically three tiers. The top tier is Michigan and OSU. The second tier is Nebraska, Wisconsin, Penn State (for now at least), MSU, and Iowa. Then there's everyone else.
- Someone should make sure that Minnesota's planning to continue its football program. One key ingredient for a football program: football players. Minnesota, you might want to get a few of those.
Prediction for Illinois: The FEI Forecast for this Saturday is Michigan 34 – Illinois 6 with a 97% Probable Win Expectation for Michigan. This game is a complete mismatch in every category.
Fremeau Efficiency Index: After a large improvement for Michigan during the bye week, the overall FEI barely moved after the Purdue game. The offense efficiency also was basically unchanged while the defense efficiency improved significantly (from #48 to #33).
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 Week #6 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 ).
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).
(Click the image to view full size)
True story. My dog runs to the pantry every time he hears the word "Touchdown."
Poor little guy gets a little confused sometimes-- he knows he only gets one for a Michigan touchdown, but was so bombarded during the Baylor-West Virginia game I think he lost control of the concept. We're back on track now after going hungry in South Bend.
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.