I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
Defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins (6'3", 325 lbs) may currently live in Missouri, but he still has a soft spot for his old hometown teams in Michigan. Pipkins has seen his recruitment take off with offers from Michigan, Iowa, MSU, and Tennessee to name a few. He's still taking things day by day, but here's a look at his combine film and where he's at in the process.
TOM: Have you heard from the Michigan coaches recently?
ONDRE: Yes, they came out to my school [Monday].
TOM: Was it for an academic evaluation, or did they watch you practice?
ONDRE: They saw me lift as well as my grade evaluation.
TOM: I know you've said before that you're going to try to visit Ann Arbor, have you set anything up or do you know the date yet?
ONDRE: Yeah, I'm going down there in June. I'm not going to camp, I'm just visiting.
TOM: I know it's still early for you, but where do you think Michigan stands in all this for you?
ONDRE: They're a school I really like, that's home for me. I have a great relationship with the coaches. Coach Heck[linksi] is my recruiter and he's serious about winning. They all really want to win.
TOM: Do you know when you're going to narrow down your list yet?
ONDRE: Yeah, I'll narrow it down to a top five in June sometime. So it's getting real close. Besides Michigan I don't know who else will be in it yet.
TOM: Will those schools that make the top five be the schools that you take official visits to?
ONDRE: Yes, and I'll probably make my decision after my season. I don't mind waiting that long, it doesn't get annoying if you can manage it and prioritize things the right way.
The reason I wanted to adjust the results for quality of opponent was to try to account for SDSU’s #88-ranked schedule versus Michigan’s #23-ranked schedule. The best I could come up with was: average the offensive PPG with the defensive PPG, then take that “projected score delta” and subtract it from the actual score delta to get a pseudo-PAN (to borrow the Mathlete’s term). Don't worry, there will be an easy-to-understand number at the end.
Offensively, SDSU averaged 455 YPG and scored 35 PPG. That compares pretty closely to Michigan’s 488 YPG and 32 PPG. So right off the bat the offense looks to be a little more “efficient.” More points + less yards = good. Defense is a whole different animal. SDSU allowed 355 YPG and 22 PPG, compared to Michigan’s 455 YPG and 35 PPG. They have a defense, we did not. SDSU is still capable of scoring lots of points, scoring over 40 5 times, and over 30 in 9 games. Again, number of drives is pretty variable, from 9 to 18. For the season, SDSU actually averaged more drives per game than Michigan, at 12.3 to 12.0.
Since we established that the raw drive data is pretty pointless yesterday, I’ll skip it and get right to YPD. Basic data and Chart:
|opponent||yards||drives||points||ypd||ppd||d-yards||d-drives||d-points||d-ypd||d-ppd||net ypd||net ppd|
Looking at YPD, SDSU averaged about the same as Michigan, at 39.0 vs. 41.9 YPD for the season. The anomaly in that data is the TCU game, where SDSU only managed 20 YPD. Michigan’s low for the season was Purdue, at 26.3 YPD. Once again, defense is much improved at 30.4 YPD versus Michigan’s 37.3 YPD. The defense was inconsistent, giving up 50+ YPD twice, a feat even Michigan’s Decimated Defense didn’t match. Overall, I think YPD is a useful indicator, but not as valuable as PPD.
On to PPD, we now get to see that SDSU was indeed more efficient in putting points on the board compared to Michigan, at 2.9 versus 2.7 PPD average for the season. Defense shows similar improvement, at 1.8 versus Michigan’s 2.9-PPD average. To put that in perspective, SDSU only had one game (Utah) where they allowed more PPD than Michigan’s average. So what the chart shows is that while SDSU’s offense doesn’t have the firepower of Michigan’s former spread (maxed out at around 5-6 PPD), the low isn’t so low, either. SDSU’s bottom end looks like it’s around 2 PPD, where Michigan could get down to 1.5 on occasion. Even in the win against ND, Michigan was below 2 PPD. On defense, we all know the story. Michigan flirted with 3 PPD for the season, giving up more than 3 PPD on 7 occasions. SDSU was more consistent, only giving up more than 3 PPD once.
I think there are a number of valid comparisons between SDSU’s schedule and Michigan’s. Their #1 game was TCU, against the #4 offense and #1 defense. They had 300 yards of offense and scored 35 points, and gave up 466 yards and 40 points in a loss. That game is comparable to the OSU game, against the #11 offense and #5-ranked defense. Michigan had 351 yards and only 7 points, while giving up 478 yards and 37 points. Advantage: SDSU. Overall SOS differences are obvious (Michigan’s opponents scored 28.6 and gave up 23.4, compared to SDSU’s 24.5/28.4), but “score delta” should let us normalize those results.
Looking at the “score delta.” Michigan averaged 1.4 points above expectation for the season, compared to SDSU’s 4.5. It is totally open for debate as to whether this stat has any meaning, but I think that it does. If you’re supposed to blow out your cupcakes, and don’t, it will be reflected. Conversely, if you play well against a better opponent, like say ND or TCU, it is also reflected. I think it does a good job of showing overall team performance versus expectations.That big -32 by the Bowl Game shows that We Got Blown Out.
|opponent||o-ppg||d-ppg||opp o-ppg||opp d-ppg||o vs d||d vs o||actual score delta||projected score||score delta|
|opponent||o-rank||d-rank||opp o-rank||opp d-rank||o vs d||d vs o||actual score delta||projected score||score delta|
Well basically I think that the defense would have improved regardless of what happened, but I feel that the improvement with the new staff will be greater than the improvement with the old staff. I’m also hoping the MANBALL worries will be unfounded. After all, SDSU scored more points than Michigan, had more drives than Michigan, and darn near had as many yards as Michigan. I’ll trade that for a defense that gives up 100 fewer yards and almost 2 fewer touchdowns per game. I realize that most of the defensive improvement is speculation, since Mattison wasn’t Hoke’s DC at SDSU, but here’s hoping for Defensive Mediocrity in 2011, and a return to Kicking Competency!
Recent announcements from QB Zeke Pike and TE's AJ WIlliams and Devin Funchess have given thought about where Michigan will go from here with regards to each position and certain players. Here's a look at what could potentially happen in the future, and how the recent announcements may affect other players.
6'3", 215 lbs.
Farmington Hills, Michigan
Devin Funchess is the teammate of Ojemudia and the two have been making trips to Michigan together. Recently Mario told me that Michigan was in his top three with Michigan State and Stanford. It seems natural to wonder if Devin Funchess committing to Michigan will have any affect on Mario.
It depends on what [Devin] says to me. We've talked about playing together, but that's not the main reason I would choose to go to a college. I pretty much knew [Devin] was going to Michigan, I just didn't know when he was going to commit.
Mario has been up to Michigan a few times and has openly said that they have been impressive every time. He was in East Lansing this last Tuesday, and he plans on taking another trip out to Ann Arbor in the next few weeks. This time he'll bring someone other than Devin along.
I'm going back up there probably in a few weeks. We're just going to hang out, the coaches want me to finally bring my parents up there. [My parents] don't have a preference between Michigan or Michigan State.
That's a good next step in the process for Michigan to get his parents on campus. He wants to make his decision before the season starts.
6'3", 202 lbs.
Now that Zeke Pike is off the board Michigan will have to look to their other options. They have current offers out to other quarterbacks, but outside of Bennie Coney they aren't in favorable position with many. The Michigan coaching staff may have to extend a few new offers and Tyler O'Connor might be a candidate.
I have been hearing a lot more from [Michigan] lately. They will be here at my school on Wednesday. I think they'll eventually offer especially with them not getting Zeke Pike. They haven't said that, but I think they will. I want to get up there to be around the coaches and see how they are.
O'Connor said that if Michigan were to offer it would be a big one for him and that he really likes the Wolverines. He wants to get to know them though and still go through the process.
If they offered I think they would be one of my leaders. I want to still take my time with everything though. I want to have my decision made by the first week of my football season. I'm looking to see how well I like the coaches, the opportunity for things after school and football, how good the team is, and how well I fit.
O'Connor has already been on the radar for the Michigan coaches but could very well see an offer soon. Austin Appleby has also been told by the coaches that they are interested, but they want to see him at camp first.
6'3", 225 lbs.
Ekanem just recently received an offer from Michigan to go along with Boston College, MSU, Pitt, Rutgers, and Virginia Tech among others. He already has a nice offer list, but is trying to take everything in for now.
I'm trying to stay open minded about everything so far. I will start narrowing it down before my football season starts. I plan on taking all five of my official visits and deciding after my football season.
Coach Mallory was the Michigan coach that extended the offer to Ken and he's excited to continue to build that relationship.
I was surprised that [Michigan] offered, I didn't know they were that interested in me. When I was younger that was my team, and I love the stadium, I can say that. I don't know much about them though, and I don't have a favorite team now. I'm really looking for academics, good coaches, a good recruiting class for 2012, and a place that feels like home.
Ekanem said he might do an unofficial visit to Michigan over the summer, but nothing has been planned.
- The most popular question lately has been if Michigan still has room for Ron Thompson now that they have two tight end commitments. With the recent attrition I think there is still an opportunity for him to be a part of this class. AJ Williams and Devin Funchess are versatile enough that they could both project to different positions.
- Ohio DE Pharaoh Brown says that he will be making another visit to Michigan soon. This time his mom will come up with him to check out the place. MIchigan has been in the lead for some time and Brown has been picking up a good amount of offers recently. He still wants to make his decision by June or July.
- Illinois DB Anthony Standifer is probably very close to a Michigan offer. There was some confusion about whether he did or didn't and he's gotten that straightened out.
- Pennsylvania OL Tyler Alt (6'3", 275 lbs) was getting a visit to his school tomorrow by Coach Mallory. Alt is out of town though, so he'll be speaking with Mallory over the phone tomorrow instead.
- Instate DE Matt Godin is announcing his final decision on May 12th.
With rumors of a varsity announcement running rampant, it's easy to forget that there's still an actual season going on. When last we saw the Michigan Lacrosse team on these pages, they had successfully completed a California road trip, and were preparing to kick off a long homestand. Since that time, they have won 9 consecutive games and wrapped up their third undefeated regular season in the past four years.
Let's take a look at those results weekend-by-weekend...
BYU came to Ann Arbor as a top-5 team, but Michigan ran them off the field despite a mediocre performance. Chad Carroll and Joey Hrusovsky each had a 4-point game, while Trevor Yealy scored 3 goals himself. The following night, Michigan took on an overmatched Pittsburgh squad, and walked away with the easy 20-1 victory.
Boston College was the first team all year to come into Oosterbaan Fieldhouse and not back down, even when Michigan built up a lead. Brian Greiner solidified his starting position on faceoffs as Edward Ernst struggled on draws, and Michigan played a very sloppy game, which allowed the Eagles to stay in it. I sat near the UCSB team at the BC game, and they were chirping quite a bit about how they were going to get an easy win the following night... so imagine their surprise when they were blasted into a fine red mist in a 21-0 beatdown. Maybe Michigan was sending a message, or maybe their second and third lines are just that much better than the Gauchos. Either way, Trevor Yealy scored 6 goals to become Michigan's all-time leading scorer, and this game was over seemingly as soon as it started.
The following weekend, #1 welcomed the #2 and #3 teams in the land into Oosterbaan Fieldhouse, but managed to emerge unscathed. Colorado State was the first victim, as Michigan showed why they're so tough to beat at home. They rode the Rams into tons of turnovers, and got the easy win. It wasn't such easy going the following night, as the Wolverines built up a 9-3 lead on Arizona State, but the Sun Devils refused to give up, and managed to get the final margin to 2 goals. Attackman Eric Nelson and goalkeeper Dylan Westfall played excellently, but not well enough to earn the win.
The Wolverine offense was a well-oiled machine the following weekend, as they scored .609 points per possession (.400 is a very good performance) and easily dispatched of a Missouri team that never stood a chance. The Tiger offense was surprisingly effective itself, but they were no match for Chad Carroll, who put in 8 goals and an assist all by himself.
Like the BC and Arizona State games, Michigan managed to build up a couple leads, but the opponent didn't wilt under the pressure, and made some runs of their own. It was a rainy night in Birmingham, and both squads made their share of sloppy plays. The Spartans couldn't put the ball on net, and that was ultimately their downfall against their most hated rival.
The Wolverines finally played a true road game after several weeks at home and one at a neutral site, but it was business as usual in dispatching first-year MCLA program Toledo. Plenty of backups got a chance to play in this game (which was played in the Glass Bowl), and the outcome was never in doubt.
Michigan has a weekend off from competition, and they'll return to action on May 7th at the conference Tournament in Saline. They'll face a Directional Michigan (most likely Central) in the first round, before taking on the winner of Michigan State and Pittsburgh (most likely the Spartans) in the final on Sunday.
Assuming they win the conference tournament - and even if they don't - they're all-but-guaranteed to be the #1 overall seed in the National Tournament, which starts May 17th in Denver. They'll seek their unprecedented 4th consecutive championship, and then we can start worrying about whether or not they'll play varsity lacrosse next season.
For all the day-to-day details on the team, you can check out my lacrosse blog at GreatLaxState.com.
This is a response to the MGoBlog Survey Results diary posted about two weeks ago. I found some of the results surprising, specifically the respondents' reported demographics compared to YouTube Insight demographics of people who watch my uploads. The people who watch my videos are significantly older and more likely to be female than the people who took the survey. Since a large proportion of my views come from embeds on this site, I hypothesized at the time that the survey results were telling us more about the type of people who would take the time to fill out a survey than the blog's actual audience. Having no data to back that up, I replied with a wise crack about mgovideo stealing mgoblog's women and forgot about the subject for two weeks. Yesterday, I started using Quantcast for mgovideo and noticed that mgoblog does too. You can view mgoblog's site summary here: http://www.quantcast.com/mgoblog.com
The survey's first question was "What best describes your gender?" 96% of the survey's participants answered Male. The Quantcast data paints a radically different picture:
The survey's next question was "What best describes your age?" 53% answered 20-30 years. The Quantcast data on the other hand is enough for the blog's audience to be categorized as Older:
The next question was "What is your current state of residence." 50% answered Michigan. Quantcast says only 35.58% of the site's unique visitors are from Michigan.
The survey didn't ask about race but according to Quantcast, mgoblog has a significant number of African American visitors (12%) and almost no Asians (1%) or Hispanics (1%). Compared to U-M's undergraduate demographics (5.8% African American, 12.1% Asian American, 4.1% Hispanic American [source: Wikipedia]), this adds to the evidence already presented that mgoblog's visitors are not mostly current or recently graduated students.
The rest of the survey's questions are related to mgopoints which do not exist and are thus not tracked by Quantcast. The most interesting part of the Quantcast data to me personally was that only 5% of the site's visitors are responsible for 58% of the site's visits. In other words, on a typical day when mgoblog gets 30,000 visits, a core group of just 1,500 users that Quantcast appropriately refers to as addicts is responsible for almost 17,500 of those visits.
While it seems at times that everyone on the board is an addict (c'mon, you know 10 visits would be a light day for you), 95% of the blog's visitors are more casual users. I guess that's why the board is always unanimous about Haloscan being the glory days of mgocommenting and yet there have never been more than about 6 guys on the WLA's UniScorn thing.
I should say that I have no idea how valid Quantcast's data is (younger people may be more likely to block their script with an add-on/extension for example), but the data suggests that there may be some misconceptions about the blog and its audience.
Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Hoke
Since it’s the offseason and there’s not much going on, I thought I’d take a look at last season’s team production, offensively and defensively. All the data is from either NCAA.org or ESPN’s drive charts, except for the Air Force and New Mexico games, where I had to extrapolate the drive data from the box score. That’s what’s known as foreshadowing. Offensive and defensive stats are broken out individually, to try to handle those phases of the game on their own.
All Spreadsheeted-up and no place to go
I started out planning to show that the offensive effectiveness remained somewhat consistent through the season, and that only the number of drives per game decreased into the meat of the Big Ten season caused the downturn in scoring. The data did not support that. The number of drives did vary between UConn’s 8 and the Illinois 19-drive trackmeet. But the numbers did not coincide with strength of opponent, final score, or much of anything. You need look no further than the Wisconsin game vs. the OSU game for proof. Against Wisconsin we scored 28 points on 10 drives, compared to 7 points on 12 drives against OSU. The chart doesn’t show any correlation between drives and points:
|Opponent||Yards||Drives||Pts.||YPD||PPD||D-Yds||D-Drvs||D-Pts||D-YPD||D-PPD||Net YPD||Net PPD|
So I need to look a little deeper, namely at typical markers of yard and points. The basic idea is straightforward: good yards per drive equals good “effectiveness” and good points per drive equals good “finishing.” First up: YPD. Offensively, YPD varies from unstoppable against weak competition (UConn, BG, and UMass) to not-very-good against MSU, the other MSU and OSU. Defense, on the other hand, was great in the rain against Purdue, better-than-average against ND and Illinois (per drive, remember), and shelled by MSU, the other MSU and Wisconsin. This should not be news.
Alright, so now we know we couldn’t stop anyone. How about scoring, PPD? Because we’re dealing with a smaller range, I think the data is clearer. Offensively, after throwing out the Bowling Green anomaly (seriously, 6 points per drive?), most of the games turned out be between 2 and 3 PPD, with OSU being a lowly 0.5. Defense tells the rest of the story. The season started out well enough, holding ND to 1.4 PPD, but the number crept up from there, 3 PPD to Indiana, up to 4 PPD to PSU and Wisconsin. Even Tressel-ball managed to score almost 3 PPD. And that chart just looks worse and worse as the season goes on. This is also the point where I get to mention 4-for-14 on field goals and lament.
So what does any of this say? I’d like to be able to adjust some of those values for strength of opponent, so that the 27 points against Iowa’s #7-ranked defense look a little more in line, but I can’t decide on a formula to adjust expected versus actual points. Someone wake up the Mathlete for me, if you don’t mind.
I think that all I can say at this point is that the defense was bad across the board last season, and performed worse against good opposition. The offense was at-best inconsistent, ranging from good to average from game-to-game. With a team consisting of mostly true sophomores at skill positions, I don't that should come as a big surprise.
Coming tomorrow: the same analysis for SDSU's season, and comparisons to what Michigan did.