at least it's not just us?
There is debate about what the word "Hoosier" actually means, but about this there is no debate: Indiana is known for being good at basketball and tragically bad at football. This week's schedule wallpaper explores the idea that after all these years, the University of Indiana is still just trying to figure out football. I love the idea of an Indiana shooting guard about to be trucked by a Michigan running back.
The image below is a preview only. You can get this week's widescreen, 4:3, iPad and mobile wallpapers at The Art. The Art. The Art!.
How it was made
This wallpaper was created using parts of 9 different images: a closeup of a red cushion, a scrapbook that was stretched to fill the screen, a vintage photo frame, a Life image of the 1955 Michigan vs. Army football game, an Army football helmet cut out of a different photo from the same game, a basketball player from an unidentified school, an old photo with water spots and other features to give the base photo a distressed appearance and two scans of watercolor brush strokes that were sampled and repeated to form the Michigan and Indiana logos. I made color and contrast adjustments to just about every element to accomplish the final look.
All of the 2010 Schedule Wallpapers
Synopsis: After 4 games, Michigan is currently ranked #11 in scoring offense and #64 in scoring defense. Based on these rankings, M has a 43% chance for a +5 WLM (9-4 or better) season and an 83% chance for a winning season. Note that if Defense rankings improve just slightly to the Top 60, the probability of a +5 WLM increases to 70%. Offense continues to trend better each week. Defense improved slightly. (See line chart below)
Expect a close game this week with lots of passing from Indiana (the one cavaet is that Indiana has played a very weak schedule [Towson (FCS and #195), W. Kentucky (#144), and Akron (#175)] and a bye week so data is minimal). Also, Indiana is ranked #92 in rushing defense which could be disastrous for Indiana.
Based on the Sagarin Predictor M is favored by 10.7 points in the Indiana game (Vegas Odds Opened at 10.5). Notice that the three Sagarin odds are very close to one another this week. That is to be expected as M finally won a game by a large margin which has brought the Predictor closer to the EloChess.
(For a Monte Carlo simulation analysis see The Mathlete's Diary which will be posted later this week.)
DETAILS: Here are the Sagarin Ratings. I have added "Opps Rank" which is the total rankings of the opposition played divided by the number of teams played.
Sagarin uses two basic ratings: PREDICTOR (in which the score MARGIN is the only thing that matters) and ELO-CHESS (in which winning and losing only matters, the score margin is of no consequence). The overall rating is a synthesis of the two diametrical opposites, ELO-CHESS and PREDICTOR.
Per Sagarin: ELO-CHESS is “very politically correct. However, it is less accurate in its predictions for upcoming games than is PREDICTOR”.
Here is the U/M vs. Indiana National Statistical Rankings with the advantage for each category indicated (all categories within 10% are considered a "push"). Biggest differences are M rushing O (#2) versus I rushing D (#92) and conversely I passing O (#11) versus M passing D (#105).
Here are the week by week National Statistical Rankings for Michigan (cumulative thru the week indicated):
I have included the major rankings for offense and defense but scoring rankings show the best correlation to winning and losing. Scoring rankings are based on PPG. Rushing, Passing, and Total rankings are based on YPG.
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).
Each year, of the 66 FBS AQ teams, 65% (43 teams) end up with a + WLM and 36% (24 teams) end up with a +5 WLM.
If you remember from last week's diary, (http://mgoblog.com/diaries/early-um-statistical-analysis), I predicted UM to finish the game with 763 yards of total offense, while at the same time holding BGSU to 343 yards of offense. My predictor proved to be fairly accurate despite starting with a small sample size. According to the results, UMs defense played particularly well, holding BGSU to 82% of their normal game output. This mark is the best of the season edging out their performance against UConn at 84%.
Let's move on to the matchup this week vs. Indiana.
Still to note is that UM is predicted to outgain all but one opponent on their remaining schedule. 5 of the 8 Big Ten teams on UMs schedule had their best offensive day this week, which closed the gap in several matchups including Iowa, MSU, and Wisconsin. Four of UMs Big Ten opponents had their best defensive day. If it weren't for UMs gaudy stat day, some of those teams may have overtaken UM on the predictions.
Despite UM having their best defensive day, stat wise, their overall percentage had a net -1.04% change. What effect will playing on the road have on UMs defense this weekend? Well, Ums defense has held every opponent under their season averages except for one; Yep, their lone away game against Notre Dame. Based on the percentage UM gave up against ND (137%), UM will give up over 570 yards against IU. Honestly, I don’t see that happening. Based on the opponent IU has played, I think their offense may be a bit overvalued. I’ll stick with my predictor though and go with…
UM - 522
IU - 415
Very low-action week. Action since last rankings:
9-20-10Michigan State gains commitment from Roger Williamson.
If you see any errors in the individual tables, please let me know. I'm tempted to move Indiana down a bit, but their averages per commit are about even with (or only very slightly behind) the teams nipping at their heels, and they have more commits.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||ESPN Avg|
Rivals rankings are on the "RR" scale, which is on a scale from about 5 to about 6.1. Unrated prospects are given a 5.1 rating, on par with the worst of any Big Ten commit last year. Scout is on the 5-star system (unranked players earn star), and ESPN uses grades out of 100 (unranked is 40 or 45).
|#1 Ohio State - 17 Commits|
No change for the Buckeyes.
|#2 Notre Dame - 19 Commits|
|George Atkinson III||S||CA||5.8||4||79|
No change for the Domers.
|#3 Nebraska - 13 Commits|
No change for Nebraska.
|#4 Michigan State - 16 Commits|
Spartans pick up DB Roger Williamson out of Ohio.
|#5 Michigan - 10 Commits|
Ready for something to happen here plz.
|#6 Indiana - 21 Commits|
IU is pretty much done.
|#7 Iowa - 14 Commits|
|#8 Northwestern - 13 Commits|
No change for Northwestern.
|#9 Minnesota - 15 Commits|
Haughton-James and Brown pick up 2-star ratings from Scout.
|#10 Wisconsin - 11 Commits|
No change for Wisconsin.
|#11 Penn State - 4 Commits|
They have to get some commits sooner or later, right?
|#12 Illinois - 16 Commits|
Mosley grabs a 5.4 rating from Rivals. Dickinson gets 2 stars from Scout.
|#13 Purdue - 7 Commits|
King is a 2-star to Scout now.
It was a strange feeling to come into a game day against a Maccy-Cake with such feelings of unease. I guess the UMass experience messed with my head more than I had thought. Friday night it was hard to fall asleep, what with visions of 6-8 yard runs on first down running through my head. But this Michigan defense turned it around and (hopefully) charted a new course for the Big 10 season. I saw more decisiveness from our linebackers, flowing downhill to make plays and getting burned by aggressive play once in a while. I saw three sacks and two interceptions caused by pressure as well. If our defense has a chance at becoming anything else than a liability to this team, this aggressive play will be the reason going forward.
Other things I learned:
- Michigan seems to have covered its bad karma quota. This is completely batshit crazy, but watching Denard Robinson's rapid progression gives me pause as a fan because I seriously worry about the wrath of Angry Michigan blank Hating God taking away what Michigan fans hold most dear. So when Denard Robinson is bouncing around after the game, and Perry Dorrestein's injury is "a hangnail or something on his toe (WTF?)," I start to feel that the punishment for years of excessive pride and entitlement may finally be over.
- I have been firmly in the camp that can't believe Devin Gardner won the #2 QB spot over Tate (perhaps by myself). I think what we saw yesterday vindicates this position. Gardner was pretty good actually, but Tate ran the offense with much more confidence and at a noticeably faster pace IME. Tate also seems to make sharper, more decisive cuts running the ball at this point, which makes him appear quicker (though DG's touchdown run showed that Vince Young deceptive glide speed). Overall, it is great to see that this team's outlook doesn't hinge 100% on Denard Robinson. Oh, and to any fans Hating on the Tate:
- Macky-Cakes are still good for a round of first-time Michigan Touchdowns. Congrats to Fitzgerald Toussaint, Devin Gardner, Geremy Gallon, and John McColgan for popping their cherries.
- If Michigan still needs that 6th win to become bowl eligible, look to Purdue to save RR's job.
- Any team can gut this defense, but aggressive play will give them the best chance of getting off the field. The defense seems to have the speed and size to wreck havoc when playing aggressively. If we get burned, that is more time for our offense to make up the difference.
Michigan faces an interesting portion of the schedule now, as the first three games of the B10 season really ramp up nicely. This stretch should give us a firm handle on how excited we should be about this team. I think Indiana is a trap game. The Hoosiers are going to look better than they did against Akron and Michigan can't afford to be looking ahead to the MSU game. Win or lose against Indiana, I think we take care of business against MSU, and then come through this year on the end of the game drive to beat Iowa. 6-1 or 7-0 heading into Happy Valley.
Have a good week and be safe everyone.
There has been spirited debate about the angles that Ohio University LB Rufus took in tackling the OSU RB Brutus during last Saturday's game. Does increased head mass require a higher tackling angle, or should traditional non-encephalitic technique be employed?
It is early in the game, with OSU lined up in a 1-1-9. The RB is parallel with the fat dork carrying the flag. The OLine of nine band weenies is clearly off the line of scrimmage in an illegal formation, but this doesn't get called; we're in the Horseshoe, after all.
Unblocked, Rufus arrows towards Brutus demonstrating, at first glance, excellent technique with arms wide to wrap up the opponent.
But here the question of angle v. encephalitis comes into play. What can’t be seen at this angle is that the RB’s momentum is carrying him past the impact point targeted by the OU LB, exposing why a traditional, lower attack point is desired. The OSU RB pulls away with a little, mincing gesture with his forearm and clocks the fat dork (FD) in the head with his opposite elbow. By the way, WTF is with that running OSU dude on the left side of page? I’ll tell you what it is: too many men on the field.
At this point, it looks like the unblocked OU LB will tackle for a decisive TFL.
But then we see the consequences of hitting the OSU player too high: with help from the OSU FD, Brutus maintains his balance and stands up Rufus.
If Rufus hits the OSU player just above the knees, then there is no opportunity for Brutus to recover. The OLine here is still in pre-snap formation revealing that this is a trick play.
Rufus begins to slip as the RB deflects his momentum…
…and loses contain letting the RB into the secondary with a convoy of blockers...
The RB makes a mistake: he slows up and begins to taunt the OU sideline. Rufus cuts between the WR and the TE in pursuit...
Notice the poor blocking on the part of the OSU WR running with Brutus downfield. How can you let Rufus approach your RB untouched? Again, the OU LB takes waaaay too high of an angle at the goal line. Seriously, what is this? Who tackles a player this high? Shame on the RB for walking into the end zone. Typical OSU classiness.
Rufus hits high...
...and already in the end zone, the OU LB commits the personal foul with unnecessary roughness…
...yet still demonstating why it is important to hit the player low; he still can't get him down. Bonus: notice the abused, defeated expression on Brutus's face...
This is not football; it is more reminiscent of Bogs in Shawshank. The infamous punch that got Rufus suspended from the OU team leaves Brutus a shell of mascot.
Teammates hang their heads in shame.
Takeaways: Even large-headed mascots must maintain proper tacking angles. They should not compensate for higher mass distribution with a higher attack point. Paradoxically, the higher mass point makes mascots more vulnerable to the classic leg tackle.
Also, there is no place in football for the kind of personal foul witnessed at the end of the play. Even when the other team is execrable as OSU, keep it clean. Don't sink to their level.
Edit: Special thanks to a friend who took those pictures in the endzone (I pulled the link so that we stop overloading her server).