I thought that myself when I read that article that talked about a Data Scientist(tm)
Well, last week was a spectacular mess. Too bad the Kansas/Colorado game wasn't on tv anywhere. I feel bad for all my Buff frends, but not bad enough to forgive '94. This week brings more exciting second-tier mediocre team action, and one game that's geographically challenged. I also get tired of typing Tennessee, even if it does help my character count. But first
Tennessee versus Memphis went almost exactly how you'd expect. A below-average SEC team pounded large lumps onto a bad Conference USA team. Boxscore? Boxscore. Tennessee had 500 yards of total offense, Memphis had 5 turnovers. The End. Tennessee may end their season on a "hot streak" after playing Ole Miss, Vandy and Kentucky. If they win out, they're bowl eligible. Just not bowl-worthy.
In MAC-action, Akron lost to Ball State in overtime in a game featuring 3 INTs per QB. And, you guessed it, the last play in OT was an INT as well. Drive home safely. Akron has a chance for a win against Buffalo to end the season, but scoring 15 ppg and giving up 39 is a tough hill to row. Tough row to plow? Tough hill to sled? Something like that.
And in the granddaddy of ugly games, Colorado gave up 35 points in the 4th quarter to blow a 45-17 lead and lose in regulation. The strictures and conventions of my marriage require me to post a large bird at this point.
Rock Chack Jayhawk, Dan Hawkins is So Fired! I think that's how it goes anyway. CU's 4th quarter drives went: fumble (returned for TD), lost onside kick, 2 plays and INT, 3 and out, ballgame. We'll probably revisit Colorado next year when they play Ohio State in the "First Annual Dan Hawkins Memorial Buyout Game."
The Battle For Michigan (which is a title I dreamed up for the Michigan Directional Schools, in case it isn't really a name for a thing) wraps up as Eastern plays Western. Eastern has lost to Central, and Central has beaten Western, so I guess this for second place, but there's still some pride on the line and other cliches.
Tulane plays Rice in the "Find These Teams On a Map Bowl." Seriously, they're like Troy. No one knows where they are. Like Pepperdine or Monmouth in the NCAA basketball tournament, only not as good. But get ready for fun pun headlines like "Tulane Waves Swamp Rice" or "Rice Washed Out By Waves" or other creative headlines. Rice has beaten UGotW regulars North Texas and Houston, Tulane at least has a win over Rutgers on their resume. Which is nice.
Overall, this was a hard week to pick, as there's also Vandy/Kentucky, Cincinnati/West Virginia and Ole Miss/Tennessee games to pick from. Come to think of it, the Mississippi versus Tennessee game gets a "Gratuitous Redundant Vowel/Consonant Face Off" award anyway. The winner gets two mors S's for their name.
I was at the game on Saturday with one of my friends from college, who is a pretty sharp guy. As Michigan scored their second TD in overtime, he made a case for going for two right there instead of kicking an extra point and forcing a third period.
His reasoning was that both offenses were likely to score on the next possession so we should try the 2pt conversion now, when Illinois would not have a chance to answer. At the time this line of reasoning sounded okay; however, I decided that it was somewhat unconvincing. The fact is that as long as our win percentage is higher by kicking an extra point than by going for two, we should, quite obviously, kick the extra point.
The question then becomes, is it possible that our chances of converting the 2pt conversion are higher than our chances of winning in a third overtime? In order to determine the answer to this question, I had to consider a few different factors:
1. We were going to be playing offense first, which carries with it a strategic disadvantage. What is the inherent disadvantage that we’d have in the next overtime?
2. What are the chances of our team converting a 2pt conversion? How much more likely are we to convert than an “average” team?
3. How likely is it that the kick to force a third overtime will be successful?
I did a bit of research and found a study that showed that the team that starts on defense wins about 52.25% of the time in the third overtime and later. You can find the study here. And, looking at M’s kicking statistics I’ve found that the team is 46/47 on extra point attempts, 98%. I used that for our success rate in this spot. So when we kick the extra point we’ll win .4775*.98= .468. So if we can convert the 2pt conversion 47% of the time, we should go for 2.
How often should we expect to make a two point conversion? Advanced NFL Stats says that the conversion is good, on average, 44% of the time. So obviously, if we had an average chance of converting, we should kick the extra point. But our offense is significantly above average.
In order to decide how much more often our 2pt conversion would be successful than an average team’s conversion, I divided our total offense in terms of yards/game by the national average. The result is a multiplier which I applied to the average 2 pt conversion percentage. Our total offense per game is 536 and the national average is 384 giving us a multiplier of 1.39 (our multiplier is similar when considering scoring offense). Applied to the average conversion rate of 44%, our new conversion rate should be 61%.
Now this seems pretty high to me, but given the things we’ve seen our offense do this year, I’d be surprised if we didn’t fall somewhere above the 47% necessary to make going for two at the end of overtime correct.
Note: This started as a board post and evolved into something diary worthy (I think). However, bump to the board if need be. Thanks!
So I know that there are 3 games left, and I know that individual awards don't matter in comparison to the team winning games.
And I also know that the Heisman does not go to the best player in college football anymore, but rather to the best player on a top 10 team. Its been that way for a long time.
HOWEVER, I find myself looking at the stats that Denard is continuing to put up and can't help but wonder why he is getting absolutely ZERO consideration after the media explosion that happened earlier in the season.
Let's look at some facts:
Denard leads the nation with 351.44 YPG (ahead of Cam Newton by almost 50 YPG!)
In terms of pure yardage he is 3rd behind Griffin III and Moniz who have each played an additional game.
Denard is 2nd in the nation with 149.89 YPG (behind OR's James at 166.38)
However, he is actually leads James in total yardage with 1349! James is only counted for 8 games because he was suspended for punching his girlfriend against NM, while Denard is counted for 9 despite barely playing against BG and missing close to a half against Iowa and Illinois.
So basically if someone out there was ambitious enough to do a "yards per 60 minutes played," I guarantee Denard would be the nation's leading rusher.
DRob is also 2nd in the nation with 7.37 YPC behind Taylor Martinez and well ahead of James at 6.79.
Denard's Total Passing Yards (1814) are obviously nowhere near the top of any list, but being a duel-threat QB that isn't really relevant (see Total Offense).
However, Denard ranks 11th! in Passer Efficiency Rating (160.90) with Kellen Moore and Cam Newton leading the way.
Denard has 25 total TDS, 12 Rush and 13 Pass.
James has 18 total TDs, Newton has 34, Moore has 22.
Denard has 7 INTs and may 2-3 lost fumbles? So we'll say 10 TOs
James' TO #s are irrelevant (plus I can't find them), Newton has 5 INTs, and Moore has 4 INTs.
So, after looking at those numbers the question becomes: Why is Denard not a Heisman contender any more?
The Answer: Oregon, Auburn, and Boise are undefeated. Plain and simple. If Michigan only had one loss or less and was in the top 10, I would almost guarantee that DRob would still be in the thick of the Heisman race even if his numbers were exactly the same.
Now a lot of people would say, well its not all about the numbers. There are other factors.
And I would agree with them. BUT this is not Timmy Chang, Colt Brennen, or one of the Texas Tech QBs putting up 6000 yards.
We are talking about a sophomore QB on a Big Ten team! Michigan's schedule is no joke, and declaring Denard to be a "system" QB in the line of those mentioned above doesn't seem to fit. What is the system? Passing? Rushing? Scoring? Denard ranks well in every category.
Its just frustrating to me that the media blew up in epic proportions during the first part of the season over Denard, but now they barely give him a mention. I think they definitely gave him too much pub by declaring him the winner after week 4, but I also think they are giving him too little respect at this point in the season.
Denard has numbers comparable or better than every other top Heisman candidate, and he plays a schedule much more difficult than that of Oregon, Boise, and most other teams outside the SEC.
And last but not least lets not forget that he plays on a team FAR worse than those of James, Newton, or Moore. Its funny that Michigan's record is a big part of the reason he is not under consideration when the fact that Michigan is terrible on defense should be an even bigger credit to his abilities.
Newton, James, and Moore are all on teams surrounded by superstars and playmakers, and while Michigan does have an excellent offense, our team as a whole is not very good.
People should realize once again that the Heisman is about the most outstanding player in college football, regardless of record. I know that strength of schedule has to be considered in making that determination, but having a bad team should not count against you.
I'm not saying that Denard should win the Heisman. I think Newton would have my vote at this point. But Denard would be second or third without a doubt in my mind, and I hope that other people are thinking the same thing. The kid deserves it.
Week 9 Predictor and analysis can be found here: http://mgoblog.com/diaries/post-week-9-yardage-analysis-and-predictions-...
Well, as I stated from the previous diary, UM needed to have one of their best games defensively and offensively against Illinois to get a win. While UM giving up 45 after regulation, and 65 for the game, looks bad, yardage wise it was just about what I predicted. Illinois gained 486 yards in regulation and I predicted 458 yards for a 5.7% difference. I think a better metric for showing just how well the UM defene played would be yards/possession. You can also look at the fact that UMs defense held Illinois's offense scoreless on 50% of their possessions (8 of 16). UM tackled well and really seemed to play faster. This is great to see out of a young defense.
UMs offense fair exceeded expectations. Even though they put up 67 points on the day, the team missed opportunities early in the game to get a lead and pull away. Turnovers hurt the offense, but the defense picked them up. Yardage wise, this was UM best game of the season. Illinois typically gives up 275 yards of offense to the opponents. UM put up 601 yards in regulation, a 218% mark. That brings UMs offensive efficiency up to 158.21% for the season.
Moving on to Purdue...
This is what UM has done to date...
Offense and Defense rankings (only teams on UMs schedule). The rankings do not include the head-to-head matchup with UM.
Predictions for Purdue game. Include percentage error, high and low.
Percentage Error season calucation
Taking a look at Purdue's yards/point metric, they're the opposite of what you want. Their offense is scoring slowly, and their defense is giving up points quickly; even more quickly than UMs defense. UMs offense is scoring just about as fast as Purdue's defense is giving them up. All this spells a good game for UM. One theme that seems to classify college football this season is emotion and how you respond. South Carolina goes out and beats #1 Alabama and then loses to unranked Kentucky the following week. Missouri beats #1 Oklahoma and then loses back-to-back games to Nebraska and unranked Texas Tech. Now, while the win over Illinois isn't exactly a win over the number one team in the land, it was an emotional victory for UM. And they have to play on the road this weekend with an even bigger game against Wisconsin the week after. Can UM come out focused against Purdue and take care of business? I think so.
UM - 625
Purdue - 350
UM - 48
Purdue - 24
This past weekend's thriller had a few visitors, including instate prospects DeAnthony Arnett and Desmond Morgan. The game wasn't just exciting for the fans but the recruits as well. Reactions and other recruiting news:
6'1", 225 lbs.
This was Morgan's second time attending a Michigan game this season. This one was a little bit different for him since he now has a scholarship offer from Michigan.
I enjoyed every part of the game, it was really exciting. Last time I was there I thought how cool it would be to be noticed by them, or get a chance to play for them. This time I thought that could be me next year, and I have a chance to play on that field. I appreciated that feeling.
Desmond was escorted to the game by his dad, who is also a big Michigan fan. They got to experience some firsts together, and started thinking more seriously about the recruiting scene.
We met Coach Rodriguez and Frey, and that was the first time we've met both of them in person. We got a chance to walk around the locker room, and anytime you get a chance to walk through that tunnel it's pretty special. My dad liked it a lot.
As I reported previously, Morgan wants to take his time with his recruitment. He is a Michigan fan, but doesn't want to rush into anything, but this visit was a step in the right direction for Michigan.
I talked to the coaches about making an official visit. We're going to try to get that set up this week. They mentioned the Big Chill hockey game (Dec. 10th), so that's a possible date. I really had a lot of my questions answered already. The main thing was spending time with the coaches and getting to know them better. I wanted to feel welcomed there, and I really did feel that.
Desmond should have his official set up by this week. He also plans on visiting Northwestern this weekend for the Iowa game. Things are looking good for Michigan, though.
5'10", 185 lbs.
Fort Myers, Florida
Dallas Crawford has been high on Michigan for some time now. I wanted to get some perspective on him from his current head coach on where Michigan stands with both Dallas and his teammate Sammy. Coach Redhead:
Dallas has Michigan as his number one school because of his two visits there and the atmosphere. Sammy still has Michigan in close second to Clemson. It's a little harder for me to get a read on him, but Michigan is close. They're in the hunt for both of them. I don't think it should matter, but I think it might matter how both teams finish for Sammy. [ed: ie, coach doesn't think it should be relevant but it could be anyway.]
Redhead has had some good prospects come through the schools he has coached at, but he has some strong feelings about both Crawford and Watkins.
Dallas is a solid character kid, and one that I never have to worry about. He has some of the best instincts I've ever coached, and that includes the big name kids. Dallas has that football IQ. He knows where to be and when to be there, and he's always in the right spot. Same thing with Sammy. They both just do what they're asked of them.
For any head coach, it's important to be able to trust the coaches recruiting their athletes, and it seems as if Michigan has earned that trust from Coach Redhead.
Greg Frey recruits down here, and I've known him since he was at Florida State. I know he's going to take care of our kids. When we know they're good people and they care about the kids, and not just wins and losses, it makes it easier on us. That's the good thing about the Michigan coaches, they all care about these kids.
Both Dallas and Sammy are focused taking their team deep into the playoffs. They will be scheduling an official visit to Michigan in the near future. Sammy will most likely take an official to Clemson as well.
6'0", 170 lbs.
DeAnthony Arnett was at the Michigan game this past weekend and has put Michigan back on his list. I caught up with his brother Ralph, who let me know about the visit a little while ago, about Arnett's plans for this week.
The visit was nice. We picked the perfect game to come to. We talked with all the coaches, and Coach Singletary. They never stopped recruiting DeAnthony, and he told them that he wanted to see them play before he came for a visit. They had their receivers go off, and it was a great atmosphere.
The visit on the field was great, but what they were shown off the field was possibly just as important.
As far as the visit, it was outstanding. DeAnthony got one on one time with the academic advisors. They stress time management on the kids, and a lot of schools don't talk about that. It can get overwhelming, and they said they don't let the freshman fall behind, and they pay close attention to them. That was great.
Arnett has already been out to USC, Cal, and Tennessee. He obviously has had plenty of exposure to both Michigan and Michigan State. His brother let me know what the plans are from here.
DeAnthony will be announcing his decision this Wednesday at 9 AM at Saginaw High. He will be calling the coaches on Tuesday to tell them what he's decided to do. We'll go over his notes and see what he wants to do from there.
The family has kept everything close to the vest, but Michigan does have a chance. We'll all know Wednesday.
Also, here's film from four of DeAnthony's games this year.
- Four star Maryland defensive back Blake Countess was offered this past week. Look for Michigan to shoot up his list, potentially as his favorite. This could be a big pickup for Michigan if it works out.
- DC running back Malcolm Crockett is still on his official visit. I will hopefully have an update with him once he's back home.
- The Demetrius Hart scare has been resolved, and ended up just having to do with his high school, and early enrollment problems.
- Rich Rodriguez said at his press conference today that Craig Roh will most likely stay on the defensive line. Probably mostly due to this.
Synopsis for Turnovers: Apparently, after figuring out every possible way to lose football games over the past 3 years, Meeechigan figured out how to win a game that there was absolutely no way we should have won with this many TOs. M turned in a –4TOM (!!) leaving us at –7 TOM for the year and ranked #Gawd Awful (uh, #108). And yet, we won. As Les Berman says, "That's Why They Play the Games!"
Illinois had 17 possessions in regulation! The defense forced 6 punts, 1 missed FG, and 3 made FG. Michigan only punted the ball twice, failed on one 4th down attempt, made 1 of 2 FG, but gave the ball away 5 times (ILL gave it back to us once). Other than that, both teams pretty much scored TDs at will
You know how the ladies love to say that men can never admit we are wrong? Well, I was absolutely, positively, 1 Bazillion % Fracking WRONG!! I said there was no way for us to win this game without +2 TOM. I was totally Wrong!
To finish out the year, M needs to get some takeaways. Turnovers lost is about average (nothing to get excited about but not horrible either). Michigan is just not forcing any TOs and the Ints are now few and far between. There is nothing more to say. Enjoy the stats.
BTW, blocked punts, blocked field goals, on-side kick recovered by the opposing team, roughing the kicker penalties, etc. are not considered to be "official" turnovers but have the same effect. I will continue to track these also.
Synopsis for Special Teams: We punted twice and made one FG in 2 attempts. Net punting was hurt by the rugby punt that bounced right to the Illini and was returned 21 yards.
Details for Turnovers: Here is the Summary by Game. According to the folks at Football Outsiders a first down TO is worth 5 points, second down TO is worth 4.5 points, and a third down TO is worth 4.0 points (regardless of field position!).
The extrapolation is a straight line [Totals] X [13 Total Games / Games Played]. AQ Best and AQ average is over the past 10 years. AQ Best is kind of funky because the team with the "best" in each category is different so the numbers don't add. But, it does provide a point of reference.
Here is the detail of each fumble/interception and a comment providing insight if the turnover (or lack thereof) was significant. Note, blocked punts are not considered a turnover and an interception of an extra point is not considered a turnover (player does not get credit for a interception).
Here is the overall summary by player (data in yellow was affected by this week's game).
Details for Special Teams: Here are the Punting and Kickoff statistics. (Touchbacks are included as –20 yards when determining net yards.)
Remember here are the correlations of TOM to WLM at season's end.