What Is This?
It's the charity event that MGoBlog saved last year. We take over a couple of homeless shelters in Detroit for a day and give the kids a giant Christmas party, while their parents "shop" for donated holiday gifts. Activities for the kids include a pizza party, Santa Claus, a teen game room, facepainting, artwork (Misopogal's room), dancing, and the opportunity to become one of those people in Metro-Detroit who can opine on the subject of Mitch Albom's height in real life.
What Do You Want From Me?
We're looking for volunteers, and gift donations. Also, for the Santa thing I have a photographer but we need some sort of photo printing solution -- like a printer that can make printed photographs off a digital camera. We tried my Bubble Jet once and...no. And I lost my bagel donation connection so if any of you know an important person at a Metro Detroit bagel confectionary, please hook me up.
I Have a Photo Printer You Can Use/Have!
Dude, sweet. E-mail me.
I Might Know a Bagel Guy
It's not a goyisha bagel place is it? Doesn't matter. E-mail me.
I Want to Volunteer!
There are two sites, the Booth Evangeline Salvation Army, which is the larger and put together by Mitch Albom's A Time to Help organization, and the Genesis II House, organized by a nice lady named Julie.
DATE: December 4, 2010
LOCATION: (Returning starters: note new address this year): Booth Evangeline Salvation Army, 20775 Pembroke Ave., Detroit, MI 48219-1345
Volunteers will help with decorating, setting up the gift shop, serving food, crafts, games, working in the gift room, manicures, karaoke, and makeovers.
TO SIGN UP: Visit the Time to Help volunteer sign-up page.
QUESTIONS: E-mail or call Project Coordinator, Marci Fitch at 313-993-4700 x 4715 or marci at drmm dot-org. Or e-mail me.
Genesis II House
TIME: 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
DATE: December 4, 2010
LOCATION: Detroit Rescue Ministries' Genesis House II homeless shelter, 2015 Webb St., Detroit, MI, 48206
We will set up crafts and games, play with the children and talk to the ladies, and have lunch together (lunch will be provided). Then we'll set up a Holiday Store, where the donated gifts will be set out for the ladies to "shop" for themselves and their children for Christmas
TO SIGN UP or QUESTIONs: Contact Julie Kroflich, 248 478-5168 (home), juliekroflich at yahoo dot-com.
I Want to Donate a Gift
The volunteers each are asked to come with 1 UNWRAPPED gift. You can also just send/drop off gifts. The gifts will be given away to mothers while they shop in the Gift Room during the event. Gift ideas include toys, clothing, and toiletry items. Stuff that needs batteries should come with batteries. No guns, no swords, no violent comic books.
As with last year, the easy way to do this is to buy something on Amazon.com and send it to one of the shelters. If you use the link above, Brian gets some credit for it too.
Have it shipped to:
Time to Help Christmas Party Gift Room
Booth Evangeline Salvation Army
20775 Pembroke Ave.
Detroit, MI 48219-1345
Or contact Julie Kroflich if you'd like to donate a gift for the party at Genesis II House. You can also drop off gifts for that at Allen Park Community School, 14700 Moore, Allen Park, MI, 313-827-2660 by Wed. Dec. 1. Julie's at 248 478-5168.
AGE RANGE: The age of the children range from Newborn to 17 years old, with most of the children being between the ages of 4-11 years old.
SIZES: A variety of sizes ranging from newborn to 3X are needed. The larger sizes (2X and 3X are for girls.)
TOYS: Age-appropriate toys and educational toys are needed.
TOILETRIES: All types of toiletries are needed, except NOTHING with ALCOHOL in it. Shampoo, Conditioner, Toothpaste, Toothbrushes, Body Lotion, Women’s Deodorant, Body Wash, Soap, Washcloths, Towels.
|Child (4-12 years)||Teen||Parent||Infant/Toddler|
|Sweat suits||Sweat suits||Sweat suits||Sleepers|
|$15 Gift certificates for Payless shoes||$15 Gift certificates for Payless shoes||Coats|
|Board games||Board games||$15 Gift certificates for Payless shoes|
|Stuffed animals||Radio walkman||Resume paper and envelopes|
|Activity books||Jewelry kits||Radio walkman|
Thanks to a generous donation from Oakley Park Elementary School in Commerce Twp. we don't need any more school supplies at the Genesis II house. I don't know if that applies to the Booth House.
Can't I Just Give You Money?
This is not the preferred option for me. My association with this thing is because I was a board member for Volunteer Impact (Adopt-a-Shelter was one of our signature programs), which has since shut down. Without VI, things get a bit more hairy.
Option 1: Donate to S.A.Y. Detroit, the umbrella organization for Detroit charities, and specify in the comments what it's for.
Option 2: I have set up a Paypal account that goes to just me. On Friday, Dec. 3, whatever is in this account I will use to purchase last-minute stuff we need for the Booth House party. If there's any more than a few hundred in there by then, I will donate the rest in the name of MGoBlog to S.A.Y. Detroit.
Understand, this is no more safe and secure than if you found me at a Michigan tailgate and handed me cash. If you wouldn't be comfortable doing that, this isn't a good option. Also, I don't think I can get you the same tax papers.
I Have Other Stuff to Donate...
We also could use stuff donations: This is like, say, if you own a pizza joint and can donate pizza for 200 people, or orange juice/donuts/bagels for 200 people. Or cream cheese. Or balloons, game prizes, arts&crafts stuff.
One year we had a Saturn Dealership give us 50 empty popcorn boxes (don't ask), and they were awesome. Another year we had paper crowns from a certain restaurant chain that kids decorated. Someone once gave us a big cardboard box of all their kids' old Halloween costumes. You know what schlock you got.
We have the forms if you want tax receipts for the donations.
Now that we're seriously into the season, I thought it might be time to see how we're doing as compared to last year. Some people around here like tables (called "charts"), but methinks charts are hard to read. In fact, that's why last year I started plotting the Hennegraphs and other related graphical views of data B. Cook has put together.
And hence, a graph of some key offensive statistics across the first ten games of the year, for both 2009 and 2010:
Click here for the full-sized graph, which is much easier to read.
The graph plots a number of statistics across each game of the season. On the left are all the number for 2009, and on the right the numbers for 2010. The bottom-most graph shows points scored in each game; the next graph up shows point differential (how many points we scored minus how many points the opposition scored); a similar set of graphs for how many yards our offense accumulated and yard differential (yards gained minus yards given up) are shown above those.
I also took some liberty of moving the 2009 Delaware St. game to before the Big Ten Season so that the comparable games are in the same part of the season.
These graphs I believe allow one to make a few observations about how much the team has progressed since last season. And so I do:
- In 2009, we were outgained in yardage, often significantly, in virtually every game against serious competition (the Big Ten team and Notre Dame). I think it is reasonable to make the case, and the record indeed shows, that we were just a bad Big Ten team.
- In 2010, there is only one game like this: the MSU game. We have thus made a jump, at least to the middle of the pack, and possible higher (which the next two weeks will play a significant role in determining).
- In 2009, a number of Big Ten games were quite close despite the yardage differentials. Is this a testimony to the fact that the team is actually pretty tough mentally, never quitting in games even though they were getting pushed around? It is pretty amazing how close the team was to having a pretty good seasonin 2009.
- In 2010, in many ways our record is worse than our yardage numbers. This has a lot to do with turnovers undoubtedly, and is a great sign for the 2011 season.
- Your observations go here.
A lot of this is well known and obvious for those who follow the team (i.e. mgoblog fanatics like myself), but I thought the visualization was a nice way to see the differences between 2009 and 2010. Certainly, it can be shown to any idiot who claims we haven't made much progress.
Enjoy! And please do suggest other items to include on said graphs; it is not hard to scrape the data from the espn box scores.
With play concluded and nothing to do except wait for the BCS tomorrow, here's your Big Ten Bowl Outlook, with two weeks to play.
First, the standings (ordered by projected conference finish)
TEAM, W-L / ConfW-L; Games remaining, Proj Record
Wisconsin, 9-1 / 5-1; @Mich, NW, 11-1 / 7-1 (Higher BCS than Mich St , OSU)
Ohio St, 9-1 / 5-1; @Iowa, MICH, 11-1 / 7-1
Mich St, 9-1 / 5-1; PUR, @ Penn St, 11-1 / 7-1
Iowa, 7-3 / 4-2; OSU, @Minn, 8-4 / 5-3
Penn St, 6-4, 3-3; IND, MICHST, 7-5 / 4-4
Illinois, 5-5 / 3-4; NW, @ Fresno St (?!?!), 6-6 / 4-4
Michigan, 7-3 / 3-3; WISC, @ OSU, 7-5 / 3-5
Northwestern, 7-3 / 3-3; @Ill, @Wis, 7-5 / 3-5
Purdue, 4-6 / 2-4; @MichSt, IND, 5-7, 3-5
Minnesota, 2-9 / 1-6; Bye, IOWA, 2-10 / 1-7
Indiana, 4-6 / 0-6; PENNST, @ Purdue, 4-8 / 0-8
So first we eliminate the non-bowl eligible (Purdue, Minnesota, Indiana), leaving us with 8 bowl eligible teams. I'm now going to rank them by overall record instead of conference record:
1) Wisconsin (highest BCS), 11-1
2) Ohio St (2nd highest BCS), 11-1
3) Michigan St, 11-1
4) Iowa, 8-4
5-t) Penn St 7-5
8) Illinois 6-6
Now it looks like the Big Ten is going to get two BCS teams if the form holds as expected, those should be Wisconsin (Rose Bowl) and Ohio St (at-large). The Big Ten affiliated non-BCS bowls are:
Capital One Bowl (Orlando, 1 Jan)
Outback Bowl (Tampa, 1 Jan)
Gator Bowl (Jacksonville, 1 Jan)
Insight Bowl (Tempe, 28 Dec)
Texas Bowl (Houston, 29 Dec)
TicketCity Bowl (Dallas, 1 Jan)
Little Cesars Pizza Bowl (Detroit, 26 Dec)
The non-BCS bowls go in order of selection, with the only requirement being you can't choose a team more than 2-losses different than the team you're "supposed" to choose in that slot (i.e. the Capital One Bowl with the #2 Big Ten selection can't choose a team with more than 2 losses more than Michigan St, the highest Big ten team not in the BCS). With that being said, here's my bowl projections:
Capital One Bowl (Orlando, 1 Jan): Mich St v. SEC #2 (right now LSU or SEC champ game runner-up)
Outback Bowl (Tampa, 1 Jan): Iowa v. SEC #3 (Fla / So Car / Alabama)
Gator Bowl (Jacksonville, 1 Jan): Between Mich & Penn St... I'm going to say Mich since they're a more attractive team at this point. Michigan v. SEC #6 (Ark/Ken/MissSt)
Insight Bowl (Tempe, 28 Dec): Penn St v. Big 12 #4 (Mizzou or Baylor)
Texas Bowl (Houston, 29 Dec): Northwestern v. Big 12 #6 (Tex A&M or Texas)
TicketCity Bowl (Dallas, 1 Jan): Illinois v. Conf USA #1 (UCF)
Little Cesars Pizza Bowl (Detroit, 26 Dec): Big Ten will vacate this slot since with two Big Ten BCS teams, we won't have enough to fill this
- I really think Michigan is a lock over any other 7-5 team in the Big Ten, and MAYBE, just maybe we're more attractive than a 8-4 Iowa to a bowl committee, meaning we're looking at a range of Outback through Texas Bowl. Unless we upset both Wisconsin and Ohio St, and Michigan St drops one game the last two weeks, we're probably out of the Capital One Bowl. Even with two upsets, we're probably still looking at best at the Outback Bowl in a pick em vs. Iowa since Mich St would get a Rose Bowl and Wisconsin would get a BCS at-large. Realistically, I'd say pack our bags for Jacksonville
- Northwestern with Persa out for the year isn't a real attractive team anymore. Illinois could jump them in picking if Illinois can manage to win one out of two against a Persa-less NW or Fresno St.
- I don't think there's going to be a big consternation over the bowl selections this year. If the chalk holds as I predict, everything should shake out realtively according to plan with the possible Michigan / Penn St swap for the Gator / Insight Bowl
- A 6-6 Illinois team could still get a New Years Day game. wow.
If somehow the Big Ten only gets one BCS team, the only change I tihnk would be is everybody moves down one slot....
except I don't know how but I have this feeling that Jerry Jones would LOVE to have Michigan in his Dallas bowl game on 1 Jan, especially with alumni coming back in two years for the '12 game vs Alabama. can he personally vouch for 10,000 Northwestern tickets at the Insight Bowl?:)
- EDIT:: The Dallas bowl game (TicketCity Bowl) is not the Jerryworld Spectacular, but a bowl game being staged at the ACTUAL Cotton Bowl. So yeah, no Jerry Jones conspiracy theories...
Since halftime of the Illinois game, it sure feels that the Michigan defense is playing better.
Drive stats bear that out. Impressively, too. (Impressive? Our defense? Who knew.)
Excluding the overtimes vs Illinois and Purdue's last-minute garbage-time drive, the M defense has faced 22 drives that mattered in regulation in the past three halves of football.
Number of drives allowed of 30+ yards: Only THREE. (by far the biggest about-face stat of them all)
Number of touchdowns allowed: Only TWO (both by Illinois, and one on a 28-yard drive after Tate's inexplicable first-play fumble).
Number of FG attempts allowed: Only FOUR, but three were after deep-in-M-territory turnovers by our O, after which our defense held all three times on drives of 9, 16 and 2 yards.
Number of forced punts: ELEVEN
Number of three-and-outs: EIGHT
Number of interceptions: TWO
Number of recovered fumbles: THREE
Ummmm, isn't that what real defenses are supposed to do?
Yeah, I get it. Neither Illinois nor Purdue is good. But last year, and earlier this year, our defense was bad against bad teams, even bad this September against a I-AA team.
This is very good against one bad team and one mediocre team.
This is progress, boys.
What's more, by my count only three starters on D today were in those roles in September: CB James Rogers, DE Ryan Van Bergen and S Jordan Kovacs. Otherwise, backups were in today, or permanent replacement starters (who are playing better than their predecessors, eg Vinopal and Demens) or relocated starters (Cam Gordon, Craig Roh) whose strengths are propelled and weaknesses diminished in these new roles.
Perhaps best of all, these (um) not-exactly-fab five true-frosh DBs (Carvin, Avery, Vinopal, TTalbott and Christian) are starting to make plays, and that's because they're NEAR the ball when it reaches a WR. They're growing up. And getting comfortable. And thus making occasional plays.
Wisconsin and Ohio State both have offenses that are light-years better than Purdue's, and far better than Illinois', but hey. As Bo said, you're either getting better or you're getting worse. And we're getting better on D.
**A few people thought this was worthy of a diary post, so here you are.**
I've seen a few diaries analyze the defense in terms of total yardage, points allowed, etc. However, I don't think total yardage and points are necessarily the best measurements to evaluate our defensive performances. Those measurements fail to account for how quickly we score on offense, our special teams (or lack of in this case) play, turnovers, and starting field position for the opposition.
I decided to evaluate the defense in a more comprehensive manner, using several statistics to get a "big picture" view of the defense. I used several statistics to evaluate the defense during B10 play:
- % of stops (defined as non-scoring drives by the opposition)
- % of punts forced by the defense
- % of 3-and-outs forced by the defense
- Points per drive allowed by the defense
- Average starting field position by the opposition
- Yard Per Drive By Opposition
Here's how B10 play stacks up
Game 1 (Indiana):
- 7 stops on 13 drives (53.8%) - 2 stops were forced by turnover on downs
- 4 punts on 13 drives (30.8%)
- One 3-and-out (7.7%)
- 35 points on 13 drives = 2.69 points per drive
- Average starting position by Indiana = 26.31 yard line (Indiana Territory)
- 568 yards on 13 drives = 43.69 yards per drive
Game 2 (MSU)
- 4 stops on 10 drives (40%)
- 4 punts on 10 drives (40%)
- Two 3-and-outs on 10 drives (20%)
- 34 points on 10 drives = 3.4 points per drive
- Average starting field position by MSU = 30.1 yard line (MSU Territory)
- 536 yards on 10 drives = 53.6 yards per drive
Game 3 (Iowa)
- 5 stops on 11 drives (45.5%)
- 5 punts on 11 drives (45.5%)
- Five 3-and-outs on 11 drives (45.5%)
- 38 points on 11 drives = 3.45 points per drive
- Iowa average starting field position = 38.09 yard line (Iowa Territory)
- 383 yards on 11 drives = 34.82 yards per drive
Game 4 (Penn State)
- 2 stops on 9 drives (22.2%) - That is a very ugly number
- 2 punts on 9 drives (22.2%)
- One 3-and-out (11.1%)
- 41 points on 9 drives = 4.56 points per drive
- Average Starting Field Position for Penn State = 37.78 yard line (Penn State Territory)
- 435 Yards on 9 drives = 48.33 yards per drive
Game 5 (Illinois)- Regulation Only
- 8 stops on 14 drives (57.14%) including 1 fumble and missed FG -
- 6 punts on 14 drives (42.75%) -
- Four 3-and-outs (28.57%) -
- 45 points on 14 drives = 3.21 points per drive -
- Average starting field position for Illinois = 40.43 yard line (Illinois Territory) - TO's and special teams absolutely killed us
- 486 yards on 14 drives = 34.71 yards per drive
Game 6 (Purdue)
- 12 stops on 15 (80%) including 2 fumbles and 2 interceptions - That's a NICE number!
- 7 punts on 15 drives (47%) - tainted by generating TO's
- Four 3-and-outs on 15 drives (27%) -definitely tainted by generating TO's
- 9 points on 15 drives = .6 points per drive(Purdue's TD was off an INT)
- Average starting field position for Purdue - 35.93 yard line (Purdue Territory) - Wasn't really this bad, a few TO's in our territory really skewed the numbers
- 244 yards on 15 drives = 16.27 - Holy Shit there is a God!
Game Standings from Best to Worst:
|Stop%||Punt%||3-and-out%||Points/Drive||Starting Field Position|
|purdue (80)||purdue (47)||iowa (45.5)||purdue (.6)||Ind (26.31 yard line)|
|illinois (57.14)||Iowa (45.5)||illinois (28.57)||Ind (2.69)||MSU (30.1 yard line)|
|Ind (53.8)||ill (42.75)||purdue (27)||ill (3.21)||purdue (35.9 yard line)|
|Iowa (45.5)||MSU (40)||MSU (20)||MSU (3.4)||PSU (37.78 yard line)|
|MSU (40)||Ind (30.8)||PSU (11.1)||Iowa (3.45)||Iowa (38.09 yard line)|
|PSU (22.2)||PSU (22.2)||Ind (7.7)||PSU (4.56)||ill (40.43 yard line)|
**Yards Per Drive**
Purdue (16.27 Yards Per Drive)
Illinois (34.71 Yards per Drive)
Iowa (34.82 Yards per Drive)
Indiana (43.69 Yards per Drive)
Penn State (48.33 Yards Per Drive)
MSU (53.6 Yards Per Drive)
What does all this tell us:
I'm not foolish enough to believe we have a defense that is even approaching slightly below average, however, I do think we've made some improvement during 3 of the past 4 weeks with PSU being the outlier for the entire season. Taking into account that we've basically been without Mike Martin the past few weeks, and Mouton is playing at half strength, I definitely think we're trending upward. Even Avery is starting to look like a reasonable option at CB.
We all understand the defense is going to be a liability for the rest of the year, but if the secondary can play semi-adequate for the Wisconsin game, we might have a reasonable chance of winning if the offense doesn't turn the ball over. Wisconsin's pass offense is ranked #74 in terms of passing efficiency and only average 200 yards per game. However, they have a potent rushing game that is ranked #12 in terms of yards per game. Our rush defense certainly isn't good(#75 in the country), but it's not absolutely horrible either. If we play clean football, we might have a chance at winning this game. Wisconsin is not a big play team, and if the secondary can just be something approaching average, I think we have enough firepower on offense to pull it out.
I don't have anything to add to this one, and I don't want to bloviate for another 160-some words to make this pass the diary minimum, so here we are.