Big Ten play is done for this week, so lets look at the bowl outlook.
First the standings (from Bigten.org)
|11 Michigan State||6-1||201||150||4-0||2-1||10-1||348||219||7-0||3-1||2-1|
|8 Ohio State||6-1||236||98||3-0||3-1||10-1||436||153||7-0||3-1||1-1|
First, we eliminate the non-qualifier teams for bowl games based on already having 7 losses overall. These are Purdue, Minnesota, and Indiana.
So the bowl placement standings (based on overall record w/ conf standings in parenthesis) are:
Wisconsin, 10-1 (6-1), tiebreaker with best BCS ranking
Ohio St, 10-1 (6-1), higher BCS than MSU
Mich St, 10-1 (6-1)
Iowa, 7-4 (4-3)
Penn St, 7-4 (4-3)
Northwestern, 7-4 (3-4)
Michigan, 7-4 (3-4)
Illinois, 6-5 (4-4)
The only remaining question with one week of play left is how many BCS teams the Big Ten is going to get... I'm going to analyze that tomorrow when the BCS standings are released. For this, I'm going to go on the current standings and expect that next week, Wisconsin, Ohio St, Michigan St, & Iowa are going to win (favorites). We'll also assume Illinois will beat Fresno St on the road. That would mean we would have standings that would look like this:
1) Wisconsin, 11-1 (Rose Bowl, BCS autobid as highest BCS team in 3-way tie)
Ohio St, 11-1 (BCS at-large, Sugar or Orange Bowl)
Michigan St, 11-1
2) Iowa, 8-4
3) Penn St 7-5
For the bowls, I'll go in order of selection:
Capitol One Bowl
First pick after BCS Bowls. MICHIGAN STATE. This one is easy as Michigan St is the co-champ and can't be by-passed by anyother Big Ten teams for this slot. Looking at playing the top SEC that doesn't make a BCS game, so likely LSU, or So Carolina, but if the Cocks get pasted in the SEC championship, Bama may slide in here.
Big ten #3. IOWA. Iowa being all alone in 4th place and a good traveling team makes this an easy pick as well. Hawkeyes will play the SEC 3/4/5 team, so probably Arkansas or Alabama.
Big Ten #4/5. Probably PENN ST. JoePa factor, they beat us head to head, travelling following is about equal with Michigan or maybe slightly ahead. I'll say Penn St slots above us in bowl selections. The Nittany Lions will play the SEC, probably the #6 team, so Florida or Miss St.
Big Ten #4/5. Probably MICHIGAN. When compared with the remaining selections available (NW, Illinois) we win most comparisons that matter to bowl committtees. We won head to head against Illinois, are a more "exciting" team (especially with a record setting and probable Heisman finalist Denard Robinson), and travel well to warm locations. Tempe ain't Boise so we'll probably do fairly well along with being our first bowl game in 3 years. We'll play the Big 12 #6, right now looking like Kansas St, Baylor, or Texas Tech.
Big Ten #6. ILLINOIS. Illini are a shoo-in over Northwestern now as long as they get to 7 wins, and may be a higher selection at 6 wins. It's another Big 12 opponent, so the lower of the Kansas St / Baylor / Texas Tech triumverate.
Ticket City Bowl
Big Ten #7 NORTHWESTERN. Last remaining slot for a Big Ten team that's bowl eligible (thanks Purdue!). Some confusion here as the Ticketcity Bowl website says that since its the newest bowl it has to defer its selection until all the other established bowls have selected, which by my reading would mean the Little Cesar Bowl gets the last Big Ten eligible team if there's not enough, but I could be wrong as the TCB site also says that the Big Ten is the anchor conference for the first four years... So we'll assume the Big Ten #7 goes here and plays a Big 12 team if they have enough (and it looks like they do), the last of the KSt/Baylor/Tex Tc grouping.
If-I-Have-To Projected Matchups:
Rose Bowl: Wiscy v. TCU or Boise St
Sugar Bowl: LSU v. Ohio St
Capitol One: Mich St v. South Carolina
Gator: Iowa vs. Alabama
Insight: Michigan v. K St
Texas Bowl: Illinois v. Baylor
TicketCity Bowl: Northwestern v. Texas Tech
I would say if this is the case, Big Ten is favored in Capitol One, Insight, & Texas Bowls, being underdogs in most others. But who cares? We're back in and have a winnable bowl game ahead of us....
Barring major upsets next week, this is pretty static. The only changes would occur if the Big Ten only gets one BCS team (Say Stanford and an undefeated Bosie/TCU get at-larges ahead of Ohio St or Mich St).. that happens and move everybody down one slot with Northwestern going to the Little Cesar Pizza Bowl, meaning we'd end up in the Texas Bowl, which, eh, could do worse considering the Texas Bowl is one day later than the Insight Bowl (Wed vice Tue night), Houston vice Tempe, and 6p kickoff vice 10p.
So, I had some spare time at work and decided to look into something that I have been wondering for a while: does it seem like Rich Rod sticks to the run too much, even in games where we are losing? At this point I’m sure you all know RR likes to run the ball—duh. But how often, exactly, does he run the ball?
This analysis is just a basic overview of my dataset. I will follow up with more in-depth looks at point margins and down and distance, but I thought you all might be interested to see basic percentages for our offense through Purdue. If anyone has anything specific regarding playcalling vs. score margin vs. down and distance, let me know and I will see what I can do.
A few notes and stipulations on the dataset:
1.) All data is taken from Brian’s UFRs for games this season.
2.) Analysis stopped at end of UFR, so if Brian didn’t include it in his UFR (i.e. blowouts), it is not in my analysis. If Brian doesn’t think its worth looking at, well, neither do I.
3.) Plays in which either team got a penalty are included ONLY IF the ball was snapped, since if it didn’t, we can’t know what play was called.
4.) Every snap weighted the same regardless of time left in half/game, because my thought process, we are almost as likely to run the ball in a 2 minute drill as the rest of the game (almost, though not quite).
5.)2 pt. conversions left out.
Disclaimer: 4th down numbers are not very accurate due to low sample size.
Now, for a chart:
A few things here are obvious. First, RR likes to run on 1st down (69.1% of the time). His affinity for running decreases every down, with the exception of 4th down. Most of the runs on 4th down are 4th and short, and the passes 4th and long.
Next, we will take a look at the distribution when the game is tied:
What we see here is that RR is more likely to run the ball on every down when the game is tied than his average, except fourth down.
Now, we look at when we are winning the game:
So, RR is more likely to run when we are winning, though not to a statistically significant level except on 1st down.
And when we are losing:
So, RR is much less likely to run on all downs (except 4th) when we are losing.
This data all flushes out pretty much as expected, but I thought I'd share anyway. In the next edition, I will analyze run-calling affinity per down based on score margin. Stay tuned, folks for all upcoming editions of 2010 Playcalling so far: An Analysis.
P.S. If anyone is interested in seeing my whole dataset for validation or to do your own analysis, please leave a comment/message me (can you message people on here?) and I will be pleased to share!
EDIT: Title and Tags edited to be more informative
Original Picture Pages is at http://mgoblog.com/content/picture-pages-more-throwing-rock. As always, text and analysis courtesy of Brian.
This is actually an instance of 'N+2 in the box' (where N is the number of available Michigan blockers) executed by Purdue, holding Vincent Smith to a six-yard gain despite all the linemen getting good blocks. By walking down both safeties, Purdue creates an 8-to-6 overmatch in the box.
Wha'hoppon: Michigan has the ball on their own 43 to start their final drive of the first half. They run a zone stretch left. Kerrigan at left DE rushes straight upfield and is blocked by Huyge. It looks like Denard may have a keeper option to the right, but he reads the safety staying down low and hands off to Smith. Omameh blows the backside DT off the ball, Molk gets a good reach block on the playside DT, Schilling helps Molk get that reach block and then releases to go after an LB. Lewan kicks the playside DE out, and Koger takes out the other playside LB. HOWEVA, because Huyge stayed in to block Kerrigan, LB Will Lucas is free to flow down the line and tackle Smith after a gain of six yards.
10. Ron Dayne- Sure he holds some NCAA records and could out eat John Candy in a Hot Wings contest but nothing was more frustrating than watching a guard play running back and do it so well. Like God took Barry Sanders feet and pasted them onto Ron Dayne for a sick joke. Oh well... Michigan got the last laugh.
9. That 70s Show- I know it doesn't have much to do with the Badgers besides the show taking place in Wisconsin... I still hate that show. Besides looking at Mila Kunis(Jackie) and watching the bad guy from Robocop it sucked. I never enjoyed Horse Face/Man Voice Donna and all the lame 14 year old pot head humor. I won't even get into the awful "That 80s show" that spawned from it and lasted a week or the fact that Fez.. never mind.
8.Bucky the Badger- I mean he is so top heavy and hooky. He doesn't even have a neck. He does push ups after touchdowns.. How original. He also looks like a furry candy cane. Maybe this is a reach but still...
7.The "W"- It's pure ugly. It's all squashed and....dumb. I mean it barely looks like a "W". Looks like Devil writing with all those points and red.
6.Camp Randall- Whats with naming the stadium after a campground? Sounds like a place my dad took us up north for our crappy family camping trips. Also whats with that Church/warehouse? Looks so out of place. The place is a poor mans Horseshoe in some respects. Jump around isn't that cool either. It was better in Happy Gilmore.
5.The Perverted Band- "This one time in Camp Randall." In 2008 you sick loony pervs were suspended for the Ohio State game. I guess keeping the public safe from a bunch of hazing drunk super sex freaks was in order. Not that the OSU fans would have minded. They love hazing drunk super sex freaks. Next time take your sick little band games to the internet. At least you will make money. Oh and they lost because of you..
4. Orson Welles- Again didn't attend UW that I am aware of but I hate frozen peas.
3. Bo Ryan- Yeah... Alright he has been pretty good but... Boring! When you do the eye ball test on his basketball teams you think they look like the worst team in the Big Ten. A bunch of ugly white dudes who box out and and play defense... oh and take smart shots. How boring winning must be. His poor man's (yes that phrase again) Pat Riley looks awful. Pat would throw hair grease in his eyes for dishonoring his look.
|Whats that shit on your face?|
2. James Kamoku- You son of a bitch! You think you can put your god damn hands on Steve Breaston and get away with it? DO YOU!? This amateur during a 2006 UM vs UW punt return decided to try and rip Steve's ankle off. It was caught on TV. Karma is a bitch since last I saw you played for some fake football team called the "Wolf Pac". Guess what happened to this dirt ball for his bush league act? NOTHING! That brings me to number...one.
1. Bret Bielema- I know right? Predictable? Yes he's an easy number one. His fat ugly head has made him a pretty big D bag around the league. Last week he nearly killed a man. Alright he didn't but he did smash the poor Indiana people for 83 points for no damn reason. He also ran the score up on the handicapped Gophers. This dude is such a sleeeeze ball. He looks so creepy, like I would see him in the Golden Lion off of US-23 searching for his favorite adult magazine. So in closing he is a smug ugly man who is in favor of no sportsmanship and dirty play... oh and he hates Care Bears.... and I don't like him.
Rush Offense vs Wisconsin
Michigan Off: +7, 2nd nationally, 1st Big Ten
Wisconsin Def: +1, 38th, 5th
D Robinson: +6 rushing, 1st in Big Ten, 2nd nationally
S Hopkins: +0, 7th in Big Ten
M Shaw: +0, 10th
V Smith: +0, 11th
Last week’s mud game was several points worse on the ground than any game for Michigan to date. Wisconsin’s rush defense has been good but their best performance came in the one game they lost. Will be interesting to see where Michigan’s ground game is at now with last week’s performance relatively meaningless.
Prediction: +6 Michigan – Michigan should be able to get some yards on the ground but needs to be good enough to bring safeties down and open up the passing game. Also, a big play on the ground would be nice, it’s been a while.
Pass Offense vs Wisconsin
Michigan Off: +5, 14th, 1st
Wisconsin Def: +1, 55th, 6th
D Robinson: +5 passing, 5th
R Roundtree: +6, 4th
J Hemingway: +6, 7th
D Stonum: +3, 18th
Other than blowing the doors off the Buckeyes, Wisconsin has been vulnerable to the pass during Big Ten play. The question is whether or not Denard (or Tate) can put together the consistent play necessary to take advantage.
Prediction: +4 and two get there Michigan will likely need Big Passing Plays – Interceptions to be at least +2
Rush Defense vs Wisconsin
Michigan Def: –3, 105th, 10th
Wisconsin Off: +3, 16th, 3rd
J White: +1, 3rd
J Clay: +1, 5th
M Ball: +0, 8th
After an underwhelming start in non-conference play, the Badger ground game has been consistently strong in Big Ten play. The ground game has been the backbone of the #2 rated red zone offense (92% of possible points scored) in the country. For reference Michigan is about average at 75%. Michigan will need to get off the field before the red zone because Wisconsin has not been a team susceptible to bend but don’t break defense.
Prediction: Wisconsin +6. Michigan is going to give up some plays but the key will be finding a way to get three good plays in a row to get off the field.
Pass Defense vs Wisconsin
Michigan Def: –3, 106th, 11th
Wisconsin Off: +3, 23rd, 4th
S Tolzien: +4, 7th
N Toon: +3, 16th
I don’t exactly know what to say about this matchup, we are probably doomed despite the nice number from last week. Hopefully it’s not as bad as last year.
Prediction: Wisconsin +6 and hopefully no worse.
Special Teams vs Wisconsin
Michigan: –2, 108th, 10th
Wisconsin: +2, 48th, 5th
Kicking: Big advantage Wisconsin, top 10 versus bottom 10
Michigan kicks: Slight advantage Wisconsin, Michigan is bad, Wisconsin below average
Wisconsin kicks: Slight advantage Wisconsin, Michigan is bad, Wisconsin below average
Michigan punts: Slight advantage Michigan, Michigan is really good, Wisconsin above average
Wisconsin punts: Push, both are bad
Over half of Wisconsin’s advantage comes from their kicker versus our disaster.
Predictions almost certain to cost you money if taken seriously
If Wisconsin brings their A game Michigan is done and Michigan isn’t good enough to play poorly and win.
This chart is both teams game scores ranked from best to worst. Wisconsin’s ceiling has been much higher and Michigan’s bad has been worse, but in the middle, these two teams aren’t that far apart.
In Madison our chances would be slim, but with Senior Day and home field it’s nearly a coin flip.
Wisconsin 38 Michigan 37
Iowa 26 Ohio St 24 – Iowa paves the way for Pasadena Sparty
Michigan St 28 Purdue 10 – Unfortunately Purdue doesn’t have the talent
Illinois 38 Northwestern 24 - [Name Redacted] gets a Wrigley reprieve
Penn St 31 Indiana 10 – Nothing like last week, but Indiana gets blown out at “home”
What? Is this "feature" still a thing? Yeah, it's still a thing when I have time for it. I admit, I had time last week, but Purdue frustratingly doesn't publish a transcript. I really didn't feel like listening to the audio of the entire presser. Seriously, what's up with that? The previous weeks I was just really busy and didn't get around to doing it. I've got a little time now as I relax while watching Michigan handle Bowling Green (woo basketball empty Crisler Arena!!!).
So this week, we have that big meat-head Bret Bielema and his meaty Badgers (did that just sound really wrong? At least I didn't call them yummy). Anyway, here's the link to the presser, for those who wanna read the thing over. Surprisingly, Bielema is NOT monosyllabic. Whodathunkit.
Holy crap, his intro was long. Spent a lot of time talking about how they played so many guys (11 on DL alone!). He mentions a few players specifically, like JJ Watt (who we know is very good), Aaron Henry (pick six), James White (Fr, RB), and David Gilreath. Now to the substance...
On gameplanning against Michigan...
- Michigan offensive philosophy very different than under Carr. Now have "a little bit more multiple" (I think he's referring to offensive formations?), but really clicking right now.
- Denard and Tate present different challenges (seems like they're preparing to see both). Mentions that Denard is a special runner and has "a live arm," but also that "he's had some picks, some bad decisions." Because of his running ability, gets secondary and linebackers in iso coverages.
- Tate is "savvy" and "shifty." Suggests that you know what you get with Denard, but Tate is more of an improviser, making "a lot of in-play game adjustments and decisions."
- Comparing DR and TF, he says: "They’re not the same, but there are some different play calls, but they don’t get in different sets or different philosophy, and I think they expect them both to know the plan, move them forward." (Yeah, that's just a wonderfully ridiculous sentence. Quick thinking, coach.)
- Talks about Michigan having had 5 TO's Saturday and that their "guys are aware of it." Stresses ball security on their side. Sounds like he thinks there is some opportunity to force a few TO's, what with the TO and Denard "bad decisions" comments.
- They'll use a combination of WR's and RB's on the scout team to play DR. Similar to what they did when playing ohio state (pryor).
On the game/rivalry...
- First time back to Big House since 2008, when UW lost. Have to learn from positives/negatives, but it's a different team with different leaders.
- Mentions that the road loss against michigan state was big and that they took a lot from it, taking confidence from that into the game this Saturday.
On their own team, personnel, other random stuff...
- Doesn't believe John Clay will be at full strength, but feels good about the rotation they have with Montee Ball and James White. Get good rhythm with those two and bring in a 3rd when needed.
- On UW averaging almost 40ppg, really lauds OC Paul Chryst. Says he and the other coaches have done a great job of ingraining the offense, particularly when you see the 3rd stringers coming in and having success against IU.
- Talks about how momentum in road games is huge, particularly for the road team to withstand swings in momentum to the home team. This will be a challenge against UM.
- Someone actually asked him why he thought the computer polls didn't seem to like Wisco as much as the human voters (really?). He basically said, "I dunno, but it'd be neat to find out." Then speculates that maybe it's due to computers looking at W/L and maybe not scoring margin. (So yeah, that's actually pretty close. Except for Billingsley. That guy's just an idiot. I still have no idea how his "computer poll" is in the BCS formula).
So what did we learn? That the media asks a lot of stupid superficial questions. GO BLUE! Beat Bucky!