‘Give ’em the works, Cubby! We ain’t got a minute to lose! This ain’t a newspaper story — it’s a career! Why, they’ll be naming streets after you!’
Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of Disco Demolition Night at old Comisky Park in Chicago. This event took place between games of a doubleheader between the Tigers and the White Sox. The Tigers won the first game, but the second game never got played because the White Sox were forced to forfeit because the festivities got out of hand and the field was trashed.
I was a 10 year old growing up in Western Michigan. In those days, only a handfull of games were televised. It so happened that only the second game of the doubleheader was scheduled to be televised. Coverage picked up late in the first game and I watched the Tigers close out their 4-1 win. What happened next was something I had never seen before and have never seen again inside a baseball stadium. Disc-jockey exploded a large crate full of vinyl disco albums to the chants of Disco Sucks. As Dahl left the field, the crowd stormed the field and started to riot and rip apart the field. My older brother and I thought the whols scene was pretty cool. My parents thought it was just another example of how the younger generation was ruining America. It is one of those moments I will never forget.
ESPN has a very good recap of the night on Sportscenter. I recommend it to anyone who was too young to have experienced it (or to anyone who did experience it).
UPDATE: Voting for this bracket is closed. Stay tuned for the Round 2 bracket.
This is the first of what will be a multi-part series in which the MGoBlogosphere will get to pick their favorite unis among the pantheon of Michigan athletics. I tried to represent every varsity and club varsity team at least once, although to get it all to fit I had to make a few judgment calls. Among those missing: a number of pre-winged football unis, and the blue version of the new hockey sweaters (since the icers were getting close to having their own bracket).
In the end, I narrowed it down to 64 for your consideration, just enough for a full tourney.
So here we go: the outfits of champions, 64 gorgeous unis in white, maize, and of course, Blue.
Click on the game links for examples of each uniform. Click on the [vote] links to cast your vote.
(ed note: If anyone is better than I am at Web editing, specifically finding ways to do things under the restrictions of the diaries -- e.g. not having to post polls like this -- your advice would be appreciated. Also, don't put too much effort into understanding the seeding; I didn't.)
Men's Bracket, Standing Out from the Crowd Region:
These are the unis that are made to show off our stuff, or at least burn out Ohio's eye sockets trying. When one of your colors matches the sun, you don't have to hide it behind blue sky and gray clouds. Sometimes, though, the sport calls for an alternate that's a little more subdued, a little more classy. There is such a thing as too much sunshine. I'll let the MgoBloggers be the judge of which alternate uniforms will put M over the top, or need to be returned to the costume department of Brüno.
Included in this bracket are the basketball team's flashy yellows (pictured), the glossy maize-on-ice sweaters of the cagers, and a slew of other (baseball, lacrosse, soccer, tennis) alts. It also has baseball's classic blues, and the subdued yet prepster shirts of M's golf team (so entered with collars un-popped).
Men's Bracket, Not Everyone Looks Good in Blue Region:
Navy blue, throughout history, has not been a color reserved for the masses. It's a color you have to earn. Those who put on an azure jersey, or sweater, or leotard, become part of a long tradition of excellence. Only after proving yourself worthy of that tradition may you don this hue. Blue says that you stand above the competition, that you are better than others. There are so many great reasons to wear this color, but if you're gonna go blue, you'd better do it right.
I'm not even going to pretend like this bracket will be competitive, considering a) this is a primarily football-based blog, and b) Michigan's home uniform is consistently rated by the national version of these things as the best in sports. But even so, we play the games, and there's some good things in blue outside of the Big House. On the other hand, some are little more than a slighty altered version of the Steve&Barry's tee (and not even written in Hebrew or with "Dad" underneath), unless you're into that sort of thing (gotta admit, I kinda am).
Game 3: Wrestling (3) v. Tennis (6)
[Author note: The original image used for Tennis was incorrect, and was changed July 13, 2009, at 1:22 a.m. EDT to reflect M Tennis's true blue uniforms. At that time, the vote favored wrestling 84 to 41. After the voting shifted dramatically after the switch, I decided to only count votes after that point, and posted an announcement to that effect in the boards. In the end, Tennis didn't need the help.]
Men's Bracket, In My Day We Wore X Region:
A friend of mine was asked once why his faith has so many traditions. His reply, "when 900 years old you reach, look as good, you will not, hmm?" Michigan's not that old, but we have been playing a full slate of varsity sports for longer than most Division 1 schools have existed. In that time, a lot of outfits have come and gone, though considering all those years, though not so many as you might think -- we're "traditional" like that I guess. Some have been brought back. Others never left. And some probably belong back on the shelf.
Many of these are more recent, for a couple of reasons. 1) Most of this board wasn't around or even alive for most of Michigan's uniform history -- not that old uniforms were given all that thought to begin with back then. And 2) some recent changes (e.g. football aways) might still carry with them enough emotion, being still present in our memories, and I'm a whore for response rates.
White is a dangerous color, but for those who can pull it off ... oh, who am I kidding, as Misopogal can tell you, I really don't know anything about fashion. What I do know is that if you don't wash your white hockey sweater after every use, you'll develop some unintended yellow slashes at the drip-points of your pads (I'm still waiting for a hockey uni to be designed with color slashes where the sweat stains usually form).
In this bracket are the whites, some for home use, others only meant for the road. Some are mixed with maize or blue for a classy two-tone look. Some are bright with only spare stripes breaking up the brilliance. Others are a dark white (gray). Some have pinstripes. You tell me which ones you'd wear (so long as it's before Labor Day). [ed note: Misopogal says this is a myth, you can wear white after Labor Day, unless you're going to a friend's wedding, because that would be tacky].
Don't feel left out, girls -- stay tuned for our next installment, Round 1: The Women's Bracket.
This is the first video of Cornelius Jones I have come across so I figured I would put it on here. I have not posted on here before so I hope this works. If it does not work please let me know how to make it work I have a link to a video of Cornelius and he looks like a good prospect. You also have to consider that he has not been playing for a long time. I like his story and I will be rooting for him to make it at UM. I am a long time Michigan fan and I hope that we can turn things around this year. As my name states I am a Michigan fan living in Ohio. Although my entire family is buckeye fans I have never been. I am trying to make this long enough to make this meet the 200 word minimum. Only a few more words to go then hopefully this will work and I can post this link so you all that have not seen a video on this kid can then get your first look at him. He is kind of a mystery to most Michigan fans. I hope you like this video so here it goes. Enjoy. http://www.athletevault.com/Videos/CorneliusJonesAV.html
[Editor's note: I am headed to a wedding in Milwaukee this weekend, and thus won't be able to put together mgo-worthy content for the rest of today. Instead, enjoy this excellent, research-heavy diary.]
First time poster, long time lurker. While procrastinating on various work projects, I’ve been dithering around with a data set on college football win-loss records. I’m the sort of guy who actually thinks HBS case studies are kinda neat, so futzing with this seemed like fun in its own twisted way. Then one of our fellow mgobloggers put up a really nice monte carlo simulation of the 2009 season (using a $500K piece of software no less) and I felt a little guilty about not posting some of my stuff online. So, here goes …
What sent me down this path was the whole topic of what our expectations should be for next year’s win total. Seems like the general consensus is somewhere between a 3-5 win improvement for next year. I am a Bill James devotee, so I began to wonder how realistic that was in a historical context (i.e., how many teams really improve that much in one year). My instinct was such occasions were not all that common. So, I spent a couple of hours pulling some data (30 years worth of W-L records for every D1A team, to be exact). Here are some summary conclusions and some things that I intend to research a little further and post about whenever the procrastination bug strikes again.
Turns out that big improvements in win totals from one year to another are more common than I thought. There were roughly 300 such cases since 1980. Considering that the data set is about 3300 team seasons, I thought this was pretty remarkable. In essence, the average team has at least one 4+ win improvement season every decade. Score one for optimism here.
Digging a little further, I took a look at extreme win total improvements (+6 wins or more). There were quite a few of these as well – 63 (or more than 2 per season). And they weren’t all MAC and Sun Belt teams either. 28 of those seasons were from teams in one of the six BCS conferences. The Big Ten had 6 such seasons:
- Northwestern 95
- Purdue 97
- Ohio St 02
- Penn St 05
- Illinois 07
- Minnesota 08 (EDIT: Missed the MN season in the first draft).
For those dreaming about the possibility of warm weather for New Years, at least there’s some historical precedent. Also, RichRod is responsible for one of those 63, West Virginia '02, which was +6. Which also happened in his second year after a 3-8 first season. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’ …
For those who are curious, the biggest turnaround in the study (and most likely in college football history) is Hawaii 99 (+9). At +8 were Florida 80, San Jose St 86, Bowling Green 91, South Carolina 00, and Central Florida 05.
I also was wondering if the optimism about a BCS game in two years was rooted in reality. [Editor's note: I would have gone with "vague hope" instead of optimism.] For this, I am assuming the requirement is an 11+ win season. So, if we start with the assumption that this year ends up at 7 wins, we need another 4 win improvement next season to reach that.
Here, the historical precedent is less encouraging*. In the study there are only 5 cases of teams recording 2 consecutive seasons of 4+ win improvements: Colorado St in 89 and 90, Fullerton St in 84 and 85, Georgia Tech in 89 and 90 (culminating with a shared national title), UNLV in 83 and 84, and one other.
This last one should be your reason for optimism, as it is Tulane in 97 and 98. With OC Rich Rodriguez. 2-9 Tulane 96 became 12-0 Tulane 98 under that offense. The historical numbers may be stacked against us, but this staff has defied them once before.
Lastly, I wanted to highlight the three Michigan seasons that were caught by this analysis: 85, 97, and 06 (all +4).
See any themes here? If you named the three best defensive teams of the last 30 years, this is probably the list (with the possible exception of the 80 team). Does this sound like the 09 team to you? Yeah, me neither. Bummer.
I do see some decent parallels to the 85 and 06 teams, though. Both the 84 and 05 teams were plagued by injury hell and were extremely young, as was 08. Both the 85 and 06 teams ushered in a new era of offensive strategy (Bo discovered the forward pass with Harbaugh in 85, the zone stretch changed the running game in 06). For all intents and purposes, 09 is the first real glimpse we’ll have at RichRod’s full playbook so I’m willing to buy that as a philosophical change.
The defense going into both 85 and 06 had only two established stars (Mike Hammerstein/Brad Cochran, Lamarr Woodley/Leon Hall) and a bunch of question marks. Could Graham/Warren count as established stars? The 85 and 06 teams had unheralded defensive players become stars (Mark Messner, Andy Moeller in 85, Alan Branch, David Harris in 06). Could that happen here? Mouton? Martin? Spinner/deathbacker to be named later? Surprise freshman stud (Turner? Campbell? Emelien?) Maybe it’s a stretch, but if you want to be an optimist, I think this is what you look to …
So, that’s all I have for now. I am going to take a closer look at the impact of coaching changes on the big spikes in W/L. Current hypothesis says you get the biggest pop in year 2, but let’s see what the data says. Also going to look at the other side of this coin, seasons of -4 wins or more. Could give some retrospective insight into the whole WTF situation that was 08. If you want me to look at anything else, I am open to suggestions.
* Really this should look at 8+ win improvements over two years, not just consecutive 4+ win years. However, it is late and I’m too tired to do that now. Maybe next time.
[Editor's note: Something struck me as I read this: check out those bounce-back seasons there. Minnesota was 1-11. Illinois was 2-10. Northwestern was 3-7-1, Purdue 3-8, Penn State 4-7. Only OSU -- 7-5 in 2001 -- went from mediocre to very good, and the 2002 OSU team were the luckiest sonsabitches in recent college football history.
Everyone else was bouncing up from horrible to average, which seems much easier to do than to go from average to very good. So, yeah, a crappy bowl beckons.]
Rare as in vintage, rare as in Lions win?
In less than 48 hours we have octupled the existing the visual evidence that the Lions were a) indeed good at one point, b) not that into analyzing the ypc effectiveness of their off-tackle runs.*
For a guy who counts Bobby Layne among his sporting heros (undies “22", and you can’t really make this out but my sig is the self-portrait of an Iraq war vet whose glass eye sports the Lions logo**) its nice to see more than the same 90 seconds of highlights repackaged and rolled out on the rare occasion he’s discussed. If NFL films/network runs a 3 minute piece on Bobby Layne you see the same touchdowns plays 5 times.
1952 Championship highlights
1953 Championship highlights
After watching those I suddenly want a Miller Highlife.
What a potential treasure trove Garrard “Buster” Ramsey has left the sporting world, particularly Lions fans with nary a sun lamp for reflected glory basking. You’re not going to find may pre-1957 tilts on ESPN classic or NFL channel’s “Game of the Week”. And major props to his family for taking the excruciating time to make these conversions of 16 mm to the net. Haven’t had a chance to review much of these yet but looking forward to it.
This isn’t an appropriate Diary topic, but I fiddled with me “create content” for awhile and couldn’t get to a place where I could post a forum topic. Perhaps that is somehow connected with the new points system? I haven’t kept up with those posts very well.
I don’t have time to read many of the forums or diary topics, but enjoy most of them when I do, and will make the time for certain posters or topics. I don’t know if there’s any sort of rift over OT posts choking out or obscuring M sports related user generated content, but my guess is that there is not. The core Mgoblog fan community came for football but has likely stayed and coagulated for just as many other reasons. Although, if there were room and formatting compatibility a separate “OT Forum” may not be a bad idea.
*I’m not even ½ way through the first segment before the first halfback pass sighting from Doak Walker. For all the ex-QBs Rod is bringing aboard, I’m I crazy for thinking there’s a lot of upside in making that a staple of M’s offense? Staple as in 2-3 per every couple games. I wonder if smart football or anyone else has ever looked at the risk reward factor of that play. Probably not enough sample data.
**How annoyed was he with logo change?
I know there have been posts about JT getting in. Hope he does... These tests seem to be important to test reading skills, but its not like most of us solve for x in the real world. When I graduated HS in Michigan there was a merit test that you had to take and I believe that you got a small scholarship, but passing the test was not mandatory. All I actually remember is being bored and that one of the questions involved a picture of the state of Utah and asked you to identify it.
According to achieve.org and USA Today, 26 states in the US have graduation exams. Their data shows that in some states as many as 40% of HS graduates end up taking remedial english classes when they get to college. Likewise, there are three types of graduation exams that exist:
1. Pass the test or else.
2. Pass the test or do a project/complete other criteria.
3. A two tier system where you still get your "local" diploma, but you do not get certified as a HS graduate based on state standards.
Overall, the system in my opinion is mostly a school by school progress report and a "guarantee" by educators that they are not just flipping diplomas to get kids out the door.
Some states that have graduation tests are: Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, and Texas. So this will likely come up again in the future with recruits. It seems that these tests mainly cover the three core subjects -English, Math and Science
Sample questions are on the Ohio website and I posted a few below for fun.The Reading sections are too long to post in here and many of the Science Questions have graphs and other tables that are hard to copy. If you have some free time and want to check it out, the link is provided. Below are a few sample questions.
Don't let your alma mater down...
Answers are provided on the website, but I figured you would want to challenge yourself.
Sample Questions Mathematics
1. The table below contains the results of a
Record of Blooms
Week 1 2 3 4 5
Number of Blooms 3 9 27 81 b
Assuming the pattern shown in the table
continues, what is the value of b?
6. A set of data contains 10 negative numbers
and 4 positive numbers. Which one of these
statements must be true?
A. The mean is a negative number.
B. The median is a negative number.
C. The mode is a negative number.
D. The range is a negative number.
3. Which equation is equivalent to
3(2x – 5) = 4(x + 3)?
A. 2x = –27
B. 2x = 27
C. 10x = –27
D. 10x = –3
Sample Questions Science
2. Architects are working with
engineers to build a lecture hall.
How can they design it so that
echoes are reduced and speech is
not heard as garbled sounds?
A. build smooth marble walls,
ceilings and polished floors
B. construct many flat walls,
angled ceilings and smooth
C. use an ultramodern design of
metal walls, pillars and seats
D. build walls out of porous
materials, upholster the seats
17. Two processes that allow cells to
release energy from food are:
A. mitosis and meiosis.
B. excretion and diffusion.
C. fermentation and cellular
D. osmosis and spontaneous