In the latest installment of “The State Of Our Open Threads”, someone had asked for some historical perspective on some of the data, and I decided that it would be a good idea to go back through the data on two of the more common words among those tracked – “fuck” and “shit” – which are, incidentally, two of our more indicative words, and see exactly what the history of each could tell us about the last three years of the board on football Saturdays.
The main analysis is for the regular season only, although I do have bowl data. Being that the period was from 2013 to now, I kept the bowl data separate since, well, we didn’t go to one in 2014. That aside, it was interesting to go back through the old data and see what might be gleaned from it that hasn’t already, not to mention see if there were any more interesting metrics that we had not devised yet.
Before we get into some new metrics, the raw data for each word should be examined.
The raw, unadjusted fucks are charted below, beginning from the start of 2013 to now. For purposes of this stab at the analysis, the bowl game data is excluded.
You can see the bulge in 2015, which has a lot more to do with the enthusiasm at the beginning of the Harbaugh era of Michigan football than anything else. As there are fucks of frustration, so there are fucks of elation, and quite a bit of what is going on there can be explained that way. If we scan the last two years of Hoke’s time here, a few games immediately stand out specifically for how angry we got – 2013 Penn State, 2013 Iowa (80% of those fucks were 2nd half fucks), and 2014 Rutgers. Over there, the “fucks” point to what MGoBlog may have deemed watershed moments in the waning days of the previous coaching regime.
Now, the unfettered shit.
You get a similar story for Harbaugh’s time to date actually, although “shit” tends to be the one we reserve more for plays or calls that do not go our way, and there was enough of that even in the wins in 2015 to explain that. It had an interesting run in 2013 and 2014 too – it was in relatively heavy use in the 2013 Iowa game and then it hit unheard of levels for the 2014 Utah game, a game punctuated by a rain that said without words what a lot of us were feeling.
After a few discussions with people, I began to realize that we need another level of this analysis – the fucks must be tempo adjusted to get a better handle on just how we felt, so there are two ways we can look at this. One is the Fucks Adjusted For Real Time (i.e., approximate airtime in minutes, accounting for those at home), or the FART rate and the other is Fucks Adjusted For Total Plays, which we will call the FAP Rate. They will look similar to the previous “Fuck” graph but perhaps they tell us a few things.
Here’s FART Rate:
So, we do see a few things here – the highest FART rate belongs to 2015 Indiana game, followed closely by the 2015 Michigan State game, both of which contained some hairy moments – I’ll put it politely.
Perhaps FAP Rate says something different:
Similar to FART, but telling you how many fucks on average were tossed into the open thread per offensive and defensive snap, and like FART, showing you a little bit how game length and game speed can affect our fucks.
Let’s do the same thing for “shit” using the same data. That will give us “Shits Adjusted For Real Time”, which we will call the SHART rate, and “Shits Adjusted For Total Plays”, or SHAT because that sounds better to me.
So, here’s the SHART rate for this period:
One thing is clear at this point until 2014 Utah, “shit” was not quite the shit on the blog. Clearly, it has seen a majority of its use since that game.
SHAT Rate should probably look similar:
It does. The 2015 Minnesota and Penn State games have the highest SHAT, which I find interesting because at least during the Minnesota game, I am sure I used that word quite a bit.
There’s another transformation that we can do here at this point. Let’s look at the FART / SHART combined ratio and see if we can get a good handle on how we were using these words relative to one another in recent years. We can call this the SQUIRT Number for the threads.
Here’s what that looks like:
The highest SQUIRT numbers clearly belong to 2013 Penn State and 2014 Rutgers. The average SQUIRT over this period is about 2.81, so basically for every three fucks, there is a shit. In the two games just mentioned though, there was a tendency to run with fuck rather than get mired in shit and I don’t blame anyone either.
Anyway, this is just a warning that you may see some more analytics on occasion.
0-5-3 start to the season.
Just 5 (edit) goals in 8 games (0.63 per game)
All of this in year 5 of Chaka Daley, as he dropped to 33-37-14 at Michigan after tonight's 1-0 loss to WMU. The 3rd straight shutout loss and 5th game of the 8 played where we failed to score any goals.
Chaka has failed to make the NCAA Tournament each season outside of his first year which was done with the previous coach's players (and he still only managed a record one game above .500).
The previous coach was handed the DB special. If you read Endzone, you know what happened. If you didn't, long and maddening story short-
- DB gets hired in 2010
- Michigan, in its 11th season as a program, goes 17-6-3 and makes it to the NCAA College Cup (final four), and came up short in the national semifinal in a one goal game to eventual national champion Akron.
- 98% of the scoring either goes pro or graduates after the season.
DB makes douchey remark at banquet-
"Congratulations on making the Final Four. Do you know what happens when you make it to the Final Four? We expect you to do it again".
- Michigan naturally has a down season in 2011 with all of its offense gone from the previous year. Every loss in that 5-14-1 season in 2011 came by one goal. Michigan also upset the team that beat them in the College Cup.
- Steve Burns wrongly fired after the season ends.
So fast forward to now. No tournament since 2012, finishing lower and lower every single year in conference play similar to Hoke. It's gotten to the point where it's even being said by the BTN+ Student broadcast team that the players are going through the motions out there. It's sad for a guy like Evan Louro who is a great goalie. He's getting no help whatsoever from anyone.
Bizzare transfers happening including losing a hometown kid in Ahinga Selemani after one year and TWO players transferring to OHIO STATE!
Michigan's offensive output of 5 goals in 8 games is the second-worst total through that many games in program history. What's the first? Two years ago under Chaka where it was 4 goals in 7 games.
Warde Manuel's first real hire here is likely coming in November/December. Because 0-5-3 in year 5 where things have been getting progressively worse is not cutting it.
Not when you have the former US WNT coach leading the women's team and approaching his 100th career victory here.
Here's my short list for coaching candidates-
Paul Snape- Head coach at #10 Butler. He was an assistant here from 2003-2010. Butler is 5-0-1 currently with wins over B1G teams and their only blemish being a tie with top-15 Louisville.
Kevin Langan- Head coach of the top-5 ranked UNC-Charlotte 49ers. Was an assistant there for their College Cup in 2011. He has a 56-21-10 record there, and the 49ers just crushed Rutgers who isn't that bad in men's soccer.
- Steve Burns- He's been out of coaching since he was wrongly fired, he works in the Alumni Association. Would be a heck of a story.
W. P. Kinsella passed away last weekend at the age of eighty-one. During his lifetime, Kinsella published seven novels and over a dozen collections of short stories, but the work for which he will be most remembered is Shoeless Joe, the book on which the 1989 film Field of Dreams was based. Now familiar to sports fans and non-sports fans alike, the story hardly needs to be recounted: an Iowa man hears a spectral voice while standing in the middle of his cornfield, and by heeding its call, the man discovers a way back to the baseball heroes of his youth. Kinsella’s work was often assigned the label of magical realism, a term which suggests the blending of fact and fantasy into a tenuous equilibrium, but to the true devotee, Kinsella’s work may read more like a testament of faith. Kinsella’s lasting contribution may be the way in which he taught sports fans to believe in the voice from the sky.
For thirty-three years, until 2005, Howard King was the voice from the sky in Michigan Stadium, where he served as the public address announcer. Understated and level, King’s voice raised an entire generation of Michigan Football fans to appreciate the unique culture of the program: substance over style, consistency over conceit, tradition over all. This was not the culture of most other institutions, and certainly not of the businesses which constitute the NFL, all of whom sold their souls to the Devil in exchange for a few extra decibels of arousal. In fact, up until the last decade, Michigan Stadium crowds were frequently disparaged for behaving more like an audience at a symphony -- clapping at appropriate times, looking on in silence during the rest -- than a throng at a football game. Whether or not the criticism was fair mattered little (nor does the fact that King’s replacement, Carl Grapentine, is -- of all things -- a deejay for a classical music radio station). Michigan fans didn’t care. We didn’t need piped-in music or pleas for cheering. All we wanted was our beautiful metaphor, the steady drone of Howard King’s voice punctuating another methodical march down the field.
To those who watched carefully, King was once again present at The Big House this past Saturday afternoon, though this time, it was not his voice which greeted fans but, rather, his image. Since the arrival of coach Jim Harbaugh last season, Michigan’s game day field entrance has been preceded by a video montage -- narrated by another iconic Michigan voice, James Earl Jones -- featuring footage of Michigan greats from all walks of University life: astronauts, United States Presidents, professors, former athletes, television personalities, and olympians. Each week, the video changes ever so slightly, substituting a picture here or there so as to keep the cast in fresh rotation. In the most recent edition, someone in the athletic department had decided to slip in a black and white shot of King glancing at the camera from his regular perch, in front of a microphone in the old Michigan Stadium press box. How many other fanbases would recognize a mugshot of their former public address announcer? Yet it was unmistakable. For a split second, he was there.
The powers that be have not been kind to Michigan Football fans for much of the past decade, yet I’m not talking about phantom forces or the proverbial Big Man Upstairs. Most notably through the amalgam of quagmires brought on by former athletic director Dave Brandon, those who’ve stayed have felt the foundation of the community tested again and again by higher ups who’ve tried to reboot and rebrand Michigan Football for their warped, data-driven concept of the twenty-first century. Too often during that time, Michigan fans have been told their program is something that it isn’t: an alt-rock jam named “In The Big House”; a two-tickets-for-a-bottle-of-Co
Given extensive work commitments and a second “career” within the 80s synth music revival scene, I had decided to forego the annual diary series this year. But with multiple diary series AWOL, I figured I what the heck.
This year I’ll be reviewing the week’s best and worst performances in the conference, using boxing as a metaphor.
All contests fall into one of four categories:
- KOs, TKOs and Unanimous Decisions (i.e. emphatic wins/upset wins)
- Split Decisions (i.e. wobbly wins)
- Moral Victories (i.e. losses you can take heart in)
- Out Cold (i.e. losses that make pandas sad)
Note: this is a week-by-week thing, not a power ranking type thing. Previous performances only come into play when ranking within these categories. I will, however, comment on the team’s overall performance and outlook in the comments.
[Rankings in parentheses.]
KOs, TKOs and Unanimous Decisions
1. OSU (3) beats Oklahoma (14) 45-24 on the road.
Whether OSU is really that good or Oklahoma is just worse than expected is a matter of debate; as far as I’m concerned, it’s both. Oklahoma certainly has not looked like a playoff contender so far, and that probably contributed to the way this game played out. That said, this young OSU team actually looks better than they did a year ago this time, when the roster was heavy with NFL-bound upperclassmen. They may still drop an egg at some point, but this was a big test and the Buckeyes passed it with ease. A potentially/hopefully momentum-killing bye week beckons, after which Rutgers offers itself up for ritual sacrifice.
2. MSU (12) beats Notre Dame (18) 36-28 on the road.
MSU’s anemic victory over Furman led a lot of people to question whether this Spartan team lived up to the standard set by the last three. But even if this Notre Dame team was overrated going into the game, a road victory over a ranked team is no small feat—especially considering ND’s recent success in the series. Simply put, had MSU played like they did against Furman, they would have lost. Instead, MSU’s offense clicked and the defense got just enough plays out of its experienced linebacking corps to hold off a last ditch comeback attempt. We’ll see whether this was a one-off performance or something more sustainable when they play Wisconsin at Camp Randall.
3. Nebraska (NR) beats Oregon (22) 35-32 at home.
Nebraska has a good roster...by Big 10 West standards. They did last year as well, and probably should have won 8-9 games. Unfortunately, they were really, really unlucky, leaving them with a 5-7 record instead. Things seem to be going better in the fortune department now, as evidenced by this close win over a not-quite-what-they-used-to-be-but-still-ranked (barely) Oregon team. 9-3 seems attainable for the Huskers, who get Northwestern, Illinois and Purdue over the next four games.
4. Michigan (4) beats Colorado (NR) 45-28 at home.
By far the wobbliest of the four convincing victories, and a game in which a better-than-expected Colorado spent two quarters looking like they were primed for the upset. Then Colorado’s QB got hurt and Michigan wreaked its horrible vengeance upon the Buffaloes. Fans can either take refuge in the fact that the team has the skill and heart to recover from early adversity, or worry endlessly about the erratic safety, OL and QB play, all of which seemed to confirm preseason anxieties about those positions. Both are legitimate reactions to a victory that never seemed as emphatic as the final score implies. Next up: a mediocre Penn State team with one very scary running back.
Split Decision Wins
5. Maryland (NR) beats UCF 30-24 on the road.
Not a great win by any stretch of the imagination, but UCF is at least okay and Maryland were playing on the road. So that’s something I guess. Next up: a game.
6. Penn State (NR) beats Temple 34-27 at home.
Penn State decided to memorialize the man who allegedly kept quiet for decades about a serial child molester by eking out a home win against Temple. Can’t we just trade them to the ACC already?
7. Northwestern (NR) beats Duke (NR) 24-13 at home.
Northwestern finally gets a win—over a bad Duke team, sure, but hey—a win is better than another loss, I guess.
10. Wisconsin (9) beats Georgia State (NR) 23-17 at home.
It’s getting hard to remember that Wisconsin beat a top 5 SEC West team just two weeks ago. The Badgers looked downright bad as they barely scraped by winless Georgia State, and the murderers’ row portion of their schedule looms large. Will fans remember the opener if they go 6-6?
9. Rutgers (NR) beats New Mexico (NR) 37-28 at home.
Another week, another bad performance by Rutgers, who may not win another game all year.
10. Iowa (13) loses to North Dakota (NR) 23-31 at home.
Uninspired and uninspiring performance by the presumptive Big 10 West favorites. Iowa still has plenty of time to recover, but expectations for the season have officially been tempered. Iowa’s next two opponents—Rutgers and Northwestern—offer Kirk Ferentz a great pair of opportunities to right the ship and start earning that $48m extension.
11. Illinois (NR) loses to Western Michigan (NR) 34-10 at home.
Granted, WMU is a good MAC team, but they are still a MAC team, and any game in which you get steamrolled—at home—by a MAC team is a bad, bad game. Illinois is bad and should feel bad.
BYES: Minnesota, Indiana, Purdue
Recently my new BFF It's Harambe took on the thankless task of asking his fellow MgoBloggers to rank the top 25 Michigan athletes of all time. As the list was revealed it was clear to this reader that some of the most notable players who competed during the athletic stone age (pre-internet) had been forgotten about. This weekly diary will take a look at the more notable players from our past to remind everyone of what they did and why they deserve to be honored and remembered.
"He was the best Freshman, the best Sophomore, he was the best Junior, and now he's the best player in the country."
Michigan center John Madden
Like baseball, our storied hockey past was seemingly overlooked by pollsters when selecting the greatest athletes in Michigan history. With many players to choose from I thought it was appropriate to lead with the player who scored arguably the most memorable single goal in Michigan hockey history.
After playing one year in British Columbia Morrison joined the team in 1993. He had also been approached by the Denver Pioneers and the Maine Black Bears to join their school teams, but ultimately chose Michigan. Registering 48 points (20 goals and 28 assists) over 38 games as a freshman, Morrison was named the CCHA Rookie of the Year for the 1993–94 season. He played on a line with fellow freshman Jason Botterill; the two played together throughout their college career. In the 1994 playoffs, he helped the Wolverines to a CCHA championship. Playing in his sophomore year (1994–95), Morrison improved to 76 points (23 goals and 43 assists) over 39 games and received his first of three consecutive CCHA First Team All-Star selections.
With 72 points over 45 games in 1995–96, Morrison received his first of back-to-back CCHA Player of the Year awards. He added 15 points in 7 post-season games to capture his second CCHA championship with the Wolverines. Advancing to the 1996 NCAA Tournament, Michigan advanced to the final against the Colorado College Tigers. Morrison scored the championship-winning goal 3:35 into overtime to win the game 3–2.
Red Berenson, the Michigan coach, teased Morrison afterward, saying, "Brendan, what took you so long?" Bach had been moved to the other side of his goal by a quick pass, Greg Crozier to Bill Muckalt, followed by a pass from Muckalt to Morrison. The puck was rolling by then, and Morrison gave it a poke. The goalie could not get back in time to snuff the little shot that was Morrison's 28th goal of the season. It was the Wolverines' first national title in 32 years. In addition to receiving NCAA Tournament MVP honors, Morrison was named to the NCAA West Regional and NCAA All-Tournament Teams.
Morrison was named team captain in his senior year. He totaled college personal bests that season of 31 goals, 57 assists and 88 points over 43 games, culminating in a Hobey Baker Award as the NCAA's most outstanding player; Morrison had been a finalist for the award the previous two years. The Wolverines repeated as CCHA champions, but lost to the Boston University Terriers in the NCAA semifinal. Morrison completed his four-year college career as the Wolverines' all-time points leader with 284, surpassing Denny Felsner. His points total also ranked seventh all-time among NCAA players.
Let's get to know our upcoming opponent the Penn State Nittany Lions!
Start HERE (turn volume off annoying sound file used)
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