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In an attempt to get a better grasp of what we can expect Saturday, I took a look at Rich Rod's teams' efforts in weeks following upset victories, going back to his first season at WVU. At this point you're probably wondering if there's going to be a
Why yes, a chart:
*not technically an upset, but relevant to our interests
As we can see above, RR's record is 7-3, and 7-1 if we exclude last year's disaster area/statistical outlier. The lone loss was the bowl game following the 2002 season in which WVU upset Pitt in the backyard brawl in the last game of the regular season, then fell to an unranked Virginia team in the Continental Tire Bowl.
It would seem, based on the data above, that RR has no problem motivating his team following emotional, upset victories. I would say the scenario most applicable to our current situation is November, 2003. An unranked WVU team knocked off their rival #16 Pitt in a huge game, and the next week climbed into the rankings at #25 and polished off a Syracuse team that would finish 6-6. Sounds pretty familiar, right?
As we know, Ron English's crew (Embrace the Process!) gave Northwestern a scare last week in their home stadium, falling 24-27 on a last second field goal. This is considerable improvement after losing to Army by two touchdowns at home in the opening game. However, with RR's track record for keeping his teams prepared following upset wins, and this year's team's hunger to erase the embarrassment of last year, perhaps I have less to worry about than I originally thought.
A couple items I thought I might add to clarify things further:
- As we can see, our sample size extremely small at only 10 games, 8 if we exclude last year. This is largely due to the fact that RR had no upsets in his first year (3 wins against cupcakes) and after that his team was rarely an underdog. What this means is that this shouldn't be taken as gospel, but rather something to give us a gist of what to expect.
- The average margin of victory in the upset wins was 8.7 points, whereas the average margin of victory in the post-upset win games was 18 points. This is to be expected because teams in the former category should be pretty good (hence being the favorite against RR's team) so you would expect the games should be close, but is nonetheless reassuring.
Latest article by Maisel. Pretty decent, I guess. I'm sure Rodriguez is going to take crap among the second-guessers for kind of equating Michigan to West Virginia and Glenville State.
Before anyone unleashes, I get what he is saying.
Here is the link:
"...Tate Forcier, who's taken all of two games to put his rising star squarely on the radar of the entire country."
On Rodriguez: "“He’s amazing,” Mouton said. “He’s the right guy. He’s the right coach for Michigan.”"
"Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez watched his freshman quarterback bop toward the bus Saturday morning, seemingly without a care in the world. Suddenly, Tate Forcier stopped cold.
"Aw!" Rodriguez remembered Forcier saying. "I forgot to brush my teeth.""
1. As suggested by socalblue, bring an unoppened water bottle and a pocket full of change. Drink the water(Charlie Weiss wants you to dehydrate and pass out so he can eat you) and fill the bottle 1/3 of the way full of change. Shake the heck out of it when ND has the ball.
2. At every kickoff, instead of the oooooooooooooooOOOOOhhhhhHHHH chant "Rich Rodrigues *CLAP* *CLAP* *clap*clap*clap*" rinse and repeat.
3. If the people behind you are wearing maize and blue, politely ask them if you can stand up when ND has the ball. If they say no, you respond "Fair Enough" and only stand when those in front of you do. Your response "Sorry, I cant see". If they're wearing ND crap you're not required to be courteous as they should have stayed at home.
4. Please support the team no matter the score. Try to think about sophomore Tate, sophomore Denard and freshman Devin next year. Smile knowingly and shake your head when the EA Sports NCAA 2010 champion next to you suggests he could do better.
5. Come cheer on the team on the victors walk: Noon at the corner of State and Brown.
6. Least importantly, wear maize. Vendors will be selling cheap "In Rod We Trust" T-shirts outside the stadium. This would be a nice show of solidarity.
Don't get me wrong, as a fan, I'd definitely prefer to get unambiguous injury information. But I'm hoping somebody can convince me this doesn't help opponents prepare. If our (so far this year) best deep threat is almost certainly not to play, doesn't that help Notre Dame scheme?