Another weekly update on the advanced stats for Michigan and the Big 10.
Last week we said our offense is as good as Illinois, and advanced stats would imply that the NW-UM game would be like watching 2 dogs trying to hump a leg. Nailed it. Here is the data from 2 weeks ago and 3 weeks ago if interested.
FEI is now very relevent this deep into the season and S&P+ is pretty linear throughout. From this pair of eyes FEI has a much stronger SOS component to it, so S&P+ is more kind to the Big 10 as SOS is filtered into some sub-measures but not as directly as FEI.
We'll discuss Maryland after the data but as noted the past 3 weeks... we are essentially Maryland. And PSU. And NW. And Rutgers (with a healthy Nova).
I've also added a new section below the main data for CC's so you can see how they stack up.
- FEI dropped from 91 to 95 by facing a mediocre defense and being hot garbage.
- S&P+ sunk from 59 to 76 (it had been 70 two weeks ago)
- FEI improved to 35 from 44 (this is decent but still 6th in the conference)
- S&P + dropped from 28 to 31 (stuck at 6th in conference again)
Big 10 plus a few others:
Maryland is essentially a slightly upgraded Rutgers - same level of offense with a tad better defense. People look at 6-3 record but this is a team that lost by 30 to 50 to OSU and Wisconsin, and whose best player is potentially hobbled (or out). Rutgers got trucked by OSU the same way. Their QB is not special but throws to opponents less than Devin does - and is facing our secondary. He is also mobile. So expect Gary Nova 2.0. But fergodsakes it should be competitive. I think Vegas might even favor us by 1 or so due to home game.
OSU I will not speak of much. If it was at home you can bring up UM-OSU 2013 or OSU-PSU 2014 but road games for heavy underdogs usually don't go well. Our offense is not within 10 zip codes of 2013, Devin has not had 1 game like that all year. A 34-10 loss would be a "good" outcome here.
Offenses - I start every week with the same comment - Big 10 football continues to suck at offense. We do finally have 2 teams in the top 25 of offensive FEI as both MSU and OSU were rewarded for playing someone with a heartbeat and putting up snazzy offensve figures. These are the only 2 well balanced offenses in the league (Neb and Wis are severely run oriented) that I think would produce weekly in a top tier league. The lack of good passing QBs in the Big 10 is startling - a highly mediocre CJ Brown is probably your 3rd best "throwing" QB at this point. Or Gary Nova. Again S&P+ doesnt take into account SOS as much as FEI so OSU is looking spectacular to them for railroading a bunch of Big 10 opponents and then that performance vs a decent defense from MSU.
As for Michigan there are 66 teams in the Big 5 conferences and only 5 are worse than Michigan's on offensive FEI. Sadly my first reaction was - wow, there are 5 worse? PSU is the only worse team in the conference.
Defenses - UM made a solid move up in FEI D. But quality of opposition (Indiana, NW) the past 2 weeks has really helped. And anyone who watched that game saw Ray Taylor abused and any decent QB would have had a much more convincing day. But it what is is. UM has played an arrary of crap offenses - when facing anyone of value (ND, MSU, Minnesota) results have not been encouraging. Defensive FEI improved from 9th in the conference to 6th - my caveat here is MSU fell behind us by getting railroaded by OSU. Based on what should happen the last week of November our FEI D stats will take a significant hit. Many expected UM's D to be "2nd best" in the Big 10 and it simply is not. S&P+ says the same thing - the 6th best defense in the league.
Tip of hat to both PSU and Wisconsin DCs. Wisconsin lost 8 players off its defense AND both its DTs to injury most of the year (they just came back after being hurt v LSU) and is humming. PSU D is very solid and its not luck. The same DC had Vanderbilt playing excellent D the prior 2 years - both these men should be of interest to UM's next HC if we can swipe them. We have a much more experienced D than Wisconsin but nowhere near the results.
A quick word about MSU defensive FEI. It sunk like a rock all the way to 57th. When you look inside the #s MSU's defense is very good at all FEI stats except one - explosive drives. They are actually #1 in "methodical" drives - meaning it is very difficult to make a 11 play 78 yard drive on them - they are the nation's best as stopping that. But they play "break don't bend" - so teams with explosive playmakers can exploit them. Which is what happened with OSU and Oregon. Heck Purdue exposed them because they had an accurate QB. They remain a difficult team to drive on slowly but surely but a team you can find very big plays against due to their aggressive nature - even Indiana had a few 40+ yard plays on them.
Real or imagined CC's data for comparison
- LSU and Oklahoma are the best 3 loss teams in the nation. I was surprised at Oklahoma's offensive considering their QB is often sad. Oklahoma's losses are TCU, KSU, Baylor.
- LSU/TCU have had 10 years of excellence on defense and it continues.
- TCU in one offseason completely changed its offense from a bad one to a good one with a new system - so yes it can be done with the right coaching.
- Mike Gundy has a very young team and it is showing in the data.
- TN actually has a pretty decent defense, offense sucks though
I'm a current student at U of M who's taking CLCIV 371. Basically a class about the history of sport primarily focused around the Greeks but making connections with modern athletics and the structures surrounding them. We've had a variety of assistant ADs and UM coaches come in as guest speakers (Brandon and Beilein were both scheduled to speak but were canceled due to firing and a meeting resulting from the firing. Ironically, Brandon's lecture was supposed to be on integrity in sports). Today was David Ablauf, associate AD of communications (basically the PR guy). During the course of the lecture he started talking about Harbaugh's comments about the General studies degree (on his own, no question was asked about it. He had to go out of his way) and then took a shot at Harbaugh saying that 40% of the players on his Stanford teams took the equivalent degree (supposedly) and he seemed overall kind of petty and mad about it.
So, just thought I'd share. I was slightly worried that might mean people are pissed at Jim in the department. But obviously it could be nothing.
Mod edit: I'm publishing MichAero's comment as an addendum to the OP. If ReegsShannon wants to make an additional comment that's fine too but I don't want another perspective to get buried after a hundred plus comments. JGB.
I am also in CLCIV 371 and you are leaving a large part of the context out.
I could be wrong, but I believe he was responding to a question about how much credibility should be given to reports that come out of social media, or some related question. Regardless, I'm almost positive this was during the Q&A session after his main lecture.
He began by bringing up the Harbaugh comments, but then went into how Pat Forde wrote an article about what Harbaugh had said. Forde wrote the entire article and then called Ablauf for comments, but Ablauf wasn't available at the time so it went to voicemail. Ablauf then called Forde back and began asking him about what he wanted to write about while at the same time researching what Forde was telling him. While on the phone, Ablauf found the article that Forde had written already published, even though Forde was telling Ablauf that he wasn't sure when his deadline was, etc. Basically, according to Ablauf, Forde wanted to be able to say he reached out to UM for comment before he published the story. Then he told us about how if Forde, or these other journalists, would have looked into the situation further, they would discover that this isn't anything new or something that nearly every school is doing, including Stanford (at 40% of their players).
This was part of a larger point he was making during his lecture about how media has changed. There is much less "work" done by the reporters today due to the culture that is the 24/7 newscycle. The goal is to be the first with a story, or write something that will generate clicks, regardless of how trivial a story might be.
In my opinion, he was more upset with Forde and the new form of media here than he was upset with Harbaugh.
The TV announcers made no mention of this, but I've seen two stories - one on Sporting News, the other attached - that state that Michigan only had 9 players on the field when NW blocked the field goal.
Is that correct? How many times can special teams screw up the body count in a season?
Mod edit: I took one down before but here's the picture debunking the "nine men" post. JGB.
I am looking for a live feed of the press conferences if there is one to be found. Are they broadcasted anywhere, or streamed online?
We've got a lot of Lawyers on the board, and while there is a huge amount of group-think on the board and most poeple assume Hoke is gone there is chatter that if he wins out he could keep his job. I think that's ridiculously short-sighted (as do most of you probably).
So - be devil's advocate. How can someone (anyone!) justify retaining Hoke after that 60 minutes of Yakety Sax followed by a team with 4 new OL starters, a freshman QB and RB putting up more points in East Lansing than Hoke's teams have scored against MSU during his tenure? Why is OSU so much better with their brand new pieces? Is it anything but coaching?
Sources: Stefon Diggs suffered a lacerated kidney vs. Penn State and appears likely to be out through at least the end of the regular season— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) November 10, 2014
It sounds like Diggs will be out for the rest of the season. Hopefully he gets well soon and this doesn't affect his promising career, or more importantly his health and wellbeing.