this guy evidently hired to work for AD
Adam Rittenberg has a piece out in which he asks for suggestions on naming the Big Ten divisions. As Jim Delany mentions in this Chicago Tribune piece, they want to avoid names that apply to one or two schools.
The challenge, Big Ten officials say, comes from a reluctance to use either geography or the names of legendary conference coaches or athletes that would represent just two schools.
Anyone out there have any good suggestions? I thought of two: naming one division after Amos Alonzo Stagg (the legendary U. Chicago coach, when Chicago was a leading power in the Big Ten); and naming the divisions after two of the Great Lakes, esp. Lakes Michigan and Erie, since they border the most Big Ten states.
UPDATE: Rittenberg has posted his reader feedback. A number of our suggestions made it into his list, including Stagg/Berwanger, Corn/Cars, and Black/Blue.
I hadn't seen this discussed anywhere on the boards, but I was drunk for 48 hours after the PSU game (because of the PSU game) so I may have missed it.
I've been thinking about this for a little while now, and my gut tells me that after Kevin Koger's TD catch (and the subsequent facemask penalty on PSU), we should have gone for the onside kick.
Hypothesis: A normal kickoff will result in the opponent starting, on average, about the 25 yard line. Because we got to kick from the 45 rather than the 30, Penn State's expected starting field position from a normal kickoff (touchback) would be only about 5 yards worse. However, an onside kick from the 45 would probably result in PSU's ball at about the 50. Or we get it back, and the chances of us getting it back are actually greater than the increase Penn State gets from 25 free yards.
In order to test my theory, I'm willing to do some math. I'm going to be using the expected points charts found at Advanced NFL stats. I'll be assuming that we'll always force a touchback if we kick off and that whether we're successful or unsuccessful when we onside kick, the ball will be placed at the PSU 45. My goal is to find how often an onside kick needs to be successful to be better than kicking off.
First thing's first: 1st and 10 from the PSU 20 is worth approximately -.5 points to us. It's obviously worth more to any offense facing our defense and thus the negative number would actually be bigger, but for the sake of the argument I'm going to be as conservative as possible.
1st and 10 from the PSU 45 is worth about -1.7 points when PSU recovers. If M gets the ball it's worth 2.2. So we can represent the equilibrium (i.e. the point where kicking away and onside kicking are equal in value) like so: -.5 =2.2y - 1.7(1-y), where y is the likelihood that the onside kick succeeds.
Solve for y to get: .307 so we'd only have to be successful a little over 30% of the time with these parameters to make kicking an onside kick correct. Given that surprise onside kicks are successful 60% of the time in the NFL, it seems like a pretty large mistake not to onside kick in that situation.
In fact, it's pretty easy to imagine a scenario where a team has a very good offense and a very bad defense (just try to imagine such a thing) where we'd only need to be successful 25% of the time or less. For example, if receiving the ball at their 20 is worth a full point for PSU and recovering an onside kick is worth 2.5 for them and 3.5 for us*, the equation would look like: -1=3.5y-2.5(1-y). Then we'd only need to be successful 25% of the time to make going for the onside kick correct.
Add to all this the fact that in this particular game we were down by multiple scores and would have wanted to increase variance, onside kicking in that spot is an absolute no brainer.
*Numbers pulled from my ass
I stand with the majority of moderate Mgobloggers on what to make of the RR tenure. Discerning facts from opinion has prevented me from neither rushing to judgement for or against RR.
Most relevant facts for RR:
- Injuries and transfers decimated this year’s D.
- Statistically the offense is one of the best in the nation. RR recruited a majority of the offensive players.
- Denard Robinson has developed into one of the most explosive players in the country, as a sophomore!
- Our young team will return a majority of starters next year.
Most relevant FireRod Facts:
- Any Michigan fan forced to watch M vs. Purdue 2008, vs. Illinois in 2009, and vs. PSU in 2010 would witness a team that has digressed as an overall team, especially on D.
- RR has an awful overall record in 3 years. To date, RR only has 2 Big Ten wins at the Big House in 2.75 seasons.
- Brian @ MgoBlog is calling for DC #2 to be fired, as is most M fans. RR has doesn’t work much with D, yet he has retained his D assistants and in 2 of his worst Big 10 losses (@ Purdue in ’08 and @ PSU in ’10) the D primarily ran a 3 DL front against inexperienced QBs. Brian has documented this in his posts this week.
- RR inherited 8 returning D starters in 2008, 3 of which are in the NFL now (B. Graham, M. Trent, D. Warren-practice squad). Yet D still performed poorly and DC was fired.
If PSU was the end of the season, it’s a toss up whether to keep RR or not. If DB knows he can get Harbaugh, I’m intrigued and ok with it. If we risk one more year with RR/any D coordinator he wants (due to injuries and RR focus on O he is entitled to this IMO), and the offense explodes, I’m ok as well. The next 4 games are huge for DB to consider. Honestly the most emotive fact that is hard to get over is #1 anti-RR above. Those 3 losses place us in the bottom of the Big 10 three years in a row, and we seemingly (easily on paper?) could have won those games.
Question for community-Other important facts I left out that influence your opinion?
Not Stonum's best game. Two penalties and he doesn't seem to adjust to throws that are a little high or low. We really missed Odoms as a possession receiver in this game IME.
We are 3 point favorites this weekend, apparently even after J.T. Floyd's injury, which surprised me. Illinois, after stomping Indiana and Purdue the last two weeks, appears to be a much better team than we are. They also destroyed Penn State earlier in the year. Obviously our defense is in shambles and may be even more so after losing Floyd. We haven't been able to stop anyone, including an FCS team and a walk on QB. Yes, our offense has been moving the ball incredibly well, but it has also been prone to turnovers and inconsistency.
Anyway, I don't intend to convey pessimism; quite the contrary - I'm wondering whether this spread indicates some reason for optimism. What does the gambling public know that I'm missing? What have people seen that make them say, "I'm putting my hard-earned cash on Michigan"? Just curious what people think...