I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
Top 7 are Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Florida State, Florida, Albama, and LSU. WIll announce his decision at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl
http://inagist.com/all/408325951055867904/ Per Allen Trieu.
Last Saturday's near-upset against OSU made me realize how much of a "We were THIS close..." year this has been for my sports fandom. Besides my Cardinals losing the World Series against the Red Sox (substitute Detroit in the ALCS if you're a Tigers fan), our hoops team fell to Louisville in the NCAA championship game after a brilliant season and run to the Final Four (and an 11-point first half lead -- argh), and then Team 134 came three yards shy of shocking OSU -- and all of us.
This got me to thinking...
Last night, you turn in after watching the hoops team endure the usual punishment of playing at Cameron Indoor, and after sleeping for a bit, you are awakened by the Magic Genie Spirit of Michigan Athletics.
"Humble Wolverine fan," he says in a booming voice, "You have endured much trial and suffering because of your love for the Maize and Blue. I have come from the Great Spirit Realm of Yost, Crisler, and Schembechler to grant you one great favor."
"Yeah?" you reply, half-awake.
"As this year of 2013 nears its end, I will allow you to go back in time and change the outcome of one -- and only one -- Michigan Wolverine sporting event from this past year. Your choices are:
Number 1: The football team succeeds in the two-point conversion at the end of The Game and beats the hated Buckeyes, 43-42. Seeing Drew Dileo covered, Devin Gardner pump fakes, then tucks the ball and burrows through a crease in the line, gimpy ankle and all, and just manages to thrust the ball over the goal-line plane before being walloped by a Buckeye defender. The road to Columbus is sown with the bitter tears of Bucknut fans returning home after seeing their undefeated season and BCS title hopes crushed in the Big House. The Aura of the Invincible OSU Version of Urban Meyer is deflated; Coach Hoke is 2-1 against our most bitter rival; Lewan and Gallon cap their Michigan careers with a glorious victory; and the painful mediocrity of 2013 Michigan football, which was basically all downhill after the Notre Dame game, is partially redeemed."
"Wow, that would be fantastic!" you say. "What's the other choice?"
"Number 2: The men's basketball team defeats Louisville in the NCAA championship game. Trey Burke's block (no longer a foul!) against Peyton Siva turns the momentum; our boys re-take the lead down the stretch and put away the game. Coach Beilein cuts down the nets while Pretty Boy Pitino sobs, Spike Albrecht makes out with Kate Upton in the Georgia Dome parking lot while 'One Shining Moment' plays in the distance, and the entire Ann Arbor campus eats at Subway and goes crazy."
"WOW! That would be awesome," you reply. "But ... if we win, do McGary and GRIII go pro?"
"Who cares, you greedy fool!" the Genie bellows. "You've just won the NCAA tourney!"
"OK, OK... so, those are the only choices?"
"What?!?" says the Genie, in shock. "Well, I suppose you could have Jordan Morgan's put-back against Indiana fall in, so the Wolverines win a share of another Big Ten title. Or the hockey team could beat ND in the CCHA championship game to keep the NCAA tourney streak alive. Or Al Borges could find the Magic Key to Unlock Narduzzi, and the football team finally beats MSU in East Lansing. Hey, I'm just as sick as you are of getting whipped by Sparty... But come on, man, be serious! OSU or Louisville. Choose one!"
So, which would you choose? Would love to hear everyone's choice, and their reasons.
Mine? This is tough, but as much as I hate losing to OSU and wanted to win that game, I'd take winning the tourney in March over Louisville. As we're seeing so far this basketball season, even for an elite program with a very talented team, it usually takes a rare combination of luck (e.g., the Kansas game) and a transcendent talent/leader (Trey Burke) to survive and win March Madness -- and titles are forever. It would have been a fitting end to a sublime season. But that's just me.
Not a great day for Washington Huskie fans.
While not of huge importance to Michigan, ESPN has an article about the NCAA changing the requirements for junior college athletes to transfer from the NJCAA level to the NCAA level. Up until 2013, JC students had to:
- maintain a 2.0 grade point average
- 6 hours of English
- 3 hours of Math
- 48 hours that make up an associate's degree
under new NCAA rules, to transfer into an NCAA school and play, JC students must:
- maintain a 2.5 grade point average
- 6 hours of English
- 3 hours of Math
- 3 hours of Science
- no more than 2 hours of Physical Activity credits
- 48 hours that make up an associate's degree
this is a pretty significant jump up in eligibility requirements. the article states that students enrolled at NCAA schools only have to maintain a 2.3 average, which is less than theh the JC kids are asked. also, the article states that there were over 2,500 athletes that moved from NJCAA to FBS and FCS schools in 2012, 1,000 for football and basketball.
this doesn't really have much impact on Michigan as getting JuCo kids admitted is a bit of a stretch (not sure what UM's requirement is). there are several programs, particularly Kansas State, that do take a lot of JuCo players. other schools that regularly recruit the JuCo ranks include Michigan State, nebraska, ohio state and many of the down south schools.
personally, i don't really get the motivation for this rule change, one way or the other. i think that the JuCo route is obviously a route that a lot of kids have to take to be able to get to the next level, but a 2.5 GPA at JuCo is not too much to ask. i guess the downside of this is that kids that want to play big time sports that might not have the grades will likely try to get into NCAA schools and not make it academically, whereas the time at a JuCo might allow them to mature and learn some decent study habits.
[edit: added that JuCos still have to get the 48 hour assoc degree]
ed-S: Akearney50 below's comment clears a lot of this up:
Clarifications - The new two-year transfer eligibility requirements take effect for any student-athlete who enrolled in college full-time after August 1, 2012.
The 2.3 GPA the article states is the lowest possible core GPA from high school/prep school for freshmen to be eligible. But that doesn't take effect until the high school class of 2016. The lowest possible high school/prep school core GPA for the 2014 and 2015 classes is 2.0.
Two-year transfers with a GPA between a 2.0 and 2.49 can still receive athletics aid and practice. So the NCAA isn't taking away any extra educational opportunities. The year not being able to compete is designed to help ease the educational burden on incoming students who are at risk (2.0 to 2.49 and/or student-athletes who do not meet the necessary core course hour requirements).
I work in compliance at the FCS level and I have seen a lot of two-year student-athlete transcripts. The classes the two-year institutions were having them enroll in was awful. Student-athletes who want to be business majors but they have taken mostly physical education classes to stay eligible. There is an issue and this needed to happen.
OK, B1G Championship time. Who do you want to win, who do you think will win, or do you no longer care?
In a past diary, I charted Michigan's offensive trends over the course of the 2011-2013 seasons. In that diary, I relied on a statistic that I will call YPPdiv. This is equal to the offensive yards per play (YPP) in a given game, divided by the average YPP allowed by that team on defense. Thus, for example, Michigan averaged 7.35 YPP against Ohio State, a team that allows on average 5.01 YPP. So, 7.35 divided by 5.01 = a YPPdiv of 1.47.
Space Coyote suggested that I track the entire B1G over the course of the 2013 season to get a trendline for the entire B1G against which to compare Michigan (and each team's) offensive performance over time. Now that the regular season is over, it seemed like a good time to put the numbers together. Without further ado, here are the charts (click to embiggen):
The story: Honestly I don't know. I think that Illinois might just be bad.
The story: Indiana ripped it up early in the year but didn't have much success against Wisconsin and Ohio State. I'm not sure why, and the Crimson Quarry blog didn't seem to have any good answers, either.
The story: Iowa was pretty Iowa all year.
The story: problems with the offensive line, Devin Gardner being beaten up, complaints about the coaching. The Mathlete has proclaimed that this is the offense with the 4th highest standard deviation since 2003 (I'm not sure what stat he's using to calculate this; presumably it's PAN). But calculating the standard deviation of YPPdiv also yields a very high number for Michigan (0.33) compared to the rest of the B1G (an average of 0.21, with a high of 0.28).
The story: Michigan State found an offense this year. Their first three games were awful, but they've shown clear improvement since then. Of course, they haven't played a really good defense, either.
The story: Minnesota is Minnesota. They like to run the ball.
The story: despite the many injuries to key offensive contributors, Nebraska managed to basically hold serve offensively. They ripped up MSU in yards per play, but they turned the ball over far too much.
The story: injuries to key offensive players, including Venric Mark, Kain Colter, and Tony Jones. There have also been complaints of conservative play calling.
The story: Ohio State's offense has improved over the course of the season. Between Miller and Hyde, the Ohio State offense has pounded away at their opposition, none of whom, it should be said, has a particularly great defense.
The story: Penn State played great against Wisconsin but has been sub-par most of the year on offense.
The story: Purdue is bad, and was mostly bad throughout the year. They're consistent, at least.
The story: Wisconsin's running game is fantastic, but Stave has been inconsistent.
So. The average offensive performance by B1G teams, week by week, is as follows:
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it's fairly flat, with consistent performances from one week to the next.
This suggests that an offense with a slightly negative slope isn't to be expected; we should perhaps expect a fairly consistent performance from week to week. This is something that Nebraska managed despite many injuries on the offensive side of the ball. The best teams in the B1G this year -- Ohio State and Michigan State -- both showed improvement on offense over the course of the year.
The Ohio State game taught us that Michigan's problem isn't a steady decline in offensive performance, but rather wild inconsistency due to youth and playcalling.