One man's rage against the machine....and a letter going out overnight mail tomorrow.
5440 Park Place
Rosemont, IL 60018
Dear Mr. Delany,
Re: OSU vs Michigan
I’m going to the trouble of writing this letter to ask a very simple question. How in the world could you, with the top 2 Big Ten teams, on the country’s biggest stage, a game known as “The Game”, could you entrust such a game to that officiating team? A team consisting of a disgraced former referee that had already been dismissed for incompetence and two other Ohio referees one of which is a publicly unabashed Buckeye fan. Of course none of this would be of significance were it not for the fact that the incompetence and biases played out in such an obvious manner that you cannot find a single reference outside of a direct OSU partisan to not scratch their heads at the many calls/non calls that all broke for OSU. I guess to be fair, we should note that these “officials” did call 2 OSU penalties totaling 6 yards.
A Cleveland newspaper covered Harbaugh’s tantrum and looked at 6 plays of particular note, all of which were debatable call/no call/proper spot/ etc situations. And indeed they were all “judgment” or toss up calls. And all of them broke for OSU. So if you flip a coin 6 times, what are your odds of getting all “tails”? 1/64 is the answer of course.
If I wanted to watch pre-ordained sporting events, I’d be a WWF fan. I am not going to besmirch your office's motives. I am going to chalk this up to carelessness. As a retired Medical Device Executive for a fortune 500 company, I know how I would have been viewed had I been this careless under similar circumstances of such equal import. Hence my original question, how could you be so careless with such an important event? Additionally, why should we have any faith in the competence of your office going forward? Finally, does not the University of Michigan deserve an apology for this blatant abdication of diligence?
With a sincere response to this inqiry from your office I will donate $1000 to the charity of your choice, please include the specific information with your response.
Just listened to the podcast and was heartened by the quick summary of our depth chart for '17. At the beginning of this season, it looked like 2016 had to be "the year" because we were going to be so young in '17, but watching players like Bredeson, McDoom, Evans, Higdon, Gary, Asiasi (the list goes on, really) this year gives me greater hope that next year can also be special and go into a very interesting matchup with OSU at the Big House.
On that note, Brian mentioned that Jeremy Clark would be back(!) which I previously understood was still iffy. In that wonderful turn of events, could Clark possibly play safety? I thought that's where he started his career. I was thinking that might be the weaker spot in our back four, unless Hudson is going to play there. Would be Lavert and Long at CB's and Kinnel and Clark at the safeties, with Hudson and Furbush rotating in the Peppers role; or Hudson/Kinnel are the safeties and Clark goes to CB, with Long and Lavert rotating like Clark and Stribling did last year.
Either way, I was glad to hear Brian thought Jeremy would be back, and hopefully will be at full strength. I wonder if he's heard more news about the application procoess moving forward based on his recovery and desire to come back, etc.
I'd like to move on from the Columbus Screwjob, circa 2016, and focus on the improvement in the team from 2015 to 2016. (Yes, this is a coping mechanism, but we all have our own ways of dealing with the pain.) The biggest question going forward is how much the improvement is due to the system being implemented (year 2 of the Harbaughffense, importing Don Brown) and how much is due to the players just getting 1 year older. We did have a lot of seniors on the roster this year. Anyway, links to the stats are here:
* The first thing we see is a dramatic increase in points scored (yay.) We went from 367 (30.6 ppg) to 492 (41.0 ppg.) A TD and a FG better per game in 2016.
* First downs increased from 237 to 267. But the mix tilted more heavily to the run in 2016 as the Harbaughffense got closer to full implementation. We went from 85 rushing first downs in '15 to 138 in '16, an increase of 53 first downs.
* Rushing yardage increased from 1832 to 2679 yards and the per carry average increased from a measly 4.1 to a respectable 5.0. I know the criticism will be that we couldn't grind out first downs against Iowa and OSU when we needed them, but only the truly elite teams can impose their will on solid defenses and run the ball effectively when everyone knows that's what they are trying to do.
* Passing yardage decreased somewhat. I would attribute that to us playing well ahead of the opposition for large stretches this year, and the lack of deep balls to Chesson. He and Butt both saw their per game averages go down this season. We will miss Darboh, but there are opportunities for the young WRs to improve upon Chesson's production this year, and a gaggle of more experienced tight ends should mitigate the loss of Butt.
* Regarding QB play, the Total efficiency went from 133.75 to 143.23, a nearly 10 point improvement. Considering we were going with a first time starter this year versus an experienced, 5th year QB last season, that speaks positively to Jim's QB development skills. Can we get another 10 point increase from Speight next season?
*Oh man, Don Brown. The first thing one checks is sacks. Those increased from 30 to 44. But the major, eye-popping stat is the QBHs. We had 16 in 2015. This year? 52! Was our statistician more generous this year with QBHs? Our opposition had 13 last year to 25 this year, so maybe, but I think Wilton had a tendency to hold onto the ball longer than Rudock did and saw more pressure as a result.
* TFLs are less subjective than QBHs. They went from 82 to 115.
* But all those fancy stats don't mean anything if they don't show up on the scoreboard. Average points allowed dropped from 17.2 to 12.5, a 4.7 point per game reduction. (Hey, the offense showed more improvement than the defense did, at least using raw PPG as a metric.)
There's lot of other interesting stuff in there, so I recommend you take a look. In this time of infinite sadness at the missed opportunities and horrible Ohioness of the reffing, take solace in the fact that even though we only improved the regular season win total by 1 game, the team was dramatically improved over last year's squad in just about every metric. What will year 3 of the Harbaughffense bring? What will year 2 of Don Brown's defense bring? The Knowledge knows, but I don't. I do think the future is bright. If I know one thing about Harbaugh, it's that the result on Saturday is going to put steel in his spine, and he's already a pretty tough S.O.B.
I just read on MLive that former Michigan kicker KC Lopata is running for an Ann Arbor city council seat:
"He also is the founder, director and head coach of Lopata Kicking in Ann Arbor"
Missed opportunity to name it "Lopata's Kicking Competancy Academy" but more power to him. Anyway, he adds,
"I first moved to Ann Arbor in the fall of 2004 as a freshman at the University of Michigan and walk-on kicker on the school's football team. That was when I first fell in love with our amazing city, and in the years since moving back as a non-student resident and homeowner, my love has only grown."
Best of luck to KC!
I just finished poking around the S&P+ ratings, and here's a quick rundown similar to what I've been consolidating for the FPI Efficiency posts over the last several weeks. As with the FPI efficiency ratings, M is still ranked above OSU. No surprise there I type as I gnash my teeth.
The main reason I decided to regurgitate this is because one number jumped out to me. It's the 2nd-order wins differential number for OSU, which is -2.0. What this means is that based solely on the Buckeyes' accrued statistics, they would be expected to win 2 fewer games that their record indicates. This is in large part a measure of the luck that has accrued to a team, and to it's benefit OSU has the largest negative 2nd-order wins differential of the top 50 teams in the ratings. Just for comparison, note that MSU's 2ndO Win Diff for this year is +2.0 (and last year MSU was -2.2).
M has the 2nd largest positive 2ndO Win Diff in the top ten at 0.6, which is the same number as last year.
As you may also aware be aware, OSU has been the beneficiary of an exhorbitant amount of Turnover Luck. This happens to be the only one of Bill Connelly's Five Factors that has a predominantly random element embedded in it. OSU is ranked #3 in that category, to the tune of an added benefit of 5.2 points per game. Poking further into OSU's Advanced Stats Profile, another couple of numbers jump out. They are 17% and 17%. These are the win expectancies based on OSU's statistical performance in its last two games, both of which would expected to be losses by at least a touchdown. By inference of course, you know what that means regarding M's last game...
So, I'll just end this now.
|Ohio State||11-1||9.0 (-2.0)||98.0%||25.3||3||38.0||20||14.2||5||1.5||6|
|Florida State||9-3||9.2 (0.2)||94.2%||19.5||9||40.4||6||21.0||18||0.1||60|
|Penn State||10-2||9.2 (-0.8)||93.5%||18.9||11||35.7||30||18.3||11||1.5||10|
|Western Michigan||12-0||10.6 (-1.4)||78.3%||10.1||29||39.7||9||29.0||59||-0.5||83|
|Michigan State||3-9||5.0 (2.0)||48.8%||0.4||63||27.8||75||27.8||48||0.4||43|
|Central Florida||6-6||6.0 (0.0)||47.8%||0.1||65||22.1||109||23.3||26||1.4||15|
|Eastern Michigan||7-5||6.1 (-0.9)||36.8%||-3.2||80||31.0||55||34.5||98||0.3||52|
|Central Michigan||6-6||5.2 (-0.8)||28.1%||-6.1||89||27.1||79||31.6||81||-1.6||127|
Last year after the Michigan State game there was a significant front page post with analysis of the bad calls in the game. Could some poor MGoBlog employee be tasked with creating a similar post for The Game? I thought I remembered some mention that might become a regular feature, but haven't seen it since. I've also heard reference to many bad calls that I didn't pick up on watching the game live, and would like to see an overall analysis of how bad things really were. I figure we're all hurting and angry anyway, may as well get it all out there on the table.
Special thanks to MGoBlog for giving us all a place to vent while trying to cope with whatever that was.