this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
Michigan’s upset bid against Ohio State came up just short when Devin Gardner’s pass on the two-point conversion attempt was intercepted, leaving us with a disappointing 7-5 record on the regular season. This was not the first time Michigan was one play away from victory this season. Consider:
We had two attempts to make a game-winning field goal in overtime against Penn State but couldn’t.
We had the ball 58 yards from the end zone down by 4 points with two minutes left against Nebraska, but couldn’t pick up a first down.
We had the ball at the Iowa 39, down by 4, with 2 minutes left, but Devin Gardner fumbled.
If you change just one play at the end of these games, Michigan could by sitting at 11-1 right now and looking for a BCS bid. (MSU would unfortunately still be representing the Legends Division in the Big-10 Championship Game). On the other hand, Michigan escaped with some narrow victories this season as well:
If Michigan hadn’t stuffed Akron on two plays inside the 3 yard line, we would have lost.
If UConn could have managed a touchdown on their final drive, we would have lost.
Against Northwestern, If Brendan Gibbons had missed his field goals at the end of regulation or in overtime, we would have lost.
Just as easily as Michigan could have finished the season 11-1, we could be 4-8 and prepping ourselves from another episode of our least favorite reality TV show, Dave Brandon’s The Process. That’s a huge spread. I wanted to see how it stacked up to previous years. I’m looking at all the games in which just one late-game play could have changed the outcome.
Actual record: 7-5 (Bowl pending)
Best case: 11-1
Worst case: 4-8.
Range: 7 games
Actual record: 8-5
Best case: 10-3
Worst case: 5-7 (no bowl)
Range: 5 games
One play from a win: Couldn’t score go-ahead touchdown with 5 minutes left against OSU. Gave up touchdown with 11 seconds left against South Carolina.
One play from a loss: Stopped Air Force’s final drive to preserve 6-point win, kicked game winning field goal against MSU, Robinson to Roundtree bomb sets up tying field goal and overtime win against Northwestern.
2011: Hoke’s First Season
Actual record: 11-2
Best case: 12-1
Worst case: 8-5
Range: 4 games
One play from a win: Couldn’t score on 1st and goal from the 3 against Iowa (although Iowa let by 8, so a two-point conversion and overtime would have still been needed)
One play from a loss: Michigan gains, loses, and regains lead against Notre Dame all in last 72 seconds. Ohio State’s final drive ends with interception. Gibbons OT field goal beats Virginia Tech.
2010: RichRod’s Last Season
Actual record: 7-6
Best case: 7-6
Worst case: 4-8 (no bowl)
Range: 3 games
One play from a win: none(!) All 6 losses were by minimum of 10 points.
One play from a loss: Robinson scores with 27 seconds left against Notre Dame. Robinson scores with 17 seconds left against Indiana (had been tied). Michigan beats Illinois in triple overtime.
Actual record: 5-7
Best case: 8-4 (plus bowl eligibility)
Worst case: 3-10
Range: 5 games
One play from a win: OT loss to MSU, two-minute drill fails while down by 2 against Iowa, tying two-point conversion fails against Purdue.
One point from a loss: Forcier to Mathews gives Michigan lead with 11 seconds left against Notre Dame, Michigan takes lead with 2 minutes left and then intercepts Indiana’s last chance.
2008: RichRod’s First Season
Actual record: 3-9
Best case: 7-5 (plus bowl eligibility)
Worst case: 2-10
Range: 5 games
One play from a win: two minute drill fails down by 2 against Utah, game-tying 26-yard field goal misses against Toledo, Purdue drives the field for go-ahead touchdown in final minute, two minute drill fails down by 7 against Northwestern.
One play from a loss: Wisconsin’s game-tying two point conversion fails with 13 seconds left.
2007: Carr’s final season
Actual record: 9-4
Best case: 10-3
Worst case: 6-7
Range: 4 games
One play from a win: game winning field goal blocked against App State
One play from a loss: Penn State’s 2-minute drill fails with M leading by 5, MSU’s 2-minute drill fails with M leading by 4, Tebow goes 0/4 on Florida’s last chance drive.
Actual record: 11-2
Best case: 11-2
Worst case: 10-3
Range: 1 game
One play from a win: none (M/OSU was close, but never just one play away)
One play from a loss: PSU’s 2-minute drill fails with M leading by 7
Actual record: 7-5
Best case: 12-0(!)
Worst case: 4-7 (no bowl)
Range: 8 games
One play from a win: M’s two minute drill fails against Notre Dame, Wisconsin scores go-ahead TD with 24 seconds left, Minnesota kicks game-winning field goal with 5 seconds left, OSU scores go-ahead TD with 24 seconds left, Michigan’s desperation lateral-fest ends one lateral short of a touchdown against Nebraska.
One play from a loss: Michigan beats MSU in overtime, Henne to Manningham with 1 second left beats PSU, Michigan beats Iowa in overtime
Notes: This season’s record of 7 games decided in the final minutes is something we’ve not seen for 8 years. Those critical of Brady Hoke may compare this year’s 7-5 record to the 7-6 season that got Rich Rodriguez fired. However, it’s worth noting that unlike this year (where every game went down to the wire except MSU), the 2010 season featured losses by 10, 10, 17, 20, 30, and 38 points. A better comparison may be the 2005 season (known then as “The Year of Infinite Pain”) in which 8 of the games went down to the wire, including all 5 of the losses. Those looking for reasons for optimism may be reminded that the year following that, Michigan recovered and only a narrow loss to OSU (plus politicking by Urban Meyer) cost Michigan a spot in the National Championship game.
With the end of the season approaching, what kind of coaching changes do you folks forecast for around the conference and nation?
Will Pelini keep his job? If not, who replaces him?
Will Narduzzi stay in East Lansing or will he get his shot at a head gig elsewhere?
Is Mack Brown back next year at Texas? What about Muschamp at Florida?
Who will be the head coach of Southern Cal?
Any other predictions?
There will be a longer summary / analysis in the coming weeks, but here is the snapshot after Ohio State and the regular season.
Well, I must say this, first and foremost - I am rather proud of the blog for going relatively quietly yesterday. Indeed, there were only 278 instances of the tracked words / references, which is about a 75% drop in production from the Iowa game. Most notably, we only produced 132 "fucks" compared to the 482 we put out for the Iowa game, a drop of around 72%. Indeed, the only tracked word which even has a positive Z-score was "shit", and that was only 0.09, so we uttered "shit" only slightly more than the season average.
So, the regular season is over, and for all the people who seemed to indicate that they had checked out to some degree, many did not do a stellar job of doing so. Indeed, over the course of twelve games, we gave 2,302 "fucks", so despite the pronouncements of some folks, I often wondered:
In any case, here is the overall summary:
|TOTAL||AVERAGE||STD. DEV.||% OF TOTAL|
|"put in Morris"||187||15.58||16.81||3.86%|
So, for the season, the mix became relatively stable about halfway in and has not moved much since Penn State - we clearly prefer "fuck", and in a breakdown later, you see how we prefer it. The overwhelming majority of people prefer "fuck" as an interjection or adjective, though kudos to the few who successfully used it as an adverb - this was rare. I attribute the predictability to blogger development and the need to mix up the "shit" calls in the offseason.
Many people have asked about the specific breakdown of references to firing people. A more detailed summary will appear in a later diary, but the quick highlights - 82% of the "fire" references were directed at Al Borges, with another 9% being directed at Brady Hoke. As a whole, we wanted a lot of things fired, including tablelamps and wheel bearings, but clearly the offense was our focus.
Some highlights from the game-by-game breakdown might be interesting as well, even if the numbers aren't shocking. Far and away, the two most concentrated displays of general vitriol came during Penn State and Iowa - these two along account for about 43% of ALL instances. About 60% of the "fucks" we gave came in three games - Penn State, Northwestern and Iowa. We gave many, but in some rather adverse games, as you might expect, we sort of blew our collect profanity wad.
Here's the game-by-game totals - click on the image to go to the full size chart:
This confirms what you knew - November was a stressful month around here.For a clear dispaly of just how uneventful Ohio State was for purposes of these metrics, here is the normalized chart:
So, again - Penn State was our first delve into rage, with Iowa being the most concentrated display of fan dissatisfaction with overall performance. We can see here that Ohio State bears more resemblence to maybe Notre Dame if any game, and even then the comparison is not exactly a good one. We were...stable.
Actually, our reaction to this loss was relatively contemplative. Here is the Mood Chart:
Ever so slightly, by this measure, we were satisfied to an extent with yesterday's outcome, at least in comparison to other games. We weren't mad, folks. Despite losing, we weren't really all that upset.
Reading the ESPN article, they list a lot of OSU player records for the game--most by OSU running back, only 2nd QB with 50yd pass and 50yd run for Braxton. However, what about a passing record for a Michigan quarterback in The Game? I would think that Devin's performance would qualify but I don't know where to look it up. Anyone know?
I'm not going to lie, that skirmish was kind of fun. Ladies and gentlemen, I present Ohio State University's defining moment:
This thread is a terrible idea. This is also a terrible blank. Somebody with teh photoshop skillz, please improve on it.
In the meantime, speaking of someone's defining moment...
Several times this year when Michigan was punting, we had a gunner split wide. The defense moved their DB in to put pressure on the punter and Michigan responded by moving the gunner in to block their DB instead of leaving him alone lined up outside.
Would it be that difficult to run a play where in this situation the ball is snapped to the upback who throws to the wide open gunner (or it just goes right to the punter to make the throw).
For example, we had a wide open gunner on a 4th and 3 against Iowa...it seems to me that we would have a great chance to convert that nearly every single time our opponent chooses to leave a gunner wide open. Although one would assume the punt rush was coming quick, the audible to the throw could give some protection and the pass would be out quick as you know where the ball is going.
Ohio State also left a gunner completely unguarded with no one any where near him today.
Is there something that I am missing. Is it really that difficult for a non-QB to complete a pass for short yardage with no one in the vicinity on the intended target?