“The player development is the main thing I like (about Michigan),” Williams said. “You can see that they develop their players. They get them in the gym and they work them hard. And their hard work pays off.”
For all those who are still up for some association football talk, even after the valiant-but-sad exit of Team USA, a data-driven argument for why Messi is the best in the world (and maybe the best ever). From FiveThirtyEight:
By now I’ve studied nearly every aspect of Messi’s game, down to a touch-by-touch level: his shooting and scoring production; where he shoots from; how often he sets up his own shots; what kind of kicks he uses to make those shots; his ability to take on defenders; how accurate his passes are; the kind of passes he makes; how often he creates scoring chances; how often those chances lead to goals; even how his defensive playmaking compares to other high-volume shooters.
And that’s just the stuff that made it into this article. I arrived at a conclusion that I wasn’t really expecting or prepared for: Lionel Messi is impossible.
It’s not possible to shoot more efficiently from outside the penalty area than many players shoot inside it. It’s not possible to lead the world in weak-kick goals and long-range goals. It’s not possible to score on unassisted plays as well as the best players in the world score on assisted ones. It’s not possible to lead the world’s forwards both in taking on defenders and in dishing the ball to others. And it’s certainly not possible to do most of these things by insanely wide margins.
But Messi does all of this and more....
Ok the warmup game is over - now to the main event.
GO USA. Get those waffles!
Let's do this, America.
After an exciting group stage, the World Cup is now into the knockound round/sweet sixteen. For the 168 of us (nice!) who entered the bracket challenge on ESPN, here is an update to the standings.
Group link: MGoBlog group
Tied for first are "Sharath3947" and "Bowl picks right?". Assuming these aren't your MGoBlog usernames, who made the top 10?
P.S. In my original post starting the pool I mentioned that I root USA, France, Uruguay. Somehow, all three are still alive in the tourney, so I'm lovin it!
After having a great start to the 2014 Director's Cup in which they were ranked as high as 4th after the winter sports, Michigan finishes 13th overall, and 2nd in the B1G, behind Penn State at #5.
Other B1G landing spots:
18 - Wisconsin
21 - Minnesota
23 - Nebraska
25 - Ohio State
29 - Michigan State
32 - Maryland
36 - Indiana
47 - Illinois
48 - Purdue
50 - Northwestern
78 - Iowa
91 - ... and finishing worst in the B1G, lets give a warm round of applause to... Rutgers! Great acquisition, Jim!
Michigan finishes with 983.25 points, Stanford, of course, paced the field with 1482 points.
Michigan's Historical placing (lovingly poached from Wiki):
|Year||Rank: National||Rank: Big Ten|
Now that the group phase is done, looking at the results by confederation (continent), here is what jumps out:
- CONMEBOL (South America) utterly killed this tournament. Unforatunately for them, 4 of their 5 teams in the knockout rounds play each other in the first round - -and the winners play in the second round -- so of the 4, only 1 can make the semi-finals. On the other hand, CONMEBOL is guaranteed a semifinalist. Argentina is the outlier from that group, and on the other side of the bracket. Potential Brazil/Argentina final.
- CONCACAF (North America / Central America) did just about as well as EUFA (Europe), winning about half the available points. Although that's with 4 teams versus 13 teams. Interestingly, all 3 CONCACAF teams in R16 take on EUFA teams: MEX and USA take on NED and BEL, respectively (arch rivals taking on arch rivals) and CRC takes on GRE.
- Asia utterly stunk (no wins) and Africa wasn't far behind. Africa did get 2 of its 5 teams into the R16.
The data (record are W-D-L):
CONMEBOL: 6 teams, 13-2-3, 41 pts (out of 54 pts available, took 76% of pts available)
(*) EUFA: 13 teams, 13-7-9, 46 pts (of 87 pts, 53%)
CONCACAF: 4 teams, 5-3-4, 18 pts (of 36 pts, 50%)
AFRICA: 5 teams, 3-3-9, 12 pts (of 45 pts, 27%)
ASIA: 4 taems, 0-3-9, 3 pts (of 36 pts, 8%) - NO WINS
OCEANIA: No teams; NZL eliminated by MEX in play-in round.
(*) I adjusted the EUFA record by removing the 5 games played between European teams in the group phase. The record here is only EUFA teams versus teams from other confederations.