"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
We'll get to the important thing but first wow this UFR Visualization tool by grozzy is useful. For example here's how much of an outlier Desmond Morgan's game vs Minnesota was:
Small request: the numbers always get thrown off by how many plays are in a game. I wonder if the visualizer could adjust for that by making it points per charted play.
Okay the important thing:
Yes, MGoReaders, a plurality of you have correct taste in cereal. For the record, the entire MGoStaff voted for Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Not only did they perfectly pull off the miniaturization of Angelo's specialty, but they knew to add just the right amount of cinnamon to make the post-cereal milk-slurp experience the BEST.
Also apparently a minority of you are colorblind and can't tell who won from the above chart because everything looks like blue or green. And a minority of that minority blamed me instead of the OP for that. Hey it ain't my fault you (probably) lack red cones a thing our primate ancestors developed pretty late in the story to be able to spot berries. My grandpa had that; they put him in the lead plane in WWII because tank camouflage didn't work on him.
[Hit THE JUMP to learn what happens if Michigan wins out and you call Keith Jackson]
Before this season, some betting site was looking for someone in Michigan media to take/write-up the under on 7.5 wins, and got me to bite. I figured falling short of 4-3 versus @Utah, BYU, MSU, OSU, @PSU, @Maryland and @Minnesota was foreseeable, since bad things do happen, and whatever deity was in charge of whom they happen to was the George Lucas of gods.
The George Lucas God of Football creates an amazing thing that you will buy into, then turns it on you because he misunderstands what made his original, authentic creation so awesome, and he is immune to being told otherwise.
The George Lucas God is gone, his opus now in the hands of one of its earliest and geekiest fans. You know this geek has been quite successful—like he turned Stanford Trek into a good movie, before turning around the Mission Impossible franchise. You know he was left plenty to work with. You see trailers that confirm this could not suck. When do you believe again?
There's just a 2.1% chance my 7-win prediction comes true. There's a much higher chance this one could be as good as 1969's A New Hope. I still can't get myself to believe, but the numbers are there. There's even a scenario where…
[After the JUMP: a thing Rutgers is good at]
Falk getting his. From the Jug thread.
Dear Diary took a bye last week and it couldn't have come at a better time. My football place was pretty sore for the 168 hours after the one with poor Paul Bunyan being mandled by the least deserving yups to ever play for a program I am preconditioned to think the worst about.
Misery for our company. CR found some more football fans for our healing circle by consulting novelist Jon Rowe, who offered a list of commensurate moments. A sampling:
- The Band is On the Field from Stanford's perspective
- Leon Lett's muff
- Auburn returns Bama's field goal attempt
- Baylor gets a 99-yard fumble return on its face when it could have kneeled
- Furman goes for 2 up 15-14 with 7 seconds left, but its 2-point conversion is intercepted and returned and they lose 15-16.
- The immaculate reception
- Wait, what? Why is the MSU game on this list I thought I'm supposed to feel better?
- In range for a field goal to avoid a historic upset…AGAIN? Stop bringing up Michigan!
- An uncharacteristic offensive explosion should have ended when Anthony T—
- Colorado, down…STTTTTTTOOOOPPPPP@!@@@@@@@
In conclusion every bit of luck that goes our way ever again is wholly deserved, not that we'll be able to enjoy it because self-awareness is cruel.
Self-awareness isn't always cruel. Math—I mean good math—doesn't do things like overrate the last thing to happen. And out of the randomness comes good news from our resident advanced stats collator Ecky Pting:
Ecky also did this last week for win probabilities. Right now we are looking at 9 or 10 wins most likely, which is to say Ohio State's a coinflip and 85% we get there without collecting any dust. And if you like statistics dust, here's a quaint little piece from the 1980s. It's called "Good at Football Again"
Etc. Alum96 has the stock report and a By the Numbers on Minnesota in the forums. MaizeJacket should update the Coaching Changes diary before we discuss. Best and Worst and Inside the Boxscore from last week.
[Hit THE JUMP for Harbaugh costumes layman's guess at 2016's QB]
I Love Four Plays. It's always a treat when EGD writes up a "Four Plays" diary. This is the thing where he takes two things Michigan does on offense and two things the opponent does, and shows how the matchups will go. One of M's bag of tricks is worth getting into a bit:
When Harbaugh debuted this particular fullback run against BYU, the H-back (Poggi) lined up right behind the right guard (Kalis); at the snap, Kalis went straight for the WLB and Poggi stepped up to kick out the DT. And wouldn’t you know it—here comes the left guard to lead the ballcarrier through the hole and hit the MLB, just like Power O. I kind of struggled with what to call this play; I might have done better just calling it “Inside Power.”
He gave the advantage to MSU here because State's DL is pretty powerful. I've watched a lot of their games this year and have an idea that Harbaugh's going to run something a bit different than this to take advantage of the hyperaggressiveness of State's NT, Malik McDowell. The DT is Joel Heath and he has a tendency to get sealed, but he's also huge, i.e. too much for Poggi to kick out. Rather I bet you Michigan traps their balls off. Poggi can give him a quick shove then go by, getting Heath feeling pretty good about their Michigan scouting for that half second before he eats Braden's trap. Poggi can help seal the SAM or find a safety, and we're in business.
[After the jump: where the weak are weak]
On WTKA last week (before the Maryland game) the roundtablers got into a short discussion comparing Michigan's 2015 defense to, say, the 2006 one. Asgardian walked with it, comparing the M defense to others this year and some other great defenses by simply counting how many times they…
- Held opponent to 7 or fewer points, or
- Held opponents to 8-14 points, or
- Gave up 15 or more
I'm gonna go position by position. Argue any with me:
|Scores||2015 UM||3.23||2006 UM||3.08||1997 UM||3.33|
It's hard to compare eras (Peppers versus Clint Copenhaver!) but the 2006 defense didn't have enough depth at DB for the young spread era and that was its downfall. None of these defenses had any real holes; the 1997 defense didn't even have a spot that was less than really good (B).
I made a tool so you can try this with other defenses (be nice and don't sandbox where someone else is working). I got a 2.93 for this year's Northwestern and a 3.38 for 2013 Michigan State.
Now you're playing with….power rankings. Eye of the Tiger has been doing his own weekly ranking of Big Ten teams. He does this the way Brian does the "Fear Level" and "Desperate Need to Win Level" stuff in the previews, IE he starts with a baseline then gives a +2 for a win over a good team, –1 for a loss to a solid team, etc. Northwestern and Iowa are tops right now, though MSU has fallen behind Michigan.
Alum96 has kept up his version of this too, which informs by pointing out how wrong he was about things like Maryland being any good at football. And if you desire simple numbers instead of feels and backchecks, alum also has started posting the S&P+ rankings of M and the States.
[jump for the Most Lions Thing Ever]
Listen, you loblollies. That song is called "Temptation." It is the "one" of "you can't have one without the other". When Michigan's defense forces a fourth down, the Michigan Marching Band will play this song, because our fancy endzone is just there on the other side of our defense, and they will not get the ball there. Temptation.
When they play this you may sway your arms to motion the ball going to the other side. You may make a Wolverine Claw. You may sing the lyrics if you know them. If you don't know them you may make up lyrics:
You drove, to your 39.
Your blocking was fine
your passes not really.
You now, should punt away.
Ignore what they say
4th and 1 is "punt" clearly.
You may not call it the "You Suck cheer!" Just stop saying "You Suck" at the end of it. MMB's tradition is clever. If you don't get the joke just pretend like you do. There are rules. Speaking of rules:
I love Four Plays. I've told you how much I love Four Plays. I love Four Plays.
Contemporary offenses have added one final modern wrinkle to counter the slow-developing nature of these toss sweeps: the crack block. By aligning two blockers to the outside and having them crack-back to seal the playside linebacker and defensive end, the sweep hits much more quickly and gives the pulling linemen favorable blocking matchups—usually against defensive backs. And while the outside blockers—usually tight ends and wide receivers—are usually much smaller than the opponents they are tasked with blocking, this size disadvantage is compensated for by “leverage”—that is, favorable angles for the offensive players to make those blocks.
The question after last week regarding Michigan's offense was what is Michigan going to do when the opponent is stacking the middle and we're NOT content to run into that anyway because UNLV is bad at football. This is exactly the sort of thing I would guess is coming. And we've seen some motions to set this up already, although with Chesson the crack-man, not Darboh.
Will it work? I'm not counting on it unless the defense is heavily cheating inside. Michigan's receivers have missed blocks, Mason Cole is not good in open space yet, and Sione Houma is not the blocker Kerridge is. Any one of those blocks going badly will end this play in the backfield.
That's my only disagreement. I love Four Plays.
[After the jump, punts flyin, Rutgers cryin', Mud Bowl dyin', bloggers fryin', ]