For those of you who want a place to vent tomorrow, or a place to celebrate a potentially huge victory on U-M's march to the Big Dance, please join me at 1:30 pm tomorrow for a liveblog of the Mich/Wisc game. Yes, I'm tempting the Angry Michigan Liveblog Hating God by hosting a CIL liveblog tomorrow, but I couldn't go through a big Michigan basketball game without a place to vent/celebrate/probably vent. Go to The Ace of Sports tomorrow (http://aceofsports.blogspot.com) to get your liveblog fix at 1:30.
Anyone going to the Wisc. game tomorrow? I might end up going. Blag reunion anyone? I'm also not above shouting Brian's name if I happen to see him.
Hello, since the internets are burning with flame wars and talks of firings, I don’t want to waste your time. This post is a recap of my Michigan Football experiences in my life and my opinion about being a student the past four years. It contains ideas on what the future holds for our team. It is also long. If you don’t want to read about this, stop now. Therefore no one will waste their time, have to tell everyone they don’t care what I think, or tell everyone that Coach Rodriguez is not the answer. I am fine with the fact that most won’t care what I think and have to say or agree with me.
It started a really long time ago, before I can remember. Fall days in Saturday either meant waking up and driving to Ann Arbor to watch football or watching the Maize and Blue on TV because we were on the road or I couldn’t go that week. Mom and Dad both went to Michigan and had season tickets so it was natural for me to cheer for them. I grew to love the Wolverines and there were some great memories over the years. Some of these included a lifetime hatred for Kordell Stewart, attending the parade after we won the National Championship, getting my picture taken with Woodson, Griese, the Heisman, and the national championship trophy, knowing that Jeff Smoker did not spike the ball in time, burning plastic gators on our January trip to Florida,triple overtime, and the 100th game.
All of that happened and the next year was different. It was senior year of high school and I wasn’t sure if I’d get into Michigan. I had applications to a bunch of schools, but I was specifically hoping for one response. Well on November 20th, 2004 I got a call at about 11 AM that I needed to get home as soon as possible to open a large envelope. Sure enough, I got into Michigan just in time to watch our 7th rankedteam fall to the Buckeyes. I wore that Michigan shirt to school Monday with pride, I got ridiculed of course, but man it felt good, I was going to attend the University of Michigan.
That’s where the article above comes in. It describes the next four years as the most torturous for a fan base of any school in college football. It made me think, have my four years here been the worst four years for a University of Michigan football fan to be a student?
So I had to think back to my memories over the past four years.
- First game against MSU is at MSU, I go to the game, overtime win. Awesome.
- #8 Penn State touchdown with 53 seconds left. Silence. 0 seconds left. Bedlam.
- 5losses. Wisconsin, scores TD with 24 ticks on the clock. Last second tie breaking field goal to Minnesota. 24 seconds left again, this time Ohio State.Nebraska debacle.
- 11 Straight wins, which included a visit to Notre Dame in my favorite away game. Hot Damn!
- Seniors last home game, Balls out for Ball State (3-7), in which was the closest win of the year, unless you look solely at points (Penn State).
- The loss of Bo. Honestly the eeriest feeling I’ve ever experienced was felt on campus that day. Candlelight vigil on the Diag.
- 1 vs. 2
- A plundering in Pasadena
- Watching the remake of the Longest Yard’s most infamous scene for Michigan Fans and Hot! Hot! Hot! several times. The horror. The statue of liberty.
- 8 wins, 2 more losses
- Overcoming all the adversity, beating the speedy gators of the SEC, and watching Lloyd go out the way he deserved to go out.
- The coaching fiasco, and excitement in a good coach, a good offense, a new sponsor, a new stadium, a new quarterback, and the departure of pretty much everything I ever knew about Michigan Football, just in time for senior year.
- We don’t need a breakdown, as we all know what happened so far this year.
Wisconsin was the best game I’ve ever experienced in the Big House, although the win will probably mean nothing by the end of the season. And now with two home games left in my college career, I wonder if this will be the only savior of the season. In my opinion we will win two more games. But the last three years have taught me that anything can happen. We could lose all six or we could win all six. If we don’t make a bowl and all of our streaks and records are broken, it will be a true restart for our team. 2008 will be the ultimate restart of a year. Our team that consists of mostly freshman; they will have a new coach, new offense, new defense, new sponsor, new stadium on the way, new recruiting style, new records to set, and a new outlook on Michigan Football. It is weird to be a senior right now. We could be the first class in 40 years to see a losing season and 33 years to not make it to a bowl. Plus we are the first class of only three that will have experienced the old and the new. A full system reboot will take longer than 6 games, but it will happen so everyone will have to be patient. I believe Coach Rodriguez can take us there, with the raw talent he has this year and with the upcoming recruits Coach Rod is building the kind of foundation that we will grow from. With patience in our coach and our players, Michigan will return. As you may have heard, those who stay will be champions.
So are the past four years the most torturous for any college fan base? Depends on how you look at it. For me, 3 wins over MSU so far, Mario in the Penn State game, winning 11 straight games, being on campus to say goodbye to Bo, the Florida win and what it meant for Lloyd, and watching the beginning of the new era with the Wisconsin win have been plenty of ups to the many number of downs that I have experienced. Am I setting my standards too low, you may think so, I don’t, although beating Ohio State would be nice. Being a part of the University of Michigan and optimistically supporting every aspect of their football team is enough for me. Do the same if you can, support Rich Rodriguez, support Nick Sheridan, support Morgan Trent.
PS. The last four years were not a picnic, so here are few favors (last wishes as a student) I ask,
- Try the best you can to not sell your tickets to MSU fans. Be as loud as possible during this game. Wear maize.
- Don’t be a Negative Nancy. Don’t leave the game early. Don’t ever think like the guy that posted the above article. Asking if it is time to switch to soccer is not a joke, as that is not funny. Never give up on Michigan Football.
- Cut the student section a little slack. We got flamed for the wave last time because somehow a group of kids in the 30th row got it started. I hope we get to do it all the way through one last time for the seniors regardless of the score of the Northwestern game, plus the freshman still need to learn the correct thing all the way through. We will at least do it in the third quarter.
- I’d love to see someone organize something for the seniors. Whether it be the one time return of hot dog man, marshmallows, the 1,2,3 HIT HIM IN THE FACE on the kickoff cheer, etc. or something else. Ideas are appreciated.
Did anyone see this game. I just checked the box score to see if it was as close as advertised. This is what I found: time of possession about 1 minute apart, rushing yards 183-179, passing yards 147-144, both teams completed 13 passes, turnovers 2-2, total yards 327-326, etc. http://sports.aol.com/ncaafb-game/20081004/ohio_state-buckeyes-vs-wisconsin-badgers/200810040036?type=recap
Looks like a very evenly played game. What does this mean for the rest of the big ten?
The University of Wisconsin Marching Band has outdone itself. They're under indefinite suspension.
As a numbers geek, I have spent a couple years trying to develop a system to go beyond the box score to analyze performance. I have analyzed hundreds of box scores and play by plays to asign a value to each play based on down, distance and line of scrimmage. Each combination of the three is given an expected value.
For instance, a 1st and 10 at the 20 will ultimately give you 1.49 pts each time. Obviously you are never going to score 1.49 point, but you could look at it as about 15 points (a little over 2 TDs) for evey 10 times the situation occurs. Based on this, each play changes the expected points for the possession. A turnover or failed 3rd or 4th down play results in the expected value dropping to 0. In the case of a turnover, a penalty is added based on the resulting opponent field position in comparison to where the opponent would have started had there been an average punt. A long interception with no return, little penalty, field position similar to a punt. A long fumble/int return is a greated penalty because the offense not only loses their expected points, they give the opponent exceptional field position.
A couple notes on scores. Passing games see a lot more range in scores than running games. + is good for the offense, - is good for the defense. Receivers have generally positive scores because only completions count towards their score. Obviously Michigan's poor screen game against Wisconsin does not fit this trend.
Based purely on starting field position, if these two team were average the score should have been Wisconsin 41 Michigan 22. Obviously a huge effort from the defense to hold Wisconsin to 25 pts and an a great second half for the offense, to put some drives together.
Without further ado, here are the scores for the week.
Offense Overall: -2.4 pts
Running Game: +1.3
Minor: 2 carries, +2.9
Threet:9 carries, +0.8
Grady: 5 carries, +0.7
Brown: 1 carry, -0.7
Odoms: 1 carry, -0.9
McGuffie!: 15 carries: -1.5
Passing Game: -5.2
Matthews: 4 catches, +4.3
Koger: 1 catch, +4.0
Minor: 1 catch, +0.6
Odoms: 2 catches, -0.2
McGuffie: 1 catch, -0.5
Brown: 3 catches, -1.3
Penalties (Offense): +1.5
For: 1 penalty, +1.9
Against: 1 penalty, -0.4
Defense Overall: -24.4
Run defense: -7.2
Other: 13 carries, +4.9
Evridge: 5 carries, -6.1
Hill: 22 carries, -6.0
Pass defense: -18.2
Gilreath: 5 catches, +6.0
Jefferson: 4 catches, -1.0
Penalties (defense): +1.0
For: 4 penalties, -2.3
Against: 2 penalties, +3.3