things go poorly
Hoping to spark some friendly conversation reflecting on the incredible comeback in 2003 at Minnesota. Chris Perry, Braylon Edwards, John Navarre and Marion Barber, this game was a classic.
Thanks to WolverineHistorian for the video. I remember myself capitulating to Minnesota (out loud) several times that afternoon...
The Michigan Men's Baseball team won a huge game at Nebraska, 7-5. Michigan was down 5-2 in the top of the sixth but a one run sixth inning and four run seventh inning propelled Michigan to the win. Michigan remains tied for fifth win Illinois, who also won today, beating Minnesota 6-2. Michigan State also crushed Penn State 16-1, yet remain in seventh place. The top six teams qualify for the Big Ten Tournament and this is the final weekend of regular season play. Below are the current standings:
Ohio State 15-7
Michigan State 11-8
Penn State 3-19
Here is the gametracker link for the game:
On in like 2 minutes. Repeating throughout the day. 15-run comeback. Must watch.
Update: Maloney will be on the 6pm edition to talk the comeback. Somebody get me the clip to watch when I get home.
That just happened. Michigan wins the series 2-1 on the most stunning senior day in recent memory. This series has it all - A pitcher's duel, a stunning heart breaker, a come-from-behind win on senior day featuring the two co-captains completing a walk off. If you have ever been a baseball fan, this was the series for you.
W – Gerbe (2-0)… Save – Burgoon (9)
Game one was the pitchers' duel. Michigan managed the early lead thanks to a leadoff walk of Patrick Biondi. After going to third on a perfectly placed hit and run by Toth, going right through the hole vacated by the second baseman, LaMarre would knock him in on a would-be double play, but Northwestern's second baseman double clutched, giving LaMarre just enough time to beat out the throw. After Berset's single, Crank would line out deep to left, gaining an easy sacrifice fly, and Michigan led 2-0.
Alan Oaks was on the mound for Michigan and had a pretty good game. In his 6 innings of work, he gave up 7 hits and 3 runs. Two of those came in the form of solo home runs by Northwestern's third baseman Chris Lashmet. The third run also involved Lashmet. In the 6th, he would single and score on a Zach Morton double that screamed past a diving Lorenz and took a strange hop off the wall, evading Ryan LaMarre in left.
LaMarre would lead the response for Michigan, knocking a triple off the center field wall. This set up Chris Berset up for an easy RBI single.
Oaks would open the 7th with a hard hit double, and the bullpen would take over for Oaks after that, with the game tied at 3 a piece. Gerbe would give up a sac bunt to move the runner to third, but Mike Dufek made a great play on a slow roller by the next batter to gun the runner trying to score and preserve the tie.
In the bottom of the 7th, Biondi got the offense started on a two-out rally. His walk was followed by back-to-back singles by Toth and LaMarre to bring in a run. With the lead, 4-3, it was all Burgoon from here on out.
- The Pen – 3 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 K, W, Save
- Anthony Toth – 3/4
- Ryan LaMarre – 2/4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 3B
- Game Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
- Attendance: 1385
- Coley Crank – 0/3 RBI, 3 LOB, SACF
The rest of the series, including the THRILLING CONCLUSION, after the jump.
...Scott Dreisbach hit Mercury Hayes in the back corner of the endzone with no time left on the clock to complete what at the time was the greatest comeback in Michigan history.
Final score: U-M 18, UVA 17.
Shout out to Tyrone Butterfield for dropping the ball on the previous play (whether it was on purpose or not)!
The notion of the comeback is distinctively unfamiliar to a program that is first in all-time wins and winning percentage. But as we continue to rebuild in order to regain that top status, we will find ourselves, unfortunately, in the comeback position in many games this coming year. A lot of comebacks require a 2 point conversion along the way, and that in turn requires some decision making. Various interesting decisions arise as to 2 point conversions. I want to address a specific kind here – one that, in my opinion, just about every football coach gets wrong.
The Setting: It is the first game of Coach Rod’s era at Michigan. There are about 9 minutes left in the game, Michigan is down 25 – 10 against the Utes but marching down the field with surprisingly crisp execution. Then, Steven Threet hits Junior Hemingway in the corner for a 33 yd touchdown. Michigan has cut the 15 point deficit to 9. The score is 25 – 16. What now? Before the touchdown, everyone’s thinking we need a 7 point conversion, an 8 point conversion, and the defense not to give up any more points. So far, so good. But does the order matter? Yes! Not only does it matter, almost every coach chooses the wrong order! In his first game, Coach Rod also chose the wrong order, and went for the 7 point conversion before the 8 point conversion. Ultimately, it didn’t matter in that game, but that doesn’t mean it won’t matter in other games.
The Principle: It’s better to have a small chance to win than no chance to win. The 8 point conversion attempt must come first.
In Coach Rod’s first game, Michigan happened to score the second touchdown with 6:26 left in the game. So, Michigan had ample time to overcome Coach Rod’s mistake. As noted, choosing the right order in that game would not have made a difference. But suppose instead, that Michigan scored the second touchdown with 26 seconds left in the game. Now, if Michigan fails to convert the 2 points, Michigan is out of luck. To recap, MI scored TD + the kick after with 9 mins left. Then, MI scored w/ 26 seconds left, failed the 2 point conversion, game over.
Switch up the order. MI scored with 9 mins left, but now goes for the 2 point conversion right away and fails. The score is 25-16 with 9 mins left. The deficit is substantial but not insurmountable. To compare, 25-23 with 26 seconds left is much, much more substantial (i.e., almost no chance to win). It is better to have a small chance to win than no chance to win.
Essentially, in any comeback where the coach believes that a 2 point conversion is necessary to win the game, it is better to attempt it earlier than later. Put another way, the likelihood of converting the 7 point conversion and the 8 point conversion is the same in the two scenarios. It is more probable than not the 2 point conversion will fail. It is better to give the team more time to address that likely failure than less time.
I can think of two major objections to my position. First, attempting the conversion earlier and failing deflates the team’s momentum. Second, delaying the conversion is better because maybe the team won’t have to make that decision (i.e., fortuitous events such as a pick 6 make it unnecessary).
This post seems ridiculously long already, so I will stop here instead of diving into further analysis. I will note that I have thought about those two objections, and, one, I do not think they outweigh the force of my argument, and two, I do not think they are the rationale of coaches when they select, what I believe, is the wrong order.