the just released schedules were a flat-out statement that the B10 doesn't believe SOS will matter in playoff selection
So, 4 years of probation and 2 years of recruiting time reductions.
For 312$ and one tipped off player about an interview
Just thought it might give some perspective on the whole "I wonder if OSU is going to get off easy"
OSU had 5,000 dollars in impermissible benefits, directly lied and impeded on the investigation being started and finally did not even take more than 2 years of probation.
To qoute CCR:
I see, a baddd moon a risin.. I see trouble onnn the way..
Pulling the content a little closer to home this week in an effort to keep a higher R squared value with the MGoBlog readers!
As always, this analysis only considers games between two D1 opponents and takes only plays during competitive game situations into account.
Not all great offenses are created equally
If we are going to know what it takes to become a great offense under Rich Rodriguez, we must first know what it will look like, because great offenses can take on many different appearances. Below is a play success distribution for my top rated offense last year (Georgia Tech, option baby), the top passing offense (Captain Leach Texas Tech) and a look at West Virginia from 2007, Rodriguez’s last year at the helm. I went ahead and threw in the BCS’s worst, Washington St, just for comparison.
The Paul Johnson option is working with big plays, rather they are taking out the bad plays. Over three-quarters of Georgia Tech’s plays go for positive yardage. This balances out no strong tendency towards big plays. The end result is old school football: lots of long drives and moving the chains.
At the Captain’s helm, Texas Tech had nearly a quarter of all of their plays go for no gain. As always, there are tradeoffs. For Tech they came in the form of the 10-20 yard gain.
Under Rodriguez, West Virginia saw something different than either of those two. Even with a run-pass split close to Georgia Tech, the distribution of the spread 'n' shred was much different than the Option. Where the Yellowjackets saw a heavy dose of positive but small gains, the Mountaineers had a solid lead in everything from 4-20 yards. The end results where similar with both teams producing touchdown drives with regularity, but the path was much longer for Georgia Tech. West Virginia’s ability to get the somewhat big play allowed them to shorten drives, add possessions to the game and eliminate some of the variance through an increase in scoring chances.
How close are we?
As everyone knows, we are much closer coming in to this year than we were last year. Here is another chart to support that notion.
There are many charts to look at that show the dreadfulness of 2008, so we won’t dwell on that. What is becoming clear is that the shape of 2009 is becoming quite similar to West Virginia 2007. The big difference, and its a big one, is that Michigan still has a lot of plays going for no gain, where West Virginia was able to get 5+ yards out of those same plays.
If Michigan is going to mirror the West Virginia offensive success, it appears to have a made very clear first step last season.
How does this compare to previous years?
The biggest difference between the Carr era and the Rodriguez era in terms of yardage gained distribution is the passing game bump from the Carr era in the 10-20 yard gain range. The Rodriguez system is more geared towards to the 4-9 yard gains where the Carr offense excelled in the 0-3 and 10-20 yard ranges.
What does this mean for 2010?
The cliché: Take the Next Step.
It looks like framework of what Rodriguez wants to do is in place after two rough years, but the execution is still behind his days at West Virginia. The offensive line now has two years in the system and for the first time there is a quarterback (in fact two!) who have both experience and talent. As I noted in a previous diary, a jump from average in 2009 to good in 2010 is certainly a good possibility and with a break or two and improved quarterback play, it could go from average to great.
Georgia Tech is presently favored by four.
When it came to pool-picking time, my quick reaction was "How do you predict what a team will do against that unusual Ga Tech offense?" But then I got to thinking, what normally is a Ga Tech advantage in the regular season--an unusual offense that opponents have one week to prepare for--is not as much of an advantage in a bowl game. Ferentz has time to prepare.
And from what I've read, Stanzi is good to go. I like Iowa. (OK, I'm a B10 homer.)
Pregame - Tailgating
With the game scheduled for an 8pm kick off, we naturally began tailgating at 12:30pm at a Fraternity House near the stadium. Tailgate food was pretty standard, with additional foods such as Brunswick Stew and a Chick-Fil-A platter. Delicious.) Needless to say, with about 7 hours of tailgating, there were plenty of beverages consumed and shenanigans to be had.
The attire was different. Pledges wore shirts and ties, some had pants that matched the color of their team (e.g. Tech students had yellow slacks, while some Georgia students had red slacks...yikes!)
I already was aware that the girls wore sun dresses to games; but, when it gets cooler they wear jackets matching the color of their schools. This may be more accurate for those in the Greek system at Georgia Tech, but I saw many folks with outfits that match school colors, but don't explicitly say the school's name. I did see people with jerseys, shirts etc., but not among the Frat/Sorority crowds.
Speaking of attire...
I of course had to be "that guy" with my Michigan hat on. The top two questions people asked me were:
1. "What do you think of Rich Rodriguez?"
2. "You think y'all are going to fire him?"
My response probably came off a bit defensive in nature, but I responded that I am a supporter/buyer of what Rodriguez brings to Michigan and that I think the general public won't expect as much from Michigan, which will play in his favor nicely when he wins 8 or 9 games next season. (Homer? Maybe...) I also ran into a someone who yelled out a 'Go Blue!' Found out he was born in Grand Rapids but moved to the South, which confirmed, you can't go anywhere without running into at least one Michigan fan.
Similar to the Victors' Walk, Georgia Tech has a Players' Walk down Yellow Jacket Alley. The band, cheer leaders and Ramblin' Wreck and fans all participate. One interesting note here is that they allow the Recruits to join in on the walk. I'm not sure if we do this currently, but I noticed it specifically this weekend. I bet the recruits loved it. If you click the above link, you'll see what it was like for Saturday's game. You'll also notice how much closer everyone gets to the players, coaches, etc. than we do at Michigan.
During the Game:
The night atmosphere was pretty awesome. The sky was clear and the Atlanta skyline looked gorgeous. I was sitting in the Georgia section with my girlfriend, a GaTech alumnus. If I had to compare Georgia fans to MSU or OSU fans, I'd say our Big Ten rivals are worse, but when Georgia fans bark at you as part of their chant, I'll admit there are few chants that are more annoying.
I spent the first half in the Georgia section and the second half in the GaTech section. In the UGA section, we were above the GaTech band; due to acoustics I couldn't hear the Tech band. We heard Georgia's band pretty well from across the stadium.
The neatest thing to note, is the fact that Georgia Tech had a rap song (I think by Soulja Boy called "All the way turned up" as an official theme for their hype videos that were playing on the big screen. Not only was the song piped in throughout the game, the band also learned to play it too!
Here's a version of the hype video.
While this song is pretty atrocious, it pumped the student and alumni crowds, and it also prompted the crowd to get loud on key defensive plays. Supposedly, some of the hype videos played before key plays/downs were created by players on the team. To me, that shows that the players and students totally bought into the team and its direction. It also shows that the athletic program affords its players the freedom to be creative and have real ownership of the direction of the team. (Note: Again, the song is bad, but I like the idea of involving the players to help engage the crowd on the big screen.)
Another cool thing to see was in between the third and fourth quarter, the GT band plays the Budweiser song. The video doesn't really do it justice. It's a fun thing to see in between the 3rd and 4th quarters.
The game was an exciting game that unfortunately slipped through GaTechs hands, literally. The crowd was in it the entire game. I stood the entire game, shouting and yelling, and not once was I told to sit down. That felt nice. The loss however, sucked as much as if I had gone to Tech.
Once Demariyus Thomas dropped a pass on fourth down, the entire stadium fell to silence, save the scattered sections of barking Georgia fans. The interesting thing though, was that Georgia Tech fans were more upset that both Clemson and GaTech lost to "bottom" SEC schools than anything else. They really have conference pride. Perhaps it's a geographical thing for ACC fans?
At any rate, I strongly recommend a game at Georgia Tech, or any other school in the country for that matter. If you go to a game somewhere else, I'd love to read your observations on the game day feel. I'm planning on attending the Rutgers-West Virginia game; I may tone down the Michigan attire so as to avoid confrontation.