"Rodrick Williams Jr.'s 10-month old, 2-foot-long savannah monitor named "Kill" gets the RB some strange looks when they go for walks together."
This is an interesting trend for the Big 10 teams the game after playing Indiana:
Oct 2 @ Indiana- W 42-35
Oct 9 vs. MSU- L 17-34 (Michigan was a 3 point favorite)
Oct 9 vs. Indiana- W 38-10
Oct 16 @ Wisconsin- L 18-31 (OSU was a 4 point favorite)
Oct 23 vs. Indiana- W 44-13
Oct 30 vs. Purdue- W 44-10
Oct 30 @ Indiana- W 20-17
Nov 6 @ Penn State- L 21-35
Nov 6 @ Indiana- W 18-13
Nov 13 @ Northwestern- L 17-21 (Iowa was a 10.5 point favorite)
Nov 13 vs Indiana- W 83-20
Nov 20 @ Michigan- TBD..
OVERALL: Big 10 teams are 1-4 in the game after they play Indiana, with 3 outright losses by favorites in Vegas. You could also say that Big Ten teams are 0-4 in this game against teams that aren't Purdue. This might not mean anything but let's hope it does and it continues.
A friend of mine made a statement today that he feels that UM will lose the PSU game due to the "characteristic turnovers and mistakes that are a RichRod staple."
I asked him if he thought they were a staple throughout his career or only at UM.
I searched mgoblog (granted, I'm not the greatest at this...but at least I tried) and came up with this diary with a nice chart.
However, I was wondering if there was any data that was more current. Anyone out there have access/time to post something like this? Maybe this has already been posted on mgoblog. Since the prevailing wisdom is that turnovers and mistakes cost UM at least a shot at the MSU and Iowa games, I would think this would be of interest to the board.
In 2007 and 2008, Notre Dame played 15 of such teams and went 2-13 (13%) against them: 1-8 and 1-5 in each respective year. Contrast this with an 8-2 (80%) record against teams in the bottom third of PED. Free advice, ND: you might consider scheduling less "Club Decent" teams in the future.
Almost no victories come against "Club Decent" teams.
The Irish had 10 wins combined the last 2 seasons. In 2007, 2/3 of those wins were against bad PED teams (#32, #101, and #84), and 6/7 were last year (#112, #79, #33, #83, #115, #103, and #87). This means opponents in Irish wins in the past 2 years average out to #83 in PED -- worse than 70% of all teams.
What do you call an exception that's not really an exception?
The only wins against decent pass defenses (#32, #33) in the past two years came against two below average teams: UCLA (6-7) in 2007 and Purdue (4-8) in 2008. Due to injury, UCLA had to play a third-string freshman walk-on qb, and were also without their starting RB. The turnover differential ended up +7 for the Irish. This sounds familiar for Michigan fans. The victory against a very poor, 4-8 Purdue team was in South Bend, where the Boilermakers rarely win (1-15 in their last 16 games). The turnover differential was +1 for the Irish, with the only turnover coming as a pick 6.
What did we learn from Nevada? We don't yet know where Nevada will stack up in PED for 2009, but we do know that last year they were #85, and an oft-cited #119/119 in pass defense, crushing #118 by 25 yards/game. I wouldn't expect that unit sans 1 free safety to be much better. Statistically, even the 3-9 2007 team would very likely have beaten Nevada.
Will Notre Dame break the trend this year and be able to beat "Club Decent" teams? I'm not sure how optimistic I would be as an Irish fan. While 2008 seemed to be an improvement over 2007, how much of that was the schedule? Their record was no better against the "Club"; they simply played fewer teams. 3 wins (2007) - 4 "Club Decent" opponents = 7 wins (2008). Yes, they have another year of experience, and Jon Tenuta is calling the shots on D now, but is that enough to significantly buck a trend that went seemingly unchanged from year 1 to year 2?
Is Michigan a "Club Decent" team this year?
Michigan was a poor PED team (#79) last year, suggesting that ND would beat them -- and they did. Is there reason to believe the Wolverines will change that this year, thus suggesting a different result? There are many positive signs. New DC Greg Robinson has brought a new, attacking defensive scheme, which is designed to put constant pressure on the QB. This was very effective against a large (very similar in size to ND), veteran line for WMU. Stevie Brown's move to SLB should also help, bringing his speed and athleticism up in pass coverage instead of a larger, slower LB attempting to guard receivers in space.