One Play. I got really into this piece by Brhino where he went over Michigan football seasons going back to the "Year of Infinite Pain" (i.e. 2005) to point out games where one play may have meant the difference. Interesting way to reassess how we view the seasons. For example this year's team was a couple things going right away from 11-1 and a BCS bid (MSU would have still have won the Bo Division, with BCS eligibility riding on that), and a couple of things going wrong away from 4-8. I chart:
Bicking makes it cligger.
Quibble: I may be stretching "one play" too far, but Football Armageddon had that late hit out of bounds by Crable on 3rd and 15. OSU scored on that drive to go up 10. Who knows if Michigan can drive the ball the same as they did on the next possession. NFL win probability calculator says OSU was 79% to win if Crable doesn't make that hit, and 91% after the call. Fan brain says Michigan would have drove for the victory, beaten essentially the same Florida team they played the following year, and cured cancer.
Trend Lines. If you're into seeing how the rest of the Big Ten progressed on offense as this season did, dnak followed up last week's Michigan chart with some for the rest of the field. MSU is a young offense slowly growing up, Michigan's is one coached by insane people.
Hypothesis: UConn was just a bad game and the coaches over-responded to it, putting themselves behind the 8-ball the rest of the season. I submit as a different model Penn State, which had more than a few personnel shortages but big talent in places and stuck with their scheme all year, seeing noticeable progression but no spikes until the last game.
Goals! The Corsi Charts have been shelved for the moment so MGoBlueline can do those goal analysis things I like much better anyway:
Compher wins the faceoff, which is huge. Even more important, however, is that DeBlois is able to tie his man up. This allows a clean tap across from Compher to Guptill…
The OSU weekend's tallies at the link.
Charity. Tomorrow is Adopt-a-Shelter and both sites still could use some volunteers. K.o.k.Law had a tailgate at the house next door to MGoPatio, the cause being to fix up the house of an 11-year-old with a terrible illness.
Weeklies. Turnover Analysis talked about the Countess interception, which had a negative result of half a point. I still would have taken it; I think Furman stood there amazed for a second while OSU's receivers recovered, and if he hadn't he was in the exact right spot to make a key block. Turnover margin has been steadily climbing to the good since UConn, though the offense going into a shell to make that happen might have negated the good that's done. Inside the Box Score. Best and Worst talks about Ben Gedeon. LSA's usual stuff.
Etc. All-B1G team. Wallpaper with hoops schedule.
[Jump to learn an important lesson about swearing.]
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COURAGE IN THE FACE OF MYSTERY MEAT
There have been some wonderful Michigan players who came from terrible circumstances, see: Denard Robinson, Marlin Jackson, etc. But there's another type of Wolverine, and we must admit that leaving this:
Don't be shy Brady; point at what you want.
…for South Quad takes a different kind of courage. That is Hoke and Ferrigno with Bryan Mone's mom on Hoke's latest in-home visit (via Lorenz). Other coaches were visiting Malik McDowell, on whom Coach Brown can't seem to get a read.
I USED TO HATE JACKSONVILLE
Offseason mode has been engaged, yet football season hasn't ended, so we're into that month when there's usually a watching party thread for whatever day's football games. There wasn't one last night, but I went on the site hoping there'd be, because there's a Henne/Denard team to watch.
I've always seen the Jaguars as one more turquoise abomination from that period in the '90s when "investment groups" of people who don't care about sports leapt into sports franchises or created their own in any place that could plausibly fill a corporate box.
|Somewhere out there is a Johnny RBUAS column on putting so much magnificence into such a silly outfit. [Melina Vastola-USA TODAY]
They play in a typical, soulless, bank-monikered NFL stadium with typical cat rowrz playing over the loudspeakers. I don't know if it's still true but the Jags used to have a rigid code of behavior for fans: no standing, no yelling, no anything but zombie consumption. They're in a "city" that's really one giant soulless sprawl filled by people New York didn't want and New Jersey wouldn't take. And yet recently I've found a spring there more delightful than the one de Leon (that Ponce) was looking for.
Thursday Night Football was Jags vs. Texans. Henne won again; at one point both Maurice Jones-Drew and Jordan Todman were both hurt so the Jags were down to just Denard (whom you'll be happy to know is wearing #16 now) at running back. The winning score was an Ace Sanders TD pass. You remember him. Sanders is also 6'0 and has dredlocks and wears #18 which looks like #16 at a glance, so there's a lot of "is that Denard?" moments whenever he first comes on screen. Anyway as much one more homogenized NFL team can be fun, they are. I mean, you want the other RBs to get out of Denard's way, but then have you ever seen a ball accelerate like MJD?
Relatedly, if you can stand to watch NBA, Trey Burke is awesome. #FIREDUMARS
Unrelatedly, WORLD CUP draw today at 11. Brian's friends used the Penn State trip this year to convince me anyone who likes college football will go for soccer. Because what every Michigan fan needs is another low-scoring, gut-blasting team to follow.
OHIO IS A FOUR-LETTER WORD
Here's a map of the sweariest states in the union:
Here's a map of college football interest per state:
- New England hockey parents (Vermont/New Hampshire/Connecticut) Massachusetts spared because all of their teams have won championships recently.
- Statements concerning Chicago weather
- USC message boards
- Jersey Thing (extends to Maryland in summer)
- Gary Pinkel
ETC. Reminder to always tip your mods. I would choose a win over Ohio State I know I am a terrible basketball fan that's why we have Ace. Spike Albrecht is Hurricane Dog.
Your Moment of Zen
Welcome back to off-topic season: