those Iowa best play guesses, if guesses, were pretty darn good.
This 'Merritt's Mention: How much punning has David Merritt had to put up with? Not enough that he balked at calling his fashion-brand-for-a-cause "Merit." The store donates a fifth of its revenues to college scholarships and educational enrichment programs, and he just opened one in Ann Arbor.
We Start Up Front. In 2009 Michigan started off pretty strong, including an encouraging win over Notre Dame. Maybe the shaky backfield got a little beat up for want of a safety or two but hey: Golden Tate and Michael Floyd. Then it got worse. Then it got worser. Then it got awful. And then there were lots of diaries (myself among them) blaming attrition and poor recruiting on the old coaches and all sorts of things that could explain it other than "this is what will get our coaches fired."
So…offensive line diaries.
A Single Unified Theory of Offensive Lineptidute? Provided by Yeoman and bumped early last week, "Short Ride in a Broken-Down Machine" is the definitive study relating Michigan's offensive issues to young starters on the interior OL. As to the small correlation he had a great answer:
|At least we're reasonably sure that these problems are temporary. Even if things might get worse next year before they get better, having a pile of Bradens to choose from in 2015-'17 should mean a very good offensive line, unless the coaching is really that terrible.|
Given those enormous differences in baseline levels of the various FBS teams it's amazing to me that we could see anything like 5-8% of a performance difference being credited to any one team demographic, especially when the difference is measured using an SOS-adjusted metric like Fremeau.
The rubber really hits the pavement when he thought to compare teams to their historical norm, which is a quite elegant stand-in for expectations (including recruiting). Ultimately he found teams that have significant depth and start freshmen are just fine because the freshmen are just that good, but teams in Michigan's situation typically have very large systemic problems. Because fans tend to overstate, there's a reactionary tendency from the more rational among us to think "it's probably not as bad as it looks." Reality check: it's as bad as if we had Idaho's recruiting problems. Yeoman did throw some hope for next year in the comments:
(1) [OTs Do Matter Theory] The Bust Index for the entire line will improve from 75% to 65%, which would improve oFEI by about .06 and move us (all else being equal which of course it isn't) up about ten spots, or
(2) [OTs Don't Matter Theory] The Bust index for the interior will improve from 69% to 46%, which would improve oFEI by about .175 and move us up about about 20 spots.
He followed up with a Kalis-centric study that tracks every (non-juco) 5-star offensive lineman since 2003 and what contributions that player made in Year X. Findings are the good ones mostly started by Year 2, but that there's no cause to worry until they're not starting in Year 3. Actually the biggest thing to worry about is how few actually make good on their promise, not that Kalis hasn't yet. Diarist of the Month, this guy.
Third Down and Guh. The guy in the running with Yeoman is reshp1, who had a great OL diary two weeks ago, and this week decided to get into all those failed 3rd downs. It's UFR-long, so if you promise to read it (okay if you promise to skim through it) I'll share the money table here. Promise. PROMISE! You know what, fine, I'll put it after the jump, so you still have to click on something you lazy straw man of a dear diary reader.
Borges mentioned "there's not a lot of good 3rd and 15 calls" but it seems 75% of the problems were either playcalling or related to the blocking troubles (Gardner's bailing on plays is a symptom of that).
Weeklies. Best and Worst and Inside the Boxscore: if I have to convince you of their worth again then you probably don't read diaries. And the easy reads: Turnover Analysis. LSA's Big Ten stats thing. Dnak438's chart:
I guess I'm supposed to suggest improvements every week. So, uh, use PNGs for the logos or just crop the fields out. Also: have Michigan beat Iowa so handily that we're not on top of one another anymore. This I command with my all-powerful bloggy powers.
Etc. There was also a bit of reinventing Gandalf the Maize's wheel by The Wagon, except he only tracked the Big Ten so the small sample size makes conclusions impossible. A+ presentation though. The Brian meets Borges thing missed with me but I like the concept. Jon Valk made a wallpaper with the November hoops schedule.
WE'RE OUT OF ROOM, SO NOW THERE'S EXTRA ROOM!
Big Brother Says This = More than 600 Seats.
Due to oversold student tickets for the Arizona game, they won't have the Alumni Pep Band there after all; instead they're going to use piped in music, according to a letter sent out to the alumni pep band and shared over Twitter by one of its lead organizers. Supposedly the letter came from MMB and said not to make a big stink about it.
This would make sense except as of yesterday @umichbball sent out a tweet to say they've got extra student tickets for sale:
Limited Tickets - Due to unclaimed student tickets, limited U-M vs. Arizona single-game tickets are available ($60): http://t.co/YP32WRgeJr
— Michigan Basketball (@umichbball) November 21, 2013
They do oversell these in general (4,000 have student tickets for 3,100 seats; students claim those they want to use) but it would seem there's still a good 600 open student seats as of today.
I bet you by this time tomorrow they'll issue a statement claiming that the AD had nothing to do with writing that letter and the alumni band are absolutely welcome to come after all. Like the Orwellian refs at the Northwestern game, after further review Dave Brandon did everything right, but your memory of events has been reversed.
PRETTY MUCH WHAT I THINK OF THE UTAH JAZZ ANYWAY:
Is this a prank on Trey, or a statement about what anyone in these parts watches a Jazz game for?
Your Moment of Zen:
Memorable (in a good way: not in a rugby punting kind of way) plays against Iowa by WH. Before I hit play, I'm gonna hazard my guesses: 1) Marquise Walker's catch, obviously. 2) Wheatley's Tecmo Bowl run where everybody actually said "that's just like in Tecmo Bowl." 3) Sword intercepts to preserve the perfect season in '97. 4) Bob Bergeron restores faith in Michigan kicking (we did an article on that in HTTV this year). 5) Gillette finishing them off too (mentioned in the article). 6) Ummmm… 6) Stanfordian tiny corner Grant Mason laying a big hit in that other close game in 2005 that we managed to not lose. 7……? Guys I'm stuck. Junior Hemingway's not-catch? Brad Banks running in circles around us in cold wet rain? Freshman Denard's awful interception when Odoms was wide open? Freshman Lewan's false start-a-thon? Freshman Avery's whiffed tackle? Rugby punting?
Now you're just somebody that I used to know.
those Iowa best play guesses, if guesses, were pretty darn good.
Thanks for the kudos, but I think you might be thinking of Gandalf the Maize's OL diary for last week. I was too depressed to do a diary last week. :(
I was at the Iowa games in Iowa City in '98 and '05. Miserable rainy day in '98, but pulled it out. The '05 game was one that we trailed much of the game until Breaston turned a short pass into a TD. I was happy with the aggressive play in that OT.
Also at the '83, '86, '87, '97, '04, '12 games in the Big House.
The '97 Michigan - Iowa was still one of my all-time favorite UM games to attend (vs. any opponent). The way the season finished and how we rallied from 21-7 down at half made it that much more special.
Honorable mention plays: Griese to Tuman in '97 - TD before Sword's iNT.
Also, Mike Hart faking out an Iowa defender in the backfield on the clinching score in '06.