One program defines itself by the good it strives to achieve, and the other program defines good as itself achieving.
Being a sports fan means having very little control over a meaningless thing that can profoundly affect your life. I'm not even sure which year this started, but for 365-ish days after beating Ohio State life is a little better to live, while the same after losing to them makes life a little worse. Until recently I thought I was maybe mistaking the general depressing of age, the Cooper run having coincided with the years between the onset of puberty and the onset of responsibility. Then Courtney Avery picked off Braxton Miller and I felt 20 again.
There are few active metaphors left in entertainment for some old fashioned we're the good guys/they're the bad guys. As your focus shifts from defeating Skeletor to survival, you begin to gain perspective, which is anathema to such absolutes. In this new adult relativity, goodness is a thing you strive for, not something bestowed as a natural and obvious state. You learn too that two things opposed are rarely easy to identify as more good or less evil. We strive for a thing, they strive for a thing, this is all relative. We're for tradition, and culpability, and a really fast guy from Florida who says "WHAAAAATT?!" and will smile for anybody in the world. From all we can see, the thing they seem to be most for is them.
The last time Michigan won in Columbus it was 2000. I was about mid-way through my collegiate career, and John Cooper was nearing the end of his. I sat in the student section and fielded death threats and projectiles while Drew Henson and Marquise Walker and David Terrell played the kind of offense we always imagined they could. The fans around us started looking ready to make good on those threats, and we bolted before the end, a fresh fallen snow covering our escape.
For the first time since, I'll be returning to Ohio Stadium tomorrow. I've been advised to not make my allegiance too obvious, to not respond to the taunting, and to maybe pick up a red hat with a gray O to leave in my Michigan plated car so that I won't return to find the tires slashed and garbage in the gas tank.
There are awful awful Michigan fans out there, and wonderful people who root for Ohio State. But this is sports. It's a big, blatant, color-coded metaphor for the subtle battles we fight, including—especially—good vs. evil. Caveat relativity and caveat scale, but one program defines itself by the good it strives to achieve, and the other program defines good as itself achieving. Tomorrow during the last game of their bowl-banned season, Ohio State will be officially honoring Jim Tressel and the 2002 National Championship Team whose accomplishments might too have been erased but for the statute of limitations. It couldn't be more clear if we were eight.
Not counting, you know, real life, only two things happened in the world in the last seven days: the Big Ten added two more Indianas, and Michigan prepared to play Ohio State. The former was dealt with in the diaries with grief counseling, the latter with statistics, and both were handled in this diary by Gordon that reimagines The Game since Bo if divisions (rather than… sense? tradition? goodness?) had existed all that time. The useful chart at right (click big) is by Coach Schiano and neatly sums up the results. Most of those years Michigan and Ohio State would have re-matched. Sparty would have played in 3 of the last 4.
I want to also recognize ehatch, a tempo-free fan who's been trying to apply some of those Kenpommish ideas to football. Some of the relevant among the results:
By the conventional measures Michigan has the best defense in the Big Ten. However, once we adjust for our slow tempo, we find that the defense drops to 5th. We love our defense how is that possible? I think there are a couple potential explanations: 1) Throw-God Trevor Simien and the elusive Colter -- Northwestern was Michigan’s worst performance of the year. 2) Michigan always seems to have one or 2 bad drives per game regardless of how bad the offense is (Illinois need not apply). MSU, Iowa, Minnesota all had 2 long scoring drives where it was completely out of character for both them and us. And since they are so bad offensively that bad drive is enough to put them above their average. In other words, Michigan has yet to put together a full game defensively.
Emphasis on "has yet to." Like I have yet to see the new Abraham Lincoln movie. Hey defense, what're guys doing tomorrow like noon-ish?
CoachW did a common opponent comparison. He didn't give a winner for each but I will. Give Ohio a slight edge for MSU since that was on the road, give Michigan that back for shutting out Illinois, and it comes down to Nebraska and Purdue. Michigan lost big but that may not be relevant unless Bellomy becomes so again; Ohio State gave up a lot of points but blew the doors on offense and won by lots. Michigan handled Purdue, who took OSU to overtime but that's not relevant since Miller was hurt. I guess edge OSU since they picked the better game to go without the centerpiece of their offense. But the margins are awful close.
Another study by glewe showed OSU's pass defense may be within the established Garder-KILL range. Docwhoblocked got bumped from the board for his study on punts to suggest Michigan ought to have both a deep and short guy. Like Dileo is short to fair catch the bouncers, and Gallon stands deep in case there's a return possibility. Also we're returning too many kickoffs (I figured) but I've been fine trading five yards of field position for that feeling you get when Dennis Norfleet has the ball in space.
LSAClassof2000 took five diaries to put out some charts and tables of the most basic stats. They're pretty straight-up, the kind of numbers you'll see put up on TV (my bias is toward the tempo-free above), but succinct. The QB one is worth a glance if only to see the Gardner effect, and the opening chart of the defense one is useful for quoting stats like "Michigan doesn't get as many sacks but we're averaging 6 TFL a game to OSU's 5.2." You know, if you talk like that. Here's the cliff's notes:*
Table of LSAClassOf2000 Diaries This Week
|Diary||Michigan And Ohio State - 2012||Michigan And Ohio State – Last 10 Yrs||Michigan And Ohio State - Defenses||Michigan's Rushing Game - 2001-Present||Michigan QBs - 2001 To Present|
|What we learned||Both even in rush/pass split, but theirs gets a 100 more yds a game.||Our respective passing offenses have been weirdly joined at the hip from Troy Smith on.||Pretty similar until we get to sacks, where they have John Simon and we don't have John Simon.||
Holy Molk's junior/senior years rushing Batman!
|Good good good good great okay DEATH okay great good good.|
*[This section has been edited from its original. See the comments if you care.]
Buckeye etc. (non-statistical): The k.o.k.Law memories trip continues with '76 and then through the '80s. THE_KNOWLEDGE pontificates. Lanyard program progrifiates. Jonvalk wallpaperates. Blockhams burninates.
Rationalizing Rutgersyland. History was made this week when Delany became the first commissioner to voluntarily add teams that weaken the average strength of his conference (oakapple). Course nobody around here
believes wants to admit that these guys are so utterly out of touch and/or incompetent as to grab a couple of debtors for the Weak-ass Woody Division, flip Illinois to the Bo, and spend the next 14 years trying to convince New Yorkers to care. Gameboy says it's about TV markets, and shows us the numbers he thinks the Big Ten was looking at. Turtleboy talked about the scheduling situations that large conferences create.
This last got me thinking about another reason Maryland and Rutgers might become a net benefit to the conference: they can be trusted to lose. If you figure they pretty much have to go to 9 conference games now, a few extra Indiana's on the road could go a long way toward making the top of the conference look more Top Ten-ish and playoff-viable (see: SEC this year and how the top half has capitalized on beating up the wretched bottom half).
[Jump, then Weeklies, then lots of Ohio and expansion carping on the boards]
Besth and Worsth: Still requiring you to read bronxblue's weekly column. This one rambles into things like ugh Notre Dame lose already so we don't have to hear Lou Holthz anymore, and Iowa's penchant for turning 2-stars into serviceable Big Ten players and 3-stars into NFL linemen. He also speculates that Michigan should try to keep recruiting the super-athletes like Denard (though he was clear he wanted to go somewhere that would let him play quarterback) or Antonio Bass or Dennis Norfleet because in college football, vs. NFL, awesome athleticism can still be a good thing.
Inside the Box Score: Two of the refs were named Carr. Iowa's punter is Kornbrath.
…everyone agree? Turnovers didn't go anywhere. I wish I could get him to tell me how many expected points the Lions lost yesterday to ref incompetence.
Bowl Eligibility: Updated. Go Gophers!
Etc. Preview of tonight's hoops game vs. KState. Brian goes on the road to speak at U-M Club Washington D.C. You've got about a day to get your FreeRoll in; if you draft Kenjon Barner you have to thank me. Moving Picture Pages.
I'm gonna rattle these off quickly because there's lots of great The Game content. Moleskyn posted some of the greatest moments in the history of the rivalry: the Heisman winners returning things, Biakabutuka's day, the Denard Robinson Show. This has barely scratched the surfaced. In a separate thread BeatOSU52 put up the Ufer vs. Ohio State film. Go suggest more—this is my entertainment today!
Here's Odoms being all Odoms about things.
Here's an awesome response to a guy who posted a bad link to the photo he wanted turned into a t-shirt:
Best I could do
Here's where you can name your most hated Buckeye. Mine's Tressel, obvs.
Here's the joke thread, though I was admittedly disappointed at how many were the typical "How do you get a [insert rival] grad off your front porch" fare. Be school-specific please; it's not like they don't provide enough ammunition.
Where can you find Ohio State football players in Star Wars?
They're all on Tatooine!
BIG TEN REAWHINEMENT
Reddit via guy with horrible user name.
Yes it was discussed. A laowwht. I like oakapple's pod scheduling idea but not sure how much sense it makes. The idea is four pods of 3 or 4 teams of rivals, and then you switch off every year which pod you play against.
Snarling wolverine has put up a list of our historical meetings with the current Big Ten lineup to point out the value of our rivalries by how often we've seen them. Ciszew put together a hypothetical schedule. MGoDC starts a conversation regarding who thinks they're our rivals, featuring many of these same usual suspects.
Yeoman reminds us that Oberlin contests one of our victories. When I was a kid we had guy on 1st run from 2nd base directly out of the park and into his mom's car because he'd promised to go as soon as she arrived...look dude if you run off the field…
Your Moment of Zen:
Watch it through to the end. You will thank me.
One program defines itself by the good it strives to achieve, and the other program defines good as itself achieving.
columns of the season. I am a couple years older than you (my college life went from 95-99), but the line about going from trying to defeat Skeletor to survival is phenomenal. I may substitute Shredder for Skeltor, as I was not a big He-Man guy, but otherwise, that's some fine writing.
I too was at that 2000 game in Columbus, seated in the student section as well (1A I think it was). I thought my buddy and I were the only 2 Michigan fans in the belly of the beast, but then I do remember seeing one or two other Michigan faithful nearby. Could very well have been you. Greetings from 12 years ago.
I actually saw something on a Rutgers blog that They're Not As Bad As We Think They Are. They broke down recruting classes in the last few years, and apparently Rutgers is at least middle of the conference, and even this year they would be fourth or fifth in on-field success. If they could actually capitalize on in-state talent by improving facilities/coaching, etc., they might drift towards the higher end.
The comments about LSAClassof2000's diaries rubbed me the wrong way. LSA did all this free of charge and increased the value of the website that Seth works for. Seems to me that Seth went out of his way to slam the OP. If you aren't entertained, just say nothing at all. I for one am glad LSA posted the stats; it was interesting to look at the stats over time.
Unless, of course, Seth and OP actually know each other and it's good-natured ribbing between friends. In that case, disregard these comments.
We've met -- it was supposed to be ribbing -- and did you read those diaries? It's like here's this chart. Here's this list. Here's a table. numbernumbernumber.
Well that's good to hear.
Yeah, I read them all. And I think that the charts(!) were interesting (especially the rush defense chart), even if he isn't trying to out-snark everyone else on the blog with his commentary.
...if you've met. It's bad form for blog "officials" to criticize (rib or not) volunteers who put time in and try to add value ($) to your site. Leave it to the other volunteer members to comment.
Look, I'm in this business so I can internet for a living. Part of that is I get to internet for a living. Another part of it is I now own 4 times as many pairs of sweatpants. And when a longtime guy on the site writes five diaries worth of stats, dammit, I get to deploy the snark. INTERNET!
In srsly, what I write is for all of the readers. The idea was to get the point across as quickly as possible and present the information succinctly so those who want it have easy access to it. I wrote some big diaries in my time and understand it's fun to come out and take a bow, but let's remember it's about giving the readers information, not anybody's ego. The snark got us to the chart quickly, and the chart was the important part.
Well, I think the votes are in and the bloggers have spoken.
But to be constructive:
What does Snark have to do with getting your point across quickly?
You wrote: "LSAClassof2000 took five diaries to put out some charts and tables of the most basic stats. Other than the QB one probably none are worth a glance, but here's the cliff's notes:"
How would this be less to the point: "LSAClassof2000 took the time to do five diaries of some charts and tables with some basic stats. The QB one is probably the most worth a glance. Here's the cliff's notes:"
Or, many successfull leaders will embellish: "LSAClassof2000 took the time to do five great diaries of charts and tables on the game. The QB one is my favorite. Here's are my cliff's notes:"
Which of those is appreciative of the effort?
Which of those is more motivational?
Which of these has integrity?
You post a lot of great content and analysis and that's why you are where you are. You went from a poster to an employee. You also not only represent the Mgoblog brand but you represent the Michigan brand. So think of it this way. How can you now best help your blog and also help others who maybe hope to follow in your footsteps? Go back and re-read your posts and instead of writing with "snark", "defensiveness", and "entitlement", think about what Bo, or Lloyd, or Hoke would write? Think about how "motivation", "leadership", "humility", and "mentorship" could shape your post. There is still a role for "snark" but it should be well deserved.
The "boring" modifier on the chart(!) was the exact opposite of succinct. I suspect LSA won't mind too much, because he's a fairly easygoing guy, but still, it doesn't present a good public image for the blog.
Fine, expounded. Internet: srs business. For the record I do appreciate criticism. I can see how I was a bit obtuse there and the edit, though longer, better reflects the information I meant to pass along.
Now to whip out my banhammer for the guy below...
Thanks for being receptive. Now screw this pendantic crap and BEAT OHIO.
Luke Fickell was much bigger then. That is all.
First off, welcome to the blog.
Second off, the quickest way to get banned and/or in the doghouse (oblivion/"Bolivia") is to post homophobic slurs. Also, I read what you wrote multiple times and still have no idea what you're trying to say.
Nice try. Go away you bundle of sticks.