frank beamer #1
Lebron here. Got some advice for you, maybe it'll help you get things together. Of course, I wouldn't really know, because man, I have never played as shitty as you did these past few games. That last drive against USC? Wow, which way did you think your team was going? :) I won't even mention Purdue. Purdue, hmm, sounds
like something you step in. And you sure stepped in it.
So here's my advice. Despite what everybody else does ...
- Don't murder people
- Don't steal from me, or from yourself
- Don't kill people
Especially number 2. Steal from me and I will f*** you up.
Who stole from me, Dwade?" "That guy, TP." "That guy? I'm gonna f*** him up."
Definitely: don't have regret about not going to Michigan, where a coach could
have utilized your skills about 1000x better than your current one. Regrets are for losers. Or, deep thinkers. Either way, your should clearly stay away from them.
Regret Poster: Awesome
Don't throw the ball again, ever. Ever! Just run the damn thing. On a passing play,
frustrate your coaches by simply calling an audible to a QB keeper. They'll only complain if you don't score a lot of touchdowns, like you did in high school. Note: you must learn how to audible. Second note: you must learn how to run in college. Third note: when you get in trouble, just dribble out of it. It works for me.
LB: Actually, this time I dribbled into trouble... Green, lovely, trouble.
Speaking of which, don't think about high school. Remember last year, when you said it was all like high school? That was because there was a lot of talent around you. Now, it's on your shoulders. And, unlike high school, you kind of stink at QB. So try to forget all that, and stop sucking.
TP in High School: The Helmet Hides The Ears
Also, don't talk back to Tressel. In fact, don't talk to Tressel. He is OLD, and wears some kind of sweater without arms. Does he have unusually warm arms? I hope so, because he needs to give you a hug. But don't talk to him; he'll probably mumble about
the "I-formation" or some such stone-age bullshit, and where will that get you? After all, there is no "I" in "TEAM". However, there is a "TROLL" in "TeRreLLe pryOr", for what that's worth.
TP And The Gargoyle: Old Pals.
Also, be careful talking near Tressel. For example, here is an innocent conversation you might be having:
- "Does anyone have a knife to spread this butter on my toast?" Or...
- "What is the point spread on that game?" Or maybe...
- "Now that I suck, chicks sure won't spread their legs for me anymore."
Coach: Already Nuts
Also, one final tip: don't worry about the ears. You'll grow out of it, probably. Unfortunately, though, your head isn't getting bigger these days (that only happens when you get too successful). Thus, losing just accentuates your ears even further.
For each player, Brian assigns a plus/minus total, and thus, an opportunity for a simple visualization of each player's performance over the course of the year. Ignored for now: the pressure/coverage/tackling metrics. Just player performance, pure and simple.
So, you think this calls for a ... hmm ... graph?
A little explanation. Each game's defensive per-player ratings are shown. For a particular game (say, "Eastern"), each player's plus/minus is shown as a simple bar graph. Blue (to the right) shows a player's positive rating for the game, and Yellow (to the left) shows their negative rating. A single red dot shows the "net" rating for a player for a particular game (i.e., plus - minus); you want these to be right of the center axis! Per Brian's charts (Western, Notre Dame, Eastern, Indiana, MSU, Iowa), the players are grouped into three sets: Defensive Line, Linebackers, and Defensive Backs. Finally, within each grouping, players are ordered by the total number of positive plays they have made on the year (somewhat arbitrarily).
I'm not going to do much/any analysis of the data, but some obvious things do stand out. First (no surprise), Graham is a beast. That MSU performance is ridiculous! Second, the D-Line is a strength of the D and seemingly getting better, which bodes well. Third, linebacker play: ouch. But nice to see Ezeh with a net positive (red dot to the right) in the Iowa game; Stevie Brown has also done reasonably. Finally, D-backs: also some ouch, particularly against ND and Indiana (Cissoko unfortunately a big part of that). Now if we could just get Williams to shore up a bit...
Anyhow, that's it. Not too fancy, but I think a nice way to look at Brian's overall player grading. Now I'm sure you want to give some ... feedback?
(you fill this part in, or not)
Some days ago, I made a first attempt at visualizing some of Brian's famous Hennecharts. After some feedback (thanks all) and some links to old data (thanks Misopogon), I now try again. Here are "Hennegraphs" for Tate so far this year, Threet from '08, and Henne from '07.
and Henne '07:
And finally, Henne in the near-championship year '06:
Some explanations: I took Brian's suggestion to center at 0, pushing "good" events to the left, and "bad" events to the right. Slight adjustment: I moved "Marginal" all the way to the left (it is neither good or bad, but made slightly more sense on the left instead of centered in the middle, as we will see in below).
Recall also that bars that are not fully colored in represent screen passes (which Brian has started accounting for lately).
Also on the Hennegraph: Brian's metric of effectiveness, the Downfield Success Rating (DSR). The Tate '09 graph shows how this is calculated: DSR is the number of (Dead On + Catchable) throws divided by everything else except for Marginal and Pressure. Thus, it is the left blue part (ignoring marginal all the way on the left) divided by the blue part + right red/orange/yellow (ignoring pressure all the way on the right).
I also present the DSR percentage on the right of each bar, as well as the total number of attempts, and graphically depict the DSR number on the left in a dotted red line.
Putting all of this together made me realize the simple genius of what Brian is doing here. Instead of judging a QB by a simple number such as "percentage of passes completed" or some odd QB rating, he is simply analyzing each throw and qualitatively judging them in isolation of whether they were caught or not. Thus, DSR is an excellent replacement for "Completion Percentage" if you are just interested in measuring how well a QB is throwing the ball.
Hope you enjoy. As always, comments are welcome, and thanks to Brian (and Misopogon!) for the grading and the data; any errors, of course, in the Hennegraphs above are mine.
To begin the process, I decided to look up Hennechart on google. Oddly enough (and perhaps Brian is now aware of this), the name "Hennechart" is an actual surname. Look it up, and you will find a bunch of french dudes named "Maxime" and "Dominique". And yes, I said they were dudes. Apparently, the male line runs strong in the Hennechart family.
Dominique Hennechart: Friend him on facebook, I dare you
But I digress again. The point of this exercise is to show a visualization of the Hennechart, which I now give you in its fully glory:
Tate's Hennechart (So Far): Pretty snazzy?
So here is the idea: I want to be able to look at the Hennechart and instantly see how well a dude is doing. Here, blue things (dead-on and catchable passes) mean "good"; red things (inaccurate or bad reads) are "bad"; the other things are more in-between: yellow or orange-ish for throw aways, batted balls, and pressures. For each game, I scale the bar to 100% (to make the cross-game comparisons easier), but include the number of "attempts" (the sum of all events) available on the right side. One last thing: Brian has been breaking down the numbers with normal vs. screen passes; here we show screen numbers as diagonally-slashed lines of the same color (e.g., in all games except western, there were "Catchable" screens, which show up as the lighter blue color but diagonally-striped instead of solid).
So there it is. It is a rough and crude first attempt, but frankly I like it better than the chart. Perhaps I am a visual person. Or perhaps I just don't like numbers. But actually, I just like pretty colors. One other thing I like: the color blue. It is no coincidence that the more blue this visualization gets, the better it is.
Suggestions? Comments? Critiques?
Also, if you point me to more Hennecharts, I will make them and put them up for comparison. I would have done Threet from last year but the 5 minutes I spent looking for it were about as fruitful as the football season last year.
Of course mgoblog is full of other numbers and charts. If people have thoughts on which ones might be fun to visualize, drop a note here too in the comments. Would be fun to make this a more visual site...
I wasn't too surprised by the loss. For MSU, the game was their whole season. For us, 'twas really just another game. I don't think the young guys really hate MSU (yet). Sure, they want to beat them, but not the deep-down Dantonio-fueled bitterness that is all the rage in East Lansing these days. As Joe Gibbs once said, when asked whether he could still coach given that the game has changed so much: "Human nature hasn't changed, has it?" Motivation is a huge part in any game, so hard to judge, so telling on the field. And MSU had the motivational edge this time. They won't for a while, so they better enjoy it while they can.
Can you believe Tate? Can you seriously fucking believe this guy? 91 yards to go, in the rain, on a day where not much went right (and a lot went wrong), and sure enough he does it again. I could almost feel the collective sphincters of Sparties everywhere tightening throughout the drive, and the whole time I was just enjoying, actually certain he would get it done. Just give him time, and the ball, and dude steps up. He is almost a religion. Obama should ask him to find Bin Laden, he is that good.
"Hey, I'm Joe Gibbs. And fuck you."
"I am Tate, but I still wear socks and shoes"
Where the hell did the run game go? Lost against better big ten schemes? Or lost without Molk? Something is amiss. I think it has more to do with Molk's absence, and in many ways is telling of how close this team is to mediocrity from a personnel standpoint. A few key injuries and down we will plummet. It is OK, or even expected: this is still a rebuilding project. Let's hope the QB makes it, and some of the key defensive guys. There is a narrow margin between 8-4 and 4-8 (as we found out last year).
"Narrow Margin: Can you believe I liked this movie?"
I really hate Dantonio. Is there a bigger douche bag in the Big Ten? The thing I don't get: do Sparty fans really like this guy? He seems like the most boring, sanctimonious, stuck up, full-of-hubris mother-scratcher* this side of the East Coast. How can anyone like him? Seriously, even his wife can barely tolerate him. I heard on good authority that his wife only has slept with him twice; there was no greater relief than hers when she found out that her pending pregnancies were females. The world could not bear another one in this man's mold.
"Hi, I'm Becky Dantonio, and I would have aborted any sons from this man. I also burnt all my blue clothes, as did my daughters."
So here we are, 4-1. I'd say that's a record to be happy with, but more importantly, a team to be proud of. Gritty, tough, all the cliches you'd like to spout, they are here in spades. Not deep, not too talented, but those are both terms suffixed with "yet". We will get there. Rich Rod is not building a big-ten contender; he is building a national powerhouse. We are going to start rolling some teams, probably quite a few by next year. It will be fun to watch.
More importantly, we're going to start rolling Tressel. There's another guy worthy of your vitriol. I think that's going to start earlier, though - as soon as this year. On one side will be a team with few blemishes, the established powerhouse of the Big Ten. On the other side, a team with a few nicks along the way, maybe 3 losses or more, but with everything to prove. If you think that sounds like 1969, you are right. We are coming for you, Buckeye brethren, and your days at the top of the heap are done**.
"Here we come, you sons of bitches."
* a term from Raising Arizona.
** except for the dung heap that is known as Ohio. You will always be king there.
This was a bad game. Really bad. Really really bad. Did I say how bad? Quite bad. The defense, you realize, has basically gotten shredded every week since the opener. Can't stop the run, not good against the pass. If they invent some new third thing (e.g., skipping, rolling the ball forward to someone, etc.), this defense would be bad against that too, probably.
GERG, where are you? You and your white-haired glory somehow are not getting our boys into the mindset of a good big-ten defense. It has been SO LONG since we had a good defense! OK OK, 2006 was good, but then somehow that all went to shit in those last two games. I still wake up with nightmares of Crable flying headfirst into Troy Smith to gift them what would become the winning TD. After waking up, I vomit. My wife is getting tired of this, especially now that the kids are grown and don't throw up so much anymore.
The offense didn't look too great either. Tate F., who may become the goddamn clutchiest clutch QB we've ever had (he is that clutchy), didn't look super sharp. Lots of missed targets and lots of scrambling that wasn't super effective. By "wasn't super effective" I mean "sucked because he ran around instead of just throwing the damn ball." Is he hurt, you might ask? Probably. But get used to it. You think this kid is EVER going to get through a season of BIG TEN FOOTBALL without getting hurt, at least somewhat? I'm sorry, when you are 6'1" and weigh 170 lbs, you get hurt when you go to the bathroom, much less on the field of play.
Speaking of which, are those classic urinal troughs all gone now? Who doesn't enjoy taking a leak next to a bunch of old MICHIGAN MEN whose aim has deteriorated to the point where basically they are peeing on your feet? Admit it, you miss it. It was a piece of the charm that is now gone, forever lost to the annals of the time. I am keeping all the old shoes I have worn to games over the years, just so I can remember.
I didn't understand much of the player substitution pattern over this game either. Carlos Brown's hair was on fire and basically scored every time he touched the ball early in the game. The response: put other guys in. It was confusing. Here was CARLOS, ready to have the monster 400-yard GAME OF HIS LIFE and we kept going with other guys. I don't know about you guys, but I think: you go with what works. For me, what was working was that Hungry Howie's pizza they have at the game. So I kept going with it (4 or 5 pieces). For Michigan, it was CARLOS F'IN BROWN. But they didn't go with him, much. After-game stomach cramps tell me there may be another story here: don't go with Hungry Howie's, even if it is "working".
So where are we now, four games into this miracle of a rebirth? Hard to say after that one. Let's recap:
- Western: Clearly kind of sucks more than people thought. However, they did beat Hofstra.
- Notre Dame: Squeaks by both Purdue and MSU. Problem is: Purdue and MSU stink. Thus, ND, much like their coach, is not looking too pretty right now.
- Eastern: Clearly sucks.
- Indiana: Probably will not win a lot of games in the Big Ten.
But the overall feeling I got at the game yesterday is that we still have a long ways to go. Until some defensive talent finds its way onto this team, winning the BIG TEN and hopes of relevance on the national stage are pretty far away.