"Jim's a tough guy and you can see his personality is all over this football team," Fitzgerald said.
Let me start off on a bit of a personal note: each of the past three years, my girlfriend (username megangoblue) and I have gotten each other late Christmas presents. I believe this started by spending Christmas apart our first year, but now it's a tradition between the two of us. Long story short, we needed to be in Ann Arbor today, Wednesday 1/9/13, which coincided with a basketball game that wouldn't get much attention on StubHub or from scalpers, #2 M v. unranked Nebraska. She managed to buy great tickets for the two of us: Section 134, Row 9, Seats 9-10-11-12 that we shared with my uncle and cousin. The happy couple, arriving to our seats:
This was the first MBB game I've been to, and we were definitely going for the full MBB experience: a nationally televised game with tickets nine rows off the court in an seemingly brand new stadium. I can't describe how much fun I've had tonight; from walking the concourse before the game, seeing the now famed waterfall, the maize and blue lighting outside, and most of all the #2 team in the nation take on an overmatched (but still Big Ten) squad from Lincoln. Michigan didn't shoot particularly well, and Nebraska stuck around too long, but a win is a win, and I'll remember this one forever.
One of the cool things about this section were the people who happened to be populating it. The entire womens cross country team took up a few rows just below us, and below them in Row 1 sat Taylor Lewan, Jake Ryan and Drew Dileo. At halftime, gathering some courage, I went to talk to our favorite LB with feathered locks while Lewan was whisked away somewhere, no doubt being congratulated by people far more connected and powerful than I for his decision to return for the 2013 season [ed: according to M-Wolverine it was a radio interview]. Approaching him, Ryan is a big guy, but certainly not a monster (although his hands approach monster territory). He was very polite and thanked me after I congratulated him on his past two seasons and wished him luck in the next two. He agreed to take a couple pictures with us, one turned out okay:
We went to the concourse to grab a four dollar bottle of water, and when we came back there was a 6'8 309lb LT standing on the corner of the court, talking to people with badges and little kids, maybe a few pretty girls too. Heading straight past our seats and down to the court (also thinking that Ryan might be laughing at us a bit in his head as we passed him again), we walked towards Lewan, who is an absolute mountain of a man in person. Talking to Lewan was surprisingly easy, especially considering how well he stood up to a potential number one pick just eight days ago, and his sheer size (which is every bit as big as advertised).
When I asked Mr. Lewan if he would mind taking a picture, he was polite (I'm noticing a theme here) and obliged, although the fellow fan nice enough to take the shot only took one, and it didn't turn out so well:
Megan had started on my right side with my arm around her when Lewan quipped, "I know y'all are dating but this picture's gonna look better with her on my side too". That got a chuckle at the time and a bit of a laugh later. I told him how much his return meant to so many people, and he shook my hand (mine promptly disappeared in his ridiculously big hands) and told me he was glad.
I know others have better shots down on the board, but here is Lewan conducting the band:
A win is a win:
And my favorite girl near one of my favorite symbols:
Go Blue, good night, and thanks for reading.
Earlier this morning, Maize.Blue Wagner posted a fantastic diary detailing the "Best Michigan Player From Each State". In order to finish his diary, he did an extraordinary amount of research into the amount of players hailing from each state (and Canadian provinces), which I'll base this post on. To be clear: I did not compile these numbers myself. Any and all credit for the research it took to get my raw data belongs to Maize.Blue Wagner.
I started by breaking down states by athletic conferences, with states able to double-count (Ohio skews the Big East numbers in a huge way) and took a look at who Michigan likes to deprive of talent. The results look something like this:
Within the Big Ten:
Excising the Big Ten from the numbers:
As I said before, states double-counting skews numbers, especially Ohio in the Big East, and to a lesser extent Iowa in the BXII. Since I can't simply pretend Cincinnati and Iowa State aren't BCS schools likely to offer in-state talent, I decided to compare by region.
I'm sure there's some criticism headed my way for how the states are broken down (I have an entire book devoted to defining the concept of "Midwestern"), but I'll explain my rationale here. I went with six regions: Midwest, Colonial, Left Coast, Rocky, Cowboy and Dixie.
Midwest was the most straightforward, including the Big Ten footprint plus Missouri and Kansas.
Colonial is the former colonies that didn't secede, plus Maine, DC and Vermont.
Left Coast is made up of states with a Pacific coast. Hawaii is included in the Left Coast states simply because there was no other semi-logical choice.
Rocky states include Colorado, Idaho, Montana, the Dakotas, Utah, Wyoming, and Alaska for the same reason Hawaii is "Left Coast".
Cowboy is Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
Dixie is the former Confederacy, minus Texas and with Kentucky and West Virginia added.
By region, Midwest included:
Basically, breaking this down to its simplest form, Michigan, throughout its history, has been totally dependent on Michigan and Ohio recruiting to survive. Even with a "national brand", the vast majority of players (84.6%) come from within our conference footprint and 77.1% of players from the footprint hail from Michigan or Ohio. I hope this was informative, and again, make sure to go read and posbang Maize.Blue Wagner's diary.
The US Olympic Track and Field team will be officially set tomorrow evening, and with the vast majority of teams set, I thought I would take a look at schools and conferences about to be represented in London. My initial hypothesis was that the Pac 12 would run away (lol) with the race for top conference, and this was definitely the case. With the teams set as of this morning, 25/84 athletes competed at Pac schools, for a 29.76% share. The specific schools within the Pac were surprising, with Oregon putting the most men (4) and most overall (5), and Stanford only sending one woman, I went into this believing UCLA and Stanford would be the best represented schools.
In on-topic, MGoBlog news, Michigan has sent two athletes, Jeff Porter qualified for the 110m Hurdles, and Geena Gall made the women's 800m Run team. The Big Ten sent three men (T4) and four women (T2).
Now a diary isn't a diary without Chart? Charts, and I need to explain what you're looking at. I broke down the trials by event, with a separate chart for men and women. The schools of athletes are posted in order of finish, with names posted for schools in the Pac 12, Big Ten, SEC, BXII, Ivy League (men only), ACC and Big East (both women only). Everyone else is represented with an "EE" designation. For further information, I will post the schools and events qualified on the other side of the charts.
|110m H||Tennessee||S. Carolina||Michigan|
|Top Men's Schools|
WIsconsin, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas and Arizona State sent two male athletes. No school sent more than two women, with Tennessee, Texas, USC, Colorado, UCLA, UNC, Cal-State Dominguez and Hampton University each getting two.
The women's everyone else category included athletes from: Cal-State Dominguez, Hampton University, UC Davis, Roberts Wesleyan College, NDSU, Cal-Poly SLO, UNLV, Coastal Carolina.
The men's everyone else category included athletes who competed for: Community College Only, Clemson, Eastern Carolina, Willamette, Cal-State Los Angeles, Northern Arizona, Colorado College, South Dakota, Milliken University, Boise State, Ashland University, Morningside College.
For some closing notes...
- There were a ton of men who transferred from community colleges, although only one did not enroll at a four year institution. There were a couple transfers out of BCS conference schools (mostly out of Tennessee, oddly).
- Marquise Goodwin, the Texas WR, took the top long jump spot.
- Schools were counted by their conference affiliation for 2011-2012, i.e. Missouri is BXII, Nebraska is Big Ten.
Hope this is at least mildly amusing/informative for Sunday morning reading. I plan to update when the entire field is set, but the numbers shouldn't change significantly, as the majority of finalists in remaining events hail from Pac schools (and few events remain).
It might surprise everyone to hear that there is no concise, summarized data on Michigan athletic championships by team (this page is close, though, and was found after I completed the diary). This diary is, to my knowledge, going to be the first (crude) repository of Michigan's team and individual championship history by sport. I will include number of conference championships, latest year, and number of national championships as well.
The table has been edited to include regular season championships for sports with tournaments. After some thinking, that's the standard I decided to go with. I do include individual championships (tennis doubles and track relays are considered individual for this diary), with the exception of women's tennis, simply because I could not find the information. I would be happy to add them to the chart if someone can give me a total number of women's singles/doubles Big Ten championships. One more note before starting: for hockey, the Big Ten titles won during the 1960's will count towards the total number of conference championships. This is not meant to be a list of CCHA champions, rather a look at M hockey and their championship tradition.
All data was compiled from either the Bentley Historical Library or MGoBlue. There may be inaccuracies, simply because I'm human, or more likely one of the sources messed it up and my counting/notes were perfect.
It wouldn't be a diary without a...Chart? Chart.
|Sport||CC (Team)||Last CC||CC (Ind.)||NCAA Titles||Last NCAA (Team)||NCAA (Ind.)|
|Sport||CC (Team)||Last CC||CC (Ind.)||NCAA Titles||Last NCAA (Team)||NCAA (Ind.)|
On a related note, I had an idea for an MGoProject. I think it would be nice if we could work together and create a page for each Wolverine athletic team which could then be edited by other users for updates/corrections. If we did this in a standard form that included coaching histories, championship years, All-American/All-Conference selections, ect. we could put the pages into the User Created HoF and they would be easily accessible to anyone looking for information on a particular sport. I could volunteer to take several sports, and users could post on a team they follow closely (i.e. MGoSoftball could make the softball page). If that idea resonates with enough users, I'll create a template and post it as a diary, and we can begin. If you're interested, or want to tell me that it's a dumb idea, just let me know here
Has Michigan faced a good offense? ND has big time turnover issues, WMU and EMU are both MAC teams (although WMU seems like a very good MAC team), SDSU didn't manage very much against us and Minnesota is possibly the worst BCS conference team this year.
I took a look at each opponent on our schedule and looked at their opponents total and scoring defenses, then took a look in each box score for total yards gained by our opponent as well as final score. I added total offense and scoring offense into a year to date chart and divided actual yardage/score by their expected performance based on opponents NCAA statistics. Here is an example of part one:
|WMU||TD Yardage||Yards||SD PPG||Points||Record|
|% of Normal||130||128|
FCS teams are excluded, and I'll get to the opponents win percentage later in the diary. You can see that WMU is outperforming their total offense expectation by about 130%, and their offense is scoring 128% above par. I did this for each of our twelve opponents, and have ranked each offense by performance percentage in both scoring and total, then I try to put a finger on exactly how well each has performed to date by including an average of the two with opponents record factored in. As I write this, I have not made those calculations and do not know how accurate the list will come out. Nevertheless, I will include it for discussion's sake.
Total offense vs. Expectation:
- ND 136%
- WMU 130%
- Nebraska 115%
- MSU 112%
- SDSU 110%
- Illinois 108%
- Iowa 107%
- Northwestern 99%
- OSU 93%
- EMU 88%
- Minnesota 87%
- Purdue 79%
Scoring offense vs. Expectation:
- ND 157%
- Nebraska 150%
- Iowa 142%
- WMU 128%
- SDSU 115%
- Northwestern 106%
- MSU 105%
- OSU 95%
- Illinois 92%
- EMU 79%
- Minnesota 72%
- Purdue 62%
Average offense vs. Expectation (list 1* list 2/2):
- ND 146.5%
- Nebraska 132.5%
- WMU 129%
- Iowa 124.5%
- SDSU 112.5%
- MSU 108.5%
- Northwestern 102.5%
- Illinois 100%
- OSU 94%
- EMU 83.5%
- Minnesota 79.5%
- Purdue 70.5%
Taking out our opponent's opponent's FCS games, here is my take on SOS for Michigan's opponents 2011, based on opponent win percentage:
- SDSU .692 (Army, Washington State, Michigan)
- ND .684 (USF, Michigan, MSU, Pitt, Purdue)
- WMU .647 (Michigan, CMU, Illinois, UConn)
- Nebraska .643 (Fresno State, Washington, Wyoming, Wisconsin)
- EMU .615 (Michigan, PSU, Akron)
- Minnesota .579 (USC, NMSU, Miami (NTM), Michigan)
- Iowa .571 (Iowa State, Pitt)
- Illinois .533 (Arkansas State, ASU, WMU, Northwestern)
- Northwestern .462 (BC, Army, Illinois)
- Purdue .429 (MTSU, Rice, ND)
- MSU .389 (FAU, ND, CMU, OSU)
- OSU .3 (Akron, Toledo, Miami, Colorado, MSU)
Putting both of these lists together to try and get a clear picture as to who shows up against better opposition, here we have:
This last list very well might be useless since it's double counting data (a good defense allows less yards, a good defense wins more games as a result), but I do think it best reflects my observations so far, all things considered.
- I'm neither a statistician nor a mathematician, I fully expect this to have some issues, and I'll do my best to correct them within the framework of this diary.
- Each team is counted towards the defensive statistics. I realize that with a sample size as small as three that can get problematic, but I didn't feel like I had too much of a choice due to data and time constraints.
Recent conference expansion talk has fueled more speculation about the Big Ten adding a new member. Without a football powerhouse like Nebraska available, I believe that the only way a new member is added to the Big Ten is with solid athletics and powerhouse academic credentials. One way to measure academic excellence and activity is total research expenditures; I have compiled a list of total research dollars spent for a five year span (2004-2008) from The Top American Research Universities 2010 Report, from Part II starting on p.31. After gathering the raw data in Excel, I made a few simple calculations: summing data from different years, dividing schools into athletic conferences*, and finding the mean, median and mean expenditures per year. This should give some insight to where a potential Big Ten member needs to be (without being a special case like Nebraska), where the Big Ten fits among other conferences academically and which schools pump the most dollars into academic activity. Two notes about calculations: a) only schools with >$40,000,000 of research were included, the median does not include these schools in calculation, but both means heavily penalize a conference for a low-spending member and b) medical schools not on the university main campus are not included in calculations. Off the top of my head, IU, Rutgers, Nebraska and Arkansas are penalized heavily for this, so let me explain why: first, the AAU calculates this way and second, I did not have access to enough accounting data to do anything other than "include" or "not include" and chose the latter.
*Chicago was included in the Big Ten because of their CIC affiliation.
Conferences in order of total spending, a simple sum. (all numbers are *1,000):
Conferences in order of median spending (excludes schools under 40,000,000):
Conferences in order of average spending (includes schools below 40,000,000 as zero):
|Conference||Average||Average per Year|
Big Ten Total Spending by School, descending:
Big Ten Notables:
|Average (includes <40,000,000 as zero)||2,325,875|
|Average Per Year||465,175|
|Highest Spender||Wisconsin (4,116,318)|
|Lowest Spender||Indiana (678,879)|
Pac 12 Notables:
|Average (includes <40,000,000 as zero)||1,979,767|
|Average Per Year||395,953|
|Highest Spender||Washington (3,721,565)|
|Lowest Spender||Oregon (279,875)|
|Average (includes <40,000,000 as zero)||1,499,706|
|Average Per Year||299,941|
|Highest Spender||Duke (3,357,452)|
|Lowest Spender||FSU (898,502)|
|Non Qualifiers||Boston College|
|Average (includes <40,000,000 as zero)||1,052,591|
|Average Per Year||210,518|
|Highest Spender||Florida (2,720,376)|
|Lowest Spender||Auburn (672,043)|
|Non Qualifiers||Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama|
Big XII Notables:
|Average (includes <40,000,000 as zero)||903,713|
|Average Per Year||180,742|
|Highest Spender||Texas A&M (2,555,789)|
|Lowest Spender||Oklahoma (393,766)|
|Non Qualifiers||Texas Tech, Baylor|
Big East Notables:
|Average (includes <40,000,000 as zero)||1,099,260|
|Average Per Year||219,861|
|Highest Spender||Pitt (2,656,991)|
|Lowest Spender||Connecticut (523,633)|
Possible Big Ten Additions:
|School:||Dollars spent last five years||Rank in CIC using current membership|