Our Defense, Their Offense - Ostrich Strategem
This week is an abbreviated session due to being out of town for a wedding.
Blargh! That is all.
The numbers predicted 35.1 points and 536 yards for Michigan State vs Michigan.
MSU had 34 points and... 536 yards.
Yikes. Not enough weeks of predictions to conclude a meaningful predictive trend, but still frightening.
- As predicted, turnovers were the critical difference as Michigan left anywhere from 18 to 21 points on the field in losing the turnover battle.
- Special teams didn't cost us the game, because the game was never close enough to be lost by special teams.
- MSU rolled on us exactly as we would have expected.
- Michigan's offense slowed down exactly as we feared.
- Prediction wise, Michigan should have an offensive multiplier less than 100% against all remaining opponents until they can prove they can play otherwise vs. Big Ten opponents.
- Defensively speaking, there's no need to modify how we are predicting our opponents' scoring/yardage at this time.
- Without a way to predict turnovers, it appears these scoring predictions are only as good as the game remains turnover-neutral.
How about the rest of our opponents?
Chart of Offensive Expectations (through 6 weeks)
N-PPG or Normalized Points-per-game is taken from the teams average PPG with a SoS multiplier factored in to deflate numbers from playing bad competition and inflate numbers based on playing good competition.
N-YPG or Normalized Yards-per-game is calculated using the same SoS multiplier as N-PPG but using this metric will help us determine a less variant guess as to how offenses will perform (PPG is subject to wild variance based on turnovers and special teams).
Strength of Schedule is taken from Sagarin rankings.
Usage: The chart doesn't predict that #3 would beat #5. Instead it tries to predict with the most accuracy how many points/yards on average each of these teams would score against a common opponent.
The Big Ten's collective strength of schedule takes a leap up and tightens. A lot of the numbers on this chart shift deceptively as a result.
- Penn St. continues to struggle mightily [Ed-M: Penn St. does everything mightily /PSU fan]. Purdue also did not impress.
- Wisconsin and MSU have separated themselves from the middle of the pack and established themselves.
- Iowa didn't play and suffered from some SoS modifications, but really we don't find out about them until after this week. Awesome.
- Illinois got a big boost this week and goes from a team we should definitely beat to a team we have to be concerned about.
- Our out-of-conference slate continues to weaken as the weeks go on. This trends us towards a 6-8 win season rather than 8-10 wins.
Conclusions Based on Almost Enough Data
Like last week, I am giving our opponents 125% of their N-PPG and 150% of their N-YPG for predictions vs Michigan.
This is what I said a week ago:
Last year, this is where Michigan's offense fell off a cliff. The last seven Big10 games they averaged 20.1 PPG. They did not outgain any of their opponents and they lost the turnover battle nearly every time.
Ugh. I wanted so badly to say that this was going to be a very different year than 2009, but now through six games I can't ignore the parallels.
Also, I need to define a scoring range based on turnover margins.
Michigan's new best-case scenario (Michigan offense operates at or near 100% N-PPG and opponents score 125%) in the Big Ten is 5-3. Purdue, Illinois, Penn St. and... Iowa. Statistically, we must win this weekend in order to go above .500 in conference play.
In a worst-case scenario, we fall behind our two remaining @Purdue and @Penn St. These are two road games against opponents whose offenses are struggling and for whom Michigan's defense might be the perfect medicine. Illinois looks scarier than a week ago. Iowa and Wisconsin are both very intimidating. Until our offense proves it can execute at a high level in a Big Ten game not named Indiana, this is the direction we are trending.
Our new outlook ranges between 7-5 and 9-3!
Prediction for Iowa:
Everything that we did not want to happen last weekend, happened.
Based strictly on the numbers:
|Team||PPG vs Mich||YPG vs Mich|
Dear god, help us.
It's about time for our defense to turn in a performance that exceeds expectations, and when these are your expectations one can only pray that they are exceeded.
If they are, Michigan might have a shot in this game - but only if our offense actually puts together a real game when it counts in the Big Ten.