And how is MSU coming off a bye week?
Debunking the Bye Week Myth
Terrible -- only win under Dantonio was that game against Purdue last year where we eek-ed it out.
This is a great point, which I missed. Just because they have a losing percentage after a bye week does not mean that it did not increase their chances to win. I think what you would have to do is look at the record against the spread after a bye week compared to playing in consecutive weeks. You will see a little less than a 50% chance of winning (ties taken into consideration if you go back far enough) when playing in consecutive weeks, but you might also see that after a bye week, it increases to 55-60%, which would be significant enough to try to place a bye week before a good opponent (more specifically, an opponent that is slightly better than you).
...teams rarely have byes preceding games against out-of-conference creampuffs, which would privilege the non-bye week data.
would be whether or not teams tend, on the whole, to schedule better opponents for the week when they are coming off of a bye.
For most schools this is a moot point; their conference sets the schedule, not them.
If Big Ten teams are terrible after a bye, that would seem to be evidence that they are not helpful, because almost all of those post-bye games are coming against other Big Ten schools.
They've had 2 bye weeks (in 2008 and 2010) and in 2008 they lost to PSU badly 14-49 and in 2010 they beat Purdue, but it was an ugly 35-31 final score. Spartans were certainly slow in that game.
I can't confirm this, but someone said recently that MSU under Dantonio is 1-5 after a bye. A bye has the big advantage of getting a team healthier, but it seems to leave teams rusty as well.
I like that stat
I think that stat is after a lay-off, thus including bowls. They've actually only had two bye-weeks apparently, and are 1-1. A win against purdue when they struggled early, and a loss against PSU.
I think you're right. Come to think of it, they almost certainly would not have had six byes in four seasons.
This is some great information. I would have thought it would have been the opposite. Thanks for making me feel better about our chances.
Thanks for tracking this down.
Bye weeks occur in the playoffs when you automatically advance to a future round.
Michigan State did not get a bye this past weekend from anything - they're still playing 12 games this year.
Michigan State, in fact, is playing this Saturday after an "OPEN WEEK."
Don't you know the difference between margarine and butter?
I can't believe its not butter!!
Bye weeks are not limited to the playoffs.
Noone said that advancing a round with no opponent in a playoff wasn't a bye. It doesn't mean that we can't call an open week during the season a bye week too, especially when it's pretty universally accepted as an appropriate term.
When I was a kid the Ann Arbor News (RIP) called them Idle weeks. Before the 12 game season, I remember asking my dad why we played "Idle" twice in one year. But hey...I have my BS from Meeeechigan now.
Is that true? In the NFL they call mid-season off weeks as a bye, why wouldn't the same term apply in college football? I think the terms "bye" "idle and "open" are essentially synonymous, not to mention accepted as correct.
The dictionary definition of a "bye" is completely at odds with what the NFL and college football calls a "bye." Just because the NFL and MgoBlue tells one what something is doesn't mean it's right.
No one claims teams in baseball, basketball, soccer or hockey have "byes" when they do not have games on dates when other teams are playing. When Michigan has a weekend off this season in hockey or basketball, it won't be called a "bye," it'll be called an "open date," or probably the most appropriate title, an "off day."
I went to wikipedia to see what it said, because it usually explains how or why a term gets used improperly. It didn't do that, but it did mention round robin tournaments with an odd number of teams will give each team a bye week. I'd imagine that's how it came about because a lot of conferences used to play round robins, and some still do. With out of conference open weeks and with larger conferences, that no longer applies, but I think the term sticks around due to familiarity.
+1 for deductive etymology.
because who cares, but I wanted to point out the different sports can have different definitions for the same term. Football (as evidenced in the WSJ piece) uses the term bye for a week that a team doesn't play, regardless of the reason.
I just find the evolution of the English language interesting. It really doesn't matter unless someone likes trying to improve their grammar or vocabulary.
jg2112 - I was worried because i thought you had left. Fortunately you're still 1) here; and 2) a useless asshole.
Good luck in your noble quest to educate the masses on the appropriate use of the word "bye."
That one dictionary definition is hardly exhaustive of all accepted usages of the word "bye" in sports.
Different sports use different terms for what are essentially the same things. There's nothing unusual about that, nor is it limited to sports.
Look up the definition of "basket". Does it say anything about a made field goal in basketball? If not, does that mean all of us that use the term that way should stop?
I thought you left.
Who cares? Stop being annoying, you look like a douche.
Do you actually think this distinction is meaningful or are you flaming?
Michigan State's bye-week results in the Mark Dantonio Era:
Bye week Nov 13
Next week: Def. Purdue 35-31
Comment: way-too-close game against terrible team
No bye week
Bye week Nov 15
Next week: Lost to #7 Penn State 18-49
Comment: crushed by a superior team
No bye week
Conclusion: not much to go on here.
Cincinnati under Dantonio:
2006: Lost to WVU 42-24
2005: Lost to WVU 38-0
going back even further:
2004: State gets a bye in the week prior to Braylonfest. So, they lost, but argueably a 5-7 team taking a ranked 9-3 team to OT demonstrates a better-than-expected result.
2003: Another bye before Michigan. This time #9 Michigan State loses to #11 Michigan 27-20 in East Lansing. You might call this a bit of a letdown. State would go on to lose 3 of its next 4 while Michigan would finish 10-3. So in hindsight, again, this was a close game against a superior Michigan team.
2002: This 4-8 team gets a bye week before #17 Iowa pastes them 44-16. Bad team gets whupped by good team, not much to conclude there.
2001: TWO bye weeks for this 7-5 team! First, state beats a Notre Dame team that will finish 5-6 by a score of 17-10 after a bye. Next, a 31-28 win over fellow 7-5 team Iowa. Three average teams in two close games. Not sure what to conclude there.
1998: Nick Saban takes the spartans to a 6-6 record, including two losses after bye weeks: a 29-17 loss at Michigan (who finishes 10-3), and then a 19-18 squeaker against Minnesota (5-6).
This information still doesn't quell the uneasiness I have about the game.
Me neither...but this game is the "tell all" game. This is the one that we're going to say "are we back?"
We don't have to win pretty, we don't have to win big. IMO, we just need a W. If Denard has to run 45 times to do it, so be it. We need to win and that's it. After that, I'll know we can roll with anyone on our schedule.
Remember those days, those years where you'd look at the schedule and go "what do we have to do to be 12-0?"
We seem to have forgotten that...we now look and say "8-4 seems right, 9-3 would be awesome"...we win this game and I'll be a lot closer to that "what do we have to do to go 12-0?" mentality.
Going INTO a bye week, the game before always seems to be abnormally brutal. It's the extra week off, and two weeks to stew about a loss, with no game for redemption the next week that seems to happen more often to Michigan (a program that doesn't lose that much to begin with).
Situations are different for any team during any year. Their circumstances vary. Remember when Joe Paterno insisted that his teams get bye weeks before playing Michigan and Ohio State as part of the agreement to join the Big Ten? Before the RichRod years, Paterno was 3-1 against Michigan with a bye week and 0-9 against us without one. It's not always doom and gloom.
Like I mentioned in the other thread, MSU has a history of bye weeks before us (93, 98, 03, 04). We were 3-1 in those games but those 4 MSU teams weren't exactly world beaters going 6-6, 6-6, 8-5 and 5-6. I think it's safe to assume this years MSU team is better than those other 4 that got the extra week. So, yes. It does worry me. They may have barely escaped an awful Purdue team last year but they're obviously going to be much more fired up to play us than the Boilers.
I think bye weeks kill momentum. It can be bad, but it can also be a good thing. Basically, if you're coming of a loss, a bye can help you re-focus and regroup. But If you come off a win, it can stunt that momentum. It won't be a huge help, and anything can happen, but this bye week may help kill the momentum MSU had coming off their program win against a .500 team.
Dangit, you just killed our best excuse if Michigan loses...
kind of general, but worth a read
not worth its own post
you can't have one without the other
I did a quick Google search to see what this data would look like for the NFL; while not perfectly analogous, the advantages a team has coming off a bye week should be similar for an NFL team than for a college team.
I found an article from 2009 here.
Most relevant bit: "Since the N.F.L. introduced bye weeks in 1990, the overall record of teams playing after them (309-276-1, 52.7 winning percentage) suggests the advantage is modest at best."
So, with respect to MSU's bye week advantage, perhaps what we are fearing is fear itself.
Good information though, I still think I can make my diary work. This information actually helps.
Another interesting thought is that the extra planning for this game might hurt MSU. They have to practice defending our 2 QB formations, but if they overthink it too much during the game, they are going to freeze when something they didn't practice shows up. I expect us to drop a new formation or two on MSU and some new plays out of the other formations. I could see us using the entire playbook if necessary, then just reload with new formations in the bye week.
I think a more telling stat, though more difficult to research, would be how B1G teams perform against the spread after their bye week. If Michigan were playing Minnesota after their bye week that would have a huge difference on the record versus if we were playing Wisconsin after the bye week. The ATS would normalize it. Jamiemac to the rescue?
I almost agree with you on this. It would help tell us whether Vegas/gamblers overvalue the bye.
You're right that scheduling makes a big difference. I remember Penn State consistently getting bye weeks before they played us, and I could see teams tending to get tougher matchups after a bye. The problem with just looking at records against the spread is that the Vegas line could internalize whatever advantage/disadvantage comes from having the previous week off.
This makes me feel better about our loss after our bye-week last year. But not much better.
It all depends on the quality of the coach. In the NFL for example Bill Belichek and Andy Reid are considered great coaches. They are both undefeated off byes (13-0,11-0). Wade Phillips, Brad Childress, and Norv Turner are bad coaches and are under .500 off byes.
The same is true for college. Nick Saban, Bob Stoops, and Lloyd Carr were great off byes. It is tougher too see in college because of the talent disparity though.
I wouldn't say it's solely on the coach. The Pats and Eagles are both talented. The players are the ones playing the game
Cowboys and Chargers are both talented and lost.
I think you'd need to study where the bye weeks come in the season. A bye in the first month is used quite differently than an extra week to prepare before a big game later in the season.
Also, I've always thought a lot depends on what happens to the non-bye team the week before. In this case, the NU game seems about perfect as a tune-up. An away game, but not too far away. Weaknesses exposed, but not too much so. I especially like that Gardner got a little bit of meaningful, non-gimmicky work. MSU has an extra week of film to look at, but M has an extra week of game experience.
And the game M played afterwards. It was terrible and left all of us wondering what the H E double hockey's sticks did they do with the extra week of prep?
Wasn't Penn State when we got mcgloined ? That was the worst fame we played.
Interesting stats. I always thought that the bye week break was overrated - you are talking about college kids, so they really shouldn't be that tired/rusty after a single week off or on. I can see the advtange of getting some kids healthy, which definitely is helped by the bye, but probably not enough to alter outcomes consistently. And as BrickTop pointed out, scheduling after the bye can play a large role - if you run into a good team after a bye, it might not matter if you had seen them off a game or not.
I love this blog.