at least it's not just us?
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|2 days 12 hours ago||Did someone say "fan of Michigan and Detroit teams"?||
But wait, there's more! As an added bonus, I also root for my alma mater, you know, the Big Ten school that backed into a CBI invite and had the worst power-conference football team in the country. (Also the one that lost a regular-season volleyball match in five sets at home to Northwestern (??) and got whacked in the regional final by Wisconsin after crushing overrated Missouri at Missouri and sweeping Illinois at Illinois.)
And as awesome as the FA Cup final was, that was followed shortly thereafter by Wigan being relegated to the Championship, sleepwalking through much of the first half of that campaign, and then collapsing in Europa League play after being in position to qualify for the knockout stage with two matches left and their destiny in their hands.
|9 weeks 3 days ago||Another thing about Linehan||
is that he does not insist on running the ball when the team is not good at it. In 2011 (let's forget 2012 - no, really), the Lions were 31st in rushing attempts, just 10 carries ahead of a 4-12 Tampa Bay team that was probably worse than their record. He didn't go away from the run because the Lions sucked, he did it because the running game sucked.
Of course he also had/has Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson and a bunch of receivers not named Calvin Johnson who can still get open from time to time, and Borges does not (although Borges has a TE who can catch, at least until he officially becomes a WR), and Detroit is running the ball more this season because they have a back who can run in that offense ... but that just means Linehan is tailoring his play calls to the ability of his players. He is not calling power run after power run and hoping that his opponents magically do not detect the huge POWER RUN indicator in six-foot-tall letters above the formation he's just sent in.
|10 weeks 6 days ago||1972 as well||
although I was just 5, so other than "we played Minnesota" and "we beat them handily", I couldn't really remember anything else for sure. Oh ... also "the stadium is the most biggest thing ever." (Which is probably the case even if you are not five years old.)
For years I was convinced that we had left early and that it was actually a 49-0 game. (I lucked into a ticket when a friend's family had an extra one for some reason, and we moved three years later, so by the time I was old enough to wonder, it was too late to ask.)
So it was pretty much what you'd expect at the time: not Ohio? Then it'll be an easy win.
That turned out to be the only home game I've seen (see: moved three years later), so Michigan's averaging 42 points per home game I see in person. I should make plans for the Ohio game.
|12 weeks 6 days ago||What's interesting to me||
is that the punting and field-goal decisions basically come from the same idea: never mind trying to win, just don't make the loss look too bad. (So you punt to make the other team drive farther for the next TD, or kick a FG to lose by 32 instead of 35.)
And it may be just perception - although I trust you more than my general ideas, because you have data at your fingertips - but it does seem like the current changes are only about punts. Coaches still love them some FGs, even if they are relatively long attempts (a 40+ kick in the NFL is no sure thing; in college, it's even less certain).
|14 weeks 1 day ago||Sure, in a normal game||
but that's the problem that USF has. They're so bad that there are some situations where no decision is any good.
I mean, 6 for 26. They were 19 of 40 against McNeese State. If there were ever a modern team for which the quick kick was designed, it's USF.
|14 weeks 1 day ago||South Florida's decision was definitely correct||
They ended up averaging 2.5 yards per play, both passing (!!) and running, were 1-13 overall on third down (with the conversion by penalty, of course), and were facing a team with an offense nearly as bad as theirs. Their previous possession ended on a failed 4th-and-4 from the Spartans' 32, the only USF fourth-down attempt of the game. Their only hope to cut into that deficit was to give the ball back to MSU and force them to run some plays ... sadly, it didn't work out, but in this particular case, I think it was the right call.
On the other hand, on the second play of the fourth quarter, South Florida punted from their own 8 ... for 15 yards. (Sparty did get a touchdown on that drive, but not before ending up with a 3rd and 21.) So ... maybe the problem was not punting on third down.
We were watching that game in preparation for the big one. It was one of the worst offensive showings I've ever seen, and my family had season tickets to IU games in the late '70s.
|16 weeks 1 day ago||Carlson's long was 48||
and he was no stranger to kicks from 40-49. (H/T Bentley. No Rose Bowl box? Anyway, it says 1938-78, but 1989-1991 are there too.)
Kicks by game, with misses in parens:
Notre Dame: none
1-1 under 20
That was some solid kicking.
|17 weeks 1 day ago||The thing about big schools||
is that people who haven't gone to one seem to have this idea that every day, everyone on campus runs around in random directions all the time, so you can't possibly see anyone more than once, because OMG TENZ OF THOUSANDZ OF PEEPUL OMG. (The best is when they now live in NYC or San Francisco or Chicago and can tell you about how they always run into this one couple on the way home from work. COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.)
But when you consider only the people that have classes at the same time on a particular day, and then only the people that actually get up and go to those classes, and then only the people who are heading to class in the same direction, from the same direction, suddenly it's not such a big group after all.
Exactly how this works probably differs a bit depending on how campus is laid out - at Purdue, campus was/is basically one area, so even if you live off-campus, you're going to head in basically the same direction, so the group of Potentially Identifiable People is larger. If your destinations are spread out more, you're looking at even smaller groups, probably to the point where you can look out your window and see Hat Guy going by and think "crap, he's the last guy on time to class, I'm late".
|23 weeks 15 hours ago||makes sense||
given that Indiana-Purdue is protected, it's probably easier to keep seven matchups the same across those two years and then do the same moving forward.
|24 weeks 6 hours ago||except for all the others||
Stevens wouldn't leave for another NCAA job, but Lickliter and Matta had no trouble leaving the Horizon for the Big Ten. I would imagine the next coach will be more like the latter two than Stevens.
|25 weeks 2 days ago||Minor correction||
In 1984, Purdue went to - and lost in - the Peach, not the Cotton. (It would be their last bowl appearance until the 1997 season.) The only team ever to appear in the Cotton Bowl as a member of the Big Ten was Ohio in the 1986 season. (Maryland, Nebraska, and Penn State went in their previous lives.)
The Peach Bowl was actually a cruel joke. I was a freshman at Purdue the following season; I can still remember seeing the occasional band member wearing their Peach Bowl jacket. With my Michigan background, I was accustomed to annual bowl games, and with Purdue returning senior QB Jim Everett and coming off a bowl appearance, I thought I'd be able to watch some quality football. (I was partly right - some pretty good teams came to visit Ross-Ade in those days.)
|32 weeks 6 days ago||The ninth-worst offense, actually||
the worst and best rankings use the same order (rather than putting worst at the top and 10th-worst at the bottom).
The second-worst offense is a Gary Nord offense, which comes as no surprise to anyone, period.
|45 weeks 11 hours ago||71-60 UM||
go away, MSU.
|46 weeks 8 hours ago||Purdue's monster-in-the-middle||
is Mr. Hammons, btw.
This is good stuff. I think it reinforces the idea that context is really important for defensive statistics ... for example, Purdue's strong defensive efficiency (moreso in non-conference play after last night's beating) is really "Purdue's DE with A.J. Hammons at center". It isn't a coincidence that they're 10th in DE in Big Ten play and that Hammons has been in foul trouble in every conference game against non-terrible competition (fouled out against Iowa, 4 fouls against Illinois, MSU, and Ohio, 3 fouls including 2 early against IU).
|46 weeks 8 hours ago||well, that's the thing||
A block simply means making contact with and appreciably altering a shot that is subsequently missed; it may or may not result in a change of possession. (And that's one reason to not get too caught up in analysis: a block can be deflected to a defensive teammate for a fast break, knocked into an offensive player's hands for a kind-of Kobe assist, swatted out of bounds, or who knows what, and all of them count as 1 block.)
It's like how blocking a kick doesn't count as a turnover in football. (Even stopping a fourth-down attempt isn't a turnover.) The name of the category is a simplification, so it covers some things it probably shouldn't and doesn't cover some things it probably should.
|46 weeks 14 hours ago||19-20, 95% from the line||
I think some of Indiana's stats got compressed when you were writing that intro.
|46 weeks 1 day ago||87-85 Michigan||
The cabinet theory isn't particularly interesting. I like the bar fight theory better - corruption of "Whose ear?" - if only because it's dumber and thus more likely to be true.
|47 weeks 1 day ago||Michigan 84-55||
Purdue can't shoot. This isn't a problem in a game where scoring happens when you shoot, right?
|1 year 10 weeks ago||one note about special teams||
Kawann Short is very good at blocking kicks. This is probably not a surprise, given his strength and position, but is worth noting.
|1 year 10 weeks ago||Morgan Burke's been doing that for 20 years||
a little drinking isn't going to change it much. Well, other than the fact that the stadium is uphill from the bars (and some of the tailgating areas). Bad planning.
Burke's approach, and that of George King before him, was that by God this is Big Ten football and you are going to show up. Actually improving the quality of the product on the field wasn't really a consideration (Exhibit A: every single coach under those guys; Tiller had partial success by running an offense people hadn't seen before and getting lucky with Brees, as much as it pains me to say).
Hiring a guy with no I-A experience on nothing more than Tiller's say-so did a lot to kill attendance. True, bar drinking does have a way of keeping people from getting to the game itself, but who wants to sober up watching Purdue fart away a lead against a MAC school or get crushed in Big Ten competition? (Not every game can be as exciting as you-know-which-one ...) And really, there can't be more than a thousand or so in the bars. That wouldn't even make a dent in IU's Memorial Stadium.
Burke seems to assume that he can focus on building competitive programs in other sports (which, TBH, he's done a pretty good job at) and that football will simply take care of itself. Younger fans might prefer to watch BTN; older fans have been through this many times already, thank you, no need to spend money on another 6-6 team. (It was one thing to have optimism in the mid-'80s with Jim Everett, or in the '00s with NFL-caliber QBs and Curtis Painter. Now, though ...) Burke's fortunate that a number of Big Ten schools travel well, or there'd be a much more noticeable drop in attendance.
|1 year 11 weeks ago||that is easy to explain||
aside from his having played for Ohio: Purdue has been less unimpressive, compared to recent seasons, than pretty much all other Big Ten teams, and everyone likes to be the first to spot a potential trend, so he's simply jumping on the bandwagon. Purdue: sucks less than other Big Ten teams. (Also, thanks to Wisconsin's collapse, the East Division is terrible. All Purdue has to do to win the title - ha ha! - is suck less than Wisconsin and then get lucky in the title game. Hope has shown he can get about one good game a year out of the Boilers, although unfortunately for him, they can't play Ohio in Indianapolis - that's who the good game tends to be against.)
Purdue's done a fairly good job containing Denard in the past. That seems less likely this season, given the overall suckiness of the LB corps. But then Borges could easily counter that by calling more I-formation plays and making Denard turn his back on Kawaan Short. Of course, what he should be doing is running a bunch of spread option plays, because ever since Tiller brought basketball-on-grass to West Lafayette, Purdue has been surprisingly unable to defend running QBs, which is pretty weird given that they should be practicing against some of those very same plays every week, yes? (Well, when you have someone like Painter running option plays, it's, uh, not quite the same.)
Marve was definitely the better QB prior to the latest injury, which is why APQBHG struck him down. (With an injured knee, he's most definitely a downgrade from CTB.) Henry is really the worst option of the "three", but don't worry, Gary Nord strongly believes in rotating QBs, because nothing strikes fear in an opposing coordinator's heart like facing the third- or fourth-best QB on the other team, so I'm sure he'll get some snaps Saturday. They will likely be running plays.
Prior to the Marshall game, consensus was that at least Purdue was bashing weaker teams, something they did not do in the past, and possibly, if ND was good, the Boilers might actually have a 7-5 team or something this season ... and with the conference looking so poor, maybe they could make a run. After that game, the usual questions about the defense and Nord's play-calling arose. (Also also, poor special teams play. There's this thing with covering kick and with missing XPs.)
So who knows? Purdue played a solid defensive game in South Bend, and they've moved the ball pretty well against bad competition. If Michigan's defense plays that role, it could be a problem. Purdue also just took a four-touchdown lead against a terrible team and desperately tried to throw it away; if they allow Denard to do what Cato did, they will not have to worry about blowing halftime leads, because they will not have one.
|1 year 11 weeks ago||back in another life||
I saw a game in SEC country against an SEC team, even if it was a bowl game and thus not at all the same thing. (The '87 Peach Bowl, Indiana and Tennessee. This was back when my allegiance was divided among hometown and 10 years of childhood and current school, and only one of those three was providing relatively cheap bowl opportunities.) I don't recall anything obnoxious from Tennessee fans - quite the opposite, actually - but of course Indiana, so even in the Bill Mallory era, I mean, why bother? (And still the Knight era, so anything like "you should go back to playing basketball" would backfire spectacularly.)
I saw two other bowls in SEC country, but neither against an SEC team (Florida State and then-independent South Carolina). It would be fun to go back and see one in a real stadium.
|1 year 13 weeks ago||Two field goals and a two-point return.||
Michigan botches the snap on its eighth TD. A UMass guy grabs the ball and takes off. No one really chases after him because it's 55-6.
|1 year 13 weeks ago||'hopefully' is not the right word||
given that Indiana just beat them 45-6 at home. I'd say a thrashing is the minimum requirement - I would prefer to see a walk-on fourth quarter.
|1 year 13 weeks ago||to the first part, not exactly.||
AIUI, it implies that in an average situation, QBs would be holding those teams back. As you point out, at least one of those teams is not in an average situation (OSU replacing a divot with an offensive coordinator).
ND did seem to have some kind of issues with Purdue. I suppose it's possible that Purdue's defense has suddenly improved from meh to really good, and of course the QB wasn't the only change on offense, but I would think it reasonable to suggest that having a freshman QB is hurting ND.
|1 year 15 weeks ago||Another thing about Purdue's dropoff||
is that they went from being a spread team with a hilariiously immobile quarterback (the option plays they tried to run looked as bad as Painter did in a Colts uniform) to a team with a bunch of QBs with little-to-no experience and questionable health. The running game was more of a necessity than anything else. (There are also questions as to whether or not Gary Nord can even run an offense, much less one that utilizes that crazy "pass" thing the kids keep talking about.)
Also, QB rotation = death to offense.
|1 year 15 weeks ago||It's Daryl Hall||
He's the one with the '80s hair (although you can't see it nearly as well in that picture). John Oates is the shorter guy who did not bring pointing skills to the table.
|1 year 21 weeks ago||Maybe Solecismic will put out an update||
for The College Years, but with NCAA licensing where it applies. (I never got into TCY that much - might be a good thing.)
|1 year 22 weeks ago||The past is essentially the present||
Purdue has won four of the last six against Ohio in West Lafayette, including wins in 2009 and 2011 that give them a three-game unbeaten streak against the Buckeyes. (Thanks, cheaters!)
It's true that Purdue hasn't won in Columbus since 1988 and hasn't beaten an Ohio team there that went on to break .500 since 1967, but who cares? A win in the Cooler would raise the possibility of gentlemen departing Ohio without a win over Purdue for the first time since the Korean War. (Purdue was 4-0-1 against them from 1943 through 1952, no doubt creating a generation of disillusioned vets who returned home to find the streak of shame continuing - Purdue was actually pretty good in 1943, going 9-0, but was nothing special the rest of the time.)
|1 year 23 weeks ago||Maybe, maybe not||
On one hand, Burke is all about building a competitive program in all sports ... with the obvious exception of football (and even that was competitive during most of Tiller's era), he's kind of done a good job. (The problem is that without a competitive football team, it's hard to generate the cash to support the rest of the sports, especially if you want to go out and build new facilities for pretty much every sport all at once.)
On the other hand, if a Boiler alum comes to the school with a nine-figure donation for sports, it's probably going to be for a) basketball, b) basketball, or perhaps c) basketball. (Unless it's Brees, in which case, who knows? It might go toward the general scholarship instead.)
Plus, campus is pretty crowded. I'm not sure there's room for another arena. You could put one on the West Lafayette outskirts and run buses up there, but that seems unwise for a brand-new sport. I'd think you'd want it close to campus to encourage students to go.