Trolls Fear Rich Rod

Trolls Fear Rich Rod

Submitted by OSUMC Wolverine on November 23rd, 2010 at 6:54 PM

It actually makes me feel even more confident in the future of this program under Rich Rod when I see the trolling going on here by fans of other teams wanting and encouraging the dismissal of RR.  The fear level of our opponents is climbing even with things still not firing on all cylinders.  When we field a midling defense in the next year or two there is going to be a lot of crying in the Midwest....I doubt they will come back here and admit it though.

Thank you kind trolls for your fear----it brings warm feelings to my heart.

Go Blue!

Denard vs. Cam

Denard vs. Cam

Submitted by umuncfan11 on November 23rd, 2010 at 6:32 PM


College Football News compares "Player A" and "Player B" and says the Heisman race should be closer than people are giving credit for should Michigan pull off the upset over OSU.

Player A’s résumé: 1) Ranks third in the nation in rushing. 2) Ranks second in the nation in total offense. 3) Is the first player in the history of college football to be in the 2,000 passing-yard, 1,500 rushing-yard in one season club. 4) Is 16th in the nation in passing efficiency. 5) Has completed 63% of his passes with 16 touchdowns, ten interceptions, and averages 6.8 yards per carry with 14 touchdowns despite missing a good portion of several games hurt. 6) He has accounted for 3,767 of his team’s 5,660 yards, or 67% of his team’s production. 

Player B’s résumé: 1) Ranks ninth in the nation in rushing. 2) Ranks tenth in the nation in total offense. 3) Is 203 rushing yards away from being the second player in the history of college football to be in the 2,000 passing-yard, 1,500 rushing-yard in one season club. 4) Is second in the nation in passing efficiency. 5) Has completed 68% of his passes with 21 touchdowns and six interceptions, but ten of those scoring strikes came against Arkansas State, ULM, and Chattanooga. He averages 6.3 yards per carry with 17 touchdown runs. 6) He has accounted for 3,335 of his team’s 5,557 yards, or 60% of his team’s production. 

I hope Denard at least gets the recognition of being invited to New York for the Heisman ceremony for having one of the greatest seasons in the history of college football.

The Michigan Difference - Wisconsin Edition

The Michigan Difference - Wisconsin Edition

Submitted by TennBlue on November 23rd, 2010 at 6:17 PM

Here's this week's update to The Michigan Difference, updated with stats from this week's games.

Another bipolar game against Wisconsin.  The final offensive output was pretty good, but the defense couldn't stand up to their rushing attack.  We remain #5 in Total Offense (TO) and are now #112 in Total Defense (TD).

Disclaimer: The NCAA stats are not linear, of course, and a difference of 1 yd/gm can be a large or small difference in rankings depending on how closely spaced everyone is.  So as I cautioned, this isn't a hard-core statistical exercise.  This analysis is pretty one-dimensional because it's long and complicated enough as it is.

I think the greatest value in this is to look back at the early games and see how well we did in comparison to what other teams ended up doing against them - what seemed like a good or bad performance at the time may look different in retrospect.


Part the First: Offense

We know our offense is great, but what kind of damage has it done to the Total Defense (TD) ratings of our opponents?  Here they are thus far:

Opponents' Total Defense, Season
Opponent Games Yards Yielded Yds/gm NCAA Rank
Connecticut 10 3512 351.20 44
Notre Dame 11 3977 361.55 55
Bowling Green 11 4742 431.09 104
Indiana 11 4612 419.27 94
Michigan State 11 3657 332.45 28
Iowa 11 3423 311.18 14
Penn State 11 3899 354.45 48
Illinois 11 3766 342.36 35
Purdue 11 4025 365.91 58
Wisconsin 11 3598 327.09 26


What would these guys' defensive stats look like if they hadn't played Michigan?

Michigan Offensive Performances
Opponent Total Offense, M

Opp. Avg - M,

M Total Offense,
% of Opp Avg - M**

Without M

Connecticut 473 337.67 140% 32
Notre Dame 532 344.50 154% 40
Bowling Green 721 402.10 179% 84
Indiana 574 403.80 142% 86
Michigan State 377 328.00 115% 27
Iowa 522 290.10 180% 6
Penn State 423 347.60 122% 44
Illinois 676 309.00 219% 13
Purdue 395 363.00 109% 57
Wisconsin 442 315.60 140% 16

*Opponents' average Total Defense yards per game, minus the Michigan game

**Michigan's Total Offense in game as a % of the opponent's average TD minus the Michigan game

Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin's defenses really wish they hadn't played us.  They'd be in the top 20 nationally but for one game.  Michigan has gained above our opponents' average yardage yielded in every game thus far, and their Total Defense rankings have suffered as a result.  What's the damage?

The Michigan Difference, Offense
Opponent TD Rank With M TD Rank Without M Difference
Connecticut 44 32 -12
Notre Dame 55 40 -15
Bowling Green 104 84 -20
Indiana 94 86 -8
Michigan State 28 27 -1
Iowa 14 6 -8
Penn State 48 44 -4
Illinois 35 13 -22
Purdue 58 57 -1
Wisconsin 26 16 -10

Average change in Total Defense ranking for all opponents:  -10.1 places.

Looking at the offensive performance versus the quality of the defense:

There is little correlation between Michigan's Total Offense for a game and their opponent's average Total Defense (minus M).  Whatever is limiting our offense's output in a game, it is not directly related to the number of yards the opponent usually gives up.  This would suggest that the offense tends to be limited by itself, rather than the opponent.

Part the Second, Defense

So the flipside of this, then, is how much has our defensive suckitude helped out our opponents stat sheet?  Where would they rank in Total Offense without having played us?  We'll run the same tables again, but from the opposite tack:

Michigan Opponents' Offensive Performances, Season
Opponent Games Yards Gained Yds/gm NCAA Rank
Connecticut 10 3311 331.10 95
Notre Dame 11 4243 385.73 58
Bowling Green 11 3137 285.18 114
Indiana 11 4247 386.09 57
Michigan State 11 4549 413.55 37
Iowa 11 4335 394.09 51
Penn State 11 4093 372.09 66
Illinois 11 4230 384.55 61
Purdue 11 3429 311.73 102
Wisconsin 11 4843 440.27 23

Wisconsin is easily the strongest offensive team we've faced thus far.  The results of the game show that.  MSU was pretty good, the rest varying degrees of average to bad.


Michigan Defensive Performances


Total Defense, M

Opp. Avg - M,


Opp Total Offense,

% of Opp Avg - M**


Without M

Connecticut 343 329.78 104% 96
Notre Dame 535 370.80 144% 69
Bowling Green 283 285.40 99% 114
Indiana 568 367.90 154% 71
Michigan State 536 401.30 134% 47
Iowa 383 395.20 97% 51
Penn State 435 365.80 119% 72
Illinois 561 366.90 152% 70
Purdue 256 317.30 81% 101
Wisconsin 558 428.50 130% 32

* Opponents' average Total Offensive performance, minus the Michigan game

** Opponents' Total Offense as a percentage of their average offensive performance, minus the Michigan game

Here's a nifty graph of our opponents' Total Offense against Michigan, versus their average Total Offense per game without the Michigan game:

In this case, we do have a reasonably good correlation.  Our defense does worse against better offenses.  That would suggest that we're talent-limited somewhere (either coaches or players) and the opponents' offenses tend to have their way with us.  In other words, our defense doesn't shut anybody down.  The more yards our opponents average per game, the better they'll do against us.

To summarize:

The Michigan Difference, Defense
Opponent TO Rank With M TO Rank Without M Difference
Connecticut 95 96 +1
Notre Dame 58 69 +11
Bowling Green 114 114 0
Indiana 57 71 +14
Michigan State 37 47 +10
Iowa 51 51 0
Penn State 66 72 +6
Illinois 61 70 +9
Purdue 102 101 -1
Wisconsin 23 32 +9

Average boost to opponents' Total Offense NCAA ranking: +5.9 places

From this perspective, the Wisconsin game was our 4th worst defensive performance of the year.  As bad as we looked, three other games were worse.  We were up against a very good offense, and it showed.

Part the Third:  Summary

The Michigan Difference, Overall

Michigan's O Difference

on Opp TD Ranking

Michigan's D Difference

on Opp TO Ranking

Connecticut -12 +1 W: Good O, OK D
Notre Dame -15 +11 W: Good O, Terrible D
Bowling Green -20 0 W: Awesome O, OK D
Indiana -8 +14 W: Good O, Terrible D
Michigan State -1 +10 L: OK O, Terrible D
Iowa -8 0 L: Good O, OK D
Penn State -4 +6 L:Good O, Bad D
Illinois -22 +9 W:, Awesome O, Terrible D
Purdue -1 --1 W: OK O, OK D
Wisconsin -10 +9 L: Good O, Terrible D

In subtly maize-and-blue graphical form:


New observations for this week:

  • Many of our previous opponents had good weeks offensively, making our defense look a bit better less bad in those previous games.
  • Wisconsin is easily the best team we've faced yet.  Offensive and defensive performances were close to mid-pack, but we got our butts kicked.
  • Our offense remains impressive and will keep getting better.
  • Our defense is terrible and had better get a lot better.
  • Winning is still a lot more fun than losing.

Denard Broke Another Michigan Record (All-Purpose TDs)

Denard Broke Another Michigan Record (All-Purpose TDs)

Submitted by Communist Football on November 23rd, 2010 at 5:14 PM


In the comments section of the Wisconsin edition of my Almanack of Broken Records, Comrades Raoul and BigHouseInmate pointed out that Denard may have broken the single-season Michigan record for all-purpose touchdowns with 30 (16 passing, 14 rushing). Michigan does not actually track this particular statistic; instead, M tracks touchdowns scored (i.e., who actually carried the ball into the endzone). That record is held by Al Herrnstein, who scored 26 touchdowns in 1902.

So I had to go back and look at individual season statistics to compile the data. I actually went through the game-by-game accounts of the 1901-1905 seasons from the Michigan Alumnus in order to get accurate information about touchdown statistics in the Fielding Yost Point-A-Minute era, and reviewed old NCAA research on pre-1937 touchdown statistics. It's possible that there are other pre-WWII players that I've missed.

According to the stats I've been able to find, Robinson is indeed out front with 30 all-purpose touchdowns. On a per-game basis, Denard at 2.73 per game is second only to Tom Harmon, who scored 23 touchdowns (including a kickoff return and an interception return) over 8 games in 1940, for an average of 2.88.

It is unusual to be able to compile all-time records for a particular category, because modern football statistics only really came into being in the 1940s. But TDs and scoring are two of the few categories that we can measure from the pre-modern era, making Denard's achievement all the more impressive.

Here is the table, sorted by touchdowns per game, with a cutoff of 1.60. Remarkably, the 1901 team had three separate players score at that pace:

Name Yr. Pass TD Rush TD Rec TD Kick TD Int TD TD G TD/G
Tom Harmon, LHB 1940 7 14 0 1 1 23 8 2.88
Denard Robinson, QB 2010 16 14 0 0 0 30 11 2.73
Tom Harmon, RHB 1939 6 13 0 0 1 20 8 2.50
Rick Leach, QB 1978 17 12 0 0 0 29 12 2.42
Al Herrnstein, RHB 1902 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 26 11 2.36
Steve Smith, QB 1981 15 12 0 0 0 27 12 2.25
Chad Henne, QB 2004 25 2 0 0 0 27 12 2.25
Willie Heston, LHB 1904 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 20 9 2.22
Drew Henson, QB 2000 18 2 0 0 0 20 9 2.22
Ron Johnson, RHB 1968 0 19 0 0 0 19 9 2.11
Steve Smith, QB 1983 13 10 0 0 0 23 11 2.09
Elvis Grbac, QB 1991 25 0 0 0 0 25 12 2.08
Chad Henne, QB 2005 23 1 0 0 0 24 12 2.00
John Navarre, QB 2003 24 0 1 0 0 25 13 1.92
Rick Leach, QB 1976 13 10 0 0 0 23 12 1.92
Steve Smith, QB 1982 14 9 0 0 0 23 12 1.92
Desmond Howard, SE   1991 0 2 19 2 0 23 12 1.92
Willie Heston, LHB 1901 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 20 11 1.82
Bob Chappuis, LHB 1947 15 5 0 0 0 20 11 1.82
John Navarre, QB 2002 21 2 0 0 0 23 13 1.77
Elvis Grbac, QB 1990 21 0 0 0 0 21 12 1.75
Tom Brady, QB 1999 20 1 0 0 0 21 12 1.75
Neil Snow, FB 1901 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 19 11 1.73
Bruce Shorts, RT 1901 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 17 10 1.70
Chad Henne, QB 2006 22 0 0 0 0 22 13 1.69
Willie Heston, LHB 1902 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 15 9 1.67

(EDIT: I added Bob Chappuis' 1947, Ron Johnson's 1968, and Bruce Shorts' 1901 seasons to the list, and added the offensive positions that each player filled. Note that Shorts scored 17 TDs as an offensive lineman: now those were the days!)

The NCAA FBS (I-A) single-season record is 63 touchdowns, by Colt Brennan of Hawaii in 2006 (58 passing, 5 rushing). The per-game record is 5.0 in 1990, by David Klingler of Houston (55 TDs in 11 games).

The FBS single-season record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback is 27, by Ricky Dobbs of Navy in 2009 (in 14 games). The season record for most touchdowns scored (i.e., excluding TD passes thrown) is 39, by Barry Sanders in 1988 over 11 games.

Tim Tebow is the only player to have both thrown and run for 20 touchdowns: in 2007, he threw for 32 and ran for 23. (Dan LeFevour of Central Michigan threw for 27, ran for 19, and caught 1 in 2007.) Cameron Newton may join this 20/20 club in 2010; he has thrown for 21 TDs and run for 17, with three games left.

The Michigan career record for most touchdowns scored is held by Yost-era legend Willie Heston, with 69 from 1901-1904 (the Michigan record book lists Heston at 72 TDs, which is incorrect according to my game-by-game tally). The record for most all-purpose touchdowns is held by Chad Henne, who threw for 87 and ran for 3 (for a total of 90) from 2004-2007. If Denard plays through his senior season, there is a realistic chance that he could break Henne's record. (EDIT: I changed this from the previous version, which incorrectly cited Heston as the all-purpose career leader.)

Here is the team photo of the all-time great team of 1901, courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library. Al Herrnstein is the right-most player in the front row. Neil Snow is the second from the left in the middle row. Willie Heston is right-most in the middle row. Fielding Yost is in the center of the back row. The "501-0" football that captain Hugh White is holding reflects the fact that this picture was taken before the team beat Stanford 49-0 in the inaugural Rose Bowl game of 1902. The lopsided score so disappointed Rose Bowl officials that they didn't hold a second Rose Bowl game until 1916.

OSU uniforms for the game Saturday - Is this for real?

OSU uniforms for the game Saturday - Is this for real?

Submitted by mGrowOld on November 23rd, 2010 at 4:44 PM


Words fail me.  I cannot even imagine even OSU wearing these.  Now I hope we win just because their uni's are so ugly they hurt my eyes.

Offense - 2013

Offense - 2013

Submitted by Blazefire on November 23rd, 2010 at 4:26 PM


Redshirt Junior and highly experienced super-recruit Devin Gardner takes the snap from the winner of a veteran offensive line battle for starting center. RS Senior LT Taylor Lewan, dominant and forceful team captain drives a massive, cohesive force into the opposing defensive line, clearing a pocket full of gaping holes. Gardner, in all his experience, checks his Zone Read perfectly. Is the end crashing? Where are the Safties? His options: Hand off to True Junior Justice Hayes, running out of the backfield, who has already put up career numbers. Or flip it to #1 Heisman Contender Demitrius Hart in the slot, and watch him run and run. Or, of course, he could put those super-recruit legs to work himself, if the End doesn’t crash, and take it all the way.


Oh yeah. 6 to midnight.

Chris Spielman on Denard Robinson (good!) and Michigan's defense (uh, not good)

Chris Spielman on Denard Robinson (good!) and Michigan's defense (uh, not good)

Submitted by yossarians tree on November 23rd, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Interesting comments from Chris Spielman on Columbus radio. Very interesting because Spielman is a guy who really does know what the hell he's seeing out there, and he does not like it. Sure, he's a Buckeye, but you get the feeling in reading this that Chris has tremendous respect for the tradition of Michigan football and would genuinely like to see us rebuild a defense worthy of the rivalry.…

I need help in PA

I need help in PA

Submitted by Cheesmo on November 23rd, 2010 at 2:01 PM

Im tired of Penn Staters coming up to me singing the praises of how those truck drivers in Columbus are going to beat us on Saturday, and for the last however many years...

I need help in putting them in their proper place...Ive come back with all sorts of stuff, but they continue flooding my inbox and the sudden stop by my office to remind me visit...


Are we gonna see new adidas threads this weekend?

Are we gonna see new adidas threads this weekend?

Submitted by JamesBondHerpesMeds on November 23rd, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Since we're taking note of the oh-so-WTF tUOS unis that will be unveiled this weekend, I'm wondering if Michigan will unveil their TechFit Jerseys that adidas has been releasing to other programs.

- UCLA wore theirs during the Oregon game:


- Notre Dame busted 'em out last weekend against Army:

- Louisville had theirs during the West Virginia game (sorry, no pic)

- Tennessee wore theirs last week as well.


So are we the only program of the original bunch to not yet use 'em?