The Game After Indiana Effect

The Game After Indiana Effect

Submitted by DreadPower on November 14th, 2010 at 11:51 AM

This is an interesting trend for the Big 10 teams the game after playing Indiana:


Oct 2 @ Indiana-  W 42-35

Oct 9 vs. MSU-  L 17-34 (Michigan was a 3 point favorite)

Ohio State

Oct 9 vs. Indiana- W 38-10

Oct 16 @ Wisconsin- L 18-31 (OSU was a 4 point favorite)


Oct 23 vs. Indiana- W 44-13

Oct 30 vs. Purdue- W 44-10


Oct 30 @ Indiana- W 20-17

Nov 6 @ Penn State- L 21-35


Nov 6 @ Indiana- W 18-13

Nov 13 @ Northwestern- L 17-21 (Iowa was a 10.5 point favorite)


Nov 13 vs Indiana- W 83-20

Nov 20 @ Michigan- TBD..


OVERALL: Big 10 teams are 1-4 in the game after they play Indiana, with 3 outright losses by favorites in Vegas. You could also say that Big Ten teams are 0-4 in this game against teams that aren't Purdue. This might not mean anything but let's hope it does and it continues.

Progress, Quantified

Progress, Quantified

Submitted by Swayze Howell Sheen on November 14th, 2010 at 11:43 AM


Now that we're seriously into the season, I thought it might be time to see how we're doing as compared to last year. Some people around here like tables (called "charts"), but methinks charts are hard to read. In fact, that's why last year I started plotting the Hennegraphs and other related graphical views of data B. Cook has put together.

The Graph

And hence, a graph of some key offensive statistics across the first ten games of the year, for both 2009 and 2010:

Click here for the full-sized graph, which is much easier to read.

The graph plots a number of statistics across each game of the season. On the left are all the number for 2009, and on the right the numbers for 2010. The bottom-most graph shows points scored in each game; the next graph up shows point differential (how many points we scored minus how many points the opposition scored); a similar set of graphs for how many yards our offense accumulated and yard differential (yards gained minus yards given up) are shown above those.

I also took some liberty of moving the 2009 Delaware St. game to before the Big Ten Season so that the comparable games are in the same part of the season.


These graphs I believe allow one to make a few observations about how much the team has progressed since last season. And so I do:

  • In 2009, we were outgained in yardage, often significantly, in virtually every game against serious competition (the Big Ten team and Notre Dame). I think it is reasonable to make the case, and the record indeed shows, that we were just a bad Big Ten team.
  • In 2010, there is only one game like this: the MSU game. We have thus made a jump, at least to the middle of the pack, and possible higher (which the next two weeks will play a significant role in determining).
  • In 2009, a number of Big Ten games were quite close despite the yardage differentials. Is this a testimony to the fact that the team is actually pretty tough mentally, never quitting in games even though they were getting pushed around? It is pretty amazing how close the team was to having a pretty good seasonin 2009.
  • In 2010, in many ways our record is worse than our yardage numbers. This has a lot to do with turnovers undoubtedly, and is a great sign for the 2011 season.
  • Your observations go here.

A lot of this is well known and obvious for those who follow the team (i.e. mgoblog fanatics like myself), but I thought the visualization was a nice way to see the differences between 2009 and 2010. Certainly, it can be shown to any idiot who claims we haven't made much progress. 

Enjoy! And please do suggest other items to include on said graphs; it is not hard to scrape the data from the espn box scores.

Congratulations to South Carolina

Congratulations to South Carolina

Submitted by Topher on November 14th, 2010 at 11:34 AM

Michigan had more tradition and success before any of us was born than South Carolina has had up to this second. So I think it's an interesting experiment in perspective to consider their SEC East division-clinching win at the Swamp last night. 

While disclaiming that I'm not a southerner and thus have no dog in the fight, my hat is off to the Gamecocks. What's going on this season is uniquely special to that community - it could be once in a lifetime for them. It feels good to see it; I'm very excited for USC's team and fan base. Whatever happens down the stretch, they'll remember that win last night as one of the great ones in program history.

SDSU 2011 - No cupcake

SDSU 2011 - No cupcake

Submitted by ish on November 14th, 2010 at 11:08 AM

The Aztecs visit the Big House to close the non-conference schedule next year, and Hoke's team is no pushover.  They've lost three games this year, but they're a 3 point loss to Mizzou, a 3 point loss to a pretty good BYU team and yesterday's loss to TCU where they jumped out to an early lead and gave TCU a scare late.  Next year they'll return their QB and top rusher though their top WRs graduate.  They have the 41st ranked defense but only lose 4 seniors.  It seems like this game will be a greater challenge than we probably anticipated when we scheduled the game. 

A couple thoughts on the offense

A couple thoughts on the offense

Submitted by Dan TrueBlue on November 14th, 2010 at 9:06 AM
First off, congratulations to RR!  Not only a bowl game but a winning season, and officially on the way up.  I'll gladly take a 2-game improvement every year.  With that said, here's a couple things I've been thinking over the last couple weeks that I haven't seen posted yet.
I'm not quite as high on the "never punt it" bandwagon as I used to be.  Yes, it's a good strategy when you have a really good offense.  And we do have a good offense... only it's not one that can reliably pick up a few yards on every play.  It's more the kind of offense that will get you 0-2 yards a couple times and then pop you for 20.  That means that despite getting lots of yards and first downs, you can't really depend on them to convert on any one particular down.  Also, with the defense playing a little tighter the last two weeks, it's become safer to punt than it was earlier in the year.
Predictability.  I never thought I would say this about our offense, but it has become a bit predictable.  I'd like to know how many times in the last two weeks we actually called for a pass on first down.  Other than the first play of each game, I don't remember a single one.  I'm not saying there weren't any, just that I don't remember them.  We somehow seem to have reverted to the old Lloyd Carr adage of "run, run, until you have to pass."  I'm going to put my rosy glasses on and hope this is so we can catch Wisconsin and OSU a little more off-guard in our play-calling.  It might have been just because of the rain, except that it happened against Illinois too.  Whatever it was, I just hope to see us mix it up a little more in the next couple weeks.
I was also going to comment that Denard has seemed a step or two slower in his last few games, and that maybe he's not quite as healthy as it's been made out.  But Humen beat me to it (a few comments down in this thread).
I'm very happy with the team and the coach right now.  But there's a couple things like this that worry me, and I want to see us play as well as possible against Wisconsin and OSU!  If we do, I like to think Michigan might just be able to sneak out with one more win.
Addendum: I added some data in one of the comments below, and thought I should copy it up here.
Yards Frequency
<0 10
0-2 31
3-5 12
6-9 10
10+ 17
I also checked the play-calling on first down.  We ran on first down 28 times, and passed on only 5.  That includes 9 first-down runs in a row in the first half, and 16 in a row in the second half, during which our only first-down pass came on the first play of the half.

Weather, people, the weather

Weather, people, the weather

Submitted by Communist Football on November 14th, 2010 at 1:32 AM

I'm seeing a lot of commentary on the Purdue game (defense was awesome! offense was horrible!) that doesn't seem to take into account the principal factor in the game: a driving rain on a grass field, which made the ball and grass very slick, and caused many unforced turnovers.

I'm glad we won: but let's not read more into this game than we should.

Michigan’s Offense in a Bowl Game

Michigan’s Offense in a Bowl Game

Submitted by SlaunchaMan on November 14th, 2010 at 12:26 AM
At this point we know that Michigan will be going to a bowl game, and at 7-5 to 9-3, it may not be a terrible bowl. Given that (this year) we aren’t in a conference championship game, chances are we’ll have a lot of time to prepare for the game. With that much time to gameplan, practice, and get healthy, here’s hoping that RR and McGee can come up with something that puts a nice, 60-points-in-regulation exclamation point on this season. Going out in style won’t shut all of the Rich Rodriguez haters up, but it may at least delay their fervor.