This Week's Obsession: Big Ten Check In

This Week's Obsession: Big Ten Check In Comment Count

Seth October 7th, 2015 at 12:36 PM


Glasgow's comin'

The Question: Which big ten players are over/underperforming your preseason expectations?


The Responses


Underperforming: While I didn't expect them to be world-beaters, I didn't see Michigan State's safeties being so inconsistent, like twice-benched Montae Nicholson, or inconsistent and injured, as is now the case with RJ Williamson. With Williamson now out for most of the season, that secondary is vulnerable, and there may only be so much their excellent defensive line can do to mask the weakness.

Overperforming: Ryan Glasgow, Chris Wormley, Maurice Hurst, Matt Godin, and Taco Charlton. I'd include Willie Henry, as well, but I was expecting big things out of him this year. Remember when Bryan Mone's injury looked to be a huge hit to the defensive line? They've coped pretty well. You could also throw Jeremy Clark and Channing Stribling in here, as they've very much exceeded expectations, too. The defense was supposed to be good with a couple of weak points; at the moment, it's great, and thus far they haven't shown a glaring weakness.

[Jump for not draftageddon (until Seth goes)]


Conference Wars 1.1

Conference Wars 1.1 Comment Count

Alex Cook September 11th, 2015 at 11:51 AM

What this is: I’ll be running down the nationwide results from the week that was, in particular the P5 vs. P5 games, with an emphasis on the race for the playoffs.

This isn't SEC land where "who's got the best conference?" is asked before and after every meal. The point is to run down the five Power 5 conferences, since with four playoff spots it’s become very important to track the rare data points in that otherwise mundane argument.

Everybody’s pretty much fine



College football’s opening weekend was conspicuously devoid of significant upsets: not much of CFB’s upper echelon was challenged significantly in their opening wins and the highest ranked team to lose its opener was #15 Arizona State in a de facto road game against a tough Texas A&M team. Consider the preseason top 10:

1. Ohio State was down at halftime in Blacksburg but between Braxton Miller’s highlight-reel plays and an injury to Hokie QB Michael Brewer, the Buckeyes beat VT by a comfortable 42-24 margin. OSU decided to roll with Cardale Jones as the apparent leader of the offense – JT Barrett is a tremendous insurance policy – and the Bucks shouldn’t be tested for a while. Needless to say, there’s plenty of weapons on both sides of the ball – the Ohio State team that won at Virginia Tech was still short Joey Bosa and Jalin Marshall, among others.
2. TCU beat Minnesota 23-17. More below.

3. Alabama beat Wisconsin 35-17. More below.

[After the JUMP, much more on the world of college football]


Jimmystats: Whence the Receivers, Conference View

Jimmystats: Whence the Receivers, Conference View Comment Count

Seth August 20th, 2015 at 12:15 PM

at the People's Climate March on Sept. 21 in New York City. (Adam Glanzman)

[Adam Glanzman]

Once again one of the things that became most apparent while doing Draftageddon was the receiver pool was again pretty crappy. I had a thought to try to use some of the targeting data to see if that was atypical, and found…well I found little but I figured you'd like to see it anyway. See if you can spot anything of interest in here or suggestions for further study.

That link goes back to when this same thing happened in 2012. Our post-draft consensus has usually been fairly accurate for most positions, but we were all over the place with the WRs. Jeremy Gallon was the 9th WR taken and led the conference in Bill Connelly's imperfect RYPR stat, with Abbrederis (3rd), Kenny Bell (7th), Allen Robinson (not drafted) and Roy Roundtree (12th) rounding out the top five. Last year's RYPR leaders were Lippett (our 9th receiver taken), Carroo (not drafted), Devin Smith (6th), Michael Thomas (not drafted) and Mike Dudek (not drafted). Things, e.g. injuries, happened. But we were correct that neither year was very good:


Click to big it make.

I chose yards per target to show this because it removes sacks, throwaways, and interceptions—you know, more quarterback-y things—to get a sense of overall conference receiver play. When you line up former Michigan WRs by YPT it passes a sanity check, e.g. the only listed WR in the NFL draft from the Big Ten was Denard. Last year—and yes a particularly awful year for quarterbacks was part of the story—was back to a low for receivers, and seven guys from that went in the NFL Draft (though the Dolphins are making Lippett a corner and I have no idea what the Texans saw in Mumphery).

The noise increases dramatically when you make these into team stats. Here's the Big Ten from 2005-2014


Quarterback is important, but as national trend data suggested in the first chart, the spread made a big difference, allowing teams with less talent to occupy safeties as well as Wisconsin's running game always has. Note for example that Lloyd Carr's not particularly well-thought-out offense peaked at 8.11 in 2006 with Breaston, Manningham, Arrington, and a healthy junior Chad Henne, a mark that was destroyed by four teams of the Roundtree/Hemingway/Gallon/Funchess era. (Yes the Threetsheridammit year was the worst of all).

Interestingly not all of these years corresponded to the amount of NFL drafted talent. Observe:

2005 2006 2007 2008
7.77 7.49 7.25 7.25
Santonio Holmes (1st) Ted Ginn (1st) James Hardy (2nd) Brian Robiskie (2nd)
Brandon Williams (3rd) Anthony Gonzalez (1st) Devin Thomas (2nd) Deon Butler (3rd)
Jason Avant (4th) Roy Hall (5th) Mario Manningham (3rd) Derrick Williams (3rd)
Michael Robinson (4th) Steve Breaston (5th) Paul Hubbard (6th) Brian Hartline (4th)
Jonathan Orr (6th)   Adrian Arrington (7th)  
Ethan Kilmer (7th)      
2009 2010 2011 2012
7.80 8.04 7.77 7.14
Arrelious Benn (2nd) Tandon Doss (4th) A.J. Jenkins (1st) Denard Robinson (5th)
Eric Decker (3rd)   DeVier Posey (3rd)  
    Keshawn Martin (4th)  
    Nick Toon (4th)  
    B.J. Cunningham (6th)  
    Marvin McNutt (6th)  
    Jeremy Ebert (7th)  
    Junior Hemingway (7th)  
2013 2014    
7.71 7.26    
Allen Robinson (2nd) Devin Smith (2nd)    
Cody Latimer (2nd) Devin Funchess (2nd)    
Jared Abbrederis (5th) Keith Mumphery (5th)    
Quincy Enunwa (6th) Kenny Bell (5th)    
Jeremy Gallon (7th) Stefon Diggs (5th)    
  Tony Lippett (5th)    
  Evan Spencer (6th)    

Obviously it's not just the NFL draft picks moving the needle, but you do see things above, like how the 2011 shot the Big Ten way up in YPT until it graduated, leaving a far less productive generation.

I'm still trying to see if any of these stats can predict individual leaps, which is the real meat.


So far I've taken the top five WRs in the conference by RYPR for each year since 2006 and looked at whether someone like Darboh (69.8 RYPR) or Chesson (22.7 RYPR) ever broke into that group. Some Big Ten players who made a leap from Darboh to pretty good were 2012 Roy Roundtree, 2006 Anthony Gonzalez (OSU), 2008 Jordan Norwood (PSU), and 2014 Tony Lippett (68.4 for MSU in 2013). There were a bunch of younger guys who made a larger freshman-to-sophomore jump, but those are the comps for a guy at Darboh's stage. That Lippett was in there is encouraging since he too emerged from a cratered passing game to the #1 guy.


Opponent Watch 2014: Week 10

Opponent Watch 2014: Week 10 Comment Count

BiSB November 7th, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Hello again. How are you? I missed last week due to some minor health stuff and the Dave Brandon stuff. But I have returned with my usual moderate vigor. Did you miss me? I missed you. Let's never be apart again. Except, like, at night. And most of the time during the day.

About Last Week:

A long, long time ago, long before I was my current quasi-respectable self, I used to enjoy my weekends with the occasional adult beverage. And one evening, I found myself in a state of imbibedness in which I had lost most of my reasoning capacity and fine motor function. To give you an idea how far gone I was, I attempted (apparently, according to witnesses, for several minutes) to light a cigar with a flashlight.

And in that state, I recall being deeply amazed by an acquaintance in our group. We’ll call him Dave (because his name was Dave). Dave was an adult who knew how to handle his alcohol, and we didn’t have medical or real safety concerns about him. He was just hammered beyond all reason. He was so drunk that despite the fact that I was in a mental place where I had forgotten how fire worked, I was concerned and amazed about HIS level of intoxication.

Indiana is Dave. Michigan is currently black-out drunk, but they can still recognize someone who is even drunker. Pull yourself together, Dave.

The Road Ahead:

Northwestern (3-5, 2-3 B1G)

Last game: Lost at Iowa 48-7

Recap: Saturday’s action should have served as a blunt rejoinder to the argument that a 6-6 season should save Brady Hoke’s job. The pile of derp Michigan would have to scale is so meager, it barely qualifies as a hill. It’s a “knoll” at best. Maybe, MAYBE it could be a mound if you squint hard enough. Michigan had a path to six wins that did not include a single win over a top-50 team. If the current rankings hold, Michigan will have had eight games against teams ranked 48th or worse in FEI, including SIX at home.

Nowhere is this the awfulness of Michigan’s schedule more apparent than four hours west in Evanston, Illinois. Northwestern, once touted as a potentially tricky opponent, has crumbled into a heap. Since beating Wisconsin (which, can we talk about THAT for a second?), they have lost increasingly lopsided games to Minnesota, Nebraska, and Iowa. Iowa jumped out to a 24-0 first quarter lead, which by my calculations should never ever ever ever ever ever happen ever ever. Iowa gets like two possessions per quarter. Giving up 24 points defies all everything.

This latest porcupine massage of a performance saw Trevor Siemian and backup Zack Oliver combine for 75 passing yards (at 3.1 yards per attempt) and -45 yards rushing. That means on 30 passing plays or QB runs, Northwestern put up 30 yards.

I suppose I should mention at this point that Northwestern is favored by most of the advanced statistics folks to beat Michigan.

This team is as frightening as: A team that has, through 8 games, had three offensive plays of 30 yards or more. And is somehow still a coin flip against Michigan. Fear Level = 5

Michigan should worry about: Michigan has not won a road game since defeating the University of Chicago 2-1 in 1913. They are not favored to win another road game until their matchup with the University of Mars, tentatively scheduled as a second half of a home-planet-and-home-planet in the year 2136.

Michigan can sleep soundly about: Trevor Siemian’s YPA numbers have fallen in every game since the start of conference play, from 7.0 to 6.3 to 5.4 to 4.4 to 3.8. Meanwhile, Northwestern’s points per game allowed has Increased in every game, from 6 to 14 to 24 to 38 to 48. So, according to the ironclad rule that all trend continue forever, Siemian will throw for 3.1 YPA and Northwestern will give up 58 points. Science.

When they play Michigan: Michigan will defy science and not score 58 points.

Next game: vs. Michigan (NW +2), 3:30 Saturday, ESPN2

[AFTER THE JUMP: Awwww, Y U NO slap hands?]


Hokepoints: The Best Big Ten QB?

Hokepoints: The Best Big Ten QB? Comment Count

Seth October 14th, 2014 at 4:26 PM


Nice job picking a QB, Ace. Here's your reward.

While re-watching the M-PSU punt-fest my brother made an interesting comment: "It's amazing what's happened to two of the best quarterbacks in the conference." If you ever again need to point to something to show that the offense means more than the quarterback, this Big Ten season has that in spades. What it doesn't have is an answer to the question: who IS the best QB in the conference?

I have no idea. Of guys I expected big things from, Braxton Miller (injury) and Tre Roberson (transfer) didn't make it out of the preseason, Gardner played his way behind a true sophomore who obviously couldn't play, Hackenberg's been a tackling dummy, and when I got down to Cook my Sparty slappy brother shook his head and declined the nomination.

Lower down, Sudfeld is now out for the season but he wasn't world-beating before. C.J. Brown, true to form, has been keeping pace just behind Gardner; a wrist injury against Indiana has ceded snaps to Caleb Rowe. Nebraska and Iowa aren't getting anything more than mediocre from their 2nd year guys. Trevor Siemian is not a throw deity of any sort. Etling hasn't been good enough for Boiler fans to stop mentioning that Michigan stole Bellomy(!). Wisconsin's QB situation has been awful. Illinois thought they had something when transfer Wes Lunt was picking apart bad defenses, but he broke his leg, which is apparently 4-6 weeks these days.

Everybody's played only a few real opponents, and everybody's been a product of his offense so stats are only a little useful. Last year ESPN's Dean Oliver rolled out his "QBR" metric which is based on Mathlete-like expected points on a 100-level scale; 50 is average. Mouseover the headers for clarification (explanation here):

Connor Cook-MSU 23.2 3.2 -1.6 0.6 25.3 175 81.5 81.3
Gary Nova-RU 25.3 6.3 -4.7 0.4 27.3 187 77.1 78.2
J.T. Barrett-OSU 22.3 8.0 -7.1 0.5 23.7 220 72.3 74.4
Tom Armstrong-NEB 13.2 7.9 -3.8 1.0 18.2 246 63.2 63.9
Jake Rudock-IOWA 25.7 2.6 -3.7 2.2 26.8 193 73.5 60.8
Wes Lunt-ILL 31.6 -2.0 -6.1 1.1 24.3 222 67.8 58.1
Devin Gardner-UM 14.7 5.0 -9.3 -0.1 10.3 210 52.9 56.4
Mitch Leidner-MN 6.8 4.4 -5.9 -0.1 5.2 134 50.7 56.3
Nate Sudfeld-IND 10.9 3.6 -4.4 2.0 12.1 221 54.4 56.2
C.J. Brown-MD 11.7 7.0 -8.0 0.7 11.4 224 52.5 50.0
Tanner McEvoy-WIS 2.1 5.6 -2.2 1.1 6.6 144 51.8 47.4
Trevor Siemian-NW 20.1 -0.3 -11.3 -0.1 8.4 276 46.1 46.2
C. Hackenberg-PSU 16.2 -1.0 -14.2 -0.6 0.3 299 38.1 37.9
Danny Etling-PUR 3.0 1.7 -5.5 -1.1 -1.8 201 35.2 30.7

I pulled the raw QBR in each game to plot it against Football Outsiders' S&P+ so you can see the individual performances in context. Gardner's games are labeled and Michigan's remaining opponents are shown.


click embigs

[after the jump: trends, discussion]


The $1M Odds On Favorites: Not This Road Dog

The $1M Odds On Favorites: Not This Road Dog Comment Count

jamiemac September 30th, 2014 at 12:05 PM

[Ed-Seth: Hey look everybody, something that's not that thing. Jamiemac of Just Cover Blog and the MGoPodcast was dragged out of quasi-retirement for a weekly thing on lines, tips, and expectations, and Draft Kings’ offered to to sponsor it. How it works: we identify a Draft Kings fantasy game (could be NFL, CFB, CBB, etc.) to commune in, followed by Jamie’s discussions on odds of relevance to you. This week we're playing for… /raises pinky One MILLION dollars.]


2014-09-30 Draft Kings

Yeah it's NFL this week, because DK has $1 million out there for the winner. That's enough money to actually have a say in Michigan's athletic department. Or you could blow it on funny hats.


  • $2,200,000 prize pool.
  • First place wins $1,000,000
  • $27 entry fee.
  • Top 15,500 are paid.​
  • Starts on Sunday, October, 5th at 1:00 EST.
  • Salary Cap Style Drafting. $50,000 to select 9 spots. 8 players and 1 defense.
  • Roster Format: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex, 1 Defense.
  • First time depositors at DraftKings receive a 100% bonus up to $600

It'll be a big pool, which is why I (still Seth)'ve got home run threats all over my roster. Here's Jamie:



If you've been following my ups and downs over the years, you know I love taking road dogs the week after they've been upset as double digit favorites. This theory has led us to covers—and outright wins—in each of the last two weeks. We had Iowa +7 over Pitt in Week 4, a week after the Hawks blew a game to rival Iowa State and last week we were on Missouri plus the points over South Carolina. A week after inexplicably losing at home to Indiana, the Tigers went into South Carolina and nipped the Gamecocks 21-20. Aint college football, fun?

Good news? We have three options this week. The bad news? One of them is Michigan, catching 3.5 points at Rutgers. Alright, that might qualify as terrible news. I realized midway through the Minnesota second half that UM would be in this spot and immediately decided to cancel this system for a week. There's just no way I'm betting on this team.

[Jump for the Pitt Trick, and every M opponent looking good]


Odds on Favorites: Chalk It Up to Big Tennnitude

Odds on Favorites: Chalk It Up to Big Tennnitude Comment Count

jamiemac September 18th, 2014 at 5:40 PM

[Ed-Seth: You all know Jamie Mac, he of Just Cover Blog and the MGoPodcast, and expert on sports betting. I was at his tailgate last week for the Miami (NTM) game, and between Draft Kings’ offer to to sponsor it and Jamie’s somewhat impaired state at the moment, I was able to convince this legend to come out of writing retirement.

So here’s how it’s gonna work (for now): we’ll have a weekly spot where we identify a Draft Kings fantasy game (could be NFL, CFB, CBB, etc.) to commune in, followed by Jamie’s discussions on odds of relevance to you.]



I like Jake Butt [and HSR’s groovy image]




Everyone has eliminated the Big Ten from playoff contention. I am not here to argue against that, although I am in the firm camp of letting the rest of this month and October play out before putting any serious thought into what the true pecking order should be. But keep hope alive Big Ten fans. You can still bet on some of your teams qualifying for the first ever college football final four. Here are the current odds on Big Ten teams making that postseason field.

Odds of Michigan in the CoFoPuff this year are running about even with the likelihood that the world will apologize. [Upchurch]

Ohio State: Yes, +400; No, -600

Michigan State: Yes, +500; No, -800

Wisconsin: Yes, +600; No, -1000

They actually have Michigan listed on this board, but there aren't any odds. Talk about a tease. What does it matter anyway. Michigan isn't making any Final Four this season. Well, at least not in football.....


Everyone who knows me, knows I love to track the lines of the Games Of The Year that are released way back in something called June by various Las Vegas and offshore sportsbooks. Let's take a minute to compare the lines for the remaining Big 10 games that were on that board. We've got three data points: opening lines from June, lines on the day the season started and lines as they stand today. It's time for a chart, with some quick thoughts afterwards.

[After the jump, updated lines and Jamie’s tips on who to draft around the league]


Opponent Watch 2014: Week 2

Opponent Watch 2014: Week 2 Comment Count

BiSB September 12th, 2014 at 10:11 AM

Big Ten

The sun had risen, though it was hard to tell through the lingering haze and dust. It all seemed so surreal; they had so recently stood beaming with pride, assuring the peasantry that the claiming of Rutgersland and the conquering of the Turtle People had ensured our long-term security. We had been told that our leaders had won the kind of Lebensraum that would see us through the coming ages. When was that? Had it been a day? A month? Surely it could not have been so long ago.

Some would argue whether the Big Ten had ever really existed at all; that even before The Weekend, the “conference” was merely an idea. A fleeting notion. A foolish homage to the time of 22-personnel and punting from the opponent’s 35 yard line. But whatever it had been, it was no longer. Reports were sketchy, but from all indications the destruction was similar throughout the realm. The borders had been shown to be merely transitory, and the defenses illusory. This was surely not the last incursion, but did it matter? What more damage could be done than had already been done?

Big Life. Big Stage. Big Ten.

About Last Week:

yeah, no

The Road Ahead:

Miami (NTM) (0-2, 0-0 MAC)

Red Hawk

Last week: Lost to Eastern Kentucky, 17-10

Recap: The good news for Miami was that they outgained Ohio Valley Conference team Eastern Kentucky 445-280. The bad news was that they turned the ball over six times, including three interceptions from Tommy Hendrix. This runs Miami’s losing streak to 18 games.

This team is as frightening as: A team that has a full compliment of 85 scholarships available, plays a MAC schedule, and hasn’t won a single football game in the last 18 tries. Fear Level = 1.5

Michigan should worry about: Andrew Hendrix is throwing for 338.5 yards per game…

Michigan can sleep soundly about: …at 6.7 yards per attempt. Against Marshall and EKU. Also, if you believe silly superstitions like “reviewing game film,” you should probably feel pretty good.

When they play Michigan: A crowd of “100,000” will get to witness a comfortable, boring win over a terrible opponent.

Next game: at Michigan (-34), 3:30 Saturday (BTN)

[AFTER THE JUMP: Combative dromedaries are the best dromedaries]


Unverified Voracity Has Bad News For Les Miles

Unverified Voracity Has Bad News For Les Miles Comment Count

Brian September 10th, 2013 at 10:03 AM

I agree with these men, whatever they happen to be saying. Would you like your Gallon touchdown in… Italian or something?

Les Miles is in a lot of trouble, unless he isn't in any. Sports Illustrated has published the first of five articles detailing NCAA malfeasance at Oklahoma State initiated during the Les Miles era and continuing today. This one is about players getting money from boosters—a lot of them:

In separate interviews seven other former Cowboys told SI they received cash payments; 29 other OSU players were named by teammates as having also taken money. Those payments, which stretched from 2001 to at least '11, were primarily delivered three ways: a de facto bonus system based on performances on the field, managed by an assistant coach; direct payments to players from boosters and coaches independent of performance; and no-show and sham jobs-- including work related to the renovation of Boone Pickens Stadium -- that involved at least one assistant coach and several boosters.

The moral outrage here is all gone…

One or two standouts bought a new car or expensive jewelry, team members say, but the vast majority of the players used the extra cash to purchase everyday items -- food, clothing, tickets to a movie. "There were some athletes who were almost starving," says Carter. "Wherever the money came from, they were like, Yeah, I'll take that."

…but flagrantly violating NCAA rules is, you know, not good. And if you're wondering why so many dudes are breaking omerta here; we may find out at the end of the series, which promises an article on:


One of the selling points of college football is that it changes lives, that young men have their character and fortunes enhanced by taking part in the sport, even if they remain on campus for only a short time. But in the past decade, player after player has been driven out of Stillwater, returning to worlds they had hoped to escape. Some have been incarcerated, others live on the streets, many have battled drug abuse, and a few have attempted suicide. COMING IN NEXT WEEK'S SI/ONLINE SEPT. 17

That does retain outrage.

I'm surprised, but not that surprised. Miles has left a trail of sketchy events in his wake that get overwhelmed by his nuttiness. I may have been 100% wrong about Hoke during the last coaching search, but at least I was right about Miles. Again, it's wonderful to look at Brady Hoke and know that he will neither choose a dumb punt nor turn purple on the sideline nor have a massive cadre of discontent former players who hate him so much to take him down.

Side note: I feel really bad for Brian Phillips. Squinky's revenge. I may feel less bad when Oklahoma State gets a warning squint from the NCAA.

You oughta have excellent medical insurance. Purdue football in two articles. One:

Purdue safety to play vs. Indiana St. with two broken hands

It's not unusual for a college football player to wrap up a broken hand and play with it, particularly for a big game. But Purdue safety Landon Feichter is preparing to play for his Boilermakers' home opener against Indiana State Saturday with two broken hands.


Purdue safety Landon Feichter breaks leg

Feichter was forced to leave Saturday's game in the first half with a leg injury and coach Darrell Hazell confirmed on Saturday night that Feichter had suffered a broken leg.

It's just a flesh wound.

The moral of the story is if you see Purdue football coming towards you, punch it in the nose and run away. Purdue football will have a broken nose, but won't be able to tell.

Jeremy Gallon presents. Okay, official Michigan tumblr, okay:


Gardner knows this is going on, and enjoys looking at the back of his own head.

So that explains it. Via Doug Karsch, Jeremy Gallon describes his game:

"That was a great performance. After the game, I asked him, 'How tall are you, and how tall do you play?' He said, 'I'm 5-8 and a half, but I play like I'm 5-9.'

Now is not then. Orson found this. It is Greg Robinson:


This man was in charge of our defense. He is a weirdo who sets everything on fire. How does that guy get hired by anyone to do anything more complicated than clean gutters? 


Saying a quarterback reminds you of Erik Ainge of Tennessee can be good and bad. It's good, because he's mobile, physically gifted, and often fearless. It's bad because sometimes that means Evil Erik Ainge, the one who threw interceptions when the team could least afford it. Gardner sort of reminds me of Ainge. Tommy Rees, however, might BE Erik Ainge, using a warm body as a spiritual proxy to replay his career in an alternate historical line.

Accuracy issues largely put aside, Gardner's main issue is Reesin' it too often.

Yes. Throw it to Dileo. From Michigan Monday:

Drew Dileo had three catches for 18 yards out of the slot, including the final touchdown of the game on a nice option route that left a defender reminiscing about where Dileo used to be and no longer was.

Get this man the ball.

LAZERS. Stewart Mandel:

That No. 17 Michigan beat the comparably ranked No. 14 Irish is not especially surprising. That it rolled up 41 points on a very talented Notre Dame defense, however, is eye-opening. In particular, quarterback Devin Gardner put all questions to rest about what Michigan's offense will look like post-Denard Robinson. It looks really darn explosive, primarily because Gardner -- who wore No. 98 this week in honor of 1940 Heisman winner Tom Harmon -- has asserted himself as a laser-armed passer.

…Gardner's skills were never more evident than on his last touchdown pass, which came on second-and-goal from the four-yard line with 4:18 remaining. With Notre Dame pass rushers Stephon Tuitt and Prince Shembo coming at him full bore from opposite sides, Gardner set his feet and threw a perfectly placed dart to receiver Drew Dileo in the end zone.

Probably not a rivalry. This is on the official Notre Dame football blog:

That Notre Dame was struggling against Michigan made me feel that void much more acutely than I would had we been winning, or even struggling against another opponent.

But this was Michigan.

I was shaking in the aftermath of the two fourth-quarter pass interference calls, completely enraged. “I can’t remember the last time I was this pissed,” I texted my dad, who replied, “2011.”

Oh, yeah. 2011.

Etc.: Michigan moves into BCS bowl projections. MVictors has everything you need to know about the Harmon stuff. USF dude impressed with M-ND. Gardner and Gallon postgame. NDMSPaint does Eminem. Northwestern QBs were rather good against Syracuse. Stuffing the Passer. Go. Partake.


2012 Draft-o-Snark Performance Review, with Schrute

2012 Draft-o-Snark Performance Review, with Schrute Comment Count

Seth January 8th, 2013 at 9:01 AM


PREVIOUSLY in this vehicle where we draft Big Ten players and make fun of each other:

Rounds 1-3: We are summoned by Brian and duly take all the quarterbacks before he can draft one.

Rounds 4-7: Suddenly Heiko goes full Millen with the receivers

Rounds 8-12: Seth nabs Kovacs, Brian gets revenge.

Rounds 13-17: We all start reaching for Wolverines HARD.

Rounds 18-22: Doctor Vorax is revealed.

The teams are defended, readers vote, pre-season All Big Ten Team is chosen, receivers are lamented, Googledoc spreadsheet of handiness is created, offense/defense at the midpoint.

Your bloggers are rejoined at the conclusion of the 2012-'13 season in the conference room of a fictional paper company in Scranton, Pa., the "Electric City." A man in a brown suit enters, smelling of beets…


Good morning, [makes quote fingers] M-Go [/fingers] Editorial Team,

It's a new year, which means it's time for your annual performance reviews. Since your office manager is not here at this moment, I Dwight Schrute, have taken it upon myself to uphold and undertake this most sacred of office rites.

Who am I? Well I'm the assistant manager of MGoBlog. I've been Brian's #2 man since 2005. We’re like one of those classic famous teams. He’s like a cross between Mozart and Greg Mattison. And I’m like…um…Mattison's friend. No. I’m like Butch Cassidy and gregdavisBrian is like Wolfgang Amadeus Greg Mattison Beilein Iron Man Schembechler. You try and hurt Brian? You’re gonna get a bullet in your head courtesy of Butch Cassidy.

Unfortunately you bloggers were too incompetent to keep any records, thus I was sadly left with only one comparative metric by which to base any raises or bonuses. You see it seems earlier this year you all picked fantasy teams of Big Ten players as a way of getting out of writing a real pre-season all-conference article. You called it the "Draft-o-Snark," and thought it was pretty funny. Well who's. laughing. now?

Oohh didn't take it seriously? Greg Davis was coaching some of your players? A med student ran off with all the other quarterbacks before you thought take one? Boo. Frickin. Hoo. FACT: if a bear is attacking you and the only way you can defeat it is by driving 80 yards for a touchdown, the bear doesn't care if your only QB was turned into a tailback by an ulnar nerve compression. Because he's a bear.


Pos The Aceconsin Cheesebenders:
Brian Cook's Flyin' Zooks:
Dr Heiko and the mad fitzmillens:
Seth's Smurfy Spread n smurfs: SethG
QB J. Vandenberg, IA N Scheelhaase, ILL B. Miller, OSU D. Robinson*, M
RB Montee Ball, WIS† LeVeon Bell, MSU† T. Martinez*, NEB R. Burkhead, NEB
Swing James White, WIS Fitz Toussaint, M James Morris*, IA J. Gallon, M†
WR Devin Smith, OSU J Abbrederis, WIS Kyle Prater, NW Kenny Bell, NEB†
Kain Colter, NW Martin-Manley, IA D. Gardner*, M R. Roundtree, M
Keenan Davis, IA M. Gray, MIN D. Arnett, MSU Kofi Hughes, IND
TE Stoneburner, OSU C. Fiedorowicz, IA Dion Sims, MSU J. Pedersen, WIS
OT R. Wagner, WIS Taylor Lewan, M Fou Fonoti, MSU M. Schofield, M
Havenstein, WIS J. Mewhort, OSU Ben Cotton*, NEB J. Sirles, NEB
C T. Frederick, WIS Stankiewich, PSU B. Vitabile, NW James Ferentz, IA
OG S. Long, NEB Ryan Groy, WIS Patrick Ward, NW Graham Pocic, ILL
Brian Mulroe, NW C. McDonald, MSU P. Omameh, M Ricky Barnum, M
DT Ondre Pipkins, M Beau Allen, WIS Jordan Hill, PSU J. Hankins, OSU
Will Campbell, M A. Spence, ILL Steinkuhler, NEB K. Short, PUR
DE C. Meredith, NEB R. Hageman, MIN Craig Roh, M Marcus Rush, MSU
W. Gholston, MSU John Simon, OSU M. Buchanan, ILL L.Thomas*, MSU
LB M. Mauti, PSU D. Morgan, M M. Bullough, MSU W. Compton, NEB
Mike Taylor, WIS D. Allen, MSU K. Demens, M G. Hodges, PSU†
C. Borland, WIS Jake Ryan, M R. Shazier, OSU† J. Brown, ILL
S Supo Sanni, ILL D. Stafford, NEB C.J. Barnett, OSU Jordan Kovacs, M
I. Campbell, NW C. Bryant, OSU Isaiah Lewis, MSU T. Gordon, M
CB J. Adams, MSU B. Roby, OSU J.T. Floyd, M J. Johnson, PUR
R. Allen, PUR T. Hawthorne, ILL D. Dennard, MSU Micah Hyde, IA
C. Avery, M B. Countess, M C. Norman*, MSU Stoudermire, MIN
K Dan Conroy, MSU Mitch Ewald, IND Brett Maher, NEB Drew Basil, OSU
P C. Webster, PUR A. Maxwell*, MSU D. O'Brien*, WIS B. Buchanan, OSU

* Player out of position (e.g. half of Heiko's team). Bolded dudes = consensus All Big Ten picks from us. † = All-B1G tie.


Question number…the first. Pick a player nobody drafted whom you should have. Any Wolverines? [we split these up so we don't all shout "ROBINSON…NOT THAT ROBINSON!"]

HeikoG: You mean Allen Robinson of Penn State who led the conference in like every receiving category whom nobody thought to take despite like 13 receivers being drafted?

Never heard of him.

Briang: I would have made up a rule to prevent Heiko from taking Taylor Martinez with his second pick. And... um. Oh God. I would take Matt McGloin instead of Scheelaase. BIG TENNN. Penn State's Kyle Carter was instantly the best TE in the league, though I blame Greg Davis for assassinating Iowa's passing game for part of that, and Venric Mark was both an All-American punt returner and an incredibly dangerous plain ol' running back.

AceG: We also managed to overlook an impact defensive lineman from an unlikely source—Minnesota's D.L. Wilhite, who tallied 8.5 sacks this year, just 0.5 off the conference lead. Quinton Washington is the clear candidate for overlooked Wolverine.

SethG: We probably dipped too far into the Michigan well to be honest, though Roundtree is 100% worth it if the only catch he made all year was the Northwestern one.

I made Heiko cover Allen Robinson so he could stew over all the useless receivers he drafted early. Also so I could cover Nebraska's senior DE Eric Martin, whom his teammates call "Caveman" because he burrows under offensive like he does bloggers' metaphorical radars. The senior had 56 tackles, 16 for loss, and 8.5 sacks and an additional 14 hurries, not to mention batting down a bunch of passes (amazing since he's only 6'2) and once hitting Russell Bellomy so hard it crushed my soul. I wish to Denard I'd decided to draft him instead of...

Now you jump, when I say.