Dear Diary for Better or Worse

Dear Diary for Better or Worse Comment Count

Seth December 6th, 2013 at 11:07 AM

One Play. I got really into this piece by Brhino where he went over Michigan football seasons going back to the "Year of Infinite Pain" (i.e. 2005) to point out games where one play may have meant the difference. Interesting way to reassess how we view the seasons. For example this year's team was a couple things going right away from 11-1 and a BCS bid (MSU would have still have won the Bo Division, with BCS eligibility riding on that), and a couple of things going wrong away from 4-8. I chart:

range

Bicking makes it cligger.

Quibble: I may be stretching "one play" too far, but Football Armageddon had that late hit out of bounds by Crable on 3rd and 15. OSU scored on that drive to go up 10. Who knows if Michigan can drive the ball the same as they did on the next possession. NFL win probability calculator says OSU was 79% to win if Crable doesn't make that hit, and 91% after the call. Fan brain says Michigan would have drove for the victory, beaten essentially the same Florida team they played the following year, and cured cancer.

Trend Lines. If you're into seeing how the rest of the Big Ten progressed on offense as this season did, dnak followed up last week's Michigan chart with some for the rest of the field. MSU is a young offense slowly growing up, Michigan's is one coached by insane people.

michiganmsu

Hypothesis: UConn was just a bad game and the coaches over-responded to it, putting themselves behind the 8-ball the rest of the season. I submit as a different model Penn State, which had more than a few personnel shortages but big talent in places and stuck with their scheme all year, seeing noticeable progression but no spikes until the last game.

Goals! The Corsi Charts have been shelved for the moment so MGoBlueline can do those goal analysis things I like much better anyway:

UMOSU5-1_zpse52c772b

Compher wins the faceoff, which is huge. Even more important, however, is that DeBlois is able to tie his man up. This allows a clean tap across from Compher to Guptill…

The OSU weekend's tallies at the link.

Charity. Tomorrow is Adopt-a-Shelter and both sites still could use some volunteers. K.o.k.Law had a tailgate at the house next door to MGoPatio, the cause being to fix up the house of an 11-year-old with a terrible illness.

Weeklies. Turnover Analysis talked about the Countess interception, which had a negative result of half a point. I still would have taken it; I think Furman stood there amazed for a second while OSU's receivers recovered, and if he hadn't he was in the exact right spot to make a key block. Turnover margin has been steadily climbing to the good since UConn, though the offense going into a shell to make that happen might have negated the good that's done. Inside the Box Score. Best and Worst talks about Ben Gedeon. LSA's usual stuff.

Etc. All-B1G team. Wallpaper with hoops schedule.

[Jump to learn an important lesson about swearing.]

Comments

Dear Diary is a Cinderella Story

Dear Diary is a Cinderella Story Comment Count

Seth October 4th, 2013 at 10:56 AM

wallpaper

My quick submission in the thread asking for backgrounds. jonvalk stepped up.

I think I made this same chart in 2008 #1: Gulo Gulo Luscus is joining Off-Tackle Empire and other folk in looking back at recruiting and OL development time to explain why the problems. His method is to look at average age of the starters versus the performance of the unit as measured by YPA/RPI. Cool chart:

scatterplot

If you can't find Michigan it's because we're buried under the Gophers. TSS's response should be part of the read.

Ron Utah has the beginnings of his own UFR database. With Brian's permission I'll make mine available to anyone who asks for it—don't want to host it online but I'm willing to share copies if you say what you're going to do with it. Only concern there is those numbers are very much in context and the n's are quite small so it's easy to abuse. Anyway, Ron's thing tracked performance of different formations in the UConn game. Tiny sample sizes are going to hide most good info but we can whittle that down personnel instead of formation, since these two:

I-form TwinsShotgun 2 Back twins

…have more in common with each other than either has with this:

Shotgun 4-wide

. By personnel:

Type Runs Rush YPA Passes Pass YPA Total YPA Pass%
Empty TE (1TE, 4WR) 0 - 1 6.0 6.0 100.0%
4-Wide 0 - 5 6.8 6.8 100.0%
3-Wide 12 8.3 16 4.7 6.2 57.1%
Two TE 11 4.5 8 0.1 2.7 42.1%
Two Backs 5 2.2 2 1.0 1.9 28.6%
Big (2RB, 2TE) 4 -1.3 1 12.0 1.4 20.0%
Goal Line (2RB, 3TE*) 3 6.7 0 - 6.7 0.0%
Total 35 5.0 33 3.9 4.5 48.5%

* Michigan brings in an OT (Magnuson) instead of a third tight end

Still too small a sample size . I'll check in the next bye week and see what these look like when we're not just zooming in on Gardner's terrible awful no good very bad day. The ratios look normal but given the relative paucity of plays with a fullback (and many of those probably in short situations) it's hard to judge those at all.

Goal line—6.7 YPA—we must be manballius!—looks great because of two Gardner boot-to-runs (it would be epically higher if he'd seen Funchess wide open downfield on one of them), but the other play from that formation was a near-crippling fumble-defensive TD.

On the other hand: 12 rushes for 8.3 YPA from three-wide is not a red herring: that is Gardner's rushing ability and the fact that Michigan is far better at getting linebackers out of the box by making them split out with a slot receiver than having a tight end forcibly remove him. Note when it counted on that late 4th and 2 they went with a 3-wide formation and let Gardner pick his spot.

Our Demographic. I made this to explain our numbers versus other media outlets to a potential advertiser:

mgodemographic

She's probably on the phone with WTKA now.

[Jump.]

Comments

Guess the Score, Win Stuff: Jayhawks, Red Legs, and Bushwhackers

Guess the Score, Win Stuff: Jayhawks, Red Legs, and Bushwhackers Comment Count

Seth March 27th, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Basketballguessthescore

There was a bit of trivia going around basketball circles last week that teams named after birds all won their first round games. That's true, but including Kansas makes that a bit of a factoid: a Jayhawk ain't no kind a' bird!

The veracity of this internet knowledge is unverified, but the term comes from just before the Civil War and one of many incredibly stupid compromises they tried to come up with over the great uncompromisable thing. When they couldn't decide whether Kansas would be entered as a free state or a slave state, Congress decided to leave that answer up to whoever could get more settlers in there (caveat: settlers must be alive enough to vote). In the most violent fan poll until the invention of the internet, people from both sides, but mostly northern anti-slavery folk (cause there was more of us) poured into Kansas.

The pro-slavery people, rather than graciously accept defeat, formed up bandit brigades along the Missouri border, hence the term "Border Ruffians," and tried to harass, rob, and murder their way to an electoral victory. In response, the new homesteaders formed up their own guerrilla groups. Possibly naming themselves after popular Revolutionary John Jay, these makeshift counter-terrorism bands became known as Jay-hawkers. They were celebrated across the freedom conference footprint, but quickly became just bandits for the other team instead of protectors.

Just as "Wolverines" became popularly associated with the hardy, stubborn, fierce Michigander regiments who took that as their mascot in the Civil War, the Kansas Union regulars popularized "Jayhawks" but real jayhawkers continued guerrilla attacks on rebel camps and Confederate homesteaders. The opposite were the "Bushwhackers," former border ruffians who robbed, burned and murdered under the rebel cause. And if you were an indiscriminate band of lawlessness in Kansas, you were a "Red Leg."

So what I'm saying is if there is some sort of ornithological protection spell over the 2013 NCAA Tournament, Kansas isn't under it.

How it works:

  1. I put up a winnable prize that consists of a desirable good.
  2. You guess the final scores of the designated game, and put it in the comments, preferably in the format of [M's Score]-[Opponent's Score]. First person to post a particular score has it.
  3. If you guess either game correctly, we contact you. If not, go to (5)
  4. The desirable good arrives at the address you give us.
  5. Non-winners can acquire the same desirable good by trading currency for it.
  6. Seriously, you don't have to actually guess a basketball score to get this shirt. You can buy it.

About Last Time:

How is it there's no footage on the internet of a Wolverine devouring a rabbit? Get on this David Attenborough. The Glove guessed 74-55, which is as close as anyone got to the 71-56 final score of the SDSU (NTSDSU nor TSDSU) game.

This Week's Game:

#4 seed Michigan versus #1 seed Kansas for a trip to the Elite 8.

And the Prize:

2521_218

Stick around. We may learn something.

Fine print: One entry per user. First user to choose a set of scores wins, determined by the timestamp of your entry (make it easy on me and write your score in digits with a hyphen between them. Deadline for entries is sometime within 24 hours before the start of the game—whenever I can get online in that time and lock the thread. MGoEmployees and Moderators exempt from winning because you can change scores. We did not invent the algorithm. The algorithm consistently finds Jesus. The algorithm is banned in China. The algorithm is from Jersey. The algorithm is not just a shooter. The algorithm always fouls Cody Zeller. The algorithm can’t explain why Big Ten officials think it’s their duty to help Bo Ryan. The algorithm spent 10 years as the Indiana of basketball, if that makes sense. This is not the algorithm. This is close.

Comments

Dear Diary Rolls Old School

Dear Diary Rolls Old School Comment Count

Seth March 8th, 2013 at 9:52 AM

burkeskate 426419_2865209485213_1912395564_n

Fruits of the photoshop thread

The weekend respite from blasé hockey brought back a sorely missed tradition: goal-by-goal analysis. MGoBlueline picked up where Center Ice left off, and collects the Diarist of the Week; 200 points to Gryffindor. A sampling:

3213MichiganvsFerrisStateHighlights1-3_zpsb3b7f230

Copp makes a truly spectacular pass through Guptill that ends up right on the tape of Lynch's stick. Lynch is now all alone in the high slot facing a goaltender who is going to have to move side-to-side to stop a shot.

3213MichiganvsFerrisStateHighlights1-4_zpsb3131ac0

Lynch doesn't hesitate, roofing a shot over the goaltender's glove that makes his Gatorade bottle jump.

By now, yes, everybody knows that Ferris got a free breakaway when they put a 7th man on the ice and nobody noticed. I remind you that the Penguins once spent over 90 important seconds of an NHL Finals elimination game with too many men on the ice and didn't get flagged. I can only surmise that this is legal to do against teams I root for.

LSAClassof2000 has continued to put together short stats-based diaries with cats at the bottom. This week he went into Big Ten scoring offense since 2000. Since so many different coaches and systems have come through during this time, I'm not sure what aggregating by school really does—scoring offense is probably the most 'duh' statistic available to fans, and having Nebraska in a percent of total calculation is just fruitless. Break it up by seasons and tempo-free stats and we're talking—I'd like to know how good, say, 2010 was compared to 2012 Ohio State.

The Blockhams this week tried a little genetic experiment, which as an amateur evolutionary biologist I should warn you that you'd better isolate a lot of genes or else you're as likely to get a too-small, powerless, nerve-pinch-susceptible swimmer with the power to make Tennessee fans deranged by mere mention of his name.

Etc. A sense of entitlement fails you at Penn State and undersells beating MSU, however I caution not to underrate the benefits of that feeling like you can just trust your team will win because that is a low simmering awesome feeling that can make entire weeks happy, and expecting too little will just make you numb. THE LAST FINAL REMAINING SCHEDULES FINAL FINAL by GOLBOGM. Wallpaper by jonvalk.

Best of the Board

IT’S ALMOST LIKE THE SEC CAN ONLY WIN WHEN THEY BLATANTLY CHEAT

A decade ago ESPN realized the power of fan polls to drive passions and traffic when its Page 2 ran a sports-wide uniform contest. One by one the greats—Red Wings red, Tigers white, and finally the maize and blue went down to the ugliest Broncos uniform in history. How? Some fans found a way to game the system. Now a guy whose claim to fame is he’s the Heisman winner’s favorite receiver is doing the same through the college ranks, and again Michigan ends up the finalist they’re trying to screw. Video of how they do it? Actually yeah.

Credit mgouser dmoo4u for uncovering the plot in time. It seems if you create a new group that group gets to vote again. Much of this was going on in the wee hours of last night. I suspect they’ve been doing this all the way up the ranks.

FOOTBAWWWWWWWWW?

Spring football at least but we are starving fans and we’ll take that. Before there was the Brian article on things to look for this spring, there was the thread of things to look for this spring. Eyes are on, in order, the offensive line, the receivers after Gallon, and the young defensive ends. Ojemudia gif appears:

ojemudiasmile

While on the subject of the foosballs YoBoMoLloRoHo (name complaint: I get that Kipke, Crisler and Bump don’t have easily accessible o’s but what’s your excuse for leaving out Oosterbaan?) takes us down to Georgia to see how they’re developing football talent. I appreciate the effort but having followed high school football in the State of Michigan for some time, I think you’re overrating the difference. I felt that certain schools in the past didn’t do what they could to get their players into BCS programs, but year-long S&C training happens here and on better equipment. Take a tour of Farmington Hills Harrison’s program sometime. The biggest difference between the north and the south in the programs themselves is coach longevity, and I don’t see how that’s a bonus. The biggest difference between Midwest HS football and the South is they have more talent there.

STAUSKAS VS LEVERT:

8534878287_7fd3a66463_o

Bryan Fuller | MGoBlog

Following the Penn State disaster the board starting asking whether a Stauskas who isn’t shooting 80% from behind the arc (and wasn’t defending so well) really ought to be starting over the LeVert sensation. Then we immediately got a chance to put this theory to the test when Stauskas was knocked out against MSU. Minutes in the last five games:

Game Stauskas LeVert
PSU 34 9
Illinois 26 16
@PSU 29 12
MSU 4 30
@Purdue 31 10

LeVert played well, Michigan beat its rival at home, and successful message recipient Stauskas’s defense was much better against Purdue. He drew Byrd and I don’t think that guy made a field goal until finally getting in on the parade of preposterous treys late. Competition is good. If LeVert establishes himself as a guy worth 15 minutes a game and the sum effect is to get Stauskas to play better I take. We’ll be watching what they do against Oladipo and Indiana.

The other question being mulled is whether B1G teams other than Michigan might struggle in the NCAAs when they don’t have Valentine et al. and the conference’s notoriously poop-flavored whistles protecting them. The theory goes that when Aaron Craft can’t mug people and MSU can’t send man-beasts with active elbows into the paint and Wisconsin can’t Wisconsin that those teams will lose a big part of their winning strategies. Answer 1: The rest of the NCAA isn’t the NBA. Answer 2: I don’t give a damn, because B1G officiating is a huge disadvantage for a team like Michigan, which hardly ever fouls and which often has a quicker undersized guy taking non-called charges. Michigan State has been going to Final Fours for over a decade with teams just like the one they have this year. Getting away from awful Big Ten refs won’t matter nearly as much as getting away from ridiculous Big Ten home court advantages.

BASKETBALL RECRUITING: LADIES EDITION

This would be a diary if it wasn’t for a demand by the OP that it remain on the board. Raoul put together an epic review of current recruiting targets for women’s basketball in the 2014, 2015, and yes even 2016. As in current high school freshmen. I’ve mentioned before that it’s quite common for the non-main sports to fill their classes years in advance (they have full and partial scholarships to give out so the athletes race to grab the few full rides available), so there’s a lot of pressure on the kids to commit before they can, you know, drive cars.

META: HELLO NEW MODS, NOT LIKE THE OLD MODS

Profitgoblue is stepping down from his longtime moderator chair in order to pursue his lifelong dream of getting a newborn to sleep through the night. Stepping into his place is LSAClassof2000. Better have some good, minable data in your posts from now on.

YOU MIGHT BE A THING IF YOU GET TAKEN IN BY THAT THING’S YOU MIGHT BE… LISTS

Buzzfeed is to Reddit as Flounder is to a group of fraternity brothers playing cards. That said, when Michigan fandom comes in for the “You might be a _____ if…” treatment anywhere, we bite. Here’s all the things from the Buzzfeed list you need to care about:

  • Chipatis. Pizza House takes all the credit but Pizza Bob invented the thing, which makes sense when you consider the whole trick is to make the salad on a paper plate first and then stuff it into a pita, and Bob’s is the place that 1) serves everything on paper plates, and 2) uses pita dough for its pizzas because it’s cheaper.
  • Not a Blimpy virgin. If you haven’t heard, it’s not going to be there much longer.
  • “Constant Buzz” and Casa Dominicks.

I guess you need to at least have taken the orientation tour to know not to step on the M on the Diag, that the UGLI exists, and the stacks are for scandalous trysts (I only ever went there to do research and found other people doing research). The other 29 things are generic, stupid, or things you would discover if you’re from Los Angeles and Googled “Things to do in Ann Arbor.” DON’T BE TAKEN IN BY STUPID BUZZFEED LISTS.

The comments at least mentioned the first day of spring, when the North Face jackets disappear and everyone is outside in shorts throwing frisbees because it’s blessedly 49 degrees. And while the Fishbowl is known to all, the c. 2001 Fishbowl RIsing movement and the Brabbs for Heisman campaign that originated there shall ne’er be forgot.

ETC. Softball has Wagner back. Also back: mercies. Possibly leaked Illinois alternate helmet that doesn’t seem to jive with the school’s attempts to get away from 1950s-‘how, white man’ Native American imagery [insert my usual spiel about how this is peanuts when there’s pro teams called Redskins and Indians].

Your Moment of Zen:

Vote Denard!

Comments

Unverified Voracity Would Settle Everything at Trafalgar

Unverified Voracity Would Settle Everything at Trafalgar Comment Count

Seth February 21st, 2013 at 4:23 PM

8347157127_b0b7767256_o

Legolas is cooler than Treebeard. Brian's taking a short vacation and left me to write UV today. That's too bad because he's missing the party after Spath heard from Norfleet's mentor/7-on-7 coach ($) that the MGoFavorite little bugger's defensive foray was a temporary thing:

"He's supposedly going back to offense," Blackwell said. "They will use him in the slot and in the return game, and some as a running back. Coach [Greg] Mattison is saying he can still use him on defense and is making an argument to keep him there, but Dennis' passion is for the offense. That's where he wants to play, and from talking to Dennis it appears that's where he's going to play.

Putting him with the other elves made some sense when the cornerback two-deep was the starters, and what carries he could siphon last year from Toussaint, Rawls and Hayes would now have to be defended from Drake Johnson and three highly rated incoming freshman. The rooting for Norfleet to take over Smith's role comes from simple fan interest: it's way more fun to hold your breath and watch this guy scamper around like a maniac than to plunge a tree into the enemy lines and watch him fall forward for the same result.

Contempt for compliance, not photos of Donna Shalala. The Miami (of course THAT Miami) case was to be the Austerlitz of the new and improved NCAA enforcement empire; instead it's going to be a summer of Waterloo metaphors and Shalala vs. Emmert lead images. SBNation's Robert Wheel's afore-linked take calls for Emmert's resignation, while admitting that won't do anything to fix the underlying problem:

If the NCAA were enforcing rules that didn't require a lot of investigation, then this lack of power would not be a problem. But as long as college sports remain a big time moneymaker with rich guys who want to circumvent the rulebook to see their teams win, said rich guys will find ways to try to outfox the rules. Unless we want to give the NCAA subpoena power (we really don't) then this will always be a losing battle. The NCAA will never have the ability or the resources to catch up to people breaking its rules.

In a real legal system the Canes could discredit the prosecution's only witness and get the case thrown out. This isn't a real legal system: schools don't get in trouble for breaking NCAA rules, they get in trouble by publicly reminding everybody that the NCAA can't really enforce them. USC tried this and got slapped down despite the evidence in hand being too weak for any court. Meanwhile investigators with bees up their butts couldn't prove what every 4-year-old knows in re: Ohio State gives players cars, or really much of anything in the original Tatgate story until the NFL forced Pryor to talk. For stonewalling so politely the extent of the Buckeyes' punishment was to end a 12-0 season with Meyer on their sidelines and Tressel on their shoulders. The dumbest thing Shalala could do is comply.* The second-dumbest thing she could do is say na-na-na-boo-boo to an organization that only slightly cares if it turned up doo doo.

The obvious answer is pay the players (FoxSports in re: Clowney and the risk of injury) and end the shadow ring where guys like Shapiro are the only people who can perform the otherwise perfectly legal function of paying adult U.S. citizens for the services they provide.

* There are a select few schools like Michigan who don't have a choice because our whole thing is being the good guys, and because we're among those who would benefit the most if tradition, competitiveness and the quality of education were the only factors in recruiting and retaining college football talent. Kind of like how Great Britain would prefer to settle everything with a sea battle.

Basketball on verge of spread revolution. Weinreb dug up a budding Mike Leach from a D-II school in West Virginia to highlight a story about how pacing in basketball has slowed way down while the smart guys beating up the lower ranks are going the other way. That coach's motto is "Don't do it unless you can rationalize why you're doing it." He's too old to end up in Ann Arbor, but apparently the Yost alleles for engineering-minded coaches are still going strong in Appalachia. Beilein small ball isn't speed ball, but this…

When Crutchfield recruits, he looks for kids who react quickly — "You can make up for a lot of quickness and speed if you react mentally," he says — and play with high intensity: If they get beat on defense and they don't D up even harder the next time down the floor, he starts to wonder if they might not fit into his system.

… is similar to Beilein. HT and board discussion itauditbill. While we're on Grantland's court Shane Ryan has updated his chart of the Big Ten's "Big Six" versus each other on the road:

grant_h_ryan_chart_shane_576

That's part of a discussion on how road game success can be a strong predictor of postseason performance. I've used it for predicting NBA and NHL playoff results, and March Madness would be right there with them if it wasn't such a crapshoot in general. HT again from the board: SoFlaWolverine.

Assistant Coaches like money too. There's a rumor that Oklahoma may be going after Jerry Montgomery (Meinke via Footballscoop). Cam Cameron you may have heard just joined Les Miles's staff, further evidence to my theory that LSU is the In a Mirror, Darkly evil twin of Michigan from another dimension.

lesmilesinamirrordarkly

Dark universe Les Miles is in his 5th season as head coach at Michigan, where he's been slowly rebuilding the school's reputation shredded by win-at-all-costs Evil Lloyd Carr

Cameron will be making $3.4 million over 3 years, and this has made internet people start buzzing about top assistants commanding the kind of salary you give the school president. /mind blown. /thinks about the difference between GERG and Greg. /mind unblown.

It's right because the internet said so. The NCAA cover vote on Facebook has moved to a semifinals where the S-E-C!!! vote has been split (to Eddie Lacy's doom and random A&M guy's benefit) and Denard now leads. Every time this appears on the board cynical-me goes to erase it because it's playing to somebody's marketing ploy, and enchanted-me says "But Denard on the cover would be a wonderful thing!" I wish Denard would be on the cover because he is the living symbol of what is singularly spectacular about NCAA football; I also wish they could have come to that conclusion without somebody "developing an engaging social media campaign" that might only settle on Robinson because a cat playing guitar hero wasn't allowed in the race. #AIRBHG2014

Etc. People of the East Coast, check your DVR schedule or wind up recording a Virginia-BC game. UMHoops takes on Michigan's defense, scores a bazillion points (ha!). Zoltan's foundation update. FAU's marketing department derps stadium sponsor, double-derps wikipedia entry. MGoAndroid App is updated, report bugs here. NFL logos if they were designed by British people.

Comments

Unverified Voracity Lifted Into The Heavens

Unverified Voracity Lifted Into The Heavens Comment Count

Brian May 17th, 2012 at 4:11 PM

Hi. I would have packed this into yesterday's UV but internet problems + rehab equaled no. So here's the other stuff.

Local news, 1986. Wolverine Historian digs up a gem:

Five dollar parking and the hair, man. The hair. Check out the defector at around 2 minutes. We need a clip of that guy.

Position clarity and dang. In an interview with Touch the Banner, James Ross says he'll start off at the weakside linebacker spot. With Bolden ticketed for the center, I'm guessing Royce Jenkins-Stone is eventually slid to SAM. Where Kaleb Ringer goes is also probably in the middle.

Also:

I played hockey for a long time, and just being in that fast-paced environment helped, being able to see things. Hockey is really fast; you have to be able to move, and I think that really translates well to the football field.

Ross is 6'1", 225, and fast. If he could skate at all he would have been a crunching bodycheck factory had he stuck with the hockey. Video at TTB suggests he could not skate much as of early high school, but leave me to my lethal bodycheck fantasies.

More playoff stuff. I can't find this [freep] anywhere else, nor does this have a direct quote, but um… as far as reason not to have campus playoffs go this is even better than Bill Hancock's:

[Dave] Brandon understands the advantage a Big Ten team would gain from a playoff game on its campus but also realizes it’s not fair for schools across the country to play in the cold weather. Brandon also said he polled U-M players, who said they like to go to warm-weather bowl sites.

It's not fair. My brain stopped working. This is where I say something snarky or something about how this is not a good argument. I can't. Logic has been suspended. Get The Picture:

And just to show you how absurd this gets, rather than stand his ground on the more fan-friendly on-campus sites, Michigan State’s athletic director hopes instead that the NCAA will help families pay for the travel expense of going to an additional postseason game.

I  give up. The rest of this column will be written by my wife's cat.

THE LARGE HAIRY ONE SAYS THIS NEXT. You're probably expecting this to be in hilarious broken English lolcatese. Typical. I quit.

I do say this is next. Cats: cannot get them to do anything. Anyway, blogosphere old timers may remember Vijay, who ran one of the ur-blogs back in the day. He still hangs out on some message boards and put together a picture of the distance traveled by fans to get to bowl sites last year:

Avg distance traveled for the bowl
Big 10: 1261
Pac 10: 775
Big XII: 701
ACC: 667
SEC: 254
Big 10 travels MUCH further than anyone else. SEC travels much less. No surprise.

Avg miles differential (how far a team had to travel, compared to their opponent: + = traveling further)
Big 10: +812
ACC: -15
Big XII: -137
SEC: -399
Pac 10: -470
Big 10 is the only major conference that is generally playing further from home than their opponents.

# of games within 500 miles of home
Big 10: 1/10
ACC: 2/8
Big XII: 3/8
Pac 10: 3/7
SEC: 9/9
EVERY SINGLE SEC TEAM played within 500 miles of home.

Guess which SEC team was the only one to travel further for their bowl than their opponent. Answer below.

Meanwhile, every single Big 10 team traveled further than their opponent. Even Purdue, which got to play in Michigan, ended up playing Western Michigan.

Trivia answer: Alabama, who played LSU in New Orleans.

Use of the word fair in relation to this makes me want to wear around a horse. I'll say "I'm actually a slide rule, call me the King of Albania." I'll wear a sock on my hand I call Prince Knight who speaks only in riddles. His only riddle is "how are these people in charge?"

The cat does not find this amusing. I'm going to shake him until he does.

PX00122_9[1]

HELP I'M STUCK IN BLADERUNNER

ALSO BONUS BONUS BONUS BONUS. Uniform hijinks are going to be an annual thing now From the above-linked article.

He discussed the heightened attention on U-M's jerseys, particularly in football. He said the school might have done too much with changing them last season and plans to quiet the speculation this fall by having a single rollout of all the game jerseys they’ll wear throughout the season. He said coaches, players and recruits enjoy variety.

"School" should be read as "Dave Brandon" and "speculation" should be read as "lack of speculation."

So at least there won't be any horrible, horrible surprises this year, and five different outfits seems off the table. Regular alternate whatnots are here to stay. Embrace it. I want wings on the pants. And the jerseys. I want a uniform that's just one giant wing. Like, when the offense lines up the unit should look like one winged helmet. With claws!

A note on something that happened last week. You know that child-porn-havin' OSU-recruit-creepin' twitter guy from last week? One: if you asked me to draw a composite of all OSU fans it would be him. Two: when you are in photos, keep your head straight.

waugh-on-campus-saturday-april-21_medium[1]waugh-and-devin-smith_medium[1]waugh-mike-heuerman-alex-anzalone-joey-bosa_medium[1]

WHY DOESN'T YOUR NECK WORK, MEDIAN OF ALL OHIO STATE FANS EMBODIED?

Seriously, you should get that checked out or something. Also, thank you for existing.

Better at being in photos than OSU median guy. Jehu Chesson on the track:

4f9ee4cdf015e.image[1]

Head: straight up and down.

Chesson won the 300 M hurdles at a regionals meet and is working on his 110M skills.

Etc.: Smart Football, the book. Highly recommended. TOC on the ill-founded grad-year transfer panic. Michigan made money, then spent money. They will bid out the MNC final.

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The Museday of the Depend Adult Undergarment

The Museday of the Depend Adult Undergarment Comment Count

Seth December 6th, 2011 at 8:04 AM

  SugarSugar   peach_bowl_logo

Right: One the fruits of this week's "Virginia Tech" googlestalking.

First there was the Rose. At this point let's not pretend like this wasn't a marketing ploy because the entire point of the Rose Bowl was to prove to skeptical Easterners that it really is sunny and 70 in January in Pasadena. But at some point the marketing went from "come see our lovely town" to how much can we annoy you. This is where I come in. I carry a keyboard.

When there were fewer bowls the funny names were okay, especially when they matched the local industry. The Citrus and Tangerine and Orange and Gator screamed Florida. The Peach was very Georgia. The Liberty Bowl at least began in Philly and had a logo of the Liberty Bell. The Refrigerator Bowl was in the Refrigerator Capital of the World—if you knew where that was you could place the bowl game.

With naming rights to bowls now going for less than Pryor made in extra benefits (oh snap!) it is time to revolt.

This should have been done before a company called Mine-hickey Care Bear or some such sullied one "hallowed" bowl with that name, let alone its second (map by Hinton):

Going with this week's theme of whining about things that will never happen, here's my plea to readers and bloggers alike for dealing with the billions of bad names and barnacle-like corporate monikers affixing themselves to your bowls.

Why care? Without getting into the mercenary finances of the bowls I don't care that companies buy naming rights. I care that they are very bad at it, and that this makes the bowlscape very unhelpful. It is not my intent to restrict or confine or dictate language. I'm just tired of having to Google where the Maaco Bowl is.

Just Add 'Bowl': Rose. Orange. Sugar. Fiesta. Cotton (no need to add "classic"). Liberty. Holiday. Alamo. Gator. Sun. Poinsettia. Oh they all have title sponsors who've tried to affix their names but you can pretty safely ignore them, especially since the sponsorships almost never last more than half a decade or so.

Fine with the Sponsor: Fight Hunger (leave out Kraft, it's an image wash anyway). Outback. Y'know what, "Hall of Fame" bowl in its day never really impressed me. On the other hand Outback Steakhouse did the sponsorship thing right by not adding the extra two syllables, allowing the bowl to evoke the Aussie desert instead of a restaurant that doesn't believe anything could be over-salted. I don't know what Tampa, FL, has to do with interior Australia but for some reason this doesn't bother me at all. Board? Hall of Fame or Outback for this one?

Never Change: Peach. Tangerine. Citrus. Copper. The chicken guys are insidious. Watch this logo progression (thanks Chris Creamer):

1970s_Peach_Bowl_logolrg_ChickfilA_Peach_Bowlpeachbowl35175px-ChickFilABowl

It ate the whole peach!

The Tangerine is now called the Champs Sports Bowl and was a zillion other things too but it's easy to remember as the Tangerine because it's still the other Orlando bowl after the Citrus. As for the Citrus itself, until such time as Capital One casts Michigan State in one of their marauding commercials, then has them sack a dorm while Kirk Cousins turns to the camera and says "what's in YOUR wallet?" this should always remain the Citrus. The Copper Bowl is the one that's now in Tempe and used to be in Tucson. It's been the "Insight" for a time but I can't stand .com names.*

xizbhdidwmuhukofc08f

What Was Wrong With the Old One? Pop quiz hot-shot: where was the Aloha Bowl (1982-'00)? Oh you guessed it. It was obvious. So why is it now the Hawai'i Bowl? By the way it was the Pineapple Bowl from '39 to '51, and the Poi Bowl from '35 to '38. Amazing that this bowl's predecessors go all the way back to when the BCS bowls were starting up.

Use the City: Virtually all of the rest of them. There is no way you should be responsible for remembering what bowl is currently the Franklin American Mortgage Company Bowl. Call it Music City or Nashville. The one in Mobile is Mobile. The one in Birmingham is Birmingham. Las Vegas. Detroit (or Motor City). Boise (you can call this one Potato if you like). New Orleans II. New Mexico. Tampa II (the one they're now calling Beef 'O' Babies or something, and is in St. Petersburg. So Tampa. Tampa II. Like the defense). Charlotte (the old Continental Ire, then Mein Kitty Carb Scare Bowl, now Belk). The "Armed Forces" and "Military" Bowls are currently battling it out to see which one can be the most Captain America:

 FileMilitaryBowlFile2007_Armed_Forces_Bowl

…but until that is settled you are not going to remember which one is in Ft. Worth and which one is in D.C. So they're D.C. and Fort Worth ("Dallas III" gets confusing with the Cotton Bowl and Cotton II both in the tri-city area).

Special Cases: The "Pinstripe" Bowl can be that or the Bronx Bowl, or the one they're playing in Yankee Stadium. The bowl that's moved into the old Cotton Bowl is best referred to as Cotton II (not Ticketcity)

If you're in need of non-sullied bowl logos, the following is a collection of such created by bloggers (except the Rose: a Rose is a Rose).

rose-bowlOrangeBowlsugarFiesta5kcx6fynk65qmg23v4ekGatorbowlCottonbowlLibertybowlHolidayBowlSunbowl1990_1-1_Citrus_Bowl_Guidepeach_bowl_logo

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* Unless you guys want to take up a fund to start the MGoBlog.com Bowl. But then we'd just call it the MGoBowl. Man who do we invite? I mean after Slippery Rock.

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UPDATE: Handy Chart.

They Call It You Call It Started Location Payout
Alamo Bowl Alamo 1993 San Antonio, TX $2,250,000
Armed Forces Bowl Fort Worth 2003 University Park, TX $750,000
BBVA Compass Bowl Birmingham 2006 Birmingham, AL $1,000,000
Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl Tampa II 2008 St. Petersburg, FL $1,000,000
Belk Bowl Charlotte 2002 Charlotte, NC $1,000,000
Capital One Bowl Citrus 1946 Orlando, FL $4,250,000
Champs Sports Bowl Tangerine 1990 Orlando, FL $2,125,000
Chick-fil-A Bowl Peach 1968 Atlanta, GA $3,350,000
Cotton Bowl Classic Cotton 1936 Dallas (Arlington), TX $6,750,000
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Boise 1997 Boise, ID $750,000
Fiesta Bowl Fiesta 1971 Glendale, AZ $18,000,000
Gator Bowl Gator 1945 Jacksonville, FL $2,500,000
GoDaddy.com Bowl Mobile 1999 Mobile, AL $750,000
Hawaiʻi Bowl Hawai'i or Aloha 2002 Honolulu, HI $750,000
Holiday Bowl Holiday 1978 San Diego, CA $1,000,000
Independence Bowl Independence 1976 Shreveport, LA $1,100,000
Insight Bowl Copper 1989 Tempe, AZ $1,200,000
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl San Fran or Fight Hunger 2002 San Francisco, CA $825,000
Liberty Bowl Liberty 1959 Memphis, TN $1,350,000
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Detroit or Motor City 1997 Detroit, MI $750,000
Maaco Bowl Las Vegas Las Vegas 1992 Las Vegas, NV $1,000,000
Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas Houston 2006 Houston, TX $1,700,000
Military Bowl D.C. 2008 Washington, DC $1,000,000
Music City Bowl Music City or Nashville 1998 Nashville, TN $1,700,000
New Mexico Bowl New Mexico 2006 Albuquerque, NM $750,000
New Orleans Bowl New Orleans 2001 New Orleans, LA $325,000
Orange Bowl Orange 1934 Miami Gardens, FL $18,000,000
Outback Bowl Outback 1986 Tampa, FL $3,400,000
Pinstripe Bowl Bronx 2010 Bronx, NY $2,000,000
Poinsettia Bowl Poinsettia 2005 San Diego, CA $750,000
Rose Bowl Game Rose 1901 Pasadena, CA $18,000,000
Sugar Bowl Sugar 1934 New Orleans, LA $18,000,000
Sun Bowl Sun 1934 El Paso, TX $1,900,000
TicketCity Bowl Cotton II 2010 Dallas, TX $1,200,000

 

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