Purdue 70, Michigan 69

Purdue 70, Michigan 69

Submitted by Ace on January 9th, 2018 at 11:47 PM


[Marc-Gregor Campredon]

Thirty-nine minutes and fifty-four seconds of exquisite basketball ruined by replay.

Michigan and Purdue played an absolute classic tonight. Twice the fifth-ranked Boilermakers stretched their lead to double digits; twice Michigan clawed their way back, finally taking their first lead of the game with under five minutes remaining.

Moe Wagner went toe-to-toe with Isaac Haas in the post. Zavier Simpson hit multiple floaters over seven-footers, including one to beat the first-half buzzer. Charles Matthews hit a couple cold-blooded jab-step threes. Jordan Poole scored eight points in seven minutes. Isaiah Livers was everywhere. Regardless of outcome, it was a game that showed Michigan's present and (especially) future are both bright.

But about that outcome. With under ten seconds on the clock in a 69-69 tie, Matthews came off a Wagner screen, got a step on Dakota Mathias, and drove hard to the basket. Mathias reached through Matthews and poked the ball out from behind, no foul, Michigan ball—as with countless plays before it, the gentleman's agreement to give that play to the offense applied.

Then the refs went to the scorer's table and spent five minutes Zaprudering the play, killing much of the considerable excitement from the wild back-and-forth affair before eventually determining the ball lingered on Matthews's hand for a frame or two after the Mathias poke. Purdue got the ball, Wagner committed a (legitimate) foul on Haas, who made the first of two free throws. A buzzer-beating heave by Matthews took a painful journey around the rim and out.

It's hard not to feel robbed. While it's also hard not to be excited about this team, that rings hollow when a call that's never made in the first 38 minutes of a game costs them a much-needed signature win. The future is bright. The present, for the moment, is stupid.

[Hit THE JUMP for the box score.]

Unverified Voracity Can Stop With The Terror Books

Unverified Voracity Can Stop With The Terror Books

Submitted by Brian on May 15th, 2014 at 4:34 PM

apr-birdsapr-books

I'll miss you, terror books. Not really.

Aaand it falls off. I've been doing annual APR posts the past few years because Michigan was in a dodgy spot after the Carr/Rodriguez transfer year saddled Michigan with a horrendous 897. That plus an also-dismal 918 in Carr's last year put Michigan within shouting distance of penalties, which they avoided by putting up a series of nice numbers. Since Hoke's arrival Michigan has largely avoided academic risks, so it was just matter of time before that 897 fell off and Michigan shot up. It just did.

Drumroll… Michigan's football APR is now 975. The constituent scores:

  • 2010: 942
  • 2011: 984
  • 2012: 981
  • 2013: 985

Their 975 places them fourth in the Big Ten, behind Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Nebraska; if they continue on their current mid-980s rate they'd pass Nebraska but still remain third if everyone else is static.

So hooray. The main upshot of this is that OSU assistants can't send out APR lists in novelty fonts claiming "the stats don't lie" or make charts that aren't even sorted correctly because their players managed to get through Pokémon 401. (But not Sort Function In Excel 330.) OSU's APR is now worse than Michigan's.

Oh, and the NCAA will not do bad things. Meanwhile, at Southern University…

…several people just got fired with prejudice.

Reload and fire at will. EDSBS Bowl reaches day four with Michigan still staggeringly far out ahead of the pack with 5.4k to Auburn's 1.3k. Give us the significance of your donation in the comments.

When in need of vague hand-waving that means nothing, call in the right man. Dave Brandon and Mark Hollis will testify for the NCAA in the Ed O'Bannon case. Hollis will claim that his deposition would better on an aircraft carrier on the moon; Brandon will tell the opposition lawyer that he "knows a little something about branding" 18 times. After each, the lawyer will calmly explain the question had nothing to do with branding.

Well then. Alabama tailback Derryck Henry took a photograph of himself in front of an expensive new car that he said was his, creating little "BAGMAN!" tornadoes across the internet. These are the natural order. This is a bit outside of it:

pat-white-twweet

I'm a little dubious that title was on the table for White, a nondescript three-star recruit, but it could be one of those deals like the Clarett/Pryor thing where the dealership lets you "test drive" the car for months. In any case, yes some guy gave this dude a car or money or whatever and the NCAA will not do anything about it so our choices are to be uselessly smug or repeal all this crap that's not getting enforced anyway.

An odd fit, yes. Will Leitch makes a good point about replay in basketball: because of the nature of the game, sometimes there are things that are going to be both wrong and right at the same time. An event from late in the Clippers/Thunder game 6 blew up twitter, demonstrating the problem.

… it is clear that Barnes fouled Jackson; even more clear, perhaps, than that the ball was off Jackson last. At this point, the referees had a decision to make. Should they follow the rules of replay to the letter and award the ball to the Clippers? Or should they make the right call, which was to give the ball to the Thunder?

They gave the ball to the Thunder, which Leitch describes as "vigilante officiating." That stuff happens all the time on out of bounds situations. Fouls are committed but let go when the ball goes out of bounds and is awarded to the other team. Once you start reviewing those you upset the delicate balance there. Basketball replay is inherently goofy because of that.

At least those reviews sometimes amount to something, unlike college basketball's unceasingly tedious replays for flagrant fouls that never, ever come back with a flagrant.

I would be in favor. With Notre Dame due to become a fading memory and replacements ranging from yawn to moderately interesting, I would be down with Tom Fornelli's radical solution to college football breaking itself:

ACC, Big Ten and SEC could solve all their scheduling problems in one simple step. Ditch non-conference games, stay within your conference, continue to foster the regional rivalries that made this sport so popular to begin with, and then send your champion to the playoff to take on the winners of the other conferences.

This is more of a problem for the ACC and SEC, which have a number of annual rivalries that would be set on fire by this. The Big Ten has none of those now. ND-MSU, you say? Mark Hollis just admitted that their series with the Irish is "gone," save for occasional games in the future.

So, yeah, I'd be happier with Michigan dumping MAC games and playing a near-round-robin against the conference. It will never ever happen in a million billion years, I acknowledge. But it would be better.

Numbers. Bill Connelly's got a charting project going that returns numbers. With the disclaimer that not all games were charted and therefore things might be skewed by sampling bias (12 NW games are in versus two Wisconsin games, but then again there were only 2 A&M games versus ten for Tommy Tuberville's Cincinnati), here are some overall trends:

49% [of plays] took place without a huddle, 51% came with a huddle.

Without a huddle does not necessarily mean hurrying, of course. Lots of outfits don't huddle but will use chunks of the playclock for check-with-me. I'm actually surprised the no-huddle percentage isn't higher.

56% came from a shotgun formation, 26% with the quarterback under center, and 18% from the pistol.

Would be fascinated to see how this developed over the last ten years.

On pass plays, the defense rushed four defenders at the passer 61% of the time, five 19% of the time, three 11% of the time, six or more 8% of the time, and one or two just 0.3% of the time.

Michigan was not far away from this, FWIW.

On standard downs, 26% of pass attempts were marked as a play-action attempt of some kind. On passing downs, 11% were play-action.

Every single one of the passing down play action plays was Al Borges running a waggle from a big formation on second and eleven. Holy crap. I can't believe he did that with the running game he had. This joke isn't funny anymore.

Etc.: 2015 hockey commit Kyle Connor might be a big deal: THN ranks him 9th for next year's NHL draft. Stay away from killer robots (and the OHL), Kyle.

Penn State fan loses respect for NFL because Michael Sam got drafted. How Iowa makes NFL recruits. Man no one should listen to says playoff will stay at 4 teams. Iowa, preseason darling? Soccer announces a tough schedule. The next time someone tells you that athletic departments don't make a profit, remind them that the scholarship money counted as debt is fiction.

Michigan adds Jon Jansen to their broadcast team.

Mailbag: Play It Cool, New Banner, Shane Starting Soon, Lochdoggin' It

Mailbag: Play It Cool, New Banner, Shane Starting Soon, Lochdoggin' It

Submitted by Brian on September 11th, 2012 at 1:50 PM

L_Natalie_Portman_071[1]

play it cool

The professional approach to replays.

Hey Brian,

After watching Michigan slowly walk to the line after the Gardner not-a-catch-not-a-3rd down conversion on Saturday, I screamed at the tv for Michigan to snap the ball and run a play before the official reviewed the play.  My question is why don't coaches have a set of 3-4 plays that they  have their team run whenever they think a big play might be overturned? In this case, even a quick QB sneak that burns a play and starting over at 2nd and 10 is better than punting the ball back to Air Force.  I feel similarly after teams have long passes that change field position or off a turnover.

I was wondering if numbers and percentages support this theory,and if there are coaches (potentially including Hoke) who may have this package of plays already installed.

Go Blue,
Brooks

I have heard your frustrations many times and seen teams hurry to the line after a questionable decision almost as frequently. And it never works. When a team hurries to the line in an attempt to defuse the replay threat, the replay guy stops watching the Golf Channel, gets incensed, and always calls down for a review. Always. Without fail.

It's like running away from a crime scene. It's a rookie move. Would that French dude from The Professional hurry to the line? No. He would play it cool, man. He's got all the time in the world.

In re: having a set of quick plays after a turnover or big change in field position, clearly some teams put an emphasis on that sort of thing. We just saw Air Force go up-tempo whenever they'd pick up 10 or 15 yards. That approach isn't free, though. Michigan is emphasizing other stuff.

New banner.

I noticed this live but immediately forgot about it:

Not sure if you noticed or not, but we finally got the new M Banner out for Air Force.  It's been a 3 year project.  We've made 3 different banners for various reasons, and it finally was approved and used for Air Force. 

It looked great.  With the "maize" much closer to the actual maize and much more matching the uniforms.

mgoblue-banner_250Screen Shot 2012-09-09 at 5.59.33 PM

Here are a couple pictures: The 'orangeish' picture I took from the MGoBlue website.  The 'maize' picture, I took from the front page of MGoBlog. (Eric's slide show.)

Just wanted to close the loop on this god awful long project.  (there was still a problem with the poles, so hopefully that will get handled by UMass)

-Neal

(This will come up because it always comes up: photos make things different colors. Look at the contrast between the banner and the pants in both photos to confirm a very real difference.)

Man. I'm in the cap that thinks maize is not bright-bright yellow, and I'd heard the AD also thought this and was going to move more towards the orangeish yellow color that I thought was the real maize. It's the difference between burnt orange (understated) and Tennessee's goin'-huntin' orange (HEY GUYS I'M ORANGE). I guess that scuppers that. Maize is blinding now. C'est la vie.

Shane starts?

Brian,

I wrote you earlier this summer about whether Shane Morris would be down for a redshirt next year, to which you said, “yeah”.  Well, two games into this season and seeing how the Denard/Borges fusion cuisine is coming, and seeing how Devin Gardner is progressing as a WR, is causing me to rethink that for 2013.  There are a couple things I think Hoke and Borges are concluding right now: 1) DG will not get that fifth year from the NCAA in 2014; 2) they’ve seen enough of DG at QB to think that he won’t work out as a starter in their system in 2013; 3) they are willing to roll the dice with a freshman Morris starting at QB next year, throwing to a mini-Megatron in Devin Gardner (who will still be the #2 QB).   Like I said, three things.

I know the 2012 season has hardly started, but I get the feeling DG’s move to WR is permanent even if he doesn’t know it yet.  I see Borges thinking he’s done with this transition as soon as Denard ends this season and Shane gives him the best bet to do that, potential magical 2017 season be damned.  What do you think?

Pete-rock

I think there's a possibility things work out like you suggest, but not a strong one. Michigan is planning on moving Gardner back to quarterback after the year is over, something that will presumably last through the spring. If Gardner gets beat out, then and only then will he move back. And even then you've got Russell Bellomy with not one but two years of experience under his belt in front of Morris. It's a tall order for any true freshman to beat out experienced scholarship guys in front of him, and Morris seems like a pretty raw kid when it comes to reading coverages since most of his time in high school is spent running for his life.

Let's not do the freshman QB thing. I don't like that thing. If Gardner is Braylon 2.0 the rest of this year, okay maybe. Long way to go on that project.

I do agree that next year you'll see the offense flip into what it's going to be going forward even if Gardner wins the job. The OL will be shifting into more of a manball mode, they'll have plenty of tight ends, and they'll have a collection of strapping downfield targets at WR. The spread is dead at Michigan after this year.

Neutral sites are lame, according to the best announce guys ever.

I know you're a fan of McDonough and Spielman and thought I'd reinforce that.  They're calling the USC "@" Syracuse game from MetLife Stadium in New Jersey and have spent a good portion of the 4th quarter talking about how much better this game would be for Syracuse if they were playing it in the Carrier Dome in terms of recruiting and rewarding their fans who have suffered through some lean times and now are starting to get a half decent team again (they're hanging in pretty well, if they could cover a punt they could maybe have a chance).  But instead of having a top five team at home, they have to drive five hours for some ridiculous overpriced tickets.

So kudos to McDonough and Spielman.

Also: the Big Ten sucks, ye gods.

Yes. My thinking flipped on the Alabama game when the ticket prices were announced. At a minimum they were 60% higher than Michigan tickets, and I'd bet the average price was double. A lot of those cost 250 bucks. They had no problem selling those tickets at those prices, so why not move that to a home and home where you get 20k more people in the stadium and aren't cutting Jerry Jones in on the profits?

I don't get the neutral site thing at all. You built your stadium for a reason. Use it. If it's a UConn thing where the stadium they built is actually smaller than the big-game venue, I guess I get that, but even so I'd rather Michigan plays at Rentschler than Yet Another Identical NFL Stadium. That doesn't wow my experience. The opportunity to visit Tuscaloosa for a game does.

In re: Big Ten. Seriously.

A thousand words on branding.

Attached - taken in section 25 before yesterday's Air Force game.

Denard-jerseys-pic

I'm a staunch believer in Brandon but had to admit that this looked ridiculous.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but L to R: 2010-11 away, [some woman], 2012 Sugar Bowl, 2011 UTL, 2012 Cowboys Classic.

"Chief marketing officers and Hunter [Lochmann]’s job description would include building the brand, which is very much about the presentation and the image of the 'Block-M.'  How do we enhance it, how do we expand it, how do we make sure that the image of that brand is consistent with what we want that image to be, how do we present that brand in the most positive light possible?  And this has everything to do with how the brand appears when it's being used — from the uniforms we wear, the branding of our facilities, the branding of our materials, a lot of classic brand management kinds of responsibilities."  - D. Brandon, 4/5/11 (link)

Keep up the good work and Go Blue,

Chris
North Olmsted, OH

At least they're making a tiny amount of extra revenue from those—under a million from the UTL jerseys and who knows how much of that was cannibalized from regular sales—that they're spending on people in the athletic department who plan ways to get incremental revenue so they can hire more people to acquire incremental revenue. Also, the man Michigan hired to build the brand has the twitter handle "Lochdog715." Lochdog should use some of that incremental revenue to polish up his personal brand.

Lochdog. Holy pickles.

Mailbag: Tacopants In The Flesh, Esoteric Two Pointers, Zombie Armpit Jerseys

Mailbag: Tacopants In The Flesh, Esoteric Two Pointers, Zombie Armpit Jerseys

Submitted by Brian on October 12th, 2011 at 12:49 PM

So there's this.

Attached is a picture I took at the game. I'm sure you've seen people wearing Tacopants jerseys before, but thought it was apropos per Denard's 3 INTs.

-Nick

I'm not sure what's weirder: that there is an extant "Tacopants" jersey or the guy who emailed it to me thinks I've seen people—multiple people!—wearing them before.

I wonder why the Tacopants jersey guy picked 12. If I was going to create a Tacopants jersey he'd probably be 11 (his height in feet) or 8 (he's Jason Avant's imaginary friend) or 8i (obvious, probably not available). 12 seems random. I guess we are talking about a guy wearing a Tacopants jersey. Random is his middle name. Jason Random Tacopants.

Tacopants man! Explain your decision-making process!

Esoteric two-pointers.

Brian-
The internets have been all "lolzook" this week after the Illini's esteemed coach decided to go for 2 after scoring to take a 20-13 lead, then told a reporter in the postgame presser that they had a 5-point lead when asked to explain his decision.  I'm not trying to push back on the lolzook, because obviously, but the situation brought to mind a piece of anti-CW Game Theory I've always held, although without a single shred of evidence to back me up.  Maybe you can draw upon your vast resources to look into this so that next time I bring this up while watching a game with somebody, they won't look at me like I'm Ron Zook at that postgame presser.

Now, to be clear, in the Ill-Ind game, I'd have kicked the extra point there.  With that much time left, you maximize expected value.

BUT, if it were the 2nd half with the same situation (scoring 6 to go up 7), I believe that the correct Game Theory move is to go for 2.  With possessions limited, the opportunity to make it a 2 score game far outweighs the advantage you gain by forcing a 2-point conversion, rather than an extra point, to tie. 

Additionally, if you miss the conversion, and if the opposing team comes back to score, the opposing coach will virtually always elect to kick the extra point to send the game to overtime rather than go for 2, and the win, in regulation.  In essence, with a standard-issue coach on the other sideline, the worst-case scenario in the "go-for-2" situation (miss conversion, opposing team scores, and kicks the extra point for a tie) is exactly the same as the worst-case scenario in the "take-the-point" situation (make the kick, opposing team scores and makes the 2-pointer to tie).  But, the upside to going for 2 in that situation is significantly greater.

I'm interested to know what you think.  I have a similarly insane Game Theory belief about going for 2 when you score to go from down 14 to down 8, but I'll save that for another day.

Regards,
Brian in Charlottesville

I don't think I agree. In the event of going for two:

Win: P(you2)
Tie: 1 - P(you2)

Going for one:

Win: 1 - P(them2)
Tie: P(them2)

With 2PT%s generally under 50% it doesn't seem like the right move. You want the burden of making the two pointer to fall on the opponent.

Also, as the team with the upper hand I also think you want the information about whether the two-pointer is successful to remain unknown. If you get it you've changed the opponent's calculus about how to win by collapsing the waveform. Armed with more perfect knowledge of their situation they will press forward knowing they are down two scores. The temptation to think "we're just one score down" when they are actually 1.6 scores down is strong. It causes a lot of lackadaisical behavior you do not see in teams down two scores late, which you like. So don't accidentally make the opponent play better.

If you pick up a penalty or are Wisconsin or have a gotcha two-pointer or are in a game that's going to end 58-51 the probabilities could swing in favor of going for it yourself; in an average situation leave it to the opponent. As always, context matters.

As for your "insane" theory you should go for it when you score to draw within eight, that is never going to happen in a game but has already been discussed by stat nerd types. This piece even uses the 2005 Notre Dame game as an example:

On September 10th, 2005, the University of Michigan football team was trailing by 14 points when they scored a touchdown with 3:47 left in their game against Notre Dame. Their coach decided to kick an extra point to get within seven points. Even though this strategy is followed in the NCAA and the NFL almost without exception, it is, in general, incorrect. In this paper I will show that the correct strategy in this situation is to immediately attempt the two-point conversion.

This is because you can make your choice about the second two-point conversion with the knowledge about whether the first one succeeded. So your chances, assuming that the 43% number given in the article is correct:

WIN: 43%
TIE: 57% * 43% = 24.5%
LOSE: 57% * 57% = 32.5%

By adopting that strategy you shift your chance of winning should you come back from the two TD deficit from 50-50 to about 55-45. They use a lot more detailed numbers to reach that conclusion but that's it in a nutshell.

A much better strategy is not be down 14 points.

On the armpit jerseys never dying.

Any thoughts or ideas as to why the defensive linemen switched to the road jerseys of the RR regime in the second half with the yellow piping?  Also, Denard was wearing that one of those jerseys on the last drive.  I like the look of this year's road jerseys without the yellow piping but wondering if if it is a fit or comfort issue although this year's home jerseys looked like they have the same fit with the wide, open arm-pit area.

Let's let another emailer answer this for me:

You've probably observed the same, but there are issues with the new Adidas techfits. I've seen them getting ripped to shreds at various points this season, and so you have guys like rvb, martin, roh, switch to last year's model in previous games. They were presumably asked to wear the new ones tonight given the more drastic change in appearance with elimination of the thick yellow piping. However, we've already seen rvb change back anyway despite the old piping.

I wouldn't normally care about this except for fact that underlying issue appears to be their tendency to be grabbed in a game-impacting way. Even fitz changed to the old jersey last game against Minn after being dragged down by the new techfit variety. We've seen the same thing happen to denard, although he hasn't switched. This is more annoying than anything else, especially to see potential big(ger) gains get stopped shorter than they should because some defender who was beat desperately was able to get a few fingers on some cloth.

We have seen a lot of guys dragged down by the jersey this year, haven't we? Could the Nike zealots have a point all of a sudden?

On OSU timelines.

Hello,

I’m writing because I am a little confused about the status of the Ohio State Investigation.  I understand the NCAA came out with some findings earlier this year, but is that it?  Are there still ongoing investigations?  When will the findings/punishment be released? 

-Kevin

OSU has proposed (laughable) self-sanctions at this point and had their meeting with the NCAA; they are now waiting for the final word. The comparable moment in the stretching Jihad is the middle of last season for Michigan, when they'd proposed and implemented the practice time penalties. Three months later the NCAA slapped on a token extra year of probation and issued their final report. OSU is in that period now.

Their ongoing issues with Posey, et al., complicate things. The NCAA is supposed to get back in 90 days—which would have been in the next few weeks—but has notified OSU that even more cripplingly obvious evidence the Buckeyes lack institutional control will have to be considered and then ignored.

So we just don't know, dude. Hopefully the new information pushes the decision date past the end of the season, just in case the NCAA decides to toss a bowl ban out. I'm actually surprised Gene Smith didn't announce one after the Nebraska game, because there's nothing the OSU athletic department loves more than brazenly late, transparently insincere actions designed to piss off the nation.

On instant replay ritual.

Brian,

I'm noticing more and more people are saying that when referees say: "The ruling on the field is confirmed" versus saying: "The ruling on the field stands as called", that they mean two different things, as if there's a level of indisputability that you need to "confirm" a call.  I think that it's just two equal ways of saying that there wasn't enough indisputable evidence to overturn.

Can you clarify?

Thanks,
Simon
Boston, MA

They do mean two different things now. The "ruling is confirmed" means the replay official agrees with the call and "the ruling stands" means he just doesn't know, dude. This doesn't prevent replay officials from being violently wrong all the time, as they were when they did not overturn the Hawthorne interception, and still declaring the ruling "confirmed." This is because replay officials are crazy old Estonian men who have never seen football before in their lives.