Unverified Voracity Rides The Rails

Unverified Voracity Rides The Rails Comment Count

Brian August 7th, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Old timey. Railroads were efficient back in the day.

That's less time than it takes by car, isn't it?

Don't hit ladies. But the shirt. Greg Oden was arrested for battery. The mugshot:

large[1]

JMFJ available for hockey type activties. If you're not doing anything tomorrow, Yost is hosting a charity event featuring Jack Johnson:

Come out and play with (or against!) NHL Star, Olympic Silver Medalist, and U of M alum Jack Johnson as he and Justin Spiro renew their on-ice rivalry in Johnson's collegiate barn, the world famous Yost Ice Arena!!!

The game formerly known as the "Spiro/Johnson Ice Bowl" has been renamed to honor the memory of Andrew Michael Singler. The two squads will compete for the inaugural and already very prestigious Singler Cup.

ALL ages and skill levels are welcome, as this "fierce" exhibition has seen men as old as 65 and boys as young as 10 scoring key goals. Spiro is commonly regarded as the worst skater on the planet, so don't be shy!

Cost is $20 per player, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Andrew Singler Stay Strong Foundation (http://singlerstaystrongfoundation.com/).

You should try to check him and then you'll have a story about how you broke your neck doing something stupid.

One good, one not so much. Derrick Walton and Zak Irvin participated in the Adidas Nations thing recently. Walton looks ready to step forward and become a primary option:

- Derrick Walton Jr. had a good day running the show for his team.

On Friday Walton was very good with regards to distributing the basketball, making sound decisions in the pick-and-roll game and getting his teammates the ball where they were best positioned to enjoy success. One of the beneficiaries was teammate Zak Irvin, who knocked down multiple jump shots on the tail end of those Walton passes. With an eye towards next season, this weekend will be good for the two Wolverines as they (along with Caris LeVert) are the ones best positioned for a breakout 2014-15.

But over the course of the camp, Irvin didn't show that his game had expanded much:

Zak Irvin (Michigan):  …didn’t appear to be much better than when I last saw him in Indianapolis during the Sweet 16/Elite Eight weekend. Irvin can still perform as a catch-and-shoot player, but after losing Nik Stauskas, Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary, Irvin needs to step up this season and do more off-the-bounce. That didn’t happen at adidas Nations. Irvin struggled with two-dribble pull-ups and was stripped multiple times while trying to drive to the basket. Still plenty of time before November, but Irvin doesn’t look much better than last season. (SP)

He was not much of a slasher even in high school, preferring to take those midrange pull-ups when he wasn't taking threes. And as we've mentioned several times before, Irvin was far more in the Just A Shooter category than Stauskas was during their respective freshman years. He should diversify a bit; he is still going to be a guy who mostly has shots created for him. With Walton and LeVert around that shouldn't be a huge problem. I might even prefer it if Irvin focused more on his defense, which has the potential to be really good, than expanding his offensive game. Michigan could use a lockdown perimeter defender more than they need another guy to get to the basket.

This should be more fun. I forgot to put this in the last one:

"Acurate" is not a good word to misspell, but inserting an unnecessary and incorrect "whereas" is the hallmark of someone who learned to write by expanding a one page paper to five by inserting meaningless jibberish endlessly.

Yes, yes, MSU fans, scoreboard. Just don't say anything other than "oh no, not again" when Duncan Robinson signs on here rather soon. Then we are good.

All of the other ESPNs are full of Tebow. The lineup of basketball's nonconference tourney has been announced, and one thing in particular jumps off the page:

VCU vs. Villanova, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)

Michigan vs. Oregon, 9 p.m. (ESPN3)

ESPN3? You have an early-season matchup between an Elite 8 team and an outfit that got to the second round of last year's tourney and that doesn't even warrant placement on ESPNU? I'm not mad, I'm impressed, actually I'm a little mad.

Michigan's "opening round" opponents will be Bucknell and Detroit; both are middling mid-majors. Bucknell was 11-7 in the Patriot league last year, Detroit 6-10 in the Horizon. These are the kind of teams Michigan should be scheduling instead of New Jersey Tech or whatever: respectable, beatable.

As a bonus, Detroit has a couple of interesting names. Juwan Howard Jr is Yes That Juwan Howard's son; Carlton Brundidge spent a year at Michigan before looking for a place he was more likely to play. He got about 20 minutes a game last year for the Titans, shooting 67/44/28.

A couple of hockey departures. Defensemen Spencer Hyman and Mike Szuma are no longer with the team. Hyman will play at Toronto. Szuma is still enrolled. Both were walk-ons; Szuma got 30 games two years ago as Michigan tried to fill some big holes on their blue line but did not play last year.

With Werenski's early entry there are still ten(!) defensemen on the roster, so impact should be minimal. I mean, you can fill out a line chart like so:

  • Werenski-Downing
  • Lohan-De Jong
  • Sinelli-Serville

And you've still got Cutler Martin, Sam Piazza, Mike Chiasson, and Niko Porikos scratched. I don't think I've ever seen a hockey roster with this many dudes on it.

Yup. The current student government president on the athletic department's advisory council:

While this advisory council is a big step forward, it also takes a leap back. These twenty students are handpicked by the Athletic Department based off one's class standing, twitter handle (optional), and the answer to two questions. The questions are: "Why do you want to be a part of the Football Student Advisory Council" and "What is your favorite Michigan Athletics memory?". Oh, and you have to be a season ticket holder. This is problematic for two reasons. The first is that this puts a price on a students' ability to give feedback and make a change. The second is that while students are given more of a voice, it is the AD that is picking the students, not the students themselves. This means that the AD could very easily pick a group of "yes men", take a policy to this group and then say they consulted the students on a policy change.

That is almost certainly going to happen given the way the department has been run the last few years. CYA CYA CYA.

Is this a good thing for you? One of the more laughable quotes from Big Ten Media Days came from Pat Fitzgerald:

"You've got to go win," Fitzgerald said Tuesday. "Finally! You've got to go win. No longer can you have a traditional name behind you and four coaches with statues in front of the stadium and 90,000 people every week and you're automatically going to be ranked ... in the top 20.

"That football side now matters."

Even if the first bit was accurate, the Big Ten was and is the major beneficiary of that tendency. SEC teams win and the other conferences don't have the same lucrative fanbases. And then there's the fact that the first bit is not accurate. The football side "now matters." Okay. Alabama's just around because of statues.

If he's talking about Northwestern specifically, the only team even vaguely eligible for BCS consideration since the Wildcats went to the Rose Bowl was 2012, when Northwestern went 9-3 in the regular season without beating a ranked opponent or even playing one ranked higher than #24 by year's end. The system made the correct call to dump NW into the Gator Bowl.

Etc.: DJ Wilson will not play on Michigan's Italian trip after surgery on a finger, should be fine by the time the season rolls around. Matt Hinton lands at Grantland. I'm not even going to talk about Brandon's radio appearance today. Yeah!

Mike Hart, coach, profiled. NYT on autonomy. Why is Kansas State any good? Countess switches to #2, blogger grumbles uselessly about kids these days.

Comments

One Frame At A Time: Michigan State

One Frame At A Time: Michigan State Comment Count

Ace November 5th, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Seeing Denard grimace and swear is akin to seeing Santa remove his fake beard and take a long pull from a flask. Something's gone horribly wrong and perhaps it's time you stopped believing in certain things—like the possibility of a Big Ten title or the existence of Santa Claus.

[After THE JUMP: More cursing! More sadness! But also basketball!]

Comments

Unverified Voracity Lost A Bet

Unverified Voracity Lost A Bet Comment Count

Brian September 13th, 2013 at 2:02 PM

This guy lost a bet. Don't gamble, kids.

Also a lost bet. A love poem to Tommy Rees from a Notre Dame fan.

The girls of St. Mary’s pray at your knees

Because you are not just Tommy Rees

No

You are QB1

Equal to the likes of Montana and Theismann and Stuhldreher

A symbol, a winner, an icon

Your droopy eyes, not of a stoner, but a leader

One who studies play books until 4 a.m.

A senior who now neglects parties and cops’ groins

You lived

You learned

You will now prevail

Don't gamble, kids.

The Harmon thing. Do be awesome, though.

Blowing the coverage open. One Foot Down talks about what went wrong for Notre Dame on the long Gallon touchdown.

mBbrvFH_medium[1]

Long story short, when Michigan motioned Funchess across the formation ND changed their coverage and freshman Jaylon Smith didn't change his despite changing his alignment in a way that suggested he got the call. He followed Funchess into the flat, opening up Gallon for a catch and run.

Not sure if that was specifically designed to test Smith's understanding of his checks, but that's what it did. It is a great example of the kind of things motion can do to a defense: you're testing their ability to adjust at little cost to yourself.

In other film business, Space Coyote takes a look at how Michigan got beat up on the DL when the Irish ran. I mostly agree, but he's a little harsh to Morgan in one instance. I thought the DL play in front of him opened up a cutback lane he had to fill.

Beyer ends up way upfield and Black tries to rip inside of the right guard, so there's a massive backside lane. Once it's clear the back isn't taking it he can't scrape because Wormley got blown up. Thus the crease. Morgan's in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation.

None of this is particularly surprising with six in the box and no nose tackles on the field. I do wonder why Pipkins didn't get more playing time, as he seemed to do well with the snaps he got and there's no way he'd get as blown up as Wormley did on a couple of those plays.

Space Coyote also has a post at his own site on the passing combos that got Fitzgerald Toussaint open for that critical swing route and saw Dileo shake himself open for the final touchdown.

Stick a fork in an outlet. MSU running back Nick Hill:

“I think we’re very close to just being the electric offense we were in 2010, 2011,” Hill told the Spartan Sports Network. “Obviously, we struggled a little bit last year, but we’re right there. And I noticed it when we went through summer conditioning going into fall camp that the pieces are there, the players are there.”

Michigan State starts walk-ons at tight end and right tackle, has the worst receiving corps in the league, and is currently starting Connor Cook because pretending he's Denard Robinson is their best option. Nick Hill may have depth perception issues.

Injuries. AJ Williams is "questionable" and Courtney Avery still limited. I bet we don't see much of either this weekend—why risk it—but it sounds like Williams will be ready to go by the time Big Ten play rolls around. Gallon says he's fine.

In future opponent injury news, Minnesota loses spectacularly-named starting corner Briean Boddy-Calhoun for the year with an ACL tear. Kill said he was their best cornerback, so that's a blow. Jeremy Gallon cackles madly.

More Legends Jersey proposals. From HSR:

4). Jareth Glanda | #54 | Michigan LS 2010-2013
Move anonymously through two whole seasons of football without having your name mentioned, then catch a pass for a first down on a broken play during a bowl game.

Anyone who fumbles ten snaps should be given a red 15 patch reading Mallett.

Etc.: The House Rock Built's UFR of the fourth quarter is slightly different from mine, but spiritually the same. The Daily profiles Taylor Lewan.

FL C commit Ricky Doyle picks up a fourth star from ESPN, is now just outside their top 100. Practice video is a lot more exciting before the season. Fixing the NCAA rule book. New throwy-sticky ball turf. Michigan offers combo guard Donte Grantham. Adidas alternates worn by Arkansas State draw 15-yard penalties at the beginning of each half. A final look at ND.

MLive gets unnecessarily mean towards Akron. Exploit your children for fun and profit!

Comments

Unverified Voracity Has A Lot Of Video

Unverified Voracity Has A Lot Of Video Comment Count

Brian August 1st, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Countdown to Kickoff exists again. Talkin' with Devin Gardner:

Countdown to Kickoff 2013: Day 30 - Devin Gardner by mgovide

So that explains that. If you were wondering why Michigan's option plays weren't actual option plays the last couple years, well, yeah:

“We did it [the Wildcat] in OTAs and a couple of times he ran the ball and fumbled the ball and he didn’t know how to pitch," Bradley said, according to the Register.

The one time he did try to pitch on a speed option was when he got lit up in the backfield, and that was a fumble.

Oklahoma State was not always good. Wolverine Historian presents the 1992 non-classic:

Gardner on Darboh. I think both of last year's wide receivers are on pace to work out, and Darboh is ahead of the curve:

"He's just a great athlete," Gardner said of the wideout. "He's strong, he's fast, he catches the ball well. He's pretty much everything you could ever want in a receiver."

Gardner compares Darboh to Junior Hemingway, but fast. No, seriously:

"He goes up and gets the ball just like Junior. And he runs fast."

I'll take it.

O'Bannon-related victory. I thought Sam Keller's lawsuit had been folded into the O'Bannon suit, but apparently not. They've just won at the appellate level:

By a 2-1 vote, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said EA's use of the athletes' likenesses in its NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball games did not deserve protection as free expression under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

EA is disappointed that free speech doesn't cover important things like college football videogames using the representations of people without mentioning it to them, and plans to appeal, for all the good that will do.

They'll have to name him Lack Of Seat Cushions. Sorry, those are the probably fictional, possibly offensive stereotypical Native American rules:

I don't make the probably fictional, possibly offensive stereotypical Native American rules. I just enforce 'em, lady.

Jordan Paskorz: I'm not dead yet! Michigan could use some tight end depth with veteran Mike Kwiatkowski departed, and Jake Bu—MAH GAWD THAT'S JORDAN PASKORZ'S MUSIC, AT LEAST I THINK IT IS BECAUSE I'M NOT SURE HE EVEN HAD SOME:

[Paskorz's] career has since been derailed by seemingly interminable instability.

But that's about to change, as he enters his second season at tight end and seems to have fought his way into the rotation as a blocking specialist. …

"What I like is, we settled him into that position and I think he can be a guy who gives us a little more on-the-line-of-scrimmage movement. That’s exciting."

At 6'3", 251, he is about the right size to be more of a pusher at TE. AJ Williams is a guy Michigan will ask to fill that role as well, but he needs a lot of technique work to get there. We'll see if the talk translates into playing time.

When do I get to be on a bulletin board? Because if Steve Everitt's lighthearted jab at Kirk Cousins qualifies

locker-room-1-1024x768[1]

…surely I can come up with something vile enough to get up there despite not being a viking. Hey, Spartans! You smell! Bad!

I'll work on it.

In related news, Dave Brandon once again reiterated that he doesn't want a night game in the series. This is correct. I hope the real reason is wanting to tweak MSU by playing anyone but them at night, but I'll take "don't want a bunch of East Lansing people drunj" after the Gathering of the Juggalos that was two years ago.

Speaking of. UTL II Hype Video:

Glenn Robinson: now he can jump. Yeah, now:

image

His vertical is up four inches to 12'3".

Etc.: Introducing Dr. Gay Hitler, who was of course from… Ohio, and the son of George Hitler, and a dentist.

Here is a class of 1927(!) alum talking bout her days on campus. Oregon has some money. People don't like dynamic pricing, except for that one guy on facebook who hasn't been to a game since 1982 but likes being a prick to people on the internet. Bill Connolly previews Ohio State. Lewan talks Gholston punch.

Comments

Hokepoints: Law & Order in the Big Ten

Hokepoints: Law & Order in the Big Ten Comment Count

Seth July 16th, 2013 at 5:04 PM

REPAIR NOTICE: I originally posted this article earlier this morning but accidentally had some bad data from a dreaded bad sort on Excel. Things should be better now, and the conclusions were affected less than I thought they would be. Biggest change is Ohio State was credited with a few that belonged to Oregon State (an avoidable vlookup error), and the old home-road stats were all screwed up. They are fixed below.

michigan-football-wallpaper-2012-michigan-state-thumb1

Monumental

I've been slowly building and picking through an all-plays database built from NCAA.org's play-by-play data. The easiest thing to pull out so far has been penalties, so let's play with those.

The benefit of the all-plays is you can tell the difference between penalties, since a personal foul says a different thing about a team and does a different thing to them than, say, a delay of game to set up a punt. I broke the various penalties up into "Violent" and "Non-Violent" behaviors.

  • Acts of violence: Clipping, crackbacks, facemasks, illegal blocks, illegal use of hands, kick catch interference, pass interference (?), roughing the kicker (15), roughing the passer, tripping, and unnecessary roughness.
  • Non-violent behaviors: Delay of game, encroachment, false starts, holding, ineligible receiver downfield, intentional grounding, kickoff out of bounds, offsides, running into the kicker (5), sideline interference, substitution infraction, too many men, unsportsmanlike conduct, and illegal fair catch, formation, forward pass, motion, participation, shifting, and touching.
    Michigan last year was remarkably good at avoiding the latter type (in yellow in the chart below), leading the study at 2.3 non-violent infractions per game:

violent-nonviolent

lol…osu?

That's the Big Ten and the other 2013 opponents. I don't know if I want to count PI since its application can get downright chintzy, so that's broken out. Either way Ohio State managed to lead the conference in infractions per game, and was second in the study only to Terry Bowden's one-win (Morgan State) first season at Akron. Reason why this is? Online poll says:

sportsnationque

Fact: 4.5% of people who take any online fan poll are Buckeyes

Yea, and Urban did steal "60 minutes of unnecessary roughness," previously committed to MSU. I was surprised that Michigan State appeared to have their pugilistic streak in relative check, i.e. they were only among the leaders, not far ahead as I supposed from watching them. It takes a while to gather all the data but minus the regular season Wisconsin game (data wasn't available) their 2011 penalty numbers were high but their personal foul quotient wasn't: 31 violent (11 of those pass interference) to 60 non-violent. Wanna guess where a disproportionate of those came from? Offsides. #JerelWorthyJumpsEarly.

Michigan vs. Average

We're dealing with smallish sample sizes so conclusions are shaky. That said there are things to see when you look at which penalties Michigan was getting called against them versus a typical team on their schedule.

Non-violent things per season:

Penalty Avg Tm* Mich OSU ND MSU'12 MSU'11
False Start 16.5 7 20 21 14 20
Holding 14.4 13 12 11 15 12
Offsides/Encroachment 7.3 6 4 4 8 20
Illegal Offensive Stuff 6.0 - 4 5 5  
Delay of Game 4.3 - 2 3 1 4
Coach Derps 2.7 3 3 2 2 2
Intentional grounding 0.8 - 1 - 1 -
Unsportsmanlike Conduct 0.8 1 3 - 1 1
Special Teams Derps 0.5 - 2 1 - -
TOTAL 53.3 30 51 47 47 59

* over13 games

Michigan's veteran offensive line was good for something last year: remarkably few false starts and none of those illegal formation/procedure things that plagued us in various offensive transitions. That's a feather in Al Borges's cap: the offense had their fundamentals down about as well as you can ask. Pre-snap penalty-avoidance may be correlated with offensive line experience, though I haven't proven this. Further study: is it experienced OL or just experienced tackles? Inquiring 2013 offensive lines want to know.

Violent crimes per season:

Penalty Avg Tm* Mich OSU ND MSU MSU'11
Personal Foul 15.0 11 22 9 21 16
Pass Interference 9.2 9 8 6 8 11
Various Illegal Blocks 5.8 8 7 4 6 -
Facemask 1.8 2 4 3 1 1
Roughing the Passer 1.3 3 2 1 - 3
Kick Catching Interference 0.6 2 - 1 2 -
Roughing the Kicker 0.3 - - - 2 -
Unnecessary Roughness 0.0 - - 1 - -
TOTAL 33.8 35 43 25 40 31

* over13 games

Michigan's ability to avoid the peaceful infractions meant the Wolverines were the most pugilistic in the study by percentage of penalties that were violent. Cue the Urban Meyer chart:

meyerchart

Forgot to add the 15 yards for logo infraction

Really the Wolverines were average, the only thing standing out being chopblocks. There were a few of these called against Michigan last year that I thought were horsecrap (Mealer's v. UMass and Gallon's vs. Minnesota), and here's one that was legit (on Gordon):

If you don't spot it in 10 watches, watch it 10 more times.

I'm declaring Michigan a very average team at this.

Home Field Advantage?

There was one for Michigan, not the other guys. Michigan was relatively clean at home and in limited samples got kinda duked in the neutral games (Brian gave the refs a composite –5 for the Alabama game alone, which is about the difference between a typical day of Obi Ezeh as a senior versus Kenny Demens as a senior). Overall I noticed very little difference in any type of penalty with regards to how it was assessed against home versus road teams. False starts are a little more common for road teams (like one every 10 games) but that's about it. Things broke out a bit more among the small samples of a single team's season:

PENALTIES PER GAME

Team Pen/G Home Away Neutral Home Field Adv.
Akron 8.2 6.7 9.7 - -45%
Ohio State 7.8 8.6 6.3 - +28%
Nebraska 7.1 6.7 7.8 7.0 -16%
Purdue 6.8 5.4 8.2 9.0 -51%
Michigan State 6.7 6.3 7.0 8.0 -11%
Minnesota 6.6 7.0 5.8 8.0 +17%
Illinois 6.2 5.9 6.6 - -13%
Indiana 6.0 6.7 5.3 - +20%
Northwestern 5.8 5.4 7.0 2.0 -29%
Notre Dame 5.5 6.4 6.0 1.5   +7%
Connecticut 5.4 5.0 5.8 - -17%
Penn State 5.3 5.0 5.6 - -12%
Michigan 5.0 4.3 5.2 6.5 -20%
Iowa 5.0 4.9 5.5 4.0 -13%
Wisconsin 4.6 4.4 5.2 4.0 -17%
Central Michigan 4.6 4.3 4.8 6.0 -12%
Other 6.6 7.2 6.2 6.8 +13%
AVERAGE 6.2 6.1 6.3 6.2   -3%
 
Undebated: the paucity of calls per game that went against the Wolverines in the Big House. Debatable: whether that's because Hoke's crew are well-behaved gentlemen who happen to get screwed when they go on the road, or because even referees' psyches don't' do well against 111,000 critics. Interesting that being on the road actually helped some teams , particularly Ohio State. When I broke it down with the violent/non-violent stuff Michigan held steady as the best team in the study at avoiding the little things (they were slightly better on the road than at home) but a fairly dramatic difference in how the big things were assessed.

Non-violent6570876

Team Pen/G Home Away Neutral HFA
Ohio State 4.3 4.6 3.5 - +24%
Michigan State 3.6 3.1 4.4 3.0 -40%
Michigan 2.3 2.5 2.2 2.0 +12%
Avg Team 3.8 3.7 4.0 3.2   -7%

Violent:

Team Pen/G Home Away Neutral HFA
Ohio State 3.6 4.0 2.8 - 31%
Michigan State 3.1 3.1 2.6 5.0 17%
Michigan 2.7 1.8 3.0 4.5 -64%
Avg Team 2.4 2.4 2.3 3.0 3%

Either they let the Wolverines get away with murder at home, we turn into Michigan State on the road, or those calls just went against us more often than they should have.

Comments

Hokepoints: Law & Order in the Big Ten

Hokepoints: Law & Order in the Big Ten Comment Count

Seth July 16th, 2013 at 4:48 PM

michigan-football-wallpaper-2012-michigan-state-thumb1

Monumental

I've been slowly building and picking through an all-plays database built from NCAA.org's play-by-play data. The easiest thing to pull out so far has been penalties, so let's play with those.

The benefit of the all-plays is you can tell the difference between penalties, since a personal foul says a different thing about a team and does a different thing to them than, say, a delay of game to set up a punt. I broke the various penalties up into "Violent" and "Non-Violent" behaviors.

  • Acts of violence: Clipping, crackbacks, facemasks, illegal blocks, illegal use of hands, kick catch interference, pass interference (?), roughing the kicker (15), roughing the passer, tripping, and unnecessary roughness.
  • Non-violent behaviors: Delay of game, encroachment, false starts, holding, ineligible receiver downfield, intentional grounding, kickoff out of bounds, offsides, running into the kicker (5), sideline interference, substitution infraction, too many men, unsportsmanlike conduct, and illegal fair catch, formation, forward pass, motion, participation, shifting, and touching.

Michigan last year was remarkably good at avoiding the latter type. I tracked the Big Ten plus our 2013 opponents and Michigan had fewer of the non-physical (yellow) calls go against them than any other team:

violent-nonviolent

lol…osu?

I don't know if I want to count PI since its application can get downright chintzy, so that's broken out. Either way Ohio State managed to lead the study in infractions despite playing a game or two fewer than most of the others. Reason why this is? Online poll says:

sportsnationque

4.5% of people who take any online fan poll are Buckeyes

I was surprised that Michigan State appeared to have their pugilistic streak in relative check, i.e. they were only among the leaders, not far ahead as I supposed from watching them. It takes a while to gather all the data but minus the regular season Wisconsin game (data wasn't available) their 2011 penalty numbers were high but their personal foul quotient wasn't: 31 violent (11 of those pass interference), but a ridiculous 60 non-violent. Wanna guess where a disproportionate of those came from? Offsides. #JerelWorthyJumpsEarly.

Michigan vs. Average

We're dealing with smallish sample sizes so conclusions are shaky. That said there are things to see when you look at which penalties Michigan was getting called against them versus a typical team on their schedule.

Non-violent things per season:

Penalty Avg Team Mich OSU ND MSU'12 MSU'11
False Start 14.3 7 21 21 13 20
Holding 12.8 13 14 11 15 12
Offsides/Encroachment 6.4 7 6 4 8 20
Illegal Offensive Stuff 4.6 - 5 5 5 -
Delay of Game 3.3 - 5 3 1 4
Coach Derps 2.2 3 3 2 2 2
Intentional grounding 0.8 - 1 - 1 -
Unsportsmanlike Conduct 0.8 1 4 - 1 1
Special Teams Derps 0.4 - - 1 - -
TOTAL 45.6 30 61 47 46 60

Michigan's veteran offensive line was good for something last year: remarkably few false starts and none of those illegal formation/procedure things that plagued us in various offensive transitions. That's a feather in Al Borges's cap: the offense had their fundamentals down about as well as you can ask. If you want to correlate offensive line experience with success at avoiding pre-snap penalties (I haven't proven this. Further study: is it experienced OL or just experienced tackles? Inquiring 2013 offensive lines want to know.

Violent crimes per season:

Penalty Avg Team Mich OSU ND MSU MSU'11
Personal Foul 13.7 10 24 9 21 16
Pass Interference 8.8 9 9 6 8 11
Various Illegal Blocks 4.8 8 8 4 6 -
Facemask 1.6 2 4 3 1 1
Roughing the Passer 1.0 3 2 1 - 3
Kick Catching Interference 0.6 2 - 1 2 -
Roughing the Kicker 0.3 - - - 2 -
Unnecessary Roughness 0.1 - - 1 - -
TOTAL 30.8 34 47 25 40 31

Average, the only thing standing out being chopblocks. There were a few of these called against Michigan last year that I thought were horsecrap (Mealer's v. UMass and Gallon's vs. Minnesota), and here's one that was legit (on Gordon):

If you don't spot it in 10 watches, watch it 10 more times.

I'm declaring Michigan a very average team at this.

Home Field Advantage?

There is one, usually. Michigan was almost twice as likely to get a penalty called against them on the road—that was an outlier. You could say it's because we got hosed on the road, or because Michigan Stadium is a major home-field advantage. Given the paucity of calls per game that went against the Wolverines in the Big House, I'd have to say that appears the more likely:

PENALTIES PER GAME

Team Tot/G Home Away Neutral % Diff on Road
Michigan 4.9 3.3 6.2 6.5 +86%
Purdue 6.8 5.4 8.2 9.0 +51%
Akron 8.2 6.7 9.7 - +45%
Northwestern 5.8 5.4 7.0 2. +29%
Connecticut 5.4 5.0 5.8 - +17%
Nebraska 7.1 6.7 7.8 7.0 +16%
Iowa 5.0 4.9 5.5 4.0 +13%
Illinois 6.2 5.9 6.6 - +13%
Penn State 5.3 5.0 5.6 - +12%
Central Michigan 4.6 4.3 4.8 6.0 +12%
Notre Dame 5.5 6.4 6.0 1.5 -7%
Wisconsin 4.2 4.4 4.0 4.0 -10%
Minnesota 6.6 6.9 6.0 8.0 -13%
Ohio State 8.5 8.9 7.8 - -13%
Indiana 6.0 6.7 5.3 - -20%
Michigan State 6.6 7.1 5.6 8.0 -22%
Other Opponents 6.5 7.1 6.2 6.8 -12%
AVERAGE d d d d +42%

But it could as well mean Michigan is more well-behaved at home. Interesting that being on the road actually helped some teams, particularly Michigan State.

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Fun With Quotes: Dantonio Edition

Fun With Quotes: Dantonio Edition Comment Count

Brian July 10th, 2013 at 12:10 PM

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This week in football coaches make obvious statements about how recruiting rankings are not guarantees:

Michigan State's Mark Dantonio wary of star rating systems used to classify recruits

"If you come in as a four‑star recruit, really doesn't serve any purpose," Dantonio said.

Last year in football coach talking about a guy in his recruiting class:

"For the third straight year, Michigan State gets the top player, perceived top player by the media in the state of Michigan."

(This was Aaron Burbridge, who turned out to be MSU's only receiver not toting bricks around for hands. The previous two were Lawrence Thomas, last seen playing FB/TE/DL/horrible mutated fly-man, and the wildly overrated but still long-term starter and NFL draft pick Will Gholston.)

I mean you guys at some point we're going to get all the football coaches in a room and carefully explain to them that we don't think the rankings are iron-clad guarantees, either, and that if they could just take that as a given we could all talk about something else for once. In any case, Dantonio won't have to walk a fine line between being a hipster about rankings and trumpeting his acquisition of the top player in the state this year.

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Hokepoints: B1G Bowls and the Michigan Difference

Hokepoints: B1G Bowls and the Michigan Difference Comment Count

Seth June 25th, 2013 at 11:20 AM

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The Game 1974 via Bentley

With the new bowl lineup I thought I'd delve into the conference's history with the things this week. Chart of sane bowl names is here.

The beginning

We whomped Stanford in 1901 so bad they canceled bowl games for a decade.

Rose or Bust.

For a time there was only the Rose Bowl. Then others began to pop up and the Big Ten wouldn't let teams go (Ohio State snuck over to Pasadena after the 1920 season but that was it). Then they said only one team may take a bid from the Rose Bowl.

It's been nearly 40 years and yet any Michigan fan over 50 still shakes with anger at it: In 1973 Michigan and Ohio State met in one of the more epic battles in that epic ten-year war. After Michigan missed three field goals in the 4th quarter the game—and thus the Big Ten title race—ended in a tie. In the process the Wolverines' starting quarterback Denny Franklin was busted up. Woody Hayes, never a particularly classy individual, made an uninformed remark to the media that he's sorry Franklin wouldn't be able to play in the bowl game. In part because they believed Michigan would be without Denny, the conference's athletic directors voted to send Ohio State to the Rose Bowl.

The following year Michigan did make their game-winning field goal, but the officials missed it and there was no replay, and Ohio State again went to Pasadena. Since the Big Ten wouldn't let its teams attend any other bowl, both times a more deserving Michigan had to stay home. Overall Franklin and the Wolverines managed to go three years (1972-'74) without a bowl game despite going 30-2-1 over that span.

The whole concept was as mind-blowingly ridiculous as it seems, and the following year the conference finally got rid of the rule that had become outdated due to...

Bowl Expansion

The conference deigned to allow its teams to go to bowls again only after WWII, and then it was "you can only go to the Rose Bowl if they invite you." Once the Big Ten released its members it sparked a new round of bowl expansion (click to inbigmatate):

bowls-all

Note the Y axis is "Bowl Teams" not games—divide by two to get # of games. Some oddities: Michigan wasn't in the Big Ten from 1907 to 1916, not that it made any difference. Having one yellow dot in the bowl picture looks ridiculous. Michigan State went to an Orange Bowl before joining the conference. Penn State and Nebraska obviously went to plenty of bowls before they joined. Ohio State turned down its Rose Bowl bids in 1960 and '61 because of academics(!); Minnesota went in their stead.

Michigan's Placement

Since the bowl field expanded, the Big Ten's tie-ins have gone through a series of confusing shifts, order only recently having been brought into the process. Owing to its TV draw and instant draw the bowls have typically taken Michigan almost as soon as they're allowed to. As a result when you look at the conference's bowl history you can see Michigan tends to go early even in its rough years.

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This is ordered by selection (starting from the left). Historically Michigan has been selected higher than its standing in the conference, the more so the lower down we get. For example in 1984 Michigan received an at-large Holiday Bowl bid—effectively the conference's third selector after the Rose and then the Cotton Peach took Purdue as an at-large—despite finishing behind Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin, and tied with Michigan State, whom we lost to that year. Since then there have been progressively more stringent so-Michigan-State-won't-cry rules placed by the conference on the bowls for which teams they can select. Before it was they have to be within 1 or 2 losses of each other. Under the new system there's a tier:

The New Lineup and the Golden Vagina:

1. Teams selected by the playoff committee go to the Golden Vagina Playoff.

College_Football_Playoff_Logo2. If the champion is still around they go to the Rose Bowl (vs Pac-12 or at-large), or the Orange Bowl (vs SEC or at-large) in years the Rose are the playoff hosts (2014 and every three years after).

3. BCS bowls can extend an at-large bid.

4. Citrus Bowl (SEC), Outback Bowl (SEC) and Holiday Bowl (Pac-12). Those bowls will unofficially switch off who gets first pick but really the conference will be sitting there negotiating who gets which school with the goal of rewarding better teams and changing things up a bit. Said Delany:

"Someone will obviously select first, but they may or may not get the team they want because that team may have been in that region two years in a row. We're trying to make sure there’s freshness. It's hard when a team goes to say Florida five times in six years to get them really excited."

5. Gator or Music City (SEC), San Francisco (Pac-12), and Pinstripe (ACC). The first two switch off with that bid.

6. Heart of Dallas or Ft. Worth Armed Forces Bowl (Big 12), Motor City Bowl (TBA)

The only way the Big Ten champ will play the Pac 12 champ is if both are seeded as such in the playoff, or both miss the playoff. I am guessing it will not happen very often. The tier system is a rather eloquent method of handling the problem of Michigan State's blubbering over bowls falling over themselves to avoid them. See? You're on the same tier. Everyone on the same tier is the same.

Still Broken

The new system does have its problems:

  • Not all of the payouts on each tier are equivalent right now—that seems like it can be negotiated.
  • In a scenario where Michigan State beats Michigan in the regular season, thus winning the tiebreaker to get into the Big Ten Championship Game, and MSU subsequently loses that game and is no longer BCS eligible because they're ranked too low now, and Michigan is still ranked high enough for a BCS bid and gets one, Michigan State will still cry.
  • In any given scenario, Michigan State will find a reason to cry.

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Dear Diary and the Life of Pirate Al Borges

Dear Diary and the Life of Pirate Al Borges Comment Count

Seth June 21st, 2013 at 10:42 AM

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Bryan Fuller

If you've missed the bumping, Ron Utah has been following Borges's coaching history up and down the Pacific coast, and through about 14,000 plays called. Time to play catch-up:

Part I: A young Albison Issaquary Pirate Borges (that isn't his name) began coaching at Salinas High School as a 19-year-old assistant. He spent a year as an assistant at Cal, then went was a tight ends/receivers coach at Diablo Valley College. Then he was OC there, then at Portland State, then was at Boise State when they were making their transition up to Division I-AA. Then it was Oregon and UCLA.

Part II: Borges's ship is attacked and he is forced to join his hometown Cal Bears for the awful pre-Tedford times. After the mistake of joining the Indiana of the Pac Ten, Borges was ready to join the Indiana of the Big Ten, which was entering its DiNardo phase. Side note: Brian is going to be on a panel with DiNardo at a Chicago alumni event in July, the week of the Big Ten meetings. Raise of hands (or hooks) for those who think Brian will start asking DiNardo about Borges, and Gerry will be like "who is this guy?" Anyway then Borges went to Auburn and that's in there too.

Part III: After getting blamed for Auburn's awful 2007 offense under Tuberville, Borges took a year off then got a call from this guy who was taking over at San Diego State.

Part IV: Finally to the data, with career run-pass numbers and his far more efficient passing offense. We also go through his quarterbacks, and a lot of receivers with gaudy YPC numbers (evidence he likes the bomb) and running backs who mostly regressed. Ron also mentions Borges isn't really a recruiter. In the comments he mentions Borges's success on opening drives. Part V?

Diarist of the week assuredly.

Conference of the Crappy QBs.

1 LEAD and large as you can- Upchurch - 8193374455_6e3fdc8fe5_o1 IMG_35453 - Fuller - 8359807586_c3d90b3a39_oUpchurch - 8172718158_62a3847db7_o

Last week we welcomed back one of the great diarists from yesteryear, MCalibur. Fed up with passer rating, which as a standalone statistic can't differentiate between Chad Henne and Tommy Rees (see end of the diary) the diarist who is not a sword turned completion %, yards per attempt, touchdown % and interception % into passer ratings, and then used standard year-to-year improvement to project How Gardner should fare this season. He followed up this week by going through all the Big Ten's quarterbacks, and then the rest of the guys on the schedule this year. Here is his data on 11 quarterbacks assembled into a table (rank among the 11 is in parentheses).

Rk Player School Comp% YPA TD% INT% AVG
1 Devin Gardner Mich 132.8 (6th) 176.3 (1st) 177 (1st) 98.3 (9th) 146.1
2 Joel Stave Wis 129.8 (7th) 168.6 (2nd) 125.9 (6th) 152.4 (3rd) 144.2
3 Braxton Miller OSU 127.3 (8th) 144.5 (3rd) 137.8 (3rd) 158.4 (2nd) 142.0
4 Taylor Martinez Neb 143.5 (3rd) 140.1 (4th) 142.6 (2nd) 124.8 (7th) 137.8
5 Kain Colter NW 169.1 (1st) 102.5 (8th) 130.4 (4th) 146.3 (4th) 137.1
6 Tommy Rees ND 158.9 (2nd) 124.4 (6th) 123.4 (7th) 119.3 (8th) 131.5
7 Cameron Coffman Ind 138 (4th) 119.2 (7th) 107.1 (8th) 145.7 (5th) 127.5
8 Andrew Maxwell MSU 101.9 (10th) 102.3 (9th) 96.4 (9th) 171.3 (1st) 118.0
9 Chandler Whitmer UConn 124.5 (9th) 132 (5th) 90.6 (10th) 94.3 (10th) 110.4
10 N. Scheelhasse Ill 137.4 (5th) 96.3 (11th) 78.6 (11th) 125.1 (6th) 109.4
11 Philip Nelson Minn 88.2 (11th) 100.4 (10th) 128.9 (5th) 81.9 (11th) 99.9

Kudos to LSAClassof2000 for algebraically finding the individual-year APRs for the rest of the conference. Since we have rivals who aren't so good at algebra here's a table of their constituent scores versus ours over the BLedPRoCIAAga_81last eight years:

Year Michigan vs MSU vs OSU
2005 941 +35 -22
2006 978 +33 +47
2007 924 -12 -58
2008 945 +8 -51
2009 897 -49 -94
2010 946 +13 -25
2011 984 +28 -10
2012 981 -1 +11

To Sparty trolls: our oldest constituent score is a major outlier. Let's high-five for being just about even this year in a metric that measures attendance and retention.

To Urban Meyer: It's true that Ohio State was trouncing Michigan since getting trounced itself in 2006…until you arrived.

LSA was also the subject of Six Zero's latest MGoProfile feature, where he explains why he's the only guy here with an adorable pony avatar other those being punished by the mods for avatar infractions. 100% percent agree on the power to delete or edit one's own posts.

Etc. And Michigan's massive endowment isn't so big when you consider other academic factors (like that we have twice as many students as comparable schools).

Best of the Boards

BEST OF THE LOOT

The thread of Michigan swag owned by the readers got huge, and makes me feel pretty crappy about my collection, which is really just a folder full of my old Michigan tickets and old copies of the Daily. Here's MgoBlueD's basement:

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And here's the guest room that Wolverine Devotee keeps for when the Buckeye relatives come to town (I'm guessing):

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One guy named Stonecoldwolv said his '97 national championship ring.

There was also a "what's your favorite joke?" thread which is long and excellent if you're short on material, and a fan license plate thread.

BIG TEN WATER WAR

You know how Alabama installed a water fountain in their locker room? And how EDSBS suggested what other schools should do? Well 1484 covered the Big Ten. Northwestern's gonna be pretty pissed when they realize Mark Huyge's on our side.

ETC. Pipelines discussion is useful—would love to see a diary on M pipelines through the years and what happened to them. Avant's Hands discusses blowout decorum in anticipation of Spain versus 11 athletic-looking tourists Tahiti kidnapped from a cruise ship that was going by. UM Solar Car Team written up on FoxNews. Vincent Smith and Brandin Hawthorne want to play you on Call of Duty. I'm too old for that, but anyone from Team 120 wanna play Goldeneye?

Your Moment of Zen:

The recruits are grateful for the warning.

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