Michigan Mini Movie - Week 2

Michigan Mini Movie - Week 2

Submitted by AdamBomb on September 13th, 2017 at 1:42 PM

Week two's mini movie has been released on Michigan Football's Facebook page. It's short and sweet, and I figured I would share, because who doesn't like hype videos?

https://youtu.be/ldPS54bqAEY

https://www.facebook.com/michiganfball/videos/10156641262283625/

Someone please embed, I'm not that advanced.

 

Best and Worst: Cincinnati

Best and Worst: Cincinnati

Submitted by bronxblue on September 11th, 2017 at 6:56 AM

Man, I was really looking forward to this game needing a lot less discussion.

Best: It's a win

It was an ugly game after a big win last week. If people want to rend garments after a 22-point win, then by all means do so. That's their choice. But at no point would I classify this as a "game" in the sense Michigan was in danger of losing. This wasn't Akron or UConn circa 2013, two games I've seen people reference because they sorta resemble the outcome here in the broadest of strokes. And I am here to say that is categorically not the case here. Those games were bad teams playing poorly; this was a good team having a bad day. Go back and look at those box scores, look at those drive charts. Those were games where (seemingly) inferior teams were going toe-to-toe with Michgian and winning a number of individual and schematic battles. I almost pulled an Event Horizon watching those two games because of how impotent Michigan looked on both sides of the ball, to the point that Akron put up 418 yards of total offense, their third highest total of the year after ULL(!) and Ball State(!!).

Contrast all that with this game. Cincy got exactly 200 yards of offense; Michigan doubled them up with 414 yards. Cincinnati had a total of 13 first downs; almost as many came on penalties (3) as rushes (4). For the game, they averaged 2.9 yards per play (and if you factor out that yakety sax fumble-turned-safety, it's still just 3.3 ypp); Michigan averaged 6.3. This was closer to games like Ball State 2006, EMU 2007, Northern Illinois in 2005,Miami (NTM) 2001, etc. Hell, the first game I attended at Michigan Stadium was the 1995 game against Miami (NTM) wherein Michigan let the Red Hawks hang around well into the 2nd half before putting them away. My point is they were all games where Michigan was the more talented team but played down to the competition to varying degrees, whether it be by turning the ball over, failing to convert on 3rd downs, taking too many penalties, playing poorly in the secondary or along the defensive line, etc. They were never really in danger of losing these games, but the opposition was allowed to hang around due to a number of self-inflicted wounds by the Wolverines.

Off the bat, I'll say the defense played quite well (again) save for a handful of blown coverages or poor positioning/tackling. So the focus here will be on the offense. Here's the quick recap: the Bearcats were supposed to be an easy win, a chance to "clear the benches" and get some guys a couple of snaps against an overmatched squad that struggled to beat a terrible FCS team last week. Michigan had just come off a big win against Florida, limiting a mediocre offense to 11 yards on the ground and not much more in the air. But it was obviously pretty early on that this wasn't going to be a cakewalk, or at least Cincinatti wasn't a Baby Seal U opponent. The first Michigan drive was masterful, with a nice mix of running by Isaac and passing by Speight leading to a long TD by Crawford. But even then, you saw the Bearcats getting some pressure without dedicating lots of rushers, and that would be an ongoing theme. Their offense was just anemic, and Michigan capitalized with a pick-six. Michigan's next two drives didn't amount to much, with a bad 3-and-out and then an errant punt allowed to bounce off a Michigan player giving Cincy great field position they ultimately capitalized on for a TD. The subsequent drive started well, with a DPJ run flipping the field, but it sputtered out in the red zone after a bad exchange between Speight and Isaac and some missed/tightly covered passes. The next drive featured another fumble on a jet sweep with Crawford. And that was basically the story for the rest of the quarter; nobody but Isaac could really get going on the ground, and Speight was fine but never really pushed the ball downfield. And all the while, Cincinatti couldn't do much offensively while their speedy, undersized front 7 either got into the backfield or snuffed out plays for minimal gain. Oh yeah, and Michigan kept taking dumb penalties like illegal substitutions and holding penalties on kickoffs.

The second half started the same as the first; Cincy scored on a long drive, then Isaac got a couple nice runs, Speight and the receivers couldn't get on the same page, and Michigan kept taking dumb penalties like Ulizio getting a 15-yard unsportsmanlike for (it seemed) some extracurricular activities after getting beat. Cincinatti didn't really do much (though good lord did Brock Huard want any possible reason to claim the Bearcats were definitely, totally in this game), but the score stayed close. Then Speight got a long ball to Gentry, another to Perry for his second TD of the game, and the game was basically over. The only interesting part left was another pick-six and Rashan Gary getting called for a borderline roughing the passer and a totally insane targeting (before they rightfully reversed that) call that led to the utter destruction of Cincy's QB for the remainder of that drive. Oh, and Luke Fickell somehow deciding to huddle before punting down 2 TDs around midfield, then in the mad rush to get set up seeing the punt sail by his unsuspecting punter into the endzone for a safety. Because like former Alabama assistant coaches, OSU assistant coaches are probably poor copies of the original.

I know I'm going to be reiterating this throughout the rest of this diary, so you've been warned, but this was just a messy game by a good team, facing an opponent unusually prepared for them. Remember, Luke Fickell had been a coach at OSU since 2002; he's been preparing to defend every permutation of Michigan football for 15 years. Sure he doesn't have the athletes to fully implement his gameplan, but it's safe to assume that he saw tendencies and deficiencies in Michigan's team that probably would have been missed during your usual prep week, and did his best to exploit them. We make a big deal about Jeff Brohm and what he's done to turn Purdue into a competent club after the tire fire last year, but Fickell is a good defensive coach and this team went to a bowl game 2 years ago and won 10, 10, 9, and 9 games before that. They were bad last year, but the bones of a competent team are still there, and they seem to have an identity on defense and enough speed to give it some teeth. And just like last week, this is still a very young team, especially offensively, and those questions you had about the offensive line, RB, QB, and receiver didn't suddenly fix themselves in 7 days. Ulizio still seems a bit lost out there (though better than last week) and had trouble with outside speed, and there were communication breakdowns as the Bearcats consistently found success with stunts and delayed blitzes, and had success limiting outside runs by outrunning linemen to spots. Isaac continues his renaissance, but both Higdon and Evans averaged 3 yards a carry and still seem to be finding their sea legs a bit behind this rejiggered line. Speight had a couple of bad throws but there were a couple of plays where it was clear either the receiver didn't run the expected route or went to slow/shallow. And later in the game, Michigan seemed to deal with some of Cincy's pressure by leaving more guys into block longer, creating passing downs with maybe 2 receivers and a late-releasing TE or back as the only options.

And yet, Michigan won this game by 22 points. Cincinatti had 3 drives of 9+ plays...and every other drive (save the last meaingless one) was 4 plays or less. I'll get into it a bit farther down when discussing the passing game, but this is still a passing offense with about 50-ish catches to their names combined; they'll improve as guys get in sync with each other. My point isn't to excuse a mediocre performance; I'm not going to be particularly kind to anyone in terms of the overall performance. But good teams can have bad days, and while it doesn't surprise me that this bandwagon-heavy fanbase can overreact to a bad performance, it's still disheartening to see the same comments about "lack of heart" and the rest of that tired dreck. We have two data points thus far in this young season, and they point to an immature offense and a dominant and aggressive defense. You hope and expect the prior to improve and the latter to refine, and during that process games like this will happen. I said this elsewhere, but give me 13 more messy 22-ppint wins and I'll be happy.

Best: The Speight and the Whale

Based on my point total and the fact I've been writing some permutation of this column since 2009, it's safe to say I'm a fan of this site. Obviously I'm a bit of a biased homer, but it's telling that lots of other fan sites out there mirror what MGoBlog does in terms of game recaps, deep-dive playbook analysis, formation discussions, etc. It holds immense influence over Michigan sports, as the narratives you hear about the team throughout the season oftentimes have a genesis in the main-page posts. And that's largely fine; Brian and co. have a great deal of both analytical and "fan" knowledge at their disposal to draw larger inferences from; as Brian mentioned, he's been doing some form of UFRs for about a decade, and this site's seen this team go from late-era Carr to RR, then Hoke, then finally Harbaugh. That's an eclectic collection of coaches and styles, to say nothing of the innumerable analyses on opponents.

And so it's why, when Brian declared he'd be amazed if an Al Borges-recruited QB ever started at Michigan, it'd be a minor miracle, many people (myself included) mentally wrote off Wilton Speight. When Speight came in and relieved an injured Rudock against Minnesota and led them to a victory, we all sorta assumed it was dumb luck, the "QB Whisperer" in Harbaugh dragging the last drop of talent and competence out of a flawed player. And then last offseason all the buzz was about John O'Korn wresting the starting spot from the departing Rudock, the gunslinger coming to bring a new level of excitement to a position that was dynamic in the air but still rather stationary on the ground. And yet, Speight beat out O'Korn rather handily, and then led Michigan to 10 wins and was basically the only semi-consistent part of the offense against OSU and FSU. Speight has proven now for 2 seasons that he's a pretty good QB; he's not Deshaun Watson or Lamar Jackson, but he's big, strong, and elusive enough to effectively move this offense even other parts (i.e. the running game) falter. I know the go-to reference is John Navarre, but he's probably a little bit better than that, as he never had those types of weapons around him (Doak Walker-winner Chris Perry and Belitnikoff-winner Braylon Edwards) and has had to weather the aftershock of a coaching change, even if he had only been on campus a short time. Of recent college Michigan QBs, I think his ceiling is college Tom Brady or Jake Rudock (I was considering Griese, but he was the definition of game manager for much of his time under Carr), guys who were B+ across the board and can win you a bunch of games if you don't expect them to carry you. And yet, I'm already fairly certain there are people who are rushing to the comments below to call me an idiot, that there's no way Wilton Speight should be considered in that same class. His career's tombstone was etched a year ago, and you ain't getting "just a guy" off easy.

Wilton Speight had another fine game. Yes, he had a couple of bad throws; Harbaugh said he overthrew DPJ in the third and Speight mentioned that he thought his mechanics were off on a couple of throws. He also fumbled a handoff to Isaac near the goalline that stymied a TD drive and him and Crawford fumbled a handoff on a jet sweep. There are all human mistakes, mistakes virutally every QB has made both at Michgian and elsewhere, and will the same imperfections you'll see in the guys who ultimately replace him. He also completed around 60% of his throws, for about 7.6 ypa, for 2 TDs and 0 picks. For every bad pass, he had a couple that were dynamite (his second TD to Perry, his long throw to Gentry, his 4th-down completion to keep a FG drive going), and he suffered from a couple of uncalled PIs (there was one on Black where the defender just yanked him forward as he curled back, and other where Crawford was basically carrying the corner) and what seemed like miscommunication with his receivers. People complain about his struggles in the 2nd quarter, but Michigan had 8 yards rushing in the 2nd quarter and 37 in the 3rd; Speight was 10/17 for 123 yards and a TD over that same time frame. He's operating behind an offensive line still breaking in 3 new starters and, as mentioned above, is throwing to Grant Perry or a bunch of guys with under 10 career catches total coming into the year, 2 of whom were suiting up for thier high schools this time last year.

And some credit should go to Cincinatti; they were able to consistently generate some pressure with their front 4 and that let them sit back in coverage on Michigan's WRs, who for the second week in a row seemed to struggle getting separation downfield. Outside of the busted coverage on Crawford's TD, it looked like guys were reasonably well covered downfield; Michigan's best passing typically happened when guys went inside and either got a mismatch on a LB or a safety let a guy slip by. I was really impressed by the speed Cincy showed out there in the front 7, and my guess is that will be a strength for this team going forward.

I'm not absolving Speight of his mistakes or arguing that he's some underappreciated star; he's a solid QB who can have wonky mechanics in spurts, seems to throw "smaller" than he actually is (a trait he does share with Navarre), and is never going to be much of a runner. Like I said, a B+ guy across the board with moments of elite play and moments where he's all over the place. But he moves well under duress, is always looking downfield, and is certainly not the main, or even a key, reason the offense has struggled at times early in the season. And I think if his name didn't have all this baggage attached to it, this memory of a bad Iowa game and Al Borges calling him one of the best QBs in his class, he wouldn't come under such fire. But he's a QB at Michigan, and he's always got the ball in his hand and the camera locked on, so every real flaw is magnified and conflated into both the symptom and the disease for any stagnation or struggles by an offense that is clearly still getting itself right. This will undobutedly fall on deaf ears for some, but give this whole offense Speight's "mediocrity" and we're talking about one of the 3-4 best teams in the country.

Worst: Everything But The Isaac

Speaking of people I think a lot of us wrote off; Ty Isaac had a career high running the ball, averaging nearly 7 ypc and running with a newfound consistency. He's always looked the part of a 5* in the open field, but until this year he couldn't keep ahold of the ball, or break enough tackles, or follow enough blocking schemes, to showcase that. This year, he looks like a new player, busting through arm tackles and making solid cuts through holes that the other backs simply haven't. Like all the runners he's a bit of a non-entity in the passing game, but my hope is that those aspect of his game will be integrated more into the offense as the season proceeds, because without a dynamic pass catcher Isaac (and, one hopes, Evans) in open space are one of the few believable options to generate chunk plays right now.

But for everyone else, this is the second week when it felt like both Evans and Higdon couldn't quite get on track. Neither of them have broken 4 yards per carry in a game this year, and against the Bearcats they averaged 3 yards on 9 carries. I assume they will still be involved in the rotation, but Isaac already doubled his carries from last week, and at some point Harbaugh is going to stick with his workhorse who also gives him decent pass protection and is a solid short-yardage option given his size. Had the game been over sooner, maybe those carries are handed out more equally and we also see guys like Samuels and Walker get some playing time. But this is starting to feel more and more like a feature-back offense.

Worst: Still Figuring it Out

The offensive line was better than last week; wave your tiny white flag like there are no reprecussions. Despite the personal foul penalty, Ulizio held up better at the point of attack; he gave up a sack, though, and continues to be a little slow in reacting to the outside rush, though he was better than against Florida. It did feel like I saw more guys getting even partial pressure from that right side, as there were a couple of instances where defenders weren't handed off properly between Kugler, Ulizio, and Onwenu. That I assume will be less frequent as the line gels. My biggest complaint with Cole and Bredeson was that there were times, especially on stretch plays and screens, where the speed of the Bearcats let them blow up plays for minimal gain because guys couldn't quite get their hands on them. There was one Isaac run in that second half where Michigan had numbers but was stopped for a loss because either a corner or safety just sliced between both of them.

What scares me is that if you ignore Isaac's rushing numbers, this team can't crack 3.5 yards a carry with any other running back. I'll accept that against Florida, but against Cincinatti you'd have expected there to be solid holes and guys getting into the second level and taking out linebackers; even Isaac's longer runs required him to break a tackle or two before getting into the open field. At some point, this offensive line needs to start depositing running backs 4-5 yards downfield before contact. I'm sure the UFR will point out a lot of places where a back took the wrong cut or a shoestring tackle saved a TD, but this is starting to feel a lot like last year, and if that's the case fans will need to downgrade their expectations a bit.

Best: The Defense, Again

I feel like these columns always focus on the offense, and it's not intentional. I really, truly enjoy watching a great defensive effort; few things are more exciting as a fan than a pick-six or a defensive end depositing the soul of a QB about 20 rows into the stands. But while the offense had its ups and downs, its tense moments and discussion points, the defense did basically what its done the past 2 years; strangle an offense and grind it into a fine powder. As I noted above, the Bearcats had 3 legitimate scoring drives (the 2 TDs and the missed FG), and nothing else. And honestly, that first TD was a gift of a short field after a bad punt return. As for the other TD, I don't think it was an illegal offensive PI (as a corner you have to be careful about initiating and maintaining contact with a receiver when they've been using that against you earlier in the game), but the refs definitely allowed more physicality by the Bearcats on offense than you'd expect.

I saw people complain about tunnel screens and a couple of blown coverages that Cincy couldn't capitalize on, and certainly those plays will turn into points against better offenses. But no defense is perfect, and if you can count the number of big plays on one hand your team gives up, I'll take it. In particular with the deep balls, the one to Hudson down the sideline was clearly a bust that should have been caught; the other throw that was about 4-6 yards ahead of the Cincy receiver with a corner (Hill?) in pursuit happens sometimes in games, but banking on college QBs consistently hitting those while under pressure is a fool's bet.

The defensive line was dominant, as usual. Hurst could not be blocked all day, and after that bogus targetting penalty was overturned, it felt like the rest of that drive was a contest between the ends to see who could smoosh the Cincy QB fastest. I saw in AJDrain's that McCray had a bad game, and I have to agree. He seems injured, and teams are going to continue to go at him with RBs until he either shows he can keep up with them in the passing game or he gets replaced. I also couldn't tell who failed to keep contain on the one long Cincy run by the keeper. Air Force will be a different beast and won't tax him in coverage, so I'm guessing we'll see a better version this weekend.

Devin Bush had another disurptive day, picking up 8 tackles, including a sack. Hudson joined in with 2 sacks of his own, and it's clear that Brown is going to send these death missles at teams until they figure out how to block them or they run out of QBs. My only concern remains both of these players in coverage; it felt like Hudson took a couple of bad angles on some of the deeper balls. Again, small sample size and all, but it'll be interesting to see what happens against Purdue and their revitalized passing game.

Finally, both Kinnel and Hill had interceptions they returned for score, and Kinnel added a sack along with a team-leading 9 tackles. There is a totally believable and expected drop-off in the secondary compared to last year's squad, but thus far it seems like a relatively small step back. Hill, in particular, seems to have an aggressiveness with his coverage that this team can use. Again, it's going to be a couple of weeks before we see them really tested.

Overall, it's a great defense not being asked to do all that much. Purdue should be a solid test, and PSU's somewhat-janky offense at night awaits. But after watching OSU play this weekend, I'm not sure Barrett is going to be able to challenge them vertically, and their running game remains a mystery to me. This defense is probably really good; I'm not sure how often they'll have to really show it looking at the schedule.

Quick Hits:

It's getting late and I'm running out of gifs.

  • I miss Peppers on punt returns. DPJ is an athletic marvel, but he's still a freshman and those guys make mistakes. If you aren't going to fair-catch a punt, make it super-obvious you aren't as early as possible and let everyone else on the return team know it. At this point, I'd rather Perry just down them than left two hit the ground and possibly lead to turnovers.
  • The referees were ATROCIOUS in this game. The Gary penalty was pretty bad (I can sorta accept roughing the passer, but how anyone thought that was targetting even for a moment astounds me), and then on the other side they missed at least two horsecollar-type tackles on Isaac. They also missed a DPI on Black that ended a drive, and didn't count a catch by Perry that was pretty clearly a completion. That PI on Lavert Hill was also suspect, but I've sorta given up understanding what constitutes PI when both guys are grabby. Still, not a shining moment for that crew.
  • Brock Huard and whatever rejected sentient Sesame Street puppet they had in the booth next to him were almost unlistenable at times. I get they are about generating drama, but if Cincy got past the line of scrimmage it was met with a "you know, this Bearcat team isn't afraid of the big moments" when they were down double-digits. A white noise machine and a Teddy Ruxpin fished out of the Huron River would have been just as effective a team at calling the action.
  • There's a thread about this where I've made my feelings known, but in general: don't boo college players. You can boo professionals because part of the contract they sign implicitly states people are going to yell at you from the relative anonymity of the stands. That's what's the money is for. But these are college athletes playing a game for your enjoyment, they don't "work for you" as a paying customer, they don't have to "suck it up" because they get a "free education", as if keeping your grades up while also being an elite athlete are just a given, and they don't need a "wake up call" from some jackass 30 rows up who doesn't like that his team isn't winning by enough. If that makes me a White Knight, a patronizing asshole, a snowflake, or whatever, so be it. I'd rather by that than someone who can't find a more constructive handling of their negative emotions than yelling at 20-year-olds playing a game you paid money to watch.
  • I've noticed this for a couple of weeks now, but it seems like the receivers aren't catching the ball with their hands as much as their bodies. In particular, I noticed Crawford bobbling a couple of balls and letting them get into his body a bit too much. It's small sample size and all so I'm not reading too much into it yet, but last week that first pick hit him in the hands and it was bounced, and there was anther ball this game that he had trouble corralling. I think that's as much timing with Speight as a technique issue, but something that popped up twice.

Next week

Bring all your knee braces. Air Force isn't going to stretch the field with its receivers, and my guess is Michigan's defensive line is going to eat them up. But there will be some runs that break into the secondary, and I hope the corners tackle properly and avoid injuries. Beyond that, I'm always happy to see a service academy, and as a PSA - please donate to relief efforts in Houston, Florida, and beyond. There are bigger things in this world than college football, and let's unleash the Michigan money cannon at people and places that could use it. Go Blue!

Cinci RB: No doubt we can shock the world

Cinci RB: No doubt we can shock the world

Submitted by OwenGoBlue on September 5th, 2017 at 10:18 PM

Some guy named Mike Boone said "I've got no doubt in my mind that we can go out and shock the world" at Michigan on Saturday. 

On the one hand, what else is he going to say? On the other, maybe check Mark Thompson's mentions this week before you speak.

[OT-ish] Cincinnati ATH Torrance Gibson (former OSU transfer) most likely to redshirt 2017

[OT-ish] Cincinnati ATH Torrance Gibson (former OSU transfer) most likely to redshirt 2017

Submitted by BoFlex on May 19th, 2017 at 11:26 AM

I figured it may be of interest to the board considering UC is the 2nd game of the year.

Torrance Gibson is a former 4*/5* dual-threat QB from the class of 2015 depending on which service you use. Originally committed to Ohio State where he switched to WR, and then expelled from Ohio State beginning of his redshirt freshman season (rumored to be due to plagiarism/academic infraction). Gibson has since transferred to UC in the hopes of playing immediately and a chance to compete for the starting QB position. Immediate elgibility was going to be determined by Gibson's ability to complete a Associate’s Degree by the start of Fall semester.

According to Luke Fickell, Gibson attempted to enroll at Cincinnati State to earn an Associate’s, but the plans fell through, and is instead enrolled in at UC for summer classes now. It does not look like Gibson will make the cutoff to be immediately eligible for the 2017 season.

Not that it would have matter for the end result of the UC game, but originally I thought Gibson would be an interesting "X-Factor" if he was somehow named a starter at QB or WR for the game.

The Bye Week Corollary

The Bye Week Corollary

Submitted by hart20 on October 13th, 2011 at 4:36 PM

Soulfire21, went over Debunking the Bye Week Myth earlier this week, showing that in general, teams coming off of a bye week usually lose. From 2000 to 2010, teams coming off of a bye week have a winning percentage of .480, a shade less than .500. However, Big Ten teams are noticeably worse when coming off of a bye week; Big Ten teams have a winning percentage of .350 when coming off of a bye week. Big Ten teams are below the national average by .150. By default, nationally, teams playing teams coming off of a bye week have a winning percentage of .520 and teams playing Big Ten teams coming off of a bye week have a winning percentage of .650.

Although the average team performs worse when coming off of a bye week, I wondered if there was an exception. Some coaches have their teams perform better than average after bye weeks and some coaches have their teams perform worse than average, right? This also means that some coaches have to be better than average when playing against a team coming off of a bye week and some coaches have to be worse than average when playing against a team coming off of a bye week.

Before I started writing this diary, I predicted that Mark Dantonio would have a below average record playing after a bye week and that Brady Hoke would have an above average record playing against teams who were coming off of bye weeks. I had no rational reason for these predictions. I just don’t like Dantonio and I like Brady Hoke.

My method for checking my predictions was quite simple, just look at the W/L record of Mark Dantonio (as a Head Coach) coming off of a Bye Week and then look at the record of Brady Hoke (as a head coach) playing against teams who are coming off of a bye week.

 

Mark Dantonio Coming Off of Bye Weeks

 

Year

Team

Opponent

W/L

Score

Dantonio Final Record

Opp. Final Record

2004

Cincinnati

Memphis

W

49-10

7-5

8-4

2004

Cincinnati

South Florida

W

45-23

7-5

4-7

2005*

Cincinnati

Miami (OH)

L

44-16

4-7

7-4

2005*

Cincinnati

South Florida

L

31-16

4-7

6-6

2006

Cincinnati

West Virginia

L

42-24

8-5

11-2

2007

MSU

N/A

N/A

N/A

7-6

N/A

2008

MSU

Penn St.

L

49-18

9-4

11-2

2009

MSU

N/A

N/A

N/A

6-7

N/A

2010

MSU

Purdue

W

35-31

11-2

4-8

 

*10 day bye week instead of a full 14 day bye week

 

Interesting Notes

-Mark Dantonio, as a head coach, is 3-4 when coming off of a bye week. That is good for a winning percentage of 0.428. That puts Dantonio below the national average by .052 but above the Big Ten average by .078.

-As MSU’s head coach, Dantonio is 1-1 coming off of a bye week. That’s a winning percentage of .500, .020 above the national average and .150 above the Big Ten average.

-Biggest loss: 31 points in 2008. MSU vs. PSU

-Smallest loss: 15 points in 2005. Cincinnati vs. USF

-Average loss margin: 23 points

-Biggest win: 39 points in 2004. Cincinnati vs. Memphis

-Smallest win: 4 points in 2010. MSU vs. Purdue

-Average win margin:  21.7 points

-Dantonio is 2-0 against teams with losing records. That is a winning percentage of 1.000, .520 above the national average and .650 above the Big Ten average.

-Dantonio is 1-4 against teams who are .500 or better. That is a winning percentage of .200, .280 below the national average and .150 below the Big Ten average.

 

 

 

Brady Hoke Playing Against Teams Who Are Coming Off of a Bye Week

 

Year

Team

Opponent

W/L

Score

Brady Hoke’s Final Record

Opp. Final Record

2003

Ball St.

N/A

N/A

N/A

4-8

N/A

2004

Ball St.

N/A

N/A

N/A

2-9

N/A

2005

Ball St.

N/A

N/A

N/A

4-7

N/A

2006

Ball St.

Buffalo

W

55-25

5-7

2-10

2007

Ball St.

West. Kentucky

W

35-12

7-6

7-5

2007*

Ball St.

Toledo

W

41-20

7-6

5-7

2008

Ball St.

Indiana

W

42-20

12-1

3-9

2008*

Ball St.

North. Illinois

W

45-14

12-1

6-6

2008*

Ball St.

West. Michigan

W

45-22

12-1

9-3

2009*

San Diego St.

Southern Utah

W

35-19

4-8

5-6

2009

San Diego St.

UNLV

L

28-24

4-8

5-7

2010

San Diego St.

New Mexico

W

30-20

9-4

1-11

2010*

San Diego St.

UNLV

W

48-14

9-4

2-11

*10 day bye-week

 

Interesting Notes

-Brady Hoke is 9-1 (!) when playing against teams who are coming off of a bye week. That’s a winning percentage of .900 (!). He’s outperforming the national average by .380 and the Big Ten average by .250.

- Biggest/Smallest/Average/Only loss:  4 points in 2009. SDSU vs. UNLV

-Biggest win: 34 points in 2010. SDSU vs. UNLV

-Smallest win: 10 points in 2010. SDSU vs. New Mexico

-Average win margin:  23.3 points

-Brady Hoke is 6-1 against teams with losing records. That is a winning percentage of .857, .337 above the national average and .207 above the Big Ten average.

-Brady Hoke is 3-0 against teams who are .500 or better. That is a winning percentage of 1.000, .480 above the national average and .350 above the Big Ten average.

 

 

Upon taking a closer look, Dantonio outperforming the Big Ten is not very impressive for 3 reasons. Reason #1: Saying you’re doing better than the worst is inherently not impressive. You’re still doing worse than the best. Reason #2:  2 of his wins came in 2004 at Cincinnati, his first year as a head coach. After 2004, Dantonio lost every single game coming off of a bye week after until last year against Purdue. Even in that game, MSU barely managed to pull out the victory against a bad, 4-8 Purdue team. He clearly struggles in the games after bye weeks. Reason #3: Dantonio is very, very bad after bye weeks when he playing against teams with a winning record (1-4).

For the good guys, Brady Hoke is great when playing against teams coming off of a bye week. His only loss against a team coming off of a bye week was by 4 points. Although most of his wins came against teams who ended their seasons with losing records, he is undefeated against teams with winning records (3-0).  He easily outperforms both the national and Big Ten averages.

Bye weeks are of no advantage to MSU, and actually might hurt MSU’s chance of victory. MSU coming off of a bye week is more of an advantage to Michigan than to anyone else.  Mark Dantonio’s ineptness playing after a bye week coupled with Brady Hoke’s adeptness playing against teams coming off of a bye week point only to good things for Michigan.

 

 

P.S. This is my first Diary, so let me know if there is anything I should change, not change, do, or not do in the future. I’ll probably write something similar to this for the Purdue game, looking at how Brady Hoke fares when playing after bye weeks. 

OT: Proper Etiquette For Sporting Event in Which You Have No Rooting Interest

OT: Proper Etiquette For Sporting Event in Which You Have No Rooting Interest

Submitted by Shalom Lansky on January 1st, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Sorry about the beast of a title but any abbreviation I came up with offended the English language.

I don't regularly attend sporting events in which I could give a damn about who wins or loses. In fact tonight's Sugar Bowl may be the first time, but when offered good seats to a BCS game in a city in which I already live, I had to accept.

The problem is I have no idea what to do once inside the massive space ship of a dome.

I have no love for Florida although Michigan's 2-0 record against the Gators makes me feel warm and fuzzy, however Urban Meyer is a DB (yes, a defensive back) and the media-created superhero Tim Tebow is a creation as obnoxious as the Snuggie. And out of principle I never root for SEC teams, southern arrogance is quite possibly the worst kind.

The alternative? Cincinnati. No, I cannot, will not and shall not cheer on a team from the "Worst State Ever." Their only saving grace is that they are almost in Kentucky (maybe the first time that has ever been noted as a positive). I feel for their players having been unceremoniously Saban-ed by their head coach, but still . . .

I'm going with some Gator boosters who kindly, however misguided, brought extra Gator jerseys for everyone(!). So as a courtesy I guess I wear the funhouse colors of Florida? I'm not sure if this is sacrilege. How does the rest of the MGoblog community behave in these situations? I figure the game will be more interesting if I pick a side but I feel as dirty as the urine coated streets of the French Quarter.

What the BCS deserves this season

What the BCS deserves this season

Submitted by Tater on November 26th, 2009 at 12:41 AM

The BCS richly deserves a title game that nobody wants to watch because nobody thinks it is remotely close to matching up the two best teams. Here is a scenario that probably won't happen, but I really wish it would:

Alabama loses to Auburn
Texas loses to A&M
Alabama beats Florida for the SEC Championship
TCU, Cincy, and BSU all end up undefeated.

The way it seems to work, this scenario would give us TCU vs Cincinnati for the National Championship, while Boise State is on the outside again, trying to figure out how to sue the NCAA and win.

If this happened, the NCAA would lose a lot of money and come under a lot of pressure from sponsors and networks not to ever let this happen again. And maybe, just maybe, the NCAA would seriously discuss a playoff this time.

One can only hope.

What Brian Kelly is But Was Not

What Brian Kelly is But Was Not

Submitted by joelrodz on November 23rd, 2009 at 11:19 PM

So, much has been made about Brian "the God" Kelly and his coaching abilities, which has led many to consider him the "Best Damn Coach in the Land" (couldn't resist, sorry). While i have been utterly impressed as many of you have by Mr. Kelly, i have also noticed he has not always been a dominant coach in his career.

In particular, what i'd like to focus on is on BKelly's performance at CMU (19-16, 54% win%), where he barely maintained a winning record over the 3 years he was there. In fact, the current coach at CMU, over a similar 3 year span, has amassed a better win% than BKelly ever accomplished [CMU 8-6 (2007), 8-5 (2008), 9-2 (2009 to date) = 25-13 (66% win%)].

I would argue that at the end of 2006, it would of been difficult to make the argument that BKelly would perform as well as he has at Cincy. In fact, it can be argued that back in 2006, BKelly was a mediocre coach not cut for coaching at a bigger conference (coming from the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to the MAC).

Obviously, those who saw something in Kelly new better and provided him the opportunity to perform at a bigger stage in the Big East, where he has excelled. The point here is that even good coaches have droughts, and there are many reasons for why those droughts occur, some of which are invisible to the lay person's eye. As a social psychologist i know many reasons for why the first instinct is to point fingers at what is observable (coach and players) and thus perceived as responsible for any change in W-L records even though situational factors (recruiting, lack of depth, etc) can drive much of what is actually happening (thank you Misopogon). So while we continue to ponder what lays ahead for our Wolverines, lets continue to keep in check our tendency to make the fundamental attribution error.

Brian Kelly, 19 yrs head coach - Total W-L Record: 169-57 (75% win%)
Grand Valley State: 118-35 (77% win%)
Central Michigan: 19-16 (54% win%)
Cincinnati: 32-6 (84% win% thus far)