Fear and Paranoia in Ann Arbor

Fear and Paranoia in Ann Arbor

Submitted by Ryano on October 6th, 2010 at 2:41 PM

I feel like there hasn’t been enough analysis leading into the Michigan/Michigan State game this weekend, so I have really wanted to contribute. It occurred to me that we have a metric that has not been tapped yet (to my knowledge): mgoblog’s Fear/Paranoia and Desperate need to win levels. These numbers, part of every game preview, offer a window into the psyche of a man who spends his week living and breathing Michigan football. Certainly something must be gained from this data.

I started by averaging each level based on whether Michigan won or lost the game. I used every game Brian has predicted since the beginning of the 2006 season. The averages are as follows:

F/P: Fear/Paranoia level

D: Desperate need to win level










So this makes sense.  When Michigan is rolling, Brian tends to be less afraid, and more desperate to keep the trend going.  When Michigan is not doing so well, opposing teams tend to freak him out more, and the F/P level goes up. At the same time, Henri the Otter of Ennui starts making appearances, and Brian becomes less enthusiastic about Michigan’s chances of doing anything right ever; the D level goes down.

This is interesting, but we also have another variable in each game’s preview: Brian’s prediction. What happens when we combine these levels with Brian’s prediction for the outcome of the game?  We get the following:

Bad Upset = Win predicted, but Michigan loses

Predicted Loss = Loss predicted, Michigan loses

Predicted Win = Win predicted, Michigan wins

Good Upset = Loss predicted, but Michigan wins




Bad Upset



Predicted Loss



Predicted Win



Good Upset



When the prediction matches the outcome, these numbers line up pretty well with the Win/Lose averages up above. But it’s interesting to see what happens when the prediction is incorrect. When Brian’s F/P starts to creep up over the 'Win' average, and the D level starts dropping, watch out for the upset against Michigan. Also, look at the ‘Good Upset’ numbers … granted, the data set is small because rarely does Brian predict a loss and get it wrong, however this is somewhat amusing. When the opposition looks frighteningly good (or Michigan just looks terrible), and Brian loses all hope and turns up the Morrissey, look for the Michigan win. The key is the D level has to drop; if both F/P and D both go up, it will likely be a loss.

In conclusion, the Fear/Paranoia and Desperate need to win levels are a force to be reckoned with. This is not a semi-humorous tally of + and - at the end of each preview, these are actually a reliable indicator as to the result of the game. These should be carefully reviewed this Friday to get an idea of what Michigan has in store for Michigan State. Actually, in all seriousness, I was surprised to see these numbers made any sense at all when totaled like this!

OT: A Reminder from the Ministry of Morale

OT: A Reminder from the Ministry of Morale

Submitted by umtrey on December 20th, 2009 at 12:40 PM

It's the time of year where we can reflect on sports when we run into family again. With the hope of basketball slowly fading, I would like to remind everyone:

(Yes, I'm bored with the students leaving, and depressed from illness and the star player in yesterday's basketball game being "the Earth." Someone should make a better version of this.)