Iowa QB as Chad Henne

Iowa QB as Chad Henne

Submitted by lakeside on September 6th, 2011 at 11:57 AM

This should pass some time until the UFR comes out.  Adam Jacobi, over at BHGP, made an interesting analogy involving Iowa's QB James Vandenberg and Michigan's Chad Henne:

The guy Vandenberg reminds me of--and this is going to make Brian Cook shoot nuclear missiles at my house from Ann Arbor in protest--is Chad Henne. They've both got...

I'm not qualified to comment on the analogy but I hope it turns out to be true.  I don't think this was being said after Vandenberg played moderately well in a loss to OSU a few years ago though.

OT: 2010-11 Chicago Bears = 2009-10 Iowa Hawkeyes

OT: 2010-11 Chicago Bears = 2009-10 Iowa Hawkeyes

Submitted by umjgheitma on September 28th, 2010 at 12:00 AM
Seeing the Bears thus far this season I can't help but to think they are pegging off the charts on the luck scale. Just like the plot of luck given for the Big Ten teams last year and Iowa was by far the luckiest on there. I will say they did a decent job against the Cowboys but the Lions game....well we all know what happened there. Then, in this game with Cutler throwing Stanziballs all over the place but getting bailed out by penalties along with that last minute fumble rolling along the sidelines without going out of bounds. I can picture the Bears being a team where they're 7-9 and everyone is scratching their heads saying "but they started out 3-0 with a win against the Packers...."

Blue Moon, Redux

Blue Moon, Redux

Submitted by MCalibur on August 24th, 2010 at 5:54 PM

[Ed: bump!]

Back in April, I wrote a diary called Blue Moon in my Eye in which I developed a regression model that could be used to develop a projected win total assuming that reasonable estimates had been used as inputs. At the time I thought that the team would be capable of winning at least seven, probably eight, and maybe even nine out of thirteen games this season. Since then, things have, uh, how do you say … changed. With the loss of Woolfolk, how do those numbers change?

The New Blue Moon

Gollum & the Ring Before I get to that, there’s a good reason to update the model. In April, I mentioned that turnover margin is meaningful factor in regard to outcomes, but I lacked enough data to break it out specifically and therefore decided to leave it as a lumped parameter; turnovers were doomed to fade into the ether that is Intercept. No more, the NCAA has finally included turnover data in its database and now there is enough data to mix into the model. The new model has an improved R-squared value (0.752 as improved from 0.675) using just three end-of-year factors: offensive yards per game, defensive yards per game, and total turnover margin. Last time I didn’t include the model because it was mine, my own, my … preciousss. That was incredibly lame and nerdy (both with holding the coefficients and referencing LOTR) but we’re talking stats here so no one should be surprised. Another reason for divulging the goods is, now that there are four dimensions, a chart would be useless. Behold, the Blue Moon Model coefficients:



Norm. Coefficients


Intercept 0.579253998 0.515607437 3.79693E-55
OffYds/G 0.001753298 0.107573121 7.5351E-118
DefYds/G -0.001981349 -0.112371575 2.1098E-122
TrnOvrMgn_Total 0.007973783 0.065213954 5.75637E-50
  • I left the P-Values in there for those who know what that is. For the rest of you, it suffices to say what I said last time: that ish be money, yo.
  • The second column (Normalized Coefficients) is there to demonstrate the relative importance of each factor; in short, defense is a skosh more influential than offense and turnover margin is a little over half as important as both.
  • The use of the model (first column) is simple, start with the intercept then multiply the other the coefficients with their interrogation values and add everything together.  Use it to gamble at your own peril. Until such a time as you can accurately predict end of year stats for these categories, the model is only good for using as a platform to base sophisticated guesses off of.
  • Probable influential factors that are embedded in the 25% of the variation not explained by the model (1 – R_squared) are:

    • Return Teams effectiveness. Good return teams will establish good field position thus reducing OffYds/G.
    • Coverage Teams effectiveness. Bad units will allow the other team to establish good field position thereby reducing DefYds/G.
    • Field Goal Kicking effectiveness. If you get into field goal position and miss, you’ll have a lot of yards but nothing to show for them.
    • Penalties. Penalty yardage will increase/decrease your production depending on if they’re called on you or them but doesn’t necessarily change how effective each team is at controlling field position.
  • In round terms, factor influence on winning percentage breaks down to 30% Offense, 30% Defense, 15% Turnover Margin, and 25% Other Things.

Shine Down on the Big Ten (and it’s self-absorbed neighbor)

Below is 2009 Big Ten Data and Blue Moon Model expectation (BMM Expect).

Team OffYds/G DefYds/G TrnOvrMgn_Tot 2009 Wins BMM Expect. Delta Wins
Ohio St. 364.8 262.5 17 11 11 0
Penn St. 412.5 277.1 6 11 10 1
Iowa 330.8 286.7 2 11 8 3
Wisconsin 415.8 310.4 3 10 9 1
Northwestern 386 344.3 4 8 8 0
Michigan St. 407.1 364.3 -6 6 7 -1
Minnesota 295.8 364.3 -1 6 5 1
Notre Dame 451.8 397.8 5 6 7 -1
Purdue 391.3 376.6 -5 5 6 -1
Michigan 384.5 393.3 -12 5 5 0
Indiana 365 401 7 4 6 -2
Illinois 393.5 403.3 -4 3 5 -2
The distribution of Delta Wins, Actual Wins minus BMM Expect, is shown in the chart above. Note Iowa 2009. I defy them to go +3 again. They were a good team, they weren’t a great team. In fact, Northwestern performed better over the course of the year and—what, what?—apparently the head to head match-up agrees! The Wildcats actually won that game. Surely, Iowa wouldn’t begrudge anyone who leverages a +3 (or better, ahem) turnover margin into a narrow victory, would they?
The chest thumping bit that Iowa fans have developed is unbecoming. Like them, I’ll take 11 wins by any ethical means. Celebrate good times, come on, and all that jazz. But, this notion that they’ll be there again is based on what happened last year. How have they improved for this year? Any improvement that can be reasonably expected will be incremental in nature do to player development. Meanwhile, they’ve lost some really excellent players to the NFL (Bulaga, Moeaki, Angerer, Spievey, Edds, Calloway); is Iowa suddenly a recruiting powerhouse? Do they have more first-four-round NFL prospects just waiting to step in without skipping a beat? Poppycock. They’re regressing, and if they’re unlucky, it might not be so pretty.
Oh my, I’ve digressed.
[How bad the Woolfolk thing is after the jump.]

MGoFiction: Inferno-Canto XI

MGoFiction: Inferno-Canto XI

Submitted by formerlyanonymous on August 8th, 2010 at 4:25 PM

In the loosely adapted ways of Dante, I present to you the eleventh canto of Formerly's Football Inferno. I promise nothing when it comes to grammar, punctuation, logical plots, or anything that normally goes into story writing.

For those of you unfamiliar, Dante walks through each region of hell to learn the sins and punishment by talking to those souls trapped. In this circle of Dante's version, those who would commit fraud are punished. In each of the 10 bolgie (subsections), a different type of sin is punished, be it pimpin', flattering, simony (paying the church for blessing), magic, corrupt politicians, hypocrites, thieves, advisors who would promote fraud, "schismatics" (those that would schism religion), or counterfeiters.

Past Cantos:

Canto I Canto II Canto III Canto IV Canto V Canto VI Canto VII Canto VIII Canto IX Canto X

Canto XI

As we reached the edge of the 7th circle, we encountered a cliff so steep, it would be impossible to climb down. The abyss seemed to be an endless drop down into darkness. Naturally, we needed a Geryon. Unfortunately, none was to be found.

"So what now?" I asked Crockett.

"Say something bad about America."

"What?" I inquire.

"Say something bad about America. Anything. I'm not going to do it, I'm Davy Crockett for goodness sake."

"Umm… okay? America smells funny?"

Without a second passing, a great "CAW!" came bellowing from the depths. In a flash of fireworks and with the Star Spangled Banner blaring from nowhere, a giant creature came screaming from the deep.

"Who dares defile the name of America! In the name of Ricky Stanzi and J Leman, this aggression will not stand!" proclaimed the great bird.

Cowering on my side, and pointing at Crockett, I yell, "This guy made me do it! He tricked me! Hey wait, why can you talk normally?"

"ENOUGH! I am the great Hawkeye, devourer of corn, strangely named after only my eye, and defender of patriotism!"

Crockett stepped forward, "That'll be enough Hawkeye. The boy didn't mean any harm. We just need your services. We need a ride to the bottom of this here cliff."

"Well, honorable Davy Crockett, I shall grant your request on one stipulation," said the Hawkeye. "You must sing me my favorite song."

"You've got to be kidding me," I reply as I gather my wits.

"Well, Hawkeye, are we talking the Star Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful, or what?" asked Crockett.

"No. Better. I want you to sing Oh! by Girls Generation!"

Crockett and I simultaneously, "You've got to be kidding me."

"No! You will not fly without you singing my favorite song!"

"You obviously didn't see me in Riders of Destiny did you?" asked Crockett.

"There weren't movies in your time Crockett," said the beast.

"Dammit, you've got me there." After a short pause, "Alright, I've got an idea."

In a whirl, John Wayne magically transformed into a 16 year old Korean Girl!

오!Hawkeyes 너무 멋져! 지금은 그들에 대해 노래 것입니다!

After the song was completed, with a tear in his eye, the Hawkeye proclaims, "By Leman, that was beautiful. I shall take you down this cliff. Climb on to my back, and we shall fly like a Ricky Stanzi pass to the endzone!"

With a look of confusion, I ask, "Does this mean we're going to be intercepted and go backwards?"

"Blasphemy! You want a ride or not?!" shouted the Hawkeye.

"Just sayin'. But yes."

Crockett and I climbed aboard. During the flight, I had to ask Crockett just what the hell happened up above. His reply, "you'd be amazed what you learn on the set of Rio Bravo with that slut Angie Dickinson.".

Stunned, I decided to just let things go, finishing the flight in silence.

After landing, we walked down the path, and came up to two cave entrances. To the left, a purple sign reads Chicago; to the right a red sign reads Indiana. "Interesting that Chicago has their own place in hell. They're always the forgotten team," I state.

"Actually, that bolgie is Chicago and Northwestern. Chicago didn't provide enough space to fill the entire realm, so they started putting Northwestern fans in their, too. It really pisses off the Wildcat faithful, being called in Chicago instead of Evanston."

"So this is where fans from opposing schools are kept?"

"Indeed. Each is subjected to a punishment deserving of their respective bases. If you look into the Chicago bolgie, you'll see that Northwestern fans are whipped into pumping gas for eternity. This is punishment for jingling their keys at football games. The Chicago fans are just whipped into submission, as they're just quitters anyway."

"Huh, gas pumpers, huh? I like the irony. It's like rain on a wedding day."

"That's not ironic."

"Nevermind. Anyway, what happens to the Indiana fans?"

"Their heads are turned backwards and they are forced to play basketball without seeing what their doing. They suck horribly and couldn't beat even the lowliest of teams. To complicate it, they're shown clips of the current Hoosiers under Tom Crean. The tears they cry from this freeze right to their face."

"That's so cruel."

"Oh just wait. You see the next two caves, to the left is Illinois. There the fans are subjected to carry lead coats to weigh them down, while being forced to watch the entire history of Illinois football as if Ron Zook had been their coach since the team was started. They're amazingly worse. And to the right, you'll see Penn State's bolgie. There, the Nittany Lion fans are afflicted with a disease that turns them into zombies. They march around hungering for brains."

"I think I'd prefer being a zombie over watching Ron Zook coach a 1920s Illini football team into crap."

"You and me both, son. The next set of bolgies feature Iowa and Purdue. The Hawkeye fans are destined to a life as a stalk of corn. They start as a seedling, grow into a 6 foot tall crop, and then are reaped, feeling the blade tear them into bits, before they return to a seedling."

"As if living in Iowa City isn't boring enough, eh?" I ask as a loud drumming became audible in the distance."

"Purdue on the right here, they've got it about as bad. They spend the after life being dunked into a vat of boiling tar, a victim of their own vats. On top of that, their stupid drum beats in their bolgie, but the demon Purdue Pete has no rhythm, so it's not even a constant beat."

"That's awful, let's move faster."

"That can be done, partner."

"Who's next?" I ask.

"Next is Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Badger fans are placed over a bed of hot coals and forced to jump around."

"The more I hear these, the more I go back to that whole cliché thing we discussed back at the gates to Columbus."

"Noted. But quit interrupting me, boy," Crockett started. "On the left, you can see the Gopher fans crucified to the ground so that people can walk all over them. As you can see, the roof and walls mimic the Metrodome, a place I'm sure all Michigan fans can appreciate."

"Getting walked all over in the Metrodome? Sounds like a familiar Gopher story."

"That it is. The next bolgie coming up is Michigan State's. Before I even tell you what happens there, I'll remind you how cliché everything has been so far, then let you guess. Any ideas?"

"They're subjected to Gerard Butler prance around in a skirt for eternity kicking them into wells, yelling 'this is Sparta?' "

"No, but close! They're made to believe they've been reincarnated into Spartan boys, but as the youngest son, they are to be forever tormented by their stronger, smarter, better looking big brother. And once they've reached a certain age, they're sent to war against the Persians who kill them and start the process over again."

"We've got to get more creative people down here."

"Yeah, you've got to remember, most of the people that run this place are basically the blue hairs from Michigan stadium circa 1927. In life, they were entertained by playing with a stick."

"Touché, Crockett."

"Indeed. Now, on past the last bolgie."

"Sweet, I'm interested to see how those idiots from Ohio are tormented. Please tell me that they get their nuts busted by continuous kicks to the groins?"

"Actually, the next bolgie belongs to Notre Dame. They may not be a conference member, but to hell with the Irish. The Buckeyes go somewhere else, deeper in hell. We'll get to them later."

"Huh, fair enough. So what happens to the Irish?" I ask.

"Well, you see, they have to plug their head into the ground like emus while their feet are scorched on hot rocks. They're told the strategy of putting their head in the ground is a schematic advantage to lessen the burn. It doesn't really do anything but make them look funny."

Disappointed by such a weak punishment, I reply, "It'd been funnier if punch drunk leprechauns came up and kicked them in the shins at the same time, maybe beat the crap out of them."

"I'll make note and pass that along to Ufer. He's never been much on trusting leprechauns. They look too much like gingers. We're still unclear if gingers have souls, and if they ain't got a soul, then they ain't coming to hell."

"That sucks."

"It may suck, but not as bad as Michigan is playing right now. They just lost three straight to Penn State, Illinois, and Purdue. Bad things are happening in your world. Fans are growing restless. We must escape hell quickly, before we lose our chance."

And with that, we quickly made our way toward the final circle of hell.

(Special gif thanks to chunkums)

OT: Black Heart Gold Pants Love

OT: Black Heart Gold Pants Love

Submitted by Snowden on October 10th, 2009 at 7:18 PM

Lemme preface this by saying that I'm a proud alum ('07) and have been hooked to MGoBlog since 2005. Okay.

Black Heart Gold Pants is an absolutely top-top-quality blog and commenter community. Their liveblog against Penn State was superb, and Oops Pow Surprise and Hawkeye State are great writers.

It's weird to actually say this, but because of the quality of blogging from BHGP, Iowa's become my second favorite team in the Big Ten, and any game not against UM I'm pulling for them.

Am I alone in my BHGP love*? Has anyone else found a second team to cheer for because of their online community?

*I love BHGP, but I also know where my loyalty resides. I've got a co-worker who's an Iowa alum, and this week has been pure BEEFing, office-sabotaging, violence-filled-emailing warring.

Iowa Game Live Feed / Replay Torrent?

Iowa Game Live Feed / Replay Torrent?

Submitted by Glen Masons Hot Wife on October 8th, 2009 at 6:01 PM

Will be forced to miss the Iowa game. Ideally would like to watch a replay somewhere without knowing the score first (one can dream). Any knowledge on how ABC is about internet feeds? I realize they own ESPN, but there is no "scheduled to be shown" listing of the game on ESPN 360.

Any ideas? Am I S.O.L. ?

just a hunch (Primetime Iowa GameC)

just a hunch (Primetime Iowa GameC)

Submitted by griesecheeks on October 7th, 2009 at 3:51 AM

Now, this has absolutely no factual basis - just a hunch. I'm not blind to the fact that there are a number of reasons why Iowa might manhandle us this weekend, but consider this, just for a moment.

Prime Time. ABC Night Game in Iowa City. You know there's going to be a 'Yellow-Out'. Iowa's starting to get hyped up as a serious contender in the Big Ten. UM's coming off a rivalry loss and seems to have had their momentum derailed. THIS is the perfect time for Iowa to have their traditional collapse in front of a national audience (Think of that game a few years ago against OSU where they totally biffed it in a similar situation).

If it's a cool, perfect-weather night under the lights in Kinnick Stadium, I'm thinking this is the perfect night for Tate to have his finest game yet: likely a considerable under-dog, playing for the masses watching the game. I just get that feeling that he may have his defining opus in him this weekend. I'm not buying that the kid can keep the magic going all season, but this seems like the game he'd really get it up for.

Of course, as we just saw, the kid will need help, particularly from the O-line & receivers, but I think more exciting plays are in our near future. I think the crowd out there will only feed Tate's desire to lead this team to an upset.

I think it's going to be quite an exciting game, win or lose. If one thing's for certain, I really don't see this being a blowout either way. we'll have our chances.

A healthy receiving corps of Hemingway, Stonum, Mathews and Odoms needs to make plays. Hopefully the weather is perfect, and slippage/ball-handling won't be a huge issue.

Just for s&g, 28-27 UM in another thriller!