Baseball: Iowa Preview

Baseball: Iowa Preview

Submitted by formerlyanonymous on April 22nd, 2010 at 10:22 PM

Michigan (24-12, 6-3)


Iowa (14-20, 3-6)

Friday 2:30pm ET, Ray Fisher Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
Alan Oaks (4-4, 3.60 ERA) vs Jarred Hippen (2-3, 3.86 ERA)
Stats Audio (WCBN)  
Notes: Michigan is 100-43 all time, Last year: 2-1 series win. Hippen
is a LHP.




Friday 30 minutes after Game One,
Ray Fisher Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
Bobby Brosnahan(4-3, 4.26 ERA) vs Nick Brown (2-4, 7.27 ERA)
Stats Audio (WCBN)  




Saturday 1:05pm ET, Ray Fisher Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
TBA vs Phil Schreiber (3-3, 5.29 ERA)
Stats Audio (WCBN)  
Notes: My guess is Burgoon if available, Sinnery otherwise. It may
not matter due to weather.

The Hawkeyes come to Ann Arbor this weekend to close out the first half of Big Ten play. The Hawkeyes started the year with an inflated RPI by losing almost every game they had to some of the best teams in the nation, but since returning north, they've struggled offensively and fallen to #169 of 301 (Boyd's Pseudo RPI).

Full preview after the jump:

OT: BHGP: You're a Dirty Old Man

OT: BHGP: You're a Dirty Old Man

Submitted by Zone Left on March 3rd, 2010 at 11:05 PM

What type of dirty old man are you? The kind who likes Korean girls barely over 18 or the kind who likes Northwestern cheerleaders? Cast your vote at BHGP "Marchifornication" tournament.

For what it's worth, Hockey Bear is a #1 seed and walked into the second round.…

edit: If you're a college student, you're still kind of dirty if you vote for the Korean Pop Band.

Bowl Games and Cold Weather

Bowl Games and Cold Weather

Submitted by Bronco648 on January 6th, 2010 at 2:51 PM

OK, we've all heard of the recruiting tactic that teams from "down South" and/or southern California (supposedly) use against teams from "up North": "You don't want to attend School X because it gets really cold up there!"

Well, I watched the Champs Sports Bowl (Wiscy v. [that] Miami) and the Orange Bowl (Iowa v. Georgia Tech). The Champs Sports Bowl broadcast crew mentioned (several times) that after warm-ups, the Hurricanes went back to the locker room and put on more base layers. It seems every Hurricane had a long sleeved base layer on under their pads. Meanwhile, the Badgers were in short sleeves (according to the broadcasters, the game time temp was the same as the temps in Sept. in Madison - not likely). The 'Canes played poorly and weather supposedly had a lot to do with it.

Last night's Orange Bowl set a record for coldest temperature at game time. I didn't hear anything about the temps affecting the Yellow Jackets but they sure played poorly (awesome Hawkeye D).

Any college football recruit worth his salt wants to play in the NFL. And, you're gonna play in cold weather if you play in the NFL. You might as well get used to it.

The Question: After watching at least two warm weather teams get beat in cool temps, will the "you don't want to play in cold weather!" rhetoric die down? Or could it be used as a recruiting tool in the "opposite" direction?

Which OOC Team is Most Like Which Big Ten Team

Which OOC Team is Most Like Which Big Ten Team

Submitted by Zone Left on January 3rd, 2010 at 5:41 PM
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Who’s Who in College Football—or Which OOC Team is Most Like a Big 10 Team:

I’m interested by similarities between teams in different parts of the country.  Some teams just should be good.  Some teams just should suck.  This goes beyond who is the current coach and the team’s record over the past five years, but extends into areas that include demographics, recruit density, tradition, and conference affiliation.  Schools with everything going in their favor should be strong, even if they aren’t historically, and those who don’t shouldn’t be as good over the long run.  For example, Boise State just shouldn’t be as good as Texas—even if Boise State decided to pour the same amount of money into football as Texas.  They simply don’t have the necessary recruiting base, tradition, or exposure to draw the recruits required to compete with Texas—despite Boise’s relatively strong program.  With the long dark offseason upon us, I’m thinking of some comparative projects to occupy my college football obsession over the next eight months.

With that in mind, I’ve identified a team to match with each team in the Big 10 from elsewhere in the country.  This isn’t about who had the best and worst records this year or even in the last five.  It’s about looking at the whole picture and determining who is most similar to schools in the Big 10.  I’ll save Michigan for last, and I’m interested to see what everyone’s thoughts are.  This isn’t meant to be a definitive list or an insult to any school, rather something to foster discussion and force me to learn more about the greater college football landscape.

Ohio State = Texas

To me, this is the easiest comparison to make.  Ohio and Texas are two of the most populous states in the Union, with Ohio at number 7 and Texas at number 2.  Each state has a very large public university system, with Ohio State and Texas clearly standing out as the flagship schools for both states (I know Miami, not that Miami, is a solid school—but tOSU is vastly improved academically and is clearly Ohio’s flagship school).  Texas does produce significantly more talent as a state than Ohio, but I think the top recruits available per school are relatively similar because Texas supports so many more BCS teams (4, 5 with TCU to 2 for Ohio).  There were 13 Rivals 100 recruits in Texas to four in Ohio last year.

The football teams are obviously similar today and over time.  Ohio State is number 5 all-time in winning percentage and Texas is number 3.  Both teams have been elite over time and there is no reason to think that either school will falter soon.  The programs are also considered to be among the most valuable, according to Forbes, with Texas ranked number 1 and OSU at number 8.  You could even drill down further with the comparison.  They have had iconic coaches, Hayes and Royal, iconic players, Griffin and Young, along with numerous titles and conference dominance.  Ohio State may be coming out of a long period of struggling against elite competition, just like Texas when Big Game Bob Stoops was in his prime.  Finally, each team has a historically elite level rival from a smaller state that poaches many of its best players from Texas/Ohio—Oklahoma and Michigan.

Ohio State and Texas are elite football schools from football crazy states that should, based on demographics, own their conferences and regions.

Other schools considered: Florida, USC

Penn State = Florida State

Forget the obvious comparison between Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno.  Seriously, forget it.  Despite each of those coaches building their program completely in their image and serving as the single most recognizable person affiliated with either school, the comparison still sticks when the coaches are ignored or marginalized in the analysis. 

Pennsylvania is the 6th most populous state while Florida is 4th.  Florida is obviously one of the great recruiting hotbeds for football talent, with 7 Rivals 100 recruits last year.  However, Pennsylvania holds its own with 3.  Neither school is the strongest academic school in the state.  Pennsylvania has several top schools, such as Penn and Carnegie Mellon, while Florida and Miami are both easily stronger academically than FSU. 

Beyond the coaches, both teams are historically similar.  Both were long-time independents, and joined the Big Ten and ACC soon after Arkansas agreed to join the SEC in 1990—signaling the death knell for the Southwest Conference and putting the writing on the wall for independents everywhere.  By 1990, both programs were very strong, and were expected to dominate their conference upon entry.  This definitely happened in FSU’s case, but not so much for Penn State. 

As I previously stated, I believe that FSU and Penn State are very similar without the coaches.  When the coaches are incorporated, they become extremely similar.  I won’t bore anyone with the details, but they are both great, all-time win list, etc and the schools are both bracing for life after the program icon—with FSU having officially transitioned.

Other schools considered:

Michigan State = Auburn

This was a tough comparison in many ways.  MSU is its own special character, and finding it a partner wasn’t easy.  Obviously, you can’t define MSU without incorporating Michigan.  MSU, perhaps more than any team in the Big Ten is defined by its rival.  While there were periods where MSU was unquestionably better than Michigan, over time it isn’t even close.  There are several schools that are historically similar in addition to Auburn, such as Texas A&M and UCLA, but I chose Auburn because of Michigan’s and Alabama’s (state not school) similarities. 

Alabama is a much less populous state than Michigan, at number 23 to Michigan’s 8.  However, it is surrounded by (and is) very fertile recruiting territory and is surrounded by some very populous states, such as Florida and Georgia.  This enables Alabama to house two big time programs despite its relatively small size.  While both schools have had periods of great success, Auburn for much of this decade and MSU in the 1960s, both have generally been overshadowed by their in-state rival.

Both schools are considered to be relatively strong academically, but not at the level of their in-state big brother—although the University of Alabama appears to fluctuate quite a bit in the rankings I looked at.  They are both public institutions and long time members of their respective conferences.

Auburn and MSU are also both interesting because of their contrasting histories during the 1960s.  Duffy Daugherty at MSU famously took many black recruits that schools like Auburn and Alabama couldn’t admit, and built a national power in the 1960s.

Other schools considered: Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, UCLA

Illinois = Virginia

Illinois and Virginia are two of the schools whose lack of success in football is difficult to fathom.  Both are unquestionably old money, high quality schools.  The states are relatively populous, with Virginia coming in at number 12 and Illinois at number 5.  Also, I lived in Northern Virginia for about 18 months, and felt like Washington D.C. was almost a part of the state.  Assuming about half of the population thinks the same thing, with the other half leaning towards Maryland; the effective population expands to number 11 in the US.  Both are long-time members of their respective conferences, and have a solid recruiting base.  Each has won two conference titles in the last 25 years.

Given their population, history, and status as the flagship public school in a populous state, both schools should be much better at football.  Unfortunately for them, each has failed to keep up with their more powerful conference members.  In Illinois’ case, Notre Dame has also made life difficult for the football program.  Virginia has always been overshadowed by their more powerful southern cousins in the SEC.

Other schools considered: California, Arizona

Wisconsin = Colorado

Before I started this research project, I would not have placed these two schools together.  I started with the idea that Texas was very similar to Ohio State and how similar MSU was to teams like Auburn and Texas A&M, but I had very little to go on for the rest of the conference.  First, Colorado and Wisconsin are similar in population, ranking 22 and 20 respectively.  Neither is a hotbed of top recruiting talent, producing one Rival’s 100 recruit each in 2008.  Both are good, quality schools in pretty fun college towns.

They are pretty similar football wise, although Wisconsin has had much more success the past 15 years.  Wisconsin has six Rose Bowl berths, two since 1998 and has emerged as a solid 3rd or 4th team most years in the Big Ten.  Colorado was one of the stronger Big 8 teams right before the Big 12 was created, including a national title in 1990, but has fallen on hard times recently under Gary Barnett and Dan Hawkins. 

These schools are examples of schools that shouldn’t be very good.  Both are a long way relative to their opposition from the population centers that produce their conference’s best recruits, Texas in the Big 12 and Ohio/Pennsylvania in the Big 10 and they don’t have elite tradition on their side.  Wisconsin has built its niche in the Big 10 by being the only Big 10 team that still plays classic Big 10 meat grinder football, and Colorado likely needs to find a similar formula to build its success.

Other schools considered: Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska

Iowa =Arkansas

Iowa is really hard.  It is the least populous state in the Big 10 footprint, yet it is a top 30 public school.  They have solid football history, including eleven Big 10 titles.  It is difficult to find a school that matches it demographically, is strong academically, and has a solid football background.  I picked Arkansas for several reasons, delineated below.

Arkansas is behind Iowa academically by about forty spots according to US News.  However, it is still a solid school and has an underrated football history, like Iowa.  Arkansas has 13 conference titles to its credit, and both schools claim one national title.  Demographically, they are similar.  Iowa is the 31st most populous state, while Arkansas is number 33.  Each is the smallest state by population in their conference and produces similar top talent.  Iowa had one top 100 player last year while Arkansas had two.  Both are traditionally behind their more powerful rivals, but have been able to remain competitive.

Minnesota = Syracuse

Did you know both schools didn’t always suck at football?  Both schools are northern programs far, far away from the recruiting hotbeds in the South and West.  Both recently played in really crappy dome stadiums despite the potentially massive advantage of playing outdoors in a northern stadium.  Minnesota moved out of the Humpty Dome last year, but the Carrier Dome still lives.

Minnesota was actually Michigan’s first real rival, having excellent teams in the 30s, 40s, and 60s, with the Little Brown Jug going back to 1903.  Both Syracuse and Minnesota were early beneficiaries of integration, especially Syracuse with Jim Brown and Ernie Davis.  Each have solid academic programs in very cold places.

Other schools considered: Oregon

Northwestern = Stanford

Obvious, right?  The only other good options were Duke and Vanderbilt, but they’ve shown very little inclination to be serious about football in the last long time, even though Duke has had success in the distant past.

Other schools considered: Duke, Vanderbilt

Purdue = Maryland

Both schools are solid schools in similarly sized states.  Each is easily overshadowed by their more powerful neighbors.  Each claims one national title and several conference titles.  Both schools have had recent success, but show no signs of breaking through and competing year in and year out for titles.

Other schools considered: Pitt

Indiana = Washington State

Both historically suck, can you tell I have nothing to say about Indiana?  The states are similarly sized, with Washington at 13 and Indiana at number 16.  Washington produced zero top 100 players last year, while Indiana had one.  Indiana has played in nine bowl games, while Wazzu has played in 10.  Both have losing records to Michigan (and just  about everyone else) and lay claim to fountains of unintentional comedy—Lee Corso and Ryan Leaf.

Other schools considered: Kansas, Iowa State

Michigan = Oklahoma

I really think this is a great comparison for many reasons.  However, I want to get the glaring weakness out of the way first.  The University of Oklahoma may be the best school in the state and the best school for many, many country miles, but it is not even close to Michigan.  Enough said, right?

I chose Oklahoma for Michigan over everyone else for the reasons below.  However, because this is a Michigan blog, I want to explain how I eliminated everyone else. Michigan, like every other team, is defined partly by the demographics and history of its conference.  If we accept the Big 2 (tOSU and Michigan) premise that most years those should be the best teams in the Big Ten based on historical success, then no one in the PAC 10, Big East, or ACC closely matches Michigan’s situation.  Each has its historical strong school, but not two or more historical juggernauts.  I could place FSU and Virginia Tech here with the ACC, but I don’t believe they match Michigan and Ohio State’s situation because there isn’t a historical rivalry and neither has the same amount of history.  The SEC has two teams that are close to Michigan's situation, Tennessee and Alabama.  I discounted Tennessee because their monster rival from a bigger state (Florida) hasn’t been as good for as long as tOSU and they have only played 39 times to 106 for Michigan-Ohio State and 99 for Texas-OU.  Alabama was discounted because they don’t have a great out of state rivalry that has mattered nationally like Michigan-Ohio State.

Football-wise, these schools are very similar.  Both are very old money.  Each claims 42 conference titles and many national titles.  Both schools have had some of the best coaches out there, and continue to be relevant today.  Despite their astonishing success, neither is a recruiting hotbed.  Each school must poach most of its top players from elsewhere in their conference footprint and nationally.

I find the most intriguing similarity to be the comparison between Oklahoma and the members of the Big 12 to Michigan and the members of the Big 10.  Both schools are either the best or second best school in just about each meaningful modern statistic in their respective conference: conference titles, All-Americans, wins, etc.  Both schools have a much larger school to the south that is its traditional rival, Texas and tOSU.  Both schools down south hold just about every advantage over Michigan and Oklahoma.  They are in top recruiting states and should be consistently better based on demographics.  Yet Michigan and Oklahoma claim more conference titles and national championships than their bigger rival.  Each even has an upstart little brother in-state that claims to be their most important rival!

Michigan and Oklahoma defy the odds to remain relevant.  Assuming most recruits like to stay near home and a similar commitment to football excellence by all D-1 programs, neither would be as strong as they are.  However, tradition and commitment to excellence have kept both relevant and powerful.

Other schools considered: Alabama, Tennessee

Again, this is meant for fun, and not as a definitive list.  There is no perfect comparison, and each school is very different.  I’m interested to hear everyone’s thoughts.

Predictions/thoughts on Iowa versus Georgia Tech

Predictions/thoughts on Iowa versus Georgia Tech

Submitted by Muttley on January 1st, 2010 at 11:29 PM

Georgia Tech is presently favored by four.

When it came to pool-picking time, my quick reaction was "How do you predict what a team will do against that unusual Ga Tech offense?" But then I got to thinking, what normally is a Ga Tech advantage in the regular season--an unusual offense that opponents have one week to prepare for--is not as much of an advantage in a bowl game. Ferentz has time to prepare.

And from what I've read, Stanzi is good to go. I like Iowa. (OK, I'm a B10 homer.)

OT: Texas-Iowa

OT: Texas-Iowa

Submitted by Seth9 on November 23rd, 2009 at 11:05 PM

Surprisingly, it's tied at 38 at the half. This would be a huge upset for Iowa, because Texas is #3 in the nation and Iowa sucks.

I'm rooting for Iowa here because it would boost the profile of the Big Ten, and more importantly, boost Iowa's national standing so that when we play Iowa, the perception may not be that the game should be a gimmie.

ATTN: Jamimac, WTF is with the Iowa/MSU line?

ATTN: Jamimac, WTF is with the Iowa/MSU line?

Submitted by MH20 on October 21st, 2009 at 11:20 AM

How is it that Iowa, at 7-0 with tough road wins over PSU and Wisconsin, is a dog (well according to some lines now a push, but still) to MSU? You'd think after that Wisconsin game, where they were a dog and systematically took apart the Badgers in the second half, that the oddsmakers would ponder, "Hmmm, perhaps Iowa is pretty good?" Or maybe not, I don't know. That is why I pose this question to you (or any other savvy gamblers).

In conclusion: huh?

By The Numbers - Iowa recap

By The Numbers - Iowa recap

Submitted by The Mathlete on October 12th, 2009 at 7:49 PM
Questions on the by the number check here. Once sentence summary, values represent how many points contributed beyond what the average player/team would have done given the same opportunity.

Expected Points

Given Iowa's defense, in terms of straight point production it was a pretty strong day for Michigan.  The offense scored 3 TDs and based on starting field position they should have scored 23 points on the game.  Warren's pick 6 does not count on either side.

What is not reflected in that number is all of the bad field position they gave the defense.  An average team given Iowa's field position would have averaged 37 points given where Iowa started on the day.  That's a +7 for the defense to go with a pick 6. 

The bottom line is when you are -4 in turnovers, you are going to lose the expected points game and Michigan gave itself a huge hurdle to overcome on Saturday.  Michigan was a -14 for the day on field position and even if you add back in the TD on the return, they still had a full touchdown disadvantage.  The 14 point gap was the 4th largest in any game this week.

Rush Offense

In my abbreviated preview this matchup was listed as a 3 point disadvantage for Michigan, but it was a huge win.  Michigan was +8 in the running game even before you adjust to the quality of Iowa's defense.  The best any rush offense had done YTD against Iowa was +1. 

Most of the value came from Minor (+4) and Robinson (+3 on the ground), however Shaw's (+1) limited carries netted out positive, as well.

Pass Offense

Coming in, this was not going to be Michigan's strong suit and it turned out just so.  I noted it as a -7 coming in and the final tally was -6.  The performance was a flat 0 apart from the two picks, each costing about 3 points.  Overall, Tate was only a -1 but that was bolstered by Iowa's strong defense, unadjusted we was -5. Denard was a +4 including his rushing, but only +1 as a passer.

Rush Defense

Michigan's run defense did slightly better than expected, going +1 on the ground vs a predicted even matchup.

Pass Defense

This one started hot and as a game in total was good, with several plays being glaring exceptions.  This was predicted to be a 4 point advantage for M going in and the early TD started things well in front.  The unit even posted an unadjusted +9 for the day.  However, Mr. Tony Moeaki's big day was good for +9 himself, best in the Big 10 this week.  Take away his catches and it was a huge day for the pass defense.

Special Teams

The Matthews fumble was a 4 point swing (would have had 2 points on average starting where he dropped and Iowa started 2 points better FP than where they would have gotten had Michigan gone 3 and out).  Other than that, Michigan special teams were rather nondescript apart from another outstanding day from Zoltan.

Very difficult game to measure.  Taking out the fumbles and adjusting for the quality of Iowa, Michigan garnered a +6 for the game. However, taking out the fumbles is great for overall evaluation, but they still happen in the course of the game and were very much the swing of the game. 

It was definitely a game of pros and cons.  A lot of good things happening but still some major red flags.  If the fumbles prove out to be random and not an issue going forward, this performance solidifies them in my projections as 8-4 on the season.  Picking up 1 of the 3 big ones and winning out the rest.  If the fumble disparity continues, 8-4 will continue to be a stretch.

Tate's Hand at end of Iowa game

Tate's Hand at end of Iowa game

Submitted by ThornXBL on October 12th, 2009 at 11:02 AM

Just a quick note on the talk about Tate's throwing hand. I've seen a couple of news articles now mention that he may have been kept off the field because his throwing hand was hurt. Was there any true evidence of this?

I saw Tate grab his hand after going 3 and out at our 2 (99% sure that's when it was) and flex it back and forth, but to me it looked like someone trying to cope with the effects of really cold weather. Trying to get the blood flowing, crack his knuckles and exercise his wrist. It reminded me of doing the same to my hand during marching band practice years ago when it was really cold out. Exposed hands/wrists get stiff quick when out in the cold.

Was there any clip of him still messing with his hand on the sideline? Aside from the clip above, all I saw was him under his parka (and wanting back in for the last drive).

If there was no other evidence of injury, I think he's just fine.