SCIENCE: Michigan 2014 CFB champions

Submitted by harmon40 on August 29th, 2014 at 8:18 PM

As we approach the 2014 season, there is a palpable sense of excitement mixed with uncertainty among the mgoblog faithful. The D seems to be all the way back and there are some tantalizing pieces on offense...and yet, can we bring ourselves to believe in love again after having been hurt so many times before? 

Take courage, my friends. This is not a year to sow. It is a year to reap.

SCIENCE says that Michigan will shock the world and win the first post-BCS era college football title this season and SCIENCE CAN NEVER LIE.

Consider the following parallels between this team and another team from our glorious past:

*The '14 team is not on anyone's radar as a potential national champion. Neither was the '97 team.

*The '14 is coming off 5 and 6 loss seasons.  The '97 team was coming off consecutive 4 loss seasons.

*The '14 team finished 5th in the Leaders Division.  The '97 team finished 5th in the Big Ten.

*The '14 team is coming off bowl losses in consecutive seasons, to teams from the SEC (South Carolina) and Big 12 (Kansas State).  The '97 team was also coming off bowl losses in consecutive years, to teams from the Big 12 (Texas A&M) and SEC (Alabama).

*The '14 team has a lot of questions on OL - as did the '97 team, on which the OL featured 1 returning starter and two converted DL.

*The '14 team starts a 5th year senior QB. The '97 team also started a 5th year senior QB.

*The '97 team had a functional, good-enough offense and an aggressive, overwhelming defense that blitzed from everywhere. The '14 team looks like it could be shaping up in an eerily similar way.

*The '97 season opener featured a return visit to Michigan Stadium by Colorado, a bad-memory team that on its previous trip had inflicted upon Michigan and its fans one of their most devastating losses ever. The game turned out to be 1) a blowout Michigan win, 2) a coming-out party for Charles Woodson & Co., and 3) something of an exorcism.  The '14 season opener vs App State offers the possibility of history repeating itself on all three points.

But here is where it gets really interesting...

*Lloyd Carr, the '97 HC, had been the DB's coach and then DC at Michigan under Bo, one of the best coaches in school history.  Brady Hoke, the '14 HC, was the DL coach at Michigan under Lloyd Carr, also one of the best coaches in school history.

*The '97 QB, Brian Griese, wore the number 14, CLEARLY pointing ahead to the glory of the '14 team.  The '14 QB, Devin Gardner, wears the number 98, MORE THAN CLEARLY pointing back to the glory of the '97 team, which played in the '98 Rose Bowl.  Also, importantly: add the digits of Gardner's number and what do you get? 17 - the number of years that have passed since the '97 season.


I don't think so. 

Not when you take into account the last and most pertinent piece of information, which binds it all together:

The '97 team's national title was the last of the pre-BCS era. This year's national title winner will be the first of the post-BCS era.  That's right: we are looking at the opportunity for Michigan to have "bookend" national titles on either side of the BCS era.

My friends, I know how unlikely it all may seem at this moment. However I have personally looked at the data from every possible angle again and again, and it comes out the same way every time: as improbable as it may appear to be, SCIENCE seems to indicate that there is glory in store for Michigan football in 2014.






Six Zero

August 29th, 2014 at 8:42 PM ^

You're blinding me with science.

Actually, I don see much science in any of this at all... But if it ends in Michigan glory then by all means carry on.


August 29th, 2014 at 8:45 PM ^

This year's Michigan ticket stubs feature pairs of current players from this year's team.

The last time a Michigan football ticket stub featured a current Michigan player?  The 1997 Ohio State game, with Charles Woodson on the ticket.


August 29th, 2014 at 8:47 PM ^

I was so ready to down vote you. Then I read the number comparisons of Brian and Devin and what they meant and couldn't stop laughing.

Numbers are fun, especially when you drink.

Nice write up.


August 29th, 2014 at 9:04 PM ^

As I was reading this, I was thinking "'Nostradumbass' would be a good pun, but surely someone else has thought of it already." Regardless, nice work.


August 29th, 2014 at 9:06 PM ^

The statistics nerd inside of me would like to say that we computed the observed values and dervied the distribution of our test statistic, and it turns out that p is less than the given significance, thus the null hypothesis - that Michigan would NOT win the championship - can be successfully rejected in this particular study. 


August 30th, 2014 at 12:28 AM ^

Why the two stories?

I trust you as far as I can throw you. Which isn't far seeing as I don't know where you live and even if I did know, it'd probably be an unreasonable distance for me to travel to you at this juncture in my life, and even if it was a reasonable distance, it still probably wouldn't be far, as I am a little out of shape and throwing another human being (outside of jazz from fresh prince) is probably not easy, especially if you didn't want to be thrown, which I am making the assumption you wouldn't want to be


August 30th, 2014 at 12:34 AM ^

"John the Savage" is my favorite character from my favorite novel. I, myself, am not too savage. I'm here on Friday night grinding out some PS4 Diablo 3, so that's definitely something John would be none too proud of.

Regardless, it's true that I earn my keep currently as a neuroscientist, and it is also true that the thrust of the OP here is pure superstition, which is exactly what science is supposed to correct! So it does kind of irk me. But, cheers to all of Mgoblog regardless. I'm as pumped for noon as the rest of you. And now, back to my monk..