Unverified Voracity Hates Non-Engineers Comment Count

Brian November 6th, 2009 at 12:52 PM

I… here. This is for you. Is there a thing that makes these things? If there is a thing that makes these things, this is slightly crazy. If there isn't I don't know what you can even say. Other than FTW. It came from the message boards.


This is where we are this week.

Thank God for Adidas. I know Michigan would never go for something like this


…or do I? I mean, we are currently enduring hyper-loud blasts of Bob Seger and AC/DC on a regular basis. There is some possibility Special K, Michigan Marketing Droid, thinks "wicked sweet" when he sees things like this "tribute"…


…to Ohio State's championship team on their very special 55th anniversary. I think you're supposed to get her a wicker lawnchair. 54 is a tea set made from the bones of your enemies. Adidas may have put stupid piping* on the away jerseys and convinced a lot of players to wear weird stripey undershirts, but it's not Nike and their band of evil scientists.

Yes, yes, I know. There's a "get off my lawn" tag for a reason.

*(Nameplates on the back cover up the piping if the name is of any length—Smith works, Forcier does not—and look stupider than even regular stupid piping, which also looks stupid.)

I don't know the answer to this complicated question, let's ask someone else who doesn't know and be kind of a jerk about it yay. This is just another stock answer to a dumb press conference question that's sort of adversarial and makes the questioner feel fuzzy about asking truth to power, but it's more irksome than most because of MCalibur's extensive offseason research project on the matter:

Rodriguez disputed the notion that his spread-option offense puts quarterbacks more in harm’s way than other systems.

“I think when you’re a younger guy and you’re 180 pounds and you hadn’t had a chance to get a couple years in the weight room and a couple years of maturity and growth, I think you’re more likely to get banged around,” Rodriguez said. “But other quarterbacks when we were in the system played entire years without missing a snap. So I don’t think it’s the system.”

The MCalibur study  has five years of numbers behind it now and has a clear outcome: quarterbacks who run the ball more often actually miss less time than quarterbacks that are exclusively passers. (They are slightly more likely to get injured, but tend to lose fewer games when they are.) You could ask the coach about something or you could do it yourself—in this case you could just look it up. Who cares what Rich Rodriguez—who might have a stake in this—thinks about this? You might as well ask Bobby Bowden if he thinks he is awesome.

While I'm on the kick. Michael Rothstein put out an article at AA.com disputing the notion that Michigan is a particularly young team:

On this week’s depth chart for Purdue (noon, Big Ten Network), Michigan will start eight players on offense who have been in college for three years or more, including redshirt years.

On defense, eight starters fall into the same classification.

Special teams features two fifth-year seniors in kicker Jason Olesnavage and punter Zoltan Mesko.

So to point to the roster and say 60 freshmen and sophomores are on it, including walk-ons, as a youth excuse a false truth.

This has been picked apart on the message board already, but to echo: just because the starters have "experience" doesn't mean they are good options. To cite another extensive research project by a diarist here, Michigan has endured four years of terrible retention on defense, giving them few or no options beyond players who do not appear very good at football. Not every high-rated recruit works out, and not every "experienced" player—and Kevin Leach counts in this metric as an experienced player—is good when you have recruited Penn State-sized classes and experienced sub-Alabama level retention.

Arbitrarily drawing a line at redshirt sophomores and arguing that Michigan is plenty experienced enough to win without providing any context is not a good way to argue when there's an extensive study that shows Michigan has fewer, and much younger, options than its primary competitors. Youth does not exist in a vacuum. Michigan is vastly younger and thinner than its rivals, and that's a valid reason they are not very good at football.

This is why UFR exists. It's rip on people for not being engineers day, apparently. BTN analyst Chris Martin never says anything useful as a color guy so it's unsurprising he's dead wrong about Michigan's problems on defense this year:

Big Ten Network analyst Chris Martin, who’ll broadcast his third Michigan game Saturday against Purdue, said the secondary has played like “part of the hospital burn unit,” and its problems are compounded by issues up front.

Michigan ranks ninth in the Big Ten with 16 sacks and has one of the smallest defensive lines in the league.

“I think their inability to get pressure up front has kind of caused them to pressure a little bit, no pun intended,” Martin said. “Now it’s like they’re working so hard to get to the quarterback and get sacks, they’re getting gashed on run plays."

"Inability to get pressure" is something you'd say if you looked up those sack numbers and had no other context in which to judge Michigan. Other than the Notre Dame game, Michigan has gotten to the quarterback plenty, they just haven't ever covered anyone long enough for Graham to get his due.

That article cites the following people in a discussion of Michigan's defense: Martin, Lee Corso, Shawn King, Ray Bentley, and Matt Millen. Other than King that's a short list of people I wouldn't trust to count to five.

This unnamed "evaluator" is interesting, however:

According to one talent evaluator, defensive end Brandon Graham is Michigan’s only high-level NFL defensive prospect. Warren projects as a "later"-round draft pick, and Mike Martin is “a good college player” who “might have a chance at the next level,” the evaluator said.

Here's hoping Warren is indeed a "later" round pick and decides to help his stock by coming back, because Michigan needs him badly next year.

Run chart. The run chart from the Illinois game is up; I think it's a little less harsh on Brown than it should be and packs it in after the rage-inducing goal line stand. A reader emailed me a good point: if Minor wasn't available on the goal line, wouldn't a package of Moundros and Grady gotten the job done? What is with the marginalization of Moundros this year anyway?

Apologies for a  moment of meta and self promotion, but we are the champions.. This is apparently the best college football blog in the universe according to Sports Media Challenge, a consulting/marketing firm that operates in the digital space and other such droidwords. It's a narrower field than it should be, though, with the exclusion of a subset of blogs that tend to be good ones:

We do not include blogs that are subscription based or backed by traditional media outlets. This is especially true of blogs that do not have full editorial control over their content.

That's the only reason Doctor Saturday isn't anywhere on the list, right? I get that they're trying to distinguish between blogs run by newspaper folk that are mostly extensions of beatwriting and fan-driven media, but DocSat is firmly One of Us.

A couple of notes on the list:

  • The Big Ten lands five of the top ten slots, the SEC two, the ACC and Big 12 one each. Two general blogs (EDSBS and the Wizard of Odds) show; if you want to file EDSBS as a Florida blog I think you're wrong but whateva you do what you want.
  • SBNation has either six or seven of the blogs on the list, depending on how you classify EDSBS. Hall gets his funding from SBN but has not converted over to the software monolith. This place, the Wiz, and Eleven Warriors are the only indies.

Etc.: We are on the spot this week, and how. Michigan has a huge hockey series against #1 Miami of Ohio this weekend; I would have said more but the only non-exhibition game I've seen this year was the Thursday night Niagara game so I don't have any smart opinions. Having this series so early is frustrating.



November 6th, 2009 at 2:04 PM ^

The one thing that put this blog over the top is the effective oversight of the member generated content. The projects that the diarists are putting together are consistently making the front page, and they continue to carry on the spirit of Brian's original 1 man project.

Another thing that put it over the top, that last Podcast.

Also, The Wiz blows...


November 6th, 2009 at 2:09 PM ^

The rumor over at UniWatchBlog is that the Buckeyes will also be wearing a white helmet when they don the Nike specials against Michigan. I'm not superstitous, but is changing your traditional uniform when you've beaten your chief rival five in a row a good idea?


November 6th, 2009 at 2:15 PM ^

Not surprised that uninformed blither comes out of his mouth. TV sports commentators are pretty much worthless. Especially "He Who Shall Not Be Named" (Matt Millen)


November 6th, 2009 at 2:21 PM ^

To call him he who shall not be named then to name him seems odd.

Unrelated to that, when Joe Buck and Tim McCarver were on PTI the other day, it was the most interesting comments I've ever heard out of either of them. EVER. It was awesome how my opinion, based on years of listening to them drone on was changed when I got to hear them off the main broadcast.

matty blue

November 6th, 2009 at 2:23 PM ^

man, i will never, ever understand the 'alternate uniform' thing. florida state and michigan (and to a lesser, admittedly biased extent, ohio state) have recognizable, kickass uniforms. why in heaven's name would you screw with that.

and get off my lawn!

Toni 02

October 27th, 2010 at 6:41 AM ^

"Our career community is dedicated to helping palo alto Jobs Professionals,
 like you, connect with local employers and find great career opportunities in the Bay Area. We even provide email alerts to inform you as soon as new opportunities
 become available and offer the latest information and resources
 to help you land a great job and advance in your career."

Chewie Blue

November 7th, 2009 at 7:45 AM ^

I thought the FSU uniform looked like hammered b&tt, the look on the player's face says it all...would like to see what the white pants look like with UM's away uniform, or maybe an all blue for the home games, but other than that, don't mess with it.

chuck sez

November 8th, 2009 at 3:09 AM ^

as a UM engineering grad I love this post and wanted to stay off the 'RR must go' threads, or 'former super bowl winning coach wants to move to A^2 and coach college kids' nonsense, but influential UM boosters are landing in SFO on their way to Palo Alto this morning.

it probably doesn't mean anything but thought I'd pass along some facts - the search is back on. Blanket firing will not happen, but if the right coach signs on - we still have a lot of club seats and luxury boxes for the new AD to sell next season...

After Oct + early Nov events I'm curious if anyone would still have a problem bringing him on? Never thought I'd see the day where Stanford had a better football team than Michigan, but I'm proud that a Michigan man made that happen.


If you can beat USC ('07) and Oregon ('09) while coaching Stanford - what's next?

Go Blue!