Dear Diary and the Senior Hypothesis

Submitted by Seth on November 16th, 2012 at 10:27 AM


By farside286. Please tell me that's a processor speed reference and not your Mo-Jo room number c. 1998-'99 because if it's the latter I'm so so sorry!

When I came to Michigan they had recently started doing these really interesting seminar classes that only freshmen could take. There was one on the Simpsons, one all about spring break destinations, and one on King Arthur that filled up right away since it got around you get to watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail.* I ended up taking the Psychology of Business, basically an insight directly into the hive mind of management that would have been invaluable to a corporate career if it hadn't also completely turned me off from it.

Club_med, a statistician, mentioned a few of that class's signature readings on "flow" while showing that the team with momentum going into overtime does not have any advantage. He plans to see if other things like 4th downs or turnovers create swings. Hypothesis: if there's a difference at all it is probably a) buried in too small a data sample, and b) an effect of freeing coaches from their lizard brains to take appropriate risks. The ND-Pitt Hypothesis: success in overtime situations is directly correlated to which team is better at playing football.


*I appreciate a discussion on holy hand grenades as much as the next guy, but some of us honestly want to talk Alano-Sarmation Theory, and translate Nennius's list of battles into Welsh to see if it rhymes.


More Statistics Bias in This Week's Read These:

Run charts like running QBs. Please let's all welcome the nerdy and likeable LSAClassof2000 back to the diaries with a quick comparison of Michigan's rush/pass offense/defense over the last 10 years versus that of Iowa. Conclusion: having Denard Robinson or Brad Banks under center makes you good at running:


Whence the Tebowing? The guy who I think graduated from LSA in 2000 also decided to chart up the Denardian career. I don't like that the charts are all on a different Y scale so you can't really compare to each other until…


…arrrgghhhh 2012 Y R U no touchdowns!

Get yer head out of September. The Devin Gardening of the past few weeks has people thinking of 2013 things despite the 2012 things still being very much in play. Gordon put together a great list and discussion on the Big Ten's out-of-conference schedule for next year. Hurrah for the yellow and blue not starting against the Sabanic empire in Jerryworld and thus diminishing the excitement of the season right out of the gate. Somebody remind me to back-link this thing next August.

Hoops in Pittsburgh. I bumped ClearEyesFullHart's preview/obsessing over next week's basketball game at Pitt. And not just because I'm a sucker for Firefly references, even if I'm a hopeless sucker for Firefly references.

[JUMP for some epic weeklies and best of the board]

This Week in Things that are Weekly

Best and Worst: My new favorite weekly's third installment was bumped to the front page for bronxblue's high quality analysis of the offense of the future:

But Northwestern was a “real” game, where Borges had to maximize all of the players on the field to win. He threw with play-action, he used the I-form and multiple tight-ends, threw to his TE near the goalline, and rarely utilized some of the read options you saw more heavily with Denard. There were fewer designed QB runs, and whether that was out of necessity to keep Devin healthy or because he didn’t feel that Gardner could run them successfully, it felt far more like the Al Borges offense with a mobility+ QB. In short, it felt like an offense you’ll be seeing for the next 5-10 years.

Also for perspective:

…legendary is Tim Biakabutuka  going for 313 against OSU, Braylon against MSU, or Grbac to Desmond against Notre Dame. This was beating an okay Northwestern team at home.

Inside the Box Score. This! This! A thousand times this!

Have you ever seen a defense run a trick play? I'm not talking about zone blitzes or OKIE packages or whatever. That last defensive play was a legitimate trick play, akin to the Statue of Liberty or Halfback pass. From going with a 4-3 alignment all season long, to switch to a 3-4 with the DEs split way outside and then blitzing your two best defensive players right up the gut. That was madness and genius all rolled up in one.

Actually it was a 3-3-5 with Jibreel Black as nose tackle, ST3, but yes absolutely. Offense gets to be tricky because they get the initiative. Defense can blitz and stunt and slant and drop surprise guys into coverage but to really run a trick they have to convince the offense to give up its greatest advantage: knowing what play this is going to be first. The alignment was the bait. Fitzgerald called timeout to look at it and sniff at it and figure out if he can get the cheese without springing the trap. But let's not forget Hoke then called a timeout to ostensibly turn off the trick and let Fitz think a little longer about the cheese. Snap, SNAP! and oh snap.

Turnover Analysis and Statistics and FEI Prediction. As predicted, time more than any one correctional game seems to have normalized FEI. Enjoy Life has rolled with the punches. Would you believe Michigan's defense is 19th and the offense is 35th, for 28th overall? Yeah that's disappointing but not, like, crazy. As for turnover analysis, Michigan lost about 8.13 points to the turnover game. Raise your hand if you think throwing an interception on 1st down with good field position when trailing by 3 with three minutes left in the 4th quarter is a bad thing?

Bowl Eligibility and Predictions. Welcome to the weeklies Tauro. He actually did two articles, one to remind you of the affiliations and see who's eligible, and a follow-up to predict who's going where. I want to commend the formatting of these for making them easy to read, but I do request that Tauro start using the non-subsidized names.

FreeRoll_thumb_0Freeroll. Same thing that was on the front page yesterday. In case you missed it, Draftstreet is letting us have a weekly free fantasy game on their site with money for the victors. Dont forget to make your team before tomorrow at noon. You'll note this will move to the diaries after its initial posting. If you're having trouble signing up, you're probably from Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Vermont, or Puerto Rico—states that ban online gaming.

Etc. A guy tries to use logic to debate SEC folk in re: how awesome the SEC is. Brian goes to Washington. Memories of Michigan years past continues with 1975, when the defense's ten consecutive three-and-outs couldn't overcome Leach's rough day. Lanyard program's program. Blockhams hit a little close to home—by the way the UMHS cardiac unit is not a floor but an entire building, and they are the best.

Best of the Board

Nothing to see here. Aw, just kiddin' guys. If you've been having a job or a life these last seven days you missed a ridiculous week in board content.


I can forgive you if you did, since finding the good stuff meant wading through a miasma created by mouth breathers who after two games vs. mediocre Big Ten secondaries think Devin is a better quarterback. Here's how this went every time:

Michigan Man Who Wears Popped Collar Polos: I know I'm just gonna get negged because of the GroupThink HiveMind on here by your SAVIOR Brian but Michigan had the wrong quarterback playing receiver this year. Q.E.D.


MMWWPCP: Stalinism! I have a RIGHT to my OPINION!

Mod: Thread locked! /commits seppuku.

Something we all agree on: this was pretty neat. Enjoy your retirement, BiSB, and thank you for your service. Here's the stuff that was not that:


Remember last week when we were all like Odoms! This week: more Odoms! He's tailgating around tomorrow—shouldn't be too hard to spot. He also swears he doesn't like to talk football because he likes to play it so much. So here's my offer, Tae: come tailgate with me and we can talk only about Arthurian legend and how they could have made the Star Wars prequels better, and the Angevin dynasty.


Official Jordan Kovacs Legends Patch bitching thread: we has it.


Massey win probabilities for Michigan's last two games: 84% to win tomorrow, 38% to win next week, 9% shot at Big Ten Title game. Boo.


Time to come clean, non-patch holders. Which games have you, to your everlasting shame, departed early? Please tell me someone else left the 1995 Virginia game after three quarters?


Will Hagerup stuck his tongue out where bloggers could screen-cap. This is generally considered a bad idea. The lead image for this post and more ensued.


Hey the rival's letting their equipment sponsors play ken doll with them again. Point and laugh. Reiterate opinion that both teams in regular home uniforms would be sweet but need to find some way to frame this as "will make money" or else the people who get to make that call won't understand.


Thread started before ARRRGHHH LATE GOALS last night but there is so much hockey win in this thread if you've been falling behind on the pucks.

Your moment of zen:

Posted twice on the board this week so here you go. Hypothesis: we could use another Johnny RBUAS column on this guy right now.



November 16th, 2012 at 10:35 AM ^

Did you miss the [player dressed in costume] picture his girlfriend posted when looking for best of the board material, or was it just not something that fits in with the rest of the post?


November 16th, 2012 at 10:46 AM ^

Didn't miss it--made a call. Internet side of me says "omigod that's awesome" and responsible side of me says "current player's girlfriend posted a picture of current player's private life...euuuhhh..."

If the player comes on to say cool okay but..yeah. (edited your comment -- the original is still there)


November 16th, 2012 at 11:38 AM ^

This post may have been awesome, I'm not sure because when I saw that Brady Hoke's head was not on the Hulk, I immediately cancelled the rest of my day and decided that the Internet is just a fad and will probably never take off. So, I'm off to the store to get my food for tomorrow's tailgate. Thanks for ruining my day. Go Blue!


November 16th, 2012 at 11:04 AM ^

King Arthur actually sounds like an interesting, and academically, worthy topic. Watching the Monty Python in such a class just sounds stupid. Regardless of what one thinks of the movie, it is not a worthy entry in the extensive Arthurian literature. This makes classes on the Simpsons and spring break destinations, which don't sound academically worthy, much more suspect.

Were these classes just playtime for freshmen or what?

I was briefly involved with the Honors Program at my undergraduate alma mater. You got to take weird classes like these. It could have been good. Unfortunately, most of the classes were just wankery for people that thought they were better than the other students.

So yeah. I ditched that after one semester.


November 16th, 2012 at 11:24 AM ^

They were meant to suck you in with topics that 18-year-olds are all up on's, and then take an academic tack. I don't know about the Simpsons but I think you had to write papers on what they were satirizing and stuff. For spring break destinations it was the history and poltical and economic situation of those places. For King Arthur they roped (too many) people in with Monty Python and got them reading Tennyson.

Arthur is a pseudo-intellectual topic, really. There is scant little to go on, and everybody wants to make a definitive judgment based on stories that weren't written down until 300 years after. We are about 60% sure there was a guy named Arthur who lived in Britain between A.D. 455 and 600, and that there was a battle fought in a place called Badon Hill. But the only fragment from that period in history has nothing about Arthur in it at all. If he was really this great king, wouldn't he be mentioned in an English history written 20-50 years after his reign? There's a dude named Ambrosious Aurelianus who seems to have had some success fighting the Saxons, who may be Arthur, or may be from Arthur's line, or one part of what he did may have been rolled into the legends.


November 16th, 2012 at 11:38 AM ^


I think the academic interest in the Arthurian Legend comes from studying the literature in a more classical sense not as a history.

There were kings and wars with the Saxons and people named Arthur. There was no King Arthur as described in the literature and there is no requirement for one.

I'm not saying one should get a degree in it but there is at least more to it than the Simpsons.


November 16th, 2012 at 4:46 PM ^

Loved the Denard video.  *sniff*

BTW, the woman interviewing Denard about picking Michigan, Judy Erwin, is smoking hot and did a really good interview.  We need to see her roaming the sidelines on ESPN.