I meant to have a diary up on this already but SAVE THE DATE: FRIDAY, SEPT 6 at 7:00 P.M. we will be gathering with Marlin Jackson and an assortment of his friends at the MGOPATIO across the street from the stadium. Details still being hammered out but it will at the very least include a Q&A session with Brian and Marlin and other luminaries. It'll be free to attend with a suggested donation to Marlin's Fight for Life Foundation, and an optional contribution to the food and beer.
Also reminder to New Yorkers that Brian and TomVH will be visiting you next Thursday, Aug. 15 at Professor Thom's between NYU and Stuyvesant Town.
It’s been a few weeks since I had cause to plop one of these on you; hopefully with the “There Are” posts now into backfield numbers that’ll be changing.
In the quiet time LSAClassof2000 has kept up with his charting, this time getting into 3rd and 4th down conversion success rate. The first look was pretty pedestrian, except when charting he added a percent of plays that were 1st down stat to them. I don’t think I’ve seen that stat used before, but come to think of it that’s a neat way to track offensive success, yes/no? Let’s try that:
PERCENT OF PLAYS on X DOWN:
Clickit to make it biggit.
My data are a little different than what you can pull from cfbstats or something because I left in things like plays that resulted in defensive pass interference or offsides (offensive penalties that caused a play to be wiped were removed). Anyway Michigan was sneaky good at avoiding 4th downs last year because of the high 3rd down conversion rate. The most efficient offenses in the conference were better at avoiding 3rd downs too; those were also the spread offenses.
LSA also took a second swing at the conversion stats but went the other way, tracking the differential between offensive and defensive 3rd down conversion rates, and how that tracks with win percentage and points per game. The Michigan difference:
Win your 3rd downs, win more games. My suggestion is to track this game-by-game against the opponents' average points for and against—smaller sample sizes but I bet you those swings make a huge difference in performance vs. expectation.
Bronxblue had a long "best and worst" diary to kind of preview this year's storylines. Things we'll be talking about:
- Football (as opposed to Johnny Manziel)
- Effect of non-Denardiness on offense
- Running back stable no longer smurf variants
- Less spread.
- Where's the pass rush?
- % less RichRodiness
- All those four/five star kids emerging into favorites
[Jump: best of the board, moment of zen]
Best of the Board
HOOPS CROOTIN – LADIES EDITION
Raoul is keeping us apprised of M's women's basketball team, with a roster overview plus commits and targets. It's really a diary but he asked for it to remain in the board for updating purposes.
MICHIGANS DID IT!
Penn State S&C coach Craig Fitzgerald gave his players "Burn the Ships" t-shirts and called it "Something from my bag of tricks." If it wasn't these:
Then Craig Fitzgerald probably likes motivational posters. Originality points equal whatever you get for everyone wearing white to the game after the Winnepeg Jets did it, except there are more people who read MGoBlog than who used to go to Jets games.
As a certified internet person known to go by a nickname for pre-Cortezian ship-burning motivator Julian the Apostate (say that 11 times fast), I have little patience for people who ignore the historicity of the great ship-burning tradition.
Did you know they couldn't even make a preview magazine without a Michigan guy stepping in to do it for them? I keed. They actually made a really great, really HTTV-like e-book. It's $6.50 and has zero DRM so you can grab the PDF and use in any way PDFs are used. Since I'm the publisher of the thing I made my Michigan preview the free preview for now. If you buy it there's another Michigan-centric article in there about PSU's entry into the Big Ten, with photos from Bentley and a great Bo story.
While trying out the system I also put HTTV2012 up for $3.00 if you're feeling nostalgic for last year's book, or you missed it, or you'd just like a digital copy.
Your Moment of Zen:
When trying to get Brian to choose anybody but the incomparable Mike Hart for his Deveon Smith YMRMFSPA, I pulled up a little Ricky Powers. Of course if you keep watching that then this happens: