Dear Diary is Back in the Car Again

Submitted by Seth on January 11th, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Before I forget, go draft your FreeRoll team for tomorrow—if you finish in the top 12 you get legal tender, and you don't have to give up any legal tender for it. If enough people don't sign up we don't get to keep doing these.


Okay so maybe I'm still a bit shaken from encountering a real life Tyrannosaur …

Outback Bowl - Jadeveon Clowney


…who's not even allowed to enter the draft, but the thought of Lewan leaving for the NFL felt like being stuck in the middle of Jurassic Park with nobody but your 8-year-old brother for protection.

"That's not what I'm gonna do." –Taylor Lewan

So yes I saw new starters at 4 of 5 OL positions and turned into a hyperventilating girl—like you didn't! Thank Denard for Dr. Grant. I have no idea why he thinks a stereoscopic scavenger with an occipital lobe 8 times the size of its cognitive center who's related to visually acute crocodiles and birds would have movement-based vision (maybe it's the frog DNA?) but if I'm gonna walk the length of an island of angry therapods I'm very happy to have this man along one more time. That sentiment was passed on personally by justingoblue and megangoblue, at Crisler. Pretty pictures with the cool story bro&sis but guys I'm feeling really warm and fuzzy inside.

How warm and fuzzy? 1.64 degrees centigrade fuzzy. That's the heat generated by the burning of calories in running 4,495 yards according the post-drunk maths of Blazefire. Here's another way to visualize it:


In case you were wondering, yes West Virginia fans are going to boycott everything because Denard used handoffs for the final stretch. LSAClassOf2000 added some perspective on the Denardian career by the percentage of Michigan's total offense he accounted for. Roughly, from the time he was a freshman, half of Michigan's yards were his.

In other things you ought to read, Ron Utah did a comparison of the 2011 and 2012 seasons, concluding the Denard arm was a big deal. Here's some of the things I pulled from that:

Stat 2011 2012
Rushing YPC 5.15 4.76
Fumble Recoveries 20 of 25 (80%) 11 of 22 (50%)

Surprisingly Michigan improved on 2011's unprecedented ownership of 4th down, converting 69% of our 13 attempts (up from 59% in '11), and holding opponents to 43% (not far off the 38% of last year).

Etc. I forgot to front-page Mathlete this week; amazingly there were two plays that swung the game more than Tyrannosaurus Clowney making a goat disappear. Combining the sagarin and UPI rankings makes Michigan the top football-basketball combo school in the nation (Florida, Notre Dame and Louisville come after). I'm guessing Ohio State doesn't count for that. The Blockhams was great this week, though the text still needs to be way more succinct—not that I of all people can really talk.

[Lewan photoshopping and really smart raptors, after the jump]

Best of the Board


Staying in school means you get to direct the band apparently. Also directing the band means we get a photoshoppable image of Lewan again.

Athletics, Dave Ablauf

This winner is courtesy of wlvrine, and it sparked a lovely Drkboarder gif you absolutely must see. Drk made another one with Lewan as Bob Ross (Joy of Painting guy) and wins diarist of the week even though he didn't write a diary because it is time we recognize this man's greatness.


And speaking of great giffers, chunkums saw Ace's promised Norfleet dancing gif and raised him a drumset. The result:


Etc. Somebody put names of dudes behind the OL starters, and none of them are "Recycling Bin." BKFinest, who is not in Bolivia anymore, sends his love from there anyway. Anyone who's read Ready Player One while on a Madden kick has had this dream where they're playing videogames on a jumbotron, but apparently this can actually happen. Derrick Green posts are now numbered.

Your Moment of Zen:

"When you really take the time to think and sit down and turn your phone off and think to yourself about all the things that are best for you, there was no doubt in my mind that I have to return to the University of Michigan and Team 134, and help lead this team as a senior."



January 11th, 2013 at 11:13 AM ^

Was that they couldn't outrun whatever dinosaur was chasing them when they were in the Jeep. I get that it was stuck in 3rd gear. Guess what, my old 1991 Jeep with the 4 Cyl (aka the slow one. If the jeeps in the movie had the 6Cyl, no contest) could go 70 MPH in 3rd gear. I remember them talking about how the dinosaur could run like 30mph or whatever. You could do 30 in first gear in a pinch.

It's almost as bad as the RWD/4WD Ford Bronco being half off a cliff in Harold and Kumar. Had they put the thing in reverse, it would have backed up!!

/Car nerd/engineer who decrys really simple parts of totally unrealistic movies

EDIT: Goldblum knocks it from 4th gear into 3rd gear. My point still stands. The jeep could go plenty fast in 3rd.


January 11th, 2013 at 12:40 PM ^

They wanted to be going faster. All I'm saying is they could have been going faster without changing gears. The issue wasn't control of the vehicle, it was vehicle speed. The wheels weren't slipping/spinning, they had enough traction. It's really hard to break the wheels loose going straight in an underpowered vehicle like a Jeep YJ too.

Yes, I may have spent too much time thinking about this.



January 11th, 2013 at 2:15 PM ^

may be the condition of the vehicle.
Sure they looked new, but they were in essentially a Cota Rican rainforest environment, with possible sub-standard fuel being shipped in by boat at monthly intervals.  Add that to high humidity and you may have a seriously underperforming jeep.  
Also, seeing as how much of design clusterfuck and short-cut shop the whole of jurrasic Park was anyway, I highly doubt the mechanics and local park service people we all that reliable either.

Yeah, I'm one of the filminconsistenciesdrivemenuts kind of people too.


January 11th, 2013 at 2:46 PM ^

Definitely not Factory New - 4.0L HO motors on those things burning premium.

But it's not like my 1991 was pristine either when I got it in 2004. 3rd gear was the merging gear (as in I had to use it to merge, because I couldn't accelerate enough in 4th) and it was good to 70mph at the redline (of 5250. Yeah. Jeeps aren't exactly fast performance machines when they're new).  The 4cyl engine was factory rated at 120HP, and the 6cyl was 180HP. Getting to 30mph shouldn't have been a problem with Jeff Goldblum on the stick.

With that '91 I could go 30 mph in any gear. it was close to redline in 1st, close to idle in 5th, but it could do it.

EDIT: Maybe Goldblum knocked it into neutral and not 3rd? From the time the Jeep starts moving till he knocks the shifter is 18 seconds. This site Claims that the 4.0L 6cyl Jeep went 0-60 in 9.3 seconds. The 2.5L 4cyl was 14.5 seconds

If we assume that with the extra weight of the people/gear (but missing the roll bar), plus with whatever fuel/upkeep issues it was a little slower than factory, I can't see it going slower than 30MPH at 18 seconds.

User -not THAT user

January 11th, 2013 at 3:20 PM ^

During his "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" segment he drove pretty much the full course in third gear.  And that was WITHOUT benefit of being chased by a T-Rex.

Point being, he may have been sufficiently flustered while being chased by the T-Rex that he forgot to shift gears. 


January 11th, 2013 at 11:00 AM ^

...provides me one of my most favorite memories of a MMB half time show.  It was the year the movie came out, 1984, and I was a freshman in high school.  When the announcer asks the infamous question to "choose the form of the destroyer" and everyone is expected to clear their minds of everything, the student section is found responsible for not clearing their minds of the destroyer... a large inflatable beer can.  Good stuff.  Great memories. 


January 11th, 2013 at 11:14 AM ^

i am pretty sure that given the current state of MMB half time shows, it would be the blue hairs responsible for not clearing their minds of a Salute to Scott Joplin! represented by a giant inflatable Maple Leaf Rag (those are the same thing, right?)


January 11th, 2013 at 11:16 AM ^

I am still waiting on the chart that details all of Denards stats in games vs top 25 defenses compared to those of Defenses out of the top 25.  Many of you have eGraph fetishes on here so someone make it happen....


January 11th, 2013 at 11:43 AM ^

That may be true, but you cannot deny the extreme drop off in production and let's not make it out to seem like Denard was going against elite defenses outside of the MAC either... He wasn't. 

While we are at it, let's get a turnover egraph up there also.



January 11th, 2013 at 12:00 PM ^

Well I am curious just how inflated Denards Stats are because he went off vs teams like Indiana and bad ND.  Everyone messes themselves over Denard around here but the way I see it is he played good vs bad teams and terrible vs good teams.  I just wanted that documented in an eGraph.  Is that ok?

El Jeffe

January 11th, 2013 at 12:18 PM ^

I believe it is the premise of your question that is being challenged. All players play better against bad teams than against good teams, at least on average. All football players, or players of any other sort of ball game, play some good teams and some bad teams. Hence, their stats are a combination of relative success against bad teams and relative failure against good teams. 

If anyone does such an analysis, they will show that Denard did much better against bad teams than against good teams. What will that reveal? To call his stats "inflated" suggests that there is some other way that things could have gone or typically go. But there isn't. That's just the way things are.


January 11th, 2013 at 12:37 PM ^

Ahhh I see your point...anyways.

I guess my point is Denard is typically viewed as a god around here when I see him as just a good football player.  I understand normally you aren't going to play as good vs good teams as you do vs bad teams.  In Denards case he put up monster numbers vs bad teams and bad numbers vs good teams.  In my mind that evens out to make him an average football player.  

For example:  Putting up 500 total yards vs a ND team that ends up in the bowl isn't that impressive when you consider how he did vs a ND team that played for a national championship. 

I don't have much time so in Closing ....


Denard +Bad teams = Good

_______________________             = Denard Average.

Denard + Good teams = Terrible


I rest my case!


January 11th, 2013 at 1:22 PM ^

That's fine, except the math is more like Denard against bad teams = exceptional, Denard against good teams = above average. Total = very good. How many 100 yard rushers did USC give up this year? Denard's career yardage as a runner alone is way beyond what "just a good player" running backs typically achieve.

Plus Denard is a god as much for his persona and the implicit excitement of watching him play as he is for his actual output.


January 11th, 2013 at 2:20 PM ^

how about if you go back and watch some Michigan games over the past few years, instead of whatever you were watching when you derived your little equation?  Here's what Denard did in his three years as a starter against OSU (presumably not a "bad team"):

2012:  10 carries, 122 yds rushing (no passing due to injury)

2011:  14/17, 167 yds passing; 26 carries, 170 yds rushing

2010:  8/18, 87 yds passing; 18 carries, 105 yds rushing.

I would submit that none of those performances was "terrible."

While you're catching up on Mchigan football in the Denard era, you might want to pay particular attention to 2010.  Besides the above-mentioned OSU performance, here's what Denard did against other decent-to-good teams on the schedule:

@ND:  28 carries, 258 yds rushing (plus 244 passing yds)

@PSU:  27 carries, 191 yds rushing (plus 190 passing yds)

Wisc:  22 carries, 121 yds rushing (plus 239 passing yds)

(By the way, Denard threw a grand total of one INT in those 4 2010 games combined).

In closing, your case is garbage.


January 11th, 2013 at 2:29 PM ^

LOL 3 teams!!!  2 of which we were getting blown out before he did anything.  Stop traffic!

He is our all time leading rusher... And holds the record for all time Interceptions and turnovers.  Sorry, that is not great.

Denard is good, but no where near as great as what this site trys to make it out to be.


January 11th, 2013 at 1:02 PM ^

Precisely. Saying Denard played great against the MAC but terribly against Alabama and acting like that's some great insight is meaningless. So did everybody else.

I believe Brian or the Mathlete or somebody did a look and found that in 2010, our Denard lead offense was indeed much worse against good Ds, but still produced significantly above average yardage and average points against those teams. In other words, we performed poorly against the best defense but did better than everyone else they faced.

What would be interesting is if Denard had more variance - I think it's possible that he was much better against bad defense than others, while being only slightly above average against good defense and this increased his variance.


January 11th, 2013 at 11:38 AM ^

WVU fans are epically pathetic.

If anything it is easier to run from the QB spot as you have a potential extra blocker (the RB) and you can run from a passing formation (e.g. QB draw or scrambles) which can often result in some of your biggest gains if you are really fast (like Denard). Add in the fact that White was a starter from the middle of his RS freshman season while Denard had to wait until his Sophomore season to start and White did not miss nearly as much time over his career due to injury as did Denard. If Denard hadn't gotten injured and continued to play at QB, he would have shattered White's record long before the bowl game.

Denard running >> P. White running


January 11th, 2013 at 12:19 PM ^

I can see why McQuay III went to USC now. No offense to Northfleet, but he looks about as skilled as the drummer on stage at Chuck E Cheese. There are probably more talented drummers in California