Dear Diary Points at Rose Bowl

Submitted by Seth on July 12th, 2013 at 10:46 AM


I didn't have the heart to remove Becky's photo from the top of the front page. Weird thing: the (presumed) student equipment manager is in shorts and a tee but Brady has both slacks and a jacket on. I clearly remember Carr was wearing just a white polo all game. Was Brady really jacketed while the other coaches remained unfettered? At 5:27 on the tape you can see long-sleeved Brady walking behind angry Lloyd trying to explain to SEC officials that hitting is allowed in football. Weird. Diaries.

Must Read: Eight Plays and Counting. eHDgIX6I'll let EGD announce his latest thing:

This series examines the probable individual matchups Michigan would face against particular 2013 opponents on one of Michigan’s key running plays and one of its key passing plays, as well as defensively against a couple of the opponent’s key plays

So for example he'll take the play at right—the base 26 Power R, a common variation of Michigan's "Power O" (2 means RB carries it, 6 means they're going in the 6-hole, ie between the T and TE, and R means right)—and go through the personnel matchups on that play to see which team has an aggregate advantage. On the above Michigan's likely wins: Lewan on Prince Shembo. Things that seem to favor ND: Braden pulling to find WLB Dan Fox, down-blocks of Jack Miller on Sheldon Day, Kalis on Louis Nix, and Schofield on Tuitt, Joe Kerridge finding Danny Spond for a kick-out block, and Funchess executing a double-team on Tuitt then moving to the 2nd level to get to ND's middle linebacker. Advantage: Notre Dame, though I should point out a down block is one of the easier to accomplish since you start with leverage.Diaristoftheweek-EGD

The Notre Dame one has three more plays: a PA pass from our offense, and then Michigan's D versus the Irish's base zone run and one of Kelly's favorite passing plays that we're guaranteed to see because it picks on Jarrod Wilson. Yesterday he posted a second one, which goes over UConn (M's power left and PA deep flood, and UConn's curls vs. Cov2 and 4-verts vs. Cov3). Again, these are things that schematically try to pick on Wilson. Part of that is there aren't many other unknowns on the defense, but I think it's becoming pretty clear where a lot of our attention is going to be early in the season. Prophesy: Wilson will look bad early in the season as offenses consistently do things that try to make him look so. In fact if he doesn't we may have something really nice there.

By the way EGD also updated his Non-Conference Recruiting Watch series a few weeks back. The guy with the Hail to the Thief avatar wins a trophy.

ESS-EEE-SEE! In people having fun with numbers you can find online, stopthewnba pulled January bowl data to show how the Big Ten has fared overall and against the SEC in all those virtual road games. It's not as bad as you might think, except when it comes to Rose Bowls (2-12 in the documented span) and times when a national championship is on the line or an erstwhile title contender dropped down into our range (USC vs. Michigan twice, MSU vs. Alabama). Something isn't right in his spreadsheet since I know for a fact that Northwestern isn't 2-and-anything in bowl games unless the data go back to the 1940s.

More interesting perhaps was maizeonblueaction's look at demographics since 1990 in Big Ten states versus SEC ones. In the comments EGD (man, that guy this week) suggested dividing the numbers by how many major conference (ACC/Big Ten/Big XII/Pac12/SEC plus Notre Dame) teams it has to support. So I did that, except I combined Indiana and Illinois since Chicago is really home territory for the Indiana schools. Result:

State Conf Big5 Teams 2012  Pop (est.) Share
Ohio BigTen Ohio State 11,544,225 11,544,225
New Jersey BigTen Rutgers 8,864,590 8,864,590
Florida SEC/ACC Florida, Miami (YTM), FSU 19,317,568 6,439,189
Pennsylvania BigTen Penn St, Pitt 12,763,536 6,381,768
Missouri SEC Mizzou 6,021,988 6,021,988
Maryland BigTen Maryland 5,884,563 5,884,563
Wisconsin BigTen Wisconsin 5,726,398 5,726,398
Minnesota BigTen Minnesota 5,379,139 5,379,139
Texas SEC/B12 Texas, A&M, TT, TCU, Baylor 26,059,203 5,211,841
Georgia SEC/ACC Georgia, GTech 9,919,945 4,959,973
Michigan BigTen Michigan, Michigan St 9,883,360 4,941,680
Louisiana SEC LSU 4,601,893 4,601,893
Illinois & Indiana B1G/Ind ND, NW, Ill, Pur, Indiana 19,412,589 3,882,518
Tennessee SEC Tennessee, Vandy 6,456,243 3,228,122
Arkansas SEC Arkansas 2,949,131 2,949,131
Alabama SEC Bama, Auburn 4,822,023 2,411,012
South Carolina SEC/ACC S.C., Clemson 4,723,723 2,361,862
Kentucky SEC/ACC Kentucky, Louisville 4,380,415 2,190,208
Nebraska BigTen Nebraska 1,855,525 1,855,525
Iowa B1G/B12 Iowa, Iowa St 3,074,186 1,537,093
Mississippi SEC Ole Miss, Miss State 2,984,926 1,492,463

The demographic shifts matter but not as much as people seem to think: the part of the population that will disproportionately devote their lives to football isn't the part that recently moved to Atlanta or Nashville to work for an insurance company or relocated to Florida because the weather's easier on their joints. Mississippi can support more and better football programs than New Jersey can because life in Mississippi is more likely to suck so hard that people are willing to do anything to their bodies to get those bodies out of there. Not so much for recent Jersey/St. Louis/Philly transplants, but Ohio State's position in Ohio is a major advantage indeed.

tateforciermsuscrambleThis is bound to change now. LSAClassof2000 looked at red zone offense in the Big Ten since 2008: Michigan is second to last in overall success rate to the Hoosiers until you add Maryland and Rutgers, both worse. Less than a quarter of Michigan's red zone trips ended with a passing touchdown in that time. Our 2009 (converting just 2/3rds of possible points) matches Indiana's 2008 for most brutal ever. However this has improved dramatically every year since, and the 2012 team was really good at converting red zone trips into points (5.28 per drive), though getting there (3.54 times per game, about 40th percentile among data points) was a problem. In the comments I resorted the data to see where Michigan's teams fell. Wisconsin had the top three red zone teams. Michigan's 2012 was 12th out of 70. Suggestion for further study: I bet you this correlates to experience of the starting quarterback.

Etc. The Big Ten meets the Big Lebowski—I didn't find the comparisons all that close. K.o.k.Law is reminiscing about going to the basketball championship game. Moderator JustinGoBlue is MGoProfiled by M-Wolverine. Solar team's new car and discussion of semiconductor theory.

[Jump: Best of the Board, Zen]

Best of the Board

aaron-hernandez-ncaa-football-14_720.0_cinema_640.020 SECONDS ON THE BOARD

Good name for an irregular feature in here. The topic: players of NCAA 14 realize Aaron Hernandez is one of the unlockables in Ultimate Team mode (this will be updated by the way if it hasn't been already; Ace still has my copy of the game). Let's put 20 seconds on the board and see what the board has to say:


Ugh, this kills me.  I wanted to run the Run 'N Shoot offense with him.


He's killer in either the shotgun or pistol.


How about the Fun N' Gun?

I hate myself.

His Dudeness:

He really buries the competition.


No question. He executes very well.


Starts out a Tight End, ends up a Wide Receiver


The only way we'll see him is on a jailbreak screen

The FannMan

Not much of a receiver now. You'll have to play him as a glocking tight end.

His Dudeness (in response to a guy asking if he's TE #81 or soemthing?)

MA Inmate # 68795324


Friendly reminder: Murder is not funny and you are all terrible people.



Thanks offskooring.

Your Moment of Zen:

With 7:18 left in the 1997 season, the Most Lloyd Drive Ever: clock-churning runs on 1st and 2nd down into defenses expecting it, with 1st downs courtesy of Griese's long run (and ludicrously bad spot), Woodson and the Continental-Option(!), a long pass to Shaw, and a good ol' fashioned "Woodson comes in" completion. Drive ends with a fake FG pooch punt, and leaves Ryan Leaf with 29 seconds and no timeouts on his 7.



July 12th, 2013 at 12:09 PM ^

for about 18 years now, I don't really buy the whole "it sucks, let's leave" theory.  I see that the vast majority of Mississippians are quite content 'round here.  It's a wonderful world where you can shoot what you like, when you like, and don't need to wear pants to check your mail. 'Murica at its greatest.


July 12th, 2013 at 12:35 PM ^

Didn't mean to insult the whole state. My friend has made a very nice life in Jackson being a playwrite, actress, and children's book author. She also goes around the state to try to help elementary aged kids get back on the national learning track, because there are a disproportionately large amount of them who've fallen off it.

The whole state doesn't have to suck--enough of it does for there to be a rather sizeable population facing limiited opportunities in other things while football remains a constant. This is the demographic from which sports have always drawn heavily upon, because it's not just athletic ability but willpower that is required to succeed in the highest echelon collegiate and pro leagues.

It's only part of the advantage the South has in producing talent. Another part of that advantage is the weather allows for year-round 7-on-7 camps, and the local culture puts a higher social value on football ability.


July 12th, 2013 at 1:17 PM ^

your intent, but I feel you can make that argument about any region in the world. Everywhere there will be people who are in crappy situations who are drawn to the bootstraps stories sports provide and thrive on. To say that one particular state has lots more of the type of people who love sports because they have little else to gain optimism from is a wrong conclusion.

   The delta region of Mississippi is indeed a depressing, heart-wrenching locale where sports may be the only way out for many children, but the rest of Mississippi is not (aside from poor parts of metro areas of which there are few).  To state that better: MS has a geographically large but lowly populated region that gets lots of publicity for its low income and poverty but has an even larger region of blissful folk who make it fine.

    Japan loves baseball and so does Cuba.  One is a hugely impoverished nation and the other is not.

   Of course, these are just my feelings.  I end here saying that I'm from rural north Mississippi and don't experience the delta or ghettos often.  Of course, most of MS is exactly like where I live.  Rural and populated with some of the happiest rednecks you'll ever meet in addition to doctors, lawyers, and all them folk.  Edit: Grammar


July 13th, 2013 at 2:45 PM ^

Population of Japan: 128 million.

Population of Cuba: 11 million

MLB players from Japan: 14

MLB players from Cuba: 20

Both countries have national leagues that claim to have MLB-level talent and try to keep it home, Cuba being far tougher to leave than Japan. How does a country with just 10% of the population of another baseball loving country produce as many or more top-echelon players? 


July 14th, 2013 at 5:08 PM ^

I'm willing to cede at least my point about Cuba and Japan.  I've just spent tons of time around this state (Corinth, Columbus, Starkville, Oxford, and Tupelo areas) and the surrounding areas in AL, LA,  and TN and there is nothing about MS that makes it unique when it comes to what you were describing in terms of poverty/depression. I can agree that when select opportunities provide outs for hard living, those opportunities will be exploited heavily.  I do not agree that MS is in the same boat as Cuba (pun slightly intended).

   I think the simpler explanation is that largest single demographic of college football athletes (according to The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport) is African-Americans by a margin of 45.8% (White is second by 45.1%) and MS has the largest African-American population in the country.  My second theory is that with such a high rural population, there's really nothing to do after school so a lot of students just do sports to avoid boredom.

   I'm also willing to admit that I might be totally wrong, but I get jumpy to defend this state because we get a lot of bad rep that's (usually) ill deserved.  I was probably too ready to attack you for your benign comment.


July 12th, 2013 at 3:58 PM ^

I watched the whole 97/98 Rose Bowl again recently and was struck by several things.

First, the offense was schizophrenic Tressel Ball before Tressel Ball was a thing. For much of the game the offense is trapped in its own territory and seemingly disinterested in scoring. Then as soon as they reach the 40 or so Woodson trots out and the playbook opens up.

The final drive is a thing of beauty. It also seems like DeBord was emptying the playbook of all the Woodson plays that he'd been saving.

And then the last two plays of the game are completely blown by the refs. They missed blantant offensive pass intereference, which gave WSU a chance, and then snatched that chance away when they let the final second tick off the clock after Leaf spiked the ball. I have to believe that was a make-up because despite my argument at the time WSU should have had one final play.



July 12th, 2013 at 8:13 PM ^

Look at the size (or lack thereof) of our offensive linement back in '97. Don't have any numbers, but I've got to say that the current crop of OLs have at least 15 pounds on them. Oh how the game has changed.