I always pictured Tacopants to be taller for some reason.

Clearly he must be sitting down in the picture.

I always envisioned him as a midget on stilts, but maybe that's just me.

I always thought that Tacopants only played for Michigan. Is it true that he also takes the field for other teams as well?  In other words, in addition to his unlimited eligibility at Michigan, does he have unlimited NCAA-wide eligibility?  If so, how is he able to be on different fields at the same time?

That "Nick" who submitted the question is Nick Sheridan.  Every time he has seen that jersey it has been an in-game situation, and he threw to the dude.  Actually explains a lot, doesn't it?

underthrew Tacopants, failing to use his height and leaping abilities to full advantage. A damn shame....what could of been...

after scoring to make it an 8 point game.

Not because he knows the maths, but because he's an idiot thinks going for two is fun.

Ruling on the field is confirmed = official review.
<br>
<br>Ruling on the field stands = coaches challenge.
<br>
<br>?

"Ruling stands" = we didn't have enough to overturn the call on the field.

"Ruling is confirmed" = we have enough to say that the call on the field was correct.

On another note, I thought the Hawthorne pick was clean (by the closest possible margin).

See I always thought that the rule was if the ball hits the ground at all it would be incomplete. I think maybe since he held possession of the ball even though it touched the ground then they ruled it complete. I really don't know though.

I was/am under the impression that the ball can touch the ground and, so long as you grasp it at that same moment, it's still a catch.  That play was the perfect example.  I may well be wrong, and it may be that an essential part of a catch is protecting the ball from touching the ground.

Well looking it up I found this in the NCAA Rulebook:

Any forward pass is incomplete if the ball is out of bounds by rule or if it touches the ground when not firmly controlled by a player

Listed on page 77 out of 197 when discussing incomplete passes.

Edit: number derp

The question then is whether Hawthorne "firmly controlled" the ball when it touched the ground.  One replay, IIRC, showed the ball sort of jump when it hit the ground.  The other replay showed Hawthorne have it in his (right?) hand the whole time.

I'll say that he firmly-ish controlled it.

I saw a shot of it that I wish they would have spent more time on during the broadcast; it looked to me at that sight angle that the "jump" of the ball was actually when he tightened his grip to draw it into his body, and then that was when it touched the ground.

Your understanding certainly seems to be correct; indeed, Rule 2-4-3-a-2 (if I'm getting the section reference format correct) contemplates the possibility of a complete pass or interception in which the ball touches the ground before any part of the player's body.

I didn't think the pick was good, but I got beat up in another thread for saying it.  It was really close, but they should not have 'confirmed' the call at all.  If anything, they could have defined it as inconclusive.  As Brian proves, I was right, and this is the internet.  I was right on the internet.

I hope that everyone can agree that it was close.  The board is being a little ridiculous lately in terms of negging/attacking people for voicing opinions that are even ever-so-slightly unfavorable to Michigan.

HOW DARE YOU HINT AT MENTIONING ANYTHING REMOTELY NEGATIVE ABOUT MICHIGAN! AS SUCH YOU MUST BE A WITCH AND BURNED AT THE STAKE!

This site has always been that way.  I actually think it's better now than it used to be.

No, it's basically what Brian said.

"Ruling on field is confirmed" = video evidence says the call was correct.

"Ruling on field stands" = video provides no indisputable evidence.

Example: Lovie Smith challenged the spot on Monday night when the Bears failed to make it on fourth and 1 and I distinctly remember the referee saying "confirmed."

Ruling Confirmed: we see on film that refs were right

Ruling Stands: We don't have indisputible video evidence either direction, so the refs' original call stands

Ruling overturned: we see on film that refs were wrong

On the question of going for two when the touchdown has already put you up seven near the end of the game: this seems like the perfect time to fake a kick and go for two, if you are feeling ballsy.  You don't lose much by failing and you stand to gain quite a bit by succeeding, and the opponent is likely to assume you'll take the easy point and put them eight points down.  If you're getting that complacency vibe from the other sideline, it's a fantastic call IME.

the whole Tacopants reference  to me?  I've been reading this blog for a couple years now, and I still don't know where it comes from.  Thanks.

Chad Henne was overthrowing guys by about ten feet that year, and Brian started writing that Henne was throwing to an invisible, very tall receiver named Tacopants.  That's more or less the story. I'm not really doing it justice.

Here ya go:

"Tacopants"? Tacopants is Jason Avant's eleven-foot tall imaginary friend. Chad Henne spent much of 2005 hitting him between the numbers, which are unfortunately eight feet off the ground and made of dreams. Blessed with infinite eligibility and the ability to sneak on and off the field without alerting the referees -- made of dreams, remember -- Tacopants has taken a lesser role in the offense as Henne matures but still pops up at inopportune times. The term has its genesis in this post.

I thought it was awesome!

Brian,

I did some work and attempted to answer THAT VERY QUESTION right on this here blog.

Hawthorne's interception should have been an incomplete pass.  He did control the ball just before it hit the ground, but when the nose of the ball hit the turf, it very quickly shifted from lying vertically in his hands to lying horizontally in his hands.  The ball "moved" and his hands weren't the thing that moved it; therefore, he didn't have control.

I'm glad Michigan got the benefit of the call, but it was a bad call.

He had it in his right (I think) hand when it moved. It wasn't loose, though I agree with you that Hawthorne didn't move it on purpose.

I figured it was a close call, because he definitely had control of the ball when he hit the ground, but yeah the refs probably blew that.  Considering we saw about 3 missed holding calls on NW in that first half, holds that would have ended drives, this felt like a little karma.

I don't remember it well, but seeing the replay, I really thought he had his hands underneath the ball.  No doubt it was close, but it didn't seem like one of those black and white, either way, type of plays.

Apparently the rule is if one "firmly controls" the ball and it hits the ground it is a catch. If he did control it (firmly, I suppose) and it hits the ground, then it would have to move, as a reaction to the force against an immoveable object- the ground. It wouldn't have to shift, because his arms and hands could completely absorb the impact and stay in the exact position in relation to the ball. But it would have to move as initiated by the ground and not his hands by the principles of physics.

I breathed easier when we got that one, for sure. But I'm just saying him having the ball firmly when it touches the ground doesn't necessitate that it can't move at all.

I was debating this with my friend the night of, but could it have been because of the differing college and professional rules for when a player is down? If that was the NFL, he wouldn't be down when he hit the ground and thus would be a no-catch, but doesn't the ball (or his knees, didn't see if they hit before) hitting the ground fully in his posession make him down at that point?

Right, this.  Isn't it similar to the whole "ground can't cause a fumble" thing?  Once the ball hits the ground in his possession it's down, I thought.

I'm assuming Tacopants is #12 b/c as Avant's imaginary friend he's the 12th Michigan man on the field.

I'm surprised there hasn't already been 10 people claiming ""that was me in the Tacopants jersey!!".

Hmm, then again, maybe I'm not.

You've spoiled us with regularly scheduled podcasts this season. Now I can't go a week without a fix!

I love going for 2 in the scenario presented above.   I would like to present to Brian the added value of the surprise 2pt play.   At that point in the game nobody is expecting a fake extra point play.   A well designed fake fg seems like it would be highly successful pushing the success rate well above the theoretical 45% and essentially ending the game.

I understand all your other points and I think it does depend highly on too many variables, but let's look at 2011 Michigan vs Sparty.

We score to go up 7 with 2 minutes to go to make the score 37-30.  With 2 minutes to go it does not change the way they play.   Down 2 scores the game is pretty much ova.  Down 1 score they have a good shot, but they can't play any faster in either scenario they are going full tilt.  At that point a surprise 2pt play would just put the absolute dagger in MSU and if you have Denard from 2.5 yds out I take my chances with that as well.   At the least you probably draw a time out as the other team has the wrong package on the field when they see Denard trot back out there at the last second.

With time outs precious for the opposing team I think at a minimum coaches should rush the offense out onto the field with 15 seconds on the play clock to force the opposing coach into burning a time out.

In your scenario using the percentages that Brian listed, you make the other side go for 2pts.  So my only conclusion on how you think you are changing things is that a "trick" 2 point play is very close to 100%, and then just forces the other team to go for 2pts at 43%.  Because you're not really two scores up at all, you are only one score plus a 2 point conversion up.

I think the point of going for 2pts to catch up when 14 down is a statistically smarter play because the scenario assumes two chances at a 43% play that you only have to make once to have the same result as kicking twice.  So going for it after the first touchdown takes advantage NOT of surprising everyone, but just taking advantage of two shots at a nearly 50-50 play which happens to be equal to or slightly better than two chances at two 100% plays that are worth half as much.

The wierd thing about probability though is that fans don't remember what the expected value is in aggregate, they only think about what is happening now, and once you miss the first 2point try, you are back to a 43% chance or making the second 2 point try.

This is the same way I've felt about turnovers being random and thus our epic quest to return to the "norm".

I think the best example of when the fumbles aren't random is the following two;

1 - punt returner drops the ball.  It frequently happens before anyone has shown up, and there is a high probability he falls on it, thus not losing possession.

2 - Countess gets beat on a route, but only by a little, and not only can tackle, but can tackle in such a way that it pushes out the ball, and not only push out the ball, but continue to hold down the WR,  AND it's more likely his teammates are there to help with the tackle before anyone on the offense can see the fumble.

#2 seems to have been every Michigan fumble recovery this year.  I think there has been only one fumble recovered by the same person who caused it.  I'm of course counting this in my head from memory, and ignoring all the greased palm fumbles that the MICHIGAN PRIDE BEFORE THE FALL PUNSHING GOD is now allowing us to get.

Yes, that's right, I believe that Mike Hart's comment in 2007 cursed us, and in a way that reminds us that Hart never fumbled.  Except in the final bowl game of Carr's career when the offensive coordinator was possessed by the "ghost of spread and shred future, passing game only version" and Hart fumbled twice trying to score a touchdown instead of letting us possess it at the half yard line.

Gods of all kinds hate hubris

stupid gods

I saw #12 Tacopants walking to the stadium on Saturday and I pointed and told my wife, "Hey, look, that guy is Tacopants!!!."   I don't think she shared in my amusement.

I love those moments where I turn to my wife and point out MGoSomething (e.g. Lloyd Brady sightings) and she looks at me like I'm a lunatic.  That response I get makes those moments even more enjoyable.