Submitted by Brian on August 18th, 2010 at 4:00 PM


No, just kidding. We're back to normal service except for the occasional outburst of spine-threatening sobs and pauses to shake the MGoFist at the sky.

So how screwed are we? Oh… I'd imagine pretty screwed. We've had to consolidate the "can Teric Jones/Michael Shaw/Denard Robinson/Will Campbell play corner?" threads in one big annoying glob of Kubler-Ross bargaining. But at least we've gotten some excellent paint action out of it:

twolfgodreal From the Shredder, naturally.

Also there's this from Antidaily:



Even the house organs, who were busy dismissing the importance of Justin Turner's departure last week, admit this is a "devastating blow" to what was already a ramshackle Burmese lean-to of a secondary. Rittenberg says Woolfolk's name would have been "right at the top" of players Michigan could not afford to lose and asks if Pac-Man Jones or Charles Woodson have any eligibility left (answer compliance should absolutely not double-check: HELL YES). Orson breaks out Crazy Old Testament God; Burgeoning Wolverine Star goes with that damn owl again for some reason.

And UMGoBlog gets all scientific by ripping Dorsey, Turner, and Woolfolk off Michigan's roster in NCAA 2011 and seeing what happens:

Before 200 19 24.1 7-5 "I feel happy!"
After 235 24 28.4 5-7 [thud]

That last column is my addition. Obviously.

Io-wha? Yeah, you see what I did there. Black Heart Gold Pants got all huffy about the idea Iowa might be overrated. While I was wrong about how many defensive starters Iowa lost (it's three, not five) and this somewhat mitigates their situation, when you deploy the Mathlete luck graph in an attempt to argue you weren't that lucky last year, well, Braves and Birds treats you like it usually treats Stewart Mandel:

You know your argument sucks when you're fighting the notion that your team was lucky in 2009 and you cite a chart that shows your team to have been the second luckiest team in the conference.

As a result of Iowa's inability to demonstrate its superiority over Arkansas State and Northern Iowa, every ranking system that accounts for data beyond record and strength of schedule pegged Iowa in the lower part of the top 20. The Sagarin Predictor had Iowa 17th. Sports Reference's SRS measure had Iowa 19th, as did Football Outsiders. In short, you can accept what reams of research tells us about football, which is that points, yards, and drive outcomes are a better indication of a team's merit and contain less noise than the final record itself. Or, you can reject all of that, put on a dumb hat, and wait to be punked by Fire Joe Morgan.

The chart thing's even better since it shows Iowa was seriously unlucky the year before, puncturing any argument that Ferentz has a knack for making chicken salad out of Stanziballs. Why is it that when I make a bleedingly obvious comment like "Penn State's quarterback situation sucks" or "Iowa was lucky last year and I am skeptical of them this year" people get all mad? Go ahead, predict Michigan's secondary will be a black hole of despair. I won't stop you.

Hockey guy but sort of the wrong year. Michigan's finally picked up another hockey commit, with 2012 forward Justin Selman picking Michigan a couple days ago. Selman joins Boo Nieves and Connor Carrick in that class; Michigan is still way, way short for 2011, with one guy currently scheduled to replace Michigan's extensive senior class.

As per usual with hockey recruits more than a year out from the draft, information on Selman is sparse. USHR has a positive note as one of a dozen or so "A" players from the '08 Select 15 festival:

-- 5’10”, 165 lb. Justin Selman. A smooth skating late ’93 from Upper Saddle River, NJ and the NJ Avalanche. He can make plays. Strong hockey sense. (White)

He's grown a couple inches since then. Other schools visited were RPI (meh) and UNH (good). There are a couple comments on Hockey's Future, for what it's worth:

Selman- Great at faceoffs. Had a growth spurt and is suprisingly strong. Solid skater with the drive to score. doubt he goes to the O.

Same guy:

Justin Selman- 5 10 160- A great skater and an absolute wizard on face offs. He is physical and has grown a lot in the past two years. A young 93 and still is one of hte best in a strong 93 Atlantic district age group.

Same guy:

Selman is not really a pro prospect I guess but he is still a very good player who could receive consideration for 2012.

Fiutakin' it. Since this guy exists…


…and so does walk-on kicker and varsity soccer star Justin Meram, this Free Press typo (print) goes from pedestrian to "Evan Metrics" competitor:

image It is always dangerous to taunt the embarrassing typo Gods—a couple of months ago I called PSU's Tom Bradley "Steve" or something—but, man, that was posted yesterday and passed around to great laughter and still hasn't been updated as of this post.

Expansion detail trickle. A couple more items from Delany:

  • A ninth game likely wont happen until 2015 at the earliest, and…
  • Straight geography is not happening when it comes to Big Ten divisions: “We didn't think there's any way we could achieve principle one [competitiveness] and two [rivalry preservation] if we were rigid about geographic contiguity. We are aware of geography, but we're not going to be driven by it.”

There's a rumor out there that Michigan and Ohio State will be split into separate divisions, which I find abhorrent because it necessitates protected cross-division games, which are dumb, and guarantees that Michigan will be elaborately screwed by that cross-division game being Ohio State, guaranteeing them a brutal schedule year-in, year-out as Ohio State and Penn State go play with Purdue, Indiana, Northwestern, and Illinois.

Remember when… wingless helmets were the thing we were panicking about?

It was a simpler, more annoying time because everyone hysteria was unjustified. Here's to annoyance.

Etc.: Hoover Street Rag breaks down Michigan logos past. Seth Wickersham's ESPN the Magazine article($) is insider, it is also the second MSM article in the past couple weeks to break down the Michigan document dump months after Heads Should Roll. It's probably worth your time, though. I don't buy the idea that compliance couldn't dare escalate from their perpetual Labadie pings; that was a screwup on their part, though most of the problem lies with the bungling underlings and the system that allowed the bungling to continue so long.



August 18th, 2010 at 4:11 PM ^

I think the whole cross-divisional protected games making our schedule more difficult is way overblown. Ohio State's protected games are us and Penn State so they had a built in more difficult schedule than anyone else under this system and they have owned the Big Ten.  If we have good teams, we'll be fine and if we don't it won't matter.


August 18th, 2010 at 10:49 PM ^

I think the bigger argument against them is it's a wider gap between games against the other teams in the conference. With an 8-game schedule, you get to play each opposite-division team 50% of the time if there are no protected rivalries, 40% if there is one. (At 9 games, it's less important.)


August 18th, 2010 at 4:16 PM ^

Splitting up Ohio State and Michigan would also require moving The Game out of the last regular season weekend, unless you want to set up back-to-back rematches now and then.  There's no way to split the two teams up without giving the rivalry a major screw job.  It sounds like splitting the conference East-West is off the table.  That's too bad, since the ACC has already tried this "competitive balance gerrymander the conference" thing and it is a fiasco.


August 18th, 2010 at 11:03 PM ^

A straight E-W split doesn't screw with rivalries or balance. If you look at the entire 11-team era, there's a clear top 6 and bottom 6, but of the top 6 Ohio State is the only one that has any separation from the rest at all. Splitting the top 4 and then throwing the next two in the same division is worse than doing 3-and-3 even if they were split 1-2-3, 4-5-6 (which would not be the case, IIRC). And the only existing permanent rivalries you'd split up are Illinois-Indiana and Purdue-NW, which who cares?

They seem so hellbent on getting balance and rivalries right at the expense of geography that they don't seem to realize they can do all three without having to compromise anything.


August 18th, 2010 at 7:32 PM ^

...me to this one by 42 minutes or so.

[Edit: the Toledo Blade knows how to spell Meram.]

Rodriguez said practice opportunities have been dispersed evenly between the three individuals challenging for the vacant kicking job --- Brendan Gibbons, Justin Meram and Seth Broekhuizen. Gibbons, a redshirt freshman, is the only one on scholarship [ed. football, that is].

"I was a little concerned because there were moments where we did not kick the ball as well, particularly in field goals, but today they did a nice job," Rodriguez said.

big gay heart

August 18th, 2010 at 5:16 PM ^

I find The Mathlete's "Luck Chart" mostly useless (both in this debate and in general). His subject matter isn't something that should be attempted to analyzed statistically. My concerns are as follows:

(1) Inappropriate usage of inferential statistics. Obviously, statistics are structured around the idea of the bell curve (in this case, luck is ephermeral) and the comparative use of statistics is the simpliest form of inferential statistics. However, this works only from a general, panoptic perspective. It cannot be applied (imhe), as a predictive measure, to individual teams. To properly use inferential (predictive) statistics in the given scenario, The Mathlete would need to establish a resonable set of dependent variables and measure them against one or more independent variables using a proper inferential procedure on a team-by-team basis. Yes, we can assume that the "luck bell curve" will remain static from year-to-year. BUT, can we assume that the elements comprising the "luck bell curve" (each individual team) will fail to retain to retain any static elements (e.g. lucky teams that retain that luck for multiple years seems as likely as one-and-done lucky teams, at least on its face)? I don't think so and I think it's a faulty assumption that individual teams will simply regress to the mean on a year-to-year basis.

(2) Faulty construction of the mean in the given scenario. The Mathlete is trying to establish a scenario in which he establishes a mean and, therafter, all future assumptions are rooted around the idea that the mean is the most probable team-season scenario. Ergo, The Mathlete is suggesting that we can reasonably predict that all teams will drift towards the mean. While I don't disagree that a mean can be established, I have a couple concerns. First of all, a two year sample size is not nearly large enough, especially given the capricious nature of what is being measured. Moreover, The Mathlete could have limited his pool to teams with a common subset of opponents. The thesis is that luck is an uncontrollable event, but a million different contextual scenarios factor into the basis of the lucky event occuring and one way of controlling that would be to only look at teams that played each other. Of course, that would be a relatively small number of games per year so he would have had to extend his analysis back much further.

(3) Faulty operationalization. IME, this is the most problematic aspect of The Mathlete's analysis. First of all, not all fumbles are lucky/unlucky and not all interceptions are lucky/unlucky.  Some punt blocks are luky, some aren't. Excluding one item and including the another doesn't make sense, or at least sans proper explanation. What is your basis for inclusion/exclusion? Please explain. Second, The Mathlete's use of his own PPG statistic is disclear. IIRC, his correlations in the stat's creation (and as they related to the defensive side of the game) where nowhere near any resonable threshold for statistical significance and, thus, unteneable for use in future analyses. And, given his very brief explanation, I'm not entirely sure how he utilized his PPG statistics. (Caveat here: I can't recall every detail of The Mathlete's PPG stat and he could have included a refresher in his luck post). At the very least, this point needs extensive clarification. Third, what do you mean by "replay?" Please define. How, precisely, did you replay the season? I need more information on your procedural mechanisms to understand your underlying decision-making rationale for inclusion/exclusion, etc. It's very vague and I can't tell if that's by design or otherwise.

I think a more appropriate use of inferential statistics would be to create several different measures of "luck" and cast them as dependent variables. Then, take several team dynamics (e.g. team maturity/length core starters have played together) and deploy them as independent variables. Run multiple tests which examine both correlations between items. Run some form of linear regression to see if certain variables are "predictive" of luck. By these means, we could better understand whether or not luck is totally unpredictable or if certain factors contribute to the appeareance of the phenomena currently construed as "luck."  


August 18th, 2010 at 5:42 PM ^

Be careful, BGH. I was instructed yesterday by a "mod" that you cant critique the mathlete's work unless you do exactly what he did, replicate the efforts and disprove it. Otherwise, you hit on some of the points I mentioned when the Luck Metric was revealed. I'd link it, but I guess thats spamming.

I just dont want to see you get in trouble........

big gay heart

August 18th, 2010 at 6:05 PM ^

It is impossible to replicate what The Mathlete does because he never provides enough information for anyone to really understand to mechanics of either his data collection or data analysis. I mean, his work basically boils down to: "here is a scatterplot, believe what it says, I am smart."  That just doesn't pass muster, imhe.


August 18th, 2010 at 6:25 PM ^

this: "I think it's a faulty assumption that individual teams will simply regress to the mean on a year to year basis." Which is cool, but I think we CAN assume that, year to year, they are LIKELIER to be closer to said mean if it WERE POSSIBLE to define it in the first place. But first ya gotta define LUCK. Good luck with that, and good luck with arriving at a consensus about said definition should you manage it. You begin to get at some of the difficulties in bullet point 3. 


August 18th, 2010 at 6:06 PM ^

If not "well". But we won't have to send out the search parties.

As for the divisions, how do we know it's us moving? Is MSU moving too, or are we going to have 2 cross sectional games? If MSU is moving too, who's going back to the other side? The more it works out, the more by geography seems to make sense.

And I think I mentioned somewhere on here that Osborne said awhile ago that 9 games wouldn't happen till 2015.


August 18th, 2010 at 6:08 PM ^

Am so wrung out from lying in my fetal position sucking my thumb over the state of the secondary, that I'm just about to say, "Fuck it! Play the fucking games and let's see how we do."

But not just now.


August 18th, 2010 at 6:17 PM ^

No offense brian, but the whole woah is me act being played out on here is pretty old. We have three weeks to prepare for UConn with a decent CB recruiting class coming in. From all accounts I have been hearing on this site and on rivals (aka the only two reliable sites for Michigan football) Cullen has been making great strides this offense. Sure we have issues with depth at the corner before Troy went down and even more now, but it isn't like the world is coming down. Basically, my point is put down the bottle and uncock the pistol in your mouth, everything will be alright.


August 18th, 2010 at 6:59 PM ^

and look at the QB's we had for that season. No offense 2008 was recipe for disaster with that offense. We finally have a competent and dangerous offense. Cullen Christian from practice reports from reliable sights has been a stud. Secondly, this is not Gerg's first rodeo. Given three weeks to prepare for the season, our D will be ready.

You people can neg me all you want for not thinking the world is going to end with Woolf out. Sure it hurts, but it is not 2008 level yet. If Denard goes down then we can have that discussion. Until then people need to stop the chicken little meme. It is old. I guess having a nonsuicidal outlook is frowned upon on this site. Hell, judging from the groupthink on here, it is no suprise people are drinking the sad panda.

The only thing I am sad about right now is that a great kid, who gave up working a summer job to get into the best shape of his life won't be able to see the fruits of his labor. I don't wish what happened to Troy upon my worst enemy.


August 18th, 2010 at 7:31 PM ^

1) Nobody should commit suicide over this

2) The world is not going to end


3) Losing Troy is BAD.  There is no way to sugar coat this.  Well except that maybe we'll go for it more often on fourth down and maybe see some onside kicks before the fourth quarter.  YAHOO FOR RICH ROD COACHING 2010 LIKE HE'S PLAYING NCAA 11.


August 18th, 2010 at 7:14 PM ^

First post, I joined because I thought everyone would benefit from reading this paper. It  may give some people enough hope to reschedule their appointment with Dr. Kevorkian. Barwis should get his wolf back in only 6.5 months. The paper is available for free on PubMed.

Talocrural Dislocation With Associated Weber Type C Fibular Fracture in a Collegiate Football Player: A Case Report

I want to provide a broad synopsis of this paper for those of you who are link-challenged. Talocrural dislocation is an ankle dislocation. Weber C ankle fractures occur above the the syndesmosis (above the talus, below the tibia and fibula) and are similar to PER injuries in the Lauge Hansen classification:


In general, if T-wolf has this kind of dislocation and fracture the outlook for full recovery is good, however the chances he is able to run like the rest of Barwis's wolfs with a plate or screws in his ankle are poor. He will be back on the field, and his 40 time will likely be affected. This paper goes over a case study where another D1 defensive back had his ankle stepped on, which resulted in a dislocation and fibular fracture. After surgery and 6.5 months, the patient was practicing with no contact. In 7 months the patient was starting at his old position. So, given Mr. Woolfolk's work ethic and commitment (obviously a Michigan Man in Bo's image IMHO) it is doubtful that this is a career ending injury. Barwis, please work your magic on this man, he deserves everything this fine University can give him.

To quote selected parts of the paper

"Talocrural dislocations are not uncommon, especially with an associated fibular fracture.1,6 Many fracture-dislocation injuries of the ankle are the result of a fall4,7,11 or motor vehicle accident.12,15 Most ankle fracture and dislocation injuries have less than favorable outcomes for the patient.1,2,4,6,13,15,18 The literature presents numerous factors associated with these poorer outcomes, the main factors being the patient's age, fracture location, fracture pattern, and the presence of one or more associated dislocations.3,5,6,18,20"

"Few of the published case studies of ankle dislocation and fibula fracture are sport related.7,12,14,20,24 Of those cases, few authors25 discuss the occurrence in high-level football athletes."

"Internal fixation techniques tend to enhance outcomes for all patients with ankle fractures.1 The insertion of syndesmosis screws usually improves outcomes with a Weber type C injury.1,2,4,16,20 However, Kennedy et al18 showed that when a Weber type C fracture occurred within 5 cm of the joint line, syndesmosis screws did not affect the outcome radiographically, objectively, or subjectively. Regardless of the treatment, the most important outcome for patients is pain due to arthritic changes within the joint.1,4,16,18,20"

"At 6 months, the patient returned to participation in practice to a limited extent. By 6½ months, he was participating in full-length practices with full pads and minimal restrictions (no contact). By the end of the spring season (7 months postinjury), the patient had no restrictions and was 100% functional. The athletic trainers applied tape for prophylactic purposes for practices and games. The patient continued with a maintenance rehabilitation program in order to preserve his strength and proprioception in addition to the regular team summer conditioning program. He participated with no restrictions in the summer conditioning program. At the beginning of the following season, the patient started in his usual position of defensive back."

"With no published studies addressing outcomes in high-level athletes, the long-term outcome in the current case is difficult to estimate. The sports medicine staff believes that the athlete is doing very well and has had an excellent outcome. Many factors may have contributed to the athlete's successful rehabilitation. The prompt on-field assessment and reduction with immobilization stabilized the soft tissue and minimized swelling to allow early surgical intervention. The anatomic reduction permitted the aggressive rehabilitation protocol. Further, the athlete's relatively young age, combined with the presence of only an extra-articular fibular fracture (as opposed to a malleolar fracture) may have played a role in the successful outcome. At present, the athlete is not complaining of the joint pain that some authors believe reflects the early onset of arthritis or chondral defects of the talar dome or tibia.3,6,17,19"

What do  you guys think, is this a good case study analogy for T-Wolf?

Jeffy Fresh

August 18th, 2010 at 7:46 PM ^

Hey we have no idea what type of injury he suffered.  You are citing one case study.  That's like saying, "my brother hurt his ankle once and he played next week".  As an orthopaedist I can tell you that he is in for a long haul if he suffered an ankle fracture/dislocation.  The best case scenario is what you presented.  I hope this is the case but unfortunately a lot of these can permanently hamper you.