Unverified Voracity In Colorless Glory

Submitted by Brian on August 17th, 2009 at 12:14 PM

All formats and locations will be ours. A reader requested that I MGoBlog available on the Amazon Kindle, so I duly signed up. I have now been vetted and show up in the store. A word of caution: when I checked out the preview it didn't seem like a compelling product. It obliterated images, formatting, and even blockquotes. Maybe it's better now.

Even if it's not you get a 14-day free trial before the dollar per month—the lowest price they'd let me set—kicks in.

Also, you may have noticed that the Bucknuts link on the left sidebar went haywire a few weeks ago. Bucknuts implemented a new software system and the transition did not go as smoothly as hoped. Insert your own Ohio State "the files are in the computer?" joke here. The link now works and This Week In Michigan returns sometime today. [Speaking of things I write named "This Week In X": This Week In Schadenfreude will be a TSB joint this season. That was probably obvious.]

More research I didn't do. The streak of diaries in the range from useful to awesome continues. There is of course Misopogon's uni-tournament that got front-paged on Friday. (If you're interested in getting front paged take his posts as a model from his posts: they're attractive, use pictures, and organize their information well.) There's also more outstanding research going on.

MCalibur posted a followup to his earlier post on running QB fragility that expands his earlier study from one year to a definitive five. The key chart (chart):

Threat Level

No. of QBs

Injured QBs

Lost GMs
(% of Total)

Avg. Games Lost

QB Inj %

All Seasons

3 (Pat White)


















0 (John Navarre)












Interestingly, the hiccup from MCalibur's first study holds up. Group 2 quarterbacks are the most likely to get injured; group one quarterbacks are the least. Extreme pocket passers and rushers fall in the middle.

The numbers show an slight uptick in QB injuries for run-heavy quarterbacks. Extreme rushers are 3% more likely to miss a game than a pocket passer and heavy rushers are 13% more likely. I don't think either of those numbers is significant statistically or strategically*; MCalibur has successful debunked the idea that spread quarterbacks are more vulnerable to injury than your John Navarres.

Elsewhere, Hannibal quantified something Michigan fans have known for a while: if you rotate off Michigan's schedule you will be terrible. This is a law of nature. I mean, seriously:

Penn State:
Winning percentages in the "did not play Michigan" years:  .188
Winning percentages in the "did play Michigan" years:  .745

How does that happen if not for the black hand of Angry Michigan Schedule-Hating God?

The net, with Michigan games removed:

Winning percentages in the "did not play Michigan" years:  .371
Winning percentages in the "did play Michigan" years:  .494

That's just weird. This year Michigan misses Minnesota and Northwestern. Beware hyping them.

*(I know there are more serious statisticians that myself out there, so please correct me if I'm wrong.)

World so cold (world so cold!). A long profile of Tim Hardaway Jr. appears in the Miami Herald. I don't remember the careers of Larry Brown and the elder Hardaway intersecting but maybe he just got this by osmosis:

Hardaway Jr. takes more pointers from the games of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James than he does from his dad's. But the elder Hardaway still sees similarities between their skills. Hardaway Jr. may not be a point guard. But he's still the son of a point guard.

``You know how people say, `Play the right way?' He plays the right way,'' Hardaway said. ``He understands the game inside and out, because I'm always talking to him about it.''

The story's mostly about the Hardaways' relationship—senior was too demanding, doves cried, now it's cool—and not so much about the younger Hardaway's game.

Burger King bathrooms excluded. AnnArbor.com has an extensive look at John Beilein's role as the head of the NCAA's basketball ethics committee. It doesn't sound like they've gotten to the point where they can talk about specific issues they'd like to fix:

“That is really the biggest challenge right now,” Beilein said. “Is to get a clear agenda of what are important issues. But you will be focusing on one issue and something real and very important can come up that nobody ever thought of before.

“I don’t think there’s a science to this thing. We just have to chop away at being persistent in trying to identify the biggest problems.”

Rothstein couldn't get much in the way of specifics out of the half-dozen or so coaches he surveyed but Dane Fife, now IPFW's head coach did say some frank stuff:

"Reggie Minton just says ‘Don’t willfully break the rule.’ That’s my main focus, you can’t willfully break a rule. There’s probably more time spent trying to circumvent rules than time spending [sic?] within the program for some of these coaches.

"I think it’s part of the business, part of the game. I really do."

They never drop the names, though.

Lies! Rodriguez on the quarterback situation:

“Everybody can go ahead and be patient cause there will not be a starter named until right before the first game,” Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said. “Maybe even be a game-time decision.”

Forcier is already running with the first team and is not stained by last year; file under coachspeak. We now return to your regularly scheduled Tatehype:

"It’s weird," Molk said. "I never see the kid crumble. Once in a while you’ll see a quarterback and they’ll start to get kind of shaky, but he’s pretty solid."

Forcier's poise sounds akin to Chad Henne's, which once prompted me to call him a robot. May it be so.

Etc.: Smart Football moves to swanky new digs; DocSat picks Penn State to win the Big Ten, has Michigan 7th and a bowl team, doesn't understand the Michigan State hype. The Smoking Musket, a West Virginia blog. is skeptical of the Eers' move away from the spread 'n' shred.



August 17th, 2009 at 12:26 PM ^

I don't think we DO want a Robot at QB, at least not anymore. Unshakable, sure, but our QB now, more than ever, will need to be able to recognize play making opportunities that fall outside the normal bounds of a play. As much as we want him unshakable, we need him to be dynamic.

But I wouldn't trust my opinion as far as I can throw it.


August 17th, 2009 at 1:32 PM ^

I've heard Forcier is half man half robot. Much like Darth Vader (cue Mgoblog shirt ad here). Although the back story of the robot half is unknown for Mr. Forcier as of now.


August 17th, 2009 at 2:10 PM ^

Interesting read from Smart Football about adding a quadruple option to the spread zone read base.

I remember a play last year where we had our QB loft a little 10-15 yard pass out to one of the wide receivers -they were wide open behind the corner who was otherwise occupied up at the line and the safety was late getting over. Does anyone remember the play or game those were in? I'm wondering if that was an example of the 4th option discussed in Smart Football's post or if it was something else.

TIA for anyone who remembers that or can find it.

UofM Snowboarder

August 17th, 2009 at 2:25 PM ^

The 'Winning % when playing against Michigan that year' makes since. Maybe not the PSU thing, although they're have been, what 4 seasons when they've been in the BigTen and not played Michigan?

MSU and OSU are both on our schedule all the time. OSU, and its .716% winning percentage and MSU's .569.

Indiana has a .405 record, Northwestern has a .415 record.

If you take out Penn State, because of a lack of data, you've got the best non-Michigan program always boosting that 'Winning % when playing against Michigan that year' category. Meanwhile, you have the worst schools repeatedly cycling through the other category. Systematic bias, yo.


August 17th, 2009 at 3:01 PM ^

if you read the post, OSU's win percentage was not taken into accoount for the .494. It was still a good idea, and definitely worth a +1, but it doesn't explain the difference.

Geez, my feelings toward this situation can be explained at 7:07 of this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnbABV8kfnE. It's a pretty funny cartoon if you have 7 and half minutes to kill.


August 17th, 2009 at 3:00 PM ^

I like my Kindle, but not really made for enjoying a blog. I did check it out. Images appear fine, no quoting, and charts are smashed in however it feels like it. Links can be followed, but the browser blows which is why you can't just navigate to a blog in the first place.

Swayze Howell Sheen

August 17th, 2009 at 4:17 PM ^

if you haven't read it, go back and do so.

one glorious quote:
"Five plays and 56 yards later, Henne zeroed in on Z45 Part A Subsequence C Tight End Tyler Ecker, Rabbit-Hunting Mormon, crossing in front of a Minnesota linebacker; various servos and hydraulics kicked in. Henne flung a pass into Z45PASCTETERHM's outstretched arms, declared GOAL COMPLETED, and initiated nailcoeds.exe."

if that paragraph didn't win some kind of blogging award, what paragraph would?
orson, shmorson; BC (and mgoblog) rules the cfb blogosphere...

a quick poll: how many of you have tried to initiate nailcoeds.exe and found that the program was not properly installed?


August 17th, 2009 at 4:50 PM ^

You can't listen to these head coaches nowadays. Lloyd Carr was the best at coach speak. You have to listen to what they don't say.

In spite RR's talk, Tate Forcier is the starter. Everybody know that. If D. Robinson beats out Forcier I'll be surprised. What I saw in the spring game impressed me greatly. He has that "it" factor. Part of that factor is you have to be a "robot".

D. Robinson will have some packages of his own to run. I know I'd like to see a special package that has Da Force and Shoelace (Forcier/D. Robinson) for the OSU game. This package should be no huddle and should have multiple options to it.

Other Andrew

August 17th, 2009 at 5:06 PM ^

...but unfortunately, my work is pounding me right now and I don't have time to take a close examination. But what I can do is eyeball these numbers and relatively definitively say that there's no statistical significance between any of the groupings. It seems to me that "lost games" would be the most important part because it takes into account the severity of the injury. A sprained thumb that lasts for half a game shouldn't count the same as a torn ACL, right?

I think it's safe to assume that the running QBs are getting hit more, but perhaps the fact that they're presumably "elusive" means that they don't take the hits as hard and are able to reach the sidelines to avoid hits more easily. Of course, to do this "right", you probably need data that isn't there. For instance, does the offensive line suck? Is the QB getting tackled by DTs or CBs? Which conference (assuming the power conferences have bigger defenders)? I suppose the one thing to include would be where the tackle was made (loss, 0-5 yds downfiled, 5-10, 10+).

But I think the data here is deep enough (755 obs is plenty), and we're not seeing any strong trend, especially when you look at each year (because defenses may be trending a certain way). The fact that the "1"s have the highest is simply fluky, and further evidence that we see no real trend.

Re: The Michigan Hating Schedule God Thing: OSU has Michigan and Penn State as protected games. Does their overall competition level line up with ours? I'm guessing no since they missed Northwestern in their two best seasons since 1948 as well as Iowa when they went undefeated with Brad Banks. That kind of thing hasn't happened to Michigan. It's either a fluke or teams don't prepare for the season as well when they know Michigan isn't on it (a dubious premise). I can't fathom any other reason.

I'll shut up now and go back to running (more boring) numbers for my bosses...

The Other Brian

August 18th, 2009 at 6:37 AM ^

I liked the post over at the WVU blog...and I had a good laugh at the first comment trying to talk down the spread, especially saying that Texas used more I-form sets in 2005. That guy needs to go watch their games from that season again.