THAT is why Joe Flacco is not elite and I swear to God if Mongolia brings up QBR one more time

Unverified Voracity Invites Man To Podcast Comment Count

Brian October 16th, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Come on the podcast, Mahmoud. The former president of Iran is on team Harbaugh:

The replies to this tweet are all the same joke but it still works. Because the former president of Iran is on twitter, offering takes if Allah wills it.

That's a shame dot gif. Nick Bosa has peaced out permanently, per Tim May:

Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa and his family apparently have decided to focus on the next phase of his football career, which means his emphasis will be on training for the 2019 NFL draft once he is cleared to do so, several sources told The Dispatch on Tuesday.

That means he will not try to return to play for the Buckeyes this season.

The preseason All-America suffered a core muscle injury in the win against Texas Christian at Arlington, Texas, on Sept.15. He underwent surgery in Philadelphia late the next week to repair the injury, and he has been on the mend since.

The sources said that Bosa met with OSU coach Urban Meyer and some of his staff on Sunday to let them know of the decision he, his father John Bosa and the family had reached about his future.

They elected him captain. Whoops. If 74 more OSU players get injured by the time the Game rolls around then we'll be even in the recent history of the series.

A defense that can be had. Post-Bosa OSU defensive performances have been getting steadily worse, culminating in a game against Minnesota where the Gophers moved the ball most of the day only to shoot themselves in the foot at crucial moments. OSU's seemingly total unfamiliarity with RPOs was a major contributor:

Minnesota is an RPO team, and the Golden Gophers used that to great effect all day, slicing Ohio State up in the middle of the field and forcing the linebackers to feel like there were wrong no matter what they did.

Minnesota hit slant after slant, the Gophers throwing for 218 yards and putting together four drives of at least 58 yards.

"We knew the looks we were going to be able to get," Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck said. "They played the exact looks we want to be able to get, and we took advantage of that."

All those inside throws were RPOs, or run-pass options. The Gophers go to the line with two options on a play, and decide whether to hand off or execute a quick pass based on how the defenders, often the linebackers, react.

With Ohio State's linebackers typically playing close to the line of scrimmage, and the OSU secondary playing man defense, Minnesota threw to open windows inside with no defender in a passing lane. When Ohio State's linebackers stayed back, they ran.

Hopefully there's another long con in progress from M.

[After THE JUMP: S&P+ items!]

Bush on the Journey. The sideline shot of Bush running down a flare against WMU is excellent work:

RIP Bill's mentions. S&P+ is relatively down on Michigan State, which sits 33rd in the fanciest of all stats despite being 24th in the AP poll. This is the major reason why:

MSU was projected 13th in S&P+ and began 11th in the AP poll, but losses to Arizona State (No. 57 in S&P+) in Tempe and Northwestern (68th) at home justifiably dropped the Spartans quite a bit. Their narrow win over Utah State has begun to look more impressive — the Aggies have destroyed all comers since then and are up to 20th — but the two losses and a mostly mediocre performance against CMU dragged them down.

Plus, they needed significant turnovers luck to survive against PSU. They fumbled four times and lost none of them, and they had 16 passes defensed against them, which would typically result in about four interceptions instead of one. So while they got dinged for their losses, they also didn’t get a ton of statistical credit for their big win.

MSU also recovered the one PSU fumble. Connelly called this luck, which made the usual suspects angry just one week after they were moaning about Dave Warner and the doom facing MSU. And it was a stunning amount of luck. S&P+ calculates it as almost three touchdowns' worth.

Texas: weird. Also of note from Connelly's article above is how incredibly strange Texas is this year:

One Texas is 3-0 against the three top-50 S&P+ teams it has faced (No. 3 Oklahoma, No. 30 USC, No. 46 TCU), winning by an average of 38-25. The Horns pulled away against USC and rode turnovers and late-game defense to a comfortable win against TCU. Then they surged to a commanding lead against Oklahoma (with help from the turnovers fairy), gave it all away, then calmly drove for the game-winning field goal.

The other Texas is a top-60 team at best. The Horns lost to No. 55 Maryland, beat No. 59 Baylor by six at home, beat No. 88 Kansas State by five, and beat No. 93 Tulsa by seven.

That has created one of the strangest dichotomies you’ll see:

  • Average scoring margin vs. the top 50: plus-13.7
  • Average scoring margin vs. the bottom 80: plus-3.5

That is not how that’s supposed to work.

That results in the #7 team in the country, per voters, landing 43rd in the fancystats. Both are right, depending on your perspective.

Other S&P items. Michigan's profile has some numbers of note:

  • Michigan's offense is first nationally at getting into third and short—21% of the time—and second at avoiding third and long. Their average yards to go on third down is 5.6, which is also #1 in the country.
  • Unfortunately, their third and short conversion rate is mediocre and they're horrendous at converting third and long—129th. However, since they rarely find themselves in long distance situations their third down success rate is 3rd in the country.
  • Redzone offense continues to not be a thing. Michigan from the opponent 30 to their 11: terrible, 115th. Michigan inside the 10: quite good, 20th. That's indicative of a thing that's not a thing unless someone can come up with an explanation why there would be a non-shruggie explanation for that division.
  • Michigan is incredibly slow: 127th in tempo. This causes grumbles and it probably should. If you're the favored team, and Michigan has been in almost all their games, you should be playing reasonably fast. The more plays, the more likely your quality will win out over time.  OTOH this may be a function of Michigan's season to date. Only two of their games were competitive in the fourth quarter, so there's been a lot of running into the line and waiting 40 seconds.
  • Michigan's leading tackler is Devin Bush, and when he makes a tackle the opponent averages barely 2 yards a play. Yowza. Chase Winovich is just two tackles back of Bush, and his average tackle is for loss. Of 0.2 yards. But still!

As the Durkin turns. The Athletic has a piece quoting three parents of Maryland players about the potential return of DJ Durkin:

Said another parent: “There’s nothing for them to gain by coming forward. They cannot win. This is a no-win for them. … It’s not just some disgruntled players.”

Said a third parent: “We are worried that this narcissistic sociopath is going to come back. To me, he should never coach again.”

They are not in favor.

People in charge, etc. I'm not going to trash the "google some stats and then find out who's responsible" method of finding coaches. It landed Michigan Don Brown, therefore it is good. But make sure you actually do the "find out who's responsible" bit:

So, a couple things: Texas Tech was indeed the legitimate, opponent-adjusted O champion in 2015. Jinks was… the RB coach. He'd been a college coach for all of three years. He was probably not the driver of the Tech offense.

Etc.: John Beilein wants to be the only coach in D-I basketball. OL coming along. Baumgardner goes over some film.



October 16th, 2018 at 5:03 PM ^

Not just good, GREAT. "Good" is like settling for the minimum pieces of flair. Some people do the minimum, but others choose to go beyond that and do more. For example, Brian has 37 pieces of flair, and a great god. Johanna has 15 pieces of flair and a good god.

People can get god talk anywhere. They come to MGoBlog for the atmosphere and the attitude. Or should I say, attiDUDE, amirite? Anyone?

I'll show myself out.


October 16th, 2018 at 1:22 PM ^

I've got a theory about the redzone offense: sample size and turnovers.  Maybe the offense just isn't very good for whatever reason inside the 30, so they don't move the ball much and thus don't have many opportunities inside the 10.  The inside the 10 metric is more a function of just a smaller sample size and Ben Mason in very short yardage.  The second thing is turnovers.  They don't get many touchdowns, but they're also very good at not turning the ball over in the redzone, so overall success when you get close looks better than a function of their ability to actual move the ball on a down to down basis which S&P measures. 

That's just a guess though.  Don't know enough about the algorithm to actually pick it apart.

Indiana Blue

October 16th, 2018 at 2:48 PM ^

I think the "red zone" is a very easy fix.  Let's see ... I have a 6'8" tight end that I can split out wide with single coverage from either a LB or nickel back in a 4 wide out set.  I would guess that the defender height would be no taller than 6'0".  so, post corner jump ball should work about 80% of the time for a TD.

(Borges NEVER figured this out with Funchess at PSU ... no, no 27 for 27)  I still have nightmares about that game .. I literally watched every Michigan play on that final pathetic drive at the entrance to the stadium section ... when Borges ran it every time I ran out of the section swearing like a madman.  Funchess had single coverage and Penn State had 9 men in the box.  Sorry - gonna need therapy !

Go Blue!


October 16th, 2018 at 4:21 PM ^

I don't know if this means anything, but I added it up and Michigan has scored 14 TDs under 10 yards, 6 from 30 yards and over (one from 20-30 and 5!!! special team/defensive TDs).  My thought is that Michigan alternates wildly between grinding it out to set up 3 yard Higdon runs and striking quickly from long distance.  I didn't add it up, but it SEEMS that there have been more than a few big plays/returns that set up an exceptionally short field that skirts right over the 20-30 yard range.  So it's not so much that they suck when they set up between 20 and 30 yards so much as they skip it.  Or not (this analysis is pretty much from my anus).

Yinka Double Dare

October 16th, 2018 at 1:48 PM ^

Twitter's dumbass algorithm probably responsible for that. Even if you choose the option for chronological you still get all sorts of random stuff in there.

Most annoying are promoted tweets from weeks ago. I didn't need to know that Northwestern "just" took a 17-0 lead on Michigan in my timeline this morning, Discover.



October 16th, 2018 at 1:33 PM ^

For some reason I read the article on BG's coaching change.
It includes this gem on their descent: "Bowling Green (7-24 the last three seasons) had become the Rutgers (7-24) of the MAC. . . . Unlike Rutgers, which intends to fall further behind with third-year coach Chris Ash despite the same air of inevitability, credit Bowling Green for the aggressive audible. "


October 16th, 2018 at 1:37 PM ^

Nick Bosa has decided to leave school to focus on getting ready for the NFL draft in the spring, Ohio State said Tuesday. -AP

 Per the AP, Bosa has already left school entirely and will just focus on training for NFL.

Tom Pickle

October 16th, 2018 at 1:43 PM ^

Brian, please consider this a formal question for the WTKA MGoBlog round table.

If Michigan wins the national title this year, should Mahmoud be an honorary captain for the season opener next year? I'll hang up and listen.


October 16th, 2018 at 1:46 PM ^

Why am I seeing Michigan State MBA and Engineering ads on MgoBlog? I have also seen Our Lady of the Lake University, Funeral Directors, Evolveair and Fanheads ads. Google's algorithm is seriously screwed up. 


October 16th, 2018 at 1:53 PM ^

I think there may be some indirect correlation between getting to third down and your ability to convert on third down. We are 101st in % of first downs coming on first or second down. That and actually being able to convert on 3rd down means that we are going to have a lot more 3rd downs than other teams. More datapoints means less deviation whereas teams with fewer 3rd downs could potentially have wide swings based on making/missing 1-2 conversions. If teams that tend to get first downs on first or second down get to third down, that means that something likely went wrong and are probably in a worse situation than teams that play for 3rd down, which leads to lower conversion rates.

The other thing to look at is our standard downs success rate in which we are ranked 5th. That means we are steadily moving down the field compared to other teams that may be getting yardage more in chunks. Two completions gets you a first down. Two incompletions give you 3rd and 10. Two runs give you 3rd and short and the third run gets you a first down.

Communist Football

October 16th, 2018 at 2:02 PM ^

I'm not sure Shea is good at executing the RPO. Because he's 6'2", and the OLs and DLs are taller, he seems to not be able to see the open receivers in the middle of the field as easily as a taller QB like DCaff might.

Nonetheless, we seem to match up well with OSU.  Their pass-heavy offense plays to our defensive strengths. Hopefully our receivers can get open against their DBs.

Other Andrew

October 16th, 2018 at 2:03 PM ^

In hindsight, is Devin Bush the most important recruit of the Harbaugh era? Solomon, Gary, DPJ, Bredeson, and Ruiz were all very highly ranked (Bush was #312), but between beating out FSU for a Seminole legacy, his impact on the play of the defense, and the ability to recruit in his image, I cannot think of anyone who’s (so far) brought the program so much.