Unverified Voracity Likes Free

Submitted by Brian on October 22nd, 2008 at 12:51 PM

FREE PIZZA. Students with a vague interest in the basketball team (at last count this was around 411 of you) should be informed there is an open practice scheduled for 5:30. The magic words:

At 5:30 PM and pizza will be served to students at the Junge Family Champions Center connected to Crisler Arena. The open practice will begin at 6 PM and students will be allowed to watch from the bleachers. Michigan coach John Beilein will be mic’d during the hour long practice and afterward the team will remain on court for a meet and greet.

Might as well go, right? Get in on the ground floor.

Mighty Motor City. Yeah, even the Motor City Bowl looks pretty good at this point, especially since it would mean Michigan won four of its last five. But this is the sign of a bowl game with self-image issues:

Michigan, which has been in 33 straight bowl games, would be contractually obligated to play in the Motor City Bowl if the Wolverines earn the required six victories and assuming co-bowl founders Perles and Ken Hoffman select them.

"They would have to go," Perles said. "They have no choice."

Michigan wouldn't turn down the extra three weeks of practice, or the opportunity to revengify(!) the MAC.

Maybe not so scary? Minnesota is 6-1 so far but they've been pretty fortunate:

Minnesota's 4 wins outside the league were over Northern Illinois (a solid 4-3 MAC school), Bowling Green (a not-so solid 3-4 MAC school), Montana State (IAA), and Florida Atlantic (a 2-5 Sun Belt school). In Big 10 play, the Gophers knocked off Indiana (only one win versus a IA foe) and Illinois (4-3) and lost to Ohio State (7-1). However, in those 3 Big 10 games, the Gophers are only averaging 304 yards per game, while allowing an average of 419 yards per game. The biggest difference between this season and last is that the Gophers have forced 20 turnovers in just 7 games after forcing only 14 all of last season. Turnovers are a significant determinant of wins and losses in football games, but they are also very random events. If Minnesota's turnover capabilities dip, their record should follow suit.

Then again, they beat Illinois, and we know what Illinois did to us.

I agree, but then… I disagree! Change the clock rules one iota and you know one thing: the Wiz will be on your ass. The results to date in Clock Fiasco 2008:

Marty's weekly look at the average number of plays and time of a game for the past four seasons, plus the Week 7 numbers:         

             G      Plays/G   Time/G
2005     717    140.71      3:21
2006     792    127.53      3:07
2007     792    143.43      3:23
2008     460    134.62      3:11
Wk 8      52    136.67      3:12

Assuming the real number of plays is somewhere around 142, the 2008 version of More Commercials Plz is about half as damaging as Hated Rule 3-2-5e was. This is getting towards indisputable.

However, the Wiz characterizes this as a result of the "40/25 rule". I don't think the play clock is actually the source of most of the decline. IMO, the source is mainly the restart of the clock on out of bounds plays. Preseason projections had that change sucking 4-5 plays out of the game; this is the bulk of the decline.

So what's the solution? One man's suggestion: shorten the playclock by a few seconds, probably four. That'll reduce the time spent sitting around staring at opponents, and increase the number of plays without lengthening game time.

Etc.: Big Ten Wonk interviewed by Big Ten Geeks; here's part two.



October 22nd, 2008 at 1:05 PM ^

Assuming "One man" is you, how much of a difference would it be to shorten the play clock by five seconds instead of four? Two plays? I'm just thinking of the general public's desire for nice round numbers, and that they would go nuts with a 36 second play clock instead of 35.

Not that it's going to get changed anyways, just saying...


October 22nd, 2008 at 1:18 PM ^

I am sooooo there.....I can easliy make it from Toledo in time.....of course, the real question is can I, as somebody in there, ahem, mid-30s, pass for a student?

UM Hoops....surging to at least .500 in Big 10 play......you heard it here first, folks.


October 22nd, 2008 at 1:30 PM ^

I am sooooo there.....I can easliy make it from Toledo in time.....of course, the real question is can I, as somebody in there, ahem, mid-30s, pass for a student?

UM Hoops....surging to at least .500 in Big 10 play......you heard it here first, folks.

Assuming that they figured out where and how to shoot in the offseason.


October 22nd, 2008 at 1:24 PM ^

Interesting stuff on Minny. A couple of thoughts.

 Yes, their OOC slate sucked, but it was basically the same crew they played last year. So, when they went 4-0 against it in impressive fashion, I think it was more than reasonable to applaud them for being much better than last year.

That turnover thing is huge. Weber threw 19 picks last year. I believe he only has 2 or 3 this year. They were the worst TO margin last year, or at least among the worst, at -15. This is key and something for us UM fans to remember: 70% of the teams who finish with a minus double digit TO margin improve their record the following year. Illinois did it from 2006 to 07 and Minny is doing it from 2007 to this season. Both ended up playing in January bowl games.

Watching the Gophers improve from Year 1 to Year 2 of Brewster gives me all the hope I need that Michigan, with a more established coach, and a more established pool of talent and resources can have a similar turnaround next year even with a lot of the same personnel.


October 22nd, 2008 at 2:38 PM ^

Brian is exactly right that this has nothing to do with the 40/25 rule.  Look at the Time/G column, and figure out how many plays per hour there are in a game:

2005--42.0 plays per hour (140.71 plays in 3 hours 21 minutes)

2006--40.9 plays per hour

2007--42.4 plays per hour

2008--42.3 plays per hour

The speed of play has not changed at all with the 40/25 rule--teams are hiking the ball the same amount of time after the last play ended as they always have.  I'm not sure why it isn't obvious to "the Wiz" that the reduced number of plays in a game is the result of the fact that the clock is now running when it did not run before--between the spot and the snap after an out of bounds play.  The 40/25 rule has no effect on the game clock (it is a play clock rule), and the numbers show it hasn't changed the pace of play at all.



October 22nd, 2008 at 10:46 PM ^

I'm hoping for the International Bowl. Seriously, I think it would be cool.

...why yes, I do live in Toronto within walking distance of the Rogers Centre. Why do you ask?