Unverified Voracity Is Spreadsheet Mad

Submitted by Brian on July 9th, 2010 at 1:47 PM

Time-lapse photography. Ace has compiled a slideshow of Bo's team pictures over the years. It's like the Johnny Cash "hurt video" but team-specific:

They multiply and are fertile. We should film a version of that Nike ad with a bunch of soccer players thanking the US team for being inspiring. Ours would have folks in front of spreadsheets running regressions thanking Misopogon and the Mathlete. MCalibur's latest was FPed yesterday and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention El Jeffe's study of how important first down yardage is. It is very math-heavy, but here's a straightforward analysis of Michigan versus itself under Carr, WVU under RR, and OSU:

breakdownsNote how small the margins are here despite the huge differences in the aggregate and observationally. This is the '09 team, remember, not the Threetsheridammit '08 offense, which would make your monitor bleed in strategic points like "-4 to –1" yards on first down.

The biggest difference? "Turnover on series," which is almost double for '09 than it was in the staid Carr era and considerably above either the OSU or WVU lines. The other figure that jumps out is the percentage of plays that lost yards: almost 15 for Michigan '09 and around 9 or 10 for everyone else. If Michigan can stop those two things they can have an excellent offense. That will depend largely on the performances of both tackles and both(?) quarterbacks.

Gah, that's not how it's supposed to work. After a brief period of salivating over the USC defensive backfield when the Trojans' sanctions were announced, things went quiet on the yo-ho-ho front. Then a couple of backups started lighting out for greener pastures, and one of them is going to show up in Michigan Stadium next year. He won't be playing for the right team, though:

Junior fullback D.J. Shoemate told ESPN Thursday night he is transferring to Connecticut.

He said he is making the move because he wants to play running back, and because USC has such depth at the position, he didn't think he would get the chance. USC has used him as a wide receiver and at fullback. He was expected to compete for the starting spot in 2010.

Connecticut returns leading rusher Jordan Todman and his 1188 yards but loses Andre Dixon and his 1093 yards. UConn runs a lot. Shoemate was a Rivals 100 guy as a recruit and could see a few carries against Michigan. Hopefully none of them will go for 85 yards.

Open house. If you're around on Wednesday the 14th, you are hereby invited to check out the new Michigan Stadium. Press release is up at MVictors. Details to know:

  • Free parking at Pioneer.
  • Enter through Gate 2 on the south side of the stadium.
  • WTKA will broadcast live from the event.

There is no word on whether the troughs have returned to the men's bathrooms, but I'm guessing no.

It is more meaningful to score. Hockey numbers guy Gabe Desjardins maintains "NHL equivalencies" lists for all the major feeder leagues that supply hockey's big time with players. These have long maintained that an NCAA point is worth considerably more than a CHL point when it comes to projecting that player's NHL scoring. This has something to do with the average age of both the player in question and his opponents, which are both on average older in the NCAA.

Oilers blog the Copper and Blue has drilled down with some additional age breakdowns that have very low sample sizes but are interesting nonetheless:


Once you get past 21, jumping directly to the NHL becomes rare and generally unsuccessful. Before that the players (all forwards in this study) maintain their scoring rate considerably better than juniors of an equivalent age. Again, low sample size due to the focus on jumps to the NHL. Would be interesting to see about AHL equivalencies since that's a far larger pool of players.

This won't happen. USC's proposed 2011 Kiffin Bowl with Tennessee in Atlanta isn't going to happen for obvious reasons—Tennessee is pretty full up on real games already and is in a position to lose most of those—so the organizers are casting about for someone else. Cue the sexy names and entire conferences:

Regardless of the opponent, Kiffin still wants to bring the Trojans to Atlanta, hopefully for the 2011 kickoff game.

“They’re interested in playing people other than Tennessee," Stokan said.

But who? Notre Dame, Michigan, Big East and Big 12 schools are under consideration.

Notre Dame's presence of a list of potential USC opponents instantly invalidates said list, but it says Michigan there so here's this blurb. Michigan does get the ND/PSU/OSU trio at home in 2011 and could conceivably head to Atlanta without killing the home schedule, but if they were going to schedule USC they'd probably just order up a home-and-home instead of playing thousands of miles away from either campus.

Rub those barrels. Remember last year when Lane Kiffin was running around doing very derp things and otherwise well-adjusted UT folk were sounding increasingly unhinged as they attempted to justify Coach Derp's derpity doo*? Tables have turned. Here's a Conquest Chronicles response to the release of Seantrel Henderson:

Coachspeak aside, this remains a small victory for USC. Even more so in the wake of the NCAA sanctions, USC remains a "big boy" program reserved for athletes with killer instincts and intense competitive spirits, who are driven and motivated to become the best players possible. The right players for this program are not, however, motivated by the possibility of playing in one or two bowl games, as Kiffin echoed the other day.

That statement must have been made with a shotgun in the author's lap. He caresses it gently, telling Wallace the Gun that, coachspeak aside, he remains a very good gun with shiny barrels. One day Wallace might make a very loud noise, and that, too, will be a small victory for USC.

Rocky Top Talk is staging an intervention:

We know from experience the dilemma a fan experiences when Lane Kiffin takes the reigns of your beloved program and that it can drive you to the edge of insanity, but hopefully you come to your senses before walking off the cliff.

*(Att'n Penn State bloggers: you could successfully lob the irony grenade at me here.)

Cancer updates. The latest on Vada Murray is up at their Caring Bridge site. They're on vacation in the UP:

We are making a trip to a local hospital up here every day for bloodwork.  Vada's liver enzymes normalized last week and he was able to go back on the trial, but promptly taken off again two days later.  Vada's oncologist is able to monitor him closely from afar and although it sucks to have to go to a hospital while we are on vacation, it's just what we have to do.

Vada is slightly better since my last post.  The challenges we currently face are controlling his pain, his liver enzymes, & his cancer. 

Phil Brabbs, meanwhile, has gotten a second bone marrow transplant and did an interview on WJR fresh out of the hospital. The interview is on WJR's site. Meanwhile, his blogging pace will be slowing down as he recovers from the various treatments he's undergone. Alarm not necessary.

Etc.: Tennessee probably just landed a major violation.



July 9th, 2010 at 2:15 PM ^

The no-huddle in 2009 only produced 0.3 more drives per game for RR in 2009 than for LC's teams 2005-07. Really?
Clock stoppage rules effecting this stat, or what?


July 9th, 2010 at 3:09 PM ^

It was a lot worse in 2008, but as the players have still been getting schooled in the new system, we've run the slowest no huddle in America (2008 was the slowest I've ever seen).

And drives per game has a lot to do with getting the ball back rapidly....and our defense has had a problem getting off the field and getting the ball back. It's not even big plays; we all know 3rd and long strikes fear in our hearts.

Both will hopefully be getting better.


July 9th, 2010 at 4:07 PM ^

I think the opportunity cost of having to sit out a year had more to do with it than Carroll.  Once that barrier came down now you're seeing kids looking for a second chance to get some playing time.

I also don't think we have anything to worry about with respect to Shoemate this September.  He was more of a big kid who was really athletic by high school standards than he was a dynamic playmaker.  He was an early bloomer who got on the recruiting radar because of his play as a sophomore and his very early commitment to SC, then missed his entire junior year to injury, and only rushed for 5 yards per carry as a senior (against good competition, but still not that impressive for a D1 running back prospect).  Even in high school he looked like more of a versatile H-back type (he caught a lot of passes but again wasn't terribly explosive as a senior).  I'd be pretty surprised if he cracks the RB rotation at UConn, much less becomes a productive player.

Six Zero

July 9th, 2010 at 2:42 PM ^

Goosebumps, yo, goosebumps.
I think I need to start playing one of these songs every day up until the season opener:

  • Obviously, the Victors 
  • Tempation
  • Intimidation
  • Hawaiian War Chant
  • The Yellow and Blue
  • Go Blue
  • Varsity

Football, my friends.  It is coming.


July 9th, 2010 at 3:13 PM ^

Michigan does get the ND/PSU/OSU trio at home in 2011 and could conceivably head to Atlanta without killing the home schedule

Well, that's assuming the whole Nebraska-to-Big-10 thing doesn't kill our home schedule first.


July 12th, 2010 at 12:24 AM ^

I'm assuming that even with Nebraska being added they wouldn't mess with a) our OSU homegame [what better way to make everyone suddenly hate Nebraska], b) unschedule our ND game [since they're not in conference, it's not like they'll say "oh, sure, we'll just play Iowa instead to make it easy on you guys]. Also, according to this we aren't even playing PSU in 2011. So the original statement isn't even true.


July 9th, 2010 at 3:33 PM ^

Was pretty funny at points.  The ongoing Carlin meme is always fun.  Now, having said all that, I think Brian was pretty spot on in the PSU QB situation prediction. 


July 9th, 2010 at 7:04 PM ^

...to themselves that "everybody does it" when practicegate broke, people will be saying "everybody does it" regarding vipaccessgate at UT.  But the knowing looks and excuses will do UT just as much good as they did U-M when the NCAA comes a calling.

Of course, getting in free to a few local clubs is one of the many "perks" athletes are assumed to enjoy pretty much everywhere; Tennessee just happens to be staring at the consequences because an angry bar owner came right out with it to reporters. (For the record, the same owner said UT basketball players can still enjoy "VIP status" at Bar Knoxville, if they dare. The privilege for football players has been officially rescinded.) Given the untenable scope and solar systems of paperwork involved if the NCAA ever tried to enforce that rule with any kind of consistency, it’s safe to assume Tennessee will be grumbling about the injustice all the way to the Infractions Committee. Once there, though, the Vols should really hope that they don’t find their head on a stake as a warning to others.

Zone Left

July 9th, 2010 at 10:40 PM ^

I felt like each season Bo had a more forced smile than the previous year.  I could almost see him thinking, "I don't have time for this shit.  I need to break a yardstick on some poor lineman."


July 10th, 2010 at 6:42 AM ^

Brian, you said " Michigan does get the ND/PSU/OSU trio at home in 2011"  This could get whacked to pieces by the scheduling computer when Nebraska is added into the mixer.


July 10th, 2010 at 10:05 AM ^

None of the name schools are going to give USC free publicity while they are on probation. Why help your competition recruit?

Maybe USC can schedule something with Hawaii.