Unverified Voracity Sweats No Bye Comment Count

Brian October 14th, 2011 at 5:06 PM

Oddly not a problem. Thanks to a couple of diarists and the Wall Street Journal, we can answer the question posed in this AnnArbor.com headline:

Is Michigan at a disadvantage because of MSU's off week?

Survey says

Bye weeks seem to hurt more than they help.  Since 2002 (to 2010*), teams of the six BCS conferences have an overall win pct of 0.480 when coming off of a bye week.  The Big Ten teams in particular struggle when coming off of a bye.  From 2002-2010* Big Ten teams are a combined 17-32 when coming off of a bye.  This is good for a 0.35 win pct.

…no. This also applies to the small sample sizes posted by Mark Dantonio coming off a bye and Brady Hoke facing someone off a bye. This is an odd finding, but there it is.

Bacon book excerpt. Has hit the WSJ:

Denard Robinson's day started at 6:30 a.m., when his alarm clock went off in his off-campus condo bedroom.

He hit the snooze once, then twice, before getting out of bed to put on jeans, a red polo shirt, black Adidas training shoes and his varsity jacket. Then he hopped into his roommate Devin Gardner's family pickup truck, a beat-up 2002 Dakota.

It continues following Denard from there. Autograph seekers, man. We will be running another installment of the Q&A Monday or Tuesday, depending on how jam-packed Monday is. Three and Out is out October 25th.

[*cough* if you are planning on buying the thing you can support the site by purchasing Three and Out through MGoBlog affiliate linkage *cough*]

Pizza: we want it. There was a "We want pizza" chant as Michigan's goal count exploded against St. Lawrence, and this is why:

Also in 1997, there was free pizza. Back in the day, Cottage Inn sponsored a 10-goal promotion, where every member in attendance received a free slice of pie if the team reached 10 goals. Sounds awesome, right?

It was awesome all right — for everyone but Cottage Inn. Even though 1997 was the last straw, the restaurant still had issues with the promotion in previous years. The blame game can start with a man they called ‘Doughboy.’

In the early 1990s, when the Wolverines would put up seven or eight goals, the crowd would start to chant, “Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!” It seemed that Michigan had a player who liked pizza as much as the fans did, as he would seemingly pick up his play whenever the total got close to 10. Hence, Cam Stewart became ‘Doughboy.’

Michigan's fallen off from their glory days and Cottage Inn could fire up the pizza promotion without too much damage—this was the first time it had happened since 2008.

I'm out of toner, too. I don't want to wade into a discussion about the content of this Dennis Dodd piece on why Rodriguez should get some credit. (Surprise: Dodd and Rodriguez share an employer.) I do want to linger on this image:

Rich Rodriguez still runs into his players during shopping trips in Ann Arbor.

"Office Depot or something," said Michigan's former coach. "You can figure, you've got mixed emotions. You're frustrated because it's your guys and you want to coach them."

Rich Rodriguez is running into former players at Office Depot? Has Jeremy Gallon been misinformed about where to acquire a nail gun? /watches ten minutes of Wire quotes

That's the problem with the system: too much money going to students. The Big Ten and SEC made a case for "full cost of attendance" scholarships as caring more about student welfare than a level playing field, and they carry a lot of water in this town so I assume this will be killed and never brought up again:

Following a six-hour meeting in late September, the Resource Allocation Working Group, chaired by Georgia President Michael Adams, agreed to consider a reduction in FBS football scholarships from the current number of 85 to 80 and a reduction in the number of FCS football scholarships from 63 to 60. The reductions would likely follow a move toward a full cost-of-attendance scholarship that is expected to be passed in early 2012. In addition to football, the group agreed to consider a reduction in the number of men's basketball scholarships from 13 to 12 and in women's basketball from 15 to 13.

If it's not it's time to burn the NCAA to the ground. If you don't want to offer a full complement of scholarships, don't. Atlantic Hockey offers 13, not 18. Fine. Don't force teams awash in money to not offer scholarships because you cry poverty. The NCAA should be exploring relaxing or changing caps in money sports*, not increasing them.

*[The best anti-oversigning proposal I've heard is removing the overall cap entirely and just having a yearly one. Totally removes the motivation to kick a kid off the team unless he's Stephen Garcia.]

Etc.: Just Cover's SteveY dubs MSU's QB 'Kork Coupons,' which I find delightful. It is entirely plausible Lou Holtz has called him this at some point. Tom Ziller blows up David Stern. Grant Wahl makes the case for promotion and relegation in American sports. Yost renovation to take out 400 seats, add more "premium" seating so people can pay even more money to not show up at hockey games.



October 14th, 2011 at 5:17 PM ^

I thought Rodriguez has moved out of the AA area? I had heard he was living in Florida and I know his house was for sale. God, it must be awful for him to still be around if that's true.


EDIT: It would help if I read the article first...


October 14th, 2011 at 5:17 PM ^

Strangely enough, the promotion-and-relegation format always seems to be advocated by people based in New York, Los Angeles, etc.  No one in small-market cities - whose franchises would be much more likely to be threatened by actual relegation - seems to be a believer.

kevin holt

October 14th, 2011 at 5:55 PM ^

If this happened, the NFL would be hurting - not thriving. Think about it. How many teams in the last ten years have gone from worst in their division to winning it, in a single year? A lot. I didn't start following the NFL until a year or two ago, so I'm not sure on the numbers, but the Lions are a surefire example. Those teams would need to prove themselves a year before being moved up, instead of having their deserved shot right away. Drafting would be different. Everything would be different. The way the NFL and every other American sport attempts to introduce parity is through allowing better draft picks to worse teams. If a team were relegated, they wouldn't recover because they would never be able to draft good players. The first round pick is not going to agree to go to a B-league team.

This is brought up every three months or so by someone who thinks it's an amazing idea that they just thought of and no one else had ever realized before. I know this because I did the same thing, on this very board. I have realized since then how bad of an idea it is, because the infrastructure would have to be completely overhauled. It might - MIGHT - work in baseball (even less likely for hockey), because you already have minor leagues, but probably still would not. Football is out of the question.

Back to the draft subject, it might work for baseball or hockey because they would "lend" the top prospects that aren't quite ready for the bigs. Then, maybe a lower league team would be able to climb back. But the lack of drafting themselves still hurts tremendously. Not to mention how much this kills college hockey because teams have ANOTHER outlet for their prospects.

Sidenote: my fantasy hockey league does this. We have 3 leagues of about 16 teams that promote/relegate after the end of the season. We are in our first year, so I don't know how many people will stick around long-term, but it's a pretty good idea. In real life, though, no.


October 14th, 2011 at 6:34 PM ^

Since the EPL started, 4 teams have won the league.  Every year but one (Blackburn like 15 years ago) a big club from a big city has won the title.

In the same time 11 different teams have won the World Series (including the Marlins, twice).  Even more have gone to the World Series (teams like Tampa, Texas, etc.). 

The Pirates are basically the only team in baseball that has had zero success in that timespan (and they had some very good teams just before that stretch).  The same can't be said for any European soccer league.  Relegation doesn't equal parity.  I don't see how making Pirate fans sweat whether or not they will stay in MLB would improve things for them, or how letting the Toledo Mud Hens play the Yankees improves baseball.

Cock D

October 14th, 2011 at 10:07 PM ^

... that the success that Michigan enjoys is all the sweeter.  As someone who cares for Michigan & Penn State football, Steeler football, Penguins hockey and Pirates baseball, I suppose I need one loser in the portfolio to appreciate the winning that much more.

Plus a night at the ball yard, a few beers, and perhaps a summertime tailgate (to help prep for summer) are a nice night out.

turd ferguson

October 14th, 2011 at 5:38 PM ^

That's not enough evidence with bye weeks. If byes were randomly placed in team's schedules, then great, but my sense is that teams tend to get them before tough games (e.g., Penn State before Michigan week).


October 14th, 2011 at 5:54 PM ^

Guh Wahl. The MLB teams own the AAA teams -- the better AAA teams are not just randomly filled with good players; they're usually the minor league affiliate of the best teams in MLB who are so stockpiled with $100,000,000 plus worth of MLB talent (and so un-injured) they can afford to leave the talent down there.

Furthermore the league is already watered down as it is. Relegation would only further spread out talent in MLB as it shifts between the Show and the minors.

As for stadium expansion? Ha. Toledo spent way more than Toledo can afford to build the Mud Hens, one of the premier AAA franchises, a new stadium a few years ago. That stadium isn't half the seating capacity of the smallest MLB park. If Toledo spends one year in 10 in MLB due to relegation, could they justify the expense of building a stadium which will be over half empty most of the time? What about big league teams in major cities who've spent literally billions over the last few years to house their fans -- will those fans show up enough to justify the expense when their team bottoms out?

Baseball among all of the pro sports is not about winning as much as the greatness of the game itself. Fans pilgramage around the country to see MLB stadiums the way christians once scooted around Europe's cathedrals. Just as the cathedrals were built to nominally house a bishop, that was hardly their only function or even main function: they're touchstones.

College football is the spot you want to look, where there aren't separate drafts and pay structures etc. separating them, and currently 120 teams compete using 12-14 season games in unbalanced schedules to determine one champion in a two-team playoff.


October 14th, 2011 at 8:24 PM ^

Yes, Wigan is a great example of the Little Club that Could, but while their rise to the EPL was great for people to watch, they've essentially peaked. Even if Whelan were to sell the club to someone with very deep pockets, he'd have no way to get the Latics up to a top-tier side, especially not once the financial management rules kick in. The DW is far too small, and as you point out, they can't exactly justify expanding it unless they know they can stay up for years, and they can't be sure they'll stay up without more revenue, which basically means expanding the stadium, which they still wouldn't fill without more talent ...

And the thing is that in the vast majority of cases, an MLB team doesn't build its own stadium: it has the city and/or state build one. That's difficult enough these days when you know there will be an MLB team to fill it, as best as you can tell. Imagine trying to get a city to pay for upgrades when you can't even be sure the upgrades will be complete before the team is relegated. Imagine telling fans in Columbus or Buffalo or Indianapolis or Sacramento or New Orleans that they need to pay for improvements to their AAA stadium on top of the other stadiums they've built ... there isn't a single AAA or AA team that drew 10,000 fans this season, and even the A's drew nearly double that. A number of these parks are probably in places where you couldn't do much expansion (if any) even if you wanted to and if the city could afford it. Without that expansion, those little teams will be renting an MLB spot.

EPL works like that right now: nearly half of newly-promoted teams (23 of 53) were relegated in the season immediately following their promotion. For every Fulham (11 consecutive seasons in the top flight), there's a Crystal Palace (three promotions, three immediate relegations).

Sure, in an ideal world, promotion and relegation would boost clubs that are playing in leagues below their ability and sink clubs whose owners have no intention of competing, but the way it tends to work is that big-money clubs stay at the top and small-money clubs either throw money out the window to stay up or absorb a season's worth of beatings and sink down. (And imagine the impact it would have on overall attendance and TV ratings. The A's draw 30,000 per game on the road; if they're playing in Indianapolis, they aren't going to draw a third of that, and the ratings aren't going to be good. What happens to advertising if, say, the Mets or Cubs get relegated?)


October 14th, 2011 at 11:26 PM ^

But there, too, I don't think it's a very good idea.  Imagine Michigan having to play in the MAC in 2010, because we finished tied for last place in 2009.  Ugh.

No MAC school deserves to be in the Big Ten, and vice versa.  Even if a school like Indiana usually stinks, hey, they've been part of our league for 100 years.  Tradition is such a huge part of this sport.



October 14th, 2011 at 7:56 PM ^

Ugh, did not like.  Sorry Rich, but you are being paid $2.5M by UM this year to NOT coach these guys.  UM also covered most of  your WVU buyout, your personal taxes on that buyout, and  gave you a nice signing bonus when you were hired - all in addition to your annual salary.  All those extra $Millions and you're chirping to Dennis Dodd?  Unfortunate, to say the least. . .


Huntington Wolverine

October 15th, 2011 at 10:16 AM ^

I'm not a fan of the article but I don't understand the beef with RR.  His salary isn't mentioned once and frankly, money isn't much of a comfort when you feel like you failed or weren't given enough time to succeed (which is his perception regardless of whether M fans think he was given enough time).  

His "chirping" is, "of course they're good - they've got a lot of great players that needed coached up."  He's rooting for them even though he's not part of it and he sure as heck isn't undercutting Hoke.  Is there something you saw that I missed?

Take issue with Dennis Dodd for having a poorly written article that didn't flow well and felt like it was cut-and-pasted but I don't understand why the need to act like RR is some whiny punk.


October 15th, 2011 at 1:14 AM ^

He's sure Les Miles got multiple offers from Michigan. Bacon's book is reporting that he'd be Michigan's coach over Brandon's dead body.
<br>Man, do I love media sources taken as fact.