Note: Sorry this is so late – work and the holidays conspired against me this year.
Sigh. Another regular season ends with a disappointing loss that could have been a win. Buoyed by a great game plan, the Wolverines jumped out to lead, made me break my promise not to have any hope whatsoever, and then the football gods took that hope away and crushed my heart. Again. Yeah, Harbaugh has things pointed in the right direction and the future is bright. But I live in the present and in the present I feel like shit (Edit: this goes double after the Outback Bowl – see part 2).
And so, evidently, do most of you. As I will explain below in just a bit, game satisfaction “without trolls” checked in at 27.7. This was almost identical to the Wisconsin game (28.8). This surprised me some given it was another loss to our biggest rival, though the Wolverines certainly played a better game than most people expected. A less optimistic take, on the other hand, might be that the Michigan fan base has become a bit numb from losing so often to the Buckeyes and that low expectations led to less anger and upset than is sometimes the case.
Figure 1. OSU Game Satisfaction
Season satisfaction (without trolls) also held more or less steady from last week at 36.8. In scientific terms this means the season was…not good. As I discussed last week, even if your rational self knew with great certainty that an 8-4 record was the most likely result of this season, you still felt like shit on Saturday. It turns out that expecting 8-4 and *experiencing” 8-4 are two totally different things. Sure the season probably would have felt worse had we expected to go undefeated, but losing is losing and no one likes it.
Figure 2. Season Satisfaction after OSU
Thus the regular season ended with satisfaction on a decided down note after the "Peters Resurgence."
Figure 3 Season Trends
Themes, Thoughts, Trends
Here Come the Trolls
The trolls found our survey. It’s the Internet so I knew it was bound to happen, but still. This is why we can’t have nice things. Of the 227 responses I logged for the OSU survey, I estimate that somewhere between 15 and 33 of them were our enemies – you probably know them as “jive turkeys.”
How do I know they were trolls? Well, if you rated both your game and season satisfaction as 100, as 15 people did, then I’m pretty sure you’re a Buckeye (or possibly a Schadenfreude Sparty) taking the survey for the lulz. Another 5 people rated their game satisfaction as 100 but with a strange variety of other season satisfactions. And another 13 people rated their game satisfaction as somewhere between 80 and 99.
Now, I’m sorry, but an actual living and breathing Michigan fan does not give this game an 80. Did you? If you are a real Michigan fan and you did, please let me know in the comments. Otherwise I have to assume you were high or live in Ohio, or likely both.
That said, after a long conversation with my scientifically inclined son, I realized that in the name of science we couldn’t just delete data, even Buckeye data. So in the interest of transparency and truth and the like, here is your satisfaction sensitivity analysis, under various troll identification parameters.
As you can see, there are enough trolls to make a difference in the results.
Table 1. Who’s Trolling?
|Troll ID Rule||Game Sat||Season Sat||
# Clean Responses
|Assume no trolls||37.7||42.2||227||0|
|Game & Season Sat = 100||33.3||38.1||212||15|
|Game Sat = 100||31.6||38||207||20|
|Game Sat = 80+||27.7||36.8||194||33|
Another way to find the trolls is to use a simple scatterplot. As you can see, there is an obvious central cluster and then there are some obvious outliers near the maximums on each axis. These are probably your trolls. It’s even more obvious something’s fishy when you compare this data to the data from Michigan’s wins (which were unlikely to result in opposing fans filling out our survey). In those cases there just aren’t any fans adopting the 0/0 position – so I’m pretty confident we can rule out anyone who answered 100 on both counts.
Figure 4. Scatter Trolls
What I am curious about, though, is what you think the most reasonable cut off point is. Is there any way a Michigan fan gave that a 100 for game satisfaction? Or an 80? Maybe on the notion that the lads did their best and gave the Buckeyes all they could handle, etc., etc.?
The Road Ahead
I was going to point out how there was one more shot at redemption, a chance for at least a moderately optimistic ending on the season.
But since I’m writing this after the Outback Bowl I won’t bother.
Stay tuned for part 2 for results from the Outback Bowl and to see how other B1G fanbases fared this season.