UM cumulative winning % vs. OSU

Submitted by El Jeffe on August 17th, 2009 at 6:51 PM
NOTE: I posted this earlier but suck at HTML so I took it down. Mea maxima culpa.

I'm not sure this is worth a diary; in fact, I tried to post it as a comment to the minor foofaraw in the comments in the Terry Talbott commitment post but I am an old man and couldn’t figure out how to do it in the reply.

Anyway, there is some minor ongoing debate about whether or not OSU pwns UM or vice versa, with those adopting the former position wishing to ignore the first decade or two's worth of games and those adopting the latter wishing to, well, not ignore them.

So, below is a handy graph I put together that allows you to calculate the UM winning percentage (100 minus which is not the OSU percentage, since that figure includes ties) from 1897 to 2008, using two different cumulative percentages.

The blue line calculates, for each year, the cumulative winning percentage up to that year. So, if you take 1957 as the reference point, you'll see that UM had won about 63% of the games up to that point. If you go all the way to 2008, you'll see that UM has won 54% of the games (i.e., in the whole series).

The red line calculates, for each year, the winning percentage from 2008 back to that year. So, again taking 1957, the graph indicates that UM has won 44% of the UM/OSU games from 1957 to 2008.

Note that the first point in the red line is equal to the last point in the blue line, or 54%. Also, the blue line is generally more favorable to UM, the red line more favorable to OSU. That's how come I chose the colors!

Note also the, erm, distressing trend from 1987 to 2008. So, from 1987 to 2008, UM won about half the games. The more recent the window of observation, the worse things look for UM; hence the shorter preferred time horizon for many of the Buckeye faithful. Conversely, the longer back one goes the better things look for UM; hence, the longer preferred horizon for UM fans.

Now you have all of the data you need to make whatever selective, cherry picked point you want to make. You're welcome.



August 17th, 2009 at 11:49 PM ^

I agree, and I am getting a little tired of some rival fans who act like the UM/OSU series started 5 games ago and the UM/MSU series started last year. History might now help anyone in the present, but it is a pretty good indication of who has the best program over a long period of time. And that, of course, would be UM.

I Miss Bursley

August 17th, 2009 at 7:03 PM ^

Wow this is fantastic. A little disappointing of course, but excellent chart-type skillz. The thinking behind including the red line is very clever.

Fortunately for us the red line is heavily skewed towards the very recent years which means that it can hopefully be straightened out in about a decade (probably a little more). Unfortunately for osu they have to compete against the many decades of dominance at the beginning and it will take them much much longer to ever even out the record.

Nicely done, and don't sell yourself short... clearly being old isn't a perfect predictor of tech savvy.

Not a Blue Fan

August 17th, 2009 at 10:54 PM ^

Yeah, I agree: that's a great presentation of the data to illustrate the point. My only quibble is that you've listed the 'distressing' region as 1987-2008, when in fact you might list it as 2008-1987, since it's descending in years. That's why the Cooper fiasco appears to be minimized by the red line: the entirety of Tressel's time is taken into account before the first of Cooper's years.

Anyway, good work.


August 17th, 2009 at 7:19 PM ^

Who takes no solace in our "dominance" of OSU at a time when we were one of the few established football programs in the country and black dudes didn't even play. I don't see why anybody would relish victories from 90 years ago.

OSU has owned us in recent years, and that's all I care about.


August 17th, 2009 at 7:55 PM ^

I know we have done really well against the Buckeyes in the past but I have only started watching Michigan since 2001. So I have only seen one Michigan victory, so while it is nice that we lead the overall series we need to get back to dominating them again.


August 17th, 2009 at 8:11 PM ^

Note also the, erm, distressing trend from 1987 to 2008.

1987? That includes the Cooper years. Nothing distressing about that. The real negative trend started in 2001.

El Jeffe

August 17th, 2009 at 9:25 PM ^

of course. UM won 10 of 13 between 1988 and 2000. I was only referring to the graph line. Basically, it's saying that 1987 (really 1988--I was eyeballing in the OP) was the most recent year in which UM's wins offset the latest 1 and 7 streak to the Vest.


August 18th, 2009 at 1:23 AM ^

Agreed... You cannot forget where you came from. It's a game of "what have you done for me lately" but keep in mind we (we meaning UM) have had our streaks of glory too. Like him or not, Vest has had the edge lately but this too shall pass..