Bill Connelly Previews Michigan

Submitted by UMaD on July 3rd, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Connelly (from Football Outsiders) puts together an very good preview with tons of interesting stats.


  • Thinks 9 wins should be considered a success. "A Top 5 team, with good turnovers luck, might still lose two or three games with this road slate"
  • Michigan got lucky last year with turnover margin. "they benefited more from turnovers luck more than any other team in the country"
  • VaTech game is considered a loss from the perspective of F/+ measure
  • Roundtree's season was statistically atrocious (2.3 yards per target, 39% catch rate)
  • Gallon and Jackson lead the team in yards per target (over Hemingway)




July 3rd, 2012 at 2:02 PM ^

I sincerely hope we avoid the inevitable 25+ comment argument about what being "lucky" in TO margin means. I agree that 9 wins would be a successful season, but I don't see it as undoable. The only home game that really worries me is MSU, so I think we have a decent shot at running the table in Ann Arbor. From there it becomes splitting the games away from home and I think that's doable, especially since ND is quite overrated again this year(I know water is wet, blah blah, blah) 

Also screw the system that says the VT game was a loss. I'm as pro-advanced statistics as they come, but if you change the result of a game, then you're not analyzing what happened, you're playing revisionist history. 


July 3rd, 2012 at 2:01 PM ^

Oh you sweet, sweet, sweet dummie.

This article was posted a few down from here. Don't sweat it Mat(t?), it happens to the best of us. 


July 3rd, 2012 at 2:07 PM ^

i don't think this repost was too bad. I even clicked through that last thread and missed the link and it's not as if Connelly is mentioned in the other thread.  Then again I'm probably fairly obtuse so YMMV.


July 3rd, 2012 at 2:14 PM ^

Luck or not, I'm even more opposed to the concept that many believe that it ensures that we will get way less this season. I mean, the two things are completely unrelated in my opinion. We barely had any interceptions last year, but a bunch of fumble recoveries. Maybe we get more interceptions with an experienced secondary and less lucky the guy just dropped the ball fumbles. Maybe more guys mysteriously drop the football. Who knows. Trying to predict random occurrences seems pointless either way.


July 3rd, 2012 at 2:26 PM ^

I think it's a stupid argument as well, and agree with the point that stats can only tell you about how the outcome happened, not that the outcome defied reality.  At the very least I think it's absurd to try to put a number on the effects of luck.  I'm sure the VT players weren't consoled by the fact that they actually "won" the game when you look at stats.  Only one stat matters to the players, the coaches, and the winning fans.  The rest is just sour grapes from the losers, and for some reason a lot of M fans that love to dwell on the negatives.  And there are A LOT of them as we all know.


July 3rd, 2012 at 2:20 PM ^

Good teams create turnovers... Doesn't Mattison make the team go after every loose ball, regardless of the whistle? I'd think using that method over, and over again during practice translates into a turnover winning machine... So yea, I'm pretty sick of hearing about how lucky we were in the turnover margin.


July 3rd, 2012 at 3:15 PM ^

So we didn't secure the ball on offense and our defense played sloppy under Rich Rod. I am glad that was just bad luck and not actual losses. I am also no longer counting any OSU loses, because it was too emotional for the starters. VaTech we would have won by more but the team didn't have a back up center, so we won that game by 4 touchdowns actually. Please update your post sir.

Marc 71

July 3rd, 2012 at 5:19 PM ^

is a "W" any way you look at it.  Just like in golf...the scorecard has no place for description, just a number.  Hail to brunettes and the victors.  The beach is good but not worth hailing.


July 3rd, 2012 at 5:52 PM ^

The writer is a bit of a downer. He has some good stats, but he doesn't list some of our best stats, like scoring defense, time of possession, or red zone efficiency. I get the feeling he did this writeup without ever watching the games we played last year. We won with effort, and execution. We had the fewest penalties in the B1G, wore opponents down with physical play, we forced a ton of turnovers, and scored a ton of points. Reading the article its like the Nebraska game never happened, and the whole season was an accident, or something. He does finish it on a somewhat positive note, though.


July 3rd, 2012 at 9:04 PM ^

I read this review and didnt care for it.  It reeks of an 'outsider' writer basing his opinions on some things that he read on blogs, and some clips on espn highlights.  He is off base in many respects in both his opinions, as well as just some common sense thinking in evaluating this team in general.

For example... at one point, he laments last season's "offensive decline" over the last six games by pointing out that the avg. points per game in victory dropped significantly.  Well geeze... as if contrasting a tough 2nd half schedule (Ohio, Neb., VT etc games) vs. some cushy opening games and non conference opponents didnt contribute heavily to that discrepancy?  Id bet most good DI teams in tough conferences have a similar point ratio that takes place during the season.

I also didnt care for his comment about how the 2nd string QB may be the best WR on the team...that may be true, and could signal a red flag...however anyone who really knows anything about Devin Gardner knows that he is a freak athlete with the size and skills to be a top WR on ANY team.