META: A Humble Suggestion - Produce Classic UFRs

Submitted by stephenrjking on September 15th, 2017 at 7:50 PM

Adam's special teams UFR is a tremendous idea, because of course more actual nuts-and-bolts discussion of football is always great. And UFRs are always a blast.

But there is an untapped resource that I would greatly enjoy seeing developed by someone on this here blog, and with Adam getting delegated to do an additional UFR, this seems to be an option Brian might be ok with in the right context:

Develop UFRs of classic Michigan games. 

Yes, I understand that the purpose of the UFR is at least in part to analyze what will occur in the future, but c'mon: We like reveling in what has happened in the past. UFR is Brian's signature feature, so any vague thoughts I might have had of trying one myself were swept away with the belief that it would basically be appropriating someone's IP. But if Adam can do special teams, why not a UFR of well-known games? Alternatively, Brian could do this in the off-season if there are suitable down periods.

Yeah, the camera angles are worse, and some of the concepts might be a bit different, but I think it would be great.

And I really want to see the +3s for Charles Woodson owning coverage or some of our classic OLs destroying defenses. 

Some games that would be worth seeing:
Rose Bowls - 1988-9, 1992-3, 1997-8. OSU games - 1985, 1986, 1988, 1995, 1997, 2000. Notre Dame games - 1991, 2003 (was going to say 2006 but Brian did that...). Michigan State games - 1996, 1997 (Woodson +4?), 2004. Penn State games - 1997, 1999. Others - Gator Bowl 1990-1, Purdue 1999, Orange Bowl 1999-0, Minnesota 2003.

Just a suggestion. But I would click.


Michigan Arrogance

September 15th, 2017 at 7:55 PM ^

some classic games in isolation? IDK. I'd be more interested in classic seasons to help compare and measure player performance historically.

the perfect example would be UFRing the whole 1997 season. how would Woodson really score? the DL? Greise?

1991- how would Grbac's DSR be that year?


September 15th, 2017 at 7:59 PM ^

Don't think this hasn't come up before but a couple things: I have a hard enough time getting Brian to do a UFR for Ohio State or the bowl games when we lose those. Somebody else doing one is not cool unless it's special teams. And it is very hard to get full games so you won't get a very good representation.


September 15th, 2017 at 8:05 PM ^

All understandable issues. Having stuff off-camera is frustrating but in the case of these classic games it seems like it's a bit easier to hand-wave missing footage since we don't really NEED to know what these guys will do in the future. 

Anyone who has worked hard to produce something creative understands Brian's ownership over the UFRs and should have no objection to that, so in that case this seems like something that could provide good offseason content. 


September 15th, 2017 at 9:03 PM ^

It takes a smart person and a dedicated effort to build such an intricate system.  It takes even more for someone to take that intricate system and train another on its use.  That's where architects tend to get jammed up.  They can build a perfect mousetrap, but cannot build one that others can use...

I guess what I am saying is... anything that is good and not replicable is doomed to end sooner than you think.  Maybe he should start working with other people at the site to get them attuned to his grading methods.

Mr Miggle

September 15th, 2017 at 9:30 PM ^

by Brian's needing to  familiarize himself with the rosters, gameplans etc. Doing one UFR from say 2000, has got to be much harder than doing any of the ones from this season. A lot of the work that goes into a UFR is undoubtably preparation based on the previous UFRs, opponent previews, etc.


September 15th, 2017 at 8:05 PM ^

That would be amazing. Some other candidates: Northwestern 2000; Washington 2001 & 2002; Colorado 1994, 1996, 1997; OSU 1993, 1996; Penn State 1993, 1994; Wisconsin 1997, 1998, 1999.

It's got to be a ridiculous amount of work though.


September 15th, 2017 at 8:10 PM ^

Making my first post in 2+ years to support this idea.  It would be an awesome way to contextualize performances -- (i.e. Gary vs. Brandon Graham, Devin Bush vs. David Harris, Wilton vs. Navarre, etc.) 

Any background on what happened with not renewing the PFF subscription?  I liked this reference point.  


Chitown Kev

September 15th, 2017 at 8:24 PM ^

but this would be a lot of work, sure enough

how about the 76 Ohio State game or even the 69 Ohio State game...they should be absolutely classic games in UM football history...but might need some understanding of the rules applicable to a certain era


September 15th, 2017 at 8:27 PM ^

This does sound like awesome off season content, that I would consume wholeheartedly.  But I also very much get the roadblocks why Brian might not want to do this.  Still, would be a very interesting read.  

He Hate Me

September 15th, 2017 at 8:44 PM ^

maybe instead of doing the entire team, it would be less labor intensive to isolate it to a few select players (i.e. Woodson, Gold, Steele, Jones or Henne, Long, Hart)


September 15th, 2017 at 9:00 PM ^

there's an Electrified Further Reviewing Machine. But that's a loooooooot of work by human hands, at least until Brian gets his sweatshop of slave Oompa Loompa film reviewers up and running and coversant with basic 3-3-5 terminology. 

EDIT: Upon Further Review, none of the classic games would have been using a 3-3-5. So really it's just a matter of getting OL (Oompa Loompas) conversant with Hennecharting.


September 15th, 2017 at 9:00 PM ^

The 2000 Orange Bowl against Bama and maybe one where we actually beat Ohio State.

Also, just an offense UFR for Braylonfest

Masochist: Defense UFR for 2000 at Northwestern.


September 15th, 2017 at 9:50 PM ^

The formula isn't difficult (if it were there's no way he'd release it) and one could do a close approximation just by reading his UFRs closely. The problem is: 1. It's a lot of work; 2. Attempting to produce one is essentially stepping on Brian's signature product and his intellectual property and he won't be cool with it (note Seth's response above). And I'm fine with him feeling that way. 

Sextus Empiricus

September 15th, 2017 at 10:45 PM ^

there's a vault somewhere waiting for Brian.  He does nothing that doesn't help Michigan in the long run.  It is somewhat surprising Michigan hasn't packaged historical game and scouting film from Fort Schembechler into media football geeks could peruse.  If they  have destroyed that tape... that would be a loss.

But the time required of Brian would be brutal.  I'd imagine every hour of the off season is taken up prepping for draftmageddon.  Maybe there could be some adjustments somewhere. /s

Maize.Blue Wagner

September 15th, 2017 at 11:06 PM ^

Stevie Brown got a -5 on the third play of the season in 2007. Oh whoops, I just gave a big spoiler to This Month in MGoBlog History. Not that anyone will want to read it...

I would like to see some things like this tracked. Who has gotten the biggest negative/positive on one play. Who has gotten the best overall score at east positions, etc. 


September 15th, 2017 at 11:17 PM ^

These are things that I think are impossible to track. For one, Brian has doubtless refined his grading over time, so a play that may have netted a -1 in 2009 may not in 2017, and so on for other scores. For two, I think the loss of data that comes with using older, lower-def, zoomed-in camera angles on not-so-good videotapes is acceptable to get the gist of the games, but a lot of detail is lost and thus the UFRs can't really be considered to have equal standing.

And too much stuff is just plain skipped. There's no way that anyone can properly, say, UFR the entire 1997 season, and even if they did they leave out stuff from 1996 and 1998 that could further illuminate the performances of those players.



September 16th, 2017 at 1:20 AM ^

I'd be more interested in actually getting UFRs from every game, even if we lose in frustrating fashion. It kind of sucks that we never got one from OSU or FSU.


September 16th, 2017 at 8:11 AM ^

The work to UFR a full game is daunting.

Perhaps just UFR key drives of a game?  Ones that are representative of the Michigan team of that year?