MGoPodcast 3.9: The Literal Hangover

Do you see what I'm talking about? I am talking about a situation in which there is a "Denard Robinson = Juice Williams?" thread on the message board. Also there is a podcast. It's a hair over an hour.


COMPLAINTS. We have many about the offense. 

MANY STATISTICS THAT WERE ALREADY IN THE GAME COLUMN. They were fresh wounds when we were looking at them on the podcast.

SPECIAL REF/GAME THEORY SECTION. Complaints about the pass interference are lodged. Going for two and the use of the final timeout are also discussed. (Something which has just occurred to me: Michigan would have had an extra timeout if they hadn't blown one on Iowa's final punt. Guh.)


THE BIG TEN: STILL NOT GOOD. Jamiemac of Just Cover comes on to talk about the league slate and help preview the Illinois game.

OBLIGATORY PATERNO OPINIONS. Are offered during this segment. 

Musical interludes are "I Was Born (A Unicorn)" by the Unicorns, "Opposite Day" by Andrew Bird, and "Die, All Right(!)" by the Hives. Eventually I will run out of songs about death to play post-losses.

BONUS BONUS BONUS BONUS!  I fixed the iTunes subscribe link for serious this time. Like, people have used it successfully.

The usual links:



los barcos

November 7th, 2011 at 5:06 PM ^

Sometimes brian confuses me.  When talking about what borges can do about creating downfield passing for denard he argues that borges should construct the passing to create people downfield who are “witheringly wide-open”… moments after saying that denard missing a witheringly wide-open roundtree downfield is just because “denard doesn’t have that in the wheelhouse.”


los barcos

November 7th, 2011 at 5:24 PM ^

To respond to my own post.  Brian complains about the Alabama game next year?  I don’t get it, we’re mad about scheduling a mac cupcake or we're mad about scheduling a real opponent?

anyways I dug up what he said originally about the game, and the only hesitation he had then was that the game was in dallas, and not a home and home:

This comes with a set of crazy conflicting emotions. Hurray awesome nonconference game, boo that it's in fricking Dallas in a corporate death star of an NFL stadium and not a home-and-home in Ann Arbor and Tuscaloosa. I guess that's what it takes for a lot of actual nonconference games to get done these days, but awesomeness of trip to Dallas to see M play 'Bama <<<<<< awesomeness of M-Bama home-and-home. On the other hand, awesomeness of M-Bama Dallas >>>>>>> awesomeness of M-BGSU anywhere.




los barcos

November 7th, 2011 at 9:21 PM ^

we cant play out of conference SEC games because they all over-recruit, we cant play mac cupcakes because its a waste of ticket holders' money, and we cant play a good team because we might lose. oh yeah, we are also sick of playing notre dame.

so an OOC game that we can all be happy about is...........


it just seems like people want to complain about all things dave brandon, when in reality we were all pretty excted when he scheduled the game a year ago. 


November 7th, 2011 at 6:39 PM ^

Next year vs BAMA is probably going to be our most mismatched non-conference game will be on the same level of UM v FSU or it will look like UM v Oregon in 2007 (that wasn't a mismatch as much as it was a Lloyd Carr hangover after a loss to App St. with a team that could have competed for an NC). It looks like Bama is obviously showing no signs of slowing down next year whether they lose Richardson or not (their backup looks good too), and they have absolutely dominant lines while we are going to lose our 2 best DL's, our midseason All-American Center, and returning a pretty non-physical O-line. Our only hope in being legiteamently competetive in the Bama game is if we add a good amount of weight and muslce mass to our Offensive and defensive fronts, and if our defese sees even more improvement from last year (which it very well may). I'm just scared Denard is going to get knocked out for a good portion of the season in the first game because Bama has a great chance of making his day absolutely miserable. I'm legitamently worried we will not get a single offensive yard, but hopefully I am setting myself up to be somewhat pleased with our competitiveness.

As for everything else...Brian, you complain too much and you bring down the entire fan base. It is constant complaining like this that infuriates a fan base to make us fire our coaches, and sure as hell don't want to be the next Notre Dame. Give us some more positive media and talk about how this is the same group of guys that luckily went 7-6 last year, and our defense is the same one that gave up about 500 yards a game. We are a much improved team, and honestly our offense last year against good defensive talent wasn't much better last year. We tended to score a lot of our points in the 4th quarter when we were forced to come back. And we absolutley sucked the last 3 years inside the 20's and we could not create turnovers. Say some positive things such as "we still have Denard, and our staff is smart and is going to realize that running him as a dropback passer most of the game, and throwing his rhythm off by putting DG in is a problem that doesn't go to Denard's Strengths" or " our defense leaves us in position to win every game in the B1G schedule". Look at our recruiting...we have a lot to look forward to. Don't start complaining constantly about our new coach just yet. Brady Hoke has every reason to be the coach at Michigan right now.

Yes I know that we have our hands full the next few weeks with these defenses...but have some positive things to say so that our fan base isn't calling for Hoke's head 9 games into his tenure. I know you might be right on many of your points, but be positive about a team with a first year coach that has definitely exceeded most expectations.....also remember that we are without Darryl Stonum this year.


November 7th, 2011 at 7:01 PM ^

Dude you need to chill.

1st off Alabama is probably going to have a ton of guys off that defense go in the draft.  Leaving the defense very young where we will be returning a bunch of our offense.

Alabama is losing a bunch of olineman and their offense is pretty pedestrian anyway.  People worried about Alabama need to grow a set.

No one is calling for anyones heads.  Stop making stuff up.  Brian is not effecting the fan base against Hoke because he is not against Hoke.  The mood on Hoke is overwhelmingly positive despite the loss.


November 7th, 2011 at 7:32 PM ^

in putting words in Brian's mouth. Just a guess. Anyone who studies Michigan football from a lot of angles, as many of us do, is going to develop their own take. Hopefully yours is strong enough to withstand someone else's, including Brian's. Given all that he and his site offers (you supply remaining verbiage.) 

I was much more a fan of both Lloyd and RichRod than Brian. Meantime, I have come to strongly appreciate Hoke the Human, Mattison the Human and Defensive Coach, and Borges the Human. That said, I think we are squandering Denard the Football Player and a bevy of great receivers, too. And while I will continue to admire the coaches, I fear some of their recent decisions and expressed aims may point toward a certain amount of future. . . shall we say STOLIDITY. . . that might make not yield optimal results. Since I want to be entertained by the football team I love, and think that Michigan enjoys many, many intangible and tangible advantages that other schools don't, I'm going to be a little bit morose if things don't come together. 

Oh, and since this has become a state of the universe rant, I'm not sure Mr. Brandon will ever climb off my sh*t list. :)


November 7th, 2011 at 8:59 PM ^

I was getting annoyed & close to sending an email of frustration & pleading adn then it worked! I was worried it was just me, glad to know it wasn't. 


November 7th, 2011 at 11:19 PM ^

It's so awkward to listen to Brian talk about Denard when he's offered the chance to say anything remotely critical. He doesn't seem capable of doing it. If you are excusing not hitting a receiver who's open downfield by literally 10-15 yards because that pass is "not in his wheelhouse," it kind of contradicts your position that he is this huge star.

Also interesting that Brian cited the pre-desperation yardage in this game yet last year against Wisconsin (a game with a far worse deficit), he told us all to shut up because yards were yards.





November 8th, 2011 at 12:32 AM ^

Brian has never said yards ar yards  nice try though.

The argument in the Wisconsin game was that it was in the 3rd qtr so they were not in prevent and we were hitting huge play which you wouldn't be able to do if they were in prevent.  Which meant they were still trying to shut down Denard.  

Nice revisionist history.

As for not being able to hit wide open guys downfield well...... you got a good point.


November 8th, 2011 at 1:16 AM ^

And everyone needs to relax. Borges called a few terrible games, and Brady better pop that headset on and let Denard take over with his legs. That will open up some of the easy passes Denard can make. Illinois had a bye week, could be tough, want to see Countess matched up with Jenkins everywhere on the field rather than letting them choose what side of the field to put their #1 WR on. Michigan and Nebraska match up pretty evenly, although we don't have anyone comparable to Burkhead. If offense is efficient and D can force a turnover, we get the W. Ohio has a great defense that will totally shut down our offense. They are strongest on the DL and weakest in the secondary, Denard please learn how to throw, especially on the run. Their offense is coming together. Can't let Braxton or Boom get big gains. Have to get pressure to affect throws and play solid in the defensive backfield.

9-3 Outback or Capital One......10-3


November 8th, 2011 at 2:28 AM ^

     I get the whole loyalty to Rodriguez thing, but when you look at the overwhelming negativity of Brian's comments, you have to wonder if maybe he doesn't actively WANT Michigan to become Notre Dame. 

      It started with him getting info that Hoke had the inside track at the job, and developed with Brian doing everything he could to undermine the hire, and now to fracture the fan base.

     The unfortunate thing for Brian is, he doesn't have a leg to stand on.  Someone help me out with this--what defense with a pulse did Denard have success against under Rodriguez?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Bueller?

     And if you want to talk about the team as a whole...The point differential 2011-2010 is up to 120 pts.  The imrovement of the defense in particular has been nothing short of miraculous.

     Add in a recruiting class that may finish as the top in the nation, and Hoke's shocking ability to NOT embarrass the program in a new and exciting way every week, and it becomes a little more obvious what Brian is trying to do.

     My only question is...why?


November 8th, 2011 at 1:45 PM ^

Let's see, Iowa's last play was Coker rushing left ofr -1 yard on 3rd and one.  The play clock is what, 40 seconds?  And our last four shot at the endzone took place with 16 seconds. We got the ball back with 2:22 left. Take another 40 seconds off that, and we run out of time at Iowa's 32.

Edit:  Apparently Hoke called it for a different reason, but the logic still stands, even if he didn't use it. But I can see where the idea that it was a problem came from.


November 8th, 2011 at 3:45 PM ^

Sorry to be a stickler, but I hope this adds to the thinking.

On the decision when to go for 2 when you need 15 points:  Brian is not making a game theory argument.  The argument that you want to go for 2 first b/c it maximizes information is made without reference to an opponent's reaction function.  This argument is then the province of dynamic optimization.

The argument that more information is better in this case is incomplete in two ways.  It would be fine, if for instance, the decision does not affect subsequent probabilities and reactions, but one can argue it does.

1.  The argument is incomplete because it seems to rely on the unstated assumption that the probability of making a 2 point attempt is the same if made early or late.  It also seems to assume that the probability of making the second touchdown is indepenedent of what happens on the extra point.  One could argue that by getting the game down to a one-score game could demoralize  the opponent and makes the 2nd touchdown and 2-point conversion subsequently more likely due to momentum or whatever.  The informational advantage to the team behind might not be great b/c if it misses, the rest is irrelevant b/c they're too disappointed.  Now, I actually am skeptical of "mometum" and easy psych arguments, but it still needs to be addressed to complete the argument.  This could be addressed one way or the other empirically.

2.  It's actually more obvious that the original argument isn't part of game theory b/c it ignores a possibly important element.  Yes, by going for 2, a team increases its information.  But, it simultaneously gives the opponent information too.  And, b/c this is a zero-sum game, the relevant question is which informational advantage is greater?  Yeah, maybe you think the leader is going to run three times and punt regardless, so his additional information is not valuable, but once again, the simple argument needs to be developed.