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Date Title Body
08/23/2016 - 9:22pm Working on it, hopefully

Working on it, hopefully coming soon

08/23/2016 - 9:22pm Working on it, hopefully

Working on it, hopefully coming soon

08/27/2015 - 12:36pm The Hat

Ordered the Harbaugh hat from the MDen this summer and a customer service person called to tell me that had to change my order. Apparently Harbaugh didn't like that the Adidas logo was on the side and wanted it in the back so it was less visible in pictures and they would be substituting my order for the new style. 

08/25/2015 - 10:58am Thanks for the call out.

Thanks for the call out. Don't know that I'll have a chance to put together a full column like substance this year, but I'll try and at least get a short diary up some time soon. I am a little terrified at how much the numbers love Michigan's set up this year, even without a Harbaugh factor.

10/24/2014 - 4:26pm The point isn't that TOP is

The point isn't that TOP is an offensive or defensive metric, obviously both contribute. The issue is that it has no correlation to winning and any loose connections between the two are because winning yields TOP, not vice versa.

09/04/2014 - 1:03pm I've done that in the past,

I've done that in the past, for this one with a 30+ point spread, the line would have been at 100% the entire game.

08/27/2014 - 3:44pm Notre Dame was in fact #10 in

Notre Dame was in fact #10 in 2010.

08/27/2014 - 3:05pm Yes, they were 9th last

Yes, they were 9th last season.

08/27/2014 - 10:28am It's two different pieces. I

It's two different pieces. I am picking Michigan to win 8 games, but based on the National Championship Secret Sauce article, each of the last 10 national champs were rated in the top 10 of Roster Talent and Michigan is #10 this year in that metric.

02/05/2014 - 3:46pm Yes, Michigan starts much

Yes, Michigan starts much higher and is close but slightly higher throughout

11/18/2013 - 12:40pm 4th Down Odds

A couple points of clarification

The official PBP lists the play as 4th and 1, not 4th and 2

For those saying that the odds aren't about this team, the odds on any one single play aren't that different from the best to the worst. Do they differ, absolutely, but not that much. 

Yes Michigan hadn't converted a third down prior to the play, 7 of the 10 failures where on plays of 8+ yards, not a lot of relavance. 

Michigan has converted 58% of 3rd/4th and 1 this season, right on the expected average.

No team in the last 11 season has ever average less than 35% conversions on 1 yard to go situations. For Michigan to be at 30% expectation would mean that they were a standard deviation worse than the worst team in this situation of the last 11 years. And even then you are break even. I know if felt bad and that the play call was awful, but the numbers were firmly on Michigan's side unless you think this is actually the worst offense of all time, and then it was a break even decision.

09/26/2013 - 5:33pm The pictures I found and even

The pictures I found and even Google Street view show a yellow trim around the top of the stadium

09/26/2013 - 11:36am I added some contact info at

I added some contact info at the bottom if you are interested

09/11/2013 - 3:35pm I watched the game, I know

I watched the game, I know what was happening but with MSU Defense and the USF offense, but come on. Best case scenario after that punt is to get the ball back where you had it, down 15 with a minute and a half to go. In a one possession game you can justify a punt but not when you need two possessions punting is game over.

09/11/2013 - 2:22pm Thanks for the heads up. Poor

Thanks for the heads up. Poor wording on my part, fixed it.

09/11/2013 - 2:08pm There is some slight random

There is some slight random variation but the fumble rates are pretty consistent year after year, regardless of age.

09/11/2013 - 1:41pm Great question
Michigan was

Great question

Michigan was at 93% going into the play:

Incompletion: still about 93% (it was 3rd and 11, first down was unlikely)

Safety: only drops slightly to 92%, ND field position about the same as a punt, still need two TDs

Reality: dropped to 82%

The safety would have seemed devastating but in reality the interception was the only play that would have really swung the odds.

09/06/2013 - 6:29am It makes predicting a

It makes predicting a specific game very difficult, but over many games the pluses and minuses even out. Even in one specific game there is a pretty decent chance that swing plays are neutral, it's just that we tend to remember the ones were they don't.

09/05/2013 - 9:02pm The flip side is that from my

The flip side is that from my work, teams with great defenses should go for it more, not less. They are probably going to stop the other team either way, so take advantage of a potential short field for the offense and go for it. When you are on the opponent's side of the field, trading punts is almost always a net negative for the team in opp. territory.

08/28/2013 - 4:02pm I think they are going to be

I think they are going to be about as good of a team as last year, but they trade Indiana and Penn State for Wisconsin and Ohio State. Plus, they weren't an extremely dominant 9-3 team last year, Illinois was the only FBS program they beat by more than 2 TD's.  If you just adjust for schedule and assume everything else is the same, that takes them from 9 to 7. If they were a little lucky that gets you to six (about where I have them) and having the same team they did in 2012, which is about what I am predicting, quality-wise.

08/26/2013 - 7:40am I agree that red zone only

I agree that red zone only tells part of the story. It's a stat designed to balance out total yards. Moving the ball up and down the field and scoring in the red zone can be two very different things, but I don't think it's a deceiving stat. I think most people take it for what it is. People don't look at rushing stats and say that they mean everything and neglect passing stats. Like most stats, red zone efficiency is a measurement of a team's success in a specific facet of the game, I hope I didn't give the impression that this was any more than that.

08/23/2013 - 10:54am In this study and most of

In this study and most of them I do, I include all plays for the first half of the game but only plays in the second half if the drive starts or ends within two touchdowns. Depending on defintions could tweak the When It Mattered sentiment but this should be about what you were looking for.

07/24/2013 - 4:40pm Rodgers and Newton did after

Rodgers and Newton did after starting at Jucos. Mallet did it his first season at Arkansas. Leinart did it as USC and Tebow did his first year as a starter but saw lots of time the prior year. I think that's it for the major conference guys.

07/15/2013 - 11:36pm Another MgoBlogger in Topeka?

Another MgoBlogger in Topeka? I thought I was the only one.

06/21/2013 - 2:48pm Henne

A quick note on Henne. First, he was right below the cut off at -0.4 for his freshman season. I had him ranked at 42nd for the season and he finished tied for 19th in passer rating. There is a gap there but not a huge one. I think to understand the gap some, his opponent adjusted numbers are on par with similar quarterbacks, the gap isn't due to opponent adjustments. I think the big item that makes Henne seem worse than a quick gut check is that he wasn't great on third downs. His first and second down rating match up with his passer rating but he ranked 60th in third down PAN for the season.

05/30/2013 - 3:47pm Fixed, thanks.

Fixed, thanks.

05/22/2013 - 3:23pm Corrected, thanks.

Corrected, thanks.

03/08/2013 - 4:54am The rating is an average of

The rating is an average of all the service's ratings. That's a good point that this could be some of the difference at both the top and the bottom for Hoke vs Carr, with Hoke working in a 4 service environment vs 2 for most of Carr's tenure.

02/07/2013 - 4:23pm It's really a quantity vs

It's really a quantity vs quality thing. The aggregate points I used to rank has a strong bias towards signing more players. The guys Michigan got were very good, I believe Michigan was top 10 in LB avg rating, there were just two of them which kep the overall number down.

01/07/2013 - 3:52pm The numbers are developed

The numbers are developed based on the last ten years of games between evenly matched FBS teams, accounting for down, distance,possession, timeouts and score.

11/15/2012 - 3:05pm Five games from the last 10

Five games from the last 10 years above 80% on defense and lost:

2005 Nebraska 92%

Leading by 11 with 10 minutes left

2005 Ohio St 88%

Leading by 9 with 8 minutes left

2009 Purdue 86%

Up 13 in the third quarter

2004 Texas 84%

Leading by 10 to start the fourth quarter

2008 Purdue 84%

Up 14 in the second quarter

11/15/2012 - 2:08pm You're about right on for the

You're about right on for the 10% number but the first offensive play was run from the 46 after a long Breaston return, increasing Michigan's chances to about 28%.

11/15/2012 - 2:03pm Like I wrote, in the final

Like I wrote, in the final seconds things get a bit hazy. The 9% vs 5% has to do with the way I am counting. The 9% was the lowest when an offensive play was run. That was used for easier tracking in the database. It was 5% at the time of the punt, but 9% was the lowest when an offensive play was run. 

The 9% does seem a bit high but I looked at the 100 games with the most similar situations, trailing by 3 ball around own forty and about 18 seconds left and 6% of teams went on to win the games so it isn't dramatically over stated.

11/08/2012 - 4:56pm All of their damage is being

All of their damage is being done in the first half and they are really pulling off early, but just able to get our in front really quickly.

11/08/2012 - 4:36pm Not saying it can't be done

Not saying it can't be done before then, but just that its unlikely to, at least before 2014. There will always be outliers like KSU but planning on being an outlier is not a very good strategy.

11/08/2012 - 4:34pm There is a time lag. The

There is a time lag. The upper class players on the late Carr years were outstanding, some of the best in the country. The players he recruited those years that were upper classmen under Rodirguez, not so much.

11/08/2012 - 4:11pm There is a points metric

There is a points metric behind it but you can think of the top as best in country and the bottom as worst.

11/08/2012 - 4:07pm Fixed, thanks

Fixed, thanks

11/01/2012 - 1:38pm Think of the replacement

Think of the replacement player concept, but localize it to one team. If Denard wasn't getting the plays, would we be better off? Compare Denard to AJ McCarron. Denard is +.23 and the rest of the team is -.23. If we take away plays from him the net result is -.46/play. McCarron is at 0.36 but his team is at 0.22. Even though McCarron's per play average is higher, he has more support behind him would still mean there is a good chance of similar production. Michigan doesn't have that luxury. Denard isn't the most productive this year, but losing him would be a bigger blow than any other team losing their best player.

11/01/2012 - 12:02pm Despite being only 8 games

Despite being only 8 games in, Denard is already more valuable than any previos year. In 2010 Denard was worth 99 points and last year that dropped to 48 points with a strong supporting cast. This year's weak non-Denard showing has eclipsed prior. Doesn't mean he wasn't used more previously, just that this year the difference between his production per play and everyone else's is substantially greater.

10/18/2012 - 9:45am I value 100% of my readers

I value 100% of my readers even the blacked out ones playing Halo 3.  I updated the heading to clear things up a bit.

10/18/2012 - 9:43am The issue isn't having the

The issue isn't having the plays or the power to crunch them, it is a decision not to use them. As the chart above notes, Michigan was already 90+% chance of winning at the start of the third quarter with a three score lead, and it quickly climbed over 95%. Yes the starters stayed in the game but in my opinion, when the score reaches three possessions or more in the second, at the very least the strategy shifts from the teams' perspectives. Some positions may be subbed more liberally, play calling will likely shift down to a more conservative approach for the team with the lead. 

10/18/2012 - 9:34am The numbers are all based

The numbers are all based from Michigan's perspective so that rush defense heading was referring to Michigan's rush defense versus MSU's rush offense.

10/11/2012 - 1:10pm Most of the perceived

Most of the perceived variance is based on the fact the due to the lead, the second half is not included in these numbers. First half saw 6/8 passing and 4 big conversions while rushing had a decent 27 carries for 118 yards and 4 conversions. Second half the rushing really dominated but was excluded due to the size of the lead.

09/20/2012 - 2:24pm Pulled the old database up

Pulled the old database up and Brian Luke from Kansas gets the worst showing at -28 in a 2005 game against Oklahoma. 11/30 86 yards, 3 INT and -40 yards rushing

Henne's 11/34 against Ohio in 2007 is Michigan's worst showing (-20), although if you adjust for defense, Nick Sheridan's 2008 against NW  (-15) takes the cake.

Juice Williams narrowly edges out Henne for worst B1G game, with a -20 in 2008 against Penn St

09/13/2012 - 11:01am +20 EV is one of the top 300

+20 EV is one of the top 300 performances (not opponent adjusted) of the last ten years. It's only 6th for Denard overall, his best being last year against NW when he was +28, which is top 40. 

On a per play basis it was his seventh best with his best being 2010 against Indiana when he went +27 on 35 plays.

09/13/2012 - 8:31am I am mostly using preseason

I am mostly using preseason expectations, adjusted for teams that have largely under or overperformed such as Wisconsin. Usually by week 4-5 there are enough games to start to get a picture of what the true in-sesason perforamnce looks like.

09/13/2012 - 8:29am Extra Value. Essentially how

Extra Value. Essentially how many points above average performance. A 0 is an average performance across all of the FBS. Each point above is a measure of how many extra points a player/team has performed.

09/13/2012 - 8:24am Great description, drive

Great description, drive seasonality. I also like the saw tooth of the Air Force drive with many third and fourth downs and so the odds fluxuate down by down.

09/07/2012 - 8:00am Players are rated based on

Players are rated based on their most recent evaluation. If a player was a 5 star out of HS and then 4 star out of JC, the 4 star is the one used for that service. If the service doesn't rate them for JC then the HS is used.

The talent rank is a baseline rating using only data before entering school. I have lots of ways to look at players once they arrive, but this is measuring just prior evaluations. Since no adjustments are made to talent rank based on post-arrival performance, the Jordan Kovacs' of the world are still non-counters in this measurement.