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08/14/2018 - 9:24pm A lot of truth to that.


A lot of truth to that.

I grew up in Michigan and was a U-M fan.  But I never attended a single game, all through high school.  First college game I attended was at my actual undergrad school. 

I certainly don't hate Michigan now, but I may have remained more of a U-M fan if I had those childhood experiences.

08/13/2018 - 11:02pm I'm 99% certain that all the…

I'm 99% certain that all the car rental agencies contract with TML - they would know immediately if the license was suspended or expired.

I rent a car about once a month.  Even though I'm in the "frequent renter programs" that allow me to go right to the car and skip the counter, my license always gets scanned before I get past the guard and leave the lot.

08/13/2018 - 8:24pm Yeah, exactly.  

What on…

Yeah, exactly.  

What on Earth would Zach Smith say the first time Urban told him "hey, go down to Texas and talk to these recruits"? 

Driving (illegally w/o a license) to Texas isn't an option, that's a long drive.  The car-rental counter at DFW would never rent Zach a car if Zach couldn't produce a valid driver's license.  And Zach Smith can't exactly ride around in taxis when he is recruiting.  Zach would basically have to tell Urban.

08/13/2018 - 6:55pm If Zach Smith had his…

If Zach Smith had his license suspended for 6 months ...... wouldn't somebody have noticed he was being driven around everywhere?  

What happened when Urban said "hey Zach, go down to Texas to talk to this potential recruits."  Zach Smith wouldn't be able to rent a car at the airport.  Right?

I don't know ...... this one, it seems tough for Urban to play the "plausible deniability card."

08/11/2018 - 4:28pm Yep - this is becoming…

Yep - this is becoming absolute lunacy.

I just don't get it either.  Let's say Urban gets fired.  Ohio State is STILL going to be National Title contender most seasons.  The long-term success of Ohio State football is absolutely not dependent upon Urban Meyer.

08/11/2018 - 9:42am Nuts story.  There is video:…

Nuts story.  There is video: this plane pulled off a freaking barrel roll!!! (that before the eventual crash).


08/10/2018 - 9:46pm Temperatures in the 80s and…

Temperatures in the 80s and in a full May sun --- that's no joke.  The May sun is an intense as the July sun.  Plus the Maryland almost-always-present humidity.

I get it --- coaches want to toughen up their players.  But coaches need to be trained to recognize the heatstroke warning signs, even if it's not super hot.  It can happen even when it's not 100+ outside.

Myself --- I'll go out and run every once in awhile during the middle of the afternoon in the summer.  Some of this on 90+ days in the intense Colorado sun.  But the second I start to feel a little "more than just tired", I shut it down.  I'd push through that if I was running at 6 AM in 63-degree weather.  But not in the heat though.  Heat can be dangerous.

Best wishes to the player's family.  Very tough for them.

08/08/2018 - 4:49pm Just like day-trading!  Buy!…

Just like day-trading!  Buy!  Sell!  I'm eating dog food for the next week!  I have enough money to buy a yacht!

08/08/2018 - 3:09pm True.

They're likely in at…


They're likely in at 11-1 last year (and tough luck Alabama & Ohio State).  

The year before, if they went 11-1 (instead of 4-8, LOL), I think they're out.  They're theoretical "best win" is against USC.  Not an overall strong schedule and I think you still need to take the 1-loss ACC, SEC and Pac-12 Champions, with both 11-1 OSU (win over Oklahoma) and 11-2 PSU (2 losses but also a conference Champ) still having a better case than ND.

08/08/2018 - 2:42pm I'm still not entirely sure…

Even if ND does go 11-1 (I'll believe that when I see it.  8-4 seems more likely), I'm still not entirely sure an 11-1 Notre Dame team would make the playoff over an 11-2 conference Champion.

That lack of an extra game (and the risk attendant with that game) could bite Notre Dame.

One thing for sure.  If that DID happen, the crying out of South Bend would be immense.

08/07/2018 - 9:38pm George Mason basketball ----…

George Mason basketball ---- they've won 1 NCAA game (2011) outside of their Final Four run.

I know it's hard for the mid-majors, but the likes of Wichita State, VCU, Gonzaga, etc have become consistently pretty good and regularly make NCAA tourneys while winning some games.

George Mason literally just popped out of nowhere.  And then fell right back.  It wasn't like they were Indiana State either, with a generational talent like Larry Bird on the team.  Nobody from that GMU Final Four team played a single minute in the NBA.

Of late, GMU has had a losing record in 4 of the last 5 seasons.

(Indiana State has only won one other NCAA game in their history.  But again, Larry Bird, the generational talent disqualifies them as a true 1-hit wonder)

08/07/2018 - 9:30pm David Tyree --- absolutely. …

David Tyree --- absolutely.  This should have more thumbs up.

His helmet catch in the Super Bowl was his last reception EVER in the NFL.  Ever!!!

08/07/2018 - 1:44pm Yeah, that book will keep…

Yeah, that book will keep you up at night.

But I am confident we would overcome that nightmare scenario.

08/07/2018 - 1:12pm I guess I watch too many…

I guess I watch too many apocalypse type movies.  But my first thought was that it was an EMP bomb.

Once that (thank God) was ruled out - it was home to drink beer and grill meat.  

The next day was definitely boring.  Just read a book while listening to my old walkman radio, listening to updates.  It was uncomfortable.  It wasn't overly hot (the high at DTW the next day was "only" 82, which isn't atypical for mid-August in Michigan) as much as it was overly humid (dew points never below 70).  


08/07/2018 - 1:43am Urban breaking 2 of his …

Urban breaking 2 of his "core values."  That's 40%!  

He certainly would have been a bad Moses (or Charlton Heston).  Just imagine:

Urban after descending from Mount Sinai: "I have just met with God himself!  He has given us 10 core rules to follow in life going forward.  These rules are on these tablets.  Let me now share these rules with you!"

Two hours later .............

Urban has stolen a bunch of gold, in order to make a golden calf, who he is now calling God, all while having affairs with some other guy's wife.

08/06/2018 - 5:52pm Think about it this way ---…

Think about it this way --- there are less posts about "this board is dying, nobody posts here anymore with the new format!"

08/06/2018 - 2:46pm Maybe - but that's awful…

Maybe - but that's awful vague.  Very difficult to really prove anything there.

For instance: Zach Smith was always getting into Twitter battles, some of which were rather absurd.  A lawyer could easily argue that "controlling yourself better on social media" were the "personal issues" Urban was talking about.

08/05/2018 - 8:58pm Bob Davie (New Mexico) was…

Bob Davie (New Mexico) was actually suspended for 30 days earlier this calendar year.  But that obviously didn't involve missing any games.  

Kyle Flood (Rutgers) got suspended for 3 games back in 2015 for contacting a professor about a player's grade (that whole hilarity of Flood meeting the Professor on the Princeton campus while making sure he wasn't wearing Rutgers gear).

Dave Christensen (Wyoming) I recall got suspended for a game in the early 2010s, after he got into it with Air Force's coach during a post-game.

Those are the only recent cases I can think of, off the top of my head.  But it has happened occasionally.

08/03/2018 - 5:15pm Pretty much, except for one …

Pretty much, except for one (fairly big) difference:

Paterno never lied in 2011 about "I never knew about 2002 in 2002."

Urban lied last week (at B1G Media Days) about "I never knew about 2015 in 2015."

Urban still needs, IMO, to answer the question "so, why tell a bald-faced lie about this last week?"

08/02/2018 - 6:25pm Jay is who he is.  He has…

Jay is who he is.  He has his agenda (convince folk that his Dad was mistreated by PSU when he was fired in November 2011).  And he sees this event as an opportunity to advance that agenda.

C'est la vie.  Nobody who is serious listens to him anyway.

08/02/2018 - 1:36am Oops --- this is meant as a…

Oops --- this is meant as a comment to the comment one above.  My bad.

08/02/2018 - 1:36am I might be wrong on Urban…

I might be wrong on Urban Meyer.  I've been wrong many times before.  But I still see an avenue (not a wide avenue, but one that exists nonetheless) to give him the benefit of the doubt here. 

Maybe Shelley didn't tell her husband.  And while Meyer had a number of discipline issues at Florida, things have been fairly clean (not perfect, but fairly clean) in Columbus in his 6 years there.  Most people tend to mature with age.  It's seemed (to me) that Meyer has matured too.

(1) Suspend with pay, (2) investigate further, (3) make a final decision, fire or keep.  I'm fine with that being the process.  I'm fine with being at only step (1) of that process.  This story isn't even 24 hours old yet.

08/02/2018 - 12:24am That's humanity.  The "risk…

That's humanity.  The "risk/reward" for Urban was immensely tilted toward "risk."  He still did what he did.

Spencer Hall wrote an article back in July 2012, in the immediate aftermath of the Penn State sanctions.  He wrote the below.  It stuck with me back then, and I think it's still true today:

"People will sell themselves to authorities far cheaper and less impressive than a corrupt, morally bankrupt football legend. Subordinates cover for regional managers at car rental places for worse, and do so for $50,000 a year without benefits.

Give someone three cents worth of power and they will ask for an advance of an entire dollar. Often, they get far more than that in return even without asking, and in the cases of legitimate evil, simply stand by the wayside and let it happen."

Now - Urban wasn't a subordinate - he WAS the authority.  But he still sold himself out to Zach freaking Smith.  

And we are where we are today.

08/01/2018 - 11:57pm Zach Smith is the first…

Zach Smith is the first assistant coach that Urban Meyer has EVER fired.

Urban Meyer --- like several people I've known in my own life --- was loyal to a fault.  Not everyone is worthy of your loyalty.

I know that some folk view Meyer as a bad person.  I am not among those folk.  I do honestly think he's a decent human being,  But he did fail here.

08/01/2018 - 11:06am We'll see what Urban says,…

We'll see what Urban says, but damn, this is a SMOKING gun.

He should have just told the truth at Media Days last week.

07/31/2018 - 9:22pm Not me.  But there are about…

Not me.  But there are about 10 days a year where Atlanta gets weather like this.  It is what it is.

I'll still take my chances with Hartsfield over O'Hare or (God Forbid) LaGuardia or Newark.

07/29/2018 - 10:02pm People who are BOTH Kentucky…

People who are BOTH Kentucky basketball and Ohio State football fans.  Yeesh. 

This particular animal species is most likely to be found in Southwest Ohio.

07/29/2018 - 3:09pm Marquette's going to be the…

Marquette's going to be the 4th best team (effectively, a #1 seed in the NCAA) in the nation next year?

Maybe, but seems odd for a team that lost in the 3rd round of the NIT last year, and has only 1 4-star recruit coming in.

I do wonder if they've done any back-validation on their algorithm?  Probably not.

07/29/2018 - 11:25am 2-games not mentioned but…

2-games not mentioned but where U-M was tehnically a dog (in Vegas): at Northwestern in 2013, and at Illinois (by 1 point) in 2011.

07/28/2018 - 11:40am This answer to this question…

This answer to this question should really be a "sticky."  This question gets asked all the time.

Group 1 East: Michigan, OSU, PSU

Group 1 West: Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin.

Each team in each group plays one of the other group 1 teams 6 consecutive years.  Rotate for the 6 years that follow, and the next 6 years.

The first cycle (2016-2021), the teams appear to have been paired off based on their strength in 2012 (the 2016 schedule was released in spring 2013):

OSU was 8-0 in B1G play in 2012, Michigan 6-2 in 2012, PSU 6-2 in 2012 (but w/ active NCAA sanctions).

Nebraska 7-1 in 2012, Wisconsin 4-4 in 2012, Iowa 2-6 in 2012.

07/26/2018 - 9:16pm A lot of the "Millen…

A lot of the "Millen defended Paterno, so screw Matt Millen" opinions come as a result of Millen's comments on ESPN SportsCenter within 60 minutes of the Freeh Report was released. 

Millen probably shouldn't have gone on air.  He did go on-air (likely ESPN's idea), so he has to own it to a degree.  But I'll cut Millen some slack: not much time to process the Freeh Report, especially when you look up to the guy as a mentor (as Millen did with Paterno).

Millen's opinions as regards Paterno in the post-2012 era aren't anywhere near those of, say, Franco Harris.  For what that's worth.

07/26/2018 - 8:59pm Yeah, they're normally…

Yeah, they're normally pretty good for their level.  Maybe last year was just a one-off.  I can't say I'm an expert as to their returning talent in 2018-19.

2 Chattanooga basketball trivia facts:

(1) Chattanooga made the Sweet 16 in 1997 as a #14 seed.  They knocked off a pretty good Illinois team along the way to the Sweet 16.  That 3rd round game was against played Providence, who advanced that far as a #10 seed.  That was the highest ever combined seed match-up for a Sweet 16 game.

(2) Chattanooga also played in the NCAA in 1995.  Lost to UConn as a #15 seed.  Terrell Owens was on that Chattanooga team.

With that, I am out of Chattanooga basketball trivia facts.

07/20/2018 - 7:50pm Second play - McSorley…

Second play - McSorley actually was smacked pretty good on the 1st play by Gary.

07/20/2018 - 7:41pm This is the 8th year…

This is the 8th year has done this poll.  Last year was the FIRST year where the poll's voters got the B1G Champion correct:

2011 - predicted Nebraska over Wisconsin.  Was actually Wisconsin (picked 1st for division) over MSU (picked 2nd for division).

2012 - predicted Michigan over Wisconsin.  Was actually Wisconsin (1st) over Nebraska (3rd).

2013 - predicted Ohio State over Michigan.  Was actually Michigan State (3rd) over Ohio State (1st).

2014 - predicted Michigan State over Wisconsin.  Was actually Ohio State (2nd) over Wisconsin (1st).

2015 - predicted Ohio State over Wisconsin.  Was actually Michigan State (2nd) over Iowa (4th).

2016 - predicted Ohio State over Iowa.  Was actually Penn State (4th) over Wisconsin (3rd).

2017 - predicted Ohio State over Wisconsin.  Exactly correct.

So, take the poll for what it's worth.  If you're picked to win your division, you've actually made the title game only 6 times out of 14.  If you're picked for 2nd or 3rd, you've actually made it 3 times out of 14.  And a team picked for 4th has made it 2 times out of 14 (with 1 Title Game win as well).

07/16/2018 - 4:48pm The key for UNC seems to be…

The key for UNC seems to be their first 2 games --- at California and at ECU.

Neither of those teams are very good, but it's (1) a full cross-country road trip, and (2) an in-state team who would love to beat you and has a coaching staff that needs to "win now" themselves.

Go 0-2 in those games, and UNC is likely 1-4 on September 27th (UCF & Miami FLA among their next 3 games).  Then a 16-day break before their next game.  I could see it happening.

07/16/2018 - 3:50pm A few names that haven't…

A few names that haven't been mentioned (at least prior to me writing this post):

(1) Ed Orgeron is on a short leash, for sure.

(2) Larry Fedora at UNC - 3-9 last year.  That can't repeat.

(3) In mid-major land, Scottie Montgomery has been a disaster at ECU.  The Pirates should not be nearly as bad as they have been lately.

(4) A longer shot: Mike Leach.  His political comments during the off-season were polarizing and the athletic department has had turnover.  Longer shot, but you never know.

07/15/2018 - 1:51pm Last year --- they did the…

Last year --- they did the reveal "game-by-game."  I figure they will do the same this summer.

One issue is that ESPN doesn't have the rights to replays of the FOX games.  That's going to be several games that make the list but don't get televised.

My likely wrong guess at the Top 10 (in no particular order):

1/2. CFB Playoff games.  GA vs Oklahoma and GA vs Alabama

3/4/5.  OOC games.  A&M @ UCLA, Georgia @ ND, USC @ Texas

6/7. B1G: PSU @ OSU, PSU @ Iowa

8. American: UCF vs South Florida

9. SEC:  Alabama @ Miss State

10. ACC: Clemson @ Syracuse

07/14/2018 - 3:50pm Devil's Advocate argument --…

Devil's Advocate argument --- an outsider, say an Athletic Director at a mid-major or a Senior Associate AD at a high-major, is going to see some yellow flags in taking this job.

The most notable yellow flag --- MSU will have a new President in a couple years.  A lot of prospective hires will have some trepidation in taking a job when they will have a new boss very very soon.

Beekman is a stop-gap and I imagine they'll have another AD come 2020-2021.

07/13/2018 - 1:33pm RU plays Texas State (and KU…

RU plays Texas State (and KU and Buffalo) OOC this September.

07/13/2018 - 10:52am There's only one way this…

There's only one way this investigation can end:

Video of Chris Ash --- sans Rutgers R, of course --- buying stuff on the Princeton campus while using Kyle Flood's stolen credit card.

07/13/2018 - 9:25am I wasn't talking about…

I wasn't talking about whether you, or I, or college football fans as a whole, liked Franklin.

I was talking about whether his players liked him.  And --- a few exceptions out there (Christian Hackenberg and that 2015 team, which was a mess) --- I think that's clearly been the case.  His teams look like they have fun and enjoy their coaches and teammates.  Vandy fans would say the same thing about Franklin's teams there.

07/12/2018 - 11:35pm Dabo and James Franklin - I…

Dabo and James Franklin - I see the comparison (and I've heard this comparison before).

They're both goofballs who wouldn't be my first choice when it comes to doing the football Xs and Os.  But their players generally seem to like them both.

07/12/2018 - 10:44pm The funny thing about that -…

The funny thing about that ----- that looks like it is either Midland or Ector County in Texas.  E.g., the hometown of either Midland or Odessa (of Friday Night Lights fame).

As opposed to most counties in West Texas which is mostly populated by rattlesnakes (and Mike Gundy hunting them), people actually live in those two counties!

07/12/2018 - 12:06am I "resist" by exclusively…

I "resist" by exclusively bidding "No Trump" in my Bridge games.

07/10/2018 - 12:14pm I don't think Dan Leach is a…

I don't think Dan Leach is a completely crazy idea.  But I also think he's incapable of "toning down the wacky expressions."

You want a passionate play-by-play guy but he can't upstage the real show.

07/08/2018 - 3:30pm I don't want to put my…

I don't want to put my personal e-mail out here on this board.  And unfortuantely MGoBlog doesn't have a Direct Message component. 

But search for me on CFBAnalytics (hint: search for various forms of "Nittany" amongst user names) and send me a Direct Message there.  I can then share out some of my dataset w/ you (if it would be useful).

07/08/2018 - 2:32pm I admit --- PSU 2016 made me…

I admit --- PSU 2016 made me think about this theory more, but I generally thought that well before 2 years ago.

Bill Connelly is a smart guy.  There is a reason he has "explosiveness" as one of his five factors.  "Efficiency" is one of his five factors too.  But the best teams are BOTH explosive and efficient.  

And --- in theory --- one way to increase "explosiveness" is to increase the "number of chances you have to make an explosive play."

You don't win the bets you don't make.

07/08/2018 - 2:25pm Agreed ---- there is A LOT…

Agreed ---- there is A LOT that you would have to control for.

I admit that an analysis like I suggest would be answering questions at a "fairly high" and "directional" level.

And even if an analysis said "college football teams as a whole would become more efficient in the aggregate by throwing more deep balls", it may not add value for an individual team.  E.g., an offense that already runs the ball for 7-yards-at-a-chunk and rarely turns it over.  There's no value to adding "more long balls."  Their offense is already very efficient.

Such is data analytics.  Often "fairly high", "directional", and "in the aggregate" is as good an answer as one can get.  Still doesn't mean it's an analysis not worth attempting.

07/08/2018 - 2:18pm True - you simply can't run…

True - you simply can't run for 30 yards when the play starts from the opponent's 20.  Whereas you can from mid-field.  

You can only solve for "how much does this 20 yard run help in this particular time and place."

Case 1: 2nd-and-8 from the opponent's 20.  Typically, teams in this position will score 2.7 points on that drive (I'm making this # up, but w/ a big enough data base you can figure this # out).  E.g., Expected Points = 2.7.  Typically, teams that run the ball in this spot will have an Expected Points = 2.9 on their next play.  So if Higdon runs for 20 yards, he should get credit for (6-2.9) = 3.1 "points added above expected points."

Case 2: 2nd-and-8 from your own 40.  Expected points = 1.4.  Typically, teams run the ball in this spot will have an Expected points = 1.5 on their next play.  If Higdon runs for 20, that's now 1st-and-10 from the opponent's 40.  Expected points there = 1.8.  So Higdon's run for 20 yards, he gets credit for (1.8-1.5) = 0.3 points of "points added above expected points."

I think this metric would solve for your question.  Higdon's 20 yards in Case 1 is a lot more valuable than in Case 2.  I made up a bunch of numbers above, but I'd be very surprised if there are many situations where "X yards for a touchdown, where theoretically he could have run for more" aren't more valuable than "X yards somewhere else on the field, where he could have run for more but didn't."

Now, of course --- Higdon is one of 11.  Good luck figuring how his "points added above expected points" gets apportioned among everybody else on the field.

I tend to think football is the most analytically difficult of all the sports.  Baseball is fairly easy - basketball comes next.  Then ice hockey and soccer.  Football has a ways to go though.

07/08/2018 - 11:38am I like that idea.  I think…

I like that idea.  I think the closest stat to that right now conceptually is EPA (Expected Points Added).  E.g., on 1st-and-goal from the 1, if a college team runs the football, they will typically score 3.4 points on the play.  If Hill scores a TD, that's a +2.6 for him.  If he gains 0 yards, that's a -3.4.  If he fumbles and it's returned for 6, that's a -9.4. (I'm not sure how the extra point gets factored into all that).

Could also do the same thing with WPA (Win Percentage Added).  That makes a Hill TD run in a 10-10 game more valuable than a TD run in a 35-3 game.

I think the NFL Advanced Analytics guys use both of these - but I haven't really seen it for College.  Bill Connelly's offensive efficiency is closest, yes.