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11/27/2018 - 10:48am The reverse gambler's…

The reverse gambler's fallacy. The base rate fallacy. Simpson's paradox.

12/03/2016 - 10:36pm Remember last year?

Big10 championship down to the wire. One goes to the playoff, and Pac12 champ is left out. Said Pac12 champ then destroys Big10 runner-up in the Rose Bowl, and Big10 champ destroyed in the playoff. No way the committee puts 2 Big10 teams in *at the cost of the Pac12 champ* this year.

12/03/2016 - 10:30pm See my earlier reply - Washington is in

No way the committee leaves out Pac12 champ in favor of 2nd Big10 team after what happened last year.

12/03/2016 - 10:19pm Remember last year?

Questionable Big10 champ with close win over Big10 runner-up gets in over Pac12 champ, who promptly unpants said runner-up in Rose Bowl? I don't think the committee freezes out Pac12 champ 2 yrs in a row in favor of a 2nd Big10 team.

05/12/2015 - 11:10pm Hasn't anyone looked at the Patriots' schedule?

The reason Brady was suspended 4 games is because of the Patriots' opponent in their 5th game. Imagine the TV ratings...

And Brady wasn't asked to hand over his phone. He was asked to choose what texts were relevant and print them up for the investigators, and they would trust his judgment about what was relevant. He declined to do even that much.

11/18/2014 - 12:04pm Visual representation of OP

Perhaps the emphasis is misplaced?

Also, why victims don't leave - perhaps that should influence how we talk about domestic violence?


11/18/2014 - 11:48am Don't write them off so

Don't write them off so easily... ;-)

11/17/2014 - 1:22pm Problem with waiting for details

There's a perception, accurate or not, that star athletes get special treatment by law enforcement. That perception then leads to a presumption - when law enforcement does take action against a star athlete, it is probably an under-reaction rather than an over-reaction. Hit-and-run turns into a traffic ticket, body slamming a security guard becomes a "Youthful Trainee" sentence, whipping a child until he bleeds becomes a no contest plea to a misdemeanor, etc.

Frank Clark's arrest occurs in this context. We can all advocate for innocent until proven guilty, waiting for the legal process to play out, making sure all the facts are in before jumping to conclusions, etc. However, I think we also have to recognize that the law isn't always blind when it comes to star athletes, and we can't always rely on the outcome of a legal process to completely define how we should view, or judge, a particular situation.

It's fair to hold our legal system to a standard that the accused are innocent until proven guilty. It's fair to hold reporters to a standard of framing their reports with the word, "alleged." But I also think it's fair for the public, including people who post on fan blogs, to view events like this within the context of how star athletes are treated by law enforcement in our society.

10/27/2014 - 12:46pm Leaders and the best

Well, they did their best.

10/25/2014 - 10:49pm Fair enough

I hope we're willing to recognize that "running up the score" is inappropriate even when it's done by someone (we want) on our side. However, just as some want to down play the "spear" because it was done by our players, I also suspect some are complaining about the last TD because we weren't the ones scoring it.

10/25/2014 - 10:36pm Kinda agree with Spielman

MSU went up 21-3 on Gardner's pick 6 - that wasn't the defense's fault. Except for the drive at the end of the first half, I thought the defense did a decent job with how little help it was getting from the offense - 2 net yards in the first half, only 10 minutes ToP, etc.

10/25/2014 - 10:32pm Defense put up a fight

for most of the first half. Giving up a TD on the last drive of the 1st half was a killer. But without some life from the offense, the defense couldn't keep it up.

Michigan 1st half drives:

4 plays, 17 yards, punt, 2:01, 0-7

1 play, -9 yards, fumble, 0:07, 0-7

9 plays, 25 yards, punt, 5:46, 0-7

3 plays, -3l yards, punt, 1:43, 0-7

3 plays, 0 yards, FG, 0:48, 3-7

At that point, MSU had a 2:1 advantage in ToP. And Michigan had gained all of 2 net yards. Any defense would be hard pressed to keep up the fight in that situation.

10/25/2014 - 9:58pm Ironically,

as many times as Harbaugh would - which is every time someone complains about Dantonio running up the score.

10/25/2014 - 9:52pm Harbaugh would have done the same thing Dantonio did

10/25/2014 - 9:49pm Jim Harbaugh would have done the same thing Dantonio did

10/25/2014 - 9:43pm Harbaugh will

10/25/2014 - 9:43pm So Harbaugh is a little brother, too?

10/25/2014 - 9:42pm So Harbaugh is a d**k, too?

10/25/2014 - 9:39pm Apparently Harbaugh isn't like most coaches either

10/25/2014 - 9:36pm Apparently Harbaugh is childish, too

10/25/2014 - 9:35pm Apparently Harbaugh is dumb, too

10/25/2014 - 9:34pm Harbaugh would

10/15/2014 - 5:48pm DB out

Administration matters. A good coach with a bad AD will have a difficult time being successful. A bad coach with a good AD can be replaced.

10/15/2014 - 5:43pm Possible cause?

10/15/2014 - 5:28pm edit - straw that broke the camel's back (IMO)

There's more to Michigan's reputation than athletics. How Shane Morris was handled does matter. Anyway, I'll post in Ace's thread - I had seen this one first (hence the edit).

10/06/2014 - 1:47pm Good point - records retention allows email to be deleted

The law doesn't require the public agency to retain email forever, so it's possible that the email was deleted prior to the FOIA request.

10/02/2014 - 3:10pm Tricky

Yes, the regents probably could do with a little more sunshine. But realistically, if the other regents believed that anything they said could end up posted on MGoBlog, they would stop talking to Brian except in the formal meetings. The closed doors would just move somewhere else, and exclude Brian.

Also, Brian would probably be forced to start editing himself on MGoBlog to avoid creating legal liabilities for the University. As a regent, he would have a duty to the best interests of the University, not to us, and would have to honor things like FERPA and HIPAA, legal counsel's opinions, etc. Then we, the readers of MGoBlog, would stop trusting Brian as much because we would sense he's not telling us everything.

It's very tricky to try and be both an outside advocate and an inside policy maker. Usually, it doesn't work out very well for the person in the middle.

10/02/2014 - 3:00pm Or aggressiveness / trust

Maybe going for 2 right away is seen as being aggressive and trusting your offense to get the job done, and trusting your defense to get an extra stop if necessary? Feelingsball can always go in multiple directions.

10/02/2014 - 2:57pm Hypothetical

You're being hypothetical, and we're not going to work in hypothetics.

10/02/2014 - 9:58am Sustained discipline

Win or lose, I'll be looking for sustained discipline. I think that playing with emotion, but keeping those emotions under control, will be the most challenging part of the game this Saturday. Given all the distractions and emotions of the week, I could see emotions running high but losing discpline (penalties, miscues, etc.). I could also see emotions running low, and a flat performance or folding in the face of adversity.

Even if they lose, if they appear to keep their emotional edge but stay in control, that will be a good sign for the direction of the team.

Even if they win, if they appear to be undisciplined or flat, that will be a bad sign for the direction of the team.

10/01/2014 - 9:16am Witch hunts are not based on facts

If people were calling for Brandon to be fired by claiming he slept with a student assistant, or claiming he embezzled funds from the University - that would be a witch hunt. Calling for him to be fired for factual aspects of his job performance is not a witch hunt. You can debate whether his job performance merits being fired or not, but you can't dismiss those calling for his ouster by claiming they are conducting a "witch hunt."

10/01/2014 - 12:08am Context matters

Let's imagine 2 different drivers are pulled over for speeding by the same police officer on the same road going the same speed. One has a clean record, immediately takes responsibility and commits to ensuring it doesn't happen again. The other has a record of multiple traffic violations, reacts defensively to the officer, and insists that it was the passenger's responsibility to keep an eye on the speedometer. 

While both drivers might receive speeding tickets, we can understand if the officer chooses to issue a warning to the first driver, or if the court applies a more lenient sentence to the first driver.

Context does matter, and it's unfair to the protesters to insist that they should always treat each event in isolation and ignore the context.

09/29/2014 - 5:36pm That's what happens when you give a straight answer

"So, Brady, you haven’t had any conversations with Dave Brandon, or have you, about this or about job performance in general?"


So Brady released a statement to the press last night without consulting his boss? Sounds like grounds for Brandon to fire him. /s

09/28/2014 - 11:10pm Your explanation is most likely

An alternative might be that Morris didn't have a concussion, but they're concerned about admitting that they didn't follow the concussion protocol at the appropriate time.

If they evaluated Morris after the game and found that he had no concussion, it would still cause some potential problems (including liability) if it was revealed that the evaluation didn't happen until after the game.

Still, there might have been a way to finesse the language to obfuscate the timing. So if he was evaluated after the game and found not to have a concussion, there probably would have been a way to get the good information out (no concussion) without being too specific on the bad information (evaluated after the game).

So, that's just long way of saying your explanation is most likely accurate.

09/28/2014 - 10:38pm It's not that hard

Just answering your first question - they could announce a review of player safety protocols by a credible 3rd party or by a credible faculty group. Universities have structures and protocols for all sorts of situations that have ethical questions, ie research involving human subjects, etc. It doesn't have to be an extraordinary thing for a University to study itself.

09/23/2014 - 7:57pm Improvement

"...we ran out a coach who had improved each year but not fast enough for us. He has, of course, become the head coach at another program, improved that team each year..."

Can we say the same for Hoke?

09/23/2014 - 7:05pm A Power5 conference school is

A Power5 conference school is struggling and hires a new coach:

  • Head coach at another Power5 conference
  • Turned around that program from 12 wins in 4 years to 5 consecutive bowl games
  • Led that program to its first BCS bowl game in school history
  • Won Coach of the Year in his conference the year he's hired away to new position

After only 2 years, he's fired. The AD gets a lot of heat for firing a proven coach so quickly.

"This decision...was a result of not seeing the progress in some of the critical areas we would have hoped for after 2 years...I think the most critical assessment I had to make was, does investing another year present the likely possibility of substantial improvement? If I couldn't answer that affirmatively, which I ultimately didn't, I felt it was better to make the change now than wait more time."

The AD? Bob Bowlsby. The fired coach? Walt Harris. The school? Stanford. The replacement? Jim Harbaugh.

01/18/2011 - 1:22pm Brady Hoke with Ball State historical context

Didn't take the time to go through the entire history of Ball State football, but since 1971:

19 seasons in which Ball State was outscored by its opponents:

1971 (McClain)
1981-1984 (Wallace)
1985-1987, 1992, 1994 (Schudel)
1997-2002 (Lynch)
2003-2005 (Hoke)

10 point losses:

Coach 10 pt losses 10 pt losses / season
Dave McClain 8 1.14
Dwight Wallace 28 4
Paul Schudel 25 2.5
Bill Lynch 40 5
Brady Hoke 27 4.5

Seasons with four or more 10 point losses:


Season 10 pt losses Coach
1981 5 Dwight Wallace
1982 6 Dwight Wallace
1983 5 Dwight Wallace
1984 6 Dwight Wallace
1985 5 Paul Schudel
1987 4 Paul Schudel
1997 4 Bill Lynch
1998 8 Bill Lynch
1999 10 Bill Lynch
2000 6 Bill Lynch
2002 6 Bill Lynch
2003 7 Brady Hoke
2004 5 Brady Hoke
2005 5 Brady Hoke
2006 4 Brady Hoke
2007 4 Brady Hoke
01/18/2011 - 1:19pm Brady Hoke with San Diego State context

Didn't take the time to go through the entire history of San Diego State football, but since 1973:

20 seasons in which San Diego State was outscored by its opponents:

1978, 1980 (Gilbert)
1982-1983 (Scovil)
1987-1988 (Stolz)
1989, 1992 (Luginbill)
1994, 1997-1998, 2000-2001 (Tollner)
2002, 2004-2005 (Craft)
2006-2008 (Long)
2009 (Hoke)

10 point losses:

Coach 10 pt losses 10 pt losses / season
Claude Gilbert 13 1.625
Doug Scovil 21 4.2
Denny Stolz 12 4
Al Luginbill 15 3
Ted Tollner 31 3.875
Tom Craft 20 5
Chuck Long 21 7
Brady Hoke 6 3

Seasons with four or more 10 point losses:

Season 10 pt losses Coach
1980 7 Claude Gilbert
1982 4 Doug Scovil
1983 6 Doug Scovil
1985 5 Doug Scovil
1987 4 Denny Stolz
1988 6 Denny Stolz
1997 5 Ted Tollner
1998 4 Ted Tollner
2000 6 Ted Tollner
2001 7 Ted Tollner
2002 6 Tom Craft
2003 4 Tom Craft
2004 5 Tom Craft
2005 5 Tom Craft
2006 7 Chuck Long
2007 7 Chuck Long
2008 7 Chuck Long
2009 6 Brady Hoke
01/18/2011 - 1:03pm San Diego State chart by year

San Diego State chart by year through 2010 (Brady Hoke started in 2009)

San Diego State chart by coach

01/17/2011 - 12:28pm Stanford chart by year

Stanford chart by year (Jim Harbaugh started in 2007)

Stanford chart by coach (includes 2 stints by Bill Walsh 77-78, 92-94)

01/17/2011 - 11:33am Ball State chart by year

Ball State chart by year through 2008 (Brady Hoke started in 2003)

Ball State chart by coach

01/14/2011 - 11:05am Fair criticism, human nature

That's a fair criticism, particularly with respect to anyone who was actively trying to undermine RR. On the flip side, I do believe it's human nature to actively support people that you have a personal connection with, especially in light of the apparent need to show support and solidarity given the fractures in the fan base and the loss of the "Great Unifying Coaching Candidate" (hereinafter referred to as GUCC) to the 49ers.

Not everyone showing active support for BH now was previously actively undermining RR. And it is human nature for some people to be silent and sit on the sidelines for someone they don't really know personally.

There are some who may be guilty of doing bad things to get what they want in terms of this coaching change. But there are also some who are genuinely happy, with "good" motivations and "right" reasons, that BH is the coach at Michigan.

01/14/2011 - 9:14am PR for Rodriguez v. Hoke

I've seen several posts now pointing to the different treatment of Rodriguez v. Hoke by the press and also in terms of the PR effort put forth by the Michigan athletic department. I also saw earlier the article that Section 1 cites now.

I understand that there's an element of "not one of us" v. "one of us" going on here in terms of the different treatment. But I also wonder if part of the difference, particularly in terms of the PR effort by the Michigan athletic department, is precisely due to what happened to Rodriguez.

Even DB has stated the need for unity this time in contrast with what has happened in the past, so it makes sense to me that the athletic department would be putting significantly more effort into shaping media and fan perceptions this time around. If anything, that's an indictment of BM and his failure to recognize the need for an aggressive PR campaign on behalf of Rodriguez, given his lack of historical, institutional ties.

01/10/2011 - 9:56am December survey is different

Just wanted to say - be careful comparing these results to the December survey. It's two different populations (December survey was randomly-selected voters, self-identified Michigan fans v. self-selected MGoBlog users now). You may not be seeing shifts in opinion as much as you are differences in populations.

Edit: And not to be negative, great post! Thanks for doing this.

01/09/2011 - 10:54am private or public sector?

@OP: Do you work in the private or the public sector? We shouldn't underestimate the political influences at play in the public sector (which is essentially every D-1 athletic dept with alums, boosters, presidents, etc., even if the college itself is private).

It's entirely possible that there were political forces in play that required RR's termination even without a replacement on board.

I would also point to other football coaching changes, and suggest that your principle is the exception rather than the rule.

01/07/2011 - 9:58pm Sounds like Miami, Oakland,

Sounds like Miami, Oakland, and Denver provided all the leverage needed. Schefter suggested Harbaugh turned down Miami's offer because it wasn't all about the money.

01/07/2011 - 9:52pm Impressive to Stanford...

Impressive to Stanford...

01/06/2011 - 12:45pm Interesting contrast between

Interesting contrast between Singletary and Harbaugh by Mike Lombardi, former candidate for 49ers GM position:

01/06/2011 - 12:17pm I think there's some truth to

I think there's some truth to both perspectives. Yes, donations have continued to increase. But yes, it's possible that major donors were threatening to withhold future donations.

At the same time, yes, just having lots of money doesn't make you a better person. But yes, making a lot of money suggests an ability to be successful in some sense. How do we feel about Stephen Ross going after JH for the Miami Dolphins?