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Date Title Body
06/10/2010 - 1:31pm Right?

I love how the USC sanctions meltdown is directing attention away from the manufactured scandals of DFP et. al.

06/10/2010 - 1:28pm Shifting winds

Perhaps Mr. Birkett can see the wind is shifting direction and he wants to re-establish his credibility by attacking the Admissions Office instead of the team directly.

06/10/2010 - 12:30pm As long as we're Crusading...

...then I say ride on.  Salvation awaits.

I love how MGoBlog is becoming more credible than some "mainstream" media out there, such as DFP, and, I don't know, talk radio.

06/10/2010 - 12:17pm Poll details

Notes on the poll:

  • The poll respondents are 40% conservative, 41% moderate, and 19% liberal.  Despite this, they preferred Barack Obama to John McCain, 48-46 (with 6% ''Someone Else/Don't Remember").
  • The poll respondents are 83%(!!) "White", 14% "African American", and 3% "Other".
  • People aged 46 to 65 were the biggest bloc surveyed with 42%.  30 to 45 was the next biggest demographic with 26%.  People aged 18-29 (who I'm assuming makes up a pretty big chunk of this blog's base) were a measly 8%.
  • Conclusion:  Since the demographics of the telephone poll were so skewed, we can conclude that it is not representative of the state of Michigan as a whole.  I would want to see a list of which communities they surveyed before I drew any more conclusions then that.
06/10/2010 - 12:07pm Perfect

This post is the perfect way to start my day.  Ahh...browsing through the USC roster for possible transfers...gotta love it.

06/10/2010 - 11:46am Funny

Funny you say that, because there was speculation on MGoBlog that this is exactly the course the local media would follow post-Dorseygate: Criticize the University, whether he gets in or not.  We just happen to see the more hypocritical of those two scenarios.

06/10/2010 - 9:18am Academics

B10 looking to expand its research footprint too, Oklahoma and OU are not members of the AAU.  Looking at the list of member institutions: http://www.aau.edu/about/article.aspx?id=5476

Recent additions:  Georgia Institute of Technology, 2010; Texas A&M, 2001; Stony Brook University (NY), 2001.  Not exactly what to make of that in terms of athletic expansion, but there you are.

06/10/2010 - 9:12am $ and team chemistry

I can't imagine this whole situation is good for the morale of State basketball.  To possibly lose your legendary coach to Cleveland for $6.5 mils a year has got to sting a little.

06/10/2010 - 8:18am Awesome post

"...or that somebody in Cubicle 12 in admissions wants to put a knife in his back"

Hahahahaha.  Classic.

06/09/2010 - 7:00pm Amazing

I've never been prouder to be a Michigan Wolverine than after I read that article of yours.  Thanks for putting it all up there.

06/08/2010 - 7:23pm Thoughts on the beaver

Maybe it looks at the shadows--darker/rapidly darkening shadows would suggest the tree is going to fall there--and just runs towards a brighter-lit area.  I'm sure that system's failed on occasion, though.

No idea on the one with the verbs.  I guess I would have to study the culture of the language I was trying to translate it into to get a better idea of how they express ideas without modal verbs.  National Geographic, anybody? :)

06/08/2010 - 6:18pm Legality of the situation

I'm not an expert on LOI legal precedent, but I would assume that a LOI definitely qualifies as a legal contract.  If admissions pulls the plug on this deal, the University could get sued (or be more vulnerable to lawsuits in the future).

06/08/2010 - 12:52am Life on other planets?

I figure there's probably got to be life on Mars.  Even if it didn't evolve there naturally, any space-faring microbes from Earth would have made them over on all the probes we sent there, starting with the 'Viking' spacecraft in the 70s.  Or anything that hitched a ride on the probes as they went over.

06/05/2010 - 11:00pm Ohio State Jr.

Ohio State Jr.'s got to get his nips in before we get back to our winning ways...hahaha

06/04/2010 - 12:56pm To Scythe or Not To Scythe

I like this picture just the way it is; it's mad awesome.  Maybe if you wanted to do a scythe in an MS Paint, do one of the Michigan defensive line where they all have scythes for arms and the caption 'Death Roh' or something like that.

06/04/2010 - 12:46pm Dispatch article

I don't know if any of you read the Ohio State online newsletter, but he has some pretty interesting things to say about World Cup soccer:

Editor: "I've got to say I am at my limit with soccer fans. Soccer is essentially a third-world sport. Frankly, I find the game Rambo plays in First Blood 3 - where he rides a horse in an attempt to carry a goat around a field, only to be dropped in a dirt circle - more exciting than soccer...Even in this day and age of global recession, people in the U.S. love their sports and will only support soccer if they find a way to open it up offensively. Until soccer comes around with more scoring, its fans will consist of transplanted non-Americans and soccer moms."

Racism, sexism, you name it.  That's a pretty attractive package that guy's got going for him.  And baldness too! :)

06/04/2010 - 12:51am YES

I had a debate with an OSU friend of mine recently, and he honestly thought that TP was one of the Heisman frontrunners for 2010.  I replied, "He couldn't even beat Purdue, and OSU barely beat Navy in the Shoe!"  Gotta admit it, pwnage doesn't get much better then that, IMHO.

06/03/2010 - 10:56pm Varsity Lacrosse

...would be awesome.  I'd show up to their games.

06/03/2010 - 10:45pm Carr vs. RR

I would like to see Carr vs. RR, but as part of a broader 'Coaching Legends of Michigan' series.  Find out how to weight each coach's performance as a function of quality of schedule, recruiting, and hard-to-define things like that--i.e. the mitigating factors that make it so hard to compare coaches from different eras.  Recruiting was a lot different in Yost's era than it was in Moeller's, and it's more different still in RR's.

06/03/2010 - 10:41pm Cool stuff

I don't know as much about stats as this guy does.  However, an anecdote from recent memory: Texas-Nebraska, Big 12 Championship Game 2009.  MVP:  Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska.  According to Suh's Wiki, he had 12 tackles, 7 for loss, and 4.5 sacks against Texas that day.  However, I would argue that this was not a sign that Texas had a bad offense, or that McCoy was a bad QB.  Rather, Suh was simply an unstoppable force of nature that year, and his personal stats and the defense's stats reflect that fact.

I'm not exactly sure what conclusions we can draw from this, but I believe this article lends credence to the idea that having a great offense is better than having a great defense, on average.  However, getting back to my B12 example, a great offense will, on average, get you better field position for extra-long-range field goals in emergency situations, as well as setting up your playmakers on offense for many more scoring opportunities.

I think the real effect of spread offense mania in college football has been to reduce the importance of plays run for short gains.  Sure, a quick throw for 5 out to the flat is all well and good, but statistically, an offense that is capable (at least on paper) of 20+ yards per play is in a better position to take advantage of bad secondary play, especially at the college level.  Not to mention making much greater use of the pass is easier on the running backs' bodies; they also get more chances to utilize their blocking and misdirecting abilities.

06/03/2010 - 9:57pm Suggestion for Driving Through Ohio

The state troopers go easier on you if you're in the left-most (passing) lane.  I did 80 once past a speed trap on 23 south and I didn't get pulled over because I was passing a guy going 74-ish.  Also, Michigan gear isn't that bad, but Ohio cops really hate it when you have funny or 'clever' stickers on your car.

06/03/2010 - 9:53pm This made my day

+1

06/03/2010 - 9:36pm Surprises/Dreams

1. Vindication for walk-on players, who solve the problems that have plagued Michigan football for years.  Punt returns, kickoff returns, and the dreaded safety spot.

2. Beating Ohio State.  They have the most annoying fan base in America and they didn't deserve last year's win.  If Tate doesn't throw three interceptions and fumble in the end zone we win that game.

3.  Winning record and a decent to cool bowl game.

That is all.

06/03/2010 - 8:11pm Unless

Unless the Big Ten has managed to convince the other powers-that-be in the other conferences out there that this is, in fact, a Good Thing for college football.  If all the power players in college football worked together, they could move mountains or Notre Dame (lolz) to make something like this work.

06/03/2010 - 5:02pm Awesome

As a musician, this is an awesome tool, and a great way to make music.  My suggestion would be to use more of the lower boxes to flesh out the bass side of the spectrum.

EDIT:  Try using diamond-shaped boxes if you like contrapuntal effects.

06/01/2010 - 11:12pm Amen to this article

I can't wait to see RR's Michigan Wolverines pwning a bunch of n00bs on the football field this September.  RR, if you're out there, we're all behind you.  Cleanse this abomination from our fair state and country.  We're backing you up no matter what.

06/01/2010 - 11:08pm I agree

I agree, a proper Tom Harmon jersey has to be hand-sewn.  He effing rocks.

06/01/2010 - 6:29pm um...Thanks?

I'll be sure to include this article on my resume when I'm applying there for a job.  I'll try to make my analyses briefer in the future; I gotta admit I can rarely make it a quarter of a way into one of Brian's UFRs.  But I do like his 'Heroes/Goats/What Does This Mean' etc. at the end, and I was trying to reproduce some of that writing style.  Srsly though, thanks for the feedback.

06/01/2010 - 6:25pm Dishonest analysis?

Sure.  Anyone who says that RR should be fired right here, right now doesn't know what he or she is talking about and by definition, those analyses would be less 'honest' than mine.  (I must admit the 'honest' tag was more rhetorical than anything.)  As for why I ask all this energy of you, I would reply that informed fans are the antidote for inane sportswriters pushing this personal agenda or that.  The quicker you and I can say, "This guy doesn't know what he/she is talking about," the better, because there's an awful lot of garbage writing floating around out there, and not just for sports.

06/01/2010 - 12:27am Ignorance is bliss?

I am amazed, time and again, by the level of willing ignorance that these sportswriters (and a lot of fans too) seem to show, especially as far as RR is concerned.  I'm one of those nuts (pun intended) who actually checks out OSU blogs from time to time, and a lot of their users seem to think that RR is a bad man who should be fired immediately.  Not withstanding the fact that OSU has averaged 42 secondary violations per year since 2000 as compared to Michigan's 9 self-reported violations since 2005.

If there is a cure for the offseason blues, MGoBlog is it.  Don, nice analysis.  Way to break down that article to bare bones and enlighten us as to what is likely going on in Temple coach Golden's noggin.  How much longer do you think JoePa can hold on to that job?

05/30/2010 - 11:41pm Super Mario Crossover

Ever wanted to play Super Mario Bros. with Link?  Or the guy from Contra?  This game pwns on so many levels.

http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/534416

05/30/2010 - 7:01pm If USC gets away with this,

If USC gets away with this, after the witch hunt Michigan's just been put through, I will officially lose faith in the integrity of the NCAA.

05/30/2010 - 6:59pm Evolution of position titles

I'm guessing that a 'Rusher' is equivalent to a modern-day 'Lineman'.  Would a 'Goalkeeper' be the same as, say, a safety?

I keep forgetting that the forward pass wasn't legal yet...confusing.  Nice research though.

05/30/2010 - 2:08pm Coincidence?

I think not.

05/29/2010 - 11:28pm True

Except when you lose one of them 41-14 with Troy Smith on your team.

05/29/2010 - 10:58pm Stats, stats, stats

Use the numbers, my friend.

--57-43-6 (overall UM vs OSU).  If he says that the early 1900s were a wash, say "OSU was one school that had a football team in that era, and M beat them 9 times in a row."  Incidentally, this is a good counter to the current 6-game losing streak.

--0-9 (OSU bowl record vs. SEC teams, 3 of those losses have come under JT).  Michigan, for their part, has done well vs. SEC teams in recent bowls:  2008 Outback we beat Florida, 2000 Orange we beat Alabama.

--RR was not a terrible hire, the team was simply in ruins when he came in.  For evidence of this, search for the "Decimated Defense" diaries and pick your favorite factoids from them.  Also, Sheridan and Threet vs. Tate and Dernard.  'Nuff said.

--1 for 3 in NC games under Tressel.  Two of those games were lost.  Badly.  Troy Smith was Gator Bait in 2007 fresh after beating M in The Greatest Installment of The Rivalry Ever, Inc.

05/29/2010 - 10:49pm BB

I'm personally not a fan.  'Blue Nation' is better if you must use an adjective.

05/28/2010 - 6:37pm Dispatch

Yeah, I was surprised the Dispatch would write an article as objective as this one (heavily edited source material and all).  Maybe the Wolfe family (owners of the paper) is just mad because Tressel isn't catering to their every whim with the players' records.  If so, hey, I'd be happy to watch the Dispatch and the OSU athletic department duke it out.  No one's going to look good in THAT kind of a fight.

05/28/2010 - 6:26pm 9/11

September 11th, eh?  Interesting.

05/28/2010 - 6:24pm Simple

Tressel knows how to stonewall the NCAA while interpreting FERPA in a way that 'forces' him to black out players' names, offenses, etc.  Convenient, eh?

Michigan had better catch up with those bastards soon enough.  I'm getting really tired of having to cite OSU's 0-9 record vs. SEC teams in bowl games when I debate OSU zombie-fans.  Or 57-43-6; a lot of them only start counting after 1950-ish, which just strikes me as hilarious.

Pro Tip:  If they're dissing Yost's 4 NCs from 1901-1904, simply say "OSU was one school that fielded a football team in the early years of the 20th Century, and Michigan kicked their asses nine times in a row."  Works every time.

05/28/2010 - 12:16pm ND

In all honesty, I wouldn't listen to what an ND alum has to say.  As long as that school and that team are laboring under the delusion they are the winningest program in college FB, that they will win a NC next year, without any evidence at all to back it up, it's like debating with a brick wall.  Yeah, you can debate with that wall, but it's not going anywhere, no matter how hard you bang your head against it.  Water off the back, 38-0 in 2003 and 2007, and The Catch.  That's how I remember them.

05/28/2010 - 3:22am polls? We don't need no stinking polls!

I'm agnostic on a number of Phil's Top 25 picks.  However, I am amused that the people writing comments appear to have done more research and know the teams better than he does.

05/27/2010 - 9:32pm Stats on RR, past Michigan coaches, and Tressel

I already posted this in a different discussion, but I think it applies here as well.  I did some stats on RR vs. Tressel vs. past Michigan coaches.  Let me know what you guys think.  All win-loss percentages are wins divided by total games, and all numbers are from Wikipedia or MGoBlue.

 

Jim Tressel: 2001-Present (9 seasons)
94-21
81.74%

Impressive.  But he's only coached more seasons than Gary Moeller on the Michigan Football Coaches' Hit Parade:

Fielding Yost (Mr. Point-a-Minute, four consecutive NCs from 1901 to 1904): 80.88% (25 seasons)
Fritz Crisler (Winged Helmet Guy, 1947 M team 'Best M Team Ever', beat USC 49-0 in 1948 Rose Bowl): 80.50% (9 seasons)
Bo Schembechler (University of Michigan, beat Woody Hayes' best Buckeye squad 24-12 in Ann Arbor 1969, 5-4-1 against Hayes overall, best record of college football coaches in the 1970s (96-16-3)): 78.54% (20 seasons)
Bo Schembechler (Overall, coached at Miami of Ohio under Hayes): 76.22% (37 seasons)
Gary Moeller (University of Michigan): 73.33% (4 seasons)
Lloyd Carr (University of Michigan, national champions in 1997, 5-2 against Ohio State before 2002): 75.30% (13 seasons)

What do these numbers tell us?  Well, on paper Tressel is more successful than any Michigan football coach in history--for 9 seasons.  If he can keep up this winning pace for the next 10-15 years we might be screwed, but I have a feeling Tresselball isn't going to cut it much longer in the Big Ten.  Time vil tell.

Here are RR's stats vs. Tressel:

At present, Michigan is 0-2 against Ohio State under head coach Rich Rodriguez. How do Jim Tressel's and RR's overall records stack up?

Tressel (Youngstown State, division I-AA): 69.59% (16 seasons)
Tressel (Ohio State, division I-A): 81.74% (9 seasons)

Rodriguez (Glenville State, division I-AA): 58.90% (7 seasons)
Rodriguez (West Virginia University, division I-A): 69.77% (7 seasons)
Rodriguez (Michigan, division I-A): 33.33% (2 seasons)

The division difference is key.  Rodriguez started as a head coach at programs that were already beaten up and he gave them a new direction offensively.  His winning percentage at WVU (a D-1 school) is better than Tressel's at Glenville State (a D-2 school)--but Tressel coached at YSU for 16 years.  Both coaches have equal experience coaching at the D-1 level.

Conclusions

Tressel knows how to win games, but the jury's still out on whether he's actually building a program the way RR is at Michigan or if he's relying on high-quality recruits to win games for him.  Given how badly he's been outschemed against quality opponents (1 for 3 in NC games, losing half his bowl games, losing 2 in a row to USC), I lean towards the latter.

As for RR, either the 2012 apocalypse has hit Michigan 4 years early, or his WLP at Michigan is skewed because he's only coached for two seasons.

05/27/2010 - 9:28pm Blue Jackets?

I would have said the Columbus Clippers, but the Blue Jackets apparently brought a brand-new level of suck to Columbus' non-soccer pro sports.  Can't put the Crew up there, they won the MLS pennant a few years back.

05/27/2010 - 9:20pm Team Forecast 2010

I think the key to the 2010 team will be the linebackers.  Michigan's been blessed with very good linebacker play in the past, so it CAN be done!  As long as those guys stay hungry and keep breaking down game film with the coaches, we should be able to stop most of the running games out there.  The only player out there that really scares me is Pryor.  Either Pryor can magically make defensive secondaries forget how to cover holes in a defensive line, or Michigan's linebackers need to step it up against him in the Horseshoe.  He's good at avoiding tackles too, I think that's his real secret.  As for the safeties...well...if our defensive line sans Brandon Graham is actually better at pressuring the quarterback with more weight and experience, then hopefully we won't get torched on 40-yard play-action passes.

As for the offense, a healthy David Molk will be key.  He'd better wrap his bum leg up in bubble wrap when he's sitting on the beach, because our team was so much better when he was on the field.  Forcier and Robinson both looked OK at the spring game, but given that the opponent was also Michigan, those weren't exactly 'ZOMG SHOELACE!' moments.  But Robinson definitely looked pretty good out there.  I can't wait for the day when both of those guys can play on the field at the same time.  Heck, we might even see Robinson at deep safety on some key downs...You never know...

05/27/2010 - 9:05pm Great post!

Great post, great writing.  Well done MCalibur, I've read a lot of your postings and you seem pretty on top of things.

I've been thinking about the cultural abyss (i.e. "We are Notre Dame" video) that ND is currently plunging into.  They've put all their chips on Brian Kelly being a success, and a few more losing seasons might do them in.  I would be interested to hear your take on the 'Storied History' of Notre Dame and how it's led them up to a Nietzsche-like abyss.

Here's my take.  I analyzed Notre Dame - Army 1946, hailed at the time as 'The Game of the Century'.  Both teams are running variations of the 'Notre Dame Box' (2 TEs and 4 backs in the backfield), the game ends in a scoreless tie, and both teams' quarterbacks only complete a quarter of their attempted passes. 

I think that Notre Dame has done a superb job of marketing their school and their program over the 20th Century.  Playing military academies probably helped them recruit a lot with military families and the like.  But in the hyper-competitive environment of today, simply relying on top-10 recruiting classes and 'decided schematic advantage' simply isn't winning enough games for them anymore.  And they can't seem to pull themselves out of the death spiral, unless Kelly is one heck of a miracle worker, what with that bad offensive line and the dreaded frosh quarterback syndrome.

Thoughts?

05/27/2010 - 8:34pm Stats on RR, past Michigan coaches, and Tressel

Just for fun, I did some stats on RR vs. Tressel vs. past Michigan coaches.  Let me know what you guys think.  All win-loss percentages are wins divided by total games, and all numbers are from Wikipedia or MGoBlue.

 

Jim Tressel: 2001-Present (9 seasons)
94-21
81.74%

Impressive.  But he's only coached more seasons than Gary Moeller on the Michigan Football Coaches' Hit Parade:

Fielding Yost (Mr. Point-a-Minute, four consecutive NCs from 1901 to 1904): 80.88% (25 seasons)
Fritz Crisler (Winged Helmet Guy, 1947 M team 'Best M Team Ever', beat USC 49-0 in 1948 Rose Bowl): 80.50% (9 seasons)
Bo Schembechler (University of Michigan, beat Woody Hayes' best Buckeye squad 24-12 in Ann Arbor 1969, 5-4-1 against Hayes overall, best record of college football coaches in the 1970s (96-16-3)): 78.54% (20 seasons)
Bo Schembechler (Overall, coached at Miami of Ohio under Hayes): 76.22% (37 seasons)
Gary Moeller (University of Michigan): 73.33% (4 seasons)
Lloyd Carr (University of Michigan, national champions in 1997, 5-2 against Ohio State before 2002): 75.30% (13 seasons)

What do these numbers tell us?  Well, on paper Tressel is more successful than any Michigan football coach in history--for 9 seasons.  If he can keep up this winning pace for the next 10-15 years we might be screwed, but I have a feeling Tresselball isn't going to cut it much longer in the Big Ten.  Time vil tell.

Here are RR's stats vs. Tressel:

At present, Michigan is 0-2 against Ohio State under head coach Rich Rodriguez. How do Jim Tressel's and RR's overall records stack up?

Tressel (Youngstown State, division I-AA): 69.59% (16 seasons)
Tressel (Ohio State, division I-A): 81.74% (9 seasons)

Rodriguez (Glenville State, division I-AA): 58.90% (7 seasons)
Rodriguez (West Virginia University, division I-A): 69.77% (7 seasons)
Rodriguez (Michigan, division I-A): 33.33% (2 seasons)

The division difference is key.  Rodriguez started as a head coach at programs that were already beaten up and he gave them a new direction offensively.  His winning percentage at WVU (a D-1 school) is better than Tressel's at Glenville State (a D-2 school)--but Tressel coached at YSU for 16 years.  Both coaches have equal experience coaching at the D-1 level.

Conclusions

Tressel knows how to win games, but the jury's still out on whether he's actually building a program the way RR is at Michigan or if he's relying on high-quality recruits to win games for him.  Given how badly he's been outschemed against quality opponents (1 for 3 in NC games, losing half his bowl games, losing 2 in a row to USC), I lean towards the latter.

As for RR, either the 2012 apocalypse has hit Michigan 4 years early, or his WLP at Michigan is skewed because he's only coached for two seasons.

05/27/2010 - 8:17pm Bravo Tater

Bravo Tater, for that insightful analysis of the Carr years.  Couldn't have said it better myself.

My cure for all the haters is:  If you can bury them with evidence, on the spot, with evidence that proves them wrong, then you can shut them up while they're around you.  It won't cure the hate plague but people will be quiet and it gives you time to think.

To accomplish this:

a) Watch plenty of highlight films, from Michigan, from OSU, from MSU, and from anyone else we've been having trouble with lately, in any sport.  Even if M loses.  Those are the best highlight reels to watch.

b) Take notes in a notebook.  Put pen to paper and WRITE DOWN YOUR THOUGHTS.  This helps a lot.  I can't count how many times I've noticed, "Hey, this is the exact same pass play they ran vs. ND the previous year."  Incidentally, if you keep the notebook handy, you can whip it out and say something like, "You are Wrong Because..."  Best cure for unreasoned, where-are-the-10-win-seasons foolishness.

c) If you have a blog, post your analyses to it.  Or post to MGoBlog, or your Facebook account.  Post to friends' pages who support other teams.  Gets them riled up and in a debating mood, and then they check your analyses for you and find the holes.  A virtuous cycle!

d) We have the evidence, and we must stand up and be heard.  Wolverine Nation needs us now more than ever, and the battle for the hearts and minds of the sports-loving public is going on in gyms, in coffee shops, and online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

05/27/2010 - 7:43pm TP analysis

Brian,

Thanks for posting the link to the Terrele Pryor analysis.  I've done some analysis of his play on my own and I'm glad to see Hold the Rope and I are more or less on the same page.  In my opinion, he is a gifted athlete, but he is not God by any stretch of the imagination.  If defensive backs could a) cover his throws to the flat and b) STOP THE EFFING BOOTLEG RUN AROUND THE LINE, his stats would look a whole lot worse.

05/26/2010 - 2:21pm Judgement Day is coming

Judgement Day is coming for USC.  They've been skirting the rules for years and now the chickens are coming home to roost.