Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Trips to MSU

Here are my memories of the games I've attended at MSU.

1985 UM @ MSU - I remember having Todd Heger drive me out to my Aunt and Uncle's house to pick up my field pass for the game. Then we walked around campus and Heger got MiPed by East Lansing's finest. I don't remember much of the game. David Arnold blocked a punt and the M defense dominated throughout.

1987 UM @ MSU - D Brown and the 7 interceptions. I sat on the field again, this time with my cousin Chris, his brother-in-law Kent got to move the orange triangle first down thingy. Lorenzo White scored on a sweep in our end zone. M had so many chances to win the game, but kept throwing them away, literally. I remember the MSU band walking out in formation, not allowed to celebrate etc. that seemed awfully silly to me.

1987 Indiana @ MSU - This was essentially the Big Ten championship game. If you recall I said before the season, "Michigan State will never play in the Rose Bowl again..." Oops. This is the last game I got field passes form my Uncle Lefty. I remember slapping Andre Rison on the shoulder pad after he scored a TD.

1989 UM @ MSU - "The tougher team won!" The crazy goal line stand finish with Tripp Welborne finishing off the last effort. There was some weird clock goings on at the end as well. MSU players be ruled in bounds because their forward momentum was stopped on an immediate hit out of bounds by the defense. Barry Dehlin got me tickets, my parents came down as well.

1991 UM @ MSU - We went up without tickets, I remember asking M athletic director, Jack Widenbach, if he had any extras. We eventually scored some tix in the end zone. Desmond Howard made a TD catch similar to the ND diving catch. I think he had two TDs that day.

2003 UM @ MSU - I took quite a break between trips to EL. I purchased an MSU mini season ticket package (M + 3 games) to get tickets to this game. We were in the front row in the end zone. M had this game in hand until Carr called for Navarre to play-action pass rather than run. Somehow the Spartan D scored a TD. This is the Chris Perry 51 carry game.

2005 UM @ MSU - MSU was so ready to drop the 2-2 unranked Wolverines. Tickets from E-Bay. Mike Hart made a couple big runs, although I think he was caught from behind. This one ends up in OT after Rivas misses a chip shot at the end of regulation. Then MSU's kicker misses in OT giving Rivas a 2nd chance - he makes it this time.

2007 UM @ MSU - Barry was sitting with the MSU president so he gave us his tix. M seemed to be in control. The the MSU ground game took over. Henne went out for a play, Mallett fumbled, somehow Hart picked it up and ran for the first down to keep the drive alive. Henne connects on 2 late TD passes to steal the victory. These were the last decent passes I saw him throw. His shoulder was never the healthy until the Bowl game.

My Pick

I was thinking all week of my prediction, but I was always thinking my score was too low. I was actually hoping to see the vegas over/under to see if they were thinking the same ballpark, but my sources for Vegas lines didn't have over/under. But, after seeing your score, i realize we are thinking the same way. So, here goes:

M 30, MSU 27

As I think every game, the key is putting the pressure on the MSU QBs. If M had put a little more pressure last week, they would have thrown the ball away many more times than they did. And they did a lot, considering how far away from being sacked they actually were. That could be a repeat against MSU. The DBs need help, and they are not going to get it in their own ranks.

On offense, the key for every game is running the offense. Like against ND, they need to be able to run the read option where the RB gets the ball and gets 4 yards, where the QB keeps it and gets a positive gain. Also, throw the bubble screen (and block) and get a 6 yards. Throw after a scramble and get a completion and throw downfield every once in awhile and get a big gain or two. Nothing fancy, just run a variety of plays, like against ND. If there is good execution on a wide variety of plays, even Robinson could lead the team to a win.

I liked Mgobrian's suggestion of how to get the D off the field sooner (apparently he thinks that is a problem). He says they should blitz more. One of two things will happen: 1) Defensive success and the opponent having to punt, or 2) Big play by the offense and a score. Either way, the D gets off the field sooner. The bend but don't break D, in his opinion, is a bad way to play with a D without much depth. I don't agree fully with the suggestion, but the idea is interesting. Taking a few more chances, when you know the odds are pretty good it could result in something really bad, could be the answer for this D. Of course, that's just the "we let Indiana gain how many yards?" me saying that. The D is probably not as bad as I feel it is. Please.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

MSU pick based on historical data

M is 158-39-1 in all games I have attended (all data is based on games I have attended unless specifically mentioned)
M is 26-11 in games played away from Michigan Stadium
M is 6-1 at Spartan Stadium
M is 15-3 against MSU (MSU is 4-15 in games I've attended - I saw them beat Indiana in 1987)
M is 49-5 against teams I've seen not play Michigan
M is 111-27-1 against conference opponents
M is 23-3 against schools from Michigan
M is 38-10 against state name State Universities (8 states total)
M is 1-0 when ranked 22
M is 10-2 when ranked 20-25
M is 110-18-1 vs unranked opponents
M is 6-6 in games with RR as the head coach
M is 158-38-1 vs. FBS teams

It is simple when you add it all up:

M 27 MSU 24

Monday, September 28, 2009

ESPN Bowl Predictions vol 5

ESPN updated their bowl predictions again.

Michigan falls back to only Outback. Against either Georgia or LSU.
3Capital OneOutback

Here is the predicted finish - Schlabach has OSU in a BCS game as well as Iowa...


Lots of change with Iowa suddenly reappearing on Feldman's board. I also updated the bowl placement by putting the Alamo Bowl above the Insight Bowl - I think that is right.

The rankings would give M only 2-3 losses. That seems like a stretch. I think the weaknesses shown by the defense make 4-5 losses much more likely.

Florida and Texas remains the championship game match-up.

M fans and MSU fans on WDFN

Since I couldn't stand listening to Sam Webb during MSU week. I flipped over to WDFN and got to hear Sean Baligian take calls from M and MSU fans. It was very different. Obviously it is early in the week, but both sides were predicting losses for "their" team. Strange to hear people call in to point out the flaws in their team rather than the usual M women are ugly and MSU grads work at McDonalds...

M fans - no defense, Forcier's status, first road game...
MSU fans - poor decisions, poor defense, will find a way to lose...

The only MSU action I've seen this year was the first half against Montana State and much of the ND game. Hopefully the Montana State game doesn't apply. Against ND, I didn't think MSU looked bad. They seem to have a better offense than last year. Other than the last horrible decision (similar to what we've seen Forcier make with more frequency lately) the QBs seem to be a big improvement over Hoyer.

I'm not ready to make my prediction, but I can't imagine M could keep MSU from scoring similar points to ND and Indiana.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I know we don't play Iowa for another week, but their win over PSU got me wondering how good they really are. I know they are 4-0. There are still a lot of those teams left. But what is amazing is that every team Iowa has beaten is currently 3-1. Without looking, I'm sure no other team in the country can claim that.

I still have no idea how good they are. I'll assume the answer is 'better than Michigan'.

Why the defense played so poorly against Indiana...


That’s partly, defensive coordinator Greg Robinson said, because Indiana’s offense showed new looks.

“They came out with a lot of things we hadn’t seen, and we had to get a feel for things,” Robinson said.

I'm pretty sure I saw similar comment last week. Are they really surprised teams will try something new against them? If that is truly why, then this could be a long Big T1E1N season.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

M vs IU 30 years ago

Today's match-up with the Hoosiers has caused a lot of blogs, articles etc to be written about the AC game 30 years ago. I was lucky enough to be at the game.
Here are some of what I remember about the day:
We used to go to the Go Blue brunch before the homecoming game. Michigan "royalty would speak, Millie Schembechler; Wally Webber, Bob Ufer etc. Since this was the celebration of 100 years of M football - they invited all the living All-America players to attend and they sat on the stage. I got all their autographs - I have no idea where that is.
My dad always got tickets through the Pharmacy school and they were almost always in row A in the the end zone - somehow my sisters got "better" tickets for some of us for this game so only Mom & Dad were in row A of the south end zone behind the goal post. I was in the student section (If people weren't sleeping in my basement, I'd go look for the ticket stub) maybe near the 15-20 yard line row 60 or so.
As far as actual plays, I only remember a few and they all come from the last few minutes. With M up 21-14 and only a minute or so to go the M cheerleaders (the real ones, the guys in the maize sweaters) and maybe their fellow alums were doing a hand walk chain in the north end zone when IU's QB (Tim Clifford?) connects on a long TD pass forcing the cheerleaders to scramble out of the way. Corso elects to kick the PAT and settle for the tie.
I remember Michigan's final 3 snaps. Lawrence P Reid catches a short pass in the flat with ~8-10 seconds left has no chance to get out of bounds so he pitches it out-of-bounds underhand as he's being tackled. Coincidentally, it ends up right in the hands of Lee Corso. Corso is fuming - this should be a penalty or at worst the refs should wind the clock.
There's only 6 seconds left, IU is offside, no play move the ball to the 45 yard line.
Last play - Wangler - play action - hits AC at about the 20 - he splits the safeties and goes into the end zone. 95 teammates jump on him 5 feet in front of my parents. I guess they had the Better Seats!
I don't know how many last seconds TDs there have been in college football since, I have seen several but I really compare this to the Stanford-Cal kick off return play in that it wasn't a heave to the end zone toss up a la Kordell Stewart; a player had to make a play to score here. I don't know if Bo was hoping to try and run a FG team on if he got tackled, or if AC was even the #1 option. I don't trust comments that make it sound like he obviously was because he was a freshman and he caught less than 20 passes all year, Ralph Clayton was the leading receiver.
I do know that M football was never the same after that.

prediction, Indiana

M 37 IU 15

Friday, September 25, 2009


With 55 reporting, M is currently #31. If there were a 32 team playoff, M would go to Florida in the first round.

Wisconsin is #34, giving M an 8-4 record.

Iowa is #11, PSU #12, OSU #16. Interesting.

Big 10 is 6th in conferences. I'm not surprised.

Average of teams we've played so far #82. Indiana is #65 (lowest ranked 3-0 team)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Indiana pick based on historical data

M is 157-39-1 in all games I have attended (all data is based on games I have attended unless specifically mentioned)
M is 131-28-1 in games played at Michigan Stadium
M is 19-5 in the 4th game I have attended in a season
M is 11-0 against Indiana (Indiana is 0-12 in games I've attended - I saw them lose to MSU in 1987)
M is 5-2 when facing a team for the 12th time
M is 48-5 against teams I've seen not play Michigan
M is 110-27-1 against conference opponents
M is 31-2 in the first conference game I've attended in a season
M is 28-6 against schools from Indiana
M is 59-13-1 against Univ of State name or State Name Univ (14 states total)

It is simple when you add it all up:

M 52 IU 17


I think any almost argument based on Time of Possession is weak, but after three games it is very weak. Here are the numbers through the first 3 games.

Notre Dame28:3531:25

After the first 2 games M was probably above average in ToP. They had "outposessed" the opposition. The kickoff return for a TD played some role in ND game ToP, but so did M's inability to stop the Irish in the 2nd and 4th quarters.
ToP in the EMU was and then wasn't important. The M defense really did not stop EMU much in the first half. That played as much a role in the 2:1 ratio as M's quick scores.
There is limited data but I would say the ToP is more likely the result not the cause of poor defensive play.

Someone on MGoBlog created a new stat to rival ToP - not sure I understand it but here's the link.

The biggest trend I find in M's statistics is their final scores - 31 - 38 - 45. If this keeps up they'll score 108 against the Buckeyes.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Time of Possession

M is currently 101st (out of 120) in TOP. I have heard RR and Sam Webb make this as part of the excuse of why the D is doing poorly. Though, there may be something to that, you have to expect this is going to happen all year. And the D needs to be able to hang out there much longer. It is funny that the D isn't used to it yet, as M led the conference in 3s and out last year.

I just think the D has weaknesses, ultimately, and if they don't correct them will be responsible for M's 5 or 6 losses. Or 4.

ESPN Bowl predictions vol 4

There is another update from the ESPN bowl prediction duo.

3Capital OneOutback

M moves up in Schlabach list due to OSU becoming the second BigTen team in a BCS bowl. I like M's chances better against Ole Miss in the CapOne more than against LSU in the Outback...

1Penn St0Penn St0

Big changes for Schlabach, Indiana appears while Illinois and MSU drop to 9th or lower. While he has these changes, Feldman keeps the conference bowl picks identical to his previous picks. Big differences in their opinions on Iowa, MSU, Indiana...

Outside of the BigTen, both "experts" have dropped USC out of a BCS bowl. That seems like a stretch to me. Maybe SC is different this year, but until they lose a second game they shouldn't, I'd pencil them into the Rose Bowl at least.

Both continue to have a Texas v. Florida match-up in the BCS championship game.

As more teams get into conference schedule over the next few weeks there should be more shake up.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lions live blog

Trying a Lions live blog

Saturday, September 19, 2009

M Passing yards in games I've attended

Since M ended with only 68 yards passing in their victory over EMU, I wondered if that was the fewest passing yards I've seen them have. As you can see in the table below of all the 100 yards or less games, it was actually the 4th lowest total.

GameDateAttcomppctQB RateydsTDintlg
at Iowa19-Oct-8513861.5%122.5551015Loss
Notre Dame14-Sep-8517741.2%77.7740017Win
At Notre Dame10-Sep-8811872.7%129.2740019Loss
At MSU14-Oct-8915853.3%82.6760117Win
Notre Dame15-Sep-0715746.7%163.1903026Win
Wake Forest24-Sep-8811654.5%124.0910031Win

I vaguely remember the 1-5 day Michael Taylor had in 1987. I think it followed the 7 interceptions D. Brown threw at MSU. M is 11-6 in the 17 games. The list includes my Fist Michigan game (note Leach still had 2 TDs), the #1 vs. #2 match-up in Iowa City, Bo's last regular season game, the comeback last year against Wisconsin and the horrible weather game with Northwestern that ended the home season last year.


Though he has only played one game, and it was against a I-AA opponent, Ryan Mallett leads the nation in passing efficiency.

Friday, September 18, 2009

radio, cfrc, and the D

You were right on about Jeff DeFran - he seems like he has no idea things have changed since 2005 none-the-less 1987. It might be time to recreate the SE MI radio bracket on Bracketsmackdown.

Either the CFRC has been updated since you posted or I'm missing something - because my view shows the BigTen 3rd above the ACC - although they have the same mean of 46.57.

I'm willing to buy into the M won't face better receivers - but that doesn't excuse the DL/LBs being handled easily by the ND OLine. These next two weeks will hopefully allow some depth to be created. I think Cissoko needs to be the short side corner, let Warren cover the field side.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Defense, or lack thereof

I read MGoblog's defensive UFR. It is basically what I was afraid of. DL needs to put on some pressure, the D can't stop the run and he thinks Cissoko is as bad as he looked. I'm thinking every one of those things will not be as bad all season, but I'm sure there will be moments. Painful moments.


With 46 reporting, M is #37. 9-3. Wisconsin is at #44, MSU at #53. That really does show that M will have some tough games on the road. They could be the 3rd best team in the conference and still lose 5-6 games.

EMU is #114 out of 120

Big Ten is behind ACC. oof. I'll accept being worse than the Pac 10, SEC and Big 12. that is a given (aside-Shep/Sharp had the topic of Big Ten being overrated on their show yesterday), but being worse than the ACC is embarrasing. At least The B10 is much closer to the ACC than to the Big East below.

Punch and Sharpy

It is simple. You admit he punched the guy. You suspend him for 1/2 game or a game. And you move on. It will likely never be mentioned again.

You don't do anything, and it will hound you (and Mouton) for weeks (or longer).

As far as all of the morning TKA guys, they are all homers in an unreasonable way. They are exhausting to listen to.

Speaking of radio, in general, when listening to Shep and Sharp, I feel like I've moved back in time. Their show seems to be behind the times. It feels so much more forced like sports talk of a decade ago. The current 97.1 guys (whether you like them or not) are so much more comfortable. I would contribute this to the time off from the radio for both Shep and Sharp, but I think DeFran is like that and he has been on the air forever. Their topics are stale, their comments are old, their delivery is like they are radio people. If it weren't for the manly/frat boy personalities of Foster and Valenti, their show would be 100 times better than Sharp/Shep.

Ira Weintraub is a horrible homer

I never really thought much of Andy Evans on WTKA, but his replacement, Ira Weintraub, is awful. He's on right now with BrianGoBlog talking about Mouton's punch. He's salivating as they're reviewing ND players who have done things and not been suspended in the past.

Regarding Mouton: It looks like a punch to me - I think he needs some type of punishment - and if you can't suspend someone for all/part of the EMU game, when can you?

It does not look good with everything else that has happened. The wins were putting the "scandals" in the background, this is an opportunity to shine. I know LC didn't suspend Mathews after he kicked the Oregon player. I know Butler was punished after his punch @ ND last year. If for nothing other than public relations - Mouton needs to get some sort of punishment. Even handling by saying "it is an internal matter..." is much better than "I didn't see any punch"

Ira and Sam Webb were arguing that since the coaches watch their own film, RR may not have seen the punch. Fine, but he has to know about it now. time to act.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

EMU pick based on historical data

M is 156-39-1 in all games I have attended (all data is based on games I have attended unless specifically mentioned)
M is 130-28-1 in games played at Michigan Stadium
M is 23-1 in the third game I have attended in a season
M is 2-0 against EMU (EMU is 1-2 in games I've attended - I saw them beat UNLV in 1995)
M is 21-4 against teams with bird nicknames
M is 6-1 against teams coached by former M assistants
M is 47-5 against teams I've seen not play Michigan
M is 20-3 against schools with directional names
M is 1-0 against coaches with a last name the is a nationality of a person from one of the UK "countries"
M is 4-2 against teams coached by Rons
M is 14-4-1 against teams in which the school name and the nickname begin with the same letter

It is simple when you add it all up:

M 47 EMU 13

Band response

I thought the same thing about the all brass band. The band as it is made up is very much of the Sousa march style band, including the piccolos . Can you imagine Stars and Stripes forever without those little things? I don't really know what the purpose of the saxophones are, though (and I was one).

As far as the loudness of the band, I don't know if it is true, but in all the different places I've sat during games and all the different places the band has been, I have never had nearly the trouble hearing them than I do now. Of course, I'm now deaf in one ear. I don't know if that matters, but I noticed last year or the year before that I don't even notice there is a band sometimes.

During halftime, though, I also can't hear the band. That could be them just not facing our side (they never do anymore). But it seems like we should still be able to hear them. The other problem might be that I don't know the songs anyhow so I can't attach myself to the melodies. I don't understand these kids and their pre-programmed disco.

piped in music - again

So I'm still not a fan of the piped in music - although I thought the choices were mostly better this week. I've read the boards that places the "blame" for this fully on the band for not playing loudly enough.
When you were in the band you had music sheets at your seats correct - so you could play more songs than those you had just learned that week - right? I don;t remember ever having a problem hearing the band as a student - but some of the boards have people awfully close to the band saying they can't ever hear the band.
I've also read people suggesting MMB goes to all brass - you CANNOT play the victors without the piccolos. How would a trumpet play that part?

Saturday vs. EMU

Where are you going to watch the game Saturday? You should do a live blog during the game.

Monday, September 14, 2009

ESPN Bowl predictions vol 3

Here is this weeks update on bowl predictions from ESPN.

M has moved up again this week both have predicted the Outback Bowl (vs. Georgia or LSU)


Here are the overall Big1T1en rankings based on their bowl predictions.

1Penn St0Penn St0

I think OSU and PSU would have to go on some losing streaks for M to move up to 1 or 2. I'm not convinced a 6-0 M would still be thought of more highly than a 5-1 OSU (not sure when they play PSU but I assume it is later)

I'm not sure why Iowa dropped in Schlabach's picks - probably a delay from their week onw squeaker - but it seems like they should have moved above MSU. Again this week only one team makes the BCS. This week they have both have 2 SEC schools (Florida + Bama or Ole Miss). Schlabach has 2 Pac10 school (USC and Cal) while Feldman has both BYU and Boise State getting bids.


With 33 rankings, M is #39. (ND is #38.) M will finish 9-3 (closest road opponents below are Wisconsin is #43, MSU #52) (closest home opponents above OSU #11, PSU #9)

A response to your response, and other stuff

Based on the AP Poll, M will finish 10-2

I agree about the rushing D. We expected ND to pass with somewhat ease, but the pressure on Clausen and the run D was not as we need it to be. There was a lot of talk after the game about how large their OL was. I'm hoping every large OL doesn't give us these problems. We are in the Big t1e1n, after all. Agree with what you said about Weiss

You said "Recruitniks might think yesterday's game would point to Gardiner going somewhere else. If Tate plays like he did yesterday, I'll take my chances." I'm assuming you are saying M should take their chance at losing Gardner, not that Gardner should take his chance at M because he is likely to be the starter over Forcier.

As far as the general comment that Gardner is great, I'm sure he is good enough. I watched some video of him and he looked athletic. Not extremely fast, not a great passer. I do like the idea of having more than one starting capable QB on the team. We only have one right now, though I think D-Rob is probably pretty close. Last year we had zero.

I also liked that quote about the official's comments to Mathews.

Should we try to tour the premium seats?

I don't really care if Mike Kenn is underrated (though I agree Skrep is overrated), he still makes comments I think are stupid.

OSU played a pretty good game. I can't help but wonder why Pryor isn't asked to use his feet more. That was a fun game to watch. I didn't get to watch all that much because I was still in AA about 45 minutes after I left your house. Darn construction.

The Purdue-Oregon game was fun, too. PU couldn't get the 2 point conversion to tie it. They should have asked CMU's kicker to come out for the onside.

When watching the replay of the end of ND game, the play prior to the TD was really an amazing play by Forcier. His scrambling was beautiful. With all of his highlights he had, if the TD would have been successful there, he would have had that play on the air hundreds of times all weekend (and forever in history). Instead, there is just a boring play that will go into history.

On your list of last second games, what is your definition of last second games. And did you include missed FGs at the end (have you seen any of those?)?

I still don't know who is better, ND or M. Some people are very convinced M is, but I'm still not sure.

I was watching the game on ESPN360 and on that TD that was reviewed and called back because the ND receiver went out of bounds, I am not convinced it was a good call. The one angle looks somewhat clear he was not out. The other angle was not as clear. I don't know what technology they have to see it and overturn it, but from what was on the TV, it wasn't all that clear. I like Big T1e1n officials.

They are saying that the USC band played the Victors after the OSU game. Somebody said they could hear it on ESPN during the postgame. I don't really believe it. I will need proof.

M back in white pants?

From the Uniwatch Blog today (it's about 80% down the post):

According to a post on the Chris Creamer board, there are rumors a-flyin’ about Michigan possibly wearing white pants on October 10th at Iowa.

I loved the thin blue/maize/blue striping from the mid 70s. Although I admit I liked it better on the sleeves. I think the maize pants are better.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

M games won and lost in the closing seconds

Following M's last seconds win yesterday, I wanted to summarize all the last seconds games I've attended.

SeasonResultCommentM Stad EZ
1979 vs IndianaM 27 Indiana 21AC scores 45 yard pass as time expiresS
1983 vs IowaM 16 Iowa 13Bob Bergeron hits ~45 yard FGN
1985 @ IowaIowa 12 M 10Rob Houghtlin's last second field goal drops #2 M
1986 vs. IowaM 20 Iowa 17Mike Gillette returns the favorN
1986 vs MinnesotaMinn 20 M 17Long Ricky Foggy scramble leads to last sec FGS
1988 @ Notre DameND 19 M 17Reggie Ho makes Gillette misses as time expires
1988 vs. Miami (FL)Miami 31 M 30Miami TD after onside kickN
1990 vs MSUMSU 28 M 27Desmond drops 2 point conversionN
1992 vs IllinoisM 22 Ill 22Elozevic makes FG in closing secs to preserve tieN
1993 vs IllinoisIll 24 M 21Powers fumble leads to Johnson TD passS
1994 vs ColoradoColorado 27 M 26Knock it down!!!!S
1995 vs VirginiaM 18 UVa 17Hayes from Dreisbach as time expiresN
1999 vs AlabamaM 35 Bama 34Bama misses PAT in OT at Orange Bowl
2000 @ PurduePurdue 32 M 31FG with 0:04 left
2000 @ NorthwesternNorthwestern 54 M 51snap fails on Epstein's 57 yard attempt
2002 vs WashingtonM 31 UW 29Brabbs 44 yards FG as time expiresN
2002 vs Penn StateM 27 PSU 24Perry's TD beats PSUs FG in OTS
2004 vs MSUM 45 MSU 37Braylon Edwards in 3OTN
2005 vs TexasTexas 38 M 37Dusty Mangum 37 yard FG spoils Rose Bowl
2005 @ MSUM 34 MSU 31Rivas 37 yd FG follows MSU miss in OT
2005 vs MinnesotaMinn 23 M 20Gopher FG @ 0:01 spoils homecomingN
2005 vs Penn StateM 27 PSU 25Manningham as time expiresS
2005 vs OSUOSU 25 M 21Buckeye TD run @ ~ 0:20N
2007 vs. App StASU 34 M 32Blocked FG as time expiresN
2008 vs WisconsinM 27 Wisc 25Badgers fail on 2pt conversionN
2008 vs ToledoToledo 13 M 10Lopata misses tying FGS
2008 @ PurduePurdue 48 M 42Boilers score late
2009 vs NDM 38 ND 34Mathews TD @ 0:11S

M is 12-15-1 in those games.

about jIM's long post

As you said, I think it shows M has likely has the potential to be in every game. Checking back on my July prediction I had M 1-1 at this point and still predicted 7 regular season wins.
The most disconcerting part of the game yesterday for me would be the near domination by the ND OLine. M did occasionally get some pressure, but ND was able to run with relative ease. I wouldn't have considered ND a great rushing team, but this could point to problems M might have going forward, especially with straight ahead running teams like MSU, Iowa, PSU and OSU...

That inability to consistently stop the run is why I would disagree with Weis the most. ND had great success rushing. Their back averaged nearly 7 yards a carry. So he was stopped on first down, he had just gotten 11 yards the carry before. Of course I also predicted M wouldn't get the ball back after that punt (probably because I expected them to run for first downs). And I also thought Minor was underutilized by M.

Another thing to consider on the Tate future is how much everyone thinks Devin Gardiner is better. Movalson was out at the elite 11 camp and he was very impressed. I don't know what this means for next season or beyond. Recruitniks might think yesterday's game would point to Gardiner going somewhere else. If Tate plays like he did yesterday, I'll take my chances.

I watched the press conferences on I really liked the Mathews quote about not really knowing what to do after scoring and getting reminded by the official "Be Smart".

Information on the tours of the premium seating Here

One thing I like about the Mike Kenn statement is maybe it will get him more respect from the M community. This guy was an amazing player here and he always gets passed over on all-time lists by people like Skrepanek. I could understand Jansen, Long and of course Dierdorf, but that is it no one else compares.

I don't think an objective observer could have watched the USC-OSU game and say it is another example of OSU failing in the big game. Yes they made mistakes, but so did USC. They fought them to the end. I don't know if anyone will be closer to beating the Trojans this year. And I doubt anyone else will keep them to 18 points.

About Tate, Big Ten and more

I really don't know what yesterday's game means regarding the rest of the season. It is clear M is much better than last year, but do we really know how much better after these two games? I don't. After last week's win, I was convinced M could compete in every game. I now think M can win every game. Of course, with all of the toss-up games, M could also lose 5-7 games (especially if there are injuries). At the beginning of the season I predicted 6-6 regular season. After WMU, I wasn't willing to change that prediction. I'm still cautious, but I am now thinking M will get at least 7 wins, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't 8. I hope I don't change my mind after the EMU and Indiana games.

As you probably agree, MSU and OSU losing is NOT good for M. I won't get into it other than to point out the words: REPUTATION; STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE; BCS; RECRUITING

Though it is hard not to jump on the bandwagon deifying Tate Forcier, I choose to remain a little more cautious. With that said, I can't help but think that, assuming M makes a bowl game this year, and barring injuries, we get to watch that kid play for Michigan fifty (50) more games. That pleases me.

And as far as Robinson goes, once he is capable of running a good spread option, he could be extremely dangerous. Again, 50 more games.

Minor is clearly the best back M has. Even with the depth, there is a big drop to (perfectly capable) Carlos Brown. Minor has a way of having an explosiveness that isn't exactly fast, but it is strong. He seems to have good field vision, too. Hopefully he can stay healthy for when the many tossup games come along.

I guess I buy Weiss' explanation of why he passed on that second to last drive. He was running the plays that had worked for him, and he was trying to win the game. I get that. If he had succeeded in getting one first down, he would have won. Of course, he didn't and he didn't. And that pleases me.

I really don't like the new website. It is cumbersome. And now M is just like everyone else using CBS Sports All Access for the video. I've tried looking for things with All Access sites for other schools in the past and almost always have difficulty.

I heard Jamie Morris telling us that you can sign up for tours of the new suites on Fridays and Saturdays before games. I think the idea is for potential buyers, but he said the signup is online, so they have to know casual fans will sign up, too. i hvae looked in both the MGOBLUE and the (or whatever it is) and couldn't find anything. Do you know anything about this?

Without a doubt winning makes everone more supportive of RR and where the program is going. But, I must caution that there is a still a possibility (though I still think is it is slight) that M could lose schollies or have some other punishment due to actions of RR's staff. If this happens, I'm curious what support RR will have. Will Mike Kenn and Ricky Leach get on the air and say that cheating is the Michigan way? Let's hope we don't find out. The day after a great victory of ND, I'm not sure what I would do.

After the Spring game you mentioned that Forcier looked confident and you thought the mistakes he would make would be because he thought he could do more than he really could. I'm not going to say he didn't have those kind of mistakes the first two weeks, but he hasn't had many. And in the last drive, that was his opportunity to force something. And he didn't. Fifty (50) more games.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Some of the polls use a one year system. I kindof like the many differences in the polls. That's what makes it fun.

You, on the other hand, only want the good news.

Well, the good news is that M is moving up the CFRC.

The bad news is that M will probably lose this weekend. Or not. How would I know? I don't think anyone really knows how good either M or ND are.


I decided to look further into the CFRC.

Michigan's lowest rank is by Massey. They give M a ranking of 98. They also gave M their lowest ranking last week (M moved up one spot from 99!) Somehow they ranked WMU 48 this week - 50 spots above a team the Broncos lost to by 24 points. Once I noticed this I decided to see which other rankings had placed WMU above M.

Over all WMU has a ranking of 83. Three others have Western ranked higher. KMV (M 84, WMU 72); KEL (M 87, WMU 68); and ALD (M 81, WMU 64). Also IMS ranked M one spot ahead of WMU (70-71). Apparently Michigan Stadium is now a 23 point home field advantage...

Now later in the year when teams have played several times you can get yourself in trouble by thinking team A beat team B so they have to be ranked higher. Because often teams C, D and E are also involved. When all teams have only played one game and there are clear winners and losers - I don't see how it can be acceptable to rank the losers above the winners.

Removing those 4 rankings from the system (due to their week one ineptitude) changes M's over all ranking from 57 to 56 in front of Navy.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

ND Prediction

My official prediction is

M 20
ND 24


CFRC, with 38 rankings, has M at #57. 6-6 would be the projected record at this time


IL may also be a loss with the home field advantage, but I'll say 11 spots is not enough when M is on the road (it would be enough when M is at home, of course).

Del St. is #92 (of 125) in I-AA. Quality opponent.

ND is #30

Record prediction based on Bowl Predictions

According to their predictions, M should be 4-4-ish. Even with a loss to ND, that would make a 7-5 season. I'll take that.

Trending ESPNs Bowl Predictions (vol 2)

As I previously discussed here two writers from ESPN makes bowl predictions every week.

Here is the update after week one.

M definitely moves up in their opinions. I don't think that is much of a surprise.


The Struggles for Iowa and OSU and the Illinois defeat hurt those teams. The overall BigTen rankings appear to be:


Both predict only one school making a BCS game - I don't think that is very controversial at this point. OSU can really help the conference reputation with a good showing against the Trojans. Michigan would probably have to beat the Irish (Gator Bowl prediction for both writers) to improve the status of the conference.
The biggest surprise for me is minimal change for Iowa by Schlabach after their near defeat by UNI, and only minimal change for Wisconsin after a closer game than was expected.

NCAA music rules

I tried to find the NCAA rules regarding amplifying the band and came up with little. I found that it appears to be OK to mike the band when they are on the field. That probably doesn't tell us much.

I found that the SEC has a rule that doesn't allow any electric amplified music during anytime other than timeouts and halftime. Therefore, they can't play speakered music between plays.

For basketball games, the amplification of the PEP band has to be toward the stands and not the floor.

So, without any hard facts, I have to think they aren't lying. However, if I were to guess, and someone were to actually figure out where the rule could be (there are a lot of NCAA rule books, but I found little regulating bands, cheerleaders, venues, etc.), I would bet the rule is actually a conference rule. It just seems like the kind of thing conferences care about more than the NCAA.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Notre Dame Prediction on historical data

M is 155-39-1 in all games I have attended (all data is based on games I have attended unless specifically mentioned)
M is 129-28-1 in games played at Michigan Stadium
M is 18-6 in the second game I have attended in a season
M is 7-4 against Notre Dame
M is 25-8 against private schools
M is 4-2 when facing a team for the 12th time
M is 27-6 in games against teams from Indiana
M is 15-3 against coaches whose last names begin with the letter "W"
M is 12-4 with a QB making his 2nd start
M is 2-1 in games following the M coaches 3rd win (for Bo this was his 4th game, Mo his 6th game, for Lloyd his 4th game, for RR his 10th)
M is 62-18-1 against human mascots
M is 28-10-1 against teams with adjectives commonly used in their nicknames
M is 0-1 on Sep 12 (loss to Syracuse)
M is 8-6 against Independents
M is 1-0 against teams ranked 18th
M is 12-1 against teams ranked 16-20
M is 19-8 when unranked (5-0 when facing a ranked opponent while unranked!)

It is simple when you add it all up:

M 34
ND 31
in 2OT

more on music - hehe

I don't have a problem before the bands are on the field. Or even in the time when the bands are moving in prep of their halftime shows. Other than that I just don't get it.

The band has been in that spot or a similar one on the other side for as long as I remember. The boxes should help hold sound in and bounce it back for everyone to hear. Why make the change now? If there are still dead/deaf spots after everything is finished then address it.

I think they made a mistake not putting the band in the center of the north endzone. They didn't to give up non-student seats. Well make those students seats and take away the closest to the old press box student seats.

I'm not convinced that amplifying the band is not allowed. Seems like I've seen it done before.

I agree with you, I'd rather hear the visiting band than AC/DC, Journey or Neil Diamond.

PA music, MMB

Their responses were pretty good. I can't imagine they did that with everyone. You are very important.

As far as the music itself, I don't really mind it if it does one of two things:
1) Gets the crowd involved. Playing a song that has fan participation is OK. It is actually quite entertaining.
2) Gets the crowd pumped up. I think the piped in music did that in pregame. Not so much during the game.

Overall, though, I am probably in the minority in that I would rather hear the visiting band than piped in music. This piped in music thing is OK, I guess, but it isn't necessary. I think the atmosphere would have been more upbeat this week even if the PA was not working, the Marching Band wasn't there because they all got honenone (H1N1) flu and the cheerleaders all broke their legs. Having the entire country against you, and then having a good product on the field will do that.

Music on the PA

I e-mailed both the marching band and the athletic department regarding the PA music during the game last week. It seems to me the band had played at least 2 of those songs in the past - why not just have them play the songs? Part of the argument appears to be the spots where the band cannot be heard. I asked if they could play louder or amplify the sound.
Although I am "kind of a big deal..." I doubt my concerns will cause any changes in the future.

Here are the answers I received:

Mr. Altese,
The band can play no louder, it is not physically possible to replicate the sound of those speakers as acoustical instruments are very directional. Enhancing the sound electronically, from the band, is against Big 10 conference rules as was recently confirmed by the athletic administration when the football staff discussed amplifying the MMB. All sports are programmed by the athletic game day management staff. The band is "not allowing" this to happen, it is being dictated to us by the people who are in charge of the event. The coaches, the coaches wives, and the players are all clamoring for piped in music. The athletic department is trying to have a balance between the traditional and what is "new". The expectation at professional events is trickling down to the college ranks and what is collegiate is trickling up to the pro's (as in the Pistons drum line).
Regret that we can not make you happy on this one. Thanks for your interest and taking the time to write.
Michael Haithcock

Thanks for your note. I saw Michael Haithcock's response, and I would have offered the same information. We are not happy with this recent introduction to the game day experience either, but we respect the Athletic Dept.'s quest to try to increase the level of energy in the stadium. As you know, it's a "Big House," and it's impossible for one band to fill it with the kind of sound that canned music provides. Believe me, the MMB is playing as loud as we possibly can. Half the stadium can hear us very well, but the other cannot, due to the directionality of our instruments. We hope that the new press boxes assist in capturing more sound.
I forwarded your note to the person in charge of this issue in Athletics. His name is Marty Bodnar:
Thanks for your interest in the MMB.
Scott Boerma

Dear Dr. Altese:
Thank you for your feedback on the game day experience at Michigan Stadium. We work hard to create an environment that can be appreciated by all participants - players, students, alumni and fans. With more than 100,000 people, it is difficult to craft an experience that satisfies everyone's unique interests and as such we do our best and realize that we will never hit the mark for all 100,000 plus in the stadium. We'll continue to work on all elements that contribute to a Michigan football game. We appreciate your time and consideration in offering your thoughts.
All the Best and Go Blue!
Joe Parker
Senior Associate Athletic Director

Monday, September 7, 2009


Weren't both of those games against WAC teams? It is all Dave's fault!


One very scary stat about ND:

In each of their past two games, Clausen has had more TD passes than incompletions.

Friday, September 4, 2009


"M is 2-1 in games following the M coaches 6th loss (for B this was his 33rd game, Mo his 30th game, for Lloyd his 41st game, for RR his 9th)"

Even if he goes 8-5 this year, he will still have the worst all time winning percentage for any M coach anywhere.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

prediction based on historical data

M is 154-39-1 in all games I have attended (all data is based on games I have attended unless specifically mentioned)
M is 128-28-1 in games played at Michigan Stadium
M is 29-4 in the first game I have attended in a season (2 consecutive losses)
M is 2-0 against WMU (WMU is 0-3 in games I've attended, they lost to Miami (OH) in 1975)
M is 46-5 against teams I've seen not play Michigan
M is 19-3 against schools with directional names
M is 27-11 following a loss (4 consecutive losses)
M is 12-4 when facing a team for the 3rd time
M is 3-0 in the M coaches 9th game as head coach
M is 21-3 in games against teams from Michigan
M is 6-1 against opposing head coaches named Bill or William (last game 1994 loss to Colorado)
M is 15-4 against coaches whose last names begin with the letter "C"
M is 2-0 against coaches whose first and last names begin with consecutive letters
M is 43-7 with a QB making his 3rd start or less
M is 2-1 in games following the M coaches 6th loss (for Bo this was his 33rd game, Mo his 30th game, for Lloyd his 41st game, for RR his 9th)
M is 3-3 against hoofed mascots (including the Arizona State Sun Devils - devils have hooves, right?)
M is 51-17 in games Melissa Hoot has attended (50-17 in games we've both attended)

M 34, WMU 21

local talent back on wdfn?

I've read that WDFN is going back to local talent. Sean Baligian and Tom Kowlaski in the mornings and Shep and Sharp in the afternoons. It will be good to have another option. I won't have to listen to Sam Webb and not Andy Evans every day. And i'll have an option for the non-JUB portion of the afternoon big show.