Thursday, December 30, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

Update on Countdown to Kickoff - day 1 Great Autographs!!!

Back in September I finished my countdown to kick off with a recap of the Michigan - Indiana game from 1979.
Here are the scans of the autographs from the Go Blue Brunch:

Calvin O'Neal 1976
Jim Pace 1957
Pat O'Donney (???)
Barry Dehlin (my cousin - Fullback/linebacker 1963-64,66)

Bob Timberlake 1964
Lowell Perry 1951
Paul Seymour 1972
Marty Huff 1970
Jim Mandich 1969
Ron Johnson 1968
Alvin Wistert 1948-49

Rick Volk 1966
Billy Taylor 1971
Tom Curtis 1969
Pete Elliott 1948
Jim Pace (again)
Rick Leach 1978
Calvin O'Neal (again)
Ron Kramer 1955-56

Ernie Vick 1921
Benny Friedman 1924-25
Rick Leach (again)
Bob Chappuis 1947
Maynard Morrison 1931
Bill Daley 1943
Merv Pregulman 1943
Ed Frutig 1940
Otto Pommerening 1928

Finding the old photo album may have answered the question of where I sat for the game. My parents stuck with the tickets from the Pharmacy School down in Row A of the South Endzone. Horrible seats, until AC splits the defenders and ends up right in front of them. I remembered being in the student section, but I would have thought I was closer to midfield then section 31, which is pretty deep into the corner. Since the two tickets aren't together and the late 70s student section was even less strict on where you sat, who knows if I was even in section 31.

Gator Bowl Prediction based on historical data

M is 164-46-1 in all games I have attended (all data refers to games I have attended, unless otherwise noted)
M is 28-12 in games away from Michigan Stadium
M is 6-4 in bowl games
M is 31-6 in games where M's starting QB is #16
M is 5-0 against teams from the SEC
M is 48-26 against ranked schools
M is 23-13 when unranked
M is 7-4 when unranked facing a ranked opponent
M is 39-14 against "state name" State University schools
M is 2-1 in the final game coached by their current head coach (1-0 when he gets fired)
M is 13-2 when they'll be lead by Jim Harbaugh in their next game

It's simple when you add it all up:

Michigan 28
Mississippi State 27

Friday, December 24, 2010

OSU, NCAA and ugh!

How could you not know that selling a Big Ten Championship ring or a jersey is OK?  Is that something that they have seen others do, so they thought it was normal?  Really?

With the delayed suspension, the NCAA does it again.  I really wish the NCAA wouldn't be so transparent with regards to their existence as a money-grabbing organization.  

For those who are saying the rules that the OSU players broke show that players should be paid, I have to ask one question:  WHY IS IT A RIGHT TO GET A TATOO?!?!?!?!

So, I caught portions of College Football Live on ESPNU (I think) a couple days the past week and they were talking about Maryland possibly hiring Mike Leach.  With all of the discussion about how great a coach he is and how he would be a good fit with the Terps, nothing was mentioned about why he is not coaching Texas Tech anymore.  I'm not saying he did anything wrong, because I have no idea, but how can that not be part of the discussion?  ESPN is as bad as the NCAA.  

I have a lot of ideas of this whole Michigan Man issue regarding RR, but it would be a very long post.  Nobody wants to read that.  But, for those who say Bo wasn't a Michigan Man when he came here, I have two responses:  1) The high standards (on and off the field) may or may not have been part of the culture at M when Bo was hired, but M alums and the uni, as far as what I know, embrace what Bo stood for.  If he wasn't a fit for the culture at the U, then he certainly helped to create the culture as we know as The University of Michigan.  2) RR did not, and has not, embraced the U traditions/culture.  He came in knowing it was a great football job.  But, anyone who cares about M doesn't care that it is a great football job.  We care that it is a great place to be.  This is not an SEC job, where you win and make alums happy.  Winning is only part of it.  Being a good Michigan Man is the other. 

I saw a story on WBKB-TV (channel 11, Alpena) about the MSU-Alabama bowl game and they had three quick soundbites from Alabama players talking about the MSU team.  All three said that MSU is like an SEC team.  It was clear they were doing this as if to say it as a compliment.  I really want the Big Ten to beat the SEC this year . Ugh

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sad Anniversary

Seventy-one years ago today, this AP photo captured the end of University of Chicago's football program.


The program was quite impressive for much of their time in the Big Ten. The programs record up to that point was 261-149-30. The school was 22nd in over all wins at the time they dropped the program. Chicago's 7 conference football titles tie them with MSU (7th this season) and lead Penn State and Indiana.
However they hadn't had a winning season in over a decade. In their final season they finished 2-6, however in their 6 losses they were outscored 306-0.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Two other playoff ideas

In addition to the world renowned sarcasMike playoff, I stumbled across these two playoff suggestions.

WhatIfSports has a suggestion very similar to mine. Eleven conference champs plus five at-large teams. They use the BCS rankings instead of the CFRC, so the teams are slightly different. If you look back at their previous years, Michigan has been in the tournament twice, in 2004 and 2006, with their best finish #2 in 2006.

The second example is from an actual 1998 patent application. It's not the easiest read, but it looks like a 12 team playoff with the teams determined by a combination of the media and coaches poll and an objective formula. The top 4 teams get byes. Games are at campus sites at least until the final four. This suggestion also has a secondary 16 team playoff with the next 16 teams. I assume this takes the place of bowl games.

Obviously I prefer the system that includes conference champs over one that selects the entire field subjectively. I wonder how the secondary playoff would do compared to keeping the majority of the bowls in tact, interesting idea.

Friday, December 17, 2010

MGoBlog comment - since I've apparently gotten the banhammer

I was reading this post from MGoBlog commenter SixZero. He is (or considers himself) a graphic artist and is commenting on the new Big Ten log and his distaste for BrianGoBlog's create a better logo contest.

Although he has other, probably true, arguments; to me it boils down to "You aren't _____, so you don't understand and shouldn't really comment on this."

Isn't that what the entire site does? No one is a player or coach yet they write diaries and posts about particular plays and players and why they failed or succeeded. This seems to me to the Mike Taylor argument - that "you've probably never played the game, so you don't know!"

I think the Big Ten's new logo is unimpressive, I think the suggested crest style logo is far superior. I don't think anyone needs to be a graphic artist to know that, anymore than they need to have been in the marching band to know that jiMpossible was the best Gilligan in the history of the MMB!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Big Ten Logo, Divisions and Trophies fiasco

The Big Ten issued its new logos, Football Division names and trophies today.

The public opinion is less than favorable.

Stifled Chirp
Nice division names, there, . Sounds like a strip-mall sports bar in Peoria.

jesus, the logo may be worse than the division names.

Dave Presser
Ironic how the divisions are labeled "Legends" and "Leaders", neither of which apply to the administrators themselves.

Alex Cohen
Legends and Leaders? Come on now. I feel like I'm looking at something out of Summer Camp Color War.

Carolynn Boeh
why the hell is a trophy named after a Univ. of Chicago coach who coached 78 years ago? fail

Ryan Gray
does Mich have to remove the line "leaders and best" from The Victors since they are apparently "Legends" and not "Leaders"?

I haven't heard or read much favorable response to anything announced today.

I understand what they tried to do with the trophy naming - give each school somewhat equal representation. But when M and OSU have won or shared 42 & 35 title respectively (in 115 conference seasons) yet are represented on only 9 of the 36 trophy slots.

Coach of the year - not named for Yost and his 10 titles, Williams or Bierman from Minnesota and their 8 & 7 titles; Illinois Bob Zupke and his 7 titles... but Stagg from Chicago - a school that dropped football in 1939 and Paterno with 3 titles. There are 20 other coaches with 3 or more titles including Gary Moeller, who managed 3 titles in just 5 years (8 total). I get it that he's the all-time leader in victories, but not in the conference. Northwestern has as many conference titles as PSU since they joined the conference in 1993.

Offensive MVP - Otto Graham and Eddie George. Ugh! OK so Graham is fine, I guess, you're looking for another NU representative but Eddie George gets picked over other (IMHO - more deserving) OSU representatives like Hopalong Cassady, Troy Smith or Vic Janowicz. Not to mention players form other schools who aren't on any trophy - Tom Harmon, Bruce Smith or Elroy Hirsch...

The overall by school breakdown has:

Michigan, Wisconsin 4
Illinois, MSU, PSU & Purdue 3 (two of Purdue's 3 are on the same trophy)
Indiana, Iowa, Northwestern 2
Chicago, Nebraska 1

I am totally biased on this, but I think Michigan is under-represented on these lists. I think it is ridiculous that in choosing the stupid Leaders and Legends divisions, they didn't put M in the leaders division...

I think the conference has given too much lee-way to Penn State over the years and they continued in this effort - you could argue the new logo uses their colors! Ted Kwalick on the best TE trophy? His record against Big Ten schools was 0-1. I doubt he could have made that much of an impression in a 42-8 loss to Michigan State...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Big Ten Bowl Matchups (second edition)

Last year, I wrote a post to compare the Big Ten Teams and theirr bowl opponents to see what team should be expected to win, based on various indicators.  It was my attempt to head off the criticism of a bad bowl season for the conference, as I showed that based on the indicators a 2-5 would not be out of the question and 4-3 would be the best possible record.  Well, the conference ended up with 4-3.  Very impressive, really.

Well, this year, I decided to add some categories.  Here is a brief explanation of each:

-Conference Record:  Regular season conference record
-Position Conference Record:  This is the record each team would have if they lost to all teams above them in the standings and beat each team below them.  A tie would be 1/2 win and 1/2 loss.  In conferences with championship games, the winner of the championship game is 1st in the conference, the loser of the championship game is 2nd, and all other teams are listed based on conference record.
-Ranking:  This is the BCS ranking.  If neither team is ranked in the BCS, then it would be AP ranking, then USA Today ranking.  This would include receiving any votes.
-CFRC Ranking:  Self explanatory
-Head-to-Head / Common Opponents:  If the two teams played each other, what was the result?  If they didn't play each other, what was the result for any common opponents?  If the record against common opponents is the same, there are 'points' given based on point differential using this system (1-8 point difference = 1 point; 9-24 = 2 points; 25-48 = 3 points; 49+ = 4 points)
-Vegas Line: Self explanatory

So, here is what I found.

Conf Record           7-1     6-2 
 Position Conf Record9-1  8.5-2.5
 Ranking (BCS)
 Common Opponents

Conf Record         7-1    8-0
 Position Conf Record9-18-0
 Ranking (BCS)5     3
 Common Opponents1-0 (+2)1-0 (+3)

Conf Record           7-1     5-3 
 Position Conf Record9-1  7-4
 Ranking (BCS)16
 Common Opponents1-0 (+1) 1-0 (+2
Conf Record           4-4     6-2 
 Position Conf Record7-38-3
 Ranking (BCS)12
 Common Opponents1-0 (+2)1-0 (+2)
Conf Record          3-54-4
 Position Conf Record3.5-6.55.5-5.5
 Ranking (BCS)x21
 Common Opponents
Conf Record          4-44-4
 Position Conf Record6-4 5.5-5.5
 Common Opponents0-1 (-2)0-1 (-3)
Conf Record         4-4   4-4
 Position Conf Record6-46-5
 Ranking (BCS)xx
 Common Opponents
 Line -1.5
Conf Record         3-53-5
 Position Conf Record3.5-6.5 4-7
 Ranking (BCS)xx
 Common Opponents

Based on conference records, The Big Ten should go 2-3-3
Based on position conference records, The Big Ten should go 4-4
Based on rankings, The Big Ten should go 2-3-3
Based on CFRC rankings, The Big Ten should go 1-7
Based on Head-to-Head/Common Opponent, The Big Ten should go 1-2-5
Based on the line, The Big Ten should go 1-7
The average of the above is 2.75 wins, making a 3-5 record a good one.  

I think the most important category is the position conference records.  This minimizes the effects of a tie on the top of the conference (is MSU's 9-1 equivalent to 9-1 in another conference, for instance?) and accounts for the difference in conference sizes (4th place in a 12 team conference is not the same as 4th place in an 8 team conference, for instance).  In this category, 4-4 will be expected.  And that is certainly something to hope for, but the other categories are all below that, and some of them are probaby actually better predictors of what is going to happen.  And the Big Ten will be criticzed for being bad.  And the criticism appears to be somewhat valid if it doesn't pull out at least 3 wins. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What Meyer's retirement could mean for Michigan

I found this post from the O Zone through a Tweet from Jamie Morris (gutsy little guy). Although part of it talks about OSU recruiting battles with Florida, the middle section points out how Meyer's retirement could affect RR's job situation.

General opinion has Mississippi State's coach Dan Mullen as one of, if not the, leading candidate for the Florida job. O Zone makes the assumption that this uncertainty at MSU could help M win the Gator Bowl and potentially force Brandon to keep RR and "...lose their one shot at the most perfect candidate they're ever going to find in Jim Harbaugh..."

I think there are two possible explanations for Brandon's RR strategy. Either he really hasn't made up his mind or he's definitely getting rid of RR but has some alternative reason for keeping him for now - letting him coach the bowl game, letting his choice coach his bowl game, etc.

The O Zone's theory only affects the first of these options. I do agree that this might be the perfect opportunity to get Harbaugh, but I'm not convinced that beating Mississippi State would be enough to keep RR if Brandon hasn't decided.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pairings for 2010 sarcasMike college football playoff

Conference champs (with CFRC Rank)
Oregon (1)
Auburn (2)
TCU (3)
Boise St (5 - wins 3 way tie-breaker)
Oklahoma (6)
Ohio State (7 - wins 3 way tie breaker)
Va Tech (14)
Central Florida (34)
Connecticut (50)
Miami-Ohio (70)
Florida International (86)

At large teams
Stanford (4)
Arkansas (8)
Wisconsin (9)
Alabama (10)
Missouri (11)

First teams out are LSU, Oklahoma State & Nebraska. I don't have a real problem with any of them being left out.

Have to rotate Va Tech, Wisconsin & Mizzou to avoid conference games as well as non-champs hosting a first round game.

16 FIU @
1 Oregon

8 Arkansas@
12 Va Tech

4 Stanford @
13 UCF

11 Missouri @
5 Boise St

14 UConn @

9 Wisconsin @
6 Oklahoma

10 Alabama @
7 Ohio State

15 Miami (OH) @
2 Auburn

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Congratulations Auburn - new trophy holder

Once again the BCS Championship game will determine the holder of the jiMossible-sarcasMike Trophy. Auburn's victory over South Carolina gives them the trophy heading into bowl season. Auburn has an 18-6-2 record all-time as trophy holder. If Oregon knocks off Auburn in the BCS MNC game, it will be their first time as trophy-holder.

Auburn first won the trophy in the 1938 Orange Bowl, beating Michigan State (were the MSC then or still MAC? Spartans or Aggies?) The Tigers went 1-1-1, losing to Tennessee.

They next took the trophy from Georgia in 1942. They finished the 1942 season the next weekend with a victory, but did not field a team in 1943 due to WWII. Their program resumed in 1944 with 2 victories before losing to Georgia Tech.

Their longest trophy possession began with the 1954 victory over Miami (FL). The Tigers reeled of 8 wins and a tie before losing to Tulane in 1955.

In 1971 a win over Georgia gave the Tigers the trophy for a 2 weeks (1 game) before losing to Alabama.

The Bo Jackson Tigers took the trophy from Florida in 1983 and carried into the next season (including a Sugar Bowl win over Michigan) before losing to Miami (FL) in September of 1984.

There most recent trophy time was in 2007. A victory over defending MNC champ Florida gave them the trophy for 3 weeks until they lost it eventual MNC LSU.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I don't understand the NCAA ruling

From what I've read, the NCAA's decision in the investigation into the Cam Newton incident doesn't make any sense.

Ultimately they ruled that his dad did seek money from (at least) Mississippi State, but that since Cam didn't know about it, he's not punished. Since there is no evidence that Auburn paid any money, they're not punished.

Even the scourge of college athletics, Sonny Vaccaro, admits this makes it free reign for players handlers to go out and ask for money with the pretense that the player doesn't know about it.

I see this as a money grab for the NCAA. A BCS game without Auburn will be less interesting than with them. A Heisman given to a player other than Cam Newton would be viewed as going to a lesser player. I almost hope he did know, ask for, and get money from Auburn in a way we'll find out about in 1-5 years so that all this gets thrown out like the Reggie Bush years.

ND, MI, Oregon and others

7-5 M is currently #43 in the CFRC, while 7-5 Notre Dame is ##25.  And M beat ND!! 

So, I asked myself, is ND's schedule that much more difficult than M's? 

ND has played only 1 team with a losing record (4-8 Purdue in week 1).  That is impressive.  M will surely played a lot more, right?  Not so much.  M played 3 teams with losing records. 

So I'm thinking, "that't normal for the big time schools who pad their non-conference with bad teams and prevent everyone from having losing records, right?"

#1 Oregon has played 7 so far and plays 5-6 Oregon State this week
#2 TCU (not a major conference, but highly ranked) has played 6
#3 Auburn has played 3, plus 3 .500 teams
#4 Stanford (with next year's M coach Jim Harbaugh) has played 7 (3 of those teams could jump up to .500 this weekend)
#5 Ohio State has played 5
#6 Boise St. has played 6 and plays their 7th this week
#7 Oklahoma has played 4
#8 Arkansas has played 4
#9 Wisconsin has played 7
#10 Alabama has played 4

I don't know what it all means, but just by taking WL records, there really is a difference in SOS.  M has played fewer teams with losing records than any of the (CFRC) top 10 teams.  Impressive.

(I hate being impressed by ND, but 1 really is impressive)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Harbaugh To Miss Banquet

I think it is very sad that Jim Harbaugh isn't going to attend the banquet this week honoring the 1985 team.  

Banquets sometimes have really good food, and I bet he likes good food.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

sarcasMike Family Bowl trophy photo

This is what my family tries to win each year... (it also doubles for now as the all-time trophy in doctored photos)

Basketball trophy
Real Altese trophy
Altese trophy

Friday, November 26, 2010

Full bowl roster??

There are 35 bowl games this year. That means there are 70 teams going to bowl games. Right now there are only 64 teams that are bowl eligible. I'll break the slots down by conference:

Big East653

The ACC meets its quota and will likely be sending a 9th team bowling.

The 3 Big East schools vying for the one guaranteed spot are Cincinnati, Louisville and Rutgers. Louisville is 5-6 and is ahead of Rutgers 28-0 as I write this, so things look good for them. That is bad news for 4-6 Rutgers. They need to beat Louisville and WVU next week to get to 6-6. Cincinnati is also 4-6 and need wins over UConn & Pitt. It seems likely that Louisville will become the final conference bowl eligible team today.

The Big Ten appears to meets its quota, but since it is likely 2 conference teams will make BCS bowls, the Little Caesar's Bowl will be looking for a non Big Ten team.

The Big 12 is one short of its quota with 5-6 Colorado playing Nebraska today trying to get eligible. The Buffs have played better since firing their coach, so this isn't as unlikely as it seemed a few weeks ago.

C-USA has filled its 6 slots. Houston (5-6) plays Texas Tech Saturday night to try to get an extra team in the mix.

All 3 Independents have reached eligibility. Navy is tied to the Poinsettia Bowl. ND still has some connection to the Big East bowls, but there are a lot of stipulations. Army has Navy left and is likely hoping for not enough automatic qualifiers to get a bid...

The MAC is already 2 over its guarantee and a win by 5-6 WMU over BGSU would make another potential bowl team.

MWC has 5 teams for its 5 slots. But it is likely TCU will move up into a BCS bowl, opening up a slot for an out-of-conference qualifier.

The Pacific Ten still needs two more teams to fill their quota. Cal (5-6) gets in if they beat Washington (4-6). UW needs to beat Cal and Wazoo in the Apple Cup to get to eligibility. Oregon State (5-5) needs wins over Stanford and Oregon. UCLA needs wins over Arizona State and USC. It looks to me like only one more team becomes eligible out of this group.

The SEC is looking for one more team. Georgia (5-6) needs to beat Ga Tech and Tennessee (5-6) needs a victory over Kentucky.

The SunBelt is crazy with no eligible teams right now. FIU (5-5) needs a win over Arkansas State or Middle TN State. Troy (5-5) needs to beat either WKU or FL-Atlantic. LA-Monroe (5-6) has to beat LA-Lafayette. FL-Atl needs to beat Troy as well as MTSU. That leaves MTSU needing victories over FL-Atl and FIU. Clear as a bell. What happens if none are eligible?

Dave's WAC has 4 teams eligible for its 4 slots. But Boise St will likely be BCSing. The two potential teams are La Tech (4-6), who needs wins over CSU-SJ and Nevada, and Idaho (5-6) who must beat Fresno St.

I think it will be very close to get to the 70 eligible teams. There will probably be only 3-4 eligible teams at home over the holidays...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ideas stolen from other web sites - Flip Flop Fly Ball

Stumbled on Flip Flop Fly Ball this morning. Lots of very cool charts and graphs - mostly baseball related.

I stole this idea about comparing his age to the Yankees and did the same for me and the Tigers.

M - OSU pick based on xtranormal

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

OSU Prediction Based On Soap


Sunday, November 21, 2010

RR v Harbaugh: Letting History Predict The Future

Though I don't believe RR will be fired at the end of the season, I keep hearing that if he is the program will take a huge step backward. I've never really believed this, so I decided to use historical numbers (very limited) and see what we can predict using the past. 

The data is very limited, of course, but it is what it is. I'm only using I-A numbers because a) It doesn't take as long and b) using div II for RR and I-AA for Jim Harbaugh weakens the argument (but not by too much)

RR has had two new HC jobs in I-A
-At WVU, he took a 7-5 team and made them 3-8, a winning % decrease of .208
-At M, he took a 9-4 team, and made them 3-9, a winning % decrease of .442
So, RRs average is to decrease a team's winning % by .325 (nearly 4 games in a 12 game season).
It is not surprising people are afraid of what a change could bring. RR has scared us.  

Let's take a look at what has happened with Harbaugh:
-At Stanford, he took a 1-11 team and made them 4-8, an increase of .242.
So, Harbaugh's average in his first season is to improve the team by .242 (just under 3 games in a 12 game season).

Adjusting for a 13 game season, and assuming a loss to OSU next week, but a win in the bowl, hiring Harbaugh would produce about a 11-2 season next year.

Another thing you have to consider, of course, is what happens to RR teams after he leaves.
-At WVU, in his last season they went 11-2 (I'm giving him credit for the bowl victory, even though he wasn't officially there when WVU beat ASU 48-28).  The next season, WVU went 9-4, a decrease of .153 (or 2 games).
If M fires RR and hires any random coach, and assuming the w/l as above, you can expect a 6-7 season next year.  

So 11-2 with Harbaugh, 6-7 with RR leaving, it gives us an average of 9-4-ish

But won't RR get that anyhow? Well, let's see how RR does between season 3 and 4 historically.
-At WVU, he went from 8-5 his 3rd season, to 8-4 his 4th season. That increase of .051 is worth about 2/3 of a game in a 13 game schedule. So if we keep RR, making the w/l assumptions above, M would go 9-4.  It is  a push for next year.

Now, what about the future.  How does Harbaugh do from season 1 to 2, and how does RR do from season 4 to 5.
For RR, season 4 to 5 is an increase from 8-4 to 11-1, that increase of .25 puts M at 12-1 in 2012.  I didn't put in a Big Ten Championship game, but it definitely could be possible.  BCS Bowl, too
For Harbaugh, season 1 to 2 is an increase from 4-8 to 5-7,  that increase of .083 put M at 10-3 in 2012

How about from season 5 to 6 for RR and 2-3 for Harbaugh
-RR 11-2 to 10-2, -.128 would put M between 9 and 10 wins.
-Harbaugh 5-7 to 8-5, .198 would put M between 12 and 13 wins in 2013.  Still using 13 game season, possible National Championship game, it looks like

So, it looks like M has the best shot at first getting a BCS bowl and maybe a conference championship in 2012 if RR is kept.  
But, the best shot at a National Championship is in 2013 if he is replaced by Harbaugh. 

I really expected it to look better for hiring Harbaugh.  Either way, I guess we are heading toward a BCS Bowl game in the next few years.  

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wisconsin prediction based on historical data

M is 164-45-1 in all games I have attended (all data refers to games I have attended, unless otherwise noted)
M is 136-33-1 in games at Michigan Stadium
113-33-1 in conference games
M is 31-5 in games where M's starting QB is #16
M is 9-1 against Wisconsin
M is 48-25 against ranked schools
M is 23-12 when unranked
M is 7-3 when unranked facing a ranked opponent
M is 63-14-1 against University of "state name" schools
M is 17-2 against teams whose head coach's last name starts with the same letter as the teams nickname

It's simple when you add it all up:

Michigan 28
Wisconsin 37

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

sarcasMike playoff

With only a few weeks left in the regular season it is time to see where things stand for the sarcasMike NCAA Football Playoff. Here are the ground rules:
  • All 11 conference champs make the 16 team field.
  • The remaining at-large teams are selected based on CFRC ranking.
  • Notre Dame (or any independent) makes the field if they have a CFRC ranking of 20 or better.
  • No intra-conference match-ups in the opening round
  • First two rounds are held at campus sites
  • Only conference champs can host an opening round match-up
Most conferences are still up for grabs - the current leaders looks to be:

ACC - Va Tech
Big East - Pitt
Big Ten - OSU (in my world the tie breaker goes to the CFRC not the BCS)
Big Twelve - Nebraska
Mountain West - TCU
Pac Ten - Oregon
SEC - Auburn
Sun Belt - Florida Int
WAC - Boise St

If that followed the 5 at-large teams would be:

Oklahoma St

The first 5 teams out would be Wisconsin, Missouri, Oklahoma, MSU and South Carolina

There are some likely gripes there - especially with 4 teams from the SEC making the tourney

The brackets would be:

16 Florida Int@ 1 Oregon
8 Ok State @ 9 Ohio St
11 Arkansas@ 4 Boise St
5 Stanford @ 13 Northern Illinois
15 Pittsburgh @ 2 TCU
7 Alabama @ 10 Nebraska
14 UCF @ 3 Auburn
6 LSU @ 12 Va Tech

Arkansas, Va Tech and UNI move around to avoid the LSU-Ark match-up and ensure home games only for the conference champs. In doing that Boise St goes from hosting UNI to hosting Arkansas.

This is probably about as messy as it has been in the 3 years I've been making this up. Hopefully the last 3 weeks clear things up a little better. If it ended up this way, it would be the first time I felt like deserving teams were being left out. I think part of that is because of the large number of 1 & 2 loss schools from the B-10, B-12, SEC.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Trophy Time again

South Carolina's win over Florida last night gave them possession of the jiMpossible-sarcasMike Trophy.

This is the second time this season they won the trophy. The same team has won the trophy twice in the same season 3 times.

UCLA beat Tennessee to win the trophy on September 20, 1975. They lost it to #1 OSU two weeks later on October 4th. They took it back from the Buckeyes in the Rose Bowl on New Years day.

Alabama beat Penn State in September 1987 to take the trophy. They then lost their next game to Florida. In early November they retook the trophy by beating LSU.

In 1991 Baylor knocked off Colorado to take the trophy. They lost it to Rice, then won it back from TCU.

The Gamecocks have 3 games left plus a bowl game.

vs. Auburn in SEC Championship game

I think there is a good chance they could lose it back again.

Comments and Observations

DRob should know better than to carry the ball with his inside arm. (oh wait, he's young)

DRob's missed tackle on the sideline during the interception return was no worse than Mouton's missed tackle on the sideline against Illinois.

When I say Gallon is slippery, I'm referring to his feet, hands and his brain.

When picking off a pass at the end of the half deep in your own territory, be careful.  Likewise, when you are picking up a muffed punt, make sure you have the ball before you are running.  We almost lost that one.

Grady got the ball once, on a reverse.  For someone who is plays receiver every game, he's not much of a receiver.

I don't really mind the way RR used the QBs.  Neither was really doing anything, might as well give them both a few chances.  The announcers didn't seem to like it.

Special Teams again ugly.  (exaggeration alert) The FG didn't even look like it was heading for the goal posts.  If Gallon catches a KO in the end zone, even if it is one inch deep, he needs to STAY THERE!!!

I noticed many more missed blocks by the OLine than I ever have before.  Maybe I'm just getting smarter.

Moundros/Demens/Ezeh played a lot.  I didn't hear that Mouton was injured, but I saw him standing with Martin when they were talking about his injury.

About 20% of the time the announcers mentioned Purdue's Robinson, I thought they were getting the teams mixed up.  Maybe I'm not getting smarter.

BTN doesn't show scores of other games enough.  ESPN has spoiled me in that way.  Watching at a sports bar allowed me to know what was going on.

M fans are pretty excited M scored 67 points against Illinois in double OT.  Wisconsin won BY 63 (in regulation).  Wow.

OSU looked vulnerable for 2 1/2 quarters.  Pryor can be not good sometimes.  Hopefully, that is how he is in a couple weeks.  Otherwise, I'll be making Christmas cookies with my mom at 2:30 instead of 3:30.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What a Game

The RR haters will say the offensive mistakes had nothing to do with the weather, but then will blame the weather for the defense not allowing a TD.  The RR lovers will use the weather as an excuse for the Offense and just say the D is improving.

Both are right.  And wrong.

I think, overall, the game was very similar to last week in that both teams were doing what they could to lose the game.  How they did it this week was different, of course, but it was still the same result:  A win that did nothing to make me more confident about the last two regular season games.

It really is sad that M is 7-3, has won two games in a row, and I still have little confidence M has any chance to win either of the last two games. I may be unreasonably pessimistic, but the past 2 5/6 seasons has done that to me.

At this point, I expect RR will be the coach for M next year.  I've sorta thought that since M was 5-0, barring a total meltdown.  There was only a temporary meltdown, and he has pulled the team out of it.  Kindof.  

Keeping RR is probably a good thing for next year and maybe the year after.  For the next 10 years, though, I think it is a bad idea.  (of course, I'm still predicting RR will leave on his own after 6 years).  I'm tired of the argument.  And as long as he stays, we'll hear the argument whenever M loses, or plays poorly (like after this game, maybe).

During the postgame show, Frank Beckman said the win brings M to 7-5.  Not even 'homer' Frank thinks M has a chance the next two weeks.  


Friday, November 12, 2010

Big ten ladder

If I understand jiMpossible's ladder rules correctly I think the current Big Ten ladder is:

Illinois-Michigan-Penn St

Based on the ladder this weeks results should be:

Michigan over Purdue (PU victory would put the two teams into their own tier)
Iowa over N'western (NU victory would cause a lot of work)
Wisconsin over Indiana (IU win would cause a lot of work)
Illinois over Minnesota (Minn would cause of lot of work)
Ohio State over Penn St (PSU win would move OSU into the Ill/UM/PSU tier)

trying to get up by two scores

I've been thinking about posting something about Michigan's inability to get a two score lead for a little while. Burgeoning Wolverine Star did the homework. In a way it wasn't as bead as I thought. Because in their losses M was seldom ahead trying to get that 2nd score.

He removed the "blowout" games of UConn and BGSU, so in the other 8 games M has succeeded only twice in 22 tries to get up by two scores. M was 3 for 3 in the UConn and BGSU games (see below) - so they are 5 for 25 on the year.

BWS points to more conservative play calling from RR when M has that one score lead as the potential problem.

OppScorefield posrunpassPen1st Downsresult
ND21-17M275413missed FG
ND21-17M415302missed FG
Ill38-31M206303missed FG
Sum 7151633
Average M252.

One thing is clear, the games M has lost they haven't had many chances to get up two scores. They're 0-2 in those three losses.
I'd really like M to break this trend and finish this weeks game with a nice calm 1 for 1 and never look back, but

Prediction for M vs. Purdue

The last game I saw in-person with "real Michigan Football" was probably the 2007 Michigan v. Purdue game. Mike Hart, Chad Henne etc. were finally healthy again and Michigan played like the team they were supposed to be all year. Then Hart sprained his ankle again and although I saw Lloyd's last team beat Minnesota handily and pull out a "Sparty No" win at MSU. They were never really healthy again until the Outback Bowl.
Since then Rodriguez has won half the games I've seen but only won twice on the road without me. I'd like to think that getting that 6th win gets Michigan over the hump and they play their best game of the year. But they seem to be coming up against things that have hurt them before.

Road game (although M is 2-0 in Indiana this year)
Opponent's back-up quarterback forced into starting
Opponent that isn't Indiana or Minnesota
Injuries causing a shuffle on the defense

Although I still think Michigan could win in a blow out:

M 42
Purdue 38


M is #88.

I hope we can get a few wins in the non-conference and move a little.  Once the Big Ten season starts it is going to be painful.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"That's not Michigan Football..."

I'm tired of callers, show hosts etc. saying "That's not Michigan Football..."

Giving up 65 points is ridiculous, but if M scores 67, I'll take it. There are flaws in this team, but there are still some signs of competence. Courtney Avery missed a tackle at Iowa on third down that would have given M the ball back down one score - he made a similar tackle against Illinois that forced a 4th down. That 4th down was followed by the missed field goal.

I've heard people complaining that the players and coaches rushed the field after finally stopping Illinois. Why shouldn't they be excited? They'd finished off a game they had plenty of chances to lose. They won their sixth game - making them bowl eligible. They won a triple overtime game. They beat a team they'd lost to two years in a row that many people, including me, didn't expect them to beat. These all seem to be great reasons to rush the field.

The special teams is having problems; that isn't new- blocked kicks played a role in M losing 3 games in 1979. If Mike Lantry could make a medium range field goal in 1973 - M doesn't need to rely on the AD's vote or in 1974 - Denny Franklin would have gotten to play in the Rose Bowl. Bob Wood missing in 1976 @ Purdue, Mike Gillette missing in 1988 @ND, Blocked kick for a TD in Moeller's only OSU loss in 1994, horrible special teams in 2003 @ Oregon and Iowa... if anything kicking woes are more a part of the Michigan tradition than not.

"This isn't a Michigan Defense..." 54 points to Northwestern in 2000; unable to stop Appalachian State or Oregon in 2007; complete defensive breakdown from the 2nd half of 2006 Ball State game on through the Rose Bowl loss; Defensive collapse against Miami in 1988; 51 points to Florida State in 1991; did Michigan ever tackle Vince Young? There are definitely issues with the defense, I'm sure it is a perfect storm of poor coaching, young players, players trying to do things they just aren't capable of doing. At the same time, the defense gave M the ball several times with a chance to take a 2 score lead Saturday (and against Indiana), they kept the MSU and Iowa games close while the offense couldn't get started, and on their 100th snap against Illinois they broke through and ended the game. We'd all like them to be better, but they're wearing the winged helmets, there a Michigan Defense.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Will a second Big Ten team make the BCS?

The ESPN & CBS "experts" have the BCS Bowls taking a second Big Ten team. I think Oklahoma's loss to Texas A&M helps, but it is still far from guaranteed.

If we assume Oregon and Auburn win out - they're in the BCS Championship game. Other automatic qualifiers are the ACC team that no one wants (for this post we'll consider this Virginia Tech), the Big East team that no one wants (Pitt?), likely Nebraska and MSU/Wisconsin/Iowa/OSU. Assuming that TCU and Boise also win out, they're guaranteed spots.

So 8 of the 10 spots are spoken for that leaves 2 spots for the 3 Big Ten teams that aren't in the Rose Bowl, LSU/Alabama and Stanford.

I would guess Auburn would move ahead of Oregon in the polls - conference championship game + win over Alabama - so the Sugar Bowl gets the first pick after other teams are assigned. But I think the same thing would happen if Oregon is still #1.

Here are the Bowls before the selections start:
BCS - Auburn vs Oregon
Sugar - At-large 1 vs At-large 5
Rose - Big Ten Champ vs At-large 2
Orange - Va Tech vs At-large 3
Fiesta - Nebraska vs. At-large 4

I would see it going like this: Sugar Bowl wants an SEC school if they can get one. One loss LSU meets that bill. Rose Bowl loves the Big-Ten PAC ten match-up, so they take 1 loss Stanford. You'd end up with something like:

BCS - Auburn vs Oregon
Sugar - LSU vs Pitt
Rose - Big Ten Champ vs Stanford
Orange - Va Tech vs TCU
Fiesta - Nebraska vs. Boise St

The Big Ten runners up need one of the following:
  • Auburn loss before conference championship game - moves one of the non-aq schools to the championship game and gives the Orange Bowl 2nd choice
  • Oregon loss - also would move the Orange bowl to 2nd pick, plus there is no way the Rose Bowl would select a team to set up a Big Ten conference game
  • Boise or TCU loss - 1 loss Big Ten team will trump 1 loss non-AQ
  • LSU loss - 2 loss LSU likely doesn't go in favor of 1 loss Big Ten
Also - does which Big Ten team is available matter? OSU and Wisconsin are huge travelers. Iowa is too, but with 2 losses already, it is tough seeing them take a spot over a 1 loss AQ conference school. I would think MSU would travel well to a big bowl since they haven't been a in a long time. The Big Ten (monetarily) might be best served if MSU is the Rose Bowl team.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Radio Callers

I heard someone call in to Ira's show after the game and say that the MSU 3OT game was exciting, but it was nothing like today's game, which was electrifying (or something like that).

Some Michigan fans are idiots.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Illinois Prediction based on historical data

M is 163-45-1 in all games I have attended
M is is 11-12 in games coached by Rich Rodriguez (I wouldn't have thought it was that good...)

Michigan 24 - Illinois 38

Illinois Prediction Based On London Underground

il 29-25

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hypothetical geographic realigned standings (week 9)

I haven't updated this in a while, but I have updated the standings for my geographically realigned conferences. After nine weeks

Far West - close race with Arizona & Stanford both 2-0; Hawai'i, Nevada & USC are 2-1, Fresno St is 1-1 - the other teams have either more than one loss, no wins or no conference games.

Mountain - Utah is out in front at 2-0; Boise, Colorado, Oregon and Utah St are all 1-0

Plains - Nebraska is 3-0, Wisconsin is a half game back at 2-0

Rio Grande - TCU is 2-0 with Texas A&M at 1-0

Great Lakes - MSU is 5-0 - as no one else is undefeated - it will be tough to catch them (M is 2-1; with 2 more conference games)

Ohio Valley - Kentucky is 3-0, Cincinnati, OSU and Toledo are all 2-0

Gulf - Arkansas is 3-0, LSU & Southern Miss are 2-0 and Louisiana-Lafayette is 1-0

SouthEast - Alabama, Florida St and Central Florida are all 1-0

Mid Atlantic - Virginia Tech is 4-0, South Carolina is 2-0

NorthEast - Pitt is 2-0, Temple is 3-1, Penn St is 1-0

The overall conference strength is as follows:

Plains 61-38
SouthEast 56-36
NorthEast 57-39
Far West 57-40
Mountain & MidAtlantic 51-46
Great Lakes 51-51
Rio Grande 50-50
Gulf 46-51
Ohio Valley 45-58

Statue at Ilinois

There may be a statue of an indian from the Illini tribe on the Illinois campus, but it can't be as cool as a statue of Red Grange.
I believe a statue of SarcasMike's uncle tackled this statue.  (do I have the story right?)

One Loss Teams

There are 12 one-loss teams in college football this year.  After the MSU blowout by Iowa, I got to thinking that it seemed like a lot of undefeated teams became one-loss teams in not-so-close games.  So I checked to see if that was accurate.

In the 12 games where the then undefeated/now one-loss teams lost, the average point difference is 12.  The median is 13.5.

12 isn't even close to the drubbing MSU took, but it isn't even close to a nailbiter either.  These are teams that are one loss away from being undefeated.

I'm not really sure what this means, but it makes me long for the many year period where M rarely lost by more than a TD.  Those were some really good teams.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Once again new trophy holder

Florida's 34-31 overtime victory over Georgia made it another trophy transfer game.

Florida has held the trophy 4 times before. In 1983 the took it away from LSU, then reeled off 2 victories before falling to Auburn. They got it back four years later, beating Alabama on 9/19/87. They could only win one more game before losing it to LSU in early October. It was almost 20 years before they got it back, defeating Ohio State in the 2007 BCS Championship game they won 4 more games before losing to Auburn in late September. Their most recent trophiship occurred with the defeat of Oklahoma in the 2009 BCS Championship game. They won 12 straight before losing to Alabama in the SEC championship game last season.

Florida is definitely not as strong as either of their two most recent trophy teams, but their remaining schedule doesn't look too tough.

11/6 @ Vandy
11/13 So Carolina
11/20 App State
11/27 @ Florida State
If they do win both conference games, they will win the SEC East and would then be in the conference championship game. They would definitely be an underdog against whichever school comes out of the west.


I hadn't really seen Penn State play before last night. I had heard that their offensive line was weak and they were going to start a walk-on QB.

There is no question Michigan's defense is beyond hope. Without Mike Martin causing some havoc up front, what little chance they had of stopping anyone, goes out the window.

And yet, if 3 plays had gone differently... The first one is the 3rd and 1 on M's first possession. I like Vincent Smith, I think he's a great receiver out of the backfield, but it is clear he should not e counted on to get one yard from the I-formation. That either needs to be Hopkins deep in the I or they should just run what they run... Denard is BY FAR the best player in the offense, why take the ball out of his hands on 3rd and short?

Jeremy Gallon's horrible kick-off gaffe. I know he was just trying to make a play, but that turns a 21-10 (or closer) halftime score into the 28-10 game.

And the 3rd is the questionable penalty call on JB Fitzgerald on the kickoff after M cut the lead to 7. The 20 or so yards PSU gained meant field goal instead of punt or going on 4th down.

There have been numerous factors outside of RRs control that have hurt his chances, but I'm tired of being told "just wait until he gets his players," "they're going to be so good in 2 years..."
I almost want to listen to the Sam & Mike Taylor show today just to hear Taylor tell people they don't know anything about football because they aren't all in.

It is interesting that you took out of yesterday's game that M's could still win the next two games. I feel like the Purdue game will once again be the only chance for M to get bowl eligible. I think Illinois has shown they can beat bad teams, and right now Michigan is a bad team.

Now, Opinions!!!

-3rd and short, give the ball to Smith.  That always works (TIC).
-Everyone is complaining about the Defense (for good reason), but the O had three drives in the first half that took a total of 4:18 and resulted in 3 punts.  With a bad to very bad D, that is dangerous.  With this D, we need to slow it down, keep the ball longer and give the opponent fewer chances.  Of course, RR would never change his offense to fit the game/team situation.  He proved that in 3-9, er 2008.
-With two weeks to prepare, why didn't they spend one week of it doing nothing but tackling drills?  That's what my JV team would have done.
-The D is young.  Of course, the D is also bad.  I don't expect many of these young guys to become stars.  There have been many freshman DBs who have played for Michigan over the years (I'm not counting Woodson, because he was special).  None of the current crew is nearly as good as any of those others.
-I hope RR has been spending more time with the D.  I'm sure McGee can handle the O, and RR needs to be doing drastic things.
-I'm not yet ready to call for the firing of RR.  There are 4 games yet, and there is no point in even discussing it yet, IMO.  But, I do intend to discuss how Jim Harbaugh will use DRob in his offense. (just kidding)
-See, M CAN kick a FG.
-I've said this before, Jeremy Gallon is slippery.
-I don't claim to understand the Xs and Os, but I'm not convinced the 3-3-5 is really any different than any other number combo.  There are always 5-7 people in the box, and DBs all over the field.  I remember when the NFL would call something a 3-4, and college/high school called it 5-2.  And when that always meant the NT was on the center.  Scheme numbers don't matter.  Football is a game of blocking and tackling.  M's D doesn't do their part (tackling).

Saturday, October 30, 2010

What I Learned Tonight

I ended up watching the game at Buffalo Wild Wings, which was not a bad choice.  When needed, I will do that again.

What I learned:
-M seemed to make its share of mistakes (not surprisingly), but what was more disappointing is not being able to take advantage of PSU's mistakes.
-When playing Buzztime Trivia, if the guy who comes almost every night to play ends up losing (three times) to someone who isn't there very often, he will direct an obscene gesture at the screen when the winner is announced.
-I thought that if M lost, I would pretty much think M will easily lose the rest of the games.  But, I don't really feel that way.  If M's offense is able to be average (for M), M could win the next two games, and maybe even keep the other two relatively close.  I hear the defense is pretty bad, though
-If you have a sticker of Lightning McQueen on your shirt because your 6-year-old son puts it there right before you go to a bar, the waitress will notice, but will not make any comments.
-MSU losing will never feel good enough to overcome the feeling when M loses (proof I am not like many MSU fans)
-When watching a game at a bar, I am at a distinct disadvantage without my roster and my glasses.