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.

My Analysis of the Rucker / Dantonio Situation

Dantonio is Saban.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Favorite Players on PSU

#11 Matthew McGloin, QB, So
#54 Matt Stenkiewitch, C, So
#5 Graham Zug, WR, Sr
#5 Derrick Thomas, CB

Prediction for M -PSU

Really seems like a must win for Michigan - especially when you add the injuries Penn State has suffered.

M 35
PSU 17

or for jiMpossible's sake:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

PSU Prediction Based on Aku

psu 30- 24

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


From the Merriam Webster Website:


The word you've entered isn't in the dictionary. Click on a spelling suggestion below or try again using the search bar above.


dark reaction


trick or treat


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Big Ten Ladder

MSU (A loss to Iowa would put a 3 team group on the top rung)
OSU - Iowa
Illinois - Purdue - Michigan (interesting that two of M's remaining opponents are on the same rung)
PSU -Northwestern - Indiana

Prediction for M using the ladder:
@ PSU - Win
Ill - Win
@ PU - Loss
Overall Record 7-5, conference 3-5

If this week's games end up as predicted by Vegas, the ladder would look like this (I think):

MSU - Wisconsin - Iowa
Illinois  - Michigan 
Purdue  - PSU
Minnesota -Indiana

That would change the prediction to 8-4, 4-4

jiM's Full Comments To Mike's Analysis/Prediction Post

Though I think this year's D is worse than last year's I think very similarly about them.  They make more good plays than bad plays, but the bad plays are REALLY REALLY bad.

The O is better this year, I agree.

Special teams are worse, but I think we agree that they are not as horrible as most people think.  Yes, FGs are horrendous.  And I agree with you that it doesn't seem to just be a kicker problem, but I've never heard the coaches say that, so I wonder.  The coverage team is OK enough.  The punting is good.  The returners are good, but they never seem to have anywhere to run.  That is a huge disappointment.  We know Stonum can be a  good returner, and Gallon has shown some slippery-ness.  (the kicks out of bounds were bad mistakes, but i doubt there will be another kick out of bounds all season).

Though my prediction had a number of games wrong, the overall record was what I was really going for.  And at this point, I was confident of my 4-3.  Being one game better should mean M goes 7-5, not 6-6 as I predicted (and I'm confident about that...kindof).

My response to your predictions after the bye week:
-I agree Forcier plays more.  If RR doesn't use him in a similarly (reverse) fashion that DRob was used last year, then RR is an idiot.  Both QBs have skills that should be used.  As far as Gardner getting a RS, I've heard he played in a game too far in the season.  I'm not sure if that is true.  In any case, if he gets hurt in practice now and gets a RS, I will probably amongst those who think RR is a cheater.
-A RB should have a 100 yard game sometime.   I'm not sure who, but I would guess it will be Shaw, as he is fast enough to break a big run.  I don't expect any running back to have a 20 carry game.
-In my pre-season predictions (which were overall horrible) that Stonum will break one.  With Gallon returning KOs now, I will agree with you on that.
-M will be positive on TOs the rest of the way.  That's a toughy.  Iowa and MSU were certainly of the conservative don't make mistakes of offense, so taking the ball from them is difficult.  But M's mistakes were not necessarily forced.  Are they learning from their mistakes?  I'm not sure and will keep my money in my pocket on this one.
-I also agree that M will get some more penalties from the NCAA.  And you're right, it will really give anti-RR crowd some ammo.  It will be annoying.
-M WILL make another FG.  I say many more (many = 4).  One may even be important..
-Denard may have some good games, but Heisman talk should be done for him (until next year?)
-Gator Bowl would be a good game to go to, but it would almost certainly be a loss.  If Mallett is healthy, it would be ugly.

I'm Not As Smart As Most, But I Do Know Some Things

The past week was interesting as I listened to all of the people calling for the firing of RR and then all fot he others who are RR supporters .  Both sides are all so knowledgeable, it is amazing.

For instance, the anti-RR people know that RR will never win at M, that the spread doesn't work in the Big 10 and that RR is a bad person (for many reasons).  Meanwhile, the pro-RR crowd knows that RR will be successful if we have patience, that Mallett was leaving before RR even arrived (though nobody in the know actually has said this) and that changing coaches now would set the program back another 3 years.

How are they so smart?

With all of that said, I know two things:  3-9.  5-7.

Early in the year, when we were watching Illinois play Missouri (and playing them well early), I commented that it is good for the big 10.  SarcasMike commented something about it meaning that Illinois (who wasn't too good last year and lost some key players) could be better than we think and it could be a tough game vor M.  I had to admit that was true.

I have never thought like that before.  I root for the big10 to win all non-conference games because being in strong conference means higher national ranking.  I have never looked at is as a good good big10 non-conference win means a tougher M schedule and possibly more losses.  I haven't thought, until RR, that is, that we have no hope of a conference championship and we just need to find wins.

RR has made me look at some games as NOT possible wins.

From the time I started dating my Spartan now-wife, I always felt good that I could root for her team when they weren't playing M.  There was usually no reason not to.  M was usually ranked higher, was higher in the conference standings and beat MSU.  Sometimes all 3 of these wouldn't happen, but 1 or 2 were common, and we knew it was just temporary.  Until this year, that is.  I can't describe how much I want MSU to lose.  M has lost 3 times in a row, 2 of them were blowouts.  After 3 conference games this year, M is 2 1/2 games behind MSU.  Dantonio has as many conference wins in Michigan Stadium as RR.  I really hate this.

RR has made me hate my wife's football team.

Now, I'm not going to be the typical anti-RR guy who finds something wrong with RR no matter what news comes out (the Lombardi comment or Demens getting sued, for instance), but there are concerns I have with him and some things he has said.

I read the interview he gave to Wojo and a couple things stuck out.  First, he said that the pressure at M is not as much as he had at WVU.  Obviously, I don't know what he is feeling, but I'd be very surprised that the spotlight and responsibility at WVU would be as great and widespread as at M.  But, what really makes me think he either doesn't understand what he got himself into by coming here, or that he is lying, is when he keeps mentioning that winning is going to take time.  I don't know what he went into at WVU, but at M he came into a program that hadn't had a losing season in 4 decades.  AND HE'S HAD 2 OF THEM!!!!  How can he not think there is more pressure here?

Another thing about RR that I don't like is that he NEVER admits fault.  He never says "I'm responsible" for only 8 wins in 2 years, for the many bad TOs and penalties (yes, I do think that is coaching) or for the horrible defense.  In fact, his first year, I can remember he and Calvin McGee blaming specific players (QBs, mostly). I just don't like that.

One other comment I've heard RR say a lot is "We aren't good enough to make mistakes and win."  I would think that almost all teams would be in that situation, unless you are significantly better than the teams you play.  Were his teams at WVU that much better than other Big East teams?  Is that a sign that he CAN'T win in the Big 10?  Or is it a sign that his teams are mistake-prone teams?  Again, I don't know, but it is a concerning comment.

So, what does RR have to do to keep his job?  I don't know.  But, one more thing I DO know is that as long as he is here, regardless of whether he makes M a winner again, there will be a split in Wolverine Nation.  I'm not calling for him to get fired at this point, but I hope that this split is a factor when Brandon is making his decisions.

Congratulations Georgia - new trophy holder

Georgia beat Kentucky last night 44-31. For the 4th consecutive week - the trophy changed hand. Alabama - South Carolina - Kentucky - Georgia.

This is Georgia's 5th time holding the trophy. In 1942 they took the trophy from Alabama before losing it 3 weeks later to Auburn. In the finally of 1966, Georgia knocked off their cross-state rivals, Georgia Tech. They held the trophy for 5 games - including both of our births - before losing to Ole Miss. The Bulldogs took back the trophy early in the 1971, with a victory over Tulane. They ripped off 7 straight wins before losing to Auburn. The last time they held the trophy was in 1989. This was their shortest run. They defeated Mississippi State to gain the trophy, then lost the next week to South Carolina.

So overall the Bulldogs are 13-4 when holding the trophy. They've got 3 losable games left out of 4. Next week they face Florida in Jacksonville. November 6 they host Idaho State. November 13 they travel to Auburn. Then the close the regular season on the 27th against Georgia Tech.

I'm going to predict they lose next week to Florida and the trophy will change hands again...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Is 2010's 5-2 like 2009's 5-2? And if so, how likely is a 5-7 record?

For the second year in a row M is 5-2. As you pointed out, last year was the first 5-2 start that ended poorly in M history. Can we take what has happened so far to predict what will happen this year?

Last year's 5-2 came after a win over Delaware State. At that point of the season, there were questions about M's defense, but it hadn't shown itself to be BAD yet.
They had "good" defensive performances against WMU and DSU. Although they couldn't get off the field against MSU, they played well enough to keep M in the game until the offense woke up.
Against Iowa, they had a few bad breakdowns, but again, kept M in the game through several turnovers.
The rest of the season they gave up 35-38-38-45 before again looking like a decent defense in holding the Buckeyes to 21.

This year we've known the defense was BAD from day one. But I would say they are worse than most people expected. 37 points to UMass; 35 to Indiana; 34 to MSU and 38 to Iowa. At this point a year ago the most points M had given up was 34 to ND with what was assumed to be the best offense M would face all year.

So the defense looks to be in worse shape than last year.

On offense, the similarities between the two seasons are obvious - at least on the surface. "RR finally has the QB he needs to run his system." I'm pretty sure we heard that last year. We've definitely heard it this year. "Turnovers killed us against..." The injuries to the quarterback and "Molk have really hurt us."
At the same time, they're averaging more than 100 yards a game more than last year. The running game - with arguably worse backs - is often dominant. The offensive line seems to be very strong. Lewan, when he isn't getting stupid penalties, looks like he could be a great one. Both QBs have looked good - I'm going to go ahead and say that M will try for a medical redshirt on Gardner - the majority of the time. Robinson was dominant in ways that Forcier never was last year. But both showed the ability to lead late scoring drives.
I think the offense is better than last year, maybe not to the degree the defense is worse, but still better.

The special teams - The place-kicking was nothing to write home about last year, but it wasn't awful. This year is awful. Several of the misses/blocks have occured after bad snaps, so I'm not sure it is all on the kicker, but 2 of 8 is "NOT ACCEPTABLE." After some early trouble, the punting is doing very well. As good as Zoltan was, I think punting is close to even. The kick/punt return hasn't been anything special. A couple muffed punts haven;t cost M too much. Stonum hasn't been able to break a kickoff like he did last year. The kickoff coverage team seems like it is about ready to give up a TD - there have been some close calls. Overall - I'd say the special teams are not as strong as last year.

M is 1-10 in October under RR. The only victory was the whitewashing over Delaware St. M is 1-6 in November, with the only win over Minnesota when Nick Sheridan suddenly became competent.

My prediction for this point was 5-2, with losses to ND and Iowa. So I go the record right and swapped ND and MSU. Although losing to MSU hurts more than on the road to ND, overall this is a wash. Your prediction for this point of the season was 4-3. You had losses to UConn, ND and Indiana. So M won three games you had as losses, but lost two you thought they'd win. Even though they have a better record than you predicted, the consecutive loss trend might be pointing in a direction you wouldn't have liked.

We both predicted they'd finish out 2-3 with the wins over Illinois and Purdue. I think those games are still within reach, but maybe look a little tough than we expected. At the same time, Penn State may not be as tough as we thought.

Even though I spelled out above that the team is worse on defense and special teams than last years squad - I don't think this is a 5-7 team. I would think 7-5 is the most likely outcome with 8-4 slightly more likely than 6-6. Unfortunately, I think 5-7 is more likely than 9-3 or 10-2.

Predictions for after the bye week:

Forcier will play more even without Denard injuries.
One of the running backs will have at least one 100 yard game
Stonum or Gallon will break a return for a score
M will be positive in turnovers the rest of the way
The NCAA decision will come out at an inopportune time for M public relations-wise. And it will be slightly worse than expected - enough for the RR haters to raise the volume even more.
M will not make another field goal
Denard Robinson will not be invited to NYC for the Heisman ceremony
M will go to the Gator Bowl against Arkansas

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

One Year Ago Today

I made two posts one year ago today.  One was mentioning that Ron Cameron had a Sunday radio show.  I have no idea if he still does.  I think I only heard it the one time.

The other post, which took place prior to the PSU game, mentioned that M had not yet allowed a TD in the 3rd quarter.  As of that time, M had allowed only allowed 9 3rd quarter points.  This year, M has allowed 45 points in the 3rd Quarter.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


There are so many things to say about the M football team, but even though I am leaning toward being more negative than positive about the rest of the season, I have to agree with the few bloggers who are reasonable and say "let's see what happens."  With all of the "FIRE RODRIGUEZ NOW"s and the "He needs another year"s I find myself gritting my teeth and wondering how people can be so strongly opinionated either way.  They either know much much more than I do (which is possible) or they know nothing at all (which is more possible).  Because, I have no idea what is going to happen now.  The good, of course, is that M's last two games (losses) were against the likely top two teams in the conference (I haven't done the Big Ten ladder, but they would probably be tied for first with Purdue, of course).  M's prior game (win) was to one of the worst teams in the league.  With that in mind, we can conclude that M is not one of the best teams in the conference.  And, M may not be one of the worst teams in the conference.  So, really, we should expect losses in the last two games, and possible wins in the other three.  Two of those three are on the road.  All three of them are against teams the M has lost to twice in the past two seasons in pretty ugly games.   But, all three are still ranked below M in the CFRC, showing that computers think M's overall performance this year has been more impressive than the other three.  In fact PSU and PU (the two road games) are 30 positions lower.

I haven't even mentioned the factors regarding M's personnel, such as (negative) injuries, defensive schemes, young players (I've heard that somewhere), and (positive) DRob when playing well, Forcier for his first 10 passes, improving receivers, punting).

So, after looking at all of this, my heart (the one that hates getting hopes up and then having those hopes sat on by an elephant) can't be confident M is going to win more than one game.  5-2 shouldn't make me feel this way, but 5-2 with an RR team isn't the same as any other M 5-2 teams.  Last year M was 5-2.  Finished 5-7.    In 2007, M was 5-2, finished 9-4.  2003, finished10-3.  2000, 9-3.  1999, 10-2.  1998, 10-3. 1994, 8-4.  1982, 8-4.  1981, 9-3.  1980, 10-2.  1969, 8-3.  1961, 6-3.  1956, 7-2.  1954, 6-3.  1953, 6-3.  1949, 6-2-1.  1945, 7-3.  1942, 7-3.  1939, 7-2.  1920, 5-2.  1914, 6-3.  1912, 5-2.
So, in the history of M football prior to last year, in seasons M started 5-2, the average number of victories at the end of the season (regardless of how many games played) is 7.6.  That is 2.6 more than RR had last year. Another record for RR.

Monday, October 18, 2010

High School Playoff Point Standings

Tecumseh #159 out of 188 in class B
Gladstone #119 out of 188 in class B
Hillman #20 out of 62 in class D

Now what indeed...

Like the MSU game, the excuse makers have built in evidence for M's "greatness."

If Smith doesn't fumble, if Denard doesn't get hurt/Tate comes in sooner, if Lewan doesn't pick up so many stupid penalties, if Mike Martin/David Molk don't get hurt, if Avery makes the third down tackle, if someone picks off that last third down pass of Iowa's that was just begging to be intercepted of the deflection...

I think it is clear that teams with decent defenses give Michigan trouble. So I would put PSU, Illinois, Wisconsin and OSU in that group. Teams with somewhat balanced offenses give M trouble. Purdue, Wisconsin and OSU meet this category.

Michigan is 2-0 on the road (in Indiana!) so maybe PSU, OSU and especially Purdue are in the W column?

Robinson regressed as a passer against MSU and I didn't feel like he was back to his pre-MSU self vs. Iowa. Tate was Tate - some great throws, some horrible throws...

I thought Kenny Demens was much better than I have ever seen Ezeh play. M stopped Iowa the first two possessions then put Ezeh in for a drive and Iowa found their offense - I doubt it was a coincidence.

For Rodriguez the most important games left on the schedule are Illinois and Purdue. Losing to OSU 3 years in a row is forgivable. Losing to MSU 3 years in a row is painful but they're a decent to very good team. Losing to Illinois and Purdue 3 years in a row - that will get you fired.

New Trophy Holder

South Carolina's reign as holder of College Football's All-time traveling trophy (jiMpossible/sarasMike Cup?) was a short one. Kentucky scored with 1:15 left to take the lead after a furious comeback. An interception with 0:04 left and in field goal range completed the win.

Kentucky has never held the trophy before. Their remaining schedule is:

@ Mississippi State
Charleston Southern
@ Tennessee

With the possible exception on 2-4 Charleston Southern, I think Kentucky can lose to anyone on that schedule.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Now What?

Before the Iowa game, I figured we'd be able to use the results of that game to be a good guide as to what to expect the rest of the year.  A blow out, like the MSU game, and I'd be HOPING M would make it to a bowl game.  A close game (even a close loss, as I predicted), and I'd have the confidence M could play with anyone and we could hope for 2-3 more wins.

But, after Saturday's game, I am as confused as ever.  M was this close (imagine my fingers in the US Paratrooper 30 second position) to being blown out, but somehow escaped it, giving their fans some hope, then last by a number that is somewhere between a blowout and a close game.  Maybe if M was with Iowa throughout, the 10 points would seem closer, but falling behind by 3 scores makes a final 10 point difference a (somewhat) long way.

So, now what? Will M come back and play teams that aren't as good as Iowa and MSU better than they've played Iowa and MSU and pull out wins?  Or are they going to play teams that are better than UMass and Indiana the way they played against UMass and Indiana and end up losing?

Really.  Now what?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Great Northern UP Conference Ladder


Projected conference record for Gladstone, 1-3 (3-5 overall)

Special Undefeated Teams

There are now 13 undefeated teams in FBS.  Of these 13, 6 have played (and beaten, of course) teams with only 1 loss.

Oregon, Auburn, LSU and Nebraska have each beaten one team with only one loss.

Two teams have beaten two teams (each) with one loss:  Oklahoma, Michigan State.

So, right now, OK and MSU should be #1 and 2 and heading for the BCS Championship game. (of course, MSUs two one loss-team victories are underdogs this week)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Iowa prediction based on historical data

M is 163-44-1 in all games I have attended (all stats are only for games I have attended unless otherwise mentioned)
M is 135-32-1 in games at Michigan Stadium
M is 112-32-1 in conference games
M is 19-4-1 in the 6th game I have seen in a particular season
M is 30-4 with #16 as starting QB
M is 23-4 against bird related mascots
M is 10-3 against Iowa
M is 62-13-1 against University of state name schools
M is 48-24 against ranked teams
M is 20-13 when facing a higher ranked team
M is 22-11 when unranked
M is 7-2 when unranked and playing a ranked opponent

It's simple when you add it all up

M saves the season

M 37 - Iowa 24

Iowa Prediction Based On Menu Board

ia 28-27

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

WTKA Poll Question

Surprise!!! WTKA's poll question is....

Will Michigan beat Iowa?

I answered 'no', but M fans being M fans, it is currently 56% yes, 44% no.  I hope they're right and I'm wrong.

Monday, October 11, 2010

New Trophy Holder

With their victory over Alabama, South Carolina took possession of the all-time trophy. This is the 2nd time the Gamecocks have held the trophy.

In 1989, USC beat Georgia to take the trophy. They followed that with wins over East Carolina and Western Carolina. The next week on they lost to a different directional Carolina, 20-10 to NC State.

I think the Gamecocks could lose to any of the teams remaining on their schedule:

@ Kentucky
@ Vanderbilt
@ Florida
@ Clemson

I would say it is likely to remain in the SEC until the Bowl season at least.

espn bowl predictions week 6

Full ESPN picks are in.

Illinois - Texas (MS) or Dallas FC (AA)
Indiana - none (Both)
Iowa - Cap One (Both)
Michigan - Gator (Both)
MSU - Rose (MS) or Outback (AA)
Minnesota - none
Northwestern - Insight (MS) or Texas (AA)
OSU - BCS champ game (Both)
PSU - Dallas FC (MS) or Little Caesar's (AA)
Purdue - Little Caesar's (MS) or none (AA)
Wisconsin - Outback (MS) or Insight (AA)

Here's the predicted order of finish:

Penn StN'Western
IllinoisPenn St

Alabama's loss is OSU's gain as they're back in both championship games. MSU gets a Rose Bowl bid from Schlabach, Adelson gives a second BCS bid to the SEC (Auburn) over the Big1T1en.

It would appear the "experts see either 2 or 3 losses on M's schedule. Would you take that right now?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

MSU Score Based On Agnes Skinner

M 36 MSU 28

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

MSU pick based on historical data

M is 163-43-1 in all games I have attended (all stats are only for games I have attended unless otherwise mentioned)
M is 135-31-1 in games at Michigan Stadium
M is 112-31-1 in conference games
M is 18-7 in the 5th game I have seen in a particular season
M is 30-3 with #16 as starting QB
M is 45-17-1 against human-ish mascots
M is 15-4 against MSU (MSU is 5-15 in games I've seen them play)
M is 39-13 against state name State University schools
M is 23-4 against schools from the Michigan
M is 1-0 on games played on October 9th
M is 48-23 against ranked teams
M is 20-12 when facing a higher ranked team
M is 5-0 when ranked 18th
M is 24-3 when ranked 15-19th
M is 141-32-1 when ranked
M is 1-1 when they've lost the last two to the opponent
M is 3-4 in games my dad has been on the field (3-1, when attending with a blood relative)
M is 8-3 when ESPN Gameday is in attendance - but for some reason this doesn't apply (probably following the all-time trophy)

It's simple when you add it all up

I'm not happy about this:

M 35
MSU 38

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

MSU Mascot Statue

I figured I'd be able to find a picture of a different Spartan statue somewhere on the MSU campus, but I was wrong.  So, here's Sparty

A Positive Spin

With MSU's defense being better than Indiana's, it will take M longer to score, which will give the M defense more rest, which will result in MSU not scoring as much.

Monday, October 4, 2010

espn bowl predictions week 5

ESPN Bowl predictions

Illinois - Little Caesars (MS) or none (AA)
Indiana - Dallas FC (MS) or none (AA)
Iowa - Orange(MS) or Cap One (AA)
Michigan - Cap One (MS) or Gator (AA)
MSU - Outback (Both)
Minnesota - none
Northwestern - Insight (MS) or Dallas FC (AA)
OSU - Rose (MS) or BCS champ game (AA)
PSU - Texas (Both)
Purdue - none
Wisconsin - Gator (MS) or Insight (AA)

Predicted order of finish


This is the first time OSU has been out of the BCS Championship game. MS has Alabama v.Oregon, while AA had OSU v. Boise St. While MS apparently knocked the Buckeyes for their close game with Illinois, he also included Illinois in the Bowl picture.

The M-MSU game should decide which school is 3rd and which isn't - at least.


With 83 reporting (85 reported last week), M is #17. MSU is #21

Nearest road game below: #31 PSU
Nearest home game above: #10 Iowa

The way I see it, M should go 10-2 based on this.

The AP Poll is second to last in Correlation to Consensus. The USA Today Coaches Poll is 3rd to last. Clearly, humans aren't computers and vice versa.

North Star League Ladder

Mio / Augres-Sims
Atlanta /Twining Arenac Eastern

Projected Hillman conference record based on ladder: 5-0

Robinson's REAL Drew Stanton moment

I don't know if it was audible on the television, especially since you couldn't watch it at home, but when Robinson went down the Indiana student section cheered loudly.

I know Drew Stanton thinks this happened to him at Michigan when he went down in 2004 - I don't remember it this way. But with Robinson there is no denying it. Robinson was tackled - normal cheer. Then after a few seconds when it became apparent he was still down then the crowd went crazy. I've never seen anything like that. It is one thing to think to yourself "wow, that could help us"... it is quite another to cheer lustily about an injured opponent.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

MSU Fight Song

The actual title of the long-form MSU Fight Song is Falcone Fight, named after an arranger or something.

Current MSU lyrics

On the banks of the Red Cedar,
There's a school that's known to all;
Its specialty is winning,
And those Spartans play good ball;
Spartan teams are never beaten,
All through the game they fight;
Fight for the only colors:
Green and White.

Go right through for MSU,
Watch the points keep growing,
Spartan teams are bound to win,
They're fighting with a vim!
Rah! Rah! Rah!
See their team is weakening,
We're going to win this game,
Fight! Fight! Rah! Team, Fight!
Victory for MSU!

Original Michigan Agriculture Lyrics (1915)

On the banks of the Red Cedar,
There's a school that's known to all;
Its specialty is farming,
And those farmers play football;
Aggie teams are never beaten,
All through the game they'll fight;
Fight for the only colors:
Green and White.

Smash right through that line of blue,
Watch the points keep growing.
Aggie teams are bound to win,
They're fighting with a vim!
Rah! Rah! Rah!
Michigan is weakening,
We're going to win this game.
Fight! Fight! Rah! Team, Fight!
Victory for M.A.C.!

Falcone Fight

Hoot's video

With Michigan on the goal line in the closing seconds, Hoot wanted to get a photo of what we hoped would be the winning TD, she didn't it was set on video - this is so much better!

Thoughts that somewhat reply to jiMpossibles thoughts

I don't think Kovacs is at his beast against a passing team. They may have been better off using BrianGoBlog's theory of using him as middle linebacker and putting in 2 of Johnson/T Gordon/Avery/Talbott. He should be better this week - when he can run downhill to stop the Spartans running game. Of course he'll look bad when they run play-action.

Live it was difficult to pick out one defender to blame. I know in long yardage, they would move Floyd to safety when they brought in Avery and Tallbott. Maybe they should just keep him at corner - but if he's screwing up there too, I don't know what to tell you.

It seemed like after Robinson came back - they were protecting him more. More hand offs and passes, less QB runs. Then they decided there was no more time to fool around, and they turned him loose. At this point, I'm not sure anything but injuries and coaching decisions can stop him.

Did Gallon fully muff that punt? I thought he just bobbled it and then it he gathered it in before it hit the ground. Maybe it did go all the way to the ground, but just for argument sake - if it didn't go to the ground is the coverage team allowed to hit the returner? He had called a fair catch, it would seem if the ball never hits the ground, they still shouldn't be able to touch him. They did have both he and Dileo back on at least one of the punts. I like that.

If the M defense can't stop the other team by dropping 8 back into coverage, why not not blitz like mad. Worst case scenario, they score more quickly - which means more possessions for the offense...

I refuse to comment on the Palestine/Israel situation. As I recall from "Time in a Bottle" the problem was not theirs in the beginning...

Some Thoughts

Kovacs has 3.5 tackles for loss yet 0 pass break-ups. What position does he play?

Floyd is bad.  He does so many things wrong and the opponents know it.  He is going to be picked on all year.

I categorize long passes into two categories.  a) Those that the QB tosses up for grabs and lets the receiver out maneuver/out jump/out whatever the defender to get the ball.  And b) Those where the receiver gets a step on the defender and the QB throws a pass that the receiver can get and the defender can not.  Sometimes a not-so-good pass turns a b) into an a) (like yesterday's last long bomb).  For any a), unless the receiver is significantly better than the defender (see Braylon Edwards vs MSU), then there is an element of luck involved.  For M, I'm confident DRob has a strong enough arm to throw these long passes, and we've seen the receivers have made some plays, but I'm concerned with two things here.  1) DRob misses too many of the b) passes.  Yesterday they were overthrows, but underthrows happen, too.  and 2) Even though we've had some success these past two games, I'm still not confident in the abilities of the receivers to beat good defenders to create b) passes or when they end up being a) passes.  In the Lindy's sports pre-season mag, Indiana's secondary was projected as the 11th worst in the league.  MSUs was 4th.  We'll see how this goes.

Gallon just needs to catch the ball.  He isn't successful at that one thing.  Please replace him.

Stonum seemed to like to run into his blockers on KO returns yesterday.  Were they getting pushed back more than usual?  I still expect him to break one for a TD this year.

M is last in passing D (yards) in college football.  The best pass D yesterday was when Chappell (incorrectly pronounced Chapel) looked like he thought he was being pressured and made bad throws.  I remember from last year, too, that he got rid of the ball a lot sooner than other QBs would because he thought the rushers were right there.  He still had a pretty good game (yikes!). 

Indiana appeared to have something figured out on how to stop DRob and the offense.  It worked for about a quarter.  Then, it looked like DRob said to himself and his teammates "Let's win!" And he did.  I'm not sure if it is bad that teams are able to figure out ways to stop the O, or if it is good that when a score is needed Drob and the O can put it into high and WILL score. 

Drob got hurt again.  Again, I wasn't concerned and I don't know why.  Maybe it was because the way he got up looked like he had just had the wind knocked out of him.

I was annoyed with some of the play calling on O.  I know that RR's success was not made on being conservative, but when you are up by 7, have 3rd and 8, need about 2 first downs to pretty much seal the win, and have a suspect defense, throwing 20 yards downfield doesn't make sense.

I didn't really watch the MSU game (though it was on at the bar/restaurant where I watched the second half of the M game), but what I did see was MSU was gutsy on 4th and 1, up by 3 late in the game.  They went for it and got the TD.  Also, I saw that the first half stats showed MSU dominated by yards, but had three TOs, resulting in 10 Wisconsin points.  I'm not sure what this means other than I think M has a better chance at beating Wisconsin this year, and I'm not quite as confident against MSU.

If Israel was serious about these peace talks, they would extend the moratorium on building new settlements.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

3rd (4th) and Long Defense

I have it in my mind that M gives up first downs (or TDs, sometimes both) a lot on 3rd and long plays (or the subsequent 4th down).  I decided to look it up and see if my perception is true.  I decided to use defensive plays of 3rd down and 10 or more because a) the feeling I have is how ridiculously badly the D is doing and 10 yards is a ridiculous distance to get on one critical play and b) If I used a smaller number it would take me longer to gather the data.

I was very surprised that M gave up first downs (or TDs, sometimes both) on only 2 of 7 3rd and 10+ attempts (and subsequent 4th downs) today.  It seemed like every long 3rd down was successful for the Indiana, but in fact M forced 3 punts, and twice prevented Indiana from making it on 4th down.

For the season M has allowed first downs (or TDs, sometimes both) 9 times out of 26 3rd and longs.  It is a little sad to think if the D can hold a team to no gain or loss of yardage on the first two plays of a sequence, 1/3 of the time they will allow a first down anyhow.

But, looking closer shows that 4 of these 9 were against UConn (4 of 6).  Since then, M has a 5 out of 20 rate.  The worst one for this season was today's 3rd and 19.

In second quarters this year, M's rate is 3 of 4

I don't know what all of this means.  I think it shows that M has improved since the UConn game, but still has that vulnerability.  If I have time I will compare it to some other team to see how those numbers come up.

jiM's Big Ten Picks based on IPad

Friday, October 1, 2010

Potential round number events

Washington State comes into this weekend with an all-time record of 493-499-45. They face UCLA at the Rose Bowl trying to avoid their 500th loss. (Northwestern is the all-time leader with 622)

Baylor has a chance to get over .500 in all-time winning percentage. They currently are 527-527-43 and they host Kansas.

Texas is 38 points away from scoring 29,000 in their history. They face Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry Saturday. (Oklahoma is the all-time scoring leader with 31,052 - Michigan is second with 30,105 just 17 points ahead of Nebraska)

Pet Peeve

Something that has been irking me lately is the use of the term "QB Draw".  Basically, whenever anyone talks about any play that DRob runs the ball and it isn't a scramble, they call it a QB Draw.

A draw is a play that looks like it is going to be a pass, but is actually a run.  QB draws don't usually have quite the movement and flow as handoff draws do, but when the ball is snapped to the QB and his first action is to take off, that is not a QB draw.  A quick step back, or passing motion or something else would make it a draw, but many of DRobs reported "QB draws" are not draws.  The 46 yards TD run last week was not a QB Draw.  I'd probably refer to is as a QB sweep.

Big Ten picks

So we've already picked the Michigan - Indiana game for this week. I figured since the conference games are starting in earnest this weekend, I'd pick all the games.

I'll take Northwestern big over Minnesota 38-7
OSU bigger over Illinois 49-0
Iowa relatively close over Penn St. 23-14
The best game of the day will be Wisconsin @ Michigan State. As much as I'd like to have a match-up of undefeateds next weekend in Ann Arbor, I think the Badgers will be able to take down the Spartans, 27-24.

I think Purdue will tie Bye, 0-0