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.