Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

MSU ranked vs. unranked OSU

I saw this on the Twitters
Tony Gerdeman (@GerdOzone)
9/27/11 10:15 PM

It's been 45 years since a ranked Michigan State team and an unranked Ohio State team have met on the football field.

That would be 1966 when 4-0 MSU went to the horseshoe to face 1-2 OSU. The Spartans came away with an 11-8 victory, their closest game of the season until the 10-10 tie in the Game of the Century at the end of the year against Notre Dame.

Of course this almost isn't even true. MSU is ranked 25 in he USA Today coaches poll and is the first team listed in others receiving votes in the AP poll. In the CFRC, MSU is 38 and OSU is 40.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

M vs. Minnesota predistion based on historical data

M is 168-47-1 in all games have attended (all data is from games I have attended unless otherwise noted)
M is 140-34-1 in Michigan Stadium
M is 35-7 in when #16 starts as their quarterback
M is 113-34-1 in conference games (43-6-1 in Big 10, 70-28 in Big Ten, 0-0 in B1G)
M is 2-o in the first game with a particular number of conference teams
M is 12-2 against Minnesota
M is 6-0 when ranked #19 (M was last ranked 19 going into the Indiana game played almost exactly 1 year ago)
M is 120-20-1 against unranked opponents
M is 1-1 when facing teams for the 15th time
M is 17-9 in the 5th game I've seen in a season
M is 58-20 in October
M is 22-4 against teams with rodent/weasel mascots

It's easy when you add it all together:

M 45 Minnesota 13

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Some Mostly Useless Statistics

M has run only 22 plays while the games have been tied this year.

When trailing by 15 or more points, M averages 77 yards per pass play. (only 2 yards per rushing play)

M's winning streak is tied for 11th longest in the country (up from 16th last week).

While trailing, DRob averages just under 9 yards per carry.  When inside M's 20 yard line, he averages 11 yards per carry.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

SDSU Thoughts

Some thoughts after the SDSU game:

Even though I don’t feel any better about most of my specific concerns about this team, I somehow feel better about the team overall.  I don’t know if I feel like M will be able to go 5-3 in the conference or anything like that, but I definitely think it is possible to be in every game until the 4th quarter.

If you are looking for a way to reduce the number of carries for your 20+ carry QB, I don’t think the best idea is to put in the option play.  Of course, he was able to make some good gains when that play was called.  I don’t know if he is doing enough to stay healthy (running out of bounds, getting down before tackles, etc.).  In the first half I thought he wasn’t taking hits too badly.  In the second half I said “oof” a number of times when he carried the ball.  That will be a concern all year, I think.

I don’t want to worry about FG kicking, so I’ll just remember that M has only missed one FG this year.  Only missing one FG in 4 games is rather impressive.

The defensive line really showed up.  The rest of the defense was good, too.  Two games in a row under double digits is pretty groovy. The last season that happened was Lloyd's last season. It also happened the season before that. (Rodrig never did that).

That pass to Dileo was about the same as the play he got his TD on last week.  They need to do it more often.  Of course, one of those was dropped today (was that Koger?).

Speaking of drops.  There were too many.  Of course, Denard’s passing is just plain bad.  He has no touch on short passes, no touch on long passes (a little altitude will let the receiver get to it) and makes horrible decisions on medium passes.  I don’t see him improving on this as the season goes on.  I hope I'm wrong.

If there is a RB battle going on, I’m pretty sure Hopkins is closer being out of it.

I still think Smith is running the best.  He is tough and has some speed.  I don’t know if he is running well enough to solidify himself in the starting position yet, but I think he should be the starter for another week.  

Again, Smith made a screen play work that wasn’t working.  Against ND, Lewan (I think) missed his guy completely and Smith scooted around him.  This time, it looked like he was in front of two of the Offensive Linemen when he caught the ball.  For a team that can’t throw the ball downfield and has some problems with RBs running the ball, you’d think they would work harder on screens, bubble screens, and other very short passes.

SDSU’s passing game was bad.  I don’t know how much was forced by the M defense, but the number of passes that were in the wrong time zone and inexcusable drops was scary.  

Overall, though, I liked what the D did.  I didn’t seen anyone make multiple painful mistakes.

Most of the first half it looked like M just had more talent and was going to win for that reason.  Not unlike many of the wins M had during the Bo/Mo/Lloyd era.  I’m hoping this is the first of many wins like this.  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

M vs San Diego St prediction based on historical data

M is 167-47-1 in all games I have attended (all data refers only to games I have attended unless otherwise stipulated)
M is 139-34-1 in Michigan Stadium (140-34-1 if you count ice hockey)
M is 34-7 in games with #16 as their starting QB
M is 2-1 against teams in the Mountain West Conference
M is 21-5 in the 4th game I have seen in a particular season
M is 1-1 when ranked number 22
M is 12-3 when ranked between 20-25
M is 119-20-1 against unranked teams
M is 47-18-1 against teams with "humanish" mascots
M is 22-7 against schools with the name of their city (location) in the schools name
M is 41-17 against schools with "State" in their "common" name
M is 19-8 against teams with a nickname representing a conquered people
M is 1-3 in the 4th game I have seen M's coach as their head coach (only Bo was a winner)
M is 152-42-1 against teams whose head coach's first name is a movie title ( I didn't think there would be so many... stupid IMDB)

It is simple when you put it all together:

M 21

San Diego State Prediction Based On Soap

m 35 sdsu 23

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Interesting article on College football fanbase size

Interesting article from the NYTimes looking at the geography of college football fanbases.

Michigan ends up with the second largest fanbase, behind OSU. Although it is tough to see Michigan behind OSU in anything, I think having an entire state essentially to themselves makes the difference. I would (like to think) that outside of their home states M still has an advantage over OSU. But splitting the state with MSU and Michigan having a smaller population than Ohio make the difference.

Breaking out some of the numbers:
Total number of fans for Michigan schools:
Michigan 2.9M
MSU 1.1M
WMU 105K
CMU 65.7K
EMU 65.1K
gets us to 4.24M fans Michigan gets ~68% of those fans.

Total number of fans for Ohio Schools
OSU 3.2M
Cincinnati 323K
Akron 198K
Miami 121K
Toledo 110K
Ohio 108K
Kent 71K
gets only 4.25M fans and OSU gets a 75%

I think that somewhat hold my theory. Michigan loses a much larger share of fans - both locally and to a lesser extent nationally to MSU. While the Buckeyes only lose tiny amount to their state schools.

I would be interested in seeing how the markets within Michigan broke down. I bet SW Michigan is a 3 way fight - with Michigan maybe even third behind Notre Dame and MSU. Michigan likely still dominates in Detroit. The rural areas I would guess are slightly Michigan, but that is based more on historically better program more than anything else.

I would be very interested to see this tracked over time. I would have thought ND would have come out first. They likely would have in the 1940-60s. Before the NFL took over NYC in the late 1950s, I would think all the numbers would have been a much higher percentage - but especially in the east.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Where have all the conferences gone? Realignment in FBS

It appears the Big 12 and the Big East are coming apart. There is a lot of talk of four - 16-team super conferences leaving every one else outside looking in.

The Big 12 dissolving is not really that surprising to me. The inequity of Texas getting so much more than the other schools is hard to take. And the Big 12 is really only in existence because the SWC fell apart. From the beginning when they didn't guarantee an Oklahoma-Nebraska match-up every year, I thought there were problems.

The Big East has never been a football conference in my mind - Miami's success not-withstanding. It has always been about basketball. So when BC, Miami and Virginia Tech left a few years ago, I didn't think anything of it - because they weren't basketball schools. But when Syracuse leaves - Syracuse one of the founders - one of the darlings of Madison Square Garden leaves, I realized football money trumps basketball and logic.

Will the B1G be left without a chair when the realignment music stops? Should they even play this round? Who will be left of interest?

As always there is the golden child - Notre Dame. They make perfect sense - great academics, national following, geographically perfect. They currently are in the Big East in everything but football and hockey. With the Big East losing luster, will they be forced to blink this time? I read on twitter the suggestion of ND getting the same option from the B1G (everything but football), Why would the conference take that?

Missouri? Geographical - but little else. Kansas - Basketball & geography. The other Big 12 cast offs are even less appealing.
From the east - Rutgers - near NYC geographically - but not in the minds of fans (NYC or otherwise). Louisville, UConn etc. not much to go on.

Any chance the B1G loses teams if they don't add? I don't think Nebraska wants to go anywhere again so soon. PSU has always wanted another eastern team - maybe this is their chance to run if no one new joins from the east. I'd take a ND for PSU any day - let's make that trade.

Although the B1G was ahead of the curve on the last expansion, I think they're behind now and maybe that's the right place to be.

2011 first quarter (of the season) thoughts

Michigan has completed the first quarter of its 2011 schedule undefeated - this puts them ahead of my preseason prediction. But not to the point where I'm confident going forward.

  1. Slow starts - Michigan has yet to score in the 1st quarter. They've been outscored 21-0. WMU was 1-1 on possessions, ND was 2-2, EMU was 0-2* with a fumble and getting stopped on the 1 yard line on 4th down. Michigan is 0-5** with 2 interceptions.
  2. Denard has been inaccurate (27-55 with 4 interceptions) in the passing game.
  3. No one outside of Denard has been able to consistently generate a running game. He has 352 of Ms' 680, about ~52%. 2010 showed us this is not a sustainable way to victory in conference.
  4. Poor kick-off coverage - Average start after a kickoff for the opponents is the 30 yard line. If you throw two outliers - it moves up 2 full yards on only 16 kickoffs...
  5. Rush defense - Giving up 4.8 yards/carry against 2 MAC teams and Notre Dame does not bode well in conference play.
  6. Not enough plays from Craig Roh, RVB and Mike Martin - the defensive "leaders"
  7. Haven't gotten far enough ahead in MAC games to get the back-ups (especially Devin Gardner) many reps.
*EMU's 3rd drive of the 1st quarter ended in a field goal early in the 2nd.
**M's first possession against WMU ended in a TD in the 2nd quarter.

  1. Overall defensive improvement - There seems to be more of an idea on defense this year. It's tough to quantify. My feeling is the linebackers have been much better than last year and the DBs have been better as well. The D-line still needs to improve - especially given that it is the "strength" of this defense.
  2. Making corrections and improving as the game goes on - after the 1st period, M has outscored the opposition 100-23. Jump balls being unsustainable as an offense aside - M has made plays when they've figured out what they could do against the opposition.
  3. Denard can still do this (from mgoblog).
  4. Very improved play from Jeremy Gallon both on special teams and as a receiver.
  5. Similar improvement from Thomas Gordon on defense.
  6. Jake Ryan seems like he's going to be a good one.
  7. No horrible special teams gaffes.
Where do we go from here?
I don't think any games on the schedule are un-winnable or unfortunately un-loseable.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Clemson - new trophy holder

Congratulations to Clemson for taking the sarcasMike-jiMpossible all-time college football traveling trophy from Auburn today.

This is the third time Clemson has held the trophy - they defeated Duke on October 19, 1974, but lost to Tennessee the next week.

The waited 14 to hold the trophy again. The beat Penn State on New Years Day 1988. The rattled off 2 victories to start the 1988 season before losing to Florida State.

The trophy leaves the SEC for the first time since Florida won the BCS mNC over Oklahoma in January of 2009.

Clemson becomes the first ACC school to possess the trophy since Florida State's 15 game run in 1999-2000. Coincidentally, Clemson hosts Florida State next weekend. If they get by the Seminoles, they travel to Blacksburg to face the Hokies.

Friday, September 16, 2011

M vs. EMU prediction based on Historical data

M is 166-47-1 in games I have attended (all data refers only to games I have attended unless otherwise noted)
M is 138-34-1 in Michigan Stadium
M is 33-7 with #16 as their starting QB
M is 17-1 against the MAC
M is 25-1 in the 3rd game I have attended in a particular season
M is 3-0 against EMU
M is 12-1 following games that they've set a new national attendance record
M is 118-20-1 against unranked teams
M is 25-14 while unranked
M is 24-5 against teams from Michigan
M is 50-9 against teams I have seen play a team other than Michigan (I saw EMU beat UNLV in 1995)
M is 22-3 against directional schools

It's simple when you put it all together:

M 41 - EMU 17

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Eastern Michigan Prediction Based On London Underground

m 48 emu 14

What are the chances 2011 = 2010 = 2009

Michigan opens it season with an easy win and a decent defensive performance. They follow that up with a dramatic last minute win over arch-rival Notre Dame. Stop me if you've heard this one before.
Where does M go from here?

Reasons to expect 2011 is more of the same
  • Lack of talent on defense
  • ND is once again not as good as their press clippings
  • Offense relied on a few plays that it would seem could be coached against
  • Defense not getting much pressure without blitzing
Reasons to expect more from this team
  • better coaching - especially on the defensive side
  • offense - players and coaches - are feeling each other out and will improve over the course of the season as they learn what they can do
  • it can't happen 3 years in a row, right?
I'm not convinced this is a very good football team. I guess maybe because of that - even though the final result (still thinking 8-4) will be about the same, I don't think they'll get there the same way they have the past two seasons.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Notre Dame Prediction Based On BART Platform

nd 28, m18

M - Notre Dame prediction based on historical data

M is 165-47-1 in all games I have attended (all data refers only to games I've attended unless otherwise noted)
M is 137-34-1 in games at Michigan Stadium
M is 32-7 in games with #16 as starting QB
M is 9-6 against Independents
M is 20-6 in the 2nd game I have attended in a particular season
M is 8-4 against Notre Dame
M is 117-20-1 in games against unranked teams
M is 24-14 when unranked
M is 30-7 against schools from Indiana
M is 0-2 on September 10 (both losses to Notre Dame, one at night!)
M is 3-0 when facing a coach for the first time with his second team (i.e. I saw Brian Kelly's CMU team face Michigan, now this is the first time I've seen his ND team face Michigan)
M is 5-2 when facing a teams for the 12th time
M is 3-0 when facing the 6th different head coach for an opponent
M is 46-18-1 against teams with human(ish) mascots
M is 30-10-1 against teams with adjectives commonly used in their nickname
M is 26-8 against private schools

It's simple when you add it all up.

M 19
ND 24

Monday, September 5, 2011

M-OSU bobble heads

From UniWatch Blog today - one of his regular experts has created a bobble headed recap of every M-OSU football game. This is really cool!

Lets hope we get back to some Winged Bobble Heads for the next few years...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

After the rains came...

The weather got pretty ridiculous - I'm surprised WMU accepted the surrender terms. I would hope Michigan would not have in a similar situation.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

M vs. WMU prediction based on Historical data

M is 164-47-1 in all games I have attended (all data refers only to games I've attended unless otherwise noted)
M is 136-34-1 in games at Michigan Stadium
M is 3-1 in games with a new Michigan head coach
M is 31-7 in games with #16 as starting QB
M is 16-1 against schools from the MAC
M is 31-4 in the first game I have attended in a particular season
M is 3-0 against WMU (WMU is 0-4 in all games I have attended - they lost to Miami (OH) in the first NCAA game I ever saw in 1975)
M is 116-20-1 in games against unranked teams
M is 23-14 when unranked
M is 23-5 against schools from Michigan
M is 2-0 on September 3
M is 7-0 against opposing head coaches whose last name starts with the letter after their first name start with - i.e. Bill Cubit - BC

It's simple when you add it all up:

M 28 WMU 21