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11/14/2018 - 10:22am Commemorating that team just…

Commemorating that team just adds more fuel to the Revenge Tour fire...

As you may recall, that is the game in which Woody Hayes elected to go for two after OSU scored its last touchdown. When asked afterwards by reporters for his reasoning? He replied simply, "Because I couldn't go for three."


Granted, that game was suitably avenged the following year in Ann Arbor with "Touchdown Billy Taylor," but if they want to go there, then so be it.

11/14/2018 - 9:41am Much of this TOP stat is…

Much of this TOP stat is related to M's adjusted pace. At 3.8 seconds/play longer than average (ranks #127), the M offense is in no hurry to snap the ball. This may be related to the various motions and pre-snap shifts in alignment that are done to create mismatches and imbalances with the opposing defense. It also means the M offense is running fewer plays than the average team in the given time, so to that extent, the physical drain on the opposing defense is reduced.

11/13/2018 - 11:05pm If ND loses, the comparison…

If ND loses, the comparison looks at strength of resume, and the quality of the losses. The quality of M's loss to ND would by far outweigh a loss by ND to any team remaining on it's schedule, and it's as simple as that. This compulsion to resort to the head-to-head as the be-all, end-all discriminator when there is so much other information to consider is ridiculously short-sighted.

11/13/2018 - 6:44pm So by that logic, since…

So by that logic, since Michigan would have played 13 games, let's just compare the 12 best wins of both teams...

11/13/2018 - 6:35pm As referenced by the OP, the…

As referenced by the OP, the CFP Committee's priorities have been clearly stated:

College Football Playoff Selection Committee Protocol

1. Mission.

The committee’s task will be to select the best teams, rank the teams for inclusion in the playoff and selected other bowl games and then assign the teams to sites.

2. Principles.

The committee will select the teams using a process that distinguishes among otherwise comparable teams by considering:

  • Conference championships won,
  • Strength of schedule,
  • Head-to-head competition,
  • Comparative outcomes of common opponents (without incenting margin of victory)
  • Other relevant factors such as key injuries that may have affected a team’s performance during the season or likely will affect its postseason performance.
11/13/2018 - 6:20pm The metricthat ought to be…

The metric that ought to be applied is not Strength of Schedule, but Strength of Resumé (as posited by Bill Connelly a few weeks back and now updated weekly), which is a metric that combines schedule strength with how the team actually performed against said schedule (using actual points scored), and compares that with how an average top-5 would be expected to perform. Most of the ratings are negative since most teams are not top-5 teams. Indeed, Michigan is only one of three teams with a positive result. You'll also notice that many of the usual suspects populate the top-10: Bama, Clemson, Michigan, Georgia and Oklahoma as well as non-P5 fancy stats darlings Utah St. and Fresno St. Noticeably absent from the Strength of Resumé top ten is Notre Dame, who can be found at #14, 11.7 points lower than #3 Michigan. It's also worth noting that the #1 Death Star is another 11.5 points above Michigan...

11/13/2018 - 12:49pm This is a misguided…

This is a misguided assessment on so many levels...

If Bama's loss is in the SEC championship to Georgia, who also has 1 loss in the end and has just beaten Bama, then Georgia goes to the CFP and Bama does not. The SEC championship is a de facto quarter-final game, and the CFP is not going to go for a rematch of a game that was just played 3 weeks prior on a neutral field. Moreover, the CFP looks for teams that have won their conference championships, and by inference, will eliminate teams that have lost their conference championship. The only reason Bama got in last year is because they had one loss, did not play in the SEC championship, did not play the SEC champion, Georgia, at any other time, and there were no other teams with one-loss with as good an argument for being in the playoff as Bama.

11/13/2018 - 10:22am The win probability for…

The win probability for Michigan vs. Northwestern can be computed based on the difference in the S&P+ ratings, which projects a point spread on a neutral field.

Michigan        = +24.9
Northwestern =    -0.8
Spread           =  25.7

Given that the probability distribution of point spreads follows a Gaussian distribution with zero mean and standard deviation of 15.53 points, the win probability for Michigan to beat Northwestern is 95.1% (about 1:19 odds).

The probability of Michigan advancing to the Big Ten Championship is reduced to 3 possible mutually exclusive scenarios:

  1. Maryland beats OSU (22.8%) and UM beats IU (97.0%)
    => 0.228*0.970 = 22.1%
  2. OSU beats Maryland (77.3%) and  UM beats OSU (60.2%)
    => 0.773*0.602 = 46.5%
  3. Maryland beats OSU (22.8%) and IU beats UM (3.0%) and UM beats OSU (60.2%)
    => 0.228*0.030*0.602 = 0.4%

So the total probability of being the B1GE champ is P(1) + P(2) +P(3) = 22.1% + 46.5% +0.4% = 69.1%, which is more or less in agreement with the OP.

From there, the probability of M winning the B1G championship is 65.7%, or the probability of making it to the game times the probability of winning it (0.691*0.951).

11/12/2018 - 11:22am This was the second time I'd…

This was the second time I'd been to see UM football at Rutgers, the first time being the sub-Horror experience of 2014.

The atmosphere for the first go-round was more exciting since the RU team was much better, it was a night game, and a stadium blackout was in place. As a UM fan, the end was demoralizing descent into the BPONE, as the RU fans flooded the field and tore down the goalposts. As far as "atmosphere" goes, a college football game doesn't get more exciting than the that, citing the disparity in emotions felt by the respective fan bases at the end of the game. That said, the RU fans in my section were knowledgeable and courteous hosts.

Last weekend was a markedly different experience. We stayed at the Heldrich Hotel in New Brunswick (which is where the Robert Wood Johnson Med School campus is located), taking advantage of a bargain room rate offered to football game attendees. Several other M-fans had claimed the bar when we arrived late Friday night. The bar features B1G football helmets, team banners throughout and lots of video screens.

On game day, a free shuttle bus from the train station 3 blocks away that dropped us on the south side of stadium. From there, it's a straight shot to the stadium, but no stroll through campus from there. So we walked around to the North end of the stadium (having to get our tix at the Will Call), just before the marching band and Scarlet Knight on horseback. Until then, it being Veterans' Day weekend and all, an Army Band was set up that was actually playing some nice grooves outside the stadium including a Sublime song - What I Got - IIRC? Not bad - certainly beat the hip-hop blasting over the PA inside the stadium during pregame warm-ups. National Anthem festivities were top-rate with an enormous flag on the field that practically lifted those holding it off the ground because of the wind. The solo singer sounded opera-tic and unimpaired by the cold. The anthem was accompanied by a flyover of two Blackhawk helicopters.

Weather conditions were clear and sunny, but progressively colder (upper 30's) as the sun set, and quite windy through most of the game, so the wind chills made it feel a good bit below freezing. Not the coldest game I've been to (that would be 2012 UM @ OSU), but at least it wasn't raining.

The crowd at the game featured a significant number of M fans, and so our seats were between two other groups of M-fans, and behind another group who'd come in for the game. The couple to our left seemed to feel it necessary to stand for the entire game, and wail at the top of their lungs during every RU snap. I figured they wouldn't be able to keep that up for the entire game, but somehow they managed to make it into the third quarter before an RU fan behind got fed up and began addressing them in a distinctly New Jersey vernacular. They relocated several rows down and thankfully out of earshot. At that, I took a long pull from my flask of brandy, and shouted "Go Blue!"

Another M fan to our front and right was the only person standing in the section at one point late in the game, and managed to invite a similar entreaty to lower his profile, to which he responded, "You can't order me to do anything." The RU fan responded, "OK. Will you sit the F--k down ... Please!"

The RU fans who were there were clearly a dedicated sort. To their credit, when I rang out my cowbell at various opportune times, the RU fans caught on quickly and endeavored to drown out the "Go Blue's" with their own "R-U's". It made for a nice bit of fan competition that made things fun during an otherwise less-competitive game.

I'll probably be back.

11/09/2018 - 4:42pm I hope you remembered to put…

I hope you remembered to put a stamp on the envelope...


11/09/2018 - 1:04pm We're in Section 129 (lower…

We're in Section 129 (lower bowl, home sideline, ~10 yardline) - meant to get section 108 on the visitor side. Oh well. Bringing my maize cowbell.

Heading up this evening, after stopping off for dinner in Baltimore to let the rush hour traffic fade. Staying in New Brunswick. Wasn't able to get tix to to the Stress Factory Comedy Club there (sold out both shows on both nights). Maybe get something curbside at the club?

Having issues with the mobile delivery of my tickets though - been on the phone 3 times already today with the ticket office. Ugh. Better to get the Print-at-Home.

11/07/2018 - 11:54pm (No subject)

11/07/2018 - 11:37pm Just don't call me "Nee". I…

Just don't call me "Nee". I no longer go by that name.

11/07/2018 - 8:48pm If nothing else, playing a…

If nothing else, playing a conference championship is one additional game, which in most cases - even when playing a 6-6 Northwestern - means one additional risk multiplier.

This principle is at the core of why the committee weight championship games so heavily.

11/07/2018 - 8:43pm If M and ND both have one…

If M and ND both have one loss, what is to be compared is the quality of the losses and not the head-to-head. The quality of M's loss would supersede a loss by ND to any team that remains on their schedule. Furthermore, M would have the same number of wins as ND (and of greater quality as established by the OP), and would otherwise be getting adversely penalized for the risk of playing one more game.

11/07/2018 - 8:36pm That’s what they say, but…

That’s what they say, but their actions are otherwise.

11/07/2018 - 8:34pm Exactly. Hypothetically, of…

Exactly. Hypothetically, of course... what if ND had lost to Northwestern?

11/07/2018 - 4:41pm One tweak that the model may…

One tweak that the model may need to make it a more accurate predictor of the CFP committee are points for playing football while being Notre Dame.


11/07/2018 - 2:57pm It wouldn't make much sense…

It wouldn't make much sense for both Georgia and Alabama to be in the CFB if they just played each other, on a neutral field, in the SECCG. The SECCG is a de facto quarter-final game. CFP takes the best one-loss team from the SEC and that's the end of it. No team should be invited to the CFP that can't make a legitimate claim to be playing straight away for the national championship.

Likewise, the head-to-head result of ND over Michigan could in the end enable a one-loss Oklahoma (or West Virginia) team to leapfrog M at the end, especially now that M could be playing a rematch with a 6-6 Northwestern team in the B1GCG. In that case, Rose Bowl, here we come!

11/05/2018 - 4:55pm The stickers are smaller, so…

The stickers are smaller, so they can fit MOAR on the helmet!

11/04/2018 - 8:08pm I think that's the Over…

I think that's the Over/Under for Rutgers rushing yards.

11/02/2018 - 12:51pm The 4-way tie scenario…

The 4-way tie scenario predicted by S&P+ has all four teams with 6-3 records. No one is winning out in that case. If we're talking about S&P+ ratings, that's how the forecast plays out...

11/02/2018 - 10:47am Not so fast, my friend!


Not so fast, my friend!

I like your approach to scoring the inter-divisional records based on expected wins vs. simple projected wins (I think I'm gonna code it like that), but upon further review - Northwestern wins the S&P+ 4-way tie based on the first 3-or-more-way tiebreaker (I need to check my code now...)? This looks at the record of the tied teams among themselves (including Purdue), and separates out Northwestern and Wisconsin, after which the head-to-head applies:

Records among 4-way tied teams:

Northwestern : 2 - 1 (+Purdue +Wisconsin -Iowa)
Wisconsin:       2 - 1 (+Iowa +Purdue -Northwestern)
Purdue:            1 - 2 (+Iowa -Northwestern -Wisconsin)
Iowa:                1 - 2 (+Northwestern -Wisconsin -Purdue)

Correct me if I'm wrong - my brain has a cramp now.

But as for FPI and Power Rank, Iowa prevails in a simple 2-way tie with NU at the top by the projected win in the head-to-head.


10/26/2018 - 9:39am Recommended viewing for…

Recommended viewing for wifey-weekend:

Elmer Gantry

Wifey will thank you, since that Burt Lancaster is what they called a dreamboat back in the day, in his Oscar-winning performance of 1960. Shirley Jones is quite the vixen too, and grabbed an Oscar herself. Just never mind Jean Simmons though. No one can touch her.

10/25/2018 - 5:59pm Continuing issues:


Continuing issues:

  1. No support for tables. The html tags get wiped. This is not good for analyzing statistics.
  2. UI does not support linking to external graphics other than editing html at the source level.
  3. No editing once the post is made. Yikes!
  4. OLW diary upload and theme download do not work using the procedure outlined.
  5. No pop-up windows or click-to-embiggens?
10/25/2018 - 3:23pm META-response:

The short…


The short answer is "no tables".

The GUI wipes out any table-formatting tags (and any other tags AFAIK), which drove me nuts when I went to post my first Big Expectations of this season. I ended up having to post images of the tables I had. Ugh.

10/25/2018 - 3:11pm The Rutger singularities are…

The Rutger singularities are such outliers they distort the scales of the graphs and make the other probabilities look small. I'm considering switching to a logarithmic scale.

10/25/2018 - 1:34pm Python scripts using…

Python scripts using matplotlib for the graphs, and Beautiful Soup to scrape the various data sources. This is the 3rd season I’ve done these - started out as Excel charts...

10/24/2018 - 4:19pm You missed the Power Rank: …

You missed the Power Rank: #5.

10/22/2018 - 7:34pm Sorry, the picture was…

Sorry, the picture was linked OK when I posted it and now it's... gone? Alas, I can't edit, so now this basically a dead thread.

Here's the link from the original site and the image again, now coming from the blog server (right-click\open-in-new-tab to embiggen), so we now have a belt AND suspenders:


10/22/2018 - 3:40pm ...and who would be ignorant…

...and who would be ignorant enough to issue a policy now that it's known he has a pre-existing condition? High-value indemnity ain't Obamacare.

10/20/2018 - 5:47pm Thanks, Ace! So glad to see…

Thanks, Ace! So glad to see you’re still on top of things! Also very glad to see Shea having some faith in his receivers and letting one rip. I think we all knew it was game over after that, amirite?!

09/04/2018 - 7:00am I tell ya, this BPoNE can…

I tell ya, this BPoNE can hang over you like a heaviness, so it helps to recognize this heaviness, and sometime even talk to it...

08/31/2018 - 12:49pm I figure this will be the…

I figure this will be the only time ND pulls this sort of the thing, because hopefully the band will be obstructing the view of as many ND fans as possible at the close of the first half while the queue up and fill the entire aisle from top to bottom to enter the field ... and the ignorance of this troll-like move will be voiced by ND ticket-holders themselves.

08/31/2018 - 12:06pm Whelp, that didn't come…

Whelp, that didn't come through entirely right and since now I can't edit or update it (but I can edit this comment ¯\_(ツ)_/¯), below are the tables that were left out. and since the click to embiggen thing isn't a thing anymore, here is a link to an album of the charts if you'd like to see bigger and more readable versions. It includes some bonus charts based on the ratings from Power Rank, along with some head-to-head probability distributions for some contender matchups:

2018 B1G Pre-season Margin Schedules and Win PDF Tables

B1G S&P+ Ratings


B1G S&P+ Projected Standings


B1G FPI Ratings


B1G FPI Projected Standings


08/27/2018 - 4:45pm GAHT EFFING NABBIT!


08/20/2018 - 3:38pm Maybe with a bubble caption…

Maybe with a bubble caption above His Holiness whispering to Harbaugh:

"Punish them, my son."

08/20/2018 - 3:29pm has a way with B-O-L-O-G-N-A…


has a way with B-O-L-O-G-N-A!!!!

I'm not going to the game, but feel free to use with a credit.

08/04/2018 - 11:05pm I'm getting the sense that…

I'm getting the sense that tOSU's response, carefully crafted by its Office of Legal Affairs, is going to be that Title IX is not applicable since Courtney Smith was not an OSU student or staff member, and that Shelley Meyer was also not on the hook to report since she was not in a supervisory position.

Also, now that Urban Meyer in his statement has admitted knowledge of the 2015 domestic violence acts committed by Zach Smith, it seems that the line of bunk that's about to pass will be something like "Urban reported it, and some TBD higher-up fall guy failed to follow through on it," thus acquitting Meyer of all culpability, while said TBD fall guy is probably someone no longer employed... case closed.

08/03/2018 - 5:34pm Or the scale maxes out a 350…

A bell probably gets rung when he steps on it.

07/24/2018 - 6:18pm What a coincidence because I…

What a coincidence because I haven't logged in in the last six months. Did I miss anything important?

07/20/2018 - 4:48pm Maybe they should follow the…

Maybe they should follow the academic side of the house, and reserve a titled chair until such time as that coach reaches tenure. Then it would carry more prestige.

06/21/2018 - 5:54pm I tend to get hooked on…

I tend to get hooked on Breweries and enjoy exploring their repertoire, so a few of my favorites from the list are:

  • Dogfish Head
    I'm curious the list includes the 3 Timed IPA's (60/90/120 Minute) from Dogfish Head all made the list which are all very similar and could reasonably rated as a single class, but their Shelter Pale Ale did not, which is my favorite of Dogfish Head.
  • New Belgium
    The Ranger and Voodoo Ranger are couple of righteous IPA's. Glad to see the New Belgium Brewery made the list - they make a really good Belgian Ale called Trippel, and a Pilsner called Blue Paddle.
  • Founder's All Day IPA is nice when you planning to drink a lot.
  • Bell's Hopslam is the bombslam, if you can get it. Fortunately, you don't need very many.

Not from the list but worth plugging:

  • DCBrau
    The Corruption IPA, The Citizen Belgian Style. Next time you're in DC, you need to try this. You can find it in local pubs, bars and restaurants, as well as in cans at the store, but it's more fun to go for a brewery tour and fill up yer growler, if you brought one.


06/07/2018 - 3:32pm The universe surely has, or…

The universe surely has, or has had, many instances of intelligent life evolving. What separates them quite simply is space-time. The scale of the universe is so vast that over the entire course of the history of a species, that species would not be able travel far enough so as to come across another species in the same time and place, unless by chance two environments evolve in close proximity to each other - but there's still the timing aspect, as appears to be our situation regarding Mars. We see now stars that are 100's of millions of light years away, meaning said light is 100's of millions of years old. The same star systems may well at this very moment hold wonderfully advanced beings, but by the time they (or records of them) reach us, humans and/or the others may both be extinct. That's not to say no two species have ever met up. That probably/surely has happened in consideration of how many species probably exist in the universe (or even a galaxy), but the likelihood remains not terribly great for any single species to come upon another.

06/03/2018 - 11:04am Not to mention that CFP and

Not to mention that CFP and Final 4 are redundant. Final Four also suggests a preceding process of elimination to reach that point, which the CFP is not. It’s the starting point, and if it were basketball, would be equivalent to the Final 68.

05/26/2018 - 10:30am Mrs. Miniver (1942)

About a British family in early part of WWII, with Dunkirk as a backdrop. Best Picture, 1943.

05/26/2018 - 10:01am Apocalypse Now, Paths of Glory & Full Metal Jacket

Apocalypse Now - adapted from a fictional non-war novel to American covert Ops in Vietnam and Cambodia. A story of men’s descent into an amoral morass of madness where the only response to ruthlessness is still greater ruthlessness (“extreme prejudice” in the SpecOps vernacular). Beautiful cinematography. Should have won Best Picture.

Paths of Glory - not about Americans, not about WWII or even Vietnam. It’s a story about French troops fighting in the trenches of WWI. It stars a young Kirk Douglas and is directed by Stanley Kubrick. You can really see Kubrick’s style emerging - a true pièce de résistance!

Full Metal Jacket - Kubrick returns to the war milieu in this bookend to PoG, a contrast between the regimented life in boot camp and the chaos in-country, both of which are pervaded by psychological mind-fucks.

05/26/2018 - 9:37am In the vein of films about

In the vein of films about what war does to people, “Coming Home” and “Born on the Fourth of July” are a couple of good ones.

05/18/2018 - 3:34pm Behold Shiva, the model for

Behold Shiva, the model for the ultimate Michigan CB, who has 4 arms, and blue skin. The skin must be blue - and it's a big plus to be surrounded by a ring of flames, and who can easily balance on one foot whilst standing atop a red Buckeye demon.

Shiva Nataraj

05/15/2018 - 4:27pm ...and here's the 1969

...and here's the 1969 Mustgang Fastback. If too many of the design elements are changed, it doesn't look like a Mustang anymore.

and just for my own personal nostalgia, here's a '64-1/2 Mustang that's identical (color & everything) to the one my father had when I was born, and my older brothers learned to drive in...