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03/13/2019 - 11:47am You're getting charged for…

You're getting charged for the amount of data? Sounds like a cellphone plan and not an ISP. I'd start with finding another ISP that charges based on the data rate, not the usage.

RCN here in DC offers first-timers their fattest 1000Mbps pipes for $50/month. Combine that with a moderate Playstation Vue package for another $50 (which includes cloud-based DVR) which includes local network content + BTN and that's your basic plan for $100/mo.

Slap on your Netflix/Amazon Prime/Hulu movie streamer of choice for $10-$15/mo. Now you're cooking with gas for under $120/mo. pre-tax.

01/30/2019 - 4:44pm (No subject)

01/29/2019 - 4:14pm (No subject)

12/18/2018 - 3:59pm Zach Charbonnet

Zach Charbonnet

12/04/2018 - 1:31pm Where were you from 1998 to…

Where were you from 1998 to 2012? On the dark side of the Moon? So, just to fill you in...

There was this thing called the BCS that selected the top two rated teams using an algorithm that aggregated computer ratings and HUMINT-based polls.  It did a decent job, but if that same system were used to populate a 4-team playoff, it would have been damn near perfect. It succeeded in capturing all teams that had a reasonable argument for playing in the championship final straight-away in 13 of 15 years.

12/04/2018 - 1:17pm With an 8-team playoff,…

With an 8-team playoff, teams with as many as 2 losses would make it into the bracket. With a 16-team playoff, teams with as many as 3 losses would make it into the bracket. On that basis alone, the diminished importance of the regular season is pretty clear. M could lose to the Irish, the Nits and the Buckeyes every year, then avoid an extra game and potential loss by not being selected for the B1G championship game, and slide into the playoff, easy-peasy-lemon-squeezie. And on top of that, probably never play in the Rose Bowl again. Ever. Because it would cease to exist.

12/03/2018 - 5:34pm The unstated purpose of the…

The unstated purpose of the CFP - at it's core - is to collect all of the teams with a reasonable argument to be considered one of the top two teams in the nation - and that's it. Computer ratings systems combined with a clear, rule-based process of elimination are all that is required to make this happen. Any other teams among the four selected are just filler to make the bracket balance. The task of the wishy-washy committee is to throw a bone to the team or teams deserving a chance to upset the apple cart - without upsetting the apple cart themselves - so it's probably better left to the algorithm. Some years, there might be only one clear-cut team above all others; another year (such as this year) there might be three with a demonstrable argument. Since the inception of the CFP, there have never been more that four teams with a plausible argument for being one of top two teams. If one or more conferences, or an entire segment, of the FBS division gets left out, then the answer is simple: stop losing so many games.

An eight game playoff would only erode the value of the playoff by drowning the field with also-rans. It would also devalue games played during the regular season. The BCS, despite only selecting 2 teams each year, worked as a means toward that end. If the top 4 teams from the BCS system were taken, it would have been damn near perfect.

11/30/2018 - 7:35pm Don't get your hopes up…

Don't get your hopes up. Locksley is a lock for the job, assuming he accepts what's offered. He's from the DC area and cut his CFB coaching teeth at Maryland.

11/28/2018 - 1:00pm I think what the OP was…

I think what the OP was going for was a mash-up of Harbaugh and The Borowitz Report (a satirist for the New Yorker magazine) => Harbowitz Report.

11/26/2018 - 3:27pm Yup. Seems about right.

Yup. Seems about right.

11/24/2018 - 12:26am I learned it as “Humble…

I learned it as “Humble Woody Hayes” not “tumble”

11/21/2018 - 8:26pm This is Cackalacky…

This is Cackalacky Fergodsakes!

11/21/2018 - 1:52pm Found the perfect place for…

Found the perfect place for him:

11/21/2018 - 1:28pm Meta weirdness: Now I can…

Meta weirdness: Now I can see the charts after the duplicate diary was posted.

 

11/21/2018 - 10:15am Very, very interesting…

Very, very interesting indeed!

I'm curious about the implicit shift in opponent TD from non-Red Zone to Red Zone. It suggests that OSU has improved its ability to contain explosive plays (more emphasis on LB's and DB's) to cover for it's diminished pass rush. As the active field of play becomes compressed in the Red Zone, the weakness in DL play you've hit on becomes more exposed...? This combined with the already well-established under-performing OSU LB core makes for some very bloody water, and loud licking of chops by the M offense.

On the Meta side: Sorry to see your charts didn't make it in. I'm guess this was your first diary in the MGoBlog 2.0 era. Been there, done that - I feel your pain!

11/19/2018 - 5:48pm Then how would you explain…

Then how would you explain the line moving soon after it's announced, if not to induce a balance of wagers on either side?

11/19/2018 - 2:40pm Corrected.  Actually I used…

Corrected.  Actually I initially used overall career numbers, not record at Michigan, for Bo.

11/19/2018 - 2:05pm Actually, all Harbaugh needs…

All Harbaugh needs to do to catch Bo (0.796) is win his next 4 games and go 5-0 to start next season, which would put him at 0.797.

This of course implies doing a certain thing that Bo never did, as well as another thing that no coach in any conference has ever done, and that's go 10-0 in conference play in a single season.

11/19/2018 - 1:55pm (No subject)

11/18/2018 - 10:26pm Turns out it's a hype video…

Turns out it's a hype video for both teams, which means it's a hype video for neither...

11/18/2018 - 7:33pm Some of the fancy-stats…

Some of the fancy-stats margins:

S&P+:     Michigan -4.2
               (assumes HFA = 3.0)

FPI:        Michigan -1.0
              (assumes HFA = 3.0)

Sagarin: Michigan -0.86
               -3.19 + 2.33 HFA 

Betting lines of course are less of a predictor of game results than they are an estimate of the threshold that will balance the payments between opposing parties and thereby maximizes the juice that accrues to the bookies. Opposing sides may or may not be weighted by wagers of disproportionate sizes and/or volume that were placed on an emotional basis... and if I were a betting man, I would be willing to wager that the bookies have already adjusted for the money they anticipate seeing flow onto the M side of the ledger.

11/17/2018 - 1:04pm Uh... there was never a…

Uh... there was never a field Denard stepped on where he wasn’t the fastest person on it. He ran a 4.32 40, and set a Michigan track record in the 60-yd dash.

11/17/2018 - 12:51pm Wow. Of all games for…

Wow. Of all games for Haskins to start pulling the ball and running, it’s in the first quarter of the Maryland game. It’s on film now, baby, so there’s gonna be no surprises next week! Woof!

11/17/2018 - 12:43pm Terps are running a clinic…

Terps are running a clinic on kickoff strategies. OSU still hasn’t figured out they need to fair catch that shit!

11/16/2018 - 3:00pm I'll just repost this here…

I'll just repost this here from the POSBANG...

"Johnny Wangler to Anthony Carter will be heard until another 100 years of Michigan football is played."
    - Robert Frost Ufer

Instead of writing about Ufer's radio call, how about we have a listen! This clip features retrospective interviews with Johnny "Winging" Wangler, Anthony "The Human Torpedo" Carter, and the man, the myth, the legend himself:

I can remember listening to the radio call at home that day, and - being a young teenager who'd known nothing but Michigan football excellence - was so anxious and distraught at the prospect of submitting to a tie with Indiana that I turned off the radio. I couldn't bear to listen, because in those days, to expect a game-saving TD from 45 yards out was ludicrous! I eventually turned the radio back on expecting to suffer through the final post-mortem, and was stunned by the pandemonium coming across the airwaves. I began jumping and screaming and shouting and tearing through the house like the giddy schoolboy I was, because in the end, it was Ufer who made me do it.

11/16/2018 - 8:59am Instead of writing about…

"Johnny Wangler to Anthony Carter will be heard until another 100 years of Michigan football is played."  - Robert Frost Ufer

Instead of writing about Ufer's radio call, how about we have a listen:

11/16/2018 - 8:42am Not to discount Herbstreit's…

Not to discount Herbstreit's prognostication - I have no issue with either his or Desmond's abilities to wield an impartial take on The Game, or any other game for that matter - but, why should I give a shit if a bunch of OSU fans are riding Herbie because they've got their panties all in bunch? And what is this 12UP site other than a cesspool of clickbate? The writer has a clearly misguided assessment of the OSU-MSU game, which was a classic Big Ten sludge-fart at best, until Sparty gave up an intentional safety and then fumbled in their own end-zone on the next possession and more or less handed the game to OSU. Seriously, there was nothing in that article that offered anything original or insightful, and the writer flat out contradicts one of the embedded tweets he pulls in. Yeesh. They should add a "Lame" button to the rating options on the sidebar. Is Twitter regarded as a primary source for college term papers these days? If so, the end is nigh...

11/15/2018 - 5:23pm This worked for me to watch…

This worked for me to watch the Orange Bowl game from a hotel room in India. Make sure you have appropriate video streaming software, like VLC.

The VPN option will ensure the source is available, but the overriding encryption uses a lot of processor power and bandwidth.

11/15/2018 - 4:38pm For what it's worth,…

For what it's worth, Syracuse (+9), Kentucky (-5), Boston College (+6), and Miss St (+10) are the biggest differences between CFP and SOR.

Looks like two ACC teams are significantly overrated, which reinforces Joel Klatt's take regarding the ACC - not to mention the ACC team with the largest disparity is playing ND this weekend, so one can easily extrapolate from this backward-looking metric what effect this might have on ND's SOR going forward.

I still believe that a a bias is inherent in the system, a bias known as Footballing While Notre Dame.

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."

1968finalscore.jpg

Granted, that game was suitably avenged the following year in Ann Arbor (not with "Touchdown Billy Taylor") but with the upset of the century, 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...

\s

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.