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12/18/2018 - 4:44pm Great stuff! I have been…

Great stuff! I have been having similar thoughts for a while given the recent recruiting news. 

Two thoughts:

1. The surprising non-impact of distance on transfers could well be due to the fact that only kids who feel pretty comfortable traveling long distances to school wind up coming to Michigan from far away in the first place. In other words, the people who make the leap are, by definition, those who were the least likely to be affected by distance in the first place.

2. Relatedly, the more important recruiting issue - that I don't think anyone doubts much - is that it's hard to convince many people to go to school far away from home. The fact that the majority of Michigan's players come from reasonably nearby (as for all schools) seems to cement the importance of distance.

I think a cool extension of your project would be to look at head to head recruiting battles and see how often Michigan wins/loses to other teams based on how much closer/further M is to the kid's school than the other schools. This would be cool data.

Keep up the great work!

01/15/2018 - 2:11pm Oops - here you go!

Oops - too many figures flying around. Edited to add the Michigan trend lines and lo, you will weep.

11/22/2017 - 9:01pm Number of responses

Sorry about that - the vertical axis is just a count of how many responses were between any 10-20, 20-30, etc.

11/17/2017 - 12:22pm Awesome work

As I mentioned in the opening post of the Fan Satisfaction Index series, I started on a project like this - didn't finish it - and then decided to survey people instead. I will be very interested to compare the season scores this model generates with what the satisfaction index reveals after the season is over.

One thing I have already found is that fans don't appear to use all the data from a season to determine their satisfaction/feelings in the present moment. Instead, they either use the last thing that happened or they twig on the best/worst thing that has happened.

This explains, I think, why so many of the comments here take issue with calling any season a success unless it involves beating OSU or winning the Big Ten.

11/12/2017 - 12:08pm Excited for the new guys

Last night was one of those ugly early season games that make you wonder if the team will ever be any good. But I think it's mostly just rustiness and guys finding their comfort zones in the system with a bunch of new guys, etc. Beilein will get that corrected with some time.

I didn't get to watch the GVSU game so this was my first chance to watch the new guys. Obviously no one played anything close to a perfect game and our sample size of minutes is still small, but I had a strong sense that these young guns are going to be great.

Livers looked ready to have an impact with his speed and power. Poole looked like he had no idea what to do the first time he found the ball in his hands, but later he made a beautiful shot that made it clear he could be really good. Brooks looked very comfortable out there for a freshman at guard, and a lot more physically ready than some young guys. And Matthews obviously looks like a huge pick up.

It might not always be pretty, but I think this will be another fun Michigan team to watch.

11/02/2017 - 2:26pm True

At this point a win against an opponent with a winning record would be great - I just realized that Michigan doesn't have one of those yet - and might wind up without one if they can't beat Wisky or OSU. Beating OSU obviously would go a long way toward salvaging the season regardless of what happens between now and then.

11/02/2017 - 2:23pm Good questions

I will do a figure on the # of responses at some point; this week's was based on 164 responses, which is about average other than a couple weeks where we hit 300.

Sadly I can't speak to repeat responses since I'm not capturing any identifying data. It really would be cool to compare people's reactions and see how they cluster in various groups.

10/22/2017 - 9:55pm Excellent suggestion

Thanks for the tip. I just tried it - easy to use and and it seems to work. Hopefully no more problems in future posts. 

10/19/2017 - 8:47am Help!

I thought the images were working this time - had someone check from phone and computer - but apparently it still isn't working, at least for some.

Anyone have an idea how to fix this problem? I have been dragging photos into my posts from Google Photos. Seemed to work fine the first couple weeks, since then it mostly hasn't.



10/11/2017 - 11:49am Apologies for image issues

Hey folks,

Sorry about the images not coming through. Strange issue: looks fine on my computer and a couple others can see them, but most people can't. When I copied them over from home last time it seemed to fix the problem: will try that again after work.

10/06/2017 - 8:39pm Finally

A qualifier going the way it should go. Better energy on the attack for sure. Now they just need to not let up for 45 more minutes.

10/05/2017 - 7:01pm Welp

The pictures are now here, but comically large despite me setting the width to the right size three times. I give, but hopefully now you can at least see what's going on.

I will do some research to learn how to avoid this in the future.

Thanks for your patience as I figure this out.

10/05/2017 - 3:11pm WTF?

I can see them just fine - not sure what's happening. Will doublecheck.

09/28/2017 - 9:19am Thanks


Thanks for the comment. I know lots of folks here love the details, but I am trying not to overwhelm people with statistics. I use them in my day job and can appreciate that there is a limit to how much people want to absorb when they're reading a blog about football.

But! Since you wondered - the p-value on the differences between the standard deviations is about .01 for each case. Not that surprising since we actually have a reasonable sample size (131 Sunday, 147 Monday, 30 Tuesday).

Thanks for reading.

09/27/2017 - 1:13pm Bye Week Survey

Thanks for the note - I'm using the Seaborn package for Python to create the figures and my expertise does not yet extend to making the axes start at 0. The default is that the axis ends at the lowest value. It's on my list.

Re bye week survey: Yes, I do. I figure it's a good time to ask some different questions and I have some other musings to share based on Vegas point spreads, Brian's game previews, etc.


09/20/2017 - 3:08pm Good point

I am considering adding a question to the survey to gauge expectations about the upcoming game - would really help confirm suspicions about the effect of failing to meet (or of exceeding) expectations.

09/13/2017 - 10:01am Polling Mgoblog

The data comes from a survey I posted in a diary last Sunday morning after the game. Presumably most of the respondents are regular mgoblog readers.

And yes, good eye - there are no zeros in that chart simply because no one rated the game that poorly. 

EDIT: And just as a note: I will be posting the next survey on Sunday morning after the Air Force game, so be sure to take it.

09/13/2017 - 10:00am Yep

I actually had the idea for this back during the Hoke era when I was trying to calculate just how much worse football felt than during the good old days. 

09/12/2017 - 9:00am Just Getting Started

This is the first one - I wish I had had the idea a week earlier, but at this point I feel like it would be poor science to ask folks what they thought about Florida after we've already seen the Cinci game. 

10/18/2016 - 2:26pm Cosigned

Was just about to recommend this one. Was one of my favorites as a kid growing up and watching football in the 1970s and 80s. Really well written, tons of great stuff about Lombardi, and Kramer is a very likable guy. Plus the added bonus at this point of some real historical perspective. 

Despite my love/hate thing with the Lions you should also read Paper Lion by George Plimpton where he takes part in training camp with the team as a QB. Hysterical.

04/14/2016 - 6:17pm Country song? With all the

Country song? With all the whining coming from down south I'm getting the feeling that someone is going to write a country song defending God, country, football, and the ESS EE CEE. It will certainly suck.

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04/01/2016 - 12:26pm Oh My Lord

We moved from Ann Arbor to the DC area in 2010 and I've watched the poor Redskins fans suffer in a way that it takes a lifelong Detroit fan to truly appreciate. The depth of Dan Snyder's assholiness is truly profound, which makes Dave Brandon the absolute *perfect* hire.

It makes so much sense for the owner who spends much of his time defending his team's racist name to hire a guy like Brandon, who specializes in listening to the fanbase and building bridges with the community. 

I cannot wait to see how badly this goes.

EDIT: Douche. Yes, I see the calendar.

11/25/2015 - 11:57am Not even close this week

RAGE STRIP for the win!

11/13/2015 - 5:34pm Ace, thanks for sharing. So

Ace, thanks for sharing. So glad to hear your health is improving in a non-linear but positive fashion. Your story is a great reminder not to take good health or a great blog for granted. Keep on keeping on and thanks for your great work here.

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10/17/2015 - 5:16pm Half time adjustments

So far not too bad, but can't wait to see what Harbaugh & Co. do now. Some thoughts:

1. Find a way to give Rudock a bit more time to throw

2. Keep it up on D...hard to do much better

3. Wait for Peppers to win the game. Dude = points.

Go blue!

10/11/2015 - 5:39pm Great post

As usual, one of my favorite post-game reads. You and I are close to the same age - I think your stuff resonates for me for that reason. Totally with you on the commercials. I remember when Michigan first started showing the incredibly moving health system based commercials with the orchestral version of the Victors. My wife (also an alum) and I can tear up just hearing a second of that music, but dang, what a great series of commercials those were. But even so - you need to refresh and update and move on. Even a cool robot (or orbiting space shuttle) can get stale.

On the aggie note: Sparty gotta Sparty, but my family always loves watching games on BTN. We moved away from Michigan back in 2010 but as soon as we start seeing the John Deere and pesticide ads we know it must big Big Ten football!

Really looking forward to next Saturday in a way I haven't since Lloyd Carr was coach. Fricking go fricking blue!

09/08/2015 - 2:07pm Players more open?

Am I dreaming or are the players more open under Harbaugh than under Hoke? It would make some sense; when Harbaugh goes on the record with more detail and openness about the performance maybe the players are given license to do so as well. 

Generally really loving in particular the way the guys are assessing their games and hungry to do better. Fantastic attitudes!

09/08/2015 - 2:01pm 10 men on the field!


Was really hoping we'd seen the last of that with the Baxter hire. But given how reasonably well things went special team wise for the most part (other than Kenny Allen's not-so-onside kick) I guess I can forgive it this once. But not twice...

09/03/2015 - 8:32pm Watching this from San Fran

Watching this from San Fran tonight. Football springs eternal. I feel like a ten year old on Xmas morning. The grass is greener. The sky is bluer. Michigan is Michiganier. Damn I love this. go Blue!!'

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09/03/2015 - 11:58am Yes. Go blue.

Yes. Go blue.

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05/11/2015 - 4:07pm Yes!

That's what I'm talking about.

Welcome to the sunny side of the street, Tyus!

Go blue!

03/18/2015 - 9:46am Cosigned

Pratchett is a staple in my family - more great places, great ideas, and wonderful characters than just about any other author. Around our house Nightwatch takes first place, followed by most of the Vimes novels, anything with Death in it, and Guards Guards.

Good night Sir Terry, I'm glad to know that your inspiration and memory will live on here at mgoblog.

02/18/2015 - 3:19pm Cosigned

In full. Couldn't have been better said, nor could it have needed saying more. Thanks, Brian.

Having to put up with the football team's struggles has been tough, but having to watch that fucker Brandon do so much harm to my beloved university and the athletic kids were having to restrain me near the end lest my blood pressure get out of control.

Harbaugh may be the best thing to have happened to the football team in some time, but Brandon getting ousted is an even better thing for Michigan.

Go Blue.

10/25/2014 - 9:28pm Was fantastic

The game sucked but at half time the meat was ready. I had to use my slow cooker since I don't have a smoker. By then the house smelled so good the family was about to kill me if we didn't eat right that minute.

I couldn't decide between the ciabatta rolls and the hawaiian sweet rolls so I didn't: we had both.

Outrageously good. Hours later and we're still all groaning on the couch.

Thanks a ton for these recipes - a great way to make game day even more special.

Go Blue BQ!

10/03/2014 - 2:10pm Underdogs to Rutgers...sigh

Just watched the recap of Arizona - Oregon and tried to count the number of QB-oh noes in a three minute video - seems like we haven't seen anything come easy to Michigan yet this season and I don't expect anything to come easy in New Jersey.

But despite that I can't shake an irrational residual belief that Rutgers cannot beat Michigan. I'm probably wildly off here, but I'm feeling like Devin has a day and makes us look almost competent for an evening. 

Michigan 28 Rutgers 24

10/01/2014 - 4:02pm Risking my man card here...

But I have to admit that while reading this (after about another 30 minutes of getting torqued up surfing the discussion boards) I started tearing up at thinking about how upset I am right now and the prospect of not having Michigan football part of my fall.

I will watch because I have to - was born and raised in Ann Arbor, am a proud as hell alum, and taught at UM for a few years back in the 90s - I simply can't tear myself away. But knowing what I'm facing this weekend and this season and the additional emotional contortions I'm likely to go through...ugh...this is taking a serious toll. 

My strategy for now for making it through is 1) focus on rooting for the individual players to do their thing, like Ace said; 2) focus on Meeeechigan the school, the community, and the idea; 3) reminding myself that all things will pass, including the Brandon era.

Go Blue...

09/22/2014 - 1:58pm If I were voting

I would have to vote for the fading spirit of Michigan football, so hauntingly encapsulated in the last image. Sigh.

09/19/2014 - 11:00am No

All the money for this is coming from donors - all that football money is evidently going somewhere else...

08/20/2014 - 6:05pm We All Need Killer TItles

From now on I am the Al Taubman Memorial Sunday Morning Quarterback. 

07/30/2014 - 2:16pm TOTAL EVISCERATION

You can't take on the whole Internet, Brian, but dammit it is satisfying to read the occasional obliteration of dumb shite like that.

But next time I think you should hit him where it counts: the penis.

03/27/2014 - 11:22pm Shoots for subs

Little known fact: Beilein trained under under an East German woman who used Italian subs as the carrots and a riding crop as the stick....explains the Beilein mouth twitch, you see...

03/27/2014 - 5:50pm Will Universities Ever Pay Football Players?

As a professor of 20 years my own sense is no for at least two reasons:

1. University types have a very strong cultural identity that is built around univerities occupying a special place separate from the outside world. Most of us believe that the best and most important things about a university require this separation, which is threatened whenever we do things as if we were not a university (ie when we operate like a business). This is why, yes, like the Olympics, the ideal of the amateur "student athlete" exists. Universities at their best are places for young people to learn, to grow, to try new things, and to run around and play sports as part of that. That's what *universities are for.*

Universities are *not* for employing a random collection of people for the purpose of entertaining other people. If it were, then why stop at running the Michigan football team? Why not buy the Lions? Surely UM could do a better job than the Fords?

As it is the modern football system, much as I love the sport itself, already creates serious threats to universities like Michigan. But creating a "Football Business Unit" that does not even employ students just to play "Michigan" football would 1000% violate the cultural identity of most profs I know and I don't think it will ever happen.

That said, I am in total agreement with Brian that the current system has to change - both for the reason I just mentioned and for the unfairness of the U exploiting kids who have no realistic opportunity to be students for money and glory.

2. But the fix won't be to start paying them because in addition to Reason #1, I think most university leaders don't think they can control where things will wind up if they have to start paying players. The current legal tribulations of the NCAA on several fronts all stem from the same basic problem: when universities stop acting like universities and start acting like businesses, they start doing shitty things that get them in trouble. The easiest path forward with the least chance for total malfunction is for universities to back off. Starting to pay football players, on the other hand, is to ask for decades of uncertainty around the legality of it all, the fairness of it all, the consequences for conferences and the NCAA, and on and on. Maybe th end result is a beautiful new thing, but probably it won't be, and on top of that you get the opportunity to goof big. Of course, making any changes will bring some uncertainty, but for universities a much safer route, if forced, will be to stop offering scholarships entirely or to look for some other way in which to divorce themselves from the financial side of the equation.

I have less than no idea how all this will eventually shake out; it seems awfully unlikely that a U of M president could convince a board of regents to stop offering scholarships and voluntarily give up however many millions per year in lost revenues, not to mention to give up competitive advantage to OSU (new uniform logo partner: Kroger) and Alabama (new corporate sponsor: Hooters), but then I think the idea that the president is going to get permission to pay football players real money is equally unlikely.

02/08/2014 - 4:56pm So weird

I was just going to post the same thing. 

01/26/2014 - 1:19pm Izzo's post game face was classic

Anybody else watch Izzo's presser? Looked like his mom had just died. I actually thought he was going to cry at several points.

01/15/2014 - 1:56pm I give this post an RPS +1

Timely and soothing to the still-jangled nerves of a recovering Michigan football addict. They've got me on basketball down at the clinic but nothing's the same, man, nothing's the same.

01/15/2014 - 12:17pm Agreed on the money

I tend to think this stuf comes down to one of two things:

1. Money

2. Winning

I think the Lions offer the best chance of actually winning (despite the sad history), so to me if the 1M gap is real - nuff said.

Most guys don't get too many chances at head coach (usually for good reason, uh oh): makes sense to maximize what you're getting out of your big shot.

01/10/2014 - 1:41pm Nuss Seems Solid

Just watched Nussmeier's presser - based on his remarks and how he handled the Q&A I really like the guy.

Body language suggests he is a confident guy but not an asshole.

And although I actually thought Borges was awesome as a person, I have to believe that Nuss being so much younger and more energetic is going to give the players a boost, not to mention it should be a huge help with recruiting.

01/09/2014 - 1:43pm How did we get this guy, really?

Part of me says "wee" we just hired Alabama's OC.

Another part of me says "WTF? Why would His Evilness let his OC go?"

Is it that Saban just has standards so high they cannot be met by normal humans?

Or did he not really give a shit because this dude is a bum?

I hate to be skeptical, because I really want to be happy about this, but I need a narrative to reassure me.

What about this: Saban is such an asshole that this guy, who is not only a great coach but a truly good human being, was just waiting for his chance to flee from the Evil Empire.

Yep, works for me.

Go Blue!

01/09/2014 - 1:06pm We need to go back to the old days

I am 100% in agreement with the Mgoblog staff about the growing unsustainability of the current football system that more and more looks like just another example of crony capitalism.

It has been hard for me to come to the decision that things have to change because I, again like everyone here, am so totally in love with this thing called college football.

However, I come to a 180 degree different conclusion about the right solution. Universities should pay professors to teach students. They should never, ever, pay students to perform athletic feats for the public. This violates everything good about the ideals of the university. I am a professor - I have lived my whole life within the (to me) wonderful academic world and I believe I understand in my bones something about what makes universities special places. One of the most important things that separates universities from the rest of the shitty corporate world is the very notion of profit. Universities are the best places to learn, to think, and to share our world's most important truths because they are insulated from the need to bow down to money. As soon as universities start worrying too much about money, bad things happen - including the BCS, the bowl system, and our current mess in D-1 sports.

Thus, I reluctantly have come to the conclusion that we need to roll back the clock and stop giving people scholarships to play sports. Instead, students should be admitted to school, and then they should play sports. Will this degrade the quality of football and basketball at the D-1 level? Yes, absolutely. But guess what - I live and die by my daughter's travel soccer team - it doesn't really matter how "good" Michigan is - it only matters that they're Michigan.

Go Blue

01/08/2014 - 3:09pm GRIII

When my family watched the game it took us a minute to realize that GRob had thrown down the dunk behind his head. It was so freaking smooth - like it totally did not matter to him whether he was dunking it forwards or backwards. Unbelievable athlete. I really hope he stays healthy - what a treat to watch and how crucial to Michigan's season.