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02/13/2019 - 12:07pm Obviously we don't know any…

Obviously we don't know any of them personally but yea, Poole strikes me as the one least enamored with college hoops. But he also seems like he could make great strides with more time in college; not so for Chuck nor, arguably, IB

02/13/2019 - 12:04pm I think last night we…

I think last night we actually (for once) tried to feed Teske for a post up vs a mismatch and we immediately turned it over. I'm guessing we just dont work on it much (practice time is a limited resource) so even if it would make sense in theory it isn't practical. Like if a spread passing offense goes against a defense that is small and can't stop an old school power rushing offense...can't just suddenly become a completely different offense unless you're the Patriots

02/13/2019 - 11:58am I remember being kinda high…

I remember being kinda high on Nunez but now i can't remember why haha. Quick release off the dribble maybe, or was that DDJ?

02/13/2019 - 10:25am Nunez, or another guard …

Nunez, or another guard (Brooks or DDJ) enters the rotation and Poole can play the 3 (he did a bit last night w/ Brooks & Simpson at 1/2). That's if Iggy leaves of course. I strongly doubt we can grab a '19 recruit who would contribute next year ahead of DDJ & Nunez, especially since those two were higher priorities than a hypothetical late add this year (and would have a year of experience). 

Barring a mass exodus (Matthews plus 2+ of Poole/Iggy/Teske) I dont think we're looking at a lack of rotations options next year since DDJ, Johns, Castleton, Nunez and basically Brooks are all waiting in the wings. Now, whether they're all good enough to sustain us as a top 10 national program is yet to be seen. 

01/21/2019 - 12:22pm Hard to refute the idea that…

Hard to refute the idea that the coaching instability is probably a bad sign. I think that, on a case by case basis, you could look at the OC change and the DL coach change as net positives, and Washington was never going to stay at M over OSU, and on and on. But that may be missing the forest for the trees - the fact that we've had to push out an OC-ish figure twice in two years, the fact that we seem to lose a couple position coaches each offseason (not always to promotions either)...these are probably not good signs on the whole, even if each particular "tree" is defensible. 

01/21/2019 - 12:18pm I like this line of thinking…

I like this line of thinking about this exercise. The essential difference is you're comparing your current opinion of each program to what we perceive to be the theoretical "market's" opinion. Whereas i just compare my current opinion to my opinion 1 year ago. 

My only disagreement with your conclusions is: I think (maybe i'm wrong) the "market" would think very highly of Nebraska's stock, even if they haven't done anything yet. I bet they'd have the highest stock price in the West, and would be 4th in the conference but not far behind M and PSU. If that were the case, would it still be a "buy"?




01/18/2019 - 11:09am The order was purely by…

The order was purely by preseason s&p+ rank - by season's end we were #2 in the B10.

As for the what you said about M (and Iowa and Neb) i agree we may not be as good next year. Yet still, i'm more optimistic about the program's future *today* than i was a year ago at this time. Know what i mean? More of a long term view than year-to-year

01/18/2019 - 11:06am I definitely agree they're…

I definitely agree they're going to be better next year. But I also think they're exactly where we expected them to be at this point, right?

01/17/2019 - 4:01pm I see what you're saying -…

I see what you're saying - 2018 was a major disappointment. But then again, I'm not sure the situation they're in right now, looking forward, is any different from what you would have expected 12 months ago. You might be right tho. .

11/30/2017 - 5:54pm most likely major 2018 contributor

to rise from "pushing from behind" or "waiting their turn?"

I'll take D. Jeter 

09/09/2017 - 6:23pm Nor the special teams?


01/19/2017 - 2:22pm Midwest Heavy

Had sort of forgotten how damn Midwestern these  Hoke classes were. Brian's comment "Another bad miss by Rivals in the Midwest" made me want to break the scoring down by MW vs. Other. Turns out that's pointless b/c the only non-MW guys to have significantly differing rankings were Bars (TN), Mags (CA), and perhaps Pipkins, if Missouri isn't considered MW by the services. 

FWIW, Houma (UT), Clark (KY), and perhaps Chesson (MO) were also out-of-region recruits. 

01/17/2017 - 11:57am half court D

I was wondering the same thing, and I'm not an expert by any means, but I think that 0.986 is still bad because the overall 1.2 is inflated by things like easy fast break buckets. Teams only go to the pick-and-roll when the D has already stymied the easiest ways to score. The opposing offense will also perhaps run more complex plays early in the shot clock which try to get an open layup/dunk or 3. If those fail, they'll fall back to the simple pick and roll, at which point an average defense should be able to hold the O well below the 0.986 PPP we allow.

A similar concept is the semi-argument we've seen around here re: Irvin's mid range jumper. Off the top of my head I think he's getting around 0.9 PPP on that jumper he shoots off the dribble around the elbow. If that's all you're getting on a typical posession, you wont' be very good. But if it's late in the shot clock and we haven't been able to get a better shot yet, 0.9 PPP isn't a bad last resort.

01/17/2017 - 11:52am One Teske Concern

Very interesting write up. I especially appreciate that, in Teske, Ace at least tries to offer a possible solution besides "be better." I certainly want to believe Teske could be a major help; at the very least it's worth a shot b/c the opportunity cost of sitting Donnal seems to be approximately zero.

However, after also reading Dylan's piece on the matter, one thought struck me. Dylan's only mention of rim protection was in regard to DJ Wilson; namely, how Wilson appeared to be a solid rim protector early in the year but has clearly regressed in that aspect. Dylan thinks this may be due to Wilson's attempts to avoid fouling (3 fouls in the last 4 games). 

My concern is - is there a risk the same would happen to Teske? In exactly 40 minutes this season Teske was an aggressive and successful rim protector (4 blocks) but also committed 5 fouls. It seems possible to me he might end up following the Wilson path, wherein he gets coached to stop fouling so much and consequently stops being useful around the rim.

Sadly, I'm basically hypothesizing that the guy on the bench who seems to offer a skill we need will cease to offer that skill as he plays more. 

03/07/2016 - 1:20pm Bingo

Been living in Boston for two years. Basically concur with everything above.

1. Do not sit down the 1st base line anywhere from the start of the outfield to Pesky's pole. You'll have to look almost 90 degrees to your right to see the plate. Just about anywhere else is fine. Don't worry about being too close to the field - park is so small you're close enough in any seat besides dead center.

2. Freedom Trail is a must if you like US History. If you dont want to do it all i'd focus on the North End stops - Paul Revere House & Old North Church - and combine that w/ an Italian food meal.

3. Cape Cod/Nantucket - you'd be very smart to do this part mid-week, Tuesday-Thursday. Weekend traffic is horrendous, particularly getting on to the Cape on Friday afternoon and leaving Sunday at any time. I would stay in the middle of the Cape then take the Hyannis ferry over to Nantucket in the morning, come back in the evening. You wont need more than a day trip to see the highlights. I would take the bus tour of the island, btw.

4. Never been to Salem but if you're looking for a New-Englandy scene, check out Portland, ME (<2 hours), or even Dover or Portsmouth, NH (1 hr).



03/03/2016 - 11:30am HS vs. College

We didn't tackle to the ground in college during practice once the regular season started. Very quick whistle, but we had major depth issues.

In high school it was a different story - coaches loved to make us hit as often as possible, even did Oklahoma drill mid-season if they weren't happy.

Certainly there were more injuries in HS practice, probably due largely to hitting. However, i know our college team was damned bad at tackling so if you can afford it perhaps the practice injuries are a cost worth paying.

03/03/2016 - 11:20am Correction: 2019

2018 is in Ann Arbor. Both are opening weekend. Still hope i can go to Fayetteville

03/03/2016 - 11:17am 2018

Opening Saturday. Hope i can go, probably wont be many other reasons for me to attend an Arkansas game. Plus it's one of like 5 states i haven't been to yet.

03/03/2016 - 10:36am Rutgers' Defense!

I noticed this on the chart towards the top: Rutgers allows 121.4 points/100 possessions, 12 more than next-worst Minnesota at 109.4. That gap is larger than the gap from Minnesota to #1 defense MSU (98.7).

Top put it another way: the 2nd worst defense in the league is closer to being the best than the worst. Incredible.

P.S. Painful but appreciated analysis, Alex. Thanks.

07/08/2015 - 10:54am South Boston

No luck yet. But then again I only get mail like once/twice a week, always in big bunches (all bent to shit) after days of nothing. I figure my mailman is a drunk. Oh well, something to get excited for every day til it gets here.

05/13/2015 - 11:31am There it is

100% second this recommendation. Was surprised it hadn't come up yet. If you're interested in leadership, the Civil War, or just a magnificent American story, this should be atop your list. Just a brilliant work. My #1 non-fiction of the past few years, or maybe ever.

03/23/2015 - 10:41am It's not bad/Chromecast

I went sans cable almost two years ago. First year my roomate had Roku, which was decent. Last fall i moved to a place by myself and went with chromecast. Chromecast is great for all ESPN channels, HBO go and netflix (and probably hulu plus which i dont have). You're supposed to be able to stream a google chrome tab from your laptop to the tv wirelessly, but it is choppy and doesnt work great, yet.

Consequently, i have to watch stuff like BTN and AMC on my laptop, which is fine for me but only by myself. You could also hook the computer to the TV and watch that stuff on the tube but that's a pain.

If you plan to be watching anything besides ESPN/HBO/Netflix w/ more than one it would get annoying i think. Personally i dont watch much TV besides sports and the occassional TV show via netflis, so it's not a big problem. Oh and i live in a city so i get all the networks (CBS/FOX/ABC/NBC) plus PBS and other random stuff via antenna, which is clear as day (and free!).

All told, to me it is worth saving the money for the occassional hassle but perhaps not for your situation. Good luck!

02/11/2015 - 11:32am On those you left out

I think it would make sense to include those who recieved medical redshirts after their freshman year in this analysis. The fact that they later got the redshirt b/c of injury means playing as a true frosh doesn't matter now, but it is still useful data for the study here. For example, the fact that Desmond Morgan got hurt in 2014 does not have any relevance on our analysis of whether him playing in 2011 was a good idea, right? Since no one expected the medical redshirt, the decision can still be judged on value of playing in 2011 vs. value of possibly having him in 2015.

And now that I mention it, how much should the possiblity of a medical redshirt down the road impact the redshirt-or-don't decision? For example, the decision not to redshirt Desmond Morgan worked out great b/c you got value in 2011 AND 2015, whereas if you had redshirted him you would get none in 2011, and still lose 2014. That question brings up the medical hardship question - if Morgan had redshirted in 2011, then missed 2014 for injury, would he get a 6th year? I dont quite know how that works.

As for the likelihood of a player missing a year due to injury...from our very small sample size above, you broke down 23 players, and left out 4 who got hurt, so on this team the odds of not initially redshirting then taking it down the line for medical reasons was ~15%.

Anyways, from a game theory perspective, the non-zero chance that a player may be forced to miss a season later in his career due to injury, and the realization that if that is going to happen you may as well not have redshirted him to begin with, should be a variable, however small, in the formula, don't you think?

01/03/2015 - 7:47pm Yup

You certainly couldn't blame the guy if he wanted to leave. Like you said, he helped get them into the big money Pac 12; strange they don't seem willing to invest in continuing their climb up the CFB ladder.

01/03/2015 - 7:43pm According to this article

Utah has the highest proportion of Mormons, at 60% of the state. Next is Idaho (24%), Wyoming (9%) and Nevada (4-5%). 

No one is saying a Mormon coach wouldn't leave Utah or that region, but you could imagine being in a state where 60% of people belong to you religion, as opposed to <1% in Iowa, could be a reason to stay in Utah. Also, i'm willing to bet his religion may be part of the reason he is coaching in Utah now - his entire career he has coached in the state with the exception of 6 years in Idaho.


01/03/2015 - 6:28pm If Iowa fired Ferentz

but still owe him 75% through 2019, then they fire the new guy after three bad years (end of 2017), they should be allowed to obligate Ferentz to return to the HC gig for 2018-19 or forfeit his buyout...would never happen, and would probably be a complete disaster, but it would be just.

01/03/2015 - 6:18pm Whittingham

is a Mormom, fwiw. Not sure if that would preclude him from leaving Utah. 

Solid post though, I had been under the impression Ferentz was untouchable but you changed my mind.

09/02/2014 - 12:52pm i guess we

just flat out disagree here.

I think you're underrating the value of a worthwhile backup, even if he is never used. I mean, in retrospect if in 2011 the Pats knew Brady would be healthy for every game for 3 years and they would never need a decent backup, they wouldn't have taken Mallett but of course that isn't possible. So yes, if you judge the 2011 pick based on the fact that Brady never got hurt it was a bad pick. But that's unfair since there was no way of knowing Brady wouldn't miss a game for 3 years.

As for the out-of-work QBs, a young guy with a cannon and potential is worth more than, like, Shaun Hill because there's at least a chance he can develop into a quality starter if Brady had a major injury. Again, just b/c you never cash in the insurance policy doesn't mean you shouldn't have gotten insurance in the first place.

08/31/2014 - 10:38pm true, but...

you have to have a backup QB, and you'd rather have a decent one. It's like having a home insurance policy you never use - doesn't mean it wasn't worth having insurance just b/c your house never burned down.

I'm sure the Pats think of it as spending a third round pick and cashing it in for 3 years of having a decent backup quarterback (that you thankfully never had to use) PLUS a 6th round pick - better value than plenty of 3rd round picks 

08/23/2014 - 6:40pm Tanner McEvoy

First off, great stuff, thanks for all the hard work.

Also, McEvoy is supposedly going to start over Stave for Wisconsin vs. LSU. I know at the top you said if a projected starting QB gets beat out, the assessment transfers to the winner of the starting job; would you change anything in this case given that McEvoy is a different type of player? McEvoy is a converted safety and supposedly a good runner with poor throwing mechanics - my guess is this means very little unnecessary passing with that great OL/RB combo, new WRs and a QB who runs better than he throws...not sure how that would impact your 4 factors, however.

07/04/2014 - 2:17pm you right

misread the 24/7 site. my bad

07/04/2014 - 2:15pm nah man

please re-read what was written above. ThadMatta said we would have another *highly-touted* qb lined up to play when Morris would be a 5th year Sr. I said we won't, since Speight wasn't highly-touted, Malzone probably won't be, and deWeaver isn't considered a blue chipper now, though it is still quite early for him.

Neither Thad Matta  nor I ever offered an opinion on how good Morris, Speight, Malzone or deWeaver will be (I certainly dont have a clue); no one is saying the star rankings are right or wrong; the debate is about if there will be another highly-touted guy there to play when Morris would have been a 5th year, and I argue there won't, which is not to say we're gonna be terrible b/c there's not 5-star.  

Good rant about recruiting rankings though, i guess.

07/04/2014 - 12:26pm sure

its possible one or both moves up; but my point is the poster acts as if not having Morris in 2017 won't be a big deal b/c we'll have similarly-touted guys behind him. I disagree: Speight isn't, Malzone isnt with 6 months to go, and deWeaver (who would be in only his 2nd season) isn't highly ranked initially (but he's got 18 months, and 2 HS season, to go up....or down).

Regardless, the present evidence implies we will not have some blue-chip waiting in the wings.

07/04/2014 - 12:01pm Chances are

we will not have some other highly touted QB lined up when Morris would be a 5th year  - Speight was a 3-star on the 24/7 Composite rankings, Malzone is a 3-star in those same rankings, and deWeaver wasn't in the initial Scout 300. Maybe one of them will be good but none are highly-touted, especially in comparison to borderline 5-star Morris.

12/16/2013 - 4:30pm B1G Overview

I was going to suggest the B1G recruiting recap idea before i saw you're already on top of it. It's easy enough to look at the numbers from 24/7 Composite, but a little more analysis would be much appreciated! Perhaps even a little blurb on the class from the mgoblog-counterpart website contributors for each respective team if they are willing, sort of like VEQ...

12/06/2013 - 5:26pm wait a minute...

M-Wolverine had a dog as his're M-Dog with a wolverine as your avatar...Imposter!


(don't ban me)

(kidding again)

11/26/2013 - 2:14pm Agree, but...

Agree with your second paragraph - Hoke is not the reason for all of the bad things about the department, he does things the right way, and he would be here with or without the money. However, isn't it easy to understand why people who shell out those hundreds, even thousands, of dollars, as well as immeasurable emotion, to support the program are upset that the product is inexplicably regressing, and worse, the man in charge of that product is then insulting the loyalty of said customers?

11/26/2013 - 2:06pm Fickle

"Fickle" is defined by Webster as "marked by lack of steadfastness, constancy, or stability :  given to erratic changeableness." That is the wrong word, as the Michigan faithful have been steadfast for decade upon decade. Hoke is likely simply upset that his seniors will play The Game in a scarlet Michigan Stadium, and I bet that's the mindset through which he is viewing the situation. Thousands of his team's fans would rather save $50 or so to not sit in the cold and, presumably, watch his team get demolished. If you presented it to him in that way, if you asked him if he thinks a "true fan" would pay the $50 to watch this game, I bet he would answer it differently. I think it is a matter of perspective and frustration, not a case of him actually disliking a "fickle" fanbase. Naturally, i can't back this up with anything but speculation, and I understand why the anger is boiling over from the fanbase, but I think it was simply a poorly-chosen word.

10/28/2013 - 10:37am Doubt it

I see your point, but i really don't think you will see Morgan and Horford on the floor together on a consistent basis. They will likely platoon at the 5, with Robinson playing most of his minutes at the 4. If you're ever going to see 2 bigs out there, it might be Donnal at the 4 with Morgan/Horford if Donnal can play his way into substantial PT. The only way they will run any Morgon/Horford at 4/5 is if they want to practice the 2-big look in anticipation of McGary's return, but that will likely only happen in garbage minutes, not when the game is on the line.

Simply put, playing Horford/Morgan at the 4 directly takes minutes away from Stauskus or  Irvin, or Levert, which significantly diminishes the offense's shooting threat and ability to spread the floor. I do not think JB would want to do that in order to "muscle teams around a little."

10/09/2013 - 3:48pm Kerridge

Unmentoined in the discussion but I'm sure he'll get a +1 at least - in both Power Picture Pages, Kerridge throws a helluva block. He meets the LB in the hole and just owns him. 

10/02/2013 - 12:11pm Ufer'd

Can we prounounce "UFR'd" as "Ufer'd"? You can't think about Ufer and stay sad


08/20/2013 - 10:25am Color

First off, great stuff. Abosultely love your work.

I had a thought about using color differently. Jeff M has a couple interesting ideas above, but my initial reaction was it would be nice to visualize just how much the factors displayed in the chart (adj 3rd down conversion, early conversion %, and avg third down distance) impact the overall quality of an offense. Perhaps using your preferred method of rating an entire offense. (F +/-, your own metrics, whatever) to differentiate from best all the way to worst in a sliding scale ('Scarlet = Bad' through purple all the way up to 'Blue = Good'?).

Naturally, you would expect more blue in the top right, and scarlet in the bottom left, but it still might be interesting to see.

02/01/2013 - 2:41pm Borges' style

What you're saying makes sense, but I think it's important to remember that Borges has repeatedly stressed that he wants a workhorse back. One guy getting 25 carries every Saturday. So I think this battle will be more of a winner-takes-all competition. For my money, I'd say Green is most likely to win it, but Fitz and Smith also in the running (get it?).

I don't expect to ever see Rawls in a crucial spot again, to be honest, and i doubt Drake Johnson will really be in the conversation either. Not saying it's a sure thing, but when you consider his lack of recruiting hype and lack of insider practice hype, i just think it's unlikely.

Furthermore, i'd expect to see Shallman end up in a fullback/H-back type role and Hayes as slot reciever. Norfleet? Well, i like the kid's burst but i'm just not sure where he fits in for Borges' system. You'd hope a coach would find ways to get his most explosive guys the ball, but to be honest we've already seen that Borges isn't the most creative guy in that regard (see: Denard in the Ohio game).

As i write this, though, I'm thinking we aren't giving Fitz enough credit. He was a darn good runner in 2011 and i think 2013's O-Line will be more like 2011's than 2012's. And while that knee injury was brutal, it's become almost fightening how quickly and effectively top athletes can recover from knee injuries these days.

All told, i think Green, Smith or Fitz will win the battle outright by B1G play, Hayes and/or Norfleet will get some 3rd and long PT, and everyone else will be relegated to minor support roles.

11/07/2012 - 3:07pm gotta hope

to see Kalis in there at a guard if Lewan's back and Miller adds enough weight to start at C, i think it might be a battle between JoeyB and Magnusson (and Bryant? seems doubtful) for the last spot, with Schofield starting at either G or T, depeneding on if they like JoeyB or Magnusson more.

03/08/2012 - 11:54pm Both, I think

I'm pretty sure M's poor reb% has a lot to do with beilein's style. reb% is tired directly to style of play, specifically with regards to the fast break. If you crash the offensive glass, you're more susceptible to giving up fb points. And if you crash the boards on d, it's tougher to get points in transition.

So I think beilein see's that, with our small lineups, we're not going to be great on the glass anyways, so we might as well surrender some rebounding chances in exchange for winning the transition game

02/05/2012 - 8:10pm +0.12

Did anyone else notice that OSU's avg ranking is exactly 0.12 higher than M for all 4 services? Furthermore, should i be embarassed that i noticed something so pointless?

08/27/2011 - 4:31pm Eh

What's funny is his reasoning; this is probably the most favorable schedule we have seen in a while. We might only win 5, but it won't be due to an unusually tough schedule.

08/14/2011 - 4:06pm PSU

Reminds me of penn st last year. It seems like they had about a half dozen commits until very late in the process. They ended up only signing 16 total and finished 35th nationally according to rivals. That put them 6th in the B1G, 7th including ND. I'm guessing the low number was due to just not having many scholarships to give, and it's possible nebraska is in the same boat this year.

06/05/2011 - 2:15pm looks like

even without the things you mentioned above, BH and co. have done a pretty good job of recruiting. i don' t think a maize jersey with stripes on the shoulders and a beaver on the front is going to make many HS kids change their minds.

and who knows, maybe if we don't conform to the newly-popular night games/cool jerzeyz/rawk music, we can draw some recruits by pointing out how old school we are. i don't think the traditions at michigan are a huge hinderance on our recruiting potential.

06/05/2011 - 2:12pm i don't know...

maybe this is how it starts? can we expect there to be a home game like this every year? DB hasn't promised otherwise.

And if we desperately had to wear a "throwback" (even tho, as mentioned, we already wear throwbacks) why couldn't it have been on the road? i just don't like the idea of messing w/ the home jerseys