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Thursday, October 27, 2005

The numbers, I no like. They, how you say, ass. Straight Bangin' filched a message board post about the efficacy of Lloydball that's interesting, though perhaps not as stark as it's framed. The upshot:

  • In the last five years, Michigan has held a 10 point or less lead at the start of the fourth quarter sixteen times. It won seven of those games; in three of the victories Michigan lost the lead before winning the game.
  • Over the same time span, Michigan's entered the fourth quarter trailing "narrowly" seven times and won six.
Now, I'm somewhat suspicious of the methodology here that uses a specific cutoff for the leading stat and then a vague "narrowly" for the trailing stat and only covers five years instead of Carr's entire career, but I think there may be something in the numbers. Michigan fans throw around the idea of the Michigan "scoring offense" that emerges when Michigan really needs it (trailing in the fourth) but hibernates when it doesn't (leading). The games referenced show a striking lack of said scoring offense when Michigan leads.

Carr's late game strategy may have made sense at one time when Michigan gave up 300 yards a game, pounded people on the ground, and didn't have a real knack for giving up game-winning touchdown drives, but those days are gone. Michigan now has a tetchy, finesse run game ill suited to attacking eight man fronts and a defense that's eminently mediocre. It's ironic to hear him talking about "keeping the ball away from their offense"--impossible to do in any meaningful fashion-- when Carr fails to take advantage of the one time in a football game in which you can actually play keepaway: right at the end.

The college football blogging capital of the world appears to be Georgia. I realize Georgia is not, in fact, a city. Roll with it. Anyway, you've got ATL/Athens-based Sexy Results, EDSBS (Orson faction), and Eagle In Atlanta plus an absolute flood of Dawg bloggers: Paul Westerdawg, Kyle King, I'm A Realist, NKOTB The Drizzle, and needs-more-pub-and-possibly-vicodin Gunslingers. I mention it because Gunslingers' most recent media Hulk-smash job pushed a lot of my buttons when it fisked the always-intolerable "Sports Reporters." This little passage, well...
Ryan: With all due respect to our friends in Blacksburg and Tuscaloosa... We don't want you. OK. [Lupica tries to interrupt] Don't take this personally. We don't want you.The rest of us in America want SC and Texas. We want those 2 programs, we want... That's the only Rose Bowl we want.

Lupica: How can you possibly say that?

Ryan: Because THAT'S THE TRUTH. The generic college football sportsfan wants that battle of the titans and nothing else. We don't want VT, we don't want Alabama. We want Texas and SC, Michael that's the truth.
... made me want to find Ryan's crab-cake eating mouth and, I dunno, wire it shut. And then staple it some. Not for effect, just so I can hear his pained moans chitter through the wires. The idea of Bob Ryan, whose last conscious thought about college football was no dobut "that Flutie kid has potential," attempting to capture the college football zeitgeist from somewhere in New England is simultaneously maddening and hilarious, especially since college football is the place where the love of the 'dog is most celebrated. No one outside of USC fans--all six of them--and media members looking for "the story" want to see USC in the Rose Bowl. Everyone wants to see some goalposts taken on vacation.

In any case, Gunslingers spins this and other media flagrancies into a narrative about the evils of narrative re: sports that's well worth reading.

Oh, you kidder, you. Is Glen Mason really going to bolt Minnesota? Has the UMinn adminstration totally forgotten what the football team was like before his arrival? Fanblogs details the weird state of Gopher State U.

I was going to say something about the Fisher DeBerry thing, but someone already said it for me. So: I cosign SMQ's take on the matter, word for word. Word!

Totally OT section: BC&RS has Joey Harrington trapped in her basement. Microsoft tells you how to interpret this blog's totally 1337 sp33k. (HT: This Community High kid... Arbor Blogs aggregator, I swear I'm not stalking high school kids on the Internets.) EDSBS throws the UGA logo on pale ale... er, and Jesus (not Stanton, the other Jesus). The Sooner Farkers have some fun with a Michigan cheerleader.