Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Trev Alberts may be a tool, but he does correctly note the great job that Lloyd has done this year:

On the other hand,

Monday, October 29, 2007

I feel squeezed too.

The Department of Education has submitted a report to the university claiming that Michigan Stadium violates ADA requirements. From the Free Press:

The federal department has threatened to terminate federal financial aid funds to the 39,700-student university if U-M doesn't submit a plan within 10 days to correct the numerous violations outlined in the 42-page report dated Oct. 26.

"The university is discriminating against individuals with mobility impairments … because the stadium does not include a sufficient number of accessible seats; the accessible seating is not dispersed so as to provide persons with mobility impairments the same range of seating choices as is provided to persons without disabilities … and the routes, toilet rooms, and concession stands are inaccessible."

Well, yeah, but you know there really hasn't been anything done recently in the form of renovations or modifications to require compliance. Right? I couldn't think of any immediately, but that's probably becuase the changes that occurred aren't really noticable unless you're looking down. Remember the concrete and bench seating replaced?

The report was prompted by several complaints to the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights dating back to 1999. The federal government and U-M reached an agreement in 2000 where U-M agreed that future renovations or alterations at the stadium would include consideration of improving accessible seating.

But the Department of Education reopened the investigation in 2004, when U-M failed to alert them to "several million dollars of construction projects" that meant removing and replacing thousands of bench seats over a period of years at the stadium, the report says.

So, now the stadium has two issues to contend with: 1)the lawsuit commenced to stop the approved addition of the "structures"; and 2) the US Dept Ed. ADA review and its consequences.

The new plan for the pressboxes/skyboxes apparently will provide additional handicapped seating beneath the skyboxes:

Cunningham, the U-M spokeswoman, said the additional wheelchair seating will offer an "excellent unobstructed view of the entire field.'' It will be built under the new premium seating - club seating and luxury boxes - so it is sheltered by an overhanging roof. Wheelchair users will get to the new seating by taking an elevator in the new sideline structure, which will have new and accessible concessions areas and bathrooms.

As I understand the ADA position, it relates to the existing bowl, not the addition of the "structures". The 2000 agreement required the U to comply with the ADA for future renovations or alterations. The ADA basically is claiming that the work on the stadium in the last few years is a renovation or alteration which would have required the stadium to be ADA compliant. I haven't read any of the report, but it's likely they claim that as sections were rebuilt they should have brought to current ADA standards; ie. there should be a number of accessible seats in my section, or near it.

On the other hand, Bernstein, I think, is saying that the addition of boxes etc, is a renovation to the entire stadium, and that it therefore should require accessible seating throughout the bowl. In different sections, different angles of view, and different licensing fee availability.

But, here's a quote I found in the about Bernstein's suit from a student. I have no doubt that this student should be given accessible seating. I'm sure she deserves it. But, her comment identifies the exact same situation the rest of experience at any game other than Eastern MI:
Sarah Watkins, a U-M senior from Grand Rapids who uses a wheelchair, said she bought season tickets for three years but stopped this year. At some games, she said, the seating was full and she felt squeezed in with many other wheelchair users. "I spent three years with tickets and I wasn't able to sit with my friends,'' she said.

Sarah, I am sorry that you are disabled. You've probably done a marvelous job overcoming a variety of issues stemming from your disability, and I hope you continue, including to graduate from the University of Michigan and lead a productive life. But, WE ARE ALL SQUEEZED AT MICHIGAN STADIUM! You are not being treated differently, you are being treated the same. And, you know that section and row number on our tickets, they also prevent me from sitting with my friends.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Oh No.

No Mike Hart.

And, by God, there is no way we should have any interest whatsoever in Tedford. Mediocrity at best.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

4th Down Coaching Comparison--What Would Kobayashi Do?

I attempted to make the point on MGoBlog that Brian and many others would have raked Lloyd over the coals had he run on 4 straight downs and not picked up the first down. Personally, I didn't have a problem with the idea of running 4 times. Hell, I've long wondered why Michigan passes as often as it does in short yardage. But when one knows that you have to score the touchdown and you have the luxury of using 4 downs every series, you can afford to run the ball 4 straight downs.. You only need to pick up 2.5 yards per carry. A good running team with a strong o-line ought to be able to pick up 10 yards on 4 runs. So, no, I don't fault Miles for running the ball on 4th and 2. I question why, without his main back, he stacked up the line and ran straight at the defense, but I'm certainly going to give the staff the benefit of the doubt.

4th down stats aren't much without context. And context I lack based on tehe stats I've been able to find. So these "are what they are". How many times did a team go for it on 4th and how many times did they make it. I have tried to focus on close games, where going for it on 4th actually has a consequence. I've defined "close games" as two scores or less, generally.

There is some support for the idea that going for it 4th down is more than a mere flashing of Les Miles brass balls. According to one economist, teams should go for it more often. He concludes that, in the NFL, teams went for it on 4th down only 108 times of the 1100 times they should have. The conclusion is likely even more applicable in college, where the kickers are not as good, and there is a greater disparity among quality than the NFL.

Here is Lloyd's 4th down conversion stats in 2006: Total: 8 for 12 = 66.67%. The breakdown per game shows

Vanderbilt ----------------- W 27-7--------1 for 1
Central Mich -------------- W 41-17 -------1 for 1
Notre Dame ----------------W 47-21 ------ 0 for 0
Wisconsin ------------------W 27-13------- 0 for 1
Minnesota ----------------- W 28-14 -------1 for 1
Michigan St. ----------------W 31-13 ------0 for 1
Penn St. -------------------- W 17-10 ------0 for 0
Iowa ----------------------- W 20-6 ------ 0 for 0
Northwestern---------------W 17-3 ------- 2 for 2
Ball St. ---------------------W 34-26------- 1 for 1
Indiana---------------------W 34-3--------2 for 2
Ohio St.---------------------L 39-42-------0 for 1
Southern California---------L 18-32--------0 for 1

In games decided by two scores or less, Michigan was 4 for 7 in 4th down conversions. That includes the OSU and USC games -- in which I believe we were forced into 4th down attempts because of score and time. My recollection is that both games involved 4th downs where passes on relatively long conversion distances were necessary -- but I could be wrong. You could look at that as 4 of 5 if you were so inclined. Of course, 1 conversion was vs. Ball State, a game in which we never should have had to go for it on 4th down in the first place. In the closest games, Penn State, Ball State and OSU, Michigan was 1 for 2. Michigan's close games were not as close as LSU's, only one being decided by less than a touchdown (OSU) where Michigan was 0 for 1 on 4th down.

Miles/LSU in 2006: 13 of 17 = 76.47%. Per game breakdown:

La.-Lafayette------------W 45-3-------1 for 1
Arizona ------------------W 45-3 ------0 for 0 -
Auburn ------------------ L 3-7--------0 for 2
Tulane -------------------W 49-7-------1 for 1
Mississippi St. Grass------W 48-17------0 for 0 -
Florida--------------------L 10-23 -----1 for 1
Kentucky-----------------W 49-0 ------- for 2
Fresno St. ---------------W 38-6 -------1 1
Tennessee -------------- W 28-24 ------3 for 3
Alabama -----------------W 28-14------ 3 for 3
Mississippi----------------W 23-20------1 for 2
Arkansas------------------W 31-26------0 for 0
Notre Dame ---------------W 41-14------1 for 1

I did not see much of LSU last year, and I don't know when, where, and under what circumstances the went for it on 4th down. Applying the two score analysis above, LSU was 8 for 10. In the closest games, Auburn, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas, LSU was 4 for 6. Auburn, Mississippi, and Arkansas were all decided by less than a touchdown.

I cannot remember the specifics of when, or down and distance we went for it on fourth down last year, and havent' been able to find a location where down and distance is included, the score of the game at that point, and the time remaining and field position -- all key components to evaluate the propriety and relative risk/reward of any particular decision. That said, in general, Miles is clearly more apt to go for it on 4th down than Carr

Did Miles go for it on fourth more often just because he has brass balls? Not entirely:

LSU’s field goal kickers were 64.3% last year. Their primary kicker was 8 for 13 – a mere 61.5%. On the other hand, Garret Rivas was 16 for 19 -- 84% last year.

----------------------0-19 --20-29---30-39---- 40-49----50+
Garrett Rivas: 16 for 19 84.2------0/0---6/7 ---8/8----2/4 ---0/0
David Colt: 8 for 14 61.5%--------0-0---4-4----1-2----3-6---0-1

Obviously LSU was unpredictable at best from beyond 30 yards (ie. the 13 yard line). (Wow, that is really bad). Michigan was a sure thing on field goals inside of the 26 yard line. It does make sense, then that Miles would and should go for it on 4th down more often with sketchy (at best) field goal kicker. On the other hand, Lloyd would likely go for it on 4th down more often if his kicker made only 50% of his field goals between the 13 and 22 yard line.

It’s probably not surprising, then, the LSU did not attempt many field goals in its close games. Against Auburn LSU lost 7 -3. They tried one field goal between the 13 and 22 yard line, which they made. LSU lost to Florida 23 -10, and tried 2 field goals between the 23 and 32 yard line of which they made one. LSU beat Tennessee 28-24. They made one between the 23 and 32 yard lines and missed one from beyond the 33 yard line. LSU was 3 for 3 on 4th down. LSU beat Alabama 28 -14 and did not try a field goal. The beat Mississippi 23-20 in overtime and made one field goal between the 13 and 22 yard line, and missed one between the 23 and 32 yard line. They were 3 for 3 on 4th down. LSU beat Arkansas 31-26 and tried only one field goal, which it made between the13 and 22 yard lines.

There is an obvious dearth of attempts in close games from the 13 to the 22 yard lines. Perhaps Miles didn’t trust his kicker enough when LSU got that close to kick it? If so, then why kick 6 times beyond the 23 yard line? Without seeing when, where and what the score was, it’s impossible to say why there is such a lack of field goals for LSU between the 13 and 22 yard lines in 2006. Maybe that is just Miles “Go-Zone”??

For comparison sake here are some other coaches of interest: Tedford 2006: 8 of 13 for 61.54% In close games, Cal was 0 for 1:

Cal 18 Tennessee 35-----------1 attempt-------0 conversions
Cal 42 Minnesota 17-----------2 attempt-------2 conversions
Cal 42 Portland St 16----------1 attempt-------0 conversions
Cal 48 Arizona St. 21 ---------1 attempt--------0 conversions
Cal 41 Oregon St 13 ---------- 1 attempt--------1 conversion
Cal 45 Oregon 45-24----------3 attempts-------3 conversions
Cal 21 Wash St 3--------------1 attempt--------1 conversion
Cal 31 Washington 24---------1 attempt-------- 0 conversion
Cal 38 UCLA------------------0 attempt--------0 conversion
Cal 20 Arizona 24-------------0 attempt--------0 conversions
Cal 9 USC 23------------------1 attempt--------0 conversion
Cal 26 Stanford 17-------------0 attempt--------0 conversion
Cal 45 Texas A&M 10----------1 attempt--------1 conversion

Cincinnati with D’antonio: 13 for 6 = 46.15%. In close games, 3 for 7.

Cincinnati in 07 with Kelly through 7 games: Totals 8 for 13 through 7 games: 61.54. In close games:

Cinci 28 Rutgers 23----3 attempts--- 2 conversions
Cinci 24 Louisville 28--1 attempt-----0 conversion

Wow, that a lot of 4th down attempts at this point of the season. I have no idea under what circumstances these were. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Central with Kelly in 2006: Totals 17 attempts 8 conversions 47.06. In close games:

Central 24 Boston College 31--3 attempts----2 conversions
Central 24 Akron 21----------1 attempt-----0 conversions
Central 24 Eastern 17--------1 attempt----=-0 conversions
Central 18 Ball St. 7 ----------2 attempts----1 conv.

Pete Carroll 2006: Totals 28 attempts 20 conversions 71.43

USC 50 Arkansas 14 -------------2 att----------1 conv.
USC 28 Nebraska 10 -------------2 att----------1 conv.
USC 20 Arizona 3-----------------1 att----------0 conv
USC 28 Washington 22 ------------2 att---------2 conv.
USC 26 Washington 20 ----------- 3 att---------3 conv
USC 28 Arizona St. 21 -------------2 att---------2 conv
USC 31 Oregon St 33 --------------2 att---------1 conv
USC 42 Stanford 0 ----------------4 att---------3 conv
USC 35 Oregon 10 -----------------3 att--------2 conv
USC 23 California 9-----------------1 att--------1 conv
USC 44 Notre Dame 24-------------2 att--------2 conv
USC 13 UCLA 13--------------------3 att-------1 conv
USC 32 Michigan 18-----------------1 att--------1 conv

Tressel 2006: Totals 11 attempts 7 conversionsTressel went for it once on 4th down in close games. Tofu beat Illinois 17 -10, and converted 1 of 1 on 4th downs. The only other close game for Tofu was Michigan 42 -39, but no 4th down attempts.

Creyer 2006: 4th down totals: 18 attempts 9 conversions. In close games,

Florida 21 Tennesse 20--------1 att----------1 conv.
Florida 28 Alabama 13---------no attempts
Florida 23 LSU 10-------------3 att----------1 conv.
Florida 17 Auburn 27----------1 att----------0 conv.
Florida 21 Georgia 14----------1 att----------0 conv.
Florida 25 Vanderbilt 19-------0 att
Florida 17 South Carolina 16----2 att----------2 conv
Florida 21 Florida St. 14-------0 att
Florida 38 Arkansas 28---------2 att----------1 conv
Florida 41 Ohio St 14------------3 att----------2 conv

Most of these stats are from www.cfbstats.com. A very cool site. Check it out sometime.

While Lloyd could be more aggressive on 4th down he seems to be right in the middle (at least of this small sampling). Carroll and Miles are aggressive. Kelly appears to be aggressive, although it's too early to tell given the short history at Cinci. Tressel is not. I like Kelly's aggressiveness.

So would Ricky Bobby:

Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday Misfits and Jackasses

Urban Meyer had the week off. But at Conqueringheroes, we didn't. We go far and wide to bring you the latest and greatest of the misfits and jackasses in sports. Today we start with Urban Creyer. His safety had these glowing comments of his coach following his arrest for breaking in to a gated lot to get his girl's car:

In an interview Monday, Joiner said he expected Coach Meyer to be more strict with the team after Saturday's 20-17 loss to Auburn. Joiner hinted that Meyer had grown lax in his discipline with this year's squad.

"Some guys might miss a class here and there and he kind of turns a cheek or, in practice, some guys aren't really as attentive as they should be and he turns a cheek," Joiner said. "He sees things in practice, where, if a guy makes a mistake -- in the past, when he first got here, it was 'If you make this mistake, you're not going to be in' type of deal. He recently kind of was lenient toward that. Now, it's back to like it was."
Back to like it was. You must mean like when he lost back to back games in 2002 at BGSU. Ohh, Mr. Joiner, just wait until Urban loses back to back to back with Kentucky the third of three this weekend.

And, in this episode of Misfits and Jackasses, the Creyer vs. Kentucky takes us to Lexington, KY. the home of good BBQ, good bourbon, and some good basketball.

And, some home cooked preachin, healin, and prophecizin' What? Yes, that's right, you heard me. It may be hard to fathom, but a preacher in Lexinton, Ky, didn't even know Kentucky was a basketball school.
"I had no clue Kentucky was a basketball school. No clue, but God knew. Me being a prophet, he has truly ordered my son's steps I'm a prophet, someone who can prophesize about your future and what's going on in your life. The Lord has shown me: They're going to the Final Four, providing they play together. I have spoken these things into existence. It's not by accident that my son is here and now the Final Four is in Michigan."

Would it help if I told you that Alex Legion's mother didn't know Kentucky was a basketball school. The church draws about 25 regular parishioners, but Legion envisions long lines of people at the door. Legion, who also speaks in tongues and says she has a gift for healing, has high hopes for her son. She said he's been blessed to attend fine schools. She expects him to play in the National Basketball Association, then become a prophet.

This story gets creepier by the month. I'm so stressed I can't have my normal bowel movement. Maybe I need some help from Ms. Legion and the holy ghost.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pimpin' Gruden

Shameless pump for Gruden, along with yet another Michigan connection. BTW, way to go Tyrone -- possible assistant under a Gruden led M:

"I'm not going to have any magic; I'm no guru like the guy with the Lakers," Wheatley said, referring to Phil Jackson. "I don't have any Zen books. But what I do know is coaches."

Wheatley was more than just a player who carried the ball. He was a student -- a student of the game and a student of coaches like Tampa Bay's Jon Gruden.

"I've been watching coaches for 20 years," he said. "I've been watching motivational styles. I kept track of what worked for me and what worked for other players.

"The biggest thing is to get them to believe in themselves."

That was his challenge after taking over a team that never enjoyed a single victory last season.

"You've got to get them to trust you," Wheatley said. "If you have the experience, they will trust that. I speak a bunch of mumbo jumbo and they'll do it if they think it works.

"I tell them we've got to do things right. Gruden used to say: 'Do it my way because it's my way. It's not the right way because it's my way. It's the right way because it's right.' "

Link here.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Fire Everyone Now, Goddamit!

Fire Lloyd Carr. Fire Urban Meyer. Fire Pete Carroll. Fire Joe Tiller.

Yes, it has happened. Fire Urban Meyer. Congragulations, Creyer, you're head is on the blog block right with Lloyd. I sure would like to see Lloyd crush you if we're not Rose Bowl bound by year end. Hey maybe EDSBS and Mgoblog can have a faceoff of which coach should be first to go.

The Future

You could visit mgblog if you are interested in hearing repeatedly how inept Lloyd Carr is. And, Brian cetainly posts some engaging and thoughtful statistical based observations of Michigan football. But the crux of the site, and many other in the blogosphere is that Lloyd must go, that he should have been fired by now, that M could never be more than a mediocre team with Lloyd.

This is all bologna. The kind with green mold growing in the center.

Lloyd Carr has exceeded the win loss percentage of Bo. He is a great man. A great coach. His players past and present speak highly of the coach. He has brought consistent top flight receivers and quarterbacks to the program (with Loeffler). He's not perfect. Neither is Urban Creyer (who blew a lead last night to LSU). I should look at the blogs in FLA, I haven't yet. But were Brian writing on Florida, perhaps it's time to let Creyer go

Oh, and Pete Carroll, he should be fired. USC eclipsed Michigan's ASseD by losing to the fighting Harbaughs. They were 40 point favorites. Ok, the Fighting Harbaughs' arent DIAA, but, they probably have less talent. (they have high admission standards, remember). Obviously, the game of college football has passed Carroll bye bye.

Don't look now, but Michigan has as good a shot to win the Big 10 as OSU or Illinois. (Illinois -- wtf??) While I don't dislike ASseD and ODD less than anyone else, I'm willing to look at the big picture. At big 1o titles. At national championship contentions and victory. At last years run for undeafeted, and close loss at OSU. Does anyone even remember the 97 team? Did they wing the football over the whole field as did Terry Malone? Did they dazzle the opposition with statues of liberty? No, the ran the ball, and ran play action waggles. I suppose that's not enough to win anymore, though. Right?

There is always room for improvement. Our coaching staff is certainly not perfect. English outcoached himself in prep this year. He forgot about tackling. Forgot about position. Forgot that he didnt have a first round draftpick to call the D and run to the ball, etc. Make no mistake, English ran a complicated D scheme this year -- too complicated. He abandoned the basics in favor of complex schemes. I will agree that Lloyd has trusted English more than he should have. But, it you presume that Lloyd is retiring this year, as I do, it's not too surprising that an effort to allow he and DeBord a shot at the job with increased responsibility.

The arguments that Lloyd has stayed loyal at the expense of the program reeks of moldy bologna. Jimm Hermann was shown the door politely. So was Malone. English was hired. English was not a Carr croney. He was (and could still be) a highly touted up and coming coach. Carr didn't hire English as DC out of loyalty. Were that the case, Jim Hermann would still be DC (and maybe were he, the D would not have collapsed in games 1 and 2 this year).

The point is, many are simply to quick to judge on the last 3 games of last year and the first 2 of this year a man's entire career. With that aside, all signs are that Lloyd does want to, and will, retire following this season. Bill Martin will, and no doubt has already begun, conduct an extensive search. So who, will be on that list: Tedfore? Miles: certainly. Tergovich: probably. Cameron: possibly. Kelly, certainly will get an interview. Weis: not even Spot's can make enough wings for that guy -- no. Ferentz: not likely.

What about Gruden. Certainly. He may live out his desire, or Tampa's, this year. He's an energetic relatively young coach with instant credibilty. He has drafted and coached many a Michigan player. Would he entertain the offer? While at Dayton he described Michigan as his dream job:

While Gruden was at Dayton, he completed just six passes in 15 attempts and never threw for a touchdown. He did score three times carrying the ball in mop-up duty. The most action he saw was as a holder for extra points and field goals.

Filling out a questionnaire about his future back then, Gruden said he planned to be the head coach at the University of Michigan by age 39. As it turns out, the shortcomings he had on the field have been eclipsed by the way he has exceeded the norm as a coach.

Link here. Gruden is now 44. It may be time to move on. He's a just better than a 500 coach at the NFL level, (80-68) but has been to the playoffs 4 of 9 tries, and won a superbowl. For context, Pete Carroll was 33-31 before being fired by the Patriots in 1999.

If Lloyd retires, one of my first three calls is to Gruden.