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Thursday, March 13, 2014


Just when you started to think that maybe the world actually was created only three years ago, we've got an old perspective to add to the new perspective. Confusing? This is what happens when folks cherry-pick odd time-frames upon which to build their newfound legacy.

To be clear, we prefer standard measuring sticks that add up to multiples of five. You know, like 5-10-15-20-25-30, and so forth. We've noticed that our culture recognizes achievements and records and milestones like 10 years of this and/or 25 years of that, and so on. So it's been a bit difficult to hear all of these Michigan fans trying to define the "new reality" as only including the last three years.

Okay, then. They've had a good streak recently, no doubt. They're not the cellar-dwellers anymore. They have risen up to competitive status. Bully for them. But both of the Michigan State Basketball programs are in great shape right now, as they have been for some time. Being successful at Breslin is not a new experience.

We decided to take their bait and see what the three-year picture actually looks like, when combining conference records of both basketball teams. Guess what? The Spartans are on top.

Here are the composite numbers for 2012-2013-2014:

  1. 72-30              MICHIGAN STATE**
  2. 65-37            MICHIGAN**
  3. 59-43            OHIO STATE*
  4. 56-46            IOWA
  5. 55-47            PURDUE
  6. 54-48            NEBRASKA
  7. 52-50            PENN STATE***
  8. 47-55            WISCONSIN
  9. 43-59            MINNESOTA
  10. 40-62            INDIANA*
  11. 37-65            ILLINOIS
  12. 32-70            NORTHWESTERN
*Conference Championships

So there, you knew something was funny about the crazy claims coming from Ann Arbor, didn't you? All of their boasts require odd-lot time-spans, like three years or eight games, etc. That's okay, they feel good right now. Must be a relief to them to not stink like a kettle of week-old fish. Give them some space, they're exhilarated right now.

But like the old saying goes, "You can have your own opinions, but you can't have your own facts." We present these facts because they have not elsewhere been publicized.

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  1. I think the asterisks after Penn St are in the wrong place.

  2. SpartanMan82, where do you find these comments that you say come out of Ann Arbor? Are they published somewhere, as your comments are at this site? Where are these straw folks?

    And regarding your numerology hypothesis, do you believe that any given time bracket is superior to another except in terms of two factors: longer periods typically offer better predictability of future outcomes than shorter periods, and recent periods are typically better than older periods? (Needless to say, we are talking predictability here, not certainty.)

    You also mention a "cultural" bias favoring 5- and 10-year periods; that association is largely a result of the decimal system (5 being, of course, one-half of 10). But do you think that your "standard measuring stick" based on whole decimal multiples is somehow superior regardless of duration? Do you believe that five years is superior to six or seven in terms of validity for prediction? Or that any other span that is a whole multiple of 10 is superior to any odd number, even if the latter is more recent?

    Oh, never mind. You are obsessively, compulsively stupid.

    I suspect you will delete this comment, a practice that is particularly onerous when you make a correction to one of your previous posts and then delete the comment that drew your attention to a factual error.

  3. The comments from UM folks crowing about the eight-game span can be found on articles in the sports media and on sports-radio talk-shows, among many other places. They are not made of straw. (You should probably stop trying to make hay out of that point.)

    Your crazy meandering about numerology was literally pointless. But you have inspired another article to clarify the weakness of your eight-game history book. UM has won 6 out of the last 8. UM has won 6 out of the last 9. UM has won 6 out of the last 10. UM has won 6 out of the last 11. UM has won 6 out of the last 12. Do you see a trendline beyond eight games? Is it consistent with the eight-game count?

    The answer is no, obviously not. That's the reason we meticulously list the game scores over so many years, with summaries for quick review. When you look at the whole track record, you notice the eight-game span largely because it is SO DIFFERENT FROM the rest of the series dating back decades.

    [Final Warning on Anonymous: If you label yourself with an identity, your chances of comment deletion go down. But you'll have to drop the various rear-end references and calling us "stupid". Otherwise, you'll have to consider your time here wasted as we will automatically delete your junk without further consideration.]

  4. Does all of this apply to the Football season 82? State has won 5 of 7, but they've also won 5 of the last 13. I don't want you looking foolish, so let's set the record straight now.

    1. Thanks for the input. The 3-year time period came up only at the insistence of Michigan fans who only wanted to look at the last three years. SM82 is consistent on this issue. He uses increments of five for football and basketball. Here is an example related to football:

      In the future please use the name/URL function. it does not require log in. You just type in any name you want. That way we can tell you apart for all the people who post as anonymous. Both of these methods are still anonymous. One is just better.

    2. Well, you do look foolish since it is 5 of 12 in football.
      So let's set the record straight.
      Coach Dantonio has led the Spartans to 5 of 7 is also a fact. Coach Hoke is 1 of 3.

    3. Oh, that reminds me, Anonymous, that while SM82 uses the decade and half decade increments consistently, he does also use time periods inside a significant event, most commonly, a new coach. So you will find posts that reference records in football and basketball since X was head coach at Y.

  5. Good points by RTG, all true.

    As for "all of this", there is no women's football program at either school, so no, you can't combine teams that play the same sport (of football) for overall comparisons.

    As for 5-of-13 in football, I hadn't thought of it that way, but I'm familiar with the numbers, and I can see where you get that. I actually view the football rivalry series as 4-out-of-5 and 5-out-of-10.

    RTG is right that I'm responding to the three-year-universe theorists, the vast majority of whom hopefully dissolved Sunday afternoon in Indianapolis. I actually DON'T care as much for the odd-lot streak quotes, though they can occasionally be helpful to depict a situation.

    That said, the 6-of-8 crowd had a point, but they were taking it way too far. That streak showed things "evening up", not tilted suddenly in the other direction. Yesterday was a step towards proving that.

    But I will ask you to look a little closer, beyond the wins/losses that are evident to all from a mile away. You mentioned football, so take a look at the last 5 games and the last 10 games, and add up the points scored by the two teams. You will see that UM trails in both sets. So even a 5-5 "tie" looks a little better for MSU when you check out all of the numbers on the scoreboard.

    You can do the same right now in basketball. How far back in time to you have to look to find five Spartan victories over Michigan by double-digits? Now how far back do you have to go to find five Wolverine victories over Michigan State by double-digits. (Hint: You'll be looking a long time to find that fifth one.)

    So I thank you and the rest of the 6-of-8 revisionists for inspiring me to look a little deeper. I honestly didn't know I would find these numbers quite this way, but I must say it has "felt that way", so it's cool to crunch the data and see how it really looks.

    1. UM is 3-1 in the last 4
      UM is 6-3 in the last 9
      UM is 7-7 in the last 14
      After that, it is obvious UM was not on an even footing with the Spartans going back to 1995.

    2. Great points as always from MSUSpartan76!

      Actually, the uneven footing goes back even farther than 1995, as the NCAA corrected the record books for seasons even earlier than that. But it gets messy to start long-term comparisons with lists that have asterisks referring to Grand Jury Indictments and FBI investigations.

      (But I must say, it's tempting in this context to narrow down the series to the last SIX GAMES. You know, as in the series is tied 3-3 in the last six, but MSU has outscored UM by 32 points in those six.)

    3. Please do not yield to that temptation.

      Keith Appling and Adrian Payne are 3-6 versus UM. If we are to present unbiased results, a 4-year perspective is appropriate in that context. Had they redshirted as freshmen, using a 5-year metric (5-6) would have been appropriate.

      The point is, we must not use arbitrary time frames like our chUMp friends like to use. Coaching records, player/senior records, season records, and appropriately stated long term records are all legitimate and unbiased.

      The appropriately stated long term records starts with the latest win by one team and ends with the oldest win of the other for that sequence of games. The numbers I posted above do that.

      LWWW (UM 3-1)
      followed by LLWWW (UM 6-3)
      followed by LLLLW (UM 7-7)

      I chose 1995 because that was as far back as the Wiki records (easiest to find) went and yes, the unequal footing does go back further, with or without the "NCAA corrections."

      Michigan has emerged as a perennial conference contender in basketball just as MSU has emerged as a perennial conference contender in football. We must acknowledge that or we allow ourselves to drop to the level of the chUMps.

      Note: I discern between the Wolverine, a mature and respectful fan of the University of Michigan and the chUMp/Walverine/Skunk Bear who is disrespectful, immature, and exists only to troll. Use of chUMp is not name-calling. It is merely calling a spade a spade.

    4. You may have caught me just in time with that warning, 76, that "3-of-6 article" has been rough-drafting in my mind ever since I noticed the data-point.

      So easy to "cherry-pick", isn't it?

      I like the fact that you like the idea of standards, as I do, rather than arbitrary data-grabs.

      (That said, I'm still mulling over the one-time article just to make the point to the "chUMps"...)


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