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Old 11-27-2007, 02:20 PM
JaredL JaredL is offline
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Default Winning rivalry games, is it a skill?

In the Lloyd Carr thread, it was at least hinted at that Michigan needs someone who can beat Ohio State. I asked if people actually believe that there is something to it other than the same thing that it would take to beat, say, Penn State. An Ohio State fan said that there was.

Do you guys agree? Is there some coaching skill for winning big games? This feels a lot like clutch to me, which most people don't believe exists, at least consistently.

Lloyd Carr has a reputation for not being able to beat Ohio State. He started out with 5 wins in 6 tries but in the last 7 games he lost 6.

I'm curious about this so I'm looking up the years of his wins and losses. I will post the results either way.

Records aren't everything, but here are Michigan and Ohio State's regular-season records each year, excluding their game.

Carr vs Cooper: (starts with UM at OSU)
Year UM OSU winner
1996 7-3 10-0 UM
1997 10-0 10-1 UM
1998 9-2 9-1 OSU
1999 8-2 6-5 UM
2000 7-3 8-2 UM

Based just on this it would appear that OSU was significantly better in their first game and played at home and lost. Perhaps marginally better in the last loss at home as well. Second and third seem evenly matched and the home team won. In the fourth Michigan were the better team and won at home. The first game on the list is really the only one that is surprising.

Carr vs Tressel (starts with OSU at UM)
year UM OSU Result
2001 8-2 6-4 OSU
2002 9-2 12-0 OSU
2003 9-2 10-1 UM
2004 9-1 6-4 OSU
2005 7-3 8-2 OSU
2006 9-2 11-0 OSU
2007 8-3 10-1 OSU

First game Michigan had a better record and were playing at home and went down. Same story in 2004, though they played in Columbus. Otherwise they were pretty even or Ohio State were clearly the better team.

So for the most part things went to the favorites. Carr got one big upset over Cooper and Tressel got one over Carr. Seems like you can't say much. The general sentiment is that Carr is better than Cooper but not as good as Tressel in these games but it seems like just a reaction to an upset on either side.
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  #2  
Old 11-27-2007, 02:24 PM
Kneel B4 Zod Kneel B4 Zod is offline
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Default Re: Winning rivalry games, is it a skill?

I think matchups matter. one team may hold an edge over their rival b/c of the way they matchup, even if the 2 teams are relatively even vs common opponents.

loko at Indy/Denver in 2003 and 2004. 2 pretty close teams, but Denver just didn't match up well and got smoked.

(though those aren't really "rivals")
I guess figuring that out is a skill.
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Old 11-27-2007, 02:32 PM
vhawk01 vhawk01 is offline
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Default Re: Winning rivalry games, is it a skill?

[ QUOTE ]
I think matchups matter. one team may hold an edge over their rival b/c of the way they matchup, even if the 2 teams are relatively even vs common opponents.

loko at Indy/Denver in 2003 and 2004. 2 pretty close teams, but Denver just didn't match up well and got smoked.

(though those aren't really "rivals")
I guess figuring that out is a skill.

[/ QUOTE ]

So you picked two teams that werent rivals and had a sample size of 2 games?

I mean yeah, matchup differences exist and I guess in some college situations the "rival" team really is pretty much always running the exact same system out there, but for the most part, you dont know what your "rival" is going to do from year to year so a coach who can beat every time is also the coach most likely to beat your rival.
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Old 11-27-2007, 02:32 PM
Dids Dids is offline
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Default Re: Winning rivalry games, is it a skill?

The presumption that rivalry games are different from other games makes the assumption that people aren't always trying their hardest to win, which I think for the vast majority of the folks involved in high level sports is kinda silly and insulting.
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Old 11-27-2007, 02:47 PM
damaniac damaniac is offline
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Default Re: Winning rivalry games, is it a skill?

Re: Michigan-OSU, you also forgot 95 when a 7-3 Michigan team beat a 10-0 OSU team. But I really think this is just overdone, the people who say Cooper "didn't get" the rivalry or Tressell owns Carr. Carr was a better coach than Cooper, and also ran good against him. The Sweatervest is a better coach than Carr overall and ran a bit good against him too. I know it's cool when people can pretend that either a coach has magical powers 1 game a year or that a coach who is quite good suddenly becomes a complete moron one game a year (okay, hyperbole), but the better explanation is a combination of sample size/variance and overall ability.
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Old 11-27-2007, 02:49 PM
RR RR is offline
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Default Re: Winning rivalry games, is it a skill?

[ QUOTE ]
The presumption that rivalry games are different from other games makes the assumption that people aren't always trying their hardest to win, which I think for the vast majority of the folks involved in high level sports is kinda silly and insulting.

[/ QUOTE ]

Where it is different is for Ohio State for example under Woody Hayes and Tressel (but not Cooper and I don't know about Bruce) they would work on something for Michigan everyday.
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Old 11-27-2007, 02:56 PM
damaniac damaniac is offline
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Default Re: Winning rivalry games, is it a skill?

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
The presumption that rivalry games are different from other games makes the assumption that people aren't always trying their hardest to win, which I think for the vast majority of the folks involved in high level sports is kinda silly and insulting.

[/ QUOTE ]

Where it is different is for Ohio State for example under Woody Hayes and Tressel (but not Cooper and I don't know about Bruce) they would work on something for Michigan everyday.

[/ QUOTE ]

The question is how much does that matter? I'm not saying it doesn't but it isn't like this establishes a causal connection either (I realize demanding such proof creates an impossible standard; I'm just sayin...). Sparty put a countdown clock in the lockerroom, similar to how Tressel said he would make OSU proud in 300whatever days. Didn't work so well for Sparty.

It's kind of like the inflamatory comment idea. David Boston or Terry Glenn or Chuck Winters makes a derogatory comment about the other team ("they're nothing" or "we'll keep doing this til we get him fired") and the other team is fired up and wins, and causal significance is attributed to the comment. Now, not saying that's false or anything, but there are all sorts of possible counter-examples too (Harbaugh guarantees a win and they do). It's just a situation where you presuppose your conclusion and find something that could plausibly support it, rather than the other way around.
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Old 11-27-2007, 02:58 PM
heater heater is offline
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Default Re: Winning rivalry games, is it a skill?

UM was 11-0 in 2006. /nit
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  #9  
Old 11-27-2007, 03:13 PM
RR RR is offline
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Default Re: Winning rivalry games, is it a skill?

[ QUOTE ]

The question is how much does that matter? I'm not saying it doesn't but it isn't like this establishes a causal connection either (I realize demanding such proof creates an impossible standard; I'm just sayin...). Sparty put a countdown clock in the lockerroom, similar to how Tressel said he would make OSU proud in 300whatever days. Didn't work so well for Sparty.

[/ QUOTE ]

My understanding was the idea was they worked on a play that they would save for Michigan so it wouldn't be on a tape anywhere. Of course if the other side does the same thing there probably isn't much advantage, but they DO try harder in this game. I think it is possible that what happened with Cooper is he treated it the same as any other game, if Carr emphasized the game at the expense of preparation for other games this would the source of an edge.
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  #10  
Old 11-27-2007, 03:13 PM
KUJustin KUJustin is offline
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Default Re: Winning rivalry games, is it a skill?

[ QUOTE ]
The presumption that rivalry games are different from other games makes the assumption that people aren't always trying their hardest to win, which I think for the vast majority of the folks involved in high level sports is kinda silly and insulting.

[/ QUOTE ]

I generally agree with the OP, but I don't think I can agree with this. Most coaches will tell you that it's really hard to keep players motivated for every game. Though I suppose it applies less to a college football season due to there being so few games.

This can be a matter of game day motivation against a bad team, but it can also be a matter of preparation motivation. I could see skipping out on some extra film study to play video games or something if my team was playing a 1AA team that week.
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