21. August 2013 · Comments Off on The Space Between · Categories: 2013

So the WSJ posted a piece [We Have a Basketball Team?] comparing the the lack of success of the Nebraska hoops program vis a vis the Cornhusker football team.  Since I have a string of posts going mentioning the name Fielding H. Yost, I’ll note that in 1898 Yost was the head coach in Lincoln and led the Huskers to an 8-3 record, their first eight win season in history.

The Huskers hold the distinction of having the biggest discrepancy between winning percentages between these two major programs, a gap of +.173 (football minus basketball).   In the same piece they cite your Wolverines as having the second biggest gap.  Details:

Michigan Football vs. Basketball

But..when you’re talking about the team with the all-time highest winning percentage of all the teams to ever to play this collegiate sport, it’s not shocking to say there’s a decent gap between Michigan football and Michigan sport X.   Next, the source of the data is the NCAA.  It’s probably safe to assume their .579 all-time hoops winning % factors for the NCAA-vacated games, but the WSJ didn’t mention that.  Yes, vacated means vacated and the NCAA is awesome and all that—but it was probably worth mentioning with a *.  

I checked with U-M media relations, they actually have the official winning % (factoring for the NCAA sanctions) at .578 but we’ll let that point slide.   FWIW—the winning percentage of the hoops squad, if you ignore the NCAA sanctions is .590, again according to media relations.   So while that doesn’t really change the order of the graphic, it would slide the football gap down to +.144.

Finally, the graphic uses the title “One-Trick Ponies” (a fav of my dad’s to describe entities like the Dexys Midnight Runners of the world).  This is to suggest Michigan doesn’t have a historically significant basketball program.  Granted, in hoops lore even .590 wouldn’t put Michigan in or near the top echelon of all-time winning percentage.  But again somewhere in here there’s a “yeah but”—whether you count the 1990s or not, Michigan still had Final Four teams in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and now whatever we call this decade. 

So..you say so what?  This is the kind of crap I think about man, so back off :)

Follow MVictors on Twitter

Comments closed