But Seriously, Hold On to the Ball

When writing about certain things in football, well let's be honest here: when writing about nearly anything in football, you usually are encroaching upon the territory of well-worn and timeless clichés.  This is absolutely the case when discussing turnovers.  Even the most plebian follower of the game can tell you that more often than not if you hold on to the damn ball (HOTTDB), you win.  Duh.  But because our beloved charges have not HOTTDB very well the past several campaigns, I figured it might be worthwhile to make a visual representation of this concept.  This will hopefully be somewhat more straightforward than the recent show I saw on the Discovery Channel that featured Leonard Susskind attempting to explain how he theoretically proved, using string theory, that black holes do not violate a fundamental law of physics as originally suggested by Stephen Hawking.  That law of course being conservation of information.  Needless to say, it didn't exactly result in a "lightbulb" moment for this viewer.  Anyways, without further ado, the graph:

Complex_turnover_chart_medium

So since it's so close to the season, we'll just deal with the reality that most in-depth analysis has begun to morph into platitudes, and offer our own:  I don't think it's particularly unreasonable to assert that this haphazard team with the worst defense OF ALL TIME (statistically) would've been no worse than 7-5 last season had they simply managed to do one thing: take care of the football.  Just how bad has it been the past two years?  Well let's compare them against the other 8 seasons of the past decade...

Turnovers_medium

Yeesh those last three years...    How about 85 turnovers lost against 65 gained?  Down a cool twenty spot since that run in 2006... double arg.  So listen, I understand this isn't earth shattering, but in all of the worry and over-analysis regarding the depth chart and the secondary, one of the major problems this team has had over the past several seasons has faded to the background: turnovers.  If Michigan can right the ship in this category alone, then that alone would certainly go a long way towards getting this team over the hump record-wise.  So for everyone's sake, including inanimate objects everywhere, let's hope that they've really focused on holding on to the football.

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