Petway nails threes to death metal. Seriously.
I have always wanted to “publish” a Top 25 poll and with the help of the interwebs, I am finally able to do it. As an avid college football fan, I try to watch as many games throughout the week to get a good picture of how each team is performing. With this information, I will put together a complete top 25 poll with my justification for placing each team where they fall. Without further ado, here it is:
1. USC – To me USC just looks like the most complete team in college football right now. Even though USC has only played 2 games so far this year, they have looked dominate in both. I am aware that the win against OSU is not looking like as big a win as USC might have hoped, but it doesn’t take away from the overall skill of the team.
2. Oklahoma – Oklahoma is a team that has been untested so far this year, but with the outstanding play from Sophomore Sam Bradford, Oklahoma has been dominating teams all year. It wouldn’t surprise me if Sam Bradford made a run at the Heisman before his days are done at OU.
3. Georgia – With arguably the toughest schedule in college football this season, Georgia has, in my opinion, looked relatively unimpressive and undeserving of a higher ranking. On Saturday, they beat Arizona State, a team that had just come off a tough OT loss to UNLV, thus lessening the game from a marquee matchup, to a game against an average team. The week before they needed a 4th quarter comeback against South Carolina and were helped my 2 goal line mistakes to win that game. I still feel that if Georgia goes undefeated in the SEC, they deserve to play in the National Championship.
4. LSU – LSU got a big road win against an Auburn team that was looking for redemption at home, after a heartbreaking, last second loss, to LSU last year. LSU made a good second half comeback and came up with a big stop against Auburn on its last drive to seal the game. I am a little hesitant putting LSU at #4 because Auburn may have an off year this year.
5. Missouri – With an early season win against Illinois, and big offensive numbers, Missouri is my #5 team (would have been #4 had they not fumbled the ball so much against Buffalo). Missouri has the best QB/WR combo in the country and I expect it to create havoc all season. As of right now, the Heisman is Chase Daniels to lose.
6. Florida – Florida had a big win at Tennessee on Saturday, but Tennessee is looking worse and worse each week. The win 2 weeks ago against Miami (Yes, that Miami), could be a much bigger win than Florida anticipated, with Miami looking good in the early going. Florida will have a good chance of getting back to the National Championship game this year if they can beat LSU on 10/11.
7. Wisconsin – A relative surprise as Wisconsin and Penn State look to be at the top of the Big 10 this year. Wisconsin had a very tough road win against Fresno State in week 3 and look to beat Michigan on the road for the first time in 14 years on Saturday.
8. Texas – Texas has looked very dominant in the early going, outscoring opponents 146-33, but without a quality opponent, I am still waiting to move them higher than #8.
9. Penn State – Penn State has looked equally impressive and is also untested. I think that the game on Saturday against Illinois will truly determine how good this team is and how effective the Spread HD is.
10. BYU – In my opinion, the most impressive non-BCS team in the country. With back to back shut-outs in dominating fashion, BYU shouldn’t be tested until they go to TCU on 10/16. If BYU goes undefeated, and teams ahead of them start to falter, I don’t see why BYU shouldn’t play for the National Championship.
11. Alabama – Alabama has looked good thus far with a win over ranked Clemson on a neutral field. They are still a young team and I expect them to have a tough going once the meat of their SEC schedule comes up.
12. Texas Tech – Another high octane offense from the Big 12. Texas Tech is averaging close to 600 ypg in total offense this year and beating teams by an average of 30 points, Texas Tech will be very tough to stop.
13. South Florida – With a quality non-conference win against Kansas, South Florida is my pick for lucky #13. Although most of the wins have looked unimpressive, they are still wins. With West Virginia and Rutgers having a down year, look for South Florida and Connecticut to compete for the Big East title.
14. Boise State – The Cinderella team from 2 years ago is looking to become another Cinderella story this year. On Saturday, Boise got its first road win against a BCS conference opponent and did so in impressive fashion. Boise dominated for most of the game and already had the game in hand before Oregon made its 4th quarter push.
15. Wake Forest – Wake Forest is in the same boat as South Florida, ugly wins. But like I said before a win is a win and going into a hostile environment and beating Florida State, helps their resume, even though they didn’t score a touchdown.
16. Utah – Most people were hesitant to put Utah in the Top 25 to start the season because they had to go to Ann Arbor and beat Michigan. Now that they have done that, and beat Air Force on the road, there are only 3 more obstacles between Utah and a BCS bowl, TCU, BYU and hoping Boise drops in the polls.
17. Kansas – Kansas had a tough last second loss to South Florida early in the season but bounced back nicely against Sam Houston State on Saturday. We will see how well this team holds up once conference play starts for them in 2 weeks.
18. TCU – Another surprise team out of the Mountain West Conference. This could be a short lived stint in the Top 25 with a game at Oklahoma on Saturday, but with a victory there, TCU could make a very good push for a BCS bowl.
19. Ohio State – Underwhelming I think is the best word to describe Ohio State this year. With many of its star junior players coming back for their senior season, I expected much more from Ohio State. With a 4th quarter comeback to beat Ohio and a 4 point lead going into the 4th quarter against Troy, sandwiching a spanking by USC, OSU has underwhelmed most fans thus far this season. They have a chance to turn things around this Saturday when they face undefeated (?!?!?) Minnesota.
20. Illinois – Juice Williams looked good in week 1 and 2, but very average against UL-L. I’m not entirely sold on Illinois yet, but Juice should give them a shot to win a lot of games.
21. Auburn – Auburn is another team that I am not completely sold on yet. With a 3-2 win over Mississippi State, who then got waxed by 31 to Georgia Tech, I’m not sure how good a team Auburn really is. They did play well against LSU for 3 quarters, so this ranking is really based off of ¾ of 1 football game.
22. Connecticut – Brown has looked very well this year and if it weren’t for UConn playing in the Big East, he would be getting a little more Heisman talk, in my opinion. Connecticut will contend for the Big East crown with South Florida and will be mostly untested the whole season up until that point.
23. Clemson – The preseason favorite to win the ACC. I still believe that Clemson will win the ACC and get into a BCS bowl that has eluded Tommy Bowden for so long. Clemson has outscored its opponents 126-26 since its opening season disaster against Alabama.
24. ECU – A heartbreaking loss against NC State for no longer BCS buster ECU. ECU has had a real hard time moving the ball on the ground so far this year and they will need to have a better balanced attack if they want to beat Houston on Saturday.
25. Michigan State – Michigan State is my Big Ten sleeper and may start to get more national attention as Javon Ringer continues to run over teams. Michigan State has bounced back well after an opening season loss to California and doesn’t seem to be the “Little Brother” of old. They prevented a 4th quarter comeback/collapse against the whale and emu and if Ringer can stay healthy I think MSU can pull a couple of big upsets this year.
Ok, so I get that we have no right feeling good about this team or our chances of beating a top ranked opponent. So says the MSM and especially those of the Drew Sharp ilk. I believe that all of the "negative nancys" out there have it wrong in the case of Wisconsin. There are several reasons and I intend to set down my toddy and enlighten you all. My impeccable reasoning and internet access combine to yield the following:
Badgers are fearless creatures!
Yes my friends, at first glance my search seemed to doom our team in its upcoming contest. The headline seems to give us cause to fear the Badgers we will meet on Saturday. But further investigation revealed the following:
"Except for the wolverine, badgers are probably the most fearless and aggressive animal in North America for it's size. The varmint is not as elusive as the wolverine."
Obviously this means McGuffie will have a field day, outshining the vaunted Badger runningbacks with his instinctive and unteachable "elusive" nature. Meanwhile...
Topic: Interspecies Conflict - Subject: Badger vs. Wolverine
Yes, Wisky has a bruiser of a back in PJ Hill and they tend to run a "north-south" and "up the gut" sort of rushing attack. This type of offense seems to be a problem for Michigan defenses to stop these days, but have no fear:
"Actually, Wolverine's have been known to kill Moose, and defeat Wolves in a one on one conflict.
Badger's are very aggressive yes, but they tend to be clumsy."
This means that those pesky nuances of "shedding blocks" and "filling holes" won't matter squat for our linebackers. The Badger backs will simply fall at Ezeh and Co.'s feet, leaving them free to kill more moose than Sarah Palin. Further evidence...
"This battle would consist of a blur of fur,claws, and teeth but the Wolverine being more aggressive, and stronger would probably be the one that comes out alive."
Another advantage to us, commonly known as the "Barwis Effect." Of course if you poll the masses...
Wolverine vs badger?
The question was raised on Yahoo and it was unanimous. Wolverine win every time. Of course you have to question the credentials of the posters here but who can argue with this logic?
Best Answer - Chosen by Voters
Wolverine purely based on awesomeness. Aside from that the fact that Parker is wrong and he smells terrible.
Long story short no contest wolverine.
When Mike Leach channels God as a source and reasons for a Michigan victory based on our "awesomeness" we must expect nothing short of success. If this hasn't convinced you yet just check out this clip of a Wolverine taking on a Grey Wolf:
That sums it up, Wolverines Rule!
GO BLUE!!! Crush those clumsy Badgers!!!
As a professional in the design field, I have often been told (aka
thrown in my face) that my team has no true logo, only a block M and a
really REALLY cool helmet.
This has happened on more than one occasion, and I am quick to point
out the various 'alternate' graphics we've seen over the years,
including the crouching wolverine on the block M, the new helmet wing
logo we've seen the athletic department use, and even the old sailor
hat-wearing wolverine from the days of Bump Elliot.
SO... without further ado this is my first attempt at a new UofM WOLVERINE alternate logo.
This was actually conceived from an actual photograph of said vicious
mammal, though of course I took certain freedoms with aesthetic license
and of course adding the wings. I guess I am looking for criticism, feedback,
what the collective MGOBLOG community might like to see, etc. in this
little pet freelance project. I'll likely continue with this idea as
free time permits, so look for more in the conceivable future.
If in the future there seems to be a true consensus design agreed or otherwise non-hated upon by the MgoBlog community, who knows what we'd do with it? I would be more than willing to talk to Brian about tee shirts, or perhaps even using it on the site. That would only be fair after all of the free information I've perused here over the past few months. But that, of course, is another story.
I've been meaning to post this for awhile, but I wanted to point out to any Michigan fans nervous about how the spread option offense might perform or look in future years -- instead of looking back south at how Rich Rodriguez's offenses moved the ball at West Virginia, look 150 miles north at the Central Michigan offense.
CMU's head coach Butch Jones is a disciple of RichRod and I'm using that word very carefully. When he came to Central from West Virginia, Jones even lifted a lot of Rodriguez's catchphrases ("hold the rope") and an identical banner hangs in the CMU weight room as the one Mike Barwis/RichRod put up in the new Michigan room (Through these doors walk the best conditioned, most disciplined, and hardest working football team in America).
CMU runs the same spread option that Michigan now does, with one major difference -- Jones was smart enough to adapt the offense to fit the strengths of Dan LeFevour. (Also, CMU's running backs are nowhere near as talented as Michigan's so they run the ball with RBs considerably less). So, you still get the same zone read runs, but there is a lot more four and five WR sets and downfield passing, mainly because Jones was lucky enough to inherit one of the best QBs in the country.
The result -- last year LeFevour threw for 3,650 yards and ran for 1,100. He's on pace for 3,400 yards passing and 600 rushing this year and that's with the weakest defensive teams on their schedule yet to come.
The upshot is that while I have no doubt that Rodriguez would like to recruit QBs who are mobile and quick (a prerequiste in the spread option, no doubt), if Beaver or Forcier or some future QB shows the aptitude for throwing the ball that Pat White apparently doesn't and will never possess, you'll see a lot more balance out of the Michigan offense. I personally have no doubts that Rodriguez will be able to maximize the abilities of future offenses.
Like many fans I am frustrated by the amount we still don't know about this team- and I'm trying to stay optimistic. One thing to note is that we might get bailed out by the schedule this year- or at least as much as one can be "bailed out" and still finish .500- really the question is can we find a win in the next couple of weeks, because the schedule at the end of the year is actually pretty friendly. At the beginning of the year I thought we would lose 4, or 5 if we lost to ND. Now our best might look more like 6-6.
What is difficult is that it's so hard to know what to make of ND. Those who make a lot of our mistakes have us finishing 2-10, others think this was a breakthrough game for the offense and have already chalked up 500 yard masterpieces for the rest of the year. I'm not sure what to think- I do think we have improved, but I also think what really helps is that a lot of our destiny is going to be determined a lot by schedule, and a lot of our opponents are really weak. I think the Michigan State/ Notre Dame game suggests that we have improved somewhat- I expected MSU to pulverize Notre Dame and though they still made mistakes-a-plenty, the Domers were in this one. They are not a good team, but unlike last year they are a real team- I think that means our offensive imrovement can be given some credit.
This week I am hoping we will get a lot more information. We should find out a lot this week when some important macthups take place. One is our linebackers against Wisconsin. Last year this was a disaster, could be even worse this year. Another is Penn State/Illinois. Is either team for real? Purdue plays Notre Dame and Northwestern plays Iowa in what will surely be a ghastly game. I think it's very possible we find out that either Illinois or Penn State isn't that good, and that NW and Purdue are as weak as we thought. I would never say that I want Notre Dame to win, but obviously it's better for our future if Purdue doesn't do well. Maybe they'll win 3-2 or something.
Wisconsin: I don't think it's a stretch to say that Wisconsin is much better than we are. But they sometimes have trouble scoring points. I think probably their linemen on both sides of the ball grind us into dust and this game goes pretty much like last year. Wisconsin's offense is perfectly suited to exploit our light tackling, bad first stepping linebackers. But, in a 13-10 game anybody can win. The good news is that even Wisconsin fans seem to wonder out loud if their real offense looks more like what played against Fresno than what played against Akron. Wisconsin hides it better than most teams but any modern offense with a limited quarterback is going to have a tough time. http://www.badgerbeat.com/news/article/id/304831 All you need is the ball to bounce your way once or twice, maybe our DL plays out of their minds, etc. Still, with our OL against their experienced D, and our LBs against their OL, this has to be a loss, right? I will not gainsay the excellent post by drexel on the Wisconsin D- #92 is Shaughnessy by the way and it looks like he figures to ruin us, which he could just about do single-handedly. We might see a lot of OL butts bumping into ball carriers. One thing: we really shouldn't fall to pieces if we lose to Wisconsin. This was a loss from day one even if we were better than we thought we were, and sure, 1-3 looks like hell but this year the tough parts of the schedule are up front.
Illinois: Just watching the scores this year I thought Illinois was seriously underperforming. Against Missouri they scored a lot of points but were playing from behind. They obviously had a subpar game against UL Lafayette. Defense is an issue for Illinois. Illinois actually gave up a fair number of long drives against ULL, who had two drives stopped by fumbles, missed a field goal, and turned it over once on downs in Illinois territory. Illinois gave up 52 points against Missouri. Obviously Missouri's offense is very good- but, should a good defense EVER give up 52 points? No, not ever. I don't care if it's the first game of the season, a good team does not give up 50 points. I think Illinois has a talented but inconsistent offense that can't throw, and a vulnerable defense. For what it's worth, the Illinois newspapers seem to think the problem is offense and that the D is OK http://www.illinihq.com/news/football/2008/09/14/illini_ready__to_get_to_work- I respectfully disagree about the D, as ULL isn't that good but still had a number of long drives. As of this moment, I think this is a game we can win, but we will find out a lot more this weekend when Illinois plays Penn St. Side note: Ron Zook talking is funny, I like his explanation of bye weeks for mentally exhausted Illini players. http://www.illinihq.com/news/football/2008/09/20/zook_penn_state_is_rolling_now
Toledo: Toledo scares me a little bit because they can put up so many points, like 41 during regulation against Fresno (and 13 in OT), but this is a couple down the road and is still a MAC team. If our game against Miami proves anything, it's that we are still talented enough to play a stinker against MAC opponents and win.
Penn St: Has pulverized four absolutely hopeless opponents, including Temple without their starting quarterback. Still, they really beat the living hell out of them. We will learn a lot this week when they play Illinois, but this is a road game and I just can't see it. if Penn St. rushes for 300 yards and beats Illinois 31-3, then ok. Even without that, this is another team that is really due to beat us and really needs to take advantage of the opportunity. At that point this is probably a game that they would really need to win but that we would be expected to lose. That shouldn't matter, but it does, and this has to be a loss. One note: Penn State's defensive players are getting themselves suspended for different lengths of time at a fantastic rate.
MSU: This game is totally unpredictable, and the ability of State to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory is amazing. But just on paper, I see State doing what Wisconsin would do- no way our linebackers are up to the challenge of a big line plus Ringer. Still, Heuer is weak and they're State. I'm still calling this an L for now, as our linebackers are about the weakest position we have after safety.
Purdue: I'm not very impressed by Purdue at all. They give up a lot of points. Central Michigan got 440 yards and scored late in the 4th quarter. A loss to Oregon, who just got beat by Boise St. (at home, can't blame on blue turf) is looking less forgiveable. Tiller is tired and cranky. I still don't see that Purdue has overcome the deficiencies that caused them to fail last year. Purdue still turns the ball over and quarterbacking is still an issue. In fact Painter was "one series" away from getting yanked last week. That can't be good. http://boilerstation.jconline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080922/SPORTS020101/809220326&referrer=FRONTPAGECAROUSEL
I think this is a W.
Minnesota: A lot better than they were, which is saying they aren't the worst team in the universe. They beat 4 weak teams but gave up 356 yards against a really weak Montana State team. They're still no good, this is a win.
Northwestern just beat 0-3 (now 0-4) Ohio 16-8 in what I'm fairly comfortable saying was an awful game. Ok, Ohio has lost 4 close ones but still, they were a very average 4-4 in the MAC last year. Like Minnesota they've showed some growth. Hey, they beat Duke this year. Still though, there is a dearth of talent and a defense that's not much good this has to be a win too.
OSU: Looks a lot weaker than we thought. Not enough weaker. On the road, we will lose.
I do not feel like Shafer has let the defensive line do stunts to put
them in a spot to make plays. To me, it looks like a linebackercentric
(I made that word up myself) defense that has the DL doing straight
rushes to occupy linemen so the linebackers can make plays. (Which
would be like running the ball up the middle with Odoms everyplay, its
just not his strength.) So anyway, I did some research, to see if
there was historical evidence that shows a tendency towards low sacks
with DLs and high sacks with LBs. This it what I found.
LB had 29 sacks
DL had 18 sacks
2007-2008 Stanford University
LB had 19 sacks
DL had 16 sacks
2007-2008 UM (2.2 sacs per)
DL had 18 sacks
LB had 10.5 sacks (7.5 are crables)
2008-2009 UM Defense (3.6 sacks per)
DL has 9 sacks
LB has 2 sacks
So that stats say that this year per game has more sacks rep than last year, but it seems like teams are having lots of time to throw the football. It would be nice to see how many hurries we have thiis year and last year. Anyway, it could because we played spreads the first two games, I thought that the stunts were really bad against the spreads (see app. st. and UO last year) so we just
have had less time to work on stunts in practice. However, I feel like
English does better with our defense last Saturday against ND if he is
given the opportunity. I am not saying Shafer is bad, I am just not
sure if he is adjusting to the personnel on UM's defense. What are