this may be of some local interest
After seeing a post quoting Belein on how up and down the second year can be, I started to think about how similar our two biggest sports' coaches and teams are based on the early football season. My thoughts:
1) Both coaches have unique, successful offensive systems that change based on the players used
2) Both systems require the players to be smart and understand a variety of different looks, make a variety of decisions
3) Both coaches had dissenters but are completely embraced by the remainder of the team (well..took a bit of time for Manny but)
4) Both teams have one big star (Tate, Manny), and another great player to fall back on (Minor, Peedi)
5) Both teams had big early season wins in their second year (ND, UCLA) that were won due to the opponents inability to defend the offense
6) Both coaches have one hell of a future lined up for their respective programs
As our bball struggled in several games last year, I expect the same of our football team. But, I do believe that the consequences of those struggles are much more manageable over the course of a football game than a basketball game. Also remember how much M's defense improved over the course of the Bball season. I'm assuming that our football defense has to and will improve over the course of the year. But, I really hope it's not exactly the same since we didn't beat OSU in Bball last year!
All in all, As a life-long Michigan fan (23 yrs) I couldn't be more satisfied with the coaches we have in these two programs. I now actually think that one of these years we could potentitally pull a Florida and win NCs in both sports.
What do you guys think, do the coaches/teams have any more similarities? What are some differences?
In an attempt to get a better grasp of what we can expect Saturday, I took a look at Rich Rod's teams' efforts in weeks following upset victories, going back to his first season at WVU. At this point you're probably wondering if there's going to be a
Why yes, a chart:
*not technically an upset, but relevant to our interests
As we can see above, RR's record is 7-3, and 7-1 if we exclude last year's disaster area/statistical outlier. The lone loss was the bowl game following the 2002 season in which WVU upset Pitt in the backyard brawl in the last game of the regular season, then fell to an unranked Virginia team in the Continental Tire Bowl.
It would seem, based on the data above, that RR has no problem motivating his team following emotional, upset victories. I would say the scenario most applicable to our current situation is November, 2003. An unranked WVU team knocked off their rival #16 Pitt in a huge game, and the next week climbed into the rankings at #25 and polished off a Syracuse team that would finish 6-6. Sounds pretty familiar, right?
As we know, Ron English's crew (Embrace the Process!) gave Northwestern a scare last week in their home stadium, falling 24-27 on a last second field goal. This is considerable improvement after losing to Army by two touchdowns at home in the opening game. However, with RR's track record for keeping his teams prepared following upset wins, and this year's team's hunger to erase the embarrassment of last year, perhaps I have less to worry about than I originally thought.
A couple items I thought I might add to clarify things further:
- As we can see, our sample size extremely small at only 10 games, 8 if we exclude last year. This is largely due to the fact that RR had no upsets in his first year (3 wins against cupcakes) and after that his team was rarely an underdog. What this means is that this shouldn't be taken as gospel, but rather something to give us a gist of what to expect.
- The average margin of victory in the upset wins was 8.7 points, whereas the average margin of victory in the post-upset win games was 18 points. This is to be expected because teams in the former category should be pretty good (hence being the favorite against RR's team) so you would expect the games should be close, but is nonetheless reassuring.
On the front page of ESPN.com, there is a video of Todd Mcshay doing a "stock up, stock down" on college football. It's a pretty interesting video. Todd basically says that Tate's stock is up and Terelle Pryor's is down. He actually says that Tate is the perfect fit (agree) at Michigan and if he were a Michigan fan he would want Tate and not Pryor. I would definitely agree at this point. Pryor can't throw very well and he has made some big mistakes so far this season. Tate, on the other hand has been surprisingly near perfect on decision making.
Also in the video Todd says that Joe McKnight's stock is up as well as Dan LeFevour. The stock-downs include Jonathan Crompton and LSU's wide recievers along with Pryor. I was really glad that this segment included burns on all of our rivals, basically. Tate ripped up Notre dame in some highlight clips, Pryor was called out, and LeFevour was shown ripping Sparty a new one. Solid video. Thoughts?
EDIT: Also, I hope this isn't a repost. I checked back three pages and figured that was enough since it was new enough to be the front page video on ESPN.
I wanted to share a couple vignettes from Michigan fans in Ann Arbor, both based on conversations with co-workers.
- One middle-aged woman I spoke to lives about a half-mile northwest of the stadium. She always used to complain about hearing the crowd, the announcer, and the band on Saturdays while sitting at her home. Now, apparently, she doesn't hear a damn thing. She believes all the sound is trapped inside the stadium by the new luxury boxes.
- One older fellow I work with clearly falls into the "blue-hair" category. He's had season tickets since 1964, golfs about twice a week and speaks in a way that's eerily similar to Judge Smales from Caddyshack. He commented on how electric the atmosphere has been this year at the Big House, especially at the ND game. He almost lost his voice from screaming so much, which apparently has not happened . . . . ever. He loves the RAWK music! He's pumped!
So I'm stupid, and this is too early, etc. Anyways, I figured I'd do a season prediction thread based off of Brian's original analysis and my own opinions. I changed a few of the probabilities based on team performance so far. Numbers are vague approximations meant to show edges in favor of one team or the other.
9/19 Eastern Michigan
Chance: Must Win
Theoretically a trap game, but EMU is unlikely to play spoiler, although they did come close against Northwestern. They will bring their A game to the table against us (Ron English, Ypsilanti, we lost to a MAC team last year) and it will probably get uncomfortably close for a bit due to other QBs getting reps and whatnot, but we should win just fine.
Chance: Must Win
Nothing convinces me that Indiana will try to put up a fight, unlike EMU.
10/03 @ Michigan State
Chance: Tossup (50-50)
A big game of course. I think we are a better team that is playing on the road against an opponent that may be looking at this game to salvage their season. So, 50-50. The first road game tends to be especially hard on freshman QBs, and I'm sure Dantonio will be looking for blood, no pun intended.
If MSU goes to South Bend and beats ND as per usual, then this game looks a lot worse... but I doubt that'll happen. ND's loss was a respectable loss, not a season-ruining loss, and I'd assume that they'll respond by trying harder the next week.
10/10 @ Iowa
Chance: Tossup (55-45)
Iowa looked terrible in their opening game and really doesn't have a running game, but this is a nice trap away game right after MSU, so chances only improved to 55-45 from probable loss. Iowa actually beat Iowa State soundly, so that's something.
10/17 Delaware State
Chance: Must win
I read the Varsity Blue preview, and it seems that we picked a fairly bad 1-AA team this time. You see what I'm getting at...
10/24 No. 5 Penn State
Chance: Probable loss (25-75)
Yeah, don't see this one happening. We have a small chance though, and there's still a little Lloyd left in that old silk hat, right?
10/31 @ Illinois
Chance: Tossup (55-45)
I know Illinois looks like garbage right now, but they should have everyone back at full health by the game, and Benn can cause a world of hurt given a chance. Offense-heavy, defense-light teams are often good spoilers; see: Smith, John L., MSU coach. Considering that Armando Allen just had a crazily good game, the Illini could easily do the same with their superior running back.
Chance: Probable win (80-20)
Purdue hasn't looked terrible so far; as it is, Michigan should win with some chance for an upset.
11/14 @ Wisconsin
Chance: Tossup (55-45)
We've done quite terribly at Camp Randall, and Wisconsin has played quite terribly so far. This is also the week before The Game, so let's give Michigan only a slight advantage.
11/21 No. 11 Ohio State
Chance: Probable loss (40-60)
If you think Michigan is 50-50 in this game, you need to remember games that didn't happen last Saturday. Pryor's performance against USC was an outlier and I'm sure he'll be allowed to run against Michigan.
Nevertheless, RichRod will probably be bringing a lot to the table, and he's done quite well given preparation time for big games. The offense should be fully developed by now, but the defenses on both teams still bother me. In a close game, the edge goes to the team without dubious safeties and a questionable defense, but we still have a good fighting chance. All I can do is hope...
8.6 wins is what it sums to; rounding up seems reasonable to me, so I'll go with 9-3. We probably lose to PSU, OSU, and one tossup, but it's also reasonably possible we play giant killer and lose to one of PSU/OSU and two tossups.
If we lose to PSU and say MSU and Wisconsin, I'd be ecstatic; if we lose to PSU/OSU and maybe Illinois, I'd be happy in retrospect but still disappointed in an annoying way due to the damned losing streak. Our performance so far changes our apparent chances against OSU, but it will never change the importance of The Game.
As I'm sure you all know, Michigan upset ranked Notre Dame in mind blowing fashion. That in its self is enough to make an amazing saturday for me. As I'm sure you also know by now, MSU lost, also in mind blowing fashion to CMU on a late field goal. And, as I'm sure you know, OSU lost to USC in yet another mind blowingly good game that was won in the final minute. I really don't know how this Saturday could've been better. It was simply perfect. All three of our biggest rivals lost and one of those teams played us. This doesn't make the Big Ten look like crap either, except for maybe MSU slightly. OSU had a good effort but came up short to my liking. MSU had a close game, but they lost to a MAC school. All in all, it was an amazing Saturday and I only see a possibility of two weekends beating this one (MSU and OSU weekends?). Thoughts on the weekend?