I'd like to find out how the offensive lines stack up in the Big Ten for this coming Fall. A ranking from 1 through 11 would be good. I'm also curious on how many starting offensive lineman MSU lost from last year's team. Thanks to all in advance.
Man, can't remember a year with only 2 players ranked in the top 250, and none in the top 98. I don't like to delve too much into rankings, there are outliers etc...but overall I want more higher ranked players!
Cullen Christian 99
Devin Gardner 132
How he goes from #1 overall QB to #8 is beyond me. I have only heard good things about him in the all star games. Yeah, maybe he wasn't lights out, but to drop him this much seems like alot.
Torrian Wilson dropped out
Dior Mathis 177
As mentioned earlier Gholston got fifth star and is 21 overall.
Don't want to get ahead of myself here, and I appologize if this has been discussed already, but I was looking at the Jeff Sagarin computer rankings (part of bcs formula) and note that Michigan is in at number 20.
This is significant because this early in the season both formulas used are Bayesian (meaning there is an element of expectation from previous season and previous games that factors in). Eventually, all teams will be connected by playing (not sure which week), but that should give Michigan an automatic bump in computers if we keep winning because we had to have low expectations coming into the season (currently draggin us down now - i.e. Oklahoma State is still ahead of us).
Also a drag is that ND is ranked 33 in Sagarin, which means that we need them to beat the Spartans so that we can get an increase in points for beating a top 30. (Sparties are a long way from breaking into the top 30).
Dick Vitale is in the processing releasing his pre-pre-season rankings for the 2009-2010 basketball season. Vitale says that "Beilein has rebuilt the Wolverines" and puts M at an eye-popping #11.
He puts ahead of:
(15) Florida State (OSC)
(24) Ohio State
(38) Xavier (OSC)
"OSC" denotes teams in the Old Spice Classic. See the bracket here. As of Tuesday (8/4/9), he hasn't released his Top 10. That's out tomorrow, and I'll bet we'll see other M-scheduled opponents:
- Michigan State
Illinois is conspicuous by it's absence from the rankings 40 through 11. Could Dicky V have them in his Top 10, too?
Not to be out-done, Andy Katz has us at #9. Other M-opponents:
(2) Michigan State
(18) Ohio State
(29) Xavier (OSC)
So my question is, are we over-hyped? Last year was an odds-defying thriller of a year: the Maize-and-Blue version of "Hoosiers" or "Rudy". And I'm totally excited about the upcoming basketball season. Top 5 finish in the B10, another NCAA bid, maybe even a Sweet 16 appearance.
But I thought we'd still get another year of taking people by surprise and the world by storm. One thing is for sure, we'll have every opportunity to prove ourselves. This is no light schedule. But are we really a top 10 team this year? Let's hear your thoughts.
Road to #1: In Which I Don't Obsess Over NPH, But, Like Always, I Want To (Also, Rankings Release Edition)
Yeah, there’s a lot to talk about this week.
But I’m going to do it all in one fell swoop.
Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow.
I’m saying this for two reasons:
- There is consensus among the ENTIRE TOP 6 between the USA Today and the USCHO polls. Which means, this entire post, I don’t have to do any split numbering. (Well, I guess I haven’t looked at schedules yet, so I could, but, hopefully.)
- We’re #6! Holy crap! We’re #6! That means we gained 4 spots in one poll, 5 in the other! Hell yeah! This means that, since my policy is to definitively root for the losses of the 5 teams ahead of us, I’m rooting for the losses of THE ONLY 5 teams ahead of us. (Which means if we can creep into the top 5, I get to track less than 5 teams. We’re actually legitimately on the road to #1, which was originally mostly a joke because this blog series thing was really just supposed to be about basketball when I first thought of the idea.)
So, to start with the team you want to win:
#6 Michigan: Oooh, home-and-home, against Bowling Green. Friday at Yost, Saturday at, er, lemme look it up, BGSU Ice Arena (way boring). At any rate, we should sweep this series. It’d be better for everyone. BGSU is sub-.500. We’re the #6 team in the nation. It’d be a very important sweep. Game times: 7:35 on Friday, online coverage only. 5:05 (note early time) on Saturday, on Comcast 900 (also, NHL Network, Canada-live, US-taped).
Teams You Want To Lose
Assume everyone plays a single site, Friday-Saturday series unless I say otherwise. And, just in case, rankings will be listed USA Today/USCHO, unless there’s only one listed, in which case they’re the same in both polls, or its above 15, in which case the USCHO poll is the only one that goes to 20. (That was unnecessarily complicated.)
#20 Nebraska-Omaha and Alaska: Who, oddly enough, play each other. This is for CCHA reasons. We’re at 18 points, good for a tie for 5th, with either 2 or 4 games in hand over every team above of us. This is good. UNO and Alaska are tied for 3rd (which is only one ahead of us, because of the tie), at 21 points. So, it goes like this: We sweep, we’re at 22. So, I’m rooting for a split. Yes, I realize this would put each of those teams at 23, still tied for 3rd, and keep us at 5th. But, in the end, I think being one point behind UNO and Alaska with 2 and 4 games in hand, respectively, is better than being two behind one of them, and alone in 4th. This is just my thought. Games are at 7:05 Alaska Time, so, uh, 10:05 Eastern?
#9 Miami: Yep, still want them to lose. They’re sitting at #2 in the CCHA standings, with 23 points. Which means, of course, that, if they lose all weekend, and the Miami/UNO series splits, they’re all tied for 2nd, a tie we’d be ONE POINT BEHIND if we sweep. The problem: They’re playing Michigan State. Damn. On the bright side, the Spartans won one last weekend, and Miami’s pretty wounded. So, we’ll see. Maybe a split. It’d help the cause.
#5 Cornell: The Big Red (I just realized that I’m rooting against Andy from The Office) are doing, oddly enough, exactly what Yale did last week. At Union on Friday, at Rensselaer on Saturday. Well, I didn’t expect either team to do anything last week, but they beat Yale. And, hey, I still really don’t. Cornell losing one would be cool.
#4 Denver: Takes the weekend off.
#3 Northeastern: Ooh, Northeastern plays #7/#8 Vermont, which means there’s upset potential. I’m totally rooting for the upset. Hard. 7:00, both nights.
#2 Boston University: So, this is weird. They play sub-.500 Providence tomorrow night, in a probable win. Then, they play at Merrimack on Friday night in a probable win (7:00). Then, Saturday night, they play at home against cross-town rival #12 Boston College (7:00). Should be a good matchup, go Eagles!
#1 Notre Dame: They play LSSU all weekend, and probably sweep. It’s in Sault St. Marie, so, LSSU could get help from the home crowd, so, maybe a split or something, but Notre Dame is pretty freaking good. 7:05.
So that’s hockey. Hopefully, we can move up a rank, if not, lets just keep from falling.
Woo, this is getting long. Oh well.
We’re ranked again in both polls! Woohoo! #24 in the media, #25 in the coaches. Which is the first time the coaches liked us better than the media. Damn liberal media. We play twice this week. I do basketball a little bit different from hockey, because schedules are more convoluted. So, lets start with a general rundown of who you want to lose:
Teams You Want to Lose
This only goes to Thursday. I’ll plan your weekend late Thursday or sometime Friday. As a consequence, this schedule is pretty scant. As is Saturday, actually. I’m tracking something like 4 less teams than I was last week though.
#20 Louisville v. #12/#13 Notre Dame: This game already happened, actually. And I’m not sure who I was rooting for. Its better for us if Notre Dame wins, but, I physically can’t root for them. So, I guess its fine that Louisville won. Whatever.
#24/NR Tennessee v. Kentucky: I’m sorry, but, Tennessee doesn’t deserve this spot. It’s that simple. We do. So, lets root for Kentucky, who is 12-4, to win it for us. 9:00, ESPN, ESPN360.com
#25/#24 MICHIGAN @ Illinois: THIS GAME IS IMPORTANT! Michigan needs to prove it can win on the road without first being down by 20. Illinois is very good, and we’ll have to stay on our toes to win. 8:30, BTN.
#21 Baylor @ Texas A&M: Comparable records, Baylor’s probably better, home crowd could help out Texas A&M. 9:30, ESPN2, ESPN360.com.
#19 Purdue @ Northwestern Northwestern isn’t very good, and, really, I don’t want Purdue to fall. 7:00, ESPN2, ESPN360.com.
No basketball of note on Friday. I’ll see you then to tell you how its going and tell you how your long weekend should go.
Road to #1: Wherein I Become a Supervillan and Fall in Love With a Girl From a Laundromat (Also a Sunday Recap)
Ok, not really. But, after Neil Patrick Harris’ appearance on SNL, I went and watched “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” again. It’s awesome! Go watch it on hulu! Seriously! NPH is amazing.
And now, content:
How the weekend went:
#12/#10 Colorado College: Colorado College splits with Minnesota State. Cool. We should be solidly above them in both polls now.
#11/#10 MICHIGAN and #8/#6 Miami (OH): SWEEP! SWEEP! SWEEP! Awesome, just awesome. Our guys played great, and we needed these wins. Rankings wise, it means we’re a bit closer to the top 5. But, more important is what it did for the standings. I’ll get more into it in Tuesday’s hockey post, but, I think we have a very, very good chance of being the #2 team in the conference going into the conference tourney. Which would be fine with me.
#10/#12 Vermont and #9 Boston College: Tie on Friday night, Vermont wins on Saturday. Cool. Should affect our ranking positively. I think we may end up passing both of them.
#7/#5 Denver: Sweeps Michigan Tech. They move up.
#6/#8 Cornell: Sweeps Niagara. Good for them.
#5/#7 Princeton: LOSE all weekend. Lost to Union on Friday night, lost to Rensselaer on Saturday afternoon. It could just mean they move down to a spot we deserve, but, it means they’re on the hot seat.
Just everyone’s record this weekend:
#12/#10 Colorado College: 1-1
#11/#10 MICHIGAN: 2-0
#10/#12 Vermont: 1-0-1
#9 Boston College: 0-1-1
#8/#6 Miami (OH): 0-2
#7/#5 Denver: 2-0
#6/#8 Cornell: 2-0
#5/#7 Princeton: 0-2
So, that looks good. I predict we’re #9, but, I’m hoping we can get #8. I think it’s a perfectly reasonable rank for us. I think we’ll be in the Top 5 by the end of the season.
How the Weekend Went:
Dayton: Loses to UMass, so, they won’t be taking any spots that open up in the coaches’ poll, where they are between us and the rankings.
Illinois State: Same deal as Dayton, but lost to Indiana State.
MICHIGAN: Today’s game against Iowa was totally awesome. Beat them pretty bad. After going 2-0 this week, we should be ranked, as long as a spot opens up in each poll.
#25/#22 West Virginia: Oh, here’s a spot. They lost to #18/#15 Marquette. So, we’ll get their spot in the media poll.
#17/#24 Boston College: And they lost to Miami (FL). So we can take their spot in the coaches’ poll.
#15/#25 Tennessee: They beat Georgia. So they’ll go up. Maybe their coaches’ poll position equalizes a bit with their media ranking.
#23 Baylor: They beat Texas Tech, so they’ll go up.
#23/#21 Louisville: They beat #18/#17 Villanova, which is annoying, because now Villanova might take a low Top 25 spot that we might have been able to nab.
#22/#19 Minnesota: They beat Penn State, which I’m actually happy about, because I want Big Ten teams to not fall out of the polls.
#21/#20 Butler: They beat Detroit. Barely. I wish they hadn’t. But whatever.
These are whole week records.
Illinois State: 0-2
#25/#22 West Virginia: 0-2
#17/#24 Boston College: 1-1
#15/#25 Tennessee: 0-2
#23 Baylor: 1-0
#23/#2 Louisville: 2-0
#22/#19 Minnesota: 2-0
#21/#20 Butler: 2-0
So, a couple teams around us didn’t do so well. I’m hoping we get #24 this week. Seems about right.
See you tomorrow to see how I did.