Who you can beat
This post really came out of the diary on the Michigan standard since it almost begged the question of who you expect to finish in front of in the Top 25. For example, if I expect the Michigan standard to be a Top 10 finish, you sort of create your own pecking order of teams that you feel inferior and superior to. To that end, I would really like to know where you think we sit in regards to other teams. This would essentially justify the standard.
When I thought about this, I sort of put teams into buckets and worked backwards. Again this does not assume the mythical NC year, but more of an averaging over any given year.
Teams I Assume We Finish Behind:
*Texas/Oklahoma (1 or both depending on head to head)
*Florida/LSU/Georgia/Alabama (1 or 2 depending on the SEC)
With this assumption, Michigan would finish the season ranked 4-6 before counting the second group.
Teams We Fight to Stay in the Top 10 to 15:
*Boise State/Utah/Non-BCS team with a good record
*Florida/LSU/Georgia/Alabama non-choices (2)
*PSU or other Big 10
*Pick some other Big 12
*Pick some Pac-10 or Big East
I separated OSU from other Big 10 since I feel OSU has a better chance of excelling on an annual basis and we know we will for sure play them. We lose control of some teams in our conference due to rotation. I know this seems SEC heavy, but it is just where we are right now, you might be substituting Tennessee for one of those choices soon. Adding this next set puts us between 4-14 depending on how our record and other teams sort out in their head to head matchups. Essentially, that puts the Michigan standard at a top 15 finish with high expectations of Top 5.
This sort of matches our recruiting team ranking so you hope to finish somewhere near that mythical number with a chance to exceed that number with a special class or collection of classes. Obviously, the Epic Fail is always a possibility when games don’t break your way or injuries stack up so you under achieve. I see the NC scenario a much smaller possibility due to star alignment than a slide.
I would be interested in your thoughts.