Mike Lantry, 1972
According to ESPN's Insider pay service wide receiver Kenny Lawler (considered a soft ASU verbal) is interested in Michigan. Lawler grades out as a 4 star acording to ESPN. He says he will take an official visit.
We need TWO out of these FIVE things to happen to make the top 14 (although if Georgia wins, we might not even get the at-large):
1) Pokes beat up on Sooners. By a lot preferably.
2) Les Miles takes care of business and helps out his alma mater.
3) Little Bro hits puberty for a day and wins (or loses by a LOT, like 35 a lot).
4) Boise has one of the biggest upsets ever and loses to New Mexico. Ain't gonna happen.
5) K St loses to ISU...also unlikely, but who knows.
At this point, I don't think we can count on losses by LSU, Houston, Okie St, Oregon, or Va Tech to put them below us.
[Edit: added K St...sorry I forgot they were "good"]
Urban Meyer is a very good coach. We all know that. OSU fans are giddy about the possibility of him being the next coach. That seems very likely. But lets dig into his career to see how good he actually was at Florida.
From '05-'10 when Meyer was coach at UF, his career record was 65-15, with 2 NCs. That's a stellar record. In the 4 years from '06-'09, he went 48-7 with 2 NCs. But during those 4 years, he had arguably the greatest college QB ever on his team, Tim Tebow. Tebow was the starter 3 of those years and contributed the one year he wasn't a starter. And that one year he wasn't a starter, 22 of the 24 starters were recruited by Ron Zook.
In his 2 years w/out Tebow, he went 16-8. If you include this year's team which is mostly his team as well, the record is 22-14, not as good as with Tebow.
Obviously it makes sense. When you have a great QB, you win lots of games. Urban was the one who recruited Tebow and also the one who developed him, so he gets all the credit in the world for that. But if you look at OSU now, Miller is good, but he's no Tebow. The current OSU teams aren't nearly as talented as his UF teams. If Meyer were to take over, the smart money would be on his record being more towards the middle but overall closer towards w/out Tebow than with.
So lets look at his offense's with and without Tebow.
From '06-'09, his offenses scored 36.5 PPG with Tebow. In the two years without Tebow, his offenses scored 29.4 PPG. That's a 7 point drop. To put it in perspective, this years Michigan team averaged 34.2 points a game, good for 23rd in the nation. If Urban were to coach a team that averaged 29.4 PPG this year, that would be good for 53rd, right in between South Florida and SDSU. So unless there's a Tebow on OSU's roster, the offense won't be as great as everyone hopes.
Now lets look at his co-ordinators. From 2005-2008, Dan Mullen was Urban's offensive co-ordinator. In that time, Meyer's teams averaged 36.2 points per game. The two years after, they averaged 31 points per game. That's a 5.2 PPG drop. While 31 is still a significant amount, if you look at the indvidual games, it looks worse. Against crappy teams they scored sometimes as much as 62, while being held to 7 against teams like Mississippi State at some times. 31 PPG would be good for 37th, in between Washington and Nevada.
(Keep in mind that I'm not including this years offensive numbers in either of the two above include this years team. If you wanted to include those, I'm sure those numbers would drop even further.)
I was going to do defensive numbers as well, but since Urban is an offensice coach, I am ignoring those. Those have more to do with the co-ordinators and the players. I will focus on one former D Co-ordinator in particular for a bit though. Greg Mattison. I'm doing so for two reasons. One is the fact that he used to work for Meyer at Florida and thus knows his offense, giving us some more ammo to use against Meyer. The second is the fact that Meyer called him "The best recruiter on the planet."
Mattison worked at Florida from '05-'07. Thus, the 3 years he would have an impact on recruiting would be the '06-'08 recruiting classes. Those three years, Florida's recruiting classes were 2nd, 1st, and 3rd respectively according to Rivals, and 2nd, 1st, and 12th according to Scout.. The next year in '09, after Mattison left, Florida fell out of the top 10 on Rivals and top 20 on Scout. Meyer still managed to recruit extremely well without Mattison, but with Mattison the classes were extraordinary. Meyer will be able to recruit well in Ohio, but odds are we don't see his classes rival the ones he had with Mattison.
This is a long-winded post. It all essentially comes down to this. Meyer, if hired, will be an upgrade over Fickell. But he won't be as effective at OSU as he was at Florida because A) he won't have a QB like Tebow; B) He won't have an offensive genius like Dan Mullen; and C) He won't be able to recruit as effectively without Mattison. Add that to the fact he has health issues and might not be as fiery as before, the fact that OSU has sanctions from the NCAA coming soon, and Urban's players were arrested everyday at UF and OSU has compliance and legal issues already, and I'm not buying into the hype. Also, we're 1-0 against him in his career.
Meyer will be better than Fickell. But will he be as good as he was at Florida? Probably not. Will he be as good as Tressel was at OSU? Once again, I'd bet no.
So everyone seems to think that Michigan is going to face Houston in the Sugar Bowl. Of course, in order for that to happen, Michigan has to finish in the top 14 of the final BCS standings. The current BCS standings come out at 8:15 pm tonight. This has been an overanalyzed topic on the MGoBoard, but there are some interesting and somewhat overlooked things that could happen next week to affect Michigan's BCS hopes. The consensus round these parts has been that if LSU beats Georgia, we should be in the top 14 and thus selected to the Sugar Bowl. However, even if that happens, there are some other teams that we should be concerned about:
1. Michigan State. If they lose to Wisconsin in a close game, it is not unreasonable to think that they might stay above us. Yes, they have 3 losses to our 2, but they beat us by two touchdowns. They have moved up to 9th (barely) in the Coaches poll and are 11th in the Harris poll. The computers have us (just) ahead of MSU, so if they drop to one spot ahead of us in the polls, the BCS rankings will probably have us ahead of them. For State to stay in the top 14, they'd have to only drop a couple of spots after a loss. A State win in the B1G championship game, while deeply unsatisfying to my fandom, would actually benefit Michigan, as Wisconsin would almost definitely drop below us, and with MSU as one of our opponents, it would help our computer rankings. It would still, however, make me nauseated.
2. Baylor. This is the one that really scares me. The computers LOVE the Big 12. Two of the computer rankings had Baylor 7th overall last week, even with losses to Kansas St. and Texas A&M. My guess is that Baylor and Michigan will almost be exactly tied in this week's rankings, with Michigan having a slight edge. The good news is that they might have dropped a little in the computer rankings, as their win over Texas Tech will not help them as much as South Carolina's win over Clemson, for example. That same game helped Michigan to move in front of Clemson in several computer polls. In any case, Baylor's game next weekend against Texas may decide Michigan's bowl fate.
3. Oklahoma. An Oklahoma win over Ok. St. keeps both in the top 14. I have no doubt that the Sugar Bowl would take us over the Cowboys, but we'd have to make the top 14 for that to matter. An Oklahoma loss should drop them past Michigan in the human polls, but they were 6th in the computer polls last week. A loss to Ok. St. (#2 in the computers last week) is not going to hurt them too much, and they'll probably stay in the top 10 in the computer rankings. That means they'd have to drop to at least about 17th in the human polls to fall past Michigan. I don't know if that will happen.
The overall math is this: We will be 16th in tonight's rankings. We need two teams to drop past us with no teams moving ahead of us. (or three drop and one moves ahead of us.) We need the following to happen:
1. Georgia loss to LSU. A Georgia win eliminates the Sugar Bowl slot. Nobody, not even Mark Richt's mother, thinks this will happen.
2. The B1G loser to drop at least 4 spots in the human polls. That should happen, but hope for a blowout either way (run it up, Bielema).
3a. Texas beats Baylor. A Baylor win probably puts them ahead of Michigan and leaves us at 15th in the BCS, which means we can't be selected over other eligible teams.
3b. Oklahoma loses badly enough to Ok. St. that the human polls drop them to about 18th, allowing Michigan to slide ahead of them in the BCS.
3c. UCLA beats Oregon. The Pac-12 championship game should be irrelevant, as UCLA won't beat Oregon, but if they do, Oregon should drop out of the top 15 in the BCS. That would be great, as it would pretty much lock up a spot in the top 14 for Michigan, and it would give the B1G a winnable Rose Bowl. Go Bruins!
We also should hope that Virginia Tech beats Clemson. A Clemson win is dangerous because it hurts us in the computer polls, and it gives a bowl game the opportunity to take Virginia Tech as an at-large instead of Michigan (unlikely, but possible). I don't think Clemson overtakes Michigan in the human polls with three losses, but it would probably be close.
The BCS standings come out at 8:15. What to watch for: the gap between Michigan and Baylor, and both teams' positions in the computer rankings. I expect Michigan to be at almost exactly 0.400 overall (probably a little above), and Baylor to be just a little below 0.400. If the gap is big enough, it could be hard for Baylor to overcome even with a win over Texas, especially if Baylor gets pushed down by other teams in the computer polls. Last week the computers had them at 0.550; hopefully they have dropped from this spot.
Edit: There has been a lot of consternation in this thread and the others that have popped up tonight about Baylor. Basically, the fear is that a Baylor win over Texas bumps them ahead of Michigan. I should know, since I said it above. Having seen the updated standings, I don't think it will happen. A Baylor win is not going to help them in the human polls. We all know that the voters have a tendency to "ladder" their votes, meaning that teams usually only drop when they lose, or if a team behind them has an impressive win. Beating Texas is not that impressive; a lot of other teams have done it too. So Baylor should stay two spots behind us in the human polls even with a win (assuming TCU beats a 2-9 UNLV team at home). In the computer polls, Baylor can only move up about one spot (ahead of South Carolina) if Houston, Boise, Va. Tech and Oregon win (as they should). The Michigan-Baylor gap is 0.04, which corresponds to exactly one spot on average between the three polls. Since Baylor can't move up in the human polls, and can move up at most a spot and a half in the computers, that gap should only narrow to about half of what it is now. Also, either Georgia or the B1G loser should drop between Michigan and Baylor in the human polls, which should increase the gap. In short, I think the Baylor-Texas game shouldn't matter. We should just need LSU to win, and the voters to drop the B1G loser below us.
Did anyone get a high quality picture of the scoreboard from The Game saturday?
If you don't mind, post it please or give me the link to it? I would like to print it out and frame it and put it next to the 1969 and 1997 scoreboards from The Game.
The Capital One Bowl did something pretty cool tonight and live tweeted their meeting. No surprise here but seems we have a great worst case scenario as Michigan appears to be their first B1G choice.
CapitalOneBowl Capital One Bowl