to play football, not to play trumpet
Now we've had a couple days to hopefully calm down and regain some perspective after the OSU loss, I thought we could take a look back at the season in its entirety and collect thoughts and comments here.
Here's the 2012 prediction thread
The median prediction seemed to be 9-3.
In retrospect, thinking we'd beat Alabama was extremely optimistic, we just aren't at that psuedo-pro level of talent yet. But the other three losses were very winnable except for one fatal flaw in each. Notre Dame may have been the heartbreaker of the year. We were outplaying, even dominating them in most aspects but just couldn't get out of our own way. In the end, 6 turnovers sealed our fate.
The story of Nebraska was, of course, Denard's injury. We seemed to have decent control of the game until Bellomy was forced into a role he clearly wasn't ready for.
Ohio.... well, you know what happened.
On the positive side, beating Sparty and Iowa each ended embarrassing losing streaks. Gardner's emergence as a solid option has single-handedly reversed the outlook for 2013. Despite some slips here and there, it's pretty clear that the defense was no fluke and these coaches can turn out a stout defense even without elite talent.
The thing that struck me was how this season was a mirror to 2011. We won most of the close ones in 2011, we lost most of the close ones in 2012. 2011 the defense overacheived, 2012 the offense underacheived. We beat ND and Ohio in 2011 and lost to Sparty, in 2012 we beat Sparty but lost to ND and Ohio. One constant seems to be that we don't travel that well. That maybe the underlying story of 2012, all our tough games were on the road and we weren't able to win any of them.
Despite the some of the disappointment, I'm looking forward to one last game with (a hopefully healthy) Denard and these seniors.
What is known as "manball" to many on MGoBlog is discussed on the first page of this Stewart Mandel column in SI:
I basically agree with him and I look forward (seriously) to seeing something like that here.
Prior implementations at UMich have been partially flawed (RS freshman WR inserted only on running plays, pre-snap fullback bunny hops in the direction of the run, agonizing lack of adjustments to realigned defenses where required, etc.) but there's no reason it can't be done effectively.
After Saturday, the bowl picture for Michigan is extremely simple. Eligible B1G teams:
|Nebraska||[11-2] or [10-3] pending B1G title game|
|Wisconsin||[8-5] or [7-6] pending B1G title game|
If Nebraska beats the Badgers next weekend, they go to the Rose Bowl, and the Capital One Bowl takes 8-4 Michigan (who hasn't played there since the 2007 season) over 9-3 Northwestern and 7-6 Wisconsin.
If Wisconsin beats the Cornhuskers, Wisconsin to the Rose, Nebraska at 10-3 gets the Capital One nod over Michigan, and we play in the Outback Bowl for the first time since the 2002 season.
A discussion in another diary started to get me thinking about the differential in total yardage in wins versus losses this season, so I thought I might share some of this data, which I hope would be of interest to this community.
Now that all of the yardage data for the regular season is official, of course, a fair analysis is possible. In summary, on average, we did outgain teams by an average of 70.8 yards per game. What is more interesting, at least in my mind, is the swing between the wins and the losses. In the chart below, you will see that there about a 250 yard swing between wins and losses when it comes to yards gained.
Granted, twelve games is not a huge sample, but I believe it does provide a little insight into how we performed throughout the season. In three of the four losses, we were outgained (the exception being ND). In all but one win, we outgained our opponent (the exception here is Northwestern).
One positive to be garnered from this is the relatively small difference in our defensive performance in wins and losses. It is around fifty yards, as a matter of fact, and provides evidence of something that most people here already knew – the defense was definitely keeping us in games.
The performance on offense is more intriguing, with a swing of nearly 200 yards between wins and losses. Again, this would lend some credence to things that have already been said on the board about the offense and consistency, but the intent here is to merely report the findings for the edification of MGoBlog.
|GAME||TOTAL OFFENSE||TOTAL DEFENSE||DIFFERENCE|
|AVG. IN WINS||448.4||293.1||155.3|
|AVG. IN LOSSES||253.8||351.8||-98.0|
|STD. DEV. (W)||85.2||99.1||152.0|
|STD. DEV. (L)||44.1||89.8||95.3|
In this week's useless ESPN bowl projections, here are the B1G bowl games predicted by ESPN's Edwards & Schlabach.
Italics= Not enough B1G teams bowl eligible to fill slots.
|Rose Bowl presented by Vizio||Nebraska vs Stanford||Nebraska vs Stanford|
|Capital One Bowl||Michigan vs Texas A&M||Michigan vs Texas A&M|
|Outback Bowl||Northwestern vs LSU||Northwestern vs South Carolina|
|Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl||Wisconsin vs South Carolina||Wisconsin vs Vanderbilt|
|Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl||State vs TCU||State vs TCU|
|Meineke Car Care Bowl of TX||Purdue vs Baylor||Purdue vs Texas Tech|
|Heart of Dallas Bowl||Minnesota vs Iowa St.||Minnesota vs Iowa St.|
|Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl||No. Illinois vs Mid. Tenn St.||No. Illinois vs San Jose St.|
Other matchups of note-
|BCS National Championship||Georgia vs Notre Dame||Alabama vs Notre Dame|
|AT&T Cotton Bowl||Texas vs Alabama||Texas vs LSU|
|Bell Helicopter Armed Forces||Air Force vs UCF||Air Force vs SMU|