ESPN is predicting Michigan vs. Houston in the Sugar Bowl. If this happened, This is ridiculously premature speculation and there is a significantly more important game coming up next week, but since we're fans, we can actually talk about what might happen if we win that game without the team losing focus. I know that the goal is to beat Ohio fergodsakes, but a BCS bowl win in Brady Hoke's first year would also be nothing short of tremendous.
So I'm wondering, how would Michigan match up with Houston? Houston puts up insane passing numbers, but does so against inferior defenses. Michigan has not really been torched through the air since the Notre Dame game, and it seems as if the defense has improved since then. Would Michigan be favored in a matchup with Houston? Is Houston's offense really the best in the country, or is it inflated by playing in Conference USA? Michigan's passing defense is 14th with 184 yards per game. However, Houston's offense is insane. Houston puts up an absurd 447.5 yards per game in the air, which is more than Michigan puts up in total offense. Their total offense is 618 yards per game, with 53.1 PPG. Their quarterback is makes 2010 Denard look like Joe Bauserman, statistically.
How would Michigan match up against Houston? Would you favor us to win?
I would just like to aknowledge several things that have really helped me put things in perspective about this team, this season, and this coaching staff.
(1) I've been vocally hard on Denard this year, as more people have tended to be. He's got some serious fundamental flaws that are being exposed in a system that awkwardly hybridizes (word? word, now.) things that he does well with things that he doesn't do well. This naturally has made for frustrating moments where you want to string up borges, denard, rich rod, anyone tangentially related to this transition, etc.
Given (1), (2) Denard has accounted for 29 TDs through 10 (11) games, which is 3 short of his scoring production in 13 games-ish last year. That's actually pretty nuts, given his apparent struggles. The point is this: we can handle the reduction in yardage/ per play average if he's getting us into the endzone with that kind of regularity.
(3) Acknowledging that Denard's turnover rate is still unacceptable, and given (1) and (2), if this is a down year for D-Rob, I'm OK with it. I'm more than ready to give Al Borges the benefit of the doubt and see if his Year 2 progression theory holds up. I've been pleased with the job he's done overall, and I'm more than happy to sacrifice the bubble screen for the package deal of hiring Borges and Mattison. The development of Fitz Toussaint has been amazing to watch.
(4) Speaking of Mattison and his defensive staff, holy hell. I'd trade flashy QB heisman-ish stats for this defensive turnaround 3 times over.
(5) I'm ready for 8 years of frustration to be taken out on OSU next weekend. 41-17 M with the coronation of Fitzmonga Biakabatoussaint. 200+. Go Blue. Good times ahead!
Great announcer passes away at the age of 89 from complications of pneumonia. I will always remember him announcing Herschel Walker in his freshman year, among many other things.
R.I.P. Larry Munson
EDIT: Sorry, forgot the link
Rumor on 247Sports that UM and PB have parted ways due to his planned OV to Oregon. Anyone have anything solid on this? Ace?
Edit: Everyone, let's not jump all over this HS kid for possibly wanting to visit Oregon. First, we do not have all the facts. Second, it might just be that Hoke has told him we now consider him uncommitted, but are willing to keep the door slightly open just in case he later decides he wants to be a Wolverine and we still have room closer to NSD.
[ED:BISB - I concur with the edit. No "we don't want us no fake Wolverine" comments, please]
After last year's defense, I would have bet my 401K against this happening this late in the year, but Massey's computer ranking (used by the BCS) says that Michigan has the 10th best defense in the country.
Of course LSU is #1 and Alabama is #2.
BigTen teams +ND:
Penn State #3
Michigan State #4
Ohio State #11
Notre Dame #18
He thinks our conference is strong defensively, not as much offensively.