THE BIG TEN BEGINS TO SORT ITSELF OUT: YOUR WEEKLY SUMMARY
NOTE: Normally, this would have gone up yesterday, but as I was at an offsite and only intermittently available to do, well, anything for most of the day, I had to put this off until this morning. If you were looking for it, that’s what happened and I apologize for the delay.
We’re getting to a point now where some teams have now played a full two-thirds of their schedule, so the conference looks as if it is beginning to sort itself out on paper.
SCORING OFFENSE AND DEFENSE:
When it comes to average points scored, we have an interesting separation now. There are basically five teams that are averaging 40 points or more per game (39.9, 40….close enough), and then production drops quite a bit. After Nebraska and Wisconsin, the next nearest team to the top is Illinois at 30.7 points and they are the top of a wide tier of teams in the 30-27 range. Then, of course, there is Purdue.
The progression on defense, on the other hand, is fairly steady from the stingiest to the most generous, and aren’t we lucky that we get to play the stingiest team in a few short days? The point differential graph basically is the result of Ohio State’s drubbing of Penn State this past Saturday.
TOTAL OFFENSE AND DEFENSE:
There is a fair amount of stability here at this point – Ohio State, Wisconsin, Indiana and Nebraska tend to be the top four most weeks at this point. Michigan, buoyed somewhat by a prolific performance against Indiana, comes next after those teams. On the other side of the ball, Michigan State is firmly asserting itself as the most difficult team to get yards against, and it might even be the case that their average would be sub-200 if not for, well, their experience against Indiana.
RUSHING OFFENSE AND DEFENSE:
We are still one of the toughest teams to run against, so we’ve definitely go that going for us, and we sit near the mean for rushing offense, which I suppose I will take given the noted woes in this aspect of offense. The top teams in rushing offense again should not shock anyone, although Minnesota is quietly climbing that chart. If you want to be able to run the ball all day, Illinois and Indiana are the teams for you.
PASSING OFFENSE AND DEFENSE:
This aspect of the game, at least when it comes to offense, is getting to be “Indiana” and “Others” at this point, but Michigan is third here, sandwiched between Penn State and Nathan Scheelhaase’s resume of wasted performances. At the far end, you see Minnesota putting out passing numbers usually reserved for triple-option teams. If you’re just looking for Michigan’s stats by now, the passing defense numbers are, thanks to Indiana and one or two other games, not the best.
THIRD AND FIRST DOWNS:
As we know, not winning this battle makes it difficult to win the game typically. In other words, the tempo-free chart is starting to align with the story of the Big Ten this season when it comes to relative success or lack thereof. The first down differential is telling you a similar story, I believe.
SPECIAL TEAMS DATA:
If Michigan loses to Michigan State does your confidence in the direction that the program is heading change?
I was thinking about how important this game is for Michigan this Saturday against MSU. Not only is this game important in regards to Michigan winning the Legends division, but also a measuring stick in the progress that Hoke has made since being hired. This is Hoke's third season at Michigan and historically a good coach at a school like Michigan that has tradition, great facilities, and deep pockets is enough time to build a super power. That being said it is not like Hoke walked into a perfect scenario. The team he inherited lacked depth up front and was built to run a system that didn't match what coach Hoke wanted to implement. It looks like Hoke has finally been able to build some depth up front, but the players are young and raw. Personally, I think the program is heading in the right direction. Dave Brandon should allow Hoke to coach for the duration of his contract as long as Michigan wins 9 games and is competitive with MSU and OSU. Now in year five if Michigan has not won a Big Ten championship then it will be time to look for another coach. The team will be loaded with talent and experience in 2016 for a new coach to step in and succeed immediately.
Surprised there hasn't been more on the board. I feel bad for all the Michigan residents who deal with the Brah's on a regular basis. Well a snowflake tread if you will.
Issues for me:
-Some kind of Snap Count Variation
-Trick plays by MSU
-Health of Devin "60 minutes and all"/Max protect.
Michigan OL for MSU game (per depth chart): Lewan LT, Bosch at LG, Glasgow C, Magnuson RG and Schofield RT— angelique (@chengelis) October 28, 2013
UPDATE: This is apparently subject to change:
Hoke anticipates same OL that finished w vs IU. He said that could change after Tuesday -- Kalis and Bryant ready to go— angelique (@chengelis) October 28, 2013
UPDATE #2: Drew Dileo may or may not play:
Hoke: Drew Dileo is a 'we'll see' vs. Michigan State -- will know more on Wednesday. — Michigan Football (@umichfootball) October 28, 2013
Per @umichfootball on twitter.
This is the first later game at Michigan Stadium since Minnesota in 1988 per WolverineHistorian.
It was dark at kickoff. That is why Bo said there wouldn't be any later games at Michigan in November.