I did not make this headline up
It is early and there isn't enough data for Sagarin to even put a lot of stock in his own rankings, but....Michigan is currently ranked 15th (and 18th in the Predictor, which is suppose to be more accurate).
We are ranked 3rd in the conference. MSU seems extremely underrated at 41 (but they are 28th in the predictor).
MGoBlue Highlights (Y U No Denard 53 Yard TD?):
Postgame Press Conference (Hoke and players):
I continue to see the defense and special teams developing, and becoming a strength for the Michigan team.
- It is interesting to hear Hoke quoted as saying:
I think our defense is playing pretty good, to be honest with ya.
- Looking at the scoring defense, Michigan is averaging 10.33 points scored against per game, which would be good for somewhere around 8 or 9th in the country. Of course, things will change soon, but that is a great start. This is a tremendous reflection of the bend, don't break philosophy. (Note: I have no clue how to calculate this stat. Do you include WMU or not? Do you amortize the WMU score over four quarters instead of three? Regardless, we are not getting clobbered by other teams on the scoreboard.)
- It is great to see the emphasis in practice this week on better play on kickoffs, and the huge improvement by Matt Wile. This apparently is falling under Mattison's review. This is a huge between games adjustment. We are not only seeing adjustment during games, but during the season.
I am especially looking forward to the defense UFR this week.
While it would be a mistake to be too positive, it would be hard to think of a more favorable schedule.
- Minnesota seems as easy of a game as possible to start the conference schedule.
- This will also give Michigan at least one game to scout and prepare for Persa and Northwestern.
- Michigan is due to win vs. Michigan State, but more than being due, MSU appears greatly weakened on the OL.
- Purdue is not frightening.
- Iowa appears vulnerable, with their loss to ISU.
- Illinois is Illinois. They are stronger than last year, but so is Michigan.
I can't believe Michigan will win all these games. But we could run the table in October, and split Iowa / Illinois, leaving us to close out at home with the two strongest teams we face, Nebraska and OSU.
Honestly, I don't care if we lose, as long as we're in the game. And Mattison is maximizing the defense to keep us in the game. More than that, the favorable schedule allows us to grow the defense, to heal up as necessary (exhibits A & B, Cam Gordon, Troy Woolfolk,) to give experience to Freshmen (Blake Countess,) to teach BWC how to play. It also limits the burden on Denard.
This guy is doing a fantastic job. After three years of cringing while receivers ran freely through our secondary I have to keep blinking to believe what we are seeing now. On almost every passing play there is a Michigan defender right on top of the receiver with nasty intentions and most completions (except for the short outs) require either a perfect throw or a tough catch.... and the tackle is usually made immediately. This is more than just the obligatory slap at Tony Gibson; coach Mallory has done an incredible job of teaching and motivating these kids. JT has gone from liability to reliability; Avery gets better each week; T. Gordon is solid; Taylor must be doing great things in practice; and Countess may be the heir apparent to the Law-Woodson-Jackson-Hall line of great UM corners.
So kudos to coach Mallory who may be a good choice to become the DC at his alma mater when Mattison (praise be his name) retires....... which is hopefully long in the future.
Brady Hoke officially has a record of 51 and 50 during his coaching career. Here are to those that criticized the hire and pointed out his losing record. Brady Hoke is at the right place.