I know several other threads have discussed this, but I wanted to feel special so here it is. Honestly, the prospects of potential bowl games just really excites me, especially after not going for a couple years, and I just wanted to share my thoughts. At least its not RR talk right?!
So without further adieu:
The first real choice that a Big Ten bowl has is for the Outback, with Wisky and OSU to the BCS and MSU a lock for the Capital One.
The Outback Bowl could technically choose any other bowl eligible BT team because they are all 7-5 (assuming Illinois beats Fresno) and within one game difference in the BT standings.
Now, most are thinking Iowa will be the pick. And I agree. However, keep in mind that Iowa lost their last three games, including clunkers to Northwestern and Minny! I know we didn't set the world on fire in the last few weeks, but it has to count against Iowa that they look like a team that has already called it quits. Most Iowa fans had plans of going to Pasadena or some other BCS location. Will they travel as well as usual for a mid-level bowl game?
All those questions aside, lets assume that Iowa does slide into that Outback slot.
The next up in the selection process are the Gator and Insight. As mentioned by others, these two bowls will each submit their selection, and if they pick the same team, a coin-flip will determine who gets their pick first. It is unlikely that either Illinois or Northwestern would be chosen above Michigan and Penn State, so lets only focus on us and the Nittany Lions.
So let's say that both bowls select PSU. There would be a coin-flip, with the winner getting their selection. If the Insight wins the toss, they would get PSU, sending us to the Gator. Vice versa if the Gator won.
To me this seems like the most likely scenario, however, there is the possibility that the bowls both want Michigan or they pick different teams. Whichever way it shakes out, it seems to me that Michigan has a 50-50 shot at the Gator. Personally that would be my choice because of the NYD-Florida stuff, but either one would be alright.
Of course after those two bowls come the bowls in Houston and Dallas with the stupid names. I figure Illinois is the next pick, followed by NW because Persa being out makes them even less of a draw than usual.
Anyways, thats my take on the whole situation. If I messed up anywhere feel free to correct me. Here's hoping for January 1st in Florida!
I know. I know. Nobody cares about offense, and "It's all about defense GODAMMIT!"
Alright already. I get it. Sheesh!
As many fellow UM fans are surely sharpening their pitchforks and drenching torches in kerosene this weekend, I just thought it was interesting to note that Rodriguez's 3rd team at Michigan racked up 412 points this year. That's his 3rd best scoring offense since he became a head coach in 2001 at West Virginia. The previous bests:
1st - 2007: West Virginia 11-2 (515 points)
2nd - 2006: West Virginia 11-2 (505 points)
3rd - 2010: Michigan 7-5 (412 points)
4th - 2005: West Virginia 11-1 (385 points)
On the other hand, Michigan's defense surrendered 406 points to the opposition. This is RR's worst ever scoring defense as a head coach by a wide margin (104 points).
Rodriguez's worst scoring defense at WVU was his 2nd team (2002, 9-4 record) when the Mountaineers gave up 302 points (13 games). Rodriguez's defenses at Michigan have surrendered 347 (2008), 330 (2009) and 406 (2010). Pretty damning, Godammit.
Just a good video done by the Big Ten Network. Enjoy
Edit: something isn't working correct. It shows embedded on edit, and not on the thread. Mods explain please?
This isn't supposed to be a defense of RR or an indictment. This is just a simple way to look at the importance of experience in putting together a winning team.
I took the top 9 teams in the BCS standings (3x3 fit my screen nicely in excel, that's why 9...) and also looked at 3 under peforming classic power houses (Michigan, Texas, Florida). I pulled the depth charts from Rivals.com:
A few takeaways:
- Every team in top 8 had 73% of their starters as either Juniors or Seniors. Bob Stoops should be coach of the year at #9 Oklahoma...the big difference with Oklahoma appears to be that the young guys are playing because they are just better than the vets. They have plenty of age on the two-deep.
- There are only 9 total freshmen starting for the top 9 teams.
- There are only 3 true freshmen (denoted by *) starting combined for the top 9 teams.
- As it stands today, 3 of our 5 losses have been to teams in the top 8 of the BCS. Those 3 teams only have 1 starting freshmen, and he's a redshirt.
- WTF with Texas and Florida? Especially Florida, they are an experienced team...I thought I would find that Florida and Texas are young, but not so much...
I didn't do the math for all of the BCS teams, but a quick look at the rest showed the same story, nobody outside of Oklahoma is even close to us in youth.
Feel free to do what you will with these numbers, IMO, it's more proof that the importance of experience can't be overstated. Conversely, the importance of roster management also can't be overstated so you don't end up in these kind of situations. That pretty much sums up the argument for/against firing RR. Yin/Yang and what not.
I'm a recent graduate and I was in the MMB so when I did go to bowl games, it was on the University's dime.
Now that I'm a proud alum, I'm excited to go to the bowl game on my own! Just one question for the more experienced bowl travelers:
I'm assuming they announce the invitations next Sunday, and mgoblue will have info regarding tickets. Do people usually just buy through our athletic department?
Who else is going to Tempe (probably)?
QB - Michigan has a pro style QB in Devin Gardner (6-5, strong arm, will sit in the pocket) remember he turned Josh Johnson into a pro QB at San Diego. If Tate transfers and Denard switches positions depth becomes an issue but other wise good.
RB- Mike Cox is a big back who can run and I think would do very well in a pro style system (I know he has not played much but has looked good when he has played and according to reports by rivals is the fastest of the RBs) not to mention that Denard might switch to RB and he would do well in any system.
WR - We are loaded with 3 guys that might play at the next level and would fit in any system (Roundtree, Stonum, Hemingway), plus lots of long term depth.
TE- We have two coming back (Koger and Moore) and given some time he might get get one or two Freshmen in this class not to mention that Watson might move back (if he is given a 5th year by the coaches) Overall they will be ok at this position next year but depth will be a major issue.
OL- The linemen are going to have to get bigger and stronger but there is a lot of experence coming back (4 guys with over a year of starting experience and by all accounts Barnum and Schofield are going to be good), though once again long term depth is a major issue.
DL- We return 3 starter that played in a 3-man front although Roh is undersized for a 3-man front. Overall DL should be a strengh but we have major depth issues.
LB - We don't have a lot of 3-4 outside LB who have played but guys like Ken Wilkins, Jim Ryan, and Brandon Herron played similar rolls in High school and could transition well. Guys like Kovacs and Cam Gordan may be asked to pay LB, With Demens and Mike Jones I think we are ok up the middle but depth is a major problem at the two MLB spots
CB/S - We have a lot of expernece coming back given how many young players have gotten to play this year. Then with Troy and JT coming back I think this could be a position of strength. I could see Troy and JT at the corners (although I personally think the D is at its best when Troy is at FS) Ray at FS and Carvin at SS. Depth at CB should be good although there could be a lack of depth at FS.
Special Teams - They have a really good punter, Stonum is a soild return guy and my hope would be that they let Odoms returns punts. As far as the kicking game goes lets pray they get a good freshman; otherwise I think Ryan Van Bergen [Ed-M: RVB can kick?] gives us the best kicking option.
Offense overall- There is a lot to work with although building depth at both OL and QB will be very important to long term success.
Defense overall – Yes the D is bad but remember that Stanford’s D last year ranked 90thin the nation (not much better than ours) yet Vic Fangio (Stanford’s Defense Coordinator) has this years team ranked 24 and while there D is very disciplined and tuff they do not have many athletes in the front 7 and still made major improvements.