Dang, looks like even ESPN (shocking i know) is falling off the dilithium wagon.
Alright folks. Let's talk about this weekend' Big 10 games.......wait, unless you want another thread discussing our Defense. You dont want one of those? Ok, then, this might be the thread for you.
I want to hear people's take on this week's league slate. Personally, I think the Underdogs look good. I am leaning towards all four of them right now.
Illini +7.5 over MSU (at MSU)
Minny +5 over Purdue (at Purdue)
UM +3.5 vs Iowa (at UM)
Wisco +4.5 vs OSU (at Wisco)
Thoughts? Breakdowns? Which one of these would be your mother-in-law pick, meaning its such a safe bet you'd bet your MIL's money on the game?
Regarding the first two, the Illini and Gophers have been money catching points. Illini have covered 7 in row when catching points. MSU is always a sketchy play at home against the number and are 4-8 the week after UM.
With Michigan, its just a hunch that Denard will play better in the red zone. And, I think UM rebounds and outrushes Iowa. I love dogs who outrush the favorite. We've come full circle on this game. It originally opened at this number back in the summer, but the unveiling of Denard pushed MIchigan anywhere from -2 to -3 during the first few weeks of fall. This line has shifted 5.5 points from this time a week ago thanks to the results of one game.
I've thought all year OSU loses in MadTown. I might have been more confident of that back in the summer, than I am now, but I think this game will go down to the wire like their last contest in Madison two years ago. I'll take the 4.5-point head start.
I'd love to hear everyone's else thoughts.
Tuesday morning after a loss may well be the worst time for a college football fan. The loss still stings just as bad, but the hopeful, resolute feeling from Monday has gone by the wayside. There is little left but to force yourself to evaluate the previous performance, and still 5 days before you have a chance to prove the previous game an anomaly rather than the growing norm.
Who's got good M news to banish the doldrums?
A quick recap of what week 6 was and what was predicted... Week 6 predictions found in previous diary here.
Prediction vs. Actual
UM offense: 553 yards vs. 377 yards = 68%
UM defense: 495 yards vs. 536 yards = 108%
While UM ended up short of their predicted yards based on ridiculous output to date, they were still able to gain more yards than Sparty typically gives up in a game. (377 vs. 350). On the flipside, the UM defense gave up nearly 100 yards more than Sparty typically gains. Needless to say, those are not good numbers. When you combine them with three turnovers, the likelyhood of a win is slim.
On a positive note, UM left 18 points on the field in the form of a dropped TD by Hemingway and two INTs thrown by DR in the end zone. In other words, UM was three mistakes from being dead even in this game.
My predictor came up with a final score of 40.5 for UM and 39 for Sparty. Not much analysis needed here as score is based entirely on yardage. On to week 7.
Because of the poor numbers, both on offense and defense, Michigan's yardage lead slid nearly 50 yards to Iowa. The Hawkeyes join OSU as the only teams predicted to outgain UM. At this point, Michigan still has a favorable matchup against Purdue and Penn State. The recent success of Illinois has really made that game quite a tossup.
As with last week, I added an offensive and defensive ranking based on yards. MSU moved up 2 spots to number 8 after the UM game. The game this week against Iowa should prove to be another huge test for the Michigan offense.
At this point, with the score predictor, I'm inclined to throw away the "hybrid 2009/2010" stats. We have just edged past the halfway point of the regular season and teams have started to display an identity. As many yards as UM is putting up this year, they just haven't scored as much. It is definitely taking UM more yards to score the same amount of points. Because of the special teams woes [Ed: and bad defense] UM is finding itself in bad field position game-after-game.
UM - 407
Iowa - 454
UM - 28
Iowa - 35
Angelique Chengelis has a nice piece in the Det News on the postgame speech by Denard. (http://detnews.com/article/20101011/SPORTS0201/10110399.) Great to see DRob step up his leadership a notch.
If you go to the News, there are 3 other articles on the game and Michigan football.
Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon reiterated his support Monday night.
"We still have the good team and good coaches we had a week ago," Brandon said. "After we played five games, all I heard was great excitement and enthusiasm from our fans. Then, we didn't play well and we lost. That happens."