Though we're not one of them, being one of the few teams that had to play all three Big Ten 2010 Champions, and since we generally hate all three, I figured Michigan bloggers might be in a good position to adjudicate the mess atop our conference this year.
Base comparisons are as follows. I would appreciate any comments, and would like to change it up based on your opinions.
|Loss||6-37 @ Iowa (-2)||18-31 @ Wis.||24-34 @ MSU|
|Ohio State's loss to Wisconsin was by more, but Wisconsin won the turnover battle by 3 and still lost to Michigan State by 10. They're pretty much even. Michigan State got beat much worse (-1) by a worse team (-1)|
|BCS OOC||34-31 ND||36-24 Miami (+1)||20-19 ASU (-1)|
|Notre Dame and Miami are both erratic, 7-5 teams against tough schedules but Ohio State didn't make it close, while MSU needed a fake punt conversion (that was covered!) to beat ND. I count both of those as better than ASU, who will finish 5-7 most likely a tough (-1) to Wisconsin, though they get the benefit of the doubt next close one.|
|Big Ten 1||34-24 Wis (+1)||20-17 @ Iowa (-1)||31-18 OSU (+1)|
|The Iowa game is Ohio State's biggest win, and it wasn't that great of a win -- as close as the 3-point spread looks (-1). MSU/Wis and OSU/Wis were dominating wins over Top 10 teams. (+1)|
|MICHIGAN||34-17 @ Mich||37-7 Mich||48-28 @ Mich (+1)|
|Easiest comparison to make. Ohio State and Michigan State both dominated thanks to Michigan mistakes, while Wisconsin made its trip to Ann Arbor a bloody affair (+1) from kickoff.|
|Purdue||35-31 Purdue (-1)||49-0 Purdue (+1)||34-13 @ Purdue|
|Ohio State murdered (+1), Wisconsin held serve, Michigan State (-1) needed a 4th quarter comeback to beat a worse Purdue team than either other one played|
|PSU/Iowa||28-22 @ Penn St||38-14 Penn St||31-30 @ Iowa|
|Iowa's a better 7-5 team than Penn State, but the close road win didn't tell us much. Ohio State got the Lions at home when they were worse, but they did better. 0s all around.|
|Minn||31-8 Minn||52-10 @ Minn (+1)||41-23 Minn|
|Pasting, bigger pasting on the road (+1), pasting.|
|Illini/NW||26-6 Illini||24-13 @ Illini||70-23 NW (+1)|
|Illinois is better than Northwestern. MSU came on late but came on. Ohio State made it a lot closer. But Wisconsin's 70-point finale against a worse Northwestern team (+1) is more impressive.|
|Ind/NW||35-27 @ NW (+1)||38-10 Ind.||83-20 Ind. (+1)|
|MSU looked to lose to Northwestern right up until the end, but they're a much better team than Indiana so (+1). Ohio State did what it was supposed to, but Wisconsin put up 83 (+1)|
|OOC||38-14 WMU||45-7 Marshall||41-21 @ UNLV|
|Pasting, pasting, slightly worse pasting but on the road.|
|OOC||30-17 Fl.Atl (-1)||43-7 Ohio||27-14 SJSt. (-1)|
|FL-Int. kind of made it close (-1) and so did SJ State (-1) while OSU rolled over Ohio|
|TomatoCan||45-7 N.Colo||73-20 EMU||70-3 Austin Peay|
|Doesn't count -- any FBS team but EMU might give Ohio State a|
It's not a perfect line-up, but it gets the job done, giving us some close and semi-close apples and oranges to compare. The +'s and -'s are simply numeric comparisons for how the teams did against each other on that line, i.e. they say how much each team disguished itself from its two conference competitors in that comparable.
You can argue a lot of my conclusions.
So Michigan State's resume, lined up as best as I can, is substantially behind that of Ohio State and Wisconsin. I wouldn't feel bad about ranking them several slots behind the other two if there are some other 1-loss teams. Remember above where I said Wisconsin gets the benefit of the doubt? There you are. I'd put them slightly over Ohio State, whom they defeated. The late-season murderous rampage worked.
Okay, bloggers. Fisk away.
This is another illustration of how the positioning of the MLB so close to the line of scrimmage in Michigan's 3-3-5-that-isn't-really-a-stack renders him more vulnerable to being eaten alive.
In other news, I don't know if it's the prospect of the upcoming bludgeoning by Columbus Community College or the fact that most of these are of a play that didn't go well, but these are starting to get hard to do. "Here's how we screwed up again, in excruciating detail."
Anyway. Wha'hoppon: Wisconsin has second and three at their own 32 on their second drive of the day. Michigan plays a stack over Wisconsin's I-formation. The play starts out as an iso to the right. Martin stands up a double team and then slants playside, and Ezeh takes on the FB to close the playside hole. The blocking works much better on the other side, with Mouton being erased by the backside guard, RVB being kicked out, and the playside guard releasing off Martin to devour Demens. Avery fills the hole between the guard and tackle, but the blocks on Demens and Mouton leave a cutback lane open to the inside of the tackle and Montee Ball rolls through it for a ten-yard gain before Vinopal can chop him down.
What? Is this "feature" still a thing? Yeah, it's still a thing when I have time for it. I admit, I had time last week, but Purdue frustratingly doesn't publish a transcript. I really didn't feel like listening to the audio of the entire presser. Seriously, what's up with that? The previous weeks I was just really busy and didn't get around to doing it. I've got a little time now as I relax while watching Michigan handle Bowling Green (woo basketball empty Crisler Arena!!!).
So this week, we have that big meat-head Bret Bielema and his meaty Badgers (did that just sound really wrong? At least I didn't call them yummy). Anyway, here's the link to the presser, for those who wanna read the thing over. Surprisingly, Bielema is NOT monosyllabic. Whodathunkit.
Holy crap, his intro was long. Spent a lot of time talking about how they played so many guys (11 on DL alone!). He mentions a few players specifically, like JJ Watt (who we know is very good), Aaron Henry (pick six), James White (Fr, RB), and David Gilreath. Now to the substance...
On gameplanning against Michigan...
- Michigan offensive philosophy very different than under Carr. Now have "a little bit more multiple" (I think he's referring to offensive formations?), but really clicking right now.
- Denard and Tate present different challenges (seems like they're preparing to see both). Mentions that Denard is a special runner and has "a live arm," but also that "he's had some picks, some bad decisions." Because of his running ability, gets secondary and linebackers in iso coverages.
- Tate is "savvy" and "shifty." Suggests that you know what you get with Denard, but Tate is more of an improviser, making "a lot of in-play game adjustments and decisions."
- Comparing DR and TF, he says: "They’re not the same, but there are some different play calls, but they don’t get in different sets or different philosophy, and I think they expect them both to know the plan, move them forward." (Yeah, that's just a wonderfully ridiculous sentence. Quick thinking, coach.)
- Talks about Michigan having had 5 TO's Saturday and that their "guys are aware of it." Stresses ball security on their side. Sounds like he thinks there is some opportunity to force a few TO's, what with the TO and Denard "bad decisions" comments.
- They'll use a combination of WR's and RB's on the scout team to play DR. Similar to what they did when playing ohio state (pryor).
On the game/rivalry...
- First time back to Big House since 2008, when UW lost. Have to learn from positives/negatives, but it's a different team with different leaders.
- Mentions that the road loss against michigan state was big and that they took a lot from it, taking confidence from that into the game this Saturday.
On their own team, personnel, other random stuff...
- Doesn't believe John Clay will be at full strength, but feels good about the rotation they have with Montee Ball and James White. Get good rhythm with those two and bring in a 3rd when needed.
- On UW averaging almost 40ppg, really lauds OC Paul Chryst. Says he and the other coaches have done a great job of ingraining the offense, particularly when you see the 3rd stringers coming in and having success against IU.
- Talks about how momentum in road games is huge, particularly for the road team to withstand swings in momentum to the home team. This will be a challenge against UM.
- Someone actually asked him why he thought the computer polls didn't seem to like Wisco as much as the human voters (really?). He basically said, "I dunno, but it'd be neat to find out." Then speculates that maybe it's due to computers looking at W/L and maybe not scoring margin. (So yeah, that's actually pretty close. Except for Billingsley. That guy's just an idiot. I still have no idea how his "computer poll" is in the BCS formula).
So what did we learn? That the media asks a lot of stupid superficial questions. GO BLUE! Beat Bucky!