The rest of the teams on State's schedule aren't ranked (and probably won't be). That's why I'm asking for your thoughts after this game in particular.
Not Good for Michigan
- State's DL is, lordy, as advertised. Oregon's OL started one senior and a bunch of sophomores, so maybe some wiggle room in there. In general, however, scary stuff. Unless Michigan's OL can improve enough to look solid against BYU, my guess is that Michigan's running game is going to be a ton of passes.
- From what Brian said, the Michigan DL might not match up well against their guys, especially with Mone out. Note that Oregon started a bunch of seniors on their line.
- Kings, State's slot guy, was really effective. I hope Peppers and others can rapidly improve enough to blanket him and other slotty dudes.
- I'm not sure Michigan can improve their special teams enough get the boost that Oregon got in their game.
Not too Bad for Michigan
- Rudock does better under duress than Adams; he gets positive/no yards where Adams lost yards in some cases. Relatedly, overall, I think Rudock makes better decisions, and he's already showing improvement.
- Michigan's corners, especially if Lewis is back, match up well with Burbridge
- So far, the Michigan OL has been better about QB protection. Brian's UFR shows it's not that awesome, but it feels better than last year, at least.
What do you folks think?
The @CollegeGameday handle tweeted out a picture of the MSU motivational board in the locker room yesterday and surprise, their mentality in life still hasn't changed...
"Approach the challenges of every day – in all phases of your life – with a fist fight mentality!"
Isn't that what's gotten so many of their players in jail to this point? When in doubt, fist fight.
Maizenbrew has an interesting discussion between Drew Hallett and Anthony Broom on the chances of our Wolverines beating either the Spartans or the Buckeyes this year:
Their conclusion is that Michigan will not do it. They look at recent history, talent/matchups, home field advantage, general Harbaughness, etc. I would like to respectfully disagree with their conclusion. I think the general randomness of college football means that we can reasonably expect to savor an upset over a hated rival this year. I won’t go full Mathlete on you, but my reasoning is based on probability.
We’ve all become conditioned to expect the worst kind of luck persistently. When was the last time Michigan had a favorable turnover ratio? When was the last time turnovers broke even or better against a top 20 opponent? (The first B1G Michigan-Nebraska game? Yeah, it has been that long.) Even during the glory years, we all knew that in any given season Michigan was likely to have one “say what?!” loss against a clearly weaker team. When was the last time a top 20 team had an “off day” against us? Yeah, it’s been that long. My point being that luck changes season to season, game to game, or even play to play. (2011) To use the language of probability, football plays are independent variables. We don’t know what normal luck feels like anymore against MSU or OSU, but that can change in a moment.
To add some numbers to it, let me use one of the NOT fun facts from the article. Drew pointed out that Michigan is 2-12 in the last seven seasons’ worth of games with MSU & OSU. (Combine that with Michigan’s recent history in Bowl games, and the whole fan base heads for the rest room, but I digress…) Let’s apply a little probability analysis. Suppose that all seven years both the Spartans and the Buckeyes were clearly superior, such that they had an 80% chance of winning any given game. I don’t think it was near that bad, certainly not in some seasons, but let’s go with the pessimistic case to illustrate the point. If you apply math to these numbers, Michigan still should have won 3 games or more (55% of the time). Even assuming we stunk, we still should have gotten lucky more often than two times.
Turning to this season, we may not know exactly when or how the ball bounces in our favor, but the odds are reasonably good it will decisively bounce in our favor in one of those two games. (To use another illustration, Ohio State is the overwhelming favorite to repeat as National Champions. They will be favored in each and every one of their games, possibly excepting a playoff match-up. What is the chance someone other than OSU actually wins the Championship? Yes, a lot more than 50%.) Again, assume that this season the Spartans and the Buckeyes are clearly superior. Even if that is as much as a 70% chance, Michigan still has a 50% chance of winning one of those games (0.7 squared).
So I’m saying there’s a chance; a mathematically significant chance.
What streak am I talking about?
Hint #1: One of these is not like the others (pay attention to year):
- Bennie Oosterbann (1948)
- Bump Elliot (1959)
- Bo (1969)
- Moeller (1990)
- Lloyd Carr (1995)
- Rich Rod (2008)
- Hoke (2011)
Bennie Oosterbann did something none of the other coaches did in their first year. He was the only one of the group to beat Michigan State in his first year of head coach.
Oosterban beat both MSU and OSU in his first year (9-0 record in 1st year).
Bump beat OSU, but lost to MSU 34-8 (4-5 record in 1st year).
Bo, well, I think we all know he beat OSU, but lost to MSU 23-12 (8-3 in 1st year).
Moeller beat OSU, but lost to MSU 28-27 (9-3 in 1st year).
Lloyd beat OSU, but lost to MSU 28-25 (9-4 in 1st year).
Rich Rod lost to OSU, and lost to MSU 35-21 (3-9 in 1st year).
Hoke beat OSU, but lost to MSU 28-14 (11-2 in 1st year).
So, my question is, does this knowledge impact your answer to the question we've seen floating around this board about 1000x the past couple weeks:
Who would you rather Michigan beat this year, MSU or OSU? The obvious answer is both, but I think I'll have to stick to my gut and say I'd rather see us beat Urban. He's a wildfire that nobody can contain. Of course, if Michigan beating OSU puts MSU in the B1G Championship game, with a shot at the playoff, well.....then I give up!
The Ashley Madison hack is the gift that keeps on giving (unless you were a member). Turns out there are a lot of .edu emails addresses registered on the site. This site ranked the top 10 .edu addresses.
There you go, Dantonio, you finally got that #1 ranking. #SpartansWill cheat.
If it wasn't for UNLV, and instead of UNLV Michigan had, say, a UCF type team (which is coming in 2016, look out), M's schedule might be the toughest this season, but UNLV should provide a major breather.
Utah and BYU are physical, tough tests and Michigan will have to score to beat Oregon State (which hopefully won't be like scaling a mountain given Oregon State's defense).
It's July filler but what else are we going to do right now you guys