Is anyone else very concerned about our road schedule? At Iowa, Michigan State, Illinois and Wisconsin is a nasty and dangerous gauntlet for the best of Michigan teams. With another freshman QB at the helm and question marks all over the field, I'm concerned. I share the optimism that 6-6 or 7-5 can happen, but going 2-2 on the road would be an accomplishment.
2009 Road Schedule
It's pretty rough, but I think they will split.
could be worse no games at ND or tOSU
An away game at Penn State concerns me much more than an away game at ND.
would be a real acheivement ... but i have a feeling that it will happen ... my guess is a win at state and (gulp) wisconsin cause i think they will have a down yr
I think Michigan matches up decently against MSU, Wisconsin, and Iowa. My only worry is going into champagne with a senior Juice calling the shots.
2-2 or 1-3 on the road. 6-2 or 5-3 at home.
I'm more concerned about next year with a reloaded OSU and ND.
I really don't understand the concern over Iowa they are a mediocre team at best and although we also are a mediocre team I feel like that is a winnable game that isn't really on par with the other away games in this post (although Kinnick is a really tough place to play)
about Iowa stems from the fact that they had a very good defense last year and return almost all of the players on that side of the ball. They also return a decent qb. Then, throw in the fact that its a night game which people think really favors the home team.
Losing Greene hurts them but they should have a good year.
Since I am the board's token Iowa advocate, I have to say that Iowa is much better than a mediocre team. They return 8 starters from a very good defense, and while their offense will sorely miss Shonne Greene, Jewel Hampton is a pretty good back (who is not lost for the season), and their offensive line should be very good again. Stanzi is plenty capable of managing that offense. The only thing standing in Iowa's way is road games against both OSU and PSU.
I'd give a more in-depth reply, but I'm at work and away from my Phil Steele. I think that Iowa contends for the Big Ten title this year, and will at least finish in third (behind PSU, OSU, and Illinois), though I think they will place higher. I also do not see us beating them on a Saturday night at Kinnick Stadium. Iowa fans love their football
If they're behind PSU, Illinois, and OSU, I don't think they'll finish in third.
LOL, sorry, I meant finish no worse than fourth (Behind those mentioned), but probably in third.
I guess I have to give you a +1, right?
and I say this only because:
Iowa - projected starting RB out, frosh likely starting,
MSU - young, untested QBs, lost Ringer, not so far from AA, lots of M fans to make the trip.
Illinois - ehhhh yea this is a loss, unless Juice makes a major reversion to old juice.
Wisconsin - Tough place to play, but also - shotty QB play from Shearer, and the general decline under Beilema may continue.
3-1, possible, 0-4, also possible. Bring lots of beer to the away games I guess.
I also don't think that the Badger faithful are either so it's put up or shut up time for him.
....I agree with some of this, but
Iowa - Jewel Hampton will be back by 10/10 for sure, he's not that hurt.
MSU - we'll beat them.
Illinois - Juice played at least half of 2008 pretty poorly (against Western, Ohio State, Penn State, Minnesota) If he reverts to 2008 bad Juice I'll be happy.
Wisconsin - Bielema is easily the worst coach in the Big Ten.
3-1 on the road. Book it.
Notre Dame, Penn State, and Ohio State so I'm GLAD for this years away schedule
All of those places, save maybe Illinois, are pretty difficult to play. And you know Wisconsin is going to have a big ol' chip on their shoulder. Maybe we catch Sparty sleeping (i.e., resting on his one-year laurel). If we're planning on 7-5, a split on the road is not only an acomplishment but a necessity.
I know a lot of people are writing the Iowa game off as a loss already. But is it just because it is at night? I mean they did lose Doak Walker award winning, almost 2000 yard rusher Shonn Greene to the NFL. I think the backup (Jewel Hampton) recently hurt his knees as well.
Are we really afraid that Stanzi is going to tear us up? I would guess that he is going to have a heck of a lot harder time throwing with teams no longer having to worry about Shonn Greene coming through the line.
Because even last year when we went 3-9 we were in a lot of the games and I was proud of how our guys played. Hell that was one of the closest OSU games in years at half-time and that was with Threet-dammit-idan.
With an ever improving offensive line and qb play and with a lot of our young guys getting some valuable experiences last year I really don't think that we'll "get the doors blown off" at all next year and we'll hang in there for most games.
...so don't take it personal...
but you wrote, "that [in 2008] was one of the closest OSU games in years at half-time...."
2008 - 14-7 tOSU at half.
2007 - 7-3 tOSU at half.
2005 - 12-7 tOSU at half.
2004 - 20-14 tOSU at half.
2002 - 9-7 Michigan at half.
Hyper-technically, the 2008 game was one of the more "lopsided" games at halftime, given 4 of the prior 6 halftime scores in the rivalry.
As to your second paragraph, I completely agree.
we would win/would be a toss up. Last years game I don't think anyone saw us being close at all at half and thought that it would be a huge blow out. It definitely "seemed" a lot better than those other scores since we didn't have a NFL talent with experience at every position.
...but it's all extraneous to your original point - that the 2008 game was the "closest" in years. You didn't bring up "extraneous feeling given the disparity in talent" in your original post, hence, the empirical data to counter your point.
They had a very highly ranked defense last year (can't remember exactly where they were ranked) and return most of that unit.
It could prove to be brutal.
We haven't won in Madison since 2001, if I'm not mistaken.
Kinnick at night is going to be a tough one.
State could field a decent defense this year, and we play them early in the season.
Illinois - I'm not sure our defense will be able to stop them, and it's hard to play catchup on the road.
I don't think we know enough about our own team to truly gauge how we will fare. Not one of these games is a sure win.
didn't play Wisconsin for a few years, so the 2001 doesn't look so bad.
I think the thing about this road schedule is that it sets up nicely if we were a great team and trying to win the big ten and/or national title because we get PSU, OSU and ND at home. However, most people are assuming OSU and PSU losses no matter where we play them. In a case like this year where we really just want wins and improvement, I would rather play OSU and PSU on the road and get two of Illinois, MSU, Wisc, Iowa at home. I think those last four could be toss ups and home field advantage might put us over the edge.
what you said.
Not to look too far ahead, but with away games at OSU, PSU, and ND, the 2010 away schedule is brutal for a team that should have relatively high expectations.
Most Michigan fans expect (hope for?) a lower-tier bowl this season and predict that the team should contend for the Big Ten Title next year. That's going to be awfully tough with that road schedule.
This year, at least, all of the road games are winnable. A lot may hinge on the MSU game; a win in EL would give Tate/Denard/the team good confidence going forward. A bad showing could presage more difficulties down the road (pun intended).
and makes the 20 year extension with Notre Dame even more aggravating in the sense that we couldn't get them to flip flop home and away years. We need ND at HOME in even years and AWAY in odd years. Road and home schedules are too lopsided as is with current alignment of ND, PSU and OSU.
Of course the opposing argument is if you're good enough you win whether you're on the road or not. So let's just get to that point!
The problem with flipping around the ND games is that eventually, PSU will rotate off the schedule and come back reversed (as they did in 2005), and then we'd have the same problem. From 1993-2002, we played PSU at home in even-numbered years and away in odd-numbered years. Eventually that will be true again.
I would agree with the statement: "Michigan has a difficult road schedule this season." Absolutely.
On the one hand, it's going suck.
On the other hand, I don't see any of these opponents(MSU, Iowa, Illinois, Wiscy) as being unbeatable this fall. In fact, I think most will have at least 1 or 2 losses before Michigan marches into town.
The UM offense better set the tone early and get a lead in all of these games, and keep piling it on. Kicking FGs is not going to cut it. UM is going to need a lot of touchdowns, because no lead is going to be safe with this defense.
Is the Michigan defensive secondary or LB corps going to be able to put the kabosh on big plays from Rick Stanzi and his receivers (Moeaki, Johnson-K, and McNutt)? Or control Juice Williams and Rejus Benn? I hope so, but I have serious doubts. Hope I'm wrong.
MSU and Wisconsin are both beatable teams, in my view, though MSU has probably the best defense (DL and LBs units) of all 4 road opponents. Wisconsin is a tough enviro, but you can take the crowd down a notch or two to "drunken stupor only" by getting a safe lead and grinding it out on the ground.
Honestly, I would not raise an eyebrow if Michigan lost them all or won them all. As bad as UM might be defensively, it'd be stupid to underestimate Michigan this fall, and I have the feeling many Big Ten opponents are going to do exactly that.
I think Tate might struggle in his first away game, best defense in the big ten. Night game.
second away game.
I totally forgot about MSU! Ah, they should be used to it.
I seriously did not mean for that.
michigan, without some awful luck, would have probably been 5-7 last year. Yet because we went 3-9 people expect us to suck. Give me forcier/denard, another year of experience for practically everyone, and hopefully a lack of bad luck (that probably cost us 2 games by itself last year) and I don't think a 9-3 record is out of the question.
victory over 2008 wisconsin with threetidan @ home leads me to believe we have a good chance of beating them with forcier/denard (with 10 games of experience) on the road against a lesser wisconsin team.
MSU lost their entire offense... we put up 21 points on them last year and rich rod rated our offense a 2 last yr and a 7 this year i believe... id say our chances are at least 50/50.
illinois is tough but their defense might be the only one in the big ten worse than ours.
iowa will not be the same w/o shonn greene, however playing them the 6th game of the season on the road at night will, IMO, be the toughest of the road games.
i think 3-1 is more likely than people think but I had to bet on it I'd say 2-2
I think we go into Wisconsin favored... I see them going 6-6 or 5-7 this year. We should win this one... and Bielema will not be coaching in 2010.
Sparty is winnable. 50/50 even though it's on the road.
Illinois will be interesting. If we get pressure on Juice and force him to make quick decisions (which means bad decisions), we win. I think by this game our defensive scheme (as well as a freshman qb's 9th start) will be running at 100% and our disguised 3-4 to 4-3 with Spinner/ Deathbacker/ Nickel chaos will give us a great advantage over Illinois. 50/50
Iowa will be tough.
I wish our home and road schedules were flipped this year. The two games that we're highly unlikely to win this year regardless of location are OSU and PSU, and the two games we were most likely to win regardless of location were Indiana and Purdue. If those were our road games we'd probably end up 2-2 on the road and our home record would probably be somewhere between 1-3 and 3-1 (I doubt we'd win all of them, but no way we'd lose them all either).
As is we'll probably end up 2-2 at home, and instead have all the other games on the road where god only knows what will happen, where 0-4 is far more likely than 4-0 and 1-3 is more likely than 3-1. The reverse of our conference schedule would almost certainly have led to a better conference record.
In a year where we're really good we'd want the schedule as it is this year, with OSU and PSU both in Ann Arbor, but right now when we need a bounce-back season we would have been better off with next year's conference schedule for this year.
at the beginning of the season is critical to building confidence and momentum. It's the confidence that is necessary to go on the road in hostile environments, carry a swagger and just *know* you can win. Win the three "should win" games and beat ND in a nice upset and Michigan will be very tough to beat the rest of the season.
At Iowa, Michigan State, Illinois and Wisconsin is a nasty and dangerous gauntlet for the best of Michigan teams.
While this isn't easy, I'll take it over having to travel to PSU and OSU in the same season, which we have to do for the next couple of even-numbered years.
I think given the choice I would rather have these games on the road and have the tO$U and PSU at home. IIRC Wiscy lost it's entire O-line not to mention Hill. They do not have a good QB (he is descent at best) I think this is a win for us. MSU and Iowa should both be descent this year. Ferrentz has the ability to coach his kids and get them to play above themselves (remember Drew Tate from 2005). I don't think we come out of that game undefeated. I think we will win either MSU or Iowa games but not both. I have nothing to base this on except a gut feeling but I think Juice and the Illini will have some struggles and they miss a bowl game this year. I really think worst case scenario we come out of it 2-2 and best case 3-1. FWIW I think Beilema is in way over his head and I think Alverez gives him the boot at the end of the year.
3-1 or 4-0. We're going to be better than anyone's giving us credit for.
I'm not as scared as everyone else of Illinois. They haven't beaten us in Champaign since 1983. That doesn't mean that they won't beat us now, but they clearly have not gotten any home field advantage playing us. We have whipped their butts, often by lopsided scores. Wisky really scares me. Madison is a very tough place to play. I think that Iowa is 99% sure loss. Kinnick is another one of those places that is really tough to win and they are going to have lots of returning starters back (albeit not highly talented ones). MSU is going to be tough too. We haven't had an easy game there since 1997. So in summary, 2-2 would be a nice accomplishment on the road this year. If we win 2 road games, we are pretty much guaranteed a bowl game.