With four weeks under our belts, all numbers move to in-season only. No preseason adjustments anywhere. Everything is currently opponent adjusted as well. It’s still early in the season so the next 2-3 weeks will still show some weird anomalies but based on history, four weeks is what it takes to start to get an accurate read on what teams will do this season.
Three biggest plays for Michigan:
1. Vincent Smith’s 32 yard run through to the 5, 10% added.
2. Denard Robinson 53 yards on the speed option, 8% added.
3. Ronnie Hillman’s first fumble, 7% added.
Three worst plays for Michigan:
1. Vincent Smith’s fumble, 7% lost.
2. Ryan Lindley 16 yard TD pass, 3% lost.
3. Ryan Lindley 9 yard pass on third down early in the second quarter, 3% lost.
The Fourth Down Call
Brian is in love with it, but how much was it worth? Punt from 48 gets to the 17. Team down 14 with the ball around the 17 with 2-3 minutes left in the first half win about 8.0% of the time. A successful conversion gives Michigan a 93.2% chance of victory where a failed attempt drops your chances to 88.2%. To break even, Michigan would need to have a confidence that they had about a 75% chance of conversion. National average on 3rd and 2 is about 58.5%. Michigan has been a top 25 level 3rd and short team so the decision was probably about a break even if you account for Michigan’s offense.
This case is a bit closer than I expected, but if you believe our offense was bound to score, which it obviously did, a 21 point half time lead is good for a 97.1% chance of victory. Even if Michigan can get a field goal and run out the clock, an average conversion rate makes the decision break even.
Ultimately, the decision in and of itself may not have been a true EV+ but it opens the door of optimism that Coach Hoke is willing to go EV+ and close the close door that he EV-.
Win odds on specific situations like this are fairly accurate but still prone to some sample size issues. Typical sample size on these situations was around 120 games, not small but a swing of a game or two can distort the numbers.
My top 5: 1- LSU 2-Wisconsin 3-Georgia Tech 4-Oklahoma St. 5-Alabama
Big Ten Rankings: 10-Illinois 21-Nebraska 29-Michigan 32-Penn St 34-Michigan St 38-Iowa 83(!)-Ohio St 102-Purdue 103-Minnesota 108-Indiana 110-Northwestern
Big Ten: Not a good start to the year as the Big Ten finds four teams in the bottom 20 and only 2 in the top 20.
Minnesota’s numbers are a little weak right now. I don’t include FCS opponents which would knock down the Gophers further but the strong performance against USC is also excluded as its one of two games this year without a play by play available from the NCAA.
Michigan: +5, 7th Nationally (Georgia Tech), 1st Big Ten
Minnesota: –1, 84th, 9th
Denard Robinson: +4 rushing, 7th among QBs rushing (Collin Klein, Kansas St)
Fitzgerald Toussaint: +1, 64th RB (Orwin Smith, GT)
Michigan: +0, 62nd (Boise), 7th (Wisconsin)
Minnesota: –6, 117th, 12th
Denard Robinson: +0 passing, 83rd (Kellen Moore, Boise St)
Michigan: +2, 30th (Louisville), 4th (Illinois)
Minnesota: –2, 89th, 11th
MarQueis Gray: +5 rushing, 2nd among QBs
Duane Bennett: –3, 183 out of 191 rated RBs, last in Big Ten
Michigan: +0, 63rd (UCF), 7th (Illinois)
Minnesota: +0, 60th, 6th
MarQueis Gray: +4 passing, 43rd
Da’Jon McKnight: +6 receiving, 45th
Michigan: –.46 pts/drive, 112th (Boise), 12th (Ohio St)
Minnesota: +.27 pts/drive, 26th, 4th
Michigan: –1.2, 93rd (Auburn), 12th (Purdue)
Minnesota: –0.3, 79th, 9th
Michigan: +6, 8th (Rutgers), 1st
Minnesota: +2, 39th, 7th
Prediction: With an active QB and a dangerous receiver, Minnesota has just enough weapons to but a bit of doubt, but Michigan holds a huge advantage with the ball. Michigan by a couple TD’s, 35-17
Projections for the rest of the season
There is a still a lot of volatility in the numbers right now, but based on year to date performance, Michigan is currently projected at just over 9 wins on the season. I expect a fair number of game odds to swing but as of now, here are the remaining games and the current projections of Michigan winning.
At Northwestern: 94%
At Michigan St: 35%
At Iowa: 39%
At Illinois: 16%
Ohio St: 88%
Some of those are clearly out of whack right now, but the numbers love Illinois’ defense and are projecting Ohio St to go 5-7 and miss a bowl based on current performance. Odds of going 12-0 are currently at 1 in 118.