Well, at least the Mayans were only off by two years.
All numbers included in this preview are using my PAN metric, Points Above Normal. PAN is essentially how many points above an average FBS team was a team/unit/player worth. For reference, an average FBS is approximately equal to UConn or a top team from the MAC.
All games against FCS teams are excluded for all teams, as well as any plays in the second half where one team leads by more than 2 touchdowns or any end of half run out the clock situations.
At this point adjustments for strength of opponent are directional but getting better. Opponent adjustment is included unless otherwise noted.
Rush Offense vs Iowa
Michigan Off +8 PAN, 1st nationally, 1st Big Ten
Iowa Def +5 PAN, 3rd, 1st
Despite a season worst showing last week against Michigan St, Michigan still enters with the number one rated rush offense in the country. The tests don’t get any easier as Michigan will look to hold the title against the #3 ranked rush defense. Neither team has had a below average game on the season and both teams have put up multiple +5 performances, which are very difficult to come by on the ground.
Taylor Martinez of Nebraska may have taken the headlines for a week, but the season totals are not even close. Denard is the nation’s top rusher at any position with a +9 himself. No other player has exceeded +5.
Even with the tough Hawkeye ground game, Michigan still should be able to manage several points of positive value out of the ground game on Saturday.
Pass Offense vs Iowa
Michigan Off +5, 15th, 2nd
Iowa Def –0, 57th, 6th
Michigan’s biggest advantage coming in will be passing against Iowa’s defense. The Hawkeye pass defense hasn’t been bad, but it is about as close to average as a group can be. Michigan has had three great games passing and two that have been subpar, including last week’s 3 interception outing. Iowa has only one great performance and that was against Iowa St.
Michigan’s pass offense still checks in at #15, even after last week. Look for the Denard and the receivers to bounce back for a potential big day through air if Michigan can find even a little success on the ground.
Rush Defense vs Iowa
Michigan Def –2, 92nd, 9th
Iowa Off +0, 54th, 6th
Michigan defensive backs : Iowa running backs ::
We wish the answer was Michigan pass defense : Iowa ground game. But unfortunately that hasn’t been the case. Michigan hasn’t found a solution to slowing down the pass but Iowa has found enough of a running game to survive. You’ll notice no breakout games from the Hawkeye crew but they haven’t exactly struggled either. Adam Robinson has been –1 on the season and is the worst back left on Michigan’s schedule.
Michigan was gashed last week in their worst performance to date. Michigan can not allow another big game on the ground this week but luckily Iowa doesn’t appear to have the horses for a big day. Should be slight advantage Hawkeyes but hopefully not any worse.
Pass Defense vs Iowa
Michigan Def –2, 81st, 10th
Iowa Off +4, 22nd, 3rd
Stanzi ball has been transformed in 2010. After the pick six disasters of last season, Stanzi has become an asset for his own team instead of the opposition. Arizona was the only below average performance on the season and the other three games were all solid, consistent outcomes.
Derrell Johnson-Koulianos and Marvin McNutt are the two primary targets. The two are combined +11 PAN on the season and their output is nearly equivalent to what Hemingway and Roundtree have done this year. The four are all grouped together at positions 5 through 8 in my Big Ten rankings.
The big advantage Michigan is that with as consistent as this group has been, they haven’t put up any monster games. Unless 2009 Stanzi makes a welcome appearance, Michigan should be glad to have this matchup end up anywhere less than a major victory for Iowa.
Special Teams vs Iowa
Over the last several games Michigan has done a good job of limiting their exposure to poor special teams. Iowa hasn’t done much of note on special teams yet this year outside of another poor showing in Arizona. I am guessing both teams would be content to let special teams play little to no role in the outcome Saturday.
Predictions Almost Certain to Cost You Money if Taken Seriously
Michigan 28 Iowa 27
There was certainly a correction in expectations last week, but as Brian noted, that doesn’t change the other data points we had. The defense is still bad, the offense wasn’t their usual spectacular selves last week but their resume to date is still outstanding. The offense is still #1 nationally in my rankings and the difference between Denard and the #2 QB nationally in my ratings (Cam Newton) is the same as the difference between Newton and #22, Iowa’s Ricky Stanzi.
Denard has very strong bounce back performance, this time against an elite defense and the defense limits two Iowa trips to field goals instead of touchdowns to provide the difference.
Elsewhere in the Big Ten
Michigan St 28 Illinois 22 – Another close but no cigar for [name redacted] against a quality Big Ten opponent
Indiana 35 Arkansas St 34 – Hoosier’s escape with an ugly victory against their best non-conference opponent
Purdue 26 Minnesota 21 – The schedule favors Purdue as the Boilermakers move to 2-0 in the Big Ten
Ohio St 23 Wisconsin 14 – And probably not as close as the score shows. Ohio St controls this one throughout. My numbers continue to place Wisconsin at the top of my overrated list.
Around the country
Auburn 35 Arkansas 28 – Cam Newton > Ryan Mallett. Newton, Martinez and of course Robinson all have big days and the rise of the mobile QB becomes the official theme of the 2010 football season until Boise St and TCU are 1 and 2 in the BCS standings and the world ends.
Follow me @The_Mathlete
Eastern Illinois #107 in total offense
Iowa State #93 in total offense
Arizona #26 in total offense (beat Iowa 34-27)
Ball State #104 in total offense
Penn State #88 in total offense
That is an awful lot of suck right there.
Iowa might have a great defense. Not enough data yet.
So what you are saying is that they've performed pretty well against terrible out-of-conference offenses, but their gimmicky defense will never work against real Big Ten offenses?
How come people say we put up big numbers against crappy defenses, but never say Iowa's defense is only good against crappy offenses?
I remember we ran the ball very well against them last year. They had not allowed a rushing Td in like 9 quarters or something like that. But that didn't stop Brandon Minor from scoring.
We all know that rushing attacks aren't the same - and that an ability to stop a certain style isn't indicative of an ability to stop another. In 1998, Michigan's rushing defense ended the year in the top 20 rusing defenses in the nation - and gave up over 230 to Syracuse and Donovan McNabb.
So, yes, Iowa shut down an excellent Georgia Tech running game. But I wonder if there's any data on how theymatchup against a rushing spread, instead of Georgia Tech's loadec backfield?
Wait - there is! Iowa surrendered 210 yards on the ground to Michigan last year. So why go all the way to the transitive property with GT when you have data of how Iowa "stopped" this running game - a running game that features a significantly scarier primary ball-carrier and an improved offensive line. On the other hand, that Iowa defense, that surrendered 210 yards, lost a 2nd round LB (Angerer), a 4th round pick (AJ Edds), and a 3rd round pick (Ameri Spievey).
Of course you know this. You're just too busy harboring a 3 year long grudge against Brian, and, oddly, Rodriguez, because Brian said something nasty about your favorite coach. Now, you're poorly cloaking it in a critique of the Mathlete, and making non-sensical and iirelevent points (I don't care if Iowa only lets up 4 points on the ground, Michigan put up 18 last year; the GT game is a poor daa point given our meeting last year). Go troll elsewhere.
but the stuff I put together suggested that in general scoring points follows field position linearly and then gets easier and easier inside the 20. IOW, giving up a lot of yards between the 20's suggests that you lack the talent and/or discipline necessary to take advantage of the short field, not that you are choosing where to take a stand. and that's not really surprising. you'd see a lot more teams going for it on 4th deep in their own territory if defense were easier on a short field. in fact you see coaches not going for it enough in their own territory.
...also, the OP says that Iowa has a crazy good run defense and an average pass defense. not sure where you got crappy from. but you also seem to think Mathlete is Brian, so there's that.
b) Iowa has given up about 4 pts per game on the ground since 2007. I did the arithmetic last week, trust me, it's less than 4.5. Feel good?
An average of 4 points per game on the ground is a classic BHGP made up stat to make the writer sound smart. Last year it was MICH did not have the ball on the Iowa half of the field in the second half with a chance to take the lead. Michigan scored 18 points (3 TDs) on the ground last year and this year is averaging 21 (3.5 TDs/game) points per game on the ground. So what should we expect? Based on my calculations since 2007 MICH is averaging 18 points per game on the ground against Iowa. Besides it is points per game that matters, which matters even less than wins or losses. I don't care what stat you have to offer in response.
Hey welcome to mgoblog. Good luck on Saturday.
Your memory of statements made regarding Iowa coach's is startling. I tracked down the 'paper bag' comment and a comment likening coaching ability to a paper bag was indeed made in an item about Ferentz in December 2007 on mgoblog.
So that is either pretty amazing or creepy that you remembered that so accurately. Kudos to you.
Unfortunately, that is where the accuracy ends.
First, someone called the Mathlete wrote this diary item on which you are commenting. The Mathlete writes a lot on mgoblog but he is not the creator of mgoblog. That is Brain Cook. As you can see Brain Cook wrote the comment about a paper bag. So, when you write "you wrote" in 2007 you are holding the Mathlete accountable for something someone else wrote long before the Mathlete started playing a big role at mgoblog. This strikes me as unfair.
Second, here is the actual 'paper bag' quote;
"The opportunity represented by the Carr retirement is to take the program in a different direction. Michigan has stagnated, allowing Ohio State to pass it both off the field and on. Ohio State has better facilities, has won six of seven against Michigan, and has fewer disciplinary problems. The Horror was supposed to be a wakeup call inside the department and amongst the heavy movers; Ferentz represents the snooze button, especially if his hiring is contingent upon retaining certain key assistants who have done nothing to suggest they are capable of coaching out of a wet paper bag."
I admit it is a little confusing whose coaching ability is being compared to a paper bag but my reading is that 'certain key assistants' at Michigan (Mike DeBord maybe?) are the ones not capable of "coaching out of wet paper bag."
Do you agree?
The good news. And it is very good news indeed. Is that this grudge you've held so dearly and for so long due to this percieved insult is actually a big misunderstanding. Brain Cook (not the Mathlete, remember) was insulting Michigan's own coaching staff and not your precious Kirk Ferentz's coaching staff. Congratulations, at long last, you can move past this ugly scene in history.
[name redacted], indeed!
also, upset special: wisc over osu, 24-21.
Can you please find stats that will make me feel like we are going to win easily.
I was told I have high-blood pressure, don't know how much more of this I can take.
Mathlete, I respect the data analysis you do in predicting these games week in and week out. And I can follow the PAN theory very well (makes since to me). Being that I am relatively new to the board, can you tell me how you could factor in Turnovers into your analysis (Maybe a teams average number of giveaways compared to the oppontents average number of takeaways).
The reason I ask is because I felt that even before last weeks game, the difference was going to be turnover margin. I actually thought that Michigan had an advantage there becasue they have done so well taking care of the ball to date.
I also believe that the Saturday's game will come down to the same thing.....Turnover margin. If we stay even (or win the turnover battle), I feel that we have a very good chance. If we lose the battle, then we will have problems.