Lindy's Preseason BigTen college football magazine rates the entire conference in 8 different position groups, which are QB, RB, WR, OL, DL, LB, DB and ST.
Michigan scores very well in these position ratings, however Lindy projects us to finish 7th in the BigTen overall. I find this a bit odd. So I personally calculated every team's average position group rating according to Lindy and compared it to their projected order of finish.
Here are the results:
1. Ohio State 2.75
2. Penn State 5.25
3. Michigan State 5.25
4. Illinois 6.75
5. Wisconsin 5.875
6. Iowa 5.07. Michigan 3.375
8. Northwestern 7.75
9. Minnesota 5.875
10. Purdue 9.75
11. Indiana 8.375
I really find this striking. Lindy's believes that Michigan is the 2nd most talented team in the BigTen
according to the positional group ratings, yet they have us finishing 7th in the conference. This seems a bit perplexing, especially with Illinois finishing 3 spots above UofM in order of finish, but averaging nearly 3.5 spots below us in positional talent.
The one area where they rate us the lowest is QB, which is understandable with 2 true freshman and a walk-on competing for the job. However, they still rated us 8th overall in QB play. Yet Wisconsin is ranked 10th in QBs, but still 5th overall. In fact UofM was rated higher than Wisconsin in 7 of 8 talent groupings (Special Teams, UofM finished 1 spot below Wisconsin), yet Wisconsin is projected to finish overall 2 spots higher in 5th.
Where Michigan ranks in conference by position according to Lindy:
8th QB, 1st RB, 2nd WR, 3rd OL, 3rd DL, 4th LB, 4th DB and 2nd ST.
Is it fair to give your 2nd most talented team in the BigTen a 7th in the conference finish and a 47th in the nation finish? I don't think so, even with a Freshman QB. Perhaps they overrated our positional talent, but they also could have nasty 3-9 taste in their mouth biasing the overall finish.
Of course Lindy's
could be way off in their positional talent rankings for the
conference, but if they are accurate, it should be a sign of positive
potential for the 2009 season.
I had been worried of a 5-7 season, but I am starting to think that if QB play improves along with the turnover ratio that we could be looking closer to 8 wins.
P.S. Lindy's in preseason individual awards (which granted are meaningless) also gives us THREE 1st team All-Conference Defense, ONE 2nd team All-ConferenceDefense and THREE 2nd team All-Conference Offense.
P.P.S. If I gave out too much of Lindy's info, I will happily edit some out upon request.