Slightly overoptimistic in my opinion, but not too far out there. Level headed though. Hope you're right!
Season Predictions - Poll Projections - Fan Expectations
This diary will give you a game by game Win and Loss prediction of what I expect UM to do this season. HOWEVA, it will also provide a projection as to where I expect UM to be at in the coaches poll. In addition, I also detailed what I believe the (ever-changing) fans' expectations for the season will be. This was the tricky (and fun) part of this diary because as we all know, expectations can and will change during the season. If you don't believe me, see the 2009 Detroit Tigers. Remember in Spring Training, most fans would have loved to just be in contention in August. But now, if they don't win the division, most fans will be disappointed. But let's get back to UM football...
Stage 0: How many more days til the games start?
Record: 0 - 0
Poll Projections: The coaches poll was just released. Only 1 coach projects us to be in the top 25 (and this was probably RR). Overall, around #57 in the country. Not very good.
Fans' Expectations: Most fans (gauging from various message boards and informal conversations with other UM fans) expect us to be anywhere from 5-7 (pessimists), 9-3 (optimists), but more likely 7-5 (realists). Motor City Bowl...hey we'll take it and be happy with it.
Game 1: Western Michigan W 42 - 17
Game 2: Notre Dame W 31 - 27
Stage 1: Hey, we're better than last year!
Record: 2 - 0 (0 - 0)
Poll Projections: I believe that after a nationally televised victory over a ranked Irish team, the coaches (along with the rest of the country) will take notice. We will definitely get some votes for the top 25. How many, not really sure. But this big win should be enough to break us into the party at around #24 or so.
Fans' Expectations: On MGoBlog, there will be some crazed lunatics that will be predicting 13-0 saying that this team is better than '97. While others, in an attempt to bring them off the ledge, will go overboard themselves in the opposite direction, and overly downgrade the good start to the season. But all in all, the fans' consensus will be it's a good start, but let's not get too excited yet. We will still be happy with any bowl, but we secretly have left our calendars open for New Year's Day, just in case.
Game 3: Eastern Michigan W 52 - 10
Game 4: Indiana W 38 - 24
Game 5: @ MSU W 24 - 20
Stage 2: WEEE'RE BAAACK!! And WE BAD AS HELL!!
Record: 5 - 0 (2 - 0)
Poll Projections: The nation is buzzing with UM talk now. RR is all over ESPN and for a good reason for once. We are steadily moving up the coaches' poll, and at 5-0, this puts us around #13 in the country. Surprisingly, we have 1 number one vote. (RR strikes again!)
Fans' Expectations: We are all overjoyed. You see UM t-shirts, hats, banners and car flags everywhere you go. The internets is full of talk about BCS bowl berths and dare we speak, even NC game appearances. We totally rule MSU and Mike Valenti takes a personal leave from 97.1 after his head explodes. Some fans even take to talking trash on OSU message boards in anticipation of the Big Game on 11/21. There is no stopping us now, RR is king!!!
Game 6: at Iowa L 31 - 14
Game 7: Deleware St. W 41 - 3
Stage 3: So, I guess we're not going to go undefeated after all...
Record: 6 - 1 (2 - 1)
Poll Projections: Losing at Iowa at night is not a bad loss, all things considering. We fall a bit, but still are solidly ranked at around #16.
Fans' Expectations: You can't win em' all, right? I mean, we DO have 2 true freshman quarterbacks and this was their first time leaving the great State of Michigan, and it was their first ever dreaded NIGHT game, and hey, they just had a bad game, right? All is not doomed. The fans are still excited. The BCS is still within our reach.
Game 8: Penn State L 31 - 30
Game 9: at Illinois L 45 - 21
Stage 4: RR SUCKS! I knew he couldn't compete in the BIG 11!!!
Record: 6 - 3 (2 - 3)
Poll Projections: We've lost 3 of 4 games. At 6-3 in a below average Big 11, and with blowout road losses to Iowa and Illinois, and a close loss to PSU, we haven't really beaten anyone good (ND doesn't count, sorry Irish). The coaches drop us out of the polls, but we still get some votes and are around #30 in the country.
Fans' Expectations: Like Wojo would say, "Panic in Ann Arbor-town! Panic in Ann Arbor-town!" (a WDFN oldbit) The magical luster of a once promising great season has dwindled. That blowout at Illinois was a disaster. An unusually high number of posts with the the letters "wtf" are recorded on MGoBlog. What the hell is going on! The crazies are loose and you hear words like, disappointment, let-down, underachievers, etc. Rational fans try to convince us that we are a good, young team, but just not ready to compete with the big boys, not yet. But they are quickly drowned out by the louder fanatics. Mike Valenti mysteriously arises and reminds us all that he said all along that Michigan was overrated and that MSU was going to be rebuilding this year.
Game 10: Purdue W 49 - 31
Game 11: at Wisconsin W 30 - 23
Stage 5: Okay, I guess we'll be alright!
Record: 8 - 3 (4 - 3)
Poll Projections: 2 straight meh victories, but they still count at W's. We are ranked again at #20 as the coaches finally realize exactly who we are.
Fans' Expectations: Okay, that's more like it. 8-3 is pretty good and we are stabilized in the coaches' poll. The Big 10 championship and BCS talk has disappeared, but we have a good shot at an excellent New Year's Day bowl. Orlando and Cap1 Bowl sounds pretty good! Fans' expectations calm down as we all prepare for the Big Game. For the most part, the fans are pretty happy.
Game 12: O$U (It's petty, I know, but it's fun to type) L 24 - 20
Stage 6: We lost the Big Game, AGAIN : (
Record: 8 - 4 (4 - 4)
Poll Projections: Everyone saw it coming. We competed really well, but there's no such thing as a moral victory or a good loss. Except, in the eyes of the coaches' poll. We stand pat at #20 and finish the season there. Not bad, all things considering.
Fans' Expectations: Even though you hate to admit it, OSU is just a better team than us right now. But, our time is coming. All the naysayers have switched their focus from RR being a terrible coach and possibly getting fired at season's end to when will he ever beat OSU? They question if he can ever win a big game and they bring up examples of the WVU-Pitt debacle from a couple years ago. But most fans stand up for their program. We can see improvements from the beginning of the season to now in terms of the offense, defense, ST, and coaching. And when compared to last year, the comparison is like night and day, a dramatic improvement.
An invitation to the Outback or Capital One bowl is accepted (depending on how good Illinois and Iowa are) and the fans are "partying like its 1999" cause we need a good Florida vacation. All in all, a very entertaining season and hopefully, one that will foretell good things to come in the near future.
Thanks for reading along....only 27 days, 21 hours, 32 minutes, and 55 seconds until we play some M football.
I've been called worse. I do usually tread on the optimistic, glass half full, side of things, so i guess you've got a point.
Overoptimistic makes it sound a little harsher than I meant it to. Just plain optimistic would have been better. I think 8-4 is definitely possible if we really capitalize on opportunities. Almost always better to be optimistic than pessimistic.
I don't know, I was optimistic last year and that turned out to be a bad thing. However, I'm optimistic this year and I think it'll be rewarded. There's just too much evidence that RR knows what he is doing.
Possible if Brandon Minor stays healthy and has the kind of year he is capable of having. I know QB is important- but when Minor is raging. Think back to the first half of the Penn St. game last year.....
until we don't need prediction threads for the 2009 season anymore.
My prediction: 12-1, losing to Delaware State, beating Oregon State in the Rose Bowl.
This is the best of the unnecessary prediction threads. It's like, "well, yeah, it's a turd sandwich, but these turds are full of Kopi Luwak. Small victories.
I think 11-2 is more likely. Losses to Delaware State and Eastern. You know Ron English will have his team fired up for what is a de facto home game for them. Also, I foresee them taking on Washington State in the Bowl of Roses. Just a hunch.
8-4 (4-4) I was thinking more along the lines of 6-6 (2-6), but yours is just flat out better. I don't think we win in Madison and I think Sparty might pull that one off. Hopefully Im am completely wrong. Good thread!
These two games are the ones that will possibly make our season go from a we're showing improvement (6-6) to a we're definitely on the right track (8-4), assuming we beat ND, of course.
I am fairly confident in the MSU victory, but @ WIS does worry me. I am just glad we have that game towards the end of the schedule, when hopefully the offense has fixed the early season kinks.
But as of now, these 3 games (ND, @ MSU, @ WIS) could all be seen as toss-ups. I just like our chances due to what I am expecting from RR's offense this year. Also, it doesn't hurt that all 3 of these teams usually play it pretty conservatively on offense, so we should be able to outscore them.
am I the only one who thinks we are going to upset Penn State at home this year? I personally think its a trap game
Excellent and well thought out post. I like the fan's response to the win/losses. I think it all hinges on the ND game. If we loose that one, it could potentially be a really long season for this young team.
Joined yesterday, first post, first grammatical error. FYI, it's lose, not loose. I'll let you off the hook this time with a warning, but next time it's a neg!
Sir or madame, although this was my first post, I have been a MGoblog reader for ~2 years. I am very sorry for my grammatical error. I thank you for not deducting a point. I will now punish myself by not posting anything for several days . Your humbled newbie, RW.
I think I know you IRL too...
Fun post,I think if this team gets some early success they will be hard to beat late in the season.
I like the optimism. I think those first two games define the season - go 2-0, and anything is possible. Go 1-1, especially if it is a loss to ND, could rattle this team's confidence a bit and magnify the media scrutiny on RR. Go 0-2, and this team's best chance is probably 5-7/6-6. I honestly think this team will go 1-1, then tear off a 3-game win streak before heading to Iowa, where a win could snowball into great things.
(EMU, Indiana, Delaware St, Purdue), and then we see how many of the remaining six games we can pick off. 2-4 in those is fairly reasonable.
As to whether RR can win the big game, have you forgotten his victory over Georgia in a BCS bowl and his team's demolishing of Oklahoma in a BCS bowl? (RR built that team just like Saban built Bobby Williams 1999 (1/1/00) Citrus Bowl winner.
....may have a "better team" right now, but it's a long way to November, and the "better team" doesn't always win. How the coach utilizes the players counts for a lot. Right now, if RR faces Tressel, I think RR is so superior to him that he is worth at least ten extra points against OSU.
And those ten should be enough this year.
I dislike Tressel, but I do respect the job he's done at OSU. I just don't see how you can argue that RR is a better coach than Tressel at this point. But I'll give you that one. But even if you do believe RR is the better coach, there is NO WAY you can argue that he is 10 WHOLE POINTS BETTER than Tressel.
UM might beat OSU this year, but they do not have a +10 going into that game because of RR's coaching advantage over Tressel.
For level headedness. RR and Vest have seemingly opposite styles of coaching, both being in the top tier of their respective groups. Once we establish our guys better there should be some epic games from a coaching stand point. Can't wait.
The guy has only won a NC, dominated us for 5 years running, out-recruited us ranking and NFL-wise, he's been to BCS Bowls 6 times to our 3, and has the best winning % in OSU history. Seems pretty good to me. Yet people say "RR is clearly superior to Tressel" Based on what?
It's we who have to prove ourselves now, not them.
Tressel was a broken play that led to a late score by Texas from pulling off a pretty good win in yet ANOTHER BCS appearance for the Buckeyes. While he may not have the magic touch in BCS games, he sure has UM's number and they are the dominant team in the Big 10 right now and have been for most of this decade.
Let's play this game: If UM was standing in OSU's shoes, and they had just hired Rodriguez and gone 3-9--what would you be saying?
You really think we're gonna score 33 points per game?
Notre Dame: L Charlie pulls one out and keeps his job by the skin of his teeth by beating us
Del St: W
Penn St: L
OSU: W! I'm calling it. By 7 points.
if everyone stays healthy, maybe we can beat ND, but i'm just not seeing it. also the msu game is going to be tough, but i say W.
But I don't see the GERG'S spinning deathbacker defense of death allowing us to get blown out by Illinois and Iowa by 3+ scores. I think we'll go back to the way it's been 99.5% of the time in having every game be competitive (or an M blowout).
I have no idea what's going to happen. But as a fan, I personally am not going to read too much into the week-to-week gyrations of the polls...
"Better than last year" is all I'm expecting.
IMO, an Iowa loss would be a low-scoring game along the lines of 21-17 because I think UM will be more ball control this year, and the Hawkeyes (at least those Hawkeye teams without Brad Banks) use the same approach. An Iowa loss like the OP predicts would be one of those "nothing worked and everything fell apart" games that I think UM is going to be beyond this year.
Same for Illinois. UM holds the ball more, defense is not out there chasing heir tails all afternoon, turnovers hopefully become a lot rarer this season, and no more blowouts at the hand of the Zooker. Another closer loss by a score of about 24-20; how is their defense this year?
Call ME overly optimistic, but I have to believe that a freshman named Tate Forcier is going to mean a hell of a lot to this team and will be much better than anything UM had out there last year.
I'm with Nick, though. 33 PPG? No way. If UM is to have a successful season, it will be with a controlled running/passing attack that works just as much to eat clock as it does to score. Blazing Megafuck Offense is still down the road;this year's strengths appear to this reporter to lie in keeping the clock running and keeping the defense off the field so much.
Don't forget Iowa will be the 1st Night game and 1st true Road game outside of the State in a drunken, hostile stadium for these guys. I don't think anything will work on offense, thus the blowout prediction.
As for Illinois, this team really scares me. I think people are underestimating the effect of a Senior QB in a spread offense such as theirs, especially with all the other weapons around the Juice. (This may be a future Diary topic) These guys are going to be dangerous, and will probably finish 3rd in B11.
I actually can see UM averaging about 30 PPG this year. Correct me if i'm wrong, but nothing in RR's track record ever screamed ball control, run the clock down, try to keep the defense off the field. Although it is a run-oriented offense, the plays occur in big chunks at rapid succession, and each play is a threat to score quick and fast.
I think Blazing Megafuck offense is like he had @ WVU, where they avg. close to 40 PPG. (maybe 2011 when Tate is junior and DG is RS freshman?)
I say 5-7 or 6-6. The schedule is unfriendly, defense will suuuuuck, and TateNard will struggle at times, but the running game and some big plays by the QBs and slots will keep them competitive.
When we go into East Lansing this year and take it to baby bro Dantonio might go ape shit. Who knows what he is capable of when it comes to losing to Michigan. Maybe something along these lines.
If you're giving WMU +25, I'll take a bunch of that action. Especially in the first game of the year with a freshman QB against a senior QB.
RichRod is an excellent coach. His teams do better the more time they have to prepare.
Don't forget that last year we had Utah within our grasp. Not to mention that many of his greatest moments at West Virginia happened in a bowl game.
I think this sums up the typical fan quite well.
I can't tell you how tired I am of having to explain my prediction for the season to friends/family/business acquaintances, etc.
SOOO many people as me:
Is Rich Rod in trouble?
Do you really think he's a good coach?
Are you sure, because last season was really lousy?
How is this new QB going to work out?
Will they be better?
Ugh. The most interesting part of the post is the 5-0 start with the National Championship talk. That is *EXACTLY* what would happen. You'd have story after story about what a genius RichRod is, etc., etc. We would be spoon-fed a diet of new ways for ESPN to report how RichRod teams improve from year one to year two. Every naysayer who complained about RichRod not adapting to the personnel last year will be talking about how brilliant he is for sticking to his system. Then it would all fall apart.
I'll continue to enjoy watching Michigan football and look to make my own judgments about the team's progress. This will, of course, matter to nobody else. But I'll still do it... :)
According to the Mayan calendar, Michigan will go 12-0 in 2012.
Wait, doesn't the Mayan calendar also say the world is supposed to end in December of 2012?! Crap, the world will end before we win our national title... this sucks! Let's hope only your discovered prophecy is true! Go BLUE!
It is obvious that we are the equal of OSU in 2001.
We have no business beating OSU this year, but we will. The key is lack of expectation. To make sure we win, be aware of two points: 1) only I can make this prediction. If others get on board, OSU will slap us down because it will be all over the internet that we expect to win. We cannot win that way. 2) Others must mock and ridicule me at all times when I continue to make this prediction throughout the fall. Especially when we get clobbered by Iowa and Illinois, I will predict victory over OSU. It is your job, Wolverine Nation, to call me names at that time. This means you Magnus.
Western: Not guaranteed win, but we can't lose to a MAC school two years in a row, can we? Nah. Win, 1-0.
ND: I see ND as improved, but we can't fumble five bazillion times in one game again, can we? I see the ND game as a toss-up, either team could win, but I think we'll be able to pull it out. Win. 2-0.
Eastern: OMG RON ENGLISH? No. Eastern will prove feisty with an expected aggressive defense, but it's Eastern. Win, 3-0.
Indiana: Uh... Indiana's not good. At all. Win, 4-0.
MSU: A toss-up. Michigan will pull it out, I hope. Even though it's at God Awful East Lansing. Calling it here, a win. 5-0.
Iowa: Who? Oh yeah, Iowa. Have we ever played them? Seems like the 1980's since we have. Stupid Big Ten/Eleven with its crazy scheduling. Anyway, This is another pick-em, and since I've said we'll win the first two toss-ups, I should chose us to lose one. OK, first loss to I-oh-way. 5-1.
Delaware State? OMG JUST LIKE APP STATE?!?!??! No, not this time. 6-1.
Penn State: yeah... uh... not gonna win. 6-2.
Illinois: Juice Williams shows Tate Forcier how to run the spread. Lose, 6-3.
Purdue: They suck. However, just like last season Purdue puts a totally untested QB against us in hopes of racking up another 48 points. This time, it doesn't work. Win, 7-3.
Wisconsin: Toss up. Since I've predicted 2-1 so far in the toss up games, time for another loss. 7-4.
The Bucknuts: Face it, they're better than us. But if you want to live in the magic happy land were it's OMG BRANDON MINOR DOES BIAKABUTUKA IMPRESSION! UPSET W/300+ YDS RUSHING BABY! BELIEVE IT! At the moment I choose to live in magic happy land, 8-4 with the shocker upset of OSU! 8-4!!!!! woo!
We will then go to a crappy bowl and lose. So... 8-5.
I'm not getting a lot of meat from the posts. Everyone thinks that Michigan will beat Western (so do I) but nobody explains why? Michigan has went 1-1 against the MAC last year and WMU is significantly better than either team from 2008. Hiller is an experienced, senior QB. Forcier is a true freshman in his first game. Hell, Sheridan might even start. This is close win at best. Another MAC loss at worst.
Then there's Notre Dame. Yes, Michigan gave up a ton of field position in last year's game due to fumbles inside the redzone. That can't happen again, right? But as much fun as it was watching Clausen get pounded in '07, he definitely scares me in '09. Whose gonna stop Golden Tate? I think that Michigan's long term future is brighter than ND's....just don't think so this year.
What about MSU? Michigan hasn't lost back-to-back games to Sparty since the 60's. Surely that streak can't end this year, right? This one could be a classic but the advantage still goes to Sparty (more experience, home field.....). It's Sparty's game to lose. Let's hope they do.
I do find some reason for optimism this season. Michigan's offense started to click down the stretch last year (except for the OSU debacle). Michigan lead PSU at the half (before losing by the greatest margin in the series). They put up 42 against Purdue and smoked Minnesota.
Minor, Brown and Shaw are all coming into the season healthy. That's gotta be a Top 3 RB corp in the Big Ten. The offensive line is more experienced in the system and much deeper than last year.
The defense is coming off of the worst season in the history of Michigan football. They gave up more big plays (see Illinois, Penn State, Purdue and OSU games...) than I've ever seen before. Still, I have to believe that there's some talent in this group. Greg Robinson's football tenure at Syracuse was something less than stellar. However, he's had a very solid career and I think that he'll produce some results this year. Nowhere to go but up, right?
I think that Michigan will be favored in five games (WMU, EMU, Indiana, Delaware State and Purdue). It would be great to win all five but I'll guess that Michigan takes four. Most likely loses are WMU and Purdue.
That means they'll probably be 'dogs in seven games. I expect to take at least two of these. ND (because it's home) and MSU (because of the emotion) are the two most likely candidates. I'd like to put Wisky on this list but I think that it'll be pretty tough to win in Camp Randall after what happened last year.
I'm looking at 6-6. 7-5 if they can win all games as favorites.
In the end.....this is just a bunch of BS. Nothing really matters until we see the teams on the field.
With Illinois the question has been asked, who else besides Juice and a ridiculously-wide-open Arrelious Benn is helping them score points this year? Hopefully, unlike last year, we'll have fewer turnovers so we don't help them ourselves.
Night games don't seem to scare me very much anymore in general (see Terrelle Pryor's first night-game start at rabid, hostile, off-the-charts-drunken Wisconsin last year). And Iowa doesn't scare me as much as if they still had Shonn Greene.
(Unless Iowa breaks out the yellow jerseys and rawk music...then we're screwed.)
... I predicted 6-6.
I'm sticking to my guns.
Game 9: at Illinois L 45 - 21
I just don't see this lopsided of a loss in the cards.
Let's review, according to your prediction, UM should be 6-2.
vs. Mizzou (L)
Illinois State (W)
@PU (W with stupid loss potential)
Do you really see a 3-4 Illini squad hanging 45 on anyone, let alone a 6-2 team that is angry after letting PSU slip away? Also, (according to your predictions) Michigan will be hanging a bunch of points on other teams (30+ avg.). Is the Illinois defense good enough to stop them? Last season was an aberration. Juice won't throw it well enough to keep our D off of him, and they don't have a great TB to distract BG from his "Juice-y" snack.
Other than that, Iowa seems a little bit lopsided to me. I'm just not that sure Iowa is that good, and they certainly have some questions to answer (like who will be their starting TB).
MSU is getting respect from the media so I might reconsider that prediction (but you have this as a close game, so I won't quibble too much).
I don't know how I feel about ND. I think that the D should prioritize ripping Jimmah's head off. Do they have a stud TB? DW can lock up GT. I'm not sure what other offensive weapons they have...but I'm not terribly scared of them. Recently, they have had protection problems on their O-line, I attack that on Defense. And I'm not impressed with the ND Defense.
I generally agree that there aren't any games (this season) that I feel that Michigan won't win. Just not happening. OSU is the closest, but I don't buy that they have QB depth below Pryor, and their backup could very well be DEATH. They are young on offense, but should be studly on defense. Strong performances throughout the season can only make me feel better about this game. (Note to OSUfan: Could your team please beat someone from the SEC? Anyone from the SEC? Please? Thanks, All Big 10 fans everywhere.)
What I really like about this post is the reaction section. "Panic in Ann Arbor town! Panic in Ann Arbor town!" Classic Wojo. The OP is definitely spot on with his take there.
p.s. Ohio State has never beaten an SEC team. Don't believe me? Look it up http://www.jhowell.net/cf/Scores/OhioState.htm
Illinois has a reputation of once in awhile beating a team they shouldn't. Michigan has not proven they can stop a mobile quarterback, ever. This can easily be a loss.