Glass Half Full: Michigan is 7-3! Currently only 42 of the 120 FBS teams have a record of 7-3 or better.Yes, the next two games will be the most difficult of the year but a winning season is guaranteed as is a bowl berth. A lot of folks seem to have written off the rest of the season and are proclaiming an overall 7-5 record. I am officially confused.
Synopsis: For the second week in a row, the defense played better! After 10 games, Michigan is currently ranked #14 in scoring offense and #93 in scoring defense. M allowed just 0.9 points per possession at Purdue which is actually the best we have done all year including OOC games.
I use scoring stats because yardage stats are inherently flawed. According to the FEI (Fremeau Efficiency Index) rankings at Football Outsiders, Michigan is ranked #41 overall (7.5% better than the average FBS team) with a SoS ranking of #85. The offense is ranked #2 and the defense is ranked #100 (D was ranked #109 last week). Field Position Advantage is #75 while Field Goal Efficiency is #118.
M is predicted to win between 7.1 and 7.4 games (excluding bowl game but adjusted with +1 for M's one FCS opponent). Based on the FEI, M would have been expected to win 5.7 FBS games to date (we have won 6.0 FBS games to date).
FEi has the game at Wisc 41 - M 30 with a 72% projected win expectation for W. Using the Sagarin Predictor, Wisconsin is favored by 4.5 points. Vegas opened with W favored by 5.5. (After Wisconsin scored 83 points against Indiana, they are ranked #8 in scoring offense – better than M @ #14. W is ranked #20 in scoring defense but Illinois was ranked #12 in scoring D before they played us. FEI does not include garbage time points and has M @ #2 in Offense and Wsky @ #4 in offense.)
This chart shows the improvement in the defense over the last 2 games. It excludes the OT points (and possessions) against Illinois.
In the Big 10, M is averaging 2.7 points per possession (PPP) and 38 YPP. The defense is giving up 2.8 PPP and 33 YPP. With an average of 12 possessions per game for each team, this translates into a 1.2 point disadvantage for Michigan. (In OOC games, this was a 20 point advantage.)
DETAILS: Here are the FEI numbers ( FEI Forecasts and Football Outsiders FEI ). FEI is a weighted and opponent adjusted season efficiency and is expressed as a percentage as compared with an average FBS team. The average team will have an index of approximately 0.00. Teams below average have negative index values.
Note that FEI completely excludes all non-FBS data (the W-L record is only for FBS games, etc.). Therefore, you need to add 1 to FBS-MW to get the final predicted wins for M this year. Or, if you use FBS-RMW, you need to add 1 to the current W-L record to get the final predicted wins for M this year. BTW, the difference between FBS-MW and FBS-RMW is the number of FBS games each team would have been expected to win to date.
The FEI is a drive based analysis considering each of the nearly 20,000 drives each year in college football. The data is filtered to eliminate garbage time (at the half or end of game) and is adjusted for opponent. A team is rewarded for playing well against good teams (win or lose) and is punished more severely for playing poorly against bad teams than it is rewarded for playing well against bad teams. I've included the GE basic data so you can see the impact of adjusting for opponent. (See: Football Outsiders Our Basic College Stats )
Here are the Sagarin Ratings.
Sagarin uses two basic ratings: PREDICTOR (in which the score MARGIN is the only thing that matters) and ELO-CHESS (in which winning and losing only matters, the score margin is of no consequence). The overall rating is a synthesis of the two diametrical opposites, ELO-CHESS and PREDICTOR.
Per Sagarin: ELO-CHESS is “very politically correct. However, it is less accurate in its predictions for upcoming games than is PREDICTOR”.
Here is the U-M vs. Opponent National Statistical Rankings with the advantage for each category indicated (all categories within 10% are considered a "push").
Here are the week by week National Statistical Rankings for Michigan (cumulative thru the week indicated):
I have included the major rankings for offense and defense but scoring rankings show the best correlation to winning and losing. Scoring rankings are based on PPG. Rushing, Passing, and Total rankings are based on YPG.
Here is the basic data for Michigan (each individual week followed by totals and then average per game). I've included Total Possessions for Offense & Defense along with the calculated data per possession. Number of possessions do not include running out the clock at the half or end of game. Offense Plays and Defense Plays are better indicators than Time of Possession.
Using Scoring Offense and Scoring Defense National Rankings for the past 5 years (FBS AQ teams only), this table shows the percentage of teams that finish the season with a +WLM and a +5 WLM. For example, teams that finished in the Top 40 in both offense and defense had a 100% chance to be +WLM and an 82% chance to be +5 WLM (9-4 or better).
Each year, of the 66 FBS AQ teams, 65% (43 teams) end up with a + WLM and 36% (24 teams) end up with a +5 WLM.