Michigan wins the next 2 games. Why? Because they have to.
Synopsis: This is fracking beyond insanity. Bend Don't Break My Ass! It's time for Kamikaze Defense!! I hate the 3 man rush because it is passive and football is not a passive sport. Bend don't break is also passive. I've just watched 2 NFL teams compensate for really bad secondaries by blitzing on just about every down. The DBs only have to cover for a few yards because they know it has to be a quick pass. It also puts lots of people in the box to stop the run. The only other hope is takeaways – lots, and lots, and lots of takeaways (each takeaway = one defensive stop!).
After 8 games, Michigan is currently ranked #19 in scoring offense and #89 in scoring defense. Only 1 FBS-AQ team in the last 5 years has had a defense ranked worse than #80 and a +5 WLM (UCLA in 2005: #5 Offense, #108 Defense, +8 WLM). Only 21% of FBS-AQ teams ranked #80 or worse in defense had winning records.
I use scoring stats because yardage stats are inherently flawed. That said, being #89 in scoring defense is simply horrible and getting worse every week. Since these are cumulative stats, getting worse every week is quite a
fete feat. According to the FEI rankings at Football Outsiders, Michigan's defense continues to plummet and is now ranked #112.
Based on the FEI (Fremeau Efficiency Index), Michigan is predicted to win between 6.7 and 6.8 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 4.1 FBS games to date (we have won 4.0 FBS games to date).
FEI has the game at Illinois 30 - Michigan 28 with a Projected Win Expectation of 53.3% for the Illini. Using the Sagarin Predictor, Illinois is favored by 3.2 points. Vegas has M favored by 3 (really?). Unless M plays their best game of the year AND we get at least +2 TOM, this is going to be deja vu all over again. I have a very bad feeling about this game. Derek Dimke (ILL) is ranked #20 in FGs.
This line chart differentiates between OOC and Big10 points per possession. It shows what has happened since the start of conference play. In the Big 10, M is averaging only 2.7 points per possession (PPP) and 43 YPP. The defense is giving up 3.3 PPP and 43 YPP. With an average of 12 possessions per game for each team, this translates into a 7.2 point disadvantage for Michigan. (In OOC games, this was a 20 point advantage.)
For those who want yardage stats, here they are – split by OOC and Big10 games. The good news is that the yardage defense has been pretty consistent for the last 3 games. The bad news is that the defense is consistently horrible.
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. Penn State 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.
Michigan wins the next 2 games. Why? Because they have to.
That's a much better attitude than your post in the yardage analysis
I fully agree, scoring stats tell the story a whole lot better than yards gained. Points on the board are the only thing that matters. Sloppy play resulting in TO's, offsets yardage output significantly as we saw in the MSU and Iowa games.
So, your analysis suggests that our O is not quote as good as we thought it was and our D is every bit as bad as we thought that was. Oh yeah, forgot about special teams - good thing to forget.
If you are going to negbang me, at least have the balls to say what part of the post you find so egregiously erroneous.
but I think you mean "Since these are cumulative stats, getting worse every week is quite a feat." In the rest of the text, there is no hint of celebration of these statistics.
It has been corrected -- I are an engineer.
I think the offense will have to be in high gear the entire game against IL. When in the redzone they will have to come away with touchdowns. We may as well scrap the bend and don't break defense. It seems only to result in time consuming drives for our opponent, which keeps our offense off the field.
I just hope the pressure to win does not get to the team!
( or lack thereof ) are what make Oregon so deadly. You just spent 6 minutes on a long scoring drive, then Oregon scores on you in 1 minute and you go back out tired and frustrated knowing ifyyou fail they'll just do it again. That's what we would ideally like with Denard and company.
Illinois and Purdue are MUST WIN GAMES... Rich Rod is gonna have to beat Zook and then copy Zook, but just on the defensive side...FIRE EVERYONE on the defensive side!
The 10 year cushion and minimal blitzing makes matters worse imho. Go Blue Keep fighting.
I agree. Any QB who has 4-5 seconds to throw is going to find open receivers even with the best DBs.
I double dog agree. If we can't cover receivers anyways, why not blitz ? Trying to cover, opponents eventually score, but with a blitz they may beat it and score sooner, or, heaven forbid mess up and not make that first down.
OMG, you just identified the problem—GERG has our DBs playing a full decade off the receivers. No wonder they're so open.
please explain to me why Gibby and Gerg are giving teams 10yrd cushion on outside and not playing wrs aggressively? I have patience other wise were not that talent but cmon man be agressive back there!
Vegas has us favorites ? Maybe they haven't watched us play. Maybe they think we're playing Illinois High School...Seriously, hope springs eternal but why do bettors have so much faith in us ?
They " had" to beat Penn State too. Let's say they win because now everybody expects them to lose !
This could provide some extra motivation for the players.
Then get an opening drive stop. That's what Rich likes to do and every time we have done that we have won the game. Umass , State, Iowa and Penn switched us up and the offense took longer to get going.
I'm not saying that will win us the game alone but it seems to make our offense more comfortable.
to spend the next 4 weeks saying, "this defense is really improving. Are we sure we want to fire the staff?"
I know, but it would be nice.
Illinois 52 UM 31
I was thinking that it would not be very hard for Illinois to put up 50 on the Michigan D.
We are favored by 2 (!) but the over under is something like 54. Since our defense is allowing 34 pts/game that means score should be 36-34 if we win o/u is thus 70.
Ill will hang 35 on M by halftime
Michigan 99 Illinois 4