I agree, with the exception of Penn State. I'm not expecting a win there, but I'm expecting the odds to be pretty close to 50/50 when we meet them.
well that's just, like, your opinion, man
I agree, with the exception of Penn State. I'm not expecting a win there, but I'm expecting the odds to be pretty close to 50/50 when we meet them.
But I can't consider Marve a stud yet. We'll see when they open at ND. Still, that team is tricky enough nowadays that it's fair as an S. And I agree most wouldn't be "shocked" by the 4 L's, but Iowa could be considered a swing game. Everyone almost beat them last year
I'd +1 again if I could, for coming up for UCONN and ND. I'll be at the first, can't wait
I think Michigan could win any of those games and lose any of them (with Bowling Green being a very likely win and UMass - please, oh gods! - being a very, very likely win).
I don't how much Wisconsin will be favored by, but I do think they could kill us again. I think they're the 2nd best team in the B10 and could win the B10. They might have the best Oline in the country, have one of the best RBs, have great receiving threats, and Tolzein is pretty efficient-I think he had a completion % in the mid 60s last year. Their D will be very solid too. They should be a top 10 team. This is a better Wisconsin team than 09, and significantly better than 08. They were #9 when we beat them in 08, but they lost 3-4 after that game, so they weren't really that good. I was watching the game yesterday on the B10 network and their QB was bad and PJ Hill was averaging less than 4 yards a carry against a pretty good Dline. I think Wisconsin would beat ND by double digits.
ND is a tossup because they have an unproven QB, and unproven O-line, a new new coach, and a new defensive scheme for a recently bad defense, yet they're loaded with talent.
Wiscy was an outstanding team last year and lost almost nobody. We could not stop the run, especially when Clay, the human bowling ball, rattled off 6YPC against us even though we knew it was coming. He gets his blockers back, while we lose our best linebacker and our best lineman.
Check me if I'm wrong, but I believe they lost two starters on the O-Line. Regardless, John Clay is an animal and will run wild all across the Big Ten this year.
He's as good as Ron Dayne.
So does that mean Clay will have a short NFL career and be living with roommates in 10 years because he'll have already blown through his money just like Dayne?
I'd like to take a second to address a common theme I have seen on several UM blogs/websites re: UConn and their running game.
Statement: ZOMG!!!! UConn's running game is AWESOME!!!!! (or some variation thereof; exaggerated for effect)
Facts: UConn was 43rd in total rushing yards last season (2073 yards) among FBS teams and tied for 56th in YPC (a respectable, but not great, 4.3 YPC). Michigan was better than UConn in both categories last year (2234 yards, 4.5 YPC) and we had a true freshman at QB who wasn't particularly good at running the read option (Forcier dragged the team average down by about .5 YPC), we lost our starting center 4 games into the season and our two main RB's were made of papier mache'.
Conclusion: Don't be TOO worried about UConn's running game. I'm more concerned that our secondary will make their mediocre starting QB look like a Heisman hopeful. Of course, if our run defense is as god-awful as it was last year, I guess they could put up 300 yards on the ground...
What makes me have more respect for UConn than their stats indicate, though, is that every team they played knew that they were going to try to run the ball, and UConn did it anyway.
Plus their O-Line is huge and experienced (Read this in a diary recently.... think it was by jamiemac but not 100% sure.) Plus, given our defense, which is, well, our defense, there's cause for concern.
UConn really makes me nervous. Also, I think how the UConn game turns out will go a long way in setting the tone for the season.... which amplifies said nervousness.
The UConn game, IMO, is huge. It has major implications for the rest of the season, and thus the future of the program.
A win, and the picture of the team is that we came out of the gate strong, beat a solid team, in a game that wasn't a sure thing for us to win, and we're probably looking a lot stronger in the recruitment of D. Hart, who's visiting that weekend, and if that happens, it will likely amp the interest of other recruits.
A loss.... That means a weak start and suddenly an already hostile media starts talk of, "We're MICHIGAN!! Since when do we lose to *UCONN*, in our *home* opener!? Rabble rabble rabble!!" The pressure on RR is ratcheted up even higher than what it already is, it could hurt us in D. Hart's recruitment and the recruitment of others, etc.
In other words, this game has potential for a huge domino effect on the rest of the season and the future of the program. The fact that a game with such repercussions is a toss up makes mre really nervous.
I might get negged for this... but frankly I think UConn, for those reasons, is the most important game for us to win this season.
You make a fair case for this. My brother is a passable sports fan, but his thing is baseball. And he thinks of UConn football in the same terms as Bowling Green. He doesn't know, and a loss brings an avalanche of ignorant lamentations.
Yes it was jamiemac http://mgoblog.com/diaries/big-10-out-conference-games-uconn-michigan
Including MSU as well. A win over those clowns will feel great next year.
Their QB was awful, so opponents could stack 8 in the box on a lot of plays. UConn's average Olinemen is like 315 lbs I think and their RB ran for around 1200 yards last year. They will have a good run game.
away game is going to be a battle. Under RR, Michigan's won exactly one road game and this team is still so young. We travel to frickin' state of Indiana 3 times. Ugghh. I expect 2 wins of those 3 but will be holding my breath at Indiana and Purdue. These are the types of games where RR's teams have not played well (as opposed to playing pretty well against better teams ala Iowa last year and OSU last year.)
Dame? I have no feel for this one at all. Strange things always happen in this series I wouldn't be surprised by anything--blow out win, blow out loss, something in between.
PSU and OSU: like you, I'm not expecting to win those. A split here would be awesome.
I'm confident with Iowa and Wisco at home. I like our chances in both of these. I will be disappointed if we don't at least split. I think with the big B10 home games wtih MSU, Iowa, and Wisky, we win 2.
I think we beat Uconn, plus the two other non-con games for a 7-5 regular season, with 8-4 on the outside with an W in Columbus or State College.
Having a competent coach changes everything and BK has shown he knows how to work with the talent around him.
Because I have us going 9-3 or 10-2, with losses to Wisconsin and *gulp* OSU. The nine comes from the fact that we will lose a close one somewhere along the line, which right now I'm giving to Iowa. I just see our offense becoming lethal as either Denard or Tate takes over behind an experienced deep line with experienced recievers, and a stable of running back. And our offense coming together as a unit with strong line play with depth, improved linebacking, and a defensive back unit that can do enough to limit big plays.
Maybe its my eternal optimism every year, but this spring I saw a unit that weemed to be relaxed and comfortable with each other and themselves. Yes there was mistakes, but I think as a whole, they are a much stronger team all working together. I really don't fear anyone on the schedule, even the teams I think we have a good chance of losing to now. Wisconsin is a power run team, but we have some size up front, and anything can happen in "The Game".
A tale of 4,4,4 is an nice way to frame the upcoming season, and I think your analysis is right on. . . for now.
All predictions, save those regarding the first 4 to 5 games, will, in all likelihood, change. After those first 4 games, what you now call an S, W, or L, will very likely have to be continually updated. Thus, while you can make statements like "Circle those 4 games fellas, short of an unexpected victory over Ohio State, those 4 games will define our season", chances are this will all change. As we have seen time and time again.
Totally agree. Things could definitely change. Hopefully our D will be BEASTS!!! and Tate and Denard will show huge leaps forward and hold onto the ball more. And finally, I hope the rest of the Big 10 stagnates or gets worse! I just love UM football so much that making predictions in July is still fun.
making predictions in July is still fun.
This is correct, and I have liked your approach better than most.
I know predictions are pretty worthless, but if I had to make one prediction for this season it would be this.
Of the projected top 3 Big Ten teams, Iowa, Wisc, and that shitty school down south, Michigan will win at least one game against them.
I would love for it to be OSU, and remember we played them very tough last year, however that to me feels like the longest shot. Iowa and Wisc at home though? Whatever the case one of the teams in the hunt for Pasadena will have their weekend ruined by Big Blue.
will be turnover margin. If it is a healthy positive number (+2 or +3) in any of those big games (Iowa, Wisconsin and OSU) then I think we win at least one of those games. Otherwise, I don't expect to beat those teams. We cannot continue to shoot ourselves in the foot and expect to win.
We will not lose to Iowa this year.
Of course I thought that the previous 2 years, but they lost all 4 starters in the secondary and a few guys from the o-line. I think we will be able to handle them this year.
Over the past couple days it seems like there have been a lot of people saying 8-4 is a sure thing, and that teams like Illinois and Purdue are certain victories.....
It pretty much sounds like echoes of what everyone was saying last year. Did we learn nothing from that experience?
I'm not trying to sound like a doomsayer, but, people that think massive success is a sure thing are seriously deluded.
Yes, our very good offense will be even better. But there are still lots of questions on defense. And our schedule this year is just as tough, arguably tougher, than last year.
I would be thrilled with 7-5 this year.
And, I think there's a *chance* (keyword "chance") we could start the season 7-0. (Knock on wood)
But I could also see us going 4-3 in those games...... then suddenly the last 5, which are tough to begin with, also become a dogfight for bowl eligibility and for RR to save his job.
Either way it will be an interesting year. And I'm fairly optimistic about how we'll do. But then again i was also optimistic last year too.
Go knock on a forest, not just wood.
7-5 would mean we barely did better than expected. Meaning, we won the 4 we were supposed to win, lost the 4 we were supposed to lose, and won just one extra swing game rather than go .500.
7-5 to me would be acceptable in that it assures RR's return, and would set the stage for a break out 2011, but "thrilled" and "7-5" are two words that for me will never coexist in a sentence concerning UM football.
It's all about the big picture.
Even though many on this board hold differing opinions of how the season will go, one thing I think most of us will agree on is that the chances of Michigan competing for a MNC, or a Big Ten championship *this year* are very, very slim.
Thus, this year isn't really about this year, it's about next year.
7-5 means a winning record.
7-5 means a bowl game.
7-5 means the closest thing to job security that RR has had in his tenure here.
All of those things mean increased confidence for a team that has been embattled as any over the past 2 years.
And all of the above means our recruiting, and the overall future of Michigan football, looks a lot better, and sets the stage for, as you said, a 'break out" year in 2011.
IMO, all that is a lot to be thrilled about, especially when seen in light of the past 2 years, hence why I'd be thrilled.
FWIW, regarding the OP, I would regard Wisconsin and Iowa as swing games, not Losses.
Reconfiguring things that way comes out to 4 wins, 2 losses, 6 swing games. Say we win half the swing games.... that comes out to 7-5, which is what I can't help but keep coming back to.
I think 7-5 is the expectation. I think we can get it. If we do, I know I'll be thrilled because it's a major improvement and a step in the right direction.
Sorry, but the 8-4 that so many are predicting doesn't qualify as "massive success." "Massive success" would be more like a Rose Bowl or BCS berth, and I haven't seen too many people here predicting either for this year's team. I am one of those who thinks 8-4 is the baseline this year and expects 9 wins including a bowl. However, I realize that I, just like you, or anyone else here, am guessing. However, I will tell you why I think this year is different than the last two:
Same DC two straight years.
No first year QB's.
Two realistic starting QB's.
No more "boys vs men" scenarios because young linemen are a year older, bigger, and stronger.
More experience in the offense.
RR's pattern of improvement at other schools.
And I still think it's possible that the team can surprise us with a "quantum leap year" this season. At any rate, we'll find out soon enough. I can't wait.
Iowa was a very good team last year, and we played them about as dead even as you can on the road. I think that at home, this is a swing game. If Denard plays like he did in the 4th quarter against that defense (minus that pick of course), I can see this being another very close game that could go either way.
Newsflash to any average Michigan fan: 7-5 is the baseline for this year. Anything more than that = GREAT SUCCESS! (/borat voice). Anything less = failed to meet expectations.
I won't quibble with the individual game predictions, (really, who the hell knows?). However, your comment about 7-5 is right on. While I'd love to see a better season than one with 5 or 6 losses, if it means we make a bowl, I'll be happy.
I have a hard time seeing much certainty of better than 6 and 6. That doesn't mean they can't or won't surprise: the talent is there.
But there's still not much experience on this team.
Thankfully, I am convinced that Brandon knows it, knows it may take longer. Unless the team auto-destructs like a mother, I believe that RichRod has another year's grace.
I am praying for old-fashioned M-style butt-whippings game in, game out. But I urge my fellow faithful Mgopeople to be patient. This will be an entertaining team, showing crazy-good flashes, and a serious contender in '11.