Also, that Yahoo link is a NCAA basketball ranking list...
Also, that Yahoo link is a NCAA basketball ranking list...
both on the field and in our hearts
We're not your babby!
Where we finish in the polls means where we finish in the AP and Coaches polls, so let's assume we start at #8. Alabama is the only game where we have really bad odds of winning, IMO. A loss would drop us from #8 to #14. I think we'll beat ND, and get to MSU unscathed. We'd probably be back to #7 by then. A loss to MSU would drop us again to #13. Nebraska couldn't stop us last year, and we return more offense than they return defense, so it won't be close again. Again we go unscathed until OSU. We'd be back up to #9. Lose to OSU, and we're back to #15 going into a bowl game. I think you could play this game with all the 9-3 scenarios, and you'd get a #8-14 range for final ranking going into a bowl.
If we went 10-2, I think you'd have to look at us finishing ranked #6-10, so long as we win the B1G championship game if we're in it.
If we only lose to 'bama, I think you have to see us finishing top 4 (assumes a B1G championship win). With our SOS, I could easily see #2 behind USC.
8 seems super overrated, so I was going to put 14th, but I really don't think there's 13 better teams, so I'll say 10
Unranked... like every other team. Dont rank anyone till week 6.
Best post on the board
I think #8 is just about right, especially when you look at the teams ranked around UM. There are a lot of questions with this team, but there are also several strengths.
- this should be the best OL UM has had in a while (please no injuries)
- this should be the best rushing attack UM has had in a while (possibly ever stats-wise)
- this should be the best secondary UM has had in a while
While there are some holes to fill, especially along the DL, I think the LB's and DB's will be good enough to mask those, for the most part. As long as UM has some sort of downfield passing game, this offense should be even better than the last two years. All in all, I think this is a top 10 team when you look at the starters, but depth is a question. If UM can stay healthy, I see no reason why they can't win 10+ games again this year.
Here's a thought experiment.
Let's say in some year, Mr. AP Voter feels that there are 4 substantially equivalent teams that each warrant consideration as the pre-season #1. How should Mr. AP Voter rank them?
Let's assume that Mr. AP Voter cannot find any meaningful differences in the talent levels of the respective teams, and all have fine coaching. But if he looks at the schedules, here's what he sees:
1) Team A plays 10 very difficult games, 7 of which are on the road
2) Team B Plays 10 very difficult games, 3 of which are on the road
3) Team C plays 5 very difficult games, 3 of which are on the road
4) Team D plays 3 very difficult games, 1 of which is on the road.
By the "let's take schedule into account" logic above, Mr. AP Voter should rank the teams as follows:
1. Team D, 2. Team C, 3. Team B. 4. Team A.
Doesn't it seem to make more sense to rank them in reverse order, with the team playing the most difficult schedule being #1? If they lose, fine--drop them. But if should they go undefeated against the toughest schedule, they deserve to finish #1.
So who are we mere mortals to doubt him after last year's prediction?
Top 10 at end of season for sure......
If we don't win 10 games this year I'll be seriously bummed.
Pre-season rankings should have absolutely nothing to do with where you expect a team to finish, or how tough their schedule is. It always ticks me of when people seem to think it should. Pre-season rankings should be based solely on the projected quality of the team. With that said, I would put us right around #10.
12-16 range. It's tough to do. 3 losses are very possible.
From my perspective, there shouldn't be rankings until October 1, and along with that I would eliminate the Coaches' poll.
My guess, like many on here, is 9-3 assuming we stay healthy in a few key positions. However, if we beat Bama, then all bets are off. Kids are coming back to schemes on O and D they have seen before, and we have some very young talent that could play prominently as the season goes along.
Once you get by Bama, every game seems winnable.
Agreeing with most posters on pre-season rankings should be how good a team appears to be independent of schedule, etc...
So with that in mind, here's my 10 plus Michigan...
I can definitely support this, except with FSU out of the top ten because they're FSU.
I'm curious why you feel MSU should be ahead of us. We were pretty comparable last year, but their losses are bigger than ours.
Let's say Martin and Hemingway is a wash with Worthy and Cunningham. In addition to those, we lose RVB and Molk, they lose Foreman, Baker, Martin, Cousins, and their TE whose name escapes me. They also lose their starting S, Trenton Robinson or something like that.
Point is, I think all signs point to Michigan being the better team this year. MSU is breaking in a lot of guys who are getting real PT for the first time, Michigan isn't.
Plus we have Pipkins.
They aren't fair. They are based on a lot of dumb crap. Over the course of a season, they very much are based on schedule, as which of these two teams do you think will do better in week 2:
1. Team ranked #13 in week 1 that loses to #3 Alabama by 2pts
2. Team ranked #13 in week 1 that beats unranked EMU by 30pts
The first team might not lose too much ground, but won't gain ground even if the loss was a better-than-expected performance. The second team won't lose ground and may gain ground dedending on what people do ahead of them. This is an unfortunate reality.
However, I'd argue preseason rankings are generally base on something even less compelling: the final rankings from the year before, and how they matched up with preseason expectations.
During the Carr years, every time Michigan was vastly overrated (e.g. 1998, 2005, 2007), it was because we'd been surprisingly good the year before. Every time Michigan was vastly underrated (e.g. 1997, 2006), it was because we were surprisingly bad the year before.
Doesn't always work out that way, but it often does. When I see Michigan ranked #8, I don't think it's really because we have objectively demonstrated ourselves to be the 8th best team in the country, but because we are considered a "team on the move" based on us being youngish and having beaten expectations by a wide margin the year before. We may be the 8th best team in the country, but I'm not sure what the objective criteria for that would be. I think judging us to be the #13 team in the country based on both talent and sober expectations given a rough schedule does seem more compelling to me.
Conversely, ranking us #18 seems, to me, to reflect concerns about our ability to weather the schedule--and this is pretty clearly outlined in that preview, but likely goes too far in that direction (IMO).
Being a sythentic thinker, I like the middle road that doesn't slide too far in either direction.
Given the questions we have regarding our d-line, the fact that even though we won the sugar bowl, we did not exactly win it in a convincing manner, UTL as great as it was - it was a bit of a miracle comeback, looked bad on the road last year (msu & Iowa) - not sure we proved last year that we are a top ten team yet.
I do believe we have a shot in Dallas, win that one or have it be an epic game, then I am on board with top ten
Everyone has questions somewhere. And we're replacing starters on our DL with guys who played a lot last year, so it's not like we're breaking in young guys (we will do that, but they'll be back ups). We honestly have fewer questions than almost every team.
Sure, we needed a comeback to beat ND, but MSU got smoked by them. Sure, we barely won the Sugar Bowl, but it's the Sugar Bowl and we still won. Not every win is going to be by two touchdowns. Look at MSU and Nebraska - on their bad days, they got steamrolled. On our bad days we either barely won or barely lost, against good teams.
How we fare against the #2 team in the country does not determine whether or not we're a top-10 team, it determines whether or not we're a top-3ish team. How we fare against the rest of our schedule will determine if we're a top-10 team or not, and every other game looks pretty winnable to me.
See your points - maybe I still have a bit of lingering shell shock from the RR years. May have not been as clear as I wanted to be, agree you don't have to beat the #2 team, but you should be able to play with them.
Yeah, I agree that if we get blown off the field we probably aren't a top-10 team, but most years the #10 team and the #2 or #3 team wouldn't play all that close. I'm much more interested in how we do against ND on the road.
Number one duh this is Michigan fergodsakes
higher than MSU. The green and white beatdown's a comin'.
I think the #8 ranking to start the season is pretty spot on. The only two games I think we have a good shot at losing are Alabama and Notre Dame. Beyond that, I am predicting a sweep of the B1G schedule. So 10-2 worst case and 12-0 best case (obvs). Would I be surprised if we're talking national championships in November? No.
#1 bitches. If you ain't first you're last
Please don't call me bitch.
...#15. Respectable, and yet takes the pressure off. We have a few "unknowns" that have to be examined. We could quickly move up from #15 with some signature wins.
I think they finished at 11 last year..second year in the system and a lot of returning starters.. I think 8 to 10 is about right.
#1 and we should stay that way all year after we kick everyone's asses. I am always very pessimistic, but I have a strange feeling we have the man coaching us. This is Michigan fergodsakes!
Nuff said. But who cares perform on the field and give me roses and I'll be pleased
I don't mind preseason rankings. My only beef with it is people go ape shit about how we're ranked too high every time we're in the top 10.
The funny thing is every other fanbase in complaining that they aren't ranked high enough - Michigan fans are the only ones saying their team is ranked too high.
It really annoys me that everyone thinks it is so impossible that we could be a top 10 team. Yes there are 3-4 teams that you could say should clearly be better...but after that every team has holes like we do. The RR years have defninatly scarred some people. Plenty of meh teams start and finish in the bttom of the top 10..someone has to be there.
I think some people might still be scared like last year was a fluke or something. This coaching staff is for real. Think about how much better this team got from WMU and ND the 1st 2 games to the last 2 Nebraska and OSU. They had some bumps on Offense while Borges was learning to use Denard and Denard learned to run this Offense. If you have doubts rewatch all of the 2010 games ...then watch the 2011 games..my jaw was dropping at how guys developed. (this is why dvr's are amazing) I used to think recruits were more important than coaching..Hoke convinced me of the opposite.
I am happy as long as we are ranked higher than the Irish, Sparty, and Ohio. In all seriousness though, with a Senior Heisman trophy candidate coming back at QB, Seniors coming back or stepping in at key spots on defense, continuity with the offensive and defensive systems, and a track record of coaches in their second year at a school, no doubt we should be a top ten team to start the year.
but the local cbus sports talk radio guys got some lolz from the "about.com" preseason top 25 list by a guy which put Michigan at #4, right ahead of (ahem) Boise State.
Just wow. Oregon is four spots in front of USC at number two (and will be a better spread team with massive lineman!?!?)? Boise State is the nations sixth best team? Urban Meyer = Fielding Yost, so Michigan is the fourth best team in the country? Saban is guaranteed a top five team? I guess 2010 just never happened.
Not even taking a look as his rankings, this guy shouldn't be getting paid to write his blurbs of "analysis". It's pretty clear he's very uninformed; I could pick three MGoNames out of a hat and at least two of them would provide better analysis than he did.
Pre-season rankings are at best useless, and at worst counter-productive. Since very little data is available, what tends to happen is that the well known teams get a bump: everyone assumes that Michigan ought to be good, because they're an elite program and were good last year. That is why Michigan historically under-performs its pre-season ranking. (Last year was an exception to that rule.)
Pre-season rankings by fans of a particular team are even worse. We have much better knowledge of Michigan than of almost any other team. And because we're fans, we tend to be a bit more bullish than we ought to be about the team's open questions. We tend to think/hope that those questions will be answered in the team's favor.
Michigan has more open questions than you'd expect of a top-10 team. They replace 3/4ths of the defensive line, 2/5ths of the offensive line (including the Rimington Award winner), a pretty good starting tight end, their most productive wide receiver, and possibly their best running back (depending on how the Fitz drama pans out). The offensive and defensive lines ought to scare any reasonable observer, since football is won in the trenches.
Even before the schedule is taken into account, it would be rather strange to rate a team in the top 10 that had so many questions at key positions.
I think it's idiotic to pretend the schedule doesn't matter. Teams are measured on the football field against real opponents, not on paper nor in some imaginary bubble where you ignore whom they have to play against, or where. No one disputes that the rankings during the season are based on the games you played, not the games you woulda/coulda/shoulda played. So if you're going to project the season, you need to consider those very same games.
I personally like Presnap Read's ranking on UM. They do a great job of explaining our strengths and weaknesses. To paraphrase it basically says that our coaching staff is elite and they don't expect a huge drop off, while having questions at WR and DL we are set for the most part at RB, QB, LB, and DB. 18 is somewhere I could see us finishing below closer to the top 10, but them ranking UM 18 is justified until UM can answer some of those questions.