The million dollar question that we all ask as Indiana and the B10 schedule arrives - when can we stop living under the shadow of the 2009 season and the imminent collapse of the football team?
I offer a few numbers and assumptions based on numbers to alleviate some concerns heading into the weekend.
My humble chart:
|First 4 Games||SoS||PPG||YPG||Norm-PPG||Norm-YPG|
SoS is an average of our first four opponents Sagarin rating. PPG/YPG obvious. These two numbers are then "normalized" to uninflate numbers gained by beating up inferior opponents using our toughest opponent as the equalizer - in both cases this happens to be Notre Dame.
While Points-per-game is the bottom line all-important stat, it is less precise due to it's high variance due to turnovers and special teams plays. Yards-per-game does not determine the win, but carries a much more definite undercurrent as to how well a team is "performing" during a game. Thus, both PPG and YPG are used here.
The larger the YPG, the less likely the PPG fluctuation variance is going to flip a win to a loss (and vice-versa).
2010 schedule is (as of this point) considerably more difficult than 2009's slate. Also, Michigan is outperforming it's 2009 marks by very wide margins.
Even without the BGSU yardage, Michigan would still be averaging 510 YPG. There is a marked increase in offensive production this year. Our big plays last year were from high variance situations (Forcier scrambles, Stonum kick return). Our big plays this year are from highly reproducable base offense run plays (Denard ISO, Denard Read-option).
I plan on detailing the rest of the B10 further in a chart about how we can feel about our defense the rest of the way In 2010 - but - Michigan trails only that team down south in Normalized PPG and actually leads the B10 by a considerable margin in Normalized YPG.
Michigan football is about to light up the midwest. This team is no fluke and we are not headed for a 1-7 B10 season. You can take a bowl game to the bank right now. It's just up to the health of Denard and how many mistakes our opponent makes against our suspect D that will determine which one.