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- @Utah: 42.9%
- Oregon State: 91.2% [preview]
- UNLV: 98.4%
- BYU: 54.8% [preview]
- @Maryland: 67.4%
- Northwestern: 78.2% [preview]
- MSU: 39.6%
- @Minn: 63.7% [preview]
- Rutgers: 82.3%
- @Indiana: 68.8%
- @PSU: 47.1%
- OSU: 34.4%
- Turnover Margin - we were so below the average on both offense and defense just returning to average will be a huge change
- A Passer who can Pass with Consistent Accuracy - we will ooh and ahh basic 14 yard out patterns that were adventures the past 7 years
- Special teams - Baxter will make a difference... we will regularly field 11 players on all special teams units. Woo hoo.
|2 days 1 hour ago||I expect much ado about||
I expect much ado about nothing in that handshake. Fans have built up some massive expectation that it is going to be talked about so much the coaches are going to be cognizant not to do anything out of ordinary. When Harbaugh did stuff like that it was organic and spontaneous - not something pre-ordained for 10 months.
I would like to see an extraordinary scowl of disbelief out of Dantonio post game though. He excels at scowling so I hope this will be one of his best.
|2 days 1 hour ago||Iowa could have fired Ferentz||
Iowa could have fired Ferentz and taken a risk and hired Herman who has Iowa State experience if they wanted to roll the dice. The financials would have been near break even.
Not saying Herman is the man but if you want a guy with Iowa State exp who coached in the breadwinner state in the Midwest and rid Iowa of being so damn boring that would have made sense. Of course they could go and be 4-8 Iowa with Herman too.
The Funchess stuff is something we all knew....well most at least...but still sad.
|2 days 3 hours ago||Here were the top 25 per||
#7 was in total yards given up in a shitty conf for offenses. At 1 point deep into last year the Big 10 had 4 of the top 7 defenses and 8 of the top 25 based on total yards. Do you think the Big 10 is just that elite on defense as a conf? Or maybe having only 3 offenses that ranked top 50 nationally helped all the defenses - and many teams in the west never played 2 of those offenses (OSU/MSU). Total yards is misleading IMO. ACC defenses had similar help from a bunch of crap offenses.
Some reading on the subject: http://mgoblog.com/diaries/are-big-10-defensive-stats-inflated-bad-offen...
Here were the top 25 defenses in 14 per football outsiders FEI. I dont see many teams outside Utah State I can say UM was clearly better. UM had a decent defense that faced some of the worse passing QBs in the country in the conf -- guys like Leidner, Siemian, CJ Brown, and a true freshman in his 2nd game from Indiana. It also faced a broken down Hack who was sacked 44x last year - and that excludes the 100s of pressures that dude faced. The 10th 11th best Pac 12 QB in 2014 would have been the 3rd best in the Big 10 (if you combine all the OSU QBs as 1 player)
It made Nova look like a 3rd round NFL pick, made Gholson look like a 1st rounder, and Cook only had to throw 4x in the 2nd half as MSU was so in control of the game. It was a decent defense but nothing special and lost arguably 2 of the top 3 players off it in ryan and clark.
Neb, Wis, MSU and OSU were better in the conf.
UM was in Minn/Northwestern range in just about all advanced stats on defense.
Some of the teams below gave up a lot of pts but if UM gave up 31 to ND and 30+ to Minn you can imagine what facing Oregon, Arizona State, UCLA, Baylor, TCU would do to our stats. They played exactly 2 good offenses all year in MSU and OSU.
And I dont want to hear about how the offense destroyed the defense at UM. UM had >30 minutes a game of possession and played like molasses on offense giving defense plenty of time. PSU Florida and Texas had just as shitty offenses as UM did last year and all had top 20ish defenses. UM was nearer to 40.
|2 days 3 hours ago||If I remember how this lame||
If I remember how this lame thing works it gives teams major credit for high level recruiting classes so teams like TN, UM, TX will show way above what they may actually do on the field.
Also 25th is not "outrageous" even excluding the dumb over reliance on recruiting ranks. A typical 8-4 team which about 50%+ of this blog expects (most as a floor) is going to be ranked 20 to 30.
By the way in the updated ESPN "rankings" the projected win total is 7.7 i.e. just about where every national pundit has UM and about right with a 28-35 rank (the updated rank is 33)
The 27th ranked offense on the other hand smells of catering to blog readers. If this team can pull off a top 30 offense it is going to win 10 games.
|2 days 19 hours ago||Sounds a bit like a guy||
Sounds a bit like a guy around these parts mid 00's who took over the job in his freshman year and never gave it up...
|2 days 22 hours ago||A solid QB with a normalized||
A solid QB with a normalized TO ratio would have put the Rutgers and Maryland games from L to W IMO.
MSU and ND were not competitive.
A solid QB helping a 4 quarter healthy Drake Johnson in a rivalry game could have led to something vs OSU. Hoke sucked at a lot of things but getting UM up to play OSU was not one of them. Remember Indiana with a freshman QB played OSU tough for 3 quarters a few weeks before the UM game. They were not a juggernaut every wek. OSU also almost lost to PSU.
Obviously the Minn game was a giant clusterfuck but Rudock starting that game and Morris never leaving the bench and that probably is a very competitive game that might have been a coin flip at the end. Same for Utah if it was Rudock and not Gardner.
So your 5-7 goes to 7-5 (Rutgers, Maryland) and with a turnover or two the trajectory of the Utah game could have changed. Erasing Shane Morris from that Minn game - who knows what happens. So we can argue win 8 or 9 but flipping to 7 wins would be extremely probable.
That said we had some close wins just the same, PSU and NW so even with a better QB who knows if you play those games 10 times if we win them more than 6 times. They were complete toss ups.
|2 days 22 hours ago||Per science here are the win||
Per science here are the win probabilities. These take into account when the game is played and where but don't account for any injuries. Don't doubt science.
As I do more previews my opinions... err science may change.
The 3 biggest year over year changes aside from "HARBAUGH!" and attitude will be:
|2 days 23 hours ago||We've won 9 of the last 10.||
We've won 9 of the last 10. It just doesnt feel that way because so many lately have felt like escapes! (2 OT games to boot)
|2 days 23 hours ago||Ok thanks. I am not going to||
Ok thanks. I am not going to edit the piece for one word because then I need to reload all the photos again.
So everyone just imagine Minnesota = Northwestern in that 1 sentence.
|3 days 4 hours ago||They had the 93rd ranked||
They had the 93rd ranked offense last year via FEI.
Translated - UM's was 11 spots better.
They always have a good defense under Foster and good special teams and often in non Vick years offense is the issue. You need to score a lot to keep up with OSU.
|3 days 4 hours ago||Sample periods dude...sample||
Sample periods dude...sample periods.
|3 days 4 hours ago||This might prevent OSU from||
This might prevent OSU from covering the 42 pt spread. Just devastating news.
|4 days 42 min ago||MAAR is not necessarily that||
MAAR is not necessarily that different of a player in NCAA basketball - in fact I'd argue his game is very similar to most bball players out there - slash to the basket type, whose outside shot needs work. He seems "unusual" because that is not the typical Beilein wing/SG type. We've been used to "not just a shooter" typed ala Nik or Irvin. GR3 - while immensely athletic - was not a guy who'd impose his will to the hole.... MAAR does.
As for minutes - while I like MAAR - I think this is a year he gets lost in minutes since I dont see Caris playing less than 35 mpg unless foul trouble. Where MAAR will get his minutes are games Caris gets 2 early in 1st half which we know meant auto bench. And games Caris might be at 4 fouls at some point in the latter 2nd half. Other than that I just see 2-3 minutes a half in most games as Beilein just rides his top ponies to quite big minutes.
He might also get some quality minutes vs teams that play small (3ish guard lineups) but have an excellent 2 or 3 where he is tasked to be the shutdown defender and Irvin goes to 4 and Caris to the spot MAAR is not.
I think he caught the league by surprise with his ability to get to the hole and upside atheliticism from the 2. Then I think opponents adjusted by not respecting his outside shot and playing him for dribble drive and his effectivness fell off. No shame in that - while he is an "old" freshman, he is still a freshman. As you wrote - he needs to get a better outside shot and if he can do that he can really be a major prospect. But probably a year from now for reasons listed above.
|4 days 3 hours ago||Well that is a timing issue.||
Well that is a timing issue. Some players who others have speculated will be off the team this summer will remain. Which would mean they might actually be here long term, when many assumed they won't be.
That is different than a bunch of 5th yr seniors who will be "trying out" for their spot next winter. Or the normal guys who transfer due to lack of playing time.
|5 days 1 hour ago||Totally unrelated but as I||
Totally unrelated but as I googled the last story above this one came up about the SEC now has a requirement to play one P5 in their non conf every year beginning in 2016. They somehow included Army into that so expect a lot of Army v SEC games in the next 20 years - good to get them now before they are booked up!!
Army football has had just one winning season since 1997, yet starting in 2016 the SEC will recognize a game against Army in the same way it would a game against Ohio State, Texas, USC or Florida State. Starting in 2016 the SEC’s non-conference scheduling requirement will go into action, requiring SEC schools to schedule at least one game each season against another school from a Power 5 conference (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 or even the SEC). Notre Dame was always expected to fulfill that requirement, but on Thursday the SEC decided games against BYU and Army will also count. Notre Dame makes sense given its place among the powers in college football today. BYU even makes a decent case. But Army?
Since 2003, Navy has had just one losing season, but the Midshipmen are shipping out to the American Athletic Conference, abandoning independence starting this fall. Because of that, Navy will not count toward meeting the SEC’s power conference scheduling requirement. Neither does Boise State. Or Colorado State. Or Air Force. But Army does?
|5 days 1 hour ago||WI has lost multiple players||
WI has lost multiple players the last few years due to this and I think are going to be 2nd in the conference in terms of what is required after Northwestern. Also a cited reason for Andersen leaving and an uncited reason Big Bert left before him. I know STAEE picked up a kid who couldnt get into WI 2 years ago (Craig Evans) - who ironically is apparently having academic problems at Staee as well.
|5 days 1 hour ago||Considering Miami OH is||
Considering Miami OH is getting $1.5M in 2020 per their AD to be squashed on the road that's just the cost of business. Inflation baby.
"We go out to 2020, we're getting $1.5 million from somebody," Sayler said. "There's going to be growth built in each year. The numbers keep going up. As you've seen from the public with the revenues coming in from the Big Ten Network and all the seats those schools have, I don't think $1 million is a real staggering number at all when you really put it in context."
This season (2014), Miami (Ohio) will take home $1.1 million to play at Michigan, Florida Atlantic will get $1 million to play at Nebraska and Ball State $900,000 for playing at Iowa. Miami (Ohio) is set to make $1 million in 2015 at Wisconsin, Sayler said, and fellow Mid-American Conference school Ball State will collect a program-record $1.2 million for playing at Texas A&M. Wisconsin also will pay $1.2 million to host Florida Atlantic in 2017.
In total, Big Ten teams will shell out $22,868,246 for those 38 home games in 2014 -- an average of roughly $601,796 per game. The cost for the type of guarantees against Football Bowl Subdivision mid-major teams that don't require a return visit is significantly higher, with Big Ten teams paying an average of $827,838 on 17 games.
The decision to drop FCS teams leaves Big Ten athletic directors with three remaining options when scheduling games: Create a home-and home series against a power-conference team, play a neutral-site game or schedule a mid-major program for a one-time game guarantee.
Money made off ticket sales alone at schools such as Wisconsin and Iowa, however, approaches $3 million, according to Alvarez and Iowa athletic director Gary Barta, and most ADs want to keep games on campus. Schools with larger stadiums generally net between $5 million-$7 million from home games.
|5 days 1 hour ago||Dear Binders full of women||
Dear Binders full of women man,
Didnt't you say that UM only has a losing record all time vs X many teams all time with X being something like 3? If so this is a chance to get rid of one of them....revenge is ours.
|5 days 18 hours ago||No I was not. I think||
No I was not. I think Campbell fell 50+ spots his senior year as his issues became more clear. But I'd take a sure handed receiver who is a 7 on athleticism over a 9 who has a lot of drops. People tend to fall in love with measurables - even NFL people, over guys who can just play.
I say this as a guy dying for UM to have a speed Wr.
|5 days 18 hours ago||Perfect aside for lack of||
Perfect aside for lack of bowling balls and pins.
|5 days 21 hours ago||Agree on this. Utah may beat||
Agree on this. Utah may beat us but they grind it out - they win with defense, running, and special teams. They could strangle us like 23-13 or something.
BYU on the other hand, if Hill has a huge game and Jake does not could be ugly. Esp because they have a legit run defense and UM has not been able to function as a run offense without Drake Johnson in 2+ years (excl App States of the world).... this is the first year in many we have to rely on actual running backs to work and not fall back onto a running QB.
BYU is more explosive and they will get their points either way. Utah is not. These are almost completely opposite teams. That said Utah has prob the 2nd best runner UM will face this year as well so the run defense has to be good right out of the gate as their wont be a "practice game".
|5 days 21 hours ago||"....if you keep Taysom Hill||
"....if you keep Taysom Hill under wraps and control the ball on offense "
Agreed but easier said and done. Top end players tend to lift their team. You basically gave the exact same game plan for 2012 for every team that played UM. "...if you keep Denard robinson under wraps and control the ball on theoffense"
Or you could have said that about Syracuse about 25 years ago "...if you keep Donovan McNabb under wraps..."
Michigan needs to show it can control the ball on offense - BYU has a top 20 rush defense in the nation. So that is also easier said then done. You can exploit BYU almost at will through the air. Thankfully we have a QB who can actually do that now. If rudock was not here this would have major upset potential and even with him here he has to have a big game.
|5 days 21 hours ago||So 12-2 Boise State run by||
So 12-2 Boise State run by one of the best coaches in the country would not beat 2014 Michigan? But beat Zona? Sure.
UCF gave Penn State all they could handle. Michigan and PSU were very similar last year.
Memphis was 10-3 and lost to UCLA 42-35 in Los Angeles.
You are going off names of teams rather than product on the field.
All those opponents would have given 2014 Michigan all it could handle.
|5 days 21 hours ago||Boise State was 12-2 last||
Boise State was 12-2 last year - you realize that right? Boise would have beat UM by 20+ last year as well. They beat Arizona in their bowl 38-30 and last year's Arizona beat Oregon.
I said BYU had a crap pass defense - something Boise happens to do very well (throw the ball). I expect a high scoring game as both offenses exploit the other.
BYU is not a BCS team but its not a pushover which was the point of the original comment ie. "I see the 3 non Utah games as easy wins." I am calling for them to go into Neb and pull off the upset in game 1 this year. And give UM everything it can handle on defense.
|5 days 23 hours ago||You realize it is a 2 way||
You realize it is a 2 way street right?
Corley has been cool to UM for a long time. So you don't have as much of a "decision" as you are making it sound to be. Mitchell is basically OSU v UM battle and OSU has some higher priorities apparently so UM has a good chance. Corley is OSU v MSU v TN with UM basically on the outside looking in.
So part of "prioritizing" is going after who wants you to go after them. Doesnt mean you dont try for both but butting your head against a wall repeatedly surely gets old after a while. For all we know Corley could be #1 on the UM board but his interest has been lukewarm. Or he could be #3 or #5 - we'll never know.
If the scouting analysis above is accurate there is some danger in taking a guy whose hands are not the best but he is the "better" athlete. You roll the dice - he could be better or much worse. Ability to catch is sort of a big deal when it comes to WR no matter what your top end speed. That was the issue with George Campbell - freak athlete ... main issue was the dropsies. So yes his ceiling was uber high but that sort of guy can be a total bust at WR if he never fixes his hands.
It is a lot like guys who fall in love with measurables on a QB but his accuracy and decision making lack but you say "well his ceiling is super high if he can only fix those things." UM fans should be familiar with that...
|5 days 23 hours ago||Unless you've missed the past||
Unless you've missed the past 25 years of mobile QBs facing Michigan defenses and giving them nightmares you would be wrong to assume BYU is an easy win.
BYU's pass defense is garbage so I expect a very high scoring game but this is what awaits UM's defense. He basically turned from Denard Robinson in 2013 to Denard Robinson who completed passes at a 65% clip in 2014 before he got hurt.
Oregon State on the other hand is probably one of the best P5 matchups UM could find and probably the least scary team in the P12 this year. The other "garbage teams" in that conf at least have prolific offenses that can be an issue for UM this year if the offense is not ready to be "functional" in September.
|5 days 23 hours ago||BYU's star QB was hurt in||
BYU's star QB was hurt in game 5. They went on to lose the game he got hurt in and the next 3. A few weeks earlier they put up 40+ on Charlie Strong's defense at Texas full of 4/5 stars...and ranking 20ish FEI/S&P+ (or about 20 spots better than UM's defense). Both Texas and UM had garbage offenses.
|6 days 43 min ago||Binjimen Victor really sounds||
Binjimen Victor really sounds like he should be a Wolverine along with his teammate Alixender Valiant.
|6 days 4 hours ago||Hopefully he and Adoree||
Hopefully he and Adoree Jackson trade some Heismans the next few years. Almost had both these guys in our backfield together.
USC’s do-everything Adoree Jackson is only a sophomore, but this will be the most important year of his college career.
Jackson wants to win the Heisman Trophy. He wants to win the Thorpe Award, which goes to the nation’s top defensive back. But he could also win those as a junior. What makes this year unique for Jackson is that he also wants to win an Olympic gold medal.
“Actually, I don’t think it will be hard for me (to win),” Jackson said. “I play offense, defense and special teams. Charles Woodson did it when he was at Michigan (and won the award in 1997). That’s how my mindset was set up when I came in to USC.”
With USC sometimes running a Wildcat formation, Jackson is even willing to play quarterback.
|1 week 6 hours ago||Per Mike Wilson: He did not||
Per Mike Wilson:
He did not let the Michigan State coaches know of his plans to go to Ohio State. His offer was yanked late last night. Arcuri got an offer as a result -- and it is a full offer.
I'm not sure if Michigan State is 100 percent done with Cupp after this, but right now, he would not be considered a commit.
Apparently this Cupp dude thought he was going to sneak into FNL and not get noticed. Ohio dude gonna Ohio.