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|21 hours 50 min ago||We tried that against KSU||
Shane is 0-1 as a starter, and KSU isn't an especially good team.
|1 day 2 hours ago||Even if that's true||
It's OK as a contrast to the inverse, which is the majority of comments on here.
I don't think it's true though.
|1 day 3 hours ago||As it should be.||
Utah's road schedule last year was BYU, Oregon, Arizona, Washington State, and USC. They were probably favored in only one of those. Their starting QB only played in one of them - the one they won.
|1 day 3 hours ago||Utah on the road||
They were 1-0 with Wilson (beating BYU) and 0-4 without him.
Their outcomes, in aggregate, were better than Michigans, as reflected in FEI. They did that, despite losing their QB for more than half the year. With him, they beat Stanford, which is far more impressive than anything Michigan did. Imagine Michigan without Gardner against Indiana and Northwestern....
You can read a ton into the record or you can recognize that other measures (like point differential and opponent strength and yardage differential) are better indicators (see 2011 Michigan).
It's not really about not believeing in Michigan as much as it's about recognizing that Utah is good. As I've argued in other comments, they may be better than MSU. Take away the brand names and local bias and it's a very reasonable question.
Utah should be feared in the same way as teams like Nebraska and USC. They had nearly identical outcomes against Fresno State. Those team have issues, but you'd still give them a healthy dose of respect. Utah seems to be getting the "middling" type respect here - more like a Indiana/Northwestern level of respect. They seem a heck of a lot better than that to me.
|1 day 3 hours ago||Homefield and a conclusion||
This is the only reason M is favored. If your argument is that the homefield advantage is bigger than normal (first time I've heard this argued for Michigan Stadium - which is flat out not an intimidating place to play) than you are saying it is more than the standard 3 points...in which case Vegas is saying that Utah is better on a neutral field - which I agree with and is exactly my argument.
"You seem to use general trends when they suit you, but like to throw out single game outliers to refute those trends that don't."
Well - yes. I think that's the intelligent thing to do, and consistent with the scientific method, quanitative analyis, and logic. f you're accusing me of cherry-picking data, I disagree. Are you referring to something specific?
More returning starters? Now you're getting somewhere. Best argument yet! I have no counter for that other than you've thrown a few stats out there that aren't true, so I'm slightly skeptical - but you're probably right.
Again, I am not guying to buy the recruiting/talent argument. That was true in 2008 too. It was true against KSU. It was true against NW, UConn, Akron and all our other narrow losses. Utah consistently outperforms against their talent, Michigan consistently underperforms relative to theirs. It was the case last year, it was the case against ND.
I don't think Brian made any guarantees. I do think he is exhibiting a bit of wishful thinking here and that he's prone to overrating the personnel deficiencies on good teams (e.g., ND, MSU).
I do think it is unlikely that Michigan wins. I acknowledge there is a great deal of uncertainty here, but just as Brian looks at the personnel on Utah's D and looks optimistically at the Miami/App State games as meaningful evidence that we are better to conclude that M is about 7 points better in this matchup than Vegas says, I go the other way in the same magnitude.
I think Michigan fans are overrating the home field effect. Utah has won here before. If it was a noon game I'd feel better about Utah being tired. As is, it's a 1:30 pm local game for them, so no biggie. And SLC/DTW isnt that much longer in travel time than a lot of conference games.
|1 day 4 hours ago||recent history and feelings vs evidence||
I do think the run-blocking from the OL looks better. They look more cohesive and consistent. There is reason to be optimistic that improvement will continue and by the end of the year we could be productive consistently if all goes well.
But that's a subjective opinion and not really backed up by improved production. The bottom line here is that the run game is still not very good - as evidenced by the performance against ND. Are TFLs actually down? I have not seen this stat for this year's 3 games vs last years.
The run-blocking improvement is offset by pass-blocking being worse. I believe there were 3 sacks through the first 3 games last year and this year, against inferior competition there have been 5. It looked to me that Gardner saw a lot of heat against ND.
The DL should be better, as should the D as a whole. But, again, we haven't seen it manifest in production. We played better than the score indicates, but ND moved the ball at will. Jake Ryan is healthier, but his play at MLB is in question.
You think the coaches will do a better job, which is fine. But again, there is no evidence to support your optimistic feelings.
Michigan beat up on terrible teams last year and they did it this year. They beat ND last year and lost to them (badly) this year. These are facts, not feelings.
Anyway, my point is not to critique Michigan as much as recognize that Utah is a good team that could be a legitimately top 25 outfit. They might be better than MSU, for example, who everyone is building up as a juggernaut these days. They have a couple common opponents in Stanford and Oregon and had similar results (though Utah was without Wilson against Oregon). Utah was a better team than their record indicated - close loses and Wilson's injury and FEI rank.
Everyone dissed them in 2008, but they ended up one of the best teams in the country. That was a long time ago, but the story could be the same.Utah is a legitimate program. I'm not going to bother going through FEI ranks for every season, but I'm guessing that Utah has had a better aggregate rank than Michigan over the last 4 or 5 years. They play in a better conference and they go head to head with very good teams just like Michigan does. The difference is that they haven't been totally embarrased the way Michigan has in the last year with the lopsided losses and offensive ineptitude we've shown.
I believe the recent history makes a compelling case that Utah is better. I refer to that as "on paper" but apparently that's misleading, so I'll just say that Utah has been the more impressive program in 2013 and early 2014. Based on that information I think they win. Michigan's argument is homefield and talent, but I've seen again and again that that is not enough and I don't need to list all the example hopefully to justify that view.
|1 day 7 hours ago||That's just the point||
Michigan DID NOT have a bye week, and there is zero reason to think Utah would have done as poorly as M did against ND.
I agree that we have little to go off in this season, which is why I'm choosing to pay attention to last year -- when Utah looked like the better team.
|1 day 7 hours ago||I am sorry to tell you this||
but there is very little evidence to make this assertion.
|1 day 7 hours ago||You make some nice points||
The point about 2007 was to say that Utah is a good program and has been for a while. It speaks to the quality of coaching.
Michigan has more talent than most of the teams it loses to. It has more talent than MSU.
The run game was not improved against ND. They dropped from 4.3 ypc last year to 2.9 ypc this year. Smith and Green combined to go 20 for 55, worse than 22 for 70 last year from Fitz and Green. The fact you just said this tells me you're seeing what you want to see. We ran easily on CMU for over 240 yards last year against CMU.
Regarding patchwork D - I wasn't comparing talent, I was comparing the arguments made by Mgoblog and others.
I agree that Wilson's TO problems can't be erased...neither can our offense's ineptitude. If you're going to ignore one, ignore the other.
"M is a different team at home". The last game I went to was Nebraska, so you'll have to excuse me for not buying into the home field magic.
"The line change is due to reputation hit" - the reputations changed after Monday? No. The line change is due to professional gamblers absolutely slamming the Utah side with money. You don't see 4 point changes that often without some sort of significant news.
|1 day 7 hours ago||I don't think so||
There's overreacting (Fire Hoke, "This is a gamechanger") and then there's burying your head in the sand (just a bad day, look at our rushing stats!).
I don't think I'm building up a team that was better than Michigan last year and so far looks better than MIchigan.
2-0 vs cupcakes is better than 2-0 plus cupcakes and 0-1 vs real teams. That's not overreacting, that's reality.
|1 day 23 hours ago||In this case yes.||
In general, I prefer to think of myself as being logical rather than pessimistic. In this case though, given the vegas odds favor Michigan, I acknowledge I am genuinely pessimistic here.
I think the Vegas line is a mistake, and that's why it got hammered so hard (from 7 down to 3). I'm not sure it shouldn't be hammered further.
We have very little info on this year's Utah team, and only 1 meaningful game to glean insights from for Michigan. That one game is very negative for Michigan. I agree with Brian that the ND outcome is not as bad as the score indicates...but it's still pretty bad.
Take away the brand names and Utah is the better team. Have been overall since 2007. Were last year, and (I think) are again this year. Vegas (now) says it's a 3 point game, which means they view it as a neutral field toss up. Is it because they think the teams are equal or that they don't know?
If you go off last year - Utah is better. Has the situation changed? Maybe, but we don't have any real good reason to think it has changed to our advantage.
Here are the pro-M arguments I've heard of why M is better than U:
-Talent, which is not remotely convincing
-Our run game is good now, which ignores ND shutting it down.
-Their D is patchwork, which is the same I heard for ND this year, MSU in previous years, etc.
-Their O improvement is a mirage because of opponent, which - why wouldn't you apply that to our O as well?
|1 day 23 hours ago||Utah hasn't yet lost a game 0-31||
Is the main reason.
|1 day 23 hours ago||On paper||
I don't think anyone can rationally make the "we have superior talent so we will win" argument with Michigan, given the last few years.
When I say on paper, I mean the quality of play we've seen this year and last year. For example, we have more talent/recruiting stars on our OL, but theirs is better "on paper" because they've consistenly been able to run and nobody has shut them down like Michigan repeatedly has been.... We'll see if they play that way.
|1 day 23 hours ago||Experience is a lot more than just games started.||
In the vast majority of cases you'd take a zero-starts RS JR (e.g., Tom Brady in '98) over a 3-years younger player with zero starts (e.g., Denard Robinson in '09).
|2 days 33 min ago||logic over fear||
Here is logic:
Utah was better than Michigan last year, and looks improved this year (limited info caveat).
Michigan was worse than Utah last year and looks not as good this year (limited info caveat).
|2 days 35 min ago||talent||
talent is your argument? Michigan has more talent than 90% of the teams it plays. It does not have a .900 win percentage.
|2 days 36 min ago||FEI||
FEI accounts for margin of victory and strength of opponent. It says Utah was better last year.
|2 days 37 min ago||True enough||
But Gardner's a 5th year senior, so probably is what he is. Wilson played a year and half and then got hurt.
I'm not saying he's going to throw 6TDs and 0 INTs against Michigan, but I would guess he can do better than 1-1 ratio.
|2 days 1 hour ago||They are coming off a bye too||
That may or may not matter, but the Utah coaching staff is very good and experienced.
|2 days 1 hour ago||the caveat there||
He started as a true freshman... Denard and Devin and Shane all have nasty-looking freshman/soph INT numbers too.
|2 days 1 hour ago||Argument for Utah||
I think you're overrating the problems in their front 7. ND had a bit of a rag-tag group too, around a couple of stars, and they shut out Michigan.
Utah has had good defenses year in and year out. They might not be at their Alabama-defeating pinnacle, but the Ute's defense is never bad. The scheme mitigates the size issues. So does their coaching. Their star DE is going against true freshman. We are not just going to plow through or pass over these guys and we have not done well against relentless blitzing.
The 5-7 thing is not worth mentioning. The went 4-2 with Wilson, 1-5 without him - and they lost a lot of close games against good teams. By FEI - they were better than Michigan last year, despite Wilson missing half the year. They beat Stanford and lost to UCLA by one score when Wilson threw those 6 picks.
He hasn't throw any this year, and so if you're going to say Michigan can now run, you might just as well say Utah/Wilson are past their turnover issues, because both are dependant on looking at how they did against terrible teams. Michigan's run game against ND was not good. Are we sure that was just 'a bad day' and that the problems from last year are behind us?
Utah might be a top 25 team, hiding underneath an 5-7 record that would have been more like 8-4 with Wilson healthy. With Gardner hurt, we'd have been 5-7 too.
This line has gone from 7 to 3 in the last few days because, on paper, Utah is the better team. Hopefully home field and an improved run game are enough to offset all the stuff I mentioned above. But no one should be shocked if Utah wins.
|2 days 1 hour ago||Already do||
When I see a see of red in the stands during OSU games in down years, it's pretty clear that Michigan fans act like rational consumers, just like any other fans.
I'm upset about a lot of crap that the AD does, but raising ticket prices is not going to be one of them. Getting a bargain on season tickets is not a constitutional right.
|2 days 2 hours ago||You can. Doesn't mean you deserve sympathy.||
I don't really know what you're talking about scrimmage and Lego movies for. They gave you a price for tickets, and you decided it was worth it. End of story.
Now you're mad that they are having other promotions? This is like being mad that something you once bought is on E-bay or Craigslist for super cheap. Or the shoe store putting last year's model on clearance.
Michigan's ticket values have gone down because they got embarrased by Notre Dame. It happens. It's the "risk" you take. It's also been the norm since 2007, so if you're surprised you shouldn't be.
The market COULD go back up. If we win all our games and so does Maryland, the ticket for the 11/22 game will be for several hundred dollars. If that happens... Will the athletic department get to say you are screwing them? Will you feel guilt for getting a huge bargain? Of course not. It's the deal implicit to buying season tickets.
People who complain about ticket prices have a very obvious recourse - don't buy them again. At least then, you'll have a legitimate beef ("these tickets are just too expensive to buy"). For now you sound like the guy who sues Starbucks when he spills coffee on himself or blames McDonald's for providing unhealthy food. You - guy who will pay too much for a bad product - are the problem.
The AD is just acting like a business. We can argue about the downsides of that and what they should do instead, but it's not really pertinent to what you're complaining about, which just boils down to "I paid a lot of money for tickets so I want the team to be good."
It seems like you should be mad at yourself. You're buying dynamic priced tickets on years with good schedules and season tickets on years with bad schedules.
|2 days 2 hours ago||YOU DONT KNOW ME!||
Who do you think you are?
|2 days 3 hours ago||Were you held up at gunpoint?||
I'm all for bashing the athletic department and Dave Brandon for a host of reasons, but cry me a river on ticket prices. You knew the deal when you signed up.
I'm pretty sure that if/when your OSU or MSU tickets next season are selling for double or triple face value you're not going to send the AD a check to make up the difference.
|2 days 22 hours ago||Incorrect. It was 10 guys.||
Rodriguez had 6 in his first recruiting class alone. The next two combined for 4, making a total of 10 over 3 years. A little light, but reasonable given that a) he had Molk and b) 4 of his recruits were drafted at OL in the NFL. If Rich Rod was good at ANYTHING it was recruiting OLmen and getting them productive quickly. The 2011 offense was very good in large part because of the OL that he put together.
Oh, you want to blame him for the 2011 class? The aborted class Hoke signed? The one he had to fight job status questions all through? The class that lost Jake Fisher when Rodriguez got canned? Doesn't work that way. That's on Dave Brandon before anyone else.
|2 days 23 hours ago||The nice thing about FEI||
it attempts to incorporate margin of victory and strength of opponent all at once. Utah ranked better than Michigan last year, indicating they were a better team.
Urah returned a bunch of guys plus got the QB back healthy. They are (probably) better, though information is scarce.
Michigan returns a bunch too but lost some big pieces at OT and WR. ND last year vs. ND this year indicates that we are (maybe) worse.
|3 days 1 hour ago||are you saying||
The recruiting prowess of Michigan coaches can be overestimated.
Or does that fall under "can't" as well?
I need to know what I'm allowed to estimate and if I should systematically under-shoot or over-shoot my estimates of prowess.
|3 days 3 hours ago||A top 30ish team, maybe better.||
They ranked above Michigan in FEI last year, despite their record. That's because they beat Stanford and lost a bunch of close games against quality Pac 12 teams. They did this despite losing their starting QB for most of the year. They've had consistently solid to very good defenses for many years now. The problem has been the offense but it seems to have come around with their new coordinator. Wilson is now an upperclassmen, so there's some Gholston parallels...
They have talent and proven coaches. Add in the spread/tempo stuff and Utah is flat out scary.
|3 days 3 hours ago||Utah is good||
most of the Big 10 is not.
Utah, despite their record, ranked higher than Michigan last year and beat Stanford, despite losing their starting QB for most of the year.