I had a conversation about the way the 2011 big ten season would shake out with a sparty fan today. I proffered that next years wolverine squad would win at least 9 games. He replied that he would be surprised if they won seven. I gave the reasons that it would be 9 wins as improved offense from all the skill positions which will be returning. with minimal losses in the o line with improved play from the defense ( come on seriously, dilithium 1.5 is good for at least 9, hes been good for 7 so far) at which point he laughed and said that we no one good on defense. he offered the reason that Michigan would not better is because the schedule gets harder. the addition of Nebraska does give his argument some merit. the real kicker was that he claimed the Irish would be a top ten Team next year ????? Of course after my shock i asked him why he figured that. He answered with a familiar tag line. Their quarterback will be better, they have offense returning, they were crippled by injuries, and their defense was young, but should get better. Of course i did not continue the conversation because it is quite easy to see that the logic was one-sided. the irish were bad because of the aforementioned reasons, but should be better for next year. Yet somehow, the wolverine team of 2010 that has all of these same things in common will not be better? the overall idea is that the young inexperienced defense is a reason to cripple your team, yet give some sense of relief because you realize that that defense will grow up and become the team they are meant to be. Alot of opinions on here have been negative towards some of the players, i believe they have tremendous upside. Especially Cam ( don't let the tight end get behind you) Gordon. T hat guy is a ball player. For someone that was a wide out 7 months ago i think hes doin a helluva job on defense.And while im on my soap box [email protected]#k Harbaugh, RRod is my coach and he better be the coach next year. Neg me if you want, i didnt proof read or check the grammar, and i dont want 3 yards and a cloud of dust. I love Bo, but i like spreadriguez even more.
on a side note, i don't care about all the grammar nazification. this is a sports blog, no one is angling for a research grant here. If you don't like my writing style ( or lack thereof ) Don't read my post.
Having only followed Michigan football closely since Rich has been at the helm, I am unfamiliar with how the postseason works regarding pressers, etc. between the end of the regular season and the bowl game.
Will there be weekly pressers? Will there be any offseason type countdown videos, interviews, or practice clips?
While I was hoping more to see an OSU loss more than an Iowa win, I figured I would at least use the opportunity for some scouting of the bad guys. Obviously, you can watch it on TV, but sometimes it seems different live. I also had the good fortune of being mid-field and high enough up to see the entire field pretty well which also helped.
First off, holy crap their defensive line is strong. I have no idea what happened at Wisconsin, but they controlled the Iowa offensive line which does not happen to them at home very often. They rarely brought more than just the front four, but honestly did not need to very often since you really saw a consistent surge from their dline that really disrupted the Iowa offense. Iowa was running for about 3.3 YPC with little going to the outside, with the longest runs up the middle when they could open up a crease. This gives me some hope since we do this pretty well and then I remember I have no idea who will even be running the ball on Saturday.
The back four seemed solid, but were taken advantage of by play action and deep slants. McNutt scored once this way and should have had another with the same play. If we can get anything going on the ground, it might open up the deep ball in a similar fashion. However, I am not talking torched earth or anything. Stanzi was 20/31 for 195 while scrambling a lot more than he likes in the pocket most of the night. My only positive is that these were routes that Denard can throw.
The offensive line was as advertised, they put 158 yards rushing (half from Pryor) on Iowa while being very content to slug it out with the Iowa dline. It was pretty even most of the game, but were able to get it when it counted in the fourth quarter. Iowa’s conditioning seems a bit suspect as they faded late (again) so it might have just been an occurrence of Iowa wearing down more than OSU exerting themselves. We have no such mass in our dline so I guess there is really no comparison for us here.
The OSU passing game was killing the middle of the field. They abused Greenwood (an overrated safety anyway in my opinion) and had their slots running free on many mid-range patterns. I was surprised that Pryor did not have more passing yardage (18/31 for a 5.9 YPC) since it seemed like he could have done a lot of damage. Having seen the mid-range routes left open by our D all year, I felt I was already watching our game. Let’s hope to control the bleeding.
The Pryor factor was the most interesting. He was pretty buttoned down, however, the Vest was happy to kill Iowa with his running. Case in point, 4th and 10 at the end of the game, the entire OSU offense is run to the short side, everything is bottled up, nowhere to pass, my friend is going crazy, I just tell him he is f*cked. I saw the wide side of the field wide open and knew what was going to happen. No spy, no problem for a gain of 14. It sucked to watch and I immediately knew I would see this same damn play this weekend when he breaks contain. I am just stating the obvious that we would need to be up by more than two scores at the end to win.
It has been over 24 hours since the Wisconsin game has ended. Therefore, it is officially The Game week. I don't care about the previous week. I don't care about who should or shouldn't coach the team next season. I couldn't care less if Taylor got another penalty or the defense got shredded again. Who gives a crap if Gerg had a teddy bear during a timeout with the defense. All that matters is now is the buckeyes. Those truck drivers from the south will definitely give this team a harsh welcome next saturday. It our job now to throw it back in their faces. It is now our time to take back the rivalry. I am sick and fricken tired of hearing how good pryor is. They may have a bunch of five star recruits on their team. Who cares. The team that wants it the most is the the team that is going to win the game. We will watch our O line scratch and crawl for every yard. We have been beaten down by the media, by opposing fans and teams, and by our own fan base. I firmly believe this team has the will and fight in them to insure those buckeyes do not earn another golden pair of pants. It is our time now, their time is over. We just have to grab the opportunity in front of us.
GO BLUE AND BEAT THE BUCKEYES!!!!!!!!!!!!
Why rumors get unpublished.
Taylor Martinez's HS coach, Matt Logan, told me he just spoke w the QB, who said: "Everything is fine. I haven't quit the team."
While it's not a direct quote, it's the only true reporting from something other than Bleacher Report. Bleacher Report is horrible. You lose brain cells by reading it and spreading it's "rumors."
Same stupid stuff that happened with Forcier. Rumors don't get to stay up.
It has dropped in literally the past 5 minutes to as low as 18 points (Leroy's).
I know Vegas doesn't offer an overt prediction, but shit, that's depressing.
Wanted to post this separately so everyone saw it. RB Justice Hayes has decommitted from Notre Dame. He's now considering Tennessee, Notre Dame, and Michigan.
I spoke to him briefly about it, and he said that Michigan is in it for him. I wouldn't be surprised to see Tennessee get him either, though since DeAnthony Arnett is his friend.
BCS standings for Wk 13 as of 8:15p EDT (bcsfootball.org):
Pretty much there are still limited permuations of the BCS if the favorites continue to win... I'm going to start with the pretty much locks:
ACC, Big East, and Big 12 will likely only get one team in the BCS game. ACC and Big East due to the general ineptness of the conferences. These will likely be:
- ACC: winner of Va Tech v Florida St/NC St championship game. This winner will go to the Orange Bowl.
- Big East: Who the hell knows... could be Pitt, West Va, even UConn(!!! who would have thought that the most impressive win on our schedule at the end of the year could be a BCS conference champion NOT named Ohio St). Bottom line is this team will likely be the last team picked by BCS bowls when picking opponents for the mandatory games.
Big 12: With last night's
chokeloss by Nebraska, all this did was make it more difficult for a Big 12 team to get an at large bid. It likely will be the winner of Oklahoma v Oklahoma St against Nebraska in the Big 12 title game, with the either a 1-loss conference champ and a 3-loss runner up, or a pair of two loss teams. Anybody hoping Nebraska wins and goes all Chris Benoit on the last night of Monday Nite Nitro by accepting the conference title trophy and then dumping it in the trash bin on the way out the door?
- SEC: They're still probably going to get 2 teams in the BCS no matter what. If Auburn gets in the BCS champ game, then a 1-loss LSU or a 2-loss Arkansas is your likely 2nd team in the Sugar Bowl. If Auburn loses to Alabama, it'll be the winner of the SEC champ game as the Sugar Bowl rep and a 1-loss LSU/2-loss Arkansas/2-loss Alabama as an at-large. If Auburn beats Alabama but loses in the SEC championship to So Car, it'll be So Car in the Sugar Bowl and either LSU or Auburn as an at-large. Even if Cam Newton is arrested tomorrow for money laundering and fraud at Fannie Mae, bottom line: SEC's getting 2 teams. Damn.
- Non-AQ's: One of them is getting in for sure. Two is wholly dependent on if Boise or TCU qualifies for the Natl Champ game. B/c of a contractural quirk for this year, if a non-AQ makes it as an at-large and a Pac-10 team is in the MyNCG, then the non-AQ must go to the Rose Bowl. Still a shot for an at-large in the Orange Bowl, but that may be dictated by who wins the ACC (see below).
So assuming the season holds in terms of chalk teams winning, we'll be looking at:
- BCS Champ: Oregon v Auburn
- Rose Bowl: Wisconsin v. TCU/Boise (whoever ends up higher in BCS if they're both undefeated, autobid as per BCS selection rule 3A/B)
- Sugar Bowl: LSU/Arkansas/Alabama vs. at-large
- Orange Bowl: Va Tech/FlaSt/NC St v. at-large
- Fiesta Bowl: Neb/OkSt/OU v. at-large
So let's analyze the competition for the at-large slots. It is impertive to understand that the order of selection will play HUGE in this decision. I'll analyze them in the order of the at-large selections:
- Sugar Bowl: already made LSU the replacement pick for Auburn in the MyNCG (but it could just as easy by Arkansas if they beat LSU or Alabama if Auburn loses the Iron Bowl but wins the SEC). So looking for 1 at-large team to match-up against LSU. The choices are either a 1-loss Big Ten team (tOSU, Mich St), a 1-loss Stanford, or an undefeated Boise St/TCU (whichever left out of the Rose Bowl- at this point it's still Boise St as TCU is higher in BCS and gets the non-AQ autobid). My thinking is that from a bowl organizers point of view, a Big Ten team, especially tOSU probably gets more butts in seats and generates a better TV viewership than Stanford. So now the choise is really between tOSU and an undefeated non-AQ. Since a non-AQ is already in the BCS, I say tOSU gets the at-large slot
- Orange Bowl: Already have the ACC champ... if it's Va tech, then a Boise at-large here is unlikely as common thought is to avoid rematches (especially since it wasn't that good of a game in the first case). Va Tech vs Stanford might be attractive here, or the Orange might bite the bullet if convinced by the rest of the BCS hierarchy and take the Big East champ. If it's not Va Tech, then Boise might be a good selection to prop up a not as attractive FlaSt / NC St ACC champ.
- Fiesta Bowl: already have the Big 12 winner, so looking for someone to matchup with Neb / Ok St / OU. Here its a crap shoot and dependent on who the Orange takes. Orange takes Boise, then the Big East champ has to go here. Orange doesn't take Boise and takes the Big East champ, then I could see either Stanford or Boise St, and frankly a Big 12 v Boise St rematch may be more viewer friendly than Stanford (especially if Boise St has a Heisman finalist Kellan Moore at QB, sorry Andrew Luck). Stanford though is still a national name (albeit with a weak in-person following), and I'm torn. I'd say you could flip a coin and land with either Stanford or Boise St.
The wrenches in the plan
There are a couple big wrenches that could be thrown in the gears here:
- the Big Ten doesn't end up with both Ohio St and Wisconsin with 1-loss: in real terms, a 1-loss Mich St doesn't matchup as well in a at-large comparison with undefeated Boise St or a 1-loss Stanford if they don't get the Rose Bowl bid. They way it's working right now, if Sparty ties with Wiscy only, then they''ll get the Rose Bowl as a result of a head to head win against the Badgers. Wisconsin then would still be a pretty strong at-large bid for either the Sugar or Orange Bowl. If its Mich St and tOSU, then tOSU will get the Rose Bowl and Sparty will be left to fend for the at-large against Boise & Stanford, and frankly I don't think they win that comparison.
- tOSU jumps Wiscy in BCS standings: this one just popped up this week when I actually looked at the numbers... tOSU is not that far behind, maybe there's a voter backlash against Bielema in the last two weeks??? Who knows. What I know is that if tOSU jumps Wiscy in BCS standing, then the three way tie formula in the Big Ten sends Ohio St to the Rose Bowl, and leave Wiscy and Mich St battling Stanford and Boise St for an at-large. At this point, I think its a real possibility that Boise AND Stanford are looked more favorably than Wiscy and Mich St. Especially if Stanford keeps rolling out body bags and some body gets sentimental at the Sugar Bowl for a Bo Schembechler reunion tour game between Harbaugh and Miles.
- Oregon loses: that vaults either TCU or Boise into the MyNCG, Oregon to the Rose Bowl and then by my reading, as long as the other TCU / Boise team is still in the rule 3A/B auto-bid position, they'll get in as an auto-bid, probably in the Sugar or Fiesta and knock out Stanford or a 2nd Big Ten team from the BCS
- Auburn loses: here it matters when Auburn loses. they lose to Alabama in the Iron Bowl but beat So Car, they still have a shot at the MyNCG bid as the #2 team. They lose to So Car in the SEC champ, they'll be in a fight with LSU for an at-large in the Orange Bowl, since So Car will be in the Sugar Bowl, and the Sugar won't have SEC v SEC (Orange Bowl will almost certainly pick a 2nd SEC team over the Big East champ or anybody else)
Your weekly sign of the apolcalypse:
- Still looks like only way Boise and TCU meet in the MyNCG is if Auburn and Oregon lose, most likely Auburn losing in the SEC championship game. But if that happens, both non-AQ's are well positioned with human pollsters to jump into the #1 / #2 slot needed to overcome computer softness. There's some open politic-ing going on with Les Miles trying to say LSU w/ 1-loss should be ahead of the non-AQ undefeateds, but I don't think that's going to sway voters.... UNLESS
- If the Cam Newton thing goes REALLY BAD and he's found to have been ineligible for this season, preferably after the Iron Bowl, then Auburn will have to forfeit all games he played in (all of them), become ineligible as a team for the BCS, and THEN you might see southern voters backlash against the ruling and cast all their Auburn muscle that was in the polls behind the next likliest SEC-brotherhood team.... LSU. I would think there'd be enough of a majority of voters who finally throw up their hands if this happened and just say, "all right TCU/Boise St, with all this shit going this year, here's your ONE TIME golden ticket", but keep your eyes peeled about this if the Cam Newton things breaks toward ineligibility in teh next week or so.
See you next week as the picture becomes much clearer after the Big Ten season wraps up and the Iron Bowl is played.