This is a message the players should get. My first reaction to UM’s predicament was to give up on the team this year. When you are expected to lose both of the next 2 games by significant margins, it’s easy to get discouraged. But then I wondered, what’s the chance that UM could still get to a bowl game this year and end up with a decent record. Given turnovers, missed extra points, injuries, illnesses, unexplained fluctuations in motivation, etc.—how likely is it that UM could steal one of the games Just think: Purdue beat OSU. Navy beat ND. NW beat Iowa…Washington(?state) beat USC….I could go on. The point is that there’s a lot that can happen that is not predictable with certainty even if one team is a big favorite. So what’s the chance that UM might finally catch a break after an otherwise heartbreaking season?
I first calculated the predicted point spreads based on UM OSU AND WI’s Sagarin Predictor ratings to get an idea about the possible point spreads in our next 2 games, as calculated below (the sagarin ratings are actually used by vegas to help set the betting lines, and the rating method chosen actually predicts the outcome of games).
I took a random game on the net that had posted both a 12-14 pt spread and odds roughly comparable to spreads I calculated for UM vs WI (-11 ) and OSU (-15).
I found that UM has a 31% chance of getting to a bowl game and the second most likely final record is 7-6.
Conclusion: A nearly 1/3 chance of a bowl is not a reason for hopelessness…in fact, it’s a far better chance than was the team's early season goal of winning the B10.
So, now is not a time for the team to get discouraged..but rather to redouble their efforts… One of their important goals is still in sight.