Were NOT going 8-4. (Counter expectation thread)

Submitted by MichiganMan14 on July 6th, 2017 at 1:30 PM
I've seen a lot of 8-4 predictions and "we're too young" going on so I thought I'd chime in with a counter opinion. We play 8 teams that we are soundly and throughly better than as a football program. No excuse to lose ANY of them. We play 4 games that are "Tough" or "Toss-up". Florida in a neutral environment. Penn state and Whisky on the road and of course Ohio State at home. Michigan is a better football team than Florida and the Gators have a 1st year starting QB for their offense and lost a ton. We are deeper and more talented than both Penn state and Wisky. By the end of this year we we have no excuse not to beat Ohio as they have been gutted 2 years in a row by early entrees. Harbaugh was hired to win this game. He won't go 0-3. You don't win the national title with Seniors. You win it with BALLERS. We have BALLERS now. We will go 11-1 with a BS loss to Wisky which we avenge 2 weeks later and wind up a 3 seed in the CFP. Your heard it here first.



July 6th, 2017 at 1:37 PM ^

This is the second "expectations" thread today that has not lived up to my inital expectations when opening the thread.


July 6th, 2017 at 2:07 PM ^

And while it would be my expectation to see no more expectation threads today I have come to expect the unexpected during peak OT season.

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SoDak Blues

July 6th, 2017 at 1:47 PM ^

I am not sure if you read the first expectations thread, but I have a feeling this will not be well-received. 

EDIT: edited title seems to help a small amount. 


July 6th, 2017 at 1:45 PM ^

I see two losses to the four tough teams and one to the eight Michigan should beat. Let's say Ohio is one of the aforementioned two. Hello, New Year's Six. That's my prediction.

Perkis-Size Me

July 6th, 2017 at 4:24 PM ^

Whoops my bad. Well regardless, I doubt a 9-3 team makes it into an NY6 bowl. There is a precedent for it, granted, but I doubt it happens.

I could see it if the three teams we lost to turned in great seasons, like losing a nailbiter to UF who then goes and wins the SEC, and then losing a close game to a 10-11 win PSU team, but then we would need to go on a tear in November, whoopin' UW in Madison and then beating OSU in Ann Arbor if they were ranked #1 and undefeated. 


July 6th, 2017 at 1:56 PM ^

If this is a response to that _CFB_Talk account on Twitter which sports an avatar of LSU's home stadium, then suffice to say the source of the irritation probably isn't worth a listen. 

That being said, I've heard people say 8-4 inside the fanbase even before all that, although typically we seem to have the prediction thread glut in August when we run out of books and movies. 

Perkis-Size Me

July 6th, 2017 at 1:56 PM ^

Ballers? Seriously? Is this LaVar Ball on the other end? 

Don't be surprised if we lose to one of those eight teams you mentioned we are completely superior too. Especially if its on the road. Upsets happen in college football all the time. A hapless Iowa team that lost to an FCS team and got clobbered by PSU the week before, who also plays football like its 1945, beat us. Clemson lost at home to a very meh Pitt team. FSU lost at home to UNC, a team it has a huge talent and coaching advantage over in every single phase of the game. My point is don't be surprised to see us lose a game next year that we shouldn't.

Those types of games happen to everyone at some point or another. What I want to see is Michigan finally win a game that its not supposed to win. We haven't scored a truly big upset in years. When was the last time? '08 against Florida? 


July 6th, 2017 at 4:36 PM ^

Just like everything else in life, you never really know what they're going to do.  You can only guess.

Oh, and Speight missed a couple deep throws to wide open WRs in the first half.  He hits even 50% of those throws and we're probably up 2TDs at halftime.  And if that's the case, he probably doesn't separate his shoulder throwing a pass in the 4th quarter because we would probably still be winning by those couple of scores.  And if he doesn't separate his shoulder, we win at OSU.

Perkis-Size Me

July 6th, 2017 at 4:39 PM ^

Iowa's only chance of winning that game was reducing it to an ugly slopfest between both sides. They couldn't compete with Michigan man to man, so they had to bring us down to their level. They succeeded. 

Just one of those games where Iowa played like it had nothing to lose. They really did have nothing to lose. Their entire season prior to that was a disaster, and when you go up against an opponent that no one expects you to compete with, much less beat, there's really no pressure. 

Meanwhile, Michigan had everything to lose in that game. I mean yeah, you can also attribute poor OL play and Speight overthrowing receivers on plays that would've iced the game, but there are intangibles to go along with that game too. 


July 7th, 2017 at 9:26 AM ^

'85 Iowa was certainly disappointing, but they were #1 in the country going into the game, and we were #2.

In those '76/'77/'78 games, we were undefeated and ranked #1, #1, and #5, respectively, and none of those teams we lost to were even ranked. Each of those losses were our only loss for the regular season.


July 6th, 2017 at 3:50 PM ^

truly big upsets in that time, we haven't had many opportunities for a truly big upset since the RR era an no opportunities in the Harbaugh era, and I don't expect any soon.  Only a couple OSU games and an MSU game were we underdogs by more than a score (OSU 2013 and 2014 and MSU 2014).

We need to start winning more of those tossup games, which we don't seem to be winning at the expected 50 percent level and certainly aren't getting the occasional year in which we outperform those expectations/get a little lucky.

This is the year!  I'm on the bandwagon of this thread.


July 6th, 2017 at 6:02 PM ^

That is a slang term for really good players. How often is Alabama "upset"? Or Ohio State? Like it or not, coach Harbaugh has elevated himself to that expectation and it's no longer tolerable to lose football games at Michigan.

And Lavar Ball is a genius. A loving and devoted black father who lives for his boys and his wife. Since we made a Ball reference I thought I'd clarify that even though it wasn't made in his reference, I think what he and the Big Baller Brand is both symbolic and genius. Not everyone is cool with taking what's given to them....

UM Fan from Sydney

July 6th, 2017 at 2:02 PM ^

I love that it's OK to say OSU will always be good, as they will just reload, but that seems to not be true with Michigan. Last I checked, Michigan has had elite recruiting. Michigan will be fine and I expect 10+ wins again. Most people will likely assume Michigan will lose to OSU, PSE, UF, and UW, but I think UF and UW are wins. The toss up games are OSU and PSU and even then, I expect to beat PSU. Their QB does not scare me. The only guy who scares me on that team is Barkley. Michigan is far and away better than the remaining eight teams on their schedule.


July 6th, 2017 at 2:07 PM ^

I don't think "most people" look at the schedule and see 4 losses. It seems to be the overstated pessimistic side of the fan base/outsiders rooting for failure who say that.

I see 10+ too but wouldn't be shocked by a WTF loss this year given the youth. The bottom eight teams on the schedule all seem like easy wins so I have no clue who that could come against. 

I Like Burgers

July 6th, 2017 at 4:02 PM ^

I think most of the 4 loss people are people like myself that see 2-3 losses on the schedule, and because they've been following CFB for a long time, know that weird shit happens a good 2-3 games per season that gives you another loss or two you weren't expecting.  So could they go 10-2?  Sure.  But its far more likely they'll go 9-3 and if enough weird shit happens due to a ton of inexperience on the field 8-4 also seems pretty likely.

But hey, if people want to predict double digit win seasons with wins over teams and situations we've done poorly in for the better part of a decade....more power to them.

And just for the record, I'm going with 9-3 (which as a reminder for how awful we've been, that would be their 4th best season in the last decade).

Yost Ghost

July 7th, 2017 at 2:23 PM ^

The games I'm most concerned about are UF, UW and OSU. Of those 3 I'm most concerned with UW and OSU since UF is being played on a neutral field and their starting QB is likely to be a redshirt freshman. Could UM lose at Happy Valley? Sure but considering their level of play there in recent years I doubt it. 

So my take is that the most likely scenario is 10-2 with the potential if lucky to be 11-1 or if unlucky 9-3 overall.


July 6th, 2017 at 2:50 PM ^

OSU reloads with more 5-stars and high 4-stars who are typically much more ready to play, contribute and dominate from day 1.

Our elite recruiting (in years in which we've been highly ranked this decade) has been driven more by class size than an abundance of top-end talent, although our 2017 class was pretty good in terms of high 4-stars.  3 and 4 stars tend to take a bit longer to develop into the types of upperclass beasts we had the last two years.


July 6th, 2017 at 3:29 PM ^

Not sure what you're looking at, but 247 composite has our average player ranking for 2017 at 91.03, which is below 7 teams to put us at 8th in average player rank.  It was the biggest class in the top 50 at 30 (!!) signees.

8 > the team ranking of 5, so yes, it is inflated by class size, although I will admit not by much as 2017 was a very, very good recruiting class. I would say not "reload" elite like Bama and OSU's classes that had significantly higher average player rankings.

And in 2016 we were also not top 10.  We were 11th in average player ranking with an 89.86 ranking. 11 > the team ranking of 7. Again, a big class of 28 which was tied for the largest in the top 35.


July 6th, 2017 at 4:16 PM ^

to top 4 for the Playoff?  I kid, I kid.

But the point remains: have our overall recruiting rankings the last two seasons been inflated by class size? Unequivocally, yes.  So that notion is not wrong, it is fact.

Did I suggest all 30 guys are "developmental"? No, I said 3 and 4 stars take longer to develop than 5-stars and higher 4-stars.  Do you deny that lower rated guys are less ready to contribute to top teams than higher rated guys, on average?  If not, it is irrefutable that OSU and Bama recruit more players that are ready to contribute earlier in their careers than we do.  Hence their ability to "reload".  Which brings us back to the original point about our elite recruiting.  Whatever your definition of elite recruiting or whether we get "plenty of top end talent", the cutoff of which is entirely subjective, we don't get as much as Bama and OSU, and that's why they rightfully have the reputation of "reloading"/always being good, and we don't yet.  That was my only point.

Stringer Bell

July 6th, 2017 at 4:28 PM ^

Then your point is that no team except Bama and OSU can reload?  Because no team recruits at the level of those 2.  Considering that there are a few teams outside those 2 who seem to be in the national title hunt year after year, I find that notion to be untrue.


As far as lower rated guys being able to contribute right away, we did get varying levels of contributions from guys like Evans, McDoom, Bush, Metellus, Hudson, all of whom were 3/low 4 stars.  Harbaugh found ways to get contributions from a lot of freshmen last year regardless of how highly they were rated coming out of high school, and I trust he will do so again and keep us at a top 10 level.


July 6th, 2017 at 4:51 PM ^

other than OSU and Bama can reload.  As you point out, there are exceptions to the recruiting rankings in terms of talent.  

If you hit on a lot of lower 4s and three stars, certainly you could reload without elite recruiting.  It's probably not a sustainable way to reload, but if anyone has a track record of finding those overachievers it's Harbaugh. Obviously, much easier to reload with better talent and I can't beleive this is even an arugment.

Other than Evans, none of those guys listed played much or did anything other than specialized roles, occasionally.  So not sure how that does anything but strengthen the original point.

And remember, if we're recruiting in the 7-11 range, there are still a handful of teams recruiting at levels better than us but not as well as Bama/OSU (USC, LSU, Clemson and FSU) so they are reloading to an extent as well.

There is NO DOUBT in my mind that our recruiting and coaching will consistently keep us at a top 10 level as you say...but again, we're not at that elite level of almost being a certainty in the CFP...yet.

Stringer Bell

July 6th, 2017 at 5:13 PM ^

I don't think anyone suggested we are.  The biggest issue is that we have a gap from the 2014 and 2015 recruiting classes which came right as Hoke was starting to fall apart and during the coaching transition.  That's not something OSU and Bama have to deal with.  It's not that we haven't recruited well enough in 2016 and 2017.  The talent is there for us, that's why pretty much every rankings system, even ones relying on advanced metrics like S&P+, are projecting us as a top 10 team again.


July 7th, 2017 at 2:20 AM ^

That's exactly what started the entire thread. Sydney wrote "I love that it's OK to say OSU will always be good, as they will just reload, but that seems to not be true with Michigan. Last I checked, Michigan has had elite recruiting."

This is directly suggesting our recruiting is as elite as OSU's and suggests people should think we will just reload in the same way.

So the point of my initial response was that Michigan isn't expected to reload the way OSU does because they have recruited better for a while in terms of top end talent, even in the last two years.