Not much to see on the Win Probability Chart this week. Michigan was a heavy favorite and shut the door early. After adjusting for the spread the chart imagines a conversation like this:
GopherBoy1960: Hey Chart, do we a shot to get the jug back today.
Chart: I wouldn’t get your hopes up. We are talking about single digit percents here.
GopherBoy1960: So you’re telling me there’s a chance.
LloydBrady: Hey, that’s my line.
Chart: Technically you have a chance but oh wait, just turned the game on and your chance is now zero. Hope you enjoyed your two minutes of hope.
GopherBoy1960: I miss Glen Mason.
Biggest plays of the day (from the unadjusted numbers)
1. Fitzgerald Toussaint rushes for 35 yards on the fourth play of the day, +7%
2. Denard scores from 9 yards out to push the lead to 14, +6%
3. Denard goes for 18 yards to the Minnesota 3 to set up Michigan’s first score, +5%
Worst plays of the day (and there weren’t many)
1. The first appearance of Fritz loses 4 yards, –4%
2. Michael Shaw loses a yard to set up 3rd down inside the 10, –2%
3. Dan Orseske boots a 64 yard punt with no return after Minnesota goes 3 and out, –2%
After the jump, projections, rankings, and a Northwestern preview.
It’s still early in the projections game and the opponent adjustments are still taking shape, but I be like dang, these numbers lookin’ good.
With Nebraska struggling a bit this year, and Sparty’s o-line in shambles, Michigan might be the only the only Legends team with a competent offense and defense. Currently they are a slight favorite over Michigan St to win the division, with the numbers currently showing the winner of that matchup to have the inside track at the inaugural division win.
On the remaining schedule, Michigan’s three remaining non-NW road games look like toss-ups and all the home games stand as likely M wins. Add it all up and it’s an average expectation of 10 wins with 11 more likely than 9. The odds of an undefeated regular season now stand at 1 in 11. Plenty of caution is still suggested but it’s certainly been a best case scenario first 5 weeks.
Rankings based on opponent adjusted PAN, with downward adjustments for ranking purposes for losses. Rankings adjusted for losses, but +/- PAN ratings not adjusted.
National Top 5
1. LSU +20
2. Alabama +17
3. Boise St +16
4. Oklahoma St. +16
5. Texas +15
6. Wisconsin +15
12. Michigan +11
14. Illinois +10
23. Michigan St. +9
29. Nebraska +6
31. Penn St. +5
37. Iowa +4
79. Ohio St. -1
87. Northwestern -6
99. Purdue -10
109. Indiana -14
110. Minnesota -15
I currently have 13 teams that are undefeated that I consider legitimate (Texas Tech and Houston, sorry) and Michigan is 12th of that group, ahead of Illinois. Michigan certainly isn’t an elite team but has been playing well enough to earn a spot in Tier 2/3.
- I have 17 players from 2003-2010 that accomplished the TD hat trick that Vincent Smith did. Three players did last year including Randall Cobb from Kentucky, Boo Jackson from Ohio and Terrelle Pryor from…wait, that one never happened
- Even though Red Zone stats are highly susceptible to sample size problems, Michigan has been outstanding on both sides of the ball. The defense is 6th with 53% of possible points allowed on 11 qualifying drives. 3 of the 5 teams above them have faced 3 or fewer chances.
- The offense sits at #5 in Red Zone scoring at 96% with the first half field goal last week the only blemish. The only teams ahead are at 100% and none have more than 6 trips where Michigan has 15.
- Michigan is currently #4 on first down, averaging 0.3 points per play. On second and long (8-10 yards) Michigan is second only to Wisconsin. The only situations where Michigan is below average are on 2nd and short (1-3) and 3rd and XL (11+)
- The defense has been good but not great on almost all downs but is winning in short yardage as they are top 20 on both 2nd and 3rd and short.
Northwestern is a bit tricky to project on offense since Persa has only played a single game at this point. I will provide NW’s year long numbers but also indicate how the offense did vs Illinois last week for comparison.
Michigan: +6, 4th (Georgia Tech), 1st
Northwestern: 0, 61st, 9th
Denard: +4 rushing, 4th nationally (Collin Klein, Kansas St)
Fitz: +2, 35th RB (Orwin Smith, GT)
Vincent Smith: +2 (not enough carries to be ranked)
Michigan: +2, 39th (Clemson), 4th (Wisconsin)
Northwestern: –3, 93rd, 9th
Denard: +2 passing, 63rd (Tyler Bray, Tenn.)
Michigan: +3, 17th (Notre Dame), 3rd (Penn St)
Northwestern: 0, 57th, 5th (+4 vs Illinois)
Mike Trumpy (out for season): +1, 59th
Michigan: +1, 49th (UCF), 7th (Michigan St)
Northwestern: –2, 86th, 9th (+8 vs Illinois)
Dan Persa: +11 vs Illinois (58th best passing game of the year)
Jeremy Ebert: +7, 22nd receiving (Kendall Wright, Baylor)
Michigan: –0.33 pts/drive, 105th (Boise St), 12th (Ohio St)
Northwestern: –0.03 pts/drive, 61st, 8th
Michigan: +5, 7th (Rutgers), 1st
Northwestern: +5, 13th, 2nd
Michigan: –1, 87th (Auburn), 11th (Purdue)
Northwestern: 0, 60th, 7th
Prediction: With Persa in the lineup Northwestern finds as much success as Notre Dame but ultimately Michigan’s offense is too much and closes the game out in the fourth quarter. 38-28 Michigan
Reminder, if there is anything you want to see in MWM post it in the comments or hit me up on twitter: @The_Mathlete