A Complete History of Michigan in Preseason Polls

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on August 2nd, 2012 at 3:55 PM

[ed-S: Bumped like an Elliott]

With the polls released today, let's take a look back on Michigan's history in being ranked in the preseason. Interesting note, 40 years ago in 1972, Michigan was ranked #8 in the preseason by the coaches poll and won the Big Ten Championship.

                             AP                 Coaches            Final Record
1950                      3 (3)                   7                             6-3-1
1951                     17                       9                             4-5-0
1952                     NR                     NR                           5-4-0
1953                     NR                     NR                           6-3-0
1954                     NR                     20                            6-3-0
1955                     NR                     NR                           7-2-0
1956                      8 (2)                  12                            7-2-0
1957                      6 (3)                   7                             5-3-1
1958                     NR                     NR                           2-6-1
1959                     NR                     NR                           4-5-0
1960                     NR                     NR                           5-4-0
1961                     NR                     NR                           6-3-0
1962                     NR                     NR                           2-7-0
1963                     NR                     NR                           3-4-2
1964                     NR                     NR                           9-1-0
1965                      4 (5)                   4                             4-6-0
1966                     NR                     NR                           6-4-0
1967                     NR                     NR                           4-6-0
1968                     NR                     NR                           8-2-0
1969                     NR                     12                            8-3-0
1970                      8                        9                             9-1-0
1971                      4 (1)                   9                           11-1-0
1972                      6                        8                          10-1-0
1973                      5 (2)                   6                         10-0-1
1974                      6 (1)                   6                           10-1-0
1975                      3 (1)                   3                            8-2-2
1976                      2 (10)                 8                           10-2-0
1977                      2 (19)                 3                           10-2-0
1978                      6                        9                           10-2-0
1979                      7                        5                             8-4-0
1980                     12                      18                          10-2-0
1981                      1 (38)                 4                            9-3-0
1982                     12                      12                           8-4-0
1983                     10 (1)                 NR                          9-3-0
1984                     14 (1)                  8                            6-6-0
1985                     NR                     NR                        10-1-1
1986                      2 (6)                   2                          11-2-0
1987                      7                        8                            8-4-0
1988                     11 (1)                 19                           9-2-1
1989                      1 (23)                 4                          10-2-0
1990                      6                        7                            9-3-0
1991                      2 (5)                   7                          10-2-0
1992                      6 (1)                   6                            9-0-3
1993                      3 (3)                   5                            8-4-0
1994                      5 (2)                  21                           8-4-0
1995                     14                      12                            9-4
1996                     14                      17                            8-4
1997                     14                      20                           12-0
1998                      5 (4)                   1                            10-3
1999                      8                       12                           10-2
2000                      6                        5                             9-3
2001                     12                      11                            8-4
2002                     12                      20                           10-3
2003                      4 (2)                   9                           10-3
2004                      8                        6                             9-3
2005                      4                       14                            7-5
2006                     14                      NR                         11-2
2007                      5                        8                             9-4
2008                     NR                     18                            3-9
2009                     NR                     NR                           5-7
2010                     NR                     NR                           7-6
2011                     NR                     NR                         11-2
2012                                                8           

Comments

triangle_M

August 2nd, 2012 at 8:57 PM ^

18 in '08.

But with all of these, its very hard to tell what kind of season Michigan is going to have. I've been following the team since '79.  My love for Michigan football is only teased and tortured by the rankings.  I really try not to look at them.  That said, it is always better to exceed expectations.

MGoStrength

August 2nd, 2012 at 4:49 PM ^

First off, I was only old enough to know what's going on from '93 on.  But, it seems to me that the pollsters don't predict our final wins and losses very well.  Of the 9 times we were ranked in the top 10 we only lost fewer than 3 games once (1999).  And, of the four seasons we finished with 2 or fewer losses, our preseason rank only cracked the top 10 once (also 1999).  Our best seasons were 1997 with 0 losses, and 1999, 2006, and 2001 all with 2 losses respectively.  But, as a team ranked in the preseason top 10 we finished a heck of a lot of seasons with 3 and 4 losses.  Granted, sometimes #8, #9, and #10 teams finish with 3 losses, but not always & it's really rare to see a top 10 team have 4 loses....I can't think of one in recent memory.  It doesn't seem like our preseason ranking is all that indicitivive of our final wins and losses.  Plus there is a huge difference between 2 losses and 4.

tigers17fan

August 2nd, 2012 at 9:13 PM ^

Preseason rankings are of the talent of the team. not a prediction of their outcome. so in a year like this with a tough schedule, people may think we are the 8th best team, but don't think we will finish with a good record because of that tough schedule. conversely, if we had a worse team but a very easy schedule, a preaseason poll should rank us lower, even if our record is expected to be better

LSAClassOf2000

August 2nd, 2012 at 7:42 PM ^

Dothepose was dead center from the standpoint of past performance -

In the 22 seasons in this list that we've been ranked 8th or higher in the Coaches' Poll, we are 189-59-7 in those years, which is essentially good for a 9-3 record in a given season for historic performance. In the 4 years we were exactly 8th in the Coaches poll, we were 34-13 overall in those seasons, which is also a 9-3 record. At least in the past,  these have been pretty good years, and really, 9-3 would be a realistic expectation this year, I believe. 

A bit of trivia - in  years where we have been ranked in one preseason poll or the other, we average 7th in the AP and 11th in the Coaches' Poll.

MaizeNBlueNandu

August 6th, 2012 at 10:24 AM ^

The last 2 times we went 11-2 (1986 and 2006), we were also ranked 8 in the preseason Coaches poll the following year. We went 8-4 (1987) and 9-4 (2007) so it looks like we are looking at 4 losses this year (9-4 or maybe 10-4 if we play in and lose the Big Ten Championship game). I hope we buck this trend.