Michigan managed to pull out the win at Indiana last Saturday, making it 22 straight victories over the Hoosiers. Not much cause for excitement there. Karan Higdon's day was something of a revelation, but overall Michigan managed to make it look harder than necessary on Saturday, with the sputtering passing game almost spoiling another fine showing by the defense. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the fan satisfaction index for the game was just 51.6. Better than last week's 20.5 for sure, yes, but hardly much to write home about. Lukewarm might be the best word to describe it.
Figure 1. Post-Indiana Satisfaction
More troubling than needing overtime was the fact that O’Korn’s performance was statistically worse this year than during last year’s Snow Bowl against Indiana. This led 53% of respondents to say that the game left them feeling less confident about the season moving forward. Just 10% said the game made them more confident. The rest were unmoved.
The lackluster performance also failed to do much to revive the fans’ feelings about the season so far. This week the season satisfaction rating averaged 53.7. That’s a good bit better than folks were feeling after the loss to the Spartans (40.5), but still a long ways from the 76.2 posted after the Purdue game. Lukewarm seems about the right word here as well
It’s going to take a lot more than beating Indiana to erase the effects of an ugly loss to a rival. The looming battle at Penn State is likely also dampening the mood right now. A lot of people are busy trying to harden their hearts in advance of what Vegas projects to be a loss on the road in Happy Valley. A loss there - even one with “dignity” – will cause fan satisfaction with the season to take another hit. Obviously, an upset on the road, at night, with Game Day at Penn State, would go a long way to reviving all the good feelings fans had after the Florida game.
Figure 2. Week 7 Season Satisfaction
Themes, Thoughts, Trends
This week’s post is a bit condensed because I’m on the road myself this week – actually visiting UGA in Athens, Georgia and hoping to check in on UCF in Orlando as well. I had not realized just how beautiful the UGA campus was and I would certainly recommend Athens as a fantastic place to visit. A lot like Ann Arbor, but with much better weather.
Figure 3. The Season So Far