Michigan getting even less respect than we deserve?

Submitted by Will Trade Sou… on August 7th, 2009 at 6:08 PM

In the pre-season coaches' poll, we only got 1 vote.  That leaves us tied with Minnesota, Houston, and Troy, of all teams, for 57th.

Other "notables" receiving more votes than us:  South Florida (who went 2-5 in the Big East last year), Northwestern, Arkansas (2-6 in the SEC), Southern Miss (4-4 in Conf. USA), Colorado (2-6 in Big 12), Tennessee (3-5 in SEC) and Central Michigan.

I know we didn't have a great year by any standards last year (and I am usually one to urge caution in the pre-season), but are people sleeping on Michigan a bit this year?  When was the last time that happened?


USA Today Coaches' Poll
 1. Florida (53) 0-0 1466 1
 2. Texas (4) 0-0 1386 3
 3. Oklahoma (1) 0-0 1358 5
 4. USC (1) 0-0 1321 2
 5. Alabama 0-0 1134 6
 6. Ohio State 0-0 1126 11
 7. Virginia Tech 0-0 1020 14
 8. Penn State 0-0 988 8
 9. LSU 0-0 917 NR
10. Mississippi 0-0 889 15
11. Oklahoma State 0-0 861 18
12. California 0-0 711 25
13. Georgia 0-0 707 10
14. Oregon 0-0 694 9
15. Georgia Tech 0-0 559 22
16. Boise State 0-0 542 13
17. TCU 0-0 461 7
18. Utah 0-0 404 4
19. Florida State 0-0 371 23
20. North Carolina 0-0 293 NR
21. Iowa 0-0 257 20
22. Nebraska 0-0 236 NR
23. Notre Dame 0-0 194 NR
24. Brigham Young 0-0 178 21
25. Oregon State 0-0 165 19
Others Receiving Votes
Kansas 138, Michigan State 136, Texas Tech 114, Cincinnati 90, Pittsburgh 64, West Virginia 55, Rutgers 51, Miami (FL) 46, Missouri 44, Illinois 38, Clemson 30, South Carolina 18, UCLA 14, Auburn 12, South Florida 11, Nevada 11, Kentucky 9, North Carolina State 7, Wisconsin 6, Arkansas 6, Northwestern 5, Southern Miss 4, Wake Forest 4, Arizona 3, Boston College 3, CENTRL MICHIGAN 3, East Carolina 3, Colorado 2, Maryland 2, Navy 2, Tennessee 2, TROY 1, Minnesota 1, Michigan 1, Houston 1.



August 7th, 2009 at 6:12 PM ^

lol...it is ok to be underrated this year... heck its better than being overrated and failing, as happened many times in the 90s... at least for a little while that is.

With the concerns on the secondary and defensive depth, Id say there should be some hesitation to praise this team before we can see it out on the field.


August 7th, 2009 at 6:21 PM ^

Ultimately we control our own destiny so I could care less about the polls. The polls usually are not even filled out by the head coaches themselves, usually just handed off to an AD or someone behind closed doors. So take this with a grain of salt. By the end of the season we will know if we were ranked too high or too low. But from where we are after a 3-9 season I can't complain.


August 7th, 2009 at 6:22 PM ^

If I were a voter in one of these pre-season polls, my criteria for inclusion would be that I thought a team would finish the regular season at 8-4 or better. Personally, I doubt UM will win at least 8 in the regular season, so I have no problem with UM not being included in a pre-season Top 25 poll.

I hope like H*ll that I am wrong and UM "shocks the world" by going 9-3 or something like that, but I ain't holding my breath. Imagine what it must feel like to root for a perennial loser like Indiana or Vandy...ugh, that would be torture.


August 7th, 2009 at 10:30 PM ^

Could be, although I don't know if first-year coaches get to vote. Brady Hoke is a possibility. Maybe also Miles or Harbaugh. Or maybe it's one of the three guys who lost to us last year?

The King of Belch

August 7th, 2009 at 10:00 PM ^

This team might not make it into the rankings at the end of the regular season even at 8-4.

Looking at the schedule, IMO the only way UM can get to 8-4 would be to jump out early at 4-1 or 5-0. Even a victory over Notre Dame might not help any rankings if they are the suck, plus the game is early.

If UM is decent early, the meat of the schedule comes with Illinois, PSU, Wisconsin and OSU--and if they get rolled in two or three of those games, any rankings hope will be doomed. By then, you'd have to hope for a good bowl win to close out at 9-4 to be ranked after the postseason. Not looking like it will happend, but then again, who cares at this point?

A good showing of 9-4 with a bowl win are the only things people will talk about. For the life of me, and not just because I hate 'em, but I can't remember how Sparty finished in the polls after their best season in nearly a decade. Just get on TV during the Christmas Holiday season and peoples will notice you.


August 7th, 2009 at 6:32 PM ^

I think we are getting no respect.

PTI just did a segment on ND.The subject was ND finishing
strong,how many wins etc.
Tony KornASS says RRod and Mich have nothing.


August 7th, 2009 at 6:33 PM ^

If you're going to end up in the final poll you're talking a 9-4 record at least, and even most Michigan fans aren't expecting that at this point. A fringe top 25 vote seems optimistic (though not entirely unreasonable), though I am surprised at a dozen of the teams that got more votes, particularly Illinois. (Yes, Juice is a senior. So what? Ask a Penn State fan how well Morelli's senior year went - and don't forget to duck.)

Michigan will certainly be better than last year, but they have plenty of room to improve and still fall short of top-25 status. And with another true-freshman QB, people are justifiably leery.


August 7th, 2009 at 6:49 PM ^

Win the first few games and we'll be back on the radar. I'd much rather be underrated than overrated and lose to a team we have no business losing to.


August 7th, 2009 at 7:11 PM ^

I'm actually surprised that we got any votes, since I think it's pretty unlikely we're one of the 25 best teams (either now or at the end of the year).
Then again, it'd be nice to be a little higher on the respect scale than CMU, Arizona, Troy, Northwestern, etc., all teams I think most of us would expect to beat even in our current state.


August 7th, 2009 at 7:22 PM ^

you get paid for where you finish. who cares where we are in the preseason polls, and none of us should care if we're not getting any respect right now. when we go out there an thump a couple of good opponets, we'll start getting some respect and moving up the polls.


August 7th, 2009 at 8:08 PM ^

I've got to agree. If UM has a good enough record at the end of the year, we'll be ranked... and most likely higher than other teams with the same record/SOS simply because we are Michigan and old voting habits and biases die hard.

We'll have to earn respect on the field. The best thing about going 3-9 is that too many fans (and probably some within the UM football program as well) really did think that the team "deserved" to be considered elite merely for our tradition and forgot that it had to be earned. This team, under this coach, will earn it. Or not. But the lack of preseason hype will be forgotten if we end up in a bowl game.


August 7th, 2009 at 8:28 PM ^

If they start 5-0, or even 4-1, they will get back a lot of respect. Voters love to exclude the "3-9 Wolverines" right now, IMO, because a 3-9 UM team is such a novelty, but they are essentially creatures of habit. And once UM gets back in the habit of winning, the voters will get back in the habit of voting them into the top 25.

I also think the same thing will happen in reverse to MSU. They seem to be a trendy pick as third-best team in the Big Ten right now, but let them lose a few and they will disappear from the top 25 faster than food from Charlie Weis' plate.

david from wyoming

August 7th, 2009 at 9:08 PM ^

How do you figure that we are 57th in a poll that only goes to 25? Unless I'm missing something, all the coaches get asked how they would rank the top 25 teams, they give points based on position and basically come up with the average top 25 teams. For all you know, all the coaches would on average rank us much higher or lower on a complete poll. All you really can conclude that we aren't, on average, in the top 25 and that one coach thinks we are the 25th best team (assuming that a 25th place vote gets one point).

Oh, and it's the coaches' poll!!! Someone maybe just forget to tell JoePa it's not 1909.

david from wyoming

August 7th, 2009 at 10:01 PM ^

I don't want to start a flame war, I just wanted to make the point that you can't state the conclusion that we are ranked 57th in the coaches poll with any degree of confidence. If you want to think that we are ranked at or near 57th, that is fine, but you wouldn't be able to publish that statement in a scientific journal.

Carry on.


August 7th, 2009 at 10:04 PM ^

What a joke. Rodney Dangerfield has nothing on us. Watch out. We could win as many as 10 games this season, All depends on the play of Tate Forcier. A bowl appearance is within the realm of possibility. Defensive depth is a concern. Especially the DB's.


August 8th, 2009 at 8:10 AM ^


If they think about it at all, I'd bet the coaches are actually happy with the football world ignoring Michigan. For a team this young, with inexperience at so many key positions, with so many unanswered questions, it would be deadly to have any smoke blown up its behind about how good it is. This team and program is going to have to earn its way back up the ladder, and that's how it should be.

I Miss Bursley

August 8th, 2009 at 3:07 PM ^

I'm a little surprised by even that one vote actually. Doesn't that mean that someone out there thinks Michigan is one of the top 25 teams in the nation right now?

With all the questions at QB and on Defense I think that might be a stretch. I know that we'll be in there after the first 5-6 weeks but as of now I think we have too much to prove still.


August 8th, 2009 at 7:11 PM ^

God *&$%ed mother$*@$ing, @$$#@!& licking $&@*&@ can shove their #*$&@ vote up a $*#&@'s @$$ and then tie their #@*#! with a piece of [email protected]*, garnish it with a @*$*!%&, bake it at #%& degress and serve it up @#&^$ style. $^@*$#@ LOLphers and Brew% couldn't hold [email protected]'s %#[email protected]! even if he $&@@# on Tuesdays!

Fuckin' Geauxfurs.


August 8th, 2009 at 5:15 PM ^

as a fan base, we need get rid of our hang-ups of respect. as many people have said, we wen 3-9 last year. we've lost players, and will probably be starting a freshman qb this year. i didnt expect us to get even 1 vote in the poll. i cannot honestly say that i believe we have the 25th best team in the country. we have a strong young team that will work hard, but there is not enough continuity and too much change for me to feel confident that we will be one of the top 25 teams. i'd be happy as hell if we managed to finish up there, but there is no sense asking for respect when we haven't earned it yet.

also remember that these are preseason polls. as soon as the first game of the season is played, they're more worthless than a pair of condoms stapled together.

perhaps instead of clamoring for respect, we need to spend that energy getting behind our team, screaming at games (i.e. no more keys), and earning our respect.


August 9th, 2009 at 2:48 AM ^

at Michigan.

In regards to the main theme, yes, we went 3-9 last year, so don't expect the national press to inspect what rolled off versus what got a year better and is rolling on.

Ten returning starters on offense. (And it looks like one of them, Ferrara, is getting beat out.) The running game improved significantly near the end of the season last year. IMO, some of that was the line, and some of that was the North/South running of Minor. And in regard to QB, it's not like were trying to replace a solid performer. (No disrespect to Sheridan, the high school all conference honorable mention who I praise for winning the Minnesota game.)

Without question, the offense will be better.

On defense, we lose Terrance Taylor, Tim Jamison, Will Johnson, Morgan Trent, Brandon Harrison, and John Thompson.
Fortunately, we also lose Scott Shafer.

On defense, LB will be better, with Fitzgerald projected to beat out 2008 starter Ezeh and the Stevie Brown moving up where his athleticism can be better utilized and his mistakes better covered.

At DB, Warren and Cissiko are joined by five underclassmen (Smith, Woolfolk, Turner, Williams, Emilien) that will compete for time. How many 3rd and 15s did the 2008 give up?
The football effectiveness of the talent has to be at least a push.

No, the line won't be as good, but fortunately our best player Graham stayed (whew), the surprisingly good true sophomore Mike Martin gets more time, we signed the monster Will Campbell, and VanBergen gets to show his motor.

Finally, there's no way a Greg Robinson coached defense will give up numbers like

Utah 23-25 (L)
Miami, OH 16-6 (W)
@Notre Dame 17-35 (L)
Wisconsin 27-25 (W)
Illinois 20-45 (L)
Toledo 10-13 (L)
Penn State 17-46 (L)
Michigan State 21-35 (L)
@Purdue 42-48 (L)
@Minnesota 29-6 (W)
Northwestern 14-21 (L)
Ohio State 7-42 (L)

Allowed Frequency
  40s           4
  30s           2
  20s           3
  10s           1
   0s           2

While the D-line was very good last year, it had no impact on the final result, as third and long after third and long were converted repeatedly.


August 9th, 2009 at 7:39 PM ^

3-9, frosh QB, unknown quantities on defense. I think the negative attention is earned. Of course, I don't watch the Mickey Mouse shows so I don't know what they are saying.