Playing the percentages

Submitted by wolvrine32 on July 22nd, 2008 at 4:36 PM

I think predicting wins and losses over specific teams is slightly insane.  Obviously nobody knows or they'd be making money hand over fist in Vegas.  But what does make sense to me is predicting the liklihood of beating a particular team.  That said, I probably woud've assessed our chances in The Horror at 99%, so take everything here with a grain of salt.

Here are my percent chances of winning each game this season:

  1. 45% - Utah - I don't like the 1st game thing, and I really don't like the O-line in the first game.  Call me crazy.  But still, seems like our D could be better, maybe much better, than their offense.
  2. 90% - Miami (OH) - Could be more, but I'm not more than 90% confident of any game on this schedule.
  3. 55% - Notre Dame - Obviously more if their first game looks Yakety Sax.  That said, I can't help but think they'll be much improved until I see differently.  My Dad is an ND fan, so I'm genetically predisposed to fear the worst from them.
  4. 30% - Wisconsin - Damn them.
  5. 40% - Illinois - Damn them too.
  6. 90% - Toledo - Again, I'm not going higher than 90%.  We should have far superior talent.
  7. 66% - Penn State - This could be the year the Zombie busts out, but probably not.
  8. 30% - MSU - I have a bad feeling this IS the year Little Brother busts out. 
  9. 80% - Purdue - They aren't predicted to do great things, and we have kinda had their number.  Like Germany has kinda had Poland's.
  10. 85% - Minny - They're likely near the bottom of the Big Ten this season.  Before anyone asks "why not 90%??", consider that anything 80% or above is a whole lot, and we're just splitting hairs.
  11. 90% - Northwestern - And here's the other side of the split hair.  I don't see Coach Rod losing to another spread offense with superior talent on his side.  Threet has more innate ability than any of their QB's, period.
  12. 10% - Ohio State - Oh how it pains me to admit that percentage.  We're a year away, IMHO.

Expected value of wins?  Just over 7.  Let me know what you think.



July 22nd, 2008 at 4:48 PM ^

I like the percentages except for Utah, I realize that its the first game but it is going to be SO LOUD when the players take the field and adrenaline will be so high, I just don't see Utah scoring much at all(if any) on the crowd fed defense. And MSU, come on. Their strengths fit well with ours and a couple Sam McGuffie touchdowns in the second half should seal that victory...


July 22nd, 2008 at 4:53 PM ^

state lost every good player they had except ringer. their lines were gutted, and their qb stinks. yet everyone thinks they'll beat us. they must have a heck of a pr department


July 22nd, 2008 at 4:55 PM ^

I simply can't see UM with only a 30% chance of winning at home against MSU. Sure they have a better chance than most years, but 70%? Other than that (and maybe Illinois), I'm on board. Good stuff.

Blue Durham

July 22nd, 2008 at 5:55 PM ^

At home against Utah (present line, UM laying 7 points)- 45% but AT Notre Dame (UM's first road game, historically a bad outcome) 55%? At Penn State 66%, but at home against MSU, 30%? These should be switched. Both Illinois and Wisconsin are at home, yet both easily less than 50%? I didn't realize Lloyd Carr left the cupboard so bare, UM hired Groucho Marx as the new coach, and the spring game was a total disaster. Oh yeah, and that none of the upper half of Big Ten teams have any problems. But no, I am not a delusional Domer-type and predicting that we will go into the USC game (Rose Bowl) at 12-0.


July 22nd, 2008 at 6:06 PM ^

55% - Utah - You've gotta think intangibles, this is a statement game for the defense that's been hearing about how awful we're going to be all year. 93% - Miami (OH) - They have good linebackers, but should be outmatched. 75% - Notre Dame - I'm biased, but nd has one of the worst coaches in college football. Tenuta is the only reason the percentage is lower than miami 55% - Wisconsin - Always beat them at home, new qb, weren't that great last year to be honest. 70% - Illinois - Spread isn't going to fool our defense, we have too much speed to lose this one. Losing Mendenhall is going to hurt Illinois, and their linebackers are sketch. 96% - Toledo - Twice as confident in this one as the Miami one. 66% - Penn State - I agree on this one, lots of unknowns though. 80% - MSU - Are you kidding me? MSU is up there with weiss on the head coaching level and they lost all kinds of their talent last year. Just because they're going to lose the next four, doesn't mean that they win this one. I don't think msu will win in ann arbor ever again personally. 80% - Purdue - Purdue is not good, but Tiller's last year. Could be a letdown like Minnesota 05 90% - Minny - They'll be better this year, but they were really bad. I mean really bad. 80% - Northwestern - I don't know very much about them. 100% - Ohio State - tuos was terrible last year, they caught us at the perfect time. All of those same crappy players are back and will be overconfident. Our offense will be flowing at this point and we crush them. Either 34-0 or 24-12, depending on your historical preference.


July 22nd, 2008 at 7:12 PM ^

Given all the changes we've experienced, it's obviously tough to make predictions, so I don't want to be too critical. I will say, though, that the notion of us having a 70% chance of losing at home to SPARTY is a little hard to believe. That and the PSU prediction should definitely be switched. Sparty always wets the bed in Ann Arbor. I don't relish the trip to State College, though.

Ms. Wolverine

July 22nd, 2008 at 7:14 PM ^

Agreed with everything except Little Bro. Maybe if it was in EL, but not in AA.

Guy up there going with 100% against OSU needs to learn to separate fantasy from reality...


July 22nd, 2008 at 7:37 PM ^

i hope your joking on the OSU percentage. The game has shades of the us against the world feeling that Mich v. OSU had in 1969- bo's first year, but your coming on a little strong there. True , offense could be flowing. But, OSU has pretty much everybody back except Barton and Gholston( they are getting back DE Lawrence Richardson from injury-suppposed to be a stud). According to your logic, we have a 4.3% chance of going undefeated. I dont think so. Since, this is essentially the year of the unknown, pretty much anybody's percentages can be blasted, but these %'s reek of uniformed homerism.


July 22nd, 2008 at 7:48 PM ^

How can you question my %, but not the guy who posts we have a 10% chance against tuos in November while it's still July?  If you have an 9 and 2 Michigan team you're going to tell me they have a 10% chance?  In reality I'd probably put 60-70%, but I can't separate homerism from that game.  I don't get how someone would put 10% down.  I don't care if we had a plane crash and our whole team had to be replaced by freshman and they were the returning national champions.  I still wouldn't put us below 50%. 


July 22nd, 2008 at 8:07 PM ^

1)you obviously do not realize how good OSU can be. They have 18 returning starters from an 11-2 team. Boeckman in his 1st yr starting was the passing efficiency leader in big ten. Beanie was 2nd leading rusher i believe. 60-70% now? You think we should be favored? Im not writing off a victory in any way, but I'd put the chances at around 20-25%. It's in the shoe. So much would have to go right. 2) you are assuming a 9-2 team. Why? A lot depends on Threet. I believe the run game will be there, the pass game is the question. You have no evidence to suggest that he is that good, though he could be. Besides his star ranking out of HS, there are just no refernce points to suggest anything above average QB play from him ( he sucked in the spring game) 3)the guy who put us at 10% is less crazy than you. I believe the transition to a new offense will be a smoother one than predicted in part b/c i think our freshmen skill will give us a dynamic playmaking boost. In fact, I think we could potentially be strong offensively towards the end of the year. But I just think you are underselling OSU and how good they are. What if they are playing for a title game berth? Even if they aren't, chances are they'll be just as fired up about that game as us. Emotion and passion in a game gives a team an edge, but in a rivalry game both teams will have it.  Thus the game will come down to execution and playcalling. There is no reason to believe us to be more proficient in these areas in year 1 of a transition than OSU is.


July 23rd, 2008 at 8:17 AM ^

1)  They have 18 starters returning from an 11-2 team that won games against four teams from ohio not named Cincinatti.  They only beat us last year because we were hobbled, but not badly enough to replace our starters.  Face it, they were not a good team last year.  They got destroyed by LSU, and LSU didn't exactly have Vince Young or some other playmaker lined up.  They got beaten by Illinois who ran the option spread in the shoe.  The only teams they beat were Wisconsin and Penn State, neither of which are honestly that impressive.  Boeckman is an awful quarterback, did you watch the Michigan game?  So you're ready to hand tuos a NC based on them beating wisconsin and penn state last year. 

2)  I'm actually going to put us at 10-1, I was just trying to compromise with what the trends are.  I think Utah is a tough game, but we win RRod's opener, and that we lose to either Wisconsin or Illinois on a bunch of mistakes.  I could see scares from ND or penn state, but I honestly think that ND will still be bad, although much better and that penn state lost as much as we did, has less to replace them, and we always beat them because they're coaching staff isn't very good anymore.

Threet-wise, I'm not banking on him, I'm banking on the fact that we actually have competition for spots for the first time in a few years.  Last year qb and rb were locked up, and the year before too.  This is Threet and Sheridan and Feagin's only shot at locking up the job before the recruits start coming in 09.  They're all going to be busting ass to get their names in there now and that's going to make them all perform better.  Read Life Lessons by Bo, it's all in there. 

3)  The guy who put 10% means that Toledo is as likely to beat us as we are to beat tuos.  That's ridiculous and you know it.  Obviously 100% is homerism and wishful thinking, but 60-70% isn't.  tuos is garbage, they don't have emotion down there, they have paychecks.  RRod and Barwis play for the last game of the year, there is no tapering for midseason games.  That's why WV always won their bowl games, because they were conditioned and prepared.  Not a chance RRod doesn't walk down to the shoe more than prepared to send a message. 

Blue Durham

July 22nd, 2008 at 11:02 PM ^

I do understand what you are saying (I think), I'm just giving you a hard time!  But if you can find someone to give you 1:1 odds against Michigan, with Michigan's .745 all time winning percentage (which is not much different from the last 30 years winning percentage), you would never have to work another day in your life (even including the vig).


July 22nd, 2008 at 11:05 PM ^

I like Michigan's defense next year. Warren and Trent are fast and strong, and the d-line will be tough as well. Defense will keep us in a lot of games. For all the hype about Rodriguez I'm just as psyched about Schaeffer. I can't wait to see what he can do.


July 23rd, 2008 at 8:15 AM ^

I'm not buying some of these and for some very simple reasons. I'll just give a brief statement of what we have and then you can make your own predictions. We have mirror images on both sides of the los in terms of philosophy. Both the offense and defense set new standards for the word, "aggressive" and this has been proven in all of Shafer's stops as DC. This really started at N. ILL, where they played three BCS teams in one season and gave up an average of 15 pts per game against those three. But this is what I like and imagine it with UM's defense. His teams, at both levels the MAC and PAC 10 were among the nation's leaders where it really matters. Avg rush yds pr game. Intereceptions, turnovers, scoring off turnovers, tackles for loss, etc....... This guy is just as dangerous on defense as RR is on offense. I'm wondering if you inserted the defensives scores when you came up with your percentages. Thank you


July 23rd, 2008 at 9:16 AM ^

Sounds like prevailing opinion is that I didn't do too shabby except for MSU. Obviously I hope I'm wrong, and I'll take the hit and admit I probably set that one too low. However:

1. We've beaten them an inordinate number of times in a row, with a bunch of squeakers in there

2. State thrives on emotion, and the rhetoric has been through the roof this offseason. They're going to have the emotional edge. That's when Sparty is dangerous. Given that, I probably should up the %... say, a toss-up at 50%?

Couple other notes...

Utah - If you believe the line, then plunk your money down. Vegas isn't around to predict games.

Penn State - We're all just slinging opinions here, and my opinion is Penn State is going to stink this season. The past two years against us, they barely scored. Assuming SS is even a tiny upgrade from Ron English, how does PSU even put 20 up on us? With "Spread HD"? Zombie-man is the type of coach RR will eat for breakfast. I feel pretty good about that streak continuing.

Ohio State - These percentages are being assembled in July, yes. So what do we know? We know Michigan is a giant "?" in several areas, not the least of which is scheme. What do we know about the Bucks? We know a tremendous amount (Lloyd word alert!) Anyone who would say standing here *today* that we have anything more than a 10% chance based on rivalry alone is smoking the funny weed. Obviously after getting more information I'd change some things in October.


July 23rd, 2008 at 9:44 AM ^

I would put the Illinois % a little bit higher than 40. I actually think we will beat them- so say 55%. Our D proved they could stop their offense last year and their running game should be weaker w/o Mendenhall. They lose J Leman at MLB as well. Two best players gone. I have no idea how equipped they are to replace those two. At RB Duefrene is quick, but im not sure about their run D w/o Leman. Also, we have the corners to lock up Benn reasonably well. I have a good feeling about that game especially if we come in at 3-1 or 4-0(doubtful).


July 23rd, 2008 at 1:51 PM ^

IMO, our winning streak against PSU is considerably flukier than our streak against MSU. We've been favored to beat MSU every year in the last 35-40 years, except 2005 (and then only because we were 2-2 going in). On paper, we SHOULD beat them every time. And frankly, I see the fact that we've played them close a lot lately as more a knock on our close-to-the-vest coaching philosophy than a sign of MSU closing the gap. In 2004, for instance, where was the deep ball to Braylon in the first 53 minutes? We didn't go deep until it was desperation time. And while it's true that MSU thrives on emotion, I don't see them getting a lift from the crowd in Ann Arbor. They haven't won in our stadium in 18 years. As for PSU, they've been favored against us a few times during the streak, and we've been getting by by the skin of our teeth a lot. We won on the last play of the game in 2002 and 2005, and had a close shave last year. This against a team that recruits almost as well as we do. That's the streak that's really improbable. I wouldn't be surprised if it were to end this season, with our young team going into a 107,000-seat stadium filled with people that must absolutely hate our guts.

chitownblue (not verified)

July 23rd, 2008 at 2:33 PM ^

I love how "C'mon, LSU even beat them!" is an argument for why OSU sucked last year. LSU WAS THE NATIONAL CHAMPION. This board is making me sad today.