Teams I expect to finish in front of in the Top 25

Submitted by iawolve on April 8th, 2009 at 11:17 PM

This post really came out of the diary on the Michigan standard since it almost begged the question of who you expect to finish in front of in the Top 25. For example, if I expect the Michigan standard to be a Top 10 finish, you sort of create your own pecking order of teams that you feel inferior and superior to. To that end, I would really like to know where you think we sit in regards to other teams. This would essentially justify the standard.

When I thought about this, I sort of put teams into buckets and worked backwards. Again this does not assume the mythical NC year, but more of an averaging over any given year.

Teams I Assume We Finish Behind:

*Texas/Oklahoma (1 or both depending on head to head)
*Florida/LSU/Georgia/Alabama (1 or 2 depending on the SEC)

With this assumption, Michigan would finish the season ranked 4-6 before counting the second group.

Teams We Fight to Stay in the Top 10 to 15:

*Boise State/Utah/Non-BCS team with a good record
*Texas/Oklahoma non-choice
*Florida/LSU/Georgia/Alabama non-choices (2)
*PSU or other Big 10
*Pick some other Big 12
*Pick some Pac-10 or Big East

I separated OSU from other Big 10 since I feel OSU has a better chance of excelling on an annual basis and we know we will for sure play them. We lose control of some teams in our conference due to rotation. I know this seems SEC heavy, but it is just where we are right now, you might be substituting Tennessee for one of those choices soon. Adding this next set puts us between 4-14 depending on how our record and other teams sort out in their head to head matchups. Essentially, that puts the Michigan standard at a top 15 finish with high expectations of Top 5.

This sort of matches our recruiting team ranking so you hope to finish somewhere near that mythical number with a chance to exceed that number with a special class or collection of classes. Obviously, the Epic Fail is always a possibility when games don’t break your way or injuries stack up so you under achieve. I see the NC scenario a much smaller possibility due to star alignment than a slide.

I would be interested in your thoughts.


His Dudeness

April 9th, 2009 at 8:22 AM ^

If you are talking year over year, I HOPE for top 10 and the occasional special class that will have us in the NC game every few years. I don't EXPECT anything.


April 9th, 2009 at 1:20 PM ^

Sounds about right. The first 10 years under Carr seems, at least to me, the standard seasons a UM fan should hope for - consistent top-15 finishes, with the random NC run thrown in.


April 10th, 2009 at 12:37 AM ^

If UM has top ten recruiting classes nearly every year, they should be a top ten team nearly every year if the coach maximizes the talent on the team. Carr stuck to his old, predictable offense and it cost UM a lot of games his last few years.

For a great illustration of this, remember what happened against Florida when he chucked his normal tendencies and pretty much called against them the entire game.

I am with Bill Martin's stated goals: compete for the NC most years and win one every five. That doesn't mean that they have to get to the NC game every year, but they do need to be in the mix until the last game or two. That is why RR is here; UM needed a coach who could get the most out of the wealth of talent that is normally available to the team.

I look for a 9-3 turnaround this year, and being in the mix in 2010. If that's too optimistic, I'll "suffer the consequences" later.


April 10th, 2009 at 6:26 PM ^

Win one national championship every five years? Only Florida and USC have accomplished this in the past decade, and a quick glance through the list of NCAA football champions shows similar historical trends. Personally, I believe that no team should ever expect a rigid "one NC in X years" standard.

Similarly, you seem to expect Michigan to "be in the mix until the last game or two" every year. Again, I think that's unrealistic; Michigan should certainly compete for Big Ten titles on a yearly basis (or most years), but to expect national championship contention? Only USC consistently manages that.

Finally, recruiting rankings certainly do not convey the whole story. I know we've all beaten this into the ground, but a "Top 10" recruiting class does not in any way guarantee that maximizing the talent results in a Top 10 team. Players will bust, regardless of who is coaching. Players will get hurt. And on and on.


April 11th, 2009 at 1:59 PM ^

The ACC had the best collective non-conference record during the season last year. I think you can include 1 ACC team in your top group for at least 1/3 of the years in any given time span, and 1 team in the second group. This especially true in years like this one where GT and VT will be the two best teams but in the same division.


April 13th, 2009 at 8:58 PM ^

While i would love to see us ranked in the top ten i think realistically thats still another year away. Yes Forcier looked good but how will he do when the games on the line? I think the offense will be alot better this year but the defense is suspect and with no special teams coach we're probably gonna have trouble in that area as well.
I live in North Carolina and went to my bosses house to watch North Carolina/Notre Dame game. I was impressed with the way NC played and was glad to see a team other than VTech from the ACC do well. That conference is on the rise.