M Ascending

January 9th, 2018 at 8:05 AM ^

This high ranking obviously is based on the assumption that Shea Patterson will be eligible to play next season.  That's a mighty big assumption.  And given the way the NCAA seems to enjoy screwing Harbaugh, I am very concerned that they won't give him eligibility.  What happens to our odds of winning in that case?


January 8th, 2018 at 5:51 PM ^

You can absolutely temper your expectations--that's fine.  Just like I should be able to take hope from an optimistic projection from next season.

As a fan, you should be able do whatever you like.  My "we're not on the team" response wasn't speaking to your tempered expectations, it was speaking to your mocking my optimism based on this data point.


January 8th, 2018 at 4:39 PM ^

Will resemble 2016 with a much harder schedule. If we can get out of South Bend with a W I expect the team to be rolling opponents at 6-0 as we head into our back to back against Wisco and State.

At the end of the day though we'll need to beat 3 out of 4 of Wisco, PSU, MSU and OSU to get in the Championship game.

Bright side is because of the schedule Michigan should be the highest ranked team with X losses, so we shouldn't have to worry about being jumped with 1 loss to a 2 loss ESSCEECEE team.



January 8th, 2018 at 6:15 PM ^

Disagree that the schedule will be much tougher:

  • Colorado won their division, they were similar in difficulty to what ND will be next year. The game is on the road, albeit not in an intimidating environment. ND was 10-3 this year but loses a bunch of talent - they're a 4 loss unit next year. 
  • We get PSU and Wisconsin at home next year - we beat them both at home in 2016, the year they both played in the conference title game.
  • We get MSU and OSU on the road - we comfortably won the MSU game, not a difficult environment. We should've beat OSU, our guys know they can play there and our coaches know that they can out coach OSU. The year will come down to that game anyways. 
  • What is the difficult/trap road game like Iowa was in 2016? Northwestern? They're not a tough team and the crowd will be mostly Michigan fans.

I just don't get this meme that the schedule next year is indominable. I don't view it as being any tougher than our 2016 schedule, during which we were 2 plays away from going to the CFP - not to mention that there will be more talent on the roster next year.

Stringer Bell

January 8th, 2018 at 7:07 PM ^

I dunno.  OSU will be a top 10, possibly top 5 team.  MSU will possibly be a top 10-15 team (and even if they aren't they always play like they are against us).  That's 2 very tough road games right there.  I don't think ND will be a great team but they'll be a good team.  Overall that's 3 tough road games.  PSU will take a step back but they have a very good QB that can keep them in any game, and Wisconsin is returning a good and experienced QB and a legit Heisman contender at RB.  Neither of those games will be easy.  Throw in the away game against NW, and even a home game against what should be a greatly improved Nebraska team and we're looking at an incredibly tough schedule.  It's very possible, hell even likely, that we lose 2 games which would essentially be a death knell for our playoff hopes without some chaos elsewhere.  


January 8th, 2018 at 6:37 PM ^

@ Notre Dame is more difficult than home Colorado even if ND is a four loss team next year.  Home is a lot easier than away.

Then let's talk about MSU.  They were 3-9 in 2016.  I'm sure the blog reminded you of that at least three times a day between that game and the 2017 tilt (and still about once a day since then).  That wasn't a quality win.  It was a cakewalk.  That will certainly be a much more difficult game.

Iowa wasn't a "trap" game.  They weren't good in 2016.  We were 22+ point favorites.  We just shit the bed in that game.  Our non-Wisc West div. games next year are NW and Nebraska which will probably the 2nd and 3rd best teams in that division.  That's much better for the resume than 2016 Illinois (terrible) and Iowa (not very good).

Wisconsin is Wisconsin. OSU is OSU.

Maryland and Rutgers will almost certainly be better than they were in 2016.  PSU will probably be the only team worse than their 2016 counterpart.

I think we can and should win 10-12 games next year.  My point isn't to say that we can't/won't win the division, but it's to say the schedule should look really good by the end of the year.



January 8th, 2018 at 4:40 PM ^

I feel like we have this dicussion every year.  This is far more about M fans putting a lot of bets on their team than it is Vegas thinking we're a top 5 team.


January 8th, 2018 at 5:07 PM ^

And I feel like many on this blog (like you per this comment) don't understand that while "square" bets make up the majority of the betting volume, the majority of the money bet is by sharps who would hammer an artificially fan-influenced spread.

For example, as I said in this thread, Michigan's 2014 odds were 100-1.  If it were "far more about M fans putting a lot of bets on their team", you wouldn't see swings by a factor of 10 on futures odds between the years.


January 8th, 2018 at 5:16 PM ^

Michigan was a shit team in 2014 and the fans knew it, and it was also a pretty low point of enthusiasm for the fanbase. 

Your point about moving "spreads" isn't quite applicable.  A point spread for a game has bets on opposing sides, which as you noted, will get hammered if they get our of whack .  This is taking odds to win something, which isn't the same thing.  There isn't really a direct opposing bet to balance this out, other than nobody placing any bets, at which point the odds would drop until people started placing bets.  The reverse bet would be odds for Michigan not to win the national championship, which probably isn't going to pay out well no matter what money comes in.

My point is that money is coming in for M at 10-1, so either a.) sharps and squares agree the team will be good and are placing bets at these odds, or b.) people are putting in bets for M to win the national championship and don't care what the odds are. 


January 8th, 2018 at 5:30 PM ^

You're right, the futures market is dfferent than an event with a binary outcome (i.e. a game), and due to the higher juice some sharps avoid futures bets altogether, so fan bets will move a futures market more than a game market.

BUT, team strength weighs heavily into this, way more than fan bets.  Look at 2017 versus 2018.  Before the start of the 2017 season Michigan was 14-1 to win the national championship.  That was off a 10-3 season where we lost 3 games by 5 points, and the last 2 in part because of an injured QB.  Compare fan enthusiasm after last season to the sentiment lingering after whatever that was in the Outback Bowl.

I agree with you that fan bases influence futures bets to a small degree, but my point is Vegas weighs team strength much more when setting futures lines.  Michigan at those short 10-1 odds may not be an exact representation of team ratings, but it's indicative that next year's team is expected to be much better than this year's team.  The odds aren't meaningless.


January 9th, 2018 at 8:15 AM ^

Thank you for noting that Vegas sets line they think are accurate, first and foremost.

Vegas does care if bad lines gets hammered to their detriment, but they don't give an F if the people hammer it like fools. If they could move the M line down to 3:2 AND keep the money coming, they'd be over the moon because that's an absolutely stupid number and they're getting absolutely stupid bets on it.

So, I think the 10:1 is the genuine Vegas take on M. Those numbers aren't going to get moved much by bettors unless they think they think they can get people to keep betting a better house value. I'm guessing M backers maybe have a tolerance down to 8:1 (especially as the stink of 2017 wears off and everything turns rainbows and candy canes), but I think anything lower than that kills the action.

Honest Abe

January 8th, 2018 at 4:43 PM ^

I agree with this. With what we have coming back(our real good classes now have experience), the desperate need to win now attitude and the most determined head coach we will have ever seen, i dont see how we don't make it in the playoff. I think we end up with a loss in the cfp seminfinal game and probably a loss somewhere in the season. As per my 2nd post in the previous thread, i made sure this was not first ;)