After IU, Do We Now Suffer From BPOPE?

Submitted by MaizeMN on November 18th, 2018 at 9:02 AM

Like many of you, I wasn't terribly excited by the Team's performance yesterday. I was relieved Michigan won the game, but it was in a less convincing fashion than we've become accustomed to lately.

Did we expect too much? Do we now suffer from a different game day expectation affliction? An affliction based on the expectation that the Offense moves the ball easily and puts up 42 points? One where the Defense imposes a Rutger on the opposition offense and only gives up one garbage-time drive?

Are we now outside the realm of BPONE, and susceptible to the Bright Pinnacle of Positive Expectations (BPOPE)?

After all, the Offense moved the ball well, gained 500+ yards, had 8 scoring drives, and only punted once, I believe. The Defense ceded more yards than normal, but only gave up 3 second half points.

With "The Game" looming large next Saturday, will we fall back into the depths of BPONE, or are we now afflicted with this newly discovered strain of BPOPE?

Go Blue, Beat Ohio!



November 18th, 2018 at 9:09 AM ^

BPONE cuz OSU. That and the defense gave a much more talented OSU a step by step blue print on how to beat us. And our continuing failure to get a TD in the red zone. 


November 18th, 2018 at 9:58 AM ^

I agree and think it's great for our defense to have been tested this week. We got game reps focused on a weakness, made adjustments that were good, and had to play more defensive snaps leading to players cramping like it was the first game of the season. I would rather have it this way, with a week to address/further correct, than be experiencing these things in the game this week for the first time in awhile.


November 18th, 2018 at 9:10 AM ^

Giving up 20 points and 300+ yards felt like a shellacking on our defense. Most defenses would be ecstatic with that kind of performance. We are a bit spoiled.

Taco Panda

November 18th, 2018 at 9:44 AM ^

Exactly. I was at the game and furious every time IU converted a 3rd down. Like irrationally, explosively pissed. Our D thrives on preventing those conversions and we’ve gotten so accustomed to assuming those downs are one away from getting the ball back. Frustrating to see so many converted but we won. Hope Chase is back and on fire next week. God I want our boys to pummel the buckeyes. 


November 18th, 2018 at 9:11 AM ^

No.  But don't get all mad if OSU moves the ball and scores some points next week.  Their offense is talented, but their defense can't cover toast with butter.

death by wolverine

November 18th, 2018 at 9:14 AM ^

Pretty sure we practiced for OSU all week. Save maybe a day for Indiana. Matter of fact, I didn’t see Don Brown all game yesterday. Maybe he was back in his office watching OSU tape. 


November 18th, 2018 at 9:35 AM ^

As has been said on here before. I wouldn't look too much into it. Your normal play packages become very limited in the red zone due to a shorter field. Why waste all of our scoring or short yardage plays when the kicking game was getting it done? I think Harbaugh learned a lesson in 2016 about wasting all of your good plays on style points.


November 18th, 2018 at 9:22 AM ^

OSU has played like shit recently, but they have the capability to pull a Sparty on us (play well above their heads for one game because of the RIVALRY.) And the game is in Columbus, and the biggest intangible might be the “let’s win one for our dieing coach.” I was at the Earle Bruce Fedora game. OSU could pull off a reverse-Biakabutuka game. Or they could get behind early and turtle in the face of a superior foe. Anything is possible. Until we start winning this game again, I will be BPONE’ing. It’s a classic, “spend 4 hours in the fetal position” game for me. Those are always fun. 


November 18th, 2018 at 9:24 AM ^

I don’t think it’s a new affliction, but rather a sub-strain of BPONE.

I am not convinced that the red zone issues weren’t partly the result of two factors: 1) the coaches knew they had a kicker who could get them points, and 2) the play calling reflected it. 

In many instances this season, Patterson ran the ball on a zone read inside the 20 to get TDs. Although there were a few, critical QB keepers in this game, they were almost non-existent against Indiana. I think that was on purpose.

I am far more concerned about the defense. They were just not that sharp in the first half; and although they only gave up 3 points in the second half, they revealed a startling vulnerability to a mobile QB. I expect we will see a lot of Tate Martell next week, and it would surprise me if we even saw Haskins reprise some of his keepers from last year’s game (or try to, anyway).

Net-net, my expectations for next week have softened somewhat. I’d call that a BPONE rebound.

Perkis-Size Me

November 18th, 2018 at 9:25 AM ^

I never really lost faith that we’d beat IU. Somehow, Michigan always finds a way to beat them every year, even when they shouldn’t or when IU plays better. It’s just what Michigan does.

But I believe we are still highly susceptible to BPONE against OSU. At least I am. Until I see it happen, and until I see us beat a great OSU team, I will not be able to shake the feeling that bad things are going to happen to Michigan in that game, or that Michigan will find a way to shoot itself in the foot and let OSU back into the game, or just win it. It’s just what Michigan has done so many times over the last 18 years.

Could this year be different? Sure, it could. And I know that previous years have no bearing on this year’s game. The pieces that have consistently held Michigan back in this game, OL and QB, appear to have been rectified. But again, I just have to see it to believe it. This game is a huge mental and psychological hurdle for this team. OSU believes that not only can they win, but after dominating the rivalry for so long, that they WILL win. Even if they’re down 3 scores with 3-4 minutes to go.

Monkey House

November 18th, 2018 at 9:27 AM ^

Yes the game yesterday wasn't great, but don't let it take away the fact osu needed overtime to beat Maryland.  Or that they won by single digits 4 times this year over teams with under 6 wins


November 18th, 2018 at 9:33 AM ^

The thing about previous OSU games, even the upsets that OSU pulled off when Bo had the better teams, is that all of those teams were sound fundamentally.  They were maybe missing some talent, but they all played decent team ball.  They were able to rise up and win a game because they rallied together behind good coaching they believed in.

This OSU team doesn't believe in its coaching.  The defense has been shit all year - not because of a lack of talent.  They not organized, they don't tackle, they don't seem to hustle, They don't play behind good coaching they believe in.  They have two DC's, one of which (Schiano) wasn't supposed to be there this year.  Seem familiar?  Think of UM's OL last year - Drevno wasn't supposed to be there, and the two coaches (Drevno and Frey) didn't mesh.  Same thing with OSU's defense.  This doesn't get fixed for the UM game, its a systemic infrastructure thing.

Offensively, again talented, but a one trick pony at QB.  That, against Don Brown, is a losing situation.  Every time.

I don't know if BPOPE is real (or as real as BPONE), but for this game, expect Michigan to kick 17 years of ass-whoopings in the ass.


November 18th, 2018 at 9:53 AM ^

Conversely, between the two teams the one position group that I have absolutely no confidence in would be OSU's linebackers.  Every time I have watched them play this season I have been reminded of two names: Obi Ezeh and Jonas Mouton.  Both were physically talented--especially Mouton, whose measurable got him drafted despite a pretty terrible college career.  But Ezeh had no clue what he was doing and Mouton seemed to blow his own assignment as often as he got it right.  It doesn't matter how big you are or what your 40 time is or how much you can bench press or whether you have the uncanny ability to make yourself believe the opposing running back murdered your child if you don't know where you are supposed to go and what you are supposed to do.


November 18th, 2018 at 9:38 AM ^

Hey, at least we didn't give up 51 points to the team that lost to Indiana the week before.

Indiana did a great service to Michigan on so many levels. Indiana played a tough and dirty game of which Michigan will get from OSU. The officials did their best to give most of the breaks to Indiana, which will happen at OSU.  Indiana played Michigan close as to not be over confident for OSU. Indiana played fast, played like it was their "The Game" and Michigan didn't play its best offensive game but still had over 500 yards.  This could have been a blow out if the red zone was a little better.  Indiana showed Michigan's defensive warts that OSU would have exposed so they have a week to fix.  Not going to hear all week how great Michigan's defense is but how they got exposed. This is the motivation that The Don and the Team needed.  If anyone thinks those red zone woes won't be fixed, think again. Was anyone worried about our field goal game before the Indiana game? I was, not now.

If you ask me, this was the perfect game, the perfect opponent, the perfect officiating crew at the perfect time to prep Michigan.


November 18th, 2018 at 9:38 AM ^

You know, like, when you're a kid and you go over to grandma's house for Christmas Eve and there are presents piled under the tree but you can't open them until your redneck Uncle Randy arrives?  And then when he does arrive, you still can't open the presents because grandma bought him the regular Busch instead of Busch Light and he's pissed and now he's going to see if Meijer's is still open and he can still get a case?  And then your dad decides to go with him because he's out of smokes and anyway maybe Randy's not sure how to actually get to Meijer's and plus he needs to get gas?  And by the time they get back the turkey is done, even though you hate turkey and grandma--despite being a grandma--sucks at cooking it.  And they bring out the '70s electric knife to carve the f*king thing and suddenly the whole house smells like electrical tape burning.  But then finally Uncle Randy and your dad return and are cracking stupid jokes about there not being a new dent on the rear bumper, which results in everybody putting on their winter coats and going outside to look--all the while those presents are still just sitting there waiting to be opened.

So then you have to eat the shit turkey and the lumpy mashed potatoes and something your drunken Aunt Cathy brought over that she calls "Fisherman's Stew" and it all tastes like total ass despite Uncle Randy being all "this is delicious ma" and you're supposed to heartily agree.  And this is followed by the equally disappointing pies for dessert, the only palatable one being the "chocolate pie" which is basically Bill Cosby pudding thickened with corn starch and poured into a a store-bought pie shell.

So THEN you finally get the open the presents and you get, like, a factory-sealed complete set of Topps '86 baseball cards and the batteries to some unknown toy that your parents have bought you but that you won't get to open until tomorrow morning.  Fun!  But hey, you survived.  

And Santa is on the way.