Bama/Michigan Rivals Rankings of Game's Impact Players

Submitted by CLord on September 3rd, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Stat distortion and other ranking sites aside, on a flyer I compared average Rivals star rankings for all Michigan impact players (recorded any one non-kicking stat) in the Bama game, against Bama’s impact players, tossing in the starting offensive linemen.  Unranked walk-ons were given 2 stars.  Results may vary but mine was:

UM average ranking: 3.40
UA average ranking: 4.02

Ranking gap of .62

Further, average Rivals stars across entire classes:
2009 – 3.81
2010 – 3.62
2011 – 3.91
2012 – 3.77
2013 – 3.68
Alabama has declined over the last three years.

2009 – 3.59
2010 - 3.19
2011 – 3.25
2012 - 3.56
2013 – 3.61
Michigan has rocketed upwards over the last four years. 

Note also comparative gaps between the teams of .43 and .66 in 2010-11, shrinking down to .21 and .07 in 2012-13.

Stats to reinforce that Brady Hoke is moving our program in the right direction, and I for one remain extremely excited about Michigan’s imminent future.   

A future with talent and depth at all positions.
A future with the right tools for the MANBAW system. 
A future where battle tested juniors and seniors dominate the trenches. 
And a future with Brady Hoke as my coach.

I recall that our expectations are neatly laid out before us: 

This year and next - Michigan re-establishes itself as THE Big Ten program, wins it's first Big Ten championship since 2004, kindly places Sparty back in the side pocket where he belongs, and gets back to facing down Ohio in Nov/Dec for all the marbles. 

2014 and beyond – We will do what no Big Ten team other than Ohio (this means you Sparty) is capable of doing, and that is we will raise our eyes and look nationally to measure ourselves with the Alabamas of the world.  We may never achieve an NFL caliber level akin to Alabama’s current product, but I’m OK with that because Brady Hoke is going to get us close, I have no doubt.  Very, very close, and it is going to be a blast to watch this program on the rise, and to watch us suit up and compete with the SEC.

In the meantime, I have the luxury to root for two of my most beloved Wolverines of all time – Denard and Kovacs.  In a blink they will be gone, so I'm going to enjoy every last game these guys give us this year, win or lose. 

Go Blue.



September 3rd, 2012 at 6:48 PM ^

Saban is a freaking outstanding coach. I've never seen a defense like that in college football. Not even USC under Caroll. I'm really interested to see if anyone at all can touch them, aside maybe from LSU in Baton Rouge.


September 3rd, 2012 at 6:56 PM ^

I seriously doubt USC could hang with them. Bama would establish the run against them quite easily (their LBs leave something to be desired).

Robert Woods and Marquise Lee would find themselves struggling against an equal CB like Millner. Barkley would have to pick himself up off the ground more often than he'd like.


September 3rd, 2012 at 7:04 PM ^

Denard wasnt sacked at all the pressure wasn't that bad.. Barkley plays behind a better offensive line..we had many open receivers against them..i doubt their DBs could hang with those 2 men from USC not to mention they would be able to run the ball.. It would be a good game for a quarter then USC offensive power would take over..Alabama is good but USC is a different animal


September 4th, 2012 at 11:10 AM ^

be excited about our chances to win the BIG10 this year. For those who watched the Sparty vs. Boise game, Spartys defense didnt look dominant, and their QB is atrocious. Taylor Martinez still throws the ball like a drunk, coked up, blindfolded Phillip Rivers. Wisconsin looked impressive, but we wouldnt see them until the BIG10 championship. Iowa looked extremely suspect against Northern Illinois, I guess when you have to hire prostitutes to fill your RB depth you cant expect to be too good. All Im saying is that the BIG10 isnt that strong this year, and with OSU out of contention, it appears we still have a good shot at the Rose Bowl. However if we get Oregon in the Rose Bowl, put your tray tables up, put on the oxygen mask, tuck your head between your legs and prepare for impact because it could get ugly.


September 3rd, 2012 at 7:40 PM ^

Alabama would not use the same defensive strategy against USC as they did against us. They were happy to keep DRob contained in the pocket -  this would not be the case against a passing attack they feel can hurt them.


September 4th, 2012 at 9:42 AM ^

...against us all year. Make Denard beat them with his arm. Unfortunately it really hasn't happened yet.

I know it's water under the bridge but boy we really need an experienced WR right now like Daryl Stonum. Oh well I know Hoke & Co. will get the best out of what we have available to us...


September 4th, 2012 at 2:07 PM ^

They definitely bring the blue chips but their real advantage is the sheer number they bring in and the way they cull guys that don't pan out. They're essentially playing draw poker while everyone else is playing stud


September 3rd, 2012 at 10:31 PM ^

Alabama's DBs seemed exploitable.  USC is just the kind of team that can do it.

I see a USC-Alabama game looking like the 2000 Michigan-Alabama Orange Bowl game. 



September 3rd, 2012 at 6:49 PM ^

Didn't post this to start another thread on Alabama as much as to focus on just how much wonderful shit is actually going on with our football program in the present and imminent future.

turd ferguson

September 3rd, 2012 at 6:52 PM ^

Nicely done, and I agree.  I just hope that people will be patient with this coaching staff if the next couple of years don't live up to the expectations generated by last year's success (and good fortune).  The 2010 and 2011 classes are likely to burn us a bit in the near future, but everything should be rolling by 2014 and especially 2015.


September 3rd, 2012 at 7:01 PM ^

I see us being a notch better this year than we were last year.  My goal for the team is to win our half of the conference to earn a shot at playing in the Rose Bowl.  Anything beyond that is gravy, and I think the title game against Wisconsin will be a toss-up.  I still see this as realistic.  My plan is to enjoy every minute that Denard has left.

2013:  I see a small step back, due to the loss of Denard and the O-line depth.  The defense should be another notch better than 2012's improved defense.

2014:  Similar overall talent to 2012 but with the offense built to Borges' plan.  Defense is leading the way.  This is the start of our 3 or so years of steady improvement to national title contenders.



September 3rd, 2012 at 7:12 PM ^

2013 - reverse of this year, team is prolly overall less talented than year before due to young tallent, but schedule is far more afvantagous to allow for some early growing pains.  we should win the big ten next year.

2014 - Hard schedule again. but recurd should be about the same as 2013 with a solid shot at winning the big ten

2015 circle this year...schedule should be adventagous. and Junior Shane Morris, Lots of Talent everywhere.

turd ferguson

September 3rd, 2012 at 7:34 PM ^

The "we should win the Big Ten in 2013" idea is what worries me.  We could lose far more contributing talent than we usually do after this season.  Denard, Kovacs, Lewan (maybe), Fitz (maybe), 4/5 of our starting O-line (everyone but Schofield), Roh & Campbell up front, Floyd, Roundtree, etc.

We're going to need some true sophomores, redshirt freshmen, and true freshmen to step up in a serious way.


September 3rd, 2012 at 7:53 PM ^

I think whatever loss of talent in 2013 will be offset by the players having another year under the current coaching staff. I think we will see results before 2014 in regards to this. The advantage of having the same staff in place running the same system can trump talent - you don’t have to look far for examples of this.


turd ferguson

September 3rd, 2012 at 9:02 PM ^

Oh, thanks.  The trolling comment doesn't appear on the site, obviously... just the app.

There was something funny about the idea that my "we're gonna be great; hopefully we can be patient" comment was so inflammatory that it led one guy to tell me that I'm worthless and another to ask if it was my break time at Wendy's.  I'm almost sad that those comments weren't directed at me.

Bobby Boucher

September 3rd, 2012 at 7:30 PM ^

I still see us winning the Big Ten title this year.  If we can tweak the offense to feature more run + utilize dilithium, we should win a lot of games.  Mattison is the man and should be able to fix the defense before conference play.  I know this sounds crazy without Countess, but we still have a lot of talent at key positions.  Most importantly, Toussant and Clark are back next week.


September 3rd, 2012 at 11:07 PM ^

e.g. (unfortunately), look at BWC. 

Look at all M vs. Bama players who are/ will be NFL players (make an adjustment for Pat White type guys who are awesome CBF players, but the NFL doens't value).



September 4th, 2012 at 10:31 AM ^

If I might add a little sidebar to this, if you zoom out and look at the average Rivals star rankings since 2004 for recruiting classes in general, you can also see where, at least when it comes to bringing in talent, Michigan and Alabama, traded placed for a time, but the gap appears to be closing if the current trend holds:


  Michigan Alabama
2013 (to date) 3.96 3.68
2012 3.56 4.08
2011 3.25 4.09
2010 3.19 3.62
2009 3.59 3.96
2008 3.67 3.72
2007 3.15 3.16
2006 3.63 3.61
2005 3.47 3.03
2004 3.59 2.72

Granted, the Alabama of the mid-2000s was not the one we played, but you can see in these numbers what staff changes and recent history can do when it comes to being able to bring in the top-tier talent. Tying this into the OP's point, we are getting back to that, but it may take a few more classes to solidify the trend. That we were able to close the ratings gap between the two teams by 40% with this year's incoming class is excellent. Next year, if the class holds up, we might be in a position to best their average ranking, but keep in mind they have more spots to fill than we do. Still, it's also a good sign.