Confidence levels on remaining games

Submitted by TK on October 2nd, 2018 at 10:09 AM

We’ve seen a mixed bag of performances from this team and I think we are still trying to figure out who we are. I expect a wide variance of opinions on the remaining games and would like to hear some thoughts. Mine (Admittedly a little cautious)

Maryland: 8. Decent team, but a home game for us and likely we come out a little more focused after a slow start last week. 

Wisconsin: 6. Likely going to be a close low scoring game but our improved pass protection gives me hope that we can do enough to win 

MSU: 4. This one will be controversial to some and I hope I’m wrong. They look unimpressive this year but have been missing several key guys who will be back for us. It’s a road game and we can’t fall behind in this game. It’s their super bowl and we never seem to match their intensity. Desperately want this one. 

PSU: 4. Had much more confidence in this one earlier in the year. McSorley will give us problems again, their offense hasn’t skipped a beat from last year. 

Rutgers: 9.9. Come on. 

IU: 8. They always play us tough but this is a game we should win at home. 

OSU: 3. I have no doubt we will have a good game plan and let’s pray we are healthy going in. I don’t think OSU is unbeatable this year, but they are pretty darn good yet again. If it was at home I’d give us a punchers chance. Hope for a perfect game from us and a sloppy game from the Buckeyes. 


Newton Gimmick

October 2nd, 2018 at 1:27 PM ^

S&P projections have us at a 37% chance to win that game.  So according to statistical profiles, 3 is on the low side of about right.

Remaining games, with % chance of winning:

Maryland - 89%

Wisconsin - 67%

MSU - 62%

Penn St - 57%

Rutgers - 97%

Indiana - 85%

Ohio St - 37%

I understand the games are played, not simulated, but I think the OP is actually a little on the pessimistic side.



October 2nd, 2018 at 3:10 PM ^

Perfect.  So here are my confidence levels:

Maryland: 8.9

Wisconsin: 6.7

MSU: 6.2

PSU: 5.7

Rutgers: 9.7

IU: 8.5

OSU: 3.7

OP is definitely on the pessimistic side.  We will be favored and should win (individually) the Wisconsin and PSU games at home.  But those are relatively close to coin clips.

I'm a little surprised the numbers are as optimistic as they are for MSU but they did just lose Cody White, which isn't accounted for in the numbers, and they have no run game, soooo I like us there.


October 2nd, 2018 at 10:27 AM ^

Josiah Scott in their secondary has been out. I think they've also been missing at least one OL for parts of the season.

Something not noted is that their leading WR statistically, Cody White, is out for at least several weeks with a broken hand suffered against CMU. That could be a big blow for them.

Stringer Bell

October 2nd, 2018 at 10:35 AM ^

Their OL and secondary have been weak spots for years.  I don't expect they'll suddenly become strengths by the time our game comes around.  Doesn't mean that they won't play well above their heads when they play us, because they always do, but assuming we don't turn the ball over 5 times or muff a game ending punt we should win that one.


October 2nd, 2018 at 10:41 AM ^

The only issue is that we always base our predicted MSU outcome on how they have looked on the season before we play them.  That is a trap with MSU.  They literally never look impressive, they did not even look impressive before they played us the year they went to the playoff.  They needed a 4th quarter rally to beat Rutgers(!) before our game in 2015.  Last year they beat Iowa by a TD at home in the Worst Football Game Ever Played the week before the Michigan game.  Michigan State never "looks good" until all of the sudden your team is playing them and they are.


October 2nd, 2018 at 10:32 AM ^

A shit ton of people. 3 WRs missed their last game with a 4th (Cody White, their second best WR) breaking his hand and is now out for a while. I think 3 or 4 different starting OL have missed time. Starting CB Josiah Scott has been out all year. A few DL have missed time (Jacub Panasiuk as a starter) and their starting punter is out. That's all off the top of my head.

Edit: From looking at some article's, Scott is still out, hasn't started rehabbing yet and MSU isn't sure when he'll be back or if this year, so it sounds like he might miss our game. His replacement CB Josh Butler was out this past week too.

Newton Gimmick

October 2nd, 2018 at 1:54 PM ^

Another thing to remember about Scott is he must sit out the first half of his first game due to a targeting penalty in the bowl game.  So he'd have to return vs PSU (and sit the 1st half) in order to play the full game against us.

And if I understand the rules correctly, they could wait until the OSU game in November, he could play 4 games, then get a redshirt year.

The Mad Hatter

October 2nd, 2018 at 10:22 AM ^

As per usual, I'm irrationally optimistic about all of our remaining games.

Easy wins against Maryland, Rutger, Indiana.

I think we're going to knock PSU's dicks in the dirt as revenge for last year.  They're missing their once in a generation RB and wizard OC.  If the game is close, Franklin will fuck it up at the end (as per usual).

We play well in East Lansing and we should have beat those fuckers every year since 2015.  This game will be too close for comfort, but we're going to win it.

Wisconsin worries me maybe more than they should.  They always play hard and I worry how well our OL is going to hold up against their D.  All I want from this game is for Patterson to make it through unhurt.

We're going to beat OSU.  I don't know how, but this is the year.


October 2nd, 2018 at 11:46 AM ^

Totally with the Hatter. My fandom is all about optimism unless literally forced to give it up. I never visit that black hole of negative expectations. At all. I think everyone is always underselling us and that we are always outworking them. Posters here seem to give up so easily. In my sports life (which is long ago in a galaxy far far away now), we would never have given in to such negativity, but always mapped ahead the plan of attack and executed it.

I guess I should have posted my confidence levels here to express some solidarity, but if you happen to scroll by it, you will notice that it includes both rounds of the CFP.


L'Carpetron Do…

October 2nd, 2018 at 12:28 PM ^

Me too, although I've been getting frustrated recently because they still look sluggish and unorganized and undisciplined. But,generally I always try to stay positive. You have to stay positive if you want to survive. If you go into any game thinking you're going to lose, guess what?- you're going to lose. 

Michigan needs to get out of its own head and beat these MSU and OSU punks. Two years ago they outplayed Ohio St and came away with a loss thanks to some badly timed mistakes and a generational screw-job by the refs. Last year, Harbaugh may have done his best single-game coaching job yet. He had a poor team that was absolutely outmatched by the Buckeyes and they still stayed with them most of the game. He has outcoached Ohio State two years in a row but Michigan didn't have the tools (or the luck) to win. Here's hoping he does it again but with a different result. 


October 2nd, 2018 at 3:32 PM ^

I hope you are correct. 

I'd love to see them come out on fire and kick the shit out of MSU. But while I love Harbaugh, and think the program is on the right track, we don't seem to have the fire that other teams have for us. That may be by design and a good thing. Maybe it's too hard to do that and stay consistent. But damn it seems like NW, IU, and especially MSU just sell out everything and throw constant haymakers to stop us. 

I'd love to see us Rocky up and beat them. 


October 2nd, 2018 at 10:23 AM ^

Maryland: 9. Home game against an average opponent. Have not struggled with these under Harbaugh. 

Wisconsin: 6.5. Home game increases confidence. Wisconsin is an average defense this year and their offense has not produced much against Don Brown in either matchup.  

MSU: 2. Road game and Dantonio owns us. 

PSU: 5.5. Still struggle up front and their defense is surprisingly pliable. Bonus .5 point for off of a bye.

Rutgers: 10. Duh. 

IU: 9. See Maryland.

OSU: 0.5. Basically MSU explanation with a roster full of 5 stars and a better coach. 

Barn Animal

October 2nd, 2018 at 10:35 AM ^

Way too extreme in my opinion. MSU and OSU should not be that low and PSU and Wisconsin should be higher, Maryland too probably. 

Maryland: 7.5

Wisconsin: 5 (Maybe give us a slight edge since we're at home)

MSU: 5

PSU: 4 (I'm so glad this one is at home)

Rutgers: C'mon

Indiana: 8

Ohio St: 2.5


October 2nd, 2018 at 10:57 AM ^

I'm really curious how you guys get to "toss up" for the OSU game.  We havent beaten them in Columbus since Christ was a kid, we've generally sucked balls on the road against everybody and will enter that game probably more than a two TD underdog.

How do you look at all that and say "yup...that game is definitely up for grabs.  No clear favorite here".  And this isnt snark - I'm genuinely curious how the glass is way, way, way more than half full crowd here processes data cause it's nothing like the way I think.

4th and Go For It

October 2nd, 2018 at 11:03 AM ^

They looked more than mortal against PSUs defense and we've generally schemed well against them in 2016 and 2017. Both those games were at least winnable. Is it probably a loss? Sure fine. But of all the games left on the schedule I feel like it's the one they will want to win most and will be most prepared for.

It's a message board and idiots guessing at things (myself included) so why not?


October 2nd, 2018 at 11:23 AM ^

I tend to agree this is a toss up. My reasoning is:

1. At home or on the road, Michigan is always ready to play OSU. The only exception I can think of in either the Harbaugh or HOKE regimes is 2015, which was at home. The usual "we suck on the road" rule doesn't apply to OSU.

2. This team is FINALLY showing signs of improving as the season progresses, the O-line especially. In 2016 we came out breathing fire early in the season, but faded in November. This year OSU is breathing fire early, but the injury to Bosa is a little bit of luck regressing to the mean, WHILE we have an improving team working out its issues.

3. We finally have a playmaker at QB.

4. BPONE is real, but not a reliable indicator of future performance. Even if your team is clearly superior, winning 6 out of the last 7 games against an opponent is HARD. There is a lot of luck contributing to that, which can turn in an instant. In other words, it's a fancy way of saying luck regressing to the mean.


October 2nd, 2018 at 2:16 PM ^

"Michigan is always ready to play OSU."

Dude, we haven't beaten them since 2011 and have beaten them 3 times in the last 20 years.  I am fully on board with this team and hope like hell we beat them this year, but we have been "not ready" a lot more often than we have been "ready" to play them.


October 2nd, 2018 at 1:01 PM ^

To put things in (depressing) perspective.  The last time we beat OSU in Columbus, Bill Clinton was still President and we were wondering who was going to replace him.  That just seems incredible to me.

And yeah, this definitely does not seem like the year where we're going to go into the Shoe and shock the hell out them.  OSU looks like a playoff team.  Michigan still does not.  Confidence level is around  2 or 3 for me.


October 2nd, 2018 at 3:49 PM ^

I will take the under on us being a 2 TD underdog. For a lot of money.  The fancy stats have us as 37% chance to win that game.  That translates to about a 6 point underdog.  Unless something totally crazy happens, that spread is not approaching 2 TDs.

You also don't have to be that positive to get from a 37 percent change to a tossup (I would consider tossups to be between 45-55 percent chance of winning).

Despite the futility and frustration, this game has only been won by OSU by more than 2 TDs, once in the past six seasons, and most of those M teams were significantly worse than M is this year (oddly, the one team to get blown out was probably second best in the six year span, thanks Durkin).

You're living in the irrational BPONE.  I'm not saying M will win, odds are against, but it's not that crazy for an optimist to think that's a relative tossup.

Eastern Wolverine

October 2nd, 2018 at 10:26 AM ^

Part of why beating OSU is so tough is because they have no fear of UM. They never play tight in The Game. They're used to winning and expect to beat Michigan every time. Obviously this was different in the Cooper years. A UM win in Columbus could change that dynamic for years to come. Yeah, yeah, I know, "Thanks Captain Obvious."