May 19th, 2014 at 7:06 PM ^

Here's the table pared down to the Big Ten and the overall rankings:

Team Offense Ranking Defense Ranking Special Teams Ranking Overall Ranking
6. Ohio State 5 21 28 6
18. Michigan 23 16 56 18
23. Wisconsin 18 40 29 23
24. Michigan State 48 20 23 24
37. Iowa 51 32 43 37
38. Indiana 11 76 81 38
39. Maryland 63 26 22 39
43. Nebraska 54 35 58 43
46. Penn State 56 33 106 46
52. Northwestern 61 43 35 52
59. Rutgers 60 65 14 59
67. Minnesota 77 58 30 67
73. Illinois 66 71 115 73
96. Purdue 95 98 68 96



May 19th, 2014 at 7:07 PM ^

I sure am damn sad at how far we done fell.  I mean, to think "Wow, 18 that's WAY too high, right?" is a dark day for a Michigan football fan.  


May 19th, 2014 at 11:08 PM ^

Well when I went to Michigan (78-81) we went to two Rose Bowls, won one finished #4 in the country twice, #10 once and #18 once and had an overall record of 37-9.

So I'm with ya on the massively lowered expectations blowing big time cause #18 ranking was Bo's lowest since he arrived on campus and the first year he ever lost four games.

Now we get excited at being ranked #18.  I liked it better when we were the hammer - being the nail sucks.


May 20th, 2014 at 10:55 AM ^

When I was at UM, it was a couple Citrus Bowls, and Outback, and the crowing achievement was a flukey-ish win over Alabama in the Orange Bowl.  And every season was 3-4 losses.  And some of those teams certainly talked about going to the Rose Bowl, yet they never did.

My point remains that people around here think UM is some elite program because of Bo, even though he hasn't been the coach for decaces and only a couple of years during Carr's era would you consider this team in the top 3-4 in the country.

18 sounds about right.  If people want some optimism, 1997 started with UM ranked in the teens to start the year.  But this "fall" as some people like to characterize it has been going on for more than just RR/Hoke's times.


May 20th, 2014 at 11:39 PM ^

I love how people on here refer to the mid Carr years like they were the greatest thing ever and how much they long for them. 

Wisconsin has gone to more Rose Bowls in the last 20 years than us. Our second homes are Orlando and Tampa. 

Elite teams don't go to the freaking Citrus Bowl very often. 


May 19th, 2014 at 10:31 PM ^

They haven't yet proven that they can reload and still have success after losing star playmakers, if you consider their 2012 season.  They've been on a huge upwards trajectory since 2008 or so, yeah, but I think most "experts" are still hesitant to cast their lot for MSU based on name only.  If 2012 hadn't happened I don't think that would be the case.

It'd be nice if rankings didn't come out till mid-October but it's the offseason.  Take out meaningless speculation and what the hell else are sports channels gonna talk about?


May 20th, 2014 at 10:11 AM ^

Neither of these are polls. The power ranking is an effort to rank teams by "quality". The playoff contender list takes conferences and divisions into account. We could be better than Wisconsin but they have a better chance at making the playoff. And they probably have more SEC teams ranked higher in the power rankings, but lower on the playoff list because the conference is so tough.


May 19th, 2014 at 7:21 PM ^

Given Sparty's 2013, and Wiscy's schedule this is surprising. Its not ridiculous, but a tad surprising. Good to see though. Sparty fans must be decrying the disrespect. A person would also look beyond Sparty's horrendous start on O and bump tne ranking.

If I recall, MBB's BPI was in the 20's at the end of the year.

(I see now the formula didn't use schedule)

Mr. Yost

May 19th, 2014 at 7:29 PM ^

I mean, I don't care, because it's an ESPN Power Ranking.

But IMO, we should be somewhere between #23-27 right now. We should end up much higher, but to this point, we haven't done jack shit to be in the top 20. And I know part of it is prediction, but it's not like we're getting a ton of new guys or we were injured last year...we've got a lot of the same guys, they're just a year older (thank GOD).

turd ferguson

May 19th, 2014 at 7:40 PM ^

You realize that 99% of the way that college football teams improve from one season to the next is through the same guys getting a year older and better, right?  Contributions from true freshmen are usually pretty modest (plus, we might get something from Peppers, Canteen, etc.), and as for key guys returning from injury, we actually have more than most teams do (Ryan & Darboh).  

I'm not convinced that our roster is a ton better than it was last year, but that's because of personnel losses on offense (basically Lewan, Schofield, and Gallon).  Still, I think we're definitely a more talented and experienced team in 2014 than we were in 2013, thanks largely to that year of progression.  Especially on defense, we return a lot of dudes, and returning a lot of dudes is a big thing in college football.

Mr. Yost

May 20th, 2014 at 7:35 AM ^

This isn't NCAA Football 14. Guys just don't come back +4, +8, +5, +7 overall.

You do realize that we returned a bunch of starters including an All-American and went 7-6 and looked like shit for 85% of the season right?

Sure everyone gets better, in theory, but we havem't done one thing to warrant any hype other than be Michigan.

If we blow out KSU with our young roster, then sure, bring it on. But we got taken to the shed in all facets. Nothing other than DG's performance during the OSU game says "okay this team is going to be good next year" going all the way back to the Notre Dame game! 

So forgive me, you can be an internet ass...and I can too, but the fact of the matter is, there are plenty of people taking a "wait and see" approach so to speak as if I'm out of line or off on some island with my own train of thought is bullshit. I'd say there are more people like me, saying "wait and see," than like you who assume we're going to be better because we're a year older.

Of course I hope we're better, but we have been good ONE year since Lloyd Carr retired. ONE.

It's time to stop assuming Michigan "reloads" every year. We don't. At least not anymore. If Michigan improves each week this year like it should and plays its best football at the end of this season with some big wins against OSU and the bowl game. Then bring up on the hype for 2015, it was earned.

Until then, we're only ranked this high because we wear winged helmets and we have a bunch of tradition. Just like Florida and Texas, who are also ranked (even though BOTH have been much better over that same period).


May 20th, 2014 at 8:07 AM ^

We deserve nothing, and we should get nothing. Until this staff proves that it can coach up our young players (something I am believing more and more that they are incapable of) we are nothing more than a middle/lower tier team in a conference that has struggled enormously in the last decade or so. This isn't Bo's Michigan anymore.


May 20th, 2014 at 10:42 AM ^

I think running a consistent offensive game plan thru all the games this year alone will make us better . Even with the dope of an OC we had last few years we still were in most of the games we played. I think the oline will look serviceable by the time big ten play starts. The team is growing up and with that comes better play and more wins . Go blue


May 20th, 2014 at 4:45 AM ^

I think somewhere in the 40-50 range is much more realistic for this team. We lose 60% of the decent players on offense (Gardner and Funchess being the only one's returning) and the "bend but don't break" defensive philosophy won't have us playing like an MSU defense anytime soon. Yes our guys might be older, but experience doesn't make up for lack of coaching they are receiving.


An honest question, but can someone please explain to me why almost everyone feels that getting game experience will make our guys better? I understand the theory behind it, but when I look at guys like Miller, Kalis, and Fitz last year who actively regressed with game experience I just don't get the prevailing optimism that the line will get better simply because they played meaningful snaps. 

M Fanfare

May 19th, 2014 at 7:39 PM ^

It pains me to say it, but one double-digit win season since 2006 really doesn't justify any preseason hype. I hope they win a ton of games and earn a high ranking by the end of the season, but right now it just seems silly.


May 19th, 2014 at 7:46 PM ^

This is incredible. Ain't nobody gonna hold us down. Number morherfucking 18 in the espn motherfucking preseason power rankings brought to you by old spice and axe body spray. With a clear shot at number 17! Big blue is back, baby!!!!!!!


May 19th, 2014 at 8:19 PM ^

Being realistic I have this sort of power poll until proven otherwise on the field

  1. MSU - lost some on defense but almost entire starting group is RS SR, SR, RS JR as Dantonio redshirts almost everything that moves.  Offense returns almost everyone incl a vastly improved runner and QB now with a year under his belt.  Three 11 win seasons out of four - say what you will; turning into Wisconsin East.
  2. OSU/Wisconsin - OSU back 7 highly questionable as is that OL and a mystery at RB.  But its still OSU and Meyer.  Wisconsin - see MSU, tons of experience coming back.
  3. Iowa - only due to schedule, avoid UM MSU OSU....could be nation's most mediocre 11-2 team.
  4. Nebraska/UM/Minnesota/PSU - Nebraska is in perpetual 4 loss mode.  UM has 3 tough road games, and an offense so young most don't shave yet paired with what should be a far better defense, and Minnesota made some very nice strides last year but questionable at QB.  PSU - QB should take a big step 2nd year in system, kind of like Nebraska overall.
  5. Northwestern - injuries devastated them, still have solid coach and when healthy a tricky offense to play.
  6. Maryland - should be decent
  7. Indiana - all offense, HS defense
  8. Rutgers/Purdue/Illinois - welp.

Avon Barksdale

May 19th, 2014 at 9:10 PM ^

It's not saying we are the 18th best team. This ranking simply says that with our recruiting classes and what we return we should be 18th. That 2010 and 2011 transition class hurts.

For those wondering why Sparty is so low: look no further than their laughable recruiting rankings. We can laugh at their recruiting rankings, and they can laugh at our on field performance since 2007.