ESPN: Michigan silent Big Ten favorite

Submitted by Ohioblueblood on October 13th, 2011 at 10:17 AM

I love this, I mean who wasnt thinking the same thing.....

It turns out that may have been an understatement. A review of the Wolverines' playcalling against Northwestern shows that the Michigan offense is so diverse and dangerous that this team should actually be considered the favorite to win the Big Ten.


Darth Wolverine

October 13th, 2011 at 2:20 PM ^

I'm really getting tired of people saying we can win the Big Ten this year. To the OP, I'm not bashing you, it's ESPN. I know they are doing their job, but as M fans/players/coaches, we need to take one game at a time.

Still have to face Sparty, Illinois, Nebraska, and Ohio...all losable games.


October 13th, 2011 at 4:56 PM ^

At the beginning of the season, we didn't know Ohio would suck, Nebraska would only be 80 percent as advertised, Iowa would play like they were straddling corncobs, or that PSU wouldn't find a real QB.  Many of us said MSU was overrated, though.  

Anyway, Michigan can win the division, and though Wiscy would be favored in a BTCG matchup, they DO have to actually play the games before the winner is decided.  

I'm not writing this team off quite yet.  

oriental andrew

October 13th, 2011 at 5:53 PM ^

Coach speak?  Yes.  Good thing none of us are Michigan football coaches.  We're fans.  It's like our JOB to look ahead and think wishfully about the prospects of an undefeated regular season (which is definitely doable).  I'll WATCH one game at a time, but ain't nobody stopping me from TALKING about a 12 game winning streak (no jinx).


October 13th, 2011 at 12:09 PM ^

Have you looked at the rest of our schedule? Every team we have left except for MSU and Illinois is probably "deeply flawed" and we aren't even sure how good those two are yet. Is it premature talk? Yeah I'd definitely agree with that. But we definitely have a legit chance to win this division and maybe are slight favorites as of right now. 


October 13th, 2011 at 1:05 PM ^

funny as he!!.  I will agree that we are on a roll and the coaching staff gets many cutos for half-time adjustments.  We do have some big holes on offense and defense.  However, the coaches have done a great job in filling those holes.

We have outcoached 3 teams now and out played 3 teams.  I am ever more confident that we can run the table in the division.  My original projection was 3 losses (tosu, Neb and Ill/Iowa).  Iowa will not be a problem and tosu looks beatable.  Neb has not shown me anything yet.  So my real concern now is Illinois.  If we can get through them, we might have a shot at Wisky in December.



October 13th, 2011 at 10:24 AM ^

I would love for this to be true, but seriously, can we beat State before this talk starts to heat up.  We still haven't won a big game against a good team in the last three years it seems.  Hell, maybe even the last 4 years.  My supersticious self is not likeing the hype and the possibility of repeating history right now.

Oh, and, Wisconsin.  Pretty much ends the argument right there.

One Inch Woody…

October 13th, 2011 at 10:52 AM ^

We've beaten 2 heisman contenders, dominated 3/4 of our games against big 10 opponents, faced 3 NFL caliber quarterbacks who are tearing opponents up, faced 2 NFL receivers, and are facing 3 consecutive opponents whose offensive and defensive styles play to our strength, not to mention one of the best coaching staffs in the whole country.

I have said this before... Just prior to playing our next opponent, everyone on this board goes into panic mode, saying the team coming up is soooo good and will dominate us. That hasn't happened yet. I don't expect it to happen this weekend. We've got 3 all-big 10 candidates on our offensive line and 3 all-big 10 potentials on our d-line which plays to our strength and will overmatch msu. We just need to not throw 3 terrible interceptions.


October 13th, 2011 at 11:25 AM ^

I agree that people aren't giving the team a lot of credit (almost like everyone expects a meltdown and wants to hedge their bet) but last week was one of the two best offenses on the schedule, and this week is one of the two best defenses, plus rivalry game. The board will calm down a lot more if we beat MSU. Until Illinois week, probably.


October 13th, 2011 at 1:05 PM ^

Of course everybody is hedging their bets.  The last three years were hard on us, especially 2008 when people were predicting winning seasons (why wouldn't they after 40 years?) and we lost all our confidence.  It's going to take time to get 100% confidence in a team, especially when this is Hoke's first year and we don't really know how well they'll do on the road, with more stressful situations, if they can maintain or if they'll fall apart down the road.

I honestly don't know what to think of this team.  I want to say that they're good enough to get to Wiscy undefeated because so far it's been pure dominance.  On the other hand, I don't want to feel like a damn fool and be disappointed if they lose 3 games, especially if they lose to Ohio State and/or Michigan State.


October 13th, 2011 at 12:00 PM ^

I agree with you that many aren't giving Michigan enough credit, but I think we're all worried about getting our hopes up too much.  The defense has been playing much better than the past three seasons, but has benefited greatly from turnovers in a lot of its games.

However, I would argue that Notre Dame "dominated" us. 


October 13th, 2011 at 12:37 PM ^

I tend to disagree with that myself. Sure, they should've put more points on the board, but they didn't. They didn't take care of the football worth a damn, which is as important a part of the game as anything else. Their defense didn't wow me, as they couldn't stop our O, i.e., we put up enough to win the game. Yeah, their offense is pretty good when they're not arm punting, but yeah. In summation, I don't believe it is possible for a team to "dominate" and not win the game.

We beat 'em, therefore no dominance, however, they dominated MSU. I'm not saying we dominate MSU, but I think we win by oh, say, 10-ish.

Incredible Hoke

October 13th, 2011 at 10:25 AM ^

They may be the new favorite to win the legends, but Wisconson is clearly on another level of dominance. They seem to be able to steamroll most, if not all the B1G teams. I don't like our chances against them *IF* we are so fortunate enough to make the B1G Championship Game. 

Keyboard Cat

October 13th, 2011 at 10:25 AM ^

We still haven't beaten a top 25 team. I'm not saying there's no way we win the B1G, and I love this hype, but we could easily lose enough to not make the B1G championship. 


October 13th, 2011 at 10:26 AM ^

I think we have a chance, but the only way I see us having a chance is if we win out.  If we do that i'll trust we have a chance to find a way to win that game against wincy.  if we do that though what happens? do they give us a chance to the NCG?


October 17th, 2011 at 9:35 AM ^

I agree with most people that we should be worrying about MSU, not a national championship or even the big 10 championship.  

However, it's an interesting thought experiment - if we did manage to run the table and then beat Wisconsin for the Big Ten Championship, would we actually make the National Championship game?

The facts:

  • LSU plays Bama in November, so at least one of them will be out of the running.
  • If we assume that Michigan wins the Big Ten, Wisconsin will be out, probably due to an upset loss to us.
  • Oklahoma doesn't play any of the above and is in good shape to go undefeated if they can avoid a potential end-of-year upset by Oklahoma State.  
  • Boise State is... well, Boise State.  They won't be in the top 2 even if they're undefeated.
  • Stanford's resume looks pretty weak - their only currently ranked opponent is Oregon, and a hypothetical win against Wisconsin would put us ahead most likely.
  • Clemson has already beaten 3 ranked opponents and is currently favored for the rest of their entire schedule.  It's hard to say whether they'd be ahead of us if they went undefeated.
  • Oklahoma State will either knock off Oklahoma or be knocked off by them.
  • Oregon and Arkansas have losses, and I don't see them being ahead of any undefeated at the end of the season.

So, it's entirely possible that we have LSU or Bama, Oklahoma or Oklahoma State, and possibly Clemson, undefeated and ahead of us.  We can probably assume that beating Wisconsin would be enough to push us past Clemson, but I don't see how we'd be ranked ahead of an undefeated LSU or Oklahoma.

Basically, this would put us in the position of a Boise State, except that this time it's an established football powerhouse, an old-guard BCS school being kept out of the championship game after going undefeated with one of the most incredible quarterbacks in the history of football.

If that's not a justification for a playoff, I don't know what is...



October 13th, 2011 at 11:25 AM ^

I find it comical how the talking heads have done a near 180 in their predictions for M. Just a few weeks ago, most of them were forecasting SDSU to upset us,(like Forde). Now, they like us to potentially win the B1G. Other than obliterating an overmatched Minny and having a shut down second half on the road against a middling conference foe, has that much changed in three weeks?


October 13th, 2011 at 1:10 PM ^

I like the prediction of multiple undefeated teams in that article.  I can really see Oklahoma, LSU/Alabama, Wisconsin, Boise State, Clemson, and possibly Stanford (if they can beat Oregon) being undefeated.  While I think the first three teams stand out slightly more, that would be crazy to see that many teams undefeated.

ND Sux

October 13th, 2011 at 10:48 AM ^

but I don't see us beating Wisconsin.  Unless they trip up against a weaker opponent, they could wind up in the BCS Championship game.  In fact I'm predicting they do, and they have a chance to win it.