ESPN Week 7 Bowl Projections has Michigan going to the Rose Bowl

Submitted by WingsNWolverines on October 8th, 2012 at 12:58 AM

http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/61128/big-ten-bowl-projections-week-7 

Michigan to the Rose Bowl? Seems legit. Looking at the schedule going forward

10/13 Illinois at home

10/20 MSU at home

10/27 At Nebraska

11/3 at Minnesota

11/10 Northwestern at home

11/17 Iowa at home

11/24 at Ohio

Realistically I see 1 loss and toss up. Nebraska without Burkhead could be the end of their reason. He definitley re-injured his knee this weekend. Could possibly be done for the year too. MSU isn't strong offensively this year 51st in passing and surprisingly with as good as Bell was made out to be 83rd in rushing. I see us putting down a serious beatdown on State this year offensively and shutting down Bell. Ohio is a toss up but after what Martinez and Burkhead did to Ohio's d line I see Denard running right through them. Thoughts?

Comments

inthebluelot

October 8th, 2012 at 10:46 AM ^

But I don't think it's even in tne realm of possibility that we lose to NU or MSU. We are simply a better team with better coaching and we are at home riding a 10 game win streak at the Big House which will be 11 after Sat. But, 8-4 is a very real possibility and also one that still gets us to Indy in all likelihood.

RadioMuse

October 8th, 2012 at 6:42 AM ^

I expect that we're going to drop a game in Big 10 play.  I just hope it's not to the 'Huskers or the Spartans (or if it must be one of them that it's the one that loses to the other and thus has at least two big ten loses).  I kinda suspect that it won't be one we're expecting though.  Northwestern seems like the biggest "trap" game left...  Both Ohio and Nebraska will be tough in their home stadiums.  I suspect that we'll escape Lincoln with a shootout win, so that pretty much leaves winning in the 'Shoe.

I think we're going to get after Sparty, but I don't think it'll be a blowout so much as a defensive slugfest.  I forsee us effectively shutting down their run game and their passing game pretty much limits itself.  Similarly I expect that they'll give Denard fits, as they usually do, but that we'll still gind out a couple good drives:  17-6 W.

But yeah...  The Rose Bowl seems totally doable for us this year.  We look like the most complete squad in the Big Ten, let alone our division.  All the love the media types are giving Ohio State seems unwarrented to me.  I suspect they'd be 3-2 or even 2-3 if they'd had our schedule...  We're just discovering the team we've got right now because Alabama was impossible to measure up to, Air Force is an oddball and we litterally threw the game away at ND.

As for our opponent, I suspect that it'll be USC, though Stanford is certainly possible, and college football is an unpredicable beast.  I see Oregon going the distance and getting to the NC game.

jabberwock

October 8th, 2012 at 7:52 AM ^

At this point I think our D is good enough to slow/stop anybody we play (including a bowl oppoent if we keep improving without major injuries)  The D will keep us in any game, but isn't elite enough to win any for us alone.

Which leads to the problem . . . our O.  Inconsistency is the name of the game here.  Rushing game getting consistent yards? nope  QB consistenttly scoring more TDs than INT's?  nope.  Downfield passing game consistently setting up the running game?  nope  Feature back getting YAC improving each game?  nope   OC consistently taking what the other teams D is giving us?  nope.  The list goes on and on.  I don't think we suck on offense by any means, when we're on, we're really fucking on!  But knowing what we've got from game to game?
No.  
I'm not worried about an opposing D shutting us down (there aren't any left really), I'm worried about our O shutting itself down.
My prediction is we lose any game where we don't score 28 pts, thats our cut-off.  Score 28 & we win, even if it's close.

Nebraska = W
MSU = W
OSU = L  

joeyb

October 8th, 2012 at 11:05 AM ^

No, that's not what he said. Every game we have lost since Hoke came in we have scored fewer than 20 points. Every game we have won, save the Sugar Bowl, we have scored at least 28 points. So, our offense tends to either work and score 28 points or not work and score 20 or fewer points. So, if we continue that trend, 28 points gets us a win in 4 quarters. If we don't get to that, then we tend to only get 2 TDs and maybe a couple of FGs, meaning that the opponent only has to score 20 points or so to beat us.

weasel3216

October 8th, 2012 at 7:38 AM ^

 

I just took a look at Minnesota's schedule and i fully expect them only to win one more game against Illinois.  

Michigan to the Rose Bowl seems like a very likely outcome this season.  Like others, i expect we will lose one more game, one we should win but of course we blow it.  State we should win just by getting pressure up the center and making Maxwell scramble and throw.  Nebraska will be predictable as hell by the time we play them.  I think ohio will be over confident going into The Game and we will squeeze out a very narrow victory.

Ali G Bomaye

October 8th, 2012 at 12:06 PM ^

Our main competitors for the division crown - Nebraska and MSU - have each lost to Ohio already.  Even if we lose to Ohio,  we should make the title game if we beat Nebraska and MSU.  And in the title game, it looks like we would play Wisconsin by default, as they're the only team in the other division that isn't either ethically questionable or awful at football.

Perkis-Size Me

October 8th, 2012 at 7:48 AM ^

As much as I'd like it to be, the State game will not be a blowout. MSU will bring their A-game, especially if they lose next week. Their Rose Bowl hopes are on life-support.

That having been said, I hope we pummel them into submission by halftime.

kinny18

October 8th, 2012 at 7:52 AM ^

ESPN's Big Ten stuff. Bennett and Rittenburg are usually very level-headed IMO and they seem to have a handle on things a lot more than other national media pundits.

unWavering

October 8th, 2012 at 8:01 AM ^

Bennett and Rittenberg are ok, for ESPN, but they don't do any sort of real analysis (more of ESPNs fault, not theirs) and just regurgitate what everyone else is saying about each team.  They also have a not-so-concealed boner for all things Ohio State and constantly overrated Michigan State.  Other than that, I think they are ok.

Magnus

October 8th, 2012 at 8:40 AM ^

Yeah, the guys on the Big Ten Blog never say anything that they haven't seen on ESPN or the BTN; or read in the newspaper.  Their preseason rankings and awards are interesting (just because those are fun to discuss), but I pretty much ignore their in-season stuff.

ForeverVoyaging

October 8th, 2012 at 8:11 AM ^

Those two annointed MSU the team to beat in the B1G after the win over Boise, then spent the last two weeks talking up Purdue only to go quiet when Michigan beat them. Also, they definitely have an anti-Michigan bias.

Njia

October 8th, 2012 at 8:07 AM ^

MSU's 2nd half adjustments shut down Indiana, and Ohio is looking better every week. 

I expect that Maxwell-to-Burbridge will be a lethal combination by the time we face Sparty, especially in play action. AB had some very nice catches on Saturday, and he has a size advantage over just about everyone. The last two years, Sparty's defense has created real problems for Denard, and I suspect that their defensive scheme will mirror ND's closely. While Denard punished Purdue, their defense really has only two playmakers. Sparty has a few more than that. This game is no 'gimme'. 

Braxton Miller is looking downright scary now. I'm not in full-on freak-out mode over him like some on this board (see: http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/football-speed-braxton-faster-denard). And Ohio's defense seems a little shaky. Still, The Game is in Columbus, it's Urban's Ohio debut against U-M, it'll be their bowl game, and they could be the spoiler for our potential Rose Bowl berth. Plenty for them to play for.

The other games are entirely winnable, unless Borges puts another play-calling turd in the punchbowl like he did against Iowa last year. After Saturday, Nebraska doesn't scare me as much as they otherwise might have. Northwestern might be a trap game, but I have to believe we're better than Penn State, so we should be in good shape there, too.

Bodogblog

October 8th, 2012 at 8:46 AM ^

Burbridge was great against Indiana, but he had mostly 1-on-1 coverage vs. what looked to be a subpar corner.  He's going to be good, but it's always dicey to rely on a true freshman on the road, especially in that type of environment.  And I have to believe we'll get  more pressure than IU did against that OL, despite the anemic pass rush so far.

If Borges has embraced the bubble/laser, we should have success.  IU killed Sparty with this and its variants in the first half.  When they adjusted, IU didn't have the inside ground game to shift to in response.  We do.

But I agree this is still a tough game.  Everyone needs to be cautious of 1-week extrapolation (something the media did to build up Purdue and downplay M).

Njia

October 8th, 2012 at 9:13 AM ^

And Wolverine Devotee's and Magnus's, as well.

Still, I expect that AB will burn us a couple of times if we can't get a meaningful pass rush on Maxwell. Our D scheme, as ever, will stack against the run, in an effort to stop Bell (which was somewhat effect for other teams when Sparty's receivers couldn't find the handle on the ball). That implies Burbridge will get 1-on-1 coverage. If he's still got the hot hands, look out. I don't know that he'd be a difference maker (a la Braylon Edwards a few years back) but in a close game, he could be.

saveferris

October 8th, 2012 at 9:04 AM ^

I definately think Michigan is in the hunt for the conference championship and there's lots to be optimistic about, but all we've really proven so far is that the pre-game hype on Purdue was grossly overblown.  The Big 10 is definately down this year, but we're just as flawed a team as every one of our opponents.  I'd feel a lot better about our chances if the OL showed an ability to run block better than it has.  We need teams to resepct Toussaint as a running threat more, otherwise they'll stack up against Denard and make him beat folks with this arm and this is usually a recipe for losing.

Muttley

October 8th, 2012 at 9:18 PM ^

(only Illinois left), and getting to 5 wins versus Minny & Iowa would have been very likely.  Then they would have needed just 1 big upset vs Neb, MSU or Mich to get to 6-2 and have a chance.

But that PSU comeback blew their sneak attack.

LSAClassOf2000

October 8th, 2012 at 9:25 AM ^

As I recall, many people here - including me - projected 9-3 as a record this year, but having seen this tidbit from ESPN, I went back through our records in the last dozen seasons which were capped with a Michigan appearance in the Rose Bowl. It turns out that the average number of wins for us in that span in a Rose Bowl year is 9.5, so I could see a 9-3 record getting us to Pasadena assuming a win in the BTCG as well (after all, an 8-3-0 record got us there once). If the defense in particular can continue to keep us in games as they have, then it is definitely plausible, I would say.

As for the OP's point about the MSU game, a small point to consider is that State's rushing defense in particular is pretty good statistically and will probably show up for the game. Teams are averaging only 3.0 yards per carry against them with only 2 rushing TDs, so we do have to be concerned about the ground game. I say that because we're an excellent rushing team this year, and really, I think the more balanced team overall (consider also that we have a better pass defense statistically than they do and more weapons on offense overall), but I don't see a blowout necessarily and we should still be wary. It is definitely winnable - the Spartans are a very vulnerable team.

ND Sux

October 8th, 2012 at 9:23 AM ^

Every game I've watched, including Indiana and EMU at times got pressure up the middle, even without blitzing.  I don't think I've ever seen an Indiana team get so much pressure just by rushing four. 

I still say we bitch-slap MSU by two TDs or more. 

Darth Wolverine

October 8th, 2012 at 9:52 AM ^

If M runs right through MSU, which I fully expect to happen this year, I think we're a lock for the Rose Bowl. I'm not as worried about Nebraska as I was prior to the season. It's a road night game, but they don't look that great.

Ron Utah

October 8th, 2012 at 10:35 AM ^

I wish that we were suddenly some invincible scoring machine, but the win over Purdue doesn't change the fact that our team has some serious deficiencies.  We still can't throw the football, our 4-man pass rush is just okay, and we haven't produced any yardage from the RB position.

I'd love to say we're going to win out, but I think we are a team that could lose to Nebraska, MSU, Ohio, or even Northwestern.  We are not the type of team that you can just stamp "W" next to any of those games.

That said, I do like our chances to win the B1G, and believe that we will beat MSU in a close game, but I also think we lose at least one more game.

BrewCityBlue

October 8th, 2012 at 11:11 AM ^

So Ohio has really helped us by giving our 2 major competitiors for the division each a loss. Many thanks Ohio!

Now just take care of our own business.

I said after the game Sat agasint Purdue that the only team that scares me is Neb. Then after watching Neb Ohio game at night I couldn't decide whether both O's were that good or both D's were that bad. I'm leaning towards D's that bad, which is encouraging. 

Our D is good and only getting better. 

The entire season comes down to Denard not making mind-blowingly head-asplode decisions - specifically in the MSU and Neb games. 

UofM Die Hard …

October 8th, 2012 at 11:19 AM ^

can keep playing like they have been and Denard and Borges do what they did Saturday I can go with this predicition.  Run Denard and Fitz first, pass second and good things happen.

 

The D has been getting better and better and that just hammers in the fact that we have amazing coaches.....like we didnt already know this :-)

 

Very good Monday

NFG

October 8th, 2012 at 3:34 PM ^

Mods: Can you track what MGoUser goes through forums and just labels any comment "Offtopic"? It is very annoying when they do that. I upvoted almost half the comments so they weren't neg-bombed, and they were not offtopic.