Forde Yard Dash predicts UM to beat NW, MSU, OSU, contend for playoff.

Submitted by BostonWolverine on October 6th, 2015 at 9:33 AM

In his weekly article for Yahoo!, Pat Forde predicts the following things will happen: 

• M will end Northwestern's undefeated season this weekend

• M will end MSU's undefeated season on 10/17

• M will end OSU's undefeated season on 11/28

• M will have a chance at making the playoffs

He goes on to say: 

The Wolverines have allowed 14 points in the last four games, and if they win what could be a three-and-out-a-thon against Northwestern on Saturday they will likely come into Oct. 17 against Michigan State playing better than the Spartans. Win that game, and Michigan State will taste a defeat most bitter at a time when it assumed it had the upper hand in the state. Keeping winning from there, and Harbaugh-Urban I could be the stuff of legend. The Michigan man-crush hero worship already in full effect over Harbaugh would reach screaming-teenage-girls-over-One-Direction levels. It would rival the Saban idolatry in Alabama, perhaps even exceed it.

I mean, sure, NSFMF, but it's a fun read. 

Link to the full article:



October 6th, 2015 at 9:51 AM ^

Just for kicks I looked at all the undefeated teams left and there are way fewer than usual this early in the year.  And so many have to still play each other.  I think this is the year with a ton of controversy as there will be a lot of 1 loss teams out there at the end and potentially only 1-2 undefeated.  Or maybe 1 or none.

I am talking in a general sense not Michigan related.  This offense still has to morph into something competent thru the air vs good defenses.  It failed v Utah.


October 6th, 2015 at 11:57 AM ^

Not so sure about that; there are a ton of huge games that day. In addition to MSU-Michigan, there's also Alabama-Texas A&M, Florida-LSU, and Notre Dame-USC. If Florida can put a convincing win on Mizzou this week and break into the top 10 (they're currently 11th), I think Gameday is going to their game, which is already slated as a prime time game on ESPN.


October 6th, 2015 at 12:48 PM ^

True, but a lot of those matchups have been hyped up high recently. UM/MSU is something they haven't really done in a long while. MSU was a decades long doormat that rose to prominence while their main rival fell to obscurity. Well, said main rival seems on the verge of taking back its proper place back. Not just amongst the top of the conference, but nationally. Can Michigan continue to take those strides in only Year 1 of HARBAUGH, and if so, will Sparty continue to be able to maintain pace with both them and Ohio State? You just know that is something ESPN would love to salivate over.

Though, SEC and Notre Dame are hard to turn down too.


October 6th, 2015 at 10:29 AM ^

played as many highly ranked opponents as Michigan, that's the difference, strength of schedule when you played those teams and where they were when you played them

Not even gonna go there. That is so far removed from the state of this team and way we all ought to approach things. I mean the NFL way is the best way, just win, baby. Everything else takes care of itself.


October 6th, 2015 at 10:55 AM ^

If the committee has any collective brains, they will note the lesson college football taught again last year.  Remember that vaunted SEC West that was an NFL division in disguise?  And that Ohio State team that didn't belong in the Playoff?

Last season demonstrated once again that the conventional wisdom is often wrong.  Last year it was totally wrong.

Taking only one team from four of the five conferences ensures that all but one team won its way into the playoff.  As long as there are only four playoff spots for five conferences, there will likely be controversy around which conference got left out every year.  We had that last year with the Big 12 (TCU/Baylor).  

There won't be more controversy than that, however.


October 6th, 2015 at 3:12 PM ^

Clemson has the best (41.9%) chance to win out. 

2. Ohio State 31.4%

3. Toledo 24.9%

4. Utah 15.3%

5. Northwestern 14.4%

6. Houston 12.3%

7. Baylor 11.9%

8. MSU 11.4%

9. Texas A&M 7.2%

10. Iowa 6.3%

In order, TCU, LSU, Oklahoma State, FSU, Sooners, and Temple are all in the 5.2% to 3% range. Navy, Memphis, and Florida are in the 1.9% to 0.2% range. Listed last of the 20 unbeatens (15 from Power 5 conferences) is Cal with a 0.0% chance to remain undefeated.



October 6th, 2015 at 10:37 AM ^

And having watched every UM game and every OSU game I would say that UM would beat OSU right now with almost certainty. Tho it would truly be a battle of defenses, UM can at least run the ball. OSU with having CJ at QB has limited its attack in such a way that it can barely beat Indy. UM's defense would force CJ to beat them with his feet and individual playmaking ability. Which he doesn't have. If you look at the last few games we have played and take away what Miller and Barrett did with their feet , then UM would have won those games. Urban has been a great coach for OSU, no doubt about it, and we have more talent than any team in the country. But none of that matters if you have the wrong guy at QB. And we do.

Arizona Blue

October 6th, 2015 at 9:37 AM ^

The hype is cool and all but we dont look that great. Granted, we look much better than last year but our offense has looked pretty bad (except for a single half against BYU). In maddend ratings we are like: Offense - 73, Defense - 94, Special Teams - 87. Not sure thats playoff material


October 6th, 2015 at 10:03 AM ^

our offense is pretty meh, but if you look at the S&P ratings, FWIW, i could see us plausibly winning the big ten. for our remaining opponents:

NW: #100 offense; #6 defense

MSU: #33 offense; #40 defense

Minnesota: #81 offense; #7 defense

Rutgers: #91 offense; #111 defense

Indiana: #17 offense; #96 defense

Penn State: #57 offense; #16 defense

OSU: #52 offense; #20 defense

good guys: #53 offense; #3 defense

Obviously, we'll learn a lot this Saturday, since Northwestern is clearly by far the best defense we will have faced so far this season.


October 6th, 2015 at 10:35 AM ^

given what actual straight forward numbers show for the rankings of MSU and Penn State.

And Penn State hasn't played any one. I don't think you run into a formidable offense until you run into Ohio State. And by that I mean one with a dynamic back and speed that puts your deffense at risk on any play of giving uo a score. No one left on the schedule offers that threat besides the Buckeyes. Some teams have part of that equation, but not all the elements that OSU does.


October 6th, 2015 at 10:41 AM ^

Putting these next two weekends aside... when I look at those stats and think about how Indiana played Ohio State..that game really scares me. We can't get in a scoring match. We will lose. Maryland was ranked in the 100's I believe in defense, and we didn't really blow them back to say the least.

Indiana has a comparable defense, but their offense might actually score more points then we want and that game might turn into a barn burner.

Even though stats make it look good for us, I believe we are in for a lot of good games this year.


October 6th, 2015 at 11:03 AM ^

but they also gave Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky, and Wake Forest competitive games.


Sat, Sep 5
Southern Illinois
W 47 - 48
Sat, Sep 12
W 22 - 36
Sat, Sep 19
Western Kentucky
W 35 - 38
Sat, Sep 26
Wake Forest
W 31 - 24
Sat, Oct 3 vs Ohio State L 34 - 27 Final 



October 6th, 2015 at 11:34 AM ^

UM gets them late in the year.  For the OSU game, IU was 4-0 with a lot of confidence and hope and hosting the #1 team in the country.  By the time UM rolls into Bloomington, IU might be a .500 team who's spirits have taken a 180 since the OSU game.


October 6th, 2015 at 10:08 AM ^

in two old sayings:  Defense wins championships and defense travels.  Granted it'd be great to have a devastating offense but UM has been scoring around 30 pts/game.  In some of these games, it probably could have been more but Harbaugh and company kept the offense vanilla and/or downshifted once they had a good size lead.  


October 6th, 2015 at 10:14 AM ^

I agree with your first sentence by the way but UM has also only played one top 40 defense in Utah.  And until the closing minutes it was held to 10 pts.  So that's the issue here.  Cant expect the defense to give up 105 yds every game or hold everyone to 7 to 10 pts.  Even in MSU's 2013 season when they had a great defense they gave up 20+ pts to the OSUs stanford and the offense had to blossom with Cook late in the year.


October 6th, 2015 at 10:24 AM ^

if Harbaugh and staff had kept the foot on the gas for 60 minutes against UNLV, OSU and BYU and those final scores were more like 48-7, 45-7 and 45-0 I'm guessing people would have a different view of the offense.  I'm definitely not saying this offense is a well oiled machine but they've been able to grind out yards and dial up the right play call to big up chunks of yardage more in the last couple of games.


October 6th, 2015 at 1:20 PM ^

I just think people are selling the offense and particular the offenisve staff short.  Heading into the BYU game there was a lot of worry about how UM's offense was going to do after two games where they pretty much pounded the ball down OSU and UNLV's throat.  After the game BYU was saying UM ran stuff they weren't ready for and hadn't game planned for.  

Yeah, there's some warts with this offense but Harbaugh and company aren't going to shift into 4th and 5th gear with the playcalling against an opponent where 3rd gear gets them a comfortable win.  I'm not going to say UM has 30 pts after halftime against NU, but I think we're going to see the playbook open up quite a bit this game.


October 6th, 2015 at 12:24 PM ^

Yeah, I don't think the defense will be able to truly dominate this year against better competition, but I also think that Utah game was such a weird one, with some many outlier elements, that I'm not sure how representative it is of the quality of the offense today.  I see it being a unit that can grunt its way to around 17-20 points against your good defenses (NW, OSU, PSU, maybe Minny), and outside of OSU I don't see any of those offenses being able to do much against UM's defense.  I do think the return game is stronger than in years past, so a Peppers punt return could swing a game.


October 6th, 2015 at 10:30 AM ^

After last year and after Utah it seemed pretty clear that we could hope for improvement, but that there was a pretty solid ceiling above which this team could not expect to ascend.

Now, we have comfortably beaten three teams that we should have comfortably beaten, and thumped one good team.

It's promising. But cruising through the B1G undefeated? I have serious doubts. Playoff-ready? I honestly don't think we have the athletes. Michigan was beating a bad Maryland defense only 6-0 at halftime; things just aren't there yet.

I'm hopeful that the rivalry games are winnable; I'm hopeful that a good bowl is in our future. But I don't see how this team won't lose at least once and probably twice more in the regular season. Maybe, maybe, we go into The Game with a chance for a share of the division title and a trip to Indy. Maybe. But that's the best I believe we can expect.

Moonlight Graham

October 6th, 2015 at 11:09 AM ^

has to write about this week. There's nothing else to write about. If they don't ponder and prognosticate how Harbaugh's Michigan team will do, someone else will. They can't just leave it at "it's too early to predict, check back with me later ... now go away and take your clicks with you." Forde actually took kind of a clever approach with the Harbaugh Armageddon scenario. I'll give him that.  


October 6th, 2015 at 9:42 AM ^

Like everyone else, I'm more than excited about watching competant football again.

I would feel a lot better about this if we beat Utah, if our QB wasn't a turnover machine, and if we could connect on a pass of more than 20 yards.


October 6th, 2015 at 9:44 AM ^

that expectations have gone up and that is fine, but I feel like people are really, really getting carried away with some things right now.  They are going up to the extent that this team could "fail" by going 9-3 and winning a respectable bowl game.  That is not what perception should be right now.  Michigan State and Ohio State have not shown their hand yet, they in fact have not even flipped a card over on the table at this point.  For a member of the national media to pick Michigan to beat both of them this year, IDK, I feel like this is too much too quick in a lot of ways.  Expectations are to the point that the team could have a better year than anybody foresaw coming and still leave a fan base angry because they didn't live up to "expectations" that did not even exist at the start of the season.  My barometer has moved on this team but not nearly to the degree that this article indicates.