Hypothetical: Throw that Iowa Pass Int flag

Submitted by Blazefire on December 13th, 2011 at 11:41 PM

It's the last play, fourth down and goal against Iowa this year. Denard Robinson throws a pass into the endzone. The reciever is interfered with and can't quite bring it in. No flag. Iowa wins. M records its second loss.


It's the last play, fourth down and goal against Iowa this year. Denard Robinson throws a pass into the endzone. The reciever is interfered with and can't quite bring it in. The yellow flags fly! Pass Interference! There will be one untimed down. Denard takes the shotgun snap and takes two steps towards the line. The defense lunges forward on his motion. Denard pulls up and lobs a short one to a TE that has snuck behind the linebackers. Touchdown! Michigan wins! The season ends as it otherwise did. The final record looks like so.

Western M - Win

Notre Dame - Win

Eastern M - Win


Minnesota - Win

Northwestern - Win

#17 MSU - Loss

Purdue - Win

Iowa - Win

#20 Nebraska - Win

Ohio State - Win

Compare that to some other 1 loss teams:

#2 Alabama - 1 loss to #1 LSU, 3 wins over ranked teams #6 Arkansas, #22 PSU, #25 Auburn

#3 Oklahoma State - 1 loss to Iowa State, 2 wins over #11 KSU, #19 Oklahoma

#4 Stanford - 1 loss to #5 Oregon, no #25 wins

I'm thrilled with our season and the Sugar Bowl, and I'm not going to dwell on an unthrown flag. We still wouldn't have gone to the BIG TEN championship game, by right of head to head versus MSU, and so we still wouldn't make the Rose Bowl. Sugar was certainly as good as we were going to do. I can't help but wonder, though, where would we have been ranked? I slot us in about #4.


Look Up_See Blue

December 14th, 2011 at 1:11 AM ^

you're forgetting the 2 pt conversion we would've needed to get.  It's tough to play this game.  Even had we won that game we wouldn't even get a sniff at the NCG.  We still wouldn't have even played in the B1G title game.  We would probably be right where we are now at 11-1, maybe in the Fiesta Bowl but probably not.


December 14th, 2011 at 10:14 AM ^

Fwiw throw that flag we
A) still need to score on the next play
B) still need to get the two point conversion
C) need to win the field-goal-off that is college overtime
Far from guaranteed we win that game well officiated

death by trident

December 14th, 2011 at 11:24 AM ^

Here's the week by week theoretical breakdown by ranking using the Coaches Poll.

Week 1 - NR (W) Western Michigan 34-10

Week 2 - NR (W) Notre Dame 35-31

Week 3 - NR (W) Eastern Michigan 31-3

Week 4 - #21 (W) San Diego State 28-7

Week 5 - #19 (W) Minnesota 58-0

Week 6 - #11 (W) Northwestern 42-24

Week 7 - #10 (L) Michigan State 28-14

Week 8 - #17 Inactive

Week 9 - #17 (W) Purdue 36-14

Insert Alternate Universe

Week 10 - #13 (W) Iowa 27-24

Week 11 - #11 (W) Illinois 31-14 (Stay behind #10 Clemson)

Week 12 - #9 (W) Nebraska 45-17 (Stay behind #8 Clemson)

Week 13 - #5 (W) Ohio State 40-34 (Stay behind #4 Virginia Tech ahead of Stanford)

Week 14 - #4 Inactive (#6 Oklahoma State jumps us and Stanford stays behind us)


I think the safe assunption is that we end up ranked #4 and aren't really in the discussion for a MNC game anyways.  Sparty loss keeps us from Rose Bowl, Sugar is happy to have us.  I won't lose any sleep over the Iowa loss.  Had it kept us out of BCS eligibility then I probably would, but yeah.

(This is a safe guess based on teams that would have dropped below us simply by losing and Michigan not jumping teams.  I think it is also safe to assume that Oklahoma State would jump us.)


December 14th, 2011 at 1:48 PM ^

That loss was practically meaningless. It is hard to imagine a loss that mattered less.

With a win, Michigan still would have lost the division to Sparty, based on the head-to-head game. And without winning the division, a BCS bowl is the best you could hope for, and that is exactly what Michigan got.

As others have noted, Michigan still needed to score the two-point conversion and then win in overtime. The probability of both happening was probably well below 50 percent. It is not as if that call single-handedly decided the game.

By the way, Mike Pereira (the former NFL official who reviews officiating calls for ESPN) said that the call on Junior’s non-catch, and the subsequent lack of a reversal on replay, were both valid. He is not anti-Michigan, because he criticized the replay official for overturning Fitz’s TD in the Ohio State game.

snarling wolverine

December 14th, 2011 at 1:56 PM ^

I don't know why, but losing to Iowa doesn't really bother me.  I don't really feel any ill will towards them.  I'd much rather lose to them than ND or Ohio.  As it is, I'll take how the season went down. 


December 14th, 2011 at 4:32 PM ^

Perhaps we should be happy with such a great season, and the idea that Michigan will be ranked as long as they have a decent showing in the Sugar Bowl, with a likely nice placement in the initial rankings for 2012. Ultimately, this may be more valuable towards greater things next season.