Michigan #16 in S&P+

Submitted by Eye of the Tiger on November 12th, 2017 at 9:27 PM

We are now ranked #16 in overall S&P+. That's up 5 spots from last week. We have:

  • #53 offense
  • #6 defense
  • #71 special teams


Other schools of note:

1. OSU (#4 offense, #14 defense)

3. Wisconsin (#35 offense, #1 defense)

8. PSU (#25 offense, #8 defense)

14. Notre Dame (#22 offense, #24 defense)

39. MSU (#103 offense, #12 defense)

55. Iowa (#108 offense, #19 defense)


Also, for those who follow former UM coaches:

31. Arizona (#5 offense, #103 defense)

105. Tennesee (#120 offense, #61 defense)







November 12th, 2017 at 9:33 PM ^

Nice to see the jump in offense the last few weeks. Pretty interesting that Wisconsin is ranked #1. I suppose that's because they haven't been tested by any good pass offenses yet. It'll be a tough game next week. Hope Harbaugh can get Peters prepped in time. It's crunchtime!


November 12th, 2017 at 9:43 PM ^

I️ believe the stats are opponent adjusted. Look at what they did to Iowa this last week...QB was 8/24 for 41 yards with an interception. RBs were 19 for 62, and QB was -35 yards rushing from sacks.

This is by far the best defense we will have faced.

snarling wolverine

November 12th, 2017 at 10:27 PM ^

I didn't quite realize just how bad Wisconsin's schedule was until now.  If it wasn't enough for them to play Utah State, Florida Atlantic and a bad BYU team out of conference, and a B1G West lineup, they got two of their three East crossovers against Indiana and Maryland!  

A young, injury-riddled Michigan is the linchpin of their strength of schedule rating.  


November 12th, 2017 at 10:51 PM ^

I can't figure out why anybody pays much attention to football stats- there are too many variables to make the numbers worth anything. Teams regularly play well above and below their level based on emotion. Look at this year: 

PSU beat Iowa

OSU beat PSU

Iowa beat OSU

Player and team emotion is such a huge variable it renders most of the numbers meaningless- did any "analysis" show Iowa beating OSU by that much? 

I can't find numbers fun to think about if they are very unreliable- I am not sure why anyone takes this stuff seriously or spends a lot of time on it. I aplogize if this comes off as judgemental- I don't mean it that way. I just don't see the point in looking at squishy numbers. Maybe someone can share their take on it and show me what I am missing.


November 12th, 2017 at 11:28 PM ^

They are much better in basketball . . . Kenpom is God.  But they are not really that bad in football.  They are not razor precise, but they do triangulate in on who is playing at what level.

They will hit a Michigan vs. Maryland or Minnesota game ten times more than they will miss an Iowa vs. Ohio State game.

They are an estimation tool.  Being wrong sometimes does not make them useless all the time.  

swan flu

November 12th, 2017 at 11:32 PM ^

Numbers aren't unreliable, they are just not 100% predictive. Extrapolation is hard.

You can always throw darts at whatever stats you want, but they contain information. I personally find it fun to analyze the numbers and use it to predict things. Though, to be fair, I do the same thing for a living, though not in sports.


November 12th, 2017 at 10:33 PM ^

that offense was Florida Atlantic --- who's #17 in S&P+.  Wisconsin did shut down FAU fairly well, and FAU has looked fairly legit the couple times I've seen them.  But that's the only data point one has of "Wisconsin against a good offense."

I like Connelly's work but I get a bit suspicious of good rankings when they're coming nearly exclusively against average to bad opposition.  Wisconsin D at #1 doesn't really pass the sniff test.


November 13th, 2017 at 10:50 AM ^

Yeah they have. In big ten play they have scored over 20 in 2 games (45 verse Illinois, 55 OSU) and under in 6.
That was what made the 55 points verse OSU so amazing. They played one of their better games offensively this decade if you look at how much more explosive they were compared to their normal level this year.


November 13th, 2017 at 10:29 AM ^

This may be an example that provides some hope. Their supposedly stout o line withered in the face of Miami's aggression. 

OTOH, Miami was supposed to be vulnerable because they had played no one. No one and no one looks pretty relative, howeva, when you look at who Wisconsin has played. 

I'm gonna assume that we can give Wisconsin a very good game. But I do think some of the non-statistical variables are gonna figure heavily--if we get down big early, a la Penn State (or go up by a few scores) in that stadium. . . Also, we need to punch them in the nose early, make them wonder where they HAVE been playing lightweights. . . 


November 13th, 2017 at 12:06 AM ^

And suffered season ending ankle injuries on two separate occasions between my junior year in hs and my senior year in college... They both looked similar to what Higdon experienced. A RB "lives" on his ankles so to speak. A soft tissue injury in that part of the lower leg can linger for a long time, especially for a RB


November 13th, 2017 at 12:20 AM ^

Ankle injuries are some of the worst.  It's really hard to cut and plant on an injured ankle.  The only thing that heals an ankle is rest and time.  It's one of those injuries where you can possibly still play but you won't be 100%.  I played basketball through college and ankle injuries were the worst.  The ankle usually wouldn't be 100% until after the season when you finally had time to rest it and let it heal completely.


November 13th, 2017 at 12:45 AM ^

My ankles until I couldn't plant/cut off of it. At one point after college I was hired by the power company as a lineman... Even though my ankle was completed healed (for the most part) I still couldn't stand on the pole to work because the way the gaffs pressured my ankle. I still experience problems to this day (15 years later)


November 12th, 2017 at 11:38 PM ^

In RR's first game at Michigan a 25-23 loss to Utah, 23 was the 4th most points anyone scored on Utah's 13-0 team, the most was 27.

In 2010 Michigan lost to Iowa 30-28, Iowa went 11-2 that year and 28 points was the most any team scored against the Hawkeyes.


Otherwise yes it was mostly a dumpster fire.


November 13th, 2017 at 1:44 AM ^

Just look at Arizona this year versus Washington State.  Washington State's defense is roughly equivalent to Michigan's this year (slightly below in S&P+, above in FEI).  Arizona hung over 50 on them.  (Yet the week prior, the RR haters here said the same thing -- Arizona's success only came against weak defenses, etc.)  Look, we get it.  A lot of people don't like him, don't think he was/is a coach, will never be convinced otherwise, will feel the need to make fun of his wife's cooking, etc.  But his Arizona offense right now is ranked either 5th/6th in S&P+ and FEI, with a true sophomore QB who didn't even start the first four games of the season.  I would trade Michigan's offense this year for Arizona's in a heartbeat.  How has our offense done this year against the two decent (over .500) teams we have played?  10 points against MSU, 13 points against PSU.  

The Fugitive

November 12th, 2017 at 9:39 PM ^

how much did MSU getting killed by OSU cause their offense to drop? Lewerke had thrown for 400 yards 2 games in a row prior to this weekend.  Seems like they would be higher than 103.


November 12th, 2017 at 10:28 PM ^

Not that much.  They were 89 previously.  For all of the "Dantonio's been able to put a good OL together with young 2 stars" talk, their run game has been abysmal all year.  Pass pro had been good.  Lewerke had been excellent, especially in big games, and has been worth 2-3 wins on his own for them (which, again, should remind M fans how much QB play - and a second string starter - means in college football).  He completely crapped the bed Saturday, which turned a bad loss into a historic one for that series.