Michigan 2017 S&P+ stats

Submitted by Prince_of_Nachos on January 3rd, 2018 at 3:16 PM

The final S&P+ rankings have been posted (barring the National Championship game). Here's a couple of tables:

Michigan Overall S&P+ Performance Under Harbaugh



Offense (Run / Pass)




#38 (#61R / #17P)




#41 (#49R / #29P)




#86 (#14R / #87P)



Michigan's 2017 Opponent S&P+ Results







Air Force




















South Carolina



I think it's worth keeping in mind Harbaugh's #5 and #3 finishes in his first two years (without his own players) before getting too upset about his overall coaching tenure. 

On the other hand, there's no sugarcoating how bad that bowl game was. Losing to the #2, #4, #6, and #19 schools sucks, but in a rebuilding year is maybe understandable. Losing to #60 South Carolina with a month to prepare is just...pick a word.



January 3rd, 2018 at 3:27 PM ^

I think we could have prepared for 1 year rather than 1 month and still lost this game.  The players didn't play very well there towards the end.  This game could have just as easily been 40-3 though.  A few bounces(one being off the facemask, another right out of the TE's hands on a TE dive play?!?!?), and it spiraled out of our hands.  

Gameplanning, wizardry, etc. only get you so far.  On game day you gotta make plays.  


January 3rd, 2018 at 3:32 PM ^

You say that like it wasn't south carolina shitting on themselves that gave us a lead at halftime. Our two scoring drives in the first half were off unforced fumbles that each went under 30 yards. 

We had a total of 2 drives that went over 40 yards the entire football, one was the td drive the other was the pick in the endzone.  Its honestly a miracle that offensive performance put up the 19 points it did.


January 3rd, 2018 at 3:38 PM ^

Probably a top 10 D again in 2018. Rushing offense actually ranks well. You have to think they can be a top 25 or better rush offense in 2018 with continuing O line development.

Pass offense.........


January 3rd, 2018 at 3:39 PM ^

I'm really tempted to chalk the disappointment this year up to having Wilton Speight get injured (I know he wasn't playing that well when he got injured, but still) and throwing out John O'Korn and a RS Freshman for most of the season. 

Look what happened to Florida State when Francois went down if you want a comparison. 


January 3rd, 2018 at 4:46 PM ^

O'Korn did not get any favors by who he played. I'd have to look at passing defense rankings, but I'd say Peters and Speight were close.  Peters also had a simplized playbook and a coherent running game in for three straight weeks. 



January 3rd, 2018 at 7:01 PM ^

but Wilton was also working with a brand new oline, receivers and for the most part tight ends.  He was the QB when they were trying to mesh both zone and power running plays.  It wasn't until they scraped most of the zone and went primarily with power that the running game started to come around.


January 3rd, 2018 at 3:58 PM ^

I think we've entered "reloading" mode with our D - that is one reason this season wasn't a total failure - Don Brown and the talent and speed on D have me excited on that side of the ball. 

Offense is where we have to rebuild right now - but given the O Line recruiting failures at the end of the Hoke era - we don't have any Runyan Sr, Hutchinson, Backus, Jansen, etc. waiting to replace the seniors. 

I feel good about special teams - even though the P game sucked - that's one position we can find the right guy to fix. Replacing Peppers was tough, but we'll find a guy to return punts next year - or maybe the DPJ we saw vs. AFA and OSU will return for 13 games. Crotch grabbing aside, Nordin is a great kicker - he made the kicks on a day when it was chilly in Florida and not a great field. I expect him to win a close road game for us next year.


January 3rd, 2018 at 3:59 PM ^

How do you go from clearly out-planning and should've beaten the #2 S&P team the country to having that shit-show of a bowl game two days ago against the #60 team?? Something is wrong, very, very wrong. Hoping these coaching changes are for the better, but dammit idk anymore man.


January 3rd, 2018 at 4:14 PM ^

Clearly out game planning the #2 S&P team, and losing due to slopply play is about the same as a shit show for game planning against the #60 team and losing due to sloppy play.  Both look like L's in the W/L column.  


Watch Shea Patterson's highlights on youtube that someone just put together.  About 50% of those plays are him creating the play when he held it too long, and/or blocking broke down.  


When Michigan was really good the past two years the QB bought extra time(Speight did this a lot in early 2016, O'Korn did it against Purdue), improvised, and got the ball down field.  The rest of the past two years was our QB looking like a statue, holding the ball too long, then taking a sack or throwing it into coverage.  

S'all Good Man

January 3rd, 2018 at 4:31 PM ^

Obviously next year will change on the field. But seems like a legit tough schedule. The worst teams include NEB, who should get better, and Maryland that didn't have a QB this year. Northwestern scoring between Purdue and Indiana is shocking given their record.

ND- 13

Western- 74

SMU- 67

NEB- 103

NW- 46

Maryland- 114

Wisc- 6

MSU- 19

PSU- 4

Rutgers- 110

IU- 51

OSU- 2

Ron Utah

January 3rd, 2018 at 5:00 PM ^

ND - Even.  Returning 14ish starters from a decent year.  Better QB play would put them back in the national conversation.

Western - Up.  Best recruiting class ever for WMU won't be enough, even if 2018 UM looks like 2017 UM.

SMU - Down.  Sonny Dykes is an uninspiring hire following Chad Morris.  Bad in '17, probably worse in '18.

Nebraska - Up.  Frost won't have had enough time to make Nebraska a contender, but they will win a few games they should not.

Northwestern - Down.  Losing Justin Jackson and some other key pieces.  Still, it's an away game against a solid opponent.

Maryland - Up.  Recruiting and coaching will continue to develop a roster that can't repeat this year's terrible luck with QB injuries.

Wisconsin - Even.  Only losing a couple of players on offense, but tougher losses on defense.  Their schedule in 2018 is much tougher--at Iowa, Michigan, and Penn State, so I do not expect another undefeated regular season.

MSU - Up.  Young team adds experience and development.  Should be better in '18, but will face a division that continues to improve.

PSU - Even.  There is little doubt that 2017 was the best opportunity for the Lions, but their strong recruiting will keep them in the hunt as long as Franklin continues to find great coordinators.  Losing a generational player like Barkley will hurt the offense.

Rutgers - Up.  Better recruiting will help a program that will still be bad.

Indiana - Down.  Time for the Hoosiers to start thinking like Purdue.  They are not going to win very often unless they can get an innovative offensive mind.

OSU - Even.  Hate to say it, but Haskins will likely remind folks of Cardale Jones, but more accurate.  Returning almost everyone on offense will take some sting out of defensive losses.

MICHIGAN - UP.  Even if we keep the same, bad offensive staff (we won't), Michigan will be a vastly more experienced team with some amazing talent on both sides of the ball.  9.5 wins would be my over/under.



January 3rd, 2018 at 5:10 PM ^

I think psu has a decent shot at a year like we just had next year. They are losing their oc and Barkley and while McSorley is better than I thought he was their recruiting uptick this year won't be enough to allow them to truly reload. They also lose the core of their defense in the interior line and at safety and once again are probably a year or two away of being able to truly reload on defense.  They won't be bad, but I could see a 3-4 loss season as much more likley than a national title run like a ranking of 4 would suggest.

Ron Utah

January 3rd, 2018 at 4:34 PM ^

There is no excuse for the offensive performance this season, culminating in an embarrassing bowl loss to a mediocre team.

That said, if we can get play a coherent offense next year, the returning talent is more than sufficient to get us back in the B1G race, maybe more.


January 3rd, 2018 at 4:47 PM ^

OL is very young but talented - can anyone get them to perform at a much higher level?

WR is still very young but talented - can anyone get them to perform better?

QB is an unknown, but talented threesome - can we get at least one to perform good enough?

RB - solid returning veterans

TE / HB / FB - solid veterans, with youthful upside

Key is the right combination of offensive coaches - better position experts, in the trenches with each position group that JH needs to play sigificantly better - OL, WR and QB.  Less play-calling masterminds and more development type coaches (get guys like Mattison is for DL). 



January 3rd, 2018 at 4:50 PM ^

You know, that gives me some hope. Year 3 was always going to be a down year with so few returning. So this shows us as (a) a top 5 team year 1 with a great defense and ok offense, (b) a top 5 team year 2 with a great defense and ok offense, and (b) a definite step back year 3 with a pretty consistent defense and cratered offense. The offense this year is the only thing that sticks out as worse than on track, and it's being addressed with a staff overhaul. Bad as it was in the moment, and unlucky as we have been in ~*~*~clutch~*~*~ situations, it is wrong to say we're still roughly on track to be very good next year and after?


January 3rd, 2018 at 5:05 PM ^

There are lots of reasons to think this was an outlier, especially when Harbaugh's third and fourth year at Stanford saw him engineer the #6 and #1, respectively, offense in the country by S&P+. 

Sadly, that bowl game kind of blew the offense's season narrative from "consistently getting better and looking quite decent by the end" to "wt flying f."

philidor's legacy

January 3rd, 2018 at 4:55 PM ^

I will end the UM football season with this: 
In the last 53 minutes of play, Michigan was out scored 57-0.
They led vs Wisconsin 10-7 with 3:30 left to play in the 3rd quarter. Final score: Wisconsin 24 Michigan 10
They led vs Ohio State 20-14 with 1:30 left to play in the 3rd quarter. Final score: Ohio State 31 Michigan 20
They led USC 19-3 with 2:25 left to play in the 3rd quarter. Final score: USC 26 Michigan 19
’nough said

Arb lover

January 3rd, 2018 at 6:26 PM ^

First off that's not 53 minutes in a row so its misleading. 

Secondly, its actually a good sign, simply shows our young team was getting gassed at the end of the past three games. Three games we lost and were winning. All things being equal, I'll take those odds/scores with a reloaded team to go again. If you meant that like Michigan is a failure I see it as quite the opposite, it was close most of the way and last minute, quite forgiven for a young team.


January 3rd, 2018 at 5:18 PM ^


The OL was missing 3 starters, as well as Grant Perry, our only non-freshman WR. They almost overcame it anyway. This bowl loss doesn't indicate anything about the state of the program and its progression.

Woodstock Wolverine

January 3rd, 2018 at 5:57 PM ^

Yes. This and youth. Also, Peters is very inexperienced (3 or 4 starts?) and SC had a pretty good defense.

You’re right, this loss does not indicate something deeply wrong with the program. Unfortunately the sky is falling people don’t want to here these “excuses” and will continue to be annoying.