Note for the other 8641 prediction threads before Sep

Submitted by Ziff72 on February 15th, 2011 at 11:25 AM

After browsing thru the Deinhart prediction thread, I think there is something worth pointing out.   I know everyone knows we have 2 divisions now, but I think it is going to take time for people to understand we no longer have to have a better record than OSU and Wis to win the Big Ten. 

We need to understand that we are in essentially a 6 team conference.  I have been "Captain Optimism" about 2011 for 2 years now and I will consider Hoke's 1st year a pretty big downer if we are not playing a rematch against OSU in the BTC Game.   Consider "our" conference next year.

Nebraska is welcomed to the Big Ten with a pretty brutal schedule next year and we play them at home.  MSU also has a brutal early schedule.  The other upper tier team in our conference is Iowa who I think is going to be in for some hard times this year.  They lose a ton and have to break in a new qb, they are not a "reloading" type team.   They get a break on the schedule, but I still don't see them as very good next year.

This thing is wide open for us.  I think our side of the divisions will submit a team with 2 losses in conference and probably use a tiebreaker, but it is wide open.   We can win this conference next year. 

Just remember that in the back of your head when you start thinking about our prospects for next year.

  

Comments

Mr Mackey

February 15th, 2011 at 11:30 AM ^

MSU's "brutal" early schedule is made a lot easier by planning tSIO without Pryor and all his buddies.. 

All in all though, I agree that we should win the division and play tSIO twice in a row. I'm hoping for at least one win between those two games.

joeyb

February 15th, 2011 at 12:05 PM ^

Considering most people think that we will be 8-4 or 9-3, which means we have at least two conference losses, I think it's pretty fair to say. If we don't beat either MSU or Nebraska, we will have to have one fewer conference loss, which means they need at least 3 conference losses. Even if we beat both of them, we still need them to get at least one conference loss other than to us.

dahblue

February 15th, 2011 at 1:38 PM ^

I think it was clear last season that they were incredibly overrated.  Did they beat us?  Yes, but that wasn't much of a feat.  They lucked into at least 3 of their wins (ND, Purdue, NW), didn't play OSU, stayed in-state until November and played an incredible weak OOC slate.  So, this year, when they lose their top LB, top WR and top secondary player, play OSU and leave the state (3 times!) before November...I don't expect a whole lot from them...maybe 7-5.

joeyb

February 15th, 2011 at 3:20 PM ^

You might be right, but I think your homerism is clouding your eyes. Keep in mind they were 6-7 the year before and they had "no one" to fill their secondary, but their secondary stepped up this year. Just because they lose guys doesn't mean that no one will step up behind them and someone else won't be a leader this year. I'm not expecting 11-1 again, but I'd be surprised if they finish more than a game behind us in conference.

justingoblue

February 15th, 2011 at 11:31 AM ^

We would still have to beat the team coming out of "Leaders", if it's OSU that means twice in two weeks and if it isn't, it's the team that knocked off OSU which very well might mean a top-5 Wisconsin team that steamrolled us last year.

We should be better, but I don't think it gets much (if any) easier in 2011.

Mich_Faithful

February 15th, 2011 at 11:46 AM ^

I'm not quite sure who Wiscy loses for next year, but don't they lose Tolzien? So they will be breaking in a new qb, but they may not need to throw a whole lot this year. Seeing as how  their run game seemed so dominate last year. Wiscy seems sort of a question mark I guess in my eyes for now, but then again I might just be blowing smoke.

Mich_Faithful

February 15th, 2011 at 12:09 PM ^

After looking at their roster from the 2010 season I see they will have a senior QB Nate Tice who, from the looks of it, hasn't played a down. ALong with a handfull of freshman QB's. Also don't they lose Kendricks and possibly Toon? I know Kendricks was a senior, but Toon appears to have been a junior.  You're right about linemen, they had three senior OL, but still have 10 or so, not including incoming freshman, on their roster but not sure about how much experience they have.

michgoblue

February 15th, 2011 at 11:36 AM ^

I - like everyone - had not thought of that.  Our division doesn't have a true "leader" this year.   Minnesota and Northwestern will almost certainly make up the bottom, leaving us fighting with Iowa, MSU and Nebraska for the top.  Even though MSU has a bye week leading into our game, I like our chances there.  Iowa should have some growing pains with their youth (we know how that works), so I like our chances there, as well. 

Assuming that we are in the thick of it, the divisional divide should provide for some very interesting rooting interests when, for example, Nebraska plays OSU.

And that last week's game between Iowa and Nebraska should be huge.

One concern - Iowa doesn't play OSU this year, which provides them with one less guaranteed conference loss.

justingoblue

February 15th, 2011 at 12:25 PM ^

Iowa, MSU, Illinois, Nebraska, Northwestern and Minnesota are the games we need to worry about.

I think four are toss ups, with Minnesota being a damn near guarentee and Nebraska being improbable, but not impossible. They slipped against inferior competition in 2010, who knows what the Big Ten will do to them?

justingoblue

February 15th, 2011 at 1:09 PM ^

I'd say if Denard comes out with a scorched earth policy in 2011 and the defense starts looking like something resembling a Mattison defense it could very well be a win.

If Borges says "jk lol" to Denard rushing for 1000-1200 yards and the defense literally couldn't be coached up by Lombardi then we're in big trouble.

Blue_Sox

February 15th, 2011 at 12:48 PM ^

He is coming back for NU, but he's also coming back from an achilles tear. For a guy who depends a lot on his legs to make plays, I don't think he will be coming back to the same level he was playing at when he got hurt. It takes a long time to get back to form with an achilles tear--just look at Kalin Lucas' play this season.

justingoblue

February 15th, 2011 at 12:57 PM ^

True, an ACL tear is a brutal injury, but he's going to have almost a full year to rehab.

On top of that Fitzgerald can gameplan around Persa's injury; it's impossible to do that in basketball or with a RB/LB/whatever. I think Persa will still be a big threat next year.

BlueintheLou

February 15th, 2011 at 11:42 AM ^

This is a very interesting point. I had not thought about this.

No one can say that, with any certainty, Iowa and MSU will be a better team than us next year. Nebraska likely will be a better team than us, but they do play a very difficult trial by fire schedule next year. This thing truly is wide open. Really throws a new dynamic into this league. Exciting stuff.

AeonBlue

February 15th, 2011 at 11:45 AM ^

I think this is all assuming that our talent and experience translates into everything we want it to next year. Michigan football is going to be very much a wild-card next year with a new system being learned not only on offense but on defense as well; even if whatever happens on defense can't be worse than last year that doesn't mean that Mattison can snap his fingers and make everything okay.

I want to be optimistic about 2011 but it's been hard the last 3 years. I'm excited and extremely interested to see what happens but I'm not ready to start talking about the B10 championship just yet. Let's see how we look once we get into B10 play becuase we've jumped the gun in September the last two years in a row, only to see that get thrown back in our face. Let's not jump the gun in February after getting a new coach and a new system, for better or worse.

Proceed with caution.

Tater

February 15th, 2011 at 12:22 PM ^

Before the current format, there were usually multiple champions, which means multiple banners each year.  With the Big Ten Championship Game format, similar to what they used to say on The Highlander, there can be only one.  

No matter who is in what division now, any team's path to the title has just gotten a lot harder.

Zone Left

February 15th, 2011 at 1:03 PM ^

I just want a defense that allows somewhere south of 300 points (25 ppg) and a break even turnover margin.  Michigan let up 404 points prior to the bowl game (a school record and 33.8 ppg).  That does include the Illinois game, but doesn't include Miss St, which I guess is about a wash.

They're so far from being merely average on defense that it's amazing.

Tauro

February 15th, 2011 at 1:21 PM ^

Frankly, the whole big ten is a question mark next year except for OSU.  They only have the one conference game affected by the suspensions at this point.  It'll be an exciting year.  No one will know what to expect out of Michigan.  They could explode or implode or just hold steady.  It'll generate some excitement, particularly if we get through the first few weeks unscathed.  Heading into conference play with a 3-1 or 4-0 record will go a long way to building momentum.  At some point that momentum will be sustained for a solid conference run.  I am hoping it will be this year.

Hill.FootballR…

February 15th, 2011 at 2:00 PM ^

I think the kickers are Northwestern and Iowa. Can Northwestern pull off an upset against Nebraska, MSU, Iowa or us and can Iowa not fall apart like they did last year. Besides that, I think if we beat who we should, and then beat MSU we will be looking good going into the last 2 weeks against Nebraska and tOSU

st barth

February 15th, 2011 at 2:16 PM ^

I did forget about the new division split.  That means it's theoretically possible now for a Michigan team (probably more mediocre than dominant this year) to win the division yet get our asses kicked by the Buckeyes two years...er, excuse me, two weeks in a row.  

I can't wait to hear Dave Brandon's spin should that debacle transpire.

LSAClassOf2000

February 15th, 2011 at 5:12 PM ^

I think 8,641 is lowballing this blog a little bit. Undoubtedly, three or four users will account for about 75% of that estimate BY THEMSELVES. Factor in the random prediction threads and we're at 5 digits at least.