Phil Steele: Michigan vs Toledo in Little Caesars Pizza Bowl

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on June 23rd, 2011 at 4:36 PM

Just skimmed through the Phil Steele 2011 preview magazine and he's picking Michigan to finish 5th in the Legends Division and go to the Pizza Bowl in Detroit against Toledo. Not exactly where I want them to go. DISCUSS!





June 23rd, 2011 at 4:40 PM ^

If we play in the Little Caesars Bowl, I will say this season is a disappointment. Call me a Scrooge, but I think we have too many guys coming back and think this team comes back hungry enough to make the system transitions much easier than they were in the RR era. I'm still shooting for a new years day bowl.

Wolverine Devotee

June 23rd, 2011 at 4:41 PM ^

I read that and was like WTF. Only bright side would be it's close to go to and a rematch against Toledo. But I don't think the players would enjoy a "vacation" to Detroit.


June 23rd, 2011 at 4:43 PM ^

If Michigan even squeaks by to bowl eligibility they sill not play in the Little Caesars bowl.  Michigan is too big of a draw for both TV and attendance to play in such a low tier bowl.  If we had the same record as MSU or pretty much any other B1G school they would put MSU in the pizza bowl.


June 23rd, 2011 at 4:44 PM ^

I thinks a lot of people are getting a little too optomistic about this season. The future is bright, but there will be painful moments this year on both sides of the ball, especially offense. I would happily drink beer at an M game in Detroit.


June 23rd, 2011 at 4:50 PM ^

The only possible way UM would end up in the Pizza bowl is if they were the only team in the B1G to finish 6-6. While I don't expect UM to be competing for the Legends division in 2011, I would be surprised if they only finish 6-6 and even if that unlikely scenario occured, I expect at least one other team would probably also finish tied with UM and that team would be relegated to the Pizza bowl, not UM.


June 23rd, 2011 at 5:18 PM ^

We should be be prohibitive favorites at home against Western, Eastern, and Minnesota and strong favorites at home against Purdue and San Diego St. 6-6 would mean that we either lose at least one of those or go 1-6 out of ND, @NW, @MSU, @Iowa, @Illinois, Neb, and OSU. If the offense doesn't regress and the defense shows only as much improvement as you would expect from the overall increase in experience (i.e. the new scheme doesn't help), you'd think we would at least be competitive in all of those games and probably favored to win some of them.

We were 7-5 last year and have what looks like an easier schedule this year: Neb is on it but PSU and Wisc are off, and OSU and Iowa look to be down. If the team regresses after losing only Mouton, Schilling, and a handful of unremarkable part-time starters and backups it would rank as one of the all-time worst coaching jobs. Steele seems to think that our coaches are idiots, that the offense will suck because we'll try to run Wisconsin's offense with spread and shred personnel and our defense will suck because it always does. I'm looking forward to seeing this team make him look like a fool.


June 23rd, 2011 at 8:04 PM ^

I've learned the past few seasons not to take anything for granted. The five games you mentioned are very winnable but are not locks. I wouldn't be ecstatic with 6-6 but transition years seem to be really unpredictable and making some type of bowl (and winning it if it is lower tiered) would be a good start to the new era and a sign of progress in the right direction.


June 23rd, 2011 at 4:48 PM ^

I think what the article was SUPPOSED to say is that Phil Steele just wants to go to Little Caesar's himself. He appears to be on an all Pizza-Pizza diet, so this would make sense . . . 


June 23rd, 2011 at 4:55 PM ^

I'd like to go to that bowl regardless of who's playing. I've never been to a bowl before.

Kiiinda would prefer not to see us playing in it though (I think I might've said that in 2009 and too, and, well, yeah...)

D.C. Dave

June 23rd, 2011 at 5:00 PM ^

Phil Steele is purely a numbers guy. All of his projections are based off last year's stats vs. the norm. He just plugs in the numbers, using the formulas he has tended to favor, and whatever it spits out, that's what he goes with.

Of course, it never really works out that way. I don't know where he had Auburn last year, but they were not picked to even win their division in the SEC. But it's hard to know which teams will achieve beyond the statistical norms.

The other thing to remember about Steele is he lives in Akron. So not only is he an Ohio guy, that means he's probably seen a lot of the Michigan defense for the past three seasons and it was such a lowly rated unit, he can't see it rising up that much statistically in one season.

Based on the trend that brought us to today -- the three worst defenses in school history for three consecutive years -- it is hard to argue with him at this point. Hopefully, what we see on the field this fall is a pleasant surprise.


June 23rd, 2011 at 5:05 PM ^

Phil Steele - his website looks like it was created by a crazy doomsday conspiracy theorist.

I only see ND, Wisc, Iowa and Neb as possible losses. 8-4 at the worst. Anyone who thinks we are losing to MSU and OSU this year is going to be wrong.