Phil Steele picks Florida to Win, ESPN 96.1 says Michigan should "demand a win"

Submitted by wildbackdunesman on August 31st, 2017 at 6:11 PM

I didn't get to hear the entire segment, but the "Big Drew and Jim" show on 96.1 in West Michigan were arguing that we need to demand a victory Saturday against Florida.

I couldn't help but feel as if they were adding drama for the sake of it. 

They said Zaire is their best QB and is being benched for a Freshman QB.  However, reality is Zaire stunk in practices, may get playing time Saturday anyways, and Franks is a Redshirt Freshman with a year in the system that was a highly touted recruit.

They seemed to be ignoring that half of the 10 suspended had zero chance to see the field and only 2 were starters.

Add all of this up and 96.1 was saying that Michigan should demand a victory and anything less than a convincing win is a shame.


Meanwhile, Phil Steele, who is generally respected is straight up picking Florida to still win this game.  He is claiming that Michigan has too much inexperienced talent and that Florida will have far more players with experience on the field.


I am in the middle.  I think Michigan should be favored to win and not winning will be a bitter disappointment, but I still think that Florida even with the suspensions is still better than most BigTen teams and capable of beating a good team.

Where do you all stand?



Mr. Yost

August 31st, 2017 at 6:29 PM ^

And again...look at what they lost.

Crawford, Higdon, Kemp...and a bunch of true and RS freshmen who weren't in the 2-deep.

This isn't the last game of the year where guys are tired and banged up, this isn't outdoors where weather will play a factor.

I thought we were going to win before, I obviously think we win now...but it's not a gimme and they're not THAT wounded.

10 is a cute number, but it's like 2.5 or 3 in reality.

From what it sounds like, we're not going to have Vilijan or Jeter. That's the equivalent of the DE they don't have. Those guys were projected to get snaps. So now you're talking about Callaway and Scarlett (the WR and RB).


August 31st, 2017 at 6:34 PM ^

It's a gimme if their RT and 2nd starting WR are also out, which I have not yet seen confirmed. As it stands, two pretty big losses (not counting injured DB) but likely surmountable ones if their D lives up to the hype and their depth at WR and RB are to be believed.

I agree before suspensions I would have picked us and obviously now only feel better, but at the same time I find these suspensions to be quite annoying because now a win will be written off (unless utter destruction) and an unfortuante loss would look that much worse.

Goggles Paisano

August 31st, 2017 at 7:09 PM ^

They still have a lot of very good players and athletes on that team.  With that said, we have more talent, a better QB, and the coaching edge we have is vast.  Harbaugh coached teams are sound and don't make a lot of mental mistakes.  No sure what is going on in the Florida locker room.  Their turmoil may make them come together but I think the opposite is true.  I see no reason why Florida should be picked to win this game.  

Wolverine Devotee

August 31st, 2017 at 6:17 PM ^

That guy is the biggest dumbass in the industry. And that radio station has become completely irrelevant since Sean Baligian left years ago. They say outlandish nonsense because no one listens to them. 

Phil Steele should be given the Pete Finebaum/Valenti treatment on here. 

Another golden prediction of his: Michigan goes 6-6 and to the Pizza Bowl in 2011.

How'd that one work out? Or his yearly pick of Oklahoma in the national title game.


September 1st, 2017 at 7:15 AM ^

Sean Baligian is kind of annoying, because he flips his arguments and reasoning constantly.

For years he chortled that the BigTen was a second tier conference and anyone who disagreed was a homer BigTen fan, because we don't do well in bowl games.  Then within the past week he was filling in for the "Huge" show and was saying the opposite that MSU under Dantonio had won conference titles in a 1st Class conference, and you are anti-MSU if you say otherwise, because Ohio State won national titles in 2002 and 2014 that makes it a top tier conference.



August 31st, 2017 at 6:19 PM ^

Steele places an enormous emphasis on # of returning starters for early-season games in picking winners. So actually, this doesn't really surprise me. 

Whenever I want to look at this metric, I check out Steele's page here:

I LOVE this sentence he has on there for this year... 

"You shouldn't discount the importance of returning starters, even if this past year's CFP title game featured two teams, Clemson (12 ret) & Alabama (11 ret) that had among the fewest returning starters in the country"

Um, OK, so returning starters are SUPER important, except last year, when the best teams in the country, plus another CFP participant (OSU), had very few returning starters? Gee, thanks. So, it's, um, kind of not really that important, eh? 

Wolverine Devotee

August 31st, 2017 at 6:22 PM ^

Let's ask OSU how returning starters affected their season last year.

Guy is a horse's ass. 

This is why national writers in college football are pointless because they don't know anything beyond stats at the very surface. 

Unless you're covering the team and actually know what is going on, you're full of shit. Just how I feel. 



August 31st, 2017 at 6:33 PM ^

Yup, he wants to present his stuff as stats-based and rigorous, but fails pretty bad. 

So, returning starters are a huge indicator of success, except last year, when 3/4 of the CFP was super young. 

Here's another gem:

"For instance, last year there were 19 teams that returned 16 starters or more, including their QB. Of those 19 teams, 12 had a better record in 2016 than they did in 2015. Four had the same record, and only 3 of the 19 had a weaker record."

Um, Phil, that means about 63% of 19 teams with a ton of returning starters and a veteran QB had a better record than the prior year. 37% did the same or worse. With a sample of only 19, that is far, far from convincing evidence; that's little better than a coin flip. 


August 31st, 2017 at 6:19 PM ^

Is that how you do it? You just demand it? 


Seems as though Phil is relying to heavily on data. Always seemed to have too much of a numbers bias and I think this is a prime example of that.

The Krusty Kra…

August 31st, 2017 at 6:21 PM ^

Over those 3 morans. With a team this young there is no gimme in a game like this, but I still believe Michigan takes home a comfortable W, may be uneasy at times but something like 24-14 Michigan is easily plausible in my mind. NOW LET'S PLAY FOOTBALL.


August 31st, 2017 at 6:26 PM ^

Michigan wins this game and controls it from the start. Florida will be athletic and will scrap. They will bait fights and hit late. But they don't have what Michigan has in uniform...or on the sideline with headsets on.

Michigan 31
Florida 17


August 31st, 2017 at 6:26 PM ^

If our OL can hold up and keep drives going, we've got this.  Franks will burn our young DBs a few times, but he won't be able to do it consistently enough against Don Brown's blitzes to avoid 4th downs.


August 31st, 2017 at 6:28 PM ^

Phil Steel also slotted Florida has his #1 surprise team entering the season. 

Of course he's still going to pick Florida. He's got nothing to lose, and everything to gain. If Florida somehow wins, he's a ''mastermind''.


UM Fan from Sydney

August 31st, 2017 at 6:33 PM ^

Blowouts are obviously nice, but winning is all that matters. I'd take 3-2 scores literally every game if it meant we won. In the words of the great Dominic Toretto: "It doesn't matter if you win by an inch or a mile - winning is winning."


August 31st, 2017 at 7:05 PM ^

Everyone has their own opinion.  All good.  He happens to be wrong.  When Florida gets destroyed, he may not maintain such a stellar reputation.

Can't wait.  Can't wait.  Can't wait.  Gonna be some fun.  Jerry World will be Jimmy World.



August 31st, 2017 at 7:15 PM ^

According to his own metric of 'experience' Clemson was the least experienced team last year... it is a useless metric. Talent trumps experience and Michigan is loaded with talent. 

Perkis-Size Me

August 31st, 2017 at 7:32 PM ^

I fully expect the game to be close. Both teams are relatively inexperienced and are almost a mirror image of one another: solid defense, very questionable offense. In the end, it's going to come down to coaching. And I take Harbaugh over McElwain in that department every day and twice on Sunday.

Unless Felipe Frank is a revelation at QB or we just commit stupid turnovers in our own end of the field, I have to say I like Michigan's chances.