Ranking M's performances thus far

Submitted by BuckeyeChuck on September 23rd, 2018 at 2:15 PM

In an effort to minimize the "BAW OMG" overreation of poor performances, and the "WE RULZ! CFP-BOUND!" overreaction of good performances, let's put the season in perspective by ranking Michigan's performances from most-impressive overall team performance to worst. As each game is played, we can slot in the most recently-played game accordingly.

1. Nebraska -- definitely M's best performance thus far. Will it end up being Michigan's best-played game of the season? Perhaps. Definitely expect this performance to finish among M's top 3 of the season.

2. WMU -- certainly a quality performance is aided by inferior competition, but M did exactly what it was supposed to do. If any top-10 team plays WMU, we would expect that team to do to WMU precisely what Michigan did. Quality performance.

3. SMU -- sure, it's easy to rank a decided victory against an inferior opponent over a struggling performance against a quality opponent (ND), but I almost didn't. Certainly, at half of the SMU game M's performance against SMU was less impressive than their disappointing performance against ND and I would have ranked it last despite M having a 2-TD lead. But M's bounceback second half salvaged this game from being their worst performance of the season thus far. Plus, part of perceiving SMU as a poor opponent had to do with them getting racked by North Texas; however North Texas appears to be a pretty good team at this point (I expect North Texas could win at least 9-10 games...with a few breaks possibly have an undefeated season).

4. ND -- very disappointing performance by M's defense, especially in the first quarter. And the offense only mustered 3 points until late in the game. Sure, ND is the strongest opponent Michigan has played thus far, and level of competition always contributes to the opponent's level of performance, but I was really disappointed by M's overall performance.

I could listen to an argument that, factoring in level of competition, we could rank M's performance against SMU below their performance against ND. Share your thoughts if you think these rankings need adjusted.




September 23rd, 2018 at 2:44 PM ^

Mostly spot on, except there's no way one could put the SMU game below the ND game if you ask me. Michigan's offense was unstoppable in the 2nd half against the Mustangs, while it struggled throughout the entirety of the game at South Bend. We also came out looking very flat and unprepared @ND, while we looked like a team trying to keep it as vanilla as possible, as long as possible, vs. SMU.


I don't think the SMU game was nearly as bad as some here made it out to be. Michigan toyed around for a bit before putting an end to the game when they needed to. I saw nothing wrong with that.

Yost Ghost

September 24th, 2018 at 9:56 AM ^

UM played a bad first half of their very first game of the year on the road with a new QB and a pieced together Oline.

In the first half UM had 105 yards of offense to ND's 270 yards. Clearly they were not playing well at all on both sides of the ball. They did have 3 drives into ND territory but only had a FG to show for it.

However in the second half UM had 227 yards of offense, the Irish had 64. Clearly UM played better in the 2nd half on both sides of the ball. They had 3 drives after half time that made it to mid field or beyond. The first ended when Patterson threw a pick on 2nd and 1 at mid field. The second ended when McCaffrey threw incomplete on a 4th and 7 at the ND 44, when he had to take over for Patterson mid-drive due to cramping. The third ended with a TD. They were even approaching mid-field again on the last drive when Patterson got the sack/fumble. 

My point is they weren't in the game in the first half due to a lot of newness on offense and some questionable play on defense. The second half you can see the defense stiffen and the offense start to put some meaningful drives together. Had they had more time who knows what might have happened. I chock that loss up to bad luck in terms of developmental progression and scheduling. Had they started the season with WMU or some other MAC school the offense would have had more time to gel before really being tested and they'd be undefeated.


September 23rd, 2018 at 2:56 PM ^

I agree and the missing but critical factor here is time. If we played ND this week, we probably win comfortably. It was very poor timing for that game with Shea playing his first game for us after missing a lot of time last year. The oline was very disjointed but is now playing much better as a unit. A win against ND would flip to our #1 performance if this scenario played out.


September 23rd, 2018 at 3:37 PM ^

The AD controls our own schedule and make a lot of profit every year. Why would we ever choose to open on the road? We don’t win many road openers. We can’t do it for money, because the payouts aren’t that good. It’s not for exposure, we’re on tv everywhere every week. The only reason I can think of is that we want to be punched in the dong for old times sake. 

SMart WolveFan

September 23rd, 2018 at 3:01 PM ^

#1: Beating Bama 33-24 in the championship game by out "bama"-ing them with over 200 yards rushing. To be fair, Bama had come off a exhausting 3OT win in a Clemson rematch and were considered a lock to win. And you know about Harbaugh and upsets, right?

#2: Flushing OSU 45-17 in the toilet. Welcome to the next 10 years bitches!

#3: Surviving Georgia 17-13 in the playoff game.


September 23rd, 2018 at 3:24 PM ^

I’m annoyed by these types of posts.  This is not the same team as the ND game or the WMU game or the SMU game.  They are improving and gaining more confidence each week and it’s encouraging.  The correct Harbaugh word would be ascending. 

Also, what fan of another team takes time to post something like this on a UofM message board. Is this for real?


September 23rd, 2018 at 3:52 PM ^

And it is. So not sure if you are posting to just revalidate what you are thinking or what. From worst to best is the chronological order of M's game. I would call SMU performance better than WMU to be honest. Look at offense improving and while there were defensive issues it was Sunbelt idiot refs making it a true rout and keeping SMU in it. 

Michigan is just hitting it's stride. Now...scurry back to your crappy board please or welcome to stay to replenish some IQ points and shred of decency, kindly tell Urban I forgot Meyer to take meds on time ...or not ...I mean it doesn't matter, shitty person is as shitty person does, sir. 


September 23rd, 2018 at 4:00 PM ^

Clearly Nebraska was the best game so far. Nebraska may not be good, but they have more skill than any of our other victories and Michigan negated any skill they had so quickly. It felt good to have some very low pressure football halfway through the first quarter. Seems that it has been a long time since we had such a dominate outing against anyone (although 2016 wasn’t that long ago I suppose). 

Flying Dutchman

September 23rd, 2018 at 4:13 PM ^

Michigan has played 8 halves of football this season.   7 of them featured very good quality football, the kind that wins these games.   The very first half was bad enough to sink the first game entirely.  3-1.  


September 23rd, 2018 at 5:43 PM ^

I’m not sure much has changed. Can we really determine whether the oline is any better? We’ve only played 1 team with a formidable d-line, an even though it was our first game, we stunk. Nebraska is a good win, however, I’m not sure they win more than 3 games. We’ll soon find out where we are at in the upcoming month....I don’t know yet.