The Three Seasons

Submitted by maizenbluedevil on October 25th, 2009 at 5:13 PM

We are officially 2/3 of the way through the season, and the first part and the second part looked (obviously) radically different.

The first part:
W, WMU
W, ND
W, EMU
W, IU
Record: 4-0

The second part:
L, MSU
L, Iowa
W, DSU
L, PSU
Record: 1-3

With such drastically different results they look like almost entirely different seasons. Several reasons for this, no doubt:
- First part had all home games, the second only 2.
- Pretty healthy in the first, injuries in the second.
- MUCH higher level of talent we faced in the second than the first.
- In the second, more film available for opponents to be prepared for us.
- In the first, we were 2-0 in close games. In the second, 0-2 in close games.

In light of all that, how do you think the final part will shape up?

We have:
- Illinois
- Purdue
- Wisconsin
- OSU

The median number of losses between the first part of the season and the second part is 1.5, coincidentally I think that is the most reasonable over/under for number of losses we'll have in the last part of the season... I'm thinking we either go 3-1 or 2-2 in our last 4 games... Wins against Illinois and Purdue, and the wild card is whether we can steal a win against Wisconsin or OSU, or whether we lose both.

I think we can win one of those two, the more likely candidate being a win against OSU at home to finish the year. 3-1 in the last part of the season, 8-4 overall. How do you think we'll finish out the year?

Hopefully we'll be healthier. Also, that we only have 1 challenging road game (@ Wisconsin) I think helps us. I think the talent level of our opponents, while definitely not as low as the first part of the season, isn't as high as the second part, which was the toughest part of our schedule. While things have looked bad as of recent, the worst is behind us at this point.

The key factor, I think, will be close games. I can foresee both Wisconsin and OSU being close. If we manage to win 1 of them, we're 8-4.

Comments

BlockM

October 25th, 2009 at 5:25 PM ^

I don't know that we can count on wins as a sure thing against Illinois or Purdue right now. We should be favored, but we'll need to play significantly better than we have lately.

That said, I'd be ok with 7-5. 8-4 would be great.

tbliggins

October 25th, 2009 at 5:26 PM ^

I still think that each of the last 4 games are winnable and losable. Without a healthy Molk or Forcier the margin of error is much smaller. The defense needs to force turnovers to be effective, though. They cannot be counted on to continually make stops against any of these teams.

joelrodz

October 25th, 2009 at 5:43 PM ^

I see our wins during the first half (WM, EMU,and IU) against softies. On the second half, our loses are against true big ten talent (MSU, IOWA, PSU) and our win again, against a softie (DSU). If these past 8 games teach me anything, is that Illinois is the only game i would count on winning from here on out. The rest i would consider a bonus. I am not saying i dont want to see them clean house from here on out, but based on where we are and what we have accomplished its hard to be so optimistic unless something changes from here on out.

physics guy

October 25th, 2009 at 5:27 PM ^

Your analysis seems to assume autowins against both Illinois and Purdue. While I hope you're right, I must say that I don't share your optimism here. Yes, Illinois has played very poorly, but they have plenty of talent on that team. And in the case of Purdue one need only look at the OSU game to know that this team is no pushover either.

victors2000

October 25th, 2009 at 5:30 PM ^

'Season #2' was somewhat painful; I really thought we'd be better than what we showed after the success of 'season #1'. We are in for a knife fight the rest of the way, everyone of those teams is going to 'need' a victory one way or the other. Everyone gets up for us, it's a part of being a Wolverine. The Illini aren't going to want to get smoked in their place, Purdue is on a roll, Wisconsin is going to want payback, and of course with OSU it's practically a religious experience. If we can't take 2 or 3 prior to the OSU game, we aren't going to beat OSU, and taking 2 or 3 is going to be a challenge. We really need to get it together.

BlueinLansing

October 25th, 2009 at 5:55 PM ^

2 or 3 plays from being 3-1, season #1 was 2 or 3 plays from being 2-2.

Season #3 will probably be 2 or 3 plays from 3-1 or 1-3 or worse 0-4. I can't see 4-0 in the picture, but I suppose if they win the next 3 somehow and play OSU with confidence and Terelle Pryor's evil twin Turnover Terelle shows up anything can happen.

Blue_Bull_Run

October 25th, 2009 at 5:56 PM ^

At this point, I think we're more likely to drop a game against UI or PU, than we are to win one against UW or OSU.

We're not executing well (see dropped balls, bad snaps), but worse, we're really hurting ourselves with relatively easy turnovers.

Simply put, we're turning everything into an uphill battle.

Illinois rolled us last year, and Purdue hasn't been terrible this year. Give them 4 or 5 turnovers, and I don't like our chances at all.

aenima0311

October 25th, 2009 at 5:57 PM ^

Season 2 was like Season 3 of Weeds, just terrible.

I take no win for granted anymore. It'd be nice to finish 8-4, but 7-5 is looking like the likely scenario.

WichitanWolverine

October 25th, 2009 at 6:20 PM ^

Michigan MUST beat Illinois and Purdue. These are not gimme games by any means, but we need to win them to salvage the season. Iowa and Penn State were not must win games and those losses really don't hurt all that bad IMO because we were supposed to lose them. If we win the neXt 2 games and can steal one from Wisconsin or OSU (or maybe both, very unlikely though) then the season will end as a success. 7-5 would also be acceptable but I would be much, much happier at 8-4.

Don

October 25th, 2009 at 6:22 PM ^

exemplifies hope over reality. Our defense can't even be called mediocre, and our offense is more likely to sputter badly than it is to be productive.

I know the prevailing wisdom among recruiting experts is that individual games don't determine potential recruits' decisions, but a game like yesterday cannot help at all.

wolverine1987

October 25th, 2009 at 7:27 PM ^

Young teams can put it all together late in season (like I thought we would before this game happened) or they can regress and mentally break down. I would not be surprised if we lost all the remaining games--I am NOT predicting that, but anyone thinking it's not a possibility is fooling themselves. Illinois is eminently winnable of course, but IMO Purdue is a toss up, unless the light comes on quickly for some of our guys. 2-2 would be what I hope for now, rather than expect, after yesterday.

littlebrownjug

October 25th, 2009 at 8:01 PM ^

We should win big at Illinois next week, but Purdue looks tougher than I thought at the beginning of the season. Wisconsin is always tough place to play, and we have lost there in the past with better talent on the field.

I will be pleased with a bowl game (any bowl game), and it would be great to beat OSU. Given that they have to go through the minefield that is Penn State and Iowa before they get to us, that might help us.

Sextus Empiricus

October 25th, 2009 at 8:14 PM ^

you start trying to figure what we can/will do.

This team is at a crossroads. It's fate is in it's own hands. 3 seasons is a great structure for what I think this team needs - inspiration. I hope Minor, BG or RR take something like this and spread it to the team in the pre game speech in Champaign. This is the third season. What are you going to do?

The fact that we have 2 freshman QBs makes inspiration and confidence even that much more of an issue. The meltdown could get worse before it gets better.

I see a win in Illinois (if they catch the fire) and knock downs with Purdue and maybe Wisconsin. OSU is a mountain. I want to see BG line up on Boren and blow by his slowness.

I know this doesn't say much but this team is truly at a crossroads.

bigbluetrue

October 25th, 2009 at 9:58 PM ^

There I said it, if we lose the Wilson Footballs and go to a more tactile ball we should go 3-1. Seriously though it depends on 3 things.

1. Tate's health

2. Molk's health

3. The weather!

I know it's an overused excuse, but you can't deny the weather hasn't exactly been kind to the offense lately. Some of these kids have played in rain yes but 35-45 deg rain not much. It will take time to get used to, trust me I know. I Played 4 years in warm weather and then my last two in northern Michigan. It took me almost the full first season before my hands adjusted to the cold/wet and freezing/wet conditions.

The First two are definite NEEDS to wether we go a possible 4-0 to a possible 0-4.