Who is the most/least beatable rival this year: ND, [OSU] or [MSU]?

Submitted by artds on June 16th, 2011 at 10:26 AM


[Ed: juvenile nicknames are highly discouraged.]



June 16th, 2011 at 10:31 AM ^

Depends on how much recent budget cuts impact the efficiency of Michigan law enforcement.  

Likely tOSU unless their true freshman QB really turns it on.  I'm also assuming other members of the Tat5 are not on the team come Nov.


June 16th, 2011 at 10:30 AM ^

Most: MSU.  ND could be considered for this as well, especially with the night game aspect.  However, we will be 2 games into a brand new staff/system and will still be working out the kinks.

Least: OSU.  Even though we are leveling the playing field, they will be stacked.  Their QB will be a Sophomore by the time we play.

Overall I think we have a 50% chance of beating MSU, 40% ND, and 30% chance of beating OSU.


June 16th, 2011 at 10:35 AM ^

New player suspensions may affect the game, but in the current state, I just think they are too loaded for us right now.  Braxton Miller, for all intents, is supposed to be exhibiting signs of being a stud.  We can't count on their entire first team to be suspended... or maybe we can.  But as of now, I think they're still just too tough.


June 16th, 2011 at 10:41 AM ^

I am unsure if Braxton Miller will be healthy by the time November comes around. He was practically a china doll in high school. He came out of games more often than Denard did. They will not have the OL to protect him all season.

Notre Dame will be tough this year and MSU worries me the least. OSU will be a toss up because they always play solid defense.


June 16th, 2011 at 12:08 PM ^

a rather "safe" one, and 95% of it went through Proyrs hands. He actually led the B1G in touchdown passes last year, and Tressel wasn't just their Head Coach, he also called the plays on offense. They will still have a solid defense unless the other 6 or so named guys get suspended, but they lost the bulk of their offense. It will fall on the OC for the first time, and maybe their running back, but Mattison will stop the run by seasons end. I think ND will be ready for prime time.


June 16th, 2011 at 12:56 PM ^

Funny. I remember in 2004 when we went into Columbus 9-1 against a 6-4 OSU team, got thumped, and the big Michigan message board theme was "You can't win a Michigan-Ohio State game on the road with a freshman quarterback!!!"

I would hope those fans, some call them apologists, stay consistent with that and don't give OSU any chance in the Big House.


June 16th, 2011 at 10:35 AM ^

I would like to reserve judgement on this issue until after about two to three weeks of news out of fall practice. I think we have enough talent to win all three games but a lot is going to depend on how well the O and D pick up the new systems and whether or not some guys step up to fill in some of our question marks. The game that scares me the most is ND simply because of how early in the year it is.

Hardware Sushi

June 16th, 2011 at 11:26 AM ^

I think ND will be the strongest of the bunch this season, plus we have less prep time for our new systems before we play them.

MSU's o-line is going to kill them, IMO. I'm glad they play OSU and ND before playing us so that one of their d-lines can beat up on Cousins.

OSU is a wildcard. I don't really know what to think at this point yet. They aren't changing much on defense (formationally) and still have most of the talent they've been recruiting the past four years. Then again, new coach, qb, and whatever else comes down the pipe in the next five months can hurt a team just as badly.

Plus, I'd like to think Michigan, you know, plays well this season. That too.


June 16th, 2011 at 12:39 PM ^

That's what I've been thinking, too. Wouldn't it be so ironic if the season shakes out that way, though? Beating the two rivals we never beat , and then losing to the only rival that we did beat during during the worst 3 year span in our history.


June 16th, 2011 at 10:36 AM ^

Good question because it's a tough answer.

No idea about OSU until more than halfway through the season.  They could come out with their stocked talent and an upperclassman qb who plays well enough not to lose ( a la Krenzel) and they could be 9-2 when they come to AA -- they also should be banned from a bowl so the UM/OSU game will be their bowl game giving them even more desire to win than what The Rivalry normally offers; or it could be a disaster from the start and we could be playing a demoralized wounded team with their only interest in getting the season over.

We know what were getting with ND, but, in week 2 of a new offense, defense, and coaching staff we have no idea if this UM team in week 2 is going to be good (even if the season ends up a success it probably will start a little shaky).  

And MSU on the road - coming off a victory or defeat against OSU?  Cousins living up to "first round pick" or throwing a bunch of picks like his true self.  And will they have a b.s. little giants play to push them through a paper-tiger "successful" season

Prediction based on too many unknown factors:

Lease likely to win:    @MSU 45% chance of winning

Most likely to win:    OSU at 55% chance of winning

And I'd put ND at 50%


June 16th, 2011 at 10:38 AM ^

MSU lost a lot of talent and think they are invincible. They are ripe for the picking. Plus, I refuse to believe I live in a world where any god would allow those fans to be happy for more than three years in a row.

OSU is still stocked with talent, but will have an unproven QB (whoever that may be), a new coach, and a lot of disarray. Also the game is in  AA so I think they are pretty beatable.

Call me crazy but I put both of those games at 50/50.

I fully expect ND to be extremely good this year. 2nd year in Kelly's system and a ton of talent on hand. I think they could make a legitimate run at a BCS game. If the ball bounces their way a bit this year they could possibly be in title contention. I put our chances of winning that game at 25%.


June 16th, 2011 at 12:14 PM ^

Hence, the countdown clocks.  In terms of intangibles like "prestige" a loss to ND would hurt the least after 2 straight years of wins, so if I had to pick one game to lose of the 3 it would be that one.

Since this is a prediction thread, I think msu is vulnerable and osu and ND are both tossups.

Mr Mackey

June 16th, 2011 at 10:45 AM ^

All three are very interesting games.

ND - could be the best team out of the three, but we are helped by the crowd being amped up for the night game, and ND will be lost staring at our uniforms.

OSU - They've obviously been through so much, but by the last game of the year, they'll probably be comfortable enough with the new coach and QB that they won't be hurt too much by it.

MSU - They've got to prove that they can repeat the success of last year, and it's going to be tough to win in East Lansing, but I think they're the least talented of the three.

Most difficult to least difficult: ND, OSU, MSU

That being said, I could easily see us winning all three, but I could also see us losing all three. Hopefully it helps that Hoke is emphasizing them so much, and our boys are ready to beat the shit out of the Irish, Little Bro, and Brutus. We have to beat them this year


June 16th, 2011 at 10:45 AM ^

Most: ND.  The defense improved tremendously last year, but the offense didn't.  Floyd is their best offensive player, but I have yet to see Kelly use him properly.  I expect that our  improved defense will catch them off guard, and our offense will still have some success.

Least: OSU.  Let's not kid ourselves.  The talent stockpile there is just ridiculous.  Miller will have a full year under his belt by the time they visit Ann Arbor, and the rest of the Tat 5 will be playing in that game.  Plus, there are no obvious signs that Miller is a head case or a dumbass like Pryor, which will make him a better college QB. 

Mr Mackey

June 16th, 2011 at 10:47 AM ^

There's also no signs that Miller will be the starter. it's been said that the old guy (Bauserman..?) will likely start over him. Fickell wants to keep his job, and throwing a freshman QB in with a first year coach is not smart. He'd be much better off throwing the 30 year old guy out there


June 16th, 2011 at 10:46 AM ^





Frankly, all teams are in better positions than UM at the moment (that is, UM has the worst of the 8 possible units (UM's defense), and UM's O is in transition).  

OSU MAY have some suspended players, but still, the talent gap between OSU and UM is too great at the moment, such that unless they implode under Fickell (which I don't think they will), I think OSU ought to win.

ND has a lot of talent, and assuming they continue the improvement curve under BK, it would take a VERY quick transition by UM's O under the Borges system for me to feel like we can realistically beat them.  The night game aspect helps, obviously.

MSU?  Should beat us, but I mean, come on.  MSU could beat UM 100 times in a row, and I'd still feel confident that a few "Sparty, No!"s could tip the scales in our favor.

ND Sux

June 16th, 2011 at 10:56 AM ^

Most beatable: ND, because system is still new(ish), talent more on par with ours, and night game at home.

2nd: OSU - Mattison will find ways to attack a freshman QB every time, plus in AArbor, hungry as hell.

Least: MSU - road game against what should still be a pretty solid team. 


June 16th, 2011 at 11:12 AM ^

are not in the Leaders division. I appreciate the tradition behind these schools being the teams UM fans love to beat, but won't the new divisional structure of the B1G change this somewhat?

Its all going to be about winning your division to have a shot at the conference championship, BCS, and MNC. No more Co-Champs.

Mr Mackey

June 16th, 2011 at 11:20 AM ^

Well, we do have to beat the Leaders division foes, but that doesn't change our rivalry. We don't have to beat ND or OSU to make it to the title game, but they're two of our biggest rivals, so we do have to beat them. That's why Hoke is emphasizing the games.

Yes, we want to win our division. But it's arguable which would be better: winning our division but losing to these three schools, or not winning the division but beating these three. Honestly, I'd probably take the latter, assuming MSU doesn't win the division.


June 16th, 2011 at 6:52 PM ^

I appreciate the tradition behind these schools being the teams UM fans love to beat, but won't the new divisional structure of the B1G change this somewhat?

Well, ND has never been a conference rival, so that's not going to change. OSU being in the other division could affect the rivalry somewhat, but playing them every year (and at the end of the season) should keep its importance.

I do think Nebraska will become considered a rivalry game down the road, though it needs more history behind it first. OTOH, a game that I think will lose some luster is PSU, which was turning into a pretty intense series when we were playing every year (we played all but two seasons from 1993-2010), but probably won't be the same when it's just two years out of five.


June 16th, 2011 at 11:14 AM ^

With everything so positive going on with Hoke. I'm gonna ride on the assumption that our good luck keeps moving forward. This is gonna be a very unique year. I think once it's all said and done history will be made. Hoke will bring back tradition in a huge way!!!!So start writing the stories now! We will win all three games. Close but we do win!! And Hoke will be cemented in the Michigan history books as one of the best coaches to ever restart  a program....


June 16th, 2011 at 11:16 AM ^

I expect OSU to be very tough, like others before me have said they are still stacked and most of the suspended players will return. But I think they are beatable, they are just a downed giant, and if we beat them that will be like knocking them down another peg. Mayhem would break out in Columbus. I expect OSU to be our most interesting game.