Monday, October 14, 2019

Michigan Monday: Big Ten Pre-Season Predictions Were Mostly Wrong

I know many fans want to go to the playoff and have a shot at a National Championship.   I do as well, but I much prefer a Big Ten Championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl.  I thought Michigan had a decent shot this year, with OSU going through a coaching change.   I had a bunch of pre-season expectations that have been mostly wrong with a few that were right.

Pre-Season Predictions

Ryan Day is not Urban Meyer and Justin Fields would struggle early and get a little better as the year went on.    Prediction was Wrong!  Ohio State could be playing the best football I have seen out of them in a number of years.  Could make a case for the #1 team in the nation.   Big swing and a miss by me.

Michigan State would have a decent defense but will struggle on offense to score points.   Prediction was Right!  I was looking forward to watching the Wisconsin - MSU game on Saturday.  I got through a few minutes and knew the game was over.   MSU is in big trouble this year.  

Wisconsin would be very one-dimensional on offense and struggle to stop teams on defense.  Prediction was Wrong!  I might have been 50% correct here but I was way off on Wisconsin's defense and ability to stop Big Ten Teams.   Wisconsin travels to Columbus in two weeks and then we will see.   Their defense has given up a total of 29 points all year (14 to Michigan and 15 to NW).

Minnesota has an easy schedule and will look really good until late in the year.   Prediction was Right!  PJ Fleck is 6-0 and will have an easy road to 8-0 before they have to play PSU, Iowa, and Wisconsin.   A schedule with no Michigan, OSU, or MSU is just crazy.   The Golden Gophers will come back to earth when they play Penn State and will end the year with at least two loses and probably 3.  

Penn State and James Franklin were going to struggle without Moorehead, Barkley, and McSorley.  Prediction was Wrong!   Outside of the Pitt game, Penn State looks like what my expectation of what Michigan would look like.  Solid offense and a solid defense.   PSU didn't play great at Iowa but did do enough to win the game against an Iowa team that all of sudden has the turnover bug.  

Michigan's offense would finally get modernized.   That Josh Gattis would scheme an offense that made it easy for Shea Patterson to find open WR's.  The offense line would be the best we have seen in 10 years, and the RB's might struggle due to lack of experience.   The defense would take a small step back but would match-up well against Wisconsin, Iowa, MSU, and PSU.   Prediction was Wrong!   Further explanation is not needed. 

Here is the funny thing.  Many people would have predicted that Michigan would be 5-1 at this point in the year, with a tough loss at Wisconsin.   Yes, the Wolverines got embarrassed but a blow out is the same as a 1 point loss in the standings.  

Ohio State being 6-0 is not a surprise to anyone with their toughest game being MSU in Columbus so far.  

Same for Penn State, with their toughest game being their win in Iowa on Saturday.   Wisconsin doesn't seem to play road games and are 6-0, with their biggest test coming up in two weeks.  

If the year has gone pretty much the way you thought, what is all anxiety about?

Michigan fans have a crystal ball and if they could get themselves to bet against their favorite team would make a killing in Vegas.  Wolverine fans know that Michigan is going to struggle and probably lose by a decent number in Happy Valley, come back and play a talent ND team close, beat MSU, and lose to another uber-talented Ohio State team.  

You know what's stupid but accurate?  I would give Michigan a much better chance next week if the game was played at 12:00 or 3:30.   I'm also willing to bet that the ND @ Michigan will end up being back to back night games for the Wolverines.   Which seem to be the only program in the country that can't play at night.   


szanreno said...

Go for it Bob, make your mid-year predictions.

rklans71class said...

Well... Go Blue! On the bright side, Saturday night, win or lose, may be a significant turning point for the fearless Wolverines for 2 reasons as they attempt to maintain their "in stride" status. If they should win the game, they would gain momentum toward a Big-Ten championship. On the other hand, if they should lose the game in blowout fashion, then I would hope to see a quarterback change with the McCaffery-Milton duo leading the team, with Patterson falling to 3rd place on the QB depth chart. As hopes for a Big 10 championship would be all but over in a blowout aftermath, it would make much sense to prepare next year's quarterback as much as possible this year in hopes of a significantly brighter 2020 season. And who knows, if McCaffery and Milton can develop quickly this season, perhaps they may channel their energy, enthusiasm and leadership into a OSU upset to conclude this year's season. Lastly, in the wake of a close game loss to Penn State, I fear that our team would be at high risk for a 6-6 season, with its only remaining win being on the road at Maryland.