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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Michigan Basketball Ranked #18 In Preseason Poll

In the first poll released for the coming college basketball season, the USA Today Coaches' Poll has placed Michigan at #18. This is quite an improvement from last season (Michigan was not ranked in both the AP poll and Coaches poll).

This ranking does warrant some excitement, even though fans should remember the 2009 basketball season when Michigan was ranked #15 in the preseason, but ended up missing the postseason.

However, I think this coming season will be a little different than 2009. Michigan's 2009 team should have been better than it finished, but it had a lot more flaws than the 2011 Michigan team. For instance, much of the '09 team focused on 2 players, while this year's team seems to be much more of a combined and focused team effort. As we all know, the ability to rotate players and involve others, the more likely the team is to be successful.

With the return of 4 starters, and essentially every backup player from Michigan's 2010 team, I find it quite unlikely to endure the same collapse fans experienced in 2009. For instance, only 2 other Big Ten teams are ranked (Ohio State - #3, Wisconsin - #14) and only 2 other Big Ten teams are receiving votes (Michigan State - #28, Purdue - #35). This clearly doesn't mean Michigan will beat all the other Big Ten teams, or even those receiving votes, but it does bode well for the coming season.

So before you start thinking back to 2009 remember that this is a different team with experience, depth, and teamwork that should propel the team to a great season.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Michigan's future is bright

OK, OK, OK. Here is the scoop. This is not going to be your ordinary blog story. I am going to break down everything for you so you as a Michigan fan know whats going on, what has happened, and what's in the future. Michigan is 6-1 our loss to MSUcks was tough to swallow, but it happened. Everyone saw the dirty plays, bottom line is on that day in East Lansing they were the better team. they dominated the line of scrimmage, wreaked havoc with our Qb, and made big plays when needed. yes some of the play calls were questionable like the 4th and 1 call to throw a pass. Two ways to look at that. First way is "that was a dumb call with inches to go you power that ball right in the middle", or " that play will work dump it in the end zone for Koger and instant TD. well if the offensive line did its job the pass would have worked, and if we ran it up the middle it would have worked. Yes it would have possibly turned the game, BUT WE WILL NEVER KNOW.

That is my take on MSUcks. Were 6-1 and I am happy. My personal outlook on the remainder of the games is positive. I can see a 7-1 record after Purdue. Purdue is not a strong team so we should be able to count that as a win. I see Iowa as a toss up game as they are not as strong as they have been in the past and were a lot better. you will see my stat comparison at the end of this post. so I have to count Iowa as a win. Illinois is another away game, and we beat them in a high scoring shootout last year. our def is much stronger than last year and our offense is much better. I feel they could not have surpassed us in one year. so chalk that up as a win. that brings us to 9-1. Now we have Nebraska and OSUcks...Nebraska is a team I cant get a grasp on as they play avg at best, but show glimpse of potential. I would have to say my lack of knowledge of this opponent poss chalks up as a loss.

That brings us to 9-2. Now we come to Osucks. Do I really need to tell you all about what I think of them? Yes I do! OSUcks is on a downward spiral. they have no quarterback, run game is avg at best with Herron back. I think I can count on 1 hand the number of passes they have thrown in 2 games. I think the coaches will have a good lock on that. I predict an Ann Arbor beatdown against the Suckeyes. that takes us to 10-2. Now if you read my pre season predictions I did before the season you will know I called 9-3. Out of those away games I could potentially see an upset taking our record to 9-3. I am a firm believer the winner of the B1G will have 1 loss, but the other team in the championship will have 2 losses in league play, with 3 way tie. Tie breaker going to.........I dunno! hopefully Michigan. Now were going to go to my stats section. I am going to break down for you where we are now compared to the rest of the NCAA and where we were last year. I am going to show you why I predict what i did in my post here. I have a writer that I chat with a lot and I have much respect for, but not been able to chat with him much lately he is ACE. His views are a little different than mine. He is more a realist, where I am more a optimist.

When I went to rivals I found out that this year to date our offense is ranked 31, and our def is ranked 5. Last year our offense was 22 and our def was.....wait for it......102. now last years def ranking was taking into consideration all of the games where this years is taking into consideration only the 7 games played, but if you can't see the improvement...well....I don't know what to tell you! now I used a new website football outsiders and this is what they said Michigan offense is ranked 16 overall this year and #2 last year, def this year was ranked 17 while last year we were 108th. This year our turnovers are +7 where last year we were like -100 (just kidding). please follow me on twitter at @no1repoman

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Is MSU For Real?

Over the past several weeks I have been bombarded with comments from Michigan State students, alumni, and fans telling me about the strength of their team and their ability to crush Michigan again this year.

However, after watching the first 6 weeks of the season, I have been far less confident in Michigan State's ability to finish at the top of the Big Ten again this year. So, is Michigan State for real or are they closer to what Michigan was last season? Hot early, but likely to end the season as an average or above-average Big Ten team.

Here's What We Know About Michigan State:
  • Finished 11-2 Last Season (Lost @ Iowa and to Alabama in a bowl)
  • 13 Returning Starters From 2010 (8th in the Big Ten)
  • 4-1 in 2011 (Loss @ Notre Dame)
  • Ranked #23 in the AP Poll and #19 in the Coaches Poll
  • Ranked #1 in Total Defense (173.4 yds/g)
  • Ranked #3 in Rush Defense (64 yds/g)
  • Ranked #64 in Total Offense (398 yds/g)
  • Ranked #95 in 3rd down conversions (35.21%)
Well, from that limited info, one might believe this should be one of the best teams in the league. They only lost 1 game, had more than half their starters return from an 11 win team, and have one of the best defenses in the nation.

However, this assumption would not be completely accurate. Undoubtedly, Michigan State's defense is solid, a team isn't placed into the top 5 without at least a decent defense, but you can't help but notice the weakness of some of the teams they've faced. For instance, here are the offensive stats for Michigan State's opponents:

Total Offense Stats:

Youngstown State - FCS (hard to compare stats, but had 254 yds against MSU)
Florida Atlantic - 119th (230 yds/g)
Notre Dame - 20th (467.5yds/g)
Central Michigan - 88th (350.5 yds/g)
Ohio State - 105th (315.3 yds/g)

So, what does this tell us? Excluding Youngstown State, which can't really be compared seeing as they are an FCS team, MSU has faced one top 50 offense this year. Michigan has already faced two at this point (Western Michigan and Notre Dame) and another two in the top 70 (San Diego State and Northwestern).

Since it is unlikely many people have found Michigan's schedule brutal this year, you cannot help but question those defensive stats. There is no doubt Michigan State's defense is solid, but I would be hesitant to put it in the elite stats. They do typically hold their opponents to much fewer yards than they average, which is the typical sign of a good defense, but when 60% of your opponents are MAC level or below, a Big Ten team should be able to hold the defense to below its average yards per game.

Although the defensive stats may be skewed for Michigan State, the offensive stats illustrate some of the early season troubles. Michigan State has essentially been unable to run the ball behind its young line, Kirk Cousins has made many mistakes, and they have frankly struggled moving the ball. Here's a comparison

MSU Offensive Stats - 2011 - 2010:

Total Offense +9.5 yds/g
Passing Offense +32.8 yds/g
Rushing Offense -23.7 yds/g
Scoring Offense -1.5 pts/g

So, what can we see from this? Michigan State is actually moving the ball more than last year, but only by 9.5 yds/g. Along with this, they are being forced to pass the ball more (likely due to their weak offensive line) and are scoring less even though they are moving the ball further. At first glance, this doesn't seem significant. The difference of gaining 9.5 yds/g more and scoring 1.5 pts/g fewer isn't all that important.

However, let's take a look back at the schedule. The stats from 2010 cover the ENTIRE season. This means they include Michigan State's games against 6 teams in the Top 51 defenses of 2010 (Alabama, Wisconsin, Iowa, Penn State, Illinois, and Notre Dame). As of now, Michigan State has faced 2 defenses in the Top 51 (Ohio State #22 and Notre Dame #51).

Obviously, if a team faces tougher defenses, their stats are going to go down. Along with this, even the 2 defenses they have faced this season are in the middle or rear of the top 51 (Alabama, Wisconsin, and Iowa were all in the top 25 in 2010). Essentially, what this means is that not only are Michigan State's defensive stats boosted, their offensive stats (roughly equivalent to last season) are boosted as well.

Now, I don't expect Michigan State to lose the remainder of its games and miss a bowl, but I do not expect them to even come close to 11-2 or winning the Big Ten. They may be able to sneak past Michigan and Nebraska for the Legends Division, but I don't see them having any chance against Wisconsin (assuming they win the Leaders).

So, is Michigan State For Real?

I say not quite. They are an above average Big Ten team, but not championship or BCS-caliber.

Also, an MSU joke:

Did you hear they're going to start calling Spartan Stadium, "The Shed"?
Yeah, because every Big House has a shed behind it...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Michigan Moves Up To #11 In AP Poll

With today's announcement of the new rankings, Michigan has risen up to #11 in the AP Poll and #10 in the USA Today Coaches' Poll after its defeat of Northwestern 42-24.

Michigan has not been this high since pre-season 2007 and has steadily advanced in the rankings since Week 1. Although some of this has been due to some questionable opponents (Minnesota and Eastern Michigan) and losses from ranked teams (Texas, Florida State), this is still a significant event for the Michigan team to be ranked this high.

Michigan State (Michigan's next opponent) moved back into the rankings coming in at #23 in the AP Poll and #19 in the Coaches' Poll. Though MSU had a bye week last week, they still appear to be at least a rank-able team and should be a tough match-up for Michigan next week in East Lansing. Odds for the game have not yet been released, but it is sure to be a tight spread with both teams ranked and MSU playing at home.

Other notes from the poll:

This is the first time no Florida school has appeared in the rankings since 1982.
Ohio State still remains un ranked and received 0 votes this week
Notre Dame has not returned to the rankings, but has been increasing its vote totals (#28 in AP)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

First Everything Michigan and More Chat Session October 13 @ 8:30PM ET

To all of you who have frequently read the blog, Twitter followers, or 'liked' us on Facebook, here's the big chance to get involved!

Starting next Thursday, October 13th @ 8:30pm - 9:30pm ET, Everything Michigan and More will be having our first Twitter "chat" session.

Now, you may ask, what's a Twitter "chat" session?

A Twitter "chat" session is essentially where we, the writers on Everything Michigan and More, will be answering questions, giving predictions, or simply holding Michigan related conversations.

You may also ask, how do I communicate on Twitter with the writers and what will we be talking about?

The simplest way to communicate with the writers during this "chat" session will simply be to send a tweet to the official Everything Michigan and More twitter or use our special hashtag:

Tweet This To Be In Our Chat Session:


This will allow us be able to see your tweets and respond asap!

Now, you may be wondering what's special about the chat session. Well, aside from the chance to simply have a Michigan-related conversation on a Tuesday night (which can be a lot more uncommon than you think), all our writers will be available to respond to any questions, thoughts, or interesting topics. Topics include the Michigan game v. Northwestern, the upcoming battle with Sparty, and football recruiting. Plus, we will be having several guest appearances:

Guests Appearances:

Marcus Ray
Former Michigan Free Safety (1994-1998) -
Member of the 1997 National Championship Team
All-Big Ten Player
Played on the Oakland Raiders

@MZoneBlog - Founder of the MZone - Michigan Football Blog
@MGoFish - Editor of MGoFish - Michigan Football and Detroit Spots Blog
(More Announcements in Coming Week)

So, make sure you send a tweet on Tuesday night @ 8:30pm ET to get involved in the action! Also, you can follow our official Twitter: here to get the best Michigan info on the web!

Monday, October 3, 2011


As if Ohio does not have enough problems this football season. A newspaper is reporting that suspensions could be extended for at least two of the four Ohio State players who were set to return to the team this week.

Athletic director Gene Smith will discuss developments in the NCAA case Monday.

Tailback Daniel Herron, wide receiver DeVier Posey, left tackle Mike Adams and defensive end Solomon Thomas were expected to be cleared to join the team this week for the Buckeyes' game at No. 14 Nebraska. They have sat out the team's first five games for accepting cash and free or discounted tattoos in violation of NCAA rules.

The Dispatch reported that Herron and Posey could be held out longer for accepting inflated pay for summer jobs in the Cleveland area. As a lot of you have known for a while now. Ohio has issues all over the place. with the EPIC losses this season and the Mighty Nebraska coming in to attempt to give the bucks their 3rd loss of the season (which would put them at an even 3-3) they have a brand new head coach in Luke Fickell that just can't seem to grasp the the concept of scoring touchdowns, winning, or calling time outs. The future of the Ohio team looks....well.....not so bright. As a Die Hard Michigan fan makes me smile when I see them struggle for all those years of woopins that they gave us, but in the same breath it hurts to see the big ten as a whole take a black eye. lets hope Ohio gets over their issues soon and lets get back to wooping some buckeye ass when were both powerhouses. like the days of past!

Please follow me on twitter @no1repoman for breaking news the minute I hear it, and for some fun pokes at buckeyes everywhere!

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/football/ncaa/10/03/Ohio.State.ap/index.html#ixzz1ZkEFL8CS

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Michigan Vaults Up To #12 In The AP Poll

Earlier today, much to the shock of football fans, Michigan was reported to have jumped all the way to #11 in the coaches' poll and #12 in the AP poll. Michigan was ranked #19 last week in the USA Today poll, but after a huge 58-0 blowout victory in the Little Brown Jug game and losses by teams above Michigan in the rankings, they jumped 8 spots.

Last week I ran an article analyzing why Michigan was #19, but had a great shot to move up in the rankings (article: here). Obviously, this was proven correct when several teams sitting above Michigan in the polls including USF, Baylor, and Texas A & M lost.

Although I personally think Michigan is probably a bit overrated based on a schedule consisting of 2 MAC teams and Minnesota (1-4, 0-0), I see no reason to complain about the rankings love. For example, if Michigan were to theoretically lose 1 of the next 2 games, they would probably still remain in the rankings, which didn't happen last season when Michigan fell to Michigan State (Michigan did appear as #25 in the coaches poll, but this was after a bye week and only lasted 1 week).

Michigan has not been ranked this high in over 4 years since the season opener in 2007. Quite astonishing for Michigan's tradition, but also surprising considering the team's recent past (4-0 in 2009 and 5-0 in 2010) of late-season collapses. Regardless, it's a very exciting time to root for Michigan and Go Blue!