Being a long time Michigan fan, last season was a HUGE disappointment from jump street. With the core of the offense all opting to return and Ohio State supposedly in a rebuilding year it was BCS Championship game or bust. After game one and losing as 27+ point favorites at home to Appalachian State Michigan went right into "bust" mode. Despite the upset shocker of the Tebow led Florida Gator's in the Capital One Bowl (hosted in Florida of course), Michigan still finished a disappointing 9-4. It is important to note (especially to my boy Chuck O' Luck), despite the whole SEC vs Big 10 debate, with the win over Florida, Michigan improved to 12-4 against historical members of the SEC and 20-5-1 against current members. Take that SEC fan!With the messy and embarrassing Rodriguez hiring, Michigan is left with something they have not had to answer in a long time: Who in the hell is going to quarterback this team? Regardless what anyone claims, hard to argue there is not a better NFL training ground for quarterbacks than Michigan. With Pryor going to the rival Buckeyes and Mallet saying adios, who is left to toss the pigskin? Will it be Steven Threet who transferred from Georgia Tech or will sophomore Nick Sheridan make a run at the end and jump from the second position? Once the QB mess is figured out, who will catch the ball? Not only did Mario Manningham go pro, so did the 2nd receiver, Adrian Arrington. Word on the street is that Greg Mathews, Junior Hemingway and Toney Clemons should all contribute to the receiving corps, but we shall see.I know Michigan homers will try and hype up other areas of the team with hopes on players moving up to the #1 spot or tossing in names of incoming freshman, but we should try and be serious here. First off, even though LSU handed them their ass, the Buckeyes were in a rebuilding year. Wisconsin spanked Michigan 37-21 last season and return 17 starters. Penn State, Michigan State and Illinois all should be solid this season. So right now, concede the fact Ohio State and Wisconsin will roll the Wolverines. The also have to play two MAC schools, which are no longer pushovers like they were in the past. Bottom line? Michigan should slip into a Bowl Game on their name alone. I have read numerous publications and previews that call for a 6-6 record. In reviewing the schedule, I see a 7-5, possibly an 8-4 if the team really takes to the new system and can pull an unexpected win out their ass. Not going to lie, 8-4 is a stretch, but I can't see Michigan shitting the bed against every upper Big 10 team. Being college football season, anything can happen but Johnny Detroit's crystal ball predicts a low level bowl game and a 7-5 record.
Remember, that line opened at 7. It was bet down to 4.
Good point about top-to-bottom analysis, Tommy....this is what clearly separates the SEC from every other Conference - and the ones right below them, like the Big VII, Big 11, PAC-10, and those in the mix like ACC and Big East
Even at the lowest tier, level - Such as:
* Vandy, UK, Ole Miss, Miss St
ARGUABLY, could probably make consistent hash out of:
1. Minnesota, NW, IU
2. Iowa St, Baylor, Until last yr, KU
3. Wash St, Stanford, even Washington recently
4. Duke, UNC, usually UVa
5. Syracuse lately - ECU every few years
Top to bottom, there just aren't any weeks off in SEC - every stadium is a Mad-House, every program is in Big School, well-funded and usually in Top Half Power rating (Ok, maybe Vandy isn't....but that'd be IT).
Wisconsin has FEASTED on the Big 11 Bottom Dwellers - and aside from OHIO ST and MICH - which they almost have just ONE tough road game - they have a fairly cake schedule - and a few times haven't had to travel to either C-Bus or Big House....
Wisky has been playing an almost insulting, soft schedule, too - year in and year out...parlaying it into a 2nd 3rd or 4th Place Big 11 finish - and a New Year's Day Cpa 1 or equivalent Bowl every year, based on padded schedule, winning all or 7 of 8 home games, splitting on road - and cashing in big on New Year's Day....I give em credit for finding a lucrative method....and they have REALLY kicked ass IN THOSE Bowl Games, too....many s/u wins as significant dogs.
With Michigan - even the Power Schools have inevitable cyclical bumps....with 85 scholies, ect...they will NOT be down long, esp with Rich R in tow.
STILL CANNOT UNDERSTAND THIS Mich -4 !
REALLY SEEMS LIKE A STEAL!
JD, like I've said in the past, I'm not saying that Big 10 teams can't beat teams from the SEC. They certainly can and have. But when I judge a conference, I look at all the teams. Here is my point. A middle of the road SEC team is Alabama. A middle of the road Big 12 team is Oklahoma State. Those two squads will probably finish around sixth in their respective conferences. In the Big 10, who is going to finish in that spot? Purdue? Iowa? That's my main argument. I think Ohio State is very good and I'm on record as saying Michigan is going to be an annual National Title contender under Rodriguez. But the middle of the Big 10 is weak right now and I think that's the area that makes a conference tough. Ohio State is going to kill Purdue and Iowa. I can't say the same thing for Oklahoma when they play teams like Oklahoma State and Colorado. Or when Georgia takes on Alabama or Tennessee. That's where the Big 10 falls behind conferences like the SEC and the Big 12 in my opinion.
The only thing TR, even though I agree with you, the Big 10 is a coin flip when playing the SEC in Bowl Games. Mind you, that factors in Ohio State and their 0-forever record. Do not have the #s in front of me, but outside of Ohio State and their bowl woes, the Big 10 I believe in the past 10 years has a winning record vs teh SEC.
Gotta Love these "College Football" Debates!
Yes, the SEC is almost always better. I'm sorry but you Big 10 homers are comical. Of course it isn't that way every single year but for the most part the SEC is the best conference year in and year out, and that IS the case. Art, you said five years from now the Big 10 will be better. Based on what? You being a Michigan fan? You have no idea how these conferences will look in five years. That's like me saying the Dolphins are going to the Super Bowl in five years based on nothing. Here is the bottom line: Ohio State has been by far the best team in the Big 10 in recent years. They played in the title game twice and looked like a second rate high school team both times against SEC opponents. Hey, maybe in 2018 that will change but as far as right now goes, this isn't even an argument. Now, I could care less which conference is better than the other. But you watch an Iowa/Northwestern game and tell me with a straight face that's good football.
MIchigan had the fewest returning starters in the Big 10 last season. People over hyped them due to the skill positions returning. The defense was garbage and it showed.
I have season tickets to MIchigan, but lets be honest about last season.
They lost to App State than were rolled by Oregon. Smoked Notre Dame (who didn't). Slipped by Penn State at home. Won by 12 vs. Northwestern. Came home and struggeld against mighty Eastern Michigan. Smoked Purdue. Beat Illinois on the road. Returned home and smoked a garbage Minnesota team. Slipped by Michigan State on the road. Got beat by Wisconsin than Ohio State.
Michigan is a "great program", but not anything close to elite in recent years. Elite is consistently having one loss seasons or running the table. Michigan always struggles vs. some bullshit Big 10 teams.
Tommy, you stated "If you are looking at the conferences from top to bottom "EVERY YEAR," (caps added) "the SEC is far superior."
My point was that it's cyclical and that over the past couple of years, yes, the SEC has been better but it hasn't ALWAYS been that way. You weren't talking about NOW, your statement implied the SEC is ALWAYS better, which just isn't the case.
Art, the argument is who is better now, not 10 years ago. That's a different argument. You can take a game here or there to make your argument but the SEC is the best conference in America right now. The Big 10 may be better five years from now but the SEC is better in 2008. Iowa, Purdue, Northwestern Indiana, Minnesota, those teams are garbage and would battle for the SEC cellar with Arkansas and Vandy this season.
Give it a few years and the Big Ten will be deeper and better than the SEC.
When comparing the Big Ten to the SEC, you guys are forgetting that the Big Ten is in a down time, but just give it a few years. Remember the late 90's and early 2000's when Penn State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue and even Northwestern (and the occasional Illinois) were putting forth solid to great teams. I think it was '99 when Michigan finishedd 3rd and Michigan State finished 5th. The Big Ten is usually top heavy, but the SEC is ALWAYS overrated. Teams like Tennessee, Arkansas, Auburn, and even Florida are always ranked really high and expected to dominate their unranked Big Ten counterparts in the guaranteed bowls like the Citrus Bowl, and it's always even. See Penn State physically dominating Tennessee two years ago, Wisconsin dominating a top ten Auburn three years ago, Michigan dominating Florida last year, and Wisconsin beating Arkansas two years ago for evidence. Ohio State has looked absolutely atrocious, but the same can't be said for the rest of the conference. If you don't believe me that the media has bought into and sold us on "the SEC is the greatest gift God could ever give to college football", look for the final AP and Coaches' rankings for last season. Florida was ranked higher than Michigan despite being utterly dominated in their bowl game to them and having an identical record.
Johnny, you are forgetting that Michigan was injured horrendously against Wisconsin and Ohio State last year. After watching the Citrus Bowl (aka Capital One Bowl) and the national championship it's hard to think Ohio State had more talent than Michigan. Look what that offense was capable of. I won't try to defend the losses to Oregon and App. State, but I felt Michigan was better than both Wiscy and OSU last year.
Pryor probably did not want to be part of a rebuilding. Plus if you watch his interviews he is a better fit to replace Maurice Clarett for the Bucks.
I agree 100 percent. No one wants to see the Buckeyes play in another National Title game but win at USC and I think they could take the whole thing. I can't wait for that USC game to see how much value is in that line after the Buckeyes were thrashed by Florida and LSU. You are right though JD. A guy who works in this area went to OSU and is a huge homer and even he thought 9-3 last season.
The one thing to defend Ohio State is all the experts had last season as rebuilding. Michigan was supposed to dominate and the Buckeyes would than take over this season. Ohio State could be scary this season.