Monday, October 31, 2011

Don't count Michigan out in the Big Ten's Legend's Division

There was a wide-ranging perception that Michigan's chances of reaching the Big Ten title game ended when the Wolverines lost at Michigan State.
Now that Michigan State has faltered at Nebraska and Michigan displayed it is different under Brady Hoke than Rich Rodriguez in a rout of Purdue Saturday, the Wolverines could put fate more back in their own hands with a victory at Iowa this week.
It's a tough place to play, but the Hawkeyes aren't that good. They lost to Minnesota on the road Saturday. They were brutal in the Penn State game. This is a squad the Wolverines can beat.
Of course, Michigan has been on the road just twice this season. Yes, Iowa did contain Denard Robinson in a similar manner to MSU last year. But did Hoke and Al Borges, his offensive coordinator, learn much from the MSU game? Rodriguez could never make proper adjustments to those defenses that corralled his QB. Michigan ran the ball effectively against Purdue with its running backs. The development of Fitzgerald Toussaint into a potential feature back is a big step for the Wolverines, who have played much improved defense.
Still, if Michigan wins this week and beats a typically fading Illinois squad the following week, it could be right there heading into what could be two huge final home games against Nebraska and Ohio State.
They would still be depending on Iowa to knock off Michigan State - at Iowa - on Nov. 12. But given the Spartans track record on the road against the Hawkeyes, that's hardly out of the realm of possibility.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Highly improbable.

6:31 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Not as improbable as you think if the Wolverines beat Iowa Saturday.

11:50 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my statistical model, the Iowa game is not weighted as high as the other games.

But that win does increase the chances significantly, especially if other challengers falter.

The Nebraska game is obviously big.

I love the the OSU vs. Michigan game this year, could be the clincher, but for a tie.

12:24 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem Michigan might have from now on is that they play the better teams in the Big Ten (@Iowa, @Illinois, Nebraska, Ohio State) and MSU plays the bottom rung of the ladder (Minnesota, @Iowa, Indiana, @Northwestern)and could run the table.

4:31 PM 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home