Hoegher's 2013 Previews: MICHIGAN WOLVERINES

For you, ICE. Update to come soon-ish, if y'all care.

EDIT: And it's here!


NOTE: all historical data is taken from James Howell's excellent resource and/or Sports-Reference (college football edition)

Michigan Overall Ratings

Michigan Adj Off/Def

Michigan Win Pct/Luck

Winning percentage and "Luck" are plotted on a win-pct basis (mind-blowing, I know). Adj Off/Def/Eff/Marg and Resume rankings are plotted on a percentile-ranking basis. Thus, a team rating out in the 99th percentile would be awesome, a team rating out in the 1st percentile would be not-so-awesome.

[clears throat]. Click this, then proceed:

FUCK MICHIGAN (a hastily created exercise in lyricism)

(EDIT: This actually turned out semi-okay! I'm extremely proud)

Times have changed

Big Blue’s no longer King

But that won’t stop their fans from

Assuming that remains a thing

Should we let them have that?

Nostalgia for Crisler?

On through to Schembechler and Lloyd Carr?



They have had some past success

I can grant them that, I guess


But they’ve still plenty to mock

So let’s start to talk!

Schembechler is one big joke

He beats Ohio State and then he does his Rose Bowl choke

And lest we all forget about the Appalachian dream

That's not even a real football team!



11 times the national power

But only once since Eisenhower!



‘97’s not a real title anyway

Perhaps it was from scarring caused by the Appalachian fear

So y’all went out and hired a Mountaineer

Such a stellar defense!

A blessed tire fire

Should you have let Rich Rod’s contract expire?

Heck, no!


With all their recruiting hullabaloo

And that fat-ass Brady, too


That Ann Arbor slut

Walmart Wolverines

The laughter and fun must all be undone

Cause despite a "win" over Virginia Tech

Michigan football is still a wreck!

THE FUTURE and are used for reference here. I highly recommend both sites.

Projected Rating: 0.383 (27th)

Conf Proj Rec Conf Rec Adj Off rk Adj Def rk Adj Eff rk Adj Marg rk
B10 8-4 5-3 1.213 28 0.826 35 0.595 28 0.387 25
Schedule SOS rk Conf SOS rk n-con SOS rk
Rating/Rk 0.138 30 0.256 36 -0.098 32
Week 1 (H) Week 2 (H) Week 3 (H) Week 4 (V) Week 5 Week 6 (H) Week 7 (V) Week 8 (H)
100 - CeMich 94% 11 - IRISH 31% 116 - Akron 99% 62 - UConn 77% 0 - BYE 0% 78 - Minny 86% 19 - PennSt 38% 90 - India 90%
Week 9 Week 10 (V) Week 11 (H) Week 12 (V) Week 13 (V) Week 14 (H) Week 15 Week 16
0 - BYE 0% 30 - Sparty 54% 18 - CORN 37% 37 - justNW 58% 51 - Iowegia 67% 14 - OhioSt 32% 0 - BYE 0% 0 - BYE 0%

The number next to each opponent represents the projected ranking for that team. The percentages represent projected likelihood of winning a particular game, helpfully color-coded for your benefit (no regard for home/away, though that status is noted). The team names have been adjusted to better fit your screen, I hope they are obvious enough. You are free to ignore everything and tell me why I'm wrong, you're probably right.

Michigan 2013 Profile

This is an attempt to quickly illustrate a team's outlook for the coming season. These aren't unique (my personal experience was a Pokemon Yellow Guide from my youth): maxing out the pentagon is better. Winning percentage should be obvious, but other than that: the numbers here represent percentile rankings. 99th percentile is good, 1st percentile is less so.


QB: Devin Gardner (9.7 yds/att, 59.5%, 11-5 TD-INT), Shane Morris (QB, 4-star)

Also of note: Russell Bellomy (2.2 yds/att, 46%, 0-4 TD-INT)

Holy balls Russell Bellomy was awful. That's a littel unfair, as he was thrown into the heat of the moment against Nebraska, but 3 interceptions in 16 attempts is not going get you any sort of praise. He's only noted, because I'm really not sure of any other QB's on Michigan's roster and Shane Morris is the only QB listed in the 2013 recruiting class. This pretty much comes down to Devin Gardner and no one else. And no: Shane Morris is not going to light up the world in 2013 if the worst happens.

So what can we expect from Devin Gardner? Well, his split stats are still pretty good, except for the bowl game. His lowest output (on a yds/att basis) was 8.6 against Ohio State. That's certainly nothing to be ashamed of, though none of the defenses Gardner faced would be classified as "elite," except for South Carolina (10th, Ohio State was 39th) and Gardner definitely fared less than stellar there (5.9 yds/att, though 3-1 TD-INT). It might be better to compared Adj Off in games with Denard vs games with Devin (we will ignore the Nebraska game).

Denard, Avg Adj Off: 1.182

Devin, Avg Adj Off: 1.459

While I am still amused by MGoBlog's about face as regards Devin Gardner, it appears that he may be the real deal here.

RB: Fitzgerald Toussaint (4.0 yds/car, 514 yds), Thomas Rawls (4.3 yds/car, 242 yds), Derrick Green (RB, 5-star)

Also of note: Justice Hayes (4.6 yds/car, 83 yds)

Y'all will have to remind me why Fitzgerald Toussaint deserves the hype he's gotten (hype may be a strong word, but whatever it is, it's still too strong). Here is my knowledge of Fitz:

Under 4.0 yds/car (I rounded that above, it was 3.95)


Thomas Rawls looks promising, and easily leads the running backs (with significant carries) in yds/car. The biggest wild card here is obvious Derrick Green, former #1 running back recruit. The optimist says that running backs seem to be able to contribute right away, at least if my experience with James White and Fat John Clay are any indicator. The pessimist will say that recruiting rankings (though not without merit!) still offer a significant unknown, and you don't really know what you have until the games start. I also don't know if I trust Al Borges that much.

WR/TE: Jeremy Gallon (WR, 16.9 yds/rec, 4 TD), Drew Dileo (WR, 16.6 yds/rec, 2 TD), Devin Funchess (TE, 15.6 yds/rec, 5 TD)

Also of note: Jaron Dukes (WR, 4-star), probably others

I will give full credit to Jeremy Gallon: man is a beast. I believe he is the only Big Ten receiver to rank ahead of Jared Abbrederis last year (per this document), and given my love and respect for that man, I have to give some to Gallon. The other guys, not as much. Funchess has a solid yds/rec for a TE, but I have to wonder how much of that is due to the inherent limitations of Denard Robinson and his arm punts. He certainly dropped in production after Denard went down.


DL: Frank Clark (JR, 9.0 TFL), Jibreel Black (SR, 5.0 TFL), Quinton Washington (SR, 3.0 TFL)

Also of note: Nathan Brink (SR, 1.5 TFL), Keith Heitzman (SO, 1.0 TFL), Henry Poggi (DT, 4-star)

I feel like I've heard about Frank Clark forever, but for the life of me I can't place where. Must be one of those names, I guess. Maize N' Brew is (SPOILER) excited at the prospect of what he can accomplish this season, but that's hardly anything new for the off season. Regardless, Michigan will probably field another decent defense this spring, though that took a blow with this:

LB: Desmond Morgan (JR, 81 tackles), James Ross III (SO, 36 tackles), Cameron Gordon (SR, 17 tackles)

Notably absent: Jake Ryan (JR, 88 tackles)

Okay, it's obviously not great to lose your leading tackler from a year ago and the unquestioned leader of your defense. (I mean, Wisconsin lost that to graduation, but we still have Chris Borland, so I'm cool with it) But apparently, we over-react to the impact linebackers have (eighth section on that page). That surprised me a bit, as I've usually though of linebackers as the "quarterbacks of the defense." and quarterbacks tend to be pretty important.

In an attempt to rationalize that viewpoint, though: tackle numbers are a pretty poor metric for evaluating defenders (I only use them here because they are easy to find and I don't have anything better at my disposal). For one, it doesn't take into account the number of missed tackles/poor positioning a defender might find themselves in. Furthermore, someone generally has to tackle the guy with the ball (unless you're the 2010 Michigan defense). So those 90 tackles don't get lost so much as redistributed. This isn't to say that Jake Ryan is over-rated or anything, I trust the Michigan minds who were saddened at his ACL, just that his loss may not matter as much as much as we might think. Maybe.

DB: Thomas Gordon (SR, 2 PBU), Raymon Taylor (JR, 1 PBU), Blake Countess (SO, 6 PBU in 2011)

Also of note: Jourdan Lewis (CB, 4-star), Dymonte Thomas (ATH, 4-star)

Losing Jordan Kovacs and J.T. Floyd from last year means this will probably be a pretty green unit, though Raymon Taylor got some needed experience last year with Blak Countess' injury in the Alabama game (is that what I have to look forward to?). Given that Michigan's pass defense wasn't great last year (45th in Def S&P+), and the loss of Jake Ryan as a threat against quarterbacks, I'd expect them to get plenty of practice. Fortunately: Big Ten football.


9-3 and FUCK MICHIGAN. These projections are still being dragged down somewhat by that dreadful 2010 defense, even if I'm not ready to skew all the way to the other side and scream "THEY'RE BACK!" Michigan should be a solid team, with potential to be great if the defense gels and Devin Gardner lives up to his half-season of hype. It's definitely helpful that the three toughest opponent (Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Nebraska) are all at home. Northwestern and Michigan State still offer tough road tests (your mileage may vary on Penn State). Three losses in that slate isn't unreasonable, and if their execution against good opponents matches what it was last year, you could easily talk me into a fourth.


Adj Off - analogous to scoring offense, adjusted for opponent strength.

Adj Def - analogous to scoring defense, adjusted for opponent strength.

Adj Eff - analogous to scoring ratio, adjusted for opponent strength.

Adj Marg - analogous to scoring margin, adjusted for opponent strength.

Luck - difference between actual winning percentage and expected winning percentage.

Resume - analogous to win/loss record, adjusted for opponent strength.

For for information see here: HOEGHER'S PRIMER.

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