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Tuesday, October 13, 2015


How about the Michigan Defense, eh? It's all we've been hearing about for weeks. At first, it was called "legit". Then it was called "outstanding". Now it's getting billed as the best Team Defense in the last four to five decades of Michigan Football history.

Wow, they must be good. After all, three shutouts in a row, etc. But has anybody checked-in to see just exactly WHO they have been playing? YES I DID!

Since everybody is making their pre-game call on the showdown based on STATISTICS, I thought it was time to take a look. Easy to see Michigan listed near the top of the 127-team list for Total Defense, but a little more difficult to find the six teams they played in order to achieve that ranking. If you take a look at the Team Offense list for yourself, be sure to skip the top half of the rankings, as none of the six teams UM has played will be found up there.

All six teams the Wolverines have played this season are
ranked in the bottom half of the "Team Offense" rankings.

Here are the six teams Michigan has faced this season, listed with the NCAA rank for "Total Offense", in order from worst to best:

  86 - UNLV
  70 - UTAH
  63 - BYU
The NCAA has 127 teams ranked, so #63 and lower is "bottom half"

So, if they want to quote some statistics, here are some other statistics:

62 college football teams have a better offense than
any of the teams Michigan has played this year.

Two-thirds of UM's opponents are ranked
in the bottom-third of the NCAA in Total Offense.

We return to our original question:

Has Michigan been shutting down
top-level offenses this season, or
just feasting on bottom-feeders?

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  1. Of course MSU's offensive ranking comes in at 72nd.

    Just stop guys, this defense is legit.

  2. You're all over the place, "Bill". Two weeks ago you were chiding us for being a little pessimistic. Now as we try to expose rays of light, you want us to stop.

    Which way is it, "Bill"? YOU were the one saying we were "drinking blue kool aid" only a few days ago.

    As for the Team Defense, yes, it's "LEGIT". But there is no evidence that it is invincible or impregnable or that a highly potent offense will be stymied by it for 60 minutes.

    Well aware of MSU's offensive ranking. Have you watched any MSU games this season, "Bill"? Have you heard all of the discussion about the Spartan Coaches taking their foot off the gas pedal, etc.? Did you notice how MSU stopped throwing passes after racking up big leads quickly? Do you think those performance factors are part of the #72 ranking?

    Now it is YOU who is either drinking the Blue Kool Aid or MAKING THE BLUE KOOL AID. Which one, "Bill"?

  3. Yards gained do not win games. Points scored do...

    Scoring offense (points per game)

    116 - OREGON STATE
    98 - MARYLAND
    74 - UNLV
    25 - UTAH
    79 - BYU

    To answer the question before it is asked, 56 (31.3 ppg) and 67 (29.5 ppg).

    1. The difference in scoring offense between Utah and MSU is less than 6 points per game.

      The difference in scoring defense between Utah and MSU is less that 2 points per game.

    2. Correction. Utah vs MSU scoring is just under 7 points per game difference.

    3. Hey 76, thanks for the fresh data points, I have cobbled together several of your comments and created an article that I just posted. Hope I got it just about right to your satisfaction. The article is under your name, so you can go into it and make any revisions if I didn't get it right.

      Your view, as usual, ADDED TO the conversation and helped us know what we are talking about.

      I am going to reply to you about the "running up the score" article in a moment, as I am getting ready to form that one into another article as well.

    4. [1] score at the end of the first quarter. opponent first, UolM second.
      [2] 2nd quaarter


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