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Friday, October 30, 2015


Michigan fans have spent their bye-week jabbering incessantly about how their favorite team could find a backdoor route into the four-team playoff before they're even eligible for post-season action. Six teams in the B1G have qualified for a bowl, but that exclusive list does not include the Wolverines.

Michigan's road is about to get rougher as they increasingly leave Ann Arbor in the rear-view mirror. They have been heralded for going 5-2, as if most people didn't have them at least 4-3 to this point. How many really picked UM to be 3-4 after seven games, and why would they have done so? It was obvious they had a shot at somewhere between seven and nine wins, so a record of either 4-3 OR 5-2 was always most likely. In that sense, the Wolverines are still somewhere in their expected target zone, not necessarily "way ahead of" where they were reasonably predicted after seven games.

Assuming they WILL NOT RUN THE TABLE, four more wins would give them 9 for the season, while three more would give them 8. (In other words, if they went 4-1 or 3-2 from here.) So, where are the losses, you might ask, since so many people have them either winning up to Ohio STATE or actually running the Buckeyes over on the way to a playoff berth.

Michigan has played five of their seven games at home. They will play three of their next five on the road. One of their remaining home games is against OSU. It's reasonable to guess that UM might lose two or three of their last five games. If so, their final record with those outcomes would be either 8-4 or 7-5.

The five remaining teams have a combined record this season of 25-13 (.658) while the seven they have played so far have a combined record of 32-20 (.615). UM's opponents can now prepare for them rather than guessing on a composite estimate based on the 49ers, Stanford, and even San Diego. So any coaching advantage is somewhat moderated moving forward compared to the first half of the season.

More games on the road against slightly better teams
who now have a "book" on Harbaugh's team
that did not exist earlier in the season. 

The sports media are treating Michigan as if the last play against Michigan State didn't actually happen. (See: Matt Millen). All of their discussion and prognostications would make sense when talking about a 7-1 team with only an opening-day loss. But the REALITY of the Wolverines is still not powerful enough to overcome the MYTHOLOGY of the Wolverines.

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