Road to Playoffs in '19

Submitted by UMich2016 on December 28th, 2018 at 9:49 AM

We can probably afford 1 loss to either Wisco or Iowa (Wisco maybe more likely), but we will HAVE to beat Notre Dame, Sparty, and Ohio State because of how late in the season we are playing those games.  Losing to Notre Dame that late in the season might be a deal breaker.  A loss to Wisconsin in September is recoverable.  At Penn State will be a tough game on 10/19, and probably a white out.  That would be a borderline recoverable loss, but is pretty late in the season.  Similar to OSU's loss to Purdue timing wise.  The future is always more exciting then the present....

8/31 Middle Tennessee

9/7 Army

9/14 Bye

9/21 at Wisco

9/28 Rutgers

10/5 Home vs. Iowa

10/12 at Illinois

10/19 at Penn St

10/26 Notre Dame Home

11/2 at Maryland

11/9 Bye

11/16 Sparty at Home

11/23 at Indiana

11/30 Ohio State at Home





December 28th, 2018 at 9:52 AM ^

The good news with this tough schedule is we have everybody at home this year. That should make a huge difference, of course it's hard to tell what we will be facing when Ohio rolls into town.



December 28th, 2018 at 10:49 AM ^

It is a position that rarely sees immediate impact.

But We're in a position (wanting a good DT, but lacking information) that rarely leads to calm recollection of facts. Speculating that "our DT is going to beat the average, even though higher rates ones usually don't" is kinda a thing fans do, right?

I mean, its all a distribution. There are a few each year who break through. Odds are extremely low that our specific one does. But damn if we don't hope for it.


December 28th, 2018 at 1:33 PM ^

Debbie Downer Alert:

Expecting an impact from freshman DT is very concerning, not usually a position where you get a first year impact player. Possible? Of course, but I wouldn't bet on us hitting that lottery. We lose way too much on the defense to even make this a consideration for me right now. Devin Bush was the heart of the D, and we'll likely lose at least one of Long/Hill not to mention Gary and Winovich.

Not to mention we still need a lead RB. I'm hopeful we find one between Turner and Charbonnet (Evans is not a lead RB in this system) and the OL should continue to progress under Warriner but a lot of firepower on D needs to be replaced and we don't have a bunch of 3rd/4th year players waiting in the wings.. 

We thought we were a shoe-in this year and then OSU decimated our elite D... I'm not writing the 2019 team off, but there are too many unknowns at key positions (DT and CB are my biggest worries) for to me even think about a playoff run.

Harbaugh is building a powerhouse, but we're not there yet. Ryan Day is no Urban Meyer, but we haven't beaten an OSU team with a pulse since 2003.. I'll consider the 2019 Playoffs once we're heading to Indy after beating OSU. 

Tom Pickle

December 28th, 2018 at 1:21 PM ^

Even if people want to quibble with the number of starters there are 5 contributors from this year's defensive line that need to be replaced. DE is less of a question mark because a rotation of Paye, Uche, and Hutchinson should allow for solid run stuffing and hopefully solid pass rush. Then you hope for one of Vilain, Welschof,or Upshaw to give you spot snaps when they are needed.

DT is just hoping and praying at this point. If one of those guys emerge then maybe Paye can see scattered snaps at 3T on pass rushing downs. Dwumfor and Kemp are both situational players at this point. Hopefully Jeter can fill Mone's run stuffing role, but obviously that's yet to be seen if I can do that at all. Then you're hoping on true freshman and that's never a good bet.


December 28th, 2018 at 9:57 AM ^

I forgot how rough our schedule is next year. Only "cupcake" game we really have is Middle Tennessee. Army will probably turn out to be a very tough game since they are returning a lot of starters from an 11 win team. Honestly if we head into the Ohio game with only 1 loss it will be a massive feat, would appear to be an even bigger feat that what it was this year. 


December 28th, 2018 at 12:36 PM ^

1. Who wasn't? That's not the achievement it once was.

2. They lost to 4 unranked opponents this year, including a 28-point loss to Vanderbilt and a 32-point loss to App. State.  They're also graduating a 4-year starter at QB.  Maybe they aren't Baby Seal U., but that's still a cupcake for a team expected to be in the top 10.


December 28th, 2018 at 10:03 AM ^

Yup.  Pretty fucking stupid scheduling.  Putting ND back on our slate is the single dumbest thing we've done to ourselves in a LONG time.

Pissed me off when it was announced.  Pissed me off when we got beat in the opener this year and next year's stupid schedule is pissing me off already.


December 28th, 2018 at 12:15 PM ^

My position on this has always been that bringing back ND would be fine for an OOC filler game that we played, time permitting, once every few years if that. If there wasn't going to be time, I was fine with that too. I have never understood the need to rush that rivalry back into existence, in part because it created a situation where we now play them right in the midst of our conference schedule. 


December 28th, 2018 at 5:01 PM ^

When they scheduled ND it didn’t seem as dumb as it does now.  The selection committee was all about the strength of schedule and the B1G has improved significantly in the last few years.   Now it’s much better to not risk an L and not worry about the strength of schedule. (Until the committee changes the narrative again)

Trader Jack

December 28th, 2018 at 11:08 AM ^

This is how I feel about the non-conference schedule through 2023. There's no reason to schedule difficult non-conference games if your goal is to maximize your chance to make the playoffs (especially when you're already playing nine conference games), yet we've got home and homes with Washington, Oklahoma, UCLA, and Texas. Why put yourself at a disadvantage like that?


December 28th, 2018 at 12:21 PM ^

What P5 team with a legit shot at the playoffs would accept a game with UCF?  It's a no-win situation: you win, you were supposed to so you get zero credit for it along with the criticism of playing G5 team; you lose - you just lost to a G5 team.

LSU absolutely has the worst bowl game match-up, and its not close.


December 28th, 2018 at 10:07 AM ^

Michigan is not Oklahoma.  Army is a good team, but Don Brown's defense can stuff the triple option because the corners can operate without safety help.  The tough game against Air Force last year was tough because the offense sucked, not because AF's triple option caused havoc.  While it is not a 'gimme game' (like SE Middle UTenn St), it won't be an OT affair, either.

I Like Burgers

December 28th, 2018 at 2:39 PM ^

Has nothing to do with talent when it comes to Army.  They run a weird ass offense Michigan never sees, and they have a team filled with veterans who are extremely experienced at running that offense.  To do well against Army you need depth, discipline, and experience.  Michigan won't have much of any of that on defense.

Plus, the corners might not factor into things at all if Army can just run it up the gut against Michigan's DL.