Michigan Wolverines

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Michigan Wolverines 2011 Profile

First and foremost, this is still a very talented team and fans of elite recruiting schools (Notre Dame, UCLA, Miami etc) need to stop making blaming talent for poor on-field performances.

This is a national title level talent team today.  A 4 year national recruiting rank average of #12 is better than Oregon and just a notch under Oklahoma.  This could easily be a 10 win team in 2011.  Recruiting did drop on the last cycle, I would blame that on the AD, so Hoke needs to get the 2012 class back in the top 20.

With a new coach, a team is very hard to predict.  They won 7 games in 2010 and over 70% of coaches inheriting a 7 win team do better the next year.  But a new coach hired from the outside averages about -1 game against expectations with the CFBMatrix model.  The model expects no worse than 7 wins and a ceiling of 10 for Michigan in 2011.

Links to other Wolverine stats, trends, and articles

NFL/Recruiting Rank Ratios

Team Records – Odds Matrix

Returning Starters (All teams)

2011 Wolverines Roster/Depth Chart

2011 Michigan Schedule and SOS/EOS Breakdown

Michigan has a great schedule for 2011.  They have the best Ease of Schedule (EOS) numbers in the conference and a #9 SOS for Big Ten games.

Their OOC schedule is very simple.  Win all 3 cupcakes or leave Ann Arbor.  The Notre Dame game is at home, so the CFBMatrix still favors the Wolverines to win that football game.

In conference, the season is divided into two halves.  The first 4 games of the Big Ten conference play should go 3-1 for the Wolverines.  Minnesota and Purdue are likely wins, Northwestern rarely pulls an upset win at home, and that leaves the game at Michigan State.  Straight up recruiting the model favors UM, but this is one of the likely ‘upset’ losses within the model for Michigan in 2011.

The second half of the Big Ten conference schedule is very interesting.  At Iowa is a coin flip as the returning talent for the Hawkeyes is the lowest in the Big Ten.  Illinois is terribly under coached  and is another opportunity for a good team to hand over a home game. The last two are home games against a team that has never been to the Big House (I don’t feel it is intimidating nor loud, especially when UM gets behind) and a Ohio State team that is under new leadership.  2-2 would be a solid end to the latter half of the season and is what is expected.  But you could see 0-4 nearly as easily as 4-0.  The path of least resistance is 5-3 in conference play but just don’t be shocked if it is better than most folks are anticipating from the Wolverines.

Wolverines Win/Recruiting Trend Chart

Sure the win trend is not pretty for the talent by either of the last 2 coaches. However the win trend was appearing to hit the bottom and the program was remembering how to win football games.  The most disturbing trend is that of recruiting and the declining level of talent.  3 consecutive years of lower recruiting classes, puts the team back a bit.  This is still an elite talented team and this year will likely define the Brady Hoke era in all aspects.  He should and needs to win at least the same if not more than 2010 and his recruiting must improve now.

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