Click for Ann Arbor, Michigan Forecast
Saturday May 27, 2017
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
Print Comment E-mail

Low Expectations

 

continued

I was in a minority that believed the horses weren't there in 2008: that U-M did not have a quarterback who fit Rodriguez's system nor sufficient quality on the offensive line to make his system work. We pessimists believed the defense might be good enough to keep the Wolverines in some games (we were wrong), but the Wolverines just wouldn't be able to score enough points (we were right). In response to Rowe's enthusiastic forecast, I hedged that "6-6 would be a pretty reasonable outcome"--feeling I was being perhaps too pessimistic. I never imagined 3-9, even in my worst nightmares.

The Wolverines punctuated their 2008 season by losing to a wretched Toledo team at home. The loss--Michigan's first ever to a team from the Mid-American Conference--was surrounded by eight more. In one of the three worst seasons in Michigan history, the high points were a sluggish 16-6 win over an awful Miami (Ohio) team, a completely fluky win over Wisconsin and (somehow) an elegant and dominating performance against Minnesota.

Afterward, there were any number of theories about what went wrong. But one thing is certain: bad luck wasn't involved. The most meaningful stat in football, the one that separates performance from randomness, is yards per pass attempt. In Big Ten play, the Wolverines averaged 3.98 yards per passing attempt, while their opponents averaged 6.9 yards. That minus 2.92-yard differential was, by far, the worst in the Big Ten last year. I doubt that any Big Ten team has ever done significantly worse.

Bookmark and Share
previous  ·  1 l 2 l 3 l 4 ... 9 l 10 l 11  ·  next page
all on one page
read more stories here -> Marketplace  l  Culture  l  Community  l  News

You might also like:

Nightspots: Crossroads Bar & Grill
Before Ann Arbor
The U-M in Detroit
Michael Betzold
Vulfpeck
Music nerds
Patrick Dunn
A Dean Departs
Aaron Dworkin cuts short his tenure at SMTD
Eve Silberman
Camp Bellow
Fake Ad: March 2017
Jay Forstner
Photo: Sunset at the new condos
Ma, Meyer, and Thile
The ebb and flow of ideas
arwulf arwulf
Photo: Azaleas
Music: Pop, Rock, Jazz, Blues, & Traditional
Subscribe to the Ann Arbor Observer
Grillin' 2017 June 11th, 3-8pm - Ann Arbor MI
Greek Festival June 9-11, 2017
spark ann arbor