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Posted on Fri, Oct 21, 2011 : 11:44 a.m.

Both No. 18 now, will Michigan's football or basketball team be higher ranked when their seasons end?

By Staff


No. 5, John Beilein? No. 1, Junior Hemingway? That may be too optimistic. file photos

In a continuing quest to keep ourselves entertained during this Michigan football off week, we offer you a Friday poll:

Eighteen is a popular number on the Michigan athletic campus, and not just because freshman cornerback Blake Countess has played so well in his No. 18 jersey.

The Michigan football team is currently ranked No. 18 in The Associated Press poll and are at No. 18 in the first Bowl Championship Series standings.

When the preseason USA Today/ESPN Top 25 basketball poll was released on Thursday, Michigan was listed at -- you guessed it -- No. 18.

If the teams are currently at identical spots in the national pecking order of their respective sports, the question begging to be answered is which one will end its season with a higher ranking? football beat writer Kyle Meinke and basketball beat writer Nick Baumgardner weigh in with their choices:

Baumgardner's vote

The Michigan football team is 6-1 with five regular season games remaining. However, the back half of the schedule is much more difficult than the front. The Wolverines technically could win out, or finish the year 10-2. I don't see that happening, though. No. 18 seems about right, to me, and I can't see Michigan finishing much higher than there by season's end.

The basketball question is tougher, because they haven't played a game yet. On paper, it's easy to say they finish higher than No. 18. However, preseason basketball polls are never, ever concrete (ask Michigan State about last year). But, we've got to pick one. The Big Ten isn't expected to be overly stacked this year, and Michigan has a very strong crop of talent returning.

The overall ceiling seems higher for basketball. So I'll take John Beilein and the gang.

Meinke's vote

This is hard to project because the basketball team won’t be anywhere near its ranking even one week into the season. It plays in the Maui Invitational, where it likely will play several games against marquee opponents and have a chance to jump into the top 10 or out of the poll entirely, depending upon how it fares.

In the end, though, I have to go with basketball. The football team will lose at least two more games, maybe three, meaning it’ll finish no better than around 20th in the polls. The basketball team should be a top-15 team.

And, now, we ask you the same question. Let's discuss it in the comments section.



Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 11:46 p.m.

I'm just glad we can even have this question raised!!!!!!!!!! It wasn't too long ago that this question would get you laughed right out of town.


Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 4:40 p.m.

Got my ticket for the UVA game in Charlottesville Nov 29. Hoping they can overcome the loss of the now unemployed Darius Morris, he always seemed to come up with a big basket in the lane.


Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 4:34 a.m.

Like most polls, this one isn't even rational. But I'll play and I take Meinke's and Baumgardner's picks: Basketball at least has a chance to do better than No. 18. There'll be a lot of Div. 1 football teams with 9-3 seasons this year, Michigan most likely will be among them. Gotta say, a 10th win on Nov. 26th would be a nice pre-Christmas present to M football fans.

Jonny Spirit

Fri, Oct 21, 2011 : 11:02 p.m.

Both teams will not be ranked at the end of there seasons. Over-Rated!!!!


Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 3:15 p.m.

As usual, msu boy, your lack of judgment is showing.

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Oct 21, 2011 : 10:46 p.m.

I don't think it's likely that the football team will be ranked. Hopefully they'll surprise me, but the team was dominated on both sides of the line at MSU, and that's hard to fix. No idea about basketball. We won't know until we see if the freshmen can contribute and how Hardaway responds to the expectations of first-team all-Big Ten play. But I'd vote basketball.