You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sun, Oct 2, 2011 : 1:41 p.m.

Michigan might not be 11th or 12th best team in the country, but it has the resume

By Kyle Meinke


Michigan tight end Kevin Koger and wide receiver Junior Hemingway celebrate with fans after the Wolverines' 58-0 win over Minnesota on Saturday.

Jeff Sainlar I

The Michigan football team is the fastest-rising program in the country after making a quantum leap in both major rankings released Sunday.

The Wolverines, fresh off their 58-0 thrashing of Minnesota, shot up to 12th in the AP poll and 11th in the coaches poll. That's up from 19th in both last week.

It was the largest gain by any team in the country.

That, of course, elicits one basic question: Are the Wolverines overrated?

Of course they are, and by just about any stick of measure. Most who watch Michigan on Saturdays know there must be more than 10 or 11 teams better than the Wolverines right now.

They're picking up momentum, but still have flaws, depth is a concern and they lack elite playmakers on defense. They're 5-0, but don't have a marquee win. The most balanced team they've played was San Diego State of the Mountain West Conference.

They haven't even played on the road yet.

That's not a top-10 team.

Yet, looking at their peers' resume, the Wolverines stack up favorably for where they're slotted.

The only 5-0 teams ranked lower are Georgia Tech, which is immediately behind them at No. 13 in the AP poll, and Illinois, which is 19th and has looked shaky.

As for Michigan's leap up the polls, here are the teams it surpassed in both rankings this week: South Florida, Baylor, Texas A&M, Florida, Virginia Tech, South Carolina and Nebraska.

What do those teams have in common? They all lost Saturday.

The only discrepancy was Arkansas, which is 4-1 and beat previously No. 14 Texas A&M, 42-38. Michigan hopped the Razorbacks in the coaches poll (they're 12th) but not in the AP poll (they're 10th).

So, that's how the Wolverines arrived at their lofty perch. They may not be the 11th- or 12th-best team in the country (they're not), but they do have the 11th- or 12th-best resume right now.

Pollsters -- almost all of whom either cover or coach one team -- tend to vote based on resume, not talent. That system is flawed (just ask Boise State or Utah or TCU or any other mid-major that's been excluded from deserved rankings in past years), but is what we have.

So, there Michigan sits -- and surely players and coaches are uncomfortable with it.

How do I know that without having spoken to them yet? Because they were uncomfortable last week with being ranked No. 19.

"I think we're vastly overrated," tight end Kevin Koger said last Monday. "For us to be in the Top 25 right now is kind of ridiculous."

Added defensive tackle Ryan Van Bergen: "Being ranked, I think it's a curse. Honestly, being ranked doesn't hold anything high in my standards. I would rather not be ranked until the end of the season."

Coach Brady Hoke, who gets a vote in the coaches poll, said he won't even look at the rankings until the end of November, adding, "Does it matter? It's not a big deal."

He also said he didn't vote last week for Michigan.

Wonder if he did after the Wolverines' historic rout of Minnesota? They might not deserve it, but their resume is growing, whether he likes it or not.

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 5:35 p.m.

Michigan is still riding on the coat tails of Bo & Carr. Just because they are winning doesn't mean they are playing well. Seriously, has anyone really been watching? The Notre Dame game was a spectacular ending to a mediocre game by both sides. They have improved overall and I'm sure they will continue to do so and earn the rankings...eventually.


Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 5:05 p.m.

Kyle I want to see out on the field the next home game and tell the stadium that Michigan isn't a good team. We've needed new coaches but I think now we need a new football reporter.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 8:43 p.m.

could somebody pls tell me what is WCIMFH ?

1st Down

Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 12:13 a.m.

<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 9:02 p.m.

Worst coach in Michigan football history.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 6:04 p.m.

my 2/cents. . . 1. DG was recruited by rr as well 2. mallet was gone no matter who the new coach was! 3. manningham and arrington were more then likley also gone (lc recriuted them as well as mallet and it's hard to play for another coach plus the money in the pros is also very tempting). 4. BO would NEVER have recruited DR for a QB, NEVER! (thank god we did get him)! 5. beaver and newsome were never a solid lock to play for michigan and DR was on rr radar from the get go. 6. a lot of posters on this site were begging JH to come home evan after the negative crap he posted about michigan. thank god he did NOT come home!!! 7. how about that coach HOKE! (HE WOULD HAVE WALKED FROM SD TO MICHIGAN FOR THE JOB) we have the right guy, in the right place, at the right time who will turn this program around and put MICHIGAN back ware we all want it to be! the past is the past and the future looks very very GOOD! GO BLUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 7:48 p.m.

All good points umgoblue47! But as a Michigan alumnus since 1967, I have watched one winning season after another for decades until RR's 3 - 9 and 5 - 7 disasters plus the most humiliating bowl loss of all time last year. Add his responsibility for getting the program on NCAA probation and I cannot help having a certain amount of animosity for this arrogant man, whose &quot;system&quot; was more important than winning at Michigan. Even when our defense was over-matched, exhausted and reeling, he would not compromise his high speed &quot;system&quot; forcing the struggling defense back on the field. I have never watched such inept game management in all my years of observing college football. I am so pleased it is over and we are under good hands again. Go Blue!


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 5:54 p.m.

RR is a former coach as is BS, GM and LC, we as Posters can comment on any former coach we like. You RR haters are usually the ones initiating comments about RR, it's just that they're negative and if others do not agree, we become RR lovers. I do not have to love him or hate him to know that some of you know very little about football. Those of you that do know football, know that not everything RR did was wrong, and that's good people, because if so, Hoke and M could be in bad shape and needing 2 -3 more years to clean up, but they are in a position to compete now, yes there are things to improve on, that's football, still, they have the potential to compete for a BT Champ. this year, and it's not all Hoke. This team will be successful also because of RR players, Hoke do not have to count on a bunch of freshmen this year because of the experience a lot of sophomores gained last year. For me it's not a love/hate thing for the coaches, I support UM Football, that includes the coaches ( ALL ). College Football is a progression sport, RR had as much to do with where UM is at today as BH, and I ain't scared to say it.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 5:10 p.m.

It's possible Michigan doesn't have the talent to be a # 12 ranked team.. But they have the heart of a # 1 ranked team. And that alone can take them a long way.

David Vande Bunte

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 4:09 p.m.

Polls don't win football games. It doesn't matter if Michigan ranked #1 or #119, their opponent is still their opponent, and they still have to get the job done. being ranked #12 in the country will not help Michigan beat Northwestern, so at this point in the season, who cares? They will win the games the win, lose the games they lose, and let the record speak for itself once the regular season is over. THAT is the only poll that matters, since it determines the teams playing for the national championship. A week 5 poll? Meaningless.

1st Down

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 8:22 a.m.

LOL at the Revisionist Spin here by some RR die hards. Fact is that RR DID recruit Denard....BUT BUT ..and this is another FACT Denard was recruited only after Shavodrick Beaver and Kevin Newsome, who were RRs first choices to play QB under his system at Michigan.... accepted RRs offer and then later backed out... RR out of desperation, went after Denard promising him a shot to play QB....which no other DI school was offering Denard...they all wanted him as ATh or CB... Well Denard took it and thank God that he did.... Even a blind squirrell stumbles across a nut every now and then... BTW to say that Bo would not have recruited Denard...well shoot, Bo had plenty of running QBs starting with Dennis Franklin, through Leach, Wangler before he got hurt, Steve Smith etc.... enough of the Revisionist spin.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 3:38 p.m.

&quot;Even a blind squirrell stumbles across a nut every now and then...&quot; LOL! Yeah watching old Bo football games, he had a lot running plays with the QB.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 3:57 a.m.

Just conjecture on my part re: the question about Michigan's ability to &quot;travel.&quot; First, history may mean nothing but it used to be that Michigan was widely considered to be an excellent road team. That's one reason why they had that 34-year run as &quot;most televised&quot; college football team. Second: There are just two essential elements to creating a good road team: one is &quot;accommodations&quot; and the other is &quot;coach psyche 101.&quot; Michigan has one of the best equipment managers in college football and he KNOWS every detail about equipping Michigan players as they must be equipped and like to be equipped. Coach Hoke also KNOWS that Michigan has appeared in many big time bowl games - always AWAY games. So his sense of history and Michigan Tradition will be an added benefit to this team. He'll make sure that Michigan &quot;shows up&quot; anywhere, any time in the best possible state of mind and condition. After all, this IS Michigan, the first college football team to play &quot;coast to coast.&quot;


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 3:44 a.m.

Say what? Tally10 you've got to be kidding, I'll make a list for you so that you can understand: -Hoke came to San Diego and let me tell you from experience that what he did here was amazing, he took over a team that went 2-10 the previous year and turned them around within 2 years and set them on a good course by hiring Rocky Long as DC and leaving that program in good shape. -He would have been smooth enough to convince Mallett to stay, he would have re-recruited him and a pro style Offense would have been attractive to Mallett. -Manningham and Arrington would have stayed with Mallett back at QB. -We had a bunch of great talent on Defense in 2008, think Hoke might have done something with that squad -He would have been recruiting like a motha all this time, we would be a top 5 program year in and year out. So please, spare me the revisionist history, it ain't gonna fly.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 6:52 a.m.

Well said and very accurate!


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 3:24 a.m.

Michigan is a better team than most people think and a team that's already on the rise. RR was not excepted by many as a coach at UM ( and they have that right ), so they focused only on the negative. I for one think he was necessary for M in their down years. It wasn't all RR fault nor was it all LC's fault. The fact of the matter is that LC retired, we lost a lot to graduation, the recruiting suffered some, we lost some key players and returned no starting playmakers. I would challenge any Poster to take that 2008 Roster and put together a team that would have gone 6-6 or better. We as M fans just have to be honest here, M was not going to be good that year no matter who coached them. RR started with that team (2008), then in 2009 with a Freshman QB and a young team - 5 &amp; 7, and last year with a 1st year sohp. QB, young, 108th in D, 120 in Kicking, 6 -7 freshmen on D, and still managed a 7 -6 record. That's actually quite an achievement, it's just not for some M fans. Now let's look at Hoke's first year cupboard: Jr second yr QB ( 6th on the Heisman list, NCAA &amp; UM record setter and more ), a stable of RB's, nice group of receivers, a decent OL, 108th D last year but has more experience and depth, returned 18 of 22 starters and about 14 or so for even next year. Let's face it, RR did the dirty work, clearing, plowing the fields and planting the seeds, BH just have to water, maintain and reap the harvest. Before some of you jump on me, just think, it's a good thing, had BH come in 08, he too may not be here, he's here at a good time, RR left him with a team he can succeed with, M has a &quot;Michigan man&quot; and a pretty good team now, and it didn't take 6 -7 years, so why are we still complaining???

Nic schweigert

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 7:40 p.m.

You talk about his going from 3 to 5 to 7 wins is quite an achievement? Ya it's getting better. Offense got better thru the three years. Then look a the defense. Got worse and worse every year. You could watchthe team regress thru the season. That's not on the kids, that's on the coaches. Ive felt more comfortable watching a shaky Michigan team this year than any game from the previous staff, even in the 65-21 beatings of bowling green.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 5:24 p.m.

Thanks Tally10 ... you made my day ... that's the funniest thing I have heard in a long long time.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 3:35 p.m.

After those 3 years, I cannot believe that people have feelings for RR! lolz


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 3:33 p.m.

Chiro19 said it already in his post above. That team in 08 was at least a 7-5 team even with Threet at QB, Brandon Minor/Carlos Brown at RB, Greg Matthews/Hemingway on WR. On the defense, he had NFL players Brandon Graham and Donovan Warren. Is that a bare cupboard? Now if Bill Martin got a Lloyd Carr protege like English or Hoke, then Mallet, Manningham and Arrington and Boren stayed at Michigan. What did RR do, he let forced his spread BS on those big and tough pro style players, and used a smaller Sheridan a small and young McGuffie at RB. It was RR who uncoached his team to go 3-9. RR was a poor coach who cannot get the most out of the talents of his players. He also does not know how to adjust, proof is this year, look at how well RR's players are playing for a new HC and Coordinators.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 12:55 p.m.

Qb-Mallet; Fb- Moundros; Rb- Minor/Brown; WR-Manningham/Bass/Matthews; TE- Butler; OL- Boren, Schilling, Moosman, Ortman, McAvoy; DT- Taylor, Slocum; DE- Graham, Banks; LB- Mouton, Ezah, Logan (weakest part of that team); S- Brown/Harrison; CB- Trent/Warren/Woolfolk; K- Olesnavage; P- Mesko Of course I am taking into account the guys that left because of RR that would have stayed if Lloyd was around another year or a guy like Hoke (because he is similar in coaching philosophy) took over. That team would have been 11-2 looking at the schedule (most likely 10-3 because of a stupid loss somewhere with Lloyd or a bowl loss). Thats a touch different than 3-9! Manningham would have been very similar to Edwards when Henne started his first year and a Heisman contender. Remember the cupboard was full for RR until he decided to throw away most of the spices in the spice drawer! RR did no Dirty work, and it is amazing how fast someone can destroy all the work that coaches from 69' on had done in terms of consistancy and excellence! This also gets into the comments by RR that were completely self serving, &quot;I think this team can be pretty good this year and will turn the corner&quot;. No kidding they are going to turn the corner, they have a good coach on D and O finally! I am not trying to pile on Tally but look at a roster from 07' before you make this kind of post.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 5:12 a.m.

I agree Tally. The defense last year was horrendous. The offense was record setting but riddled with turnovers, which you can't blame the coach for. Lots of missed tackles which might also be something the coach can't fix, especially with such a young team. Even the MSU loss, 17 points might have gone in the win column if the two turnovers in the end zone hadn't occurred giving Michigan a 14-0 lead. Also, Michigan with the pro style offense last won a Big Ten (co) championship in 2004. Last win vs OSU was 2003. Those teams were lead by spread type QBs Troy Smith and Terrell Pryor who Michigan just could not stop. So, is it wise to go back to the pro style drop back QB? Doesn't seem to be what teams are winning with.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 4:29 a.m.

The question isn't: &quot;why are so many still complaining&quot; - it's really: Why are some so set on defending RichRod? Michigan has had &quot;young teams&quot; before RR showed up: NONE of those had a defense ranked 120th at season's end. I doubt - a lot - that Michigan ever had a kicker ranked as low or a special teams state as low as those RichRod had last year. What don't RR defenders UNDERSTAND about Worst 3-year Record in Michigan History? What don't RR defenders UNDERSTAND about First-Ever NCAA violations for Michigan? Come on, lets have some understanding about why a lot of fans (and Michigan insiders) still talk about how bad RichRod was. The Bad Guys in History always get that kind of negative reaction long after they've gone. That's to remind us of them and hopefully avoid letting others like them &quot;IN&quot; where they can do more damage.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 3:24 a.m.

I'm sorry, I can't let this pass without a response, Ooh he recruited Denard and no one else would have. Maybe not, but Gardner would be the QB and he was a 5 star in high school and I'm sure he would be capable of leading us to victories, in fact he would be a better fit for Borges' Offense. It amazes me how people who grew up watching a winner all their lives so quickly come to the defense of the WCIMFH. The reason we take shots at him is because he's arrogant, stubborn and selfish. Don't get me started on the examples that I can plentifully supply.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 2:36 a.m.

Well said 1st down, I always felt that way the last 3time years. What a difference not even a yr makes me with a great staff. The best thing about this staff is they a are about teaching these kids and they want to learn. Not screaming and embarrassing them on the side line. Kids want to play for a guy like Hoke. Go Blue!!


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 2:36 a.m.

All you people that get excited every time you see a great play from Denard, remember that RR recruited him to Michigan. Carr, Hoke and even Bo would never recruit a kid like Denard Robinson to play quarterback at Michigan. He is the single most exciting player in all of college football, and yes RR recruited him to Michigan. Instead of whining about RR, why not just appreciate that Hoke and his staff are doing a great job with the kids who are currently on this team. Go Blue.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 7:25 p.m.

He recruited Denard and chased away Ryan Mallett, who is now on the Patriots.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 2:14 p.m.

Yeah RR recruited Denard Robinson and he turned Denard into a one trick pony that gets injured almost in everygame in the Big Ten. RR also lost lots of B1G games in his 3 years.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 4:15 a.m.

Who recruited Charles Woodson? Who recruited Tom Brady? Not RichRod. So, you can't use DRob to justify all the damage RichRod - demonstrably- did when he was in charge. Hemingway: is a good part of why Robinson can throw ANY passes. Hemingway's a senior. Hoke: just made RichRod look pathetic in recruiting last recruiting season: how many &quot;best in nation&quot; recruiting classes did RichRod have - in his ENTIRE career? Hoke &amp; Staff are doing MIRACLES partly due to the damage left by RichRod. It's NOT whining to point to the incompetence and the damage, it's a reminder of where Michigan was - just 10 months ago.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 2:31 a.m.

Also, I said this in another article, but you better believe that Coach Hoke told these kids they better get used to being ranked. This whole thing about it being a jinx is not of Michigan nature. It should be a standard.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 2:29 a.m.

Watch our offense fly all over the place.... Look at the stats of our defense in scoring and red zone and how they have given up only one touchdown in 12 quarters. Imagine that this team was 2007 Lloyd Carr with Denard at the helm....HECK, we'd be ranked way higher!!! We look amazing and haven't lost. For those of us who watch every snap and over-analyze it, yea we see the flaws. But, when you watch the highlights at the end of the day, they sure are sweet. And that's what EVERYONE who doesn't follow Michigan watches.... So, if we everyone says (stinkers)...then, we will fall in the polls- it will self adjust. But, for this week and in this time, we are number 11/12. ENJOY IT WHILE YOU CAN! I personally think we will go to Northwester and woop their butts.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 1:58 a.m.

Great win by Michigan over Minnesota. That said, Minnesota is a pretty pathetic football team. The tough part of the schedule starts next week. That's when we'll see what this team has. Is it still necessary to take shots at Rich Rod?


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 4:53 a.m.

No its not truebluefan. It's juvenile and immature. For example, to say DRob looked over rated last year seemed odd when you consider the records set by a player during his first starting year. I can't remember the last time Michigan had a QB who was a front runner for Heisman for a few weeks. Michigan lost two games by ten points last year, both games riddled with turnovers which I don't blame a coach for. Turn those two games around for a 9-3 record would RR still be here? I think we are better off right now, but we have to see what the final record is. I think anything less than 9-3 is unacceptable.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 3:46 a.m.

Yes, it's &quot;necessary&quot; to take shots at RichRod. Reason being: What we've been seeing since Hoke replaced that guy who's gone now is about the work at all levels that's had to be done by Hoke &amp; Staff. RichRod actually de-coached the Michigan Defense, they were worthless (120th nationally). RichRod first picked a skinny (and apparently neurotic) QB to run his offense. Even Robinson looked &quot;overrated&quot; last year. RichRod brought the first-ever NCAA sanctions down on Michigan. You never saw evidence of teamwork between his own coaching assistants (like there is now). It's necessary to take shots at this mediocre, egoist - just to give us the perspective between Before and After RichRod. Otherwise, Michigan might re-hire Bill Martin as AD and LET HIM pick a successor to Hoke. LOL!


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 1:26 a.m.

if BO were here today i think he would say that poll's don't mean a dam thing! and he would remind us of the 1969 michigan-osu game to make his point. . . GO BLUE!!!


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 4:45 a.m.

I agree. Some may know the name but not what he stood for. I recall he didn't care for night games. And his goals were win the Big Ten and go to the Rose Bowl. Polls, rankings mean nothing, there is still controversy.

1st Down

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 1:04 a.m.

People are underestimating this team...when they complain about the current high ranking... The fact is that the talent has ALWAYS been there (yes Lloyd left a FULL cupboard)... and every year, Michigan has top 20 recruiting classes. This talent is now, finally...getting excellent coaching! We have last years Ravens D Coordinator for cryin out loud...and the OC is brilliant... Hoke knows D line coaching like no other in the business! Our DB coach is excellent... So we have a) excellent talent and b) excellent coaching combined with c) Motivation to finally win the Big Ten after 3 years of a debacle in coaching... and the result is d) Top 15 rankings. It is not that hard to figure out folks.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 2:04 a.m.

&quot;This talent is now, finally...getting excellent coaching!&quot; EXACTLY!


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 12:27 a.m.

Also, Macabre, you think Northwestern is a better team than ND, really? WMU has turned out to be a pretty good team, SDSU looks pretty good and EMU seems to be improving rapidly w/English and 3 ex-M players coaching. I think our schedule has been tougher than some people realize.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 5:17 p.m.

I would have to say that ND AND SDSU are better teams than Northwestern. Playing Northwestern on the road certainly makes it somewhat tougher, but I think Coach Hoke and our boys will be up to the task.

Macabre Sunset

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 7:17 a.m.

Yes, it has. That's why Michigan is ranked, period. But a road game at Northwestern with Persa at quarterback is tougher than anything we've faced at home so far. Our six toughest challenges of the season have yet to materialize. Win two of those six, and Hoke has shown enormous progress against great odds.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 12:14 a.m.

Another point I want to make and I feel this is critical: When you think about it, this is by far THE most talented team that Hoke has ever been a HC of. The talent our previous loser recruited was pretty good in some cases, guys wanna play for Michigan, you're always gonna have at least a decent recruiting class. Now add that to about as stellar a coaching staff as there is in the country and the facilities in AA are 2nd to none. Chew on that for a bit and let me know what you come up with. Also, do you notice less trash talking by some trolls?


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 4:42 a.m.

I think we will have to wait until the end of the season to judge that.


Sun, Oct 2, 2011 : 11:31 p.m.

As nice as it is to be 12th/11th, it does not matter until Mich is playing Wisc in Indy as two undefeated teams. Does any one know what the status of Persa is for next saturday? I know he had foot pain but i was not sure what his status was. I think Nebraska wants back into the Little 12! If mich wins big next week they will be 8 or 9 in the nation. The great thing about this team and coaching staff is they seem to have a big chip on their shoulder and are out to make a point by destroying every team they can. I really dont think the NW game will be close either but you never know on your first road game of the year. I think this team will be very prepared and fired up. The D line looked the best it has so far this year. A couple of predictions for the future. Countess, Ryan, and Brink will be All american candidates in 2-3 years (especially Countess and Ryan as long as they keep on learning and getting better). I think the tally on my wager from Friday was about 35 times that stupid linebacker was running towards his own endzone trying to catch a michigan player. Go Blue michigan is a 6 point favorite, michigan all the way on that right now because it may move to 14.5 by Friday!


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 4:41 a.m.

What's MSU have to do with this game? Its one game at a time. I want to see us beat NW with Persa because I want to know how good this team is, not how good they can be with breaks. Speaking of which, is MSU getting all the breaks or what? Last year they get to be co champs but do not have to play OSU. The year, they get to be the only Big 10 team that gets to play OSU while the four starters, all star players, are still suspended. I am thinking that to make everything even, those lads should have only been suspended for the non conference games - or for all of them. I bet it was Tressell who recommended five games to give his buddy Dantonio a break.

Macabre Sunset

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 12:13 a.m.

Without Persa, Michigan would be a 14-point favorite, if not more. With him, this is a close game, made more difficult because MSU is coming up the following week.


Sun, Oct 2, 2011 : 10:42 p.m.

I'm sure OSU is just an easy victory over Nebraska this weekend away from being a top 10 team....... Uhhh, no wait,


Sun, Oct 2, 2011 : 10:37 p.m.

The stench (I love that word!) of the WCIMFH will probably be with us for one more year after this one. In the meantime. Hoke and his staff have done a wonderful job of compensating for RR's pathetic recruiting by providing great coaching and getting the most out of the talent we have. How far this will take us remains to be seen. Be patient!


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 5:13 p.m.

BW13 ... if you really want to be accurate you have to add the fact that Mr. Hoke came to UM in January and in 1 month he boosted up the 2011 class up to # 21 ... we were somewhere in the high 30's or 40's before his 1 month of recruiting. The man and his staff (particularly Mr. Mattison) can flat out recruit &amp; coach !


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 4:35 a.m.

I like the defense's improvement, but I don't think we will see offensive productivity like RR can deliver. But you don't need it, you just need wins. The difference is that DRob will be less Heisman worthy. But that never was important with Michigan football (&quot;the team, the team, the team&quot;). As horrible as those years were, there was improvement and I would have expected at least 9-3 out of RR this year, the same I expect out of BH. You can't blame the coach for turnovers. One thing I really like this year is the tackling is so much improved, not as many missed tackles.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 3:31 a.m.

Pathetic may be too extreme; perhaps relatively poor would be more accurate. Consider this: According to Rivals, Michigan's rank in recruiting was: 2004: 5 LC 2005: 6 LC 2006: 13 LC 2007: 12 LC 2008: 10 LC 2009: 8 Mostly LC, some RR 2010: 20 WCIMFH 2011 21 WCIMFH 2012 3 (so far) Hoke Note that he worse years are the two the RR was totally responsible for.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 1:58 a.m.

@7718 -- I agree that Rodriguez's recruiting was not &quot;pathetic.&quot; Undersized for the Big 10, but probably pretty darn good for the Big East. But ... &quot;A year of maturity goes a long way in college football&quot; ... that I can't let pass. It's not possible to play the &quot;what if RR was coach this year&quot; game with certainty. I wish I could. I'm not convinced in the least that we'd see the improvement we're seeing under Hoke, Borges and Mattison. Particularly Mattison. And frankly, I think Gibbons is the best example of the difference between coaching staffs. Last year he was publicly discarded by Rodriguez. This year Hoke publicly expressed support for Gibbons and his effort. Result? Well ... you're seeing it. So this &quot;all Rodriguez needed was another year of player experience&quot; is utter nonsense. I simply won't sit and watch that go by the screen. The success of this year's team is 100% due to Hoke, Borges, Mattison and the rest of the coaching staff. They are realizing the potential of the recruited players. That potential was wasted under Rodriguez.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 1:56 a.m.

So does real coaching, see that was the problem, now not so much


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 12:05 a.m.

Pathetic recruiting? Denard Robinson wasn't recruited by Hoke and never would have been. The running backs that people are now drooling over? RR recruited them. Not pathetic, in fact, pretty darn good. It could have been a lot worse. Don't forget, all these players were less experienced last year. A year of maturity goes a long way in college football.

Macabre Sunset

Sun, Oct 2, 2011 : 10:34 p.m.

Michigan deserves the ranking because it's winning games, a couple of them against decent opponents. Ranking does not answer &quot;what is the best team,&quot; however. Which is why we need a playoff system. Win the next two games, though (both are more challenging than anything we've faced to date), and we can start talking about whether Michigan has advanced in its recovery from the RR years.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 1:10 p.m.

College football rankings are just a big popularity contest. Considering the coaches play a big role, voting on the rankings, they'll tell you time and time again how little they pay attention to it. I've read many times how some coaches have their secretaries rank the teams for them. I would say I take more meaning from the AP poll, but writers are locally and regionally biased. To love college football is to love bias and prejudice. As much as I loved watching Michigan devastate Minnesota Junior Prep and seeing their 11th ranking, it's taken with a grain of salt. I'd love to hear what Coach Hoke would say about Michigan being rated the 11th best in the country, I'm sure it would bring many of us back down to earth. What I take from the win and the high ranking is the continual growth of this team. I love seeing the defense improve and gain more confidence. I love seeing the offense adjust to make up for D-Rob's passing ability with creative play calling, speed options, dual-QB sets, etc. I'll take more meaning from their ranking come Thanksgiving, but to me, the 11th ranking is a national nod to Michigan, a &quot;we're glad to see you're back.&quot; Go Blue! TiM!


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 12:45 p.m.

@ scott Playoffs ALWAYS determine the best team. Argue you all you want about the stipulations on making into a playoff, but once you're in, every team controls their own destiny. If those 18-1 Patriots were the best team, they'd be the 19-0 Patriots. I would agree though that they were the best second-place team ever. The better team wins. The best team is all that remains.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 4:29 a.m.

I don't argue the ranking but we still don't know how good this team is. I don't consider any of the teams we have beaten as good enough to determine how well the team will stack up. It's too bad that five games into the season we really don't know. At least four teams that were ranked ahead of Michigan last week lost, and that is a primary reason for the rise in the rankings. Even though MSU got pasted by ND, they have a very good defense. I kind of wish they would stop scheduling patsies for the first four games. (Yes ND is a patsy). At least next year we get Alabama thought it is utterly stupid to play it in any stadium other than theirs or ours.

Macabre Sunset

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 12:12 a.m.

Playoffs are far better than rankings, though. Especially when schedule strength varies so much.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 12:06 a.m.

That's a great point Scott, however, a team has to get it done all the way through to win it and there's been a few M teams that would have won a playoff IMO, i.e. the 1980 and 1985 teams I think could have.


Sun, Oct 2, 2011 : 10:40 p.m.

Playoff doesn't determine the best team either fwiw, see the Patriots 18-1 season...


Sun, Oct 2, 2011 : 10:11 p.m.

What happened to my other post? I think it was within the the guidelines


Sun, Oct 2, 2011 : 9:39 p.m.

@AzWolverine You mean the same team that got absolutely whooped by a team we beat? An ND team that's looking pretty good as it's turning out? Some of you people need to get rid of the WCIMFH stench you still seem to be a victim of. Believe in what we are doing now, we're back to real U-M Football!!!


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 2 p.m.

As it seems, the ND team is not a sissy.


Sun, Oct 2, 2011 : 9:37 p.m.

San Diego Sate was a helluva game. Sate?.. Not a word.


Sun, Oct 2, 2011 : 9:35 p.m.

Well Kyle, 1st you picked U-M to go about 7-5 2nd you picked them to lose last week against SDSU, who did you pick in the ND game? Now you say they're ranked too So your track record has not been very good, wise up and quit dismissing this team, who the heck are you to decide if they're not good enough? Huh? The WCIMFH did a really good job of making people feel like we don't belong, he's gone okay? We have Hoke and we have hope as a result, thank you very much.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 1:59 p.m.

I did remember him saying and predicting that SDSU will beat Michigan. That is the result of the RR era where many Michigan fans, think that Michigan is not good to win games. lol Look at the rankings now, the first 6-7 teams led by LSU, Alabama and Oklahoma are above the rest, those at 9 to 25 are all the same.


Sun, Oct 2, 2011 : 11:29 p.m.

*Ranked too high oops


Sun, Oct 2, 2011 : 10:49 p.m.

my sentiments exactly ... we are improving week to week and we have beaten 2 fairly good teams in ND and SDSU. Let's enjoy the ranking and the fact that we are on the way back. Go Blue !


Sun, Oct 2, 2011 : 9:31 p.m.

I just hope we actually beat Sparty this year...then we can talk rankngs.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 1:57 p.m.

We will see on the 15th but that game used to be a sure loss, it is not a sure loss now.

Ron Granger

Sun, Oct 2, 2011 : 8:54 p.m.

Could someone tell me where the Spartans are ranked? I didn't see them on the AP poll or the coaches poll. Please tell me where they are ranked. Tell me over and over. Say it loud.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 1:56 p.m.

They are ranked #20 in the Coaches poll. The coaches must have been impressed with Sparty beating OSU at home.