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Monday, September 18, 2006

Latest MZone Top 25

Can't tell you how much fun it was filling out this week's Blogpoll run by Brian at MGoBlog. After UM's big win over the Irish, there was no such thing as "too many" highlights Saturday. And is there a better show on TV than Michigan Replay after a victory such as that?

Now, if you've been following our vote in this poll, you know we haven't had maize and blue blinders on. In fact, we dropped Michigan after their opening victory over Vandy because we thought they didn't look good. But after their 47-21 drubbing of ND -- on the road -- Michigan takes a huge leap up in our poll to #5.

On a related note, how 'bout some props for Lloyd Carr? We've almost felt like a voice in the wilderness sticking up for him and, besides the obvious reasons, we were thrilled about the win for him personally. This man is 16-6 against top 10 teams and 4-1 vs. the top 2. He's taken Michigan to two out of the last three Rose Bowls. He shook up his staff without calling out people who weren't doing their job last year (as opposed to the way Larry Coker shredded his staff at Miami after last season) and has made it work. And just "shaking up the staff" doesn't make things better (yes, we're talking about Coker again). So give Lloyd some credit. And not that, "Let's wait until we see happens" bullshit credit.

Other voting notes:

* While Auburn didn't impress us (at least on offense), they did play one of the top teams in the country and won. That has to count for something and is much more impressive than a blowout win over a crap team. Thus, while we'd love to move Michigan up more, we can't do it in good conscience.
* Same with Florida. You go on the road to Knoxville and find a way to win, especially in a big rivalry game like that, you should get rewarded in the poll.
* We were big doubters on Louisville. But after losing their star RB and their star QB when the game was still close early in the 3rd, they still bitch-slapped the thugs 'Canes.
* Oregon won with the help of some questionable calls but they still put fought back after going down 13 with three minutes left. So we're not going to punish them for calls they didn't make.
* As you can see, we're still not big believers in WVU. They haven't played anybody that allows anyone to see what kind of team they are. And they don't play anybody except Louisville. That's it. Florida is about to face Alabama, LSU, Auburn and Georgia - in a row! Say they lose one of those, should WVU be ranked ahead? After the Gators already beat Tennessee on the road? For us, it's not just about being undefeated. If it was, nobody should ever play a tough schedule again.
And before WVU fans bitch and say the Big East schedule isn't their fault, talk to whoever scheduled Eastern Washington this year.
* From 17 on, you could almost pull names out of a hat. To accurately put a team in a specific slot at this point of the season is guesswork. One could almost stop the poll here.
* MSU impressed us with their road victory at Pitt (which is probably the second or third toughest team West Virginia plays this year, by the way)
* Oklahoma enters the poll at 25 even following a loss because they got hosed. Then again, they shouldn't have put themselves in a position to let that happen. If they punch in a TD with 3 minutes left instead of a FG, game over.

1Ohio State--
2Southern Cal--
4Florida 2
5Michigan 6
6Georgia 1
7Louisville 7
8Oregon 2
10Louisiana State 5
11West Virginia 2
12Notre Dame 8
13Iowa 4
14Tennessee 6
15Virginia Tech--
16Arizona State 6
17Cal 2
18Boise State 3
19TCU 7
20Alabama 3
21Rutgers 4
22Boston College 2
23Michigan State 3
24Missouri 2
25Oklahoma 1

Dropped Out: Florida State (#12), Miami (Florida) (#16), Texas Tech (#18), Nebraska (#20).


Allaha said...

I like the ballot generally but have two observations:
1) Oregon is ranked too high. Oklahoma appears to have a comparatively weak team, and with either decent referees or reasonable application of instant replay Oregon loses. Having scraped by Oklahoma at home, do you really believe there are only seven teams in the country that would beat Oregon?
2) LSU and Tennessee were penalized too much for close losses. Indeed, it is likely either team would beat Oregon.

More generally, I am surprised but happy that ND has fallen to 12 in both major polls. . . . And how is it possible for Clemson to beat FSU and then the following day be ranked BELOW them (18 v. 19 and 17 v. 23) in both "major" polls?

Anonymous said...

LSU at #10?

Kidding, right?

The refs really and truly gave the game to Auburn, reversing two pass int penalties againt Auburn, one in the endzone and other at the 5 yard line. LSU probably scores on both drives and wins easily.

Texas gets blown out at home and stays so high?

This poll is a joke, right?


Anonymous said...

What a bunch of fuck nuts.

Oklahoma BEAT Oregon. Haven't you seen any of the highlits. OU dominated the Ducks on the road.

And the Ducks are 8 and OU is 25?

Fuck nuts.

Crabapple Buck said...

Instead of saying you ranked someone too high or low, I just want to say how happy I am that another Big 10/11 team knocked ND around. I said they had a shitty defense in my posts last week and had ND flamers hissing. Apparently we Buckeyes had more faith in your team than you did. At least now the national media fellatio of ND & Weis (the mackerel, as in holy mackerel) can cool for a while until the priopism shows up again. I am hoping for a showdown of the undefeateds on 11/18.

On another note, when is USC going to ever feel the pain of breaking in a new QB? Palmer wins Heisman, Leinart comes in with little if any dropoff. Leinart wins Heisman, Booty comes in. Again not much dropoff. ND will lose to the Trojans and by a large margin. I'm pretty sure MSU can handle them this weekend too.

Congrats on your big win, keep winning until 11/18.

Anonymous said...

Clemson beats your preseason number one, loses by a missed extra point to your current #22, and they aren't even a #25 team? I know the kicking game is bad right now, but the protection can be fixed, defense and Offense look pretty good.

trojan mike said...

tOSU wins this week and doesn't move up? What's up with this poll???!!!

beast in 'bama said...

I agree with you about Auburn, and applaud your integrity, Yost. Personally, I'd have Michigan and Auburn tied for third, both way ahead of Florida.

Chrissy Leak won't run the ball (did you see that crap with Teabow - the Vols knew it was coming and still couldn't stop it!), therefore Urban's offense can't be run to its fruition.

You neglected to mention that Florida has to play LSU and Auburn on the road, and Georgia at the neutral site cocktail party (oops - not supposed to call it that anymore).

If Louisville had any kind of schedule remaining, they would seriously challenge for the BCS. If that team were on my schedule, it would scare me to DEATH!

The Wolverines and Buckeyes are set as long as they both take care of business. USC isn't losing again. Auburn has by far the toughest road ahead among the top four.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Michigam for the dominating beatdown of the universally despised Irish.

As for all those who were unimpressed with the Auburn victory, I just hope that your team, whoever it is, plays Auburn or LSU in a bowl game. The game was incredible. I have never seen anything like it defensively, on both sides of the ball.

It seemed that the refs at Auburn-LSU decided to "let 'em play" that game. There were no-calls both ways all game long. Holding on linemen and receivers, contact between receivers and defenders, all game long. It's a shame that there is one play, now isolated, for folks to whine about. A bigger officiating travesty was when Jamarcus Russell, across the line of scrimage, "fumbled" the ball forward about 8 yards to one of his receivers. Didn't that get outlawed about 20 years ago?

It is funny that now LSU "would have scored a TD" when they couldn't at any other point in the 60 minute game.

Anonymous said...

I agree somewhat with your assessment of WVU. The Eastern Washington game only happened because Buffalo backed out on WVU at the last minute to play Auburn, instead. WVU was left scrambling. Still, there's no denial WVU's schedule blows.
If Florida or Michigan, for instance, does lose one game to a good school (LSU, Alabama, Iowa or OSU), they should be ahead of WVU. Beating the likes of UConn, Syracuse, and South Florida and going unbeaten shouldn't count more than, say, Michigan going 11-1 with a close loss to Iowa or OSU.

Anonymous said...

Shame on you for falling in to the new anti-Blue hype machine which claims that ND was "overrated." They still killed a good Penn State team last week (remember?). No, ND was not overrated or overhyped. Michigan is just that good. They were unbelievable, and they were almost as good in their first two games against Vandy and Central (both fairly decent teams in their own right.) Only Brian at MGoBlog had the courage to say that he was not disheartned by what the National media said were two "unimpressive" games by the Wolverines. Michigan is back, and deserves to be ranked in the top 3 after that throttling of a great ND team. Am I surprised that you fell victim to the Media hype and ranked them a paltry 5? No. Am I dissapointed? Yes.

Anonymous said...

Awesome game against ND. Congratulations!
See I told you Missouri was going to break into the top 25. They should continue to climb for the next few weeks.

Anonymous said...

LC certainly deserves credit for his record against top 10 teams. I'm not aware that anyone has criticized him for this. He wins games that he's supposed to lose. It is one of his strengths.

LC has been rightly criticized for his performance against teams in the 11-25+ range. He loses games that he's supposed to win (and many that he already had won, before the roof fell in). That is what is so frustrating.

It was a wonderful - and very important - win (although I'd suggest that 2003 OSU was more important - and that was only 3 years ago). But be careful about a positive overreaction here.

This was (finally) a big game dictated by the defense. Kudos to LC and English for getting that done. It seems that we are finally using our defensive talent to full advantage. And, by the way, it also proves that most of the critics of Hermann (and LC's support of JH) were correct. We DID have the talent for such a performance (2 defensive scores!).

Henne also had a good game at the critical juncture of a big game. But remember that the knock on Henne is that he is woefully inconsistent and erratic. One game does not a trend make - and one fantastic game does not invalidate the criticisms of his not-so-fantastic performances in the recent past.

The running game is not nearly as good as it needs to be. The much discussed "depth" at RB is - as the ND game proved - non-existent. Grady got 9 yards in 6 carries, no one else played. If Hart goes down, we have a BIG problem. A good running game converts 3rd downs - 4 of 13 is OK, but not good. A good running game does better than 2.9ypc. A good running game punches it in when you have 1st and goal at the 4.

These notes are not meant to take anything away from an excellent victory.

For once, the defense created some advantages in a big game - and the offense found a way to take advantage of them. That is as it should be.

Anonymous said...

Penn State is terrible this year. I mean, that game between them and ND was just bad football. I don't care if people say that Lil Boy Quinn was passing all over their asses. They couldn't play against a good team like Michigan.

Still, credit does lie with the Michigan team. To go to South Bend and not only win but win by such a large margin like that definitely earns the team helmet stickers. Still, I have worries.

It might be said that the reason Mich won was because the ND team just fell apart and committed huge mistakes. And then we have to wait and see how Mich does against a team that is more consistent than ND, even if it is less talented (e.g. Wisconsin). I was a bit bothered by the way we gave up that 70-something yard drive at the end of the first half.

So I have my worries, but I think that Blue has shown that it is definitely able to go into big games without getting psyched out, finaly use its talent, and win. Plus, Henne is developing more and more as a QB. I think he might just be a Heisman contender. If we keep it up, then an upset in Columbus can't be too farfetched.

Other Andrew said...

Way to go, dropping out Florida State. They don't deserve to be in anyone's top 25. Their only "quality" win is now unveiled as having no clothes.

Anonymous said...

An upset in Colombus? Yeah, I think that may happen this weekend.