Happy Tuesday, folks. Welcome to Morning Brews. It wasn’t the most dominating win on the scoreboard, but I’m pretty optimistic following the Wolverines win over Maryland this past Saturday. Until a Maryland drive that started with 2:15 left in the 3rd quarter, the Terrapins were held to less than 50 yards of total offense. Meanwhile, Michigan cruised to 465 yards of total offense. This is just my opinion, but I’ve got a great feeling about the game against Wisconsin this week.
Let’s get to it:
Michigan projected to Peach Bowl. It’s incredibly early and all that, but Jason Kirk over at the SB Nation mothership has put out bowl game projections. The good news is he projects Michigan as being in the New Year’s Six. The bad news is he sees the Wolverines in the Peach Bowl and not in the Playoff, and by implication finishing third in the Big Ten East. Kirk has Ohio State in the playoff, Penn State in the Rose Bowl, and then the Wolverines.
Looking at Michigan’s next game. Using our preferred rankings system, the S&P+, we can take a look at Michigan’s matchup with Wisconsin and make some rudimentary predictions. Michigan is the No. 5 team with an offense ranked No. 25 and a defense ranked No. 2. The Wisconsin Badgers are the No. 13 team with the No. 8 offense and the No. 55 defense (on par with Maryland). With a strength on strength matchup (Wiscy’s No. 8 offense against Michigan’s No. 2 defense), I think this game will be decided on that side of the ball. Wisconsin’s defense has given up over 900 yards of offense to Nebraska and Iowa these past two weeks, so if Michigan’s defense can take care of business I see the Wolverines cruising to a 2 TD victory.
Volleyball wins pair of Big Ten matchups. Michigan volleyball is now well into their Big Ten season, and they’re taking care of business. This past weekend, the Wolverines blanked No. 14 Purdue before edging Indiana 3-2 on Saturday. The two victories move Michigan to 15-2 (4-2) on the season, and in a tie for third in the conference standings. The team will be back in action this Friday against Ohio State, and then against Maryland on Sunday.
Women’s soccer split weekend pair. On the pitch, women’s soccer split their weekend games against Ohio State and Penn State. On Friday, the Wolverines delivered some Ann Arbor hospitality to the Buckeyes in a 1-0 victory. But on Sunday, the Nittany Lions played the role of spoiler by edging Michigan with a goal in the 82nd minute. At 7-7 (3-4), the Wolverines have bested their win total from last season with four games remaining in the regular season. The team will be back in action against Nebraska this Friday.
Michigan hockey opened their season with a loss to Vermont before beating Waterloo in an exhibition match this past weekend. Against Vermont, the Wolverines found themselves in a quick 2-0 hole before equalizing in the 11th minute. However, Vermont took the lead for good with 15:36 left in the 1st period en route to a 2-5 loss for Mel Pearson’s squad. On the upside, Michigan bounced back with a 7-4 victory over Waterloo the next day. While it won’t count for Michigan’s record, it should nonetheless give the Wolverines some momentum as they play one final exhibition game before resuming their real schedule against Western Michigan next week.
Despite the early loss to Notre Dame, the Wolverines have shot up the odds boards to win the National Championship this year. From 70/1 before the season, to 25/1 at the start of last week, to 16/1 today people are apparently optimistic about the Wolverines chances. At 16/1, the team is the 6th most likely to win the title according to the oddsmakers. Will they do it? Weigh in down in the comments.