Review: 2009 Season Predictions

Tag: 2009 Predictions

9Aug 2010
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Review: 2009 Season Predictions

Jordan Kovacs went from an afterthought to a Freshman All-American.

One of the reasons I started this blog was to record my predictions, in order to look back on them at a later date. Well, that date has come. It’s a few weeks prior to the 2010 season, and I can’t help but think back on how I did last year (2009 Season Predictions here). I didn’t do too badly, but there were a couple surprises.

Starting Quarterback
Last year’s pick: Tate Forcier. I said he’d start every game.

I should have picked . . . Forcier. He started every game.

Leading Rusher
Last year’s pick: Brandon Minor. I said he’d end the season with about 900 yards.

I should have picked . . . Minor. Minor only had 502 yards, but he missed three full games (plus parts of several others) due to injuries.

Leading Receiver
Last year’s pick: Greg Mathews. I said he’d catch 50 balls for 650 yards.

I should have picked . . . Roy Roundtree. Mathews only caught 29 passes as the coaching staff continues to de-emphasize outside wide receivers. The leading receiver was slot receiver Roundtree, who caught 32 balls for 434 yards.

Leading Tackler
Last year’s pick: Obi Ezeh.

I should have picked . . . Steve Brown. Middle linebacker Ezeh fought through a back injury and inconsistency to finish third with 69 tackles. SAM linebacker Brown brought down 80 ballcarriers, while redshirt freshman safety Jordan Kovacs made 75 stops.

Leading Sacker
Last year’s pick: Brandon Graham. I said he’d finish at 10 sacks.

I should have picked . . . Graham. The obvious choice was obvious. Graham ended the season with 10.5 sacks, or 1/2 more of a sack than I thought. Damn half sacks!

Leading Interceptor
Last year’s pick: Donovan Warren. I said he’d snatch 3 errant passes.

I should have picked . . . Warren. He actually picked off 4 passes, so once again, I overestimated. If he had only picked off 3 like I told him to, then maybe he’d have stuck around for an extra year! Then again, that pick-off against Indiana really saved Michigan’s ass.

All-Big Ten First Team
Last year’s picks: Brandon Graham and Zoltan Mesko.

I should have picked . . . Graham, Mesko, and Donovan Warren. Graham and Mesko were voted All-Big Ten first team by the coaches. Those two plus Warren were chosen for the first team by the media. Two for three isn’t bad.

Leading Scorer (non-QB, non-kicker)
Last year’s pick: Brandon Minor.

I should have picked . . . Minor. He scored 8 rushing touchdowns (48 points). The next closest scorer was Carlos Brown with 5 touchdowns (30 points). Placekicker Jason Olesnavage scored 75 points, but kickers are almost always the leading scorers, which is why I didn’t allow myself to pick him.

Breakout Offensive Player
Last year’s pick: Junior Hemingway.

I should have picked . . . Roy Roundtree. Hemingway only caught 16 passes, while Roundtree emerged as the go-to receiver late in the season and perhaps the front-runner for the next wearer of the coveted #1 jersey.

Breakout Defensive Player
Last year’s pick: Troy Woolfolk.

I should have picked . . . Jordan Kovacs. I don’t feel bad about the Woolfolk pick. He made 46 tackles and I think he surprised a lot of people with his solid play at both deep safety and cornerback. Despite switching to cornerback halfway through the season, it seemed that opponents targeted Donovan Warren more often than Woolfolk. Still, Kovacs was a Freshman All-American, started eight games, and finished second on the team with 75 tackles.

Most Disappointing Offensive Player
Last year’s pick: Kevin Koger. I said he wouldn’t catch any more than 15 passes.

I should have picked . . . I’m not sure. Greg Mathews? Maybe Koger was the right pick. I said he’d catch 15 passes or less, and the spiteful bastard caught 16 just to piss me off. Regardless, he dropped a lot of passes in the second half of the season and got phased out of the offense a bit. It’s arguable who was the most disappointing, but I’m satisfied with my pick. I think most Michigan fans expected more production from the tight end spot.

Most Disappointing Defensive Player
Last year’s pick: Ryan Van Bergen. I said he’d end up with about 20 tackles and a couple sacks.

I should have picked . . . Obi Ezeh. Maybe Jonas Mouton. Those inside linebackers made a lot of Michigan fans sad. It might be a little harsh to put Ezeh here, since he had a bad back and everything. But it’s one of the two. Both were benched at various points, and Mouton had the same number of tackles as cornerback Donovan Warren. That’s not good. Meanwhile, Van Bergen basically doubled my predictions – he had 40 tackles and 5 sacks. Good for him.

In Summary . . .
Well, the results are a mixed bag. Out of twelve predictions, six of them were spot-on. That’s 50% (I’d like to thank my 4th grade teacher for the math skills). Technically, I guess I should get a slight deduction for only picking Graham and Mesko as All-Big Ten First Team; the coaches agreed with me, but the media added Warren. That’s 49%. But I think I should get a few points for Koger as Most Disappointing Offensive Player, as well as a slight bump for Woolfolk as Breakout Defensive Player. That puts me at right around 55%.

So . . . 55% of the time, I’m right every time. Perhaps I should not be trusted.

Go blue!

4Sep 2009
Uncategorized 8 comments

2009 Season Predictions

Here are my 2009 season predictions for Michigan’s football team.

Starting quarterback:
Tate Forcier has already been named Saturday’s starter, but I predict he’ll start every game this year . . . with a caveat. Obviously, he could get injured. But also, I can imagine an instance in which Denard Robinson may take a few snaps to start a game just to catch an opponent off guard. Robinson will get changeup snaps, but Forcier will be the “starter.”

Leading rusher:
Brandon Minor is dinged up and it’s unclear how much he’ll play on Saturday, if at all. Carlos Brown is a capable runner, but I think Minor will end the season as Michigan’s leading rusher with about 900 yards.

Leading receiver:
Because of more depth at slot receiver, which will offer Martavious Odoms a blow, I think his receptions will dwindle slightly. I expect Greg Mathews to lead the team in receptions by a slight margin, probably around 50 for 650 yards.

Leading tackler:
Obi Ezeh is a natural choice due to his position, but Jonas Mouton might make it close. I’ll stick with Ezeh as my choice but I’m more excited to see what kind of athleticism Mouton will bring to the table.

Leading sacker:
Brandon Graham should lead the team in sacks, but I’m afraid he won’t put up the numbers many Michigan fans expect. He’ll face a lot of double teams and challenge for the Michigan season record, but I think he’ll probably max out at 10 sacks.

Leading interceptor:
Donovan Warren is really the only choice here. Neither Troy Woolfolk nor Michael Williams, the two safeties, has an interception in his career. Boubacar Cissoko is also interceptionless, albeit in limited playing time as a freshman. Warren is the leading thief in the defensive backfield with two career INTs. I’ll guess he picks off three in 2009.

All Big Ten 1st Team:
Zoltan Mesko should be the best punter in the Big Ten. Graham won’t have the overwhelming season many predict, but he will be very good. If Minor were healthy, I might choose him over John Clay. But since it looks like he’ll be missing some time with bumps and bruises again, I’ll leave him off this list.

Leading scorer (non-QB, non-kicker):
Brandon Minor.

Breakout offensive player:
Junior Hemingway, by virtue of being healthy for the first time, should be the breakout player on offense. Neither starting outside wide receiver has oodles of speed, but Hemingway has the size and athleticism to make some tough catches.

Breakout defensive player:
I think Troy Woolfolk is going to be good. Very good. He’s got great speed, and on top of that, he’s a solid special teamer, which bodes well for his prospects at the strong safety position.

Most disappointing offensive player:
I think Kevin Koger will disappoint a lot of fans. I don’t think he’ll be a bad player, but he won’t see the level of involvement that many Michigan fans expect. Michigan’s coaches have visited ways to involve the tight end more, but WVU’s tight end history combined with a freshman quarterback behind center will prevent Koger from getting many balls thrown his way. He’ll be involved in different formations and blocking schemes, but I doubt he’ll pull in more than 15 catches.

Most disappointing defensive player:
Ryan Van Bergen has been overhyped. He’s a high-motor guy who might occupy blockers and force a few pile-ups, but he’s not a kid who’s going to make a ton of plays or rack up jaw-dropping statistics. Again, I don’t think he’ll be a bad player, but don’t be surprised if you see him end the season with 20 tackles and only one or two sacks.

Sept. 5 vs. Western Michigan: WIN. Michigan won’t drop another one to a MAC opponent.
Sept. 12 vs. Notre Dame: LOSS. This might be a shootout. Notre Dame has a lot of talent that’s maturing. Unfortunately, I think Jimmy Clausen might pick apart our inexperienced defense.
Sept. 19 vs. Eastern Michigan: WIN. Eastern has a new head coach and not much talent.
Sept. 26 vs. Indiana: WIN. Indiana isn’t very good.
Oct. 3 at Michigan State: WIN. Michigan will come back with a vengeance this year. MSU has a very good linebacker in Greg Jones, but they won’t be able to stop Michigan’s running game.
Oct. 10 at Iowa: LOSS. Iowa plays tough defense and I think they’ll give Michigan’s offense fits. This might be the most frustrating loss of the season, because Iowa lacks talent but is well coached by Kirk Ferentz.
Oct. 17 vs. Delaware State: WIN.
Oct. 24 vs. Penn State: WIN. I don’t think Penn State will be as good as many of the experts think. They’re thin at defensive end, lost their starting MIKE to injury, and they lost a ton on offense. This will be Michigan’s upset victory of the year.
Oct. 31 at Illinois: LOSS. Illinois knows how to defend the spread option, and Juice Williams to Arrelious Benn will be a great combination.
Nov. 7 vs. Purdue: WIN. Purdue will not be very good this year. Michigan probably would have won that game last year if Rodriguez didn’t make the bad decision to switch to the 3-3-5 stack.
Nov. 14 at Wisconsin: LOSS. Wisconsin plays tough at home.
Nov. 21 vs. Ohio State: LOSS. Unfortunately. Grrr.
Final record: 7-5
18Aug 2009
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2009 Predictions

In this space will be any predictions for the 2009 season from various national publications (sorry, but your Uncle Leon’s predictions don’t count…unless he writes for Sports Illustrated). Therefore, we as Michigan fans can keep track of whether anybody knows anything about Michigan football or not.

Big Ten Network (Dave Revsine and Gerry DiNardo): 6-6 overall (Ivan Maisel): Zoltan Mesko is Pre-Season All-America punter (Mark Schlabach and Bruce Feldman): Schlabach predicts a Champs Sports Bowl vs. North Carolina. Feldman predicts a Bowl vs. Cincinnati. 5-7 record, 9th in conference

Sports Illustrated: #53 in the country

The Sporting News: #38 in the country (Beware: He predicts that Dorrestein and Ferrara will anchor the line, so he doesn’t know anything.)