Michigan football heads into a game this weekend in territory they have not fared well in as an underdog in the Jim Harbaugh era in a building that will be rocking in a night game atmosphere. Knowing what we do about the Wolverines and Penn State after Week 7, ESPN’s computers have updated the Football Power Index numbers heading into the upcoming weekend.
Michigan is now projected to finish the season with a record of 8-4 (8.0-4.1, technically) and their odds of winning in Happy Valley have dipped a bit, as they head into the game as 8-point underdogs.
Here’s ESPN’s updated FPI predictions:
at Penn State: 21.4% chance of victory
vs. Notre Dame: 37.7% chance of victory
at Maryland: 78.2% chance of victory
vs. Michigan State: 68.5% chance of victory
at Indiana: 71.5% chance of victory
vs. Ohio State: 18.2% chance of victory
There are a few takeaways here. The last few weeks, the chances of winning in Happy Valley have gone down, while the Notre Dame game at home has trended upward. This seems to support the idea that Penn State is better than expected, while Notre Dame may not be as tall a task as previously thought (duh). FPI still feels good about a good three more wins left on the schedule, but once again, Michigan is going to have to flip the script in a pretty big way to win any of those games where the odds are stacked against them.
Things are starting to get ugly in East Lansing
This is a Michigan blog and outlet, yes. However, today’s Brews feature a bit of perspective as to just how much worse it can be than some of the problems that the Wolverines are dealing with right now.
Jim Harbaugh might be questioned as to what the direction of his program is, and perhaps this time next week we are having a different conversation, but the bottom has darn near completely fallen out up the road at Michigan State for Mark Dantonio, who told a reporter he had a “dumb-ass question” after asking if he regretted not making offensive changes this offseason.
One of the Spartans’ best players, defensive tackle Naquan Jones, resorted to calling out the fans for criticizing their play after a 38-0 drubbing at Wisconsin.
“I don’t understand why these fake ass “Spartan Nation” fans always have so much to say..Unless you’re strapping up pads to play alongside me you should keep your comments to yourself,” Jones posted to Twitter. “We work everyday to get criticized by people I bet haven’t even played 1 snap of football.”
Former Spartans are even speaking up or poking fun at the state of the program.
Objectively, this feels like the beginning of the end for Dantonio at MSU. Whether or not his fate is sealed, they will be ready to win a football game in Ann Arbor on Nov. 16 as a potential last hurrah for Dantonio there. If this is truly it, Harbaugh and company will have to win the rubber match, especially if that’s all they have to play for by then.
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