Better Know a B1G: Adv. Stat Comparison Michigan Wolverines


This is the next in the series comparing some statistical rankings between BigTen opponents and UW. This week’s comparison is with the Michigan Wolverines. You can find the comparisons with Indiana here, Illinois here, Iowa here, and Maryland here.

Composite Ranking Comparison

Let’s start first by looking at the final ranking in the Massey Composite (https://masseyratings.com/ranks) over the last 9 years.

These two teams have had a somewhat similar path over the last 9 years which, of course, culminated in them meeting for the national championship just a few months ago. Michigan has spent more time as a top-25 team over this time period, whereas UW has been more up-and-down.

SRS

You can see this also in the Simple Rating System, SRS, (https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/years/2023-ratings.html) tries to rate and rank teams, not just in a season, but across seasons.

Again, the results look somewhat similar. The difference appears to be that Michigan ‘bottomed out’ earlier and has been improving since. Whether UW will continue to improve like Michigan has will, of course, depend on how Coach Fisch can rebuild. And, it should be noted that Michigan will be in a bit of a rebuilt as well with a new head coach and with losing 13 players to the NFL draft.

F+

Here’s a look at the F+ ratings for both teams. As a reminder, F+ is a combination of two advanced stats: FEI and SP+. This should be representative of most of the advanced stats.

This graph is also similar to the one above-showing significant improvement since the 2020 season.

Talent Comparison

Here is the talent comparison using the average rating by 247Sports for all of the scholarship players. (https://247sports.com/Season/2023-Football/CollegeTeamTalentComposite/)

Michigan is the first team in this series that has had a distinct talent advantage over UW; and they have maintained it over the whole time. That shouldn’t be surprising given that Michigan has historically been considered one of the ‘blue bloods’ in college football.

The other note is that, as we saw above, UW has performed at a similar level for most of the past 9 seasons despite the talent deficit. Of course, one could argue that Michigan’s talent advantage was at least partially the reason they beat UW in the National Championship game as well as finishing higher in most of the last 9 seasons.

Final Thoughts

With a new head coach, we won’t know if Michigan will be able to sustain the success they’ve had over the last 3 seasons. And while they did lose a lot of talent off of their championship team, they did not lose nearly as much as UW did and should still have a solid team when they come to Husky Stadium on October 5th. Fortunately for UW, it is a home game and UW will have an extra day since the previous weekend they play (Rutgers) on a Friday. Plus, they will have had 5 games to get the offensive and defensive schemes polished. But, it still won’t be easy.



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