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Michigan's Record Against Ranked Teams Since 2010

+18 HS
Matt Gutridge's picture
July 12, 2020 at 11:00pm
75 Comments
The Khaki Train...All Aboard...Or Not

MaineStrength had this comment/question in today's Digging Deeper piece:

This makes UM look pretty bad, but it's not surprising for a few main reasons.  One, that encompasses three different coaching staffs, one of which was the worst in UM's history (RR).  Two, much of what this comes down to is UM's performance against OSU and in bowl games, which has been poor.  They are a combined 3-16 vs OSU and in bowls.  But, they have typically been ranked worse than OSU and worse than who they get in a bowl game. 

I don't really have a problem with losing to teams ranked ahead of them.  I'd be curious to know how they performed against teams that were ranked, but ranked worse.  I'd guess it's a winning record.  UM was clearly terrible under RR and Hoke for all but 2011, but they are also clearly good under JH.  They are really good at beating teams they are better than and just simply don't have the offensive or defensive game plans to overcome teams that are better than them, particularly when playing outside of AA.  We'll see if Gattis can change that and/or if Brown can diversify his system to be better at stopping the better offensive teams that so far he has not been able to do the past few years.

As much as I don't want to dive into the cesspool of Michigan stats and history, let's oblige MaineStrength and his request. Hide the women and children you care about, because this shit is about to get ugly. 

Michigan Against Teams With A Better Ranking
SEASON OPPONENT UM RANK WIN LOSS W% COACH
2010 No. 17 Michigan State No. 18   1 .000 RICH ROD
2010 No. 15 Iowa NR   1 .000 RICH ROD
2010 No. 6 Wisconsin NR   1 .000 RICH ROD
2010 No. 8 Ohio State NR   1 .000 RICH ROD
2010 No. 21 Mississippi State NR   1 .000 RICH ROD
2011 No. 16 Nebraska No. 20 1   .167 HOKE
2011 No. 11 Virginia Tech No. 13 1   .286 HOKE
2012 No. 2 Alabama No. 8   1 .250 HOKE
2012 No. 11 Notre Dame No. 18   1 .222 HOKE
2012 No. 24 Northwestern NR 1   .300 HOKE
2012 No. 4 Ohio State No. 20   1 .273 HOKE
2012 No. 11 South Carolina No. 19   1 .250 HOKE
2013 No. 14 Notre Dame No. 17 1   .308 HOKE
2013 No. 3 Ohio State NR   1 .286 HOKE
2014 No. 16 Notre Dame NR   1 .267 HOKE
2014 No. 8 Michigan State NR   1 .250 HOKE
2014 No. 7 Ohio State NR   1 .235 HOKE
2015 No. 22 BYU NR 1   .278 JIMMY
2015 No. 13 Northwestern No. 18 1   .316 JIMMY
2015 No. 7 Michigan State No. 12   1 .300 JIMMY
2015 No. 8 Ohio State No. 12   1 .286 JIMMY
2015 No. 2 Ohio State No. 3   1 .273 JIMMY
2017 No. 2 Penn State No. 19   1 .261 JIMMY
2017 No. 5 Wisconsin No. 24   1 .250 JIMMY
2017 No. 8 Ohio State NR   1 .240 JIMMY
2018 No. 12 Notre Dame No. 14   1 .231 JIMMY
2019 No. 14 Iowa No. 19 1   .259 JIMMY
2019 No. 7 Penn State No. 16   1 .250 JIMMY
2019 No. 8 Notre Dame No. 19 1   .276 JIMMY
2019 No. 1 Ohio State No. 13   1 .267 JIMMY
2019 No. 13 Alabama No. 14   1 .258 JIMMY
    RICHIE 0 5 .000  
    HOKE  4 8 .333  
    JIMMY 4 10 .286  
    TOTAL 8 23 .258  

Michigan Facing Better Teams Notes

  • Rich Rod ended his final season in Ann Arbor by losing five-straight to teams with a better ranking.
  • Hoke won his first two games against teams with a better ranking. Then he lost 8 of the next 10.
  • Like Hoke, Harbaugh won consecutive games against higher ranked teams to start his career in Ann Arbor.
  • After his consecutive wins, Captain Khaki lost seven-straight and 10 of the last 12 to teams with a better ranking than his boys in Maize and Blue.
  • Of the Wolverines' three coaches during the past decade, Hoke has the best winning percentage (.333) against teams with a better ranking. 
  • Harbaugh has the same amount of wins (4) as Hoke, but has played 14 opponents compared to Hoke's 12.
  • When both teams are ranked, Michigan is 6-14 (.300).

How Did Ohio State Fare Against Higher Ranked Teams?
If you're wondering, Ohio State was 8-4 (.667) when facing teams with a better ranking. Three of the losses occurred in 2011 with Luke Fickell, ahem, leading the way with unranked teams. 

Another way to look at it is when Ohio State was ranked and playing against a team with the better ranking, the Buckeyes were 8-1 (.889). The loss was to Clemson in 2016. Either way, .667 or .889 are a hell of a lot better than Michigan's .258.

Our Rival?
Michigan Against Lower Ranked Teams
SEASON OPPONENT UM RANK WIN LOSS W% COACH
2011 No. 21 Michigan State No. 11   1 .000 HOKE
2013 No. 24 Michigan State No. 23   1 .000 HOKE
2015 No. 19 Florida No. 17 1   .333 JIMMY
2016 No. 8 Wisconsin No. 4 1   .500 JIMMY
2016 No. 10 Florida State No. 6   1 .400 JIMMY
2017 No. 17 Florida No. 11 1   .500 JIMMY
2018 No. 15 Wisconsin No. 12 1   .571 JIMMY
2018 No. 24 Michigan State No. 6 1   .625 JIMMY
2018 No. 14 Penn State No. 5 1   .667 JIMMY
2018 No. 10 Ohio State No. 4   1 .600 JIMMY
2018 No. 10 Florida No. 8   1 .545 JIMMY
2019 No. 13 Wisconsin No. 11   1 .500 JIMMY
    HOKE 0 2 .000  
    JIMMY 6 4 .600  
    TOTAL 6 6 .500  

Michigan Facing Lower Ranked Teams Notes

  • Hoke faced two lower ranked opponents and lost to both.
  • Amazing that Hoke only faced two ranked teams that were lower than his Wolverine teams. That speaks volumes.
  • Harbaugh is two games above .500 against lower ranked teams.
  • Captain Khaki has a three-game losing streak against lower ranked opponents.

When Michigan was the lower ranked team, their winning percentage was .258. When the Wolverines were the higher ranked team the result was a coin flip (.500).

Ohio State Facing Lower Ranked Teams?
The Buckeyes faced 34 opponents with lower rankings and won 28 of those contests. That's a winning percentage of 82.4%. Between November 11, 2017 and December 7, 2019, Ohio State won 12 consecutive games against lower ranked teams. 

Just to refresh, Michigan faced 12 ranked opponents with lower rankings during the 2010s and won six of those contests (.500). Ohio State had this same scenario 34 times and won 28 games (.824).  

In the end, Michigan had a losing record when facing ranked teams during the 2010s and finished the decade 14-29 (.326). Ohio State finished 37-10 (.787)...or 23 more wins and 19 less losses.

Comparing The Coaches Against All Ranked Teams
COACH WINS LOSSES W%   COACH WINS LOSSES W%
RYAN DAY 6 1 .857   JIMMY 10 14 .417
URBAN MEYER 25 5 .833   HOKE 4 10 .400
JIM TRESSEL 4 1 .800   RICH ROD 0 5 .000
LUKE FICKELL 2 3 .400          
TOTAL 37 10 .787   TOTAL 14 29 .326

*If needed, we can break this down by when facing a ranked opponent with a higher or lower ranking. Not sure that's necessary, but we can go there.

This is a forum post from a site member. It does not represent the views of Eleven Warriors unless otherwise noted.

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