Posted: 7/19/2012 4:47:42 PM
Originally Posted by Boom_Boom:
Jimmy you and I have always seemed to be on the same page about most things. But Michigan not finding the endzone is ludicrous. Is Alabama very good? Of course they are....there depth is amazing right now. We both know that recruiting goes hand in hand in college football and none do it better then Saban....but I just cant entertain the idea of this game being a blowout. I really feel as tho getting Alabama early like this plays right into the hands of Michigan. Doesn't mean Michigan will win.....but what it does mean is the game IMO will be much closer then most think. I see this as a 4 quarter game.........just my opinion.
You're overthinking it. As I have said before, this game (in terms of Michigan's offense vs. Alabama's defense) is almost identical to the national championship game, except Mighigan is not nearly as talented as LSU. Everything I said about the national championship game applies to this game as well.
All of Alabama's defensive players that will start in this game (except maybe 1 CB) spent 45 days preparing for LSU's offense, and all played significant snaps in that game. They will spend another week or two this fall preparing to face another one-dimensional offense that is very similar to the one they just shutout.
Let's start at the begining. Will Michigan be able to consistently run the ball against Alabama. LSU couldn't do it, and they are far more powerful at the point of attack than Michigan. Granted Alabama does lose some beef with Hightower and Upshaw subtracted fron their defensive front 7. The linebackers that will fill their shoes will not be as big and beefy as Hightower and Upshaw, but will be faster and more athletic. There really isn't probably a team in the country that can run against Alabama's NFL-like front 7, and Michigan certainly won't be an exception.
I repeatedly hammered home the point that for LSU to have any chance to beat Alabama in the national championship game, Jordan Jeffereson would have to be able to make plays downfield in the passing game. I said if he couldn't (and my opinion was that he couldn't), then it's basically lights out for LSU. I went on to opine that the only shot that LSU had of scoring a touchdown in the game would be by some sort of a long 30 yards plus type of play, or a non-offensive TD. I went on to say that I would not be shocked if LSU were shutout.
Now everything I just said about LSU is 100% relevant to this game. Like LSU Michigan won't be able to run the ball (and that includes DR). So then what are they left with??? You guessed it. Michigan's entire offensive output relying on DR to make plays in the passing game.
That's not going to happen for two reasons. First, Alabama's front 7 versus Michigans o-line is a mismatch. Yes, Michigan's o-line has some pretty stout bookends, but the are soft in the middle. Second, Michigan's WRs versus Alabama seconday is also a mismatch in favor of Alabama. I think Michigan's best chance to move the ball will be to work their backs and tight ends against the linebackers (kind of like what Alabama did against LSU) although I think they'll have minimal success doing that too.
Al Borges is a script guy. That means Michigan's first 15 (or so) will be scripted. I have tremondous respect for Borges. In fact I was rooting for him to get Alabama's vacant OC position. I think those first 15 (or so) scripted plays will be key for Michigan. If Michigan's offense does score a TD in this game, I think it'll be during this scripted portion of their game plan.
As we all know, anything can happen in a football game. Could DR break a long run for a TD??? Sure he could. Could DR hit a long pass play??? Absolutely. Can Michigan's offense start with a short field a time or two??? Sure they can. Can they score a non-offense TD. The answer is yes. Yes, all of these things are possible, but none a probably, and betting is all about probability. Even if one of these things were to occur, I don't think it'll be nearly enough to keep them competitive in this game.
The bottom line is if Michigan can't score TDs, and I don't think they can, the chances are overwhelming that this game won't be close. I think the best shot Michigan has of covering this game is for them to get a Herculean-type performace out of thier defense and hold Alabama to 24 or less points. If that happens Michigan may have a chance to keep the game within 2 TDs. I, however, think Alabama will flirt with the 40-point mark in this game which will kill any chance for a Michigan cover.
If the line stays under 2 TDs, this is the easist bet on the board in week 1.