Alabama loss will help Wolverines in December
Although the game seemed one sided, Michigan will be thanking the Tide later.
BY RICKY LINDSAY, Staff Writer
The fourth annual Cowboy’s Classic looked one sided all night, with the Alabama Crimson Tide dominating the Michigan Wolverines in almost every way possible. However, even with the loss to start the season, the Wolverines will be thanking the Tide for tonight’s game.
Of all the B1G Ten teams, Michigan was the only one that scheduled an out of conference game with a team from the SEC. As many remember, Alabama came into this game as the defending National Champions. Alabama also looked much deeper Saturday night than they did in 2011, and they were spectacular last season.
Michigan State was the only team in the B1G Ten other than the Wolverines to schedule an out of conference game with an opponent ranked in the Associated Press’ Top 25. That matchup was against Boise State, the former BCS buster.
The Spartans’ win against the Broncos shouldn’t be considered impressive, even if it was over an AP Top 25 team. Boise State is starting a new era without Kellen Moore, the only reason the Broncos were ranked for their matchup in East Lansing.
Last season, Michigan played two out of conference games against teams in the Mid American Conference (MAC). This season, Michigan scheduled no games against MAC opponents, while Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State, and Purdue all have at least one game against a MAC opponent.
Conference schedules’ of B1G Ten teams affect Michigan. In the BCS era, there is a method of selecting bowl teams and placing them in the AP rankings. This is the strength of schedule method, in which games against top teams, including losses, help you when the bowl season comes around.
Scheduling the defending National Champion instead of scheduling easy win games will help the Wolverines when bowl selections are handed out. It also helps the Wolverines grow as players, as a team, and as a threat in the B1G Ten.
To be the best, they have to play the best, and even if it’s a crushing loss, the experience they gain from it is the only thing that matters going forward.