They can be used to help you set goals. They can also lead to disappointment.
Over the summer, no Michigan fan could have expected much better than an 8-4 season. But after a 4-0 start, many were secretly having BCS dreams.
After losing 26-20 in overtime to Michigan State on Saturday, the undefeated season is out the window, and suddenly Michigan is a middle-of-the-pack Big Ten team, at least in the standings.
But where will the Wolverines end up?
Well, the pessimistic preseason prediction of 6-6 had to be altered after the Notre Dame win. Of Michigan’s remaining seven games, they’ll probably be underdogs in four of them, heavily favored in two of them, and a small favorite in the other.
Purdue and certainly 1-AA Delaware State should be easy wins at home. Michigan gets Penn State and Ohio State at the Big House but both teams are better than the Wolverines this year. I’m still not completely sold on Iowa, although a night game at Kinnick certainly favors the Hawkeyes. That leaves road games at Illinois and Wisconsin, both winnable.
Illinois looks terrible right now and Ron Zook seems to be panicking. Wisconsin is undefeated but faces arguably its two toughest opponents of the season in the upcoming weeks (at Ohio State, vs Iowa). The Illini and Badgers are two teams that we’ll all know a lot more about when it comes time for Michigan to face them.
The point is, although we’re still not at the halfway point of the season, it’s looking like Michigan, record-wise, will finish about where many fans thought they would. And that’s a good thing. The key for the fan base is not to be disappointed with an 8-4 or even 7-5 record.
Remember, it’s a long climb from 3-9. The 4-0 start was great, but it didn’t call for a complete adjustment of preseason expectations.