Right before the Cincinnati game, I conducted a little football survey. Thank you very much for everyone who shared his wisdom. I think it is now a good time to share the result.
Among 23 valid entries, collectively, we were pretty much dead wrong in just about everything.
1. None of us gets the leading WR (so far) is Mikesky (actually, Hunt leads the team in receiving yards, but he is not a WR).
2. Eleven guess Dawkins will be the best RB behind Hunt and Cottom, but nine also guessed Mostert, who has yet to have a rush attempt.
3. The thought was that we would be a balanced team, averaging 104 passing yards per 100 rushing yards. The most extreme was 140 passing / 100 rushing. Guess what, we pass for 702 yards and rush 282 (or 249 passing yards per 100 rushing). I guess "Basketball on Grass" is back. /sarcasm
4. The thought was that we'll be 6.6th in the B1G in terms of yards gained. Thus far, we are 12th, dead last, averaging less than HALF of what Wisky, IU (!), O$U, or Nebraska has in yards per game.
5. 78% of folks think that Henry will start more than 10 games. Granted, we don't know yet if he will. Judging from all the harsh criticism on Henry the last several days though, this fact really stands out and is worth repeating: 78% of us (myself included) believed Henry can and will start 10 games. If I ask the same question now, I'll be surprised if I get more than 30%. Everything is obvious - after the fact. We can't blame it on "we've watched Henry for 4 years and we *ALWAYS* know he can't play QB."
6. Similarly, 76% of folks believe Etling will redshirt. My guess is that now 76% of folks are saying Etling should play the next game.
7. In terms of yards allowed, the thought was 6.6th. We are #8.
8. In terms of number of wins, the average is 5.7. It's too early to tell, but we need to go 5-3 to live up to it.
I get the frustration and anger. We are playing grossly under expectation. Many cite "be prepared and being competitive in every game, no blow outs, no idiotic mistakes by players or coaches" as the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM, and we already have two blow outs and just barely sneak by a D2 team.
I guess the lessons are:
1) We are usually grossly optimistic and are just terrible predicting the future (which as physicist Bohr said, "Prediction is difficult, especially about the future"). Everything is obvious but only after the fact. Always a good reminder to be a bit more humble.
2) Keep expectation low. One reason we felt good after the Notre Dame game (despite losing a 4th-qtr lead) was that the expectation was soooooooo low coming into the game. One reason we felt so shitty right now is that the expectation was soooooooo high to begin with.
3) What's wrong with our rushing offense? 27.5 rush-attempt per game, 2.56 yards per carry, 70.5 rushing yards per game are all dead last in the B1G, and dead last by a mile. (At least we aren't dead last in yards per attempt on our throws - MSU is. Hmmm, basketball on grass ...)
4) Keep supporting our coaches and players despite our frustration. This is the time they need our support the most, much more so than if we are 4-0.