This is a message I recieved from an unnamed person over the Internet two weeks before the season opener against Utah. I had told him not to expect much out of this season, and that Michigan State could very likely beat Michigan at the Big House for the first time since the (Insert hilarious choice of past leader) administration.
"let me lay it out for you. here's why the Wolverines will beat the Spartans by 21 points in 2008:
1. Michigan state never has an answer for Michigans runningame, and 2008 will be no different, as the Spartans lose all their good players on defense (except for Otis Wiley), and as Michigan has Brown and Minor, among others, to pound the ball down MSU's throats for 250 yards.
2. Michigan always wins by at least two TD's at the Big House against MSU.
3. Michigan states secondary always gets burned by Michigans wide receivers (read: Marquis Walker, Braylon Edwards, Jason Avant, Mario Manningham), and in 2008, its Mathews and TE Butlers turn to make a joke out of the Spartans laughable secondary.
4. Brian Hoyer is still MSU's QB. Nough said
5. All MSU has on offense is Ringer, and Michigans defense can just stuff the box with 8 guys and stop or contain Ringer.
For these 5 reasons, Michigan will beat MSU by 3 TD's.
Now. let me explain what Michigan has on offense for 2008:
-Steven Threet: He is a transfer from Georgia Tech. He can’t run, and he will only be a redshirt freshmen. But, he has a lot of raw talent. He has a cannon of an arm, has great size at 6’6, 228, was a 4 star prospect coming out of high school, and was rated as the 9th best QB in the nation from the class of 2007. He has the heads up on the starting job going into summer camp. Running RR’s offense, Threet has a chance to be the next Shaun King (who was the pocket passing QB at Tulane in 1998 when RR was the o-coordinator, and when Tulane went 12-0)
-Justin Feagin: In a sentence, Feagin is the poor mans Terrell Pryor. He will only be a true freshmen, and he is only a 3 star prospect. However, he IS an electrifying athlete, and he has a pretty good arm.
When RR wants to run the zone read or triple option (his bread and butter plays) he can bring in Feagin as a substitute, just like Tebow was bought in Florida for 2006, and Perriloux was bought in for LSU in 2007. If Feagin ends up being the starter, he could be the next Pat White. Either way, as a substitute or a starter, Feagin should be an asset.
-Carlos Brown: Brown is Michigan’s best athlete at the tailback position, and is even a better athlete then Mike Hart. Blessed with blazing speed and agility, Brown was a 4 star prospect coming out of high school and was rated as the 5th best running back in the nation from the class of 2006. After hardly playing at all as a true freshmen in 2006, Brown was much improved as true sophomore in 2007. As the featured substitute for Hart, Brown carried the ball 75 times for 382 yards (averaging 5.1 YPC), scored 4 TD’s on the ground, and he ran for 100 yards twice when Hart was hurt (one of those times was against Illinois on the road). As a junior in 2008, Brown has the best chance of being the featured TB in RR’s offense, and he should explode for 1500 yards and 15 TD’s.
-Brandon Minor: Just like Brown, Minor is blessed with raw talent. He is more of a power back, but he has very nice straight-line speed, and he was also a 4 star prospect coming out of high school. Minor has been a regular substitute at TB for the last two seasons, gaining 42 carries for 238 yards (5.7 YPC) in 2006, and 90 carries for 385 yards in 2007. He has two career 100-yard games under his belt. As a junior in 2008, Minor should have another solid season as the main substitute at TB, and if he starts, he should break loose for 1200 yards and 10 TD’s.
-Kevin Grady: He was the nations number 1 rated TB and a 5 star prospect coming out of high school in 2005. He hasn’t lived up to the hype so far, but considering he’s had running backs like Hart, Brown, Minor, and Jerome Jackson in front of him, you can’t say its all Grady’s fault that he hasn’t lived up to his potential. Grady blew out his knee in the spring of 2007, missing all of last season. He will be a redshirt junior in 2008, and now that’s he’s made a full recovery, he will be an effective substitute yet again for the Wolverines, and he has a good chance to be the starter. As a true freshmen in 2005, Grady started several games when Hart was hurt and had 121 carries for 483 yards and 5 TD’s, along with 14 catches for 113 yards receiving. And as a true sophomore in 2006, he had 55 carries for 187 yards and 3 TD’s
-Sam McGuffie. He will only be a true freshmen, but he has amazing speed, not to mention Barry Sanders like moves.
-Greg Mathews: a 4 star prospect with 4.3 speed coming out of high school, Mathews has seen extended playing time in each of the last two years. As the fourth receiver as a true freshmen in 2006, he only had 7 catches for 68 yards, but then when Steve Breaston graduated, Mathews was moved to the 3rd receiver as a true sophomore in 2007, and his numbers spiked to 39 catches for 366 yards and 3 TD’s. Technically speaking, he is a returning starter, and as the primary receiver as a junior in 2008, Mathews should be the next great product of WR University
-Junior Hemingway: He is a 6’1, 214 pound possession receiver, but he runs a 4.4 40, so he can get open on deep balls. He had a measly 4 catches for 37 yards last season as a true freshmen, but that was as the 4th receiver. As the starter opposite Mathews, Hemingway should see his numbers spike as a true sophomore in 2008, just like Mathews numbers spiked last season.
-Toney Clemons: Just like Hemingway, Clemons is a possession receiver at 6’3, 201. The cousin of Terrell Pryor, and a 4 star prospect from the class of 2007 who has been compared to David Terrell by Lloyd Carr’s previous coaching staff (source: Oakland Press), Clemons will be Michigan’s 3rd receiver as a true sophomore in 2008, and just like every other one of Michigan’s third receivers, Clemons should put up solid numbers and be a big asset in 2008 after only having 1 paltry catch for 5 yards in mop up duty last season
-Carson Butler: a returning starter at tightend, Butler will be a junior in 2008, and according to rivals.com, Michigan great Jim Mandich predicts that Butler will have a monster season in RR’s spread offense. As a substitute as a redshirt freshmen in 2006, Butler had 19 catches for 166 yards and a TD, then as a starter as a redshirt sophomore last season, Butler had 20 catches for 246 yards and 2 TD’s. He has great size at 6’5 250, but has he proved with his 65-yard catch against Florida and his 16-yard run against Wisconsin, he can really move for his size. I’m with mandich on this one: Butler will have a monster season in 2008, and along with Mathews, he will more then make up for the loss of Manningham and Arrington
LT=Stephen Schilling, redshirt sophomore(returning starter at RT who's moving over to LT to replace Jake long. he's a former 5 star prospect)
LG=Tim McAvoy, redshirt junior (saw some decent playing time last year when Alex Mitchell was injured)
C=David Moosman, redshirt junior(former 4 star prospect who finally has a chance to shine)
RG=Cory Zirbel, redshirt junior (just like moosman, he's a former 4 star prospect wh finally has a chance to shine)
RT=Mark Orttman, redshirt junior (he say some nice playing time last year when schilling was banged up)
three of our 5 starters on the o-line DO have experience. The other two projected starters-Zirbel and Moosman-have plenty of raw talent, as they were former 4 star prospects, and technically they are redshirt juniors, so nobody can liken them to freshmen despite their lack of game experience. Those guys have watched and learned from the sidelines for 3 years. I think they've picked up plenty of hints on how to be successful.Plus, under R's coaching, I really am not worried about them. Heck, i'm not worried about the O-line period. People make it sound like our o-line is a bunch of freshmen with no talent, and nothnig could be further from the truth
As for their defense, they have 7 of 11 starters returning overall from a unit that was ranked 24th in the nation in total defense. They return 2 three-year starters in DT Terrance Taylor and CB Morgan Trent; all four starters on the defensive line (including two DE's that combined for 14 sacks in Brandon Graham and Tim Jamison); a dominant middle linebacker in Obi Ezeh; and two shutdown cornerbacks in Trent and Donovan Warren. Defense wins championships, and Michigans defense is gonig to be arguably the best in the Big Ten in 2008, and one of the best in the nation
I think Michigan is going to go 11-2, win the Big Ten outright, and beat Ohio State for the first time since 2003"
Yes, he was serious. After the Notre Dame game, however, I recieved a new message in my mailbox.
"Michigan is the worst team in college football right now. Their offense is non-existent, and when it DOES get some decent yardage (like it did today with 388 total yards) it turns the ball over 6 times. Our defense is trash to. 0 sacks against a team that gave up 58 sacks last season. Obi Ezeh has disappeared the last two games. The entire secondary is pathetic. Morgan Trent? Trash. Donovan Warren? Trash. Stevie Brown? Trash. Brandon Harrison? One game wonder.....trash. Our DE's are trash to. Tim Jamison has the biggest mouth ever, and he never backs it up. Ditto Terrance Taylor (apparently losing all that weight hurt him instead of helping him. he was much more explosive lasts season). Brandon graham was impressive last season but this year he’s been a colossal bust. Will Johnson is the only player on defense who's lived up to the hype thus far. Our offense and defense are trash. Our special teams are trash as well. No punt return and kick return unit, and terrible return coverage. Thank god we have lopata and mesko
All that talent laid to waste....what a -expletive-ing shame. RR should be fired right now. Growing pains is one thing, but this is not growing pains. This is a -expletive-ing disaster. Michigan will get crushed in each of their remaining games save Toledo, and they might not win that game either. a 1-11 season is quite realistic. in case you haven’t noticed, Minnesota and Northwestern are much-improved teams. the wildcats will run up 600 total yards in a 45-10 route against us, and Minnesota will notch a solid victory against us as well. the Toledo game will be an overtime toss up. And don't tell me to 'wait" for RR to develop his team. That’s what Bill Callahan tried to tell Nebraska fans and look where that got the Cornhuskers. Michigan is going down the exact same road as the Cornhuskers, and they better fire RR right now that way they get off that road.
they need to do what’s worked for 40 years now: go in house. Michigan will never bee a powerhouse again. That was probably confirmed with the loss to App State. But at least when we hire "in house" and go with a Bo schembechler product (like mike Debord or ideally Les Miles) then Michigan can still win at least 8 games every year and make it to a Bowl game (and forget about Ohio State, the buckeyes will own us until tressell retires. Its about time Michigan stops focusing on trying to get to Ohio states level. It’s no longer realistic anymore. the Buckeyes permenently own Michigan). And if we go in house, then at least we'll have a 1997 or 1999 every once in awhile. But under a new coach like RR, we'll be nothing more then a horrible 3-9 team.
RR is trash. his offense is trash. His cultural mentality is trash. and his assistants are trash (Calvin Magee is such a fat -expletive-). I’d transfer if I was Sam Mcguffie,. there's ain;t no hope at Michigan. No wonder Newsome decommited. Forcier and Beaver will probably decommit by February as well."
What's the deal with this polar opposite expectation swap? Have some faith in your team. It makes me sick to see this kind of thing, yet it's increasingly the prevalant attitude of UM fans. Yeah, I hate the Walmart Wolverines, but this kind of thing is ridiculous. Stand by your team, even if you just adopted them so you could brag to your neighbors who attended MSU.
It's been what? Five games for UM? Did you expect to go to a championship in RR's first year, like this poor sucker? Give him some time, he's a good coach. He needs players suited to the spread, and he'll bring you back to Big Ten prominence.