somehow we're only 124th
While all the focus is on which man will take over the Michigan Football program, I am inclined to take just an extra moment to reflect on the recently dismissed Brady Hoke. Usually during struggles the fan base turns on a coach to the point that they celebrate his firing. This was not the usual situation. Almost everyone who has truly supported and cared about Michigan Football for any length of time was not celebratory in the least bit when Hoke was let go. Almost all agreed, however, that it was a move that was necessary for a program that is on a downward trend. Where will Brady Hoke reside in Michigan Football history? This question has nagged me; and while it is still much too early to tell, I would like to believe he will be viewed much in the same light as Bump Elliott. The similarities are striking between two Michigan coaches whose years with the school did not end the way they wanted.... read more: http://uofmdiehards.com/2014/12/12/bump-elliott-brady-hoke-and-the-next-bo/
Back in May, I did a position group comparison of OSU and UM saying which had more talent. Now that the season is over, I thought I'd do a revisit. I want to clarify, though, with teams that have recruited as well as OSU and UM have, evaluating and developing that talent is the difference in the end. I am not trying to be a troll, rather trying to get real discussion on the different paths of these rosters and how Michigan can/can't bounce back next year. I'd also like UM fans' thoughts on how we project.
QB = OSU>UM (I honestly don't feel this needs any justification.)
RB = OSU>UM (Elliott is an outstanding all around back. He is the complete package of speed, vision, power, and receiving. He has also turned out to be one of the best blocking RB's in the country. Glad he's only a sophomore. His backups are Samuel, who will get touches no matter who is the starter, and Dunn. UM had flashes from their top 3 backs and showed promise with the improvement of the OL. Johnson was looking very good in The Game before his injury. All three flashed better vision this year, with seemingly less plays leading to a RB running into an OL. I really hold the coaching staff at fault here. There never seemed to be a definitive "This is the guy" choice. And that Johnson didn't seem to get a bigger chance until after Green's injury is questionable. Obviously, hindsight is 20-20 and all, but...)
OL = OSU>UM (OSU's OL has showed that they are able to win games with pass or run blocking. The way OSU rebounded from VT shows the difference in coaching. This gap is not large, though. I think Cole has obviously shown that he has the talent to be great. OSU's interior has higher upside than UM's, though, and I like OSU's depth more. A new coach will probably wipe the slate clean for UM's OL.)
WR = OSU>UM (The young OSU talent broke out this year. Thomas, Marshall, and Wilson all showed big play ability and consistency alongside Smith and Spencer. Funchess showed he has as much ability as anyone, but not always the drive. Darboh and Chesson seem to have skill, but they never wowed me. This will be one of the positions that I think a new staff can have a huge impact on.)
TE = UM>OSU (I think this is closer than UM fans will probably think, though. OSU had three TE's score this year and Heuerman and Vannett are as athletic and well-rounded as any TE in the country. Heuerman should be one of the first TE's chosen in the draft. Butt is just flat out a better receiver and can have a huge impact on games. He is as good as any UM player, in my opinion.)
DL = OSU>>>UM (Even with the loss of Spence and Marcus, OSU's DL is still one of the best in the nation. Clark was very good for UM, but outside of him, no one scared me.)
*LB = Wash (Jake Ryan is the single best player out of either group, but I think OSU has a lot more pure talent. The athleticism gap is large. Lee, Perry, McMillan, Grant, and Booker are all ridiculous athletes which allowed them to make up for a lot of missteps and bad angles. They were young and it showed at times. I'm not very high on Bolden. I think he's not a bad player, but he doesn't seem to do much that jumps out to me when I watch UM. I think he's at his ceiling, too. I honestly don't know much about what any other UM LB did this year. They seemed slightly invisible. Whatever happened to Ben Gedeon? I thought he would blow up.)
*CB = OSU>UM (Doran Grant was the best corner between the teams. Countess and Taylor disappointed me some this year. Countess showed that he is not a true cover corner. Michigan's secondary in general was kind of shocking in how easy it was for competent QB's to find holes. UM only recorded 5 interceptions this year, and only 2 were from the secondary, both by Lewis. Lewis obviously impressed me more this year than I expected, but overall the UM CB's were kind of forgettable.)
S = OSU>UM (I think Peppers would have made a big difference here if he could've stayed healthy. If he would've played a nickel or hybrid spot, I'd still include him with the safeties. UM safeties did not record a single turnover this year. Bell and Powell for OSU were above average. The secondary play as a whole increased quite a bit this year, although the DL certainly helped. Bell in particular seemed like the most talented between the two teams. He has a knack for being in place to make picks, is a hard hitter, and a sure tackler.)
Specialists = Wash (Cameron Johnston is one of the best punters in the nation. OSU placekickers aren't world beaters. Hagerup was about the same as anyone would've expected this year and UM's placekicking was slightly better than OSU's. Out of all of them, I think only Johnston has a real NFL future.)
I know I am probably biased, though I try not to be. All told, I look back at lot of the thoughts and responses I got back in May and am shocked at how bad UM's coaching truly is. I think OSU has certainly developed talent at a much higher level, but I also feel OSU has evaluated much better, too. OSU seems to be able to plug in a lot more guys early in their careers and hasn't had a lot of misses the last few years in recruiting. A lot of you were very optimistic about UM's season and players according to the talent UM was starting with, but that talent didn't progress at all. After doing this post and reviewing the old one, I think my opinion has actually downgraded even more of Hoke and his staff. They really did very little with the talent they had.
Another beautiful quote
Lochman, on why Michigan does not do in-game sponsorships: “We don’t do anything in the stadium. Us and Notre Dame are the two cleanest stadiums in college football, so that makes it easier. But, for instance, we had a Cadillac display this past year outside of the stadium, two beautiful cars with winged helmets on them, and we were getting some grief from our fans on social media about them. ... We're trying to entertain our fans, so we have a new partner that sponsors a dance contest, so it’s about trying to be smart like that. Our fans have told us front and center they don’t want sponsors, though.”
Full quote from Michigan CMO Hunter Lochman on college athletes potentially being paid:
“The athletes are there for four years. At Michigan, it’s the block M that has the infinity and power, not Denard Robinson. Those are fleeting, four-year relationships, but it’s the block M that’s been there for over 150 years.”
University of Houston president Renu Khator has taken to Twitter in her quest to fill the Houston head coaching vacancy.
I'm sure the actual process is a bit more formal than this, but it's a fun way to engage the fan base. The most popular response so far has been Ohio State OC Tom Herman.
Rivals did a story today about recruiting rankings in the last four years and how it compared to this year's results. Alabama and FSU are at the top. Florida and Michigan are in there too.
It's interesting to see TCU. MSU and Baylor aren't in there.