From Portage Northern.
How long have we been hypothesizing, analyzing, and predicting how things would be at the end of five games? A long time...since close to the end of last season sounds reasonable, as we anticipated who we'd lose and who would be left behind. Then the incoming recruiting class, and impact they would have on the '10 team. The spring game altered our perceptions again, the biggest change being that Denard truly had a chance at starting...and then it was on. So how wrong were we? Who out there anticipated just how potent this offense would be? Did anyone seriously consider Denard a heisman trophy candidate, let alone the favorite at this time? For the most part, we got the defense right, although from the moaning and wailing, you'd think it's results were be totally unexpected.
So now I believe it's time to re-evaluate our expectations, now that the beginning of the season has come to a close, and we know something more of ourselves and our opponents. My biggest question is can the defense get better? The guys practice during the week; is it reasonable to expect it to become a good unit by the time the OSU game rolls around, or just marginal improvement? If the defense performs with marginal improvement, I expect 3 - 4 losses as a reasonable expectation, a caveat being that Denard stays healthy. Without Denard, I think we're a solid 4 loss team, possibly more. If the defense gets markedly improved, I can see us....well, I can see us doing REAL well.
So what kind of improvement can we expect to see from the defense from this point of the season onward?
There is a long litany as to why the defensive backfield is in the shape it is in. You can't point to just one thing.
We all know the recruiting story:
'08 = Cissoko, JT Floyd, Brandon Smith
'09 = Emilien, Cam Gordon, Thomas Gordon, Justin Turner, Adrian Witty
'10 = Avery, Christian, Dorsey, Carvin Johnson, Talbott, Vinopal
We all know the attrition story:
Cissoko, Smith, Emilien, Turner, Witty, Dorsey
I can understand the scheme's GERG is forced to run (even if you disagree):
Bend but don't break/limit opportunities for DB's and LB's to be exploited one-on-one
During the Indiana game was the first time I noticed the DB's not just being exploited due to scheme, but saw issues I would account to coaching.
The question I have for the coaches and true guru's is, from what you have seen, is it time to also evaluate the capability of Tony Gibson and Adam Braithwaite as coaches?
Thanks for your insight.
Chip Cosby, John Wilner and Scott Wolf all have us unranked. Chip has MSU at 12.
Here is a link to an article on Denard from ESPN's Heisman Watch section. That Denard and Barry Sanders are talked about together is a great compliment.
"Now it's just getting ridiculous. I mean, at some point shouldn't we stop being amazed? We've seen it for five weeks now. Shouldn't we be used to it? I'm talking, of course, about Michigan QB Denard Robinson, and the answer is no. We haven't seen this type of college football playmaker since … Barry Sanders?"
Could Indiana be the best passing offense we play in the Big 10?
I don't believe we've seen a thread like this since the off-season, and I'm sure most of us are thankful for that. However, now that we are 5-0, I just have to ask: would you rather end the regular season 7-5 with wins over MSU and OSU, or 10-2 with losses to both of those teams?