"He's a hard worker, and he watched me and Tim (Hardaway Jr.) and Nik (Stauksas) put work in to become (first-round picks), and I'm just happy he's getting better," Burke said. "It's great for the program, too. It shows what type of program the University of Michigan is and the direction it continues to go in."
'Bama moves to #1
The Ozone, one of the Ohio blogs covering the Buckeyes, has up their weekly column analyzing the Michigan game.
You can read it yourself . . . Gerdeman really isn't too snarky. The upshot of his analysis is that you can't really tell a lot from the Alabama game about how Michigan will do this year.
A few bullets
- Although he'd never admit it publicly, Hoke knew this game was close to a lost cause, with the offensive game plan, and with Michigan's player personnel, including Denard.
- Fitz might have helped, but ultimately wouldn't have made a difference in the final outcome.
- More running plays for Denard wouldn't have helped, and might have gotten him killed.
- Neither Rawls nor Smith impressed: Toussaint is the best back.
- (not said, but an observation: we need Green, and need to recruit another feature back or two for the 2014 class.)
- Gardner may have potential, but he needs to improve a lot: 1 out of 8 is terrible.
- Even given the deficiencies on the DL, the LB play leaves something to be desired.
- Special teams was the main bright spot, between Hagerup's punts, Wile's kickoffs, and Norfleet's kickoff returns.
If you are a football junkie, Gerdeman's weekly "Michigan Monday" column can give you a bit of a fix from a somewhat neutral outside perspective while you're waiting for Brian's UFR. While the analysis is not perfect, it is analysis, unlike many of pieces found in the MSM.
According to Nick Baumgardner:
Michigan now No. 19 in the latest AP poll— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) September 4, 2012
|AP Top 25|
Sat., Sep. 1
vs. No. 2 Alabama
|Sat., Sep. 8||vs. Air Force||Michigan Stadium||3:30 p.m. ET|
|Sat., Sep. 15||vs. Massachusetts||Michigan Stadium||3:30 p.m. ET|
|Sat., Sep. 22||at Notre Dame||South Bend, Ind.||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Sat., Oct. 6||at Purdue *||West Lafayette, Ind.||4:00 p.m. ET|
|Sat., Oct. 13||vs. Illinois - Homecoming *||Michigan Stadium||3:30 p.m. ET|
|Sat., Oct. 20||vs. Michigan State *||Michigan Stadium||TBA|
|Sat., Oct. 27||at Nebraska *||Lincoln, Neb.||7:00 p.m. CT|
|Sat., Nov. 3||at Minnesota *||Minneapolis, Minn.||TBA|
|Sat., Nov. 10||vs. Northwestern *||Michigan Stadium||TBA|
|Sat., Nov. 17||vs. Iowa *||Michigan Stadium||TBA|
|Sat., Nov. 24||at Ohio State *||Columbus, Ohio||12:00 p.m. ET|
|Sat., Dec. 1||Big Ten Championship Game||Indianapolis, Ind.||TBA|
The schedule is above. I originally thought Michigan would go 9-3 or 8-4 and that Countess would be a key piece of the defensive puzzle. The way things look now, I think that wins at ND, Nebraska, and OSU are pretty unlikely, though I thought Michigan would do well to go 1-2 in those games even before Countess went down. Also, Purdue, Illinois, and NW now seem like reasonably difficult tests. Hopefully, Richardson, Taylor, or Avery will blossom in Countess's absence. Sometimes guys grow up when they're thrown into unexpected playing time, but going on the way things appear right now, I think we might be looking at a 7-5 regular season. Obviously, I hope I'm wrong.
In the aftermath of the Alabama game, one thing that struck me is how easily the Alabama O-Line pushed around our defensive front. Alabama in general looked like a bigger, stronger, and more violent version of Wisconsin.They just beat us up. Our lack of size on the defensive front has been a recurring theme for the past 4 seasons of Michigan football. Last year we performed at a very high level but by all accounts the defensive front four was still undersized. The reason is of course Mattisson and Hoke are trying to implement their system and defensive philosophy using RR era players. Suffice to say that the prior staff did not emphasize our size in the trenches.
So my question is have we done enough this year in terms of recruitng the DT/NT position? In looking at the incoming class we have Henry Poggi and Maurice Hurst Jr as the only DT's slated to come in. We signed Pipkins and Godin (is he really a DT?) last season plus a slew of DE prospects which could conceivably be moved over. But given what we saw this last Saturday do we need more? I am concerned about the defensive front four going forward.
Edit: Forgot to add Henry to last year's list. The DE's are Strobel, Wormley (he's hurt though), Mario O (way undersized at least weight wise) and Taco. Admittedly a pretty good haul. But all things considered (depth etc) is it enough?
While trying to put Saturday into perspective, I've been trying to decide on/remember the best team that I've ever seen Michigan play. I'm not sure I've seen Michigan play a better team. The team that may have been superior was 1991 Florida State, who won 51-31 in the Big House against a Michigan team that would go to the Rose Bowl. USC was very good in '03 and '06, too, but I don't believe they were as good as Alabama or '91 FSU. I can't think of anyone else.
Have you seen Michigan play a better team? Does anyone remember the '68 Buckeyes?