Normally I post AFTER games, but while sitting here looking at Michigan's defense before the Penn State game, nobody outside of Brandon Graham and Donovan Warren scare me. That's a big problem in my eyes because you can easily run away from Graham and you can easily throw away from Warren. Defense is all about balance, and Michigan doesn't seem to have it yet (and might not have it for a while).
The thing that really brought me to write this post was the fact that defense has always seemed to be a weakness under Rich Rodriguez. Part of it is due to the fact that his teams have put points on the board in bunches and quickly putting the defense in a precarious position, but part of it might also be attributed to the recruiting on the defensive side of the ball.
Rodriguez recruits really really well.
Let me rephrase...
Rodriguez recruits really really well on the offensive side of the ball.
Ok, so the rephrased statement is obvious. Rodriguez is an offensive guru, so it's obvious he recruits well on that side of the ball. But on the other side, I cannot say the same. I can already hear the comments coming. "What about Craig Roh, Justin Turner, and Will Campbell?" Yes, Michigan OBVIOUSLY does recruit defensive players, but take a look and see what the ratio of offensive-to-defensive players recruited is.
Offense Defense Athlete/ST
2008 14 8 2
2009 9 9 4
2010 10 7 2
So these numbers aren't THAT telling until you check the athlete section.
2008 athletes: Feagin (O), JT Floyd (D)
2009 athletes: Robinson (O), Gallon (O), Thomas Gordon (O to D), Gibbons (ST)
2010 athletes: Dileo (O), Hagerup (ST)
Heck, a lot of offensive recruits end up getting moved to defense because they can't compete with the talent on the offensive side.
This is a BIG problem. USC recruits defensive players. Florida recruits defensive players. OSU recruits defensive players. Michigan (under Rodriguez) recruits offensive players and turns them into defensive players. This should be VERY alarming.