I thought I'd start early since the game is moot at this point. I know there will be the traditional offense and defense threads but at this point I think the worst thing about UM football is you have no idea what unit will stink the coming week. There was a stretch the defense did ok (but gave up a killer drive at the most unfortunate time) but the offense was horrid.... people pointed to "youth". There were flashes of brilliance on offense - ND and OSU but almost everything between those 2 bookend games save for the HS defense Indiana rolled out was a disaster. And those 3 games were IMO one player (Gardner) playing like a NFL 1st rounder - so an entire offense reliant on such fireworks from the QB to be competent is damning. An offense should be able to function with just a capable QB, not require individual brilliance. Special teams has been average all year and tonight looked horrid.
I know as time passes and spring returns the usual rosiness will return to this board. It always does. But other than Shane tonight I didnt see much to be all excited about. I am very worried about the tackles and safety positions next year and frankly Blake and Raymon were demolished tonight by a nice upper end receiver but even the "well we are all set at CB next year" meme is shaky to me. The Big 12 is not a good conference but we showed tonight that we cant even hang with a .500 type team from that conference.
My general thoughts on the coaching early 3rd quarter of this game are below - I am ready for your neg bombs to eternity. The best thing about 2014 to me is we will no longer have the apologists who can claim youth or its all Rich Rod's recruits fault anymore. I am expected 7-5 to 8-4 next year... and mostly due to player talent infusion, not player development or outcoaching an opponent.
I know it is TL;DNR so dont read past this line if you just want to vent... I needed to vent, as this football program has wore me down (with an exception in '11) since 07.
Be honest. If you took off the uniform's and replaced them with Purdue's of the Joe Tiller era would there be any difference btw those Purdue teams and UM program the past 6-7 years? A good to above average QB, a finesse offense whose line generally
sucks is ok but "finesse-y" year after year ...after year, especially when facing upper echelon defenses. Some nice WRs, average running game. A finesse defense that is dominated at the LOS when they play any above average team. But able to roll off 7-8 wins most years with a "special season" if all the right players come together and the schedule works out. Unfortunately that is the framework I see in our program right now.
Michigan outrecruits Purdue of any era by a wide margin which makes this comparison even worse. Michigan far out recruits KSU but you can see an elite coach, coach circles around us. I dont care what happens tonight or next year - the evidence is on the field the last 2 years (2011 seems to be the anomaly) ... without elite talent our coaching staff cannot get elite results. And that tells you all you need to know about the future of the program. Hoke recruits good enough there will be a lot of 9 win seasons out there but if you truly believe this is an elite staff that will take UM to the promised land well I'd like to have what you are drinking. And for those who say bust the bank for big time coaches, they are paying these guys like big time coaches - Hoke is #9 in the country I believe and we have 2 of the top 20 highest paid coordinator in all of college football. Sorry even Mattison, I was a big believer in 2011 but his conservativism is mind numbing and I am sick of reading how we dont have athletes when UM has the pick of the litter and has better recruits than Wisconsin or MSU every year. Top 10-20 classes year after year (or better) and "lacking athletes"? Please.
2014 will be another 7, 8, or upside 9 win season of relative mediocre with no margin for error at safety or offensive tackle, and being outcoached or out-toughed by the better teams. It is amazing to hear what Hoke said he wanted at UM and he cannot build and the apologists all just blame it on "youth". Harbaugh built the program in his mold in 3-4 years, they beat top 10 teams twice in his 3rd year, on the way to brilliance in his 4th. (He started with a 1-11 team) They were tough even when losing. Dantonio in year 4 at MSU was about to run off back to back 11 win seasons. Is that coming here? Nah. Sorry this is not a youth problem - this is a coaching problem from top to bottom. It is average coaching. Paid like elite coaching. And that wont change if they win 56-28 tonight.