Can Michigan Turn it Around Like Auburn Next Season?
Freddie is right, we'll win the whole thing unlike Auburn.
Did we hire Malzahn?
Brady Hoke took over a train wreck and went 11-2 his first season as well. Let's see what Malzahn does the next two years.
Twas a joke.
It was but his point does have some validity. Let's see what happens now that the whole SEC (&whatever crappy cupcakes they schedule below the Mason-Dixon) has the offseason to go over film and get a better plan for his offense
Wasn't he out of the SEC for just one year? His system wasn't new to anyone in the SEC.
-Brady Hoke took over a team that was a 7-6 the year before and Auburn was 3-9 last year.
-Michigan had a Jr Qb that was being talked about as a heisman canidate and Auburn had a converted CB running their offense.
-Michigan played a very soft schedule only playing 3 teams that finished in the top 25 (Mich St, Nebraska, Virginia Tech). The only team in the top 20 they played (Michigan St) they lost to. Auburn played 5 teams in the top 25 and 3 of those teams were in the top 10.
-Auburn won the SEC where as Michigan DIDN"T win the Big Ten.
I did love that Michigan team and the run to the Sugar Bowl, but I don't think it is right to compare Malzahn and Hoke's first season. Malzahn's first season was far more impressive.
Hail yea! We have a much easier schedule. How can you be a Michigan fan and concede the season before it has begun?
War damn... owl?
On the road. Doesn't get worse than that.
You can't be a Michigan fan unless you have unreasonable/ delusional expectations?
Actually - around here you can't be a Michigan fan unless you've already decided we'll suck forever. I love MGoBlog, but it's the biggest group of pessimists I've ever seen.
WITB-R-Us. My above reply about Malzahn was very tounge in cheek.
Really? Every year since 2009 we've had posts in September saying how we're the best team in the big ten, only for the team to take a huge dump after the msu game. It was no different this year. Except we took a huge dump before the msu game this year.
If anything I think Michigan fans are becoming more realistic. Call it pessimistic but when you suck for ten years and start to think that the next season will also suck, that's just accepting the facts.
We haven't sucked for ten years
Seven. Seven is the key number here man, think about it. Seven doors... seven man that's the number. Seven chipmunks sitting on a branch, eating lots of sunflowers on my uncles ranch.
Careful not to confuse realist and pessimist. I think both sides have a legitimate argument for how they feel. It's an opinion.
Oddly enough I'd rather see a bunch of threads about how terrible we are as opposed to another MSU appreciation thread. Maybe that's just me.
There's quite a bit of room between saying "we'll suck forever" and "we're gonna lose the National Championship game in the final seconds."
You're totally right man, but (based on your handle) you don't live here. We are pessimistic because thousands of sparty dickheads and the occasional buckeye trash shoves our suckiness down our throats until we start to believe it. It's pretty hard to be positive, ATM.
Funny, I've always seen being delusional as a key trait of the Michigan football fan. Perhaps the post-Carr era has finally taken even that from us. Or maybe it just used to be delusions about how good it can be, and now it's about how bad it will get. Football and basketball have certainly traded places on that front.
And by easier, you mean at Notre Dame, at Michigan State, and at Ohio State? Are you confusing the word "easier" with its antonym?
the schedule will be so much more Aladeen in 2014!
Gotta get over the road game blues- if BH can't do that then we'll never get above .750. Haven't seen any evidence in 3 years that he can.
I might be a bit pedantic, but average coaches get average results. Naturally, an average season would be 6-6. Brady Hoke and his staff are 26-12, averaging 8-4.
We all would like to win more, but "average" means something that this staff is not.
Average is definitely not 6-6 at Michigan. Average at Michigan is 7-5 or 8-4.
7-5 average? Our all-time win percentage is .732. That would basically make 9-3 average for Michigan.
You guys are both correct, of course.
But I don't think No Joke It's Hoke meant he would wants better than a Michigan-average coach.
With the way Michigan schedules anymore, 2-3 OOC teams will be cupcakes. That means only 3-4 B1G wins to be 6-6. That is not average.
How can you be a Michigan fan and concede the season before it has begun?
To be honest, it's been pretty easy to do so since 2009.
Are you looking at the right schedule?
That's what this boils down to. I believe in Coach Hoke.
And I believe coach Home will not replace Borges, so NO! (our schedule next year is brutal, with all of the road games)
Well if we're going to have a turnaround like Auburn did then we have to fire our old OC and bring in a new coach to run the offense better, like Auburn did.
Mobile 2x post
We have a lot of guys who need to get stronger and faster. If the TEAM puts in the work and Al and Greg do the same, they need to refresh a few things it seems, then maybe this team can bounce back to the 10 win range. I personally don't know that it will happen, this past season alone jaded me a bit, but I'm not going to try and factually say one way or another what this team will do next year.
I don't know, but I'm glad we keep making threads asking questions that no one can really answer.
Because college football boards are no place to ask questions about people's opinions regarding the next season.
He not Iron Sheik class. Look at his picture, it has the raisin balls ultimate warrior. I break his back, make him humble old country way, bubba.
I love the schtick but you need more curse words to really sell it.
Why is MGoIronSheik wearing green and white? BOOOOOOOOOO
Malzhan is very talented offensive playcaller. I think you can see that in Auburn when he was the OC, the huge drop off when he was gone and then the crazy turnaround. We don't have a cogent offensive philosophy, let alone somebody on Malzhan's level.
Also, their OL in 2012 went Fr, Sr, So, So, Fr. They were bad. Michigan's 2013 OL was younger (3 new starters to Auburn's 2) and worse.
They broke in one new starter in 2013, RsFr Alex Kozan. We will presumably be breaking in one new starter in 2014, presumably RsSo Ben Braden. Their line was a lot better, not having to bleed new guys. Ours will be too.
Auburn was 9 games better in 2013 than the previous season. Malzahn was probably worth 5 of those. That's not a knock. That's the difference between Ohio's season and ours. But that line improving was also worth a hell of a lot.
Think it's just Borges or does it start with Hoke? And by start w/ Hoke I mean a CC.
If the O-line doest get better, and get better fast, we will have another mediocre season. Unfortunatly, I see 2015 as our year. It is unfortunate for Gardner because he is such a good QB but came in with the wrong circumstance. Maybe if he can put some great numbers, he can get conscideration for the B1G 10 Offensive POY on an 8-4 team.
Malzahn is a wizard..Borges is not
Does Borges desire to run a west coast offense? or maybe he did at one of his previous stops.
If we ran the ball like that i'd be ecstatic. That offense is truly what I dream to be.
You dream to be 11 large men executing a spread-to-run offense?
I have no comeback for your wit.
Are we changing staff?
sounds like its very possible.
You mean they're going to fire coach Brandon?
I think it is more likely to be a ten or eleven win year than national title game though.
The team was very young and inexperienced last year. Now they're having another year in the system, another offseason of workouts to get stronger and faster.
As much as we sucked under RichRod, I took great pleasure in the way our offense would occasionally clown a defense by faking run and then DR would pitch it over the top to a wide open Roundtree or Dileo without anyone within 15 yards of them. Saw many glimpses of that last night by Auburn.
After 13 games this year where the greatest separation Borges schemed for one of his receivers was six inches, as opposed to most of the time when opposing DBs were literally wearing the same jersey our receivers were wearing, as they waltzed down the field together inside the same shirt, the answer I took from last night is that as long as my rotund avatar remains employed by this university, no, Michigan will never, ever be anything like Auburn was this year.
faking run and then DR would pitch it over the top to a wide open Roundtree or Dileo without anyone within 15 yards of them.
In 2010, Dileo caught one pass for three yards. Roundtree was the only guy we ever ran that play to under RR.
We did, however, use Dileo in that play in 2011 and '12, under Borges. (Why it seemingly disappeared from the playbook this year, I don't know.)
There are a lot of valid complaints about Borges. The design of his passing plays is not one of them.
We had wide open receivers many times in many games. Borges called the Indiana game, I think, in which our receiver was literally 10 yards from any defender on 6-9 plays. Indiana's defense stinks, sure. But that's just the most obvious example of truth running counter to your assertion.
Is it so hard to live in this world?
I think we'll see a turnaround on the order of 10 wins next year, but I don't think an offensive live composed almost entirely of sophomores is going to be good enough to make AB's plans work every game.
That said, if the defense takes a big step forward--which they should--that could put us in the conversation for the B1G East (NTBE) title. MSU and Ohio on the road? Tough to see either of those as victories, but every other game on the schedule is winnable.
FWIW, I believe a healthy Devin Gardner could break the single-season passing record next year. But if he's injured, nine wins would be a great season.
It's not just about youth, but development--especially for the O-Line. Auburn has clearly gotten more development from their players, and I believe coaching is a big part of that.
But if you watch Auburn's O-Line block, they're really good at it. That has NOTHING to do with scheme, and everything to do with their ability to execute. It's obvious they've been coached well, but their line could block Borges' scheme just fine.
You can argue that the coaching/teaching is better at Auburn, but it's not scheme that's making their O-Line good. It's that their O-Line is good at blocking.
If it does happen, a lot of people on here will be pissed off because they'd hate Hoke even if he went 12-0. I'm not going to abandon the team and I will be there every Saturday in 105 degree weather or -15 degree weather.
What about 125 degree or -40 degree ?
I don't remember too many people being pissed off after we went to the Sugar Bowl. People are pissed at Hoke because he has put together two mediocre seasons in a row and "seems" unwilling to change course. If Hoke starts winning again, I doubt you hear much in the way of grumbling.
I'm afraid the RR era has created a schism that won't heal without sustained success. There are so many spread zealots out there who won't feel good until they get their way or the program is so good they don't care about getting their way.
Even if Hoke wins 10 games next year and the offense has a strong season, there will be those who are calling for Borges' head, and Hoke's too.
The only way out of this mess is to have consecutive seasons with 10 or more wins. Only then will everyone jump on board.
a lot of people on here will be pissed off because they'd hate Hoke even if he went 12-0.
I know that this is your opinion, but it's wrong.
Incorrect. We would worship him if he went 12-0.
If Hoke goes12-0 next year he will be immediately deified. At the end of the day, all the fans want is to win football games. We heard this same BS excuses with RR about how some mythical group of alumni had a vendetta against the guy and was trying to sabotage the program for unspecified reasons. It's just not the case.
Sure, there'd be a few kooks who'd still hate Hoke after a 12-0 season, but then you can find people who hate the idea of electricity and indoor plumbing, too. They're not relevant.
Is Borges still around?
The second year of transition to Borges' scheme has to be better than the first.
If the interior o-line isn't performing up to expectation, it really doesn'y matter who the fucking offensive coordinator is.
There's really no solid starter at any position. Maybe Graham but even he'll probably be bouncing positions all year
Like Auburn... will we get every call, every break.... every SPOT!? I didn't watch the game, but have it on excellent authority that's what happened. Even more interestingly, Big 10 officials.
your excellent authority needs his confirmation bias checked.
The p.i. in the endzone could easily have been over looked.
I see a lot of Borges comments here, and yes they're well deserved, but it wasn't Borges who let us down the last two games of the season. This whole team needs to improve, not just Borges
Interestingly we are in a similar position to when we were going into 2011. Also the defense will be as experienced as the 2006 defense. Anything is possible but our o line will have to take a massive step forward. Besides for o line, and even there too, I think we have a lot of talent on that side of the ball. Much of that talent has experience though obviously not on the same level as the defense will have.
Like everybody else your guess is as good as mine. It could happen and we'll all get to see it soon enough.
Jake Ryan is the only playmaker on defense. I hope that changes but is fact for now. Lets not invoke the 2006 D just yet. Sounds extremely foolish.
I think Countess is definitely a playmaker. I also think Ramon Taylor is actually pretty good, and could make the jump next year. IMO, there may be a few more that could cross that threshold as well.
I totally agree with you that it is very unlikely that 2014 will be the return of the 2006 defense. But besides '06, I think it will be the best defense we've had in quite a while.
Despite ending the season in a poor fashion, I still have a high degree of faith in Mattison. But as I think many of us are feeling for next year, he/Borges/the coaches in general will really be the "difference makers" as to whether or not 2014 is a successful season.
I am referencing a post Seth put on the front page where yes our defense has as much experience as that 2006 defense. That doesn't mean we have as many play makers but we'll see. This staff hangs its hat on defense and we'll see if it is going to be an elite top 5, top 10 unit in future seasons.
Brian has also said the defense should take a step forward next year (probably around top 20). If we want a good season next year this will have to happen and the offense will have to be competent (35-40).
If both these things happen, not saying they will, we can have a good season.
so after 3.5 recruiting classes, we still have few playmakers on D? how sad is that, given the recruiting abilities of hoke/mattison.
I mean, State finished last year 7-6, lost three NFL players, and played the first quarter of the season with an ongoing quarterback dual. Are we going to have a number 1 defense, no. But we do return most of the starters most of whom were pretty young last year. We were also in every game except for arguably the State game. If we see improvement out of the young returning staters, and somehow we can get something resembling a running game going, we could be pretty good next year.
State won their bowl game and the players didn't quit on each other down the stretch.
Lots of teams finish poorly, and then do good the next year. In 2005 Michigan finished 7-5 sfter losing to Nebraska in the Alamo Bowl, and then the next year they were a couple of plays away from appearing in the National Championship Game.
Also, perhaps we quit, but it didn't appear that way againsh Ohio this year.
And I'm just stating why their is hope for next year. If you want to miserable and depressed about Michigan football for a whole year, well by all means go right ahead.
I'm not miserable. I have accepted what out AD is selling -- a mediocre product. I'm curious to see how long our head coach stays in hiding avoiding the media's questions about his coaching staff.
Yea, that whole silence is very interesting. I can see how Michigan CAN turn it around next year, and I'll buy into Brady Hoke for at least one more year, But if he wants to risk his dream job on this coaching staff, by all means its his call/
State had an elite D last year and an elite D this year.
State had a very bad defense in year 3 of Narduzzi.
Bowl wins typically aren't that associated with anything in the offseason. Honestly, it's more about keeping your guys out of trouble and eligible for a month than it is about really putting the best gameplan out there that's indicative of your team the prior season.
People overvalue bowl games so much because they are the last game of the season so it's the last chance to see the teams for months. The problem is that it's 1 out of 13 games and more specifically for Michigan, we were playing with a backup quarterback coming off a bad season. Is that an excuse to quit? No, but I don't think it's all that important for determining how Michigan is going to look in 2014. If anything, the most important part of the Bdubs bowl was getting the guys reps in those practices.
I'm not saying I completely agree with the optimism some people are displaying for next season, but a loss compared with a win in the BDubs bowl is probably not the best comparison for telling why Michigan will or won't be good next year.
was one fluky tipped pass and a miracle KO return away from not really doing anything than being better than last year instead of 'OMG we almost won the championship better.'
So 9-3 is possible.
12-1, Big Ten Champs heading to the playoffs improved? Probably not.
Improving from 7 wins to 9 isnt the same as 3 to 9. That Auburn team last year was abysmal, this years team is better than any Hoke has ever fielded. So no, it can't happen.
average coaching staff.
One or two key performance items that drive them to be the best ... How about fans being fans vs bitter jerks. Go support another Program if you whine with every post. Be a true alum, student or fan
No I don't because our HC refuses to make any changes to his staff.
I don't believe he'll refuse to make changes. I think he won't scapegoat them for team issues. Many are looking for a quick fix, there may or may not be one. I mean, he's a witch burn him!!!
Yes - year 2 of a scheme is always the year when players make the jump. I would be extremely seriously concerned with the offensive staff if they cannot teach 20 or so plays to perfection with a sophomore o-line. With a newbie O-line, maybe, but year 2 it should be a lot easier. I'm also excited to see some bread and butter plays with multiple formations - that itself is a huge boost to the offense. On defense, I think our young D-line will use the offseason to bulk up so they don't get thrown around like ragdolls like at the end of this season
isn't this season going to be the 4th season with Al Borges as OC? How is this "year 2" of his scheme? I understand Borges made some adjustments with Denard, but shouldn't most of his "bread and butter" plays already been established in the playbook?
Those really are Borges words, not verbatim, but I recall him mentioning in a presser that this is really the first year he's doing what he wants to do instead of being constrained by the players on his roster.
Don't be silly. We clearly did not run Borges's primary offensive system with Denard. Everyone knows that.
Without looking it up, I'm 99% sure that no team in my lifetime has done what Auburn did this year. Go from a 9 loss season to playing for the national title. That just doesn't happen. So no, I don't see Michigan or any team do that any time soon. And Michigan's schedule sucks next year BIG TIME.
Also, Gardner was not responsible for us losing 5 games in 2012, especially when he only started a few games at the end of the season. He's not the one who threw 40 interceptions in South Bend.
Given that Auburn this year played at LSU and at Texas A&M, and also played Alabama, Georgia, Ole Miss, and Missouri, is Michigan's schedule next year really a murderer's row? I would say no. (It will of course be harder than this year's schedule.)
I guess not. But all three rivals on the road combined with the fact that Michigan hasn't won a noteworthy road game since...what, 2006? It's doesn't give me much confidence.
No. Though I think one thing to remember is that Malzahn was OC/QB coach for Auburn from 2009-2011, so when he returned as the HC there were players who were already familiar with his system. So that's an advantage. I think Malzahn's success is he is just that good, as well as a mastermind at offense.
I think Michigan has a difficult road slate next year, and I am not sold on Borges as a QB coach, so I have no idea what Devin will look like next season. I also am not a fan of Borges' playcalling and formations either, they are all over the map. Until Michigan has some clear offensive identity, I am not sold on it improving next season.
Overall, I think that Michigan still has some work to do to catch up to OSU and now, sadly, MSU. I think a reasonable experctation is 8-4, with 9-3 possible.
So are you saying we should bring RR back before all his players are out if we want to have success?
If this year was really year 1 of the "Borges" offense (his words, not mine), then one could reasonably expect tangible improvement next year.
The big question is will that improvement be enough. Can we sustain another 7 or 8 win season [remember we play all of our rivals on the road]?
The reasonable expectation is 8-4, with 9-3 a realistic possibility.
Besides coaches doing bad jobs, there's a reason teams change up at least some of their coaches after crappy seasons: new voices and optimism. System changes, mentality shifts, motivation to play for new coaches, etc. If you're a player, you see a lot of guys getting one year older. While you're not losing much, given that the ONLY changes are one year of age and the addition of some freshmen (granted, one is Peppers), would you be really optimistic as a player that the team will go from whatever the hell that was in 2013 to a serious contender?
last year. Crushed by TAMU, UGA and Bama by 38-49 points. They won 3 games - New Mexico State (1-11), Univ Laf-Monroe (8-5) and Alabama A&M (7-4).
Even if UM wins the NC in 2014, the rebound isn't nearly as big.
Yes, the interior OL will almost certainly be better but will they be better enough to get the TFL numbers out of the triple digits? No one knows at this point but losing two NFL tackles and keeping everyone else and the coaches doesn't look promising.
And I hate when people say things like "theyll be pissed off" or "theyll be hungry". Weren't we same mass of people saying that everyone is pissed off and hungry after they finished 8-5 last year? Were they not pissed enough last off-season? Did they cease to be hungry and that's why we couldn't run block?
They can be hungry and pissed till next August if they want, but it doesn't make them any better at football
I'd like to think that if I keep listening to Bruce Springsteen's new album, streaming for free on the CBS website, by the 135th listen, I'll have High Hopes for Michigan Team 135. http://www.cbs.com/shows/the_good_wife/springsteen/
Having seen a photo of the seven early enrollees from Michigan's 2014 Recruiting Class on campus*, better to give those young men a dash of optimism with their Polar Vortex chills than to welcome them with the old Mel Brooks song from the film The Twelve Chairs -- Hope For The Best (Expect The Worst)..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_TKXPPjhRk
*Sorry, not technically savvy, so I can't embed that photo of the seven early enrollees that was posted on the Michigan Recruiting Twitter page. LInk to that page: http://twitter.com/go_blue_lou
I'm still not convinced the defense is heading in the right direction. A shitty PSU team blew Mattison's grill out. That loss was totally on him. Teach your fucking defensive backs to look for the ball. Also, one could argue that the defense lost the Nebraska game as well. MSU had a horrific offense for more than half the season and they won the B10. Mattison makes a million dollars a year and he isn't half as good as the DC at MSU. Time for Mattison to produce. I still blame him more than Borges for the MSU debacle. The offense sucked, but MSU had a shitty offense up to that point. Third and 6 and Mattison plays a prevent defense. I'm sick of this shit. Take off your granny panties and blitz like a mother fucker. Full boar, blitzkrieg.
You cannot blame the MSU game on the D and you absolutely cannot pin the Nebraska game on the D. Nebraska was a team that was giving up 5 f'ing yards per carry against Wyoming and South Dakota State. You know what the running backs managed to gain against that same unit at home? 1.2 ypc. The defense held Nebraska to 10 points through 3.5 quarters. That should've been enough to win by 20 against that sad sack defense.
In the MSU game, the D held MSU to 16 points through 3. Certainly a respectable showing. Then the defense reached the "F*ck This" Line and let in two late TDs/
The defense has been disappointing at times but it is fraction of the ineptitude we're seeing on the opposite side of the ball
With you, that poster seems over the top, still, I think our team motto next year should be, "Blitz like a Motherfucker!" Lol. I damn near spit out my soda.
i don't know about you but my granny is an excellent blitzer.
But when you give your defense a 10 point lead in the 4th quarter and the other team ties it, your defense is part of the reason why you lose. When you give them 50 seconds and a 7 point lead to win the game and they give up a touchdown in 23 seconds, your defense is part of the reason why you lost. When you give your kicker 3 attempts to win with a field goal and he misses all 3, your special teams are part of why you lose.
Acting like Borges' conservative playcalling were the only reason for losing that game is, frankly, asinine. It was part of it, a big chunk of it for sure, but nowhere near the only thing. That loss was a team effort.
fact. Yes, of coruse. And, Michigan itself did it in the last decade. Michigan has plenty of talent at every position to succeed. Gardner is one of the best qbs in the country. This team's defense will be better. The only question is about the Oline, creating a consistent pass rush and stopping big plays defensively. The talent level is there to compete with anyone.
MSU went 7-6 last year with 4 close losses (3 against top 20 teams) and 2 close wins (over top 25 teams).
This year we had two blowout losses. 0 wins over top 25 teams and only 2 wins against teams with a WINNING record. Three miracle wins came aganist teams with a combined 13-24 record.
I hope you're right, but MSU is definitely not confirmation.
5 close losses (rank of teams receiving votes: 3, 17, 24, 25)
1 big loss (rank of teams receiving votes: 4)
4 close wins (rank of teams receiving votes: 33, 34)
3 big wins (rank of teams receiving votes:____)
4 close losses (rank of teams receiving votes: 12, 26, 31, 34)
2 big losses (rank of teams receiving votes: 3, 34)
3 close wins (rank of teams receiving votes: ____)
4 big wins (rank of teams receiving votes: 21)
Looks pretty similar. Each of Michigan's losses came to a team that received votes, same can't be said for MSU. MSU did have two wins against teams that ended up receiving votes, Michigan only 1, but Michigan's was in the top 25.
That close wins against 2012 Wisconsin, TCU, Boise, and Indiana are similar to three close wins against 2013 Northwestern, Akron, and UCONN.
Of course, they aren't close. Only the close win against IU in 2012 is comparable to our three close wins. Our best Big Ten win was against Minnesota. Theirs was against the Big Ten champion.
TCU and Boise were not good teams in 2012. Maybe they both have "name" value, but they were not good teams. Wisconsin was "good", but most would have considered their season a failure as well if they had not been gifted a trip to Indy.
Did I miss something or did a certain OC get fired?
If not, than NO
So it's unreasonable to say we'll be 10-2 next year? I'd say it's much more realistic than those who say we'll go 4-8 and lose to App State. I go to every game believing we'll win from the highs of 2006 to the lows of 2008. I can't comprehend how someone can travel to a game as a fan and think we have no shot.
If so, yes. I think that with a coach who can strategize during the game rather than simply just develop a plan and run into a wall when it doesn't work, then yes, we could see major improvement.
If we continue to have a headcoach who has never called a game at the college level, then no.
I'm looking forward to having a senior starter at QB. By and large, offenses with senior QBs do quite well - note that the '92 '97, '99 and '03 offenses all had them.
Senior QBs have been a very rare sight for Michigan football over the last decade - 2007 and 2012 are the only years we've had one, and both times our QB missed time with injuries.
Could they? Sure.
Will they? No.
Will they get better? Yes.
Could they win the B1G? Sure.
These types of questions are usually not worth thinking about. After this season, and considering the odds of any team making a title game, it's probably not gonna happen. I'd just be happy to see more consistent play on both lines, or a new OC.
I'm also not willing to concede any game on the schedule yet. There are games I don't think Michigan will win, but there isn't any single game where I think Michigan doesn't at least have a decent chance. Things need to improve, I think they will, but I don't think Michigan will be a one loss team going into bowl season.
If their oline and dline are 100% better/improved, they can win or be in EVERY game. They must get better in those two areas before they will be legitimate B1G title contenders, it could happen, but with how the season ended, it's hard to gauge whether they will be talented enough.
I wouldn't say the schedules' harder. Yes we have games at ND, at MSU, and at Ohio but the rest is way easier than this year.
No. After this seasons performance I am not going to pencil in any W's on the schedule, let alone think we're going to have an Auburn- esque season.
The DBs were too bad to blitz like crazy. You'll probably see more it next year now that we have Peppers.
Maybe if gorgeous Borges magically transforms into Gus Malzahn.
Three rivalry games on the road next year where Michigan will almost certainly be an underdog in each one. The offensive line is again going to be young and mostly inexperienced. There are lots of question marks. Who is the free safety? Nobody outside of Gardner and Funchess has really proven themselves on the offensive side of the ball.
I suppose it's an outside possibility. Howeva, with Borges as OC, I doubt it.
The defense was the worst unit on the field the last 2 games so you can include Mattison. In addition, the buck stops with the head coach. Our head coach is not making any coaching changes so the pessimistic expectations should be directed at Hoke 100%.
Unfortunately no, I wish I had your optimism but a major reason for Auburn's magical turn around was their offensive identity and play calling transformed under Malzahn. That will clearly not be happening with Borges. And I just see the same "OL is still young" issues and excuses. Hoping for a 10 win season!
Elite coaches get elite results. Not every year, but most years. Mediocre coaches blame execution and have mediocre records.
I don't think this coaching staff will accomplish very much regardless of 4 and 5 stars. There's a lot of talk about players quitting. That's on the coaches. An it's nonsense.
I am ready to call the Hoke Era a bust and move on. Unfortunately this will play out over the next 3-4 years and put us deeper into a hole.
I love Brady hoke but he's not the answer. We are going backwards again.
I think we'll see some improvement over this year, but it will mainly come from the efforts of the kids, not necessarily coaching/scheme revelations. It was impressive to see what serious talent and top rate coaching can do (watching the NC game last night). If we stay mired in the muck of mediocrity again next fall, Brady's rear is really going to be flaming.
I find it surprising that before answering the question, no one asked if we are changing staffs, specifically Borges.
Iowa and Penn State this year, impressive collapses. Zero second half points at Ohio in 2012. My confidence with this staff is C- that next year we will have nine wins. With what we know now in January, I expect 8 wins, or 7, with only one rival win - Ohio is the most likely in my judgment but all three are formidable. This is not yet my official season prediction - 2013 I felt 10 wins was within reach, and it clearly did not happen.
I still feel Borges should go, Jackson should retire, and Funk should have gone if he had pride, but they are still Michigan coaches and I will send just as many Concern Rays as I did in 2011 and 2012 to bolster their performance and that of the team.
Fire Borges and Funk, please.
Did we hire a completely new offensive staff today and I didn't hear about it?
Oh, well, then, no. No we can't turn it around like Auburn did.
They have JUCO's to fill in the pieces. We do not.
They have, um, boosters who do extra special booster type things. We do not.
They have an innovative coach who looks at a brick wall and thinks "There's gotta be a loose brick in there somewhere I can exploit." We have a coach who looks at a brick wall and thinks "I bet if we run right at it a bunch, it will eventually fall over. What? We're down by 20 already? Well I guess we better stop running at this brick wall. What? We're up by 10 now? Time to go back to working on running over that brick wall."
Give me a system that focuses on doing 4 things obnoxiously well over a system that focuses on doing 20 things "meh."
Were you under a rock during the whole Cam Newton is suspended because his dad took cash, no just kidding Cam can play because he didn't know his dad took cash... thing?
How do you go from being horrible, to winning a national title, to being horrible, to almost winning another national title in the course of 4 years?
It aint by doing things the right way. It's by paying players and guiding them through favorable Junior Colleges that can get the eligible quick.
Open up thine eyes, good sir.
I know everyone is down with AB, but this is really the team's first year in his offense. It was the Denard hybrid West Coast spread for two years, and then there were significant changes with an inexperienced line. DG has an actual year under his belt, but I think the biggest improvement will be in the line.
And fuck, I am enthusiastic because I want to be... I can't help it.
Seem possible. If not some people are going to fired. I don't think we are going to be the big ten playoff rep though, which would be the equivalent to Auburn's success.
I know everyone is down with AB, but this is really the team's first year in his offense. It was the Denard hybrid West Coast spread for two years, and then there were significant changes with an inexperienced line. DG has an actual year under his belt, but I think the biggest improvement will be in the line.
And fuck, I am enthusiastic because I want to be... I can't help it.
Malzahn is as innovative a play caller as they come. He's an elite coach who knows how to get the most out of his players, and make them believe. What has Brady done to prove that he's anything more than an average coach who can recruit well?
Sorry, but Hoke's been at the helm for three years, and the team, save for a few position groups, has gotten worse as a whole. The Sugar Bowl honeymoon is long over. The coaches can't effectively game plan for road games and until they show me they can, I'm forced to assume that even a road trip to effing Purdue is a tossup. Even the defense, the one area of our team that should be solid with a damn good coordinator, completely fell off the tracks at the end of the year.
I want Hoke to prove me wrong next year. I love him as a person and want him to be the guy. I want him and Borges to make me eat crow, and make me look like a fool. But right now, I just don't see anything better than 7-5 or possibly 8-4, and potentially getting swept by our rivals. All three are on the road. Pessimistic? Maybe. But what has this coaching staff done lately to make me think otherwise?
Read Brian's analysis about experience by position and class first, then use keyboard.
2011 - Jr / Sr experience on d-line, o-line, and skill positions
2012 - Youthful defense (little to no line experience and loss of your starting CB in first game) plus nagging injuries to your QB
2013 - Young interior o-line with only Fr / So playmakers (excluding Fitz who never was the same after injury and an undersized Gallon, but a hell of a WR)
Youth and on-field performance go hand in hand. Talent is great, but you can't win on it alone.
8-4 next season. But a good 8-4. As good as an 8-4 season can be with losses to all 3 main rivals plus the random WTF conference loss. Wait, only 1 random conference loss? Hmm, that's not very good.
Ok, 7-5. But a good 7-5. Besides all main rivals, only 2 random conference losses. Wait. There's no such thing as a good 7-5.
Fire Borges. Fire Funk. Retire Fred.
ND is going to want to nail us since they don't have to play us again (and the chicken dance will go down along with the sky-painting over Spartan Stadium as dumb moments from 2013).
MSU and OSU own us and are playing at home.
This means we must win EVERY home game - not a given anymore - and win at Rutgers (likely) and NW (50/50).
I'm more of the impression that we will win either 10 games (pull off a road upset) OR roll out another 7 win season, with 3-4 road losses, and 1-2 home losses. One gives Hoke a bit of breathing room, the other should lead to his exit.
but i will go into the season hoping for undefeated anyhow.
But I don't think so. If we are still vanilla offensively & have a bend then break defense, we will have the same results.
Hoke has guaranteed a Big Ten Championship.
Okay he hasn't exactly "guaranteed" one. He has promised one.
Okay he hasn't exactly "promised" one. He has given some thought to one.
Yea. He has done that.
I mentioned it in a thread the other day, hoke seems less confident than he did in 2011 or even 2012. Something isn't right, could just be the pressures of winning at Michigan.
All comes down to offensive and defensive line improvements. We'll look like we have one of the better back 7's in the nation if our d-line can even play at '11 level. If our interior line can be decent (not even great) we'll have an adequate offense.
With that, and consisting our coaching staff and schedule, I say a 9-3 season would be respectable.
Did you see how auburn won those games? NO team is going to do that again for a while.
I always start with 9-3 as my "base prediction," but this team is as likely to run the table as any other in the Big Ten. The guys who got tossed around on the OL will all be a year older and remember the beatings they took this season. Devin Gardner will have actually have a full season of starting under his belt.
Nobody would have thought Auburn and MSU would go into the bowls with one loss each. Why not Michigan in 2014? I am not saying it will happen, but I certainly don't believe it can't. It's not like the Big Ten is setting the football world on fire, either, unless you count couches in EL.
We don't have their coaching staffs. That's why not.
I start off every season optomistic. Until that first L shows up, I think Michigan could go undefeated. As I have aged a little, I sadly can't keep logic and reason from creeping in. At work, if I want to know what my immediate future will look like I start by looking at my immediate past. Here it is. (Don't look too long at this)
Ok. That doesn't bode well. Fortuantely, when you know what has caused past problems, you can make changes so you are not doomed to repeat them. Let's look at all the changes which have been made for next year: Coaches? Scheme? Incremental development? Oh. Incremental development it is.
Ok. You can always do the gut check to see if your data just doesn't add up. Hmmm 7-6 in 2013. 2-6 in their last 8. Breakdowns in every phase of the game down the stretch. One player publicly saying there were effort and teamwork issues. Crap. The gut seems about right.
Ok. It's always good to do a double check to see if you missed something. Peppers should be arriving in the fall. He's a game changer. Oh. A game changer. As in, probably, worth about 1 game in his first year.
So, 1 game for incremental improvement. 1 game for the game changer. That changes 7-6 to 9-4. Probably not what everyone will be happy with.
Time to get back to work. Go Blue! You are undefeated in 2014!
That report card covers most of the duration that I've been a Michigan fan :(
Our so called tough games are not really that tough! No pressure on the team being ranked number 12. My prediction will be 8-4 but I really think we will beat either State or OSU on the road. I could see 10-2 and a good bowl game. 12-0 or 11-1 may be a stretch. If the injury bug strikes we could just end up with 5 or 6 wins. In any event, Hoke will be the coach through the 2015 season.
Turning it around means getting victories agaisnt MSU and/or OSU.
Until we have a few guys that play better than expected as opposed to worse than expected I don't see anything more than the typical 8-4.
I will be very interested to see how Ohio State performs this year when they have to replace 4 offensive lineman. If they do their usual 10 win seasons then I will officially doubt this coaching staff.
No prolly not
Only if they decide the football players don't need to go to classes like the SEC
Were we 3-9 this year? Were we winless in conference?
I think his point is going from an "unsuccessful season" to playing in the national championship game, or, at least making it to the College Football Playoff.
Can't start threads but towards the end of Sam's show this morning the subject of Al Borges came up. He didn't claim any insidery information but he seemed way less certain that the staff would go unchanged into 2014. Nothing earth shattering but I thought a worthwhile tidbit from a guy who hears more than most when it comes to the program.
if the level of negativity here remains this high.
Is it possible that Michigan can run the table in conference, win the Big Ten Championship in 2014, and make the playoffs in its first year? Unlikely, it would require amazing growth on the lines and a lot of luck, but it is certainly possible.
Claiming that the coaches are mediocre, or below average, or stupid or behind the times, is simply not yet supportable by their overall performance in the last three seasons. Certainly they had a mediocre season in 2013, one in which they and the players struggled and failed to improve quickly enough to meet the challenges of November (yeah yeah PSU etc.).
Keeping the coaching staff does not guarantee a repeat of 2013 any more than 2012 was a repeat of 2011. Changing the staff does not necessarily improve the likelihood of an improved 2014 season.
Competent managers do NOT fire a coach to appease a fan base or convince the players that thing are going to be different. Competent management fire a coach when replacing that coach will fix the problem, or is a necessary step in fixing the problem, and there is an available replacement coach who they believe will be more able to implement the necessary fix(es).
No one here, has the necessary information to fairly determine if firing any coach at this time is in the best interest of the team and the program. Only Hoke and Brandon have the required information. We can hold any opinion about whether or not they're able and willing to evaluate and act on that information, but that is part of what they are paid to do. Regardless of whether coaches are released at this point, we'll evaluate their judgement and competence in this regard at the end of next season.
Again in 2014 much of the record will depend on the ability of the coaches and players to correct the team's deficiencies than the quaity of opponents. After the experience of 2013, it is clear that we can take no game for granted, but every game is winnable. I'd estimate that, barring critical injuries, there is an 80% probablilty of between 8-10 regular season wins.
I'm not so sure it's negativism as much as realism. Yes, we certainly could "run the table" in 2014 - no games have been played yet so all things are possible. It is, however also possible to lose every game played in 2014 for the exact same reason. But neither is likely IMO.
My question to you is what happened to 2012? Based on your post it seems as if we jumped from an 11-2 record to 7-6 with no data point in-between. The fact is 2012 does exist and it was lousy, 8-5, and our three year trend line is distrubing to say the least. It's not as if 2013 exists in a vacum - we unfortunately have more data to consider when deciding to trust the coaches or not.
For the record I do not particularly wish to pay taxes or die but feel fairly certain I will have to do both sometime in the near future. Recognizing those unpleasant realities does not make me a pessimist (after all, I havent paid my taxes this year and I certainly havent died yet) but it does make a realist.
While it doesn't change the result all that much (because Michigan lost the past 2 bowl games), 2012's 8-4 sure felt and was drastically different than 2013's 7-5. And if because Michigan was 7-5 in the regular season, and if they happened to play a lousy opponent because of it and won, well, that 8-5 record would be very misleading compared to 2012's 8-5 record because of the difficulty of the bowl game.
The regular season is much closer to the same year-to-year. And while the bowl game is another data point, it seems like a massively inconsistent data point to lump in when trying to look at general trends.
That's just my opinion, and doesn't change much with regards to Michigan because of losing both bowl games.
While I agree with you I'm not so sure your point doesnt actually reinforce my arguement that our "trajectory of despair" is worse than it seems.
2012: 8-4 regular season with narrow, well-played bowl loss to top ten SEC team leaving us 8-5. Not horrible - optimistic for 2013 (at least I was).
2013: 7-5 regular season with an one-sided loss in a poorly-played bowl game to an unranked, middle of the pack Big 12 team leaving us 7-6 and not feeling confident at all for 2014 - especially with the schedule we are facing.
There are reasons for pessimism and not's just because people are feeling grouchy. There is a lot of data to support the emotion right now (unforunately).
That "middle of the pack" Big 12 team went 6-1 to end the year (the one loss was to an OKlahoma team who had finally "clicked" offensively into the version that wound up beating Alabama), and even with their slow, methodical pace on offense they put up over 30 points in all 7 of those games. They were 11-2 the previous year and Big 12 champions, and returned many starters from that team (the one big loss was their QB, of course). My point is..they were likely better than the 7-5 record had indicated. Coupled with losing your starting QB for the game...it was a lose-lose situation for Michigan. It took me offguard at how poorly the defense played, but when the players themselves said that their hearts weren't 100% into the game, it's hard to take much away from it.
But I think it was pretty obvious that the 2013 season was worse than the 2012 season. I don't think the sample size is necessarily enough to take a "trajectory of despair" look at things, however. I do understand more pessimism than optimism at this point, I think people have generally been way over optimistic dating back to '07. It's worn on people. What I also believe is that a lot of people have generally tended to sway too heavily one way or the other though. It's always the worst or it's the best. Typically the reality is inbetween. I believe you'll see an uptick next year, in the range of 8-10 wins, but the overall improvement will be significant even if it's only 1 more win. And then the trajectory will look like it's going back up.
Saying things like no chance if Borges is coaching or no chance if this staff remains intact or assuming that the line is doomed until coaching is changed may or may not be someone's "realisitc" opiion but it is also expressed in a very negative way. In essence it says "I've given up and no amount of conflicting data matters".
As for 2012, every time I speculate on an upcoming season I always add the caveat "assuming no critical injuries". Had Denard been injured in the last 30 seconds of the Nebraska game I have little doubt (although no one will every know) that Michigan wins that game. If you want to blame the coaches for moving Gardner to WR and relying on Bellomy I'm fine with that. I thought it was a high risk decision at the time. We'll never know where Gardner would have been in his progression as a QB had he been taking QB snaps all through the 2012 season. Coaches get paid to make difficult decisions maybe we'd have lost a different game or two without Gardner at WR, maybe we'd have beaten Nebraska, Ohio, and SC if Gardner had been the back up and taken over from Denard with more QB practice under his belt we'll never know.
What we do know is that 2013 was the first year that the coaches were willing to attempt to change the offensive philosophy to what they intend to run going forward and that the transition was far more difficult that most if not all of the fan base expected. I'd have loved the opportunity to have sat down with Hoke and Borges the week before the first game and get an honest answer of their expectations for the season. It's another thing we'll never know.
Was this the correct year? Should the coaches have waited? Should they have attempted it in 2012 or 2011? Like I said coaches get paid to make difficult decisions and I can see arguments on both sides of all those questions and many others.
While I don't give the coaches a pass because of roster problems, I also don't think it is an excuse to say that they were a major contributor to 2013 and to a lesser extent 2012. The impact of Molk's injury in the sugar bowl revealed just how important he was to the ability of that offense to run the ball. Denard's and other injuries and the impact of the roster on 2012, cause me to discount the meme that, at this point, the fall off in the record consistutes a meaningful trend. It may but the data are a little to slim for me.
Seven regular season wins in 2014 would, in my opinion, show a disturbing trend and while I doubt it would cost Hoke his job, I would expect a pretty substantial shake up in his staff to result.
I think that my view of the team is realistic. I indicated that in my opinion there are no safe games next season. They can go anywhere from 4 regular season wins (highly unlikely in my opinion) to undefeated (probably more unlikely).
I expect modest improvement in the overall play of both lines. I don't expect either line to be dominant or maybe not even good in 2014. Yes they could get worse, they could get dramatically better, but the odds, given the importance of game experience on the lines, favor modest improvement. When I say that the typical response is "not with these coaches" or "these coaches have not shown they can coach". Specific examples that run against that meme are summarily dismissed. GIven what we've seen in the last three seasons, there are reasons to support either argument, but an unwillingness to acknowledge that either side is supportable is inherently negative. A view that is unrelentingly negative or positive is pretty much unrealistic on its face.
I'm also one of the oldest contributors here and have followed Michigan football far longer than many of you have been alive. This was a difficult season but I've been through far worse. One thing that is very different this season compared to the real stinkers of old is the tire fire that was buildable only because of the internet. I suppose the internet also allows us all to build a equally dramatic tower of expectations in the fall, a tower that provide plently disappointment to fuel the tire fires when things go wrong.
Having to make astonishingly vituperative statements to the target's face or in person to those who don't share that view, tended to moderate the tone of the fan base in disappointing seasons. That damper does not exist in these forums and as such piling on is both popular and easy. Cheap shots at coaches, who are almost certain to be coaching here next year is pointless negativity at this juncture. Disappointment and disagreement with the coaches and their decisions expressed in a civil fashion creates a far less negative and more realistic atmosphere and allows for discussion of other points of view.
"Claiming that the coaches are mediocre, or below average, or stupid or behind the times, is simply not yet supportable by their overall performance in the last three seasons."
Claiming that the coaches are mediocre or below average IS "supportable by their overall performance" in the entirety of their careers though.
... 12-1 at San Diego State in 2008 and 11-2 at UofM in 2011. During the other 9 seasons , he was 50-59. Another 7-5 season is more likely, unless some major coaching changes are made.
I believe they go into even the offseason conditoning pissed off, and with a larger than average chip on their shoulders.
It would have been nice to see that chip on their shoulder before their bowl game. Can Michigan bounce back in Auburn / Spartyesque fashion next season? Sure. Will they? I have my doubts. I really wished they showed more fire against K-State. Your whole "chip on their shoulder" premise sounds like wishful thinking.
Let's hope some senior leaders really emerge to get these guys focused.
"Let's hope some senior leaders really emerge to get these guys focused."
Boom. Right there. I believe this was missing the entire season. The team had a disjointed feel to it.
As fine a person as Hoke is, he is not an innovator like Gus Malzahn. He's not going to engineer a miracle turnaround.
9-3 at best; 8-4 more likely; 7-5 entirely possible. Not including bowl games, of course.
If the year is a disaster, 6-6 or no bowl game, then I think Brandon will be forced to fire Hoke, and I shudder at the prospect of DB picking the next coach, after the mess he has made of the program.
You'll probably want me to define 'mess.'
By that I mean that RR should have been given another year since many of his key players hadn't become upperclassmen and all he needed was a good D coach, and the money to get one; that the drawn-out process of firing RR was not the way to handle the firing of a Michigan head coach; and that the choice was not the best one - I suspect that some potential candidates were (and will continue to be) put off by the way DB works. Speculation, I know. But successful coaches have big egos, and I know I'd be leery of how things work at Michigan.
If Hoke is let go after 2014 or 2015, we go through yet another rebuilding.
I'm not optimistic.
If we want to commit to playing smash mouth football, you hire someone that can coach that. With the players we have coming in there should be no excuses for Hoke or the possible next coach. There will be no excuse for ''rebuilding''.
Auburn offense is built around sort of a 3 players *could* receive the ball on any running-style play, and it *could* be a play action pass play...sort of this ultimate misdirection play thats an RPS nightmare for defenses to try to cover any of the right possibilities.
Whereas Michigan is not. We play sort of this percentage football game. (Insert Sparky Anderson reference to a maddening array of offensive subs based on the simple premise that LH batters hit RHP more often and vice versa) Sort of we lineup and check up, attempt to RPS out of what the defense is showing if it seems like percentage-wise we are overmatched to the play called. Overloading the OL by blitzing LBs or stacking up the box is a cheap easy for a defense to defeat us at this juncture...because overmatching takes advantage of our relatively young physical development and also the mistakes made in blocking are easily exploited.
As such Id postulate that the gains are slow and steady in this type of system (aka The Tortise) as it depends more on physical development and blocking perfection. The fanbase mostly expects the Hare to come running out on the field...and we can all see the conundrum. But get the OL to the point where development and perfection are higher, and those blitzes and box-loads will get the D burned up for long gains when mistakes are made in pass coverage. When its a run, it will be a short but steady gain.
I see hundreds of posts maiming the coaches, and to a point they chose Percentage Football over Misdirection. But simply saying they can't coach is obtuse in my thinking. I think they can and will moving forward. But note that Percentage Football relies heavily on physical development and perfection as stated above.