We lose one of our road rivalry games and one game to an underdog.
We lose one of our road rivalry games and one game to an underdog.
Until Hoke proves me wrong, I just don't see us winning on the road at places tougher than Purdue and Illinois. Especially not in places like East Lansing, South Bend and Columbus. I'm really hoping Hoke can prove me wrong here, but until then, I think this year we're a 9-3 team at best, more than likely a 7-5 to 8-4 team, where we inexplicably trip up against a team like PSU, Utah or Rutgers.
There's enough talent on this roster to where there isn't a team on our schedule that we can't beat, but I really remain skeptical of its ability to do so. We seem to consistently be out-coached, out-schemed, and completely out-physicaled. When the UConns and Akrons of the world are piling up sacks and TFL on you, there's a very big problem there. When frickin' Bo Pelini is out-coaching you, on your own turf, that's a problem.
I still have to think Mattison knows what he's doing, but Nuss needs to be able to get this offense, and particularly the O-Line, back on track. I'm not expecting an Alabama O-Line out there, but something serviceable. One that can generate at least some push on a regular basis.
Bottom Line: this team absolutely has the ability to beat anyone on its schedule, but until Hoke proves he can win road games, and until our coordinators prove they can field good, or in the offense's case, competent units, we're not much better than 8-4 and probably yet another loss to an SEC team in a bowl game. Sorry, but Hoke has yet to do anything to raise my expectations further than that.
This is pretty much right on, in my opinion. The only thing is, I think you're putting too much faith in Nuss's control to improve the OL. He has to depend on his OL coach in many ways for that, and we've seen no change in that or reason to believe it will be different. Sure, he'll give a base scheme which will hopefully help them know what the heck is going on, but the arbitrary starter switches and inability to determine talent/preparedness before game 1 and early in the season -- I think that'll only change with the OL coach. Still, I think Nuss will make strides forward.
BUNCHES OF FUNCHESS goodness
Then a 2nd WR emergence with Funchess getting added attention, either Darboh, Chesson, or Canteen.
Less misery at Spartan Stadium because I'm confident Nuss is aware of what an A-gap blitz is.
I'll go with 9-3. Beat ND, lose to MSU, OSU and some toss-up road game we normally should win.
The defense to play well enough that they win at least 1 game when the offense has a tough day. May that day happen in EL. Otherwise, they keep opposing scores low enough that the offense doesn't have to go all "2013 Indiana" to win games. The offense just needs to get into the upper 20s in scoring to be in the game.
The offense will be more consistent. We'll have enough of a running game that it actually has to be respected. They will have some bread-and-butter running plays. We will have an OC that understands how to run counters off of plays. We will have an OC that gives Devin time at the line and the level of trust and tools to adjust out of bad plays. That will be a big change from Big Al.
That should be good enough for 9 wins. If the OL plays above average or the defense rises to Best in the B1G levels, then we could maybe grab a few more wins. The OSU game is always one where emotion and desire can be a great equalizer/advantage. Harder to do on the road, but it's been done before.
if we had done what Florida did, and replaced OC and OL coach. There's little to indicate we'll see a change in OL rotation (who never found a way to gel together amidst constant starter changes), even with simplified scheme by the OC. So, my prediction is similarly erratic shifts in OL combinations, as though someone is spinning a wheel on who starts.
Other than that, I see good things for us in the future, with a maturing QB, simplified scheme, restocked RB field, and a sharpening defense. But 9-3 is the top of what I can see, and it may well be 8-4 or worse. I just can't see our OL making huge improvements under the same coaching and still being very young. Still, 2015 could be an excellent year as our young OL improves.
hell I dont know anymore. I am going to go in every game with zero expectations and hope to be pleasantly surprised.
Perfect attitude. Totally agree.
which is a testament to how far U of M football has fallen
ive been searching, and i can not seem to find the date. anyone here know when they actually start fall practice? 51 days until the first game, so i assume we start around August 1st?
Losses to MSU and OSU, and a flip, slight lean win at ND. Rest should be wins with only at NW as any threat. So on paper I see 10-2, possibly 9-3 if ND is any good this year. However we always have that one derp game each year, so the range I see is 8-4 to 10-2, settling on 9-3 as most likely.
YES!!! This is Michigan FERGODSAKES!!! We should always expect 10 wins. WIth our tradition, status as an big-time program, and the recruiting classes we pull, we should always expect 10 wins at least 10 wins. I don't think it is unreasonable for us, as a fanbase, to expect anything less.
However, those expectations do not reflect the reality that is Michigan football at the moment. So while I expect 10 wins every year, I predict we finish the season 7-5 or 6-6 for a number of reasons.
1) the o-line will make little to no improvement. We just lost two NFL tackles from a line that was atrocious. Sure the younger guys will make some improvement with the experience they gained, but you simply do not replace a first and third round pick with guys who are underclassmen. Also, the lack of development the line showed throughout last year has me extremely concerned that the improvement that the young guys make will be minimal.
2) We lost our number 1 receiver and while Funchess will be a huge threat, there is no proven commodity besides him. Chesson was decent but not a world-beater last year. No one konws how Darboh will recover from his injury, and while Canteen has had a lot of hype this spring, we've seen some players receive equal hype and not do much come Saturday so I'm very skeptical.
3) Gardner, while great at times, was also a turn-over machine at points this past season. I'm not sure how much better he's going to get now that his favorite target as gone on to the NFL, especially as he'll be behind an o-line that I believe will be worse than last years
4) the RB's struggled mightly....albiet much of that might be due to the o-line problems but they certainly didn't show themselves to be anything than mediocre at best
The Defense: While this unit should be better I think most around these parts are overrating how good they'll be.
1) How will Ondre return from his acl injury? This is a big concern for me as the d-line was decent but not great. If Ondre returns 100% and lives up to his billing, then this unit should be good, but no one really knows how good he'll he returns. Clark and Ojeumduia are good, but if there is no push from the middle, I think teams will be able to plan around them.
2) linebackers- this unit I am the most optimistic about. We should have a real good LB corp.
3) DB's - We had our moments last year and on paper we're very talented. They played well in stretches last year but can they improve? I'm not exactly sold on Manning coaching them either. Seem's weird to me that a guy who played LB is now the DB coach, and the fact that this is his first year coaching the unit does not fill me with optimism. Mallory's Unit I feel will be very good though.
4) field position/time on field: clearly the offense is the weakest link of this team. I honestly don't feel that they will improve significantly/at all (I hope to God Nuss proves me wrong) and that our struggles offensively will place a massive burden on the defense. We might have a good to great defense, but if they are out there for 60-70% of the game, they'll get worn down and eventually break, it's only a matter of time.
Losses to ND, MSU, and Ohio obviously. However I think it's very realistic that we could potentially lose to Utah, Minnesota, NW, and PSU. So if we lose the 3 rivalry games and split those 4 toss-ups that's 7-5. and I could easily see us losing another one of those toss-ups, or falling to a team we should beat giving us the 6-6 record. I hope I'm wrong and that Hoke proves that he can develop our kids just as well as Dantonio can, I just don't see it at the moment.
For some reason I don't believe you when you say "I hope I'm wrong..."
not sure how to respond to that, but if you would like to refute any of the points I made, i'd be happy to engage you in a discussion.
It was just a joke and I actually would agree with the majority of your points. I think this is probably an 8-4 team with 9-3 more likely than 7-5.
The points were very valid and the last 6 years we have been blowing sunshine here in July, and almost blowing our brains out in September.
but there is a big difference between what we as a fanbase should expect in regards to the product on the field versus what the current team and staff have lead us to expect. Are we right in expecting 10 plus wins every year regardless of the team and coach? yes!!! Have we been shown anything in the past 3 years to realistically expect anything above 8 wins? No!
You want, demand, and may feel entitled to, but stated clearly you don't expect. "Should expect" /= "expect."
I'm sure other years you've also done more "should expecting" than actual "expecting" as well.
why some people think the defense is going to be so good next year? I want it to be stellar, but I haven't seen any proof to lead me to that conclusion. The defense was medicore at best last season so they really need to make a leap along with the offense. I mean look at the defensive rankings from last year and tell me that reads as expecting excellent this year:
Scoring - 66th
Rushing yards per game - 29th
Passing yards per game - 66th
Red Zone - 94th
Pass Efficiency - 43rd
TOs Gained - 26th
First Downs per game - 45th
Sacks - 66th
TFL - 91st
Those numbers say we have quite a bit of work to do if the defense is going to need to carry this team.
it's really all about the defensive line. If they improve, the defense should be stellar. From analysis, the linebackers were excellent when not eating blocks. The secondary should be excellent as long as Gordon's replacement isn't a black hole.
We get healthy Jake Ryan, hopefully Pipkins, and add Peppers to an already deep secondary. We have the bodies to be much more aggressive this year than last, which typically pays off in the Big Ten.
about the LBs. They are very good. I'm still skeptical about the d-line with Pip's health being a big question mark. I do like Henry and think he has a lot of promise. Hopefully he tears it up this year.
I think Taylor and Countess are both overrated. I think they can get burnt too easily when playing press coverage so I don't know how aggressive those two really allow the secondary to be.
The reason I think the defense will be much improved is they return 3 top players from injury that either didn't play much last year (Pipkins) or were not 100% while they played last year (Ryan and Countess). The DL is still somewhat of a question mark but I am very confident that the back 7 will be among the best in the country. Also, UM returns something like 20 contributors from last years defense and, although some will say differently, players can actually get better as they get older and gain more experience.
However the defense was put in horrible situations by the offense last year. It's really hard to be statistically good when you're on the field for almost the entire game because the offense does nothing but go 3 and out. I think they are better than those numbers show, but not much better. I agree that they need to make a leap, but if our offense last year was just bad instead of atrocious, then those number improve
Not to mention the flip in field position. The entire MSU, Iowa, and Nebraska games our D was fighting short fields and still did well. Remember the entire game in EL where Sparty started, on average, their own 40 yard line and us our own 10 yard line. Yeah - that tends to wear a defense down and skew stats a little.
There's only so much the defense can do. If they get absolutely no help from the offense, it's bound to take a toll on them physically. Then throw in the resentment the defense feels towards to the offense for putting them in such shitty spots and you get Clark's comments post-bowl game. We have a good defense, not great, but definitely better then the number posted above
So TFL and sacks being horrendous were hampered by too many opportunities? Did you guys forget about the poor tackling and the 10 yard cushion receivers had. We were absolutely atrocious and played like little girls. Quarterbacks had days to complete a pass.
Eh, I think the TFL and sack numbers were so low because last years DL (especially DT's) was pretty bad. Maybe I'm just crazy but I think the DL will be much improved. If the NT/DT combo is actually as good as I think they will be, that should really help the DE's and LB's be able to get after the opposing QB more. Add to that my belief that the CB's are going to be very good this year, I think that will help the sack numbers as well.
The TFL and sacks were bad and we should have had more considering the number of opportunities we had. My point was more in regards to the rush/game and pass/game stats than those. Although in reference to your point, when the defense is on the field for 60+% of the game, they're gonna get tired, and the pass rush will suffer as a result. Not an excuse by any stretch as we absolutely should have been better in those aspects, but I was just pointing out that all of that stats initially posted aren't truly reflective of the competency of the defense.
Losses @ ND, MSU, and OSU. Win a mid-level bowl game. Team demonstrably better than in 2013, but fan base still very unhappy and "hot seat" stories about Hoke during offseason increase by several orders of magnitude.
. Team demonstrably better than in 2013, but fan base still very unhappy and "hot seat" stories about Hoke during offseason increase by several orders of magnitude.
Just why I can't stand a good portion of our "fans" at times.
If my depressing DD scenario plays out, the yammering about headsets is going to be painful to endure.
Narduzzi may only be available after this year and could potentially be the best coaching candidate Michigan has access to in years. He's just been that important for MSU. We'll see how it goes this year but if MSU crushes again this year and UM falters, he'd be a near no-brainer to pursue.
Would be very Bo/Woodyish too to pluck him from a close rival.
Narudzzi come's here. He's been filled with too much Michigan hate while coaching MSU. If his only options were the Michigan head coaching job or MSU d-coordinator for another year, he'd stay right where he's at
He would blow someone to come here. He would also whip their green asses.
Money can only go so far. Take Hoke's comments about how he would have walked from San Diego to Ann Arbor to coach UofM. You think that if ohio offered him quadruple the money we did he would pick ohio over us? I certainly don't. He loves Michigan too much, and as much as I criticize him, I'm glad we have a coach that loves the University that much. I feel that Narduzzi is cut from that same mold. He's spent the last 6+ years being indoctrinated with so much hate for U of M that if his only options were the HC position at Michigan at a quadrulple salary or remaining the DC at staee, he'd choose state. Obviously that's just my opinion as I certainly don't know the man, it's just hard for me to see a guy who has grown to despise everything about Michigan football turning around and becoming the head coach of the very program he despises.
that Hoke is let go, Brandon is going to be roundly criticized for hiring a coach many opined from the outset as not qualified. In that scenario, I doubt that Brandon would hire a guy like Narduzzi with zero head coaching experience to replace Hoke.
Narduzzi's first head coaching job will either be at MSU or some lesser program to get his feet wet.
I preface this statement in that I know this a bad example, however Will Muschamp was hired as the HC as the Florida Gators without any head coaching experience. Obviously Muschamp has not done a great job at UF, but it's not like Texas' defense was stellar prior to his move to UF. Narduzzi has done an outstanding job at MSU and the fact he's done it with as little talent as they recruit (given star rankings, which obviously is not a great indicator) only makes it that much more impressive. I would have no qualms in hiring Narduzzi over another Hoke type candidate solely because one has HC experience and the other does not.
Oregon's HC, their former OC, is a better and more successful example of this.
and Brady doesn't get it done, there is an obvious answer although it would be an expensive answer. Just hire the former Big Ten coach now in the SEC who obviously knows how to build a team capable of running the ball. In one year alone he produced two 1,000 yard rushers and another that fell 4 yards short of that magic number. He did it repeatedly, won three titles in a row and was rewarded with three straight trips to the RB. The big difference is he would inherit a team made up of even better talent than he had in this conference. Of course with his buyout at roughly 6 million for the first three seasons, I'm not certain our AD would entertain this notion.
Personally though, I am always loyal to the man currently in the seat and hope Mr. Hoke gets it done this season. If you see the ypc go up by a significant margin you will also see the Ws go up and there should be no further discussion of whether he's the man for the job. Never, since I've been a fan, has the entire fan base been in agreement on whether or not we had the right man leading the team, and that's been a long time. Best case scenario is what I stated just above. He's a hard man to dislike but not a difficult coach to second guess.
Where did Bo coach as an assistant? Going from coordinator to U of M would be huge. Hoke would have went to Ohio to coach if Michigan wasn't open. There is no way though Ohio would have ever pursued Hoke with his record of mediocre seasons.
I honestly don't believe Hoke would ever becoming the HC at ohio regardless of how much they were offering him. Although I do agree with you that they would never have even pursued him, which is pretty telling of where our program is unfortunately
I think we win 10 games, including beating MSU or ND. I'm excited about this upcoming year.
I think 2015 is the year to be excited about but 2014 has to be a year where the football team shows Beilein like improvement WITHIN the season. If it is not we have a major issue with our position coaches (outside of Manning who did well with the LBs and Hecklinski who has gotten some of our WRs to do very well).
2015 we break in a new starting QB. Usually not the best year to expect big things, but it's happened before (Connor Cook, Winston, Manziel, etc.).
Schedule will never be easier than in 2015. No Wisconsin. MSU/OSU at home. The easiest non conf games we will have in the next decade or two I assume as we should begin scheduling home and homes with top 15 BCS type teams. Aside from Devin and maybe Funchess entire offense returns. The OL will finally be loaded with upperclassmen. We'll have maybe 6 WRs to pick from. We'll have a 3 headed RB.
I am tired of the QB excuse. Shane will be in year 3 in the system. He only has 4 years. If we can only have great success in the 4th year of a QB in the system we have the wrong staff. That means only once every 3-4 years can you expect great things from a team. Shane will get playing time this year and will be in year 3 of college football... plenty of guys of that experience do fine. And he has a very easy schedule early when he starts in 2015 aside from a tricky game @Utah.
If Hoke cannot pull off a 11 win season in 2015 he doesnt belong here IMO. The schedule will never work out better for him combined with his players filling the roster and a lot of upperclassmen starting. 2016 has Wisconsin on schedule + MSU/OSU on road again - so if not 2015 then when?
However, Hoke is Brandon's guy, and Brandon will do everything in his power to make sure that Hoke get's every bite at the apple he can. I don't think it's too far-fetched that if we have disappointing season (8 wins or less) in 2014 and 2015, that Brandon let's Hoke have another shot in 2016 so that he'll have a starting QB with experience at the helm. And even then, if we disappoint again in 2016, Brandon just might give Hoke another shot in 2017 when the schedule become favorable again to see if he can finally get it done.
I certainly don't believe that this should happen should that scenario occur, but I also wouldn't be shocked if it did.
Great post, but physically we have much stronger and more gifted athletes. MSU just comes out and plays tough with precision. We come out soft, unorganized and lazy. I do think Hoke is overwhelmed, but maybe he can get it together now that he has settled in. He is a great guy, but reminds me of John L Smith as a coach. Just in way over his head and doesn't get it so far.
We do not have "much stronger" guys than MSU. Often we are throwing out 19 year olds versus their 22 year olds. Just because they have a winged helmet and have 4 stars next to their name does not make them "much stronger". 2-3 extra years in a weight program gives someone man strength versus "teen strength". That is like saying Mike Martin as a sophomore was much stronger than Mike Martin as a senior.
It is not basketball - it helps to be loaded with seniors and juniors, esp if you can redshirt them, in football. Of course they have to be talented but Wisconsin and MSu are showing the advantage of redshirting almost everyone and having a bunch of 4th/5th year players load your 2 deep. It helps close the gap with the more talented (on paper) teams such as OSU and UM.
That said the gap between the 2 teams in strength/toughness should be smaller than it was last year as we had a lot of 2nd year plauyers running around out there versus their 4th/5th years. This year there will be a lot more 3rd year+ players out there. Then in 2015, there will be no more excuses as the 2010 class disaster is erased.