There's no doubt in my mind that 2013's interior line will be better than 2012's.
this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
There's no doubt in my mind that 2013's interior line will be better than 2012's.
I think we've got a solid shot at 10-2 next year and the Capital One Bowl at least. I think we'll lose to Northwestern (Fitzgerald is on the verge of a major breakthrough with his team, and that option will continue to give the defense fits), and 1 other loss will come somewhere against MSU, OSU and ND.
I feel much better now knowing that Gardner's blindside is safe.
What I think will really make or break the offensive line now is how much of a road grader Kyle Kalis/Chris Bryant/Braden/Magnuson can be in their first year of play. You can't say anything but good things about our previous linemen as people -- solid citizens, worked hard and gave everything they got. However, if we can conjure up two interior lineman that have a meaner streak geared towards a power running game, MIchigan can really have something going. I really believe it can be the difference between 8-5 and 11-2. That's how subpar the line looked to me at least in terms of power run blocking. If the cards line up right, I really think next year can be special.
Huge change! My expectation for next year was hoping to win at least our half of the Big Ten next year with an expectation we should win at least our half in 2014. Taylor Lewan (and the awesome leadership he demonstrates) bumps me to thinking we are likley to win at least our half of the Big Ten.
I see the biggest risks to next year as O-line, big step up for Devin Gardner, need healthy Blake Countess and need Jarrod Wilson or Marvin Robinson to be solid at safety. If those four happen we could be excellent in 2013 instead of just pretty good.
Lewan returning dramatically raises both the floor on possible O-line performance and raises the possibility the O-line could be pretty darn good next year from zero to 50-50 or so. Still risk with 3 new O-line starters, but it looks a whole lot better.
Doesn't change my expectations at all, I had 12-0 from day one. Now we shall win the twelve games by a slightly higher margin.
Anything less would be a disappointment.
You do realize they just lost the the vast majority of there total offense, right? So where do you expect the yards and points to come from? From Fitz who's leg just got snapped in half like a twig and wasn't able to produce anything this last season? or the extremely shallow wide receiver corpse? I think you should probably lower your expectations a little. We should get excited in a couple years when the depth is actually there.
Their, I said it.
"We" should be excited every year.
Yes, in a realistic manner.
Please name a team on our schedule that we can't beat? Going 12-0 with our schedule is definitely realistic.
We can beat every team on our schedule. We also could lose 5 games. Going 12-0 is almost never "realistic."
A BIG BLUE WORLD salute. Thanks to you we're smelling the roses.
It definitly improves depth on the offensive line. The defense should be solid next season. With all the recruits and the returning players im actually very optimistic for next season. We return everything on special teams plus Gardner returns. Honestly our only issues next season are secondary, running backs, and offensive line
11-2 after beating OHIO twice!!!!
This makes me feel a lot better about our QB depth. Devin's jersey will stay a whole lot cleaner now.
i don't see us winning more than 9.. unless we have big time playmakers show up on offense.. We can't pass it to gallon every play, and our offense is generally way too predictable..
Our D, will prob not be able to stop NW again.. We will lose to OSU, and could lose the ND, or a few other games.. ND returns most of their line.. Gardner should be in trouble most of that game.. specially if we have no running game
We were in winnable positions in every game except Alabama last year. Geez man, it's not like we got our ass kicked the entire year. Look what the offense did against a legitimate top 10 SEC defense in the bowl. Combined with an easier schedule, we should be much better.
NW, isn't Coulter gone now?
A five star senior qb should be a big time playmaker after a summer to, you know, actually play qb
Better protection for Devin is always nice. Gives Magnuson one more year to bulk up and learn, then come out and kick ass as a RS Soph.
I expect the line to look like this:
I like a lot that both our tackles are 5th year seniors, and the rest of the line is relatively young, but should be able to hold their own.
12-0, are you insane? 9-3 is realistc.
12-0 exists in some sort of fantastical land devoid of realism, or something.
Here is realistic:
On offense, we have a quarterback, two offensive linemen, one 5'6'' wideout, and an up and coming tight end. We have a bunch of really young guys trying to fill in on the interior of our O-Line with not really much knowledge of whether they will be better or worse than the fairly maligned guys who just left. Our wide receivers outside of Jeremy Gallon are complete unknowns. The running backs that we have are not very good, so much so, that we are praying to be rescued by a guy who hasn't even committed yet, let alone stepped on campus.
Our offense is a few good pieces and a whole lotta these: ?
All of this is of course assuming no one of significance gets injured, and we all know how that worked out this past season.
I could go on about the defense, but the point is, 12-0 teams generally don't have this many question marks coming into the season. I know the Big Ten isn't very good, but it's not like we've been shredding through it the past few years.
"12-0 teams generally don't have this many question marks coming into the season."
I can name two this past season: ND and OSU. 9-3 would be pretty disappointing given the schedule.
Notre Dame had the perfect storm of other teams collapsing and/or completely falling apart at the right time, lack of injuries, and calls, OH GOD, the calls.
That type of season is not replicable.
I agree ND will not duplicate luck, but teams get lucky bounces every year. As an obvious skeptic did you expect 11-2 last season? 9-3 is decent, however there just aren't enough teams more talented on the schedule to warrant 3 losses. Everyone seems to be mixing the idea of beating obviously bad teams, and winning MAYBE 3 challenging games. That's more than enough reason to see 12-0 as a real possibility. ND loses key defensive players, returns a shaky qb, and possibly loses a coach. Ohio is legitimately a toss up, and Nebraska at home favors Michigan. Sparty will have no offensive weapons or offensive line. I understand managing expectations, but Michigan might not be a dog in any games next season
The 11-2 team overperformed and this year's team underperformed. I think 9-3 is a pretty good baseline.
People are already marking MSU in EL as a guaranteed W, which is completely and totally ridiculous, even if they have lost a lot of talent.
Nebraska, Ohio State, and Notre Dame can all state that they are better than we are, and it would be hard to argue against them.
Penn State has a good team, and would have been a tough game this year. I don't know what their team will look like next year, but we're going to have to go to Happy Valley which is a tough place to play.
All I'm saying is, if you're going down Michigan schedule and marking all of these games as easy Ws, you're not being very reasonable.
We have 5 very losable games on our schedule.
NW will be a tough game next year as well, and it's not like they were an easy out this year.
That said, IF the O-line can get their act together, I think double-digit regular season wins is very attainable. Gallon, Funchess, and Dileo are reliable targets, and I expect some of our sophomores to step-up.
Hayes and Rawls will probably take big steps forward (they need to) and Darboh and Chesson will be better. If we get good blocking and decent RB play, and a sophomore WR steps up, the sky is the limit.
That's a lot of "IFs". 9-3 or 10-2 seem most likely; 11-1 possible; 12-0 and 8-4 seem like outliers to me.
You forget one thing: BIGGG TEENNN!
The conference sucks. Maybe it won't suck as bad next year, but anything can happen.
I could go on about the defense, but the point is, 12-0 teams generally don't have this many question marks coming into the season.
Actually, they often do. ND had a new QB this season. Ohio had a new coach and rebuilding defense and was coming off a 6-7 season. Our 1997 team had four new starters on the OL. Pretty much every team in the country has question marks. National championship teams happen to have guys who step up at the right time.
OK, but the key words are "generally" and "this."
Also, there is a huge difference between 4 new O-Line starters, and 3 new O-Line starters, an entire receiving corps minus a 5'6'' guy, the entire running back corps, nearly the entire secondary, and half the D-Line.
My main point though is that it is insane to expect 12-0. This year's Alabama team did not go 12-0. Last year's Bama team did not go 12-0. The 2009 Florida squad, which if I recall correctly some group attempted to track the best football teams of the past 20 years and rated them number 1 overall, did not go 12-0.
Expecting 12-0 is generally dumb. Hoping for 12-0 is fine, but everyone does that every single season, so it's kind of moot.
Are you under the assumption that if you keep calling Gallon 5'6" then that will make it true? Does this work for you in other avenues of life?
I love the mighty mite, but if you think Jeremy Gallon is 5'8'', I've got a bridge to sell you.
He's 5'8" and can jump higher than 6'2" guys.
That doesn't change the fact that he's still not ideal for this offense, as talented as he may be.
Jumping is one thing, but using your body to shield the defender from the ball on slants and out routes is something a 5'8'' player just can't do as effectively as a bigger receiver. Smaller body, shorter arms, smaller target.
Even if he can out jump people, a 5'8'' guy basically has to out jump a 6'2'' guy by 8 or 9 inches just to break even with height and arm length taken into account.
TheLastHoke I'm completely with you man, I don't know what the hell everybody's thinking. Has everybody forgot that injuries happen during the course of the season. So it Gallon goes down, where is the depth at receiver? There is no way that they are going 12-0. Maybe if they're lucky the following year and they answer a lot of questions next season, but until then I haven't drank the Kool Aid.
Jeremy Gallon had 829 yards receiving last year. Your "we only have a 5-8 receiver so we're going to be terrible" argument would be more valid if said receiver hadn't already proved he can be a productive college football player. We're going to have Gallon starting on one side and probably the winner of Chesson/Darboh on the other side. Add in Dileo in the slot and a potential breakout year from Funchess and we have a potentially very productive passing attack.
I actually agree with you about the seeming overly optimistic statements many here are making (winning 10 games is really, really hard even when we were uber talented 8-4 or 9-3 is still more likely), but you're undercutting your argument by dismissing Jeremy Gallon as merely a "5-8 receiver"
I'm not saying that we're going to be terrible. I just stated that our wide receiving is corps has two knowns (Gallon and Dileo), and a bunch of unknowns. Both of our knowns are undersized, and Gallon is not playing his ideal position. So based on that, it's probably not safe to assume that it will be a group capable of playing 12-0 football.
Is there anything wrong with that?
Gallon is good, but there's no denying that he's not in an ideal spot.
Let me put it to you this way, seeing as there is so much confusion with regard to this matter.....
There is a concept that's been around forever, but I think Bill Simmons coined a phrase for it.
The "Table Test."
In other words, what do you bring to the table (good attributes), and what do you take off the table (bad attributes)?
A perfect example of this for football would be Adrian Peterson in 2008. He ran for 1700 yards and 10 TDs, but he fumbled a ridiculous 9 times. So while you acknowledge the good (1700 yards, 10 TDs), you can't ignore the bad (9 fumbles).
I'm not denying that Gallon brings a lot to the table, but a lot of you are simply glossing over the things that Gallon takes off the table, and not only that, but you're basically admonishing me for even bringing those things up.
I'm not being debbie downer. I'm being, "Hey, we're probably not going to go 12-0" guy.
Gallon is 5' 8" and Dileo is 5' 10". Then we have the Funch, Jackson, Darboh, Chesson, all well over 6' IIRC.
My point was that the receivers that are known quantities (Gallon and Dileo) are extremely undersized, and the rest are question marks.
If we are going to be a pro-style passing offense, having tiny receivers isn't ideal, and the receivers we have that fit the mold, are complete unknowns. That's not to say that they can't be good, but probably not 12-0 good.
how that's worked out for him. Wes Welker? Naw man, you're too short. I am only going to throw it to the tall receivers.
Good god, could you possibly misconstrue my point any worse?
You realize Welker plays in the slot, right? Gallon plays on the outside. If we ran a passing spread and Gallon played in the slot, like Welker does, that would be ideal.
My point wasn't Gallon can't play, just that he isn't ideal for this offense in his present role.
There is a reason Welker plays in the slot. You should ask Tom Brady why that is.
I agree with your premise that it is unwise to "expect" a flawed football team to go 12-0, but I don't think the comparison with 2012 Alabama is persuasive. This past season, the B1G was the worst I've ever seen it (though in fairness, the ACC and Big XII were also as bad as I've ever seen those leagues, and I'm not sure I bothered to watch a Big East game all season). Not only do I think Alabama would have gone undefeated against a B1G schedule this season, but I doubt any B1G team would have seriously challenged them.
I haven't seen any reason to expect that the B1G will return to historical levels of football competence in 2013. Indeed, with Wisconsin losing its HC, the continued erosion of the talent bases at MSU and Penn St., and with Nebraska failing to keep pace in the recruiting wars, the distinct trend appears to be in the direction of a return to a Big 2 and Little 8 (or 10 or 12) scenario.
It seems to me that this is what is driving the 12-0 predictions--the strength of Michigan's personnel relative to the schedule. Put 2013 Michigan in the SEC, or in the 2009 Big Ten, and they probably are an 8-4, 9-3 type of unit. But in the 2013 B1G, with all their most difficult games at home, and a12-0 finish is realistic for Michigan. Still unlikely, IMO, but realistic.
The Big Ten was the worst you've ever seen, and yet Michigan still lost 2 games in that worst ever Big Ten conference, nearly dropped a third to MSU, a forth to Northwestern, and avoided 2 of the better teams in Penn State and Wisconsin.
Just like you're going down the schedule, pointing out all of the flaws of teams like Nebraska, MSU, PSU, or OSU, and marking them off as Ws, they're going down their schedules, pointing out all of Michigan's flaws, and marking us off as a W.
Those flaws being (and I'm trying to look at things from their perspective, not my own)...
So while we do have a lot of undenaibly strong areas we also have a lot of question marks, about as many as any of the other top teams in the conference.
The fact is, realistically there are only two or three teams that could conceivably be favored against Michigan next season (barring disastrous injury/attrition issues). There won't be any games where UM is a decided underdog (like Alabama this year).
When UM went 12-0 in 1997, we had to play at least seven ranked teams (CU, ND, State, Penn St., Ohio, Iowa, Wash St.), including #1 Penn St. on the road and 1- loss Washington State in the Rose Bowl. Times have changed; to go 12-0 in 2013 requires no such feat of mastery.
"The fact is, realistically there are only two or three teams that could conceivably be favored against Michigan next season (barring disastrous injury/attrition issues)."
That's true of basically every team in the top 25.
Right, and that's why we see so many more teams going 11-1, 10-2 these days. When the schedule hands you 9 or 10 wins, you don't have to exceed expectations by that much to reach 12-0--especially if the games in which you are not favored aren't against an Alabama or other dreamkiller.
I guess, after seeing so many 11- and 12-win seasons out of flawed B1G teams in recent years, I just don't see any reason why UM can't do it in 2013. If and when the league gets back to having four or five real good teams, then I think it will again require a truly complete team to run the table.
Quit dismissing Gallon as that guy who's 5'6". He looks like an All-B1G receiver based on what he did this year. Have you missed all the jump balls he's come down with in the past couple of years? Gallon is a huge matchup problem, because he's too strong for waterbug DBs (and has the aforementioned rocket boots), and is too quick for big, physical corners. Do we need another guy with the ability to stretch the field vertically so the safeties aren't always rolling over to Gallon? Sure. But he looks like a legit number one receiver to me.
Oh, and he also blocks like a son of a bitch.
When have I dismissed him?
I've said he's good, ridiculously talented, but playing out of position and doesn't have the ideal size to play on the outside. How many times must I repeat myself?
As far as being an All Big Ten receiver, that's not saying much these days. BIIIIIGGGG TEEENNNNN BURRRRRN! OH!
Sorry, couldn't resist.
Again, in what sense is he playing out of position? Would he be more dangerous as a slot? Maybe, though maybe that would limit his big-play potential somewhat. Regardless, he was extremely effective as a wideout this year. So whether he'd be marginally better at slot or not, it doesn't really matter, because he's a great player where he is. Doesn't matter how tall he is.
in my NCAA '13 dynasty, my O-line of Lewan/Bryant/Miller/Kails/Schofield is dominant. Just sayin'. 'Run left' is the main mantra. A calling card, if you will.
9-3 or 10-2 next year.