At press time, Harbaugh had sent Michigan’s athletic department an envelope containing a heavily annotated seating chart, a list of the 63,000 seat views he had found unsatisfactory, and a glowing 70-page report on section 25, row 12, seat 9, which he claimed is “exactly what the great sport of football is all about.”
How does Lewan coming back change your expectations for next year?
Adds not only a monster on the line, but some leadership, etc. for the offense. I think this moves the needle in a real way.
Mark it dude.....
I like your style, Dude.
Thank you Donnie
The run game is too big a question mark for me to agree to any 12-0 season. If Michigan can pick up Green, or we see signs that Fitz's leg is back to 100%, then maybe. I don't see any unwinnable games on the schedule, but there are a lot of toss ups based on where the team is today.
Agreed. For me the biggest question mark is now the development of the interior linemen. I was pleased to see that the whole line seemed to improve between OSU and South Carolina. If the new guys can create holes for Derrick Green, the sky's the limit.
Is not yet on our team. But, the #11 RB in the country according to scout is - smith. Sure, I would like to see green go blue as much as anyone, but let's not ignore the 4* guy that has already committed and looks to have had a monster senior year.
Good point. Allow me to amend my original comment to include any freshmen or new contributors (to allow for development of those currently on the roster).
There's always at least one freshman who steps up every year. Please let it be a RB
Basing this strictly off a picture I saw of Kyle Kalis - but he looks massive and ready to be a great player immediately. All reports from his HS days support this. C and the other guard remain question marks, but you hope they can emerge to be par to this year or better.
i was sitting behind the UM bench in Tampa about 9 rows from the field and Kalis was dressed in pads and looked like a beast. he already looks an NFL lineman - seriously. he could barely stuff his arms thorugh the arm holes.
I apologize right from the start. However, you stated if Kelly leaves you really like our chances! DId I miss the ND M game? Was ND the better team on the field? From what I remember of the game, if not for 5 turnovers, with 4 of them in the red zone, we crushed ND. The team mistakes beat Michigan ND did not. Kelly can stay or he can go, ND was severely overrated all season, as we all saw in the NCG.
I don't post often and again I am sorry for this post as I am sure it will get ripped by someone. But looking at the schedule I can see a 12-0 record, however, as someone already stated in another thread, Michigan has been fortunate with injuries. As long as we continue the good luck 12-0 we will be. One or two injuries on the OL and we lose a couple close ones on the road (IE. PSU, Iowa and Northwestern.)
I live in Seattle and of course they never talk about anything Michigan on sports radio but the day of the NCG, the local sports radio cast was picking who was going to win and all picked Alabama. One of the main reason they were picking Bama to kill them is because ND was super lucky this season and is not in the same area code as Bama.....and the main game they were talking about was Michigan ND game. They were saying Michigan should have won, dominated them at home...etc. So, long story short, this is just proving your point even more.
ND just got a lot of breaks this year just like we got a lot of good luck last year, I would even argue we are a step ahead of ND.
12-0 will be real, real tough. Don't forget that our upperclassmen (the few that remain) are holdovers from the RR style. This will be a very young team that I believe will stumble at least once in the regular season, as ND, Nebraska, NW, PSU, and Ohio could all be ranked teams when we play them.
That said, I feel a lot better about going to the B1G Championship game now...and perhaps it will be a rematch with Ohio. I think we are looking at a 10 or 11 win regular season.
Don't be surprised to see Smith force his way onto the field next year, even if Green comes here and Fitz is back. The kid is good, a lot of power to him, with some speed to go along with it.
EDIT: Never mind.
I think our fans are consistently overlooking Deveon Smith as a possible early contributor. He just had a monster senior year. Green will be a very awesome addition to the class, but we are pinning too much on one recruit. I have seen too many savior RBs come and go (Baraka, Fargas, and McGuffie) and seen many less heralded recruits thrive (Perry, Hart) to simply pencil in Green as the starter.
But your point is a good one. Never get enamored with one guy and ignore the rest of the players who can really help us. But, getting back to the OP, I beleve the key to next season on offense at least is how the center of our OL comes together (or not). Michigan must develop a much stronger inside running game than we've had in recent years.
I think you are spot on. We have too many holes to be filled with players that lack experience to feel confident, including QB. While Devin got a great start on getting experience, behind him are two players who are suspect, Bellomy because we saw him in the Nebraska game and Shane Morris who didn't play much last year due to mono and is a freshman. We have to hope Devin stays healthy.
I stopped counting chickens a few years ago. Anyone think Dee Hart would be relegated to his position on Alabama? Countess, Toussaint, etc......lots of ifs. Green hopefully will choose us and be the second coming, but until I see it, I see potential issues. Ditto for WR.
A couple of teams we play are also pretty good. Ohio, ND, etc.
Lewan staying will be a very big help, but he is only one piece of the puzzle, albeit a big one.
I'd rather be surprised than disappointed.
** I agree Blue-Chip. Schedule is favorable, but hard to predict a 12-0. I would love to see Green sign, and am stoked to have Taylor Lewan back
ND, OSU, and NW on the road don't look much (if any) better than 50-50 as of now, and MSU and PSU on the road and Neb at home are potential trouble. Iowa on the road is usually trouble but they were a MAC level team this year.
The odds of a 0- or 1-loss regular season and conference title look a lot better than they did this time yesterday.
We're going to be better than 12-0?
Or. . .
If Kelly left I think they'd promote Chuck Martin, just like at GVSU. He's 74-7 as a HC. Eek.
Im a GVSU grad and got there in 07, just after the run of championships. I agree Chuck is no where near on the same page as Kelly, he did so well because he still had Kelly's guys on the team but when he started using his own recruited players things started to head downhill from there.
Urban to ND.
No way, the jihadists are more devout in colombus
I still think OSU will be a huge game next year. Notre Dame may also be tough. They lose a lot of players (and if we're lucky they lose Kelly as well, perhaps with even more players and recruits following suit) but as it stands there is still serious talent coming back and a great recruiting class with some serious impact-right-away players.
Other than that....maybe some competitive games between Nebraska, PSU, and MSU, but probably wins there.
I think double digit wins is now much more likely, with 11-1 being my guess and 12-0 being a real possibility.
I am no OSU apologist; I hate them, just to be clear. Having said that, they too won 12 games last year. Like ND, those wins were lucky in some cases, good breaks in others, and poor competition pretty much across the board. Having said that, there is something to be said for going 12-0. OSU won't be a roll over game. I think it will be highly contested, a potential paring of two 11 win teams. OSU's schedule is just as flimzy as Michigan's next year. It will be interesting to see how the season shapes up.
I for one think that Taylor's contribution could potentially account for .6777777 of a win next year. Yeah, that much.
No, but not having four first year starters on the line just might.
I think you have to look at what Lewan's return means in the grand scheme of the offense.
Had Lewan left, UM would probably have to replace him with Schofield. Either Braden or Magnuson takes the RT position, and then you're counting on Kalis and either Bryant/Byrzinski/Bars to produce at the OG positions, with Miller at C. That might work, but what if those interior line prospects don't produce like we're hoping? What if we have an injury or two in there?
WIth Lewan returning, we have all the above players, plus Schofield who is proven at both RT and OG. So you not only have two OL positions solidified, plus another body worth of depth, but you have more flexibility in case of an injury or performance issue.
Agree about two, but I'll say he's worth a win next year.
Looking at WAR wrong Lewan could change their record on the margins 2 wins without being worth 2 wins.
Probably will lose 1 or 2 to any of Notre Dame, at State (always seems to be close whether we'd care to admit it or not), Nebraska and Ohio. Given the state of those 4 program though, that's about as well as that could be scheduled.
I think it depends a ton on if a) Devin continues to improve and b) if we have a running game at all. If we can run the ball again and Devin gets a smidge better, bada-bing bada-boom
Now I expect the left side of the line to play better than I had previously expected.
Just like with Jake Long, 3rd and 1 is going to be a run left...then again with Borges...?
I don't think it's ever wise to predict 12-0, you don't have to be good to go 12-0 you have to be both good and have some things (unpredictable things, I might add) fall your way. Consider Ohio State, in 120 whatever odd years they've only done it 6 times, so, it's rare. Even dynasty Alabama had 1 loss in each of the past two seasons.
*steps off soapbox*
I was previously thinking 8-4/9-3 and this bumps it up to 10-2 in my opinion.
Being 13-0 = YES...playing Alabama or another undefeated/1 loss SEC team = No thanks
Really? If we get to the NCG I don't care who we play. I think we can hang with anyone next year. Go Blue.
Considering that we've never got to see UM play on the BCS era NCG, I would be beyond excited. Idgaf WHO we'd be playing.
I think that's pretty fair, I'm most excited to watch Gardner's progression at QB.
the only teams that would be on our level next year are Ohio and ND. The possible losses would come with ND, Ohio, PSU, and MSU, and I guess NW. ND was massively overrated this year, and we only lost because of turnovers, plus we play them at home. Ohio, maybe about the same, with the weak schedule, and us almost beating them, and we also play them at home. I would imagine playing at PSU could be tough, but they are simply feeling the sanctions too much to win (their defensive coordinator is gone, too). MSU always plays us tough, but next year they lose most of their functional components, and the replacement they have is low. Nebraska went down hard at the Big House last time, their personnel/coaching is no better than it was, and we should have won this year, except the Denard thing. Northwestern is better than it was, but it still can't seem to get over the hump of beating good good teams, and their low attendance means we might have a Michigan crowd there. By the law of averages, if say we have like a 66-75% chance to win all those games, I guess that means we lose one or two, with probably Ohio the obvious one. Of the others, I say MSU could be harder than we imagine, maybe PSU at home. The rest I think are fairly likely to be wins. So, a solid 10-2 next year.
Not visiting at all? Or just not visiting this weekend?
Well, one thing is now certain: we know who one of the captains will be.
Lewan is worth 12 wins alone
The rest of our studly team is worth 1 win
Coaching staff is worth 1 win
Yep, you guessed it, National Champs!
I am not excited and delirious at all that Lewan is staying.
Directly affects it, honestly. Our defense looks to be just fine, and might improve next year, but our offense is a question mark with the passing and run game incosistancies from 2012, and losing Denards rushing yards. Taylor should be an anchor next year for the offense and provide major stability for young Kalis who'll probably line up next to him. Devin should have the safest pocket in the B1G next year, and our running backs i'm sure are pretty happy to hear he's coming back too.
11-1. We start out with a W, somehow lose to ND because of our young defense and RB (assuming Green here), then run the table with an exciting Gameday presentation WIN over Ohio.
EDIT: Wait, the ND game is UTL.... hmmm. @PSU or @Iowa?
Young defense? We return all but Floyd, Demens, Campbell, Roh, and Kovacs. There's massive depth now too.
Tackle was probably the strongest line position going into the season, now it's up there with the top units in the country. We still have major questions on the interior line that this doesn't address. Miller, Kalis, and one of the others need to be ready and really good to beat Notre Dame. We also need Funchess and one of the receivers to become quality starters to approach an undefeated level of play on offense.
On defense, we need to get pressure with four rushers, Countess needs to come back really strong, and all of the rising sophomore starters need to pan out to approach an elite defense.
To beat OSU and maybe Notre Dame, we'll need to be excellent on offense and defense. I think we're a 9-10 win team, losing one or both of those games and allowing for a loss to Nebraska or some other yet to be seen upset. That said, this is probably Hoke's best team yet, with a serious run in 2014 possible.