Gallon yes, but I don't think Funchess will be that much of a threat. He had a break-out game this year against AF, but his production trailed off after teams were able to scout him. He'll be a weapon and matchup problem in red zone and key situations, but I don't see him as a down field weapon. That said, if he puts on some weight and gets better at blocking, his usage and production could both increase.
Michigan will be _ - _ in FB next year
The issue with Funchess this year was that he wasn't a very good blocker, so when he came into the game, it telegraphed the pass. (Also, he was a true freshman, and who knows how well he knew the playbook. Under normal circumstances, he'd have redshirted.) With an offseason to bulk up and work on his blocking, he should be able to develop into an all-around TE next season.
was UM's lack of a running game. The play action is often used to hold the LB's so the tight end can find a hole between the safeties and LB's. However, as you mentioned Funchess in the game usually telegraphed pass and with no running threat out of the rb's, there was no reason for the LB's to bite on the play action.
The other issue is outside of Gallon, UM's wr's didn't do much. Teams didn't worry about having to double team Roundtree or Dileo. You can production out of both wr's and a viable running game, and the field opens up which gives Funchess more space in the middle of the field.
I see Funchess breaking out big next year. This year with Gardner, I think Borges was avoiding throwing over the middle to limit turnovers. Gardner needs work on not telegraphing passes, and I think that's why he didn't go over the middle to Funchess. Next year, our biggest weapons ourside of Gardner are Gallon and Funchess. Borges will set up the offense to maximize their production.
I'm thinking 9-3, though I think our schedule gives time for our oline to mesh before the real competition (with the exception of ND, which may serve as the early challenge to show where they need to be). 3 losses, to either ND, Northwestern, Nebraska, MSU, and OSU. With all the home games and our track record at home, and Northwestern being almost like a home game, I think we win 2 of these games.
ND will be an early test but they're dealing with a ton of turnover as well. It'll be an interesting barometer for both programs.
ND doesn't lose a lot, despite what you all think. The offense is going to be considerably better and our secondary will be at full strength.
I'll go with 9-3. (Loss to ND or PSU, MSU or NU, and OSU). I consider this a shade pessimistic, since the schedule is very favorable.
Do we have a competent center?
Can the sophomore receivers replace Roundtree?
Will we be able to get a decent pass rush from the DE spots?
Can we live without Kovacs (M. Robinson or D. Thomas)?
On the one hand, we have uncertainty on the offense everywhere but at QB and even there depth is rough. On the other hand I don't see any games I would call a likely loss, to go with five toss-ups. I'm thinking 9-3 sounds about right for the regular season.
Wr: lose Roundtree, but gain Darboh and Chesson (1 of them has to be good, right?)!
OL, we lose a bunch, but have good recruiting
RB (assuming no/ <100% Fitz) we are kind of screwed (maybe Green works out or Rawls gets better?)
QB: Solid with Devin, death as a backup
TE: Set with Funchess
I think offensively we are worse, mainly because of losing Denard and a few O-line guys, but another year in Borge's system with all practices of said system and Devin Gardner, who is pretty solid mitigates some of that.
Fitz was in a boot at the bowl game, and someone asked him about it and he said he would get it off in a couple weeks. Hopefully he can be back up to speed by fall with that much time.
will be young - uneven in football next year.
Can't put a win loss on it. They will be young, talented, but very inexperienced at key places on offense. They need a running back, lord willing Fitz can make it back.
They will win quite a few, lose a couple or three, and probably play in the Capital One Bowl. A couple of years until big things still.
Its going to be fun beating a Top 5 ranked ND team UTL.
0-12 cuz borges sukz lol!!!!!11!!!!1!!!!one
but keep in mind that while Nebraska will be good, they are a horrible road team. I think our chances of winning that game are very favorable.
That being said, I think our record will be surprisingly good next year given that the tough games are being played at home, similar to 2011. I say 10-2 maybe 11-1.
10-1 and Play in the BigTen Championship game.
Wow, not one but TWO Wife Day's!
I think the WR problem is overstated...if Gardner hit open Wrs even half the time in the bowl game, I think we could have won by at least a TD. I think Dileo is good and I expect either Darboh, Lewis, or Chesson will step in to the starting lineup. I also think Funchess will help hide concerns in the passing game. However, the OL is concerning, but I think it will be good enough to go 9-3 with a 95% CI of 2.2
Not going to predict how we do in the bowl game because it's silly to do that. 8-4 for the regular season again.
L's: ND, PSU, MSU, OSU
Borges will find a way to score less than 18 in each of those games.
Why PSU, if I may ask? They lost their seniors and the scholly reds and transfers will start to hit them next year. I don't think it'll be easy but I don't expect to lose that game either.
My first game in person was '69 OSU. I've seen too many nut ups in 43 years.
Seems M falls one game below great more often than above or breaking even.
3rd gen/dad of 4th gen Blue fatalism.
You guys judge a guy for trolling when he expresses a little old-guy pessimism?
I don't waste much time posting here because the site has turned from a place for a decent conversation into an junior high school playground with all the little whiny bitches complaining about whether the title was descriptive enough, or whether another little boy was following the rules, the assholes who just want to fight if you challenge an idea, the little boys with the hormones chasing the girls, the little boys who want to be big boys talking about how much they are drinking tonight, and the guys who dream of being high school heroes.
Break into the lineup, then talk.
When you've played more games there than I have, put 'em up on the table.
On paper, we more than likely lose to ND. Admittedly, I haven't looked into what they return on defense, but if they have a Dline anything like this year's, our 4 new starters on OLine in the second game will likely have issues.
I like that we get Neb and OSU at home, should be W's.
I don't like traveling to East Lansing, but do like that we get an extra week to prepare.
@PSU is typically scary, but we'll see if O'Brien bolts to the NFL. I'd expect some players and recruits to also bolt.
@NW is a concern. They're getting better, and we're due for our once-a-decade Evanston loss.
I'd say L's to ND, MSU and/or NW.
Man, why couldn't we have played that schedule this year? So much easier.
I'm pretty sure ND loses a lot on both sides of the ball. With the game being in AA (and at night) I think we have a good shot at that one.
On offense we lose Eifert, possibly Wood, Riddick. If Wood leaves we have a stable of capable RBs to fill in (Amir Carlisle he of SC transfer, George Atkinson III). We'll lose 1 OL, if I recall, and our WR corps will remain untouched, with the exception of Riddick in the slot. That job will fall to more than likely Davonte Neal. He is a Norfleet type guy.
We'll lose Teo on defense.
Will return current starters Nix and Tuitt (NG, and DE). Gone is Kapron Lewis Moore, whose spot will likely be taken by Sheldon Day who played well as a FR this year. He's probably going to be a better pass rusher than Lewis Moore but is likely not as strong of a run defender. The other key backups return across the board for the DL as well.
The defense will almost certainly take a step back without Teo, but Nix returning and Diaco presumably staying on as DC again next year are big reasons for optimism for ND's D in '13.
9-3 and we will beat Sparty in EL. It will once again come down to the Nebraska game for the legends division.
There's not a single game on the schedule that we can't win, so 12-0 (hell, 14-0 with a NC) is totally possible. But there are too many issues for me to actually predict that. Will the OL be ok with 4 new starters? Will we have a Big Ten level RB? Can any WRs not named Gallon step up and produce? Can Countess return from his injury without any problems? How will the secondary be without Kovacs?
I'm going to say 10-2, with the most likely losses to ND and OSU (the two teams that will be able to truly exploit our OL).
Don't forget Wormley. If he can come back (and stay) healthy, I have a really good feeling about him. Once we can generate pressure with the D-Line alone, coupled with more athletic/experienced support in the secondary this defense will be scary.
I'm far from a Notre Dame fan, but it's silly to discount their undefeated schedule. Sure, USC was down, but they still won at Oklahoma, and beat Stanford, in addition to beating Michigan. They were lucky to survive the Stanford and Pitt games, but their schedule wasn't soft. Ohio State's was soft, ND's wasn't.
As for Michigan next year, Denard's injury may provide a hidden benefit of getting Devin experience in big games and hostile environments. You could see in the past two games what his main weaknesses are ... occasional inaccuracy and a tendency to hold onto the ball too long. Now the coaches know what they have to work on with him. I'll say we go 10-2, losing to ND and, in an upset, to Northwestern, but still going to the championship game.
I don't think anyone is discounting their season, many of us just assume it is just not sustainable.
The OP, for one, described it as "a very soft unbeaten schedule." They've actually played a more difficult schedule than Alabama. They certainly got lucky numerable times, though.
If by "sustainable," you mean, "beating Alabama," I think you're right. If you mean, "consistently fielding better teams than the past 20 years," I think you're unfortunately wrong. This season is going to bolster ND's ability to recruit, removing the "why would you go there, you're just going to go 7-5 every year?" burden. As long as Kelly stays there, I think they'll be strong. (Cmon NFL).
It just needs to be unsustainable for two more years.
Let me specify, as I was unclear about what I meant.
They are a very beatable unbeaten team. I think that will be evidenced with the MNC they are about to get blown out in. Outside of us and our multiple unforced errors, they could have lost to Pitt and Purdue. Their schedule was not soft, but Stanford did not impress me that much in the Rose Bowl. Oklahoma was a coup, I gave them little chance in that game. I give them an even smaller chance in the title game. I think they are a very good, but not great team.
I agree with all this, apart from the bit about Stanford. I think ND's going to lose by two scores in a game that isn't really that close.
10-2 with losses to ND and Nebraska.
I think we will be solid on defense and pretty good offensively, but obviously injuries and the development of the offensive line will be vital to our success. Right now, I see us about where we were in 2012.
Granted, I will probably change the prediction based on how the spring game looks and whatnot.
If you asked me right now, I'd say we're optimistically a 11-1 or 12-0 team, depending on what happens against Ohio State. A LOT of that will depend on how the offensive line looks. If it is as bad as it was this year, I can see us struggling against Notre Dame's D. Defensively, we'll lose Campbell, Roh, Demens, Floyd and Kovacs, but I think we have plenty of guys who can step up in their places. Defensively, we'll be as good, if not better. The offense will be the big question.
I feel fairly confident that we see Michigan and Ohio State play twice next year. I know a lot of people will be pissed about this, but I love the intensity of The Game, and it'll make for two awesome battles.
I think NW should be pretty good next year. Maybe better than Nebraska.
I think 3 Ls. ND, NW, OSU.
keep in mind NW loses basically their whole offensive line
Losses to ND, MSU, OSU and PSU.
11-1, Legends Division Champs
I think we go 9-3, with some luck 10-2. Questions I have are this, who is our starting running back/can we run the ball effectively, and can our O-line hold up all season. Having said that, I like our schedule and a trip to the BIG Championship is quite possible.
I honestly can see them winning all of those games next year... as long as they play sound, disciplined football.
This is my big concern. The good news is with the the exception of ND, the first half of the schedule doesn't look that difficult on paper. Barring key injuries, I'll be disappointed if UM isn't at least 6-1 heading into East Lansing. Hopefully by then, the oline will have settled down and gotten comfortable.
I also like the bye week before Sparty.
I'm with you on the O-line improving throughout the year. I see us being about as good next year as this year with a better record and ending the year on a high note. I see our O-line, DBs, LBs, D-line and WRs all playing some young guys and getting much, much better as the year goes on.
Like this year a toss-up on whether we go to the Big Ten championship game and great optimism heading into 2014.
Knock-on-wood, should be good: CMU, Akron, UCONN, Minnesota, Indiana, Iowa
Win 3 of 6 against: ND, PSU, MSU, NEB, NW, OSU