Title tells all. Thoughts?
Phil Steele: Michigan 2nd to last in Legends division
Phil Steele is a clown.
but that doesn't preclude him from being wrong.
Lets face it, The defense has most of the same guys as last year so the only way we improve is (a) Woolfolk & Floyd comeback healthy and make a little jump in the backfield (b) what talent we have has improved exponentially (c) Some of these freshmen come in and can make an immediate impact.
As far as offense, yeah they basically kept us in games last year and most of our wins were because we were able to rack up huge points.Granted we have the same guys but a new offense for them to learn that isn't particularly suited to what they were recruited for. I'm not saying they're not going to actually be successful but if they don't pick up and execute the offense successfully and quickly, it could be a long season.
This really could be a difficult season if the offense can't get things together. Hopefully, having a functional defensive staff will balance out ther early struggles.
I just wanted to defend Phil Steele's badassery without having to get into a debate about how good Michigan would actually be next year.
That's the ONLY way the defense improves? So improved coaching and fundamentals cannot improve a bad defense? Good to know.
And really, Shaw, Hemingway and Koger were PRECISELY recruited to run a pro-style offense, and most RBs do have the ability to run forward and through holes when they're available. Going from a spread offense to pro-style is immeasurably more straightforward than the other way around.
Because if the coaches didn't know how to properly run the defense, the players had no chance in hell, no matter how talented they were (are).
RR recruited Shaw to run a pro-style offense?
Shaw committed in Feb. 2007.
Not correct. That should be 2008. Rivals has it wrong for some reason. Shaw was purely an RR recruit.
I disagree that bc alot of the same players returned, that means the results will be the same. Same guys with experience is a big thing. However, when I watched the defense last year, it was just sloppy. Poor tackeling, bad angles, missed assignments, and poor discipline were very prevalent. THe talent is there, and with an influx with the freshman class (a small addition granted), and the return of T-Wolf, I would expect on talent and experience alone would lead to a better defense. With the addition of a defense first staff that knows how to develop talent and teach discipline, I would expect another jump up.
Now lets not expect miracles, but allowing less than 20 pts a game on average would be reasonable to expect
Now lets not expect miracles, but allowing less than 20 pts a game on average would be reasonable to expect
Actually, I think it would take a miracle for the defense to improve from 35 ppg to less than 20 ppg. I am hoping for around 25 ppg from the defense in 2011.
I believe 24 was the median last year.
That is what I am hoping for from the defense in 2011: average (aka median) performance.
I don't think the points per game is what matters as much as a competent defense that doesn't give up points at the wrong time and is able to stop drives, force 3 and outs, and maybe give our offense a short field with a timely turn over occasionally.
Points are all that matter in the end.
Going from a spread offense to pro-style is immeasurably more straightforward than the other way around.
sounds like "defense wins championships" and other pieces of conventional wisdom that people repeat without proving that they're actually true. We have a 5'11 lightning fast QB with some accuracy issues who has never operated in a pro-style scheme, and an offensive line that spent 3 years blocking in a different way than they'll be expected to do now. It's totally reasonable for people to be forecasting some serious growing pains.
in High School. Unless you mean more of a college level pro-style, and then yes he hasn't played pro-style in college...yet.
forgot about that. My bad. Can I revise to "hasn't played in a pro-style system in college, which is probably more complicated than playing in a pro-style system in high school"?
Timing, execution, motivation, everything. It was a good blah.
Didn't Denard run a pro-style in high school? I think the change is definately worrisome but it is not as bad as some seem to believe. I think the defense will improve as the season goes on, the better coaching and emphasis on fundamentals will pay dividends.
A lot of people on this site seem to have Millen syndrome. That smarter than the room fever that makes someone say, "well, most people think this, but I am going to assume they are idiots." What is so wrong with conventional wisdom? Some of the greatest coaches in the history of the game think that defense wins championships, that time of possesion matters, etc. but what do they know, right? I am not saying there is no room for argument on some of these issues, but to just dismiss something because it is conventional wisdom is ridiculous.
"That smarter than the room fever that makes someone say, "well, most people think this, but I am going to assume they are idiots." What is so wrong with conventional wisdom?
we have a winner. glad someone else is able to see this too
I think he was referring to the fact that downsizing (increasing speed and elusiveness) is probably tougher than upsizing (increasing muscle mass). I think he is right that it is tougher to run a spread with pro-style guys (imagine Threet running), especially since the spread requires at least a somewhat mobile QB. For example, didn't Texas run more of a Pro-style offense with a mobile Vince Young (not sure so anyone feel free to jump in)?
Been watching UT up close and personal for 15 years. When Mack Brown came in his OC (Greg Davis) tried to run a pro-style while transitioning to a spread style. Vince is who helped them make the full switch. Prior 5 years had been Major Applewhite and Chris Simms trying to run a hybrid because they didn't have the full capabilities to be a spread QB. That said, Texas' spread was a little different than Michigan's. Although Colt McCoy had decent running stats, it really does not focus on the QB run. Much more like Oklahoma where they pass to set up the run.
An interesting note, Texas has had periodic problems over the years getting their running game going which leads me to wonder if our lack of RB dominated running game would have had similar problems over time.
I'm hoping that D Rob looks a lot better in the fall than he did in the Spring game. Many of his throws were high and off target. That can prove to be devistating. I know it was spring ball but he made tremendous leaps the year prior and showed it in the spring game. I hope this years spring was not what we are going to see all season. If so it could turn out to be a long one. I know new system=growing pains. Hope there is less growing pains and more wins. GO BLUE!!!!
but I think a lot of the throws he made that were high broke down to 2 main distinctions
1. he wasn't entirely fluid in his drop backs (3/5/7 instead of his normal roll out and decide)
2. he is still learning his timing routes.
QB is the hardest position on the field for a reason. You have ot know every check down for every player and then deliver the ball when and where it it supposed to be based on a read of the defense.
My personal belief was that Denard was thinking to hard instead of just playing, whcih is easy to expect based on the fact that he just learned the entire offensive scheme 3 weeks earlier. Give him 6 months with the playbook before you start to worry.
Overlooking possible improvement in two areas: defensive coordinator and running backs. Depending on the health situation, we could be looking at a more viable run attack. If Shaw and Toussaint stay healthy, Smith's knee improves, Cox bothers to learn the playbook, and the improvement of Hopkins, then that will really help this season, particularly in the big games. In the big games last year, we were significantly outgained in non-Denard rushing yards. Hopefully that will change.
Hopefully we will also see less of our defensive subs rushing onto the field right before the snap with Mattison versus Robinson. I think Mattison alone improves the defense to top 85-90 defense. Factor in improvement in physical ability, experience, depth, and the development of talent, and the defense will hopefully just be sub-par or rough versus terrible.
Right, but as you said, we have most of the same guys from last year. That means one more year of practice and conditioning for the guys, some of whom were freshmen that got thrown into the fire day one. Add in some guys that redshirted, and others that maybe just needed some more time in the weight room, and it is entirely possible that the defense becomes at least competent.
And of course, as mentioned above, coaching could make a huge difference. I am guessing that having a coach that knows how to actually run the chosen scheme must make a difference.
I'm looking forward to the steady incline to a very successful Michigan team that I have no doubts we are on the path to becoming. But I am not expecting instant success. I think the thoughts of former M linebackers and 10+ win seasons have sugar plums dancing in many M fans' heads. It'll happen at a realistic pace.
I expect that learning a new system on the offense will take time that just has to be invested before success. And the fundamentals needs that we've heard so much about on defense will be filled, but again, as the time is invested by our hard-working new staff.
The defense will be significantly better...last time I checked having the same guys coming back from the previous year makes a big difference. Guys will have an year of experience under their belt as well as another off-season to get bigger, stronger, and faster. I know the defense wasn't good last year but our system didn't help along with injuries. I was very happy with what I saw in the spring game especially from our front seven stopping the run.
As far as offense goes, ya their may be some growing pains, but we have a lot of returning starters and by the time big ten play rolls around we will be a good enough unit to win some games.
Lastly, the big ten will be down this year. Iowa, Wisconsin, MSU, and OSU are all losing prominent starters in important positions. I'm not sold on Nebraska especially after their end of the season collapse last year. Maybe I'm too optimistic but I feel a big ten title appearance is closer to where we are at then being a bottom feeder in the legends division.
I totally disagree with your pessimism about the defense.
1. Freshman and Sophomores will now be Sophomores and Juniors.(to go along with MM and RVB). Experience alone will offer some improvement. There's also more depth.
2. The scheme will be changed. The 3-3-5 won't be forced on an unprepared DC. The four man front will make Michigan a more physical team. Big Will is going to be moved back to his natural position (and be coached in how to play it properly). Mike Martin will not draw a double team every time. Craig Roh's athletic ability will not be overcome by his lack of size/weight (as opposed to the opposition).
3. The defensive coaching staff will be significantly better.
4. As you mentioned, Woolfolk and Floyd will be back. That's almost 20% of the total starters (and 100% of the staring CB's).
I think that Michigan was 99th in points allowed last year. I think that they'll jump up at least 25-30 spots this year. They might not crack the Top 50, but I expect them to be clearly out of the Bottom 25.
an epic 80's music montage.
These may be valid points, but Steele hasn't been anything special in predicting conference standings. Check out last year:
your hyperbolically charged optimism and passion.
This year, for me, 7-5 is the tipping point. I will be happy with anything better than 7-5 and disappointed with much less. 6-6 would probably hurt, despite the expectations rebuilding, given the competition.
Damn, i thought it was a promising year. Oh well, time to move on. Screw this team. it's over.
...was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?
Is Minnesota last?
Presumably. SUCK ON THAT GOPHERS!
He picks it:
Thanks for that. I can't remember which teams are in Michigan's division.
It's the legendary ones.
Pretty easy if you remember it as Iowa plus all Ms and Ns.
This is very handy- thank you. Hopefully I can remember it while inebriated.
Iowa and Wisconsin, it would have been really easy since the divisions would have been the MNW and IPO leagues
MNW = Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Wisconsin
IPO = Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Penn State, Purdue, Ohio State
[Division] Names (Northwestern)
OK, it's a work in progress . . . .
good way to remember.
Michigan is the only team you need to know about.
Our division has Iowa, plus all the schools that start with "M", (Michigan, MSU, Minnesota), and "N", (Nebraska and Northwestern).
All of the other schools are in the other division.
I believe Michigan should be significantly better on defense due to (a) the return of Woolfolk, (b) further experience, and (c) improved coaching. On offense, I am hoping that improvement in turnovers and efficiency offset a likely regression in yardage and potency. I think we have a good shot at 2nd in our division, but I also think that it's hard to argue with that list based on last year performances and personnel.
It will be interesting to see how Iowa performs this season. Last year they had a roster full of NFL talent (I think they had 5 or 6 guys drafted, which is pretty high for Iowa) and still limped to a 7-5 regular season. This year they only have 9 returning starters combined on offense and defense. Personally, I have a hard time seeing them eclipsing last year's win total.
Nebraska (10-2, 6-2)
MSU (9-3, 6-2)
Michigan (8-4, 5-3)
Northwestern (7-5, 4-4)
Iowa (7-5, 3-5)
Minnesota (less than 6 wins total/ no bowl game)
You can figure Nebraska fighting it out to win the division every year as a realistic competitor.
Hopefully Michigan will be too, sooner rather than later.
But it is hardly crazy to have Nebraska, Michigan State, Iowa and NW ahead of Michigan this year. Maybe the rebound will start this year but realistically I think Steele is probably close to right.
I'd have it: Neb., MSU, Iowa at the top, then NW and Michigan tied for fourth and Minnesota, of course, in last.
comfortable using the awful "Legends/Leaders" names than I am about anything Phil Steele says.
I agree with you there. I am going to simply start referring to them as our division and the other division.
We are Legend.
Who the fuck is this Phil Steele guy I keep seeing threads about?
an impossibly comprehensive college football preview guide. And his name is Phil Steele. And he has a mustache.
He is also much more accurate in his predictions year-in and year-out than the average preview magazine (as he is quick to tell you). He's not correct all the time, of course.
A brief clarification: He has Nebraska and MSU tied for 1st, with Nebraska winning the tie-breaker. He has Iowa third. He has NU and Michigan tied for fourth...Michigan's spot sounds about right to me, FWIW.
One last point to consider: Phil Steele lives in Cleveland, OH and has acknowledged that he is a Buckeye fan. While I am sure he tries to remove any bias in his predictions re: UM and OSU, it is hard to imagine that he can be completely impartial in said predictions.
For now, it looks like a high-variance year for Michigan. Look at its peers:
I don't see anyone unbeatable if all goes well. If (e.g.) Denard gets hurt or struggles, though, I could see UMich losing to all but Minnesota.
I don't see us falling off too much if we lose Denard. From what I hear Devin has also been impressing. However if we lose a DB, or someone at a position with little to no depth, then I'd be quite concerned.
For the first time in a while, we have "decent" DB depth. I am not as worried as I was last year about losing any one particular guy in the secondary. There is one guy who I am concerned about due to little depth/depth being siginificant talent drop-off.
We're a significant Mike Martin Injury away from watching all of our opponents go 2010 Wisconsin on us and run it up the middle 20,000,000 straight plays.
Exactly. I doubt Ash or Quintion Washington are much better than Sagesse and Banks (hope I'm wrong). Talbot looks like he is 260ish and is easily another year away from helping.
I mean. Who knows with this team. My way too early range of possible placing in our division 2-5. So, he's got us in the bottom of my way too early range. It is possible. I think doubtful.
More like Phil Schpiel. Hahaha.... am I right, or am I right?
proved him wrong. Our team has proved nothing, until we start winning on the football field we deserve to be shit on by these idiots... After all, this is Michigan for Pete sake!
Is there a link or is this in the mag?
in the mag
Don't Care. This is probably one of the toughest years to predict Michigan's record. Especially with a new team in the Big 10 and the OSU scandal.
Do they really think MSU and Iowa are Big Ten title contenders this year?
I think MSU will be decent, but not 10-11 wins like last year.
And Iowa? Sheesh, talk about decimated. Something I would not expect to have to say to Phil Steele, but look at the math man.
The reason Steele is down on Michigan this year is because of 1.) the defense is a huge question mark and he believe Mouton and Ezeh were fantastic, and 2.) due to his theory about swapping offensive styles back and forth and that change is usually never a good thing the 1st year.
Actually, I think I've read him say that the switching pro-set to spread option/wishbone is a tougher transition than spread option/wishbone to pro-set style offenses, so WTF?
I could be wrong.
He did predict a 7-5 finish for Michigan last year, which is kind of exactly what happened.
I see MSU 2011 mirroring Iowa 2010 in terms of falling short of expectations. All the variables that Brian pointed to last season in predicting Iowa dropping off from it's stellar 2009 year seem to apply to the Spartans. Iowa 2011 post-Stanzi, I don't see how they improve.
I see Michigan as having a really good chance of finishing 2nd to Nebraska this season.
I would agree with him about finishing ahead of Minnesota.
IMO there will be three surprise teams this year: Northwestern, Illinois and Michigan.
The realist in me says he could very well be correct. Our defense was horrible last year and it looks basically the same this year. Our offense was great last year, but sputtered and turned the ball over against good competition. Now we have a new, as yet unseen offensive scheme. How will it play out?
But the Michigan fan in me says our defense will be better because they have better coaches and more experience than they did last year. Our offense will be better because Denard and less turnovers.
Who knows. One thing is for sure though: we have a tough schedule.
When it came to defense under RichRod, the only thing I looked forward to at the start of a season was, well, it can't get any worse than last year. And I was always wrong. 458 points we gave up last season...the worst in school history. Losing Woolfolk was big, but even if he was in there healthy, it would have been a struggle.
I can't expect miracles in year 1 with Mattison back. But I hope it's not asking too much for the D to not make inexperienced QB's look like Super Bowl MVP's.
And please, please, please come up with some stops on 3rd and long. When a team gets an easy 40 yard gain on 3rd and 20, that's a real momentum killer. Especially when it happens several times in a game.
I dont necessarily disagree with Mr Phil here
I dont think there is a clear, dominant, great team in this division. A lot of the teams are good, but with some fatal flaws.
Been saying it all offseason, so I will stick to it here. I think we'll get at least a three way tie for the top spot with 5-3 records. I hope MICH can be one of those, but 4-4 in the league is more likely, which could put them in 4rth or 5th in this division, but only a game off the lead.
I think we'll still be in contention going into the Brasker game. That game will eliminate us or, if MICH wins, put us in great position to steal the division......and, like Steele, I think MSU has a good chance of winning this thing
More bulltein board material I guess.
Why are the divisions still called 'Legends' & 'Leaders?' I thought Delany said the names would be changed since everyone hated them.
What are these "Legends & Leaders" you speak of? The only divisional names I recognize are Eastern and Western.
They'll be around for at least the 2011 season. Delaney made some weird statement like, "People don't like them now, but we have to play a season under them to find out for sure."
Of commentators making fun of the names. Tremendous, Jim.
Outside of Nebraska at the top and Minnesota at the bottom, I think that the rest of the division is a crapshoot. Who knows how Iowa is going to respond to a new QB and everything that went down with them last season? Who knows if Persa will be able to come back effectively after his injury?
One thing that I'm surprised about is how much love Sparty is getting. I'm consistently seeing them in the Top 15-25. Yes, their record was pretty sweet at 11-2, but they only beat one team that ended up in the top 25 and got their asses kicked in their two losses (combined score 86-13). They barely beat ND, had to make big comebacks to beat Northwestern and Purdue, and barely held off Penn State at the end of season. Not to mention the fact that they lost a number of key contributors from last year's team.
This is meant to single them out, I'm sure there are other teams that are overrated, I just happen to know more about Sparty. I get MSU fans thinking that last year was the year became a national power, I don't get why the media thinks that.
Compared to most other B10 teams, though, MSU is losing way less, especially on offense. It seems reasonable for them to get preseason hype within the league, especially considering OSU's troubles. I do agree, however, that they were supremely lucky last year and probably won't be as lucky this year. Here's to hoping that they'll NEED to be lucky, though.
Didn't MSU lose about 4-5 starters on each side of the ball, including most of their O-line, and some key defenders like Jones? I remember looking at opposing rosters last year and seeing a ton of departing seniors for teams like Iowa, MSU and OSU.
You may be right about that; I know they lost a decent amount of their OL. But they return all their flashy pieces aside from Greg Jones, which is easier to pick up on if you're the media, I suppose. OL aside, I'm still a little afraid of Cousins and their stable of RBs.
finishing that high. i see them doing what iowa did this past year (edit: beaten to the punch by comment above) - losing some of those close games (nd, psu, nw, and even purdue were all tossups). couple that with the fact that msu goes to nd, nebraska, osu, and iowa i dont see them doing nearly as well as they did last year.
Speaking of preview magazines, anyone heard if Brian is again going to be the editor and main put-it-together-guy of the Maple Street Press preview mag? I'm used to reading weekly plugs to go put one on order around this time of the year...
Iowa= QB, RB depth, Front Seven on D.
MSU= OL, Front Seven on D.
Minny= New coaching staff AND it's the Gophers.
NW= ???? Persa healthy?
NU= ???? have no clue except QB Depth/new RB.
Looks wide open to me.
Nebraska's RB isn't new per se -- Rex Burkhead started two games last year, played in all 14, and put up 990 yards.
I would rather be picked like that and exceed expectations this year than be picked to win it all and fail ala Iowa
I agree that Nebraska will probably win the division. The rest I am not so sure about.
We've got a pretty easy Big Ten schedule. No Penn State, no Wisconsin. Iowa is rebuilding. Nebraska and OSU at home. Northwestern? They had the same record as us in the Big Ten last year, and they didn't play Ohio State. I'll be very disappointed with 4-4 this year. With as many returning starters (in addition to lots of second stringers) as we have and our mostly easy schedule, we need to at least be 5-3.
I don't think Iowa will ever be easy (and if memory serves, we're playing at their house). Northwestern is unpredictable; Nebraska will be difficult; OSU will be a tough game because both teams will be jacked. MSU is not going to be easy.
The defensive starters that are returning were pretty awful last year. The offense is making a difficult transition. On paper, we lose several B1G games.
But the games won't be played on paper.
Football is part talent, part preparation, and part emotion. A team with great talent can play under its potential; a team with lesser talent can play over its head. Look at the success that, as an example, Iowa has had with a well-coached team of guys who aren't superstars.
I agree with an earlier poster; with the talent on offense, at some point the team jells. I think it will start to happen after perhaps losing to ND, and that the MSU game will be a good one that M wins on emotion.
Who knows which Nebraska team shows up? I'm certainly not going to predict an automatic win for them at the Big House at that point in the season, unless our defense is abysmal again.
I wouldn't judge the potential of the offense from what we saw in the spring game. I think we're going to have a surprisingly good season under Hoke, and that 2012 will be a great season.
add on the fact that he has O$U #1 in the conference
and kicks B1G balls, but I don't see it that way. Iowa, Neb, MSU, and NW all vie for the top, with it coming down to a dice roll. Meanwhile, we are going to take our lumps; low expectations could leave fans happier to just have an improving team.
I wouldn't be surprised to see Michigan end the season at 4th place in the division. It's going to be a tougher year for them. This doesn't necessarily mean we will be 2nd to last in the conference as a whole, just in the division. I think the fans feel like Phil Steele isn't giving the team a chance this year but can you blame him? The past two seasons he had Michigan on his top 10 most improved teams list. They end up going 5-7 and 7-6 both times on the list. He's probably given up on us.
But I don't see us being a dominant team on either side of the ball. I love the attention the team is getting but I also expect there to be some dissappointed fans this upcoming season. Recruiting success doesn't normally translate into immediate success on the field, it usually takes a couple years.
I predict UM finishes anywhere between 0-12 and 12-0 with 100% certainty. That's the best I can do.
...but it won't happen.
I can see, though, how someone could make that prediction. Even with Mattison's coaching, the defense will be mediocre at best. The offense looked terrible in the spring game. It's all on Borges this year. Last year, the offense had to bail out a terrible defense. This year, the defense could have to bail out the offense, and if they have to, they probably won't be good enough against better teams.
I think the offense will struggle early, but they will out-talent everyone out of conference except ND. By the time they get to the MSU game, they should be clicking. I am guessing that, even if they aren't, in a "turnabout is fair play" secnario, Michigan will beat MSU on sheer hatred. I still think they lose to Iowa and Nebraska, with one "upset" loss to another BT opponent. TSIO appears to be in such a state of disrepair that Michigan should start the turnaround against them this year.
That all works out to 8-4, and 5-3 in the conference. I hope I am wrong and get pleasantly surprised. If Borges turns out to be a "mad scientist" and the defense has more talent than it appears, it could be a double-digit year. I can always hope.
Season's over, man. Wormer dropped the big one.
Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
Cousins, he's a dead man! Martinez, dead! Pryor/Braxton -
I'm still sticking with 9-3.
PHIL STEELE. You think you're better than Phil Steele?
Do I have to BlueDragon it, or am I allowed to politely disagree with Mr. Steele's immaculate prediction?
On The Victors Message Board, someone said that Nebraska loses 7 defensive starters from last year and the secondary's entire two-deep. They lose 8 offensive starters, including the entire starting offensive line and the entire two-deep at wide receiver.
They fired their OC/QB coach and replaced him with a guy who has never played nor coached QB. And apparently they want this guy to improve Taylor Martinez's passing game.
Is all that true? If it is and they are STILL picked to win the division, this must be one bad division.
Totally false. They lose only four starters from last year's defense (one DL, 1 LB, 2 DB), they only lose six offensive starters, they return an All-Big Twelve corner (Alfonzo Dennard) and an incumbent safety, and they get back starting WR Brandon Kinnie, and TE Kyler Reed (not that he's a receiver). Only part that was right was about the offensive coordinator.
They lose (as long as these guys are not redshirts which I can't tell and don't feel like investigating individually),
Starting RB (backup has lots experience/talent)
Backup QB Green transfered (two scholarship guys, but guy after Martinez is 4 star)
4 Wide Receivers-3 starters; although Brandon Kinnie is listed as a SR and he is returning so...
6 offensive linemen-4 starters; but I would assume 1 or 2 are redshirted
Defense: 11 SRs on two deep, but as previous poster mentions Dennard (sweet name) returns and he is listed as a SR, also Crick returns and he is listed as a SR
Starting ML (article on him from 5/04/2011 about having a big senior season so shit)
Starting CB: Prince Amakura
Both of their Peso LB position are listed as seniors
3 safetys are listed as seniors with two being backups
also, backup DT as a SR
Every god forsaken year pundits pros and experts say these things. I allow it to rattle me for about two minutes. They are always full of shit. I don't understand how they keep their jobs. If I was wrong that often, I'd be fired in a minute. They are almost always wrong...
Remember that running game we had a few yrs. ago! Prediction: It's back! If our RB's run the ball effectively in the first 5-6 gms and gain some confidence, watch out! Feature back, by committee, manball, whatever just run the damn ball with someone besides Denard and all will be fine.
Hoke "steals" a couple of games.
(see what I did there) =]
Our running game last year was the best one we've had in at least a decade. I don't think it's an improvement in the run game that's going to help us win more games.
distinguished track record probably dating back longer than I've been watching football, you'd think he'd be a little more intuitive here. He's predicting us to flop and Sparty to ride high on a wave made of pure win. I think someone needs to sit him down and tell him to look twice. Sparty was way overrated last year, technically didn't beat ND, and Wisco thought they were another cupcake and fell asleep on them like they did at the Rose Bowl. (I thnik TCU is great, but Wisco did fail to show up) Sparty had a cake schedule and their record didn't indicate how good the team was, the Capital One Bowl did. This year they have the tougher schedule, lose their offensive line and all their tackles on defense, they play the buckeyes, and ND and Wisco are looking for revenge. Yet Phil Steele thinks they have a shot at winning the Big 10 again. Michigan had a team who were majority underclassmen playing a defensive scheme that was doomed to fail, undercoached, disgruntled, injured, yet were predicted to soon turn the corner. Now we have the best coaches we could get our hands on with a track record of quick turnarounds, the kids are a year older, the schedule is easier and our opponents are all a step down from last year with the exception of PSU, yet Phil Steel is predicting next season is worse than last season. Every season in review except for Steele's says Michigan is the Wild Card of the B1G this year. Consensus says we'll do as well or better than last year.
this year to improve the D. Jake Ryan for example. Maybe Furman or Robinson. I fully expect an improvement from last year. I believe even Hoke said as much. You can't expect or plan for failure.
Why is he wrong?
I watched a lot of their games last year and they aren't that good. They lost to crap ass Washington, they gave up over 40 points twice, and their offence stinks. To say they are the favorites is a bit ridiculous. They have to prepare for a team they have never faced for every big ten team.
Look for Michigan's defense to be a lot better this year. They will be more physical up front with a 4 man front, and their secondary will be able to play more fluidly, they were so inexperienced they were to busy thinking of were they should be on the field they weren't able to properly react to the play. Look for Michigan compete for the conference title. They just need to be able to win the close games like msu was able to do last year.
...Brandon Graham completely off his 2009 mid-season Big Ten teams (1st, 2nd, 3rd):
An asswhoopin campaign this season would ensure that Hoke wins B1G Coach of the Year, giving him 1 more than Tressel
Phil Steele also picked TP for 3rd team all-B10. Enough said.
i do not have the ability to create a thread but Tyler Mills from our baseball team was selected in the 9th round of MLB draft.
Drafted by St. Louis Cardinals
I expect drastic improvement on defense this year, and fast. We will have much better coaching, some injured players returning, and lots of freshman and sophomores gaining a year of experience and weight training. I think that people are not realizing just how poorly coached our defense has been for a few years. It has the athletes to be at least average.
From 1994 to 1995, the defense improved 105 yards a game. Despite losing Ty Law and Steve Morrison
From 2000 to 2001, the defense improved by 81 yards a game.
From 2005 to 2006, the defense improved by 77 yards per game.
Here's a good extreme example. From 2005 to 2006, Wisconsin improved by a whopping 190 yards per game.
This year, our defense is set up to improve more than that '95, '01, and '06 squads were. I'll be both disappointed and shocked if, yardage-wise, we do not improve by at least 70 yards per game and get back on par with the 2008 defense.
Well, given what just came out of Columbus, I don't think this prediction is worth the paper it's printed on, even if it's just over the internet.
If he's dismissing M b/c we're changing O's, he should have applied that same filter to Nebraska. No one seems to even be sure what they're going to be running, though quotes from the Spring game indicate the change will be significant.
The Huskers ran an attack that featured between-the-tackle running and a mix of options and sweep plays.
Offensive packages ranged from the pistol to the basic I-formation as the Huskers ran their way to 301 yards between the two teams.
Sounds like they'll run everything. May work, may not, but you can't assume one team will struggle with change and another will run with it.
The division must be amazing for 5 teams to finish 9-3 or better.
FYI 9-3 won't bee the conference record. I do however like your optimism.
The good thing about prediction in June is that they don't mean shit.
I may be a biased Michigan fan, but I believe that we can win our division. Here's why:
Coach Hoke coached nobodies at San Diego St. to 9 wins and almost beat TCU.
We are simply better than Iowa, Minnesota, and Northwestern, however, Iowa and Northwestern will be tough.
That leaves Nebraska and Michigan St. Michigan will beat Nebraska because Denard Robinson will want to show the world that he is better than Taylor Martinez. Plus I don't see Nebraska going through the Big Ten like a hot knife through butter. Wisconsin, Iowa, Penn St, Michigan, and Michigan St. aren't exactly Iowa State, Baylor, Colorado, Kansas, Kansas St., and Texas Tech.
Michigan will beat Michigan St. because they will be fired and ready to put Little Brother in his place. I know it sounds like I have Michigan going undefeated, but realistically I see anywhere from 8-4-10-2 and I believe a 9-3 will be good enough to reach the Big Ten championship.