I'm not so sure I want to be there just yet with what I just watched. Lets focus on winning the BIG first.
So Pasadena next year?
For all the improvement the team has shown under Hoke we still have yet to win our division, appear in the B1G championship, nevermind winning it, and get into the Rose Bowl. Let's do that first.
Yes, if we fans just focus on winning the Big Ten championship, then we can totally do it. Because we, like, totally matter and stuff.
Keep your eyes on the prize, guys!
Yes, I am sure Alabama will enjoy their trip there.
Next year? Honestly doubt it. 2014 I can guarantee that we will run the table though.
A source close to the story tells me we will not lose again until October of 2015.
I disagree I don't understand why people have marked 2015 for a title run we have a killer road schedule that year plus will have to play in the Shoe with a senior lead team with Miller. Next year we play all our tough games at home besides Northwestern. Penn State is starting a Freshman QB,Iowa and MSU are both dumpster fires right now and Nebraska couldn't stop a pee wee team on defense. We have Notre Dame at home as well and we've already seen their QB and offense is bad and we won't have Denard playing catch with their defenders this year.That means unless we've failed we should go into the OSU game at 11-0 and we can't afford as a program to lose next year to OSU. Excuse time is over in Ann Arbor it's year 3 and we return everybody on defense plus most of our offense. Next year better be our year or we've done something wrong in my humble opinion.
The real reason, I think, is that people always put expected title runs safely in the future. Long enough so it seems somewhat plausible.
Everybody on defense? Craig Roh, BWC, Kenny Demens, JT Floyd, and Jordan Kovacs won't be back.
Most of the offense? Four OL (most likely), Roundtree, Denard are gone.
I like your optimism, but I'm afraid you need to be a bit more realistic.
I love Kovacks and his story, but honestly, Kovacks graduating is addition by subtraction. We will finally have scholarship athletes at the safety position.Roh was pretty invisible for the past couple years. BWC was invisible for all about a couple games this season. Demens will be missed, along with JT Floyd.
Denard means a lot to the is team as an emotional leader. Devin is a more complete QB than Denard. Sure Devin doesn't have the home run threat with his legs. He does have a home run arm. Gallon and Dileo means more to the WR corps than Tree, who tended to suffer from Braylon Edwards disease (aka be invisible and have bouts of the drops).
I agree that we will have questions marks on the OL, but I think Hoke's emphasis on OL recruiting will pay off in the near future.
We've had plenty of scholarship players at the safety position in the past 10-15 years that weren't as consistently good as Jordan Kovacs has been. I look forward to what Mattison can achieve with more athletic players at that position, but I'd reserve the "addition by subtraction" predictions until we see it on the field.
I am biased from the outback bowl and the Ohio game where Kovaks was continually burned in coverage. He has great heart, tackling technique and football IQ. However, he was very outmatched by more more athletic receivers while in coverage. I am very looking forward to next season's secondary.
There's a reason he was a strong safety instead of a free safety: because coverage isn't his thing. When you ask your SS to cover a wideout, that's a mismatch. When Kovacs struggled in coverage, that was more of a gameplan issue (be that the fault of Mattison or the good idea of the Carolina OC), in which you're going to get burned more often than not. It's like criticizing Denard because he has zero career sacks recorded. It's not his game, so no wonder he wasn't good at it.
You can blame the Outback bowl mishaps on J.T. Floyd....Kovacs shouldnt have been anywhere near the line covering the corner
I see the loses on Defense and Offense but lets just compare it with whom we have replacing our starters and see if it's really that big of losses.
Big Will-Pipkins- Upgrade Pipkins will dominate in year 2
Roh-Beyer -Tie Both are just workman like players
Floyd-Countess Upgrade Countess has lock down coverage skills
Demens-Bolden Upgrade Bolden is a future All American
Kovacs-Wilson or Thomas Upgrade Loved Kovacs heart but athletically we are getting better
Overview-I know some will say it's not a upgrade with Kovacs being gone but the kid was a great heart player but atheltically he killed us out there with his coverage skills. So that is 4 upgrades and 1 tie so our Defense essentially will be better plus were bringing in some good depth with Hurst,Poggi,Gedeon and Lewis who along with Dymonte I think will all play as Freshman.
Denard-Gardner-Tie both bring something special to the table
Roundtree-Darboh,Chesson- downgrade Roundtree disappeared a lot but the other two are unknown so for now it's a downgrade till the season starts.
Lewan-Schoefield-downgrade Can't lose arguably the best tackle in college and not take a step back.
Barnum-Kalis-Upgrade Kalis could be the next Hutchingson here
Mealer-Miller-Tie Miller is a true center and Mealer was sturdy but nothing spectacular
Omameh-Bryant or Bosch Upgrade both these kids have great potential and Omameh took a step back last year.
Other starter will be Mags or Braden and both have huge upsides. With a lot of people talking about Braden being something special.
Overview- If you look at the scheduled replacements they all have higher upsides on the line(with the exception of Lewan) and Gardner has shown he's just as exciting as Denard but more balanced we also have Gallon,Funchess and Fitz back along with Incoming Freshman Butt,Hill and more than likely Universal Five star Derrick Green who gives us a back type we haven't seen since Anthony Thomas/Chris Perry.
Special Teams: Return everybody and should be the best in the Big Ten.
Total Overview- With the exception of Denard and Lewan Michigan is replacing everybody with a more talented player with much higher ceilings. Also depth wise this will be the most depth we've had in the Brady Hoke era. We may be young on Offense but we're experienced in the important positions like QB,WR and RB. In my opinon we're poised for our run next year. Everything should fall into our favor if we survive Northwestern on the road than beat the evil empire in the last game of the season in Ann Arbor.
...optimism! But, you're assuming too much improvement. I also think you are undervaluing experience, especially on defense. Don't get me wrong, I hope you're right, but I see it this way.
Big Will - Pipkins: Tie with upside
Roh - Beyer: Downgrade. I'm not at all sure Beyer is Roh's replacement, but if he is that is almost certainly a downgrade. If it is Wormley or another man-childish young lineman, we still downgrade due to a lack of experience. Roh was better than people give him credit for.
Floyd - Countess: Upgrade...agree. Although they have played different positions, the CB corps should improve overall.
Demens - Bolden: Tie with upside. Remember when Ezeh taught us how important it was for a linebacker to do his job? I hope Bolden can be assignment sound as well as Demens. He might not be able to do that.
Kovacs - Wilson/Other: Downgrade. Again, we can't underestimate the importance of a player, especially a safety, being in the right place almost all the time. Also, Kovacs, while not an athletic freak, is as sure a tackler as we've had in a long long time. That is critical for a safety.
Overview for the Defense: Tie with some upside. In reality, we'd do well to be just as good defensively next year. Mattison and the boys were tough this year, and thank God he coaches at UM. A great deal of our success next year on D is attributable to him.
Denard - Devin: Tie with upside. That depends on our new line's run-blocking.
Roundtree - Other: Upgrade. Whoever replaces him will likely be faster and a better downfield threat. But, we will miss Tree's penchant for the awesome.
Lewan - Schofield: Duh!
Barnum - Kalis: Upgrade...especially in run blocking.
Mealer - Miller: Upgrade with downside.
Omameh - Bryant/Other: Downgrade with upside. There are some reasons for optimism, but I believe new starters all over the line will hurt...especially here.
Schofield - Braden: Downgrade
Offensive Overview: I'm hoping we have a 1st Team All-Big-Ten RB come December. Short of that, we'll struggle. That is a tall order for a brand new OL.
It's hard to evaluate the young offensive linemen with really nothing go off of. Let's just wait and see how it plays out.
Again, Kovacs is not a free safety. Pass coverage is not his strong suit. He was forced into it by Floyd's absence.
The kid was a legit football player who beat out a couple of scholarship guys to earn his starting spot. Enough about his supposed lack of athleticism.
and not reality. Kovac's would make good plays but his lack of being athletic lead to many,many big plays by our opponents over the years. Go back and watch film on him he was more a linebacker playing in a safties body. And you kind of just made my point if your safety can't cover in today's college football than your defense is in trouble. I don't really see how Floyd who is a cornerback being suspended affects Kovacs but I guess to each his own.
I think many of your assumptions about who will replace whom are incorrect.
Highly unlikely Miller will not declare after next year.
What position is he going to play in the NFL? Not QB. If he leaves early, he will probably get drafted pretty late. Personally, I hope you are right, though.
In 2015, we play Ohio in Ann Arbor. We also play Nebraska in Ann Arbor. And Wisconsin in Ann Arbor. The only road games that year are Utah, MSU, Illinois, NW and Iowa. We will have a veteran offensive line and veteran defense both by then, and likely the sort of running backs needed to operate the offense Hoke wants to run. 2014 is when we have the tough road schedule.
I think the 2013/2014 season with Gardner is our best bet to go unbeaten and play for a championship. If we wait for 2015 were expecting Shane Morris to lead us to a National Championship in his first year starting not to mention we will have just lost both our starting corners from the year before to graduation Countess/Taylor.
I doubt 2015 will be our year. We'll have a freshman qb that year .I'm thinking 2014 when Gardner is a senior. But we have a decent schedule next year so you never know.
edit: Don't know what I'm talking about. Shane will be a redshirt sophomore most likely. I'm thinking 2014 though.
Fuck...College Football is over...
At least we can all watch the #2 ranked team in college basketball for the next few months and enjoy players like Mr. Trey Burke who is a once in a generation type talent.
Bama, yes, will be getting some more sun next Winter in So. Cal. Who they'll be playing is uknown though it doesn't matter a lick.
Oregon could give them a run for their money.
At this point, I won't even consider that anyone else will win a national title until I see Alabama actually lose multiple times in a season or actually lose the championship game. That program is just a well-oiled, soul-crushing machine.
in NC next year. Oregon got Mariota and DAT back (plus Chip Kelly). A&M got Johnny Football and potentially both Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews which means that no one will ever sack Johnny Football especially with his legs.
Maybe I'm wrong, but I feel like Texas A&M will drop off a little bit next year. They sort of came out of nowhere, and it's tough to come out of nowhere and immediately sustain success.
aTm loses most of the 2nd best OL in CFB (behind Bama) for next year. I think Johnny Football is a hell of a QB but his effectiveness next year will be diminished without amazing protection.
Despite the lack of experience on much of the roster for next year I believe the talent will win through and will take to the excellent coaching we have. I can't see this team losing more than 2 games next year and we will be in the B1G Championship game.
They played out of their minds this year, good for them, but it will be tough to keep up in the SEC. Bama plays them early at College Station next year and I think Saban will circle that game quickly...probably after the game yesterday.
Both A&M tackles are gone.
Losong 3 first round picks on the O-line is going to hurt Bama alot. They also lose both TEs, Milliner, Lester,Williams and possibly Lacy. They'll boe good, but the strenght of their team was the OL and that is going to be gone.
I don't know that it will hurt them that much to lose those offensive linemen. They do a great job of developing those guys, and there are 5- and 4-stars waiting in the wings to take over.
They have great line depth, their WR group will improve (Bell injured, Foster recruited), TE will be more dangerous with IJ arriving, and their RBs will mature a year.
Their D should be equal or better as they were breaking in a bunch of new guys this year.
Heck, they had the 5* #1 safety from 2012 (Collins) only covering punts. Their talent & depth are ridiculous.
Call me a pussy, but movies with little ghost kids scare the shit out of me. I will not be watching that movie.
have you seen his other horror movie orpahnage? not to be confused with that piece of shit movie orphan
"The Orphanage" is pretty darn good.
Well 7-0 is pretty possible with the ND matchup being the swing game. If our young guys grow enough through that, we could be playing at a very high level for the stretch run.
I see you
Has Taylor Lewan officially declared for the draft yet?
No, he has not officially declared. I think the deadline is coming up soon too, if I remember correctly.
is going to awfully good next year.
Ohio State and Nebraska should be good, but the other teams all have huge question marks - Michigan (OL), Wisconsin (new coach), Penn State (possible shortage of talent). OSU very well could have been in the national championship game this year, and it's kind of ridiculous to think that it probably would have been Notre Dame vs. Ohio State (if OSU won the Big Ten championship). Nick Saban can thank Jim Tressel for this national championship.
OSU replaces a lot of their defensive front 7.
They replace them with Noah Spence, Michael Bennett, Tommy Schutt, Adolphus Washington, Curtis Grant, etc. I don't think they'll be hurt that much.
Several of those guys have shown about as much as our new OL have shown. Their LB depth last year was so bad they had a FB starting at MLB.
I think the key will be who develops most by the Game- our new OL vs their new DL.
Three of those guys - Washington, Bennett, Schutt - have played pretty well when I've seen them.
Our new offensive linemen will essentially have zero playing experience.
dude, spence and washington have shown plenty they killed us this year. they will do so for two more years unless kalis and co. grow up quick.
Wonder how much of that was due to the attention Hankins demanded. He was an absolute beast. Thanks for letting him leave the state, RR.
Amazing on how different our line-play was this year losing two NFL players. :(
Bama will not be back in 2013. They lose 2/5, 3/5 their O-line, have a true Soph and RS Fr as their running backs and studs at WR... 2014, maybe, 2013- no. It's a year for Oregon to run show and probably play Ohia unless we can bust them here in A2 next year
Isn't Lacey a freshman? I don't really think age matters as far as running backs go.
who is probably the best Bama back on the roster
No he was from the 2009 class.
I believe TJ Yeldon is the freshman, Lacey is a redshirt junior.
In other words, it doesn't matter, they have the same running back coming up every year to replace the one that left.
Yeldon is the freshman, Lacy is a junior
They reload. Nuff said.
Bama could be better next year than this. Scary but true.
I agree with you that they won't be back. I think 'Bama is usually invincible, but next year they'll lose 2 or 3 games. Yes they reload, but I definitely see them losing a few games. I do still think they'll be one of the best 3-5 teams in the country though.
They have 3 tough games...at TAMU and LSU at home (along with the SEC championship). They could easily win again next year.
They better be in Pasadena I'm sick of watching Wisconsin.
Meh. We're replacing a lot of a parts still. We haven't demonstrated that we can run the ball without Denard and our secondary will be a question mark going into next season (How do we replace Kovacs, can Countess come back, will the other). The best case scenario is definitely a Big Ten championship, but a 9-3 season similiar to this one (replacing Alabama with UConn being the difference) seems more likely. That will set up the 2014 season where we will finally be back to the old Michigan standard of elite talent.
I keep hearing this about the secondary, and I just don't get it. Kovacs had a lot of heart, but he was actually a pretty mediocre safety. Wilson, Gordon, Taylor, most likely Countess, and a lot of solid depth should make this a good unit.
Kovacs was a good tackler, descent on the blitz but a major liability in coverage. If you dont believe me watch the SC game again and check how many times he got burned or was just late getting over to help. I'm kind of excited about the defense next year. Will athletic upgrades to the D line, LB corp and secondary make up for the lack of experience? Will the freshman and sophmores bust ass this offseason to get to where they need to be?
I guess we can agree to disagree. How many busted safety coverages before the SC game can you remember? Or how many long runs? Kovacs played a huge part in our defense usually being pretty good at avoiding giving up the big play. And while I'm optimistic the guys behind them can replace them, it seems a tad premature to say that they will.
He did a good job for what he was asked to do, but you have to realize that Greg Mattison did a masterful job of covering up his weaknesses. He - unlike Rodriguez's staff - put Kovacs in the box and didn't mess with putting him in deep coverage, because he knew that Kovacs couldn't hack it back there. It handicaps your defense quite a bit when one of your safeties is too slow and stiff to play the deep middle or a deep half. We've heard numerous times that Mattison wants his safeties to be interchangeable (play both FS and SS), but they couldn't do that with Kovacs.
I mean, the guy wasn't 6'4" with a 4.3 40 but the guy was always in his spot. He's probably the best safety we've had in 10 years. It'd be great if someone could make a Kovacs highlight tape (ala Denard) and we would really remember how money he is.
I'll take a 6 foot slow guy who is almost never out of position over someone athletic getting torched over the top. I cannot remember a single time where Kovacs got smoked over the top (I didn't actually get to see the bowl game but when both starting corners are out of the game, I'll give Kovacs the benefit of the doubt)
Kovacs is the freakin man and we will miss him when someone gets smoked next year or they miss an easy tackle
will be the O-Line, losing Mealer, Omameh and especially Lewan and the only depth is freshmen (both R/S and true). We'll be counting on Kalis, Bryant, Braden/Magnusson, and whoever wins the battle for center. Could be rough sledding.
There is no way our interior line could play worse than it did most of this season. Even Lewan for all his hype and accomplishments didn't play very well. If he comes back for his senior season our O line would be a lot better overall with Kalis, Bryant and Miller?
Yes please. And you can all stay at my house.
No getting out of it now. Looks like I've got one more year of marriage. Also - most of you are going to be really uncomfortable.
I call middle!
I hope you have a place equivalent to White Castle out there (i.e. Krystal)
Uh, we have In N Out.
Since you already had your max of 5, I still logged in just to say....Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm In N Out.
I got dibs on top bunk!
Don't think tsiO will post another perfect season next year and hopefully UM puts the first blemish on their record although if they come in AA with a loss or two, I won't be totally upset.
Serves them up their first dose of reality.
I'm not worrying about that MNCG game where stupid computers decide who plays. I'm more focused on the game on NYD you play yourself into. On the field. I'll never forget the pain that system put us through in 2006. Tomorrow should be the 6th anniversary of Michigan beating ohio for the MNC.
Crazy enough, Rose Bowl 100 is next year. Possibility of the two teams that started it all, Michigan and stanford, could meet.
I would definitely take that
I'll say the same thing I say to the fans of any team that loses a game and misses out on a title chance: you should have won your games. We didn't beat OSU, so we didn't get to go.
Keep expectations where they need to be.
Offensive line is going to be totally reworked with many question marks after the worst O line we've had in 50 years with no guarantee it will be much better than the mess we had this year with Lewan gone, especially given the experience coming back at center.
No elite RBs with any experience.
Defensive line, especially pass rush, is still a question mark.
Deep teceivers are unproven.
Secondary should be strong.
Linebackers should be solid.
QB play should be solid assuming Devin makes any kind of off season leap.
Amazing recruiting classes slowly coming into their own.
I'd say the ceiling for next year is high given the chance some of the redshirts and young players live up to their recruiting class ranking, but realistic expectation is probably making the BiG Championship Game and being delighted if we can get by Ohio there, who will have a disturbingly easy path to that game with their crap division.
Next year will be the first of several upcoming years where we can find ourselves playing Ohio back to back.
Early guess: 9-4
you said Deep teceivers, when I'm reasonably sure you meant "Deep Deceivers".
no thanks necessary.
The B10 is weak and Michigan could go undefeated. OSU and Notre Dame will be the biggest challenges. However, Michigan doesn't have enough experienced talent to beat a Alabama type of team yet.
1. Finish the recruiting cycle with 2/3 playmakers that are immediate impact guys.
2. Find or Develop a legit #2 QB who is more than a game manager.
3. Accelerate the development of the skill position through spring/fall.
4. Post a behavioral clean sheet to avoid off field suspensions heading into next season.
5. Identify the most athletic playmaking 22 players on defense and adjust the depth chart accordingly in the spring. Especially in the secondary.
6. Borges must develop offensive fusion and consistency in schematics and facilitate or most dynamic athletes through the offense.
7. Beat ND.
8. Develop a form of marketability. Could be simply taping into the greatest history of our program or possibly a DG Heisman run.
9. Avoid the classic road loss...ie. Msu/Iowa in '11..Neb in 12.
10. Continue the auora of invincibility at home. Make the Big House an absolute jungle.
11. Do not worry or concern with what Ohio is doing. They will be highly ranked and extremely hyped.
12. Beat Ohio in Ann Arbor.
13. Do not feel sorry for an unjust and senseless rematch that looms.
14. Lace up and Beat Ohio again in Indy.
Dave Brandon has #8 covered. Devin's heisman run will be sponsored by Arby's.
Dave Brandon has #8 covered. Devin's heisman run will be sponsored by Arby's.
Unfortunately what I feared happended. ND blow out. No undefeated Big Ten team will be picked to play in the NC until the playoff rolls around. MAYBE OSU but that's just bc their coach is Urban so they will get a slight bump.
Next year NC is already set. It will be ALL SEC unless Oregon runs the table. The A&M and Bama blow outs will basically pull up the rest of the conf 2-3 spots in the preseason poll so that any 1 loss SEC team will make the championship. with Bama and A&M guaranteed a spot if they have 1 loss.
The only other team that could slip in is Oregon since they usually run up the score so if they can actually go undefeated they will get a shot.
UM's dream season at this point would be beating OSU twice and winning the B1G championship. Not a bad goal, UM is light years from beating Bama or A&M though. I honestly don't even think the All Big Ten team would beat Bama considering the lack of playmakers.
Is undefeated, they will be in the national championship game. They aren't relegated to a Mac school just because of sec dominance. That said, they are not going to be undefeated next year.
I think the case was just made last night for yet another all SEC matchup next year. Oregon probably would get in if they run the table, and may be able to give Alabama a run for their money. But giving Saban a month to prepare against Oregon, I could somehow see him finding a way to completely shut Oregon down.
Many teams in the SEC can be beaten on any given day. We've seen that plenty this year. Florida loses to Louisville and almost loses to UL-Lafayette, LSU loses to Clemson, Georgia could have lost to Nebraska, SC needed a last-second TD to beat us, and so on. But Alabama is just on another level. They are men among boys in the top conference in football. As long as Saban is around, that's just not going to change. It's a very safe bet that Alabama will be in Pasadena next year. If they're not playing Oregon, they'll be playing some other SEC team like A&M or maybe Georgia.
LSU losing to Clemson and the #2 team, Florida getting destroyed by Louisville shows why that won't happen.
Really Alabama is just a step above everyone else, including the rest of the SEC.
I mean although we didn't we had no problems competing with the SEC in our bowl game.
And other than Texas A&M and Alabama, the rest of the SEC didn't exactly cover itself in glory during bowl season.
So basically we're trying to get to the level which we can compete nationally (which we're not far away from), to a separate level where we can compete with Alabama (which we are far from, as are many other teams). Alabama has lost 5 games in the last four years for a reason.
..10-2 is probably the ceiling for them next year. That might be good enough for a trip to the B1G Title Game and The Rose Bowl, but I don't see them achieving much more than that. Now, I hope I am a stupid idiot.
What's with people getting grayed out for unpopular opinions? This guy's opinion is perfectly valid, even if you find it unappealing.
Now, please neg this post since I mentioned upvoting/downvoting. Thanks!
It's because there are far too many juveniles visiting MGoBlog on a regular basis, and not all of them are chronological juveniles.
A lot is going to hinge on the line play, both offensive and defensive. Not saying our line was good this year, because they weren't, but youth and inexperience could be a bad combination. If Taylor comes back that would help, but I don't see that happening. Roh wasn't great but was smart and had experience, at least Q will be back and hopefully be eating up space for our new breed of linebackers.
a few frosh (RS and true) to materialize. Copy & paste the ND formula from this year, because we won't have the talent or depth to "muscle" our way thru the entire 12 games.
Mathlete's chart on our upperclassmen talent gap is cold reality. It will take a few recruiting cycles for our roster to posses top tier potential.
Still, we could be slight favorites in every single game next year ...
On the D line Pee Wee will fill in for BWC as a space-eater. But from whence cometh the pass-rusher? In the bowl game John Gruden commented ad nauseum that the lack of a true pass rusher forced M to frequent (too frequent) blitzes. For the most part Carolina picked up the bllitzes, and devastating big plays resulted.
Frank Clark seems a little smallish for a designated pass-rusher. Jibreel Black seems to have regressed a little --- at least in Mattison's estimation. Beyer hasn't yet shown he can elude O-linemen with any regularity. Maybe one of the redshirts or even an incoming freshman can assume that role. But if the bowl game proved anything, it was that against good teams, "he who (is forced) to live by the blitz might die by the blitz."
We need if not a Clowney-clone then maybe someone fairly close in ability.
Size-wise, I don't see how Clark is too small. You generally have two kinds of pass rushers at defensive end - the 6'2", 260 lb. types like Dwight Freeney and the 6'5", 260 lb. types like Aldon Smith. Long and lanky or short and quick-ish. Clark isn't as quick as Dwight Freeney, but he fits the mold of that kind of rusher. Personally, I think he's the best pass rusher on the team outside of Jake Ryan, and I wish Clark would get some more playing time. Beyer is generally a non-factor.
until UM gets a DL pass rush it doesn't matter how good the LBs or safetys are. UM will not get off the field on 3rd downs and continue to give up HUGE plays over the top against good teams (see all 5 losses this year).
simple as that really. The only pass rusher I see on the roster is Super Mario. My hope is that he bulks up and explodes on the scene next season. Frank Clark and can be a good SDE on passing downs bringing the occasional heat but Mario has shown flashes that he could be a legit WDE pass rushing threat.
If he doesn't develop UM is pretty much screwed and will have to out scheme top notch opponents with Mattison craziness. That can only take you so far and with new safeties coming in they will likely get burnt trying to execute it.
DL pass rush and the OL jellying before Big Ten play are key. Everyone knows the OL RS frosh have the talent if they can put it together the O will be fine. I like that Justice Hayes passed Rawls on the depth chart and hopefully Derrick Green can come in make a splash.
Also don't want to hear about experince for skill players. Bama led the nation in yds by Freshman this season. Elite teams play freshman studs all the time and then watch them go pro. UM needs to start landing these types instead of hopeing we can "build" an upper classman team of 4 stars. UM is not PSU or Iowa. They shouldn't have to wait for upperclassmen-laden teams to compete at elite levels.
People forget our O-line in 97 was mostly redshirt freshmen or sophomores. Two of the starters switched from D-line as well. Granted we had Jansen (too bad it looks like we won't have Lewan).
Our O-line was:
LG: Huthinson -RS FR
LT: Backus - RS FR
RG- Zieman - RS SO and Brandt - RS FR
RT: Jansen - SR
I think our O-line could honestly be better if the hype about some of our redshirts is true.
It's time to find out how elite our last couple of recruiting classes really were.
Mario O will be our pass rusher, IMO. He has the burst but lacks the size and strength at the moment to be effective. I'm confident a full offseason of S&C work will get him to where he needs to be.
Not unless we're undefeated, and that ain't happening.
ND proved anyone can make it to the BCS (not necessary win it). Never count Michigan out. The announcers did have a tid bit on the controversial split national championship between Michigan and Nebraska last night. But like most said, the focus is the B10 championship, then whatever comes. As a team Michigan is not that far off from being top shelve elite again. We will win some of the 5 stars and lose some as always. The bigger picture is that our coaching staff has proved we can win with the players we have. Damn the day Mattison retires, and we need a new DC.
I wouldn't be too sanguine about ND being anywhere close to the MNC next year; they lose 4 of their Oline, top 2 RBs, Eiffert and Teo. Their D-line will still be a challenge with Nix in the middle (I think he's already announced that he will return, and he got the better of all-world OL B.Jones last night).
Alabama, though, will probably be back. Even with the early entries they will lose...they have so much talent on their roster they really will just reload. They will be the preseason #1.
Would guess that Ohio State, Oregon, Florida, LSU round out the top 5. Think Michigan will be in the mid to low teens. Offensive line scares the crap out of me for next year...and if Fitz can't come back healthy and if D.Green doesn't choose us....
We have as much of a chance of playing for a Crystal football next year as Notre Dame had at playing for one at this time last year.
Let's work on being a serious year in and year out contender for the Big Ten title before we start talking about bigger things.
Let's look at this realistically....which position groups for Michigan next year are superior to Ohio State's and which are significantly inferior??
QB - OSU returns Braxton
RB - OSU very strong and deep with Hyde, Smith, Hall, Dunn, Elliott etc
OL - OSU returns four starters from a very good unit, and other starter is likely elite prospect 2nd year Taylor Decker
WR - OSU returns all contributors (Brown, Smith, Spencer, Thomas), plus adds Jalin Marshall plus maybe Corey Smith JUCO who could start right away
TE - OSU returns two that got lots of PT, Vannett and Heurman
DL - Spence, Bennett, Schutt, Washington, Steve Miller, Joel Hale, Joey Bosa - young but very high ceiling
LB - other than All-American Shazier, young and unproven Grant/Trey Johnson/Cam Williams in the middle, Josh Perry, Perkins, Jamal Marcus, on the outside
DB - OSU: Roby, Bryant, Barnett all return, nickel-back Doran Grant likely to take other cb spot.
ST - Return good kicker Basil and punter will be HS all-american Townsend
So, OSU likely siginificantly better at QB, RB, OL, DB. A push at WR, LB, DL and ST?
Maybe Michigan has better receivers & TE, do they?
Which team has the x-factor player that can override what's on paper? OSU has playmakers Miller & Shazier. UM?
Anyone disagree that OSU appears to be sigificantly stronger than UM overall next year?