Something that just keeps popping up for me is the need to just have one base defense so the players know what in the hell to actually go do. Even with freshmen or new players, you would expect them to at least be executing on reads or showing some progress by the eighth game of the year. We play slow and look lost at times which does not make sense after a point if everyone knew where they were supposed to be. It is one thing to be overpowered at the point of attack due to size or technique, it is another to have opposing offensive players continually just running in open space.
The base does not even need to be that exotic, case in point is Parker’s defense at Iowa which is the same vanilla 4-3 they played since 1990. I watched them start their third string MLB against MSU (a local kid who only showed up on campus in the fall) due to injuries and have him play effectively. They can do that since the reads are not that complex which is a deliberate strategy they deploy for their defense to enable faster play and easier substitutions. I only saw Iowa shift to a three man front once or twice the entire game just to address the 5 wide formations. I am not saying there is any real comparison of the Iowa and Michigan defensive situations, just a case in point.
I will let the board debate what the base defense should be. My only thoughts are that there have been many talented DCs in the Big Ten over the years that didn’t run a 3-3-5 and GERG is a 4-3 under specialist who works with the defensive line. Having him run 3 man front bases and coach LBs is really not playing to his strengths. (go ahead and insert your zinger reply comment about him having any strengths). Additionally, it has not been fair to the players who have had to continually jump schemes. I thought we had at least found an identity last year, but that did not seem to carry over. Just go do one thing, learn to react within that scheme and then get complicated at some later time.
EDIT: Damn it Brian, I put this up and then you crush me with better logic on the same point 15 minutes later :)