M can be like 1996 - 2006 Alabama no problem.
We will never be Bama....
Michigan is looking to have a very similar offense in a couple years imo. A huge offensive line where we can line up and run the ball right at you, and control the clock. As well as a deep talented defense that swarms to the ball.
Spread > MANBALL
It's hard for me to argue with this, but I think what people mean when they say that we'll be on the level of 'Bama is that we'll be among the truly elite in college football. We still won't be as good as 2011 or 2012 Alabama, but no one will. The SEC has finally banned oversigning, which won't allow scheisters like Saban to assemble such a loaded roster by signing and purging. He also won't be around at Alabama forever. People tend to forget that Alabama was a non-factor during most of the 90's and 00's under DuBose, Franchione, and Shula.
And aside from the ethical issues in the SEC, they have a lot of natural, built-in advantages down there that we'll never have. None of the football factory schools in the SEC are in the same universe as Michigan academically. Some of these schools take two or three JUCO transfers every year, whereas we've taken two in the last thirty years. Also, football is like a religion in the South, particularly in Alabama. That affects all aspects of their culture. They built a bronze statue of Saban after he had been there only three years. Every other elementary school in Western Alabama is named after Bear Bryant (in contrast, remember how people scoffed when someone suggested that Skyline High in Ann Arbor should be named after Bo?). All of the athletically-inclined kids are pushed toward football because football players are treated like gods. That, coupled with the massive population shift from the Midwest toward the South that has occurred over the last generation or so, is going to make it difficult for us to compete with the SEC year in and year out.
Here's my baseline: if we can pull off a '97-like season once every 20 years or so and consistently win 8-11 games in all of the seasons in between, then I think this program will have achieved to its potential. That '97 team will never be regarded as among the absolute best in the history of college football, like a '95 Nebraska or an '01 Miami, but the trophy says "National Champions" on it just the same.
Bama won the SEC in 1999 under DuBose and played Michigan to basically a stalemate in the Orange Bowl. Franchione won 10 games in 2002, won the SEC West, but was ineligible for the title game or a bowl due to probation. He left after that, his second season. Shula went 10-2 in 2005.
All of that while dealing with varying degrees of sanctions and probation that prevented any kind of continuity. They weren't a consistent beast, but the ceiling was still high, even with guys who aren't that highly thought of running the program.
That's why I said "most". You've pointed out three seasons out of 20, none of which were as dominant as 'Bama '09, 'Bama '11, or (likely) 'Bama '12.
They went 11-1 in '91 and finished at #5 in the country. Won the national title in '92 (blowing out Miami in the Sugar Bowl). In '93 and '94 they won the SEC west, finishing the latter season at 12-1 with a bowl win over OSU and a one point loss to Florida in the SEC title game as their only blemish. They finished #5 in the country that year as well. In '96 they were back in the conference title game, beat Michigan in a bowl game and finished #11 in the country. Then Stallings left and after two poor seasons they won the SEC again as I mentioned under Dubose.
If you want to go back further, they were really good when this guy they called the Bear was walking the sidelines too. This recent run is probably unsustainable for any program in the longterm, but Bama at full strength (no probation/sanctions) has always been strong, even in their recent "dark period".
There are the ethical issues in the SEC (the only school that has never faced sanctions is Vanderbilt, as I recall), but there is also the money, and I believe it deserves some mention.
Something that much of the SEC has been able to do as well is convert the regional passion for the game into money. Only a handful of SEC school have endownments over $1 billion, but yet they can match and even exceed many other schools when it comes to athletic donations. In many cases, the donors didn't even attend the school, but are from that area and were fans. I think this is part of the reason that they can build facilities which are top-tier despite being in a less economically diverse (or endowed) part of the country, facilities which impress and attract top talent.
They also generated income from the rule that allows conferences to stage championship games, a rule basically ignored until the early 1990s when the SEC began playing such a game. They've had the deal with CBS since the 90s as well, I believe.
In short, they've found a way to more or less neutralize an advantage that northern schools (for example, schools in the Big Ten) had for a long time, and it has also helped schools like Alabama become a destination for players.
It will be a few years, I believe, before we see any effects from the ban on oversigning in the SEC, but it would be interesting all the same to do a multi-year statistical comparison on both sides of the ball to see where the productivity falters the most.
But I'm not confident in making any derogatory claims about Bama's team other than some (pretty well known) roster management tactics (cutting, medical redshirts, JUCO transfers). They're also not an academic institution of the calibur of our beloved Michigan, but few (if any) traditional power programs are.
But the biggest reason I don't want to be Bama is that the win appeared joyless. When you see video of our couching staff during the Nebraska game last year they're joking around with eachother, talking candidly, shrugging, that sorta thing. When you looked at Saban last night he was ice-cold focused when the score was already something like 35-7. Even at the end of the game he seemed unhappy and was still chewing people out at every penalty and Michigan 1st down. You don't want to be too joyful, out of respect, but comeon man...
Saban is a robot
Um, that's probably the reason they beat us 41-14 and LSU 21-0 and . . .
I never want to be Bama. I want us to return to "The Old Michigan" and I feel like we are making strides to do so. I personally feel like it would be nice to see us line up in the "I" formation and try to pound the ball a little. I would like to see more of a power running game. I realize that the "big play" potential goes down if we do that, but I think that it would possibly lengthen the time of the drives and potentially wear the opposing defense down. Run Hopkins behind Kerridge and force teams to respect the fact that we are going to put drives together and score without Denard throwing a deep slant or taking it to the house when a play breaksdown. Just a thought.
Before people flip out... I am not saying hopkins should move to HB, I am merely suggesting that we inject a power run scheme into what we are doing. Mix it up.
running game for that entire game last night. Averaged about 2.0 yards a carry.
Disagreed. Our talent is nowhere close to where it will (hopefully) be with these recruiting class's. 'Bama's built off of talent. Our 2012 and 2013 class's are stockpiled with talent, more then the previous years. I think we can be an excellent team like 'Bama in 2/3 years. We're definetly not there, but come on... Everyone has KNOWN this is a rebuilding program. You look at the positions and you say "average big 10 starter" for a lot of them, not "future 1st rounder" like 'Bama. But there have been times where Michigan has had that talent. So its not at all a far stretch to see us reaching that talent level again. And Brady Hoke is a great coach and I believe we will be a great team, both talent wise and coaching wise. Just give it time. We're a good team this year. But not an excellent team this year like Alabama. This is what we expected. Rationally, did we really think we were going to beat Alabama this year? When it was first scheduled, we were just HOPING it'd be close. I believe it'll be a different story in time...
I don't completely disagree. The one shining light, if you will, is that all of the teams you listed inevitably fell, and usually quite far, from their heights. Miami hasn't been anywhere close to the dominance they showed in the 80's save for that short run under Davis/Coker, and the same with FSU. USC looks to be back somewhat, but rest assured Kiffin will muff it up sooner rather than later.
Alabama has a great team, and Saban is a hell of a coach and recruiter. Those teams are strong, disciplined, and talented. Sure, that talent comes at a price other teams won't take on, but it's not like Bama would be a MAC team if they only recruiting 85 athletes every 4 years. They will be good for some time, but soon enough someone will mess up, Saban will get busted, and they'll be back on probation. It's the inevitable end for teams like Alabama, just like the end of Carr/RR eras were for a UM program that was too set in its ways to wholly evolve with college football.
I will say, though, that game was closer than it appeared, given what UM was missing. People kept harping on Alabama being without some stars, but UM lost its Remington-winning center, top two defensive linemen, and its stud RB. Those are big losses, and I definitely think they had an effect on the performance we saw. And despite all that, UM was hanging around. UM will be back, and while I have my doubts that they'll be playing for a title in 3 years, I do expect them to be competitive with every team on their schedule.
... I would not overreact to one game.
Truth is, we had played Alabama three times previously and won twice.
Saban is a great coach. Combine great coaching, great tradition and the ability to make a team incredibly deep through oversigning, and you have a program on a roll.
But if -- and this is a big IF -- the NCAA really does crack down on roster manipulation (Stewart Mandel, for example, thinks the new rules will not stop oversigning), and as Hoke continues to recruit players head-to-head with Alabama (as in the Turly-Tillman and Dawson commits), we'll see things level out over the next few years.
Someone should run the numbers on this, but I'll bet the edge Alabama holds in the number of scholarships given out over the past four years, not to mention that Saban has been recruiting players to fit his system, which is more like the days of Bo.
I don't think we'll ever be Alabama in terms of how we go about things -- Michigan is a serious university, while Bama is your typical, average state school -- but I think we'll be able to compete with them in two years. There's nothing fancy about what they do. They get great recruits, they've been cutting recruits they missed on and replacing them with more recruits, and that just gives more talent to a great coach. They'll always get great recruits. If we can stop them from manipulating the rules to correct their misses, we can compete.
Indeed, if we can get everyone playing by the same rules, we have the coaching staff and recruiting power to return to beating Alabama again. The competitive edge brought by oversigning is depth, and we saw it last night. It is the reason Alabama can 'reload, not rebuild.' They've been stockpiling as much as they can get away with.
Remember, there were years before the SEC went on an oversigning rampage started by Saban at LSU (and then Alabama), along with Arkansas and South Carolina. And Michigan dominated the SEC in bowl games before the binge. And which SEC team was the first to ban oversigning? Florida, by the order of the school president. And looked what happened -- they started getting dominated in the SEC.
The SEC teams you see on the field really are better and much deeper. It's how they got that way that doesn't get any discussion on television.
I get really sick of ppl saying that Alabama is a representation of Ess-Eee-See football as a whole. Alabama and LSU are on another level from the rest of their conference. If Michigan were playing, say, UGA's SEC Schedule, we could win the SEC East for the chance to get thrashed by Bama on a neutral field like we did last night (which UGA will probably do this season just as they did last year before getting trounced by LSU).
This is true over the past to to three years. However, before the SEC championship game of 2009, the dominant program in that league for some time (excluding the Zook debacle) was Florida. It is cyclical. (Except for the obvious caveat, that like him or not-and I do not-as long as Saban is there, Bama will be strong.)
There is comfort in saying "well, at least our team is of higher moral caliber." But, the truth is we had a couple players suspended for the game. We are not of immaculate sterling student athletes, nor is any team. We want to win, and we want to do it the right way. Most teams feel the same, just a matter of if they can.
when ABC told the world that this team has had 6 arrests. I tried to explain to my family that number included things like breaking a parking lot gate and sliding over the hood of a car, but still. The world did not go away thinking that the Michigan team had higher moral character, whether it does or not.
show them the oversigning chart of the SEC compared to the other BCS conferences. You can also emphasize your point with the current Fulmer Cup standings.
I am of the opinion we are never going to win a national title again. I fine with it, since we at Michigan are above the cheating that gets you to the BCS national title game.
If you don't think Michigan can win a National Title or compete every few years for one, you are fools. Once the depth is addressed 2-3 years,this will happen.Some of you guys make me throw up sometimes.
Once we're able to throw the ball consistently to get the opposing D out of the box and then will loosen up the run, we will be more balanced and elite defense just can't sit in the box. We were easy to defend against Bama. Michigan will get enough elite players to compete for the National Title every few years maybe not every couple like Bama and LSU do right now.
Its not the depth..... its the type of bigger player we need, and we are a year away until these types that Hoke recruited, begin to have an effect. We are two full years away from being Michigan again. And it'll be a young Michigan....
Yet we got RR and they didnt..... Saban is doing a fine job hogging the talent, he truly is... .but it was only a moment ago when we were ahead of them, and had equal NFL talent. Pre-Saban wasn't anything special like it is now.
that alabama shutout and beat then no. 1 lsu by 20.... we lost by 27 and were not goose egged.. go blue
Be as good as Bama. I also think in 3-4 years we will be. Saban has a slight limitation now in scholarships, and I think Hoke will continue to recruit top 5-10 every year.
Here is the last decade of Alabama football:
Michigan has been much more consistant. So Alabama is really good now - who is to say what they will be 5 years from now?
Who is to say Michigan won't be national champs in 5 years?
All I know is when people throw around terms like unbeatable, dynasty etc the mighty usually fall.
Michigan is old sexy.
For losers. As we continue to recruit amd get the type athlete we want, there wont be a team in CFB that we cant compete with. Our best player yesterday was a 5'7" WR that runs a 4.7 40. That will be extremely rare in the near future.
I'm sure Alabama said the same thing about us at one time. Historically speaking, no team has a monopoly on football. As much as I hate to admit it, Nick Saban is an extraordinary coach. But, he will not coach forever and the power among conferences and schools will shift. They always do. Fortunately, the SEC and ESPN don't understand that and their contract destiny will experience a plunge in fortune simultaneously.
... the new CJK5H?
With ESPN financially incentivized to push the sec myth, someone needs to get the truth out... Perfect job for the interweb. Whenever someone searches for alabama football, oversigning should be the top return.
And yes, my grapes are vinegar.
What's the point of this post exactly? To prove that we'll never be "great" like Bama? And u post this on a pro-Michigan blog site? Let's not forget that this is still just football and still at the collegiate level. Bama has to deal with kids, 18 years old who have to be trained to make it at the next level just like everybody else. Sure Bama has great players, but since when has Michigan not been capable of getting great players? Someone responded earlier by listing all of the shortcomings Michigan experienced in past bowl games as evidence that we've never had that national championship caliber teams... news flash, Bo got out coached. I can't remember all the times I saw Michigan down in points in the fourth and screaming at the TV screen "Throw something!". Just the same in 2006 UM and OSU got out coached. Florida ran the same play down the sideline like a dozen times and the Def. Cor. never defended it. We may have gotten our asses kicked against a very good national title Bama team, but who on this site will tell you that they expected us to be competing for the title this year? We knew we weren't there yet. But that doesn't mean that I don't fully expect Hoke to come back with a vengeance in a year or two and compete at that caliber. We'll get there. Just gotta have patience. GO BLUE!!