I am not wearing the Maize colored glasses today sipping Hoke's Special Kool-Aid by my UM-themed pool thinking about a Top 10 D, but am considering our current situation and some recent player comments. When considering the following, I wonder if we have a chance at the record of the biggest jump:
- We are starting from 108 out of 120 which provides a chance for a big leap
- We are returning a decent number of starters
- Huge, huge upgrade at DC
- Apparent upgrade with Defensive position coaches
- Comments like "Everyone knows their roles. Everyone knows why they've got to do this, why they've got to do that. In the old defense, we just knew this was what we were supposed to do. We really didn't understand it." from Jibreel Black seeming to indicate that we at least understand the scheme better.
I suppose the only wildcard to dramatic improvement would if the offense implodes and stresses our defense. Just getting to average provides a 50 spot boost. Allowing 350 yards a game and cracking the top 40 is a 68 position jump. Maybe that is not completely unreasonable considering spots 35-45 last year were NCST, Arizona, Illinois, Hawaii, Va Tech, Fla St, Missouri, San Diego State, Air Force, Penn State, Maryland. Granted, that is a 100 yards/game improvement from last year which would be stunning. I don't know what our upside is, I am at least feel optimistic about our chances.