things go poorly
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- Colorado - just crushing to lose that way, so unexpectedly, and then to see highlights for the next decade
- Ohio State (2006) - biggest game since 97. so close.
- Toledo - program bottom, worse team than App State
- App State - biggest embarrasment
- Ohio State (2012) - Injured Denard's last OSU game, Halftime lead, horrendous 2nd half on O, and 12-0 OSU season.
- TE blocking may not get better. Same position coaches presided over miniscule improvements from Funchess and Williams last year. Butt is recovering and won't be himself. We may or may not be using more 2-TE sets. TE is still a weakness, which sucks beside a bad OL.
- Nussmeir is an unknown. I'm optimistic here too, but reality is we don't know exactly what to expect. Everywhere else he has coached there has been a dominant presence (e.g., Sarkisian, Linehan, JL Smith, Saban) so this is in many ways his most challenging job. New coordinators are always awesome, until they become fired coordinators, and then they are just the worst. It could be great...it could be not so great. He ain't GMatt yet...but he might be. Still, there's a reasonable chance he panics too, dealing with the OL's problems. Pass protection could and probably will be worse, meaning TEs and FBs, not the 3 or 4 WR sets we might hope for.
- My guess is that Miller isn't that important at all. They have to motivate him because he's starting game 1, but after that...back to being Glasgow's backup. Also not buying the RG battle being about anymore than Kalis' back. Why risk it vs App State? Play Burzynski (who is OK and big enough for App St). Burzynski was inserted into the line instead of Miller last year and the year before that too. I don't know why it would be different this year unless Burzynski is still hurt. Miller seems like another case of fake hype (again).
- We have no OL depth, still. If Cole or Braden falter, Magnuson or Glasgow have to move outside, and then you're back to huge uncertainty inside with Burzynski, Miller, or Bosch being a starter. If the Kalis injury is something long-lasting, same thing.
- We're sure RB blocking is going to be better? Toussaint was bad, but he was a senior. This is the Omameh/Barnum argument repeated -- it can get worse. This year, presumably, we will have FBs back to block less often too.
|16 hours 48 min ago||Incorrect. It was 10 guys.||
Rodriguez had 6 in his first recruiting class alone. The next two combined for 4, making a total of 10 over 3 years. A little light, but reasonable given that a) he had Molk and b) 4 of his recruits were drafted at OL in the NFL. If Rich Rod was good at ANYTHING it was recruiting OLmen and getting them productive quickly. The 2011 offense was very good in large part because of the OL that he put together.
Oh, you want to blame him for the 2011 class? The aborted class Hoke signed? The one he had to fight job status questions all through? The class that lost Jake Fisher when Rodriguez got canned? Doesn't work that way. That's on Dave Brandon before anyone else.
|16 hours 58 min ago||The nice thing about FEI||
it attempts to incorporate margin of victory and strength of opponent all at once. Utah ranked better than Michigan last year, indicating they were a better team.
Urah returned a bunch of guys plus got the QB back healthy. They are (probably) better, though information is scarce.
Michigan returns a bunch too but lost some big pieces at OT and WR. ND last year vs. ND this year indicates that we are (maybe) worse.
|19 hours 19 min ago||are you saying||
The recruiting prowess of Michigan coaches can be overestimated.
Or does that fall under "can't" as well?
I need to know what I'm allowed to estimate and if I should systematically under-shoot or over-shoot my estimates of prowess.
|21 hours 19 min ago||A top 30ish team, maybe better.||
They ranked above Michigan in FEI last year, despite their record. That's because they beat Stanford and lost a bunch of close games against quality Pac 12 teams. They did this despite losing their starting QB for most of the year. They've had consistently solid to very good defenses for many years now. The problem has been the offense but it seems to have come around with their new coordinator. Wilson is now an upperclassmen, so there's some Gholston parallels...
They have talent and proven coaches. Add in the spread/tempo stuff and Utah is flat out scary.
|21 hours 24 min ago||Utah is good||
most of the Big 10 is not.
Utah, despite their record, ranked higher than Michigan last year and beat Stanford, despite losing their starting QB for most of the year.
|22 hours 58 min ago||I'd rather lose to Utah||
I'd rather lose to Utah than anyone else left on the schedule. They are the most 'loseable' game because a) they are legit, so it would not be embarrasing and b) it has no consequences for the conference.
Losing to Minnesota, Rutgers, Northwestern would be a BAD loss. Losing to Maryland or Penn State would sting more, as there is a divisional hierarchy to consider and burgeoning rivalries to establish dominance in. Indiana would hurt more too as they are not as good as Utah but similarly speak to a clash of program philosphy and direction. MSU and OSU - obvs.
|1 day 21 hours ago||I care||
I love the Fab 5, as a team, and as individuals. I'd like the situation to be resolved at all levels. They all seem like great guys, even Chris, despite his petulance and selfishness, is a thoughtful caring person who has done a lot of good things in life. He's also a pretty damn enjoyable broadcaster.
I'm ecstatic that our program has recovered from the Fisher-Ellerbe stuff. Amaker did some of the heavy lifting to wipe the slate clean and build a new foundation and Beilein is the best damn coach in all of the NCAA. This is great.
But the Fab 5 is a HUGE part of the program history. I would love for Chris to get through whatever his issues are to make amends with the program and the other guys. Happy ending and all that... Since he seems not ready to do so, I'd be interested to know about his rationale for it.
Jalen brings it up because he is asked about it. He is asked about it because people want to know. Chris benefits from the publicity. I look forward to hearing his take on it all via book/documentary/whatever...
You don't want to hear about it anymore? Don't click on a story about C-Webb or Jalen. You're not a victim. You don't have to like them or care, but a lot of people do. Commenting on every Fab 5 thread that you're anti-CWebb is being the dude who complains about recruiting rankings because of Kevin Grady or Kelly Baraka.
|3 days 21 hours ago||Fire Rich Rod!||
First he loses to Appalachian State, now this. Guy just doesn't get Michigan.
|4 days 15 hours ago||The most meaningful running game stat so far this year||
Smith and Green - 20 carries for 55 yards against ND. That's the best snapshot we have of where this run game is at.
Purdue's top 2 backs (Hunt & Mostert) had 19 carries for 79 yards against ND. Rices guys got 20 carries for 62 yards. So, we didn't have any more success than middling Rice and Purdue.
As for Miami, Marshall's backs ran 28 times for 182 yards. 31 for 181 was Smith/Green's numbers yesterday. So we matched Marshall.
However, using the transitive property, I can confidently say our run game is better than Eastern Kentucky. So - there is indeed some reason to think optimistically.
Another comparison (to ourselves): Against ND, our RBs had 23 carries for 70 yards last year, this year 22 for 75.
The run game appears to have improved from last year. The amateur eye can see that there are holes, sometimes they are even large. But if you think our run game is actually GOOD, you either have to believe ND has an extraordinary defense or also think that Rice and Purdue have good running games. Reading too much into Miami or App State seems foolish.
There's a long way to go from how awful the run game was last year to being an actual area of strength.
|1 week 2 days ago||EH...sorta||
Molk - yes, OK. Martin, maybe, but that shouldn't stop him from at least being a quality 3-4 DE.
Denard is pretty typical size for an NFL RB, there are countless examples of shorter and lighter backs. His profile matches Jamal Charles, Reggie Bush, among many others. His problem is experience at the position (blocking) and a terrible OL - not size.
Gallon - same story. There are a lot of short WRs in the NFL.
|1 week 2 days ago||Your definition of "result of the season" is different than mine||
Cool list though. I'd love to see the equivalent adjusted for Vegas line (bet App State would make an appearance then.)
Here is my personal list of top 5 worst losses:
|1 week 2 days ago||Rich Rod is better||
Imagine the horsepower he'd have in A2!
|1 week 2 days ago||Kids these days||
They crowd-surfing with mattresses. Back in my day...
|1 week 2 days ago||It does say something about talent and/or development||
The NFL struggles of even great-looking players like Denard, Gallon, Martin and Molk is interesting. As is the relative success of Omameh and Schofield. But the narrative takeaway is in the eye of the beholder.
"Hoke sucks because he isn't developing NFL-caliber talent."
"Hoke deserves patience because he hasn't exactly had NFL-caliber talent."
I think you should take this information and use it to argue your already established opinion.
|1 week 4 days ago||also||
people said Harbaugh and Miles would come last time. they did not because they had better options.
|1 week 4 days ago||It's not all I got but I||
It's not all I got but I covered the rest in other comments.
Bottomline is that the talent advantage, while extant, is there relative to the region, not on the national level. You're going to have to come with something more if your goal is to compete with Oregon, Alabama, USC, and FSU. On top of that you have a lot of hurdles (institutional and fan support, for example) that don't exist elsewhere.
The other stuff just doesn't overcome it anymore. 110K is great, but who cares if you can get 95K somewhere else without the headache. Duke has great academics too, so do Stanford, USC, etc. The prestige/$ help draw recruits because their parents matter, but who cares if you have LA, CA, TX, FL in your backyard.
Yes, we can pay shitons of money to draw someone like Briles...maybe. Put money aside is he better off in a wide open Big 12 (with Texas down) and unlimited recruiting at his frontstep AND being that programs version of Bo Schembechler. Why come to Michigan to play at an inferior conference, work your ass off to sell the program, run it clean, and deal with pissed off fans who would complain because his gimmicky O isn't old-timey enough. Why deal with ZERO job security? The presumed payoff of going from top 15 to top 5 is a high risk venture.
Money doesn't magically fix things. It doesn't fix things for the Yankees and they're not dealing with all the NCAA things that level the playing field.
Could Michigan talk someone like Briles into it? probably. But Baylor's going to have cash too and I suspect he can make out just as well in the end. I imagine he thinks to himself -- that's a whole lot of headache, why would I leave here?
Belloti/Kelly didn't need to be paired with USC or UCLA to be great. Harbaugh didn't need to be setup at Texas. Jimmy Johnson didn't need to be at Alabama. Boise State has more success now than Michigan. The power and the prestige moves around. This next wave of recruits weren't even born in 1997...and coaches know that.
My point here is that we need to stop feeling entitled because the program has tradition and money. It's an advantage, not a right. 3-8 happened, and it can easily happen again.
The program has been torn down, and now it put up a facade while it tries to rebuild the foundation. Other programs are building more impressive structures around them, faster. The killer corner location isn't looking so killer these days. It's raining in our neighborhood and it's unclear if the masons and structural engineers we hired know what the hell they are doing.
|1 week 4 days ago||So the reason Michigan is at an advantage||
is something they don't use?
Is that how far we've fallen? The argument for us is we'll outspend everyone else (even though there's no proof we actually are willing to?)
|1 week 4 days ago||Top 10 coaches||
That's exactly what I'm saying. There is no good reason for a top 10 coach to come here unless he has ties to the program. The level of difficulty is too high and the difference in pay too small. Les Miles would be a fool to come to Michigan, for example.
List through the top 10 coaches and think through if they are coming to Michigan - they are not.
Sure, if you pay them $10M a year, yes, but there is zero evidence Michigan is willing to do that.
You wrote "full access" and again I ask -- to what? From the national perspective, the program is crumbling. Ohio State and Penn State have significant advantages and can sell tradition too, MSU and Wisconsin are in a stronger position at this point because they've established their identities. So, you're talking about maybe the 5th best program in a weak conference that is in decline. Tradition and Prestige have value...but so do patience and appreciation and proven coaching success.
|1 week 4 days ago||talkin talent||
Recruiting just goes back to talent, which, again Michigan has had and continues to have.
Rodriguez did recruit well. It was bad, FOR MICHIGAN, but it was still top 25 caliber talent, better than most other programs. Talent wasn't the problem, it was what he did with it. Sound familiar?
I'm not saying those other schools will recruit better, I'm saying the difference in recruiting (and locker rooms) aren't enough to entice an elite coach to Michigan with all the other stuff around the program. Rodriguez came because of resources...and got booted out of town. I'm pretty sure people noticed that.
Here is a resource that Cal has that Michigan does not - an appreciative fanbase with reasonable expectations and a conference that is gaining in strength, prestige, population. Not to mention a natural recruiting ground it can easily exploit with a few good seasons.
|1 week 4 days ago||Resources||
People keep throwing this out there and it doesn't have any meaning to me. You mean paying assistants lots of money? OK, but how far does that get you if they don't produce? Recruiting budget? It may not be elite, but Michigan's problem has never been talent (even with Rodriguez). Still superior to Wisconsin, MSU, etc, for now.
What 'resources' are you getting that say, Clemson or Cal or Arizona can't offer you? What player cares about how much a locker room costs? And do those things matter enough to offset the national perceptions, entitled fanbase, and geographic disadvantage?
The kind of coaches you're talking about have to be up-and-comers. Sometimes those guys work - usually the don't. It's a risk. At least with Hoke we know he is buying in to the Michigan ideal and selling it well to recruits and alumni.
Yes, someone CAN be setup for success at Michigan. But they can also be set up to fail, as Rodriguez was.
Hoke is the guy we got. We need to be patient because you saw where impatience has gotten us so far.
|1 week 4 days ago||"the things we've seen built over the past few years"||
Not sure what those things are. Can you explain? We are now changing scheme again on both sides of the ball and the team has gotten worse each year.
That said, I'm with you that the outcome isn't that big of a deal. It was a setback that demands the overoptimistic to recalibrate expectations. But...This was SUPPOSED to be an 8 win team, and it looks like one.
There was a lot in this game that makes the score look worse than it is but...it was still bad.
The OL could very well sink the entire season.
The DB injuries are a weak excuse. You still had Countess and Lewis (who was purported to be a co-starter level). Hollowell, Stribling, Richardson, Thomas...if these guys can't function as 3rd or 4th options in the secondary?
|1 week 4 days ago||Like Rich Rodriguez?||
No coach in their right mind was coming to Michigan after the way he was run out of town.
It doesn't make me happy to say it, but the national "outsider" perception of Michigan is shaped by things like App State, Oregon, Florida over OSU, 3-8, the Alabama drubbing, and getting shut-out last night. The perception isn't going to die out with a Rose Bowl win either. The casual fan and unaffiliated coach sees Michigan as a sinking ship, obsolete technology, united only in looking to the past.
"But we used to be good" just isn't a very good selling point for an elite coaching candidate. And a lot of programs can now boast of 90K+ stadiums.
Hoke got the job because he was willing to play along with the delusion Michigan can just go back to 2000 if it applies itself a little harder. Now we're flipping schemes on both sides of the ball, so the transition goes on. People want to go through this crap again? How about we get a little consistency and get this program pointed in the right direction first?
For all the criticism that Amaker took, he fixed a lot of bad things in the basketball program and stabilized the program culutre. It really set up Beilein for his success. Michigan needs to let Hoke get the football program stabilized. Some 8 and 9 win seasons are OK, for now. Michigan needs to reestablish a positive identity.
There are quick fixes available -- but they are rare and hard to find. You risk killing this program as an elite thing for good. Michigan's status as elite is on the ropes as it is. Another transition and you're in knock-down mode probably.
Texas. Charlie Strong was an elite candiate and they just got beat worse than Hoke did. Year 1 vs Year 3, I know, but there's no guarantee that the prettiest guy on paper will produce.
|1 week 6 days ago||Prediction:||
Much discussion about how awesome Pipkins is.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||Maybe it's simple.||
Glasgow replaces Miller. Miller is the line's '6th man'.
This year's OL is next year's OL.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||we saw them run||
Didn't really see them run block (Hayes excepted)
Maybe I just wasn't paying attention, but it seemed like Green and Smith were very rarely asked to block. When they were in they got the ball. When they were out Fitz or Hayes caught passes or blocked.
To me it's equivalent to the Miller argument -- he did PLAY, technically, but he didn't demonstrate he was good as a backup at what he was going to have to do in the upcoming season as THE guy.
Last year, the floor for OL blocking appeared to be something but it was worse.This year the floor for RB blocking appears to be Fitz, but it could be worse. Not saying it will be - but no guarantees.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||not sure I agree||
but file under Problems I'd Like to Have
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Nuss as Panacea||
Agree with holding up on the Nuss hype. There is a huge overreaction going on to Borges. He was bad, he is past his prime, and he did some big dumb things, but he also pulled out some great performances and was very flexible. I don't know that we can really blame him for trying a lot of different things.
People are jsut assuming Nuss will do everything right and be a perfect fit. He will do everything Borges didn't. He will be simple without being predictable.... But objectively speaking, this is a guy who was rumored to be out the door at Alabama, despite his success, and now faces a significant scheme change with still very young OL personnel. This is the most responsibility he has ever had. There are no guarantees it will work.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Same argument/Different Year||
An experienced but disappointing senior being replaced by unproven young players. Last year it was Barnum/Mealer as veteran departures getting the bulk of the blame for a specific problem (they can't pull!), and this year it's Fitz (he can't blitz-pickup!). If Green/Smith/Hayes were good at this, the coaches probably would have used them to do so. Last year, Fitz sucked at it, but he had the job presumably because he was better than those guys.
That the returning players CAN get better doesn't mean they will improve enough to close the gap to get to Fitz. This was the same argument that was made for Bryant/Miller/Kalis -- they're a year older and better and even though they haven't done the job before "it can't get any worse" than Omameh/Barnum/Mealer. It can and it did.
It's a leap of faith that we don't have any real reason to believe will be the case. They might be better than Fitz, they might not. Things dont just get better because we want them to and saying "so-and-so was bad at it last year" is basically irrelevant to this year if so-and-so is gone.
Run-blocking -- should be better due to simplicity/scheme if Nuss is a) sane and b) anything what his reputation says he is.
Pass-blocking -- this isn't so much a scheme thing as an individual responsibility thing. Our personnel is worse overall because of the tackle situation, so pass-blocking will take a hit, even if our leap of faith at TE/RB is reality.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||OL Rant Guy||
I'm the guy who ranted about the OL, and I had actually been ranting about OL recruiting for a while before that. What led me to rant (more) was that Brian is usually very rational and doesn't make faith-based leaps in logic very often. Besides the interior OL, the Dymonte Thomas was another (rare) example.
The hype train is more believeable for guys like Lewis and Bolden, who have actually played in meaningful situation and looked at least serviceable, then guys who haven't (like Braden and Miller.) So, I was surprised last year at how bullish the preview was (relative to my PANIC).
My pessimistic quibbles this year:
I do agree with the expectations for improvement for most of the other reasons cited.
|3 weeks 19 hours ago||4.5 out of 5||
Only so next year can be even better.
Other than having an A+ all american type, it doesn't get much better than two veteran A- guys (one of which could be an A). With a couple of extremely promising youngsters behind them (not just in a conjecture/hype way, but they actually played and looked very good for freshman), if the starters even think about dropping to B+ they'll start doing a lot more watching.
Even without Peppers, we are Loaded here. Best CB unit since....long time? 97?