the just released schedules were a flat-out statement that the B10 doesn't believe SOS will matter in playoff selection
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- Dennis Norfleet creates yards on every play where he doesn't have a tackler on him before he takes the pitch. We have to get him involved.
- The Drake Johnson hype is real -- he is not flashy, but runs the play consistently and gets the yards that are there. A classic UM back who could squeeze Rawls out of the rotation, IMO.
- Our secondary is good. Very little separation for the receivers, and most of the successful passing plays were the result of great throws and/or catches.
- Our LBs were excellent, and deep. Bolden, Ringer, Gordon/Beyer all looked real good as back-ups. The starters were awesome. This is definitely our best position group.
- The D-Line looked bigger, stronger, and faster than any line in recent memory. Again, there is good depth to go along with strong starters. SDE seems to be the only position that is "meh".
- The last three bullets add-up to one awesome conlcusion: OUR DEFENSE WILL BE VERY, VERY GOOD. Mattison has gotten done with sub-par talent the last two seasons. Now he'll have much better talent at almost every position. I believe we'll have the best defense in the B1G--besting Sparty and Ohio.
- The offensive line is coming together. The talent is obvious--so is the youth. More than a few blown assignments, but also some crushing blocks agasint very good D-line play. This unit, IMO, is the most important determiner of our success this fall. I think RB will work itself out nicely with Fitz and Green added to what we have, and the WRs appear to be at least serviceable. Add the TEs and I'm not too concerned about pass-catchers...just time for DG to throw and lanes for our RBs.
- No kicking plays? I guess with Gibbons/Wile we don't have much to worry about, but I'd like to see our return game improve this year.
- Albrecht/Walton - Switching the PG consistently isn't usually a great idea. I expect Spike to hold the position because of his experience and ability, and Walton to share time on the floor and give Albrecht the occasional spell.
- Stauskas/Irvin/LeVert - We have serious firepower and a lockdown defender...the situation and who's hot will dictate some of the minutes here, but I don't see LeVert consistently playing ahead of Stauskas and Irvin.
- GRIII/Irvin/Levert/Stauskas - Our most loaded position. GRIII is the best of this bunch...unless Irvin is better. That said, LeVert and Stauskas are great options.
- GRIII/Morgan/McGary/Horford - As I said in my own predictions post, I think GRIII will have to play some 4 because our best line-up has him on the floor with Stauskas and Irvin. That said, the goal is to have two "real" bigs out there. Morgan or Horford may start here.
- McGary/Morgan/Horford - I think Mitch stays at the 5 because his offensive rebounding skills are so valuable. Unless there are some serious changes to JB's offensive system (unlikely) we'll need McGary under the basket.
- McGary. Mitch dominated the top competition in the country in the NCAA tournament, and will have a full off-season to refine his game and continue to refine his body. He may not be our leading scorer, but he'll have the biggest impact. His offensive rebounding, passing, physicality, and hussle are invaluable assets.
- This is a tough one...Stauskas is clearly the best pure shooter on the team, but he'll need to be more consistent. If it's a 3-pointer, I expect him to get the ball. Down by 1? I actually believe it will be Irvin, Walton, or Albrecht, in that order.
- This is a great question, and another tough one. We have an embarrasment of riches at the 1 (and the 3) and I'm as surprised as anyone at how good Albercht looked late in the season. I know that everyone is like "TREY BURKE TREY BURKE TREY BURKE" when someone says that a freshman PG isn't the best idea, but Trey Burke was the exception that proves the rule. I think Albrecht has the job at that point, but that by season's end we see them splitting time.
- Well, I really believe our best line-up will be small. Albrecht/Walton, Stauskas, Irvin, GRIII, and McGary will probably be our best five by season's end, and, despite JB's (and GRIII's) preference to have GRIII on the wing, we'll have to have these five guys playing together to give us the best chance to win. That said, I think Irvin will overtake Stauskas as the starter, and Nik will become our sixth-man extraordinaire. Stauskas fits that profile perfectly.
- VERY tough question. IMO, could be McGary, GRIII, or Irvin. I'm going to stick with McGary, as I think our guards/wings will split time and points consistently, but that Mitch will almost always be on the floor (except when in foul trouble).
|2 days 11 hours ago||Odds on each prospect||
2. Jabrill Peppers. ATH 95/5
4. Da'Shawn Hand. DE 45/55
55. Alex Bars. OL 0/100 (ND commit)
69. Malik McDowell. DL 70/30
75. Corey Holmes. WR 30/70
85. Artavis Scott. WR 45/55
87. Parker Westphal. CB 85/15
I believe we will get Peppers, Westphal, and McDowell. I would be happy if we get one of the other guys, ecstatic if it's Hand.
|3 days 12 hours ago||This is BS||
We have MSU and Ohio on the road every even year. Ohio gets us at home, with MSU/PSU on the road every even year. Sparty gets UM/Ohio at home every even year, w/PSU on the road.
Ohio definitely got the most balanced schedule of the three. Here's hoping PSU makes a comeback. And sweet jeebus, the west is awful. Seeing it writing makes it even more obvious.
|3 days 12 hours ago||You're right||
But I'm glad we're playing them. Screw public perception: I want to kick their asses. Badly.
|3 days 14 hours ago||Could he be a sleeper?||
It's hard to call a consensus top-100 guy a sleeper, but I really believe Scout is the closest to being right putting him at #39. And while that number doesn't mean much of anything, I see Thomas as a can't miss star (assuming he stays healthy) with the potential to be one of the best DBs in Michigan history.
I would predict he ends-up somewhere between Marlin Jackson and Charles Woodson in terms of his greatness, and I do believe he will play some offense and/or special teams where he'll be...special.
Probably my favorite recruit from the class. I really think he and Green will both live-up to their hype.
|5 days 9 hours ago||Wish him the best||
Funny story, but probably good for MSU he's not going.
I wish the kid the best, but a college degree would probably do him good. Or do him well. Whichever it is, you grammar nazis.
|5 days 9 hours ago||One of the best posts of all||
One of the best posts of all time. Not sure how many people were watching that debate or remember that one-liner, but this is pure platinum.
If I could give you all of my points, I would.
|5 days 14 hours ago||Good argument||
The stats are strong in Gallon's favor, and I don't think there is a WR in the B1G that I would trade for him. But let's be honest: we really only have a 5-game sample on which to base Gallon's talent. His numbers last year were vastly inflated once DG took over as QB, and I'm not sure opponents ever started to fear Gallon enough to roll coverages his way or gameplan around him.
This year will be his first real test, and we'll see what it produces. He'll be getting a lot more attention and will finally be in a pro style offense. I believe he is a very good WR, but I don't know if I'd prefer him to Manningham or Avant.
I predict he has a 70-catch or so season, with 9 or 10 TDs, and between 1,050 and 1,150 receiving yards. That would be an amazing season, and worthy of the #1 jersey. It would be a top-10 performance by a Michigan WR.
He will be our best WR by some distance, but I think his supporting cast will be stronger and he will be targeted by opposing defenses; this will keep him from having a monster sesaon, IMO. More attention on him will mean more catches for Funchess, Darboh, Dileo, and Chesson.
I predict DG has the monster season, a top-5 in Michigan history for a QB.
|6 days 9 hours ago||Chicken, but smart||
They have their midwest footprint without really trying. They know they can't afford a match-up with another national powerhouse if they want to keep getting to the NCG.
Honestly, it is chicken. But it's also a compliment--they don't want to have another game they have a good chance of losing every year on their schedule.
Honestly, if our schedule was as tough as theirs, I'd probably want to cut one of the great teams too, and cutting Michigan won't hurt their recruiting or national appeal as much as cutting USC or Stanford.
|1 week 1 hour ago||sad||
Always sad to see a family member leave, but hope it's best for him.
|1 week 3 days ago||Nebraska||
I know their schedule is tougher and their personnel on defense aren't exactly up to the traditional black shirt standards, but I think they are the sleeper team in our division. NW has a good team but will not be overlooked by anyone this year and will have to find a way to play in the 4th quarter. MSU just doesn't have the offense to go with what will be--and let's not kid ourselves here--a very, very good defense.
Nebraska's offense will be #1 or #2 in the B1G. Martinez has improved as a passer and they have three very good WRs and very good RB in Abdullah. If their defense can just be decent, they are in good shape.
The ONLY thing in Sparty's favor is their schedule. And while that's a big bonus, I just don't see a team that will be good enough to handle NW, Nebraska, and U-M.
We have the toughest road. If we win the division, we will have earned it. IMO, ours is one of the toughest divisions to call in all of CFB.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||This is why computers||
This is why computers will never take over the world: they have no common sense. Using statistical models from the past five years flies in the face of the obvious. Mattison has produced the #6 and #19 scoring defenses in the country the past two years, and there is absolutely no way we are any worse than we were in 2012...I mean, didn't 'Bama score half of those points against us? There are only two positions on defense where you could argue we might be worse: SS and SLB...Everywhere else, we are better.
And DG was the highest-rated passer in the conference last season. He tore apart the South Carolina defense. On offense, we are more talented at EVERY position than we were last year. Yes, we're younger, but every replacement is more talented.
Our youth might cost us a game or two, but we're far more talented than last year's 8-4 team, and have an easier schedule.
7-5 is a worst-case scenario that would have to involve an injury to DG. With Mattison's defense and the talent we have on offense, Shane Morris could guide this team to seven wins. Heck, Swieca or Cleary might be able to get seven wins with this team.
FBO is a great site with great ideas, but sometimes stats just don't line-up with reality.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||Disagree||
I think Shane Morris will be a serviceable option at QB. With DG hurt, we're still a 6-6 or 7-5 team. With DG healthy, I don't see how we could do any worse than 8-4.
It's a new era in Michigan football, and it's time to raise expectations. The kids that are starting for us (on both sides of the ball) are pretty darn good at football.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Great prospect||
He shows virtually all the tools you look for in an OL prospect. He would be the most talented lineman in this class, IMO. That's pretty good competition he's playing in TN too. Would not be surprised to see him start at RG and then move to LT. Dude can pull, and is a very, very good drive blocker.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||What the article (and the||
What the article (and the media) ignores is that unless we continue to work on tackling technique (which requires contact) and help kids learn how to tackle properly, we are increasing the risk.
Look, when big, strong, fast men hit each other, there will always be impact. That impact may seem to lead to injuries. But that's true in any sport. There's risk in almost every activity, and, as long as kids know there's some risk, they should be allowed to take it.
But reducing contact in the 15 spring practices isn't going to lengthen the life of these kids significantly, and may actually shorten it. Kids that don't know how to hit or be hit are much more likely to experience injuries.
EDIT: Actually, if you read far enough, it does say the inexperienced players should be allowed to have more contact. Any coach knows this won't work; trying to run a practice with only kids that are bad at a technique often turns into a trainwreck. You need the good players to be demonstrating and practicing so that the inexperienced players can learn from them.
This is all pie-in-the-sky, idealistic thinking. The bottom line is this: If you aren't comfortable with the risks of football impacts, don't play. But stop trying to pretend we can have football without the risk.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||ANSWER!||
...since the corner's read is going to drop him into Cover 4—perfect spot to intercept a ball to #2 but who's got #1 now? My guess is he just plays quarters with the linebacker (or in this case the SDE), who has responsibility for the flat. Also the SS is playing quarters so he's got his ears back.
This is simpler than you're making it (but still very difficult). Just because the corner reads "Quarters" doesn't mean he goes deep. Once he sees 2 go vertical, he's releasing that responsibility to the safety. While he will probably continue his backpedal, he's now reading the 1. When he sees the 1 break for his hitch, he can come down to cover that route and trust that the safety has taken the 2.
The effect of this is that his drop will initially discourage the TE (2) corner route but his eyes are on the 1.
That said, this is a very challenging play for the defense to defend if there is no pressure on the QB and the offense has a good TE(2). Why? Because the QB can wait for the CB to come down on the 1, and if the TE (2) is fast and big, he can get deep and wall off that safety to the corner. Or, if the TE(2) runs great routes (like Gallon) he can double move the safety on a post-corner and get some open space.
This is definitely a route combination that Borges uses and should be effective with Funchess and Butt running that corner route and Gallon underneath on the hitch.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Why?||
Wouldn't you want someone else to have the mortgage?
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Ohio #1?||
Schlabach's reasoing is simply that he believes Ohio has the best chance of getting to the NCG. While I disagree and think that's a dumb way to rank teams, if he using the ranking as a projection for who will finish the season #1, then he's not wrong--just silly.
As for his Ohio love? It's not completely unfounded. Washington was the only player to beat Lewan for a sack last year. They return the Heisman Trophy favorite at QB. We'll see if their defense can hold up, but their schedule is favorable...until they come to AA.
I do believe #9 is just about right for Michigan. We are still too young along the O-Line and too uncertain at RB to be any higher. I think we are a fringe top-ten team, and depending on how well our youth shows we could be vying for the NC or losing the Legends division again.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||I'll never understand||
How that 1985 U-M team lost to Iowa. That team should have had a NC.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||Excited to have Maurice Ways||
It's great this young man just committed to the finest university and college football program in the country. Do we really need a thread for this?
If he or his family are reading this blog, would they want to see this? I'm not trying to tell anyone what to do, just saying this is a little sophomoric and not very welcoming to our newest commit.
It's one thing to throw a pun or two into a post...I don't think it needs its own thread.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||This.||
Avant was a fan favorite, but DA was the better player.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||I wouldn't either. Let's||
I wouldn't either. Let's just make sure those good things happen against Ohio, and not U-M.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||What Braylon hate? It's a||
What Braylon hate? It's a fact that Braylon had a lot of drops in his career, and several of them were key drops. I think everyone here believes Braylon was a great player, but we can be honest about his shortcomings too. We're not MSU fans.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||C'Sonte York||
I believe York may be the most underrated prospect in the '13 class. He is the Jason Avant of the group. He runs very good routes, gets separation, and catches the ball. He may never be the #1 WR, but he will be a consistent player who can bail out the QB and get us catches when we need them, IMO.
Jones is an exciting outside threat, but not nearly as polished as York. I haven't seen much from Dukes other than being able to be decently fast and catch jump balls (which is still awesome) but I don't see either him or Jones display the ability to get separation like York does.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||I agree with these ideas: I -||
I agree with these ideas:
I - Ian Gold or Jarrett Irons
P - Chris Perry
U - Ufer
There might be a better "I" out there, but P and U are perfect and undeniable Michigan greats.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||Welcome to the Family||
Mo! So excited to have you in the family. The real work begins now; NEVER STOP IMPROVING.
|3 weeks 5 days ago||Wait, Stauskas is more||
Wait, Stauskas is more important than GRIII? The rest of the list can certainly be argued, but the sharpshooter is not more important than the high usage swingwman.
|3 weeks 6 days ago||No one gets a job||
Based on GPA. That doesn't mean much at all. A Michigan degree says more than a 4.0 at second-tier academic institution. To put it another way, no one says, "Sure you went to Harvard, but you only had a 2.6 GPA."
|3 weeks 6 days ago||I can haz Norfleetz!||
|3 weeks 6 days ago||I agree. But where do the||
I agree. But where do the minutes come from? Here is our jammed line-up:
I think LeVert could be a very, very good player...but playing him means Stauskas, GRIII, and Irvin have to share minutes at the 2/3 with a fourth player...not sure it's likely unless we need the defense.
|3 weeks 6 days ago||McGary. Mitch dominated the||