Patience Is A Game

Submitted by Brian on October 31st, 2008 at 11:46 AM

Look, hi, you know me. Relentless Michigan realist/optimist that sort of called a 4-8 bottom to this year but also predicted 8-4 when it came down to it? Well, yeah. I have what I think is pretty bad news for 2009.

This is my probable count of senior starters in next year's lineup: five, one of whom might be in the NFL and one of whom is Stevie Brown.

#$*@#.

No, seriously. There is significant buzz that 1) Ricky Barnum will displace an interior lineman (and given the way this year has played out that interior lineman will definitely by Tim McAvoy) and 2) Perry Dorrestein is currently hurt and that's the only reason he hasn't taken over at left tackle. So, yeah, then your starting lineup looks like:

OFFENSE

  • Seniors: David Moosman, Greg Mathews, Brandon Minor
  • Juniors: Steve Schilling, Perry Dorrestein
  • Sophomores: Martavious Odoms, Darryl Stonum, Kevin Koger, David Molk, Steven Threet
  • Freshmen: Ricky Barnum.

DEFENSE

  • Seniors: Stevie Brown, Brandon Graham(?)
  • Juniors: Jonas Mouton, Obi Ezeh, Donovan Warren, Ryan Van Bergen, Renaldo Sagesse
  • Sophomores: JB Fitzgerald, Boubacar Cissoko, Mike Martin, Mike Williams

And that is the most veteran lineup I can assemble assuming the above changes on the OL. If Graham heads to the NFL you're looking at younger; if Threet gets beat out you're looking at younger; if Sagesse gets beat out you're looking at younger. A healthy return for Cory Zirbel would make the team older, but a couple weeks ago Rodriguez said his career might be over due to the injury he picked up.

It is reasonable to expect a significant step forward next year; it is not reasonable to expect the team to be actually good. The hole Michigan is in will take until 2010, or maybe even 2011, to dig out of entirely.

I'm tentatively hoping for that 8-4 I predicted this year and will be satisfied with 7-5, though we're a long way out for anything definitive. And that's assuming Michigan fills out the rest of its nonconference schedule, which currently stands at WMU and ND, with two tomato cans.

Comments

Huss

October 31st, 2008 at 12:15 PM ^

I, Joe Six Pick Michigan Fan, will not stand for anything less than acceptable 8-4 bowl game mediocrity from my program!  This is the Michigan standard, and that's the way it ought to be.  If RichRod thinks he can zippidydoodah his spread offense into our SMASHMOUTH way of life, he's got another thing coming.  It's his fault we're so bad.  Not NFL attrition, terrible Oline and LB recruiting, and just the perfect storm of all things decaying in the program in recent years culminating in this cluster fuck of a season.  No, it's all HIM and his newfangled SPREAD OFFENSE that's the reason we suck so much, and that we're going to suck more next year.

Jeff

October 31st, 2008 at 12:23 PM ^

Van Bergen will be a sophomore right?  It seems like you have listed other players according to their eligibility rather than actual year.

tbliggins

October 31st, 2008 at 12:33 PM ^

The learning curve will not be as steep.  I see that offense listed above at about 10 ppg better than this year.  I think we can all agree that the oline has bottomed out this year.  RR will have an extra year to install more packages.  Threet will be key - he really needs to gain consistency and stay healthy.  I am not saying that they will be the point per minute offense of Yost that Paterno watched in high school, but they should be good enough to carry their own weight.

On defense, gsimmons has preached that Shafer needs time to get his system in place.  If Graham comes back I can't see the defense being any worse.  That sounds like 7-5 at worst.

Huss

October 31st, 2008 at 12:39 PM ^

can only be solved with more experience.  Our linebackers, especially - two of whom, Ezeh and Mouton, are almost good and another - Thompson - who will fortunately be gone next year.  The defensive front has been well coached and has brought havoc, but they're often negated by endless amounts of time spent on the field and short passes exploiting our weak coverage.

jamiemac

October 31st, 2008 at 12:55 PM ^

Implementing a new fancy system last year. Young team, no real experience. And they were woodshedded all season.

Beilien and Co have been talking already so far about how much more they're getting out of practices this season because they've passed the steep learning curve phase. Everyone on the floor has either done it before or brand new but can now actually learn from those who have been through it before.

If this translates into a better BBall season and a winning season, for example, I will be encouraged that the same type of evolution can happen on the gridiron, The situations are not much different.

However, if BBall has another season like last year, then I wont be as encouraged and will spend the spring and summer in a state of fear about 2009.

I know Bball and Fball are not the same, but thats how my mind works. My optimism will grow if bball does well this year.

That, and if Brandon Graham comes back.

AnthonyC

October 31st, 2008 at 1:38 PM ^

....but now is a great time to get a good Juco safety, provided there are any.  Jucos or high 4* and 5* frosh are the only way to fix a team this talent-deprived, and that isn't really even applicable to the O-Line.  Sadly, the weaknesses on this team are at spots that can't be fixed overnight.

caup

October 31st, 2008 at 1:57 PM ^

You all DO realize that with all of the blaming the previous staff for A) poor recruiting, and/or B) not teaching fundamentals, and combined with all this talk about it being such a mess that this can't be quickly fixed, that....

WE SOUND EXACTLY LIKE NOTRE DAME FANS!

We either need to change our tune or stop bagging on the Domers.

Huss

October 31st, 2008 at 3:12 PM ^

You're right.

 Recruiting has been fantastic in the latter years of the Carr era, fundamentals have been sound, and we're in excellent condition for the future - this is a quick fix, without question. 

We Will Be Fine.

umjaker310

October 31st, 2008 at 3:21 PM ^

 I can't see Michigan not having a winning record next year 7-5 is the worst RR should do if they have zero attrition and get the recruiting breaks since they will have all of December to plan recruiting strategy and won't have to worry about game planning for a bowl game or practice, just look at Minnesota, 1-11 last year, already 7-1.

QB: Threet So, Forcier Fr, Beaver Fr
RB: Minor Sr, Mcguffie So, Grady Sr, Shaw So, Toussaint Fr
WR: Matthews Sr, Hemmingway Jr, Clemons Jr, Stonum So, Odoms So, Robinson Fr-R, Rogers So-R,
TE: Koger So, Moore Fr, Webb So-R, Watson, Fr-R
FB: Moundros Sr-R
OT: Dorrenstien Jr-R, Schilling Jr, Ortman Sr-R, O'Neil- Fr-R, Mealer, Fr-R, Khoury Fr-R
OG Barnum Fr-R, Moosman-Sr, McAvoy- Sr, Hugye-So-R, Omameh-So-R
C: Molk So-R, Wermers Fr-R

DE: Brandon Graham Sr, Van Vergen So-R, Banks Sr-R, Butler Sr-R, Lalota Fr, Roh Fr Patterson Sr
DT: Martin So, Sangesse Jr, Campbell Fr, Helmuth So-R
LB: Ezeh Jr, Mouton Jr, Fitzgerald So, Evans Jr, Herron Fr-R, Jenkins Fr, Hawkins, Fr, Barnes Fr
CB: Warren Jr, Cissoko So,  Woolfolk Jr, Floyd Fr-R, Turner Fr
S: Brown Sr, Smith Fr-R, Williams So-R, Chambers- Jr, Bell Fr,  Jones, Fr

Starko

October 31st, 2008 at 4:16 PM ^

Ok, my optimism burned me this year, but let's not forget that most of our starters next year will have a year of playing experience that they did not have this year.  That goes a long way.  So they're not seniors... there's a big difference between a first-year starter and a second year starter.

blueman

October 31st, 2008 at 5:58 PM ^

Low talent level and or inexperience at key positions is almost impossible to overcome-OL, QB, LB S.  All those positions will be manned, to some degree, either by experienced, low ceiling players or inexperienced players who may have higher ceilings.  Most fans over rate the talent level of younger, unproven players.  UM has no "game changer" in the wings for 2009.  There is no Percy Harvin or Tyrell Pryor coming in.

The OL problem has not yet been addressed by 2009 recruiting.  There are no young Jake Longs in the wings.  The QB issue is obvious.  The LB problem will not be solved by the returnees.  None are fast enough.  There are no future Butkus Award winners in the wings.  Check out what O$U will have to reload with next year at LB.  It will make you ill.  The safety position could not be worse.  The solution here may be a sophmore in highschool.