This Week's Obsession: How Long Till Harbaugh? Comment Count

Seth February 18th, 2015 at 1:22 PM



The Question:

Ace: When do you expect Michigan to get on level footing with Michigan State and Ohio State? Do you expect them to, in the latter case?


The Answers:

Dave Nasternak: Well, those are 2 different levels, especially after the last year.

As far as reaching Michigan State's level, I'm thinking (hoping?) Harbaugh will get them to that level in the next 2-3 years.  I actually think that the talent differential is not huge, outside of a couple of obvious positions.  The coaching differential, however...has been quite large.  One of the interesting things about Michigan State has been their recruiting.  They have not had stand-out, elite level recruiting during their stretch of dominance over Michigan (and kinda the Big Ten).  But they have developed their roster as well as anyone has...which is coaching.  It has also not hurt Michigan State that Michigan and Penn State have not been at program expectations over the past 5+ years.  However, with Harbaugh in Ann Arbor, now -and a competitively talented roster to work with- I think that gap has already shrunk a bit...and will presumably do so in the next couple of years.

You will NOT take away the year of Fickell. [Upchurch]

Since the end of the 2004 season, Ohio State is 110-21.  104-14 if you take away the Year of Fickell.  That's...uh...I don't even know.  I definitely think this past 10 or so years has not been the Big Ten's best -definitely some under-performing teams and questionable hiring decisions by a few of the schools- but...yikes, man.  There were a few years where its felt like Michigan has lost 14 games...just in that year, alone!  I'm not sure anyone is going to THAT level, any time soon.  If anyone can give Michigan a chance to do so, it would be Jim Harbaugh, though. next point, haha.  One of the things that Ohio State has that has eluded most of the Big Ten teams (at least lately) is a game-changer.  And they have had many.  Going back to Troy Smith, Terrelle Pryor and now Miller/Barrett/Jones and Elliott.  These are guys that can score every time they touch the ball...and always seem to make a play to keep a drive alive or score when OSU needs points.  They are Heisman trophy winners...or at least candidates.  That is level of recruit AND development that Michigan is going to need in order to compete at the OSU level.  Can and will Harbaugh take Michigan there?  I think he can.  I hope he will.  When?  It will be years before he will be able to make a mark like OSU has been able to over the last decade or so.  But I do think that once Harbaugh gets Top 100/300/whatever recruits flowing into his system, Michigan will be able to go toe-to-toe with Ohio State and at least beat them at a competitive rate...instead of the 1(Fickell) and 10 it has been over the past 11 years.

[After the jump: projections on a sophomore roster]


Mathlete: It's great to plot these things out and plan on projections and steady growth but realistically it doesn't happen like that. Hoke had Michigan back in Year 1, until he didn't. Between Harbaugh's track record and this roster, if it is happening going to happen it should happen in the first two years. If Michigan had anything resembling a proven quarterback, I might not even feel bad about saying year one. 

State is always susceptible to a Maxwell year. [Upchurch]

The comparison between Michigan State should be very interesting the next couple of years. Can Michigan's recruiting advantage finally be an advantage with quality coaching and player development? How much does Narduzzi's departure affect the Spartans, can they keep punching above their weight without him? Has the aggressive quarters defense really been solved? I think with Narduzzi gone and moving forward, MSU will take a step back, but not a big one. They have proven that they are here to stay, but I see them more as a consistently good team moving forward, and maybe every couple of years really contending for Big Ten titles, and that's independent of Harbaugh and Michigan.

Now, Ohio State, that's a whole different animal. While Tressel was mostly content to build teams designed to dominate the Big Ten, Urban has been swinging for the fences and obviously succeeding. When could Michigan get at that level, who knows. Harbaugh's track record is taking bad teams with a recruiting deficit and building them into juggernauts over several years. Michigan will be a different situation. I am projecting Michigan to have the strongest roster in the nation next year based on recruiting rankings weighted for player age/experience. If Harbaugh is able to get this group up to or beyond their potential the sky is limit immediately. But making mediocre players decent and making good players great aren't necessarily the same thing.

Next year will be very interesting because for me, seeing how Harbaugh does in year 1 with a high-potential roster could go a lot of different ways. We're all pretty confident he can do it, I think there is a very real chance that we see a big leap in year 1.


Seth: I think it will take four or five years but there will be a taste of success in 2016. My reasoning is the makeup of the roster. Hoke's 2012-2014 classes were strong, suffered very little attrition, and missed out on a lot of would-be redshirts. The result is a depth chart that's currently heavy on sophomores and juniors.

It's also worth noting the Western Conference was totally the SEC of its day, except way wilder. [Upchurch, at Ann Arbor Sports Memorabilia]

It means, barring lots of grad transfers (the only type that Michigan can consistently pull off), there's a lot of playing time in 2017 that will be going to the 2016 and 2017 recruiting classes, i.e. true sophomores and freshmen. With a new coach who's much more of a hardass, long-term position battles to be settled, and inevitable washouts, there will be attrition. Even before that here are the upperclassmen (RS Soph and older) who will be available to the 2017 defense:

WDE/SAM: Marshall (Sr), R.Jones (So)
SDE: Poggi (Sr), S.Johnson (So)
DT: Mone (Sr), Hurst (Sr), Pallante (Jr)
LB: McCray (Sr), Wangler (Jr), Furbush (Jr), Winovich (Jr)
S: Peppers*(Jr), Kinnel (So)
CB: Watson (Sr), Washington (So), Dawson (Sr)
(* Eligible for NFL draft after 2016)

So with zero attrition and every guy working out to his potential (this never happens) Michigan would have five defensive backs, four linebackers, and seven DL who aren't teenagers. That's a one-deep. They'll also be replacing most of the offensive line, and down to just Isaac, Higdon and Shallman as backs.  Even a great coach can only get so much out of guys he hasn't coached for long, or guys who just don't develop, and therefore I expect it will be a roller coaster start that still remains higher than anything we've lately because HARBAUGH.

Michigan State is a Wisconsin: they operate on retention, and are always a quarterback whiff away from implosion. Ohio State, meanwhile, is a machine on par with Woody's, with a recruiting state richer than any but California, Texas, or Florida (and twice as rich as Michigan) all to itself. They are possessed a coach more accomplished than any in the game but Saban, and the dangerous combination of a correct contempt for NCAA rules, and an SEC-ish immunity from them. They have the guy who made Penn State's defensive lines dominant for 20 years, and the guy who made a Taylor Martinez offense the most productive at Nebraska since Crouch.

This won't ever be either of those things (we have the guy who can sell his NFL career as "like Saban's except successful.") Michigan's two great advantages in the college football landscape are that degree (no school that offers better is nearly as devoted to football), and virtually unlimited above-the-table funds. The Big Ten's recent moves to allocate more of the latter to players should help Michigan somewhat counteract the growing disadvantage of running a functional compliance department, but five-star receivers will still develop uncles or suddenly flip to Ole Miss.

The best possible progression is Bo: a big upset to announce his presence, a big year out of the elderly 2016 roster, then a few flawed but progressing outfits before the waves of well-coached future-pros make Michigan a Top 10 team of the 2020s.


Brian: The bare minimum requirement here is that Michigan has a quarterback who can not shoot himself in the foot on the regular. That does not seem particularly likely in year one even if random Heisman candidate QBs are showing up just to hang with Harbs. Shane Morris's time to date has been alarming, and there are only freshmen available otherwise.

Miller and G. Glasgow graduate in 2015 but Magnusson should be good for one of those spots, and Kugler will be a RS Junior. [Fuller]

Year two, though... I could see something happening there. Michigan will get back everyone on the roster; O'Korn will be eligible; Gentry might be coming off a redshirt. With five options plus a potential big time true freshman you figure that whoever comes out of that melee will be good-ish. And that's when Hoke's recruiting will be in full bloom. Michigan loses very little from their offense: just a couple fullbacks, Norfleet, Williams, and Glasgow and Miller. With Erik Magnuson likely to be starter quality by next year, they have to replace approximately one guy who has a major impact--the center. Add in Harbaugh's desired style of offense and a QB could game manage his way to great success.

The defense suffers more attrition but not a ton. ILB is the only spot that looks particularly iffy. Michigan could be very good quickly. Power coaches tend to have huge year twos if they're going to succeed long term, and we all think Harbaugh is that. The talent is there. Hoke had back to back top ten recruiting classes that have suffered very little attrition. Mature it, and coach it, and it won't take long.

That's for a year. For a program... as Dave points out, Ohio State is in an incredible period of dominance that spans a decade plus minus a couple of hiccups. To get to that level requires not a year but year-in, year-out. State will be easier to overtake in that department, especially if it seems like the key to unlocking the MSU defense (run fast down the slot with a competent QB) has indeed been discovered.



February 18th, 2015 at 2:07 PM ^

I think what Seth is pointing out is the small classes of 2013-2014 back to back is going to lead to a very young team (with lead time) in 2017.  This is reality.  We have very unbalanced classes and unlike Urban who is recruiting 25 a year we went from 27 to something like 17 and then 14 back to back.  So that's 31-ish in 2 classes, vs Urban did 26 (27?) in the last class alone.

Those 2012/2013 classes fall off post 2016 and you have a lot of youth issues again in 2017 due to our unbalanced classes. 

Now this is nothing that a very good QB + rapid development cannot overcome.  We have not been doing that lately, especially rapid development.  You see last year OSU overcame it - they had a very young OL (no different than ours) plus a relatively young defense and with a special QB (well 2) and special skill players at RB and a WR or two they overcame it. 

UM needs to find special skill players by 2017 because the D is going to be very young and we are going to most likely be counting on RS FR safeties corners, and DTs in 2017.  That's not ideal.  All these 2016 offers out to safeties and corners (we already have 20 offers out!) are for guys who will be starters or prime backups in 2017.  Someone is going to be forced into our ssecondary whether they are ready or not - a guy like Ty Kinnel is going to be a "veteran" on that D as a RS SO (or true JR). This 2015 class had a whole whopping 4 defensive players - those are going to be the RS SO or true JRs of 2017s D.  4 of them.  Assuming the normal attrition / injury / doesnt work out - we may get 2 contributors out of these 4, or maybe 3.  The 2014 class that Hoke plugged in has to be very good to help out - the defensive players there are the cadre of LBs (of which the highest rated - Ferns - bolted), Lawrence Marshall, Brandon Watson, and Mone.  The abandoment of Montae Nicholson by Hoke last year remains boggling - he would have been a leader of the 2017 D.  The misses of Hand and McDowell hurt. Those would have been the strength of the 2017 D you assume.

I dont want to put words in Seth's mouth but there is going to be a window of opportunity here the next 2 years - then 2017 brings a lot of youth issues.  This year the issue is QB and WRs.  Next year the D loses the entire LB corps outside of Gedeon and 1 S and 1 DE. (and Blake but at this point not sure how bad that loss is).  So 2015 is a year the D should carry the team and 2016 is the year the offense should.  By 2017 the offense will lose all these OL of 2012/2013 and aside from Cole we have no one "for sure" - we need playmakers at the skill positions to really step up to help account for the potentially inexperienced OL of 2017 plus the very young D we will be rolling out in 2017.  Hence you cuold see why Seth is saying year 4-5. 


February 18th, 2015 at 3:08 PM ^

OSU had a pretty young team this year and won the National Title.  If you look at the depth chart for OSU before the Bama game, half of their two deep on defense is a first or second year player.  11 total players were Freshmen, RS Freshmen or true Sophs and 5 of them were listed as starters.


February 18th, 2015 at 5:39 PM ^

Which I noted in my comment.  I said our young 2017 team can be alleviated by special skill players.  OSU developed an OL overnight - their 2013 OL was special and veteran - almost of all it graduated.  They just reloaded in 2014 magically.  Thats development.  They found not 1 but 2 NFL QBs in a matter of months.  Thats development.  They have a NFL RB.  They have special skill players - which is what I said we need to find by 2017.  And Drevno has to match what OSU's excellent OL coach is doing.  He basically created 2 sets of NFL lineman in back to back years.

Our position coaching needs to match OSU's.  On paper it looks like a major improvement.  Now we need to see it on the field because we will need it veryu quickly - 2015 is actually a quite veteran team outside of WR/QB.  2016 the D gets a lot younger and 2017 the whole team gets young again.  We will need a lot of young players to be ready in 2017.


February 18th, 2015 at 1:43 PM ^

Anyone saying it'll take four years or so is forgetting how really long of a time that is.  The college football landscape transforms itself in that time.

I tend to think it'll be sooner rather than later, especially given what he inherits.


February 18th, 2015 at 4:04 PM ^

I don't agree with the "four years" thing at all.  There are plenty of great players here and a great coach.  At the very least, they are not going to lose to teams with less talent than theirs anymore.  That is probably eight teams on this schedule.  Utah, PSU, MSU and OSU are going to be the only teams with equal or better talent than Michigan next year.  

If they take care of business against inferior competition and split against teams with good talent, that's 10-2.  I think this team wins ten and one of the victories is Sparty.  That would count as "success."


February 19th, 2015 at 11:21 AM ^

I'm surprised people here are still using the term "inferior competition" after the last few years. This isn't 2006 anymore. We haven't had the luxury of writing teams off for quite a while now.

This coaching administration is going to be fighting an uphill battle with unf-ing whatever it is the Hoke regime has done to the lines/QBs as well as trying to find a WR that can come up with any sort of separation. There's a chance this could turn out into a year-one success story but something like 8 wins (which is still decent) should be a more realistic goal.


February 18th, 2015 at 2:30 PM ^

Amen. Holy cow. Amen ! I'm in Nicaragua and had to log in after reading this topic. I'm shocked at the OPs. It's on. Just like it was for Bo year one vs OSU. my gosh, the authors have been beaten down by hoke. We will beat both at home this year. and aside. Brandon should've Been fired alone for allowning may to have two straight home games vs us. I thought it was a big mistake, for changing perceptions.


February 18th, 2015 at 3:19 PM ^

Downvote for the o$u because it's stupid.  

I agree though, that we're going to be okay within a year or two.  While quarterbacking won't be a strength for awhile, Harbaugh's offense begs for a manager.  Surely we have one amongst our suddenly generous supply.  I also think our defense is likely to be very good very soon.

My biggest fear is our steadily improving O-line may not continue along its nice trajectory due to yet another concept change.  We shall see.


February 18th, 2015 at 1:45 PM ^

The thing about elite coaches is they win a lot, and quickly.  That's why there are so few of them.  Harbaugh is walking into the best situation he has ever walked into, and I see no reason why this would be any different.  I think everyone is just jaded from years of sub-par coaching/development at Michigan.

I'm not sure why there is so much conservativism here with estimates (outside of Brian).  This team was basically recruited to fit Harbaugh's style.  The only really big gap on the roster is QB, and we might have the best QB coach in the world.  Even if our QB isn't immediately awesome, we have so much depth and experience elsewhere on the O, we really only need a game manager.

The other aspect that our team has clearly been missing is that mental toughness and intensity.  Again, that is something that Harbaugh brings in spades.  At the end of the day, I don't see more than a couple losses here, and probably a win that we shouldn't have in year 1 (MSU, OSU).  

After that, it's off to the races...


February 18th, 2015 at 2:03 PM ^

I tend to agree with you.  Everyone is so pessimistic about this teams chances going in.  Urban Meyer took over an OSU team that was coming off a 6-7 season and in the 3 years since he's lost only 3 games and no regular season conference games.  Let me say that again; HE'S ONLY LOST 3 GAMES AND NO REGULAR SEASON CONFERENCE GAMES.  Elite coaches get results immediately.


February 18th, 2015 at 3:12 PM ^

is a mirage.  Did you not see that stat about what their record is over the last 10 years?  Tressell had built OSU into a machine.  The 6-7 record wasn't indicative of the talent that was on that roster.  Urban Meyer walked into a program that was loaded with talent and had won the Big Ten every year from 2005-2010.


February 18th, 2015 at 4:51 PM ^

Does anyone here think that our 5-7 record last season is indicative of the talent that Michigan has on it's roster?  Not suggesting that Michigan should go 12-0 next season and find a spot in the Playoff Four, but the program that has consistently been bringing in the 2nd best recruiting classes, after OSU, the past 3 or 4 years has been Michigan. 

Harbaugh is coming into a situation where he has a team that is pretty talented and loaded with potential.  He has to find a solution at the QB spot, or in absence of an immediate solution, find a way to scheme so as to minimize how much it will hurt the offense.  Still, the defense has a lot of starters returning and should be pretty tough.  The offense has a lot of starters returning and the personnel aligns nicely with the style of football Harbaugh and his staff want to play.  I think there's a good chance to be pleasantly surprised this fall.


February 18th, 2015 at 6:34 PM ^

about UM's tatlent (at least according to recruiting rankings) being better then a 5-7 team.  However, a difference between OSU's 6-7 season and UM's 5-7 season is the development of the players.  As I mentioned Tressell had built a machine where they did a great job of developing players. OSU was a program that was reloading year after year and was suddenly thrown into turmoil during the Spring of 2011.  The OSU football program was in a much better place after the 2011 season then UM is after the 2014 season.  I expect Harbaugh and his staff to develop these players much better than Hoke and his staff did but Harbaugh is going to be starting from scratch or at the very beginning of developing these players.  Meyer walked into a situation where the players, especially the upperclassmen, were well on their way to being solid to stud contributors on Saturdays.

OSU was sitting there ready to be back at an elite level when Meyer took over.  The 6-7 record was more of a blip then a trend that had been taking place and finally surfaced.  On top of that OSU had an experienced QB returning.  I think Harbaugh is going to be a godsend to our UM's QB's but outside of Morris making a couple starts, none of them have any experience. 


February 18th, 2015 at 4:55 PM ^

So your assertion, as I see it, is that if you don't "get results" immediately (beat OSU and MSU), then we know Jim Harbaugh is not an elite coach?

Should we just fire him immediately if we lose to OSU next year? How about MSU? I mean, if he's not an elite coach, he's tricked us all, and therefore, should be fired right away! Do I have that correct?  :(

Cumong man. :( Yeah, I know. You didn't explicitly say those things. But dang...



February 18th, 2015 at 5:00 PM ^

It's easy to forget that after OSU is literally the most well-positioned team to win in college football. They have a very, very talent-rich state with no legitiimate competition for that talent. They have a great stadium, are very willing to spend money on football, and a state-wide fanbase that will always turn out for the team. Now they have an exceptional coaching staff.  

Texas and Florida schools each share their talent at least 3 ways. USC is the only school that comes close. 

Michigan can beat them. We've got a great coaching staff now, also. We've also got a lot of OSU's advantages. But man, OSU has a great foundation.  


February 19th, 2015 at 12:18 PM ^

The qb play has to better than just a game manager. That only works if you have elite talent at the skill positions. I don't see any game changers on this roster. I think our qb will need to develop into a difference maker year one if we expect to beat our rivals. Alabama had a game manager at qb last year with better skill players and a stronger offensive line and they lost to osu. I think the talent is there for us at qb and we have the right coach to make one of the guys into an elite qb.

LeBron James

February 18th, 2015 at 1:45 PM ^

You know what I find hilarious? OSU fans' saying, "The only time you beat us recently is when we were bad in 2011."

Well, what do they think our teams in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 (eh, they were OK, just had a tough schedule), 2013, and 2014 were?


OSU fans just don't think of that.


February 18th, 2015 at 1:48 PM ^

I fully expect to beat MSU next year, and the Ohio St. game will be a competitive affair (a la the Hoke years), where we can win if we limit mistakes.


February 18th, 2015 at 4:46 PM ^

Similar programs are generally not comparing themselves with a team on Ohio State's level. Urban is a capital-g Great coach and they are loaded down with talent on a year-in, year-out level not exceeded by anyone except Alabama. 

This is the thing: Even if Harbaugh is every bit as awesome as we hope he'll be, we're still a big step behind OSU now. So a five-year turnaround is too long if the baseline is "be watchable, beat up on MSU and the rest of the B1G, and go to the Rose Bowl," but it's plenty realistic if the baseline is "be every bit as good as OSU, if not better." And that seemed to be the criterion that OPs were using here.


February 18th, 2015 at 6:56 PM ^

Yes, Ohio State is very good. That is not news.

If we tried to use some objectivity instead of just guessing based on feeling, we should look at Harbaugh's progression at Stanford, and Meyer and Saban's progressions over their careers. 

It's not going to take five years. 


February 18th, 2015 at 1:50 PM ^

I think an under appreciated aspect is that other teams are not stagnant either. It was mentioned that part of MSU's recent success may be in part due to the lackluster Michigan and PSU teams. Same may hold true with Wisconsin. So if we are assuming Harbaugh Effect, the teams that might directly harm the most in terms of recruiting at least may be PSU, Wiscy, Sparty, and perhaps Nebraska in the conference. OSU will always get theirs. As was also mentioned, teams with excellent coaches tend to lose those coaches after awhile. Reloading a great defensive or offensive coordinator is not a guarantee. Of course, our hope is that we have the same high class problems on Ann Arbor a few years from now, but we are in the upswing. It is very difficult to sustain excellence in a very consistent basis. No tree grows to heaven. So to some extent, I'd expect OSU and MSU to take a dip at some point. Not to mediocrity mind you, but if the question is closing the gap between us and them, my guess is it won't be 100% due to us getting better, but it will also include at least some degree of OSU and MUS regressing back to their means.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


February 18th, 2015 at 8:10 PM ^

I disagree with this. It makes sense but in reality MSU was never getting any recruits that UM wanted. Hoke's classes were all better than Dantonio's. Same with Wisconsin. Same with Nebraska. There were very few recruits that went to those schools that UM wanted badly. So yes Harbaugh will get higher rated guys than those schools did. But Hoke and UM did that before. The talent levels of those other schools will not be affected imo.


February 18th, 2015 at 2:00 PM ^

I would like to see the counter points to my thoughts, but if it doesn't happen by year 3, it's not happening.  Elite coaches that make elite teams get it done in the first couple of years.  There may be a year 1 stumble, but in today's age of football, the elite coaches are winning conference championships and competing for national championships in the first three years.  If it takes 4-5 years, it's just not going to happen.  I knew Hoke would never get UM there when year three fell flat on it's face.  UM has all the resources that an elite coach needs to get it done fast.


February 18th, 2015 at 2:11 PM ^

Exactly. The only coaches I know of who took that long (basically until the entire roster was made up of their recruits) were Dantonio and Rodriguez at WVU. But this is nothing like those situations. If this is similar to anything it would be OSU 2011-2012. They went 6-7 with a semi young but well recruited team that was horribly coached on offense and they got an offensive minded coach who did what you'd expect with that kind of talent. I mean did anyone expect Miller to have that kind of season in 2012 after having one of the worst passing seasons ever the year before?


February 18th, 2015 at 5:05 PM ^

It's easier to win year 1 than year 3. New coaches often breed excitement and get good recruits. As coaches start to stumble, their recruiting falters. The turnaround year is often very poor recruiting. This makes it so new coaches show up to talented experienced players and fewer or less-talented frosh. This helped then hurt Hoke. Along with other things helping then hurting Hoke. Like Hoke.

It's a major risk with Harbaugh. He could well find his players getting substantially worse before they get better. That said, this is a pretty good group of players so I think winning a good amount this year is quite possible. 


February 18th, 2015 at 5:47 PM ^


Especially in a program like UM vs say a program like Wake Forest where you are building from the ground up.  UM had talent.  But the end of the 2014 class tailed off - big misses on Malik and Hand to end that class along with a few others who we missed on late.  Then the 2015 class being tiny and not full of our A targets wont hurt Jim in 2015.  It will hurt in 2017-2018 when those guys are upperclassmen.   A lot like the Rich rod failure class of 2010 and the Hoke/RR class of 2011 underminded Hoke in 2013-2014 not 2011-2012.

Now again I expect this staff to be far superior to the last regime.  But UM is simply faced with a body count issue.  I double checked 247 and we had 30 recruits in 2014+2015 combined.  16+14.  If you assume 70% play football for UM in some meaningful capacity that is only 21 guys out of those 2 classes.  If it was a normal distribution if say 21+21 players = 42 it would be closer to 29 players.  Thats 8 players lost for Harbaugh to have as upperclassmen in 2017-2018 which is almost one full side of the ball. 

The staff really needs to squeeze as much talent as possible out of the 2014 and 2015 classes with little attrition because combined its a very small group down the road.


February 19th, 2015 at 12:43 PM ^

Not a perfect comparison, but: 


2006 (Non-Jim ) 1-11   Ouch!

2007 Jim             4-8    Better, but not awesome

2008 Jim             5-9    Meh, ok better

2009 Jim             8-5    Ok, bowl bound, even though they lost it.

2010 Jim            12-1   That's the stuff, and a Orange Bowl Win, Bingo!  Final Rank = 4.


Michigan 2014 is better than Stanford 2006, No Question, but it's not a 1 year turn-around.  It could be as fast as 2 if he finds another Andrew Luck.


February 18th, 2015 at 2:00 PM ^

"The best possible progression is Bo: a big upset to announce his presence, a big year out of the elderly 2016 roster, then a few flawed but progressing outfits  . . ."

Bo lost 2 regular season games in 1969, the year of the big upset, one loss in 70, none in 71 or 73, Ohio only in 72 and 74, before the two ties and Ohio loss in 75, followed by 3 consecutive Big Ten titles, each with 1 regular season loss.

I will take that.

with a better bowl record.  :)


February 18th, 2015 at 2:01 PM ^

2-3 years. That's what's expected these days. Whether that's right, fair or unfair, that's just what it is. I'm fairly confident we'll see immediate improvement in year 1.


February 18th, 2015 at 2:05 PM ^

3-5 years to be on par with OSU.  Remember, OSU is not Alabama.  They have not shown that they can compete/win the NC on a yearly basis.  They will be good, but not championship level every year, so yeah, we can catch them.

We will be good in 2015 if our QB play is just sufficient.  They don't have to win games, just don't lose them.  I think Morris and Speight can both do that and probably Malzone too.  I think our QB play will actually be better than it has been the past 2 years.  Gardner, despite a couple of outstanding games, was a second tier Big Ten QB.  This year's QB will also benefit from better all around team developement.


February 18th, 2015 at 2:24 PM ^

I get that we won't know until it happens, but what in the hell makes you think that OSU isn't/won't be on Bama's level?  They've lost three games under Urban Meyer.  Three!  And won a national championship.  They're signing multiple top-10 classes, they're pulling in huge classes like the SEC.  And I'll use the worst or arguments, but I do think it's a good one on this point, but OSU has made winning look easy.  What other possible data do you need to predict that OSU can sustain the kind of success they're having right now?


February 18th, 2015 at 2:33 PM ^

for being realistic about the massive gaps between Michigan's program and OSU.  Most fans think we will start to dominate Sparty next year and OSU in a year or two.  Neither is all that realstic given how far below we have been compared to those 2 programs over the last decade.  

OSU is the top program in the country right now and in the top 3 over the last decade. 

MSU had 4 straight 11 win seasons and won back to back major bowl games.  Michigan has never done either of those things in is history. 

Chitown Kev

February 18th, 2015 at 3:00 PM ^

why this completely factual post got a down rate...

The Cotton Bowl was never a part of the Bowl Championship Series or the Bowl Coalition. It is simply a "New Year's Day" bowl but so is the Capital One Bowl.

And by that criteria, Wisconsin has been to 5 consecutive major bowls.