Michigan's lineup has fluctuated throughout the year, and I expect that it will continue to change until Michigan plays with more consistency - which may not happen until 2009. Note: Only players who have a viable backup will be chosen to lose their jobs. For example, Threet likely will not be chosen because Sheridan has been a complete disaster.
OFFENSIVE STARTER WHO SHOULD KEEP HIS JOB
Martavious Odoms, WR/KR. Odoms was Michigan's best player on Saturday, with the exception of a late fumble on a kickoff return. Odoms had 7 catches for 129 yards (18 yard average) and 7 kick returns for 183 yards (26 yard average). He has shown the best ability to get open repeatedly, and he creates yards after the catch. He breaks a lot of tackles and runs very hard for being only 5'9" and 171 lbs. In his first action this year as a kickoff returner, he showed better acceleration and decisiveness than any other returners have shown this year.
OFFENSIVE STARTER WHO SHOULD LOSE HIS JOB
David Molk, C. This might be a little harsh, because Molk has a lot of good qualities. He is quick and strong, and he's a redshirt freshman, so there's plenty of time to improve. But Michigan's offense started to stall when Illinois started to blitz and blitz and blitz and then blitz some more. The center is the quarterback of the offensive line and needs to make the line calls, and the offensive line just didn't get the job done. Illinois hit Threet early, and you could see that he felt rushed and a little tentative later in the game. Threet actually played pretty tough and didn't get as rattled as a lot of young quarterbacks would, but any quarterback is going to get a little gun shy when he gets hit frequently. Perhaps Molk should move to guard and allow David Moosman, a redshirt junior who has been around a little longer, to slide over to the center position.
DEFENSIVE STARTER WHO SHOULD KEEP HIS JOB
Obi Ezeh, MLB. After giving up 45 points and 500+ yards in total offense, it's hard to say any defensive player should keep his job. Defensive backs blew coverages, the linebackers couldn't tackle, and the defensive linemen failed to record a single sack. Statistically, Ezeh was the biggest bright spot with 15 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss. He did miss a few tackles, but he's still young and looks like a heat seeking missile at times. Out of the current crop of linebackers, I actually think Ezeh would be a better fit at SAM with Thompson moving to MIKE. Thompson is practically useless as a blitzer because of his stiffness. Ezeh is quicker and more agile coming off the edge. Either way, Ezeh has been the most consistent defensive player this year.
DEFENSIVE STARTER WHO SHOULD LOSE HIS JOB
Steve Brown, FS. This category is tough, because very few players played well on Saturday. And instead of just picking on a player, I feel it's necessary to offer a viable solution. It's time for Steve Brown to lose his job. With the exception of the Wisconsin game, he has been consistently beaten in the passing game. The last straw was when Illinois running back Jason Ford beat Brown on a go route down the sideline; fortunately for Michigan fans, Juice Williams made a slightly inaccurate throw and Ford made a poor adjustment and dropped the ball. Brown consistently gets caught looking in the backfield and reacts too slowly. He has tremendous physical skills (witness him chasing down Juice Williams from behind on what looked to be a sure touchdown), but his recognition skills are poor. Charles Stewart made a poor effort on the 77-yard TD pass, but that's the first time this year that Stewart has looked bad. Redshirt freshman Michael Williams has played well on special teams. One of those guys deserves a shot at the FS position, and instead of bringing in a third safety in nickel and dime situations, Boubacar Cissoko and/or Troy Woolfolk should enter the game. Odoms got removed from the KR job for Avery Horn after the former fumbled, but Brown continues to play after allowing big play after big play. Those standards seem inconsistent.