2010 Michigan W-L Forecast

Submitted by StephenRKass on September 27th, 2009 at 12:45 AM

Based on the first 3 games, the season looks brighter than I ever anticipated.

However, I suspect that in 2010, I think we are only looking at an improvement to 9-3 or 10-2. Why? Because our offense can't win all our games, and it will probably take at least two years for our defense to improve significantly. The problem is I don't see sufficient stud defensive recruits, at least so far. The caveat is that the jury is still out. But TomVH has suggested that even with the improvement this year, it will have a limited affect in bringing in better recruits this season. Our secondary recruits look possibly decent, depending on what happens at corner. I'm not as optimistic at linebacker. And even if supposed studs come in, they will still be freshman.

2011 is where I see us playing close to the top tier. By that time, the offense should be fearsome, firing on all cylinders. The Oline will be solid, the QB and receiver corps feared, the RB's continue to be great. By 2011, our defense still won't be great, but it will be adequate and much improved, keeping us in almost every game. 2011 could be the mirror image of 1997: the offense will be awesome (just as the 97 defense was awesome,) and the defense won't lose games, (just as the 97 offense didn't lose games.)

2012 is when we begin to really compete regularly for the MNC. By then, Forcier is a senior and the offense is unstoppable, and the defense is good to great.

Of course, this crystal ball stuff gives you plenty of opportunity to look really stupid. But my point is that Michigan Koolaid will NOT massively improve the defense in just a year. It will take sev. years to restock the cupboard and to develop good defensive starters and plenty of depth.



September 27th, 2009 at 12:50 AM ^

You're probably right. Our defensive depth isn't great, and we have a number of very average starters.

On the bright side, JT Turner and Will Campbell should be ready to make big plays, and Craig Roh will get better with a year of Barwis. So, there is *some* upside, IMO.


September 27th, 2009 at 6:36 AM ^

But I wouldn't underestimate RR/Barwis. Last year we went 3-9 and were near last in almost every major offensive category and turnovers. Almost all the predictions I saw from the "smart" people said we would go 5-7, 6-6 or 7-5 this year. We are WAY ahead of that. I expect the defense to be significantly better next year, but who knows -- guess we will have to wait and see.

P.S. And don't forget to factor in all the cheating extra practice time we get!!!


September 27th, 2009 at 1:05 AM ^

Did WVU ever have a stud defense while Rich Rod was there? I don't know any specifics, but I seem to remember a lot of 56-54 type shootouts when he was there.

Braylon 5 Hour…

September 27th, 2009 at 1:49 AM ^

WVU never had great defenses but he was also recruiting from West Virginia and not Michigan... we should be able to get the talent at some point but it doesn't look like it's going to be much better next year-

Even so, getting a lot of these younger guys experience on the defense, we'll make the best of our mediocre talent and maybe find a couple guys who play above their heads


September 27th, 2009 at 4:35 AM ^

RR was head coach of WVU from 2001 - 2007. The key defensive rankings for WVU during that period are below. As a reminder, 2005 was the year WVU went 11-1 and beat Georgia 38-35 in the Sugar Bowl, and 2007 was the year WVU went 11-2 and crushed Oklahoma 48-28 in the Fiesta Bowl (and missed going to the BCS Championship game by losing to rival Pitt in the last regular game of the season). FWIW, Oklahoma had Adrian Peterson at tailback in 2007.

Scoring Defense
2007 #8
2006 #49
2005 #13
2004 #28
2003 #44
2002 #40
2001 #51

Total Defense
2007 #7
2006 #62
2005 #15
2004 #37
2003 #74
2002 #33
2001 #40

Rushing Defense
2007 #18
2006 #13
2005 #19
2004 #50
2003 #34
2002 #30
2001 #104

Passing Defense
2007 #14
2006 #63
2005 #30
2004 #20
2003 #45
2002 #47
2001 #8


September 27th, 2009 at 7:32 AM ^

Just enjoy today. Tomorrow has enough troubles of its own.

OTOH, I think some Michigan fans, based on these 4 games, have "irrational exuberance" about next year. The defense has a long way to go to justify this.

The King of Belch

September 27th, 2009 at 8:32 AM ^

I see the "problem" with defense this year as being the result of two things: lack of confidence and inexperience (and the two are probably intermingled).

Three new starters on the defensive line. Stevie Brown playing a new position. A new safety in Woolfolk. The other safety (Kovacs) is a walk on playing due to injury. Opposite Warren, a new starter in Cissoko, and a freshman playing behind (or in place of) him.

And yes, that dreaded "third defensive coordinator in three years" thingy.

I am only bothered by two things so far: bad pursuit angles and tackling. Tacklinghas improved from last year, but we are seeing more broken tackles as the season wears on now. And the pursuit angles (such as on the 85-yard TD run) are at times maddening, but that we are talking about young players, with more than a few of them a grand FOUR games into their college careers.

I am optimistic going forward into this season. The defense held when they most needed to (four field goals)--and Indiana was only 3 of 12 on third down (including 0 for their first 9)--a bit misleading, of course, because of big plays, but there is improvement and reason for optimism if you look for it without over reacting.

Ryan Van Bergen, JT Floyd, and Craig Roh had good games today. Van Begen's sack was huge (giggity), and Floyd showed he has potential. Teams will move the ball, and we knew it going in, but I see alot of the "problems" being cleared up with a year of expereince, and infusion of talent (Turner, Campbell, Witty and others) at least by next year.

Since you asked about 2010--I completey disagree at this point. I really believe we'll see a defense that will be greatly improved, with the caveat being that the losses of Graham and Brown will be huge--but Brown will be replaceable. Graham? Well, he is being double teamed and run away from--so he has been a bit negated this year. With Banks, Sagesse, Campbell, Van Bergen, Martin all coming back--the loss of Graham might be better dealt with than it appears at first glance.

But I've gotta say that I don't get the complaining about the defense. It was going to be smoke and mirrors and we ALL knew it coming in, and they have really played well. Anyone who doubts Gerg needs to have his head examined.

Maize and Blue…

September 27th, 2009 at 9:05 AM ^

Remember this is the third D coordinator in three years. Players are thinking first then reacting causing a split second delay which can be the difference between making a play or not. We lose BG and Stevie and everyone else returns unless DW leaves early. Add in JT, Big Will, Vlad, and we still have some highly rated D recruits coming for visits and you may be surprised.
Once again Gerg's halftime adjustments pretty much shut IU down in the second half except for the long TD run. The FG came off of a TO. There's their 10 second half points.
Bottom line we're 4-0 so lets enjoy the rest of this season as next year is still 11 months away.


September 27th, 2009 at 12:05 PM ^

I'm not as confident as you are in our defense for 2011. We will have just lost Warren, Ezeh, and Mouton. Hopefully Turner will have developed into a good replacement for Warren, but all three of them will be very hard to replace.

The King of Belch

September 27th, 2009 at 9:54 PM ^

I just now saw you wrote "2011"--but I was stuck in 2010. Bad cess to me. You are correct in saying, of course, that Eeh, Mouton and Warren will be gone after 2010. Sorry!

But we can still close out the 2010 class with some defensive stalwarts to bolster those positions--and I agree that Ezeh is emminently replaceable at THIS point (but I think he'll be better next year).

And by 2011, guysthat I hope make an impact will be sophs, RS Sophs, or RS Frosh: Bell, Turner, Marvin Robinson, Hawthorne, and Mike Jones.


September 27th, 2009 at 6:56 PM ^

I have been saying "2010 is our year" since Rodriguez took the job. Defense will be better. I'm really hoping to see a "Barwis effect" on the defensive line next year. Offense will be more mature. And the schedule gets a bit more favorable. "Swing" games against MSU, Iowa, and Wisky all at home. Penn State on the road, but they are losing Odrick+Clark+Lee+ other guys who are juniors but will probably leave early (can't remember who). Illinois loses Juice and probably Benn. OSU is on the road, but we are underdogs against them no matter where we play them. Notre Dame might be tough, but we've got the better coach, and we are going to improve between '09 and '10 more than they will. My way-too-early prediction for our record next year is 10-3. Either we go 10-2 and get overmatched in a BCS game, or we go 9-3 and win a Citrus Bowl.