May 1st, 2014 at 9:42 AM ^

with the word "should" (in this context, NOT in some philosophic manner) is that it isn't grounded in reality.  Plenty of work left to do to get to that record, and I hope the team realizes this and starts taking the necessary steps.  I know that many folks will place a lot of responsibility on the coaching staff's shoulders, but the senior leadership and the personal accountability for each player's part on this team should be addressed...now. 


May 1st, 2014 at 10:06 AM ^

True. If you look on the offensive side, Gardner I think will be the lone senior at least with any significant playing time/impact. On the defensive side it's a little better with guys like Ryan, Morgan, Clark and Beyer. I think that guys like this will have a huge impact on the outcome of this team. I think really what it comes down to is that younger underclassmen are going to have to step up and take control, either by their play on the field or by being good locker room guys.


May 1st, 2014 at 10:38 AM ^

Leadership coming from "senior" players - more often than not from members of the senior class....  Last year's team is different than this years in many, many, ways.  Remember too that coach has chosen "captains" of each class that meet regularly - 

Effective leadership isn't derived from the quantity of seniors.


May 1st, 2014 at 10:01 AM ^

Looking at the schedule the only teams you could say 100% for sure are better than us are OSU and MSU.

My personal prediction is 8-4. Just don't have faith in the coaching staff. Mattison included.


May 1st, 2014 at 10:24 AM ^

How do you figure? 

The only way I can see us getting to 10-2 is if our defense makes a huge, huge leap. With three rivalry games on the road and our woes there well documented + our fledgling offense, it doesn't seem like 10-2 is a SHOULD at all. 


May 1st, 2014 at 10:33 AM ^

Well, to be fair, we didn't know at this time last year that Michigan was going to field the worst offensive line in their history and arguably the most underperforming offensive line in the history of NCAA football. And they still finished two plays (a field goal and a 2 point conversion) away from winning nine games. 


May 1st, 2014 at 4:38 PM ^

You can look at both sides, and should. But it doesn't make his assertion any less true.

The point is that even with the line playing so poorly, we could have won 9. Slight uptick in line play, and we could hit 9. More importantly, maybe, with a slight uptick in line play, we should comfortably beat the Akrons and UConns of the world.


May 1st, 2014 at 8:57 PM ^

Right, but if you expect the offense to be even marginally improved by the addition of Nuss, the simplification of the scheme, and the more evenly balanced (in terms of experience) O-line, then it is pretty reasonable to think that we are inching slowly upward rather than down.  We are also getting more talented and athletic on both sides of the ball with the addition of Hoke's recruiting classes.

The point is that even with marginal improvement, the close wins become more comfortable and the closes losses become close wins.  And if you don't think that the team will likely improve on last year's terrible record, then we should have cleaned house on the staff and started over.  Personally, I expect improvement, even if just barely, in a lot of areas, and those little improvements can have a huge impact on the outcome of a game.


May 1st, 2014 at 11:13 PM ^

on offense.  He should complete the compliment handed out to Borges in his final regular season game and do to OSU what MSU did on defense. He definitely has the second and third level talent-probably better than MSU's of last season, although I don't know if they'll play that well. Sparty D was a bitch all year, as we know.  I think we borrow a page from them and attack with backers coming forward and harassing what will probably be a gimpy qb. Think we get OSU this year.  I'd like to see us win the games we're supposed to as you suggested, but that is the one thing that Brady has to prove still; ability to motivate on a weekly basis and make game time adjustments.  We should drop a couple just because there are probably two teams we've yet to prove we're better than. And if the necessary improvement isn't made in terms of having team ready to beat those they should in first half, then we might lose a couple more. If we do that, Brady might be out the door as well.  Talent? Yeah, we got it.  It's those few guys on the sidelines w/o uniforms, i.e., Hoke and Funk who still have to make believers out of me. And, of course, I hope they do.  10-2 wouldn't surprise. I mean, Hell it was just two years ago South Bend played in the BCS finale. 


May 1st, 2014 at 9:40 AM ^

If the O line is not a cluster fu%# of a dumpster fire then 10-2 is attainable. 9 wins should be the min. If either Green or Smith run for 500 yards this season, that would be a success. 

Avon Barksdale

May 1st, 2014 at 9:45 AM ^

She's great and I like her, but she is a pretty big Brady Hoke fan. This is about like me last year saying without a doubt we were going to win the B1G. It's more of a hope thing then probably what's going to happen; however, I do hope that I am wrong and we go 14-0.

The FannMan

May 1st, 2014 at 12:35 PM ^

If she is a Hoke fan, she isn't doing any him favors by putting that prediction out there.  People will now argue  "Even his budy Chengelis said he should have won 10 games" if he only wins 8 or 9 games.

It kind of reminds me how Lou Holtz has screwed every ND coach by routinely predicting ND to be in the running for the National Title and, at a minimum, win a BCS game.  The Domers take it as gospel and then go nuts when the team goes 9 and 3. 

10-2 strikes me as a best case scenario for this team.  


May 1st, 2014 at 1:18 PM ^

 10-2 really isn't the best case scenario. You're talking about losing to MSU and Ohio I'm taking it. Msu returns 4 starters on defense, granted they have smacked us around but come on now, have a chance here. We came with in a 2 point convertion of beating OSU last year with a very young/ confused O line.

 We have a ton of players who we have been waiting to turn the corner for awhile. Frank Clark and Jake Ryan are playing for their futures now. 10-2 should be the floor not the ceiling. Everybody on our schedule is extremely beatable. We play in the Big Ten which has sucked for almost a decade.

The FannMan

May 1st, 2014 at 2:19 PM ^

I didn't say that those would be the two games that we loose, nor am I ready to say that we will all of the other games.

Here is my point - undefeated or one loss teams are pretty exceptional.  Think about it - even good teams loose games that they should win.  This is not always the fault of the coaches.  Sometimes Denard fumbles 5 times at ND, PSU connects on three Hail Marys with a CB in great position and you miss three FGs, ND beats MSU b/c the refs blew a couple of PI calls, UGA has two DBs bounce into each other and deflect the ball into the hands of an Auburn receiver, etc.  (Think about the last two being reversed - MSU goes to the NCG.)  You can't address this suff in stats, points, predictions or changing coaches. Shit just happens - particularly in college football.

To be a perfect or one loss team you need to be so damn good that you overcome all the unknowns.  At best, we are good enough to only losse twice.  My gut prediction is that we loose 4 plus the bowl game.

Put it another way, do you really think that this team is as good, or just one ot two losses worse, than 1997?  No way.  They are not even close to that level, even if you adjust for the schedule.  The 2014 defense is not that good, the OL is far worse, Devin hasn't show Griese's ability to read defenses and not turn it over, the RBs could turn out to be better but haven't shown it yet, etc.

My guess is that those predicting 10-2 as the floor are one of two things: 1) super-optimistic fans who just beleive in Michigan so much, or 2) want to be able to call for a coaching change even if we go 9 and 3.  Maybe you are neither, but I think people are setting the bar pretty high so they can call for Hoke's head later.



May 1st, 2014 at 3:50 PM ^

why not?  shes afforded great access, or as great as great access can be at the fort, and always seems to have her questions addressed if not really answered.  she writes fluff pieces for a rag...seems like a nice chick but its true...and her bosses apparently seem pleased with her work...so why not give coaches/ players/ teams the benefit of the doubt and maintain easy relations within the fort?  they really could go 10-2 yet 3-4-5 losses seem more likely to most given the known vs unknown, roster makeup/ youth, head coaches ability, new systems, home games, etc