Baumgardner’s Projected Starters (Warning: Freep Link)

Submitted by WichitanWolverine on May 6th, 2018 at 2:55 PM

Even for the ultra-pessimistic like me, it’s hard not to get excited about this team. There are definitely a couple question marks but we have some serious talent returning, especially on defense.

Already pumped for September. Go Blue.



May 6th, 2018 at 3:04 PM ^

I am 1 LT away (I think we will get a RT from either JBB if he is not LT or Runyan) from feeling excited about our team next year even though we have 5 very tough games next year in which we may be the underdogs.


May 6th, 2018 at 4:45 PM ^

I wouldn't be so quick to say he would be a disaster in pass pro. Hudson's advantage over JBB at the position is his athleticism in pass pro and JBB has held him off to this point. JBB also graded out as our best lineman in pass pro against Wisconsin last year. He's shown flashes of capability, and now he has a new OL coach, a new strength coach, and the scare of being up against it in his final season. If JBB has held Hudson off through the final fall practice, I think it will be because his pass pro has improved dramatically. If Hudson beats JBB out, it will be because his pass pro was better.


May 6th, 2018 at 8:47 PM ^

We should not underestimate what improved line coaching can do across the entire line. I am optimistic for improved pass protection and a strong run game.

Shea will also extend pass plays with his feet assuming he will win the position.


May 7th, 2018 at 4:29 PM ^

I am convinced that the only reason Ulizio started over JBB is that JBB committed more false starts during practice and the coaches were really stubborn about penalties. That is the only way that personnel decision at the start of the season makes sense. I don't know why Ulizio started over Runyan, though.


May 6th, 2018 at 8:43 PM ^

I don't disagree with you, but I would have thought the same thing last year, except instead of holding off Hudson it was holding off moving Bredeson to tackle and bringing Ruiz in to LG.  Also, he's potentially moving from RT to LT.  I'm not a coach, but I have to assume there are differences and given JBBs size and strength in run blocking, going up against the opponetns WDE would be more challenging for him than playing RT and going against their SDE who would likely be bigger and slower.


Personally, I expect the entire o-line to improve incrementally.  However, expecting JBB to become an average LT is expecting a lot.  I'd be a lot more confident if Newsome was healthy and thinking JBB could become an average RT.  But, this was a guy that struggled to keep Ulizio off the field, and he no longer seems like he's in the running for either tackle position.  That's not a good sign.


May 6th, 2018 at 9:23 PM ^

But you’re basing that assessment on JBB prior to this year. Obviously under the assumption that he isn’t going to improve. Fans do this all the time. They think the previous versions of a player is exactly how he will be and will always be. That’s why you’ve seen a massive amount of the fan base give up on a redshirt freshman QB after an uninspiring bowl game.

Personally i think that’s a mistake on your part. With the addition of Warinner and the new S&C staff, it’s is entirely plausible that JBB takes a giant leap, especially with this being his final year of playing.


May 7th, 2018 at 7:36 AM ^

Based on the last 15 years of watching this team (albeit biased anecdotal experience) I feel like I've seen more guys continue to be the same thing (Kalis, Harris, Morris, Green, Kugler, Dawson, Gardner, RJS, Ross, etc.) or make small incremental improvements but still generally have the same strengths and weaknesses, than guys make significant improvements from one year to the next.  And, guys that were already good just improved slightly, but were already pretty good (JMFR, Evans, Denard, Gallon, etc.).  The only time I feel like we see somewhat significant jumps is freshman to sophomore year or year one of playing time to year two of playing time.  So, I'd expect improvements to Black, DPJ, Peters, Onwenu, Ruiz, McKeon, & Gentry, but not from JBB.  But, that's just me talking here.


May 6th, 2018 at 4:56 PM ^

I've already predicted that yes. Betting lines are a bit of a snowball effect. If we are favored going into ND and win, then we will be undefeated and favored in every subsequent game leading up to Wisconsin. If we are undefeated going into Wisconsin, we will be favored against them at home. If we beat Wisconsin at home and are undefeated going into MSU (who I also think will lose at Penn State the week before we play), then we will be favored at MSU. If we beat MSU and go into the bye undefeated, we will be favored at home against PSU the next week. No matter what happens against PSU (I expect us to win), we will be favored against IU and Rutgers. That's eleven.


May 6th, 2018 at 8:53 PM ^

Maybe I've been scorned too many times (and grew up in the 90's watching us upset OSU too many times), but I would pleasantly surprised if we went 4-1 against OSU, PSU, MSU, Wiscy, and ND.  It sounds like you expect us to follow the lines (likely) and beat everyone but OSU.  Personally I expect us to lose 2 of those, although I do think we beat OSU this year, assuming we stay relatively healthy on offense (the defense has the depth to handle it).  I also wouldn't be surprised to see us lose to either Maryland (week before Wiscy) or Indiana (week before OSU).  We open at ND and have a bye before PSU so no teams get the advantage of getting us in a trap before before those two.  The same could be true of MSU sandwiched between Wiscy and PSU, but they have upset us enough times that I think we maintain our focus and handle them.


May 6th, 2018 at 9:39 PM ^

I expect us to go into Columbus at 11-0. The safe prediction is a loss, but mentally I am punting on that one for now. I'm just not going to think about it until it comes. If we are 11-0 going into that game with the conference and playoff on the line, maybe Shea or someone is hoping for some hardware, I could see this team pulling it off. 


But until the rest of my prediction comes true, I'm just not going to think about OSU, because we all know what the default prediction in that one is.


May 7th, 2018 at 9:49 AM ^

If we are 11-0 going into that game with the conference and playoff on the line

I think if we go into that game 10-1 we still have a good chance of having both of those things on the line. If we beat OSU head to head with the same record, we get the tie breaker (unless MSU or PSU have identical records & beat OSU and us).


May 7th, 2018 at 1:13 AM ^

We don't need to go into Columbus 11-0, but we do probably need to be 10-1. If the 1 is to Notre Dame, it might as well be 11-0 though. 


Theoretically, could be 9-2 if one of the two losses is to the Irish. 


Beyond betting lines, I think the Notre Dame game will be pivotal for this team mentally. A win in South Bend could provide much needed mental strength to help us get over the hump. I feel like the positive momentum from that would ride us at least to East Lansing undefeated. 


I view Penn State as the biggest wildcard game of the hard ones. Depending on how each team's season goes, that could go anywhere from a fairly likely Michigan win to PSU entering as road favorites. 

  • Wisconsin will be a close, low scoring game that we should be slight favorites for at home with our defense. 
  • MSU will be a virtual tossup no matter what, as will Notre Dame. 
  • OSU we will be significant, but probably not insurmountable, underdogs.


May 6th, 2018 at 3:10 PM ^

that he didn't even mention Jordan Anthony in the LB group - is he the one who UMBIG11 referenced was leaving that would sting?


May 6th, 2018 at 3:53 PM ^

People keep asking this, and of course there is no answer. Except that two guys who made the trip to France are going to transfer.

My guess is that a particular receiver who isn't projected to start and a guy on defense who is, but that's just a guess. Particularly the latter portion. Maybe it's nothing like that. We'll just have to wait.

Craptain Crunch

May 6th, 2018 at 3:13 PM ^

If there ever was a time for the TEAM to gel like they are jello would be about now after the France trip. 

It would be really nice to see this team to turn that corner for once and play lights out football.


May 6th, 2018 at 3:20 PM ^

I'm still holding out hope James Hudson wins the LT job. Obviously Grant Newsome's injury was a catastrophic blow to the OL, but signing zero offensive tackles in the 2016 recruiting class has been equally debilitating.


May 6th, 2018 at 3:36 PM ^

Michigan will go as far as the OL, specifically pass protection from the tackles, will take them. The rest of the pieces look as good as any M team we've seen in over a decade.


May 6th, 2018 at 3:55 PM ^

Runyan would have been the starter last year over Ulizio if not for a high ankle sprain late in camp that bothered him all year. Don't sleep on the young man.