Michigan previewed today

Submitted by chomz14 on June 18th, 2014 at 4:04 PM Looks like they're pretty high on Peppers this year as well. One of my favorite sports sites. Usually do a decent job but I think they have been getting lazy ever since they moved to scout.



June 18th, 2014 at 4:17 PM ^

"However, the RichRod era at Michigan was doomed from the start for a program that needed to take a big step back in order to rebuild and reconfigure to go from Big Ten title-good to national championship-good. There was no patience, no defense, and no desire to keep him around, even though Michigan appeared to be right on the verge of reaping the rewards of change, and he’s doing a good job turning around Arizona. However, the RichRod era at Michigan was doomed from the start for a program that needed to take a big step back in order to rebuild and reconfigure to go from Big Ten title-good to national championship-good. There was no patience, no defense, and no desire to keep him around, even though Michigan appeared to be right on the verge of reaping the rewards of change."

Could not agree more with that assessment.


June 18th, 2014 at 7:04 PM ^

This is actually something I've been wondering about. Does RR's offensive blocking scheme maybe not require as experienced linemen? Because, the gap in OLine recruiting was vast enough that I've been wondering if maybe he felt that he could roll with a lot of underclassmen when the time came.

I don't know enough about the nature of his running game to know if a relatively light, young line could get the job done better than that same line-up in a different offensive scheme.


June 18th, 2014 at 4:29 PM ^

My math may be a little off, but I think we gave up about 300 points over the last three losses to end the season.  Right on the verge of reaping what kind of rewards?  8-5?  Rodriguez didn't exactly have us stockpiled with defensive talent or offensive linemen.  I realize it's all speculative, and everyone is entitled to his opinion.  But I can't figure out how some people want to act as if we were right around the corner from a national title.


If 7-6 is right on the verge of reaping rewards, then Hoke has us right where we need to be.


June 18th, 2014 at 4:47 PM ^

Because Hoke and company was able to take that 8-5 team and lead them to an 11-2 record the following year?  That 2010 offense coupled with a Mattison coached defense would've been a formidable squad, one that probably wins the conference championship.  It's an academic argument, granted, but the Rodriguez detractors who constantly point to the defensive personnel and dismiss it as having "no talent" forget that Greg Mattison turned those guys into a Top 20 unit in 2011.

Rodriguez would've had to make some major changes in his defensive staff to achieve an elite result, but it's not like personnel-wise he didn't have enough horses.


June 18th, 2014 at 7:08 PM ^

He seemed to like to get involved with the defensive coaching just enough for it to be a problem. I mean, GERG was stuck trying to run an esoteric defensive scheme he's never run before, and it went about as expected. Not to mention sand-bagging the defensive coaching staff with a lot of assistants who didn't seem to deserve to be there.

I like RR well enough, and think he got a raw deal in a lot of ways. But that guy definitely helped to dig his own grave in plenty of other ways.


June 18th, 2014 at 7:10 PM ^

"Rodriguez would've had to make some major changes in his defensive staff to achieve an elite result..."

I think that's the major sticking point. I just don't see him able to make big enough positive changes. I think "his guys" would have stayed in the assistant ranks, and I think he would have had a very hard time landing a top flight DC. I really don't see Mattison coming back to coach, granddaughter or no.


June 18th, 2014 at 8:16 PM ^

If RR and Calvin Magee would of been around for hoke's first year running the offense with Mattison handling the defense we would not have lost to MSU or whatever that was that we witnessed against Iowa..


As many holes as that team still did have we most likely would of gone 12-0 that year


June 18th, 2014 at 5:18 PM ^

This is such crap.  That 11-2 was more fluke and easy schedule than a true turning of the corner and we all know it.  Rich rod hadn't recruited a cohesive team, he had lost the defense and beat like 6 teams that finished with a winning record while here.  Maybe Hoke won't be a great coach either but that 11-2 year is not indicative of things turning around, the talent level matches more what has happened the two years, an about average team that is a few bounces between 8 wins and 6 wins.

Mr. Yost

June 18th, 2014 at 6:23 PM ^

That team was very good because it had Carr's leadership and Rich Rod's athleticism.

Rich Rod would've been better with that team too. He would've at least won 9 games and continued his +2 streak.

However, he did nothing to show that the two years following would've been any good. There's nothing that I see that points to Rich Rod finishing with better records in the last two years than Hoke would've.

Again, if we had a big time QB recruit in the fold, maybe. But we didn't. At the time he was fired, there was nothing to hang your hat on other than Denard Robinson coming back.


June 18th, 2014 at 8:14 PM ^

We had two 1000 yard rushers and the most improved D in the land, Mattison's defense literally gave up about half the points RR did the year before. While there were some flukey parts (fumble recovery rate, pretty much every Hemingway catch you remember) you can say that the other way about 2012 (six turnovers at ND, losing Denard in first quarter at NE and forgetting what offense was in the second half at Ohio, losing on a Hail Mary vs SC) and 2013 (33 yard FG at Psu and the final drive of regulation, 2 point conversion vs Ohio). Every year weird bounces determine a season, in 2012 if we don't lose Denard and beat NE then Ohio is for the division at the end of the year and I don't think they stop healthy Denard and company. Few bounces vs Wisky in the championship and were Rose Bowl bound. 2011 was the last time we had a good center and the last time we had a good line, that's the problem, not flukes

Mr. Yost

June 18th, 2014 at 6:11 PM ^

We were 7-6. What was his B1G record? How were we on the verge of B1G good with that record?

His record in November was also awful.

We weren't on the verge of anything. He would've been better in the following year that Hoke took advantage of but what did you see for after that? Devin Gardner doesn't show me a guy who would be much better suited for that offense so it can't be him. What about the defense?

I'm all for people saying Rich Rod didn't get a fair shake...but there was no promise or guarantee we were turning anything around. The man would've had no OL just like Hoke...because he's the one who didn't recruit the position. You can see why Denard was better suited but I can't say the same for Devin. And it's not like we had a commitment from Jameis Winston. Then I could see someone talk about promise. But we didn't have a redshirt or a commit that we knew was a program changer.


June 18th, 2014 at 4:39 PM ^

This is the comment that makes me queasy...

Hoke’s going to get one more shot at this, but one more season like last year will mean Michigan will have to rebuild all over again

Mr. Yost

June 18th, 2014 at 6:19 PM ^

Unless Brandon hires Rich Rod again, a coach from Oregon/Auburn, or Paul Johnson...this is bullshit.

Next year the team will be in MUCH better shape than Carr left it for Rich Rod or Rich Rod left it for Hoke.

No matter WHO the coach is (with those few exceptions).

...that comment is beyond uninformed - it's borderline irresponsible. Next year we'll finally have a group of juniors and seniors with experience, with depth with some experience, with youth that is redshirting (with hype).

Just like when Meyer took over for OSU. They were ALWAYS going to be bad in Fickell's last year. It was a transition year if you looked at the roster, but if you saw what was coming was easy for Urban.

Michigan may not have THAT good of a roster, but they'll be a VERY good team. They'll be a team that has no excuses and should challenge for a B1G Championship no matter who the coach is.

There will be no need to rebuild. The team will gain experience this year, there will be plenty of depth and competition, and we'll have talent.

Off of sheer numbers we'll be fine. Hoke recruited like 25 guys in each of his first two years...those guys are all moving into roles THIS year. Next year they'll be returning players. Oh, and they were highly rated classes too. And that's not counting guys like Peppers.

Next year's team would beat the team Rich Rod got his first year by 4 touchdowns.


June 18th, 2014 at 4:49 PM ^

I used to go there all the time, but I haven't been enamored of CFN for a while. Last year, I sent in a comment that they had completely forgotten about Countess when describing the secondary. I received a very nice note back apologizing and saying he didn't know how he'd forgotten him. I think they're good people and try hard, but they try to cover every single team, and it's just too broad an approach to have much depth.

This write-up did not change my opinion. Good people. Good effort. But biting off more than they can chew.


June 19th, 2014 at 7:38 AM ^

Sites like this that focus really closely on one program have pretty much exposed all of the big national mags and websites.  Even people like Phil Steele that have a reputation for combing through every little nugget of info that they can get their hands on are never going to keep up with individual team-focused sites.  

I used to really look forward to the big national previews as a kid, because it was the only game in town for me living outside of Michigan.  But now we learn more about our team in a day sometimes than the national guys tell us in a year, because there are groups of diehard Michigan fans - often with connections to the program - working together to bring us this stuff. CFN, Athlon, Lindy's, etc will tell you about returning starters and throw a few stats at you, maybe give you a superficial overview of recruiting or whatever but that's about it.  With 120 some teams to address, they're never going to keep up with mgoblog and the like.

Perkis-Size Me

June 18th, 2014 at 7:13 PM ^

Right on the verge of what? We were getting our asses kicked by MSU and OSU every year, getting beat by teams like Purdue and Illinois, and our seemingly "high-octane" offense got repeatedly shut down by any good defense it faced. On top of the fact that the defense was a tire fire.

RichRod gave it his best shot, but the only thing we were on the verge of was total collapse.


June 18th, 2014 at 8:09 PM ^

Agreed.  Any athletic stout defense stifled UM.  The defense was a disaster.  The team always started out strong, whipping nobodies and then ND some years,, then get into high scoring gunfights with medicore Big 10 teams and then get strangled by the better defenses.

I am sure RR would have won 9 games in 2011, maybe 10 since the schedule favored anyone as did the personnel.  And RR would have been doomed the following 2 years as the classes of 2009-2010 came to fruition just as Hoke was to a degree.  The OL disaster would have been the same.  Not a huge Hoke fan at this point and I thought RR was a good "fallback" option when our top choices fell through but I was wrong.  The chasm of bad recruiting and player development would have hit any coach in 2013-2014.   Doesnt mean we needed to go 7-6 last year, I think an elite coach would have had us 9-4 at least and not looking like shit vs Akron and UConn (and a decimated NW).  But it was in no way a Big 10 championship team when your roster of juniors and seniors are so lacking.

2015 will be alot like 2011 - set up for whoever to succeed due to schedule and players maturing.  If Hoke doesnt go into the OSU game with the team undefeated or 1 loss in 2015 I think its just a team set up for many more "Carr years" of 3-4 losses annually since there will never be an easier schedule with Wisconsin rotating back on in 16 and better non conf games returning late in the decade.


June 19th, 2014 at 2:30 AM ^

and I don't know if it's because you don't know football or you just don't want to admit LC left this program in shambles. I've seen post after post suggesting Carr left RR plenty. Go back and look at the rosters. Someone even said he left him Mallett when, in fact, he suggested he should transfer because the new offense didn't fit him. He would have been fine-much better than Sheridan and a walk-on who actually beat him outs for part of the year, as has been proven by many, including his AZ teams when featuring a throwing qb, rather than a true dual threat.  Some here have even stated their opinions and then asked if he has Casteel with him at AZ. Not surprising to get such strange posts when one doesn't bother to do a modicum of research prior to turning in their thesis.  And remember, Lloyd always spoke of the benefits of Michigans sans football and the fact a young man would be set for life with a UM education. You simply don't - I don't care who you are - talk to kids about transferring and pointing out the benefits of attending another school after you recruited him to Michigan because should football fail you still have that degree that will open doors around the world. 

I don't know why this has to be reiterated so often, but RR was not welcomed here by the media which is really no longer in existence or by the Michigan fan base that, like so many on here, believe RR was handed a roster filled with the talent and experience we had come to expect under Lloyd. Fact is no fifth year OLmen opted to take advantage of that fifth year. Their careers were over. We were left with one returning O starter and that was a sophomore who played a decent RT for us. That's it folks. The remaining OL was made up of players who never were good enough to crack Lloyd's two deep. Couple that with a backfield so inept it's top two RBs, one a highly coveted young man from GA named Carlos Brown and the other a not so highly touted recruit but a decent back by the name of Minor could not gain 1000 yds combined. What you had here was was the equivalent of a Freshman team playing against the varsity every Saturday.  Don't really know why people were so surprised.

The Defense:  Some people go as low as 21, some as high as 23 but that was the body count, roughly half of the normal D1 defense that usually numbers between 43 to 46 players.  The first 11 weren't that bad but they, like the fans, never bought into what RR was trying to build and when you have the press - led by Rosie - the fans, and even your own players fighting you, you won't get too far.  While it's understandable the defense wanted to play in a scheme they were recruitd for, it's not understandable or even acceptable to fight the wishes of the HC.  It was obvious the offense was going to take a while to build - in his case all of a year, and the last two were the most productive in the past 20 campaigns.  Yeah, they guy knows the game. Given the fact the offense he inherited that initial season wasn't going anywhere, it's understandable to attempt to intigrate the defense you ultimately want to run. Basically you were handed an experimental season. Do with it what you can. What he did was try to lay the foundation for what he thought would be a long stay, the correct decision. 

The article, imo, was correct. RR was a bad choice because he wasn't going to be accepted here even though 2011 with someone not nearly as good as he(Borges) at running the offense managed 11 wins.  His defense was obviously good enough to protect the lead in those 11 games so even with sub-par recruiting by our standards, the man did a hell of a job with the support he got.  Hell, Greg Frey produced a very effective OL in just his second year, something this staff has not been able to do with much higher regarded incoming players. And as to talent evaluation, it's not an unwise plan to go with the gurus determination of who they think are the best, but when you see a football player that isn't carrying a 4 or 5 next to his name, it's wise and bold to grab him.  Our best defender, a young man by the name of Ryan was turned down by Brady at SDSU, and the greatest offensive threat we've ever had would have, if even recruited by Michigan, would have been asked to give it a try at the slot. It all depends on how you approach the game.  The aritcle further points out that Brady is a good coach, but like Rich, the programs he has taken over needed time to develop into winners.  Brady will get that chance, and to any Michigan fan I would suggest you support him. He's got the tools he needs. We'll just have to see if he can bring it together.  But I see no point in rehashing the past simply because you don't get do-overs in life.  And if Brady doesn't pan out - I'm hoping he will though because like all our HCs I give them total support until they prove they no longer deserve it. 

Despite what has happened, why you think it happened, and whether you believe Brady will survive into 2015 or not, I would suggest to simply back him and the team. They need it. Hell, both coaches are going to do what has worked for them in the past. That is the reason both were selected. We could actually have the equivalent of our BB coach right now who is simply putting the finishing touches on something that will be just as great.  Just remember Yost's words as to real fans and let the rest of the country actually experience the Michigan difference.  Look at how long it took USC and Bama to get back to the top. Look at how long it took OU and ND to get back to respectability, same with NE.  All the top programs do return. That is how they landed in the top ten to begin with. Hell we took two full decades off, the 50s and 60s and still remained the leader in all time wins until Bo came and simply added to it.

I actually believe you will enjoy this year's version.