October 18th, 2017 at 6:49 AM ^

Mo Hurst: "Best Player in the country"

Devin Bush: "First Team All American"

Add in Gary and Nordin and a dozen others.

And yet we are staring at 8-4.


They all deserve better.

Hail Harbo

October 18th, 2017 at 7:38 AM ^

People who thought that 8-4 would be an optimal outcome were basing that primarily on the young raw defense, not a Nussmeier type offense.  We had no reason to believe that Speight would wilt, and that the oft spoke of QB competition really was no competition at all.  We convinced ourselves that Harbaugh was a QB whisperer when in fact it looked like he lucked out with Rudock.  With the absence of a viable passing game, Michigan will be doing well to escape the B1G schedule with only four losses. 

Gentleman Squirrels

October 18th, 2017 at 8:05 AM ^

I don't think you can stop calling Harbaugh a QB whisperer. He's proven time and time again from San Diego, Stanford, San Francisco all the way to Michigan that he knows what it takes to get the most out of a QB. This season, however, QB struggles have been compounded with poor OL play and freshman receivers. Assuming someone steps up on the OL next year and our receivers have experience from this year, I don't think we're having this conversation again because I believe Harbaugh can get whoever is starting at QB ready to play.


October 18th, 2017 at 8:37 AM ^

Agree totally with you here. Lots of factors working against the team this year that we thought were not going to be huge factors (o-line and freshman wide outs). Grant Newsome being out really hurt this offensive line, but he almost lost his leg last year playing football, so I have to keep things in perspective. If Grant was playing this year, I feel confidant that our issues would be mitigated.

The Maizer

October 18th, 2017 at 9:06 AM ^

I don't think the Oline struggles are a surprise at all. Many many people were most worried with that position group. In fact, I'd argue that was a larger reason people predicted an 8-4 type season over the inexperienced defense.

I'll give you that the projected effectiveness of the freshman receivers was not correct.


October 19th, 2017 at 2:16 PM ^

OL was easily the biggest question mark on the team due to all the new faces and the critical importance of the unit (in our offense, it doesn't matter how good your position players are with a bad OL).

We had to kick out our best OL to LT despite him not being his best position, we had to hope for a major improvement from Bredeson, we had to hope Kugler, despite not breaking into the lineup last year when we had a LT emergency (i.e. Cole not kicking out), was serviceable, we had to hope another true soph guard who barely even played last year could be serviceable and all that doesn't even get into the panic about RT.  Remember the Ulizio-might-start thread?!? It was a justifiable meltdown.

Frank Chuck

October 18th, 2017 at 9:55 AM ^

And yet Meyer's OSU can expect to win 12 games per year as if it's a birthright.

I'm all for being reasonable but it's annoying and frustrating to not only get dominated by our archrival for more than a decade but also be classified as a tier below. Apparently, coaching/player turnover doesn't apply to Ohio State.

Let me put my frustation into a very depressing context. Say you had a son, daughter, nephew, neice, etc. that started 1st grade in 2005. They graduated HS last year without seeing Michigan win a Big Ten title.

Feel old yet?

How about another depressing fact: Michigan now has only 1 National Championship in almost 70 years.

Nouveau riche schools like Miami, Florida, Florida State, LSU, and Clemson have won more than we have in the past 35 years or so.


Meanwhile, our Fearless Leader who is hailed as a "QB Guru" now has an offense that is ranked 76th in S&P+ thanks to 2008-esque level QB play.

I'll say it. If our offense doesn't improve appreciably in the next few weeks, I hope Don Brown pulls a 93 Buddy Ryan and takes a swing at whoever is responsible for the offensive playcalling (and player development).

At a macroscopic level, it's quite sad the bullshit Don Brown has had to deal with. I can understand the shit offenses at Boston College. But at Michigan? With a reputed QB Whisperer? Hell naw. I don't want to hear excuses.

Are we really going to watch our offense squander another potentially elite defense (led by a Ndamukong Suh-esque DT)?


2017 Michigan had a 5 game regular season:

Florida, Michigan State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Ohio State.

If Harbaugh can't go 3-2 against that schedule (with 1 neutral, 2 road, and 2 home games) then you can understand why outsiders might think he's overrated.

/Good, now that I got that out of my system...

//I do seem some positive signs.

///We're a competent QB and a RT away from being very good on offense.

The Maizer

October 18th, 2017 at 10:18 AM ^

I'm an eternal optimist so take the following with that context in mind. Your argument is essentially that we should expect to win 10 games this year and that we should be on the same level as OSU. Then you go on to explain how we haven't met expectations for something like 70 years. That suggests to me that our expectations are too high.

I understand the frustration and your context. I became a UM football fan in 2005 when I started undergrad there. I have never seen Michigan win a B1G title and I have only seen us defeat OSU once. Ever.


October 18th, 2017 at 10:21 AM ^

I graduated undergrad from Michigan in August '07, we only had one average (8-4) season while I attended. It was also the last time we won a B1G title. So I am well aware of how crappy the last decade has been without a B1G Title. This season just is what it is, Harbaugh is doing the best he can with what he has. The pro-style offense is very complex (routes, QB reads, etc.) and the running game requires a lot of technical skill that our line is not sound in right now, which is why it looks really great at times and then really awful at others. The spread offense that Meyer runs at OSU is plug and play because it really isn't that complex of a system to pick up. Harbaugh is never going to do that because that is not what he does. People can say what they want about Shaw at Stanford, but Harbaugh built that program and the offense. Shaw is smart enough to stick with what works and recruit the guys he needs for his system. The dude has literally made a living off of doing exactly what Harbaugh did. The system works, it just takes time and right now the two most important pieces of the puzzle (o-line and QB) are both patchwork. I don't know a team in the country that wouldn't struggle with their back-up QB, a patchwork offensive line and 95% freshman/first time players at TE and WR. Most college football fans probably can't even name the two-deep at QB for the top 5 teams. 

tl;dr - don't listen to the media or trolls from other fanbases, we will have the last laugh, ask David Shaw how his career has been going off of copying Harbaugh.

snarling wolverine

October 18th, 2017 at 12:53 PM ^

Here's the thing: this year was always supposed to be the season we paid for the transition costs, as both our 2014 and 2015 recruiting classes were small and relatively unheralded.  Those are this year's seniors and juniors.  We should never again have a situation like that under Harbaugh.


October 18th, 2017 at 1:30 PM ^

You seriously need to talk a deep breath and use some logic.
Meyer walking into a loaded OSU team that was one year removed from sweater vest, who was not fired fir losing. Do you really think harbaugh's third year would not feature a better offense 6 games in?
He walked in to an oline and QB situation that was awful because hoke could not spot and/or develop talent at those positions.
As far as that national championship Michigan has refused to accept more than any team in the country with 6. Of which, 3 happened in that 70 years span you are complaining about if I am not mistaken. Michigan rightfully turned them down. MSU fans like to shit on both for lack of national championship and say they had 3 in the 50's and 60's. However, of their claimed championships in 52,65,66 only the 52 team had any votes from one of the four organizations the NCAA acknowledged. In 66, for example, MSU tied ND but did not go to the rose bowl because of big ten rules back then, which meant they did not go to a bowl. Then ND dismantled a top five USC and we're national champs in all four of the NCAA recognized organizations. Whereas, sparty was called national champs by one lone tiny publication, and they flamed it!!
The same thing happened in 74 and 85 for Bo and in the early 60's (63 I believe) with Bump, but we're declined.
You need to look at context when looking at championships from back then.
Finally, when harbaugh took over everyone said it was a 5 year rebuild because it was so bad. I was living in Phoenix at the time and my boss listened to cowherd all the time. One of the reasons he would say Jim was not coming was because a Scount friend of his said their was only one NFL talent in the roster right before harbaugh took over. Yet, we are in year 3 with a 5-1 record, after putting up back to back 10 wins and losing the most player to the draft in the country and the mist in Michigan history, and you want to talk shit about the man's coaching chops?
You need to understand football more before saying brown should get mad at the offense and their coaches because the young offense is struggling, whereas, the young def is dominating. There us a reason you always expect the defense to be in front of the offense in spring ball, no matter the experance. It is far easier for one guy to mess up an offensive play than a defensive one. Moreover, on defense mistakes from young guys can be masked with effort, spreed, athleticism, and aggression, from a individual stand point. Or by having a dominate unit, from an overall stand point. For instance, you can have a secondary that let's guys behind them often, but have a dline that gets so much pass rush that QB can't make the throw. Whereas, on offense, one player missing his assignment can spell doom for the play. This can come from a missed blocking assignment/ getting beat on a block, RB missing a cutback, QB missing a read or throwing a bad ball, or wr running a bad/wrong route/ dropping the ball. All have happened alot over the year, which us expected with a young team.
I thought Michigan's ceiling was a playoff appearance because I felt the def would probably be better than last year because it's year two with brown and the overall athleticism is higher on this defense. I expected the offense to take time but the defense would allow for that. However, I thought 8-4 was the floor if the offense just did not gel. I will say this, it is gelling. People might not want to expect that because the passing game, but the line is getting into form. I think the wr and qb will get in sync too. So am not at the point were I think they for sure go 8-4.
I also think you are wrong about been a qb away from being good. To me, and I know I am in the minority here, but the wr are just as much a problem right now. They have problems with getting separation consistently, save Perry. And have not bailed out the QB with a very tough contested since O'Korn stepped in. Moreover, they have dropped at least 8 routine catches the last two weeks.
O'Korn needs to do better, but the wr would make any qb look much. But again they are young and are bound to pull it all together at some point.
I think you need to take a deep breath and look at context.

Frank Chuck

October 19th, 2017 at 4:07 AM ^

Here are two bullet points from my resume:

- I coached HS football for a good program which regularly competes for State Championships in California.

- Afterwards, I worked for a NFL franchise as an analyst and a scout.

I mean this without any arrogance: I know a thing or two about football.


That said, don't talk to me about unclaimed National Championships because we didn't finish #1 in either the Coaches or AP poll for those years.

A number of schools have unclaimed National Championships. Check out how many Oklahoma has rejected. Then again, OU isn't exactly hurting for MNCs in the modern era like we are.

I know the 1973 and 74 Michigan teams well. One of my mentors played for those teams and he shared some great stories. The relevant part for this thread: Lantry choked like a dog in 73 at home. He had multiple chances late in The Game and missed all of them. And in 74, his potential game-winning kick in Columbus was called "out" even though it looked "in." (Think crooked refs a la 2016.) In the postgame of the 74 Game, Bo said something like "If this Game had been in Ann Arbor, that kick would've counted."

Post-1948, we have only 3 undefeated seasons:

- 1973 Michigan (10-0-1) - detailed above

- 1992 Michigan (9-0-3)

- 1997 Michigan (12-0)

How about this for further context: after 1948, Michigan has won 90+% of its games in a season (so roughly 9-1, 10-1, 11-1, etc.) only 7 times in nearly 70 years.

And 5 of those 7 happened from 1970-1974 which translated into a grand total of 0 National Championships. The other two are 1964 Michigan and 1997 Michigan.

Honk if Ufer M…

October 19th, 2017 at 1:38 PM ^

Frank go back and look over the years that we've been completely screwed by the refs in an astounding number of big games against our rivals and in Rose Bowls, other bowls and upset losses, not to mention some of the most bizarre, lucky or amazing plays in football history killing us. Correct the officiating and reimagine how we would've finished and how we and Bo would be looked at now.

Now go back and look at so many of our teams from the perspective of a playoff context and how well we were playing at the end of a number of years where we were or were playing like the best team in the land by the end of the year and how things might have gone if things weren't mythical. 

Do you think that's just homerism and the same things would apply to many other teams?

I defy you to show proof or solid evidence of another national power having been screwed in such major ways at key times and or in key games that made such major differences in seasons and history so many damn fucking times in the last 50 years by outrageous officiating mostly, but also such a series of unbelievable flukes or luck or all time great plays or career days against us!

Everyone Murders

October 18th, 2017 at 7:27 AM ^

M-Dog, cumong now.  The team is currently 5-1 with the No. 1 defense in the country, a weaponized kicking game, and a gelling offensive line.  I think that the entire team deserves better from its fanbase than this sort of negativity.

Remember when people said that Harbaugh's Stanford team had no chance against a dominant USC?  I do.


October 18th, 2017 at 7:34 AM ^

I had coffee and I feel better now.

There is still a chance.

I guess what the frustrating thing is, is that even with just a mediocre P5 offense we'd be looking at Playoffs.

I hate that we keep wasting these historically good defenses.  Don Brown or not, those things don't grow on trees.



October 19th, 2017 at 10:47 AM ^

I grew up in Phoenix after leaving Michigan at 3. So, i watched a lot of pac 12 games, and Pete Carrol was a coached I liked, making sc a team I watched every weekend. That Stanford win was the craziest thing I think I will ever see live. USC was bama of the early/mid 2000s and Stanford was at Rutgers level. When Stanford completed that pass at the end of the game to take the led I sat in quite not really knowing what to say. What Jim did at Stanford is so underrated.

Everyone Murders

October 18th, 2017 at 7:29 AM ^

Being first-team in and of itself is a great accomplishment.  But from a guy who wasn't on the national radar at all before the beginning of the season?

That's really a testament to Bush, Don Brown, and the recruiting staff.  I love watching this kid wreak havoc out there.