Football Discussion: Team with more talent: 2016 or 2018?

Submitted by huntmich on May 27th, 2018 at 8:56 PM

Non-news based off-season "I miss football" discussion.


Subject says it. Which team has more talent: 2016 or 2018? Weaponized Chase Winovich and weaponized Rashan Gary and Devin Bush  and Aubrey Solomon and Long and DPJ and Tarik Black and Shea Patterson and Karan Higdon? Or Peppers and Hurst and Jake Butt and Darboh and Chesson and Wormley and Taco Charlton?


I know this team is still fresh-ish in comparison to that team of seniors, but I see a similar level of talent in the two squads. I think 2016 gets the nod, but only barely. I think by the end of the season the gap is basically nonexistent. 



May 27th, 2018 at 8:58 PM ^

Defense is probably about even, Offense may be a slight downgrade at every other position except QB, but Shea is so much better than Speight, so i'll give 2018 an edge.


May 27th, 2018 at 9:17 PM ^

I hope Shea becomes so much better but his 2017 true sophmore stats are nearly identical to Speights 2016 RS SO stats. Speight was pretty dang good before the shoulder.

I'd give 2016 an edge because it was more experienced talent, although 2018 has a higher talent ceiling if everyone plays to their potential.

The biggest difference will be the coaching staff in my opinion. Will 4th year Harbaugh + Pep + Warriner be. better teachers and playcallers than 2nd year Harbaugh + Fisch + Drevno. If so, I think we win the BIG.


May 28th, 2018 at 12:09 PM ^

Speight was fine. When he started getting all kinds of praise came after the weakest portion of the schedule (Maryland, MSU, Illinois). Then he melted down against Iowa (pre-injury) and mixed nice throws with disasters against OSU. 

I would expect Patterson to be much better, but who knows. I thought Peters was going to take the starters job during the bowl game and that obviously didn't happen. 


May 28th, 2018 at 6:31 PM ^

No but the teams Patterson put up big numbers against were also much worse than the teams Speight put up his numbers against.

For the sake of argument (his freshman year only yields three games) let’s look strictly at last season. 7 games.

He finished the year with 2,259 yards 17 TDs and 9 picks in 7 games. He completed 63.8% of his passes in the process.

He went 60/78 (77%) for 918 yards, 9 TDs and 1 pick against South Alabama and UT-Martin.

Meaning in the remaining 5 games (against Cal, Bama, Auburn, Vandy and LSU) he went 106/182 (58.2) for 1,341 yards, 8 TDs and 8 picks.

So the fact remains, the knock on Patterson is he put up his numbers against poor teams and couldn’t even come close to replicating it against quality opponents. The same thing you’re knocking Speight for here.


May 28th, 2018 at 11:57 PM ^

So sick of dumb people.

Speight was involved in an offense that returned something like 9 starters and was backed by a legitimately great defense. He was bad to okay until a three game stretch against the worst part of the schedule. He then reverted to bad to okay after that. 

Comparing that situation to the roster of Ole MIss is absurd and not the same. 


May 28th, 2018 at 7:38 PM ^

I'm a Shea optimist but Hintz is right.

And that Auburn stat line looks pretty OK until you realize that at half time the score was 35-3.  I didn't watch that game but my bet is that Auburn went into garbage mode pretty early in the 3rd quarter & it's likely that Shea racked up all of his decent stats against non-starters playing soft prevent style coverage.

Doesn't mean Shea isn't a hell of an upgrade for us & worst case scenario he provides amped up competition & better depth than last year.  His abilty to hit a guy downfield & escapability should ease up some pressure on our weak OTs as pass rushers/blitz packages might get scaled back.  

But the guy still has some question marks he'll need to address.  It's entirely possible he WILL.  And it's entirely possible the rest of his 2017 team didn't do him any favors.  Their overall S&P Defense was like 113th in the country & the rushing S&P rank was a very middling 42nd.  So it's possible opponents knew the only way Ole Miss would beat them was through the air on offense & so by the middle/end of the season they tee'd off on the Ole Miss passing game.

So it's entirely possilbe a top 10 defense & a top 15 rushing attack can open things up & that he can do it. But he's definitely got something prove.  


May 30th, 2018 at 11:16 AM ^

I’m an optimist as well, but I’m not going to blow smoke up everyones ass and pretend Shea is this flawless QB that is a shoe-in to be in NYC for the Heisman ceremony. He has his faults. As much as people want to bash Speight, Shea has many of the same issues Speight gets bashed for.

I do think Shea is a better QB. But you can’t sit here and say Shea is better and Speight shit the bed against good teams when that’s exactly what Shea did.

Hail Harbo

May 28th, 2018 at 1:30 PM ^

If so, Graham Glasgow was already playing for the Detroit Lions but the offense also had solid returning players in Mason Cole, Armarah Darboh, Jehu Chesson, Henry Poggi, and D'Veon Smith.  The defense had an embarrasment of riches that somehow found themselves getting drafted the next spring.


May 28th, 2018 at 1:31 PM ^

It doesn't take THE_KNOWLEDGE to know that the 2018 team hasn't won (or even played) any games yet.  Comparing a team that hasn't played a game to one that has completed a season is... not possible.  

I'm more confident in this 2018 team than I was in the 2016 team, but I won't be able to make meaningful comparisons until next December.


May 27th, 2018 at 9:04 PM ^

I’d probably give the edge to 16. That team had an “x-factor” in Peppers that opponents needed to account for and game plan against on defense and offense. Maybe a similar player will emerge for the 18 team, but for now it’s a relative unknown.


May 27th, 2018 at 11:17 PM ^

So far this is what I've read.
QB - Makes sense
RB- I agree
FB - I agree
WR- Chesson had a terrible year. In a few of the biggest games Darboh decided he forgot how to catch the ball. They also list Grant Perry as a top 3 of that team and then don't mention him being on the team and more experienced in 2018? And he's been passed by from what we can tell. He's most likely 4th if not worse on the depth chart and Martin is a better player than him.
TE - They list a top 3 that includes Wheatley who has been passed by. They also list the stats and Michigan's tight ends last year already had better stats. They're about to have more experience and a better QB. I think TE is in favor of 2018 and WR is a push at best but leaning 18 with better coaching.

I'll give 2016 the tackles before Newsome got hurt but it becomes a push after the injury. Guards definitely 2018. That leads me to say 2018 is better than 2016. The only area that may be better is fullback and the tackle spots if you assume Newsome is healthy in 2016.


May 28th, 2018 at 6:43 PM ^

Black had 83 yards receiving in his first collegiate game against a tough secondary. He had 55 yards in the game he was hurt. Perry's best game ever? He had 54 yards on one reception. His second best game he had 5 catches for 51 yards. Black has only played in 3 games and two of those games he topped Grant Perry's two best days in his entire 3 year career to date at Michigan.

I don't know how hard it is to see for Michigan fans that Black is the better receiver and definitely more talented which is what this thread was supposedly about. Perry is not the receiver Black is nor would Perry ever start over Black. That's pretty easy to see for anyone. Black is a dynamic athlete who has 1st round potential. Perry won't be drafted. For that matter DPJ three best games in his freshman season are better than Perry's top 3 games in his career. They were both freshman. One was just in the first 3 games of his career. Some of this stuff is debatable between 2016 and 2018 but Grant Perry of 2016 being better than Black or DPJ is not one of them.


May 27th, 2018 at 11:31 PM ^

Defensive end I agree with. Defensive tackle I agree with. Linebacker is a huge favor for 2018. Cornerbacks is not a push, I'm sorry for everyone who loves Lewis but Long and Hill are better collectively and Thomas is pushing them. Plus Watson is a ton better version of himself. Long and Hill could both be first round picks. How many of the defensive backs even went in the draft? Let alone both cornerbacks possibly going 1st round. Both Hill and Long should be drafted ahead of where Lewis was. Both are light years better than Stribling who was poor in run support and Clark was injured. Thomas is actually probably better than Stribling or Clark. Safeties is a slight favor to 2016 but I think people seriously underrated Michigan's safeties last year. They were a few plays away from being really good last year. Now they need to clean some stuff up which is why I said 2016 is better but not by a ton. Josh should take a big step this year or he'll be pushed out by someone better. Special Teams is a push for me. I think they overrate Peppers impact there. Peppers scored 1 touchdown and average 14.8 yards a return. DPJ averaged 8 and already has a touchdown as a freshman. He should be much improved this season. And Ambry Thomas looks to be really dynamic as a returner as well. Special Teams may go to 2016 but it would be close.

Overall I think 2018 would win by a touchdown or so. They have more experience with Don Browns system on defense and better coaching on offense. Plus they have much more dynamic athletes in every position.