Football Expectations for Upcoming Season

Submitted by Generic MGoBlogger on July 9th, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Well, with the World Cup winding down, I am certainly getting back into college football mode. With that, I have been thinking much more about this year's Michigan team.  Opinions here on the blog seem to be relatively pessimistic about our chances this year, and I am the same way. However, any other team in our situation this season would be highly optimistic about having a successful season by their standards.  Here are the circumstances I'm talking about:

1. Returning numerous starters on both sides of the ball including basically an entire defense with players like JMFR, Ross, Countess, Ondre, Clark, Morgan, etc. and much of the offense including DG and Funchess  

2. Incoming impact players (Peppers and Isaac)

3. High quality coaches in Nuss and Mattison

4. Favorable schedule outside of rivalry games

Now we are entering Hoke's fourth year, and I feel like he has definitely passed his grace period and has had more than enough time to implement his schemes, players, and depth. So, I guess what I'm getting at is with all of our circumstances, are we as fans allowed to expect 10+ wins by now?

More than anything, I just wanted to get some football discussion going on here, but this is a question I've been pondering for a while.  Personally, I feel like with two five star running backs, all-B1G talent on both sides of the ball, nine very winnable games (3 toss ups), and many veteran players, there is no reason this team should not have at least ten wins when it is all said and done.


carlos spicywiener

July 9th, 2014 at 12:10 PM ^

What am I expecting from this football team? Very little, so I can be pleasantly surprised by their accomplishments. That last season was probably the worst I can remember sitting through, and I was in the stands for 3-9.

The reason was my expectations were sky high, whereas in 2008 everyone knew we were gonna stink.


July 9th, 2014 at 12:12 PM ^

I'm feeling a 9 win season.  There's just too many questions on the Oline to go above that.  Teams know how to attack our weakness up front, and that's not going to change until we prove we can handle it. 


July 9th, 2014 at 12:17 PM ^

9-3 with competitive losses to ND, MSU & OSU but wins everywhere else. A second place finish in the East.  A New Years Day Bowl win over a middle tier SEC team giving the team a lot of positive national buzz going into 2015.

Fueled by this season't resurgance Hoke's strength, recruiting, returns to the extremely high level he's shown he's capable of.  The end of the whispers about Hoke's future and a high level of optimism and expectations for 2015.  And rumors of Nuss potentially leaving to take a high-profile HC gig elsewhere.




July 9th, 2014 at 12:23 PM ^

I'd agree with your 9-3, but what gives with the comment about Hoke "returning to the extremely high level of recruiting he's capable of"?  The only reason last year's class was ranked lower and this year's class will end up lower is because of the class size.  I haven't checked since the TE commitment, but I think we're top 5 based on star average.  That's pretty good recruiting.


July 9th, 2014 at 12:37 PM ^

True but think for a second what could've been if the rumors and negative recruiting hadnt scared off some of the bigger fish that at one time had Michigan as their favorite.  Hoke has shown the ability to get recruits at the highest level to consider and commit, I am convinced that if last year hadnt tanked so badly we'd be looking at a recruiting class for the ages.

Hoke has done very well recruiting make no mistake.  But I think he has the abiity to be truly great here.  And once the whispers about his job security go away I think he will.

A Fan In Fargo

July 9th, 2014 at 1:20 PM ^

Michigan absolutely could've if not should've won the PSU, Nebraska, Iowa and Ohio games. I was at the Iowa game. It was very very cold game with a very young traveling team on that sideline who played terrible in the second half and nearly won. We all know what happened in the others. However, I believe we still would've had Hand, Campbell and Harris locked up and a few more studs on board.  


July 9th, 2014 at 1:27 PM ^

Rumors and negative recruiting are part of the business (especially now with 2 SEC coaches in the B1G).  Even if the season didn't turn out poorly last year, we still didn't have enough slots to have a legendary class.  Looking forward, it seems unlikely that Campbell would've stayed committed even if we were rolling (that's just how it goes when an uncle takes over) but we're still doing extremely well.  In any event, if we're talking about the difference between excellent and legendary recruiting, we'll be good in the future either way.


July 9th, 2014 at 1:28 PM ^

That would be both tremendous, optimisitc, and super annoying at the same time. It would be tremendous to win all the games we think they should be favored in.  It would be optimistic to expect to think they have the consistency to do that however.  But, it would be super annoying to lose to all 3 rivals, especiallly in the last game against ND and the with all the talent MSU loses on defense.  Personally with the importance these coaches put on the rivalries I don't see them dropping all three, even though I beleive all three are better teams. But, I also don't think this team has the consistency on offense to win the other 9.  


July 9th, 2014 at 10:33 PM ^

I get so confused by people already saying it is obvious that MSU is a better team than us. Sure at the end of last year they were by far the better team. However, I don't get why everyone is asuming that they are automatically a Big 10 world beater. They could be solid, but they could be average. Just like we could be a lot of things. Am I just wearing the Maize and Blue goggles? Is MSU automatically that good?


July 10th, 2014 at 12:37 AM ^

No, not automatically.  And the difference between a mediocre and a really good season is often just a few plays here and there.  Michigan could have fairly easily won 8, 9, even 10 games last year (or won only 5 and not been bowl eligible).  MSU had a completely different season in 2013 than 2012.  2014 is no more guaranteed to be a repeat of 2013 for them than it is to be a repeat of 2012.  

1989 UM GRAD

July 9th, 2014 at 1:35 PM ^

"Ditto" from 1989 UM Grad.

If we had been even 9-4 last year I think we would've held on to the players who decommitted and we would've won some of the other head-to-head recruiting battles...resulting in this year's class being even higher ranked...and next year's class looking even better than it already is...


July 9th, 2014 at 2:06 PM ^

I don't think we will lose the three you note.  If Michigan is good enough to run the table they will be good enough to beat ND and perhaps one of MSU/OSU.  I see us losing one of the nine you mention but winning one of the three rivalry games.  If Gardner is as good as I think he can be, he'll be the difference in one or more of the big games.

One Inch Woody…

July 9th, 2014 at 12:24 PM ^

Don't sleep on scheme. Players weren't executing because the things they were being told to do were unnatural and stupid. I expect that inside zone will be bashed into our players brains enough that it will work and work consistently. I expect that we will run different plays from the same formation, too. Add in some counters (what a concept) and we could be really deadly because teams can't send 8 players blitzing on 1st and 3rd down.


July 9th, 2014 at 1:13 PM ^

I think that we will beat MSU though and possibly lose to OSU.  I think that Michigan's offense has gelled by that time and can provide enough counters to soften a slightly less good MSU defense. 

The loss could also be to ND since the game is so early and Michigan will be missing a few key contributers who will be key later in the year.  I'd take a ND loss and MSU and OSU wins any day for a chance at the BIG championship.

I hate that I do this to myself every year.


July 9th, 2014 at 2:06 PM ^

I stopped reading at "I think we will beat MSU."  They obliterated us last year in a manner we have not witnessed in our lifetimes (45 here), and bring back almost everyone except a few guys on D.  Most importantly, they bring back Narduzzi.

Add how Meyer toyed with Mattison's D last year, and my conclusion is 8 wins, and losses again to MSU and OSU.  The MSU game will at least be a bit closer, and but the OSU game will be far worse than last year since Hoke blows on the road.


July 9th, 2014 at 12:27 PM ^

I always have high expectations...until recently.  This is what I think will happen:

1. Similar record to last year, maybe one more win

2. Blow-out losses to ND and OSU

3. Close loss to MSU, Penn State, and bowl game

4. Defense is stellar

5. Offense is better, but still sub-par.  Still hard for us to score points at times

6. Hoke's seat is piping hot, but he gets the 2015 season


July 9th, 2014 at 12:49 PM ^

I find it hard to understand the logic of a "better" O and a "stellar" D would be blown out by ND (who will be the same or worse) and (OH who will be worse). I also don't see PSU pulling out a win here...again, if UM has a stellar D and better O.

A big jump on D and a little jump on O would seem to be more improvement than OH, PSU and ND will make.

Those results could happen, but I think it would mean the D was overrated by us fans (again) and the O didn't get better. 


July 9th, 2014 at 1:13 PM ^

I think our defense will be improved from a fairly good performance last year. Teams like ND and OSU will still have no problem scoring on us. Home games for them help tilt the scale more in their favor.

Just that our offense will still have lots of trouble scoring points at times. I can see a 10-17 loss to PSU.


July 9th, 2014 at 2:11 PM ^

Braxton Miller and their Top 3 national defensive line and playing in the Shoe says no way that game will swing in our favor.  It would be a big upset to win there,  but weirder things have happened.


July 9th, 2014 at 3:16 PM ^

and you saw what happened.

Personally I don't see a huge increase from a junior Braxton to a senior Braxton.  He is great, and I don't think that will change.  I do think that the losses will be felt on their OL and in losing Hyde.  I think our defense makes a jump as well, which will help to reduce their offensive output even further.  I do think it will be hard to replicate last years offensive output against them, but I don't think it's unheard of that they could be very proficient by that time of the year.

I also think you overestimate State.  They are going to be a very good defense, but Dennard and Lewis will be missed.  A drop in defensive production from top 2 to 10 is possible and significant.  They also had a lot of issues on offense last year early (like completing a pass) that they overcame as their offense gelled.  I like our chances to have an offense gel by that time.


M Fanfare

July 9th, 2014 at 12:28 PM ^

8-4. Losses to ND, Northwestern, MSU, and OSU. Rampant speculation about Hoke's job security going into the bowl game and much rending of garments in these parts.

Cali Wolverine

July 9th, 2014 at 12:35 PM ^

...but the development of players and coaching last year do not leave me feeling warm and I will say 8 wins...and will be pleasantly surprised if we win more.

Bo Nederlander

July 9th, 2014 at 12:38 PM ^

Wow! Negative Nancy's omnipresent! I'm optimistic with Nuss in there. I'm calling 11 wins. One mishap to a team we shouldn't lose to and wins in convincing fashion over our rivals. 

Blue Carcajou

July 9th, 2014 at 12:39 PM ^

If our offensive line still sucks and we lose to all three of our rivals then Hoke should be fired.

"This is Michigan", as we often say. A line has to be drawn somewhere.

But with SO MUCH talent all over the team I expect results, and considering that "this is Michigan", my expectations should be self-explanatory.


July 9th, 2014 at 12:41 PM ^

My expectation is 1996 Carr year, but with upside... it all really hinges on Gardner, who has escaped alot of due criticism because he tried hard in the OSU game....he left so many 3rd down opportunities on the field, and I thought to myself, that he doesn't have it mentally.... I hope he proves me wrong, where I'd be the first to eat my words.. but I saw Morris in the bowl game handle the rush and pressure, far better, whereby the OL didn't look bad at all.

Then, my expectation next year is Big Ten title, with Peppers playing Woodson.


July 9th, 2014 at 4:02 PM ^

Gardner vs OSU - Threw for 451 yards with a 71% Completion  @ 10 yards / pass attempt with 4 TDs vs 0 INTs = Tried Hard

Morris vs KSU - Threw for 196 yards with a 63% Completion  @ 5.2 yards / pass attempt with 0 TDs vs 1 INTs = Made O-line look good


I truly think that Morris can be good, but don't think he's there yet, which is fine, because he hasn't even been here a year. However, I think you are selling Gardner just a little short on what he has and can do.