January 4th, 2012 at 5:53 PM ^

I can see how you would say that after the way we played last night.  We just have to come back and bring the same intensity as this season and look for our first BCS championship.


January 4th, 2012 at 10:36 PM ^

Three facts:
<br>1. On occasion, I work with rape survivors.
<br>2. I find the word "rape" to describe something far less traumatic than real rape painful.
<br>3. I do so because I see the incredible pain and anger the use of the word causes the people I work with.
<br>You can do whatever you want with those facts, except make them go away.
<br>Go Blue.


January 4th, 2012 at 5:56 PM ^

Some crack thinking there.  What other 11-2 teams out there have our schedule next year, lose the core of their DL, and arguably overachieved by 2 wins this year?


January 4th, 2012 at 5:59 PM ^

If it means drop off from this year, then I might agree... however I think we finish top 3 in the B1G easy, hopefully capital one bowl?

We return 8 starters on defense, and our LB's and Secondary should be solid to spectacular, with some holes on the DL (which could and should get filled enough to maintain a top 20 D)

On offense, we have Sr Denard and Jr. Toussaint, with Stonum, Roundtree, and Gallon creating a solid WR corps.

I know we lose Molk, but Khoury has had his moments (he filled in quite well last year) and Lewan should dominate as an upperclassman.

Add experience w/ Schofield and Omahmeh, plus more talent with Barnum and we've got a good starting OL as well.

So other than a questionable DL, we have all the tools needed to be among the nation's elites. Besides, with three DL coaches on staff already, I'm not sure it'll remain a problem for long...


January 4th, 2012 at 6:15 PM ^

I don't think the Cap One bowl would be entirely unexptected honestly.  This team did overachieve a bit.  Only time will tell if the "overacheiving" is really just an artifact of the coaching which will stay consistent.  Next year should be very interesting.  Either way, we have great momentum for the program and players right now.


January 4th, 2012 at 6:32 PM ^

Agree.  I really don't expect the interior line to stand up all that well; no one has proved they are consistent outside of starters we lose.  However, I do think that both Black and Clark have flashed something thoughout the season, that paired with a returning Roh, could strengthen the edge of D.  But definatly don't expect great things out of that unit this year.  Hope they prove me wrong.


January 4th, 2012 at 6:00 PM ^

The schedule is certainly a fair point, because ye gods is it nasty.  But this is the classic weak point of mathematical projections, and why you shouldn't bury your head in them and only pop your head up to make a pronouncement.  The "five-year performance factor" thing doesn't apply here.  Yes, 2008 sucked, but the circumstances of this team are such that it's totally stupid to include 2008 in your calculations for 2012.


January 4th, 2012 at 6:58 PM ^

This looks like another lazy man's metric, because you only have to look at a few numbers instead of trying to learn something about hundreds of individual players. I'd say the team most likely to have a big dropoff is Stanford, because they're about to have 4 of their offensive players (including Luck of course) taken in the first round of the draft, and apart from that their overall talent level is unremarkable.


January 4th, 2012 at 6:03 PM ^

All lose enough starters that the schedule isn't as tough as it appears. D line is the biggest question on our team, if we can figure that out and Khoury can figure it out too, we're set.


January 4th, 2012 at 7:03 PM ^

Khoury just needs reps.  He'll be fine.  Def. worried about the DL though.  Granted VT was all (or almost all) 5th year seniors on their OL, we didn't do too good of a job, and 3 of those guys (granted one didn't play) are gone.  We absolutely need Roh to go beastmode next year for us.  


January 4th, 2012 at 6:11 PM ^

Yeah.  This article is written by the proverbial "Captian Obvious".  Everyone knows the schedule is really tough next year.  I, and I think most others, are expecting some regression.  But I also don't like some of his thinking.  One of his largest predictors is how the team did the past 5 years.  Yeah, we didn't score very well in that category.  But all this doesn't factor in that whole, entirely new coaching staff thing.  Turns out those can really change things up.  Hell, Alabama was terrible from 2000 up until Saban's second season.  Bet their predictors had them way down even after Saban's second year with a 12-2 record.  Bet they were still down after Saban's third  year of undefeated.  But I do agree that the turnovers may step back.  Well at least the fumble recoveries might.  But who knows, we may make up for that with an entire returning secondary and increased interceptions.


January 4th, 2012 at 10:05 PM ^

The guy passed us over some pretty obvious favorites. Okie State? 3rd place to unranked. No Weeden, no Blackmon, no team. Stanford? First no Harbaugh, now no Luck. Huge loss. A&M? They could barely scrape together a winning season in the Big12 this year and next year they play in the SEC West fergodsakes! Were not even likely to regress at all IMHO, and there's another 10 win team an hour down the road that'll regress like nobody's business. Sparty loses EVERYTHING next year.


January 4th, 2012 at 6:15 PM ^

the previous 5 years is a complete dingleberry. What the teams under LC and RR did is totally irrelevant.

One of the benefits of this season for Hoke is that it buys him some credit with the fanbase for the next season or two, in case there is a drop-off. If we go 8-4 or 9-3, anybody who starts yammering about firing Hoke is going to look sort of stupid.


January 4th, 2012 at 7:50 PM ^

I think Hoke has played the ultimate Michigan fan enough this season that he's bought himself at least 2 more years almost regardless of outcome on the field. If he wins 9 or 10 games again next year, I wouldn't be surprised to see him get a length contract extension


January 4th, 2012 at 6:16 PM ^

Who said this and in what year?

“The schedule is too tough for them to have a great year.  In college football, you’ve got to have margin of error in there…You have to be able to have an off week.”

“Michigan has no chance to have a great football season, in my opinion.  They play too many good teams that are as good or better than they are, and a lot of them away from home.  That makes it more difficult.  They can stumble and be a really fine football team, losing three games at least.”


January 4th, 2012 at 6:16 PM ^

I think the schedule on paper looks really tough with road games at OSU, ND, and Nebraska, roadish game with Alabama, and an improved (and oh so annoying) MSU at the big house. With that said I think  MSU,  ND, OSU, and Nebraska are very winnable games, and depending on what Alabama brings back we've got a shot there. Denard's progression and replacing the leadership on the d-line are the two biggest areas of concern, and I have to think the coaching staff knows this, and will put in the added time developing these two areas.

Maize and Blue…

January 4th, 2012 at 6:45 PM ^

Cousins is gone along with his entire WR core, best Olineman, top TE target and starting FB. D will still be good, but if Worthy leaves his back up graduates and the second and third string NT's also graduate.

They'll take a step back next year though they do have Boise St, Nebraska, ND, and Ohio at home with away games in the Big House and at Camp Randall.


January 4th, 2012 at 7:09 PM ^

If Worthy leaves, then all they have on the line really is Gholston and the other end.  Denard and Fitz should be able to feast on the middle.


Along with the fact they lose their Captain QB, best WR (along with all the others), their TE I think, and their schedule, State is going to have a down year big time.


January 4th, 2012 at 7:30 PM ^

If you think MSU is going to regress a lot next year, then you are mistaken.  They just had two 11 win seasons in a row and only lose two starters off a really really good defense.  Worthy leaving will hurt a bit, but they are just very fundementally sound and have found great playmakers that fit their system and coaching.  The offense may take a step back, but that D will be very good for the immediate future.  I'm a believer in state right now, and I really don't like that that has happened.  We need to rise to the challange and win one next year.


January 4th, 2012 at 8:46 PM ^

I'll be very surprised if Maxwell is an upgrade over Cousins.  I've never understood why so many on this site knock Cousins as a QB.  He's extremely accurate and very poised in pressure situations.  He was also a 3-year captain, which is unheard of.  He leaves big shoes to fill.  (The loss of their entire WR corps and starting TE doesn't make it any easier for Maxwell, too.)



January 4th, 2012 at 9:03 PM ^

Regardless, he has to go down as one of the very best QBs MSU has ever had.  You have to go back to at least Tony Banks to find a better MSU QB.  


January 5th, 2012 at 9:24 AM ^

There is no way msu can be as good next year as they were this year.

Offense: They lose their QB who is also the team leader and most successful QB in the history of their program. Don't underestimate this loss, the backup has 51 career passes against the likes of Youngstown State type teams. Then throw in their all time leading WR in Cunningham, their big play WR/Return man in Martin, top 3/4 TE's in Celek, Nichol, Linthicum who get used a lot, their FB and their top OL in Joel Foreman. That is a TON to replace on offense alone. They have their RB's and most OL in tact, but, the challenged passing game will allow teams to force them away from the run (see Denard in msu, sugar bowl for how that works).

Defense: They lose Worthy, who is a 1-3rd round pick in NFL - This loss will not be made up by anybody, because this kid is good. This will be much like us losing Martin/Van Bergen = No Bueno. Also lose NT Kevin Pickelman who had more sacks than Tom Gholston pre bowl game. They also lose Trenton Robinson, their starting safety who had 70 tackles (imagine us losing Kovacs, yeah, not good). They will have a lot of talent returning on a good defense, but lose their entire middle like we do & their leading tackler/int guy in secondary. This has to set back the defense at least a little bit.

I know this information because I have a plethora of A-Hole sparty grad friends who remind me daily (no exaggeration) that they've won 4 years in a row along with a picture of sparty holding the Bunyan Trophy. They really think they're going to have 11 wins, win the B10, go to Rose Bowl & beat UM for 5th straight year. Now, I think a lot of that is getting the bragging out while they have it because they know things won't be like they have...It's still brutal and making me have an unhealthy hatred for everything green.


January 4th, 2012 at 6:17 PM ^

We're easy pickings right now. Won a BCS bowl despite ourselves against a team no one respected anyway to get to be 11-2 and possibly be top 10 to finish, then we start next year with Bama and all the road games, etc. I'd be shocked if we weren't a near unanimous pick to drop off.

However, no one thought we'd be any good this year. Everyone said we'd be 7-5 or 8-4 and we proved em wrong so if there's one think I'm taking away from this year, it's that we've got a really good bunch of coaches


January 4th, 2012 at 6:37 PM ^

This article plays it fairly safe and makes some obvious points.   I agree that Michigan has strong potential to dissapoint next year based on the DL an OL losses.  

However, he goes on to use the fact that last year's BCS winning teams lost more games this year as some sort of proof that Michigan will do poorly.  This is plain stupid and there are too many variables.  Based on how they performed in the game as a whole, they really had no right to win.  They willed their way to an ugly victory.   Fremeau is basing his article on their performance in the game while also saying that since they won they will drop off next year.  

The real question is if he would have even written the article in the same light if Michigan had blown VT out.  Nope.


January 4th, 2012 at 6:39 PM ^

The week before they were predicting Michigan to be a sleeper team now a regress candidate. I skim through most of those articles and go "Okay but the game is played on the field not in the computers right?"


January 4th, 2012 at 7:22 PM ^

You compare a team's most recent season to their average over the past five years; whoever exceeded their 5-year average by the most is expected to regress. Then you give it a fancy name so your bosses don't suspect the model was just a spreadsheet put together by your 8-year-old son.


January 4th, 2012 at 7:10 PM ^

....we will return enough talent at many positions that, if others step up, there isn't any  reason we couldn't be 9-3 or so in the regular season, which is still good for a decent bowl bid, even if it isn't in the BCS. 

As for "five year performance indicators", this seems to be much like measuring distance in kilograms unless you've had a Paterno or a Beamer scenario,  and particularly in our case, it can't be all that accurate.