Great ESPN Article and Really Sums Up Where our Program is Now and Waiting for Next Year.

Submitted by Lakeyale13 on January 4th, 2018 at 7:11 PM

Fair, level headed, objective yet not "the sky is falling" article that is worth your time.  I think this really sums up what we all are feeling.  It is like this dude has read every article on this board since the OSU game.…



January 4th, 2018 at 7:48 PM ^

...for that kind of pessimism.  I get it, 2017 was both frustrating and disappointing, but a transition year was bound to happen.  I mean, Indiana and Minnesota were both 5-7 this year, so the comparison is slighty disingenuous.

A mediocre offense and Michigan has 10 wins in 2017, so a good year in 2018 isn't crazy talk, tough schedule notwithstanding. 


January 5th, 2018 at 12:58 AM ^

Seriously, not only your good point about Patterson, but the article itself is a whole lot of nothing.

Summary: "there will be a lot of pressure on the Michigan Football Head Coach to produce a Big Ten championship next year."

Uh... you mean like.... every year?

I'm very optimistic about next year. We keep talking about Patterson, great. I wouldn't be surprised if McCaffrey gave him a run for his money already this Spring. The defense is going to be historically great. The OL will be much improved, when you consider the guys who redshirted this year. And what if Grant Newsome is back, as he very well could be? 

2018 is going to be good. And no one can put more pressure on Jim Harbaugh than Jim Harbaugh already does. 

Total. Non. Story.


January 5th, 2018 at 10:53 AM ^

with the right coaching changes. and there is no reason whatsoever to doubt that Harbaugh knows what changes are necessary and will implement them. This is not a Les Miles situation where LSU had shitty offenses for years. This is the first real shit offense of Harbaugh's coaching career. 


January 4th, 2018 at 9:00 PM ^

Yes, disingenuous. In the last three years, they have a total of 17 wins and 8 B10 wins. We have 28 wins and 18 B10 wins. That isn’t even close to similar. We are closer to the top of the B10 than we are to Indiana. Even by your logic, we have played Ohio State close 2 of the last three years and took them to overtime, so our programs are basically the same right now


January 4th, 2018 at 11:47 PM ^

At least in part. Currently, there are no players on the roster who have experience overcoming the underdog role and closing the deal in close games. It may be similar to the Pistons getting over the hump against Boston, or the Red Wings against Colorado. As the team matures, they should gain valuable experience and familiarity with those pressure situations. Hopefully, the combination of talent, coaching and experience will allow them to get over the hump in these types of situations. There is no substitution for experience and why teams with a lot of upper classmen generally do better.


January 5th, 2018 at 11:32 AM ^

but I agree with the article a ton. I do think we'll be fine, but were at the point where Jim Harbaugh is no longer an infallible figure from criticism. Another underwhelming year in 2018, and the pressure will REALLY start heating up. Personally I think Harbaugh is smart enough and good enough to recognize the changes that need to be made in order to fix the issues offensively, but that's not a given. Another year with poor offensive performance and poor playcalling and quarterback play will really edge him a little closer to the hot seat.


January 4th, 2018 at 7:16 PM ^

Take some time to read the article.  Really is such a good / solid take.  Things will get better.  We will be fine.  But the full turn around may not be right around the corner.


January 4th, 2018 at 7:22 PM ^

I also read the article, and basically agree. I have felt for the last several years that the 2018 season would be the beginning of the OL, and 2019 would be when we really see it fully functioning again. And I personally don't blame JH for this . . . it takes a long time to establish and rebuild the line. After it is functioning, you can keep on adding bullets, but it takes a while to get there.

The paradigm for me actually is the DL. The pieces started under Hoke and Mattison. It took 4 - 5 years to come together, and now we're largely in a very good place. Same kind of process needs to happen with the OL.


January 4th, 2018 at 7:42 PM ^

this past year was always going to be an issue after losing so many upper classmen.  the defense is in reloading mode but that took as you said 4-5 years to get there.  i think there was a little hiccup on the offensive side of the ball losing newsome and not getting a really solid o-line together.  


January 5th, 2018 at 8:40 AM ^

Only nine passing TD's is more that a "little hiccup."  The roster seems short on playmakers...guys who can make something out of nothing because they want it that bad.  Stars are nice on signing day, but we need more kids who play pissed when the whistle blows.   That edge isn't necessary to earn stars in high school, but we need it to beat Sparty and OSU.


January 5th, 2018 at 10:39 AM ^

That is continually forgotten, I don't know why.

While I think we'll be better in 2018, we'd have to have as much good luck to win the Big Ten as we had bad luck this year.  Every other Big Ten team won their bowl games.

I'll predict we go 10-2, which would be a stellar season considering we'd be going 2-2 against Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Penn State and OSU and beat everyone else that we should beat.

2019+ is when we really should be solidly in play for B1G titles every year


January 4th, 2018 at 11:01 PM ^

Is there’s going to be a lot of really good defensive players who won’t be showing up to fall camp, and people will be talking about 2020 being the next time things are functional again. After next year there’s a really good chance that most of these players declare early for the NFL or graduate (Gary, Bush, Hudson, Long, Hill, Chase, & Kinnel).


January 4th, 2018 at 9:10 PM ^

I think this was a perfectly written account, though I wish more time was taken to address the play-calling issues.


Everyone thinks they can call plays; we all grew up playing Madden. And as I mentioned in another place, I can only think of one time where a team lost its OC and the fans were legitimately upset, and that was the Pitt fans' reactions to losing Matt Canada to LSU.


But in this game, where gameplans are adjusted (like in boxing, everyone has a strategy until they get punched) and coaches have to read and react, UM is rolling out a play-calling hierarchy full of uncertainty headed by a man who just isn't good enough to be a play caller for this program at this level. Granted, it's tough to blame Drevno entirely for all of these (not his fault Glasgow couldn't make a special teams tackle against FSU, McCray's facemask against Iowa, etc.) but too often, Drevno & the play-calling in general have failed to live up to the most basic task in coaching.


The offensive play-calling has failed to put Michigan players in the best possible position to succeed. They've done few favors for their players. 


What did Penn State do in their first drive against Michigan? Shift Barkley and McSorely one step to their right. Direct snap to Barkley who fakes the read to the QB instead of the other way around. This wrinkle leads to the start of a horrible night.


What did Michigan do in their extra week to prepare for MSU or in the month plus to prepare for South Carolina? Not an effing thing, to the point of ridicule from opposing defenders.


Guys like Drevno and Borges just aren't good enough for this job at this program at this level.

The Blue Barracuda

January 4th, 2018 at 7:21 PM ^

The Wolverines are 4-6 in November and bowl season during that time, and in all six of those losses they held a second-half lead. 

Michigan’s offense this season bumbled and fumbled away victories (outscored 37-0 in the fourth quarters of their five losses)

I Like Burgers

January 4th, 2018 at 8:05 PM ^

Those stuck out to me too. I either didn’t realize or had just blocked it out, but I didn’t know we’d led in the second half of all six of those losses. That stings.

Along with the S&C changes, I wonder how much Harbaugh will look at his practice regimen to try and keep guys fresh? Or maybe it’s just as simple as if the offense can sustain more drives and we have more depth on offense and defense, people will just be naturally fresher in the second half.


January 5th, 2018 at 12:57 AM ^

It's all about the offense sustaining drives.

All of these games have the same characteristics . . . the defense plays very well and keeps us in the game while the offense muddles along.  But eventually the defense wears down from too much time on the field late in the games.

Being out scored 37-0 in the 4th quarter of our 5 losses has been the result of a lot of 3 and out type drives.

In modern football, if your offense is not going to sustain drives, it better score.

We are neither scoring nor sustaining drives. Our defense can only do so much. 


January 5th, 2018 at 10:01 AM ^

Michigan is getting a new S&C coach then because in most of the losses Michigan's defense wasn't on the field an inordinate amount of time.  Against FSU Michigan's defense was only on the field for 25:43.  Through the first 3 quarters of the 2016 OSU game, Michigan's defense had only been on the field for 19:41. 


January 5th, 2018 at 10:26 AM ^

I think this is the best general description of M's problem all season.  Watching the games this year I've said this repeatedly to anyone who would listen is that the offense, even if it doesn't score, at the very least has to get 3-4 first downs almost every series.  There were so many 3-and-outs it gives the opposing offense more opportunities, especially since many of them didn't seem to be as inept as M's offense and would eventually cobble together a decent drive for some points. 

Damn, Harbaugh found a brilliant DC and defensive position coaches who really seem to know what they're doing.  Why don't we have the same on the offensive side, I just don't get it.


January 4th, 2018 at 7:22 PM ^

It’s clear that Harbaugh has a lot of difficult decisions to make in the coming weeks. One great season including 2-3 wins over our key rivals on the road would go a long way.


January 4th, 2018 at 7:23 PM ^

Will not click. Do not need experts/analysts telling me things that are obvious. We are headed for 9-3 or 8-4 season in 2018. The feel good optimistic stories of a much improved team contending for playoffs is just a pipe dream. Time to wake up and come back down to earth.