How does Lewan coming back change your expectations for next year?

Submitted by WolverineFanatic6 on January 9th, 2013 at 9:30 PM
Title says it all. I was thinking 10-2 prior to the announcement. Now I'm thinking 12-0 may be a realistic achievement. Sure we will need a few lucky breaks but the schedule sets up nice, the defense will be better and now we won't have to worry about Devins blind side. What are your thoughts fellow mgobloggers?



January 9th, 2013 at 9:34 PM ^

The run game is too big a question mark for me to agree to any 12-0 season. If Michigan can pick up Green, or we see signs that Fitz's leg is back to 100%, then maybe. I don't see any unwinnable games on the schedule, but there are a lot of toss ups based on where the team is today.

Lucky Socks

January 9th, 2013 at 10:31 PM ^

Basing this strictly off a picture I saw of Kyle Kalis - but he looks massive and ready to be a great player immediately.  All reports from his HS days support this.  C and the other guard remain question marks, but you hope they can emerge to be par to this year or better. 


January 10th, 2013 at 10:03 AM ^

i was sitting behind the UM bench in Tampa about 9 rows from the field and Kalis was dressed in pads and looked like a beast.  he already looks an NFL lineman - seriously.  he could barely stuff his arms thorugh the arm holes.


January 9th, 2013 at 9:41 PM ^

I have the same concerns with the running game but for some reason I think the youngsters are going to really tear it up and the new starting offensive linemen are going to allow our downhill game to at least improve.

Do t get me wrong , 12-0 is lofty but looking at the schedule and the possibility of ND losing Kelly I really like our chances.

I think talent wise we are as good or better then anyone on our schedule.


January 10th, 2013 at 12:09 AM ^

I apologize right from the start.  However, you stated if Kelly leaves you really like our chances!  DId I miss the ND M game?  Was ND the better team on the field?  From what I remember of the game, if not for 5 turnovers, with 4 of them in the red zone, we crushed ND.  The team mistakes beat Michigan ND did not.  Kelly can stay or he can go, ND was severely overrated all season, as we all saw in the NCG.  

I don't post often and again I am sorry for this post as I am sure it will get ripped by someone.  But looking at the schedule I can see a 12-0 record, however, as someone already stated in another thread, Michigan has been fortunate with injuries.  As long as we continue the good luck 12-0 we will be. One or two injuries on the OL and we lose a couple close ones on the road (IE. PSU, Iowa and Northwestern.)  


January 10th, 2013 at 1:59 AM ^

I meant with Kelly gone I love out chances at 12-0 and obviously it would help on that game too. I thought we were better then ND this year we just decided on turning the ball over every other drive.

I in no way think ND is better then we are headed into next year. I was just thinking having ND being one of our big rivals it wouldn't hurt us at all if they lost Kelly.

We're Michigan fergodsakes. Apology accepted lol

Sorry for my misuse of words.

UofM Die Hard …

January 10th, 2013 at 10:59 AM ^

I live in Seattle and of course they never talk about anything Michigan on sports radio but the day of the NCG, the local sports radio cast was picking who was going to win and all picked Alabama.  One of the main reason they were picking Bama to kill them is because ND was super lucky this season and is not in the same area code as Bama.....and the main game they were talking about was Michigan ND game.  They were saying Michigan should have won, dominated them at home...etc.  So, long story short, this is just proving your point even more.  

ND just got a lot of breaks this year just like we got a lot of good luck last year, I would even argue we are a step ahead of ND.  


Ron Utah

January 10th, 2013 at 11:34 AM ^

Against ND.

12-0 will be real, real tough.  Don't forget that our upperclassmen (the few that remain) are holdovers from the RR style.  This will be a very young team that I believe will stumble at least once in the regular season, as ND, Nebraska, NW, PSU, and Ohio could all be ranked teams when we play them.

That said, I feel a lot better about going to the B1G Championship game now...and perhaps it will be a rematch with Ohio.  I think we are looking at a 10 or 11 win regular season.



January 9th, 2013 at 9:48 PM ^

I think our fans are consistently overlooking Deveon Smith as a possible early contributor.  He just had a monster senior year.  Green will be a very awesome addition to the class, but we are pinning too much on one recruit.  I have seen too many savior RBs come and go (Baraka, Fargas, and McGuffie) and seen many less heralded recruits thrive (Perry, Hart) to simply pencil in Green as the starter.  

True Blue Grit

January 10th, 2013 at 7:57 AM ^

But your point is a good one.  Never get enamored with one guy and ignore the rest of the players who can really help us.  But, getting back to the OP, I beleve the key to next season on offense at least is how the center of our OL comes together (or not).  Michigan must develop a much stronger inside running game than we've had in recent years.  


January 9th, 2013 at 10:29 PM ^

I think you are spot on.  We have too many holes to be filled with players that lack experience to feel confident, including QB.  While Devin got a great start on getting experience, behind him are two players who are suspect, Bellomy because we saw him in the Nebraska game and Shane Morris who didn't play much last year due to mono and is a freshman. We have to hope Devin stays healthy.

I stopped counting chickens a few years ago.  Anyone think Dee Hart would be relegated to his position on Alabama?  Countess, Toussaint, etc......lots of ifs. Green hopefully will choose us and be the second coming, but until I see it, I see potential issues.  Ditto for WR.

A couple of teams we play are also pretty good. Ohio, ND, etc.

Lewan staying will be a very big help, but he is only one piece of the puzzle, albeit a big one.

I'd rather be surprised than disappointed.


January 10th, 2013 at 1:15 PM ^

ND, OSU, and NW on the road don't look much (if any) better than 50-50 as of now, and MSU and PSU on the road and Neb at home are potential trouble. Iowa on the road is usually trouble but they were a MAC level team this year.

The odds of a 0- or 1-loss regular season and conference title look a lot better than they did this time yesterday.


January 9th, 2013 at 10:16 PM ^

As a GVSU guy familiar with BK and Chuck, I would be happy if they hired Chuck. He's a good coach, but not even in the same stratosphere as Kelly. He was able to go 74-7 at GV, but mostly because Kelly built the school into a powerhouse, he just didnt drive the program off the cliff.


January 9th, 2013 at 9:39 PM ^

I still think OSU will be a huge game next year.  Notre Dame may also be tough.  They lose a lot of players (and if we're lucky they lose Kelly as well, perhaps with even more players and recruits following suit) but as it stands there is still serious talent coming back and a great recruiting class with some serious impact-right-away players.

Other than that....maybe some competitive games between Nebraska, PSU, and MSU, but probably wins there.

I think double digit wins is now much more likely, with 11-1 being my guess and 12-0 being a real possibility.


January 10th, 2013 at 9:07 AM ^

I am no OSU apologist; I hate them, just to be clear.  Having said that, they too won 12 games last year. Like ND, those wins were lucky in some cases, good breaks in others, and poor competition pretty much across the board. Having said that, there is something to be said for going 12-0. OSU won't be a roll over game. I think it will be highly contested, a potential paring of two 11 win teams. OSU's schedule is just as flimzy as Michigan's next year. It will be interesting to see how the season shapes up.


I for one think that Taylor's contribution could potentially account for .6777777 of a win next year.  Yeah, that much.


January 9th, 2013 at 10:40 PM ^

I think you have to look at what Lewan's return means in the grand scheme of the offense.

Had Lewan left, UM would probably have to replace him with Schofield.  Either Braden or Magnuson takes the RT position, and then you're counting on Kalis and either Bryant/Byrzinski/Bars to produce at the OG positions, with Miller at C.  That might work, but what if those interior line prospects don't produce like we're hoping?  What if we have an injury or two in there?  

WIth Lewan returning, we have all the above players, plus Schofield who is proven at both RT and OG.  So you not only have two OL positions solidified, plus another body worth of depth, but you have more flexibility in case of an injury or performance issue.   



January 9th, 2013 at 9:40 PM ^

Probably will lose 1 or 2 to any of Notre Dame, at State (always seems to be close whether we'd care to admit it or not), Nebraska and Ohio. Given the state of those 4 program though, that's about as well as that could be scheduled.

I think it depends a ton on if a) Devin continues to improve and b) if we have a running game at all. If we can run the ball again and Devin gets a smidge better, bada-bing bada-boom


January 9th, 2013 at 9:42 PM ^

I don't think it's ever wise to predict 12-0, you don't have to be good to go 12-0 you have to be both good and have some things (unpredictable things, I might add) fall your way.  Consider Ohio State, in 120 whatever odd years they've only done it 6 times, so, it's rare.  Even dynasty Alabama had 1 loss in each of the past two seasons.

*steps off soapbox*

I was previously thinking 8-4/9-3 and this bumps it up to 10-2 in my opinion.


January 9th, 2013 at 9:54 PM ^

I definitely think you're right there. For some reason looking at the schedule I find it to be very much in our favor.

The games people are worried about I have thought about often.

I don't think PSU has the horses to score enough to beat us.

I think northwestern is going to be a tough one but I think our defense is going to be better and I think that's the difference.

We get Nebraska at home and again I think our defense and record at home are the big differences in that contest.

Notre dame under the lights and possibly with a new coach but definitely with a lot of new players makes it a very winnable game. If we don't have turnover fest part two then I think we pull off a close win.

Ohio is at home. I have a feeling they will be unbeaten once again. I'd rather not play them twice but I have a feeling we will. I'd rather lose the first and win the second but in all honesty if our offense is as good as it has the potential to be and AL doesn't have any brain farts then I like our chances in both games.

In all likelihood 11-2, 12-1 season prior to the bowl is the most likely outcome. However 13-0 is very attainable if we are able to come together and execute in big games. I really think by game 4-5 Devin will be the qb we all thought he could be.


January 10th, 2013 at 12:30 AM ^

the only teams that would be on our level next year are Ohio and ND. The possible losses would come with ND, Ohio, PSU, and MSU, and I guess NW. ND was massively overrated this year, and we only lost because of turnovers, plus we play them at home. Ohio, maybe about the same, with the weak schedule, and us almost beating them, and we also play them at home. I would imagine playing at PSU could be tough, but they are simply feeling the sanctions too much to win (their defensive coordinator is gone, too). MSU always plays us tough, but next year they lose most of their functional components, and the replacement they have is low. Nebraska went down hard at the Big House last time, their personnel/coaching is no better than it was, and we should have won this year, except the Denard thing. Northwestern is better than it was, but it still can't seem to get over the hump of beating good good teams, and their low attendance means we might have a Michigan crowd there. By the law of averages, if say we have like a 66-75% chance to win all those games, I guess that means we lose one or two, with probably Ohio the obvious one. Of the others, I say MSU could be harder than we imagine, maybe PSU at home. The rest I think are fairly likely to be wins. So, a solid 10-2 next year.