Hypothetical Urban Vs Jim

Submitted by Cmknepfl on December 5th, 2018 at 9:39 AM

Here is a hypothetical, I am curious to hear peoples opinions on? 

If Michigan had a clone of Urban Meyer as coach the last 4 years instead of JH, what would our record be against OSU?  This assumes that OSU is still the same team with the same coach they have been for the last 4 years?  I mostly look at it from strictly Xs and Os, staff, and game management standpoint.  However, you could also consider potential recruiting differences etc.  

I ask this to illustrate my opinion of a what I think is a false narrative our there.  That since JH is 0-4 vs OSU therefore he must not be as good of a coach.  I think you can make a good argument that UM would still be 0-4 against OSU in my hypothetical scenario, of clone Urban.  Too often people want to make things black and white without context. 


What say you?



December 5th, 2018 at 9:42 AM ^

I think if you played a 7 game series in 2016 and 2018, Michigan wins those. OSU was obviously better in 15 and 17. The narratives spun out of only 4 games is insane.


December 5th, 2018 at 10:42 AM ^

yes, our 0-4 record also leads me to believe we'd totally win a 7 game series. OMG this is what we as Michigan fans have been relegated to, losing but saying "well, if it was a 7 game series" or "well, we had the better team but..." or "well, that loss doesn't count cuz the refs screwed us". This is delusional thinking. I'm SICK of losing to OSU and I'm also sick of the rationalizing fans all over this blog. 

SMart WolveFan

December 5th, 2018 at 12:13 PM ^

Personally, I downvoted you because you sound like a real reactionary, plus who are you to tell us how to rationalize?

This time I downvoted you because that was an idiotic statement:

1st: They have won 10 games, something they've done 3/4 years under Harbaugh.

2nd: After a decade of seeing 3's, 5's & 7's in the win column, double digit win totals are a very relevant stat showing improved success.

You sound like someone who talked a bunch of shit before TheGame and are pissed you have to choke it down now.


December 5th, 2018 at 12:25 PM ^

Haha! You think it would be wise for any Michigan fan to talk smack before The Game ever again? Sorry, 2-16 has taught me to keep my mouth shut and avoid all talk about my fandom during OSU week and thereafter. It's embarrassing enough losing year in and year out.

Just tired of seeing our teams underperform against OSU and blowing their chance of having a truly successful season with a division/conference/national championship. 

But no, everyone thinks we should hang a banner for co-division champs after the other co-divison champ embarrassed us on the field yet again

SMart WolveFan

December 5th, 2018 at 1:54 PM ^

I get it, we are all pissed they didn't win:

But  ......they were on the road, as favorites, even though against a more talented team with a top 3 modern era coach who gave a "win one for the gipper" speech the night before.

UofM football failed hard that day but to say they underperformed is bunk, they did the same thing they did all year and they were out performed by a clearly more motivated team.

Should Harbaugh and Pep have been less risk averse and added more variability into the O? Yes

Should Brown have had a better answer to the crossing route? Yes

Did UofM "out coach" anyone? Heck no.

But it wasn't Ryan Day's offensive genius that out coached UofM, it was the cyst in Urbzies head.


December 5th, 2018 at 12:23 PM ^

And, I'm sick of Michigan fans attacking each other over stupid stuff. Hey, I get it. The scoreboard speaks for itself, and no rationalizations change the results. However, other people enjoy these thought experiments because it helps them decide whether they should be freaking out over, oh say...the worst loss to Ohio State in school history. Let each fan deal with his/her own BPONE using whatever works!

Clarence Beeks

December 5th, 2018 at 9:46 AM ^

It's really hard to say because the talent differential at their starting points was so different.  Specifically, Meyer walked into a pretty loaded roster situation at OSU and wasn't replacing a coaching who was let go because he didn't perform.  Harbaugh did.  So from that point forward, it was always going to be a game of serious catch up for Michigan.  And Meyer knew exactly what the differential was and could exploit it because of how he got unfettered "media" access to the Michigan program for that one game that Fickel coached and he was an analyst for ESPN (and like two days later announced as OSU's coach).  That was complete garbage and, in my opinion, provided an unfair advantage.  I am still, to this day, really bitter about how that was allowed to happen.


December 5th, 2018 at 10:55 AM ^

OMG fantastic post and so true.

My random thought of the day follows.  Why in the fuck do people think that every random fucking thought that crosses their fucking mind needs to have a thread created about it?  I dont fucking get it.  Like this rant I'm having right here.  I'm not starting a thread to bitch about how fucking stupid these fucking threads are am i? NO.  I'm sticking my comment here inside this stupid fucking thread and not creating a whole new one.



December 5th, 2018 at 9:49 AM ^

I agree that roster composition matters. Relative to UM, OSU has been playing with a stacked deck the past few years.

Important: That will be the case next year, too. Day will be working with a nice margin. Brace yourselves.

The Chancre

December 5th, 2018 at 11:08 AM ^

OK, I hate to argue internet style, but OSU loses ONE GAME to a team that is primed to upset them due to scheme, talent, and whatever else goes into an UPSET.

They are Filet Mignon to the rest of the Big Ten's Shank Steak. They have a target on their backs and get every team's best shot. But when they have a Big Game, then they usually play their best, and THEY have the talent, scheme and coaching on their side already--just add motivation and knowing they will win.


December 5th, 2018 at 9:49 AM ^

This is a ridiculous premise, but hell, football season is effectively over so why not entertain it?

2015:  Result would have been the same.  That OSU squad was just flat out more talented.  And pissed off.

2016:  Likely UM win.  

2017:  OSU wins.  Same reason as 2015.

2018:  Likely OSU win.  That OSU team is imperfect, but Urban had them playing ridiculous ball.  UM had the perceived upper hand going into the game, but unless some major flaws in the defensive gameplan were addressed, we weren't going to win with the way their offense was playing that day.  And even then, I'm not sure we could have stopped them frequently enough.

So, to your point, even if we had Urbz as coach the last 4 years going against Urbz (OSU version), we likely wouldn't be in a much better position.  That said, it's impossible to know how recruiting would have changed over those years, so we have to assume that everything except coaching during the games would be the same.


December 5th, 2018 at 10:58 AM ^

I disagree on the 2018 outcome. Assuming we have Urban's clone, then there's NO WAY he walks into The Game

A) Having only prepared for OSU the week of

B) Refusing to game plan around his opponent's weaknesses and stubbornly sticking to schemes that the entire fan base knows won't work in this game.


December 5th, 2018 at 11:18 AM ^

Is any of this actually true? Did Urban do much differently in 2016 on offense than he had all year when he was favored? In that game Michigan's defense shut down Ohio State's offense to the tune of 10 pts in regulation. Ohio State didn't cross 200 yards till their final drive. They scored one offensive touchdown that required them to drive 6 yards. 


December 5th, 2018 at 12:06 PM ^

Well for starters, I specifically discussed the 2018 game. And Urban, in 2018, didn't do anything different in The Game then what he did all year. EVERYONE knew the kind of passing routes and game play they would use. This game plan was the IDEAL counter to Michigan's bread and butter on defense. It was discussed all over the forums and boards leading up to the game. So Urban's game plan (which they've been planning for and practicing all season long) is the perfect counter to Michigan's defense.

What does Michigan therefore do? Probably adjust the defensive game plan to actually be able to counter OSU's offense right? Ha. Nope. We trotted out on the field and ran man to man most of the day and got torched because of it. And even when they did try to switch to zone it still didn't work...probably because we hardly practiced it all year and weren't prepared to live by zone coverage. On top of that, our offensive game plan did none of the things that teams like Purdue, Maryland, PSU, etc. did which worked amazingly well against OSU's defense.

Ergo, my point that in this absurd hypothetical world that OP has created, where we have Urban's exact clone as HC, there's NO WAY that Clone Urban's game plan is the monstrosity that we witnessed two weeks ago.


December 5th, 2018 at 12:29 PM ^

1. It makes total sense that the #1 defense would at least start with what brought them to that point.

2. They did adjust. The adjustments just didnt work. Read Space Coyotes post for more details.

3. No adjustment was going to make up for the fact that in that game OSUs offensive line played perfectly.

4. I brought up the 2016 game because you seem to think that if Urban Meyer was the favorite he would change his whole scheme to beat Michigan. This is obviously not true.


December 5th, 2018 at 9:51 AM ^

Stats, not hypothetical arguments show that Urban Meyer is a better college coach.  He has seven conference championships and three national championships as proof.  Also, his offensive system works when he sticks with one QB and rides with him. 

Doesn't mean Harbaugh isn't good.  He's still one of the top 10 coaches in college football and we're fortunate to have him.


December 5th, 2018 at 10:48 AM ^

We've never seen Urban Meyer in a situation where he didn't have loads of talent at his disposal at a P5 school. 

When he took over Florida, their previous three recruiting classes finished 10th, 1st and 5th in the country. In the SEC, they had the highest recruit ranking average over those three years. Meanwhile, after Tebow left and he was forced into a less than ideal QB situation with John Brantley, the team floundered and he bolted to Ohio State....

...Where the previous three classes finished 5th, 18th* and 6th. Over that period of time OSU had the highest recruit ranking average in the Big Ten. Everywhere he has went, he has been playing not only with the upper hand, but the absolute best hand. 

The other part of this is luck. Look at 2006 Florida for instance: They won close games against Tennessee (21-20), Georgia, South Carolina (missed a field goal to win), Vanderbilt (Michigan beat them 27-7 that year) and Florida State, none of which were very good. They needed Arkansas to fumble a punt into the endzone to regain control of that game. The reason why it didn't make sense that Florida jumped Michigan that year was specifically because much of their season relied on them getting lucky against bad teams (sound familiar)? 

Imagine for a second if Harbaugh got lucky twice in 2016: Iowa misses a field goal and Mason Cole blocks a guy's chest with his hand instead of inexplicably blocking him in the face mask. Michigan wins that game, ends all the bad Ohio State streaks and likely wins the Big Ten and earns a playoff birth. Michigan is back and everyone is happy. And it wouldn't be anything that Harbaugh did differently as a coach, just a couple things outside of his control went his way. 

Imagine for a second if Urban Meyer got unlucky in 2006: South Carolina makes their field goal, knocking them out of the title picture and Reggie Fish doesn't try to field a punt running backwards in the SEC title game. The next year they go 9-4. Suddenly, is Meyer in any better position after three years than Harbaugh was at Michigan after three years? 9-3, 11-3, 9-4? Not really. 

Dude is a good coach, but he's been extremely fortunate. 

*The 18th is misleading. OSU took 11 4-star players in a class of 19 according to 247. Michigan was ranked above them at 17th, but only took 7 4-star players. Their team ranking is held down by a last second 2-star commit and two unranked commits. 


December 5th, 2018 at 11:04 AM ^

It's really not. We're talking about a play here and there that changes everyone's perceptions of these guys that don't have anything to do with their coaching ability. 

What adversity has Urban Meyer ever faced and dealt with? Having to hand the ball off more to Ezekiel Elliot behind a monster offensive line when his QB got hurt? 

We saw what happened when he didn't have an ideal situation: He quit. 


December 5th, 2018 at 8:44 PM ^

Your comments here and the one before it are the exact reason I made this post.  No one is disputing Urban has a better resume.  But all of the stats you cited are the product of a program not just a coach.  Coach is let if it but not all of it, that’s the point.  

Everyone thinks they are such a genius to say Nick Saban is the greatest coach, yea we’ll Nick was never going to have what he has at Alabama at MSU.  So all of the “stats” you are taking about couldn’t have captured that about Nick Saban unless you give it CONTEXT.  To you I’m sure that means excuses but it’s what separates people who can think from those who have asinine hot takes.  

Just answer the question then, what would the record be?