If we were to make a change, whose offensive system in college football would you like to see us emulate? 

Submitted by M-Dog on January 3rd, 2019 at 8:16 AM

Given our level of recruiting, our geography, and our realistic aspirations (beat Ohio State, win the Big Ten, make the CFP) . . . who's offensive system in college football would you like to see us emulate? 



Duval Wolverine

January 3rd, 2019 at 8:21 AM ^

Oklahoma, one of the best offensive lines this year, receivers are catching the ball on the run, scoring ton of points.  Couple that with our defense that can shut down most teams in the BIG, we should be good. 


January 3rd, 2019 at 9:15 AM ^

2014: 36.4 ppg (21st) with Trevor Knight at QB.

2013: 32.8ppg (40th) with Blake Bell.

2012: 38.2ppg (16th) with Landry Jones

2011: 39.5ppg (10th) with Landry Jones

2010: 37.2ppg (14th) with Landry Jones

2009: 31.1ppg (29th) with Landry Jones

2008: 51.1ppg (1st) with Sam Bradford

2007: 42.3ppg (5th) with Sam Bradford

2006: 30.3ppg (19th) with Paul Thompson

2005: 26.9ppg (56th) with Rhett Bomar

2004: 34.8ppg (14th) with Jason White

2003: 42.9ppg (3rd) with Jason White

2002: 38.6ppg (5th) with Nate Hybl

2001: 30.5ppg (32nd) with Nate Hybl

2000: 37.0ppg (9th) with Josh Heupel

1999: 35.8ppg (6th) with Josh Heupel

Only 3 years worse than #30 in scoring, 7 years in the top 10 - out of 16 years.


January 3rd, 2019 at 9:42 AM ^

True, but remember, that is not opponent adjusted.  A quick glance at total defense (passing and running yards) for Michigan show that we have been consistently strong (except for the RR years, of course) going back to 2004.

A lot of raw statistics are paced based and conference based.

So, OK, undoubtedly, had had a very good offense for a long time, but it hasn't been elite more than 5 ish years.  Probably close to the same number of years the Michigan defense has been elite in the last 15 years.


January 3rd, 2019 at 10:58 AM ^

Prior to Mayfield -

S&P+ for Oklahoma:

2005: #41
2006: #26
2007: #15
2008: #4
2009: #60
2010: #6
2011: #22
2012: #6
2013: #22
2014: #17

Top 25 S&P offenses 7 of 10 years. Harbaugh has had top 25 S&P offenses 3 of 8 years he's coached.

Oklahoma has had a top 25 FEI offense 6 of 8 years. Harbaugh has had top 25 FEI offenses in 5 of 8 years he's coached.


January 3rd, 2019 at 12:51 PM ^

Jason White, Sam Bradford, previous walk-on Baker Mayfield, SEC transfer Murray. Josh Heupel, a junior college transfer. Paul Thompson, a guy who lost the job to Jason White and Rhett Bomar multiple times and moved to wide receiver and then moved back his senior season and had a pretty good year. Landry Jones. That’s the list of QBs who have played significant snaps at Oklahoma basically since 2000. How many of those guys were NFL QBs? How many were even 4 star guys? Oklahoma has always had a good system for QBs. Going back to Mike Leach, Chuck Long, Kevin Wilson, Lincoln Reilly. And Bob Stoops was a lifetime defensive guy, he was just always willing to make the right hire and let his guys run their offense. Maybe Michigan should just hire one of Oklahoma’s two co-offensive coordinators. They have a long history of great offensive minds coming out of there.


January 3rd, 2019 at 8:23 AM ^

Lots of changes afoot in the Big Ten East.

Ohio State appears to be shifting toward the Big 12 side of the spectrum.  PSU went from "pro style" to zone read with Moorhead, Maryland is bringing in Locksley (albeit without Alabama-level players).  Indiana manages to keep some form of chaos going no matter what.

It's not you father's Big Ten anymore . . .  

UM Fan from Sydney

January 3rd, 2019 at 8:27 AM ^

It's pretty clear that OSU has been shifting to Big 12 style football, which makes me incredibly jealous. Sure, it's nice having a strong defense, but in this era of football, it's about having offenses that can score almost at will and quickly. We need lots of fast receivers and running backs. We also need a QB who is a threat to run. The "defense wins championships" is so dated. I would love it if Michigan would play Big 12 style football.


Why didn't you just put your post that I replied to in the OP?


January 3rd, 2019 at 8:59 AM ^

Yeah, all of a sudden Alabama's vaunted defense looked pretty terrible when they went up against Oklahoma.  Oklahoma scored 34 and scored on every single possession in the second half.  Once they shook the rust off and got warmed up, Oklahoma was not being stopped.

Some of the "bad defense" of the Big 12 is really more a case of facing great offenses. 

All those "good" Big Ten defenses would get their heads handed to them in the Big 12.



January 3rd, 2019 at 9:22 AM ^

Frankly I don't know if MSU's defense would have.  Oregon was averaging 430 yards of total offense and close to 35 points per game with a really good QB and MSU held them to 7 points.  Their secondary looked rock solid and their defensive line was mauling.  State's offense was a total mess (like 10x times worse than our struggles) but their defense looked pretty damn impressive. 


January 3rd, 2019 at 10:40 AM ^

Which is why it's interesting that recently Saban switched offensive philosophy from a manball/control approach to score as quickly and frequently as possible.  He saw the writing on the wall and got with it.  We need Harbaugh to do the same.  When OSU is rolling your defense, the offense needs to get moving and score nearly every possession.

As far as the OP, not sure I care which offensive style is used, I'd really like to see Harbaugh hire a good OC that's solely responsible for playcalling and maximizes the talent on the team. 

M-B Devil Dog

January 3rd, 2019 at 11:08 AM ^

Yeah but either was Alabama. For every score OU put up Alabama did too. Defense is still going to be a a major part.  For me I think the offense we more realistically have a shot at emulating is Georgias, I don't see Harbaugh adopting a Big 12 or even a O state offense.  If we could have a QB (not Shea) that can throw with at least a 65% accuracy rate and a couple of strong running backs ( not saying we HAVE to have two 1000 yard rushers) we could be a real threat to any team. On defense I'd like to see us recruit more speed at DB/LB position to stay with these rockets we see now on the Offensive side of the ball. Speed is where it is. Give me one strong DT and moderately quick edge rushers coupled with speed at the DB/LB positions and I think we could adjust quicker to quicker offensive teams

M-B Devil Dog

January 3rd, 2019 at 1:46 PM ^

Georgia lost because they came in and slept on Texas. I warned every Georgia fan I know not to assume they would roll Texas. I live in Texas and my youngest brother went to UT. I have been to a few games this year and they are inconsistent but when they get it together they are liable to punch anyone in the mouth. Let's not forget they beat OU in their rivalry game and was beating OU the first half and OU had to rally to win. People act like OU walked over them in the Big 12 championship game but I watched the whole thing and Texas was in control for a large portion of that game. Georgia has a solid offense, one that I think we could find and put the pieces together to emulate. This idea that we can all of a sudden have an OU or Ostate offense is comical. Harbaugh I don't think is "loose" enough to run that style so instead of just hoping and wishing I like to look at what offense is working and can work that with our coach is ACTUALLY achievable. That would be Georgia, or hell, Texas even. They have two future NFL WR's in Johnson and Humphrey, Sam is a tough as nails QB who knows how to make smart plays. Our current offense, to be successful, relies too much on recruits and players we don't have or have not recruited to be successful. Shea is not an Elite QB, he makes too many mistakes and forces things. Higdon was good, not great or elite, why he sat out will forever make me scratch my head. We have GREAT starting WR's, all future NFL guys, but no depth. Tight ends that can't catch. Our team looks like an NFL team in rebuild mode right now to me. I sincerely hope Harbaugh opens up the QB position to competition next year and in we can utilize the new WR's. I am in serious self (team) reflection mode right now and taking an honest look at what needs to change for us to be back near the top and to stay there. Success breeds success and all we need is one year where we win the B1G championship to get the dominoes to fall, so in my mind what can we do to get there?  We need to start with a blank sheet of paper and look at EVERY current player on the roster and have an honest thought process to see who is the best 11 on either side of the ball to start.