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November 30th, 2018 at 9:17 AM ^

I'm with you Bo. Teske played 34 minutes on Wednesday. He still looked pretty fresh at the end, and stayed out of foul trouble, but thats more than most 7 footers are accustomed to. Johns has looked like a typical freshman and Davis hasn't taken the strides Jon has (hopefully he will as the season progresses).


November 30th, 2018 at 8:42 AM ^

Hmmm, hmmmm.

“As far as I’m concerned, “doing it the right way” means having a firm grasp on your team’s strengths and weaknesses and devising a strategy around them instead of trying to stubbornly fit a square peg through a round hole.”


November 30th, 2018 at 9:17 AM ^

Because, despite coming in with what looked to be a really shaky set tackles, all sophomore WR and a QB (albeit highly-touted) in his first year in the system, he had a top 25-30 offense and put up 39 on Ohio State?  

Was our offense as good as Oklahoma?  Not even close.  But, the offensive numbers from this past year were NOT the problem.  Following the first game of the season (new QB, road, night, top 3 undefeated opponent, etc.) that offense allowed us to run the table on the rest of the season.  And, while we lost, that offense scored 39 on OSU.  Not really Peps fault that Don Brown, whoI also think highly of, shit the bed for the second year against OSU.

EDIT:  As noted by Ziff, Don Brown did not shit the bed in 2017.  For some reason, I remember a lot of torch and pitchfork people saying last year that his top-rated defense did not live up to billing in that game (I blocked out the entire game from my memory), but a review of the box score reminds me that the defense was not the problem in that game, at all.


November 30th, 2018 at 9:41 AM ^

You are probably right about 2017 OSU. We gave up 30, but a lot of hose points were gifted by JOK interceptions. He definitely shit the bed this year, but the prior years were much more on the offense. 

As to the portion about returning starters, I knew we returned a lot but I didn’t realize quite how much. We should improve at every single spot other than RB. 

Senior Shea in his second year in the same system > this year’s Shea 

All contributing WR are back and older, stronger, more experienced, etc. 

On the line, we return 4 guys (3 are still young and should improve a bunch) who will be in year 2 with the same, competent, OL coach. 

All of our TE return. 

Ben Mason is back and a year older and meaner. 

Even at RB, while Higdon had a great season, he was not a difference maker at RB.  That’s not a criticism - he was more than “just a guy,” but at the same time, he was not a game breaker. Don’t know who will start next year, but I don’t see significant drop off at the position, especially if the line continues to improve. 

As for the defensive side of the ball, let’s just hope that the NFL decides that it has enough players and cancels this year’s draft. 


November 30th, 2018 at 10:15 AM ^

I agree that our current TE are NOT a strength.  My only point was that they all return, so next season's version should be better just from 16 bowl practices, an offseason, etc.  One thing that this staff has shown is that they do have the ability to improve players over the course of an offseason (see the entire OL).  I don't think that these guys will be the strength of our team, but they will be better than this year.  


November 30th, 2018 at 1:01 PM ^

Honest question: you say JOK gifted “a lot of points” last year, so don’t blame the defense. Why can you not see that OSU’s defense gifted us half our points this last name? How do so quickly and inconsistently rationalize points to validate your argument? There’s no objectivity in your argument when you only talk about what Michigan has done but ignore the other team’s contributions to the games.

Inlove Harbaugh, but be real. Be honest. This team lacked an ability to consistently score TDs. We kicked too many field goals and had too many stalled drives—and if you want an elite team you need to expect and demand an elite offense—or at least a Top 12 offense that can score TDs against elite competition.

it is ludicrous that defenders of the offense keep touting 39 points as if 7 of them were not handed to us on an extremely short field on an even more extremely one play drive. 

Middling offense does not win The Game, ever. OSU gave up 51 to Maryland and 49 to Purdue. They gave up 31 to a weak Nebraska team we shit out. 

Both sides of the ball need work. I expect next fall’s growth to be apparent, as Nico, DPJ, and Black are in their third year. Gentry will improve his hands/mental blips at end of season; and DMac or Shea or both will be better. 

But we need to see growth in execution and in play call. Harbaugh has to have his players stomp teams with long plays that quickly destroy the other team’s mentally, not just look to pound them physically. He needs to work more routes in motion, more slants, more quick outs, more crossing patterns, more skinny posts, more misdirection. 

39 means nothing when the other team scored 62. Those scrub points are like the points we gave up when teams we played finally scored at the end of big wins. 



November 30th, 2018 at 9:33 AM ^

I'm not sure why people stick up for Pep. We scored zero points in the 3rd quarter of that OSU game, after being damn lucky to keep it close in the first half. 

Look at the difference between Drevno's and Warinner's (who's more responsible than Pep for our offensive turnaround) impact on the line and running game. Now imagine that we have a Warinner level OC/Passing Game Coordinator instead of Pep.

Pep isn't awful but he's not good enough to be on Michigan's staff. Look at which of our staff members that other teams have tried to poach. Those guys are good. 

Look at who's been here a while with zero interest: Jay and Pep. 


November 30th, 2018 at 9:46 AM ^

I’m not defending Pep, per se. What I am saying is that with Pep, we have a top 25 offense. And, aside from 1 OL and Higdon, we return every single major contributor from the two-deep. This offense should improve to top 15-20 just by keeping everything exactly the same and allowing the players to continue to get more comfortable in the system (and get older, stronger and faster). 

Any change in OC, even if it is an improvement has the drawback of transition. Players have to learn yet another new system, rather than using he offseason to fully download and perfect their play within the existing system. 

In my view, unless you are upgrading so significantly (the non-scummy equivalent of Kiffen, or Josh McDaniels), the drawbacks outweigh the possible improvement. Sometimes it just take time to build up a program and staying the course - again, top 25 offense all returning - is better than constant attempts to tweak. 


November 30th, 2018 at 10:07 AM ^

That's a pretty reasonable take. I'd agree that ditching Pep for someone who runs an air raid offense would have a huge transition cost. However, if we keep it "pro-style" for the most part I'm not sure it's going to be a problem. 

I get wanting to keep the status quo of 10'ish wins a season rather than blowing it all up. But, on the other hand, with Pep on staff, we're only ever going to get a slightly sharper offensive knife. That might be enough to get us over the hump sometimes, but it's definitely putting a ceiling on what we can do year after year. 

I like the idea of a constant churn of staff to generate new ideas and remove complacency. Pep seems too comfortable here. 



November 30th, 2018 at 10:36 AM ^

Bringing in an air raid offense is akin to bringing in Rich Rod's read option spread.  And it would become an awful fail.  Witness WSU-Washington to see how well it holds up under pressure from bad weather.  It doesn't.  I don't want to rely on any offense that is so one dimensional that wins become somewhat dependent on weather conditions.

A good 'tweak' to the existing offense would be changing the play calling dynamics to take better advantage of the weapons available.  Doesn't always have to be WRs, but when the opponents corners are crap - throw it to the WRs!  The current offense has every offensive tool available to it.  It just needs to use them a little better than it has...


November 30th, 2018 at 10:53 AM ^

I think the best course of action is one of two things, due to the fact we really don't know how involved Harbaugh is:

1) If Harbaugh is dictating what Hamilton is allowed to do on offense, back away a little bit and see if Hamilton can call a better and more cohesive game without too much input from everybody else;

2) If Hamilton is responsible for all of the play-calling, have a sit down with this off-season and say "Pep, we like you and want the best for you, but if you call RB up the middle on 2nd and 11 into a stacked box 46 times again next year we are going to have to let you go."


November 30th, 2018 at 11:06 AM ^

Ultimately, you're right - the buck stops with Harbaugh so he needs to either get out of the way or get someone better than Pep and let them handle the offense. 

I guess I'm just not seeing Pep's value. Is he a great recruiter? I don't think so. Has he done a great job with the passing game? I'm not sure. 

He's not awful (though the OSU game was total shit), but it's hard to believe that Michigan couldn't find someone who's better than him in every way. 

If we shipped out Jay, Pep, and Sharkman and managed a Drevno to Warinner upgrade at each position... Michigan would be amazing. 

Had we bombed OSU from the start and knocked them on their heels, Urban would have gone crazy and blown the game. 



November 30th, 2018 at 10:23 AM ^

We hung 19.

Ohio State essentially won the game 41-19.

The 4th quarter was one of the more "academic" quarters I have ever seen played in football.  I know you were kidding in context but people are really throwing that out there to defend the offensive scheme and play-calling.  To say the offense "contributed" 39 points to the effort is misleading.  We scored 19 competitive points in the game, and 6 of them were a complete gift.


November 30th, 2018 at 10:53 AM ^

I am not sure if I agree with your premise.  You can't just discount the entire fourth quarter or you will distort the numbers.  You are shortening the amount of time during which the offense has to score points that "count."  Taking your example to something of an extreme, let's say that OSU put up 50 by the half, and that our offense had only put up 19 by the half.  The game is pretty much over.  But, would you say that the offense sucked because they only put up 19 in the "competitive" portion of the game?  That's not really fair.  

This is especially true since OSU had their starters in for the entire game.  While the result was never in doubt since around 41-19 (which I agree with you on), the offense and OSU defense were still trying and our offense did score those points.  Were 6 of them gifted by OSU?  Yup, but every single offense out there scores some gifted points. 

Also, don't discount that, had the game been closer, we would not have seen Milton, and perhaps the offense would have scored more, not less, points.  

None of this matters - I largely agree with you that the offense could be better.  We struggled for portions of the OSU game.  No doubt.  But you can't write off the fact that the offense did put up points in that game (even though it was playing from way behind for much of the game).  



November 30th, 2018 at 10:09 AM ^

Because MSU is a shithole that knows they can't find anyone better to replace him. He's living off past glory, and for MSU past glory is better than no glory. 

I hope MSU keeps Izzo forever. He sucks and eventually, high school kids are going to realize it. 


November 30th, 2018 at 10:39 AM ^

Downtown East Lansing is a 4 mile strip mall that all smells like stale warm beer and cheese sticks.

The self-contained campus itself, aside from the concrete prison that resembles a football field, is nice enough until you notice that every dude that passes you bears a vague resemblance to The Situation and will inevitably have a patch of time later that night where he "just wants to fight somebody."


November 30th, 2018 at 8:46 AM ^

Season seems upside down.  Aren't people usually complaining about the weak out-of-conference schedule, and Beilein's inability to recruit in late November, then eating their words in March. Don't get me wrong - I'll take it, it's just bizarre


November 30th, 2018 at 8:58 AM ^

Yeah BPONE looms. I like watching Beilein overachieve in the tournament. Still a bit worried about what happens when this team runs into someone competent that can run zone. 

Then again last year’s team made it to the championship with basically one good offensive game all tournament so I’ll shut up and enjoy the ride. 

Reggie Dunlop

November 30th, 2018 at 9:12 AM ^

To be fair, Michigan Hoops rarely wins the conference regular season and would never be in position to make a limited NCAA tourney as it is in football. Beilein has thrived the last two years via the postseason conference and national tournaments. Harbaugh and the football team dont get that 2nd opportunity to salvage a season.

Michigan Hoops finished 4th in the Big Ten last year, behind MSU, OSU & Purdue. So if we were determining the big ten basketball champ like we do in football, Beilein would've finished 3rd place in our division and not won the conference. We also ended up a 3 seed, which puts us at least 9th in the country and would've missed out on a 4-team playoff. We would've probably been a Citrus Bowl team with no conference crown.

Two years ago we finished 8th in the conference. 3rd in a hypothetical East division behind MSU & Maryland. A 7th seed in the tourney which equates to probably not even a Top-25 team and would have gone to a garbage December bowl game.

Harbaugh would've been blasted for those seasons. Beilein is celebrated. Those two seasons were considered huge successes around here ONLY because of the life line afforded by the end-of-season basketball tournament structure. You have to go back to 2013-14 to find a Beilein season on par with what the football team just did this year - a regular season conference championship and top-8 ranking.

Not mad at Beilein, program is humming and the team looks phenomonal. But using his success to bash Harbaugh is idiotic. It's apples and oranges and if you try to draw parallels, Harbaugh has crushed Beilein in terms of regular season success (which is all he's afforded).


gpsimms not to…

November 30th, 2018 at 10:32 AM ^

You forgot to divide. top 25 in basketball != top 25 in football.

If basketball had a "4 team playoff" equivalent to football, then it would really be more like a 12 team playoff. So a 3 seed probably makes the CFP equivalent in basketball. That has happened a few times in Beilein's tenure, and I think that most people will be happy with Harbaugh if he makes the playoffs at a rate equal to that.


Reggie Dunlop

November 30th, 2018 at 10:43 AM ^

Fair enough. But remember, we're taking stock of the football team after only the regular season. Last year's 3-seed came because of a Big Ten tourney run to boost our stock immediately before the national tourney. They were #17 in the country after the regular season. So you can't really count that. 

In fact, in addition to last year's B1G Tourney-boosted 3-seed, Michigan's next best NCAA tourney seedings under Beilein are two 4-seeds and one 2-seed in 2013-14, which was also boosted by the B1G tourney as Michigan was No. 12 in the country after the regular season. AT BEST, given your adjusted caveat, Beilein might have squeaked in to ONE playoff appearance in his 11 seasons here, that coming in year 7.

Either way, it's all hypothetical. This really doesn't even warrant the keystrokes I've spent on it already. The point is that these are not level playing fields. They cannot be compared and I wish people would stop using basketball's success to take an unnecessary (and illogical) shot at Jim Harbaugh.