Michigan will be _ - _ in FB next year

Submitted by 1464 on January 2nd, 2013 at 2:20 PM

 

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Big Ten

Big Ten Championship Game
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
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(stolen from http://www.fbschedules.com/ncaa-13/big-ten/2013-michigan-wolverines-football-schedule.php )

 

College football is unofficially officially over, especially on this site.  Let me be the first of many posters to make this thread.  What are your way too early predictions for next year? This year went as many posters predicted.  We had a better football team but a lesser record. 

I would really like to establish a QB with an arm.  I loved Denard, but seeing him tear it up at RB opened my eyes to the fact that he still would have been Denard at any position.  He should have been on the field for the final kickoff return of the game as well.  Hell, maybe he shoulda been out there for all of them.

I think that next year will be a good year for the Wolverines.  I still think that 2015-2016 is when we are reaping the fruits of this recruiting, so I cannot call us world beaters next year, but we should be the front runner to get to the BTCG.  Kinnick is a hard place to play, but Iowa is a tire fire.  Sparty gon' Spart.  We are likely looking at Notre Dame, Nebraska, and Ohio as defining our season.  We CAN win all those games.  We should win at least one of them.  I think that if we get a lot luck, we can go 13-0, as there are no huge threats on our schedule.  I see that 13-0 as being the same as ND or OSU this year.  Those were very soft unbeaten schedules (one of them will be cut short in a few days).  I can also reasonably see us losing 3 games, at 9-3.  So that is my likely range, and going off the schedule, the conference, the recruiting, and the players coming back, I don't see that as being overly optimistic.

Comments

reshp1

January 2nd, 2013 at 2:25 PM ^

9-3

Defense will probably be pretty good, but I don't see our O line and receiver issues getting any better unless a bunch of people have break-out seasons.

 

reshp1

January 2nd, 2013 at 2:57 PM ^

Gallon yes, but I don't think Funchess will be that much of a threat. He had a break-out game this year against AF, but his production trailed off after teams were able to scout him. He'll be a weapon and matchup problem in red zone and key situations, but I don't see him as a down field weapon. That said, if he puts on some weight and gets better at blocking, his usage and production could both increase. 

jmblue

January 2nd, 2013 at 3:10 PM ^

The issue with Funchess this year was that he wasn't a very good blocker, so when he came into the game, it telegraphed the pass.  (Also, he was a true freshman, and who knows how well he knew the playbook.  Under normal circumstances, he'd have redshirted.)  With an offseason to bulk up and work on his blocking, he should be able to develop into an all-around TE next season.   

funkywolve

January 2nd, 2013 at 3:59 PM ^

was UM's lack of a running game.  The play action is often used to hold the LB's so the tight end can find a hole between the safeties and LB's.  However, as you mentioned Funchess in the game usually telegraphed pass and with no running threat out of the rb's, there was no reason for the LB's to bite on the play action.

The other issue is outside of Gallon, UM's wr's didn't do much.  Teams didn't worry about having to double team Roundtree or Dileo.  You can production out of both wr's and a viable running game, and the field opens up which gives Funchess more space in the middle of the field.

Mich1993

January 2nd, 2013 at 3:08 PM ^

I see Funchess breaking out big next year.  This year with Gardner, I think Borges was avoiding throwing over the middle to limit turnovers.  Gardner needs work on not telegraphing passes, and I think that's why he didn't go over the middle to Funchess.  Next year, our biggest weapons ourside of Gardner are Gallon and Funchess.  Borges will set up the offense to maximize their production. 

akim

January 2nd, 2013 at 2:57 PM ^

I'm thinking 9-3, though I think our schedule gives time for our oline to mesh before the real competition (with the exception of ND, which may serve as the early challenge to show where they need to be).  3 losses, to either ND, Northwestern, Nebraska, MSU, and OSU.  With all the home games and our track record at home, and Northwestern being almost like a home game, I think we win 2 of these games.

MattisonMan

January 2nd, 2013 at 3:46 PM ^

I'll go with 9-3.  (Loss to ND or PSU, MSU or NU, and OSU).  I consider this a shade pessimistic, since the schedule is very favorable.  

 

Big questions:

Do we have a competent center?

Can the sophomore receivers replace Roundtree?

Will we be able to get a decent pass rush from the DE spots?

Can we live without Kovacs (M. Robinson or D. Thomas)?

Rabbit21

January 2nd, 2013 at 2:25 PM ^

On the one hand, we have uncertainty on the offense everywhere but at QB and even there depth is rough.  On the other hand I don't see any games I would call a likely loss, to go with five toss-ups.  I'm thinking 9-3 sounds about right for the regular season.

jblaze

January 2nd, 2013 at 2:54 PM ^

Wr: lose Roundtree, but gain Darboh and Chesson (1 of them has to be good, right?)!

OL, we lose a bunch, but have good recruiting

RB (assuming no/ <100% Fitz) we are kind of screwed (maybe Green works out or Rawls gets better?)

QB: Solid with Devin, death as a backup

TE: Set with Funchess

I think offensively we are worse, mainly because of losing Denard and a few O-line guys, but another year in Borge's system with all practices of said system and Devin Gardner, who is pretty solid mitigates some of that.

ijohnb

January 2nd, 2013 at 2:27 PM ^

will be young - uneven in football next year.

Can't put a win loss on it.  They will be young, talented, but very inexperienced at key places on offense.  They need a running back, lord willing Fitz can make it back.

They will win quite a few, lose a couple or three, and probably play in the Capital One Bowl.  A couple of years until big things still.

UMaD

January 2nd, 2013 at 2:29 PM ^

OL is the big question on offense, especially pass protection.  Gardner and Gallon can make plays.  Williams/Funchess should be better. etc.

I expect an elite defense, as long as Wilson can step into the defensive backfield, we should be extremely good.

The schedule looking relatively favorable, which should help the OL transition leading up to a very tough November.

Not sure 9-3 will be enough to see OSU in the Big 10 championship, because Nebraska dodges OSU and Wisconsin both.

Most Important Game of the Year:  home vs. Nebraska.

C Tron

January 2nd, 2013 at 2:55 PM ^

but keep in mind that while Nebraska will be good, they are a horrible road team.  I think our chances of winning that game are very favorable.

That being said, I think our record will be surprisingly good next year given that the tough games are being played at home, similar to 2011.  I say 10-2 maybe 11-1.

 

UMaD

January 2nd, 2013 at 3:21 PM ^

Agree that Nebraska will be a winnable game at home. However, Michigan could easily stumble on the road given the difficult November schedule and Notre Dame will be a very tough test so early in the year for a young OL.  Luckily, there is a bye leading up to MSU, but I think Michigan will be fortunate to only lose 2 in the conference schedule.

Even with most of the team looking strong, the OL is such a major obstacle that it would take a lot of things going right for Michigan to have a 1 or 2 loss season. Using 4 totally inexperienced starters (and one position switch) along the OL is tough to overcome, no matter what their recruiting rankings are.

 

coldnjl

January 2nd, 2013 at 2:31 PM ^

I think the WR problem is overstated...if Gardner hit open Wrs even half the time in the bowl game, I think we could have won by at least a TD. I think Dileo is good and I expect either Darboh, Lewis, or Chesson will step in to the starting lineup. I also think Funchess will help hide concerns in the passing game.  However, the OL is concerning, but I think it will be good enough to go 9-3 with a 95% CI of 2.2 

akim

January 2nd, 2013 at 3:09 PM ^

Why PSU, if I may ask?  They lost their seniors and the scholly reds and transfers will start to hit them next year.  I don't think it'll be easy but I don't expect to lose that game either.

1M1Ucla

January 3rd, 2013 at 3:52 PM ^

You guys judge a guy for trolling when he expresses a little old-guy pessimism?

I don't waste much time posting here because the site has turned from a place for a decent conversation into an junior high school playground with all the little whiny bitches complaining about whether the title was descriptive enough, or whether another little boy was following the rules, the assholes who just want to fight if you challenge an idea, the little boys with the hormones chasing the girls, the little boys who want to be big boys talking about how much they are drinking tonight, and the guys who dream of being high school heroes.

Break into the lineup, then talk.

When you've played more games there than I have, put 'em up on the table.

johnvand

January 2nd, 2013 at 2:32 PM ^

On paper, we more than likely lose to ND.  Admittedly, I haven't looked into what they return on defense, but if they have a Dline anything like this year's, our 4 new starters on OLine in the second game will likely have issues.

I like that we get Neb and OSU at home, should be W's.

I don't like traveling to East Lansing, but do like that we get an extra week to prepare.

@PSU is typically scary, but we'll see if O'Brien bolts to the NFL.  I'd expect some players and recruits to also bolt.  

@NW is a concern.  They're getting better, and we're due for our once-a-decade Evanston loss.

I'd say L's to ND, MSU and/or NW.

Man, why couldn't we have played that schedule this year?  So much easier.

phork

January 2nd, 2013 at 7:32 PM ^

On offense we lose Eifert, possibly Wood, Riddick.  If Wood leaves we have a stable of capable RBs to fill in (Amir Carlisle he of SC transfer, George Atkinson III).  We'll lose 1 OL, if I recall, and our WR corps will remain untouched, with the exception of Riddick in the slot.  That job will fall to more than likely Davonte Neal.  He is a Norfleet type guy.

We'll lose Teo on defense.

The Lurking Irish

January 2nd, 2013 at 5:27 PM ^

Will return current starters Nix and Tuitt (NG, and DE). Gone is Kapron Lewis Moore, whose spot will likely be taken by Sheldon Day who played well as a FR this year. He's probably going to be a better pass rusher than Lewis Moore but is likely not as strong of a run defender. The other key backups return across the board for the DL as well.

The defense will almost certainly take a step back without Teo, but Nix returning and Diaco presumably staying on as DC again next year are big reasons for optimism for ND's D in '13.

 

Trebor

January 2nd, 2013 at 2:33 PM ^

There's not a single game on the schedule that we can't win, so 12-0 (hell, 14-0 with a NC) is totally possible. But there are too many issues for me to actually predict that. Will the OL be ok with 4 new starters? Will we have a Big Ten level RB? Can any WRs not named Gallon step up and produce? Can Countess return from his injury without any problems? How will the secondary be without Kovacs?

I'm going to say 10-2, with the most likely losses to ND and OSU (the two teams that will be able to truly exploit our OL).

Butterfield

January 2nd, 2013 at 2:33 PM ^

How easy does this schedule look in comparison to the past year's schedule?  Big part of it is not starting with Alabama, but it's so much different having ND and OSU at home.  Not as good to play Sparty on the road, obviously, but I'm still going to say win there. 

No W/L projection from me, but I'm very confident that the team will be in a BCS bowl at a minimum. 

Needs

January 2nd, 2013 at 2:34 PM ^

I'm far from a Notre Dame fan, but it's silly to discount their undefeated schedule. Sure, USC was down, but they still won at Oklahoma, and beat Stanford, in addition to beating Michigan. They were lucky to survive the Stanford and Pitt games, but their schedule wasn't soft. Ohio State's was soft, ND's wasn't.

As for Michigan next year, Denard's injury may provide a hidden benefit of getting Devin experience in big games and hostile environments. You could see in the past two games what his main weaknesses are ... occasional inaccuracy and a tendency to hold onto the ball too long. Now the coaches know what they have to work on with him. I'll say we go 10-2, losing to ND and, in an upset, to Northwestern, but still going to the championship game. 

Needs

January 2nd, 2013 at 2:49 PM ^

The OP, for one, described it as "a very soft unbeaten schedule." They've actually played a more difficult schedule than Alabama. They certainly got lucky numerable times, though.

If by "sustainable," you mean, "beating Alabama," I think you're right. If you mean, "consistently fielding better teams than the past 20 years," I think you're unfortunately wrong. This season is going to bolster ND's ability to recruit, removing the "why would you go there, you're just going to go 7-5 every year?" burden. As long as Kelly stays there, I think they'll be strong. (Cmon NFL).

1464

January 2nd, 2013 at 3:08 PM ^

Let me specify, as I was unclear about what I meant.

They are a very beatable unbeaten team.  I think that will be evidenced with the MNC they are about to get blown out in.  Outside of us and our multiple unforced errors, they could have lost to Pitt and Purdue.  Their schedule was not soft, but Stanford did not impress me that much in the Rose Bowl.  Oklahoma was a coup, I gave them little chance in that game.  I give them an even smaller chance in the title game.  I think they are a very good, but not great team.

Crime Reporter

January 2nd, 2013 at 2:35 PM ^

I think we will be solid on defense and pretty good offensively, but obviously injuries and the development of the offensive line will be vital to our success. Right now, I see us about where we were in 2012.

Granted, I will probably change the prediction based on how the spring game looks and whatnot.

BrownJuggernaut

January 2nd, 2013 at 2:36 PM ^

If you asked me right now, I'd say we're optimistically a 11-1 or 12-0 team, depending on what happens against Ohio State. A LOT of that will depend on how the offensive line looks. If it is as bad as it was this year, I can see us struggling against Notre Dame's D. Defensively, we'll lose Campbell, Roh, Demens, Floyd and Kovacs, but I think we have plenty of guys who can step up in their places. Defensively, we'll be as good, if not better. The offense will be the big question.

I feel fairly confident that we see Michigan and Ohio State play twice next year. I know a lot of people will be pissed about this, but I love the intensity of The Game, and it'll make for two awesome battles.