Next season

Submitted by michgoblue on November 10th, 2013 at 2:37 PM
As most have pointed out in the myriad threads, this season is over. Aside from the OSU game, none have much relevance aside from hopefully stopping the slide that we are on. While I don't agree with the numerous posters who say that they will no longer watch, no longer wear M gear or no longer spend or donate money, I was hoping to start a thread about reasons for optimism for next season.

I really want to avoid having this tin in to a discussion of Hoke, Borges, Funk or coaching change. For purposes of that goal, lets just assume that next year we will be coached by hoke, mattison, and a middle of the road, manball-oriented, u exciting but fairy competent offensive staff. Basically, the best case Borges.

So, why are you positive on next season?

Here's my attempt:

1. The D has been pretty good this year. Given how many drives opponents have, you can argue that the d has been very good. There have been periods of inconsistency, but that is to be excepted of such a young team. The good news is that just about the entire D should be back. All a year older and stronger and more experiences. Also, next year some of our big 2011 / 2912 recruits should be ready to contribute significantly.

2. WR position. Yes we lose our best receiver in gallon, but man am I excited to see funchess as an Older, more refined received. He is going to be such a dominant force. Add in Chesson (who has steadily improved throughout the season and has a ton of upside), Darboh (who had a ton a preseason hype) and some f the incoming players and this skill group should be really strong for us.

3. TE. Butt is contributing well as a true freshman at a tough position for a true freshman to play. Given another year to grow and develop, he is going to be very good.

4. Devin, the run game and the OL. Here's my thinking. We lose Lewan and scoffield. So we should be worse, right. Guess what? That would be impossible. We literally cannot be worse on this front. At worst, we are the same, but if there is even a slight improvement in the line, we could be significantly better on offense.

Thoughts? Opinions?


The Dirty Nil

November 10th, 2013 at 4:38 PM ^

Players coach.. Do we really believe Hoke and co. would, for lack of a better word, "demote" Gardner to receiver? I think it would be the correct move and would put him in a better position to use the abilities he has, but still.. I don't think they'll even consider that unless it's Gardner's choice. Just my opinion.


November 10th, 2013 at 4:42 PM ^

They should do it for the remainder of the season. I said it yesterday bench toussaint and start green and Morris the season is over let them get the experience for next season. Honestly it's the only way hoke can gain back some respect. Switching Gardner to receiver is an idea with gallon gone we won't have much experience just a bunch of stars next to some name


November 10th, 2013 at 7:07 PM ^

He is too dynamic of a player to not have the ball in his hands as often as possible. He has made strides in recent weeks with cutting down on turnovers, and last I checked has accounted for 20+ touchdowns this year (something he wouldn't be able to do at WR).

Do people not understand that Devin has not even started two full years yet at QB? He will most likely make significant improvements next year to become a more consistent player. He does need to learn to throw the ball away more, but that is not something that can not be improved on. To throw him under the bus in not even his second full year when he has no running game to support him, is being coached by a predictable OC and is playing behind an awful o-line is borderline ridiculous.

Also his mobility has created alot of plays out of nothing this year (though it has created some negative ones as well). Those positive plays made out of nothing would not have occured with a less mobile QB back there.

Morris will get his shot in 2015, UM doesn't need to throw another inexperienced QB out there. That has happened far too often in recent years.

Perkis-Size Me

November 10th, 2013 at 4:26 PM ^

Wait until next year. Wait until next year. Wait until next year.

How many times have we been saying this to ourselves? That next year is going to be "our year?" A lot of coaches have done more with less in a shorter timespan. I don't see any excuses left on the table anymore.


November 10th, 2013 at 4:36 PM ^

Said we were 2-3 years away before this year. Popular opinion said next year to challenge for B10, 2 years from national relevance. Sadly this is the 2nd straight year of the Center, guard, guard combo being a huge question mark. Preview said we would get better just due to the 3 freshman/ sophmores couldn't be worse than last year, they certainly haven't been better

Perkis-Size Me

November 10th, 2013 at 4:44 PM ^

If we still have Borges and Funk around next year, it won't matter how much the o-line improves in the offseason. Teams will continually stack the box and Borges will refuse to do anything but run right smack into the middle of it.

I don't see us winning a big ten title with either of those guys as members of our staff. Their respective units have gotten progressively worse each year since they've been here.


November 10th, 2013 at 4:54 PM ^

Maybe not. Having a returning QB should allow more audibles. And watch yesterday's game again. More than half of those runs looked like banging your head into a wall at first glance were really just one missed assignment from 5-10 yard gains.

Remember we are only 2 weeks removed from the best offensive performance in school history. (Halfway joking but really)

Oddly enough UM has had 1 season in the past 6 years where both the QB and OC both returned


November 10th, 2013 at 4:29 PM ^

I am optimistic for next year though we will need some competent offensive coaches. The defense should take a step forward. In fact we may be similar to MSU though again depending on if we make a change and on who we get we will have talent on the offensive side of the ball.

There is a foundation here we just need the right people on the bus in terms of coaches to activate it.

Regardless, I'll still be in Evanston next weekend largely because I live in Lincoln Park and my friend is planning on coming into town to watch the game with me.


November 10th, 2013 at 4:46 PM ^

We are bringing back 7 starters from the oline! ( but will have to bring in 1-2 new guys). Miller, Glasgow, Kalis, brzynski?, Bryant, Magnuson, and Bosch, not to mention not playing a true freshman at TE.

From what I saw yesterday, tackle in this offense is the easiest spot to pick up. Guards are constantly pulling and trying to target the correct guy. This year of experience should really help.

Losing Gallon, Dileo, and Fitz isn't great, but we have the next guy up identified. The b10 once went 6 straight years with only senior QBs going to the Rose Bowl. Having a 5th year returning QB is a HUGE deal.


November 10th, 2013 at 9:26 PM ^

none of those returning olinemen for 2014 look like they should be starting right now.  Maybe the light comes on for a couple of them between now and September next year, but to me UM's oline prospects don't look that good for next year.


November 10th, 2013 at 4:40 PM ^

We will be better, but incrementally so . Lewan and Gallon are losses but all others probably have replacements with higher ceilings. Schedule tougher because of away games opponents . I hate to say this but Gardner should probably go back to WR. Coaches won't do it , but w/o a spectacular turnaround the rest of the year one has to wonder if the team will really support him at QB given this years slide. Of course , the entire offensive staff needs to be replaced as well as DB coach. The only thing worse than a disappointing season is winter, spring and summer with no football.


November 10th, 2013 at 4:51 PM ^

I agree with a new DB coach as well..  People think mallory is good, but he came from IU where his dad or brother coaches, and the secondary has continually gotten worse year to year..




November 10th, 2013 at 10:34 PM ^

I think the coach should be d-line because the secondary and d-line work in tandem. You need pressure to play tight man coverage. A HC and a DC spending part of their time coaching that position I don't think is acceptable ... A dedicated guy, much like in the first season of the Hoke regime, can work wonders. Focus and dedication are legitimate. Not saying Hoke and Mattison are bad coaches - I can't expect them to do everything at once while still having stellar line play.


November 10th, 2013 at 5:38 PM ^

You do realize that if Hoke is the inept one here, all we will hear next season as excuses for failure will be "not knowing the new offensive system" all year long. That, and of course, poor execution from a technique standpoint.


November 10th, 2013 at 6:21 PM ^

Who cares about the skill positions you mentioned.  How about the OL and DL?!?  Can't do anything else if they suck.  And they do.  No reason to think they'll get better with Borges, Funk, and to a lesser degree Fred Jackson around.  (Why can't the RBs pickup a blitz?)

Have you looked at next year's schedule?  We'll be lucky to win 6-7 games.  The home slate of games is also terrible and includes the Horror part II.  It's possible that we'll barely get to 100,000 in attendance for some home games next year.





November 11th, 2013 at 1:03 AM ^

Is it really so hard to formulate an educated opinion? There is no problem with you thinking this but state why. The whole point on this thread was to discuss and debate why, or why not, to be excited for next season. Not just throw insults towards the staff or team.


November 10th, 2013 at 8:07 PM ^

I'm a Mich fan, slappy, whatever you wanna call it.

I will always wear Mich stuff. I will always support the school and my team.

I know my limits...but I will not, because a team doesn't live up to my expectations, quit. I love Mich and bleed maize and blue.

If you stop donating, rooting, going to games because they aren't the best team in the world. Fine, that's your choice, but loyalty wins for me. I know where that stands, with the school I grew up with and the school I graduated from.

I am excited every year. No matter what. Football and basketball. My M flag flies high in front of my house. I don't care if you like it...

Go blue!


November 10th, 2013 at 10:30 PM ^

Not to mention we are a top 10 university in academics. If I ever get to the point where the athletics mean more to me than my education and my experiences in Ann Arbor, shoot me. I wear M apparel because I love the school and that ain't changing.

You don't want to wear it, fine. See you later bandwagonites.


November 10th, 2013 at 8:08 PM ^

Has anyone ever thought that maybe it's not coaching? Maybe it's the players...

I'm not saying either way...but winning cures all.

Stop listening to Whitlock and the other talking heads that think they know all the answers...

Form your own opinions.


November 10th, 2013 at 9:26 PM ^

I said nothing about luck...but, luck plays a small roll.

Just cuz you get 5 star recruits doesn't mean you going to be great...

Coaching has something to do with it...but a coach can yell and scream for days...IT STILL HAS TO BE EXECUTED!

It's a combination of both. You cannot blame the coaching staff for everything.


November 10th, 2013 at 9:40 PM ^

The 'it's on the players' argument has been around for a few weeks now. My point is, why is it that Saban, Meyer, etc. never seem to have execution problems? Are they the luckiest guys in the world in terms of players never screwing up? If you are the coach of a team and your players continually fail to execute, that's on you. If you take a dog home and never house break it, is it the dog's fault when it pees all over the living room rug?

A kicker misses a game-winning field goal, that's something I wouldn't blame a coach for. Players across the board looking helpless and failing to execute the simplest of things week after week? That's on coaching.


November 10th, 2013 at 10:46 PM ^

Your argument is fine. I just feel it's both. Not just the coaches. The coaches lost the players.

Blame that one whoever you want. Listen...we could be Florida.

Hoke is fine. He didn't do a good job...this year. Carr has rough years too. 7 of his 13 years coaching he had 9 or less wins. 7-5 in 2005.

Personally I think it's an offensive thing. Borges issue. But that's me...

Defensively...I think the players just aren't very good. Overrated. We need to recruit our system. Dantonio has done a great job with this. He has players that 'buy in'. We need that. Mich can't sell itself anymore with hoke. He needs to sell his system.

Peppers is a great start. Hand would help. McDowell would be awesome. But they NEED to buy in. We all can be michigan men...but can you play that way???


November 10th, 2013 at 10:13 PM ^

I believe the OL will be the same or marginally better in 2014.  That scares me. The OL needs to take about 4 steps forward just to be considered average; at best I see 1-2.  I am scared that Green has not flashed in any game not called CMU.  I have not seen 1 run that made me say "Wow almost like Yeldon..." or "This is our Hyde".  I hope he surprises me but I have yet to see a thing.  Drake Johnson is a mystery as is D. Smith.

You mention the WRs - I like Chesson starting to emerge and Funchess Chesson and the legend of Darboh would make a decent top 3 I hope, and you assume one of the RS frosh this year make a leap next year.  But Gallon is great...and Chesson or Darboh is not Gallon.  So even with Funchess out there, it's a drop off IMO.

Devin will be a senior and I hope he gets his swag back and more importantly is able to read defenses better and find his 2nd option.  If not its all moot.  Butt should be a very nice player next year.

The defense should be better - hopes for Taco, Mario, Wormley, Henry on the line...Pipkins has yet to flash, we'll see if he does next year.  Clark was not that effective vs Neb but seemed to improve vs MSU.  If he can put it together his senior year it would be a plus but I dont count on it because it is ...Clark.  LBs I thought would be great for us this year but thus far have been above average - some of that is probably due to an average DL; if they were left clean I think they might impress more. Next year you have a senior and healthy JMFR, a senior Morgan, and a senior Beyer along with Ross who I incorrectly thought would have a massive breakoutout 2013.  Maybe in 2014.  So I will throw the hat in the ring and say LBs will be great next year and top unit on team.  In secondary, Stribling with a year under his belt I am excited about.   Taylor and Countess come back as 3 year starters - if Mattison does not play press next year than he will never play press.  We'll see if Peppers does stuff as a frosh but based on Green hype and this staff I cant get excited about any freshman right now.

We don't have a FG kicker we can count on, and a punter who shanks it 1-2x a game.  Disappointing at this type of program.

I see another 7-5 type of season with losses at EL and Columbus guaranteed and ND likely.  Tough games versus Utah at home and PSU.  And 2-3 other games the fan base is saying "wow how the heck is this game a (a) close win or (b) a loss".   I dont see us dominating anyone but maybe 2 teams on the schedule. I see a great chance of Hoke being fired in 12 months with what I believe will happen in Columbus behind a senior Braxton next year and a defense, unlike ours, showing playmakers starting to pop everywhere among their TRUE freshman (Bosa), RS Freshman, and sophomores.  If Hoke loses by 25+ in AA and 25+ in Columbus back to back, I dont know how you defend him.


November 11th, 2013 at 12:58 AM ^

But you think our linebackers have only been average? Our safeties don't lead the team in tackles for once I believe cuz the linebackers are there. Ross is the best playmaker in that group till Ryan's healthy and he hasn't "broken out" as you say because for some reason bolden keeps seeing the field and that kid just does not get the mental side of the game. They have been good as a unit this year.

Next year we get haggerup back punting problem solved. And is wile back? Cuz he's not an awful FG kicker. Clark will be better even if it isn't up to peoples standard. And we will have way better receiver depth than we've had since the Braylon, avant, breaston, Arrington, manningham, tabb days. So I don't get the gloom at the WR position.

Really it is up to the coaching of the oline. If there's no development there were hard pressed to move significantly forward.


November 10th, 2013 at 10:17 PM ^

Public suicide attempts are not looked at kindly in ann arbor. They tackled me after I doused myself in gasoline but before I could light the match. Now my skin is all dry and itchy.