February 7th, 2018 at 10:52 AM ^

Michigan is going to field a very talented team next year.  The question marks at OT and QB are big, but maybe only two teams on Michigan's schedule (ND and OSU) will be more talented than the Wolverines. 

And Michigan's 2019 class looks like it will be very good right now.  They might lose some of those guys if they don't win in 2019, but that's true for any team.  Winning in 2019 - if it happens - will make everything seem much better.  Things change fast.  Nobody would have listed Georgia as a top five program just a year ago.


February 7th, 2018 at 11:17 AM ^

with the other top programs in the country, we really shouldn't be having "down years" going into year 4.

If you do have a shitty year i.e lose to your rivals, lose your bowl game in abysmal fashion and then keep the coaches who likely contributed to losing said games, you shouldn't lose recruiting battles later on without a few plan Bs.

Yeah the narrative sucks right now but you have to agree it's somewhat fitting with our current coaching climate. Harbaugh's the right man, we just need some results.


February 7th, 2018 at 12:25 PM ^

I disagree with your assessment of expectations because they lack context. Here is Dabo Swinney’s record at Clemson:
2008 4-3 (took over mid-season for a failing program)
2009 9-5
2010 6-7
2011 10-4
2012 11-2

I would argue that our “down year” is better. And Dabo didn’t have the advantageous senior laden class that Jim had in Year 2. I honestly think Jim played to the strengths of that team to WIN instead of blowing it up to rebuild in his model (ala Rich Rod). Think of as such and you’re probably more on track.
Year 1 as a fact finding mission.
Year 2 as leading a senior team in what they do best.
Year 3 as a down blip because of youth, coach turnover, scheme changes.

It leaves Year 4 as a chance, with experience and consistent coaching to surpass what a coach like Dabo did and have Michigan humming. I agree that JH is the coach we want and need. His rise is just different and shouldn’t be considered in the same context of other power programs who turned it around.


February 7th, 2018 at 12:34 PM ^

And they have a PWO who is ranked higher than a couple of our scholarship commits. They are recruiting well, but I’m confident we have a good class that fits what we need and we will be just fine. It wasn’t what I was hoping for but since Harbaugh hasn’t shut down the program yet, he must be good with what we have.


February 7th, 2018 at 1:44 PM ^

Actually, the major criticism of this class isn't that it lacks talent (even though it does, relative to UM's standards), it's that it does such an awful job of filling needs.

How do 5 DBs fill a need?  It's already one of the strongest and deepest positions on the team, and it's not like they're all juniors or seniors.

What's up with 3 RBs?  Is that what the team was lacking?  Are they aiming for 12-15 RBs on the roster, or was there some compelling reason this season needed so many?

The weakest position on the team is OT.  They signed zero.  Yes, they have some highly rated young OTs from the last two classes that may work out.  But if you're claiming that this class filled positions of need, I cannot fathom how getting zero players at the weakest position supports that.

It's one year.  If 2019 is comparable to the 2016 or 2017 classes, it will probably be okay in the end.  But if the quality of this class were somehow to become the new norm, Michigan would be looking at 6-6 and 7-5 seasons.  There were just too many whiffs ths year.


February 7th, 2018 at 4:48 PM ^

I think they like punching themselves in the nuts...again and again. Battered and bruised beyond recognition.

Why else whould anyone spend so much time repeating the same down-trodden, sad sap comments over and over and over if saying it just one more time will make it all better.



February 7th, 2018 at 4:48 PM ^

I think they like punching themselves in the nuts...again and again. Battered and bruised beyond recognition.

Why else whould anyone spend so much time repeating the same down-trodden, sad sap comments over and over and over if saying it just one more time will make it all better.



February 7th, 2018 at 4:49 PM ^

I think they like punching themselves in the nuts...again and again. Battered and bruised beyond recognition.

Why else whould anyone spend so much time repeating the same down-trodden, sad sap comments over and over and over if saying it just one more time will make it all better.



February 7th, 2018 at 7:29 PM ^

First, our class settled at 21 in the 247 Composite rankings. So my statement was not exaggerated.

Second, not sure what you mean by "the sky is falling crowd". If you haven't been paying attention we are a program that last won a Big Ten Championship when George W. Bush was president, has won three bowl games in 14 years, has beaten OSU once in 14 years, and are 2-8 in the last 10 years in the MSU rivalry.

I have news for you, the sky isn't falling, it came crashing down a long time ago and it is going to take more than what we saw on field this last season and on the recruiting trail this cycle to raise it up.

if you are happy with those results, good for you. You must be easy to shop for at Christmas. Some of us happen to think Michigan should be better than that.

The Pope

February 7th, 2018 at 11:54 AM ^

ESPN has M at #16 currently.

Not the year we were all hoping for, but I am still pumped about a lot of the guys in this class. Losing Reese is big, but we got a lot of guys who fit Don Brown’s defense, and some nice pieces on offense.

Rankings aren’t everything...Hoke had a year when we all went crazy, and it turned out to be very poor. It’s nice to have highly rated classes, but more important to get guys who fit the system and will work hard...Hutchinson, McGrone, and some others guys fit that description perfectly.

I Just Blue Myself

February 7th, 2018 at 2:13 PM ^

And this might not even turn be a "down year." 

I was surprisingly talking about recruiting with one of my Spartan friends, and he mentioned how State never has highly ranked recruiting classes but they get results on the field yada yada yada. Anyways, he mentioned MSUs 2010 class and how it was only a top 25ish class, but produced a ton of pros. I called him on it, fact checked it, and I'll be damned if he wasn't spot on. According to 247, MSUs class was ranked #22 in the country, but included currently active pros of:

William Gholston, Max Bullough, Keith Mumphery, Marcus Rush, Kurtus Drummund, Tony Lippett, Jeremy Langford, Darqueze Dennard, and Leveon Bell.

So while it appears disappointing that our class may only finish in the top 15, we won't know whether it was a great class, bust, or somewhere in the middle until the players step on the field.


February 7th, 2018 at 3:08 PM ^

Yeah, I also have MSU fans close to me.  Their 2016 class was supposed to be their best ever, like 7 of the top 8 kids from that class aren't with their team anymore and none were world beaters when they were.  Their 2017 class was supposed to be bad and they played like 13 true freshman off of it a few of who started, they think it will be their best class ever.

When we look back, it would not be surprising for us to say that the 2018 class was better than the previous 2.

Rankings over the ling haul are pretty predictive, but they aren't 100% predictive.  


February 7th, 2018 at 11:27 AM ^

* All things being equal in the current environment. We CAN recruit well enough to equal them on the field with good coaching. But they have built in advantages in recruiting we can't match, starting with the state they are in--Ohio has approx. 5 times the talent Michigan has, and zero in-state competition for that talent. And let's just say it--Meyer is a better recruiter than Harbaugh, at least as shown by results so far. 


February 7th, 2018 at 11:44 AM ^

Harbaugh got blown out Year 1 by OSU. Then put us in position to beat them the past two years. Harbaugh isn’t a player on the field. He can’t make speight not throw picks deep in our own territory (one was probably not his fault). He can’t make O’Korn complete passes.

But by all means, the sky is falling. Please continue to make fans look bad, who wouldn’t want to come to Michigan and listen to this?

Neg away.


February 7th, 2018 at 12:44 PM ^

To me, it looked like Michigan did compete with OSU.  In fact, should/could have won the last two years.  They were blown out in year 1, but have played very tough the last two years.  Were you one who thought Harbaugh could take over the tire fire here and immediately destroy OSU, which has been building for YEARS?  


February 7th, 2018 at 1:19 PM ^

I have never bought in to this silly argument that if Harbaugh can't do it, no one can. That is lunacy. There are a lot of good coaches that win championships or compete at a high level. Jim Harbaugh is one of them (except for the championships part) and there are many more. This fatalist attitude is werid and doesn't line up with common sense. 

Right now he is still the guy for the job but last year during the season people on here were talking about (and many encouraging) a lifetime contract. That take didn't age very well so far.


February 7th, 2018 at 1:56 PM ^

I guess what I'm aiming at is UM has certain limitiations, academic standards, and recruiting ethics, etc. that don't apply to other programs. I'm not trying to imply that JH is Jesus and only he is qualified to bring UM to success because there are certainly plenty of guys who can win. Only that no matter who the coach is, there are challenges that other programs don't have to worry about.


February 7th, 2018 at 4:42 PM ^

There is a reason that UM is not considered the top HC job in CFB despite the tradition, money and alumni support. 1. The HS talent pool is not a hotbed. 2. The school believes the football team augments the reputation that is truly built on academics - the President will never say “I work for the coach” a la Pres Gee. 3. SEC recruiting tactics will NEVER be accepted (hostesses, lying, blatant shadiness). 4. OSU/Bama/USC have JUCO recruit(s) almost every year because they prioritize talent over all else.

It’s not bullshit or excuses or sour grapes. It’s not a morality or superiority statement. The UM coaches (and large staff) simply must identify talent better, persuade the right ones and then develop them better.