Paul Myerberg for USA Today: UM football at #18

Submitted by 2014 on August 19th, 2013 at 9:54 PM

For those that don't know Myerberg, his knowlege of college football is unparalleled for my dollar. He's a great follow on Twitter.

Very good write up overall, especially for someone who doesn't obsess over Michigan football on a daily basis. Hard to argue with his overall assessment of the season. Bonus: he gives Mgoblog some love at the end:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/bigten/2013/08/19/michigan-2013-preview-college-football-countdown/2672267/

Comments

LSAClassOf2000

August 19th, 2013 at 10:14 PM ^

Interesting consistency - relatively speaking -  in the ranking almost regardless of origin apparently. We were #17 in the AP and Coaches' Polls as well as the simulated BCS calculation on SBNation and #18 here. We are also #19 in the preseason Sagarin ratings, I think, and #20 over at Massey's site. 

rockydude

August 19th, 2013 at 10:29 PM ^

Although I think he might have been a tad bit off in his assumptions of who will play a few line spots, I thought that it was a really well written and well reasoned article. It's hard for me to find a significant point in there that I disagree with.

If we do have to lose two games though, I'd prefer that we lose to Nebraska and Northwestern as opposed to the Domers, Sparty, or Ohio . . . .  (duh)

Kramer

August 19th, 2013 at 10:31 PM ^

I had to stop reading after this line: "On the weak side, UM can go with one of two sophomores, James Ross III or Royce Jenkins-Stone. Ross seems like the favorite heading into the opener." Not sure what info I can get from someone who doesn't know Ross is 100% starting and a buddy star.

Magnus

August 20th, 2013 at 7:02 AM ^

When you do previews for 120+ teams, they're bound not to be caught up 100% with the nuance of every team. I'm sure just about every team can find a thing or two to nitpick with their preview.

there_in_2005

August 19th, 2013 at 11:16 PM ^

can somebody tell TremendousUM that linking to a video of jabril peppers laying out a kid half his size and half his talent on a crackback block during a scrimmage is not something i would be all giddy about man. come on.

GoBlueBalls

August 20th, 2013 at 1:01 AM ^

Co-sign the OP. Big fan of Myerburg, and he is a good follow on twitter. This was a remarkably detailed preview when he's pumping one out for every FBS team. He did miss the Marvin Robinson transfer, saying he was in competition for safety, but I'll let that slide. Very fair preview and prediction from an "outsider."

ScruffyTheJanitor

August 20th, 2013 at 7:20 AM ^

but since he called Taco Charlton a RS Freshman, HE MUST BE AN IDIOT. 

Seriously, though, that is an actual, factual, knowledgeable and even handed  review. Its like an HTTV synopsis without the snark, cool stories about former presidents, or the NEXT LEVEL obsession. 

bronxblue

August 20th, 2013 at 11:15 AM ^

Good stuff.  I'm sure it is my bias, but people talk about OSU running away with this conference even though, on paper, they have as many holes as teams like Nebraska and UM.  I always thought 9 or 10 wins, tops, for this team given the schedule, but who knows.  

charblue.

August 20th, 2013 at 1:09 PM ^

When you write a lot of them, you hope to hit the high notes and provide a few insights. That was accomplished here. In fact, this preview is extremely upbeat and makes it clear why Michigan failed last year compared to Hoke's first season in a way few other season summaries often do, noting the flip in positive to negative turnover margin and failure to defend spread teams as well as others with the seeming effectiveness that Mattison's defensive scheme and discipline, and mantra of running to the ball, has made in just two years. The article points out the incongruent offense Michigan was forced to run under Denard last year, and Oline woes which still remain a question mark about the tailback running game especially on the interior front. 

Yes, the matchup contests for this season and the backend lineup of games pose the greatest risk and major opportunity for a 9-3 or better season. Hard to argue that. 

Michigan must reduce its turnovers, must be more efficient on offense in its matchup tests against the rivals at home and succeed in winning the LOS on the road both on offense and defense. 

I am not going to hedge here, what I like best about this team is its attitude and desire to improve. This is not about skill level which comes with both game experience and growth under fire, competing when faced with adversity. We all know this. Strength of character is what I see being built and it can carry your team a long way. 

Michigan's season last year was impacted by throwing way too many interceptions. It cost them the ND game, which was winnable, and nearly against Northwestern, when they were saved by a play just as was the case the year before against ND. If Michigan wins that game in South Bend, may be the season is different, maybe not. Even though Gardner threw a pick in nearly every game he started last year, I expect his accuracy and production to be the reason this team soars offensively this year. It will positievly impact the running game, making it better than it might be until the Oline gels. 

Finally, I agree with the general view that prognosticators looking at Ohio and penciling the Buckeyes in as national title contenders without serious examination, are simply ignoring the conference battles they will face this year with a team that isn't any more expereinced defensively in its front seven than say Purdue or even Michigan. They have potential stars on the Dline and secondary, which is more than solid, but overall, a defense that isn't complete as Alabama can say. Am I missing something here? I guess because they went undefeated, the idea is this will automatically reoccur. Why? 

I am not denying the kind of potential offensive efficiency and explosiveness that Miller offers at quarterback along with some standout backs, and potential gamebreaker receivers. The problem is Miller hasn't demonstrated that he can deliver a consistent passing game with high end results that you usually attribute to a guy in his position. He is what he is, a tremendous runner with a rocket arm who has never been a major passing threat. All he's done is win games. And, in the end, that's all that matters. But I think Ohio's road is not as Rosy or as BCS compatible as everyone thinks.