Here is a random collection of Michigan football thoughts. While some of this may be "statements of the obvious," your comments are welcome. Note that I love Michigan football and do have many positive things to say about them. However, this post is meant to be a "look in the mirror" with an eye toward getting better.
1) Jim Harbaugh is a lot like Bo Schembechler. Both ran a run-heavy offense that was predicated on having a dominant man on man advantage over your opponent. As was the case with Bo, this will work against much of the Big Ten/the non-conference schedule, but will often fail against OSU, at least 1 other B1G opponent, and many likely bowl opponents. With more parity in college football these days, JH will do slightly worse than Bo if things continue this way. A National Championship is out of the question, but finishes near number 10 nationally (with a bowl loss more often than not) will become the norm. Just like Bo. We can do better.
2) JH and staff are great teachers of fundamentals. Marginal players often become Solid players. Huge gaffes are much less common than they were under Brady Hoke. What disturbs me is that Good or Very Good players do not become Great players. Great players do not become Superstars (although I appreciate him, I consider Rashan Gary a disappointment). We desperately need people to make big plays. I wonder if the emphasis on "doing your job" is taken to such an extent that people in this system are just not free enough to make big plays?
3) The weakness of Wisconsin and MSU this year makes our season look even worse.
4) We have a good QB and good receivers. Our O Line has improved. At this point, our offensive issues look increasingly schematic. I like how the offense is simpler this year, but we still have too many plays that require multiple things to go right vs a quick hitting offense that uses misdirection to quickly get people the ball in space.
5) Every year the team peaks after the first third of the season and then looks bad in the final third of the season. This is even after adjusting for the end of year strength of schedule (e.g., we always seem to struggle with Indiana). Is our team tired and worn out at the end of the year? Are 4 hour practices good at the start of the year and counter-productive at the end? Is there another issue that contributes to this end of year physical and mental fatigue?
6) I did not care for the outright arrogance of the players after the big win streak that they had this year. Guaranteeing wins and blabbering about the Revenge Tour. I thought the coaches showed this same arrogance in the uncreative game plans vs OSU/Florida that smacked of arrogance. The 2017 OSU game plan was VERY creative because we (correctly) assumed we were the underdog. The 2018 game plan seemed to assume that we were just the better team. We need to smack this arrogance down and create an "underdog with a chip on your shoulder" mentality like Saban and Dantonio do. I know that these efforts often seem silly and fake, but I prefer the coach that is constantly saying "we can do things better." Alabama has a right to be arrogant, yet shows far less arrogance than we did.
7) We are taking some really good players for granted (particularly the WRs) and now I am betting that we are going to lose some of these players to transfers. This is just sad. Losing Oliver Martin or Tarik Black would be tragic.
8) Don Brown can just assume that opponents will put two WRs in a stack on one side (overloading one side with talented players and making it harder for the corner to get his hands on the trailing WR) and run picks / inside slants off of this. Starting with Northwestern, everyone has done this to us. But the good teams have gashed us. They have also found ways to match fast RBs on our slower linebackers fairly consistently. We dodged A LOT of bullets this year in that regard.
9) By the end of the year when opposing offensive lines are working well together as units and Don Brown blitz packages seem to lose their effectiveness. The chaos created in the first 6 weeks seems to disappear at the end of the year.
10) Nepotism (Jay Harbaugh) and not firing or being slow to fire your friends (Pep and Drevno) are not good things. It may be "classy" to let these guys find another job first, but they are probably not doing their current jobs in the meantime. We lost Dan Enos to our slowness in dealing with Drevno. I am betting that Pep will struggle to find a job and this will affect our ability to land a good OC.
11) We need one mind directing the offense on game day. Offense by committee will result in dysfunction that would take a very long post to fully explore. Don't do it.