January 8th, 2013 at 1:43 AM ^

I disagree I don't understand why people have marked 2015 for a title run we have a killer road schedule that year plus will have to play in the Shoe with a senior lead team with Miller. Next year we play all our tough games at home besides Northwestern. Penn State is starting a Freshman QB,Iowa and MSU are both dumpster fires right now and Nebraska couldn't stop a pee wee team on defense. We have Notre Dame at home as well and we've already seen their QB and offense is bad and we won't have Denard playing catch with their defenders this year.That means unless we've failed we should go into the OSU game at 11-0 and we can't afford as a program to lose next year to OSU. Excuse time is over in Ann Arbor it's year 3 and we return everybody on defense plus most of our offense. Next year better be our year or we've done something wrong in my humble opinion.

Doc Brown

January 8th, 2013 at 7:26 AM ^

I love Kovacks and his story, but honestly, Kovacks graduating is addition by subtraction. We will finally have scholarship athletes at the safety position.Roh was pretty invisible for the past couple years. BWC was invisible for all about a couple games this season. Demens will be missed, along with JT Floyd. 

Denard means a lot to the is team as an emotional leader. Devin is a more complete QB than Denard. Sure Devin doesn't have the home run threat with his legs. He does have a home run arm. Gallon and Dileo means more to the WR corps than Tree, who tended to suffer from Braylon Edwards disease (aka be invisible and have bouts of the drops). 

I agree that we will have questions marks on the OL, but I think Hoke's emphasis on OL recruiting will pay off in the near future. 


January 8th, 2013 at 9:09 AM ^

We've had plenty of scholarship players at the safety position in the past 10-15 years that weren't as consistently good as Jordan Kovacs has been.  I look forward to what Mattison can achieve with more athletic players at that position, but I'd reserve the "addition by subtraction" predictions until we see it on the field.

Doc Brown

January 8th, 2013 at 10:21 AM ^

I am biased from the outback bowl and the Ohio game where Kovaks was continually burned in coverage. He has great heart, tackling technique and football IQ. However, he was very outmatched by more more athletic receivers while in coverage. I am very looking forward to next season's secondary. 


January 8th, 2013 at 10:25 AM ^

There's a reason he was a strong safety instead of a free safety: because coverage isn't his thing. When you ask your SS to cover a wideout, that's a mismatch. When Kovacs struggled in coverage, that was more of a gameplan issue (be that the fault of Mattison or the good idea of the Carolina OC), in which you're going to get burned more often than not. It's like criticizing Denard because he has zero career sacks recorded. It's not his game, so no wonder he wasn't good at it.


January 8th, 2013 at 8:04 AM ^

I see the loses on Defense and Offense but lets just compare it with whom we have replacing our starters and see if it's really that big of losses.


Big Will-Pipkins- Upgrade Pipkins will dominate in year 2
Roh-Beyer -Tie Both are just workman like players
Floyd-Countess Upgrade  Countess has lock down coverage skills
Demens-Bolden Upgrade Bolden is a future All American
Kovacs-Wilson or Thomas Upgrade Loved Kovacs heart but athletically we are getting better

Overview-I know some will say it's not a upgrade with Kovacs being gone but the kid was a great heart player but atheltically he killed us out there with his coverage skills. So that is 4 upgrades and 1 tie so our Defense essentially will be better plus were bringing in some good depth with Hurst,Poggi,Gedeon and Lewis who along with Dymonte I think will all play as Freshman.


Denard-Gardner-Tie both bring something special to the table
Roundtree-Darboh,Chesson- downgrade Roundtree disappeared a lot but the other two are unknown so for now it's a downgrade till the season starts.
Lewan-Schoefield-downgrade Can't lose arguably the best tackle in college and not take a step back.
Barnum-Kalis-Upgrade Kalis could be the next Hutchingson here
Mealer-Miller-Tie Miller is a true center and Mealer was sturdy but nothing spectacular
Omameh-Bryant or Bosch Upgrade both these kids have great potential and Omameh took a step back last year.
Other starter will be Mags or Braden and both have huge upsides. With a lot of people talking about Braden being something special.

Overview- If you look at the scheduled replacements they all have higher upsides on the line(with the exception of Lewan) and Gardner has shown he's just as exciting as Denard but more balanced we also have Gallon,Funchess and Fitz back along with Incoming Freshman Butt,Hill and more than likely Universal Five star Derrick Green who gives us a back type we haven't seen since Anthony Thomas/Chris Perry.

Special Teams: Return everybody and should be the best in the Big Ten.

Total Overview- With the exception of Denard and Lewan Michigan is replacing everybody with a more talented player with much higher ceilings. Also depth wise this will be the most depth we've had in the Brady Hoke era. We may be young on Offense but we're experienced in the important positions like QB,WR and RB. In my opinon we're poised for our run next year.  Everything should fall into our favor if we survive Northwestern on the road than beat the evil empire in the last game of the season in Ann Arbor.


January 8th, 2013 at 9:08 AM ^

...optimism!  But, you're assuming too much improvement.  I also think you are undervaluing experience, especially on defense.  Don't get me wrong, I hope you're right, but I see it this way.


Big Will - Pipkins:  Tie with upside

Roh - Beyer:  Downgrade.  I'm not at all sure Beyer is Roh's replacement, but if he is that is almost certainly a downgrade.  If it is Wormley or another man-childish young lineman, we still downgrade due to a lack of experience.  Roh was better than people give him credit for.

Floyd - Countess:  Upgrade...agree.  Although they have played different positions, the CB corps should improve overall.

Demens - Bolden: Tie with upside.  Remember when Ezeh taught us how important it was for a linebacker to do his job?  I hope Bolden can be assignment sound as well as Demens.  He might not be able to do that.

Kovacs - Wilson/Other:  Downgrade.  Again, we can't underestimate the importance of a player, especially a safety, being in the right place almost all the time.  Also, Kovacs, while not an athletic freak, is as sure a tackler as we've had in a long long time.  That is critical for a safety.

Overview for the Defense:  Tie with some upside.  In reality, we'd do well to be just as good defensively next year.  Mattison and the boys were tough this year, and thank God he coaches at UM.  A great deal of our success next year on D is attributable to him.


Denard - Devin:  Tie with upside.  That depends on our new line's run-blocking.

Roundtree - Other:  Upgrade.  Whoever replaces him will likely be faster and a better downfield threat.  But, we will miss Tree's penchant for the awesome.

Lewan - Schofield:  Duh!

Barnum - Kalis: Upgrade...especially in run blocking.

Mealer - Miller:  Upgrade with downside.

Omameh - Bryant/Other: Downgrade with upside.  There are some reasons for optimism, but I believe new starters all over the line will hurt...especially here.

Schofield - Braden:  Downgrade


Offensive Overview:  I'm hoping we have a 1st Team All-Big-Ten RB come December.  Short of that, we'll struggle.  That is a tall order for a brand new OL.





January 8th, 2013 at 4:03 PM ^

and not reality. Kovac's would make good plays but his lack of being athletic lead to many,many big plays by our opponents over the years. Go back and watch film on him he was more a linebacker playing in a safties body. And you kind of just made my point if your safety can't cover in today's college football than your defense is in trouble. I don't really see how Floyd who is a cornerback being suspended affects Kovacs but I guess to each his own.

Wolverine 73

January 8th, 2013 at 11:12 AM ^

In 2015, we play Ohio in Ann Arbor.  We also play Nebraska in Ann Arbor.  And Wisconsin in Ann Arbor.  The only road games that year are Utah, MSU, Illinois, NW and Iowa.  We will have a veteran offensive line and veteran defense both by then, and likely the sort of running backs needed to operate the offense Hoke wants to run.  2014 is when we have the tough road schedule.


January 8th, 2013 at 4:08 PM ^

I think the 2013/2014 season with Gardner is our best bet to go unbeaten and play for a championship. If we wait for 2015 were expecting Shane Morris to lead us to a National Championship in his first year starting not to mention we will have just lost both our starting corners from the year before to graduation Countess/Taylor.


January 8th, 2013 at 9:29 AM ^

At this point, I won't even consider that anyone else will win a national title until I see Alabama actually lose multiple times in a season or actually lose the championship game. That program is just a well-oiled, soul-crushing machine.


January 8th, 2013 at 9:11 AM ^

aTm loses most of the 2nd best OL in CFB (behind Bama) for next year.  I think Johnny Football is a hell of a QB but his effectiveness next year will be diminished without amazing protection.  

Despite the lack of experience on much of the roster for next year I believe the talent will win through and will take to the excellent coaching we have.  I can't see this team losing more than 2 games next year and we will be in the B1G Championship game.


January 8th, 2013 at 8:50 AM ^

They have great line depth, their WR group will improve (Bell injured, Foster recruited), TE will be more dangerous with IJ arriving, and their RBs will mature a year.

Their D should be equal or better as they were breaking in a bunch of new guys this year.

Heck, they had the 5* #1 safety from 2012 (Collins) only covering punts. Their talent & depth are ridiculous.