We all thought about it: What did this game make you think about our team?

Submitted by stephenrjking on January 9th, 2018 at 1:56 AM

I usually hate-watch national title games because they're important to a sport I love but they wind up just reminding me how disappointed I am that Michigan is not good enough to be there. And they're harder to skip now that the coaches film room is must-watch viewing every year.

But if you're like me you watch these games with one eye on the teams we all jealously wish weren't there and one eye on the strengths and particularly the weaknesses of our own team.

So let's just get right out and admit stuff that the title game highlighted for us about Michigan in the past and going forward.

What sort of things about our team came to mind when you watched the national title game?


Occam's Razor

January 9th, 2018 at 2:20 AM ^

Sorry this is bullshit.

Stanford out-recruited us for K.J. Costello who is now their starting QB (and will be a beast next hear), Foster Sarrell (#1 OT out of high school starting for them), Devery Hamilton (Sarrells Fucking backup) and Walker Little (#2 OT from the same class). Osiris St Brown (5 Star WR) is going to Stanford too. Stanford ACTUALLY has stringent admissions for football.

Notre Dame, Washington, PSU and OSU are out recruiting us in 2018. This is not cuz of Michigan’s vaunted academics which barely even matter in football recruiting. This is on the coaching staff.


January 9th, 2018 at 2:37 AM ^

Sorry, this is bullshit.  None of what you said implies that with a better coaching staff we could recruit as well as Alabama or Georgia. None of those schools recruit as well as Alabama or Georgia either, and while it may not be the only reason or even the main reason, it is true that recruiting is a little harder when you have higher academic standards.  

Occam's Razor

January 9th, 2018 at 2:44 AM ^

Uh what. We have actually recruited as well as UGA in the Hoke years and have been shouting distance with them with Harbaugh.

My Stanford example shows that you can indeed pull off 5 star studs at multiple positions even with academic standards which actually inhibit Stanford in recruiting compared to Michigan.

Our academic standards for football aren’t THAT much higher than every other school. Stanford actually has legit admissions issues for football players.


January 9th, 2018 at 8:25 AM ^

Your point is valid about a team like Stanford being able to pull multiple stars away from the machine that is Bama. But I think you miss the greater point here ... When these kids were impressionable younger football players they watched a Stanford team get put back on the map by our very own coach and then continued on with Shaw. They had some amazing wins over USC and Oregon that took national spotlight. They had players like Luck and McCafferey starring on a big stage in bowl games. Where is Michigan? Those same kids watched a program implode with RichRod and Hoke. The only star we had was Denard. But it’s not like we were playing multiple big bowl games in a row. You need some sustained excellence to turn the tide in recruiting. Be good. Get stars. Have stars shine. More want to come. Win even bigger and better. Nothing changes over night even if we wished it did.


January 9th, 2018 at 9:20 AM ^

For academic prestige, the gap between Stanford and Michigan is 2/3 as large as that between Michigan and Alabama.  Michigan is very high up with great, great programs but not Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford or MIT; and which is the only one of those five with top athletics? 

Stanford is a huge draw in that respect - oh and with great weather and in Silicon Valley. 


January 9th, 2018 at 8:49 AM ^

I respect what Stanford has done, but they've never even had a sniff at a National Championship.  

Their biggest accomplishment was beating Virginia Tech in a BCS/NY6 bowl game.

Brady Hoke beat Virginia Tech in a BCS/NY6 bowl game.

Stanford should not be our goal state.

We can and should do better.

True Blue Grit

January 9th, 2018 at 8:34 AM ^

academics for the most part.  A few maybe.  I doubt Urban Meyer could care less whether a kid graduates or not.  He sells a chance to play for the NC and a shot at the NFL.  That's it.  Harbaugh and Michigan emphasize the academic end.  Some kids just don't to bother with things that make them have to "play school".  


January 9th, 2018 at 7:58 AM ^

Also kinda helps to win big games and look good at the end of your season vs. collapsing in the last 3-4 games on national TV.  At the end of the day collapsing down the stretch consistently may (crazily) have an impact with recruits who are watching from a distance and deciding to go to programs that are winning.

If Michigan did not lose big games at the end of the last two years recruiting is not an issue or discussion at this point.  Developing QBs and OL is important and basic requirements for having a good team...not exactly a big secret.


January 9th, 2018 at 8:47 AM ^

Although you're not wrong, this recruiting class is a 'Bridge' class. We had two really strong classes in '16 and '17. This class is mostly about finding pieces that fit certain "holes" we have-- FB, Secondary-depth, QB depth, etc..

Yeah, we haven't really landed any blue chip guys, but we've added a load of WR last year, a star QB who should develop nicely after his RS year of the HS-to-College transition (in terms of size)

I'd like to see where we stand after 2018 and 2019. Saban had an NFL "experience" and walked into Alabama already having won a national championship and Smart inherited a fairly stable UGA team. To take a team from 10-wins a year to where they are now is a step. Michigan wasn't at the 10-win area prior to Harbaugh. Continue the development, contine with our process, and as always, Go Blue. 


January 10th, 2018 at 12:51 PM ^

You are suggesting we are intentionally using a whole class to fill depth and role positions? Come on man. Every class you attempt to recruit the best of the best. This year for whatever reason many plan A and plan B players did not go blue so we are settling for plan C. In no way is Harbaugh so comfortable in previous classes that he will use an entire class to fill "holes." 

I understand as Michigan fans we want to spin a blue shade on all things football but the reality is we are missed on a lot of elite targets.


January 9th, 2018 at 8:58 AM ^

... Notre Dame, Washington and PSU the last two years.

Is this on their coaching staffs?

Does Harbaugh suddenly suck even though he won 2/3?  He's winning 2019, is he better while he's worse?

All I'm saying is you have to look at track record, not one year.  And Harbaugh's good not bad so far.

We have a young team, clearly that is going to have to translate into wins the next couple years though to keep it up


January 9th, 2018 at 10:31 AM ^

We have a young team but how many times in the championship game did we hear “true freshman” out there playing on either side and they were all making plays. I trust Harbaugh I trust this staff but I feel like once our kids put on the winged helmet they feel like that’s good enough. We need a different attitude and passion. Last nights game, yes it for a national title but those teams play mean and physical. They play that way all year long. During the course of a game or season we may put together a half or parts of games where we play like wild men. Our players look like they are thinking about the play instead of executing the play at 100%.

This year Harbaugh was also not his old enthusiastic self on the sideline or in interviews. They were all blah and monotone like our play all year long ..... we need to play with a different fire and confidence throughout the season


January 9th, 2018 at 11:10 AM ^

I am tired of people on this blog--including me--say about this guy or that guy "well he's only a true/redshirt freshman," and therefore lower expectations or excuse things. Two true freshman QB's payed last night and the winning TD was a true Freshman WR. We are doing something wrong in today's game if we can't develop ours as well as theirs. 


January 9th, 2018 at 10:47 AM ^

I am not sure what you mean by harbaugh won 2/3. Harbaugh has yet to win anything of significant or even finish second in his division. Harbaugh didn't win anything yet.

I am not saying we should fire him but we cant as a fan base keep saying harbaugh won stuff when he hasnt won anything at michigan. He has a losing record agains MSU, OSU, bowl games, teams in the top ten, etc.

Longballs Dong…

January 9th, 2018 at 2:51 AM ^

sorry but we don't have academic standards holding us back. I know we all like to repeat that but it just isn't true. if we want a kid and he meets the NCAA minimum, he'll get in to Michigan. there is some grey assumption that the AD would get mad if we took too many bare minimum kids but nothing concrete academically.


January 9th, 2018 at 9:21 AM ^

I see where you are coming from, but this isn't accurate. We had some really talented people who obviously met the NCAA minimum at their previous school...and were unable to transfer due to academics.

Multiple times in the past few years, we've had highly rated players obligated to sit out a year to get their grades up. Some failed and were gone.


January 9th, 2018 at 9:22 AM ^

Even though Michigan might not have the same Standards, as say Stanford, there is a 'Michigan Minimum' that is definitely above the NCAA minimum. If this were the case, we would have taken all 3 Ole Miss players, and notjust Shea Patterson. 


January 9th, 2018 at 9:30 AM ^

Wrong we ain’t recruiting like this simply cuz we just not good enough or don’t display our talent enough. It’s way easier to get in a school as an athlete so that acedmic part that people speak on is not 100% fact when dealing with athletes

AA Forever

January 9th, 2018 at 6:57 AM ^

to compete at a NC level.  Still too many holes on defense, too many guys who can't make enough plays against elite competition, and a nothingburger of an Oline.

No more excuses about how our players are too young to expect anything from them.  True freshman were bringing it all over the field last night.


January 9th, 2018 at 9:36 AM ^

These are also mostly "blue-chip" recruits. I like our Freshmen, however I don't think any were expected to be instant impact players other than DPJ. Correct me if I'm wrong, however I think the only true "Blue-Chip guys we've had since the 2007 season are as follows:

- Ryan Mallett ('07)

- Donovan Warren ('07)

- Derrick Green ('13) (???)

- Jabrill Peppers ('14)

- Rashan Gary ('16)

- Donovan Peoples-Jones ('17)


January 9th, 2018 at 9:07 AM ^

if I co-sign?

I think this is pretty spot on.  I'll add that it's about age and maturity on the OL too.  I admit I didn't pay attention to the years on the OLs, but I'm betting it's RS Jrs and RS Srs.  We still lack the depth and experience - and will for at least another year.


January 9th, 2018 at 9:50 AM ^

Talent....... These teams are flat out loaded and just keep brining in crazy amount of talent every year.  We are in the same boat as 95% of the other teams out there trying to catch up in the talent depth.  These teams loose 5-6 underclassman every year as well as plenty of Seniors and just reload with more 4&5* talent they have sitting on the bench.

College football has kind of become stale. Alabama and a couple of other teams close behind and all other teams might as well play for the scraps.  It's kind of hope you have a great season, win your conference to slip into the CFP and then get pounded by the likes of Alabama, Clemson or Georgia.

Next years odd on favorites to win the NC: Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, OSU......... Notice much change from the last few years???? Doesn't look like the landscape will change either for a while when you see how these teams are recruiting.

Not sure what the answer is, but it doesn't seem like the playing field is level and I don't know how you do level it. 

You Only Live Twice

January 9th, 2018 at 10:06 AM ^

I fell asleep while Georgia was still ahead last night and then heard this morning that Bama actually won in spite of Saban, not because of him.... how brilliant of a coach do you really have to be with blue-chip talent three deep.  It is known he wasn't good in the NFL.  He can only thrive in the environment he is in... where the playing field is not level as you stated.  

When we were recruiting Najee Harris, according to a caller on WTKA this morning, and Bama was recruiting him... well it wasn't Michigan that made sure his mom was driving a really nice new set of wheels. 

Academics are looser and the bagmen network very sophisticated.   I also don't know what the answer is, but the reality of CFP today is why I don't go off the deep end if Michigan doesn't win a game.  

You Only Live Twice

January 9th, 2018 at 10:59 AM ^

He would have disagreed with the call by the OC, if he had been able to get to him.   This per Sam Webb this morning.

Also, while you can give him credit for going to the next QB, it wasn't a gutsy/risky move, it was a relatively safe move.  Talented kid who looked good earlier in the season, (although in garbage time perhaps), playing in front of the talented OL and benefitting from the Tide's D too.


January 9th, 2018 at 9:38 AM ^

We all know Saban didn't intend to change that QB for the game. It was going to be for a series to 'disrupt' the Georgia Defensive consistency... it just worked out where #13 made some game-changing plays that earned him another series and another. 


January 9th, 2018 at 2:07 AM ^

We need a mobile QB who can throw. By mobile I mean who can run for first down in a hurry. And by can throw I mean a bomb down the sideline for 80 yard TD ala Jake from state farm.

Otherwise, we plod on offense like no tomorrow.


January 9th, 2018 at 2:14 AM ^

Just disappointing year. That game against florida - pass from Okorn to Black was a nice pass; Speight to Eubanks bomb was nice. Speight to Black end zone was nice. 

Where the hell was all of that? 

I really think they overloaded the QBs and WRs. Keep it simple. Do what works and become sharp at executing rather than 10 million useless formations just to have a run play out of that opposition expects. 

Oh and what the hell - why did the QBs regress?