Which start to a season appears better?

Submitted by UM2k1 on September 22nd, 2014 at 8:50 AM

I got to thinking yesterday; I have seen this season before.  The opponents seemed familiar, the offensive ineptitude - it is quite haunting. Below I am giving result through 4 games for 2 Michigan seasons, guess which is which.

Season 'A' Season 'B
Lose to Notre Dame by 18 Lose to Notre Dame by 31
Lose to Utah by 2 Lose to Utah by 16
Beat Miami (NTM) Beat Miami (NTM)
Beat #9 team Beat #140 team

By now, I'm pretty sure you have figured out that Saeason 'A' is 2008 and Season 'B' is 2014.  I have to say that through 4 games in 2008, I was more optomistic about the remainder of the season than I am today.  The only benefit of the 2014 season is the rest of the B1G (excluding MSU, OSU, PSU?, Neb?) appears to be terrible.

Hoke Uber Alles?



September 22nd, 2014 at 9:09 AM ^

I was at both Utah games (2008 and 2014), and was at the 2008 Wisconsin game.  I am far more optimistic about this season's start.  This year, we are talented but inconsistent.  In 2008, we were both untalented and inconsistent.

Thanks for asking. 


September 22nd, 2014 at 9:34 AM ^

If I had to choose in this scenario, I find myself having similar feelings to yours.

It seems like that in 2008, we were undermanned in key places on top of the entire team, under a new coach as it was, being bsically a project. Right now, we are - at least on paper - rather well-manned at those same positions, but we have an offense which - under a new OC - is sort of in "project" mode again. I see it like a workplace scenario -  If I am at least confident that I've got the right people (or most of them at least) and it is just a matter of getting them to work together like I need them to do, that makes me feel a bit better. 


September 22nd, 2014 at 9:10 AM ^

There's too much actual talent on the 2014 squad, and the defesne is actually really really good to repeat a 2008.  If 2008 repeats, then, damn, probably the biggest coaching fail this side of Charlie Weis.


September 22nd, 2014 at 9:29 AM ^

I think it was because I had an explanation for the losses.  The ND game was a turnover fest that we still had a chance late.  Young players were stepping up, and the next year we were promised a couple dual threet QBs to really get this offense going (although those two changed to two different QBs) but the optimism was high.

I think the most unsettling thing for me this year is that I can't even pinpoint where the failure is coming from. 

I see tons of talent at reciever, a QB that I've seen put in hurculean efforts, and an o-line performing better than expected.  The D-line is living up to hype and the secondary is starting to pick it up as well. Even turnovers don't seem to factor in until we are already deep in awhole.  I think that is where I'm most at a loss.



September 22nd, 2014 at 9:45 AM ^

Keep in mind, too:  2008 was RichRod year 1.  We are now in year 4 of Hokemania.

I feel very sad that the current squad is being mentioned in the same breath as the worst team Michigan has fielded in recent memory.


September 22nd, 2014 at 9:49 AM ^

I'm with Dubs.  In 2008 we knew that it would take time for Rich to get his system in and the players to run it.  Much was made of the year two "leap" and the year three juggernaught that was surely coming - once we had a QB to run it.

Now we sadly know what Hoke can do and the future doesnt hold promise - it makes us worried and depressed.


September 22nd, 2014 at 9:47 AM ^

We look like we are walking through all the steps of our offense before we snap the ball, almost like we are still installing the basic concepts at the beginning of camp. The defense has no trouble figuring out what we are going to do. The only team that moves more slowly than we do is Navy and their offense is ridiculously difficult to scheme for even when you think you have their alignments figured out. In that way, there are similarities to 2008 even though this team, from top to bottom, is far superior to the 2008 version and it isn't even close.


September 22nd, 2014 at 10:14 AM ^

Both don't look great.  I guess this season feels a bit more optimistic just because you can see the talent level there; that Wiscy win was just kinda dumb luck.  


September 22nd, 2014 at 10:41 AM ^

I was thinking about that as well. What makes the comparison worse is that Utah went on to be undefeated, beat Alabama, and finished #3 in the polls.

Farmhouse Funk

September 22nd, 2014 at 10:42 AM ^

I remember after that Wisconsin game we played so bad in the first half but completely turned it around in the second half then looked great in the first haf against Illinois the next week at that time I really thought we had a very good chance at winning the big ten. Of course then the second half happened.

Only real hope for this year is that the big ten is so bad that somehow we are even a 7 point favorite over Minny. 

I do think we have more talent now, but I just don't see that talent being developed. I guess if maybe we could start converting some 3rd downs, stop shooting ourselves in the foot whenever we get a good drive going and if we stop turning the ball over so much, who knows...


September 22nd, 2014 at 11:04 AM ^

Michigan was +4 in TO margin those first four games in 2008.  Notre Dame turned it over 6!!! times and still won handily.  Michigan's highest offensive output during that stretch was a cool 281 yards against Miami (OH).  ND, Utah, and WIsconsin each outgained Michigan by at least 115 yards.  Utah also received 15 penalities against UM that game and still won.  Wisconsin coughed it up 4 times (two fumbles, two INTS-- including the big one by Johnny Thompson) and UM's passing attack's stat line was a cool 10-21-96 with 2 INTs

I can't believe we have to have this discussion but 2014 UM > >> 2008 UM.  So hooray for that.



Brick in The Wave

September 22nd, 2014 at 11:06 AM ^

So does winning the BIG save his job?  (not that I think that is a viable outcome).  I  am asking because I honestly don't know how I feel.  Even if we were to have a complete turnaround and rattle off 8 wins in a row (which won't happen) I still don't think I would be overly confident with this staff.  

I realize this is a little off topic but I am just thinking out loud I guess.


September 22nd, 2014 at 11:49 AM ^

Of course it does, don't overreact. If Michigan goes 7-1 the rest of the way, they will have improved by necessity and beaten a major rival on the road. That's significant.

Don't overreact. Before the season many people casually figured a 4-loss season would be okay, not considering how lousy we'd feel after an unacceptable loss like Saturday. It is a similar mistake to suggest that a real run of success should not change opinions.

We are discouraged because we don't think Hoke can win the games necessary to save his job; the team looks bad and the track record of improvement just isn't there. However, if that improvement unexpectedly happened, people should and would feel differently. A 7-1 closing stretch would include at least one of the following: A marked improvement in the offense, or a completely dominant defense that annihilates all comers. In either case, something would look really good on the field, and a win over a rival on the road would be huge.

Your skepticism of the team's ability to accomplish this is warranted; your doubt that it would change his job prospects is not.

Brick in The Wave

September 22nd, 2014 at 12:21 PM ^

Obviously I know that would save his job,  I guess I am just wondering how much more confident I would be going into the next season.

With this coaching staff and the last 7 years as a reference point I feel laying an egg like we did Saturday is always a possibility.

I want a coach who won't cause a sinking feeling in my stomach everytime we start a game


September 22nd, 2014 at 11:09 AM ^

The only reason you were more optimistic then is that you weren't used to losing all the time yet.  Unfortunately now we realy don't have tangible reasons for hope.  Our store of blind faith is cashed out.


September 22nd, 2014 at 11:19 AM ^

I say we keep him. I doubt he will and more than likely we are looking at a 6-6 or 7-5 record! Then it is time to dump Hoke. Why give him an extra 2 seasons when RR was dumped after the writing was on the wall he would not work out there. The writing is starting to show up on the wall that Hoke does not have what it takes to be successful here. I'd rather find a much more talented coach for next season!!

Maized and Confused

September 22nd, 2014 at 4:59 PM ^

So, we have to go all the way back to 2008 to find a college football team we might could actually beat. Unfortunately, that team is also Michigan.

I'm not sure which team is better. I do know that I felt better about our program in 2008.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad