Category Archives: B1G Ten

Michigan State loss shouldn’t dent confidence in Jim Harbaugh’s overall plan

Despite the increased criticism this week following Michigan’s 14-10 loss to rival Michigan State, by any objective measure Jim Harbaugh is doing great work at Michigan.

Yes, this may be hard to stomach for some Michigan fans still smarting from the loss Saturday night, but Michigan football is on the right track, and suggestions that Harbaugh isn’t getting it done in Ann Arbor are pure lunacy.

The “rivals” narrative is one that has gained a lot of momentum this week. Harbaugh is 1-4 against Michigan State while his predecessor was 2-2. Yeah, sure. But how about a little context?

Brady Hoke beat a depleted Ohio State team coached by interim coach Luke Fickell and edged a 7-6 MSU team in 2012. Yes, the Wolverines won, but in this case context matters.

Harbaugh and the Wolverines would love to beat their rivals. But those in the know privately will admit
they expected this rebuild to take four or five years based on the lack of talent depth in the program.

Face it: There was a severe lack of offensive line, wide receiver, running back and quarterback talent when Harbaugh took over in 2014. The lack of depth is being addressed and is starting to show itself at many offensive positions. A little seasoning and it isn’t hard to see Michigan competing for titles starting next season.

The bottom line concerning Michigan’s “rivals” is that Mark Dantonio and Urban Meyer had head starts and Meyer is a much more accomplished coach. It was inevitable that the Wolverines at some point would play a small game of catch-up with its rivals, which is exactly what is happening this year. Barring any unforeseen attrition or a rash of major injuries, a lot of this uncertainty will clear itself up in 2018.

People forget that before the season, most experts expected Michigan to take a step back in 2017 based on youth and depth. That is why three or four losses shouldn’t throw fans off the deep end. Keep in mind the end goal — competing for national titles and doing it the right way.

I have to admit my complete shock at the media narrative that Harbaugh and Hoke have the same record and Hoke is slightly better than Harbaugh against his rivals. This is exactly the kind of misleading “journalism” that turns off many.

There is zero comparison between Harbaugh and Hoke. Some national media even posted these very misleading tweets.

View image on Twitter

Garbage like this is simply trolling. Hoke’s teams lost nine games by at least 14 points. That has happened once to Harbaugh, in his first meeting with Ohio State. Hoke’s teams went from 11 wins to nine to seven to five. Comparing Harbaugh to Hoke is asinine.

I know this will come as a shock to many who are looking to kill Harbaugh for this loss, but in his first 31 games his winning percentage is .770. Do you know what Nick Saban’s was after three seasons in Tuscaloosa? It was .770. In his first 31 games with the Tide, Saban was 23-8. After their first 31 games at Michigan, Harbaugh and Hoke were 24-7. So Hoke is better than Saban?

Obviously, that is a farce, but you see how these stats can get stupid, right?

This article isn’t meant to be blanket cover for Harbaugh and his staff. He still clearly has work to do on offense, and depth and inexperience aren’t going to provide cover in 2018. Michigan has done a great job building an elite defense, but the offense need to build an identity and start moving toward it.

Michigan needs to address a couple of positions right away. One is right tackle and the other is running back. If they can’t get a positive result from these crucial positions, winning eight or nine games this season could be a tough putt for the Wolverines.

The fan base needs to relax. The rebuild is on track and a stumble in the road against a rival won’t change that. Now a loss to Sparty in 2018 is another story.

 



Delusional Florida Fan Post Wildly Inaccurate “Preview” Of The Michigan Game

This is why we can’t have nice things and why Florida fans shouldn’t have blogs.

Check out this “Michigan v. Florida preview” piece written by a Florida fan boi.  It’s inaccurate and embarrassing that he published this piece and hasn’t edited the mistakes.  The guy is entitled to write whatever he would like to write, but to have so many gross inaccuracies is bad, really bad.

Let’s start with the dumbest part of the article first and we’ll get to the less dumb stuff later.  Here’s a great one about the linebackers.

On the other hand, Michigan’s oldest linebacker this year will be sophomore Devin Bush. That is horrifying news for a defense that traditionally makes its living stopping the run. The situation there is so dire that Michigan had to plug sophomore safety Khaleke Hudson into the hybrid Viper position that Jabrill Peppers once occupied just to field a two deep. And while Hudson brings the physical upside of an aggressive safety, he’s also extremely raw.

Bush is Michigan’s oldest LB?  Huh?  Somehow this clown forgot that Michigan is returning a 5th year senior in Mike McCray and seniors Noah Furbush (you said furbush) and Mike Wroblewski to go along with Devin Bush. There are also plenty of guys who saw significant action at LB in 2016.  I’m not sure where this guy got the impression that the wolverines were “forced to plug Khaleke Hudson” into the viper position.  Hudson was recruited to play that position for Don Brown, he wasn’t “forced” into it.

Oh, but there is more….

 Talent has never been the issue with Jim Harbaugh, but the Wolverines are almost certain to take a step back in 2017 with a complete lack of experience across the board. How big of a step back is yet to be determined.

I don’t think that it’s a done deal that Michigan will take a “step back” at all, there is more than enough talent and returning contributors for Michigan to actually take a step forward!  Look, Ohio State got rocked by departures in 2016 and managed to plug in young kids and do pretty well last season, while Michigan isn’t at that level yet, the recruiting has been stellar, so Michigan doesn’t have to take a step back at all.  They obviously could slide a bit in 2017  but it is’t “certain” at all.  The schedule should help with Ohio State and Sparty at home.  Michigan will be favored to win in nine of its games, including the season opener with Florida.  They won’t be favored at Wisconsin, at Penn State and home against the Buckeyes.  I’m dubious that Michigan will lose to Penn State, I have my fraud detectors up on the Nittany Lions.  As you can see I think there are 9, 10 or even 11 wins in the cards for Michigan, I’m not quite certain how that is a “step back.”  Maybe I can’t count.

LOL….

But faced with filling virtually every possible hole a team could have to fill in an off-season will at the very least make for a rough September for Harbaugh.

Help me out, why is losing players to the NFL draft only a bad thing for schools playing against the school you root for?  A simple look at the NFL draft from April reveals that no less than five Florida defensive players were drafted in the first 78 spots.  Just a thought, but I’m guessing Jim McElwain isn’t thrilled to have to replace have of his defense either.

Um, no….

Yet, history has a funny way of being taken out of the equation when one team is significantly more experienced, bigger, faster, stronger, and better. 

Ok, I’m willing to give this guy the “experience” narrative but I’m not sold on the facts that Michigan is significantly more inexperienced than the gators, the Wolverines don’t have a ton of returning players but they do bring back a good amount of reps on the defensive side and I’m also convinced that the new wolverines are much more talented than the graduated wolverines.

The “Bigger, faster, stronger and better” line is hilarious and appears to be yanked out of this guys southern orifice. It’s a bit odd to use this line when you have been out recruited by Harbaugh and company since both coaches arrived at their new jobs….maybe Harbaugh is recruiting smaller, slower, weaker and worse players than Florida yet still ending up higher in the recruiting rankings.  Odd.

I could go on all day tearing this article to pieces but I think you get the point, this guy is a clueless fan boi who has no interest in writing a fair and balanced preview.  If you are looking for a more balanced analysis, click this one.

 



Looking ahead: Michigan recruiting needs in 2018

Jim Harbaugh and his staff reeled in the consensus No. 5 recruiting class int he nation in 2017, and Michigan coaches now are fully focused on the 2018 recruiting class.

On the heels of two massive classes, Michigan will look to be more selective as there will be 17 to 20 potential spots open in the 2018 recruiting cycle. Because the Wolverines have loaded up the roster with 56 players in the past two cycles, they can afford to swing for the fences with this class.

The three main areas of need for Michigan are running back, offensive line and tight end.

1. Offensive line: Michigan missed on “big-body” tackles in 2017, so it is a need for the class of 2018. Michigan will lose Patrick Kugler and Mason Cole following the 2017 season, so expect the Wolverines to take up to six offensive linemen in 2018. Top targets include 6-9, 390-pound OT Daniel Faalele, whom the Wolverines discovered at their satellite camp in Australia. In-state targets include four-star G Marquan McCall (Oak Park), the state’s top-ranked prospect, and three-star OT Antwan Reed (Muskegon).

2. Running back: Michigan is loaded at running back for the time being, but the Wolverines need to add at least one high-level running back in 2018. Michigan loses only Ty Issac to graduation after the 2017 season, but that won’t stop Harbaugh and Co. from swinging for the fences as they have set five-star prospect T.J. Pledger as their top target. Pledger is from the Los Angeles area, but will play his senior season at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

3. Tight end: The Wolverines signed zero tight ends in the 2017 cycle, so look for the Wolverines to add two or three in 2018. Losing Jake Butt to graduation and a potential transfer of Devin Asiasi makes this a big area of need for the Wolverines. Top targets include four-star prospect Will Mallory of Jacksonville Providence School (his dad, Mike, was a Michigan defensive tackle) and four-star recruit Brevin Jordan of powerhouse Las Vegas Bishop Gorman. Jordan could be a package deal with another top Michigan target, QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson. And four-star TE Jeremy Ruckert of Lindenhurst (N.J.) High is shaping up as a Harbaugh vs. Urban Meyer cage match.