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Old April 29th, 2015, 09:31 PM   #10041
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I was looking for the delete button due to positivity.
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Old April 30th, 2015, 12:46 AM   #10042
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Like talent said, this was a 5-win team that was consistently outplayed last season (losses to Ohio, Sparty, Utah, Rutgers, Maryland, Minnesota and ND) by most everyone other than MAC caliber opponents... The wins were lowly App State, Indiana, Penn State, MiamiOhio and M was very fortunate to beat a lousy Northwestern...

I thought my 9-3 was a bit optimistic till I've heard so many here state the likelihood of 10-2, 11-1 is.... The schedule at this point looks softer (Sparty, Ohio @ home, BYU essentially replaces ND)...

I am optimistic about M's likelihood for improvement in '15, they have a ton of room from which to improve, especially offensively. Gardner neutralized a ton of potential drives by himself and made the offense work less than the sum of its parts. His 20+ turnovers had a great deal to do with M's losses looking worse than they should be. A game manager that knows when to take a sack, throw the ball away would've improved the '14 Wolverines offense dramatically... The offensive line imo was starting to gel in November after the Spartan game. I saw a lot less defenders in the backfield, Gardner had more time to make a bad decision and some small holes for the running backs to not notice...

The talent is there at the skill positions; Amara Darboh, Jehu Chesson are 4th year Jr's and there is good underclass talent ready to play in Mo Ways, Freddy Canteen, Brian Cole, Da'Mario Jones. WR won't be a position of strength and it's lacking gamebreakers but it looks like a solid group of talent that won't be a weakness...

It's tougher to judge the running back situation and separate it from the issues the offensive line has had. The talent is there; two 5-stars in Derrick Green & Ty Isaac, 4* De'Veon Smith, Drake Johnson looked as good as any of them to me when healthy, 4* Wyatt Shallman and incoming true freshman 4* Karan Higdon... This group will be running behind an offensive line with essentially everyone returning, plus Harbaugh will have them running behind a FB often and using tight ends more.

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Old April 30th, 2015, 07:35 AM   #10043
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Just having a consistent offensive philosophy will help. They really haven't had one in a long time.
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Old April 30th, 2015, 07:56 AM   #10044
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Upon a quick re-reading, I also agree with SLF on this year's schedule versus 2011's. WTF, SLF, you been drinking smart juice or something?

M's OoC this season is stronger. Utah is better than ND, IMO, or at least as good. Oregon State, BYU and UNLV are better than WMU, EMU and SDS. In conference, Michigan State was the best team the played in 2011. Ohio State is waaaaay better than that team and this year's MSU should be better than that team. So, OSU/MSU >>>> MSU/UNL. I think the Goofers are better the 3rd best B10 team they played in 2011. And PSU/Rutgers/Maryland are capable of equaling the general meh of the rest of it.

I'd rate this schedule considerably harder. The OoC is harder. The B10 is just better. I mean, it was awful in 2011 (and 2012). It's a lot more comparable to the 2014 schedule. Utah and Notre Dame are comparable road games. BYU and Utah could eb comparable home games. You get MSU/OSU at home as opposed to away, so that's an uptick. The Goofers should be solid and that one is now away. The rest is pretty comparable.

I think it far more accurate to say M is basically running back their 2014 schedule this year than it is to compare this year to 2011. And that's why I have hard time with the 10-2 (or better) stuff.
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Old April 30th, 2015, 07:59 AM   #10045
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I've just taken another look, and, ok -- SLF I concede. Is true.
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Old April 30th, 2015, 08:05 AM   #10046
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Look, this whole question about performance of the M football program is being discussed in two completely separate dimensions.

There is the one of perceptions then the one of actual record.

My post was with regard to perceptions and its affect on recruiting. I don't believe, like talent dose, that Harbaugh can "crush it" with 8-4, nor losses to Utah in the opener or losses to MSU, or osu.

The sports press will hang Harbaugh out to dry with criticism centered around, he can't recruit and he should have stayed in the NFL. That's what the kids will hear, that's the mind-set they will bring to any visit, that's what M's coaches will have to overcome if Harbaugh does not perform well ..... 8-4 with losses in the opener and to either or both MSU or osu is not doing that, IMO.

Predicting the actual won/lost record is another matter. It is a much more objectively based prediction and based on thee performance of the players in 2014. Just looking at that, 8-4 is definitely the most likely outcome.

But JH has to do more than that, has to, and not just for recruiting. He has to silence the doubters, the ones in the inner circle, who may have advanced a "you'll be sorry" argument and if Harbaugh goes 8-4 will be saying, "I told you so" given his antics and occasionally psycho behavior. He has to solidify the base of his legacy and rally support. You don't do that with 8-4 and losses to your rival at home in this day and age when the life of coaches at elite programs with demanding alums is 2-3y.

So, yeah, the bar is high but lets make sure we are talking about that bar in the proper context.
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Old April 30th, 2015, 08:21 AM   #10047
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Quote:
I don't believe, like talent dose, that Harbaugh can "crush it" with 8-4
I believe a great recruiter can crush it. I'm not certain JH is that. I lean that way, but recruiting is a separate skillset from regular football stuff.

Quote:
The sports press will hang Harbaugh out to dry with criticism centered around, he can't recruit and he should have stayed in the NFL. That's what the kids will hear, that's the mind-set they will bring to any visit, that's what M's coaches will have to overcome if Harbaugh does not perform well
Yeah, I really disagree with this. I think, by and large, you give way too much credence to puffery....whether it be positive (the summer camps) or potentially negative (see above). Recruiting is about relationships (assuming you have a brand-name program). JH will either convince kids that his staff is the right one for them or he won't. 8-4 won't affect that, IMO.

As an example, Tressel crushed his first full cycle recruiting class. They following year, with a national title under his belt, his class was meh...as was the following year's class. I could go on and on with examples.

I think, as I suggested, you're projecting your anxieties into recruiting. You have gads at stake. But I don't think 8-4 will be a negative in recruiting at all. I also see the same thing with your overall assessment that he has to go better than 8-4.

Look, 8-4 is +3. That's a nice improvement. That's really nice in the context of an f'n shitshow at QB. The only people who will be disappointed with 8-4 are the HARBAUGH!!!! -- Alexander the Great -- NFL MACHINE!!!! -- contingent of M fans expecting him to go 10-2 (or better) and cure cancer with his tears. No one outside of AA thinks M will go 10-2. Every preseason magazine will have them 3rd or worse in the B10 East and most, if not all, will have them outside the top 25. Those are the expectations from the non HARBAUGH!!!!! people around the country. I mean, your team was, err, not good last season. Really, really not good. That's the starting point for JH expectations.

So when you talk about proper contexts -- and there are two separate questions -- I think you need to take into account the context of the M homer and the rest of America. JH isn't going to be excoriated for going 8-4. He'll likely be viewed positively as getting M back on track. A strong, positive narrative. But, it will dent the Messiah-view a touch.
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Old April 30th, 2015, 08:37 AM   #10048
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Very well could be. Then again last year's coaching staff was bad to a ridiculous extent. Michigan put a guy in charge who never should have been. There will be some extra upside. We'll see. Noone expected 11-2 from Hoke either.
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Old April 30th, 2015, 09:05 AM   #10049
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M fans understand their roster better than indifferent media-types and other CFB fans. So, perhaps your insight will prove correct.

However, I'm merely positing what I think to be the general view of M -- the general public perception of M. It's not a trainwreck, but it's not good. There's lots of work to do. As I said, I think you'll see this perception in spades this summer with expectations/predictions by national types. And against those expectations, 8-4 is perfectly acceptable. Things change in the 2nd and 3rd years and expectations ramp up. Properly so.
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Old April 30th, 2015, 09:13 AM   #10050
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Originally Posted by The Oracle View Post
So you think there's no shot with Gary or Kelly?

I think we probably get one of them. It just seems that a lot of people assumed HARBAUGH means we immediately are on the radar with every 5* in the country. I think we need to prove something to most of them that don't have a connection already with M. So if we get one of them in this class, I think that's a success. After a good season next year, we should start getting a few more looks.

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Old April 30th, 2015, 09:15 AM   #10051
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It's a really tough schedule for a team of Michigan's caliber. OSU is unwinnable. MSU we should be big underdogs. Utah is probably a ranked team on the road with a QB taking his first snap in a Michigan uniform, having arrived on campus only five weeks earlier. Winning just one out of those three and losing the other two by single digits would be an accomplishment. BYU is a very tough out and, in some years, better than that. We have a few games against teams like Maryland, Penn State, and Minny, who were equal to or better than us last year that are on the road. Oregon State may or may not be a bowl team. This team was too shitty last year to chalk up anything other than UNLV as an easy win.
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Old April 30th, 2015, 09:16 AM   #10052
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We need Gary. Badly. We have gone full Alabama in an attempt to land him. And we need to flip at least one out of Hill/Hayes. Preferably both. We need a lot. The 2016 class has to be great.
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Old April 30th, 2015, 11:35 AM   #10053
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Dang, finally all those folks who thought we had an easy schedule this year have LOOKED at the schedule. Google PSU's schedule. Then take a look at Arizona's OOC schedule last year. UM has a very tough schedule, and then the following year has MSU and OSU away. 8-4 would be fine this year. Al McGuire said your first two games should be at home against Cupcake and East Cupcake.

Now, in an utterly unrelated topic, those of you who watch the NFL draft tonight, notice how when it is the Lions pick, there will be commercials and then an interview with someone from one of the "chosen teams". Maybe I am reaching out to BuckLionsFan on this, but it happens every year, and if BLF is reading this, we need you back on this forum, guy.

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Old April 30th, 2015, 06:29 PM   #10054
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........Yeah, I really disagree with this. I think, by and large, you give way too much credence to puffery....whether it be positive (the summer camps) or potentially negative (see above). Recruiting is about relationships (assuming you have a brand-name program). JH will either convince kids that his staff is the right one for them or he won't. 8-4 won't affect that, IMO. ........ I think, as I suggested, you're projecting your anxieties into recruiting. You have gads at stake. But I don't think 8-4 will be a negative in recruiting at all. I also see the same thing with your overall assessment that he has to go better than 8-4.

Look, 8-4 is +3. That's a nice improvement. That's really nice in the context of an f'n shitshow at QB. The only people who will be disappointed with 8-4 are the HARBAUGH!!!! -- Alexander the Great -- NFL MACHINE!!!! -- contingent of M fans expecting him to go 10-2 (or better) and cure cancer with his tears. No one outside of AA thinks M will go 10-2........3rd or worse in the B10 East and most, if not all, will have them outside the top 25. Those are the expectations from the non HARBAUGH!!!!! people around the country. I mean, your team was, err, not good last season. Really, really not good. That's the starting point for JH expectations.

So when you talk about proper contexts -- and there are two separate questions -- I think you need to take into account the context of the M homer and the rest of America. JH isn't going to be excoriated for going 8-4. He'll likely be viewed positively as getting M back on track. A strong, positive narrative. But, it will dent the Messiah-view a touch.
On your a first point... Value of puffery. My view is that in the world of perception, something I think you generally don't like to operate, preferring instead to stick to the facts on the ground, I think you underestimate its impact.

The Bush 2 administration and the press that was manipulated into reporting on the weapons of mass destruction that Saddam was ready to unleash created a PERCEPTION that allowed the US to embark upon a devastating engagement in the Middle East without congressional or public outcry that has had lasting negative implications two decades later.

However, I will grant you have a much greater insight into the recruiting side of things, how it works and what kids are interested in. The facts on the ground. Bottom line you and I are not going to agree on this. We'll see how recruiting plays out if M has something less than a HARBAUGH! appropriate season.

On your second point ...... 8-4 is good enough. I really disagree with this. The facts point to 8-4, sure. Harbaugh has to do better for the reasons I stated in my original post. He has to reach in there and deliver some mojo that's gonna turn the two losses you see creating 8-4 into two wins that creates 10-2. To me, it's that simple although we could discuss in detail what he needs to do to get 10 wins and the obstacles he faces in doing it ..... Another discussion.

On your third point ...... I don't give a crap what the rest of America thinks with regard to Predicting M's wins and losses. Harbaugh's job is to shape what America thinks about M football by using HARBAUGH to get to 10-2. While I'm a homer, my homerism has nothing to do with that. M along with Harbaugh and recruiting rises or falls on JH's capacity to harness. HARBAUGH and do what RR or Hoke couldn't do.

WIN.
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Old April 30th, 2015, 07:49 PM   #10055
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Well, my point was in direct response to this:

Quote:
The sports press will hang Harbaugh out to dry with criticism centered around, he can't recruit and he should have stayed in the NFL. That's what the kids will hear, that's the mind-set they will bring to any visit, that's what M's coaches will have to overcome if Harbaugh does not perform well ..... 8-4 with losses in the opener and to either or both MSU or osu is not doing that, IMO.
You also state, directly, that you think I underestimate the value of "puffery" and the "world of perception." So, I'm more than little confused by your statement that:

Quote:
I don't give a crap what the rest of America thinks with regard to Predicting M's wins and losses
I mean, clearly you do. Or at least did in an earlier post and even in the earlier paragraph in the same post. My point was directly in response to your assertion about the press going after JH. They won't. Their perception of where M is and what M should be this season is considerably less optimistic than yours.

But, hey, I hope you're right because I don't see M going 10-2 or better. I really, really hope you're right. Unfortunately, you're not. You have, as you often do, cast things in the most dire, apocalyptic terms. Those types of terms are rarely appropriate and I certainly don't think it the case here.
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Old April 30th, 2015, 09:06 PM   #10056
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a QB taking his first snap in a Michigan uniform, having arrived on campus only five weeks earlier.
If this is referring to Rudock, he's going to be in A2 in May. He had to graduate from Iowa, (I believe they've had the ceremony already) first, but after that he said he was going directly to Ann Arbor.
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Old May 1st, 2015, 09:50 AM   #10057
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I can understand your confusion. Perhaps I wasn't clear.

The facts on the ground support the perception that M will go 8-4. If that perception of M as a not very good team persists, and it will if M goes 8-4, it's going to hurt recruiting. I understand you don't think it will. We disagree.

JH can change that perception. He's already taken steps to do that. Now he has to deliver. As a side note I've already pointed out, this is a risky approach because it sets him and M football up for a fall that the press and other coaches will magnify to M's disadvantage in recruiting.

Harbaugh has to harness HARBAUGH! and turn two of the perceived losses into wins to create 10-2 and in so doing change the perception of the target audience, recruits. I realize that in so doing, he's actually changing the facts on the ground.

I think the point I was trying to make and did a poor job of doing it is that JH has to overcome the perception that he can't put lipstick on a pig and change the perception that it is still a pig.

How does he turn 8-4 into 10-2? By turning two losses into two wins. How does he do that? Harness HARBAUGH!

It's hard to define what that is but let me try: in the business world think of guys like Lee Iococa, Jeff Bezoz, David Branson. Larger than life describes all of them. They achieved remarkable success because observers perceived they could and then they delivered.

Harbaugh has to lead like these guys turning what looks to be impossible into reality. It's the X-factor at work. He has it. When it's working, it has the possibility of turning a perceived circumstance into something different. In this case 10-2.
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Old May 1st, 2015, 10:01 AM   #10058
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In the long run, it won't matter one bit if he goes 8-4 or 10-2. It will matter to you fans a lot more than him. You've been impatient for a winner for nearly a decade, it's understandable.
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Old May 1st, 2015, 11:16 AM   #10059
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In the long run, it won't matter one bit if he goes 8-4 or 10-2. It will matter to you fans a lot more than him. You've been impatient for a winner for nearly a decade, it's understandable.
I really don't get this argument not that I don't agree with you that a better record probably means more to M fans than to the outside world. Don't tell me though that the outside world, at least the one that includes MSU fans, doesn't hope JH muddles along rather than dominates. That's a motivational bias that may be playing in your case.

It's been pointed out to me by an avid sports fan, not at all invested in M football, that the Saban situation re coming in and recruiting a top 5 class is quite different than the chore JH faces. His argument for that notes that first, Saban recruited in the SEC, an infinitely more fertile recruiting ground than the one Harbaugh faces. Same for Peety at USC.

I acknowledge, and so did he, that the meyer circumstance was similar and what he achieved at osu in recruiting and on the field was a remarkable achievement. It sets the bar pretty high for JH/M.

The bottom line that this uninvested observer and myself agree on is that it is more important in all respects for Harbaugh to lead M to 10-2 than it was for all the rest we are talking about here to achieve early success. The reason for that is that it is PERCEIVED by a large number of dissimilar constituencies that he can and should be able to do this. A failure to reach that goal is going to cost Harbaugh and M for a number of reasons, not the least of which is Harbaugh's personality and now he has behaved on the nations sports scene already.

Second, urbz certainly did not face the reconstruction project at osu that Harbaugh faces at M. Both Saban and Carroll did face similar reconstruction obstacles and over came them in short notice but then they had built in recruiting advantages the HARBUAGH does not have.
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Old May 1st, 2015, 11:37 AM   #10060
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I really don't get this argument not that I don't agree with you that a better record probably means more to M fans than to the outside world. Don't tell me though that the outside world, at least the one that includes MSU fans, doesn't hope JH muddles along rather than dominates. That's a motivational bias that may be playing in your case.
The only bias that may be playing in my case and many MSU fans is we saw a vast reconstruction project with Dantonio. Sure you'll have a lot of MSU fans who want him to muddle along, that's natural. We are rivals, we don't want you to do good anymore than you want MSU to do good.

But to my point, MSU got pretty good pretty quick. They muddled to a 7-5 record his first year and really didn't set the world on fire in recruiting. They had a nice 9-4 season and then a bad 6-7 year. I understand the perceived urgency, in Dantonio's first year they started off 4-2 but had two big ten losses. Indiana was a "must win" game. They won, but it really wasn't a must win, but I remember hearing that.

Harbaugh doesn't have near the amount of a reconstruction project. He has more advantages. He's not going to have to make do with some MAC level players. 8-4 is not a bad season and it doesn't matter long term. Brady Hoke set the world on fire his first year and it had little long term effects.

Harbaugh will be fine, he would be fine even if he chunked it and went .500.
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