I thought I would do a bit of a state of the team and expectations thread in hope there would be some interesting conversation. I won’t post on MGOBLOG as it will mostly be foolish responses.
One thing that donned on me after this game is that there likely is not much Michigan can do to improve our prospects. The reality of the situation is that the Big 10 has two of the top 5 coaches in the country, Dantonio and Meyer. This game cemented the fact that Dantonio might be the best coach in College football, if not he is most certainly in the top 5, Meyer is obviously top 5. Franklin has had a torrid start and his recruiting is picking up, but until he performs for a whole recruiting cycle I will pass on judging him. His recruiting is on fire though and his teams are playing damn well (aside from early last year).
The reality is that Harbaugh has done everything we would have hoped for, but has not proven to be better at winning football games than Dantonio and Meyer. Dantonio has now outcoached Harbaugh and won games not many other coaches in the world would win. He is good for probably about a 7 to 10 point advantage over Harbaugh in any game they play. Meyer is winning and out recruiting Harbaugh, I do not have confidence UM will beat OSU this year, didn’t last year (even in OT) and won’t the year after this year. I have a hard time believing UM will rock up to MSU next year and win, UM will probably have better talent again but starting at a 10 point deficit and the other team will have a better starting QB.
I do question whether or not Harbaugh is better at leading a team to an upset than leading a team to an expected win. UM doesn’t win at night and they don’t seem to win close games against good competition (Iowa, FSU, OSU, 2x vs MSU) and we lose to our rivals.
At this point I feel resigned to the fact that Michigan is going to compete for a conference title probably once every 6-10 years and rarely if ever for a national title. This is a bit devastating, but sometimes that is what happens when you compete against there best. There is only 1 Tom Brady, no one else gets to be the best QB in the league until he goes away. There were a lot of good sprinters in the last 15 years, but none of them were the best because Usain Bolt was. Michigan is unlikely to find a better coach than Harbaugh without striking lightening… But he is unlikely to deliver the results we have hoped for mostly because Dantonio and Meyer are either the best or better (He could always get lucky with an Andrew Luck but the Speight, Peters and O’Korn lack of development has made me question that, would love it if it happened though).
Usually I am pretty strong that seniors equal winning, but there has been a disturbing lack of development of strong recruits, the oline is horrendous (with 2 seniors) next year is looking to be one of the worst on record if not the worst at this point. The recievers appear to be lost, Harris and Ways have not developed or progressed even though they have talent and have been expected to do better, the best way to describe the QB situation is WTF! Thank god for tight ends.
I realise it might be a bit early to judge, but there are some strong trends that don’t provide a lot of confidence moving forward (i.e. losing close games, night games, to rivals…). At the end of the day Meyer and Dantonio have given all indications that they are simply better coaches and are going to consistenyl beat Michigan in the future.
Thoughts and responses?
You touch on many items here but you don’t follow thru on most. Actually you probably could have made about 10 thread topix with what you’ve touched on and then there would’ve been more development re each item……….
In a general overview tho, at least re the Coach aspect:
(Paul Cryst needs to be mentioned too as far as B10 Coaches go).
almost every Coach at a major traditional football university who has won a National Championship has doen so by their 4th year at that university – the list is fairly long:
I’ll start with Lloyd Carr at Mich – 3rd year
Woody Hayes 4th yr; Bear Bryant – 4th yr; Parsegian -3rd yr; Devine – 3rd yr; Holtz -3rd yr; Jimmy Johnson 4th yr; Erickson – 1st yr; Coker – 1st yr; John McKay -3rd yr; John Robinson 3rd yr;
Switzer – 2nd yr; Bob Stoops 2nd yr; Tressel – 2nd yr; Carrol – 3rd yr; Saban -Twice – 4th yr & 3rd yr; Meyer – Twice – 2nd & 3rd yr; Miles 3rd yr; Jimbo Fisher – 4th yr.
This is Harbaugh’s 3rd yr – will he bring a National Championship to Mich this season…..ahhhh No. Probably not even a division championship. Maybe Next year in his 4th? We’ll see but if it doesn’t happen next year or by the 5th probably won’t happen at all under Harbaugh given the above general trend re National Champion coaches at Major Tradiotional Power Football Universities.
Bo never won a NC but he always stated The Goal was to win the B10 championship. Bo realised the asinine subjectivity of the so-called National Championship and it continues even now under the current system – completely subjective.
Truth is Michigan has only been awarded a part of a 1 NC since the late ’40s so its not like it should be a big deal whether they win 1 or not. But contending for B10 Champioships and beating MSU & OSU on a regular basis should always be expected and the last 3 Michigan coaches have not lived up to this.
In defense of Harbaugh (as well as Pelini & Richt & others) the all time winning ratio held by Michigan of approx .732 or there abouts has to be held as the highest standard and any Head Coach who is near, at or exceeds this should probaly be seen as a Very Damn Good Coach. Pelini & Richt both exceeded this standard yet were fired. Harbaugh currently, too exceeds this standard and I expect him to increase it while He’s at Michigan; but as long as he continues to lose to MSU & OSU and not win a B10 Championship on an at least semi regular basis, it will always leave the Michigan Fanbase feeling that much is missing.
Re the state of the B10:
Becoming obvious that its not what perception is. Perception is that the B10 East is the dominant division and yet the 2 current East divy leaders – OSU & MSU have their only losses in conference to West Division teams AND! The West Division leader – Wisconsin is undefeated having beaten All foes no matter which division so far!
Maybe jez maybe the East division is actually the pussy division of the B10 and the West is where the strongest teams are?!
Also much has been made of the ‘strength’ of the B10 but the last 2 teams from the B10 that appeared in the playoffs have been blown off the field as if they were D-2 teams at best.
Good chance B10 is left out of the playoffs for 2017 season and based on their on the field performance vs ND, OK as well as past 2 seasons playoff appearances no B10 East team SHOULD be in the playoffs……. viable conclusion is B10 East is most overrated division in FBS? Go Badgers?
Now we know………..INTJohn