Outback Bowl: South Carolina 26, Michigan 19

Outback Bowl: South Carolina 26, Michigan 19


January 1, 2018

Take a deep breath. Take a deep breath. It’s hard after that game not to be very frustrated with the state of Michigan football, but I’ll say the same thing I said toward the end of the regular season: This was not going to be a great season from the beginning. Michigan lost almost everyone on defense from 2016, lost a bunch of production on offense, and lost three offensive line starters. They also didn’t get back their starting LT who got injured from last year, got their best WR hurt, and lost their starting four games into the year. If you’re an objective observer, you can probably admit that those are some huge, huge hurdles to overcome.

Hit the jump for the rest of the game discussion.

Bowl game discipline and injuries drive me nuts. I don’t know what happens between the regular season and the bowl game, but something always goes awry with personnel. Whether it’s injuries or knuckleheads getting in trouble, someone always manages not to participate. Last year it was Jabrill Peppers, who pulled a hamstring before the Orange Bowl against Florida State. Going back to the 2013 Outback Bowl against South Carolina, both J.T. Floyd (a starting corernback) and Brandin Hawthorne (a backup linebacker and key special teamer) engaged in some “extracurricular activities. Aside from the injuries and losses mentioned in the above section, here are several other personnel losses:

  • LG Ben Bredeson was injured and replaced by part-time starting RG Michael Onwenu
  • C Patrick Kugler was replaced by Stephen Spanellis, either due to injury or ineffectiveness
  • RG Cesar Ruiz was playing in place of Onwenu already, due to both injury and ineffectiveness
  • RT Juwann Bushell-Beatty was rumored to have been involved in some “extracurricular activities” this year and did not play, and he was replaced by Jon Runyan, Jr.
  • FB Khalid Hill played sparingly for some undisclosed reason
  • RB Ty Isaac was unavailable due to injury
  • RB Kareem Walker was also not at the game, like Bushell-Beatty

Depending on your view of Isaac and Walker, that’s anywhere from 5-7 key pieces missing from Michigan’s already anemic offense. That’s bordering on preposterous. Just for fun, I want to take a look at the depth chart from game one to game thirteen:

  • QB: Wilton Speight John O’Korn Brandon Peters John O’Korn
  • RB: Chris Evans Karan Higdon Chris Evans Ty Isaac Kareem Walker  Chris Evans
  • FB: Khalid Hill Henry Poggi Ben Mason
  • WR: Tarik Black Donovan Peoples-Jones
  • WR: Kekoa Crawford
  • WR: Grant Perry Eddie McDoom Nico Collins Nate Schoenle
  • TE: Sean McKeon Zach Gentry Ian Bunting Tyrone Wheatley Nick Eubanks
  • LT: Mason Cole
  • LG: Ben Bredeson Michael Onwenu
  • C: Patrick Kugler Stephen Spanellis
  • RG: Michael Onwenu Cesar Ruiz
  • RT: Nolan Ulizio Juwann Bushell-Beatty Jon Runyan, Jr.

That chart above is virtually preposterous. The only positions not to be radically affected in this game was one wide receiver spot (Kekoa Crawford, probably the least effective pass catcher), tight end, and left tackle. Whether that’s coaching, strength and conditioning, just pure luck, or some combination, it boggles the mind.

Lack of personnel affects play calling. As much as I was annoyed by the offensive play calling in this game, the lack of consistency on the offensive side of the ball affects your ability to throw in new wrinkles, change formations, run trick plays, etc. Peters looks like the best quarterback on Michigan’s roster, but he only had a couple starts under his belt. Nico Collins started this game, and he barely even played all year long. Spanellis probably played more snaps as a short yardage fullback than as an actual offensive lineman. How tricky can you get when you’re just trying to make sure your new starters know your base formations and plays?

But the play calling sucked. Yes. Yes, it did. You have to find a balance between breaking tendencies and perfecting vanilla plays, but Michigan totally abandoned tricks and misdirection. They tried an end around to Donovan Peoples-Jones (stuffed for a loss) and a misdirection pitch to Karan Higdon (which he almost turned into a TD). That’s it. No “Train” formation, no halfback pass, no flea flicker, no hook and ladder, no misdirection screen. There were even opportunities for Brandon Peters to keep on a couple zone reads, and he never did.

Oh, yeah, except for that one trick. Michigan did try a boneheaded handoff to tight end Sean McKeon on 3rd-and-1. McKeon had zero career carries coming into this game. And he still has zero. Because he fumbled. I was nervous a couple years ago when Michigan decided to move Khalid Hill from tight end to fullback, because he had never taken handoffs before, but he had an entire offseason to perfect it. McKeon never attempted to carry the ball until the Outback Bowl, and he looked exactly like one would expected a tight end to look on a fullback dive. Michigan has been excellent with Hill, Ben Mason, and Henry Poggi carrying the ball on short yardage, so why hand off to McKeon? It doesn’t make any sense. You’re taking a strength and making it a weakness, or at least an unknown. Just give it to your fullbacks, who are 240-260 lbs., and watch them gain 1-2 yards every time. (UPDATE: According to The Michigan Daily, McKeon wasn’t supposed to be in the game at that time, but Peters and the coaching staff didn’t call a timeout or correct the issue.)

On that note, fire the offensive coordinator(s). I don’t see how Pep Hamilton and/or Tim Drevno aren’t let go in the off-season. Harbaugh has already let one head roll, exchanging S&C coach Kevin Tolbert for Ben Herbert. But that’s not enough. Harbaugh needs to light a fire under the team and hold someone accountable, for the program itself and for the fans to feel some renewed energy going into 2018. The play calling has been uninspired all season, and the Ohio State game seemed to be the only one in which Michigan tried to keep teams off balance. Otherwise, it was just the guys in the winged helmets thinking they could execute better than every other team. Former Michigan State and Arkansas offensive coordinator Dan Enos is supposed to join Michigan’s staff soon, but the capacity is unknown. Will he be the 10th assistant coach, or will he replace Drevno/Hamilton? Will he coach running backs and move Jay Harbaugh back to tight ends, since Greg Frey is leaving for Florida State? There are going to be a fair number of moving parts in the offseason.

Karan Higdon made a critical error. Michigan was up 19-3 when Higdon fumbled at the 4-yard line going in to score. From that point forward, South Carolina scored 23 unanswered points. I remember some outrage flung in the direction of Ty Isaac when his fumble changed momentum against Michigan State, but I didn’t see the same response on Twitter toward Higdon. Higdon, who lost 2 fumbles this year, lost some time on the next drive to Chris Evans and then re-entered the game. Ty Isaac played sparingly after the fumble (27 carries, 183 yards, 1 TD) before getting injured against Rutgers and essentially missing the remainder of the year. Of course, with Isaac and Walker out for this game, Michigan didn’t have much of a choice to totally bench Higdon, but I find it curious how the players are viewed differently.

The defense is good, but there are flaws. I have a really hard time blaming the defense. It’s tough to be good at defense when the offense is bad. Not only is there a lack of continued momentum, but you end up with poor field position and you’re on the field longer than you should be. Michigan has some excellent defensive players, and the weak spot – the safety positions – can be exposed. It’s not perfect, but there are other teams where it’s not only the safeties, but the pass rush. Or it’s the safeties and the corners. Or it’s most of the defensive line and a couple linebackers. Don Brown gets heat for playing man-to-man, putting safeties on slot receivers, putting Mike McCray on running backs, etc. Live by the sword, die by the sword. South Carolina never gets a chance to make some of those offensive plays if the offense didn’t give them 5 turnovers in the second half, including two in the redzone and a muffed punt that bounced off of Donovan Peoples-Jones’s facemask.

Freshmen aren’t ideal. I touched on the lack of experience above, but it’s hard not to shrug my shoulders when it comes to all the mistakes being made. Freshmen make a ton of mistakes in high school football, and the same thing often happens in college. The pressure, the speed, the intricacies of the game, they all mount. Peoples-Jones has shown great hands all year long on punt returns, and he picked a terrible time and place to let the ball hit his facemask. Redshirt freshman quarterback Brandon Peters hadn’t faced a defense that good since he was knocked out of the Wisconsin game (also, he hadn’t seen any defense since then), and he was trying to connect with freshman wideouts in Peoples-Jones and Collins. Peters was overwhelmed, and he seemed to be shying away from contact; whether it was the concussion or just this game, there are questions in the back of my mind about the steel in his spine. Peoples-Jones was behind Black to start the year, and Collins wasn’t even on the radar. It was like throwing out a JV team against a varsity squad. South Carolina has its own issues, which is one reason why they’re also not great on offense. But at least Jake Bentley is a returning starter at QB, and they have a TE who’s leaving early for the NFL after catching 48 balls last season.

Jim Harbaugh needs to produce. I don’t want to say Jim Harbaugh is on the hot seat, but it kind of feels like he’s on the hot seat. Will Michigan fire him if he goes 8-5 next season? I can’t really see that happening. Maybe it depends on if he wins against the right people. There are too many variables. If he goes 8-5 with wins against Michigan State and Ohio State, then enough people will probably be satisfied. But he’s 1-2 against Michigan State, 0-3 against Ohio State, and 1-2 in bowl games. That’s not great. For everyone’s sake – Michigan’s, Harbaugh’s, the players’, the fans’ – I hope we don’t get to a point where we’re seriously talking about firing a former great Michigan player and truly a high-quality coach. I think Harbaugh is good for Michigan and for college football overall. It’s a great story, the hometown guy coming back to coach his college team. I hate to see those marriages end badly anywhere. Harbaugh has talked about spending the rest of his career at Michigan, but if he doesn’t, I hope he has a couple big seasons in Ann Arbor before returning to the NFL.

Go Blue.

90 comments

  1. Comments: 169
    Joined: 9/3/2015
    suduri xusai
    Jan 01, 2018 at 9:22 PM

    0-3 against OSU, by the way.

    I am concerned with all this cronyism with Drevno and Hamilton. They SUCK and they need to be let go immediately.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2504
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jan 02, 2018 at 8:32 AM

      Yeah, good catch. Thanks.

    • Comments: 146
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      coachernie
      Jan 02, 2018 at 11:08 PM

      Time for a clean sweep of the “big out house”… sick of this crap !

  2. Comments: 169
    Joined: 9/3/2015
    suduri xusai
    Jan 01, 2018 at 9:24 PM

    I also don’t think Harbaugh will have a couple of big seasons before going back to NFL.

    Big Ten East is absolutely loaded and he will have a hard time repeatedly having big seasons his entire career even if he stays for the next 15 years. The best scenario at this point is for him to barely keep it even with Meyer, and I am more and more pessimistic that he’ll get even with Meyer. If he leaves NFL without blowing out OSU and MSU, it will look ugly.

  3. Comments: 6
    Joined: 9/24/2017
    bluegoinggray
    Jan 01, 2018 at 9:27 PM

    Very even-handed piece. Very reasoned response. This team is not very good. This season was disappointing. This offensive coaching staff needs to do a much better job going forward. The defense has a few isuues, but it is not the weak link on this team.

    • Comments: 571
      Joined: 9/13/2015
      michymich
      Jan 01, 2018 at 10:45 PM

      I couldn’t disagree with anything in the article. Well said. Harbaugh is going to have to get rid of Drevno who is my humble opinion is not a good OC. Why do I believe this? Look at the last drive against OSU and today with 3rd and 1 and he must have called aggressive pass plays when there was plenty of time left on the clock to still go down the field with at least one timeout not to mention the clock would stop with a 1st down.

      Guy clearly panics. I get the impression that this program practices 40 pass plays during the week and only has 4 of the pass plays mastered.

    • Blue in NC
      Comments: 25
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Blue in NC
      Jan 02, 2018 at 5:35 PM

      Yes, defense had a couple of issues but if we are being honest, that defense overachieved again. We only got disappointed a bit because the D shows many flashes (but not enough consistency) of being a flat-out dominating defense.

  4. Comments: 815
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Jan 01, 2018 at 9:34 PM

    Another great read Thunder, but while true about our personnel, we had no business losing today. My GF is a SCar alum (I watch often), so they’re one bowl matchup I felt MICHIGAN was certain to look good in. The coaching staff didn’t have the players ready, the players on O looked weak, and the D capitulated
    Very disappointing

    • Comments: 571
      Joined: 9/13/2015
      michymich
      Jan 01, 2018 at 10:48 PM

      I watched the game and thought to myself South Carolina isn’t very good. They gifted UM the lead in the 1st half and because of self destructive tendencies, a relatively new qb, turnovers, coaching and bad matchups created by Brown they somehow lost this game.

      This was by far and away the worst performance of the Harbaugh era exceeding the Iowa game by 50%. This was Hoke level incompetence in the 4th quarter.

      What a stinker.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2504
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jan 02, 2018 at 8:32 AM

      Thank you.

  5. Comments: 35
    Joined: 1/10/2017
    Julio
    Jan 01, 2018 at 9:45 PM

    I enjoyed reading this. It seems fair and reasonable. It’s a nice break from the Snowflake threads (or, really, any threads) on MGoBlog. Nice work, Thunder.

  6. DonAZ
    Comments: 362
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    DonAZ
    Jan 01, 2018 at 10:19 PM

    2018 is going to be critical because it’s going to establish the trend line. I’m not speaking *just* the win/loss record, but the *way* Michigan wins and loses.

    Today’s game had *horrible* optics. Horrible. If it turns out to be a one-off thing, then it will be forgotten. But if it turns out to be indicative of Michigan’s general trend … then things get bad at an increasing rate. No highly-touted recruit wants to play for a team that puts up games like today’s game. That’s why 2018 is critical: it will show whether Michigan is growing, or just going sideways.

    Off-season musts: (1) Get rid of Pep Hamilton; (2) Get rid of Drevno or demote him to just OL; (3) Get a *college* OC who understand’s today’s game; (3) Get a real RB coach; (4) Get a real WR coach.

    • Comments: 6
      Joined: 9/24/2017
      bluegoinggray
      Jan 01, 2018 at 10:40 PM

      I like this plan. No chance it all happens.

      • Comments: 571
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Jan 01, 2018 at 10:52 PM

        Give Harbaugh credit. He does and will make changes. Drevno is a bust of the highest order at OC. Harbaugh has to find an OC who has an understanding of how to move the football.

        I can criticize Brown but even a great DC needs some help in an offensive era of college football.

    • Comments: 169
      Joined: 9/3/2015
      suduri xusai
      Jan 01, 2018 at 11:13 PM

      I think it will happen. We now can have 10 assistant coaches. I also don’t like the whole Jay Harbaugh hire, too. And I can’t stand that Pep and Drevno do not recruit very much. WTF is wrong with these morons after getting paid millions.

      I’d bet that Pep and Drevno will be gone. We should get a good OC, a real Wr coach and a RB coach.

  7. Comments: 571
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Jan 01, 2018 at 11:10 PM

    Angelique said it best. This team lacks an edge. Peters looks like some version of Todd Collins personality wise. I don’t know if that ever changes. Where is the fire on this team?

    Evans and Peters seem like they could teach kindergarten. Where is the Steve Everitt on this team? I have completely changed my view on the qb situation. I thought Peters was going to win the job and he still may but I am starting to think this team needs a qb with moxie and fire and Patterson may be the guy. This team is missing something in regards to leadership.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2504
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jan 02, 2018 at 8:22 AM

      I see fire on defense (Hurst, Winovich, Bush, etc.), but on offense, yeah. There’s no nastiness. The QB is somewhat quiet, there’s no bruising runner, and the OL is soft. I think it’s hard to build an edge when you’re questioning who the QB is, what your identity is, etc.

      • Comments: 571
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Jan 02, 2018 at 1:46 PM

        Yep. This is a great point. It’s like a rudderless ship right now. I think people have really overlooked what happened a couple of weeks ago with Harbaugh making a switch at S&C. He recognizes this team needs to get stronger. I think Harbaugh is going to get rid of Drevno. It’s pretty obvious in my mind that the guy really doesn’t have an idea of what he is doing with the offense. He is wingin it on some level.

        This offense is like an introvert in a conference with Alpha males. Black coming back will help but UM needs not only a qb but a center who takes control of this OL.

    • High Sierra Howard
      Comments: 28
      Joined: 1/16/2016
      High Sierra Howard
      Jan 02, 2018 at 3:25 PM

      It’s pathetic that the kicker has the biggest balls on offensive side

  8. Comments: 150
    Joined: 12/19/2015
    Extrajuice
    Jan 01, 2018 at 11:42 PM

    Great summary. I guess the only positive I can hope (and seen by other college programs) is that change can happen quickly. Especially with a better quarterback. The most important decision is now up to the NCAA. If Patterson is NOT eligible to play it makes for a dark offseason. If he’s ruled eligible, there are pieces that can be very talented and interesting. Obviously, I’d love for a total change in offensive philosophy but that is unlikely to happen. I’ll remain skeptical of the RB position as I’ve not seen a great Michigan RB since 1 season of Chris Perry. As for Oline, I believe that is mainly coaching and praying for a change too.
    Is there any history of Harbaugh firing staff members at either level?

    • Comments: 150
      Joined: 12/19/2015
      Extrajuice
      Jan 01, 2018 at 11:59 PM

      Also, did I miss something with LaVert Hill? Didn’t see him in after the 1st qtr. Didn’t hear anything during the game nor did I hear any report on him.

      • Comments: 150
        Joined: 12/19/2015
        Extrajuice
        Jan 02, 2018 at 11:30 AM

        What’s up Thunder? I’m feeling like chopped liver!

        • Thunder
          Comments: 2504
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Jan 02, 2018 at 11:36 AM

          I haven’t heard anything. Sorry.

    • Comments: 739
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Jan 02, 2018 at 10:03 AM

      It’s pretty sad, not to mention worrisome, that in Harbaugh’s 4th year, he still hasn’t been able to develop a starter of his own at QB, and we have to cross our fingers for a transfer to save us from another 8-4 season.

      • Thunder
        Comments: 2504
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Jan 02, 2018 at 10:12 AM

        This was Harbaugh’s 3rd year.

        • Comments: 739
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Jan 02, 2018 at 10:20 AM

          2017 is done. 2018 is Harbaugh’s 4th year. We don’t have anything resembling a proven, quality starter in place for the upcoming season. Wisconsin does, Penn State does. Michigan State does. All we have is finger-crossing.

          • Thunder
            Comments: 2504
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Jan 02, 2018 at 10:24 AM

            Yes, 2018 is Harbaugh’s 4th year…and the 2018 season has yet to begin. Michigan could have a competent starter in 2018. Nobody knows.

            • Comments: 739
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              WindyCityBlue
              Jan 02, 2018 at 10:29 AM

              “Nobody knows” is the point exactly. Why are we still scrambling to find even a halfway decent starter at QB 4 years in, when so many teams are doing so well with freshman and sophomore QBs? Harbaugh is supposed to be the best developer of QBs on the planet. “Nobody knows” is not what we’re paying him 7 million a year for.

              • Thunder
                Comments: 2504
                Joined: 7/13/2015
                Jan 02, 2018 at 10:39 AM

                I don’t know. I’m still disappointed that the Houston Astros didn’t repeat as World Series champs in 2018.

                • Comments: 739
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  WindyCityBlue
                  Jan 02, 2018 at 10:44 AM

                  And if this were a question of what chance Michigan has of repeating as national champion, that might be relevant.

  9. Comments: 1139
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Jan 02, 2018 at 5:37 AM

    That was extremely ugly.

  10. Comments: 1
    Joined: 1/2/2018
    mbee1
    Jan 02, 2018 at 7:18 AM

    Good rational summary. Where does the improvement come from next year? I was like most fans and thought the OSU game would be a taking off point for the offense. Now, there are more questions. I’d like to think the WRs are talented but just young. Can the oline get better despite losing a 4 year starter? There’s still no NFL level talent.
    Any coaching changes will be a good insight into the direction Harbaugh wants to go. That’s why the Frey and Pep hiring concerned me last year. Drevno and Harbaugh are power guys, and we brought in a west coast passing guy and spread/zone blocking guy. The offense needs to find an identity this offseason, find playmakers, get a confident QB, and develop the line. That’s a lot to ask

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2504
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jan 02, 2018 at 8:20 AM

      Regarding improvement, one should be able to expect improvement from the offensive line, but that’s been a running theme for a couple years now. QB should improve with Patterson or with Peters being a year older. TE should improve with those guys being a year older. The biggest improvement should come from the WR position, where many of our main contributors were freshmen (Peoples-Jones, Black, Collins). Perry is who he is, and McDoom hasn’t played as well as I expected, but those freshmen could be special. RB should be about the same.

      The Frey hiring was somewhat odd, and I guess he was a one-year rental. It seemed like a good idea at the time if Michigan was going to be mostly inside/outside zone, but the personnel doesn’t fit. As far as Hamilton being a West Coast guy, meh. There are West Coast passing concepts built into most offenses now, and they can be melded into almost any running game. Unless Hamilton is really dense – which I don’t believe – he shouldn’t have any issues building a passing game off of a power running game and power formations.

      • Comments: 17
        Joined: 10/16/2015
        Vienna Jack
        Jan 02, 2018 at 8:29 AM

        Why can’t we come up with a running back who has real burst and vision? Wisconsin seems to find someone often enough to keep things rolling. Oklahoma and Georgia had a couple that looked quite good. We get highly rated guys who just can’t seem to take that jump between high school hero and good college back.

        • Thunder
          Comments: 2504
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Jan 02, 2018 at 8:44 AM

          That’s a great question. I don’t know. We’ve recruited some good running backs (for example, Michigan offered Sony Michel coming out of high school and I really wanted him), but we’re on a string of mediocre guys and busts. I honestly think Ty Isaac is the closest thing we’ve had to being that guy with burst and vision, but his toughness and ball security were an issue. Higdon runs hard and has decent speed, but he doesn’t have the best vision or strength. Evans is good in space, but he’s not a guy who can create much in tight spaces. Derrick Green was a flop all around. De’Veon Smith was the toughest runner in a while, but he was slow and lacked vision.

          Every player has a flaw or two, but it seems like all the running backs we’ve recruited have had 50% good qualities, max.

          I have high hopes for Hassan Haskins. I think he’s the first guy Harbaugh has recruited who really fits what Harbaugh wants, but he’s not a speed guy who’s going to be able to house it from 75 yards like Barkley, Michel, etc.

      • Comments: 815
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        je93
        Jan 02, 2018 at 10:19 AM

        So far, he hasn’t shown it

        “Unless Hamilton is really dense – which I don’t believe – he shouldn’t have any issues building a passing game off of a power running game and power formations”

  11. Comments: 17
    Joined: 10/16/2015
    Vienna Jack
    Jan 02, 2018 at 8:26 AM

    Watching the offense yesterday was reminiscent of Borges’ “brilliant” tackle-over formation. Predictable. And doomed. It was hard to tell whether our formation caused USC to bring 8-9 men into the box or whether we saw 8-9 men in the box and thought it would be a good idea to bunch our formation and send Higdon up the middle. Either way, you could tell many plays were doomed prior to the snap. It was just depressing. It became worse while watching Georgia and Oklahoma send better backs into much more creatively designed (and much better blocked) plays.

  12. Comments: 209
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    INTJohn
    Jan 02, 2018 at 8:43 AM

    In 10 years Michigan football has gone from All offense & No defense to
    All defense and No Offense………; but the credit for All Defense goes to Don Brown.

    I’m on record from a year ago that the school is still out as to whether Jim Harbaugh can Build A Team! Over the next 3 years we” find out but after this game & season I’m wondering now IF he can even Coach 1 !!

    As I See iT…………….INTJohn

    • DonAZ
      Comments: 362
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      DonAZ
      Jan 02, 2018 at 9:46 AM

      I think he *can* coach, and I think he *can* build a team.

      Now the question is whether he’s focused on doing that. I think he *was* in 2015. But I think his focus started to drift in 2016.

      What’s odd is he has, it seems, ceded the defensive side of the ball to Don Brown (a good thing), which should, in theory, free him up to focus on the offensive side of the ball. But at least from a staffing viewpoint, it seems the offensive side is a confused jumble. If there are other programs that have the OL coaching split like we do, I’ve not heard of it. And putting Jay Harbaugh in as running backs coach was a head-scratcher, given how important the RB corp is to establishing the ability to pass.

      From the outside looking in, it strikes me that Harbaugh is a case of a CEO who has allowed non-core things to pull his attention away from the central things. He would be well-advised to make fixing the offense of this team his #1 priority in the off-season.

      • Comments: 169
        Joined: 9/3/2015
        suduri xusai
        Jan 02, 2018 at 12:06 PM

        Harbaugh has wasted so much money on morons like Drevno and Hamilton, giving them million-plus for that crap we watched yesterday.

        Freaking cronyism.

      • Comments: 571
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Jan 02, 2018 at 1:56 PM

        Yes.

  13. Comments: 209
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    INTJohn
    Jan 02, 2018 at 9:03 AM

    ………and now what?
    We don’t even have a months worth of recruiting drama till signing day to look forward too as 95% of that took place 2 weex ago…………
    ………and its 2 months till MBB turnee time. NFL playoffs?
    Playoffs?! Playoffs?!
    Well, Go Vikings!
    Long cold winter………..INTjohn

  14. Comments: 739
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    WindyCityBlue
    Jan 02, 2018 at 9:21 AM

    Dissection of individual players and position groups aside, was there even one game this year where having Harbaugh as coach made a difference? He doesn’t have a single notable win in three years here, and a whole string of humiliating choke-job losses. Anyone who thinks that just giving his young players another year under their belts is going to fix that hasn’t been paying attention.
    And anyone who thinks his seat isn’t warm for next year is deluding themselves.

    • DonAZ
      Comments: 362
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      DonAZ
      Jan 02, 2018 at 9:54 AM

      “And anyone who thinks his seat isn’t warm for next year is deluding themselves.”

      Agree. Harbaugh himself has to know it. The fire that’s producing the heat is not the win/loss record per se; it’s the *way* the losses are being incurred. The Outback Bowl game is a prime example: that game was just horrible. It’s one thing to lose while playing competitively; it’s quite another to lose playing sloppy football with a soft attitude. It all speaks to the trajectory of the program.

      • Thunder
        Comments: 2504
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Jan 02, 2018 at 10:04 AM

        I would add that Michigan’s personnel situation seems to be a bigger issue. I talked about it extensively in the post, but if Michigan can’t keep players healthy and disciplined, then they’re not going to play well. You can’t be in major flux at about 8 out of 11 positions on offense and expect good things to happen. And I don’t see why Khalid Hill, Ben Bredeson, Ty Isaac, Kareem Walker, Juwann Bushell-Beatty, and Grant Perry (among others) couldn’t have been ready for the bowl game. Michigan fans bashed Florida a couple years ago for a bunch of their guys backing out of the bowl or not playing hard, and the same thing can be levied toward Michigan in this year’s Outback Bowl. There’s something going on there that needs to be fixed, and maybe part of it can be attributed to whatever reason there was for axing Kevin Tolbert.

        • DonAZ
          Comments: 362
          Joined: 8/12/2015
          DonAZ
          Jan 02, 2018 at 10:37 AM

          The open question is — were those players unwilling to play the bowl game, or unable. If unable, was it due to injury of disciplinary action.

          If unwilling or disciplinary, then it suggests a leadership problem with the team.

          If injury, then it calls for some introspection about training and practice regimens. Having a player or two out is expected; having a 6 or 8 out is unheard of.

        • Comments: 6
          Joined: 9/24/2017
          bluegoinggray
          Jan 02, 2018 at 2:08 PM

          I’ve had similar thoughts recently. I know that all college football programs have personnel issues, but from the outside looking at the program, something seems to be a little off. Adds to the general frustration with how things are going.

      • Comments: 739
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Jan 02, 2018 at 10:14 AM

        Also the fact that his teams do not improve at all over the course of a season. The last two years they have collapsed completely down the stretch.

        • Thunder
          Comments: 2504
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Jan 02, 2018 at 10:21 AM

          I don’t necessarily agree with that. Improvement is not determined by wins and losses. I could get better and better as a boxer, for example, but if my last fight is against Floyd Mayweather, I’m probably going to lose.

          I think Michigan improved this year, but then they lost close-ish games to Wisconsin and Ohio State. And then I don’t know WTF happened against South Carolina in the bowl game. Michigan definitely improved in 2015. The one season that didn’t make a ton of sense was 2016, when Michigan laid an egg against Iowa and then barely beat Indiana before losing close ones to OSU and FSU.

          • Comments: 739
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            WindyCityBlue
            Jan 02, 2018 at 10:36 AM

            Then what IS improvement based on? On what basis do you argue that Harbaugh’s teams have clearly improved over the course of a season? Saying “well, a couple guys sorta looked better” is not evidence.

            We weren’t fighting Floyd Mayweather yesterday. What signs of overall improvement did you see?

          • Comments: 571
            Joined: 9/13/2015
            michymich
            Jan 02, 2018 at 1:34 PM

            I see improvement almost everywhere. I do and I am not saying this as some eternal optimist. I don’t think the strength and toughness and execution is there on the OL but probably why Harbaugh made a change.

            I see improvement everywhere except ONE spot. You know that spot. See my post below about getting an edge as expressed by Angelique.

            This team wants to win in my opinion but the HEAD of the football team is weak and it trickles down in my opinion.

            In fact, I think the edge is missing with the coaches on the O side. I agreed with everything you said in your article. It was very well done but the real problem with this team is it has a gaping void at the most important position on the field.

            There was an article on another site where the guy says show me where a qb doesn’t matter for most wins and losses and I’ll show you why you are wrong.

            This program has some things it needs to improve but you put Rudock on this team from 3 years ago and UM probably has 10 if not 11 wins assuming the punter doesn’t drop balls.

            UM is playing with 2nd and 3rd tier qb play. Look at yesterday. Complete team loss but a good qb gives the team a chance to win. Does a good qb hand off to McKeon? Maybe not. Does a good qb throw that int in the EZ? I doubt it. He takes the fg. Does a good qb find a way to get a 1st down late in the game by scrambling or throwing underneath? I think so.

            I am still on the Peters train but somehow as I have said numerous times that Harbaugh needs to develop a qb. It’s all he should focus on going forward. He should delegate and focus everything on qb development because until the qb plays well and leads this team it’s going to keep banging it’s head up against the proverbial wall against better competition when they have the better qb.

            See yesterday. Switch qb’s for UM and USC. What happens? You know the answer.

      • Comments: 571
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Jan 02, 2018 at 1:40 PM

        His seat isn’t warm in the respect he is going to be fired. That ain’t happening. His seat is HOT in the respect the fan base is going to explode with disappointment if it’s the same ole UM beats the middle of the pack and downtrodden and loses to MSU and OSU.

        I think the expectations are high now for a reason. His recruiting has been rock solid. Peters was his recruit. He now has Patterson and McCaffrey so no excuses. All of these guys are his guys.

        He has all the pieces to succeed but the reasons for the failure come down to my mind because of no QB. Look at the Wisconsin, MSU and Wisconsin games. Why did the really lose?

        Easy. Come on. Easy. There is no perfect team but this team has plenty of talent albeit young this past year but incompetent play at the most important position has undermined the year.

        You can get perfect OL tackles next year and if your qb does stupid things it will undermine the team. Find and develop a qb. End of story.

        Harbaugh would be wise to go out and find a OC who knows how to develop qb’s.

        • Comments: 739
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Jan 02, 2018 at 6:31 PM

          Well, he’s not going to be fired this year, but he is under more pressure than any other coach in the Big Ten for 2018 to meet or exceed expectations.

          Do a little thought experiment. Run down the list of Big Ten coaches and ask yourself, “If this guy goes 7-5 next year, how likely is it that he’ll get fired?” You’ll find yourself realizing that Harbaugh is the most likely to be broomed after a season like that. It may not happen even if the season is that bad, but as I asked before, if Harbaugh can’t win a championship after four years, with the talent he’ll have in 2018, how much more talent does he need, and what chance does he have to get it any time soon?

    • GKblue
      Comments: 276
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      GKblue
      Jan 02, 2018 at 10:01 AM

      Head coaches are measured against results. You are correct IMO that we are lacking notable wins against teams with a winning record and against our rivals.

      Harbaugh is also measured against the expections we had of him.

      After this season count me frustrated and disappointed. Count me skepticle going forward, sadly.

      • Comments: 739
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Jan 02, 2018 at 10:08 AM

        Well fanboy hype notwithstanding, for 7 million a year, our expectations are justifiedly high, and so far he has failed to meet them. 2017 was his last year of slack. If he doesn’t start producing at a championship level in 2018, it’s time to start thinking about a change. If he can’t get it done with what he has this year, then when?

      • Comments: 146
        Joined: 8/12/2015
        coachernie
        Jan 02, 2018 at 11:12 PM

        JH has turned out to be all puff, smoke and mirrors. Give me a real coach not a circus act.

  15. Comments: 571
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Jan 02, 2018 at 1:21 PM

    The more I think about all of this the more I believe UM is missing a baller at qb. Higdon is tough as nails but the team comes across as soft without an edge.

    Probably why Harbaugh has changed S&C guys. Peters is too mellow. Now, he may change and he may develop and he is talented. Is Patterson the guy who can LEAD this team.

    This program is soft on some level and it’s start with the qb. Someone needs to take control of this team to push thru this losing culture. This team buckles at the end against good teams because no one knows where to turn. It’s like people keep looking for someone to close.

    UM is basically George from Glengary Glen Ross and OSU is Ricky Roma.

    • DonAZ
      Comments: 362
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      DonAZ
      Jan 02, 2018 at 2:13 PM

      Couple of observations:

      1) Do you remember the “Signing of the Stars” event from 2016? That’s the year Peters was introduced and up on stage. Unlike some of the other players, who seemed to have fun up in the limelight, Peters didn’t seem to be enjoying himself. A small thing, but perhaps indicative of his preference to be more low-key?

      2) Do you remember earlier in the season there was some chatter about the QB depth chart, and Peters was #3? One of the comments was that he “didn’t have a voice” in the huddle. If true, then it’s another data point in the question of “edge” being displayed by the offense.

      3) In the warm-up to the Outback Bowl, they showed Peters doing a little foot motion drill. The look in Peters’ eyes made me think, “Man, he looks nervous.” I wonder if the 6 weeks off gave him too much time to think about things.

      I like Peters … we saw glimpses of what he could do in earlier games. I think the lead-up to the Outback Bowl, all the coaching and instruction, all the pressure to win, just overloaded his circuits a bit for that game?

      • Comments: 17
        Joined: 10/16/2015
        Vienna Jack
        Jan 02, 2018 at 4:03 PM

        I just hope you are right about Peters.

        When you look at the teams that win, you see players – often but not always QBs – who make plays in critical situations. Receivers make great catches in traffic. RBs make cuts that get them into the open field. QBs put passes into incredibly tight windows. Yesterday, you saw Peters throwing errant passes in critical situations (and sliding when he should have been diving for the first down marker), you saw receivers failing to come up with hard catches and you saw RBs being unable to come up with a big run. And you saw turnovers at the worst possible time.

        Afterwards, I watched OU v. Georgia. Mayfield pumps everyone up. Did you see Peters doing that? For that matter, did you see anyone – player or COACH – doing that? Someone has to be pumping them up, particularly after bad things happen. If the O turns it over, the D has to be jumping up and down to get the ball back. FIRE in the belly is essential.

        • Comments: 739
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Jan 02, 2018 at 6:00 PM

          It’s not just “fire in the belly”, it’s talent and athleticism. Watching the playoffs, it’s clear that Michigan doesn’t have half the athletes it needs to compete at that level. Way too many holes on offense and defense.

      • Comments: 571
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Jan 02, 2018 at 5:34 PM

        Peters has talent. He just needs reps and confidence and needs to be prodded out of his shell.

        What is great, assuming Patterson gets the ok, is that Peters is going to be forced to make a decision. Does he want to be the starter at UM? If so, he is going to have to work harder than he has ever worked and will have to get better in and out of the huddle. He is going to have legit competition from both McCaffrey and Patterson.

        None of these guys have a stranglehold on the position. Nothing motivates like fear and greed. Fear of losing your dreams. Greed of making the NFL.

        I think Harbaugh as others have stated, needs to create an unbelievable pressured environment for the qb position and the guy who wins the job will keep it. 9 months of extreme pressure and execution.

        I think Peters can win the job but something tells me now that Patterson has the mental makeup to take over the job. He has some moxie to himself. He wasn’t afraid to come to UM. He looks like he said I can beat all of these guys out. He didn’t seem fazed at all by coming to UM.

        This program is just a few changes away from being able to win the Big Ten but these are big things…

        1. QB
        2. OC
        3. OL

        but the talent is on the roster to get it done.

        • Comments: 739
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Jan 02, 2018 at 6:19 PM

          This program does not have another year of “reps” to coddle Peters with. There has been no sign of starting level talent (let alone championship level talent) from him after two years, which should be more than enough. He still struggles to execute more than the simplest throws and plays, and he is basically zero threat as a runner, which means his passing has to be even better. I would not be surprised to see him re-buried on the depth chart come fall, and to transfer out before his time here is done.

    • Comments: 739
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Jan 02, 2018 at 2:24 PM

      Ummm..”Someone”?

      Call me crazy, but shouldn’t that “someone” be, like, the HEAD coach? The guy who’s being paid $7,000,000 a year to do exactly that? Which of course raises the question of what the heck he HAS been doing the last three years, if not that?

  16. Comments: 571
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Jan 02, 2018 at 3:44 PM

    Chris Carter made some very interesting comments about Harbaugh. Here is what he said in a nutshell.

    1. When he watches UM, he doesn’t see anything creative on offense. He says he is overrated as an offensive mind.

    I thought this was both interesting and probably true. When you watch the UM offense do you say to yourself, wow that is impressive. Not really. It seems pretty straightforward. Not saying Harbaugh can’t coach offense but he is overrated as a offensive guru.

    2. Says he is ultimately responsible for not finding a qb. Yeah, that is true.

    One last thought that gets reiterated everywhere. No more excuses and if he can’t win next year then he is definitely overrated. Lots of pressure. I feel sort of sorry for him because most people don’t appreciate that he walked into a program that was in disarray. That being said, hard to feel sorry for a guy making that much money.

    I am all in the Harbaugh era but work on the offense. Get the OL straightened out and find a qb. If he wants Drevno then it’s his decision and he will get blamed for the lack of competence.

    I think the rumors of Frey leaving is because Harbaugh is all in on Drevno. Mistake coach. Mistake.

  17. Comments: 1139
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Jan 02, 2018 at 8:42 PM

    Yawn.

    Despite Whiney’s fantasy, Harbaugh will never be fired, pushed out, or any other nuanced word or phrase one might come up with. Neither is there any heat coming from his seat.

    This is simply because Harbaugh has the people that matter squarely in his corner, and that will not change for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that the people that matter have a clue about how college athletics in general and college football in particular works. The people that matter are the “Michigan Men”, particularly the ones that doomed RR, the big donors, the regents, President and the AD. These people all know that we are catching up fast in talent, that we’re running with an incredibly young group because of the two failed Hoke classes and 3 failed classes in 7 years resultant from stupid athletic directors making poorly planned changes. They know from hard, painful experience the cost of changing coaches and they know that there is no other coach in football that can come here and thrive. They also know beyond any shadow of a doubt that they have the right guy and that they are going to win championships. And finally and unfortunately for the haters, they care not one whit about what the whiners think. Nor should they, because the whiners don’t … possibly/likely can’t.

    As an aside, they also know that 7 million is peanuts and if it’s nine, that’s peanuts too. Despite the wallet envy on display here tonight.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2504
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jan 02, 2018 at 8:49 PM

      Roanman: We went through this just over a week ago. Name calling and such just starts a downward spiral. If you don’t like what someone is saying, please refute them maturely or just ignore them. Otherwise, I’m just going to go back to deleting whole posts, and you spend too much time formulating good thoughts to have the whole comment cooked because of nonsense. For the sake of constructive discussion, let’s try to interact more appropriately than a lot of the people on MGoBlog or MLive. Thanks.

      • Comments: 739
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Jan 02, 2018 at 10:37 PM

        Did you really expect anything else from this guy? I told you last time, and all you could do was delete my posts and leave his juvenile insults up. If that’s the kind of site you intend to run, then just say so right out in the open, so that people who want to speak the unvarnished truth can do it elsewhere, and sensitive souls like Roanman won’t have their Pollyanna worldview ruined.

        • Thunder
          Comments: 2504
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Jan 03, 2018 at 9:32 AM

          WCB: You are not totally innocent in this. People who don’t agree with you are “delusional” and the vast majority of your posts are of the “the sky is falling” variety. You’re going to get some blowback, and I could certainly delete a bunch more of your posts for vitriol as well. It’s not a coincidence that several posters here have taken issue with your attitude. I thought having a warning over Christmas Eve/Christmas might let things cool off a bit, but the stinker of a game seems to have riled you up, and that riles up others.

          Personally, I want everyone to keep posting. But calling people “delusional” if they don’t agree with you, calling people playground insults, etc. isn’t what I want going on in the comments.

          Let’s just talk about football – or other common subjects (books, music, movies, etc.) – without hating each other.

          P.S. If that’s “the kind of site I want to run,” then I wouldn’t be spending my valuable time trying to you two to knock it off. I could be doing some more productive things than lecturing a couple of adults right now. At least Roanman apologizes, which I don’t believe I have ever seen from you.

      • Comments: 1139
        Joined: 8/13/2015
        Roanman
        Jan 03, 2018 at 5:51 AM

        Mea culpa.

    • Comments: 739
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Jan 02, 2018 at 10:34 PM

      Wow…you sure know a lot about what other people who you can’t even name and have probably never met “know”. Especially when you claim they “know” all sorts of things that there is no evidence for, other than wishful thinking.

      The realists among us know what we see on the field. And what we see is a good, but not great coach, who can’t develop a QB and who can’t win big games. We also know how college football, especially Michigan football, works, and you don’t keep your job forever by getting punked by Ohio State and Michigan State 9 times out of 10, and by finishing in the middle of the pack every year. If you think the big donors will put up with that forever, you’re more deluded than I thought.

      • Comments: 1139
        Joined: 8/13/2015
        Roanman
        Jan 03, 2018 at 7:01 AM

        Actually, I do know quite a few of them.

        Secondly, we have gone over exactly what’s going on here in terms of lost classes, lost redshirts and kids playing men over and over again. And you, among others can’t seem to grasp it or more likely just don’t want to.

        Everybody is disappointed, but the truth is this you have the only guy on earth in the forceable future who can get it done here for the following reasons.

        “Michigan will be coached by a “Michigan Man”. I didn’t make up this rule, Bo did. It is not subject to change in the near future. Ask RR about this rule, he’ll tell you first hand.

        The people who understand team and program building now have first hand experience with the cost of changing coaches. We are suffering that cost as I type, with a gaping two year hole from two recruiting classes that went elsewhere during the Hoke trauma. Hoke himself got bit by, among other things, the combination of lackluster recruiting classes caused by the RR trauma, as well as RR specific needs that put Hoke at a talent deficiency after losing the last vestiges of Lloyd’s line recruiting. The defense that kicked ass for two years for Harbaugh got pounded for Hoke, not because of a lack of coaching or talent, but because they were playing before they were ready to play. Our defense this year was better than that group early. They were subject to wearing down late. That fixes itself with age and physical maturity.

        We’re two recruiting classes away from a fully functioning pipeline the likes of which we haven’t had here since Lloyd cared about recruiting. The people running this program all know this. General crying and carrying on about firing this guy, that guy or hot seats does nothing to help toward building those classes.

        Some time ago somebody asked me if I really thought that kids know what fans are saying about programs they are looking at … HELL YES!!! My lowly D2-3 Soccer prospect knew the relative status of every coach that sniffed his profile as well as every coach that came around recruiting his friends. He still does. Kids also know that fans are stupid and they discount for this, but they for sure sniffed out Hoke and RR’s demise, long before it happened. This has killed us and we all saw it on the field agains SC.

        If you want an education in stupid fanbases, toddle on over to Eleven Warriors and scroll back to the Oklahoma game. The problem around here is that elements within this fanbase is behaving in exactly the same fashion. This would be ok except that this is Michigan and we like to think that we are better. I would submit to you at this instant, too many of us are not.

        If we lose Harbaugh any time soon and for damn sure before that pipeline is five years deep with talent, this program is toast for a good long time. Should he last the 12-15 years you should really be wanting him to last, then the big problem will be that it has to be a Harbaugh guy. While that isn’t a perfect situation, it’s better than some alternatives and if you’re smart, that’s the problem you want.

        If the goal is Championships, Harbaugh is the only guy we have or will have available to us any time soon. If the goal is hating, whining, acting out or general expressions of personal angst, fine work is being done around here lately.

        As an aside, Saban just called Ken Mannie the best S&C coach in the business. I think I’d have to agree.

        • Comments: 739
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Jan 03, 2018 at 7:53 PM

          [This post was cooked. I warned both of you already today. -Thunder]

  18. JC
    Comments: 171
    Joined: 8/17/2015
    JC
    Jan 02, 2018 at 10:42 PM

    Said it for a while now. I thought this season would go anywhere from 8-4 to 10-2 with a few good bounces our way. We did not have a few good bounces our way.

    Next year could be rough again:
    @ ND
    Nebraska
    @NW
    Maryland – with a functioning QB I think they’ll be pretty good.
    Wisconsin
    @ MSU
    PSU
    @ OSU

    Those are 8 games that I see being tough. Our roster still doesn’t have adequate upperclassmen on the offensive line. Isiah Wilson and Devery Hamilton were the two biggest recruiting misses we’ve had in the past 3 years. We need linemen to mature in a hurry.

    Saw reports of Frey to FSU, and I’m praying that’s not the truth. I’d be happy to see Drevno go and to see Frey in a bigger role, because Drevno’s 1M/year seems like a joke, and Frey seems like a competent coach everywhere he’s been.

    Rambling now. Go blue.

    • Comments: 146
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      coachernie
      Jan 02, 2018 at 11:10 PM

      Will be lucky to get 8 wins next year with this squad and the tough road games.
      Time to pull the plug on JH.

  19. UM_1973
    Comments: 45
    Joined: 10/14/2015
    UM_1973
    Jan 02, 2018 at 11:03 PM

    I am disappointed at the total lack of patience from the Michigan fanbase as a whole. Everyone seems to have forgotten how good Michigan offense was two years ago when we had a functioning QB and a good core of WRs. As Thunder pointed out in his post, we had a slew of injuries on the offense. I recalled that the offense played decently last year when we had a functioning OL and a senior WR crew. It is true that Harbaugh is responsible for not bringing in a QB but so far, we had only 1 QB recruited by Harbaugh playing and he is only a redshirt freshman. 1 season is a pretty small sample size. We should give the coaches the benefit of the doubt. Anyone wanting to put Harbaugh on the hot seat needs to look at the alternatives. Who else could you realistically get who will be better than Harbaugh?

    • Comments: 739
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Jan 03, 2018 at 9:04 AM

      The whole “there’s nobody else out there” meme from the Harbaugh apologists is just unwashed bullshit. Texas A&M and UCLA both just signed national championship caliber coaches out of nowhere, and neither of those programs have anything close to our prestige. If Harbaugh doesn’t get the job done, there will always be other options.

      • Comments: 1139
        Joined: 8/13/2015
        Roanman
        Jan 03, 2018 at 9:56 AM

        Chip Kelly has no National Championships and was a bust at the Professional level. Jimbo Fisher was a helluva pickup beyond any shadow of a doubt and wanted out of Tallahassee bad enough to go backwards football wise for the money.

        You got a name for us?

      • UM_1973
        Comments: 45
        Joined: 10/14/2015
        UM_1973
        Jan 03, 2018 at 11:08 AM

        Did you see how FSU finish under this “championship caliber” coach when his starting QB went out with injury? Harbaugh had a great first 2 years. Year 3 could just be a fluke bad year with injuries + recruiting. By the way, I pick Harbaugh over Fisher/Kelly.
        What is wrong with a little patience? Sometimes a 5-star recruit pans out. Sometimes, it doesn’t (even at Bama!) Expecting every 4/5 star QB to pan out is unrealistic and Harbaugh has only started 1 QB he recruited out of HS and he is only a RS freshman.

        • Comments: 739
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Jan 03, 2018 at 8:16 PM

          You put “Championship caliber” in quotes like it isn’t a real thing. Fisher won a NC in his 4th year. Oh, with a redshirt freshman QB. Imagine that.

          How long are you willing to wait for Harbaugh to even win a division? 5 years? 6? 7? How patient are you?

          • Thunder
            Comments: 2504
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Jan 03, 2018 at 9:50 PM

            I’m not 100% convinced that Jimbo Fisher is a great coach. Around the time Jim Harbaugh was in the Super Bowl, Fisher went 14-0 with a QB who was an elite recruit and 1st round NFL draft material, and then he went 13-1 with Winston. Since that time, he has a worse record at FSU with their recent championship in a talent-rich state (25-12) than Harbaugh has had coming out of the Brady Hoke era in a worse geographical situation (28-11). I think Fisher is a good coach, but I don’t think he could come to Michigan and immediately make them championship-caliber.

            I think Chip Kelly would fit in better at Michigan than Rich Rodriguez did, but I don’t know if he would be more successful than Harbaugh in Ann Arbor. At Oregon he was able to recruit blue-chip kids from the west coast who were bred to play football. It’s tougher to recruit those kids from Hawaii and California to Michigan.

            Those are good hires for TAMU and UCLA, but it doesn’t mean there are comparable hires there for Michigan.

            • UM_1973
              Comments: 45
              Joined: 10/14/2015
              UM_1973
              Jan 04, 2018 at 10:47 AM

              Great analysis Thunder. I couldn’t agree more. Of the top of my head, I say there are at most 5 coaches that would be obvious upgrade from Harbaugh.

      • Comments: 815
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        je93
        Jan 03, 2018 at 11:12 AM

        You do know that there was a fambase full of WCBs that wanted Jimbo out of Tallahassee, right? Or that Chip was fired, twice?

        • UM_1973
          Comments: 45
          Joined: 10/14/2015
          UM_1973
          Jan 03, 2018 at 12:00 PM

          Good Point je93! I am the delusional one expecting UM fan base to be different.

        • Comments: 739
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Jan 03, 2018 at 8:03 PM

          Chip Kelly got a team to the NC game, so yeah, he is a national championship level coach. And what he did in the NFL is irrelevant, so the only reason you’d bring it up is because your argument is shit. Kelly was 46-7 at the college level, with four first place finishes in four years, which is all that matters.

          The argument that there can’t ever, ever, possibly be any other high quality coaches available only works if you close your eyes, stick your fingers in your ears and mumble “HarbaughHarbaughHarbaughHarbaugh”

        • Comments: 739
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Jan 03, 2018 at 8:07 PM

          Who here has said they want Harbaugh to be fired? Point us to it.

      • Comments: 571
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Jan 03, 2018 at 6:23 PM

        Like Hoke? Like RR? Be careful. I want Harbaugh here for the next 4 years until he absolutely proves he can’t get it done. Program is on the rise and just need to push thru. Harbaugh is committed and so am I.

        • Comments: 739
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Jan 03, 2018 at 8:06 PM

          I watched the Outback Bowl. I watch this whole season. I didn’t see any “rise”. No improvement, no momentum going into next year. Zero. Last year they lost three of their last four. This year, their last three. Harbaugh has proven nothing and has one more year to start.

  20. Comments: 5
    Joined: 3/10/2016
    ATB
    Jan 02, 2018 at 11:39 PM

    Great read Thunder. You do have a way of seeing things from the best perspective. I have been following Wolverine football since i was about 5 or 6. I know a thing or 2, but you always make me think of things i had not yet thought of. And yes….its a very refreshing change from MGOBLOG and the constant forcing of humor into most everything Brian writes. Some of its amusing over there….most of it just seems forced and like someone is trying to show everyone how smart and erudite they are.

    As for the game….even though it really is a glorified scrimmage, that was hard to watch. And the PC answers by JH about the players is maddening. Saying its all on the coaches (some of it is of course) and absolving the players of any blame is ludicrous. He really does seem to have lost the fire he had in the beginning. My opinion? The coaches are not as good as we were told they were. And the players are nowhere near as good as they were purported to be. Its hard to see it getting any better next year. OSU and PSU are better even with the losses they will have in personnel. And Sparty just has our number. Not too mention the teams in the playoff this year are LIGHT YEARS ahead of us in coaching, players, and most of all…scheme.

    Again….great take on the game. You said it all better than anything i have read anywhere. Good job.

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