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belcherboy

My thoughts after game #1

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Put down that pipe Shelton!

:laugh:

As soon as the people declaring MSU the second best football team in the country do the same.

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I think things, outside of QB, were teed up quite well for Harbaugh. Hoke paid most of the rebuilding dues.

Michigan and Hackett had to get the house in order to land Harbaugh, and to be sure, Brandon had made a mess of things. Hoke wasn't a good developer of talent, so that left Harbaugh with a lot of very incomplete projects. Would Bunting have even seen the field this season under Hoke? Would Clark, a safety under Hoke, gotten a shot at the CB rotation? Would Houma, all but forgotten under Hoke, have even stayed?

QB is a pretty big deal, though, and it is a distinct possibility that a Hoke-recruited QB will only play a meaningful down of Michigan football in the event of an injury to Rudock. Harbaugh had to go to the well of St. Thomas Aquinas--via Iowa and Houston--to line up the quarterbacks that will start in '15, '16 and '17. In '18 and '19 it will possibly be Peters and Gentry fighting for the starting job. Morris and Malzone, Hoke's guys, are both strong candidates to transfer.

Let's also talk about the punter, O'Neill, that Harbaugh imported from Weber St. via Australia. While punting wasn't bad by any means under Hoke, the position was a huge distraction given Hagerup's frequent suspensions which repeatedly pressed Wile (a middling college punter) into punting duty. IMO, this had a negative impact on Wile and it kept him from reaching his potential as a kicker for us. Hoke tried to save Hagerup's soul, and I admire that, but he did it at the expense of his ST units. Harbaugh likely would have never put up with Hagerup's inability to stay on the field. O'Neil's average isn't outstanding so far, but his numbers last season were--44.1 with a long of 74 (!!!). Expect him to get a few more carries this year as well, as he's a legit threat when punting it rugby/aussie rules style.

On that note, the grad transfers taken in this year have mattered: Rudock, O'Neill, and Lyons (who will play more as the season progresses) are each important to the success of this team.

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I'm just glad Rudock looked better today. He made better decisions with the football. I'm still not convinced he's all that good, & it looks to me like he waits too long to make a decision, but at least he wasn't making mistakes today. While I'm thrilled with the last 3 wins, we must remember the competition level. This was not MSU/OSU. They'll do okay against the 2nd tier of the Big Ten, but they still have a ways to go.

indeed. against a better disciplined D those running lanes may not have been open, and if he had not be able to run for positive yardage as often as he did, we would have seen the O scuffling more.

Edited by Gehringer_2

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Michigan and Hackett had to get the house in order to land Harbaugh, and to be sure, Brandon had made a mess of things. Hoke wasn't a good developer of talent, so that left Harbaugh with a lot of very incomplete projects. Would Bunting have even seen the field this season under Hoke? Would Clark, a safety under Hoke, gotten a shot at the CB rotation? Would Houma, all but forgotten under Hoke, have even stayed?

QB is a pretty big deal, though, and it is a distinct possibility that a Hoke-recruited QB will only play a meaningful down of Michigan football in the event of an injury to Rudock. Harbaugh had to go to the well of St. Thomas Aquinas--via Iowa and Houston--to line up the quarterbacks that will start in '15, '16 and '17. In '18 and '19 it will possibly be Peters and Gentry fighting for the starting job. Morris and Malzone, Hoke's guys, are both strong candidates to transfer.

Let's also talk about the punter, O'Neill, that Harbaugh imported from Weber St. via Australia. While punting wasn't bad by any means under Hoke, the position was a huge distraction given Hagerup's frequent suspensions which repeatedly pressed Wile (a middling college punter) into punting duty. IMO, this had a negative impact on Wile and it kept him from reaching his potential as a kicker for us. Hoke tried to save Hagerup's soul, and I admire that, but he did it at the expense of his ST units. Harbaugh likely would have never put up with Hagerup's inability to stay on the field. O'Neil's average isn't outstanding so far, but his numbers last season were--44.1 with a long of 74 (!!!). Expect him to get a few more carries this year as well, as he's a legit threat when punting it rugby/aussie rules style.

On that note, the grad transfers taken in this year have mattered: Rudock, O'Neill, and Lyons (who will play more as the season progresses) are each important to the success of this team.

The strength of the team right now is the defense, which has been respectable for the last couple of seasons. It doesn't hurt to give Hoke his due, especially given what he inherited.

I don't know what you are referring to with guys like Bunting, why wouldn't he have played? He was a 4* Hoke recruit. And you're bragging on a punter who made the dumbest mental mistake of the season yesterday?

Anyway, my point isn't to argue which is the better staff, only to give Hoke his due for assembling a decent amount of talent.

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The strength of the team right now is the defense, which has been respectable for the last couple of seasons. It doesn't hurt to give Hoke his due, especially given what he inherited.

I don't know what you are referring to with guys like Bunting, why wouldn't he have played? He was a 4* Hoke recruit. And you're bragging on a punter who made the dumbest mental mistake of the season yesterday?

Anyway, my point isn't to argue which is the better staff, only to give Hoke his due for assembling a decent amount of talent.

Given what Hoke inherited? He went 11-2 with Rodriguez's guys, and when he had his own players in there, he couldn't make a bowl game. I don't understand how people can keep up this narrative with a straight face when Hoke's record says the exact opposite. If Hoke assmebled a decent amount of talent, why couldn't he do more with it than he could with Rodriguez' players?

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Given what Hoke inherited? He went 11-2 with Rodriguez's guys, and when he had his own players in there, he couldn't make a bowl game. I don't understand how people can keep up this narrative with a straight face when Hoke's record says the exact opposite. If Hoke assmebled a decent amount of talent, why couldn't he do more with it than he could with Rodriguez' players?

It's easy to keep the narrative when you actually look at the roster and the attrition. If you want to argue that Rodriquez left Michigan's defense in good shape go right ahead.

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As soon as the people declaring MSU the second best football team in the country do the same.

That's hilarious! I agree wholeheartedly with you.

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The strength of the team right now is the defense, which has been respectable for the last couple of seasons. It doesn't hurt to give Hoke his due, especially given what he inherited.

I don't know what you are referring to with guys like Bunting, why wouldn't he have played? He was a 4* Hoke recruit. And you're bragging on a punter who made the dumbest mental mistake of the season yesterday?

Anyway, my point isn't to argue which is the better staff, only to give Hoke his due for assembling a decent amount of talent.

The talent he inherited, riiiiiggggt. You mean record-setting players like Gallon and Robinson? LOL. He tried to make Gardner, one of the better dual-threat qb of his class, a pocket passer. Taylor Lewan was a 1st round pick, Schofield a third rounder. Toussant was a more effective runner than any of Hoke's guys to date, although that should change. Molk won the Rimington, not a RR guy, but Hoke inherited him. Even the Sugar Bowl MVP, Hemmingway, who was drafted and saw some action with KC.

Hoke inherited RR's high-performance offense that Borges wisely didn't completely scrap until the next season.

On defense, Hoke didn't inherit the world but he did get Kovacs, Roh, Martin, Ryan and RVB. Big defensive recruits like Marvin Robinson, the Talbott brothers, Demar Dorsey, Josh Furman and Richard Ash were supposed to be the defensive re-load group but they never panned out at Michigan for a myriad of reasons--system, staff changes, personal problems, or academic problems. That group was snakebitten.

Bunting was a 3* according to Rivals, who I guess I take a little more seriously that Scout given my experience in HS football coverage/recruiting here in FL. Due to Harbaugh's offensive system, which features TE more, as well as his superior player development (Bunting very possibly would have ended up being the 4th TE behind Butt, Hill and Williams and maybe never played barring injury) I believe Bunting's contributions this year to be a direct product of Harbaugh.

And yes, I do think O'Neill is a really good punter. He's not Mesko, maybe one of the five best punters I've ever seen in any uniform, but he's an asset none the less. O'Neill's mental mistake didn't lead to a score, water under the bridge.

Hoke assembled a lot of physical players for this team, and I thank him for that. And brining in Mattison was a big deal for the program, also a big deal for recruiting. I'm just happy we have a coach now that can actually develop these guys and David Brandon isn't around to get in his way.

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Put down that pipe Shelton!

:laugh:

Just to follow up on this again, various metrics have been released over the last couple days that also support my position.

At this point I think it's entirely reasonable to believe that Michigan has a good chance in every game remaining.

I think 9 wins is the new baseline. Hard not to be excited about how the rest of the season will shake out.

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Just to follow up on this again, various metrics have been released over the last couple days that also support my position.

At this point I think it's entirely reasonable to believe that Michigan has a good chance in every game remaining.

I think 9 wins is the new baseline. Hard not to be excited about how the rest of the season will shake out.

Yeah- with Oregon exposed as not good, I wouldn't argue that you can't make the case, but conservatively speaking, BYU and Mangum might just have gotten rattled in a way that a guy like Cook will not so I hesitate to read too much into the BYU game. Of course MD will be no test at all. I go back to the fact that I don't think MSU's D is going to let Rudock make positive yardage running the ball. With that escape route closed, he's going to have to get it out of there on time and target.

OTOH, I think it's becoming clear that a big problem defending M other than the basic off-tackle play, is that rest of the Offense is going to be different and customized to each opponent. Something you don't see much in college football but that JH seems to be doing each week.

Edited by Gehringer_2

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Well, yeah, I'm not suggesting Michigan is going to beat MSU 31-0 or anything like that.

Everyone knows the transitive property doesn't really apply to football, but seeing how teams do against common opponents isn't completely worthless either. But now that four weeks are in the book, there's nothing wrong with taking a broader view of the resumes of various teams. To be clear, I'm not ignoring preseason rankings or expectations. They still have value, even as you get late in the season. MSU definitely has earned the benefit of the doubt given their play over the past couple seasons.

But looking at this season only, MSU has not looked particularly impressive. You could also say the same about OSU.

MSU safely handled western Michigan in week 1, but the Broncos are looming like a pretty terrible team. You'd expect more from the #2 team in the country, IMO. They outplayed Oregon and deserved to win, but that obviously looks a lot less impressive this morning (although I would argue it didn't look that impressive from the beginning given that we all knew Oregon was not going to be "Oregon" this year). Then you've got sparty's performance against central that was also not in line from you'd expect from the #2 team in the country.

From Michigan's standpoint, they have blown out three straight teams, one of which is very strong. I don't think MSU can point to any of their wins as being more impressive than what Michigan has shown.

Utah's dominant performance makes these comparisons possible. If Oregon beats Utah comfortably, we aren't having the same conversation. But all of a sudden, losing to Utah on opening night on the road with a first year system doesn't look all that bad.

Conference play will be telling. Michigan is favored by double digits on the road the week, and then returns home to take on a decent northwestern team. Win both of those games comfortably, which is more likely than not, and a 5-1 Michigan team at home against an MSU team that hasn't shown much so far seems like a game where Michigan will be clearly favored.

We're probably looking at a matchup between #2 and #15 or something like that.

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...

Conference play will be telling. Michigan is favored by double digits on the road the week, and then returns home to take on a decent northwestern team. ...

NW should be a good game. In recent years we seem to get their best efforts.

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If you look at Hoke's full 3 years of recruiting 23 of 36 4 and 5 stars are on the two-deep. 2 guys are medically out, 2 transferred 2 were dismissed and the rest have taken snaps this season.

Hoke always seemed to do a great job in recruiting, which made the on the field product even more disappointing. I never tracked who stayed or who left, but based upon this, it seems like most stuck it out. Harbaugh didn't get empty cupboards.

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Hoke always seemed to do a great job in recruiting, which made the on the field product even more disappointing. I never tracked who stayed or who left, but based upon this, it seems like most stuck it out. Harbaugh didn't get empty cupboards.

I can't say for sure, but I think a lot of the offensive line recruiting washed out, either due to extremely poor play, leaving the team, never showing up, or injury.

And of course the QB recruiting had also been poor.

But I also think it's interesting that one of the common refrains about this year's Michigan team (before they even played a game) and of the last hole year, was where were all these highly rated recruits? I think we are seeing now that a lot of them are right here, and thy it does take a couple years before you can expect a couple good recruiting classes to show up on the field.

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I can't say for sure, but I think a lot of the offensive line recruiting washed out, either due to extremely poor play, leaving the team, never showing up, or injury.

And of course the QB recruiting had also been poor.

But I also think it's interesting that one of the common refrains about this year's Michigan team (before they even played a game) and of the last hole year, was where were all these highly rated recruits? I think we are seeing now that a lot of them are right here, and thy it does take a couple years before you can expect a couple good recruiting classes to show up on the field.

--OL has been a really high attrition position for Michigan since Carr stepped down, and much more so recently with LTT, Bosch, Fox, Miller, Bryant and Samuelson. Not all of these guys were likely starters, but some were either starters or projected to start at some point. I can't emphasize how big of a deal this is.

--QB recruiting was definitely a mixed bag up until Harbaugh landed three additional quarterbacks in addition to the already-Blue Malzone. Adding Rudock and O'Korn as transfers was a coup. Adding Gentry was a cherry on top. Under RR--Feagin, Forcier, Dennard and Gardner were probably an overall average group that overall performed below average if you include Gardner's time under Hoke. Gardner was miscast as a pocket passer and in spite of not being a natural read-option QB would have excelled in the spread with the easy hot reads in the passing game. Running would have been a nice byproduct. Forcier lost his mind when he was benching in favor of Robinson, but he had some great games early in his career. Feagin was a late panic signing in the wake of Mallet leaving that backfired in the worst way.

--QB recruiting under Harbaugh: Bellomy, Morris, Malzone so far is not a good group at all. It is tough to throw Malzone in with the other two due to how early it is, though. That Harbaugh brought in O'Korn kinda tells me what Jim thinks about him, though. Bellomy was never the same after that bowl game, and wasn't bad before that. I watched Morris at a 7-on-7 tournament at Wide World of Sports in Orlando as a rising senior and was pretty unimpressed. He would have been a 3* here. Lack of accuracy and going through progressions in his reads, but had plus arm strength (think Henson). He was used to being able to muscle balls into tight spots against lesser athletes than he saw at an elite 7-on-7 event that featured many of the best DB recruits in the country.

--Yes, it usually does take a few years under a good S&T coach and with the same coordinator/position coach to get a kid up to speed with quality D1 competition. However, there are habits and techniques that can be corrected in relatively short order for individual positions. The way Shane Morris took snaps, for example, was immediately corrected by Harbaugh after Morris resisted (and people wonder why this kid isn't starting?) the "universal" way because he was a lefty. All it took was Harbaugh bringing Rick Leach over to tell the kid that, yes, lefties need to take the snap like Jimmy says. Tackling in open field is another example. These are many of the same players on defense, why couldn't they wrap guys up at this rate last year? Coaching. Mostly the same OL as last year, but now their pad level is lower and the holes are there. Coaching. The fullbacks are toting the rock and catching passes. Coaching.

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