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Michigan Football, Team 139, 2018 Season

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  • #16
    Rumors of Brown's departure aren't getting any traction but Chris Partridge to Bama is.

    Satan must have noticed how well Partridge has recruited Georgia. Now that Kirby Smart is kicking ass on the recruiting trail, Satan must have felt the need to get someone in there that could compete in the state and thrown a ton of money at him. I wonder if that will affect players' salaries?
    I'll let you ban hate speech when you let me define hate speech.

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    • #17
      This was in the Bowl thread but I had to chuckle at it:

      Originally posted by Hannibal View Post
      No amount of hindsight or revisionist history can change the fact that Harbaugh has fallen miles short of reasonable expectations. He has failed to finish better than 3rd in the Big Ten East and he is 1-5 against OSU and MSU. Anyone who says "yup, that's toally what I would expect out of an elite coach" should apply for a job at mgoblog.
      I think this is pretty accurate. Especially the part about mgoblow- heh.

      talent made a post just above this, again in the Bowl thread, that basically pointed out that it was impossible for Harbaugh to not fall short of the unrealistically high expectations M fans had for him.

      Despite strong comments to the contrary from many posters I've read, I still believe that there are reasonable explanations for the poor offense during JH's tenure but, I also think Harbaugh was slow to react to the predictable falling off the cliff that was the 2017 season. Signs were there in 2016 and in most of M's other 6 losses he recorded in his first two seasons. Hanni, to his credit, spoke to most of them as they occurred.

      If the rumors are true, if the offense undergoes the changes anyone who watches M football knows it needs to undergo, that's exciting news. However, if it's anywhere near a wholesale change, and I don't think it will be given what I do know, it's going to be another fucking transition year.

      If Harbaugh simply hybridizes his power run game, keeps his focus on known and understood blocking for the OL, keeps his reliance on TEs and FBs as important contributors, and then adds some RPO while redesigning the passing schemes to optimize quick releases for the QB, the transition won't be as significant.

      Even then, this represents a pretty big change in the offense and I'm not entirely convinced this is all going to happen. So, once again, if it does come to pass, expectations are going to be through the roof for 2018, will raise again after the spring game where some of this is shown and continue until M shits the bed v. ND, MSU and osu. I'm entirely ready for that and have already expressed that I'm looking at 2018 and HARBAUGH!!!with a skeptical eye and as it relates to my decision to continue buying season tickets in 2019.
      On Harbaugh's expectations for M football in 2015 (NFL NETWORK): We'd rather be about it than talk about it."

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      • #18
        Brown would be a huge loss. The defense this year was mostly great, and the weaknesses were easily acceptable for a team that lost so many starters off of last year's squad.

        I looked at the posession chart for yesterday, and USC's first 11 posessions went like this:

        3 plays, punt
        3 plays, punt
        fumble
        four plays, fumble
        3 plays, punt
        5 plays, FG
        3 plays, punt
        3 plays, punt
        5 plays, punt
        3 plays, punt
        3 plays, punt

        11 posessions. That's close to the mean for a full game. USC ended up with 17 posessions for the game. When I speak of acceptable excuses and legitimate mitigating circumstances, the occasional failings of a defense with 10-ish new starters are precisely what I'm talking about. I really hope that the defensive staff stays and that we don't lose Partridge. But it would be just like Harbaugh to lose one of his proven elite guys after bringing in two million dollar coaches to fuck up the offense.

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        • #19
          Exactly what were the "unreasonable" expectations for Harbaugh? That he would beat Ohio State and win the B1G East at least once? How is that unreasonable? I don't recall anyone here predicting that Harbaugh would go 33-3 and win three B1G titles to start his tenure at Michigan. If you say that Michigan can't be Nick Saban's Alabama, then you're knocking down strawmen. But I did expect at least a .500 record in rivalry games by now with one trip to Indianapolis. I also expected that Harbaugh would eventually be earning a 50/50 split with OSU. Even Gus Malzahn has a respectable 2-3 record against The Nick and the combo of Perles and Saban managed to beat Bo, Mo, and Lloyd 35% of the time over 17 years, and all but one of those victories came against UM teams with winning records. We, on the other hand, have a 15% winning percentage against our rivals in the past 10 years and those vicories were 9, 2, and 6 point wins against teams that finished 3-9, 7-6, and 6-7. It's disgraceful.
          Last edited by Hannibal; January 3rd, 2018, 11:55 AM.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by hack View Post
            SF did have a bunch of young players entering their prime, yeah. Fair point. If he was overrated, it wasn't just by Michigan fans. The NFL community drooled all over him. Without question his out-front personality probably inflates his reputation, or has until now. But what all this suggests is that when given the right ingredients Harbaugh knows what to do with them. That makes him a good or maybe potentially great coach. Which ought to be a big step up from what Michigan's had in the past. But for now there won't be talk about whether he belongs in that elite category. None of that now.

            But, we'll see. He may be about to do exactly what most of the doubters here want him to do. Some parallels to when Hoke ditched Borges for Nussmeier. Harbaugh's changes will need to work. If he does clean out the offensive staff and the offense isn't miles better next year, with a proven QB with elite talent, then I'm just going to shrug my shoulders and assume Michigan football is kinda done.

            I still want to know more about the in-game decision-making process. Sometimes he's handing off on second-and-10 as well as on third-and-10, and then instead of kicking an FG at the goal line on that key third down in the fourth, he suddenly did a reversal of approach and put it all on Peters, who rolled out and stared down the one receiver in the vicinity. He was staring down WRs all game. It doesn't feel like there's a rigorous approach to real-time judgement calls, but that's admittedly just a guess.

            Also, concerns about bringing in more NFL guys at the coordinator level. For position coaches that's very attractive, but I wonder if an NFL coordinator can understand how to put college kids in a position to succeed as well as someone who coaches in the college ranks now. It's odd that Harbaugh years ago was called the QB guru for making it simple on his QBs, yet in the past two years he has asked so much of his QBs, some of whom were clearly not capable.
            This post makes some really good points ...... re the HARBAUGH!!! rep. IMO, he creates his own issues. OTH, I really don't think he gives a shit and wouldn't mind saying that in a press conference but he' gotten smart enough not to do that. At least I hope he has. He'd be smart to keep a very low profile for the next 30d to avoid getting asked a question that might prompt a go fuck yourselves response. The news cycle on all of this, if the new staff is in-place in short order, will be over in 3-4w.

            The comments about the similarities between Hoke firing Borges, bringing in Nussmeir and JH firing Drevno, et. al, and bringing in Enos/Roman and whomever, is on point. When Hoke fired Borges, I really didn't think that came close to solving all of M's problems accumulated on his watch. This feels different. We, as fans, have a very clear picture of where M's problems lie and if the changes rumored actually occur and if the offense undergoes the changes that need to be made, this will make M better in 2018, a lot better. I never felt that Nussmeir brought anything to the table that was going to be difference making.

            I also concur with Hack that all these NFL guys coming and going to/from M might not understand the college game as well as they should. It's still Xs and Os and evaluating Jimmys and Joes but the difference in the uniformity of talent across all the sub-units of a football team is vastly different between the NFL and CFB. While Pep Hamilton for example, has done a lot of work with QBs and receivers in the NFL, it's pretty obvious to me that didn't translate to Speight, Peters or the receivers in general. Same for Drevno. Frey just didn't seem to fit in for whatever reasons.
            On Harbaugh's expectations for M football in 2015 (NFL NETWORK): We'd rather be about it than talk about it."

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            • #21
              Exactly what were the "unreasonable" expectations for Harbaugh? That he would beat Ohio State and win the B1G East at least once? I don't recall anyone here predicting that Harbaugh would go 33-3 and win three B1G titles to start his tenure at Michigan. If you say that Michigan can't be Nick Saban's Alabama, then you're knocking down strawmen.
              I'm the one who said it, and I was referring to the belief that JH would be, in fact, Saban or Meyer. Attributing expectations to any large group of people is imprecise, obviously. I think the foregoing view was a definite plurality view and possible slight majority view.

              The second point is whether that view is unrealistic.

              This is what I said and JB was referring to:

              All that said, there's almost no way M fans wouldn't overestimate JH. There just isn't. Given his background, his attachment to the University and the particular moment in time when he arrived -- there was just no way expectations wouldn't be fantabulously high.
              Dan Patrick: What was your reaction to [Urban Meyer being hired]?
              Brady Hoke: You know.....not....good.

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              • #22
                When we hired Harbaugh, there was every indication in the world that he was in the elite 1% of coaches. He was the QB coach for the Raiders the last time that they made a Super Bowl. He finished his career at San Diego with back-to-back conference championships and a 22-2 record. He turned a talentless Stanford program that was a smoking 1-11 crater into an 11-1 team in four years. Then he did something that is incredibly rare -- he went to the NFL and won big -- something that even Saban couldn't do and Pete Carroll couldn't do in his first job. What Harbaugh did at Stanford is more impressive than what Saban did at MSU. Off the top of my head I can't think of any head coach who had a better resume before taking his first major college job. No amount of data mining or ifs and butts can explain it away. And he was a perfect fit as an alumnus too. Expectations were reasonably very high. If you disagree, then fine, but it doesn't matter because the high end of the expectation range isn't relevant to the conversation. Michigan Harbaugh isn't even a better coach than Kirk Frerentz. He's barely better than Hoke (only two more wins through three years and Hoke inherited overall shittier talent).
                Last edited by Hannibal; January 3rd, 2018, 12:19 PM.

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                • #23
                  The overestimation has been fueled by Jim Harbaugh himself. Whether it is the summer swarm, twitter wars or the Bo Schembechler cosplay it has fueled the expectations. On top of that, the Michigan fan base always has high expectations.

                  Almost every year you carry all the burdens of high expectations with very little of the benefits. If you look back at what people thought two years ago, the crest was going to be 2016 with a 2017 being a step back year. Somewhere along the line the expectations rose for 2017. 8-5 sucks and they are clear coaching issues, but you have a blank slate for 2018 and having a little underdog mentality wouldn't hurt.

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                  • #24
                    As far as Harbaugh's demeanor, it seemed to me that he knew the team had probably won its last game after beating Maryland. Speight wasn't coming back, O'Korn wasn't going to improve, and Peters was too green. The offensive line was what it was, too. I thought he went through the motions. His press conferences were dull. He was careful not to blame players. At one point earlier in the season he said that he'd "been through this before" with a young team. He knew he had to make changes to his staff, but would have to wait until the season ended. I think he was pretty anxious for the season to end, because he knew it wasn't going to get any better. Now it's on him.
                    I'll let you ban hate speech when you let me define hate speech.

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                    • #25
                      This year's 8-5 was worse than Brady Hoke's 2012 8-5. The 2012 team got assraped by Alabama but then again, so did everyone else. They lost four games to teams with a combined record of 48-3. That team was better than its record. This one was worse. In terms of overall quality, not much better than RichRod's last two teams
                      Last edited by Hannibal; January 3rd, 2018, 12:58 PM.

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                      • #26
                        Raced out to a 14-0 lead on OSU, and I thought that was an excellent job by the coaches of putting an overmatched team and QB in a position to have a puncher's chance.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Hannibal View Post
                          When we hired Harbaugh, there was every indication in the world that he was in the elite 1% of coaches. He was the QB coach for the Raiders the last time that they made a Super Bowl. He finished his career at San Diego with back-to-back conference championships and a 22-2 record. He turned a talentless Stanford program that was a smoking 1-11 crater into an 11-1 team in four years. Then he did something that is incredibly rare -- he went to the NFL and won big -- something that even Saban couldn't do and Pete Carroll couldn't do in his first job. What Harbaugh did at Stanford is more impressive than what Saban did at MSU. Off the top of my head I can't think of any head coach who had a better resume before taking his first major college job. No amount of data mining or ifs and butts can explain it away. And he was a perfect fit as an alumnus too. Expectations were reasonably very high.
                          Very well said.

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                          • #28
                            Expectations for HARBAUGH!! are one thing ...... they were high and justifiably so. No getting around that.

                            I think what you are saying, Hanni, is that performance did not meet expectations. I'd just add, it is what it is.

                            Having said that, it seems to me that if the rumors about changes in the offensive staff that JH appears to be working on do occur and that those changes bring about offensive improvement, my expectations that he do what is necessary to lead M football to championships are being met. In today's world of CFB and among the blue-bloods where success has to come right away, it seems hard to justify Harbaugh's failure to do that. So, I get the frustration among fans. My response is it's going to take a little longer it would seem.

                            Should he have made changes earlier as I mentioned in a previous post? Probably but he didn't. Slow to react? I think so, but it appears he knows what the problems are and is working to rectify them. After B2B losses to osu, he brought in Don Brown reportedly for the sole purpose of containing ufm's offense at osu. Brown has done a bang-up job; he's delivered. The problem has been on offense.

                            In comparison to Brady Hoke after his second year and Rich Rodriguez after his third, I don't think Hoke had a clue and Rodriguez was saddled by his undying loyalty to his inner circle of people who just plain fucked him and M football in the process. That RR never realized this and has now been fired from Zona for being stupid, it appears, makes Jim Harbaugh's rumored moves look pretty insightful compared to Hoke and RR.

                            I'm skeptical about the potential for success at the college level of guys from the NFL for the reasons I mentioned in another post. 8-5 in 2017 may be, and I emphasize that .... may be cauze we don't really know, proof that bringing in Drevno and Fisch when he showed up on campus then Hamilton after Fisch left were bad hiring decisions.

                            Roman could also be a bad hire for the same reason. Maybe not and here's why ......

                            I read a post a while ago from a SF fan that said Roman and Harbaugh, when they were together in the B2B seasons where the 49'ers went to the NFC championship game twice and once to the SB, worked really well together and produced some great offenses that were molded around Kapernick's skill set. His background at the college level came during his time at Division 1 FBS Nevada that ran a pure WCO out of the pistol formation. He had great success there and set all kinds of passing and rushing records for a QB .... take a look at his wiki profile.

                            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_Kaepernick

                            Harbaugh picked Kaepernick 4th in the second round of the NFL draft (#36 overall). His first year in 2011 at SF under Roman and Harbaugh wasn't particularly noteworthy but what was noteworthy is that he became a reliable Wildcat QB in Harbaugh's offense in his second year, 2012, with SF. After an injury to Alex Smith, Kaepernick replaced him full time and led SF to two great seasons in 2012 and 2013 with Greg Roman as OC.

                            Man, there are a ton of similarities to JH's run with Kap in 2012-13 to what has been going on in the last month. Patterson is a hell-of-a-lot like Kaepernick in his size and skill set. If Peters does pan out and shows up as the starter, does JH see Patterson, at a minimum, as a wildcat QB who might ultimately replace Peters if he stumbles? Did he tell him that during his recruiting?

                            As opposed to Kaepernick, that set FBS records, Patterson has potential that I'm pretty sure JH sees. Both of them come from WCO offenses run from the Pistol. Is he trying to bring in Roman to replicate that very successful SF offense with Kaepernick first running wildcat plays and then at starting QB? Who knows but this all sounds remarkably reasonable.

                            Stay tuned.
                            On Harbaugh's expectations for M football in 2015 (NFL NETWORK): We'd rather be about it than talk about it."

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Harbaugh struck gold with Kaepernick but it must be noted that if you ran the read option in the NFL back then it was kryptonite to NFL defensive coordinators, the NFL was not prepared. They really didn't run it that much and then used it a ton on the Packers in the playoffs. Nowadays it is really common in both college and pros and you won't have the surprise aspect to help you.

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                              • #30
                                True. I happily recall watching the collective heads of my neighbors and workmates here in The Land of Cheese explode when Mr. Black Panther Wannabe was crushing their souls during the playoffs.
                                I'll let you ban hate speech when you let me define hate speech.

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