Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Michigan Tuesday: Is This Mich Again?

The national media is a bit surprised how quickly Jimmy has turned around our beloved program.  They believed Ann Arbor was devoid of talent and elite coaching.  Well, they were half right.  If Brady Hoke did one thing right during his time in Ann Arbor, it was he recruited well and gave Jimmy a roster full of talent.   The likes of Peppers, Butt, Wormley and Lewis and others are guys thanks to Brady Hoke.   Yes, there are holes in the roster but even Shane Morris was a 5 star guy coming out of high school.

The talent was there but the elite coaching wasn't.  A college coach has to be able to look at a high school QB and know he will be a great cornerback.  College coaching is about two things after you get your players on campus:  motivation and development.   Which has been a void in Ann Arbor for sometime.   RR had trouble recruiting and ran a unique system that doesn't have staying power (he is starting to struggle at Arizona now).  Brady was a players coach that tried to hire top coordinators to do the heavy lifting.   That didn't work either.   We now have the total package in coaching.    

Who started the fire?  That is a good question and my answer might surprise you.   I believe it started the day App. State blocked that field goal in the Big House.   Michigan had a top 10 team and a coach that looked like he wanted to retire the year before.  Neither the coach or players took the game seriously and got embarrassed.  That was the first sign things were going in the wrong direction.   Michigan did finish that year with a big win over Florida when the team finally was healthy and after Carr announced his retirement. 

From there it has been a downward spiral outside an outlier Hoke first year with a BCS win in the Sugar Bowl. 

Do you want proof the Wolverines are back?  So do I.  The next three weeks are the proof we all need.  Michigan has two road games against teams that Michigan has struggled against.   Indiana has some weird mojo over the Wolverines where games are way too close for comfort and Michigan hasn't played well in Happy Valley since Lloyd Carr was head coach.  

With the MSU loss to Nebraska, there is a decent chance that the Michigan - Ohio State battle will come down to a Big Ten East Championship game.  Which is what it should be.   In the past, the winner of this game got a chance to go to the Rose Bowl  This year, it could be a chance to play Iowa (which seems really strange).  

I'm not interested in playoffs and couldn't care less who the top 4 are.   I'm interested in the next three games and getting Michigan to play for a Big Ten Championship.  If Michigan wins their next two and OSU wins theirs, the game will be what it should be.   That's the proof we all need that Michigan is back and is here to stay!

This should be a fun three weeks!

  • Walk-on alert:  Michigan has accepted a preferred walk-on spot in the 2016 class from 6'4 210 pound Bowling Green, KY TE Dane Drobocky.


ScottyDoggs said...

Supreme article... do like your analysis that the trouble (or downfall) did not start with Rich Rod (can't spell last name).
Harbaugh might be the best thing in Michigan's storied history someday (yet to be written), eclipsing Bo.

We are fortunate to have Jimmy, he is the ultimate motivator, leader... but I have to say that his discussion about Rudock and the pros... WAIT A MINUTE, I WILL FINISH WRITING MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS AFTER I chase away this pesky flying pigs around my house... maybe I can sell them lipstick.

Bob said...

Rudock is more interested in being a Doctor, but I could see him as a back-up NFL QB. His inability to throw the deep ball is a bit of an issue at the next level.

He won't be drafted but I wouldn't be surprised if someone signed him as a free agent. If he beats OSU, he will get a shot at the next level if he wants it.

Scott K said...

trent dilfer won a superbowl.... that's all i'm sayin'

Gary McMichael said...

Just one ticky tack point to an otherwise sound post - it's "couldn't care less" not "could care less." If you could care less then you care more than not at all where if you couldn't, then you don't care at all.

Scott K said...


Renegade said...

"I'm not interested in playoffs and could care less who the top 4 are."

Bet you wouldn't say that if Blue was in the hunt.

Voice of Reason said...

Nice article Bob, I would say for what it's worth that it's important that we as fans keep things in perspective. Remember, over the past several years under both RR and Hoke, Michigan was struggling to win games against the likes of MAC level schools like UConn, Akron, and UMass, and we lost for the first time to Toledo, while losing to the likes of Illinois, Purdue, Rutgers, and Maryland. The highlight of the season was to "try" to become bowl eligible (last year). Now coach Harbaugh is here and some fans are talking about National Championship in our first season and we're stressing about how we've played against msu and Minnesota.

My point being is we should let Harbaugh and his staff prepare this team for the long haul. It still has things to improve upon and areas to mature and develop. It wasn't until after the Utah game where the staff figured out what they had. We were jumping on Ruddock when he's only been with the team about three months before starting the season. Whether we like it or not, it’s a transition season for Michigan. Didn't Harbaugh say something in his first press conference about laying a foundation? These kids are learning how to play sound football for the first time. It will take a season to learn and adjust to it and then next season to make a run.

In "my" opinion, Michigan is giving notice to everyone this season that things have changed. Michigan will not lose another game to msu, Minnesota, Utah, ND and likely osu for a long time as long as Harbaugh is here.

So has Michigan turned the corner? You damn right they have, regardless of what happens for the rest of this season because our opponents will know that they've been playing a real Michigan football team. IMHO!!!

cincykid said...

App state was the evidence. Carr not being able to beat Tressel was the start of the slide, as well as him not developing a coaching tree. Really inspired by current players and coaching regardless of the outcome of the next three games.

WolverineFanInOhio said...

I think the motivation part is way underrated. I think it's what separates the average coach from the good-to-great coaches. Harbaugh, Pete Carroll, Urban Meyer, and Nick Saban are able to motivate. Remember the first press conference when Harbaugh arrived in Ann Arbor? They interviewed his father Jack and he got me fired up, and he's in his 70's. I was ready to tackle somebody.

I supported RichRod until the press conferences where he responded to a question from a reporter regarding Michigan's terrible defense. He said that he spent all his time working on the offense and didn't have time to worry about the defense. That was pretty much it for me. I also noticed he didn't place a lot of emphasis on recruiting defensive players, unlike Urban Meyer with his spread team.

As for Lloyd Carr and the App State year? Prior to that season I was listening to Colin Cowherd discuss the opening games for the top ten teams in the country. We were ranked #5. He mentioned App State vs Michigan. I had never heard of them so I looked them up and found that they were a 2-time defending Div II or III champion with a "spread" offense. That "2-time defending champ" thing worried me, but Cowherd assured me that there would be no problem.

After we lost that game, I found out that we would be playing against an even better spread offense in Oregon. So stupid me figured that this time Lloyd Carr would at least prepare to defend against a spread offense. Well, if he did, it didn't show. We got annihilated.

Some coaches think they can impose their will on all other teams. Other coaches game plan based on the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent. That's what I think we have in Harbaugh. And you know what? I guarantee you nobody's got it better than us.

Goooooooooo Blue!!!

Bob said...

Great work guys! Thanks for the call out on the typo, it's been fixed. Your also right about if Michigan was in the hunt, I would care about the top 4. My point was more towards what VOR is saying, we have no business thinking about playoffs this year our time is coming and it will be a fun ride. I'm just happy we are playing games in November that mean something!

Big35Hurt said...

Craig Krenzel was a Pro Backup......just sayin