Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Citrus Bowl Preview

Time: 1:00
Location: Camping World Stadium, Orlando
Weather: 70/Sunny
Stream: ESPN App
Line: Michigan +7

This isn't going to be a long preview as college football has been changing over the last decade.  Paying players has become more of a battle cry then an NCAA violation and just like PED's in many sports, fans are just sick and tired of the discussion.   Some universities have decided to become football player factories rather then academic institutions.  At OSU you don't even need to go to class any longer and can just take OSU's version of Phoenix University.   That will never be the case in Ann Arbor and you have seen the results.   If your an 18 year old 5 star and the pitch is, come to our football factory, you will have $40K in your bank account, a new car, and play for National Championships.   That is hard argument to sell against.

Tale of the Tape

Alabama everything vs. Michigan everything = Alabama

There are 4 teams this year that I believe Michigan are out manned against.  LSU, OSU, Clemson, and Alabama.   Bama is better then Michigan at pretty much every position and like in the OSU game it will show brightly in two areas: the offensive and defensive lines.   Bama's NFL offensive line will get to play against Carlo Kemp, a true freshman, Hutchinson, and Paye.   Alabama is going to run, run, and run some more on Michigan's defense. (Michigan's lack of defensive line recruiting is now at Red Alert levels.  See the first paragraph on why its that way)

The Michigan offensive line is a better match-up but still favors the talented Crimson Tide.  If Michigan is going to make this game competitive at all, this position group has to have a great day.   This isn't the great Alabama defense, but its not bad either.  

Say, well I wasn't expecting that if...……….
  • Michigan's offense can score points on Bama
  • The offense plays very clean - no dropped passes or turnovers 
  • Michigan's defense can get some stops
  • Bama clearly doesn't want to be there 
  • Alabama's best players are dressed but don't play 
Say, yep saw this coming if ...…………..
  • Michigan's defensive line is getting run over 
  • Michigan is turning the ball over on offense or special teams 
  • The talent gap is wide and clear as the grand canyon
  • Harris runs over the Wolverines like he never had a dorm room waiting for him in Ann Arbor 
I don't think Alabama wants to be in this game.  I'm a bit surprised that so many of their top talent is actually playing.   There seems to be a ton of risk for very little reward for playing in this game if your a 1st round draft pick.   The issue is, if Bama is sleep walking through this game, their talent and running game might be enough to beat the Wolverines.  

Ok, Bob we get it, Alabama is better.  Is there anyway Michigan can win?

There is always a chance and the reason they play the games.  Here are a few ways Michigan could sneak out a win:
  • Gattis knows Bama well and could find a few weak spots 
  • Offense plays fast and clean 
  • Don Brown is going to have to protect his limited defensive line, while not letting the talented Bama WR's get separation.   Does he have some type of blitz with a zone in secondary?  How is he going to stop the run?
  • Bama's players play like Florida did in the Citrus Bowl a few years ago.   
  • Michigan does play well in this stadium and has a few upsets against better teams.  
Since Sabin has gotten to Alabama, I rarely have seen his teams sleep walk through 4 quarters.   Michigan will need to keep the score manageable and try to sneak out a win late in the game.   Things will have to go very right for the Wolverines as the talent gap is significant.   The weather will be nice and Michigan likes playing in the afternoon.   I'm not expecting a great outcome, I just want a competitive game. 

Alabama 42 Michigan 17


MichiganMan said...

Bob stop making excuses for us we get top 10 recruits every year and we are garbage... sometimes you need a good coach to direct the players in the right direction... clearly we don't have a good coach...

Blue for Life!!

Voice of Reason said...

Let me confess, I am older than the average Michigan alumni today. I remember when Bo Schembechler was the new coach and I remember "Touch down" Billy Taylor. I remember watching freshman QB Rick Leach, RB Rob Lytle, WR Anthony Carter, QB Jim Harbaugh, and so forth. However, what I remember the most during that era was that when Michigan played osu or usc or any other team we "expected" to win. We didn't always win but each of our opponents knew when it was over that they were in a football game, and osu's hatred of us was well deserved.

Now for the past couple of years osu has found themselves in our heads. A couple of those games we (IMO) should have and could have won. Now when each time I read a post or listen to a podcast it's about can we beat the mighty osu buckeyse. I am not much of a star gazer but when I looked through the recruiting classes the last few years Michigan's recruiting has been very good, in fact I believe last year we were the top class in the B1G conference. Clemson has been in a similar ball park (ish) like Michigan and they have done fairly well and yet when they played osu in their previous playoff game they blew the doors off of osu. Why? amongst other things, osu wasn't in their heads, they expected to beat osu which is my point.

Now we're facing Alabama and our kids are saying "I'm not scared of Alabama," which tells me that they are scared of Alabama, and everyone is predicting a train wreck for Michigan in this game because we're facing big bad Alabama. Now Alabama is in our heads. We don't expect to win and we won't with that attitude no matter how good we are. Then why go play? We should have declined the Citrus Bowl and played the little sisters of the poor to secure a win.

Yes, Alabama just might win, yes, Alabama has a boat load of NFL talent on their roster, yes, Alabama just maybe the most talented team not to make the playoffs, but I for one am expecting Michigan to show up and play their asses off and win this game, we're not Rich Rod's or Brady Hoke's teams we have some real talent on this team. Plus, the betting line has Alabama only a touch down favorite which indicates that they are expecting a close game.

Earlier this year I stated that this would be a transition year for the Michigan offense because they have a new offensive system and a OC that's never called a play before this year. That was my way of saying that this offense was going to struggle and lose some games ugly because of it...and they did. We're still in the transition year but Michigan is a whole lot better now than when they played MTS. We've got some real good kids on our roster as well and if they can clear this "ITS ALABAMA" crap out of their heads then they just might make you proud as well. PS, fwiw, I'm already proud of my football team and coaches IMHO!!!

Happy New Year!

MichiganMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MichiganMan said...

Well thought out "Voice of Reason"....Clemson did't have the number 1 recruiting class for past several years...its the coaching and talent of coaches they have on their coaching staff made all the difference....for example...play calling on offense and defense, decisions on football field, and killer instinct they have...now that I compare our team with these playoff teams we are no where near them at all....fire Don Brown please....I liked some things from Josh Gattis...hopefully, he can improve next year...

Big35Hurt said...

In order to beat the teams with “good offenses”, it is absolutely imperative that you have a strong defensive line. To beat these teams you have to be able to stop the run & get pressure with your front 4. That allows you to not be manned up on the very athletic receivers. Michigan’s thin DL this year was one of the major reasons we lost to Wisky & OSU. Penn State out schemed our defensive coordinator. That’s why we lost that game. (& because Bell dropped the game tying pass that any 3rd Grader would have caught 99x out of 100). Anyways....our offense will show well against Bama. Our O is actually pretty good right now. I think Mazi Smith & his bulk should get some significant time in this game. We need some bulk. I guess we will see....

MichiganMan said...

Mark my words Chase Young will be a bust

Cmfgoblue said...

I suggest we all start drinking now....

Goose said...

Pretty close on your prediction. Thought we had a chance. I think our QB forgot to were his glasses. Depth perception was a bit off.

ScottyDoggs said...

Bob ... as goose said .. your prediction was dead-on(almost)...I am not a betting man, but only 7.5 spread would have been a great bet.

Harbaugh again suffers from short-term thinking, once game is our of hand play next years quarterback, and to hell with hurting the feelings of Patterson.

Not to bright a move, and going with all these transfer QB's caused unknown damage to future recruiting... Patterson was serviceable but not tremendous,
played like a solid 3 star, and not five star.

Some times I question judgement of Harbaugh, but he did demolish Notre Dame (my most hated team) Someday Michigan will be back, but will it be under Harbaugh, or next regime, stay tuned....same batman channel.... same batman time.

MichiganMan said...

Pure Garbage....!! Next year record 8-5 or 9-4....

BaptistButch said...

The Wolverines have good players. The head coach is good for public relations. He’s good for second place, but he has never won anything; pro, college, not even junior varsity. UM needs to find an up and comer who has won somewhere. Winning is contagious and transferable. JH hasn’t that ability. Hi