Michigan Football Open Thread

A couple of people asked about running a Michigan football open thread during football season. Have at it in here. We can create a college football one as well if people are interested.

Awesome. I’d be curious to see everyone’s predictions.

I’m going with 10-2 (6-2).

I think we are definitely capable of going undefeated as there is no one on our schedule that we are incapable of beating and there’s nobody in the other division that would be unbeatable were we to go to the conference title game. I think our defense is going to be very very good. LB scare me a bit, but with Peppers taking one of those spots closer to the LOS, it calms me a bit.

Offense, not sure. JH is the Qb whisperer so I am confident that by the end of the season one of the Qbs will be doing just fine. We have talent and some depth at the skills positions. But the OL concerns me. We’re experienced. But other than Cole, none of the other experienced guys have been consistent or given me alot of faith.

So I say we beat at least one of the big rivals and lose to the other. Then we lose a game we shouldn’t like @ Iowa or Wisconsin.

I’m more optimistic than you. I’m going 11-1 (hopefully the loss is @ Iowa). Have to disagree about consistency in terms of the OL, both Braden and Magnuson are consistent…just consistently average to slightly above average.

Also, I’m hopeful that a fully healthy Deveon Smith is MUCH better than what we saw for large parts of the year last year. Against Florida it was very evident that when healthy, he is an absolute load in terms of cutbacks and breaking tackles.

QB is the obvious concern. I doubt either Speight or O’Korn can even approach Rudock status during his last 6 games, I don’t know if any college QB can. That said, I don’t think either of those guys will be as bad as Rudock during his first 6 games. Bottom line is that we’re probably looking at an average to slightly above average QB in my opinion. Which should be good enough to win 11 games considering our defense.

Now about that defense. We’re talking about a top 5 defense assuming health (which wasn’t the case later in 2015). The DL may be the very best in the country with a legitimate 8 man rotation filled with guys that range from elite (Gary, yep I’ll say it based on what little film I’ve seen from practice), great (Glasgow), very good (Wormley), to good (Charlton, Hurst), above average (Mone, Godin).

We have the best cover corner in all of college football in Jourdan Lewis, above average CBs opposite of him in Clark and Stribbling. With high end talent on the 2 deep in David Long. Safety probably was a concern this time last year, but Dymonte Thomas proved above average, bordering on good, and Hill is a reliable, above average, safety as well.

LB is the ONLY concern in my opinion, but Peppers negates that to a large extent. The guy is just a freak athlete.

And above and beyond all, we have James Joseph Harbaugh, and that moreso than anything, gives me supreme confidence. The guy is a top 5 football coach in the world, at any level. It is only a matter of when, not if, we win the college football playoff.

I haven’t been this pumped up for football season in a long time. S&P+, PFF, and all the other advanced stats aren’t doing a good job of tempering my expectations either. As long as Speight can move the ball down the field in decent chunks without deadly mistakes I think our defense can bring us to the Big Ten title game and beyond.

I fully plan on being in Indianapolis on December 3rd rooting Michigan on in the Big 10 title game.

I’m confident we get road wins at MSU and Iowa going into Ohio State, but am scared to death of Indiana as a trap game.

Offensively: I hope Speight can stretch the field with Darboh, Chesson, and Butt. That’s a REALLY good receiving corps. Run game will be solid and the defense will put us in good positions to score.

Defensively: LB’s talent wise will be down but they’ll look fine with the awesome D-line, Secondary, and Don Brown is a master at attacking.

Other than Peppers, I’m not expecting a very “exciting” team but one that just gets it done.

I think we lose a game, probably to OSU in a close one. If we can get solid QB play and a consistent run game with the defense we have, i dont see how we arent playing in the big ten championship for a shot at the playoffs.

I’m hoping my concerns are just PTSD from the late Carr/RR/Hoke decade of shame. I just don’t know if we’re quite there on the offensive side of the ball. Luckily we’ve got a top 5 coach (IMO) in college football on our sidelines. I wouldn’t be surprised if we went undefeated or lost a couple games. Either way, I’m pretty confident about the program going forward.

Actually think we have more talent in relation to last year, what we lack is experience in that position group.

Wouldn’t worry about Indiana, we struggled against them last year once Glasgow went out and they gashed us with outside zone stretches where Hurst just could not adjust. I expect that to be tightened up this year under Don Brown, and if not, we have enough depth to simply try someone else at that spot.

I’m at 10-2 also. That’s not the ceiling–the ceiling to me is a '97 like team with a fantastic defense and an offense missing a lot of big playmakers, but capable of moving the ball consistently and scoring at a good, if not great, clip. To be there, though, we’re going to need above average QB play–at the level Griese gave us in '97 and maybe beyond, since we don’t have the o-line we had that year–and I’m not there yet. Maybe Speight (or if he fails or gets hurt, O’Korn) will play at that level, or will become Jake Rudock after MSU (I certainly hope so), and Harbaugh’s track record with QB development has been superb. However, that development and level of play is a must–as in hoops, you usually aren’t a national contender unless the guy with the ball in his hands is really good.

11-1 still don’t believe they have as much talent as OSU. If Michigan was to play OSU in the first couple weeks I may pick Michigan but OSU will be better in week 12 than in week 2 or 3.

I am not a big fan of Speight I don’t like the hitch in his delivery, don’t believe he has the mobility to make things happen if things break down. Note with Kalis saying LT is unsettled we may see Speight having to scramble a lot. It would really help if the running game gave Michigan some explosive plays.

I have to take issue with the ‘missing a lot of playmakers’ assessment in terms of the ceiling. We have the best playmaking tight end in all of college football, a likely first team all B10 receiver in Jehu Chesson, a guy that had 700+ receiving yard last year as a third option in Amara Darboh. To top it all off, we have Jabrill Peppers, who is probably a top 5-10 punt return guy in all of college football, in addition to perhaps being the biggest threat as an RB on the team.

If you want to say you’re concerned about the QB situation, I’m with you, although I have supreme confidence in Jim Harbaugh after seeing the in-season (as opposed to off-season) development of Rudock. But to say, or infer, we don’t have playmakers at the skill positions, isn’t really accurate. In fact, we probably have the best receiving core in the entire country.

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Let me clarify–by playmakers, I’m talking about home run type guys. Chesson falls into that category, as surely does Peppers, though my guess is that Peppers playing LB instead of DB will reduce his time on offense just because of the difference in physicality between the two positions. Butt is great, but if you’ll recall, we had 3 terrific TEs in '97 (Timan, Campbell and Shea), all of whom played in the NFL (Street at WR did as well). Don’t get me wrong–we have very good players–but it’s not a get to the house threat on every play type of offense, which puts more pressure on the QB to make consistent plays to move the chains and score. That’s what I’m talking about.

Understood. I can agree to a certain extent. As you concur though, Chesson and Peppers are certainly home run threats. Ideally, we’d like one at RB, but Mike Hart did just fine and he certainly wasn’t a home run threat by an means.

All comes down to QB play, if Speight or O’Korn can consistently avoid TOs we will win a lot of games, because we’re going to have good field position based on the dominance of the defense. We won’t need to have 70-80 yard TD drives, we’re going to have a short field on a decent proportion of offensive possessions.

If our QB play settles somewhere between bad Rudock and good Rudock, then I think we’ll go 11-1. If it’s closer to bad Rudock, then we could lose 2 or 3.

If it’s closer to good Rudock, though, and we stay mostly healthy, I don’t think we’ll lose a game–including CFB playoffs.

The D-line will be absolutely dominant and should provide some cover for an unproven linebacker unit. The secondary should be lights out. I’m concerned about safety depth, so hopefully no serious injuries.

The WRs and TEs are probably the best pass-catching group in the country. RBs are capable, if unspectacular. The line should hopefully improve incrementally from last year when they were pretty good at pass blocking and mediocre at run blocking.

I remember watching Speight playing in the second half of the Ohio State game last year and saying, “Thank god we have O’Korn coming in next year.” I’m not sure how much improvement can happen in one off season, but like the rest of you I fully trust in Harbaugh. Speight did have that beautiful clutch throw to save the MN game last year.

I’ll say this: M football hasn’t had a recruit like Rashan Gary in my memory. He’s comparable to Chris Webber or Michael Phelps. I love me some Jabril Peppers but even he is a notch below Gary on the talent scale. Would not be surprised to see Gary as the number one pick in the NFL draft in 2019.

Hearing rumors that a certain home-run threat will not be suited up Saturday.

Is it mr chesson?