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Comment 20 Oct 2016

I love that I can get so much Michigan news at a Buckeye site. I love that this thread is here. (There is no comparable thread about OSU over at mgoblog).

Seriously . . . let me repeat my mantra again . . . 

  • Michigan hasn't (yet) proven a thing. Talk is cheap.
  • I think OSU wins (although the game is close).
  • I think that Michigan "could" win this year if many things line up:
    • Michigan stays healthy, especially in secondary.
    • Speight develops as QB all the way through the year.
    • Harbaugh's creative playcalling gives an advantage.
    • The Michigan DL is able to completely disrupt the OSU running game, gets pressure on Barrett, to the point that he throws interceptions.
    • Peppers returns several punts or kickoffs for a long way, possibly even a TD.
Comment 20 Oct 2016

Actually, no. They didn't have a great defense til the faced the Buckeyes. Their defense fell apart after Ryan Glasgow tore his pec in the Rutgers game. With Mone breaking a leg in the preseason, (Glasgow's backup), and also losing their starting DE in the 4th game, they were down 3 starters, and struggled the rest of the way. OSU completely exposed that. Michigan is much deeper and healthier on the DL this year. Although they are dangerously thin at CB. Safety is so so, and the LB corps isn't as deep as it could be either.

Comment 19 Oct 2016

There are a few of variables that aren't spelled out.

  1. How close is the game? Obviously, a close game (within a few points of each other) makes a difference.
  2. Is home field advantage worth something? Specifically, usually home field is worth close to 4 points in college ball. If Michigan loses by 1, 2, or 3 points, especially if it appears there was some particular home field advantage gained by the Buckeyes, that might be considered.
  3. Lastly, what about the other team's records? Are there 5 other solid teams with no losses? I would submit that if there are 4 - 5 teams with no losses, quite possibly, a 1 loss team from UM vs. OSU should be rated after the no loss teams, but before other 1 loss team.s
Comment 18 Oct 2016

Yep, and I'm no incarnation of MMan, Smithston, Mron, whatever. I am a Michigan grad, and want to always see Michigan beat OSU, but your website helps me understand more of what is going on at your fine institution. I think you're crazy if you think Michigan is going to lose 42 - 13 this year. But I also think it will be a hard fought game, and that Michigan hasn't proven anything yet.

One other thought that just came to me. My take on the rivalry is that it will always be cyclical. There will be times when Michigan is ascendant. And times when OSU is ascendant. And times when both are dominant. I happen to think that we are entering into a golden age of the rivalry that we really haven't seen in about 30 years. Michigan managed to beat OSU quite a few times for a season. And since Tressel came, and Meyer after him, OSU has dominated. But Harbaugh certainly gets the rivalry. I have imbibed the Michigan koolaid, and I think that at the least, both OSU and UM will both be dominant, and slug it out as long as both are at their respective schools.

And sometimes, at both 11W and mgoblog, the question is asked, "do you want OSU/UM to be good, or do you want them to be crappy and just curbstomp them?" I kind of think it is a stupid question. At this point that both school's fanbases and economics are such that both schools won't settle for less than good. There is something delicious to you about just killing Michigan for the last many years. That isn't going to continue. But I understand it. It was glorious for a Michigan fan, prior to Tressel, when we always seemed to find a way to win.

I'm old enough to remember Woody and Bo, having attended at the tail end of the 10 year war. There was something about being a student then with the rivalry that was glorious. For you young whippersnappers, who have never really experienced a long rivalry that was hard fought with some amount of respect for each other, we may be seeing the dawn of such an era again. Obviously, as a Michigan fan, I hope it begins this year, with Michigan finally being a Big10 team that didn't cave to your superior talent on the field. Looking forward to Thanksgiving and the Game.

Comment 18 Oct 2016

FTR, there's a certain kind of "homer" I really don't care for. There are a bunch of them here, and a bunch at mgoblog. When someone is an over the top homer, I usually just don't engage at all. 

Comment 18 Oct 2016

There are definitely some 11W partisans who downvote me on sight. Which is kind of expected, and just fine. Neg away!!

I don't have anyone I feel the need to downvote whenever I see them. However, occasionally, the homerism and total dismissal of Michigan as even being an worthy opponent can get under my skin.

Comment 17 Oct 2016

Interesting take. I really don't know how Smith can say that. Until UM actually, you know, wins against MSU or OSU, they haven't shown a thing. Now, the way MSU is imploding, that looks like a beatdown for Michigan (on the road). Same for Iowa. Michigan won't be seriously tested until OSU. But here's my take, from following both teams.

  1. I think Michigan's defense is scary good. Their D Line is the best in the country. Their LB corps is way, way better than expected. They have the best two corners in the country. In Don Brown as DC, and Mattison coaching the DL, they have incredible coaching savvy.
  2. Having said that, I'm less sure of the safeties. And also, we have no depth behind the top two CB's. And not a lot of depth at LB. Michigan is much, much more vulnerable to injury than OSU. For OSU, it is just "next man up." For Michigan, if Lewis, Stribling, Gedeon, Peppers go down, we're hurting, and will totally be exploited by Urban Meyer. If Glasgow, Wormley, or Charlton go down on the DL, we won't be as dominant.
  3. If Michigan stays healthy, I think the defense is going to give OSU serious problems. Their DL punishes RB and QB's. It is no coincidence that they brutalized both the QB for Colorado and for Wisconsin. Barrett (and the coaching staff) are really playing with fire if he plans to run a lot. It works against lesser teams. But there is a reason you don't see a ton of QB's like Barrett in the NFL. If he isn't careful, he will get killed by a defense that takes no prisoners. The one key individual to the whole defense is Glasgow at NT. When he went down last year, the whole Michigan defense took a huge step backwards. If he stays healthy, you aren't going to be breaking a whole bunch of runs up the middle. The DL is going to massively pressure Barrett, and we are really going to find out a lot more about his passing cahones.
  4. On the offense, the RB group has been an unexpected surprise. Tyrone Wheatley was a huge upgrade in coaching. Evans, Isaac, and Higdon are tearing it up. The OL is a little better than expected (although not at OSU's level.)
  5. The QB, Speight, has been mediocre. He isn't lighting the world on fire. Having said that, Harbaugh is a QB whisperer. The improvement of Rudock last year from game one to the Bowl game was mind-blowing. Five more games to improve is a pretty long time. If Harbaugh continues to coach him up, he has the receiving corps to make a huge difference.
  6. The DL is the one area of OSU's team that seems a bit thin, imhe. If you have one key starter go down, that's the place where I don't really think it is just "next man up" for you.

I have consistently said that OSU will win against Michigan. I still will stay with that prediction, but it is getting closer. I'm thinking 17 - 14, or 23 - 21. Don't know. But I truly believe you are in la la land if you think OSU is going to blow Michigan out this year. Just sayin'.

Comment 17 Oct 2016

I'm traveling to Cleveland for Thanksgiving. Actually trying to find two tickets together or apart to go to the Horseshoe for the first time. Obv. I can buy tickets any time . . . at the right price . . . but I don't have the budget to spend a fortune. So unless I am extremely fortunate, it is watch the game with OSU fans in Cleveland, or head home Friday instead of Saturday so I can watch the game from the comfort of home.

Comment 16 Oct 2016

Transitive property never applies.

I will say, early on last night, I thought to myself, Wisconsin needs to pour it on, because otherwise OSU is going to flip a switch and win. Sure enough.

I think Michigan's defense is stronger than you give credit for.

I think that OSU's offense is much stronger than Michigan's. So it will be strength against strength.

Comment 16 Oct 2016

You are assuming Michigan and OSU will win out until the Game. That is a reasonable assumption, but it is an assumption nonetheless.

Comment 16 Oct 2016

Great win. Great teams just find a way to get it done. Your backs were to the wall, but you just gashed Wisconsin in the 2nd half. The continued runs on 4th down were amazing. Wisconsin just couldn't stop you. And deep passes were incredible, especially the game winner. My hat's off to Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes. You guys are the king of the mountain.

This isn't the time or place to comment on Michigan. All I'll say is that I'm sure the Michigan coaches will be carefully and intimately studying the tape from this game. There are things to be learned.

Comment 16 Oct 2016

Great game. Even greater win. Congratulations. My hat is off to you.

From Michigan's perspective, the film will help a lot. Until Michigan actually, you know, beats OSU, it is all just hot air. Still, this game gives me lots of hope that Harbaugh and Michigan can hang with OSU. While I'm unsure of the outcome of OSU - UM, I am 99.99 positive OSU is not going to walk over UM like last year.

Comment 15 Oct 2016

Many fans don't see it, but line play on both sides is critical. How the OSU OL and DL play against Wisconsin will tell us a lot. Teams can do well against lesser competition. How they do against an elite team is significant. We shall see what we shall see. You would love a statement game. I would love a close, hard fought game. It is more fun to watch. And more than that, a close, tight game forces Meyer to reveal and use trick plays and parts of the playbook he'd rather keep in reserve.

Comment 12 Oct 2016

I'd love to go to a game in Columbus. I will be in Cleveland for Thanksgiving, and it would be totally awesome to be in Columbus that Saturday with my son, who plays ball in high school. But yeah, I wonder at the wisdom of going. I don't mind good natured ribbing. It goes with the territory. But I don't want to deal with people throwing beer, projectiles, trying to start fights, etc. I don't mind drunks. But I don't want to deal with belligerent drunks. The other issue is that as much as I would love to go to the game, I just can't justify the cash outlay. Sure, if I had free tickets, or even could get a pair for maybe $200 - $300 total, I'd do it. But I'm guessing the minimum I'd pay would be $600 to a grand, and that is too much coin for me. If you know how I can go, talk to me. 

Comment 10 Oct 2016

Michigan will be a bit down next year. At least that's what I expect. You are completely right that they are losing a ton of seniors, and a couple early entry guys. Today is the day. Right now. Not next year.

I do think that Harbaugh is doing amazing things with recruiting. They are currently solidly in the running for 5 guys with 5 star rankings. They are in it for another dozen guys who are 4 star recruits. These are above and beyond current commitments. Harbaugh and Michigan are an "it" team. If they sign a bunch of these remaining recruits, they will be on the same playing field as OSU. And from 2018 going forward, I think the talent differential between Michigan and OSU will be gone. It is next year, 2017, that Michigan still won't have the real depth needed, the kind of depth that OSU has.

Comment 09 Oct 2016

Completely agree. Still waiting to see a lot more from Michigan. They haven't proven a thing yet. Now, if they kill MSU in E. Lansing, and Iowa in Iowa, that would be a bit more meaningful. And We'll see how they do against Indiana. But really, there is only one game that matters at this point. I can't see OSU and Michigan losing to anyone else . . . and one of them has to lose in Columbus.

Addendum:  I'm not sure, but I vaguely recall the consensus in these here parts being that Michigan was going to lose a number of games this year . . . in addition to losing to OSU. I think we can agree that isn't going to happen.

The other thing is that potential recruits are taking notice. They won't catch up to OSU, but Michigan currently has heavy interest from Najee Harris, Alex Leatherwood, Baron Browning, Darnay Holmes, and Donovan Peoples Jones. I think it would be close to impossible, that if those guys came to Michigan, that would be 5 guys who are all 5 stars all ranked in the top dozen players in the country. Now that would be a Fab 5 to remember.

Comment 09 Oct 2016

You are correct. And you think Ash would have signed off on that? Right . . . 

Comment 09 Oct 2016

As others said, when you have walkons and 3rd string guys plowing through for huge chunks of yardage, straight up the middle, what are you supposed to do? Just tell the backups to play half-assed? Take a knee? Tell the defense to let them walk through so Rutgers will feel good about themselves?

Comment 09 Oct 2016

Should have been more clear . . . I wasn't necessarily referring to this particular thread.

As for Rutgers fans, yeah, I get that they're butthurt. They beat Michigan 2 years ago, and figured this would be more of the same. And with Ash's OSU ties, they are going to focus more on JH than OSU. And with UM getting Peppers, Gary, and a bunch of others, along with Partridge, it makes complete sense for their to be high animosity.