i don't think it's as much that michigan didn't recruit well in the RR years, because they were okay. schematically, they were probably not ideal. that's still workable. the biggest issue was the attrition suffered during the RR years and into the early Hoke years. gardner's recruiting class (true players graduated last year, redshirt seniors this year) took a huge hit. very, very few even made it to their upperclassmen years on the team. those players you look to for leadership, accountability, etc were nowhere to be found.
how would osu have fared if players like hyde, smith, spencer, heuerman, bryant, roby, grant, mewhort, etc did not develop or stick around? just as an example. osu definitely weathered the change they endured really well, and landed an absolute home run for their JT successor. but i think (if hoke can manage to get through this year) that 2015 and 2016 will show a very, very competitive michigan team. that will probably be towards the end of nussmeier's tenure there, but his system should be well installed, and the zone blocking scheme that nussmeier wants is actually the one that their OL coach funk (who i think probably should have been fired last year too) prefers...so we'll see if he can earn his salary. the defense should be top 25 year in and year out by that point