couple of observations: it takes time to build a complete team. UM's in his 3rd year here & is still building. It is seldom true that a great new coach meshes with existing superbly talented players & voila! - a NC! Most of the time, it really takes time. We saw the 2012 team, & even then, knew we had problems on defense. The better the opposition, the more glaring the defects, although I do remember a certain 11W analyst spotting the defensive identity issue halfway thru the 2012 season. His observations now have the flavor of the prophetic. I also remember such analysis ran counter to all the hype. One of my greatest fears is that we would, prematurely, find a way into a NC game unprepared to battle a great team. Thankfully Michigan State kept that from happening. We got a great bowl game against a really good bowl opponent & we almost beat em! Sparty won their bowl game!
So now its year 3: the hype machine is cranking! (although much less as June starts out) Lots of really good players are being highlighted (deservedly so). But there are, frankly obvious, questions that must be truly resolved: Will the offensive line come together well enough to score in tough games? Will Braxton's passing Accuracy and target choice improve to the point that he can strike in tight coverage? Will we find a genuine plow horse for running back? & that's just on offense! Aside from a dependable D-line, the team has fundamental issues on defense, requiring conceptual re-tooling. So we really are a long way from an NC caliber team at the present. The team may build into one, but it's not there yet. It takes time, and convincing wins against good teams, to get there.