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Way too early Top 25

  • MrWoodson said... (original post)

    Actually, I think you have to give them the LBs.

    I like Demens as much as Bullough, from the limited I time I saw Bullough he wasn't making tackles at or behing the line of scrimmage. I like Ryan more than any of their OLB, including Allen, but they have the edge on Morgan.

  • xxmgobluexx said... (original post)

    I like Demens as much as Bullough, from the limited I time I saw Bullough he wasn't making tackles at or behing the line of scrimmage. I like Ryan more than any of their OLB, including Allen, but they have the edge on Morgan.

    Wait, you think UM's CBs = MSU's CBs? Seriously?

    Michigan State does not and will not run the 3-4 defense.

  • MrWoodson said... (original post)

    WR. Your pick up of Arnett might change this, assuming he gets his waiver, but we definitely have a better set of WRs as a group. All of your starting WRs and TE are graduating.

    As of right now, I'd have to agree with you. Most had UM with a top WR group in the conference going into '11 and I think it's safe to say that they didn't quite live up to that billing (I actually put that more on Borges than anything else).

    Michigan State does not and will not run the 3-4 defense.

  • SpartanRocky said... (original post)

    Wait, you think UM's CBs = MSU's CBs? Seriously?

    Your CBs benefited from an extremely aggressive front. When QBs had anytime to throw they were torched.

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  • SpartanRocky said... (original post)

    Wait, you think UM's CBs = MSU's CBs? Seriously?

    I will take Floyd and Countess with Avery as the Nickel. Countess with a year under his belt is going to be huge.

  • SpartanRocky said... (original post)

    As of right now, I'd have to agree with you. Most had UM with a top WR group in the conference going into '11 and I think it's safe to say that they didn't quite live up to that billing (I actually put that more on Borges than anything else).

    Actually, I think Stonum getting suspended had a lot to do with that. When that happened, we not only lost our fastest WR but we had to move Roundtree from slot to wideout (he is much more effective in the slot). You are right, though, that the growing pains caused by Denard taking more snaps under center and trying to learn to stay in and throw from the pocket made our passing game even worse. I hope Borges and Denard are able to make significant progress on that between now and next fall.

    This post was edited by MrWoodson 2 years ago

  • SpartanRocky said... (original post)

    As of right now, I'd have to agree with you. Most had UM with a top WR group in the conference going into '11 and I think it's safe to say that they didn't quite live up to that billing (I actually put that more on Borges than anything else).

    Also, we are holding our breath until a decision is made on Stonum. If he is dismissed from the team, it is going to be a major setback for us next year.

  • xxmgobluexx said... (original post)

    I will take Floyd and Countess with Avery as the Nickel. Countess with a year under his belt is going to be huge.

    Wow. I guess we'll see.

    Michigan State does not and will not run the 3-4 defense.

  • NigelUno said... (original post)

    Your CBs benefited from an extremely aggressive front. When QBs had anytime to throw they were torched.

    That's true for just about any CB in the country; give a QB 4-5 seconds and someone is going to shake loose.

    Michigan State does not and will not run the 3-4 defense.

  • SpartanRocky said... (original post)

    As of right now, I'd have to agree with you. Most had UM with a top WR group in the conference going into '11 and I think it's safe to say that they didn't quite live up to that billing (I actually put that more on Borges than anything else).

    I am pretty sure you listed MSU as having the best WR group in the B1G in one of the B1G Roundtables or in one of our many offseason discussions last summer. It would have been nice if there was a thread with all of them linked.

  • SpartanRocky said... (original post)

    That's true for just about any CB in the country; give a QB 4-5 seconds and someone is going to shake loose.

    I wasn't talking about all day to throw.

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  • SpartanRocky said... (original post)

    Wow. I guess we'll see.

    That we will.

  • xxmgobluexx said... (original post)

    I am pretty sure you listed MSU as having the best WR group in the B1G in one of the B1G Roundtables or in one of our many offseason discussions last summer. It would have been nice if there was a thread with all of them linked.

    I'd argue that they ended the year as the Big 10's best; Cunningham and Martin were arguably the most productive duo in the conference, though Iowa's duo was close.

    And I agree abotu having a Roundtable thread there.

    Michigan State does not and will not run the 3-4 defense.

  • SpartanRocky said... (original post)

    I'd argue that they ended the year as the Big 10's best; Cunningham and Martin were arguably the most productive duo in the conference, though Iowa's duo was close.

    And I agree abotu having a Roundtable thread there.

    Agreed. Cunningham stepped up as the #1 WR target and Martin finally showed that he was more than a bubble screen WR. Nichols disappointed season production wise but he had some of the most important catches it seemed.

  • xxmgobluexx said... (original post)

    Agreed. Cunningham stepped up as the #1 WR target and Martin finally showed that he was more than a bubble screen WR. Nichols disappointed season production wise but he had some of the most important catches it seemed.

    Yea, I was waiting all year for a 3rd WR to truly emerge, but Nichol/Bell/Linthicum ended up being that by committee. Seems that the best WRs units were the ones who had a good 2 man unit: MSU, Iowa and Wisconsin. I loved Jeremy Ebert and I think in a more pass-oriented offense Hemingway/Stonum together could have been a force. Obviously that fell apart.

    Really strange to see Roundtree fall off so much, but I know the talent is there. MSU has a giant ??? for the WRs next year; if Arnett can play he'll be somewhat of a known quantity, but the rest? They need to prove they can play before I rate them above mediocre (same with Maxwell). I've got hope, but we probably won't know anything till after the Boise State game, likely not until MSU plays Ohio State.

    That's where Fowler's injury hurt MSU: gives the Spartans 0 WRs with more than handful of catches in their career. There are going to be drops and growing pains; how much of each will likely determine whether MSU wins 7 or 10 next year.

    Michigan State does not and will not run the 3-4 defense.

  • As for the early top 25 . . . . I hate immediate pre-season rankings before all the NFL declarations come out and all the spring injuries/transfers happen. I figure USC/Oregon and LSU/Bama should make up the top 4. After that? Who knows.

    Michigan State does not and will not run the 3-4 defense.

  • Jandy

    Harmons_Ghost said... (original post)

    Quarterback.

    Well I certainly did enjoy this exercise.

    The player that UM has playing QB is generally one of the most (if not the most) talented/explosive player on the field for any given game, so it would be foolish for me to argue that Andrew Maxwell is better. That having been said, I am unconvinced that Denard is better at the QB position than Maxwell. Thing is, Maxwell is very unproven, so I'm forced to concede this spot.

  • NigelUno said... (original post)

    Well I certainly did enjoy this exercise.

    The player that UM has playing QB is generally one of the most (if not the most) talented/explosive player on the field for any given game, so it would be foolish for me to argue that Andrew Maxwell is better. That having been said, I am unconvinced that Denard is better at the QB position than Maxwell. Thing is, Maxwell is very unproven, so I'm forced to concede this spot.

    You're unconvinced that a 3 year starter at QB isn't better than a QB that has yet to take meaningful snaps. roflmao

  • xxmgobluexx said... (original post)

    You're unconvinced that a 3 year starter at QB isn't better than a QB that has yet to take meaningful snaps. roflmao

    Its the Spartan logic that a running QB is not really a QB. They don't get that if you combine Denards numbers from last year he still had great stats. Still too many Ints but he did have over 30 total TDs.

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  • Jandy

    xxmgobluexx said... (original post)

    QB = Michigan RBs = Push TE = MSU WR = Michigan Tackles = Michigan Interior Oline = Push

    DT = MSU DE = MSU OLB = Push ILB = Push CB = Push S = Push

    Here's a good synopsis, I can just respond to this one instead of all of the separate ones.

    OFFENSE

    QB = Michigan
    (see above)

    RBs = MSU
    If it wasn't plural, I could compromise with a push (even though I personally like Bell much much more), but MSU has better depth here.

    TE = MSU
    By default. I don't think either team is going to excel in the TE spot, but I guess MSU probably has the best of the group in Sims, although there is potential for some serious depth issues here.

    WR = Push/MSU/UM
    Depends entirely on how the Stonum/Arnett situations work out. If both play [which I find most likely], I think it's a push. If Arnett plays and Stonum doesn't [the situation I think is 2nd most likely], I think MSU has a veeery slight advantage, and only due to pure talent, it will definitely be an inexperienced bunch. If Stonum plays and Arnett doesn't, then UM clearly has the advantage in my mind.

    OT = UM
    But it's closer than you're thinking, and here's why; Lewan is better than MSU's LT, but isn't UM's RT graduating? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I view that as a pretty big deal. Additionally, MSU gets Burkland back from injury next year, who was arguably our best O-Lineman when he was injured against ND. Were I forced to pick a side on this one, I'd go UM.

    Int. OL = MSU
    MSU returns the only guy who had all-conference accolades in Chris McDonald, even though it was only an honorable mention.

    DEFENSE

    DT = MSU
    Despite losing Worthy, MSU has a lot of depth and talent here. While Hoke clearly has this group on the right path, this is the year that RR's legacy really hurts at DT, with multiple question marks.

    DE = MSU
    Gholston is a freak athlete and will continue to improve for what could very well be his final season at MSU. Oh, and Rush wasn't bad as a RS-Fr either... UM has to replace some talent here, too.

    OLB = MSU
    Denicos Allen was an all-B1G 2nd-teamer, and Chris Norman was honorable mention. UM's OLB's are pretty good, but both of MSU's guys are bound to be 2nd-teamers at worst next year.

    MLB = Push
    I have a strong belief that Bullough is better than Demens, but not necessarily enough to back it up objectively. Bullough was voted 2nd team by the coaches, but Demens was a unanimous honorable mention, so I can be comfortable with a push here.

    CB = MSU
    I can't believe that this is a point of debate. Johnny Adams will likely be the best CB in the B1G next year (1st teamer in 2011). Dennard improved steadily throughout 2011 eventually earning an honorable mention for 2011 and also playing as well as anyone did in our bowl game, snagging 2 INT's, and returning 1 of them for a TD. While I think UM will have a solid group in returning J.T. Floyd and a likely improved Countess, it would be somewhat of a disappointment if MSU doesn't have the best tandem in the B1G.

    S = MSU
    Isaiah Lewis was all-B1G 2nd team, and the players coming up to replace Robinson just might be better physical talents than him. I think the loss of Robinson's leadership will hurt, but MSU did show the ability to reload the secondary in 2011 despite the losses of Chris Rucker and Marcus Hyde at CB and S. As the talent situation going into 2012 is similar to what it was going into this year, I have no reason to believe MSU won't be very good across the board in the secondary.

  • NigelUno said... (original post)

    Here's a good synopsis, I can just respond to this one instead of all of the separate ones.

    OFFENSE

    QB = Michigan (see above)

    RBs = MSU If it wasn't plural, I could compromise with a push (even though I personally like Bell much much more), but MSU has better depth here.

    TE = MSU By default. I don't think either team is going to excel in the TE spot, but I guess MSU probably has the best of the group in Sims, although there is potential for some serious depth issues here.

    WR = Push/MSU/UM Depends entirely on how the Stonum/Arnett situations work out. If both play [which I find most likely], I think it's a push. If Arnett plays and Stonum doesn't [the situation I think is 2nd most likely], I think MSU has a veeery slight advantage, and only due to pure talent, it will definitely be an inexperienced bunch. If Stonum plays and Arnett doesn't, then UM clearly has the advantage in my mind.

    OT = UM But it's closer than you're thinking, and here's why; Lewan is better than MSU's LT, but isn't UM's RT graduating? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I view that as a pretty big deal. Additionally, MSU gets Burkland back from injury next year, who was arguably our best O-Lineman when he was injured against ND. Were I forced to pick a side on this one, I'd go UM.

    Int. OL = MSU MSU returns the only guy who had all-conference accolades in Chris McDonald, even though it was only an honorable mention.

    DEFENSE

    DT = MSU Despite losing Worthy, MSU has a lot of depth and talent here. While Hoke clearly has this group on the right path, this is the year that RR's legacy really hurts at DT, with multiple question marks.

    DE = MSU Gholston is a freak athlete and will continue to improve for what could very well be his final season at MSU. Oh, and Rush wasn't bad as a RS-Fr either... UM has to replace some talent here, too.

    OLB = MSU Denicos Allen was an all-B1G 2nd-teamer, and Chris Norman was honorable mention. UM's OLB's are pretty good, but both of MSU's guys are bound to be 2nd-teamers at worst next year.

    MLB = Push I have a strong belief that Bullough is better than Demens, but not necessarily enough to back it up objectively. Bullough was voted 2nd team by the coaches, but Demens was a unanimous honorable mention, so I can be comfortable with a push here.

    CB = MSU I can't believe that this is a point of debate. Johnny Adams will likely be the best CB in the B1G next year (1st teamer in 2011). Dennard improved steadily throughout 2011 eventually earning an honorable mention for 2011 and also playing as well as anyone did in our bowl game, snagging 2 INT's, and returning 1 of them for a TD. While I think UM will have a solid group in returning J.T. Floyd and a likely improved Countess, it would be somewhat of a disappointment if MSU doesn't have the best tandem in the B1G.

    S = MSU Isaiah Lewis was all-B1G 2nd team, and the players coming up to replace Robinson just might be better physical talents than him. I think the loss of Robinson's leadership will hurt, but MSU did show the ability to reload the secondary in 2011 despite the losses of Chris Rucker and Marcus Hyde at CB and S. As the talent situation going into 2012 is similar to what it was going into this year, I have no reason to believe MSU won't be very good across the board in the secondary.

    I'd put DT at a push: both squads loose a lot on the interior, though I'd say White is more proven than any of the UM replacements. Both front 4s are best when they have 4 DTs to rotate and I don't think either group of fans knows what that group will be at the moment.

    S is also a push for me: Kovacs is a pure gamer and probably a wash with Lewis in terms of overall production (Kovacs is great at forcing fumbles, Lewis had 2 pick-6s this season). MSU has had 2 promising young S play significant minutes this year (Drummond and Jairus Jones), but neither have had to play a full game.

    Michigan State does not and will not run the 3-4 defense.

  • NigelUno said... (original post)

    Here's a good synopsis, I can just respond to this one instead of all of the separate ones.

    OFFENSE

    QB = Michigan (see above)

    RBs = MSU If it wasn't plural, I could compromise with a push (even though I personally like Bell much much more), but MSU has better depth here.

    TE = MSU By default. I don't think either team is going to excel in the TE spot, but I guess MSU probably has the best of the group in Sims, although there is potential for some serious depth issues here.

    WR = Push/MSU/UM Depends entirely on how the Stonum/Arnett situations work out. If both play [which I find most likely], I think it's a push. If Arnett plays and Stonum doesn't [the situation I think is 2nd most likely], I think MSU has a veeery slight advantage, and only due to pure talent, it will definitely be an inexperienced bunch. If Stonum plays and Arnett doesn't, then UM clearly has the advantage in my mind.

    OT = UM But it's closer than you're thinking, and here's why; Lewan is better than MSU's LT, but isn't UM's RT graduating? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I view that as a pretty big deal. Additionally, MSU gets Burkland back from injury next year, who was arguably our best O-Lineman when he was injured against ND. Were I forced to pick a side on this one, I'd go UM.

    Int. OL = MSU MSU returns the only guy who had all-conference accolades in Chris McDonald, even though it was only an honorable mention.

    DEFENSE

    DT = MSU Despite losing Worthy, MSU has a lot of depth and talent here. While Hoke clearly has this group on the right path, this is the year that RR's legacy really hurts at DT, with multiple question marks.

    DE = MSU Gholston is a freak athlete and will continue to improve for what could very well be his final season at MSU. Oh, and Rush wasn't bad as a RS-Fr either... UM has to replace some talent here, too.

    OLB = MSU Denicos Allen was an all-B1G 2nd-teamer, and Chris Norman was honorable mention. UM's OLB's are pretty good, but both of MSU's guys are bound to be 2nd-teamers at worst next year.

    MLB = Push I have a strong belief that Bullough is better than Demens, but not necessarily enough to back it up objectively. Bullough was voted 2nd team by the coaches, but Demens was a unanimous honorable mention, so I can be comfortable with a push here.

    CB = MSU I can't believe that this is a point of debate. Johnny Adams will likely be the best CB in the B1G next year (1st teamer in 2011). Dennard improved steadily throughout 2011 eventually earning an honorable mention for 2011 and also playing as well as anyone did in our bowl game, snagging 2 INT's, and returning 1 of them for a TD. While I think UM will have a solid group in returning J.T. Floyd and a likely improved Countess, it would be somewhat of a disappointment if MSU doesn't have the best tandem in the B1G.

    S = MSU Isaiah Lewis was all-B1G 2nd team, and the players coming up to replace Robinson just might be better physical talents than him. I think the loss of Robinson's leadership will hurt, but MSU did show the ability to reload the secondary in 2011 despite the losses of Chris Rucker and Marcus Hyde at CB and S. As the talent situation going into 2012 is similar to what it was going into this year, I have no reason to believe MSU won't be very good across the board in the secondary.

    I agree with some of your comments, but you are making huge leaps with others. First, WR is more than one person. You have to look at the entire group not just your best one. Same with RB. We are returning a 1,000 yard rusher in Toussaint (Bell was under 1,000 yards despite MSU playing an extra game) and, unlike us, you are losing your #2 back. We have Vincent Smith coming back, who has significant experience, and Rawls also saw some action this year as a freshman. And we redshirted Justice Hayes this year, so he also will be available. I fail to see how you have a better group of RBs.

  • Jandy

    xxmgobluexx said... (original post)

    You're unconvinced that a 3 year starter at QB isn't better than a QB that has yet to take meaningful snaps. roflmao

    First, Dantonio has been sure to get Maxwell meaningful snaps over the past two years, and he enters next year as more 'battle-tested' and prepared than Kirk Cousins was the first year he started.

    Now, factor in that Cousins was a better passer and offensive commander (by the eye test as well as statistically) in his first year starting than Denard was in this 2011 season, and I feel comfortable that Maxwell will be a better QB than Denard.

    Once Denard crosses the line of scrimmage, he might as well be a RB. His rushing yards are definitely a huge bonus, and significantly beneficial, but he will be at a substantial disadvantage in many situations that require a passing game while *gasp* the WR's are tightly covered. Good cornerbacks are usually pretty good at playing 500, and it showed this year.

  • NigelUno said... (original post)

    Here's a good synopsis, I can just respond to this one instead of all of the separate ones.

    OFFENSE

    QB = Michigan
    (see above)

    RBs = MSU
    If it wasn't plural, I could compromise with a push (even though I personally like Bell much much more), but MSU has better depth here.

    TE = MSU
    By default. I don't think either team is going to excel in the TE spot, but I guess MSU probably has the best of the group in Sims, although there is potential for some serious depth issues here.

    WR = Push/MSU/UM
    Depends entirely on how the Stonum/Arnett situations work out. If both play [which I find most likely], I think it's a push. If Arnett plays and Stonum doesn't [the situation I think is 2nd most likely], I think MSU has a veeery slight advantage, and only due to pure talent, it will definitely be an inexperienced bunch. If Stonum plays and Arnett doesn't, then UM clearly has the advantage in my mind.

    OT = UM
    But it's closer than you're thinking, and here's why; Lewan is better than MSU's LT, but isn't UM's RT graduating? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I view that as a pretty big deal. Additionally, MSU gets Burkland back from injury next year, who was arguably our best O-Lineman when he was injured against ND. Were I forced to pick a side on this one, I'd go UM.

    Int. OL = MSU
    MSU returns the only guy who had all-conference accolades in Chris McDonald, even though it was only an honorable mention.

    DEFENSE

    DT = MSU
    Despite losing Worthy, MSU has a lot of depth and talent here. While Hoke clearly has this group on the right path, this is the year that RR's legacy really hurts at DT, with multiple question marks.

    DE = MSU
    Gholston is a freak athlete and will continue to improve for what could very well be his final season at MSU. Oh, and Rush wasn't bad as a RS-Fr either... UM has to replace some talent here, too.

    OLB = MSU
    Denicos Allen was an all-B1G 2nd-teamer, and Chris Norman was honorable mention. UM's OLB's are pretty good, but both of MSU's guys are bound to be 2nd-teamers at worst next year.

    MLB = Push
    I have a strong belief that Bullough is better than Demens, but not necessarily enough to back it up objectively. Bullough was voted 2nd team by the coaches, but Demens was a unanimous honorable mention, so I can be comfortable with a push here.

    CB = MSU
    I can't believe that this is a point of debate. Johnny Adams will likely be the best CB in the B1G next year (1st teamer in 2011). Dennard improved steadily throughout 2011 eventually earning an honorable mention for 2011 and also playing as well as anyone did in our bowl game, snagging 2 INT's, and returning 1 of them for a TD. While I think UM will have a solid group in returning J.T. Floyd and a likely improved Countess, it would be somewhat of a disappointment if MSU doesn't have the best tandem in the B1G.

    S = MSU
    Isaiah Lewis was all-B1G 2nd team, and the players coming up to replace Robinson just might be better physical talents than him. I think the loss of Robinson's leadership will hurt, but MSU did show the ability to reload the secondary in 2011 despite the losses of Chris Rucker and Marcus Hyde at CB and S. As the talent situation going into 2012 is similar to what it was going into this year, I have no reason to believe MSU won't be very good across the board in the secondary.

    Things I see differently.

    RBs = Push, though plural gives Michigan the edge. Who behind Bell is better? Caper? Nope, I went round and round with Rocky on this last summer, and Caper has yet to have a season where he averages at least 4 ypc. Hill? Same as Caper, he can't even break the 4 ypc mark either. Michigan has Smith who has 1175 yds for his career at over 5 ypc. Rawls and Hayes backing them up.

    WRs = Michigan. Before you claim MSU has better WRs, tell me how many total career catches your WRs have caught in a Spartan uniform. Michigan has Roundtree with 123 catches and Gallon with 35 catches. That isn't including Stonum who has 76 career catches.

    OT = Michigan. Not as close as you think. Lewan will be All-B1G 1st team. Schofield natural position is RT and will finally be playing there. This isn't close.

    Interior Oline = Push. Michigan is replacing its best interior guy in Molk, same as MSU replacing its best interior guy in Foreman. Michigan has 3 year starter RG Omameh(sp) and Barnum back. There is talk of Barnum moving to Center to make room for 350 lb Bryant(if he can lose some of that weight) or 5* Kalis or potentially Garnett.

    DT =MSU. MSU having to replace Worthy and Pickelman hurts them, but at least White has seen some solid minutes and starts. Michigans guys are all potential right now.

    DE = MSU. They have the edge because of Michigan's questions at SDE. Michigan will have Roh, Black and Clark returning at WDE, if Roh can put on a good 10lbs, he can move to SDE and help with spot.

    OLB = push to slight edge MSU. This is all homer, I think Ryan is a stud like you guys love Allen. Morgan at WLB hurts Michigan.

    CB = Push. I think Countess is going to be a stud, with RS Senior Floyd on the other side. Playing as a true Freshman this year, next year the speed of the game will be slowed down for Countess and he becomes a shutdown corner.

    S = Push. Michigan gets both of its safeties back, MSU is losing a starter.

  • NigelUno said... (original post)

    First, Dantonio has been sure to get Maxwell meaningful snaps over the past two years, and he enters next year as more 'battle-tested' and prepared than Kirk Cousins was the first year he started.

    Now, factor in that Cousins was a better passer and offensive commander (by the eye test as well as statistically) in his first year starting than Denard was in this 2011 season, and I feel comfortable that Maxwell will be a better QB than Denard.

    Once Denard crosses the line of scrimmage, he might as well be a RB. His rushing yards are definitely a huge bonus, and significantly beneficial, but he will be at a substantial disadvantage in many situations that require a passing game while *gasp* the WR's are tightly covered. Good cornerbacks are usually pretty good at playing 500, and it showed this year.

    You have to do one of 2 things here. You either add Denard's rushing numbers into his passing stats and get an overall level of QB play. Or you have to add Denard's rushing into our RB game and then the RB comparison wouldn't even be close seeing we would be returning 2 1000 yard rushers. You can't just ignore the fact that Denard rushed for over 1000 yards this year. It needs to be taken into account when you are comparing teams.

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