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B1G 2015 // Michigan Wolverines Football, Cocktail Party Preview

Can a new coach and new QB help the Wolverines take steps toward a 10 win season?

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

About last season

The good news...

The Wolverines didn't get upset by AppSt! Wooooboy. Quite a year. That would have been terrible because

The bad news...

Was pretty much everything else. At one point in late September, the entire nation was discussing whether the Michigan PR department had lost its collective brain and whether Brady Hoke even watches the games he's coaching in. "Open letters to whomever" we're being spit out by the Internet's outrage generator attacking ConcussionGate, the losses that were quickly piling up, Dave Brandon...Goodness was that a dark time. Blow up dummies were being shipped in to keep the 100k attendance streak going.

And you know what made it even darker? There was no light on the horizon. None. UNTIL ->

SOME GOOD NEWS!!!???!!??!!

Harbaugh time happened and Jake Rudock followed suit. A situation considered damn near impossible in 2014, slowly became more and more possible and JIM HARBAUGH made his merry intense way over to AA. This is pretty comparable to the Urban Meyer to OSU move, except more unbelievable. A successful NFL coach somehow ran into a horrible situation with ownership that wasn't on the same page as he, just as a dream job at his alma mater was opening up.

On the Offensive Side of the Ball

The good news...

Hey there Jake Rudock. Enjoy mGo's breakdown of the Iowa transfer, it's excellent. He should be Michigan's starter.

The good news is also, and always, Harbaugh's offensive system, a clever mix of amazingness that has turned two-stars into NFL players. READ THIS:

He was the one who popularized the power-coast offense. He used that notoriety as a launching pad into the NFL, where he then helped bring collegiate pistol-option strategies into the pro game.

At heart, Harbaugh is a quarterbacks coach with a West Coast passing game. He relies on concepts with horizontal and vertical stretches to create clear reads for his signal caller. Many of these concepts require a great receiver at the Y position, but unlike at many programs, Harbaugh's system won't allow him to just move a good receiver inside.

Why? Because you can't go toe-to-toe with a loaded box if you put three or four receivers on the field. Harbaugh will use spread sets, but he'll always use tight ends, H-backs, fullbacks, or wingbacks so he can run the dang ball.

That paragraph was literally stolen, "Harry Potter reading Dumbledore's memories" - style, from Brian at mGo's fantasy chamber.

We like Jake Butt, we like his hands, his effort. We like Amara Darboh...his flashes of goodness last year make him by far the most experienced receiver.

The bad news ...

No one can really catch the damn ball unless some folks make big steps in the next 3 months. Big steps.

The running back position is loaded with talent, but of course, all that talent will probably be wasted running up the back of an offensive linemen who has been pushed two yards into the backfield. For the third year in a row. /cries

On the Defensive Side of the Ball

The good news...

Looks positive on the defensive side, with a not-so-bad 2014 defensive squad returning some playmakers (a healthy J Peppers) and holy moly, DJ Durkin is a beast beast beast... You want some in-depth Durkin Durkin Durkin? Here's some good stuff.


The bad news ...

Blake Countess gone! Well crap.

On the Schedule

Date Opponent
Sept 3 at Utah
Sept 12 Oregon State
Sept 19 UNLV
Sept 26 BYU
Oct 3 at Maryland
Oct 10 NW
Oct 17 MSU
Oct 31 at Minnesota
Nov 7 Rutgers
Nov 14 at Indiana
Nov 21 at PSU
Nov 28 Ohio State


Pretty difficult, I will say. Amazing swing through some solid West Coast teams. Again, no Wisconsin, which right now has to be a positive.

If you're a Michigan hater, these are must-see games if Michigan starts struggling ("The Harbaugh can't save you now Pawwwl.") If you're a BigBlue fan, your interest level is going to be off the charts, praying PRAYING for something like 8-4. And if you're a casual observer who loves you some Big Ten football, you're getting a highly-hyped coach in a power conference with a power run game and a super aggressive personality. Sounds fun to me.

The truth is, college football is all about getting a system in place that works, something that can routinely keep the wins coming. Michigan has the money, the notoriety, the recruiting, the facilities...but the actual football system that operates on the field has been so bad as to negate all those other built-in advantages. Jimmy H looks to change that.