The Wolverine

November 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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NOVEMBER 2016 THE WOLVERINE 5   FROM OUR READERS • Question for those that are saying October 29 is "MSU's Super Bowl" and "it will be a dogfight." Were you saying the same thing about Michigan two years when we took a bad 3-4 team into East Lansing to face a top-10 Michigan State team? That this game will be a four-quarter dogfight? That we will pull out all the stops to win because it's our Super Bowl? I'm guessing you did not, because you felt on paper that MSU was a superior team and should bludgeon us (which they did). Why do you have higher expectations for a bad Michigan State team than you did for a bad Michigan team? You know who else thought Michigan was their Super Bowl — pretty much everyone on the schedule, but that's life as a top-5 team. I know people are going to scream, "But Mark Dantonio knows how to get up for U-M!" So I will ask you again, name another time in the Dantonio era where he has had a bad football team play a top-10 Michigan team and he has won? He's never been in that situation. The fact that Dantonio has beaten U-M in seven of nine years is irrelevant because he has never faced — or beaten — U-M with the crappy team he'll trot out on Oct. 29. Dan- tonio has bad players this year. Jim Harbaugh does not. I agree it will be MSU's Super Bowl, that they will come out fired up, and they will give it the old college try. Be- cause of that, we will win 34-6, not 56-3. If you want to feel comfortable, go look at Washington and Oregon. Oregon beat Washington in 12 straight. Oregon stinks this year, and Washington is good. Result: Washington 70, Oregon 21. MiamiWolv • It's different. Michigan men don't judge themselves by comparison to Sparties. That's not the case in reverse. Go to a campus visit as a high school senior, and you'll hear how "we have as many 'X' as Michigan," or "we have more 'X' than Michigan." You'll never hear that at Michigan. No self-respecting Wolverine would ever judge us on how we do compared to Michigan State. But since so many of them are people who didn't get into Michigan, they always carry that chip. I've lived long enough to have seen many, many inferior Michigan State teams play their best game against Michi- gan, starting in 1990 and Desmond getting tripped in the end zone. Michigan was No. 1 going into that game. MW9497 • Are we one year away? I keep hearing this from the talking heads that Michigan is a year away from being able to compete with the likes of Bama and OSU. I disagree for a couple of reasons. One, we have a loaded defense and our staff has shown just how good they are at coaching kids up. We also have so much experience playing all over the field with upperclassmen. It seems like we will lose just about every starter on defense with exception of a few younger guys. Jim Harbaugh is recruiting at a high level, but I just don't believe that next season is the season to compete for a national title. I think this is the year we compete and then again consistently like Bama and OSU in 2018 and beyond. I see next year as more of a down year than this year. Am I missing something? The BiggerHouse • Quite the contrary … THIS is the best chance we'll have for a while. The senior leadership and talent stars have aligned in 2016. We will have to wait a few more years until it happens again. PurpleArgyle • Be careful to put too much stock into the low-informa- tion national pundits. When they see U-M they see Har- baugh first and foremost and his good recruiting class in 2016 (including Rashan Gary). What they don't see is the 2012-2013 recruiting classes, which were elite. You don't just replace talent like Jourdan Lewis, Jabrill Peppers, Taco Charlton, Ben Gedeon, Dymonte Thomas, Delano Hill, Jake Butt, Jehu Chesson, Amara Darboh, etc., with first- year or second-year players and not miss a step. The 2016 team is loaded with upperclassmen and will have a huge year in the NFL draft. The 2017 team will be less talented, less senior heavy but should be solid. Nexu • Did Ohio St. miss a step after losing nine guys early to the NFL, in addition to guys whose eligibility became exhausted? The answer is obviously NO. I see Michigan being in a similar position next season too. Three areas to tighten up — offensive line, wide receiver, secondary. But there will be talent to plug in! Dr.GoBlue • People need to start realizing this isn't the Michigan that we're used to. I have no doubt we'll be competing for the playoffs again next year. There will presumably be a second-year starter at quarterback. Someone will step up at wide receiver. We've got backs. We've got offensive line- men. The secondary will be young but talented. Lineback- ers will be fine. It's a new day. goblue4life • No, we're on the level of OSU and Alabama and Clem- son right now. That doesn't mean we'll automatically beat OSU in Columbus, or that we'd beat Alabama or Clemson on a neutral playoff field. But there's no objective reason to be- lieve that we won't be/wouldn't be extremely competitive with those teams. Next year might (heavy emphasis on that word, because it also might not happen at all) be a step back from that elite level, due to youth on the defense. It won't be big, though. And we will certainly be back on the top level in 2018 and every year beyond that when Harbaugh remains our coach. wolverineluke Be Heard! Send your letters to: Wolverine Letters • P.O. Box 1304 Ann Arbor, MI 48106 E-mail: Letters may be edited for clarity or length.

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