The Future Of THE Game Looks Bleak For Michigan Football

MichaelSpath

The look on Michigan senior safety Josh Metellus' face in the picture at the top says it all—a man defeated. A man that knows he's been beaten and can do nothing about it but chase. 

The Wolverines have been chasing the Buckeyes for the better part of two decades now, falling to 1-15 since 2004 to their "rival," and it doesn't look like that will change anytime soon. 

Not when OSU continues to put a more talented team on the field than the Maize and Blue. In this year's 247Sports.com college team composite rankings, Ohio State ranks second nationally and has 60 five- (13) and four-star (47) recruits—while Michigan is 11th overall, and has 40 five- (four) and four-star (36) recruits. 

And not when Michigan doesn't have the coaching to bridge that gap. 

That's the only way you beat teams more talented than you. On that day, your staff out-coaches theirs. Out-schemes them. Out-prepares them. Mines and develops your talent better than they do. That hasn't happened.  

For the second year in a row, defensive coordinator Don Brown had no answers for the Buckeyes' offense, his unit yielding 118 points and 1,144 yards to Ohio State in back-to-back games. Michigan's offense remains on the upswing, but offensive coordinator Josh Gattis didn't call a perfect game either, nor did his players execute flawlessly. 

That's what U-M had to have, because the defense was clearly outclassed—and why would anyone expect that to change? 

The Buckeyes have always had more talent than Michigan, and Jim Harbaugh and Co. haven't figured out a way to overcome the skill deficiency. 

Harbaugh is a great coach. A top-20 coach in college football that will continue to put Michigan in position to win nine or 10 games per year, out-recruiting everyone but OSU (and sometimes Penn State) in the Big Ten. If he coached in the Big Ten West he might already have two or three division titles. But he coaches in the East where Ohio State resides, and he can't beat OSU. That's not opinion or hyperbole. It's fact.

Close losses. Blowout losses. A loss when Michigan was the favorite. A loss when U-M was at home playing its best football of the year. No matter the circumstances, home or away, Urban Meyer on the sidelines or Ryan Day, senior quarterbacks or first-year signal-callers, it's five straight defeats for the Wolverines. 

Ohio State currently sits fourth in the the 247Sports.com 2020 recruiting rankings. Michigan is 12th. The talent gap is not shrinking. (U-M was actually closer in team talent in 2018 than it is in 2019 and will be in 2020).

So what can Harbaugh do? Does he replace coaches? Does he move on from Brown? He probably won't, as Harbaugh reveres his defensive coordinator, but these last two losses to Ohio State have proven without a doubt Michigan doesn't have good enough coaching to make up the recruiting difference. 

And with five opportunities to give recruits' reason to switch allegiances, U-M didn't make up any ground. 

So what does the future of THE Game look like? Probably a lot like the present and the past—Michigan losing to Ohio State. 

Comments (22)
No. 1-11
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MichiganMan614
MichiganMan614

I'm tired of hearing who can Michigan get that's better than Jim. Who thought Dabo would be Dabo when he was hired. Everybody wants to use talent gap as an excuse but let me know when Auburn has more talent on the field than Alabama. Some how Gus Malzahn can close that talent gap with coaching but Jimmy can't.

Mcgrawprime
Mcgrawprime

Go after venables from Clemson or maybe wade Phillip's for your DC. Harbaugh is a good coach, osu just takes this rivalry more seriously. Maybe if the bill passes for college players to earn money we can bring in some more 5 star talent. It's a stretch though

Amaznbluedoc
Amaznbluedoc

M football graduation rates 82% v. the team with the lowest graduation rate in the B10, ohio, 69%. That’s all one needs to know why we will never be able to compete against them on the field.

Goosemon
Goosemon

I’ve come to the realization that Harbaugh will never beat them. He’s just too much of a space cadet. Too weird. Too awkward. Doesn’t want it enough. Give me a coach who wants to beat Ohio with a decent modern day coaching intelligence, and I’ll take him.

mangis2
mangis2

It could be worse, really. We could be MSU. Or we could be .500 in the big ten. It wasn't long ago when we struggled just to be ranked in the top 25. No other team put up as much offense on the Buckeyes this year. Michigan is a great team, with great players. They just can't hang with the top 5. So, the team is not elite.

James  S
James S

Fleck is hasn’t done anything. Took advantage of a trash schedule

Nossy
Nossy

What the heck has Fleck done? Exactly nothing. He’s getting kicked by W at home today. He’s not even winning in the crappy Big West. Lost to Iowa, whom M beat and will lose to W today like M did. M would have beat PSU at home like Minny did.

dbrutherBlue
dbrutherBlue

Ouch! I see the problem as this. Michigan alum and fans dearly wished for JH to restore Michigan to its prior glory. He may have come close. The problem is that in the decade of a competitive Michigan team, OSU elevated their program to National championship level. UM is a long way from even getting a whiff of what that must smell like. Tip of the cap to an impressive team from Ohio. Go Blue!

Mdwalt
Mdwalt

So just re-evaluate how you look at Michigan football

Mdwalt
Mdwalt

Michael, You and Steve Deace are the only ones that believe in Harbaugh and Michigan Football are a joke yet every Wednesday You and Steve try to tell us we should have hope...Fire Harbaugh and hire Fleck from Minnesota.


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