Indy Pete - Go Blue

May 21st, 2018 at 9:16 AM ^

I have Nick Eubanks.  It may be hard to find time with potential All-B1G level competition like Gentry and McKeon, but I see Nick playing an important role this year as well.

DrMantisToboggan

May 21st, 2018 at 10:47 AM ^

This is probably the best pick for breakout/sleeper player, depending on who think has already broken out. Eubanks will probably end up with 250 or so receiving yards and a TD or two. He'll have multiple 20+ yard chunks. Really a weapon at 6'5 250 running a 4.5.

Ron Utah

May 21st, 2018 at 9:22 AM ^

OP - you can make this more fun by defining what you mean by sleeper and picking one yourself.

For me, it should be a guy who is not on Brian’s “tickets” list. I’ll pick one on offense and one on defense: Nico Collins and Kwity Paye. Nico to have a few TDs and make impact plays almost every game, and Paye to have five+ sacks off the bench.

Hail-Storm

May 21st, 2018 at 9:24 AM ^

I feel like anyone on the defense can't be chosen as the defense has high expectations at all positions.  On offense there isn't a lot of sleepers either as most obvious people are coming back. 

My pick will be Grant Perry.  I know he is a known entity, but I think he is under rated.  With much better options on the outside and hopefully a QB who can throw to them on top of an improved consistent run game, I think he will have an opportunity to really get a lot of catches.  He seems to know how to get open and make catches.  Just don't spin the ball ;). 

Catchafire

May 21st, 2018 at 2:06 PM ^

Of all the picks so far, I would love for this to be the case.  This would probably lead us to at least a couple games that would have been close last year to potential comfortable wins.

Dillon

May 21st, 2018 at 9:29 AM ^

Gentry. Although he isn't the typical breakout candidate since he played a lot, but I think he has a monster year that would qualify for "breakout player."

Mr Miggle

May 21st, 2018 at 9:30 AM ^

His situation is similar to Eubanks. A lot of talent, but with a strong depth chart in front of him. I think they'll both force the coaches to play them more.

reshp1

May 21st, 2018 at 9:31 AM ^

I think his inability to see the field last year was more due to extenunating circumstances (tore rotator cuff in off season jumping into a creek, ankle sprain late in camp), not ability. Another year in the program to get bigger and stronger combined with, by all accounts, tons of natural athleticism should make him a decent tackle. 

uminks

May 21st, 2018 at 12:44 PM ^

would be my sleeper pick as well. He played well even though he was injured. I'm he has been in the weight room for the past 4 months. I would be great if he can step in at RT and play good.

Night_King

May 21st, 2018 at 9:31 AM ^

Bench Mason. Think he’ll have a ton of short yardage conversions and TDs on the goal line, similar to the Hammering Panda in 2016.

He also may kill a few people on special teams / blocking for one of the RBs.

Anchew

May 21st, 2018 at 9:34 AM ^

i'll pick Gentry to have a break out year. he started having good performances last season and i expect even better play this season.

xtramelanin

May 21st, 2018 at 9:55 AM ^

looking at his record everywhere he's been, the guy has been phenomenal.  he has done great here, with some slip ups (like anyone), but he has also lost nearly every single coin-flip outcome on plays, players, penalties, turnovers, etc.   the losses have been so painful precisely b/c with the exception of '15 ohio and '17 psu, they have been agonizingly close.   

harbaugh has his year this year.  maybe not undefeated given our schedule, but a really good year.   and people will still complain....

LS And Play

May 21st, 2018 at 10:53 AM ^

Minnesota and Indiana (twice) were huge breaks for Michigan. OSU also missed a 20-yard field with 5 minutes left in 2016, which was an enormous gift that we didn't capitalize on. I like Harbaugh, but this narrative that he's just so unlucky is ridiculous. Fans always forget when their team gets a break, but the bad luck sticks with them. 

smwilliams

May 21st, 2018 at 11:44 AM ^

Yeah, he's wrong. I wrote a diary a few months ago laying out how unlucky Harbaugh has been in his 3 years and how lucky Dantonio has been in his 11 (and, yes, you make your own luck to some extent, but still).

Here's Harbaugh's record in games decided by 7 points or less in his tenure here:

2015 @Utah - L by 7 

2015 vs Michigan State - L by 4 (the Punt)

2015 @Minnesota - W by 3 (knee down, GL Stand)

2015 @Indiana - W by 7 in OT (4th down TD to send into OT)

So, 2-2 in Year 1, which is right where you'd expect (yes, I would've much rather had the MSU win and the Minnesota loss - remember Rudock went down in that game).

2016 vs Wisconsin - W by 7 (Michigan triples Wisconsin's yardage total and misses 3 FGs)

2016 @Iowa - L by 1 (Ron Coluzzi is a Golden God, multiple targeting penalities on special teams)

2016 @Ohio State - L by 3 in OT (nope, can't relive it)

2016 vs Florida State - L by 1 (missed tackle on the KO)

2017 vs Michigan State - L by 4 

2017 @Indiana - W by 7

2017 vs South Carolina - L by 7 

That's a total record of 4-7 in games decided by 7 or less points. And that's excluding last year's Wisconsin and Ohio State games which Michigan was close in until deep into the 2nd half. 

Let's take a look at MSU over Dantonio's tenure:

2007: 7-6 Overall (2-6 in games decided by 7 pts or less)

2008: 9-4 (2-1)

2009: 6-7 (2-3)

So, at this point Dantonio hasn't really gotten State to an abnormal level. 22-17 over 3 years. 6-10 in close games. 

2010: 11-2 (4-0)

2011: 11-3 (4-1)

2012: 7-6 (4-5)

2013: 13-1 (1-1)

2014: 11-2 (2-0)

2015: 12-2 (6-1)

2016: 3-9 (0-3)

2017: 10-3 (4-0)

Which means in 8 years, he's 25-11 in games decided by 7 points or less. Those 2013/2014 teams were really good, but every other season, the success has largely been decided by what should be an unsustainable level of luck in close games. 

Let's flip this and say Harbaugh's win % in these games is the .700 put up by Dantonio and Dantonio's win % is the .363 put up by Harbaugh. Suddenly Dantonio is 13-23 in close games, i.e. he's got probably two 10-win seasons in 11 years at State instead of 6 (2010, 2011, 2015, and 2017 taken away).

Meanwhile, Harbaugh is 7-4 instead of 4-7. Let's give him the 2016 OSU win, last year's State game, and the 2017 bowl win. How does 3-3 vs. rivals, a playoff appearance in 2016, and three straight double digit win seasons sound? 

That's how thin the margin is and how much luck can often play into success and failure. 

Fezzik

May 21st, 2018 at 12:58 PM ^

The idea that it is luck that determines wins and losses in close games is retarded. We didn't  magically get unlucky at crucial times in close games. We made mistakes or didn't play well enough to win. Just like other games we played well enough to win in close games. Simple as that. Luck, or chance, plays a very small role in games...like winning a coin flip.

Ezeh-E

May 21st, 2018 at 1:07 PM ^

Luck plays a higher role than that. Does your all conference player miss his one assignment all game on the counter play you'd been setting up for all day for an easy touchdown? It happens, and good luck calling that on coaching.

Don't tell me that coaching was the issue with the 2015 MSU game. Or Mike Hart's 3 fumbles against UF in 2008 after, what, two all career. Glad we won that one. Or all the fumbles we recovered in 2011 that we didn't in 2012. Don't make me keep listing...

Fezzik

May 22nd, 2018 at 11:33 AM ^

 

If your player misses an assignment you are telling me its not through any fault of his own actions but by simple chance? That 2015 game should never of been that close to begin with. We should have gotten a first down to end the game. Sypniewski was never a consistent long snapper. And we had a rugby punter who dropped the ball (his own fault, not random chance) and then foolishly had no idea what to do after he messed up. 

If a player fumbles, again, it is not by some unknown power of luck that forces the ball to pop out. It is 100% the skill of the player. You could call Speights fumbles against Cincy bad luck but Harbaugh said it was becuase he  hands the ball of with 1 hand instead of 2. Speight succesfully handed the ball off with 1 hand probably 99% of the time in his life. Is it bad luck that 1% he fumbles? No, with better technique he doesn't fumble.

If a player fumbles, again, it is not by some unknown power of luck that forces the ball to pop out. It is 100% the skill of the player. You could call Speights fumbles against Cincy bad luck but Harbaugh said it was becuaseihet hands the ball of with 1 hand instead of 2. Speight succesfully handed the ball off with 1 hand probably 99% of the time in his life. Is it bad luck that 1% he fumbles? No, with better technique he doesn't fumble.