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Poetry Without Motion: Dunking on anonymous Big Ten coaches who doubted Michigan

It’s time to take a victory lap.

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Rose Bowl Game - Alabama v Michigan Photo by Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Michigan outlasted Alabama in overtime, 27-20, on New Year’s Day in the Rose Bowl. In doing so, Jim Harbaugh won his first bowl game as the Wolverines’ head coach since his very first season, and the team advanced to their first College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

Even though the Wolverines were the betting favorite heading into the Rose Bowl, most national media pundits picked against Michigan. Even though the well dried up for Pete Thamel on the NCAA sign-stealing investigation story, they continued to doubt the team that had still beaten Penn State and Ohio State without their head coach — and without the sole mastermind behind the investigation.

You could scroll up and down Twitter and find any typical Joe Schmoe who has a podcast or a following online that said something dumb about the Wolverines, but today, we are going to dive into the thoughts and opinions of people who should matter: coaches in the Big Ten.

Last month, Bruce Feldman with The Athletic spoke with coaches off the record about the Wolverines and their chances against the Tide. Needless to say, it’s time to take a victory lap on these cowards.

J.J. McCarthy

Yes, even though he was a Heisman candidate, Big Ten coaches were majorly doubting the third-year quarterback heading into the game against Bama. One thing a defensive analyst whose team faced Michigan in the last month of the season was concerned about — not having Connor Stalions on the sidelines.

“It does make you wonder. Going into our game, I thought he was among the best in the country. Afterward, I didn’t think the same. Once all that stuff (the NCAA investigation) happened, he just doesn’t look the same. I don’t know if he’s hurt. I thought he was a Heisman candidate. Heisman quarterbacks don’t throw only eight passes in a game. I think before, he was ready for it and he was confident.”

All “that stuff” as in, Stalions resigning from his role at Michigan? That SINGLE act suddenly made McCarthy look mortal? Really??

“I don’t know what’s causing him to be hesitant and not as decisive as he was earlier,” said a Big Ten head coach who played Michigan. “He seems out of sync lately.”

Luckily for Michigan, McCarthy was just fine on Monday, completing 63 percent of his throws for 221 yards and two touchdowns. But yeah, he’s totally out of sync, guy.

“BuT hE’s OnLy ThRoWn OnE tOuChDoWn In ThE lAsT fIvE gAmEs!”

And they still won every single game, @BuckeyeLover420 and @TotallyNotPaulFinebaum.

Lastly, one Big Ten head coach acknowledged McCarthy had been hurt for the last month of the season, but this coach took it a few steps too far and should have stopped talking after the first two sentences.

“I’ve heard (McCarthy has) been banged up since the Penn State game. He will have to make plays with his feet if Michigan’s gonna have a chance against Alabama. You ain’t gonna big boy Alabama (by just relying on your running backs). I think Alabama is way more talented. Michigan’s offense is not dynamic enough at the skill positions. Alabama’s gonna get heavy-handed with them. If Alabama can stop the run, Michigan has no chance. None.”

McCarthy accounted for three rushes for 25 yards, while Corum and the offensive line put in some major work on the ground. Unfortunately for this head coach, Michigan WAS able to big boy Alabama, and the Tide did NOT look like the more talented team. Sometimes, you just gotta know when to shut up.

The Offensive Line

Michigan didn’t win the Joe Moore Award this season, but the unit up front was still solid. However, a Big Ten defensive analyst should probably look into a new career after saying this about the offensive line:

“That O-line looks pretty. They’re like three deep of pretty guys, but you watch the film and Indiana stuffed them. They’re not moving you off the ball like you’d think.”

If you’re an analyst and you can’t see Michigan’s offense line was still a good group this season, I don’t know what to tell you.

Another Big Ten defensive analyst chimed in as well:

“They’re not as good as they were up front last year. The center (Olu Oluwatimi) was a lot better. This kid (Drake Nugent) is solid, but not as good. Zinter is very good, but now they don’t have him. (Trevor) Keegan is tough, but we thought they were better at tackle last year. Barnhart has been struggling. He’s probably better suited at guard.”

This is actually one of the most fair takes out of all these coaches. Is Olu better than Nugent? I’d say so, but Nugent is still one of the highest graded centers in all of college football, has a good rapport with McCarthy and has made very few mistakes this season. This analyst also made a good point about Barnhart being a better guard, as he had one hell of a day at right guard against Bama.

Finally, one last simple parting thought from a Big Ten head coach that did NOT age well:

“I think Alabama will give them trouble with their front.”

Narrator: They did, in fact, not give Michigan trouble with their front.

Blake Corum

These Big Ten analysts may be serving you coffee at Tim Horton’s in the near future, because this is just an outright HORRIBLE take by another defensive analyst.

“Blake doesn’t look like he did last year. He doesn’t have the juice. He’s getting chased down.”

Corum averaged 4.4 yards per carry and scored the game-winning touchdown to send Michigan to the natty. He also broke the Michigan single-season touchdown record, and broke Anthony Thomas’ all-time touchdown record in Ann Arbor. On the season, he has 1,111 rushing yards on 237 carries (4.7 average) and 25 touchdowns.

But yeah, he just “doesn’t have the juice.” What are we even doing here??

The WRs, TEs

Most of the attention in this section was, rightfully so, centered around Roman Wilson. The senior wideout has been Michigan’s biggest receiver threat all season, so it’s no shock to hear other coaches discuss him.

However, one Big Ten defensive backs coach threw some unnecessary shade at Wilson, as well as some other receivers.

“(Wilson) is a good player, but we didn’t fear him. When you watch the tape, he’s running a bunch of over routes. He plays hard. We thought (Johnson) was average. He’s tall and looks pretty out there, but he’s stiff and not great in and out of his breaks. (Freshman Semaj Morgan) is wiggly and even more dynamic than Wilson, but he’s not very polished.

Didn’t fear him, eh?

Finally, one Big Ten coach actually had the audacity to say this about Colston Loveland:

“Loveland is a really good route runner, but he can’t block. (AJ Barner) is a complete tight end. He can’t run like Loveland. I like him. (Backup tight end Max Bredeson) is good. You know they’re running the ball when he’s in the game.”

Loveland can’t block, you say???

Parting Thoughts

Before we big adieu to these coaches for the season, let’s just take a look at what one Big Ten secondary coach had to say about Michigan’s chances in the game.

“I think it’s the same old thing with Michigan. They’re extremely talented, but if someone can hold up up front with them, I think they’re just too one-dimensional. … They’ve got to get explosive plays on the perimeter somewhere, and those are gonna be hard to come by because Alabama can match up with them outside and still be stern enough against the run.

“Michigan is going to have to play such a clean game.”

This might be the most incorrect quote of the bunch, and that’s saying something.

The Wolverines, in fact, did NOT play a clean game and they still won. This team is able to correct its mistakes and come out on top, because that’s what great teams do.

Michigan stuck it to the entire college football world by beating Alabama and will be playing for the National Championship next week, all while all these lame duck Big Ten coaches — and these Ohio State fans, rest assured — are forced to watch the game from their living room couches, shaking their purple and gold pom-poms as if they are life-long UW fans.

See you next season, cowards.