Though I think this year's D is worse than last year's I think very similarly about them. They make more good plays than bad plays, but the bad plays are REALLY REALLY bad.
The O is better this year, I agree.
Special teams are worse, but I think we agree that they are not as horrible as most people think. Yes, FGs are horrendous. And I agree with you that it doesn't seem to just be a kicker problem, but I've never heard the coaches say that, so I wonder. The coverage team is OK enough. The punting is good. The returners are good, but they never seem to have anywhere to run. That is a huge disappointment. We know Stonum can be a good returner, and Gallon has shown some slippery-ness. (the kicks out of bounds were bad mistakes, but i doubt there will be another kick out of bounds all season).
Though my prediction had a number of games wrong, the overall record was what I was really going for. And at this point, I was confident of my 4-3. Being one game better should mean M goes 7-5, not 6-6 as I predicted (and I'm confident about that...kindof).
My response to your predictions after the bye week:
-I agree Forcier plays more. If RR doesn't use him in a similarly (reverse) fashion that DRob was used last year, then RR is an idiot. Both QBs have skills that should be used. As far as Gardner getting a RS, I've heard he played in a game too far in the season. I'm not sure if that is true. In any case, if he gets hurt in practice now and gets a RS, I will probably amongst those who think RR is a cheater.
-A RB should have a 100 yard game sometime. I'm not sure who, but I would guess it will be Shaw, as he is fast enough to break a big run. I don't expect any running back to have a 20 carry game.
-In my pre-season predictions (which were overall horrible) that Stonum will break one. With Gallon returning KOs now, I will agree with you on that.
-M will be positive on TOs the rest of the way. That's a toughy. Iowa and MSU were certainly of the conservative don't make mistakes of offense, so taking the ball from them is difficult. But M's mistakes were not necessarily forced. Are they learning from their mistakes? I'm not sure and will keep my money in my pocket on this one.
-I also agree that M will get some more penalties from the NCAA. And you're right, it will really give anti-RR crowd some ammo. It will be annoying.
-M WILL make another FG. I say many more (many = 4). One may even be important..
-Denard may have some good games, but Heisman talk should be done for him (until next year?)
-Gator Bowl would be a good game to go to, but it would almost certainly be a loss. If Mallett is healthy, it would be ugly.