Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Michigan is 4-0: Really?
The boo-birds are emerging from a short hibernation. Michigan decisively defeated Central Michigan 59-9 and Notre Dame, 41-30, to begin the season, and then eked out wins against Akron, 28-24, and UConn, 24-21. The boo-birds are fickle. 4-0 is not good enough for the boo-birds suffering from excessive exuberance. The boo-birds are demanding that the offensive line, QB Devin Gardner, and RB Touissant Fitzgerald be replaced, essentially by freshmen. That is not a winning combination. Expectations were high coming into the season. Michigan would play Ohio State back-to-back to determine the Big Ten Championship. Devin Gardner was a candidate for the Heisman. Brady Hoke had rebuilt the Wolverines in his image, the Power Pro Set. Not yet he hasn’t. The boo-birds forget that a W is a W. That’s what the record books show, whether or not the win is ugly, fails to meet the spread, or is due to bad officiating. A W is a W. They forget. Brady’s getting there, but Michigan’s still rebuilding. 48 freshmen and sophomores are on the team. They forget that Michigan is not yet the physical team of the 4 decades of Bo, Mo, and Lloyd. They forget that this year’s Wolverines did not lose to Central Michigan, Akron, UConn, Appalachian State or Toledo. They forget that the incredible 12-2 record two years ago was forged mostly with players originally recruited by Lloyd Carr. They forget that the Akron and UConn wins were achieved by the defense, which stopped both Akron and UConn final drives whereas the Rodriquez defenses could stop no one. They forget that Michigan’s run defense is 8th in the nation, yielding only 79 yards/game and that the defense is 27th in the nation in red zone defense. They forget that Michigan lacked a viable defensive secondary under Rodriquez. They forget that the three years of the Rodriquez defense made every opposing quarterback look like an All American. They forget that Jake Ryan is still injured. They forget that Michigan showed fortitude in coming from behind to win. They forget that the offensive line has three new starters: a redshirt walk on sophomore at left guard, a junior center will little playing time, and a redshirt freshman at right guard. They fail to understand it takes time for them to meld as a unit. They forget that the tight ends are still learning how to block. They forget that Michigan is still short in deep receivers. They forget that Devin Gardner was a running quarterback in high school and was coached by Rodriquez as a spread offense QB. They forget that he is still learning his position. He’ll be fine. They forget that Nick Saban went 7-6 in his first year rebuilding Alabama and lost the last two games his second year. They forget that Bo said the only poll that counts is the one at the end of the season. They fail to see that the Wolverines are allright.