Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Are the Wolverines "back"

Is Michigan “back”?
What is the definition of “back”?
In the golf world, everyone wants to be the one to declare Tiger Woods “back” even though it is clear he is far from it.
With the departure of Rich Rodriguez from the Michigan football program, the Wolverine fans have been clamoring for Michigan to get “back” to its tradition.
In stepped Brady Hoke, Michigan went 11-2, and now some feel the Wolverines are indeed “back”.
If by “back” you mean a team that can win around 10 games a year, perhaps Michigan is “back”, but we need to see a bigger sample size before we can expect the Wolverines to win 10 games every year.
If by “back” you mean a Big Ten champion, then clearly Michigan is still on its way.
If by “back” you mean a national title contender, the Wolverines aren’t there either and may never get there.
Michigan last won the national title in 1997, and before that it was 1948. National championships are a rarity for Michigan in this day and age. It is one thing to expect the Wolverines to be in the national title discussion, it is another thing to expect them to actually win the championship. A national title right now would be icing on the cake to a tremendous season.
However, that was the knock on Lloyd Carr when he was ending his tenure at Michigan. A large part of the fan base was unhappy with his ability to get Michigan into the national title picture and for losing games that many felt he shouldn’t. In some cases, the complaints were warranted. But Carr still brought a national title to Ann Arbor and was always in the mix for Big Ten titles.
Now it seems that fans would be happy to go “back”  to the Carr days thanks to what happened under Rodriguez.
The Wolverines haven’t won the Big Ten since 2004, its longest drought between titles since 1950-1964.
So history dictates that “back” means Big Ten titles and Rose Bowl appearances. Michigan appears to be ready to be “back” as soon as this season. If not this season, then soon.
But until the Wolverines can consistently beat the likes of Michigan State and Ohio State again, which will lead to Big Ten titles, then Michigan is still “away” with fans anxiously awaiting its return.

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