Saturday, November 9, 2013

This is Michigan.....or is it?

Brady Hoke has often spouted out three words when reporters ask him about his program and its reputation.
“This is Michigan.”
Is it?
Is this Michigan?
This isn’t the Michigan I grew up watching.
As a kid, Michigan was synonymous with success. It was everything Michigan State fans have always hated about the program. The Wolverines were arrogant, but they usually backed it up.
Lloyd Carr, despite all the criticism toward him at the end of his tenure, led Michigan to a national championship and won his share of conference titles. He also did it by being tough up front and physical at the line of scrimmage.
For the second consecutive week, Michigan has finished a game with negative rushing yards as a team. That should be unacceptable to the fan base and the coaching staff.
It is one thing to have Michigan State, one of the top defenses in the country, push you around. It is another thing to have Nebraska, the fifth-worst defense (in terms of yards per game) in a mediocre conference, push you around at home.
If you want to blame Rich Rodriguez for his recruiting of offensive linemen, go ahead, but you’d be taking the easy way out.
Brady Hoke has long been given praise for his recruiting classes since he stepped foot in Ann Arbor. That means he is bringing players into the program that should be capable of playing right away, let alone three years in.
Make all the excuses you want, but the blame falls on Hoke.
This program is regressing despite the great recruiting.
Michigan brought in Rich Rodriguez to make it a national contender. That didn’t happen.
Michigan brought Hoke in to restore its name in the Big Ten Conference. That has yet to happen.
Will Michigan ever get back to the “glory days” it once had? Maybe not.
But, I do know that Michigan can be and should be better than it is right now and I don’t see a lot of optimism that things are going to be better next season.
Michigan can’t overlook anyone right now, and with trips to Northwestern and Iowa the next two weeks, it is no longer a crazy thought to think the Wolverines could walk into its season finale against Ohio State looking to avoid a .500 record for the season.
SPOILER ALERT – Michigan isn’t beating Ohio State.
The best the Wolverines can hope for this regular season is 8 wins. Given the schedule this year, that should have been a worst-case scenario, not a best-case scenario.
Then again, maybe 8 wins and not competing for a conference title has become what “Michigan is.”

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