Not watching Michigan football brought a mixture of emotions this weekend. Honestly, my cardiovascular system said, “thanks for a much needed break.” After the last two games I needed a bye week more than the team did. And everybody knows the team really needed a bye week.
On the flipside, I missed my personal game day traditions, e.g. hanging my old letterman jacket on the outside of the closet, flying my Michigan flag in front of my house, drinking from my Michigan mug etc. However, I did not miss my recently added tradition—including a bottle of sedatives in the game day snacks. Don’t judge I’m a doctor I know when sedatives are warranted. And when Michigan almost loses to Akron at home, and then ekes out a narrow last minute victory the following week against the lowly Connecticut Huskies—sedatives are warranted.
Alas, after watching Oklahoma beat Notre Dame like they were Dollar Store, muffin mix the elephant in the room becomes too large to ignore. And the elephant in the room is not the Crimson Tide mascot. It is the unanswered question: Is Michigan really good? Of course we’re good. We’re Michigan for God’s sake! Is that really true, or is the alumni cheerleader in me just refusing to put down my megaphone and assess the situation objectively.
Michigan blew out Central Michigan and publicly humiliated Notre Dame in front to the largest college football audience ever. After that I was sure that we were for real. I couldn’t wait to blow out Akron in the first half, so that we could see more of that talented freshman quarterback and the other true freshmen on Michigan’s young team. However, we know what happened. We barely escaped with a narrow victory that in many ways was a defeat. Then came Connecticut, more shock and surprise.
So will the real Michigan team please stand up? When our offense and defense are clicking it’s totally believable that we will be undefeated when we face Ohio State in the Big House. When they are not clicking it’s completely within the realm of possibility that the Little Brown Jug might go back to Minneapolis next week.
A major concern is our offensive line. Aside from Lewan and Schofield do we have enough depth and talent? Maybe there are injuries that we are trying to keep secret; maybe lack of depth is the secret. Maybe it’s a little of both. Whatever it is, I’m thinking we will have some personnel changes in O-line on Saturday.
Now, the really big question—what happened to Devin Gardner? He’s gone from being a Heisman candidate to being Tommy Reese’s competition for president of the Turnover Club. Gardner has always seemed unfazed by the challenges Michigan’s thrown at him. He changed positions, and stepped into the limelight seemingly with the greatest of ease. Then the wheels came off the apple cart during the Akron game, and continued rolling down the street in East Hartford.
Scarier yet, Hoke said they’ve reached a point where they’re re-coaching him. If not that, they’re giving him the same correction multiple times, because he’s making the same error repeatedly. This is a must fix that must be permanent.
And finally, the soft coverage of the secondary is a problem. Once it was synergistic with the defensive line not getting pressure on the Quarterback. The defensive line has gotten better yet we still soft coverage and people getting beat. For Big Ten QB’s like Braxton Miller and Taylor Martinez that is Christmas, pure and simple.
So we’re 4-0, and the questions are: Is Michigan really legit? Are the Wolverine’s really good? The answer is no. The Michigan Wolverines are not good; they are great! This is Michigan for God’s sake! HAIL!
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