Mike Lantry, 1972
First off I want to rant ... There should be a law banning weddings on football Saturday. I had to go to a wedding this Saturday and I have a wedding on the Saturday of the MSU game. UNREAL!!!!
I caught the tail end of the game at the bar while we were waiting for the reception to start. I started thinking to myself a couple things. First off, the need for a different breed of player doesn't just apply to the offense. The defense has long needed an overhaul from the traditional 6-2 250 lb linebackers that run a 4.6 40 and the corners that can't stop a double move. Secondly, I started thinking back to giant reformations of quarterbacks and how they went and how long it took for that team to come back to dominance.j
I remembered USC started 2-5 in Carroll's first year, with that 5th loss being a sheer domination at the hands of an awful Notre Dame team. I remember watching that game and thinking USC might never be good again, and of course the next year they were a BCS team and the year after they started their incredible run of success.
I also remember thinking Michigan would never lose to Ohio State more than a couple times every 10 years. They always seemed "soft", and then of course they knocked John Navarre in the mouth and I don't really care to recall the rest. But that first Tressel team lost a lot of early games including a game to Illinois, I think, dont quote me on that.
I also think that this team will get better each and every game, and back at the beginning of the season I thought "Michigan will need some luck to start 3-2" and to be honest if their was a reset button Michigan could have just as easily won those games against Notre Dame and Utah. I also think that Threet will probably be next year's starter as well, so its important to rally behind him, and in a wierd way he kind of reminds me of a young Tom Brady (maybe I am being way to glass half full, but that's how I see it)
Sorry for the rambling ... more just venting ... the best is yet to come and Michigan will be dominant once again! GO BLUE
I want to start off by introducing myself as a loyal Michigan fan and a longtime reader of this blog. I don't know why I waited so long to post. I am an avid college football fan, the kind that watches every game on Thursday night. My favorite player of all time (other than Woodson) would have to be David Terrell and/or Jamie Morris (hero as a child). Enough with the pleasantries.
I noticed something that was very interesting and if I am stretching it please feel free to reel me back to earth. 2008 Michigan is eerily similar to 2001 Ohio State.
1. Obviously both hired a new coach from outside the program.
2. Both offenses were horrendous to start the season. Ohio State had an impressive 28 point, 500 total yard performance to open the season v. Akron (W 28-14), but the next week they were shut down completely by a very average UCLA team that finished 7-4. They only scored 6 points and were held to 150 yards of offense.
3. In game 3 they played a very mediocre team from the state of Indiana. Ohio State played Indiana and trailed after 1 quarter but then pulled away to win by 13. Remember this wasn't the typical Indiana, they had Randle El and while never being a real Big Ten contender they were still tough at Memorial Stadium. Obviously we don't know how the ND game will go, but I wouldn't be surprised if we won led by an inspired defensive effort with a very efficient offense, and by efficient I mean taking advantage of turnovers and not turning the ball over.
4. In 2001 Ohio State lost to a very overrated Wisconsin team that came back from big halftime deficit to win. I actually am expecting Michigan to play a very good first half against Wisconsin. They have a week off leading into the game and it will be the 4th game of the year and best opponent YTD, so I expect the boys in blue to be very inspired, but maybe be overmatched in the second half and even potentially lose.
5. OSU started 3-2 in 2001 and I expect UM to be 3-2 if not 2-3, but by both schools standards not a great start in any other year.
6. OSU started a stretch that saw them win 3 of 4 against a mediocre out of conference team in San Diego State, for us this year it's Toledo. This really salvaged a season that was right on the brink of being disastrous. The teams played on that stretch were San Diego State (3-8), Penn State (5-6), Minnesota (4-7), Purdue (6-6). They lost to Penn State on the road and then beat a decent Purdue team very convincingly which I see as Michigan beating a very decent MSU team at home.
7. OSU had awful quarterback play all year Belisari had a 54% completion percentage and threw 10 TD's to 7 INT's while throwing for 1900 yards. Craig Krenzel emerged the week before the Michigan game as a little recruited tough and gutty QB who had a knack for big plays, which I am hoping Threet will draw a noticeable comparison at year's end.
8. Each team will have played their arch rival on the road to end the regular season.
9. In 2001 Michigan was the odds on favorite to win the Big Ten and possibly a National Championship until Henson was lured away by the Yankees and Steinbrenner (sp). I fully expect Wells to miss most if not all of the regular season with this injury and consequently OSU will probably struggle with USC, @ Illinois, @ Wisconsin and @ MSU. I know that the reason the stars missed the season is a little different, and Henson was lured away in the Spring and not lost in a game, but still both teams will have lost their superstar heisman candidate.
10. OSU came up to A2 with little hope of winning outside of Columbus, and they thoroughly dominated Michigan with a defensive game that set the tone for a great run in 2002. Now I am not saying UM will win the NC in 2009, but the similarities between the 2001 OSU team and the 2008 UM team are interesting. Both teams had a very good defense the year before led by several underclassmen, I believe UM will start 5 sophmores on defense on Saturday (eligibility wise) Warren, Brown, Evans, Mouton, Ezeh and 2 juniors in Graham and Harrison. If you think this defense is going to be good this year just wait for the next two years. Seriously who do we lose that is an impact player outside of maybe Taylor. I can stand to lose Johnson, Stewart and Trent with the jury still out on the other two whose names escape me.
If Coach Rod can adapt the offense to fit the strengths of Threet, I really believe this team can experience moderate success in 08 and be a strong sleeper team in 09, remember OSU came out of nowhere and took advantage of a great defense, some good bounces and wonderful scheduling, all of which we may have next year. Either way I don't think that the future is doom and gloom for Michigan and I expect us to contend for a National Championship quicker than people think and don't be surprised if a young overlooked quarterback with that "it" factor leads us to big upsets and great future success.
I am curious to hear what everyone thinks, so don't hesitate to argue my points.