There are many Michigan fans who may believe that our Wolverines are at the bottom looking up. In fact, this bowl season gives evidence yet again that Michigan is now making the fundamental changes that leads back to national relevance for our team and our conference.
Living in Buckeye country as I do, I have observed that the hatred of RR is disproportionate to the apparent threat. In other words, if RR were as pathetic as this 3-9 season suggested (and as they argue), then why the frantic need to still tear him down at such a guttural level? Wouldn’t you think that, a la John Cooper, OSU fans would be placid about RR, encouraging all manner of good cheer for our new coach?
No, these Buckeye fans understand at a subconscious level that Michigan is in a better place than they are (and the rest of the Big 10). It is very much like Michigan is the first drunk on the wagon. Those first sober months are brutal. The other heavy drinking buddies are laughing and looking on our shaking hands and pallid complexion and telling each other that we are done, no longer functional. Then they stagger into their low-paying jobs and watch their sober competitors blow by them on the career path. Some, like OSU, are functional drunks who hold down a high-level management job, but to everyone in the know, the never really will be executive material.
Later, at the pub, all these lowlifes rationalize away why they are yet again passed over for promotions, for relevance. In their inner being, they know that their former barstool companion they passed looking haggard in his cubicle but working hard nonetheless is doing something they should be doing, but they can’t conceive of actually doing it.
High-level, nationally powerful football is what RR is working on: a blend of speed, aggression and power. Attacking offense, freak power/speed defense, relentless domination. Tressel will never get where RR is going. Paterno and his successor will never get there. Dantonio will never get there. Zook has potential, but Illinois is still Illinois. These guys are fossils that occasionally can scare the more fleet-footed and intelligent mammals, but only rarely. RR will one day be where USC is, where Florida and the SEC power are, where the Oklahoma is. OSU, PSU, MSU, even ND will not.
So take heart. This season’s bowls are the reason why 3-9 was necessary.