and that I would stick by that, come hell or high water. It, for the entirety of the off-season, has seemed completely logical to me. In my head, the probabilities were a floor was three wins with a ceiling of nine. Something in the realm of 6-6 or 7-5 became not just reasonable, but also entirely logical. WMU, EMU, Delaware, Indiana, and Purdue all seemed likely wins. ND, MSU, Iowa, and Wisconsin were in the winnable games/tossups. Illinois, PSU, and OSU were in the likely losses category. See, I'm a man of my word and I never back away from that. If I make a promise, I follow through on it (I refuse to make one I can't keep).
It's not that I wanted us (when I say us, we, etc - I am obviously referring to the team, which I am not a part of) to do poorly. I was keeping my hopes grounded and my head out of the clouds. HOWEVA, some of the practice reports and, far more importantly, this previous weekend has me re-tooling a lot of the logic in my head that led to those numbers and that prediction.
Perhaps it's the fact that the season starts in less than a week. Maybe it's the fact that my heart rate quickens more now than ever when I see the Michigan Difference commercial. Maybe seeing an emotional Coach Rodriguez (who very clearly loves his players and by extension, our University), forced stand at a podium and unnecessarily defend two young men who thought they were answering innocent questions, added some more spice to a cauldron that's been threatening to overflow. Whatever factor it is, something has changed my outlook.
I see now that this team is hungry. Any team that can attain a team-high GPA in recent history at a prestigious University, attends various tutoring sessions, manages to volunteer additional time at Mott's Children hospital, and does this while still finding time to work harder than any other team in this conference-nay, the nation-, is hungry. They want this, and they want it bad. From the numbers of different parents of athletes coming to their defense, to rival and jilted schools (OSU, WVU) doing the same, there is clearly unity being formed in the locker room. This team has the motivation and ability to hit that ceiling, easily. I'm throwing another win in, to account for that motivation. My prediction is a four loss season, or better.
And I swear to god if I ever hear anybody else harp on Coach Rodriguez's and the associated program's "lack" of family values, I am going to punch them in the throat.
I'm ALL IN for Michigan and its Coach. GO BLUE.