Despite the fact that these first 2 seasons under Rodriguez have been one step up from a disaster, I've been feeling oddly confident about next season, and I can't quite pinpoint why.
Maybe it's the feeling that finally, the rash of transfers has ended and there's finally a sense of total buy-in (Saban's postgame quotes made me think of this)?
Maybe it's that we return the bulk of our offense, and should have continuity at key positions for the first time in awhile?
Maybe it's the general lack of conversation about UM football at the moment (by the mass media)?
Maybe it's the Big Ten's success in Bowl games this year and the desire to see UM back in the mix for those matchups?
Whatever the reason, I can't wait to see what our team looks like in the fall. I think it will be made very apparent whether Rich has turned the corner or not come the fall. Our defense will definitely cost us a couple of games, but I would genuinely be very surprised (and dismayed) if we don't have one of the most explosive offenses in the big ten. Something went seriously wrong if we don't notch at least 8 wins in the fall.
The only person on the hot seat, IME, is Mr. Forcier. I like the kid, and could see him having a monster year next fall, but boy, you'd have to think that with a guy tailor-made for a run-oriented spread like Devin coming in, that this is his last opportunity to lock down the QB job for his stay at UM. I think that pressure will be good for tate, though, and expect him to raise his game significantly.
and finally, i'm really curious to see if Roy Roundtree is the real deal, and to see if the coaches build game plans around getting him the ball.