Okay, I'm going to voice what I know all of you are thinking deep down inside when you say 8-4:
Michigan has already lost all the games it will lose in 2010.
With a non-catastrophic mid-season injury status (knock on wood -- seriously, do it) and the bye week here after two weeks of harsh reality checks, this team is in a position to bounce back and go into the last two games of the regular season at 8-2. If the 2010 Wolverines do that, UW and OSU start to look different. I say this team will finish strong and end the regular season at 10-2.
- Not only is Demens better than Ezeh, but Ezeh will function well in the backup role.
- Demens gives Mouton reliable help in the middle, something he has lacked up to now. This will allow Jonas to play more within the defensive scheme, without feeling the need to try and do it all himself.
- Two solid quarterbacks are better than one. The bleeding from sophomore-mistake turnovers will not stop, but it will slow to a point where it will not kill us at the end of the season against UW and OSU.
- Special teams will improve dramatically once Rodriguez, who is now apparently involved in special teams as much as he is involved in the offense, puts his stamp on them. If this means Gibson spends more time working with the secondary (his actual area of experience) and less time working with special teams, that could have a good sort of domino effect.
- We will still have a bad secondary, but by the last two games, it will be a bad secondary with ten games of experience. That's better than nothing.
- Let's hope Rich figures out that Gibbons should be kicking off and Broekhuizen should be kicking field goals. There's a reason why NFL teams almost always employ two different kickers in these two very different roles.
- Finally, Hopkins is going to shatter the curse on Michigan running backs that's been in place ever since Hart lost two fumbles in his last game (twice as many as in his entire Michigan career before then). [Has there ever been more conclusive proof of the occurrence of a curse?] The glimpses I've seen of him remind me of what's been missing. I especially like the way he carries himself after a run -- he just gets up, looks around, and goes back to work. Once Hopkins breaks the curse, Toussaint emerges as a viable option and is no longer automatically injured the minute he is in for more than one play.