As I was tootling around the other day listening to sports talk, I had a small epiphany that many of you have probably already surmised. (If this point has already been addressed, forgive my old, feeble mind.)
Obviously the Iowa game was a big disappointment, heightened by the fact that we had over 500 yards of offense (with four turnovers no less) and still lost. Then I said to myself, "Self... just imagine if our defense could have forced even just two additional stops. Just two. That means our offense would have had the ball even longer, piled up more yards and would have had two more opportunities to score."
Given this scenario, 600 yards of total offense and 10 more points wouldn't have been far fetched . I mean, crap! That's fairly incredible. As Tim suggested in his excellent analysis, we should have won the Iowa game fairly comfortably.
I say all this to suggest that maybe we're closer to something really good happening than I've previously allowed myself to believe. If we had merely an average Big 10 defense (which suggests a below average Michigan defense) I'm convinced we'd be unbeaten right now.
A big question is, how long will it take to put a middle-of-the-road, ho-hum B10 type defense on the field?
An even bigger question is, can this year's defense be made to perform to average levels? Maybe, but my quarter says we'll probably have to wait until next year.
And now, a gratuitous picture of Michigan cheerleader to shamelessly capture your attention: