The tab near the upper left says: Create Content.
I haven't utilized it much, and never when sober, because I recognize that I have had no content. On much of anything. Steve Sharik and (in his day) Coach Simmons had the X's and O's, Tom VH and others had the recruiting, Brian seems to have read Infinite Jest more recently than I have, so there were very few instances where I felt that I had something unique and valuable to contribute.
Which brings me to the lone category where I may be the MGoExpert: Northwestern football. Which has been decidedly OT up to this point, but in the aftermath of the Illinois debacle, in the painful shadow of 3-9, and on the day that my Wildcats played three quarters of great ball against the same Penn State team that a week ago shellacked Michigan, I finally have something to say.
In a nutshell: I know inconsistency, mediocrity, poor defense and the stabbing pain that results from being on the wrong side of a talent differential. Having cheered a team on the wrong side of that differential, I also know the manic joy of watching pure offensive genius overcome it. (exemplum fucking gratium UM-NU '00) so I also know the thrill of the underdog victory. I've known great coaching, and recognized it even without BCS, or even (too often, sadly) bowl invites.
In 2009, Brandon Graham, Donovan Warren, Mike Martin, Greg Mathews, Kevin Koger, every Michigan RB, and Zoltan Mesko have one thing in common: they would undoubtedly start for Northwestern. That's it. Both of NU's safeties (when healthy), at least one of NU's starting corners (and likely the other one as a nickel) would start for UM. Mike Kafka would be a profound upgrade at QB while Andrew Brewer, Zeke Markshausen, and even Jeremy Ebert would be welcome additions at WR, more reliable while perhaps less explosive than Hemingway, Stonum, and Odoms/K(lv) Grady. I love Craig Roh, but I'll love him even more if in three years he's 3/4 the player that Corey Wooten is now.
I say this not as a jab against Michigan's current roster, but as a plea for patience among fans. Everyone loves to say "ah, it's just Northwestern." No respect, no expectations. This bugs me as a Wildcat fan, but that's not what I'm getting at. You (we) are fans of a Michigan team that, at this moment, is approximately equal to, if not less talented than Northwestern. The 2008 Wolverines were a worse team than that.
My question is simple: how can you assume that NU is an untalented also-ran, and at the same time presume to judge Rodriguez on the results of the talent-challenged '08-'09 teams?
Given the state of cupboards and all, given the bizarre new normal where we expect true freshmen to save us from mediocre established veterans, I say RR deserves at least six years to prove himself. So far I've compared UM and NU emphasizing their current similarities, but the fact is that this is a once in a lifetime situation. The recruiting pipeline to Ann Arbor is deeper and more awesomefabulousterrific than it ever will be in Evanston. This is the nadir for UM, and it's all about talent. Give a Michigan coach the time to coach Michigan talent before he's judged by Michigan standards.
and Go Blue.
Thank god they don't have to play each other this year or next.