As we approach the 2014 season, there is a palpable sense of excitement mixed with uncertainty among the mgoblog faithful. The D seems to be all the way back and there are some tantalizing pieces on offense...and yet, can we bring ourselves to believe in love again after having been hurt so many times before?
Take courage, my friends. This is not a year to sow. It is a year to reap.
SCIENCE says that Michigan will shock the world and win the first post-BCS era college football title this season and SCIENCE CAN NEVER LIE.
Consider the following parallels between this team and another team from our glorious past:
*The '14 team is not on anyone's radar as a potential national champion. Neither was the '97 team.
*The '14 is coming off 5 and 6 loss seasons. The '97 team was coming off consecutive 4 loss seasons.
*The '14 team finished 5th in the Leaders Division. The '97 team finished 5th in the Big Ten.
*The '14 team is coming off bowl losses in consecutive seasons, to teams from the SEC (South Carolina) and Big 12 (Kansas State). The '97 team was also coming off bowl losses in consecutive years, to teams from the Big 12 (Texas A&M) and SEC (Alabama).
*The '14 team has a lot of questions on OL - as did the '97 team, on which the OL featured 1 returning starter and two converted DL.
*The '14 team starts a 5th year senior QB. The '97 team also started a 5th year senior QB.
*The '97 team had a functional, good-enough offense and an aggressive, overwhelming defense that blitzed from everywhere. The '14 team looks like it could be shaping up in an eerily similar way.
*The '97 season opener featured a return visit to Michigan Stadium by Colorado, a bad-memory team that on its previous trip had inflicted upon Michigan and its fans one of their most devastating losses ever. The game turned out to be 1) a blowout Michigan win, 2) a coming-out party for Charles Woodson & Co., and 3) something of an exorcism. The '14 season opener vs App State offers the possibility of history repeating itself on all three points.
But here is where it gets really interesting...
*Lloyd Carr, the '97 HC, had been the DB's coach and then DC at Michigan under Bo, one of the best coaches in school history. Brady Hoke, the '14 HC, was the DL coach at Michigan under Lloyd Carr, also one of the best coaches in school history.
*The '97 QB, Brian Griese, wore the number 14, CLEARLY pointing ahead to the glory of the '14 team. The '14 QB, Devin Gardner, wears the number 98, MORE THAN CLEARLY pointing back to the glory of the '97 team, which played in the '98 Rose Bowl. Also, importantly: add the digits of Gardner's number and what do you get? 17 - the number of years that have passed since the '97 season.
COULD IT ALL BE JUST A SERIES OF UNCONNECTED COINCIDENCES?
I don't think so.
Not when you take into account the last and most pertinent piece of information, which binds it all together:
The '97 team's national title was the last of the pre-BCS era. This year's national title winner will be the first of the post-BCS era. That's right: we are looking at the opportunity for Michigan to have "bookend" national titles on either side of the BCS era.
My friends, I know how unlikely it all may seem at this moment. However I have personally looked at the data from every possible angle again and again, and it comes out the same way every time: as improbable as it may appear to be, SCIENCE seems to indicate that there is glory in store for Michigan football in 2014.
And remember...SCIENCE CAN NEVER LIE.