This is bored offseason chatter, so sorry if it is a played subject. I'm curious as to people's thoughts with respect to the following hypothetical question. Mostly, I'm looking for some glimmer of hope going into 2010 by looking backward and considering what would have been if we had ONLY a second year QB (in the current system).
What if, in 2008 and 2009, we had Tate and Denard as second year players?
We won a total of 8 games both years playing Sheridan/Threet and Freshman Tate/Denard, respectively. Admitedly, not good. However, for all of the doom and gloom that comes with that much losing, there were a lot of close games. Games that could have gone either direction but for poor QB play, or at least the threat of poor QB play causing the offense to stagnate, may have swung if we had sohpomore Tate/Denard.
For example, in 2008, the Utah, Toledo, and Purdue games were 2, 3, and 6 point losses, respectively. If we had any semblance of a QB, I think we win those three games. Michigan goes 6-6 in year one, with the chance to get 7 wins in the Motor City Bowl. Not "typical", but certainly better. The heat certainly turns down a little. Also, this doesn't even consider that Michigan held a lead in the MSU, PSU, and Illinois games, and that the ND game was a fluke-filled disaster.
In 2009, the question gets a little foggier. I think we again win the game against Purdue (making us 6-6 and bowl eligible). The MSU, Iowa, and Illinois games, already close games (subtracting the surrendered second half in Illinois), become more winable. If Michigan takes one or even two of those games, the record becomes 7-5 or 8-4. A clear improvement, with bowl eligibility (a likely loss to a SEC team). Regardless, the team would have clearly improved.
I know this doesn't really matter in any way, but I do think it is encouraging to know, going into 2010, that as bad as our last two years have been, if we plug only our two QBs from this year into those seasons, all of a sudden Michigan is approaching the realm of respectable. That said, maybe this years team has a shot, even assuming the rest of the team plays like they have the past two years (hopefully the entire team will improve from the last two years!).
Anyways, I'd like others' thoughts and opinions as to whether this could be encouraging.