This season stinks. No question about it. However, let's put things into a little perspective. This type of season is not unprecedented among the so-called "elite" of college football (a highly subjective list of my own choosing). Many "brand names" have faltered badly, some worse than our own beloved Wolverines this season. Frankly, it does make me feel a little less bad about the season. Combine that with the fact that RR has had an excellent track record wherever he has been and I have what I feel is justified optimism for the future of Michigan football.
Michigan: projected record of 4-8 (beat NU, lose to osu). First losing season since 1965.
Alabama: 5 losing seasons since 1993, including 1-12 (1993), 3-8 (2000), 4-9 (2003). Edit: it's been pointed out to me that 'Bama forfeited a lot of games in 1993, hence the crappy record. Point still stands, however, given 2000 and 2003.
Florida: Ok, really have to reach back for this one. They haven't had a losing season since 1979, but it was a doozy (0-10-1). They've actually been no worse than mediocre since, with the real upswing in the Spurrier era.
Florida State: After losing 19 games in 14 seasons (1987-2000), they've lost 17 in the past 3 (not counting 2008). Not quite the massive fall from grace witnessed elsewhere, but consecutive 7-6 seasons had a lot of people grumbling.
Georgia: After a national championship in 1980, they suffered 3 losing seasons in 7 years (1990-1996). A couple of beatdowns by top-ranked teams in 2008, but still ranked and miles ahead of the Goff/Donnan years.
LSU: We think of them as upper-echelon now, but there was a time from 1989-1999 where they had more losing seasons (8, including 2-9 and 3-8 campaigns) than winning seasons (3).
Nebraska: Thanks, Mr Bill. Nebraska has had 2 losing seasons in the past 4. Still have work to do in Lincoln.
Notre Dame: I won't dwell, but they've had 4 losing seasons since Michigan won the national championship. Michigan is having a bad season, but at least it's not MULTIPLE crappy seasons. There, I feel better now.
ohio state: Their most recent losing season was 1988 (and yes, Michigan eked out the win, thankfully), the first of the Cooper era. They've been decent since then (bastards), but there was a point where they sucked.
Oklahoma: They're great now, but there was a 4 year stretch from 1995-1998 where they never had more than 5 wins (3 losing seasons, including 3-8 one year).
Penn State: Again, won't dwell, but they've had 4 losing seasons since 2000 (in a 5 year span, I might add). They're all cocky and uppity now, but the 2000-2004 PSU fan would not have bragged so much.
Tennessee: Losing season in 2005. Plus, they're also 3-7 so far this season.
Texas: They've passed their doldrums, having had 6 losing seasons from 1987-1996. But those were some serious doldrums.
USC: Since 1983, only 3 losing seasons. BUT, they've also sprinkled in four .500 seasons and two 6-5 seasons. Number of 10-win seasons from 1980-2001? One. Michigan over that same timespan? Eight.
Losing still sucks, but don't you feel better now? Michigan football can (and, I believe, WILL) be back, as RR put it.