The last two weekends have seen frankly ridiculous amounts of negative posting here on the site after admittedly disappointing losses. However, the future is incredibly bright with this team, no matter what ESPN thinks and how frustrated you, the viewer, may be.
Keep this in mind:
(1) The offense has at least 15 of its 2-deep returning next year, and will also be inserting Jeremy Gallon, Taylor Lewan, Q, Je'Ron Stokes, maybe Ricardo Miller, and Fitzgerald Toussaint into the rotations at their positions. Also, look at how Omameh and Roundtree have developed the past two weeks into viable options at their positions. There are more (Mealer, Khoury, Barnum, Kel. Grady) where they came from.
(2) The defense returns at least 19 of its 22 on the two-deep, 20 if Donovan Warren stays. Yes, losing Brown and Graham will be a sad moment, but the improvement and continuity through weight training, repetition, and most importantly, keeping a DC in place, will likely offset any losses. Plus, players like Will Campbell, JT Turner, LaLota, Hawthorne, Jones, Emilien and a DB recruit or two (Cullen Christian? Courtney Avery? Carvin Johnson?) will add to depth and competition, improving the rest of the squad. And who here thinks Martin, RVB, Roh and Fitzgerald won't be solid to very good in 2010?
(3) Tate and Denard will get another 10 months of development in the system. There is normally a big leap between the first and second years in any program as a QB, and both the QBs will be significantly better based on what they have gone through this year. Think of the improvement in QB play between 2008 and 2009, and expect a reasonable improvement for 2010.
(4) Think of all the players that will be in their presumptive third years as college football starters (Martin, Mouton, Stonum, Shaw, Molk, Koger). Lots of experience by 2010, and how solid will the team be in 2011?
Rebuilding a team is a marathon, not a sprint. Noone here wants to have to wait 3-4 years for the team to be great again. Frankly, you don't have a choice. However, when this team is 12-0 in 2011, you're going to look back at this process and find it laid the groundwork for Michigan's return to dominance.
So, think before you fly off the deep end if Wisconsin wins tomorrow. If you want Michigan to descend into Notre Dame's 20 years of mediocrity, keep asking for Rich Rod to be fired after 2 years. If they lose tomorrow, yes it stinks, but just walk away from the keyboard if you're going to be incendiary and not realize how hard these kids are working to build a winning team at the school you support. Further, remember what Mr. Roh wrote earlier this week - what recruit wants to go to a school where every player and coach gets savaged and denigrated by its fans just for missing an assignment in a football game (if Mr. Roh said it, it probably means that it's become an issue for the players or recruits, so STOP IT)?