Preface: (a) I am prepared for the downvotes and hate messages and (b) this has little to do with the Penn State game and more to do with the now years of sweating out games with the likes of UConn / Akron and knowing a typical game versus a program like Purdue or Illinois is now a sweat it out game with a >35%+ chance of a loss.
I cannot remember the last time we had a servicable OL that did not require a superman QB to create offense. I am sure it was 2007 but it sickens me to see we have a MAC level OL - whatever the age - with an All American holding down 1 of the 5 spots, and a theoretical NFL pick at another. It sickens me that this is not a 1 year issue, or a 3 year but with the youth of 2014 will be a year 7 issue. At Michigan.
We have let the Big 10 down, and our biggest rival down. It is not just since Rich Rod got here, but aside from one special season, and a few other very nice ones, UM football has been quite "average" (I don't know the right adjective and I know the board police will attack whichever adjective I use so insert your own) not for 6 years but 20 versus our "pedigree". 5 Big 10 titles, outright or shared in 20 years. Wisconsin has more in that time.
Being a statistic geek I took a look at the top programs in all time wins, excluded the Harvard/Yales and added in Florida and we don't compare very well at all for the past 20 years. By that I mean 0, 1, or 2 loss seasons. [i.e. my ARBITRARY signal of what would indicate you have a pretty damn elite team, allowing for 1 screwup a year - it's a basic eye test, not science] We have been consistently meh (insert your adjective here) - and well below our rival OSU who both share a very average conference for about a decade now. We laugh at Notre Dame here on so many levels but frankly we have become Notre Dame North. For comparison sake, the previous 20 year period, we had 13 seasons of 2 losses or less; we had an elite program.
Since 1993, the # of years UM has lost less than 3 games: 4.
We sit here on our boards and so many are all high and mighty and mock Notre Dame. Yes they have only had 2 of less than 3 losses in 20 years. Somehow they have been even worse. But what a lame yardstick at this point. Hey we are better than Charlie Weiss and Bob Davie - yippee.
Our rival? They are making us look pathetic. OSU with 12 years of 2 losses or less.
- PSU with a "over the hill Paterno": 6
- Nebraska: 8
- Texas: 7
- Oklahoma: 7
- USC* (*cheaters): 9
- Florida: 11
- Georgia: 5
- Tennessee: 6
- Bama: 6
Aside from consistency over 20 years most of the teams above had 4-5 year periods of super elite status where they were "dominant", before cycling back down. Unfortunately while we got our 1 NC, we also have not had that sort of "consistent elite/feared for a # of years". Georgia is probably the only other one along with our friends in South Bend.
Our recruiting classes have, aside for maybe 2-3 years out of 20 been consistently top 10ish. We tsk tsk at Texas for doing less with more but the reality is many of us (myself included) are living in glass houses as we have been doing the same.... or one could argue less with the same.
I get caught up in the day to day and week to week analysis as much as anyone, but when you really sit back and look at the big picture it has been a relatively mediocre era, thankfully to a degree covered up by a supernova in 1997. Just very frustrating to analyze and compare to what Ohio is doing - we are not in the same conversation anymore. Hopefully our "cycle" comes soon (latter 2010s) but it's been a long time waiting for it.