Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Wolverines Blogging: Bring Me the Head of Lloyd Carr

The family cottage in the distant reaches of a strange, uncomfortably foreign land known to the outside world as Canada is rustic. So rustic that we don't actually have television there. We have a set but the reception gets one local channel poorly so we either rely on video cassettes (Yes, archaic there, too.) or turn the thing off and, you know, enjoy the gorgeous surroundings unspoiled by electronic entertainment.

So, I missed last weekend's game against Wisconsin. Had to find out the grim details once I got home. It's hard to feel too bad about it because Henne and Hart were both out or injured over the course of the game. Had they played, it might have been a different outcome. But, you know, that's the story of this season. What might have been, had things played out slightly differently.

In other words, I'm not quite ready to break out the shovel and bury the team like Mr. Ford. But his basic point is true. It's something I've been saying all along, trying to stay grounded even as Michigan rattled off victory after victory and climbed back up in the polls. They didn't belong there. They were the same team as they were in the beginning of the season. The Wolverines didn't get better. The schedule got soft.

And now a four, a five loss season is a distinct possibility. It would have been even worse if they hadn't had a kind schedule and a weak conference. The Wolverines biggest win this year is probably against Illinois. You know, the team that just managed to take out OSU?

That's actually a bad thing as far as Michigan is concerned. Before, win or lose this week and the last they had a damned good chance of heading to the Rose Bowl. If they beat OSU they'd have won the title outright and gotten an automatic bid. And even if they'd lost they'd have been, at worst, tied for second place in the Big Ten while OSU was virtually assured of a spot in the title game. Traditionally, when that happens, it's the Big Ten runner-up that goes to the Rose Parade. It wasn't a guarantee, especially with a loss to Wisconsin (Oregon looked to be the likely candidate out of the Pac-10 and the Rose Bowl organizers might not have liked the idea of a rematch given how it went down the first time around and selected someone else.). Now, the Wolverines are still likely to play a New Years Bowl but it's not going to be enough to continue to pretend that this season hasn't been a huge disappointment.

A trip to the Outback Bowl doesn't mask the deep flaws in this team and, indeed, this program.

No comments: