|Brady Hoke pointing. Always pointing.|
Mediocrity. What a shitty word. It embodies what we've always been taught never to strive for--certainly unacceptable when attached to Michigan Football. Hoke has already dismissed the notion, calling for B1G championships, as he should being the head coach of the team and face of the program. Optimistic fans concur and point to the schedule, arguing the stars could align. And they may; college football can get weird. But in all likelihood, Michigan won't win it's first Big Ten championship since 2004 under a first-year head coach trying to revive a 110th-ranked defense. And that's reasonable.
Though it pains me to describe Michigan in less than ideal terms, mediocrity this season may not be such a bad thing so long as it's the right kind. Mediocrity can come in many forms depending on the trends attached. Through RichRod's tumultuous 3-year tenure, he finally reached "mediocrity" or 7-5 in his final season but consistently trended in opposite directions: upwards in offense, downwards in defense. Had he been retained, it probably would have continued that way. Many people argue the offense could not have gotten any sweeter or the defense could not have been worse. I disagree: the offense had potential to be 2010 Oregon-level this year with a much improved turnover margin and everybody thought the defense bottomed out in 2009 before we saw 2010. There are 120 Division-I FBS teams and Greg Robinson seemed determined to see how hot hell really is. Ultimately, RichRod met his mediocre mark but Dave Brandon realized the trends were unsustainable. Exit RichRod.
|Yes, Greg Mattison wears a knee brace.|
I generally agree with this approach; it's the most reasonable and careful conclusion. Michigan fans must understand that these things take time, which is asking a lot from a fan base that has already endured a seemingly lifetime worth of patience during the RichRod era. But we must also consciously separate our expectations with Hoke's rhetoric. To transplant his recruiting success to how the team responds in practice or plays on the field would be misguided. RichRod left Hoke with a much better group of players than he received, giving Hoke a better chance to avoid a historically bad 3-win inaugural season. Yet the talent and timing just isn't there for Pasadena.
|Borges explaining MANBALL to Devin Gardner|