The 2008 season was one that many Wolverine fans want to forget. The start of the year was very promising, when Michigan defeated Florida in the Capital One Bowl, sending their head coach Lloyd Carr out as a winner. But after that moment, everything snowballed downhill. Rich Rodriquez came into Ann Arbor, as well as the baggage from a turmoil filled divorce with his former school, and alma mater, West Virginia. Rodriquez began making enemies not only at other schools, but also his own as he completely changed the offense and defense. All of that could be brushed aside with a few wins, but the Wolverines started the season with a home loss to Utah. Next week was a bit better with a win over Miami (OH), but that was 1 of 3 total wins that the Wolverine fans would see.
Overall, Michigan went 3-9 and in the middle part of the season rode a 5 game losing streak. It was all capped off with another loss to their rival Ohio State, in embarrassing fashion, and Rodriquez's comments that Michigan fans need to "Get a Life". Now enter into the 2009 season where hope is aplenty. Another recruiting class under the belt of Rodriquez, and two new quarterbacks come into Ann Arbor ready to revitalize this program. Both freshman, Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson, are ready to do battle for the starting quarterback job in 2009. With Steven Threet gone the way of a transfer and Nick Sheridan out injured; it will be either Forcier or Robinson under center when the season starts in September.
Michigan had their spring game recently and one would have to think that Forcier has the upper hand; only because he has a spring practice under his belt and Robinson will not be enrolled till this summer. Word from the spring game shows a lot of optimism about the offense, but does that say much for a team that was anemic at best last season.
I can understand the excitement that Wolverine fans are having, but they have to be realistic. They did not exactly have the best offensive line nor defense last year. And if they expect to have a running quarterback, they better hope that Forcier and Robinson are durable enough to take the physical abuse that they will get in the Big Ten. Saying that I expect the Wolverines to go bowling again this season. With the way the Big Ten is shaping up, no team is a clear cut favorite and a lot of the top teams have huge holes to fill, I think that a 6 or 7 win season is within reach for Michigan this season, but not a Big Ten title.