In 2011, Brady Hoke came into Ann Arbor and led Michigan to only their fifth 11-win season in program history, the first win over Ohio State in seven years, and their first BCS victory since Tom Brady was in town.
That my friends, is simply astonishing.
Not only did Hoke do that, but he turned a Greg Robinson defense into a Greg Mattison defense. What's the difference you ask? Greg Robinson's defense was ranked 110th by points allowed in 2010. Greg Mattison's defense had the sixth ranked scoring defense in 2011. This is a remarkable turnaround.
The Wolverines are returning eight starters on both sides of the ball, and landed 11 four-star recruits that are coming in this season. Let's just say Ann Arbor is rocking.
Michigan State is losing Kirk Cousins and B.J. Cunningham, Ohio State is losing DeVier Posey and Dan Herron and Wisconsin is losing Russell Wilson and Nick Toon. All Michigan is losing is Junior Hemingway offensively, and Mike Martin and Ryan Van Bergen on defense.
Denard Robinson and Fitzgerald Toussaint will return for the Wolverines. Robinson and Toussaint both rushed for 1,000 yards in 2011, the first time two Wolverines have rushed for 1,000 yards in the same season since the early 70's.
Robinson really thrived in new offensive coordinator Al Borges' system in the latter part of 2011, and Fitz Toussaint was a huge breakout player.
Defensively, freshman sensation cornerback Blake Countess returns, and Jordan Kovacs will be back patrolling the defensive backfield.
The Wolverines are primed for a huge year in 2012.