After languishing under the tenure of Rich Rodriguez, Michigan fans were pleasantly surprised to see Brady Hoke straighten things out in very short order.
Within a week or two of the start of the 2011 season, it became apparent that this was your grandfather's Michigan.
The Maize and Blue were back to their winning ways, and will become the first college football team in history to eclipse 900 wins this season (the Wolverines are currently 895-310-36).
The dramatic turnaround led to a berth in the 2012 Sugar Bowl, where Michigan defeated Virginia Tech in dramatic fashion, signaling once and for all that Big Blue is back.
The real problem for Michigan in 2012 is Week 1.
The Alabama Crimson Tide are easily one of the top three or four teams in the nation starting 2012, and Michigan will be hard-pressed to figure out a way to top a team as talented and well-coached as Alabama.
But just for a moment, let's imagine what would happen should the Wolverines do what people in the south believe is impossible.
If Michigan defeats Alabama, who will be left to stop the Wolverines? There's no other team on the 2012 schedule that approaches the skill level of Alabama. That's not to say the schedule is full of cupcakes, but a win against the Tide could give Michigan enough momentum to steamroll the rest of its schedule.
Michigan's biggest improvement last season was the defense. It's not often you watch a defensive squad improve 93 spots in just one season. Michigan ranked 110th in the FBS in 2010 in terms of total defense.
In 2011, the ranking improved to 17th.
With eight defensive starters returning for 2012, that number could get even better.
And if Michigan has any hope of beating Alabama, it must.
Okay, time for some reality.
Should Alabama beat Michigan? Yes.
But don't be shocked if the game is a lot closer than you think.