Denard Robinson: Open Letter to Michigan Wolverines QB Before Alabama Matchup
No, we do not know each other and have never crossed paths, but I am writing you this letter as a friendly reminder of just how important the game is later tonight.
You know, the big matchup between your Michigan Wolverines and the Alabama Crimson Tide?
You probably had it circled on your calendar the second you and your squad found a way to knock off the Virginia Tech Hokies in last year’s BCS Sugar Bowl.
Anyway, this game is much bigger than that.
Sure, it was the school’s first double-digit winning season and BCS bowl appearance since 2007. It was a victory that put Michigan back on the map again after those three years under head coach Rich Rodriguez, years which seemed like an eternity if you were a suffering Wolverines fan.
And no, a victory over Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide will not come with a parade, send you off to a gorgeous city for the weekend or come with a glistening trophy. In fact, a victory over the Crimson Tide will probably be forgotten by next week, when there are other big matchups that keep us college football fans entertained.
But what a win would do tonight is prove that last season was no fluke.
In case you haven't heard, everyone outside of Ann Arbor says that the Wolverines are not anywhere close to as good as last season’s 11-2 record indicates. They say your schedule was soft and you did not deserve to reach a BCS bowl game to begin with.
They also say that this year’s squad isn’t a national-championship contender, despite its opening up the season ranked No. 8 in both polls, which is higher than any other Big Ten team. I know you have to be pleased with the progress this team has made in just one season.
You have to believe in a team that returns 14 starters from a year ago.
Winning this game would not only prove that this team is no joke; it would also instantly make you national-championship contenders, as you would easily slide into the Top Five of each poll (possibly the Top Three).
In case you needed any added motivation, the last time your school was ranked in the Top Five in the regular season was back in 2006. You were only a sophomore at Deerfield Beach High School back then, just becoming a starting quarterback for the Bucks varsity.
While this game would do so much for your team overall this season, a victory would also put you in the driver's seat for a Heisman Trophy. It has been since 1997 since the Heisman Trophy has been won by a Michigan player. You have been considered a real Heisman threat the last two seasons, but have failed to receive even an invite to New York.
If you win this game on prime time, you already have your Heisman moment in the bag, with the rest of the season to pad your stats and seal victories.
You are a senior; this is your last chance to win the award.
You guys really set the bar high last season, and college football as a whole is better when the Wolverines are relevant. While this may only be the first game of the regular season, it is also a game that can either make or break how the rest of your senior season plays out. This is truly a matchup that you and your troops must find a way to win, despite all of the critics that say you have no shot before you even take the field.
It won't be an easy task, as I'm sure you have heard that Alabama is great defensively and has been licking its chops throughout the offseason to deliver the hammer on you. But this is the type of game in which legends are created and seasons are made.
It is up to you to deliver the victory.
Again, you won't earn any trophy or award with a win this evening, but this game can be used as a launching pad for an extremely successful 2012 season. Hopefully you are up to the task and prepared for the possibility of creating history at Michigan, history which could begin in just a few hours.
P.S. Everybody is watching.
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