Michigan Football: Why Denard Robinson's Time as a Starter Should Be Over

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistNovember 12, 2012

ANN ARBOR, MI - OCTOBER 20: Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines runs 44 yards during the the fourth quarter of the game against the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium on October 20, 2012 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Wolverines defeated the Spartans 12-10. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Whether head coach Brady Hoke wants to admit it or not, the Michigan Wolverines have a quarterback controversy on their hands.

As much as it will hurt the senior leader of the team, the Wolverines must continue to sit starting quarterback Denard Robinson if they want a chance to steal the Big Ten Legends Division and possibly even sneak into the Big Ten title game.

Junior Devin Gardner has been playing well since taking over for Robinson after the senior injured his elbow in the team’s loss to Nebraska. Since being forced into the team's starting job, Gardner and the Wolverines are 2-0 and the offensive unit looks as impressive as it ever did with Robinson under center.

Despite his great play, Gardner has remained a great and humble teammate. He shared his thoughts with Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press on who the starting QB for the Wolverines should be: "This is Denard's team, and it's always going to be Denard's team until he's gone. He's done way too much for two games to change that."

While that is exactly what you want to hear from your player as a coach, that isn’t what is best for the team right now. There is always going to be an allegiance to the senior players in college football, but this is about contending for a conference title.

Gardner gives the Wolverines a better shot at Big Ten glory.

There is no question that Robinson is the better running quarterback, but Gardner is the more efficient pocket passer, amassing 520 yards and four touchdowns through the air in two games.

It took Robinson his last four full games to mimic those numbers.

Add in Gardner’s safe running style and his three touchdowns on the ground, and Robinson should not start another game as a Wolverine.

That may sound harsh, but if the Wolverines want to end the season on a high note and build to 2013, they must ride with Gardner.


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