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Next on our Big Ten fall list is Michigan.
The Wolverines had what was easily their most successful year of the past half decade last season, winning 10 regular season games, earning a trip to the Sugar Bowl and knocking off Virginia Tech.
Michigan started 2012 as a top ten team, and was the odds-on favorite to win the Big Ten title this season.
A lopsided loss to Alabama and coming up short against Notre Dame was all that pollsters needed to erase Michigan's tenure in the Top 25, and a loss to Nebraska a few weeks back quite possibly could have ended the Wolverines' hopes for a Big Ten Championship Game trip in December.
Unless Nebraska loses to either Minnesota or Iowa down the stretch, it's clear Michigan's season will end with a decidedly BCS-less feel.
So what happened?
There are a number of reasons being laid out as excuses from Denard Robinson's nagging injuries to questionable defensive play. But it might be something more fundamental.
When Brady Hoke took over last season, he inherited a team that was recovering from three years under Rich Rodriguez—someone who was attempting a wholesale change in football culture in Ann Arbor.
The underclassmen were all Rodriguez recruits and fit Rich Rod's model of a college football player. But Hoke still had the last gasp of the Lloyd Carr years at his disposal.
And Hoke, a Carr protégé, knew exactly how to exploit every ounce of talent from those traditional “Michigan Men.”
Now five seasons removed from Carr's last recruit, Hoke is left with what Rodriguez left him: the non-typical Michigan football player.
Hoke's recruiting has been second to none in the Big Ten, and the turnaround may have a more permanent feel to it within a few short seasons.
But there were bound to be bumps along the way.