When Denard Robinson missed two games with an injury, Devin Gardner not only filled in adequately, he outperformed Robinson.
Robinson must start this week against Ohio State nonetheless. Robinson deserves the start on a purely emotional grounding.
He was the player to save Michigan from its worst stretch of football in the program's history. He was the player to provide life to a program that didn't seem to have any.
His speed and explosion rejuvenated a team, but his leadership is what rejuvenated a program.
That Devin Gardner still considers this Robinson's team speaks volumes, as per the Detroit Free Press.
Worth noting is that Robinson was the first Michigan quarterback to defeat the Buckeyes since 2003. The quarterback then: John Navarre.
That alone makes him deserving of the start, but Robinson is also worthy of the start purely on football grounds.
Gardner found success against Minnesota, Northwestern and Iowa. Robinson, on the other hand, has played the Buckeyes before and Alabama, Nebraska and Notre Dame this season.
Robinson is battle-tested against the nation's best teams and Gardner isn't.
On a purely football level, Devin Gardner will still play a big role against the Buckeyes. He's averaging 11.91 yards per attempt this season—he deserves to play in some passing situations.
In fact, the Wolverines could work up some interesting wrinkles in their offense with two legitimate quarterbacks. Gardner and Robinson played together against Iowa last week with great success.
The Wolverines could have a blast moving Gardner back to his regular receiver position with Robinson at quarterback or using Robinson at running back with Gardner at QB. The possibilities are endless, and it could be enough to upset the Buckeyes.
But ultimately, this argument comes down to who you want under center with the game on the line. In that scenario, give me the leader, the battle-tested Denard Robison.