Michigan Football: Why Things Are Looking Up in Ann Arbor

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Michigan Football: Why Things Are Looking Up in Ann Arbor
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Since day one, Brady Hoke has said the goal was for Michigan to win Big Ten Championships and threaten for national titles.

So in that sense, Hoke's tenure as head coach for the Wolverines so far, and especially this season, has been a disappointment.

But even after finishing the 2012 regular season with an 8-4 record, a loss to hated rival Ohio State and no chance at a Big Ten title, Michigan should be encouraged about the future.

Hoke brought Michigan back to national relevance in 2011 with a 10-2 season and a BCS win in the Sugar Bowl, and this season, ended the Wolverines' frustrating losing streak to in-state foe Michigan State.

Michigan extended its own home winning streak to 14 consecutive games and will play in a New Year's Day bowl for the fourth time in seven years.

The Wolverines will say goodbye to Denard Robinson, as well as several other senior leaders who helped bring Michigan out of the dark shadow of the Rich Rodriguez era, but the Wolverines will welcome back several impact players, bring in a heralded recruiting class and will have a lot to look forward to in 2013 and beyond.

Here are the five reasons things are looking up in Ann Arbor:

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