College Football: Michigan Wolverines Preview 2009

Russ HartleyContributor IJuly 10, 2009

ANN ARBOR, MI - OCTOBER 25:  Head Coach Rich Rodriguez of the Michigan Wolverines watches from the sidelines during the game against the Michigan State Spartans on October 25, 2008 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan State won the game 35-21. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The torture is over, the embarrassment is done with, and football for U of M is starting to look up.

As everyone knows, the Wolverines went 3-9 last year and had possibly the worst season in College Football history.

This year is full of hope and wonder.

Hope of returning to a bowl game, hope of beating MSU, hope of having a winning record, and hope of not being the laughing stock of the nation. 

All eyes are on the quarterback this fall, with the Wolverines having made some dramatic changes in their roster with another top ten recruiting class.

The hopes of the fans, the team, and the program will effect how the true freshman, Tate Forcier, produces this season.

Forcier will have a tough time living up to the monstrous expectations of the media and campus. After watching two inexperienced QB's last year, Nick Sheridan and Steven Threet, the fans are thirsty for a mobile and talented quarterback.

Well, they may have just found one. 

Forcier impressed the public by throwing four touchdowns and scoring a running touchdown in the public spring scrimmage. Forcier should be able to lead the Wolverines and Michigan to a winning season.

If he fails to do so, the other ATH freshman, Denard Robinson, should be ready to step in at any time. You might even see a two quarterback threat this season, as they might split time.

But one thing's for sure, the quarterback position for the 2009 season will be a huge improvement and a strong addition to this young and talented Michigan offense. 

There are two parts to a spread offense attack: a mobile QB and a fast running back. Michigan have made some improvements to the halfback depth chart.

Florida's freshman, Vincent Smith, showed a lot of speed in the scrimmages, impressing coaches. Look for Brandon Minor to start come game time, having improved his strength in the off season.

The Wolverines also added some talented wide outs to their 2009 freshman class.

The line should remain strong and the "spread offense" will start to look like a spread offense.

However, as the saying goes: offense wins games, defense wins championships. That is why U of M will not be winning a championship this year.

Ever since Ron English was fired from the coaching staff, this defense has been terrible.

I heard only bad things from the scrimmages on the defensive side of the ball. A new defensive coordinator was hired and hopefully will turn this D around.

The d-line should come back to be strong this season, with Grahm returning as the top player. He will be accompanied by sophomore tackle, Mike Martin. Martin split time last year with senior T. Taylor, and was very impressive as a freshman.

The backers come with some experience along with some young guns. It will be interesting how this Michigan defense shapes up this season.

Michigan is the most successful program in NCAA history. With a program like that, expectations are high and pressure is always on.

None will feel the pressure like head coach Rich Rodriguez. After an embarrassing 3-9 season last year, the Wolverines are expected to bounce back strongly this season, since the quarterback position will be talented.

Rodriguez will be under pressure to do one thing... win.

If he wants to stop the questions and talk of him getting fired, he needs to win. Give him a break, he came late to the team last year and was provided with absolutely no talent at quarterback and only limited time to recruit a top class.

Michigan has always won, and they need to continue to do so if Rodriguez wants to stay. I have faith in him, he has improved from the first to the second season by winning six more games on every team he coached.

I'm not saying the boys in blue will win nine games this year, but we should see a bowl appearance.

This 2009 team needs to bring hope to the fans. Following the worst season ever, the campus is impatient and expects to win again.

With a top ten recruiting class this year, the Wolverines should bounce back and will be on their way to becoming what they once were, a powerhouse.