CBS sports national columnist Gregg Doyel dropped an interesting article yesterday entitled, "Rodriguez, Pryor need success now to warrant hype."
Doyel argues that last year is a free pass for both, "[b]ut that was last year. This is this year. And this is their year. Or there will be hell to pay. That's the thing about football at Michigan and Ohio State—it's not enough to simply win. Everyone wins at those schools. The question is: How much did you win? How many league titles? How many national titles? And how many Heisman Trophies?"
While I generally agree that the pressure is high at Michigan and that success is measured in wins, titles, and trophies, I'm not sure Doyel addresses the fundamental reason that this is really not a make or break year for either.
The Michigan faithful want to see progress, and assuming fans see some, Rodriguez will likely have his job for another year. Conventional wisdom among Wolverine fans is that 6-6 or 7-5 is the expectation this year. But it's not a stretch to think we'll get to that point, as all signs point to progress.
I can't speak for Pryor, but I can tell you the kid is only a sophomore. I'm also not convinced his sophomore season is a make or break year. Last time I checked, Vince Young didn't put up sick numbers until his junior year. He turned out OK, even though he was similarly ranked the No. 1 quarterback in the nation coming out of high school.
I don't think we'll know the full capability of the "hype" of each until the third season, when Pryor has nearly two full years under his belt and when Rodriguez fields a team that is largely his own.