I could not help but notice the recent flurry of media articles pinpointing exactly what the Wolverines need to do to turn the team around. For most authors, it is a question of numbers.
The magic number is three, according to the Detroit Free Press, which asks who is the QB; how will the defense play; and will the offensive line improve. The secret is five things, according to the Sporting News, which says Michigan must find a QB, hold on to the ball, tackle better, improve morale, and beat a good team.
Frankly, it's easy to point out a few helpful tidbits to a team who won three games. Don't believe me? Let's throw in a few more. Why don't we pass better, block better, run better, catch better, return better, tackle better, hit harder, force turnovers, coach better, recruit better, or simply score more points than they do? Surely those are the secret ingredients, right?
However, the person who knows Michigan best and who has twenty more meaningful years of experience than us in this business, is the only one who has Michigan figured out: Michigan Coach Rich Rodriguez.
At the Big Ten Media day, Coach Rodriguez explained the secret ingredient to success: execution.
"I think more important is execution. No matter what system you run, whether you execute your offense or defense the best is the team that's going to win the game... I worry about execution. If we execute better than them and got better players than them, we'll win. If not, we'll lose."
He's absolutely right. The key to winning more than three games in 2009 is not three, five or twenty bullet points. It's one, and one thing only: execution. If each member of the team can improve on executing his responsibilities, we'll be better in 2009.
As fans we should not look at a select number of areas. We need to look at each position and ask ourselves whether we are executing better than we did last year. If so, and we see progress, Michigan will win more than three games. It's that simple.