In 1897, Mark Twain opened his front door and was greeted by a reporter who was in town to write a story about the death of American author, Mark Twain. This surreal event has lent our culture one of Twain's most famous quotes: "The report Of my death was an exaggeration."
Fast forward to the summer of 2009 and it seems that every morning was a new reporter, pundit or prognosticator knocking on the doors of the Big House in Ann Arbor, wanting to report on the death of the Michigan football program.
It seems that exaggeration is a journalistic art not easily forgotten.
Michigan was 3-9 in Rich Rodriguez' first year at the helm.
Michigan having a bad season is apparently the first Horseman of the Apocalypse.
Meaning, we can probably blame Rich Rod for the swine flu and recession as well.
Knee jerk reactions are the bane of the sporting world and more so of this multi-media presentation we call the 21st Century. With scrolling news on the bottom of every news channel, RSS feeds that email us when "breaking news" happens, and each network hiring a dozen pundits spewing analysis, no one has a chance to exhale before regurgitating an opinion.
Thankfully, Michigan is riding on the waves of another good recruiting season and a second year of learning the spread offense. In addition, the biggest change in 2009 is having a quarterback who is well-suited and recruited to play in this offense.
So Michigan, a team supposedly applying for FCS status and struggling to steal recruits from Grand Valley, takes on and beats Tim Hiller and a very decent Western Michigan team.
In week two, Tate Forcier battles Jimmy Clausen at the Big House. Without making any predictions, I can say that if Michigan beats Notre Dame, they should have a normal Michigan season right up until Ohio State in the final week—win a bunch, lose one they shouldn't, yadda yadda yadda.
Even if Michigan loses to Notre Dame, fans can be assured that year two of a rebuilding plan isn't supposed to go smoothly.
Life if back to normal in Ann Arbor.
Happily, Ragnarok is staved off for another season.