With Saturday's win versus Indiana, the Michigan Wolvers proved both their resilience and their determination to move up in the top 25 BCS standings. With very few proven teams this college football season, Michigan has the opportunity to move within the top 15 by season's end.
Although the win against Indiana was no upset, the Wolverines have already gained more wins than Rich Rodriguez's dismal first year as coach.
More importantly, this win emphasized why Michigan has such a strong foundation for the future. In what some may call a rebuilding stage, few teams across the nation can match what Michigan has done to go from worst to a possibly future first.
Moreover, few teams have a quarterback that can match both the talent and leadership of Tate Forcier.
Not only can he make clutch throws like he did on Saturday against Indiana, but Forcier knows how to maintain his accuracy despite being on the move. His Jeff Garcia-esque talents are a perfect match for coach Rich Rod's system and he can only get better during his time at Michigan.
Helping Forcier by keeping the defense honest, Michigan has a stable of running backs that are only getting better as the season goes on. With the seniors Brandon Minor and Carlos Brown leading the charge, Michigan has developed a nice combination of power and speed that has allowed Forcier more opportunities to make plays.
Another fleet of foot freshman quarterback, Denard "shoelaceless" Robinson, has also given Michigan the opportunity to run their own version of the wildcat formation.
When Robinson is in the game, Michigan is likely to run the football, but if the young freshman learns how to pass the ball even somewhat better during this season, the maize and blue will have a duo of quarterbacks who will make defenses shake in their cleats.
Martavious Odoms and Greg Matthews give Forcier some much needed help, at the wide receiver position, when he's on the run and trying to get the ball in the endzone.
Matthews, the senior, has ideal hands and has become the go-to-guy for his young quarterback. Built like the perfect possession receiver (aka the next Jason Avant) for an NFL team, Matthews will help an inexperienced Michigan squad throughout the rest of the season.
Odoms, a 5'9" sophomore, is built for speed and has been the target of Forcier's passes downfield, including one against Indiana on Saturday. Next year, it shouldn't come as a surprise to see Odoms as Forcier's go-to receiver when Matthews heads for greener pastures.
Sophomore, Junior Hemingway, can also take that role, as he continues to lead the Wolverines in YAC yards this season.
One must take note of Michigan's offense because it has been dangerous and will continue to be dangerous all season. With the offensive line gelling quicker than expected, that will only make life easier for Michigan's best playmakers.
Michigan's defense, however, is still far behind in the rebuilding process.
Allowing Indiana to score 33 points was a huge stepback and the defense will need to recover in order to keep their offense from getting into shootouts. Linebackers Jonas Mouton and Craig Roh will have to lead the charge and re-create a defense that was once feared for the physicality that it inflicted.
Yet, despite what happens this season, the next two years will truly be telling where Michigan is headed.
If Rodriguez can continue to garner somewhere close to those top five recruiting classes that he did this previous year, Michigan's success will be quick and exciting. His open-mindedness to start freshman along with a strong winning season, should launch Michigan into the top 15 next year and top 10 the following year.
Of course, the Michigan offense could sputter and the defense—never recover, but that is not what the true Michigan faithful will come to expect from their team as they play in the Big House in the near future.
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