2009: A Year That Michigan Needs To Forget

Alex KingContributor IFebruary 26, 2010

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 21:  Quarterback Tate Forcier #5 of the Michigan Wolverines looks to pass the ball during the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes on November 21, 2009 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ohio State won the game 21-10. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Michigan athletics has taken an enormous toll after recent events have them tangled up in an NCAA violation, after NCAA officials found the coaching staff had been holding practices a little bit too long.  The NCAA forbids more than 20 hours of practice a week, and the Wolverines' staff was apparently unaware of the legal limits prior to the 2009 calendar year.  Following 2 seasons of mediocre football, Rich Rodriguez has to be on the hot seat for the upcoming 2010 season.  Many Wolverines fans on the website MGoBlog.com are expecting a 7 or 8 win season, matching the combined total win count in Rodriguez's first two seasons.  

Alas, there is hope with Michigan boasting the #14 recruiting class for 2010 and top 15 quality classes above them, there must be some production on the field before any conclusion can be made about Rodriguez's coaching ability. Rodriguez recruits players according to one main characteristic: speed. Speed is what any master of the spread offense would desire from incoming players. Rodriguez did a tremendous job in the offseason recruiting defensive backs, nabbing 4-star CB Cullen Christian from PA and 5-star S Demar Dorsey of FL. What Rodriguez has also done at Michigan is expand the horizons, adding players from all over the country, specifically targeting players from Florida.


 At WVU, Rodriguez had a similar result during his first season, but the second year Mountaineers improved vastly as opposed to incrementally, as the first years at Michigan have been.  With an experienced quarterback who has gained some weight in the offseason, Michigan should expect better results in 2010, given the emergence of receiver Roy Roundtree carries in to his sophomore season.  With Michigan State, Iowa, and Wisconsin at the Big House, the 2010 season is expected to be incrementally better than the 5-7 disaster in 2009, with a bowl game in sights.  @Penn State and @OSU will be major tests to this young football team, but with more experienced players at each major position, this team should have much higher expectations come fall.