Before the dawn there has to come darkness.
Cliché, yes. True, even more so.
That saying spells it all out for Michigan football. Anyone following Michigan football will tell you things are very dark right now in Ann Arbor.
There is, however, a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
Michigan is 1-2 right now—soon to be 1-3 after they meet ninth-ranked Wisconsin. The Wolverines are going to be paying the karmic debt they owe Big Ten teams they have regularly pounded for years.
It will be a tough season for Wolverine fans listening to Penn State, Illinois, and possibly even Northwestern fans hurl smack talk their way.
Get it in now is all I have to say.
This Michigan team is not blue or maize, but green. In two to three years, they will be in the driver's seat on their way to a BCS bowl. They are starting an unheard-of number of true freshmen that will gain a huge amount of meaningful experience on the way to being successful.
Rich Rodriguez has been here before. He has to install a new system at one of sports' most storied traditional schools. He had a rough first year with Tulane and even West Virginia. Just because it is Michigan doesn't mean it will be any different.
I would even argue the Wolverines are a tougher challenge. Michigan has always followed the three yards and a cloud of dust game plan. This overhaul needs experienced spread offense players. Michigan has neither.
Michigan will be a force to be reckoned with in a couple of years with freshmen that actually fit the system. The proof is in the last game Michigan played versus Notre Dame.
Michigan actually should have won that game if it weren't for the angry weather gods and a special teams curse. They outgained the Fighting Irish in almost every offensive statistic, a great improvement compared to their anemic numbers in their first two games against arguably lesser opponents.
The quarterback controversy is finally over, and Sam McGuffie looked as though he was competing for the 2010 Heisman. This was with a thin and untalented offensive line.
Michigan is also eating up for star recruits this year, especially on the defensive line, like Craig Roh from Arizona.
This all spells doom for future opponents of Michigan. Get your kicks in now—because in a few years, you won't be able to.
Who knows, Michigan might pull off a couple of upsets this year. I wouldn't hold my breath though. This will undoubtedly be a tough year. Let's just hope Michigan fans aren't the kind of fans that have unfortunately infected football with the "What have you done for me lately?" attitude.
Michigan will most likely struggle to win any more games this year, even Toledo, who nearly beat Fresno State this past weekend. However, I am willing to bet Michigan fans will trade in a 3-9 or 4-8 record this year for a national championship 12-0 season in two years.
When the light comes for Michigan after the darkness, it will be very bright. You may need sunglasses to watch.