Michigan Faces Hard Times in Ann Arbor

c dockensCorrespondent IOctober 9, 2008

How the Mighty have fallen in Ann Arbor. Michigan is off to an abysmal 2-3 start to the season. They have lost to Utah, Notre Dame, and Illinois—and not one of those teams should have beaten Michigan.

Yes, I know that they lost their starting offensive tackle, starting quarterback, running back, and star receiver, but these three teams haven't played well enough to deserve to win against a team like Michigan—or a team like Michigan used to be.

I am also aware that last year Michigan lost to Appalachian State, but that was the first game of the season, and those games are far more likely to be upsets than any other games during the year.

Maybe, with both teams' rosters completely healthy, Appalachian State was better. They had their top talent on the field, and bottom line, they wanted to win more.

This year, the Wolverines find themselves wit ha whole new barrel of monkeys. The first monkey would be Utah.

The fly in the ointment and BCS buster are just a couple of the names Utah was called to start the season. Utah was predicted to shake up the rankings, but who really thought they would go into the Big House and beat Michigan?

Utah is not a strong program. I don't care that they are 6-0. It doesn't matter that last year they went 9-4. Who have they played? So far this year they beat a struggling Michigan program and a couple of high schools. They have played nobody and do not deserve a 14th place ranking in the polls.

It is downright pitiful when a team with the talent, history, and tradition Michigan has allows a team like Utah to beat them. Let's not forget, Utah whipped Michigan for three quarters. The Wolverines had to score 13 points in the fourth quarter to pull within three points.

Basically Michigan was playing against a team whose second string was in the game, and that second string could not even get the starting position of tackling dummy at most schools.

Next is Notre Dame, who is a respectable 4-1. However, we all know that the call in the Notre Dame-San Diego State game was a blown call. San Diego scored a touchdown, but horrible officiating gave Notre Dame the ball game.

This San Diego State team that I believe beat Notre Dame is 1-4. They lost to Cal Poly, and if you are wondering who in the heck Cal Poly is, then join the crowd. I didn't think they had a football team.

None of this matters though. All that is wrong will be righted when Notre Dame gets beaten by Butch Davis and his Tar Heels.

Michigan's third and final loss came to the Illini. Last year, Michigan beat Illinois by 10. At the very worst Michigan should have lost by 13. Instead they lose yet again at home, but this time it is by 25 points.

The Illini beat Michigan by more points than Michigan even scored. That is unacceptable—no, it is worse than unacceptable. That is downright horrible.

After Rodriguez left WVU for Michigan, people talked about how Pat White was a product of Rich Rod's system. I disagree: Rich Rod was a product of Pat White. Rodriguez may do better in Ann Arbor in the future, but not this year. If I was a Michigan fan, I would be praying for a 7-5 season.

I don't see how you can expect a team who lost to Utah and got slaughtered at home by Illinois to lose just two more games. Michigan has yet to play Minnesota, Michigan State, Penn State, Purdue, and Ohio State, along with a few other cake teams.

Out of the teams I mentioned by name, I feel all of them are playing well enough to beat Michigan. Frankly, there is no way Michigan will beat Penn State and Ohio State. It is unfathomable that they escape the other three games without at least one more loss, maybe even two more.

You Michigan fans may have been upset when Lloyd Carr lost to Appalachian State, but he did rebound and finish 9-4 with a Citrus Bowl win.  Hey, at least you won't have to worry about winning a bowl game this year, because you aren't going to go 7-5. If you have more luck than any one team is entitled to, you might go 6-6. I predict 5-7.

To you Michigan fans who enjoyed 13 straight bowl games under Carr, a coach y'all were all to happy to get rid of, this won't be your first or even your last year under Rich Rod without a bowl game.

You better get used to mediocrity, or you better do something fast.