Welcome to the Top 25, and our first team on the “inside,” the Michigan Wolverines.
It's springtime in Ann Arbor, both in terms of the current season and its football program. The Rich Rodriguez experiment is over and was a resounding failure. Michigan is returning to its coaching heritage with the hiring of bona fide “Michigan Man” Brady Hoke.
Hoke, a student of the Schembechler-Carr College of Advanced Football Coaching, has restored the spirit of excitement surrounding the Maize and Blue. His ability to quickly turn programs into winners is exactly what Michigan needs. His Michigan connection is exactly what Michigan wants.
Now if only he could magically transform the entire defense into a unit that could stop anyone from scoring.
A lot of attention was paid to Denard Robinson last season and rightly so. After all, he's not the prototypical, statuesque pocket passing quarterback that U of M has become known for. But were it not for his nearly 500 yards of offense games last season, Michigan would have had another year that ended without a bowl game (not that the 2010 bowl game went very well).
Michigan's defense is best described as beatable. So beatable, in fact, that Michigan gave up 34 or more points nine times in 2010, including 35 to Indiana and a whopping 65 to Illinois. And let's not forget the 52 points surrendered to Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl.
Michigan is returning 18 starters from last season, eight of them on defense.
Let's hope all that experience can be translated into being able to stop opposing offenses. Otherwise, it could be another long season in Ann Arbor.