As the college football season comes to a close, there is one thing I am certainly thankful for this holiday season.
The 2008 Michigan Football season is finally over.
Yes, there were positive plays during the season, but the negatives outweighed—by far—the positives.
While other folks might start off their New Years resolutions by losing weight or quitting smoking, one can only hope that Rich Rodriguez sets his task towards turning this year into an anomaly.
He has eight months of off-season to bring this football team and program back to that other holiday tradition we Wolverine fans have grown to love: a New Year's Day Bowl game.
If he doesn't, Rich Rod needs to go.
Michigan has long been a tradition-rich program. They hold the number one winning percentage of all time, have 11 National Championships, and had the longest current bowl streak in the nation.
Every year, we believe that the University of Michigan should at the very least be competing for the Big Ten Championship. Instead, this season has shamed Michigan fans all over the country.
Most have never experienced a season as bad as 2008 and we certainly do not look forward to more years like it.
Here is a look at just how bad this year was in historical context.
The last time Michigan...
Lost to a Mid-American Conference team: Never. They were 24-0 until they lost to Toledo this year.
Lost to Michigan State: 2001. All Wolverines remember the famous "Spartan Bob" game at Spartan Stadium.
Lost to Michigan State at home: 1990. Most of the current football players were barely in elementary school when this happened.
Lost to Penn State: 1999. Almost, "We are 10 straight."
Lost to Purdue: 2000. Purdue went to the Rose Bowl that year.
Lost to Michigan State, Ohio State, and Notre Dame in the same season: 1987.
Had a losing season: 1967. They went 4-6 under Bump Elliot.
Missed a bowl game: 1974. They went 10-1 but lost the Big Ten Championship to Ohio State, so OSU went to the Rose Bowl.
Lost to a Mountain West Conference Opponent: 1984 until they lost to Utah. They lost to 13-0 National Champion BYU Bulldogs in the Holiday Bowl.
Had just two conference victories: Bump Elliot's 1965 squad went 2-5 in the Big Ten.
Had a .250 winning percentage on the season: 1962. Good 'ol Bump went 2-7 on the season for a .222 winning percentage.
Won six fewer games than the previous year: 1934.
Injuries can only count so much. There is absolutely no excuse for the 2008 Michigan football team dropping off so much in a single year.
Even knowing this was going to be a transition, this has to be the biggest disappointment in the history of Michigan Football.