I want to be clear before I get into this. I have been a Michigan fan since I could walk. I knew I was coming to this school since I knew what college was. The pictures on my walls, the jerseys in my closet, and the license plate on my car all bear the block M. I will always be proud to be a Michigan Wolverine. That doesn’t mean I can’t be critical of the football program at the University of Michigan. So I am going to do just that.
While I've been alive, Michigan and Ohio State have played 20 times in football. Michigan is 5-15. Michigan won 3 of the first 5 meetings before I could read or ride a bike, but the Buckeyes have won 15 of the last 17. Currently, Ohio State has their second win streak of at least 6 games in the series in the that same time span. (Actually, the two streaks were sandwiched between Michigan’s only win in the last 14 years, when Luke Fickell was the interim head coach and the Buckeyes were in the midst of their tattoo scandal. I only count this as a win in the series out of respect for the players who played their hearts out on that field, to eek out a single digit win over the worst Buckeye team of this century.)
Michigan and Michigan State have also played 20 football games in my life. The series is currently 10-10. After Michigan won 8 of the first 11 before I could do algebra, MSU has won 7 of the last 9, some in humiliating fashion, some in heartbreaking fashion. Losing to rivals hurts at any school. But at a school that starts every football game by hearing, “We are the greatest University in the world” from the tantalizing voice of James Earl Jones, at a school that has won the most football games in the history of the sport, at a school that has the biggest football stadium in the country, at a school that pays its head coach nearly $10 million per season, at a school that claims to be the Leaders and the Best, it is especially difficult.
Each of these coaches has either had a good offense (Rich Rodriguez), or a good (great?) defense (Hoke, Harbaugh), but not both. Only one Michigan quarterback who played for these three head coaches has taken a snap under center in the NFL. And he was a 5th year senior grad transfer whose first NFL throw was a pick 6, literally last weekend. The offensive line, kicking game, and quarterback have been constant issues for all 3 head coaches. None of them have solved the quarterback problem for longer than a couple weeks.
I’m convinced there has never been a worse decade of Michigan football. Look for yourself: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Michigan_Wolverines_football_seasons
The only comparable decade would be 1959-1968, when Bump Elliott was the head coach. But Elliott’s 1964 team won a Rose Bowl. So I still give the current decade the edge for badness.
I am proud to be a Michigan Wolverine. In fact, it is great to be a Michigan Wolverine. We are the leaders and the best. My kids will go to this school, and hopefully their kids will after them. Go Blue forever, but I’m sick of losing.
Opinions are my own
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