Stumped by the basketball guru...

Prior to the 2008 season, I read an article by a beat writer for Michigan basketball and it was just his prediction on how the season would go. I was shocked to find out that the prediction he had made projected the Wolverines at a lowly 4-8.

My thoughts were that this writer was clearly out of his element and that he should stick to his main focus (basketball), but… now that the season has almost concluded I cannot help but notice that he just may be right. I once again have that feeling that I had after the loss to Appalachian State (foot in mouth) so… my apologies do go out to the wise basketball guru for the maize and blue.

Honestly, I never saw this type of outcome….

The season is not over yet, though. The Wolverines now sit at 3-8 and have already clinched their all-time worst record in 129 years of football. Their last game is essentially their bowl game in Columbus this weekend and they can either fulfill the guru’s prediction OR finish as bad as Notre Dame last year (3-9). It is indeed realistic to believe that the Wolverines have heavy odds to overcome in order to pull off a win against the Buckeyes, but I never take anything for granted in the rivalry and I assume that fellow Buckeye fans feel the same way.

I have observed that the Wolverines have showed the capability of playing toe to toe with any team this season. However, with the exception of Minnesota, they have lacked the ability to put together a full game. There have been games in which the offense starts out smooth, but then it stalls or turns the ball over. I expected the offense to be erratic with mediocre QB play and a lack of leadership, BUT… the defense has also been inconsistent… more so than the offense in certain respects.

The defense has been the most disappointing factor this season because I thought the veteran leadership would be more opportunistic and cause turnovers. A dominating defense would help a young offense by creating a short field. Instead, there has been poor secondary play and a huge amount of blown assignments (poor tackling, out of position, lack of proper speed, being overly aggressive, etc.)

I believe the only way that Michigan has a chance in Columbus is if the defense is indeed opportunistic and causes turnovers. Stopping Pryor and Beanie Wells are also important factors and it is possible (see PSU), but … it is quite unlikely to eliminate both. If Boeckman was still the QB I would feel a bit more optimistic, but that is not the case.

The offense needs to have a solid plan and that must include running the ball effectively. That has been the main problem in the rivalry of recent. The Buckeyes have been winning on the ground (especially during the Hart years). If the Wolverines come out and run the ball like they did against Penn State then I will be very happy. All that would need to happen then is smart and consistent QB play and that’s where the doubt begins. With Threet being hurt recently and… Nick Sheridan seeming to be the best option… is great cause for being nervous. We have yet to see Feagin throw the ball so… you never know. He could be a wild card for coach Rodriguez.
This year’s game is no different than any other against the Buckeyes; I think the team will play inspired football. The only thing that I question is for how long they will do so….

Go Blue! Beat the Buckeyes!


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