Is a major reality distortion taking place in Ann Arbor with the University of Michigan football. In 2014, the Michigan Wolverines had a disastrous season, comparing it to the previous history of Michigan football. The 2014 team had five wins and seven losses. This is unheard of, and not acceptable. Then, in December 2014, Jim Harbaugh was hired as the new football coach. The hiring of Harbaugh was, in some ways, like the second coming as he was quickly brought from the West Coast to Ann Arbor to lift Michigan football like a phoenix rising from its ashes . Harbaugh was going to be the Savior and bring Michigan back to its former football greatness. Many believed this was going to happen immediately.
Jim Harbaugh inherited a team that did very poorly. In part, some of the explanation might be placed to when Rich Rodriguez was hired as head coach. Coach Rodriguez brought in a spread offense philosophy that relied on having fast, athletic, mobile lineman. However, Rodriguez wasn’t there long enough to create success. Then Brady Hoke was hired, and his philosophy was more related to a pro-style offense. He even brought in an Alabama coordinator to run that offense. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the necessary 300+ pound lineman to run and control the line the scrimmage. So, last year’s quarterback Devin Gardner, frequently was harassed by the defense and didn’t have enough time to accurately throw the ball. He was often running for his life and trying to elude all those defensive players collapsing on him.
So now we have Coach Jim Harbaugh and his NFL Pro philosophy offense. If his offense is to be successful, he will have to be able to control the line of scrimmage and run the football. Did previous coach Brady Hoke, recruit enough large, talented lineman during his tenure? Is the cupboard bare or is it filled with good stock? If the cupboard is bare, coach Harbaugh and his NFL position coaches have their work cut out for them in order to be successful. As talented as Harbaugh and his staff are, he still needs the horses up front.
In 1969, when Coach Schembechler took over from Coach Elliott, the cupboard was not bare. Because it was well-stocked, Coach Schembechler had immediate success. Names like Dierdorf [NFL Hall of Fame]; Henry Hill, Reggie McKenzie [all Pro]; Jim Mandich-all Americans that made Michigan’s running attack work. And with that, it was 3 yards and a cloud of dust. And don’t forget the others, he had All Americans, Tom Curtis, Billy Taylor, Marty Huff, Mike Taylor and all Pro, Thom Darden as well.
For the Michigan faithful, because of Michigan’s difficult football schedule this year, starting off with Utah and Oregon State .A 6 win and 6 loss record would be terrific, coupled with a win or wins over Michigan State, the Golden Gophers, Penn State, Maryland Terrapins or Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Ohio State is more than out of the question for this year, unless the likes of Darden, Dierdorf, Mandich, Curtis from that historic 1969 team come out of retirement.
Reality might be brutal this year for the Michigan Wolverines. Just wait for different results when Harbaugh gets the horses. In the meantime, Go Blue Go!