Every Michigan fan thinks that when something negative is written about their program it’s a conspiracy...

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Allow me to be the first one to tell you about the immense pressure on the U of M football program already. Michigan is a program that demands excellence. Their yearly goals of Big 10 and national championships are goals every school should one day wish to have. So while Lloyd Carr’s resignation is music to some Michigan fans ears, the road ahead is dark and unfamiliar.

  

1-7 in the last 8 games against Ohio State. They’ve lost their last four bowl games, including three Rose Bowls, looking over matched in all of them. And for a school that traditionally has the talent to do so every year, they haven’t won a big 10 title since 2004. Carr’s gone, as are Jake Long, Mike Hart, Chad Henne, Adrian Arrington, Shawn Crable and likely Mario Manningham. Michigan likes to think they don’t rebuild, they just reload. But I’m telling you that’s a lot of pieces to try and replace, especially with a new coach, and I just don’t see it happening. 

  

The team will lose their bowl game this year, following patterns of year’s past when they end the season with a losing streak. So let’s fast forward a year. The defense will still be suspect against the spread and a mobile QB because defensive coordinator Ron English will still have a job there and will be a mastermind of a great defense…until the last 3 games of the year when the unit falls apart. Chad Henne will be sorely missed as it becomes apparent that Ryan Mallet has a rocket for an arm, but not the poise or leadership of Henne. There will be no Jake Long to run behind and Mallet will not have the option of never worrying about his blind side. But the biggest loss of all will be that of running back Mike Hart. The all-time everything rusher at UM, Hart was the leader on the field and in the locker room for this team. His ability to motivate his teammates and pick up tough yards will be missed, but not as much as his pass blocking ability, which won’t be appreciated until Carlos Brown and Brandon Minor aren’t picking up blitzes. 

  

Combine a shaky defense, with a young offense and a new head coach and a brutal schedule and you could have the ingredients for a 7-5 or 6-6 year. Or I could be completely wrong. But either way my point is this: This is a program in need of retooling. Every year Michigan has one of the best recruiting classes in the nation, filled with seemingly only 4 and 5-star prospects. Yet they underachieve. Many have blamed the coach for that but Lloyd’s no longer here. So who’s going to the scapegoat next year? This team will struggle next year because it has too much to try and overcome, but can Wolverine fans accept that? You wanted a new coach and now you’ll get one but be prepared for a season that you’re not exactly accustomed to in Ann Arbor. 

  

This isn’t senseless Michigan bashing. I’m not being biased or picking on UM because of any crazed reason. Every Michigan fan thinks that when something negative is written about their program it’s a conspiracy or a fit of jealousy. I’m simply telling it like it is and Michigan fans can be optimistic and think they’ll go 12-0 next year or they can look in the mirror and ask themselves if they’re ready to take a step backwards so the program can go forward. But hey, it’s only November. There’s still a looooong way to go.