In track they tell runners to push through the finish line.
In baseball, they tell hitters to swing through the ball.
I think it’s time for the Michigan coaching staff to start delivering a similar message to their players.
You’ve heard it over and over since the disappointment of last season. Michigan *MUST* beat Notre Dame and Ohio State. I don’t disagree. But it seems like the team is so focused on the importance of these games that they freeze whenever things don’t go their way.
Ghosts of Notre Dame?
Remember 2004 Notre Dame in South Bend? The Wolverines dominated the first 3 quarters of the game, only to have Notre Dame storm back to win 28-20.
In 2005 the Wolverines fumbled twice within their own 10 yard line, losing 17-10, while totaling up nearly 100 more yards than the Irish on offense.
No matter how well Michigan played it they seemed to just be waiting for the myth of Notre Dame trip them up. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. The Wolverines hear stories of Irish luck in games past and then as soon as something goes wrong they fold.
I have a novel approach for playing the Irish this year.
Treat them like a team that’s just 15-9 over the last two seasons with a new coach at helm.
Forget about Knute Rockne, Rocket Ishmael, and Joe Montana.
You can be sure the Notre Dame coaching staff isn’t talking about Michigan tradition.
Treat them like any other non-conference for and put a beating down on them.
Buckeyes on the brain
Since Jim Tressell has taken over in Columbus he’s owned the Wolverines compiling a, 4-1 record. And if you ask any pundit they’ll tell you he’s the best coach in the Big Ten. Critics of Lloyd Carr are quick to point out that if you take take away his undefeated 1997 season that his record is mediocre at best.
Lloyd Carr 90-34 .725 (1995 through 2005 minus 1997)
But what if we do the same to St. Tressell?
Jim Tressell 37-13 .740 (2001 through 2005 minus 2002)
Of course you need to take into account that Tressell’s success against the Wolverines and the stellar track record his players have in the classroom and community during his tenure.
The fact remains that if not for his success against Michigan OSU fans would probably be hanging him in effigy.
Fan of the both teams should be demanding more from programs who have the tradition and resources of these traditional rivals.
Why hasn’t Michigan played in the BCS championship game under Lloyd Carr?
Considering the number of players that Ohio State consistently sends to the NFL (not to mention jail) why haven’t they returned to the BCS championship game?
You have to wonder if Maurice Clarett’s troubles surfaced duirng the 2002 season rather than afterwards would the Buckeyes have the National Championship that year?
Beating Notre Dame and Ohio State isn’t enough
Many fans say that this season will be successful if Michigan can beat the Fighting Irish and the Buckeyes. I say beat them, and while you’re at it beat everyone else.
The Wolverine need to instill fear again
Remember the OSU game last year when the Buckeyes got the ball back with around a minute to go and drove down for the winning touchdown? They don’t fear us anymore. They couldn’t wait to get on the field.
And it’s just not the Buckeyes. You only need to look at the losses from last season.
Teams used to be intimidated heading into Michigan Stadium, now they know that the Wolverines are vulnerable.
I say the best way to stop that nonsense is to hang a beating on Vanderbilt and Central Michigan prior to the thrashing Notre Dame.
No more glorified scrimmages. No more holding back half the play book.
Get the swagger back- early. If the Wolverines come out firing this season the Irish will be the ones worried.
With OSU breaking in a number of new defenders a high powered Michigan offense might be just the thing to stop the trend of OSU domination.
New message- beat them all!
There’s no easier way to put it…As the the late and great Fielding Yost said, “…Who are they to beat a Michigan Team?”
Don’t call it a comeback
I been here for years
Rockin’ my peers
Puttin’ suckers in fear
Makin’ the tears rain down like a monsoon
Listen to the bass go boom
Over the competition, I’m towerin’
It’s payback time.