The 96th edition of the Wolverine’s football bust was again sponsored by the University of Michigan Club of Detroit, and was held on the evening of December 12, 2016 at Livonia’s Laurel Manor.
I was not able to attend the Bust again this year, but it remains an opportunity that Michigan Fans should take annually for a number of reasons. It enables fans to put a face on the football machines you see on the field on Saturdays, and some that you don’t often get to observe that are in the background of the program, but contribute much to success.
This year we will all still remember the two defeats that deflated and eliminated the Wolverines’s Big Ten Championship and National Championship goals for the season by a slim margin. We will recall the 2016 season as a near miss with only two close losses. It was a season which produced a long awaited victory over the Spartans, and an opportunity for a prestigious Orange Bowl battle. Overall the season show cased rising Wolverines.
The Wolverines gave OSU all that they wanted. Unfortunately, those three critical and fatal Wolverine errors effected the outcome. While it is obvious the game was sprinkled with some inventive refereeing with a Buckeye flavoring, the three miscues put the game out of reach.
The officiating set-off a Harbaugh howl, but he never said it cost them the game. It was the stuff under the Wolverine’s control which sealed their fate against the Buckeyes, and cost them post season opportunities.
It was disappointing that they could not control their own post season fate, but the regular season did not end a with a pounding by the Buckeyes as did 2015. They were in the hunt all season long. The season overall was a resounding success.
The Wolverine surge is not yet at Tsunami level, but the frenzy is building. Harbaugh said at the Bust that he suspects that the going to the NFL rumors maybe designed by some competitors to dampen recruiting. They will continue, and he will continue at Michigan. He says he is not interested, thank you. That is believable.
No pundit, none, knows the answer to the when will Harbaugh leave question. Only Harbaugh knows that. For now, and the foreseeable future, he is rock solid at Michigan. Believe he is leaving only when you hear him announce it, not before.
The coaching team was, for the most part, also outstanding, and remains intact. Overall the defense, under the guidance of its newcomer mentor, Dr. Blitz, was outstanding.
The entire record of this season is not written, as Florida State stands in the way. The Wolverines and FSU will cross paths in their third confrontation in the Orange Bowl Saturday December 30. Each team now holds a one and one record in the Orange Bowl. This should be one of the better Bowl match ups.
THE 2016 AWARDS: The nomenclature of the MVP Award was changed to the Bo Schembechler Most Valuable Player Award last year, and was earned for this year by Jabrill Peppers.
The Dr. Arthur Robinson Scholarship Award was awarded to Grant Newsome.
The Hugh J. Rader Award for the Best Offensive Lineman was bestowed on Offensive Tackle Erik Magnuson.
The Richard Katcher Award for the best Defensive Lineman was awarded to both Ryan Glasgow and Chris Wormley.
The Robert P. Ufer Award for enthusiasm and love for Michigan was bestowed on Offensive Tackle Grant Newsome.
The Roger Zatkoff Award for most outstanding Linebacker was given to Ben Gedeon.
The Most Improved Player Award named QB Wilton Speight.
There is just one game left this season, but the fifteen practices preceding it will continue to benefit the Wolverines into next season, no matter the outcome.
Bring on the Seminoles, and Go Blue!
Note: As stated above, I did not attend this year’s Football Bust. The commentary is mine, but the facts pertaining to the Bust were gathered from the official M football web site.