Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Return of Football...

Welcome back! I was going to wait until it was the week before the football season starts but I am way too anxious. Media days are done, fall practices are underway and the blog-a-sphere is whirling with the preseason predictions. Obviously, if you are a fan of the blog (and why wouldn’t you be) you know the marquee match up of the season happens on the 1st Saturday. Michigan vs. Western Michigan, Sept, 5, 2009. The Wolverines and Western square off for the first time since 2002. This is a very interesting situation for a fan of both programs. I want a win for the Broncos. However, a win for WMU is devastating for Michigan (though they are getting used to season opener losses). Also, starting the season off with a big win over U of M may be such a high for the Broncos that they may lose the hunger and falter for the remainder of the schedule. I am asking for a strong showing on both teams, that will make for and exciting, injury free game and get the momentum for both teams’ seasons rolling.

The reports coming out of Kalamazoo fall practice are promising. The receiving corps looks good, but they have not put the pads on yet. The defense is the bigger concern with only 4 seniors returning. The secondary lost a 2nd round draft pick and will need to replace more than just the skill of Louis Delmas, they need to replace his on and off field leadership. QB Tim Hiller appears fully recovered for the ACL injury suffered in early November last year, and wide out Juan Nunez appears to be ready to step in as Hiller’s target numero uno.

The reports on Michigan have been a piling on with negativity, but include a silver lining named Tate Forcier. He enrolled early, has learned the offense, and he looks like he can actually move from side to side, unlike either option under center last season. The controversies and hemorrhaging of players from the program are more off-season blog fodder than anything else in my opinion. I do not recall such a large amount of transfers in the ranks of BCS football. I have only been following the sport with a major passion for 5 or 6 years, but do not recall so many QBs transferring after not being deemed the starter. Coaches are moving after big bucks more than after opportunity to build a program with a legacy. Accompany that with a generation of kids who have been designated as football players as soon as the umbilical cord was cut, and the team hopping is almost expected. I do not see the players leaving as a sign of trouble. I see it as a sign of the times from a generation of kids that have a strong sense of entitlement. These players would rather transfer to a team where they can start rather than duking it out with an incumbent starter or a competitive peer to earn the starting position. So, while some of the leaving players may have had personality clashes with the staff or felt that they did not get recruited in to this program, I feel a lot of your skilled position departures are individuals who feel that the should be starting and they found somewhere that they can.

Anyways down form the soapbox and back on track….Michigan can only improve. The parts are being put in place, the dedicated players have been identified, and the motivation to erase last year is an intangible force.

Here is to a great season of NCAA Football!