After spending the weekend in Michigan and getting a long-delayed view of the Big House renovations (I am still, on the record, against the renovations), my thoughts turned to September 5th. With the Wolverines Basketball Team finally returning to national relevance with a Tournament invite and victory this year not to mention early ranking for next season, the football program cannot be far behind, right? RichRod has a history of a second-year bounce, quoting from his Wikipedia page:
On November 26, 2000, WVU's athletic department announced that Rodriguez would again return to West Virginia, this time as head coach to replace the retiring legend Don Nehlen. Rodriguez's first season at West Virginia, 2001, was a disappointing 3-8 season. However, Rodriguez's turn-around of the 2002 team is the greatest turn-around in Big East history with a 9-4 record, Big East runner-up finish, back-to-back road wins against ranked Virginia Tech and Pitt, and a Continental Tire Bowl berth. The Mountaineers finished second in the nation rushing with 283 yards per game and fourth in turnover margin. In 2003, the Mountaineers started the season 1-4, and after losing to #2 Miami 22-20, the Mountaineers posted a 6-1 Big East record and tied for the Big East championship with Miami, earning a Gator Bowl berth. That season, the Mountaineers replaced 22 seniors, eleven of which were starters. In 2004, the Mountaineers posted a 8-4 record with a talented team of seniors and juniors, but were ranked as high as sixth during the regular season.
If RichRod's traditional second year bump is not just a myth, and if Tate Forcier continues to put moves on defenses (I know it is the second-string, stay with me), Michigan's 2008 season may fade as quickly as we all want it to. We will know in just 101 days.