I want to apologize to anyone looking here for "healing" after the beat down we suffered on Saturday. My son is going away to college next year. One of the schools he is considering attending is LSU, so I took my son to the LSU/Auburn game so we could see the campus and experience the gameday atmosphere.
I did get to watch most of our game thanks to a very friendly group of LSU fans, a satellite dish mounted in a home depot bucket, and a 6:30CST kick off. If you are a college football junkie like myself, and you have never been to a game in Baton Rouge, I would strong suggest you do so.
When Michigan started the season with four straight wins -- everyone (including myself) was feeling euphoric. After the nightmare of 2008, we had returned to our rightful place amongst the top tier college football teams. The reality was something much different.
We lost to Sparty, but the feeling was still positive because we almost came back in miracle fashion and Tate was more than just an average exciting freshman. Then we lost to Iowa, but we could all still fell good, after all we lost to a top 10 team on the road by 2 points, and we turned the ball over 5 times. Even that was "respectable".
Things took a dramatic turn in the rain on Saturday. Before the season started, the Penn State game was not one I placed a "W" next to. Our fast start and improbable victory over Notre Dame had me believing this was a game we could have won. If a couple of things went our way, we could beat these guys. The thud you heard on saturday was Reality setting in.
It is time for a sanity check:
1) We are a very young football team. As such, there will be more mistakes, strange turnovers, bad decisions, and losses on the way.
2) We are a much better football team than last year. We have infinitely more talent playing at the quarterback position. Our offensive line is more experienced and more capable.
3) It is going to take some time to get back onto the national stage. There is no quick fix to this situation. Acting irrational or overly emotional will not help.
The goal at the start of the season was 6 WINS and a bowl invite. Looking at the schedule we realistically have a shot at winning the next 2 weeks. Neither of those games is a "gimme". If we are going to get to the 6 win mark and a bowl bid - we have to get one of the two.
Don't under estimate Illinois. I know they have looked terrible all year. I know Ron Zook is the village idiot. They still have a ton of athletes, they are playing at home, they have nothing to lose, and they kicked our asses last year. Expecting a win from our young team on the road is a risky proposition.
Purdue looks to be the most improving team week to week in the Big Ten. They took Notre Dame to the last minute and have already beaten Ohio State. Certainly not an automatic W.
The goal is still 6 wins. I still think we can get there. Anything more, don't count on it.