Found January 02, 2013 on Maize & Blue Nation:
Team 133 deserved better. They deserved to be able to go out with a win against a superior team on the road. They had taken their lumps from the Alabamas, the Notre Dames, the Nebraskas and the Ohio States of the world. Even with a win yesterday, 2012 would've never been remembered as a successful year for Michigan, but an Outback Bowl victory over a favored SEC squad would've help assuage some of the bitterness of a season lost to superior opponents. But the college football Gods don't work that way. As Brady Hoke said on his first day on the job in Ann Arbor, "Football is a tough man's game", and Michigan found that out yesterday for the 5th time this season. It's not that Michigan isn't a tough football team. They just played tougher teams who found ways to win. Michigan played the toughest teams in the land, and found out the hard way where they stand nationally compared to the best of the best. When it's all said and done, Michigan's 5 losses this season will come from teams with a combined record of 57-6. In the game of football, much as in life, you get what you deserve. Like when the refs clearly handed Michigan a first down it didn't earn, and then on the very next play, JaDeveon Clowney single-handedly took it back from Vincent Smith in the most awesomely brutal way possible. That's the football Gods making it right. That's when you know it's just not your day. Team 133 had it's flaws. Huge talent gaps on the depth chart, young kids playing everywhere. They had an offensive line held together with two good tackles and a mash of interior players never quite ready for prime time, despite the fact they were all seniors. And even though Devin Gardner finished the year the obvious starter at quarterback, it took a Denard injury and a Russell Bellomy flame out the following week to realize it. The defense was the star of the team. When Michigan had little to no signs of life on offense, it was the defense that kept them in games, whether they deserved to be in them or not. And make no mistake, the defense will only continue to get better as they get older/more experienced. And maybe that's the bigger narrative here. 2012 was all about gaining experience. Team 133's legacy could very well be defined as preparing Team 134, 135 and so on. At least I hope so. I hope those 5 losses still burn. Losses have become all too commonplace in Ann Arbor in recent years. 2011 was a season of many highs...a season of redemption in many ways. 2012 was be the season of harsh realizations. The realization that you can not simply coach your way out of the Rich Rodriguez era of smaller, faster, but ultimately undersized talent. Rich is a good football coach, but he decimated the depth chart for Brady Hoke. We saw the effects of that immediately, with so many young faces on both sides of the ball, especially defense. Expect more of that next year on offense...especially along the line. In all of Michigan's losses this year, it was painfully obvious that Michigan was out manned in many of the one-on-one matchups. That's where Michigan used to shine, but thanks to a few factors such as recruiting and coaching/scheme changes, Michigan's depth chart has been in a constant state of flux. Since 2007, they've struggled to get their footing. But slowly, it's coming back. Just not this year. Yes, Team 133 deserved better, but that's not how it works. You don't win simply because you deserve to, or because you feel like it's owed to you. You win when you realize that you're better than the guy across from you, and then you go prove it to him. Team 134's season starts today. window.dctile = Number(window.dctile) + 1 || 1; window.dc_ord = Number(window.dc_ord) || Math.floor(Math.random() * 1E10); if (dctile==1) {var vdcopt = 'ist';} else {vdcopt = '';} if (17>dctile) document.write('\n');

Hoke Reflects on Loss, the Future (w/video)

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Rawls' 63-yard TD run against Illinois in garbage time this season, was his career long, by far. Emailer Mike writes: Brad, no one, and I mean no one has said a word about Rawls not playing. Not you, not any of the other blogs, not the papers, not the radio, not TV, NO ONE! What gives? Well Mike, Thomas Rawls' absence from the Outback Bowl was not widely reported...

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Everyone in the country will get a free Outback item depending on which team wins

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Ace Sanders' punt return TD against Michigan

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After Michigan's 33-28 loss to South Carolina in the Outback Bowl, GoBlueWolverine's Sam Webb and Kyle Bogenschutz discuss the bravado the Gamecocks started the game with, big plays that ultimately doomed the Wolverines, and the use of Denard Robinson.

A South Carolina Gamecock player got kicked in the head by a Michigan punter and got a flag for it

Did you watch the Outback Bowl between the Michigan Wolverines and South Carolina Gamecocks? Did you see the most hilariously ironic penalty ever? If not, here it is. The Michigan punter kicked a USC Gamecock in the head that sent him to the turf. Guess who got flagged for this? The Gamecock and not the Wolverine. Yeah, that’s how messed up the rules are in college football.

One Last Time, #16

I was going to put my full effort into a preview of tomorrow's Outback Bowl, but when it really comes down to it, tomorrow feels more like an ending than anything else. The the most integral component of the Rich Rodriguez era, and the beginning of the Brady Hoke era, will play his last game for the Wolverines tomorrow afternoon. Rich's legacy at Michigan, for me anyway,...

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Outback Bowl game preview

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Michigan ran this fake field goal to perfection against USC in the Outback Bowl

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