It was a beat down. Not only was it a beat down in the Big House last Saturday, it was a beat down that was long, long, over due.
Iowa had beaten the Wolverines for three straight years. While that is an anomaly, it occurred. Once again, there are certain things that championship teams simply do not do.
Allowing teams to beat you consistently is one of those things. The Wolverines stepped-up and put an end to this annoying noise from Iowa City, which brings me to an important point.
While this year pales in comparison to last year in the win-loss column, there are some very important things that are occurring with this team, which is in transition and building.
This team is consistently doing what championship teams do—they win the crucial games that define the culture of a program. In the grander scheme of things this was much more important than beating Nebraska.
We will have many years to beat Nebraska like they are that big drum at Purdue. We needed to get back on track with Iowa, just like earlier in the year we needed to get back on track with Michigan State.
Not only that, we are demonstrating our flexibility as a team.
It is bad news about Denard’s nerve injury; it is good news about the new Gardner-Robinson triple threat package. Hats off to offensive coordinator Al Borges for figuring out a creative way to put Denard on the field, and keep Gardner doing what he does best—taking snaps under center.
It was tragic that Fitz Toussaint got hurt—but Vincent Smith and Thomas Rawls stepped up and did what needed to be done. This is what this Michigan team has done, consistently all year.
They have reinvented themselves, evolved and turned into a great team—and just in time because it’s Ohio week.
Now I’m going to talk about something else here for a second: Notre Dame.
After the demise of Kansas State and Oregon, Notre Dame is now number 1. How can that be?
The last time Notre Dame was #1, the movie Mrs. Doubtfire was just being released. Worse yet…we could’ve beaten Notre Dame—we should have beaten Notre Dame—but if a wolverine had wings he would not be a wolverine.
Bottom line we didn’t beat Notre Dame. They didn’t beat us—we beat ourselves—but bad games happen.
On another day in time, the outcome would have been much different, undoubtedly. None of that matters though. It is what it is. No matter what the ranking is, we know that we are better than Notre Dame.
We also know that it’s good for college football for Notre Dame to be good. And if it’s good for college football then it’s good for Michigan because we are the embodiment of the best that college football can be.
Now back to what really matters—Michigan football.
Saturday the game was in Ann Arbor. That is always bittersweet. The seniors on this team have been the embodiment of what being a Michigan Man is all about. Thank you guys for all of your dedication, discipline that has made me, and the legion of Michigan alums proud to say, “I too, am a Wolverine!” Good luck to all of you. Continue to be the leaders and best that you are. Continue to spread the Michigan Difference!
5th year seniors: Ricky Barnum, OL; Kenny Demens, LB; J.T. Floyd, CB; Paul Gyarmati, FB; Jack Kennedy, QB; Jordan Kovacs, S; Mike Kwiatkowski, TE; Elliott Mealer, OL; Brandon Moore, TE; Patrick Omameh, OL, Roy Roundtree WR; Floyd Simmons, S; Steve Wilson, CB
Fourth-Year Seniors Al Backey, CB; Nathan Brink, DT; Seth Broekhuizen, PK; Curt Graman, LS; William Campbell DT; Brandin Hawthorne, LB; Denard Robinson, QB; Craig Roh, DE; Vincent Smith, RB; Charlie Zeller, S… it has been both an honor and pleasure knowing you and cheering for you through the good times, the rough times, and the great times.