Two years ago, an 8-4 record for Michigan, a winning record in the Big Ten and a New Year's Day bowl game would have been seen as a step in the right direction.
Brady Hoke's first season, though, raised expectations and now fans are left wondering what went wrong.
This season was supposed to be the year that Michigan took the big step forward, building on last year's BCS win over Virginia Tech and winning the Big Ten title. Or at least getting to the championship game. Instead, an oddly dysfunctional team will watch Nebraska play Wisconsin in Indianapolis on Saturday. Assuming the Cornhuskers beat the underdog Badgers, the Wolverines seem destined to face Heisman favorite Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M in the Capital One Bowl.
So what went wrong?
It started, as Hoke always says, up front. Despite the presence of All-Big Ten first-team Patrick Omameh and Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year Taylor Lewan, the offensive line never turned into the steamroller that Hoke expected. ...