WELL, THAT'S THAT. Michigan ended its disappointing college football season with a disappointing loss to the evil Ohio State Buckeyes, marking the sixth such Michigan loss in the last seven games between the two squads. While the Michigan Wolverines will still go to a bowl game this year, it will undoubtedly be an ugly game. Barring some kind of miracle, Michigan will probably go to the Capital One Bowl, and meet a powerful team from the Southeastern Conference. The way the Wolverines have played in big games this year, the as-yet undetermined but still hated SEC squad will crush us mercilessly.
There's been talk this will be Lloyd Carr's last year as Michigan's football coach, and I can only pray to God that will be the case. During the game, Musburger and Herbstreit were going on about how Michigan fans should look at Carr's "whole body of work" over the past ten years or so. However, for most of the past several years, Carr's work has been a disappointment. His continued failure to beat Ohio State and win big bowl games are perhaps the most telling highlights of his recent coaching career, and one can only hope he will see the writing on the wall and retire. If he does not retire he should be cashiered. It is not going to get any better with him as the boss.
While the coaches certainly can be blamed for their stupid play calling and general ineptitude over the years, there is no denying Michigan's players did not stand up to the task before them today. Henne at least had an excuse: a separated shoulder. Hart at least had an excuse: the ankle problem. But the miserable failure of other players -- such as Mario Manningham, who suddenly forgot how to catch a football -- to perform up to par cannot be excused. They blew it. Some of them blew it for the fourth year in a row. I can appreciate Musburger and Herbstreit's charity, but college football at Michigan is not a realm where one should expect to receive it. I mean, it says something when you look at Michigan's play and one can make a case for punter Zoltan Mesko to be Michigan's most valuable player.
That said, it is hard to blame the defense for falling down on the job; they did the best they could, and they only gave up 14 points to the Buckeyes. It was the craptacular play of the offense that was truly hideous. The Wolverines' offense was lucky to clear 100 yards of offense during the game, Henne's completion percentage was awful and our offensive line got their heads handed to them.
One can only hope Michigan -- with a new coach, a new recruiting class and a clean slate -- can perform better in 2008 than they did this year. It was only two years ago they went 7-5 -- an appalling performance for a Michigan squad -- and this year they turned in an 8-4 performance in a season that was stillborn, thanks to the Appalachian State loss. So stick a fork in this season and let's get ready for the next one, because the sooner I can forget this disaster of a year the better.Posted by Benjamin Kepple at November 17, 2007 03:46 PM | TrackBack