As you probably know if you have read this blog much I am a diehard Michigan fan – the kind that bleeds maize and blue.Given that you’ll have a sense of how much I have enjoyed the last year or two of football, and the last decade of basketball. I’m optimistic now, though – In Rod I trust. The being said, the press conference by coach Rich Rodriguez today pretty much terrified me.
If you haven’t been keeping track, Michigan’s biggest problem right now is quarterback – i.e. they really don’t have one. They were spoiled by four good years from Chad Henne, but he’s now in his second year as backup with the Dolphins, and a void was left in his stead. Uber frosh Ryan Mallett was supposed to be the answer as a sophomore last year, but he made a knee jerk reaction and left as soon as Rodriguez was hired because he didn’t think he fit in with the system. Now he’s at Arkansas and about to be eligible again. Last year we made due with Nick Sheridan and David Cone mostly, but it was more than ugly. That was to be expected – they hadn’t been recruited by Rodriguez, and they just weren’t suited to his system.
This year Sheridan is still around, and he is being challenged by two true freshman – early enrollee Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson. Forcier is the brother of former Michigan and Stanford QB Jason, and he’s an impressive all-round talent – the likely long term starter from the group. Robinson is an athletic freak with a weird habit – he hasn’t tied up his cleats since he was seven years old. He just tapes his ankles and flops around in his loose shoes. I don’t know what the point is, but it clearly works for him – he’s a speedster. Sheridan isn’t the most overwhelming talent, but he has the advantage of experience and age, and will be a factor.
Sounds good, right? There is certainly enough there to win well more than the three games we won last year. So why am I terrified. Well, RichRod unveiled his QB for the season opener – he doesn’t have one. Or rather, he has three. Rodriguez intends to give all three players significant playing time. That doesn’t concern me in that game that much – it’s only Western Michigan. What does concern me, though, is that Notre Dame is up in week two. I have no respect at all for the Irish, and I want to beat them senseless. I won’t feel as comfortable in that, though, if we have yet to make a QB decision. I don’t think you can QB by committee against legitimate teams. Scary stuff.
All that being said, I still think we will win 8 or 9 games this year. And I am totally sober as I write this.