Interesting article on this Tate Forcier guy who has just enrolled at Michigan.
Should be interesting to see if this guy wins the job right out of the gate at Michigan. If he is starting as a freshman, there are definitely going to be some growing pains. But if he is the real deal, I think Michigan will probably be a significantly better team next year by the end of the year. From an ND perspective, I'm glad we are getting them early next year. I think they are going to struggle again out of the gate and then probably start hitting their stride in the second half of the year. By 2010, I think Michigan will be competing for Big 10 championships again.
I think people are writing off the Rich Rodgriguez era a little too early. He has had a ton of bumps in the road so far, but you can see where that program is going. He has a couple duel threat QB options now, and he is recruiting a bunch of speedsters from Florida and the rest of the south. It's strange to think of Michigan as an Oregon type program that relies on speed, but look at what these offenses are doing around the country. Florida, Oregon, Oklahoma State, etc. If you can run that offense with the right parts, it is deadly. The key is to get the ball to your playmakers in space, and to have a quarterback who can run and throw. Michigan is starting to accumulate those players. They are still in transition, but I don't think the transition phase will last much longer.
Maybe I'll be wrong about Michigan and Rodriguez falls on his face another year before getting fired. Maybe he's their Tyrone Willingham. But I certainly wouldn't bet on it.
I'm actually surprised at all the Rodriguez bashers from the Michigan fanbase. What exactly has Michigan given up by going in a new direction with Rich Rod?? Look at their last seven years under Lloyd Carr:
2001 Michigan 8-4 6-2 2nd L Citrus Bowl
2002 Michigan 10-3 6-2 3rd W Outback Bowl
2003 Michigan 10-3 7-1 1st L Rose Bowl †
2004 Michigan 9-3 7-1 T-1st L Rose Bowl †
2005 Michigan 7-5 5-3 T-3rd L Alamo Bowl
2006 Michigan 11-2 7-1 T-2nd L Rose Bowl †
2007 Michigan 9-4 6-2 T-2nd W Capital One Bowl
In other words, he was a safe bet to go around 9-3 every year and lose a bowl game and lose to Ohio State. Those are some sort of glory years to cling to?? If they had stuck to hiring a typical "Michigan Man" who recruited the Midwest, they'd probably be staring at a series of 8-9 win seasons and bowl losses for the next decade. Instead, they went with a guy who is recruiting heavily in the south and is bringing a brand new style of offense to the Big 10. It's a gamble, but it's not like Michigan was in some incredible position when Lloyd Carr retired.
2009 is looking more and more like a critical year for Notre Dame football. Not only do we have Charlie Weis with his back against the wall, but I have a feeling that Michigan and Michigan State are going to both be forces to deal with in future years. Every year after 2009, we will probably be dealing with a rejuvenated Michigan, and we have Dantonio building things in East Lansing. We cannot afford to lose to Michigan next year. A loss to them next year while they are still in transition would probably signal that we are still stuck in the mud as a football program.