by Robert Haddad
I'm sure it's not hard for most of you to see how people here at my office know I graduated from Michigan. And of course when I over hear them say something like "oh, ask Rob, he's a Michigan fan." I quickly snap and remind them "I'm not a fan! I paid for this shit." That usually helps them understand my true love affair. I'm invested in this thing. Fans are supportive observers to varying degrees, from maniacal to passive, I on the other hand am an investor. I'm looking for returns on my dollar.
So my co-workers that are actually familiar with the sport of college football, either those that went to a school with a football program, simply like the sport or gamble are curious as to my thoughts on the season. I had previously set the over under for wins at seven without a firm grasp of the schedule. But after further inspection six might be more realistic. There seem to be five win-able games, four tossups and three uphill battles. And although I haven't fully digested what's happening this year I'm eager and excited and enjoying the lack of pressure that normally accompanies the high expectations placed on our team. Which leads me to something so poignant that Coach Rodriguez said recently. It expresses a value that at times may have been publicly missing in the past from some of our teams. "I don't want them to expect to win, I want them to deserve to win."
This excites me. It gives me a belief, along with the various articles and posts exalting our new strength and conditioning program, that we're working our ass off this year. That we understand that we're behind the eight-ball before the season starts. But this predicament has created a variety of questions that rarely entered my mind in the previous 15 seasons I've been associated with. Will the lack of talent and experience on the offense create a divide between the defense and the offense? How will this play out? What is really appropriate to expect? Can our defense win games for us? Can our offense be efficient? Is it possible to be playing on January 1st? I know all the other spreads I like, will I like ours? So many questions...so little time. This seems to be the ultimate "two steps back one step forward" scenario. I'm hoping that one step forward is taken with our Timbos on, for there is stompin' in our future!