Nobody really knows before at least a few Saturdays in September what is really going on in college football. How do you predict results for rosters that exchange out 25% of their players on a year-to-year basis? You can't. And that's why the pre-season top 25 is never remotely close to the post-season top 25. That makes the pre-season the best time to be delusional. I'm usually pretty good at being delusional.
For the last few years you just closed your eyes and hoped for the best from the mad offensive genius that was Rich Rodriguez. He made things so difficult to predict, for the most part because he was not Lloyd Carr. Lloyd-era teams were a lay-up to prognosticate. Lloyd Carr teams should have won every game...but we always knew they wouldn't. They would always get caught once or twice trying to run out the game clock just after the half, and there were always one or two games where they came out bored and couldn't recover from the early momentum of opponents that spent the year thinking about beating Michigan. Mix in a less than 50-50 chance at bowl victory, and you've got yourself 2-4 losses. That's Michigan. Good news and/or bad news...the man referred to by EDSBS as Lloyd Carr holding a Matt Foley puppet is at the helm...yep, Lloyd's back.
The two-deep roster for Western Michigan hit the press with the customary "weekly release" from Fort Schembechler. I swear, each and every year I start the season thinking about how if everything goes perfectly, there's a way for us to win all of our games. You say "it's one in a million," and I say "so you're saying there's a chance." That's the Maize goggles I wear. But I've been staring at this sheet for a day now. And there are a lot of issues. Glaring issues. There are still walk-ons making an impact on this sheet. And while that's great for gym rat intra-mural champions everywhere, it actually means we have players on the team that got beat by a walk-on. Whether that's because of attrition or nutrition I don't really give a shit...because it's not because these guys are soooo good we had to give them a look. It's because we're sooooo bad, that warm bodies are a slight upgrade from putting 10 men on the field.
The special teams portion of the roster is "OR" ridden. I subscribe to the policy that if you don't have one kicker, then you don't have any kicker...and that seems to be the case here. According to Coach, Gibbons is apparently good from about 45-yards and closer, and we're going to give the nod to the Freshman if it's any further than that. I have a suggestion, anything further than 30-yards and we should be GOING FOR IT ON 4TH DOWN. When all else fails...I trust the Desmond-like smile of Denard.
Hagerup's suspension really screwed us. Practice reports say Wile is not ready for prime time, and I refer you to last year's Ohio State game (which we didn't lose BTW) to get an idea of what Seth Broekhuizen has going for him.
There's a 4-way "OR" for punt returner. That means we get to go through the growing pains of four different guys mis-playing punts. I still vote to rush eleven and let it roll. More yards for Denard.
Speaking of which, there's only two QBs on the roster thanks to Tate being mildly retarded, and I can't help but think back to last year when Denard started about twice as many games as he finished. So...Gardner is going to certainly see the field. If something were to happen to him we do what? Paging Jack Kennedy?
What did Odoms do? Is this punishment? He's basically the last receiver off of the bench. This is not boding well for Dreads-to-Dreads numbers.
**UPDATE** Odoms was wearing a bulkier protective device on his wrist at Tuesday's practice...so this looks like it's injury related. My bad.
Anyway, I see a lot of frustration ahead. None of this takes into account the fact that there is a completely new system on both sides of the ball, that the only thing that was worth watching last year (Denard) is now going to be handcuffed Pryor-style by Borges-ball, or that the defense is rocking the same personnel aside from two guys that are returning form injury (Jones & Wollfolk) and haven't been a part of a meaningful snap since 2009 (assuming that anything was meaningful in 2009).