As the first quarter came to an end, and the usher came over and gave me a warning that I was going to have to leave if I continued to bellow out f-bombs, the game had already long since been over. This was not a day where you could pretend to be in the hunt for three and a half quarters and then turn Denard loose for the 1:30 to try to sneak away with a win. This was not Notre Dame. This was not the Big Ten. This was not Virginia Tech. This was the defending national champions.
Those who continue to chastise RichRod for not creating an offense for the players that remained from Lloyd's tenure and praise Al Borges for letting Denard's talent dictate some of the gameplan need to check themselves. We chose to move forward with the shoehorning of Denard into the mold of a passing quarterback. From the not-so-cheap seats, I watched as he tried to throw the football, and let me leave no doubt on what my opinion is....Denard Robinson is easily the worst passing quarterback that has ever played at Michigan. He had a decent amount of time to make passes. He had open receivers. But unfortunately, he refuses to throw the ball without his little backwards hop-step. Back-footed. Inaccurate. The one and only throw from Denard's hand that truly hit the numbers hit the #32 of Alabama linebacker CJ Mosley.
Michigan had a very slim chance of winning on September 1st, but every bit of that chance resided in the abilities of Denard to be Denard, to find some holes, get into the open, and be the direct-snap running back that he truly is. We chose to not waiver from our goal of winning the Big Ten, save Denard from himself and from injury, and in turn literally chose not to compete in this game. Unfortunately, the powers that be must not understand the damage that was done on Saturday, and the unique opportunity we had to plant a flag for Michigan in the college football landscape. And the bitch of it is....we didn't even have to win. We needed only to NOT get blown out.
Of course, we now will have the typical Michigan recovery period. Denard will have some kind of huge game on Saturday against Air Force, and we will pretend all is right with THE world.... unfortunately, it will only be alright in OUR world. On a good note, I think this loss and the way we lost maybe increases our chances to beat Notre Dame. We might even carry this fake chip on our shoulder through the MSU game. And fear not, it won't be long before we're overrated again. Because we play in the Big Ten. We're built for the Big Ten. And our goal is the Big Ten. We might even get ourselves so overrated that we can meet an SEC team in a Bowl Game! That way, we can get knocked back down to Earth on New Year's and have something to work on for the Spring! And the cycle continues....
As long as we stay in this little cocoon of ours, we can continue to pretend we're relevant to the world. But we're not. We were the punchline again Saturday, and just in case ESPN didn't remind you enough....we were the punchline on the five-year anniversary of the day the world laughed at us hardest.