We're only three weeks away from the date that Marty McFly landed on when he traveled 30 years in to the future. And yes, using a time travel analogy is both easy and cheesy when it comes to what is happening around Ann Arbor. But it's too damn fitting. It couldn't have been more mid-90's in the Big House on Saturday.
Jim Harbaugh has done many things since arriving. His attitude and pedigree has brought a legitimacy and interest to the average press conference, and the smug way he allows all of the stupid questions make the person asking them look inept is both uncomfortable and refreshing. He has assembled a staff from which our next head coach could emerge. In 9 months, he has conditioned a group of men that most considered soft into a team that you don't want leaning on you in the 4th quarter. His appreciation for the past has changed our uniform colors and has Darth Vader reading our hype video script. But most importantly, Coach Harbaugh has very quickly made a group of fans feel like kids again. After a stress-induced rapid aging era of nearly a decade, Coach Harbaugh has provided 110,000 people access to the fountain of youth.
"Michigan is back" are three words that have been thrown around a few times in the last eight years...most of the time in relation to a decent performance in the pre-conference portion of the season, other times after a win over a rival that had our number for a few years prior. The paper thin success of the 2011 season that ended with a BCS bowl victory over The Goiter comes to mind as a time when "Michigan is back" was proudly uttered. Unfortunately, it was held together by dreads and prayers, and while RichRod detractors pounded their chests and exclaimed "I knew we'd be ok once we got rid of him!" those in the know knew that it would take more than a series of miraculously caught underthrown ducks and untied shoes to rebuild the program.
This is not that. And it's pretty clear that this is not the destination.
We've very quickly reached that point we all remember so well, back when we pined for more, wondering when we'd take that next step. And we've been dying to get here, just to be able to have a reasonable conversation about the program's future as opposed to wondering when the seemingly never-ending pain would end.
This season's improvement has become exponential. And while it's important to stay grounded and know that this trend is not sustainable, just seeing things change from game to game in this manner is something rare, not just in the recent past, but in the long, rich history of Michigan Football.
I'm pretty sure there are no long term plans to settle in to mediocrity. Certainly not in the mind of the absolute crazy man we hired to run this program.
Michigan's 31-0 victory over BYU is a great, signature, non-conference victory. And it would have been a great, signature, non-conference victory back in 2005, 1995, or 1985. These don't come around too often. Let's enjoy it.
Northwestern and Michigan State are looming, and this Saturday against Maryland on the road at night is clearly the trappiest of trap games. Coming out of the next three games at 2-1 would be sufficient, which makes a victory in College Park paramount. Fortunately, we are led now by a man that channels a man that cared only about Big Ten championships. So it's my assumption that the team will remain focused amid the hype of catapulting to #22 in the country and being on the tip of every talking head's tongue.
Everything is better when we win.