There is nothing like the atmosphere on game day in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan. No matter who the opponent or the time of the game, the stadium is always packed and jumping. For the last few years they have led the NCAA in attendance with usually having almost or over 100,000 fans at the games. The atmosphere however, has been the only true exciting thing about this football program in about the last 10 years.
When I first became a Michigan fan, it was the 2007 season, when they had notable players such as Mario Manningham, Chad Henne, and Jake Long who would go on to be the number one draft pick the following year. The previous year before this, they lost in the Rose Bowl to USC. This first year of being a fan, the Wolverines would go on to win against a Tim Tebow led Florida Gators team, 41-35. As excited as I was for the future, expecting us to go up from here, boy would I be in for a rude awakening.
The following year, the head coach Lloyd Carr would go on to retire, bringing in a new coach, Rich Rodriguez. He wanted to implement a new spread offense, which most players were not on board with, and we lost most of our depth chart. Michigan would go on to fire Rodriguez in 2010, finishing with an overall record of 15-22, the worst record for a coach in the history of Michigan football.
You can only imagine my frustration as a fan. Those three years under Rodriguez was a nightmare. What didn’t we do? Beat rivals Michigan St and Ohio St. What did we do? Not win any bowl games (missed 2 out of 3) and get three years probation for practice time violations..
So now the 2011 season is about to begin and we have a new coach named Brady Hoke. As a fan I am hoping he will be able to get us back on the right track and make Michigan dominant again, especially on the defensive side. Under Rodriguez, it was the worst defense our school has ever had. The team can only go up from here right?
Indeed they did. In the first season under Hoke, Michigan finished the season 10-2, beating Ohio St for the first time in eight years. They would go on to beat Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl 23-20. I see future success on the rise!
Well… I was wrong again. Each record under Hoke got worse. After a 10-2 record the first year, we went 8-5, 7-6, and 5-7. They would go on to lose the next two bowls, including the bowl game against South Carolina, which we all remember the infamous Jadeveon Clowney hit on Vincent Smith (poor guy). In Hoke’s final year, they didn’t even make it to a bowl game.
It seems like every time I had high hopes for my team, I repeatedly kept getting let down. My best year as a fan was the first year I became one. I started to feel like I was the bad luck.
When it was announced that Jim Harbaugh was going to be the new head coach, I have never been so happy as a fan. I ran to my dad, who is also a big fan, and kept yelling, “We’re gonna be good again! We’re gonna be good again!” Pretty bold statement from me considering what I have been through so far as a fan. But, I knew he was a coach with a defensive mind and his name alone would help out with our recruiting process.
The first year under Jim Harbaugh, Michigan finished 10-3 and wold go on to win in the Citrus Bowl against 41-7. Good season, yes. But us Michigan fans know that the only thing we remember about that season was the debacle against Michigan St. I do not even want to talk about it if you do not know what happened, just click on the next paragraph and watch the video.
Michigan was looking like a high powered team overall and as a fan you could just see that better things were coming. The next two years Michigan would go 10-3 and 8-4, which was last year. Last year we just had injuries at the QB position which hurt us. But now they are back, as now they are ranked 5th in the nation. Hopefully they will be able to compete for a national title this year and quickly in the future.