Last year's miraculous 11-2 season was some part luck, some part players developing faster than expected, some part pure will--and all parts coaching. This Michigan staff did what really doesn't seem possible. After re-watching every one of last year's games, I came away thinking that Hoke and his staff had squeezed every single drop out of the season. To their credit, though, they have their own regrets. Borges, in particular, seems to take every bad play as a personal affront.
This year, national preseason predictions run hot, the Wolverines landing in most top twenty-fives (ESPN has U-M at number 8) and being a or the favorite to land in the Big Ten Championship game.
The best argument for such optimism is that the Wolverines have all-time icon Denard Robinson returning at QB. It is impossible to overrate what Denard means to this team (or community). He is our time's Benny Friedman or Tom Harmon, a player and personality we will not soon see again.
Whatever one might think of Rich Rodriguez, no one can deny that he gave Ann Arbor an impossibly wonderful present. Denard's field presence was apparent the moment he took his first snap against Notre Dame in 2009. He was nervous and fumbled the ball, and looked up to find himself surrounded by three or four Irish defenders. Within an instant, the defenders were snatching air and Denard, seemingly catapulted, was in the end zone. What! What did we just see?!