The Wolverine

October 2014

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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A MEDICAL PERSPECTIVE Dear The Wolverine: I used to talk to my football acquain- tances about the "MSU Syndrome," named by me because of my medi- cal perspective. Let me explain. The Michigan State University football team would beat up on MAC schools or other weaker teams (with the occa- sional surprise loss to Central Michi- gan) followed by the unexplainable frequent victory over Notre Dame in South Bend attaining a 4-0 or so start. The MSU followers and media would immediately predict the Spar- tans were in the mix for a possible Big Ten championship. Then October and November would arrive and MSU would struggle to earn six victories to qualify for a bowl bid. I dubbed the unwarranted early success enthusiasm followed by failure, the "MSU Syn- drome." Multiple coaches following Duffy Daugherty were hired, but with a few exceptions, one could count on that scenario playing out. They even hired Nick Saban, considered nowadays to be the premier coach in collegiate foot- ball. He had some success, but gener- ally lost the recruiting battles against Michigan's Lloyd Carr and left for LSU. Now it appears that MSU has a found a coach, a Saban protégé, who has a strategy for success. The "MSU Syndrome" is now on hold. Michigan is now in danger of fall- ing into the "MSU Syndrome" in 2014. Last year was an example of Michi- gan becoming guilty of the "MSU Syndrome." Too many of us failed to realize that the less-than-stellar per- formances against Akron and UConn foretold the scenario that would play out in the form of a subsequent 7-6 season. The MSU defeat was the eye- opener. The early part of the 2014 sched- ule looked to produce a 5-1 record by most forecasters. I mention this as a reminder to guard against enthusiasm that is predicted for a favorable start of this season. Many predict 9-3 or even 10-2 for our beloved Wolverines. We should be aware of the dreaded "MSU Syndrome" befalling us, should Michi- gan achieve a favorable start to the season. I have come to grasp a more real- istic understanding of the "That is why they play the game" philosophy. I would add that it is not a given this year that Michigan loses to MSU and/ or OSU. "That is why they play the game." I was present for the blocked field goal that sealed the victory for the other ASU in 2007 before they became NCAA football Division One program or whatever the division is now called. As a fan, I am more inclined to try to evaluate execution on the field. I un- derstand that there will be some luck involved that will affect the outcome of games, but most of the time supe- rior execution is rewarded by superior results. I like the cliché that says to take it one game at a time. That will be true whether the record is 4-1 or 1-4 or until the last game is played. I will not be guilty of participating in the "MSU Syndrome." A 5-1 start will be   FROM OUR READERS

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