The Wolverine

November 2014

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 11 of 161

A decade ago, the notion of Michi- gan football battling to avoid missing a bowl game sounded as foreign as an Ebola scare on U.S. soil. Unthinkable. Impossible. The Wolverines were coming off consecutive Rose Bowls, on their way to 33 straight bowl games, bringing in NFL talent, and it all couldn't possibly derail. They'd just execute a perfect handoff when Lloyd Carr figured he'd had enough, and the train would rumble on and on. That handoff hit the shoulder pads, not the breadbasket, and squirted away, greased with poor fit, politics and a paralyzing shift in styles. Three years later, the Wolverines shifted gears again, trying to go back to the future. For a year, it appeared to work magi- cally. Brady Hoke's crew started off 11- 2, snapped a maddening losing streak to Ohio State, won the Sugar Bowl and played defense. Michigan, as in "This is Michigan," was back. Not so fast, my football-fantasizing friend. Hoke knew the real rebuild had only begun. Doug Skene, Michigan offensive lineman from 1988-92 and bearer of five Big Ten championship rings, under- stood the same. "Fans think, 'We went 11-2. We're just going to keep on rolling!' No you're not," Skene said. "You had significant player changes going on, in this team. On top of that, you've got the philo- sophical football changes Brady wanted to make on offense." Skene recalled the words of coach Bill Parcells, from his time with the New England Patriots. Parcells knew there weren't any guarantees. "He'd always say: 'I don't care what you did last year as an individual, or WOLVERINE WATCH   JOHN BORTON U-M Football Still Trying To Find Its Way The Wolverines are still in the process of rebuilding in year four under Brady Hoke. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - November 2014