Gut Check Time

The Wolverines are currently 1-2.  Stretching back to last season, the Wolverines lost 2 of their final 3 games of 2007.  That means the Wolverines have gone 2-4 in the last six games they have played.  The Wolverines have been here before.  In 1980, Michigan also started the season 1-2.  The Wolverines had finished the 1979 season on a three game losing streak meaning Michigan was 1-5 in the six game stretch encompassing the end of '79 and the begining of '80.  Things looked bleak. As legend has it, Coach Schembechler called team captain Andy Cannavino into his office and blasted him challenging him to step it up.  The Wolverines, led by the defense spearheaded by Cannavino, won the final eight (8) games of the season including Bo's first Rose Bowl victory.  The defense did not give up a touchdown for the last 22 quarters of the season and Coach Schembechler stated that Cannavino was probably the greatest captain he ever had.

For a more recent example of a Michigan team that had to overcome a difficult start, one need look no further than last season when the Wolverines started 0-2 including losing to Appalachian State, a Division I-AA (FCS) school.  Despite dropping the first two games of the season, Coach Carr challenged the team not to give up on the season and the Wolverines won the next eight (8) games.  Michigan went into the final game with OSU with an 8-3 record and an opportunity to win the Big Ten title with a win over the Buckeyes.  Although the Wolverines could not manage a victory against OSU, Michigan came up big in the Capital One Bowl vs. Florida as the Maize and Blue sent Coach Carr out with a stunning victory.

The 1980 and 2007 Wolverines were both able to overcome early difficulties and have great seasons as a result of the unyielding leadership of the teams' respective head coaches.  It remains to be seen if the 2008 Wolverines, led by first-year Head Coach Rich Rodriguez, will respond in similar fashion.  Let's hope so.  Go Blue!

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