It was a slow day,
And the sun was beating
On the soldiers by the side of the road,
There was a bright light,
A shattering of shop windows
The bomb in the baby carriage
Was wired to the radio,
These are the days of miracle and wonder,
This is the long distance call,
The way the camera follows us in slo-mo
The way we look to us all,
The way we look to a distant constellation
That's dying in a corner of the sky,
These are the days of miracle and wonder
And don't cry baby don't cry
- Paul Simon; The Boy in the Bubble
The curse of expectations finally caught up to Michigan today. You see; when this season started, we all kind of thought that 7-5 might be a realistic expectation. Then we won, and kept winning, and just like last season we bought into it; ignoring the metrics lurking just under a 5-0 record. We beat Uconn, then Uconn lost and kept losing, and lost to Rutgers last night, and you know maybe they're not very good. We beat Notre Dame, who lost, and kept losing until turning it around against a bad Boston College team. We beat Umass, but barely - but don't worry! It's just an off game; nevermind that Umass is an FCS team. Then we smoked BGSU and went to Bloomington and barely squeeked through a game against Indiana. And just like that, expectations were sky high again. That's how quick it can be - don't look at the smoke and mirrors, just look at Denard Robinson and know that everything is going to be alright.
Michigan fans have been aching for a savior these past few years. Denard Robinson, with flash and bang and a smile that goes on for days, was that savior. Is that savior. I'm still convinced, foolishly maybe. At least foolishly for my sanity. When Michigan State came in this week, with the media hawking how this would be the best defense Michigan has faced, we scoffed. I scoffed. Nobody was stopping Denard. But they did. To Michigan State's ever lasting credit, they stopped him cold. And you can point to mistakes in the redzone, or drops by Michigan receivers, or poor execution, but to suggest that Michigan State didn't have something to do with it is ignorance.
The myth is over. Denard Robinson is a very good football player, but he's not unstoppable, and just as I wrote that Greg Jones can't be 11 people, neither can Denard Robinson. I was remiss not to mention that. To make matters worse, our savior was just exposed by our in state rival with the most awesomely brahsome fans out there. And I know that some MSU internetz fanz will likely read this as some sort of thing to take a unique schatenfraud in, but that's not how it's meant to be taken. The exposure - the crushing exposure - comes not necessarily from the loss, but rather from the ungodly high expectations that we set for a young team with no defense: expectations that could never be met.
Now, for the third year in a row, we've lost to Michigan State; this time it wasn't close. We haven't beaten Ohio State in a billion years. We haven't won a Big Ten game against anybody not named Indiana in over a year. What right did we have to set our expectations so high? Michigan fans were caught. We were caught looking at the dazzling constellations dying in the corner of the sky when we should have been looking at the bomb in the baby carriage. Now, just maybe, we can all acknowledge that bomb, and move forward accordingly. This team, for all the 5-0 hype, might still be that 7-5 team we all thought they were. We're certainly not ready to contend for a championship.