I suppose the smoke actually started immediately following the Denard Robinson coming out party against Uconn. Tate Forcier, who had been publicly called out by Senior Troy Woolfolk and publicly stripped of his wings during Spring Practice, put it succinctly:
"All you need to know is I’m out."
Given the media's general penchant for parsing meaning out of words, and the Internet's obsession with it, rumors swirled that Forcier would be seeking a transfer after it became clear that Denard was going to be the focal point of the offense. Forcier later qualified his statement, saying that he was out of the game, not out at Michigan. Throughout the season, he played some significant minutes as Denard got banged around, but all you needed to do was look on the field when Denard was out there to know that Forcier's days as a starting quarterback were over.
And lo, it became so. After missing the bowl game due to academic ineligibility, Forcier tweeted his transfer intentions in the weirdest "press release" ever, and fulfilled his familial destiny. He will be a student at Miami (YTM) next year, sitting on the sideline for a year, then compete for the starting job in 2012.
Just because Forcier is gone doesn't mean that he didn't give us some spectacular moments during his tenure at Michigan. Remember, this young man came into the program at it's absolute 3 win season nadir and injected a bit of life and magic that made people excited again. He was asked to start as an undersized true freshman, battled through injury, and gave his guts to the program (just not to class...). I don't begrudge him one bit for seeking playing time, and most have wished him luck in his transfer. Being passed by a singular talent in Denard Robinson is nothing to worry about.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the top-5 Tate Forcier moments while he was in Maize in Blue.
Number 5: Tate Forcier Makes his Debut
This was Tate Forcier's first game as a Wolverine, and the first time since Chad Henne that a Michigan Quarterback dropped back to pass and a collective groan wasn't heard even before the ball fluttered gently into the nestling arms of the opposition. While Denard's run may have stole the show, having a quarterback who could actually throw the ball had us all in giddy tears.
Number 4: Forcier Flips into Endzone against Indiana
The 2009 game against Indiana would ultimately come down to a late interception by Donovan Warren, and was a back and forth affair that Bill Lynch's gum never recovered from. Michigan would ultimately win this game 36-33. Tate's leaping touchdown let Michigan hold serve while being bombed away by Indiana.
Number 3: Forcier Forces Overtime against Michigan State 2009
**Start at minute 2:53 for the two play sequence to force overtime
Against Michigan State in 2009, Tate Forcier led a comeback to get to overtime with the tying touchdown coming with 8 seconds remaining in regulation. While he also threw the pick that sealed the victory for the Spartans, Michigan isn't even in this game without these two spectacular plays in the 4th quarter.
Number 2: Forcier leads Michigan to 67-65 victory over Illinois, replacing injured Denard Robinson
Forcier's most significant action in 2010 came in this overtime win against Illinois, where he came into the game, replacing the injured Denard Robinson, and successfully led the Wolverines through the end of regulation, and into the craziest overtime Ann Arbor had ever seen. In the process he nearly killed sideline reporter Don Shane, leading to this awesome post-game interview.
Number 1: We'll Always have Notre Dame
4th quarter. 4th and 3. Notre Dame. Tate Forcier puts it away. Best of luck at Miami Tate - we'll always have Notre Dame.
Anybody else have some favorite Tate moments?