The Revival of Michigan Football


Hussein Murray, Staff Writer

The roars of 109,000 anxious fans in the maize and blue can heard all throughout the Big House, as one of the most popular voices in movie history can be heard, with the sense of intimidation and intensity echoing in all of Ann Arbor.

“This,” says James Earl Jones, “is the University of Michigan.”

After waiting for a coach that could bring back the toughness Michigan football prides itself upon, the fan’s wait was finally over. Their symbol of hope, a 51 year-old man in khakis and a Michigan shirt, who has been away from the program since his days as a quarterback with former coach Bo Schembechler.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past months, college football fans know that Jim Harbaugh, a renowned coach by sports analysts, finally arrived at his home in Ann Arbor. The hype for his impact on the team and their performance is reaching monstrous levels, and it was the only thing ESPN would talk about for quite some time.

Former coach Brady Hoke, known for his soft personality, wasn’t the coach Michigan needed. On the other hand, Jim Harbaugh, known for his fiery personality, brings back the tough, blue collar football Michigan was known for.

Against Utah in his opener, there was a slight showing of improvement in the Wolverines, but not much, as transfer quarterback Jake Rudock threw three picks against the title-hungry Utes. The defense was decent, but not quite there yet.

The next week, Oregon State arrived in Ann Arbor for Harbaugh’s home opener. The first drive of the game, Oregon State marched effortlessly down the field and scored a touchdown.

Worried Michigan fans were afraid of another poor-mediocre year for the Wolverines. The next drive for Michigan resulted in a three and out, and the worry kept on growing.

Suddenly, it all clicked.

Michigan’s defense forced a fumble and recovered it, and for the first time in a long time, silent Michigan fans could holler again. Harbaugh’s time had come.

The end result of the game was a 35-7 throttling of the Oregon State Beavers. The story remained the same for UNLV.

As for BYU, Michigan faced its first true test of the season. Or so people thought.

BYU, coming off its miracle finish against Nebraska with a hail mary, was riding off tremendous momentum. But being in the ecstatic Big House against a hungry defense silenced the Cougars.

A 31-0 shutout marked Michigan’s first shutout victory since 2003. The next week, Maryland experienced a similar fate.

The very next week, Michigan would face 13 ranked Northwestern. Michigan owned the game from the opening kickoff, scoring off a kick return. The result? A third consecutive shutout, the first time since 1980 that feat was accomplished.

Now, the defense is ranked one of the top in the country, as Michigan boasts an intimidating defensive line, and one of the best secondaries in the country. The running game is much more improved. Michigan is competitive once again, and the defense is more intimidating than ever.

While a college football playoff selection is almost completely out of the question, Michigan definitely has the opportunity to play spoiler this year.

When they play Michigan State and Ohio State, Harbaugh is going to bring his best out of the football team. I’m not going to say that Michigan is bound to win one of these games. However, I wouldn’t count out Michigan against almost anyone in the country at this point.

Under Rodriguez and Hoke, Michigan wasn’t looking too good against their rivals. After being routed by both the Spartans and Buckeyes, things needed to change. Fast.

Without a doubt, Harbaugh was the guy to hire. His personality goes with Michigan like peanut butter and jelly.

Statistics even show that Harbaugh is phenomenal at improving programs. Take Stanford, for example, and they turned into perennial Rose Bowl contenders for quite a time.

In the bay area, the San Francisco 49ers were NFC champions with Harbaugh. Before? At the bottom of the NFL.

Michigan’s recovery process has been smooth so far. It almost seems like Harbaugh’s coaching is taking a huge step forward in the promising future for this Wolverine squad.

In Ann Arbor, the fans have been crazier than ever. The Maize Rage isn’t an anger, it is a fire and passion to get back to winning once again.

This is the University of Michigan. This is the revival of Michigan football.