Like a gal walking into a room with a group of her friends knowing the guy she’s dating is cheating on her, it’s probably time to be honest.
Monday’s the day for Michigan football. It’s better for everyone to move on. Interim athletic director Jim Hackett has already said that’s not going to be the case. But it should.
Michigan lost again, on Senior Day, and with it, lost a chance to clinch bowl eligibility for its seniors. While it’s easy to say, “this is rock bottom, Michigan just trying to celebrate about being able to get in a bowl game,” it’s an important thing, because you don’t get these years back.
That said, Monday is time to move on. It’s time to make the Brady Hoke regime exiting a public thing.
There’s no real white elephant in the room. Michigan’s staff has known the upheaval is coming, so by domino effect, so do the players. Interim athletic director or not, it’s not “if,” but “when.”
Monday just seems like a good day to rip the band aid off after yet another horrid performance on the sidelines and a fairly marginal one on the field. Again. To go 5-6. When Michigan’s defense basically had to be par for the course as it had been all year, the Wolverines started shanking balls into the woods like they’d downed a fifth of Ron Rico prior to tee time.
In the second half, with Michigan facing a fourth and long and facing the choices of a 49-yard field goal (3 for 3 at the time), a pooch punt to try and pin Maryland deep, or going for it and hoping you have enough pixie dust to get about 7 yards, Michigan opted for the latter out of a timeout.
It didn’t work, not in a cascading cold rain that seemed to only hit the hands of one Devin Funchess as if there was a cloud following him around. Either way, the ball was incomplete; Maryland took over; Maryland scored; The end was nigh.
With 14 seconds left in the first half, with Michigan down three having basically lain on the ball to get into the locker room but accidentally stumbling into a few pretty Drake Johnson runs to field goal range, Michigan nearly wasted all of the remaining time. It would have squandered everything, save for a miracle catch by tight end Jake Butt, who fell out of bounds with a second left.
Listen, Brady Hoke has done a lot of great things at Michigan, and he’s done everything with his heart and his soul in Maize and Blue. No one can ever say the guy wasn’t all in. But just like the press conference explaining the fourth down decision, just like countless others like it, sometimes, you have to have better answers than just “believing in our guys.”
It sounds good, but it doesn’t cross the line individually. You might have believed in those guys, but you also could have believed in your kicker to boot another one or your punter to pin it deep.
Hoke gave what he had to Michigan, sometimes at the expense of his own moral desires. You chase wins hard enough, the cost is immense. Hoke will probably succeed wherever he goes from here, and on this end, I certainly hope so.
But it’s time to move onto the next phase for Michigan, and the time to publicly do it is Monday. “Evaluation” after the season has become as cliche as “we didn’t execute tonight.”
Rally around the troops for one more Saturday, The Game, the one to define all of the rest. That whole “win one for the gipper” worked for Lloyd Carr. Not saying it does here, nor am I saying that’s the reason you move on publicly.
It’s time to let everyone come to work, to practice, to the office without having clouds over them. Consider it a favor. Hail to the Honest.