In the final two years of the Rich Rodriguez era, Michigan was known for starting strong and fading as the season progressed. The Wolverines went a combined 9-0 in 2009 and 2010 in games played Oct. 2 or earlier. In games Oct. 3 or later, Michigan was a dismal 3-13.â†µ
Even though Michigan is 3-0 this year, a lot of fans aren't buying that 2011 will be any different than the last two seasons. Many anticipate Michigan will come back to earth and struggle once the Big Ten season starts, especially after reading things like this (from former player Marcus Ray):â†µ
In 2009 Michigan beat Western by 24, ND by 4, & EMU by 28 to start the season. We just did it, again, to start 2011. No 5-7 this seasonâ†µ
5-7 certainly seems unlikely with winnable games against San Diego State, Minnesota and Northwestern on the schedule the next three weeks. Michigan could conceivably start the season 6-0 and go into the MSU game undefeated for the third year in a row. Of course, even if that does happen, what matters most is what Michigan does in East Lansing and throughout the rest of the Big Ten schedule. Michigan can prove this year will be different by following up a strong start with a win against the Spartans for the first time since 2007, although the Wolverines do have to worry about the Aztecs, Golden Gophers and Wildcats first.