Goodbye questions, hello answers

Posted on Posted in Michigan Football

It’s Monday and the boys in Maize and Blue are out of their bye week and back into normal game preparation and flow as they get ready for Minnesota coming into town this Saturday.  We’ve all heard the catchphrases and adages about how a bye week is supposed to be good for a team, how it helps prepare them for the next game much more so than the standard six day break.  But does it actually help?

I looked at Michigan’s record since the 2000 season of how they’ve performed after a bye week. Eight times it has resulted in a victory, two losses, and three times where they didn’t have a bye week (one of those was 2009 and if they’d had a bye week it’s sad to say it would have probably been followed up by a loss that year).  Not conclusive evidence but I’ll take it over the opposite result.

So what does it mean?  Is a week off just a week off or is it an opportunity to take a step forward?  I don’t fully prescribe to the idea that an extra week is going to create an advantage for scheming up for a team like the month between a conference championship and a bowl game does, but I do think it has its advantages…

1: STUDY ‘N FIX.  “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  There are now four games of film that the coaches and players can dissect and then take to the practice field and get straight before their next game.  The talent level on the lines is there, but so are missed assignments and blown play.  Good coaching is going to fix a lot of that and Saturday should be a good opportunity to see where this team and coaches is.  Minnesota is not Akron and can’t be treated like a doormat.

2: GET HEALTHY.  Even though the injury bug has been primarily MIA, bumps and bruises will accumulate over the course of the season and a week off will help.  Even if he’s not starting, I’m hoping that Chris Bryant makes it onto the field on Saturday and starts to insert his name into the mix for guard.  Hoke mentioned in his presser today that Green’s been performing well and it’d be great to see him out on the field looking like the five star he came in as.  They don’t need to start, just push the competition to the next level which is only going to produce better play on the field.

3: GETTING YOUR HEAD RIGHT.  This one is a caveat off of the first point.  There are a lot of young’uns playing and it takes time to get the college game figured out.  Hopefully the playbook is being figured out by the Chesson’s, the Kalis’s, the Lewis’s of the team and there’s going to be some leaps and bounds taken by them over the next couple weeks.  The team’s face may be Gardner and Gallon, but it is going to go the furthest when it gets production from some of the stars of tomorrow.

4: FOCUS.  Two games happened that didn’t happen the way the team or the coaching staff (not to mention the fans) wanted them to.   I think that most of the reasons of why that happened are fixable and it shouldn’t take long to find out if the team has figured out not only what kind of car they want to be but also where the gas pedal is.  Now they just have to mash that thing down and burn some rubber.

B1G football is about to begin and if there is any hope of hitting nine wins this year corrections are going to have be made.  MSU has shown that defense can keep you in a game, but you need more than just a defense to be nationally elite.

So let’s say goodbye to the bye week.  Let’s say goodbye to struggles and woes that we’ve encountered from the stands or our couches the last couple weeks.  Let’s say goodbye to questions. Instead, let’s start saying hello answers.  Say hello to pleasant surprises and turned corners.  Say hello to football returning to the Big House and to continued success coming out of a bye week.

Derek Devine
Institutional voice of Alma College during the day, Michigan fanatic at night. Taking TBHR to the next level one post at a time.