Team preview: Michigan

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(All information as of June 20, 2007)


The demands can be excessive in Ann Arbor, the demanders excessively critical. But the Michigan Wolverines entered last season in full agreement with their fans. The 2005 campaign, with its 7-5 record and unranked finish, was unacceptable.

So with unprecedented angst swirling around Lloyd Carr's program, his team responded in 2006. The Wolverines won their first 11 games in dominating fashion, dictating with a defense that reminded some of Michigan's 1997 national title team. Another championship was in the Wolverines' sights … until they finished by yielding 74 points in their last two games, losses at Ohio State and to USC in the Rose Bowl.

So the angst returned, or at least some of it did. A tremendous season was marred by two sobering facts: Michigan has lost four straight bowl games; and Carr is now 1-5 against Ohio State coach Jim Tressel. The Wolverines' last win over their rivals came in 2003.
"Fair or unfair, it's the truth," Michigan running back Mike Hart said after his team's 32-18 loss to USC in the Rose Bowl. "As good as our careers have been so far, we haven't won a bowl game and we haven't beat Ohio State."