George W. Bush was president, Mark Zuckerberg had just launched a new social networking site called “Facebook”, and Lloyd Carr was leading Michigan to a Big Ten Championship.
But little did Michigan fans know that still in the year 2020, that the championship won in 2004 would be the program’s lone title of the new century.
Despite the program hiring QB guru Jim Harbaugh, and bringing in multiple top ten recruiting classes, Michigan has still not been able to get back to Indianapolis, let alone win the game.
The phrase “this is our year” has been used countless times in fan-to-fan encounters, and even more so on social media. But could one of these next five seasons actually be Michigan’s year?
The answer is an emphatic yes.
Sure, at this moment in time Ohio State is peaking as a program and arguably has more talent than any other team in America. And let’s not even mention their 2021 recruiting class, but that won’t stop Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines from winning their first Big Ten Championship in potentially two decades.
The road to Indianapolis goes through Columbus. Michigan will need to beat the Buckeyes if it wants to play for a title.
Let’s flashback to 2016 for a moment. Michigan had an elite defense, and pretty good weapons on the offensive side of the ball, but it was lacking quality at the most important position in football. However, for the next five years Michigan will have great QB play from (hopefully) Joe Milton, and his successor, J.J. McCarthy, who in the minds of Wolverine fans is the second coming of Christ.
Michigan will have the offensive firepower to keep up with the Buckeyes. Milton (again, hopefully) and McCarthy slinging passes to guys like Mike Sainristil, Giles Jackson, Markus Allen, Cornelius Johnson, and Roman Wilson behind a great offensive line coached by Ed Warriner will be one of the best offenses in the country.
The defense could become a concern, but Michigan will be good enough on defense to keep teams accountable and not look like Oklahoma or any other Big 12 team.
One late November evening in the near future, Michigan fans will be rejoicing over a hard-fought victory over Ohio State and later that week will be traveling to Indianapolis to watch the Wolverines secure their first Big Ten Championship since 2004.