Is Lloyd Carr under pressure for success next year? Yes. But that ends my agreement with Joseph Litman in his viewpoint, Conservative Carr ‘officially on the clock’ (01/08/03). With the amount of impact players returning, another three or four loss season will be unacceptable and only then will Lloyd Carr’s grace period come to a close. Lloyd Carr won a national championship here. He isn’t on any kind of clock after sustaining the “Henson Years” and he further insured Big Ten-style football dominating the bowl games this year.

Drew Henson is the single largest detriment to the Michigan program in recent history. Henson started his tenure by encouraging the coaches not to recruit other quarterbacks or else he would go play for the Yankees, then he whined about playing time and forced the coaches to let him split time with eventual Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady or else he would go play for the Yankees. Since the coaches hadn’t recruited any quarterback talent and Henson was supposedly some kind of a savior they somewhat gave in to his demands. The next year Henson leads a ridiculously talented team to a three loss season and left our program shortly after to … you guessed it … play for the Yankees. As a result, the following year John Navarre was thrust into a situation that he wasn’t ready for and relied too heavily on his only proven offensive weapon, Marquise Walker. This past year we finally emerged from Henson’s lingering stench as dynamic stars emerged (Chris Perry and Braylon Edwards) and John Navarre developed into a dependable leader.

Carr will lead this team to glory next year using his proven methodology. The Big Ten was the strongest conference this year. People underestimate the effects of time of possession and the wearing-down that the Big Ten style of football has on opponents.

Ohio State won its overtime championship game against Miami by physically beating the team down for 60 minutes and negating any shred of a running game. Contrary to Litman’s viewpoint, brawn beat speed. OSU’s defense and special teams caused turnovers which were instrumental in the Buckeyes’ victory. I was rooting for Ohio State in the title game and I am not afraid to admit it. They beat us, therefore they deserve respect. Was I supposed to root for the team of brash punks that plays for Miami?

Litman claimed “out with Schembechler and in with Spurrier; run it up, don’t grind it out; speed beats speed, brawn does not.” In the Outback Bowl, we abandoned the Big Ten philosophy and narrowly won a shootout against Florida. Perhaps we didn’t have the defensive presence to play conservative football. We didn’t play conservative for most of the year. We throw more now than we ever have, but the old adage still holds: defense wins championships. Ohio State had a solid defense, so they won a championship. We didn’t have a solid defense, so we didn’t win big.

Contrary to Litman, Lloyd Carr does not “settle for mediocre efforts.” Carr is expected to amass a contender next year and that he will do. We will finally show up next year and Wolverine fans will again adore Carr and his blue hat with the obscenely large block “M.” He will win with a bruising style of football that will make us proud to be Wolverine football fans. I feel bad for you seniors who had to endure the last four seasons of mediocrity, but keep hope alive, better days are definitely ahead.

Clarahan is an Engineering junior.

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