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There was a time in my life when a loss like the one the Irish dealt themselves in Ann Arbor today would have crushed me. I would have been worthless for at least a week. Then I did three tours in Iraq flying helicopters into unfriendly territory and my perspective on such things changed drastically. It was good for me. I say that only so that the 250 odd people that read this blog every day know where I'm coming from and how I got there. That said here we go...
I could go on and on about missed opportunities, mistakes the Irish made and poor calls from the officials. All of those elements were present. The horrible truth is that the Irish were the best team on the field in Ann Arbor today but still found a way to lose. I thought those days were behind us. I won't waste any time listing the litany of mistakes that the Irish made or talking about the numerous calls that were questionable. The only thing that matters now is how this team responds. Before the season started I predicted 10 wins. I thought the Irish would lose to USC plus one more to Michigan State/ BC/ Stanford. After today I think Michigan just might be better than those last three teams. Who is better is really inconsequential but I still think 10 wins is attainable. But the real issue is how will this team respond?
This team has a choice to make. When faced with adversity there are really only two responses. You either bounce back with resolve or you fold. I hesitate to make any predictions at this point as what happens from this point forward solely rests with the players themselves. Are we going to win 10 and go to the BCS or are we going to keep finding a way to lose? As spectators we can only wait and see. No level of analysis or prognostication can predict such things. This isn't a physical or schematic issue it's a mental one. And that mentality is only known by the players that step on the field. I sincerely hope this doesn't ignite a "Fire Charlie" sentiment. That would be the worst thing that could happen to this program at this stage.
We don't need to start over again we need to rally. What happened on the field today was the cumulative result of the players still not quite grasping the mental aspect of getting it done. This team needs to consolidate, remember and be better next week. Had the boys pulled this one out today it would have been a great growth experience, but they didn't. But it can still be a great growth experience. What happens next is up to the players themselves. Will they dust themselves off, and come back with some resolve or will the fold them up? There is no point in prognosticating. They either will or they won't. Someone smarter than me once said "All is not lost dude" and he was right. Let's do this.