The Positive Implication Of Michigan-Alabama

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 01: T. J. Yeldon #4 of Alabama scores on a short run in the fourth quarter and celebrates with teammate Kelly Johnson during the game against Michigan at Cowboys Stadium on September 1, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. Alabama defeated Michigan 41-14. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

There was one tremendously positive thing that came out of last nights blowout-

Michigan now knows how far they have to go as a program.

This may sound like a small measure of consolation compared to the prime time smashing the Wolverines endured last night. But especially for a school like Michigan, flush with big 2011 victories and 2012 hype, this is an important lesson to pick up. Let me explain why-

2011 was the year where Michigan "came back" in so many ways: recruiting, beating OSU, a bowl win. The common refrain was that Michigan was "back". But being "back" now means something different after losing to Alabama.

If UM wants to have moved past the Rich Rod years, congratulations, that's been accomplished.

If UM wants to be a respectable B1G team, it seems that's been accomplished also.

But if the University of Michigan wants to be a Top Ten program, year in and year out, if Michigan wants to be able to go toe-to-toe with the USC's and Bama's of the world, if Michigan wants to truly be the "Michigan" that its fans and players believe they could be..

Well that's pretty far off.

And last night was one hell of an effective way to show a program just how much work needs to be put in by players and coaches to return Michigan to elite status.

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