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Published: Wednesday, 10/27/2010

End Zone: UM 10-28


Ask Ryan Autullo your University of Michigan football questions every Tuesday at 12 p.m. on ToledoBlade.com in the UT/UM football Web chat.

Tired of being asked questions about last season, Rich Rodriguez recently shared a poignant quote with media members about the uselessness of revisiting the past. As it goes, a lion, upon being hit in the head with a stick by a monkey, asks for an explanation. The monkey declines because “It doesn't matter. It's in the past.” The Lion King is pretty deep, eh?

With that in mind, let's look to the future of UM football. With five games to go, the Wolverines are not yet bowl eligible, and you know what? That's fine. This current two- game slide includes losses to a couple of pretty strong teams, and in Michigan State, a national title contender. In both cases UM played well in spots but ultimately proved it isn't ready to beat elite teams.

This “here we go again” mentality that has developed in the past few weeks is premature. I expect a win Saturday because, well, Penn State is lousy and because it won't be playing with a quarterback who is much better than UM's dreadful secondary. Moreover, the last time UM had a week off, in 2008, it responded with a surprise win over No.9 Wisconsin.

There's a reason Rodriguez doesn't enjoy talking about last year. It was memorable for all the wrong reasons. Rafiki, the monkey, says of the past, “The way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.” If the Wolverines don't learn from it, shame on them. But it's premature to say they won't.

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