LIFE AFTER KITNA

     It's hard to imagine the Lions going 0-16-- but now without veteran quarterback their fate is in the hands of untested players-- Dan Orlovsky, Drew Stanton and Drew Henson.  What are the chances of the Lions winning a game now?  They play at 1-4 Houston on Sunday and with a healthy Kitna in the lineup I thought they had a chance.  Now I'm not so sure.  Assuming Orlovsky starts again he needs to fire up the production way beyond what we saw in his debut at Minnesota this past Sunday.

     Former Lions coach Wayne Fontes told me today he regrets not having a better quarterback during his tenure.  Fontes had a 67-71 record, the most wins and losses every by a Lions coach.  Fontes said he always asked himself watching the games if his quarterback on the field could take the Lions to the Super Bowl.  None of them could in his mind but he always thought he might have pulled them from games prematurely.  But he's right-- without a quarterback a team's hopes are fruitless.

     Will Michigan win a game?  The next six don't look easy.  If you think the Wolverines are a punch line at the moment, give it all six more weeks.  A 2-10 record will drive the faithful crazy beyond what they can ever imagine.  Rich Rodriguez dug himself a hole with his offensive changes and no quarterback to run his scheme.  Michigan has all of its Big Ten road games remaining-- Penn State, Ohio State, Purdue and Minnesota.  The two home games might afford the best chance, whatever they are-- Michigan State and Northwestern.  I see the Big Ten with eight bowl eligible teams-- Indiana, Purdue and Michigan won't make it.  Michigan has the nation's current longest bowl participating streak-- 33 years and Florida State is second at 26.  But that streak is in big time jeopardy.

     I think Penn State is the best Big Ten team, with Ohio State second and Michigan State third.  Those teams will vie for the title and the Rose Bowl and Penn State can play for the national title if it runs the table and ends the regular season with a November 22nd win at home over Michigan State.

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