Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges says handling expectations in 2012 will be tough
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
During his first year as an offensive coordinator at Auburn in 2004, Borges helped the Tigers go 13-0.
The minute that season ended, the talk wasn't so much about how amazing the previous campaign was, but more about what the encore would be.
"When I was at Auburn, we started 13-0, which was absolutely awesome, 99.9 percent of it was great," Borges told Birmingham, Ala.'s Jox 94.5 FM on Thursday. "But there was the one percent that was like 'Oh my God, where do we go from here?' "
Michigan started the Brady Hoke era in 2011 with an 11-2 season and a BCS bowl victory to boot, accomplishments that went above and beyond all expectations entering the year.
Now, though, the heat's about to ramp up.
Several publications have picked the Wolverines to win the Big Ten in 2012. The Wolverines are a 2-to-1 favorite to win the league next season, according to betting site Bovada.com.
Bovada also pegs Michigan as a 20-to-1 favorite to win the national title.
Can Michigan find a way to quell those massive expectations next season? Borges says no, probably not.
"I don't know if it can be done, I don't know if you can, particularly when you start off 11-2," he said. "Here at Michigan, the expectations are high. And that's why you coach at these places. You'd rather have that than have the fans be apathetic.
"So you go out and you win every single game you can win and if it doesn't turn out, you go to the next game."
Borges' Auburn team wasn't able to recapture perfection in 2005, going 9-3 the next season, and eventually resigning after the 2007 campaign after multiple years of declining performance.
As for Michigan's 2012 season? Borges says he can't predict the future, and tempering white-hot expectations will be next to impossible.
But if anyone can do it, he says, it's Hoke.
"Brady does a fabulous job of keeping the team at an even keel," Borges said. "And trying desperately not to let your fanbase influence too much on how you think."