According to Graham Watson's blog, what started out as a contextual quote by backup quarterback Devin Gardner in regards to Robinson's speed became a national question of intrigue, which I find to be utterly ridiculous.
The last time I checked, Robinson was the starting quarterback for the No. 6-ranked team in the country. We're less than three weeks away from the start of the season and Robinson decides to engage himself in this? Trying to compare a high school or college player's track time to that of an Olympic athlete is a complete waste of time. I read all these other blogs and columns that are trying to make this a fun side story. To me, however, it shows a lack of focus. Michigan fans should be very concerned.
Michigan's first game of the season is against Alabama. You know who else could possibly beat Bolt in an Olympic-style foot race? The Alabama defense, arguably the fastest defense in college football. Quite frankly, I already don't like Michigan's chances against the defending national champions. Don't worry about a race against Bolt, which is hypothetical. Worry, instead, about Alabama on Sept. 1, which is imminent.
It starts with coaching. I hope by now that Brady Hoke has reeled this thing in and has the team focused again. Because I can guarantee you that Alabama coach Nick Saban has his guys ready. Saban routinely recruits and produces the fastest lineman and corners in the country. I bet those guys could easily tout their skills and compare them to Olympic athletes.
Alabama junior Eddie Lacy is following the tradition of strong running backs, one that produced Heisman winner Mark Ingram and Heisman runner-up Trent Richardson. Do you think Lacy is comparing himself with an Olympic weightlifting champion? He probably could. And if he did, he'd have to answer to Saban. Are the Crimson Tide linebackers comparing themselves to Olympic wrestling champions? You hear any of the Alabama offensive line saying they could beat a judo gold medalist?
Say what you want about Alabama's crazed, religious worship of football. The Tide know how to win. They know how to recruit. And they know how to get focused for a big game. Since Nick Saban has been the coach (2007), Alabama has not lost a season opener.
I could see if Michigan wasn't a relevant team. I could accept this if Denard Robinson wasn't a relevant player. Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson made a similar claim about beating Usain Bolt earlier last month, too. But I saw that more as a PR move, as he didn't have the most productive year last season.
Could I be blowing this out of proportion? Probably. However, it doesn't make me wrong. Denard and the rest of Michigan better be ready for Sept. 1. This game not only carries a lot of weight for Michigan, but it also carries weight in the Big Ten. I don't want the Michigan Wolverines to embrace the Ohio State tradition of continually losing to SEC teams in big games. Michigan State played Alabama in the 2011 Capital One Bowl. And in typical Spartan fashion, it was embarrassed when the spotlight was brightest. Wisconsin choked away the game against Oregon in the Rose Bowl last January. Even Michigan got popped by Mississippi State in the 2011 Gator Bowl.
I'm tired of the Big Ten losing in big games. Michigan has the opportunity to capitalize on its momentum from beating Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl, to represent the Big Ten, to return to its former glory. And Denard Robinson is worried about whether or not he could beat Usain Bolt in a foot race?
Slow your role, Denard. Slow your role.
Stats and other information taken from rolltide.com, NCAA.com, and MGOBLUE.com.
Aaron David Harris is a graduate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn (Class of 2007). He also covered sports in Michigan for four years at The Battle Creek Enquirer (in Battle Creek, MI). Visit him at www.aarondavidharris.com.