The sun has risen. Michigan's football team is getting ready to play in Chicago's northern suburbs. And Da'Shawn Hand hasn't changed his commitment from the Crimson Tide to the Wolverines.
I'm sure many of the faithful were glued to NBC Sports Network's drawn-out coverage of Hand's announcement - seriously, am I ever going to get those 52 minutes of my life back? - and many experienced the letdown when Hand announced he was going to the University of Alabama.
Was Hand's decision a reflection of the recent tailspin Michigan has gone into? A reflection of the program as a whole? Or just his own reflection from looking at the BCS trophy a little too long?
“Why not go where there’s a great possibility that you can win a national championship?" Hand said after he announced his commitment.
And what's more seductive than the prospect of winning a national title?
I can think of a few more things, but they're not publishable. Anyhow ...
The knee-jerk response to Hand's decision to commit to Alabama is that this is another nail in the coffin of the Wolverines' season and a reflection of the Brady Hoke regime. How could Hand's spurn bode for the long-term future of the program?
I can't forecast the future of Wolverines, but I spoke with Scout.com recruiting analyst Brandon Huffman who said that Michigan's traditional brand as a program isn't going to be hurt by Hand's spurn. Michigan, Huffman said, has always been able to recruit nationally and provides a certain promise to recruits: a promise of being able to prepare players for the NFL. That's still seductive bait.
"At the end of the day, kids are still looking at, who's going to put me in the NFL?" Huffman said. "As much as kids talk about a good education, staying close to home, they still want a school that will give them the best possible route to the NFL. Michigan is still there, and you can make that same claim in basketball. Michigan still has some luster. It still sends players to the NFL.
"The Michigan name isn't being hurt at all by the recent struggles. That just shows that they're not all the way back."
Which begs the burning question that's being asked by many: When will Michigan be "back"?