U-M Looks to end 9 Year Championship Drought

Michigan hasn't won a Big Title since 2004. Can the Wolverines end the nine year drought in 2013? Hoke and Lewan discuss the expectations. *** W/Video ***

ANN ARBOR – It has been nine years since Michigan last won a Big Ten Championship.

In those nine years the Wolverines had a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup with Ohio State in 2006, which U-M lost 42-39 with chance to win the Big Ten and play for a national title. They had three years of futile results with Rich Rodriguez at the helm. And since the hiring of coach Brady Hoke, they have been one game short of reaching their goal of playing in the Big Ten Championship game and that elusive 43rd conference crown.

"Our goal is to win the championship, and we haven't done it," said Hoke, who is entering his third year at U-M. "We've failed in the last nine years because that's an expectation."

Michigan's All-American offensive tackle Taylor Lewan echoes the sediments of his coach.

"It's unbelievable. You have a program that's won 903 games. The most in college football history -- ever," said Lewan.

He added: "We've had our ups and downs the last nine years. We think we've been close the past two years by one game. So I think the things we need to do, you know, tie together and do all those things we need to do to win a Big Ten championship."

Lewan, who was named All-Big Ten first team as a redshirt junior in 2012, said he is looking to win his first championship to complete his legacy at Michigan. He has said numerous times that it would be a "failure" if Michigan doesn't win the Big Ten and he is no longer looking to gain individual accolades – just a championship.

"What's going to happen if I come back 10 years from now and I stand in front of a bunch of people and I say ‘I never won a Big Ten Championship,'" Lewan said. "I have beaten Ohio (State), I have beaten Michigan State. That's great. Those are great feelings. We need to put it all together this year.

"You can't play 10 man football. You have to play 11 man football all the time. When you have 11 guys doing their job – there is no reason why we can't be successful on both sides of the ball and win a Big Ten championship."

In the meantime – it's nine years and counting.

Michigan opens its season at home with Central Michigan on Aug. 31.

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