As we enter the third year of Rich Rodriquez’s coaching regime, we look forward to
November for the answer to two questions:
Will the Democrats retain Congress?
Will Rich Rod retain the coaching reins at the Big House, or will he take the country roads home to West Virginia?
President Obama has two years to revive the economy and his Presidency.
Rich Rod has less than two months.
Will Michigan sell out the new seats and suites in the Big House?
A few favorable bounces and Michigan could be 5-0 going into the Michigan State game. The Wolverines could run the string against UConn, Notre Dame, UMass, Bowling Green, and Indiana, and perhaps even beat Little Brother, Michigan State. Then come Iowa and Penn State, followed by probable wins against Illinois and Purdue, closing with Wisconsin and Ohio State. Michigan would be 8-4 under this scenario, qualify for a bowl game, and probably retain Rich Rod as coach.
On the other hand, UConn is an excellent team and could beat Michigan in which case the demoralized Wolverines will probably lose at Notre Dame the next week. An upset against Iowa, Penn state, Wisconsin or Ohio State and the team would have a 7-5 record, and perhaps a new coach. If Michigan loses to UConn, then it will have lost three of the last four home openers, all at Michigan Stadium. Coach Randy Edsall at UConn is proving that UConn is more than a basketball school.
Michigan alumni will not easily forget the 3-5 and 5-7 seasons under Rodriquez, and his 0-2 record against both Michigan State and Ohio State. By way of contrast, Jim Tressel won the national title in his second year at Ohio State, is 8-1 against Michigan, and has won 8 straight against “the school up north.”
Michigan even lost to Toledo two years ago. Toledo’s coach was fired at the end of the season for not winning enough games.
If Les Miles goes 8-4 or 7-5 at LSU this year, he might be available as the
new head coach for Michigan. This time Michigan will not have an Athletic Director whose cell phone could not be reached on a yacht. Jim Harbaugh at Stanford has also proven he can coach.
The predictions by the sportswriters and analysts for Michigan are essentially a Bell Curve of 4-8 to 8-4 with the consensus around 6-6.
The good news about the team is that, absent injuries, the offense finally has an offensive line, which means the quarterbacks and running backs won’t suffer as many concussions as the past two seasons. The offense may still be a little ragged, but it should do fine.
It will have to do more than fine though for Michigan to go 8-4. The defense, the fabled defense of Bo, and Mo, and Lloyd has been a work in progress, having forgotten how to tackle. The two best players from last year signed with the pros. The only returning defensive back with substantial playing experience is out with season ending injury.
The offensive game plan against Michigan will be pass, pass, and pass some more.
Unless the defensive linemen and linebackers can pressure the quarterback, it's bombs away against Michigan's secondary.
The team still lacks depth. Coach Rodriquez said 12 true freshmen may play against UConn.
Michigan is in the Al Davis zone: “Just Win, Baby.” No excuses; even if Lloyd Carr had slacked off on recruiting, even if 28-29 players have left the team since Rich Rod became coach, even if injuries have racked the team, “Just Win, Baby.
No matter the record, The Victors will always be a great song.