Michigan Fans Are Antsy, But Calls To Fire Rodriguez Are Premature

Michigan was routed 38-13 last weekend, by an Illinois team with a 1-6 record. The catastrophic loss dropped the Wolverines to 1-4 in the Big Ten. Michigan went five weeks in October without defeating a Division 1 opponent. What was an apparent leap forward has become further disappointment.

Alumni are understandably antsy. Rich Rodriguez does deserve blame, but calling for his ouster is premature. It would be more detrimental at this juncture.

Continued at The Big Lead


Michigan Football: Open to Interpretation

Michigan lost 30-28 on Saturday to Iowa.  The Wolverines should be proud of their effort.  Iowa was artificially ranked #12 so winning would have been “an upset.”  Conversely, Michigan outplayed Iowa and should be horrified that five turnovers and atrocious third-down conversions wasted that effort.  As with everything this Michigan season, there are two ways of viewing it.

Continued at The Big Lead

Thoughts on Notre Dame-Michigan

I thought it would be good to let the moment settle, before commenting on Michigan-Notre Dame.  Here are my thoughts.

This was not an upset. Notre Dame was ranked 18th, but that ranking is arbitrary. Preseason polls are baseless, yet they calcify subsequent perceptions. Set alone, both Michigan and ND had sound non-BCS conference wins in week one. They looked fairly equal in the second week. What sportswriters think is not a tangible factor.

Tate Forcier went from question to legend faster than anyone in perceived history. He was poised, especially after the bad interception. He was the obvious leader in just his second game as a true freshman. Forcier had “it” under pressure. He had the ice in his veins. It’s something I have not seen in a Michigan quarterback, and there have been many good ones.

Despite the initial celebrity, I have not seen it in Jimmy Clausen.

Unless Notre Dame beats USC, that loss sealed Charlie Weis’ firing. He made the crucial mistake, throwing on second down during the last possession. The failure forced ND to throw on third down, giving Michigan the ball back with two timeouts.

Notre Dame should have had an advantage against Michigan. They didn’t. Weis has had five-years of recruiting top-caliber players. Rodriguez has his first real recruiting class as true freshmen. Weis is in the fifth-year of his project, but, despite the preseason prognostications from Lou Holtz and others, it is a project that seems to be heading nowhere.

Urban Meyer did sign a 6-year $24 million deal with Florida, but his buyout remains just $500,000. Meyer is a Catholic and a Notre Dame guy. With Tim Tebow graduating, it should surprise no one if he moves after this season.

2009 Michigan Football Preview

RichRod_2Michigan brought in Rich Rod’s smarm and spread offense last season, leading them to a 3-9 record.  It was Michigan’s first losing season since the pre-Schembechler era, and their first time missing a bowl game since the Big Ten allowed teams to attend bowls other than the Rose Bowl in 1976.  If you judge football conferences by frivolous things, such as winning bowl games or competitiveness, the Big Ten has declined.  But, given the revenue figures, a number of you still think the Big Ten and Michigan are important.  So, we ask, how will year two of the Rich Rod regime turn out? (Continued)