It should be an interesting, though painful couple of weeks for Michigan fans. Thanks to the MSM, somewhere around fifty percent of Michigan fans think a coaching change is appropriate. I have been on record numerous times as saying that RR should be given at least a fourth year. Really, though, I think the massive nature of the rebuilding job that was neccessary at Michigan will require five years to really see whether or not RR can succeed at Michigan.
Questions for a new year:
1. What do you think should happen?
I think DB should be true to his word and evaluate the team using more factors than wins and losses. I think he should realize that this team loves their coach, that things are being done the right way at the University of Michigan, and that RR is setting the foundation for a program that will compete for National Championships once a few more personnel issues are taken care of and the current players get a year or two older.
Also, it is well-known that the school that angered Bo more than any other was Illinois when they fired Gary Moeller without giving him enough time to fully institute a turnaround. A great part of DB's resume when applying for this job was his connection to Bo. If DB were to do the same thing to RR that Illinois did to Moeller, it would go against everything Bo ever taught DB.
If DB does the right thing, RR will stay.
2. What do you think will happen?
Sadly, I am getting the "vibe" that DB does business the same way it is done at Domino's: dirty, cutthroat, two-faced, and behind closed doors. As soon as Jim Harbaugh's season is over, the question of whether or not there was a secret agreement in place will be answered. As much as I would like to believe that DB has been honest and forthright while representing the University of Michigan in public, I am beginning to feel that he hasn't. At any rate, we'll know soon.
3. What happened in the Gator Bowl?
The Mississippi State offense vs the Michigan defense was, as most have been all year, a "men vs boys" scenario. The men won. As for the offense, if they didn't score, they didn't see the ball for a long time. This put a lot of pressure on them and kept them from establishing much of a tempo.
We all hoped Michigan would win. But most of us knew, in our heart of hearts, that this team wasn't yet ready to be matched up against a top-25 SEC team. Next year, the addition of Nebraska will add more depth to the Big Ten and improve the bowl matchups. This year, though, the Big Ten suffered.
If Nebraska had been in the Big Ten, the matchups would have been something like Nebraska vs Bama, MSU vs Florida, PSU vs MSU, and Michigan vs Baylor or Texas Tech. When a team that is barely in the top 50 plays against a top 25 team in a bowl, the matchups aren't exactly "even."
4. How 'bout them Spartans?
Baw, haw haw haw haw! Finally, a question that makes me happy.
MSU was exposed as a massive fraud in front of the entire country. The day before the game, Saint Dantonio said in an interview that their game against Bama would be an indication of whether or not MSU had truly arrived as an elite team. MSU answered the question quite convincingly: Same Old Sparty.
MSU's power game with one or two speed guys worked in the Big Ten this year, but they really needed a lot of help. Every trick play they tried worked. Every trick play against rivals in the standings by other teams worked. Wiscy didn't take them seriously in the first half, and paid for it by being knocked out of a chance at overtaking Auburn or Oregon in the polls and playing for a National Championship. MSU overachieved in the W-L column this year.
They deserve to be congratulated, but Alabama wanted no part of it. And now, neither will their fans. It has to gall Sparty that they were beaten so badly by their old coach, Nick Saban.
Nick Saban grew up a Spartan fan. When he took the job at MSU, it was his "dream job." And he did a great job while he was there. Sadly for him and MSU, the administration at the time was part of the trend for academic administrators to be more involved in athletic programs. Nick Saban was micromanaged by scholars who knew nothing about football in particular or athletics in general.
Saban was micromanaged so badly at MSU that his "dream job" became a nightmare scenario, and he felt compelled to leave. Of course, he would go on to win National Championships at two different schools. Neither of those schools, though, was MSU.
Any other opponent would have underrated MSU and not taken them seriously, like most of the teams on their schedule this year. Nick Saban, though, made sure that his team would not look past MSU and that they would give their best effort today. The results were self-evident.
What does this mean? Easy: Sparty was lucky and their fanbase overrated them, as usual. They were the equivalent of a four-loss Big Ten team playing a very pissed-off three-loss Alabama.
Cancel my subscription to Sparty's resurrection.
5. What was that bitching you were talking about?
Most Michigan fans will be bitching about today's loss. The Fire Rich Rodriguez crowd will have two altars: one with a RR voodoo doll and a shrine with a homemade Jim Harbaugh doll. Then, in a few days, when the decision is made, if it hasn't been made already, half of the fanbase will be pissed no matter which decision is made.
Most Michigan forums and blogs will be cesspools for the next week. Even venerable MgoBlog, which is by far the best Michigan fan community, is turning into a shitty place for the next week or two. Forums that allow trolling, such as those in the newspapers, will be even worse.
So, basically, the next two weeks are going to suck for most Michigan fans, no matter which side of the fence they inhabit. And if there is a coaching change, we could be in for another two years of mediocrity.
I guess we'll know in a couple of days.