Rich Rodriguez and the Wolverines: A Good Start

SportsChLeagueContributor ISeptember 9, 2009

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 05:  Head coach Rich Rodriguez enters the stadium with his team prior to playing the Western Michigan Broncos on September 5, 2009 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

With a 31-7 pounding of Western Michigan last weekend, could the Michigan Wolverines and embattled coach Rich Rodriguez finally being seeing the end of Michigate??? 

Hounded by allegations of breaking NCAA practice rules and improprieties with a former booster in his previous coaching stop at West Virginia University, Rodriguez finally got to enjoy a Michigan season opener. 

And with the 35-0 win over Nevada of another beleaguered former college football power last weekend, week two in Ann Arbor against Notre Dame may finally be all about football on the field of play.

The new-look Wolverines and the old-look Notre Dame Fighting Irish hook up at The Big House this weekend to renew their old rivalry, and finally, it appears the game may mean something again. 

With freshman QB Tate Forcier leading Rich-Rod’s spread attack and Jimmy Clausen manning the point in Charlie Weis’s high flying offense, there could be a lot of points scored this weekend in Ann Arbor.

Thankfully, both teams came out of the gate swinging this season.  After embarrassing opening day losses to Appalachian State and Utah the last two seasons and widespread rumors of a team divided, the Wolverines rallied around their coach and came up with a big victory in week one. 

Still haunted by their 3-9 mark last year, the Michigan faithful needed a victory to get behind Rodriguez and his changed approach to Wolverine Football.  At the same time, adversity has been nothing new to the Irish and Weis, who had the pleasure of being called a “five-year intern” on a billboard heading into South Bend a couple of weeks ago.

Say what you will about agreeing or disagreeing with coaching styles and a changing of the guard, the bottom line is that strong programs and impressive wins at the Universities of Michigan and Notre Dame are great for college football!