The Michigan Wolverines seem to have been the laughing stock of college football the last two years. Michigan fans, and fans around the nation, are all questioning Rich Rod as to when the program will get better.
Since Rich has come into Ann Arbor, he has gone for an 8-13 record. Everyone seems to look at this as bad coaching, and bad players, which really is not the case at all. When Rodriguez came in, all of Michigan's star players such as Henne, Manningham, Hart, Long etc. all entered the NFL draft, leaving Rodriguez to do a lot of rebuilding.
Bringing in the spread offense, he did not have the right players to run it, especially at the Quarterback position, resulting in a 3-9 season last year. Then over the summer, he seemed to have recruited great offensive players, and two of the best quarterbacks being Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson.
The Wolverines started strong this year with a roaring 4-0 start, but now currently have fallen to a 5-4 season with only 3 games left. So the question is, is the problem Rich Rod, or does Michigan still not have the right players to run the spread offense?
A big problem is, Michigan is a young team. 80 percent of the roster consists of Freshman and Sophomores. The biggest problem for Michigan is their defense. They still have a very slow defense, and this summer, Rodriguez needs to do a lot of recruiting on the defensive end of the ball.
As for the offense, they produce the most points per game in the Big 10. But it seems the nation expects too much out of Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson, and expect them to play Vince Young like or Tim Tebow like. Fact of the matter is, these two players are Freshman players still getting a feel of the college level and getting rid of the jitters. They make true freshman mistakes, but they will only progress into much better players with how talented they really are.
Tate forcier needs to calm down, and not crack under pressure. Also, when he decides to run the ball, he needs to be able to tuck it away better, because he is prone to fumble. Also within the last few games, he seems to have struggled in close games, and getting too excited trying to do too many things at one time to bring them back into the game.
As for Denard Robinson. For as quick as he is, he needs to work on his throwing game, and be able to hold on to the ball a lot better, and he will be an amazing quarterback. Get more experience under his belt, legit passing, and a hand on the ball, and you may see him getting just as much playing time as Forcier down the road.
The rest of the offense seems to be pretty set. Michigan has some talented receivers, and very quick running backs to run the spread effectively, but improvement is still needed.
So as it seems that Michigan is off to a very slow start under the new Rich Rod era, it is really a slow rebuilding process. We all know Michigan fans, along with Rodriguez want these wins and Big 10 title now, but it takes time.
Rich Rodriguez is a great recruiter, and I believe these next couple years he will recruit the right players for mostly defense to be able to bring the defense back to one of the best in the nation. Also I believe he will recruit some good offensive linemen and a few more receivers, and get more experience under Forcier's and Robinson's belt and progress this team into an elite team once again.
I said it before, and I will say it again, Michigan fans be patient. I feel come year 2011 Michigan will be back in contention to fight for the Big 10 Title, run all over Ohio State, and once again be able to fight for the National Championship.