Those Who Stay Will Be Champions!

Ben LuckeyContributor IMarch 10, 2010

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Former head coach Bo Schembechler of the Michigan Wolverines looks on in the 91st Rose Bowl Game against the Texas Longhorns at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2005 in Pasadena, California.    (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

"Those who stay will be champions."  Does anybody recognize that statement?  It's a sign thats been hanging in the University of Michigan football program for over 30 years that the legendary football coach, Bo Schembechler, hung up in the locker room at the Big House.  It is the motto of Michigan football.  Michigan was pretty bad before Bo got there so he felt the need to change the culture of the football team. 

This is the attitude that every Michigan football fan needs to have before they start bashing their favorite team or Rich Rodriguez.  Now I'm as upset as anyone else that Michigan has won 8 total games in two years.  Hell it was only five years ago that ONE season with 8 wins wasn't a successful one.  But times change.  Les Miles, Lloyd Carr, any coach out there would have had a far from stellar season with that same football team in 2008.  They lost the #1 pick in the NFL draft (LT Jake Long), their career rusher (Mike Hart), their career passer (Chad Henne) and their top two WRs (Mario Manningham and Adrian Arrington, who both left after their junior years).  Can you really say that Lloyd would have won more than 6 or 7 games that year?  Even if Ryan Mallett stuck around who was he gonna throw to, who was going to protect him?  And that defense, you can't tell me that defense would have been too much better than it was.

The Free Press has been ruthless on Michigan since Rich Rod arrived.  Every chance they have to attack him and the Michigan program they take.  I'm not sure what their agenda is, I suppose they need to sell newspapers, and we all know that newspapers are going the way of the buffalo.  But give me a break.  They are chastising him for things that aren't even his fault.  I mean the whole practice deal, it was over 15 extra minutes a day of stretching!

I've only been walking this Earth for the last 26 years, but ever since I can remember I supported Michigan football.  Nothing else could make or ruin my weekend more than a Michigan win or lose on Saturday afternoon.  I know its also tough to lose to your rivals the past few years (MSU two years in a row, OSU six!)  But we all need to show a little patience before completely counting RR out.  This is his make it or break it year.  I have to believe that anything less the 8 wins and we will be seeing the last of RR in AA.  Let's at least give him this year to finish integrating his system.  Lets give him one more year to try and fix that porous defense that we've suffered through the last two years.

Have patience everyone.  I believe that greener pastures are on the horizon.  After three years RR should have all the athletes he coveted when he came to AA.  We have a gritty QB (Tate Forcier) forging a budding relationship with an up and coming WR (Roy Roundtree).  We have depth at RB, another year for those young OL to improve.  And hopefully some of those recruits can come in and be playmakers on defense.  So I beg of all you Michigan fans out there, give RR 2010 to turn it around.  Over thirty years ago Bo hung that sign in the Michigan locker room.  We all need to follow that credo and hope Rich Rodriguez can lead us there!