Greg Robinson’s future as Michigan’s defensive coordinator is rather bleak. Many believe he won’t be back in 2011.
The reason, of course, is that his defense is the team’s worst in more than 40 years. They’ve allowed 30 points per game, and looked horrible doing it.
Actually, the problems began last year when Robinson was brought in to shore up the group that Scott Shafer ran in 2007.
It was determined that widespread communication problems were a major cause in Michigan giving up 27.5 points per game and suffering a season-ending five-game losing streak.
For 2010, the defense brought in the 3-3-5 alignment, and a simplified way of communicating.
Granted, Michigan didn’t expect the string of injuries, defections and academic problems, but nothing has seemed to help. The defense has been just plain lousy.
In fairness, the run defense has actually been adequate at times, but the pass defense has been atrocious.
As of Saturday’s 41-31 loss to Penn State, Michigan has allowed a disappointing 440 total yards per game—290 coming through the air.
The scary part is that fans now believe that this Michigan team, like 2009, cannot compete in the Big Ten.
The Wolverines will be hard-pressed to knock off a pretty good Illinois (5-3, 3-2) squad next Saturday in Ann Arbor. The Illini just dismantled Purdue, 44-10.
Michigan (5-3, 1-3) then faces Purdue, Wisconsin and Ohio State, and the Wolverines only have a realistic chance against Purdue.
Robinson, of course, may not be the only sacrificial lamb.
Athletic Director Dave Brandon may decide before Thanksgiving dinner that head coach Rich Rodriguez would be terminated with a year still left on his contract.
That would mean another national coaching search during the holiday season. And many of us remember how smoothly the last one went.