For nearly four decades Michigan football fans spent their time basking in the penthouse. The Wolverine faithful enjoyed countless Big Ten championships, 33-straight bowl-game appearances and a swagger even the Buckeyes couldn’t match.
Today, the program is in disarray, struggling for a single victory to merely become bowl eligible.
While improving offense has scored enough points, it's been totally overshadowed by perhaps the worst defense in Michigan’s proud history.
Sure there have been plenty of excuses. The team has been crippled by injuries, plagued by academic casualties and divided by questionable coaching.
Consensus says that Greg Robinson should be replaced as defensive coordinator. Some say Rich Rodriguez shouldn’t be far behind, while others favor allowing him to complete the final year of his contract.
The 2011 season should see the offense practically intact. And the defense will have another year’s experience.
Michigan did get a break Thursday, as the NCAA finally completed a 14-month investigation into the football team's misuse of practice time. The NCAA placed Michigan on three years probation, affirmed the self-imposed reduction in practice time and ordered Rodriguez to attend a rule's seminar. Rodriguez also faces a public scolding and censure.
Basically, Michigan received a slap on the wrist, but nothing really changes in Rodriguez's job situation. The failure to win another game certainly will. Just in case the worst happens, we’ve recently completed a nationwide search for his immediate successor.
Everyone knows the top two candidates—Les Miles and Jim Harbaugh. We’d like you to follow along while we introduce another eight. I’m sure you’ll find a few surprises.