I have been a University of Michigan fan since birth; I bleed maize and blue. That being said, I know that Michigan fans can be arrogant and somewhat snobby. When you hear the words "The Michigan Wolverines," you know that you will face a tough team. No team is really a slouch team, especially football, hockey, and softball.
This year, Rich Rodriguez took over as head coach of the football team. We all had high expectations for this season; Rich Rod brought a new, explosive, exciting offense. Wolverines fans were so used to our predictable, Lloyd/DeBord, traditional offense. It was going to be a nice change, or so we thought.
All over the country, every Michigan-hater is cheering. Yes, Michigan is 2-2 and this is not something Michigan fans are used to. I almost don't recognize our team and fans. People are walking out at halftime and giving up on the team even before kickoff. Every year, games have sold out and stayed above 111,000 for the season. This year, our highest total was 110,000. It's only 1,000 people, but it's a new look.
This is the new Michigan. A new offense that's unpredictable and inconsistent. A new defense that carries the offense on their shoulders, keeping them in the game until they can score some points. And a 2-2 record, beating a MAC team and a number nine ranked Wisconsin team. With losses to Utah and Notre Dame, this is surely a new Michigan team with new complaints.
The country loves to see Michigan lose. They have been on top for so long and still hold so many records, including largest home attendance, longest bowl streak, and winning percentage. It is easy to watch the mighty fall, but hard for the fans.
Yes, the fans are arrogant. Wouldn't you be if your team had 11 National Titles, the longest bowl streak, and usually start out the season in the top 25? But that was the old Michigan. Yes, they will still make a bowl and maybe crack the top 25 this season, but a National Title is out of the question.
So, as the rest of America laughs at Michigan, Wolverines fans need to stand tall. It will be hard to take and listen to, but remember the past and embrace the future. We're still not Duke football and we still have 11 National Championships. This year marks the end of the Bo Schembechler era and the beginning of the new Michigan team.