Another week, and another loss for Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan Wolverines. On the eve of signing a six-year contract, Rodriguez could not lead his team to victory over rising in-state rival Michigan State.
For another consecutive week, the Wolverines were unable to prevent the "big play," which included a 61-yard touchdown pass from Brian Hoyer to Blair White and a Javon Ringer 64-yard touchdown run.
For Michigan fans, the season can't get any worse at this point. After falling to hated rival Notre Dame, the Wolverines crumbled against Toledo, Illinois, Penn State, and now Michigan State. It is the second week in a row a long-standing Michigan record has been snapped, and, sadly, many more are to come by the end of the season.
But even as the fans look at so many negatives, including turnovers, inconsistent play, and inexperience, these losses are hitting the players even harder. For seniors like Terrance Taylor, Brandon Harrison, Morgant Trent, and many others, this is the last chance for them to play football for the maize and blue. Players are busting it seven days a week just to earn a victory on the field, and each week they seem to be coming close, just not close enough.
The days of 10-2 finishes and top 10 rankings are over, for now. Conference championship possibilities are finished, and even sure wins against teams like Purdue, and Minnesota are now in question.
Rumors of de-commits by prospects and negativity surround the coaching staff, but Rodriguez remains true to the course. He is a proven winner and believes that his way will bring the program back to prosperity and success in the future.
For everyone else, it is a time of sorrow, anguish, and doubt. Michigan will probably not finish .500 this season, its first in many a year. Its bowl streak will inevitably be snapped, but the players will not forget what they did.
No matter how much talent they have, or how much credit people gave them, the players know they gave 100 percent to Michigan. Because they are, and forever will be, Michigan men.