The University Of Michigan had to move on without coach Lloyd Carr, QB Chad Henne, RB Mike Hart, and many of their receivers that left early for the NFL. They started with the hire of West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez.
He had great success with his spread offense and had the Mountaineers in the National Championship picture the last few seasons, and they certainly could put on an offensive showcase every time they hit the field. Michigan hoped he could do the same and give a jump start to a program that lost so much talent to the pro level.
This isn't what the Wolverines had in mind at all.
After today's 48-42 loss at Purdue, the Wolverines are no longer bowl eligible for the first time in 34 seasons, and will guarantee themselves a losing season for the first time in 40 years.
We knew Michigan would struggle on offense as they are trying to incorporate the spread scheme, but this was a team that was supposed to rely on their defense to keep them in games while the offense progressed. The Michigan defense looks completely out of place on the field, and they're getting run all over the field.
One of the worst things about the new offense, isn't that they aren't able to run it yet because it took Rodriguez a few years until West Virginia showed results. It's that most of the teams that Michigan has played this season runs the spread offense, and they've been running it far more effectively than Michigan has all season.
The offense has put some points on the board lately, but when their defense gives up about 40 points a game recently, there is no hope for the Wolverines anytime soon.
The season started off bad and has only gotten worse. Rodriguez brought his personal problems from West Virginia with him, and Michigan had to get past that before they could really focus on the football. Even with a QB in Steven Threet that in no way is a spread QB, the Wolverines should be better than they are. That loss they took at the hands of Toledo, speaks volumes for the way Michigan's season has been.
The only thing that Michigan has left to play for is at the end of the season, and that's the game against Ohio State in Columbus. Hopefully they'll decide to get up for that game, and prevent themselves from getting laughed off the field for yet another time this season. For as bad as the season has been, if they can somehow beat the Buckeyes, Rodriguez will already have done something that Lloyd Carr only did once. Beat the Bucks under Tressel.
All of the fans, former players, alumni, and supporters of Michigan football can't be feeling anything but disgusted. This was a team that wasn't supposed to compete for a National Championship, or even a Big Ten Championship, but they certainly weren't supposed to be a 2-7 football team, that loses to the MAC, and at least for this year is widely being mocked across the country.
Rodriguez and company better find a solution and find it fast, or they can look for similar results next season.