Its been a long season for Rich Rodriguez and Michigan fans. It has technically been the worst season in Michigan football history (this was the first ever eight loss season in the history of Michigan football.) With that said, Rich Rodriguez has a chance to prove early in his career with Michigan that he was the right guy for the job. All he has to do is something that Lloyd Carr couldn't do the past four years, which is beat the Buckeyes.
This year's Ohio State-Michigan rivalry game has lost a lot of the spark that it has had the past couple of years. The national championship is not on the line for either team or the Big Ten championship (Ohio State still needs Penn State to lose once more.) But, it's still Ohio State-Michigan, which is why many will be tuned in on Saturday.
This is still one of the most heated rivalry's in all of sports and many believe it to be the most heated. The upsets can be huge and a victory here could mean all, which presents Rich Rodriguez with a perfect situation. Its been four years since Wolverine fans have tasted victory over the Buckeyes, something they had come to enjoy quite often in the Cooper era, and giving them a taste of victory will make almost every loss and mistake disappear like that.
Win and Rich has been a success already. It seems funny to people that don't follow Michigan or Ohio State, but remember this back in the first year of Jim Tressell. A heavily favored Michigan team was demolished by an unranked Ohio State team and from that moment on, Mr. Sweater-vest was the hero in Ohio.
When you accept the coaching job at Ohio State or Michigan, you are measured on two things: Bowl wins and beating Michigan or Ohio State. Coach Cooper was one of the greatest recruiters of all time and put together some great seasons and brought a Heisman trophy to Ohio. But, the coach will forever be remembered as the coach that couldn't beat Michigan and in the eyes of Buckeye fans, he was a failure. Lloyd Carr won Michigan a National Championship in 1997 along with a Heisman trophy, but is considered second to Bo Schembechler. Because, later in his career, he couldn't beat Jim Tressel (He beat him once.)
Rich Rodriguez could take a giant step forward and could make his statement on Saturday with a Michigan win. It's a long shot and many have already written Michigan off, but let's remember this is Ohio State vs. Michigan! With a win on Saturday, Rodriguez will already be a success in Ann Arbor