Its been a long year for Michigan and it got longer on Saturday with its fifth straight loss to Ohio State. Coming into this season, every Michigan fan knew that it was going to be a hard season and it wasn't going to be pretty. With that came the grace period for Rich Rodriguez.
Some said he had a season and a half grace period where no matter what the team did it was alright, and up until Saturday there was that feeling that it was still there.
After watching the disgrace of the game Michigan played against Ohio State, its about time for that grace period to fade away.
Sure he lost a lot of starters on offense and lost the top four starters on defense, but this team is a lot better the a 3-9 team.
During the Ohio State game, it looked as though the team laid down and died. The intensity of an Ohio State-Michigan rivalry was not there.
That's coaching, my friends. Its his job to get his team fired up and ready to play and they weren't. The offense, which everyone knew was going to struggle, had probably its worst showing not getting their first first down until there was eight minutes left in the second quarter. That's coaching, make a change, it's obviously not working.
This was an Ohio State-Michigan game, and it sure didn't feel like it. I am sure that if you are an Ohio State fan you feel the same way. The intensity wasn't there, and it just wasn't as fun to watch. It felt more like watching an old Northwestern game.
When the going got tough Michigan decided that it was time for them to just give up... There should NEVER be a point in ANY Ohio State-Michigan game where either team should lay down and die, and that's what Michigan did, That's on Rich!
I more than anyone was all for the grace period given to Rich Rodriguez. I knew what he was walking into, and I knew that it wasn't pretty.
I constantly said it would be a surprise if they made a bowl and that once Rich gets his guys, it will work. I still feel that it will work, and I am not even close to calling for a guys head after one season, but this season has been harder then it should have been.
The team looks and plays like it deserves to play alongside teams like Idaho and Washington, which is sad because there is a lot of talent on this team.
So, no, I am not saying let's start the "fire Rich" campaign; I am far from it. Michigan fans need to be supportive and need to understand he had nothing this season.
I am saying that from this point on when the team doesn't perform at all, that's on Rich. Don't say to yourself, "Well, he has nobody and it will work next year."
That's over. Rich used up his grace period. It's now time for him to start proving that he can coach and that he is the right guy for this job.
With that said... The season is over! It's been a long one.