There is something different about Michigan Stadium this year. Yes, the home team is actually winning, and yes, there are gigantic, omnipresent luxury suites lining both sides of the stadium. The biggest and most significant difference has been the increased noise levels in Michigan Stadium.
Clearly, the reflecting properties of the additions to the stadium have played a role, especially to the players and coaches on the field, but there is a new energy, which is being brought by a new generation of fans.
Ten years ago, the prototype Michigan fan would never have stood for the renovations. Nor would he have tolerated the piped in music pumping up the fans and players before key plays.
This new generation of fans, which includes me, embraces these changes, as they make Michigan Stadium a more intimidating place to play. There is no doubt in my mind that the crowd helped Michigan beat Notre Dame. Think of it this way: the louder the stadium is, the more likely Brandon Graham is to introduce the opposing quarterback to the Michigan Stadium turf.
A new era of Michigan Football has officially begun. The style of football is different, the stadium is different, and the fan base is changing. To those of you who cast in the mold of the traditional fan (you know who you are), I say embrace the new culture and make noise. Make obnoxious, embarrassing, raucous noise. It can only help.