By H. Jose Bosch
I didn’t watch a single play from Saturday’s debacle in Ann Arbor. Why? I was tailgating with my father before James Madison University took on the University of Maine.
That’s right. I picked a Football Championship Series (formerly Division I-AA) football game between two mediocre FCS teams over the Wolverines on an HDTV.
That’s how far Michigan has dropped in the last two years.
It’s not that I’ve stopped rooting for Michigan or that I don’t care about the results. I was just as upset about the loss as if I had watched the whole game. Well, maybe I was a little less upset because I didn’t actually have to watch it.
The fact is that with the exception of the Ohio State game (and only that is due to such a long and outstanding tradition) the Wolverines are no longer must-see TV. They really haven’t been for most of the Rich Rodriguez era.
In years past, when Michigan was a perennial national power, you’d be foolish to miss any match up. You wanted to witness every step in the march toward a Big Ten title and, in some years, a national title. But for the last two season fans have been watching the Wolverines stumbling and tripping into the unenviable position of being an NCAA laughingstock.
The only school worse of than Michigan is, arguably, Notre Dame. And that’s only because Charlie Weis has been coaching their longer. Oh and that’s been Rodriguez’s only signature win. Against another former great who is embarrassing itself.
I’ve always been a Rodriguez supporter. I’ve preached patience with this team and the program. Not all of this terrible play is his fault. Brian Cook at MGoBlog has done a fantastic job breaking down why you should still support RichRod. (But even Cook, who is the highest-profile Rodriguez supporter on the web, is starting to weaken).
But I’m going to admit that my support is wavering a bit. This team is an improvement from last season, but just because you improve from nothing doesn’t mean you’re close to being a national power. I’m sick and tired of the Wolverines, not just losing games, but losing them in a fashion that shows they’re a.) unprepared b.) not talented or c.) or both.
Sometimes to clean up a mess you have to make everything just a little bit messier. We’re in that stage with Michigan right now. But can any of us stand to see this through?
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