Sunday, November 01, 2009

Gut-check time

There are three games to go and the Wolverines (5-4) need to rally in order to qualify for a bowl game. Coach Rod has his work cut for him as the Wolverines have been in a downward spiral as they have lost their last four (4) Big 10 conference games (MSU, Iowa, Penn State and Illinois). There is a faction of the fan base calling for Coach Rod's job. Some are even hoping that the NCAA finds that the Michigan Football program committed a major violation as a result of the investigation started as a consequence of the Free Press story. If the NCAA determines a major violation occurred then Michigan can terminate Coach Rod's contract without paying any severance compensation. (See sections 2.04, 4.02, and 4.03 of Coach Rod's contract here in .pdf format). However, the focus of the Wolverine fans should be on finishing the last quarter of the season strong. The Wolverines are about to embark on the crucial last quarter of the season as they take on Purdue, Wisconsin (away), and Ohio State in the next three weeks. Just like entering the fourth quarter of a close home game, the Wolverines will need the support of the fans to help rally them as they try to pull it out. The Wolverines need at least at least one and would like at least two wins in the final stretch of the regular season so they can get a decent bowl berth.

The team is currently reeling after its devastating loss to Illinois where the Fighting Illini hung 31 unanswered points on the Wolverines in sending Michigan to a 38-13 defeat. Coach Rod is known as a "X's and O's" coach (although you wouldn't know it sometimes by watching Michigan play) and inspiring the team is not his forte. Coach Schembechler and Coach Carr were absolute masters at getting the most out of their players. In 2007, Michigan lost to FCS school Appalachian State and then the Wolverines were absolutely demolished the following week by Oregon. Nevertheless, Coach Carr was able to rally his demoralized team and they ran off 8 straight victories. Coach Rod needs to likewise find a way to rally his demoralized team who have had a rough go of it in the Big 10 over the last 4 conference contests. It's gut-check time. Three games to go. Bowl game on the line. Go Blue!

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