Posted by Tom Fornelli
For the first five weeks of the season, Rich Rodriguez was feeling pretty good. His team was off to a 5-0 start, ranked on both the AP and Coaches polls, and the voices calling for his head had quieted down a bit. Though that doesn't mean that those voices were totally silent, something Rodriguez has been aware of all season, and now that Michigan is coming off its third straight loss to "little brother' Michigan State, they're getting loud again.
"We lost to Michigan State, what, you wanna take me and hang me off the building now?" Rodriguez asked during his weekly press conference. "I mean, there might be a few people who want to do that, but it's the same people that probably wanted to do that after the first five games, too, they just weren't saying it publicly."
While it seems ridiculous on the surface that some fans would want Rodriguez gone after he's matched his 2009 win total in only six games, it's not completely unwarranted. After all, the Wolverines were 4-0 last season before they lost to Michigan State and lost six of the next seven games to finish 5-7 and miss out on a bowl game for the second straight year.
Fans are just a bit nervous it can happen again, and I can't blame them.
While Michigan has improved this season, it's because of one player playing out of his mind, Denard Robinson. As the Spartans proved last weekend, if you can keep things from getting too Denarded, Michigan is very beatable. The Michigan defense is allowing 26.8 points per game, and unless that unit improves, odds are that Michigan's record within the Big Ten isn't going to be very good.
There's also that whole NCAA investigation hanging over Rodriguez's head. The NCAA is expected to make its decision about Rodriguez and his failure to "promote an atmosphere of compliance" before the end of the regular season, and if the NCAA decides to hand down a major punishment while the Wolverines are in the midst of a losing streak, then those dissenting voices will grow louder than ever.
While I don't think they'll hang Rodriguez from any buildings in Ann Arbor, they'd gladly kick him out of town.