I spoke to Power Index pollster Lew a little bit during the Purdue game and suggested that at this point in the season, Michigan fans had pretty much settled on their opinion of Rodriguez and his staff at this point (no matter what happens the balance of the season). Well, if that point wasn’t hit before or during the Purdue game, we’ve definitely hit it now. Win or lose to Minnesota, Northwestern and Ohio State, I think the fickle Michigan base has settled in with their opinion of Rich Rod and staff for the rest of the season and into the longest off-season we’ve had in 33 years.

I think it breaks down into about six categories, and here’s my toss of turf in the air at where the Michigan football fan population fall:

A few notes:
* The strongest group of Michigan fans (30%), are that loyal group that are on board no matter what. They would have been fine with a DeBord hire, for instance. You won’t hear from them too often on blogs, on the radio, message boards.
* I think there’s a lot of people out there (20%) that wouldn’t fall into that loyal no matter what category, but are fully on board with Rodriguez and allowing him to do what’s he’s got to do (the ‘In Rod we Trust’ t-shirt wearing crew). It’s not easy right now but they’re patient, they’re willing to endure this pain for the promise of what he can do. That’s me FWIW.
* Then you’ve got your steadfast Les Miles, somewhat Michigan insider crew that just felt dissed by the whole process, although deep, deep, deep insiders didn’t want Miles anyway.
* That 2% – the Greg in Saginaw’s of the world if you listen to WTKA. I think they guy makes for great radio but I think you’ve got to understand it for what it is–the angry fringe.
* I think they Purdue game (and that final Purdue score) through the last few Michigan fans from the In Rod We Trust category and into the folks that are on board with Rich Rod, but think some changes are necessary..the biggest target of bloglove being Scott Shafer.

Where do you stand?


  1. Good for the 30%. RR never said this was going to be a winning season. He’s been through this before, we should all be patient and ride it out with him.

    What do the nay-sayers have that gives them any credibility? That they’ve been obnoxious fans for the past X-amount of years? Criticism is easy. I’m sure RR could go to where they work and give them pointers and second-guess what they do for a living.

    So Michigan has a losing season, big deal? Why should we feel so insulted? so entitled to victories? Our teams have to put on their pants one leg at a time like everybody else. Come on, teams have losing seasons from time to time. Let’s keep things in perspective.

    RR knows what he’s doing. Michigan’s traditions and streaks are sacred in our minds only–most of the nation don’t give a hoot. All they see is bunch of babies crying over a “vaunted” program that only produced one national championship in 40 years.

    So everybody should chill and try to show some class. We’re Michigan, supposedly the elite. Well, then, the fans should take the higher road and learn to lose with some dignity. It’s childish to assume you will always win, or that you should always win. Just as it is childish to pretend that bowl streaks and consecutive winning seasons really compares to the number of national championships when it comes to bragging rights.

    Get real, folks, and give RR the chance he deserves.

  2. Let me take issue with one of your categories. Being critical of the coaches, or thinking changes need to be made does not make you disloyal. Not does being loyal mean you have to blindly accept everything the coaching staff does.
    Put me down as one who is loyal, and will support RR as long as he is coach, but is starting to worry that we might have made the wrong choice. I think that he will turn the program around and in 2010 we’ll be back to a New Year’s Day Bowl. But the chances of him ever being a national championship coach are slim. In short, I don’t think he’ll measure up to the high standard set by Lloyd. And honestly, that’s less than I expected when he was first hired.

  3. Credit, on your first point. This wasn’t meant to say someone who believes X is a better fan than someone who believes Y, or in this case loyal to Rich Rod is good, not loyal is bad. I was just trying to categorize where I see people. That said, I understand your point. Yes, folks can have serious issues with Rich Rod and be good people, good fans, etc. (I guess :) )

  4. Nice job breaking the fan base down. I’m a little out of the loop in the Chicago area. I do try to listen to sports radio via the web when in the office to keep up with what’s happening there. I just figured the Michigan family was fractured into 2 segments. The old school Michigan man bunch, and the younger anything less than a national championship sucks crowd. I liked the hire of Rodriguez at first, although I did prefer a Michigan man. It went sour for me when he said, “all I know is the spread option”, and then let all the coaches go. It obviously snow balled from there with the departure of the bulk of the would be starters on offense. 129 years of football, and never more than 7 losses. For what that’s worth, that’s about to change too. I can live with this. I may bitch about it from time to time. If that makes me a bad fan, so be it. But what irks me more than the 2-7 record at the moment is the fact that for the last few years I’ve heard people trash Lloyd Carr. After giving 28 years to the program, he deserved better than that. Now this cat strolls in and dissenting views are admonished and preached patience? (i know not everyone does this)I hope he does turn this around. It’s not like we could make a change now anyway. It’s past the point of no return.

  5. Rodriguez, Has destroyed the team. How much money would it take to send him back to WV.
    Alot of fans could not understand why our future quarterback left Micigan. Maybe because he wants to be a Pro Quarterback when his college is over. It will be a long time befor Michigan puts another QB into the pros.

  6. MJM- Regarding “our future quarterback”, while I’m not going to bash Mallett, don’t forget he almost left once when he got homesick after he was here a while. Word on the street is that Carr had to beg him to come back.

  7. I was skeptical about the hire, but am not convinced he needs to go. I know some of the players who are upperclassmen and they told me that he says that everyone has a chance to play but he tends to favors the younger players – which I really don’t like. He is more worried about himself and his future more than these players who also have futures in front of them. I think he is stubborn, selfish and arrogant and I hope that this failed season puts him in line. I would never say that I want him fired, I would never boo the team, but god damn this season is frustrating.