Today I attended my 3rd Michigan bowl game, and 7th Michigan football game overall, and for the first time ever I walked away on the losing side of the score.
Michigan got blown out by Mississippi State, 52-17.
Michigan, in it's 110 years of going to bowls, has never, ever gave up more points, or lost by a bigger margin than the Wolverines did today.
The final score was bad, terrible, horrible, flat out embarrassing.
As a fan, I never thought the Wolverines would lose like that, especially after holding a 14-10 lead in the first quarter.
There were plenty of Michigan fans in attendance, singing "Hail to the Victors" and chanting "Go Blue" all, well, most of the day.
With the outcome, Michigan finished with a 7-6 record, a winning season, yes, but with two straight lopsided losses, it's a forgone conclusion that we have see Rich Rodriguez coach his last game at Michigan.
Now, I've been a supporter of Rodriguez from day one, and I still believe he's a good football man, but today's humiliating loss is just the thing Michigan's Athletic Director, Dave Brandon didn't want to see.
The defense was as porous as ever.
The Wolverines defensive unit was manhandled at the line of scrimmage, and the Bulldog offensive line opened up gaping holes for quarterback Chris Relf and the Bulldog runners.
Michigan looked slow and tired...in the first quarter.
Now, I'm just a fan, and I really don't understand every aspect of what coaching takes day in and day out.
What I do know is that I am a Michigan fan, 35 years of living and dying with the Wolverines, and what I saw today was embarrassing, embarrassing in every way imaginable.
I support the team, I support the coaches, I support the players, and I support the administration.
What I don't support is losing.
Losing stinks, and today was as bad as it gets.
Now, I simply could say that I want a coaching change, a change I heard all around the Gator Bowl today by disgruntled Wolverine fans.
I could take the low road that many Michigan fans have taken and really rip into coach Rich Rodriguez.
I could, but I will not.
I will not do that to a man that was asked to change Michigan into something it is not.
Michigan is Michigan, plain and simple.
The Michigan Regents, the Athletic Director, and the President should have done their homework and understood what they were trying to do.
They asked Rodriguez to come in and make Michigan a high powered spread offensive team like the Florida's, the LSU's, and the Boise State's of college football.
Michigan is Michigan.
As soon as they hired the man who invented the spread offense, the culture of Michigan Football was changed.
As soon as the culture was changed, players who didn't want to do the work, who didn't want to play in a spread offense, those players left, either for the NFL, or on a transfer.
Instead of a big, strong armed, NFL bound quarterback, Michigan got two QB's who had never set foot on a college field, even for practice.
Now, yes, I understand the defense was pathetic, and that the injuries are just a crutch, a reason to say, yeah, but...Troy Woolfolk got hurt, and so on, and so on.
And hey, Michigan couldn't even kick simple field goals.
The special teams were mediocre.
Yes, all of that is true.
What's even more true is the way in which so called fans of Michigan and the team railroaded and bad mouthed the coaches, Rodriguez in particular, from the start.
Fans have bad mouthed Rodriguez from day one, and the media have put the throttle down on his neck, never letting up for one minute.
The lack of support of a man who was doing what he was asked to do, to change the way Michigan plays football, has been just as embarrassing as the product was on the field, and yet no of them will be without a job come next week.
Fans get to hide behind their cell phones, on sports radio, or on social networking csites.
The don't have to face the men and women who work their back sides off each and every day, the one's giving their blood, their sweat, their tears, their lives, every single day, every single week, 24/7/365.
When tomorrow comes around, and the sun comes up, I'll still be a Michigan fan, I'll wear my Maize and Blue as faithfully as ever.
As 2011 begins anew, remember this...
...I will never, as a fan, ask for someone to be fired, I'll leave that to the so-called fans who find solace in other people's misery.
I never bad mouth a coach, or a player for doing their best, trying their hardest.
I am a Michigan fan, a Michigan man.
I love that football team, yes, my football team.
I supported Bo, and Coach Mo, I supported Coach Carr, and I support Coach Rodriguez.
I want my beloved Michigan to be winner again, and no, not just 7-6.
I want them to be Big Ten Champions again, I want them to win a National Championship.
Remember this, as you look back at the past few sentences...
...there is no I in TEAM...there is NO I...NO I...in TEAM
The TEAM, The TEAM, The TEAM