Many of those saying the defense is not Rodriguez's "fault" miss the essential point. It doesn't matter whose fault it is. What matters is who has the ability to rectify the situation. And we are fast approaching the point where Rodriguez will no longer have that ability (if he ever had it).
The defense sucks. Let's say it's not Rod's fault. Fine. So how does he fix it? Get great defensive recruits? If we lose out, or eke by Purdue, what makes anyone think the good defensive recruits will be rushing to come to Michigan this year? Perception becomes reality -- our defense is perceived to be a joke, with terrible coaching -- this is not a situation talented players are going to rush into.
Develop the mediocre players we already have and turn them into something greater? What evidence have we seen over the past three years that this staff has any talent at defensive player development?
Hire a great defensive coordinator who will turn things around? What great coordinator is going to want to coach with Rodriguez after Schaeffer was thrown under the bus and GERG had an unsuccessful system imposed on him?
I hope that somehow the team pulls it together over the next four games, but if it doesn't I don't see much hope for defensive improvement under Rodgriguez in the near or mid-distant future. At some point, it's not about placing blame, but about doing what's necessary to change the perception, fair or not.