With all the media (and booster) scrutiny Michigan is receiving in the wake of the MSU game, winning this game may prove to be the turning point of RichRod's tenure. Before the State game, I would have traded a loss v. Iowa if that meant a guaranteed win over MSU.
Now, although certain people are going to clutch to the MSU loss, the game against Iowa could be the biggest game of RichRod's tenure. The team just inadvertently set in motion a chain of events that will make or break RichRod's legacy. Everyone expects him to fail. Last year some excused his 1st year and blamed it on a bare cupboard. When we started rolling in the beginning of year 2, people got excited and thought we were back. Now, no one thinks we're back - everyone expects us to fail, including many of our own "fans" and boosters.
If Michigan beats Iowa, there is a good chance we go 4-2 the rest of the way. More specifically, with a win this week over Iowa the haters will be proven wrong, the negativity will start to die down, fans will get excited for a bowl game, we will travel well for the bowl game. If we win the bowl game, we will be a consensus top 20 team going into the offseason/preseason. Michigan will be back, and the only thing people will have against RichRod is the past.
If Michigan loses the game this weekend, there is still hope to silence the haters, but it won't come until the end of the season. Not to say that RichRod will be gone if he loses to Iowa/Wisconsin/OSU, but we will be arguing all these same issues on this date in 2011 if that's the case.
If the team can take care of business this weekend, it provides hope and ammunition against the persistent pessimists.
Edit: It seems I did not make my position clear in this post. I am a huge RichRod supporter and even if he goes 6-6 this year, I still want him here because I think he deserves to finish what he started and I have confidence he will. A loss to Iowa is not an end of the world situation for this team, and I never said it was (in fact I said "if we lose to Iowa, there is still hope"). A loss to Iowa is simply a loss to Iowa. However, if we win this game, I think we will look back on it in a few years as the game where we turned the corner. Certainly we can't just go out and beat Iowa and call this season a success - we've gotta finish strong. I'm just trying to play Nostradamus a bit.