Transitions are never smooth - some are just better than others. The transition from Lloyd Carr to Rich Rodriguez has been bumpy to say the least, and this is before any meaningful football has been played.
I think most rational Michigan fans knew/know that season is going to be ugly. Personally, I just hope that Michigan keeps its post-season bowl streak intact Though lately, I think 8 or 9 total wins is possible.
In the long term, I think there is potential for great things. I like that Rodriguez is aggressive and hungry. I like that he believes in well conditioned players and wants to make Michigan tough like it was in the past. Still, in the pit of my stomach, I'm don't know what to expect from the Rodriguez era. In fact, I'm still not sure it was the right hire.
Was there a better hire out there? I don't know. If I had to pick, I would have gone with Miles because of his ties to the school (and in hindsight, his National Championship doesn't hurt either). For some reason, I just see the Rodriguez era being either total domination or total disaster - nothing really in between. Why total disaster?
- The hiring process. It's well known that Rodriguez was not the first choice.
- The handling of the buyout. Worst litigation strategy ever.
- Current recruiting, specifically the number of 3 stars being offered so early
- Impression that Rodriguez's teams are more offense oriented. Will he overlook the importance of defense?
- The man himself. Definitely not as polished as Lloyd (sans interactions with media)
I think the above bullets are just more irrational fears. Looking at "soft" factors and projecting them on the bigger picture of wins and losses. Maybe its just getting used to something new and different. I'll be the first to admit I have no solid evidence that Rodriguez will bomb, but as of right now, based on his tenure so far, I'm not sold.
Hopefully, Rodriguez will make Michigan an annual contender for the National Championship. Hopefully, Rodriguez will be our Roy Williams and not our Bill Gutridge or Matt Doherty.