Rich Rodriquez,taking over as the head man for Michigan football after the retirement of long-time,successful head man Lloyd Carr, has returned UM back to bowl eligibility in just his third year at the helm after being hit by a devestating roster depletion due to NCAA sanctions. Although it's not unusual for Michigan fans to start making reservations after the conference finale with arch-rival OSU, many UM fans doubted if this could be done in such a short period of time, inasmuch as Rodriquez took over a team with only 69 scholarship players,and a total of 21 on the defensive side of the ball after the NCAA hit Michigan- as well known for its strict adherence to the rules- as well as being the all-time winningest program in cfb D1 history, with a 16 player, one-year scholarship reduction for what long-time Michigan fan and local sports columnist Bucky Rosenphuck, a beloved UM Man, right up there alongside Bob Ufer when it came to Fan's Choice as "Most beloved UM grad," decided to blow the whistle for what he described as "the most egregious and blatant violations of rules he'd ever been made aware of, even though it's yet been explained why this occurred three years prior to said violations. Even further disturbing is the fact no one really knew "limbering up" prior to contact constitued a major violation in the first place. Of course many thought that he'd immediately restore UM to its lofty standing beside OSU as the conference's one-two punch, but in addition to the inexplicable low numbers on the defensive side of the ball, with names like VanSlyke, Kovacs and Henninger listed on the two-deep - all walk-ons, he also had to rebuild the offense from scratch, with only one returning starter on the offensive line and one back-up wide receiver. Adding to the woes was the transfer of High School legend Ryan "The Hammer" Mallet, reputed to be able to throw the ball 85 yards on one knee, and would have been a perfect fit for the new, spread offense that Rodriquez made famous at W.Va., with his blazing 4.4 speed. Rodriquez, never one to give up, simply stated, "I only speak about Michigan players," and named walk-on Nick Sheridan, a much baley-hooed, third team all conference h.s. qb as his Game one starter, with transfer Steven Threet named as his back-up. To state it mildly, this roster did not resemble the past UM rosters with h.s. AAs listed on the two, and sometime three-deep roster. No, these sanctions hit hard and many thought his mere offensive genius, coupled with the Michigan brand would result in instant Top Ten status, as has become customary in A.A. Many fans were screaming for his firing after going 3-9 his first year, comparing the scenario to Bo's success in his first year at the school and the number of players Bo lost in his innaguaral year in AA, yet forgetting the huge disparity in scholarships and the fact there was no limit on annual scholarships in those wonderful years. Also forgotten was that Bo inherited almost all the offensive starters from the previous year's team, three of which, playing alongside one another, were destined for not just AA honors but also future NFL Hall of Fame distinction in the form of McKenzie, Dierdorf and Mandich. But UM fans stand behind its storied program and led by the aforementioned Bucky Rosenphuck, the local columnists paved the way for Rich Rod's recruiting efforts by continuously pointing out all the good that Rodriquez was doing in establishing his style and lambasting in-state rival, MSU, for it's weekly arrests, normally outnumbering their points scored in that week's game. With such solid backing by the local press, recruits from around the nation flocked to AA because they were assured Rodriquez would be in Ann Arbor forever. This was especially true on the defensive side of the ball, when in only his third year at the helm, he only had to play six true freshman and three former walk-ons on the defensive side of the ball, among them AA FB Mark Moundross. Afterall he and his staff took a young qb from Fl., who threw at about a 45% completion rate in high school, and in his first full year as a starter made him the most recognized name in cfb during the first half of 2010, with Denard Robinson becoming the first collegiate player in history to both run and pass for over 1500 yards. So we thank you Coach Rodriquez for the wonderful job you have done and we realize building a team to fit your needs takes time. We also realize all the bullshit, bad-luck and "band-wagon fans," once referred to by F.H. Yost as "useless as street urchins'" you've had to put up with, and we also understand that you've recruited some great defensive players(based on the gurus, anyway) that have, for no other reason than not being able to give forth enough effort to beat out walk-ons, former rbs and wrs on the other side of the ball, have decided to take their talents elsewhere. We know that the progress shown by the offense will continue and translate into points as the team "grows up together," as a former lber from that school down south mentioned on national t.v. We know that next year's defensive performance will ultimately decide your fate in A.A. But for as much bullshit as I put in this tongue-in-cheek posting, we know it doesn't even come close to what you've faced. And for those that can't take a little fun out of this and recognize that the comparison to a team coming off of probation, having to reestablish its identity, is a very real, undeniable parallel to the roster on both sides of the ball that had to be rebuilt after the coaching change, you shouldn't call yourself a fan in any form of the word. In the end it may be true that Rich Rod and UM were just not a good marraige. He certainly never had a "grace period" after being named our head coach, and I hope the arrogance and adolescent behavior displayed by many calling themselves UM fans, and the fact that a UM grad would ultimately be the one to cause UM its first and only NCAA sanctions to its football program for no other reason that a personal dislike for the man named to head it, will get their fucking "poop in a group," and support whoever is our football coach, be it RR or a yet to be named replacement. It's you, more than he, that brought shame to this program. And in the end, Rich Rod, either here or at a school more fortunate than UM, is going to prove the greatness that was expected by those who have backed him from Day One.