Michigan could surprise in RichRod’s debut

It’s been an interesting 12 months around the winningest program in college football history.

From the embarrassing losses to Appalachian State and Oregon, to yet another loss to Ohio State, to Lloyd Carr announcing his retirement and then going into the sunset with an everyone-can-kiss-my-butt-like coaching job by beating Urban Meyer and Florida in the Capital One Bowl, to a coaching search that wasn’t as easy as it was supposed to be, to the whole bizarre divorce between Rich Rodriguez and West Virginia, to Michigan deciding to foot the bill for part of the alimony, to the defection of players like star QB prospect Ryan Mallett to Arkansas and lineman Justin Boren to Ohio State, to the loss of uber-recruit Terrelle Pryor to Ohio State, even though he could’ve stepped in and started from minute one in Ann Arbor, you’ll have to forgive Wolverine fans if they need to catch their collective breath.
Rodriguez was an interesting hire as it showed that Michigan, a program not exactly known for being wild and wacky, has decided that it needed to make a change. Getting a coach who runs the spread offense was an easy sell considering the way the Wolverines were pantsed in the first two games of last year, but it might also mean a major transition period, and that might not be a bad thing.
The big complaint about the Carr era was that the program, after winning the 1997 national title, was never able to take that one last step to become a yearly player in the national championship race like USC and Ohio State were able to become.