Michigan’s struggles likely won’t last

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The first-year coach of the historic national power had that blindsided look on his face. He was trying, fruitlessly, to explain an inexcusable home loss to a weak team from a lesser conference.
You mean Michigan’s Rich Rodriguez after a gut-punch humiliation at the hands of Toledo?
Oh sure, him too.

“About 4 a.m. [Sunday morning] I kept turning over, couldn’t sleep, and my wife Rita said, ‘You know, Nick lost to Louisiana-Monroe last year, and look how that’s changed,’ ” Rodriguez said Monday.

Nick is Nick Saban, who was in the same position a year ago at Alabama as Rodriguez is this week. Saban’s first season remaking an ancient power had descended into a series of distressing losses, one more frustrating than the next. The UL-Monroe defeat was enough to make at least some once-worshipful fans wonder about their head coach.