Regner: Michigan rooting against Michigan

By most accounts, sometime in the early evening today in East Lansing, Michigan will be on the short end of the scoreboard for the sixth time in the last seven games against Michigan State.

The Spartans are a 17-point favorite over the Wolverines, and that sounds about right.

Michigan is a fragmented university right now in the area of athletics. It’s so divided that some in the old blue community are hoping that the Spartans assumed victory will be such a lopsided embarrassment that it will be the catalyst for sweeping change in the athletic department.

That’s right. Many ardent followers of Michigan are rooting for the Spartans to slaughter the Wolverines.

It’s sunk that low in Ann Arbor. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if some Wolverines faithful are wishing for Michigan to drop every remaining game on their schedule.

It’s hard to imagine, but the greatest fear for some Michigan fans is a Wolverines victory today. If Michigan somehow pulls off an upset today, there’s a concern that it will be enough to salvage the jobs of athletic director Dave Brandon and head coach Brady Hoke.

The situation has deteriorated enough that even Michigan’s silent majority — the faculty and students that have zero interest in athletics — have expressed a demand for change.

According to a well-placed sources familiar with the situation, Michigan’s academic community believes that the athletic department has run amok and tarnished the university’s pristine reputation.

As much as they’re apathetic about Michigan’s teams, academics realize that fundraising is much easier when the school’s teams, especially football, are doing well. They also care deeply about the university’s image.

When Michigan’s academic community demands change, it will happen.

The Wolverines in all likelihood will lose a football game Saturday. But if you read the smoke signals emanating from Ann Arbor,it’ll be the athletic director and the head football coach that in the end will be walking the green mile.