If Michigan's Defense Is 'The Rule Is Dumb' Then They Might Be in Some Trouble

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There's a good amount of accumulating smoke suggesting that at least a portion of Michigan's house is on fire so that means those seeking to dismiss the NCAA investigation into the alleged sign-stealing have shifted to a new talking point. One that certainly doesn't hold up in court and one that certainly won't have any bearing on what the NCAA, who probably has it out for Harbaugh after he essentially dared them to come and get him, or the Big Ten will decide to do in terms of punishment.

And it's all of this: the rule is dumb.

Cowherd can laugh like this is ridiculous all he wants and callers can flood local sports radio here in Michigan at varying stages of acceptance but it cannot be stated enough that the court of public opinion will have nothing to do with the ultimate outcome here. It's not a situation where those with maize and blue need to stay in line because their votes still count or people who happen to work for a company that has the upcoming game against Ohio State and Big Ten championship need to convince anyone that nothing should happen. Though it is quite telling that the defense has shifted a few times from "let's see the evidence" to "everyone does it" to, well, rule dumb.

Because the problem is that Michigan supporters might start to believe the talking heads and think that it's all going to be okay. I'm already looking at them like Hank Schrader in Breaking Bad thinking they're some of the smartest people they know but are too blinded by loyalty to realize the governing bodies have already decided what they're going to do to Harbaugh and the program. And at a certain point the program may have to take some proactive measures to separate themselves from the coach who has delivered on those lofty expectations after being shown great patience.

Gun to my head I would have to say this is Harbaugh's last fall in Ann Arbor. This investigation is taking place no matter what the media coverage is and we have no idea what timeline it's following. All the outside noise doesn't matter. At all. That goes for the people who want nothing more than see the program go down hard and those who would die defending it. It's out of the public's hands now — in fact, it's always been. Waiting is hard and segments must be filled but everyone may as well be broadcasting into a dead microphone because their opinions won't have any real-world impact.

Whether the rule is dumb or otherwise.