- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 11, 2010

ANN ARBOR, MICH. (AP) - Michigan has endured a lot of misery in Rich Rodriguez’s two seasons in charge.

The Wolverines lost a school-record nine games in his debut season, flopped to a 5-7 finish last year, then acknowledged the football program broke major NCAA rules for the first time.

Rodriguez can’t change history, but he knows how to make the present more pleasant.

“Winning cures a lot of things,” Rodriguez said Monday night after the team’s first practice.

If Michigan keeps losing, though, Rodriguez might face more scrutiny than any coach in college football.

New athletic director Dave Brandon has said repeatedly that Rodriguez will be the school’s coach this season while making it clear he expects better results.

Rodriguez insisted he doesn’t feel more pressure now than he did last year or before any season, dating back to his first job as a head coach at Glenville State three decades ago.

“I feel the sense or urgency every day,” he said.

Michigan’s highly anticipated season opens Sept. 4 against Connecticut in the new-look Big House, where luxury suites and club seats loom along both sidelines. The second game is at Notre Dame.

The Wolverines will host Michigan State on Oct. 9, trying to avoid their first three-game skid in the rivalry since the 1960s. They close the regular season at Ohio State, which has won six straight in The Game’s most dominant stretch in nearly a century.

Rodriguez and at least some of his players sound convinced brighter days are ahead.

“We’ve got enough to win with,” Rodriguez said.

Stephen Schilling _ the offensive lineman who has been around long enough to remember beating the Tim Tebow-led Florida Gators in the 2008 Capital One Bowl in Lloyd Carr’s finale _ agrees.

“I definitely think that this could be our year,” Schilling said. “As seniors, we want to be the team that says we got Michigan back on track.”

Quarterback Tate Forcier started every game last year as a freshman and is trying to hold off speedy sophomore Denard Robinson and freshman Devin Gardner. Rodriguez said they all took the first snap _ during a drill _ and said he’d keep details a “secret” on the three-man race to be the No. 1 QB.

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