What a couple weeks this has been. First, the market crashes. Next, Osama…oops, I mean Barak Mohammad Obama(bin Ladin) is about to take the White House and bring all his socialist andterrorist buddies to Washington. All that was very, very, very bad. But all of that I could have handled. Socialists? Domestic Terrorists? No problem. We’re used to that kind of stuff in Ann Arbor. What I can’t handle is what I’ve seen the lastsix weeks. I was excited to see theLloyd Carr era end, and had great hopes for the future. Sure, I expected a very tough transition year,as we moved from a Pro Style offense to the spread. Admittedly, I was a member of the Les MilesMafia, and had great hopes that he’d be leading the charge and bringing us backto respectability. Still, when RichRodriguez was named head coach, I embraced the selection.
I looked for the positive in a very ugly loss to NotreDame. Threat was starting to come around…ifonly we hadn’t turned over the ball so many times. Against Wisconsin, I gave up at half time. I started preparing dinner for my family andnoticed we scored a touchdown. Hownice. Maybe we’ll make itrespectable. Another touchdown. Well, let’s make it close. Then we win. Who’d a thought? Reality camecrashing back in last weekend, when we got manhandled by an average Illinois team.
Still, nothing prepared me for today. Crappy MAC team. Toledo? You’ve got to be kidding me. I can blame Lloyd for not having muchreturning on the offensive side of the ball, but I thought we had a soliddefense that would keep us afloat. Whatdefense?
I have now officially turned and suggest we end this Rich Rodriguezexperiment. This is just notworking. Even with a new offensivescheme and young players, there’s no way that Michigan should lose-EVER-to the MAC. This team looked unprepared and was verypoorly coached. Even Lloyd could havedone a better job than this.
I suggest that we get some of our best and brightest at the Michigan Law Schoolto figure out how we get out of this contract, and go hat in hand to LesMiles. Whatever he wants. Just get me a coach. This guy is a disaster.
Operation Get Jamie Mac's Money Back.
After a sour 2-5 week, we trudge on with this week's version of Big 10 picks. Lady Luck smacked us around last week. Purdue missed a late extra point in the fourth quarter, costing us one win. Wisconsin's loss to Ohio State in the final minute of the game cost us another. The line is always fine between profit and pain in the wagering world. This week's slate offers an array of questions: Is Wisco DOA? Can heavy favorites OSU and Illinois overcome any letdown in the wake of hallmark wins? How many combined kittens will perish in the wake of offensive implosions by Iowa and Michigan? (I dont know what the O/U is for that, but I can tell you its not high enough) Will Mike Valenti still be breathing come Monday morning? We'll know most of these answers within the next 24 hours. Here's my take on how it will shake out:
Iowa -6 at Indiana, O/U 46. Much has been made of Michigan's giveaway woes on these pages, but has anyone been paying attention to the outfit from Iowa City. The Hawks have lost three in a row by a combined 9 points. The culprit? An offense thats turned the ball over eight times in losing their first two Big Ten games of the season to Northwestern and Michigan State. Iowa can win this game because the Hoosiers wont have too many answers for Shonn Green, whose having a brilliant season running the football. I just cant take them to cover the spread. I cant lay points like this with a team on the road that turnovers the ball over this much. Stanzi might be an upgrade at QB over Christensen, but I dont think its really making a difference. This offense is accident prone. Indiana is no great shakes either, but this is a pretty good matchup for them. They've beat the Hawks in each of the last two seasons, scoring 38 points both times. Iowa has a solid D, stout up front, but they're a bit of a one trick pony. Despite their quality line, they dont rush the passer all that well and their pass D is vulnerable. IU QB Kellen Lewis will take advantage of that against a team he has a lot of confidence against. It would not shock me to see Iowa's turnovers cost them another win. I am also grabbing a piece of the Over. The Unders in Iowa game have been winners for me in recent weeks, but I am changing sides in this one. Indiana puts up points at home, averaging 27.77 ppg in their 15 games in Bloomington. I outlined the reasons above as to why the Hoosiers will have success against the Iowa D. When Iowa has the ball? Indiana wont shut them out, thats for sure, and, despite their tendencies to shoot themselves in the foot, Iowa will find the end zone more than a few times. Both teams will exceed 20 points, with the winner topping 30.
The Pick: Indiana +6, Over 46.
Minnesota +12.5 at Illinois, O/U 56. The Illini are on major letdown alert after playing a pair of bigtime league showdowns and slicing through Michigan last week. They'll find a pretty tough Gopher team waiting for them. I think the Illini can race through the rest of the Big 10. They could run the table from here on out. I would not be shocked. However, they just have the feel of a disinterested favorite considering the marquee of the last two weeks. The Gophers have taken a major leap forward this year. The offense has been efficient and they've gone from one the worst in turnover margin to one of the best. The Illini have given up a lot of points this year and Minnesota will find them flat footed enough to make this a decent game. Before the season, I really liked the Gophers as an underdog and they're 2-0 already in that role. Given the fact the Illini are just 10-16 ATS as a home favorite (4-8 in their last 12), I like the big dog in this one. Despite whatever flatness the Illini will have, I still think they have enough weapons that they'll still score a ton of points. It just might take a while to get revved up. The teams should combine for more than 60 points. That means I like the Over as well.
The Pick: Minnesota +12.5, Over 56.....man I feel like such a square taking Overs.
Toledo +16.5 at Michigan, Over 49.5. Well, I said I would pick every game for Big 10 teams the rest of the way, so I have backed myself into a corner and have to make a play in this one. You know what? I will lay those points. Michigan already beat Miami Ohio by 10 and Toledo is not as good, especially on defense. And, while the results have not been so obvious, the Michigan offense is playing better than they were in the Week 2 matchup with the RedHawks. The Rockets just have not been that good for a while now. Earlier in the year, this looked like a classic sandwhich game for the Wolverines, but with the coaches grumpy and yelling at the team all week for being soft, I actually expect the team to come out playing with way more fire in their eyes than a Michigan team usually would against a cupcake. I feel like Michigan might surpass 30 points in this one. While Toledo will probably hit a big play or two, I dont see them having too much success driving the field and besides their offense is a good bet to match Michigan's implosion for implosion throughout the day. I could see 31-14, 28-7, a shutout or even last week's score of 45-20 only with a reveral of fortunes. Four of Michigan's five games (Utah, ND, Wisco and Illinois) have sky rocketed past the O/U totals. It's at 49.5 this week, just like last week. Despite that record against the Over, I just cant jump aboard.
The Pick: Michigan -16.5.........I hope I dont regret this bravado about the Maize and Blue.
Purdue +19 at Ohio State, O/U 46. Painter and Purdue are overmatched in this one, but they wont turn the ball over and will do enough to stay within 20 points of the Buckeyes. The Bucks have only covered in one of their last six games at the Horseshoe while Purdue has got the cash in five of their last seven chances as a road dog. With a senior QB, the Boilers will be able to do just enough to keep this game from getting out of hand and extending each of those trends for another game. All season, I've said there's something not quite up to par about this OSU defense and we'll see that crop again tomorrow as the Boilers, who strugggled and just scored six points against Penn St last week, will reach the 20-point mark in Columbus. The Over looks nice as well as this score ought to resemble the Bucks score two weeks against Minnesota, 34-21.
The Pick: Purdue +19, O/U 46.
Michigan State -1 at Northwestern, O/U 47. If the Spartans win this game, it will set up a huge showdown next week against Ohio State. That's all I need to know. Northwestern will pull off the slight upset in this one. The Wildcats have enough offensive ability on hand to score somewhere between the outputs that Cal and IU put on Sparty in games earlier this year. They've had no problems scoring on Michigan State the past two years. MSU's D is just average and the best part of their D, a big play and physical secondary, got beat up in a grueling affair last week against Iowa. They might not be 100% effective tomorrow against the Cats, who come into this contest with a critical week of rest. MSU receivers drop too many balls to trust them in a big road contest. The Wildcats won 48-41 last year, so why would we think they would lose this year, as a better team, playing at home. MSU dodged a huge "Oh No Sparty" bullet last week when they luckily fell on a fumble during a QB sneak while trying to kill the clock. This week, expect their history to catch up with them.
The Pick: Northwestern +1
Penn State +6 at Wisconsin, O/U 46.5 The Badgers are one loss away from perhaps being the best 0-3 team in the history of Big 10 league play. The ramifications are huge with another Badger loss as they will be fighting the rest of the year just to become bowl eligible. Many feel they might be a dead football walking after a pair of fourth quarter collaspes the last weeks. I think there's enough upperclassmen leadership to keep that from happening. The Badgers will be properly lathered up for Saturday night's game and they have just the type of oiffense to keep Penn State off the field and in check. Lost in the wake of another fourth quarter loss was the fact that the Badgers kept OSU out of the end zone for over 56 straight minutes of game clock. They did so with some efficient, clock killing drives on offense. Wisconsin will have the same success against PSU and I love their change of pace combo of PJ Hill and Jonathon Clay to keep the Nits off balance. Penn State is just 4-8 ATS in the second of back to back road games while the Badgers are 7-3 ATS in a home game off of a home game. In the summer, the Badgers were favored by 4 in this contest, but now they're catching 6? Public perception is driving this line, not reality. Penn State is not as great as some of their guady scores would indicate, while Wisconsin is not suddenly Temple because they lost games to Michigan and Ohio State in the closing sequences. Maybe the Badgers snare defeat from the jaws of victory again, but they'll likely cover the spread in the process. I think Wisconsin wins this game straight up and the Nittany Lions perfect season gets snapped. Besides, the Band is back in the stadium. That's got to be worth a few points, right? I will gladly take the six point head start.
The Pick: Wisconsin +6......I like this one a lot. I would call it the Best Bet of this bunch.
I did not intend to take all underdogs as far as the league head to heads go. Ironically, Michigan is the only favorite I've taken. I dont see what possibly could go wrong.
throw the damn ball !!!!!
I think the reason for Threet's inaccuracy at some points in the game, is him trying to put TOUCH on the ball, instead of just whipping it in there. I have noticed that he is not really left, or right, as much as he is OVER throwing his targets.
If he tries to put touch on the ball it is sailing on him. If he would just rare back and throw the thing, I beleive his accuracy would be dead on. These late drives where this offense actually looks like something. Threet is humming it in to his receivers. The drives that we struggle on, he throws several balls high, and not with a lot of velocity. Hence the TOUCH comment. I'm sure sometimes the kid is just trying too hard and that causes it to sail, but I just don't see him firing the ball in there like he does on a lot of his good passes.
Don't get me wrong, Threet has nice touch on his deep ball, which might speak to him trying to throw with touch on the curles or slants. he has pretty good arm strength, and needs to trust it. This weekend is the perfect opportubity for Threet to move up in his ability. Take this Defense and pick them apart with SHARP, CRISP bullets.
Come on "Bubba" gives us all what we see in you. A talented QB with a good arm. Just throw the damn thing. If he does, this offense can really bloom the rest of the year.
Good Luck Saturday Gentlemen !!!!!! GOOOO BLUE!!!!!!!!!!
This post was inspired by Brian's mailbag analysis of Rod and Les Miles. In the end, this was just too long to post as a reply.
I can completely appreciate the nuts and bolts, on-the-field assessment of Rodriguez vis a vis Miles, but an important point is being missed.
Les is a Michigan man, legitimately. Had he have been signed, he's your coach for the next 15 years. His staff becomes an institution that draws recruits nationally in much the same way Paterno and Bowden do, year in and year out. He knows how to beat OSU. After Les retired from coaching, in A2, he'd have an office in the Hartwig Building like both Bo and Lloyd.
Rod, on the other hand, left his alma mater and his home state. His hometown acknowledged him on their welcome sign. At WVU he was king, his team competed in a BCS conference, and he earned a salary at or near the pinnacle for college coaches. If he left WVU and the situation he had there, how does that bode for us? Three valid scenarios are likely:
1. Rod is wildly successful. Think 9-3 next year, 11-1 the year after and we return to top ten rankings. Undergrads rejoice in face paint, suckers like me spring for tickets to the Rose Bowl collapse, and life in general is very good. An NFL team approaches Rod, and he delivers a shy smile as he's announced as Al Davis' next messiah. We flounder trying to find a coach who can manage a team built entirely around the spread offense. Case study: Bobby Petrino.
2. Rod is pretty successful. Think 8-4 next year, 9-3 the year after that and while we're in the rankings, there's a national expectation that we'll drop at least one big game a year and an outlier to a non-conference opponent (Welcome back to Ann Arbor, Oregon!). Life is still pretty good, and not unlike Lloyd's last few years. Rod holds U of M's feet to the fire to renegotiate his contract and Mary Sue and Martin cry poverty from a state bordering on economic depression. Rod gets a small salary premium from a big time program, a great endorsement deal, and he delivers a shy smile as he's announced as Florida's next messiah (Urban Meyer just took the deal with the Raiders from Scenario 1). We contemplate chugging arsenic trying to find a coach who can manage a team built entirely around the spread offense. Case study: a blast from the past for MSU fans, Nick Saban...and Rich Rodriguez.
3. Rod sucks. I mean he's truly awful and we struggle in 4-8 obscurity for two years. Undergrads are sober and read Kierkegaard in the stands during games, endowments are pulled and Indiana looks down on us in the Big 11 standings. The traditions pulled from the team by Rod now seem tiresome and he repeatedly reiterates his commitment to work hard for the team. Rod's canned six games into the season and Lloyd returns to finish the slate to a .500 finish, potentially finishing his swan song by beating OSU (although highly unlikely). Rod avoids eye contact with the cameras as he's introduced as Miami's (either one) offensive coordinator. We sincerely consider committing seppuku trying to find a coach who can manage a team built entirely around the spread offense. Case study: Bill Callahan.
The third scenario is, admittedly, extremely unlikely. But if Rod can bolt on dub-vay, he can and will plunge the knife deep on us. Scenarios 1 and 2 are highly likely. My brother, who lives in Morgantown, is still extremely bitter and probably won't speak to me after he gets the "all your coaches are belong to us" t-shirt for Christmas. It's ok to spend for talent, but you overpay for integrity and loyalty.
Three years in the history of Michigan Football is not an era, it's a hiccup. Standby for tabloid headlines two years from now...and a rough transition with Rod's successor.
This is a message I recieved from an unnamed person over the Internet two weeks before the season opener against Utah. I had told him not to expect much out of this season, and that Michigan State could very likely beat Michigan at the Big House for the first time since the (Insert hilarious choice of past leader) administration.
"let me lay it out for you. here's why the Wolverines will beat the Spartans by 21 points in 2008:
1. Michigan state never has an answer for Michigans runningame, and 2008 will be no different, as the Spartans lose all their good players on defense (except for Otis Wiley), and as Michigan has Brown and Minor, among others, to pound the ball down MSU's throats for 250 yards.
2. Michigan always wins by at least two TD's at the Big House against MSU.
3. Michigan states secondary always gets burned by Michigans wide receivers (read: Marquis Walker, Braylon Edwards, Jason Avant, Mario Manningham), and in 2008, its Mathews and TE Butlers turn to make a joke out of the Spartans laughable secondary.
4. Brian Hoyer is still MSU's QB. Nough said
5. All MSU has on offense is Ringer, and Michigans defense can just stuff the box with 8 guys and stop or contain Ringer.
For these 5 reasons, Michigan will beat MSU by 3 TD's.
Now. let me explain what Michigan has on offense for 2008:
-Steven Threet: He is a transfer from Georgia Tech. He can’t run, and he will only be a redshirt freshmen. But, he has a lot of raw talent. He has a cannon of an arm, has great size at 6’6, 228, was a 4 star prospect coming out of high school, and was rated as the 9th best QB in the nation from the class of 2007. He has the heads up on the starting job going into summer camp. Running RR’s offense, Threet has a chance to be the next Shaun King (who was the pocket passing QB at Tulane in 1998 when RR was the o-coordinator, and when Tulane went 12-0)
-Justin Feagin: In a sentence, Feagin is the poor mans Terrell Pryor. He will only be a true freshmen, and he is only a 3 star prospect. However, he IS an electrifying athlete, and he has a pretty good arm.
When RR wants to run the zone read or triple option (his bread and butter plays) he can bring in Feagin as a substitute, just like Tebow was bought in Florida for 2006, and Perriloux was bought in for LSU in 2007. If Feagin ends up being the starter, he could be the next Pat White. Either way, as a substitute or a starter, Feagin should be an asset.
-Carlos Brown: Brown is Michigan’s best athlete at the tailback position, and is even a better athlete then Mike Hart. Blessed with blazing speed and agility, Brown was a 4 star prospect coming out of high school and was rated as the 5th best running back in the nation from the class of 2006. After hardly playing at all as a true freshmen in 2006, Brown was much improved as true sophomore in 2007. As the featured substitute for Hart, Brown carried the ball 75 times for 382 yards (averaging 5.1 YPC), scored 4 TD’s on the ground, and he ran for 100 yards twice when Hart was hurt (one of those times was against Illinois on the road). As a junior in 2008, Brown has the best chance of being the featured TB in RR’s offense, and he should explode for 1500 yards and 15 TD’s.
-Brandon Minor: Just like Brown, Minor is blessed with raw talent. He is more of a power back, but he has very nice straight-line speed, and he was also a 4 star prospect coming out of high school. Minor has been a regular substitute at TB for the last two seasons, gaining 42 carries for 238 yards (5.7 YPC) in 2006, and 90 carries for 385 yards in 2007. He has two career 100-yard games under his belt. As a junior in 2008, Minor should have another solid season as the main substitute at TB, and if he starts, he should break loose for 1200 yards and 10 TD’s.
-Kevin Grady: He was the nations number 1 rated TB and a 5 star prospect coming out of high school in 2005. He hasn’t lived up to the hype so far, but considering he’s had running backs like Hart, Brown, Minor, and Jerome Jackson in front of him, you can’t say its all Grady’s fault that he hasn’t lived up to his potential. Grady blew out his knee in the spring of 2007, missing all of last season. He will be a redshirt junior in 2008, and now that’s he’s made a full recovery, he will be an effective substitute yet again for the Wolverines, and he has a good chance to be the starter. As a true freshmen in 2005, Grady started several games when Hart was hurt and had 121 carries for 483 yards and 5 TD’s, along with 14 catches for 113 yards receiving. And as a true sophomore in 2006, he had 55 carries for 187 yards and 3 TD’s
-Sam McGuffie. He will only be a true freshmen, but he has amazing speed, not to mention Barry Sanders like moves.
-Greg Mathews: a 4 star prospect with 4.3 speed coming out of high school, Mathews has seen extended playing time in each of the last two years. As the fourth receiver as a true freshmen in 2006, he only had 7 catches for 68 yards, but then when Steve Breaston graduated, Mathews was moved to the 3rd receiver as a true sophomore in 2007, and his numbers spiked to 39 catches for 366 yards and 3 TD’s. Technically speaking, he is a returning starter, and as the primary receiver as a junior in 2008, Mathews should be the next great product of WR University
-Junior Hemingway: He is a 6’1, 214 pound possession receiver, but he runs a 4.4 40, so he can get open on deep balls. He had a measly 4 catches for 37 yards last season as a true freshmen, but that was as the 4th receiver. As the starter opposite Mathews, Hemingway should see his numbers spike as a true sophomore in 2008, just like Mathews numbers spiked last season.
-Toney Clemons: Just like Hemingway, Clemons is a possession receiver at 6’3, 201. The cousin of Terrell Pryor, and a 4 star prospect from the class of 2007 who has been compared to David Terrell by Lloyd Carr’s previous coaching staff (source: Oakland Press), Clemons will be Michigan’s 3rd receiver as a true sophomore in 2008, and just like every other one of Michigan’s third receivers, Clemons should put up solid numbers and be a big asset in 2008 after only having 1 paltry catch for 5 yards in mop up duty last season
-Carson Butler: a returning starter at tightend, Butler will be a junior in 2008, and according to rivals.com, Michigan great Jim Mandich predicts that Butler will have a monster season in RR’s spread offense. As a substitute as a redshirt freshmen in 2006, Butler had 19 catches for 166 yards and a TD, then as a starter as a redshirt sophomore last season, Butler had 20 catches for 246 yards and 2 TD’s. He has great size at 6’5 250, but has he proved with his 65-yard catch against Florida and his 16-yard run against Wisconsin, he can really move for his size. I’m with mandich on this one: Butler will have a monster season in 2008, and along with Mathews, he will more then make up for the loss of Manningham and Arrington
LT=Stephen Schilling, redshirt sophomore(returning starter at RT who's moving over to LT to replace Jake long. he's a former 5 star prospect)
LG=Tim McAvoy, redshirt junior (saw some decent playing time last year when Alex Mitchell was injured)
C=David Moosman, redshirt junior(former 4 star prospect who finally has a chance to shine)
RG=Cory Zirbel, redshirt junior (just like moosman, he's a former 4 star prospect wh finally has a chance to shine)
RT=Mark Orttman, redshirt junior (he say some nice playing time last year when schilling was banged up)
three of our 5 starters on the o-line DO have experience. The other two projected starters-Zirbel and Moosman-have plenty of raw talent, as they were former 4 star prospects, and technically they are redshirt juniors, so nobody can liken them to freshmen despite their lack of game experience. Those guys have watched and learned from the sidelines for 3 years. I think they've picked up plenty of hints on how to be successful.Plus, under R's coaching, I really am not worried about them. Heck, i'm not worried about the O-line period. People make it sound like our o-line is a bunch of freshmen with no talent, and nothnig could be further from the truth
As for their defense, they have 7 of 11 starters returning overall from a unit that was ranked 24th in the nation in total defense. They return 2 three-year starters in DT Terrance Taylor and CB Morgan Trent; all four starters on the defensive line (including two DE's that combined for 14 sacks in Brandon Graham and Tim Jamison); a dominant middle linebacker in Obi Ezeh; and two shutdown cornerbacks in Trent and Donovan Warren. Defense wins championships, and Michigans defense is gonig to be arguably the best in the Big Ten in 2008, and one of the best in the nation
I think Michigan is going to go 11-2, win the Big Ten outright, and beat Ohio State for the first time since 2003"
Yes, he was serious. After the Notre Dame game, however, I recieved a new message in my mailbox.
"Michigan is the worst team in college football right now. Their offense is non-existent, and when it DOES get some decent yardage (like it did today with 388 total yards) it turns the ball over 6 times. Our defense is trash to. 0 sacks against a team that gave up 58 sacks last season. Obi Ezeh has disappeared the last two games. The entire secondary is pathetic. Morgan Trent? Trash. Donovan Warren? Trash. Stevie Brown? Trash. Brandon Harrison? One game wonder.....trash. Our DE's are trash to. Tim Jamison has the biggest mouth ever, and he never backs it up. Ditto Terrance Taylor (apparently losing all that weight hurt him instead of helping him. he was much more explosive lasts season). Brandon graham was impressive last season but this year he’s been a colossal bust. Will Johnson is the only player on defense who's lived up to the hype thus far. Our offense and defense are trash. Our special teams are trash as well. No punt return and kick return unit, and terrible return coverage. Thank god we have lopata and mesko
All that talent laid to waste....what a -expletive-ing shame. RR should be fired right now. Growing pains is one thing, but this is not growing pains. This is a -expletive-ing disaster. Michigan will get crushed in each of their remaining games save Toledo, and they might not win that game either. a 1-11 season is quite realistic. in case you haven’t noticed, Minnesota and Northwestern are much-improved teams. the wildcats will run up 600 total yards in a 45-10 route against us, and Minnesota will notch a solid victory against us as well. the Toledo game will be an overtime toss up. And don't tell me to 'wait" for RR to develop his team. That’s what Bill Callahan tried to tell Nebraska fans and look where that got the Cornhuskers. Michigan is going down the exact same road as the Cornhuskers, and they better fire RR right now that way they get off that road.
they need to do what’s worked for 40 years now: go in house. Michigan will never bee a powerhouse again. That was probably confirmed with the loss to App State. But at least when we hire "in house" and go with a Bo schembechler product (like mike Debord or ideally Les Miles) then Michigan can still win at least 8 games every year and make it to a Bowl game (and forget about Ohio State, the buckeyes will own us until tressell retires. Its about time Michigan stops focusing on trying to get to Ohio states level. It’s no longer realistic anymore. the Buckeyes permenently own Michigan). And if we go in house, then at least we'll have a 1997 or 1999 every once in awhile. But under a new coach like RR, we'll be nothing more then a horrible 3-9 team.
RR is trash. his offense is trash. His cultural mentality is trash. and his assistants are trash (Calvin Magee is such a fat -expletive-). I’d transfer if I was Sam Mcguffie,. there's ain;t no hope at Michigan. No wonder Newsome decommited. Forcier and Beaver will probably decommit by February as well."
What's the deal with this polar opposite expectation swap? Have some faith in your team. It makes me sick to see this kind of thing, yet it's increasingly the prevalant attitude of UM fans. Yeah, I hate the Walmart Wolverines, but this kind of thing is ridiculous. Stand by your team, even if you just adopted them so you could brag to your neighbors who attended MSU.
It's been what? Five games for UM? Did you expect to go to a championship in RR's first year, like this poor sucker? Give him some time, he's a good coach. He needs players suited to the spread, and he'll bring you back to Big Ten prominence.
I have been exasperated with some of the recent threads even mentioning the firing of RR five games into his tenure at Michigan. Anybody with half a mind could see that this year would be a struggle. We sustained the loss of all time record holders in passing and rushing, the loss of a number one draft pick on the line, two explosive receivers and instituted a brand new system with players often ill equipped to run it. Hell, if Lloyd Carr were here, can we honestly say our record would be different? The recruiting class looks to be awesome.
I decided to review some of RRs pressers for some reassurance or to see what some of these naysayers are picking up on to suggest such a brash, ill-conceived course. Then it hit me. I, like Colonel Kurtz “… realized--like I was shot...like I was shot with a diamond...a diamond bullet right through my forehead. And I thought, "My God, the genius of that, the genius, the will to do that." Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure”. RR does need to be fired, and fast. But not for the reasons our Friends would suggest.
Rich Rodriquez is going bald. Sure, he can cover it up with a hat. He can try to fool himself and others with his oh, so short haircut, but the end is coming. Soon he will display, in the words of George Costanza “the classic horseshoe pattern”. No big deal, right? It doesn’t take hair to win football games. WRONG! Hair and winning college football go together like Joe Paterno and a change of underwear.
Let’s look at the all time win leaders in college football. John Gagliardi at St. Johns College in MN, 453 wins and going strong and pretty good hair for an old guy. Eddie Robinson had a nice natural going. When it receded with age, so did his success. Amos Alonzo Stagg had some wiry Mark Twain lettuce. Bear Bryant had some good hair under that hounds tooth hat. Three words for Pop Warner—thick, thick, thick. Delaware’s Tubby Raymond (a former Wolverine under Fritz Crisler) was, and is, a silver fox. E. Kentucky’s Roy Kidd and Pacific Lutheran’s Frosty Westering were receding and bald, respectively but they were 1AA and lower—THIS IS DIVISION 1 FOOTBALL! Paterno will begin to lose skin before he loses any hair and Bowden has lost more games than strands of hair in the last few years.
If we were talking basketball there would be no worries. Your Tarkanians and Auerbachs glorious pates reflected well upon their programs. One might feel the need to bring up Knute Rockne. Yes, he was quite successful for a follicularly-challanged coach. I will address that in another piece entitled “Why Knute Rockne had to die”. I would also counter with Jimmy Fuckin’ Johnson.
Therefore, I am a flip flopper. I was wrong. Despite all rational arguments to the contrary, RR needs to go. I will join the ranks of those calling for his soon to be shiny head. Begin the next coaching search in a barber shop. Might I suggest one in Baton Rouge?