"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
No seriously, where are you? RR hating seems to be greatly exaggerated by a lot of posters on message boards who undertake to defend him and the program. I haven't seen a whole lot of RR hating on this site or others outside of a few trolls and misguided Michigan fans who are dismissed with extreme prejudice by the majority, which is as it should be. I think just about everyone is willing to give RR the benefit of the doubt* this year and expects significant improvement next year.
*Admittedly, I don't see the comments rejected from the Live Blog, which I understand include a lot of negativity.
Looking forward, though, I have no idea how good or bad Michigan will be. If this year has taught me anything its that preseason expectations are meaningless (a lesson I should have learned in 1997). 6-6 wouldn't surprise me too much but neither would 10-2. I'm skeptical and hopeful at the same time and I don't see that as a contradiction in this instance.
I think it would be a mistake to turn expectation of future success into an article of faith (see ND fans circa one year ago). All that 3-9 means is that we weren't a very good team this year. It doesn't mean we'll be bad next year but 8-10 wins is far from guaranteed.
For the time being, I'm content to chalk this season up to an unfortunate confluence of attrition, growing pains under a new coach and bad luck. RR has a track record of success and a history of making big leaps between the his first and second years with other programs. His recruiting has been acceptable by Michigan standards, which are extremely high. These factors, combined with the flashes of competitiveness that this year's team showed with so many young players playing significant roles are irrefutable evidence that we could be in store for great things under RR. Unless, of course, we aren't, which would be unfortunate but well within the parameters of possible.
I've been a Michigan fan for over thirty years now. I was originally born and raised in Ohio (2 hrs from dreaded Columbus) but now live in West Virginia (now 20 minutes from Morgantown). So you can imagine all the heckling, jeers, anti-Michigan/Rich Rod jokes, comments or anything negative about my beloved blue that I get. I have to be careful every time I travel to Morgantown in my Michigan hat and shirt. It's funy how people want to blame me or associate me with Rodriguez leaving WVU the way he did.
In saying this, I have never witnessed such a downtrodden team in all the years I've watched Michigan football. I do remember the years when Earl Bruce seemed to own us but not on the consistency that Tressel does now. However, that being said I WILL NEVER GIVE UP ON THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN!!!! This by far has been one of the worst years but that's ok, I believe in the university, I believe in program, I believe in the prestige that is Michigan football. Michigan is bigger than the one man who has come in and radically changed the culture. Am I a big fan of Rich Rod? No, I'm not but I do believe he is a very good coach who has the ability to return Michigan to it's former prominence and dominance. Am I going to bash the current coaching staff and players for this seasons dismal failures? No, a new coaching staff with a radically different mindset and approach to the game will cause bumps in the road. I will admit, I did not expect a 3-9 season. I was one of the more optimistic people thinking Michigan would finish somewhere in the neighborhood of 8-4 or 7-5 for the season. I thought we had enough returning talent to overcome some of the learning curves his new system would entail. Being a former player and coach, I can definitely see that the defense played well in spurts but not nearly to the potential that they were capable of. I know some of the blame can go to the offensive struggles but not all can be attributed to them. Remember, this is year one in the transition period for Michigan. Next year I will personally set the bar higher because my expectations realize there will be a lot of returning talent especially at the skill positions. Quarterback again will be a concern because I think Forcier will be the eventual starter if he still comes to Michigan.
I will always remain a Michigan Wolverine fan regardless the record, regardless the sport. My love for the University runs much deeper(and I'm not even a student or alum!). I've only been to one football game in my lifetime but that was enough. I got to experience the "Big House" and I loved every minute of it. I got to soak in all the tradition, all the fanfare, for one day I was in awe. I envy those of you who live there and go to games on a regular basis.
I'm just a University of Michigan fan.
As we aall lick our wouds over what might have been in the horseshoe...(was that the closest 42-7 game I have ever seen?) you're killing me Odoms.....I wanted to get swomething off my chest before "this guy" starts to rear his head the next couple of weeks. This guy is "no reasoning non sensical head to head guy" The Big 12 is a mess with
okl blowing out Tech last night. They have a 3 way tie that needs to be broken. Each team has beat the other so each team needs to be examined to make a decision in this idiotic system. Arguments can be submitted for all 3 teams, but if in the end as I think it should be and
okl is selected we are sure to hear from "Tex beat Okl head to head end of story" the same arguments were made in 01 with Miami vs FSU which were incorrect. A football season has many factors that all need to be considered..out of conf schedule, home and away, how they looked, when they played, injuries and yes an important factor is head to head but not the only 1. Tex beating Okl on a neutral field is a huge feather in their argument cap, just please shoot down anyone that uses this simplistic approach.. If they do then this is the perfect season to get them in the unsolvable circular loop that is the Big 12. Ok then Tech beat Texas so they should go........
A friend of mine sent me the following message Saturday: "Hell I would
My response to him:
Rodriguez IS the answer for the team. CARR left him with basically nothing. And when RR instituted his system and work ethic some of the folks didn't buy into it and left, good riddance we don't want quitters around here anyway. That's on them (the quitters). I believe in RR. His track record is good. This season was bad, but Carr left him with basically nothing. Give the man a chance. Abandoning ship now would be even worse than staying with a mediocre guy for a few years, which RR is not mediocre. Are you really worried about the program or your insecurity over defending it like a true fan?
Even Carr would have had a losing season with this rag tag bunch of players and mostly by the doing of his own recruiting strategy. Let RR get a full class through the system, ie: 4 years. Then judge the guy. If there isn't any improvement, then can the guy and search out the next Michigan messiah.
Until then, asking for RR's job now is reactionary at best and ignorant at worst... Feel free to jump back on the bandwagon after RR is a success and tell everyone you "knew he had it in him, he just needed some time." And that "you can't believe that some people were calling for his job after only a few months."
Those of us with faith will be wondering where you were during these dark times, but will welcome you back with no conditions to show you what an ignorant, reactionary, short-sighted, fool you had been all along.
This year was heart-breaking to say the least. I, like many, held the bowl streak in the highest regard. Even though that has now become a part of the past, the streak is still ours. We still have the winningest program in the history of Div I football. We can still claim legends like, Harmon, Schembechler, Yost, Crisler, Oosterban, and Eisenhower, etc. There is plenty to be proud of!
I don't know if RR is the next great, but I have more faith in him than I would have had in Ferentz, Schiano, or Hoke. We all knew there would be some growing pains, however everyone seems to have forgotten what we were realistically left with and their own tempered expectations for the season. This was a real possibility. It was given lip service by some, but disregarded by most. Now everyone seems to be completely surprised that Michigan is this bad and no-one saw it coming.
In closing take your hate-filled, fire RR vitriol and re-channel it into something constructive for the holiday season. We all know that everyone could use some dedicated compassion this holiday season. Join us again late next summer and feel free not to post your hate until we've won three or four of the first five games and it's more ironic than insightful.
Although right now I may be down on our 2009 team's chances, inevitabely between now and August 30th hope will spring eternal and I will believe Michigan is going to some awesome bowl in 2009. What reasons am I going to have for deluding myself?
1. 11 returning starters on offense
2. If a true frosh starts, that will mean he is better than Threet, so the qb play will be improved no matter what.
3. I'll be subjected to another 9 months of EEEE BARWIS talk and all the players talking about how much they've improved physically.
4. The players will work on fielding kicks. That alone probably cost us 2 games this year.
5. We will have even more ninja slot dudes. Although we all like Tay, we have no one else to compare him to, so we don't know how good he is compared to the other electrons Michigan recruited.
6. The offensive line will have a lot more experience, along with some good 2008 recruits contributing and hopefully the return of Zirbel.
7. I believe in Gsimms. Whenever I am down on the defense, I read Gsimms, and somehow he is able to get me to rebelieve in Schafer. Even with the loss of 6/7 starters, In 4 months I will honestly believed we will be improved on Defense.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY...
8. Rivals practice videos. I'll be able to watch Tate and Beav throw the ball around with no defense, Fitz Touissant truck someone in the M drill, and our defense practicing scoop and score drills. Then I will exclaim OMG WE ARE SO GOOD!!!
I'm drunk. This was a rambling response to a question about what I thought of the coaching this season in a thread on Scout. I'm creating a diary with all of this because being drunk has massively increased my sense of importance. Rod, I know you're going to read this and invite me to play golf this spring.
As far as Xs and Os go I don't know, to be honest. It's so hard to evaluate such a young offense, for one. Who knows how much these kids are able to pick up in practice. There's so much for them to learn. I can't make judgments about things that go on in practice and film sessions. They started the season with a very, very limited package on offense. They add a little more each week but I don't think it's enough to counter any halftime adjustments that opposing defenses make. The QB situation is dire and that obviously limits them as well. It just hasn't been possible for this offense to be very versatile this year. The run blocking has improved about 500% over the course of the season, imo. We don't have backs getting hit five yards behind the LOS every other down anymore.
Defensively, ugh. They're so solid up front but man do they give up a lot of big plays. Maybe Shafer isn't the guy. Again, I don't know. The safeties are absolutely horrible but they've been horrible for awhile. We've had one safety make All Big Ten in about forever. Tackling is disgusting but we've had problems there in the past as well. FFS if I were forced to watch Morgan Trent try to torpedo a guy with his hands hanging by his waist one more time in the open field I think I would throw a ******* chair at my television. We lack depth at LB but I think that is the most improved part of our defense. Mouton has gotten much, much better. He's going to be a beast next year. WVU fans pointed fingers at Tony Gibson as the reason for their poor secondary play the entire time he was there. Maybe there is something to that.
Special teams: ZOLTAN minus a everybody and their brother dropping the ball on the ground. How much coaching goes into catching. It isn't rocket science.
Every coach is an idiot in a lot of fan's eyes when their team loses, without exception. Every coach is an idiot, dumbass, retard, etc. every time they lose a game. A lot of fans are like neanderthals or little kids. When their team loses, it hurts. They feel PAIN and all objectivity goes out the window and they lash out at whatever is in their path. They start talking about the coach who needs to be fired or the player who they wish would get hit by a bus as if that would fix everything. It's irrational and aggravating.
Everybody is an armchair QB. Hindsight is 20/20, etc. Earle Bruce criticized Tressel's playcalling on 1460 here in Columbus after their game against Penn State. He had one caveat, though: he said that while he thinks he may have called different plays on a few crucial downs, he can't say for sure. He explained that a coach has 15-20 seconds to choose a play. They have only that much time to analyze their opponent's personnel on the field, make their own personnel changes, and then choose from one of two or three plays being given them as an option. He said that until you walk in those shoes you can NEVER understand the pressure that a coach is under when it comes to playcalling. He said that even the very best can never, never, never get it right all the time. He said that those who have been there such as himself can point out obvious coaching mistakes even for any team on the plus side of a blowout. He said that he knew with 100% certainty after the game that Tressel and his OC had made a few errors with the playcalling but that he would put pretty close to 0% of the blame on them for those calls.
When a team loses 9 games there is no one thing that you can point to as the sole reason for losing 9 games. There is more than one flaw, obviously. Can the coaching staff do a better job? Of course. And I'm certain they question themselves everyday. Could this team have gone 7-5 or something? It would have taken a miracle, imo. And the majority of the people who populate Michigan boards wouldn't recognize that 7-5 team for the amazing job they had done, anyway. I imagine the attitude here would be more or less the same. There is not much objectivity on this board.
If you drop discussion about Xs and Os and forget about what's happened this season, though, I don't understand people who just don't like Rodriguez in general. WVU fans are bitter, etc. The media bought into a bunch of that stuff from day one, but again, I don't get it. People need to open their minds, quit being such sheep, and quit believing everything they read. I do not recall reading a SINGLE complaint from a WVU player TO THIS DAY regarding the manner in which Rod left WVU. Everything I have read indicates something from his players' general disappointment with the situation to them wishing him good luck. I may be wrong. Feel free to point it out if this is the case. But until I hear otherwise, these were the people closest to Rod and the situation when he left, and well...Occam's Razor.
Rod has the fire and the drive to be successful. He's not arrogant or cocky. He works as hard as anybody and he's personable. He's a coalminer's son. When he was in high school he would go outside in the winter and pack down the snow so he could shoot hoops with gloves on. He turned down basketball scholarships because he really, really wanted to play football. He walked on at WVU with enough cash in his pocket to get through one semester, knowing that if he didn't get a football scholarship he was probably going to go work the mines or somesuch for the rest of his life. He made up his mind that he was going to start fights with anybody and everybody everyday in practice so that coaches would notice him and his determination and the fire in his ******* belly to MAKE IT. Nehlen gave him a scholarship at the end of that first season.
Rod is a good guy. People who know him say he is neither arrogant or cocky. If anything, he is shy by nature. He came from next to nothing. He's a self-made man. He has worked hard everyday for everything he has. He loves to win and hates to lose as much as ANYBODY. He is doing his level best to win. I guarantee that as much as this season has hurt anybody here it has hurt Rod 1000x more. I see the reflection of Rod's desire to win in the way this team has fought on every down this season. I believe in Rod and his plan for this program. Regardless of our record this season, I feel that anyone who doesn't show their support until we see how this plays out over the next couple of years is doing a great disservice to this program. Questioning playcalling or personnel decisions is one thing. Laying the entire blame for this season on them is completely off base.
Thank you, seniors. You're Michigan Men, every last one of you.