For the life of me, with all the talk about Malzahn, I don't know why we're not talking more about Dan Mullen. He's got all the charisma of Harbaugh but we wouldn't have to spend three years rebuilding with a new kind of offense. He's got midwest ties (coached with Urban at ND and BG) and would keep the Florida recruiting pipeline intact.
I know he just signed a contract extension, but that pays him $2.6M a year. Brandon can outbid that (and has indicated he intends to). And I know people are saying he wasn't interested in the Florida job but that's because Florida never contacted him. I have to think he'd consider going from a low-level SEC team to a top-of-the-pack Big Ten team.
Final point: Denard loves him and even committed to him at Florida before Mullen jumped ship to MSU. Quote from Denard: "I basically committed to him." ""He was a nice guy, real genuine."
Is there anyone else who thinks Mullen should be our #1 target? Am I crazy?
EDIT: For those unwilling to read the whole post, I don't think we should hire Mullen just because of Denard. I actually think Devin Gardner would be better in his offense. My larger point is that Mullen is the best coach available for a variety of reasons.
[Ed.: Bumped for awesome.]
For pathos purposes only.
Rodriguez: Trouble at Schembechler!
Assistant: Oh no - what kind of trouble?
Rodriguez: One on't zone reed gone owt askew on spreadshred.
Rodriguez: One on't zone reed gone owt askew on spreadshred.
Assistant: I don't understand what you're saying.
Rodriguez: [slightly irritatedly and with exaggeratedly clear accent] One of the zone reads has gone out askew in the spread n’ shred.
Assistant: Well what on earth does that mean?
Rodriguez: I don't know – Mr. Magee just told me to come in here and say that there was trouble at Schembechler, that's all - I didn't expect a kind of Coaching Inquisition.
[The door flies open and Cardinal David Brandon of Domino’s enters, flanked by two junior cardinals. Cardinal Rosenberg has goggles pushed over his forehead. Cardinal Fatcatalumnus is just Cardinal Fatcatalumnus]
Brandon: NOBODY expects the Coaching Inquisition! Our chief Replacement Candidate is Hoke...Hoke and Miles...Miles and Hoke.... Our two Replacement Candidates are Miles and Hoke...and Patterson.... Our three Replacement Candidates are Miles, Hoke, and Patterson...and an almost fanatical devotion to Harbaugh.... Our four...no... Amongst our Replacement Candidates.... Amongst our Replacement Candidatery...are such candidates as Miles, Hoke.... I'll come in again.
[The Cardinals exit]
Rodriguez: I didn't expect a kind of Coaching Inquisition.
[The cardinals burst in]
Brandon: NOBODY expects the Coaching Inquisition! Amongst our Replacement Candidatery are such diverse candidates as: Miles, Hoke, Patterson, an almost fanatical devotion to Harbaugh, and nice red uniforms - Oh damn!
[To Cardinal Rosenberg] I can't say it - you'll have to say it.
Brandon: You'll have to say the bit about 'Our chief Replacement Candidates are ...'
Rosenberg: [rather horrified]: I couldn't do that...
[Brandon bundles the cardinals outside again]
Rodriguez: I didn't expect a kind of Coaching Inquisition.
[The cardinals enter]
Rosenberg: Er.... Nobody...um....
Rosenberg: Expects... Nobody expects the...um...the Coaching...um...
Brandon: Coaching Inquisition...
Rosenberg: I know, I know! Nobody expects the Coaching Inquisition. In fact, those who do expect -
Brandon: Our chief Replacement Candidates are...
Rosenberg: Our chief Replacement Candidates are...um...er...
Rosenberg: Hoke and --
Brandon: Okay, stop. Stop. Stop there - stop there. Stop. Phew! Ah! ... our chief Replacement Candidates are Hoke...blah blah blah. Cardinal, read the charges.
Fatcatalumnus: You are hereby charged that you did on diverse dates commit heresy against the House of Bo. 'My old Michigan Man said follow the--'
Rosenberg: That's enough.
[To Rodriguez] Now, how do you plead?
Rodriguez: I’m innocent.
Brandon: Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!
Rosenberg: We'll soon change your mind about that!
Brandon: Miles, Hoke, and a most fanatical -- [controls himself with a supreme effort] Ooooh! Now, Cardinal -- the MAJOR VIOLATIONS!
[Rosenberg produces a ONE-PAGE LIST OF NCAA MAJOR VIOLATIONS. Brandon looks at it and clenches his teeth in an effort not to lose control. He hums heavily to cover his anger]
Brandon: You....Right! Tie him down.
[Fatcatalumnus and Rosenberg make a pathetic attempt to tie Rodriguez to the sheet of NCAA Major Violations]
Brandon: Right! How do you plead?
Brandon: Ha! Right! Cardinal, make the public [oh dear] make the public believe the violations.
[Rosenberg stands there awkwardly and shrugs his shoulders]
Brandon: [gritting his teeth] I know, I know you can't. I didn't want to say anything. I just wanted to try and ignore your crass mistake.
Brandon: It makes it all seem so stupid.
Rosenberg: Shall I...?
Brandon: No, just pretend for God's sake. Ha! Ha! Ha!
[Rosenberg pretends to publish the violations in the Free Press using a plastic coated dish rack as a printing press]
[Cut to them torturing Rodriguez]
Brandon: Now, Rodriguez -- you are accused of heresy on three counts -- heresy by Game Captains, heresy by Hick Accent, heresy by Not Understanding the Rivalry, and heresy by the Number One Jersey -- four counts. Do you confess?
Rodriguez: I don't understand what I'm accused of.
Brandon: Ha! Then we'll make you understand! Rosenberg! Fetch...THE INFLATABLE MICHIGAN MAN SEX DOLL!
[Rosenberg holds out an INFLATABLE MICHIGAN MAN SEX DOLL]
Rosenberg: Here it is, Lord.
Brandon: Now, Rodriguez -- you have one last chance. Confess the heinous sin of Tiny Slot Ninjas, reject the works of Casteel -- two last chances. And you shall be free -- three last chances. You have three last chances, the nature of which I have divulged in my previous utterance.
Rodriguez: I don't know what you're talking about.
Brandon: Right! If that's the way you want it -- Cardinal! Poke him with the Inflatable Michigan Man Sex Doll!
[Rosenberg carries out this rather pathetic torture]
Brandon: Confess! Confess! Confess!
Rosenberg: It doesn't seem to be hurting him, Lord.
Brandon: Have you got all the air in the schlong?
Rosenberg: Yes, Lord.
Brandon [angrily hurling away the Inflatable Michigan Man Sex Doll]: Hmm! He is made of harder stuff! Cardinal Fatcatalumnus! Fetch...THE $2.5 MILLION BUYOUT!
[Zoom into Fatcatalumnus's horrified face]
Fatcatalumnus [terrified]: The...$2.5 million buyout?
[Rosenberg pushes in a GIANT PILE OF MONEY]
Brandon: So you think you are strong because you can survive the Inflatable Michigan Man Sex Doll. Well, we shall see. Rosenberg! Put him in the Giant Pile of Money!
[They roughly push him into the Giant Pile of Money]
Brandon [with a cruel leer]: Now -- you will stay in the Giant Pile of Money until another coaching job opens up, with only a year-long break on ESPN as an analyst. [Aside, to Rosenberg] Is that really all it is?
Rosenberg: Yes, Lord.
Brandon: I see. I suppose we make it worse by shouting a lot, do we? Confess, man. Confess! Confess! Confess! Confess!
Rosenberg: I confess!
Brandon: Not you!
I made this anticipating his return, however in light of recent events, I feel it still caries the same weight as a fond farewell... Sorry it's a few days late, but I don't have an iPhone and therefore could not post...
Anyway thanks for giving it your all RichRod, Sorry the local media was after you from the start and never really gave you a chance, good luck wherever you end up... here's to you big guy!
So, the general consensus around these parts seems to be "OMMGGGGG DOOOOOOM NOOOO HARBAUGH!!!!", which I don't entirely agree with. I have tried to avoid the CC topic and I have now failed myself and am contributing. What I dont get is why so many people seem to think that we have to make a change if don't wind up with Harbaugh. The last time I checked RR had not been fired yet and there seems to be some good defensive coaches out there for the picking.
Secondly, People seemto be forgetting that Urban Meyer has just become available. I will be willing to bet my bottom dollar that after a year off from football and a year of family time he will be dying to get back on coaching scene. So what do we do? We give RR that 4th year and if we see the epic turnaround on defense we all hope for and out offense is that much better than hooray! If it doesnt, what do we do? We go make Urban Meyer the highest paid coach in the country to come out of retiement. Urban runs a spread and would bring instant appeal to recruiting, you know since he's one a couple MNC's and what not.
Lastly, whoever is the coach at Michigan I will fully support until he is no longer our coach. If RR is fired I will be greatful to him for the victories and the amount of effort he has put into this program and whomever the next guy may be, as soon as announced, he will gain my full support. Go Blue and I cannot wait for the dust to settle.
I've held my tongue for the most part on the CC discussion, mainly because I wasn't exactly sure how I felt. But having just returned from Jacksonville*, I'm convinced Rod needs to go. While Oregon and Auburn prove that a great O can overcome a middling D, Michigan has confirmed that a good but inconsistent O cannot overcome a hapless D. While I'm confident both sides of the ball would have improved in 2011 under Rod, I don't think they would have done so enough for RR to keep Bo's promise to his first senior class - "Those who stay will be champions."
But I hate it, for plenty of reasons. I hate that "The House of Bo" concept will be cemented. Don't get me wrong, I love what Bo stood for. I love when he originally coined the term "Michigan Man" it preceded a Men's BBall title. But I hate how the jihadis have twisted it - so that it doesn't include a man who took the high road, mentored his players, reprimanded them when they deserved it, and put their welfare above wins and losses. I hate how that twisted form will now be the accepted form. Because as we worried in 2007, if we only look for alums and former assistants to coach here, we are likely to stagnate. And the next time a disciple of Bo retires, it'll be even harder to change, even when change is necessary, because of Rod's failed marriage with Michigan.
I hope Harbaugh comes, and finds the success that eluded RR (because of his own mismanagement). I don't think it's certain. Coach Rod's tenure here proves that nothing is certain. He came to the winningest program in football as an innovative mind that had proven his mettle by dominating the Big East. I thought it would be the type of marriage that lasted for decades and included multiple NCs. I was very wrong.
I hate that Harbaugh's triumphs aren't certainties in my mind. I hate that the only thing I'm certain of is that we will struggle mightily in 2011. I remember in Columbus 2008, when an usher tried to steal my friend's ticket, and an old, fat, drunk woman tried to pick a fight with me. I remember some jerk-off calling me "Hajji" the whole game rows behind me, and when I finally turned around, and he pointed to the scoreboard, I had no comeback. So I did what any good Michigan Man would do. I said, "Good job, you deserved it today." I remember some OSU student telling me, "don't worry, Rod'll be gone in three years. We'll see you then." I remember taking comfort in the fact that he was wrong. I was so confident that they would all eat crow sooner than Gordon Gee.
But I was wrong, and those jerks were right. The Freep jihadis won this argument. A decent man failed at his job. He ought to be fired. But dangit, do I still hate those pissants. And I really hate the fact that at Michigan, the nice guy finished last.
He needs to go, but I really hate it.
*On a lighter note, while the cowbells were really annoying, I thought that the Mississippi State fans were not your stereotypical SEC crowd. They were all friendly and fun.
I'm sure we've all had those headaches that just won't go away. No, not how you feel about Sparty or the state of Ohio in general. I mean the real life ones, the ones that you can't shake. The ones that linger on for days. That's how Michigan fandom feels right now.
I hate to say it because I've been a Michigan fan since I knew what sports were. I went to U of M-Dearborn (couldn't afford Ann Arbor). I proudly watch every game, wear my gear out everywhere, live 15 minutes from the stadium, have been reading this blog for 4 years or so now, and tell everyone what my school is.
The endless drama, the non-stop CC, the media speculation, its all a constant nagging headache for me. Our program, our love, our TEAM, our passion is being drug through the mud again. We just went through this not even five years ago. Its painful even more this time than before.
When we first hired Rich Rodriguez and all that came with him I defended him to the ignorant. To those who wouldn't give him a chance. To those who knew nothing about him. To those who undoubtedly posted on many a message board with spittle filled monitors after screaming about him not being a "Michigan Man." I continued to defend him through 3-9. Through Toledo. Through the ended bowl streak. Through Sparty (three times). Through OSU (three times). Through 5-7 and now 7-5. It got so bad I gave my own father one rule every time I sat down with him to watch a Michigan game: Talk negative about Rich Rod and I'm gone. And I've had to leave in the middle of games full of anger and disappointment at my father to drive home to watch the games, alone. Headache.
Now there's nothing left to defend except hope. I want to defend, I want to fight, I want to see Rich Rodriguez come through and bring Michigan back to elite status...but I can't. I sit here with yet another headache. I see the board full of speculation, of the dreaded CC tag, of vitriol on both sides of the isle and it brings me to a headache. Once an ardent supporter and a fan through thick and thin I'm officially done with Rich Rodriguez.
I don't care what name our new coach has. I don't care what offense he runs. I don't care what defense he runs. I don't care if he brings in Johnny Chimpo and Jerry Giraffe to run the offense and defense. I just want to WIN. I want to strike fear in our opponents again. I want to DOMINATE.
I'm sure to most this comes off as my very own MAKE PLAYS moment and I don't care. I have to take a reprieve from this blog. I usually spend many hours here a week and check the main page and the board over and over scrawling for anything new. I can't do it right now. Every single CC and every single Harbaugh or Rich Rod or whatever is a giant headache. I want to ENJOY fandom again.
I'm young but my life is filled with great Michigan football memories. I want to feel that joy of watching Wheatley, my first favorite player, shred Washington. Of Biakabatuka shredding OSU. Of Grbac and Greise and Brady and Henson and Navarre (as frustrating as he was). Of Minnesota and the comeback. Of CWood at MSU. Of Braylon versus MSU. Of 97 versus everyone. I don't want my fandom to reside only in memories. That's what Notre Dame fans do. I want to MAKE memories. I wasn't fortunate enough to see a game in person until I was a Junior in high school. I've gone to more games in the past two years than the rest of my life combined because I can now afford to. The games are fun and there is no other experience like that of the Big House. But I want the whole experience to be fun again not just Saturday until halftime. I want the headache to go away.
There will always be heartbreak and pain and sadness in fandom. Without it we cannot truly appreciate the highs. Fandom is practical experience of the Tao Te Ching. But I've had more than I can stand of the bad for this week, this month, this season. I will NEVER stop being a fan because its just not in my blood. But I think this part is better if I just step away and come back when this week is over.