From Portage Northern.
(Note: I struggled with whether or not to title this OT in the subject line. However, it is about Michigan, and Ohio, so I didn't go "OT," even though it is yet another RR rehash.)
Over at Eleven Warriors, their current headline article is (link:) The Spread in the Big Ten: Why Did Rich Rod Fail at Michigan? This is a followup to an earlier 11W column on Meyer's Spread Failures. I am posting this NOT so there can be another discussion / flamewar about RR & "what went wrong" with lots of hand wringing and readers lining up for or against RR & the Spread. As mentioned here many times, "No Moar RR!!" Rather, I find it interesting that Ohio is looking at this, and wondering what Meyer will bring with the spread. They clearly are curious, and trying to ascertain what to expect in Ohio's future.
FTR, the writer (Fulton) suggests that RR's failure was due to not adapting the spread beyond it's origins. I disagree, and so do many of the 11W readers. RR's offense was doing well by 2010, and would likely have improved in 2011. The major problems, as every mgoblog reader already knows, were:
- The defense (Schafer, Gerg, RR meddling, lack of bringing Casteel with him from WVa.)
- The special teams.
- Lack of institutional support. (Carr et al, not paying enough to bring in Casteel.)
- RR's failure to fully understand and embrace Michigan culture (including Ohio rivalry.)
- RR's failure at diplomacy (Josh Groban, anyone?)
They also give Hoke and Borges credit for a number of things, including "getting" Michigan, and adapting to current personnel.
Not sure if anyone caught this, or if they really care, but Rodriguez aparently still retains some of his "guy in a wizard hat selling snake oil" powers of yore.
J.T. Washington a three star Athlete (aka mini-mite RB) from Florida flipped this morning from West Virginia to Arizona. Washington had been committed to WVU since last summer.
I guess it wasn't enough to just lure a few coaches away. Nice to see Rich still making friends and influencing people in the lovely state of West Virginia.
OT: Rich Rodriguez lands mobile QB from TX plus 3 good LBs (PLEASE DELETE WITH MALICE AFORETHOUGHT THANKS)
After nailing down his new staff last week, former UM coach Rodriguez appears to have secured 3 decent LB commits to Arizona, plus a backup QB for returning Matt Scott.
The new quarterback recruit for Arizona is unranked mobile QB Javelle Allen from TX. Offers from Indiana, Ark State, NM State and Utah State not that exciting, but he does looks like another everybody-says-he-should-be-playing-DB someplace-gamebreaker that Rodriguez has been famous for these past several years.
Arizona's days at 11th in PAC-12 league rushing are probably over.
Am I the only one who had a sour taste in his mouth after listening to Desmond Howard's remarks at the football bust last night? Howard went out of his way to comment on the Rodriguez era, clearly indicating that Rodriguez was a mistake -- he seemed to want to compare the hiring of Rodriguez to New Coke.
Now I was ambivalent about the whole spread option thing myself. I know a lot of well-meaning people were frustrated with RichRod, and Hoke's successes leave them feeling vindicated. But if we're being fair I think we have to agree that Rodriguez got some tough breaks (The Freep Jihad) and more to the point, the football bust is a time to celebrate this year, not dwell on the past. Desmond Howard has ample opportunity to criticize prior coaches and it is his right to do so, but last night was not the time or the place.
I was looking at the Arizona Wildcats football page to see how they spin their new staff's tenure at Michigan. So far RR has hired MaGee, Gibson, Dews, and Smith who were all at WVU and UM. They list RR's Wolverine record as 15-22, which is correct. However, they make no mention of the 2011 Gator Bowl. For the assistants they actually list the bowl history of each and each list omits the 2011 Gator Bowl. John Bacon also claimed the coaching staff received no rings for the Gator Bowl, contrary to custom.
Did the 2011 Gator Bowl really happen? Did Dave Brandon create an alternate reality future so that he could avoid the higher buyout AND avoid buying jewelry?
What is going on here?
In addition to a potential game with Arizona (if yesterday's gossip is true), we could potentially see RichRod go up against Ron English (as the coach of ASU) in that state, according to speculation here:
Good for English -- he has come a long way at EMU.