Transitions are never smooth - some are just better than others. The transition from Lloyd Carr to Rich Rodriguez has been bumpy to say the least, and this is before any meaningful football has been played.
I think most rational Michigan fans knew/know that season is going to be ugly. Personally, I just hope that Michigan keeps its post-season bowl streak intact Though lately, I think 8 or 9 total wins is possible.
In the long term, I think there is potential for great things. I like that Rodriguez is aggressive and hungry. I like that he believes in well conditioned players and wants to make Michigan tough like it was in the past. Still, in the pit of my stomach, I'm don't know what to expect from the Rodriguez era. In fact, I'm still not sure it was the right hire.
Was there a better hire out there? I don't know. If I had to pick, I would have gone with Miles because of his ties to the school (and in hindsight, his National Championship doesn't hurt either). For some reason, I just see the Rodriguez era being either total domination or total disaster - nothing really in between. Why total disaster?
- The hiring process. It's well known that Rodriguez was not the first choice.
- The handling of the buyout. Worst litigation strategy ever.
- Current recruiting, specifically the number of 3 stars being offered so early
- Impression that Rodriguez's teams are more offense oriented. Will he overlook the importance of defense?
- The man himself. Definitely not as polished as Lloyd (sans interactions with media)
I think the above bullets are just more irrational fears. Looking at "soft" factors and projecting them on the bigger picture of wins and losses. Maybe its just getting used to something new and different. I'll be the first to admit I have no solid evidence that Rodriguez will bomb, but as of right now, based on his tenure so far, I'm not sold.
Hopefully, Rodriguez will make Michigan an annual contender for the National Championship. Hopefully, Rodriguez will be our Roy Williams and not our Bill Gutridge or Matt Doherty.
RichRod interviewed in the Wall Street Journal today. Summary (and link) here.
Bumped from the diaries for general excellence. -ed
To: Coach Rodriguez
From: The Michigan Faithful
Re: Michigan Traditions
Greetings, Coach Rodriguez!
By now, we are sure that you are getting acclimated to our fine University and to the beautiful town of Ann Arbor, arguably the greatest college town in the country. Please give all of our best wishes to Rita and the kids.
No doubt you've noticed that we here at Michigan take our traditions pretty seriously. Some would say that perhaps we are a little overly tradition-bound, but when you are the winningest program in history, across three centuries, well you can understand our pride.
We have noted with regret, however, the recent unfortunate incident where you assigned the hallowed #1 jersey to an incoming freshman, violating the sacred tradition of awarding it to the top wide receiver who has earned it during his career. Many of the Michigan faithful were quite upset. Indeed, you may have heard from one or two of us about it.
In your defense, Rich, we take you at face value when you say you didn't know about the tradition. And we appreciate how quickly you moved to address the situation once you were made aware of it. We hope to put this unfortunate incident behind us.
In fact, it occurred to us that there may be other Michigan traditions that you don't yet know about. Even though we are a top program and always in the national spotlight, there may still be some Michigan traditions that have escaped your attention. It would not be fair to just assume that you know what they are.
So as a public service, Rich, here is a list of some important Michigan traditions that you may not have heard about. All you need to do is to uphold these special traditions during your tenure here, and you will always stay in our good graces.
When it comes to National Championships, Coach, Michigan brings home the hardware. Yes, we're proud of our consistency and bowl streak and all of that, but what really defines Michigan is the constant National Championships. You may not know this, Rich, but Michigan has won multiple National Championships in every single decade since the 1800's. Be sure to put it at the top of your list to see the display case of all of the crystal football National Championship trophies, just as soon as they find the missing key to the trophy room. Trust us, they're really quite impressive. We are confident, Rich, that you will have no trouble keeping this tradition alive.
Winning the Rose Bowl:
Plain and simple, Rich, it's a Michigan tradition to dominate the Rose Bowl. We haven't lost one yet, and most of them haven't even been close. It's considered a disaster when Michigan only wins by a touchdown. Sometimes it actually gets a little embarrassing, but it's really not our fault that those west coast teams always show up lethargic, disoriented and not ready to play, while Michigan comes in loose and confident. What can we say? Michigan owns the Rose Bowl. Let's keep it going, Coach.
Unpredictable Play Calling:
Michigan is known for its wildly unpredictable play calling, a tradition that goes back to Bo. We are a very hard team to prepare for. Opponents are always quoted as saying "We never know what they are going to do." To this day, Keith Jackson still talks about how stunned the crowd was when Lloyd called the Statue of Liberty play on 5 straight 4th down's in the 2004 Rose Bowl. Good memories. You have big shoes to fill here, Rich, but we think you are just the kind of guy that can do it.
Coach, Michigan's motto has always been "Anybody, Anywhere, Anytime". Michigan does not dodge the top teams. Our non-conference schedule is always the toughest in the country. While our Big 10 brothers sleep-walk through games with the Ball State's, EMU's, and Toledo's of the world, Big House fans get to see the likes of Oklahoma, LSU, and USC every season. No one will ever forget the year when they had to cancel the National Championship game because Michigan had already beaten all of the other BCS bowl teams.
Night games are a big tradition in Ann Arbor. We typically schedule two or three every season. There's nothing like the electricity of a Big House game on a crisp night against a big time opponent. People are still talking about that thrilling night game against Ohio State in 2005 when the Buckeyes' last-gasp comeback attempt was thwarted as Gonzalez lost the ball in the lights.
Michigan is known for its fast starts in games. We take care of business, and we do it early. Look, nobody ever likes to be accused of running up the score, but when you hang half-a-hundred on your opponent by the start of the third quarter, you're only guilty of cutting to the chase. Why delay the inevitable, you know?
Dominating our Opponents:
Michigan has a tradition of dominating our opponents, weak or strong. We never play down to our opponent's level, our philosophy is to make 'em all play up to our level. So whether its Appalachian State (we sincerely apologize for the humiliating beat-down we put on them last year, the whole college football world is still shocked) or USC, every opponent always gets Michigan's "A" game.
Get used to it, Rich, the Big House is LOUD. You'll have the most intimidating fans in the country behind you. Even the rich old alumni in the expensive seats joke about their "walk of shame" leaving the stadium, when they realize how out of control they got. Be prepared to take a few unsporstmanlike conduct penalties because of it. It just goes with playing in the Big House.
Michigan cheerleaders have always been and always will be, as the kids like to say, "hot". They don't call them the Song Girls of the North for nothing. We know you are very busy, Rich, but someone in your position should be able to have some influence over the selection of the cheerleaders. In fact, it might even be a pleasant distraction from the day-to-day grind of preparing a football team. (P.S. Please insist that they wear the Maize sweaters and matching mini-skirts at all times. If the football team can step it up in all kinds of weather, so can the cheerleaders, right?)
So there it is Rich, some of the important traditions of Michigan football you may not know about.
Now, you may have heard that we are a little hard to please, but nothing could actually be further from the truth. All you need to do is keep our time-honored traditions alive and well, and everyone is happy.
Good luck, Coach, and GO BLUE!
The Michigan Faithful
So I get an email from a buddy today who is perhaps the most rabid, yet sane, WVU fan I've ever met. He starts into me about the new Addidas uniforms, especially the road unis.
He starts ripping on them because "they look like WVU's" road togs, and also look like Cal. He said a few other things of course pertaining to Rich Rodriguez that you could probably figure out.
Well, I guess this is to be expected. Of COURSE Rich Rod would want to look JUST LIKE the shop he came from, right? I mean things went SO well that he can't help but WANT to remember all of that! And I'm sure he had DIRECT input when these were designed and the contract changed from NIKE to Addidas. BTW, WVU and Cal use NIKE. So maybe Addias is guilty of ripping off NIKE! We have a crime here!!! Or not.
He even ripped on the home unis, which I can't figure out since they look pretty much the same as the ones before. I read about the "stripes" but I couldn't even see them.
It's better than the gold-on-gold "ensemble" WVU wore in the game against Pitt. Whoops! Shouldn't say that too loud around here! Remember? Rich Rod threw that game so he could sweep into A2. How could I forget? LOL!
Anyhow, as long as M doesn't wear Maize on Maize I don't care. And if that's the biggest criticism left over, then I'm fine with that too. It must mean real football season is getting closer!
They messed up the grades!
So I am bored off my ass at work and stumbled to espn.com to see what the "blue ribbon review" said about everyone's favorite football team! Here is the link:
I like the article (but the grades for the O and D should be Swaped. I was impressed that all of these guys are looking good and getting some positive comments from Rich Rod. I believe we go 9-3 this year... i believe that Rich Rod will get the best out of these guys... some of whom were his type of player in HS but then came to M and were molded in the old ways.
My take on what to look for this year (very, very general):
- we will be much faster at all positions, leaving the opposition in the big ten scratching their collective arsses
- a lot of the guys that were over looked under the last regime will really start to show their skill now that they are all on a level playing field
- terrance taylor being the lineman of the year now that he is svelt (sp?)
- the defense will be damn good - we all know this - but I feel that they will look just as overwhelming as the 06 d
- rich rod shutting up his critics... and showing the experts that M has more skill than what is being said
- Mike Barwis submitting a grizzly bear at Half Time with an arm bar at the 15:05 mark, this is after a few elbows and knees to the head (he tries a guiliteen hold that fails - it is a grizzley bear after all)...
Pretty general but hey just because I am bored does not mean I do not have work to do!
Look Brian I used the bulletts! (and some bold!)
* i originally meant to make this a diary but i am slowly learning this new mgoblog world. ps writing in a diary makes me feel really pretty
hear ye hear ye,
for all those who adhere to the following of Rosenberg, or probably more importantly, those who are of the typical michigan fan cloth and are extremely pessimistic and have serious doubts about Rich Rodriguez. I am here to tell you that not only are you idiots for doubting richrod so much (lets remember, he still hasn't coached a game for us) but are completely ridiculous for saying all this stupid bullshit about how he isn't a 'MICHIGAN MAN'!. what?!? i grew up in a2, wen't to all the mich games, graduated from michigan, personally KNEW Bo, and still don't understand what the hell being a 'michigan man' means. From what i've gathered, there is no precise formula to it but I do know it consists of winning a lot, and also not getting arrested. Bo set the bar high and Lloyd kept up his part.
since i've got faith in richrod being capable of accomplishing both of those extremely arduous feats, he will be a 'michigan man'. BUT SERIOUSLY, such a large contingent of michigan fans and our shitty media have taken a quick disliking to rich rodriguez for no apparent reason. The real reason? Everyone surrounding this program is so fucking scared of change they'd rather stick to the days of being a consistent 9-3 team than taking the risk of changing the direction of our program to not just win a big ten title, but a national championship title. take your heads out of your asses, change can be good. hopefully with this lawsuit being over a lot of this smoke will go away but i assume it really won't fully be gone until richrod can prove he is a winner in ann arbor.
as a lifelong fan of michigan and new follower to the richrod regime, i am behind him. don't just 'give him a chance' but actually support the guy. i fully believe richrod and our entire new staff are capable of winning us a national championship, something we all know Bo never achieved. Believe, Believe, Believe. RichRod will do great things for us, now give him a shot.