Mike Lantry, 1972
Argument 1 : The debacle on defense isn't the coaches fault. The talent on the field is too poor to do anything with (RR himself made this argument with Lombardigate).
Argument 2: We are returning 22/24 starters next year. We are so gonna PWN fools next year : If Lombardi himself couldn't do squat with these guys, GERG and Gibson are going to somehow magically teach them how to maintain gap, tackle soundly and not give 15 yard cushions?
The RR apologists need to get together and pick one of these arguments and roll with it. Both just don't make any sense.
Counter argument: But but...what if the coaches arent "turrible" and what if the players make somewhat of a sophomore leap, couldn't we at least be decent?
No. Average (at best) coaches aren't exactly going to achieve any soph leap from these guys. proof? proof:
Roh is same or worse this year. Ezeh flamed out. Mouton is arrrgghhh mostly same sometimes worse, Kovacs same, JT slightly better relative to last year (but sucky as hell on a b10 scale) , CC is OMG bad, Cam is bad, Banks is same/ worse. Mike Martin is better.
You take that trend line and want me to believe that some magical "leap" is going to happen simply because these are going to be older...okay.
Beside, given the rate of attrition that seems normal under RR, we are still going to be starting 4 Frosh's next year and you guys will still be making this argument next year:
In Cartman's voice:
" But mooooommmm...we're gonna be soooo goood next year.....".
was watching highlights in the background and thought I heard them say trent intercepted henne, can the board confirm this?
If so, congrats to morgan for catching on in the pro's. Here's a guy that took a lot of grief from michigan fans, but it turns out, he's not that bad. Plus, he's the guy that troy woolfolk reminds me of the most. Hopefully troy can come back and save RR's job next year.
I'm creating this diary to dispel some of the myths that people are trying to believe in hopes of keeping Coach Rodriguez around. If you support keeping him, that is fine, I respect your opinion, but after a careful viewing of the Penn State debacle, my personal opinion is that this team needs to head in a different direction if it can get the right coach.
The Offensive Argument
The theory holds that Rich Rodriguez has come into Michigan and in three years has built an offensive juggernaut that rivals the likes of Oregon or Boise State in terms of scoring offense. On defense he has had some bad luck with attrition and injuries, but that if we give him the necessary time and let him build a defense that is even remotely capable, he will have an unstoppable team given how great the offense is. There are two glaring flaws with this argument.
Flaw #1: The Offense is Not THAT Good
Our offensive production has been overhyped on this blog by an obsession with one statistic: Yards Per Game. Right now, I believe we are ranked #4 in the country in YPG. On this statistic alone rests the entire "offensive" argument. The vital fact that is being forgotten is that in any sport, you cannot gauge a team, or even its offense, on one statistic alone. Take for example, Michigan's ranking in the following statistical categories:
Points per game: 20th
Time of Possession: 92nd
Third Down Conversions: 61st
Red Zone Efficiency: 51st
These statistics were not cherry-picked from a group of low ranking stats. Instead, I chose four random stats that I feel are extremely important in terms of offensive performance. In light of these statistics, it is clear that our offense is not some unstoppable force. It is good. But it isn't the "we score like our hair is on fire every time we touch the ball" machine that some on this board make it out to be. Not even close.
Flaw #2: The Lack of Hope of Defensive Improvement
This one baffles me. The next part of the argument goes that if we give Rich Rodriguez time, he will build a competent defense to match our amazing offense (see Flaw #1 on that point). However, I wonder what gives people the inclination that he will do this. There seems to be no basis for believing that he is the type of coach that will do this. It is clear that he puts very little emphasis on defense, he has recruited bad apples time and time again on that side of the ball, either players who leave the program or don't end up being good anyway. They have not developed the talent that they have had and mediocre players have decided to try for the NFL instead of staying, even though there was a chance they'd go un-drafted) and did.
The track record says that there is no likely foreseeable scenario where Rich Rodriguez builds a suitable defense to match up in the Big Ten.
Perhaps you draw a different conclusion from these facts. My conclusion is that the University of Michigan football program needs to go in a different direction. After three years, a good offense and an atrocious defense just aren't good enough, especially with no expected improvement within the next two years. The record against almost all opponents is terrible and the program has literally become irrelevant.
Starting over and bringing in someone else (perhaps someone closer to the program) is the much better long term solution.
I've been mostly successful this season at keeping my editorial voice out of the weekly wallpapers. However, this week poses several challenges in the "making fun of the opponent" category: a team with a Native American nickname and a program with no discernible traditions. Combine that with my utter disgust after Saturday's game and this is what you get. Actually, I had already finalized the concept for this Illinois wallpaper BEFORE the Penn State game and the original title was "They Be Illin'" but now it is me and you, fellow Michigan fan, who are doin' the illin'. I've changed the title to reflect how I feel at this point in the season; I was so disappointed after the loss at Happy Valley that I almost posted a completely blank wallpaper with the vow to continue posting blank wallpapers until the next win but, after three consecutive losses, designing these wallpapers is the one thing that helps me to move on emotionally (like art therapy).
That said, I haven't completely abandoned hope that this team can meet my original pre-season expectation of 7 wins and I'm firmly in the "let's wait until the last game is played before we cry for firings and lynchings and the like" camp. Here's to hoping that by late on Saturday afternoon we will all have moved on from illin' to celebratin' 6 wins and bowl eligibility.
I had several versions of this wallpaper bouncing around my head last week: everything from tackle twill letters on a retro track jacket to a blinged-out gold chain with diamond-encrusted letters ala Run DMC. I like where this ended up much better; the hoodie and lettering feel appropriately distressed and it gave me a very natural way to turn the last "I" into an apostrophe.
The image below is a preview only. You can get this week's widescreen, 4:3, iPad and mobile wallpapers at The Art. The Art. The Art!.
All of the 2010 Schedule Wallpapers
There has been much talk around these here parts about the inability of the players and mainly the coaches the past few days after debacle that took place on Saturday. I think the real issue here is with Adidas. Since the addition of Adidas as our official supplier we all have seen how untight the jerseys fit which has obviously affected the play on the field. I think this weekend will be a telling factor, as Michigan will hopefully unveil there new more compressed football jerseys, in how long Dave Brandon will allow this ineptitude of our outfitter. Hopefully they will be able to turn it around and we do not see this season turn out the same as the last 2. Who knows, it could only be short time until fan-favorite Nike gets the call...