Must be frustrating to be GERG and know this defense will give up 500 yards and 30 points no matter what you call. RR and player presser videos are up (click youtube in my signature).
Endless data points factor into his deliberations about the direction of our football program. The vast majority, especially after a solid 5-1 start, point to retaining RR for a good number of years, especially with what an upheaval of a new hire would do, having to rebuild again from scratch.
I continue to support RR, but with the nature of the offense’s performance in this loss to MSU, it is now clear to me the single most important metric by which Brandon should review the remainder of this season in deliberating RR’s future.
Hearken back to 2007 when Bill Martin bore witness to what Armanti Edwards and Dennis Dixon did to our defense. On the day I learned of RR’s hire, my first thought was it was borne from what those two spread attacks did to our team that year. Of Oregon’s spread attack that won 39-7, I remember USA Today writing:
“Oregon seemed to do whatever it wanted against Michigan. The Ducks led 32-7 at halftime and coasted to the victory against little resistance.”
Watch that game again and you know the score could have easily been 55 -7, but Oregon literally eased up on us.
So Martin hires RR – the father of the spread – and he and all of us instantly began dreaming of days to come when our own Dennis Dixon, clad in a winged helmet, would toy with Ohio State’s and MSU’s traditional defenses much as we had been toyed with at the start of 2007.
Flash to today and it’s a different reality. The reality is that while RR’s spread attack has shown the explosiveness we anticipated, it has yet to do so once against a top tier Big 10 defense. Not once in 2.5 seasons. Yes personnel, yes youth, yes occasional signs, yes Denard for the Heisman, yes re-writing the record books, but anything even remotely akin to Dennis Dixon toying with UM? No.
Perhaps Bill Martin thought more of Ron English than he should have. Perhaps Martin’s greatest mistake was assuming that the Michigan defensive product vs App State and Oregon was indicative of how your typical top tier Big 10 defense would do against a top tier spread attack. I mean, we did end up beating Tebow and Florida that year, albeit after RR had been hired.
If I am David Brandon I would look for one very important sign this year – evidence that RichRod’s offense can truly work against top flight Big 10 defenses.
The UM defense will improve with recruiting and maturity. The offense will as well given this was only Denard’s 6thstart. But if I am Brandon and I don’t see at least one offensive breakthrough against a top tier Big 10 D, and by that I mean at least 5 offensive touchdowns against either PSU, Iowa, Wisconsin or OSU, then I really have to begin to question this hire.
On the other hand, even if the team loses the remainder of it’s games, but the offense actually breaks through and demonstrates the explosiveness we all hope for against one or two of those four remaining top flight Big 10 D teams, then to me, RR’s job remains safe for the immediate future.
iirc, Mike Jones took a medical redshirt in 2009. I'm assuming that with a broken leg in the ND game, he will get one this year too. Is that true, or no? I guess I'm curious how much eligibility he has left.
Also, did he just have rotten luck? It seems odd for the same player to have two seasons lost to injury.
Many thanks to the Gators for coughing up the loss to LSU (argh) and stealing the Tears of Unfathomable Sadness from the Michigan fanbase.
Also, who wins the internet this week? Inquiring mind wants to know.
Also also, BC baby hur hur
"I mean, there might be a few people who want to do that, but that's the same people that probably wanted to do that after the first five games too, they just weren't saying it publicly."
I love this fire out of RR. A me against the world type of attitude. He's going to do his thing no matter what his detractors say or do to him. As well he should. He likely has Dave Brandon's full support and will continue implementing his system now and for the foreseeable future. It's good to see this confidence in a coach, as it not only helps keep the current players focused, but can only keep recruits coming our way. We got your back Rich. Keep doing your thing. The best is clearly yet to come.