this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
I just have this nagging question after this last three game slide and wonder if anyone could win with this team as it is currently assembled? I am not talking about winning 7 games, duh, but being able to win a conference or 9-10 games.
I am not trying to be a doom-saying person, but if you assume the following
- The coaches put forth earnest effort to coach
- The players played their hardest for their coach
- We were as close to full strength as other teams this late in the year
It just makes me wonder about our ability to be successful any time in the near future after just getting successively mauled by Wisc, OSU and MSST since the gap still seems considerable for us to make the jump. Maybe the ceiling on this team is literally 7 games and mid-bottom of the conference, we have seemingly morphed into Indiana.
As scary as this sounds, in a way I almost hope that either the coaches were delinquent in their responsibilities to game plan (possible) or players just gave up (doesn't seem as evident) just so we have "reason" to explain their performance. Without that explanation, I am left with the hope that dramatic improvement, which was not evident from game 1 to game 13, somehow happens over the spring/summer which will enable us to actually be a contender next year. As it stands, that seems like a big ask for anyone to be able to accomplish. Looking for some wisdom from the board here.
EDIT: Apologies for poor wording. I am asking about the talent level team as it is currently assembled via the recruiting classes of the last few years. Could anyone do better with our current players than a 7-6 record? We seem undersized in many areas without having elite speed to make up for the size differential. If you say "yes", then it is the coach's fault. If you say "no", then we will require more than just this new recruiting class to bridge the gap.
There seems to be a RR to Pitt rumor circulating around. Has anyone heard any credible information on this? There is a mention of it on ESPN, but the info requires "insider" subscription status.
To me, this would make sense for RR. He is all but gone here. He knows the Big East and has had success there. Plus, after 3 years of being a whipping boy - caused somewhat by the parting shots that WVU took at him - is there any doubt that a guy with a competitive nature such as RR wouldn't want to come back to the Big East and grind WVU into dust?
(mods: feel free to bump or delete).
Having just completed my undergraduate education at Michigan, double majoring in History and Political Science, I am now struggling to find ways to apply what I spent 3.5 years learning to everyday life. (Hopefully, my smug COE and math-majoring roommates aren’t reading this right now…you were right, but who had more free time?). As an avid reader of MGoBlog and fellow MFootball obsessive-compulsive, I have observed the perfect storm that began with The Horror and ended with that sporting event somewhere in Florida on New Years Day both on the field and on the internets. After much musing, nail-biting, weeping, drinking, screaming, arguing, more drinking, xanax, drinking, and screaming, I think I’m numb yet clear-minded enough to really examine the pain that is Michigan Football since 2007, or rather, the mindset of those who obsess over it.
After reading countless threads and diaries, many of which were more focused on crucifying the OP for “idiotic” or “redundant” statements and wasting everyone’s time, I believe I have a pretty strong understanding of the state of the average poster/reader. As I’ve been reading lately, I’ve thought to myself: “Self, where have you seen this before?” And then it struck me. At least a smidgen of my education was relevant. Win.
I think we can all agree our program is in a full-blown “crisis,” and there’s nothing like a crisis to bring out both the best and worst in people. The way we’ve reacted and dealt with the current “CC” crisis is classic (or clinical) for people dealing with active crises. This post just explores our own behavior. I found it funny, others may not.
With credit to David Winter at Michigan, I present “Hot Factors That Affect Perception,” or factors that affect our perception mid-crisis, as applied to Michigan Football. Below are factors that affect perception during times of major crisis. I’ve applied some generalizations of oft-repeated tropes read on this board to show how our behavior is very much indicative of a group in flux. I’m not sure what I’m out to prove, as we kind of all know this is Very Serious Business. This just proves How Serious it is, as it has clearly affected our reasoning & logic.
You could take this as circular, I suppose: using specific criteria from crisis-analysis to prove we’re in a crisis, or vice versa. Or you could just take it at face value, or I suppose you could call me an idiot (though that wouldn’t be nice). This is not a Pro or Anti Rich Rodriguez entry, just an examination of answers & thinking on both sides of the spectrum. (FWIW, I want another year of Rich Rod).
–Group membership and social identity
· How often have we heard “this is Michigan”? How often have we asserted our place as a major CFB power? Isn’t that what’s driving a lot of this?
· No matter how much we acknowledge how bare the cupboard really was, how young our defense truly is, and that a major programmatic transition takes more than 3 years, many of us are still calling for Rich Rodriguez’s public sacrifice as a burnt offering to the ANGRY MICHIGAN FOOTBALL HATING GOD.
· “If we don’t act now, Michigan Football will forever be lost in a black hole of mediocrity.” We say this, despite seeing obvious progress and having a record-setting year on offense. Yes, we struggled against better opposition, but such is the case with gradual improvement.
–Stress- several subsets
· Reduced complexity of thinking
1. Not fully applicable to all, but very applicable to many posters. I don’t think I need to spell this one out. Read some of the threads and posts polluting the board here.
· Distorted, foreshortened sense of time
1. For those wanting to keep RR: “Only one more season, it’s not that bad. We can make it through.” Yet how much pain has every loss, every blown coverage, every UFR caused each of us? One more season is an incredibly long time, whether we like it or not.
2. For those wanting to fire RR: “We must act THIS INSTANT to hire Harbaugh. If we wait another minute, every professional and collegiate team will scoop him up with a $100 million contract.” We say this despite every report to the contrary that indicates he will not make an NFL jump yet and would kill 20 infants to come to Michigan.
· Reduced number of perceived alternatives
1. “If we don’t hire Harbaugh, there are NO OTHER FOOTBALL COACHES IN THE WORLD.” “Harbaugh or Rodriguez are the ONLY OPTIONS.” I know some of are saying “they’re probably the two most viable options,” but there’s a lot of us saying “they’re the only options, if we don’t have either of them as a coach, the Big House will spontaneously crumble.”
· Very clearly taking place. “Just one more year of RR, we’ve already made this transition. Even if we’re losing, we just need one more year. We need to see if this works (despite obvious shortcomings).” We keep saying “just one more year” to justify our sunk costs into this transition, even as many realize it’s just not working.
–Influence of language and metaphors
- Pretty clear here. Atomic bombs, sirens, “Decimated Defense.” We’ve created our own abbreviations and labels for threads discussing our coaching situation, and we’ve often talked more in terms of life & death than college football.
While I could have combed through the board for examples, regular readers will recognize all of these pretty quickly. I didn’t feel like calling specific users out with quotes, or spending several hours rereading painful threads. If anyone is studying Psychology/Political Psychology on a graduate level, feel free to expand this and go deeper.
I live in South Florida and the company I work for has seats for sporting events in Miami. I have gone to the past 3 Orange Bowls so I've had these tickets for awhile so I didnt' get this to see JH but its a bonus.
My plan tonight is to dress up like Bon Jovi and keep John Elway away from JH. During the half time show dress up as a Wolverine and attack any 49er personal at the game with Joe Montana's shapeup sneakers.
All kidding a side I'm going to rock my Block M hat at the game and have a good time. I thought about bringing my Block M flag into the game but that might be a little too much and not very Michigan man like.
Either way I'm pumped to see a good bowl matchup .
and it appears those sources are telling him that the big lead is wrong:
i just don't think the big lead could outscoop all of the michigan area sources. and we haven't heard anything from the bay area confirming this. take it FWIW.
and don't hate me for posting the print version of a rosenberg article - it's still a source.
EDIT: I'm told the link above is not working. Try this:
instead of coach at Michigan. The dude still quotes Bo in every interview. He sat at his desk as a young kid and said he'd coach for the wolverines.
It's his destiny. It will be done.
Or you can relax and enjoy the rest of the bowl games.