this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
Just had a thought pop into my head. If you are as tired of all this crap as I am I suggest you watch some horrible reality show or a college basketball game until about 10:00 then fire up your dvr and enjoy the Orange Bowl. With the DVR you can block out Millen and enjoy the game since during most of the play calls Millen is silent. This will also limit your exposure to the surely endless talk on Harbaugh to a minimum and you can actually sit and enjoy the game.
This message brought to you by Michigan Fans trying to get thru the day without killing people randomly.
PS Anybody else that far into Schadenfreude that they want Harbaugh to lose by 50 tonight. I like RR and Harbaugh and generally would root for him pretty hard, but if I could shut my neighbor or the guy at the gym up for 1 second about the guy I'd be much happier.
Sorry, in advance, for starting my 3rd thread of the day. I rarely start threads (less than 2-3 per months).
Thought this would be of interest:
Schefter's latest tweet:
"Worth noting: Jim Harbaugh does not have blind loyalty to Michigan. He still remembers being bypassed for Mich QB coaching job in 2002."
What does this mean? First Brian, now Schefter - these cryptic messages are killing me.
For those of you who haven't seen the movie 12 Angry Men, a young man is accused of murder and there is a mountain of evidence against him. The movie begins as the 12 members of the jury convene to determine the fate of the young man, and every single man in the jury is thoroughly convinced of the kid's guilt because of the overwhelming amount of evidence that has been stockpiled against him -- except for Henry Fonda. Fonda is unwilling to accept everything presented and instead questions the evidence. He begins without really knowing for sure; he doesn't know clearly one way or the other and he doesn't have any evidence to prove the kids innocence, but he feels unsure enough to at least wonder "Supposin' this kid didn't do it." Initially his views are met with consternation and unbelief -- "How can you deny the FACTS??" But as the movie progresses, we begin to see the prejudice of the other jurors and that they reached their conclusions because of the filters through which they viewed the evidence. They wanted to see justice served, they wanted to see a kid from the slums receive what they thought was due him, and they wanted to feel like they had made society a better place; so they looked at evidence that seemed to support their desires and declared the boy guilty.
I reference this movie for one reason: supposin' Rodriguez isn't to blame. I know a large majority of the evidence points to Rodriguez as the one to be blamed for all of this, and maybe he is. But what if, in our desire to pin the blame on someone, in our quest to seek justice for Michigan football and right the wrongs of the past 3 years, we are looking at the evidence and declaring Rodriguez guilty because it supports our desires? I don't know. Maybe he is the one to blame.
But supposin' he's not?
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.