I'm sure this has probably been discussed on this board many of time, but I just wanted to add my thoughts and get yours this week before the game.
I was looking through ESPN and noticed an article about the game. http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/20233/buckeyes-prepared-for-upset-minded-michigan Now as much as I hate tOSU, I do think ol sweater vest himself is a great coach. He emphasizes the game more than anything and I respect that. His main thing when he was hired was to beat us and man have they ever.
Rich Rod has been aware of the game, but seems like it's not his main focus. I know he has bigger plans, but I think beating them should be right behind national championship. I also think that should be in the back of his head all year long, game planning for them.
I guess I just want more emotion out of him for this game and hope that maybe he will have some things up his sleeve. God I pray that this horrible streak comes to a end now, this weekend. Everyone thinks next year for sure, but this year would be even sweeter.
The commonly accepted logic is that Michigan is not winning against quality opponents because our defense sucks balls on a historically bad level. Maybe it does and maybe it doesn’t, but in trying to answer the question for myself over the weekend I kept running into the same problem - we turn the ball over so frequently (especially against B10 opponents) that it is nearly impossible to objectively measure the performance of our defense relative to historical Michigan benchmarks or other top teams.
The following table tracks net turnovers (including failed 4th down attempts and missed field goals) in each of our wins and losses over the past two seasons:
|W/L||Margin||(Net) (a)||(Net Yds)|
|Average Turnover Margin in 4 Losses (2010 YTD)||-3.3|
|*||Michigan State||L (OT)||-6||1||79|
|Average Turnover Margin in 7 Losses (2009)||-2.1|
|* = Winnner of turnover battle did not win game.|
|(a) Adjusted Turnovers (Net) is defined to include interceptions, fumbles, failed|
|4th down conversions and missed field goals.|
In 16 out of 23 games, the winner of the turnover margin won the game. Of the remaining 7 games, we won 6 (2 in which the turnover margin was 0 and 4 in which we were able to overcome a negative turnover margin because we were playing significantly inferior opponents). In only one game over the past two years did Michigan actually win the turnover battle but still lose the game – that was our loss to MSU last year in East Lansing (we had a turnover margin of +1 but lost in overtime).
I’m all for identifying and fixing the problems on defense, but the offense needs to accept some of the blame for the defense’s statistical woes (especially points allowed per game). Regardless of who Michigan has as a DC, what base scheme he runs or how many experienced players he has in the secondary, we will never consistently be competitive against the best teams in the country until our offense stops turning the ball over multiple times per game.
[Note: I included a column in the table to track net penalty yards to see if there is any obvious correlation with wins and losses. I cannot find one.]
I can honestly say that, deep inside, I haven’t entertained the idea that Rich Rodriguez should be replaced this year. And, as you all know, Meeechigan Dan was routinely consulted by Bill Martin and, quite frankly, is on David Brandon’s speed dial. It’s a heavy responsibility that I shoulder for all of you.
Last year, firing RR occurred to me more than once during the slide because his offensive genius was theoretical. This year, it is fact. In September, I formally acknowledged this genius, and the lack thereof on the other side of the ball. Fortunately, for the rational, there is perspective…
One of my favorite features is This Week in Schadenfreude (TWIS). When any of my teams is winning big games/playoff series, I gluttonously partake in the ‘freude, trolling competitive sites, rarely commenting, but soaking in the complaints about officiating, lucky bounces and questionable coaching decisions like Thomas Covenent in Andelain. Let’s face it, the ‘freude is what it’s all about; it is “Little Brother” and 2-10-1; it is watching damefan1’s videos and was Manningham’s catch against Penn State; it is the coin in which fans are paid for their loyalty.
For schadenfreude to have gravitas, a team must dominate over time. Red Wings schadenfreude is classic example; the spitting hatred of the unwashed directed at a dynasty is a fine wine to be enjoyed. Conversely, is such a thing as Lions schadenfreude even possible? No.
MSU currently enjoys a certain cheap ‘freude, like a bad pool player who pockets the nine ball on a lucky combination; no one with a larger view of the contest expects the less-skilled player’s luck to hold up and his “Nyah, nyah, nyah!” will soon be forgotten, decorum will return, and order restored to the universe. On the other hand, OSU has become a stuffy commodities firm trading in an endless supply of Michigan schadenfreude by the container car, moving it from train depot to seaport to FedEx hub with a certain dry efficiency; all we can think about is that, being first to the buffet table of decade long dominance, we didn’t extract our proper, sustaining share of the ‘freude in the 90s and now it’s gone forever, to be quietly laughed at by any Buckeye fan hearing our plea.
I tip my hat to the author of TWIS for obvious reasons, but Mr. Cook deserves subtle credit for something more: TWIS emphatically argues that RR should be retained.
From the narrow view of a football fanatic, the stupidity of the coaching staff always seems like a reasonable proposition and the coaching change “fix” that is universally talked about in TWIS a GPS-equipped life raft floating off the bow of the Titanic. One fanbase’s coaching complaint appears to be justifiable rage and frustration. Collectively, the sameness of fans’ contempt for coaches that had been formerly praised is bipolar.
Look at the last dozen or so national champions:
Stoops, Meyer, Brown, Miles, Bowden, Fulmer, Carr and even Tressel. I don’t have the dedication to journey back to those championship years and catalog the glowing quotes describing the brilliance of Urban Meyer and Bob Stoops, the seasoned wisdom of Mack Brown and Bobby Bowden, the eclectic genius of Les Miles, but they exist. And while they have yet to lift the ugliest trophy in sports, we’ve all breathlessly heard about rising stars Brian Kelly, Greg Schiano. Mark Richt, Randy Edsall, Jeff Tedford and, yes, Rich Rodriguez. Glowing comments about brilliant coaches at the peak of their skills.
Urban can't be happy and he can't reload the spread option with a prostyle quarterback. He can't go prostyle with an offense built for the spread option with speed backs. He is stuck in a mediocre second tier hybrid offense. If Urban can't fix this, I expect he will leave. Does anyone see a solution for this year or next year?
This year’s performance is not just the worst job of coaching we have seen in the Mack Brown era, it is without any real question at all one of the very worst coaching jobs in modern football history. I can’t think of a single instance in which any coaching staff has done less with more talent or inherent program advantages than this staff has accomplished this season.
A combo here!
Is Les Miles a better college football coach than Bobn Stoops?
When Bob looks into the mirror tonight, he will see a glimpse of someone who quit
I hate you, Brian Kelly. I hate your fucking lesbian golfer visor. I hate your fucking offense that looks like Oregon’s offense on quaaludes and holds the ball for 2.5 minutes a game. I hate your fucking Dance of the Backup Quarterbacks playcalling system. I hate your fucking Baaaaaahston accent as you blame the players and get high on the smell of your own fucking farts.
(All quotes above taken from the TWIS weekly column.)
And more. From 30,000 feet, I gaze upon the sameness of serious football fans suggesting that once brilliant men have lost that brilliance and become Gerry Faust overnight. William of Occam might suggest that, if a successful coach remains the same and the players change, it’s the players that are responsible for the change in fortunes. Particularly when great players are replaced by young or less talented players.
About mid season, TWIS was a slap in the face for me, a realization that definitely proven coaching commodities do not become dumb overnight. Yes, perhaps there are structural reasons for hard times (the game passing you by [Bowden, Carr], personal issues [maybe Meyer], selecting bad DCs [RR], etc.) and those are fair game; RR’s fate ultimately hangs on his management of the defense, which is, I hope for my mgopoint total, ironic. But RR was a proven coach at WVU authoring one of the most revolutionary performances against Oklahoma, and he has duplicated that offensive success under duress at Michigan. Yes, his decision-making on defense concerns every one of us, but he is responsible for Jeff Casteel (not vise versa), and should have another two years to figure that out.
Gotta go. Brandon is calling.
[Ed-M: bumped from diary - MGoBlog's recruiting editor updates the status of defensive recruitment]
Since Justice Hayes just committed, and there were still people looking around to see if it was ok to ask if he plays defense, I thought I would help them out. Here's a look at who's left on the defensive front for Michigan recruiting.
First, who's committed so far:
|Brennen Beyer||DE||6'4", 225 lbs.||4 Star|
|Demetrius Hart||RB||5'8", 190 lbs.||4 Star|
|Justice Hayes||RB/Slot||5'10", 175 lbs.||4 Star|
|Dallas Crawford||DB||5'10", 185 lbs.||3 Star|
|Shawn Conway||WR||6'4", 183 lbs.||3 Star|
|Greg Brown||DB||5'10", 180 lbs.||3 Star|
|Jake Fisher||OL||6'7", 260 lbs.||3 Star|
|Delonte Hollowell||DB||5'8", 162 lbs.||3 Star|
|Kellen Jones||LB||6'1", 209 lbs.||3 Star|
|Jack Miller||OL||6'4", 270 lbs.||3 Star|
|Tony Posada||OL||6'5", 315 lbs.||3 Star|
|Chris Rock||DE/DT||6'5", 250 lbs.||3 Star|
|Kevin Sousa||QB||6'2", 220 lbs.||3 Star|
For those counting at home, that's six commitments out of thirteen that are on the defensive side of the ball. There are around 9 spots left, give or take, for Michigan to fill up this class with. These are the current defensive recruits that Michigan has a shot with.
6'4", 255 lbs.
West Branch, MI
|4 Stars||Junior Highlights|
|Zettel is waiting until after the season is over to make his announcement. He has already taken his official to Iowa (Nov. 20th), he's visiting Penn State this weekend, and will be at Michigan on December 10th for the Big Chill.|
6'5", 230 lbs.
|Philadelphia, PA||4 star||Deion Runs Fast|
|Barnes has Michigan in his top five along with Georgia, Penn State, Pitt, and South Carolina. He has mentioned several times he plans on visiting after the season. He may visit for December 10th as well.|
2011 Defensive Tackle Prospects
6'2", 275 lbs.
Lake City, FL
|4 Star||Junior Highlights|
|Jernigan has Michigan in his top group with LSU, Alabama, and Florida State. He has made some recent trips to Florida, so I wouldn't count them out. I've been hearing a lot lately about Timmy, and a recruit actually told me that Jernigan really likes Michigan. He's concerned with our defensive scheme, however, so we'll see what happens.|
6'3", 275 lbs.
|Hyattsville, MD||4 Star||Junior Highlights|
|Cooper is planning a winter visit to Michigan, and outside of Jernigan, is probably Michigan's best option at defensive tackle. His season ended in the WCAC championship game this weekend, so he's now focusing on recruiting.|
6'1", 310 lbs.
|4 Star||Junior Highlights|
|While Johnson continues to list Michigan in his top group, I don't think he'll end up choosing the Wolverines. His name is still on the radar, but not likely.|
6'3", 210 lbs.
|4 Star||Junior Highlights|
|As everyone knows, Frost just got back from his official visit to Michigan. This visit came at the perfect time for Frost, and for Michigan. He will take officials to LSU and Cal, and is going to try to make it back up to Michigan again before deciding at the US Army game. Frost will be an early enrollee. I included him here for argument sake, since he is also being recruited for receiver.|
6'1", 225 lbs.
|Holland, MI||3 Star||Senior Highlights|
|Morgan is a lifelong Michigan fan, and was beyond excited to receive his offer. He took an unofficial visit with his dad to the Illinois game, and will be back for an official visit on December 10th. He's taking his time, but I expect him to be in this class. If Michigan grabs Morgan and Frost, that will be a nice linebacker haul for the 2011 class with Kellen Jones already on board.|
5'10", 170 lbs.
Owings Mills, MD
|4 Star||Senior Highlights|
|Countess has a top four of Georgia Tech, Maryland, NC State and Michigan. It's been rumored that Michigan is in the lead, but Georgia Tech might be right there with them. Countess plans on visiting December 3rd, and will also be playing in the US Army game.|
6'1", 170 lbs.
|Houma, LA||3 Star||N/A|
|If Michigan missed on Countess, they may finally offer Kitchen. Kitchen has said he's a big fan of Michigan, and would most likely commit if offered.|
5'11", 185 lbs.
|4 Star||Junior Highlights|
|Walls has already been to Michigan several times, including an official visit for the U Conn game. He has since taken visits to Oregon and Cal. I still think Michigan is in a good position, but I think Oregon has made a good impression on him. Due to an illness in his family he had put recruiting on the back burner. He still plans on taking a few more visits before he announces.|
6'0", 190 lbs.
|Ft. Lauderdale, FL||4 Star||Senior Highlights|
|Lyons recently announced that Michigan will get one of his official visits. That was huge news for the Wolverines, as they seem to be climbing up his list. Wayne plans on being up at Michigan on December 3rd, and then out to Nebraska on December 10th. He has already taken visits to Notre Dame, Stanford, and UCLA. Michigan is making a move with the talented safety.|
6'2", 210 lbs.
|5 Star||2010 Spring Game|
|I'm including Karlos on this list because he still maintains that he will visit Michigan. The visit will probably take place in January. I've heard that it's not likely he will switch from FSU, but there's at least a small chance. He has been recruiting hard for FSU, so don't get your hopes up, but who knows what could happen with a visit.|
6'2", 190 lbs.
|5 Star||Junior Highlights|
I'm including Ha'Sean for the same reason that I'm including Karlos, he still plans on visiting Michigan. I have heard that there's a small chance that he changes his mind from Alabama. Don't get your hopes up here either, but with his teammates selling Michigan and his visit you never know.
Michigan obviously doesn't have enough room to take everyone, and they're still looking for a few more offensive positions like tight end and offensive line. Most of the decision time tables for these recruits are after the season, or during the Army All American game. That should give Michigan plenty of time for visits, and a little extra push with coaching visits too.
There has been a lot of talk on here about how Michigan football is supposed to be played. What I seem to hear the most is that Michigan football is "3 yards and a cloud of dust" and a pro style offense, and this is how Bo ran the program so we need a Michigan Man to come back and run it that way. I also hear complaints about how RR should have learned to play how Michigan plays and should have run the program more like Bo, Carr, and Mo. I respectfully disagree.
Before I go to far, a slight background of me. Bo was somewhat before my time. He retired when I was 8 and I only really knew who he was because of some of the stories my parents would tell me about how he would destroy opponents. I have since then, read everyone of his books, and become a huge fan of his as both a coach and a person. I consider my first true Michigan coach to be Carr, and I loved the way he ran his program, and would defend him against his detractors.
So why do I disagree that Bo and Carr's ways were wrong? I don't. They ran the program how they were supposed to run their program, but I disagree that this is what Michigan football is. Our football program has been around for well over a hundred years, and to me it is not defined by only "3 yards and a cloud of dust". It has been defined by men who were innovators, who lead and did not follow (leaders and best). Yost helped mold and shape the game it is today, by believing 100,000 people would want to watch Michigan play among others. We had the Mad Magicians who ran an innovative offense, that left everyone baffled as to who had the ball. We added wings to our helmets to help our quarterback see our recievers, and were the first to utilize the two platoon system.
You may not like RR, but he is an innovator to the game. His new type of offense has been copied by many around the country. He knows how he wants his team run, and his offense so far has shown he knows what he is doing.
Hate him for his losses, but don't tell me that Michigan can't be innovative and change. Michigan has proved over the last century that this is exactly what Michigan football is.
A word of framing up front, this thread (or at least my intent with this thread) is based on the presumption that Rich Rodriguez will be retained as the Head Coach at Michigan but that there will be changes made to his coaching staff. That being said, I think most of us agree that Greg Robinson is not long for Schembechler Hall.
Assuming that the firing of Gerg is a given at this point, when does the ax fall? Will we see it come next week in the immediate aftermath of the regular season? Do we try to bring in a new coordinator in time for the bowl practices/game? Or will we see a temporary DC in the bowl game with the new guy not really arriving until later in the winter?