spoiler alert: i linked this
Over a week ago, I suggested Pete Rekstis come up from Kent State to lead our defense next year. http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/if-not-gerg-then-who#comment-761264 (stats included in that post).
Well, as many of you know Kent State's head coach is resigning after this season (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/football/ncaa/wires/11/21/2060.ap.fbc.kent.st.coach.0224/index.html).
As an avid fan of good offenses and strong defenses, I believe we should make a run at this guy at the end of the season to be our D-Coordinator.
I just finished changing the GERG Wikipedia entry, which as of 12:30AM Sunday began:
"Greg Robinson (born October 9, 1951 in Los Angeles, California) is a joke of a defensive coordinator for Michigan."
Real classy, guys.
Honestly, it's been a blast having GERG around. The man has beautiful hair and that stuffed wolverine he pulled out today was pretty wild. Regarding both GERG and the defense, I haven't seen any signs of quitting this year where lesser men would have given up.
Having said that...
I think it's time we all join together in looking forward to a new defensive coordinator. This is in no way a direct commentary on the performance versus Wisconsin, or whether or not GERG deserves all/majority blame. When things go this bad, heads will roll, and I believe he is un-retainable. There is no benefit to axing him before the season is over, and I hope he uses these last two games to push the defense to be its absolute best.
So I'm not sure if GERG is coaching for his DC life right now or if the defense is actually beginning to gel and show the jump in productivity that a defense fielding 7+ freshman often will given some time together... but either way, the defense has improved pretty significantly over the past two weeks.
While Illinois did put up 65(!), our defense had several key stops and kept us in it despite a very lopsided TO differential; they also ended the game at the end of 3OT. We didn't give up an offensive touchdown (!) (!) (!) this week at Purdue w/o Martin or Mouton, and while yes their offense is in shambles, I recall the same thing being said about PSU, about cockiness regarding UMass, and that Purdue was leading Wisconsin at halftime last week.
I realize Brian among others has totally written off GERG, and I certainly wouldn't say no to Casteel or another elite DC if we had a shot a them. That being said, I wonder if GERG's firing is a foregone conclusion among the fans? Is there anything (reasonably, e.g. not "if we pulled in every 5-star defensive back left on the board due to GERG's recruiting!") that would convince you that GERG deserves a shot at staying at Michigan for another year?
For me, it would take a win at the end of the season featuring good enough defense to let our offense not have to score on every drive, + further signs of our incredibly young D progressing. I'd be neutral on GERG coming back if that were to happen. What about you?
Just got through on Bruce Feldman's CFB chat on ESPN.com with a question about a new DC for 2011.
His reply: "I'll throw out Manny Diaz from Miss. State. He's young and has done a super job in the SEC."
E-pinions on this?
After Penn State, many on the board snapped. The conclusion for a majority was that Rich Rod's job security was in jeopardy. Further, Gerg needed to go, probably as soon as the season was over.
Now, with the win over Illinois, and the strong probability of a win vs. Purdue, RR has some breathing room. The polls here, and the consensus, are that RR has won the right to coach at Michigan a minimum of another year.
Things are less clear for Gerg. I think that many still want to see him cut loose, either after OSU, or after the Bowl Game.
My question is whether the balance of the season will affect Gerg's tenure. Chait suggests that his slim hopes rest on the games against Wisconsin and Ohio State, and how the defense does in those games. (link: http://michigan.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1148722)
I personally think that Gerg should be given at least one more year, even with a 7 - 5 record. My reasoning is as follows.
- Gerg has only had two years to prove himself.
- It is not his fault what has happened in the secondary this year.
- Next year, with more defensive depth, and with more experience, we will have a much more accurate picture of the defense.
- A change to another defensive coordinator would not be good, in terms of continuity.
I believe that even though I predicted a 7 - 5 record, we will end up at 8 - 4. I actually have been completely befuddled by the koolaid, and actually believe that we will win in Columbus. Of course, if yet more injuries hit, especially to our key personnel, all bets are off. But I believe that we beat Purdue, finally get the monkey off our back with Ohio State, and do well in a bowl. This allows Gerg to stay, and to be judged, good or bad, in 2011.
What about you? Do you want him out of here, no matter our final record this year? Would you rather see us win out and Gerg stay, or lose just enough for him to be cut loose? I can never root against Michigan, under any circumstances, but then, I'm also not pining for a Gerg departure.
If the pollster here at Mgoblog could structure a Gerg specific poll, that would be great. I'd like to see what those on the board think.