I agree. Schaffer has gone on to be a pretty good DC at Syracuse, turning around a Greg Robinson defense so it would be really interesting to see why he failed here and if he was really undermined by RR and Gibson, Tall and Hopson.
Three And Out: The Questioning
So Rich Rodriguez did a deeply bizarre thing. Captain Renault, yes, yes. GERG, yes. 3-3-5 addiction, yes. Groban, yes. Right. I'll start again.
Amongst the many deeply bizarre things that Rich Rodriguez did was allowing John Bacon virtually unfettered access to his program for three years. He didn't know it at the time, but these happened to be the only three years of his program.
I received an advanced copy of the book that resulted and… man. If you are a Michigan fan the result is a must read. Hate Rodriguez, love Rodriguez, have deeply conflicted relationship with Carr, love Carr—doesn't matter. This is not another book where ex-jocks tell jovial stories about the slightly dangerous things that happened to them.
This is a book that immediately makes everyone in it mad as hell except the guy who did Never Forget. This is close to literally true. Bacon's been banished to the Drew Sharp area of the press box, Michael Rosenberg is livid, Rodriguez himself is apparently hugely pissed. And while I can't confirm this like the above, I can't help but think that Lloyd Carr hates this book more than anything he's ever hated.
I know Bacon a bit and have pressed upon him an opportunity for MGoBlog: to badger him with questions. I would like to crowdsource these questions because these are important. I want to cover all the bases, ask the things clarify a lot of the debates fans have argued endlessly about for the last four years.
So: what would you ask someone who spent the last three years embedded in Operation Spread Ann Arbor? I'll cull the best ones and pose them to Bacon. He'll answer, and maybe we'll get some clarity.
Before you get to asking, some context:
- While the book documents Rodriguez's increasingly desperate behavior it does seem to have a pro-RR editorial POV. Hard questions will be about the things he did wrong.
- It does not really address the DC fiascoes, which I'll already be asking about.
- The Free Press stuff comes in for a thorough treatment; if you want to be pointed the Qs there should be Devil's Advocate type things.
- It's clear Bacon could not get anything solid on the Great Stapleton/English Conspiracy Theory, though he tried. Wouldn't bother there.
- The Rodriguez coaching search went down essentially like we expected: Ferentz, panic, Les Miles boat incident, panic, Schiano, panic, Rodriguez.
- I'm not going to ask a guy who spent three years of his life with unprecedented access to a major college football program why he decided to write a book about it. Figure it out yourself.
Along with a severe grilling of Bacon, we'll be running an excerpt from the book around the time of its publication, which is scheduled for October 25th.
Does West Virginia really have only a single hardcopy record-keeping system?
Did Brandon offer to keep RR for at least 2011 on the condition that RR hire a new DC who would have complete control including being allowed to pick his own position coaches, and subsequently fire RR only after RR rejected this? I don't remember seeing anything on this. This question is moot if only DB and RR know what was said in that room
This would be interesting in conjunction with a broader question along the lines of "What did RichRod know at the time of the Bust last year?" to account for the weirdness of that whole scene.
This one of the top questions for me. I'd love to hear more about the most recent coaching search
Is a moron
Is a moron
I would ask if he got any insight into the Demar Dorsey situation and how Rich Rod identified recruits. What his overall recruiting strategy was.
He might not have had those kinds of discussions, but it would be interesting to hear about.
I'd like to know a bit more about this circumstance and how RR handled it. It obviously turned into a pretty cool story for the University and the football program, but if RR was being undermined, was RR and his staff's work with Brock undermined, as well?
Another question that I think is legitimate - did RR or anyone else in the athletic department read MGoBlog? If so, did any of the site's content affect things inside Fort Schembechler?
This is a cool opportunity. Thanks.
Plays nobody and lost when they did. He kept Gerg on staff. Lol this author is an idiot, regardless.
Why all the bubble screens?
And can we get some of them back?
How do you know this?
Bacon's been banished to the Drew Sharp area of the press box, Michael Rosenberg is livid, Rodriguez himself is apparently hugely pissed.
Not that it isn't all completely believable and logical, but do you have source for throwing this out, other than rumor and guesses? Did Bacon tell you he's gotten this feedback? I guess my question is, "why kind of feedback has he gotten so far".
I guess my bigger question is how it doesn't address this?-
It does not really address the DC fiascoes, which I'll already be asking about.
I mean, it's the biggest story of the last three years, the destruction of our defense....and it doesn't even really address it? It's sounding more like a political expose or unauthorized biography than a book about football. When you leave out the biggest football problem that led to the demise of the staff you're covering, you're either being salacious or intentionally apologetic. That should have been multiple chapters. It was THE story.
I'm pretty sure Ace talked to Bacon?
came directly from Bacon. Ace spoke with him at the Western game about and Brian and Ace discussed it in the podcast after western.
Because that's readily visible, and verifiable. And I can see how Rosenberg might have gotten back to Bacon and said "you said WHAT about me? I thought we were friends" type of deal, and had that passed on. But is Rich really calling Bacon and saying "WTF?" on a pro-Rich book? Where does the word on these last two come from. Because there's the disclaimer that he's guessing(probably accurately) about Lloyd, but the others are what he's heard. But from who?
John said on the radio Sunday that he would not write anything unless he was certain he had the facts. My guess is he may not have had enough to go on. He said he spent a lot of time with lawyers going over his book reviewing any possible libel issues with the content.
The first is obvious to anyone in the box. The second and third I have sources on.
This was posted on the WVU Rivals forum and I'd like to know if this has any merit to it.
Ok, I gotta say I had the same info as mothman before the DH hiring, except my inside source told me Houston's OC was coming and I didn't believe it so I didn't post it. If they would have told me it was DH I would have posted it then but I thought they meant Houston's current OC.
So from within the same source that gave me John Beilein's departure and Huggins coming back, as well as the internal struggles with RRod before he left, here's why the Orlando deal was so awkward and it goes back to Rich Rod himself.
1. UM told Rich Rod in early November he has to get a top DC in order to stay. He told them he had tried but did not have the funds to bring in somebody proven. They cleared up to $1M, with none other than Casteelin mind.
2. Casteel was so frustrated with Mullen's offense and BS that he told Luck something had to change or he was going somewhere else. He did not want to be a head coach but just wanted to run his defense the way he wanted without the offense keeping him in hole. Casteel was angry Bill Stewart blamed the UConn loss on the defense giving up two first downs at the end of the game and letting them "out of the hole" even though they held UConn to almost nothing. Luck told him he was already thinking about making a change this season. Luck and everyone else in Morgantown knows Casteel has been the glue holding everything together for the last two years.
3. Luck finds out that other schools (+RRod) are going to come after Casteel the week after UConn game. (Timing is everything). Luck tells Casteel he will make changes and guarantees if Casteel stays, he will have as much control over the defense a DC can have. He will find a head coach that understands this and promises to be cooperative with Casteel. Casteel tells the defensive coaches he is staying no matter what and help is on the way.
4. Next week Ollie informs BS and tells him to tell offensive coaches.
5. Casteel tells RR "NO" the week of the Ohio State game. RR cannot find a proven DC to come for what may amount to only one year. RR asks their AD for an extension of HIS contract so the new DC will have a guaranteed 2 years to fix things. He doesn't get it. In effect this seals his fate hence the breakdown at UM's senior night.
6. Word begins to leak of DH as he's interviewing with Pitt. Luck had to make his move and lock DH down. Pitt's athletic department leaks to Post-Gazette it's either DH at Pitt or WVU. Stew did not tell offensive staff because he wanted their best effort during the season and now he was hoping the DH thing would fall through. At this point, Stew does not know that Casteel is privy to any of this.
7. Bowl game tensions: Just before Christmas the offensive coaches AND Bill Stewart find out that Casteelknew about everything when it was set into motion after the UConn game. MAJOR feeling of betrayal butCasteel is unapologetic and says it was Luck's call, not his. He tells offensive coaches if they couldn't score 20 points unless the defense got them turnovers, why should they be upset with him? The only reason they scored against Cincy, Pitt and Rutgers is because the defense handed them the ball ten times.
8. Offensive coaches are pissed defensive coaches knew what was going on but they were kept in dark. Everybody mad at Bill Stewart. EVERYBODY.
9. Basically, the lack of practices was a result of trying to keep two staffs apart. Stewart says he was trying to protect the players but in reality none of the coaches wanted to be around him. Mullen decided to put his stuff in at Morgantown before the bowl and Casteel was going to put in most of their stuff in Orlando. Then, when they get to Orlando, Stewart basically sabotages defense and doesn't schedule practices the wayCasteel wanted. Casteel is cramming all week just trying to get the defense prepared.
10. Finally, when BS agreed to stay on for another year, he did not know that Casteel was part of the behind the scenes deal. In effect, he feels betrayed and he really doesn't want to deal with it. Since Ollie already has to pay fired offensive staff for next year (thanks Eddie Pastilong), he cannot afford to rework DH's contract to pay him head coach money PLUS pay the Stephen F. Austin guy OC money. Ollie is in a financial bind! Right now they are trying to find the donors who are willing to pay Stew's salary for 2011 AND pay the new salary for the OC AND pay DH 1.2 million for his first year as HC. We're talking over $2 million needing to be raised by January 9th. We are in a pickle.
Anybody got a couple of million laying around? That'll fix a lot of problems.
wow, if this is true, that would explain why WV is so messed up now. Seems plausible
That sounds fascinating and entirely plausible, especially the business with Rodriguez not being able to get a good DC because he might get flushed in a year, and thus the breakdown.
This is just another way of asking the same question that has popped up in about a dozen places in this thread alone...
Q. John, there was this very detailed story off one of the Mountaineer boards; very simply, can you confirm the substance of this story?
I think I might have even asked it in my first post above. I was just thinking that this is very detailed and what we might get from JUB might be very summarized. Presenting him with this detail might be something he can confirm (or dismiss) quickly and give us more insight into what actually happened.
I'd like this entire, detailed scenario put in front of John, for his confirmation / denial / correction / commentary.
I'm 100% an RR guy and I've had my order in for a while now, but nothing is more aggravating than the guys that allow access and then bitch after the book is done.
What is the % of coaches or players who allow behind the scenes access and then are not happy with the final product? 98% 100% One of a series of bad moves by what I think is great football mind.
I'm guessing RR feels this book may hinder his chances of getting another coaching gig. Which I think if any coach had a behind the scenes book come out it would would most likely hurt his chances if a championship didn't happen during the time of the book. How many do overs do you think RR would like to have over the last 3 years?
I equate it to a sex scandal/tape with politicians and celebrities. Everyone laughs and makes fun of it in open and then they think in the back of their mind glad no one knows what I like, because no matter how normal you are you just look like a freak if it comes out in the media.
Brian I want to know about the whole DC/3-3-5/influence. I still don't see how an offensive head coach could get this thing so messed up. The logic doesn't make sense. At 1st he was criticised for not being involved in the d enough and then weeks later he's forcing defensive schemes?
The Schafer fiasco would also be another question to ask.
we have all had a chance to read the book. Gonna pre-order it on the kindle now.
1) Is it true that Dave Brandon is in the process of renaming the field "Dave Brandon Field at Michigan Stadium?"
2) Did Rodriguez really think that wussy spread offense would work in the B1G? Did he think he was still in the Big East?
3) Why didn't Rodriguez adapt his offense to the players in 2008? Michigan had one of the best offenses in the country in 2007 and at least one starter returning. They should've been scoring 50+ points per game.
4) What aspects of the Appalachian State loss were Rodriguez's responsibility?
5) What are Rodriguez's thoughts on The Process?
It's going to be renamed: Dave Brandon Field brought to you by Dominos Pizza.
ATTN: People moderating the above as "Flamebait"
It's sarcasm. It's also very funny.
I have had two coworkers (one spartan and one domer) laugh at RR causing us to lose to App St.
As the father of the spread option, which App State ran to good effect because Ron English is fucking terrible, in a way, yes, RR did cause Michigan to lose to App State.
It's really a shame this can only go up to +5
How aware was Rodriguez of the traditions he was letting go? Did he come with a totally clean slate or was he consciously making decisions such as not making freshman live in the dorms, etc?
My impression is that RR defensive staff was not very good at recruiting, coaching or making adjustments. It would be interesting to get John Bacon's impressions about the reasons for RR’s failures on defense. Shafer was not a bad hire necessarily. So what was the problem? Did RR insist on running a certain type of defense (3-3-5) or something else? Where there budget constraints for coordinators then and not now? Was the budget the primary reason for the lousy defensive staff and recruiting or bad personal decisions by RR or leadership issues? Why couldn’t RR get Casteel make the move? I look at the lack of progress for our defense in RR’s three years as the primary reason for his failure for lack of wins and his downfall. But I would be interested in John and Brian’s debate/opinion on this subject. Inquiring minds want to know the details.
I am pretty sure Mattison is one of the highest paid assistants in football and its a lot more than what Rodriguez had to work with.
What was Bacon's impression of RR's early arrival in A2 with regard to re-recruiting existing players? Did he make any effort or was he dead set on installing "his" offense regardless of the roster?
Second question (somewhat related) - I've heard from several "insiders" that RR rolled into A2 arrogantly, placing his own importance over that of the program. Did Rich treat "Michigan" any differently than he would have treated a program without the history...say, South Florida?
I won't name names, but I've received info from: multiple former Michigan players, a collegiate athletic director, the founder of a high school football "camp" (or whatever those things are called where the recruits and coaches do their thing in the summer) and multiple NFL players.
No worries if you don't believe me; makes no difference in my life.
By the way, before you downvote tough questions (and before posing your questions like, "What's RR's favorite flavor of ice cream), re-read the OP:
Hard questions will be about the things he did wrong.
You could ask them for their permission, if you are uncomfortable about it. I don't get the secrecy element. What is privileged about any of this? What is confidential? Why not be clear about who is saying what, and why?
Because it isn't fair to them (the info came about through normal conversations with friends/clients. I'm not a reporter and I didn't pose questions as part of a story. I'm sure you, as much as anyone else, can appreciate that). Besides, would it serve any purpose other than to fire up a segment here against certain players? We've had enough of the "Player X was never really all in. He needs to STFU."
Frankly, the general sentiment isn't news. I was merely clarifying to a hater that I'm fairly well informed with regard to the statements I made.
Including a bunch in here, on how Rich had assistants who weren't offered this much money or that, and actually state it as undisputed fact, and you have NEVER had any sourcing whatsoever, and you're getting on his case for being "too confidential"? Maybe you need to come clean before you ask that of others.
The voices in his head have spoken to him on the condition of anonymity.
You really need to learn how to read better. If you've got an example -- an equivalent example of me saying something like this: "I've heard from several 'insiders' that RR rolled into A2 arrogantly, placing his own importance over that of the program," you should feel free to point it out. I dare ya. Get to work on it.
Fuck you, with your attacks on me. I did not do what you allege.
Oh...Oh...Let me! Let me!
First, the biggest difference is that I actually received my info from people with first hand knowledge. You just make shit up and don't even pretend to source it:
When Michigan fired Shaefer after '08, my clear understanding (I don't think there is much dispute about this) is that Rodriguez immediately went back to Casteel to again offer him the job.
In summary, Casteel seems to have been courted, seriously, three times:
- When Rodriguez was first hired in '07, and Casteel said that he would join Rodriguez in Ann Arbor, but changed his mind...
- When Shaefer was fired after '08, and Rodriguez asked again...
- When, after the '10 season...Rodriguez's own precarious position made it impossible to tempt Casteel, despite Brandon's realization that Coordinator-pay had been a very big problem at Michigan in the past.
Sources = 0. Then, you lay out this doozy:
...there was a cadre of people led (or at least exemplified) by James Stapleton, who wanted Ron English installed as HC. And when that didn't happen, they were pissed off and sought to undermine Rodriguez.
At least with that one you give the disclaimer that "this is not reporting on my part". Well, good for you. Frankly, it wouldn't even have been worth scrolling up to copy your yammerings, but you're so fucking sanctimonious about all this stuff. Get over it.
Do you think that Jeff Casteel was NOT offered the job on those three occasions? Let's bet on it, okay?
As for that last paragraph, I didn't offer just one disclaimer that it was not "reporting" on my part -- I said it twice, so that even the lowest-grade idiots like you wouldn't miss it. I didn't claim to have insider friends who told me so...
So really, you and your people can go fuck themselves. You have underwhelmed me.
But since dahblue used the entire section JUST IN THIS THREAD, I don't really have a lot to add. This part, however, I'll highlight:
my clear understanding (I don't think there is much dispute about this) is that Rodriguez immediately went back to Casteel to again offer him the job.
You present something as pretty much indisputable fact (including the parts time and time again that we low balled him a number of times and thats the only reason he never came), and while well within the realm of possibility (which makes it NO different than what dahblue posted) you NEVER post anything that actually backs it up. Forget documentation or something (which I'm sure you'd demand from the Freep), but just "who told you"...which is what you're pretty much asking from dahblue, but completely unwilling to provide for your claims. So, yeah, I didn't even have to leave the page to make the point...and it was so obvious I wasn't the only one thinking it.
But I do love it when you go from your "above it all" attitude and reduce yourself to four letter insults. It means you've really lost the argument.
You wanna bet? Dah blue didn't.
Don't take my name in vain. I don't care about the content of what you wrote. I have not declined a bet with you. I don't even know what the hell you're talking about.
You do nothing but endlessly rant without factual backup. On this thread alone, you launched a couple of doozies (from imagined sources) while simultaneously complaining that others (aka me) didn't reveal the names of actual albeit confidential sources. You've been called out and all you offer in return is "go fuck yourself" and "fuck you".
I'd say, "Have a good day," but I don't think that's possible for you. You're probably four pages into today Free Press Entertainment section looking for typos in a story about "Dancing with the Stars" and writing a letter to the editor about "how dare they". So instead, I'll just say, "Try not to be too unhinged today".
Practices? Bacon has seen a lot of Michigan practices over the years. Were RR's so different from previous ones?
Bo? Bacon obviously knew Bo very well. What would Bo thought of RR? Did Bo agree with how Carr was running things?
I always got the impression when Bo was alive he wasn't 100% on board with how Lloyd went about things. He loved Lloyd and let him do his thing but it always felt like he felt like the team was too soft and the defense was not up to snuff. Kinda the grumpy old guy syndrome. "Back in my day...etc."
While everyone doubted RR when he came I thought he was closer to Bo than anything we have ever had. RR's beliefs were
Execute those schemes flawlessly
Play tough swarm to the ball.
Run the ball.
This is essentially what Bo lived by.
Obviously RR did not execute or come close to living up to Bo's shadow, but I'm saying philosophically it felt RR was closer to Bo's ways than Lloyd's. Save the comments about how Bo was the greatest and RR was a bum. We all know how it turned out that's not what I am asking.
Maybe you should save the idle speculation that "Bo wasn't 100% on board with how Lloyd was running things", just because, you've got ,like, a feeling, MAN! Because Bo thinking the team was "too soft and the defense was not up to snuff" is not a way to make a case he'd be endorsing Rich....
Simple schemes? I mean, I'm no Smart Football dude or anything, but several players from that 2008 offense might be a little-bit peeved about calling Rodriguez's offense "simple."
(So might Tate and Denard, who never really fully got the zone-read play down like Pat White, let alone venturing into option land.)