You must be kidding, right?
a vitally important recap of all the dumb tweets sent during the Harbaugh coaching search
I'm impressed with the large numbers of people who seem to have already blazed their way through Three and Out. It took me a while. I stopped for a few days after "Honeymoon from Hell" because it was too depressing; every chapter featuring a game I knew they'd lose spectacularly required a little bit of willpower to start.
But I'm done and a large number of you are done. It is time to talk the turkey.
We've got this document. What does it say about major players in the saga? I was planning one part here but this got long, so today we'll cover Carr, Rodriguez, and Bill Martin, with various players with less prominent roles in the story covered in a post tomorrow.
It says a few things about Lloyd Carr that are not nice, and implies more. Bacon's said he left a lot of things out that he could not get multiple sources on, which is both his responsibility as an actual journalist and horribly frustrating.
The main strikes:
That's aside from the state of the roster when Rodriguez took over, which wasn't specifically directed at the new man.
Those seem like major strikes. Screw it: those are major strikes, particularly #3. I find it inconceivable that Eric Mayes would made it thirty seconds into the embarrassing "we own this program" speech before Bo burst from his chest like a Xenomorph. Carr does nothing. Multiple former players trash Rodriguez in public. Carr does nothing. The 2009 golf outing that even guys like Chris Balas* come back from disgusted at, naming specific names of players (Marlin Jackson, Dhani Jones) who embarrassed themselves with their behavior. Is Carr even at it? It's worse if he is.
So, like, whatever. Carr doesn't owe anyone anything except the 400k a year he was pulling down as associate AD. But he's no program patriarch. He's just a guy who used to coach here. His loyalty is to an incredibly specific version of Michigan only. The difference between the Bo guys and the Carr guys is obvious. Bo guys organize a weird counterproductive rally for RR; Carr guys go on MNF and state they're from "Lloyd Carr's Michigan" or storm the AD's office to demand RR's firing after every loss**. There are exceptions, obviously. The trend is clear.
I have no sympathy for arguments the guy is being painted unfairly when he was offered the opportunity to tell his side a dozen times. If history is written by the losers here it's because the winners don't care what the public thinks. They can't be surprised when the public thinks they're not Bo.
Carr did a lot of things for the program but his legacy is significantly tarnished by the pit it found itself in immediately after his departure. It was his lack of a coaching tree, lack of serious coordinators, and lack of tolerance for Les Miles that caused Michigan to hire Rodriguez in the first place. It was his lack of a roster—seven scholarship OL!—and lack of support that provided Rodriguez with two strikes before he even coached a game. We can argue about how much is Carr's fault and how much is Rodriguez's, but figuring out the latter is pointless since RR is gone and everyone hates him. The former is "far too much."
*[By this I mean guys who work for publications for whom access is lifeblood. They're naturally more circumspect. The reaction on premium sites to this golf outing was unprecedented, with people moved to call actual former players out by name after years of dark mutterings.]
**[Not in the book; something I got from a good source.]
If you left a goat in the locker room after a Michigan loss and then locked Rodriguez in it for five minutes, you would return to find the walls smeared with blood and feta. There would be no trace of the goat.
Rich Rodriguez was obviously not a stoic guy. His sideline tantrums proved that. The extent of his leg-gashing, table-throwing, goat-cheese-making post-loss hissies is probably the thing that Rodriguez is pissed about. They don't make him look like a stable dude. Neither does his descent into J. Edgar Hoover-esque paranoia, no matter how intent the university was on making that paranoia seems reasonable.
By the time I got through it, my reaction to Rodriguez's portrayal was different than that of the media reviewing the book. It doesn't paint Rodriguez as a guy I would want in charge of my football program. I can deal with one goat-annihilating postgame tantrum a year. Rodriguez seemed to have one after every loss.
So why do most neutral accounts play up the Rodriguez sympathy angle? They do not take the truth that the local media is dominated by agenda-laden twits to be self-evident. When Mike Rosenberg—who comes off as a real winner—bombed Rodriguez with a bunch of half-truths and misrepresentations I bombed back, stating that it was obvious the buyout kerfuffle was university-directed. Surprise: it was university-directed as they tried to get out of their 2.5 million dollar hook. Similarly, Free Press Jihad is re-exposed as a bunch of half-truths at best run by a couple of guys who "had countable hours in there at some point" but had it edited out, no doubt because that's not at all important in a discussion about whether Michigan was more than doubling their allotted time on Sundays.
If you go into the book knowing Rosenberg and Snyder published an embarrassing hack-job and that a large part of the media firestorm surrounding Rodriguez was a combination of University incompetence and the tiny lizard brains of certain folk in the local media*, the main takeaway from the book in re: RR is the sheer height of the plumes his emotional volcano shoots up. I mean, Bacon spends pages and pages on Rodriguez playing up the traditions of Michigan to his players. That's an obvious reaction to the Michigan Man business. I assumed Rodriguez was not an idiot when it came to firing up his troops, I guess, and that stuff shot by me. Beating a bleating ungulate against the wall of the Notre Dame locker room until it bursts into a kaleidoscope of viscera… that stays with you.
I feel bad for the guy. I'm glad he's gone.
*[The rest a combo of Rodriguez never winning any games and his remarkable ability to stick his leg into the press conference bear trap.]
Good Lord, man. I find it hard to believe that a guy who dragged Michigan kicking and screaming into massive financial success and smoothly hired John Beilein (admittedly after making a questionable hire in Tommy Amaker) was really as incompetent as… uh… I believed he was after the sailboat incident. That's Yogi Berra right there but it's also true.
Here's the the story of the post-Carr coaching search from the perspective of this site:
It seemed like a clown show, and behind the scenes… clown show. Martin wants Dungy, has no idea if Dungy—who is a broadcaster and can be contacted by anyone at any time for any reason—will take the job. Wants Ferentz, has no idea that the president of the university will stab him if he hires Ferentz. Wants Miles, has no idea that Lloyd Carr will stab him if he hires Miles. Somehow misses on Schiano, then has Rodriguez fall into his lap and grabs him before anyone can think about it, which sets up the whole buyout fiasco the media will spin for six months. The sailboat incident is even worse since Bacon asserts one of the main problems was Martin had a new cell phone and didn't know how to use it.
Martin himself drops out of the story shortly thereafter, which is another indictment of the guy because what enters is a vast institutional incompetence that starts the Rodriguez media cockroach katamari rolling. Everything from the buyout to the Dorsey situation is mishandled not only by Rodriguez (sometimes not even by Rodriguez, as with the buyout) but by the people who should be telling him what is and is not possible. When Rodriguez went to bat for Dorsey with a guy in admissions the guy in admissions should have looked at the guy's transcript before saying yes, and then when he did look at the transcript he should have said no.
Instead we actually sign the guy—opening us up to the most cynical and loathsome of all the lizard-brain media attacks—only to find out he is nowhere near eligible. And don't get me started on the CARA forms, which was a special brand of idiocy all on its own. Martin did a lot of big picture stuff very well, but he was totally unprepared to fix a department that had started downhill long before he arrived.
For all the crap I give Brandon about his failure on big picture stuff, he cleaned out the deadwood with alacrity.
TOMORROW: Players, reporters, me/us(!?).
You must be kidding, right?
Which apparently is being taken as gospel....Bacon (and probably Rich) didn't think it was that bad either. (see p. 140-141).
If we take away all of the things that were demonstrably not Rodriguez's fault -- the 2008 roster, Jeff Casteel as DC, the buyout litigation, the Free Press and the NCAA investigation fallout -- would Rodriguez have won an additional game or two, would he have produced a few better recruits and would he have been given a fourth year?
Perhaps. But if he'd gotten that fourth year, he'd still have been on the hot seat. It's not like surviving year 3 gets you tenure as a football coach. Having his record be 16-21 or 17-20 instead of 15-22 would not be enough of a change. We may have found ourselves in an Amaker-type situation, where a seemingly inevitable firing kept on dragging out interminably. (Did anyone really expect Amaker to survive that last season?)
I definitely think 17-20 would've gotten him another season IF those two additional wins came in 2009-2010. If he went 6-6 in 2009 (thereby getting into a bowl) and 8-4 in 2010, he's still on the sidelines. Or if both those wins came in 2010 and went 9-3? Shoot, he'd have a contract extension.
That's not really my point. I agree that he could have been retained beyond 2010 with a couple more wins - but I think it's naive to assume that if that had happened, RR would have suddenly been in the clear beyond that. He'd still be facing heavy scrutiny in 2011. There probably would have been a lot of speculation about RR being a lame duck right now.
Speculation about another year of Rodriguez.
Spculation about Dantonio going to Ohio State.
Speculation about Bo going to Texas A&M.
Speculation about Woody Hayes being fired in '76... and '77... and '78...
My one and only guiding thesis was that Rodriguez was being treated unfairly. I regard this book as unassailable proof, of what has been obvious to me for three years.
I never said that I was happy with the team's record. I never said that Rodriguez (or anyone else) was free of any error. I said that Rodriguez was being treated unfairly and that it was materially interfering with him producing the best team that he could. I think I was right.
The only thing that I've seen that connects the treatment of Rodriguez to his W-L table is the AD's inability to get Casteel. Not having read the book, I'm not entirely certain how ironclad the assertion is that we definitely could have gotten Casteel with $10k/yr and a contract (what was the source for that?), but I'll grant that certainly we could have paid him some number that would have brought him to Ann Arbor.
But people need to stop conflating that with all of the other bullshit that Rodriguez had to deal with (and as someone who thinks Rodriguez was basically a good guy, I agree that it was bullshit.) Unless you can show me exactly how having bitter ex-Carr players talking shit on the golf course or, hell, even the Freep Jihad was actually connected with the results on the field, I would think that the "things that set Rodriguez up to fail" discussion would have to be limited to a) inheriting a thin roster in 2008 and b) having to find a DC other than Casteel.
I'm not sure if you noticed but nearly all of your criticisms of Lloyd can be rendered as "HE'S NOT BO! WHY IS HE NOT BO! BO WOULD HAVE DONE IT DIFFERENTLY! BO BO BO!"
Bo is dead. I miss him a lot. Lloyd Carr is not Bo. He never was Bo. I doubt he wants to be Bo. As a media figure, he's the anti-Bo... reluctant to talk to the press, preferring privacy to publicity, etc. Failing him for not being someone he never was is ridiculous.
Why are we blaming Carr for being loyal to his kids and telling them, quite honestly, that it might be best for them to leave? I think it's great. He didn't doom guys to having to play in an offense that they were horrible fits for, he loved them too much to let that happen. Why are we attacking him for telling Mallett to leave? He'd been telling him that since week 6 of the season. And if he wasn't already out the door, it was in Mallett's best interest to leave anyway. Why is it a problem that Carr cared about his kids more than the school?
Because this is Michigan. Bo and Hoke clearly show a great love for the program and that is something that endears fans to them. Rodriguez tried to as well but was criticized at every turn for not doing it enough. RR told his players to stick around, even though he recruited them. Carr did the opposite, letting the players be bigger than the program, and that's not how Michigan works; no one is bigger than the program, even Bo said so himself.
if Moeller had said he was switching to an offense that would eliminate fullbacks, you can bet your ass Bo would have signed all of their transfer papers before that happened
I guess this is what we all want our university to be... a place where the good of the students is overlooked in favor of what's best for the university.
In Soviet Russia what's best for state is what's best for you.
You mean the good of the athletes? If they are students there isn't a much better place for them to be to get an education.
I was drawing a comparison between the athletes and regular students, but we all know they have different priorities than normal students
Nah, you were just creating a straw man.
that if RR had told his players on the way out that he will sign any transfer papers put in front of him, he would have been doing the right thing?
Imagine the reaction of the anti-RR people to that.......
Was, "suck it up ____."
Not only bullshit, but super bullshit! I've never met Bo, Mo, Lloyd, RR, hell, ANYONE from Michigan's football history and I know that the above hypothetical is astoundingly bullshit.
I guess I wasn't aware Lloyd only offered to sign transfer papers for offensive players. If not, your point is B.S.
Sorry, but the whole "Bo and Hoke and RR loved the program but Lloyd did not" is just bullshit.
Lloyd loved the program enough not to publicly defend and excuse someone who he honestly - and, ultimately correctly - believed was not an good fit for the program. I applaud him, as I am sure that he must have known (and, equally not cared) that a faction of the fanbase would criticize him for his conduct.
Lloyd loved the program enough to fight not to allow a scum like Les Miles to take over and turn us into a fanbase that excuses over-signing and throwing players under the bus.
Lloyd loved his players enough to realize that each of them made a life decision as to what school to attend, and that his retirement totally changed the parameters of that decision. If he allowed his players to transfer, good for him - it does not demonstrate a love of the school to force players to stay when it is not in their best interest.
I'm not saying Lloyd didn't love the program, but I don't know if he held it above all else the way Bo did.
And why did he offer transfers before the guy coached a single game? Are you saying that he knew RR was a bad fit before he coached a game?? And how did he know before RR coached a game that LC's retirement "totally changed the parameters" of a player's decision to attend Michigan? That's some good foresight LC had there.
Before the new guy coaches a single game, and when you are an employee of the university, you OWE it to M to support the new guy in every way possible. Every single way. Like Gary Moeller, who BTW had WAY more reason, should he choose, to have a grudge against the school that fired him. But instead, he defended RR and helped as he could. That is admirable. LC's actions were not admirable. Period.
Actually Mo resigned. Bo tried to talk him out of it. He thought that Mo should try to weather the storm. And in those days before the internet and the 24/7 news cycle he probably could have.
I could see what you say if Lloyd was fired. However, he retired, AND was given a job in the athletic department. With that job came the responsibility to act in the best interests of the university and the football team. Things like telling players they can all transfer was not best for the team. Not publicly supporting the coach that he recommended for the job was not in the best interests of the team.
For all the good that Lloyd has done for the department an the university, these actions will always color my impression of him as a person.
wasn't Lloyd the first person to call Rodriguez about the job as a way to be sure Miles, who he felt was not a fit, did not get hired?
So.......seems like at some point anyway he felt it not such a bad idea to hire him.
I think its funny that in the Michigan community -- and especially on this website -- there's a large group of people who want Michigan's football coach to act EXACTLY like Bo when it comes to Sunday-Friday, then on Saturday's, they want a coach that is the EXACT opposite of Bo. "3 yards and a cloud of dirt" and "manball" are four-letter words to some people, but all hell will break lose if Michigan's football coach doesn't mimic Bo 100% in every other respect. Know your idols, I guess.
Look at the film. Bo was as innovative on offense as they come. He ran option. He ran pro set. He threw deep. The ran I form. He changed what he did year to year based on his teams' strengths. His offenses changed a ton over his tenure.
...about 1000% more than Rodriguez.
It's not bad; it's not good. But I sat directly across the field from Bo, Moeller, Carr, Rodriguez and Hoke. They are all sort of alike. The two outliers are Bo, who was by far the worst screamer, and Hoke, who is the most passive.
Bo did change his offensive style depending on the personnel he had, and I give him a lot of credit for that. Let's just not call it "innovative."
when Cam Cameron showed up and was like "hey we can pass more and probably score more point", Bo thought it was a genius revelation. Innovative he was not.
The option back in those days was the opposite of innovative.
It was a long, painful process, though. Anthony Carter played a big role, and if John Wangler had been around for Carter's last two years instead of option quarterback Steve Smith I think he'd have done more sooner.
Bo adapted because he had a special talent and then went back to the option throughout the 80's
But he was adaptable, and did many different things on offense. The Book details other M coaches being innovators, from Yost having offense and defense guys to the Mad Magicians. We weren't always "3 yards and a cloud of dust" or "Iso left behind Jake Long"
I will buy "adaptable."
Maybe because Bo was awesome and provided a standard against which his successors should be judged?
Maybe because Bo talked about sticking with your team even if they are losing, and by inference, not allowing the coach of your team to twist in the wind? Like, the opposite of what Lloyd did?
On that note, your signature: ironic or unironic?
bullshit, nobody should be judged for not being Bo
this is how you get into Notre Dame territory
Yeah that first one was just kind of a joke. I mostly wanted to crap on you for having a signature that expressed everything I loved about Bo and for which I am criticizing Lloyd.
You seem like a smart guy, so that's why I asked whether it was there ironically or not.
it's a relic of the RichRod years
Don't use that one criticism to absolve Carr completely that's not the main problem for me. Fine he helped out his kids but what did he do after that? It was made absolutley clear that Bo kept everything in check and kept drama in house. With him gone how can we not expect Lloyd to fulfill that role even a little bit?
He was still in the department but by all accounts did zero to defend or allay some of the crap our program took. His silence is more damning than anything and it was very heart breaking to read about. I was always a defender of Carr because of how he conducted himself but if even half of this stuff is true that image is ruined. It all seems so petty now.
I feel exactly the same way. I was a Carr supporter when he was getting criticism but I can't support him now. Even if he did not love Rich he owed his ex-players and the University to strongly publically support RR, for everyones sake. He comes off as petty and unable to rise above it. I'm older and sometimes you have to do shit you don't like because it's the right thing to do. WTF happened to Carr's moral compass?
Rodriguez got treated like shit by tons of people working for and associated with the University of Michigan, yet he told every one of his former players not to transfer (after getting fired before the team he built could see the field, not leaving of his own accord). He didn't tell Denard Robinson he should go play in an offense that supposedly fits his skill set a little better. He didn't tell recruits to go to another school (like former Carr players did without their former coach saying word one about it).
I'm sorry, but if Rodriguez cares about the Michigan football program more than Lloyd Carr does, then yes that is an indictment of Carr, no matter how you much you want to pretend telling people to jump ship was done out of love. Only caring about "Lloyd Carr's University of Michigan" isn't a positive character trait no matter who does it, in my view.
I'd rather have a coach who does right by his players than one who is simply beating off to the block M.
So you're saying that because Rodriguez told his guys (Denard especially) to stay that he doesn't care about them? And that he masturbates to our school's trademarked logo?
I thought I had heard all the criticisms possible of the guy, but this one fucking takes the cake. Every time Denard throws an incomplete pass I'll remember to note that it is all Rich Rodriguez's fault for fucking him over and telling him to stay at Michigan.
I'm not talking about Rich, you are. I'm talking about Lloyd Carr and this notion that he should care more about the school than any of his players.
Yeah, we know. You're talking about your straw man.
I'm barely talking about anything anymore since apparently "disagreeing" is now FLAMEBAIT here at MGo.
It is if you keep repeating the same silly fallacy that caring for students or the school is mutually exclusive.