Every year, teams play for specific goals. Or maybe one big goal. A conference championship. A winning year. The national championship. A bowl game. A BCS Bowl Game. Victory in the big rivalry game.
Bo's teams always played for Big Ten Championship and a berth in the Rose Bowl. Carr's teams always played for the Big Ten championship and / or "Bigger things". Some teams play to build a foundation, build character, build a solid defense, etc.
Not matter what the goal, team goals always make their players, their team, the foundation for their goals. Until this year.
Since Coach Rodriguez was hired, the system, not the team, has become the fondation for all of Michigan's goals. Viewed from this perspective, the players, the team, have become ipso facto, a weak foundation. In fact, not so much a foundation as a drag, a boat anchor, a liability. Our team is holding back the success of our new system.
So this is what I don't like about Coach Rodriguez' approach.
- teams are bigger than systems
- this year's players haven't grown as a team
- next year's players will take little from this year--except failure
I don't agree that Michigan will be great in 1-3 years because Michigan, unlike Coach Rodriguez' past coaching stints, is not a weak school trying to succeed by attracting ok talent and playing an unorthodox offense.
The culture of Michigan football is much stronger than anything Rodriguez has seen before. Intense conditioning hasn't improved the team--or individual players. Intimidation hasn't made players tougher. High tempo play hasn't worn down our opponents, who have dominated the 4th quarter of most games. In short, the team has made almost no progress since spring training.
So long as Michigan football success tries to build upon the spread system, it will fail. We're not a weak culture that's never known success. Until our team is made the foundation on which to build the new offense, we'll go nowhere but down. Every week.