Let's relax. Nothing is going to happen to RR until merchandise sales fall, tickets sales decrease, and luxury boxes sit empty.
"When Can We Fire This Guy?"
A very special mailbag, with just one question. This one has been asked, or implied by people sending me reasons the play of the team is definitely the fault of the coaches, by many, many people the past couple weeks. If you sent one, I read it. I'm not responding except here. Sorry. Usually I try to be better about it.
The platonic ideal:
Just talk me off the ledge...
Please explain what it would take for you to no longer support Rich Rod. What specifically has to happen? And then, please state not just what you expect to see from the program in the coming years, but how the team will improve? To me, that's why I just can't support Rich Rod anymore. Show me where are the underclassmen who will show improvement and how you actually see the coaches making them better.
I just don't see it. Instead, I see a mentally soft team, that while yes, has serious deficiencies, is currently losing to teams that also have serious deficiencies. Our players seem to be all over the place and just poorly coached in general.
Like I said, talk me off the ledge..
I get emails like this because I've been a supporter of Rodriguez throughout his tenure at Michigan and am moving much more slowly towards the conclusion that Rodriguez should be fired than the rest of the universe. The emailer asks for specifics. To set ground rules, here are the assumptions I am working with.
Virtually nothing that happened in 2008 was avoidable, and it was mostly not Rodriguez's fault. Michigan's program had already been gutted by attrition and poor motivation by the time Rodriguez made it to campus, and the exodus of offensive stars in the aftermath of his hiring was an inevitable consequence of the radical shift in offensive philosophy.
I have it from reliable sources Ryan Mallett was gone no matter who was the coach and that Manningham was headed for the NFL after three years from day one. Arrington left because Mallett left. Boren left because he was asked to put in the same amount of effort as the rest of the team and not given special exemptions to go be Mr. Plow. If you want to blame Rodriguez for Boren, fine. Add him to the team last year and you still have a disaster of an offense that starts Nick Sheridan most of the year.
Arguments that Rodriguez should have stuck with a pro-style offense he's never coached and forgo the installation of his system in order to get to 5-7 when hardly anyone on the roster has even played in a pro-style system have been discussed already; I think they are silly.
Rodriguez is not responsible for the enormous holes on the roster. Rodriguez has had a single full recruiting class and had a brief window in which to patch some spread-type players onto Carr's last class. The gaping holes on defense and the lack of talent at outside receiver and offensive line are almost entirely Lloyd Carr's doing. The freshmen quarterbacks are a combination of Carr putting every egg for three years in Mallett's basket and the radical shift in offensive philosophy.
This has been discussed elsewhere on the blog; I won't belabor the point.
Hiring Scott Shafer was a terrible mistake, and the other hires are questionable. At the very least it was a misjudge of the guy's ability to fit in on the staff. At worst, he allowed his DC to get submarined and saw the defense implode because of his assistants' impatience.
This may extend to Rodriguez's other hires as well: Jay Hopson has recruited very few players as Michigan withdrew entirely from Mississippi after last year's debacle; Hopson also secured the commitments of both defensive tackles who went elsewhere on signing day. His linebacking corps has regressed horribly.
And while the jury is still be out (very, very out) on Robinson given the players he has to work with, but his track record since his salad days with the Broncos is one of relentless failure with a single good-not-great year at Texas mixed in.
It is worth noting that the guys who can really be considered DeBord-style crony legacy folk are Magee, Tall, Smith, and Gibson. Dews is a vagabond who was a grad assistant at WVU for a few years before wandering around to Holy Cross, CMU, and UNLV. Frey was picked off from South Florida a year before Rodriguez left WVU and had no prior connection to Rodriguez. Hopson is obviously new. Fred Jackson was an enforced hire by the Michigan AD.
The crony guys are the offensive coordinator who everyone loves, the DL coach who is, IME, doing a very good job, the QB coach who helped Pat White be Pat White, and… well… Tony Gibson. At this point I'd rather see Rodriguez hire a guy he knows inside and out; the folk he brings in from the outside haven't done that well.
We are not at the point yet where the deficiencies in the team are clearly the doing of the coaches. It's pretty suggestive at linebacker, sure. But the secondary is just a disaster zone and would be a disaster zone if Monte Kiffin cloned himself eight times and had all eight players try to teach the safeties how to play football. The offense has improved greatly from year one to year two and has done so with true freshmen at quarterback. Since Rodriguez has a track record of success, he should be extended the benefit of the doubt.
They're not "soft." They don't play like mincing Frenchmen. They play like speed-addled kids with ADD. They are irresponsible and sometimes dumb. This is because they are terribly young or Michigan's linebackers. What does "soft" even mean? Jonas Mouton blowing coverages and cutback lanes game after game is not soft. Mike Williams overrunning everyone on Illinois is not soft. Michigan blowing assignments on the Illinois goal line stand is not soft.
It takes time to dig out.
Michigan was not a 3-9 team by accident; they had the talent of a 3-9 team. If you disagree with that, it's probably to suggest that Michigan was really a 5-7 or 4-8 team that Rodriguez screwed up into being a slightly more horrible team, right?
If you think that Michigan's downfall was entirely Rodriguez-made and you're pointing to the gutted recruiting classes that were in the top ten at their inception but have been ground down to dust, you can safely move on from this post since nothing in it will convince you. My opinion is that a combination of poor late stewardship from Carr and the wrenching transition to the opposite of Lloyd Carr in so many ways is what doomed us to this transition.
I expect Rodriguez to provide continual improvement until Michigan is back to being Michigan. That's my baseline. I'm not exactly thrilled with what's gone on this year but I think it's understandable. Given the roster situation and the chaos at DC—which Rodriguez is responsible for—this Michigan team is within the range in which Rich Rodriguez is not an idiot who got lucky with Pat White and Steve Slaton. It's towards the lower end of the range but it is in the range. It takes time to dig out from the hole they were in.
Next year, Michigan must be better than they are this year. I have no idea where the emailer is getting the idea that Michigan can't be a better team when they return at least 16 starters on offense and defense, with Donovan Warren a potential 17th, some combination of Dorrestein and Omameh a potential 18th, and Darryl Stonum a functional 19th.
Additionally, the players on this team are still extremely young. There are 11 starters on the team who are sophomores or freshman by eligibility, and many of the guys with redshirts in there are guys like Hemingway, Huyge, and Molk who missed large chunks of time with injury. The quarterbacks should take huge leaps forward in their second year. The only spot at which Michigan should be appreciably worse next year, excepting special teams, is Brandon Graham. That will be a major loss; it won't offset improved play at every position on the field.
So, sure. If you really don't think Michigan is going to be better next year I can understand why you'd want to see Rodriguez fired. I also think you're completely nuts.
If they aren't obviously better, then Rodriguez should be fired. If they don't make a bowl game, if they aren't obviously moving away from the Big Ten cellar, if they don't approach yardage parity against BCS opponents, Rodriguez should be fired. I think all of those things are seriously unlikely, and am willing to invest a year to find out. Where it is in black and white: acts of God nonwithstanding, Michigan has to go 8-5 next year or Rodriguez should be cut loose. 7-6 might be okay if the bowl matchup is obviously bad.
This is the last I'll say about it until next year.
Dude, nice account picture!
I agree that we the fans need to have some faith in Coach Rodriguez. This season has been incredibly aggravating. But don't blame Rodriguez, blame the 4-0 start! It tricked us, and raised our hopes so high only to make the losses feel worse. And the sad part is that it was only our love of Michigan Football that made us so gullible. If the team had alternated wins and losses up to this point, then nobody would be talking about firing Rodriguez, except those who were before the team started losing.
2008 was the year that Michigan Football became BAD. So bad, that it was clear it would take a at FEW years to fix. The team is definitely better in 2009. And as long as it doesn't regress in the coming seasons, I'll continue to be all in for Coach Rodriguez.
In HIS second year at OSU Jim Tressel won a national championship.
In HIS second year at USC Pete Carroll went 11-2 and ended the season ranked #4.
In HIS second year at Alaban Nick Saban went 12-2 and a number 6 ranking.
In HIS second year at Cincinatti Brian Kelly went 10-3 and was ranked 17th and 20th.
Great coaches find a way to win with the talent they have.
I don't get concerned about the win totals in those second years. I am more concerned that this is RR's 2nd HC position. All of those coaches had a long resume of being THE MAN before compiling those records. RR was a HC at WVU and a community college. There is a big step between being a coordinator and a HC.
Having said that, I'm behind RR 100% but I will be more at ease when he gets some better position coaches. You can not call Hopson anything but a disaster.
I was reading some emails I exchanged with a friend and I was predicting top 25 in 3 years, contend for B10 championship in 5 years. Those were when he was hired, so we're really about where I was hoping. 3 years gets him a roster of his players and 5 years gets a senior class of his players plus some depth.
Tressel, Carroll, Saban and Kelly didn't have to change from a pro-style offense to a spread. They didn't have to get new players in that fit the scheme. They had the players already. It's the burden of a new scheme, but it's what we signed up for.
I didn't like the RR hiring for lots of reasons, none of them particularly relevant now that the decision has been made. I really hoped I was wrong, because I would rather Michigan succeed than I be right.
Congrats to Brian for finally accepting that RR is not the second coming.
Still, I want Michigan to succeed. Even if the cost is that the hillbilly who blames the players first does too.
Those who love Michigan and will work hard will be champions.
I guess a lot of scorers are hillbillies offended by reading someone write Coach Rodriguez is one of them.
Though I'm not completely happy with all that has gone on, this is an excellent post and the reason why mgoblog is one of the best blogs out there period. We're in uncharted territory as M fans and people are fading in and out of suicidal watch as a result. I agree that making a coaching change at this point would be disastrous, especially if the new coach is a pro style coach.
I'm saying daily prayers that we'll win out but will continue to support the team either way.
Brian skirted the issue of the assistants. Shafer was bequeathed the same guys Robinson was, both with similar results. Obviously there are talent issues here too. But don't you think RR ought to let his DC's actually put their own guys and then either succeed or fail becuase of their own actions? The current "take these coaches" arrangement is not working.
Shafer had the following veteran players:
Morgan Trent (CB)
Terrence Taylor (NT)
Brandon Harrison (DB)
Will Johnson (DT)
Tim Jamison (DT)
John Thompson (LB)
Remember the veteran defense was expected to carry the team while the offense transitioned into the new system. They failed. Shafer was fired. Hopson probably should have gone too, but he was tied to a few key DL recruits who ended up signing elsewhere.
Nothing to see here folks, just 300+ opportunities to hate your fellow man. Just click on over to the banner ads and give Brian some cash.
Best post I have ever read on this blog, get off the ledge and get ready for the ride it has been bumpy but sometimes the ends justify the means.
I completely agree with your assessment, and do like the fact that the level of intelligence and analysis on this blog is much better than on some blogs I've read from schools to the south that haven't faced near the adversity. Makes me still feel good that I'm a Michigan fan, and with a few exceptions, we can rise above the rabble that are many fan bases around the country.
Last year the Rich Rod supporters were going on about "progress". OK, where's the progress? Not in your hearts, but in the numbers? The way it is shaping up, the only progress is the fluke win against the only major team with a worse coach than RR and this year, unlike last, RR managed to beat all his non-conference cream puffs.
Wake up. RR is on track to a worse ... WORSE ... Big Ten record in 09 than he had in 08. That's not progress, that's getting worse.
Rodriguez could be a terrific offensive coordinator. He is not a head coach.
OK, where's the progress? Not in your hearts, but in the numbers?
You cannot be serious.
5, 6, or 7 wins >> 3 wins. There is your progress. In numbers.
You are unbelievable.
So you are claiming that because:
(1) Tate threw an INT in the end zone in overtime against Sparty;
(2) Denard missed a wide open Odoms at Iowa, which would have possibly given Michigan a chance at a game winning FG;
(3) Michigan's PLAYERS could not get 12 inches in four downs against Illinois; and
(4) Michigan missed a FG and extra point against Purdue
that is all Rich Rod's fault, and the team is regressing?
Go away. Honestly. The team is close. As in, 4 plays from likely being 9-1. If you can't understand that MICHIGAN DOES NOT WIN EVERY GAME BECAUSE YOU SUPPORT MICHIGAN and SOMETIMES THE BOUNCES DON'T GO YOUR WAY BECAUSE YOU'RE THE YOUNGEST TEAM IN DIVISION I-A, and you don't have the patience to let this exciting team mature:
Go away. Stop bitching. Just go away.
Point 1: We are closer to having been 3-7 than 9-1. Both Notre Dame and Indiana were games we were outgained in which eeked out in the final minute.
Point 2: Assuming that Tate not throwing that INT or Denard making the right throw would have resulted in us winning those games requires a massive leap. For Iowa, this assumes Odoms would have made the catch, gotten good yardage, we would have moved the ball some more, and the kick would have been good. For State, it assumes we would have eventually scored a touchdown and then would have won in the second OT. No, you can't pretend State's winning TD didn't happen- actually that brings me to...
Point 3: You cannot pretend that all of the football played after the goal line stand didn't happen. It's completely unreasonable to say that one series of plays determined the outcome of the game when it happened when we were up 7 in the third freakin' quarter. Illinois was way, way better than us that day, accept it. Furthermore, Rodriguez shares some blame for that stand. As has been covered before, there's a reason Carlos Brown isn't a short yardage back and he proved it on first and third down.
Point 4: Teams Michigan has beaten on a yards per down basis this year outside of Baby Seal U: Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan. That's it. I assure you, it gives me no pleasure to point that out. Conclusion: If we want to have a chance to actually go 9-1 rather than talk retroactively about how it might have been in the realm of possibility, that needs to change like WOAH.
I think the record is clear that he is both an experienced and successful head coach who happens to be an acknowledged near-genius to genius with regard to offensive creativity.
In addition, as pointed out on this blog and elsewhere, Rodriquez' defenses have generally performed at reasonably high levels, especially at West Virginia. Maybe a poll of Oklahoma's offensive personnel and coaches might turn up a different view of what kind of head coach he is.
Well, perhaps you just posted to see if anyone would rise to your bait. Mea culpa.
Math is useful, perhaps you should brush up.
The poster wrote about progress vs. last year, not earlier in the season. You're changing what he said now refute points that responded to a completely different argument than what you're making.
If Minor ran for 15 yards on the opening play of the game, then 6 yards on the next play, does that mean the team is regressing? Should we fire RR on the field?
We measure progression in seasons because its the best measurement we have. There is only so much coaching can do to influence the entire gameplay of a team from week to week, particularly given injuries and the loss of a significant tactical advantage (the lack of game film at the beginning of the season).
While we can devise game plans and make adjustments for particular opponents, at the end of the day we are still using roughly the same 22 guys with roughly the same amount of coaching under their collective belts to counter new opponents.
The defense today may not be light-years ahead of where it was a couple of weeks ago, but I wouldn't expect it to be. Nor do I think it has quantifiably regressed the way you suggest. The offense continues to inspire hope, and the defense should accumulate more depth every year for the next 2-3 years. That, to me, looks like a program on a positive track.
Certainly no more inane than positing that wins over Eastern, Western, and Indiana followed by losses to Penn St. and Iowa a few weeks later is evidence of regression.
But, alas, that's the point.
Utah >> Delaware State... The only improvement was Notre Dame. All other common opponents were the same as or worse than last year.
I am going to preamble with this and say that I was never really excited about Rich Rodriguez as a hire for a coach(my reason is that I feel the spread offense is communist football). I am also going to say that I don't think he deserves to be fired yet, but is moving in a direction that I was afraid of.
I am pulling for our team to improve, but I have always been a proponent of strong defense. I can live with a bad offense, but why is every single person on our defense that is worthy (Graham and Warren basically) all from the Carr recruiting. I think that is a pretty strong fact. I know that they are older and therefore more experienced, but why are they improving and the youngins regressing. The same question arises, why did we start McGuffie. I know the line sucked, but man, he was not ready for Big Ten football yet. I also didn't like the minor thing he said about the players not meeting expectations. Not a whole lot of coaches ever say stuff like that. Man, I don't even know if JLS ever said anything remotely negative about his players. Nothing rings a bell. None of these things bug me too much, but they are a bunch of little nagging issues.
I personally thing Mario was gone no matter what, but I think that if anyone was going to get to keep Adrian Arrington and Mario Manningham and Mallett, it would have been Lloyd. One thing that no one can argue is that Lloyds players were amongst the most loyal to their coaches.
I guess none of this has a point, just a bunch of random thoughts.
I can live with a bad offense, but why is every single person on our defense that is worthy (Graham and Warren basically) all from the Carr recruiting.
Uh, maybe because Rodriguez only has ONE full recruiting class in? Maybe? No, that can't be it...
We have also gone through two defensive coordinators in two years. The sophmores have had the same amount of time in Barwis-land as the seniors and juniors. They seniors and juniors have seen MORE changes in defensive coordinator and system than the sophmores. I understand that all of the sophmores weren't RichRod recruits. Can we take a second and stop blindly supporting everything bad that happens.
1. There are around 28 players on this roster recruited by Rodriguez. The vast majority of those are true freshmen. That's why you don't see any of his recruits starting on defense.
2. You don't like the spread because "it's Communist football"? Put aside I'm the guy with the Castro avatar, what does that even mean?
The communist football thing comes from an article a couple of years back (2007) from the Steve Szabo.:
"I call that Communist football," Szabo said. "I'm so tired of it. Good, red-blooded Americans snap the ball, hand it to the guy and have a normal run game or pass game."
I didn't know that quoting ex-coaches wasn't funny.
Not good enuf.
I don't think I can say anything that hasn't already been said and I am NOT going to read thru all those comments. I guess this is a fairly hot topic.
However, there is one thing that truly hasn't been said that needs to be said:
potato salad motherfuckers!
First off, no member of the Michigan faithful is going to happy about a 5 loss season, so we can all accept that and move forward. What we need to do though is accept that we're rebuilding and like it or not we have to deal with that.
On offense we've improved, we can actually put together drives and score over 20 points. We're not there yet though, its a young team and fumbles and the like happen. Any freshman QB is going to shit the bed once or twice and it happens. When we judge RR it has to be how Tate/Denard and possibly Gardner progress. If we see no progression in Tate's physique, in Denard's throwing ability, etc then we can break out the pitchforks and torches.
On defense we need to isolate the problem. Is is young players or is it our D-Coords love of soft coverage and ineffective blitz packages? If its the players we need to look at their progression and also off season recruitment. Depending on how we recruit and signs of improvement in the defense next year it might be time to start calling for the D-Coord to be replaced.
I want to see RR be successful at Michigan because I think he's one of two or three young coaches with a potential to be really great.
I fear that he won't get the chance to do it at Michigan. And I really fear that he will do it somewhere else, and we will look back and regret the situation he is being put in.
I remember how our Basketball program went to the ridiculous with poor game management. When Beilein showed up this all changed quickly even though he had to use walk ons.
The current football coaches have very poor game management too. I would change over half the coaches and/or their assignments. What has any of them shown? Rich Rod better wake up.
I have been watching Michigan games since 1955 and have never seen such poor game Management. Even preBo had tough teams where every player knew what to do. My goodness these kids are strong students. My son played for Bo and I am an alum. I've seen alot but never seen play and coaching at or below MAC level.
I'm sure this has been discussed, but can someone give me the quick skinny on why Jeff Casteel didn't come with Rich Rod to Michigan as defensive coordinator? Was there a specific reason why he wasn't one of the bevy of assistants who made the trek North?
is that he truly loves West Virginia. He didn't want to leave. Who knows how true that is.
Come on Brian, to say that Williams isn't soft is like saying that Jonas Mouton makes good run reads and never overpursues; it is one of his biggest deficencies as a football player and apparent to even a casual observer of the game.
This is not an indictment of RR, I'm not saying the team is soft and don't want to engage in the HOLY SHIT FIRE HIM crap. It's just that Mr. Williams cannot tackle or hit to save his life. I am not kidding when I say I have, literally, coached 6th graders who hit harder and have better tackling form than Mr. Williams. His technique (or lack thereof) and abject failure to even consider bringing his hips into the equation would not scare a well developed high schooler.
I challenge anyone on this site to show me video of Mike Williams tackling someone while not falling to his knees, stubbornly refusing to drive through the ball carrier and eventually getting run over by said ball carrier, regardless of their physical ability. He is either extremely afraid of contact, poorly coached or both. I have no idea which it is.
I agree with just about everything Brian said. I'm tired of everyone B!tching - I'm frustrated, but firing Rodriguez isn't going to fix this. People who think so have not been paying attention and don't know the facts. These people think mighty Michigan has better athletes at every position and are just under-achievers. It's not the case and it took me reading a lot of the great posts on this site to really understand and come to grips with this. We haven't gone through this and it sucks. I hate going to every game and being pissed off lately too, but don't just blame the head coach...know the facts or shut up and take your fandom elsewhere. I don't want to hear you booing anymore.
First MGoBlog post, but I've been lurking for a while.
I have to say that I agree with the succinct and calm assessment by Brian.
The only thing I would add is a small thing I've noticed on special teams. Anyone remember how many times the team muffed a kick-off or punt return last season? I don't, but if my blood pressure is any measure, then it was way more than any human should have to endure.
How many muffed kick-off or punt returns has the team had this season? Again, I don't know, but I believe I can count them on one hand.
Now, I'm talking about balls that seem to get buttered up as they go through a returner's hands, or balls that are popped out of a returner's hand by a phantom 12th man on the opposing special teams.
I remember RR saying numerous times last season that returning kicks was a concern, and that extra time during practice would be devoted to such. However, it seemed that every time a kick would come, it was deja-vu all over again. Now, some might say a detail like this is the responsibility of the coaching staff. However, if an entire practice is devoted to returns, and there is no improvement, at what point does the blame shift from the coaching staff?
This season, I've been much more pleased with what I've seen on special teams, especially in the return realm. And since it took an entire season to get that part right, I'm confident that with some end-of-season and off-season adjustments, this team is going to be a fierce competitor next year.
i've tried to read all the comments and have now wasted half my work day. is anyone else noticing that most of the negative thought on RR starts with your michigan state friends? it's as if the football watching state fans spew all this BS about how RR was a terrible hire, is a scUMbag and is John L Smith to passive michigan fans who don't know anything about the program other than the fact that we're losing. a lot more than usual. and it must be the coach, because that's what's different. in reality, anyone who knows say, 7 players names from memory, realizes this was very likely (if not inevitable), and did from day one? there's nothing worse than a vocal idiot. remove those people and the anti-RR camp (who love to point out how 'right' they were/are), and i'd be willing to bet that just about everyone left is limping through this year believing firmly that we have a lot of great football in our not-so-distant future. can we also at least talk about how when the offense isn't shooting itself in the foot or making young mistakes, it's actually FUN to watch? i loved lloyd, but i'm genuinely excited about the prospect of watching some of these guys light up the scoreboard in a couple years.
when we hired a coach that ran a completely different offense, requiring completely different personnel, you either knew this was coming, or you had your head in the clouds. you OBVIOUSLY fall in the anti-RR from day one camp, what with the admitting you don't like the spread. so, please see my earlier post (specifically, the 'pointing out how right you are'). Re: drop in morale on the field and lack of discipline - thanks for that brilliant insight. we have a bunch of young, frustrated players who are learning a system and aren't winning football games. of course they are going to be down. of course they aren't going to be disciplined. they're 18-19-20. amajority of the players under carr were 4th and 5th year guys who had years to learn their responsibilities in practice. since the cupboards are bare (and they are - despite your lloyd colored glasses), the current team doesn't have that luxury.
ps - congrats on the sideline passes and conversations with coaches. we're all proud of you.
"I don't like the spread" doesn't sound like "open to the RR hire" to me. if you were here for more than a day, you'd be aware of the personnel issues (do they not have internet on the sidelines?). perhaps you missed the 'cupboards bare' line because your lloyd-vision automatically sensors it, but it's pretty obvious that lloyd left because he saw this coming as well.
the defensive, 'smart guy' response screams insecure sparty troll, but i'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.
at least now i know where to find salt for my tuna...
you are funny. do me a favor and list all the reasons you're smart in one post so i don't have to gag on it for the rest of time. bar exam! sidelines! talked to coaches! players!
please come back and talk to us in a few years when the fair weather is back.
i think there's a bit of a difference between 8 years and less than 2, but you're the smart one so you tell me. i'd stay and argue more, but i think you've done a fine job of proving to everyone here that you're an idiot. back to the bridge with you!
Defense does take personnel, though. We are 15 scholarships below the limit, and have 25 upperclassmen on the team. We were going to be bad on defense for these past two years regardless thanks to Lloyd, add in attrition from a(ny) coaching change, and you see the results.
Look at the depth chart, and tell me what coach could make a good defense out of it. Then make your case.
The fact is most people who want Rich gone just don't like him, because he has an accent, he doesn't quote poetry, and he's not from here. So, you choose to look at "facts" and distort them to suit your thesis.
At the beginning of the year, consensus was the talent/experience level of this team should be around 6-6 or 7-5. If you expect this record, you can't be angry at 5-7; random things happen that determine one or two wins. Then, we lose our center (which amounts to losing two lineman because Moosman shifts over), Minor, who makes our offense go, and Cissoko (cannot blame RichRod).
We are 2-3 in close games, and laid one real egg. But even Pete Carroll teams lay eggs. This team has played to where it should, and came out a bit unlucky to go 5-7. It says very little about coaching other than it appears this offense is going to be very dynamic.
Good thing we don't have elections for the head coaching job. He needs a couple more years before the real people that matter have this discussion.
However, I do agree that our defense sucks.
I don't care for RichRod and won't shed any tears when his time in Ann Arbor runs out. That said, I'm not rooting against him as long as he's on the UM sidelines.
Martin resigning/retiring for whatever reason is the first step to make this right. The atheltic department set up a mandatory re-building process by allowing Lloyd to announce his retirement mid-season, scaring off recruits, and the coaching search process or the "we have Les Miles" parade was a farce.
The only highlights of the coach search were the private plane speculations on this site re willow run.
Get a Michigan man in place as AD immediately to audit this program. Take advantage of Martin's fall and have a new eye review talent, results, expectations, and how/what RichRod says about his players to the press and how he represents the university. If at any time the result is a failing grade, it's time for his departure. There should be no guaranteed amount of time to stay a firing.
When the axe finally falls, I want to see the focus on a long term solution rather than a "name" to placate alumni and fans.
His what? He had always said this was a temporary position for him, this is no surprise.
convenient. Whether tied to RichRod's struggles and the debacle of the coach search or stiff-arming the student security asking for his pass, I view the retirement announcement as opportunity for having an AD to view the football program without emotional baggage.
You don't think the date of his retirement is significant? The fact that he's retiring on the day the stadium is officially dedicated? That will be one of (if not the)his greatest accomplishments during his tenure here.
I think you're reading way too much into this.
Rich Rod's first full recruiting class will be juniors or red shirt sophomore in 2011. In 2011 we should see a big improvement in defensive play and the offense will have already stepped it up in 2010. My thoughts are that in 2010 we will continue to improve, especially on offense where Tate will have much more experience with the offense. Hopefully, DROB or Gardner will be in position to be capable backups in case an injury to Tate would occur (God I hope not!!!). I think we will finish with a 6-6 or 7-5 record in 2010, but 2011 will be the true judgment season for Rich Rod and he'll have to go 8-4 IMO. I think by 2013 and beyond we will all be very happy Michigan fans and that Rich Rod is our coach.
Michigan's system (particularly the defense) was the football equivalent of East Germany after the wall came down. Neglect and ineptitude left them ill prepared for the modern era. Carr had been mailing it in for years - not to mention the fact that he was the "accidental head coach" from the very beginning. He was an assistant at Michigan for years and never, ever had a quality school (or any school as far as I can tell) try to recruit him away from Ann Arbor. Moeller's temporary insanity was the one and only reason he became the Gerald Ford of Michigan head coaches. Everybody who wants RR gone needs to calm down and realize that it will take more than 1 recruiting year to get back on the rails. Let's not get so nostalgic for all of those great 8-4 seasons.