"Some day my prince will come..."
This is probably a bad idea right now the way people are divided and I'm not making this comparison with negative intentions (though for Rich Rodriguez supporters, just mentioning the name John L Smith is bad enough, the guy's reputation is radioactive). And just for full disclosure I'll say up front that I would be in favor of getting rid of Rich Rodriguez and replacing him with Harbaugh.
All that said, this probably won't go over well but all I'm really trying to put forth is the stats (and let people draw their own conclusions). Maybe this against my better judgement and I'm just asking for trouble/being overly provactive. All I can say is that I'm not intentionally starting to stir up trouble. Going to try and just present the data and let people draw their own conclusions. With that said, I think the year three comparison of the two coaches is troubling.
Went with this comparison for three reasons
1) John L Smith represents the worst case scenario. Those who want to get rid of Rich Rodriguez fear that we just have another version of John L Smith (whether this fear is justified or not). Someone who gets the job done on the offensive side of the ball, but who can't build a complete team. And to be clear, there's no definitive answer here.
2) Easy comparison because John L Smith is someone who most Michigan fans are pretty familiar with.
3)From what I remember (and my memory of the John L Smith years has faded a bit) there were similiar kinds of problems. Good offense, bad defense (especially secondary wise). Had the tendancy to start the season well, but fade once MSU hit the meat of their schedule.
Below are relevant stats that I've pulled
Record for three years before Rodriguez or John L Smith
|MSU||U of M|
Year One Comparison
|John L Smith||Rich Rodriguez|
|Record||8-5 (started 7-1)||3-9|
|Total Yards||367.38 yards per game (73rd)||290.75 yards per game (109th)|
|Passing Yards||270 yards per game (23rd)||143.17 yards per game (108th)|
|Rushing Yards||97.38 yards per game (111th)||147.58 yards per game (59th)|
|Points||27.92 points per game (49th)||20.25 points per game (101st)|
|Total Yards||379.92 yards per game(62nd)||366.92 yards per game (67th)|
|Passing Yards||255.15 yards per game(97th)||230 yards per game (87th)|
|Rushing Yards||124.8 yards per game(27th)||136.92 yards per game (50th)|
|Points||22.5 points per game (40th)||28.92 points per game (84th)|
Year Two Comparison
|John L Smith||Rich Rodriguez|
|Record||5-7||5-7 (started 4-0)|
|Total Yards||460 yards per game (10th)||384.50 yards per game (59th)|
|Passing Yards||221.50 yards per game (51st)||198.33 yards per game (81st)|
|Rushing Yards||238.50 yards per game (10th)||186.17 yards per game (25th)|
|Points||29.42 points per game (38th)||29.50 points per game (41st)|
|Total Yards||381.42 yards per game (42nd)||393.33 yards per game (82nd)|
|Passing Yards||209 yards per game (54th)||221.42 yards per game (67th)|
|Rushing Yards||172.42 yards per game (73rd)||171.92 yards per game (91st)|
|Points||27.17 points per game (72nd)||27.50 points per game (77th)|
Year Three Comparison
|John L Smith||Rich Rodriguez|
|Record||5-6(started 4-0)||7-5 (started 5-0)|
|Total Yards||497.27 yards per game (5th)||500.92 yards per game (6th)|
|Passing Yards||295.45 yards per game (11th)||249.83 yards per game (34th)|
|Rushing Yards||201.82 yards per game (20th)||251.08 yards per game (11th)|
|Points||33.82 points per game (18th)||34.33 points per game (23rd)|
|Total Yards||409.55 yards per game (87th)||447.92 yards per game (109th)|
|Passing Yards||244.91 yards per game (85th)||260.25 yards per game (110th)|
|Rushing Yards||164.64 yards per game(76th)||187.67 yards per game (94th)|
|Points||28.73 points per game (77th)||33.83 yards per game (102nd)|
John L Smith Year 4
|Record||4-8 (started season 3-0)|
|Total Yards||356.75 yards per game (48th)|
|Passing Yards||227.58 yards per game (35th)|
|Rushing Yards||129.17 yards per game (65th)|
|Points||25.17 points per game (52nd)|
|Total Yards||363.75 yards per game (88th)|
|Passing Yards||230.92 yards per game (97th)|
|Rushing Yards||132.83 yards per game (56th)|
|Points||28.73 points per game (77th)|
I was too lazy to do so, but another data point that's probably worth taking into account are the relevant offensive and defensive measures in the three years prior to RichRod and John L Smith. This also doesn't take into account attrition numbers that each coach had to deal with (well documentated in Rich Rodriguez's case, no idea when it comes to MSU).
Editing Notes: made some changes with stats so presentation is better plus fixed typo in title.
"Some day my prince will come..."
OK: let me see if I can get this straight. JLS started out decent and went down the tubes. RR walked into a shitstorm and has improved every year. JLS coached at MSU and RR at Michigan. So, really, other than both having southern accents and coaching football, there isn't much to compare. Right?
How did RR walk into a "shitstorm"?
It's not like the 2007 team was chopped liver. They came off a bowl win and a winning season. I would be first to say that Carr's recruting was slipping a bit during his last 2 seasons, IMO, at least in the secondary, but RR had some talent when he got here.
Did RR coach the 2007 team? Nobody cares who was on the team the year before RR got there. Did he coach Henne, Hart, Long, Manningham, Arrington, Crable, Jamar Adams, etc.? I'm pretty sure he didn't so coming off of a bowl win means absolutely nothing if the next season you don't have the key players from the bowl win and Nick Sheridan/Steven Threet as your starting QB.
It is no wonder that RR first recruited offense. 2008 was a disaster and LC knew it.
Black cloud of practice gate/Freep f-ing up recruting as well as Dantonio having a greater impact on in-state players (thanks Archie Bell) and RR culture shock all make this Smith vs RR comparison invalid IMO.
A big reason the O-line was in shambles is because Rodriguez failed to retain guys like Boren. Also, Steve Schilling is/was a 5* talent. They were not, talent wise, even a bottom 1/2 of the big ten offensive line.
Failed to retain guys like Boren? Really? . .
Remember John Ferrara xfered from defense and saw significant time.
At least Carr got us a National championship. That was good enough in my book to justify keeping him 5 years more. However not more.
At this point we should not allow that name ever again on this blog. B----- or "that SOB traitor" will do. Even that would be too much.
Is not all that bad. See Arizona State's offensive numbers this year. Rodriguez did not deploy him correctly. Whether you agree with Rodriguez installing his system from day one, regardless of personnel, you at least have to admit this is a choice he made, not a situation he was forced into.
Did you watch the games in 2008 and make the conclusion that Threet is not that bad? A. He was awful. B. Your argument now makes no sense because it is 2 years later. I hope most of Michigan's players improve over a 2 year period. And C. ASU played better last week after Threet went down.
Arizona St is 5-6 with 2 wins against FCS schools. His backup just threw 4 tds and almost 400 yards last week. Thats in a system "designed" for Threets talents. I think that speaks pretty loudly as to what RR had to work with.
Rich Rod did not have this season's Steven Threet to deploy, correclty or incorrectly.
He also, still, is not all that good. In 2008 while being incorrectly deployed he threw 9 TD's against 7 Interceptions while sharing time. This year while being correctly deployed and playing every game (but leaving the last game early with injury) he threw 19 TDs against 16 interceptions. I don't see any big difference there, just more playing time.
Perhaps he did not do as well as he would have if RR had adapted to him more, but maybe he also wasn't as motivated as he could have been due to transferring here to play in a pro style system and then haveing the pro style coach retire while waiting for the NCAA to let him back on the field.
You forgot to mention that Smith's teams were notorious for behavioral problems, although it was mostly Saban's recruits causing the problems under the lax eye of the DBs coach (who was in charge of discipline). Whatever happened to that DBs coach, anyway? Did they run him out of football for being about the scuzziest guy in the Big Ten?
Wolves, I think.
John L., whatever else you'd say about him and it would all be true, actually mostly cleaned up the behavior problems that had flourished under Bobby Williams. (Smoker's drug use and RB Dawan Moss dragging a Lansing cop being the most notorious) Smith's teams had one ugly incident where the top two TEs beat the crap out of a kid and (supposedly) tried to drown him in the Red Cedar. He suspended both of them for the rest of the season and that's about all I recall. John L's teams were known for bad discipline ON the field, not really off. He also much improved the academic standing of the team from Saban/Bobby levels, if I remember right.
I'm suprised you wouldn't know this, given the Dantonio-taunting potential. Blocking out Bobby Williams' entire tenure seems more like something we'd do in Spartan land.
That's probably the best defense of John L. Smith. Compare the talent he and Bobby had and it seems to me he did about the same with less. Plus, he really hated Notre Dame.
After three years, Smith was 16-19; if Michigan wins its bowl this year Rich will be 16-21.
What this shows is the benchmark for getting fired is to suck in your fourth year, when the first class of players who only know you as their head coach become seniors. Unless you're at Notre Dame, then they fire you after three years (and a 15-21 overall record -- exactly the same record Rodriguez has at this point -- Willingham was fired now, before the bowl) and subsequently self destruct when the next guy finishes coasting and the chaos they set in motion (via six years of not having a class of true seniors who have known only one head coach, instead of the usual three) takes hold.
So let's all relax and let the AD do his job -- if Michigan does not improve next year against quality Big Ten opponents, Rich will get fired. This should be obvious. No doubt it is to Rich.
from Sparty? Has the hell have frozen?
He's my new favorite Spartan. He is becoming East Lansing's version of Irish -- an outsider making contributions to the MGoBoard with a fresh perspective.
Don't forget about me! I will also add that rr has something that jls didn't really have: a track record of past success. Sure jls had success at lville prior to msu but rr has a history of knocking off some big names in bcs bowl games. This alone gives rr an edge over jls and should warrant him getting more time
Sparty man, John L had one good season, but only when he inherited Jeff Smoker (de-toxed) from Bobby "I don't know" Williams.
RichRod's D quit on him in 2008, but that was mainly due to negative influences from the Country Club Crowd (Morgan Trent, T Taylor, etal).
We may have schematic and talent gaps, but not enthusiasm gaps on D. As much as I think Ray Vinopal is over his head as a true freshman, 2-star safety playing at Michigan, I give the guy credit for trying to chase down Illinois RB Ford on that disgustingly long 60+ yd TD run a few weeks ago.
John L was has dropped all the way down to ST coach at a hick school.
I've been thinking more about Hal Mumme, less the NCAA violations. He too was the father of an innovative offense. I need to do more stat research to see how valid the comparison is to Mumme though.
I do like your article.
Prolific offense, yes. But, Mumme wanted a guy who would throw some 60 times per game (kind of like Drew Brees in his early days at Purdue).
WVU did have decent D's, but the architech (Casteel) didn't follow RichRod to Michigan (at least not yet).
It's time for all evaluation and speculation on Rich Rod's status to end. Leaving my own personal opinion out of the mix, anyone who thinks this process through has to come to the conclusion that he's staying.
Once Dave Brandon said that he would evaluate the coaching situation after the bowl game, he was making the implied admission that at a minimum RR was staying through 2011. If U-M were making a change at head coach, RR would've been fired already. Just like Randy Shannon at Miami.
There's no benefit in keeping RR until the bowl game, only to axe him afterwards. There's only downside to that -- scrambling to get a coach and assistants in ASAP, recruits scrambling to find new schools. If RR was going, Brandon would've let him go very shortly after The Game, begun whatever "official" coaching search he was going to start, gotten his under-the-table agreement that Harbaugh was coming in, and would be planning the press conference immediately following whatever New Year's Day bowl Stanford goes to.
We can continue to spew our thoughts pro and con on RR, but logic tells me the decision has already been made.
Please be advised that you have violated the Prohibition on Coaching Change Opinions Act of 2010 (hereafter, the "Act"), profligated by Profitgoblue on November 30, 2010. In particular, you have violated Article 2(c) and 2(d) of the Act.
Please be further advised that, pursuant to Article 3 of the Act, the minimum fine for this violation is the loss of one (1) MGoPoint, with the maximum to be determined by the MGoCommunity.
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I try to bring a little reason into the discussion without offering any opinion, and a narrow interpretation of the "rules" earns me a negging.
I sincerely apologize. There was no intent to incite or inflame, only inform.
Not sure if you were asking, but your post did include a personal opinion when you stated that Brandon has already made his decision. As such, I was forced to issue the citation. That said, it was still a decent post.
Holy MGoPoints batman!
I just want to know if RR can be flexible enough to change to the 4-3 and kill the 3-3-5.
If yes, he stays.
If no he goes.
My guess is that like all coaches he dies with his system.
Here are some coaches who have had a 3 year record of 3 wins, 5 wins, and 7 wins, and what their 4th year record was like.
Ray Willsey, California, 1966-1969: 3-7...5-5...7-3-1...5-5
William F Barnes, UCLA, 1958-1961: 3-6-1...5-4-1...7-2-1...7-4
Ben Martin, Air Force, 1961-1964: 3-7...5-5...7-4...4-5-1
Gerry Faust, Akron, 1990-1993: 3-7-1...5-6...7-3-1...5-6
Larry Smith, Missouri, 1995-1998: 3-8...5-6...7-5...8-4
Ike Armstrong, Utah, 1927-1930: 3-3-1...5-0-2...7-0...8-0
Jim Carlen, West Virginia, 1966-1969: 3-5-2...5-4-1...7-3...10-1
Dallas Ward, Colorado, 1949-1952: 3-7...5-4-1...7-3...6-2-2
Average winning % in 4th year: 0.631, which translates to about 7.5 wins. Clearly, this proves that Michigan will improve next year by at least half a win.
A major difference between JLS and RR seems to be their relationship with Michigan HS FB coaches. One of the major strikes against JLS that Dantonio rectified was that he lost the support and relationship with high school coaches. RR has done a very good job of building relationships with HS coaches in and out of state, even starting to make some headway in Glenville of all places.
provactive - is that some new acne medication? /S
I don't understand the wait, either. I can't imagine it's for the buyout to drop; my guess was that it was to make sure Auburn and Oregon won and Stanford didn't end up in the BCS title game and we'd have a Miles-esque mess (and even if Rodriguez does get fired, I'm glad they went that direction than with Miles).
made this exact comparison. I lol'ed when he made the comment on my facebook wall.
I never thought I'd see the day where someone on this blog would do the same thing...much less in overanalyzed diary format.
I don't want to completely badmouth th OP, he's at least trying to create more talking points with this coaching scenario and uses fancy charts to compare stats. And it's honorable to introduce stats without seeming to have a preconceived notion of what the data represents.
However all this coach comparison stuff is really overdone. RR is a master at managing the offense, that much is true. His success on that side of the ball is tremendous. Yes, tremendous. What John L. Smith did on offense at MSU, while good, truly pales in comparison to what RR has done here at Michigan, given the circumstances. The only thing you can speculate on is the management of the defense...but I still think we're overblowing this whole "let's compare coach X to coach Y" thing, because every coach is different. And most importantly, just because two coaches seem similar and the final records also share patterns does not mean the coaches can really truly compare to one another. If that makes sense. There's a lot that goes into wins and losses.
[EDIT - And as others have mentioned above, JLS teams regressed not only after is first years but often midseason. His teams flat out quit. I always remember at least one season where MSU lost to UM for their first L of the season, and flat out quit after that as if to say "What's the point"? In contrast, while UM has looked clearly overmatched at some points this season, I can't really think of a single instance where the team truly quit playing hard. And that's speaks volumes to the coaching staff and team chemistry.
and that it's best to caveat something only once, not dozens of times. With that said, I was surprised that MSU had such good offenses under Smith -- they'd probably not fare as well under FEI, but man, they piled up a lot of yards. I think Smith deserves a bit more credit than you give him, at least for the offense.
As for the quitting, I saw it too. But you have to be careful -- in season regression is something Michigan has done the past couple of years. I don't think anyone would say they quit -- they always played hard. Yet they don't seem to finish as well as they start.
The other comparison that OP didn't make, and I think is most relevant for many Michigan fans, is cultural fit. John L, like Rich Rod, wasn't "local". And so when he lost, the things he did that ruffled feathers stood out all the more. The same is true with Rodriguez -- the whole Groban thing would be lightly laughed at if Rodriguez were 20-3, but with Michigan 7-5 it becomes, to some moron at the DetNews, a firing offense.
Of course, I think we can all agree that John L was completely bats.
I am just going to wait for the comparison between RR's first 3 years at UM to Kirk Ferentz's first 3 years at Iowa.
I think this would be a more fair comparison and might show a more positive perspective on RR.
Why not Tim Brewster at Minnesota?
1-11...7-6...6-7...1-6 (but theoretically could have been 7-6!)
Or better yet, Gary Barnett's first 3 years at Northwestern:
3-8...2-9...3-7-1...10-2 and the Rose Bowl, baby!
Further evidence for the need to raise point total to post Diaries.
Any time you have to post a multi-paragraph disclaimer like that it should be obvious what you're going to do. Much like when people say "no offense but," and then follow with something offensive, it doesn't change things.
And while I'm at it, this completely failed. Examining stats only tells a very small portion of the story. Where is the analysis of recruiting classes? Where is the analysis of year in college of starters on the team? Where is the analysis of potential impacts of youth on either side of the ball? (I could go on...)
Not to go all Godwin's law, but it's as if you threw down a picture of Hitler and a random guy with a mustache and said "Look, I don't mean anything bad by this, and I just happened to choose this comparison since it's someone everyone knows, but this guy is like Hitler becuase they both have mustaches."
They are going in opposite directions in terms of Win-Loss, which trumps any other stats.