Thanks, this is how it was intended - Schiano hit a certain angle, but I thought this data was part of the story, too.
Rather than engaging in the bouts of Hokemania running wild all over this site, or joining the numerous posters who seem to have forsaken Michigan for a love of RichRod forever-more (similar to my childhood fandom of "whoever Warren Moon plays for" after playing Tecmo Super Bowl as the Oilers), I decided to examine the rich and voluminous history of Michigan football to find some historical perspective.
While I bought in at the beginning of each of the last three years and convinced myself we were "just around the corner," I was disillusioned each year as the losses mounted and the victories failed to do so. I don't think the wins/losses did RichRod in, though - my sense from talking to other alums (and trying to track my emotional path through all of this) was that the sense of "time for a change" came less from the losses, and more from the MAGNITUDE of the losses. With that in mind, I first sought out a list of all seasons in which Michigan has been outscored by its opponents. There were twelve, which was actually more than I expected to find. The seasons (with coaches in parenthesis) were:
This list tells me a few things. First, having a season in which you were outscored by your opponent does not create a supportable assumption that you are a bad coach; if you remove the coaches on this list, Michigan's national championships decrease from 11 to 2. Second, having such a season does make it likely that you will be removed from your duties of coaching football at Michigan at some point; while Yost largely retired on his own terms, there was a movement to get the old man to move on by the time he stepped down. Wieman was gone after his bad season; while Kipke got a bit more rope because of his two national championships, his fourth led to his ouster as well. Oosterbaan's one season being outscored coincided with his last, and then Bump got a bit more rope...because he was cleaning up Bennie's mess? Either way, two for RichRod in three years didn't indicate a future of much success if you look at the historical numbers.
Next, I sought a way to quantify HOW MANY bad losses there had been; the three at the end of this year definitely wore on me, and so I looked at (a) how many games each head coach had lost by 10+ points each year, and (b) how many they did so on average. The numbers are as follows:
|Coach||10-pt losses||10-pt losses per season|
This chart was pretty striking to me; RichRod had more double-digit losses in three seasons than Lloyd had in his 13 seasons!! Also, while the likelihood of these events increased in the Mo/Lloyd years vis-a-vis Bo, they were still well below the Bump/Bennie/Kipke mark, and not far from Crisler and Yost's marks. Five per year more than doubled Bump Elliott, Michigan's 2nd worst coach (with regard to big losses).
Finally, I noticed that RichRod had 5, 4 and 6 double-digit losses in years 1, 2 and 3, respectively. I sought to put those in historical context; of the 110 seasons examined, there were only seven seasons of at least four double-digit losses in a season:
When viewed through this prism, it's much tougher to make the argument that the team was "competitive" and "just around the corner" the last few years - 2010 featured the 2nd-worst set of losses we've ever seen, eclipsed only by 1962. While improving from 3 to 5 to 7 wins seemed on its face to be "progress," the margins of victory and loss indicated otherwise - Michigan was soundly defeated in more games this year than in 2008. Three of the worst seven seasons (by this measure) don't point in the direction of a guy that should have been kept.
While we don't know what direction the team'll take under HOKEMANIA, we do know, at least, that our new coach has a love and appreciation for the history that is Michigan Football. Here's hoping we get fewer of these seasons and more that finish in Pasadena!
Well done, this one hit me between the eyes.
I thought RichRod deserved a fourth year but I am warming up to Brady Hoke. With that in mind, I haven't really seen data laid out comparing the magnitude of RR's losses in an historical context.
While I think it would have been more useful in December, this is a really interesting breakdown and I really like the way you put it together. Using this data, we definitely don't seem as close as I felt we would be going into next season with RR.
Everybody knows that the last 3 years were historically bad. You haven't told us anything new here.
When Rodriguez was hired, I looked at his past record, and saw a common pattern of starting slowly then building to something spectacular. That is what I was expecting to happen here - a few years of misery followed by many years of great joy.
The trajectory of Rodriguez's teams was upward. It was never about where they were, it was about where they were going. If we had the nerve to tough out the hard years we'd be richly (pun) rewarded. Unfortunately, we did not have the nerve and took all the pain for no benefit at all.
I have to assume the Michigan athletic department was also aware of Rodriguez's track record. If they weren't willing to give him four or five years without question before even contemplating pulling the plug, he never should have been hired.
So Rodriguez ended up being a bad hire - not because Rodriguez was necessarily a bad coach, but because the Michigan athletic department didn't have the patience to ride out the transition to his system.
The point of the above analysis is that we lost more games by double digits in year three than we did in years one or two; that's not upward trajectory. While some simple analysis (# of wins, yardage of offense) may have indicated progress, this post is a counter-point to that perspective.
Also - most Rodriguez teams had a history of a "2nd-year leap" (see: WVU year two), which was always promised to us here - first in year two, then in year three ("discounting" the hole of year one, which I thought was disingenuous). It never came, and these numbers/data show that it got worse this year instead of better - our points for/against were actually better in 2009, and we had 50% fewer "bad" losses.
5 wins is more than 3 wins and 7 wins is more than 5 wins.
The offensive output was surging. The team overall was progressing steadily on an upward trajectory. Playing three teams that ended up 11-1 will tend to make you look bad when you're not yet at their level.
Your analysis seems to be an attempt to tell me I should believe you rather than my lying eyes.
so folks can say, see 3 to 5 to 7, that's improvement. By that logic, RR should have only won one game in 2008, then you can say, see, 1 to 7 in three years, that's improvement.
This is what I think happened, DB consulted his consultant (lets call him Gary) and asked Gary how many wins should UM won in 2008 with the roster that entered the Utah game. Gary says 5 then says the team should have won 7 in 2009, so DB looks at the wins like this, 5-7-7 and says, well maybe we're not really improving.
Then DB does his own work, he looks at the nd, msu, psu, and osu games and sees this trend:
msu: -7, -6, -17
nd: -18, +4, +4
psu: -29, -25, -10
osu: -42, -11, -30
not good, basically the team hasn't improved but still given all that , I thought he should have got a fourth year if there changes to the defensive sand s/t staff. I just think this improvement by quoting overall wins can be misleading
5 wins is more than 3 wins and 7 wins is more than 5 wins.
But all of those are lower than 9 wins, the total we posted in the "bad" 2007 season - the one that had Brian and others arguing that our coaching philosophy was outdated and that we needed dramatic changes. No one anticipated that we'd go on to post three consecutive seasons that were worse than that. "Progress" under RR meant going from being massively worse than any of Carr's 13 teams to being worse, but not by as much. (Carr's worst team, the 2005 squad, was vastly more competitive in its five defeats than the 2010 team, RR's best.)
you get outscored by opponents in 2010 but not in 2009, how is "offensive output surging"?
Putting up yards isn't much of a surge when your point delta goes down.
Of Bo and Lloyd's teams had 6 freshmen DBs in the two-deep? I think that was what contributed to our defensive regression more than anything else.
(Once again, I know this is on RR's recruiting, on top of bad luck - Warren leaving, Woolfork and Floyd hurt, etc. - but the point is that is much more likely the cause of our ten point losses and regression on defense more than RR's inability to coach a winner.)
The youth argument can be used, to some degree, to exonerate the performance of the 2010 defense, but not the 2008 or 2009 units. We went into the 2008 season fully expecting the defense, which had finished #24 nationally in total D the year before, to carry the team. Instead it dramatically regressed - and the regression continued each of the past two seasons. All things considered, I don't think there can be much debate that we've had shaky coaching on that side of the ball since 2008.
If RR went 9-4 in his second year at M like he did in his second year at WV then we wouldn't be having this discussion!
I bet if RR went 3-9, 5-7, 7-6 at WV they would have fired him, too.
Your assumption that we would be richly rewarded is mere conjecture, and at this point will never be known since RR is gone.
We can hash and rehash stats, but they only tell us what happened at other places at other times for other circumstances, and thus they really don't tell us what would have happened had RR stayed.
I can understand the thought process that the team was on an upward trajectory on offense. I can understand the thought process that he was in a transition to change our offense. However, it sure did not look like an upward trajectory on defense and what was the transition on defense and when were we going to see any improvement based on RR's previous record?
I would say that RR's biggest fault was in not having a defensive coaching staff and coordinator that appeared to be competent and organized and able to recruit and teach and identify talent on that side of the ball. As has been pointed out ad naseum around here, a middling Big Ten defense gets RR the number of wins and close games needed to likely still be the coach here. Having two back to back years of the worst defenses since anyone can recall around here was his death knell.
My thoughts exactly.
is a good coach, I agree, but it wasn't going to work out at Michigan, that's pretty obvious.
The point about upward trajectory, I already commented on that below, it's a superficial argument and when you did deeper, it doesn't carry that much validity.
Even if you throw out all the stats for and against RR, what it comes down to is that the team looked like it was poorly coached and was not fundamentally sound. And that's been the case for three years now and is part and parcel of RR's system as the zone read, and that's the part of the system DB said, is not what I want going forward.
Great charts. Horrific, even.
And yet, TennBlue's got a good point. No amount of measuring how bad the past 3 years have been (very, painfully, unprecedented, etc.) resolves the debates we have had about how much of the downturn was due to the "bare cupboard" problem combined with the culture/paradigm shift problem. I loved Carr to pieces, but grudgingly came to believe that Rodriguez faced an uphill battle from the beginning, one that was made much harder thanks to the culture clash, which must have made everything from recruiting to everyday operations more difficult. I side with TennBlue: if they weren't willing to give the culture change a full effort both in terms of time and actual support, I don't see why they bothered hiring Rodriguez.
That thought does raise the interesting question, though: what if Martin had stayed? Would RR have gotten another year? Was Martin a believer in the need for a culture change to take UM to the next level? And on the other side, did DB feel he needed to make his mark quickly to establish authority over the program? Or was DB anxious to kill the culture change as soon as he was able?
Hoke provides us a cool natural experiment: now we can compare what it's like to start with a bare cupboard and changing the offensive and defensive schemes while reengaging the dominant culture. Something tells me this will be an easier task.
Two points - with the number of returning starters we have, especially on offense, I don't know if you can say Hoke has a "bare cupboard." I think expectations are higher for Hoke's first year because of that. Before 2008, I thought that the ghosts of M and a tough D would get us bowl eligible that season. Before 2011, I think it'll be our offensive talent and defensive imrpovement.
Secondly, while I don't believe that there's much Rod could have done about it, it's not unreasonable to give him some blame for the wave of transfers, early draft entrants, and weak recruiting class that preceded his first game. And that contributed to the cupboard being bare.
Was Martin a believer in the need for a culture change to take UM to the next level?
Short answer: Nope.
Long answer: Martin's hire of RR was not because of some grand vision of a "new world order" for UM football. He hired RR because he was turned down by Ferentz and Schiano; coaches much closer in philosophy to Lloyd/old UM than RR. RR was a desperation hire, plain and simple, and we all paid the price for it.
This is the second "historical context" piece I've read today that shows us the numbers on how bad RR's tenure really was. Thanks for your work but the numbers without context mean nothing (point in case, thenumber-crunching over the last three years that led all of us to think we were favored or it was a push in most of the games).
This discussion would benefit from historical context regarding the increase of parity. Would anyone else here agree with me that OSU in the Tressel era is a little tougher to beat on than during the Yost era, or heck, ever since that guy named Woody. Or Wisconsin, or MSU, etc. All of these programs improved over the years (even Purdue!) except for ND. Parity has to be taken into account.
had its own Big Ten and other collegiate powers (Minnesota and Illinois and others used to be pretty good a long time ago). You can stretch the analogy too far, but the research and numbers are a solid indicator as to what the historical expectations are. And while any number of teams we played during this time period would fluctuate in terms of thier relative power, losing by more than 10 points kind of handles that issue as one would assume we would only be discussing Big Powers during that discussion or years of Michigan being truly DOWN.
And kudos to the OP for bringing data to the discussion as opposed to an opinion without data!
Could you find out if the newspapers were big meanies to the M head coach in those other years?
Apprarently that is a MAJOR factor!
any newspapers majorly exagerated any stories bringing down an NCAA investigation resulting in distraction for the coaching staff, and ultimately sanctions during those other years.
The guy who made the point that giving Rodriguez credit for 3 wins as a baseline towards an upsurge rather than diminishing him for dropping from 9 wins to 3 was dubious, hits it on the head.
His global mistake was coming in and not hustling to keep the talent we already had and adapting to that talent. We've seen Hoke do that the last 5 days as his job number 1. Beyond that, as much as everyone rips what Carr left, it was far better then what Rodriguez left on defense. Arguable on offense, although I think this is a potentially very good offensive line. Yet Hoke knows you have to keep your upper classmen on board, not let them go thus creating a teardown situation.
The question I always had was who let Rodriguez know that coming in and shredding things while making half baked attempts to appeal to the remaining talent was permitted in the first place?
It seems likely that that someone was Bill Martin. Hiring someone whose reptuation is built around something so specific seems like a pretty strong mandate to me, and no one in the athletic department was working to stop that process.
Didn't take the time to go through the entire history of Ball State football, but since 1971:
19 seasons in which Ball State was outscored by its opponents:
1985-1987, 1992, 1994 (Schudel)
10 point losses:
|Coach||10 pt losses||10 pt losses / season|
Seasons with four or more 10 point losses:
|Season||10 pt losses||Coach|
if i could plus one you for using the oilers in super tecmo bowl i would. Me and my neighbor used to have epic battles between the 49ers and Oilers. I always felt he cheated because he could run to the back of the endzone with montana and throw a bomb to jerry rice in the back of the other endzone and 90% of the time it was a TD. Personaly i would tinker with the playbook and i had a couple running plays that would involve i think ernest givens running the ball. the only problem was he tended to fumble. I was also wondering who your defensive player was... mine was childress.
Always went nose tackle up the middle for the insta-sack.
Our football tram is in great hands with coach Hoke. This guy understands what it takes to achieve the highest level of success on the highest stage. The fact that he has a burning passion for this job will begin to reap it's benefits. This trams ceiling is so high it's not even funny.
This is exactly why Rich Rod got canned...not the number of losses, but their magnitude. However, I'd add two more factors into the mix:
1. We lost more, proportionally, in the Big 10 than non-conference play
Though Carr got a lot of flak for those early-season losses, at the end of the day, most alumni care far more deeply about what happens against MSU, OSU or even PSU than the early-season cupcakes and occasional decent non-conference opponent. ND is the obvious exception, but it's still a distant #3 on the rivalry scale. The rest of the top 10 are in conference. Losing to OSU is depressing, but losing to Little Brother year after year is just embarrassing. Losing to bad Purdue teams 2 out of 3 years is just kinda pathetic. RR failed miserably in Big 10 play, and did so every year he was the coach.
2. We got worse as the season progressed, each of the three seasons
2009 constituted the biggest meltdown, considering we were competitive in the first half of most of our Big 10 losses. But we saw this two out of three years...at least three straight losses to end the season. This NEVER happened under Lloyd, not even once. And that one season in which we didn't record 3 straight losses (2008)? We lost 7 of the final 8. That meant that most alumni felt, at the end of the season, that things had unraveled.
So what could have saved RR's job? I'd say any combination of three simple things: closer games at the end of 2010, one win in 2010 over MSU or OSU (thus giving us a 4-4 record in the Big 10 and a big rivalry win), or a major late-season win giving the sense in 2010 that we were improving over the course of the season, rather than regressing.
Didn't take the time to go through the entire history of San Diego State football, but since 1973:
20 seasons in which San Diego State was outscored by its opponents:
1978, 1980 (Gilbert)
1989, 1992 (Luginbill)
1994, 1997-1998, 2000-2001 (Tollner)
2002, 2004-2005 (Craft)
10 point losses:
|Coach||10 pt losses||10 pt losses / season|
Seasons with four or more 10 point losses:
|Season||10 pt losses||Coach|