every year for the first 5. I think its nearly impossible to pick a number of wins to average over the next 5 years and have it be fair. Next year, imho, I expect us to be at or over .500, but ultimately that won't be what makes me feel he is doing a good or bad job. I hesitate to pick a number for success or failure, because it shouldn't be defined purely on those numbers.
Michigan Rebooted: How Do We Define Success?
Ok, that season sucked.
Bill Martin hit the reboot button and RichRod performed like Windows ME.
How do we define success going forward?
Martin's goal (as I divine the tea leaves) was to reinvigorate Michigan football and set it on track for another period of extended success. In other words, he needs better results than he would have gotten by staying within the tree and hiring Ron English or (the much-maligned at this time last year) Brady Hoke.
So far, his plan has gone in the wrong direction.
Rodriguez's goals (again, as I divine the tea leaves) were 1) to get out of the loonie bin that is WVU football politics and then 2) be a winning football coach at Michigan. Mission accomplished on item #1. With regard to #2, I give him credit for being what he says he is, a guy who's a football coach, without the megalomania that seems to be an occupational hazard.
Now, we have to add a third goal for RichRod, which is to restore his reputation. (Unless he gets it together, Mike Brown is not going to be putting together any shakedown packages.)
So getting down to brass tacks: given this definition of Martin's and Rodriguez's goals, what constitutes success and what constitutes failure? We talked about this in another thread. Some candidate reference points:
Average 9 wins per game over 6 year contract period = 54 wins, 51 to go, that's 10.2/year for the next 5
Average 8 wins per game over 6 year contract period = 48 wins, 45 to go, that's 9/year for the next 5
Hit the 10 wins/year mark and stay there with either no or very few deviations.
Win a national championship. Does we forgive all if he is @ .500 for years 2-5 and then wins a NC in year 6? If he averages 8 wins/year and gets one NC, is that any better than Lloyd Carr?
Added: Beat OSU at least twice in the contract term (that's improvement).
Added: Beat MSU 4 times out of 6.
Added: Beat Notre Dame 3 out of 6. (I personally don't really care that much about the ND rivalry.)
by beating the hated rival Ohio St. granted a winning season will come to fruitiion if this should ever occur.
I think that for next year the goal should be a legitimate bowl bid. As for further on down the road, in my opinion I think we take it year by year. I think most people would like to set the goals in the manner that you are suggesting, such as an average win mark over a period of time, but I think that for now and the next few years it should just be on a yearly basis how we judge him, at least until he can get a full roster of his own recruits. Like I said I think for next year the goal should be at the least the Alamo Bowl which would be around a 7-5 or 8-4 record. I know that after this season that would seem pretty lofty, but depending on who the non-conference games for next year are, it could be a realistic one. I think next year may be a tougher situation for RR in the sense that many fans who cut him slack for this year will lose patience next year, many of them are going to be expecting a New Year's day bowl bid. Realistically that would be tough, especially considering the resurgence of teams like Minnesota (until the last 5 games) and Northwestern within the conference. Either way, I am still excited to see what the off-season brings, and I am confident that in a few years we will be able to look at this season and have a little chuckle of how far we have come.
Next year I would expect to get to a bowl game, any bowl game. The next year I would expect to be around 9 wins and make a New Year's Day game (Outback or above I think). Beyond that I would hope to see us getting back into the national title picture each year.
All of this has to be taken in context though. If neither QB prospect pans out next year or if we see a rash of injuries or whatever... I could be understanding. I just want progress really. Measurable progress. And I think we will.
Average wins a year is one of the dumber things uttered around here. 3-9 is on the books, we are all stuck with it and it is over.
If RR wins 8 games the next 2 years and 13 (and a MNC) in 2011, that is a still a successful hire, even though the "average wins" for his 4 years is 8.
But what do I know, I keep my head in the oven and feet in the freezer, but on average I feel okay.
I wouldn't look at it in terms of averages across the duration of the contract. Rather, like Msoccer10 said, the goal should be continuous improvement.
Ideally, the goal should be to return Michigan to its position aside OSU as a two top teams in the conference. When we play OSU we want to be playing for a spot in the BCS bowls, and that means 2 or fewer losses.
My hopes for the future of the program are two fold:
1. Get the talent level back up to what Michigan has proven it is capable of producing in the past.
2. Win all of the games that we should win based on talent and most of the tossups.
In Brian's season previews he categorizes every game as a Probable Win/Loss or a Tossup. Ideally 3 years from now, every game on Brian's list will read "Probable Win" or "Tossup" and there will be but one or two tossups. The same should be true if he did a preview of coaching matchups. RichRod has to be a "Probable Win" in every game except the "Tossups", and then he has to at least go 50% on the tossups.
Deviation from Expected Wins is a bad metric because it depends on a fundamentally fictional quantity.
It's hard to know why I would waste time doing this, but I need to say, "Stop." As in, stop with the hand-wringing, self-righteous calls for Rodriquez to "restore his reputation." As far as I, along with many others, am concerned, there is no need for Operation Reputation Rescue. This whole way of thinking is akin to seeing Lloyd's 9-3 record as mediocre.
I also find it interesting that your only goals are winning oriented. While I have no beef in establishing high standards for victories, especially those that involve ignorant asses from Columbus, South Bend, and East Lansing, I assume that you see the need for continued academic and behavioral success, something that RR appears to hold as a clear aim.
If we seen 7-8 wins next year, along with an absence of jail time and whining, I will be relatively satisfied. I would then expect a continued improvement in subsequent seasons.
And why do I have such expectations? Because of Rodriguez' reputation, which I believe is mostly, if not entirely, intact despite the season of suck.
"restore his reputation" was a little strong.
but it has certainly taken a dent, and if his teams struggle for the next couple of years (which seems entirely possible given the returning talent), he is going to be a much less marketable commodity.
Perhaps a dent, but I think that if you consider the aggregate of s--- that came with the storm, including a noodle-armed walk on QB, I don't know how much anyone else would have done with what he had.
Frankly, although there might have been players who dogged it, as per Minor's comments, I sometimes wonder if the team's greatest problems, aside from mature leadership, had at least some to do with pressing, playing tight, and so on.
Anyway, you might be right about the next couple of years; RR will certainly run out of excuses, a la Weiss, if we don't see substantial wins by 2011. I fully believe he will meet reasonable expectations, including a clean program, competent academic performances, and improving record on the field.
Emphasis, however, should be on reasonable; i.e. no complaining about a range of 9-11 wins per year with occasional MNC thrown in for good measure and regular beatings of demonic forces to our south and immediate north.
Average wins per season is not a useful measurement, for the exact reasons you stated. We are not going to win 10 games next season. So then I guess we have to go undefeated the rest of his contract or he's a failure?
I'd like to see 7 wins next season, and then 9+ from there. However, I think each season is graded on it's own merits based on the team and how well they perform to their capabilities. This year I'd say they underperformed a bit, but some of the deficiencies were a lot worse than we ever dreamed before the season.
While I agree that winning needs to be a component of RR's future at UM, I also agree that the focus needs to be more on generating the excitement and innovation that was the hallmark of RR's earlier stops. The biggest problem I had with Carr wasn't that he didn't win enough (he did), was a bad recruiter (he was pretty good), or that he didn't motivate/prepare his team well enough (he failed sometimes at that, but his teams generally showed up for games - if they were blown out, it was because we overrated them/underrated the opposition). I took issue with the general malaise that took over the program in the early 2000's, when he had extremely talented teams but still played the same grinding, slim-margin football that Bo used to play. I want RR to make this team and this fanbase not be afraid of change and taking chances. The wins will come if he loosens everyone's collective shorts a bit.
average were crazy. Among coaches who had been around awhile he was right up there at the top--this at an institution that values academics (Fulmer had an easier time of it). There were OTHER things to complain about with Lloyd--his conservatism at times drove me crazy, though in retrospect (again) historians will say he played the odds from all sides and pretty well.
Rich Rod has dug himself an early hole as far as longterm WL. If he starts winning big no one will care too much about that--least of all those here who seem so convinced he will succeed. Count me among those who are worried. I think that a GREAT coach WOULD have adapted a little more this year--Urban Cryer certainly did. After all, what would you rather have, someone who can only go one way or both ways? (This could go for girlfriends, I dunno.) He's super-defensive, which means his relationship with a testy press may deteriorate further. And he's a screamer--I don't think screamers flourish in this day and age. And I certainly would not let my kids, should they turn out to be strong athletes, sign with one. Add to this the sneaking worry that many other good coaches have absorbed his insights about spreading the field and we MIGHT have a guy on board whose time has already come and gone.
He's got another year, for sure, and I wish him well, but the law of diminishing returns could take hold early in 09 if the team hasn't rounded into form--especially since the sked is in his favor.
I thought the "adapting to the talent" argument had been debased a million times over as inane and pointless around these parts.
I guess you don't catch that kind of conversation when you join today(!) to post a comment that just piles on like the stupidity that it actually is.
I know that Brian has gnawed away at the issue, but no one here has convinced me. The best answer I have heard was RichRod's, that he's incapable of anything else. That may be true, but it's also my point--someone flexible may also be more capable.
Unfortunately, you posted your picture along WITH the injudicious use of the word 'stupid.' In tandem they suggest greater worries for you than me.
is not the word you're after--"discredited" maybe.
Yup, I call things as I see them and don't need to hide behind anything, never really posting anything that would make me nervous or ashamed. That is worrisome indeed.
If you really want to get into this, please explain what talent or play-calling is out there that would have made this season any better? If you read anything the proprietor of this blog posts, there is a severe lack of talent and experience on the team; not to mention frustrating and aggravating bad luck.
I am not saying I agree with 100% of what Brian posts, but seriously, if you want to form a counter argument, teach me.
I agree bad luck has played a huge role--we could have three, four more wins easy and the shriekback would be far less fierce. HOWEVER, that suggests more talent than is sometimes acknowledged and we have at times played very well.
Yeah, the QB'ing has sucked (bearing in mind that these are kids in Michigan uniforms and I love them.) Who knows how well Threet might have performed without his injuries? And I was one of those who agreed Mallett should be allowed to go if he wanted to go. . .
But the inconsistency does boil down to coaching, not completely but in good part. The play-calling, even by spread standards, sometimes seemed stupefyingly unimaginative. (How could that be possible with Rich Rod, of all people?) And the idea that enough kids failed to buy in to undermine the whole team is scary.
I really didn't think I was 'piling on,' though. I hope Rich Rod pulls it out--took a shine to him immediately despite a LOT of antipathy that has developed among M Grads nationwide and in A2. But I have valued this site as a place where realism prevailed--that was Brian's strong suit, even when he was hard on Lloyd, a Hall of Fame coach. Lately, a certain homerism has entrenched itself as shell-shocked bloggers dug in their heels--sometimes against the evidence of their own posts. (Compare game-day kvetching with midweek defenses of RichRod, sometimes of the 'kill the messenger' type.)
And none of my fellow fan-friends have been able to answer the question as to whether Rich Rod may just be running a little behind the curve on his own innovation--the spread. Only time will tell.
Btw, I've been hanging out here for several years now. Just started posting.
I am not trying to change your mind here, so I will spare you a long winded response...this seems more like a question for Brian's mailbag than for us to argue.
Essentially, if one or two things fell in line we are 5-7 or 6-6 this year and no one makes the argument that RR is a bad coach. That is what irks me and causes me to reply to posts.
I think RR is a great coach (given his track record) that had an awful year (duh). I will obviously re-evaluate that assertion down the road after getting more results, but I don't understand the rush to judgement.
"According to this relationship, in a production system with fixed and variable inputs (say factory size and labor), beyond some point, each additional unit of variable input yields less and less output."
Sorry, I just have a pet-peeve when people throw out terms whose meaning they plainly don't understand. The law of diminishing returns states that, for instance, if you add 5 workers to a production line, then add 5 more later, the increase in production form the 2nd 5 is less than the increase you got from from the 1st five.
lay use of this term far outpaces the technical definition, and is really not much different than yours, to wit: potential gains from further investment exceed losses.
I agree with Brian's current post re: sunk costs, but that might not prevent the institutional and other odds against Rich Rod by the end of NEXT YEAR may not be all but insurmountable. (Of course, this sunk cost argument goes for every overpaid shite coach, including Charlie Weiss.)
The problem with the idea of continuous improvement is that it implies that the past wasn't all you expected. Plus the bar might be (is) pretty low right now.
8-4 (and maybe an Alamo Bowl bid woooo!)
would be "continuous improvement" over the life of the contract.
The power of the the Bo/Mo/Carr years was that the bar was set high and stayed high. We almost always contended, and we were never truly awful.
So the goal for RichRod should be to get the team to a high level and then maintain that performance. Players of good character, a clean program, winning seasons, bowl games, Big Ten championships, and National Championships are all desirable outcomes of steady, strong performances.
Frankly, I think the greatest indicator of success for RichRod is going to be his record against Ohio State. If we are consistently competitive with them and winning every other year or more, he will be a success. Tied for Second to that, I would rank record in bowl games and player success (grades, staying clean with the law). If he does these things, he will be a success. People rarely complained about Lloyd -despite his conservative gameplanning- until he was consistently losing bowls and to tOSU.
Compete for the Big Ten championship next year and at least make a decent bowl game. Win the Big Ten championship and be in the national title hunt in 2010 and 2011. Even if we don't win it either year, win the Rose Bowl and finish in the top-10.