i have to. My God, make it stop.
Preface: Opinions are like @$$holes; everyone has one, they all stink, and once it is a part of you, it requires surgery to remove. I will be the first to acknowledge that this includes the following piece. This is my opinion and many will disagree. That said, perhaps it will also bring forth the passion I feel for the University as a whole. I did not attend it, but hope to at some point for my Master's degree.
To the mods: This being my first diary, I have no idea if this is where this is supposed to go, or if something like this should be relegated to MGoBoard instead. I will leave this up to your discretion and am open to any insight you might have regarding this.
I became physically sick watching all this unfold. No matter how many relevant facts or figures you bring out of your arsenal, it has become, in essence, a religious or political argument. It has degenerated into blind insults among friends and family, "pundits" with a national outlet spouting whatever will get them the best ratings, a fan base that eats it up, witch hunts, mob mentality, and 2 sides that think the other one has their head firmly planted up their @$$es.
First, let me get this out there. Harbaugh, or anyone in his mold, will mean another 3-5 year crater/nuclear winter in the program (which is about 2 years longer than some of our fans have been willing to wait as it is). That's almost a guarantee because of the system he runs in relation to the one in place. That seems to get lost or just doesn't matter to those that can't see the looming forest for the trees a foot in front of their face. To me this represents who want Rodriguez gone because "he's not a Michigan man". Here's what I don't understand about that argument. Bo didn’t start as a Michigan man either. Bo was an Ohio State/Miami man. Crisler didn’t start as a Michigan man. He was a Minnesota and Princeton man. Yost didn’t start as a Michigan man. He was a Stanford, Kansas, Ohio Wesleyan, Nebraska, San Jose State man. They became Michigan men because they were allowed to implement the changes they wanted. They were allowed to implement changes that often flew in the face of whatever had come before them. And they did this without an entire section of a fan base crawling up their proverbial @$$es at every turn because "that's not the way it was done before".
Fear of change is paralyzing. However, just because something worked in the past does not indicate future success. This is a well known and regularly proven fact that manifests itself in many different areas of life on a daily basis. In fact, a lack of change often means the death knell for organizations that once thought themselves invincible and impervious to entropy over any lengthy period of time.
If, as a loyal follower of this institution, you truly believe Michigan is the leader and best, that also means the existence of an inherent willingness to take risks and chances where others don't have the stomach or intestinal fortitude to see it through. You do it in the face of adversity, criticism, and anything else the opposition can throw at you. In the case of this team, you do it in spite of a portion of your team's fans.
We sit at our computers and challenge a coach from a distance behind anonymity because we don't like him, and he isn't what we're used to, and insert reason here we can come up with and then point to and cling to the past like an overused security blanket that's disintegrating in our hands. Or we hold true to our new coach because we see improvement and signs of life and something we find fun to watch for a change. We stick up for him when he is attacked, fairly or not, because we see something worth defending when all is said and done. And we want to succeed by exhibiting patience because we feel we're better than that as a fan base. Or perhaps we just don't want to be the next Notre Dame, a program wallowing in insecurity and fading into irrelevance because they try to please everyone instead of just taking someone's vision and sticking with it until it has run its course. As a side note, I believe Notre Dame's coaches have been as guilty of this as their administration has.
I am willing to take the small risk of alienating some of you right here. But allow me this statement that may seem obvious, but for the sake of this piece is important to mention. The Bo era is dead just like Crisler's and Yost's. It was wonderful, but it is over and gone. Not only that, I believe it should stay over and gone. As much good as it brought us, by the end, products of the Bo era brought us The Horror and embarrassing losses to "new fangled" offenses that we, more often than not, were unable stop, even with All-American talent on the team. It had run its course and was becoming an inbred mess that could not possibly continue to be sustained without program-destroying ramifications. Change was on the horizon whether we wanted it or not. It was a matter of "when", and no longer an "if".
Frankly, the best coaches at Michigan have been the ones that realized the old system was slightly (or very) outdated. They were ahead of the curve in offense or defense and brought the other side of the ball along for the ride until they could match the production of the aspect of the game they knew best. They saw the inherent growing weaknesses of the previous systems and said, "I can do this better."
[EDIT: Warning. What I am about to say will be considered by most to at first be some sort of blasphemy. If you follow the logic to the end, I hope you will see I am in no way making a comparison based on current record, but on attitude and future potential]
Keeping that in mind, I posit this. Rich Rodriguez IS Bo Schembechler. He IS Fritz Crisler. He IS Fielding Yost. He has proven that he can win with great regularity when he's given time, resources, and support. And he's done this in multiple locations that weren't historical powers in college football. He is an innovator in a sport that doesn't have too many of them left, just like all of those great coaches we've looked so fondly upon for over a century. He is a representative of the next big change in college football.
Using that parallel as the premise then, what would Bo think of Rodriguez? If he was half the coach we all thought him to be (and I believe he was that and then some), it is my opinion that he would see the innovation and promise the future held and be excited by it. He would see a marketing cash cow in the making that would profit the University he devoted a large part of his life to. He would see new interest in attendance for a university with the proudest in academic tradition. He would look at all of you tearing at the foundations of the love of his life and probably tell you to go to hell if you aren't willing to stick it out with us. Why? Because Bo understood something few will ever grasp. He understood change was not only inevitable, but that those who adapt first are in prime position for continued success. He understood sacrificing in the short term for the sake of long term dividends. He understood myopia and constant gazing into the past leads to walking off the edge of so many cliffs we might encounter along the way. And he understood that if the fan base clung to him instead of the University, it would mean the end of it all when he was gone. That was why Bo was great. He understood that the good of the University was always the most important thing and he put that mantra into everything he did.
I want the "next thing" not because it's shiny and new. I want it because I want the continued success it has been proven to bring. I want teams to fear us again. As some of you know, I live in Columbus, and people are actually beginning to be frightened of Michigan's offense. Even here, they understand that when this offense gets a defense that's even mediocre, Michigan will be a name they fear every year, and that when the defense becomes good again, this rivalry may become as one sided as it currently is but in our favor. Around here, they have almost no faith that "The Vest" can stop our offense with anything resembling consistency. That is the right direction. I want the next thing, and to me, the next thing is Rodriguez, slowly and surely, improving in the face of scrutiny and adversity. I want the team I see every Saturday, growing up on the field, as my team.
My team that hasn't fractured in spite of the fan base that has. My team whose dilithium-based offense calls the worst defense, statistically speaking, in the history of our program the best defense they've faced all year. My team that says it convincingly enough that I have no choice but to believe it, regardless of what I've seen with my own eyes. My team whose backup didn't transfer because he knew he would be needed in a big way and became the biggest cheerleader on the sideline every week. My team who rallied behind one of their own and his brother who is going to walk again despite what science and medicine have told him. My team whose coach cares more about the health of his players than his own job. My team with fun fingerstaches, Donald Duck impressions, polo shirt/tie/nerd glasses ensembles at pressers, and a genuine sense of love that emanates from them and is infectious.
You want "the team, the team, the team"? Sit down with a pen and some paper and take notes, because the embodiment of that principle Bo instilled in all of us has played football every Saturday this fall wearing Maize pants, Blue jerseys, and wing-tipped helmets. And the coach that has made that happen is no longer Bo, or anyone in his coaching tree. To say that Rodriguez doesn’t understand Michigan tradition is preposterous. He's recreated the very best Michigan tradition there is, and he's done it in the worst possible surrounding circumstances. And he's done it despite those who have been too busy looking for ways to get rid of him to notice it.
Most of all, I believe wholeheartedly that this fan base NEEDS the next thing, because just like the Motor City itself, holding on to the past turns you into a dinosaur that can't keep up anymore. And watching this possibly die at the hands of those who just can't let go of the past is painful. Take a drive 45 minutes east from Ann Arbor and see the remains of what was once a great empire that thought itself invincible if you need proof. Clinging to the past doesn't honor a great coach. Clinging to the past in spite of all the evidence that an overhaul is needed is nothing but fear of the unknown. It slowly and brutally takes everything he loved and built through years of hard work and crumbles it to dust.
i have to. My God, make it stop.
Preach on brother, preach on! If the lord is wrong I don't wanna be right. It's about damn time someone posted this. Man we really think alike, I would've posted the same words if I had enough points. RR is the new Yost plain and simple. Just like you said, quitting now would crush us for another 2-3 years. We have the most dynamic offense in the nation that's getting better by the day. We're half way to an unstoppable force, let's allow it happen! Go Blue!
RR is the new Yost plain and simple.
Whoa there, speedy. We didn't exactly outscore our opponents 550-0 in 2008.
but something tells me the competition is a little stiffer now. That isn't Yost's fault I know, but I don't think any coach in our past would be beating teams 550-0. Just saying.
So say we all. Best. Post. Ever.
Enjoyed your post and your eloquence to capture the issue of change. Great essay highlighting the past we love, the pain we have endured, and our need to look ahead and not backwards. I would buy you a drink right now but instead I raise my glass to you tonight. Cheers to our great future.
If this was shorter I would just copy and paste it and send it to every Michigan fan I know. As it stands, thank you for putting into words what I feel.
Mods? please? now?
This was in response to someone else...
I feel like a forensics guy trying to piece together what happened from the chalk outline and numbered cards showing where the shell casings landed.
If you don't think Michigan has a chance on Saturday, you have learned nothing about football or sports in general.
How can you possibly say that Lloyd Carr was 'drummed' out at Michigan, when he was the one who wanted to resign the year before he actually did? It is well known in Michigan circles that he suffers from Parkinson's Disease and the stress of coaching actually made it worse. If you're going to rebut someone else's post, at lease do it with facts.
The usual diatribe above brought to you rehashed by another clueless RR hater......
did their best each and every week. They ignore pinheads like you and other know it all negative nabobs and have come together to form a team that does not require clowns like you to support them. They play for each other, not for human debris like you.....
GO BLUE! THOSE WHO STAY AND PERSEVERE WILL BE CHAMPIONS!
What's funny about people like you is that you were probably a terrible, insufferable fan when things were going well, too. You claim to love the program, but complain about everything, constantly, no matter what is going right. You're the guy in the stands that spends the entire game bitching about the play calling and suggesting you know better because you played pee wee and tecmo super bowl. You're not just distracted by shiny things, your entire existence is defined by trying to be the guy in the room that thinks he's the smartest because he talks the loudest about them. You were sick of Lloydball, then mad when they got rid of him, then mad when they hired an "outsider," and then you started shouting words like "unnacceptable" while we were starting a walk-on quarterback and running an entirely new offense.
Or, maybe that's not you. But, since we're arguing in broad, idiotic generalities, it's close enough. Wear it.
1. The evidence that a change, if not complete overhaul was needed was obvious during the first 2 games of 2007. I'd also posit that it extended back to the last 2 games of 2006. The end of 2006 saw our defense get exposed. The first two of 2007 saw it get annihilated. If you don't remember, Appalachain State sliced and diced us. Oregon was up 32-7 at halftime, and mercifully let it only get to 39-7. The defense looked slow and out of position. The offense couldn't keep up. Something needed to be done.
2. I'm pretty sure he wants the "next thing" because Florida has won two titles with it, Oklahoma is always in the hunt with it, and the top two teams in the country this year have some version of it.
3. Not sure what you mean about "Your TEAM" not existing for three years, or competing with Bowling Green and Indiana for recruits. Of course I disagree about not being competitive. The team often starts slow against elite competition, but they ALWAYS have fought back. You can call that not being competitive, but I call it character, and like it or not, the 2nd half of all of those games have at least been interesting at some point.
4. Rich Rodriguez was hired to win, of course. To say he was brought in to win immediately with the talent that was there is just asinine. I know you don't believe Nick Sheridan was going to go all Denard on the rest of the Big 10, so I'll just leave it at that.
5. Who is saying Michigan definitely did not make a mistake? Grasping at straws doesn't involve seeing improvement to the point where an offense led by a true sophomore is number 5 in the nation and on pace to be the most prolific offense in big ten history.
Michigan did what it needed to do at the end of 2007. Make a bold hire. Rich Rodriguez was that hire. If you can't see progress, and the immense potential this team has, I suggest taking off your scarlet and grey (or green and white) goggles, and have another look.
First, no one's yelling from a soap box. So calm down. It's a message board to express opinions and to debate. I'm assuming you're an adult, but if that's too much to assume let me know.
1. Fine, no Nick Sheridan or Steven Threet. Who do you propose run the zone read? Ryan Mallet? He did say he could adapt his system to the talent he had around him. Fair enough. So, I'm assuming you think he should have installed some kind of pro style/spread hybrid. Why even hire him if you're not letting him run his system? He was hired to bring WVU's spread version 2.0 to Michigan. Even you have to admit that wouldn't happen with anyone at Michigan in 2008. The defense is awful. No one's debating that.
2. Your counterpoints about our offense are weak at best. I admitted the offense started slow (I suggest reading something thoroughly before responding) but picked it up later. That's a problem, and it can be fixed with experience. It also seems you would rather have a 2nd year Tate start rather than Denard, who had one of the most incredible seasons in CFB history. I don't think you really see the big picture here. I said Denard is a true sophomore to make the point that the offense is only going to get better. If you don't think a first year starter is going to make another leap with a year of experience, you're simply being unrealistic. Devin Gardner will likely get a medical redshirt, although I didn't agree with the way his redshirt was burned either. No clue what relevance your point about 2009 Tate has.
3. Not sure how you can say Rodriguez wasn't a bold hire when his system was a complete deviation from the previous regime. I'm sure there was another pro style coach out there if thats what they were dead set on.
4. Interesting to me isn't just in the point total, or yardage total. Interesting to me was to see the team fight back from those deficits, until the end no matter what the score. If you don't think being down 10 with 9 minutes left in the third against Wisconsin was interesting, I suggest you stop watching college football after a team has a touchdown lead.
You think that Bill Martin hired one of the innovators of the spread option offense to run something OTHER than the spread. Ok, I don't know what he was hired to do, BUT, it is certainly not some incredible assumption to believe Rodriguez was hired to run his own offensive system.
2. Yes, I'm assuming Denard will improve, especially as a passer. There is evidence he can improve from year to year, and none that he won't. If being the number 1 offense in the conference is "looking like shit" so be it. However, just because Hart is a freshman doesn't mean his impact won't be substantial. Have you heard of LaMichael James? He turned out to be pretty good his freshman year in a spread option offense. As far as the other Big Ten teams go, look up their depth charts on defense. They'll have some issues of their own to address.
3. I'm assuming pro style because Harbaugh is the obvious candidate to replace Rodriguez, and he runs a pro style. It's not that much of a reach to think that. So, you're assuming that the two or three years these players have spent learning a completely different offense than the pro style won't be a problem? It's not that the team isn't physically capable of running one, they'll have to relearn an entirely new system. You're fond of pointing out the failure of 2008 which was predicated on the change in system. Didn't work out too well.
4. Sorry chief, but being down 10 with 9 minutes left in the THIRD quarter isn't an insurmountable deficit. You also just admitted it was interesting when they scored some TDs. Sounds like you're coming around.
Your posts are full of win. If only more posters could reason like this the Mgoboard wouldn't be descending to Mlive levels of stupidity. I wish I could plus you 1,000.
And even though I disagree with your oppenent in this little debate, kudos to him for responding point by point with evidence rather than just making blind assertions like many of the anti-RR crowd around here (and some of the pro-RR crowd as well).
The offense had a total of 15 starts on the offensive line. Maybe Greg Mathews had a few more, if we started any games in 2006 and 2007 in a 3 wide receiver set. Perhaps Minor or Brown started a game or three in 2007 when Hart was injured.
That's about 20 starts, 13 being attributed to one player, Schilling.
Who is to say that this offense would have been successful running any style of offense? It is not as if RR pissed away 3 and 4 years of experience in a pro style offense to change to a spread. Those players hadn't really played in any system.
If this is our team and not yours.....get the hell out you whinning little bitch.
But saying that he is Yost, Crisler, Bo is a bit absurd at this point.
Also TL DR
I know what you're saying, but i feel what he's saying and how he means it I think. If we are lucky enough to have everything work out how it should and Coach Rod is here for the required amount of time, whatever that may be, we could someday look back and talk about the Rodriguez era in the same way we now talk about Fritz, Bo, etc. That is the hope of course, and I hope it is given a chance to play out.
He's not saying he's yet earned the right to be mentioned in all the lore alongside Bo, etc. but rather that like great Michigan men of the past, he is doing things differently with the football program that hopefully will have us on the leading edge of change instead of lagging behind and wallowing in our formerly proven and currently unsuccessful ways. Wow, was that all one sentence? I gotta get a drink.
Rodriguez hasn't earned the right to be compared to Mark Dantonio
Only thing you wrote that I agree with and I am so glad he isn't compared to Dantonio.
...you quote something from the 10th paragraph of 15 (suggesting that you did, in fact, read at least 2/3 of the diary), and yet you claim you didn't read it?
"too long; didn't read."
1. The inability to accept, understand or pay attention to information when not separated by a header.
2. The ability to arbitrarily read 400 small posts but not a long one.
3. A sign of ADD or lack of reading capability.
4. A very cheap response and an indication of lack of wit.
5. 90% of the time: A lie.
6. A desperate attempt at a comeback used by people who just can't think of one.
7. Usually used by people who've been torn apart verbally but want one last attempt at looking witty.
8. Total failure at #7.
7. A sign that, not only is someone too lazy and stupid to read but, clearly, too lazy and stupid to even type out four words indicating such.
9. Collect every "tl,dr" post online, and you'll have a good estimate of the number of lazy idiots on Earth, who currently have Internet access.
I'm pro RR and hope he can turn the program back into one that will compete for the b10 title on a yearly bases. This will most likely occur once the defense has a majority of junior starters and good depth.
I disagree that Harbaugh would have a losing record his first season and I don't think he would deviate totally from a spread offense. He would also have better defensive coaches in place IMO.
I'll let DB make decissions on the future of the HC. I'm sure his analysis is far superior to mine or others on this blog!
Great post sir. I feel everything you conveyed in this message. Look to the future, it's not that scary.
That was a great read. Wonderfully written and I for one appreciated it.
Some tough points to make, but you make them well.
I consider myself a traditionalist, yet I consider myself a huge supporter of Coach Rodriguez and everything he is doing.
Through thick and thin gentlemen. Or the door to this proverbial fanhood is right there, and all you've gotta do is walk out of it.
Oh, you only forgot one thing...
LET'S TAKE IT ALL OUT ON THOSE SCARLET PANSIES THIS SATURDAY AT NOON!!!!!!
Great work for a first timer! "He's recreated the very best Michigan tradition there is, and he's done it in the worst possible surrounding circumstances. And he's done it despite those who have been too busy looking for ways to get rid of him to notice it."
It's convenient to be negative when things are rough and it's convenient to praise when things are good. Those of you who disagree with the points in the OP are both lazy and selfish. That is my opinion.
...of everything that's been going on here this week and good organization of collective reasonableness. Having said that, I hope it finally stops and we can focus our hate on who we should be hating during hate week.
I don't agree with everything RichRod's done, but thank you for highlighting the best, little known reason to keep him - (intelligent) Ohio State fans are terrified of that offense. A lot of Michigan people want Rodriguez out - but so do a lot of Buckeyes...take that as you want to take it
It's not about fear of change, dude, unless the change you are talking about is Michigan going from the top of the heap to the bottom in total defense. And I'm sorry, but you are not a visionary. Your post is a cartoon that basically regurgitates the same dialectic posted here ad infinitum for the past three years: young people like Rod and "get it"; older fans are stodgy, want to go back to Bo ball, and don't "get it." (Oh yeah, and they say UNNACEPTABLE a lot). But perhaps people that have been watching Michigan for decadesare not just living in the past; perhaps they have a different frame of reference than you do. Perhaps when they look at the game they see gross incompetence, in areas of the game in which Michigan has never been less than competent in their lifetime. Perhaps they don't like hearing excuses from Michigan coaches, because they have never heard Michigan coaches make excuses before. Perhaps they wonder why so many highly-touted recruits have left the program, and wonder why the coach blames dad-gum luck when he is fielding freshman in his third year as coach. Perhaps they are wondering why Michigan is recruiting players that have no business playing at Michigan. Perhaps they see something (that has nothing to do with playing style) slipping away. Perhaps.
he used the word "myopic" in there somewhere. That describes you and the childishness with which you evaluate michigan (a team, clearly not your team).
Oh, come on! The problem with some people on this blog is that they blindly praise anything pro-Michigan and look down on anything anti-Michigan. Supporting the program is important, but let's not do so blindly - it does no good for the program. The second someone says something negative about the program, someone jumps on it and says they're "not a real fan" or "don't care about this team". Questioning and challenging the team does not mean you're not a real fan.
I bet you're all itching to neg this - have at it.
3-9 to 5-7 to 7-4 how the hell is that not progress?! I get it that its not at the speed everyone wanted but how the hell does that progress not stall by switching to a Pro-style offense? Question the coaching, fine. But not giving the time to bring in and develop the players necessary for success doesn't make sense to me.
another small mind
Nothing small about his mind. Maybe the minds that are small are the ones that hear anything negative about Michigan and then go "OMG NO!"
They have to make personal attacks because they can't rationally refute anything he has said.
Man, pull your head out of your ass. If the guys in RR's first class are on the fiel they are sophomores or RS Freshmen. I would ask where all the Junior and Senior DBs are? How about talented Dlineman. We have Martin and Roh, so RR has half of them. How about Lbers? Yeah, Mouton is a beast but where are the running mates? If you can't stand back and recognize that at least this year, RR has been dealt a terrible hand, then I guess there is no point arguing with you. These are not excuses, they are reasons.
They may be the bottom right now, but they were only top of the heap 2 out of the last 15 years. What a top it was, but get your facts straight.
Spoof Football has learned how to log in under more than one name.
This place is getting more like mlive every day.
Using that parallel as the premise then, what would Bo think of Rodriguez?
Bo preached defense and ball security over ALL things. Do you really have to ask what he would think of Rodriguez?
The Bo era is dead just like Crisler's and Yost's. It was wonderful, but it is over and gone. Not only that, I believe it should stay over and gone.
Yes, damn that 38 years stretch of winning seasons and Big Ten Championships and New Year's Day bowl games and top 25 finishes. That SUCKED. I sure am glad that is over.
First, let me get this out there. Harbaugh, or anyone in his mold, will mean another 3-5 year crater/nuclear winter in the program
I'll be sure to tell Stanford that they can't possibly be 10-1 this season, because they should still be in a "nuclear winter" from hiring Harbaugh.
Rich Rodriguez IS Bo Schembechler. He IS Fritz Crisler. He IS Fielding Yost.
Wow. Just, wow. WOW.
Fielding Yost: 165-29-10
Fritz Crisler: 71-16-3
Bo Schembechler: 194-48-5
Rich Rodriguez: 15-20
Wow, now that I look at it, you ARE right. Rodriguez is clearly the reembodiment of not just any one of those guys, but ALL THREE OF THEM put together!
In year three under Harbaugh, Stanford went 8-5 and that was his first winning season. Damn that sounds familiar.
...Upset Oregon and USC that year. USC was ranked, what, #1 at the time? Stanford were, what, 40 pt dogs?
Which major, top 10 program did we knock off this year? UMASS, I guess, if you count FCS...
It's not just the number that counts, it's what's inside the number...
that RR only emphasizes ball security in press conferences and not in practices? And the Bo Era was ending with The Horror and shellacking by Oregon and the rise of the spread and ESSEEESEE speed on defense. The game changed.
And, yes, I am more than old enough to know Michigan's tradition. I think Bo and LLoyd were terrific coaches, and there will never be another Bo, but I was getting tired of being great in the Big Ten but not feeling we would continue to compete nationally. Because the game changes and we had not.
...for front page bump. Outstanding exposition.