I don't think I would classify that as "Bo football" I think that's still true even for Rodriguez.
Playing Poorly and Winning: This ain't Bo's Michigan
My co-worker, a good number of years older than myself, witnessed Bo’s Michigan personally. Meticulously drilled offensive linemen, who needed to know only one thing. If they could drive their defensive counterparts back four yards, they had done their job. Under Bo, he says, if you weren’t good enough to do that successfully four quarters out of every game, then you simply weren’t good enough. Perfect execution meant 3.4 yards per play, and anything less on any given play meant a good chance of a failed drive.
Under Bo, he says, if an opposing team went up with just a few moments remaining, well, evidently Michigan wasn’t good enough on that day. This isn’t to say that Michigan was perfect under Bo, he says. No, actually, far from it. But Bo’s teams’ victories were usually known from the start, and their losses could be tasted on the air before the opening coin flip had landed on the field. Deserving to win meant execution on the field. There was little playmaking, because there was one play. There was one rule. Dominate, or lose.
I, being a little younger, and only having the vaguest memory of the Moeller years as my earliest Michigan recollection, have a little different perspective on the nature of Michigan football. I know Bo ran more than one play, and so on, but it’s hard to argue with my co-worker’s overarching theme. During a five year grouping assembled randomly from Bo’s career (scores courtesy Wikipedia), the following data points emerged.
Average Margin of Victory: 22.84 Points
Average Margin of Defeat: -6.86 Points
Biggest Victory Margin: 57 Points
Biggest Defeat Margin: -23 Points
Margin of Victory Appearing Most Often: 35/38 (3 occasions each)
Margin of Defeat Appearing Most Often: -2/-10 (3 occasions each)
Many people would point to this simply as evidence that Bo was a very good coach, and was always in games. This is probably pretty true, in that only one loss during that period (above mentioned -23 loss margin) was greater than two touchdowns (next nearest was -11)). However, I feel that it also shows something else. Bo had 44 wins during that period, and only 12 of those, or 27.2% were by less than two touchdowns. Furthermore, only six total, or 13.6% were by less than one touchdown. If Bo were going to win a game, he was going to win it big. He was going to play well, he was going to execute, and he was going to grind the opposition to dust.
I believe that Rich Rodriguez recent commentary that he would like to be good enough to play poorly and still win is good for the team. It’s a modern era, and Michigan isn’t the only powerhouse anymore. We are running a highly difficult to execute offense and we’re simply not always going to have the players to make it work right. Games are going to be 38-36 and 36-33. MAC teams are going to score on us, and keep us out of the end zone. Our average margin of victory might be one field goal instead of three touchdowns.
We’re not used to it because Bo played Bo football, Gary played Bo football, and Lloyd played Bo football. Execute or fail. Dominate or Lose. It looks scary. Sometimes it looks bad. But with a combination of playmakers, cleverness, and proper coaching, sprinkled with bits of dilithium, it will produce success.
So the next time somebody says a certain player, unit, or the entire team looks bad, you can safely reply that yes, that is true, but it doesn’t mean we won’t win. And it doesn’t matter how you get them, wins make everyone happy. Even Bo.
They most CERTAINLY did not execute in the Indiana game, but won. Hence the whole "Play Poorly but still win" Rodriguez pregame quote that proved prophetic.
stats are deceptive in this case, due to era. Bo either won big or didn't win at all because, at this time, Michigan played 1-2 tough games per year. During the 70s, Michigan and Ohio State were so far superior to the rest of the Big Ten that they would dominate everyone else on their schedule, then grind each other into dust. Hence: one close game per year, either won or lost, and very few other games that weren't blowout wins.
In Bo's 6-6 season in 1984, wherein it can be assumed the rest of the Big 10 was NOT terrible, Bo's margin of victory still averaged better than two touchdowns, while his lost margin was about 11. So even in years that were close to even talent wise (presumably), his wins were still substantially bigger than his losses.
Edit: I didn't neg you.
I dont know what your co-worker is trying to say.
But, I will say that I had a "front row" seat for virtually the entire Bo Era. Especially from 1979 on.
The team won plenty of games where they played like crap, or underperformed like Saturday, and still managed the win.
A 17-10 win over Northwestern in 1980 comes to mind. A 10-7 win over Arizona in the 1970s for example, where UM only scored a TD in the final minute. THe 1979 Cal game. Heck, even the famous 1979 IU game.
Shoot, I even recall after an win over Iowa, Bo gushing on live TV that the team played poorly, but still won and has the inside track to the Big 10 as result.
I think your coworker in inventing something better in his mind as it becomes farther and farther in the past.
And, I agree with the above comment, that Rodriguez preaches execution as much as Bo or anyone else does. Its kinda bizarre to suggest otherwise, IMO.
Hmm... I hadn't ever heard that quote. Interesting.
1986 Iowa game. Michigan won on a last second field goal by Mike Gilette. Game was on CBS.
Post game interview on the field with the Pat O'Brien, Jack Arute type of guy right before the broadcast went off the air.
I can still remember him saying 'we played poorly, my god we played so poorly, but we're still unbeaten in Big 10."
I bet my parents still have the old Beta Max video recording of this game. We taped it while, of course, at the game.
I worked with the team as a trainer from '82-86, and it was definitely Bob Bergeron that kicked that game winner into the student section end zone....remember it vividly, as we sang the Victors in the locker room after the game....The student section spilled onto the field and it was complete chaos after it was good....biggest pig pile I have ever witnessed. Nice payback after losing 12-10 in the #1 vs #2 Iowa/M game in Iowa City in 1985 and Rob "F'ing" Houghlin's (sp?) 4 FG's.....
It rained heavily for a good chunk of the game, and Rich Hewlett started over John Wangler. Wangler was in for a series or two, though. Hewlett was pretty much done by the second quarter against Notre Dame the next week.
Other poorly played wins in the seventies include the following:
1970: 14-10 over 2-9 Texas A&M
1971: 20-17 over 2-7 Purdue
1972: 7-0 over 2-9 Northwestern
1975: 21-15 over 5-6 Illinois
1977: 14-7 over 5-6 Navy
1978: 21-17 over 5-6 Arizona
These were all over teams with losing records in an era before scholarship reductions started to cut into the big talent advantage Michigan had at the time.
You talk about the line, and how Bo made sure they dominated the LOS. Then you jump to having close games (36-33). The reason our games are so close right now is the defense is horrible. This has nothing to do with the offensive line. We should win 90% of our games if we score 30+ points. That should be plenty to put any team away, we just haven't really done that to a good team.
Our smaller sized defense gets pushed around, especially up the middle. It will be a good test to see what they can do to stop MSU's power run attack. I would like to see some 5 man fronts on first down to make the two QB's beat us through the air. The down and distance on 2nd and 3rd down will tell us how well this team is playing on defense. Our base defense requires some big time play from the lineman, and I would like to see Sagesse & Campbell rotate in some more. At least Ringer is gone..
To compare the different styles from different eras.
They's a whole new ballgame out there right now. It's nothing like the Bo Era (UM just realized that, though, which is why we find ourselves in OSU and PSU's rearview mirrors).
Tell your co worker that the 1970s just called, and they want their revisionist history and misty-eyed memories back. Then punch him in the junk.
He's kinda big. Can I tell him it's from you?
That's what I figured, really, but it was an interesting look into some stats, and it was interesting that Bo tended to have a large margin of victory.
The BoMoCarr model worked something like this: "Leverage" the UM brand when recruiting and, where possible, beat the @#$% out of mediocre teams in a mediocre, has-been conference. Declare that your goal is "to win the Big 10 championship." Never mind if that's horribly provincial. Never mind that, at the logical extreme, you're basically saying, "Our goal is to beat OSU." Sweep all the bowl results (like the Big 10's 1-9 record in the Rose Bowl during the "10-year war") under the rug and refer to your stated goal.
No, I'm much happier that the circus is being run by someone who at least *aspires* to national prominence. Bo and his disciples / puppets always conceded the national championship before the year started. With the exception of the lightning-in-a-bottle year of '97, they never won a game of any *major* consequence (meaning, one where the national championship was on the line).
I agree. As I said, I think given the modern landscape, I'd much rather have a Rodriguez style coach (all the better to have the one they made the mold from!). It will be much better for us going forward.
Regarding wins of major consequence (MNC not withstanding), I think Carr's win over Florida in 2007 would've been more prominent for the Big 10, and college football as a whole, had it NOT been Carr's retirement game. It would've said more about Carr-style football's ability to still win.
Actually, I think Carr's brand of football wouldn't have got it done against Florida or at least he might have felt that way. I remember Michigan and Carr spreading UF out...all game.
You beat me to it.
That didn't look like any Carr-style offense I had ever seen. We spread the field like crazy, using four wide and running from shotgun. I remember turning on the TV when the opening drive was already underway and saying, "Huh? Is that Michigan in the SPREAD?" I wonder how much of that was sort of a nod to RR coming in and a taste of things to come.
Now, the D was pure Michigan dominance. Sure, Percy Harvin ran all over us that day, but we finally contained him in the 4th quarter, and man did we get some pressure on Tebow.
was the wasted potential of what could have been, if we had opened up our offense like that all season.
It was the perfect counter-example against a decades old philosphy that was falling by the wayside: that talent and execution were enough to win games.
Who actually thought, going into that Bowl Game that we would beat Florida? No one did! And everyone was shocked watching Michigan starting in the shotgun, running jetsweeps to Manningham, throwing bombs to Arrington on (gasp!) 1st and 2nd down, even attemping screen passes to Jake Long. Urban Meyer was probably like, "What the hell is going on?" It was actually fun to watch that offense, defense be damned.
But those feelings of fun, were slowly replaced with feelings of frustration. Thoughts of - what if we had done that all year, started to creep in our minds. That was the one of the most talented teams on offense and it was wasted with DeBord calling the shots with a "Bo-type" mentality, when that scheme was clearly outdated...it kills me to think of that offense combined with the 2006 defense - good lord, who knows what would have happened?
But every time we cringe watching the defense this year, see Obi miss a read, Denard throw a wild pick, Tate scramble, aimlessly or Carlos miss the cutback lane - think of that 2008 Capital One Bowl and think of what it's gonna be like when the godfather of that very scheme gets all the pieces in place for his system with Michigan talent. As witnessed then, even Florida won't stop it and that's something tOSU definitely can't say.
Well the average margin of victory this year is over 14 points. So on average every time Michigan wins its by 2 touchdowns.
Sometimes avg margin does not tell the whole story.
"Meticulously drilled offensive linemen, who needed to know only one thing. "
The times, they not only are "a changin'", but they already have a-changed.
It was this "we only run 3 plays but run them better than you can stop them" mentality that drove Michigan fans nuts. I recall App State's players saying they knew what Michigan was going to do every down, that our players were slow and out of shape. The "we will out-execute you even if you know what's coming" didn't quite cut it that game, even though we supposedly had better players.
It sounds to me like your co-worker is allowing fond memories of Bo teams past to cloud his judgement.
And as far as "execution" goes, I think Michigan's offense is executing just fine, thanks, since we're putting up 31+ points a game, and we've already run a KO back for a TD.
You say that you "recall App State's players saying they knew what Michigan was going to do every down, that our players were slow and out of shape," then say " the 'we will out-execute you even if you know what's coming' didn't quite cut it that game, even though we supposedly had better players." Aren't these statements contradictory? Didn't the "out-execute you even if you know what's coming" not work because they didn't out-execute their opponent? Isn't it contradictory to say that we had better players and yet that our players played slow and were out of shape? We lost that game because we didn't start to execute until the very end of the game, and by that point it was too late.
It's a gross over-simplification to suggest that Bo ran the same play over and over again, designed to get 3.4 yards per down. When Bo had Rick Leach, he ran the option. When he had John Wangler, he played the drop-back pass. He changed his whole offense for Anthony Carter.
It's even less true to suggest that Moeller and Carr were Bo clones. Yeah, they were power football coaches, but the game changed quite a bit over time. Moeller was much more of a gambler than Bo. Carr's 2006 team bore scant resemblance to Bo's teams of the 1970s.
The 85-scholarship limit changed everything. In the 1970s, it was genuinely surprising when any game other than Notre Dame or Ohio State was competitive. That's why they called the league the "Big Two, Little Eight." Bo had the best athletes and could grind most teams down. But when the other guys were ahead (which happened rarely), he did not have a come-from-behind offense.
I don't think Rich Rodriguez is playing 36-33 games by design. He wants to win 36-0, just like Bo. His defense simply is not yet as good as his offense.
As someone who was in the Big House for every game that Bo coached (ask me about OSU in '69!), I couldn't agree more. Bo was a lot more flexible in his play calling than his reputation would suggest. Adjusting to capitalize on the unique talents of Leach and Carter is a great example.
Scoring 36 points is not 'failing to execute.'
Allowing 33 points to the worst program in the Big Ten is 'failing to execute.'
That is very, very true.
I don't believe, however, that they're going to be the worst program in the Big 10 this year.
"MAC teams are going to score on us, and keep us out of the end zone."
Now the Eastern game might not have been pretty. But the avg Mac team scores a whopping 12 points against us this year. And the offense averages 38 points a game. So I don't really think either side of that statement is true.
Hell even last year mac teams only managed an avg of 9.5 points a game. And 7 of those game from a 100 yard pick 6.
but as someone who watched Bo's teams in person from '71 till he retired, one of the most frustrating things about his teams is that they were virtually incapable of coming back from a deficit of any size late in games. There were some games where they came agonizingly close ('78 Rose Bowl against Warren Moon and Washington comes prominently to mind), but they could just never seal the deal. I think the largest comeback in the fourth quarter was something like 6 or 7 points. Carr had his limitations as a coach, but one thing his teams did repeatedly was to come back from double-digits late in games. Generally that was accomplished by completely unleashing his offensive players, and it was tremendously frustrating that he only did that in extremis.
That was kinda the point of the original post. My co-worker was saying that under Bo, it was either win big or lose. The post was an introspective into whether the stats bore that out (sort of), and what it means.
I was in the MMB in the early '80s while Bo was coaching, and you could usually tell in the tunnel before the game which team was going to win. Most opposing teams, as they walked up that long tunnel after pregame drills, had a defeated look in their eyes as they walked up the tunnel. The ones that had fire in their eyes at that point as they jogged through, they usually either won or lost late in the fourth. I remember Washington coming and basically pantsing M, and it seemed pretty clear from the opening snap.
Honestly, the more talented a team is, the less they have to rely on deception and the simpler their schemes will be. The inverse is true as well.
I have no doubt that App. State knew what plays were coming. If you do your film work and study, you usually DO know what's coming. I had the pleasure of sitting with Roman Gabriel once at a college game and he was able to predict every single play pre-snap on both sides of the line. I asked him if the players on the field could do that as well and he said, "If they were sitting up here and could see everyone, they could. But they generally know what's coming."
In the NFL, the difference in talent between the teams is usually pretty small. Therefore, you need to avoid establishing too many tendencies. You need to throw on second and short from time to time, you need to mask your coverages and your blitzes, you need to show run and pass as much as you show pass and run.
In college, the best teams usually keep their schemes simple and just rely on execution and talent to beat the inferior teams. It's why the inferior teams rely on goofy offenses to try and eliminate the talent gap.
Funny how we romanticize the past as time goes on. Bo's teams had their share of "letdown" performances, especially from the 1980s onward as the "Big Two, Little Eight" broke down and greater parity emerged.
And the idea that Lloyd's teams had a "dominate or lose" M.O. is downright laughable. What were you watching from 1995-2007? Lloyd's teams were constantly in dogfights with lesser opponents.
Young grasshopper, you have demonstrated good intentions, but what can we expect to conclude from a comparison of coaches in which only the numbers for one are given? I've conducted a parallel analysis for Rich Rod's last 5 years at WVU:
Average Margin of Victory: 20.91666667
Average Margin of Defeat: -11.14285714
Biggest Margin of Victory: 49
Biggest Margin of Defeat: 34
Most Frequent MV: 21 (5x)
Most Frequent MD: -2 (2x)
% of wins by less than 2 TD: 0.3125
% of wins by less than 1 TD: 0.166666667
--The two greatest margins of defeat (-34, -27) came in the same year (2003) to the same opponent (Maryland -- once in the Gator Bowl). Considering this a duplicate observation and only counting the largest, the AMoD = -9.923
--How many of these games was WVU favored to win, and by how much, compared to the equivalent consideration for UM? This could really strengthen the analysis, but is too work intensive for me to do right now
Anyway, these numbers are different. By how much?
Rich Rod - Bo =
Average Margin of Victory: -1.923333333
Average Margin of Defeat: -3.063076923
Biggest Margin of Victory: -8
Biggest Margin of Defeat: -11
Most Frequent MV: -17
Most Frequent MD: 0
% of wins by less than 2 TD: 0.0405
% of wins by less than 1 TD: 0.030666667
So, I'm in finance class and should start paying attention. But, consider this, and discuss. Personally, I think Rich Rod and Bo are of the same caliber -- not clones, to be sure, but cut from the same cloth. Your conclusions were clouded by the close calls of this season, but the numbers show that these near-misses are not typical of Rodriguez. Time will tell.
No offense, but this is nostalgia and sweeping generalization masquerading as a detailed analysis. Thinking back on it now, we have this image in our head of "Bo ball," as three yards and a cloud of dust, but like most heuristics it's only true to an extent, and in the end is an oversimplification that just doesn't tell us that much.
Some years Bo ran the option. Some years Bo ran the power I. In later years Bo utilized the vertical passing game much more. You could do the same for the Moeller or Carr eras. Some years Carr dinked and dunked more, some years Carr used a dynamic vertical passing game, some years Carr used a power run game, some years he used a zone running game. With the exception of Mike Hart's prolific years (and perhaps Perry's senior season), I think it's safe to say that over the course of Carr's tenure Michigan gradually became a pass-first team. People will disagree with that because Carr preferred to run and we have this idealized "Bo ball" type image in our mind, but if you think back to the Brady era and beyond, most years we were forced to pass to set up the run more than the other way around (2001, during which we could do neither, notwithstanding). Now, some would argue that's because we had great quarterbacks like Brady and Henson and Henne, but that does nothing to diminish this point.
Moreover, because college football has been dominated by pro-style offenses for so long, and perhaps because of Nebraska's panicked eschewing of the option after a blowout to a more talented Miami team and their precipitous decline thereafter, we seem to think Rodriguez's offense is something completely new. That's not entirely the case. Rodriguez has been innovative in some ways, but I think even he would admit that the basic concepts he's using have been around for a long time. Even the "spread" has been around since the pre-war era-- it was just forgotten. And as with many things in life, what is old becomes new again. Look at Paul Johnson's success at Georgia Tech. Do you think he's doing something new? Probably not, but it's new to today's defenses. The concepts he uses are essentially the same ones Rodriguez employs; recently Johnson said as much, noting that because it looks more spread out when Rodriguez does it people say "give it time" when it doesn't work, whereas when Johnson's offense doesn't work people say "it will never work!" Why do I bring this up? Watch this video. Watch the offense Michigan runs on the first drive. What does it look like you? Does it look familier, but maybe a little scrunched together?
Not the spread, no. No zone read, certainly. But can you honestly look at that and tell me Rodriguez and a young Bo are like night and day? Really? Watch that second play from scrimmage. Doesn't it remind you just a little of Tate Forcier hitting a quick out while rolling out with the line shifting playside?
Regarding this business about average margin of victory in wins and losses: To look at that and say that Bo's victories were by three touchdowns while his losses were by a touchdown or less is to misunderstand what the mean tells you. The mean tells you what the "average" is, certainly, but it doesn't tell you how you got there. Any statistician will tell you that the mean is susceptible to outliers, and that if you just know the mean then you don't know much. What is the range? What is the standard deviation? What are the medians and modes? What are the interquartile ranges? If you win one game by 3 points, two games by 10 points, one game by 17 points, and one game by 70 points, what is the average margin of victory? 22 points. Did you win every game by three touchdowns? Hardly. Is it possible that in your three point victory you didn't play that well? You tell me.
Finally, if you don't think every coach aims to execute their plays to perfection, and is caused endless consternation when they aren't, then you don't understand big time coaches. What do you think Bill Walsh was all about? What do you think he meant by, "There's no defense for a perfectly thrown ball"? The "west coast offense" was as much about how Walsh had his teams practice and prepare as it was about X's and O's. Was Walsh not innovative?
What happened to Rodriguez's team last year when they didn't execute? Did they win? Did RichRod's un-Bo-like scheming and innovation carry his squad to victory despite piss-poor execution?
Specifically, it was a look into my coworker's nostolgia from a statistical perspective. Helps to read.
Correct. And I said that your post was nostalgia and sweeping generalizations masquerading as detailed analysis: your co-worker's nostalgia, your sweeping generalizations. To be fair, many parts of my post were directed as much or more to some of the other commenters here, not specifically to your OP.
Please don't get me wrong. I do genuinely appreciate the effort. But as far as you stats are concerned, without doing much more than eye-balling, I have some questions about possible restriction of range and statistical significance. More importantly, though, I think your conclusions about a fundamental difference between Bo and Rodriguez are misguided, as I suggested in my original reply.
All the best, and Go Blue!
With the exception of Mike Hart's prolific years (and perhaps Perry's senior season), I think it's safe to say that over the course of Carr's tenure Michigan gradually became a pass-first team.
I would phrase it thusly:
Under Carr, Michigan gradually became better at passing than running the ball.
Not exactly the same. While our passing game got progressively better, first down remained almost always a running down throughout Lloyd's tenure.
I concede there's some merit to this. It would be interesting to know whether or not (and to what degree) the statistics bear this observation out. Regardless, while it's not the same thing (as you say), I'm tempted to say it's a distinction with little difference. Regardless of our tendencies on first down, more often then not it was the pass (or at least the threat thereof) that opened up the run, not the other way around, and this flies in the face of our received wisdom of Carr practicing "Bo ball."
It's probably safe to say that Lloyd would have preferred to run every down if he could get away with it, but I think Rodriguez probably feels the same way. The difference is, Rodriguez's offenses have been able to actually do so to a greater degree than Lloyd's could.
I do agree with the underlying theme of your post (or at least what I read into it).
Bo had a remorseless approach to football games. No where is this better displayed than the 70-21 victory over Illinois in 1981. Bo would have 2nd and 3rd string guys in, but he expected and conditioned all of them in practice to kick ass and take names (or else).
Moeller was more like Bo than Carr in my view. Moeller would take risks and go for the jugular. Sometimes it backfired, but his teams often beat opponents decisively.
Carr was different. I'm convinced that psychologically, decisive game routs meant uncomfortable post game handshakes for Lloyd. He didn't like them. He was therefore "content" with wins of 24-21 or 28-24 or 20-17. How else do we explain the hiring of a passive offensive coordinator like Mike Debord, who had Michigan score as little as possible despite massive talent and firepower, forcing the Wolverine defense to hang on in games in utter desperation in the 4th quarter by chipped and bloodied fingernails? Somewhere out there Jim Herrmann still wants to punch DeBord in the face for all of that.
RR's coaching record displays a more aggressive and approach to practice and winning games, and a desire to do so decisively, come what may. I like this much better. We're not yet observing it, but it will come eventually.
I don't think Carr hired Mike DeBord because he wanted to nearly lose as many games as possible. Come on! Really?? Carr's last years saw much greater parity in college football, and to some extent the game had passed him by. But it's only to an extent: after all, most coaches would envy his winning percentage, and his bowl record was better than Bo's.
We can talk all day about Carr's failings, but I doubt that he ever said, "Let's go out there and give the opponent every chance to win."
"Somewhere out there Jim Herrmann still wants to punch DeBord in the face for all of that."
DeBord had left by the time Michigan had started its "let's blow every fourth quarter lead we have" phase (which began in 2000). By the time MDB came back to UM, Herrmann had been forced out.
DeBord's first year as OC with Herrman in his first as DC was 1997: "don't turn the ball over, score twice, we have the best defense in America." The second was "get this Brady guy to play well and set school records, and we'll keep being pretty good on D." Back to back Big Ten titles. The third was "Brady; Gold; Jones; Hall. Rinse and repeat."
DeBord's offense was quite good his first goround - a great line, sophisticated passing game, a gameplan for the ages in the Rose Bowl, great development of Brady and all-time best passing performances. When he came back on the staff from Central, he seemed to be shell-shocked and incapable of attacking modern defenses with equal talent to his offense. It was bizarre.
Whoa there. DeBord had a future NFL Hall of Fame QB in Brady, a loaded offensive line, a bunch of NFL receivers and a good back in Anthony Thomas, and could only get his offense to churn out 27.6 and 30.2 points per game, respectively. The 1999 offense never scored 40 points in a game! And the 1998 offense was putrid for most of the season. We went through a four-game stretch in midseason in which we scored 12, 12, 21 and 15 points (and miraculously won all four). In fact, if you toss out the 59 points we scored against EMU and the 48 we scored against Hawaii, the 1998 O generated a whopping 22.9 points per game.
A "gameplan for the ages" in the Rose Bowl? We scored all of 21 points against a suspect defensive team and our running game was totally stymied by a front seven that had looked soft all year. We hooked up on two bombs - and naturally, never attempted another the rest of the game. It was a classic "just barely do enough to win" DeBord gameplan, but hardly a gem. we almost lost the game in the final minute.
Here's the truth: DeBord was always a crappy playcaller. A combination of good defense and some clutch quarterbacking masked his flaws the first time around. Those who had paid close attention knew it was a mistake to bring him back in '06.
Your coworker is full of shit
You aren't good at statistics
Subjectivity and naivete cloud your general reasoning abilities
Well, lets see...
My coworker is 52 and was making casual conversation about things as he sees them.
I used publicly available information and performed on it addition, subtraction, and division to get very general numbers that indicated some very basic things about Bo's record, and neither implied nor dipped into anything more intense.
The only assertion that I made was that it did seem like Bo tended towards large margins of victory, which was indeed backed up by those stats, and that it doesn't really matter that much, because we should be happy with a win either way.
So actually, the moral of the story is that you are an unbelievably hateful, unimportant, and likely lonely little man who lacks reading comprehension and adult sensibilities. Did you skip the fourth grade?
“Bo’s football” is winning by a large margin
This ain’t “Bo’s football”
This is Rich Rodriguez’s football
Therefore, Rich Rodriguez’s football is not to win by a large margin
A simple, logical argument that is implicit in your post; this is comprehended by someone with good reading comprehension simultaneous with the reading of your work. You think your statements imply nothing beyond Bo's record? False. Additionally, the implied conclusion is not supported by a thorough consideration of the facts.
As for hateful and lonely: I am neither. Unimportant? Probably.
But that's beside the point. If you interpret harshly-worded yet constructive* criticism as "hate"... man, grow some hair on your balls. There are a good number of fanatics on this board -- myself included -- who will cut to pieces such weak assertions that imply unfavorable untruths about our fearless leader. My initial response to your weak argument was to strengthen it, but someone... Bill something-or-other got me fired up, as he illustrated the depth of your argument's inadequacy. When you make such assertions, you'd better be ready to defend them from those of us with reading comprehension better than a 4th grader**
*constructive because analytical skills are something you can improve, if you care about that sort of thing
**the obvious implication, here, is that your reading comprehension ended at 4th grade. See what I did?
Ann Arbor TV could get seven channels (2,4,7,9,50,56,62) not counting those in Toledo (11,13,24), which duplicated the big three in Detroit. There were about three to five college games on a week IIRC, and only the biggest schools got on TV very often. The scholarship limit for football was 115. There was no internet, recruiting info was limited to "whackos" who bought one of the two recriting newsletters, and the press didn't ever ask the difficult questions or attack the football team.
Consequently, everyone who could play wanted to play for one of the "big schools." ND, UM, PSU, and OSU basically had their pick of the midwest and everyone else got the players they didn't want. Players who now start at little eight or MAC schools would usually have been on the scout team of the big schools.
This created a huge gap between the Michigans of the world and the Indianas of the world. Bo was a great disciplinarian in the Vince Lombardi mode. His players were usually bigger, faster, and stronger than yours. So it was pretty easy for him to line his players up, say "here we come," and push the other team around.
Once the scholly limits went down to 85, and everyone got exposure on cable TV, more was demanded out of a coach. A team could no longer run the same predictable plays over and over and expect to be an undefeated or one-loss team.
There is a big difference between Bo and RR. Bo bullied you; RR out-thinks you. I loved Bo, but I really don't think he would have done well in this era. He would have had to give up too much control to assistants and would have had to evolve his offense too much. Most of all, though, the conservative play-calling mindset doesn't work anymore.
Basically, though, we are comparing apples and oranges. The eras were so different that you really can't say one coach was better than the other. AFAIC, Bo was great for his era and RR is great for his. That is good enough for me in both cases.
I think Bo has more in common with Richrod than his predecessors in that they both run option based offenses and play to win regardless of margin of victory. We would have blown everyone we played out this year with a decent defense, so I disagree with the OP's premise that we will be in a lot of close games, at least for the long term. Didn't we blow both MAC terams out this year?
As for Moeller, he was more aggressive than Lloyd, but he also had less talent (arguably) than Lloyd at least in Lloyd's prime before the end of his stay. I don't think Lloyd wanted his offense to keep the game close, but regardless of talent level Lloyd always game planned in favor of his defense winning the game for him.
Countless times Carr would have a slight lead late and would run three times and punt. He would have plays called with low variance so as not to risk turning the ball over or stopping the clock.
On the flip side of this, Rodriguez's offenses have been attacking in nature. This is why I think we see the offense winning games for us. Obviously Forcier has ice in his veins, but Rodriguez has the offense in attack mode all game, so it has to be more comfortable to come back with that mentality.
The Michigan teams of the past also came back in spectacular fashion, but it seemed like Carr would only open up his offense if he absolutely had to, even though often we'd have a more talented offense than defense in recent years.
Brian's talked about this too, and this is why Carr lost more games leading slightly going into the fourth quarter and won more games when he trailed slightly going into the fourth quarter. I would argue that Rodriguez is the most ruthlessly aggressive coach we've had since Bo, and the base of his offense is just as simple to understand though, as we've seen, it can be tough to execute with an inexperienced team with a talent deficit at quarterback.