this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
Things We Won't Miss About Lloyd Carr.
- Lloyd was really adamant about his methods. If coaches were things in an electronic lab, Lloyd was an inductor - extremely opposed to change. He really believed in his methods -- at every level. This will be the common theme in this entry. He was against change fractally ( if you zoom out in every scale, you could see Lloyd hated change ). He waited a whole quarter before he changed his offensive signals though someone alerted him that Northwestern is stealing his signals. He waited almost a whole game during "The Disaster" till he realized Mike Hart was picking apart the Appalachians. He waited until the bowl game till he realized that his 4th year QB in shotgun can pick apart a defense with his audibles. Something to get excited about the addition of RR is, Rich looks for mismatches fractally. Be it a directional punt to nullify your returner or putting lighting fast small guys against your LBs / safeties or working your team out in the off-season, he looks for mismatches at every level.
- Mike Debord. was an absolute disaster coaching Central Michigan. If there was one example of cronyism in sports, this was it. Debord was fired from Central Michigan but two years removed from that he finds himself coaching offense at Michigan. Even I can throw Rock, Rock and more Rock and I wish I was a friend of Lloyd. I hate Debord and Michigan fans aren't big fans of Debord and if you like Debord you are an Ohio State fan. This is a welcome addition by subtraction. Again, the first point manifests itself a little. When Lloyd fired Malone, he was incubating Debord and refused to look outside. Debord was coaching special teams and suddenly he's an OC. ( You have to go to the West Virginia to find special teams coaches promoted to HCs, but that's OT anyway )
- Belief about presence of a Running Game and a solid defense. This was a comment made by someone in Victors Board. Lloyd played as if he had a solid running game ( in spite of opposing teams picking apart the Zone Blocking ) and a Solid Defense ( in spite of the defense getting gassed ). Rose Bowl against USC, Tied 3-3 at half. USC couldn't find any lanes running against Michigan. Steve Sarkisian and Lane Kiffin decide not to run again from the 3rd quarter. Lloyd sticks with his plan, hopes to score a field goal and hopes his defense can continue dominating USC's offense. Michigan's pass defense was picked apart by JD Booty. USC's pass defense was not even tested though Chad Henne, I think, may be better than the Stanford QB who beat USC next year. Not to mention, Mike Debord says he hadn't seen certain blitz schemes from USC ever. Only Jay Paterno is probably worse.
- Not being gracious enough after losing / Press conferences. I personally think that Lloyd was so devoted to Michigan and his players that he takes losing personally and is so disappointed that he's grumpy during handshakes and press conferences. Anyway, he doesn't really endear himself to neutral observers which is probably slightly worse for Michigan Football. Rich is afterall a snake oil salesman. http://runupthescore.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/ap02.jpg
- Special Teams. They weren't really special. When was the last time we blocked a punt ? Brandon Minor is so not made for punt returns. Fake punts ? Fractally opposed to change.
- Performance against Ohio State. Just like whatever Penn State does falls into the lap of Michigan, Lloyd simply didn't have an answer for Tressel. Bad luck ( when he had the best defense, Troy Smith was winning Heisman ) or not, tOSU exactly knew how to beat Lloyd's teams. Now, if at all OSU has a weakness, it's defending Spread Option as evidenced by last year's Illinois game. And you can't find better Spread Option teachers than Rich Rod. Tressel is a wee bit nervous as he sent his assistants to USF this off-season to find out how USF beat WVU. Now this is a completely different Michigan team Tressel will face.. fact remains this won't be a Lloyd coached team. As Rich gets players suited for his system and since Tressel doesn't run Spread Option (so his defense can't simulate exactly), when the top 2 athletic teams in the Big 10 face-off we can expect Rich to have his share of victories. ( Sidenote : Les Miles showed how to rattle Boeckman... Pressure him. )
- Strength and Conditioning. EEEEBarwis.
"he really gave A LOT of games away..."
Ok- name them.
In my book "a lot" means at least 10.
So, lets see if we can find at least 10 games that Lloyd lost because he played weak in the 4th Quarter. My bet is you cant find them!
- Purdue - '00: outscored 9-3 in 4th
- UCLA - '00: outscored 6-0 in 4th
- MSU - '01: outscored 9-7 in 4th...granted they had a little clock help
- ND - '02: outscored 9-6 in 4th
- OSU - '02: outscored 7-0 in 4th
- ND - '04: outscored 21-8 in 4th
- MN - '05: outscored 3-0 in 4th
- WI - '05: outscored 17-7 in 4th
- OSU - '05: outscored 13-3 in 4th
- NEB - '0: outscored 15-7 in 4th
Michigan average 4.1 points in the 4th quarter of those games.
against lesser teams that Lloyd seemed to have trademarked. Miami in '06? Houston in, what, '04? San Diego State in '05? And on and on we could go. How many times did the coaches have to leave the starters in against a pansy because they needed a defensive stop just to preserve the freakin' win? And on offense, in the last 5 years how often did Michigan score 40+ before the middle of the 4th quarter? For that matter, in the last 5 years how often did Michigan score 40+ at all?
You can only shrug these occurrences away for so long. How many times must an underperformance (especially in the 4th quarter) happen against a pansy before we are allowed to deem it a pattern?
I remember my freshman year (Mo was coaching back then), our team had some sort of meeting or compliance thingey given to us in the Michigan football team room (where they video review and scheming for next opponent). On one side of the room, there was this "Victory Board" or something like that, where the coaches graded every game according to performance in key categories. One of those categories was 4th Quarter Scoring. Obviously Mo believed in winning the 4th quarter, and probably in his early years Lloyd did too.
But given the last 3-4 years of late game offensive turtling, I have to wonder if Lloyd eventually took the '4th Quarter Scoring' metric down. Michigan has not done well lately in that category, and I have to imagine it got tiresome to constantly be "awarding" the opponent during the Monday reviews.
Isn't getting riled up the point of all this blogging? spew emotion on a page and let everyone attack it?
I'm not against that but you should at least be honest that is your intention, when your only proof is a picture, and all you are proving is that a coach is grumpy when his opposing coach has beaten him soundly on national television?
Like many Lloyd haters you give a nod to the '97 season, but forget to realize that DeBord was OC for that season. You forget that the majority of that defense was the class of '94 and '95 freshman and thus Lloyd played a huge role in recruiting them since he was DC prior to '95. And that group knocked off OSU three years in a row.
As to not being creative, do you think Charles Woodson would have ever happened if Bo had been the head coach at the time? How about the offensive performance in the Iowa, Penn State, and Washington State games in '97? Pretty boring wasn't it? Did you see those games, or were you watching a purple dinosaur at the time?
From my point of view the majority of the fault lies on the lack of physical conditioning to allow those young men to play up to their maximum potential in the last few years. And Lloyd knew that this was happening, and admitted so in his final interview. He no longer had what he needed to have.
I sometimes wonder how old you guys are, clearly you haven't watched Michigan football very long to have these kinds of emotions.
Yes it was time for Lloyd to retire. Yes we are more than excited as a new era dawns to match the changing landscape that is college football.
But if you are going to sum up a person's career, maybe you should look at more than the last three seasons.
As an emotion based football fan I intuitively know that if Bo were still alive, Lloyd would still be the head coach and we would all still be wondering why?Go find Brian's post of Lloyd's eulogy.
Now imagine yourself working in a job where your former boss is such a legend that he has a building named after him (without paying for it himself).
Now imagine trying to work when that legend is not only still alive, but has an office down the hall from you and drops in from time to time to "chat about football".
Moeller and Carr were just extensions of the Bo era, they were allowed to tweak some things (afterall they each had a Heismen winner and Lloyd has the National Championship), but it always had to be founded on Stingy Defense and controlling the ball.
I've heard all of your Lloyd complaints before, only it was in the late 80's and the name connected to those comments was Bo.
When you grow up you'll realize how little things change. Fans are angry at losses, they blame the coach, and they are always much smarter than the people who actually have the uniforms on.
Personally, I think blowing a double digit lead constitutes a "collapse", and in that sense you're right chitown- that only happened a couple of times in 2005, and never before and never again.
But there's more than one way to fuck up a potential win or jeopardize a solid win in the fourth quarter, and I imagine the examples of Lloyd doing this are legion. How many times did Michigan have a slim lead going into the fourth quarter, only to see a loss result? How many times was Michigan tied or within single digits going into the fourth quarter, only to see a loss result? How many times did Michigan have a double digit lead on some pansy going into the fourth quarter, only to see that lead eroded so much that the starters have to stay in just to hold on for a win?
No coach is perfect, but I do agree that Lloyd had some seriously inappropriate 4th Quarter/Risk Aversion issues. I'm hoping that goes away with RichRod, but we'll have to wait and see.
I'm not picking a side on this one since I see both pretty clearly - but, it is...interesting...that our 11-0 start came in a year with tremendously screwy clock rules that sucked minutes out of the game...perhaps allowing "Lloydball" to more effectively drain the clock at the end?
However, I don't think it's fair to list all these losses in the 4th quarter and ignore the numerous 4th quarter comebacks in the Lloyd era either.
which I happen to buy into wholeheartedly. Specifically- once a lead was obtained, no matter how small, Lloyd and/or [NAME REDACTED] would severely restrict the playcalling (especially on 1st down), thus restricting the number of points scored in Quarters 1-3. This would invariably put the team in 4th quarter situations where we were either down more than we should have been, or not up as much as we should have been. The result of "switching on" the offense when down or leaving the offense "switched off" when up was, logically, lots of 4th quarter comebacks and lots of blown 4th quarter leads, respectively. That's not exactly a ringing endorsement of Lloyd, IMO.
The numerous 4th quarter comebacks were never, IMO, a result of Lloyd rallying the boys or finally exploiting a weakness of the opponent. Often, if not invariably, those comebacks were a result of Lloyd/[NAME REDACTED] opening up the playbook...but only because it HAD to be opened up. They only "switched on" the offense when they had to, and put too many games in jeopardy by "switching off" the offense too early and often.
There are few, if any, examples of Lloyd/[NAME REDACTED] choosing to be aggressive and choosing to extend a lead on an opponent by, just as an example, passing on 1st down. Aggressive playcalling by Lloyd/[NAME REDACTED] was always forced on them, and last year's Wisconsin game was a glaring example of that.
I will not miss the "Light Switch Offense." At all.
Sugar Bowl 2006, WVU vs Georgia
1:45 to go. WVU leads Georgia 38-35. WVU is punting.
( go to 4:50 of the video )
Lloyd wouldn't have pulled this! RR was successful because of the element of surprise. It totally nullified the probability of that play not working.
I never really look at it as a coach blowing games, but rather a team, from top to bottom. Yes, it does reflect on the final leader, but it is hard to pinpoint that 'yes, it was something he did in particular' that blew the game.
Nevertheless, a few do come to mind.
1999 vs MSU. The whole circle jerk that was Brady vs Henson bit Lloyd in the arse in this one. Without any real basis in performance, he went with Henson over Brady in the second half. It was a move that differed from how this saga had played out in previous games. Drew repsonded with a three INT third quarter that buried the team.
1999 vs Illini and 2000 vs PU. Talk about blown leads. If we get one sustaining drive from the middle of the third quarter on in either case, there is not enough time for either comeback. I think the entire coaching staff should have done something different to make sure that Michigan....wait for it, wait for it......got one more effing first down, especially in the 2000 PU game. Sorry, but it's a recurring theme in my mind.
2000 vs NW. For years, I blamed Lloyd for even giving the ball to A-Train since we could just kneel down and run out the clock. Wathced the game on Classic a while back and realized that was not the case. So, Lloyd is absolved here. A player fumbled and we lost a heart breaker. It happens.
2003 vs Iowa. That stupid punt formation. Hey coaches! We are Michigan! We have too much talent to have to use gimmick formations like that. Sadly, from what I am reading about RichRod, a goofy punt formation is in our future. You will hear me screaming in anger when that gets trotted out!!
Other losses are out there, but in many of those cases, the players just did not execute. I dont blame LLoyd for the Gary Russell run in the 2005 Minny game for example. Not his fault they all took the play off. But, in every loss there is something to blame the coaches and something to blame on the players and even some more things that the other team did better and outperformed.
Not trying to pile on Lloyd or defend him either. He was a head coach at a power program. Blame, warranted or not, stops at his desk.
Be on the same field as him and don't wear the same jersey. Seriously, did you guys watch the Game last year? Wisconsin? LSU and Illinois? If anyone gets into the backfield at any point in the game he'll start throwing those patented punterceptions.
If you're a real masochist or were recently fired and have nothing better to do, you can watch our Spring Game and see him throw two of them with really next-to-no pressure coming from the defensive line.
My problem was that Michigan would dominate (or at least play as the better team) for three quarters only to buckle down in the 4th....basically daring the other team to win rather than just "playing to win". I thought many Michigan fans felt the same way. Based on some of these comments maybe not? I'll never forget the 2005 Minnesota game (Michigan did win, but it was a nail biter)...some A-HOLE spent the whole game yelling "QUIT PLAYING TO LOSE LLOYD!!!! over and over again...I sort of agreed with him...but he spent the whole game bitching about Lloyd..he didn't even enjoy the game, which was a great one.
Anyway, this thing has been beat to death, that's for sure. I suppose by this time next year we'll be bitching about Rich Rod or Magee or Shafer for some reason or another and we'll forget all about Lloyd.
So let me get this straight -
Your beef is that we don't play teams from the west coast anymore. Despite the fact that we did. But if we hadn't scheduled them, we wouldn't have played them, so it doesn't count. Right?
No, my beef is that we're no longer *scheduling* inter-sectional games, be they west coast, east coast, south, whatever, and we're not going to see any for a long time. In the 1990s Jack Weidenbach and Joe Roberson inked lots of good inter-sectional (mainly west coast) matchups, which were usually home-and-homes. These included Colorado, UCLA, Washington, Oregon, and Syracuse. But because of teams scheduling so far in advance, these games weren't actually played until the late 1990s and early 2000s. 2007 Oregon, postponed from somewhere around 2001, was the last one. Bill Martin hasn't been scheduling any such inter-sectional games, and because of the advance scheduling, we're not likely to see any of these kinds of games for a long time. Even if Martin (miracle of miracles) scheduled Oklahoma, Auburn, and Rutgers today, we wouldn't see those games until 2015 at the very earliest. I understand that playing Notre Dame away every other year puts a financial burden on the athletic department that would be exacerbated by making return home-and-home visits to other big-name schools who wouldn't be interested in a one-and-done contract to play in Ann Arbor, but after the initial BCS trend of dumbed down schedules, we're now seeing lots of schools scheduling good non-conference matchups. Except for Michigan. Hopefully the revenue brought in by the Big House renovations and the new ticketing systems will eliviate some of the financial concerns and we can start scheduling those kinds of games again.
Just look at the great inter-sectional games from 1990 to 2003:
1990: UCLA, Maryland
1991: at Boston College, Florida State
1992: Oklahoma State
1993: Washington State
1994: Boston College, Colorado
1995: Virginia, at Boston College
1996: at Colorado, Boston College, UCLA
1999: at Syracuse
2000: at UCLA
2001: at Washington (originally also Oregon)
2003: at Oregon
2006: zilch (Vandy doesn't count)
2007: Oregon (rescheduled from earlier in the decade)
Pepper in the few Houstons, Rices, Utahs, and SDStates, along with ND just about every year, and those are kickass schedules up until 2004. As I've said, Oregon last year was only a scheduling fluke. We won't see schedules like that again for a long time, because those types of schools aren't being contracted with now.