Edit: Showing up to the first day of fall camp in shape is not voluntary.
From Portage Northern.
Okay, last installment. For the previous installments, see: http://mgoblog.com/diaries/three-and-out-100-pagesfor the first 100 pages, and http://mgoblog.com/diaries/three-and-out-pages-100-250 for pp. 100-250. Also, you might want to check out the comments to those entries for more exposition and clarification.
It’s clear that this whole book, and this subject, reopen a lot of old wounds and dig up a lot of old debates. I’ve actually thought a little bit over the past two days about what a couple commenters said, which was that they don’t think they’ll read the book because of a handful of reasons, notably because, well, it’s in the past, and why dig up old bodies, beat dead horses, reopen old wounds? I am conflicted by that notion. In a way, I understand that line of thinking- reading this book isn’t a fun exercise after a certain point because it reminds the reader of the agony of those 3 seasons. It is not a happy tale, and today, we have a new regime, a 6-0 team, and things are looking up. At the same time, I think it’s hard to discuss the past regime, the differences between Hoke & Co. and the past regime, and, most importantly, the differences between the two transitions without revisiting the dark days of late 2007-January, 2011. But the more I read the book, I could come to appreciate the idea that rehashing all of the negativity may not be something that many wish to do. That being said, I think it will be hard going forward to discuss the RR era without reading this book, even if you doubt the “spin” put on the story contained within its pages.
Again: this book is written from the RR perspective. Bacon was following RR, his team, etc. So a grain of salt (which many have rightfully pointed out) is wise.
These are just my musings on what jumped out at me, things I found interesting (personally) and thought that those who haven’t gotten a chance to read this yet might also find interesting. I actually finished the book a couple of days ago, but haven’t had a chance to write this yet.
One thing that strikes me is that the team really seems to stick together throughout all of the negativity- the Free Press stuff, the losing, the rumors, etc. Over and over again, Bacon muses that he figures the team would quit on the staff, that, at times, they probably should quit on the staff, etc. He seems to look for cracks in the team’s drive/mission/togetherness, especially throughout 2009’s slide and in 2010 when the players themselves are fully aware of all the rumors. But if that was ever the case, he didn’t see it. Until, perhaps, the Mississsippi State bowl game, where the seniors, at least (but really more likely the whole team) were of the impression that RR was done, win-or-lose (more on that below).
The Les Miles stuff was purely for show and to appease the fanbase. He says, quote, that Les Miles would be Michigan’s head coach “over my dead body” when RR asked him about it when the rumors reached a fever pitch in late December 2010. The book doesn’t say why. I have a feeling that there are multiple reasons, and at the very least, some of the nastiest rumors must be either a.) true, or b.) believed by enough people in the Michigan community who actually have a say in things (LC, Brandon, among them) that Les was never a serious candidate.
Brandon also handled the transition infinitely better than Bill Martin from a “players leaving” standpoint. As soon as it was announced, he (DB) called a meeting with the players and asked them not to leave. Far cry from LC holding a meeting and saying “if you want to leave, I’ll sign.” DB told the players if there was a mass exodus, they’d be “crippling” the program.
Furthermore, after DB left the room, Molk, Van Bergen, and the other seniors-to-be stood up and said, essentially, “don’t leave. We’ve all come too far.” Seems everyone had learned from the 2007 debacle.
Also of note: Dave Brandon said that he’d talked to “lots of players” before making the decision to fire RR, and that his “door was always open” and had always been open. Apparently not to Denard Robinson. Denard requested an audience with Brandon multiple times between the U of M Bust dinner and the bowl game, both in Ann Arbor and after they’d all gotten to Jacksonville. Brandon never met with him during that time.
The 2010 Bust, Josh Groban, December 2010, and Senior Exit Interviews
To Bacon, this is where RR’s tenure ended. He seems to think that after the Groban debacle, RR was toast. Many people were exchanging uneasy glances as he started doing it (asking for the song to be played) saying (by their looks) please don’t do this. When the lights went up, Bacon says that even RR supporters whom he knew were, essentially, like “yeah…that was bad, and he’s done.” Also, apparently, there were rumors that Fox Sports and others were offering $50-100k for the tape. Dave Brandon told the film crew who were present that if the tape of the incident were released, they’d never have access to Michigan again.
Seniors conducted exit interviews with the A.D. (associate AD Greg Harden) in the weeks following the bust (but before the bowl game) and the conclusions the players reached was that Rich Rod was gone. The student managers told Bacon that, point blank, the seniors all “knew” RR was getting fired and, thus, “no one wanted to be here.” I’m talking about the student managers talking about what the players told them. And that trickled down from the seniors to the rest of the team. “They realized winning would bring not freedom from their burdens—as it would have earlier in the season—but an extension of them. The way things were set up, they had more incentive to lose than to win.” (P. 419). That quote is clearly Bacon’s opinion.
During this time, the coaches themselves were concerned. Rich Rod, of course, had a contract. His assistants did not. The assistants “knew that other schools might be interested in them—particularly Maryland—if Rodriguez would just entertain the offers, but he steadfastly refused.” (P. 418). Apparently, his assistants refused overtures (if there were any) as well, as Rodriguez said that none of them had approached him in the time between the tOSU game and the bowl game saying that they’d either a.) reached out to other schools, or b.) were considering offers from other schools.
On Hoke, from Dan Dufek: “He’ll be successful because we’re not going to do to him what some of those guys did to Rich,” talking about the former players, etc. (P. 428).
The school orders rings for every bowl game. They are allowed to do so and give them to all members of the coaching staff and football staff who were on the staff at the time of the bowl game. Michigan ordered Gator Bowl rings, but didn’t give them to RR and his assistants and any that RR had hired. They did give one to Scott Draper. When RR came to UM in 2008, even WVU sent him one from their Orange Bowl trip. Petty, not that important, but still…ugh.
When RR was fired, Brandon told the players that the new staff would pick its assistants and its strength staff, but that Barwis was still employed by the University. Sometime in either January or February of 2011, Florida State offered Barwis a package that would make him the highest paid strength coach in the country, a multi-year deal, and would employ all of his staff. He turned them down, as he was still coaching at Michigan and, assumedly, thought Hoke might keep him and his staff. In March, Hoke went a different direction, so Barwis opened BarwisMethods in Michigan.
Rodriguez isn’t the one who alerted the Big Ten to the punch by one of Purdue’s players (in a game not against Michigan) that got the player suspended. It was actually someone in Purdue’s own athletic department. However, after the Michigan-Purdue game in 2009, Hope pulled the stunt where he grabbed RR’s hand and brought the player (Zach Reckman)over and said “I want to introduce you to the man who got you suspended.” After that stunt, RR had a quote that I found humorous, which he blurted out after he told Rita what happened: “Bullshit! I gotta get my ass beat by a junior high school, no-class asshole?” I think JHSNCAH should be Hope’s acronym from here on out.
Justin Turner and Wingless Wolverines
So, summertime workouts are voluntary. Showing up to the first day of fall practice, however, is not. In the summer of 2010, Tate, Gallon, Austin White, and Justin Turner showed up to fall camp out of shape, after having loafed throughout the summer. Turner famously said of the S&C staff (when one of his teammates warned him): “they can’t break me.”
The team had a conditioning run, and the three who didn’t make in the time for their position group were White, Gallon and Turner. Tate made it, barely, by diving across the line. However, his landlord then called RR and told him Tate hadn’t been paying his rent. So these four gentlemen got two pieces of special punishment: no wings on their helmets until they earned them back, and a “Breakfast Club” conditioning workout.
Amazingly, RR himself did the drills with them, at least for the first part of the Breakfast Club drills. They involved a stairmaster, then lots of situps. It lasted only 45 minutes, but clearly had an impact on Turner. The workout ended at 7 am. He asked for a transfer by 2 pm.
This is mentioned on page 342. “…the contracts Michigan offered at the time did not permit (RR) to hire his first choice for many coaching positions, including defensive coordinator. In hindsight, he would probably agree that insisting on guaranteed contracts for his coordinators and cutting $100,000 out of the new weight room budget to secure Casteel- plus a multiyear contract- would have been wise, as would making recruiting an acclaimed kicker a high priority.”
RR and the NCAA
He paid most of his life savings (cash savings) on his own attorneys in the NCAA investigation (over $300k). This was to ensure that the charge that he, RR, failed to promote an environment of compliance was vigorously fought, as it wasn’t (in his mind) the University’s top priority. (I actually agree with him here: in any case where the individual employee and the company’s interests are both at stake in any lawsuit, which an NCAA investigation is, sort of, I strongly advise all of you to have your own counsel, not just the one hired by your company. Just my $.02).
Michigan ranks 5th or 6th in the Big Ten in spending on football (or at least that’s what RR thought, which surprised him). P. 397.
Barwis had a tear come to his eye after we beat Illinois last year in triple overtime. I didn’t even know that was possible.
Edit: Showing up to the first day of fall camp in shape is not voluntary.
I just want to emphasize how much you have left out; you've only scratched the surface. And I say that because you've been criticized for over-summarizing the book and leaving nothing to the future readers. You and I both know there is a LOT more. The readers will be amazed with the additional details behind all of these stories. Buy the book. And then buy copies for every Michigan fan who doesn't know about it; especially the ones who don't yet understand how badly Rich Rodriguez was treated while he was here.
Just as it is indisputable that Rodriguez made mistakes (who doesn't?), you will understand exactly the extent to which Rodriguez was treated unfairly.
What gets me is the "Lloyd Carr's Michigan" was taken to an extreme by LC himself...maybe he wanted to uphold some self-generated ideals of how best to treat players he'd recruited, but to gut the thinly experienced post Capital One bowl team, was stunning to read.
Decimated Defense, indeed!
What message did that send to the juniors and seniors left behind?
And then to read that DB told the players to stay, let alone that RR told them to support their new coaching staff.
Yeah, RR was definitely in over his head/bad coach/ran kids out on a rail/set the program back three (or more) years.
I'll take your comments one at a time.
"In over his head": I know you probably mean it in another way, but he certainly was in over his head. He was being attacked from every angle and had no answers. Assuming everything in the book is true, it paints an ugly picture of people plotting against RR, but he was in over his head in that he never found a way to build some support for himself. All of the losing didn't help him, but neither did his "Vince Lombardi couldn't help us" quote, or others like it. Fuck that, Mattison has helped us just fine, thank you, and he's no Lombardi. Remember earlier this season when Craig Roh said something like, "This is the first time I've been told I was doing things wrong"? RR should have done that instead of complain to the press about the lack of talent on defense.
"Bad coach": His record proves that, beyond any reasonable shadow-of-a-hint-of-a-trace-of-a-doubt. Offense, his forte, is only 1/3 of the game. Our defense and special teams were in shambles during his tenure; he must take the blame for that. This is doubly true considering Hoke and Mattison have improved the defense tremendously with all of the same personnel (caveat: a year more experienced, but still).
"Ran kids out on a rail": I'm not exactly sure what you mean here, but I will suggest that his tendency to throw kids under the bus in the media qualifies, the aforementioned "Vince Lombardi" quote being the most conspicuous.
"Set Michigan back three (or more) years": I don't believe that, and never have. As much as I disliked RR, I never thought he was setting Michigan back. I had confidence that a good coach would immediately turn the program around. And, so far, it looks like Hoke has. It's hard to set Michigan back; they attract great athletes because (as Hoke said, which forever won my love) "This is Michigan, for God's sake".
Which brings me to my biggest (perhaps only) qualm about RR as a tactician (I hate him as a motivator, PR man, etc): why couldn't he ease the transition (and probably win a handfull of games) by gradually introducing his offense, ala Borges? Threet and Sheridan were never going to run his offense well, and Mallet could have been a real weapon in a more pro-style offense. A good coach has to be able to do a little of both, doesn't he? We won't be running the spread in a few years, but we are now, because we have to if we are to win any games. I think that RR either didn't know enough about the pro-style offense to coach it at all, or didn't care enough about winning games in the first few seasons to try. THAT SEEMS TO BE THE CASE, AND IT BOTHERS ME NO END! Is that unreasonable?
I'm not a jihadist, just a passionate Michigan fan. I gave RR a chance, he stank. I'm not one of those guys who is against the spread for no reason. I wanted him to work. He didn't. I just don't know why people keep apologizing for him? He was the worst coach in Michigan's illustrious history - fact. Why do people still defend him?!
This was a Diary about the book. Have you read the book?
Certainly, having not read one book doesn't disqualify you from having any of your foregoing opinions. And my having read the book doesn't necessarily make my opinions, which are the near-opposite of yours, infallible.
But boiled down to its essential, my basic opinion about Rich Rodriguez is that he was treated badly, and unfairly, while he was in Ann Arbor. I'm not going to argue with you about technically superior football coaches because I'm not the best expert and because that doesn't interest me as much. I do think Rich Rodriguez is a superior football coach and I understand that you think differently.
So here's the thing -- I have all along argued that Rodriguez was treated badly and unfairly, and that fact is something Michigan needs to think about. And I think that the book, Three and Out erases any doubt about the unfairness with which Rodriguez was treated. The book is the all-time argument-ender on that particular topic.
I think we'll never know how good a Rodriguez program could have been at Michigan. I think we're seeing some of it now, but it really is a pity that we'll never know.
If you don't believe me, read the book, and then let me know.
For those who say they don't want to read the book because it "brings up the past," great. If that means you won't rehash YOUR version of the past every time this staff does something good, then it would be great for everyone involved.
Basically, though, anyone who is still bitching about RR instead of just supporting the current staff on its own merits has no excuse for criticizing this book. America works this way: if you bitch, you have to allow the "other side" their rebuttal. In other words, be careful what you bitch for.
Agreed. I am a RR supporter, but I'm also a BH supporter. I think this book will bring final closure for me and allow me to move on once and for all.
If I may, I'd add, I'm a Michigan Football supporter.
And this book WILL help me find that closure, too.
Worse though, will be trying to imagine, if that crap had happened to me, what would I have done? How would I have responded?
It amazes me that so little of the info in this book has ever escaped The Fort. (Of course, some people should be ashamed of the company they keep!)
Additionally, per the old adage: "Those who don't study history, are doomed to repeat it." The book is a must read if only to avoid the mistakes of the past. Michigan does not want to become infighting, pre-Saban Alabama.
This sounds like a fascinating book. I'm just a little bummed by the timing. I'm feeling a little Michigan football overload right now -- and a within-season urge to respond with "I only talk about coaches who coach for Michigan" -- but this would have been an amazing distraction during the long offseason.
I kind of wish that we could set this aside until April or something and then turn MGoBlog into a month-long book club.
I think that's a sensible idea. It would give everyone time to read the book, throw it across the room, re-read it, use up a box of kleenex, and by April maybe come to their senses and be ready to have a rational discussion over it, with the bonus of having some perspective from a year-plus under a new regime.
Maybe I speak only for myself, but from 03 Blue 07's excellent reviews I'm pretty sure I'm going to find the book fascinating, enraging, and horrifying. Maybe by April I'll be sufficiently recovered from the trauma of reliving the last three years to discuss it.
(I should clarify--I think that no matter which side, if any, one was on for the past 3 years, they were beyond painful. So that comment was not an indication of where I stand on anything.)
Does he go into why Brandon wouldn't meet with Denard? That must have been incredibly frustrating for him, and could have been pretty disastrous if it offended Denard enough.
No reason given. I'm sure DB is a busy man. That being said, I think the AD should rearrange his schedule for Denard Robinson. Just my opinion.
I agree. Brandon obviously shouldn't be obligated to act on anything Denard says, but you'd think that he might have some insights that DB didn't, or even other players. Not to mention that meeting with everyone else on the team who wanted to and not your superstar QB just sounds like a dick move, and not even a shrewd dick move. No matter what his decision was going to be about RR, I don't see any reason to make Denard feel less than wanted or important.
With Denard being mostly composed of Dilithium DB could expect that he would get to the point quickly and that the meeting would not take very long.
I think DB is very lucky that didn't bite him in the ass. Let's say Denard leaves, then goes to the press; "Well I tried to talk to Dave Brandon but he wouldn't see me" or something along those lines. Suddenly the fanbase is a lot more homicidal
This is the most surprising thing in the entire book (or at least the summary) for me. It makes absolutely no sense that DB wouldn't meet with Denard. At least hear him out and then ignore him. Unless DB thought that he couldn't look Denard in the face and tell him he was going to fire his coach.
Brandon didn't want to get behind closed doors and have Denard plead for better treatment or retention of RR.
I've heard several insider tidbits about Brandon and they each want to make me barf - by all accounts he seems to be a self-centered jerkoff that is only concerned about himself. However, if he doesn't have a damn good excuse for not speaking with Denard (and IMO, there is no good excuse for it), I might consider punching him in the throat if I ever see him in person. Denard is the best thing to happen to Michigan football in the last 10-20 years (since the 1997-98 season?). He should be given a little more respect than the average player, like getting an audience with some boneheaded administrator.
He should have met with Denard because he is a part of the Michigan football program, not because he is our star player.
but it makes perfect sense to avoid meeting with Denard. (IF that is what happened.)
What do you do if he gives you a "If coach goes, I go" ultimatum? Better to avoid the topic until the decision is official and then beg him to give the new staff a chance. Brandon also probably knew enough about RR's personality to assume he wouldm't be vindictive and advise Denard to go.*
It is cold; it is calculated; but it makes perfect sense in a sales/business perspective.
* With the possible exception if he already had another HC job lined up for 2011
I'm no DB fan, but that's exactly what I was thinking too. And in reality, it's probably for the best that he didn't talk to him. If he had, there's a non zero chance that Denard isn't wearing a winged helmet today.
Denard is leaving no matter what if RR is gone, there is nothing Brandon can do to keep him. Brandon loses nothing by talking to Denard.
Denard wants to have his voice heard (like other players did), is skeptical of staying without RR and now feels like the AD doesn't care enough about him to at least give him an audience. DB loses big by not talking to Denard.
Denard is staying no matter what, but still wants an audience before a decision is made. DB loses nothing by talking to Denard.
Obviously those are too simplistic, but I do think I would have done everything in my power to make him feel welcome from an institutional standpoint. If Molk, RVB, MM and the rest of them got to talk to DB, he should have opened his door to Denard as well.
to this extent: If you're not going to meet with a player who specifically requests a meeting, then don't run around bragging about all the input you sought from players.
He doesn't have to sign the release form and there is no way that RR would unless he was certain he was getting fired.
He probably had his mind at least mostly made up regarding RR's fate and didn't want to lie to Denard's face.
Yeah, because lying to "us" and lying to Denard are pretty much the same thing.
As someone who basically lives in West Lafayette and nearly everyone I know is both a Purdue fan and hates Danny Hope, I have a feeling JHSNCAH will become very popular.
Also, these posts have been fantastic, I wasn't sure if I wanted to grab the book but after reading this I can't imagine not having it delivered from Amazon the day it's out and reading it instantly.
It doesn't sit well with me that Rich and Co. did not receive bowl rings. It seems classless and beneath Michigan's standards to be so petty. That coaching staff battled a lot of adversity inside and outside of the Michigan family. A bowl bid was their crowning achievement after three years of work. I am tempted to start a Rings for Rich campaign, but am involved to many other things currently. With the way the current staff is handling business in and off the field, I am not pining for Rich. I just think he deserves what was earned.
Agreed. I was not a big fan of RR, but not giving the coaching staff the bowl rings they EARNED is completely bush-league. Simply inexcusable.
Our football program is in the hands of people who love and understand it's tradition! They would never stoop so low!
I refuse to believe that the people who make decisions in these regards are anything less than saintly!
I kind of want to start an MGoDrive to raise money to send the old staff their rings...
No rings = bush league.
completely agree. i think a rings for rich rod petition would be awesome- potentially completely worhtless, but at least show some michigan people are michigan men!!!
You have to wonder though, would Rich want everyone campaigning for that? I think it's a total Bush-Leauge move and they should have gotten them....but does he really want to be reminded that in 3 years his "crowning achievement" was a 52-14 blowout loss in the Gator Bowl?
I was thinking the exact same thing. Its not like RR will put the ring on his mantel and talk about the good old days of losing at Michigan and getting stomped by a middling SEC team in the bowl game.
I have been referring to Brandon as AD Imperius 'cause I know the sort of person he is as shownn by Brandon's actions... Now, with new revelations on not meeting with your star QB, who basically put the program on his back for two years? Classless... I know the sorts of men like Brandon who have zero respect for underlings, high-paid, aloof and generally... petty. Not ordering rings for RR's folks for the Gator Bowl is as petty as it gets.
AD Imperius. Thanks for showing our star QB zero respect, pompous jerk. In fact, when told of Denard's request, Brandon probably sniffed and then coldy said "no, it's just not appropriate".
Finally someone on the same wavelength. I think everyone can agree that Brandon has done a lot of things right, but he's still a complete asshole. The whole coaching hire thing pissed me off because he continuously lied about things (could've just said no comment).
When Brian first read the book he said RR would not be happy. Why is that? From these three summaries this really looks like the events from RR's perspective and makes him come out in better light on a lot of things. I'm curious as to why Brian thought that.
he still needs to interview for a job, and probably doesn't want too many negatives out there in the public eye...
I haven't read the book yet, but from the sound of Grobangate, that could be one thing. Also, I imagine that any HC with the requisitie amount of ego doesn't want to appear weak and outmaneuvered by other forces. RR, it seems, appears both sympathetic and like a bit of a punk, in the penitentiary sense of the word. That can't feel good...
There were no bombshells that I found, re: Rodriguez. There is an awful lot of cursing; like every sentence. And that might not look good. But most of the people in the book are quoted that way. Michigan football seems to run on curse-words. As Bacon points out, it has been that way since Schembechler.
btw; If anybody is thinking, "Aha! Cursing! Boren was right!" Well, there is this. First, Justin Boren never complained about "cursing" as he left Michigan. Rosenberg wrote about foul language in one of his columns, but that is the occasion on which Bacon notes that all of the practices had been open, and Rosenberg hadn't attended any of them.
And there is Boren-stuff that isn't in the book. John writes (clearly correctly, in my view) about Boren leaving Michigan because his litle brother Zach didn't get a scholarship. But he writes that as simply a statement of fact. A single conclusion, without quotes or background story. There's also the fact that the Free Press itself had written, in an early puff-piece about Boren when he was a happy Michigan freshman, how Mike Boren used to yell at Justin at halftimes of his h.s. games so ferociously that he thought "somebody might call the cops." John didn't include any of that (maybe space and editing) but he does put it out there in one line -- Boren left Michigan because Zach didn't get a scholarship.
Think about it this way.
The Borens were right to take offense to that if there was a scholarship offer to Zach and it was withdrawn. A legacy recruit, a former player, a current guy on the roster, that had to sting since it's clear Zach can do the business in the Big Ten (and it's also clear that there was yet another Boren coming down the chute that could have helped RR's pathetic offensive line recruiting).
And Rich Rod paid the price for it. You can't tell me he didn't wish he had fullback Zach Boren on the team against Illinois in 2009, when Kevin Grady screwed up his blocking assignments on the goal line in the 3rd quarter. In so many ways, the Boren experience was the Cliff Notes version of what went wrong for RR in Ann Arbor.
If indeed Zach Boren had the promise of a scholarship, it would have to have come from Lloyd Carr. And either Carr should have kept the promise, through a heart-to-heart with Rodriguez in which Carr begged him to help him keep a promise he shouldn't have made, or else Carr should have come clean and gone public.
Hell, the fucking Borens didn't come clean. They attributed it to a "deterioration of family values." Actually, that might have been the one true honest statement of fact in the whole debacle, if "Family Values" = Legacy Schollie for Zach.
Now... as I have written before, Zach really got the last laugh. Because he's been a surprise starter for the Buckeyes, almost since the time he was a freshman. But the Rodriguez offense is not the OSU offense, and we didn't need a FB.
So if you mean that this was all a metaphor for what happened to RR in in Arbor, I'd agree if we elaborate on that to mean, "Screwed by Carr, who never explained himself, pilloried unfairly in the press, and ultimately hurt on the field by the fact that OSU was at that time clicking along on all cylinders while Michigan was struggling into headwinds on and off the field." Yeah, that sounds about right.
I bet half the pages of your copy of this book are stuck together because you "enjoy" this book so much Section 1...
...there are so many Board-arguments I have had, with so many people, I couldn't even remember them all. And the book is proving me right on all of them.
For instance, somebody posted a Danny Hope thread today. I had actually forgotten about my Danny Hope diary, dating way back two years ago to infamous postgame the handshake incident. I was searching "Danny Hope" and "handshake" and came across my own Diary entry. In the Comments section there was a dsipute over whether I was right, in defending Roriguez against the charge that he had allegedly gotten Zach Reckman suspended by sending the Purdue-NIU game tape to the Conference. Two years later: I'm right. Again. And it keeps happening.
Yeah, the book is like a long-running party for me. More fun than Mardi Gras.
Yoop, I used to think you were dahblue's *little* buddy (along with raleighwood, of course). It now appears that, based on points, he is *your* little buddy. Congrats!
I have no idea what you are talking about.
How was RR's OL recruiting pathetic when Boren left? With O'Neill, Wermers and Khoury already recruited by the previous staff, RR added Omameh, Barnum and Mealer. I'd say his OL recruiting at the time was pretty good.
Also, let me tell you that RR didn't spend one second wishing he had Zach Boren on the team while he was in the middle of coaching a game. If you look at his record, you'll see that he has never spent a lot of scholarships on FBs.