As you mention, good coaches don't become dumb overnight. Yes, RR has issues he is to blame for, but the bottom line is what the Jimmys & Joes do. Maybe the Jimmys or Joes on defense are "his fault", but then the offensive players are his doing too. Let's hope, as you stated, he gets the time to show he can fix the defense.
The TWIS Razor
I can honestly say that, deep inside, I haven’t entertained the idea that Rich Rodriguez should be replaced this year. And, as you all know, Meeechigan Dan was routinely consulted by Bill Martin and, quite frankly, is on David Brandon’s speed dial. It’s a heavy responsibility that I shoulder for all of you.
Last year, firing RR occurred to me more than once during the slide because his offensive genius was theoretical. This year, it is fact. In September, I formally acknowledged this genius, and the lack thereof on the other side of the ball. Fortunately, for the rational, there is perspective…
One of my favorite features is This Week in Schadenfreude (TWIS). When any of my teams is winning big games/playoff series, I gluttonously partake in the ‘freude, trolling competitive sites, rarely commenting, but soaking in the complaints about officiating, lucky bounces and questionable coaching decisions like Thomas Covenent in Andelain. Let’s face it, the ‘freude is what it’s all about; it is “Little Brother” and 2-10-1; it is watching damefan1’s videos and was Manningham’s catch against Penn State; it is the coin in which fans are paid for their loyalty.
For schadenfreude to have gravitas, a team must dominate over time. Red Wings schadenfreude is classic example; the spitting hatred of the unwashed directed at a dynasty is a fine wine to be enjoyed. Conversely, is such a thing as Lions schadenfreude even possible? No.
MSU currently enjoys a certain cheap ‘freude, like a bad pool player who pockets the nine ball on a lucky combination; no one with a larger view of the contest expects the less-skilled player’s luck to hold up and his “Nyah, nyah, nyah!” will soon be forgotten, decorum will return, and order restored to the universe. On the other hand, OSU has become a stuffy commodities firm trading in an endless supply of Michigan schadenfreude by the container car, moving it from train depot to seaport to FedEx hub with a certain dry efficiency; all we can think about is that, being first to the buffet table of decade long dominance, we didn’t extract our proper, sustaining share of the ‘freude in the 90s and now it’s gone forever, to be quietly laughed at by any Buckeye fan hearing our plea.
I tip my hat to the author of TWIS for obvious reasons, but Mr. Cook deserves subtle credit for something more: TWIS emphatically argues that RR should be retained.
From the narrow view of a football fanatic, the stupidity of the coaching staff always seems like a reasonable proposition and the coaching change “fix” that is universally talked about in TWIS a GPS-equipped life raft floating off the bow of the Titanic. One fanbase’s coaching complaint appears to be justifiable rage and frustration. Collectively, the sameness of fans’ contempt for coaches that had been formerly praised is bipolar.
Look at the last dozen or so national champions:
Stoops, Meyer, Brown, Miles, Bowden, Fulmer, Carr and even Tressel. I don’t have the dedication to journey back to those championship years and catalog the glowing quotes describing the brilliance of Urban Meyer and Bob Stoops, the seasoned wisdom of Mack Brown and Bobby Bowden, the eclectic genius of Les Miles, but they exist. And while they have yet to lift the ugliest trophy in sports, we’ve all breathlessly heard about rising stars Brian Kelly, Greg Schiano. Mark Richt, Randy Edsall, Jeff Tedford and, yes, Rich Rodriguez. Glowing comments about brilliant coaches at the peak of their skills.
Urban can't be happy and he can't reload the spread option with a prostyle quarterback. He can't go prostyle with an offense built for the spread option with speed backs. He is stuck in a mediocre second tier hybrid offense. If Urban can't fix this, I expect he will leave. Does anyone see a solution for this year or next year?
This year’s performance is not just the worst job of coaching we have seen in the Mack Brown era, it is without any real question at all one of the very worst coaching jobs in modern football history. I can’t think of a single instance in which any coaching staff has done less with more talent or inherent program advantages than this staff has accomplished this season.
A combo here!
Is Les Miles a better college football coach than Bobn Stoops?
When Bob looks into the mirror tonight, he will see a glimpse of someone who quit
I hate you, Brian Kelly. I hate your fucking lesbian golfer visor. I hate your fucking offense that looks like Oregon’s offense on quaaludes and holds the ball for 2.5 minutes a game. I hate your fucking Dance of the Backup Quarterbacks playcalling system. I hate your fucking Baaaaaahston accent as you blame the players and get high on the smell of your own fucking farts.
(All quotes above taken from the TWIS weekly column.)
And more. From 30,000 feet, I gaze upon the sameness of serious football fans suggesting that once brilliant men have lost that brilliance and become Gerry Faust overnight. William of Occam might suggest that, if a successful coach remains the same and the players change, it’s the players that are responsible for the change in fortunes. Particularly when great players are replaced by young or less talented players.
About mid season, TWIS was a slap in the face for me, a realization that definitely proven coaching commodities do not become dumb overnight. Yes, perhaps there are structural reasons for hard times (the game passing you by [Bowden, Carr], personal issues [maybe Meyer], selecting bad DCs [RR], etc.) and those are fair game; RR’s fate ultimately hangs on his management of the defense, which is, I hope for my mgopoint total, ironic. But RR was a proven coach at WVU authoring one of the most revolutionary performances against Oklahoma, and he has duplicated that offensive success under duress at Michigan. Yes, his decision-making on defense concerns every one of us, but he is responsible for Jeff Casteel (not vise versa), and should have another two years to figure that out.
Gotta go. Brandon is calling.
My concern is not that RR became dumb overnight, but that he may have always had deficiencies handling the defensive side of the ball and that Jeff Casteel simply covered for them at WVU. Without Casteel, those deficiencies may have become more glaring.
Great players equals great teams...which equals wins, but I wanted to talk about pursuit angles, the family pet ...we love him and he can run you down in a heartbeat,
The funny part is we never taught him squat...just comes natural I guess.
Nice work as usual, I hope your post makes it to the jowls of Wojo in hopes of finding him an education.
Thanks for this. Fundamentally, a man is either a good coach who can win football games and build a successful program, or he's not. Stoops, Meyer, Brown, Miles and RR are - objectively - good football coaches who have proven their abilities to be successful. The criticism of these types of coaches says more about the fickleness of fans than it does about the coaches.
I still don't get it: RR won 40 games his last 4 years at WVU, but half the fanbase is ready to run him out of town because they feel entitled to perpetual, uninterrupted success. Nobody's entitled to anything. I've yet to hear anyone explain precisely how any other coach could have taken over this program in 2008 and made it into a top ten team by now. I've heard a lot of people declare the results since then "unacceptable" though. Whatever that means.
...a Michigan fan can have is one of entitlement
If there is an announcement Monday (wildly speculated), it will not be to fire the coach, It will be to announce a contract extension for RR and put an end to all this nonsense. If anyone has been listening to anything David Brandon has been saying this past year, it all points to retaining the coach.
I would welcome that announcement, as it could do nothing but show stability and help our recruiting.