Schiano. (I don't know; better than 12, less than 14.)
So, um, 13?
Purely a spec piece, be warned.
Caveats, biases and influences:
A. Brian and (until July) Tom Beaver were my sole sources of anything close to "inside" information from Schembechler hall. I don't know anybody in the program, or anything about Michigan football other than what I've seen on the field, gotten here or used to get at GBW.
B. I believe Bill Martin is a ridiculously successful businessman who has built a fortune and a fabulous resume by being a shrewd, winning decision maker.
C. I believe Lloyd Carr, after his announcement to retire, had three pieces of advice for Martin:
So, what if somebody other than Rich Rodriguez had been hired in January, 2008. (Doesn't seem that long ago, does it?) But, first, I have to set the field:
To the Carr postulate #1 above, Martin says, "thanks, Lloyd, I'll think about it."
To #2 and #3, he says, "I'll take your word for it, but I'll talk to both of them, thanks again."
So, he basically blows off English and DeBord because he knows that, no disrespect to Lloyd, this program needs to go in a decisively new direction.
He talks (or meets, we don't know) with Miles and finds him unattractive, confirming one, two or all of Lloyd's X, Y or Z, and dismisses Miles' candidacy outright. (The really loud story comes when somebody in the Michigan Man Grand Conspiracy Wing leaks misinformation to Desmond Howard and ESPN goes with "Les has been offered the job", when it's just not so. Bill is sailing because he couldn't give a fuck what's going on at ESPN WRT Les Miles and Michigan, and Miles has to look like a fool in honestly denying a story that's false; he's never been offered the job.)
Having crossed Miles off the list, Martin goes to Ferentz, with the influential assistance of Mary Sue Coleman. Ferentz says thanks but no thanks. Then he shops Schiano; same result. At this point we're all panicked because, uh, English or DeBord? There are a few more names thrown around, and then, Pat White's thumb hurts.
So, here are the viable 2008 candidates -- offered or about to be offered -- at the point Rodriguez came into play:
Unknown, and worse than any of the above
How would they have done/will they do? (Purely speculative numbers of wins; 2008/2009YTD/2009 remainder vs. RR = 3/3/*)
English (5/1/4=10). Defense would have been better both years if, for no other reason, continuity. Offense would have retained Debord/Mallett/Boren ("DeMoron" for short) and won a few more in 08 than RR. Bare cupboard and ponderously slow recruits would put the future in peril.
DeBord. (4/1/4=9). English would have left him. He'd be lost, as Martin knew; Mallett would break up DeMoron by transferring during or after the miserable 2008 season. Death and doom.
Ferentz. (6/2/4=12). A good coach who would have taken the bare cupboard and made the best. But, c'mon, it's a coach with no compelling reason for recruits to want to think about Michigan and the cupboard would still be bare.
Schiano. (I don't know; better than 12, less than 14.) I'll admit to running out of critical ammo here as I don't know anything about the guy other than he came up with ways to beat Rich occasionally. I think he would have been a good hire and I believe he was Martin's first choice.
But, I'm pretty sure Rich was the best choice, by happenstance or not. there's a huge difference between the man and his system. Barwis. Spread. Appalachian Stubbornness, total insensitivity to bad PR. Bo would have loved him and I, FWIW, do too.
And, the whole reason I was compelled to write this was... what if Pat White hadn't hurt his thumb?
* I say we win 6 more games this year for a regular season record of 9-3.
Schiano. (I don't know; better than 12, less than 14.)
So, um, 13?
Okie dokie. I have no idea what to say to this.
Didn't mean to write it this way:
there's a huge difference between the man and his system.
Meant to say there's a huge difference between Rich and the others WRT "the man and his system". FWIW.
but I love Paul Johnson's offense. I think Rodriquez was the better hire, but just to play along, I suspect that Johnson would have snake-oiled a dual threat QB last year and led them to some absurd rushing numbers.
The OL would still have been green, but Minor/Brown/McGuffie would have been dangerous, and highlight prone in the best way. Maybe 7-6 including a bowl loss, and much less upside in future years. A fun counterfactual, but I'm happy where we are now.
Or at least was rumored to be. Still prefer Rodriguez to everyone else
I read Tedford and Brian Kelly were both on the list at the time as well.
Regardless, I'm glad that a complete change was made. Big Ten teams (OSU) have shown the ability to win the conference and then lose on the national stage. The old-style B10 just isn't getting it done so we had to take a step back to take 2 or more forward.
I'm still hoping for 6-6 this year. Living in PA I've seen too many years of early optimism from playing cupcakes get blown up once the real schedule starts. Too many years of rationalizing how tough those cupcakes are and what it means to the current state of the team.
RR was the right choice although I think Tedford would have done positive things as well. Truth is we'll never know exactly who was considered and what may have happened.
Brady Hoke's name got tossed around at the time too, but he was viewed as a long, long, shot at landing the job. I can't even imagine how that would've turned out.
+1 for DeMoron. Thanks for the chuckle.
As interesting as this speculation is, the dramatic shift in philosophy and shell-shock from the '08 season really makes this debate difficult. I remember during the 2007 season watching some WVU games with my roommates and saying, "Dang, don't you wish we could see the option in the Big House?". Ironically, we've never used the "option" as we know it in NCAA-the-Video-Game actually.
The mindset last year was "Our offense is going to be terrible, our defense will keep us in the game." Half that statement was true. Assume Mallett stays and Minor/Brown are at full-strength, our "Pro-style" offense would at least work decently and perhaps if we had D-Coordinator that didn't experiment terribly (or kept Ron English), our defense would have helped us when 7-9 games last year.
If Pat White's thumb is fine and WVU goes on to win the National Championship, we would have a different coach that's not as EXCITING but it's wrong to say we'd be bad in 2009 or have bad recruits - they'd just be different. We're attracted to the high scoring, speediness of RR's offense, but you can still win games with a "pro-style" offense and a solid defensive scheme.
(I want to elaborate/speculate more but I should be avoiding senioritis)
Damn you have some serious writing skillz, I am jealous. I was kind of favoring the Wake and Mizzou coaches. RR was my first choice from afar, from the start.
candidate for M after he was implicated in advising his players to cover up a rape/sexual assault by someone on the team.
I read the details at the time and was pretty surprised at what went down and I think the University people wouldn't have him.
I thought that all came out well after we hired RichRod. It made me very happy that we hadn't hired Ferentz (though I was pretty happy already since he didn't impress me) but, unless there were undercurrents of it at the time, wouldn't have impacted the hiring decision.
The only other option that seems to have been viable was Les Miles.
The only difference at this point seems to be that last season might have been 6-6 or at best 7-5.
That may seem huge to many, but remember, the cycle had to be broken. The string had to be cut and the program had to hit rock bottom to truly break away from the slow death it would have eventually hit.
The old school slow, running and pass if we have to game is a dinosaur. Tressel ball and the "pro style" offense is losing ground every season to the spread and its many variations.
What schools have been at the top the last 5-10 years? Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, USC. They all run versions of the spread. USC has "pro style" QBs, they(QBs) don't run much, but 3 yards and a cloud of dust, they are not.
The current dominate programs in college football don't play field position or control ball. They score early and often and the Big Ten has proven to be behind the times.
Rich Rodriguez and PSU are changing that. Tressel, Wisco and Dantonio better get in line or get out of the way. It's coming.
Look at ND, without Tate, Floyd and the deep ball they have nothing.
I am also a Rodriguez fan, but I'm surprised that your projected win totals are so low in 2008 with a "continuity" choice. That choice might have kept Mallet, Arrington, Manningham (or at least one of them), Boren, Mitchell etc. in the fold, adding substantially to the talent level on the field.
While I think we made the right decision to move in a new direction, I'm also convinced that Toledo, Purdue, Northwestern and possibly MSU and/or Utah would have ended differently if we weren't so short-handed last year. Although Illinois wasn't close, I'm only convinced that Penn State and Ohio State were sure losses last year.
Again, change is tough and my point isn't to reject it for one season, but I think that Michigan on "cruise control" (with its normal allotment of talent) wins 6-7 games last season.
How many games do you think Miles would have won? I'm still convinced that if Rodriguez had been in the Nat'l Championship game rather than Miles public pressure would have forced Martin to offer Miles the job.
Anyone who doesn't completely rock the boat is guaranteed 6+ wins. I don't care how bad you are, Carr is coaching this team in spirit without RichRod totally overhauling everything. And Carr would never have missed a bowl game with his hand-picked players.
As you can see, I think we automatically have 6+ wins if Mallett, Arrington, and Manningham stay. Last year was all about the natural talent of the players on the field, not the coaches.
But no thank you, I'll take RichRod. This team is more fun than any team since 1997 or maybe 2006, and I say that while expecting them to lose 3-4 games.
Your assumptions are wrong and here is why:
1. Mustain left Arkansas to go to USC
2. Mallett wanted to transfer as soon as he got here
3. When Mustain left Mallett was always leaving no matter who said coach was
4. Everyone hated Mallett he was a monstrous douche
5. Arrington and Manningham are now in the same boat with no one to throw them the ball and thus one or both still leave
This is all an exercise of the mind and frankly it doesn't matter because you can say "Oh Mallett would have stayed" and I can say "No you're an idiot no he wouldn't" and while who knows who would have been right (I'll give you 90% me/10% you).
both of them were gone, IME. It doesn't matter who the coach was. Mallet wanted to be back in Arkansas and Manningham saw $$. I think it's safe to assume that Arrington and Boren would've stuck around if Miles, Schiano, Debord or Ferentz were hired. That said, I think the high water mark for last season was 6, MAYBE 7 wins and an Alamo or some other second-rate bowl. A sub-mediocre year by Michigan standards. Michigan fans would not have been happy either way.
As it is now, I'll take that rock bottom, humbling 2008 year with the new look Michigan.
Miles was offered the job and negotiations were very far along until things leaked before the SEC Championship game (I know this personally). FWIW, I love RR and sometimes things work out for the best just the way they work out (I think we are better with RR than Miles). But who knows who they would have hired if RR turned us down.
So English/DeBord would have lost to either Western or Eastern so far this season? They would be worse, but I don't think they would be THAT much worse.
the Illinois, PSU and OSU losses would have still happened and as a program we would be no further along.
I agree many of those that left might have stayed. All I am saying is the cycle had to be broken, and as painful as last season was, it could just be a blip on the radar and we could see this program rise to heights we have never seen before.
Just think what this will be like when all these freshman are juniors or seniors.
And remember Miles could be in trouble if he doesn't have a good season. He is no guarantee without great talent.
I would venture to say that Saban gets more out of his players than Miles does. But Meyer and Carroll are the best of the current coaches.
But, as you said, it was the right way for RR to go. One stat: 89 of the approximately 120 players this year are freshman and sophomores. However good the team is this year, imagine how good it will be the next couple of years.
Rich Rod's our coach?
I was pretty sure we got Sarkisian? THE KNOWLEDGE said it was a done deal, and I turned off my tv and internet for a while.
In all seriousness--no second thoughts here, I'm thrilled w/ RR--I don't think Sarkisian was mentioned as being seriously considered, but looks like he's doing impressive work at UW.
Also, I thought it was Herbstreit who leaked and ruined the deal? Was that just wishful thinking?
And the grand irony is we got a better coach. Thanks Kirk!!!
+1 for that avatar, sir
I agree with everybody else about the continuity pick. I think virtually any coach who runs something like a pro-style offense wins 8 or 9 games last year because half the team's starters don't jump ship without such a massive change coming. I think we beat Utah, Toledo, Notre Dame (7-6 last year!), Purdue, MSU, Northwestern. We were 1-4 in close games (7 points) and I bet we win every one of them with a defense that isn't throwing in the towel half way through the season and an offense with a couple more future NFL players on it.
I think Rich has a higher ceiling and I still think the future success will be worth the price of last season.
of this season have eradicated much of 2008 from my memory. Plain and simple, I LOVE this offense. It's dynamic, versatile, exciting and deadly for opposing defenses. I love the focus on team speed and the fact that every play is a threat to go the distance. RR is using the tight ends to perfection. Sure, the D is a bit of a work in progress but I know it's going to get much better over the next few seasons as top end defensive talent comes in from around the country.
RR was the best hire of the bunch. I firmly believed that from the day he was hired. But before he was hired, I questioned why Chris Petersen was never in the discussion. Yeah, I know, no B10 ties but the guy can flat out coach. Miles was the popular choice and I'm sure he would've done well here. Water under the bridge. Eyes to the future. Michigan will be elite again under RR.
I'm not sure what to make of Petersen, for the simple fact that every coach has won at Boise over the past 20 years or so. Their program seems to have more advantages than we think.
What I always wonder is where would Rodriguez be right now if it wasn't for that mistake in practice that essentially created the zone read? Obviously, he is a good coach, but without something to really differentiate himself from other coaches, would he have gone as far as he did? Would he still be toiling as a head coach at a D-II school, or maybe an OC for a mid-level program?
What is so special about Jim Tressel? He won a national championship with John Coopers recruits. Aside from winning games hes suppost to and never winning big games aka the 2 national championship losses hes just another coach that won when talent was put in his lap. Pete Carol is the same way. Do you really have to work hard to get people to come to USC? You could say to a kid hey it's 95 degrees all year and there are hot chicks all over the place, wanna come here? It's not that hard to get amazing athletes when your college in in California. Then he runs a pro style offense with no dynamics and wins a lot. So I go back to my point whats so special about them.
The amusing part about this statement is that an increasingly growing faction of Buckeye Nation is starting to agree with you. Listening to Sirius Rivals radio, I hear more and more OSU fans calling for Tressel's head as amazing as that is. You can argue that Tressel has done a poor job in coaching up Pryor so far, but to suggest the solution is to blow it up and find a new guy is just mind-boggling to me.
wins the big games, it's the hiccups on the road that pester him. You can say what you want about how easy it is to recruit to California but Coach Carroll is on his way to being the greatest coach USC has ever had. As for Coach Tressel, he might of won the NC with Coach Cooper's recruits, but would Coach Cooper have? I also think in terms of talent, these previous couple teams JT's has had would stack up well against the '02 team. JT has had his failures recently, but to fire him because he hasn't won the NC since '02? That's insanity.
I agree it is absolutely insane to be down on Tressel considering he is the winningest coach in TUOOS history by a long shot based on %, and he is by far the most dominant coach they have ever had against us. I know the stars have aligned poorly for us in a few of those aiding him, but never the less it sure sucks he is there.
That being said, Columbus is COWlumbus; TUOOS fans are TUOOS FANatics; and yes people are calling for his replacement now. If we beat them come November they better have plenty of extra Police and Fire on duty because they will probably set fire to cars and dumpsters in Tressel's yard...
The administration at TUOOS will never cave to pressure regarding Tressel from the fan base, I believe he is in contract through 2013 and if they did get rid of him noone with any pride or intelligence would touch that job with a 10 foot pole.
Tressel has done an excellent job for them. It's unrealistic to imagine that winning NC's is the only criterion for evaluating coaches. (How many schools have had a chance at 3 NC's let alone win 1 in the last 10 years? a. not many).
If NC's were the only measuring stick, almost all would be failures. OSU fans should be happy to have him and stop complaining so much.
Most schools would love to have a coach like Tressel.
That is why it is absolutely ridiculous that ppl in Columbus are calling for his head on a platter. I've lived in Columbus for years and the only thing the fickle fans have done for me is solidify my loyalties elsewhere.
It is a sad state of affairs that they are mad about losing to more often than not to more talented teams. If he wasnt dominating the Big Ten, that would be another issue considering that TUOOS traditionally out recruits the conference except for the occasional year that we or Penn St do well. I know there have been years recently where we were ranked higher than OSU, but that often comes to quantity of good for UM versus a handful of top notch each year for them. And to add insult to injury we have had more than our fair share of highly regarded players either transfer out or wash out.
If you are down on Tressel and Carroll, who would you say is 'special'? Is there any coach out there that is?
Was it John Wooden who said,"the best coach is the one with the best players?"
Btw, you are absolutely correct on the warm weather and hot chicks part for SC.
and it wasn't so much a dig at them as it's meant for you to consider a different coach in either gig.
In other words, is it really, really, really that hard to picture Brian Kelly (Cincy), Gary Pinkel (Mizzou), Chris Petersen (Boise) or even Jim Leavitt (USF) having similar success at either USC or tUoOS?
Those are just a few coaches off the top of my head, but there are quite a few more really solid coaches of smaller programs and top 40 schools that you could throw in the mix for comparison's sake.
"What's so special about..?" In other words, could other coaches come in and do similar things with those schools? I kinda thought this was a rhetorical question myself and am surprised people are jumping all over it like it's blasphemous.
Pete Carol is the same way. Do you really have to work hard to get people to come to USC? You could say to a kid hey it's 95 degrees all year and there are hot chicks all over the place, wanna come here? It's not that hard to get amazing athletes when your college in in California. Then he runs a pro style offense with no dynamics and wins a lot. So I go back to my point whats so special about them.
If Carroll's nothing special, why has he done much, much better than his predecessors at SC? They were a .500 program when he arrived.
Seriously these are the most stupid posts in the whole world. They are complete speculation and have no bearing on anything. No offense to the OP but reading this is a complete waste of type and writing it is the same.
You have NO IDEA what would have happened, who would have stayed, who would have left, and then ultimately how the team would have done with any of these coaches.
RR is our coach, let's give up this "what if what if what if" scenarios. WHO GIVES A SHIT
I'm sometimes in the same boat...it improves absolutely no one's life to look at the past and say "what if?"
But the reason I read posts like this is because that's part of why we blog. You'd be lying to yourself if you've never looked in the mirror and wondered how your life would feel different if Hart, Henne and Co. beat tOSU just once, even once. You'll never find an article like this in the Free Press or on ESPN.com - that's what makes it refreshingly different and why the mainstream press hates people like Brian.
Only on a blog can we ask questions like:
What if Crable didn't get flagged in 06?
What would we be like right now with Newsome or Beaver?
What if Ecker tosses the ball back to Steve in 2005?
What if Schiano was coach right now?
What if Charlie Weiss had ate 13,000 less chocolate bars as a teen?
Are they productive? Hell no, I've got a dozen TPS report to file by noon.
Are they fun to read about and lead to interesting discussions? HELL YES and I'm all for them!
I wish I had a little "100-point button" for your post.
....this board is populated with FANS. Fans love to speculate about and discuss their favorite teams. So, I am guessing the answer to your question is that a lot of people here "give a shit."
Schiano sports a gaudy GOOSE EGG vs Rodriguez. WVU beat Rutgers 8 times from 2000 to 2007. By an average score of 40-17.
If Schiano had been hired, my head would have exploded.
I'm from the crowd that never contemplated Rodriguez because of the Alabama thing. Thought he was at WVU for life.
I can honestly say that no one else out there except Miles was even on my radar.
There was a very strong Chimp Mafia back then.
The premise of the Rodriguez hire, as I understand it, was that Michigan needed to get tough again. What needed to be banished was not the pro-style offense, but the lackadaisical philosophy that made it possible to lose to Appalachian State.
Now, it so happens that when Martin hired Rodriguez, he was hiring the spread. You don't get one without the other. And unfortunately that led to an extremely difficult offensive transition. Martin could have hired a coach whose offense was more similar to Carr's. Ryan Mallett would have stayed, and most likely the 2008 team would have been better than 3-9. That's about the only thing you can say for sure. Beyond that, it's really impossible to say, not to mention pointless.
Obviously no one was happy about 3-9, but 2008 figured to be a rebuilding year even if Carr had stayed. Yeah, the record would probably have been better under a coach who ran a pro-style offense, but the Rodriguez hire wasn't about the 2008 record. It was about making Michigan football tough again.
I think that you're one of the few who actually gets it. The hire wasn't about RR (or the spread), it was about attitude. Miles has it, Schiano has it, RR has it.
DeBord (bad record as HC), English (no experience as HC) and Brady Hoke (meh experience as HC) were all too closely tied to the old regime.
Pat White hurt his thumb, RR lost to Pitt, and the wheels were in motion to land him at UM. Had that not happened, WVU would have been in the MNC game and Les Miles would very likely be at Michigan today (just my personal hunch).
... you have basically nothing to say about the most likely candidate (Schiano). Unlike the other candidate, he had a (what ended up being) very public negotiation with Michigan. He had a better track record than English, DeBord, and Ferentz, and he is a lot younger than Rodriguez. It would've been interesting to have an intelligent discourse on how different the team would be with him at the helm.
Okay, please don't neg me I am just wondering if anyone knows what actually happened with the whole Les Miles thing? I remember Herbstriet leaking the story and the whole thing falling apart. Is this why it fell apart or were there other things going on behind the scenes? Is the basic consensus that Herbstriet leaked the story because he is an OSU alum and wanted to screw us? I remember being kind of disappointed in Herby because I met him once and despite being an OSU alum he was pretty cool. Anyway, I hate to think what would have happened if RR had turned us down. Brian Kelly was also mentioned but I read somewhere that Carr didn't like him either. Again, I don't know if this is true or not. I agree with AMazinBlue that the cycle had to be broken. I knew last year would be bad, but it had to be because RR needed to bring in players to fit his system. I know that someone else mentioned this but I hated Mallet's attitude and he didn't seem to be well liked on the team anyway. So I didn't see him leaving as that big of a deal. I have loved seeing the offense actually work this season. Of course we have all seen that the defense is not great, but with GERG here hopefully Michigan can bring in some great recruits on defense. RR's teams at WVU didn't seem to emphasize defense but I think GERG was a great hire and I think he can help land some good talent on that side of the ball. The team is very young so we could see even more progress on offense this season.
And the whole thing falls apart? The story was bogus. Miles was never getting the job. He struck out with Martin.
.....it doesn't matter who the coach was. Mallett was homesick and getting pressure from his parents. The QB job was opening up on what passes for his "home" team. Mallett was looking for any excuse to leave and RR was the most convenient one.
As for keeping Justin Boren, it's obvious that there was preferential treatment for certain players under Carr's watch, and that always, and I mean ALWAYS, erodes the mentality of a team, especially if the person getting preferential treatment gets it because of his Dad's accomplishments and not his own.
UM is better off without Justin Boren, because his presence indicates that treatment on any team with which he plays is not based on merit or equality. Columbus is now Barton Hills Country Club South.
I posted this a couple of days ago but it might be worth repeating. The cupboard was not bare when Lloyd Carr left (although we've seen that it's a bit thin at LB).
Here's a look at the projected offensive starting line-up with players that Carr left behind (ratings by Scout):
QB - Mallet 5 Star Junior
RB - Brown 4 Star Senior
RB - Minor 4 Star Senior
WR - Mathews 3 Star Senior
WR - Hemingway 4 Star RS Sophomore
WR - Stonum 4 Star Sophomore
TE - Webb 4 Star Junior
OL - Boren 5 Star Senior
OL - Schilling 5 Star RS Junior
OL - Ortmann 3 Star RS Senior
OL - Moosman 4 Star RS Senior
OL - Molk 4 Star RS Sophomore
I'd suggest that this line-up (all Carr recruits) matches up well with any other team in the country in terms of quality and experience.