...though I'd add UConn, too. We've got to get off to a good start.
Angelique says MSU is the one must win game next season
I don't believe any single game is a "must win", its more about the overall record at the end of the season.
That being said, I think the MSU game is definitely the most important of our rivalry games next season.
1) We have three rivalry games
2) We beat ND last year.
3) True or not, we're not at the same level as OSU yet
4) Losing three in a row, particularly two of them at home to State is simply not fathomable to most fans.
PLUS, OSU and ND are road games.
I happen to agree with her. Granted a 1-11 record will not be a good thing, of the three rivalry games it probably looms largest unless somehow OSU falls back to earth and even if we did go 8-4 or 7-5, adding a win over MSU (and any against ND and/or OSU) makes the magnitude of those W's greater. Could you really call a 7-5 season with losses to all three rivals a success???
Eventually the system will either work or not work with RichRod. Based on the spring practice I am hoping for the former but, end of the day, there comes a time when you have to start winning road games that matter.
I think it depends on how you look at it - if you're looking at it from Rich Rod's shoes, a mediocre record (read: 6-6, 7-5) but a win to end the season and break the losing streak to OSU is probably the most important thing to keeping your job.
A .500 record but a win over osu in their house would buy another few years IMO.
Must have been a slow news week on the racing circuit for her to find time to wrtie about Michigan football. As is the case with the vast majority of her stuff, it's all conjecture and no news.
Do you not read Angelique too often? She is one of the best MSM reporters these days. She writes about Michigan often and is usually spot on.
Not to mention that it's the offseason and she had no obligation to write an article on us today.
"maybe it's the perception held by some that Michigan has lost to MSU its foothold in in-state recruiting"
she didnt say she thinks we've been outrecruited in the state, but that its the perception by some (mainly by those in the MSM).
so I do not know the full context. Having said that, when you repeat something (i.e., being out recruited), but don't argue against it, then it is the same thing as arguing for it. If a falsehood is repeated often enough then it tends to become accepted as fact.
There have been a fair share of elite football players from Michigan that we have lost out on in the last 5 years. Yes, we can get good football players from Florida and Ohio and other states but they're usually the players that haven't received offers from Ohio State and Florida (players like Turner are the exception). It's easier to get the truly elite players from within your own state. So yes, I agree with her and would like to have RoJo, Nick Perry, Gholston, LT, Arnett, etc. excited to play for Michigan.
A lot of the players we get from out of state have offers from their major in-state programs. Dorsey and Denard both had Florida offers (Ricardo as well), Vlad, Turner, Koger, and Cullen Christian had offers from OSU, Odoms had a Miami (YTM) offer (in addition to Tennessee, ND and Auburn, Marvin Robinson had offers from USC, Florida and OSU, Richard Ash had an offer from USC, we know DG had an offer from OSU because h e burned it (!) in addition to his ND offer among others, LaLota had offers from Florida, FSU, ND and PSU, Roh has an offer from USC, Schofield had an offer from ND, JStokes had offers from Tenn, Florida, Oklahoma, UGA and PSU, Barnum had offers from Florida and UGA, and Michael Shaw had offers from Tennessee and Penn State.
This list is not exhaustive I'm sure, but these are all kids RR recruited from out of state (I threw in DG) with major offers.
We DO NOT mop up with other school's rejects. Sure, not every kid in our recruiting classes is the most sought after prospect. "Kids like Turner" make up about half the out of state kids we recruit. Some of the others are simply due to the fact that we recruit a slightly different type kid and a handful of positions. Sure, Florida didn't offer Vincent Smith and Texas didn't offer Stephen Hopkins, but these are still players that will fit well and contribute in our offense.
I thought we were over the RichRod can't recruit theme of November/December and the early part of January. It is analysis like your own that mediates the annoyance of the 3 star mafia.
Gracias, CFC. Off the top of my head, I missed OL guys like Pace, QWash and Lewan who all could have played at big time programs and still chose us, as well as one of the most obvious ones, Tate Forcier, who could have played almost anywhere, including Florida.
Roh and Lalota were both high on the board for Weis not to mention Gardner from this past cycle. Odoms was the only kid from Pahokee to get a ND offer in the past few years that I know of so that probably says a few things about how Weis saw him.
If MSU is a must win, then I really take issue with ND not also being one. If we can't beatKelly in his first year as a head coach with a new quarterback, a new offensive line, and a defense that was one of the worst in the country last year, then we have problems.
but ND is a road game and (1) our road record in general the last two years isn't pretty regardless of the competition and (2) historically regardless of who we have coaching or playing, we haven't fared well at ND.
ah, the memories...
Michigan could have a successful season with anything short of a 5-0 start. Really, it's the first two that are at issue. It would be pretty hard to listen to the press go on and on about how first-year Kelly beat 3rd-year RR. It's an important game for a variety of reasons.
but in my opinion, we especially need to get off to a strong start against UConn. RichRod owned them while in the Big East, and needs to show that he still does. Besides, if we win that game, we are likely 4-0 going into conference play.
^^^^^ This is a must read comment!!
If we lose to MSU, for the 3rd year in a row, and at HOME...he either needs to win vs. OSU, or win his other 10 games. Because I'm not sure 9-3 will go off that well with the 3rd straight loss to MSU and OSU (I know it's more, but I'm not going to blame him for ones he wasn't here for). And it's worse if the 3rd loss is to ND or PSU. 9 wins, losing to the big 3 rivals? It might still be pretty ugly.
But that's assuming we win 9. Win one of the two or 2 of the 3, and get 8 wins, and he's probably solid. 6, 7, or 8 with loses to those 2....? Man, I don't want to think about it....
Thankfully, David Brandon has repeatedly said he wants to see progress, rather than saying that OMG RICH ROD NEEDS TO WIN X AMOUNT OF GAMES TO SAVE HIS JOB.
And, FWIW, 9-3 is good enough for me. I could give two shits how Michigan gets it done.
Funny, then, that you're putting a number on it. If 9 is good enough for you, then there IS a number. And if Brandon IS doing it by seeing progress...maybe he might not see losing to our rivals for a 3rd year in a row as "progress". There are so many factors in it. How many, vs. who, by how much, and the perception it creates. By a literally interpretation of "progress", we could go 6-7, and that would be progress. I'm not sure I like the Vegas odds of continuation Rich's employment if that were to occur.
The article's about what game does Rich MOST need to win. Not how many. And it's natural to assume that if you lose your most important games, you have to win more of the total amount of games you play. (Likewise, if we beats Notre Dame, OSU, and MSU, and just wins 4 other games, I'm guessing he's still pretty safe).
Angelique is probably the only MSM writer left in the entire market that we can trust to be fair, honest, and accurate when writing about UM. Consequently, I am willing to trust her judgement here. I don't see her or any of us being disappointed, though; I see this game as one that UM should win quite handily.
I think Saint Dantonio still has the MSM overrating MSU, and that Michigan should expose them for the impostors they are this fall. And it will be a pleasure to watch.
Have you ever posted on this site without once mentioning Michigan State or Mark Dantonio?
Seriously, your paranoia about Michigan State is pathetic.
What did he say that is so paranoid? Maybe I am missing something.
This is a thread about the MSU game bro, which I think makes talking about MSU acceptable. Maybe that's just me though.
at some point RichRod will have to "unleash hell" or we'll know this thing hasn't worked out. Simple as that.
I agree with the St. Mark comments and that the media fawning over his lack of institutional control with his group of thugs is not just alarming, it's shameful.
I would argue that ND is a bigger must-win than MSU. If Rodriguez can't beat ND in a huge rebuilding year with a new system, then we have no chance in the Big Ten.
As much as beating MSU is a big deal, this team needs to beat ND and at least look competitive against OSU and Wisconsin.
im gonna play devils advocate and say Notre Dame.
i dont care what happens, MSU will never be shit compared to Michigan. i dont care if they win 3 straight. long term, Michigan will pummel MSU and rightfully so. believe me, i want to see M beat the Spartans as much as anyone else this year, but their day is coming sooner or later.
the positives of beating ND are obvious. on the other hand, imagine the perception of RR and UM if they do lose to the Irish. imagine the love fest espn will have with ND if they get a big early win vs Michigan. i can see the headlines now. "Brian Kelly, savior of ND". "Irish upset favored UM, RR departure imminent".
Dantonio wants MSU to Michigan's big game. if that happens, then there is no way Michigan can hope to compete vs the top dogs OSU and ND.
Dantonio wants MSU to Michigan's big game. if that happens, then there is no way Michigan can hope to compete vs the top dogs OSU and ND.what exactly makes ND a top dog? ND is in the same tier that UM and MSU have been in over the past few years: mediocre.
I don't know that any game, other than OSU, is more important than any other game. I would never give any Spartan fan the satisfaction of thinking they are a big game on our schedule. If MSU is a big game for Michigan, then Western is a big game for MSU.
Speaking of MSU, has anyone seen their OOC schedule??? Western, Florida Atlantic, Northern Colorado and ND. Can we not count 1-AA schools towards bowl eligibility now please?
I think MSU is the last "I-A" team to play a "I-AA' team. Maybe they're making up for lost time.
yes. i still call 1-AA teams 1-AA.
I don't mind. I was just trying to prevent the for sure coming post that was coming that "dude, they're not called double AA teams anymore". If I had really had a problem with it, I would just say it. The old un-PC version was a lot more logical...the new way is unwieldy.
I do not believe RR will place a clock in the locker room counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds to kick off like numb nuts did up in East Lansing three years ago.
I live in Lansing and am surrounded by spartans daily.
So.... in conclusion, MSU is a must win.
We really, really need to beat Notre Dame this year. The fans around here are mostly arrogant pains in the ass when they're LOSING (with MGoPoster Irish being one of the few exceptions, of course)... a win over Michigan will make my life impossible.
Irish would go crazy on the boards here...I can't imagine it. Maybe *all* the games really are must win.
Western was supposed to be better than they turned out to be, and we hadn't sen Tate yet.
If we end 11-1 with a loss to MSU, people will not be calling for RichRod's head.
If we end 1-11 with a win against MSU, people will be calling for RichRod's head.
Hell, we can finish the season 9-3 without a rivalry win and he'll be here next year.
we seriously need to beat down Misdemeanor State this year. I'm talking 2002 style. If we lose 3 years in a row, do you honestly think any Spartan fans will let us live that down for the rest of our lives? My uncle continues to post on facebook how long it's been since Michigan has beaten Michigan State in football or basketball. Of course, I bring up hockey in this instance.
Spartan fans like to think that they are relevant, that they are of national significance, and that they are the most wanted opponent on everyone's schedules. Nothing would delight me more than to give them the worst shellacking in 10 years and then NOT TALK ABOUT IT. Treat them like a (non-Toledo) MAC team.
The trash-talking and the jackassery level of Sparty raged out of control enough after last year's nailbiter, and I may have to get a new phone if we lose again. This is the year when we say "Yeah, I'm still your big brother." As I've posted before, I don't condone arrogance of any kind, but acting arrogant solely for the purpose of making yourself appear more significant than you actually are is the worst, and Sparty is more guilty of that than any other school I know.
8 wins. That's all I care about. If RR makes that number than he should keep his job. Would 8 wins mean a win against MSU? Well more than likely yes.
iF we start off the year well and get back on track that is more important. Also as was said above the hell that we'll have to endure if Kelly beats Michigan in his first year with a brand new spiffy spread offense and tons of freshman/underclassmen players and a terrible defense will put more pressure on RR with people saying "WHY COULDN'T RR do it".
IMO EVERY game is as important as the next game this year. We aren't good enough to look past any teams on our schedule next year but we are good enough to win every game. (Not that we will win every game just that there is not a game where we have no chance in).
So in sum:
1st most important game: UConn
Just have to take it one game at a time.
Ohio State is the 12th and least important game (unless we make a bowl game, in which case the bowl game would be last).
I question any system that reaches that result.
if UofM loses to any of the following in 2010:
UConn - Mediocre Big East team (worst BCS conference); home opener in newly renovated Big House.
UMass- FCS opponent.
Bowling Green - MAC opponent.
Indiana- Horrible Big 10 opponent.
MSU- Mediocre Big 10 opponent and we have already lost 2 in a row to these chumps.
Illinois- Bad Big 10 opponent and we have already lost 2 in a row to these chumps.
Purdue- See Illinois.
So, I basically need to see at least 7 wins from RR next season, or he will be dead to me and I will just be counting the days until we get a new coach.
Question: Why am I getting a new paragraph every time I press the <Enter> key in this new editor? Is there a setting I can change somewhere?
UConn is not mediocre. If they don't make the top 25 in the preseason polls, they won't be too far out of it. They'll be good and it'll be a tough game.
I know UConn is getting a little "love" in the media as a possible Big East contender for 2010, but what does that really mean?
UConn went 8-5 in 2009 with the following wins:
Ohio U. - MAC team
Baylor - Terrible Big 12 team (and their stud QB did not play)
Rhode Island - FCS team
Louisville - Terrible Big East team
Notre Dame - Mediocre BCS team
Syracuse - Terrible Big East team
South Florida - Decent Big East team
South Carolina - Decent SEC team
That is three decent wins (ND, South Florida and South Carolina) and 5 "meh" wins for UConn last season. They are not really that good IMO. If UofM has made the necessary progress for RR to keep his job in year 3, this SHOULD be a comfortable win for UofM.
has a bunch of starters back this year (too lazy to look it up) so should be improved from last year. Not a sure win by any means
I merely stated that I will be upset if UofM does not win. Can you honestly say you won't be very disappointed if UofM loses the home opener to a Big East opponent that wouldn't have even elicited the slightest concern 5 years ago?
UofM will have a lot of starters back in 2010 as well (16 of the 22 regulars IIRC), and our QB's were true frosh last year (I am pretty sure UConn's were not), so we should expect greater improvement from our QB's than UConn can expect from theirs.
Home opener against a not-better-than-decent BCS opponent should equal win for UofM.
a decent number of starters, but they've lost all their clutch guys except their running back. They have a big, experienced O-Line and a good back, so run defense will be tested. They had one ridiculous receiver last year, but he's in the NFL now. Their defense sucked something awful last year and looks to continue sucking awful things this year. They lost to North Carolina with both scores under 20 points, but had to outshoot a few other teams, so inconsistency seems probable. They have two QBs, one is more experienced, the other is more productive, but Tate put up waaaay better numbers than either one last year. A must-win for sure, but I think they're being overrated.
i won't actually do it, but i think it would be worthwhile to list out michigan's 8 wins from the past TWO years and see which of those teams strikes fear into your heart.
That would pretty much make UM medicore too wouldn't it? Who'd UM beat last year?
WMU - MAC Team
ND - mediocre BCS team
EMU - MAC team
IU - bad big ten team
Baby Seal U - FCS team
Let it be known; RichRod is officially on notice.
I find it disturbing that you feel the need to post a snarky reply to a post in which I said I expect 7 wins...let me repeat that, I only expect 7 wins. By normal UofM standards that would be a bad season. Remember when Brian used to refer to the 2005 season, when we went 7-5, as the Year of Infinite Pain?
I am saddened that many UofM fans have already adopted the "Culture of the Loser" in which it is O.K. to only win 7 games in a season and view that as "progress". We are getting dangerously close to MSU territory here..
Obviously, I have no say in RR's future as UofM's head coach, but, yes, If UofM does not win all of the games I listed in my original post, I will be EAGERLY anticipating the hiring of UofM's new head coach. Three years is plenty of time to field a mediocre team at UofM.
Losing is a disease and we are starting to look terminal.
I wasn't trying to be snarky. But I'm getting there pretty quickly.
I am saddened that many UofM fans have already adopted the "Culture of the Loser" in which it is O.K. to only win 7 games in a season and view that as "progress".
Going from 5-7 to 7-5 would be progress. It may not be the rate of progress we should hope for, but it is progress. While it might sadden you that some fans are willing to accept it, it beats the alternative of entering the Notre Dame mindset that winning should simply happen because of who we are, and because of who we were in the past.
Do I want to see MIchigan win 11 games next year? You bet your ass. Do I think it's going to happen simply because I think it's where we should be in year 3? Absolutely not.
Michigan is down. That much is undeniable. But demanding that the state of the program change immediately is the fan equivelent of tilting at windmills. Blanket statements that losing any of your chosen seven games will result in the coach being "dead to you" is Quixotic at best, and counterproductive at worst.
I get that Michigan has been down and this is undeniable; however, at a certain point I expect that RichRod has to drop the hammer and unleash Tate/Dilithium along with the rest of his developing players. These guys have to get better and it *should* happen in year 3 (if even based on last year's development plus spring game observation etc.).
I agree choosing some seven random games as so important is counterproductive. This said, I will say it here and now that this team wins a minimum of 8 games this year (Raback that and quote me in December) so we will have some less of this sort of comment next year.
Minimum of 8 games with our defense?
The defense has been in shambles the last two years. I'm not expecting them to be that good this yer.
I think the people who say 7 wins aren't accepting mediocrity. They're just trying to be realistic. I'd love to see UM 9 or 10 games, but I see a team whose defense has been awful the last 2 years. They'll have 2 guys in the secondary who will have almost no experience playing on saturdays at the collegiate level and an LB core that is a huge question mark. They'll also still be quite young at a number of offensive positions.
I definitely want to see some progress this year and would like to see RR get a 4th year, but imo, if it doesn't come together in year 3, it better in year 4. In year 4 UM should have loads of experience at most positions on both sides of the ball.
We are not embracing a culture of losing. I have stated this in response to a similar post a while back. Most, if not all of us here know what RR is capable of, and believe he will do it here. 7 (or 6 depending on whom you ask) seems to be the water mark in terms of how many wins he needs to see another season, and avert a disatrous situation. I personally believe he deserves alll four, and if it things don't improve, then the brass reserves the right to look elsewhere. I am not happy with 7 wins, I'm expectiing at least 7 wins; there's a difference. That will get this team to a bowl game, which will give them extra practice time, and a win will provide good momentum going into the spring. Then we will have a 2011 team full of well seasoned players that will kick ass and not take names later.
I hear what your'e sayin; In the PreRod days this schedule would be 9 wins in a worst case scenario. Let's hope RR can coax 9 wins out of this schedule.
only 7 wins?
Honestly, I was overjoyed when Carr retired because I felt he had been holding the program back for the past 5 years. I guess it is a perfect example of "Be careful of what you wish for", because we are, apparently, far removed from the days when we can expect 9+ wins per season and I, for one, am pretty p*ssed about that.
We have to beat MSU. I simply could not stand to look at Dantonio if we lose 3 straight (I can't stand looking at him now, but you know what I mean). He is one of the most overrated coaches.
is to stop their yacking. They are the only team that beats UM and jumps to " we won a NC" or for that matter "... a Big 11 championship" level of hype. When they beat nationally racked teams consistently I'll slightly notice. Until then, I expects 6-7 win seasons. Heck they avoid the top teams every year. No Ohio St again ???.
I view game equally and expect UM to win. That being said, some victories are sweeter than others. I'll start with games 1 and 2 to get the machine rolling. Go Blue !!!
I think every big ten team has 2 teams they play every year. For UM it is sparty and osu. PSU rotates off the schedule - unfortunately, the most recent time that happened PSU wasn't that good. For OSU I believe it's PSU and UM.
2002 - Iowa and OSU both went 8-0 in the big ten.
1998 - when Wisky went to the rose bowl, OSU/Wisky/UM all finished 7-1. Wisky and OSU didn't play each other. I could be wrong but I don't think Wisky played OSU in 1993 when they went to the rose bowl (and OSU finished something like 10-1-1).
They rotate teams every two years. So once again this year UM will not play Minny or NU.
implicit in her article is what a loss to msu would mean. in other words, if we cant beat a middling big ten team at home, that may spell doom for the rest of the big 10 season. seeing as how msu is our second conference game (after indiana) the momentum from a win (or conversely a loss) could shape the rest of our season.
I agree with many of the comments already written about Angelique. I generally respect her work, and she has been fairly objective during this maelstrom that has been the RR era. (Here it comes) BUT, this whole idea of a "must win" game to save RR is pap and pablum on the order of what we see from the rag which is the other home newspaper in Detroit. A "must win" game is the kind of game that the Wings faced against Phoenix in game 7.
Bottom line is that we need to let Mr. Brandon decide the criteria under which RR continues as the football coach of Michigan. Not Angelique, un-named sources, former football players, or other media "experts."
If M loses to ND, MSU and OSU (I really hate the idea myself), but wins enough games to make a bowl, we should all be happy because we will not have to endure another transition. We should be trying to avoid this like the plague. If you are excited about changing coaches, see ND and how well that has worked for them.
I like Angelique but this seems like one of those pieces written to fill some space. The MSU game is big but I don't think RR's future hangs on that one or any other. We just need to win, which we will.
With a little more experience we would have beaten sparty last year and we will be better this time around. Personally I think the UConn game will be tougher but we should win both.
Angelique is pretty much wasting print with this article. There is no such thing as a must-win game. This is why print media will be toast soon enough. If you want to talk Michigan year around, talk recruiting, not BS like this.
In so far as Rich keeping his job, it is more important that his finishes the season well. If we start 5-1 and finish like last year... enough said.
My must win is against ND, b/c we must maintain supremacy over them. The 2nd must win is anyone playing Texas b/c they are not far behind.
I bet a co-worker Friday that the Wolverines would win by two touchdowns this year. Based on information gathered solely from MGoBlog, I am very comfortable with this wager.
It is true that all analysis accrued from the blogosphere is worthy of providing wagering guidance.
Congratulations on your now being trusted.
"Unacceptable"? I counted at least three in her column.
C'mon, Angelique. This one reads like you mailed it in....