RR didn't coach that game, did he? Granted he did assemble the team, but technically that game isn't even on his record. I'd give him a lot more praise for beating UGa than OU, considering he actually beat UGa as the head coach, and did the bowl game preparation.
CC - Mortensen Harbaugh Rumor
WVU only scored 9 points that game because Pat White didn't finish the game. Unlike at WVU, we can attract a 3 deep at quarterback that are all worthy of starting as underclassmen. Let's win the bowl game before we talk about 2011, who will start at QB next year. However, as a Rich Rod supporter, I like the presumptive nature of your statement that there will be a 2011 to determine his fate. Obviously, another mediocre season (i.e.7-8 wins with no wins against the big ten elite) and no amount of optimism can save him.
......of contention with your post.
1. Oklahoma is 2-5 in BCS bowls, with one of those wins a title game win and 3 of the losses were in the title game. Out of seven BCS bowls, four were MNC games.
2. You state, "The level of competition at the top of the BT is significantly greater than in the BE." That is true, but then one has to consider the fact that the athletes RR is recruiting here at UM are significantly greater than those he had at WVU. Given that it has taken nearly three years to get his athletes to the top of the depth charts for most positions on the offense, and that another year will bring nearly all positions on O starting "his" guys, one could/should overlook at least the first year RR was here as any indication of how his teams will compete in the future. He isn't using WVU type players here at UM. If he were, then your statement would have merit for arguing against RR and his offense. Being that he is using better caliber players than he did at WVU makes your statement a moot point in the argument of whether or not RR can win in the B10.
3. He has shown that "his style" can work here. Even with the big losses this year, the team still moved the ball at will almost against what some consider very good defensive teams. Once turnovers and stupid penalties are reduced(a product of experience, of which his team's here haven't had much of), those yards will turn into points that should change how competitive we are with the top of the B10.
He was getting 10-11 win seasons at WVU and winning BCS bowls? FWIW, Michigan is 1-4 in BCS bowl games, the lone victory coming becaust 'Bama missed a PAT in OT in the 2000 Orange Bowl.
Rich Rod's Mountaineers were 2-0 in BCS bowls, and a touchdown away from the national title game.
When he coached at Glenville State in the mid 90's, he brought them their first conference championship (WVIAC) since the 50s and also got them to the NAIA national championship game.
Also, WVU had the nation's 7th best defense and 14th best passing defense in 2007 under Rodriguez and Casteel.
So, yeah, I think there's sufficient evidence to show that he can do alright.
We all know how bad the Big East is--especially after Miami and BC left. It is one thing to beat Rutgers or Cincinnati, it is quite another to beat Ohio State or Penn State. Big difference in athleticism and depth of talent between those schools.\
One year in 7 years is nopt a good statistic to use. What was happening in the other 6 years? In a power conference like the Big Ten, defense matters. That is not so in the Big East which is closer to the MAC than the Big Ten in terms of fan support, tradition, and the athletes those schools get.
That said, he did win alot at that level and he deserves the plaudits that come with it. My point is that he has yet to show that he can have that level of success here at UM.
Rodriguez went 3-8, 9-4, 8-5, 8-4, 11-1, 11-2, and 11-2, and won bowl games over Georgia, Georgia Tech and Oklahoma. BTW, before Va Tech left, Rodriguez's team beat #3 Virginia Tech 28-7 in 2003 (and lost to #2 Miami by 2 points).
I don't think you understand how coaching hires work. Tressel was going well at Youngstown State beating teams that Ohio State would pummel, and things are working out for him well down south. It seems to me you would suggest that hiring Tressel might have been a bad idea because the talent level his school was playing against was far inferior to Ohio State's level.
You [usually] hire up, coaches that show consistent success in their conference -- whether it is lower or not. For example, WVU wouldn't have hired Rodriguez right after his graduate work. He needed to work his way up (Coordinator at Tulane, Clemson, head coach at Glenville State, etc.)
He won at every other level he has coached, so there's no reason to think he can't do it. I will agree with you that he hasn't yet done it.
Also, convenient how you forgot about WVU's 2 BCS wins, coming within a TD (and/or injury) of the national championship game, their consistent Top 5 ranking,
Since you asked...
In 2001, WVU's defense ranked 40th overall, 1st in pass defense, 8th in pass eff. defense, and 104th in rush defense
In 2002, WVU's defense ranked 33rd overall, 55th in pass defense, 30th in rush defense
In 2003, WVU's defense ranked 74th overall, 104th in pass defense, 34th in rush defense
In 2004, WVU's defense ranked 37th overall, 32nd in pass defense, 50th in rush defense
In 2005, WVU's defense ranked 15th overall, 34th in pass defense, 19th in rush defense
In 2006, WVU's defense ranked 62nd overall, 109th in pass defense, 13th in rush defense
In 2007, WVU's defense ranked 7th overall, 14th in pass defense, 18th in rush defense.
I think 5 of 7 years with pretty decent, sometimes stellar defenses isn't too shabby. Big enough sample size for you now?
Also, Michigan's defense was ranked worse in 2002, almost equal in 2004, worse in 2005, and worse in 2007.
So, Michigan's defense was worse than (or nearly equal to, 2004) WVU in 4 of Rodriguez's 7 years. Not horrible.
What has he done to warrant confidence of future success? His track record at UM does not really indicate that, so you use his track record at WVU to make your argument. FIne, but then WVU is a different animal than UM. Different level of attention and expectations and more importantly, the school is in a subpar conference.
The question I originally asked was how could people be so confident when he has shown no sgns of replicating that success here? You have to provide evidence from UM to really sell your belief.
I would not say that hiring a guy from a lower level was a bad idea. Not at all. But your Tressel analogy fails. JT was a lifelong Ohio guy who coached at OSU previously. He knew the school in and out. More importantly, he knew the conference. To add to this, he won and won big at that lower level. 4 NT's is pretty damn impressive. RR had much success at WVU and that certainly cannot be discounted. But then he did not know the Big Ten or Michigan. He was and is a complete outsider to not just Michigan, but the conference as a whole. Thus, your analogy fails.
I appreciate the info you provide. It looks good, but then it leads ne to wonder why his defenses have been so terrible here. His greatest failing has been his inability to find a good defensive staff. That leads one to wonder if he got lucky with Casteel at WVU because he has displayed no acumen when it comes to finding good defensive staff talent at UM.
Oh I don't know. Other than improve each year. Yeah, that sounds about right to me. If the defense can become even mediocre next season, we could very well be looking at a 9-10 win season (even pre-bowl) next year. Only time will tell. But it's not exactly outside the realm of possibility. Not even close.
Record-wise, they did. But if one looks closer, they will start to wonder. UM was down by at least three td's in all 5 losses, they struggled to put away a D-1AA team, the defense was even worse than it was last year, the offense still turned the ball over at an alarming rate..there are many issues.
The difference between the '09 season and '10 can be seen in two games--Purdue and Illinois. What changed in the year between the games? (Besides Denard) In regards to illinois, where the game was played and who the Illini quarterback was. The fact that the illini scored 65 means that the QB changed mattered not, but maybe the fact that the game was at home made a difference. We all know that homefield makes a difference. Perhaps it was enough of a difference to give UM the two point win.
But the biggest difference can be found with Purdue. While Purdue was at home vs UM, they where no in the position to exploit UM's weakness--defense--with backups at QB, WR, and RB. The Boilermakers were decimated by injuries.
Using these games as a measuring stick, I would say that made minimal improvement, Yes, the offense was better, but the defense was worse. Denard's heroics in one game vs Illinois and Mother Nature and bad luck assistance in the other are the difference between back-to-back 5-7 seasons.
UM was far more competitive versus OSU, MSU, and Iowa in'09 then they were in '10. This is something that also has to be factored in the equation when evaluating the '10 season. Why was there such a dropoff in competitiveness?
Yes the defense was worse, sure. Thats what happens when your 3 defensive players, start bunches of freshmen and the secondary goes to hell. However, look at the yardage differential per game and/or just watch the games we have played this year and if you don't see an improved team, I'm not sure what you are looking at.
Overall, I am very pro RR, but there are arguments you can make to suggest that he should be fired. However, you haven't made any of them.
Denard's heroics in one game vs Illinois and Mother Nature and bad luck assistance in the other are the difference between back-to-back 5-7 seasons.
So when we pull off wins it's either a player being a hero or sheer luck, but when we lose it's entirely the fault of the head coach? Come back when you extract your head from your ass.
Why was there such a dropoff in competitiveness?
There's this thing called defense.
You, know, it IS possible for other teams to get better as well. Illinois did. Wisco, OSU, and MSU all did as well. They aren't 11-1 by accident.
Don't forget he did lose 5 out of his last 7 this year. I would feel a little better if they were improving as the year went on.
Evidence at U-M (with a little speculation):
He has won 2 more games than the previous year each year at Michigan.
His track record at U-M is following the exact trajectory it did at WVU and GSU where he did achieve considerable success. A disasterous first year, followed by steady improvement, and finally sustained success -- until he is hired by the next school. Perhaps it's not a pattern, but 2-for-2 is at least somewhat convincing.
Let's not forget that our defense is starting 4 true freshman with anywhere between 3 and 6 getting significant playing time. For comparison, the conference's best defense (Ohio State) is only utilizing the help of 2 underlcassmen (both SOPHOMORES) and ZERO freshman. Sure, you probably can't boil the defensive issues under Rodriguez down to something so simple, but the youth is a factor, I can assure you. And I think it's a very safe assumption to assume at least marginal improvement as they grow up -- they've gotten very valuable game time in early, and that will only benefit. So, we have an offense that will be either the best in the Big Ten (as good as it was this year) or better. This is combined with a defense that may be at worst marginally improved and an "easy" schedule (compared to 2010) means that another 2-3 wins (i.e. a 9-3 or 10-2 record) is attainable.
To be honest, I'm not sure whether Rodriguez will succeed here or not, we're arguing about different things. I maintain that he hasn't been given a fair chance, his recruits are only sophomores (a couple juniors), and if he was truly brought in to put into a new system with his players, then, he has not been able to do that yet and needs to at least finish his contract. Then, instead of the volumes of speculation across the internet about the subject, we would finally know whether or not it will work.
You didn't understand my analogy then. It was meant to be broader than that, not specific to this case.
As far as the defense goes -- Rich Rod described it as a "perfect storm". Rich Rod has tried to build up a defense, but the recruits don't stay/didn't get in (Demar Dorsey), especially at DB. Also, the injury to Troy Woolfolk was pretty killer. Sure, you can blame Rodriguez for T-Wolf's injury, say he chased away players, conspire that he has a secret plan to destroy Michigan, etc. but judging by the way the current players talk about Rodriguez, I'm going to go out on a limb and say it wasn't because he was hated that some of his recruits left.
As I said, I don't know, but given that he's just now on his 3rd recruiting class and he was brought in to completely change the system his way, I don't think he's yet had the chance to do that.
That's ridiculous. Rodriguez's track record is one of blowing up the team during the first year while he installs his system then a huge leap in the next year. We haven't seen a leap at Michigan. We have seen steady but glacial progress. And in 2011, the best case scenario for the defense is a bit below average ranking and a pummeling at the hands of a Pryor-led OSU offense. They will put 50 up next year if they choose. The only hope is that Denard makes another huge leap this off-season and learns to read secondaries better and puts on 10 pounds so he doesn't get knocked out so often. Winning the division or conference is very optimistic. Continued glacial progress to 9-3 is the likely scenario. The leap is nowhere to be found.
He was supposed to install his system with Threet/Sheridan and take off like a rocket the next season? How about looking at it this way: Denard's freshman year was when the system was really installed, and he went 7-5 in the second year.
I think Rodriguez deserves a mulligan for first season. But from season 2 to 3, there was no leap, just glacial linear progress.
You guys realize that he has yet to show anything at UM to believe that he will win NT's at UM or anywhere else, don't you?
Like losing at home to a bad PItt team in that final regular season game. Like not having to play in decent conference loaded with NFL athletes.
He accomplished alot at that level. One hopes that is predictor of success, but thus far it has not manifested itself on the field. If you are going talk about facts, include his first three years and then compare it against coaches at other traditional powers. His numbers do not stack up well.
I love the offense and like the guy, but I have questions about whether he can win here. This is not me hating, but wondering.
like it's the ultimate indictment of a coach?
In 2007, Jim Tressel lost to Ron Zook's Illinois team -- which was coached by Ron Zook -- at home. Pete Carroll made a tradition out of losing or almost losing to Oregon State, and once lost to a gawd awful Stanford team.
It's college football. Upsets happen, even when a team is of national championship caliber.
Tressel and Carroll had a track record of success against teams in elite conferences.They both also won NT's.
RR ruled a crap conference and had one signature win as HC(Georgia).He was indeed on the precipice of a NT appearance, but he could not defeat a bad team at home.
I am mentionig this game because you guys keep saying that he was "one game away". Well, if you are going to bring it up then it is fair game for use by all involved.
against teams from elite conferences, or elite teams from "lesser" (yet still BCS) conferences? How about his BCS win over Georgia, and his team beating (more like blowing out Oklahoma) right after he took the Michigan job? And the Big East wasn't exactly strong when Miami and VaTech were both still members (however, you'd be hard-pressed to convince anyone that was watching college football then that those two themselves weren't damn good), but he was hanging with both, if not beating them, right before they left to join the ACC. He does have a track record of success. At all levels. You just seem to be hell-bent on ignoring it for some reason.
"Hanging" with teams is not success. And how many times did he actually play them? Twice?
You mention Georgia and that is correct. But one game does not make a track record. I'd like you to show more than just a single game.
In contrast to that, we do have a track record of a lack of success. I can point to his totally blemished record vs OSU, MSU, Iowa, and PSU. I can point to his offense scoring only 24 pts in three years vs OSU or 58 in the same time span vs MSU. I can point to three straight double digit defeats to Penn State. I can point to a 6-18 Big Ten record or 0-12 versus teams that finished in the top 25. These are what I would call a track record.
After three years, what happaned at a previous stop starts to fade into irrelevance as there is now enough data to see trends.
With RR, the trends are..well, not overly encouraging. Yes, his record has improved each year. Yes, his offense has also improved each year. But then his defense and special teams have gotton worse. His team was less competitive in '10 vs the the power teams in the BT than they were in '09.What does this mean?
I am not on either side. I am a Michigan fan and I support whomever is coach. But I have started to question whether the RR experiment is going to work. I don't think it makes a person a "hater" if after looking at the data they start to wonder if this is going to work.
try and stick with the point that he has no track record of success. Then I'm honestly done even trying with you.
EDIT: And yes, the defense was statistically worse this year than last. Probably our worst defensive unit in the modern era of major college football. However, have you ever actually looked at why that is? Did you simply see that we gave up more yards/points and decided to go all "rabblerabbleINEXCUSABLErabblerabble"? Or did you actually look under the hood to see what the real problem was? With all that is returning next season, if there isn't a marked improvement in the team (special teams may still be a problem, but here's hoping that is addressed in the off-season as well) then there will be cause for concern.
You are pointing at everyone saying, "you keep bringing up that one win against Georgia" )when most poster have provided much more than thay) yet your entire arguement is he lost one game to PItt (while totally ignoring why that might have happened).
Dude, just give it a rest.
Edit: This was @ salvatore. I don't know how it ended up being a response to you.
Look, you can think whatever you want about RR and I don't really care if I change your mind about anything but you're the one that said he hasn't shown anything in relation to playing for a NT. Myself and others have shown that he was in strong contention for the NT a few years ago. No doubt the Big East isn't on the same level as the B10/SEC/PAC10 but the guy ran through the conference in his last few years like you would expect a BCS caliber team to do. Yeah he lost to a bad Pitt team but shit happens when you lose an integral part of your team like the starting QB to injury during a game. Do you not remember our own 2007 season when it seemed like Hart and Henne were always hurt at one point or another? Don't you think things might have turned out a bit differently if they were both healthy throughout the season?
I'm not questioning your fandom and I have no doubts that you would rather have seen team succeed under RR the last few years than what has transpired. Like you said, 2011 is an extremely important year and I don't think there are many that disagree with you but using his past head coaching experience as an indicator like you pointed out, maybe the worst is behind us. Will we be winning 10+ games and playing for nationals titles in the near future? Nobody can say for certain but I feel better believing (and I truly do believe) that RR can and will get us there. Plus I like seeing Denard smile.
Plus I like seeing Denard smile.
Who doesn't? I mean, it's just downright infectious.
.....RR and his being able to be successful in the B10 hinge on his previous track record at a different school, being that the school played in an inferior conference. True, but you state that as an absolute, completely disregarding the caliber of athletes he had on hand at that school compared to at UM. The fact that he is bringing in B10 caliber athletes here, in the B10, discounts your assertion that he cannot do in the B10 what he did at WVU.
Yes, he hasn't shown that he can do so definitively yet, but this team also showed the promise that they could.
If not, he'll be counting NC's somewhere else and we'll get torn apart by every mobile QB we play.
I don't understand what you're getting at. Has Michigan shown an ability to shut down mobile quarterbacks in the post-Ron English/Jim Herrmann era? I've seen them get chewed up by guys like Justin Siler, Juice Williams, and Terelle Pryor just as they were destroyed by Vince Young and Donovan McNabb in years past.
The time? Five days before Christmas 2010. The place? MGoBoard. It has been months of the most devastating warfare in Michigan blog history. New posts were used with sarcasm, vitriol, nuclear warfare, and facepalms.The negging and bombing was horrendous and yet there was a call between RR, JH, and Hoke supporters to cease fire and they crawled out from behind their computers to peacefully celebrate the Gator Bowl. They sang Hail to The Victors, exchanged lol catz, posbanged each other's posts, posted funny pics, and buried their hatchets. This peace would last through New Year's Day. In the following weeks, hundreds would be negged in to Bolivian until a new leader was crowned. The next year, they would be united against the enemies of good once again.
A man can dream, a man can dream.
There are Hoke supporters?
Well, I had to put someone in to represent the French. His name was mentioned, but no real threat.
You, sir, a man among boys. Dare I dub thee "Prince" Jhackney?
I would rather be a democratically elected Prince. Unless of course you mean the poster formerly known as Prince...in which I would be most gracious in accepting. Pancakes?
"negged in to Bolivian" - still trying to figure this out...are you saying "negged to oblivion"??
(If you're being "negged to" somewhere, it must be a physical location, right? And Bolivia is a physical location. But it needs to fit "oblivion" somehow so it must be Bolivian, right?)
I just want the Gator Bowl to be here. Regardless of what side(s) you fall on in the arguments, if someone would have said that Michigan would be in a New Years Day game on August 31, most of us would have been enamored.
Can't we just accept that (for now) and stop over-analyzing until we get information that hasn't been analyzed 300,000,000 times since 2008.
Great post, btw. Love a holiday armistice.
But I do have to say, New Years day bowl games aren't what they used to be. 10 yrs ago a bowl matchup between two teams with these resumes would not be on New Years day. Not to take anything away from the season, but I can't honestly say playing on New Years day means a whole lot anymore.
Where does this link say Harbaugh wants to go to the NFL? If I am reading the link right, it's saying that Luck may not declare if Harbaugh stays. There is no quote saying he wants the NFL or, except for the following, he wants to stay on the West Coast.
However, Mort notes the Panthers would need "a stroke of luck" to get Harbaugh, who apparently would prefer staying on the West Coast.
That "apparently" comment sure is a definitive statement. All we can say for sure is that no one knows anything but Dave Brandon and maybe Harbaugh. Anything else is just conjecture and speculation. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
Obviously everything is speculation. I assume every Mgoblogger would like DB to provide something definitive but until then speculation is all we have.
The second article linked above suggests the NFL is more likely than Michigan.
Rumblings persist, however, that Jim Harbaugh's preference is for his next job to be in the NFL. As the Detroit News' Lynn Henning wrote earlier this week, Harbaugh reportedly has very specific ideas of what he'd be looking for, and if a NFL team met those criteria, perhaps that would supersede an offer from Michigan.
However, since Lynn Henning seems lack any real insight, this should be taken with a grain of salt.