Although I am looking forward to the AMC premiere of the "Walking Dead" this evening. Other than that, numb.
Mount St. Mary's hired a private equity CEO to be their president. You'll never guess what happened next.
Although I am looking forward to the AMC premiere of the "Walking Dead" this evening. Other than that, numb.
I am so pumped for The Walking Dead....Can't wait.
Make that three of us.
I am going to a brew (bru?) and view here in Utah for it. That would make 4 of us. Can't wait!
I woke up sorta numb like I've been getting painfully used to. Then I considered that I won't watch any more games this season, like I did last year about this time.
Then I was pissed realizing I blew through a great 92 point Napa Cabernet Sauvignon on that game and turned off the TV in the 3rd quarter.
Watching Dallas Crawford/Delonte Hollowell/Avery Walls highlights, desperately searching for some hope. They're all pretty talented. I'm not sure any are instant-impact guys, however. I've concluded that I want TX CB Charles Jackson a lot.
I agree that we need talent, and we might get some in the incoming classes, but we're missing the point here...we don't want true freshmen to have to come in, and be counted on to make an instant impact, that's exactly what our problem is now...we have no depth, so unprepared underclassmen are being rushed into service and it's not working.
We need Crawford, Hollowell, Walls, but we need them to be ready to start for us in two years, not next year.
Still sucks. I'm really bummed. Not even the idea of smackin' Fredo around is doing it for me today.
But there's this thought:
"On the other hand, when your team is losing, stick by them. Keep believing."
Sticking by this team / holding the rope is really damn hard to do right now. But today Bo's words ring true. It sucks eggs that we're not toasting to something different, but it is what it is.
I'll be there in front of the TV on Saturday. Will you?
I'll be in the stands cheering my team in the shootout against Illinois.
I know it looks bad at this point, but I don't think even Illinois will be able to shutout our offense.
Shutting out our offense is unlikely, as you correctly predict.
It's when our offense scores 30+ points and we STILL lose (after a bye week, to a team with a third-string first-start walk-on QB, to a team with a M*A*S*H unit for an OL, etc.) that it's a problem.
Until our defense can get off the field more than a couple times per game and/or our offense can score on EVERY drive, I'm afraid we're in for a long season. Against Illinois, maybe even Purdue, and definitely against the last two teams on our schedule.
It's the morning after and its 3rd and 8 in my mind. Penn State has the ball. They run the EXACT SAME PLAY over and over and over and it's always successful. Roll the pocket, drag the tight end across the field and have a wide out run a 15 yard curl behind him.
Or its 3rd and short and they run Royster into the line. We make an initial stop behind the line but dont wrap him up and he drags three or four guys across the marker for the first down.
So I guess nothing new for me. Coaches are suppose to make adjustments to stop what other teams are doing. We either can't or don't so I wanted Gerg gone last night and I still want him gone this morning. I still have a toe hanging on the "keep Rich" bus but it won't take much to push me off at this point.
Let's not forget the screens. Those were apparently still really surprising, the 8th or 9th time they dialed one up.
There's no way in hell screens should be a surprise to a defensive coordinator when you've got a walk on QB on the opposite side of the ball.
It should be ZERO surprise that they played it relatively safe.
Somehow, it was a surprise. That's pretty unacceptable to me.
I liked that play where denard started to run then jumped and passed a la Tebow....
Man that hurt, especially considering PSU is down this year and we came off of a bye. We should have executed much better, on both sides of the ball, and been far more prepared. Although I'd say the most disappointing part of losing yesterday is the reaction of the "fans." I can't believe people are already writing the season (and RR) off. Our D is so depleted of talent that it's hard to gauge who's really at fault.
I'm with you. I'm so lost as to why the board-wide, nation-wide meltdown. Talk about bummer.
Although I'd say the most disappointing part of losing yesterday is the reaction of the "fans."
Just stop it already. We're 4-16 in Big Ten play under RR. It is completely reasonable to be upset. Our fans have been very, very patient with this regime. We've continued to fill up the largest stadium in the country every week. We've done what we can. If we are frustrated, it's because we care, and it hurts terribly to see our program continue to go nowhere.
That's totally fair, but what's with the knee-jerk eruption of posts like "Bye bye Rich Rod". Totally uncalled for. What did we really learn about Michigan that we didn't already know? The team is struggling on the defensive side of the ball.
I know it's frustrating to not see improvement from the last game, but geez, why so temperamental? We just come off as whiny. We all here have (probably) an unhealthy love for Michigan football, but let's be somewhat respectful to the players, coaches, team... and each other.
We had two weeks to prepare and came out with all cylinders firing. We threw everything we had into that game. And this was the result. The result speaks for itself.
As for the D, who's to blame? I find it hard to simply attribute youth and inexperience to being that bad. Results matter and the result is, our well-rested defense got obliterated by a freshman, walkon QB. We're talking Nick Sheridan minus two years. Maybe it's a mismatch between GERG and his assistants -- but who hired the guy and who hired the assistants? The execution, indeed, is the problem, but where does that execution originate? (answer: quality of preparation)
Make no mistake: PSU is a BAD team. Almost as bad as ours. Honestly, folks, it's almost impossible to defend RR anymore. The only reason I see to keep him around is the looming threat of more attrition and more suck if he goes, which isn't much of a reason. Without wins over Illinois and Purdue and one of Wisco/OSU, then I don't see much purpose continuing this experiment. Mind you, I don't think we'll win any of those games, save Purdue -- but even that seems 50/50 at this point.
I hated writing this. But hey, them's my thoughts/feelings.
It's a simple matter of expectations differing from reality. When 4 of the 6 bloggers on Black Shoe Diaries pick Michigan to win and instead Michigan is blown out in the first half, the fan reaction is completely understandable.
This was the second or third worst Big Ten team Michigan will face this year. Everyone from Rodriguez himself to the most callous Rodriguez hater expected progress. Most estimated 3-5 or 4-4 in Big Ten play this year. To fall short of that and end the season at 2-6 or possibly 1-7 is a cold slap in the face.
I'm sure a large portion of the fan base is more disappointed with the reaction of the "faux-fans" on the internets than with the performance of our team on the field, after a bye week to prepare for an opponent that featured a third-string walk-on QB making his first start, using about six plays.
A lot of people talk about McGloin like he's some kid they yanked out the stands and threw a uniform on. He's a redshirt sophomore who earned a scholarship. Maybe he was a late bloomer, maybe PSU and others didn't recognize his abilities right off--he earned his spot later than other guys. But he did earn it, and maybe he's not quite as craptastic as everyone thought before the game.
Granted, we didn't put anywhere near as much pressure on him as I'd like to see, but with that caveat I thought the kid played pretty well. So it galls me to see people dismiss him--inaccurately I might also add--as a current and easily-beatable walk-on. Wasn't he, at one time, in serious competition for the starter spot? The media is so taken with the "underdog makes it big" story that we're falling for it too.
This is grasping at straws. Nick Sheridan was on scholarship in 2008. A lot of walk-ons go on to get scholarships. That does not mean that they undergo a metamorphosis that turns them into talented players. McGloin in all likelihood is one of the worst QBs we'll face all year.
I think I, and a lot of others, really in our minds and hearts expected to win this game. We were told that PSU sucks. We had two weeks to prepare and heal injuries. So, I was as disappointed in the results as any game in years.
However, today I don't feel so bad. A little numb, but not so bad. I really don't expect to win against Illinois and only a 50 / 50 against Purdue.
What is really depressing today is that I now think we will have the lowest ranked recruiting class in decades this year. I know it's early, but if we go 5 -7 (a real possibility in my mind) our recruiting class is going to suck. If we do go 7 - 6 (6 - 6 with a bowl win), maybe it will only be a little worse than last years.
The lost hurt like every other loss, especially since it could have made us bowl eligible. The thing is I still love Michigan football. Losing or winning I still support our team and some people may call me a homer, but I don't care. It is okay to be frustrated and disappointed at a loss, but the team needs our support more than ever.
It may seem like we'll go winless in the last stretch again, but we do have the offense to compete with anyone this year. This is a high variance team. Just a couple of breaks (please!?) for the d can go a long way.
I agree, we need a lucky break on D soooo bad. I just remembered that PSU had like 3 fumbles that all went out of bounds..
I kinda disagree. I don't think our offense cam make a game of it against anybody. We don't have a rb who can be counted upon to get a yard in just about any situation (one who is not currently injured) and we have a very erratic starting qb. I'm sure denard will get better with experience and no shoulder injury, but right now, the the offense is feast or famine with poor consistency. We between someone like this rawls kid, but only if h e can make it through the clearing house. We also NEED Denard to be more consistent. THEN we will have an offense that should keep us in any game.
Ok, so they're inconsistent, but they've shown that they can move the ball on anyone, which is my point. The 530 yds against Iowa was not a fluke.
I believe they came when tate came in chucking the ball. Not the denard offense.
Well actually, Denard played a little more than a half of football while passing for 100 and rushing for 100. On top of that, the running backs picked up 80 yards between them, most of it in the first half. The difference is that the yards turned into points when Tate started chucking it.
Yards and points for a win, thanks, rather than yards and yards for a loss.
Against Iowa, the default offense (with Denard at the helm) scored 7 points on 6 possessions. They cannot "move the ball on anyone"; they move the ball in fits and starts and can't score when the game is in contention against Big Ten foes with a pulse (MSU, Iowa, and the newly resuscitated PSU).
I miss Lloyd Carr and the days when I bitched because we "only" won 8.
Coach Carr, although those times I sat in the stands and complained about the "DeBoring Offense." I'm sorry. I really am.
I'm trying to about the UNACCEPTABLE style post, but I have to say what happened last night is inexcusable. We have a bye week, PSU is at the bottom of their QB depth chart and they rip us to shreds. Offensively we kind of looked flat for periods. Defensively it was just a disaster. I mean how hard can it be to rattle a young QB off the depth chart...? I'd think we could do that at least and shut him down.
Lloyd's run and, in the bigger picture, the BoMoCarr years, were (as he might put it) *tremendous*. Michigan was a very good (if not commonly great) team for 30+ years.
With Lloyd, though, I don't remember complaining about the win totals. Rather, it was the way that he lost. There was often an early season game where they looked unprepared. And, as the 'blog notably researched one time, his record going into the 4th quarter with a lead or trailing was ... definitely not tremendous. IIRC he was better off trailing than leading. It was weird, anyway.
Please don't interpret this as an endorsement of the last three years. I'm talking only about Lloyd.
My 4 yr old son just picked up an old Madden 07 PSP game I found while cleaning out the garage and said the following:
"Oh Daddy, look football. Remember yesterday when we were watching football and you said, 'OH BULLSHIT!'".
I had to laugh. Thanks for the memory GERG. May you and your soft zone go into oblivion.
is that Dave Brandon will have a job to do at the end of the season which will entail reviews for the total staff of the football team. I trust he will do thorough job and I am curious to aee what he does.
Tony Gibson goes to purgatory to contemplate what he should have done better. I also hope some rule is laid down that RR cannot override the dc in the middle of the year amd make significant changes on D. This is tied in with the idea that we get some great dc who can coach. Is this debacle all Gerg? No, but I have to feel it is mostly him. It's probably 60-40 Gerg-RR.
Recruiting and retention are issues.
We knew Gerg was not a recruiter. Retention? Is this personnel recognition
issues? If yes, this is primarily Gerg. HOWEVER, if these are db skill recognition issues as well, WTF IS GIBSON DOING?????????? In short, funking Gibson needs to go and either so does Gerg our he needs to be left to do what he wants instead of being forced to run a 3-3-5.
I don't understand why the 3-3-5 was put into place this year. Of course, it might not matter what defense Michigan runs at this point. There is simply too much youth and inexperience to execute correctly.
Really bummed out but I blame myself. It's hard to really expect much out of our defense this year. I keep waiting for the moment when it all just clicks as I am sure we all are. Finally I realize that moment isn't coming until next year. Just want the team to win the next two and become bowl eligible. We are on the brink of something special at Michigan, just have to keep reminding myself from time to time.
Really bummed out but I blame myself.
Finally! Someone taking responsibility for the awful defense!
Basically, the offense is fine. If the defense hadn't decided to go to Happy Valley as matadors for Halloween, the offense would have had three or four more possessions, and probably could have scored fifty. An offense as young as this one will get even better.
Consequently, RR will be able to spend more time rebuilding the defense. I am guessing the offseason will be quite interesting at Schembechler Hall. If RR can somehow figure out how to field even an average defense, this team will be scary next year. I can see great things happening if the defense gives the offense even a little bit of help.
I thought they had missed the plane and we suited up the State College HS team in their uniforms.
Here's something new (for me, anyway): I'm not nearly as pissed off as I was after the MSU and Iowa games. It's as if, after years of arguing with a spouse and threatening to get a divorce, the paperwork has finally been filed and the retainer paid to the attorney. It's at a point of no return and in some regards, it's a relief.
I don't want RR to go, but if he can't put a better product on the field (in all 3 phases) then he can't be our coach. Plain and simple.
One thing I noticed is that Denard cannot seem to get a good ball to Stonum. Any of the other receivers, he can hit them between the numbers and occasionally gives them a bad pass. It seems like Stonum always has to get horizontal in order to even touch the ball, with no chance to catch.
Should we start searching the roster for Tostada Pants?
Just that while I'm still an RR supporter, I'm not sure if I'm an RR believer. I want to believe in the guy, but I need to see us actually win. We've now lost eight straight games when we've had a chance to clinch bowl eligibility. (And really, you could make it ten straight, because after we started out 4-0 last year, with Delaware State still to come, a win over MSU or Iowa then would have basically clinched it.) This was a golden opportunity to show that his program was turning the corner, and we blew it, massively.
"This was a golden opportunity to show that his program was turning the corner, and we blew it, massively."
Amen. If we truly were turning the corner, we would've put them away early. We're more prey than predator at this point...
That's a very interesting way to break it down. Rational thought process (which may be in short supply in the coming weeks) requires this distinction. I am sure that is what will be going on in Brandon's mind over the next month
Not sure why everyone thought the offense was so good last night. They ended up nearly 100 yards short of their season average according to my predictor/diary. This was their second worst game statistically speaking.
Yards aren't as important as points.
So after watching the end of our game, I watched the rest of OU-USC. The thought of our offense with a LaMichael James type TB is mind-blowing. Until we get that, we are going to struggle with consistency (see 6-13 on 3rd down last night.)
No. Still gut-wrenched and miserable.
I'm still trying to decide if this is worse than 2009 Illinois. Certainly it's in the same depths of disgust, and I sincerely believed I wouldn't taste that level of despair again.
The loss itself isn't worse. I would have said PSU this year was better than Illinois last year, before either team played us.
The impact of the loss is worse. It's entirely possible that RR is 50/50 to be fired at the end of the year, for the first time ever. 6-6 with a weak win over purdue and uncompetitive losses would leave me very ambivalent - and 6-6 isn't even guaranteed.
He was dressed up as a field goal kicker
four games to play. If we lose all four it will get real interesting. I keep thinking it would be crazy to change coaches again but lets see how the next four games end. Go Blue !!!
Offense = good, defense = unbelievably bad, outlook for the rest of the season = poor.
We can point to the youth but why has there been attrition? Warren left early to the draft only to go undrafted. Yes, that was a stupid move by him, but did the coaches not advise him properly? Vlad, Turner, Lalota all left the program but could they really have helped the defense? Most of their reasons for leaving was due to lack of playing time? Surely they saw this defense and there is a large amount of PT available for them? Did the coaches not talk to them about this?
The personnel on the D has shown know real improvement over the last 3 years apart from Stevie Brown - and he probably couldn't be any worse than he was his junior year. Obi and Mouton have been playing at the same level (if not worse) than when they first saw playing time. Yes in 2 years the defense may be one of the top in the country but I'm not holding my breath. For those of you who understand my screename, I am trying my best to be optimistic
2 years ago we had Threet/Sheridan/Assplode running the offense - it was obvious why the offense was struggling, mainly due to the QB situation. But on this defense everything is going wrong. There is no real pressure from the line, the LB are inconsistent and the secondary is OMG bad. There is no simple cure to thise defense - a lot of changes need to be made
I'm hungover and apathetic at this point because I am. Whatever. There's nothing I can do about this situation so I'll just keep watching I guess. I'd really like to not fire RR, but he has to put out a form of not-suck for that to happen.
What gets me sometimes is that he gets so mad on the sidelines when his team does something stupid. It's his responsibility to coach them to not do the stupid thing.
God whatever here I go again it's got to stop please win Michigan.
that the reason RR gets pissed is because he HAS told them how to prevent whatever stupid thing they just did? That's my first inclination anyway.
Otherwise, your first paragraph describes my feelings exactly, so +1 to you.
Our offense sucked ass, Denard threw the ball horribly, but after the game of course RR said his arm wasn't feeling the best, even though he said he was fine. We scored cause PSU sucks ass at defense and even with all their injuries they still stopped us because we played terrible
Shaw being healthy was clearly more bullshit.
And we conceded the game i thought after the first drive. We got 3 and out on the 3 plays that couldn't be more predictable. Truly pathetic play calling.
Don't forget the receivers. Denard was a little off but the WRs - especially Stonum - did nothing to help him out. Hard to believe that guy is "targeting the #1 jersey."
I agree that the offense underwhelmed at times, but let's no go overboard here. You score 31 on the road against a decent unit (343 yds/game vs 423 last night), you are doing something. That first drive sucked, but this team didn't lose because of that drive - it lost because the defense could not get off the field to save its life.
The offense did not suck. They scored 31 pts on the road without the benefit of a turnover or short field. If the defense gets two more stops we win this game. Fumbling a kickoff out of bounds at the goal line didn't help matters.
The offense was actually very good IMO.
the offense was that bad. As they said above, we put up points and that's what matters. I will agree though that the passes didn't seem as crisp and the recievers definitely didn't play their A game. 11/23 from your starting QB leaves a lot to be desired, but you can't complain when still has 190 passing yards and another 230 on the ground. Positive note: no terrible interceptions.
I can no longer feel or think.
I really thought this would be the game the d would gain some confidence and this would be a win the whole team would build off. Now I feel as though things almost couldn't be worse.
We knew what we had at the start of the year but thanks to Denard's quick start it got our expectations way higher than what we initially thought. We KNEW our defense could and probably would doom us. How is that such a surprise now? We are in the Top 3 for offense in the entire country. I'd say that's progress. We need help on defense -- and that is exactly where we thought we'd be at the start of the year.
DO NOT ABANDON SHIP! DO NOT GIVE UP ON RICH ROD OR THIS TEAM! Not now at least. Not yet.
Purdue is winnable, Illinois is winnable, and even Wisconsin & tOSU are winnable. Not that they're gimme's, obviously, but when a Top 3 offense steps on the field, all it takes is an off-day for the opposing offense or "the switch" to flip for some of our young guys on defense or even just a shoot-out victory or a Terrelle Pryor to play an average-for-him football game (we were in the game LAST year, and this year's team is better).
We have not collapsed like last year -- yet -- this season. There are still games to be played and there are still snaps for Denard to make everybody look slow & stupid. Our defense is young and struggling but this season is not over.
Breathe in slowly, calm down, and say, "Go Blue." Through thick and thin, wins and (right now) losses. Fight. Shout "Hail to the Victors" because just because we've lost doesn't mean that we're done and when we start to win again we won't have to hope no one saw us accepting defeat before it was over.
Go Blue. Hail to the Victors.
This is not the time for the "What were you expecting on D?" rant. We didn't face Bolden, or their preseason OL, or their starting TE. We faced a patchwork offense with a walk-on QB, and got destroyed. I was not expecting that going in, nor was anyone else. That is an extremely worrisome sign. No, the season is not over, but if we couldn't come close to stopping PSU, I'm very concerned about the rest of the season.
I hear you, but offenses do not have an "off-day" against this defense. They have a career day.
Purdue is winnable, Illinois is winnable, and even Wisconsin & tOSU are winnable.
Did you watch the game last night?
Like many fans here, I go into every Saturday hoping for the best. But dude, seriously. Our defense may be the nicest, most hard-working guys in the history of the program. A bunch of Obis. But they offer little to no resistance to the other team.
Illinois is a toss-up, at best. They've only lost to Missouri, OSU, and MSU (all top-15 teams). They smoked an em-Bolden-ed PSU in Happy Valley and waxed Ben Chappell and IU (yes, the same Ben Chappell who was 45-64 for 480 vs. U-M). I realize there's no transitive property in college football, but Illinois is no longer a probable win in my book.
Conventional wisdom says Purdue is our best shot at bowl eligibility. But many thought IU and PSU would be "easy" wins, too. I wish I shared your optimism.
I rushed home after my daughter's christening, and then watched another horror unfold before my eyes. I then woke up with a cold from my dear daughter...
Just this minute out of the blue (no pun intended) my four year old daughter just walked up to me and said "Daddy, let's sing the Michigan song together" which I promptly did. Hate to sound like a wuss, but that made me mist up a little bit, and her yelling "Go Blue" at the end really touched me. Even though I know that wasn't her intention, I feel like that was a "there, there" moment, and that made me feel better. Come hell or high water, that girl WILL do what her old man wishes he could have done and be a Michigan alumni someday.
I think that I'm as frustrated as anyone, but after just reading Dr Saturday's article on Texas, things are more in perspective for me. Texas has coaching continuity and plenty of talent, even pretty good experience, but they are collapsing/collapsed, depending on your view. These things happen; Texas fans are calling for the head of the OC, but -- surprise! -- the problem seems to be youth. 1st year starter at QB, and underclassmen at QB, RB, WR, TE, OG. Only a fool (or a fan of another Big 12 school) would want to fire Mack Brown. You need a big sample size to judge a head coach. The larger picture still suggests that RR can coach. We need to be patient and supportive.
I do believe RR can coach and remain supportive. I do NOT believe Gerg can coach have lost total faith in his ability to scheme or motivate the defense whatsoever. And I think the remaing defensive assistants (who are all RR pals from days gone by) must go too and be replaced by whoever the new DC wants to have surrounding him.
RR has not won a national title here. He hasn't recorded tons of 10-win seasons at Michigan. The jury is out on his ability to win at this school. He has shown the ability to win elsewhere, but it might not happen here. I want it to happen here, but if we lose out, my confidence in that will be very shaken.
But I wasn't claiming that the situations at Texas and Michigan were the same, merely that one sheds light on the other. No analogy is perfect -- otherwise it wouldn't be an analogy. It's still the case that Texas' performance is UNACCEPTABLE but it's not clear that what is needed is massive change in the coaching ranks, although that seems to be the fan consensus. Similar situation for Florida too, I suppose. These things are complex and as fans, largely beyond our ken.
First of all, let's retire the "UNACCEPTABLE" joke. Our coach has lost 80% of his Big Ten games. It's not irrational to be upset with that.
And if you agree that it's apples and oranges, then why do we care what Texas does? Mack Brown has earned a lot of rope to hang himself. RR has not. I want the guy to succeed, but he has continually failed. I get that you're straining to find some justification for it, but there really isn't one. If he fails to make a bowl, that's it. I like the guy, but I'm not blind enough to root for him over the school's interests, if it comes to that.
I'm sorry that you don't find the Texas analogy illuminating. I do. I'm also more interested in the school's interests than RR -- but I don't think that we have enough evidence to make a determination what is in the school's best interests yet. I don't think that blindness is the issue. There are lots of reasons to be pro-RR and lots of reasons to be anti-RR. Balancing them and taking into account the school's interests also is the difficult thing.
I would say it would be irrational to not be upset right now.
That being said, what IS in the school's best interest?
I honestly believe we need to keep RR through at least 4 years and probably 5. I have always felt that way. However, for the first time, I think that RR may not make it, even after being given 5 years.
I think there is still a chance (40%) that he will do better than Lloyd did. However, if this team doesn't win at least 9 games (and more than half the games in the Big 10) in year 4 or 5, I am not so sure, we can keep him.
3 years - not really enough time (but starts to give a sense)
4 years - kinda enough, the question is can you really do better?
5 years - definitely enough time, if he hasn't produced now, can he really ever?
I do not post around here anymore because of the blindly jingoistic culture mods like gaeux_blue have been trying to create. But I’ll offer my thoughts on the situation now, and you all can neg me into oblivion as usual, and I’ll leave again. Here goes...
Unless there is some sort of vast improvement, RichRod should resign at the end of the season. He can walk away, shoulder his part of the blame, but also by implication assign a requisite amount of the blame on the program.
Importantly, it’s not only RR who is to blame, nor it is only the program - it’s their interrelationship. What I mean is, there is no need to point the finger at one side or the other - at RR or at the culture and institutions he faced upon arriving at UM. This is because neither can be isolated from the other, or, put another way, each created the other. The culture at UM only became a stumbling block once it faced such an immense change process (something can only impede if it faces opposition). The same culture could have accepted a different coach with open arms, and could have helped that coach flourish. The same holds for RR - he only became immensely unsuccessful in the face of a massive stumbling block, which he helped create, which helped create his failures. He did not face the same stumbling blocks elsewhere, for reasons that can only be known in those contexts — in those interrelatioships. The point is that each one helped create the other in relational fashion. The problems with the defense - with having unsuccessful DCs, with keeping players, with recruiting players who are granted entrance - they are not the problems, they are all manifestations of the problem - which is the ineffective, unworkable interrelationship between RR and UM.
The key now is to stop the downward spiral of both. A big issue is that we are enacting a positive feedback loop in terms of recruiting - we seem to be pretty weak in recruiting right now, a position not likely to improve this year. And even in the unlikely event we win a few more games this year, I still don’t see recruiting picking up in the next few years due to the memories we have instilled. My guess is that a clean slate is a better approach to turning things around, is more likely to work, than is depending on RR and Co. to do turn things around. Think of how hard it is to crawl out of a downward spiral when you are in it. We need to be able to tell recruits that this is not the same program, not that we will somehow crawl out of this hole with the same interrelationships that dug the hole. New people, new relationships will allow us to crawl out, and will allow RR to crawl out. We need to stop the downward spiral. Give RR a fresh start elsewhere, give us a fresh start here. No one person is to blame.
I upvoted you not because I agree with your conclusion on RR's fate (I don't want him to leave - yet) but because I thought your points were well thought out and articulated. Not everyone here supports group think.
... you still look really angry, based on your avatar. My heron neck is quivering.
- - -
Seriously, I enjoyed your post. I'm not sure I fully agree with it, but here's definitely a lot of negative energy surrounding the program and RichRod is part of it.
ahhh, my latent anger, that becomes actual when you point it out and I then want to wring your long neck for doing so (see - its relational!), those were the days...Thanks for the laugh.
You have a good take; not one I agree with completely, but I respect your point.
I know that there is a concern with the program entering a downward spiral because of issues with RR as the head man, but there is no promise that a fresh start would remedy those issues. Lets say that Harbaugh comes in next year - it will likely not have a massive effect on recruiting this year and could depress next year somewhat as the staff becomes more acclimated and some recruits shift allegiances. Even if the new coaching staff keeps the offense intact, the defense will still struggle next year and who knows how that will affect performance on the field. So there you have 2-3 years of transition ahead of us, maybe with a slightly higher ceiling but in the short term the results won't be amazingly different.
The problems with this team are multitudinous, including coaching but also talent. Better coaching can make mediocre talent play a little better, but looking across the B10 OSU, Wiscy, Iowa, Nebraska (next year) and MSU have more talent than UM, and a team like PSU is certainly capable of fielding a good team. I don't care who was coaching this team - a 5th-year LB who can't read defenses isn't going to be "coached up" to All B10.
Next year, the team will finally be picking up the type of experience that can lead to decent strides, but you lose some of that with a coaching change. That's why I think you have to give the staff at least 1 more year if the team wins 1-2 more games and plays in a bowl. With experience on defense (if not overwhleming talent) and a QB who has played a whole year at the position, I expect this team to be in the top 4-5 of the conference, challenging for a good bowl and (maybe) a title.
And I hear you about recruiting, but as we've seen kids are smarter than we give them creidt for. UM might lose out on a couple of recruits, but they also understand that this program has made great strides offensively, and if it is clear that RR will be there for a year or two more, they'll sign up. What I think hurt schools like ND and Nebraska to an extent was the constant flux surrounding those programs, the uncertainty that the staff recruiting you will be there next year. Stability will mean more for this team than wins and losses at this point, and I just hope that RR wins another game or two so that it won't be as big of an issue for at least another year or two.
These are all good points as well - and I would have a difficult time arguing against them. The thing that is scary is that both outcomes (my continued spiral, your reversal of it) are likely. It then just depends on where one assigns the most risk, a choice that is embedded in personal experience, history, proclivities, and so on. I guess one thing I can't deny though, given the mechanisms that my argument relies on (relationality, positive feedback loops), is that my change would be more difficult to enact than your stability would. It would be harder for RR to resign, or for Brandon to fire him, than it would be for him to stay. So, perhaps yours is the more likely outcome, no matter which is "right."
I agree that change now would be tougher, though I do agree that some change needs to be made even if it would be painful. I am all for an overhaul of the DC, with Brandon forcing RR to hand over more control. That would be fine with me. But right now, I can't fault a team of mostly freshmen on defense being lit up, even though at least part of that falls on the coordinators and the coaches.
See, this is the type of discussion that makes this blog the best - everyone being respectful and not posting ad hominem attacks.
Given a couple more wins to top off the season (especially in the last game), and based on our performance in a bowl game (I mean, if we beat Purdue but lose to SMU in the Bumblefork Tuna Bowl... that's not an accomplishment), another year is certainly warranted. At that point, he will have a senior recruiting class and there can be no more excuses about youth and inexperience.
The issue, as I see it, is damage mitigation. How much longer should we let the program be under the control of the guy who created the present situation? There are very negative consequences of a coaching change, but at some point you have to cut your losses. Another year, pending a few wins to end the season, is about all RR can ask for at this point.
I respect your point of view, but your solution will create the very problems you seek to cure. See, what cannot happen, under any circumstance, is a ND like situation where there's a revolving door of coaches. No one should be immune now. If Rich Rod ends up being canned and that's in the best interest of the program, then no one should weep upon his exit. But the problem with the "clean slate" argument is that starting over would mean at least 2 more losing seasons. The offense is good, if not great at times. It's the only part of the team that's keeping us from being 1-10. You cannot break up the continuity in the program now by bringing in an entirely new system. Just look at Kelly at ND. It's example #1 of what not to do. If you bring in Harbaugh, he's going to change the offense and there will be at least 1-2 years of painful transition. The program then spirals out of control because recruits, especially on defense, won't commit here anymore. Remember, it's already hard enough for Michigan because of location (most of the best players are in the south, FL, TX and CA) and academic standards. Without winning, we really risk a lost generation.
The last thing we need is a clean break. We have to keep this offense. If no viable HC candidates can do that, give Rich Rod one more year under the condition that he bring in a new DC. If someone like Mullen (who runs the exact same offense at Miss. St.) answers the call, then Rich Rod can go. But it has to be a good fit, a person with proven defense and similar offense. Michigan prides itself on not being trigger happy with coaches. We should maintain that tradition and proceed very carefully with the coaching situation.
I agree with you completely. All of us who are fans of Michigan football need to think: what is in our best LONG TERM interests? If RR can get it together (starting to look like a bigger if each season), the we would be fools to let him go.
If we are confident that we can find a better coach for the LONG TERM then we should fire him.
As many have said, DB is going to earn his money at the end of the season. And really until Michigan football is back to being a top 25 team, at the least.
From what I know, I think we need to keep RR around two more years. However, I am finding it harder and harder to argue against those who think he should be fired.
and apologize. I apparently, but don't remember because I got so drunk, went on a rant that lasted minutes. I found out that it was recorded by one of the wifeys. I have been told that it was very funny, but also kind of sad. I have amazing friends and was with most of them last night. I am really tired of having to phone them the morning after a Michigan game and apologize for being a douchebag. I know my wife is concerned that I have a drinking problem. I really don't think that I do. It's that I can't handle watching Michigan lose games like that. That's my fucking problem.
For some reason, however, I think the catharsis of that rant has me feeling relatively cleansed. I have a peculiar optimism for next week.
God, I wish I could have seen that rant. Don't you just love it when you get drunk and have to apologize the day after?
The worst part is trying piece together the partial memories. Especially when the surrounding bits feel like I was either heading towards trouble or just leaving it.
Somehow I posted a response here that was meant for the Press Conference thread.
only the same rock solid belief that this team needs a new voice, a new coach, and a new reality. It is what it is, it is not working. If it was going to, it would have already happened to a measurable degree. I say Jim Harbaugh should be on speed dial. He is a can't miss opportunity, and I believe his interest in this job is set to expire soon.
This does not have a happy ending. I think it is time to accept it, treat RR as a man trying to preserve dignity on the way out, and understand that there are peaks and valleys for every team in this sport. This is a valley, a deep one, and true M fans need to gain some perspective and see this for what it is; the beginning of the end for an idea with great promise, but one that needs to come to an end for the program, the players, and for RR himself. He is struggling, and any future expectations of greatness here and now are unfair and misguided.
The sun will rise again for the Victors, but knowing when enough is enough is a core aspect of virture.
However, at the end of this season or the 2011 season he may be a head coach in the NFL. I met Bo's old cardiologist who is very good friends with the Harbaughs. He told me that Jim's dream job is being head coach of Michigan. So if RR doesn't work out and Jim is still available he will be coaching here if the University offers him the job!
Jim is the only coach who could turn this team around fast. Though I'm still holding out hope that RR will turn this team around in the next year or two.
For you or anyone else who wants to read ijohnb. The Harbaugh thing might be stupid because it is impossible from a logistical standpoint or because we may already have a brilliant coach ready to break through big time or because continuity is the wise route. But it isn't stupid based on the merits of Harbaugh's tangible coaching accomplishments or abilities.
Proud of Jim. That 07 spat aside, I think he is representing us very well as a big time coach.
Whoever thinks rr needs to be fired is an idiot. He showed us what he can do on offense and I'm impressed. We didn't have trouble scoring we had problems stopping them. When rr step in front of Greg the defense made the great sack. We need someone as fired up as rich to replace Greg. I really think he needs to go. Yes we don't have talent on defense but our defense got outcoached big time. And also the fundamentals aren't there. We can't tackle and we don't know how to cover. That's things you are coached in practice.
We didn't have trouble scoring
I disagree. We scored one TD on four drives in the first half and found ourselves down 31-10 after PSU took the ball in the 2nd half. Our vaunted offense went three-and-out on the first drive, thanks in part to a poor decision on 3rd and short.
Granted, our offense did very well to get us back in the game in the 2nd half. But you simply can't play from behind every game, not with this defense. You literally need to score every drive. You need to start the game with the same urgency that you showed in the 2nd half.
There's no doubt IL will be scoring 30 or more points on our D. I just hope the offense can step it up a bit. IL will be keying on DROB' s running so I hope he can pass well. We really need this win at home. I wouldn't want to put everything on trying to win against Purdue on the road. WI will probably beat us at home by 10 or more points. I don't even want to think about the OSU game in Columbus . I'm in favor of keeping RR for at least one more season even if we lose all our remaining games. Though, I'm beginning to wonder if or when this defense will ever transform into a good defense. I don't really see the athletes for a great defense...may be serviceable as a mid-level b10 defense. The offense will probably become unstoppable in the next year or two.
Last night was possibly the most excruciatingly painful loss of the RR era. A game many, if not all, of us expected to win and we fall behind 28-10. I found myself calling for RR to be fired to get Harbaugh in here already. But today I woke up and the sun was shining and it was a great morning.
As I sat there looking out over the hills of South Dakota I examined why I reacted last night the way I did. I came to the conclusion that I have a weird attachment to RR and his success. I want RR to succeed so badly and it literally hurts when it appears he won't. I cannot explain this attachment, but it is there. RR came in here with the fan base split, part of them never wanting him in Ann Arbor and others thrilled with the hire, the media having an agenda against him, and then practice gate. I want RR to succeed so he can tell everyone who did not believe in him to fuck off (even though that will never happen). I wanted him to succeed so that Michigan could claim that we again changed the big ten forever, by proving the spread could work.
This morning I think all of that is still possible. RR can still prove those against him wrong, the spread is working, and my attachment is still there. I am firm believer that coaches should get 5 years minimum to build a program. This allows his first recruiting class to be redshirt seniors before the final judgement comes. I still believe this. RR should be given another 2 years. Greg Robinson is not the right man for the job.
So all this too say that I am sticking with RR but not with Greg Robinson. It is nauseating to sit there and watch the defense get gashed time and again by the same damn play. Yes the defense is young but atleast attack. Hell if you make a mistake and score atleast it leaves more time for our offense to score.
Last nigght I wanted the whole coaching staff fired. Rod included. Today, I just want the entier defensive coaching staff fired. Greg Robinson included, and Tony Gibson getting a swift kick in the nuts on his way out the door.
I was very pessimistic last night, and I'm still pessimistic - but that little part of me that wants to believe points out that we still need to take it one week at a time, one game at a time, and finish strong. Let's not eulogize the Rich Rod era just yet. Crazier things have happened than a 5-3 team beating another 5-3 team at home. So I'm still believing.
To all you folks on the Harbaugh wagon. What is your backup plan? Tyrone Willingham? Be careful what you wish for.
No sense trying to talk people off that bandwagon. I have heard Jim's name from 4 different fans today. When you look at what he has done there and really study how he built his coaching career to this point, you can't help but be impressed. Same with Rich and his pre-Michigan background.
It is worth remembering that this is his year 4 and every situation is different. But it is also worth remembering that he took over a 1, not a 9 win team. In his first year, he promptly beat the best team in the country on it's home field with a 40 point underdog squad. He is also regarded as one of the more creative play callers in the Pac 10. On and on, the more you read, the prouder you are of him.
But we have a very good coach.
Quieting the Harbaugh thing will only be accomplished by showing something more than productivity during desperate comebacks these last 4 games. Pissed off as people seem to get when he is brought up on here, Jim Harbaugh is the shiny new sports car you long to drive convinced that your present ride is out of date. It is human nature to want the next gadget.
After last night, people are way more justified in day dreaming a little. But no way are they wrong to think that maybe Harbaugh could do the job here.
Michigan is the Harvard of the West and the Stanford of the East. Hey, we can dream can't we?
I know that there are some fumble problems with Hopkins, but damn, the kid doesn't get less than 3 yards. I think they need to rep him more to deal with the fumbles.
I agree we should use him in short yardage situations but...
does he ever get more than 6?
My anger would have subsided, if I didn't wake up to the post game presser and reading Mouton saying that tired fucking excuse "we're going to watch film, find the mistakes, and correct them". If you guys do that this week and actually correct anything it will be the first time all season. I think when he says they watch film they just watch those old NFL Films blooper reels or some shit.
What do you want him to say? "Yeah we suck and we always will. There really is no point in trying anymore so I am going to go home drink a case of beer, skip practice, and show up on Saturday."?
One thing that surprised me with the bye week was that we seemed to add nothing to the game plan except actually kicking a successful field goal. I'm talking anything else that would fool our opponent. Reverses, flee flickers, option passes, fake kicks -nothing. Please don't say we are saving those for OSU.
That 3rd and 20 or whatever it was... that Mcgloin, AKA Dan Marino completed... broke me. I am not going to get angry or frustrated anymore... no good comes from it. Yelling at the tv the last few weeks, has not helped this team improve. Either the team rallies and saves RR, or we will have a new HC. I am just going to root for the team, because like all of you... I love Michigan. I will hope for the best, and see what happens.
I'm in a really weird place. I was at the game last night, and was really taken aback by the aggressiveness of the FIRE RR fans. I don't know how I feel about anything right now, but the "We want Harbaugh!" chant eminating from the Michigan section in which I stood in the third quarter was absolutely in poor taste. The long drive back to Detroit gave me a lot of time to think things over, but I really don't feel any better. I want so badly for this to work out, but I am certain that there are components to this that are inherently broken, and at some point that has to fall on the head coach. In short, it all just really makes my stomach hurt. We've been through so very much these past three years that we're becoming a little shell-shocked. I thought I'd feel better today, but I don't, and I don't know what will make me feel better.
I'm back home now passing out candy and the kids are digging my block M pumpkin, so there's that. Hang in there guys.
Come to the big ten, Michigan can make anybody look good! That's how I feel, and it sucks.
i was gonna say at least we're a holy lock for tears of unfathomable sadness but i think state has once again DOMINATED that category too
Wonderful posts. Just that the video rocks!