I'm just kidding of course. "No moar RR posts!" admonishments to commence in 3, 2, 1.......
Eleven Warriors analyzes why RR & Spread failed at Michigan
Even with all the RR stuff, I think one of the coolest things about the entire misadventure is that we're now HERE. What I mean is, the ability of Michigan to not shy away from turning the magnifying glass on itself and to LEARN from missteps has really been demonstrated by how the system handled the entire RRod situation (once it played out).
Seriously, so many other programs/corporations/universities/organizations would have taken FOREVER to be able to retrospectively analyze past missteps, forensically determine the problems, yet somehow retain the sound components of the culture to keep a solid foundation, and totally reinvent the program as efficiently as Michigan has.
Brandon comes in, boosts revenue stream, diverts the resources to football coaching salaries and basketball facilities. He hires people that not only buy-in to the Michigan tradtion, but have it SO ENMESHED into their very fibre, that they are not paralyzed for fear of violating that tradition, but rather DYNAMIC in execution, for both the round ball (bball) and the good old prolate spheroid. The recruiters recruit locally and solidly. Yet pull in from the diaspora better than ever, because the Michigan tradition of integrity and performance was something they had even before they came here on this particular stint. College recruits TRUST our ambassadors because they're sincere.
Simultaneously, NCAA scrutiny gets ratched up, and Michigan, even during the RR years, is proactive about it. A nuisance violation is owned, digested, and effectively addressed.
Contrast that with Ohio. A program that still seems to be in denial over the extent of decay to its foundation that has nothing directly to do with wins. Just what that program is sadly willing to do for the sake of wins, and ability to delude itself that its okay.
Picking up Urban Meyer was symbolic of many, many things regarding the direction Ohio is headed.
The LEAST of it is the spread offense. And I think Buckeye fans should be concerned.
So in the spirit of self evaluation, I think (to a degree) our collective ability to look at the RR years as a learning opportunity has been demonstrated. And it is remarkable.
to a successful spread offense takes many years. You need to recruit a totally different athelete and considerable patience. At a school accustomed to winning the majority of their games, the transition did not make sense. Gary Danielson made this point when he learned of RR going to Michigan.
He predicted failure because Michigan and its fans could not tolerate the difficult and lengthy transition.
Arizona State made the right decison in hiring RR. Their programs is in deep trouble and Michigan's was not.
I don't think the spread failed at all. Rodriguez ultimately didn't succeed at Michigan for a variety of reasons...but his offense schemes and execution weren't part of the problem.
To be fair, the spread was, at least, very inconsistent against better defenses, but alot of that had to do with youth at quarterback. But, you can say that about any offense that has a freshman/sophmore qb.
I think you're right here, and it was only made worse by Tate losing his starting position (although that's obviously turned out to be for the best). The difference was that a layperson like me would look at the offense, even on a blown play, and be able to say, "ohhhh, I see what we're going for here". It was pretty clear the offense's problem was execution.
The defense and certain aspects of special teams looked like our coaches had money on the other team, though.
You can say that about any offense, period. Elite defenses will slow ANY offense down; that is why they are elite.
If our defense had played even as well as Purdue's did in 2010, Rodriguez would probably still be here.
I never thought the spread failed? Does anyone believe that? The offense was, certainly at the end, the least of our worries during the RR regime.
Sounds to me like most of 11W readers (but not Fulton) have read "Three and Out".
Wouldn't you? If there's ever a book full of schadenfreude over the most humiliating era in Ohio history, I'd be first in line to buy.
In a heartbeat I'd read such a book. If someone on the inside (TP?) worked with the Tat guys and the Parlor owner and the lawyer and the dealership to write a full expose on what occurred at Ohio over the last five years? Shoot, I'd gladly see TP paid $2mil upfront to dish on what REALLY happened.
What would really be glorious, in a way, would be if NOTHING happened to Ohio because of such a book. It would cause shame for fans, and the institution, and expose the NCAA for the toothless, spineless, ineffective (corrupt?) organization it really is.
Yes the defense sucked and it is unfathomable to think RR couldn't get a decent DC in three years. However there was evidence that suggests that as great as the O looked against the weaker teams of the B1G (e.g. IU, Illinois, Purdue) it didn't perform so well against the better teams (e.g. ohio, UW, PSU, Iowa, MSU).
most good defenses slow down good offenses below their averages--especially when that good offense is matched with a defense that can't stop the opposing team
As I state down below MSU, UW and PSU were not even top 25 defenses. PSU was barely top 50. As far as our D not being able to stop anyone I get that. I'm not arguing that point. But there were some games (MSU/PSU) where the D kept the score within reach and our offense couldn't get the job done against an opposing D that wasn't all that good. If our O was so great they should have been able to overcome those challenges.
I dunno; scoring 17, 31, and 28 seems like a good enough job most of the time. I think the biggest thing was that we were essentially starting a RS Frosh at QB, in an offense that relies heavily on production from the QB in passing and running If we had stayed the course another year I think the offense would have been dynamic due to Denard having spent 3 years in the offense, and getting a guy like Fitz healthy as well
put up 35 to take ND and 40 to take OSU in 2011 so I dunno.
"Rodriguez's Michigan defenses and special teams worsened every year and were frankly horrible by the end of his tenure. This deficiency, more than anything else, sunk Rodriguez's tenure. Yet it is too much to give Rodriguez's offenses a free pass."
I agree with this assesment and I think michgoblue (correct me if I'm wrong) is in agreement with it as well. Everyone wants to think that the offense was great and that the only thing that was wrong was the D and the ST. I and others are saying the O wasn't all that great either. Granted it wasn't the biggest problem but there were issues.
Is the Pope Catholic? What would you define as "great?" You're reminding me of that meme of the guy who thinks Kate Upton has pointy knees. Kate Upton may not be perfect to look at, but you get the picture. If she has deficiencies, it isn't her appearance or her pair of fine personalities. Likewise, Michigan had deficiencies during the RR tenure, but the Spread offense wasn't particularly one of them.
RRod's ability to score, yardage, was amazing. And fun to watch.
He was/is a brilliant and gifted Offensive Coordinator.
But football is a funny sport, and as much as it is tempting to break the game down into the three phases, the fourth phase (I'm not talking about the fans) is how the other three phases INTERACT.
And that is the art of ball control/clock management, when you get right down to it. It is specifically how a team balances its abilities in the three phases of the game to allow for their defense to rest, their offense to maintain total freedom of choice in run vs. pass selection, and keeping the ball out of the other team's offensive hands.
At this, sadly, RR failed miserably. Which is ironic because HE HAD THE HARD PART DOWN: his offenses could score. But they couldn't keep the ball out of the other offense's hands. And a small boost in performance on that side of the ball would have helped his record dramatically.
No, RR's tenure in no way suggests that the spread offense would fail in the B1G.
However, it DOES suggest, much like the first Gulf War, that one cannot win a land war with air superiority alone. Shock and Awe only gets you so far, and at some point, you need boots on the ground, ie defense, ie ball control.
So RR=Amazing Air Force. Lousy Army and Marines.
Defense was the problem--a top 50 defense and all would have been forgiven.
I suppose this topic is one of indulgence for Ohio fans. Not really relevant going forward so I hope they keep on it.
What about starting a new QB 3 years in a row?
As much as Pryor was a cheat I think Rich Rod's biggest failure was not signing him. If we had a capable spread and shred QB in '08 I think we could have avoided the losing record.
I'd argue that failing to land Pryor was RichRod's biggest *gift* to Michigan. Obviously, hindsight is 20/20 and none of us thought that at the time, but if we'd had a crystal ball in 2008, I'm pretty sure us and reasonably sane Ohio fans (hurr hurr) would've been falling over each other saying "No, you take him. Please."
Obviously we didn't sign him because we didn't offer enough free tats, nissans, and pawnable memorabilia. But from a purely football standpoint he was a big miss.
In ohio's defense at least he didn't become a general studies major. /s
ARE YOU KIDDING?
I wasn't going to comment on RR, but this statement -- "his biggest failure was not signing Pryor" -- is ABSURD.
Pryor was an intellectual retard, he was 100% all about Tyrelle Pryor, he didnt get it, he never will get it, and frankly, he wasnt much of a team leader or field general. He just had mad raw skillz that he used successfully.
And because we didn't get him, we got the EXACT OPPOSITE, and WE LOVE HIM SOME DENARD.
Denard is 100% the perfect student representative for a football program. Polite and modest to a fault. Always smiling. Exceptional team leader, he is the undisputed leader (even was as a junior). Finds ways to win. Pure dilithium, of the flash variety.
Had RR gotten Pryor, we would have (1) gotten a sulking, self-centered, trouble-making loser as QB, and (2) gotten an opportunity to watch Urban Meyer (!) use Denard down at Florida on TV.
Was not RR's biggest failure. Was in hindsight his BIGGEST BLESSING. Because the GREATEST thing RR did was, HE GAVE US DENARD.
Pryor > Threet.
I'm glad he didn't come here but don't try and tell me that pryor wouldn't have been a better option in 2008 and 2009 than the threet/forcier combo. Did you read three and out? Threet cried at halftime and Forcier was uncoachable.
Sidenote: Meyer was recruiting Denard as a Corner.
Not enough pointing fergodsakes
Ross Fulton (the author of the post at Eleven Warriors) is actually a Michigan Grad; I graduated with him in 2004. I find his posts to be reasonable and well thought out; that's the Michigan difference.
Is Fulton an Ohio native? Why did he go to the dark side? Don't get it.
He's Arizona's problem now. Let them worry about it.
Not recruiting (and/or not executing) defensive talent is why RR failed here.
The offense was great- everything else.... not so much
I think that the point of the 11W post was whether the RR spread failed "in the B10."
So, if you are looking at the 2010 offense, you need to strip out the out of conference games (except maybe ND) and see how the offense performed in the B10.
Disclaimer: the following is NOT intended to be a criticism of RR or to re-start old debates. Just a response to the question posed by the OP and by the 11W article.
In the B10, and in particular against the better B10 teams (see Wisco, OSU, Iowa, MSU and even PSU) our offense was flat out ineffective for large chunks of the game, and only put up significant points when the game was out of reach or close to out of reach and the opposing defenses went into "play it safe" mode. The same thing happened in the Gator Bowl against an average MSU (not that MSU) defense.
So, from our limited experience of 2010, my view is that the spread is not ideally suited for the B10. Not saying that it can't be effective, but as we ran it, it was not, in my view, effective. Anyone can put up points against crap defenses, but the test is whether you can score against the big boys, and in 2010, we could not when it counted.
Now, this is not a criticism of RR or even the spread, necessarily.. We largely ran the spread for much of this year, and had similar results on offense against Iowa, MSU and even in the Sugar Bowl. So, the problem may equally be Denard at QB being somewhat 1 dimensional, or Denard being a poor in-game decision maker. Run the same spread with Tate Forcier (let's ignore the crazy part, just his QB style), and we may be more effective because he could move, but could also hit a throw right on the $$, forcing defenses to defend the pass.
Also, 2010 was played with a first year QB started who had only taken a handful of snaps. Essentially, a freshman. Not ideal under any circumstances and even the best offenses will struggle with a freshman QB. As an example, Jimmah at ND went on to get drafted by the NFL, but does anyone remember ND's offense during his first year? More turnovers than TDs and they couldn't score when facing a decent D.
I guess that my view is that from what I saw, the spread (as run by RR) was not well suited for the B10, but there may have been some mitigating factors that caused this result.
I still don't understand how people don't understand that good offenses will normally play worse against good defenses. That doesn't mean it isn't effective or it won't work, it means good defenses are good for a reason. We had a very good defense this year and a crap OSU offense put up a lot of yards and points against us. Chad Henne put up 3 points against OSU as a senior...does that mean a pro style offense can't work in the B10 or does that mean Ohio State had a good defense?
Chad Henne put up 3 points as a senior because he couldn't lift his throwing arm above his shoulder. If it wasn't his last game against Ohio he wouldn't even have played. It also didn't help that Manningham dropped 6 passes.
Agreed and 100% valid because, against good teams, none of our quarterbacks were ever injured in RichRod's 3 years and none of the WRs dropped passes.
This line of logic always baffles me as a major complaint about the spread is the QBs are injured too much.
That may explain the results of one or two games (MSU/OSU) but we're talking five games in 2010. So what's the rationale for Iowa, Wisconsin and PSU?
Tsio's offense was not crap. They had a lot of talent off the field last year due to suspensions. They've had many good recruiting classes in recent years and are not devoid of talent. Miller had to grow up in the pocket which clearly wasn't the plan but he's talented and it started to show towards the end of the year. Their O-line struggled as did other parts of their game but that team had some adverse conditions to contend with. I for one have no pity for them I enjoyed watching them flounder.
You named 3 teams we averaged 30 points per game against...and that is struggling? Take out the fact that Iowa had a top 10 defense, Wisconsin was 11-1 with a good defense, and PSU had a good defense, do you think averaging 30 per game is bad or are you one of the people who think teams give up and put reserves in when up 7 or 10 points in the second half?
If that offense is as prolific as you suggest than they should be able to pick up the slack in at least one of those games and deliver a victory. BTW they didn't average 30 ppg they averaged 29 ppg. Averaging 30 a game for 3 games in a pro-style set is good but the expectation is different when it comes to a spread offense. Of the five regular season losses, the opposing D was ranked in total team defense:
PSU 43rd (not what I would call a good D)
(Just for giggles Miss. St. was ranked 29th)
So 3 of those losses came against D's that weren't even ranked in the top 25.
Yes, and those 3 teams that didn't have a top 25 defense (which is quite the arbitrary number because none of them were top 25 but 2 of them were the 27th and 31st ranked defense....which is way worse than top 25) were 11-1, 11-1, and 7-6 (I think that's what PSU's record was). Averaging 29 points per game and giving yourself a chance to win against 3 teams with a combined record of 29-8 is actually pretty good.
And I have no clue what your point is about spread vs pro style. Please enlighten me as to why expectations are higher for a spread offense than a pro style offense? A good offense is a good offense....what else are we judging it on? The ability to win a game? Why didn't you include Illinois then? Our offense won us that game and I believe their defense was better than PSUs. I know why, because that doesn't fit this "offense needs to play good in games I say are against good teams, but only when I say and not games they perform well in."
Thank you butterfield, that was my point precisley. If you have the same expectations for a spread offense that you do for a pro-set then why would anyone use it? Because it looks cooler? Throwing the ball is risky. The only reason to take that risk is because you feel the rewards outweigh the risk. The reward being higher output. If you looked at the box score from the Rose Bowl TOP for Oregon was 24.18 and UW was 35.42, everytime the Badgers scored Oregon threw 3 or 4 passes ran the ball a couple of times and scored again.
The reason I didn't include Illinois is two-fold one it wasn't a loss and two, I think many will agree, it was more of an aberration or an outlier compared to the rest of the season.
This is just silly. You run the spread offense because it is effective at creating one on one matchups in space, you know, by spreading the field out.
Do you even know what kind of spread offense we ran? It doesn't really sound like you do.
And you know what is an outlier....scoring 7 points for a team that averaged over 30. I wonder why you didn't throw out OSU. Again I know why....because you wanted to throw out a game we scored 30 over our average as an outlier but not 30 under our average as an outlier. Weird the way all your data points to everything that makes your point stronger but ignores everything that makes it weaker.
we run the zone read spread so we can create one on one match ups? That's all? We just spread the field because it's easier to throw the ball. What's the goal of the spread? Just to isolate defenders and create vertical passing and running lanes? The byproduct of the spread is that because it's pass oriented with 4 and 5 receiver sets it has the tendency to move the ball down the field quickly which translates into short drives, more posession opportunities and higher scoring potential.
As I said before my examples were chosen becasue they were LOSSES and nothing else. I wouldn't consider OSU and outlier because they had the #3 defense.
You said our offense didn't play well against good teams and then pointed to PSU as one of your examples. It is pretty easy to make a point when you only look at data and facts that you want to. First off, PSU wasn't a good team and second we scored 31 against them. When I point out Illinois as a better team with a better defense, you can't just say "I don't count them" because you are completely missing any evidence that counters your statement. That would be like me saying "our offense was actually the best in the nation because we scored 67 against Illinois and I don't really care what other games we played, that is the only one I am looking at."
You started out telling me that PSU had a good defense. I point out that they were ranked 43rd and now you're saying that they weren't good. Then you throw Illinois at me and say that they had a better defense than PSU. Illinois was ranked 54th, clearly that is not accurate.
My premise about the offense was not that they sucked but that too many people give the O too much credit. There were issues with the better teams. Illinois wasn't one of the better teams in the B1G, nor was Purdue or Indiana that's why I didn't include them NOT because I'm trying to skew my data.
Our offense was the 9th best offense in the country last year and we played the same (probably tougher) schecdule as every other year. How is saying they were pretty good giving them too much credit?
Looking at the defense this year, it was really overrated. Against ND, MSU, OSU, and Nebraska, we gave up 27 points per game. Our defense got too much credit....they actually weren't that good because they played poorly in those 4 games I pointed out.
They weren't 9th they were 24th.
Our offense was the 9th best offense in the country last year and we played the same (probably tougher) schecdule as every other year. How is saying they were pretty good giving them too much credit?
Looking at the defense this year, it was really overrated. Against ND, MSU, OSU, and Nebraska, we gave up 27 points per game. Our defense got too much credit....they actually weren't that good because they played poorly in those 4 games I pointed out.
except for the fact we lit them up for 45 in regulation and 67 after overtime. They beat Penn State and had the same record as Penn State and were 1 game behind Iowa.
The only reason people try to include them in the good/decent teams is because we beat them and that would give credit to the 2010 offense.
That has nothing to do with spread vs pro style and everything to do with tempo. Plenty of pro style teams go no huddle and plenty of spread teams take time off the clock. This has nothing to do with what offense you run
Are you suggesting that pro style teams don't like to score quickly so they run an offense that is designed to score slower? That sounds ridiculous.
The offense's job is to score. The defense's job is to stop the other team from scoring. A no huddle offense, whether pro style or spread, is designed to keep the defense from huddling up. An offense that scores quickly does so because they are outplaying and out-scheming the defense, not because they took their time in the huddle or put 5 WRs on the field.
If you honestly think a spread offense doesn't have many plays to pick up a 3rd and 4 or 5, I don't know what to tell you. You obviously don't know much about football.
It is amazing nearly every team in the top 25 runs some sort of spread if it makes the defense so tired. I am surprised anyone runs it at all if it is so ineffective.
So more than half this year's top 25 ran the spread. And the 2 national championship teams from last year ran it as well. So basically, any type of offense can be successfull if you have the right players. Huh. Exactly what I said.
that LSU ran an offense of any kind.
we moved the ball well in the first half against MSU, Iowa, Penn State, Ohio State and Mississippi State. In those games, our drives usually stalled out due to turnovers, penalties and poor special teams play. Also, our offense rarely got the benefit of a short field due to the defense's inability to create turnovers.
You then couple this with first year starters at QB and LT as well as no reliable RB. What you get is an offense that flashes brilliance, but sputters close to the goal line. These are the type of things that are ironed out over an offseason. Remember, at the key position, especially in a RR offense, we had another first year starter who didn't have the benefit of being in many of the situations he found himself in, especially against the good teams.
Once again, you're arguing against the wrong idea. The real argument is: Could the spread have gotten better under RR in 2011? The answer is yes. But people like you seem to act like it had all the optimal conditions possible last year and just failed miserably. Its baffling.
I'd have to say that RR's use of the word "ain't" is probably what made his offense fail so very, very badly at Michigan.
has been written.
Spread was actually quite successful. Offensive production was great in RR's year 3, and only an extremely high turnover rate, including a mind-boggling rate in the redzone kept the offense from being one of the highest scoring offenses.
Spread works in big ten or anywhere when the personnel is there to execute. Not only did M have success with it, but other B1G teams e.g., PSU, OSU, Illinois, NW and Purdue, have all had success with various spread elements in this league.
As discussed ad nauseum , , RR's failures had nothing to do with the offense he ran.
Do you mean Ohio?
This is essentially what he said to someone when they referenced Akron State Golden Bobcats as Ohio St.
I think you're misrepresenting the argument.
Rodriguez's Michigan defenses and special teams worsened every year and were frankly horrible by the end of his tenure. This deficiency, more than anything else, sunk Rodriguez's tenure. Yet it is too much to give Rodriguez's offenses a free pass.
The author isn't arguing the offense was the primary culprit. He's arguing that by not incorporating some of the things teams like Oregon do, Rodriguez schemes weren't completely optimal. I don't know enough to say whether this quibble has merit, and there are some other problems in the post (ie the base play in at least 2010 was the iso, not the zone read), but I think the column is generally fair.
Is that RR was dealing with a new QB every year. His WVU offense was more diverse than his Michigan offense, presumably for this reason.
I think the column is factually correct but not fair to RR. For OSU fans' purposes, though, factually correct is probably good enough, so...there's that.
I agree that it was too harsh on Rodriguez, but from their perspective Rodriguez' acumen as a coach isn't nearly as relevant a takeaway as whether the spread option was run to its potential by Rodriguez and if not how much untapped potential remained.
I think a lot of commenters here are missing the point. The author is conceding that D/ST was horrific and the main problem. That said, if the offense was more efficient it might have been able to better overcome the defense, and it didn't. It's overall a pretty fair article, though I also think it's a bit short-sighted given I think it's safe to assume the offense would diversify a bit in year 2 of Denard (kinda like it did this year adding the veer and such).
But Fulton ends his column saying:
Chris Brown prophetically predicated at the beginning of Rodriguez's Michigan tenure that Rodriguez's passing game lacked the conceptual nature necessary to succeed as teams adapted to the spread's basic tenets. Nor did Rodriguez (for the most part) diversiify his offense in the way an Oregon has to counteract things such as scrape exchanges. Michigan never embraced plays such as the midline option, inverted veer, power or counter trey like others. The upshot is that, while Michigan's offense was largely succesful once Denard Robinson was in place, it never hummed in the way Oregon's offense did (particularly against better teams) to overcome Michigan's defense or special team liabilities.
Do you agree with this? I don't. Personally, I think, as stated by others, had Michigan had a decent (not great) defense, the offense was more than good enough to succeed. And RR would have been able to tweak it to make it better. He couldn't do this because he was fighting for his coaching life and wondering what to do about the D.
The fofense did struggle against even decent defenses. The best defense in the world would not have changed that.
Oregon's offense is WAY more diverse than our 2010 offense ever was. One of my frustrations was that just about every big game, I thought "can't wait to see whar RR has in his bag of tricks - I am sure that he will have something awesome to counteract [insert MSU, Iowa, Wisco, Ohio, MSU Gator)." He rarely did, and it made our offense predictable.
Also: "He couldn't do this because he was fighting for his coaching life and wondering what to do about the D."
That's something of an excuse. It's not like RR said, "man, I need a good two hours to focus on the offense, but I am instead going to spend them 'fighting for my life' or coaching the D." RR focussed on the offense, so at a minimum, the tweaks that you talk about were something that I would have expected him to do.
The far bigger difference between our offenses under RR and Oregon (and RR's offenses at WVU) was simply that Oregon had better complimentary players. We never had a complimentary running back, or at least one that could stay healthy. We never had a slot running threat that was a true game breaker. Frankly, we just didn't have a skill player that was a legitimate NFL talent in RR's three years.
I don't disagree with this point. My only point was that our offense was not as diverse as it should have been.
Don't get me wrong, we were at a major talent deficiency (some of which was on Lloyd's last 2 recruiting classes and a lot of which is on RR's insanely high attrition rate), and we were young to boot. No doubt about that. And, yes, scheme is one thing, but it is about "the jimmys and joes, not the x's and o's" and all of that. But, the selling point for the spread is that it should allow a team with less talent to do well against superior talent. See Appy State and RR's own WVU teams.
So, I do agree that it is easier to do what Oregon does when you have Oregon's talent. And we really didn;t (and to some extent, still don't) have the talent that we needed at the skill position.
I agree that Rodriguez didn't use a lot of wrinkles employed by Oregon and Florida under Meyer. I don't know if Rodriguez wanted to use these wrinkles and he didn't because of inexperience at quarterback or some other reason. I don't know if they would have made the offense better. It's all up for debate and I'm content to learn what I can on the matter from people who know more than me.
I do think it's a stretch to speculate that Rodriguez would have implemented these changes but for the defense and various external pressures.
Michigan never embraced plays such as the midline option, inverted veer, power or counter trey like others.
Except by the end of his time here, he *was* running the inverted veer and power (at least out of that list) as compliments to the zone read. Any lack of diversification was due to lack of time while still needing to teach underclassmen quarterbacks the basics. And it was still statistically one of the best offenses in Michigan history. I'm pretty sure we'd have seen a very diverse offense if RR ever had an upperclassmen quarterback that wasn't still learning the basics. And the reason he never had that brings us back to defense and special teams.
i am dumbfounded how people don't realize that denard was a first-year starter and the offense, as a whole, was full of frosh and sophs. it's obvious that would hinder offensive diversity. yet, the O still churned-up huge chunks of yards.
and of course the O struggled against good defenses, you know, like every other offense in the country does.
You make a good point, but I disagree with the author on what he claims RR wasn't doing. I will grant that his passing offense wasn't that complicated, but that could easily be explained by (Sheridan/Threet, Freshman Tate, Sophomore Denard). The other elements he claims weren't there, in fact were to varying degrees. By 2010 the zone-read option became a relatively small part of the offense. Largely because we struggled to find a complimentary RB and Denard's struggles with making the appropriate read.
I wish people would stop using the failure to adapt to his personell in 2008. People seem to think that in a prostyle offense Threet would have played like Chad Henne. He was essentially a redshirt freshman with no game experience, who wasn't very good anyway. No offense would have been good with the personel they had.
When did anyone talk about 2008? Article never mentions it. It really just talks about the Denard-era offense.
Looking back, it was in the comments that they talked about it. It kind of all meshed together since I read straight through.
If you read the article you'll be pleasantly surprised that the author didn't say that.
Some 11W reader/commenters bring up that meme, but not Fulton.
I do think that Hoke/Borges came into a much better situation, and had more to work with. A parallel would have been if RR came in with say, Henne as a Junior. If RR chased Henne and refused to adapt to Henne's skill set, yeah, the criticism of RR would be valid. Sheridan & Threet? Not so much. And I don't think RR ever really had the chance to keep Mallett.
Speaking of adapting, however, I think Mattison did the best job of all. However, that isn't the focus of the 11W article. But Mattison's teaching of who he had, and adapting schemes to who he had, is mind-boggling. I can only imagine what he will do as he has guys here with a higher skill set, speed, and athletic ability.
I always liked the spread. I think that having a mobile QB who can extend plays is essential in college football now (think andrew luck, rg3, and so on). It pains me to admit this but I think Tressel was ahead of his time when it came to marrying manball concepts with spread type QBs. While I love the current coaching staff I will be disappointed if we return to 6'6" 240 lbs QBs who have a 5.5 second 40 time.
Let me be clear, Denard is the QB for next year. That being said I am really excited about Gardner in 2013 and 2014. I think he will closer to Russell Wilson in his playing style, meaning not many designed QB runs but a great scrambler when things break down.
If Denard learns how to scramble, we will be the greatest offense of all time. In two years as a starter, he has virtually never scrambled, despite being the most dangerous athlete on the field at all times. I think RR drilled into his head to run the play that was called. Hopefully the new staff will teach him when to take advantage of the defenses' failure to contain him when nothing is open.
finger up the ass? Sounds painful.
While the offense was going to have problems whoever coached in 2008, a better defense was possible and would have helped.
Herman was at Texas for several years and then OC under David Bailiff at Rice and Paul Roads at Iowa State. His offenses were more pass-centric. It's true that Iowa State had some signature wins over Nebraska, Texas Tech, Texas and Oklahoma State during his tenure (2009-2011), which ISU followers will probably remember forever.
Of course, for Ohio fans Tom Herman > Rodriguez/Magee.
Defense and ST were the main problems, but I still think there were problems on offense.
First is youth. The decision making by QBs and RBs wasn't the best yet. Whether it was due to coaching, youth, lack of reps, etc is uncertain, but there were many costly mistakes.
Second is the ability to execute in the redzone. This is in part due to youth, but I think it also goes beyond that. The spread becomes increasingly difficult once you get inside the 20 and the idea of the spread (to spread the defense out) begins to go away. I think RR knew this, which is why he wanted to implement an I-form. However, Michigan was never able to develop a power run game, even with more power formations (ie, 2 TEs or a fullback) out of the shotgun. In fact, RR was forced to resort to essentially running Denard out of a single wing, which still wasn't extremely effective. Whether it was coaching, players ability, whatever, this fact remains one of the biggest things that held back RR's offense.
Obviously, again, defense and ST didn't help in these matters.
Am I the only one who reads this article and thinks, "Without the perfect QB, Urban Meyer's offense is rather fragile?"
I agree with this 100%. But, sadly, OSU has the perfect QB in Braxton Miller, and he has 3 years left. Miller is exactly the type of QB that will succeed in Meyer's offense. He is fast, but also a strong runner (like Tebow, but not as big, obviously). He also had a decent arm that should get better over time, as proven in OSU's game against us this past year.
use more of a passing spread? I think Miller could be a disaster against the good teams personally and I don't think they're going to replace him for the next 3 years. Miller passing reminded me a lot of Sheridan and Threet passing in 2008....
The kid won't miss 3 wide open receivers every game though.
Meyer did really well with Tebow as QB. I don't think that Miller's arm (for a freshman) is that far offf of Tebow, and he arguably is a mroe dynamic runner. Miller's speed and running ability will force teams to play up on the line, leaving open receivers downfield (or it least over the middle). As Mad Scientist above said, Miller will not miss those open receiver like Threetadin did, and he will therefore likely be very effective in this offense.
After watching the B1G networks broadcast of the game for the first time I was amazed at how much Spielman wanted to suck Miller's bawls. It was more than a man crush.
So if he starts pulling games out late, will it be called "Miller Time"?
Bad joke, I know, but imagine if a comedic genius like Hoke had delivered it after warming up the crowd a bit.
He had success before Tebow (albeit with another good QB). I think what happened at Florida was that the coaching got lazy. By that I mean a few things. The offensive line wasn't nearly as effective is a big one. Other things include getting back to fundamentals. They were blessed with Tebow, but then seemed to get complacent. They didn't need to "coach" Tebow as much. They got away without instilling how to play the position as much, and essentially riding his and Percy's coattails for 3 years probably didn't help. Once they left, they were somewhat used to running things a certain way with a certain amount of success. They struggled going backwards, they didn't provide adequate coaching to their depth, and thus struggled.
If Meyer can figure out how to move and that direction again they should be fine. I'm not sure they will ever be as good as they were with Tebow and Percy, but I don't think what you saw Urban's last year in Florida will be the norm either.
By the way, many spread teams depend heavily on the success of the QB. It's just a part of running that system.
Arizona for the 2007 Horror, Chris Leak did almost all of the work. Tebow came in only in short yardage situations where he was used like a running back.
I'll give them a cute gold star sticker because it must be really difficult for a Buckeye to write down coherent thoughts given their education and environment, but like the mind of any elementary student, this is far from reality.
We had one of the top, if not THE top offense in Michigan history under Rich Rodriguez. If that's not properly implementing the spread, then I don't know what is. I believe your arguments are the key elements why RR didn't see the success we all expected, but I think there's one that you are missing.
We had pretty respectible recruiting classes all throughout RR's tenure, but the attrition was horrendous. I believe the large number of transfers were primarily due to the reasons listed above, but coaching incompetence being the biggest reason.
After all, some of the RR-recruited seniors this year said that they truly didn't understand their position and its role in football until Hoke and his coaches came (not positive who this was, Molk, Martin, or Van Bergen?)
Lesson learned: spread offenses are exciting, but strong defenses win championships.
The defense was definitely our biggest problem, and special teams (kickers?) a very close second. However, the other part of the equation was our passing game.
God knows I love Denard. Even more so now for staying with team after RR's departure.
However, while the spread worked excellently for Denard's run game, and while that is part of the point of the spread, the other point is the passing game. In addition to defense, and special teams (oh, sweet mother....special teams. ugh), the spread hurt from our inaccurate and highly inconsistent passing game. Repeat: in addition to defense and special teams.
I didn't like the spread, but we sure scored a hell of a lot of points.
The horse twitched!
RESUME THE BEATING!!!!!!
Great two line post. Maybe the best in this thread. I'd die to see Brian's eyes rolling right now, drolling pulling out his long locks.
I've always blamed the people who want to keep attacking RR for this situation, but I now realize that I, as a defender of RR, am just as much to blame. I have to take ownership of that...My name is Erik, and I am addicted to defending Rodriguez. I do it at work. I do it when I'm by myself. I did it once at a bus stop. I can't stop!
It's not your fault
It's not your fault
One of the top offenses in Michigan history? You sir need to lay off grandpa's old cough medicine. The offense was very ineffective against good defenses. Why? Because Rich Rod didn't have very many good athletes on the field. No effective running back, and mediocre wide receivers. Save Denard, there were no big playmakers anywhere. Now, if Denard is a junior or senior with Sammy Watkins, Dee Hart, Stonum, etc. on the field, that offense would have been scary.
Yeah he was way off (and I mean that respectfully). Rodriguez's offense didn't fail. Everything else did. It would have easily been one of the top two or three offenses in the country in 2011 had Rodriguez stayed.
Here's where I kiss all my mgopoints goodbye, but from my perspective, offensive execution very much was a problem for us. At some point, I can't subtract our propensity for dong-punching redzone turnovers from the overall portrait of our offense. We were that team that could move the ball all day long between the 20's but not so much in the red zone. I can hand-wave some of that off as being attributable to bad special teams, worse defense and playing some very good defensive teams, but to me, it was a lack of proper execution and fundamentals that caused a lot of our offensive failures, moreso than any schematic deficiency.
I think that could very well have improved in 2011 with a more seasoned team, but it's all water under the bridge now. At the end of the day, you can't compare anything in a vaccuum. It's easy and maybe even correct to say that Hoke got the team to be more fundamentally sound on the offensive side of the ball, but he also had a more seasoned veteran team, sooooo stopping now before I lose all my mgopoints. :)
You're definitely not wrong. The offense was pretty inconsistent at times. Thing is, if Denard had been a year older, it would have turned out totally different. It's just that not getting a QB in that first class (like so many other unfortunate mishaps) killed them.
Because he didn't recruit in-state, obvi.
landed Robert Griffin III in 2008 instead of recruiting Terrelle Pryor.
You could really say that about any player like RG3 who went unnoticed during recruitment. Hindsight is 20/20 for player evaluations
If you look at the by quarter scoring breakdowns for Oregon's and Michigan's 2010 seasons, a really big peice of evidence shows up.
Oregon scored 21 points in 9 quarters that season, and if you take out the 4Q, had only 5 scoreless quarters. The sampling is a little too small for this, but roughly Oregon had two huge scoring quarters for every quarter where they were shut down.
Michigan scored 21 points in 5 quarters that season (two TD or more in 15 quarters), but got shut out in 13 quarters.
To me this indicates that yes, it was a high power offense (not on par with Oregon but close to it), but also an offense that would get shut down often. That would imply to me that RichRod did have a bit of a problem of adjusting his offense to keep ahead of defenses.
Also, if you count ND, conference and the bowl game, the disparity gets huge:
9 quarters with 14 points or more, 13 quarters where Michigan was scoreless.
Michigan had a defense that couldn't really get off the field at times and they were prone to turnovers, but when you have an offense that fluctuates so severely between overpowering and inept, you have to look at the way coaches are adjusting.
Yeah, but don't you think having a defense that gave up 19-play drives was part of the problem?
This is why FEI is useful to look at, since it measures per-drive effectiveness, which gets rid of the problem that you might not get a sniff of the ball because your defense can't get off the field.
Yeah, I did mention the defenses struggles to get off the field (although they were really, really good at getting off the field in a hurry against good offenses, just not in a good way).
The problem with the FEI is that we are not looking to see if this offense was effective, we all know it was. The question is whether RichRod's offense did suffer from a lack of adjustment to defensive strategies, and to do that you need to break it down into a series, rather than looking at aggregate data.
For example, I don't think the FEI is going to give a full picture of a Michigan offense that, for example, had two 75 yard TD drives in the first quarter against Mississippi State, yet didn't score again for the rest of the game. That team was feast or famine, and I don't think the FEI showed that.
I don't think anyone is saying that offense was the problem, but there are plenty of reasons to think that RichRod could have gotten better results, or at least more consistent results.
A team that can alternate between devastatingly effective to devastatingly inept over the course of a single game, let alone the course of a season, likely has some major flexibility problems.
The spread offense only failed because it couldn't score 40+ points each game to make up for GERG's (and RR's) horrid defennsive schemes.
Other than that... 2009 and 2010 offenses were very good.
I think that any offense tasked with driving 80 yds and scoring a TD six times a game is probably going to fail.
I agree with a lot of the intel posted. The spread did not fail. The spread and the offense were one of the bright spots of the RR era. In fact, I wish the spread and that offense never left. That is neither here nor there.
RR's handling of the defense is what led to his demise. 11W needs to analyze why RR couldnt get Casteel and why he was so stuck on running a defense he wanted. If he could have hired a guy like Mattison, for example, the situation may have ended up differently for RR.
We have great building blocks and great minds running our defense now. Hopefully, our offense can produce a portion of what the spread did for us once the spread and the kids running it are gone.
With the defense and special teams disaster, and a less than stellar passing game, RR was doomed. As the 2010 season got into B1G play, and Denard's running became less effective because of the way D's were playing the run game, it was critical that the passing game needed to be way better than it was. That never happened and the result was 7-6. I felt that the stats never told the real story. As we got into better BiG play, the PPG numbers went south. The combination of a less than stellar passing game and the lack of another RB didn't help either.
I refused to get sucked in but every time I'm out I get pulled back in.
Oregon's offense is not more complex than RR's. If anything their run game is more simple. Look up some of the posts online about their offensive package.
RR's offense was simply an incomplete at Michigan. We've argued the merits of the offense in 2010 to death. Both have merit. The simple undisputed fact is that RR had 10 starters, a ton of depth returning and Denard in 2011.
What that offense may have produced will never be known. Section 1 and I will believe that we would have averaged 50pts a game last year. Others will argue it would have failed against good defenses just like it did the year before. Who cares anymore? It's done.
Bottom line is this. If you believe a certain offensive scheme will fail because of this particular conference you are nuts. We've seen passing spreads work(Purdue won a Big Ten Title?) Neanderthal 1960 offense works(Wisconsin) Pro Style Works (Michigan, Iowa) , Hybrid( whatever that bullshit Tressel ran the last 10 years seemed to do ok). Urban Meyer will be fine and RR would have been fine had he had a defense.
You can run whatever you want and be successful you just need to have the athletes on defense to compete. Offensive style is a matter of taste, but all can be effective. It's the defense that seperates.
At what point will people start saying "Why Coach _____ failed" instead of "Why the spread at ____ University failed" ?
It's 2012, it's not like the spread is some wild new offense. It makes just as much sense to me to have an article that says, "Why the ProStyle offense failed at OleMiss"
The special teams were INEXCUSABLE. How many games would have been played differently if Brendan Gibbons' confidence wasn't destroyed?
The entire mindset was different, going for ridiculous 4th down conversions, the offense thinking that they have to score a TD on every single drive because a field goal was out of the question.
I watched Gibbons this year, we had a kicker, his previous problems are put on that coaching staff.
Man, who knows? My assumption was always that if Mallett had stayed, RR would have shifted to a Shaun King-style spread. It's not like Sherithreet ran 20 times a game.
Actually, let's go to the numbers, shall we?
- In 2008 M ran 791 plays, including 453 running plays. Threetidan ran (including, I presume, scrambles), 118 times, or 14.9% of the plays (and 26.1% of the rushes).
- In 2009 M ran 832 plays, including 494 running plays. Tate ran 118 times, or 14.2% of the plays (and 23.9% of the rushes). In addition, Denard ran 69 times, so that's a total of 22.5% of the time. Tate carried the ball on 23.9% of the rushing plays, and the QBs ran on 37.9% of the rushing plays.
- In 2010 M ran 941 plays, including 556 running plays. Denard ran 256 times, or 27.2% of the plays. In addition, Tate ran 22 times and Devin 7, so that's a total of 30.3% of the time. Denard carried the ball on 46.0% of the rushing plays, and the QBs ran on 51.3% of the rushing plays.
So, to recap: the QBs rushed on:
- 14.9% of the plays (and 26.1% of the rushes) in 2008
- 22.5% of the plays (and 37.9% of the rushes) in 2009
- 30.3% of the plays (and 51.3% of the rushes) in 2010.
This is not strong evidence that RR didn't adapt his offense to his personnel, nor that he would have run Mallett 20 times a game so it was only logical that Mallett should leave.
1. Early along in the offensive transition(08, 09) RR was to impatient and it showed in the players. QB's, Recievers and RB's standing on the field looking at the sidelines like WTF am I supposed to do while RR was screaming "hurry up" and "come on Tate". It made no sense to try and incorporate the tempo until you are 100% assured that everyone knows and understands their assignments. It was like he was wanting them to "hurry up" and give them the ball back. Simply slowing down and putting the focus on execution rather than tempo would have built team confidence.
2. As noted, the spread as RR envisioned it has trouble in the red zone and against good to great defenses this really becomes evident. Even Oregon for all their offensive prowess tends to get bogged down in the red zone by the USC's and Stanfords. Luckily for them they often score on big plays and dont RELY on red zone production as much. They also play in a weaker conference(after the top 2) than the B1G.
3. The traditional spread has no awnser for truely great defenses(Alabama). In other words if you cant score at least 35 and lure them into playing your game(catch up) then you have no option other than to watch the other team methodically control the game while your offense sits.
4. IMHO the spread for all its strengths, and there are many that can be demonstrated, it has an inherent weakness. It undervalues down and distance as well as time of possesion. Its like building a baseball team full of only HR hitters that bat .278. You will win some games big but not with consistency. The goal in baseball is to get on base, then the runs will follow. In football it is similar with the 1st down. Keep getting 1st downs and the touchdowns will come. In the meantime you wear down the opposing pitchers(baseball) and the opposing defenses(football) so that deep into the game when the victory is still not assured, you've given your team every advantage you can get.
Might I suggest you take a look at the excellent work done elsewhere on this blog by Mathlete referring to how and why football at the college level in the 2000's has changed and how coaches have not........
Saban and Miles would disagree with Mathlete, and their multiple national championship appearances would get the nod over any statistical tweaking.
Football is such a multifaceted game with so many interdependent factors that statistical analysis cannot account for. Special teams can make or break your offense or defense just through field position. Defensive dominance can really make a so so offense look effective, just like a dominant offense can carry a so so defense.
Give Chip Kelly's offense Sabans defense and you'll never lose, likewise give Wisconsin or Stanford the same defense and they'll never lose. I dont care what the metrics say about a given offensive scheme, Saban or Miles and soon USC would not trade their defensive dominance for ANY offense PERIOD.
Now the questions is, which model do you think Michigan should follow? The ones with mulitple national championships competing in the toughest conference in the country or the ones(WVU under RR or Oregon under Kelly) that have exactly ONE national championship appearance(Loss) and find their success against mostly much weaker competition.
Would I rather be 3rd and 2 against Alabama or facing 2nd and 13? I'll manage down and distance thank you very much.
I deal with data and numbers all day long, but I'll be the first one to tell you that you can easily mislead yourself with them. Why? because you don't have, or even know, all of the variables at play. You mistake correlation for causality.
Sometimes you do have to trust your eyes. Even in CFB circa 2012, dominating defense and traditional down-and-distance offense is the way to go.
So, I like the path we are on even though I was a RR supporter and would have loved to see what our offense would have looked like with a fourth year under the spread. But that 's for entertainment purposes. Most of all, I want to win championships.
It's not just the head coach, but his coordinators and assistants working together as a team that succeed or fail at a given university with a given system. Compare not only the head coaches, but the entire staff between 2010 and 2011. They all count.
Question for Urban Meyer will be not only how he does, but how does he do hiring assistants and coordinators and everyone else in terms of being able to implement and teach and adapt his offense to the B1G.
Urban Meyer will be bringing the same offensive philosophy/scheme that he has used successfully at every other stop. That is, of course, unless he is another mouthbreather who believes that the B1G is a magical conference with magical spread-crushing powers unlike any other conference in college football. I don't know why this is even a question.
I think that's pretty much on target. Meyer is not an idiot. His success and his overall record is not a fluke.
To the extent the Big 10 poses any issues requiring adjustment -- weather, maybe? ... lack of Floriday-born speed burners, probably -- Meyer will accomodate. He has said as much.
Per 3&O, RR developed his spread as a means for lesser personnel to compete with better personnel. It has worked fairly well for Northwestern. The great experiment is to see how far a team with great players can go with the spread. Oregon is conducting that experiment for us now, and I have been disappointed with what they have done the last few years with their great players against the personnel of USC, Stanford, OSU, and LSU. Would Nick Saban ever take the best players available and put them in a high-risk offense? For the sake of entertaining football I hope so, but I would not be happy to see Urban succeed with great personnel in a spread offence.
I was reading through this and everything is just a retread of every argument ever, with all the anti-RR/spread, 2010 offense FAILURE sentiment wildly off base - as to be expected - but this is the single dumbest post on here.
Oregon's offensive numbers the past two seasons against the teams you mention above:
2010: Stanford 52 pts
2010: USC 52 pts
2010: Auburn 19 pts, but 449 yards of offense. This whole game reeked of 30-40 days off rustiness
2011: LSU 27 pts 335 yards, two costly turnovers in the opening game of the season. This is really the only game where you could claim some disappointment.
2011: Stanford 53 pts
2011: USC 35 pts
2011: Wisconsin 45 pts.
Yeah man, you sure hit it on the head. That 24-3 record with a national championship game appearance and a Rose Bowl crown and two PAC-12 titles sure reeks of disappointment. Great stuff.
Man, I am such a nerd. I linked this on my Book of Face page and nobody wanted to talk. Here there is already 2 pages of commentary
The spread was part of the problem, but as we all know there was more than one reason he failed. The offense actually was pretty mediocre against ranked teams. I believe the offense only averaged around 16 points a game against ranked teams in 2010. I think a spread offense like Meyers will be more suited for the Big10 style of play. The SEC is a power conference and his offense worked when he was at Florida. However, if you don't have a good defense I don't like your chances of winning either conference. I think RR is a good coach and good man, but can we please stop with the excuses. If Carr would have supported him, or if Bill Martin would have gave Jeff Casteel more money is getting old. You could make excuses for almost every coach that has been fired. If Illinois would have paid more money for assistants and built better facilities Ron Zook would have won more. We'll see how Casteel does at AZ. There’s a reason he has only worked at WVU as a DC. The Big East is horrible. The worst defense in the history of Michigan football shut down the Big-East champs in 2010 for crying out loud. RR failed at Michigan because it just wasn't a good fit. He wasn't willing to adapt to the players he inherited and Michigan isn't going to be patient when they have unlimited resources.
Let's say RR's defense in the final two years was "mediocre" or a little worse statistically than our 2011 defense. Even with the same offense the prior two years, do you really think we would have lost as many games as we did? Turnovers hurt us, yes, but it was our inability to overcome them due to terrible defensive play that really cost us those games.
Besides, the only game I recall our offense NOT putting up at least 400 yards of offense in 2010 was the final bowl game against Miss. St. That game was awful. Every other game, even against the best in the b10, our offensive was still effective.
The reason we did so well this past year was because of the improvements with our D. Our offense was worse statistically than in 2010, and was not ANY better against the best of the b10 (could be argued that we played better offensively against Ohio, but really Ohio was a mediocre B10 team this season). Our D made plays this year and had one of the top red zone D's in the country, that is the biggest reason for the 11-2 record.
Can we get back to talking about Alex Kozan now?
Only after we finish the thread about Stefon Diggs
RoJo. I want to talk about RoJo.
I think RR's spread, while potent at times, ultimately was a failure because it basically never worked against quality teams. And by quality we aren't talking great teams, just good ones. It was always the same. M would come out like gangbusters for the first couple series. Then the defenses would adjust and M wouldn't. Then M wouldn't start moving the ball again until it was down three touchdowns and the other teams relaxed a little. It virtually always went this way. I'm not sure how anyone could argue otherwise.
this is the single dumbest post on this thread.
You're definitely right.
WVU 38 Georgia 35
WVU 38 Georgia Tech 35
WVU 48 Oklahoma 28
That RR spread definitely doesn't work against high quality teams. I mean, it only beat the 2005 SEC champs, the 2006 ACC runner-ups (And who cares about that?? The ACC sux) and the 2007 Big 12 champs.
Michigan's pro-style teams go through three year bowl stretches like that all the time.
Clearly, his spread just didn't work in the Big Ten because Big Ten football is the gold standard that all football is measured against as is shown by its impeccable OOC and Bowl record. It had nothing to do with personnel and the terrible defense/ST.
and name an offensive football system, past or present, ever run at the high school/college/pro/Tecmo level, by any team for any duration that did not, on average, have a statistical drop off when playing against better defenses in comparison to games against weaker defenses.
There isnt one. All offenses will drop of statistically vs. better defense. Statistics are not the point. If your offense routtinely scores 24 and only an occasional 42 against patsies a 20% dropoff is only 5 points. Since your defense is built around supporting that type of offensive production you're better prepared to overcome that dropoff and still win.
If you routinely score 48 and get 65 against patsies but have a defense thats built to support that type of offensive production that 20% statistical reduction is 10 pts and that defense is under greater pressure to over perform against its mean.
Granted, if you could have Sabans Alabama defense along with Oregon or WV's spread and shred your going to break records and dominate. We've yet to see this assemblage and possibly never will because offense and defense on a given team do not excist in a vacuum. They are very much interdependant and yet statistical analysis of this is far more difficult or even impossible.
It will be interesting to see what happens at Ohio with Meyer. He really is fortunately to have Miller, who can make things go with a Spread. Meyer also won't repeat the RR mistakes on defense.
Having said that, I have serious doubts about how well Meyer will do. My hope is that he does "well," but still loses 2 - 3 games a year, every year.
a lot of other things did.
First, why all the RR post hating if their are so many people who still want to talk about it. If so many people still want to talk about it, then quit trying to shut people up. Second the spread didn't fail, look at the numbers. We're going to send denard to new york based mostly on the offense running the spread. And third, RR didn't fail as much as the support around him did. To many people decided (selfishly) to undermine the "outsider" over support for michigan... not true fans in my opinion.
Performing an autopsy on the RR era without talking about defense is like suggesting Marie Antoinette was actually killed by slow poison because impurities in the water she was forced to drink while imprisoned. No, it was definitely the head.
Considering how many veers and high-lows and responses to the scrape exchange I have in the UFR database, I'm really surprised that the crux of his argument comes down to "RR didn't adapt to adaptive defenses."
I mean he's just 100% wrong about that.
The offense got better every year despite every year having essentially a freshman quarterback running it. By 2011 it wasn't even the Spread 'n Shred so much as a QB Iso offense, something nobody else in college football was running.
And anyway it was a quite simple Spread 'n Shred--meaning the Zone Read running game with little to no counters to spread adjustments--that Borges was running last year when Michigan's offense shredded a Buckeye defense at peak performance.
The offense had nothing to do with RR's failure at Michigan except among the zombies who still sniff at anyone who might say a bad word about punting and running with fullbacks into 9-man fronts. Even his gaffes would have been overlooked entirely but for the fact that he hired a 4-3 defensive coordinator who didn't get along with the idiots he wouldn't fire, and then replaced that DC with a 4-3 idiot who agreed to run a 3-3-5 and get along with with the idiots RR wouldn't fire.
It was the defense, stupid.
And just leave this as the single answer to the OP?
It was the defense, stupid.
Yes. The defense was the core reason for the lack of success. Personally I'd take that a step further and argue that allowing a defense to get/be so bad was evidence of a deeper, more systemic problem with how the head coach viewed managing the overall program. But that takes us into the other arguments hashed and re-hashed. So yeah, the defense.
While Brady alternates Golden poops to start the game and half time Rainbows, I think it was RichRods perfectly normal bowel movements that did him it. Also, worst defense ever didn't help.
Urban had a power back to make his spread work at the goal line. His name was Tim Tebow. He's recruited some power runners like Dunn so he has someone that can punch it in when the field gets compressed and there is less room "to spread" from the 5/10 yard line into the end zone.
During RR's tenure, he never really recruited or put somebody in a power back role. Mondrous (sp?) ended up at linebacker. Brandon Minor wasn't bad, but he really wasn't a power back and he tended to not hold up well to the wear and tear of banging into guys. There were times when we just needed to punch it in with some power against the better defenses in the B1G. Sometimes, field position and down/distance beg for a dose of Manball.
Nobody is really talking about this, but bringing Urban Meyer and the spread to Ohio State is a huge cultural shift. We're talking about three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust, only-three-things-can-happen-when-you-pass-and-two-of-them-are-bad, Tressel-Ball Ohio State. Let's face it, MANBALL is their heritege.
Yes, Urban Meyer comes in with a pedigree, but so did RR when he came to Michigan. No, Meyer is not RR and the situations are not the same, but there is still the same culture shock element at play. Ohio State only aspires to be Oregon if Oregon keeps winning.
If things do not go smoothly there will be lots of angry soul searching about thier identity and roots. We know, we were there.