It's not your fault
It's not your fault
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?
So, to recap: the QBs rushed on:
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.