Living in San Francisco, my only regular contact to Michigan football besides games is Mgoblog, and a few other Michigan blogs (BWS, Touchthebanner.etc) I don't get the full media experience of newspaper, talk radio, and nightly news that you get in Michigan. But I do get the full load for the 49ers. And it has been a funny week. After both teams suffered big home losses after two game winning streaks, all those looking for hope are looking for Harbaugh. (49ers lost 21-0 to Tampa Bay, turns out Troy Smith is not the second comming of Steve Young like all the fans were saying the previous week.) You can't listen to KNBR for more than 5 minutes without someone calling in to say how Harbaugh is ready for the Niners and wants to continue his battle with Pete Carrol. Here's an example from today's paper in San Jose. It seems both fan bases are convinced that Harbaugh is the answer and he would drop everything for the job if offered. Sorry, not all that informative of a topic, just an interesting observation on the universal reaction of fans when something bad happens. They look to the hot name for the quick fix and renewed hope.
Harbaugh: The Universal Pipe Dream
Hope he goes to the Niners.
I think we all agree that hiring Jim Harbaugh is not some magical coaching change that will bring national championships over night. I do recognize in Harbaugh an excellent coach with meaningful ties to Michigan.
I think he would be more inclined to coach at his alma mater than with a mediocre NFL franchise like San Francisco.
I just think he's a jerk.
"I think we all agree that hiring Jim Harbaugh is not some magical coaching change that will bring national championships over night."
I ... do not agree. I sometimes get the sense that maybe 60% of Michigan fans want him here yesterday.
* At Saturday's game I spent most of halftime perched just inside one of the gates. I could hear the comments of the people leaving (a special group, obviously, and probably not representative) and a few random conversations by cell phone. There was a big dude near me who was shouting (into a phone, with a ROIDRAGE kind of voice) "I JUST SAW RICHROD'S LAST GAME IN THIS @#$%ING STADIUM. WE NEED HARBAUGH TO TOUGHEN UP THIS TEAM! UGG!"
* Afterward I treated myself to some 1050. (Bad idea, yes ... I know.) Most of the droolers who got air time said "Harbaugh" at least once.
Blah blah blah to all those people you heard (not to you). I'm so sick of hearing uninformed opinions. The MGoCommunity is at least informed. The general public is not and I could care less about their opinion. I'm also sick of hearing about Harbaugh - he's an extremely polarizing figure (see the comments below). That is exactly what we do not need. Is he a good coach? Sure. Is he a good coach for Michigan? Who the f- knows. The general public sure as f- doesn't!
Harbaugh is your guy
people are making in airports all over the country today and tomorrow.
Because he made STANFORD one of the top 5-10 teams in the entire country.
And RR made perenial loser WVU into a top 2 team
Find the "perenial" loser on this list.
That's just ridiculous. RR never had the second best team in the country. He got lofty rankings because he played Big East competition. Do you honestly think any of RR's WVU teams would have stopped OSU from winning six consecutive BT Championships?
He was winning with Big East-level talent. More, he beat Georgia in the Sugar Bowl and a team that was basically his beat Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. Whether or not he had the second best team at any particular moment, he did a hell of a job at WVU.
His staff certainly did a good job. The question is whether he can duplicate that performance minus one of the most important members (Jeff Casteel).
Look at Harbaugh's record at Stanford. Eerily similar to Coach Rod's here. Better conference record, but it took 4 years for them to get where they're at.
He's not some panacea.
Look at Harbaugh's record at Stanford. Eerily similar to Coach Rod's here. Better conference record, but it took 4 years for them to get where they're at.
Are you seriously comparing Stanford pre-Harbaugh to Michigan pre-RR? No comparison.
are you talking about Lloyds last year? Then, yeah no comparison...however, after Lloyd's last year, Stanford was, without a doubt, in better shape than what Richrod had coming in...how do people not see these things? Rich rod walked into one of THE toughest scenarios imaginable...a fanbase who did not fully support him, demanded 9-10 wins, and a team that was, honestly, awful...How can someone succeed with that?
Frankly, I think he's a miracle worker for where he's gotten the team in 3 years...The offense is ridiculously good and going to be even scarier, while the defense can only improve because it honestly can't be worse than this...
Mallett didn't fit his system and neither did most of the remaining coaches. You know which coaches like to run their owns systems and have their own staffs? All of them (also, did you want him to keep Mike Debord?)...Manningham and Arrington (the two NFL receivers I assume you're talking about) left for the NFL. After their great performances in the bowl, that was a given...The post-2007 exodus of talent from the football team was easily the biggest in the last twenty years.
The 2008 defense was a disappointment, I'll grant that, but it also wasn't made up of world-beaters.
The main responsibility of a postion coach is to develop the players' fundamentals. Blocking, tackling, ball control, pursuit angles . . . these things don't really change from one team to another. Several of Carr's assistants probably would have fit well into this staff. There's no particular reason to believe that Fred Jackson has some intrinsic qualities that say, Steve Stripling or Vance Bedford wouldn't have had. Firing all of Lloyd's assistants, save Jackson, was a calculated risk on RR's part. It likely influenced the exodus of players from the program; the entire program changed for them in the blink of an eye.
I've said it before: I think RR's biggest mistake was that he approached the Michigan job as though he were replacing a fired coach, rather than a retired one. The program's foundations were solid, but it just needed some tweaking. He decided to blow things up and start afresh. He made wholesale staff changes, nudged a few players out the door, and tried to install offensive and defensive schemes that may not have a great fit for the players he had. He did not have to do these things. It was a calculated risk he took. Whether we see the payoff for it remains to be seen.
Maybe in some spots iis not practical, I dont know.
But, I would have certainly approved of keeping several holdovers. Our buddy in EL kept a JLS coordinator, he's doing ok.
Coming from a Lloyd apologist in the Haloscan Days, I think English staying as DC could have meant a world of difference. I know thats probably not going to be a popular statement, but in retrospect, given what we know about not all the Vets on D buying in originally, perhaps keeping their DC might have helped. Just speculating......even though I broke my own rule about not debating who we should have hired three years ago.
I never understood the entire fascination with him. In 2006 he had three future NFL pro bowlers in Woodley, Hall. and David Harris and a bunch of others who are still in the league yet OSU torched them. No way that should have happened with the talent English had at his disposal.
Bo did it. Bo was specifically asked, by Don Canham, to retain Bump Elliott's staff. Bo said he didn't want to. Eventually, he kept 2. Rich Rodriguez kept 1+.
Rich Rodriguez had a DC he liked before he came here. Jeff Casteel was his A-Number-One choice. And while Casteel couldn't be convinced to come in light of Bill Stewart staying, and his family's preference to remain in Morgantown, the basic decision by Rodriguez to go first to Casteel looks to have been a very good judgment indeed, going by how the Mountaineers' defense has been doing. Maybe we can still get Casteel.
I agree with most of this. It seems Rodriguez has, contrary to the media depictions of him, a colossal lack of cunning and street smarts. He is stubborn and arrogant, which a good coach usually is. However, he lacks nuance, and when the transfer to U-M blew up like it did in the WVU press, he would have been wise to get help managing at U-M. (Note to that one dude who is mad we went 3-9 in 2008: not managing the players from the Carr era.)
Ultimately, I think the story is just writing itself too negatively for him to succeed. That is why, though, that a two-win-per-year (thus far) improvement is impressive to me. He seems to be doing it against long odds. Some people think that Michigan should be a place where everything is in your favor. In my opinion Rodriguez has ceded that advantage and is winning anyway.
That does not make him a hero: results-based decision-making still reigns. My opinion is simple: first sign of regression without first getting where we want to be (Big 10 Championship) means he is gone. It makes me sad for what could have been had the road been more smooth, though.
I just typed a much longer response to this and then my computer ate it. Here is the short version: The one-year hiring/firing of Shafer shows that there was a mistake at one end or the other of that situation. Hiring Robinson and/or meddling with his schemes seems bad. Not finding a good defensive coordinator who you can work with is not good (though note that Jim Tressel, by his own account, "doesn't even go into defensive meetings").
However, the first set of things that you posted are all relevant. All coaches run into hard times. Some run into really hard times. Urban Meyer is something like 6-4 this year and Mack Brown is something like 4-6. Those guys have three national titles between them. RR's career record is that of a very talented, though not perfect, coach.
I will take the time to address one specific thing b/c it bugs me so much: RR did not "fail to retain" Manningham or Arrington. Those guys were gone to the pros. Carr would not have kept them. No one would have kept them. They were gone to the pros...RR failed to retain Mallett and Boren. Mallett doesn't fit his system any more than Pat White fits Petrino's system at Arkansas. Coaches have systems. See Meyer and Brown struggling this year with QBs who don't quite fit what those schools have been doing lately...Also, while I don't want to bash two young guys too much, If you want to stand on a side that says the University of Michigan took a big hit when it lost Boren and Mallett, good luck...
RR is a very talented coach who has made some mistakes at Michigan and who has run into some very bad luck. I went to the University of Kansas as an undergrad, where I saw Roy Williams make some mistakes and have some bad luck too. Roy has turned out alright. Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Frankly, I think he's a miracle worker for where he's gotten the team in 3 years
Say what? It's perfectly fine to be optimistic about the program's future, but do not try to claim that posting three conference wins in year 3 is somehow miraculous for the coach of the winningest program in history.
I'm a RR supporter (sounds like an AA meeting...) but calling what he's done "miraculous" stretches the conventional definition of that word to to the point where it's meaningless.
However, I would call a victory on Saturday miraculous.
to the offense...from the mess that was sheridan/threet to this offense in 3 years? Yeah, that's kind of a miracle...and the wins will come...
Look at the talent that each inherited, and how each progressed.
Plenty to compare.
Jim Harbaugh can coach my team anytime
But, perhaps Michigan's roster on the first day Rich convened spring and later summer practices in 2008 is a lot closer to the Stanford situation Jimmy had than you would care to admit or learn about. The entire offensive depth chart from the Cap One Bowl virtually vanished. That was a pretty tough situation to deal with and overcome
Agreed. Take a look at the Stanford depth chart. Gerhart was already there. The offensive linemen (3 fifth-year seniors this year) who made holes for Gerhart and are giving Lueck time were also there. In fact, the 2-deep this year is littered with Harris players.
Harbaugh is a great coach, but part of the success he is having is that he has taken guys who went through the 1-11 pain and *kept* them there for four more years.
How is this a knock on Harbaugh? There are many facets to successful coaching. One of them is keeping your players from transferring and developing them, Rrod has really struggled to do this. Sure there are reasons for the attrition: such as recruiting players that never made it to campus or left soon after, practice gate, transfers, and early draft entry. But, Rrod is responsible for all of these things. It is his job to identify which players may appear talented but will not make it because of grades or other issues. It is his job to make sure the team is NCAA compliant. And it is his job to convince players to play in his system or play another year at Michigan to increase their draft stock.
It's not. It's more factual information that informs my opinion about the two coaches, that's all. I agree with you - RR has to get players and keep them. I am merely pointing out that Harbaugh's fourth year (this year, 2010) has benefitted from retaining and developing a lot of players Harris recruited.
For whatever reason, RR has had a lot more roster instability. It looks like U-M's defensive roster will suffer less of that next year. Without making any decisions about what should be done in the (more) distant future (I don't like evaluating a coaching decision now based on what I think has to happen in the future, i.e., "RR gets another year, but next year he has to have X wins," or, conversely, "RR should not get another year because next year he has to have X wins and there is no way he can get them."), I think RR should get another year to see what kind of dividends stability can pay in his fourth year.
I don't know exactly what the hell happened with Emilien and Turner. RR probably should have been able to get a DB with 75-80% of the talent of Dorsey. If we lose three secondary players (not due to injury; Woolfolk is not a part of this discussion) before 2011 starts and the defense suffers as much for it as it has this year, certainly you can't keep saying "but he has no doodz" to justify keeping him.
Meaning most of the players he recruited are freshman and sophomores with the exceptions of Shaw, Roundtree, Odoms and a few others from late 08. The real question is where are all the talented RS seniors, seniors, and juniors who should have been left over from the previous regime of the winningest program in college?
to that brother. Don't get the hate on our boy Jimmy 'round here...
I'm a RRod defender as well, by and large, however much of the offensive depth chart you mentioned vanished by choice - Manningham and Arrington, 3 of 4 returning O-linemen, and of course Mallett.
I dont see what we're disagreeing with here.
The point is those guys left, leaving the new coach with a massive rebuilding job on that side of the ball. Maybe we should have hired somebody within or a safer choice and those guys dont leave by choice. But I am not interested in arguing who we should have hired in Dec, 2007.
My point is when you look at the roster when spring and summer practices convened in 2008, we might have been closer to the Stanford situation Harbaugh had to deal with, than some folks care to admit. They didnt want to admit it then. Dont want to admit it now. Losing that many players takes time to recover from.
Yes, because we have always viewed ourselves as football equals with Stanford.
Lets fire RR because he hasn't raised U of M's win yearly wins the the 19-20 range (+10-11 wins from previous years ala Harbaugh)
I plan on taking a week of vacation next year -- when we are on a huge roll going into OSU week -- and quoting back all the moronic statements made this year to the entire doom and gloom / anti-RR crowd.........This gets me thinking...where are all the "this offense will never work in the Big10" people from last year??..prolly on the "this Defense will never work in the B10!!11!!!" bandwagon.
I dont know if I agree with the person you are debating with here.....but I see you using the terms accepting reality......i wonder if somebody like yourself has even accepted the reality that was the 2008 offseason. Or the fact the defensive recruiting/retention has been crappy in the program for going on 6 years now
I accepted both a while ago. You might like to hear it, but because of that first offseason and the decimated defense that has yet to be fixed, its been a rebuilding job. It takes time climbing out of that hole
Rich has rebounded the program from the first issue. With a bullet and a high ceiling remaining. He has not solved the second issue, arguably making it worse merely by not solving the attrition issue. I dont know what the solution is. Other than time. Just like the solution in 2008 on offense was time.
But, I think you are almost being as disengenious as the person you are debating with when you claim Rich inherited some super talented MICH roster.
I dont care who the coaches are next year or in 2012 or beyond. But somebody is winning with Rodrigo's players as we keep going into the future.
I never said he shares no blame. Just wondering if you have accepted the reality of what happened in 2008. Since you continue to whine about his alleged lack of re-recruiting players and love to harp on the fact that he inherited a 5-star QB and NFL WRs, it tells me that no you have not accepted the reality. I dont what you allegedly think he should have done, but the fact is a bunch of guys bolted cratering the offensive depth chart. At that point, accept reality and realize whats been accomplished on that side of the ball since then. He has fixed that problem, but it took time and the fixing isnt exactly finished yet.
As for the defense, when I said defensive recruiting/retention issues for the program going on 6 years, do you think I'm not including the last couple of years?
Our defensive program has been broken for years and its not been getting better under Rich. Although I do like some of the prospects he's brought in, none are instant impact guys, and need a couple of years of seasoning before seeing the field. At this point, I can only hope they stay, regardless of coach. lol. Wait, no. That's not lol. Thats FML.
Why have players on D been leaving the program? Why does a Mixon and Kates leave? Why does a Turner and Emilion and LaLota leave? I dont know. But, I've told you before I would be more than happy if DB steps in and says coach our D program has been broken, we're brining in this guy to fix it. Its shocking how long this problem has been going on.
I dont think you have accepted it at all. It seems totally lost on you the roster issues the program has been facing and the time it takes to burrow out from that sort of attrition. We had two issues, the massive offensive attirtion the followed in the wake of his hiring and the ensuing year. Rodriguez has, by and large, solved that. The other issue has been the longterm and continued attirtion on defense. This was a problem the final 3-4 years of Carr, it left us with poor defensive upperclassmen numbers. Sadly, this is something that remains a fucking mess and Rodriguez has not sovled it.
For well over a year since I first noticed your posts, you seem deep down to being more of a fan of the Arky QB, the OSU guard and the Colorado WR than you are of anyone on the current Michigan football team.
The reason why I--a guy who was run off Haloscan as a Lloyd apologist during 2007. He is my favorite football coach of all time--have a lot of patience with the new coaches and current team is simply because I am realist with the roster issues. You are not. You still claim the team Rich had at his first practice was the team that beat Florida. That's disengenious. You just need to come to grips that it has been a rebuilding project because kids refused to give the new coach a fair shake combined with shaky defensive recruiting/retention in the final 3 years of Carr and now the first 3 years of Rodriguez. If you cant, then you're not even going to happy with the new coach.
I dont care who coaches the team. I really dont. Time is the only thing that solves roster issues. Somebody is winning with these players in the next couple of years as we get more numbers on defense.
You're constantly harping on the fact that he's run a 9-4 program that he inherited in the ground. You've been saying that for as long as I've seen you post. Well over a year. You use that line, or a reasonable facsimile of it, every single time this issue gets brought up.
But, I dont think you have come to any grips with the roster situation. Three years later you are still butt hurt that many players bailed on the program and the new coach. I was saddened by it as well. But pretty much realized it left us in shambles. Its why I am patient with the direction and the players. You are still holding a grudge about it. Get the fuck over it, or you're not even going to be happy with the new coach.
I have critized Rodriguez plenty in my blogging and podcasting career, and have also said a guy like Harbuagh can coach this team anytime and I wont lose sleep replacing the current head coach. He literally is my favorite UM player of all time, so bring him on.. He was way to slow to figure out the team's defensive needs and he's still chasing it. I dont think he'll ever catch it.
But, I'm getting sick and fucking tired of listening to people like you denigrate the players accomplishments (and you have been, All this bullshit about we shouldnt be happy with wins over PU and Illinois. You've made comments like this thorughout the last couple of weeks. Fuck it, I'm happy the kids won those games. Its a necessary step for them to eventually get the program where it belongs. Just embrace it and quit being a dick about it) this year by using the notion that we're not even back to where we were when the coach was hired. Yes, technically the team was 9-4 when he was hired, but that is far, far, far from the team he had when his first practice arrived.
And, lastly, and I really do mean it. Happy Thanksgiving. You are more than welcome at our tailgates next year, locale TBD. As long as Michigan is playing, you and I are cheering, regardless of coach. As long as that does not change, we're good despite this exchange.
(PS, the Colorado WR is Toney Clemons. In retrospect, maybe he was a guy Rich should not have re-recruited)
I'm not sure what you are going for here. As you pointed out, Harbaugh has had one more year than Rodriguez. Their records and trajectories are remarkably similar over three years if compared fairly (first year to first year and so forth). The only extreme difference is the record of the respective school in the year immediately preceding year one of the respective coaching regimes (as has been well documented, Stanford: 1-11, U-M: 9-4).
For people using the records to say Harbaugh is a better coach than Rodriguez, for me it amounts to shoddy argumentation. People are saying, "Look, Harbaugh took a team that was 1-11 before he got there and they are 10-1 now. RR took a team that was 9-4 and cratered it, going 3-9 the next year, and they are only 7-4 and looking uncompetitive now."
That leaves out the very important fact that Harbaugh has had one more year to achieve the impressive win total (10) that makes RR look bad in comparison.
I still don't think you are seeing what I am seeing. Here are the records, side by side (I am no good with the tubes, so you get it without fancy charts):
Year one: 3-9 4-8
Year two: 5-7 5-7
Year three 7-4 8-5
Year four: ??? 10-1
If Rodriguez should be fired for taking a team from 9-4 to 3-9, that is a reason he should have been fired in 2008 , not a reason he should be fired now. I think Harbaugh's success in year four is an argument for keeping Rodriguez, not hiring Harbaugh. It shows what someone with a similar trajectory can do.
Your argument regarding Year Zero (the year before the first year of the coaches under consideration) is that it's hard to take a team from 1-11 to 10-1, so Harbaugh is a good coach. I agree. There is no dispute there for any rational person, let alone peope who support Rodriguez.
I do not agree that taking Michigan from 9-4 to 3-9 means Rodriguez is a bad coach.
I do not believe, further, that the Year Zero records mean that the work of Harbaugh and Rodriguez during their tenures is incomparable.
Harbaugh should be frozen in suspended animation, like Hans Solo in Star Wars, until and unless it is clear that either RR is staying for a looong time, or he is finished.
San Francisco fans used up all their sports karma for at least five years in the Giants World Series run. (It was worth every penny, in my mind.)
That are unaware, Hans Solo is Han Solo's German cousin, who was, ironically enough, an ACTUAL nerf-herder. Sadly, he too was encased in carbonite due to a mix-up in the bounty posters (an easy mistake to make).
Another little known fact is that Boba Fett's cousin, Bobby Fett was the one to bring in Hans Solo, which really pissed off Jaba the Hutt, effectively ending his bounty hunting career. It's a tragic tale, really.
Post of the week!
Plus a million to you, sir!
I worked out yesterday for the first time in a long time. Did a ton of rope work like you see the MMA guys do. Everytime I laugh my lungs and lats feel like they are being dipped in battery acid .
Your post was one of the funniest things I have ever seen...and I hate you.
I don't know, maybe because he's winning at a program that doesn't win very often. Maybe because he took a program that was a disaster under Walt Harris and has it in the top 6 of the BCS standings. Maybe it's because he, on almost a yearly basis, beats teams that are more talented then his Stanford squad (I thought coaches didn't do that????). I'm sure I can think of more reasons.