A) I thought this was going to be by Steven R Kass
B) Do you coach Seaholm water polo by chance?
A) I thought this was going to be by Steven R Kass
B) Do you coach Seaholm water polo by chance?
Although I don't think that Chalmers knows anything about football, let alone Michigan Football.
Whoa, where did that come from? I am trying to avoid putting up tl;dr posts.
But FTR, I personally think there has been a huge improvement from 09 to 10. As far as I'm concerned, given our win in 09 vs BabySeal U, our real record could easily have been 4 - 8, not 5 - 7. Conversely, with one or two more bodies in the secondary in 2010, we could easily have won another game or two, and be sitting right now at 8 - 3 or even 9 - 2. I think there has been a huge improvement, and I want RR to stay. Shoot, I actually still am one of the rare ones who doesn't want to scapegoat Gerg and cut him loose.
With a halfway decent defense, this year's team would have been very competitive, and everyone knew this year's defense was going to be even worse than last year's defense, especially after Woolfolk went down before the first game. In addition, Martin and Floyd have been hurt for the last half of the season. We have no one on defense from Carr’s 2006 recruiting class, 1 mediocre player (Mouton) not beaten out by a freshman from Carr’s 2007 recruiting class 2 good players from Carr’s and RR’s joint 2008 recruiting class (RVB and Martin) and 8 from RR’s recruiting classes in 2009 and 2010. These days, we are usually playing 4 sophomores and 4 freshmen. I believe the D will improve next year and agree with you that we should keep both RR and Gerg. Let's see what people can do when they have starters who have had that extra year of experience, training and physical development. For the most part, the teams that are successful do not undergo extensive staffing changes.
I have the same attitude toward our coaching right now. I don't care what happens. But we have improved (just not as much as I hoped on the defensive side of the ball). Our offense is much better than last year's. Eventually our D will get better.
On defense no on offense ummmmmmmm yes
Illinois game last year: team quits and we get trucked by 25. We only score 13 points.
Illinois game this year: team never quits, we WIN the game and score 67 points.
Yes, totally the same result!!!
Listen, if you're going to try to sell me a load of crap, just title your post "Here, I took a shit in this shoebox, take a look!" so I don't have to waste 2 minutes of my life.
Add to that how superior 2010 Illinois is to 2009 Illinois. 2010 was a rough year to have a young team in the Big 10 with Wisconsin, Iowa, MSU, and OSU growing stronger than the previous year. They all lost very few players.
I could use it this weekend in Columbus. I shall use it for either self defense or a cloaking method by rubbing it all over my body and thus becoming invisible to the nostrils of the natives.
your generalizations about "better, same, worse" do not trump the tangible improvements in record, offensive production, team chemistry, etc...
injuries to starting upperclassmen will have tangible results in the production of a team, no matter what side of the ball. for Michigan to have improved, made progress, the way they have, through the injuries and attrition, shows further that progress has been made...
I don't know if losing 8-10 guys in one defensive unit in one year is an excuse.
Woolfolk, Warren, Turner, Dorsey, Vlad, Floyd, Witty, Cissoko, Williams, Van Slyke.
That really isn't so much an excuse as it is a reason. That's 10 guys we thought we would have and don't in one position unit on the defense. 10 guys!!!
This x 100,000. It's amazing to me how many people turn "logical reasoning" into "making excuses." These things are reasonable explanations for what's going on this year.
When did these young men play for the Wolverines, again? I must have forgotten them making it though the clearinghouse and admissions, training camp, and out onto the field.
You cannot include players who never made it into the school when talking about players that have been lost. It just doesn't work.
And I'll only give you .5 on Cissoko because we didn't lose him during the offseason or during this year either. His flameout was all last year and I don't know how much worse we were without him. All he seemed to do most plays was tackle after the catch was made and/or showboat if the pass was not complete.
Yea this is a great post. Why? Because it isn't a fucking excuse like every other cry baby michigan fan i see post how there is no EXCUSE that the team's defense is poor.
No it isn't an excuse it is REALITY.. We had so many kids transfer or not care, on top of all the injuries.
What more do you want? It is the same thing RR said in his presser after the wisconsin game. Go find a team out there that has ever been forced to start that many freshman because of all the crap this team has tried to endure.. Jesus i feel so bad that most of our freshman have to be forced out there, but that is the reality of our defense situation and we will be a better team for it going forward.
A great point, Dudeness. When you lay it out by listing the players, it looks like we essentially lost our entire 2-deep in the secondary. Like the entire thing.
Pretty hard to overcome that.
His Dudeness Abides.
Had the stars aligned properly for Michigan’s defensive backfield, (a) Donovan Warren, Troy Woolfolk and Boubacar Cissoko who were starters in 2009 would have been back and better this year; (b) academics would not have doomed the chances of Adrian Witty and Demar Dorsey to challenge for starting positions this year; and (c) injuries to Vlad Emilien (who apparently never fully recovered from a high school injury), Mike Williams, Jared Van Slyke and J. T. Floyd either would have been avoided or would have healed quickly, and Justin Turner’s conditioning and development would have progressed to the point where his pre-Michigan ratings were justified, so that the defensive backfield would not have been deprived of ten players who would have been starters, key reserves and good special teams players in 2010. Of those ten players, only four (Woolfolk, Floyd, Williams and Van Slyke) would be expected back in 2011. May their stars shine next season.
Woolfolk, Warren, Turner, Dorsey, Vlad, Floyd, Witty, Cissoko, Williams, Van Slyke.
That really isn't so much an excuse as it is a reason. That's 10 guys we thought we would have and don't in one position unit on the defense.
OK, let's hold on a minute.
Dorsey and Witty were academically-marginal guys that the staff chose to recruit. They did not have to. If you recruit a guy who isn't qualified as of the fall, you run the risk of never getting him on campus. Personally, I'd prefer that we focus more of players who are definitely qualified.
Cissoko hasn't been on the team since September 2009. We've had time to recover from his loss. Unfortunately, one of the guys we targeted to replace him was Dorsey.
Turner and Vlad transferred. It's not like they got hurt. They could still be here, contributing to the defense. Either the staff should have never recruited them in the first place, or they should have done something differently to prevent them from becoming so discouraged that they left - whatever the case, the staff screwed up somewhere.
Warren went pro. This was not a surprise. This was something the staff should have been prepared for. Unfortunately, it seems it put its eggs in the baskets of players (Turner, Dorsey, et al) that it shouldn't have.
Van Slyke is a walk-on who was never expected to be a serious contributor.
I'll grant you that Woolfolk, Williams and Floyd's injuries were a bad break. But three injuries isn't that out of the ordinary. It alone doesn't explain our defensive problems. Besides, Floyd played in the first eight games of the season and was hardly a difference-maker. Williams had been moved to spur, a position where we've done okay.
are no smart people anywhere.
2009: 5 wins, no bowl game
2010: 7 wins and counting, and bowl game
I think you answered your own question
We have not improved. OK, offense has improved yes. Defense has regressed. Special Teams have stayed as bad as the previous two years. The record has improved. But really, the program has not improved, IMO. There is no evidence (yet) that next year will produce another improvement. But this is my opinion on improvement.
Progress? I think it is safe to say there has been no forward progress in the program.
Wow. If you can't see why we're likely to be much better next year, I just don't know what to say.
Because much of the argument for improvement next year is based on the assumption that the defense will improve.
Just because we return players doesn't automatically mean there will be improvement. Sure, experience helps, but our two most experienced defenders have at often times been the most maddening and inconsitent (or even incomeptent::::Ezeh) players.
I don't think we can assume that the d will be better. Rodriguez and his defensive staff have a poor track record of developing defensive talent outside of BG, and often players have digressed.
Of course it is easy to say the offense will improve again, because hopefully turnovers will be reduced and special teams will grow... but again, at Michigan, Rod's teams have been terrible in both those categories.
Hopefully I am just being cynical, but I don't think we can just assume we'll get better. Believe me, I hope Rod's the guy, but I just don't know.
before the current staff got here his name was toast as in burnt all the time.
Think back to your HS days. How would you have fared as a freshman playing varsity? Oh yeah, surround yourself with other freshman and sophomore and think again. The problem is that besides Martin (playing on bad ankles), RVB, and Mouton when good Mouton shows up where are the upperclassman that should be here?
What evidence is there that we will be better next year? Just because it is another year? Because we beat mighty Connecticut instead of Western Michigan? That we beat UMass despite their best offensive week of the year? That we scored in the second half against Wiscy when we were down? That we almost got a couple onside kicks?
The offense has improved overall, but remains a turnover machine. Even though it obviously gets all the attention every week and has one of the best football players in the country holding the ball every down.
The defense has gotten worse every year. The talent will improve, but the scheme is frustratingly ineffective and, again, there is a lack of evidence that the scheme will (ever) work.
It is frustrating. I am frustrated and sad to say that have no faith that the proper adjustments and focus will be applied to improve this team beyond offense. I would like to see evidence. A pattern. A progression. I have hardly seen any of that.
And yet, despite those issues you raise, the team still managed two more wins this year. Look, no one's saying things are crystal clear with this team, and it is disheartening to see the same turnover monster over and over again...but you can't just look at one aspect of the game and conclude "NO PROGRESS. NO HOPE." You have to look at the bigger picture.
"What evidence is there that we will be better next year?"
Quarterbacks: We return everyone.
Offensive Line: We return 4 of 5 starters and will have more depth.
Wide Recievers: We return everyone.
Running Backs: We return everyone.
Special Teams: We return everyone.
Defensive Line: We only lose 1 starter and add depth.
Linebackers: We lose Mouton and Ezeh as contributors, but might even have more depth next year (We'll start to see guys like Jake Ryan).
Secondary: We lose Rogers, everyone else including Woolfolk will be back plus new freshman.
Our offense is ranked #5 nationally and we are younger than everyone above us. Defensively, we have some talented guys...experience will get us closer to average.
...and the defense has regressed...
Like, really badly.
are you really the grinch?
Two more wins and possibly four more wins than last year counts as "progress."
This team improved one increment: they became better than the group including Illinois and Purdue. Wiscy was a nightmare matchup for this team, much like Oregon was for the 2007 team. Consequently, many people are overreacting to this loss and are using it to support the old, tired agrument that the team "isn't progressing."
Next year, we should see the progress become more tangible. Still, I am sure that even if this team starts 7-0 with a victory over MSU, there will be people saying, "yeah, but they still aren't showing progress."
Improvement != Where we want to be. Some people seem to be confusing those two things. Just because we're not championship caliber yet doesn't mean there hasn't been improvement.
The improvement is obvious, but no one should be content. 7-5 this year is good and expected, 7-5 next year would not be good.
I'll ignore the statistical improvements on offense, and the utter youthitude of the defense, and simply focus on the premise of your question:
Better result: . . . Purdue (although some might quibble, since we could have won last year and needed a late TD to secure this year -- against a team that was clearly worse than the 09 version).
No quibbling. Win > Loss.
Same Result . . . Illinois (we should have won last year, without a bounce to Hemingway, we lose this year).
Seriously? 2 point win = 25 point loss? Your math gives me a sad.
Worse Result: . . . Wisconsin (at least were competitive in the first half last year -- on the road).
How is a 20 point loss worse than a 21 point loss?
I read through so many of these posts, realizing that the original premise is stupid or poorly supported, looking for something to make me smile. " Your math gives me a sad." This sentence restores my faith in the comedic genuis that lies beneath the surface of so many of the long-time posters, I enjoyed it very much. Thank you, Sir. +1.
though for the most part, all I can do is snark.
Wisconsin game - yea and last year we had a defensive TD, this year we scored 11 more pts on a stonger team defensively than they had last year.
Show's over... back to work everyone.
Questions about the coaching staff are legit, and should be asked without fear of point- and ridicule-based retribution.
However, if you start a posts asking "Has there been improvement," and you include (and subsequently ignore) this information:
Yes, Michigan will finish the regular season at 7-5 or 8-4 and that is indeed progress when compared to 5-7. Also there is no doubt the offense is dynamic and exciting, and there's no telling what the numbers would be if the defense was even barely adequate.
...and your only supporting "we didn't really improve" evidence is an analysis that treats a win over Illinois as the same as being blown out by Illinois... then yeah, the OP is gonna be raked over the coals a bit.
the points the OP is trying to make are laughable. I lean towards giving RR another year to get a little more grease between the gears, but I still expect DB to consider all of his options and do what he thinks is best, which I'll likely support. But to say losses last year are equal to wins this year is ridiculous.
Was questioning whether progress has actually been made and comes to the conclusion that 2 more wins and a bowl game is not progress. Is the defense worse? Yes. Do I agree with all of the decisions this coaching staff has made? No. But clearly progress has been made and others are showing that using facts. Whether you are happy with 7-4 or not going into The Game is your opinion, but it's pretty laughable to insinuate that progress has not been made over the 2009 season, therefore come with some better content or face the ridicule.
The guy starts out by saying, "Sure we're greatly improved in these areas, but let's just ignore that..." then gives a weak argument on how the team hasn't shown any improvement. Strong arguments, backed by facts do not made fun of. This guy didn't do that, so he will be made fun of.
I would just like to point out that any resemblance of El Jefe to El Jeffe is coincidental.
As to the substance of your post, it simply isn't the case that people can't make reasonable critiques of our coaching staff and not get negged. It's the shit like "have we improved really? I mean, I know our offense is a lot better and our record is better, but have we improved?" that gives people a sad and causes them to reach for the neg button, and in my case, a bottle and a revolver.
The defense is a mess. I don't think anybody here is going to argue that. The starting corners are down to a guy who would be a wide reciever had things gone more smoothly, and a frosh who should probably be redshirting. Vinopal is probably the same case at deep safety. The best defensive player has been gutting through two injured ankles.
I'm not trying to make excuses for the coaching staff, but to put this two game improvement into context. Progress is being made. If it's enough for you is not up for me to say, but I feel it is offbase to say this is the same as last year.
I think coming to any judgment on improvement or the lack there of based upon comparative results from last year to this year is largely irrelevant. Just becuase UM came within a few plays of beating MSU last season doesn't mean this team fell off or hasn't improved because of this years loss at home.
You judge a program no Ws and Ls. So Michigan is improved. When you play a team like Wisconsin, who will graduate 19 starters or something, you cannot expect great execution and a W from a team that is fielding about 19 freshman and sophomore starters.
show our discontent by refusing to capitalize any letter.
Hooray for straw-man arguments!
Look, nobody is saying we should be throwing a parade for beating two middle-of-the-pack Big Ten teams. The whole point is improvement, and it is entirely reasonable to count going from losing to winning an improvement--regardless of opponent.
No signs of improvement for next year......lets see, we will return 18 or so starters depending on who you consider starters this year due to injuries, position changes, etc. In comparison, most of the upper half teams in the Big Ten will be losing half or more of their starters for next year. I believe TUOOS has 12-13 senior starters and of course the chance of Junior defections and the others are in similar situations. We stand to make great strides next year as our teenagers mature and the fact that we will be returning largely intact. Just think, in another year or two, our starters will be old enough to celebrate their victories with adult beverages. This team is so young its rediculous.....it will come.
Of course there's been improvement in pretty much every measurable way. The offense is better, we've won more BT games, we won three road games which didn't happen last season, and we've got a QB who is a perfect fit for this offense for the first time and he'll be here for two more seasons. The one thing I think all of us will agree with is the fact we aren't as good as we want to be, ie competing for the conference title. The one area where we've seen absolutely no improvement is the defense. I think that's why those of us who support Rodriguez based on what he's been able to do with the offense expect the team to have competent defensive coaching next season. Let's see what transpires once the season is over.
Yes, there has been improvement.
isn't over yet
Yes there has been significant improvement. As you were.
8-4 > 5-7
I think the biggest problem most fans have, and I include myself in this, is forgetting at times that RR wasn't faced merely with restocking the offense with players matching his scheme - and he's found what he needed in year 3 in that regard as to promise of a much brighter tommorow. He also was tasked with restocking the roster to get our overall numbers up, and the fact that this depletion of numbers occurred at Michigan is something I still fail to understand.
With the unacceptable number of defenders he inherited, during his short tenure here, we've always been faced with the very real fact we're always an injury away from starting a h.s. kid. The fact this has come to happen all too often is no surpise and we shouldn't be shocked at our defensive production based on what we have at this point.
Because essentially he had to build a team - not a program, we have one of the best in the country- he went about it like most sensible coaches would, again imo. He recruited both sides of the ball but we witnessed an insane amount of decommits, among them significant losses at the DT position and the failure of a 5* recruit to progress there which may be one of the primary reasons we're playing with three defensive linemen, instead of what many fans would hope for.
The only position I haven't seen true freshman play on defense this year was in our lbing corp, a position where we've lacked producers since '06. Our secondary is filled with 18 year olds, a walk-on who would be much better with experienced talent around him due to his football IQ and a RS freshman who was on the other side of the ball last season.
Given these inarguable truths, realistically about the only place we could have expected improvement this season was on the offensive side of the ball. Well, if you can say there's no improvement there, you haven't been paying attention.
The fact we've won two more games this season with the defensive short-comings outlined above = major improvement. Next season these young men on that side of the ball will be a year older, wiser, bigger and more experienced. We should have real lbers with Demens and Fitz and those being red-shirted, among them one of the best athletes on the team, Furman.
If you want to measure progress in terms of Ws, then yeah, we've improved by 2 to date. But you can't ignore the fact that the defense in back of the DL is almost equally young and inexperienced as was the offense in 2007. They are being coached and taught daily and next year there simply has to be improvement for no other reason than what they'll have learned this season, combined with the aforementioned growth in other areas.
Yes, I think significant improvement has been made.
A win against OSU will go a long way to showing true progress with this football program.
1 win in three years against MSU, Iowa, Wisconsin, PSU and OSU is not acceptable.
that one such win is UNACCEPTABLE!!!!11...
At the end of the day it is about wins and losses. And to only have one win in three years over those teams does not cut it. Frankly, we were uncompetitive in the majority of those games including this years contests. So, while progress may be evident in certain areas it is not translating to wins against the top half of the Big Ten.
So, while progress may be evident in certain areas it is not translating to wins against the top half of the Big Ten.
I have important news, and I'd like you to sit down before you hear it:
We haven't been in the top half of the Big Ten in the last 3 years.
Progress means just that; getting better. In 2008 Michigan lost to top teams, lost to decent teams, and lost to Delicious Snackycakes (Toledo?!?!?). In 2009, Michigan lost to top teams, lost to decent teams, and beat Delicious Snackycakes. In 2010, Michigan has lost to top teams, but has beaten decent teams and beaten Delicious Snackcakes.
If this was the top of the hill, I'd be very unhappy. But Michigan is still going in the right direction overall, and as long as the trend is upward, I'm supporting RichRod.
(The problem people seem to have with GERG isn't necessarily that the defense is bad; it;s that the defense is NOT trending upward. It is trending downward in a mortifyingly hilarious fashion, and has shown almost no signs of improvement despite positive signs from Vinopal, Box Safety Cam Gordon, Demens, etc.)
Thank you BSB. I've been making this point for weeks. It's like the internet isn't a good place to convince people with force of logic or something...
Anyway, two points.
If someone at NDNation or RCMB was drawing the kind of sober, eyes-wide-open conclusion that I am drawing, namely that 7-5 (probably) > 5-7 > 3-9 and that this constitutes (1) progress, but (2) not the desired endpoint, and if "we" mocked him or her for that, then I would say that "we" are a bunch of douches.
I know there is significant negative connotation with unacceptable, and I do understand that it entails quite a bit of entitlement, but the lack of wins against any quality opposition in 3 years is not really acceptable, due to the defensive disaster this team has become.
The facts are that RR pretty much ignored the D his first year and is insistent about shoehorning his assistants in a defensive staff and that he has required 2 new DCs so far to use a system they are not familiar with, again with assistants they have not been familiar with. This has been unacceptable. It is inappropriate and unprofessional and it shows in the results.
Do you feel that his handling of the defensive staff HAS been acceptable? I really do not.
I understand attrition, to some extent, and injuries. But was there more he could have done to keep players? We don't know. His attitude seems to be, if you're unhappy, get the hell out. That's not good when you're down below a skeleton crew. Do I think a different coordinator and assistants would have done better with the same players? Maybe not. However, maybe there would have been some more progress for the non-underclassmen if we didn't have a revolving door for DCs. Unfortunately, I feel GERG is so bad, the only way to fix the D is to hire another DC. And a bunch of new assistants.
That I'd rather have a hard-ass coach than a "player's coach". He's not there to hold your hand everytime something goes wrong. Could you imagine Bo doing such a thing? Quite the opposite, I seem to remember a similar scenario where a bunch of players were unhappy at how much of a hard ass Bo was and left when he came here as coach. And look where it got us.
You are right, the lack of wins against quiality opponents is not acceptable...but it's not the only measure of improvement, and considering where we started under RR (3-9) to now, it may have been unrealistic to assume we'd be world beaters this year. Would I have liked to see at least 1 quality win? Absolutely...and we still have one more shot (for the love of all that is holy BEAT THE BUCKEYES DAMNIT!). I predicted 8-4 before the year began, and while 7-5 is relatively disappointing to that prediction I cannot ignore the upward trajectory this team overalll is on, in spite of probably the worst defense in Michigan's history.
Next year. We need to be beating some quality opponents next year or else RR will likely be gone.
Also, thank you for being a sane person in your argument.
I just don't know that he's going to be able to do it trying to half-ass control the D the way he has been.
And I do agree there's been progress. The record indicates it. But I don't see it getting a whole lot better unless the D gets figured out. He needs to get his head out of his ass and decide if he wants to be looking for a job along with all of his friends next year.
I was trying to get to the idea that nobody was going to make things great immediately. But he certainly hasn't helped himself with his desire to keep his friends employed by hiring a DC who is willing to not have any control.
We need a DC who can and is allowed to make his own decisions.
Michigan got worked at MSU last year, but managed to push it into overtime due to some conservative MSU play calling late in the game.
This year's game was two endzone picks from being a very different outcome.
The scores do not tell the whole story.
Not to mention MSU is just better this year (hate to admit it)
If you ignore where we have improved, then clearly we have not improved.
Please delete this thread. It is inherently dumb.
"Let me preface this post by stating that I have been a big Rodriguez booster from the time he was hired. However, . . ."
I have been an RR supporter from the start and a staunch defender of the old guard, but we are officially a garbage team with a garbage coach.
I love this team SO MUCH, I just hope they lose so we can get a coach that is more connected to the program than the guy that has been coaching here for 3 years.
Because you are not allowed to post here unless you are a RR supporter.
Let me break it down for you:
This post has been brought to you by the original El Jeffe.
If that were true, we wouldn't see the "I want to preface this by saying I'm a big supporter of Rich Rodriguez..." posts.
I don't have the evidence to test this claim and neither do you but I think you'd find the following to be true generally:
but they're just excuses."
You're exactly right!!! Finally, somebody who agrees with me that Jim Harbaugh's broken arm in 1984 should in no way be given as a reason for our 6-6 record that season. That's just an "excuse," and frankly, I think Bo Schembechler should have been fired after that season, because there's no way that injuries to key players should ever be regarded as legitimately contributing to on-the-field problems.
Everytime I read one of these comments by you the middle school voice in the recesses of my brain giggles, "Oh snap!"
This is a little OT, but since you brought it up, do guys ever really grow out of a "middle school brain?" I mean, seriously, what guy - if he's really being honest with himself - doesn't watch late night cable TV for the bewbs? It can't be the acting or plot ....
You serious Clark?
First, excuses and reasons are two separate things. Woolfolk being injured was probably the biggest hit to this team followed by Floyd getting hurt. We went from having poor safety coverage to having full blown coverage disaster all over the secondary. One player makesa huge difference, let alone two.
Second, I would say with exception to PSU, every conference team we have lost to has improved from last year. MSU is much better, Iowa was better when we played them and still is pretty damn good defense. Wisconsin is better. OSU will be slightly better. On the wins, Indiana and Illinois are both better. Purdue, no. All of this was done while our defense was playing more freshman than anything else. If you look at classificiation, it will show inexperience but when you look at actual experience it will show even more inexperience.
This team also seems to have a different attitude. It isn't last years team. They have been given 4 opportunities to give up. They haven't done that one single time.
+1 for salutation and 1,000th point. But don't let Brian hear you talking about how Iowa is better than they were last year.
especially when so many players are so young. It's not an excuse, it's just life. Growth takes time.
I think people look at this team and see that it's not where we want it to be and don't think there has been improvement.
Our years under the Rich Rod can be defined like this:
I would agree with that interpretation even as a firm RRod supporter, but you can't ignore this interpretation:
'08 Epicly bad
'09 Badly mediocre
If we take a step backward before getting to "acceptable" in the Rich Rod experiment, then I will jump off of the bandwagon. For now, RRod decriers will have to be patient.
I am as big and strong as Mike Martin is. True, I'm 5-7 and 134 lbs, but forget that—I'm as big and as strong as Mike Martin is.
Didn't really think I'd see it again. To avoid analysis and logical thinking, I'll just assume both posters are correct and this team is exactly as bad as our 3-9 team in 2008.
The fact that you even have to ask this tells me that responding to you is an excercise in futility.
Logical, reasonable people can question whether RR is the guy to take us to where we want to be (I believe he is, but that is just my opinion). Some say he is and others disagree and have some valid points, even if I disagree with them.
What is absolutely unreasonable is to try and assert that improvment hasn't been made between this year and last. You have proven yourself to be completely and utterly unreasonable and incapable of rational thought by making this assertion.
Last year all the FIRE DICK FRAUD people cared about was record, saying it was the ultimate measuring stick. Now the story has changed.
But, to be fair, Coach Rod's wins have been OOC (largely). Only 6 in-conference wins in 3 years (so far) isn't going to get it done. The objective around here is to win championships.
Is it the defense? Of course it is. Last year, we had a mediocre offense. A passable defense would have at least gotten us to a bowl game. This year, we have a great offense, but the defense isn't even theoretical (other than one that can be readily disproven).
There is also a huge difference in the level of talent in the recruits who want to play for Michigan on offense versus defense. That has to be associated with both results and coaching. I'm not certain that simply hiring Jeff Casteel is going to solve that problem.
I agree with your fair weather fan comment. While the OP above steers us away from signs of improvement, there are plenty of people on this board who steer totally in the opposite direction.
Somewhere in the middle is me, and a whole lot of other people. People who don't like the results on the field, and are worried that we're still not winning signature Big Ten games, and barely winning some non-signature ones. (Then there is Penn State.) BUT also people who don't swallow the "Rich Rod is responsible for everything wrong in my life" or "head in the sand, la la la / I can't hear you" points of view.
IMO, 2011 will be the real proof of the offense (second year QB). This year's production gives me enough Reason to Believe to stay that course.
Ther real question: In my view, as Head Coach, Rich is at least 75% responsible for the state of the defense -- I'll give him 25% for Carr/English recruiting and coaching change attrition. So, I need Reason to Believe that significant improvement is possible by 2012.
If that can be shown, then I think we continue on with Rich.
Offense is unanimously yes.
Defense, no. I even provided stats to show we're worse on defense than RR's first year in my diary. http://mgoblog.com/diaries/decimated-defense-meme-has-expired
Sorry for the bad formatting. No time for graphs right now. In no way has the Michigan Wolverine Defense improved since 2008. Thank goodness for a really bad Purdue team or these numbers would be even worse.
Year Opponent 3rd Down Efficiency
Year Opp Pass Completion %
Year Opp Yards/Pass
Year Opp Yards/Rush
Year Turnovers Forced/Game
Uh, you dont think the decimated defense might be a cause of this?
The OP wasn't asking for excuses, he asked if The Team has progressed. To which I replied, on offense yes. But, on defense no and then backed up my assertion with facts.
"Wisconsin (at least were competitive in the first half last year -- on the road)."
I won't even get into the rest of it but this one makes no sense. Last week it was 24-14 early in the 3rd quarter and we had momentum - we were competitive in the 2nd half. We are a much better 2nd half team this year and that is a good thing. You can knock RR if you want but you have to stay with the facts.
To all the people who are desperately seeking legitimate ways to express "concern" over RichRod even though he has met expectations while simultaneously fielding a secondary literally full of HS kids:
RICH RODRIGUEZ IS NOT GOING ANYWHERE. YOUR BELOVED NFL FARM SYSTEM IS NOT COMING BACK. DEAL WITH IT.
Sane Michigan Fans
Do you have a cite for that Brandon quote? Did you have a personal off-the-record discussion with Brandon? If not, how do you know this to be a fact?
And, if it were such a done deal, why wouldn't Brandon have announced as much publicly, to give RR some added support?
Seriously, if you want to suggest that Dave Brandon will fire a coach after only three years and after his first bowl game (all while returning almost everybody for year 4), then go ahead. Personally, that doesn't strike me as a reasonable projection of the future. To me that seems more like wishful thinking.
But whatever, if you want to continue to wish for someone else and refuse to get the eff on board with the current coach of the team you love, then I can't stop you. Continue pining away for that NFL Farm Team that is JUST AROUND THE CORNER, if you must.
I do think that there have been improvements. They might not be as fast as they should be (and this could be on the coaching), but there have been improvements. The simplest way to demonstrate:
In 2008, we lost to everyone, including MAC teams. We were a joke.
Last year, we at least ran the table on the OOC cupcakes, but couldn't beat a single B10 team (except indiana).
This year, we still ran the OOC table, but have beaten Indiana, Illinois and Purdue. Admittedly, we haven't beaten a single good team, but last year we were losing to even the crappy B10 teams. This is improvement.
Assuming RR stays (and that is a big assumption), I see this progression continuing next year. Maybe we still will not run the table, and we would probably still lose to a team like this year's Wisconsin team, but we should certainly be able to win some of our games against the upper-middle B10 teams like MSU, Iowa, Northwestern and next year's Wisconsin. So, while we will probably still struggle (but be competitive with) teams like OSU and Nebraska, we should improve to the point where we are an above average B10 team.
Why? The offense loses nothing. We return virtually every single player. The year-to-year improvement for Denard alone - from a first year starter to a seasoned starter with 16 extra practices and an entire spring season under his belt - should be worth a win or 2. How different would our record be if Denard cut in half his turnovers against MSU, Iowa and PSU? We would have won at least 1 of those games. QB turnovers decline significantly in the second starting year. (Mathlete?).
How about the RB situation. We have 2 big time RBs coming in this year that should provide the Slaton to Denard's Pat White (I know, the comparison is done to death, but it is apt). And, even putting aside the freshmen, V. Smith will be a year older and fully rehabbed from his ACL. Improvement.
As for the defense - even if half of our injured players return, that is worth a win or 2. Plus, those players who had a full season of playing time this year will be so much more seasoned. The defense can't possibly be worse, and there are many reasons to think that it will improve. Probably still a below-average defense, but even if they are just below average, we should win 2 more games.
So yes, there is improvement and reason to believe that there will be MORE improvement enxt year.
I was just thinking this morning, how the past two years we've limped into The Game in whipped / beaten puppy state. The team seemed to have given up three or four games before.
This year, the team has not given up. They may have lost games convincingly, but I can't point to a single moment of them rolling over.
Yes our defense is riddled with injuries, and talent that didn't make it to, or is no longer on campus, BUT they haven't given up. Molk has gone down, Odoms, any given running back, Denard here and there, etc., AND our offense has stepped up and continued to compete.
This is a huge difference than the past two years, and say a Weisian-coached ND team.
So, I don't like where our defense is, and I don't like the turnovers, and the kicking is really a disaster, but this team is young, AND they are still fighting.
For that reason I am entering The Game with at least the view that we should see a competitive offensive game. With a few breaks, good things are possible. (This is in contrast to quarterbacks with their arms hanging in pain in '07 and '09, and good 'ole Sheridan (not even Threet) in '08.)
They're moving in the right direction. The real question is whether Rich is capable of making the changes necessary to field a competitive defense. (Hint: Loyalty is an admirable quality, but maybe some ex-WVU coaches need to go ...)
stop arguing and just go beat OSU
It gives me genuine pain to +1 you, but you do have a point. Running over the Big Ten the next couple years will heal the wounds--the balance of the force will return.
The problem with comparing our losses by point margin this year to last year is that you fail to take into consideration that the teams that we played last year will also imporive or like in Purdue's case, due to injury, will actually be a worse team. It's obvious that Wisconsin, MSU, and Iowa (to an extent) have all gained experience and are much more mature teams. I'll take those losses. So out of the 4 games we've lossed, 3 have been to teams that were (are) serious big ten contenders. I'll take that record over the one we had last year and if we can put together a servieable defense, we will have a lot more wins to add to the bunch
Michigan has improved slightly. The Wolverines have beaten most of the teams they should have beaten (Penn State being the only possible exception). And Wisconsin was really the only game that they never had a real chance to win.
The red flag is that all four of Michigan’s losses are by more than two scores, but four of Michigan’s wins are by one score or less. Michigan is, in other words, much closer to having more losses, than it is to having more wins.
The Notre Dame and Illinois wins, in particular, definitely qualify as lucky breaks, with an injury to the starting QB playing a big part in the ND win, and a freak bounce in Junior Hemingway’s favor deciding the Illinois game. There wasn’t any comparable bad luck that took away a game Michigan should have won.
Overall, improvement on offense has been somewhat canceled out by playing worse on defense and special teams than the Wolverines did a year ago.
I dont think its fair or accurate to say only a freak bounce vs Illinois enabled us to win that game.
First, it wasnt the final play. Even if incomplete, we still get at least another down to convert.
Two, as much as the ball juggled in the air, it really never came close to being picked off.
Three, the defender interfered with Hemingway and the ref had actually reached for his flag, but didnt pull the trigger I assume cuz he saw Junior catch the ball. I assume Michigan gets a first down if it falls incomplete. Or, maybe the ref decided to swallow his whistle. A bad break for MICH. That got evened out right away with Hemingway not giving up on the play. I guess my point is, by not getting the PI flag, this play was also a bad break for MICH
Four, there are breaks in every game. If we take that break from us, what big break can we eliminate from the equation on Illinois side. I'm sure we can find one that gives the win to Michigan.
What happens if Michigan has any less than 5 turnovers in that game? Luck goes both ways, my friend. If one argues that one "lucky" play the other way caused us to win, why can't I say something like not turning over the ball 5 times and the game wouldn't have even gone to OT in the first place? And let's not mention the surprising QB change...granted, Tate did great filling in, but his first play from scrimmage was a yakety sax that basically gave the game to Illinois early in the 4th quarter. What happens if Denard isn't benched?
We are going bowling this year, and the team is making positive strides. The defense is another story, but they have had their moments, too.
+ fire =death
If my math is correct, 7 > 5 (with two games left still to go). That is improvement.
Let's not bother with facts. Just throw everyone under the bus.
I think the OP minimalized the DB lack of depth that we had. DWarr, Woolfolk, Demar, etc etc. You cannot lose half your depth at ANY position and expect to be good. Especially when you already have questionable depth/skill at LB. Just too many question marks.
The one thing I think helped us last year, which I rarely see discussed is our special teams play in 09. We were very fortunate to score TDs and get great returns on special teams last year. Those don't show up in the offense or defense numbers, but they were still points we scored that were crucial in many games. We obviously haven't been that fortunate this year. You can say the special teams regressed this year, and I think it has....but last year I think we played well beyond the means...if there was a "points scored" statistic for kick returns, I would venture to guess we were well above average in 09. Those easy points have not been there for us this year. Everything has had to go through the offense.
Yes, Michigan will finish the regular season at 7-5 or 8-4 and that is indeed progress when compared to 5-7
You admit this is progress, and are still asking the question whether there has actually been improvement? How can there be progress without some measure of improvement? The only answer is luck...so you're saying the team has been THAT lucky this year? I agree there has been some luck (um, yeah, 10 turnovers in 2 games that WE WON!), but to say it was 100% luck is simply asinine.
That, of course, brings us to the defense. It's hard to believe, but it's actually worse than last year. I know there are excuses including Woolfolk's injuries, but they're just excuses.
It's actually not hard at all to believe. Quite the opposite, really. Many here were PANIC when Woolfolk went down before the season even started, and of course let's not forget the littany of attrition due to transfers or other reasons (which, while RR has some part of, certainly cannot be entirely put on him) I had false delusions that, hey, the defense is a year older and this = better. Ha, yeah right...not necessarily. And now we learn that GERG is really not the right coach for the job, despite the youth. And they're not "just" excuses, it's reality. RR keeps saying it, and it may not make you feel any better (it doesn't make me feel any better), but there's only so much you can do when your entire secondary is freshman and one senior whose been switched back and forth between corner and WR year-to-year (so, he's really got limited experience at corner as well, and it wasn't his primary position)..
Certainly RR should take some heat for how he's handled the defense, but when you look at the bigger picture you see Michigan's most dynamic offense in about 50 years, which can only get better with some actual experience (as in, his players actually become upper classmen). The defense is bad, but why not give him one last shot to get it better?
by saying RR has proven nothing. If you want to have a rational discussion, fine, but you blatantly ignore the good by saying that.
Also, if 2 of 3 phases of the game are really that bad, how does Michigan have 7 wins? And regarding ST: we have an awesome budding punter, our kick returns are better than 2 years ago (although still not good enough). Our problem lies within the kinda-randomly bad placekicking...but it is not a problem unique to Michigan. ST isn't as bad as you think it is....we haven't given up a punt/kick return TD yet, which you can't even say about some of the best Big 10 teams in teh conference.
Like I said, if you want to have a rational discussion, I recommend you start by NOT generalizing the "pro-RR" crowd as blind and avid supporters. Then maybe you won't get negged into oblivion.
The fact that non-Michigan fans want to get rid of RR so bad tells me he is doing something right. He hasnt even gotten the ball rolling yet and the fear levels are nearing critical mass.
Our special teams play stinking up the room is a function of all of our would be special teams players having to start and/or play significant amounts and thus less time can be spent on special teams. When you have 9-10 defensive backs less on the team at this point than you thought you would have in June, that is a serious problem--especially on a team that had depth issues to begin with. Special teams will absolutely suffer
Basically the Offense has gotten a LOT better and the defense has gotten a LOT worse. lol
Wow! This post was epic lunacy today.