It would be a travesty to see all this offensive talent go to waste.
It has been a travesty to see all this offensive talent go to waste with a defense so poor words cannot describe it this season. With any other defense in the B10, we are 8-1.
It would be a travesty to see all this offensive talent go to waste.
It has been a travesty to see all this offensive talent go to waste with a defense so poor words cannot describe it this season. With any other defense in the B10, we are 8-1.
I would wajer that we'd be 8-0 (since we've only played 8 games thus far). But point made. Just need a couple more stops (literally 4 or 5) per game and we're winning a LOT.
Amen. I am sick of all of the board posts about who could possibly be the next coach if RR gets fired, should he be fired, is Jim Harbaugh already the coach, etc, etc.
It needs to stop. We still have four games left. Even though our Defense looked like it didn't even play high school football, our offense has done nothing but get better since the epic fail of 2008. If anything, the only bad thing that RR has done is not hire the right guy as DC. Get rid of Greg Robinson and find someone good. If we got rid of RR I don't know how much more rebuilding I can take! The program will be bottom-dwellers if Michigan were to switch back to a pro-style offense.
False. Post bye-week records:
The Big Ten is the most extreme, but overall teams are <.500 coming off a bye.
We all thought our D would be better in 09 after 08. That didn't happen. Sure we get Woolfolk back, but our D will not improve significantly. They'll have to learn new schemes again. We are still going to be starting many guys who shouldn't start at big time programs. I see no reason to think we will win more than 7-8 games next year.
We will probably go 6-6, but there's a better chance we lose all 4 remaining games (5-7) than splitting them (7-5). I just think that with the offense we have, I could have coached this team to the same record. The atrocious D is mostly RR's fault, through attrition, hiring bad coaches, not letting D coordinators run what they want to run. This team just can't compete in the B10 at this point. And we won't next year either with this D. If RR gets to 2012 we could have a decent D by then, but who knows if he'll stay that long.
The atrocious D is mostly RR's fault
I just don't see it that way. Yes, he is the head coach and it unltimately is his responsibility to field a better D than what we have, but the main problem we have with the D is age and experience. The RS Soph / Jr, RS JR / Sr, and Sr classes were all here or on their way before RR arrived. Were are all those guys now? And how did RR run them off? There looked to be plenty of talent in the DB ranks, we have gone over the attrition records a thousand times, it just does not add up to being mostly RR's fault, or anyone's for that matter. And if we return every member of our starting D save Mouton and Banks, I am not sure how they couldn't be conciderably better. ANd how much better would it take? 2 more stops a game? That would do it with this offense, but with next years O? maybe 1 more stop would do it? Hard to say, but like the OP i want to see us try. I have endured the last three years, I can take my chance with one more to see what one more year does to our O and our D.
Big picture, yes a head coach takes responsibility for the whole performance at the end of the day. Slightly smaller picture, we we could insert another D coordinator and get a brighter defensive future at the end of the day, there is some reason to see what RRod can do with another one in the fold. For gods sake, we don't need a world-beater D, or even a best in the big ten, if we can get our current talent playing like the 50th best defense nationally, I think we have a chance at beating anybody. Despite the horrid attrition and mass of youth, I still find it hard to believe another coordinator couldn't at least cobble together a mediocre to bad defense that could consistently stall the likes of UMas and a crippled Penn State. Perhaps I'm wrong, and perhaps most of our rated recruits have all really been shockingly overrated, but I would like to see what this team could do with another DC.
They'll have to learn new schemes again.
Is this a bad think or a good think, because the way I see it this defensive scheme doesn't work? We need something else that works. Now, aren't our defensive players mostly FR and SO which means they were only coach by G. Robinson so this "learning of new schemes AGAIN" does not apply to them?
The biggest fear I have is the potential of this team offensively. Bring in Harbaugh next year, the floodgate of transfers on offense would be large. We need patience. Defensively, fire GERG today. Show us that Rich gets it, that he is as pissed as the rest of us, and addresses the perception problems immediately. This team is being put together for a special run. I just hope Brandon shows the patience for it to bear fruit.
OP, I agree with most of your post, but I'm simply asking why there would be mass transfers on O, with an NFL style O implemented?
Obviously, the next HC wouldn't go back to Lloydball, but why would players leave with a Patriots, Saints, Colts style offense? The WRs (Roundtree, Stonum, Hemmingway) could all flourish in any offense. The RBs are varied inough in style from Hopkins, to Cox, to Shaw and Smith.
The only real question is Denard, but if he improves his passing more, he could be a shotgun spread QB (not a read option guy) and if not, Tate/ Gardner could play in a pro style spread offense.
The main difference between RR and other spreads is RR's significant use of the read option, but otherwise isn't all that different from NFL style spreads.
Denard would not fit in a pro style offense at QB. He's good at short throws, but not so great at mid and long range throws. Tate or Devin would probably start.
that doesn't actually help.
Ever. They will be sucky forever amen
denard was sucky last year. now look at him.
the development of the frosh D will be more than marginal next year with bowl practices (hopefully), spring practice, summer practice and fall practice. but i would like them to focus more on tackling and covering than scheme.
next year the O will avg at least 35 pts a game. if the D improves just a few points a game, you're looking at a very good team overall.
The players who return on D won't all be underclassmen next year. That alone will be an improvement.
rbgoblue is right. A decent defense and we may be contending this year for the Big Ten. As good as this offense is just think how good they would be with a defense that was in the 50-70 range nationally. When was the last time we got a turnover in our favor? Get this team the ball 5-6 more times a game through turnovers and a few more punts and we may be looking at 8-0 or 7-1. I have no opionin anymore on RR he can play offense but who knows what is wrong with the defense. I just wish we didnt have to go throgh this. We need to figure it out fast. 2011 is a cakewalk compared to what 2012 brings us. If we blow it up now I will be afraid.
I agree with you entirely, next year could be a special year. Go Blue
Keep holding the Rope damn it!
This post is dead on.
I think you're all fucked in the head. We're ten hours from the fucking fun park, and you wanna bail out! Well, I'll tell you something, this is no longer a vacation . . . it's a quest! It's a quest for fun! I'm gonna have fun, and you're gonna have fun! We're all gonna have so much fucking fun we'll need plastic surgery to remove our Goddamn smiles! You'll be whistling Zip-a-dee-doo-da out of your assholes! I've got to be crazy!
At the begining of the year you said in November that Michigan has a chance to be 10-3, 9-4, or 8-5 nobody would reach for the pitch fork
Outstanding levity on this gloomy Monday morning. Thank you sir.
well one would probably retort with:
|107||San Jose St.||9||625||3982||6.37||37||442.44||1||8||0|
|115||New Mexico St.||8||545||3618||6.64||38||452.25||2||6||0|
His defense is not working, and I don't know that it will work any time soon. We ought to play 4 down linemen, since our strength is on the line, get some more pressure on the QB, and lessen the load on our inexperienced db's...
We played 4 down lineman almost the whole game against PSU, what game were you watching
The whole meme about "only rushing 3" is completely ridiculous. I don't know if those complaining have not been watching the games, or don't comprehend (not directed at you) what is going on, but against a pro styleish team, we have been running between and 3-4, 4-3 and 4-4. What do supporters of this thory suggest, with our best DL injured, lets bring out some other ineffectual bodies, take a DB off the field, and give the weakest links on our defense more responsibility/less help? That sounds like a prescription for improvement!
Well, Ron English fields a worse D than UM. We could have their D!
i just want to catch duke at this point dammit...
So you're saying we're only 10.5 yds/game away from being in the top 100. I think that is pretty encouraging. /s
It's all about entertainment to me. Breaston's returns aside, one year of Denard has been worth several of the prior regime (by the entertainment measure). Really -- I'm not kidding.
I'd love for the defense to not be so pi$$-poor, and it would be nice to win more often, but not if it means going back to immobile QBs, 5-yard TD runs as the principal highlights, and @#$%ing away 4th-quarter leads after doing the run-run-(incomplete)pass routine.
You know, I think that's an excellent point. Overlooked, and so far negbanged, but a good point and I (for one) think you're onto something.
When people say "I don't care about yards, I care about winning" I get where they are coming from. We all want to win. But I've watched losing games where it's all pain, and I've watched losing games where I say "Holy sh*t look at that kid run" and the latter is way better. I can have a lot more patience when I have hope (which our offense gives me) and moments of absolute glee (which the offense also gives me, usually thanks to Mr. Robinson). Even when the outcome is bad, there is a lot of entertainment to be had when our offense clicks. And that definitely helps during these lousy weeks.
I agree completely. We are on the right track, our team is getting better, and they are damn fun to watch.
Than be boring and win? Are you Wesley Snipes in White Men Can't Jump?
I'd love for the defense to not be so pi$$-poor, and it would be nice to win more often, but not if it means going back to immobile QBs...
I could understand this if you were a neutral fan. I can't understand it if you're a diehard. I agree that Carr's offense was pretty dull, but I liked winning - a lot. It's one thing to say this now, but if it's bowl season and we're sitting home again, would you honestly say it was worth it?
"The 2011 schedule is set up for a Big 10 Championship. " We are 4-16 in the B10 over the past three seasons. I think making a run for a championship is a huge stretch with special teams and defense being in the state they are. Get Wolf back and a couple JUCO transfers in the secondary and maybe we can think of competing, let a lone winning.
Now saying we'll be the best team in the nation, but look we got ND and 3 teams that will have 70pts hung on them. Survive that and MSU on the road is the only game we won't be favored by 10 or more. Iowa loses everyone and the rest of the Big Ten blows save PSU and Wisc which are off the schedule. So we come to Nebraska and OSU 10-0 with both games at home. Not a guarantee and maybe we stumble at Illinois or Northwestern or something but a 10-3 season for me is an absolute bare minimum.
We do that and I think the recruits come pouring in,
MSU was a mediocre 5-3 Big Ten team last year. Michigan will finish 1-7 or 2-6. Maybe if they get extremely lucky, they'll hit 3-5. Teams very rarely jump from from 2-6 to 7-1 or 8-0. Mediocrity next year is the most likely outcome. Expect 4-4 or 5-3 in conference.
MSU was 4-4 in conference play last year, and 6-7 overall.
Tractor Supply has you covered:
You're gonna have to make your own torch though.
A well thought out, rational post that people should listen to. My only wish would to be able +1 you again.
I wish I could tell everyone here that I am leaning one way or the other, but honest to God I am riding the fence. I am riding the fence because I want Michigan to be good again, and will support whatever allows that to happen. While I know this would require foresight, it's the position I am choosing to take.
Maybe I'm just a nice guy, but I want RichRod to win. I want him to be our coach for the next 20 years schooling all the dopes who decide to play us. But I can say that right now, he is not doing himself any favors. Regardless of the play on the field, the blame or praise will always fall on his head, and in order for him to keep his job he has to do a better time of it. What this entails is everything.
The worst part of all of this -- really the most frustrating -- is that if he fails, all the crap we as RR supporters will get for being wrong. All the devotion and time spent defending a man who deserved a chance, down the drain. And that to me is the most debiliating thing about these last three years.
Than the program falling into the abyss?
Not at all.
The program falling into abyss means that something is wrong with the coaching. All I'm saying is it would be disheartening to know that we supported a coach who we thought could take us to higher levels, only to see him fail.
Yeah it sucks being wrong, and I hear enough of it on a daily basis from my Spartan roommates and even from my other friends who are Michigan fans. I want RichRod to succeed because it means that Michigan will be succeeding.
This is my problem with the "stay the course" philosophy:
...but I will say with unshaking confidence we [the defense] will be better.
I read "unshaking confidence" as "faith". Faith is for religion, not reality. I stopped believing in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and God a long time ago.
The reality is that we have zero evidence that UM will EVER field a competent defense while RR is the HC. People continue to talk about how "the defense can't getting any worse" and yet., each season, it does.
UM's football team is not close to being a complete team. We have one outstanding offensive player (Denard) who is being ridden into the ground by an offensive "genius" whose schematic advantage is to have Denard run the ball 25-30 times a game. The defense has been a disaster for three straight seasons and the special teams have gotten worse each year.
I stopped believing in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and God a long time ago.
This will end well.
That were just god awful!! /sarcasm
The solution is simple hire casteel however much it takes.
Or implode the d side staff (except tall) and let the new DC pick his staff and scheme.
If OSU, Wisconsin and Iowa leave the Big 10 and Nebraska decides they would actually LIKE to be Texas' b*tch (read: stay in the Big 12) and those teams are replaced with several MAC schools then the Big 10 would be almost as bad as the Big East became when VaTech, Miami and BC left for the ACC.
Under those fantasy conditions, I think RR could be successful at UM. The guy is a non-AQ school level coach (The Big East does not deserve to still be an AQ conference IMO). He honestly seems to believe he can win in the Big 10 fielding defenses with MAC caliber players and walk-ons (there are at least 4 players getting significant minutes on the defense right now who qualify).
I'm sick of this shit. If you honestly believe that a head coach of RRs caliber doesn't give a shit about defense and doesn't realize how important defense is to football you are mental.
I don't even know who I'm typing this to but YOU ARE A FUCKING IDIOT!!!!!!
This is honestly ridiculous. Formerly, you've come and posted warnings for me and none of my posts have been anywhere near as bad as this "posters". This is sickening.
That stat says it all! 106 Yikes!
I'm with you for the most part. I think that we're so close to getting over the hump and into the place where everyone is griping about 2-3 loss seasons again. The offense is amazing and will only get better next year. I also don't see how the defense isn't going to improve. Woolfolk will be back, all those freshmen and sophomores will be a year older and we'll have more depth with the incoming recruiting class. Moreoever, we lose almost no one. Whether or not Gerg should be the coordinator, I can't really say. I don't know if it's a coaching issue or simply one of skill and experience. What I do know is that we came close the past three games and probably would have won if only we had a mediocre defense.
with Denard's best, more experienced years ahead of him and nearly 2 dozen returning starters, we deserve to be ND.
Let's make sure we are awesome in one facet of the game, but horrible at the other two.
If we fire the coach that brought us the #4 offense with Denard's best, more experienced years ahead of him and nearly 2 dozen returning starters, we deserve to be ND.
What was Auburns record last year?
7-5 (3-5 SEC). You were saying?
And Auburn's defense is definitely not world class. But they are good enough to let their offense win games. A very good comparison.
That's counting the bowl win.
There are more positives to this team than negatives. The defense is a glorified high school team. A new DC isn't changing that. And if you have neither the patience nor the foresight to look at the positives and stop being an armchair coach than you can go over to East Lansing and cheer them on. Hey they are actually winning this year! It is fans like you that are putting pressure on people to make poor decisions. The funny thing about Michigan Football is we don't need you. It's been 3 years. The majority of RRs recruits have been here for 2 years. They are true sophomores. Give it another season and we will see what happens. Don't try to bring down the ship because you have no idea what you are talking about. Just shut up and enjoy the ride.
I did both the my undergraduate and graduate degrees at Michigan, so fuck you if you think I'm not a real fan of the University.
Sounds like every other Michigan Grad student I have come accross in my day...
and assholes like you bitched because he wasn't winning by enough points.
I did? I don't remember doing that...
and you've decided he's Jesus Christ and anyone who dares to question him is not a fan.
Certainly not, but demanding he be fired and questioning his hires at DC are not the same thing. I just wish we would focus on the positives and have the foresight to see what we could do next year with a little more matured defense. The schedule looks great.
You're just an LC apologist. Do you remember recruiting Panter who was a juco? Lloyd knew the problems and knew we were fucked on defense.
Attrition has hampered this defense and if you can't see that and realize that it's not all on RR and he hasn't had enough time to fix it with just sophomores you don't deserve degrees from Michigan and I pray that they weren't in anything that involves analysis because your "analysis" is dog shit.
I have a hard time buying the "Lloyd left us a mess" argument given that he coached 13 years - several recruiting cycles - and never did worse than 7-5 and 5-3 in conference. His recruits consistently came through for us. If RR's staff was unable to get Carr's kids to buy in, that's not Carr's fault.
I posted above the same thing. Look at the schedule next year and give me a little bit of optimism and say the defense is ranked 65th next year. If the offense improves, you can't see a little opening to be 10-0?
Woolfolk, Martin, RVB, Demens, 20frosh and sophs battling for p.t.
MSU is going to win 10-11 games with a decent team witha pass defense that was worse than ours last year and now they are top 20 in pass efficiency on d, because they stayed the course and had a perfect schedule set up.
It's easier to stay the course when your coach goes 3-5, 6-2 and 4-4 in conference play his first three years, goes to three consecutive bowls, and goes 5-4 in rivalry games (U-M, ND, PSU) his first three years.
RR has gone 2-6, 1-7 and 1-3 in conference play, has yet to go to a bowl, and is 2-6 in rivalry games (OSU, ND, MSU).
I know history has it's place, but using the 1st 2 years of RR''s tenure against him I think is unfair. Dantonio had Hoyer and Ringer his 1st year..Sheridan and every running back hurt is a little different. Let's look at now and the future.
Right now offense is awesome and we return most everybody it should remain awsome. Right now defense is terrible and returns everyone it should get better.
Dantonio inhereited a team much more suited for his preferred system in his first year than Rodriguez did. Suprising, given that we were making a fairly opposite transition, but true. John L. Smith apparently had a pretty good power-running, balanced offense team that he didn't make use of.
MSU 2007 had a decent QB, two very good backs including Jehuu Caulcrick who was almost unstoppable inside the five, a disruptive, experienced d-line and an offensive line that had something like seven guys with starting experience, including four 5th-year seniors. Plus, Devin Thomas emerged from the middle of John L's depth chart as an excellent reciever and Kellen Davis was a very good TE.
He had to do a lot with the D, staring at least three freshman, but they all turned into four-year starters.
Overall, a lot easier than trying to run the Rodspread with Threet and Sheridan.
But it's the D that everyone's worried about, not the offense. Bad Defense = No Championship
With any other defense in the BT, Michigan may be 8-1. But with any other offense in the BT, they may be 1-8. I think any talk of firing RR is ludicrous, and the result of spoiled, complacent fans who want to average 9-3 every year while having no real chance at winning the National Championship, which is pretty much what happened at Michigan after Carr's one great year.
Shit happens. It has happened to every program but this one in the last forty years. Now, it is happening in Ann Arbor. I would rather be going through these growing pains than going through the aughts again. After 1997, it could be said that the team underachieved almost every year. Even 2006 crashed terribly with a loss to OSU and yet another blowout by USC.
I want Michigan to take a team to the NC game, or go to a Rose Bowl against USC and know that they can actually win the game. MIchigan hasn't won a Rose Bowl since 1998. In the aughts, they were 0-3. To me, it was more heartbreaking to watch teams filled with NFL talent find a way to lose too many games every year than it is to watch this team grow, struggle, and eventually find its way.
I'm willing to put up with it for another two years to get a glimpse of what RR can do with an experienced team filled with his own people.
Normally I think that you're an idiot but this is spot on.
Although on the d side "I want some butts!!"
Normally I think that you're an idiot but this is spot on.
We look like we're so much more on the path to a National Championship than we were way back in 2006. The evidence piling up is extraordinary. I mean, lots of teams win National Championships with high school defenses.
Not to mention that the previous coach, whom Tater apparently hates, actually won a national championship.
This is exactly what that former WVU player said about michigan fans recently. We need to stop crying and whining like little babies..
He will win.. We change everything out after 3 short years, then this program is indeed a joke just like every non Michigan fan already says.
We may need to tweak some coaches within the system, but throwing RR out is not the answer
I was a believer in the hire. I was willing to wait and be patient while we tolerated the attrition and acquired the right personnel to run this offense. RR has proven that this offense is what everyone hoped it could be – phenomenal, overpowering, once-in-a-generation, breathtaking. The development of the offense is ahead of schedule.
But here is the bottom line:
Who do you want to be, the 1993 Denver Nuggets or the Chicago Bulls? The 1987 Cleveland Indians or the Detroit Tigers? With no hope for the defense going forward, there is no hope for any championships going forward, either.
And finally, if our expectations have sunk to “As long as we get our 15 practices I could give a shit less who or where we play,” then we have become Indiana. How does that feel? Yes a new head coach willbe a very painful experience, but I'd rather start the pain now, because the pain will come. The pain will come.
Oregon and Auburn would like to talk to you.
Please back away from the ledge. It's easy to go overboard after that debacle, but I submit to you that if you can't even give a defense that returns every starter minus a mediocre LB and actually gets a senior starter back from injury the slightest chance that they will improve you need to take an optimism pill, because you are one bitter dude.
Please see the MSU secondary last year. they were actually worse than us and they have been pretty good this year.
Oregon: 17th ranked scoring defense - 17.88 pts/game , 35th ranked total defense - 337 yds/game
Auburn: 59th ranked scoring defense - 24.33 pts/game , 57th ranked total defense - 358 yds/game
For comparison's sake, here's UM: 89th ranked scoring defense - 30 pts/game, 106th ranked total defense - 440 yds/game
Oregon's rankings are pretty good - especially pts/game. Auburn's okay but way better then UM.
You mean the one's that have respectable defenses? The one's who shut out the baby seals on their schedule instead of allowing UMass and UConn and Seton Hall and Providence to stay in the game with them?
I don't want to talk to Oregon or Auburn, but I'd love for Brandon to talk to their coaches.
Haven't won anything, yet.
People talked Oregon, how they were going to wax boring Ohio State, and, Uhm, yeah...
And I don't know that Auburn is going to get by defensive minded Alabama, no more win it all.
And has been pointed out, their defenses are not bad. Having both is nice, and necessary. Florida has put out awesome offenses when winning titles...but great defenses too. Last year the best defenses were Alabama, OSU, Florida, Penn State...all big Bowl winners.
We ran the spread and it worked out so well because it was the last thing Florida or anyone else expected. You couldn't repeat that without 1) the element of surprise and 2) weeks of practice before a bowl game
I have lit my torch and am actively looking for a good deal on a pitchfork. I am all in for RR, but if he doesn't take his own pitchfork to GERG and the defensive staff after this season, i'm going to be sharpening the tines by Spring practice.
hearing how great this offense is. It's good, but it hasn't exactly been a jugernaut lately. They had 10 points on the board heading into the 4th quarter of the MSU game. They had 7 points on the board heading into the 4th quarter of the Iowa, and 10 points at halftime against PSU. In the last 3 games UM's offense hasn't really done much until the opponent had built a comfortable lead.
+1 for saying in a few sentences what it took me multiple paragraphs to say and probably expressing it better
I'm all for giving a coach a fair shake, and waiting until he has his players or whatever, but there is literally not a shred of evidence that suggests we'll be better next year. Sure, you can tell me how young we are, but we were young last year. Great, we've brought in some decent recruits and our offense can gain a lot of yards, but somehow we always seem to be gaining these yards down 3 TDs in the 4th quarter of games. Nothing has actually been done on the field of play to make me think Rich Rod will ever right this ship. All I hear around here is "its not his fault" and "wait until next year". OK fine, so what if it isn't his fault? That has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not he is the right guy to bring us back, and so far all signs point to no. I just feel like you guys are holding onto hope that isn't there b/c you realize if you were wrong all along about RR then things might never get better.
Our defense made a walkon QB at Penn State look like John Elway in his first start. And our offense wasn't good enough to keep up. That actually did happen. Everything in the OP is speculative. Its looking like we might go 6-6 this year, in which case the only difference from last year is that Purdue is absolutely pitiful. It really doesn't reflect any improvement on our part.
"D. Brandon, stay the course, dare to be great." I could just as easily say, "D. Brandon, stop this circus before we embarrass ourselves any more. Dare to win a b10 game."
C'mon. That just makes me not want to read anything else you wrote
I will bet you a million dollars we are better next year if Rodriguez returns. Virtually our entire offensive and defensive two deep return next season.
If I hear the "walk-on" QB meme any more I am going to fucking barf. Do we not have a walk-on underclassmen on our defense? And the rest of the group ain't much better, especially with Martin out. No defense with that many underclassmen on the two-deep is any good. The next person to show me one that is will be the fucking first.
Our fans are proving themselves to be extremely dumb and whiney. Thankfully Dave Brandon isn't going to listen to any of you.
Its funny that in the Penn State prediction threads thats all anyone wanted to talk about. Now after he shredded us you don't think its a big deal? Honestly, do you think we are better as a team than we were last year? I just don't see it, but maybe I'm dumb and whiney like you said. I guess you're hoping Dave Brandon sees it?
Our offense is much better than last year. Our defense (already bad because they were dealing with a massive black hole at the safety position) lost 4 of its 5 best players (Warren, Woolfolk, Graham and Brown).
"Everyone" is not me. "Everyone" tends to be pretty dumb. Penn State playing a walk-on QB was an advantage for us. Michigan playing the most inexperienced defensive roster I've ever seen in major college football is a pretty big advantage for them. Michigan lining up Floyd and Rogers at CB is a major advantage for them. Michigan playing a sophomore MLB in his second start is a major advantage for them. Michigan losing their best defensive player and the anchor of the defensive line to injury is a major advantage for them.
They had one inexperienced (quite possibly crappy) guy handing off to the leading rusher in PSU history. How many guys (of both those varieties) can you spot on our defense?
I'll see your 40-years and raise you a year (I'm 41). Like you, before Rich Rod came along I knew no coach other than Bo or one of his disciples. I agree the typical Michigan fan looked around at the flashy spread offenses and wondered how amazing Michigan could be if they gave it a whirl. I appreciate your optimism. I'd just quibble with a few pieces of your argument.
Michigan certainly is #4 in yards per game, but while moving the ball between the 20s is great, I think we can all agree that putting points on the board is the offense's ultimate goal. While the other teams you listed certainly get the job done (Oregeon #1 in scoring offense, OK St #3, Nevada #7, and Boise State #2) Michigan falls to #19 when you rank scoring offense.
The offense has improved -- the 2009 offense ranked #41 in scoring offense, and the 2010 offense is scoring almost 6 ppg more. However, I think it's likely we see our scoring average dip in the remaining four games, and even if it doesn't, if the offense improves by the same margin (~ 6ppg) from 2010 to 2011 as it has to date from 2009 to 2010, we still wouldn't be scoring as many ppg as Oregon, OK St, Nevada, or Boise State are now. So, while I agree the offense is improved and exciting and fun to watch, I don't buy into the argument that it's an elite offense (not sure the OP was even making that argument, but it's a fairly common theme around here).
I admire your unshaking confidence that the defense will be better, but I question the source of that confidence. The 2008 defense was abominable, allowing 28.92 PPG to finish 84th in FBS. The 2009 defense was expected to be a big improvement and instead saw marginal improvement, allowing 27.5 PPG and finishing 77th nationally. We all said 2010 would definitely see an improvement, and instead we're allowing 30 PPG, good for 89th nationally and worse than either 2009 or 2008. I certainly understand injury and attrition in the secondary, but being shredded by a very meek Penn State offense starting a virtual Nick Sheridan clone after a Michigan bye week makes me think -- and maybe I'm wrong -- the problems on defense go beyond what can be explained away so easily.
Yes, Martin is a beast, and with him out, our D Line play suffered tremendously. The question is, why -- in the third year of this regime -- do we not have somebody backing Martin up who at least looks like a legitimate Big Ten player? Some people suggest canning GERG. I'm not necessarily opposed to that, but is the defense still "certain" to be improved next year with a new DC (the 4th in 5 years)? Are the position coaches to problem? If so, is Rod willing to allow some of his close friends to be axed? And if he is, is the defense still definitely going to be better if there's a new staff and a new scheme? I think the defense may be better, and I certainly hope there are, but I think there are way too many questions for anyone to be certain 2011 will bring better days defensively.
Around here we've been telling ourselves -- sometimes putting together elaborate posts with impressive statistics -- that 2010 is not a repeat of 2009. Yet, at this point, that's almost exactly what it looks like. Believe me, I don't like admitting it, and I haven't given up, but I'm having a very hard time seeing this Michigan team -- deplorable on defense and reduced to a one-man-show on offense -- beating Illinois, Wisconsin, or OSU, and even Purdue is iffy. I hope I'm wrong, but nobody will convince me of that now unless and until we beat a decent Big 10 team. I was *convinced* Michigan was going to take PSU to the woodshed. I'm glad I'm not a gambling man, since if I was, I would have bet the house on it.
Obviously I don't have the answers. I don't think anybody posting to MGoBlog has them, and I fear Dave Brandon doesn't have them. To me, it seems like a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation right now. I'm fine with Rich Rod getting more chances. I think I'm even OK with GERG getting another chance. Like I said, I don't know how to fix this, and really, I just want this team to start winning again. The whole point, I guess, was simply that (a) the offense does not appear to me to be the juggernaut that some of us make it out to be and (b) the defense has somehow managed to get worse since 2008 and 2009, and I'm not convinced that another off-season and any associated changes are guaranteed to improve things for 2011.
Yeah, I know, TLDR. Oh well, at least I feel a bit better.
Although I felt differently during the game, the only thing a new HC and staff would bring us next season is an another year of a shitty defense that we could excuse them for. RR still deserves one more year to figure out that you don't run Smith on 3rd and short.
I feel just as deflated as anyone, but I'm still optimistic for the future. Not only will we have virtually everyone of consequence back next year, but it will be the first year since RR has been here where he will actually have a team that is upperclassmen-heavy, not to mention a senior class larger than 10-12 guys, which is what we've had for the past 3 seasons.
I've been of the midset that Gerg cannot yet be fairly judged because of the excessive amount of youth on the D, but I've become pretty much ambivalent about the situation. If RR wants to go out and get Casteel if he becomes available, then go for it. If he wants to keep Gerg and see how it pans out, whatever. Whoever the DC is next season, he will not have to experience an instance in which each of the 4 or 5 players in the secondary are freshmen. (I'm not certain, but I'm pretty sure that for a few plays on Saturday, our secondary looked like this: Vinopal, Christian, Talbott, C. Gordon, T. Gordon/Johnson).
Like the OP said, if we underachieve next year (don't challenge for a conference titile), then a change should probably be made. If we make a change after this year, I just feel that we would be pulling the rug out from under the team and killing the chance for a very successful 2011.
This just proves everything. Defense wins championships and Special teams is 1/3 of the game. We are dreadful on 2/3 phases of the game. Im not sure how much input RR has on the defense, but I do not see Gerg returning. This defense is totally regressing.
It seems that both times we've shifted to a 3-3-5 base (I know it's multiple fronts) we've sucked on D. Purdue '07 and this season. Could it be that RR just needs to get a defensive coordinator that is good at some type of defense and let him run it? It's obvious that if RR utters the phrase 3-3-5 we are doomed to defensive failure. I mean, for the love of God, we just need to be in the top 50 and his offense is going to shred teams.
I say we demote RichRod to OC and hire MEGATRON as our new HC.
This offense CAN be dynamic, except it has produced 10,7,10 points in the first of the last three games. The defense is the worst this school or conference has ever seen and if something doesn't change on that side of the ball in the next two weeks, Brandon will have no choice b/c the major alumni donors may starting pulling $$ and we all know what runs athletic depts these days.
The schedule next year sets up for domination if the defense is just decent and the O continues to get better.
But to refute what the offensive stats show, in three seasons, this staff has beaten a bad Indiana team three times and got lucky against Wisconsin two years ago. There has not been one signature win since they got here and no one is happy with the state of program right now.
Michigan the third worst team in the conference for the third straight year and the defense has gotten worse each season. Again, I am not calling for change yet, but you have to see the facts. At least, a change at DC must happen at the end of the season. A major philosophy shift must occur on the defensive side of the ball.
There is no agressiveness, no killer mentality, no ne outside of the D-line is trying to "make" a play. They seem to be waiting for the play to happen first. I know they are trying, but the philosophy from the sideline is the issue. GERG is not an aggressive guy. It needs to change.
"Everyone who is worth a dam is coming back on d, they will be better with or without Robinson."
What makes you think they will be able to get a better replacement? GERG was not thought by many to be a good hire to begin with. And if we fire this guy, honestly, who in their right mind would want to work for RR? Be micromanaged and then blamed for bad results, and fired. If RR can't play nice with his DC's, what kind of performance do you expect from the D even in the best depth chart scenario?
this post deserves its own thread
I agree that our offense is very good and has potential to be very great, but that alone isn't reason to retain RR. We could simply hire a coach who knows how to run the spread and get the same results - possibly coupled with improvement in the other two facets of the game. When Dantonio replaced John L. Smith, he retained Smith's OC (Don Treadwell), and MSU has continued to be strong offensively under his watch while improving elsewhere.
As head coach, RR's job goes beyond coaching offense. His job is to win, and he has utterly failed at that to date. For him to be retained, he absolutely must get us to a bowl this season. He has to give us a reason to believe that he'll do well here at Michigan. What he did at West Virginia is becoming irrelevant.
Next year, our roster and personnel are set up for us to make a run at the Big Ten title. At least, they should be. Going into the PSU game I genuinely believed that we were a year away from a conference title - which is the normal expectation for a Michigan team - and was very confident we'd see the team take its first steps forward against PSU. Instead we looked like a cellar-dweller. Words cannot describe what a huge letdown that game was. A bad PSU team with their own Nick Sheridan destroyed us. I now have grave doubts about the direction in which this program is headed. If we come away from this season feeling that 2011 will have to be another rebuilding year, then RR has failed.
I think running the spread is always going to be effective in college because the defense is much simpler compared to what an NFL defense would run, which is why pro-style offenses are really only one style across the league (where the defense has caught up in both scheme and speed/talent). Lloyd's final game against Florida where the offense opened up showed what it could be like to have a base Michigan offense that smacks you in the mouth and spreads you wide and has its way with you like a two-bit hooker for the entire damn game. And that was against a team in between two NC seasons. The thing that bothers me about relying on the spread with a mediocre defense is that you absolutely have to score a ton of points to win every game. This is the Mike Martz approach--it took the Rams to a superbowl, but they only won when he was the offensive coordinator. The bottom line is the head coach has to be exactly that--paranoid about every detail and responsible for every phase of the game. I have no problem with RRod as head coach, as long as he stops with the "I don't have time to coach the defense" bullshit. It's on him, and he's gotta realize that whether he likes it or not. If we want to be perennial Big Ten/NC contenders, we gotta have a defense that can carry our team to a 3-0 win every game if necessary.
this whole thing really comes down to 2 different viewpoints. people arguing to fire rr are looking at the past 2.5 years, which make a very compelling case for their point. people arguing to keep rr are looking to next year, which make a compelling case for their point. but what about long term?? can rr get this program to a point where it's consistently winning big10 titles and maintaining a place in the national championship discussion. our offense will clearly get there, but will our defense ever? or will they always cost us a couple games each season? (i'm not saying rr doesn't care about defense, but it's clearly not his focus, as he'll freely admit.) if someone can answer that question, then we also have the answer to the question of whether to fire rr or not.