I guess because I thought of the Malice at the Palace, it came to mind, but I don't want to make any assumptions. Probably better left unsaid. Thanks.
OT - Arizona making Sparty look like choir boys
This obviously sounds terrible, but we all know newspaper reporting can be a bit exaggerated..."Michigan exceeded practice hours by up to 20 hours a week".
I have just 1 question if a 210 lb and 300lb football player were punching women in the face with a closed fist, don't you think there would be some mention of people being taken to the hospital for treatment?
I'm guessing it's a bunch of overblown BS. Regardless RR will need to come down hard on these idiots. They just had their 1st practice the day before. Classic RR pr disaster.
"I'm guessing it's a bunch of overblown BS."
Yeah... we really shouldn't jump to conclusions based on incomplete.... wait.... what? (irony)
This one has a pretty bright-line rule: NO PUNCHING WOMEN. I don't care if he didn't throw his full weight into the punch, or if he just smacked 'em upside the head a bit...
NO. PUNCHING. WOMEN.
What if the woman is, like, really really annoying?
[Edit: I guess none of you youngsters have seen the movie "I'm Gonna Get You Sucka." If not, see it. You won't regret it.]
Sorry but if a woman jumps in a fight and tries to strike me, she will be struck. Not justifying what the players did in this case at all. But if you swing like a man you will be swung on like a man.
White SUV speeding away.
These guys will not be invited to Rich Rod's house for Rita's famous dip.
/said with affection for RR and family
Four were charged in Arizona. Fourteen were convicted at MSU. That does not qualify as "making MSU look like choir boys." Anyway, here's my guess on what happens:
The guy who started it was an ex player: will probably be banned from the facilities.
Three current players were charged with assault: probably gone.
One current player charged with trespassing. I'm guessing he runs a lot of gassers but stays.
Those who weren't charged with anything will probably also run extra gassers.
If RR leverages this correctly, he will be seen as cleaning up the mess and lack of discipline left by the previous coach. All of those charged were sophomores and could put a bit of a hole in his depth chart, but I think the rather conservative fanbase there will be more understanding of his having to "root out bad apples."
I really can't imagine RR wanting to pull a Dantonio here, nor can I imagine people in a very "law and order" kind of state wanting criminals to represent their university. His attrition count should be quite interesting this time around.
Arizona fans are infamous for being the worst in the PAC-12. Not entirely sure he'll get the overwhelming support on this that you think he will.
If this turns out to be true, looks like these boys will be joining the Breakfast Club.
This is a good opportunity for RichRod to kick some kids off of the team to make room for more three star slot receivers and "hybrid" safety/LBs who can't play football.
Those awful recruiting classes that have doomed us to BCS bowl wins and top-10 preseason rankings. God I am still so mad at him for screwing us over like that!
The two best players on that defense were Mike Martin (Lloyd Carr) and Ryan Van Bergen (Lloyd Carr). The majority of the guys were recruited by Rodriguez, but there really weren't any stars on the 2011 defense that were recruited by him. Kovacs is a solid player, Ryan is a solid player, and Demens was recruited by Lloyd Carr. You're giving a lot of credit to a guy who recruited a bunch of so-so players, a couple impact guys (so far - there could obviously be more who develop), and zero superstars yet. He was good at recruiting offense (Denard, Roundtree, Toussaint, Lewan, etc.), but that was always seen as his specialty. He pretty much sucked at recruiting defensive players, and he sucked even worse at developing them. There's no way around it.
The guys in his first full class were RS freshmen when he got fired. Complaining that there were no superstars at that point is just silly. It isn't a surprise that the best players on the team were seniors (and there were only 3 who played in the Sugar Bowl, so it isn't like they dominated the roster by any stretch). That is almost always the case and Rich Rodriguez isn't to blame for not having a time machine so that he could go back and be solely responsible for their recruitment. Mike Martin also signed his LOI when Rodriguez was the coach and never played under Lloyd Carr. Same goes for Demens. Bringing them in is a testament to Coach Carr, but acting like RR had nothing to do with their recruitment/development is again, just silly.
You also left out Craig Roh (honorable mention all-conference last year) and Blake Countess (who I think will certainly earn that star lable).
Do you really think the defense is going to suck next year or be at a talent deficiency (like, say, having one upperclassman on the roster in the entire secondary)? Would you actually change your mind if/when the facts prove otherwise, or is this concept ingrained like it is for so many others?
The development charge is also weak. Brandon Graham (led B1G in TFL two years in a row, all-American, first round pick), Stevie Brown (dramatic improvement as a senior, draft pick), Jonas Mouton (2nd team all B1G, 2nd round pick), and Donovan Warren (all conference despite busted ankle and natural slowness) had no trouble playing well under RR. Martin and RVB didn't exactly see their production skyrocket with a new staff either. When the guys who "didn't develop" are Obi Ezeh (he of the 5+ second 40-yard dash and three week stint in NFL camp who was obviously worse than a sophomore on his own team) and sophomore BWC, you are totally reaching.
TOTAL DEFENSE RANK
2011 17 (Hoke)
2010 110 (RR)
2009 82 (RR)
2008 67 (RR)
2007 24 (Lloyd)
2006 10 (Lloyd)
Hard not to see the trend there. I'm not sure there is one easy explanation, but...
I actually think the defense ranked 67th in his first year isn't bad considering all of his upperclassman were actively working against him. Can you even imagine Martin and Van Bergen working against Hoke and not giving it their all?
Part of your job as a coach is to get those kids to play hard for you. If they're fighting against him, 1/3 of it might be those players' attitudes, 1/3 of it might be outside expectations, but at least 1/3 of it is how the coaches handle them.
I never said RichRod had nothing to do with players actively working against him. On the same frame of mind, players who are supposed to be upperclassman and team leaders who actively campaign against a guy who has been on campus less than a year get a much bigger part of that blame. Mike Martin, Denard Robinson and company knew a shit ton more about Michigan football and teamwork than any upperclassman RichRod was left with
Not going to lie, it must suck to have a job that depends on the efforts and whims of 18-22 year olds. You can say what you want about those upperclassmen, but in the end, they're still ~22 years old. If RR needed them to be the leaders of his squad, he should have worked his butt off trying to get them to buy in or leave. That's what he really needed coming after a guy that was as loved by his players as Carr. Instead, it just became more difficult to deal with and ultimately hurt them in games, as evident here(notice the announcer pointing out all the seniors).
RR was good at laying down the law and being a disciplinarian when he needed to. Hope he gives these kids the appropriate punishment
The explanation is always players. You don't expect a defense to get better when they lose Branch, Woodley, Hall, and Harris and we didn't (that 24 ranking is inflated by playing a 3-9 ND and a bad Big Ten that sent Illinois to the Rose Bowl and doesn't reflect the beatdowns to App. State, Oregon, and Wisconsin). Then we lost far and away the two best players on the team (Crable and Adams). By 2009 we were down to less than 25 scholarship guys on defense and Rodriguez's first class were still true freshmen. We then lost Graham, Brown and Warren, saw Woolfolk/Heininger/Jones knocked out for the season with injury, and replaced everybody with either a total newcomer or a senior who had hardly ever sniffed the field before.
The mystery is really solved when you look at the recruiting classes 3-4 years before each season. Crable, Burgess, Hall, and Woodley came in 2003 and we were good in 2006 (and didn't peak until those guys were seniors).
In 2005 our linebacker class consisted of just Brandon Logan (never started). The DB class was Johnny Sears (kicked off team by Carr), Chris Richards (booted by Carr for St. Patty's Day assault), and Brandon Harrison.
In 2006 the DB class consisted of Stevie Brown and Jonas Mouton. I'll let you figure that one out. The rest of the LB class was Obi Ezeh (thrust into the lineup but always struggled, benched as a senior), Cobrani Mixon (transferred to Kent State after 2006 season, ended up all MAC first team two years in a row), and Quintin Patilla (transferred to GVSU when RR arrived, never played there as far as I can tell).
In 2007 the LB haul was Austin Panter, Marell Evans, and Brandon Herron. Warren and Woolfolk made for a nice CB haul, but at safety we only got Artis Chambers and Mike Williams (left team due to head injuries).
We also added one quality d-lineman per year in these classes (Taylor, Graham, RVB)
When you don't add a corner for two years, don't add a true safety for three, and your two best linebackers are converted DBs, you are probably going to have some struggles in the back 7.
That's a lot of words to try and justify a simple fact. The defense got worse every year RR hand his hands on it. You lose players every year... usually your best most experienced ones. That is college ball. What happened at Michigan was epic (in its awefulness). Seems like you are going through contortions trying to absolve the coaches. Why?
Coaches don't make teams good or bad (except through recruiting, and they impact teams that will show up years down the road). Larry Coker and Charlie Weis walked right in and had fantastic immediate success. Bill Belichick had a losing record over a long period of time before Tom Brady wound up in his lap. Jim Caldwell can take a team to the Super Bowl or to the worst record in the league.
Our defense sucked from 2008-10 because our recruiting actually did suck from 2005-07. In 2008 our recruiting got a lot better on both sides of the ball (thanks to both Carr and Rodriguez). Lo and behold, the defense is back on track in 2011 and the team is winning BCS bowls.
It isn't about absolution or blame. It is about understanding what makes a team good/bad/mediocre in college football. Bo wasn't just smarter than all the guys Indiana ever hired. Gary Moeller didn't get a lobotomy before he went to Illinois and a supercharged brain enhancement when he got the head job at Michigan.
As such, to bitch about Rich Rodriguez's recruiting efforts here at Michigan when the team is in fantastic shape as his players enter their junior/senior seasons is not only stupid, it can lead to poor practice when mistaken assumptions about "his types of players" and dumb memes about "in-state recruiting" go unchallenged and become the conventional wisdom.
Again... let's keep perspective.
Our recruiting was not 110th in the nation between 2005-2007. But that is where our defense ended up.
If you think coaching has no impact, at all... zero... nada... on the quality of a team (aside from recruiting) then I don't know what to say to you. We live in different worlds.
Actually, our defensive recruiting was probably one of the worst in the big ten if not the worst from 05-07 after everything was said and done (transfers, players kicked off the team, etc...)
Yeah... I agree. But that isn't what I said. Can you seriously tell me you think our recruiting was 110 in the nation during that time? Let's see... what teams were better than us defensively during the 2010 season:
The entire MAC (except Eastern)
all the Louisiana "alternate campus" schools
don't make me continue....
If you think our recruiting was worse than all of those schools you are trying too hard to find an answer other than "in addition to all the other problems, defensive coaching sucked during the RR years."
Comparing yardage conceded in the MAC with yardage conceded in the Big Ten and acting like it reflects the value/ability of the defense is intellectually dishonest. USC was ranked in the 90's in pass defense in 2010, it doesn't mean they didn't have a better defense than many teams ranked ahead of them. It also doesn't mean Monte Kiffin didn't know what he was doing.
OK.... how would you describe our defense in 2010? Where would you place them in the pecking order of D-1 teams?
These are rhetorical questions, don't feel the need to answer them. Just go watch the UMass tape.
I would describe our defense as very few scholarship players that are not freshmen. Some might call it decimated. If your point was that it was one of the worst in college football, we already established that. Recruiting rankings matter much less when half your class is not on the team
Hoke has said they made the mistake of not reteaching fundamentals on the line after the 97 national championship. They suffered the next year for assuming the players still grasped those concepts. How does this insight from our coach factor into your paradigm of only the recruiting class mattering and not the coaches?
I'm not sure if that's true. The '05-'07 classes netted Michigan Jonas Mouton, Donovan Warren, Ryan Van Bergen, Brandon Graham, Terrance Taylor, Steve Brown, Obi Ezeh, James Rogers, and Troy Woolfolk. I think there are a number of Big Ten teams who didn't get that much talent/production from the '05-'07 classes. Michigan was probably middle of the pack, at worst.
If you can explain away any of the examples I mentioned I'd be happy to join your world. But I'm guessing, like everyone else it ever gets mentioned to, you can't but will choose to stick to your guns because believing it is all about players and that the fearless leader is just a scout and a figurehead wouldn't be as exciting. Did Bo just coach a lot worse in 1984? Carr in '05? Did Rich Rodriguez get way better at coaching offense in 2010 after forgetting how to do it for two years? No, no, and always no.
Also, acting like recruiting rankings = how good you are doing at recruiting, is the same fallacy that got Charlie Weis a 10 year contract. If you can look at the guys we actually brought in, especially at linebacker and in the secondary, and tell me we were set up for any kind of success then you are just saying "Michigan can't be bad because they haven't been before and I'd be mad if they were." You can put any number you want next to it, but a two-year haul that produces Brandon Harrison, Stevie Brown, and Jonas Mouton to play 7 positions is a failure. You can't coach up invisible cornerbacks and linebackers who are playing in the MAC.
The explanation for all of the instances you cited, and the ones you didn't is that success and failure in a complex endeavor is complicated, not simple. Your mistake is that you are being absolutist and looking for one factor that explains the complete whole. If you do that, you end up with simple, and stupid, answers.
Recruiting matters. Coaching matters. Luck matters. Leadership matters. Lots of other things matter.
If you insist that coaching has no effect on the quality of a team then, yes, you live in a different world.
I never said coaching had no effect, but that it is infinitely smaller than people think and never explains swings between good or bad. If the same coach can have such drastically different results, how can you argue that it plays a significant role? Jim Caldwell went 14-2 in his first year with the Colts. He went 2-14 in year three. Same guy, night and day difference in results. Unless you assume some crazy phenomenon where he is really good at his job one year and terrible another, the dramatic change is all accounted for by changes to the roster. Maybe a better coach would have won the Super Bowl that year, maybe a worse one wouldn't have won a game this year. Still, coaching has nothing to do with whether the team is good or bad. Charlie Weis did the same shit when he went 3-9 as he did when he went to multiple BCS bowls. He just didn't have the experienced, future NFL draft picks on his team.
Any coach is either good, bad, or somewhere in the middle. If Gary Moeller is a good coach (and we assume this makes a positive impact on team success), his terrible record at Illinois makes no sense. If he's bad, then his incredible success at Michigan makes no sense. If he's somewhere in the middle but can have either fantastic or terrible results based on external factors (namely the players on his team), then you are finally starting to see the light.
Jim Harbaugh says hello.
The guy who had a losing record through his first three seasons at Stanford? I think I've heard of him. Funny how he got way better at coaching once Andrew Luck got a few seasons under his belt.
I just can't explain it. Luckily for Stanford, his predecessor didn't waste 3 years waiting around to be awesome. That guy must be really great.
I'm sure there are a number of factors, and they are each important. However, if you believe coaching matters, "just very little," how do you account for a guy coming in to perennial poopers like Ball St and San Diego St and, in time, turning each into dominant programs, and then righting a foundering Michigan ship, as well?
I think there is one easy explanation and he has a fantastic head of hair.
I could argue you point by point, but frankly, I don't have the inclination at the moment. It's been a frequent discussion over at TTB in the past, and I've already laid out my argument numerous times. Mouton, Brown, and Warren were all 5- and high 4-star recruits. Yippee. A few of those guys turned out to be decent. Rodriguez must have been a great defensive coach to take a 5-star guy like Warren and turn him into an undrafted free agent, right? And Brandon Graham was a good player as a sophomore in 2007, before Rodriguez arrived. I'm totally unconvinced that his "development" was anything but a natural maturation that could have happened under virtually any FBS coach.
Regarding next year's defense, no, I don't think it will suck. Because it will be a team coached by competent coaches. But do I think there are many superstars waiting in the wings that were recruited by Rodriguez? No, not really.
I just never understand the logic that you keep repeating that Rich deserves the majority of the credit for having guys like Mike Martin, who never played under Lloyd, and deserves the majority of credit for guys like Blake Countess, who never played under Rich. You can give both pre- and post- credit for enticing them to want to come, then getting them to stay with their commitment, but it always seems to work out in Rich's favor at both ends of the spectrum.
I initially responded to a dumbass post complaining about Rich Rodriguez's recruiting when he was here. That view is completely erroneous. Then people slightly changed the subject.
It isn't a competition between Rodriguez, Carr, and/or Hoke. Carr added a bunch of guys to the 2008 class before he stepped down. Hoke did a great job locking down Bryant and adding Clark to the 2011 class. In between Rodriguez added a bunch of really good players, though he certainly wasn't without flaw in recruiting (should have offered Bullough and probably could have handled the Hankins situation better, needed more OL in 2010).
It is about understanding how you end up with a good football team. The answer isn't "coach better". It is also about people refusing to acknowledge that you don't end up 11-2 because the head coach was shitting his pants for 3 years. If Coach Hoke goes 7-5 or worse in four years, it won't be because he is getting worse at coaching. If he wins a national title, it won't be because he got way better at it. It will be about the guys we bring in. If he leaves Michigan for whatever reason and another guy has a ton of success, it will almost certainly be because Brady Hoke brought in a great class in 2012/13.
That is just the way the world works. There is no motive or agenda, just reality. Unfortunately people who do have an agenda (mad at RR because we lost) or who don't understand reality because they don't have the proper knowledge base (SEE Gary Moeller's career) or have been bamboozled into the hero-worship culture we attach to football coaches still refuse to accept it. When those people are making decisions or formulating policy while operating under poor premises (need to land the in-state recruits, spread = GAY, Martavious Odoms is a shady guy who can never play in the Big Ten, etc.) you can end up with negative consequences.
While I agree with the majority of what you wrote -
I feel like you have convienently undervalued coaching and overvalued players to make your point. Wisconsin hangs out around #40 in recruiting every year and has gone to the Rose Bowl with 2 different quarterbacks. They get there because they develop players. That's coaching and talent evaluation. Tom Brady got injured at the beginning of the season, sat out the year, and the Patriots went to the playoffs. Because there was more to their team than 1 player. While the Colts of 2011 prove your point that players can be pretty darn valuable - the 49ers of 2011 disprove it. They basically changed the entire coaching staff (save a running backs coach?) and kept the same roster. The same team that went 6-10 went 13-3 and went to the NFC Championship.
With that said, I think you have made some excellent points about Rich Rodriguez in your posts. People generally don't look at the big picture like you are, they keep it much more narrow so that they can be comfortable with their anger. I certainly don't care to discuss the downfall of Rodriguez any more than it already has been, but felt like jumping into a discussion that had some merit to it.
I think the reasons we've won and loss are more complex than that, and go over many years. And I do think the primary factor is talent. I don't think Saban is instituting any miraculous systems new to football...just getting really good players and coaching them well in the basics. But that last part isn't to be discounted. We've had problems with recruiting AND retention, and there's a lot of blame to go along. But a team that was making 2 games improvements (and 2010 just barely, because we were a lot closer to losing wins than we were to winning losses) then makes a 4 game improvement doesn't all come from just talent improvement. 2008 had more talent on defense than any year before last, and while better, it wasn't good...because it was a poorly coached defense. You had a team this last year that at worst took a minor dip in offensive coaching, and big jump in defensive coaching. And it's not just players getting older, because the freshmen contributed much more successfully than they did when the lamet was "they're all so young!!" by people.
The popular refrain has been "well, the Big Ten was much worse"....and it might have been, but that pretty much takes away credit from recruiting and moves it to the rest of the league. Probably a little of both, again, but the viewpoints seem selective.
What was being said was that there hasn't been a lot of great recruiting on defense...going back to the end of Lloyd, and continuing through Rich. If you split the recruiting rankings by offense and defense, most of the strength is probably on offense. (And still doesn't explain holes like the offensive line, which was thin when he got here, and thinner in depth when he left....if anything seemed like an area he knew needed help....) There's a reason on defense our talent base seems to be mostly seniors (duh)...and then you have to credit freshmen like Countess. I'm still not seeing the high draft picks that were lacking other than in up years like 2006 in the waning days of Lloyd's career coming up this year, or the next couple, with Rich's recruits. The recruiting was good enough to be MSU+ (though not enough to beat them, apparently), or a dream Iowa year....but not nipping at the heels of OSU where Michigan needs to be to really compete. This was true with some of the up and down success of recruiting at the end of Lloyd's tenure...and the above mediocrity (for Michigan) recruiting through the Rich years. We need guys who are going to end up as 1st round, sure 2nd round, and multiple 3rd round picks. Then we can complete no matter the strength of the Big Ten. I think we're on that path.
3 of the 18 guys who played in the Sugar Bowl on defense were seniors, and one (Woolfolk) came in off the bench. We only had 3 senior starters throughout the year (RVB, Martin, and Heininger).
The "we were just as young" thing is also silly. Talbott, Avery, Christian, Vinopal, Gordon, Gordon, Johnson, etc. all played because there was literally no one else on the roster in 2010. Having Jake Ryan and Cam Gordon is an improvement over just having Cam Gordon, even if the younger guy wins the job. Having Blake Countess (and Hollowell and Taylor) along with the returners from 2010 makes you better. Having Desmond Morgan split time with upperclassmen (Herron and Hawthorne) and eventually win the job is a lot different than shoving a guy into the starting lineup just because he's the only dude you've got. The new staff didn't make a bunch of the old guys better, they found better guys. That is why the defense improved. Roh, Demens, Avery, Gordon, and Kovacs got a year older, and that helped (I think all of them improved), but the big jump came because Heininger (returning from injury), Woolfolk (same), Countess, Ryan, Beyer, Morgan, Clark, etc. (even Hawthorne, since he didn't really play in 2010) gave us a bunch more good players and allowed for options/competition.
We also lost plenty of guys since Hoke arrived (three guys who had played the year before transferred out) but I don't hear anyone complaining about attrition now because the team was good. The fact is and always was that losing guys who aren't going to play isn't a bad thing. I'm glad Justin Turner and Vlad Emilien aren't taking up a scholarship and I'm glad that Christian/Vinopal/Johnson made the same decision to leave when they realized they weren't going to play.
Again, this isn't about liking one guy over the other. I don't have any particular affection for Rich Rodriguez and would gladly slobber kiss Brady Hoke's face. This is just the way the world works and it is a shame that so many of our fans have yet to take advantage of the great opportunity we were granted (renowned coach struggles and is villified/fired, replaced by guy with limited resume who is praised as a Christ-like figure due to immediate success) to learn this lesson.