Well written and fair assessment of where Michigan stands right now. Beating PSU would be huge for RR and Michigan Football going forward.
Well written and fair assessment of where Michigan stands right now. Beating PSU would be huge for RR and Michigan Football going forward.
This game will just about make/break the season at this point. We win and we're bowl eligible, show improvement over last year, yada yada. Lose and we're probably looking at a max of 6 wins and an incredibly long offseason.
Gotta win it.
Double yup. I have nothing else to add(you hit the nail right on the head as did he) so I'll end it here.
I dunno why, but I found it humorous that you used two words to elaborate on his comment then twenty-two words to explain why you were ending yours.
I'll see you and raise you a triple yup.
Just got done reading that. I agree a nicely written assessment of where we stand right now. Can't wait to see how we prevail at PSU this weekend.
A loss here and wins over Illinois and Purdue would be 7-5, which is on par with pre-season expectations before Woolfolk went down.
Every game's a make-or-break. The MSU game was where we found out if this team can scrape together enough offense to make up for the defense, and still beat anyone but a major power. The answer is no. Iowa was a referendum on whether Michigan could compete with the 2nd tier of the Big Ten, maybe for a January bowl game. No. Today, with Penn State looking a lot worse than usual, it's a referendum on whether Michigan is one of the better Big Ten teams, or one of the worse ones. I don't think Penn State is all that different from Notre Dame, minus the coaching transition. I expect it will be close, and next week we'll be talking about how Illinois will make or break RR's career at Michigan.
Illinois plays Purdue at noon on saturday.
Illinois looks like it will be toughest to win of the next 3 games. Michigan can take all 3 but I'm thinking 2 out of 3 is still progress
What makes you think we will likely beat both Illinois and Purdue?
Not every game is a "make-or-break". If we lose to Wisconsin, it will not majorly affect the overall outcome of the season or RR's career.
I do agree that this determines where Michigan is in the Big Ten hierarchy, but Illinois is certainly not a "make-or-break" game with a win over PSU. WIns over PSU and Purdue would give RR a fourth year, even for a mildly disappointing season (given the results for Denard as a quarterback).
Some games matter more than others. That is the nature of college football. The Wisconsin game in '07 was a prime example of a game that did not matter much in the big picture; claiming every game is essential is not correct.
+1 for Exactly Correct.
WIns over PSU and Purdue would give RR a fourth year, even for a mildly disappointing season
Assuming Wisky and OSU are losses, win 2 of the next 3 and he's here for a 4th year. And I certainly hope he does, I think we're on the verge of something special here. However, win 1 or less of the next 3 and RR will likely be fired.
"claiming every game is essential is not correct."
Tell that to the beat writers.
I expect this game is a 10 on the need to win level when the preview comes out later on in the week.
still a difficult win on the road at night.
Not will win, or easy to win. IMO this is a ten on the need to win scale. I hate to be dramatic, but I think the entire season could rest on winning this game. It is eminently winnable despite the built in advantages PSU has here. Win and our confidence increases, Purdue becomes a sure win, and Illinois more possible. Lose and negative talk explodes, a young team becomes even more doubtful, and a snowball effect can happen.
And feel like he does a good job. I agree with his point about Illinois and Purdue last year but I think going for 2 against MSU would have been the correct call. Maybe I am in the minority but we played poorly for most of the game and had the chance to win with a Freshman QB in a driving rain storm. We win that game, we go to a bowl game, MSU does not, there is no 3 game losing streak to MSU and Rodriguez's seat is cool and comfy.
Any normal situation and I would agree with you about going for two. In that game though, Tate was pretty much dead by the time we scored that TD and we needed the break before OT for him to just catch his breath.
Yeah, Sparty hates playing in Hurricane Katrina.
Your description is correct. They rolled us up front all game until the last 6 minutes. We had absolutely nothing to lose by going for two. I couldn't believe we didn't. Still can't.
I still see Illinois and Purdue must win games...beating Penn St. would be awesome and at 8-4 that would be a great season in my eyes with all the youth we have.
"How can you say 8-4 is a great season!?!?! ...RABBLE RABBLE… This is MICHIGAN!!! RABBLE RABBLE… we should NEVER go 8-4 and be ok with it….where's my torch and pitch fork?"
Man I get kinda sick of these attacks on people who have doubts about the program. Of course, "rabble rabble Michigan should never have a bad season" is not fair. "Rabble rabble Michigan should not be aiming for 7-5 in the third year of a coach's tenure" is totally and completely fair.
There are two simple truths:
1) As many have pointed out over and over, Rich Rodriguez should be given some slack for the last two seasons.
2) But now is the time to produce, no more excuses. Not next year, now. And I mean produce wins, not yards. Funny thing about getting 522 yards on a team is that the rules say you still have to score more points then them.
If the torches and pitchforks are brought out at the end of the year, it will be on Rich Rod and no one else. My hope and opinion is that they could still have a very good season this year.
Beating Illinois should be a much tougher task than beating this Penn State team. Illinois is good, especially on defense. This is a PSU team wracked by injuries starting a walk-on in his first start.
Illinois is good on defense.
Fixed it for you. They've got a good D, but suck offensively.
This being Michigan, every conference game is "critical," a "showdown," a "must win," a "can't lose," or a rivalry.
Couldn't agree more...this is a huge game...those losses to msu and iowa were big but those games were a toss up. However this is not a great PSU team and if rodriguez wants to show improvement he needs to beat PSU. Otherwise, I see this season spiraling away just like last year. I've been supportive of richrod the entire way, but if we lose this weekend, I can really see myself ready for a different coach. Right now, I'm not sure that even if richrod were able to win a national title that it would be worth the damage that's already been done to our program (worst seasons ever, first ever ncaa investigations) so all that being said, I think it fair for many of us to REALLY start questioning the direction of this program. I hate to put it all on ONE game but things have been really questionable lately and this would drive the nails into the coffin for me. If you think my opinion is wrong, feel free to try and change my perspective. I actually would appreciate it. Thanks.
But not to the same extent. Yes, RR needs to beat PSU and all that, but your bit about "the damage that's already been done" is a little over the top.
Its been shown that the NCAA investigation was a witch hunt started by a "journalist" who didn't like RR from the start.
The worst seasons ever have been covered extensively if you go back and read the archives of this blog from those dark days, but let me summarize: Threet/Sheridan, epic attrition due to culture shock (Lloyd's upperclassman didnt want to eat right or earn their jobs, they felt "waiting their turn" was enough. RR plays the players who give us the best chance to win, reguardless of age/experience), which in turn forced all kinds of true frosh to play all over the field. These kids, in most cases were/are not ready, physically or mentally, for the college game.
Just today (front page) Brian overviewed the suckitude of the 2007 class (this year's RsJRs and true SRs). Those fourth-year guys are supposed to be the veteran leaders of this very young team. They are basically absent.
In my mind, RR walked in on the perfect storm and everything imploding under him is not entirely his fault. There has been one moment under RR where "UNACCEPTABLE" could be deployed with merit, and that was getting blown out by the Zookers last season. Aside from that, everything else has a plausable explanaition. Come off the ledge, reevaluate at the end of the season.
EDIT: tomcat, are you pre-meltdown tomhagan?
I agree that richrod walked into a perfect storm and i believe this program was heading in the wrong direction before richrod came here. So for him to have some bad seasons is expected, i don't think anybody expected this, but its all been humbling. I'm a fan of michigan win or lose, that's the measure of a good fanbase IMO. I know these players are young and they aren't going to be the best at what they do but they still should be able to understand the game of football. That's where I start seeing a few problems with this coaching staff...why are we committing penalty killing drives, why do we not know how to cover a blocked field goal and so on and so forth....another question is why we have so many young players out there with very little depth behind them...poor recruiting and planning IMO...HOWEVA, as many faults as richrod has, i believe he can win, he's very motiviating, I just dont know if we will have the patience without seeing the results (As in W's). Penn State is a very good opportunity for him to show this.
And no I've never heard of tomhagan.
Write it down, if RichRod wins the national championship all will be forgiven in an instance. The RR bandwagon will have standing room only.
how long are you willing to wait for that?
(assuming we continue to have these types of seasons)
One of the commenters to the article took a shot at our fearless leader, Brian:
4-15 and #### like Brian Cook at mgo--- are still trying to blame Lloyd Carr for it. Rich Rodriguez has arguably been the worst coach in Michigan football history, and certainly the most divisive and controversial figure in Michigan athletic dept. history. And as such...it is time for him to go and start fresh again.
It is also time for the blame game on Carr to stop (hello Mr. Cook?) , and the onus of truth and facts go on Rich Rod, where they should fall: He has failed as coach at Michigan and has failed to develop talent at Michigan (other than some on his offense). Note HIS offense..... what about his defense? Producing the worst 3 defenses in over 130 years of Michigan football? Is that on Carr? No...of course it is not. Anyone with half a brain and common sense knows that Rich Rod is responsible for the entire team.
Michigan has too much history, pride and talent to continue on with this debacle of a coaching staff. It is Time to go.
What a dick - putting aside whether or not you agree with what he is saying or not, why the unsolicited attack on Brian. Come on over to MGoBlog and post that crap, where knowledgeable fans - even those that do not support RR - will teap apart your crap post.
Tom Hagan is a former poster here. He went through an epic meltdown and was reduced to a troll until he was finally banned.
I forgot about him - asshat.
Ahh, I remember Tom Hagan. I picture him and Em0 meeting by some campfire every Wednesday to have dysfunctional conversations about everything and nothing.
TomHagan: This fire sucks.
Em0: Actually, look at this hypothetical chart I created about every possible bundle of sticks in this forest. I think ours stacks up pretty nicely against the others, with the exceptions of bundles #538, #417, and #1162, all of which use 30% less pine.
TomHagan: WTF are you talking about?
Em0: Well, it will be clear if you read dossier I just created a moment ago. Here, read it and tell me what you think.
TomHagan: This thing is like forty pages. All I'm saying is that this fire sucks. The fires in my day were much better.
Em0: That's not entirely true. Here, open this trunk of old tennis balls and newspaper clippings and I'll hold each one up while I describe each one for you to hear and me to say and you to listen about me speaking.
TomHagan: You've got problems, guy. Neg.
Em0: How dare you neg me?! I was just making good points about the fire. WTF, if you're going to neg me I'm going to have to ask the campfire mods for more points again. Stop being a little baby.
TomHagan: I'm a baby? Look at that scrawl in the dirt over there. You wrote "Neg Tally" with a line under it and both our names. You have drawn a line under my name every time I spoke. You're doing it right now.
Em0: Whatevers, this meeting is for stupid people. I'm out of here.
TomHagan: Me too. See you next Wednesday.
Em0: Okay, see you later.
You only forgot the part where em0 puts a mask on and comes back and does the same thing five or six more times thinking no one will know it's him, then freaking out when people realize it is just the same guy with a paper bag over his head a minute into his twig-bundle flo-chart presentation.
Funniest thing I've read all day. I logged in just to upvote you.
I couldn't finish this, because I'm in class and I almost broke out laughing several times. Great.
Funny that Hagan has stopped posting in all of the Ann Arbor-centric forums because nobody would take his shit and is now spewing it on a national one. What a poor, miserable moron.
Shhheeessshh, I can sleep now. Seems like more stress and pressure is added, when people state the obvious.
This game is huge, although maybe not as huge as Tulsa-Notre Dame.
Like one of our fine posters mentioned a week or so ago, RR is 0-7 in games that would determine bowl eligibility since last year. That needs to end now.
I know everyone is looking for a win this weekend, and I don't want to look too far ahead, but I want another decade long unbeaten streak against Penn State!
If we don't give them the ball with turnovers, we're going to score a lot of points. Minnesota moved the ball on them. Lets see if we can't force their shakey offense to score to keep up.
Turnovers are really what beat Michigan the last two games. Last year was the same.
Why do I get the feeling that after the PSU game is over, the Illinois game will be called "must-win" and "make-or-break"? And then Purdue? And what happened to MSU being "must-win" (pretty much what I heard all off-season)?
The PSU game will count as one win or loss, whichever way it falls. I wish it would count as three wins, wiping out MSU and IA, but it won't. And maybe Rittenberg has had a special secret conversation with Brandon and knows something everyone else does not, but I highly doubt RR's fate hinges on any one game.
It's all a little hyperbole really since no game is technically "make-or-break" until you get to championship games or have games like OSU 06 and 07. I think the best way to describe the importance of this game is that we are standing close to a cliff similar to what we did last year. If we win, we take several steps back(3 road wins would be a huge sign of improvement to me) and if we lose, we move far closer to it with the potential of a PU or Illinois loss pushing us over the cliff.
I'm just sick of the constant hype attached to every game, every week. I remember watching ESPN hype the Thursday night Cincy-South Fla game last Friday (presumably for ratings purposes) and thinking what a bunch of crap, what a meaningless game.
Yes, the UM-PSU game is a big game, but it's big because it's against PSU, a great football program, it will be nationally televised in prime time and wins have been uncharacteristically scarce the past couple of years. A win also will make us bowl-eligible with four games remaining and increase our eventual win total by one. That said, a win will not earn us a B10 or national championship, it will not erase our loss to MSU or guarantee us a win over OSU, and unless we win out, it will not even result in a 10-win season with a possibility for an at-large bid to a BCS bowl. On the flip side, a loss will leave us at 5-3 with four games to play, two in which we likely will be favored. It will not guarantee another losing season or another year without a bowl game. It will not even be a loss at home or a loss to one of our so-called major rivals.
We have a good chance at win number six in Happy Valley this Saturday, which will bring our record to 6-2. A loss, however, will not be the end of the world or even the end of the season. It will leave UM about on track for what many MSM analysts (and many on this board) projected prior to the start of the season. PSU is a big game, but not a "must-win" game -- for RR or UM football. Rittenberg's piece claiming the contrary is just part of this week's ESPN hype.
Basically, every game that occurs until we get our sixth win is a must-win. Also, we need to stop the bleeding after two straight losses. If we win, that would take some of the heat off.
Basically, every game that occurs until we get our sixth win is a must-win.
Well, then we are already f%cked, because we already have lost two "must-win" games by that definition.
It's a must win for a couple reasons:
Fair or not, it appears that if UM win 2 of the next 3 and RR buys another year as coach (I'm assuming losses to Wisky and OSU). I don't think the expectation of finishing the season 2-3 is setting the bar too high. I certainly didn't expect them to be undefeated after 5.
MSU was huge. UM fans can downplay it all we want, but, losing to MSU is damaging. When Mike Hart made the "Little Brother" comment he was right: UM used to beat MSU with regularity and when MSU did happen to win it was rare and usually controversial. Recently...well...we all know what's happened recently. Right now UM looks like John Cooper-esque in rivalry games.
The reason it was considered a must win before the season is because RR needed to go at least 6-6 and beat MSU to continue as coach. With the loss, UM must now go at least 7-5 and get to a reasonable bowl.
It's not fair in my mind (due to transition, bare cupboards, youth, etc) but, that's the way it looks.
Must. Win. Football Game.
Must. Win. Football Game.
(I'm gonna write this 1000 times so I can learn something).
Must. Win. Football Game.
Michigan is no world-beater, we all know that. Our steps forward are necessarily incremental.
The next forward step is to be able to beat a bad team, even under less than ideal circumstances.
Penn State is a bad team. The circumstances will not be ideal - road game, at night, white-out, cold weather. But it's time to step up and be able to beat a bad team regardless.
Of all of our opponents this year, Penn State is most similar to UConn. We beat UConn under ideal circumstances - home opener, stadium rededication, Brock inspiration, great weather. Now it's time to beat "UConn" in less than ideal circumstances.
We wil learn a lot about this team on Saturday. Michigan is coming off a bye week, they have had time to rest, heal, and should have worked out any of the bugs that can be expected to be worked out in one extra week. I think a loss Saturday increases the talk of "the hot seat" and puts more pressure on this team, a team that does not need anymore pressure than it currently under. If there is a must win for this year, this is it.
Why is everyone questioning "if" we can win against PSU? Shit, I think we can beat OSU.
Penn State is not very good. Beating PSU on the road gets Michigan the elusive bowl eligibility, but won't prove much else.
The Illinois game in Ann Arbor will be a much better indicator of Michigan's "fork in the road" moment. Or not.
Michigan's defense is dead last in the Big Ten. Difficult to imagine much improvement in that stat from here on out with PSU, Illinois, Wiscy and OSU still on the slate.
Don't look now, but the Illini defense is quite good - 3rd in the league in yards allowed and scoring defense in the league, right behind Ohio State and Iowa.
You mean they're right behind the Iowa team we just shredded for 522 yards? With an offense that is much less likely to come close to putting up 28 points? I like our chances then.