STOP JUMPING OFF THE LEDGE!!!!!!
You're lucky we've also lower our standards for proper English and knowledge of NCAA football nomenclature.
In any event, here are some reasons why there has been progress... from 2008.
- We are a legitimately very good to great offense. We sucked on offense in 2008.
- We beat bad teams. In 2008 we lost to Toledo and Purdue.
- We were 3-9 in 2008 and 5-7 in 2009. We will most likely finish 7-5 (not counting the bowl game). Mathematically, that is progress.
Here's the unfortunate truth: the difference between 5-7 and 7-5 may simply be due to random variance more than anything. Consider: we played one overtime game last year and one this year. Last year we lost; this year we won. What if those overtime results had been flipped, and everything else remained the same? Then we'd have won six games last year . . . and six games this year.
This year we are 4-0 in games decided by seven points or fewer. That is unusual; most teams would lose at least one of those. That suggests that we've been luckier than the average team, as opposed to last year, when we were 2-3 in such games. Is that enough to conclude that definitive progress has been made?
If wins only count as wins when you blow the other team out and if that was the only point I made, then you'd have a point.
I know you're smart enough to know that this team is slightly better than last year, which is to say the offense is a whole lot better and the defense is a whole lot worse. Special teams are worse too, overall.
In any event, my view all along has been that short of serious malfeasance (which I don't see in our case) or the team quitting on the coach, or something like that, a college coach should get 4 or 5 years. Even if we hadn't improved I would say that. So in some ways, I don't really care to have the argument about whether we've improved. I just wanted to offer some reasons for steak sauce for why I think we have.
I wasn't sure whether or not to agree, but that sixth exclamation point in the headline got to me. Five wouldn't have done it.
Rich Rodriguez is not immune to criticism, and nor should he be.
The issue I take is that there is a rational way to look at what's going on with the program, and few of the OMG UNACCEPTABLE crowd do so. I think the honest truth is that Rodriguez walked into a perfect storm in terms of defense and has made a few mistakes in the effort to dig us out. These are mistakes that any coach in the Big Ten could have made.Is the guy perfect? No. But I still think he can get the job done. The guy is a good coach. This is a young team and we're returning 21 or 22 starters next year - I think that's when you can truly evaluate the program.
We're a 10 win team next year if we play even average defense. If we get our young guys playing well, we're looking at a GREAT football team in the future.
If you want a rational discussion, look no further than this interview of Dave Brandon:
We will win again, next year we are Big Ten champions.