False. We wont become notre dame unless we fire rodriguez.
landing spot. will be interesting to see how he does.
False. We wont become notre dame unless we fire rodriguez.
I understand this defense is awful but I don't understand why everyone is suddenly going nuts. Most people predicted 7-5 anyways. Still very possible or 6-6 with a win against Wisconsin or OSU. Theres still alot of football to be played.
I'm convinced because it was a primetime game on ESPN and we got embarassed.
I know the defense sucked, but the offense was as exciting as ever, especially in the second half. Is it fair to say that Michigan got embarassed with such a great offensive showing? Am I fooling myself into trying to stay positive?
Well, honeslty, it wasn't embarassing i.e. blow out, etc. but basing on it being a potential bowl clinching win, RR screaming at refs, McLoin looking like Joe Montana, the White Stripes being sung by the crowd every 42 seconds, it was in a sense an embarassing display (at least on defense) on national TV.
No, it was embarassing. We lost by 10 to a crap opponent and needed a second-half rally to even make it that close. We trailed 28-10 at the half to a team averaging 20.3 ppg and playing without its top two QBs.
Losing to a 3-9 Toledo team, at home, is really embarrasing. Losing to a Div 1-AA team, at home, with multiple experienced top level NFL picks on the roster and national title hopes, is really embarassing.
Losing by two scores to a Big 10 opponent, who will likely have 6-8 wins, on the road, in a night game is embarassing, but our defense is really bad - UMass and Indiana taught us that. Unless we borrow Doc Brown's DeLorean, our woefully inexperienced backfield will continue to get lit up by 250+ yards by all comers.
I didn't say it was one of the worst losses in school history (which 2008 Toledo was). But it was definitely embarassing. If you could go back in time to Saturday afternoon and ask people how they'd feel about losing 41-31 to PSU with McGloin at QB, what do you think they'd have said?
Am I fooling myself into trying to stay positive?
Well, nevertheless, ignorance is bliss! Here's to sticking my head in the sand and pretending this defense never happened!
2 points per possession while the game is in contention is exciting?
Yes, you're fooling yourself. They were down 28-10 before the offense decided to show up. And They still lost the game by 10, with PSU kneeling inside the 5 to end the game. It was another blow out loss and I am stunned MORE people aren't calling for an end to this disaster of a hire.
I agree, essentially with your point. However, I would have been considerably more embarassed if we laid an egg like MSU vs Iowa (I don't bring MSU up to say, "Hurr, SPARTY!" but rather as a point of comparison to another important game that same day in which the opponent built a huge lead).
B/c the defense was embarrassing/frustrating/stomach-churning, I literally was ready to stop watching before the second half started, but decide to stick it out. The way UM fought back to make a game out of it, I was at least satisfied the team had not quit. Watching a team quit and/or get bombed 49-7 (or whatever) is truly embarassing.
This is what we argue about now? This is what it has come to?
Yes, it is what we've come to - we're trying to hash out, as a fan base, is it better to stick with the head coach we have or completely upturn the apple cart again. Because the difference between the offense and defense is so great, it's worth pointing out that "I'M EMBARASSED" has a lot of shades to it (vs. 2008, where both were bad). As I pointed out above (UM-Toledo; UM-App State), it always can be worse. The question now is do we believe it will get better overall (like the offense has gotten markedly better from 2008 to 2009 to 2010, and likely will again in 2011) if we keep Rodriguez.
It could have something to do with people thinking our offense would be good, but not great, before the season started. When it turns out our offense is elite and we have a once every few decades talent in Denard, and its completely mitigated by RR not being able to ascertain defensive talent in recruiting, not being able to convince the few good defensive players we have to stay here instead of NOT getting drafted, hiring a walking punch line as his DC, and not seeing the team improving AT ALL from week to week, then yeah, our perspective on 6-6 changes.
1. Recruiting - His recruits would be at most true junior / redshirt sophomores. In general, these players are at least a year away from becomming dominant players. Harris, Woodley, Graham didn't become dominant players until their upperclassmen years, and Graham was even at times a liability on the field as a freshman/sophomore. Underclassmen tend to not play as well as upperclassmen; I thought that was already an accepted idea on this blog. RVB and Mouton are the only recruits from 2006 and 2007 who are positive contributors on defense; Rogers, Banks, Patterson, Sagesse, Ezeh, etc are all just below average space fillers. Without making this a counter-productive Lloyd vs RR argument, the fact is that there exists a giant void in our roster of upperclassmen talent on defense and I would have to believe that both men are to blame. RR's recruiting is not why our defense sucks; even if we recruited lights out 5 star guys, I'm not sure they would have made a difference in their freshman/sophomore years. Manti Teo will be very good for ND but he hasn't exactly been stellar for ND the past two years, Jelani Jenkins redshirted his freshman year at Florida, William Gholston hasn't seen the field much for MSU this year; they were all highly-touted consensus, 5-Star, top 50 guys.
2. Donovan Warren - I wish the guy luck; he played hard for Michigan. He, however, made a very bad decision when he decided to enter the draft. He also kind of got screwed b/c there was some sort of official player evaluation list released by the NFL that said he would be drafted somewhere in the first couple of rounds. He, however, decided not to wait for additional feedback from the NFL as RR had advised. I'm not sure what more RR could have done to get Warren to stay; he asked/advised Warren to wait for better information which Warren ignored. Some guys just want to get to the NFL as quickly as possible, and I respect Warren's decision (even though in hindsight it was a horrible decision).
Before the season I would have been one of those who said that a 7-5 win season absolutly secured Rich Rod another year. However, this 7-5 isnt exactly what I had in mind.
Yes, the offense is great, out of this world even. But the defense? The defense is girl you have been sleeping with turns out to be a sister your parents gave up for adoption 4 years before they had you bad. Yeah we may make a bowl game, but even if we beat Purdue, and somehow get a win against a pretty good Illinois team, would that make anyone feel confident entering next year? Not me.
To be clear I really like Rich Rod, I really do. I think he gets dumped on way too much. But if we dont make a change with the DC, I'm not feeling that next year is going to be any different even if we win 7 games. There is no progression that you would have hoped to see in a 7 win team, on the D that is.
Also, Bob Loblaw Lobs Law Bomb
I love that show
So every school that fires an underperforming coach is Notre Dame? Give me a break. I'm sure Alabama, Florida and Stanford are regretting firing the coaches they had before Saban, Meyer and Harbaugh.
Does not automatically lead to Notre Dame status. Their problem is that they continue to get it wrong. There are teams that get it right the second time around, Florida in particular comes to mind. Hiring a Bob Davie, Ty Willingham, Charlie Fupa caliber coach will land us in purgatory but I believe, should he go that route, that Dave Brandon will make a wise and successful pick.
GEORGE O'LEARY. With a name like O'leary its amazing he didn't stick around to coach in South bend......
It doesn't put us at Notre Dame status, but it certainly moves us a step closer. Who's going to come in to this train wreck of a program if Rodriguez can't figure everything out?
People want a pro-style coach to come in when we are just only getting to the point where we finally have spread offense people. Talk about trying to put a square peg through a round hole on that one.
On a side note... how long does anyone think Rich Rod sleeps at night? Can't be much, I know it wouldn't be much for me...
Are you asking me to satisfy you?
drilled out melons for others.
They'll still be upset because the team didn't win a certain way, didn't have the right run/pass balance, the coach says something that isn't coachspeak, their favorite recruit doesn't turn into an All-America...
If we win every game on the way to a national title like we beat UMass and Indiana then clearly we have nothing to complain about.
However, when we win by shootout over a not good Indiana team and struggle to beat 1-AA teams, yeah im not jump up and down happy.
We want wins that show progress, wins that show in two years we can compete for Big Ten/National Title. If you think the 5 wins we have so far indicate anything more than additional seasons like this, you dont get football guy.
Stop vilifying the fanbase. Our coach is 4-16 in Big Ten play. That is a bad record for anyone, not just bad by Michigan standards. It is perfectly reasonable to be upset. If anything, it's becoming irrational to deny the problem. There is nothing "entitled" about wanting your school to do better than lose 80% of its conference games. Minnesota just fired a coach who actually had a better conference record than RR. It takes some real mental gymnastics to argue that RR has more handicaps to deal with than Brewster did.
What Brian said is perfectly reasonable: RR has four games left to give us a reason to believe. If he does, great. If not, that's it.
Its not RR's fault. Our players are young. You're just listening to the negative media too much. That b10 record means nothing, it doesn't show the whole story.
How many times have you read these things on this board? I'm still shocked by the lengths people go to defend this sinking ship. Our team looked lost on Saturday, and the OP is blaming the fanbase for being upset. That is clownish.
Upset != irrational "OMG FIRE EVERYONE"
It's not as simple as choosing fire them all or keep them all. You don't have to love the situation to support the team and the coaches for the rest of the season. We should all be able to engage in rational discussion without resorting to name calling and jumping to conclusions.
The OP is essentially saying anyone who is upset with the result on Saturday is giving up on the coaches and players. If I'm missing something let me know. And I never said to fire anyone before the season is over. I will admit, there are still positive things that can happen to change my feelings. I just don't know how you can try to spin positives out of anything we've seen on the field and pretend like things are getting better before they are getting worse.
People can be upset without giving up. It's frustrating. I'm just as frustrated as anyone else.
We don't need to "spin" positives out of the offense. It does a good enough job of that on its own. The defense is bad, and will possibly require some coaching changes in addition to the development of the young players to improve.
I'm actually skeptical of our offense too. We scored 10, 7 and 10 in the first half against our last 3 opponents. We didn't put up most of our points/yards until being down by 2 or more scores (just a feeling, but most non-elite teams let off the gas when they're up big). Yes, our offense would be fine if our defense was average, but its not, and I think our offensive numbers are inflated from racking up points/yards after being down multiple scores.
And I think they're being held back because the defense should be capable of getting them another 2 or 3 possessions a game.
Don't forget, the offense is also going to return almost everyone next year. They are not underperforming. Top 5 in yardage and top 20 in scoring after the last two years shows improvement, and nothing suggests that will slow down in the future.
Against solid big ten opponents, the offense has sputtered. I don't see how there is any debating this. Sure, they racked up 500 yards against Iowa, but did they score? What matters: yards gained or putting the ball into the end zone? Against PSU, the offense was abysmal in the first half when PSU was playing tight. Isn't it reasonable to think that defensive units loosen/change a bit when you're up by 3 scores? No wonder the offense started to score. Its the same reason as Texas starting scoring on Alabama in the NC game last year. The defense loosened up b/c the game was pretty much in hand. It wasn't because Texas just suddenly turned it on...
So what you are saying is that turnovers are one of the main problems. That is why we get 500+ yards against possibly the best defense in the B10, right? You know what helps reduce turnovers.....returning 10 out of 11 starters. I still don't get why our offense is bad. We are halfway through the B10 season and we have one of the best offenses in the nation, not just the B10. If anything, you would think having a questionable offense in the 1st half and a lights out offense in the 2nd would be great coaching and changes at the half, but what would I know. Do you honestly think being up 2 scores against any team will be enough for them to "let up" so we rack up plenty of yards that way? I am sure Penn State and Iowa were both not worried in the least up one score with 8 minutes to go in the game. I mean, they just let us back into the game, right?
Michigan's offense is fourth in the Big Ten in scoring.
When the game was in contention against MSU, Michigan scored 10 points on 7 possessions.
When the game was in contention against Iowa, Michigan scored 7 points on 6 possessions.
When the game was in contention against PSU, Michigan scored 10 points on 5 possessions.
This is not the sign of a great offense.
Define contention. Lot of those games, especially the last two, were actually still in doubt deep into the fourth quarter. You're cherrypicking a little here, IMHE
It's a really good offense man. One that's only more maturation/seasoning, some consistency from the tailbacks and the burning of all third and one, I-formations out of the playbook from being great.
I define being in contention as the point in the second half when Michigan falls 17 points or more behind.
So, historically speaking, we dont count the stats in the second half of the 2000 Purdue game? Or the 2004 MSU game.
I'd be thrilled to void out everything in the former as invalid due to game being out of contention. But, man, you're in charge of telling Braylon about him losing some 2004 numbers.
We went 3-9 a few years ago. The ship sank quite a while ago. It takes time to get out of the hole.
Referring to a team with an awesome offense returning 10 starters next year and a defense that is struggling because they start 6 freshmen/sophomores and a couple guys who would never see the field under normal circumstances as a "sinking ship" is clownish.
What is there to lose by giving the guy one more year (when his first full recruiting class will be juniors and RS sophomores)? If we don't win 10 games then you can bitch and moan and beg for a new coach. Or you could continue to pretend that there are coaches in the universe who would turn our current defensive roster (that every single reader of this site knew was going to produce a terrible defense) into a competent unit.
There is a good chance that our b10 record will be the same this year as it was in 2008, which is where I'm coming from. But you're right, "sinking ship" was not a good phrase to use. I apologize for that.
However, I guess I don't have a problem with your premise of giving him one more year. If that is the decision Brandon makes, I won't complain. I do get upset when people make excuses and blame the fans for not enjoying getting beat every week.
I'm just trying to point out that there is an enormous light at the end of the tunnel and loads of people now seem convinced it is nothing but an oncoming train.
The blame game is silly, but this team has been forced to operate with some severe handicaps the last few seasons that take time to correct (not having a full complement of scholarship players last year, for example) and that teams just don't overcome (there is a reason teams suck when they go on probation, and we were basically operating under the same parameters).
This offense and defense with everybody back will produce a very good team next year. If not, I'll be the first one buying a pitchfork. But until then I think everybody needs to vent their frustration while keeping in mind how bright the very near future can/should/will be.
What is there to lose by giving the guy one more year (when his first full recruiting class will be juniors and RS sophomores)?
A ton. Next year, we have the combination of a veteran team and favorable schedule that should have us thinking Big Ten title. But our complete lack of visible progress over the past month now makes that look like a pipe dream. And if we're going to dumb down expectations for next year - RR's fourth in the program - then it's clear that he isn't the answer. A program that enjoys 40 consecutive non-losing seasons does not need to go through four years of rebuilding. When Minnesota holds its coach to a higher standard than that, we've lost our way.
If we don't win 10 games next year I'll be pissed. At the same time, Rodriguez deserves a shot with a roster (that he has built) that actually has a legitimate chance to do it (and no roster he's had so far has had a remote shot at being a quality team).
And if you say things like "complete lack of visible progress" I assume you aren't watching when the offense is on the field (or remembering the clusterfuck that was the 2008 offense). And you've probably forgotten what our 2005 defense looked like as that season went on (meaning teams progress from year to year, not from game to game).
No, there has not been meaningful progress. We are still getting our butts handed to us in league play by teams with a pulse.
In conference game #1, we needed a last-minute TD to squeak by a bad Indiana team.
In conference game #2, we lost by 17 to Sparty at home.
In conference game #3, we lost by 10 to Iowa at home, needing to score three TDs in the fourth to even make it that close.
In conference game #4, we lost by 10 to a PSU team playing with its third-string QB (and a bunch of other injury replacements), again needing a rally to even make it that close.
Yes, we are better in one phase of the game, but overall we're not. Maybe the solution is this: fire RR but keep his offensive assistants. That's essentially what MSU did when it fired JLS (Don Treadwell, his OC, is still there). We didn't hire RR to be an OC. If that's all he's good at, he's not the answer.
Two years ago, I accepted the 3-9 season because that seemed to be consistent with RR's career pattern. I never would have expected us to look like this two years ago. I doubt RR did, either. The last three years have been a nightmare. If he doesn't give us a reason to believe in the next four games, he's got to go. I sincerely hope he does, but I have become skeptical.
By your logic, a coach who inherits a clusterfuck of a roster on both sides of the ball only gets three years to rebuild?
The defense has gotten worse because the upperclass talent on the roster has gotten worse (through no fault of the coach who had no hand in recruiting that talent). Is it really Rodriguez's fault that he can't turn James Rogers into 4 competent defensive backs? I'm sorry if your expectations aren't tailored to that reality, but if they aren't then you are probably going to be disappointed the rest of the season (including when Rodriguez remains as head coach).
By your logic, a coach who inherits a clusterfuck of a roster on both sides of the ball only gets three years to rebuild?
If he loses 80% of his conference games, yes. And let's stop with the revisionist history. Lloyd Carr left behind a decent amount of defensive talent. We went into the 2008 season expecting the D to carry us. It's not Carr's fault that RR couldn't get them to buy in. Nor is it his fault that both of the QBs he left behind - as well as a promising OG - transferred. Nor is it his fault that a whole bunch of other guys, many of them recruited by RR himself, also transferred. Nor is it Carr's fault that RR targeted a bunch of guys who were academically borderline, and who didn't end up qualifying.
I am trying to stay positive as well but, after the last 3 years I am not convinced anything with this team will change. Yeah we are looking better on the recruiting front, but the problem is even with the top prospects we received from RR's first year and a half here, we have lost far to many due to transfers, and the rest are supposedly not good enough to play. I really feel strongly that this is a ship that can not be rightened just by getting rid of RR, or even by just getting rid of Gerg. RR and Gerg both need to go if there is no improvement in the last four games. A win over OSU would surely help.
Also in our 4 conference wins in the RR era we needed:
a 60 run by steven threet, and the greatest comeback in stadium history
a 3rd and 9 ~ 25 yard TD pass (?can't remember the down and distance exactly?) late against Indiana
a last minute TD drive against Indiana
And our amazing last game in the HHH dome :)
I don't understand what you're getting at regarding the 2005 team. In that horrible 2005 season, when everything seemed to go wrong, Michigan had the #22 scoring defense in the country and the #36 total defense
In conference games, they allowed 5.3 yards per play, nowhere near the conference's elite defenses, OSU and PSU, but perfectly respectable.
They gave up a 60 yard run on 3rd and 10 that cost the team the game against Minnesota. They could do nothing to stop OSU with the game on the line. They got torched by a Bill Callahan team in a crappy bowl game.
At no point did they ever look like they would be world beaters a season later. They didn't get better as the season went along (which seems to be the gripe from people claiming they knew this year's defense would suck but are still suddenly disappointed after PSU).
Players on that team appeared to have "regressed" (Henne) to fans ignoring context (he lost the best receiver in the country), graduating players did not appear to have developed to their full potential (Gabe Watson), juniors who would be returning starters a year later had continually failed to impress/dominate (Woodley, Harris, Burgess, etc.). Any of these criticisms sound familiar? A year later the same guys started 11-0 and went to the Rose Bowl and many made enormous leaps in production.
That 2005 team was below average for Michigan under Carr but was still an above average Big Ten team. They finished 5-3 in the Big Ten. That Minnesota team that they couldn't stop had an elite rushing attack. And of course that OSU team was very good too. Simply put, Michigan was mediocre in 2005.
In 2006, Michigan's defense made the jump to elite and went 7-1 in conference. Still they had no answer for the best offenses they faced that year, OSU and USC.
Now, Michigan is in a completely different ballpark. Everyone expected this defense to improve from horrible to slightly less horrible. Brian:
Michigan manages a modest improvement in yards allowed, getting up to the 60-70 range nationally.
This is now the expectation for 2011. And it certainly isn't a recipe for anything better than 4-4 in Big Ten play next year.
Do you honestly think a new coach could come in next year and the team would contend for a conference championship?
Unless the new coach runs the same spread option, there will be a significant step back on the offensive side of the ball. Denard just learned the offense this year. What happens if there is a new coach with a new scheme next year? I would bet that the offense won't put up yards and points to rank up in the top 25. And will the defense be that much better under a new coach next year? I doubt it.
Give Rodriguez one more year. Let it play out with a full recruiting class.
Again - if RR has forced us to lower expectations so much that we can't expect to contend for a conference title when we have 18 starters back and a favorable schedule, then he needs to go. In 2008, I accepted a 2-6 conference record as the price we had to pay to have success down the road. I'm not accepting it this year, and I don't think Brandon will, either.
It's clear that some/many have given up on Rodriguez and that's fine. No need to waste time trying to change those minds. I'm focused on trying to enjoy the rest of the season (as much as possible) since soon it will be over and we'll all be wishing it was football again. You know you will, regardless of how the season ends. Let's banter on that topic rather than speculating (read - pretending to know what we are talking about) on coaching changes.
In 2008, I accepted a 2-6 conference record as the price we had to pay to have success down the road. I'm not accepting it this year...
What would have happened differently if you hadn't accepted a 2-6 conference record in 2008? Nothing? Just checking.
I mentioned this in another thread, but I think it bears repeating here. It's really annoying when sports fans criticize a coach's performance by saying it is unacceptable to them. You can criticize RR (fairly) all you want, but unless you are Dave Brandon, please stop acting like your personal standards of acceptability mean anything to anyone.
honestly with the supposed talent we have on the field, with the right guidance and leadership behind them, " YES," they can. This team is just not well coached on Defense.
I agree with profitgoblue here. How do you think someone is going to come in with a magic wand and fix everything? St. Harbaugh is not the answer to your prayers.
I understand we have young team, there is no debating that fact, but if you look at a DC we had in '08, one SCott Schaffer. He was fired and blamed for the worst record in school history by RR, why because they were not on the same page as far as what defensive scheme to run? I look at his Defense at Syracuse, and see what they are doing to schools with at least decent offeses, like Cincy. They only gave up 7 points on saturday. Our you too tell me just because of the lack of youth that we are this bad? I strongly feel that if Scott Schaffer was here our defense could be what Syracuse is experiencing right now. Am I here to say that this team with the youth we would only be giving up 7 points to Cincy, by no means no, but I would have to say we would not be allowing over 400 yards per game to every team we face.
You realize a great way to see if Scott Shaefer would be a good defensive coordinator here is if we hired him right? We did. He sucked. And we are all mad at firing him because he is a defensive genius right? So do you know what the best idea would be? Fire this defensive coordinator after his 2nd year instead of his 1st. Defensive consistency ftw!
If I could +1,000,000 this answer, I would. I get that some people really like RR and are invested in him. Great, and I respect their view. But to completely dismiss anyone who wants to criticize the coach that has presided over the worst period in Michigan football history with such venom is just obnoxious.
I like Rich Rod, too. I think he's a decent person who has recruited upstanding kids and I'm bothered by a lot of the personal attacks made against him. But we're not a charity case. If he's not the right guy for the job, he's not the right guy. He's not getting paid $2M a season for nothing.
Except for Notre Dame's built-in recruiting pipeline to Catholic schools nationwide. So the situation is even more bleak.
Three years ago, absolutely no one would have said anything like this. If this is what we've been reduced to, we definitely need a change. Surely there is some poor soul out there who can lead the winningest program in history to a bowl game.
" I had fun watching the PSU game and didn't get upset when we lost."
Are you serious? wow...I don't even know what to say to that.
Also known as "Fandom Light"
I have to be emotionally invested in the outcome of games so much that I need to be miserable after a loss? That makes me a real fan?
I'm pretty sure I went to the same school as you.
I'm pretty sure we root for the same team.
I'm pretty sure I spend the same amount of money to sit in the stands and travel to see games.
I'm pretty sure I cheer the same amount as most fans, win or lose.
I'm pretty sure we obsessively read the same information about the same players on the same website everyday.
The only difference is that I don't go crazy after a loss and generally enjoy life regardless of the outcome of the Michigan football game. I'm still able to laugh with my family (all OSU fans) when they joke about our bad losses. I'm able to calmly discuss Michigan football with coworkers and don't get mad when people with less knowledge about the program assume Michigan sucks or whatever. Get a grip.
No offense, that's a fine way to go about it, but you are in the minority I think.
When Michigan loses, especially games I think they should win, it ruins my whole Saturday, sometimes my weekend. When my USC fan brother-in-law brings up "DickRod" and how much he sucks every time I see him, I get mad to the point I want to punch him if it wouldn't result with me sleeping on the couch for eternity.
I'm not saying you aren't a "real" fan, but don't make it seem like being emotionally invested in wins and losses is such a crazy concept. You're the weird one here, not us.
You start your post with laughter, and then get increasingly more preturbed. And I'm to believe you don't get upset by losing?
"I have to be emotionally invested in the outcome of games so much that I need to be miserable after a loss? That makes me a real fan?"
Yeah, pretty much.
I love watching Michigan football no matter what as well, but when we lose, it hurts. If you don't feel even a glint of pain or anger or frustration when we lose, especially in such a frustrating manner, maybe you are numb.
Nowhere did I say I was for incessant bitching. I'm all aboard the stop whining train. "Choo Choo, not Boo Hoo" that's what I always say.
What I'm saying is that it is acceptable to be upset about losing. It is totally normal to get angry or frustrated when your team can't stop a walk-on from getting a first down on 3rd and infinity.
Anger/Frustration/Upsettedness - Fair Game
Bitching/UNACCEPTABLE/etc - Not my cup of tea.
Sounds like a guy who loves "watching " michigan football. Does not sound like the kind of die hard fan that I expect that many in the MGoCommunity are. If the OP can just watch that wretched game and enjoy it, more power to him. That is how I feel about several teams that I casually follow. For me, Michigan is different. I don't watch Michigan - I root passionately for Michigan, and the outcome of the game does affect my weekend.
What I enjoy is my passion for the school and for this team, and the way that as an alum, I feel a real sense of pride in our storied program. So no, I would not want to take a lesson from the OP. (not an insult to you or the OP, but to me, Michigan football will never be something that I just watch or something where I enjoy watching us lose).
if all i wanted was to be apathetic about whether a team of mine wins or losses id just stick to watching the lions. at least they never dissapoint me.
I love watching MICHIGAN football no matter what, but at a certain point Saturday night it wasn't fun anymore. I still watched but the D is just.... I don't know....Hopefully Illinois will be better.
Agreed. I was pissed off for 3 days after the MSU game. And I'm almost 30.
EDIT: I am in full agreement with WolvInLA2 and the others, not the "ahh, I still love watching even when we get impaled on national tv by a shell of PSU!"
Notre Dame hasn't been bad because they have lacked patience. They have been bad because:
1. The first coach that they hired after Holtz had never been a head coach and was a mediocre coordinator. No search attempt was made. If anything, he was kept for too long.
2. The second coach that they hired after Holtz backed into the job, because he cried "racism" and candidate #1 got caught lying on his resume.
3. The third coach had almost no applicable experience and was another really bad hire
Notre Dame finally hired a coach like you are supposed to. Michigan will, most likely, not end up in the wilderness if Dave Brandon goes through and exhaustive search and hires a good candidate.
Wrong, the second coach they hired never coached a game because he was fired for lying on his resume. All that did was delay the search and throw all kinds of bad press toward ND. That's a big reason they didn't find anyone better than Willingham.
It should be added that the only good ND coach in the last 30 years was a cheater (Holtz). Quite simply, their program's ceiling is lower than ours.
IMO the annoying part of our fan base has always been a "Notre Dame waiting to happen." They've shown their true colors over the past couple of years.
It's so bad that even The Onion is on board:
Quote: "Perhaps both teams should just forget about the game entirely and have a huge Our-Schools-Are-Steeped-In-College-Football-Tradition-Orgy right there on the field."
- - -
For the record, I think you can be anti-RichRod and still be a reasonable fan. My post is directed at the unreasonable group.
How do you differentiate between the reasonable Anti-RR group and the unreasonable group?
For example, until this past week, I dismissed the "FIRE DICKFRAUD" NOT A MICHIGAN MAN, crowd (i.e. the people who hate him for who he is and not for anything that he has done) as being unreasonable and as being people who would never be pleased with RR, even if we won a NC.
By contrast, there were a small amount of RR critics out there who gave actual examples of things that RR did that they believed to have negatively affected the program. Even though I strongly supported RR, I believed that these people were reasonable and on some issues made good points.
Over the past 2 weeks, I have seen an increase in the number of what I consider to be the more reasonable RR critics and an actual decrease in the "FIRE DICKFRAUD" crowd. Most of the criticisms that fans both on this blog and in other arenas seem to be lobbing are based in examples - poor play calling, a team that is not improving over the course of a season (which a young team should), special teams disasters on a weekly basis, excessive penalties in numerous games, an offense too focussed on a single player that cannot stand up to real defenses.
What you said, largely ... I don't have that many rock-solid rules.
When I hear some aging bag of wind (the type that might have said "Plastics, son" in the late '60s) sound off about *tradition* at a tailgate, I think "Unreasonable." When I hear concerns about RichRod's cognitive capacity and administrative ability (example: GERG), I think "Hmm ... reasonable."
"RichRod doesn't understand the importance of the OSU rivalry!" Unreasonable.
"Are we sure he did the necessary behind-the-scenes homework before chasing Dorsey?" Reasonable (I think).
Quote: "it might be a very good idea to shoot that blustering idiot Matt Millen right in his fat pink face."
I almost came here to write a rude and cuss-filled comment because you were going to fill this with complaints about the downfall of UM.
After I read this, I think you and I have come to the same conclusion. Yesterday I was driving along with a dark cloud over my head, pissed and embarassed about the year. Wondering how I was going to face my father in law (UM grad, RR hater) or my brother (OSU grad - RR lover).
And then it dawned on me. I fucking love Michigan. I love the university, I love the town, I love the Big-house. I love "the victors" and the banner. I love it when they play Hells Bells in the round up. I love it all. So we are having a down year. It sucks, rather be winning, but whatever. I will be blue forever. If RR is the coach, I hope he does well. If they get a new coach, I will support the new hire and hope he does well.
Go Blue. We are Michigan. Be proud. On the down years, be proud of our team. Then when they come up and win a NC, you will be even prouder.
There is nothing about that defense that is worthy of pride. If anything, it is my pride that makes me so angry when we lose. I can be all in and root for Michigan to win and also demand better than the results we've been producing.
It's tough to win when a program is beset by turmoil from a coaching change. Charlie Weiss never recovered from the instability following Ty Willingham's departure. ND has a roster full of 4 and 5 star guys and they just lost to Tulsa at home.
The right approach is to wait until the season is over before reaching any conclusions. Those advocating firing Rodriguez or even GERG will feel foolish if Michigan bounces back against Illinois and Purdue.
I am not buying into this "hot seat" bullshit. It's counter-productive, and a distraction. Denard Robinson had a very good game against Penn State, and the offensive is good enough to keep them in every game they have left. Let's give Michigan and Rodriguez our support over the next four games and see what they can do.
We've been playing catch up the last three games. It's not like the vaunted Michigan offense has come out and jumped all over anybody. On the other hand, if for some reason the offense did get us a lead, it's not like the defense could hold it. It's a TEAM problem and I just don't think Rich has, or will have, the answers. Acknowledging that the experiment didn't work out is a lot different than having 4 (+1 for a day) coaches in ten years.
"All of our losses so far were probably predicted by this very board in the pre seaon, and everyone was ok with riding this out then."
That was before PSU's whole D and O line pretty much went down, and they started a former walkon First time starter, oh and we had an extra week to prepare. This loss just doesn't add up, MSU and Iowa sucked but were understandable, this game was on a whole other level. Why can't some people see that? I know Young Defense and all...but damn...F'n Mcgloin are you serious?
Also, I don't think anyone expected to lose to Sparty by 17 on our home field. That was sobering, but one could rationalize it as an outlier. Not anymore. Halfway through conference play, we look very much like a lower-division team. That was not predicted by many.
No, Brian - or anyone else in the fanbase - is not the problem. Losing is the problem. Literally no fanbase in the country would be happy to go 4-16 in conference play over the past three years.
As for Harbaugh, his trajectory at Stanford has somehow been considerably more upward than RR's at Michigan, despite 1) inheriting a 1-11 team and 2) having more stringent academic standards. He's gone 4-8, 5-7, 8-5 and 7-1. And he's done this after going 29-6 at his previous destination. I have reservations about him as a person, but not as a coach. He may well be the hottest coaching name in the country.
I like Harbaugh. He can coach my team any time, provided there is an opening.
He kicked ass at San Diego. Lot of folks dont realize that.
Literally no fanbase in the country would be happy to go 4-16 in conference play over the past three years.
Except MSU. I can see them being fine with that if 3 of the 4 wins were over Michigan.
Last time I checked, Michigan was 5-3. Maybe let the season play out before making a change? I bet lots of people will change their tune after a win against OSU. (Please beat OSU!)
Brian's word was gospel and he was a genius when he agreed with me, but now that he might be changing his mind, he's an emotional, reactionary boob like all the rest.
Wow. Listen man, stop blaming the fans or the people on this board. We've won four freaking Big Ten games in 3 years, 2 against Indiana, 1 against Minnesota, and 1 lucky ass win against Wisconsin. Ironically, half of our Big Ten win total in the past 3 years has come from the 2008 season. We don't expect more b/c we're "entitled." We expect more because, frankly speaking, that's a shitty record after three years.
Most of the (former) Rich Rod supporters were not even calling for his head until this weekend. I'm in that group. I didn't call for his head after Toledo '08 or Purdue '08 or Illinois '09. The first time I've ever said that I hope Rich Rod gets fired in almost 3 freaking years was after this weekend.
Most of us thought and realized the following: two years, we'd have to be patient and put up with a shitty record, that in year 3, we would have to put up with being a middling Big Ten team, and that hopefully in year 4, we'd be competing for the Big Ten championship. The reality (if Rich Rod stays) is: for two years, we dealt with a shitty record, in year 3, we'll (likely) deal with a shitty record, in years 4 and 5 we'll be a middling Big Ten team, and that in year 6, we'll have a new coach.
Trust me, it hurts to say that. I defended Rich Rod at all costs against a lot of my friends. I kept on telling them that they'd see, that once we get it going, they'll jump back on board. It sucks to realize that you were wrong for 2.5 years, and that's where the frustration is coming from. But we were wrong, this Rich Rod experiment just isn't working, and even though the defense is mainly to blame, that falls on Rich Rod. I'm sorry.
Were the Lion's fans who wanted Matt Millen fired as bad as ND fans? I just don't see anything wrong with holding the boss accountable for results.
And we aren't the Lions. I've said it before; analogies are a terrible way to argue more often than not.
So college coaches shouldn't be held accountable for their team's record? I guess I'm missing why college vs. pros matters. This isn't some academic issue, in fact the things that are important in college off the field, like not getting NCAA violations haven't gone that well either.
I'm missing how me comparing Michigan's success under RR to the Lions success under Millen, is any worse of an analogy than your comparing our fans to ND fans b/c we're upset with recent results.
Who says we're becoming like Notre Dame....?
I think the analogy to UW under Ty Willingham is a better one.
I was angry, yelling and generally looking for something to punch or shoot in the face. And that was very uncharacteristic for me.
Normally, I remain relatively calm during games, applauding big plays and cursing to myself when we give up points. Sometimes I let a "GD" or "fuck" slip.
But Saturday's loss hurt. I don't know why. I haven't figured it out. I want RR as our coach, but that game was the first time I really thought there's a chance this whole thing was not meant to be. And that made me sad.
I'm just trying to understand how MGoBlog just changed so fast after this game... it was like a "That's the final straw" moment. For what? This Defense isn't playing well... but, we knew this.
Is it sad that we're all just "hoping" for 1 more win to be bowl eligible? Yes. But I don't see that in the not-to-distant future for M football. Respect the process, be patient. At the season's end let's debate what needs to be done (outside of schemes, practice, personnel, coaching etc.)
I guess what frustrates me, is that I KNOW Rich Rodriguez is the right coach for Michigan. This offense is great, even in the Big 10. The defense will come together with time.
that predicted a 52-24 Michigan win. Along with a lot of the local MSM that picked Michigan to win on Saturday. It raised everyone's hopes to what turned out to be unrealistic levels and when the first half crushed any and all hope for the defense this year, well ...
If beating a bad PSU team is an unrealistic expectation, that really speaks volumes about the lack of progress we've made. Saturday's game was a tipping point because it forced a lot of us to give us the idea that this year was different, that we were ready to take a big step forward.
I think it was the last straw for a significant number of people. They understood the Iowa and MSU games to an extent, because they were better than us. I've never favored being so reactionary as to call for a coach's head mid-season and won't be now. I agree with you. I too think Rich Rod is the right coach for this team, despite the mistakes he's made with the defense.
But... that Penn State game was just gut wrenching. I haven't suffered like that from watching a Michigan game in a long time. Being at the Northwestern game last year in a half-empty Big House, soaking wet and frozen was awful, but I really thought that was going to be the low point of these growing pains. It wasn't.
I still have hope that we can make a bowl and win it, at least eke out a 7-6 record. But, I understand the pain and anger everyone is feeling. What I can't understand is the unwillingness to see this through to at least the end of the season.
What really saved Saturday for me was twofold: that the offense caught a spark and started scoring at will again and the way Rich Rod ignited a fire in the defense. Watching him rush into the huddle, push Gerg aside and raise them up was amazing. Unfortunately it didn't matter much in the end.
I just hope that the next guy doesn't make some of the same mistakes that RichRod did. Specifically, terrible assistant decisions. Rodriguez kicked Vance Bedford and Erik Campbell to the curb. Vance Bedford is one of the best assistants in the program's history and I would take over Tony Gibson any day. He was the DBs coach for Florida's smothering defense in '08 and '09, and now he is the DC for Louisville, Louisville, by the way, just shut out UConn and they allow about 130 ypg less than Michigan. Erik Campbell is busy coaching the best pair of wide receivers in Iowa history. Shafer is coaching a competent, at worst, defense at Syracuse. I would love to see another head coach retain all of the offensive staff (except maybe Dews, but I guess we could do worse) and just focus on defense for the offseason.
Also, we might have had fewer transfers if RR had kept aboard more of Lloyd's assistants. It's one thing to have a new HC, but when you also have new coordinators and position coaches, all of a sudden the program is completely different. I understand that RR was loyal to his WVU assistants, but in hindsight, this may have been a mistake.
we are glad DeBord is gone, people ignored that there were some great, highly respected coaches on the staff too. I can understand why a great pro-style QB coach might not fit in, but a lot of the other positions could be upgrades. People in the know think Bedford is/was a GREAT, not good, assistant coach. Ask Charles Woodson. And that's not to slight Soups who you mentioned or some others, who would probably be upgrades on some Rich's buddies, or even more, his outside hires. I wonder where the D would be with Bedford as DC now, coaching the secondary.
Hold on. What exactly have ND fans been wrong about?
They gave up on Davie who was in over is head and never had another coaching job. What was wrong about that?
ND fans gave up on Willingham because he was a worthless coach and recruiter, and then he proceeded to prove ND fans wrong by taking Washington in year 4 to its first 0-12 season in 100 something years of football.
And ND gave up on Weis because he crafted a potent offense but his defense looked clueless year after year. Sound familar?
Just because ND fans are often insane doesn't mean they are always wrong.
I am tired of hearing that as if it pertains to our downfall from the college football elite. All the schools at the top would like to refute that. Texas, Florida, USC(a team with dire problems that still seems to pull off ridiculous recruiting), Alabama, OSU aren't suffering a bit. If you win and you are coaching at these programs parity doesn't matter because the next level still puts you a head above the rest.
Notre Dame has been held down for years because of a lack of good decision making over and over again.
Hopefully Michigan makes some very very good choices in the coming months.
Texas is 4-4. USC is 5-3 just like we are. So is Florida.
Fact: Texas, USC and Florida have played in multiple national championship games since 2004.
The OP listed them as powerhouses that were "not suffering a bit." Half of the programs he listed are in as bad of shape as we are despite coaching continuity and an unimpeded string of top-5 recruiting classes.
Are we only supposed to compare ourselves to the namebrand programs that are having good years?
The guy's point was that it is misguided to use parity as an excuse for not being able to have sustained success. He pointed to Texas, USC and Florida as teams that have been able to sustain success despite alleged increased parity. His point is absolutely right, and while it's true that they are down in the 2010 season, the fact that those teams have gone to multiple BCS championship games in recent years proves that it's possible to have long term consistent success and that "parity" doesn't prevent that. Also, see Michigan from 2001-2007.
Sorry, didn't catch everything in the OP.
But yeah, we don't suck on defense because of parity. We suck on defense because we have basically zero experienced talent (same reason we sucked on offense in 2008). The freshmen/sophomore classes have remedied that (in my view) and things will only get better going forward.
I get small programs such as App St. aren't the same as before and teams cannot take anyone lightly anymore, but at the same time, these teams on the top of the food-chain aren't going to stop being elite just because the rest of college football is getting better. I think Michigan not winning is going to make us suffer more than anything if this doesn't change. Thats why I said that I hope the program makes very calculated smart decisions in the coming months because they are going to have ripple effects for years to come.
If we start winning parity isn't going to have anything to do with our return to being a powerful football program. I gotta believe this is going to change and in the end we will see positive results. Im practically begging for it. I had no intentions of going to AA this Saturday, I was just going to watch at home. But after the loss on Saturday and a good nights sleep I awoke on Sunday with this feeling like I need to be there for my football team. I just bought 2 tickets off ebay for $85.00 in sec 33 row 2. Please lets get over this hump..
That Texas and Florida bounce back better and faster than us next year?
(USC is more your wheelhouse...you can better say how destitute they are).
I definitely think we'll be better than Texas next year (we are already better than they are and have nowhere to go but up). I don't follow Florida closely but I doubt they go any better than 10-2 (and I think next year's U-M team will do that or better next year).
Feel free to create stakes as humorous as you wish and I am in betting that neither Texas or Florida will have a better regular season record than U-M next year.
The strange state of USC football has me far more perplexed than the situation in Ann Arbor so I have no idea what the hell is going to happen there.
Then I can see how you believe it. I don't need to bet then. I mean, I think 10-2 even with this defense a little improved is crazy. But if you're right, it certainly could be better than Florida or Texas. I may not agree, but I don't need to "bet" to challenge your sincere beliefs.
Though if I think of something REALLY funny to bet, it's on like Donkey Kong!
Put your thinking cap on and we can put on a show for everyone if I can make it back for OSU next year (possible) or Bama in 2012 (I'll definitely be at that one).
It's entitlement; the same thing that has kept Notre Dame down for years. We aren't going to win just because we are Michigan. Parity has come to college football and a large chunk of our fanbase remains unaware.
They were awesome, then crappy (Mike Shula comes to mind) and now awesome after hiring Saban.
There is a reason Francione left after winning 10 games. He knew what he was in for if he stayed. People also forget that we were operating at a severe scholarship deficit last year and are just now coming out of that hole, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
People screaming from both sides of the argument are making MGoBlog (as well as every other Michigan blog/message board) hard to read. I come here for info and solid discussion about Michigan football. Both sides need to calm down. How about we just wait until the end of the season for the Rich Rod and/or new coach talk? No one is going to be fired before the next 4 games. It's embarrassing as a Michigan fan to read all this garbage the past few weeks.
From what i remember reading at the start of the season, just about 90% of the threads or posts i read people predicted michigan at 7 wins..
We won't lose to purdue, and ILL is a toss up if we can execute on offense..
if we can execute on offense..
Yes. We need the offense to score on 100% of its possessions if we want a chance to win, so they better be executin'... Seriously though it's silly to think games hinge on our offense's ability to execute.
E pluribus unum
I was down for the game on Saturday. If Irish is still around these parts, he can give a better summary than me, but generally:
The O is pass only, BK never runs. Christ went down on the first drive and he had his freshman QB pass 50+ times. The kid did well, he'll be good, but there's no balance and no creativity in the run game. We're light years ahead. The D is just as bad but they have Te'o. Already discussed, but Kelly made one of the worst play calls I've ever seen to end the game.
The crowd energy was terrible. M stadium is 4 times as loud as ND. I know it's only Tulsa and they had the terrible tragedy, but that mostly ends when the game starts. It was close throughout, the fans should have been engaged and they weren't. It's an old stadium and it looks old. It is in desperate need of an upgrade (scoreboards are tiny and do not have video, the pressbox is a slightly larger version of our previous). I don't think the donors will be in the mood for an upgrade anytime soon.
It's much worse to be an ND fan right now.
They really don't like Brian Cook (or Kelly for that matter).
Did they crucify him? That would be in pretty poor taste at ND.
Are we becoming Notre Dame? I have no idea.
The most frustrating thing about this season for me is I have no idea how to judge this team or the coaching staff due to the ridiculous youth. Especially on the D. I want to hate Gerg and the job he's done. But the other side of me has to wonder what DC in the country could possibly field a passable D with this combo of ragtag youth.
ND has had the talent (according to Rivals) for years now and can't win. I think we're losing for different reasons than they have been. But on the other hand, Gerg may just suck and RR might have forgotten how to coach.
I'd hate to be Brandon right now.
Denard is elite....the rest of the offense is still questionable. The running backs are averaging 2.9 yards a carry and our receivers/tight ends drop a shit ton of passes. The offense has gone long stretches without scoring and that has been a trend in all 3 losses.
The offensive line has been lights out....they deserve a ton of credit.
I could have sworn the QB and the offensive line were part of the offense.
And the reason is because we will never tolerate mediocracy for a long period. Maybe RR is the gonna turn us around, maybe not. But at the end of the season when all is said and done, he will be evaluated for what he has accomplished. Furthermore, if his team has not reached an adequate level by the end of the season I have every confidence in our athletic department to do the right thing. We will not tolerate a Charlie Weis here! GO BLUE!!
you are the weird one. The outcry you here is not because anybody expects an irrational amount of immediate success, it is because the product on the field is not competitive, in this era of equality that you cite, we are not equal. There are deficiencies on our team unbecomming of a competitive team, much less a championship contending one.
Those 115,000 seats in the Big House don't fill themselves, neither do those new shiny luxury boxes. This is not a team that can be outclassed to that degree by an unranked opponent. If you were OK with Saturday and had fun watching that game, you don't understand Michigan football and what this team means to the University and the state. It is not life or death, your right, but it isn't "oh well I had fun either."
However you are becoming Nebraska, Alabama, USC, Oklahoma, Georgia, Texas, and all the other top tier programs going through a bad spell during a transition while replacing great coaching. Michigan wont become ND unless you washout on several coaches and teams over a few decades. I don't think that will happen.
Coaching is just as important as talent in CFB. All the programs I mentioned still had good talent coming in, just couldn't harness it. I am NOT bagging on RR, maybe he needs more time, maybe not, that's for Michigan fans and admin to decide. Every program is different. At Nebraska, supposedly Bill Callahan needed more time to recruit his players, yet after he left Bo Pellini won immediately, same with Lou Sabin at Alabama. There might be examples of programs that needed 4-5 years with the new coach before he made them great again.
Whether its RR or somebody after him, Michigan won't be bad forever. It'll just seem that way until it gets better. Words of wisdom from your new division rival. :)
I couldn't agree more with your line of thinking my fellow Michigan fan. You remind me that there are still plenty of rational Michigan fans out there so I very much appreciate this post. Too many people are bailing on the season and the coaches despite the enormous challenges we knew this team faced before the year even started.
I think what happens is that people see a few games that they weren't sure Michigan would win become victories and all of a sudden their expectations go through the roof. Add to that the fact that Michigan has been a top tier football program for years and the expectations get to highly unreasonable levels. Its sad because this is the time to embrace the team like no other. Believe it or not there is still great fun and excitement watching this team perform.
We are rebuilding and it's ok to admit that. I just pray that Dave Brandon has a level headed approach to this situation and sees that successful programs such as Notre Dame that hire and fire coaches at every turn just continue to drag on the rebuilding process. If Dave Brandon starts panicking like some of the people on these boards the past few days, Michigan football is in serious trouble.
Rich Rod has an incredible resume including taking West Virginia to heights never before reached by West Virginia football and yet we have fans talking about firing the guy before he even has a senior class of his own players. It's scary indeed to imagine that our fan base has so many irrational fans a la Notre Dame. It would be even more scary if the administration gives into these fans, alumni, or media and fires Rich Rodriguez (proven winner with BCS bowl victories and conference championships) in less time than Weis (no college experience) was fired at Chicken Little University.
We're not Notre Dame until we lose to Navy and Tulsa in the same season haha