Progress and the "if only" moments

Progress and the "if only" moments

Submitted by coachclen on November 22nd, 2010 at 9:54 AM

 

I will start this thread by offering a small preface: Though the tone of this thread may dictate otherwise, for the past three years, I have been a relatively staunch Rodriguez supporter. I have generally thought that he has not gotten a fair shot since day one, and that people have been all too quick to criticize the man just because he is something “different” than what most Michigan fans are used to.

With all that being said, I must admit that even though we have seen progress on the field in terms of victories, I’m not convinced that we have seen true progress with the program as a whole. And what is worse, as I read the hundreds of comments on the beloved MGOboard, I have the sinking feeling that many in our fan base are losing touch with reality. Too harsh, you say? Maybe. But, many of the comments I see have had a common theme lately: “what if” or “if only”. Let’s review some of the more popular “If only” moments from the last three years.

2008

  • If only Rich had slowly transitioned UM’s offense to the spread, Michigan would have been more equipped offensively and probably could have beat Toledo, Purdue, and Northwestern.
  • If only Rich had reached out to more of Lloyd’s players, attrition would have been minimized and a defense that underachieved would have bought in more. Combined, Michigan wins more games.
  • If only Scott Shafer would have been competent, a defense that many thought would carry the team in 2008 would have been better.
  • If only the offense wouldn’t have been so bad, the defense wouldn’t have had short fields, and thus could have performed better.
  • If only our offensive players would have felt more comfortable in the system, they wouldn’t have had as many turnovers.
  • If only our special team units didn’t turn the ball over….
  • If only we convert a two-point attempt against Utah, we’re tied in the final minutes.
  • If only Steven Threet hadn’t thrown an interception in the end zone against Toledo, that game is a W.
  • If only we had covered one of the two receivers on Purdue’s hook and ladder, we hang on to win.
  • If only there wasn’t a blizzard/monsoon, we would have beat Northwestern.

2009

  • If only Tate wouldn’t have gotten banged up.
  • If only Michigan’s offense performed all game long the way it did in the final minutes against MSU, Michigan wins easily in regulation.
  • If only Rich had played Tate on the final drive against Iowa, we would have upset the Hawkeyes.
  • If only Roy Roundtree scores on the long pass at Illinois, Michigan never loses momentum and wins handily.
  • If only Michigan held on to their 14 point lead against Purdue…..
  • If only Michigan had been ready for an onside kick against Purdue…..
  • If only Michgan hadn’t missed a PAT against Purdue…….

2010

  • If only Denard doesn’t toss two INT’s in the end zone against MSU, it is a whole different game.
  • If only we had a kicker, special teams would help offset the decimated defense.
  • If only we could have wrapped up on third down against Iowa, we would have had a chance to tie
  • If only Robert Boldin doesn’t get hurt, we are able to beat PSU
  • If only we had more depth, we’d be able to compete with elite big ten teams
  • And the list goes on…….

 

Now maybe I went a bit overboard. And some of the “if only” moments are legitimate statements and some could probably never been avoided. But, let's be real people. The bottom line is that we don’t live in a world of ifs. The real world is based on results. And, on the flip side of all of the “if onlys” I listed, there are a handful that went our way (if only Weiss ran out the clock in 09, etc……I could easily present a list of "if only" moments that would lead to a 7-27 record in the last three years.)

At what point does Rich Rodriguez become responsible for not turning these “ifs” into reality? In three years we are 15-20. We are seeing the same special teams breakdowns we saw in year one.  We have witnessed 9 games in which Michigan has lost by 17 or more (Lloyd Carr had 3 such games in his entire career). We have an offense that has taken a leap, yet disappears in key moments against quality teams (And let’s be honest, a great deal of that leap is a direct result of Denard) . We have a defense that may very well finish 120th by next week.

Progress? Sure. Enough? I don’t think so. Next year? Potential, but only if Rich can turn these “if only” moments into reality. And to this point, his record speaks for itself. 

OT: Does the B10 get 2 teams in the BCS?

OT: Does the B10 get 2 teams in the BCS?

Submitted by rbgoblue on November 22nd, 2010 at 1:42 AM

Not entirely OT because it could drastically affect Michigan's bowl slotting.

Assuming the 10 BCS slots, 7 are currently filled by

Pac 10: Oregon (1)
SEC: Auburn (2)
Non-BCS: TCU (3)
Big 10: Wisconsin (7)
Big 12: Oklahoma St (9)
ACC: Virginia Tech (16)
Big East: Pittsburgh (NR)
 
That leaves 3 spots open with the viable contenders being:
 
Boise State (4)
LSU (5)
Stanford (6)
Ohio State (8)
Michigan State (10)
 
What are the chances that the Big 10 gets the snub sending Boise, LSU, and Stanford to BCS bowls leaving OSU to the Capital One Bowl and MSU to the Outback?

Osu vs Michigan 2010 Odds of Victory for Michigan?

Osu vs Michigan 2010 Odds of Victory for Michigan?

Submitted by husker4life on November 22nd, 2010 at 12:24 AM

Everyone's more than a little pissed off about the Texas A&M game so I won't even start to go into that but I was talking to my father today at dinner and needless to say it was a quiet dinner when it came to college football but I changed the subject to Ohio State vs Michigan for the game this weekend and asked him his thoughts. He said because of how Michigan's defense has played this year he's got Osu winning by only 17 but still has Osu winning :(. I'm sorry guys I hope you can prove him and the Buckeye fathfull wrong. Good luck this Saturday! What are you giving Michigan this Saturday over and under wise for an upset?

Jason Avant = Underrated

Jason Avant = Underrated

Submitted by profitgoblue on November 21st, 2010 at 11:36 PM
Watching this Eagles-Giants game and I was surprised that I had forgotten about Jason Avant. He has always been an extremely intelligent and reliable receiver. Not flashy, but a guy you want on your team. Manningham is more explosive and exciting but I think I'd rather have Avant if forced to choose. Am I crazy (other than for obvious reasons)?

irrational rationale

irrational rationale

Submitted by bluefrombirth on November 21st, 2010 at 11:03 PM

I had a conversation about the way the 2011 big ten season would shake out with a sparty fan today. I proffered that next years wolverine squad would win at least 9 games. He replied that he would be surprised if they won seven. I gave the reasons that it would be 9 wins as improved offense from all the skill positions which will be returning. with minimal losses in the o line with improved play from the defense ( come on seriously, dilithium 1.5 is good for at least 9, hes been good for 7 so far) at which point he laughed and said that we no one good on defense. he offered the reason that Michigan would not better is because the schedule gets harder. the addition of Nebraska does give his argument some merit. the real kicker was that he claimed the Irish would be a top ten Team next year ????? Of course after my shock i asked him why he figured that. He answered with a familiar tag line. Their quarterback will be better, they have offense returning, they were crippled by injuries, and their defense was young, but should get better. Of course i did not continue the conversation because it is quite easy to see that the logic was one-sided. the irish were bad because of the aforementioned reasons, but should be better for next year. Yet somehow, the wolverine team of 2010 that has all of these same things in common will not be better? the overall idea is that the young inexperienced defense is a reason to cripple your team, yet give some sense of relief because you realize that that defense will grow up and become the team they are meant to be. Alot of opinions on here have been negative towards some of the players, i believe they have tremendous upside. Especially Cam ( don't let the tight end get behind you) Gordon. T hat guy is a ball player. For someone that was a wide out 7 months ago i think hes doin a helluva job on defense.And while im on my soap box [email protected]#k Harbaugh, RRod is my coach and he better be the coach next year. Neg me if you want, i didnt proof read or check the grammar, and i dont want 3 yards and a cloud of dust. I love Bo, but i like spreadriguez even more.

 

 

on a side note, i don't care about all the grammar nazification. this is a sports blog, no one is angling for a research grant here. If you don't like my writing style ( or lack thereof ) Don't read my post.

Question About Postseason Media Coverage

Question About Postseason Media Coverage

Submitted by mgoSk on November 21st, 2010 at 11:02 PM

Having only followed Michigan football closely since Rich has been at the helm, I am unfamiliar with how the postseason works regarding pressers, etc. between the end of the regular season and the bowl game.

Will there be weekly pressers? Will there be any offseason type countdown videos, interviews, or practice clips?

Thanks

Observations of OSU from Kinnick this weekend

Observations of OSU from Kinnick this weekend

Submitted by iawolve on November 21st, 2010 at 10:46 PM

 

While I was hoping more to see an OSU loss more than an Iowa win, I figured I would at least use the opportunity for some scouting of the bad guys. Obviously, you can watch it on TV, but sometimes it seems different live. I also had the good fortune of being mid-field and high enough up to see the entire field pretty well which also helped.

First off, holy crap their defensive line is strong. I have no idea what happened at Wisconsin, but they controlled the Iowa offensive line which does not happen to them at home very often. They rarely brought more than just the front four, but honestly did not need to very often since you really saw a consistent surge from their dline that really disrupted the Iowa offense. Iowa was running for about 3.3 YPC with little going to the outside, with the longest runs up the middle when they could open up a crease. This gives me some hope since we do this pretty well and then I remember I have no idea who will even be running the ball on Saturday.

The back four seemed solid, but were taken advantage of by play action and deep slants. McNutt scored once this way and should have had another with the same play. If we can get anything going on the ground, it might open up the deep ball in a similar fashion. However, I am not talking torched earth or anything. Stanzi was 20/31 for 195 while scrambling a lot more than he likes in the pocket most of the night. My only positive is that these were routes that Denard can throw.

The offensive line was as advertised, they put 158 yards rushing (half from Pryor) on Iowa while being very content to slug it out with the Iowa dline. It was pretty even most of the game, but were able to get it when it counted in the fourth quarter. Iowa’s conditioning seems a bit suspect as they faded late (again) so it might have just been an occurrence of Iowa wearing down more than OSU exerting themselves. We have no such mass in our dline so I guess there is really no comparison for us here.

The OSU passing game was killing the middle of the field. They abused Greenwood (an overrated safety anyway in my opinion) and had their slots running free on many mid-range patterns. I was surprised that Pryor did not have more passing yardage (18/31 for a 5.9 YPC) since it seemed like he could have done a lot of damage. Having seen the mid-range routes left open by our D all year, I felt I was already watching our game. Let’s hope to control the bleeding.

The Pryor factor was the most interesting. He was pretty buttoned down, however, the Vest was happy to kill Iowa with his running. Case in point, 4th and 10 at the end of the game, the entire OSU offense is run to the short side, everything is bottled up, nowhere to pass, my friend is going crazy, I just tell him he is f*cked. I saw the wide side of the field wide open and knew what was going to happen. No spy, no problem for a gain of 14. It sucked to watch and I immediately knew I would see this same damn play this weekend when he breaks contain. I am just stating the obvious that we would need to be up by more than two scores at the end to win.