The day after. Any new feelings or thoughts?

Submitted by Nosce Te Ipsum on October 31st, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Looking back at the game I see a lot of positives but none of those can be seen on defense. The offense played well once again and Denard did what he does. I would've liked to have seen more Hopkins, especially on that 3rd and 1 on the first drive, but that was not to be. Another huge plus was that we made our only FG attempt and Hagerup began his stranglehold on kickoff duties with a tremendous effort (love ya coach Carr).

              The defense obviously sucks not only for an FBS school but FCS as well (see UMASS). If they could have stopped PSU more often ( I think we only stopped them once??) then we would've scored three more times. The offense rocks and the defense sucks. That is as simplistic as one can make it. In other news today is Halloween and parties are plentiful with girls wearing naughty costumes. As an added bonus enjoy this awesome youtube:p>



October 31st, 2010 at 1:29 PM ^

Not sure why everyone thought the offense was so good last night. They ended up nearly 100 yards short of their season average according to my predictor/diary. This was their second worst game statistically speaking.

Six Zero

October 31st, 2010 at 1:31 PM ^

No.  Still gut-wrenched and miserable.

I'm still trying to decide if this is worse than 2009 Illinois.  Certainly it's in the same depths of disgust, and I sincerely believed I wouldn't taste that level of despair again.

Tha Stunna

October 31st, 2010 at 2:41 PM ^

The loss itself isn't worse.  I would have said PSU this year was better than Illinois last year, before either team played us.


The impact of the loss is worse.  It's entirely possible that RR is 50/50 to be fired at the end of the year, for the first time ever.  6-6 with a weak win over purdue and uncompetitive losses would leave me very ambivalent - and 6-6 isn't even guaranteed.


October 31st, 2010 at 1:38 PM ^

four games to play.  If we lose all four it will get real interesting.  I keep thinking it would be crazy to change coaches again but lets see how the next four games end.  Go Blue !!!


October 31st, 2010 at 1:39 PM ^

We can point to the youth but why has there been attrition? Warren left early to the draft only to go undrafted. Yes, that was a stupid move by him, but did the coaches not advise him properly? Vlad, Turner, Lalota all left the program but could they really have helped the defense? Most of their reasons for leaving was due to lack of playing time? Surely they saw this defense and there is a large amount of PT available for them? Did the coaches not talk to them about this?

The personnel on the D has shown know real improvement over the last 3 years apart from Stevie Brown - and he probably couldn't be any worse than he was his junior year. Obi and Mouton have been playing at the same level (if not worse) than when they first saw playing time. Yes in 2 years the defense may be one of the top in the country but I'm not holding my breath. For those of you who understand my screename, I am trying my best to be optimistic

2 years ago we had Threet/Sheridan/Assplode running the offense - it was obvious why the offense was struggling, mainly due to the QB situation. But on this defense everything is going wrong. There is no real pressure from the line, the LB are inconsistent and the secondary is OMG bad. There is no simple cure to thise defense - a lot of changes need to be made


October 31st, 2010 at 1:45 PM ^

I'm hungover and apathetic at this point because I am. Whatever. There's nothing I can do about this situation so I'll just keep watching I guess. I'd really like to not fire RR, but he has to put out a form of not-suck for that to happen.

What gets me sometimes is that he gets so mad on the sidelines when his team does something stupid. It's his responsibility to coach them to not do the stupid thing.

God whatever here I go again it's got to stop please win Michigan.


October 31st, 2010 at 1:49 PM ^

Our offense sucked ass, Denard threw the ball horribly, but after the game of course RR said his arm wasn't feeling the best, even though he said he was fine.   We scored cause PSU sucks ass at defense and even with all their injuries they still stopped us because we played terrible

Shaw being healthy was clearly more bullshit.


And we conceded the game i thought after the first drive.  We got 3 and out on the 3 plays that couldn't be more predictable.  Truly pathetic play calling.


October 31st, 2010 at 2:15 PM ^

I agree that the offense underwhelmed at times, but let's no go overboard here.  You score 31 on the road against a decent unit (343 yds/game vs 423 last night), you are doing something.  That first drive sucked, but this team didn't lose because of that drive - it lost because the defense could not get off the field to save its life. 


October 31st, 2010 at 5:32 PM ^

The offense did not suck.  They scored 31 pts on the road without the benefit of a turnover or short field.   If the defense gets two more stops we win this game.   Fumbling a kickoff out of bounds at the goal line didn't help matters.

The offense was actually very good IMO.


October 31st, 2010 at 7:41 PM ^

the offense was that bad. As they said above, we put up points and that's what matters. I will agree though that the passes didn't seem as crisp and the recievers definitely didn't play their A game. 11/23 from your starting QB leaves a lot to be desired, but you can't complain when still has 190 passing yards and another 230 on the ground. Positive note: no terrible interceptions.

KC Wolve

October 31st, 2010 at 2:02 PM ^

I really thought this would be the game the d would gain some confidence and this would be a win the whole team would build off. Now I feel as though things almost couldn't be worse.

I Wrote a 4 Wo…

October 31st, 2010 at 2:03 PM ^

We knew what we had at the start of the year but thanks to Denard's quick start it got our expectations way higher than what we initially thought. We KNEW our defense could and probably would doom us. How is that such a surprise now? We are in the Top 3 for offense in the entire country. I'd say that's progress. We need help on defense -- and that is exactly where we thought we'd be at the start of the year.


Purdue is winnable, Illinois is winnable, and even Wisconsin & tOSU are winnable. Not that they're gimme's, obviously, but when a Top 3 offense steps on the field, all it takes is an off-day for the opposing offense or "the switch" to flip for some of our young guys on defense or even just a shoot-out victory or a Terrelle Pryor to play an average-for-him football game (we were in the game LAST year, and this year's team is better).

We have not collapsed like last year -- yet -- this season. There are still games to be played and there are still snaps for Denard to make everybody look slow & stupid. Our defense is young and struggling but this season is not over.

Breathe in slowly, calm down, and say, "Go Blue." Through thick and thin, wins and (right now) losses. Fight. Shout "Hail to the Victors" because just because we've lost doesn't mean that we're done and when we start to win again we won't have to hope no one saw us accepting defeat before it was over.

Go Blue. Hail to the Victors.


October 31st, 2010 at 2:28 PM ^

This is not the time for the "What were you expecting on D?" rant.  We didn't face Bolden, or their preseason OL, or their starting TE.  We faced a patchwork offense with a walk-on QB, and got destroyed.  I was not expecting that going in, nor was anyone else.  That is an extremely worrisome sign.  No, the season is not over, but if we couldn't come close to stopping PSU, I'm very concerned about the rest of the season.


October 31st, 2010 at 6:59 PM ^

Purdue is winnable, Illinois is winnable, and even Wisconsin & tOSU are winnable.

Did you watch the game last night?

Like many fans here, I go into every Saturday hoping for the best.  But dude, seriously.  Our defense may be the nicest, most hard-working guys in the history of the program.  A bunch of Obis.  But they offer little to no resistance to the other team.

Illinois is a toss-up, at best.  They've only lost to Missouri, OSU, and MSU (all top-15 teams).  They smoked an em-Bolden-ed PSU in Happy Valley and waxed Ben Chappell and IU (yes, the same Ben Chappell who was 45-64 for 480 vs. U-M).  I realize there's no transitive property in college football, but Illinois is no longer a probable win in my book.

Conventional wisdom says Purdue is our best shot at bowl eligibility.  But many thought IU and PSU would be "easy" wins, too.  I wish I shared your optimism.

Louie C

October 31st, 2010 at 2:04 PM ^

Just this minute out of the blue (no pun intended) my four year old daughter just walked up to me and said "Daddy, let's sing the Michigan song together" which I promptly did. Hate to sound like a wuss, but that made me mist up a little bit, and her yelling "Go Blue" at the end really touched me.  Even though I know that wasn't her intention, I feel like that was a "there, there" moment, and that made me feel better. Come hell or high water, that girl WILL do what her old man wishes he could have done and be a Michigan alumni someday.


October 31st, 2010 at 2:09 PM ^

I think that I'm as frustrated as anyone, but after just reading Dr Saturday's article on Texas, things are more in perspective for me.  Texas has coaching continuity and plenty of talent, even pretty good experience, but they are collapsing/collapsed, depending on your view.  These things happen; Texas fans are calling for the head of the OC, but -- surprise! -- the problem seems to be youth.  1st year starter at QB, and underclassmen at QB, RB, WR, TE, OG.  Only a fool (or a fan of another Big 12 school) would want to fire Mack Brown.  You need a big sample size to judge a head coach.  The larger picture still suggests that RR can coach.  We need to be patient and supportive.


October 31st, 2010 at 2:23 PM ^

I do believe RR can coach and remain supportive.  I do NOT believe Gerg can coach have lost total faith in his ability to scheme or motivate the defense whatsoever.  And I think the remaing defensive assistants (who are all RR pals from days gone by) must go too and be replaced by whoever the new DC wants to have surrounding him.


October 31st, 2010 at 2:25 PM ^

RR has not won a national title here.  He hasn't recorded tons of 10-win seasons at Michigan.  The jury is out on his ability to win at this school.  He has shown the ability to win elsewhere, but it might not happen here.  I want it to happen here, but if we lose out, my confidence in that will be very shaken.


October 31st, 2010 at 2:31 PM ^

But I wasn't claiming that the situations at Texas and Michigan were the same, merely that one sheds light on the other.  No analogy is perfect -- otherwise it wouldn't be an analogy.  It's still the case that Texas' performance is UNACCEPTABLE but it's not clear that what is needed is massive change in the coaching ranks, although that seems to be the fan consensus.  Similar situation for Florida too, I suppose.  These things are complex and as fans, largely beyond our ken.


October 31st, 2010 at 2:43 PM ^

First of all, let's retire the "UNACCEPTABLE" joke.  Our coach has lost 80% of his Big Ten games.  It's not irrational to be upset with that.

And if you agree that it's apples and oranges, then why do we care what Texas does?  Mack Brown has earned a lot of rope to hang himself.  RR has not.  I want the guy to succeed, but he has continually failed.  I get that you're straining to find some justification for it, but there really isn't one.  If he fails to make a bowl, that's it.  I like the guy, but I'm not blind enough to root for him over the school's interests, if it comes to that.


October 31st, 2010 at 3:03 PM ^

I'm sorry that you don't find the Texas analogy illuminating.  I do.  I'm also more interested in the school's interests than RR -- but I don't think that we have enough evidence to make a determination what is in the school's best interests yet.  I don't think that blindness is the issue.  There are lots of reasons to be pro-RR and lots of reasons to be anti-RR.  Balancing them and taking into account the school's interests also is the difficult thing.


October 31st, 2010 at 11:38 PM ^

I would say it would be irrational to not be upset right now.

That being said, what IS in the school's best interest?

I honestly believe we need to keep RR through at least 4 years and probably 5.  I have always felt that way.  However, for the first time, I think that RR may not make it, even after being given 5 years.

I think there is still a chance (40%) that he will do better than Lloyd did.  However, if this team doesn't win at least 9 games (and more than half the games in the Big 10) in year 4 or 5, I am not so sure, we can keep him.

3 years - not really enough time (but starts to give a sense)

4 years - kinda enough, the question is can you really do better?

5 years - definitely enough time, if he hasn't produced now, can he really ever?


October 31st, 2010 at 2:22 PM ^

I do not post around here anymore because of the blindly jingoistic culture mods like gaeux_blue have been trying to create. But I’ll offer my thoughts on the situation now, and you all can neg me into oblivion as usual, and I’ll leave again. Here goes...

Unless there is some sort of vast improvement, RichRod should resign at the end of the season. He can walk away, shoulder his part of the blame, but also by implication assign a requisite amount of the blame on the program. 

Importantly, it’s not only RR who is to blame, nor it is only the program - it’s their interrelationship. What I mean is, there is no need to point the finger at one side or the other - at RR or at the culture and institutions he faced upon arriving at UM. This is because neither can be isolated from the other, or, put another way, each created the other. The culture at UM only became a stumbling block once it faced such an immense change process (something can only impede if it faces opposition). The same culture could have accepted a different coach with open arms, and could have helped that coach flourish. The same holds for RR - he only became immensely unsuccessful in the face of a massive stumbling block, which he helped create, which helped create his failures. He did not face the same stumbling blocks elsewhere, for reasons that can only be known in those contexts — in those interrelatioships. The point is that each one helped create the other in relational fashion. The problems with the defense - with having unsuccessful DCs, with keeping players, with recruiting players who are granted entrance - they are not the problems, they are all manifestations of the problem - which is the ineffective, unworkable interrelationship between RR and UM. 

The key now is to stop the downward spiral of both. A big issue is that we are enacting a positive feedback loop in terms of recruiting - we seem to be pretty weak in recruiting right now, a position not likely to improve this year. And even in the unlikely event we win a few more games this year, I still don’t see recruiting picking up in the next few years due to the memories we have instilled. My guess is that a clean slate is a better approach to turning things around, is more likely to work, than is depending on RR and Co. to do turn things around. Think of how hard it is to crawl out of a downward spiral when you are in it. We need to be able to tell recruits that this is not the same program, not that we will somehow crawl out of this hole with the same interrelationships that dug the hole. New people, new relationships will allow us to crawl out, and will allow RR to crawl out. We need to stop the downward spiral. Give RR a fresh start elsewhere, give us a fresh start here. No one person is to blame. 


October 31st, 2010 at 3:03 PM ^

You have a good take; not one I agree with completely, but I respect your point.

I know that there is a concern with the program entering a downward spiral because of issues with RR as the head man, but there is no promise that a fresh start would remedy those issues.  Lets say that Harbaugh comes in next year - it will likely not have a massive effect on recruiting this year and could depress next year somewhat as the staff becomes more acclimated and some recruits shift allegiances.  Even if the new coaching staff keeps the offense intact, the defense will still struggle next year and who knows how that will affect performance on the field.  So there you have 2-3 years of transition ahead of us, maybe with a slightly higher ceiling but in the short term the results won't be amazingly different. 

The problems with this team are multitudinous, including coaching but also talent.  Better coaching can make mediocre talent play a little better, but looking across the B10 OSU, Wiscy, Iowa, Nebraska (next year) and MSU have more talent than UM, and a team like PSU is certainly capable of fielding a good team.  I don't care who was coaching this team - a 5th-year LB who can't read defenses isn't going to be "coached up" to All B10. 

Next year, the team will finally be picking up the type of experience that can lead to decent strides, but you lose some of that with a coaching change.  That's why I think you have to give the staff at least 1 more year if the team wins 1-2 more games and plays in a bowl.  With experience on defense (if not overwhleming talent) and a QB who has played a whole year at the position, I expect this team to be in the top 4-5 of the conference, challenging for a good bowl and (maybe) a title. 

And I hear you about recruiting, but as we've seen kids are smarter than we give them creidt for.  UM might lose out on a couple of recruits, but they also understand that this program has made great strides offensively, and if it is clear that RR will be there for a year or two more, they'll sign up.  What I think hurt schools like ND and Nebraska to an extent was the constant flux surrounding those programs, the uncertainty that the staff recruiting you will be there next year.  Stability will mean more for this team than wins and losses at this point, and I just hope that RR wins another game or two so that it won't be as big of an issue for at least another year or two.


October 31st, 2010 at 3:14 PM ^

These are all good points as well - and I would have a difficult time arguing against them. The thing that is scary is that both outcomes (my continued spiral, your reversal of it) are likely. It then just depends on where one assigns the most risk, a choice that is embedded in personal experience, history, proclivities, and so on. I guess one thing I can't deny though, given the mechanisms that my argument relies on (relationality, positive feedback loops), is that my change would be more difficult to enact than your stability would. It would be harder for RR to resign, or for Brandon to fire him, than it would be for him to stay. So, perhaps yours is the more likely outcome, no matter which is "right."


October 31st, 2010 at 4:12 PM ^

I agree that change now would be tougher, though I do agree that some change needs to be made even if it would  be painful.  I am all for an overhaul of the DC, with Brandon forcing RR to hand over more control.  That would be fine with me.  But right now, I can't fault a team of mostly freshmen on defense being lit up, even though at least part of that falls on the coordinators and the coaches. 

See, this is the type of discussion that makes this blog the best - everyone being respectful and not posting ad hominem attacks. 


October 31st, 2010 at 3:41 PM ^

Given a couple more wins to top off the season (especially in the last game), and based on our performance in a bowl game (I mean, if we beat Purdue but lose to SMU in the Bumblefork Tuna Bowl... that's not an accomplishment), another year is certainly warranted. At that point, he will have a senior recruiting class and there can be no more excuses about youth and inexperience.

The issue, as I see it, is damage mitigation. How much longer should we let the program be under the control of the guy who created the present situation? There are very negative consequences of a coaching change, but at some point you have to cut your losses. Another year, pending a few wins to end the season, is about all RR can ask for at this point.


October 31st, 2010 at 3:19 PM ^

I respect your point of view, but your solution will create the very problems you seek to cure.  See, what cannot happen, under any circumstance, is a ND like situation where there's a revolving door of coaches.  No one should be immune now.  If Rich Rod ends up being canned and that's in the best interest of the program, then no one should weep upon his exit.  But the problem with the "clean slate" argument is that starting over would mean at least 2 more losing seasons.  The offense is good, if not great at times.  It's the only part of the team that's keeping us from being 1-10.  You cannot break up the continuity in the program now by bringing in an entirely new system.  Just look at Kelly at ND.  It's example #1 of what not to do.  If you bring in Harbaugh, he's going to change the offense and there will be at least 1-2 years of painful transition.  The program then spirals out of control because recruits, especially on defense, won't commit here anymore.  Remember, it's already hard enough for Michigan because of location (most of the best players are in the south, FL, TX and CA) and academic standards.  Without winning, we really risk a lost generation. 

The last thing we need is a clean break.  We have to keep this offense.  If no viable HC candidates can do that, give Rich Rod one more year under the condition that he bring in a new DC.  If someone like Mullen (who runs the exact same offense at Miss. St.) answers the call, then Rich Rod can go.  But it has to be a good fit, a person with proven defense and similar offense.  Michigan prides itself on not being trigger happy with coaches.  We should maintain that tradition and proceed very carefully with the coaching situation. 


October 31st, 2010 at 11:47 PM ^

I agree with you completely.  All of us who are fans of Michigan football need to think:  what is in our best LONG TERM interests?  If RR can get it together (starting to look like a bigger if each season), the we would be fools to let him go.

If we are confident that we can find a better coach for the LONG TERM then we should fire him.

As many have said, DB is going to earn his money at the end of the season.  And really until Michigan football is back to being a top 25 team, at the least.

From what I know, I think we need to keep RR around two more years.  However, I am finding it harder and harder to argue against those who think he should be fired.


October 31st, 2010 at 2:24 PM ^

and apologize.  I apparently, but don't remember because I got so drunk, went on a rant that lasted minutes.  I found out that it was recorded by one of the wifeys.  I have been told that it was very funny, but also kind of sad.  I have amazing friends and was with most of them last night.  I am really tired of having to phone them the morning after a Michigan game and apologize for being a douchebag.  I know my wife is concerned that I have a drinking problem.  I really don't think that I do.  It's that I can't handle watching Michigan lose games like that.  That's my fucking problem.

For some reason, however, I think the catharsis of that rant has me feeling relatively cleansed.  I have a peculiar optimism for next week.  


October 31st, 2010 at 2:39 PM ^

only the same rock solid belief that this team needs a new voice, a new coach, and a new reality.  It is what it is, it is not working.  If it was going to, it would have already happened to a measurable degree.   I say Jim Harbaugh should be on speed dial.  He is a can't miss opportunity, and I believe his interest in this job is set to expire soon. 

This does not have a happy ending.  I think it is time to accept it, treat RR as a man trying to preserve dignity on the way out, and understand that there are peaks and valleys for every team in this sport.  This is a valley, a deep one, and true M fans need to gain some perspective and see this for what it is; the beginning of the end for an idea with great promise, but one that needs to come to an end for the program, the players, and for RR himself.  He is struggling, and any future expectations of greatness here and now are unfair and misguided. 

The sun will rise again for the Victors, but knowing when enough is enough is a core aspect of virture. 

Go Blue.


October 31st, 2010 at 3:03 PM ^

However, at the end of this season or the 2011 season he may be a head coach in the NFL. I met Bo's old cardiologist who is very good friends with the Harbaughs. He told me that Jim's dream job is being head coach of Michigan.  So if RR doesn't work out and Jim is still available he will be coaching here if the University offers him the job!

Jim is the only coach who could turn this team around fast.  Though I'm still holding out hope that RR will turn this team around in the next year or two.


October 31st, 2010 at 5:40 PM ^

For you or anyone else who wants to read ijohnb.   The Harbaugh thing might be stupid because it is impossible from a logistical standpoint or because we may already have a brilliant coach ready to break through big time or because continuity is the wise route. But it isn't stupid based on the merits of Harbaugh's tangible coaching accomplishments or abilities.

Proud of Jim.  That 07 spat aside, I think he is representing us very well as a big time coach.


October 31st, 2010 at 2:47 PM ^

Whoever thinks rr needs to be fired is an idiot. He showed us what he can do on offense and I'm impressed. We didn't have trouble scoring we had problems stopping them. When rr step in front of Greg the defense made the great sack. We need someone as fired up as rich to replace Greg. I really think he needs to go. Yes we don't have talent on defense but our defense got outcoached big time. And also the fundamentals aren't there. We can't tackle and we don't know how to cover. That's things you are coached in practice.