Being Dave Brandon Comment Count

Brian November 29th, 2010 at 4:15 PM

From this point on I don't care about the following opinions on what Rich Rodriguez deserves after three years:

  • Mine
  • Yours, unless you are Dave Brandon (call me)

I also don't have anything that's definitive. We know that there is no McMahon-style "you're firrrrrrrred" press conference today, and given the way things work that means Rodriguez will be the coach through the bowl game. We know that the rumors were heavy enough for Dave Brandon to personally debunk them on the twitters. We can read the withering sarcasm between the lines of this from Brandon…

image

…and if it's not withering sarcasm* I don't want to know.

I've got some stuff in the inbox and from elsewhere. A bit of it says Rodriguez is getting fired, period, citing "impeccable sources." Another from before the OSU game reports second hand that Harbaugh "has an offer" while expressing skepticism at the nature of the information given its timing—what if Michigan had won Saturday? Some other stuff has filtered to me via talkative former players all saying "canned," as well.

The part I trust—the one that called Brandon as the likely new AD and tipped me off about the Alabama game—is far from certain except about one thing: anyone who says anything with certainty is full of it. Brandon keeps his own counsel and makes his own decisions. Since Brandon has a direct line to the obvious head coaching candidate there will be no search committee or consultants tapped or planning, cutting off virtually all of the usual leak sources. It's unlikely anyone has anything until hours before it breaks, at which point it will be everywhere.

I'm not inclined to put much in the widespread chatter that had RR out the door after the OSU game and seems to be continuing since its sourcing seems to be pissed-off-you-guys folk clearly unhappy with the state of the program taking small interactions and interpreting them as they desire. However, the vibe I'm getting from other people who seem to be on the fence about what to do—or at least close to it—also makes it seem unlikely Rodriguez is back. Emphasis on all the qualifying words in the previous sentence, please. I've got nothing solid because no one does.

In the event that happens, Harbaugh is the obvious #1 guy, with the main sticking point being Harbaugh's willingness to accept the imposition of a silly, off-putting buyout in case any NFL teams get ideas. It sounds like if the decision is made to pursue Harbaugh, something will be worked out and he will be introduced essentially immediately. They won't get rid of Rodriguez unless they know they have the next coach lined up.

So… that's what I've got. I'm uncertain about everything. I guess that's good from a program standpoint, but it's frustrating when the next month will see Michigan's future hang in the balance with nothing trustworthy to put a foot on.

*(Not specifically about Desmond, who tweeted a couple things about how he had faith in Brandon to make the decision. More the "Appreciate the passion & interest," random talk-radio raver.)

Comments

Communist Football

November 29th, 2010 at 5:20 PM ^

For this thoughtful sentiment.

Use your reasoning to understand that only fools invest substantial time, money and effort in a project—with no guarantees ever—only to give up just before they can actually reap some benefits. 

I've spent my entire life watching Michigan lose to mobile QBs asking, "why can't that guy be on our team."  Now that he finally is on our team, most people want to go in another direction.  It's very sad.

Michigan4Life

November 29th, 2010 at 5:22 PM ^

but your point on Mallett is incorrect.  Mallett was already set to transfer regardless of the coach and hiring RR was a perfect excuse for Mallett to transfer back to Arkansas.  The three reasons why he transfered are:

1. He was homesick and didn't like it at Michigan

2. Mitch Mustain was gone from Arkansas and Arkansas would have been his 1st choice back in his recruiting days

3. He wasn't well-liked by most teammates

 

A couple of players have told me that Mallett was looking to transfer immediately after the season is over.  The perception of Mallett transferring because RR ran him off is not true.

M-Wolverine

November 29th, 2010 at 8:22 PM ^

4 of the "worst losses" in Lloyd's history (by Freep, not you) include 2 teams that should have been frickin' National Champs (Oregon, Tennessee) and two probably lesser teams but lead by unreal performances by a couple of guys named Donovan McNabb and Drew Brees (whatever happened to them anyway...?).

DGlenn26

November 29th, 2010 at 8:54 PM ^

I think you may be giving this team too much credit compared Carr's 7-5 squad.  I count that team as 7-4 after getting completely and utterly jobbed by the refs in the Alamo Bowl.  Further, that team was much better than this one as it lost close games to teams it shouldn't have lost to - Minnesota - while this team has one win against a 1-AA opponent and gets absolutely train-wrecked by every team with a >.500 record in conference. 

OysterMonkey

November 30th, 2010 at 9:31 AM ^

That's great to point out. Carr was a great coach, and I'm not sure why so many who want to make the case for RR feel like they have to denigrate Carr to do it. But lets go ahead and compare them.

Here are the bad, putrid, awful losses that RR has compiled in just three years:

2008:

  • 45-20 to Illinois
  • 13-10 at home to a godawful Toledo squad
  • 46-17 to Penn State
  • 42-7 to OSU

2009:

  • 35-10 to PSU
  • 38-13 to Illinois
  • 45-24 to Wisconsin

2010:

  • 48-28 to Wisconsin
  • 37-7 to OSU
  • double digit losses to MSU, PSU and IA

That's nine terrible, mostly uncompetitive losses in three years.

Half of the games you mentioned as "bad" losses under Carr were within a touchdown. How many times were Lloyd Carr teams blown out like Michigan has been blown out the last three years? Did Lloyd ever lose to OSU by five touchdowns?

Even just looking at the last three years of Carr, in which everyone seemed so set on getting rid of him, he had more wins against good opponents and rivals than RR has managed.

  • 2005: MSU, PSU, Iowa
  • 2006: beat PSU and had 9 double digit wins, including over MSU, Iowa, ND, Wisconsin,  and was one win away from playing for a national championship
  • 2007: beat Florida, MSU, and PSU, destroyed ND and Purdue

Under Carr UM routinely beat bad teams handily, and lost to good teams, periodically losing to someone they shouldn't have

Under RR, Michigan wins games against bad or mediocre teams (often closer than they ought to be), loses to some bad or mediocre teams, and is not really competitive in games against quality opponents. What quality wins does Rodriguez have at Michigan? UW 2008? ND or UConn 2010? Do those count?

I'm not saying this b/c I think RR should go. I don't think he should. I've always thought that a coach should get five years unless there is little evidence that things are getting better. I hope that he is able to make Michigan great, or even as good as they were under Carr, but I'm not entirely sure I really expect it.

michfan4borw

November 30th, 2010 at 10:21 AM ^

I wrote: "Before listing the ten losses, remember that Coach Carr had more losses than these and many more wins overall as noted above:"

I also point to his 10 "worst" losses, according to the freep.com, only to remind ourselves of the media's criticism--to generate money for publications--of Michigan's program that our fan base eats up regularly. 

I also highlighted Carr's career and stated my opinion that he was a great coach.  How exactly is this denigrating him? 

As for direct comparisons, Coach Carr's circumstances starting as head coach Michigan after Moeller were far different and better than those for Coach Rodriguez.  Additionally your comparison seems to ignore the fact that Carr has 13 years at Michigan while Coach Rodriguez has three.  Not a very fair comparison is it?

OysterMonkey

November 30th, 2010 at 11:12 AM ^

which is why part of why I said I don't think he should go now.

I took your point to be that we shouldn't want a return to Carr-style football because of losses like these ten listed. If that's not your point, then I think I missed it. Otherwise, why bring up Coach Carr?

But whether he should be the coach has very little to do with whether LLoyd Carr had bad losses.

Whether RR stays or goes should be based on what he's done with what he has. Well, at this point he hasn't done much, but he hasn't had much to work with either. Some of the latter is on Carr, some of it is on RR, some of it is bad luck etc.

I don't think we have enough evidence yet  to show that he isn't going to succeed, so I don't think he should be out. But you have to admit that there isn't a ton of evidence pointing in the direction of him making the team truly competitive with upper eschelon teams anytime soon.

jhackney

November 29th, 2010 at 4:53 PM ^

the TEAM no matter what, but I would like to see RR stay. Three years and out doesn't sit well with me. After next year? Sure if we have another year with major doubts. I just think three years is too hasty.

New Meme by his Dudeness: This sucks.

I wish we had a time machine.

Zone Left

November 29th, 2010 at 5:21 PM ^

Send a random guy back to 2007 saying:

"There's a black President with a middle name of Hussein, the US is in the midst of a disasterous recession, Auburn is #1 (but Tuberville was fired), Ron Zook is still employed by Illinois, Lane Kiffin (that Lane Kiffin) is USC's head coach, Twitter exists, and Michigan got Rich Rodriguez to become its head coach but the team has since let up over 1000 points and hasn't beaten a team that finished ranked in three years while Stanford(!) is in the AP Top 10 at 11-1 with Jim Harbaugh as the head coach."

I think the most plausible item is probably the Stanford bit.

profitgoblue

November 29th, 2010 at 5:05 PM ^

What happens to all of the recruits that signed on with Rodriguez?  I know this happens with all coaching transitions but I've grown "close" to Hart and all of the other Rodriguez recruits during my time in the MGoCommunity.  Most importantly, what happens to Denard?????  Why would he stay when he could run a high-powered spread offense at one of the many other schools?  I love Michigan and assume he does too, but does he love it enough to stay after the coach that had so much faith in him is sh-t-canned?

WolvinLA2

November 29th, 2010 at 5:54 PM ^

If I'm Denard, I don't leave.  A couple things:  He already has the record for the most rushing yards as a college QB under his belt, and with a solid bowl game could have the NCAA rushing crown for the year as well. 

However, as a big time QB, your emphasis is one two things - winning and preparing yourself for the NFL.  It's honestly a toss-up who will win more in 2011 and 2012, but Harbaugh has shown he can win, and I bet Denard will recognize this.  The other aspect is the NFL - it would be hard to argue that RR is better at preparing a player at any position better for the NFL than Harbaugh.  If Denard wants to be an NFL QB, Harbaugh will be the best to get him there.  If Denard thinks WR or RB is his best bet for the NFL, Harbaugh's system will give him a chance to hone those skills in a pro-style offense before the combine/draft. 

His last 2 years might not be as prolific (but then again they might be), but for the long term it would actually benefit Denard to have Harbaugh.

jamiemac

November 29th, 2010 at 6:05 PM ^

I hope you are correct. Denard said he really likes Ann Arbor and he is half way through his college career.  I cant believe the same rash of immediate attrition would occur like 2008 again. That still seems so unprecedented. I keep telling myself somebody is winning big with these kids. Hopefully I'm not fooling myself into believing it.

LBIII

November 29th, 2010 at 6:54 PM ^

Or maybe he does leave because Urban has already called. He has told Denard about the bus that runs through Deerfield to pick up Florida fans for the games. He has told Denard about the advantages of a redshirt year with a full time quarterback coach working on his few weaknesses. He has told Denard about the statue of his smile that will sit right on top of the Tebow plaque after he wins 2 trophies. If you don't think that call will be made you are kidding yourself.

RR in two full recruiting classes has brought in two game changing program changing athletes that Michigan never gets. I know DD was a stretch and did not end up getting in but in the past these guys didn't consider M. These type of athletes are having their eyes opened and will continue to come more than one at a time.

Hey, I understand if you can't live with RR, I personally want him to stay. But please don't go back to the old way of doing things (JH). It is that kind of thinking that has already doomed the state.

M-Wolverine

November 29th, 2010 at 8:30 PM ^

Recruiting hasn't been primarily among them. If you think we haven't had game changing athletes before...you haven't been paying attention. (And one we didn't even get...really? Do we know he was going to be better than Donovan Warren, no more any of our truly great CBs?)

grumpy130lm

November 29th, 2010 at 4:54 PM ^

Im sure we have all aad emotions crashing thru us like ocean waves but DB is going to make the right decision! DB being a Michigan man thru and thru knows how our proud football tradition weaves us fans together. We are the greatest college football fans anywhere and many of us are in pain from the past 3 years, granted we ARE going to the first bowl game, but pain nevertheless. I know none of us wants a repeat of that HUGE DEBACLE with Les Miles, our fans cannot take another shot to the chin like that. All you have to do is look to the Miami Hurricane boards to see what they are going thru with the Jon Gruden fiasco....WE DO NOT WANT NEEDLESS BLATHERING OR GUESSING OR PONTIFICATING....WE WANT A COACH TO LEAD US OUT OF THE DEPTHS OF OUR DESPAIR AND BACK TO THE GLORY THAT IS RIGHTFULLY OURS!! GO BLUE!!!

Sorry for all the caps....

RoxyMtnHiM

November 29th, 2010 at 4:55 PM ^

Waiting until after the bowl game because that is when the season is over seems pretty arbitrary to me actually. The season doesn't really end at all. It just transition to recruiting, then spring ball... The right time to make a change is as soon as you're convinced a change needs to be made, and if you suspect a change might need to be made, then you get into the consideration of it immediately, no? But it is noble, not to mention strategic, of DB to let the team play out the season intact.

FrankMurphy

November 29th, 2010 at 5:41 PM ^

That's what makes me think that there's more going on behind the scenes that we don't know about. It's a little odd to fire a coach after a bowl game; these decisions are almost always made after the regular season because of the effect they have on recruiting. Conversely, if he's going to give Rodriguez a fourth year, there's no reason he shouldn't announce it now.

Brandon understands how a football program is run, which leads me to suspect that his "I'll evaluate the program after the bowl game" stance is a smokescreen for some back-channel deal with Harbaugh that Rodriguez might even be in on (i.e., he's already been told that he likely won't get a fourth year but hasn't been publicly fired yet to allow him to arrange a soft landing for himself and ensure a smooth transition for all parties). 

tubauberalles

November 30th, 2010 at 11:30 PM ^

Isn't it possible that by framing his decision process as a standard performance review that he's already made his mind up?  If there was a firing offense, he'd have fired him.  If it's a performance issue, there's an action plan for improvement and periodic reviews/status checks, then any necessary repercussions.  When his contract is up for renewal, his performance against the action plan and his performance review measures will be taken into account and any offer to extend employment will follow that.  Or not.

 

Dolokhov

November 29th, 2010 at 4:57 PM ^

Thank you for this post, I appreciate it, particularly since in my almost 40 years I cannot recall as divisive and "up in the air" time in Michigan Football. While I'm on the side of the fence that would really like to see Rich Rodriguez remain our head football coach, I have a WHOLE LOT less insider information than some of the folks on this board and I have absolutely no idea how this will pan out. 

That said, one thing I've considered is a perspective on UM "constituency," i.e. While I'm supportive of retaining Rich Rodriguez, I am first and foremost a Michigan Man and - though I'll be disappointed if he is let go - I'll still be "All In" and excited for UM Football and Jim Harbaugh (or whoever the next head coach may potentially be). On the flip-side, the passionate call (and passionate venom in some quarters) from my brothers and sisters on the other side of the fence calling for a new head coach is somewhere between STRONG-SCARY FANATICAL, and I suspect there may be more "Pissed Off Pete / Patricia" types if Rich gets a 4th year than there would be folks jumping off the Ship Wolverine if Dave Brandon decides to go in a different direction.

Just a thought and, along with the Michigan family on both sides of the fence, I will simply wait and see, wrap up the Michigan gear for the kids this Christmas season, continue to teach them "Hail to the Victors," and look forward to supporting UM, UM Football, the Kids, and whoever is leading our program going forward.

Dolokhov

November 29th, 2010 at 4:57 PM ^

Thank you for this post, I appreciate it, particularly since in my almost 40 years I cannot recall as divisive and "up in the air" time in Michigan Football. While I'm on the side of the fence that would really like to see Rich Rodriguez remain our head football coach, I have a WHOLE LOT less insider information than some of the folks on this board and I have absolutely no idea how this will pan out. 

That said, one thing I've considered is a perspective on UM "constituency," i.e. While I'm supportive of retaining Rich Rodriguez, I am first and foremost a Michigan Man and - though I'll be disappointed if he is let go - I'll still be "All In" and excited for UM Football and Jim Harbaugh (or whoever the next head coach may potentially be). On the flip-side, the passionate call (and passionate venom in some quarters) from my brothers and sisters on the other side of the fence calling for a new head coach is somewhere between STRONG-SCARY FANATICAL, and I suspect there may be more "Pissed Off Pete / Patricia" types if Rich gets a 4th year than there would be folks jumping off the Ship Wolverine if Dave Brandon decides to go in a different direction.

Just a thought and, along with the Michigan family on both sides of the fence, I will simply wait and see, wrap up the Michigan gear for the kids this Christmas season, continue to teach them "Hail to the Victors," and look forward to supporting UM, UM Football, the Kids, and whoever is leading our program going forward.

Dolokhov

November 29th, 2010 at 5:24 PM ^

Of course, on the flip side of my above post, perhaps waiting for another month allows some time for some distance from the regular season (and the bad losses to Wisconsin and OSU) for the emotive/reactive "Fire RichRod" sentiment to die down, and for Dave Brandon to cooly support Rich Rodriguez for a 4th year without jumping into the middle of a fire on either side of the fence. Again, I've no idea at all, but since Dave Brandon is seemingly doing such a solid job of keeping everything close to the vest, we exist in a world called conjecture, I suppose.  

RadioSimon1983

November 29th, 2010 at 5:02 PM ^

I am all in for Michigan.  So if Big Bird is Michigan's coach, I'm behind the decision.  I am not a huge fan of Harbaugh for what he said about Michigan when he took the job at Stanford, but if that's who the Sports Administration feels will do the best with Michigan, then that's who I support.  For now, I'm behind RR.  I love his offense and believe the defense is very fixable.

CincyBlue

November 29th, 2010 at 5:09 PM ^

That David Brandon is the right man for the job and this decision.

That having a coach locked up before you fire one is the right thing to do.

Even waiting to save $1.5M is a smart more. 

My concern is with this recruiting class.  If RR is hanging in the wind, do we lose Dee Hart and others?   If RR is let go this week and Harbaugh is hired you still get a chance to save the class and get the guys enrolling early. 

Signing day would only be a month away from the decision day for Brandon and the kids enrolling early would most likely already be enrolled. 

David

November 29th, 2010 at 5:14 PM ^

I think Brandon is currently underestimating the importance of stability in building a winning program. By deferring his decision on Rich Rod's future, he increases uncertainty, undermines recruiting efforts, and effectively reduces the probability of a long, successful tenure (i.e., whatever that probability may be, it is definitely reduced). In short, Brandon's decision to not make a decision is not neutral.

What more information does Brandon need? Either buck up and give a show of support, or let him go. Stasis hurts all parties.

mackbru

November 29th, 2010 at 9:21 PM ^

I think we've lowered our definition of great. Great used to be top-five. Right now we're about 25th. Zettel and Frost are essential. With them, we'd end up somewhere between 15 and 20, tops.

Jeffy Fresh

November 29th, 2010 at 5:21 PM ^

I just got the AK in COD, and I can "boom, headshot" much better.  It distracts me for at least an hour out of the day, before my sickness brings me back to this site for self-torture.  Why do I do this to myself?  I guess that's what makes us great, our passion for this team.  But it hurts so good.

FrankMurphy

November 29th, 2010 at 5:17 PM ^

Dave Brandon seems like a guy who is decisive but plays things close to the vest until he's ready to make his decision. My "personal ennui" (to borrow a phrase from Brian) tells me that he'll give Rodriguez a 4th year with an ultimatum to clean house on his defensive coaching staff and will announce in a statement after the bowl game that Rodriguez will be back in '11. Then again, my personal ennui in late 2007 told me that Michigan would never hire a total outsider like Rodriguez. 

I would love to believe that this whole "I'll evaluate after the bowl game" line is just a smokescreen and that Brandon is putting together a secret deal behind the scenes that allows Rodriguez time to explore some future employment options before a face-saving resignation and Harbaugh to be introduced as the new head coach shortly after the bowl game.