Those Who Stayed

Submitted by Brian on October 3rd, 2011 at 11:56 AM

10/1/2011 – Michigan 58, Minnesota 0 – 5-0, 1-0 Big Ten

seniors-jug

via Mike Martin and Marissa McClain of the Daily

In the depths of Michigan's worst season ever (if you can't divide) or in a damn long time (if you can) they travelled to the Metrodome to take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Michigan was 2-7 and without the services of their starting quarterback. Minnesota was 7-2 and in possession of a functional offense. I was posting pictures of Death because Nick Sheridan was going to play the entire game. We were going to hit rock bottom when the Gophers picked up the jug they see once a decade, if that. "Henry Kissinger" was amongst the things projected to be more fun than the Jug game.

Because football is strange, Michigan waltzed into Minneapolis and annihilated the Gophers. The final score was 29-6; total yardage was 435-188. Nick Sheridan completed 60% of his passes and almost eclipsed 7 YPA. Justin Feagin averaged 7 yards a carry.

It was a crazy exception to the nigh-unrelenting misery of 2008. Yeah, they fluked their way into a win over Wisconsin despite getting outgained by 100 yards. Minnesota was different. If you had no knowledge of the context you would have thought it was a year like any other, a Michigan team like any other. Michigan did what they do to Minnesota: beat them without a second thought.

This week multiple newspaper folk took the time to tell people the Jug doesn't matter, but when that awful Michigan team locked arms and walked over to Jon Falk to lift up the only thing they'd held onto, it mattered. Paul Bunyan, the bowl streak, most people's sanity, all of the street cred, and huge chunks of the dignity were gone. The Jug remained.

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Martin, Koger, Molk, and Van Bergen were freshmen on that team. Molk started. Koger, Van Bergen, and Martin played but didn't acquire stats. Recruited by Carr, they stuck it out under Rodriguez. Many of their teammates didn't.

As a reward the four above started down a path towards the least rewarding Michigan careers in decades, through little or no fault of their own. You can win Big Ten championships with those four guys as prominent starters. You have to have other people to play football around them, though, and maybe a coach or two who can tell the difference between a stuffed beaver and a 4-3 under. Michigan didn't.

In 2008 they had little on the field and even less off it. According to John Bacon's Three and Out, Lloyd Carr signed off on Justin Boren's transfer to Ohio State and upstanding citizen Jim Tressel. Morgan Trent half-assed his way through the season and tossed bombs at Rodriguez afterwards. Toney Clemons and Greg Mathews would act as sources for the Free Press jihad shortly after the season. Given the result of that investigation it's clear they did so entirely out of spite. Brandon Minor would rail on about how leadership was going to happen in 2009 as people whispered that he was a major source of its lack in 2008. There's probably never been a more dysfunctional Michigan team, and it started from the top.

Freshmen learn from seniors. This is the way of the world. Usually they learn how to be, how to maintain the standards of the program they walked into. The four guys above did it a different way: they learned what not to do. When it came time to meet for the first time in the Hoke era, they decided not to repeat the recent past. Mike Martin:

"‘What are we going to do as a team? Where are we now? We can either not be all in and do what we need to do, or we can work hard together and make sure we’re successful.’ ”

Hoke was also in the room. He remembered Robinson being upset at the media speculating his departure. He remembered fifth-year senior center David Molk getting up in that same meeting and telling everybody the team was going to stick together. …

“When (Robinson) came to us, he was addressing that we as a group — including him — need to make sure that none of the younger guys have doubtful thoughts or might want to stray away,” Martin said. “We didn't want there to be a repeat of last time there was a transfer of a coach.”

Meanwhile, Van Bergen called out the program alums who'd drifted away when times got tough. The message was clear: this is our program. We've been here for four years and gotten nothing but crap. We've paid more dues than anyone in the last 40 years of Michigan football, and now we'd like some payoff.

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That payoff was going to be an Alamo Bowl at best. But the seniors' effort, Greg Mattison's expertise, Denard Robinson's existence, the Big Ten's complete horribleness, and Brady Hoke's rectal horseshoe now tempt hope.

Michigan State can't run or stay within three scores of Notre Dame. Nebraska can't throw or keep a good running offense under 30 points. Iowa can't beat Iowa State. It may be a division race on par with one of those years Wake Forest won the ACC, but by God there is a tinny flimsy division championship there to be acquired. Even if it wouldn't be much—in all likelihood it would be a historical footnote after a curbstomping at the hands of Wisconsin—it would at least somewhat fulfill a promise Bo made when he arrived in 1969.

No one's deserved it more than the four guys above. It's relatively easy to be a "Michigan Man" when it's handed down to you. Koger, Martin, Molk, and Van Bergen had to figure it out on their own. They stayed, and figured it out when available evidence suggested being a Michigan Man was endorsing transfers to Free Tattoo University, telling recruits to go to Michigan State, and selling out your own program to a couple of hacks.

A few years ago on the eve of the Ohio State game that ended to that miserable 2008 season I wrote a thing about being an anchorless mid-20s person who is uncertain of where to go or who to be and is sad as a result. In that piece I envisioned Michigan's coaches telling their charges how to get out of this hole:

Some of you will stay. And you will go insane. You will work, and you will work, and we will build something here from nothing. Because, make no mistake, this is nothing. You will build something out of this. If you're a senior next year and you teach some freshman something, you will build something. If you're a freshman and you refuse to quit on your stupid decision, you will build something.

What you build will be yours. Few in the great history of his university have had that opportunity. Everything came based on what came before. They were part of a great chain, now broken.

Those of you who stay will forge a new one, starting today. When we are done we will fix the last link to the broken chain, and break the first link, and tell those who come after us to live up to it.

Whether or not Michigan manages a championship, flimsy or real, Michigan's seniors have done this. This Is Michigan again because they stayed.

Non-Bullets Of Domination

Photogallery. Via the Ann Arbor Observer and Eric Upchurch:

A favorite:

devin-denard-postgame

The two QB formation thing. So that was something. That and the double pass touchdown reminded me of that Indiana game prior to Football Armageddon (IIRC) when Michigan dumped out a zillion trick plays to force the opponent to prepare for extra stuff. I didn't like it then and hope that's not the case now, not least because after the first play the thing seemed pretty effective. Gardner implied that was not the case:

“It’s really, really dangerous. We’ve also got Fitzgerald Toussaint back there and Vincent Smith," he said. "You’re going to have to wait and see. It’s going to be pretty dangerous.”

Items:

What to call it? Hoke refused to answer a direct question about what we should call it, so it's up to us. Vincent Smith suggests "two," which is a little bland. Ace got a "diamond of doom" suggestion on Twitter; while that's catchy it's also long and jinxtastic. Naturally, Ace wants to extend it to "Denard and Devin's Diamond of Doom" because it abbreviates to DDDD and if there's one thing Ace likes it's repetitive hexadecimal numbers.

But that's long and a bit awkward. Since it's a goofy, misdirection-heavy everyone's-a-QB thing that reminds people of the Mad Magicians I propose calling it "Fritz." It's not exactly what Crisler used to do…

…but what "Fritz" lacks in outright accuracy it makes up for in Getting-Itness.

[BONUS extreme history nerd BONUS: This has set frequent correspondent John Kryk alight with references to not Crisler but Notre Dame's Frank Leahy, who deployed a T formation with a close resemblance to Fritz.

image

Michigan sort of ran the above. Kryk actually has a diagram in which the T looks identical to Fritz:

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I'm pretty sure we'll all way too abuzz about a formation we'll see maybe a half-dozen times the rest of the season, but old-timey football is always cool to see in the flesh. It's why Georgia Tech games remain an abiding fascination.]

Why does the outside pitch not bother me so much in that formation? When we run the I-form fake-dive-to-pitch it's just asking the opposition to key on the running back flying out to the corner because Michigan never runs the dive, and even if they did defenses are like "BFD." When we ran it from Fritz it played off the earlier speed option.

Is it a tenable package against real opposition? If the wildcat can work I don't see why this can't.

Triple option? May be on the way.

Records. Some happened. Smith's touchdown cycle had not been accomplished in the modern era:

It was the first time a player has ran, thrown and passed for a score in modern Michigan football history (post-World War II).

That seemed like a given. I'm waiting for MVictors to dig up the dude who managed it in 1923, because I know it's happened and I know he will.

helmets-numbers

via Eric Upchurch and the Ann Arbor Observer.

Our helmets have wings… and numbers! Let's avoid the inevitable Rodriguez tradition rehash. It's already been done. Personal opinion of them: whateva. On a scale from 10 to –10 where 10 is Denard, –10 is Pop Evil, and 0 is total indifference I'm a –0.1. I'd rather not have the uniforms futzed with but the numbers have some history to them, don't look terrible, and are a minor adjustment.

I think Hoke should say he'll yank 'em if they lose, though.

On-field takeaways. Minnesota is very not good—we were playing a pretend game where the Gophers got a touchdown every time they crossed midfield and a point every time they succesfully fielded a kickoff and they still lost by 30. So disclaimers apply.

That said: Denard throwing to his receivers—and getting the opportunity to hit some short, confidence-building throws—was encouraging, as was the almost total lack of I-form even deep into the third quarter. That seems like an abandonment. If they were still working on it they would have pulled it out just to practice it, no?

Short stuff. AnnArbor.com's Kyle Mienke notes that of Michigan's first 11 passes, eight were five yards or less. He categorizes that crazy seam to Hopkins as "another was over the top to a leaking fullback," which is a goofy thing to try to lump into easy passes for Denard confidence. That was pure DO.

Patrick Omameh. Some evidence he might be struggling in the new offense: he was left on the field much longer than any of the other starters save Schofield, who was forced into the starting lineup by the Barnum injury and was granted time at tackle late.

Possible liberation society addendum. I'm so over the rollouts. It seems like the only way to get Denard Robinson pressured is to roll him out into unblocked contain defenders, which Michigan does plenty. If you leave him in the pocket people are terrified to get out of their lanes and he usually has a lot of time. If you put him on the edge against defenses keying on him he doesn't get outside and he has to make rushed throws on the move that seem to be more inaccurate than his usual ones.

I guess the rollouts do open up the throwback stuff, which has been very successful. And they did insert a heavy dose of sprint draw (AKA That Goddamned Counter Draw), something I've been pleading for since Rodriguez's arrival. So they might be developing a package there. They've got to figure out how to block it.

FWIW, I wasn't a fan of showing the sprint draw against an incompetent opponent. I'd rather Michigan's future opponents not prepare for a potentially game-breaking play. But I've got no evidence behind that.

Field goals. We haz them?

Here

Hoke for tomorrow is getting a little ahead of itself:

It is not hard to see the qualities of Bo in Brady Hoke.  At first I cringed at his seeming overconfidence, at his seeming overuse of Bo-isms, and wondered if he was trying too hard to win Michigan fans' hearts with his bravado.  I don't doubt the man any longer. Brady Hoke has a Bo-like level of expectations for those he leads.  He has expectations of effort, execution, and yes "toughness" that no coach since Bo has required from both his players and his staff.  Hoke isn't making Michigan great again by being an innovator on either side of the ball; he is acquiring the best available parts, constructing a beast-machine, and driving the thing to eventual domination.

These feelings must be fought until the Michigan State game. ST3 goes inside the box score:

This is the section where I discuss turnovers and other momentum changing plays. There was one burst of impetus in this game. Minnesota kicked off to start the game. That's it. They were never in it. I bet that "adjusted winning percentage" diary shows us pegged at 100% for the duration.

Lloyd Brady is unstoppable.

Elsewhere

Media as in files. Melanie Maxwell's Ann Arbor.com gallery.

100111_SPT_MICHIGAN_MINN_JNS_01_fullsize[1]

WHY DID YOU GIVE ME CANCER GOLDY
i… I was just trying to field a kickoff

MNB Nation gallery and some pregame shots. MVictors gets various field shots, including one of Will Hagerup's shoes:

purple2_thumb[1]

I think he may have altered that shot but will check. Greg also has a bunch of jug pictures. Troy Woolfolk posted this on his twitter:

x2_8942dfb[1]

The explanation: "My girl is always experimenting on me." I have no idea? I have no idea.

And finally, eagle-eyed mgouser M Fanfare caught an epic double point from Hoke:

brady-hoke-epic-double-point

In other Brady Hoke Points At Stuff news, Brady Hoke points at stuff.

Media, as in unwashed internet rabble. I have no idea what "Everybody pants now" means, but if you watch Parks and Rec you probably do. Amongst Adam Jacobi's things he learned in the conference this week:

So while it's easy to just say "But 2010" whenever someone mentions the fact that Michigan is still undefeated, there's one difference that's crucial to point out: the defense is showing up too. Last season, Michigan gave up over 25 points per game in its first five games. This year? 10.2. Yes, it's relevant that 31 points came against Notre Dame in a game the Wolverines had zero business winning and 20 came against tomato cans like Eastern Michigan and Minnesota, but consider that Michigan also spanked Western Michigan 34-10, and that's a Broncos team that came up just shy in a 23-20 loss at Illinois and just took a 38-31 win at Connecticut. So yes, given the context we've got, Michigan is not just pulling a 2010.

Jacobi's still not banking on Michigan "surviving" our "brutal November," but if not surviving means not winning the division instead of collapsing to 7-5 I don't think Michigan fans are going to be too peeved.

Touch the Banner:

Blake Countess is the next Leon Hall.  Yep, I said it.  Minnesota doesn't have the greatest talent in the world, but Countess has looked pretty darn good for two weeks in a row.  Courtney Avery had a nice 83-yard fumble return for a touchdown, but Avery has been getting beaten more regularly than any of Michigan's other corners this year.  He's still not bad, but it looks like Countess will grab a starting spot sooner rather than later.

The Hoover Street Rag notes it was appropriate that Michigan tried a transcontinental-type play on the same day they honored John Navarre, though in that case they were attempting a double pass, not a run. Was anyone else OUTRAGED that the Navarre highlight package didn't include the Buffalo Stampede? That's like having an Alan Branch highlight package without the Morelli elimination.

Holdin' the Rope:

That was an old school Michigan blowout, like the ones you'd watch on ESPN Plus (memory lane, you are there now) back in the day, where nothing was ever in doubt and The Law was that Michigan would average a billion yards a carry under a grumpy Michigan sky. It's always the ideal of overindulgence, and if anything it's a reminder of how far we've come since 2008 when beating Minnesota on the road was considered an upset.

Maize and Go Blue likes getting it. BWS hates RR for not getting it.

Media as in newspaper type things. Brian Bennett's take from the ESPN Big Ten blog:

f and when Minnesota can get back to being competitive in the Big Ten, the Gophers can use Saturday's game as a motivational tool.

Hopefully for them, they'll remember this as rock bottom. Because Michigan blew the doors off Jerry Kill's team in a 58-0 humiliation at the Big House. The Wolverines have dominated this Little Brown Jug series for the last 40 years, but Saturday's margin of victory was the largest in the long-running semi-rivalry. It was the fifth-largest win in Michigan history, and that's a lot of history there.

Are we seriously declaring a knee to end the game as a failed redzone opportunity, News?

For Michigan, this game was a chance to flex its muscles offensively and defensively, add a few wrinkles and give as many players as possible — in this case, 71 — an opportunity to play. Michigan was 8-of-9 in the red zone against the Gophers and is now 21-of-22 for the season (17 touchdowns and four field goals).

No, we are not.

Via the Daily, some facts that sum up last year's field goal kicking:

The three field goals were each career longs [for Gibbons] at the time, starting from 25 yards and going to 32 yards and to 38 yards. In five games this season he’s missed just one field goal — a 40-yard try against San Diego State.

Jennings on Vincent Smith's diverse day. Rothstein on Michigan's domination.

Comments

coastal blue

October 3rd, 2011 at 5:50 PM ^

"Brady Hoke, on the other hand, I do know. I know the old Michigan way. I played on a few of  Carr's teams. And Hoke has done everything he can to bring the old ways back. I don't think it is coincidence that we are winning again."

So, you're wrong. But excellent try in your neverending quest to try and defend something that need not be defended.

Edit: Just to clarify, you can clearly see that his position is that we are winning again because we have returned to the old (traditional) ways. I am arguing that it has nothing to do with a return to past form, but rather different circumstances. So your idea that I am somehow arguing against an opinion isn't there is completely wrong. 

coastal blue

October 3rd, 2011 at 10:40 PM ^

Is a real straw man.

What you guys, the group that thinks that Lloyd Carr was actually Bo come back from the dead, actually think is that "the old ways" as this guy puts it, somehow translate to victory simply because they are the "old ways".

If that was the case, under Lloyd Carr, Michigan would not have been embarassed at home by an FCS team. They wouldn't have gotten shelled by Oregon the next week. They wouldn't have lost 3 out of their last 4 at the Big House to OSU.  The idea that "tradition" somehow wins football games, that it gives you some sort of on the field advantage - you know, rather than preparation, gameplan, talent - fell off a cliff during the second half of Lloyd's career.

If he honestly thinks that the reason we are 5-0 right now is because we hired someone from the Michigan coaching tree, then it doesn't matter if he played for Michigan, he is simply wrong. Just because someone played for the team doesn't mean they can just throw out ridiculous arguments like he did. Hey Matt Millen was an NFL GM, he's definiely someone to listen to if you wanted to build a franchise! You know, because he was there!

I guess that makes me the sane one and not an irrational follower such as yourself. 

Drbogue

October 3rd, 2011 at 10:47 PM ^

Is that preparation, gameplan, and talent ARE Michigan's tradition. You cannot claim that Michigan had that the last 3 years, when RR ignored 2 of the 3 teams - defense and special teams.
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<br>Toughness is allegory for physical and mental preparedness. Not accepting mediocre is everything Bo was about.
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<br>If you can't understand what it means to play for something bigger than yourself and your team... Well, it's no wonder you don't get why "tradition" can change a mindset, an effort, and the win/loss column.

coastal blue

October 3rd, 2011 at 11:14 PM ^

would be any good team's "tradition". That really isn't what I'm talking about and it makes no sense to call the basics of a successful team a unique Michigan tradition.

What I'm talking about is the attitude that leads people to believe that Michigan is going to be a good team in 2008 despite not having the talent to be a good team. (If you are going to envoke Bo, please read "Bo's Lasting Lessons" and hear him talk about his 6-6 team. It is the only time you will hear Bo make an excuse - he claims they didn't have enough talent - before quickly putting the blame on the coaches.) It's the idea that a team will just roll over and die at Michigan Stadium, because it is so big and historic.

As for the toughness angle, I hear what you're saying. I just don't think that the last three years lacked toughness. I think they lacked talent, experience and the right coaching hires.

I understand the pride one would have for playing for Michigan. And in the right circumstances, that can decide an outcome. But it isn't enough on its own to claim victory.

BlueVoix

October 4th, 2011 at 11:39 AM ^

This is one of those logical fallacies I see on the board all the time that I don't really get.  People talk all the time about 2008 as if we were a MAC team that had just lost all of it's talent, unable to compete with any team, lucky to be even considered a favorite in any game.  Brian put the upper range at 9-3, hardly indicative of a team that was damn lucky to even get a third win.  We had no business losing to Purdue that year, let alone Toledo.

Comparing the 1984 team to the 2008 team is comical.  That team was only blown out of one game, Iowa.  They lost to the national champions in their bowl game.  2008 was a disaster, with either four or five blowouts.

coastal blue

October 4th, 2011 at 3:06 PM ^

We had a zero at quarterback. 

Do you want to know what happens when you have a zero at quarterback? Check out Ohio State vs. Michigan State. 1 returning starter on an offense that the year before was 65th. So....yeah. 

Huge difference though: Ohio State's defense is much better than the 2008 defense. So they actually have a fighing chance to keep many games close. Hell our defense gave us a shot a few times in 2008: Utah, Northwestern, Toledo (gulp!). But when you have nothing on one side of the ball, you are not going to be successful. 

And I'm not saying 1984 is the same as 2008. I'm saying that, of all people, BO SCHEMBECHLER, used not having enough talent as an excuse for that season ending up 6-6. If someone who avoided excuses like they were STDs actually brings it up, something tells me its valid. 

 

Eye of the Tiger

October 3rd, 2011 at 8:57 PM ^

And I do think that the Michigan tradition is an asset that needs to be deployed.  We're not alone in this--Notre Dame, USC and a lot of other schools use this to entice recruits as well.  But our tradition is kind of unique, so in stands to reason that it's a unique asset for coaches.  

All that said, I think the "Rich Rod doesn't get it" meme is a little overblown.  He didn't understand how to talk the talk, sure, or how best to use that asset...but I don't think it was as bad as people thought.  When he said stuff like "Ohio State's just another game," he was trying to lower expectations for games we were--every single year he was our coach--very likely to lose.  Sure the strategy backfired, but let's not kid ourselves into thinking ANYONE, let alone someone who accepted the head coaching job at the University of Michigan, really thought Ohio State was "just another game."  I'm sure if we had won one of those 3 games, he would not have presented it as "just another win."  

By the end of the RR era, I was as ready as anyone to move on.  But I still appreciate that the guy put in a lot of work trying to make us a great team.  He didn't succeed, and there were a lot of reasons for that, but the guy did try.  

Section 1

October 3rd, 2011 at 9:50 PM ^

I respect the fact that you were a player under Carr.

But you clearly don't understand what the Free Press story was all about.

A short example and I'm out. The kids refusing to tell the media the name of the 2QB formation is very similar to our teams never commenting on injuries. This isn't a coincidence; we were coached. Lloyd told us to answer injury questions with, "Ask coach". He would invariably respond to the question with, "You'll have to ask the player". This isn't a big deal, but it builds a strong team bond - Us vs. The World. The media used to call Schembechler Hall Fort Schembechler because nothing came out of there. Again, not hugely important on the outside, but it did make a difference to us that were inside. I venture to say that if RR had installd similar policies, this Freep thing might never have occurred.  

The Free Press story didn't involve current players slipping confidential information to the reporters.  The only two "current" players who were interviewed were Stokes and Hawthorne, who both were basically abused in the process.  Two freshmen.  In their first fall camp.  On Media Day.  Fucking-Media-fucking-Day!

The rest of the information ("quotes" is giving the story too much, since everybody is hiding behind anonymity) came from disgruntled ex-players.  All of them, naturally, Carr recruits.

The Free Press jihad was such garbage, and it is just so competely amazing to me, how few of you guys (Carr-era players) stood up to it.  I think you guys let the program down with your silence.  I think Carr let the program down with his silence.  The next time you see Carr, you really ought to ask him in some considerable detail about his affairs with Michael Rosenberg.  I cannot think of one goddamned reason why Carr has failed to speak out on a subject that even David Brandon has spoken out about forcefully -- what a lot of erroneous and exaggerated garbage the Free Press story was.

Carr may be a good man.  He may have served Michigan very well, for many years, on a whole lot of big things.  But on the Free Press story, Carr was a complete and total fall-down-on-the-job failure.  And I truly question Carr's motives on that one issue.

jaws4141

October 4th, 2011 at 11:07 AM ^

Apparently the violations that Rich Rodriguez committed at WVU were the result of lies too.  He's been head coach at two D-1 schools and committed major NCAA violations at both schools.  Stop drinking the RR kool-aid and look at the facts.  The NCAA found both UofM and WVU guilty of major violations.  It was the first time in the history that either football program had ever been found guilty of major violations.  RR also refused to honor his contract at WVU.  I’m not talking about leaving, but he refused to pay the buyout.  He was involved in  bogus real estate investments as well.  The guy is a snake.  Get a clue!  He was  horrible at Michigan.  Why do you love him so much?

 

Section 1

October 4th, 2011 at 11:53 AM ^

Take this comment from me.  Print it, on good solid paper stock.  Roll it up into a tight cylinder.  Then shove it up your ass.

The only portion of the Notice of Allegations in NCAA Case No. M-324 that named Coach Rodriguez personally was Allegation Number 4.  Alleging a Failure to Promote an Atmosphere of Compliance.  That allegation was, in the end, withdrawn by the NCAA.  The NCAA substituted that allegation that was personal to Rodriguez with a generic Failure to Monitor charge aimed at the Athletic Department.  Rodriguez defended himself; Dave Brandon and the University backed him up all the way, and together they won.

At WVU, whatever allegations were made, were not personal to Rodriguez, but extended over two different coaching regimes.  Together, both cases are in fact case studies in what a stretch it was, to make any of them "Major Allegations."

Your recitiation of a "buyout" controversy just looks profoundly stupid, in light of the fact that Brady Hoke had a buyout clause, and Michigan paid it for him as he left Sand Diego without even meeting with his team.  (Not that that was Hoke's fault; they were not in school at the time.)  You clearly know nothing about how thses kinds of contracts are negotiated, litigated and settled if you think that the Rodriguez buyout controversy casts any doubt on his character.

And saying that Rodriguez "was invovled in bogus real estate investments as well" is like saying that OJ Simpson's wife and Ron Goldman "were involved in murder."  The guy who got Rodriguez and about a half dozen other investors into an over-leveraged real estate deal defrauded his partners.  He was under a federal indictment for fraud when he died, leaving all the other investors holding the bag, in a real estate market that suddenly collapsed.

You're not just badly informed; you're stupid.  And I don't mind saying you're a real asshole too.

matty blue

October 3rd, 2011 at 6:00 PM ^

van bergen will always be one my faves, not only for his play but for his wilingness to call out the alums who deserted the program during the rodriguez years.

the seniors on this team at least partially signed up for to be a part of the michigan tradition - "the team, the team, the team" - and some of the alums forgot about that.

Vasav

October 3rd, 2011 at 8:10 PM ^

I became an MGoBlogger relatively late - after RR's first season, when I had just graduated and was hungry for info on M football. And in that short time, this may be my favorite post on this site.

Let's give it up for the seniors, who truly act like the "Leaders and Best," despite the fact that alumni, administrators, coaches and players were not acting that way. These guys are true Michigan Men, and make me proud to support this football team and this University. GO BLUE! I'm all in for you guys, Martin, Koger, Molk, and Van Bergen.

M-Wolverine

October 3rd, 2011 at 10:38 PM ^

A near-perfect victory, and turn it into a lament of the injustices Rich Rod faced, and what should be a happy, glorious thread into another street fight. Some of you must be really miserable dudes to still be gripped by such anger.
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<br>That's your choice, and right. But it's really not going to bring Rich back. Or change his record. I know your head tells you this, but it's obvious a lot of hearts haven't come to grips with it yet. Or ever will, it seems, at this point. More straight- you lost. You hated what Michigan Football was, what it meant, and you wanted to change it. You give it fake words on how "I always supported it, buuuttt...", but you really wanted a change. And you got it. And it failed in historically bad fashion, and now none of you are man enough to admit you were wrong. And that's ok too. Because Michigan Football is being run by people who know what that means, and nothing you say will change it. You can either get aboard and root for the program you profess to love, or continue to try and find fault with it, tilting at windmills that will change nothing. Because it's going to move on without you, and do just fine thanks.

coastal blue

October 3rd, 2011 at 10:48 PM ^

Are you crying?

In all honesty, Brian made it about the players.

The guys who stayed through the shitstorm you are describing above - created in part by LC and many of the people who you claim know so much about the beloved Michigan tradition - and now hopefully will get to taste Bo's promise.

It's people like you who take offense to anything that even slightly suggests there might have been something wrong or negative with Michigan football and then tries to turn it into a RR argument or a fellatio of the "old ways".

2plankr

October 4th, 2011 at 3:31 AM ^

pretty sure it was 2006 when they locked arms and walked over for the jug, in response to minny players celebrating in our stadium the year before