Five things to take from this: Our Star Crossed Coaches

Submitted by Lordfoul on November 8th, 2009 at 8:29 AM
Busy Sundays and general ennui the past many weeks have not allowed for my usual post-game posts.  I try to keep to posting Sunday morning since by then I have had time to sleep on it but my thoughts are still fresh.  Bachelor parties, Disc Golf Tournaments, Weddings, etc. keep this time from being available.

I like Rich Rod.  I don't have any real reason for this but I do.  I dig his Aww, Shucks attitude and love the potential he brings to Michigan.  I firmly believe that he would take us to consistent top 5 finishes if given the time to rebuild this program.  There are many variables at work here so I'll just focus on:

Five Things:

  1. Michigan has the worst defense in the B10.  This is not really news and is not relying on any statistics but just my opinion having watched a lot of B10 games this year.  This defense has no time or personnel to change what it is and the real problem is in looking ahead to next year: The defense could actually be even worse.  Our best D-lineman and Linebacker (by far) will be gone.  We have no best Safety.  Our best Corner (by far) may very possibly be gone as well.  There are bright spots: Roh and Martin are beasts, Fitz has looked pretty good lately, Justin Turner gives us hope.  Here's to hoping that simply having the continuity of a second year of the same defensive system will make Michigan's defense better.
  2. The offense continues to improve.  The first half against Purdue was the single best half of offense we have seen since the Notre Dame game at least.  Our first four drives ended in points, three of them touchdowns.  Purdue is not a top end defense so we should have expected this but what, with all of the turnovers lately (read: past two seasons), it was like a breath of fresh air.  Then the second half continued its curse on us.  Next year should be better still for this Offense with second year QBs, faster and less-injured RBs, more experienced WRs, and more talented and developed O-linemen.
  3. This confluence of probabilities is not favorable for the current coaching staff.  Michigan is known for giving its coaches time and not being hasty in firings.  That said this situation may not right itself in time to save Rich Rod and friends even given the extra slack.  The offense, no matter how good it gets, cannot be expected to make up for a defense sucking at the level of this year and probably next.  At this point I would put our record next year at 7-5 and that may be optimistic.  There is a serious and very uncomfortable chance of 3 straight losing seasons if I am reading the tea leaves right.  It appears that 2011 is our real chance for redemption at this point but by then the atmosphere around Rich Rod and the program may be so toxic that anything short of awesome in 2011 wouldn't be enough to save this staff.
  4. I would put it at at least improbable that we will win either of our last two games this season.  Assuming that we finish 5-7 and miss a bowl game for a second year in a row, is there any way recruiting does not take a serious hit?  Yes, we are still Michigan but incoming recruits would have to be nervous about the possibility of a coaching change.  This comes at a time when Michigan desperately needs to land the commitments they have now and add some more on defense to address depth issues.
  5. Danny Hope is an asshole. 
Looking Ahead:

Let me start by admitting that my gloomy attitude is a distinct departure from my earlier posts this season.  I think we all can admit that our perspective has been changed somewhat in the past month.  It is truly startling how fast this team has gone from "on the rise" to "on the ropes."  So much of the near future of Michigan Football and Rich Rod's place in it looks to depend on the next two games.  I don't like our chances of winning either of them but a win could make many of my above thoughts somewhat moot.  So let's start by hoping against hope for a win at Wisky or against O$U.

There are glimmers of hope for the defense next year as well.  Maybe Warren looks to increase his draft stock and stays.  Maybe Turner is a freshman Warren next year and the two of them can solidify the corners.  Maybe Vlad or a freshman MRob emerges as a competent safety to play opposite Woolfolk and saves our secondary.  Perhaps Fitz steps up to lead a young linebacking unit to competency.  Our D-line should be OK but you can't replace Graham with what we have on hand.  So maybe the defense could be improved.  The problem is then that one injury creates a hole and derails the improvement.  And what we can bank on is that no season will be injury free.

So to sum up, I don't see us making a bowl game this year (but holy hell would it help down the road), and next year is looking like bowl game or bust.  I should mention again that I like Rich Rod and hope he coaches here for a long while.  The sad reality is that he is in a very bad spot and circumstances may send him packing before he can turn this boat around.

Go Blue.  Beat them Badgers and save this season.



November 8th, 2009 at 8:49 AM ^

I thought that Rich Rodriguez was this magical wizard of a man who could do a lot with a little. I thought mediocre players became solid starters under his tutelage and in no time at all. I thought Mike Barwis took the little guys and turned them into baby eating heathens that rip apart the man they are blocking/being blocked by.

Either some people who post on this board have been lying to me or now all of a sudden I have to wait for these things to happen.


November 8th, 2009 at 4:53 PM ^

As previously discussed on this site, RR does have a track record of doing more with less at WVU. But when guys have to be coached up, it takes a couple of years to see the improvement. I'm not sure if someone has done this already, but do we know the average age/year of his starters at WVU during the Slaton/White years?

Bobby Boucher

November 8th, 2009 at 9:06 AM ^

I don't know much about recruiting but I enjoy following it. It seems like we need to have a big year on defense in order to turn it around a couple of years from now. Is there anybody that knows what our chances are for landing any good defensive recruits? Is there any chance we'll ever be able to replace BG?


November 8th, 2009 at 9:58 AM ^

One thing you can take to the bank is that RR will not be fired at the end of this season. Whatever your opinion of him or his right to stay, he won't be fired after this season, or the next.

The reality is we are in the middle of a rough transition, rougher than any of us hoped for. The problems with the defense are almost all attributable to a talent deficit at certain key positions. That will get better - the insertion of Fitzgerald yesterday offered a glimmer of hope for the future.

Despite the loss we were improved in many ways compared with the previous several weeks. Major mistakes cost dearly once again. Let's hope we throw caution to the wind, forget the negatives, and come out flying in Madison.


November 8th, 2009 at 10:02 AM ^

Sometimes being a sports fanatic can rake you over the coals. I feel like someone ripped my heart out and pounded nails in it.

I still really like where this team is headed on both sides of the ball, and I realize that what RR is trying to do is fighting against 60 years of smashmouth football. It couldn't be a bigger transition for us to make, and it's a slow process.

I agree that the defense is the worst in the Big Ten. If you score around 30 points a game, you should win 90% of them. This team has to keep up with a D that gives up big plays in every quarter. I like what GERG is doing, but the players make plays. You could have the brightest defensive coaches in the history of the game and our secondary would still make 'em look bad. Here's to Michigan snagging some more safety talent in this recruiting class.

On a side note - when's the last time Purdue beat OSU and UM in the same year? Has it ever happened?

West Texas Blue

November 8th, 2009 at 10:04 AM ^

And here's where we start running into problems. A current season affects the following recuriting class; obviously 3-9 last season has hurt this year's recruiting class. But if we go 5-7, next year's class is going have same problems as this year's class. Top recruits will bypass us and we'll have to take more tweeners and projects. And if we go 6-6 or 7-5 next year, the following year's class will be hampered. With less top talent coming in every year, it's just going to make our rebuilding efforts even more harder.


November 8th, 2009 at 10:34 AM ^

In a reverse psychology way, the one thing RR has going for him on the recruiting trail is just how bad (and thin) the D is. He can practically assure a recruit that he will get playing time quickly. So, balance a post-season bowl appearance with the promise of making an early impact on the team.

Twisted Martini

November 8th, 2009 at 10:49 AM ^

2000/2001 season I believe. When we were up big oon the Boilers and let them back in the game and they beat us. Same with Northwestern, Anthony Thomas is through the hole and on his way to the end zone and somebody pokes the ball out.


November 8th, 2009 at 11:25 AM ^

As of now we have two legitimate ones, so we'll need to find at least two, and three if Warren leaves. If Warren stays, I think it makes sense to lump CBs and safeties together because Woolfolk could move back to S if another corner steps up and two safeties don't.

We will have more candidates in 2010 than in 2009: Williams, Turner, Teric Jones, Emilien, Floyd, Gordon, Witty (?), Kovacs, and the true freshmen Talbott, Avery, M Robinson, Johnson, and presumably a couple more. Obviously, none of them are legit DBs at this point and most of them are probably a long way from contributing. But I think the odds are decent that at least one or even two of them will turn out to be serviceable in 2010.

Another poster in this thread wondered if Purdue had ever beaten UM and OSU in the same season. Has any team ever beaten UM and OSU yet finished with a losing record, as Purdue will if they lose to either MSU or Indiana?


November 8th, 2009 at 11:27 AM ^

Until we establish an identity on defense. There has to be a set scheme with identifiable roles for each player manifested on the field, whether good or not, before high end recruits commit here. Right now, the defensive coaches are trying different schemes each week out of desperation and the players are lost. Yes, playing time is great, but you also have to know what system you're playing for and until that is established, defensive recruiting won't improve.

For the next two games, the defense should just stick to one scheme and not deviate from the scheme. See where the problems are because there aren't any quick fix solutions. It can't possibly get any worse.


November 8th, 2009 at 11:31 AM ^

Hey Michigan fans. Purdue fan here. First I want to say this site is really cool. Some Purdue blog linked to it the other day and I've been checking it out for the past few days. Regarding the Hope/Rodriguez thing, I would say that, as a Purdue fan, I really would have preferred that Hope not done that. It was unnecessary. However, in his defense, I will say a couple of things. First, it is important to remember that Danny Hope really, really hates Rich Rodriguez. Second, it's important to keep in mind that basically everyone hates Rich Rodriguez. Yesterday during his press conference he kind of acted like "Gosh, I'm not sure why he did that, that wasn't very nice." However, I think even Michigan fans know that Rodriguez is pretty much a jerk, and, although midfield after the game was not the appropriate time for that encounter, he probably had it coming.

As a Purdue fan, I can tell you that the whole thing likely has about 10% to do with the Reckman suspension and 90% to do with the Roundtree de-commit. Michigan is used to getting four-star wide receivers and always has a ton of talent. However, Purdue absolutely needed Roundtree, and losing him on signing day to a new Big Ten coach at a power program was kind of Purdue's nightmare. So, Danny Hope may be an asshole, but he's our asshole, just like Rich Rodriguez is your asshole. I'm pretty sure almost all college football coaches are assholes. It's kind of a necessary trait. Some just hide it better than others (Jim Tressel comes to mind). Danny Hope is kind a good ol' boy tough guy, so he chose midfield in the Big House to be an asshole. That's just who he is. I wish he hadn't done it, but if that's the attitude it takes to win at Purdue, I'll take it.


November 8th, 2009 at 12:04 PM ^

First, welcome to the site.

Second, I'm a Michigan fan who doesn't think Rich Rodriguez is an asshole. Really, I don't have an example to think "yeah, wow, what an asshole." Snake oiling commits? M'eh. Doesn't necessarily make you an asshole. Are there any other examples?

Maybe it's my maize and blue goggles, but I just don't see how RR is an asshole.

Charlie Weiss, yes (numerous examples).

Danny Hope- after yesterday's incident, yes. No one can really defend what he did. It doesn't benefit him in anyway other than to make himself feel some sort of redemption. To involve his own player, a kid, in such a classless act, is selfish and indicative of something lacking in his character. The guy is a cowboy.

Perhaps I'm misguided here, but I can't think of an example where RR disrespected another coach or player (or even the fans!)


November 8th, 2009 at 12:39 PM ^

I am definitely not an expert on the drama surrounding Rich Rodriguez, but there certainly seems to be an unusual amount of it. So, no, I don't really know of a specific example of Rodriguez being a jerk; it's more of a smoke/fire thing. He just seems to be the common denominator in a lot of unpleasantness. And if I were a college football coach I probably would, in certain situations, try to lure other schools' recruits, but I would also be pretty pissed when it happened to me, particularly when the recruit in question was the gem of my recruiting class.

As far as the Hope thing goes, I would tend to agree with you. No one really knows how it went down. Was it Reckman's idea? Hope's? Did Reckman not really want to do it? It doesn't really matter. Hope should've been mature enough to not let it happen. He seems to have the potential to be a very good head football coach, but from a public relations/image standpoint, he has a not-ready-for-prime-time quality. Hopefully he'll learn. His biggest asset is that he's the ultimate "player's coach." He likely saw this whole thing as sticking up for his player, or whatever, but I think winning at Michigan and turning up the heat on Rodriguez was probably enough. The biggest shame of the whole thing is that his actions after the game are all anyone wants to talk about. It was a hell of a fun game, and a big win for Purdue. That should be the story, but now it's not.


November 8th, 2009 at 1:03 PM ^

If Hope did it because Reckman came up with the idea, he's an idiot.

Whether or not Reckman wanted to do it, doesn't make it right. Hope's setting the wrong example.

I'll give Hope (and Purdue) credit. Solid team, close game, yet again. I don't mean to take away from that, I was just confused and shocked by such a poor display of sportsmanship. You win, celebrate that; why bask in negativity?

I look forward to next year's bout.


November 8th, 2009 at 12:33 PM ^

I suspect this is a hopeless exercise, but let's try anyway.

1. Why does Hope hate Rodriguez? Because Purdue lost a recruit? What difference does that make? If losing a recruit makes a difference, Hope is going to be living the rest of his short-ass life as Purdue's head coach with a long list of enemies.

2. Where is your evidence for "basically everyone" hates Rodriguez? There are many people in WV who are mad-as-hell that he left. There are some people at Michigan who are disappointed in the results so far. And there are many people throughout the Big Ten who are scared-to-death that he'll be given the time to build a program here. So, unless "basically everyone" means everyone who couldn't get into Michigan and went to Michigan State, you're flat out wrong - which seriously diminishes any credibility you might have.

3. "...even Michigan fans know Rodriguez is pretty much a jerk"? Where do you get this? What, specifically, has Rodriguez done to anyone to be a "jerk"?

4. Is it possible for you (or Hope, or anyone) to comprehend that the Reckman situation had NOTHING to do with Purdue or Reckman? It has EVERYTHING to do with the Big Ten very publicly, and without any due process, setting itself up as a kangaroo court to judge unsportsmanlike conduct. Rodriguez's point was that the same standard should apply to everyone. Period. That's a reasonable complaint, regardless of who's making it. If Hope is too stupid to understand that - and it appears that he is - good luck with your new coach, buddy. If Hope has an argument with anyone, it is Reckman for his actions or the Big Ten for its action - not with Rodriguez for asking the the same rules apply to everyone.

5. What is with this whole "commitment" thing - regarding Roundtree or anyone else? National signing day is in February. Nothing counts until then. Isn't it possible that Roundtree visited Ann Arbor, loved it, and changed his mind? What's wrong with that - and why wouldn't you or Hope respect the kid's decision? The only point you could possibly have is that Rodriguez lied in some way to the kid about academic support, playing time, etc. Do you really think that happened? The real issue here is that this situation makes it appear that Hope and Purdue do NOT have the best interests of the kids in their program in mind. Roundtree appears to be very satisfied with his decision - and for many good reasons. If Hope and Purdue can't accept that, and remain focused on what's "best" for the Purdue football team and not the individuals on the team, I would very quickly steer any kids I know away from Hope's program. Your asshole appears to be a very big and stupid one.


November 8th, 2009 at 1:05 PM ^

bigstick, you sound like a pretty angry-on-the-internet type of guy, so I'll only respond to your contention that "there are many people throughout the Big Ten who are scared-to-death that [Rodriguez will] be given the time to build a program" at Michigan. I don't know when it will be or who will be the head coach, but Michigan will field a great football team again. It is one of the great football programs/universities in the nation, and it simply has too many built-in advantages not to. And I agree that Rodriguez should be given time to rebuild the program using the method asnd philosophies he has had success with in the past. However, I can assure you that, from an opposing fan's standpoint, I don't really think anyone, at this point, is terrified of Rodriguez's program-building potential. In fact, if the last two years are any indication, I would hope that Michigan keeps him around for a very long time. You see, ANYONE could build a great program at Michigan, given time. It is difficult not to. So, arguing that people hate Rodriguez because they fear the future of Michigan football under his watch doesn't really make a lot of sense. I think people hate Rodriguez (and, despite what some people here seem to think, I really think a lot of people do hate him) because they have the impression that he is kind of a shady guy.


November 8th, 2009 at 2:47 PM ^

I love how people can just make the "you're angry" accusation against anyone who takes them to task and points out the flaws and fallacies in their post.

In the end, you have made a set of highly contestable, unsubstantiated assertions about Rodriguez, several of which you would have been prudent to have withheld, and which you would have known not to make had you followed this blog for more than a couple of days.

In addition, you simply flat-out contradict yourself by telling us that "ANYONE (your caps) could build a great program at Michigan, given time. Since that is a set of all the possible coaches in the world, and since Rodriguez is a coach, then we ought to expect that he will build a great program, despite the fact that no one, according to you, should ever fear such a possibility. I certainly doubt that you, as one fan, can rationally expect to represent the universe of opposing fans.

At any rate, there are very many of us who do not believe Rodriguez is a jerk, regardless of certain vague accusations that he is "kind of shady" - a claim for which there is no actual proof. There are many of us willing to give him the time to develop what was a deficient talent pool into a highly successful program.

Happy to have other fan base posters on the board; just try to keep the opinions on a more qualified level


November 8th, 2009 at 4:15 PM ^

If your position is that Rich Rodriguez hasn't broken NCAA rules while at Michigan, or that his actions surrounding his departure from WVU weren't suspect, that's fine. I have no idea whether he did anything wrong in either situation, and neither do you. But don't act like you have no clue what I'm referring to. I certainly can't speak for every fan base in the nation, but I really do think it is accurate to say that, whether it is fair or not, the general perception of Rich Rodriguez outside of certain parts of the state of Michigan is that he has trouble doing thing the right way.

My original point was that Danny Hope confronted Rodriguez after the game because he doesn't like Rodriguez. In making that point, I simply pointed out that Danny Hope is not the only person who doesn't like Rich Rodriguez. He seems to have a history of causing people not to like him.

I really do think he can win at Michigan if given time. I also believe that ANYONE (my caps) can win at Michigan (by ANYONE I mean, you know, a college football coach). At this point, though, I don't think other Big Ten fans (or any other fans, for that matter) are that afraid of the future juggernaut of UM football under Rich Rodriguez because it still seems like those days are a couple of years away.

Anyway, I'm bored, as I'm sure you are too. Good luck to Michigan. I love the Big Ten, and the Big Ten is at its best when Michigan is a national powerhouse. I hope that is the case again soon.


November 8th, 2009 at 4:37 PM ^

I'd love to get into the definition of "kind of a shady guy", but Ponypie has already pointed out the problems with your post. Allow me to ask you to ask yourself the following question: "What, exactly, do I believe is 'shady' about Rodriguez?". I suspect you'll have a very hard time answering that one. Beyond that, I'll just add a postscript.

I think "frustrated" might be a better word, but we can use "angry" if you like. Here are just a few of the things that might make me "angry".

I can get angry about imprecise, unsubstantiated allegations of any type. (search this site for "Free Press jihad" for some wonderful examples).

I can get angry about coaches who put themselves ahead of the kids. (see D Hope regarding Roundtree)

I can get angry about coaches who are so damn stupid that they can't seem to distinguish between comments directed at an administrative system and personal comments (see D Hope regarding Reckman)

I can get angry when posters go on any site and pontificate regarding matters of which they know little and are too lazy to research (see YOU regarding Rodriguez).

And just so you know I'm not picking on you, Hope and Purdue.....

I can get angry when coaches reinstate convicted felons to scholarships and football teams with no regard for the victim (see Dantonio/Winston).

I can get angry when it appears that football coaches may be willing to put their friendships and relationships ahead of the best interests of the universities that employ them (see Carr and Debord, Miles, etc.)

These are just a few of the things that might make me "angry", but since this is only about my fifth post, I don't seem to get so angry that I'm willing to waste much time writing about it. You, sir, and your asshole have moved me today.


November 8th, 2009 at 6:55 PM ^

I had a totally different take on that....

Bigstick actually takes time out to respond to what you said. I'd say that is pretty cool. He gives some good responses to your points. That's discourse to me and what makes the boards fun. Not sure where the angry internet guy comment is coming from... unless you are Danny Hope in disguise? : P

"Anyone could build a great program at Michigan"....

I don't think Danny Hope could, he'd be too pissed off about people like Beaver who bolted to Tulsa or Pearly Graves and DeQuinta Jones who went elsewhere on signing day last year leaving us light in DT recruits. : D

I think the trouble with the Roundtree saga is that it burns and is frustrating for the team that loses the recruit. But I can't blame an 18 year old kid for changing his mind. Commitments aren't binding until signing day, and kids can change their minds if they want to.


November 8th, 2009 at 11:22 PM ^

he is relatively well liked. Not sure where you got the impression otherwise. Danny Hope is a classless fool. There's no doubt about that. Cant really think of another big 10 coach who is on his level of assholedness.

Even Dantonio, for his faults, insecurity and poor public demeanor has twice the class of Danny Hope -- and that ain't saying alot.

You may not like Rodriguez. There are a lot of people here who criticize his coaching. But, I think one very uniform thing that is said about him at Michigan is that while he's tough, and yells, he's a good guy, polite, and very open and committed to teaching the game of football to his players and coaches.

Danny Hope is entirely another matter. I'd rank him several rungs lower than the Zooker. I guess if he goes all bananas and transforms Purdue into a power he'll probably not feel the need to be such an ass. But, I think one thing that Purdue and Michigan fans can agree on is the impossibility that will happen in our lifetimes.


November 8th, 2009 at 4:28 PM ^

fuck your all coaches are assholes attitude. if that's the way you grow em at Purdue, your problem.

RichRod has a tough situation. 2 seniors for the entire defense? RR has shown himself to be a good man, a man committed to a top school's academic standards, and ya de ya de ya.

I will agree that the current and former Purdue coach, however, seem to be purebread assholes.


November 8th, 2009 at 6:42 PM ^

Welcome to the board! Glad you like the site. Grats on yesterday's win. It's a disappointment for us to lose yesterday for sure.

I don't agree with your assessment of RR. You want to call your coach an a-hole fine. But why come here and say basically.... well ya know, RR kinda probably deserved what Hope did b/c well.. ya know.. RR's an a-hole?

While your entitled to your opinion, I think it's kind of strange to come to a Michigan board and spew that meme unless you are just wanting a reaction or are a troll.

Honestly, I don't care for what Hope did there either. I think it's a sign of poor character. Hope is a grown man. I'm not sure what that example really shows his players. Generally, I don't have any vitriol toward Purdue but yesterday should have been about Hope being excited about winning in Ann Arbor and keeping Purdue's bowl hopes alive. His petty differences with RR should have been the last thing on his mind. I'd like to think Hope would have been focused on celebrating with his players.


November 8th, 2009 at 9:16 PM ^


Perhaps, around 2014 after Michigan runs it up repeatedly on Purdue Danny Hope will consider his actions of Saturday. Payback will, as long as Rodriguez is here (with his band of microns on offense and an ever improved Tate/Denard/Gardner evolution) be a bitch (likely a 50 point one).

I hope Danny Hope feels good about his actions. Bohica Danny Hope, Bohica...


November 9th, 2009 at 9:14 AM ^

Actually no they don't. I think most people that have watched him here for two years like the way he has acted. His sin has been losing games...if you want him fired for that leave it at that.

I find it hard to believe that RR would ever think of doing something as stupidly moronic and low-class as what we just saw from Hope. His player was suspended because he took a cheap shot at someone at the end of a game they lost...and Purdue lost a now he has to be a tough guy.

As a fan what Hope did would cause me to cringe in embarrassment. No one likes losing...we obviously hate it...but try and maintain some dignity. You won the freaking game.


November 8th, 2009 at 11:36 AM ^

I agree that the defense is probably the worst in the B10.

I think that the defense will be improved next year, with Warren back, Roh putting on about 20 pounds, Lalotta and Campbell improving the line overall (which is just too small and gets overwhelmed), safety dramatically improved, and Turner and one of the freshman stepping in at corner. We'll have to see which of this year's or next year's freshmen can step in at LB.

Here's to hoping we can land some of those recruits in the pipeline for the defense to close out the class.

Blue Fan

November 8th, 2009 at 11:41 AM ^

While there were earlier comparisons of our defense to Alabama, etc., we are losing to Illinois, Purdue, and almost to Indiana. Surely our defense is significantly better than these teams.

Our recruiting class has enough quality athletes to rank consistently in the top 20 nationwide, but in reality we are playing around 50 or lower.

Given the raw talent recruited, the coaches should be able to teach gifted athletes what they need for the team to compete in the upper tier of the Big Ten.

RR has brought the assistant defensive coaches with him from WV. After this season, more changes apparently need to be made.

Blue in Yarmouth

November 9th, 2009 at 9:06 AM ^

First, I can say I have never seen anyone compare our D to that of Alabama, if someone did they should have their head examined.

Second, the thing about recruiting classes is that they are judging the talent at a moment in time, and trying to speculate where they will be in x number of years. The thing about our recruiting classes is that these kids are having to hit the field too early and many of them in positions they aren't used to. If you look at the Alamaba's of the world, I highly doubt you will see as many underclassmen in their starting line-up.

I think it is too early to say that our coaches won't turn this raw talent into gifted athletes, they just need time. Woodson, Warren etc....these are the exceptions. Most players can't step in as true freshmen and make an immediate impact (in a good way I mean, we have a lot of impact in a bad way).

I think when these guys are upperclassmen we will see them live up to their hype for the most part. Unfortunately, time is not something we have on our side.

Finally, I would say I agree that some of the assistants seem to be the probllem and should be out of a job at the end of the season.


November 8th, 2009 at 1:57 PM ^

I was terrfied we'd end up with another conservative guy who would coach us to every year moderate success except for losing usually to OSU and almost always to USC. So I'm still happy we found RR. And I worry not at all anymore, despite the continuing and increasing howlings, that he will be fired. First there is no one to replace him with that could do any better with what we have to work with, and second, Mary Sue showed she will stick with her picks by giving kirk ferentz (iowa) years to build up that program...which is paying off now (they lost yesterday because QB was injured...). A new AD is going to do things her way, and that's her way (BTW Ferentz makes even more money than RR - I think it's the big money that is primary cause of RR hatred..they think big money = instant success assured). So enjoy watching our offense (assuming reasonable health) pile up points over the next several years, waiting, waiting for a good'll be awhile.


November 8th, 2009 at 2:51 PM ^

As unpopular as the opinion may be, I can no longer excuse the coaching for what has happened. Losing breeds excuses and the fact is that while I was in favor of Rodriguez from the get go, he has shown some frightening coaching patterns. I love the spread offense, but you don't have to look far to find teams with similar offenses achieving higher plateaus. I know our defense is bad due to talent, but some of the mistakes made (I'd say a lot) are due to a poor scheme or a lack of adjustments or preparation.
Just to give a few examples:

1) Why are our corners consistently 8-10 yards off the LOS?

2) Our safeties may be bad and slow in coverage, but there is no excuse for letting anyone behind you. That is basic safety play 101.

3) Our containment and gap assignment is horrible. To me, that is coaching and can't be simply blamed on talent level.

Basically, it boils down to discipline IMO. I don't mind seeing more talented players make great plays, but I do mind when our players are fooled the same way week in and week out by basic play action plays or anything misdirection. We might get beat by more talented receivers in press coverage, but we don't even try.
I understand the counter to this argument is that if we try something else we'll get burned by something else, but my problem is that we don't mix it up enough. I'm not talking about making things more complicated to execute for the players, I'm talking about simple adjustments.
Again, I'd like to emphasize that I support our coach and team, but I would have to be blind to think that they don't deserve a good amount of blame for the situation Michigan is in.


November 8th, 2009 at 3:55 PM ^

I think (2) explains (1). If you don't trust your safeties (and who in their right mind would?), how can you possibly play press coverage? They've also been occasionally using Warren as a deep half safety anyway with Williams playing up near the LOS (which didn't work against Illinois all that well).

No argument on (3). Mouton got pulled after Purdue's 1st touchdown for leaving his assignment.

As bas as these guys play at times, and as many huge plays they give up with their terrible instincts, the coaching staff just needs to pick a lineup and stick with it. All the rotating deck chairs don't make a difference during the game if the players are already lacking confidence and proper instincts. The kids have to believe they won't get pulled for one mistake, otherwise they'll have such paralysis by analysis that they'll make even more mistakes. The back 7 (except for Warren) feels the panic from the coaching staff and just gets panicked themselves.


November 8th, 2009 at 5:03 PM ^

Thats what had everyone so excited is that RR had done so much with so little at WV, so while Lloyd had done so little with so much for MI. How the defense can make the same mistaqkes and blow the same assighnments week after week for 2 years in a row is beyond me. I think Gerg should get another year just because of his excellent track record as a DC, and to see if a little continuity helps, but I think some of the position caoches need to be looking for Jobs, mainly Hopson.

As for Danny Hope, I just want to thank him. After the game, I had my doubts about the transition, about the coaching staff, and about the future of the program. Nothing has really changed, but such a douche bag move has me back directly behind this Team and it's coaches and players, just to see them turn this thing around, and after we beat the dog out of what will still be a bad Purdue team next year, maybe RR can walk across the field and tell that Jackass "Thanks for what you did".