The Future Is All We Have

Submitted by IMissJohnCooper on November 4th, 2008 at 1:21 AM

I am now an official member to the magnificent site,  I have been a frequent visitor ever since the nation-wide coaching search in December of '07 after Lloyd Carr resigned his position.  I finally got off my rear and signed up after watching the collapse at Purdue. Enough pleasentries, it is time to delve into the meat.

First off, I want to point out that I am a huge supporter of RichRod.  I think what he is trying to do at Michigan will pay off in the long run, and everything will fit into place within the next couple of years.  But, there are some minor suggestions I want to bring up, some things I have been wondering for awhile now. 

Rodriguez knew in December when he decided to accept the HC position at UM, that he was not going to have nearly the skill-players that he left at WVU, or the players he wanted to have to run his "spread offense."  So, I'll ask you this.  He knew very well that Threet and Sheridan both were incapable of running this offense the way he wanted it to be run; he should have realized that the first practice that the QBs would just not work.  So why try? Why not bite the bullet, and for his inaugural season, run Michigan's power offense with the players he had.  Utilize Minor and Grady in the backfield, and get some tosses out to Mathews and Hemingway and run Michigan's old fashioned offense.  I don't think we would have seen much of an improvement, but with the way Minor has been playing the last few games, why hasn't he been seeing more action since the beginning?  McGuffie is a good player, I'll give him that, but he cannot take the ball up the middle and expect to gain a whole lot of yards.  He is a back that needs to get outside and use his explosiveness to beat the defenses.  I think with Minor starting from the get-go, UM could have beaten Notre Dame, Toledo and maybe even Utah. But who knows.

Another quick question.  Why would UM sign Rodriguez to a 6 year deal? Six years seems awfully long, especially the way this season has gone.  2 wins? And look at who we beat: Miami (OH) by 10 and Wisconsin, who is not nearly as good as anybody thought they'd be.  This could easily have been an 0-9 season right now, if we wouldn't have pulled in out late in the game.  My opinion (though probably wrong) is sign him for 3 years and see how he does, then if it doesn't work, go see what Les Miles is up to down in cajun country, and beg for him to return UM to glory.  On the flip side, if he does fantastic after 3 years, then extend his contract.  I have a hard time seeing the logic in this move, but that's why I don't hold Bill Martin's position. 

Those are a few things I wanted to bring up, whether or not they have been mentioned on here before, I think they are some things that are deserved to be addressed.  You may think I am a complete fool, but that is okay.  I hope this can spark some discussions on here and find out what everyone else is thinking. 

Don't you all miss John Cooper? I know I do.  Beat OSU! In Rod I Trust.




November 4th, 2008 at 2:14 AM ^

For your first question, the one about implementing a more traditional offense, that was not done for a few reasons. First, it is difficult to recruit talent to a system that you don't yet have on the field. Second, Michigan needed to make the transition eventually, and sometimes it is best to do these things like a band-aid. Third, to say that Michigan's players are better suited to the pro-style attack is something of a misnomer. Most of the skill positions were very young and, therefore, didn't have a great degree of practice in the pro style. The zone scheme for the lineman is very similar, as the blocking scheme for a zone stretch left out of the i form is fairly similar to the blocking for a zone read out of the shotgun single back. With Michigan unlikely to be this youthful again for many years, this year was a good opportunity to bite the bullet and make the transition.

As for your question about the six year deal, there is more to this than meets the eye. RR's deal has a substantial buyout for the first three seasons. That buyout diminishes greatly following third season. The general consensus on most major coaching hires is that they get three to four years (long enough to bring in "their" recruits") before termination becomes possible. The six year term benefits Michigan as much as RR, because if he is successful, his salary won't be jumping up on a yearly basis. Don't let the term fool you. RR has, at most, four years to put a big winner on the field. I think you're right to believe that he's up to the challenge.


November 4th, 2008 at 5:52 AM ^

The other reason for a 6 year contract is demonstrating stability to recruits. I have a hard time saying this in regards to Michigan, but recruits want to know that the coach that recruits them and is committed to them will be around when they are in the program. They don't get the luxury of just transferring to another D1 program the next season if the coach is gone and playing the next season. They sit the bench for a year at their new school.

One thing that i was confused about when Boren transferred was that he is only sitting for one season before being eligible at OSU. Didn't there used to be a rule that if you transferred in conference to another team you had to sit out 2 seasons? Maybe I am confusing that with basketball, but I coulda swore that used to be a rule. Maybe I am just plain wrong on this, but wouldn't mind someone setting the record straight.

Go Blue!

"Those Who Stay Will Be Champions"
"What the mind can conceive and believe, the body can achieve" - BS


November 4th, 2008 at 7:40 AM ^

You ask a girl to the prom even though she may not be the prettiest flower in the bed. You figure what the hell, you'll probably score after the dance with this broad so it might be worth it. You go to the dance, people talk behind your back, but they are just jealous, or so you want to believe. After the dance she agrees to go to lookout point for some serious face time. You...could...go...all..the..way.
But just as you are about to reach for the condom she hops out of the pickup truck and climbs into the Cadillac parked nearby.
What kind of girl would do such a thing? I think we all know what kind of girl would sell her virtue to the highest bidder.
I am one WVU fan who is happy that Rodriguez left WVU before getting the program placed on probation by the NCAA and I am grateful that the destroyed the records that may have indicted himself before climbing into the Caddy.
Mark my words, he will win but Michigan will pay a steep price.


November 4th, 2008 at 9:03 AM ^

IMO, he was happy there until the AD refused to give him money to pay his outstanding staff, meet reasonable demands for facilities upgrades, and do basic things to keep him happy.  If the WVU athletic office was reasonably competent, he would have spent his career there.  As a Michigan fan, I think we got really lucky catching him at the perfect moment where he was dissatisfied with his current job because of a boneheaded boss.  I see no track record of job-jumping from him.  If he gets an NFL HC offer (which means he's had great sustained success) then I will say goodbye and wish him well.  Any other college seems like a lateral move at this point, and I don't see why he would want to leave unless UM was treating him unfairly.

You say that you are glad he left before you were put on probation?  RR has no recruiting violations or bad history of any kind.  The "destroyed records" were a joke--just another in a string of childish press moves by WVU.  I think WVU fans need to get real and start getting upset with Pastilong rather than RR.  He's the one that screwed you.


November 4th, 2008 at 10:30 AM ^

Pastilong gave Rodriguez everything he needed to win a national championship. All Rodriguez had to do is beat Pitt (I believe WVU was favored by 24) at home and then Ohio State in the BCS Bowl game which considering what the Mountaineers did to Oklahoma. What more did he want?  I'd have to say that was doable, the reason WVU didn't win it's first national title is Rodriguez, not Pastilong. What was Rodriguez and most of his staff doing during the week leading up to the Pitt game? I'll tell you; they were making plans for a hasty departure. As for the destroyed records being a joke, not so. Rodriquez shredded boxes of documents before he left and only he and maybe some assistants know what was destroyed--maybe it was nothing of consequence, maybe it was. Do you honestly think all the great athletes that have signed on to WVU's football program over the past decade were legit? Do you believe that "Pacman" Jones and Chris Henry were student athletes? I don't blame any Michigan fans for being optimistic, Rodriguez is a damn good football coach but he is also a snake. I'm sure you have heard the story of the girl who rescues the frozen snake only to have the snake turn around and bite her the moment it thaws. The snake's excuse was "I'm a snake, what did you expect?"

I hope ya'll aren't expecting too much from the snake.


November 6th, 2008 at 5:48 PM ^

I was just curious as to how the Wolverine fans were taking to their new coach. I see most are in denial, kind of like some people are after their dog gets hit by a school bus.

"Maybe he's just stunned." I understand.

Seriously, Michigan should have gone with an insider. Rodriguez doesn't see Michigan football as a sacred tradition. To him it's just a business and a bigger paycheck. As a lifelong fan of college football I have always respected Michigan, their traditions, the fierce loyalty of the fans and who in America doesn't know "Hail to the Victors" when they hear it?

There is no excuse for WVU losing to Pitt last year other than their coaching staff were seriously distracted. Rodriguez is a great coach and a genius for instituting the spread offense but as Michigan football fans, I'm sure you all know that it takes defensive coordinators a few years to catch up with a new offense and the spread will eventually go the way of the Wishbone. Does Rodriguez have another sure-fired offense up  his sleeve?

How long untill Rodriguez starts blaming the school administration or the athletic department for the losing or has he already started that? Maybe if they give him just a little more money or better facilities the results will get better.

Ya'll need to have a little empathy for the WVU fan. Imagine if your coach, a native born son of Michigan and former Wolverine football player had your team on the brink of a national championship and quit a week before the Ohio State game in which Michigan is a heavy favorite at home. Think about how as a Michigan football fan you would feel.

Also, don't underestimate the power of a hillbilly mountain hex and remember the curse isn't directed at the Wolverine fans, just the coach. Maybe WVU and Michigan will meet in a bowl game someday. Wouldn't that be great? Of course it won't be this year but maybe next year, or the year after that.



chitownblue (not verified)

November 6th, 2008 at 7:48 PM ^

Seriously, will you get over it? He left let it go, concentrate on the fact that your program, as currently situated, is teetering at the edge of a large cliff, and will tip over once Pat White leaves...


November 4th, 2008 at 11:50 AM ^

Are you aware that your Heisman-candidate starting quarterback....HAD A DISLOCATED THUMB FOR HALF OF THE PITT GAME?  Why can't WVU fans understand this?  Yes, WVU was a better team than Pitt, but when the best and most important player on the team goes out with an injury, anything can happen.  The Patriots were unbeatable with Tom Brady.  Now they've lost three games.  Oregon was headed for the national championship...until Dennis Dixon tore his ACL.  Why do you harbor so much vitriol for your coach who turned your program around, made previously "meh" recruits superstars, and then went to a bigger, better program in a perennial powerhouse conference (the Big Ten is down this year, but usually it's very respectable)?  It happens all the time, in all walks of life.  You would leave your job, too, if someplace else was a nicer place to work, you had access to better facilities, and you were going to make more money.  You're just angry because you got stuck with Coach Stew and your AD was dumb enough to sign him to a long-term contract.


November 4th, 2008 at 8:41 AM ^

We all share your pain. And at one point have asked the same questions.

 I'll take a stab at "Biting the bullet." Overall not the best idea, in my opinion. As mentioned above, the transition is inevitable; therefore, the sooner the better. If the transition is this rough now, how much better would it be if we had done it next year? We'd have your Odoms, McGuffies etc., knowing/learning an offense that will become "legacy" once we convert to RR's offense. Would we have two series of practices, or just teach the new system from scratch (much like this year)?  What would the format of practices be? Current Offense practice, and Future Offense practice? How time consuming and confusing would that be? It's important to get everyone to buy into the new system as early as possible- but especially the new players.

This may be a bad analogy but picture an organization going through a transitional phase of a new business/system process. Would you want to allow your new hires to use the legacy process/system or buy into and train immediately in the new system? How would you handle the current employees? Doesn't it make sense from a time and cost perspective to train them and have them buy into the new system as early as possible? (Disclaimer: This comment assumes that the RR offense is a better solution than the pro-style offense!)

I know all you hear is "be patient" but, but all we can do is be patient. Ann Arbor wasn't built over night.


November 4th, 2008 at 9:52 AM ^

There was nothing saying that Threet or Sheridan couldn't run this offense.

Asking RR to coach a prostyle offense is like asking LC to coach the spread. He doesn't have much experience in it, let alone his staff, and it wouldn't have turned out any better.

Minor sat out early because he had preseason injuries and McGuffie was the only one to make it through the full preseason. Whenever Minor did get a chance, he would fumble the ball. As soon as he started to hold onto the ball, he retained his starting position.

The 6 year deal is also for RR's assurance. He came to UM and ended up paying 1.5m to get away from there. If they let him go after 3 seasons, he needs some sort of severance for the risk that he took. I could be wrong but I am pretty sure it is a standard thing.