The MGoPoll: Should Michigan Keep Rodriguez?

Submitted by the_white_tiger on November 5th, 2010 at 11:35 AM

Note: I'm really going to try to keep this from being an opinion piece, as I'm sure everyone is sick of those "Hey look, it's my opinion and it deserves it's own thread" threads. I'll do my best to to keep from doing this, but I must admit that I'll probably stray from that a little bit.

This poll was conducted at the end of this article, and most of the questions were about Coach Rodriguez. Here is the data (for just over 1,200 responses):

Questions #1-3: Should Rich Rodriguez be retained after the season? (Answers sorted by final records given in each question). 

Response: 7-5 6-6 5-7
Yes 81% 57% 23%
No 8% 24% 53%
I'm not sure 11% 19% 24%

I don't think that this is very surprising; as the record falls, the amount of respondents who replied "yes" fell, and the amount of respondents who replied "no" or "I don't know" rose considerably. The main thing to take from this is that MGoBlog seems to support keeping Rodriguez if Michigan has a winning record.

Probablitity: 5-7 6-6 7-5 8-4 9-3
Responses from the previous poll: 6% 48% 38% 8% 1%
The Mathelete: 13% 39% 36% 12% 1%
Average: 9.5% 43.5% 37% 10% 1%

So if we can combine our probably optimistic predictions and The Mathlete's realistic predictions, there is less than a 10% chance of having a losing record.

This data agrees with Question #6: Take a guess: will Rich Rodriguez be Michigan's head coach in 2011?

  • Yes - 80%
  • No - 15%
  • I'm not sure - 5%

I agree. I believe that Brandon will stick with Rodriguez, but, as always, this is 100% pure e-pinion.

I think that Question #4: Can Rodriguez succeed at Michigan if he's given two or three years? is a more interesting question however.

  • Yes – 72%
  • No – 7%
  • I’m not sure – 21%

Here's what people responded to the first three questions (Should Rich Rodriguez be retained after the season?), broken down by their choice in question #4.

Yes, Rodriguez can be successful at Michigan if he's given a few more years:

Response: 7-5 6-6 5-7
Yes 94% 72% 31%
No 1% 9% 40%
I'm not sure 5% 19% 29%

No, Rodriguez cannot be successful at Michigan, even if he's given a few more years:

Response: 7-5 6-6 5-7
Yes 17% 4% 3%
No 71% 95% 97%
I'm not sure 12% 1% 0%

I'm not sure if Rodriguez can be successful at Michigan if he's given a few more years or not:

Response: 7-5 6-6 5-7
Yes 56% 23% 5%
No 13% 52% 81%
I'm not sure 30% 25% 13%

What's really intriguing here is that the respondents who stated that Rodriguez can succeed at Michigan do not necessarily think that he should be back for next year. Obviously those who said that they didn't think that he could succeed here pretty much all want him gone, but it is really interesting that those who think that he can succeed in a few years do not necessarily think he should be given that. It seems as if those who aren't sure if Rodriguez can succeed at Michigan or not are waiting for the end of the year: if the team finishes with a winning record, then he should stick around, but if not, he should be let go.

Question #6: Will the 2011 season be more successful with or without Rodriguez? provides another chance for an interesting breakdown.

  • With – 87%
  • Without – 13%

(It was probably a mistake not to add another "I'm not sure" option, but oh well, my bad)

2011 will be more successful with Rodriguez than without:

Response: 7-5 6-6 5-7
Yes 90% 65% 46%
No 2% 14% 21%
I'm not sure 8% 21% 21%

2011 will be more successful without Rodriguez than with him:

Response: 7-5 6-6 5-7
Yes 21% 5% 2%
No 47% 87% 96%
I'm not sure 32% 8% 2%

Again, it's interesting to see that more of the "with" respondents wished to get rid of Rodriguez if Michigan finishes 5-7 than those who wished to keep him. Doubtlessly some of that can contribute to the fact that there would be a pretty painful transition if Michigan hired a coach with a pro-style offense for next year, but still, I thought that there would be more support for Rodriguez for those who think that next year would be better with him than without. Those who do not think that the team will be better with Rodriguez next year unsurprisingly think he should be removed, and rightfully so.

The last two questions deal with the possibility of a coaching change, and we will cross that bridge if or when we get to it. I was just curious to see what the answers would be and...

Question #5: If a coaching change is made, should it be done before or after the bowl game?

  • Before – 51%
  • After – 37%
  • I’m not sure – 12%

Question #8: Would Jim Harbaugh be the best candidate if Rodriguez is fired?

  • Yes – 48%
  • No – 19%
  • I’m not sure – 33%

There isn't really correlation between these two and any other of the questions, so there isn't really much to be gained other than just an answer to my curiosity, I suppose. By the way I don't think that this is a place to start a "'Jim Harbaugh is awesome!' 'No he's not!" flamewar (which are kind of annoying anyways)

So there it is, MGoBlog has spoken, and it has said that we should probably keep Rodriguez if Michigan wins at least one more game and achieves bowl eligibility, but if not, a change might be in order.



November 4th, 2010 at 7:59 PM ^

What you think is "interesting/intriguing" from the poll results is very strange to me. What I took out of it is that there is a small minority of blog readers that want Rodriguez out basically no matter what, but the majority are more patient and reasoned, giving different answers depending on the record and often responding "i dont know."

Also, a lot of the questions are very similar, but the wording or the available choices can make a big difference.


November 5th, 2010 at 1:53 PM ^

I don't blame anyone who isn't behind RR if we lose out.  That's another losing season, another bowl missed, and more importantly, no real improvement from year 2 to 3.  6-6 accomplishes this, albeit marginally. 

I believe in RR.  I think that, no matter what our record is this season, he will be successful at UM.  However, if we don't win another game this season, he probably needs to go.  Not certainly, but probably.  The problem there is that we will have another year where recruits are afraid to pull the trigger because of instability. 

If we go 5-7, there will be 2011 recruits, either current commits or guys we expect/think/hope to commit who decide to go elsewhere.  More importantly, there will be many 2012 guys who will either become very skeptical or simply rule us out based on our lack of progress.

If we go 5-7, even if RR has a great 2011, we won't know it until over 12 months from now, unless we start 8-0.  5-0 again or 6-0 will still elicit the same reaction, it won't be until we have 3 or 4 Big Ten wins that people will believe we're back.  By then, most 2012 recruits will have made their decisions. 

Does 6-6 change this?  Somewhat.  7-5 shows real progress, but that record is looking almost like a pipe dream, unless we pull off a W this weekend. 


November 4th, 2010 at 8:28 PM ^

If we lose out, RR will be 4-20 in conference play - 2-6, 1-7 and 1-7.  At that point I don't think you can justify keeping him as our head coach.  RR simply must find a way to win some of these final four games to show that he can have success at this school, when he doesn't have Jeff Casteel carrying part of the load. 


November 4th, 2010 at 10:05 PM ^

If I was making the decision, the team would never get to 5-7.  If RR loses to Illinois and then Purdue, I'd make the change right then and there.  Losing three consecutive years to MSU, IL and Purdue is all I would need to see.

That being said, I think that Purdue is soooo bad that Michigan can't lose to them this year.


November 5th, 2010 at 12:04 PM ^

"Losing three consecutive years to MSU, IL and Purdue is all I would need to see."

Trust me -- I'm with you on that emotionally.  But, I'd prefer that Brandon not go all "hillbilly" on us and do it mid-season.  Not graceful ...

Dr. Steve

November 4th, 2010 at 8:04 PM ^

Because the post that I asked as a question prior to the Penn State game was so vilified that I wasn't allowed to post again. What I asked was answered a few days later in much more confrontational way. Bye Bye. Dr. Steve


November 5th, 2010 at 3:06 AM ^

For a doctor you're not very smart.

The problem with your post was the tone more than the content.  This board doesn't tolerate emotional rants very well.  Also, many of your comments have been discussed at length in the past, so a quick search might have answered your questions. 

Finally, the members of this board are a bit arrogant when it comes to our knowlege of Michigan football since we live, breath, and eat it in here everyday.  For that reason, when someone brings up the opinion of an average fan as though they are an authority, many on here quickly lose their patience.  You see most fans follow the team on Saturdays, while we follow it every hour of every day, so the average fan's opinions are quickly discounted.

Please stick around.  It won't take long to understand the "rules" so that you can become a valued member of the MgoCommunity.


November 5th, 2010 at 3:10 AM ^

I won't say I'll miss you much, but I will say you were over-villified.

Just to make it clear: if you know what should/shouldn't be posted on this board please TEACH, don't DESTROY.  I'd argue that it was even more annoying listening to repeated negative comments about this guy's posts than it was reading "RR should _____" posts.


Arsenal Fan

November 4th, 2010 at 8:04 PM ^

If our D begins to play better, our team starts to look a lot better and the W's come with better overall play. we just need to stay healthy, even though  we are young we are developing young guys all over the team and in particular in our defensive backfield.


November 4th, 2010 at 8:37 PM ^

If RR loses out, he's gone.

But we all know, if we're honest with ourselves, that the only team Michigan is going to have a chance in hell of beating is Purdue this year. It's the only team on the schedule that won't gash our defense on every possession for 6 points.

6-6 is where Michigan is probably going to land- and most UM fans will be extremely pissed off and/or despondent.

It will be a very interesting November and offseason for the Maize and Blue again. That's for sure.


November 4th, 2010 at 8:53 PM ^

The team we're about to face is not all that great offensively.  If your defense stinks, OK, gameplan to account for that.  Try an onside kick.  Go for it a bunch of times on 4th down.  Try to maximize the number of offensive possessions.  If you're the coach, you can't just throw up your hands and give up.  You've got to try what you can.  I think RR would agree.


November 4th, 2010 at 9:44 PM ^

I see us going 6-6. I don't see us winning vs. Illinois, Wisconsin, or OSU, but beating Purdue. 

Of course, stranger things have happened, and who knows, 6-6 with a win vs. OSU and losses to everyone else could change how everyone looks at the program. 

Personally, I think we're digging a bigger and bigger hole. Our recruiting went from #12 in '07, to #10 in '08,  up to #8 in '09, but then plummeted to #20 in '10 and were currently at #27 this year. And I don't see any big future in sight for that defense; so even a 6-6 team this year and a 7-5 team next year still mean a team that is likely struggling and beating poor quality teams. That will hurt us looking for HS talent. 


A switch may be more painful in the short term, but could give a boost to recruiting that can help us get a rebound that would be very hard with continued struggles. 


November 5th, 2010 at 12:32 AM ^

unless something miraculous happens to our defense.  But, with a post-season appearance and those 15 (or 20 practices?) I would expect astronomical growth and development.  RR hasn't had that opportunity yet, post-season practices and game, so I would like to see what would happen in that scenario. 

Greg McMurtry

November 4th, 2010 at 8:57 PM ^

5-7 means no improvement in the W/L column over 2009. That's pretty unacceptable, especially with all the points that are being scored. I think this defense has the players to hold teams to less than 30 points and that should be enough to win. If that doesn't happen, then I would fully support the search for a new coach.


November 4th, 2010 at 8:57 PM ^

I really hope we can pull out 2 more wins this season, likely against Illinois and Purdue.  Given the last three games though, it is pretty tough to see this happening.

If we go 6-6 I want Rich Rod gone.  End of discussion.  It's not about being "UNACCEPTABLE" as it is about our record being an objective statement of fact.  

You can do all the statistical analysis in the world to apologize for Rich Rod.  At the end of the day it's about wins.  That's it.  

El Jeffe

November 5th, 2010 at 12:38 AM ^

You can do all the statistical analysis in the world to apologize for Rich Rod. At the end of the day it's about wins.  That's it.

I'm not sure who "you" is, but if it's David Brandon, you better call him and tell him that his process is all f'd up. He made it quite clear in the press conference posted on that he would do precisely the thing you are ridiculing--that is, evaluate all the evidence including but not limited to wins and losses, and make a decision.

Also, I find your handle to be deliciously ironic, given that Michigan fired him for reasons that had nothing to do with winning. In addition, they kept Tommy Amaker for six years in spite of the lack of winning. So I guess maybe it doesn't work quite the way you say it does, huh?

Mitch Cumstein

November 4th, 2010 at 9:52 PM ^

and honestly record isn't the only thing I'm looking for.  If we continue to score 10 pts or less in first halves, and have these fake comebacks to make our fans think our offence is unstoppable, that does nothing for me.  Additionally, when a team converts every third and long in a game with the same play, I get annoyed.  I'm just looking for some good efforts down the stretch, where I feel good about the game going into the 4th quarter and where I actually think we can stop a team on 3rd and long.  I don't think that is too much to ask.


November 4th, 2010 at 11:43 PM ^

At 7-5 you can make a case for his retention.  It would show improvement, however slight, over last year.


Anything less than that and you're treading water at best.  Rodriguez has done a horrible, horrible job at recruiting and retaining defensive players.  Even with the players he has, many programs are getting more production out of less talent.  I'll take CMU's defense--players, coordinators and all-over our defense 7 days a week.  That is why I'm not so sure Rodriguez is going to have success here, whether he is given 3 more weeks or 3 more years.


Do I think the defense is going to get worse?  No. That hardly seems possible.

I have serious doubts though if it is ever going to be competitive.


November 5th, 2010 at 12:57 AM ^

6-6 is only one win less than 7-5, which was the pre-season average predicted record on this board. The key is to get a bowl game and have some extra weeks to practice.

If RR finishes the season 5-7, I wold still give him a couple more years. Though Brandon will probably pull the plug on the RR experiment.

If the offense plays very well we could win against IL at home. 

Here are my probabilities for the final season record.

5-7  29% probable outcome.

6-6  45% probable outcome (weighted so high because PU has a horrible D and O)

7-5   20% probable outcome.

8-4   5 %  probable outcome.

9-3   1% probable outcome.


November 5th, 2010 at 4:04 AM ^

I was one of the people who said Rodriguez should be fired if he goes 5-7, yet also said if given 2 more years he could succeed. My thinking was that IF he manages to get two more years (which, if he closes out 5-7, most likely won't happen), he certainly CAN (not exactly unequivocal language) succeed. Perhaps that can shed some more light on the seemingly puzzling results to those questions.

Dallas Wolverine

November 5th, 2010 at 8:29 AM ^

I do believe the majority thinks RR is a good guy and are pulling for him (the team) and no one really wants him to be let go but lets face it if this team goes 5-7 6-6 I think that will be a tough sell to DB.


November 5th, 2010 at 11:55 AM ^

As a WV native and UM alum, check RR record at WVU vs. UM.  Cutting those baby teeth can be hard at times, but once they come in you can chew pretty good...  I think this year is really the first true glimpse at what is possible with a RR offensive at UM.  Even with "quality" opponents we are still pointing up points either with Denard or Tate the Great...  I just don't have an answer for the defense.... 


November 5th, 2010 at 11:58 AM ^

I'd be curious to see (I know...I know...not exactly possible) how this poll fits within the viewpoint of Michigan alums as a whole.  I have a feeling that the mgoblog viewpoint differs substantially.  Most surprising to me was that 57% of folks here think RR should be retained if he goes 6-6.  Three years in and three wins less than before he arrived?  I have a feeling that less than 10% of alums as a whole would favor keeping RR at that point.  What do I base that on?  Absolutely nothing scientific...I just haven't heard anyone (outside of this board) express such support for RR.


November 9th, 2010 at 5:23 PM ^

Both of my parents went to U of M and they still live in michigan, one in Ann Arbor, one just outside east lansing. I visit frequently and spend a lot of time with alumni friends of both my parents and I have to say, most of them are not calling for RR's head, in fact a lot of them are pretty squarely in his corner and want to see him succeed.


November 10th, 2010 at 4:24 PM ^

Well...Both of my parents went to UofM.  My grandfather went to UofM.  My aunt and great aunt went to UofM.  Those who are alive don't follow football.  I, however, am an alum who lives in Michigan and talks with plenty of alums, athletic department people and people involved in the business of football (coaching, program management, players, etc.).  My sample size might be small (on the whole) as well, but I have not talked to one...not one person who thinks RR is the right guy.  

[please note that thinking he's not the right guy has nothing to do with whether or not someone "wants to see him succeed"].


November 5th, 2010 at 12:00 PM ^

I'm sure glad Dave Brandon is running things.

 I have a question for the people that have a breaking point on the # of games RR wins as to wether he stays or goes.  Give me a reason as to why this is a good criteria?   Obviously a coach is graded on his record eventually, but 1 win?   So I want to hear from a guy who votes 7-5 keep him 6-6 fire him.   So let's say we play Wiscy tough and lose on a last second 50yd fg.   That's it you're going to pull the plug...unacceptable!!!

I have been Pro RR and continue to be, but I can understand people that don't like him or what has happened with the defense.  I will debate you and we can have a discussion, but to base it on a win or a loss is idiotic.  The OP points out the idiocy in the poll. So you think RR will eventually be successful, but he must be fired because a kicker does or does not make a fg?

The decision on RR must be made on his ability to succeed going forward.   If Brandon sees a coach that doesn't know how to lead or is being out worked or out schemed or doesn't relate to this players, isn't a good person, can't recruit, can't manage a staff then he should fire him regardless if he cobbles a couple of wins together.  On the flip if he believes in him what happens over the next couple of games is insignificant. 

Football games can change on the smallest and stupidest of things.  Brian's UFR's show you the difference between great plays and disasters are miniscule.  To base his career on a single data point is silly.

I see an offensive genius who has improved his offense every year and is on the verge of greatness with the offense, I see young talent coming together, I see a coach who has made mistakes in determining the direction of the defense, but has youth getting experience that should be better.   I see a coach that is determined, I see a coach that is smart, I see a coach that appears to be doing things the right way, I see a coach hamstrung in recruiting by a bunch of bs that is about to lift.

If Brandon sees all these same things his only decision is to ask him to describe why the defense is so bad and his plan to correct it and discuss it with him.  If he finds it satisfactory than he stays regardless of a win or a loss.   If you listened to Brandon today on WTKA it is essentially what he said.  



November 5th, 2010 at 1:23 PM ^

So I want to hear from a guy who votes 7-5 keep him 6-6 fire him.  

Here's your answer: because 7-5 is the bare minimum of what he should be expected to accomplish in year 3 as Michigan head coach.  That is not a good record.  That is the same record we posted in the "Year of  Infinite Pain" in 2005.  It would constitute modest progress from last year, so I'd allow him to keep his job unless the fanbase is so up in arms that ticket sales would be seriously imperiled.  It would not be a vote of confidence; he'd still be expected to improve next year or lose his job.

6-6 isn't enough.  We didn't bring the guy in to barely scrape to a horrible bowl game in year 3.  At this point, the record is the record.  You can't keep making excuses for it.


November 5th, 2010 at 2:05 PM ^

You don't care about injuries, explanations, depth charts, schemes, schedules, projections etc.?.   7-5 is your minimal progress number and 6-6 is firing.   I'm sorry, but if you can defend that as rational, I'd be impressed.   If you don't like the guy have the balls to say you think he sucks and he must go.  

Seriously,  I gave you the example.   You think the fate of his tenure should potentially rest on a 19yr olds foot?

So you think boy if he can get to 7-5 then next year we can win the Big Ten, but if they go 6-6 there is no hope he must be fired?  This makes no sense.

The reason I want him to stay is that I really think we are winning the Big Ten next year and I really don't think what happens in the next 4 games effects it all that much.   I see what this offense can do and I see how the defense can improve immensely by just being older and healthier.  If my projections don't come true then I have to re-evaluate, but I'm not going to say I had them at 11-2 they went 10-3 he should be fired.  I will look at the season, how they played, how the schedule ended up, injury factors, bad calls, bad breaks, good breaks, recruiting, progress, depth charts etc. and form my opinion.


November 5th, 2010 at 2:23 PM ^

I mostly agree with you, but RR has to start taking at least SOME of the responsibility for this defense. Not all of the guys on the "never forget" banner were injured. About half of them were guys that left the team in one way or another before they graduated or are guys that RR recruited but couldn't get into the school. It might not be RR's fault that we don't have Junior and Senior CBs on the depth chart, but it is his fault that we have no RS Freshmen-True Juniors on the depth chart. The same thing goes for FS.

If teams were known quantities at the beginning of the season, I would have said that Michigan should win 8 games this year; that's about where they should be at with this team. Well, now we are on the verge of losing 2 games that should have been wins. There is nothing that we can do about PSU now, but Illinois is still a game we should win this year. Without that win, I think this team is underacheiving by 2 games. I think that's the way that most people feel and why 7 wins is a must for them.

I would like to see RR back after 6 wins, but if we lose to Purdue, I'll have some serious concerns about bringing him back one more season.


November 5th, 2010 at 2:51 PM ^

The reason I want him to stay is that I really think we are winning the Big Ten next year and I really don't think what happens in the next 4 games effects it all that much. 

Wait...We're going to win the Big Ten next year?  Why?  I'm guessing you feel that we'll improve so much on defense (even though we're still young and lacking depth) with a new DC in his first year (even though everyone said we had to give GERG multiple years...because it takes time to learn a new defense) that we'll be the top dog?  Don't you think other teams have the ability to improve as well.  Penn State won't be so injured and young.  Ohio State will have a senior TP.   Nebraska is coming to town.

I'm fine for rational talk, but let' they say...keep it real.  You hope that we will win the Big Ten but nothing about our team indicates that we will.  And you don't think the next four games matter?  There is zero chance RR returns at 5-7 or 6-6.  There is a slight chance he returns at 7-5.  Even if mgoblog loves RR, the alumni will not stand for it...and there are a lot more alumni than just us folk posting here.


November 5th, 2010 at 3:09 PM ^

Well, like everyone has said, it's Dave Brandon's decision, not the alumni. Even if they start pulling money, I think he does what he feels is best, which is most likely stick with RR for at least one more year.

I don't think it's unlikely that if we get a real scheme next year that we see drastic improvement on defense. We get back Woolfolk and Floyd as Corners, plus 3 sophomores and any freshemen we recruite (depth!). Demens has looked good. Cam Gordon will probably make a good WLB. Our Safeties all have a year under their belts. I don't think it's unreasonable for us to be average next year (24 ppg). Add in that the offense will have more of a playbook and our schedule is in our favor next year, and it's not unrealistic that we at least go to the championship game next year.

Away games are Northwestern, MSU, Iowa (without Stanzi), Illinois. OSU, Nebraska, and ND at home. The other 5 are essentially gimmes. There is no PSU next year. Our schedule is backloaded. So, if we beat ND, we go to MSU 6-0. After that we have 3 probable wins before Nebraska and OSU at home. We can continue to add to our offense and get more experience on defense before we hit any seriously difficult competition.


November 8th, 2010 at 1:01 AM ^

Rodriguez is back next year and will be here for a looong time after that and no amount of grousing from a a small band of low IQ alumni such as yourself is going to change that. Your little fantasy that your opinion and those of the few fair weather fans that share it are going to sway David Brandon from making a smart decision is just that, a fantasy. David Brandon is the CEO of a huge sports organization and to think that the petty rantings of some blue-hairs pining to return to the days of yore is going to force his hand in removing RR, well, keep dreaming.

The alumni won't allow it? You really think he is going to be shaking in his office over what you might do? Your self-importance is laughably delusional. He doesn't depend on you for anything. With a donor base that is as expansive and varied as UM's, the vast majority being true supporters that don't make their support conditional upon getting what they want, I think he probably finds you amusing and understands that you guys aren't going to be around too much longer. Manage to and for the future I say.

David Brandon recently told a recuit that RR would be here quite a while, so unless you are calling him a liar, you might want to adjust your expectations in terms of coaching changes and get ready for the next 5-10-15 (Rod willing) years of stellar M football. Jump back on the bandwagon, you know you want to.


November 8th, 2010 at 10:06 AM ^

Your comment is really sad.  It's emblematic of the "rift" that only gets worse by "fans" like you who root for the coach over the team and think that anyone who disagrees with their hope isn't a "true fan".

You see, I'm happy that we won on Saturday because I'm a Michigan fan.  I want us to win whether our coach is RichRod or Mr. Ed.  I want our team to play hard, stay clean and win.  Despite winning against Illinois (a game that we were favored to win and needed to win), I don't think it's time to make the RR decision.  I said that same after we lost to State and lost to Iowa.  He gets the full season to prove what he can do.  Like the vast majority of alums, I doubt RR is the guy.  I know...I can't imagine that to be true.  It is.  Most alums don't agree with you.  We don't all need to agree, but it'd be great if people like you could realize that doesn't make another alum, "delusional", "low IQ" or "dreaming".

If you think that we're currently seeing "stellar M football", however, it probably wasn't even worth my time to type this.


November 5th, 2010 at 12:01 PM ^

In the absence of anything wildly unforeseen, I'm not sure that the results of next 4 games tell us all that much about RR and the present and future states of the program that we don't already know.   If we get a few breaks and beat IL and Purdue (or have the breaks go the other way and lose), will that materially alter anyone's perception of the what the future holds?   I mean, football's a funny game and Ws and Ls happen for more reasons than "coach=bad" and "coach=good".   I would have expected that people's keep-or-fire viewpoint to be less dependent on the outcome of 4 games. 

Penn State Clips

November 5th, 2010 at 12:24 PM ^

Would Jim Harbaugh be the best candidate if Rodriguez is fired?

Is Harbaugh a realistic option for Michigan if they give RichRod the heave-ho? I've long assumed that Harbaugh had burned too many bridges with his comments about UM academics with regards to athletes.

I have more than a passing interest in this issue, as it's looking increasingly likely that Penn State's season finale against Michigan State will be JoePa's last home game. (And thankfully the end of our fake season-ending "rivalry" with Little Brother!) Harbaugh has been mentioned as a possible successor.

I'd love to have Harbaugh as Penn State's next coach, but I fear his aspirations are the NFL.


November 5th, 2010 at 12:47 PM ^

So if we go 7-5, what is the improvement?  Assuming one of those victories is IL and of course Purdue, did we not beat a bunch of bad teams?  Did we score a bunch of second half points when games were already decided?  Where is any improvement?


November 5th, 2010 at 1:35 PM ^

2010 UConn (4-4) > 2009 WMU (5-7)

@2010 ND (4-5) > 2009 ND(6-6)

2010 UMass (5-3) > 2009 DSU (4-6)

2010 BGSU (2-7) > 2009 EMU (0-12)

@2010 Indiana (4-4) > 2009 Indiana (4-8)

2010 MSU (8-1) > @2009 MSU (6-7)

2010 Iowa (6-2) < @2009 Iowa (11-2)

@2010 PSU (5-3) < 2009 PSU (11-2)

So far, that's 6 games that are harder this year due to better opponents or road games. Even Iowa could turn out to be a more difficult game this year if they beat OSU.

Look at the rest of our schedule. Illinois is obviously way better than last year. Purdue is on track for a 5 win season, which is where they were at even after beating us and we have to play at their stadium. Wisconsin's on track for 11 wins; they had 9 last year. We are playing at OSU.

So, 10 or 11 out of 12 games are upgrades from last year. If we win 7, especially with this defense, that should count as significant improvement over all.


November 5th, 2010 at 2:11 PM ^

You can't look for improvement.  Schedules, injuries, timing, breaks don't matter in trying to explain anything.  All you can do is yell if they lose and cheer if they win.  Nothing else matters.     I would bet my house on Utah being better than Alabama.  They have 1 more win than them so they are the better program. 

Seriously my expectations are so much higher just because of our depth and our schedule next year.  I'd be fine with 7 wins this year and I'll be disappointed if we  have 9 next year.


November 5th, 2010 at 2:30 PM ^

His argument is that there is no improvement from last year at 7-5. I'm arguing that at 5-7 there is still improvement based on the strength of our schedule, despite how minute it may be. I'm arguing that 7-5 is significant improvement over last year based on the two extra wins and the tougher teams we've had to face.

I had typed this out, but then deleted it, but our schedule next year is in our favor again, especially with players leaving for the NFL. Next year, we have to win our division or beat OSU and lose by the head-to-head to Nebraska. Anything less than that, and we are underacheiving yet again.


November 5th, 2010 at 2:07 PM ^

Again, great work White Tiger. I appreciate the cross-tabs broken out by responses to questions 1- 3.

It'd be really interesting to do a randomized sample to try and draw some real, statistically significant conclusions, in order to avoid some of the answer bias.