Nervous Apprehension

Submitted by adalvi5 on August 9th, 2008 at 5:35 PM

Transitions are never smooth - some are just better than others.  The transition from Lloyd Carr to Rich Rodriguez has been bumpy to say the least, and this is before any meaningful football has been played.

I think most rational Michigan fans knew/know that season is going to be ugly.  Personally, I just hope that Michigan keeps its post-season bowl streak intact  Though lately, I think 8 or 9 total wins is possible.

In the long term, I think there is potential for great things.  I like that Rodriguez is aggressive and hungry.  I like that he believes in well conditioned players and wants to make Michigan tough like it was in the past.  Still, in the pit of my stomach, I'm don't know what to expect from the Rodriguez era.  In fact, I'm still not sure it was the right hire.  

Was there a better hire out there?  I don't know.  If I had to pick, I would have gone with Miles because of his ties to the school (and in hindsight, his National Championship doesn't hurt either).  For some reason, I just see the Rodriguez era being either total domination or total disaster - nothing really in between.  Why total disaster?

  • The hiring process.  It's well known that Rodriguez was not the first choice.
  • The handling of the buyout.  Worst litigation strategy ever.
  • Current recruiting, specifically the number of 3 stars being offered so early
  • Impression that Rodriguez's teams are more offense oriented.  Will he overlook the importance of defense?
  • The man himself.  Definitely not as polished as Lloyd (sans interactions with media)

I think the above bullets are just more irrational fears.  Looking at "soft" factors and projecting them on the bigger picture of wins and losses.  Maybe its just getting used to something new and different.  I'll be the first to admit I have no solid evidence that Rodriguez will bomb, but as of right now, based on his tenure so far, I'm not sold.  

Hopefully, Rodriguez will make Michigan an annual contender for the National Championship.  Hopefully, Rodriguez will be our Roy Williams and not our Bill Gutridge or Matt Doherty. 


Michigan Arrogance

August 9th, 2008 at 6:40 PM ^

It's well known that Rodriguez was not the first choice.

well that's because, like Darth Vader, no one knew he was available until the very end. 

the rest of it? didn't we all cover this in Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar......

West Texas Blue

August 9th, 2008 at 7:14 PM ^

adalvi5 needs a refresher

1) The hiring process: of course Rich Rod wasn't our first choice, because nobody knew he was available. Rich Rod was considered one of the untouchables (Stoops, Meyer, Carroll, Richt, Saban). Who cares what choice he was? We landed one of the best coaches in the nation whose offense decimated the Big East, Oklahoma, and Georgia in the last 3 years.

2) Handling of the buyout: this was not on Rich Rod. He was ready to pay the buyout, but Michigan wanted him to contest the buyout in hopes of getting it reduced, as they were able to knock down John Beilein's buyout by quite a bit. The strategy backfired, but whatever, it's over and now we can get on with football.

3) Current recruiting: please see Brian's post

4) Rodriguez's teams being more offense orientated: West Virginia finished top 10 last year in scoring defense and total defense. I'm pretty sure Rich Rod will take note of defense. Listen to his pressers so far in fall practice and he has made alot of good comments on defense and is working hard to get defense to test out and improve his offense.

I find it funny after so many years of people complaining about how boring Michigan's offense is and how things are always the same, we bring in a dynamic, top level coach in Rich Rodriguez, and now people are starting to worry too much about changes. Just sit back and enjoy the season; it should be alot of fun (I hope).

Ellipses Man

August 9th, 2008 at 7:16 PM ^

Michigan did not handle it well from an administrative level, the hiring process that is. Rich, in many ways, did us the fans a favor and Bill Martin one.
Have we forgotten the whole Les Miles ordeal and the Kirk Herbstreidt Q/A? Or the yacht cruise? Or Schiafano just saying yes and no?
Rich just said,"I do," And made Michigan Football.

chitownblue (not verified)

August 9th, 2008 at 7:23 PM ^


Yeah, lets try to figure out ways to get upset about hiring a coach who's turned out 3 straight top 10 teams.


August 9th, 2008 at 7:45 PM ^

With the exception of schools that hire from within, no one - no one - ever ends up hiring their first choice. USC basically backed into Carroll after a bunch of other guys said no. OSU floundered for weeks before settling on Tressel. Alabama wanted RR before they landed Saban. And on and on.

Whether our first choice was Ferentz, Miles, Shiano or someone else, it really doesn't matter. We landed probably a better coach than any of them.  The criticism of the hiring process is seriously overblown.  Lloyd retired after the OSU game.  Three weeks later we landed one of the most highly-regarded coaches in the country.  That's a pretty good result.  A truly botched hiring process is what WVU did - panic and offer an unqualified guy.

turbo cool

August 9th, 2008 at 7:51 PM ^

great point, and nobody seems to realize this. being the '1st choice candidate' doesn't mean anything. if guys like hoke and ferentz were before richrod then thank god we unfairly had to get richrod. i'd shit myself if either of those 2 guys were hired here.


richrod will be succesful. everyone is super apprehensive about being optimistic about him because he brings in a completely new offense (and also defense). but change is good. richrod brings the potential of not only winning big ten titles, but national championships too. and that's the main goal. 


my friends within the program and on the team have nothing but great things to say about the transition. To quote one, 'Rodriguez will win a national championship here within the next 3-4 years, no doubt'. 


August 9th, 2008 at 9:24 PM ^

West Texas Blue & Michigan Arrogance -

Appreciate both your points. While things may have been covered earlier, the point of the post is that 1) most of my "fears" are irrational, for whatever reason and 2) its hard getting used to something new.


August 9th, 2008 at 11:42 PM ^

I guess I don't even see the transition as "bumpy". Most of the things that make press--WVU noise, buyouts, etc. are external to the program. The only turmoil internally was the Boren thing and maybe Mallet and they seemed to have their own agenda. Overall, my sense (from the outside) is that the players have bought into the system. That is the only turmoil that I really worry about.


August 10th, 2008 at 12:00 PM ^

I am nervous about this year too. But....

every day that I listen to the media and hear the players and coaches, I feel that this was one of the best changes to the program that could have been made.

If the players buy in they can do anything

They can beat anybody on any day
They can also lose to anybody on any day
That is what scares me
In a couple years I don’t think losing is going to be as much of an option

I don’t think his recruiting missed a beat, it shifted direction a little
We might not have gotten a 5 star QB who can throw the ball farther than I can drive a golf ball but the players are still showing up and more athletic as well. Pat White was a 2 star and I think Slaton was a 3 or 4 star; he has done more with less than most of the teams out there. Offering all the 3 stars so early might also be “he can win with them” talent alone might not be what wins the games.

Not as polished as Llyod, I don’t care “win the big ones” bring championships back to Ann Arbor, that is what I want. Move the road to the NC north about 200 miles.


August 10th, 2008 at 1:37 PM ^

Our offense will, at times, look ugly. I think starting a young QB and OL will do that. What we do have is talent, speed, and an offensive genius running the ship.

This team will probably lose 4 games, but the real question in my mind is how will this team respond after losses? Lloyd's teams always managed to come back and put together winning seasons after a tough early loss.

The expectations are low, but with an innovative new coaching philosophy, a (much needed) new S&C philosophy, renevations to the stadium, Schembechler Hall, and a new indoor football-only practice facility this team is poised to be the elite team in DIV I for years to come.

My advice, enjoy the beginning of a new era in Michigan Football.