Not on suicide watch just yet...

Submitted by Electron Erectshon on October 12th, 2008 at 12:36 AM

Would anyone happen to have some recruiting data at their fingertips comparing how our 22 starters stacked up against Toledo's in terms of recruiting rankings (player by player)?  It would also be nice to know how much experience was on the Toledo roster too vs. ours (Fr, Soph, Jr, Sr).  IMO it's safe to say if the talent is far, far superior on the Michigan side of the ball and the experience commensurate then you have to put this particular loss square on the coaches. 

I can't help but feel like this loss is worse than Appy St. b/c at least they were 3X National Champs and there was part of me that was expecting a colossal meltdown in the Lloyd era given all the games we played close against inferior talent.  It's stupid to call for RR's head for a lot of reasons but #1 is that UM is going to give him at least 3 years no matter what so what's the point of starting now?  However, I don't agree with the posters who say, "I can't wait for 2010 to get here."  That's classic Michigander apologizing at it's best.  Uh, what about next year?  UM was a solid program for 40 years under Bo, Mo & Lloyd and while I was happy to see it end, it's no excuse for the program to continue blundering into new historical lows during the '09 season like the one it did today.  I think it would also be good to compare RR's progress in Yr 1 & Yr 2 with the other historically strong CF programs who got new coaches in the past decade (e.g. Tressel, Carrol, Meyer, Stoops, etc) and see how he compares when that time rolls around. I believe a lot of those guys won MNC's in Year 2/3 of their coaching tenure.  If by the end of Yr 2 Michigan isn't where most of those programs were, then I think it's fair for us to start losing faith in him and Bill Martin.  It's important to keep in mind Michigan was almost always winning 8 or 9 games under Lloyd so the hire is supposed to improve upon that.  But that's down the road and for now we need to pull for RR b/c he's got the reigns and if we have 2 or 3 horrible years we could end up in a Notre Dame like nosedive.  I never thought I'd say or think that until we lost to Toledo today. 

Regardless of what they say in interviews I'm doubtful this group of guys is willing to lay it all out there for their coach and it's understandable.  When I get a new boss at work there's a feeling out process and regardless of whether it's right or wrong I think it's just natural to be reluctant about giving allegiance or my best effort right away, especially if I deem him/her to be worse than my previous boss or a prick.  The upperclassman probably loved Lloyd.  It's also no secret that RR is not a player's coach like, say the ridiculously successful Wayne Fontes. And you also have upperclassman who don't get any PT after waiting years to see the field under Lloyd and it's understandable if they're pissed.  This negativity is probably at odds with the positive outlook the freshman have and it's creating some weird mojo on Saturdays.  Blah blah blah.  Just beat fucking Toledo.  I mean it's Toledo and they're 1-4.

This year is obviously lost but no way did I think getting beaten by a 1-4 Toledo team at home was something we'd have to endure.  RR is a proven winner and I would be absolutely shocked if he didn't get Michigan to a level that was better than Lloyd by the end of Yr 2 and his entire 3rd season.  I believe in his electrons in space offense.  The only way it does not work is if the type of jock that Michigan attracts, you know, with a decent head on his shoulders (excluding Slocum), does not respond well to the "break you down (physically & mentally) and build you up" mentality of the RR coaching philosophy.  That's my only fear and I don't think it will apply b/c it appears he's targeting the same guys he brought in at WVU - guys with a crazy passion for the game who we'll work hard to qualify.

Writing = therapy and boy did I need some today.




October 12th, 2008 at 1:04 AM ^

I didn't even try to read this except for the last bit. I totally agree that writing here makes for great therapy. But c'mon, at least try to entertain us! This post was totally unreadable just because of the format IMHO.


October 12th, 2008 at 5:30 PM ^

It seems like there are some people here who expect entirely too much, as if everyone is supposed to write like an ESPN blogger--perfect stats and understanding of the game, perfect format, etc--on a personal blog. Don't worry about it.

I completely agree with you about how some of those players probably feel about RR and how it affects their play. I think Michigan is supposed to be better than they are this season, too, and I suspect the reasons why they're not have more to do with what's going on inside the program than what kind of players we have. The QB situation is a problem (and some people want to say the O-Line, too, although I think they have, at least, gotten better enough), but it's not the only one.

My personal feeling is this is not like App St., and for people who compare it I'd say App. St. was worse. For one thing, when Michigan lost that game, everyone was healthy and we had all these playmakers, all these seniors, and we were being talked about for the National Championship. At this point in the season--and, frankly, the same should be said for when Michigan played Miami OH--I don't see how anyone could look at the way Michigan has played and not have worried they'd lose to Toledo. App. St. was surprising; unfortunately, this loss was not. App. St. ruined our whole season, depending on what you wanted for Michigan and thought Michigan had potential to do (I want a national title...not the Rose Bowl, not just the Big Ten title, not just to beat OSU).


October 12th, 2008 at 1:10 AM ^

I actually did a small break down of some of the more successful coaches in college football atm (and bob stoops -- zing!) and the vast majority of those coaches were 6-6 to 8-3 i think there may have been one nine win team in there but I don't recall exactly who I looked at.. I know Missouri, USC, Fla, OSU, Oklahoma, WV, and maybe a few others, it's not a huge representative sample but it was something. They all were pretty mediocre but then again almost none of them were going from pro-set to wide open spread, either. and I can almost promise you that none of them had lost three of the best players their program has ever seen.

the think people have to keep in mind (and this may sound like RR apology talk) but michigan has been to a bowl game for 33 straight years.. that's not supposed to happen. We're over due for a bad year and unless RR's tenure at WV was a fluke...we'll be back in no time. I have to admit, I thought this year was going to be a lot better than its turning out to be but it wouldn't surprise me to see next year turn into a 2nd or 3rd place finish in the big ten followed by our RR coming out party in '10.

I'm not going to be "that guy" and say that I can't wait for 2010 because I know that through these growing pains and through these horrible saturdays this fall and maybe even the next we will watch this team grow right in front of us, we will see the true meddle of the players who stick it through this rough patch and as cheesy as it sounds we will know what it really means to say "those who stay will be champions"


October 12th, 2008 at 2:17 AM ^

Opelt was a junior and Moore was a sophomore. That guy that had the 2 interceptions was a senior.
The experience of their offense looks pretty good but their offense didn't really score much so I guess that's not too relevant.

I don't remember who all was playing for them on defense, I guess the big question would be their D line vs our O line. Hard to imagine them having a D line as inexperienced as our O line.

But I'm not sure any of this is going to help with your question. Michigan's defense gave up 6 points, Michigan's offense is what needs to be looked at. And really the key play was the interception, otherwise we could be looking at a 17-6 win and no one would care how ugly it was

Like all the other games, the main issue Michigan has had is turnovers. I guess whether you put the blame for them down to coaching or players is a personal choice. But I don't think comparing experience or skill is going to give you the answers you're looking for.


October 12th, 2008 at 11:22 AM ^

What do you expect RR to do this season with an unreliable o-line (look for Brian's breakdown of o-line recruiting the past 5 years) and two quarterbacks who cannot consistently throw the ball down the field? I mean, you've seen our run game. The line can't even get a push for Sam I Am to get going. Throw on top of that a horrid pass game that can't consistently attack vertically and it spells offensive disaster. I just don't know how anyone can really, really blame the coaches when the talent is way below subpar on both the o-line and at the qb positions along with trying to implement the spread with 3 classes of student athletes who were recruited to run the pro set.

 RR went 11-1 or 11-2 three seasons at WEST VIRGINIA. He'll get it done at the most highly prestigious collegiate program in the country. Next year: #5 recruiting class in the nation(as of today). 2010: 3 five star recruits already committed. Yes, I'll concede RR this year.


Electron Erectshon

October 12th, 2008 at 1:21 PM ^

I get how terrible our OL and QB situation is this year.  My point is, we're probably still working with more talent than our opponent (even at these positions).  Also we're at home and Toledo was 1-4 for Pete's sake.  This is an inexcusable loss that falls on the shoulders of the coaching staff.  IMO, there is enough of a talent advantage with Michigan's roster to pull out a victory against lowly Toledo.  Perhaps the game plan wasn't strong enough but I'm no expert on that so it's not for me to say what could have been done better.  It just seems to me that if you have more talent, roughly the same amount of experience across the 22 players, you're at home and the team you're playing stinks too, you should win.

When your offense only scores 7 pts all day, regardless of their fumbling issues, I would still have liked to see Minor and Shaw get a few more touches. I feel like they have the ability to explode for a TD on any 1 play, more so than McGuffie.  Or our "D" scoop up the 1Q fumble & run it in for 6 when there's no one around rather than just pounce on it.  I would have liked to see the offense keep the ball on the ground on the 1st & Goal when Threet eventually threw a pick-6 (b/c they were moving it well on the ground) but perhaps that's all just retrospect

RR has my support but losing to Toledo is absolutely pathetic.  I think it's a low point that could have been avoided.  It's too damn low and IMO people are being way to forgiving if they think the majority of that does not fall on the coaching staff.  I support the growing pains but a loss to Toledo is beyond my pain threshold.

Anonymous Coward (not verified)

October 12th, 2008 at 12:21 PM ^

That's my impression. The fumbling, dropped passes, missed tackles, can be read in different ways--we're learning the spread, thinking too much, struggling to transition to a new offense, etc. Well, here's my 2 cents. This team has been beaten down to the point where they hesitate for fear of doing it wrong. I don't see signs of team bonding, excitement, or leadership.


October 13th, 2008 at 11:42 AM ^

AppySt. was a million times worse than this for me. That is based on expectation both for the game and the season and histocical significance. AppySt. is DivI-AA and Michigan became the first ranked team to lose to such a school. Michigan was ranked in the top 5 at the time. No one thought ASU had a ghost of a chance. Michigan's glorious national championship potential season lasted 1 game before it ended in hideous flames as we watched ASU run the exact same play on 8/10 plays of a TD scoring drive. That game will never be forgotten. This entire season for Michigan may well be remembered as an asterik. RR's first season. This game may well be the worst lose (pray it is) but that is all.

I also think the RR treats his player poorly meme is unproven. I see examples of RR being more of players coach than Lloyd in some ways. RR lets his players play the game. He doesn't seem to protect them from themselves constantly. I think the RR is horrible to his players stuff started with Boren and has been carried on by those who never supported RR. It is also completely inconsistent with the "RR is a lying liar who will take any felon hoping to win" line of criticism. That doens't stop the Michigan Old Guard from running both simultaneously but whatever.