Rod v Miles

Submitted by shottysafa on October 10th, 2008 at 2:25 PM

This post was inspired by Brian's mailbag analysis of Rod and Les Miles.  In the end, this was just too long to post as a reply.

I can completely appreciate the nuts and bolts, on-the-field assessment of Rodriguez vis a vis Miles, but an important point is being missed.

Les is a Michigan man, legitimately.  Had he have been signed, he's your coach for the next 15 years.  His staff becomes an institution that draws recruits nationally in much the same way Paterno and Bowden do, year in and year out.  He knows how to beat OSU.  After Les retired from coaching, in A2, he'd have an office in the Hartwig Building like both Bo and Lloyd.

Rod, on the other hand, left his alma mater and his home state.  His hometown acknowledged him on their welcome sign.  At WVU he was king, his team competed in a BCS conference, and he earned a salary at or near the pinnacle for college coaches.  If he left WVU and the situation he had there, how does that bode for us?  Three valid scenarios are likely:

1.  Rod is wildly successful.  Think 9-3 next year, 11-1 the year after and we return to top ten rankings.  Undergrads rejoice in face paint, suckers like me spring for tickets to the Rose Bowl collapse, and life in general is very good.  An NFL team approaches Rod, and he delivers a shy smile as he's announced as Al Davis' next messiah.  We flounder trying to find a coach who can manage a team built entirely around the spread offense.  Case study: Bobby Petrino.

2.  Rod is pretty successful.  Think 8-4 next year, 9-3 the year after that and while we're in the rankings, there's a national expectation that we'll drop at least one big game a year and an outlier to a non-conference opponent (Welcome back to Ann Arbor, Oregon!).  Life is still pretty good, and not unlike Lloyd's last few years.  Rod holds U of M's feet to the fire to renegotiate his contract and Mary Sue and Martin cry poverty from a state bordering on economic depression.  Rod gets a small salary premium from a big time program, a great endorsement deal, and he delivers a shy smile as he's announced as Florida's next messiah (Urban Meyer just took the deal with the Raiders from Scenario 1).  We contemplate chugging arsenic trying to find a coach who can manage a team built entirely around the spread offense.  Case study: a blast from the past for MSU fans, Nick Saban...and Rich Rodriguez.

3.  Rod sucks.  I mean he's truly awful and we struggle in 4-8 obscurity for two years.  Undergrads are sober and read Kierkegaard in the stands during games, endowments are pulled and Indiana looks down on us in the Big 11 standings.  The traditions pulled from the team by Rod now seem tiresome and he repeatedly reiterates his commitment to work hard for the team.  Rod's canned six games into the season and Lloyd returns to finish the slate to a .500 finish, potentially finishing his swan song by beating OSU (although highly unlikely).  Rod avoids eye contact with the cameras as he's introduced as Miami's (either one) offensive coordinator.  We sincerely consider committing seppuku trying to find a coach who can manage a team built entirely around the spread offense.  Case study: Bill Callahan.

The third scenario is, admittedly, extremely unlikely.  But if Rod can bolt on dub-vay, he can and will plunge the knife deep on us.  Scenarios 1 and 2 are highly likely.  My brother, who lives in Morgantown, is still extremely bitter and probably won't speak to me after he gets the "all your coaches are belong to us" t-shirt for Christmas.  It's ok to spend for talent, but you overpay for integrity and loyalty.

Three years in the history of Michigan Football is not an era, it's a hiccup.  Standby for tabloid headlines two years from now...and a rough transition with Rod's successor.


Anonymous Coward (not verified)

October 10th, 2008 at 2:34 PM ^

with anything you've said. I don't think Michigan fans were real welcoming of Rich. In fact, he had very little support from Michigan fans and media during his struggles with a petty fan base and AD.


October 11th, 2008 at 3:46 AM ^

You left off the fourth option man!

4.  There is a plane crash, the entire team is dead, and Mathew McConaughey makes a movie about the coach that takes over. Our rallying call will be WE ARE MICHIGAN!

This is all bullshit, you just described about every possible scenario for any coach, they do great, they do pretty good, or they suck.  WOW.  The only thing you added to the standard options was Al Davis, which wont happen because he is going to die in like 2 years.  He is old as fuck.  If you are going to post a Diary, make it worth our while.

Sorry to sound like an ass but this last week of posting has driven me crazy.  Lets accept what is happening and discuss some football, or hockey, or basketball, or whatever sport you want to! Just NOT THIS Rich Rod hate shit or predictions.  If you are going to predict the future of a coach, do it when people care, like right after he was hired. 


October 10th, 2008 at 2:44 PM ^

Seriously, can't these people go back home to the Rivals boards? We don't even have one half of a season done, and folks are getting ready to throw Rodriguez under the bus. It's like voting for impeachment after the New Deal took more than a month to get us out of the Great Depression.


October 10th, 2008 at 2:50 PM ^

If you're right, you can dig through archives, find this post, and tell everyone "I told you so."
If you're wrong, we'll all be too pleased with the program(and busy with real life) to take the time to find this post and laugh at you.
I bet you like to bet on black and red.


October 10th, 2008 at 2:56 PM ^ even think that Les wouldn't bolt for another job if he is here.....the NFL allures everyone.....i think you are in dream land by presuming just because Lester went to school here that he would stay for 15 years and have so much success he would have that future office space you speak of.....kinda naive, if you ask me.

He knows how to beat OSU? Based on one game? And, of course after the 1987 Rose Bowl Game, John Cooper knew how to beat Michigan. And, of course, Joe Pa knew how to beat UM to, circa, no offense, but thats a pretty weak argument as well.

 I cant shake how the Oklahoma St players all said the main difference between Miles and Gundy were disciplne and the new coach hounded them to, gasp, go to class.

I never was in love with Lester, and I found that all the people who are in love with him tend to gloss over all the negatives that he brings to the table.....simply because he is a Michigan Man, whatever in the H that mythical moniker really is.

The Hat is not our coach. Never will be. People need to get over it.


October 10th, 2008 at 2:58 PM ^

a fucking moron. Les Miles will be 55 next month. So he coaches Michigan until he's SEVENTY? Geriatric coaches either suck, or are figureheads, or both.

The last 100 years proves that the shelf life for effective Head Coaches drops precipitously after the age of 62 or 63.
Historically, head coaches over the age of 63 have losing records. Probably something to do with not being able to keep up the necessary energy, and not relating to 18-22 year old kids.

If Miles was our HC, we'd have gotten maybe 8 good years and then we're calling for his head.


October 10th, 2008 at 3:14 PM ^

Scenario 4
Les Miles comes to Ann Arbor. Without a national title caliber team left for him to inherit as in his LSU transition, he hires hot-shot co-ordinators we all fawn over. Tenuta's BLITZ BLITZ BLITZ defense turns out to be horribly ineffective with our average defense. Miles personally loses three games for the Wolverines when he has Mallet throw for the endzone on 4th and 1 from the 20 down by 2 with :01 on the clock (we are out of TOs because he called three in a row before a kickoff somehow). Michigan goes 8-4.


Scenario 5
Les Miles arrives in Ann Arbor to much fan fair. However, before the season begins, he is arrested for exposing his Lesticles to an undergrad sociology major in a drunken bender on the town. He is fired two days before the Utah game. Ron English, retained in the transition, takes over and leads the Wolverines to 9 consecutive National Titles



Scenario 6
Miles, drunk with unchecked power, has Bill Martin killed and installs himself as Athletic Director. Michigan goes 12-0 for three seasons, wins 2 BCS titles (a devastating loss to Carr led Syracuse prevents the third straight title). Michigan is given the death penalty when it is revealed Steve Hutchison was playing for the team and Miles was handing recruits large sacks with $$ imprinted on them.


Scenario 7
A complete inability to grasp reality and lack of critical thinking, combined with the auburn firing of their offensive coordinator and infantile entitlement attitude of Michigan fans results in an influx of whiners to MGoBlog who pass total and complete judgment on the new coach after just 5 games, and one week after they were ready to proclaim Michigan the best team in the Big 10.
7 seems most likely to me.




October 10th, 2008 at 3:29 PM ^

I'm an econ major and my favorite part of any model are the assumptions.  You can just say "this is an assumption" then tinker a little and low and behold you have a theory, which based on huge outrageous assumptions, is true.  Watch:

 Lets assume Kate Beckinsale likes balding 23 yr old undergrads with a passion for UM football.  Also assume that all balding 23 yr old undegrads with a passion for UM football have subpar math skills and attend D2 schools in NW washington.  Also assume they go by the handle of Keegan on mgoblog. 


Therefore, I will marry Kate Beckinsale and have 5.6 children with her.  God I love assumptions.  Based on my logic, you can't prove me wrong.


October 10th, 2008 at 3:29 PM ^

Scenario 4 Les Miles comes to Ann Arbor. Without a national title caliber team left for him to inherit as in his LSU transition, he hires hot-shot co-ordinators we all fawn over. Tenuta's BLITZ BLITZ BLITZ defense turns out to be horribly ineffective with our average defense. Miles personally loses three games for the Wolverines when he has Mallet throw for the endzone on 4th and 1 from the 20 down by 2 with :01 on the clock (we are out of TOs because he called three in a row before a kickoff somehow). Michigan goes 8-4.


October 10th, 2008 at 3:27 PM ^

Les Miles won a National Championship with mostly Nick Saben's players against a lousy Ohio State team. If things go the other way in those games he got the nickname "mad hatter" he isn't playing in the NC and some other SEC team is destroying OSU. Coaches in the SEC and Pete Caroll have to be looked at a little differently. Yes they may be good coaches, but they have an extreme advantage by coaching in the backyards of most of the nations best players. The whole "Michiga Man" thing is the dumbest thing I have ever heard and I wish it would go away. People do realize that by thinking like that they are dropping the coaching pool to about 5 guys. Yeah the transition to Les Miles would have gone a little smoother (his pro-style offense obviously works better with the players we already have) but I truely believe we are better in the long run! Think Juice Williams/Dennis Dixon in a Michigan jersey. With the players we can put around them, how good are we going to be? Another thing I can't stand is how people are complaining about the type of player he is getting and how we may not put out as many NFL players. Last time I checked you don't get extra points for the amount of NFL guys. Now Vince Young is probably going to fizzle out as an NFL QB, but everyone in america would want him on their team and the national title he brought to UT. Get off of RR and let him work his magic. I guarantee in 2 years we are in the top 5 and will own OSU!


October 10th, 2008 at 3:29 PM ^

On Les.

1. WTF does it mean that “he is a Michigan Man, legitimately?” He’s Bo’s, legitimate son? Am I a Michigan Man? Where do I apply?

2. Les is 55. In 15 years he’ll be 70. Lloyd retired at 63. Am I supposed to be happy that Les would stay into his senile years?

3. Les is 1-1 against Tressel. Before last season the knock was Miles couldn’t beat Tressel. You may remember his Oklahoma St. team was in complete disarray against one of Tressel’s not so great teams. TED GINN PLAYED QB for parts of that game because everyone else was hurt. Ginn’s offense scored easily.

On RR. T

his entire post is based on the idea that Les would stay at Michigan and RR would leave. I do not mean to slander the integrity of either man but here goes. One of these coaches was publicly flirty with another school during the regular season—a regular season that was going very well. That man is Les Miles. You want Les Miles because he’s so loyal (and would never use another job to squeeze his present employer) when THE ENTIRE WORLD watched him do just that. But no, that is what RR does and not Les St. Miles.

I’m still mystified what prejudice has led to everybody viewing Miles as a saint, despite public events, but RR as some slimy liar in the absence of proof. Now imma sound like dex, this Michigan Man stuff is complete and utter BS. It is code. Code for dismissing someone for whatever elitist, bullshit reason you want.

Have a fabulous weekend.


October 10th, 2008 at 3:40 PM ^

Man, I knew as a Steeler fan, you had a nice head on your shoulders, and this confirms it.

I could go on and on about the faux image of St. Les, Michigan Man.

Fact is, RR is honered to be the coach here.....Lester felt like the job was owed to him.

I'd take the former mentality than the latter anyday.


October 10th, 2008 at 3:48 PM ^

so effing stupid. That's right. All of it. Ranting starts . . . now!

First, I'm actually kind of disappointed that Brian answered the mailbag question that inspired this insipid post as he did. As far as I'm concerned, the only appropriate answer to this question is that it doesn't matter whom any of us would have preferred or whom we now prefer.  Any assessments should be off the table until at least January 2010. You can think all you want about what could have been if Pat White hadn't injured his thumb against Pitt, or if Sailboat Bill had a satellite phone on his yacht, but it doesn't make any difference. Rodriguez is our coach. His track record has proven that he is a good coach who gets the absolute most he can out of his players, but that it takes a season to get everything in order.

I thought that everyone (sane) accepted that we are lacking in personnel in key positions on both sides of the ball, and that we also happen to be installing a new offensive scheme that might not even suit what little talent whe have and has proven to take a while to learn? I didn't hear anyone disagree (except sarcastically) with the genereal consensus formed here and elsewhere before the season started that this year would be, at best, irritating, and at worst, painful. Is this somehow news to some people?

With respect to this specifc post, the author fails to mention a few other scenarios: that, Coach Rodriguez is, in the near future, either (a)wildly or (b)moderately successful and stays in Ann Arbor. I'm not claiming to know anything personal about the man, but it seems unfair to me to assume that he's greedy or is the Nick Saban incarnate because he left his old job, even if that job was at his alma mater. Maybe he just realized that he would always be limited, to some extent, in Morgantown, be it because of recruiting, funding, horrible administration or otherwise. Maybe, despite all of his attachment to his hometown, home state, and alma mater, that he still retains, he couldn't pass up the opportunity to coach for Michigan.

Bo left his alma mater and his home state to come to Michigan.

Michigan is not going to fire Coach Rodriguez no matter what happens the rest of the season. Les Miles is not going to coach Michigan Football. Accept this and move on.

Almost everyone said this year could be rough, but that acceptance came with the future expectation of, to borrow a term, "ninja football". Don't act so surprised that the former actually turned out to be true and then give up on hope of the latter.


October 10th, 2008 at 6:00 PM ^

Fair points all, and well put.  The argument is academic at best.  Rod is here until Rod wants to leave, and five games do not a track record make.

I don't want him to leave.  I want him to have an office on the second floor of Hartwig 15 years from now next to Lloyd's.

What's done is done, but if we've contributed to another Petrino walking through the gate, it'll be pretty depressing.  That's it.


October 10th, 2008 at 3:50 PM ^

I fucking hate you, and I want to stab you and play around in your blood.

No witty remarks, no lengthy retort to your line of bullshit - I just want you dead. That goes for every other braindead, narrowminded, Michigan Man-ed, ESPNified waste of fucking life in Michigan fandom.

chitownblue (not verified)

October 10th, 2008 at 4:28 PM ^

Seriously, can we take this shit to Scout? Or MLive or something? I don't remember this level of idiocy before. Could be wrong.

Will Number 2

October 10th, 2008 at 4:33 PM ^

why, as in "scenarios" one and two, is rich rod building a quality program and leaving the worse thing in the world? Obviously we, as michigan fans, are used to having one coach for a very long time and you do want stability.

That's not your argument is it? Yours is that when he leaves we will be in trouble (flounder even) trying to find a coach who can manage a team based entirely on the spread.

8 out of 11 teams in the big 10 run some sort of spread. the spread is not limited to big 10 teams. I don't think we'd have to look that hard.

dex and the others covered everything else, i suppose i'm just nitpickin here.


October 10th, 2008 at 5:54 PM ^

The spread, in and of itself, is brilliant with a coach who understands it and implements it well.  My point is that very few coaches do it well, and that no one can do it as well as Rodriguez.

So a lot of what I've written is predicated on the fact that a team built specifically to run the spread can't readily adapt to a new offense.  While WVU's lost a lot of players, look at how they've played this year.

They're starting over.  We could be in the same boat and in short order.

Will Number 2

October 10th, 2008 at 6:51 PM ^

My point is that very few coaches do it well, and that no one can do it as well as Rodriguez.


It appears we have gotten the preeminent spread football head coach.  He already left his alma mater and he won't go to the NFL.  What job is better than Michigan at the college level?  There are lateral moves but going to the SEC is insane.  Quit acting like a State fan, "ooh I'm scared my coach is going to leave after two nine win seasons" 


October 10th, 2008 at 6:33 PM ^

For once Mike and Mike actually said something of reasonable intelligence. They made a case that if either one of them were a coach to coach any school in the country, the last school they would choose for football would be the SEC. Why be in a conference where you face week after week of possible elimination from the NC, instead go to a conference like the Big 10 or PAC10, where you have to beat one or two other really good teams to legitimize your NC hopes. I started thinkin that this is probably what was going through RR's head when Alambama offered him the job. He felt like he would have a better shot at the NC with WVU than going to Alabama where the season could be ended after two or three losses against top tiered SEC teams. Stay in a conference you can win. So RR comes to AA where he has to beat PSU and tUOS instead of 6 or 7 SEC teams and be beat up by the end of the season.
I hope i made sense.
*rant off*


October 10th, 2008 at 7:23 PM ^

...RR genuinely wanted to stay at WVA over Alabama once the flirtation was done.....i doubt any of his make it, or break it thoughts on the issue centered around ease of national champs hopes......when it came to the Michigan job, there's one morsel of the timeline that many people seem to forget.

RR's mentor and coach at WVA Don Nehlen went to him and said it was a chance of a lifetime. Michigan was an awesome job. That conversation helped push RR into a job that he was stoked about and was eager to take and over the deep emotional pull of staying in his hometown.

He is not a serial job hunter and the only way he takes another job is if he is so wildly successful that the NFL suddenly decides it wants spread gurus running their teams. And, if that happens, I will gladly take, right here, right now, on the blind, the preceding seasons leading to that move.


October 10th, 2008 at 6:52 PM ^

Why do people assume Mallett left because of RR, and that he would've stayed if we'd have hired someone different? My suspicion is that he started thinking of going back to Arkansas as soon as Mustain left them.


October 10th, 2008 at 7:09 PM ^

....was gone anyway. Whispers of his possible to likely transfer were an undercurrent of the entire season. Anybody who does not know this is someone who cheers for UM football and does not follow it ravenously like many who write/read blogs and the does not make any of them less of a Michigan fan, just not as informed, but a year ago at this time if told me I had to wager whether or not Mallett would spend his sophomore year at Michigan, I would have put my chips on No.


October 10th, 2008 at 8:13 PM ^

We don't know that for sure, JamieMac. While there were rumors that he didn't get along with some teammates and was woefully homesick, there were also rumors that, in the end, he was really struggling with the decision to leave. Had Miles or Schiano been hired, it probably would've been 50/50 chance on him leaving UM.

Anonymous Coward (not verified)

October 11th, 2008 at 4:55 PM ^

I believe Rod is nothing more than an inbred hillbilly from WV. I don't trust him due to the fact that he left him Alma Mater for Michigan. I don't trust the hire because Bill Martin made the hire (strike one), Loser Lloyd approved of the hire (strike two) and I threw up in my mouth when I heard about the possibility of him coming here (strike three).

In my mind there were only 2 people that qualified for this job, Steve Sarkisian and Les Miles. Miles is a proven winner, came from the Michigan program and beat Ohio State. Any idiot not named Martin could make that hire. It is time for Mary Sue Coleman to do the right thing, fire Bill Martin, and Rod. This is not Michigan Football. I cannot watch it, and until things change I will never donate another dime to the University.

UofM Snowboarder

October 13th, 2008 at 11:22 AM ^

Man, I really wish we could have hired a Michigan Man like Bump Elliot instead of Rich Rod, then he would have stayed for 10 years of terrible seasons where we wouldn't fire him (because of said 'Michigan Man') and instead of having the possibility of winning NCs we could drop 10 years with a 53% win percentage.