Casteel to Arizona tomorrow. Unofficially officially official.

Submitted by Section 1 on January 10th, 2012 at 6:13 PM

A source indicates to the Tuscon Citizen's Anthony Gimino that Casteel will be announced tomorrow afternoon. 

It's not any great surprise, of course, and it won't end any arguments here about Rodriguez, defense, the 3-3-5, what might have been, etc.

But one argument will be ended for good.  It was the notion, advanced without the slightest substance as far as I could tell, that maybe deep down, Jeff Casteel might have just not liked Rich Rodriguez, 'cuz why else didn't Casteel get on the plane to Ann Arbor with the other guys?  'Cuz a friend of mine had a friend who knew a guy who saw on that Casteel and Rodriguez yelled at each other, and...   Myth.  Busted.

I've been looking forward to this day (tomorrow, I suppose) for just that reason.  Gettin' the band back together indeed, lol. 

The interesting news tomorrow might be that Casteel has insisted on bringing 2-3 WVU assistants with him, which may necessitate positional shifts among the other assistants already hired.  As well as news on contract terms.  Tomorrow should be interesting.



January 10th, 2012 at 8:06 PM ^

If you want to argue that the 3-3-5 can never stop a pro-style offense, and that USC's skilled depth won't be what kills Arizona (not scheme) I don't know what to tell you.

If you put a high school team on the field against USC, and have the high school run a pro-style game and a 4-3 under, while having USC running Oregon's offense with a 3-3-5, who's going to win and why?


January 10th, 2012 at 10:33 PM ^

The comment above me is better (BigBlue02's), but I'll share the board wisdom I picked up (I had this exact same question, not being a master of x's and o's football by any means). Basically the problem lies in the inability to get top recruits to commit to playing "spur" or "bandit" instead of more traditional roles; if you could get elite players, it wouldn't matter if you ran a 4-3, 3-4, 3-3-5, 4-2-5 or whatever other combination you want to put together, you would be successful based on their abilities.


January 10th, 2012 at 8:00 PM ^

I should mod you "-1/Redundant," but you stated the obvious out of necessity. Too many people on this blog forget the basic importance of talent. On that note, I think Hoke's performance this year will look even better in hindsight. The last few NFL drafts have been sparse as far as UMich guys are concerned and I don't see changing soon.


January 11th, 2012 at 11:16 AM ^

 Depends on what the definition of soon is.  I can see us returning to the usual 3-4 draft picks in the top 2-3 rounds, and a sure first rounder with Hoke’s first class this year.  I am excited and hopeful to what Kalis, Pipkens, Ross and the rest (not to mention a possibility like Garnett) bring in the next 4 years and beyond. Plus we may even return with Ryan and others from this frosh class.


January 10th, 2012 at 6:20 PM ^

I don't know how much of an impact he would've had. Tackling and size doesn't change regardless of what scheme you run. This years defensive improvement was created by three things. A vastly more simplified defensive play calling, a return to teaching fundamentals, and of course Greg Mattison.


January 10th, 2012 at 6:23 PM ^

I don't really know anything about Casteel, but how can you say that a different DC wouldn't have made a difference when this year is proof positive that a different DC can make a huge difference?


January 10th, 2012 at 6:29 PM ^

Brady Hoke says it all the time, that you should never assume a kid knows how to do something. Always preach the fundamentals, at the start of every year, teach them as if they know nothing. Nothing against Rodriguez's staff, but I think it was a simple case of getting back to basic fundamnetals. I'm not sure Casteel would've brought that, because I think RR didn't think it was needed.


January 10th, 2012 at 9:00 PM ^

I would take issue with the argument that this is a "vastly more simplified defensive play calling" because it really isn't.  The difference is that Mattison seems to have a consistent defensive philosophy that he has been able to implement effectively, which was something GERG never had.

Oh yeah, he also had two stud defensive linemen, a mistake-erasing safety in Kovacs, and a bunch of older players who finally started to turn it around.

Also, stop with the fundamentals crap.  That defense against OSU and VT didn't tackle any better than those GERG teams, and MSU found a way to run a pretty potent offense despite the improvements on the defense.  All coaches teach kids how to tackle effectively and maintain their gaps; the difference is that this particular group of defenders seemed to process it better (probably due to their overall experience level coupled with better overall defensive plans) than earlier iterations.


January 11th, 2012 at 8:08 AM ^

Are all of our players liars, then?

There have been hundreds of quotes from the mouths of our players talking about going back to fundamentals, how they were coached in more detail this year,etc.

I was with you at one point. I thought that was just coach talk on the part of Hoke and his staff. I never thought a staff wouldn't teach fundamentals. But all season, our boys have told us otherwise, and it makes sense. The team was awful before Hoke got there; maybe RR's staff really didn't teach fundamentals (certainly didn't teach them well).


January 10th, 2012 at 6:21 PM ^

Part of me wonders if He (Whom I dare not mention) will have Arizona in positon to compete with the Ducks, Trojans and so forth in the near future...


January 10th, 2012 at 6:23 PM ^

There are three big things that "Three and Out" taught me that I now believe beyond a shadow of a doubt:


1. Rich Rodriguez was treated horribly during his time at Michigan.

2. Casteel not coming really hurt Rich's efforts to get the program off the ground.

3. It wouldn't have mattered because Rich was a bad choice for this program from day 1.



January 11th, 2012 at 7:20 AM ^

That's about as good a summary as I've seen.  Although I would reword #3 to "bad fit" rather than bad choice;  but I'm splitting hairs.

And the biggest thing I've taken away from the book is a sense of embarassment.  The way some people behaved towards RR is just plain embarassing, speaking as an alum.




January 10th, 2012 at 6:31 PM ^

Michigan will meet Arizona in the Rose Bowl.  Tectonic plates will collide.  The ghost of John Wayne will wrestle a communist.  A golden eagle with a snake in its mouth will fly from the western sky.  The sun will wink in the direction of Ann Arbor.  The future and the past will smash together in the same space-time.  Alex from Family Ties will appear on a reality TV show - not Michael J. Fox, but Alex.  A wolverine will fight a wildcat, and they will realize that they should band together to fight yetis.  A Mayan will explain for the 100th time that the Mayan calendar does not predict the end of the world in 2012.   A bottle of Coke will cost $2.35.    

snarling wolverine

January 10th, 2012 at 6:25 PM ^

Prediction: Casteel will turn out to be just OK - not a liability like Gerg, but not the incredible difference-maker we've been told he is.  Rodriguez likewise will do decently at Arizona but won't win big.

Eye of the Tiger

January 10th, 2012 at 7:40 PM ^

I had been led to believe that this person from West Virginia was going to give us an undeniable advantage in conditioning, and it would lead to a pile of victories during the years 2008-2010.

Seriously, Casteel is a good DC and Barwis is a good S&C guy, but those are only pieces of the puzzle, and its easy to inflate their worth based on a flimsy historical example.  WVU plays in the Big East, where everyone kinda sucks aside from WVU.  Big 10 and Pac-12 are different beasts.  I don't expect to see a lot of 'Zona wins over SC or Oregon.  But let UCLA beware!


Gorgeous Borges

January 10th, 2012 at 9:08 PM ^

The Big East is horrible. I fully expect whichever crappy conference champion team that they send to the Orange Bowl will get trounced. Damn auto-bids.

I can confidently predict that there is no way that TCU's 3-3-5 defense will stop the more physical, bruising offense of Wisconsin. The 2010 Rose Bowl will be a blowout. After all, non-AQ schools and Big East teams have a horrible record in BCS bowls. Just look at Hawaii! And... well, Hawaii! Penn State is going to put the hurt on Case Keenum and co. With Penn State's overwhelming advantage in the trenches it's going to be a rough day for those Conference USA frauds.


January 10th, 2012 at 11:11 PM ^

...but in the interest of fairness, here's a complete list of the last five years of regular season games. It's advantage B1G for sure, but it's skewed more than a bit by the fact that our worst team over that stretch (Indiana) doesn't appear but their worst team was in 7 of the 12 games. Take the Syracuse games out and it hasn't been ugly:


  1. Iowa 31, Pittsburgh 27


  1. Michigan 30, Connecticut 10


  1. Cincinnati 49, Illinois 36
  2. Minnesota 23, Syracuse 20
  3. Penn St. 28, Syracuse 7
  4. Syracuse 37, Northwestern 34


  1. Pittsburgh 21, Iowa 20
  2. Northwestern 30, Syracuse 10
  3. Penn State 55, Syracuse 13


  1. Michigan St. 17, Pittsburgh 13
  2. Iowa 35, Syracuse 0
  3. Illinois 41, Syracuse 20


coastal blue

January 11th, 2012 at 12:31 AM ^

Its that those WVU teams were legit. 

We can sit here as Michigan fans and cry about how USC and Texas had such great recruiting classes that there was no way we could beat them because they were so talented...yet there were the RR/Casteel WVU teams beating Georgia and Oklahoma (seriously, when was the last time Michigan beat a conference champion from the Big 12/ACC/SEC/PAC 12?) with a huge recruiting disadvantage. 


January 11th, 2012 at 8:23 AM ^

Two BCS bowl wins! Wow! That 'stat' only means that on two days from that three year period, they were better than their opponents. To compare programs in that way is ridiculous. If they had lost one of those games, would you hold it against them?

The rest of your stats have merit, but why throw that heap of shit in there? WVU was good during that time, and still is. That doesn't change the fact that their conference sucks.

Yes, the Big East sucked, and still does. The Big Ten and Pac 12 aren't fighting off extinction every year. The Big East is.

For the record, WVU's records in conference play during that stretch were 7-0, 5-2, 5-2. Good, not great.

coastal blue

January 11th, 2012 at 9:37 AM ^

Those who hate RR downplay the fact his teams beat Georgia and Oklahoma - two BCS conference champs, something Michigan never does - while being the same people who cry about how we have no chance of beating the Texas/USC/Alabama's of the world because they recruit so much talent....while RR and co. did it with far less talent. 

No one is saying the Big East is good - even though it was better than you give it credit for during that time frame - I'm just saying that you can't discount those WVU teams. Which you agree with me on. 

And yeah TWO BCS wins. In three seasons. The same amount Michigan has from 1998-2012. Even though for all be three of those years we had the "right" coach". Considering how excited everyone was to beat the ACC runner-up in one of the worst football games ever seen, I'd say that is quite an accomplishment.