Cowherd says Rodriguez is gone after this year.

Submitted by MGolem on November 4th, 2010 at 1:51 PM

I know Cowherd is not well liked round these parts but he did profess to be a big Rich Rod fan. He also said that his agent and lawyer are M guys (maybe he thinks that makes him an insider) FWIW. Ultimately he believes RR's record will doom him and cites his record against non Indiana and Minnesota Big Ten teams as the most telling stat (1-16). While I can understand all that, he seems to think that if we hire Harbaugh (apparently his insiders are telling him this will happen) we will be rebuilding for 3-4 years because of the inconquerable task of transitioning from a spread to a pro-style. He said that RR recruited all of these tiny players that can't play in the "thick" pro-style offense that Harbaugh favors. I know there are a lot of mgobloggers that believe this too but I thought I would offer up a possible offensive depth chart to allevaite some concerns.

QB - Gardner (maybe the black Andrew Luck? - moves well, is big and strong and can make all the throws)

RB - Shaw/Hopkins/Cox - good sized backs with some burst

FB - McColgan/Random walk on

WR - Stonum (good size), Roundtree (would be great in any offense)

TE - Koger (typical TE build with good hands)

OL - Lewan (future all-american in any offense), Campbell/Q/Barnum (tons of beef except Barnum), Molk (man among boys), Omameh (still developing) and Schofield/Huyge (both adequately sized OL)

While no one wants RR to be fired and see M go through a tough rebuild, I would offer the above as a rationale for why we will not be a better looking and more popular Notre Dame.



November 4th, 2010 at 1:54 PM ^

Denard is within grasp of Michigan's single season rushing record and doesn't even make the initial depth chart?

BTW, Cowherd is a douche!


November 4th, 2010 at 1:59 PM ^

Denard is a spread quarterback. 

If we change coaches and run a pro-style offense again, he probably can't run it.

That being said, this kid has amazed me countless times - so don't count him out.  Gardner would still have to be the favorite, though. 


November 4th, 2010 at 3:23 PM ^

You're saying this because he's black and undersized. You think he's not smart enough to run a real playbook and too small to play in a pro-system.

Look at his passing numbers (65% completion percentage,  1509 yards, 10 TD, 5 INT), they're good. And don't tell me he can't throw the ball downfield, because his DSR has been over 60% in every game this year. Do you watch any other spread rushing offenses? Denard is the prototypical spread QB, and would probably be a good pro-style QB, but your underlying biases are killing what your own eyes see on Saturdays. If Denard was white, no one would be theorizing who would be our QB under a new coach.


November 4th, 2010 at 5:32 PM ^

Wait, so he's not black?  What?  Stating the fact that he's black is "race talk?"  Why are we all so hypersensative of race these days . . . I think it's more racist to say we shouldn't talk about race.

I think race talk would be saying that he's not a good quarterback because he's black, which we all know is idiotic. 

EDIT: sorry about bringing this up. 

(but btw, he also said he's criticized for being undersized . . . soooo . . . yeah.  nothing racist about his post.  unless you also think we can't talk about people being undersized . . . )

you know it

November 4th, 2010 at 8:27 PM ^

Slow down there.  I'm automatically racist for saying that?  Damn.  You're the one who jumped on that thought right away, just saying.

All I'm saying is I think he would be utilized in other ways if possible.  How many drives have died when it's 3rd and 10 and the defense knows he is going to pass?  I'm not saying he can't throw the ball downfield, but don't tell me he is great at it either.  The majority of his completions are safe throws which result in YAC.

As it is, teams have to gameplan for Denard.  How much time do you think they spend (waste) on other players?  Look at what MSU did, they made him throw and they won the game because of his mistakes (not taking anything away from MSU, they made all the plays).  He could be just as electric at another position, plus if UM had a different QB the team would have a few more options.  I appreciate he is a great talent, there is no denying that.

So quit whining and learn how to think critically.  TIA.


November 4th, 2010 at 3:11 PM ^

I think Tate actually would be the favorite in this scenario. has all the QB mechanics down. It wouldn't be a seamless transition, but I think Tate has the most in place for Harbaugh to work with. I think the term "Pro-Style" might be evolving to mean more than just I-form w/ QB under center. I think Harbaugh could adjust schematically to emphasize the strengths of his players. Harbaugh plus Tate + Shaw + WRS + Athletic experienced line =/= 2008 redux, offensively speaking. I think 2009 might be a better offensive comparison to what it would potentially look like with someone like Jim coming aboard.

4 games to go, though. the world of college football is fucking crazy. we'll see what happens.


November 4th, 2010 at 6:49 PM ^

Tate and Devin would never see the field, because Harbaugh would have his slot receiver, Denard, fielding punts and kickoffs as well. Every single one will go for a TD. End debate.

Blue In NC

November 4th, 2010 at 3:26 PM ^

I do find it interesting that many people said RR was supposed to adapt his system to UM's personnel when he was hired and criticized him for not doing so.  And yet these same people apparently feel that if UM hires Harbaugh he will run a pro set from day 1 and our Heisman candidate will become a bench-warmer.  Isn't Harbaugh supposed to adapt his system??

Methinks that these people believe spread coaches are supposed to be adaptable while pro set guys are obviously right in their approach so they don't need to adapt to anything.  That or else they had an agenda from day one.


November 4th, 2010 at 3:47 PM ^

i think Harbaugh would adapt somewhat. Transitioning to a spread with pro-style players just takes as long as it takes to recruit the guys for the system. Tate has been groomed as a passer since birth. He has the basics that a former QB such as Harbaugh can use to fit to his system. I'm not saying it would be a flawless transition, but there would be something there for him to work with. Rich Rod had nothing to work with at some key positions.

For instance, I think Harbaugh would build off some multiple wide receiver sets with Tate in the shotgun. He may also work a lot with QB bootlegs out of the I-form (something we've seen around the goalline with Tate over the last 2 seasons). There are things an offensive minded coach can do to mitigate the effects of things like QB's lacking ideal size for pocket-passing. Hopkins would be a great I-form back to build off of. There are a number of pieces in place, even if there's attrition.

Most importantly, presumably Harbaugh would inherit a lot of game experience on offense. Threet-Sheridan =/= Tate/Denard/Devin.

I don't think it would be unreasonable to hold 2009 as a baseline for year one with Jim Harbaugh. That's purely hypothetical, but not unreasonable.

We'll see what happens. It is nice to know that if Rich returns, our offense will give us a great chance to win every game.


November 4th, 2010 at 2:03 PM ^

If the OP is of the same thought process I am, he is probably assuming Denard transfers to a better fit (much like Mallet did).

If Denard didn't transfer, then his role would likely not be full time QB, but he'd definitely be on the field and getting the ball. (Think Antonio Bass type role, and also that play where Henne pass out to Maningham or Arrington, who then passes to the other.)


November 4th, 2010 at 2:28 PM ^

How big were Troy Smith and/or Michael Robinson?  I don't remember either one being particularly big, though they were probably over 215 at least.

I know everyone is assuming that Harbaugh wants to run a pro-style offense, but is that necessarily true.  Smart coaches can adapt to their personel.  There is nothing to say that Harbaugh can't run a hybrid offense or bring in an OC that does so, or even runs the spread.


November 4th, 2010 at 3:56 PM ^

Too short rabble rabble, Drew Brees rabble rabble, Colt McCoy rabble rabble.

Also, this really bugs me: The spread is an offensive formation, it is not a scheme or how the offense operates. Mike Leach runs a spread and RR runs a spread. The only similarity they have is formation. It has nothing to do with playcalling so quit generalizing every shotgun offense as the same by calling it a spread.

Also, don't call the opposite "prostyle." There are plenty of spread formations and concepts in the NFL.

FWIW, I am confident that Harbaugh would come in and at least attemp to use Denard the same way RR has. Hell, it is possible he would keep Magee.


November 4th, 2010 at 2:29 PM ^

If Harbaugh is our coach next year, I don't think Denard transfers. I think he knows he won't be a QB at the next level so playing a Reggie Bush or Percy Harvin role in a pro style offense for a guy who has an NFL head coach for a brother isn't a bad way to spend his last 2 years.

He would still be a big part of the offense no matter what style we play.


November 4th, 2010 at 2:37 PM ^

As much as I enjoy watching Denard develop and be our QB, there is a part of me that would just love to see him play another role in the offense. WR, perhaps. He would burn every secondary in the country and be wide open downfield.  I just wanna see Tate to Denard in stride just once. Or make that 4 or 5 times. Against Ohio State.  Yeah, that's the ticket.


November 4th, 2010 at 1:58 PM ^

What's new? Everyone has their opinion on RR and whether or not he will be here next year. Whatever. I am going to sit here and quietly cry over the defensive UFR and pretend like I don't give a shit anymore.


November 4th, 2010 at 1:58 PM ^

Colin Cowherd would pretend to like dolphin punching if he thought it would make him look better and get him more listeners.

I challenge you to find me an example where Cowherd managed to actually break any sort of news with legit sources.  He's throws crap on the wall and tries to see what sticks.


November 4th, 2010 at 1:58 PM ^

I don't support firing RR (yet), and I don't care what Cowherd thinks/says.

But I agree -- the argument that it would take 3-4 years to rebuild to run a pro-style offense is silly.  As you listed, we have plenty of big bodies on offense.  Also, small bodies can be very effective in a pro style offense.  Anthony Carter, Desmond Howard, Jamie Morris, Mercury Hayes, etc.

The true downside is it makes using Denard much more difficult.  And he may be my favorite Wolverine ever.


November 4th, 2010 at 1:59 PM ^

And realized that I did not have Michigan's soon to be all time leading rusher on the depth chart. He could be first string RB or WR but I doubt Harbaugh would have him in at QB. Also I did not want to include this but a lot of mgobloggers think Robinson will transfer if RR leaves so there is that.


November 4th, 2010 at 1:59 PM ^

I agree the transition would not be as bad because most people agree that moving to a pro offense is easier than moving to a spread one.

I would like to say I acknowledge Cowherd is a jackass but I like him anyway. But his predictions alot of times are so off it is unreal. Example A: LeBron will stay in Cleveland. Example B: Ole Miss will beat Auburn. Based on that evidence RR will be here for many seasons and have many properous teams.


November 4th, 2010 at 2:02 PM ^

He said that RR recruited all of these tiny players

Tired of hearing this (tiny players).  Hopkins isn't small, and IIRC one of our freshman WR's is 6 ft 4.  Gardener isn't small.   Roundtree is not small, IMO.

Also our o-line actually is larger than Iowa's.  I checked this recently, they average something like 290 and we're closer to 300, over 300 if Dorrestein is in instead of Huyge.


November 4th, 2010 at 2:14 PM ^

Downplaying our OL is absurd.  One of the first lessons I learned on mgoblog was the overblown statement about how our OL wouldn't produce NFL calibur talent.  Molk, Lewan, and Omameh (at the minimum) look like really good prospects.  Also, judging by our offensive production in Big10 play, I'd argue they have held their own within the B10.


November 4th, 2010 at 2:24 PM ^

RR has said himself that he wants bigger guys. He may not have targeted smaller guys for the sake of having smaller guys, but there is no denying that several of our positions have shrunk, while many others have stayed the same. RR would not deny this fact, though he may deny the implied intentionality people give it. Cowherd can't be faulted for pointing this out in terms of a transition to a pro style offense. 


November 4th, 2010 at 2:01 PM ^

But since he was talking about us on his national show I thought it was worth a post for those who did not hear it. DB does not care about what Cowherd thinks but if Cowherd's lawyer and agent are M guys DB might care what their deep pockets think (assuming they are donors).


November 4th, 2010 at 2:01 PM ^

but another transition awaits, with no guarantees. (I've emphasized this before in posts, but repeat it when I can because I think there's always a little magic thinking about the "next guy.") I agree that failure next year is unacceptable, but given that there's so much reason to believe next year is better, I think waiting is the better course. Plus--frankly--I just like the guy.


November 4th, 2010 at 2:05 PM ^

He was a big Rodriguez fan last month. Now he's dogging him. 

Cowherd doesn't know what he's talking about.

The truth is this: all Cowherd cares about and knows about is his USC Toejams (who he said would finish 11-1 this year) and LA Lakers.  Oh, and he pretends to know something about baseball from time to time.

The only salient point Colin has made in the last 5 years is about how the first thing NBA players buy when they sign their contracts is a new car - ergo NBA players are horrible with finances and money.  Brilliant Colin!  Did you think that up all by yourself?

Other than that, I honestly don't know why Colin Cowherd is employed by ESPN. Seriously.

Are his ratings that great?


November 4th, 2010 at 2:14 PM ^

ESPN, a big chunk of the mainstream print media, and most of the talk radio world have decided (maybe rightly) that people are more likely to stay tuned to someone they can't stand shouting absurd opinions than someone rational/reasonable.  

Cowherd, Plaschke, Rosenberg/Snyder, Sharp, Rome, Mariotti, Bayless, Stephen A. Smith, etc. aren't all making money by accident or because they offer any insight into the sports world.  People apparently like having someone they can disagree with more than someone knowledgeable or instructive. 


November 5th, 2010 at 1:07 PM ^

Cowherd wasn't really dogging on RichRod.  He still stated that he thought he was a solid coach.  Just stated that he wouldn't survive the environment in Ann Arbor as it is now.  He thinks things may be too far gone for RichRod to not fall victim to the expectations of admin/alum/fans without a couple more wins.  I tend to agree.