yossarians tree

October 13th, 2010 at 11:48 PM ^

Secondary was hit by A-bomb of transfers, injury, criminal element, and 5-star flameout. Sucks to be Michigan defense right now but that is the fact.

Ask folks how things are going in South Bend after the Lost Decade, USC (Bushgate), Florida (coach on suicide watch and half the team in the pokey), Texas (how can you suck that bad with ten years of top-five recruiting classes), "Bama (what? we lost?)...etc etc.

We are Nebraska three years ago. In three years, will we be Nebraska of today? It's quite possible.


October 14th, 2010 at 8:15 PM ^

...if Campbell finally takes that big step, the LB positons become less important (Roh will play one, Demens might take the MLB, as Rod is apparently impressed enough that he's pushing for more playing time for him...according to the News).  The secondary will be improved and a D-line of Martin-Campbell-Van Bergen (if Campbell finally takes that step, Rodriquez has said he "isn't quite there yet") means the LBs become less exposed.


Please, make the many secondary recruitments the past couple of years have at least a couple pan out (sorry, I had a moment).


October 14th, 2010 at 6:48 AM ^

we can't just keep blindly extending the due date.  When he started it was, "yeah we suck now, but watch out in 2010" then it was 2011 after the disaster of 2008, and now it's 2012, and if he doesn't win next year I bet you would be right back here posting about 2013 being the year, since DG will be a senior that year.  I think RR should be given 5 years, to fully implement his system, so if it doesn't happen by 2012, it probably won't ever happen.


October 14th, 2010 at 9:24 AM ^

I understand the sense of urgency and not wanting to draw things out BUT if Michigan fares as well as I think they might this year, Rodriguez will have posted an 8-4 record in 2010.  From 3-9 (2008) to 5-7 (2009) to 8-4 (2010) - that would constitute an outstanding turnaround in three years!  I'm not sure what else people want out of him aside from a victory over MSU and/or OSU.  I think he has fully implemented his system before even graduating one full recruiting class!  His "system" is the offense you're watching.  Its as simple as that.  People are just going to have to adjust to a new era where the main emphasis is placed on the offense and not on defense like it was in years past.  But if the offense keeps scoring 30+ points a game I, for one, am okay with that.


October 14th, 2010 at 9:56 AM ^

"From 3-9 (2008) to 5-7 (2009) to 8-4 (2010)  - that would constitute an outstanding turnaround in three years!"

I get your point - that RR is righting the ship from where his first season ended up, but I am not sure that it could be called a turn around.  We were 9-4 in 2007 and 11-2 in 2006, so any improvement is just getting us closer, but still not up to, where we were before.

Also, on the point about his system being the offense, I am ok with that, but I don't see why people believe that having an awesome offense is mutually exclusive with having a good defense.  It's not as if RR has to choose - he is allowed to (and hopefully wants to) recruit good players on both sides of the ball.  I think that RR gets this. 

The problem with relying on an offense to score 30+ points per game in order to have a chance of winning is that all offense, from college to the NFL, are subject to off days.  If the QB is off (as we saw last week), or if a star RB goes down with injury, the offense can be limited.  It is also possible for opposing teams to scheme well and slow down even a great offense for any one given game.  In these situations, a team needs to be able to rely on its defense to keep the game close enough for the offense to win it. 


October 14th, 2010 at 11:14 AM ^

We were 9-4 in 2007 and 11-2 in 2006, so any improvement is just getting us closer, but still not up to, where we were before.

You should really study the depth chart in any given year before you assume that everything was hunkydory before RichRod got here.  That 2007 9-4 team had an incredibly mediocre defense (App St? Oregon?), and an offense that literally disappeared after that season.

So when RichRod started out he had a very mediocre defense, nothing on offense, and no backups to speak of on either side of the ball.  That is where he started.  2 years later, we have depth and talent on offense, and a young, thin, and still not talented defense.

"Getting back to where we were before" is only a meaningful standard if you understand where we actually were before, as opposed to where we were before in your dreams.


October 14th, 2010 at 10:17 AM ^

"People are just going to have to adjust to a new era where the main emphasis is placed on the offense and not on defense like it was in years past.  But if the offense keeps scoring 30+ points a game I, for one, am okay with that."

This is what we have resorted too?  We'll just outscore people on our way to a national championshp?  Yeah, right.  A great defense still trumps a great offense.  Both are nice, but if you can only have one, start with a defense.  Otherwise you're just a Purdue with Bree's or a Texas Tech with that bully coach.  You'll cleanup on the patsies but get smacked in the mouth by teams with nasty d's.


October 14th, 2010 at 9:34 AM ^


So you're saying that being 5-1 with the best offense we've seen around here since Crisler was coach, and a loss to MSU that resulted almost entirely from poor execution instead of poor play calling or planning doesn't indicate substantial progress?

What is our baseline for success, then? Can we not call Rodriguez a success until we go 10-2? 11-1? National TItle? Sorry, if he gets to 8-4 or 9-3 this year (which we really should), that's a success. Then, hopefully, we build from that, but at that point any poor seasons would be a downfall, not continued lack of success.


October 14th, 2010 at 10:05 AM ^

"Sorry, if he gets to 8-4 or 9-3 this year (which we really should), that's a success."

I disagree, but not in the way many would expect.  To me, we shouldn't get to 8-4 or 9-3 with this team.  The QB is a true soph who barely played last year.  We lack a stud RB.  Our defense is probably the thinnest in D-1A, made up almost entirely of underclassmen, walk-ons and journeymen. 

If we get to 8-4 or 9-3, it is a testament to the coaching and to the way that RR and his staff have cobbled together a functional team with what they have available.  How we got to this decimated place and how much blame RR should shoulder is a topic for another thread, but given what he has available today, if we get to 8 or 9 wins, he deserves a shit load of credit IMO.


October 14th, 2010 at 10:30 AM ^

State was the better team.  Anyone who can't admit that has a lot in common with Notre Dame and Penn St. fans.  By that I mean they never lose to anyone, they just beat themselves.  Michigan will be judged on what they do from here on out.  Play solid, competetive ball in the BigTen and win your share of games and RR keeps his job.  Who cares if we beat UConn and ND only to finish 3-5 in the Big Ten?


October 14th, 2010 at 12:33 PM ^

essentially that's where I am with my belief in Coach Rod; I'm  100% behind our coach, but if we are still stinking up the field in 2012...

When reading comments about Coach Rod and how he'll get things done, I believe most of it is based upon what appears to be progress on the field. I think the student athletes he recruits are young men we want representing the maize and blue. I have confidence the coaching staff will continue to improve the team, but what is the other option, starting over? All we need to do is look to ND to see where that might end up; alums and the fan base need to know winning football isn't our birthright, it needs to be earned, so let's be patient and let the man do his job, a job he has a proven track record at.


October 14th, 2010 at 5:46 AM ^

That's hardly an encouraging comparison for RR, because he's more analogous to Bill Callahan, who was reputed to be an offensive mastermind yet also managed to field possibly the worst defenses in Nebraska history. Current NE coach Bo Pelini is a former DC, not an offensive guru.

Callahan's last year was 2007, and NE gave up almost 38 pts per game that year. In Pelini's first season in 2008, that was reduced to 28.5. In 2009, his second season, that came all the way down to 10.5. Fortunately for NE, the head coach's defensive orientation hasn't prevented them from vastly improving their play on the other side of the ball, as their offense right now is pretty high-powered.

I know nothing about what roster issues, if any, Pelini might have faced on either side of the ball. Maybe he was working with the full complement of scholarship players that RR didn't have the luxury of. There's no doubt that having worked recently as Nebraska's DC that Pelini didn't have to start out from ground zero when he took over, in contrast to RR. However, looking purely and only at performance on the field of the whole team, Pelini has done a much more impressive job than RR has, and Pelini took over the same year that RR did.


October 14th, 2010 at 6:47 AM ^

For the record, I'm a RR supporter and I think the guy has done everything you could possibly ask to uphold what we think of as Michigan traditions, which is radically different from Callahan. However, I am not in the camp of those who lay all of our problems at the feet of LC and give Rodriguez a complete and total pass for our woes on defense and special teams. I think he's done a poor job in his managing of his defensive coaching staf—two DCs in two years and a LB coach/recruting guy who was let go after two years due to horrible performance on both accounts is hardly a positive, and the problems on defense certainly haven't gone away as of yet.

I wasn't the one who originally compared our situation to Nebraska's, or who was trying to say that RR = Pelini. Trying to equate the Pelini and RR situations is silly. They come to the game from opposite directions—RR on offense, Pelini on defense, and they don't even match up when it comes to their coaching predecessors at their respective schools. If RR is analogous to Bo Pelini, who at UM is Bill Callahan? Lloyd Carr? Obviously that makes no sense.

RR and Pelini are very different coaches at very different schools who entered different coaching situations. As I said in my previous comment, it's likely that Pelini didn't inherit the roster problems that RR did. However, don't try to tell me that the results on the field have been remotely the same for both coaches.


October 14th, 2010 at 10:10 AM ^

Don, as always this is the most rational statement I have heard on this topic.  I too support RR, and at the same time, I too do not feel that supporting RR means blindly praising everything that he does.  He is going great on offense.  We are progressing nicely.  On defense, however, he has been nothing short of a disaster.  Changing coaches, poor hires, poor recruiting results (not entirely his fault due to media, losing, etc., but the buck stops with him). 

I think that RR will get it right, but share in your criticism.  Thanks for injecting a rational opinion on this topic.

yossarians tree

October 14th, 2010 at 1:16 PM ^

My point that we are NE three years ago referred to the fact that NE is now playing a dynamic spread offense AND a bruising traditional defense, which we aspire to. Callahan was brought in to blow up the old time NE smash mouth football and replace it with the spread. Unfortunately he was a poor coach and both sides of the ball slipped way below NE standards. Pellini is obviously a good coach who plays spread O and a mean D. If we ever have a potent, exciting smurf-a-licious offense that nobody can catch, PLUS a fast, physical defense, RR will be a hero.

My point is that the two are not mutually exclusive. I think we can expect RR to have dynamic offenses--but if he cannot build a good and occasionally great defense he will be sent packing eventually. My guess is Brandon gives him five years and then takes a good hard look.


October 14th, 2010 at 12:39 AM ^

The next time you are in a place where you don't tip and the staff knows who you are, don't be surprised if someone "accidentally" spills a drink on you.  I don't know how much I would trust my food, either.  I have seen a lot of very bad things happen to "non-preferred customers" in restaurants.


October 14th, 2010 at 1:50 AM ^

Most service industry pay scale is $2.15 + tips; depending on what state you live in. When you run up a $50.00 bar or dinner tab, boss the servers around, then walk out of an establishment with the belief of "haha fuck you, I'm the puppet master so I don't have to tip", you might wanna take a step back and check your head. Hundreds of thousands of college kids are servers and bartenders who rely on paying there bills by receiving customer tips. Also when you don't tip they still have to tip-out to bussers and bar backs. Stick with drive-thru.


October 14th, 2010 at 9:49 AM ^

Brandon understands recruiting and the last thing he is going to tell a recruit is that "we'll evaluate Coach Rodriguez at the end of the season."  That would be the kiss of death.  He is going to give him all the support he can and let the chips fall where they may.

Whether or not Coach Rodriguez is here next year remains to be seen.  We still have 1/2 the season to play.