This Game is a Measuring Stick

Submitted by Nosce Te Ipsum on October 30th, 2010 at 9:31 PM

This game, for me, was the measuring stick for RR and his staff. Penn State is a team that has been decimated by injury and is starting a walk on quarterback. I told myself that if we don't have a convincing victory then I cannot support RR anymore. The way things have gone so far it seems as though he has lost me. I have supported him and defended him tooth and nail ever since he was hired but this is my breaking point. How is everyone else feeling about this?




October 30th, 2010 at 9:54 PM ^

At this point, it might be about facing reality.

Like I said on other threads, I have been a stout RRod defender.   But after 3 years, I see virtually no improvement, other than at 1 position:  QB.  That is a sad state of affairs.


October 30th, 2010 at 10:06 PM ^

A look back at RR's tenure:

2008:  3-9.  Sheridan, tons of youth on offense, etc., but 3-9??"?  We still had a roster full of Michigan recruits.  Maybe not our best recruits, but certainly bettere recruits than, let's say, Toledo.  We were going to have a bad year, and coaching changes are tough, but a betterr coach would have gotten us 5-6 wins.

2009:  Great start, 5-1, woohoo, we beat up on the OOC crap (and Indiana).  Enter the Big-Ten and go on a 6 game losing streak, including Purdue, to miss out on a bowl game for the seconbd straight year.  Again, decimated defense, true frosh qb, youth, new system (still), but a 6 game losing streak to end the season?  Sorry, a better coach wins 2 of those games.

2009 off-season:  NCAA violations.  Freep jihad, out to get us, ticky-tack crap that everyone does, etc., but you know what?  Everyone isn't facing NCAA violations, we are.

2010:  Again, great start. Against the biggest group of nobodys to date.  Uconn is pathetic.  ND lost to Tulsa.  Umaaa - 1-AA.  BGSU lost to freking Buffalo.  Buffalo!  Indiana - do thery field a run defense?  Enter the B10 - same result.  We have looked like crap, being outrclassed by every real team, as well as injury-depleted, walk-on starting PSU.  Once again, RR refuses to put in Forcier even when Denard is struggling.  A decent coach would have his team ready to wipe thefloor with this crappy PSU team after a bye week.  RR is not a decent coach.

Brandon, please bring Harbaugh home ASAP.


October 30th, 2010 at 10:11 PM ^

Ok, I get that our recruiting was sub-par prior to RR's arrival.  I get that we are very young on D.  I get that we had 3 D-coordinaters in 3 years.  But seriously, how on earth does that lead to the worst defense I have ever seen.  Not in UM history.  In NCAA.  Worse than the MAC, worse than the Sun Belt.  They can't stop anyone.  Even worse, they moderately slow them down so the UM offense can't get on the field.


October 30th, 2010 at 10:13 PM ^

There's still a lot of the game left.  (We are making that Matt McGloin fellow look good.)  I think David Brandon will wait until the end of the season before making any call.  Unless Rich Rodriguez actually murders someone. 


October 30th, 2010 at 10:22 PM ^

Martin goes out early, and we have new players at some defensive positions. What did you really expect?


On a plus note, Hagerup is booming the ball in the end zone on kick offs.

Hank Scorpio

October 30th, 2010 at 10:29 PM ^

This Penn State offense SUCKS. They SUCK horribly and they are just absolutely dominating this "defense."

It's really, really, really disheartening to see such a pathetic effort. This is probably the worst defensive football team I've ever seen... and that's saying something.


October 30th, 2010 at 10:31 PM ^

or scheme. Bad defensive recruiting is going to cost RR his job. The freshmen corners might be young, but I am starting to think it's as much a talent issue, as it is inexperience.  A freshman started at linebacker for Iowa today, and played very well. Freshmen start at other programs and contribute... here freshmen = doom.

It's going to take an act of God to save RR now. It's a shame, he is a good man and a good coach.


October 30th, 2010 at 10:39 PM ^

Re. your Iowa example.....That kid is 1 player starting on an experienced and talented D.  Thus there's not a lot of pressure on him as an individual which is a situation much more conducive to a freshman flourishing.

We, on the other hand, have like half a dozen freshmen on our defensive 2 deep, and seniors like Rogers and Banks who - though they try God bless them - would never see the field on other Big 10 teams.


October 30th, 2010 at 10:35 PM ^

Yep.   Two weeks to prepare for this game, and it's not even close, IMO.  I've been a RR supporter/defender up to this point, but this game has shaken my confidence in this coaching staff.   I have doubts we'll beat Illinois, meaning the remaining winnable game is Purdue. 6-6 in year 3. Ouch.

The FannMan

October 30th, 2010 at 10:39 PM ^

I hear you, but, damn.  I guess I just can't give up yet.  I am worried about who leaves, and what recruits don't come, if we make a change,  I just don't want to see Denard playing elsewhere two years from now.  But still, our defense is just horrible.  The adjustments are not working.  I will wait for the UFRs, but Vinopal looks like a step back from Cam.  (Not that its his fault - he is a three star true freshman.)

I too think this was a critical game.  Illinois looks good, and Purdue is on the road.  Five and seven is looking possible. 



October 30th, 2010 at 11:15 PM ^

Purdue is winnable, they're genuinely terrible.  Illinois is looking very good, I don't think that will be a win.  5-7 is possible but I'm thinking 6-6 is more likely. 

As I type PSU gets a 1st down with a fake FG. Jesus.   they're going to hang 44 on us with a walk on qb.


October 30th, 2010 at 11:15 PM ^

I really believed that they could have and should have won this game. I've been a RR supporter from the beginning and still am. Let's reserve judgement until the end of the season. This game is a huge disappointment to all of us but let's not get carried away just yet. 

Simple Boy fro…

October 30th, 2010 at 11:20 PM ^

Our D has gotten worse each of the past three years.  The offense was horrible in 08 but got progressively better over the last three years.  Our D was terrible in 08 and it has gotten progressively worse over the same period.  RR is responsible for the entire team not just the O.  The last time I checked, head coach was attached to his name.  

Four and sixteen in the Big Ten is awful, just plain awful.  Anybody who is asking to give RR another year is clearly lost in the woods.  Please provide me the base measurement that supports a coach that took a program that has not missed a bowl in over 30 years and now has a very good chance on missing it three years running.  The odds of us losing the last four games is better than us winning one of those four games.  

What a joke.  Every offense has a record day against our D.  


October 30th, 2010 at 11:58 PM ^

He thinks he is just the OC.  ND's offenses were generally good under Weiss, but the lack of attention to D did him in.  It will do the same to RR in the Big 10.

The Michigan O is coming along in fits and starts, but If RR wants to stay around he needs to get serious about the D.  That means it is time to make a serious move on DC (not just someone he struggled against one game in the Big East 5 years ago.)

UM Indy

October 31st, 2010 at 12:03 AM ^

This is very much of the truth.  Rich should go be an offensive coordinator at a school south of the Mason-Dixon line.  He has succeeded in that role in the past and would do so again.  Maybe, just maybe, the head coaching job at the University of Michigan isn't the right fit for him.


October 30th, 2010 at 11:22 PM ^

If the season ended today, I would probably be in favor of replacing Rich Rod.  I think the OP was right-on: this was an important game against a less-talented squad, and we got creamed.  That is tough to take, but there are stil four, and hopefully five, more games left.

For me the difficulty lies with the fact that we haven't had the talent to be successful on defense.  Part of me thinks it is unfair to judge Rodriguez until he's had a chance with a good, talented team.  But the other part of me feels that he should be doing more with what he's got.


October 30th, 2010 at 11:22 PM ^

I'm not a White Sox fan but I do find Hawk Harrelson amusing especially when someone strikes out and he says "He gone." Seems appropriate here.


October 30th, 2010 at 11:24 PM ^

Here's how I see it, but I want some input:


Head coaches need to be great at 1) recruiting, and 2) their "specialty" -- one side of the ball, either defense or offense.

Rich Rod is great at recruiting and offense.  He only has to be competent enough at defense to find a good DC -- it's like hiring a consultant.  Now, we can argue if he hired a good enough DC, but you don't fire a coach because he's not great at all three things.  If you can name a coach who is good at all three, chances are he's already taken.


October 30th, 2010 at 11:25 PM ^

Pick a defense in the country, take out their top 6 defensive backs and their top Dlineman, and then lets see them play football. I'll wait while you play out that scenario. Even Florida and Texas are getting lit up this year, and they have insanely good recruiting classes and great coaching stability.

Next year, we will have a secondary that is returning everyone, exchanging #18 for Woolfolk. We are suddenly dealing with sophomores a junior and a senior, instead of Freshman. This will allow for less boneheaded mistakes, more coverage options, and improvement in play. In any of these games, all we have needed is 1-2 more stops and we can be in a position to win. This is not asking for the world.

If RR does not have this team fighting for a good bowl game next year, barring a slew of awful injuries, then he needs to be out.


October 30th, 2010 at 11:26 PM ^

He would fall on his sword.  Gerg too.  This is ridiculous.  A decimated PSU team with a walk on QB.  How did our coaches not know what was coming.  I haven't played college ball for nearly 20 years and I knew what was coming.  Even with rag-tag DIII players, you should've been able to put a gameplan together that would have at the very least slowed PSU down.  Disgraceful! The play calling was passive and predictable.  How many freaking slants did we throw?  Any idiot LB would figure out what was coming.  This is the most vanilla playbook in college football.  Instead of asking the players to learn more, RR and crew dumb it down.  Its no different than "no child left behind".  Instead of survival of the fittest, its don't worry boys we'll make it easy on you.  Screw that! Get better or quit!

MMB 82

October 30th, 2010 at 11:29 PM ^

any wins vs Wisky, OSU and (yes) Illinois. It will come down to pulling it off vs Purdue, but at this juncture I wouldn't call it any kind of gimme. One more win, 6-6 and a bowl game, and I think RR gets one more year. Lose out and go 5-7 again, and I would like to know if anyone knows Harbaugh's cell #?


October 30th, 2010 at 11:36 PM ^

My problem with tonight's game is the complete lack of improvement by the defense.  Honestly, this team makes me feel like a little kid whose absent father keeps telling me he'll come to my next ball game, but inevitably doesn't show up.  I still love the team, but it really hurts to keep watching.


October 30th, 2010 at 11:40 PM ^

We just don't have a complete team. So far, RR can say he's found one of the most exciting QB's in the country, but that's about it. Special teams are terrible and the defense is terrible, and a great offense can't carry the entire load. So at what point do you say this isn't working? I don't even remember what it feels like to be confident that my team is going to win. I feel like a big black cloud has parked itself over this program and isn't going to budge. I'm starting to dread watching the games. I wonder why Roh was so great last year and is sort of invisible this year. I wonder why the secondary plays so far off their guys. I wonder why we sometimes forget how to tackle. I wonder why in certain situations, like that blocked FG in the Iowa game, we just sit there and watch while Iowa runs it back for 40 yards. And I don't know if anything is going to change this, except maybe a coaching change. 


October 30th, 2010 at 11:41 PM ^

whether Mr. Brandon can find an acceptable replacement.  I trust his judgment with hiring, it will all boil down to whether he can find someone with the record and supporting coaches that are proven.  If no one is available, I see DB taking the next year to really put out the feelers with who might be interested.  I do believe that most of the coaching staff will need to be replaced if he replaces RR.

Kilgore Trout

October 30th, 2010 at 11:58 PM ^

I think that's a pretty good statement.  You have to think that Brandon will use some back channels to see what is out there and what will work before he decides.   I don't see any coaches that are in the national title hunt as realistic options, so there shouldn't be any sort of Miles-ish situation.  He will put out his feelers to the people he thinks he'd like and will know for certain that they will take the job before anything happens.  Just like Bill Martin should have been doing when he knew Carr was retiring. 

Obviously this is inappropriate and too soon, but my list would only have two names on it.  Obviously #1 is Harbaugh, but I'm not sure he'd come.  He seems to be eventual NFL material and I just don't have a great feeling about that working out (though he is hands down my favorite all time Wolverine).  If Harbaugh doesn't work, I'd just make the call to Hoke. Two mid-major turnarounds and a more traditional "Michigan Man."  He's not a sexy choice, but I think he'd be a great long term solution.

Puget Sound Blue

October 30th, 2010 at 11:50 PM ^

For me, the  yardstick is the entire season.  If Michigan can pull out a couple of good wins in the last four games, then that just might be enough to let Rodriguez keep his job for another year.

The defense truly is awful.  All three of U-M's losses have been very winnable games with our offense.  Problem is, poor defensive and/or special teams play make coming from behind too difficult for even this defense to do.  I don't know how much you can blame that on coaching or schemes; yes, it's true that in the end it's the coaching staff that has to take responsibility for the quality of the team, but they don't get out on the field and play the game.  Our defensive players just aren't very good.  Michigan lacks defensive talent.  That's the bottom line for me.

Brandon has said that there's no magic record that will be the determinant of whether Rodriguez keeps his job.  Furthermore, even if Brandon wants Rodriguez gone, who will replace him?  And will that throw this program into 3-4 more years of disarray?