November 12th, 2017 at 1:23 PM ^

Hoke inherited the team that RR rebuilt into a winner. If you want to blame someone look to Lloyd Carr who left a smoking crater for Rodriguez. Hart, Henne, Long, Manningham, Arrington and Crable all left. The OL was bad under LC and had only 2 quality starters returning, one of whom subsequently left because he thought Barwis was too demanding. The defense had some great talent back but they were all 3rd or 4th year players. Rodriguez had to focus on rebuilding the offense to the detriment of the D. RR was fired before he had a chance to do so, but it should be noted that he brought in 3 freshmen - Jake Ryan, Blake Countess and Desmond Morgan - who significantly improved the 2011 roster. As Hoke replaced RR's players the team got worse. Hoke's failure to develop players continues to hold back Harbaugh and the team.


November 12th, 2017 at 1:28 PM ^

I agree with much of your post Cali.  Carr was / is a Legend. He brought us a National Championship.  But the stain on his tenure was the last 3-4 years.  I don't think I have ever seen a coach do less with more.  Just go back and look at the CRAZY talent he had on O and D during those years.  He easily should habe won another NC.


November 12th, 2017 at 1:50 PM ^

In Carr's last four years we posted the following records:

2004:- 9-3 / 7-1 Big Ten (1st place)

2005: 7-5 / 5-3 Big Ten (3rd)

2006 : 11-2 / 7-1 Big Ten (2nd)

2007:  9-4 / 6-2 (Big Ten (2nd)

There were a few bad individual games in there, but overall that's not that bad of a record.  The main problem is that he lost to Tressel all four years.  It was time for him to step down when he did.

I also don't think his last recruiting classes would have been as bad if he'd stayed around, or a coach with a similar philosophy had succeeded him.  The transition from him to RR was massive and it ended up with a lot of guys either no longer being well-suited for the new system or just not buying in.  

As for RR building a winner, that could be said of the offensive side of the ball but I wouldn't say that about the defensive side, to put it charitably.


November 12th, 2017 at 2:06 PM ^

...was that after Bo's death when he realized he just didn't have the fire in him any more, the AD and President not only talked him into staying for another year but then apparently failed to plan for what would happen after that year was up.

Having him stay maybe wasn't wrong, since there was no succession plan in place. Failing to use your year's warning to then put a plan in place was inexcusable.


November 12th, 2017 at 3:29 PM ^

was also he wasn't asked to really be part of the search.  So he went out and kinda torpedoed the team.  Said to hire Rich, telling players that Rich was hired and he runs a different system, telling them he would sign transfer papers to anywhere, not supporting Rich.  

Carr was a great coach while he was here, and has been great later on, but that period of time where he was walking away was brutal.  Really set Michigan up for failure for a long time.


November 12th, 2017 at 4:30 PM ^

...that that story makes no sense? At the very least, it should have died when it became common knowledge that Rodriguez had been Carr's idea in the first place. He encourages RR to put his name in and encourages Martin to hire him, then his very next act is to destroy the program by encouraging players to leave, and he does this in such a spectacularly unsuccessful fashion that not a single player takes him up on it?

That was Lloyd the pychologist. There are players in the room--dropback QBs, big RBs, big anything on the offensive side of the ball for that matter--rightfully wondering about their future under a spread guru. Carr voices their fears, then talks them off the ledge: take your time, no hurry, think it over, don't make a quick decision you're going to regret.

No doubt there were some players, especially on the defense, that weren't thinking about their futures and didn't understand what Carr was doing. Maybe that was the source of the version that made it into Bacon's book.

Three and Out was an interesting book. But it was written by an embedded reporter and so it's probably more revealing of the state of mind of RR and his immediate circle than of any objective version of events.



November 12th, 2017 at 5:17 PM ^

Carr's exit was botched so badly by so many people.

I object to a guy with a 30-46 conference record in the majors being called a guru of anything other than mediocrity.

He will, however, ride the concept of a quarterback with amazing broken-field running ability and a somewhat acceptable arm to the point where so many hard hits accumulate that the arm no longer works and the team is left helpless against quality opponents. Hence the abysmal record as a coach.

Also, it shouldn't go unnoticed that next Saturday is Harbaugh's 37th game as Michigan coach. RichRod was also here for 37 games. Wisconsin will likely score more than 7 points, but if the team comes through and holds Wisky to 7 or less, Michigan will have given up less than half the total points through Harbaugh's 37 games as they did with Rodriguez at the helm. That *difference* is currently more than 15 points per game.

Plus, believe it or not, Harbaugh's teams here have actually scored more per game than Rodriguez's.


November 13th, 2017 at 12:18 AM ^

Leaving aside Carr's own contribution to recruiting that talent: has the talent Harbaugh's had to work with really been inferior? We just had 11 players go in a single draft--when did that last happen? 23 players who played under Harbaugh made NFL rosters--when's the last three-year stretch we put that many into the league?


November 16th, 2017 at 5:42 PM ^

Two years of Harbaugh drafts so far:

QB: Rudock (6)

WR: Darboh (3), Chesson (4)

Fourteen picks total (not including Countess), two first rounders.

Here's late Carr for comparison (2007-2008 drafts):

QB: Henne (2)

WR: Manningham (3), Breaston (5), Arrington (7)

RB: Hart (6)

Thirteen picks total, two first rounders. That was the best two-year haul in Carr's tenure here, the first time since 1991-1992 we had 13 taken over two years (and the draft was 12 rounds long back then).

To find two years with more players drafted than Harbaugh's had so far you have to go back to 1974-1975. There were 17 rounds then.

If putting players into the league is your measuring stick, Harbaugh's had the best two years in Michigan history. If success in the league factors in, it's too early to say. None of Carr's skill players from that era really lit it up--the best careers were Harris, Woodley, Long, and Hall.


November 12th, 2017 at 2:12 PM ^

Keep in mind, Bacon worked closely with RR during the writing of that book while Carr was not part of the process at all.  I interpret the book as RR's version of events, which probably doesn't coincide with Carr's version (if he were to ever come forward, which is doubtful).

snarling wolverine

November 12th, 2017 at 3:32 PM ^

By the time the book was written (2011), Lloyd was retired from the athletic department and really had no motivation to relive the events of those three years.  I'm not surprised he didn't want to get involved.

Rich OTOH was unemployed when Bacon was writing the book and had a strong motivation to make sure the book shifted blame away from himself, so as to protect his reputation going forward.  It's not surprising he wanted to get a lot of stuff on the record. 


November 12th, 2017 at 3:56 PM ^

Carr was never a forthcoming guy with the media.  I'm not surprised he didn't participate in the writing of the book and would not make much of it.

Moreover, the book wasn't supposed to be about Carr at all.  We should remember, Three and Out wasn't planned to a negative, muckracking book.  It was intended to be an inside look at Rich Rodriguez's new Michigan program as it turned things around.  But then we collapsed at the end of the 2010 season and RR got fired, forcing Bacon to completely change the book's focus, late in the writing process, into a "What went wrong" narrative.  


November 12th, 2017 at 4:00 PM ^

It is a fact that Carr inherited all Americans and left none to RR. It is a fact that Carr facilitated transfers and did not allow RR to weigh in as would have been helpful. It's a fact that Carr gave audiences to played to complain about RR. This is not supporting a new coach. I don't think Carr helped UM after leaving coaching. Compare him to Bo and the case should be resolved.


November 12th, 2017 at 5:03 PM ^

Your first statement is true, but you are also assuming that every player RR inherited reached his potential after the coaching transfer, which is impossible to know.  In almost any coaching transition there are some guys who don't buy in to the new staff.

Your second statement is not a fact at all.  Carr had no authority to grant players their release once RR was hired.  

Your third statement is true but  - take it FWIW - I heard an ex-player speak about this a few years back and he said that Carr challenged players to stay at Michigan after the coaching change.  This is one reason why I tend to regard the book as RR's version of events - its narrative doesn't always seem to fit with other things I've heard about those years.

Finally, we don't know what caused the rift between Carr and RR, but seeing as Carr invited RR to take the job here, I can't help thinking that RR did something to encourage Carr to stay away.



November 13th, 2017 at 9:19 PM ^

There was plenty of time from retirement ANNOUNCEMENT and hiring of new coach. You can argue that Carr had the interest of the player in mind. You can also make the reasonable assessment that these actions hurt RR and UM. That being said, RR was not the right choice for UM but his flat showing at UN put us behind for a decade. Carr is apart of that fact.


November 13th, 2017 at 9:14 PM ^

Unprecedented access to the program. He could have lied- but if he is talking to players and they mention they talked to Carr, it is fair to suggest these events occurred. I'm not saying that makes Carr a bad person, but it is fair to suggest that he let his ego get ahead of the University.


November 12th, 2017 at 10:12 PM ^

PREACH!!! spot fricking on. Lllllloyd sold his soul and the program when his boy didn't get the HC job. He stabbed Rodriguez square in the back...left the cupboards bare. Rodriguez changed the entire direction of the program and many of the traditionalists went freaking chicken little. It was a rough transitional time. Even if Carr stayed on, that team probably faces the same fate as RR. Sorry, Hoke's best season was his first with the talent/team he inherrited. He regressed each and every year with his schemes, coordinators, and HIS talent. Harbaugh came in and attained success with the same kids, had experience in his favor, and is just now starting to develop his own system with his own recruits. He will get it done, he will fill the gaps, hire the right people to fix weakness.

Just have to give him time, tollerate an 8-10 win season without a championship, it will happen if it's going to much went terribly wrong with the exit of Moeller...Carr rode his coattails and that championship was more about what Moeller built than what Lllllllloyd could accomplish. He just followed the plug and play method with some phenominal talent. Without Woodson, 8-3 at best.