Informal poll: grading RichRod

Submitted by Dan Man on October 26th, 2009 at 11:44 PM

Brian has restated his generally favorable opinion of Rodriguez today, and obviously there are a lot of people out there who disagree. But I was just curious to hear from some of you who haven't given your thoughts on these here boards. Which of the following grades do you think most accurately describes the job RichRod has done so far and why? Feel free to add a plus or minus to your grade as you'd like. (Note: I know anything negative about Rodriguez typically gets neg points here, but since I'm asking for opinions, I'd hope we could let it slide as part of this poll.)

A. OUTSTANDING - RichRod is doing a fantastic job. Nearly all our problems are due to lack of player talent, injuries/attrition, inexperience, etc. An average coach installing a new system in this situation would be faring much worse at this stage. By next year, without a doubt, we'll be on top of the Big 10.

B. GOOD - RichRod is doing a good job. He's made some mistakes here and there, but the relative lack of success is due to things beyond his control. We have improved from last year and, by next year, we should be in the top three of the Big 10.

C. MEH - Could be better, could be worse. We expected to have a rough couple years because of the change, but last year we should have had another win or two, and by now we should be a little further along than we are.

D. POOR - Despite the youth on our team, we still have better recruits than anyone in the Big 10 except OSU. Maybe we should have had some hiccups, but there is no excuse for EVER going 3-9 at Michigan, and no excuse for that Penn State game. Most of the players' mental mistakes should be blamed on the coaches.

F. Fire him now.


James Burrill Angell

October 27th, 2009 at 11:56 AM ^

B, because I think he's doing pretty well with what he has BUT....he clearly needs more pieces to the puzzle and his recruiting desperately needs to address some high quality players for the inside linebacking corps, defensive backfield and defensive tackles. Granted there is still time before signing day, I'm surprised that this hasn't been addressed and somewhat alarmed by the fact that many of the people we're now recruiting for those spots have words attached to them like "Sleeper" and "Project" and "Will develop into" rather than someone who could come in and play right away. Thats what these kids want right? Clearly with our situation there is room for PT.

Dan Man

October 27th, 2009 at 12:07 AM ^

Forgot to give my grade. [EDIT - after thinking about it, I'm changing from B+ to a "B"]. I have agreed with all his game decisions except for putting in Denard at the end of Iowa. I think that a lot of the problems we've had (turnovers, player mental mistakes, etc.) were beyond his control, but also think that coaches shoulder some responsibility for the amount of these problems. Anyway, I think next year we finish 2 or 3 in the Big Ten. Beyond that, I will be interested to see if we can make the leap to be a serious national title contender. I believe RichRod will give us a chance to do that (at which point I will change my grade to an "A").


October 27th, 2009 at 12:15 AM ^

On field Coaching = C

(some good calls and clock management....generally innovative offensive scheme.... but also some very poor player management such as putting back up QBs in the game and calling risky plays deep in own territory, fake punt option that was really bad deep in own territory vs. MSU...overall curious moves....sloppy play and poor execution...odd sideline conflicts which appear to be products of disorganization etc.)

Player development = C-
(just not seeing some of these highly recruited players developing in to decent players. total lack of cohesion on defense, particularly at LB and Safety...yes, DC has a big role in this but ultimately it is Rich Rods staff so the buck stops there)

Recruiting = C+
(some big scores such as Justin Turner and Devin Gardner, Tate, Roh, OL recruits etc. possibly Will Campbell etc. tempered with quite a few players that some would call "sleepers" or "fringe 3 star players" as well as a general lack of solid LB prospects to this point... this could also be considered an INC as well we just dont know yet)

Misc. = C
(much of it is/was media created, however there has been some things behind the scenes that were brought out that dont look great. Generally though Rich Rod handles himself very well in press conferences and to the media. He checks his fire well and doesnt lash out and make a jerk out of himself. Seems to be popular among players but that has yet to translate itself into clean-not sloppy-play ON the field...)

Fan Hopes for the Future = A
(we all see what WVU was able to do in their conference and vs. good BCS schools in bowls and just hope that could be possible with Michigan's overall better talent level)

Ya just gotta go with the product on the field and how it has performed over 20 games. Most games have been pretty poorly played and sloppy...and that is C level material at best.

los barcos

October 27th, 2009 at 11:42 AM ^

especially the on field grade. with the exception of notre dame this year (and maybe wisconsin and minny last year) he really hasn't beaten anyone he wasn't supposed to and has been blown out of some games that he should have been blown out of.

we've beaten the delaware states and easterns but to get a higher grade he needs to start beating the osu and psu of the world.


October 27th, 2009 at 12:01 AM ^

I was very disapointed at how RR handled the Mallett/manningham/arrington situation. As for last years record, I felt we should of been more competitive, but we all know we wouldnt be good, cause you cant win many games as threet and sheridan starting the spread. But other teams across the country won games with less talent than what we had last year (boise state, utah) he gets a c- for the first year

As far as this year, i have seen alot of progress expecially on offense side. We could easily be 7-1...and beating notre dame was huge....getting devin gardner is a huge pickup for RR, but im not impressed with the rest of the class. Finally the defense has not really improved from last year, and next year may not be any better. He gets a B in my mind this yar


October 27th, 2009 at 8:14 AM ^

go to the NFL and make tons of money, like top players do at every single school every single year in America, he didn't yell and scream and threaten them? I've heard this before many times and it's completely ridiculous. Some RR criticisms are debatable, but that one has zero legitimacy or credibility.


October 27th, 2009 at 10:37 AM ^

He did an interview where he said there were no hard feelings at all between him and Rodriguez.

Rodriguez asked him to stay, but Mallett said he was a drop-back passer and wouldn't do well in his offense and both realized it would't work out. According to Mallett, who has no reason to lie, they parted amicably.

I don't understand how Rodriguez "mishandled" that. I'm giving him a B- because there have been some mistakes, but I don't think that's one of them.


October 27th, 2009 at 12:02 AM ^

If I have to grade him so far, he has an A for the first third of season and a C for the second third. He is holding a B average, but there are some huge exams coming really quickly and he better study up.

There will be no extra credit without a B in the final third of the season.

With at least a 7-5 or hopefully better record, the extra credit will be the bowl game and 3-5 weeks of extra practice time.

He could end up with an A, but things need to fall into place in a hurry.


October 27th, 2009 at 12:05 AM ^

I am a believer in Rich Rod and I think we had to go this direction with the offense. I however am going to give him a C+. The downgrade is because of the defense. Last year that was supposed to be the strength and it was nearly as bad as the offense. Completely losing last season means we are still experiencing growing pains in year two.


October 27th, 2009 at 12:03 AM ^

C. MEH - Could be better, could be worse. We expected to have a rough couple years because of the change, but last year we should have had another win or two, and by now we should be a little further along than we are.


October 27th, 2009 at 12:05 AM ^

He's not doing awful. It would help if the receivers could catch and the defense would actually play well against a good team. Things can only go up from here (hopefully).

The Bugle

October 27th, 2009 at 12:08 AM ^

It is a B. The play has been inconsistent at times, but has exceeded our expectations for this year. Although, the team has been disappointing recently, and this regression isn't the greatest thing to see...I still am happy with the progress he has made this year and have big hopes for next year. Also, I am of the current generation and believe in grade inflation...this is based on the current Michigan standard average being a C+/B-.


October 27th, 2009 at 12:10 AM ^

I would have given him an A until Penn State, but the team clearly has huge flaws and I think that some of those are mental and should have been addressed by now (particularly being more careful with the football).


October 27th, 2009 at 1:40 AM ^

Before this past weekend, I would have said A-. I have been very pleased with this season's effort in the grand scheme of things - knowing that Rich Rod's learning curve hits in years 2 and 3. However, it was very disappointing to see Big Blue outcoached and outplayed so bad at home. Reminded me of last year too much.

Maybe I'm just a nervous nellie - but I am hoping that it was just a fluke game. Here's hoping the rest of this year's games are competitive through the end. If so, I change my grade to A-.

steve sharik

October 27th, 2009 at 12:55 AM ^

Taking what I like from the OP's definitions of "A" and "B" I get:

"RichRod is doing a good job. Nearly all our problems are due to lack of player talent, injuries/attrition, inexperience, etc. He's made some mistakes here and there, but the relative lack of success is due to things beyond his control. We have improved from last year and, by next year, we should be in the top three of the Big 10."

If you think we're not as far along as we should be, get a clue.


October 27th, 2009 at 10:17 AM ^

of big 10 will be a pretty big leap for next year. it will take similar improvement from last year to this year; especially on D. i hope it happens, but i'm still very worried about this D being able to put us in the top 3 of the big 10.


October 27th, 2009 at 12:57 AM ^


But I don't think that we'll be top-3 in the big ten next year. I'd be happy with top 5 or 6 next year, and steady improvement after that. We still have some enormous holes to fill, and there just isn't the depth on the team to do that next year.

Arizona Blue

October 27th, 2009 at 1:00 AM ^

If not for the Notre Dame game, I would give Rich Rod a C. In my e-pinion our coaches were out schemed and out coached in many games this year (Indiana, Michigan State, and Penn State) Our defensive players, and to some extent our offense players, have not developed signficantly. Many of our players, especially the line backers, have not shown huge improvements from last year. Although are scheme and overall fluency in our scheme has improved since Rich Rod's take over, the individual player improvements have not been on par with a coach who has made his living developing undervalued talent. Obi, Jonas, Bubacar, and Greg Mathews are prime examples of players who have not shown huge leaps in personal skill since Rich Rod's take over. I believe our relative success this year, compared to last year, is more a sign of scheme competency vs. player personal development. Dont Neg Bang me. I love Rich Rod. Just think there is some room for improvement.


October 27th, 2009 at 1:22 AM ^


Though I prefer the scale to be different.

Mayonaise to bacon. Mayonaise is the worst food and bacon is the best. I would say Rich Rodriguez has earned a grade of Lasagna.


October 27th, 2009 at 1:27 AM ^

I'm cutting the guy a break. Since RR's arrival in Ann Arbor, he's had one helluva lot to deal with. All kinds of ugliness in parting ways with WVU, his whole home state turned against him, Freep jihad, bad real estate deal, etc. Most of us probably have the (reasonable, IMO) expectation that he'd be able to put all that aside and focus on the team. I mention these unfortunate happenings only to say that on top of it all, RR has engineered a pretty nice turnaround from the misery of 2008, even with our oft-blogged-about lack of depth and talent in some key positions.

Kudos to you, RR. B+

In 2010, I'll have the expectation (tempered with a bit of hope) that we pick up wins against Iowa and MSU and are at least 7-1 at this point in the season. Hey, it's Michigan. Expectations are high here, right?


October 27th, 2009 at 1:28 AM ^

B/B+ for now

Last four games
If we go 0-4 D+/C-
If we go 1-3 B-/B
If we go 2-2 B+
If we go 3-1 A-
If we go 4-0 A-/A

I'd be happy with 2-2
Extremely happy with anything better


October 27th, 2009 at 9:50 AM ^

We finish 4-0 down the stretch, we're 9-3, we're ranked in the Top 25, we're going to a quality bowl game (possibly on New Years Day), and we've finally put the Buckeyes in their place. That's a solid A. What does it matter how we win? I realize I'm splitting hairs a bit here, but the tone of your post strikes me as if finishing 9-3 would merely be "OK", and I don't understand how that can be anyone's attitude given the state of this team.


October 27th, 2009 at 10:34 AM ^

As much as I want us to finish 4-0 down the stretch, I just don't see it happening. I want to believe Purdue and Illinois are automatic W's, but we'll see. Wisconsin on the road and OSU at home is, in my opinion, way too much to ask of the team at this point. Hopefully they can prove me wrong though.


October 27th, 2009 at 1:45 AM ^


p.s. Screw you to whoever is negging every post, your such a diclemeg

EDIT I just upbanged everyone to try and offset the negbanger(s)


October 27th, 2009 at 1:36 AM ^


I love the Rich Rod and believe the transition to the spread will keep Michigan competitive for NCs - but I'm still hurting from the Toledo game. We're also 1-3 in conference play... yikes.