December 29th, 2010 at 10:45 AM ^

" Under Harbaugh, the Cardinal improved to 4-8 in 2007, 5-7 in '08, and 8-5 in '09 before hitting the jackpot this year." Hmm. This sounds pretty familiar, but lets pull the plug now so we can't hit the jackpot, and start all over again. Sounds like a brilliant plan to me.


And I know people are going to say Harbaugh would be the jackpot, but it makes zero sense to fire a coach that improves each season. Harbaugh's record at Stanford is a perfect example of that.


December 29th, 2010 at 10:47 AM ^

... Luck stays at Stanford, and so does JH.

Therefore UM is left at the altar, as are the 49ers.

JH really wants the San Diego gig when Norval finally gets the boot next year (JH knows you need a star QB to succeed in the NFL, and any team that could draft Luck in 2012 would suck).

The alums who have always hated RichRod and coveted JH will force Michigan into the Brady Hoke era or some retread former NFL coach.

RichRod will go on to great success (perhaps a NC) somewhere else.

I fear DB is about to pull a Ty Willingham; boot a coach after 3 years right before the breakout year.


December 29th, 2010 at 11:53 AM ^

I agree with the idea that RichRod could still be successful here, but Ty Willingham should not be your example here. Guy was a horrible coach who after Notre Dame, ran the Washington program into the ground. When you talk to Washington fans, they absolutely despise the guy.

Eye of the Tiger

December 29th, 2010 at 10:58 AM ^

The less likely I think it is that RR gets fired. Makes no sense to endanger the recruiting class when you don't have enough time to put together a new one. Plus alumni anger dissipates. If we do keep RR, I wish him the best of luck and hope we win 9+.

But it's not quite fair to say their records are identical. Harbaugh took over a 1-11 doormat and made it a contender. RR has struggled to rebrand a 30-year bowl team. Harbaugh also saw this through to an 11-1 season. We have no season 4 to compare for RR.

That said. I think a new DC (named Casteel, perhaps) would do wonders. That's part of Harbaugh's year 4 success, after all...


December 29th, 2010 at 11:16 AM ^

Our "improvement" was really the result of beating a Purdue team that was down to their 4 deep at quarterback (and was missing most of their impact guys to start the year) and whatever that thing was against Illinois.

Nestled in there was a near miss against FCS Massachusetts, a last second escape against non-bowl doormat Indiana and 5 blowouts against the teams we'll have to beat to become relevant again in the conference.

If it were as simple as lining up the records and closing our eyes to the meat of what really happened with all the factors that went into those records, Harbaugh and Rich did exactly the same.  I'll be willing to agree with everyone on here, but Brandon is clearly looking at the meat.

That's what matters in this case.


December 29th, 2010 at 12:07 PM ^

My concern is this is becoming all about Brandon. He obviously has a considerable ego and is enjoying being in the spotlight. But in doing so he may well sacrifice what is best for the University and football program.

How wonder how much longer he thinks that Beilien walks on water. The drubbing Purdue administered to MIchigan does not bode well for the basketball program. Interesting how the football and basketball programs track one another. Schedule patsies beat them but better teams put us in our place. How far have we have fallen.


December 29th, 2010 at 12:36 PM ^

He is clearly more in the limelight than I would expect an AD to be.  Hopefully that is a temporary thing. 

We really have fallen as an athletic program in basketball and football.  Its been 15 years since we have been relevant in basketball and 4 seasons in football.  I think we are in a position to rebound but I never would have thought we would be here. 

When Berenson retires, it is going to be tough to fill his shoes (or is it skates?)


December 29th, 2010 at 12:29 PM ^

The team improved enough to climb over the rung with Purdue and Illinois on it, beat the teams they should have beaten, and lose to the teams they should have lost to.  For this season, Michigan is currently sixth in total offense with 500.92 yards per game.  For 2009, they were number 59 at 384.5. 

That is an improvement of over 100 yards a game on offense.  I know that we often, as fans, conveniently ignore facts that don't fit our agendas, but an improvement of over 100 yards a game in total offense can't be hidden under a Jim Harbaugh commemorative bobble-head doll. 

skunk bear

December 29th, 2010 at 1:51 PM ^

Actually, I've read them. Obviously, I'm not as impressed as you are by them.

Misopogon admits that measuring variables like coaching doesn't fit in with this analysis. While depth and quality of recruits and retention of same does affect the defense Michigan puts on the field, it doesn't address the responsibility for making sure such problems don't exist in first place. Somebody is to blame. It isn't just an accident. How do I know? Because other programs churn out good defenses year after year. Just like Michigan used to.

When we  reach the point where the supporters of Michigan football expect  Michigan to be unable to compete with OSU, PSU MSU, Iowa and Wisconsin we have stopped being Michigan.

There are reasons why we aren't competing with them now and Misopogon has pointed some of them out. But, they should not be used as excuses. What has happened with the defense should be inexcusable.Your signature suggests that you would think it was (inexcusable).


December 29th, 2010 at 2:38 PM ^

are going to leave holes on your team. Not to mention the wrath of the Angry Michigan Secondary hating god; there are valid points why the defense has not been up to par, stats or no. The 'Michigan' you speak of never went through a period like this and would of had some subpar seasons had it done so. Throw in a new coaching staff, a different offensive philosophy requiring different players than currently on roster, and you might be looking at 3-9 back in the day as well. That said, no, the coaches have not been blameless through this period; I definitely felt we should of done better than 3-8 that first year, but '09 and this past year, based on additions and subtractions to the team, might have been par for the course.

skunk bear

December 29th, 2010 at 2:59 PM ^

I would counter that there are valid explanations. "Valid points" suggests to my ear that these were things that happened to us. Things that could not be avoided.

Misopogon used the Titanic in one of the Decimated Defense pieces. The Titanic hit the iceberg, the iceberg didn't hit the Titanic. By this, I mean that we did it to ourselves.

I would include defections and other attrition under questionable recruiting. Also, some would seem to have been inflenced by the nature of the coaching the new regime brought in.

Certainly Carr deserves some of the blame. But, RR has not fixed it. It is not clear that it will be fixed anytime soon and even if it were to be fixed in time for the bowl game, it still would have taken a long time to fix.

Going through coordinators, keeping questionable coaches (Gibson) and playing a scheme ( 3-3-5 ) that your coordinators have never run before is not the way to fix it.

Just hoping that the defense improves because the players are a year older and more experienced seems a weak solution.


December 29th, 2010 at 3:12 PM ^

Actually, the state of the D is worse than you think.  Yes, our players were young...but would many of them have even seen the field if our defensive attrition weren't so bad?  Take a look at the exodus of D commits during the RR era:

2008 Class:
25 commits; 8 on defense
Brandon Smith
Marcus Witherspoon
Boubacar Cissoko
Taylor Hill

2009 Class:
22 commits; 10 on defense (I'm including Big Will as a defender who stayed)
Adrian Witty
Vlad Emilien
Anthony LaLota
Mike Jones
JT Turner

2010 Class:
27 commits; 16 on defense
Demar Dorsey
Antonio Kinard

That's a total of 11 commits who split during the RR tenure (out of a total of 34 defensive recruits).  That's 32% of defensive commits who left under RR. 


December 29th, 2010 at 1:13 PM ^

Negged for flagrent  "We're Michigan"  hand waving.  

Regardless of how you fall in the Great MGoSchism of 2010, mewling about how we should beat every team every time because "We're Michigan" is pretty much the worse possible argument

It's the Godwin's Law of CC threads.  Every thread eventually makes it.  When you say it, you immedietly lose the argument. 


December 29th, 2010 at 1:31 PM ^

In all honestly, I'd really rather see teams be judged based on their on-field accomplishments than their reputations or the size of their fanbase. 

Seeing as how the sole reason for bowl games is to make shit tons of money at the expense of a goup of 20-something young men, and larger fanbases = more money,  I don't think that it will ever happen. 


December 29th, 2010 at 1:06 PM ^

I know that we often, as fans, conveniently ignore facts that don't fit our agendas, but an improvement of over 100 yards a game in total offense...

You list our total yardage but omit scoring offense (which reveals a problem with our offense in not being able to finish drives).  You don't make mention of the historically bad defense (which has gotten worse each year).  You don't make mention of the special teams (which are also worse).  Is the offense "better" than it was?  Yes.  On the whole, have we improved from RR-Year 1?  Yes.  But that doesn't say much, does it?  We haven't "climbed over the rung with Purdue and Illinois in it", we've established ourselves are squarely on that rung.  That's why RR will be fired.

In any event, that's all a week away.  In the meantime, we get a game on New Year's Day (good thing we're "Michigan" or else we'd be in the Bluebonnet Blue).  I can't wait to watch it!  


December 29th, 2010 at 1:17 PM ^

A coach is more important than one recruiting class. And this class, while certainly okay, isn't earth-shattering. It's relatively small. It's ranked something like 27th in the country. A new coach would still have a month to add to the class and try to keep the commits he wants. We'd lose some; we'd gain some. Last year, around this time, everyone thought Kelly and Kiffin would be up a creek with recruiting. They weren't.