In reply to by AAB


November 24th, 2010 at 2:59 AM ^

That's not a big concern.  Teams do this all the time.  Last year, for instance, ND had already talked to Kelly when they fired Weis.  It's not hard to do through third parties.  Auburn just went about it very stupidly.


November 24th, 2010 at 6:36 AM ^

I found Wojo's article curious- he has always seemed to be the voice of reason.  Seeing as Henning is saying the axe is dropping Monday, and they work together, maybe Wojo has heard from similar sources and is setting the table a bit for Brandon to make the move.  DB is media savvy and probably has enough of a relationship to feel comfortable trying to steer the ship before making the move.

/conspiracy theory


November 24th, 2010 at 12:30 PM ^

to me as well.  Wojp, unlike many of his "peers' in the sportwriting business, has not often made such a bold statement, the Izzo article nothwithstanding.  To say that unless Michigan beats OSU Saturday is saying RRod should be, or will be fired.  Makes one wonder if he is working on some real information or simply trying to start a fire. 


November 24th, 2010 at 8:51 AM ^

The best predictor or future performance is past performance.  RR has a track record of success that is superior to Harbaugh.  Do we suck on defense?  Yes.  Is that ultimately RR's fault?  Yes.  But this team was so broken expecting overnight success with a complete change is unrealistic.  I don't think 3 years is enough time to judge.

Here is my prediction.  If we fire RR he will go on to win a NC elsewhere.  If we hire Harbaugh we will continue in the dark ages of Michigan Football as he retools the roster to run his pro-style offense.  We get a crapload of transfers, recruiting falls off the cliff.

So if Harbaugh is then 7-5 in his third year do we fire him too?  Ok, now who?


November 24th, 2010 at 9:27 AM ^

Agreed.  If Rodriguez is fired, I have no doubt he'll catch on somewhere else.  It will probably be somewhere with less pressure more willing to give him time to build his program his way (Minnesota?).   His "failure" at Michigan will only make him work harder to put the bitter taste of the last three years behind him.  If he does go, I hope its somewhere we don't play his team regularly.  


November 24th, 2010 at 10:04 AM ^

We get a crapload of transfers, recruiting falls off the cliff.

is not a given.

Harbaugh is a respected coach. If I am a player (or a recruit), I have reason to believe that if Jim Harbaugh comes to Michigan he is capable of recruiting and coaching a winning team, AND he will be supported by the fanbase in ways Rich was not.

So the key question in should I transfer or not (and if a year on the bench is worth it), is whether the player thinks Harbaugh can use and showcase him or not. I don't see that as an issue for most the players. The one question mark is Denard, and Andrew Luck runs on occasion ...


November 24th, 2010 at 11:17 AM ^

RR has a track record of success that is superior to Harbaugh.

What is the basis for this statement?  It certainly can't be anything that's happened in the past three years.  At this point it's worth wondering if his success at WVU was due to a combination of 1) the Big East being extremely weak and 2) having an outstanding DC, who didn't accompany him here.


November 24th, 2010 at 12:35 PM ^

The basis for the statement that RR has had more success than Harbaugh are the numerous conference titles and bowl game victories that he enjoyed when using a full roster of his own players.

1.) The Big East wasn't as bad of a conference when he coached as it is this year for instance. In fact he won a conference title in a year when Virginia Tech and Miami had not yet left the Big East to play for the ACC. The strength of the Big East was proven in the years he won BCS bowl games. Harbaugh on the other hand couldn't win the Sun Bowl last year with a future NFL first round QB and a heisman trophy running back candidate. His record in his third year at Stanford was 8-5, right about the record that Rodriguez will have if he either beats Ohio State or wins his bowl game.

Bad conference or not, Rich Rod is simply more successful having won 8 conference titles , 4 at Glenville State and 4 at West Virginia. Harbaugh by comparison has won 2 conference titles at San Diego. Harbaugh has coached less games but he also has no proof to back up the claim that he is more successful than Rich Rodriguez. RR beats him in just about anything you can measure success by. More wins, better winning percentage, more bowl victories, more conference titles, more BCS bowl game appearances, etc...

2.) We still don't know if the DC is the reason for West Virginia's success on defense or the fact that West Virginia had time to recruit players and let them grow into juniors and seniors. It's hard to judge a defense who is starting players who wouldn't even be ready to play in the MAC. Harbaugh hasn't had to deal with the types of injuries and player loss on defense that Michigan has suffered. I doubt very highly that Harbaugh and his defensive coordinator would do much better with the personnel that Michigan currently has on defense. Harbaugh's defense was pitiful in his 3rd year at Stanford and he actually hired a new defensive coordinator for year 4. It's not like he would magically come in and solve the defensive problems.


November 24th, 2010 at 2:49 PM ^

Harbaugh on the other hand couldn't win the Sun Bowl last year with a future NFL first round QB and a heisman trophy running back candidate.

You make it sound like they played Iowa State.  They played Oklahoma who had 3 of the first 4 picks in this years draft(-Gresham, he was out all year). 

I agree RR has a better track record.  And yes their records in year three are the same but Harbaugh has quality wins.  It is absolutely OK to say that Harbaugh is a good coach regardless who you want coaching Michigan.


November 24th, 2010 at 4:58 PM ^'s just a matter of where he goes as Stanford always craps out and he knows that the offers on the table this off-season won't be matched in the future.  While I'm sure he'd like to coach in the Pros I'm wondering if someone as generally intelligent as Jim will recall the record of successful college coaches (ie Not Good, and it'll be worse once Pete Carroll inevitably flames out in 3 seasons) so I wonder if he will make the jump people expect him to make.


November 24th, 2010 at 1:50 AM ^

Holy baby Jesus facepalm. We're so fucked. Half out fans want a new coach and half want RR. So no matter what decision is made, half will be super pissed off. I'm not ready for more attrition and retooling. We're mediocre now with this D but how can anyone think a change is going help us beat OSU or even Sparty next year. This is some sick lost decade scenario shit.


November 24th, 2010 at 2:08 AM ^

Would RR have time to find a new defensive staff before the bowl game, or would he stick with what he has while the search for new coaches starts?  We talk a lot about the golden "15 extra practices" or whatever it is so I'm curious as to how the partial/complete coaching change on defense would work out before January.


November 24th, 2010 at 2:16 AM ^

Ideally, it would happen before the bowl, but that might be tough, with so many coordinators in bowl prep.  It will probably end up being in January after the bowl.  GERG will nominally be given one more chance to show what he can do, but I can't imagine he could be brought back at this point. 


November 24th, 2010 at 5:00 PM ^

...if you look at recent history, coaching changes in College programs where *anything* talent wise is left usually leads to 2-3 additional wins in the new coaches first season (hell, that even happened with John L. Smith and the Spartans).  Not sure why that is, it just tends to happen in programs with any talent.



November 24th, 2010 at 1:58 AM ^

This guy says, it all rides on this one game, one that no one expects us to win.  Either win, or be gone! Never mind that we are going in the right direction and set up with the maturing underclassmen to return bigger, stronger and more experienced for the next 2-3 years, that our recruiting class is shaping up nicely, despite the negatives. Never mind that our best shot at being good before 2013 is to keep RR and let him do what he knows how to do.

Not  to say that it is impossible that we pull it off, and we are likely to put up some points, but how will we suddenly become good in 3 more days? Their players right now are better than ours, but not because we have bad coaches. We just lack talent, size and experience, all things that are about to improve. We are still how we are, with our weaknesses and areas of need, today, win or lose on Saturday.

So fuck WoJo, who I used to like reading until now. He's a moron.

Maximinus Thrax

November 24th, 2010 at 7:17 AM ^

That is exactly what he says, and that is a reasonable expectation.  Get your team up for this game.  Don't look like a bunch of Division III lightweights.  Get some penetration.  Denard, play like your life depends on it.  If these guys believe that they can win, they can do it.  I know it sounds cliche, but no matter how bad our D is they should be able to get up for 1 game!  Just please don't embarass us.  Even if Brandon wants to keep Rich, if we are being violated in every orifice on a weekly basis, there is not realy that much for him to hang his hat on as far as a justification apart from Denard.


November 24th, 2010 at 2:00 AM ^

that Lynn Henning has figured out Wojo's computer password (boobs), and wrote an article. Seems there may be some loss of operational control at the Detroit News. It will be announced Monday that Jonathan Wolman, editor and publisher,  will be fired.



That's an opinion.


November 24th, 2010 at 1:59 AM ^

Harbaugh is 27-21 as a head coach at Stanford, in his FOURTH year, where he's currently 10-1? Wouldn't that make his record before the season something like...I dunno, 17-20? After THREE seasons? Why, yes, yes it would!


Wait a second, what is RichRod's record? 15-20, in his THIRD SEASON! Now that is UNACCEPTABLE! He needs to go, NOW! Need MOAR defense! Harbaugh didn't need time to make Stanford a powerhouse!


I hope the snarkiness and sarcasm dripping from this post is apparent. Now let's beat those fucking Buckeyes!


November 24th, 2010 at 2:05 AM ^

If RR had two wins over OSU in his first three years, as Harbaugh did over SC, he'd likely be safe.  His biggest problem isn't just the record (though that is a big problem), but the fact that he has basically no wins over good teams.  He has yet another "biggest game of his career" on Saturday.  He's got to finally win one of these.  


November 24th, 2010 at 5:36 AM ^

Actually his biggest problem is that as time has worn on, we are getting beat worse by those good teams.  Plus, in his defense, he is chasing the ghosts of teams past who basically owned all these so called "Big Ten Powers".

The expectations might just be too much for what he is capable of doing and Brandon knows that.  Hard to say.


November 24th, 2010 at 9:36 AM ^


Stanford was 1-11 the year before Harbaugh was hired. Michigan was 9-4 the year before RR was hired.

Stanford had not been to a bowl game for the preceding 5 years before Harbaugh was hired. UM had been to 30 odd straight bowls before RR was hired.

Seriously, how can anyone argue that these situations were remotely similar? Mind boggling.


November 24th, 2010 at 3:30 AM ^

Harbaugh had 2 losing seasons his first two years at Stanford, then went 8-5.  RR had 2 losing seasons before (likely) going 7-5. So yeah, I don't see how people expect instant-success if we bring in Harbaugh.

And if Harbaugh does come here, and wins right away, won't he be doing so with RichRod's players?  Zing!  If Harbaugh wins right away but struggles later we'll be seeing that line on the message boards.

Yeah Stanford wasn't a powerhouse when Harbaugh took over but UM isn't a powerhouse now either.  So if it took Harbaugh 3 seasons to win at Stanford can I claim it'll take him 3 to win here?

Basically what I'm saying is that I don't see why they think Harbaugh will be a savior. 


November 24th, 2010 at 5:01 AM ^

soo to you.. winning at Michigan and winning at Stanford is the exact same thing and takes the exact same time to do. I'm tired of all the excuses everyone keeps making likes it's sooo hard to win at Michigan. Taking over this young team is not the same as taking over the Stanford team that was 1-11 before Harbaugh got there.

The big difference between Harbaugh's 1st few years and RR's is quality wins. RR has in 3 years yet to bear OSU, MSU, PSU, or Iowa. 1-2 against Wisconsin with 2 blowout losses and the 1 victory coming in the 2008 combac win.

Harbaugh got a win as a 41 point underdog to the #1 2007 USC team..and he SMACKED USC again last year 55-21 on his way to that 8-5 record and finished #21 in both polls

If thats not enough of a difference for you here are some more

1. He is a Michigan grad

2. He is the hottest coaching name out there ..If he doesn't come here, he will be coaching an NFL team soon. He is as guru approved as a coach can be.

3 He hates OSU (Nobody will question if he understands the rivaly)

4. He is a great recruiter (think his current class is higher rated then M's)

5. He is arrogant and a prick.(exactly what is needed to handle the media around here these days

6. He runs a pro style system .. how many quality recruits who should have come to UofM have we lost out n because of the spread and 3-3-5? 

I was a huge RR supporter for as long as I could be. Enough is's just not worth it anymore. If just for the sake of the fans to stop bickering we need a change. The last 3 years have been the worst 3 defences and special teams years in Michigan history. The O has tons of potential obviously...but it can't make up for the mistakes he has made with the D. There is not 1 shred of proof that the D will be better next year. If you look at the trend it is more likely to be even worse then it is to be better. It has gotten worse every year since RR has arrived. Honestly it's just  my opinion and im sure ill get negged for it, but getting Harbaugh is a once in a lifetime oppertunity. This is the man who guaranteed victory over OSU and delivered. He would restore our coaching link to Bo. I know hes a dick and that's fine. I don't want to be his friend, I want him to win games here. I want everyone in the B10 to hate our coach like I hate Dantonio and Tressel. I want a Michigan man to coach Michigan.     Rant over, neg away. 


November 24th, 2010 at 7:57 AM ^

but what is it with people wanting to "restore the coaching link to Bo"?  That brand of football was the direct cause of the Horror, and the disaster known as Oregon 2007, with a senior laden team no less.  Personally, I think that style will take us right back to where we were pre-Rodriguez.  Every seven or eight years we will compete for a BCS championship and mostly go 10-3 or 9-4 in other years.  Sign me up!  Remember our history:

2004 - 9-3, bowled over by Troy Smith and Vince Young

2005 - 7-5, lost to OSU and the bowl game

2006 - 11-2, great year until OSU and USC

2007 - 9-4, Horror, Oregon, OSU, and that great game against Florida

That's right Lloyd lost four in a row to OSU and 6 of his final 7.

So let's restore the coaching link to Bo and go back to playing pre-historic football, and getting waxed by the Oregon's and the Texas' of the world.

Bo wasn't a Michigan man to begin with, he had to earn it.  Who says Rodriguez couldn't do the same, you want him out before his prodigy even becomes and upperclassmen.


November 24th, 2010 at 8:23 AM ^

Could not agree more! Why do we want to go back to the stone age? Wojo is an ass. What a dumbass thing to write. Ohio State is a perfect example of why we should want to keep RR. Winning the Big Ten and getting smoked in your BCS game sucks. RR can take us to national championship level if we just have some patience. If he is allowed to come back next year, this thing is gonna take off and no one with any sense will call for his head again. Have some faith! GO BLUE!


November 24th, 2010 at 7:26 PM ^

How easy it is to pick on Carr's last 4 years as if that represents what Michigan football had been for the past 40 years. He stayed on a year or 2 too long. I heard he wanted to retire after 04'. I don't want to say the game passed him by..but he gave 3 decades of his life to Michigan football..eventually everyone wears down. That brand of football did not cause the horror and the Oregon debacle...poor defence did. How easily you forget all the B10 titles and the MNC Carr had. How easily you blow off all of the great things that "stone-age brand" did for our program. That brand of football is what made Michigan football the respected program that it is. What has this brand of football added besides embarassment ? You dont get to talk down about 10-2 when your trying to talk up 7-5.


Lastly if I am understanding you correctly, because Harbaugh has a connection to Bo that makes his system pre-hstoric?  You do realise how stupid that statement is don't you? Have you looked at where Stanford's stone age offense ranks ?  #8 in scoring #15 in yards ..yes their prehistroric O is better then ours..i wont even go over how the D's compare.


November 24th, 2010 at 10:18 AM ^

This is exactly what OSU fans, and other Big Ten fans are afraid of. We ditch Rodriguez and bring in a guy who gets it. And I don't just mean the OSU rivalry, also gets defense, and how to win big games (keep in mind Rich lost to Pitt in a big game that dropped him out of NC contention).


November 24th, 2010 at 7:33 AM ^

1. We're not going to beat the effing Buckeyes.

2.  Chris Spielman is quoted as saying that Mike Martin is the only UM defensive player who could start at OSU. Spielman is right.  And that's after two complete RR recruiting classes?  That is just unacceptable.

There has to be accountability.

Wojo is right.


November 24th, 2010 at 8:50 AM ^

Spielman's quote is getting a lot of traction around here.

OSU starts 7 seniors, two juniors, and two sophomores on defense. Is it really UNACCEPTABLE that the sophomores and freshman that Rodriguez has recruited wouldn't be able to beat out fourth and fifth year players?

And, this just in, Ohio State has a really good defense. You could probably look at 7 or 8 of the Big Ten starting defenses and not find more than one or two guys on any of them that would start at Ohio State.