Obvious Heat for RR, but why not Beilein?

Submitted by Beavis on March 7th, 2010 at 7:34 PM

OK hear me out on this.

I know football is generally more important to our alumni, but being a big basketball fan I have to ask this question.

Through 2 seasons, RR is 8-16 (.333). Best year in the B10, we won a game.

Through 3 seasons, JB is 45-52 (.460). Best year in the B10, we went .500.

Assuming RR wins 7 games next year, that brings his winning percentage up to around 42%.

In my eyes, 7-5 in the regular season means RR is gone. And a winning percentage of 42% over three years isn't much worse than 46% over the same time span.

Reasons why JB is different: No bad press for NCAA allegations, doesn't upset the "old hat" fan base as much, and took us to our first NCAA tournament in 11 years (and won a game).

Reasons why JB isn't much different: No one expected Michigan football to be in the top 25 this past season while basketball was ranked in the preseason top 25, seems unable to reach players such as Manny, recruiting hasn't been great, and lost Udoh (worse than RR losing Mallett).

All this being said, I think the fan base either needs to let up on RR a bit, or start thinking about JB's possibilities of being fired.



March 7th, 2010 at 7:41 PM ^

look, i understand that seeing them lay down like they did today is not fun. but did you really not expect this kind of loss? as much of a fan as i am, you HAD to realize that they were going to go into the breslin and get clubbed.

i realize that your post doesn't address today, but would you have posted this a week ago? todays loss doesn't really change anything about this season. my gut is telling me this is an emotional overreaction. my faith in beilein is unwavering (to this point).


March 7th, 2010 at 7:42 PM ^

...and I'm just guessing here, but just maybe it is because Beilein took over a program that hadn't made the NCAA tournament in nearly a decade and took them to the Dance in year 2, and RichRod took over a program that hadn't missed a bowl game since like the Hoover Administration and has yet to go bowling.

Just a theory.


March 7th, 2010 at 7:43 PM ^

Don't use your eyes or try to understand why, just look at the wins and losses and make some blanket statement. This is the kind of mentality that keeps you mediocre. After Lloyd struggled his 1st 2 years if we listened to the fans we would have missed out on our NC because we would have blown him out and tried to find a new guy.

Have you seen this roster?? Name all the NBA players Beilein has underachieved with?? We overachieved last year and fell back this year. Give it a rest. Follow me over to the NC basketball site and we'll start up a fire Roy Williams thread.


March 7th, 2010 at 7:48 PM ^

No one expected Michigan football to be in the top 25 this past season while basketball was ranked in the preseason top 25

We were obviously overrated; we're young and we overachieved in a big way last year. Our expectations should have been adjusted for that, but optimism abounds in the offseason and we drank in the MSM praise.

seems unable to reach players such as Manny

He didn't recruit Manny, and Manny doesn't fit his system. Sometimes the star and the coach don't see eye to eye. I don't think that this is that big of a deal.

and lost Udoh (worse than RR losing Mallett).

There's more to the story there, just like with Mallett.

But to answer the original question, I don't think either should be feeling too much heat. Rodriguez is because frankly we were better before he got here, and people expected that to continue. The more casual fans (read: mostly everyone) didn't realize that we would have been terrible in '08 with pretty much anyone, and we still had very little upperclassman talent last year, which really wasn't Rodriguez's fault. If we do poorly this year (with 2.5 of his recruiting classes), I think the heat would be more justified. I don't think anybody foresaw how bad of shape we'd be in after the Carr years, and while Rodriguez has made a lot of mistakes (Shafer comes to mind), a lot of this isn't his fault. Beilein is a tad different, because we knew how big of a hole we were in. People do realize how young our basketball team is, we do realize that we're doing things the right way, and we have improved (if the Tourney berth means anything). We'll be fine in both.


March 7th, 2010 at 8:03 PM ^

THis "it will just set our program back even further" argument is a crock. It is based on one HUGE assumption that RR will, if given long enough, have a great career here. Which there is no evidence for. Ok, there is a little - his past. But we need way more than his past now.

If RR doesn't win at least 8 games next year, the evidence speaks to him being mediocre at best in the Big Ten and in the 'post spread novelty era.' He has to show he can win big, and it has to be based on more than past success. We could settle for mediocrity after next year if he only wins 7 or we could change coaches and be back up in a couple of years (look at GT, Alabama). Its a risk both ways. BUT - one thing is for sure: we will never have another transition like the this one. Never. In my opinion, 7 wins would point more to RR having a mediocre career here than a great career here.


March 7th, 2010 at 8:10 PM ^

First of all that argument is not a crock. Lets say we win 7 and hire Harbaugh, for example. It would take him at least 2 years to get "his guys" and run "his system" which is a COMPLETELY different system than RRs.
Second, I never said we should settle for mediocrity. If RR wins 7 next season that would be a 2 win improvement, and I would expect another 2 win improvement in 2011, and so on until we are at the standard Michigan football should be at.


March 7th, 2010 at 8:19 PM ^

You are riding the assumptions quite high -
1. a new coach would change to a completely different system
2. RR will continue to improve at some steady rate

If you believe those things - then great, but they are assumptions. And #2 is a big assumption at this point. I just think that to make it not so big, RR has to win more than 7 games. And, based on the transition we have had, I assume Brandon would not hire someone who would instill the a paradigm change that RR did. I would bet that is a pretty solid assumption.


March 7th, 2010 at 9:23 PM ^

"A solid assumption might address who would come in and run the spread option better than RichRod."

I do not know. But your assumption is that whoever it is would need to run the spread option better than RR. I don't agree. Maybe they would run some hybrid system like many, many other teams run. Maybe they would not run it better, but would strategize better regarding opposing teams, and win more games that way. THere are many options other than just running RR's system better than he would.

"I also really want to know which coach you have pegged that could have taken us to a bowl game with Threet and Sheridan at the helm?"

Seriously? Really, this is such a asinine take on my statement that I will not bother.

los barcos

March 7th, 2010 at 9:47 PM ^

some people love negging contrarian opinions.

blueblueblue is 100% right - its not a truism to say that a coach has to fail before he can succeed. coaches can win with other coaches players. this happens, ask urban meyer. or jim tressel. or nick saban. or paul johnson. or hell, even bo pelini to an extent.

this meme that firing rr would actually put michigan behind for "at least 2-3 years" is so beyond wrong that its almost insulting to read over and over again.


March 7th, 2010 at 10:17 PM ^

that he was negged because he didn't support his opinions in any way other than because he thinks so. This after picking on others for saying their opinions were not based on facts. I am generally an RR supporter but I agree with the masses that this may be his make or break year. IMO I don't think any coach we could have hired would have won many more games in 2008. 2009 would be complete speculation based on what players that coaching staff brought in to run his offense/defense. Would the new qb have done a better job than Tate? Or would the new coaching staff been able to keep a dang running back healthy? Who knows but I think RR absolutely stepped into a tough situation and hopefully he turns it around this year.


March 7th, 2010 at 10:24 PM ^

"he was negged because he didn't support his opinions in any way other than because he thinks so. This after picking on others for saying their opinions were not based on facts"

Well, that was my whole point. The only way to point out an assumption about the future (i.e., something that is unknown) is to counter with a contradictory assumption that could also be true. It's called logic. We were talking about what might have been, what might become. THERE ARE NO FACTS. That was the point. Did you want me to make shit up or something?

I am getting negged primarily for having a contrarian opinion, like Los said. Are you new around here?


March 7th, 2010 at 10:40 PM ^

direct this at los then as I was responding to why you were getting negged. I don't think it has anyting to do with your opposing stance but more the content of what you are saying. You just repeated what I said, then proceeded with a personal dig at me, classy by the way. My point stands as you didn't refute what I said but actually supported it. You tried putting down the posters position because his theory, which is supported by RR's current track record of winning 2 extra games per year, was not supported by facts. When your opinion is also not supported by facts. So in turn, your response to the OP should actually be applied to your response to the OP as you didn't use any factual statements only speculation. Logic is a bitch aint it. You're it quincies.


March 7th, 2010 at 11:02 PM ^

Wrong. Los Barcos got what I was debating with the other poster. Your response reads like you didn't read my response to you at all. A total lack of comprehension. Shall I repeat - my point was that the whole "set the program back" line is a big assumption that can be easily countered with another assumption, which I happen to think is not as big. My point, again, was that there are no facts, only prognostications.

I think we are speaking different languages, just using similar words.

And don't pull that "stay classy" manipulative guilt trip shit on me. Dont open yourself open so wide to a dig and you probably will not get one.


March 7th, 2010 at 11:25 PM ^

Comprehension is fine and I read your post(s) so don't worry. You are obviously missing my point here. I don't care what your stance may be, it doesn't change wins/losses either way. I found it very humorous that you were so quick to tear down his stance because it was based on assumptions. Then you tried to prove your intelligence by pointing to your own flawed logic. If, in fact, you were upset that his assumption had no factual value then you should also be upset with your own assumption that has no factual value. What your opinion is, I don't care. I am not trying to guilt trip you, I just lose repsect for people who use backhanded remarks to try and show their dominance in a debate. Much like your "A total lack of comprehension" remark that adds nothing to the discussion. A person is always "wide open to a dig" when speaking in text. I could easily dig you on any of these posts but I generally respect people and I don't think any less of you for disagreeing with me or anyone else. A dig is at the fault of the giver not the receiver.


March 7th, 2010 at 9:46 PM ^

You are overlooking one very important issue, which has bedeviled our program to date (but hopefully won't from here on out): attrition. We just played a football season with around 69 recruited scholarship players. And we were only at that low number because we happened to have a large true freshman class. Thanks to heavy attrition, we had a serious shortage of upperclass talent in 2008 and 2009. RR brought in as large a class as possible this year to alleviate this problem (though it's anyone's guess how many of the true frosh will be ready to go this year).

If we let RR go, there is every reason to believe we will suffer renewed attrition. It happens pretty much anytime you replace a coach with an outside hire. We'd likely suffer another rash of transfers (some of whom would probably badmouth the program) and then we'd be back where we were in 2008/2009: undermanned and lacking experience.


March 8th, 2010 at 7:40 AM ^

It depends on whom you hire, and whether the players think they have better odds at playing time in a winning system here under the new coach or after waiting a year somewhere else.

I think at this stage blue blue blue is arguing a point that he shouldn't be negged for. Bill Martin took a huge risk in hiring Rich. We all know it. The change is so huge that we may never make it through.

The pro-Rich guys have been saying next year, and next year and next year since Rich got here.

The thing though is it is not Rich, it is the players, and Rich's ability to motivate them to perform at their highest level despite all the noise around them.

It is totally possible that a few "Hart-like" team leaders emerge, the guys get focused, and they get on a role entering the season and build on that. It is also totally possible that they have some success, get their noses bloodied, and fold like they did the past two seasons.

If that happens, the noise gets very loud, and you cannot assume that Rich maintains the ability to keep the players believing.

There are very few guys on the team from '07, who can point to what it's like to be way down, constantly picking yourself up off the mat, and then going and beating Florida between two NCs. There may not be any from '06 - the last time we had a team that looked like champions. The core group of players on this team is young, impressionable, and are most likely questioning themselves in the face of adversity because of the broader storm around them. They aren't coming from a proven base of UofM winning history.

The real question is: can Rich, this season, in the face of the storm that is, and the one that will unfold when UofM and the NCAA roll out sanctions in response to the allegations in the middle of the season, be able to pump these guys up to finish strong. If they can win in the Big Ten (i.e., go over .500), beat say ND and MSU and play OSU close at the Shoe, then the team has swagger going into 2011.

If they fold in Big Ten play like they did last year - I am sorry - blue blue blue then asks a valid question: what proof do we have that Rich will be able to motivate the players to be winners?

Anybody ever watched 12 O’clock high? (I'll bet mgoshoe did.) Sometimes a good leader looses his followers, and you have to make a change to get them performing at the highest level again.

Honestly, I really hope the rosey scenario happens. But that goal line stand at Illinios did more than just cost our players their confidence.


March 8th, 2010 at 11:16 AM ^

...a classic exposition on the burdens of leadership, especially on why the leader has to stand apart from his subordinates to allow him to make unpopular, but necessary decisions designed to make a stuggling organization successful. I actually see Brandon as the correct comparison to Gregory Peck's character. He's the guy who is coming in and has to correct the issues that arose during the previous boss's tenure. Specifically, Martin's failure to ensure that the compliance program was all it should have been. Read today's A2.com articles on Brandon and you certainly get a sense that Brandon is all about shouldering the burden and making himself the focus of attention, not RR.

War and military organizations make fine metaphors for football games and football teams if one recognizes and appropriately internalizes the vast difference in the stakes in play.


March 7th, 2010 at 11:46 PM ^

I'll give you a + 1 here because I know that you're going to get negged. You sentiment pretty much reflects mine.

RR took over a 8/9 win program and was supposed to elevate that to a 10/11 (12/13?) win program. Personally, I don't think that he's going to get to that point.

The Big Ten isn't the Big East. Signature conference wins over Rutgers and Louisville aren't the same as signature conference wins over Ohio State and Penn State. RR's teams struggled with physical defensive front teams like South Florida and Pittsburgh. It certainly isn't going to get any easier.

We'll have to sit back and wait to see what happens this year but the team is a long way away from 10/11 wins and I don't know if RR will get them there.

.....but this was a Beilein post, right? I like the guy, just disappointed with this season.


March 7th, 2010 at 8:02 PM ^

It's just that everyone is still icing their genitals after all these dong-punches. We should be asking questions, but days like today are very polarizing and you can't expect everyone to join in a rational conversation right away after a game (and season) like that. Some people are going to be outraged to the point that they'll call for Beilein's head, others are going to go into apologist mode and pile on.


March 7th, 2010 at 8:11 PM ^

Why do I need to need to tell you, when you can just read other comments on here that are from people that have realistic expectations and know that only having 3 players coming of the bench and a SF (Novsk) starting at PF, a SG (Douglass) starting at PG for most of the season and a PF (Sims) starting at C is not going to equal much success, which is why Beilein needs more time.


March 7th, 2010 at 10:24 PM ^

to engage in reasonable debate with the person you are belittling, due to their opinion, then you shouldn't have said anything in the first place. If you disagree with their statement try stating reasons why. Don't turn this into a freep post by saying he's "making idiotic statements" then not responding when he asks why its idiotic. It generally hurts the rest of your post.


March 7th, 2010 at 7:58 PM ^

Um, not reaching Manny Harris shouldn't be held against the coach - look at Coach Cal and John Wall. You don't need to get along with your star players if those star players find a way to win. Nobody talks about the fact that Sims doesn't seem to have trouble working in Beilein's system, only that Manny Harris (who has never been a good shooter) can't hit open jumpers or take over games offensively and that somehow that is Beilein's fault.

And I disagree with all the "7-5 will get RR canned next year" talk. Both Coach B and RR have proven to be great coaches at other schools, and to give up because they experienced a rough patch in transition is insane. I get it - people hate to lose. It sucks, and you have to listen to your co-workers from MSU and OSU rib you for a bit. But if that is the worst thing you have to deal with as a fan, so be it.


March 7th, 2010 at 7:58 PM ^

It's just stunning to me the total lack of context people have in viewing Beilein, a guy who has been consistently successful throughout his career (including vs. the past decade at Michigan) in ways 95% of DI coaches could only dream of.

Last year was, unfortunately, a flash of what Beilein and this team can do. We'll see more of it. I'd think people would be kind of, I dunno, patient after a decade of failure, but apparently it's time to start comparing winning %'s with the winning-est football program of all time.


March 7th, 2010 at 8:12 PM ^

Two things:

Just look at all the games this year that were so close. Off the top of my head there were maybe 7 or 8 games that could have gone either way--if at least half of those go in our direction we're not talking about this.

We have an EXTREMELY young team. Yeah we might have been overhyped to start the year but we bring a lot back and gained valuable experience.


March 7th, 2010 at 8:15 PM ^

Both coaches had far greater success than Michigan has had in recent history at a school with far less name recognition and far fewer resources. Both coaches inherited absolutely god-awful rosters. Both are universally viewed as elite-level coaches by their peers.

Can we stop acting like a bunch of whiny bitches and give these guys the time it takes to turn things around?


March 7th, 2010 at 8:55 PM ^

Tom Izzo has been the head coach at MSU for 15 years now and has been employed at the school for nearly 30. It took ten full years of Brian Ellerbe and Tommy Amaker plus one of the worst booster scandals in NCAA basketball history to drag this program down to the level it is now.

So, and please know that I say this as nicely and politely as I possibly can and in a very nonjudgmental and not-directed-at-anyone-in-particular manner, fuck you sideways with a porcupine if you are somebody that's so goddamn impatient as to demand a coach have that shit all fixed up and Little Brother back in their corner in less than three years or get fired.


March 7th, 2010 at 9:06 PM ^

I agree that Belein should be taking a good amount of heat as well. Sure we made the tournament for the first time in a while last year, but we very easily could have missed it (say, LLP doesn't hit 3 consecutive 3-pointers @ Minnesota inspiring a comeback victory), in which case that argument would be void. The fact that that team made the tournament doesn't mean they were better than some of Amaker's teams that barely missed the tourney, especially because some of Amaker's teams were plagued by injuries while the 2009 team suffered nonel. Also, Amaker's team that won the NIT was better than the 2009 team but couldn't play in the NCAA tourney because of sanctions.

The point I'm trying to make here is that just because Amaker wasn't exactly running a powerhouse doesn't mean that Belein shouldn't get heat for the 2 horrendous seasons he's had. Amaker year in and year out put a semi-competitive team on the floor that was always a bubble team and would have made the tourney one year if it weren't for NCAA sanctions. Belein has been here 3 years and has MISSED THE NIT 2 of them; 2 teams that were probably worse than any of Amakers. On top of that, there really isn't a lot of hope looking forward. Our best player is leaving this year and our 2nd best player the year after that. We only had 10 games this season where someone other than them had 10+ points. Thus, it's definitely not "idiotic" to say that maybe we should start questioning him.


March 7th, 2010 at 9:18 PM ^

Amaker's first team went 11-18. His fourth team went 13-18. His second team, which you claim was bound for the tourney if not for the ban, went 17-13 and had a terrible RPI. In reality, it was probably NIT-bound without the ban.

The other three teams of Amaker's could be considered bubble teams, but all were on the fringe of the bubble; it wasn't a surprise when any were left out. Amaker's M.O. was to make the nonconference schedule as easy as possible and rack up wins, and then turn in a nondescript Big Ten campaign, without any signature wins. Had Beilein gone the Amaker route with his scheduling this year, instead of playing a tough schedule, we'd be NIT-bound.


March 7th, 2010 at 9:27 PM ^

In three years, almost entirely with Amaker's leftovers, walkons, and what recruits he could entice from the ruins of Amaker's failure, Beilein has already had more success than Amaker ever had. "Semi-competitive" "bubble teams" for 10 years are why we're here. This seems really simple to me, but maybe I'm just missing something. I don't enjoy it any more than you do, but you're questioning a brilliant coach who has, again, won here.

I don't demand that everyone blindly support Beilein, a guy who merely has a 20+ year track record of success everywhere he's been, took us to the 2nd round like 10 minutes ago, and is recognized by his peers as one of the best coaches on Earth. But it is "idiotic" to compare him to that hack Amaker, to blame him for what he inherited his first season, and to act like "there really isn't a lot of hope looking forward" with the way he's been able to recruit.


March 7th, 2010 at 9:57 PM ^

It's all Amaker's fault. Belein is in his THIRD year and has a losing record. The one year where we made it to the final 32, we did so largely in part due to Sims and Harris, 2 guys AMAKER recruited.

And sure, there is plenty of hope if you're going to assume that smotrycz is going to be great, vogrich will improve drastically, Hardaway becomes a solid contributor and morris becomes an elite player (which I think he will). It's great that were all excited about them, but we were all stoked about LLP too and look how he's done; people disappoint and so far none of Belein's recruits have shown anything great. Maybe they will in the future and maybe they wont, but those are a lot of if's to overcome the loss of Sims and Harris who are basically the only reasons this team isnt 5-25.

Go ahead and keep apologizing though rather than actually analyzing the situation


March 8th, 2010 at 1:31 AM ^

But thankfully Amaker never coached both of them or else they would have peaked their freshman years like, I don't know, every other player Amaker ever coached here.

If Beilein could have coached the guys from the 2002 and 2003 recruiting classes, there would be a couple Sweet Sixteen (or better) banners in Crisler instead of the NIT ones we have now.


March 7th, 2010 at 9:30 PM ^

"No one expected Michigan football to be in the top 25 this past season while basketball was ranked in the preseason top 25" - There's a big difference when you consider that Beilein was the one who essentially earned the top-25 ranking. Earning high expectations and then failing to deliver is still frustrating but it's not the same as delivering on expectations that are high because people before you succeeded. There's still a track-record of success.

That said, I don't actually think the Rich Rod should be under quite the scrutiny that he is--partly because I basically write off 2008 as a team that nobody could have won with (yes, yes, Mallett whatever, but there's a pretty good chance he was leaving anyways, plus it may have been a smart decision for Mallett considering the offensive philosophy that Rich Rod brought--it's not Rich Rod's fault that it wasn't a good match, that's just the way things go sometimes). The end of last year was extremely disappointing but, especially as we learned more about the injury Tate was dealing with, I'm very hopeful for the next few years under Rich Rod.


March 7th, 2010 at 10:10 PM ^

With what both of these coaches inherited as far as talent odds were stacked against them that they would hit the ground running. John Gruden took Tony Dungy's team and won a super bowl. Is this because he is an amazing coach or is it because everything was already in place for him to succeed? This last year of UM sports has been tough to swallow and if we lose to MSU I am jumping off a bridge but unil then I am going to remain optimistic that both of these coaches can turn things around.


March 7th, 2010 at 11:28 PM ^

I think BB was already so far down that it has been sort of the same. At least we aren't getting pay-off scandals lately, so he seems to have that under control.

RR took a program that looked like it had some cracks, and things have gone downhill as far as wins.

We can (and do) debate how much is his fault, but RR has been the one pushing the buttons while the elevator goes to the basement.