The perspctive of the West Virginia season on RR's performance

Submitted by Clarence Beeks on November 11th, 2008 at 8:38 PM

Having lived in western Pennslyvania during much of RR's tenure at WVU and having seen a lot of those games, the linked WBGV article (link: in "Unverified Voracity is Experienced" confirms what I've thought all season long: WVU's performance this year says a hell of a lot more about RR's coaching ability than Michigan's performance this year. RR has taken players that he didn't recruit and that were recruited to play a different system and has (as the season has progressed) made them into a more competent offensive unit than the WVU team that he left has become without him. Although the Michigan offense has not (and this is an understatement) been a thing of beauty, having watched the majority of the WVU games this year, Michigan's offense is at least tolerable to watch because, as opposed to WVU's offense, it is at least improving from week to week. Really, viewed in the big picture, the fact that Stewart (predictably) ruined WVU in one season with virtually the same skill players available to RR says an awful lot about what RR actually accomplished at WVU. To me, that portends great things for the future at Michigan given the vastly improved recruiting situation.



November 11th, 2008 at 10:15 PM ^

I've had this thought a couple times before. And it's true, to a certain extent. But to make the claim (as someone did in another thread) that Rich Rodriguez is doing an amazing job with the talent he was given, and that winning any games shows his incredible coaching talent, is just ridiculous. Utah? Purdue? Toledo? That's not the mark of a great coach. Besides, Coach Stew is obviously an idiot.

But yes, WVU seems to be floundering without Rodriguez at the helm. Interesting.

chitownblue (not verified)

November 12th, 2008 at 12:37 PM ^


Clarence Beeks

November 12th, 2008 at 9:54 AM ^

I agree. I wasn't meaning to saying that RR has done an amazing job with the talent Michigan has, but rather what I was saying is that he has done a pretty good job with it (all things considered) whereas Stewart has absolutely squandered his talent at WVU. I still believe that portends good things for the future.

Also, for perspective's sake, you can't just look at the names of the teams that Michigan has lost to this season as a true indication of the value (or lack thereof) of the loss. Utah is undefeated and ranked in the top 10. Purdue sucks but they ran an offensive scheme that Michigan has been utterly inept to stop the last two seasons. Same with Toledo. I tend to blame talent more than coaching for those two losses. Spread offenses have just torched the Michigan defense the last two years. That's with two vastly different head coaches and two vastly different defensive coordiantors. Sure the offense should have put up more points against Toledo, but given the youth of the offensive players some struggles were bound to happen. Unfortunately one of the games where they struggled the most is a game they needed to have the offense work better. That happens. The good news is that Rodriguez has proven that he can both recruit and coach players who can play solid defense against both traditional and spread offenses.


November 12th, 2008 at 2:22 AM ^

What is more important to Rodriguez? Winning games, or winning games "his" way? I think a truly great coach takes the talent he has and makes the best of it. Looks to me like Rodriguez is satisfied to lose as long as he can say, or allow others to insinuate that the reason for losing is the fact that the players previously recruited at Michigan are not suited to his style of offense. I say, well duh, maybe he should try something better suited to the talent he has as opposed to the talent he doesn't have. I can't believe that Toledo, Purdue, Utah and even Michigan State has been able to recruit better talent than Michigan over the past four years.


November 12th, 2008 at 9:02 AM ^

there's no offense that works with an O-line that can't block. whether it's the spread or a pro set, if you're not able to get good o-line play, it's not going to matter.

and what is our talent best suited for? we have a quarterback who has a decent arm but no accuracy and another with decent accuracy but a noodle arm.

this subject has been discussed ad nauseum, but why on earth would we want the coaches trying to coach something they're not familiar with? they know the spread. the offense is obviously taking small steps forward. this year wasn't going to amount to much better than .500 regardless of who was coaching, so we may as well suck it up now (in an already down year) and lay the foundation. if we wait until he has his guys and then try to implement a new offense, we're starting from scratch all over again.


November 12th, 2008 at 12:08 PM ^

So instead of coaching a system the players are a bad fit to play, you want the coaches to coach a system that they are a bad fit to coach? Isn't that just as bad? Or worse? And then when we get the right players, we are just supposed to change our playing style and make everyone learn ANOTHER new system? I'd rather only go through one transition.


November 12th, 2008 at 12:15 PM ^

The "RichRod should fit the system to the players" concept is one of the biggest arguments the anti-Rodriguez crowd uses. If you point out the stupidity of it, what else will they have to fall back on?

I'm sure it'll be another half-baked theory that becomes a meme until somebody actually analyze it.


November 12th, 2008 at 8:27 AM ^

is trying his hardest to win right now. I don't believe for a second that he threw this season away to prove a point. With the talent that left, he couldn't have had more than one or two more wins no matter what system he put in place.


November 12th, 2008 at 8:33 AM ^

why people say Rodriguez should have run an offense more suited to the personnel (that is, the quarterback). There's adapting your offense, and then there's throwing out the playbook and getting a new one. These guys are going to have to run the RR offense sooner or later. Why not get the head start and have them run it this year instead of trying to re-learn a whole new deal next year when Forcier comes in? We accept that Ryan Mallett could not have run the RR offense, I don't see any difference between asking Mallett to run the spread and asking RR to coach the old offense.