Re-Evaluation is Necessary

Submitted by Kilgore Trout on November 7th, 2009 at 10:26 PM

I think this blog has really gotten bogged down into a defensive, conformist mindset. There's obviously tons of good data out there showing the talent deficiencies that exist on defense and other recruiting issues and all sorts of things that put the onus of this debacle away from Rodriguez and try to explain away what has happened in the last 22 games. Reading the board here is becoming an exercise in apologist tactics akin to listening to Ira on 1050 (if I had to guess, he reads this blog and gets most of his points from it).

That being said, I don't see how anyone can logically and rationally look at this whole situation and not question if this is going to work out. Some things to ponder...

The cupboard was bare. I don't dispute the numbers that we've seen in the diaries, they are pretty bad. But I think before resting your hat completely on this theory you have to ask yourself the following question. If Lloyd had stayed and coached last year and this year, would he be 8-14 in the last 22 games? If the answer is no, then a significant amount of the blame for that has to fall on Rodriguez. The obvious counter to this is that it's the system change. So if we accept that, then you have to look at where we were for the last five years, where we are now, and where we want to be. From '03 to '07, Michigan was 46-17 (.730) with a Big Ten title and three BCS bowl bids. In the last two years, Michigan is 8-14 (.363). Most likely they will end the two year stretch with 3 Big Ten wins and zero bowl games period, let alone BCS. Given the enormity of the philosophical, cultural, and strategic transition, we have to give a minimum of three (if not four) years to get this transition completed. The expectation has to be that the final product will be better than the previous product. Improvement would be a winning percentage higher than .730, more than one Big Ten title per five years, and BCS National Championship Game appearances. If that is not the goal, what was the point of going through this?

Another point rests with the entire assumption that a philosophical change was necessary. We all had our issues with Lloyd / Debord ball, but it's hard to argue those numbers above. UM wasn't top five elite, but it was pretty darn good. Two thoughts argue against the necessity of the shift (I certainly concede that there are plenty of thoughts that argue for it). 1, USC seems to do just fine running a pro-style offense. A more imaginative and daring OC would have been nice, but there is a glaring example out there that the pro-style is not dead in elite college football. 2, the mass movement toward the spread might actually help a few select pro-style teams. If in the world there is a set amount of elite statuesque big arm quarterbacks and space eating massive offensive linemen out there, wouldn't it be easier to get those guys on campus if there were only five top notch schools running that system as opposed to the 20-30 top notch schools running the spread? USC and Notre Dame are basically guaranteed of getting a top two or three pro-style quarterback every time they want one.

So basically in conclusion, I think you are doing yourself a disservice if you aren't even considering the fact that this all might have been a huge mistake. I think I agree with the masses that we are too far and too deep into it now to make another 180, but it's really hard not to look at the last 180 we did and wonder if it was a great idea (even Brian said on WTKA that if he had the opportunity to go back in time and the power to make the hire, he probably wouldn't have hired Rich Rod). I hope this all works out, but man, I kind of don't think it's going to.



November 7th, 2009 at 11:51 PM ^

36 - purdue
13 - illinois
10 - penn state
28 - iowa
20 - msu

the penn state and illinois games are really the only ones where our true freshmen led offense has been shut down. when you score 36 points against purdue, you should be able to win the game. the offense has had its hiccups, for sure, but in general, its been good enough to win most games. thats richrod's forte, that's looking fine.

my problem is with his defense. his hiring of scott schaffer. his hiring of greg robinson. woolfolk said something to the effect of "none of us (on defense) have any idea what's going on out there!?" that sounds like its a coaching problem. it sounds like robinson is making things too complicated. i mean, obviously, this team is very, very thin in the secondary. but aside from that, there is a good amount of talent.

NT: Martin - 4 star recruit.
DT: VanBergen - 4 star recruit.
DE: Graham - 5 star recruit.
Q: Roh - 4 star recruit.

...the dline has plenty of talent...not even mentioning 5-star will campbell.

MLB: Ezeh...frosh all-american.
WLB: Mouton - 4/5 star recruit.
SLB: Brown - 4 star recruit.

...these guys are all very talented...but they're making mental mistakes and getting replaced by walk-ons. that's bad coaching.

SS: Kovacs - walk-on.
FS: Williams - 4 star recruit.
CB: Warren - 5 star recruit.
CB: Woolfolk - 3 star recruit.

...kovacs is a walk-on, but why isn't emilien or jt turner playing!? have the coaches not been able to get them ready!? williams sucks, but is it because of physical limititations, or mental mistakes!? i think the latter...and i think its the coaching staff's fault.


November 7th, 2009 at 10:35 PM ^

Sure, it may have been a mistake. We'll see. Comments (off-the-cuff):

* For most people, the style of offense wasn't the main issue with the old regime. Rather, it was the DUH-bored predictability. How often did they run when a young receiver was sent in the game? (This is often cited by critics of Lloyd.) How many times did the running play go in the same direction as the FB pre-snap bunny hop? Remember the remarks of the USC defenders after that Rose Bowl debacle? Lots of "We knew what they were going to do."

* You mentioned the lack of talent. I'd like to ask the gallery (as I did elsewhere on this 'blog) how many future NFLers there are in the '05, '06, and '07 groups that are still at UM. It may be that Illinois in Purdue have an equal amount or fewer at the same level, but the point is that UM can't currently out-talent its foes as it used to in the BoMoCarr years.

los barcos

November 8th, 2009 at 3:19 AM ^

i like how alot of your critiques of lloyd are the same of critiques of rr

darryl clark: "we knew what the defense was going to do"
offense: running the same 3 zone read, quick screen, and half back pitches throughout the game.

as predictable as lloyd was i can tell you rr is the same. its first down run, if its aloss then second and third down pass. not to mention if drob is in the game its two runs, a holding penalty, and a long throw (int) on third down.


November 7th, 2009 at 10:55 PM ^

I think you could argue that between Moeller leaving more talent on the team and the transition being much smoother between both the coaching staff and the offensive and defensive systems you cannot compare Lloyds first few years to Rich Rod's. To me, finding an accurate comparison for Lloyds first few years could come from a program that put in a designated head coach in waiting such as Oregon. The transition would be a little more similar to what Lloyd went through although not a direct match.


November 7th, 2009 at 10:35 PM ^

Mallett was leaving no matter who the coach was after Mustain transferred to USC.

The defense would have roughly the same cast of characters.

The outcome would be slightly better, but the future would be more dismal.

If Lloyd stayed two more years, where would we be Feb. 1?? Think about that.

Kilgore Trout

November 7th, 2009 at 10:47 PM ^

Thanks for not jumping down my throat, that's nice to see. Too address your points.

Mallett, I think you're probably right. I do think that Threet would have been functional for a year or two until the next blue chip came in.

Can't argue the defensive comment. There's no real defending what went on there. My only hope would be that a ball control offense last year would have mimimized the exposure of last year's team and avoided some of the psyche / confidence problems that may exist with some of the holdovers.

The future thing really is the whole point of this. I just am not as convinced as some that going the route of a coach in waiting under Carr would have been a dismal future. Someone needed to get in his head to choose the right coach in waiting though, and I don't have a lot of confidence that would have happened (I'm thinking Loefler, but I know there are issues with that).

My guess, if Lloyd stayed the last two years, on Feb 1 we'd be coming off an 8-4 and 9-3 season with an Alamo and Outback bowl. We'd be pissed, but it'd be nothing like this.


November 7th, 2009 at 10:56 PM ^

So essentially we're taking a risk for long-term success with short-term heartache vs short-term mediocrity with long-term... mediocrity. Given Rodriquez's track record, that's a risk I'm willing to take. You may differ, however, and that is fine. Listening to apologists on both sides I still feel that the arguments for Rodriguez carry significantly more weight than those against him.

Thus, essentially, we should all continue to support the team and wait to see how these next few years unfold before the winner of this debate will be decided, because it isn't going to happen any time soon.

Kilgore Trout

November 7th, 2009 at 11:03 PM ^

I think you're almost right on with what we're risking. I take exception with your definition of mediocrity. The goals I keep hearing for Rodriguez are Big Ten titles, BCS bowls and occasional sniffs of national championships. In my mind, that is not an improvement, it's the same thing that happened between '97 and '07. If you're saying we'll be in the NC game once every five years and win a fair share of those, then we're talking.


November 8th, 2009 at 10:59 PM ^

I'll take that. We had, I think, 10 wins or more 5 times during that time. How good does that look right now?

Can RR get there? Maybe. I hope so. And even if he can't get to 10 wins in 2 or 3 years from now, but can get to 8 or 9 and have the team playing at a high leven and then consistently win at a high level, then he will be fine. I that can be maintained for 10 years he will be revered.

What I am really worried about is that if doesn't make it to 8 or 9 wins by 2011, he'll be gone. Which, he would probably deserve to be.

One of the attractions to RR, and the other coaches that got a serious look (still don't think Les was ever considered by Bill Martin) is that the guys were young. If we can start winning with RR, we've got a long stretch of winning ahead, cause he going to coach for another 15 years minimum.

Double Nickel BG

November 7th, 2009 at 11:14 PM ^

but did you see how bad the offense was last year? Sheridan/Threet weren't good any way you slice it. We still have to replace Manningham, Arrington, Hart, and Long.

Last year I think would have been a 6-6 7-5 year if we didn't have to go through the total rebuilding project. At that point, do you honestly think Lloyd's going to stay after a 6-6 year?

In the short term, yes this sucks donkey dick. But our ceiling is still a TON higher than Michigan teams of the past, where we topped out at 9-3 with a few head scratching losses because our offense was so conservative or our D can't defend a spread.

Kilgore Trout

November 7th, 2009 at 11:22 PM ^

I hope your right about the ceiling. Only time will tell. As for last year, Sheridan is probably fourth string if Lloyd stays (behind Threet, the guy that decommited to Iowa, and Coner), so he never sees the field. I stand by my statement that Threet is functional in a tradional pro-style offense. That being said, 7-5 is still realistic.

Double Nickel BG

November 7th, 2009 at 11:38 PM ^

I'm right too. Who knows at this point. IMO we needed a big change to become none complacent and sink to the middle of the big ten. RR has a proven track record and I hope it works out. But I won't question the decision to hire the best coach available until we give him an honest to god chance to get his players in and a chance to develop them.


November 8th, 2009 at 12:41 PM ^

I'm not sure about this year, but last year I think we'd have been in a pinch even with Lloyd around. Threet was not ready to be a starting QB last year. He just wasn't there in his mental and physical development. His level of play was comparable to John Navarre's when he was a freshman (filling in for Henson in 2000), only we didn't have guys the caliber of Thomas at RB, Terrell and Walker at WR, and Hutch, Backus, Brandt et al. on the OL. Unless the defense would have performed massively better under Carr/English, I think it would have been tough to do much better than 6-6. We were just really down, talent-wise.


November 7th, 2009 at 10:37 PM ^

Stuff like this is the #1 reason why I wish we wouldn't have lost the game. Cause I knew all this crap talk would continue.

We're still half-way through year two. Rodriguez still only has one full recuriting class under his belt, and you fully admit that we are extremely depleted talent wise right now.

So team with little talent and lots of youth = bad/inconsistent team 9 out of 10 times.

Am I happy we've performed so poorly? Of course not, no Michigan fan is. But I've already seen the improvement on the offensive side of the ball and how dangerous we already are, and that's only going to get better. We all knew we were EXTREMELY thin on the defensive side of the ball, and when a few of the starters turned out to be lame ducks, we really had nothing better to fill in the holes. Other teams know this and attack it.

The coaching staff deserves blame, no doubt about it. But no I don't think this was a huge mistake, and in a few years everyone else will realize the same thing too.


November 8th, 2009 at 8:13 AM ^

I posted a couple of weeks ago that the RR tale is showing many signs of a tragic ending. I LOVE Michigan football, but I do not believe that Rodriguez is going to work here. If 5-7 this year, do not be surprized if the powers that be provide, lets say, some "additional assistance" to the NCAA is finding some "just serious enough" violations in their investigation to cut the cord. Such a post here is cause for a thrashing I know, but I think Michigan is in preservation mode. The question at this point is not how long until we contend for a NC, but how long until Michigan is not even a viable school for a top recruit to consider. I would gladly trade another two year "transition" period right now if M brought in a new regime right now for the long term damage that I believe will result from the extension of this experiment any longer. And the worst take on things that is constantly repeated: RR's track record. He had a couple of good teams at WV, we get it. He made Tulane not terrible for a couple of years, great. This is a different animal. I can promise that I do not hate RR, I don't think he is terrible coach, and I do not want this transition to fail, it just looks like it already has.


November 7th, 2009 at 10:41 PM ^

If Lloyd had stayed and coached last year and this year, would he be 8-14 in the last 22 games? If the answer is no[...]

I think you fail to address what happens if you think that yes, Michigan would have had that same record. There are very few players that I think we would have kept, Boren and a couple of non-contributors. That's just my opinion, but it's not like we'd ever really know anyway.

I still think Mallett was gone, so it's not like our QB situation over the last two years would be any better. After that, most of our upperclassmen players now would be the same players starting for Lloyd. That doesn't really make me feel too excited about this year.

As far as the offense last year, I'm not certain Threet would have been that much more awesome in a pro offense. He'd be a little bit better, but how much behind that OL? I'm not sure I see them being maybe one win better.

But this is one of those things we'll never know. We'll never know if Lloyd left because he saw the next few years being a decline for Michigan. We'll never know how well he would have done if he stayed.

The only thing we do know is that there was a dearth of talent in his last few recruiting classes, and what talent there was or might have been, for the most part, didn't stick it out for one reason or another. We know that is what's hurting us the most.

Kilgore Trout

November 7th, 2009 at 10:57 PM ^

But I think the answer is no.

As you said, there's no way to know. BUT, if we're guessing, I say that if Lloyd stays, Mallett leaves, Arrington and Boren stay, and Mitchell and Ciulla come back for fifth years. We don't screw around with McGuffie and Shaw at the beginning of last season, so Minor is the workhorse (of course he'd get hurt...) and Threet is functional (remember, it would be his second year in the system) in the ball control, pro-style offense. The defense doesn't get put in all of those awful situations and they do much better with their senior leadership and their third season in English's system. Worst case scenario, they win the Toledo, Purdue, and Northwestern games to get 6-6 and part of me thinks they have a fighting chance in the Utah, Notre Dame, and Michigan State games. Juice would have lit up English's defense.

The variables get too high to predict this season, but I think they at least beat Purdue to be 6-4 right now. So no, that isn't awesome, but it's not 8-14.

And yes, I realize now that I've thought about it a little more, I'm contradicting my record predictions in my response above.


November 7th, 2009 at 11:28 PM ^

Yeah, like I said, I could see us as 4-8 team last year under Carr. I don't think Mitchell or Ciulla (wasn't Ciulla actually hurt?) would have stayed. As far as McGuffie, I doubt he would have as well, but I'm not sure I would write it off as quickly. Minor and Brown were bad at reading the zone blocking and both fumbled quite often.

But as we agree, we'd never know the final outcome. I'd give us the Toledo game, but I'm not sure I'd give us anything else. So yeah, six, one half a dozen, another.


November 8th, 2009 at 12:49 PM ^

We don't screw around with McGuffie and Shaw at the beginning of last season, so Minor is the workhorse (of course he'd get hurt...) and Threet is functional (remember, it would be his second year in the system) in the ball control, pro-style offense.

Minor didn't play much in the first half of last season because he had a serious wrist injury. It's not that the coaches didn't know he was the best option; they just weren't sure his wrist would allow him to hold onto the ball.

As for Threet, he showed real issues with his accuracy and decision-making last year that I don't think had all that much to do with the system. He looked like a typical RS frosh QB - confused and raw. Note that our young QBs under Carr (Henne aside) generally looked pretty bad, even when they had excellent talent around them. It takes time to learn that position.

Steve in PA

November 7th, 2009 at 10:58 PM ^

If Lloyd was still HC, we'd be Wisconsin. Not good enough to win the B10 title, maybe good enough to go to a 2nd tier bowl and maybe win it occasionally, but slowly moving to the median of the B10. Even this year I predict that the B10 champion loses the Rose Bowl and the B10 has another losing bowl record. B10 teams can beat the hell out of each other, but lose outside of the conference to good teams.

The choice was slow pain or fast pain. We've chosen the latter and now it remains to be seen how long the pain lasts. I'm still of the mindset we took 1 step back to make 2 steps forward. I have also been quite open to criticize the lack of player development which is the job of position coaches, not the HC.


November 7th, 2009 at 11:41 PM ^

before and really haven't felt compelled to retort. But, you know what, the above is just riduculous. I mean, really, seriously. And that's not necessarily an indictment on RR. I don't think there is a single person in the entire world who would legitmately believe that Lloyd would have been 3-9 last year or have won a single game in the big 10 this year. That's laughable.

There are a lot of reasons for that. First and foremost a wholesale transition. Second major attrition, including the highest rated qb recruit (Mallett) and a competent dropback qb Threet (who was misused by Rodriguez).

I haven't really said this before on this site, but we hear a lot from RR's staff about not having players, having the wrong linebackers to cover man to man, etc. etc. I have yet to hear RR say, "You know what, we didn't have the player to run X scheme, maybe we should've run the Y scheme."

More importantly, cause I can live with the failure to adapt to personnel only 2 years into a wholesale transition, but I sure would like to see the coaching staff assign some blame to themselves for a change -- for instance not kicking a field goal down 8. That decision likely cost us the game.

Kilgore Trout

November 7th, 2009 at 11:52 PM ^

I haven't really said this before on this site, but we hear a lot from RR's staff about not having players, having the wrong linebackers to cover man to man, etc. etc. I have yet to hear RR say, "You know what, we didn't have the player to run X scheme, maybe we should've run the Y scheme."

I think that's fair.


November 7th, 2009 at 11:58 PM ^

First of all, the point of hiring Rodriguez was to implement his schemes. It's been more painful than we expected, but at the same time we're getting what we asked for.

Secondly, and more importantly, I think that with the dearth of talent on our team, especially our defense, its very difficult to implement any scheme, especially as we have only two competent members of the secondary and neither is a safety.


November 8th, 2009 at 12:03 AM ^

As was already said, this is fair. However, what schemes would work better than the current one? I think the "power running" game with Minor has worked relatively well, but beyond that we're just not set up talent wise to have any other schemes work more efficiently.

On offense, we have an o-line that's just plain not good with Molk out. Forcier had pressure almost every down today when he was dropping back/rolling out. We've got some good receivers and some very good running backs, but we still have a true freshman QB to get the ball to them.

On defense, we could run whatever scheme we want and it wouldn't matter. Unless the scheme you're talking about involves cloning Graham and Warren and just putting 11 of them out there.

Accepting that RR might possibly never enjoy his usual level of success here is a tough pill to swallow, and it's something we need to prepare ourselves for a bit, but there's definitely still PLENTY of time to turn things around.


November 8th, 2009 at 2:06 AM ^

"I haven't really said this before on this site, but we hear a lot from RR's staff about not having players, having the wrong linebackers to cover man to man, etc. etc. I have yet to hear RR say, "You know what, we didn't have the player to run X scheme, maybe we should've run the Y scheme." "

I actually think RR has adapted scheme to personnel very well and this is eomthing he should be credited for and isn't.

Example: Our defensive scheme is highly suited to our personnel. We just have very subpar personnel, but the scheme is adapted to it.

Example on Offense: The power running game we've seen this year.


November 8th, 2009 at 10:27 PM ^

to the personnel, you'd probably run a little more "I" formation, wouldn't you? Yeah, the few times we've run a power game, it has worked well. We drove for a td against State using it earlier this year, and then never went to back to it the remainder of the game.

On defense, if you are possibly suggesting that playing man coverage with a middle linebacker like Obeh on the sideline playing bump and run against a running back on an island is adapting to personnel you have, then there's no way anyone who understands football can reply to that.


November 8th, 2009 at 3:13 AM ^

I think it's entirely possible that Lloyd could've gone 3-9 last year. I don't think it's impossible that he'd have zero wins in the big ten this year.

These are bad teams we're talking about. They're going to be bad because the players are mostly bad. Wait a year or two, and the players will be better. Then get on the internet and spew.


November 8th, 2009 at 3:58 AM ^

It's just as much 'revisionist history' to say Lloyd would have done better than 3-9 last year, which is what many are saying.

To suggest he would have done markedly better is delusional and ignoring the realities of the situation.

Plus, WildcatBlue didn't say Lloyd *would* have gone 3-9 last year, he suggested it would have been a possibility, which, yeah, it would have been a possibility.


November 8th, 2009 at 12:03 PM ^

Mallet and Minor and Brown would likley be competing for the big 10 championship this year. Hell, we almost beat Iowa with out there with what we've got. People need to open their eyes. You hate Lloyd Carr's "conservatism", fine. You think he was a tired out old man, fine.

I don't think there is a chance we wouldn't be competing for a big 10 championship both last and this year. You may disagree.

The point is that when RR was brought in and refused to adapt his style of coaching to the players on team, this result (or close to it) is not a surpise. That's why he gets 4 years minimum.

My problem is not the refusal to adapt even, it's things like poor clock management (which actually seems to be gettting a little better), not knowing that you've got to take point on 4th and 10, and doing something, anything, to chew up some clock when y0ur defense was just on the field for 6 minutes, instead of running 3 hurry up plays so you can punt the ball back to them (which I consider game management).

Captain Obvious

November 8th, 2009 at 11:44 PM ^

You are not all....if you think this team would be in the hunt for a B10 title this year had they retained Mallett. It's stupid because Mallett was gone regardless. It's stupid because Minor and Brown, while good, are perpetually hurt even in a scheme that gives them 15 carries a game max. If we put aside the above and assume those guys are healthy and Mallett is here....HAVE YOU SEEN OUR GODDAMN MOTHERFUCKING DEFENSE THIS YEAR? To say adding one guy (on fucking OFFENSE no less) makes this team a B10 title-worthy team is probably the dumbest thing I've read on here in quite a while.


November 8th, 2009 at 12:53 PM ^

this is beyond revisionist history to think lloyd would have gone 3-9 last year. that would have meant he lost to toledo and nw.

I don't know about Toledo (I do think we'd have won the game as it is if Threet hadn't gotten knocked out), but Carr often had trouble against Northwestern, and given that last year's NW team went 9-4, it's not that big a stretch to consider that he might have dropped that game, too.


November 7th, 2009 at 10:49 PM ^

I generally agree with your theory. Michigan was a ~.730 team going into this. The only way that this will be successful marriage is to be better than that on the other side of all this.

The transition seems to have been a little ill-conceived from the beginning. We know that Bill Martin went after Greg Schiano and we think that he inquired about Les Miles. That's an indication that his initial idea wasn't to look for a complete overhaul.

When those coaches didn't work out and WVU had the Pittsburgh meltdown, RR was the biggest name coach out there. Martin felt that he needed to make a big hire and the rest is history.

I agree that we're too far into this to turn back now. RR will certainly get to coach year three (and most likely year four due to a buy out clause). I think that anything beyond that will be based on how confident the administration is that we'll start seeing > .730 dividends. Only time will tell.

A Case of Blue

November 7th, 2009 at 11:36 PM ^

Incidentally, Schiano's 2006 season seems to have been the exception, rather than the rule. He has been coaching acceptably at Rutgers since (but not well enough, I think, to stop people from grumbling about having built a beautiful new stadium for a just-above-average team).

Martin went for someone with a track record of success at every level. There's no guarantee that any new coach will pay off, but Rodriguez was a relatively safe bet. The only safer bet would have been someone with a track record of success at Michigan's level, and coaches like that are few and far between. Miles was more or less our only shot at someone like that, and we all know what happened there.


November 8th, 2009 at 12:03 AM ^

Rodriguez's teams won two major bowl games in 7 seasons at WVU. Carr won two in 13 years at Michigan (one in which ever player at RS sophomore level or higher had been recruited by Gary Moeller, and another where his quarterback, Tom Brady, had also been recruited by Moeller).

Rodriguez had success above Michigan's level at freaking West Virginia. When the roster improves in a few years, he will fuck shit up at Michigan.


November 8th, 2009 at 8:50 AM ^

RR won one major bowl game at WVU (against UGA). He wasn't on the sidelines against Oklahoma so you can't really give him credit for that win. Yes, he assembled that team, you just don't know what the outcome would have been if RR had been calling the shots (not to mention the inherent emotion of WVU playing in that game after losing their coach).

Also, I'm pretty sure that Lloyd Carr was on Gary's Moeller's staff and might have had a little something to do with the recruiting classes that were landed during that regime. Assistant coaches do recruit, right?

Besides that, Tom Brady landed in Michigan's lap. His high school coaches sent tapes to Michigan, it's not like Gary Moeller "discovered" him all on his own.


November 7th, 2009 at 11:08 PM ^

I like last years recruiting class and with a lb and some corners/safety help this class should also be pretty good but it won't matter if the coaching doesn't improve. And that starts with richrod.I hope gerg continues to take on more responsibility because i think hopson is a mistake (and probably gibson too). A little tweaking within the coaches probably wouldn't hurt.


November 7th, 2009 at 11:31 PM ^

changing, tweaking, whatevering coaches. Bullshit. Let these guys coach. RR will either dig his own grave, or dig out from beneath the one that's half shoveled in. I don't want to hear any more excuses from the staff after next year. He's got two more years to show us something positive. That's it.

The toughest decision he's going to have to make is whether to start Tate or Gardner next year. If he doesn't win at least 8 in 2011, he should probably go. So, do you start the yet another freshman next year hoping he increases the rushing offense? Or, do you go with the passer and hope that the defense improves?


November 7th, 2009 at 11:26 PM ^

i'm legitimately curious what people think we, as michigan, should expect as an average michigan team over say the next ten years? 2 losses/season? better than that? because then you're getting into Fla, USC territory

there aren't too many Urban Meyers or Pete Carroll's out there that have year-in and out elite teams. there just aren't. it's a little greedy to hope for that out of RR, but i think there were many of us who dreamed that might be the case.

maybe this should make us reevaluate whether RR can possibly be that type of coach with elite teams (averaging 2 losses a season). but if he were to hang around for 10 years, can't we at least presume his baseline is 4-loss teams? i mean, we've all admitted there's a perfect storm of extenuating circumstances right now, and we're still looking at a 6 or 7 loss type team. so aren't 4-loss type teams a reasonable worst-case scenario for RR, with the occasional BCS-level team?

so let's say you hired schiano or debord (shudder), and you got your 4-loss team this season (maybe even last season). well great, we didn't have to go through the pain. but what's the ceiling? those coaches are even less likely than RR to have elite teams year in and year out. so if you hired someone who didn't mandate a sea change in philosophy, 10 years from now you're still close to the worst case scenario with RR, maybe one more win/year better. what have you lost by hiring RR? so he's not the homerun hire you'd hoped for, he's still not much worse, if at all, than the alternatives.

in short, the upside is so much greater than the alternatives, and the downside is about the same.