Relax - Here is what is going to happen

Submitted by Wolverine90 on November 22nd, 2010 at 3:04 PM

Been following UM for 33 years.  First recalled game was the Charles White phantom touchdown in 1979 vs USC in the Rose Bowl.


This next two weeks will be the loudest for the anti-RR bandwagon.  Then after a week or two, in mid-December, as UM begins preparing for it’s bowl game, reason and objectivity will return.  Everyone will come back to realizing that RR is going to get a 4thyear.  No question about it. 


While RR is definitely at fault for a very large number of missteps over the last 3 years, the man has also been subjected to an inordinately large number of misfortunes (injuries, youth, bare cupboard the first 2 years), many of which were not his fault, which have negatively impacted his ability to advance his team quicker.  This is the silver lining upon which the pro vs. anti RR bases will squabble during this off season.


But RR will return, and I am happy he will.  AD Brandon is a smart man, and this is what he will conclude:

  1. For all the negativity, for all the mediocrity, for all the losing streaks, the University of Michigan has made a 3 year investment in Rich Rodriguez in order to give him a chance, and the time, to get his system in place.
  2. For all the negativity, the investment has followed a positive trajectory – 3-9, 5-7, 7-5…
  3. While the defense has regressed to catastrophic levels, the offense has done the polar opposite, setting records.
  4. Jim Harbaugh is an attractive candidate.  He is a Michigan Man, and has done terrifically well at a school without the recruiting pull or football tradition of a major power.  However, Brandon will look at it this way – what differentiates Harbaugh’s success now from Les Miles’ success three years ago?  Further, what differentiates Harbaugh’s success now, with all world QB Andrew Luck, from RR’s success at WVU with all world QB Pat White a few years ago?  What is to guarantee Harbaugh would leave his cushy position at beautiful Palo Alto, at a job with little expectation or pressure, for the pressure cooker at UM?
  5. Returning RR for a fourth year is only fair, to see through on our three year investment and give him one more chance to finally put it all together, improve the defense, and continue the positive trajectory to 8-4 or 9-3 and finally back into the upper echelon of the Big 10.
  6. Finally, and most importantly, returning RR for a fourth year will also evidence to other coaches out there that Michigan’s administration is not trigger happy with the pink slip.  It will show coaches around the country that if you get hired at UM, you are going to be given every chance possible to succeed, and patience will be shown.  UM fans with rose colored lenses will bark back that “but this is Michigan and any coach in the country would die for this job!”  Not true.  UM’s is a tough coaching job.  Incredible fan expectations, coupled with heated in-state rival recruiting wars (does Ohio State have to battle an in-state Big 10 school for it’s own players like we do with MSU?  Goodbye Gholston, Thomas, Bullock, etc., etc.).  Brandon will show the nation that he has his coach’s back this off season, and this will position Michigan favorably regardless if RR busts in 2011. If he succeeds, we all exhale. If he fails, we are positioned well for the next hire. If Harbaugh bleeds Blue as much as many say, one more year of waiting will not impact him, and he will likely not sign on for a long term deal anywhere else in the interim, knowing full well this position may possibly become available next year if RR fails.

Early prediction for 2011 – new D coordinator (GERG, while also not entirely responsible for the fiasco on D, will be the fall guy), and UM goes 8-4, seeing RR into a 5thseason.



GO BLUE, and until he is no longer our coach, I SUPPORT RICH ROD.



November 22nd, 2010 at 5:14 PM ^

Here's how I see the coaching debate:

We basically have two options:

#1) Rich Rod is brought back...IF...he agrees to letting Brandon and Moeller appoint him a new defensive coordinator, and that defensive coordinator is allowed to hire two of his own defensive assistants (because RR has proven, twice, that he is incapable of putting together a competent defensive staff).  The RR assistants lost will be Robinson, Braithwaite, and probably Tall (Gibson becomes full time special teams coach - something else we desperately need - and recruiting coordinator).  The defensive staff could potentially look something like this...Mike Trgovac (for example) DC/DL coach, "Trgovac's hire" LB coach, "Trgovac's hire" DB coach.


#2) Jim Harbaugh is brought in as the new head coach.



#1) For keeping RR.  His offense is great, his defense sucks.  If Harbaugh comes in, he's going to have to revamp both the offense and the defense.  If RR is kept, and a new defensive staff is brought in, only the defense needs to be revamped.  Plus, RR is under contract for another year, and his buyout is pricey.  And, of course, Harbaugh angered Lloyd and friends with his academics comments four years ago.

#2) For hiring Harbaugh (my choice).  #1) RR's offense isn't that great.  It's actually flat out SUCKED against good teams.  We were down 24-0 to Wisc, 31-10 to PSU, 35-7 to Iowa, and 31-10 to MSU.  Most of the points he's scored against good teams have been scored in garbage time (against prevent defenses).  #2) Do we really want a coach who can't be trusted to hire his own defensive assistants?  #3) Recruiting.  The real reason people were excited about hiring RR was this - his offense at WVU was so great, with 2 and 3 stars, if he comes to Michigan, and starts racking up 4 and 5 star recruits, it's going to be unstoppable.  Well, that has not happened.  Rich Rod continues to recruit like he's at WVU.  And it's sort of a catch-22 situation that might never end.  He can't land talented recruits (especially defensively) until his team starts to go to BCS games, and he can't go to BCS games until he starts to land big time recruits.  Jim Harbaugh, on the other hand, is one of the best recruiters in the entire nation and would really be able to jump start things here.  #4) MICHIGAN MAN.  RichRod simply doesn't portray Michigan values.  If Bo was still alive, he'd be slapping the sh!t out of him after all of these excuse-filled press conferences.  "We're too young, we've had too many injuries, Vince Lombardi couldn't win with this kind of talent, etc...etc...etc...".  Rich Rod has yet to man up and accept any responsibility whatsoever.  He just blames it all on his players!?  How about..."I need to do a better job recruiting, I need to do a better job preparing young players and backups, I need to do a better job putting together effective schemes, It ultimately all comes back to me."  That's exactly what Bo/Moeller/Lloyd would have said.  Never in a million years would they have blamed the players publicly.  Never in a million years should a coach blame his players like RR has done time and time again.  #5) Jim Harbaugh's just a better coach, in every aspect.  We can't think short-term here.  We need to be thinking about 5-10 years down the line.  Sure, RR might be a better coach for this team NEXT season.  But we need to be thinking long term here.  #6) Everything Harbaugh said about our academics was TRUE, and Lloyd hates everybody anyways - that's why he was asked to leave the athletic department (and I have a very reputable source that verifies that).

#7) And I'm making this seperate because it's so important - It's NOW OR NEVER FOR HARBAUGH.  He's going to be getting some major offers this off-season (NFL, Georgia, etc.).  He almost took the KANSAS job last season, for crying out loud.  He IS going to be leaving Stanford after this season.  And once he signs a major deal with a major program, he's no longer going to be interested in us.   So...if RR ends up not working out (which is very likely) and Harbaugh is no longer interested...who in the he!! are we going to hire!?  Miles/Ferentz/Schiano already turned us down.  English!?  DeBord!?  Hoke!?  Trgovac!?  These are, honestly, going to be our best options if Harbaugh's not interested.  In which case, we'll be COMPLETELY SCREWED.


November 22nd, 2010 at 3:09 PM ^

This was clearly a well reasoned, well structured arguement.  While there is an anti-RR faction that certainly won't like it, I believe this is very similar to how Dave Brandon will view his decision on RR and the program.


November 22nd, 2010 at 3:10 PM ^

6 rational and well thought out points in a post...AFTER A LOSS....PERTAINING TO MICHIGAN?!?! i haven't been around that long but i'm pretty sure thats not allowed. well done 90


November 22nd, 2010 at 3:11 PM ^

6 rational and well thought out points in a post...AFTER A LOSS....PERTAINING TO MICHIGAN?!?! i haven't been around that long but i'm pretty sure thats not allowed. well done 90


November 22nd, 2010 at 3:32 PM ^

The only way I see us going 10-2 next year is if they fire Gerg or they give GERG the reigns to run the defense as he sees fit.  If they do fire Gerg, then the replacement could be anyone, noone in particular, for simple reason being.  If we hire someone to take a DC job we hire him and his defensive schemes.  I strongly believe that if Gerg would have been able to bring in his coaches and defense, this team could have been a bit better than it was this year.  RR needs to stick with the offense and give full reigns of the defense over to the DC.  Allow the DC to bring in his own coaches and schemes and you will see a much imporved defense.


November 22nd, 2010 at 3:13 PM ^

...RR would be owed 4 million dollars if dismissed before Jan 1.  You are right in that most likely RR will come back.  And you are also right that most likely we will go 8-4 next year.  But where you are wrong is in improvement.  The defense will never improve as long as RichRod is coach.  He philosophy has a lack of emphasis on defense, and he has very poor judgment went it comes to hiring on that side of the ball. 

Until we beat MSU, OSU, and the upper echelon Big Ten teams we will not be improved enough.  I have no confidence (and I hope that I am wrong) that RR will ever be able to get us there. 


November 22nd, 2010 at 3:52 PM ^

This comment is laughable. Rich Rod's defenses will never improve? Listen to yourself. The key to RR's success is how much his defenses will improve. Look at this defense, the relative youth, the potential coaching change to a potentially more serviceable DC, injured players returning, and tell me this defense will never improve.

The defense will be improved in future years. Will it be improved enough for us to compete at the top of the Big 10 and nation? Time will tell. No improvement at all? Absolutely not.


November 22nd, 2010 at 4:30 PM ^

even if the Defense were to improve by giving up A TOUCHDOWN less per game, and our offense soared to it's Oregon-level potential - which is quite possible, given the returning starters - we would be in contention for the B-10 Championship. I'm not asking for a great defense right now, I'm asking for an average defense that can compete and take just enough heat off the offense to give us a chance to win against the upper echelon teams. That is totally attainable.

8-4 next year would be the absolute bottom line. 9-3 would be about what I expect. 10 wins isn't out of the question...


November 22nd, 2010 at 4:35 PM ^

You are just wrong on the defense comment. His defenses at WVU were respectable to good depending on the year.




9-3 has to be considered the baseline next year. Any worse would be a real dissapointment.


November 22nd, 2010 at 5:04 PM ^

It is ridiculous to say that our defense will never get better under RR.  Even if the defensive coaching is terrible (which it might be), our freshmen will still get bigger, stronger, faster and/or more experienced.  The level of mental and physical maturity will improve, bad coaching notwithstanding.  Since most of the defense is returning next year, and we don't lose anybody irreplaceable, it would be hard for the defense not to improve if only due to time spent in practice and in the weight room.  Bringing in a top DC and giving him free reign would likely make the improvement occur even more quickly.


November 22nd, 2010 at 3:15 PM ^

True.  I look at this upcoming weekend this way - if we lose, few guts will wrench because it is expected.  If we win, this might be right up there with '69 or '97 as the greatest UM wins over OSU in history.  That we could live this dream in reality would take all of life's other troubles - the economy, my boss, car problems, traffic, etc. - and turn them all into sweet, sweet music for 9 months.

Ed Shuttlesworth

November 22nd, 2010 at 3:16 PM ^

We're light years away from playing with the top teams in the Big 10 and that worsens when Nebraska comes in next year -- with a QB (almost) as electric as Shoelace and a year younger.

Anyone who thinks we're a year away is living in Fantasyland. 


November 22nd, 2010 at 3:58 PM ^

So this extremely young team is "light years away" from playing with the top teams. Yet you also say that Nebraska has a QB that is "almost as electric" as Shoelace and a year younger. Clearly this implies that you think Taylor Martinez will get better as he gets older (which is absolutely true)...yet the same can't be said about our team? How exactly is that reconcilable? 



November 22nd, 2010 at 6:23 PM ^

I think the youth problem noted is around the defense. Last I checked it took Freshmen 2 to 3 years to become upper classemen /s/. We are in year one of 2 to 3 years, and that assumes the Freshmen and Sophomores we have playing are "the guys" long term.


November 22nd, 2010 at 4:44 PM ^

really? grumpy mcgrumperson.

Data Point 1: Top Ten Offense starting Sophomore QB who breaks NCAA and B10 and Michigan records in 2010

Data Point 2: 19 starters return next year

Data Point 3: Favorable Schedule in 2011.

It is all but a certainty that our offense will be more explosive and more efficient next season. We have Oregon-level potential. Seriously. Cut the TO's by a good percentage, and this offense will be close to unstoppable. Senior Stonum, Odoms & Hemingway. Junior Roundtree. Senior Mike Shaw. Junior Vince Smith. Junior Denard Robinson.

I mean, come on. If you can't be excited by our offensive potential next year with returning stars who are a cohesive unit and understand the playbook better, you have a problem.

As for the defense, basically everyone of importance returns, having gained valuable game experience in the fire this year. Will they miraculously turn into beasts? probably not. Could they be average and give up 24 instead of 34 points a game? Absolutely! we're bottom of the barrel right now. It can't get worse. We're in the middle of having the worst possible defense ever. This isn't an underachieving off year from a good defense. It's a defense being built from the ground up with freshmen all over the place.

This year is a perfect storm of young defenseless defense meets potentially lethal offense that still occasionally breaks down. Add in cripplingly awful special teams, and we're a 7-4 team that has yet to beat the big dogs in the B10, but can take care of the winnable games.

Hang in there. A dollar says there will be a pretty remarkable difference in play next year.


November 22nd, 2010 at 3:16 PM ^

You appear to be a reasonable guy, and an obvious long-time fan, but I think that you over-simplified this too much. 

1.  If DB was definitely going to go this route, he would have said so, instead of saying that he will examine the program as a whooe at the end of the season.

2.  You mention that it is "only fair" to keep RR for another year.  I don't think that "fair" has anything to do with it.  RR was brought in for a purpose - to win football games.  He has not done that.  Our B10 record is a joke, we lose games in embarassing fashion, we can't fiend a competitive defense (in his 3rd year), his recruiting is not very good, his defensive hires have not panned out.  If we were to part ways with RR, can't see how that is unfair.

3.  Harbaugh:

What is to guarantee Harbaugh would leave his cushy position at beautiful Palo Alto, at a job with little expectation or pressure, for the pressure cooker at UM?

There is no guaranty.  But, there is no reason that IF DB is interested, he can't begin to feal out this situation.  And Harbaugh shouldn't be the deciding factor.  If we fire RR, it should be because he is not the guy to lead us back to glory.

4.  The offense:

While the defense has regressed to catastrophic levels, the offense has done the polar opposite, setting records.

These "records" haven't allowed us to beat a solid team.  Much of this is on the defense.  But our record-setting offense was shut out during the first half against Wisco, and was dominated during the first halves of the MSU, Iowa and PSU games.  We only put up big numbers during these games where the other teams went into prevent defense.  And, the majority of our record-setting numbers were against OOC cupcakes, Indiana and Illinois.  Yes, we have improved, but I don't think that the numbers tell the full story.

5.  Also:

Finally, and most importantly, returning RR for a fourth year will also evidence to other coaches out there that Michigan’s administration is not trigger happy with the pink slip. 

If we are keeping RR< it should not be to look good for other coaches.  It should be because we think that he is our best bet for success.  If we are keeping him, the premise is that we don't give a damn what other coaches think, because we will not be in the market for those coaches. 


November 22nd, 2010 at 3:38 PM ^

Our offense wasn't dominated by MSU at all in the first half..  We were dominated by ourselves..


Denard threw a bad pass and missed a few other easy reads, probably being too excited.


Even greg jones said if we didn't get lucky and denard throws a better pass in the endzone that would of changed the game completely..  As they scored after the Turnover..  Who knows what happens if we put them in a hole early


Don't act like we were dominated by MSU when we weren't.  We lost that game because we executed poorly, not because they dominated us..


November 22nd, 2010 at 3:48 PM ^

No Prevent

Prevent is 2 safeties deep, keep everything in front of you, tackle and drag out the clock.

Was there a safety helping w/ Stonum in the 2nd half? No. Just like the 1st. Man coverage with no help, Stonum made plays at will. That's not a prevent. Ditto the pass plays for Tate against Iowa. Could be complacency, but doubt it.

I'm concerned why we stall in the first half, but it seems more related to us. We play tight early. But guys were open, blocks were being made. If Denard hits the wide open streaks in the first half, a different game. He will next year and the year after

Steve in PA

November 22nd, 2010 at 3:34 PM ^

I think if DB makes a move, we won't know about it until after it happens unlike the last fiasco.  He's too experienced in the business world to show his hand prematurely.

That being said, if LSU cuts loose Miles for some reason the noise on this board will become almost unbearable.  I also think Harbaugh's next stop is the NFL, not NCAA.


November 22nd, 2010 at 3:48 PM ^

RR deserves another year, but next year the expectations are going to be higher than 8-4. The way next year's schedule sets up, we should compete for the division title. ND, Nebraska, and OSU at home, Iowa losing a lot of experience. Add in crossover games with Illinois and Purdue, and next year is going to be the easiest schedule we have for quite some time.  I don't think 8-4 would be enough.


November 22nd, 2010 at 3:49 PM ^

What differentiate's Jim's success from Miles first 3 years? The difference between what he inherited and what Miles inherited.

Night and day. But they both had football teams. So you are kind of right.


November 22nd, 2010 at 3:53 PM ^

It also should be noted that RR has built a historically prolific offensive team.  I believe that yards per game are a misleading metric, but Michigan has moved the ball easier than any other team I can remember.  RR coached up this offense.  He has guys who were not big recruits (Roundtree, Ommameh, Vincent Smith, Robinson was offered by big programs as a defensive back) and made them very, very good.  It's only one side of the ball, but he should get full credit for this. 

Plus, there is still some football to be played.  Michigan will have their hands full with tOSU and a bowl matchup with Mizzou, but there are two more chances to get an 8th win. 


November 22nd, 2010 at 6:37 PM ^

His recruiting staff failed to land enough defensive recruits.

I know they had decommits, guys who didn't pan out, and guy's who didn't make it in: it doesn't matter why. It was obvious in '07, '08 and '09 that defense was a problem. For half the '08 class and all of the last two, that is on Rich Rod's recruiting staff.

They've built a good offense that looks like it will be great next year and the year after. They have flat out failed to build any sort of defense, and seem to be continually at square one.


November 22nd, 2010 at 4:00 PM ^

Let's make sure Harbaugh knows we want him and see what happens from there. Maybe Mr. Brandon will make that known, maybe he won't. If he does, I say the deal gets done. 

Since the case has been closed on the upper echelon ability of Harbaugh as a coach and what he'll bring to Michigan football, the only issue is whether the man in charge agrees to go that direction, or if he wants to wait and see if we can have the breakthrough next year.  I trust his decision.

Don't look past the economic aspect of this either.  On WTKA it was mentioned that suites are still unsold and there is season ticket holder abandonment going on. Not sure if either is true. 

The reality is that the fans on blogs like this are very hard core, but economically we don't matter nearly as much as the lesser informed fans. The people who sorta know, the MSM fed fans, make up the middle 80 plus% and they need to be pleased. They didn't sound it on the TV at halftime Saturday.


November 22nd, 2010 at 5:34 PM ^

This next two weeks will be the loudest for the anti-RR bandwagon.  Then after a week or two, in mid-December, as UM begins preparing for it’s bowl game, reason and objectivity will return

If we lose on Saturday, RR will be 6-18 (.250) in Big Ten play.   Is that record really going to look better in two weeks' time?  How so? 

Finally, and most importantly, returning RR for a fourth year will also evidence to other coaches out there that Michigan’s administration is not trigger happy with the pink slip.

People regularly make this argument.  I don't think it matters.  Coaches do not expect to fail, so they generally don't care what happened to the guy before them.  In 2004, Florida fired Ron Zook halfway through his third season, and wound up hiring the hottest name in the country (Urban Meyer).  Before Carroll, USC fired Paul Hackett after three years.  Carroll obviously wasn't discouraged.  ND's regular quick trigger-finger didn't discourage Brian Kelly.  And so on. 

BTW, I'm just curious: If Brandon does decide to fire RR, will your opinion of him change? 

EDIT: to the anonymous poster who negged me: what was wrong with the post?


November 22nd, 2010 at 4:25 PM ^

I joined the fire Richrod bandwagon in the last couple weeks. That said, if Harbaugh is not available for whatever reason, we may be better off giving him a 4th year on the condition that the entire defensive staff be fired.  But if he is available, Michigan needs to make a move.  This team is so far away from being competitive.  It is unfathomable that a team could run on a Michigan defense like Wisconsin did Saturday.  It shows how far we have fallen.  The offensive production has been good, but its success is greatly exaggerated.  Against quality competition, it has struggled mightily when it matters.  It's time to cut our losses.  The ideal time would be after Ohio State, so that Harbaugh can get his recruits and system in place.  The unfortunate result is the effect on Denard Robinson.  But we can't run a football program around one guy, just like we couldn't run one around Mallett.  Robinson will likely transfer and be terrific wherever he goes.  Rrod will likely reemerge and succeed at another school.  But Michigan will still be better off with a fresh start and stronger recruiting.  Michigan used to be a place that highly ranked defensive players attended to go to the NFL.  There was no reason for this to stop under Rodriguez.  But stop it has.


November 22nd, 2010 at 8:08 PM ^

...we have 3 4-star defensive recruits already (with a number of others being possible), we had a number of 4-star defensive recruits last year (M. Robinson, Christian, Ash, and Wilkins, along with Jibreel Black who was close to being a 4-star).

The big issue isn't talent.  It's the defensive coaching and scheme.  They get the defensive players in but just have done a fairly poor job of developing them (along with the unfortunate busts of William Campbell and Cissco which probably would have happened regardless of who coached them).


November 22nd, 2010 at 4:26 PM ^

Overall I think you did a good job spelling out a lot of things that have already been said on this board, but with a fresh perspective.  Fresh enough that I would consider this a worthy addition.

One little nit of mine - the "Michigan Man" thing is a farce and is a hypocracy of this board.  Two glaring reasons why:

  • Bo came from OSU.  Thus, he was not a "Michigan Man".  Now everyone in the universe considers Bo to be a "Michigan Man".  We should stop using this term for potential coaches because of this fact alone.
  • People will castrate others on this board for singling out a person for not being a UofM student/alum.  People will not castrate others on this board for saying "he's not a Michigan Man".  I don't understand why, but it's hypocritical to me.  You are allowed to single out people based on one (Michigan Man status) when the ultimate Michigan Man came from OSU.  While singling out the "Walmart Wolverines" is frowned upon.


November 22nd, 2010 at 4:32 PM ^

And I didn't have high expectations this year. I thought 9-3 was our ceiling and 7-5 was our most likely outcome. But how is the hell do we go less than 10-2 next year with that schedule and Rich keeps his job? I think he is a great coach and I want to keep him around but if this train doesn't start out the gate at 8-0 or 7-1 with a tough battled close loss I am going to be severely disappointed and it will show me that this regime needs changed. The last 4 games are Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and OSU and the last 2 are at home. If they can't go 2-2 in those last 2 games considering the regression all of those teams except Nebraska should take then its obvious this isn't the direction we should continue. I think expecting less in 2012 is more reasonable than 2011 considering the schedule for 2012 is completely opposite and going to be a gauntlet. Sorry but 10-2 next year or mission not accomplished. Fortunately I think we make that step and I predict a major improvement. 

Spoof Football

November 22nd, 2010 at 5:28 PM ^

How come you figured him out so easily, and know exactly what he's gonna do?


Edit: I admit I didn't read your whole post because it was barf-inducing the minute you presumed to know what Brandon will do.

But Point #5 is redunkulously shallow, hollow, and nothing more than the type of crud that posters use to convince each other that RR should come back.

We ALL know life isn't fair. We say it every day, and we'd be the first to tell that to someone like, say, Tate Forcier, who probably didn't perform too well this past spring and thus lost his starting job. I mean, he started last year, all year--it would have been fair to bring him back as the starter, no?

Life ain't fair. It's NOT the "fair" think to do, anyway, to bring Rich Rod back. The team is in a state of suck with no excape in sight (other than, "Well, hellz bellz, they'll be a year older!"). If UM gets creamed by OSU, it would be more FAIR to UM football to can him.


November 22nd, 2010 at 6:35 PM ^

C'mon man. Boards like this were specifically meant so the little guy like you and me can have a small voice and have fun with the "I told ya so's" and the "I betcha's." Any time someone makes a prediction, it makes you puke?

Again I'm just one of the nameless, facelss guys, but along the lines of "I told ya so's," my predictions so far for 7-5 this year have been pretty good. 

I predicted four wins: IU, IU, UMass, BG.

I predicted four losses: Iowa, PSU, Wisc, OSU

I predicted four key coin flips: UConn, ND, MSU, Purdue.

Now I predict RR returning no matter the outcome Saturday vs OSU. 

In truth, I really just want to see one more year of RR to see what he can do.  Why?  Because I honestly think next year the following will happen:

1. The offense will get bigger, faster and improve (add Dee Hart freshman sensation?).

2. The defense has nowhere to go but up. Next year's adjustment on defense will to me, be pivotal to RR's eventual, or terminated future career at Michigan. 

3. The kicking game also had nowhere to go but up.

4. Turn overs will also, based on probabilities, improve.

5. Injuries will also, based upon probabilities, likely not be as devastating.

I don't see 12-0 next year, and I don't see the defense turning into Alabama, but if you me all of these improvements, I see 8-4 or 9-3. 

Still several brutal games next year.  ND will definitely be improved.  Northwestern is damn tough under Fitzgerald.  @ MSU is, well, no comment.  @Iowa?  Never easy, and probably like this year's PSU game.  Ending with Nebraska and Ohio State back to back is absolutely brutal.  Thankfully both Nebraska and Ohio State play PSU the week before us so no patsy giving them two weeks to prep.


November 22nd, 2010 at 5:49 PM ^

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November 22nd, 2010 at 5:51 PM ^

Agree with this post completely but would add one significant obstacle RR has had to deal with - incessant negative recruiting - exacerbated by the freep nonsense.  I don't have specifics but am guessing that has cost us at least a few recruits that may have helped the defense.

Tha Stunna

November 22nd, 2010 at 6:19 PM ^

I like how you hid a sure loss to OSU as a premise in your post.  A small, 10-15% chance of winning is still a chance.

In response:

4. One giant difference between Harbaugh and Miles is that Harbaugh built a bad program into a very good program.  Miles inherited a very good program and kept it at about that level, albeit in a more interesting way.

5. Who cares about what's fair?  Is it fair that coaches make so much money regardless of performance?  Is it fair that we have a ridiculous number of underclassman as our secondary?  Also, 9-3 is the bare minimum we should expect from a good coach that returns this hypothetical 7-5 team - not that we can't do worse, just that it's a reasonable expectation.  I don't understand how people got married to the notion of this coach if he doesn't perform in his fourth year; "there's always next year" doesn't work very well when you use it three years in a row.

6. What?  This argument is (probably) based on Notre Dame, but their issue is hiring bad coaches, not that they threw Willingham out on his ass after he forgot the whole notion of recruiting.  They probably would have been better off if they hired B Kelly in '08 instead of '09 - patience didn't pay off for them.  This reason is probably the least important, and is unsubstantiated.


Finally, the general tone of your post, implying that other people are irrational and that you're the smug guy who knows all the answers, makes you sound like an ass.  There are ways to express an opinion properly, and then there is this post.