The Rich Rodriguez Era Ends

Submitted by oakapple on January 1st, 2011 at 5:54 PM

The Rich Rodriguez era at Michigan ended today. The only remaining question is precisely which day next week we will learn officially that he has been fired.

What hurt was not merely the fact of the loss, but the way it happened. With five weeks to prepare, Rodgiuez did not roll out any offensive or defensive surprises. Everything Michigan did, Mississippi State was ready for.

Compare this to Lloyd Carr’s last game, in which Chad Henne ran an offense we had never seen before, and the Wolverines shocked the favored Florida Gators. When you’re the underdog, coaching your final (or likely final) game, and have a month to plan, what exactly are you waiting for? If you have any ideas, what do you have to lose by trying them?

I am not the first person to point out that Dave Brandon probably had his mind already made up. Rodriguez’s 37th game, win or lose, was never going to tell us a whole lot that the first 36 didn’t. One would have to be awfully naive, not to believe that the so-called “evaluation” was already 99 percent done. The argument that Rodriguez deserves a fourth season is at least tenable, although I think its adherents are in the minority right now. The argument that this game was going to decide his fate never held water.

But to the extent Brandon needed air cover to defend his decision, this game certainly provided plenty of it. Even with more preparation time than for any opponent except UConn, the game was practically an instant replay of most of the team’s other losses, minus the second-half comebacks that made a few of them look more respectable than they really were.

Michigan’s won–lost record may have improved marginally in each season of Rodriguez’s tenure. But during a given season, Michigan has tended to regress. Even the vaunted offense, clearly the team’s strength, was held scoreless for three out of four quarters by both Ohio State and Mississippi State. In its final eight outings, the offense played a “complete game” only once: the triple-overtime thriller vs. Illinois. The team was not merely beaten, but thrashed, in its final three games.

I was never one of the so-called “haters.” Three years ago, I thought that Rich Rodriguez was a premium hire. He was a winner wherever he went, and I believed he would win in Ann Arbor. I remain perplexed as to why he has not done better. But there is a reasonable body of evidence that when you are taking over a program that is already a national powerhouse, as Michigan was when Lloyd Carr retired, you shouldn’t be turning in three consecutive seasons that are worse than any of the prior twenty-three.

Bye, Rich.



January 1st, 2011 at 5:59 PM ^

So far, should DB fire Rodriguez, I would have no reason to disagree. With No D, no special teams and not a very good O against good competition, there is little reason to keep him around.  

Abe Froman

January 1st, 2011 at 6:02 PM ^

RR has spoke and acted for weeks as though he is not coming back.  im guessing now that perhaps RR and DB discussed this, and made some sort of handshake agreement for him to finish the season in peace and get his walk away money.  both have acted gracefully during this time, and if true it is a testament to their integrity. 


January 1st, 2011 at 6:20 PM ^

is everybody with their random, non-informational opinion create their own post? bc that's what's happening. and posts with actual research, new opinions, arguments, data, etc., disappear. 

people who are revealing an IMO type of argument should keep those comments within 1-2 posts so everyone can argue it out and people don't have to sift through 12 opinion posts to find out something they're interested in reading

Waters Demos

January 1st, 2011 at 7:40 PM ^

I think you make an intriguing point about having one thread with so many replies.

However, the disadvantage of this approach in your view is the advantage of it in mine.  I offer the "Michfan1997's thoughts" thread as a counter.  The main problem with this thread is the insufferable presumptuousness of starting such a thread.  It's like saying "my unsupported, uninformative opinion is too important to merely be one of 499 other opinions in a thread - it needs to stand out from the pack by being its own thread."  The fact is - it doesn't.  No more weight should be ascribed to this random anonymous user's view than the other 499.  And, pragmatically speaking, it sets a bad precedent by saying that, instead of one thread with 500 replies, we instead should have 500 threads.  An administrative nightmare.

It's always healthier (IMHE) to operate under the default presumption that no one cares what you think.  It forces you to earn credibility first.  Starting your own uninformative opinion-based thread turns this default position on its head by ascribing a higher status to your own opinion than it deserves. 

Thus, I like Geaux's thread because it encourages everyone to acknowledge the futility of their own opinions, and, therefore, to be humble. 

Waters Demos

January 2nd, 2011 at 8:26 AM ^

that there were many other "CC" threads for you to make your opinion known. 

I don't mean to speculate on your motives, but given the abundant availability of other "CC" threads in which to declare your mere opinion, it looks to the outside observor as if you held your opinion higher than those that were declared in the other threads.  In other words, because other threads were older and no one would read them, your opinion was too important and had to be declared in its own brand new thread, where everyone would read it.  Again - that may or may not have been your motive.  I don't know -  but that's what it looks like. 

BTW, did you read the entire post, or just the part that mentioned you?


January 1st, 2011 at 6:02 PM ^

It was over before it began, now you fans who wished and hoped and prayed for it to happen may finally get what you asked for. Hopefully the next guy whoever it is atleast gets more of a fair shake than Rich Rod got.


January 1st, 2011 at 6:08 PM ^

Any coach who goes 15-22 overall, 6-18 in Big Ten play, and 0-10 against OSU, MSU, PSU and bowl opponents is going to catch a lot of flack.  That's not the fans' fault.  The man was paid $2.5 million a year to win games, and he failed.  (And we still have to pay him another $2.5M to let him go.)  Unfair, indeed.


January 1st, 2011 at 6:15 PM ^

I'm not saying its unfair to judge his record, I'm saying it was unfair the way he was received, the way he was treated from the beginning by the media and the fans who never wanted Carr to "retire" and who never wanted an "outsider". All the negative things that had nothing to do with football that were said about the man, that's what's unfair.


January 1st, 2011 at 6:32 PM ^

That's bullshit. You're saying it was over before it began. If he is fired, it will have little to do with how he was received and how whining fans have been. It will be because of his record. If Rich would have produced we would not be having this discussion today. All this whining would have been gone if Michigan would of won. you know it, I know it, and any common sense fan of football knows it. Can we stop making excuses already?


January 1st, 2011 at 6:59 PM ^

Correct. When a new coach is hired, there's almost always a faction that opposes him. At Michigan, it was vocal minority. But most fans were actually quite excited about the guy. Regardless, RR could have won most everyone over. But he didn't. He never bridged the gap. And he never won. And he brought major NCAA sanctions, to boot. And now he gets a seven-figure farewell, in the most economically depressed area in the country. The fans were not the problem.


January 1st, 2011 at 7:18 PM ^

Minority my ass.  It was a vocal majority, and there was a good portion (probably not a majority) that would NEVER accept Richrod as a coach unless he went 12-0 each of his 3 seasons.  Most fans were never excited about the guy - you've got a selective memory.


The NCAA sanctions were only major because the NCAA has only two categories - major and minor.  They were no where near as egregious as what has been seen with numerous other places with paying players or anythhing like that.


January 1st, 2011 at 6:13 PM ^

That's all I asked for three years. That was the downfall; and the fact that DROB didn't keep more often. He did a couple of times today, though.



January 1st, 2011 at 6:18 PM ^

That's all I asked for three years. That was the downfall; and the fact that DROB didn't keep more often. He did a couple of times today, though.



January 1st, 2011 at 6:13 PM ^

To me the evidence that this needs to be the end of the RR era is the fact that Mullen, in his 2nd year at the doormat of the SEC (historically speaking), can just litterally embarrass RR, n his 3rd year at the premier team of the B11 (historicaly speaking). This is not to say that he should go because of the outcome of this game, but instead this is mere proof of what we already knew. RR may be a good coach, and maybe he will do well elsewhere but what he is doing here is not working and it is time to make a move,


January 1st, 2011 at 6:40 PM ^

Rich looks tired and i am sure that he knows that his time is up. I support him because he is our Head coach but after loosing to O$U three straight years and only putting up 24 points in three games against that can only defend the man so much. I mean, loosing to sparty three straight years is not helping him out either. Dave Brandon did not hire RR but you have to wonder where Bill Martin is. 


If RR does stay, i will support him as all the MICHIGAN Fans should do. I try to defend him but just look at the record and, and.....sigh....


We are MICHIGAN and we have "The Big House"



We have the "Winged Helmet" 



 And we have this...


Go blue....and "Those......