November 12th, 2018 at 4:35 PM ^

This has always been the dumbest take. 

Those same "little guys" went 12-4 in the Big Ten in 2011 and 2012. They scored the 2nd most points in the conference in 2011 and the 4th most in 2012. It took a lot of Al Borges and a Denard injury to keep them out of the championship game. 

Under RR, it was mainly youth, injuries and defensive coaching incompetence that kept those teams from success. Not the size of the players. 


November 12th, 2018 at 10:51 PM ^

Even though RR’s offenses were prolific they were shitty offenses.  Yes you’d score every three possessions on a home run play, but against any kind of a defense it was three and out on the other two possessions.  The D was so tired they couldn’t stop anyone.  Even if you had the lead at the end of the game you were going to lose because you couldn’t eat up the clock and they other team was going to score.   Denard was awesome to watch, but I’d like to forget that era.


November 13th, 2018 at 10:14 AM ^

Yeah, this is another really stupid take. 

Generally, the offenses would move the ball well and then bog down in opponents territory. This was usually because the freshman quarterback would make a know, because he was a freshman. 

This is why Michigan constantly had 200~ yards of offense and 10 points at half against teams in 2009 and 2010. 

And again: Michigan looked best in 2011 and 2012 when they embraced spread concepts using RR's players under Hoke. 


November 12th, 2018 at 2:06 PM ^

Saban’s going to replace Urban at Ohio State and Rich Rod is finally going to take the Alabama job he turned down a dozen years ago. (Boy, how college football would look differently if that had happened.)


November 12th, 2018 at 2:29 PM ^

Other than Demar Dorsey, who didn't qualify academically, I don't remember too many RR recruits not being able to get admitted.

He would be able to get more Jucos in at Bama, though, and oversign if he wanted.  (Did teams oversign back then, or did Saban originate that?)


November 12th, 2018 at 4:37 PM ^

And of course, those players made up the backbone of the very good 2011 and 2012 teams. 

Its strange to a lot of people, but when recruits see a team flailing and think the coach might be fired at any moment, its tough to keep recruiting momentum going. 

This happened to Brady Hoke in 2014/15 and we even saw it a bit last year with Jim Harbaugh. 


November 12th, 2018 at 4:48 PM ^

I'm not convinced that last year's season mattered that much in recruiting.  If it had been a total disaster like MSU's 2016 (3-9), then maybe.  Going from 10 wins to eight is a hiccup.  Obsessive fans freaked out (because they freak out about everything), but most observers just saw a young team with QB issues.

I think in any event that you feel the effects of a bad season more in the next year's class, because by the time your regular season is over (end of November) a lot of guys have already made up their minds.  And now there's the early signing period.


November 12th, 2018 at 6:04 PM ^

I mean, let's examine the facts:

Michigan went from back to back top-10 classes to 22nd. 

Michigan didn't end up with a single top-100 player according to the composite. 

Michigan lost two of their top 3 commits (Emil Ekiyor and Otis Reese. They kept a legacy in Hutchinson).

Michigan lost their top DL target (Tyler Friday) when Ohio State decided they did want him at the last minute. 

This echoes the 2014 and 2015 classes that had a lot of highly regarded players early who then booked as the seasons fell apart. Or Dee Hart back in 2010 when the team was 5-0. 

I'm not sure how much more convincing you need? Let's face it, last year Michigan did not look very fun to play for. Yes, the team won 8 games, but they didn't win any big games and the losses were often excruciating. The offense looked atrocious. Harbaugh didn't seem like the same guy and while he wasn't on the hot seat, there was a lot of "underperformance" and "1-5" talk. If Michigan were scuffling along at 6-4 this year, I seriously doubt things would look as good as they do right now on the recruiting front. 

This season has been a welcome reprieve from the cycle the program had went through under RR and Hoke and that's because Harbaugh is a much better coach. 

snarling wolverine

November 12th, 2018 at 3:07 PM ^

I'm pretty sure the U-M football program gets a certain number of exemptions from our normal admissions standards, which allows them to bring in some guys who barely pass the NCAA requirements.  I vaguely remember reading that RichRod lobbied for (and got, I think) a greater number than usual.  In practice I don't think our standards for athletes are too different from most schools, except for transfers where we seem to legitimately hold them to higher standards.


November 12th, 2018 at 4:41 PM ^

"In practice I don't think our standards for athletes are too different from most schools"

I've asked Sam Webb specifically about this and he's spoken about it on numerous other occasions as well, always with the same point: while it's possible for Michigan football to bring in kids who are *at* the NCAA minimum, in practice it's always been very limited, and in fact other programs—like Alabama, for example—have far, far greater latitude in recruiting kids who wouldn't get offers from Michigan. Those who say that Michigan's academic requirements for recruiting aren't functionally higher overall than most other schools are simply wrong.


November 12th, 2018 at 8:34 PM ^

similar situation for Northwestern University. At least when I was there, they were very limited in how many kids admissions would drop for and far fewer could get in as NCAA minimum qualifiers.

For M and NU (and similar) this is for good reason: once the kid is on campus it’s hard to get the degree. I don’t know what it’s like at Michigan but at NU we had nowhere to hide in small classes with no blowoff courses to speak of. 

I have often wondered, when M has had classes wash out (“Never Forget” comes to mind) if part of the reason is that said kids had the potential in a vacuum but trying to split attention enough to survive M classes (even with tutoring and office hours) further hampered their ability to put it all together on the field. As alums Harbaugh and Fitzgerald have better sense than Hoke/RR ever could about what type of kid can get the schoolwork done and still be able to grow substantially as a football player.