RichRod speaks at length; takes a jab at DB

Submitted by Blue_Sox on February 4th, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Rich Rod spoke in depth with Dennis Dodd of CBS. (Link:

Most of the things are stuff we've heard him say before..."we were almost there; lots of drama; took longer than I expected." Something new that I hadn't heard him say was a critique of Dave Brandon and his position to make the decision that he made:

"Were you treated fairly by Dave Brandon?

Rodriguez:"To say publicly how I was treated would be self-serving. Everybody says three years is enough time. If you don't know all the factors maybe you make that conclusion. If you're here in the middle of this for three years fighting all the battles. ... We'd like to be able to finish the job. I can't sit here a month later and say this and that should have happened.

"What I am going to do to make sure the next job I get, we win the national championship and everybody is pulling in the right direction. Dave's been on the job -- what? -- nine months? He knows the business world. I did the best I could to tell him or show him what was going on in the football program. I tried to show him as best I could. He wasn't involved in athletics [before getting to Michigan]. I've been a head coach in Division I for 10 years and coaching for 25. I know college football."

(Note: Brandon played defensive end under Bo Schembechler at Michigan. He is also a former Michigan regent. Brandon came to the school after serving as Domino's Pizza CEO.)


That's an interesting place to needle Brandon on. I don't think it's fair to say he "wasn't involved in athletics." As Dodd points out in his note, he did play for Michigan and as a Regent from 1998-2006 he undoubtedly was involved in athletics at least  little bit. Seems like sour grapes to me.



Cigarro Cubano

February 4th, 2011 at 11:39 AM ^

Bitch slapped Rich Rodriguez and he is just mad. Things happen good and bad with sports. Brandon did what he had to do and so be it.  Turmoil was the word he used and I do not blame him.  Putting the program under Ncaa sanctions all the bad publicity and right after he gets fired he gets sued in West Virginia over his house.


I would bitch slapp you to Rodriguez.


February 4th, 2011 at 12:52 PM ^

The freep put the program under sanctions, they took it upon themselves to find out any tiny miniscule mistake RR made. The NCAA basically said after all the investigations was that he was not keeping good enough track of the time they spent in practice, there are alot worse things that universities do that the NCAA doesn't crack down on, and I guarantee almost all universities that are succeeding are practicing more than they technically should. Yes RR made a mistake with the whole leaving WV situation with the burning of papers and what not. But his time at Michigan was Hell for him I bet. Look at all the issues he had to face, from injuries, to everyone jumping ship, and kids getting into trouble. Yes he made mistakes, but the majority of fans did not give him a fair shot, and you cannot succeed without support.


February 4th, 2011 at 2:28 PM ^

Let's be clear: the thing that got us in hot water with the NCAA wasn't that we stretched a few too extra minutes, but that we used quality-control assistants to supervise summer workouts.    There's really no excuse for that (other than the "everyone else does it" line, which won't fly with the NCAA).   


February 4th, 2011 at 6:47 PM ^

Hate to dredge this up again, but out of the five violations, one had to do with stretching, two had to do with qc-assts, the other two had to do with both (e.g., "ensure compliance).  I think RR was ultimately found guilty of a lesser charge for #4 in the list in the link below.


February 4th, 2011 at 11:40 AM ^

During the season, or his season ending interview, it's no wonder he's working for CBS and not Brandon anymore.

Still waiting for the first time Rich says Rich ever did anything wrong. Guess it's not all "in the past" anymore. Guess the baboon in the Lion King was full of shit after all.


February 4th, 2011 at 11:57 AM ^

M-Wolverine, I couldn't agree more.  Everyone will acknowledge that there were some factions going against Rich Rod in his time at Michigan.  RR cannot blame those things completely on his terrible record on the football field in his three years.  He has yet to acknowledge that he made mistakes as the football coach at the University of Michigan and that he did not do a good enough job. 


February 4th, 2011 at 6:21 PM ^

I'm sure if RR was interested in smearing and blaming the university like people here are acting, he could say much worse things than what he's saying.

He's simply defending himself.  He should and the media is going to present it in a way that creates more controversy as well.  I bet if we were disconnected from the emmotion of this whole situation it wouldn't be as classless as we are making it out to be.


February 4th, 2011 at 12:56 PM ^

I think RR's biggest off the field problem was that he was used to being the focus of the program.  His system was the reason WVU was what it was and he was (and is still IMHO) viewed as a leading offensive mind in the country.

The problem is at Michigan we already have a system that has produced people like Tom Brady and Charles Woodson, we have people like Howard in the media and Ross with his money.  When you come in the door here, you're nothing until you beat tOSU a few times.  From Day 1 RR always struck me as a polite, classy guy who got way to prickly over criticism. He didn't play the political game and kiss the ass of the powers that be properly, likely because he was used to being the sole power that was in a program.  He didn't quite grasp that we don't give a shit about Big East wins, here you aren't shit until you crush Little Brother and beat that school in Ohio.  

Look at Hoke, all these interviews were he raves about how great Michigan is.  He's never really tried to sell himself, said "Well look at the success I had at SDSU."  He talks about Michigan football, about touching the kids (urgh) and pays constant homage to the system.  As a consequence a lot of boosters I know would take a bullet for him.  He sells Michigan and just kind of slips himself in as part of the package deal in a sense.

You can argue about whether RR should have had to kiss ass and if it was fair or not, but the deal is at Michigan it is a political job as well as a coaching job.  The football program is probably the best know aspect of the University and when you get hired you need to understand you're the face of that.  I think RR is going to go on and have successful somewhere like Clemson where he can build the program and be the focus of it.  At Michigan , on the field performance aside, he didn't play the political game properly and that cost him.  


February 4th, 2011 at 1:02 PM ^

RR's biggest mistake was allowing the PERCEPTION that to him the OSU game was just any other game. And when he was asked this, I cringed in the way he responded. Then, followed up with the 3 years of getting smoked by OSU...well,  that is true elephant in the room. Had he won 2 of 3, or maybe even 1 of 3, he'd still be here. Presuming of course we didn't lose thrice to MSU too.  Its black and white in this regard, and he deserved to get replaced.


February 4th, 2011 at 1:09 PM ^

Beyond that though, I always find myself wondering if he had bought more time if he'd talked about his offense in Bo terms.  If he'd been saying things like "I was really inspired by the success Bo had with running quarterbacks and it really shaped my offensive philosophy."  Then he's not installed RR's offense as part of a system change, he's returning to Bo's offense.  Suddenly it becomes a lot harder for people to bitch about the rocky offense transition, because to do so is to speak against a Bo inspired system.  Whether it was true or not, saying things that would have bought him time.

The other big failure was going all in on offense.  We'd hired Bo for his slant 5 defense back in the day and that started a tradition that no matter what, Michigan had good defenses.  I don't even know if it would have been possible, but a slower offensive transition and more focus on keeping the defense good might have bought more time as well.  We are all used to the offense looking shitty up occasion, but watching our defense flail around was something a lot of people had never really seen before in their lives.  

Go Blue Eyes

February 4th, 2011 at 5:40 PM ^

I think if Rodriguez beats OSU in Columbus in the last game of 2010, and even with a loss in the bowl game, he comes back for 2011.  Much as I loved the Rodgriguez offense (an offense we will likely never see again at Michigan) I think it was more apalling to watch the defense. 

Hopefully the defense will come back and the offensive players are utilized to their inherent capabilities and Michigan football comes back.  If Hoke loses 6 games this year I do belive the fan base will sour on him just as quickly as they did Rodriguez. 

The cabal that did not like Rodriguez has their man so they must win with him or surely they will sink like the past coaching staff did.


February 4th, 2011 at 1:22 PM ^

There were comments from several respected folks in college football to the effect that M's hiring of RR was a mistake - that he's "the right guy in the wrong job at Michigan" and I always had a hard time fully grasping what that meant.  After the MSU / PSU / OSU & bowl games this season, I came to fully understand it.



February 4th, 2011 at 1:40 PM ^

Agree that he did not play the game very well at Michigan.

But do you think Michigan is unique?  Every football program has both feet planted firmly in politics, including WVU.  I remember RR's frustration with the support he claims he did not get from the WVU AD. 

Universities are political institutions, period, and the politics never stops at the sports programs.


February 4th, 2011 at 1:53 PM ^

I'd say that RR's problems with the WVU AD just help prove how bad he is/was at politics.  RR was the reason WVU was in BCS Bowls and the like.  He should have been able to go to the boosters and let it be known that the AD wasn't supporting the program to the level he needed and gotten them to take action.  Instead he "lost" in the sense that he ended up finding a new job.  I'd say if he couldn't win in politics at WVU it just meant he was in bigger trouble when he came up against Michigan politics.  

I don't think we're unique, but I think we play on an even bigger scale than WVU.  Our coaches names are nationally known and you need to be damn good at politics to survive.  At places like Little Brother and the like the pressure is less intense, look at how Dantonio gets away with running a penal colony disguised as a football program and generally being an ass.  

For RR it was likely failing as a state rep and then trying to make it as a federal senator in some ways.  


February 4th, 2011 at 2:16 PM ^

I think politics has been a downplayed reason for his demise. The boosters hated him. The media hated him. He didn't understand the rivalries. Sure, ok. It's sure as shit not easy to sky-dive into Michigan with no connections and win the hearts and minds, but the perception was that he didn't care to try. It doesn't matter if it's a football program, the presidency, or a local McDonalds. Hard work and genius alone work for a small percentage of people. For the vast majority of successful people, schmoozing, playing the game, and the ability to adapt to the situation you are in are the catalysts for rising to the top.

Winning also helps.


February 4th, 2011 at 11:41 AM ^

Did Dave Brandon ever actually play football at Michigan (before my time)?  I was under the impression that he was a walk-on who never saw the field and I haven't been able to find any information to counter that. 


Blue Bunny Friday

February 4th, 2011 at 12:22 PM ^

Playing as a defensive back, Rodriguez recorded 54 career tackles over three seasons.


  No. Name Pos. Year Letter Class Hgt. Wgt. Hometown State High School
  _ Brandon, David A. QB 1970 af Fr. 6-2 200 Plymouth MI South Lyon
  24 Brandon, David A. QB 1971 _ So. 6-3 202 Plymouth MI South Lyon
  85 Brandon, David A. DE 1972 jv Jr. 6-3 202 Plymouth MI South Lyon
  85 Brandon, David A. DE 1973 V Sr. 6-3 210 Plymouth MI South Lyon

He's one of 6 DE's to earn varsity letters in 1973. He's the only one that didn't accumulate any stats.

methylene blue

February 4th, 2011 at 12:46 PM ^

I was only trying to point out that neither DB nor RR had "extensive" playing careers (however you wish to define that) in college.  It shouldn't be too surprising that it was harder for DB to walk on to a NC contending team under Bo than it was for RR to walk on to WVU.  While RR has (moderately) more playing experience and (infintely) more coaching experience, he cannot claim that DB has limited knowledge in how D1 football operates.


February 4th, 2011 at 11:44 AM ^

Honestly, I can't blame Rodriguez in the least for being pissed. It sucks how it all worked out for him. Who knows what he could have done with some more support. I have no problem with him defending himself a bit publicly. His biggest mistake will always be hiring Greg Robinson.


February 4th, 2011 at 11:51 AM ^

Exactly. If people are waiting for him to come out and dump on a guy that's now out of a job (and frankly, if anyone does their research, probably won't get another D1 DC job for a while) they're crazy. As long as he's not at a school I loathe, I hope he wins a few MNC's before his career is over.

Six Zero

February 4th, 2011 at 12:33 PM ^

beyond the former coach's control that handicapped him, and sure that had plenty to do with it.  I remember the day almost 13 months ago when DWarren announced for the draft, and I got a healthy dose of NEG for asking if Rich had just lost his job.

BUT, there's no sympathy.  The coach was paid a lot of money to win football games, and he didn't win enough.  And the ones that really mattered were not only losses, but embarrassing ones.  I personally think that with the way our boys played and reacted in the Gator Bowl, Rich pretty much wrote his own pink slip.


February 4th, 2011 at 1:18 PM ^

It was insanity to do that to Robinson, just like it would have been insanity for someone to force Rodriguez to run a pro-set offense with Threet and company his first season here.  

Always, Always, Always...teach what you know.  If he wanted to run a 3-3-5, then he should have hired from within or hired a guy who was a 3-3-5 guy, not GERG.


February 4th, 2011 at 11:45 AM ^

Do any of you seriously believe that Michigan wasn't on the right track to an NC? I would've been pissed too, the poor guy had to put up with unmitigated shit for his entire tenure at UM.