Rittenberg on UM Banquet

Submitted by winterblue75 on December 3rd, 2010 at 9:40 AM

Rittenberg (who has quite a bit of respect from the board being a MSM member) doesn't think RR's emotions/words last night were very helpful to his cause as remaining head coach.

Rich Rodriguez, three years into his tenure, shouldn't have to be saying things like, "I hope you realize I want to be a Michigan man." His emotions were genuine Thursday night, and while he's trying to fire up his constituency, you have to question his confidence right now.

Does Rodriguez sound emboldened or desperate? Or a little bit of both?

He needs his boss, Dave Brandon, to make a decision on whether or not he'll return in 2011. Letting this drag on until after Michigan's bowl game doesn't serve the current players, the coaches, the verbally committed recruits or the fans.

I wasn't there tonight, but I can't imagine Brandon came away thrilled by what he saw and heard from his head coach.



December 3rd, 2010 at 11:01 AM ^

Why does this decision require a timeline?? After 3 years of watching is the next 4 weeks really going to show DB anything that he hasn't already seen? Coaches are fired and hired before their teams play their bowl game all the time.


December 3rd, 2010 at 11:09 AM ^

Preface:  I am not saying that this is so - just explaining the comment that you responded to.

By timeline, I think that the poster meant that not announcing a decision was keyed to getting Jim Harbaugh.  Many people think (right or wrong) that Harbaugh already has the job locked up OR that DB's goal is to get Harbaugh.  Regardless of which it is, this school of thought is that firing RR before Stanford has a chance to play in their BCS Bowl Game would put Harbaugh in the (speculated) Les Miles situation of having to either abandon his team on  the eve of their biggest game or hold a press conference declaring no interest in the Michigan job, hense significantly diminishing any chance that we land him.

Not saying that this is so, but it is a popular conspiracy theory floating around.


December 3rd, 2010 at 11:34 AM ^

I feel that is the case with Harbaugh wanting to coach the bowl game as we'll. If it is true, I think Brandon needs to simply say "if you want the job you'd better just take it now, otherwise we have to go a different way because it's killing our recruiting and our image to allow this stuff to go on for another month." I don't think Harbaugh would pass up the opportunity to coach Michigan for one BCS bowl.


December 3rd, 2010 at 8:34 PM ^

We don't need to look like the bad guys again stirring up the controversy and sweeping in to steal a coach right before his BCS game.  Didn't shed the best light on the program the last time we tried it.  Don't forget that with a couple of upsets this weekend, Stanford could be playing in the championship game.  I am not saying one way or the other about should or is going to happen, but this timeline leads me to believe that RR is gone.  It makes no sense otherwise.

st barth

December 3rd, 2010 at 11:08 AM ^

...what Bo might do in this situation.

But you might remember that when Bo was AD and had hired Steve Fisher as interim basketball coach, there were a lot of people (media & fans) pressing him for a permanent decision.  Even immediately after Fisher won the Final Four, I recall the reporters asking Bo about the hire.  He deferred and stuck to whatever timeline and/or process he had already committed to. 


December 3rd, 2010 at 11:22 AM ^

I fail to see how this different than the Steve Fisher situation. Who is to say the AD is indecisive right now? I am all for the AD collecting as much data as he needs. There is a major difference between The Team The Team The Team and recruits who are not even on The Team The Team The Team. Bo is also thinking everyone whining to STFU and gt behind the Team. 


December 3rd, 2010 at 10:38 AM ^

demands that RRod only gives scholarship offers to wideouts for the next three years, and in order to receive a scholarship, at least half of those wideouts must categorically prove that they are either academically ineligible, chronically and pathologically lazy, or are intending to abuse narcotics in the near future, then no, Brandon is not bordering on Millen territory.


It was pretty sweet when he said, "That's six", though.

Communist Football

December 3rd, 2010 at 10:10 AM ^

Greg from MVictors liveblogged from the bust yesterday. He wasn't a fan of the Groban music, but overall the consensus of people seemed to be that Rodriguez's speech was inspiring. It's unfortunate that Rittenberg decided to mock him for his comment about being a Michigan man. A significant portion of the fanbase and alumni don't accept him as a Michigan man because he didn't go here and/or didn't work for Bo. Truly this is preposterous and it's entirely realistic for him to humbly ask to be accepted.


December 3rd, 2010 at 11:12 AM ^

so his comments get invalidated in my opinion.  He has to go based on what he's told and some of that can be slanted based on agendas. 

RR seems to be a very inspiring speaker and I get the feeling that if people would let down their guard, they can accept that speech as a way to mend fences and get on the same page.


December 3rd, 2010 at 9:44 AM ^

I'm curious to hear from someone who was there (who is not a member of the media) whether Rodriguez actually sounded like he was pleading for his job, or maybe even saying farewell in a way.  Or is all this just conjecture from the typical media that always try to make stuff up to make an interesting story?  I like Rittenberg a lot, but I'm just curious to hear from someone who doesn't have a vested interest in making a story interesting or exciting.


December 3rd, 2010 at 10:02 AM ^

Well true, it's been connected to Harbaugh for a week now, as to whether he'd attend or not...so that's reportable right there. But now the whole thing of Rich's speech, the tears, the song, the holding hands, that's going to be reported everywhere just because it sounds kinda weird for that to take place at a season ending football banquet. True, heart-felt emotion or not on Rich's part, the MSM is just going to use it as another indictment on him.


December 3rd, 2010 at 9:58 AM ^

Right, it's going to have to be someone from the Michigan MSM.  Maybe Angelique Chengelis.  She always seemed to be the most non-biased writer.   I know she was there last night from someone posting from her twitter.  I wonder what her twitter says or her articles at detnews.com. 


December 3rd, 2010 at 9:55 AM ^

However IMO I think it is claer that Brandon is exploring the Harbaugh option in earnest.  The question that remains and what few had thought going into this strategy is how damaging to RR this ordeal will be after almost a month of speculation. 

I for one hope Brandon holds the course and does all he can to get Harbaugh and hell or high water make that decesion as he said he would after the Bowl game. 

Fat Elvis

December 3rd, 2010 at 9:50 AM ^

I think that people might be reading a little too much into this. Rodriguez is an emotional guy. I remember him getting choked up at WVU after they dropped that game to Pitt, and we all saw him tear up during all of the practice nonsense before the '09 season started. He's either an emotional guy or he knows when it's a good time to drop a tear or two. I'm not sure that his choking up at the banquet was such an extraordinary event.


December 3rd, 2010 at 9:55 AM ^

I don't think the speech says anything about his confidence... from what I've heard... it seemed more like one las attempt to get alumni, former players, boosters, all behind him to believe in him... not DB.  DB is familiar enough with RR to know the skinny.

Does anyone think that DB's mind is made up either way at this point?  In my biased mind.. it seems to me that the decision really is. .. RR will return, but the primary question is around whether or not the current Defensive staff is the right blend of coaches?  If they're not... who would be?  let's rectify this now.  We're very close to being where we haven't been in years... 

In sum, If DB can't respect that, then his whole perspective is whack, maybe he'll love Rod when he fades to black.


December 3rd, 2010 at 10:03 AM ^

Define "fair chance"?

3 years, 3 terrible and progressively worse defenses. The offense started out bad and got better each year while the defense started out bad and did just the opposite.

Gibson can't coach, period. If Rich Rod doesn't want him gone because of his friendship then he should be canned too. Football is a business, there's no room for sentimental decision making. Axe everybody on defense, bring in someone competent, and let the new DC make every single hire and implement whatever scheme he wants on that side of the ball.


December 3rd, 2010 at 10:53 AM ^

They have had less to work with each year because there was no young depth when he took over the team. Sure you can blame SOME of the player loss on RR but not all of it. There are lots of reasons why the defense has regressed and maybe if the coaches had some upperclass talent to work with they could field a competent defense. We have seen what the offense has done with even a little bit of experience. A fair chance would be at least allowing RR to have a senior class of his own players...


December 3rd, 2010 at 10:03 AM ^

If the decision is to retain RR then waiting until the bowl game makes no sense.  Why cripple recruiting if the decision to retain has been made?  If Brandon had made up his mind to retain less GERG then he would have a D coordinator coach in the bowl game could the D be worse less GERG?  Releasing GERG might actually help D recruiting as it ends RR speculation. 

Brandon is waiting to talk to or in the process of talking to Harbaugh.  It also appears Brandon will not be swayed-all things considered he has to hold the course as this will set the tone for Brandon's regime.  The remaining question will be RR value after this ordeal and if Brandon can't get Harbaugh will he still want to retain a devalued RR? 



December 3rd, 2010 at 11:39 AM ^

I don't know anything when it comes to this type of stuff, but perhaps he's got a specific process he abides to from being a CEO.. "wait till end of quarter..." type deals.  I don't think it's wise per se, but maybe he's working with RR to understand what RR thinks would help the program get to the next level?  Maybe they're combing through all the issues, identifying prospective coaches for defense. 

I don't know.. I just really think it's not fair to boot RR after 3 years...  He's given up just as much as Michigan has given up to get him, and I think we're bound for something special if people just chill out.  It's just amazing that most fans i talk to expected a losing season, or a 7-5 at best... and we hit that mark. Yet people are fuming. 

The #1 thing people hold onto is this notion that we (inherently*)can't compete with Wisconsin, Ohio State, Iowa etc.

*Because RR's 'system' is ineffective in the big ten.  If people believe that, they don't know a damn thing about football.


December 3rd, 2010 at 10:12 AM ^

I think DB's mind is made up.  If he was certain to keep RR, then dragging out the announcement doesn't make sense.  So only two possibilities 1) he has Harbaugh lined up and will announce after the Stanford Bowl game or 2) He really is going to use the bowl game to make up his mind.

If 1, this makes sense because it is out of respect to Harbaugh and more importantly lowers the RR buyout by $1.5 million.

2 is harder to envision, how could the bowl performance this year make or break his decision.  I doubt we will even be favored; so expectations should be low.

I can only see DB going for Harbaugh at this point, picking up anyone else would disappoint too many people, afterall releasing RR will disappoint some and not getting Harbaugh would disappoint the rest.