Rivals claims "Pressure is all on Michigan & Rodriguez"

Submitted by Search4Meaning on October 5th, 2010 at 11:35 AM

Article says, "Where State may have once been a “rivalry game” to pay lip service to, now it may determine which way the season, and coach Rich Rodriguez’s entire tenure, turns."

While I think it would certainly help Rich, I don't believe that it's going to determine his immediate future.  Bowl eligible this year is the hard deck as I see it.  I do not believe we have the defense to run the table, or even to win more that 8 regular season games.

Don't get me wrong - want us to beat MSU.  Want us to run the table.  Just don't see it happening.

  Link: http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/news;_ylt=AsMTJwmQM_bGj3LkVWoH1q8…

Your opinions on this article?



October 5th, 2010 at 11:39 AM ^

Michigan has the offense to win every game on this schedule. All the defense has to do is to hold the opposition to (Michigan - 1). You don't think they can do that? I do.

The Michigan State game in and of itself won't determine RR's immediate future. However, if Michigan loses, HOW the team responds WILL. Another late-season collapse and RR will be in jeopardy. If MICH loses this game and still goes on to win 9-10 games (which is eminently doable with how Iowa, Penn State, Purdue, Illinois and Wiscy are currently composed), the RR juggernaut will be in place for 2011.


October 5th, 2010 at 11:41 AM ^

It won't define whether Rodriguez keeps his job or not, mostly because David Brandon is not that easily persuaded and this offense is clearly ready to do some serious damage. However, I think in terms of fan perception this game is incredibly important for him.

The reason OSU is our biggest rivalry and MSU comes in second or third depending on who you talk to is that MSU has traditionally been an afterthought. "Oh yeah, we'll take care of them again." Fans, including myself, want that back. I won't be calling for Rodriguez's head by any stretch if we lose on Saturday, but it will be a huge disappointment.

Rubber must hit the road big time next year though and we need to see it in the form of a 9-10 win season at least.


October 5th, 2010 at 11:56 AM ^

I remember back in 2004 reading an article in the Ann Arbor News (may it rest in peace) about how the game was really no longer a rivalry. That of course was just before the 3OT game. The next year it again took overtime for us to beat them, and in 2007 Henne engineered a fourth-quarter comeback (looked almost Brady-like, IIRC) in order for us to beat them. Obviously, we have lost the last two years as well. Was this article a jinx? Or just really good bulletin-board material?


October 5th, 2010 at 12:16 PM ^

In the 6 years leading up to that article (98-03), Michigan lost twice.  In the 6 years since, they've lost 3 times, including 2 years when they lost to everyone.  I'm pretty sure this article had nothing to do with it.


October 5th, 2010 at 12:13 PM ^

I want that back too.  Michigan vs. MSU during the Schembechler years was a thing of beauty.  He beat Sparty 17 times in 21 seasons of coaching.  And the majority of these games were blowouts.

The games with Notre Dame and Ohio State always meant more because most of the time, both teams were ranked in the top 10, even the top 5.  When we played Sparty, they came in to the game unranked about 85% of the time and the score was usually 14-0 by the middle of the 1st quarter.  I guess it's better for the rivalry to have MSU be relevant but I was always fond of them sucking year after year.

George Perles told a great story at Bo's memorial service.  His first year as MSU head coach was in 1983.  The UM/MSU game was played in East Lansing that year and when the coaches met at midfield before the game, George said, "I gotta tell you, Bo.  I'm really nervous."  Bo responded, "You should be." 

Final score: Michigan-42, Michigan State-0. 


October 5th, 2010 at 3:11 PM ^

but at what point does the defining game end???...it seems to me there's 5 defining games on this years ... ND, MSU, IOWA, WISC and OSU... (maybe PSU qualifies).

Notre Dame was the defining game... okay great.. we won  that.

Now MSU is the defining game.. wait a minute.. if we win our "defining game" just gets pushed back???..

Lets say he wins this game.. ( I not so sure about this) but lets say he does...

Then does the IOWA game become must win...

I guess my point is.. every game can't be defining... I believe the ND game this year was our "defining" game.. a game we HAD to win and went there and won.

at some point we have to say the other team is better than us this year and if we lose, at least we won the ND game.. or any other game... WE CANNOT look at it as.. we won ND but we lost to OSU...

At this point.. the way it's been the past few years.. it has to be .. we might have lost to OSU, but we beat ND and say MSU or another game.


October 5th, 2010 at 3:14 PM ^

If we beat MSU. I don't know that ND is going to salve any MSU wounds.  But other than a couple more to not go 0-6 to finish, this is the last must win game.  Iowa could just be a much better team, and we went 6-0 and didn't think we were going undefeated. Then the must wins become the little games, so we don't blow our overall record by losing to Illinois at home.  If we're playing for a Big Ten title by some stretch, OSU could kinda become must win, but at that point we're playing with house money.


October 6th, 2010 at 3:54 PM ^

the MUST beat msu, take care of business with purdue, illinois, (i forget the other take care of business opponent)  happy if we do with iowa, psu, wiscy and osu hoping we make those contests close camp for this year.  i almost expect with our o and the not so impressive psu o that we will win that one.  GO BLUE BEAT green. 

ps by the way i am an elementary PE teacher and one of my colleagues is a staunch state fan.  i just led a,' if your happy and you know it shout go blue' cheer with our little ones when my colleague was in the gymnasium.  awesome fun! 


October 5th, 2010 at 11:41 AM ^

I feel like we're playing with "the house's money" at this point.  The pressure was definitely on last weekend against Indiana, but I don't think a loss this weekend would be the end of the world as a loss at Indiana or against UMass would have been. 


October 5th, 2010 at 11:46 AM ^

Are you serious?

We are in the same position this year as last year.  Just move the Delaware St game earlier in the season.  Those were our 5 wins-- 4 non-conference (ND) and Indiana in the Big Ten.  How could you say this is House Money?  We have a 5-0 team playing an in-state rival where we have another tough Iowa game next weekend.  House Money??


October 5th, 2010 at 11:56 AM ^

I dont see Michigan going winless the rest of the season. MSU, Iowa, and Penn St are all very winable games. The debate is wether Michigan goes 3-0, 2-1, 1-2, or 0-3 in those games. I believe it'll be 1-2 or 2-1 with Penn St being the easiest, then a tie between MSU and Iowa. Im not overly impressed with Iowa this year and taking into consideration last years game on the road, I think this year Michigan has more than a legit chance at winning.

Also I do think Michigan ends up with 8 or 9 wins.


October 5th, 2010 at 12:10 PM ^

You also didn't mention the two easiest remaining games - Illinois and Purdue.  We should be favored in both of those.

At the risk of getting ahead of myself, there is nobody in the Big Ten that looks all that dominant.  Obviously, OSU is the team to beat, but if Pror remains at all gimpy, that offense becomes a whole lot less scary.  PSU seems to be majorly offensively challenged, Wisconsin hasn't been as impressive as expected, and Iowa often seems to be one Stanziball away from a loss.

One thing that is true is that MSU will be a good barometer for where we stand.  They have a quality offense and a decent defense.  If we execute well, we should win, but we probably cannot play poorly and win.  If we show well against MSU, 9 wins is not an unreasonable expectation.


October 5th, 2010 at 12:15 PM ^

Do you all realize how amazingly brilliant it would be for Michigan to end with 9 wins?  Sure, its been done by Michigan many times before.  But to do it this year, coupled with Denard's coming-out season, would be an amazing result for Coach Rodriguez and would not only turn heads internally (among the fan base) but also nationally (including recruits).  Here's hoping you are right!


October 5th, 2010 at 12:07 PM ^

I don't see why everyone thinks this is do or die for Michigan.

In fact I see it as the other way around.  State is in the driver's seat to win a (very) rare Big Ten title if they win this game.

The game is huge for both teams, but this is likely State's last chance to be an equal to Michigan and likely the last time they will have a solid team and not have to play OSU.

That said I hope we win


October 5th, 2010 at 11:44 AM ^

I can't see Michigan losing more than 5 of the remaining seven games, and actually would be shocked if they didn't do significantly better.

What 7 - 5 means is a bowl game. It also means that it doesn't matter whether they beat State or not.


October 5th, 2010 at 12:39 PM ^

7-5 with a loss to Sparty would be pretty bad at this point.  That would mean that the team goes 2-5 down the stretch.  Assuming the two additional wins are Purdue and Illinois, that would leave Michigan with no significant victories this year (unless you really want to count ND).

The MSU game is not do-or-die for RR or the program.....but there's still a whole lot left to prove this season.  Let's hope they get it done.


October 5th, 2010 at 11:44 AM ^

Of course more pressure is on Michigan.  Lost 2 in a row to MSU, it's AT home with a chance to work towards their first winning season in 3 years?  Not to mention a Heisman trophy candidate.  I don't see how it could be any other way.

st barth

October 5th, 2010 at 12:10 PM ^

The odd thing for me is that (because I have so thoroughly written off the 2008 season) I keep forgetting that we have lost to a bunch of teams two years in a row.  It's like having one of those really bad accidents that your brain just erases from memory. 

Maybe if we are lucky, the NCAA will punish us for the practice violation scandal by wiping the 2008 season off the books (like they did with USC's 2005 season).   That would be fair, wouldn't it?


October 5th, 2010 at 11:45 AM ^

No offense to the poster, but I hate these kinds of articles.  It's almost as if the author is required to write about something and can't think of anything original.  An article about how a rivalry game where both teams are undefeated and one team is coming off two losing seasons (overall and against the other rival) is important?  Why not write about the fact that the sky is blue?  C'mon Rivals, generate something informative!


October 5th, 2010 at 11:48 AM ^

all the time, every year, every game.

This is what you expect at a top program.

There is never any pressure on MSU football since most of the fans have a 20-year lease on seats at Ford Field for the yearly 80 mile pilgrimage.

Ford Field is Mecca for Sparty fans.

myantoniobass …

October 5th, 2010 at 8:24 PM ^

At first I wanted to write off the whole pressure argument going around.  We know our team is heading in the right direction, and the power balance will be restored within the next few years, if not this year thanks to Denard.  But you are right on.  The 11 players on the field, and 113,000+ will take the pressure this Saturday.  Go Blue.


October 5th, 2010 at 11:47 AM ^

Can't say I take issue with much in this article, but when he says,

So Rodriguez needs this one, big time.

I disagree with the "big time" characterization. Michigan wants this win, "big time". But they are, as he points out himself, still a work in progress.

Meanwhile, Dantonio is in his 4th year, has all of his players, his team isn't a "work in progress"... they should be favored coming into Ann Arbor. Regardless of how the MSM will try to frame it, the pressure should be on MSU.


October 5th, 2010 at 11:47 AM ^

Pressure? PRESSURE? Mike Martin eats pressure like he ate that sack lunch while Chappell was bouncing off his head.......NOM.....NOM.......NOM........


October 5th, 2010 at 11:49 AM ^

That with young teams when they lose they lose their confidence (like last year).
<br>So I agree this game is very very important.


October 5th, 2010 at 12:21 PM ^

but they also lost the ball a lot last year.  Team wasn't good enough to give it away and win. Very few are. (State gave it up 3 times last week and won, incidentally. That to me was the most impressive that win). M's offense has been doing a better job of hanging onto it. Plus, when we've put it on the turf, we've gotten a couple of favorable bounces here and there. Don't think we can count on the D to create a bunch of TOs, but as long as the offense hangs onto it fairly consistently, the team should fair all right in final seven.  I don't see them losing confidence even with a loss to State. They seemed to believe in each other.

Yard Dog

October 5th, 2010 at 11:49 AM ^

You don't want to give little brother any more ammo than they already have.  It is RR's third year, and time for a result in one of our two biggest rivalry games.  MSU is a constant afterthought on the national scene, and we need to keep them there.  We need to prove our resurgence isn't a hoax, and beating our first "real" opponent would help (no, I don't consider a 2-3 ND team "real").


October 5th, 2010 at 12:00 PM ^

Naturally, there is some exaggeration. Rodriguez won’t be fired if he loses, and his job isn’t necessarily safe if he wins. Still, the game is unquestionably bigger for Michigan, because the Wolverines simply aren’t supposed to lose to MSU three times in a row, especially when two out of the three have been in Ann Arbor.

Sparty can have an 8-4 season, and be pretty happy about it. An 8-4 Michigan team is still below the Wolverines’ historical average. After 3-9 and 5-7, you’ll take eight wins, but it is merely a step along the way to the double-digit wins, year after year, that used to be considered routine.


October 5th, 2010 at 12:00 PM ^

OK by me that the pressure is on Michigan more than Sparty.  More pressure means that you are expected to win and a loss has more of an impact on your season-a season that is aiming for Big Ten Championships and beyond.  With high expectations comes pressure.  We need to be there.

Braylon 5 Hour…

October 5th, 2010 at 12:05 PM ^

I don't really know if we can definitively say who this means more to.  Isn't the point of a rivalry game like this that it's the game you circle on your schedule? Obviously we circle more than MSU but this is definitely THE game for them.  Heck, the last couple years Dantonio has made sure to make it known that he has disproportionately prepared for Michigan.  

We are trying to repair our reputation after 2 bad seasons or so.  Michigan State has been a non-factor nationally for such a long time.  For the program, and for us to show that we're better than last year, and to take the heat off of Rich Rod, I think this would be our biggest signature win to this point.  This is huge for both teams.  Who it's huger for, I don't really care.  I just want to pound Sparty into the ground. 


October 5th, 2010 at 12:10 PM ^

Of course there is serious pressure on RR. Everyone here obviously loves this football team and I'm willing to bet that most people get very nervous every time the D takes the field.

However, RR has been asked about pressure all the time and he has handled it well. He knows what he is going up against.


October 5th, 2010 at 12:18 PM ^

I agree with Oakapple's observations to a "t".   I would only add how nice it is to have a home game that actually MATTERS again.  It's been a long dry spell (the awful 2007 OSU game is the last one I can think of and maybe ND last year) where our games were simply an afterthought on the national scale.

With success comes pressure for continued success.  I, for one, have missed that and gladly welcome it back home where it belongs.


October 5th, 2010 at 12:18 PM ^

I agree with Oakapple's observations to a "t".   I would only add how nice it is to have a home game that actually MATTERS again.  It's been a long dry spell (the awful 2007 OSU game is the last one I can think of and maybe ND last year) where our games were simply an afterthought on the national scale.

With success comes pressure for continued success.  I, for one, have missed that and gladly welcome it back home where it belongs.