Sorry Guys, The Writing is on the Wall

Submitted by The King of Belch on November 8th, 2009 at 5:36 PM

I'm a be short and sweet with this one.

First, the stories leaked out, one by one, right before the first game of the season. Once it happened, the hits just kept on coming. It kind of culminated with the Bill Martin bank thing and then the riduclously silly Gradeate--when we saw, for maybe the first time in the history of the NCAA--a coach almost having to apologize for the classroom achievements of his football team.

Now, Bill Martin is oot. The season is going into the tank.

Well, like I said: Short and sweet. Rodriguez is a goner. Dead Coach Walking. This isn't the time to think like a FAN, ladies. It's time to realize Rodriguez was sabotaged by someone at UM, the university hasn't exactly come out to support him, and well, Year Two has turned into a disastah.

He won't be here next year if te team doesn't go to a bowl. It's not my call--I'd give him a third year before I'd can him. Trouble is, next year doesn't look terribly promising (unless we play Delaware State seven times).

I like Rodriguez. I think he did a good yob at WVU. But he has not done a good yob here, and the Big Shots at UM won't keep him around too long after the final gun goes off at the end of as ass kicking at the hands of Ohio State. The only way RR buys a third year is to go bowling.



November 8th, 2009 at 7:50 PM ^

If you look at the rivals recruiting rankings of our classes since 2004 you'll see that we've averaged the 9th best class in the nation.

Regardless of whether or not you agree that averaging the 9th best classes on paper over a 6 year period justifies being labeled "top tier", you have to agree that we have underachieved based on the talent we've had. For comparison, Iowa has exactly the same # of wins as us since 2002 but they have averaged the 7th best classes in the Big Ten (we're first by the way).

Personally, I think that's an indictment of both Carr and RichRod and their inability to develop talent and avoid attrition.


November 8th, 2009 at 6:09 PM ^

Interesting thoughts. It does make me think, so thanks for the post.

First, I think the whole Freep story thing is overblown and overrated. People have short term memories and their outrage and umbrage fades over time. This time last year, ESPN was mercilessly piling on. Now? Not so much by comparison. Unless something concrete is actually found, meh, it's all hearsay.

Question, if we somehow manage to beat Wisconsin and/or OSU... what happens then? At say 6-6, we'd be bowl eligible is that good enough in your mind? Or do you actually think it's a done deal regardless? If the team wins one more when they aren't expected to do so, I think it changes the whole emotional equation. If the team somehow beats OSU, people will go bananas and be happy.

Face it, much of this fire RR meme is based on emotional vitriol related to on field performance. Winning tends to abate the teeth gnashing and hollerin'. I don't think the masses will feel the same about firing RR if we somehow beat OSU.

As for Mary Sue.... what else could she say? Nothing. She could have stayed out of it. I haven't seen any evidence to suggest that she is not actually behind RR.


November 8th, 2009 at 6:16 PM ^

i don't have a problem when this guy posts, he clearly follows the team and although hes making incendiary statements just to watch the aftereffects, the calls for banning are a little overblown.

but can we at least stop him from starting new threads, it just clogs up the board.


November 9th, 2009 at 12:02 AM ^'re saying that your general function on this blog (outside of going after Rodriguez) is both ridiculous and unnecessary...but it's OK if you are ridiculous and unnecessary...

At least you're open about your hypocrisy, although it seems to be born out of an inflated ego more than anything else.

James Burrill Angell

November 8th, 2009 at 6:20 PM ^

but clearly he's hit a hot button subject that's opened up a variety of opinions so the post, separate from his past work, served its purpose. How can you realistically say that this kind of discussion is inappropriate on a board like this regardless of which side of the spectrum you fall on.


November 8th, 2009 at 6:24 PM ^

Belch has little control over people starting threads about him. I wish they would ban those threads. /sigh

FWIW, he doesn't start many of his own.


November 8th, 2009 at 6:24 PM ^

You can't f'ing miss it on defense. But the thing gnawing at me is what else is missing. Is it morale? Is it horrible position coaching? Or worse? I've been a very vocal and vehement Rodriguez supporter since the story broke he was interviewing in Toledo.

But what the fuck? The doubt is creeping in. How the fuck did we lose to Toledo last year (as embarrassing frankly as The Horror), how the hell did we not win N'Western '08, and every game save PSU this year? At some point the finger has to be pointed at the head guy.

I read everything here, and not one opinion, no matter how rational and well-formed, has convinced me that it's not time to point the finger.

I don't see progress, I don't see momentum. I see the same goddamned mistakes every week. At this point the season is toast, with no chance of beating Wisky or OSU (how I'd love to be proven wrong), and have very little confidence of turning the corner in the next 9-10 months. My fear is he's in too deep.

Please prove me wrong Rich.


November 8th, 2009 at 6:58 PM ^

how the hell did we not win N'Western '08, and every game save PSU this year?

I see the talent deficit. You can't f'ing miss it on defense.

You just answered your own question.

Expecting us to win "every game save PSU" the year after we go 3-9 is wishful thinking, to say the least. That said, we've still shown improvement, and the fact that the team is putting up a fight now and that there have been so many close losses gives me hope for what we'll see once our defense is not so awful.

At this point the season is toast, with no chance of beating Wisky or OSU (how I'd love to be proven wrong)

Wait until next week. Wisconsin isn't as good as their record or ranking.


November 9th, 2009 at 10:08 AM ^

Wait until next week. Wisconsin isn't as good as their record or ranking.

Neither are we. Our record is based on A) beating poor teams B) teams having no film on Tate.

Re: Wisconsin: Something unexpected like winning the turnover margin could happen. But most confidence in Michigan these days is OVERconfidence.

Magnum P.I.

November 8th, 2009 at 7:13 PM ^

First, I wouldn't be too despondent about the last two games; we should have a chance in both; I like our underdog odds against a heavy run offense next weekend, especially if we can get the offense (with Minor this time) clicking.

To the point, people really seem to be digging in their heels regarding their opinions on how much RR is to blame. It's clearly not an all-or-none question, but RR certainly hasn't done what you'd call a "good job" since coming in and we certainly have had less talent than we're accustomed to the past two years. So, just by virtue of there being multiple precipitants, the discussion is a fair one to have, and people shouldn't try to silence the RR doubters with personal attacks and all caps.

Further, the RR apologists seem to be offering two parallel arguments: (1) RR isn't to blame and is doing all he can do; and (2) firing RR now will only leave our program in greater disarray. The second argument should not be used to defend RR's capacity as a coach at M. This is like arguing that invading Iraq was initially a good decision because if we pull out now the country will fall apart. The first point can certainly be argued. The second is part of a different argument.

It's a fun and interesting conversation. Embrace the diversity of opinions.


November 8th, 2009 at 7:36 PM ^

First, labeling anyone who wishes to see our coach remain at his job an "apologist" is obnoxious. Am I an apologist if I think he deserves more time, even if I don't agree with every single thing he's done? Secondly, I have no idea what you're arguing here:

firing RR now will only leave our program in greater disarray. The second argument should not be used to defend RR's capacity as a coach at M.

Why not? It's a very likely that firing RR will cause us to have a worse 2010 season (and probably also 2011) than we would if he were retained, given the inevitable attrition and recruiting losses that accompany a firing. How do you not find that a compelling argument?

And I have no idea where you're going with the Iraq analogy. I don't think anyone is arguing that the potential negative repercussions of firing RR now proves that his initial hiring was justified. Debating the latter point is useless anyway. RR is here. We should debate where to go from here, not beat ourselves up over what might have been in 2007.

Given that RR is our coach, and that the program has moved in a new direction, philosophy-wise, over the past two years, I think we'd be best off allowing him to continue with the job rather than start over now.

Magnum P.I.

November 8th, 2009 at 8:02 PM ^

First, I'm not using apologist derisively. It's a pretty benign word:

Function: noun
Date: 1640
: one who speaks or writes in defense of someone or something

Secondly, you're making my point. There are two different arguments: (1) practically speaking, would firing RR now make the program worse off? and (2) is RR a good coach for Michigan? You can answer no to (2) and still answer yes to (1). Saying "I think we'd be best off allowing him to continue with the job rather than start over now" doesn't answer the question of whether or not he's a good coach for M. Personally, I think struggling with question (2) is an important first step to thinking about the best way to move forward.

The King of Belch

November 8th, 2009 at 10:54 PM ^

Is that fans can NOT stop acting and thinking like fans.

I've stepped outside that box many times, and that's what infuriates the dolts who can't do it (about 96% of them). I mean, reall, I may not come on here and gratuitously mention my "three degrees from Michigan", or lie like a motherfucker about having degrees from UM, but I have NO DOG in this hunt. If UM succeeds, fine by me. If they don't, well, what does it really matter?

When you step outside the confines of Fanthought and Groupthink (New terms I've just intranet-vented), you are more clear-headed, and you see how things really work.

I honestly believe if The Mighty Godriguez whups up another bucket of fail and doesn't make a bowl game, he GONE. I've also said it's not the call I'd make. BUT--I don't have to really worry about the embarrassment that is the product he is giving the world right now.


November 8th, 2009 at 11:04 PM ^

"Godriguez" or "Dick Rod"

Maybe if you actually didn't have an axe to grind with him and were impartial maybe I'd believe you. But I honestly think that you've bought into the Freep bs.

And to call this Michigan team an embarrassment is a slap in the face to every Michigan player and coach and is a very dick move. But I'd expect nothing less from you.

Gerald R. Ford

November 8th, 2009 at 9:21 PM ^

Slappie - there actually was progress this week even though it ended in a loss. We lost the game for two reasons - a missed extra point and a superb, well executed on-sides kick. We saw the emergence of several players. I was at the game and saw some good things. JB Fitzgerald had several excellent form tackles and was in on many more of those that he did not make himself. Roy Roundtree has GREAT hands, and runs at defenders inspired. The offensive line held and allowed Tate time - for the first time this year.

This team has less experience than most that we are facing, and very little depth among the most skilled. Every game provides more experience.

Teams who have disadvantages can still win in big games. If this were not the case, the Oregon States, Appy States, and Naval Academies would just ask for payment and not bother playing the games at all.

We may not win this week or next, but then again, we might.

Coaches always - and I mean always - deserve 5 years. (unless you get drunk at the Excalibur in Southfield while hitting on a bunch of Puma's)


November 8th, 2009 at 6:43 PM ^

I totally agree with KOB,no doubt RR should have kept Henne and Hart 3 or 4 more years and a couple of those big lineman.
RR should be fired for not giving out more speed to our safties
and sprinkle a little on our corners while he's at it. RR should of held onto those NFL bound wideouts a few more years,he should be fired for that.RR should be fired because our players aren't older,stronger,faster or smarter... Hell RR should be fired for being RR.


November 8th, 2009 at 10:57 PM ^

Exhibit A on why "NFL minds" are over-rated in the college game:

Charlie Weis

Simply put, the NFL game does not always translate to the college game, and vice versa. Playing in the NFL is a full-time job. There are no exams, study halls, practice limits, etc. Excepting limits established by collective bargaining (if any) there are no brakes on the amount of time a NFL player devotes to the game.

Likewise, NFL players - on average - are bigger, stronger and faster than college players. NFL defenses are much better at disguising coverages than in college, and their players can close the distance between themselves and the ball carrier rapidly. Thus, it is very hard to get the sort of mismatches that a scheme like the spread thrives upon.

Assuming that Jon Gruden could enjoy success as a collegiate head coach is just wishful thinking.

El Jeffe

November 8th, 2009 at 7:05 PM ^

KOB: since there's almost no externally generated accountability for saying inflammatory and patently absurd things on the internets, if UM doesn't go to a bowl but Rodriguez comes back, what will you do to yourself to account for this inflammatory and patently absurd post?


November 8th, 2009 at 7:08 PM ^

two more years for RR as stated by MSC (and as has been pointed out many times in these posts). Not only does it make sense from a contractual (money) standpoint, but also because of RR's track record. You can't discard a man with that track that quickly. In fact, if his not given at least two more years, the damage to the program could well have an even longer ligering effect. Finally, bringing in another head coach will not solve the shortage of personnel problems on defense. Even if RR were to go, that problem will still be there. The best thing we can do is to continue to support him until he has had enough time to get all the pieces in place.


November 8th, 2009 at 7:12 PM ^

You should stop smoking it. Barring major NCAA violations there is zero repeat ZERO chance Rich Rod gets fired after this year. UM is darn near Lion like in its devotion to coaches not getting the job done...while I still personally have hope, I dont think that really matters, even if he @$#%s the bed he is going to get at least one more year.

see Ellerbe, Brian (4 years) and Amaker, Tommy (6 years)


-Not to mention the AD that hired him and will have much of his legacy based on his performance will still be here until late next year.


November 8th, 2009 at 7:20 PM ^

Because there is a tradition of success and patience. Yanking the rug out from under RR would only make it more difficult to replace him with a top coach, and probably lengthen the transition.

RR will get four seasons, minimum, to transform this team.


November 8th, 2009 at 7:23 PM ^

You managed to provide us Scout level grammatical skills, only without the sunny outlook. That is about the worst combination you could achieve if you're writing about Michigan football.

Unless your posts have some therapeutic value that is critical to you not committing an act of violence against yourself or others, I suggest you take some deep breaths, wait until the offseason, take a few more deep breaths--and then share more of your sparkling insights.


November 8th, 2009 at 7:24 PM ^

King of Belch.....good thing you are not in control of the football program or we'd really be screwed. Looking at this season, given we start so many freshman and sophomores, and our defense is young and extremely thin (and generally lacks talent beyong Graham, Warren, Martin and Roh), I think 5-5 is right where we ought to be. Problem is everyone expects RR to do so much with so little.....and everyone wants everything now. I'd rather take two steps back, albeit painful, and come out better in the end. RR deserves the time to build his program, and going from an obsolete, stale style of football to what he wants to do will take time. Anyone who wants a winner in year 2 should hold year will be the year we make strides. Those calling for RR to be fired just don't get it.


November 8th, 2009 at 7:26 PM ^

Is there any example of situation where a coach managed to start his career out like this at a school at Michigan and really start to pick things up in the third season and on. The only examples I can think of are few coaches who were in situations like Schiano and you cannot really compare Rutgers to Michigan.

One may say that there was such a drastic transition in system but I give you the example of Georgia Tech and Nebraska. Georgia Tech went from pro-style to option and managed to just fine. Nebraska went from option to pro-style and even a coach as poorly regarded as Callahan managed to win 8 games in his second year. When Mike Leach brought the spread to Texas Tech he managed to do so without having any kind of drop off.

For people who think that Rich Rodriguez will eventually be successful at Michigan is there an example of coach who you can point to who was similarly situated to RichRod and eventually managed to have success. For my own part I can't seem to find any examples of any coach taking over a good program having two initial poor seasons and really getting it done from that point on.


November 8th, 2009 at 7:34 PM ^

I know this has to sound strange coming from a Michigan loyalist/fanatic like me, but give Rich and the football team time. We were in a nice, warm cocoon for 40 years, and now we decided to leave it and go in a new direction; it takes time and patience to rebuild something. Now, in 2011, if we're not the shiny, proverbial butterfly and contending for Big Ten and National Titles, you can call my bluff.


November 8th, 2009 at 7:34 PM ^

of my section. There weren't any boos, just a incredulous sigh of OMG what are you thinking.

The questioning of the coach is normal when there has been such a negative slide, especially after a 4-0 start. The only solution to the problems that exist is winning. It is not going to be easy, but there is a chance. It will be a tough week for those fielding calls on the radio this week.

I don't envy Brian tomorrow on WTKA.

I'm sure the same callers, JJ, Jason and Phil will call and bitch about how Woody Hayes had all the answers, Bo never lost this many games in 21 years blah, blah, blah.

Saturday cannot get here soon enough.

Keep the faith. Stay thirsty my friends! and above all else...