We are becoming Notre Dame

Submitted by Captain Obvious on November 1st, 2010 at 4:11 PM

MGoBoard-the last bastion of civilized thought in the sports message board world-finally hit a brick wall and has turned into every other sports message board.  Even Brian is calling for certain coaches' heads in the middle of the season, without regard to whether this would actually hurt or help the team.  Where did the patience go?  Where did the rationality go?  Where did the radical idea that coaches and teams should be judged on their body of work rather than a single game go?  When did we stop looking at extenuating circumstances like critical injuries and just start flailing around instead?  When did we start giving up on coaches and players before all the games have been played?

It's entitlement; the same thing that has kept Notre Dame down for years.  We aren't going to win just because we are Michigan.  Parity has come to college football and a large chunk of our fanbase remains unaware.  There's no quick fix.  If we go searching for one soon then our transformation into ND will be nearly complete, needing only another decade of constant rebuilding and unmet expectations to make it official.

I guess I'm the weird one.  I had fun watching the PSU game and didn't get upset when we lost.  I like cheering on the team and my weekend isn't affected by the outcome of the game.  I think there's more to measure a team and its coaches by than wins and losses.  If a college football game makes you genuinely sad and depressed then you probably should find another team or another hobby.  This team will probably make you mad or upset for a few more games this year and many years to come.

To those that have already mentally dismissed the coaches for this year - what if we improve?  Anything can happen in college football and there are still 4 games left to play.  Won't you feel a little silly if we manage to overperform and show signs of improvement?  How about we wait until all the games are played before we give up on the team and coaches?

I know there's at least a few people that think like I do left on the board.  We turned from a majority to a tiny minority overnight.  I wonder what it will take to satisfy this new majority of angry fans?



November 1st, 2010 at 4:59 PM ^

Well, honeslty, it wasn't embarassing i.e. blow out, etc.  but basing on it being a potential bowl clinching win, RR screaming at refs, McLoin looking like Joe Montana, the White Stripes being sung by the crowd every 42 seconds, it was in a sense an embarassing display (at least on defense) on national TV.


November 1st, 2010 at 5:48 PM ^

Losing to a 3-9 Toledo team, at home, is really embarrasing.  Losing to a Div 1-AA team, at home, with multiple experienced top level NFL picks on the roster and national title hopes, is really embarassing.

Losing by two scores to a Big 10 opponent, who will likely have 6-8 wins, on the road, in a night game is embarassing, but our defense is really bad - UMass and Indiana taught us that.  Unless we borrow Doc Brown's DeLorean, our woefully inexperienced backfield will continue to get lit up by 250+ yards by all comers.


November 1st, 2010 at 6:32 PM ^

I didn't say it was one of the worst losses in school history (which 2008 Toledo was).  But it was definitely embarassing.  If you could go back in time to Saturday afternoon and ask people how they'd feel about losing 41-31 to PSU with McGloin at QB, what do you think they'd have said?

gnarles woodson

November 1st, 2010 at 5:38 PM ^

Yes, you're fooling yourself.  They were down 28-10 before the offense decided to show up.  And They still lost the game by 10, with PSU kneeling inside the 5 to end the game.  It was another blow out loss and I am stunned MORE people aren't calling for an end to this disaster of a hire.


November 1st, 2010 at 4:40 PM ^

I agree, essentially with your point.  However, I would have been considerably more embarassed if we laid an egg like MSU vs Iowa (I don't bring MSU up to say, "Hurr, SPARTY!" but rather as a point of comparison to another important game that same day in which the opponent built a huge lead).

B/c the defense was embarrassing/frustrating/stomach-churning, I literally was ready to stop watching before the second half started, but decide to stick it out.  The way UM fought back to make a game out of it, I was at least satisfied the team had not quit.  Watching a team quit and/or get bombed 49-7 (or whatever) is truly embarassing.


November 1st, 2010 at 6:04 PM ^

Yes, it is what we've come to - we're trying to hash out, as a fan base, is it better to stick with the head coach we have or completely upturn the apple cart again.  Because the difference between the offense and defense is so great, it's worth pointing out that "I'M EMBARASSED" has a lot of shades to it (vs. 2008, where both were bad).  As I pointed out above (UM-Toledo; UM-App State), it always can be worse.  The question now is do we believe it will get better overall (like the offense has gotten markedly better from 2008 to 2009 to 2010, and likely will again in 2011) if we keep Rodriguez. 


November 1st, 2010 at 5:30 PM ^

It could have something to do with people thinking our offense would be good, but not great, before the season started. When it turns out our offense is elite and we have a once every few decades talent in Denard, and its completely mitigated by RR not being able to ascertain defensive talent in recruiting, not being able to convince the few good defensive players we have to stay here instead of NOT getting drafted, hiring a walking punch line as his DC, and not seeing the team improving AT ALL from week to week, then yeah, our perspective on 6-6 changes.


November 1st, 2010 at 6:13 PM ^

1.  Recruiting - His recruits would be at most true junior / redshirt sophomores.  In general, these players are at least a year away from becomming dominant players.  Harris, Woodley, Graham didn't become dominant players until their upperclassmen years, and Graham was even at times a liability on the field as a freshman/sophomore.  Underclassmen tend to not play as well as upperclassmen; I thought that was already an accepted idea on this blog.  RVB and Mouton are the only recruits from 2006 and 2007 who are positive contributors on defense; Rogers, Banks, Patterson, Sagesse, Ezeh, etc are all just below average space fillers.  Without making this a counter-productive Lloyd vs RR argument, the fact is that there exists a giant void in our roster of upperclassmen talent on defense and I would have to believe that both men are to blame.  RR's recruiting is not why our defense sucks; even if we recruited lights out 5 star guys, I'm not sure they would have made a difference in their freshman/sophomore years.  Manti Teo will be very good for ND but he hasn't exactly been stellar for ND the past two years, Jelani Jenkins redshirted his freshman year at Florida, William Gholston hasn't seen the field much for MSU this year; they were all highly-touted consensus, 5-Star, top 50 guys.

2.  Donovan Warren - I wish the guy luck; he played hard for Michigan.  He, however, made a very bad decision when he decided to enter the draft.  He also kind of got screwed b/c there was some sort of official player evaluation list released by the NFL that said he would be drafted somewhere in the first couple of rounds.   He, however, decided not to wait for additional feedback from the NFL as RR had advised.  I'm not sure what more RR could have done to get Warren to stay; he asked/advised Warren to wait for better information which Warren ignored.  Some guys just want to get to the NFL as quickly as possible, and I respect Warren's decision (even though in hindsight it was a horrible decision). 

The Name

November 1st, 2010 at 6:53 PM ^

Before the season I would have been one of those who said that a 7-5 win season absolutly secured Rich Rod another year. However, this 7-5 isnt exactly what I had in mind.

Yes, the offense is great, out of this world even. But the defense? The defense is girl you have been sleeping with turns out to be a sister your parents gave up for adoption 4 years before they had you bad. Yeah we may make a bowl game, but even if we beat Purdue, and somehow get a win against a pretty good Illinois team, would that make anyone feel confident entering next year? Not me.

To be clear I really like Rich Rod, I really do. I think he gets dumped on way too much. But if we dont make a change with the DC, I'm not feeling that next year is going to be any different even if we win 7 games. There is no progression that you would have hoped to see in a 7 win team, on the D that is.


November 1st, 2010 at 6:40 PM ^

Does not automatically lead to Notre Dame status. Their problem is that they continue to get it wrong. There are teams that get it right the second time around, Florida in particular comes to mind. Hiring a Bob Davie, Ty Willingham, Charlie Fupa caliber coach will land us in purgatory but I believe, should he go that route, that Dave Brandon will make a wise and successful pick.


November 3rd, 2010 at 1:50 AM ^

It doesn't put us at Notre Dame status, but it certainly moves us a step closer.  Who's going to come in to this train wreck of a program if Rodriguez can't figure everything out?

People want a pro-style coach to come in when we are just only getting to the point where we finally have spread offense people.  Talk about trying to put a square peg through a round hole on that one.

On a side note... how long does anyone think Rich Rod sleeps at night?  Can't be much, I know it wouldn't be much for me...

The Name

November 1st, 2010 at 7:00 PM ^

If we win every game on the way to a national title like we beat UMass and Indiana then clearly we have nothing to complain about.

However, when we win by shootout over a not good Indiana team and struggle to beat 1-AA teams, yeah im not jump up and down happy.

We want wins that show progress, wins that show in two years we can compete for Big Ten/National Title. If you think the 5 wins we have so far indicate anything more than additional seasons like this, you dont get football guy.


November 1st, 2010 at 4:18 PM ^

Stop vilifying the fanbase.  Our coach is 4-16 in Big Ten play.  That is a bad record for anyone, not just bad by Michigan standards.  It is perfectly reasonable to be upset.  If anything, it's becoming irrational to deny the problem.  There is nothing "entitled" about wanting your school to do better than lose 80% of its conference games.  Minnesota just fired a coach who actually had a better conference record than RR.  It takes some real mental gymnastics to argue that RR has more handicaps to deal with than Brewster did.

What Brian said is perfectly reasonable: RR has four games left to give us a reason to believe.  If he does, great.  If not, that's it. 

Mitch Cumstein

November 1st, 2010 at 4:23 PM ^

Its not RR's fault.  Our players are young.  You're just listening to the negative media too much.  That b10 record means nothing, it doesn't show the whole story. 



How many times have you read these things on this board?  I'm still shocked by the lengths people go to defend this sinking ship.  Our team looked lost on Saturday, and the OP is blaming the fanbase for being upset.  That is clownish.


November 1st, 2010 at 4:37 PM ^

Upset != irrational "OMG FIRE EVERYONE"

It's not as simple as choosing fire them all or keep them all. You don't have to love the situation to support the team and the coaches for the rest of the season. We should all be able to engage in rational discussion without resorting to name calling and jumping to conclusions.

Mitch Cumstein

November 1st, 2010 at 4:41 PM ^

The OP is essentially saying anyone who is upset with the result on Saturday is giving up on the coaches and players.  If I'm missing something let me know.  And I never said to fire anyone before the season is over.  I will admit, there are still positive things that can happen to change my feelings.  I just don't know how you can try to spin positives out of anything we've seen on the field and pretend like things are getting better before they are getting worse.


November 1st, 2010 at 4:56 PM ^

People can be upset without giving up. It's frustrating. I'm just as frustrated as anyone else.

We don't need to "spin" positives out of the offense. It does a good enough job of that on its own. The defense is bad, and will possibly require some coaching changes in addition to the development of the young players to improve.

Mitch Cumstein

November 1st, 2010 at 5:07 PM ^

I'm actually skeptical of our offense too.  We scored 10, 7 and 10 in the first half against our last 3 opponents.  We didn't put up most of our points/yards until being down by 2 or more scores (just a feeling, but most non-elite teams let off the gas when they're up big).  Yes, our offense would be fine if our defense was average, but its not, and I think our offensive numbers are inflated from racking up points/yards after being down multiple scores.


November 1st, 2010 at 5:13 PM ^

And I think they're being held back because the defense should be capable of getting them another 2 or 3 possessions a game.

Don't forget, the offense is also going to return almost everyone next year. They are not underperforming. Top 5 in yardage and top 20 in scoring after the last two years shows improvement, and nothing suggests that will slow down in the future.


November 1st, 2010 at 7:10 PM ^

Against solid big ten opponents, the offense has sputtered. I don't see how there is any debating this. Sure, they racked up 500 yards against Iowa, but did they score? What matters: yards gained or putting the ball into the end zone? Against PSU, the offense was abysmal in the first half when PSU was playing tight. Isn't it reasonable to think that defensive units loosen/change a bit when you're up by 3 scores? No wonder the offense started to score. Its the same reason as Texas starting scoring on Alabama in the NC game last year. The defense loosened up b/c the game was pretty much in hand. It wasn't because Texas just suddenly turned it on...


November 1st, 2010 at 7:14 PM ^

So what you are saying is that turnovers are one of the main problems. That is why we get 500+ yards against possibly the best defense in the B10, right? You know what helps reduce turnovers.....returning 10 out of 11 starters. I still don't get why our offense is bad. We are halfway through the B10 season and we have one of the best offenses in the nation, not just the B10. If anything, you would think having a questionable offense in the 1st half and a lights out offense in the 2nd would be great coaching and changes at the half, but what would I know. Do you honestly think being up 2 scores against any team will be enough for them to "let up" so we rack up plenty of yards that way? I am sure Penn State and Iowa were both not worried in the least up one score with 8 minutes to go in the game. I mean, they just let us back into the game, right?


November 1st, 2010 at 7:55 PM ^

Michigan's offense is fourth in the Big Ten in scoring.

When the game was in contention against MSU, Michigan scored 10 points on 7 possessions.

When the game was in contention against Iowa, Michigan scored 7 points on 6 possessions.

When the game was in contention against PSU, Michigan scored 10 points on 5 possessions.

This is not the sign of a great offense.


November 1st, 2010 at 8:24 PM ^

Define contention. Lot of those games, especially the last two, were actually still in doubt deep into the fourth quarter. You're cherrypicking a little here, IMHE

It's a really good offense man. One that's only more maturation/seasoning, some consistency from the tailbacks and the burning of all third and one, I-formations out of the playbook from being great.


November 1st, 2010 at 8:49 PM ^

So, historically speaking, we dont count the stats in the second half of the 2000 Purdue game? Or the 2004 MSU game.

I'd be thrilled to void out everything in the former as invalid due to game being out of contention. But, man, you're in charge of telling Braylon about him losing some 2004 numbers.


November 1st, 2010 at 4:47 PM ^

We went 3-9 a few years ago.  The ship sank quite a while ago.  It takes time to get out of the hole. 

Referring to a team with an awesome offense returning 10 starters next year and a defense that is struggling because they start 6 freshmen/sophomores and a couple guys who would never see the field under normal circumstances as a "sinking ship" is clownish.

What is there to lose by giving the guy one more year (when his first full recruiting class will be juniors and RS sophomores)?  If we don't win 10 games then you can bitch and moan and beg for a new coach.  Or you could continue to pretend that there are coaches in the universe who would turn our current defensive roster (that every single reader of this site knew was going to produce a terrible defense) into a competent unit.

Mitch Cumstein

November 1st, 2010 at 4:55 PM ^

There is a good chance that our b10 record will be the same this year as it was in 2008, which is where I'm coming from.  But you're right, "sinking ship" was not a good phrase to use. I apologize for that.

However, I guess I don't have a problem with your premise of giving him one more year.  If that is the decision Brandon makes, I won't complain.   I do get upset when people make excuses and blame the fans for not enjoying getting beat every week.


November 1st, 2010 at 5:03 PM ^

I'm just trying to point out that there is an enormous light at the end of the tunnel and loads of people now seem convinced it is nothing but an oncoming train. 

The blame game is silly, but this team has been forced to operate with some severe handicaps the last few seasons that take time to correct (not having a full complement of scholarship players last year, for example) and that teams just don't overcome (there is a reason teams suck when they go on probation, and we were basically operating under the same parameters).

This offense and defense with everybody back will produce a very good team next year.  If not, I'll be the first one buying a pitchfork.  But until then I think everybody needs to vent their frustration while keeping in mind how bright the very near future can/should/will be.