Why did Brandon Fire Rich?

Submitted by M-Wolverine on January 6th, 2011 at 9:23 AM
Or maybe more accurately, what percentages do you feel he weighed the different reason. Because it obviously wasn't one thing. I can think of 3 major categories, but you may be able to come up with more, or different permutations.

1. The record. I'm not going to list the details we all know, and pile on. But it obviously wasn't good. Was that the primary, or overriding factor?

2. The atmosphere around the program. Fans, alumni unhappy, media circling, national perception. Had it just gotten to the point that it had all gotten so ugly, that it didn't seem like there was enough momentum to turn it around, or fight through it?

3. The other 95%. Brandon says the W-L and the stuff we saw was only a small part; so he did like the whole picture?Maybe he didn't like either the state of the program, the talent level, or what he saw behind the scenes; whether in practice, or in interactions with players, staff, the department, the public. Everything seemed like it was good, but was Brandon saying he was seeing stuff we can't? Because if he thought 2 and 3 were great, wouldn't he put up with #1 against all fan pressure?

It's surely some combo of any number of things, but now that we've had a day away from it, we can consider why it didn't work, and why Brandon came to the conclusion he did (whether you agree with it or not).

Comments

Crime Reporter

January 6th, 2011 at 9:49 AM ^

Lets face it: the atmosphere around AA has been toxic this year, even moreso since RR took over. Now, not all of that was his doing, but he helped make the cause more justified with the record and stretchgate.

I think DB had no choice, given the results of the bowl game and other blowouts against Wisky and OSU. Had we played competitive in the bowl, or even won, I think we would be having a different argument.

Then again, I think DB felt it was time to cut our losses, as the scrutiny and unease around the program would not get any better with another year.

Either way, this whole situation sucks.

Blue in Yarmouth

January 6th, 2011 at 9:52 AM ^

Had Harbaugh been an option and was willing to come, I was at the point where I thought that was the best option for UM. The next best option in my mind was keeping RR and doing a complete overhaul of the defensive staff. Now, neitherof these are possibilities. IMHE (or maybe not so humble) this is a huge clusterfu*k.

Way back in the middle of the season I question the intellegence of all the posters stating their undying faith and belief in DB and his ability to handle this situation...what a joke. I said then and I will say now, at that point we had nothing to judge the man on and nothing on which we could base our faith. This was his first major test as AD and he has failed in a big way.

The only way his timeline made any sense was if he had JH in his back pocket. If that was the case, he would have been lying the entire time about evaluating after the bowl game. Four things are certain now: 1) DB was not lying when he said he would evaluate after the bowl game, so we can say he is a man of his word. 2) He didn't have JH in his back pocket. 3) After a coaching search the new coach will have maybe a week to fill out the recruiting class (if that). 4)  Now that we actually have something to base our opinions of DB on, I can't say I have a lot of faith in the guy.

No matter how you look at this now, that timeline was a huge mistake and I have to question DB's ability to have not seen that and adapted based on changing circumstances.

I'm going to go pray in a corner somewhere.

DrewandBlue

January 6th, 2011 at 10:49 AM ^

Agree

Agree

Agree

Agree

Disagree

I just think it is too early to make that call on DB.  In my opinion, now is when he begins his tenure as AD.  It's like being the new CEO for a company not doing so well.  It takes a while to change the culture.  Organizational change does not take place over night.  Moreover, DB is making a decision for next year, the year after etc...You can judge all you want now, bottom line is; we won’t know the end result for several years!

We want change so fast.  We want a new coach, high value target, with instant gratification in the win/loss category and recruiting.  We want to be reassured everything is going to be okay and we want to know we are still viewed as being the best program in the nation. 

Although I feel the aforementioned "we want" thoughts will come to fruition, I feel it will take some time and support on our part.  We are "sharking" ourselves!  Everyone just needs to be positive and think positive.  Better things will happen.  PLEASE!  We sound like a bunch of whiny rabbits searching for the AA Cat’s Teet. 

 

DrewandBlue

January 6th, 2011 at 11:33 AM ^

you the culture has been changed.  Just by looking at your Avatar.  That is the culture of the program in its current state.  Speed and spread!  Offense!  You are correct, most want it back to its original state...

By cultural change, I'm referring to Midwest Recruiting and Defense!  Michigan Football had a cultural change for the past 3 years and will go into at least 2 to 3 more years with the players we have in place.  There is no such thing as instant change, and the cultural change is already in effect until somebody else stops it, and again begins their process. 

However, I don't disagree with you.  I fully supported RR.  Loved him as our coach.  I think he would have had a great year in 2011, with improvements on the defensive side of the ball too!

profitgoblue

January 6th, 2011 at 12:22 PM ^

Its really an interesting dynamic between the supporters of the pro-style offense and the "new-age" spread option attack.  I used to love the fact that Michigan pumped out pro QBs more than any other school.  However, the offense that Rodriguez ran this year was more exciting to me than any other offense I've watched.  Not because they were successful (or not successful, depending on who you listen to) but more because of the potential.  And I was excited about seeing it run next year with even more seasoned veterans on the team.  It put the "college" back into Michigan college football for me (as opposed to prep for the next level), if that makes sense.  I'll be very sad to see it go if that is what in fact happens.

DrewandBlue

January 6th, 2011 at 1:32 PM ^

I agree.  I actually not only loved watching Michigan play, but I really enjoyed and had fun watching football again.  When Denard is about to take the snap, it's like watching Jordan about to get the ball with 3 seconds left in game.  

I just hope people stay positive because I'm excited to get that part behind us and support the next adventure.  Regardless, we are still freaking awesome!  The past few years is a drop in the ocean when compared to our rich history.  We'll be back...

Go Blue

FreddieMercuryHayes

January 6th, 2011 at 10:23 AM ^

I agree that I think it was a mistake to fire RR if he didn't have JH (or some other great coach) in his back pocket.  What could have happened is that Brandon and JH did have an understanding, but then JH spurned us at the last minute after NFL teams started throwing around $7 million kind of numbers.  At that point, it had already dissolved into such a toxic situation, that he felt had no choice but to let RR go.  Only time will tell if it was a mistake.

Bosch

January 6th, 2011 at 12:04 PM ^

there was a believeable perception that the timeline was in place so that DB could go after JH after the bowl, but keep RR around as a backup plan.

Now, whether or not this perception is reality matters little in my opinion of DB right now.

The timeline divided the fan base further than it already was and created a nightmare of an atmosphere for the team in their bowl preparation.  He should have foreseen this but, even if he hadn't, there came a point when he needed to step up and make a decision one way or the other.

profitgoblue

January 6th, 2011 at 10:15 AM ^

I know you didn't say whether you felt the shots were warranted or not but I will . . . the truth hurts.  Through all these past few months, I'm more upset at the fan base and the local media that fueled it than anyone/anything else.  Its been a disgusting display by a fan base and Michigan Men and Women that have always prided themselves in being the leaders and best.  In my opinion, the Michigan brand has taken a huge hit in this whole ordeal, a much bigger black mark than a few losing and/or substandard seasons on the gridiron.

coachclen

January 6th, 2011 at 11:11 AM ^

tend to agree with him and you, but I also think that when you are a big name program with as much history as Michigan some of that is unavoidable.

Now, that is not to say that recent behavior is warranted, but it is not surprising that during a down time (regardless of blame) that a program like this will have a major fanbase backlash. 

Imagine if OSU went on a skid like this.... 

But I do understand the attitude that we are not OSU, nor should we act like it during rough times. 

El Jeffe

January 6th, 2011 at 11:33 AM ^

Troof. This was the line that killed me:

It's hard to imagine what Michigan has to be arrogant about, besides the past.

That pretty much sums it up right there. The college football landscape has changed. All of Michigan's wins and legends and leaders mean exactly fuck all on Saturdays. The only question should be who will run (1) a winning program (2) with integrity.

The problem is that on certain indicators, RR did neither (the latter of which I don't agree with, but that's the thousand cuts story--the buyout, burned records gate, stretching gate, Dorsey gate, etc.). I do believe that with institutional support to allay the fears of recruits, he would have taken us back to the top, but institutional support comes from alumni support, and RR clearly never had or lost a lot of alumni.

So, here's where we are. There is utterly no reason to suspect that Michigan will be anything but a mediocre B1G team for the next half decade. I certainly hope that doesn't happen, and I will certainly support and pull for whoever the next coach is in a way that many alumni never did for RR. But I am not optimistic right now.

profitgoblue

January 6th, 2011 at 12:25 PM ^

Like you mention in your last paragraph, I think the best and most important thing that Michigan fans can do this offseason is find a way to reduce expectations.  I'll be honest - its going to be very, very difficult for me to cut the next coach the same slack that I cut Rodriguez.  Very difficult, if only because I feel like a woman scorned with the way this all unfolded.  I know its silly, but its something I'm struggling with.

STW P. Brabbs

January 6th, 2011 at 12:26 PM ^

But Maisel's zinger could be said about any program that has ever gone from great success to a rough patch.  Could have been said about Alabama, USC, and many others.  Saying that the past doesn't matter at all is stupid.   Maisel's got a bit of a point, and I'm not denying that we're in some pretty dire straits right now, but I think this is mostly a lifelong SEC homer's chance to twist the knife a little in the side of a program that has always turned up its nose at much of the rest of CFB.

Huntington Wolverine

January 6th, 2011 at 9:56 AM ^

I think DB rolled the dice on this (we'll see if he lost).  He wants results and wants them now. Again, we don't know if RR rejected an ultimatum regarding his assistants or not but if he did, that would explain why DB appeared caught off guard without a back-up and pulled the trigger. 

I personally think he could've have given RR another year without losing any brand impact (the stadium would still be sold out and recruits are still coming).  Not to mention your candidate pool could be much stronger after another season.  If RR turned it around, you're applauded for nerve and patience, if he didn't, you pull the plug and move on.

Huntington Wolverine

January 6th, 2011 at 10:12 AM ^

I think the guy we had deserved four years.  DB should've listened to Bo on that on.  Unless there are ethical issues (and there could've been behind-the-scenes stuff but I doubt it), every coach deserves 4 years.  I think DB was flushing the whole thing down to get a fresh start- easier to build new than to remodel.

jblaze

January 6th, 2011 at 9:58 AM ^

Why does everybody assume that RR was OK with firing GERG and his entire D staff (guys he has been with for a long time) and rehiring a Defensive "expert" (a guy like Muschamp, before UT) to basically run the D with his own staff?

Everything (good & bad) that I have read about RR leads me to believe that he would have told Brandon to go to hell if that option was ever offered.

However, why do people think RR would have accepted that offer (if there was one)?

Vasav

January 6th, 2011 at 10:11 AM ^

I wouldn't be surprised if Rod said "give my whole staff one more year." I'm still not sure if I wouldn't rather have that than no coach weeks before signing day, but I'm more sympathetic to DB if that were the case.

ESNY

January 6th, 2011 at 10:29 AM ^

RR had zero leverage.  No way would any rational person thing even one person the D staff should be retained.  We were atrocious from top to bottom.  Option 1) You fire your defensive staff and keep your job, or optoin 2)  you and all your staff (O and D) are fired.   Even if he was loyal to the end, either way, the defensive staff is fired.  By refusing to do so, he just got his offensive coaches fired too.  

wlubd

January 6th, 2011 at 10:03 AM ^

I like RR and thought that he should stay back in November. But the month inbetween opened my eyes to the fact that no matter how successful he was, a sizeable portion of the fanbase would always want him gone. RR and DB's thing has been for everyone to be all in for Michigan but how was that possible with such a divided fanbase? With such a deep divide, RR was doomed. We could have kept him longer but he'd have been a lame duck at that point, not unlike Zook knowing any failure could cost him his job with a staff picked by the AD and not him.

jerseyblue

January 6th, 2011 at 10:06 AM ^

And please I've seen a couple posters regurgitate DB's measuredly worded PR tinged term "let the process...". Please stop. You sound like you were strapped to a chair in the basement of Schembechler Hall and reprogrammed Clockwork Orange style.

coachclen

January 6th, 2011 at 11:29 AM ^

Obviously if you are ready to judge then, clearly you have all the information Brandon does, and have spoke directly to Rich, and Harbaugh, and you know how some players feel...... so please fill in the blog.....

 

[Edit] Okay, I'm being a tad smug. But, I hate it when people sit back and rant like they know more than DB. DB has more info than any of us ever will. It's not like he's going to the 8-ball and planning his moves. Give him a break. 

Sorry for sounding like an a-hole.

jerseyblue

January 6th, 2011 at 2:25 PM ^

What i mean is it comes off like they're not thinking foir themselves. They just hear Brandon saying "the process" over and ove again and it's so beaten into them that they start going "yes...the process." Then they start repeating his lines and it makes me look at what they're saying with some skepticism because it doesn't feel like their own thoughts.

But compared to the big picture here it's just a small pet peeve.

MEZman

January 6th, 2011 at 10:06 AM ^

I feel like Brandon gave him an extra day to see if he could convince Jeff Casteel (or another competent DC) to come to UM. When that didn't happen DB had no choice but to let him go. Of course I have no way to substantiate that, just a feeling.

Section 1

January 6th, 2011 at 11:05 AM ^

Hell, if we are thinking about upping our coaching budget by an additional 2 or 3 million dollars per year, with all-new big buyout provisions, you'd think that we had a budget for Jeff Casteel.

The gutty decision, the hard and courageous decision by Brandon, would have been to find a way to stick with RR and give a gigantic middle finger to the press corps, and rally around our current student athletes and coaches.

If I were a current student-athlete, and I heard David Brandon talking about a 10-year future at Michigan, I'd probably be doing a very large WTF?  What about NOW?

SmithersJoe

January 6th, 2011 at 11:52 AM ^

I know the feelings about the media (ESPECIALLY after that Tuesday debacle!), but I honestly don't think DB was afraid of offending the media in deciding to fire RR. I'm not even sure the input of influential alumni was decisive. I do think he made an evaluation and didn't like what he saw. People can disagree with his evaluation, but I don't think it was a lack of courage that led to this decision.

J. Lichty

January 6th, 2011 at 12:03 PM ^

It is starting to come out that RR and Co. had lost many of the players - Brandon spoke with players and their families.  Don't assume that retaining RR would have been a rally around the players.  Those guys want to win too.  Why did Craig Roh have to beg to put back on the DL?  Why did Demens have to tell the coaches that they were aligning him too close to the line?

I think the players liked Coach Rod as a person, but I also think that they were probably sick of the vultures circling the program and the cloud that they brought.

c williams

January 6th, 2011 at 10:07 AM ^

I think you should try to hire Bob Stoops.  Head coach at UM and OU are positions of similar stature, but I think there is a nonzero chance he could be convinced to come to UM. 

UM, OU, Texas and OSU are all on the "short list" of college football.  The UM-OSU and OU-UT rivalries are certainly two of the best, though UM-OSU is more prominent, historically.  In his position at OU, Texas is the school with the fertile in-state recruiting, and Texas is the more prestigious University with more clout in the conference.  While OSU has a deeper pool of in-state talent, UM is more prestigious and has at least as much power to wield within the conference as any team.  UM is similar to OU in that we need to recruit well at home, poach from our neighbor to the south and recruit nationally.  In the last respect, UM may have a better track record in getting top players from across the country, including California, Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania.  I think you can argue that UM is in a better position vis-a-vis our archrival and in a better position nationally.

Stoops is from  Ohio, where is parents live and where his dad coaches football.  He was an All-Big Ten DB at Iowa, and he started his coaching career in the Big Ten at Iowa.

Starting in 2011 with the addition of Nebraska and the Championship game, the Big Ten is the conference to be in alongside the SEC.  The Big 12 is sliding to probably the 4th best conference given the recent defections.  We have the Big Ten Network, UM, OSU, PSU, and now NU.  The Big 12 has the Texas Football Network (or whatever it's called), Texas and OU.  (By the way we should get a new logo, too.)

So, he should considering UM based on the answers to several key questions:

Does he want to coach at OU forever?  or, Does he feel like he's already accomplished enough there and he's ready for a new challenge? 

Does he want to be 2nd to UT in the Big 12 indefinitely? or, Does he recognize the UM is in a better position versus our archrival and within our conference?  Does he recognize that the Big Ten will be a better place to be moving forward?

Does he want to live in Norman, OK indefinitely? or, Does he want to move wonderful Ann Arbor, closer to his family and roots?

Of course, we'd have to make it worth his while financially, but we're going to pay fair market value to get a great coach, right?  He's young, successful, defensive-minded, and he would make everyone forget about Harbaugh in an instant.  He has many good years of coaching left in front of him.  Can we convince him that his time at OU was spent in preparation for him to be ultra-successful at UM?  He could be a legend after 10+ successful years at UM on top of his fine work at OU.

Make it happen, please.

profitgoblue

January 6th, 2011 at 10:18 AM ^

At the risk of sounding extremely rude, you're living in a fantasy world.  Lets be honest with each other - the Oklahoma job is much more prestigious than the Michigan job right now.  And Stoops is making a ton of money.  What could possibly make him want to leave for Michigan?  I am just as partial to you about Michigan being a better school, etc. but this is crazy talk.

treetown

January 6th, 2011 at 10:48 AM ^

So called big name coaches are unlikely to come here because:

1. They already have their system in place - a system which is both on and off the field. On the field, they are winning (otherwise they would not be "big name"). Off the field they have a recruiting system which is funneling good players to them (again, otherwise they would not be winning for a long time), so why blow that up to come here unless they are really bugged about something.

2. They have little to prove or gain - we are not likely to offer these types of coaches more money or more leeway than they would where they are currently located. Consider if you work here as HC, your endorsement and side ventures are limited by the employment limits of the UM system - which is one of the reasons why you didn't see successful coaches here signing up to shill potato chips and car dealerships - things that can occur elsewhere especially down in the SEC - Bear Bryant's TV show was sponsored partially at one point by some local chip maker.

3. I realize that it is appealing to think of a guy who can come in make everything good (why don't the Tigers trade for Derek Jeter, Why didn't the Pistons get Michael Jordan, Why didn't the Red Wings get Gretsky....) but a more likely occurence is to find someone who is ambitious and talented - like Bo was back in his Miami (OH) days. I'd like to hear about some top DC from the schools in the top ten in scoring and rushing defense (by the NCAA totals) like who is Saban's DC or who is TCU's DC or even OSU's DC. These are the type of guys who (a) want to move up and will be super serious, (b) bring current knowledge to the table - they know the college game and all of the off field stuff that needs to be nailed down.

snowcrash

January 6th, 2011 at 11:32 AM ^

I think UM has about as much prestige as Nebraska does now, with a less reasonable and more insular fan base. When thinking about whether Coach X is a realistic option, I think it's useful to ask whether he'd take the Nebraska job if it were open. If the answer is "no", it's highly unlikely that we'd get him although I would make exceptions for guys who played/coached at UM. I think Harbaugh would have been willing to come here if not for the NFL offers, and so would (ugh) Miles.

I don't think we're quite as bad as Notre Dame yet.

profitgoblue

January 6th, 2011 at 2:03 PM ^

That is a very interesting comparison.  I'm not sure if I agree or not.  Nebraska is clearly on an upswing whereas Michigan is not (they were at 7-5, I think, but not now).  Nebraska appears to have weathered their down years and is back on the rise.  If you were comparing Michigan to another big-name program I'd have to use Iowa as a good example?  Not sure. 

Nevertheless, its a very interesting question and debate for sure, though.

a2bluefan

January 6th, 2011 at 10:33 AM ^

Many things went into the decision, no doubt. There was often "drama" over the "types" of players RR recruited. I believe this had mostly to do with academics. There were just too many cases in his short tenure where players either didn't qualify, or they barely qualified after barely making it in at the 11th hour. Michigan should not be recruiting players in these situations, no matter how many stars are next to their name. DB alluded to this in the press conference, when he described the things a new coach would need to understand about Michigan. (This is a HUGE reason we want Harbaugh, IMO.)

I was very angry at both RR and UofM over the Dorsey situation. On the one hand, RR should never have recruited the kid in the first place. On the other, the University needs to have (and maybe they do and it was being ignored??) in place better oversight of whatever academic vetting goes on BEFORE an offer is made to a recruit.

I wanted RR to succeed here so badly, especially to shut up the Day 1 haters. We will never know how his fully loaded offense could have worked. We have all fallen in love with Denard, and I pray that the new coach will make use of his dilithium star power. But now that RR has been dismissed, I look back on the sum total of the short RR era... the record, the defensive and special team failures, the recruiting troubles, utterly embarrassing losses on the national stage, etc. etc., and I'm convinced the only thing to do was to put an end to it. I'm pretty sure if you take away all the drama and the NCAA violations, and make a decent showing in the bowl game, RR is still our coach.

el segundo

January 6th, 2011 at 11:04 AM ^

I think you make an excellent point here.  If I remember correctly, Dorsey had not even completed an admissions application when he signed his letter of intent.  The application was still not complete or submitted weeks later.  It's a travesty that this could happen.

Part of the blame for this may fall on administrators in the Athletic Department or the Admissions Office.  It probably does.  But Rodriguez definitely has some blame in this, and it reflects on his ability to run a program.

Given what happened with Dorsey before and after his commitment to Michigan, it seems that there were red flags about his academic record that should have been flagrantly obvious to anyone.  According to some rumors (take them for what they're worth), Florida backed off Dorsey and Vance Bedford referred him to Michigan because Florida was concerned with academic issues.  Regardless of that, his academic record apparently included a dramatic and eyebrow-raising senior-year improvement in GPA, some of which was attributed to his taking "alternative" courses with little or no academic value.  And Dorsey has not been admitted to any Division I school anywhere.  Even Louisville would not have him.  Nobody is saying that Dorsey isn't good enough to play or out of shape, a la Justin Turner.  This leads to the conclusion that he can't get admitted anywhere for academic reasons.

Rodriguez and his staff should have noticed the academic issues much, much earlier and worked with admissions officers before signing day, so they could have had some idea of whether Dorsey would even have a shot at admission.  There is no indication that they did this.  As a result of this failure, the administration and athletic department were embarrassed and a kid was put in a bad situation.

If I were the AD, something like this would bother me enormously.

a2bluefan

January 6th, 2011 at 11:47 AM ^

Vance Bedford referred him to Michigan because Florida was concerned with academic issues

Well now isn't that interesting (if it's true)? Vance Bedford, DB coach during the Lloyd Carr(!) era, points a recruit no one will admit in Michigan's direction? Sabotage, I tell you, it's sabotage! Kidding, of course, due to ludicrousness. But hey, we are in a time of turmoil and instability, a time when imaginations tend to run wild.

turbo cool

January 6th, 2011 at 10:10 AM ^

Everyone will blame DB. Someone in his position deserves the blame but also much of  the credit when things go right. However, maybe, maaaybe 1% of the people on here really knew what was going on. Geez, this is becoming MLive.

If you talk to former players that had RR and LC who weren't in the media bashing RR, most will tell you directly that change in coaching was night and day. And, not in the offensive style. The assistant coaches such as Dews, Tall, and Gibson were awful (and obviously Gerg). They weren't prepared to coach at this level.

Also, under LC we didn't have kicking coach with a title but we had a coach who worked with our kickers and treated them as kickers, just like QBs are treated differently than other players (i.e. in training, lifting). Our kickers under RR would be so damn sore and exhausted going into Saturdays because they were going through pretty intense training and lifting throughout the week. Was this a difference? You make the call but a friend and former kicker for us told me he could barely kick come Saturday when RR ran the staff.

I always disagreed with my friends who played under RR that his methods were wrong. I'd say they were bitter that they didn't have LC anymore but the more they explained how the new staff just wasn't capable of running this program, and then seeing the results after the last 3 years, it made sense. A lot of little things were wrong and they added up big time.

Anyway, DB made the decision to fire RR around the Wisco game. The OSU game solidified things. At that point it was expected that Harbaugh would be the next coach. Why? Because he told DB that he would be the coach, i.e., there was a tentative agreement in place. Then the NFL came calling and threw millions upon millions in front of him and JH's got starry eyed. This will probably make more sense in the next few days.

burtcomma

January 6th, 2011 at 10:29 AM ^

And take a look at some of the items that DB said in terms of what he was looking for:

Someone who understood the uniqueness of this university (translate:  STUDENT athletes, not OSU)

Someone who has a defensive minded everything (translate:  DEFENSE)

Someone who has been a head coach (translation:  Know how to hire effective assistants)

 

I'm sure there is more, but you get the drift!

 

 

 

bronxblue

January 6th, 2011 at 11:07 AM ^

I'm not trying to be a jerk, but do you have frequent conversations with former players, staff, coaches, etc.?  This is an honest question, as your post sounds like one brimming with insider knowledge.

I would believe some of the "soreness" arguments for kickers except that RR's kickers at WVU were never close to as bad as the kickers have been the past few years, and none were the top-ranked kickers that we've seen UM bring in.  Plus, the workouts didn't seem to hurt Mesko or Hagerup, and while there are differences between kickers and punters, they don't completely explain the cratering.  I do think that the lack of coaching hurt the SP, along with simply some bad luck.

Also, I'm not sure how anyone can say RR's methods don't "work" when he set a school record in scoring and clearly had this team moving forward despite a slew of injuries.  The defenses were horrible and that falls on him, but it wasn't like Carr was a master of the offense when he was here - he had some decent OCs and they pushed the team forward.  To say that RR's methods didn't work despite the evidence of their success everywhere else (and the nascent explosive offense we saw this year) is myopic IME.  He probably needed to be fired because the situation was not salvageable, but all of this revisionist history crap about him as a bad coach is insulting.