Would we have been better off if Moeller didn't resign?

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on September 11th, 2018 at 11:16 PM

A big what if question. One of many in Michigan Football history.



September 11th, 2018 at 11:21 PM ^

Do you mean would the state of the Michigan football program be any different? What is the point of even considering this question? The man who succeeded Moeller won a national championship and represented Michigan in a way that made me proud to be an alumnus.

These threads, just one after the other after the other, threads that seem to be born of the minds of grammar school children, are ruining this blog. I beg of you people, consider whether or not your posts will be of genuine, meaningful, substantive interest to fans of Michigan athletics. If you have even a hint or an inkling that your topic might be better off limited to musings into your pillow, then DON"T MAKE A NEW POST!!! 

Robbie Moore

September 12th, 2018 at 7:24 AM ^

Ruining this blog? Minds of grammar school children? You sir are a pompous twit. It's quite simple really. If the topic is of no interest to you DON'T READ IT! There are no limits to the number of posts on this blog so just move on to the next one. In short order I am sure you will find a post the meets your exacting standards.


September 12th, 2018 at 8:46 AM ^

I see this argument all the time and can't disagree more. Every bad post during the season just buries potentially relevant and interesting ones on the board, lead to no quality discussion, and encourage others to post similarly pointless topics. Telling people to not read it just results in them less likely to read anything there in the future and seek out places with the content they want.

With that said, I like WD and believe this would be a great topic for May or June.


September 12th, 2018 at 10:10 AM ^

The two big unknown questions.  

Would Moeller have gathered as much talent as Lloyd did and would he have used it better.   

Would we have had a better transition plan avoiding the dark ages that we are still awakening from.  

You can never undervalue a National Championship.   What a season. 

Watching From Afar

September 12th, 2018 at 9:26 AM ^

Seeing as the program has suffered a lost decade after the death of Bo.

How would Moeller having continued to coach at Michigan changed any of that? Bo died over a decade after Moeller resigned in 2006. Moeller is 3 or 4 years older than Carr so it's not like Moeller would have been around longer post Bo to stabilize things.

Carr retiring after 2006 is a more interesting hypothetical. Had he retired after 2006, chances are Long wouldn't have returned for his final year, maybe Henne and Hart as well because they lost their coach. So 2008 might have came a year sooner but they might have hired a coach who wasn't going to completely change everything and avoided that 3-9 season.

I don't remember who were the hot coaching candidates of 2005-2006, but I would think Michigan probably wasn't set up to grab some big name that year either. Might have been able to grab Miles because he hadn't won a NC at LSU yet, but that was probably the best option at the time.


September 12th, 2018 at 9:38 AM ^

That's the thing, Rich Rod WAS one of the hot name coaches at the time. From the 2005-2007 seasons Rich Rod was 11-1, 11-2, 10-2. In Dec 2006, Bama wanted Rich Rod to come be their coach. If RR had taken that job offer, we wouldn't have Saban at Bama right now. Think about that one. RR had West Virginia starting at #3 in the AP at the beginning of the 2007 season. 

It's not like RR was a HC no one had heard of from a no-name school like when we hired Brady Hoke. He was the young coach to get at the time. Now, obviously time has proven that he peaked during those three seasons at West Virginia and isn't that great overall, but at the time there was little reason to think he wasn't a great coach. 

It does make one wonder though if being the "right fit" at a program is more critical to a coach's success than the coach's innate abilities. I mean how does RR post double-digit wins (including the bowl game each year) three seasons in a row at West Virginia beating really good teams along the way and then completely nosedive at his next two coaching stops?

Watching From Afar

September 12th, 2018 at 9:50 AM ^

Right, I know RR was a big name at the time, but Michigan went with him because they were trying to catch up in scheme and (in part) because not only did Carr not want Miles, but Miles had also just won a NC at LSU that season. Maybe get to Miles before that NC appearance and maybe he takes the job (if offered).

Had Carr retired in 2006, that might have been a year too early for Michigan to offer RR which would have saved us all a lot of drinking. But I don't know what other big names were out there at the time. Shit, Dantonio was a former OSU staffer who was coaching in Ohio (Cincinnati) at the time and he might have been a legitimate option. I just checked all the new 2007 coaches and only like a handful of them were big enough at the time to warrant Michigan offering them and even less panned out.

As for why did RR nosedive at Michigan: Because he was an idiot. He immediately scrapped the strengths of the players he had at Michigan (who weren't as great as they should have been because Carr kind of quit recruiting at the end) and rode the coattails of the defense left behind by Carr for 1 season and then submarined the defense in a conference that requires at least competent defense. People can say Carr hurt him from the start and they're partially right, but RR screwed himself over.


September 12th, 2018 at 9:54 AM ^

I highly recommend John U. Bacon's book "Three and Out". It chronicles what happened with Lloyd's retirement, Lloyd doing anything and everything to derail the Miles hire, and Rich Rod's whole tenure even the day to day stuff. 

Long story short though, Les Miles told the UM president that he would be Michigan's coach and that he'd never say no to Michigan. All he asked was that he be allowed to coach the final bowl game and finish the season before news was announced. Well this was leaked, some believe by Carr's camp, and thus pissed off Miles and then Carr shoved Rich Rod in the face of Bill Martin. Carr setup the Rich Rod hire to spite Les Miles. 

Great book.

Watching From Afar

September 12th, 2018 at 10:09 AM ^

Yes, I'm aware of the book and know the general timeline of how things happened. Carr torpedoed Miles but had it happened a year earlier maybe Miles isn't as concerned with the bowl game or the timing works out differently.

Point being, moving up Carr's retirement by a year opens a lot of hypotheticals. Even if RR still happened, his time at Michigan was never going to be great because of the kind of coach he is.


September 12th, 2018 at 10:39 AM ^

I'll be honest, I'm a huge Carr fan. I think he's a decent guy. 

One thing I don't understand though is why he was so pissed at Miles. I'm not sure Miles would have been better (Probably, but who knows?) at Michigan, but I don't understand why he had pissed off so many people. 

Watching From Afar

September 12th, 2018 at 10:45 AM ^

Carr was pissed at Miles because of the Moeller wife thing.

I strongly believe Miles would have been significantly better than RR at Michigan. Yes, he rode Saban's guys to his NC in 2007, but he made another one with arguably one of the best teams to not win a NC (2011 LSU). Miles could recruit and while he made some really dumb decisions, he was willing to take shots when necessary. It would have been short lived (Miles was behind trends by 2012) but the drop off from a Carr schemed team to a Miles schemed team would have been nonexistent when compared to the cliff RR took Michigan off of.


September 11th, 2018 at 11:36 PM ^

If you go back and watch tape of those Moeller teams, they were absolutely stacked with talent. I would equate them to Alabama teams of today. 

If we give Harbaugh the necessary time to get his recruiting machine rolling and providing depth at every position, Michigan has a chance to look like that again in the next couple years.


September 12th, 2018 at 8:30 AM ^

Don't over-romanticize it.  Moeller had a tendency to go ultra-conservative in tight situations,ala Bo.  Ala Carr.  And, as it happens to be sometimes, ala Harbaugh.  The FSU game is often used as an example of Michigan getting blown out.  However, the first half of that game was wide open, fun to watch football played pretty evenly.  The second half featured Moeller going ultra-conservative to kill clock and avoid a shootout against a team with a swashbuckling coach known for winning shootouts.  Swashbuckling carried the day, daggum it...

That said, his offenses sure were fun to watch...