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11/27/2008 - 1:32am I didn't know who Gladwell

I didn't know who Gladwell was until I saw his picture, and then I realized I had seen him on the Rachel Maddow show about a week ago. I'm not sure why he's criticizing Detroit in that capacity because they're inversely proving his rule: by most accounts those receivers didn't want to work as hard and thus could not fit into the system. Progress is typically a prerequisite too. A player doesn't need to perform maximally in the immediate if it's a gradient. A receiver usually begins to awaken in a huge way in the second year.

For all I know the Jets are going to regress, but it does look like they're finally coming together. They had the talent to do so, I thought. The low point probably came when Favre threw that interception against KC, and they were about to lose to two straight awful teams. Since then, Favre has only thrown two interceptions, and the running game has come together. It has taken this long, and we're talking veterans in the NFL. It's been understated just how long it can take to connect together elements that are at first disconcerting, especially when it's happening to everybody at once.

10/23/2008 - 5:47am I also think you might be

I also think you might be able to explain their good halves and quarters by saying that the semblance of talent they do have converges for a short time, and they inexplicably look good. In nearly every game this season, you can point to at least a quarter where this has happened. It hasn't just been in the first half. Like with Utah or Wisconsin, it has also happened in the 4th quarter. The team has looked very schizophrenic at times, and when the team does look good, it's usually when Threet is accurate and the line comes together and we start reeling off big chunks of yards and have really nice things go our way. A lot of momentum seems to build. Nothing can go right and then suddenly Threet's ripping off a 50 yard run and we get the most fortuitous interception return for a touchdown. As with Penn State and Illinois, however, it might have to do with the opening gameplan and then we slowly stall for a variety of reasons.

10/21/2008 - 3:29am At some level I think that

At some level I think that you can conflate talent deficient and discipline deficient. A bad player is going to fumble. A bad player is going to get penalties. The entire point of discipline is that a player has it hammered into him the fundamentals of the game. Good players are going to adapt to that quickly. Even talent deficient players may adapt at some point. But there are players out there who cannot pick this stuff up in the face of such superior competition. They're going to fall apart eventually.


Of course, there needs to be a distinction between bad in the moment and always bad. But there are enough players on this team who are always going to be an issue, and the only way to solve that problem is to replace them. You can start with the QB and go down the offensive line. If there are discipline issues where there clearly shouldn't be, then that's a problem. But right now I think that it's almost expected.

09/02/2008 - 2:27am I think some of that is kind

I think some of that is kind of disingenuous. He was obviously there long enough and had a consistent enough of a run to win two BCS bowl games and compete for a national championship while winning multiple Big East titles. Was he upset a few times? Sure, but this is a world where USC loses to Stanford and Bob Stoops is questioned all the time because he can "no longer win the big game". Not that Rich Rod is either Stoops or Pete Carroll. However, I think it's true that he had the best talent in the Big East but wasn't so much better that he was infallible. And so you can make two inferences. 1) If he does lose, it's probably through an upset. 2) He won eleven games three years in a row. Regardless of how the losses came, two is still an immense positive. Let's say he replicates this at Michigan. Are fans really going gnash their teeths in horror with the real Horror still in their minds? Is this really the worst outcome when Carr dropped not only games he should have won but big games too? Is Rich Rod really a bad coach if he makes us a perennial top ten team but doesn't quite get us to a championship?

No team can sustain injuries to star players and survive. Oregon went from national title contender to middling team without Dixon. The difference between Mallet and Henne last year was extraordinary. There is a common rule in sports. Some teams don't even bother with serviceable backups because they know that once their star goes down, the season is over. The Patriots know they're done without Brady. So there's no reason to blame a coach because of a freak occurrence.

To answer your question, we were held to 36 yards on the ground because our offensive line couldn't get a good push. I mean almost the entire offensive line left, and Schilling was pretty bad last year. Any new coach would have been forced to deal with this.

I only said that OSU's dominance over Michigan played a big part in Pryor's decision, which seems reasonable. I didn't say that there weren't other reasons. However, I never underestimate people's ability to regurgitate inane talking points (as this political election illuminates). There is never a good time to leave a program, as you are always abandoning somebody. I mean Pryor uses the logic that he left once, so he could leave again. That describes nearly every coach in the country since most of them had coached some place prior. Rich Rod is a special case, but the argument against him makes no sense. There are two things you could say. 1) He loved WVU and didn't want to go through a divorce but things had been damaged beyond repair. 2) He's an opportunist, in which case he's already near the top. Where would he go? He's not an NFL guy. You can't do a whole lot better than Michigan in the college football domain. No one's going to want him after a few mediocre years. If by the incredible chance he does leave any time soon, that means he has had great success.

Pure speculation has no place in arguments. Assuming why Rich Rod left with no factual basis is about as productive as all of the crazed fanbases levying infractions and ghosts against each other with nothing behind it all. I think it's pretty proposterious anyway to claim that one of the big things that hurt his chances with Pryor he did to actually help his chances.

I think that most people expected this loss - perhaps not the way it came, but all that matters is a win or a loss, and I don't think it would be too surprising if he went 6-6 or 7-5. That tends to be standard operating procedure in these situations, and Rich Rod really got the short end of the stick. But it really doesn't matter. He's going to get several years, and if a certain standard isn't met by then, it'll be clear that it isn't quite working out. I think that people will even be able to stomach two losses to the Bucknuts because they're just so far ahead right now. Yeah a coaching turnover set us bck. But that comes with the potential that Rich Rod could be even better than Carr has been for the past seven years.

09/01/2008 - 9:03pm "What you have" are

"What you have" are offensive players that aren't right in any system.
Rich Rod still suffered a nearly catastrophic complete turnover on
offense. Graduation and NFL turnover aren't his fault. I would wager
that the Prior situation had as much to do with the previous regime and its success against OSU. Rich Rod has his preference of system and is
trying to use guys like McGuffie who will fit. That describes every
coach in the country. So what kind of system would work under this
situation? None, so it's a specious argument.

You're also stretching the truth. Rich Rod wasn't the first choice
because there was no reason to pursue him. There was really no reason
to even consider him. After the Schiano fallout he suddenly became
available. I would also like to see an argument about his track record
spelled out. An assumption is dangerous in the hands of a person who
turns belief into ideology. Frankly, I don't think there's anything
conclusive. We can go back and forth about the talent he had in the
context of who he played against and whether the OK and Georgia wins
are even enough to form an argument. There is no doubt that Rich Rod
was successful at WVU though, and we can only debate whether that will
translate to Michigan. I would say that things are under construction,
however, because he literally has nowhere to go but up. Future
improvements at QB and O-line can already be mapped out. Talent at RB
and WR is young and is only getting better. How successful Rich Rod
will be remains to be seen, but "under construction" is an apt term.