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8 years 7 months
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Recent Comments

Date Title Body
11/03/2014 - 10:21pm No?  They were pretty good in

No?  They were pretty good in the 90's?

11/03/2014 - 8:59pm Dartmouth Student Here

Our athletics are okay, but nothing to write home about (with the exceptions of skiing and club rugby).  Sheehy hasn't done anything that's caught my attention, but things seem to run smoothly.  I do know he is sitting on the school's student life steering committee now, which is an incredible amount of work.  The people that I know who have interacted with him in that capacity gave him pretty strong reviews.

09/07/2014 - 12:49am That's not passive voice.

That's not passive voice.  It's just the present perfect progressive tense.  Passive voice would be like "Active sentences are sucked" or something.

09/12/2013 - 9:49am 63-0

63-0

09/11/2013 - 10:08pm Anyone think he'd stick

Anyone think he'd stick around to finish his master's?

09/09/2013 - 8:56am Not a problem with Borges

Just the nature of high-risk plays.  You live by the sword, you die by the sword. Those plays go the other way and they are credit to Borges' genius.  

09/08/2013 - 12:01am You are forgetting Throw God

You are forgetting Throw God Trevor Siemian.

08/28/2013 - 9:17am +1

Spot on.

08/23/2013 - 2:08am 19, male, undergrad student

19, male, undergrad student at Dartmouth, grew up in Chicago suburbs.  Both parents went to Michigan, raised on Maize and Blue.  

04/22/2011 - 9:24pm Gotta love how they debate in

Gotta love how they debate in Denard jerseys.

04/22/2011 - 9:24pm Unrelated, but interesting

I don't have enough points to create my own thread, but this probably deserves one:

 

http://puttingthekindebate.com/2011/04/22/2011-ndt-quarters-oklahoma-gw-vs-michigan-lz/

 

Video of Michigan debate defeating Oklahoma in quarterfinals of the National Championship.  They would go on to lose to national champion Northwestern in the final four...

It's kind of an esoteric activity that is difficult for "outsiders" to understand, but it's still interesting.

06/14/2010 - 3:15am Penn State for sure.  I also

Penn State for sure.  I also think Bama is cool.

06/14/2010 - 3:11am So the real question is

So the real question is what's going to happen next?!  They haven't killed off a major character yet, and I feel that coming.  I don't think Gus lasts through the first few episodes of the next season.

05/16/2010 - 12:32am I was watching Sportscenter

I was watching Sportscenter at my friend's house and saw this.   Everyone figured it was Milwaukee, but I knew that an explanation would await me on MGoBlog when I got home.

04/26/2010 - 1:16pm My dog is named Ann Arbor.

My dog is named Ann Arbor. My cat is named Bo.

03/27/2010 - 11:13am If you get the Comcast Sports

If you get the Comcast Sports Package, the game should be on ESPNU (channel 405). If not, the game will be available online at espn360.com.

03/11/2010 - 1:00am Not sure if I believe this,

Not sure if I believe this, but a very good story. Plus one.

03/07/2010 - 2:51pm I really liked Serious Man.

I really liked Serious Man.

02/20/2010 - 10:42pm We Are No Better

There is nothing that separates what Rich Rodriguez is doing from what Urban Meyer is doing. For the record,Rich Rod has had five players arrested players during his tenure at Michigan (at least five players publicly known to have been arrested):

Justin Feagin (QB/WR)- Plead guilty in cocaine dealing charges

Unidentified Player- Arrested for sexual assault on November 22, charges were later dropped.

Boubacar Cissoko (CB)- Removed from team for failures to make practice and study table. It was rumored that he could make a comeback, but was then arrested in possession of marijuana, which he confessed that he intended to deal.

Kevin Grady (FB/RB)- Arrested for DUI in his hometown of Wyoming Michigan. Briefly removed from team and then let back on.

Mike Milano (RB)- Walk-on arrested for assaulting hockey player in October, 2008.

02/04/2010 - 1:54am Imaginary +1

I'd plus you if I didn't have too many negative points to do so.

02/04/2010 - 1:50am In House

I think it was the balls out, beastmode in house visit. The ball game helped though. Yet another reason why I wish Michigan basketball would win. Although, I can't win bracket contests when Michigan is in them. I can't not have the maize and blue go all the way.

02/04/2010 - 1:48am So What Do You Root For?

Double post. Crap.

02/04/2010 - 1:46am Incoherent Rambling

The truth is the questionable kids don't use their educations in most cases. Justin Feagin wouldn't have done anything with his UM Communications degree anyways. Would he have used his improved communications skills to woo possible cocaine customers?

Listen, I know high risk kids are essential to most successful football programs, however it's not a noble act, nor is it an ignoble act to offer a scholly to Craig Roh or Ray Vinopal. (I wasn't a Vinopal fan either,though as a hardworking white guy, today's thewolverine interview kind of resonated with me. Then again, Feagin's Freep interview resonated with me).

Basically, I admire a cleanly run program. I always prefer the beastly football player with 34 on the ACT and 24 hours of voluntary charity work to the beastly football player with a 14 ACT and 24 hours of court-mandated charity work. But the latter can work too, just depends I guess.

02/04/2010 - 1:38am So What Do You Root For?

I'd love to see USC get nailed, but I'd love to see OSU come up emptyhanded. This creates quite a conundrum.

02/03/2010 - 10:08pm 2008

I went in 2008 (the summer going into Rodriguez's first year and my freshman year of high school). It's a very cool experience for several reasons. You get to use the Michigan facilities. You get to live in a college dorm. Top recruits from around the country attend (Justin Turner, among others was there when I went). Football players from around the country attend.

Having said that, it is the country's largest football camp. There isn't much personal attention unless you are really ballin' (I did have a conversation with then CMU Coach, Butch Jones,who was familiar with my town in Illinois, though). You are around the Michigan coaches, but aren't necessarily coached by them. I wouldn't say the camp made me a better football player. I practiced with the running backs and basically did a bunch of agility drills, some one-on-one passing drills, and practiced taking hand-offs. Also, your son will probably have to miss some of his high school practices. Those high school practices can be valuable (especially if they are done in full pads, which the camp is not).

If your son's goal is to get recruited or to have a really neat Michigan experience, it's a definitely a good place to go. However, if your son is interested in improving as a player, making the jump to varsity, or moving up his team's depth chart, I wouldn't necessarily recommend it. I ultimately decided I'd be better off at my high school's practices last summer. I had a good time, though.

02/02/2010 - 8:37pm I got a belly full of white

I got a belly full of white dog crap in me and now you're gonna drop this shit on me?

01/20/2010 - 12:54am That avatar is awesome!

That avatar is awesome!

01/16/2010 - 7:46pm He did

I believe the offense will improve, and it was already pretty good this year. The spread is dying, though. Rodriguez has failed to recruit. Failed to retain talent. Refused to adapt to his players, choosing the way he does things (clearly the only way he knows how to). I doubt any other coach in the country would decide to go 3-9. And he did. That team could have easily been 7-5.

01/16/2010 - 7:46pm He did

I believe the offense will improve, and it was already pretty good this year. The spread is dying, though. Rodriguez has failed to recruit. Failed to retain talent. Refused to adapt to his players, choosing the way he does things (clearly the only way he knows how to). I doubt any other coach in the country would decide to go 3-9. And he did. That team could have easily been 7-5.

01/16/2010 - 11:47am Sorry accidentally

Sorry accidentally triple-posted.

01/16/2010 - 11:43am Don't Negbang!

Sorry, my computer flipped out and somehow posted this four time. Don't negbang me! It's not my fault.

01/16/2010 - 11:43am Don't Negbang!

Sorry, my computer flipped out and somehow posted this four time. Don't negbang me! It's not my fault.

01/16/2010 - 11:42am In Favor of the Status Quo

Why does no one respect the history of the Big Ten and the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry? As a Michigan fan, the notion that other Michigan fans support a universe in which THE GAME doesn't matter sickens me. Is that really how badly Rich Rod has destroyed this program? Everyone forgets there already is a Big Ten Championship. It's played on the Saturday before Thanksgiving (at least it was before Rich Rod destroyed the program, may God have mercy on his soul). Go Blue! Don't make our rivalry games formulated things. That doesn't make sense or leave room for new rivalries to be born.

An 11 team Big Ten is one thing. A 14 team only furthers Michigan down the path of Harvard and The University of Chicago. Adding east coast and great plains teams destroy the historical, Midwestern integrity of the Big Ten. Changing beloved brandnames doesn't work either. It creates confusion and anger. Chicago's great department store, Marshall Field's, saw business disappear when corporate changed it into just another Macy's. The Big North, as some people have suggested, sounds like a mid-major conference. Big Ten football is predicated off of tradition. Penn State is a program as steeped in tradition as most Big Ten teams, so it works. Maryland isn't. Period.

There's no way we could find three schools academically and athletically on Big Ten standards assuming they don't want to join. I'll admit adding Notre Dame or Nebraska would be a boon for the conference, but anyone else is a waste or destroys our geographic integrity.

The midsummer preseason would certainly be a violation of all sorts of NCAA rules. Plus you can't force the kids to play that many games. They are student athletes and this isn't soccer. Preason games would get little viewership. No one is on campus to go to the games anyways. All teams would sit their starters, as it doesn't really matter what your preseason rank is.

The Big Ten is already nationally competitive. Probably equally to the Big 12, and a bit behind the SEC. That's fine. That will change over time. The Big Ten had a winning record in bowls, defeating four top 15 teams. They could have just as easily gone undefeated. Northwestern lost in one of the craziest over times I ever did see. Minnesotta lost by one. Michigan State blew a late lead (serves them right). Sports Illustrated has three big ten teams in its preseason top ten for next year, the most of any conference.

So what's the point of your ridiculous 14 team conferences? What's the benefit? Why would we destroy the Big Ten tradition? Everyone needs to give this garbage a rest.

01/16/2010 - 11:41am Why does no one respect the

Why does no one respect the history of the Big Ten and the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry? As a Michigan fan, the notion that other Michigan fans support a universe in which THE GAME doesn't matter sickens me. Is that really how badly Rich Rod has destroyed this program? Everyone forgets there already is a Big Ten Championship. It's played on the Saturday before Thanksgiving (at least it was before Rich Rod destroyed the program, may God have mercy on his soul). Go Blue! Don't make our rivalry games formulated things. That doesn't make sense or leave room for new rivalries to be born.

An 11 team Big Ten is one thing. A 14 team only furthers Michigan down the path of Harvard and The University of Chicago. Adding east coast and great plains teams destroy the historical, Midwestern integrity of the Big Ten. Changing beloved brandnames doesn't work either. It creates confusion and anger. Chicago's great department store, Marshall Field's, saw business disappear when corporate changed it into just another Macy's. The Big North, as some people have suggested, sounds like a mid-major conference. Big Ten football is predicated off of tradition. Penn State is a program as steeped in tradition as most Big Ten teams, so it works. Maryland isn't. Period.

There's no way we could find three schools academically and athletically on Big Ten standards assuming they don't want to join. I'll admit adding Notre Dame or Nebraska would be a boon for the conference, but anyone else is a waste or destroys our geographic integrity.

The midsummer preseason would certainly be a violation of all sorts of NCAA rules. Plus you can't force the kids to play that many games. They are student athletes and this isn't soccer. Preason games would get little viewership. No one is on campus to go to the games anyways. All teams would sit their starters, as it doesn't really matter what your preseason rank is.

The Big Ten is already nationally competitive. Probably equally to the Big 12, and a bit behind the SEC. That's fine. That will change over time. The Big Ten had a winning record in bowls, defeating four top 15 teams. They could have just as easily gone undefeated. Northwestern lost in one of the craziest over times I ever did see. Minnesotta lost by one. Michigan State blew a late lead (serves them right). Sports Illustrated has three big ten teams in its preseason top ten for next year, the most of any conference.

So what's the point of your ridiculous 14 team conferences? What's the benefit? WHy would we destroy the Big Ten tradition? Everyone needs to give this garbage a rest.

01/16/2010 - 11:40am Why does no one respect the

Why does no one respect the history of the Big Ten and the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry? As a Michigan fan, the notion that other Michigan fans support a universe in which THE GAME doesn't matter sickens me. Is that really how badly Rich Rod has destroyed this program? Everyone forgets there already is a Big Ten Championship. It's played on the Saturday before Thanksgiving (at least it was before Rich Rod destroyed the program, may God have mercy on his soul). Go Blue! Don't make our rivalry games formulated things. That doesn't make sense or leave room for new rivalries to be born.

An 11 team Big Ten is one thing. A 14 team only furthers Michigan down the path of Harvard and The University of Chicago. Adding east coast and great plains teams destroy the historical, Midwestern integrity of the Big Ten. Changing beloved brandnames doesn't work either. It creates confusion and anger. Chicago's great department store, Marshall Field's, saw business disappear when corporate changed it into just another Macy's. The Big North, as some people have suggested, sounds like a mid-major conference. Big Ten football is predicated off of tradition. Penn State is a program as steeped in tradition as most Big Ten teams, so it works. Maryland isn't. Period.

There's no way we could find three schools academically and athletically on Big Ten standards assuming they don't want to join. I'll admit adding Notre Dame or Nebraska would be a boon for the conference, but anyone else is a waste or destroys our geographic integrity.

The midsummer preseason would certainly be a violation of all sorts of NCAA rules. Plus you can't force the kids to play that many games. They are student athletes and this isn't soccer. Preason games would get little viewership. No one is on campus to go to the games anyways. All teams would sit their starters, as it doesn't really matter what your preseason rank is.

The Big Ten is already nationally competitive. Probably equally to the Big 12, and a bit behind the SEC. That's fine. That will change over time. The Big Ten had a winning record in bowls, defeating four top 15 teams. They could have just as easily gone undefeated. Northwestern lost in one of the craziest over times I ever did see. Minnesotta lost by one. Michigan State blew a late lead (serves them right). Sports Illustrated has three big ten teams in its preseason top ten for next year, the most of any conference.

So what's the point of your ridiculous 14 team conferences? What's the benefit? WHy would we destroy the Big Ten tradition? Everyone needs to give this garbage a rest.

01/16/2010 - 11:20am I actually think that's funny

That was funny. For him to go out and find that article, that's pretty cool.

01/13/2010 - 6:04pm I'm not convinced that Kiffin's

I'm not convinced that Kiffin is evil. I don't know. I don't think he'll be so successful either...

12/25/2009 - 1:33pm I got a Brandon Graham jersey

I got a Brandon Graham jersey and a calendar full of old Michigan football game program covers.

12/23/2009 - 3:14am Yeah.

Yeah.

12/23/2009 - 3:13am The media hates the whole

The media hates the whole university. It's ludicrous.

12/23/2009 - 3:12am Anison's post on thewolverine.com

I don't know how many of you have read Anison, a moderator on thewolverine.com (Rivals.com's Michigan page)'s scientific, statistical, and comprehensive evaluation of Rich Rodriguez. It's received massive acclaim on thewolverine.com, changing the entire attitude of the place. It is well researched and well written. Here it is:

I’ve spent the better part of the past few weeks trying to figure out how I feel about the state of Michigan football and the man in charge. Of course, that has been colored by the discourse here which ? for some reasons that make sense and some that don’t ? tend to focus on the extremes of certainty Rich will fail and certainty Rich will succeed. Admittedly, most posters including myself seem to fall somewhere between those extremes ? call it some degree of optimism or hope ? but the majority of posts tend to focus on either tearing him down or building him up.

At any rate, here is my best effort to look at the fledgling Rich Rodriguez Era at Michigan ? and to try as objectively as possible to evaluate the likelihood of whether he will ultimately succeed here.

Let’s start with a pretty obvious positive: a few bumps in the road aside (which I’ll talk about later), it certainly looks as though Rodriguez can recruit at the level we have come to expect. While the 2010 class as a whole is going to be below-average (even with his usual strong finish), a down recruiting year in the season after a rough one - as we saw with Notre Dame and as Josh has asserted for years - is to be expected. Simply stated, a weak 2010 recruiting class (from an historical ratings-based perspective) does not by itself reflect poorly upon the recruiting ability of the staff.

Now, some have asserted that Rich needs “system players” more than he needs 4* and 5* recruits to win -after all, they say, just look at the Slaton/White years at WVU. But it’s important to note that this was during a time where not only was the Big East the weakest of the six BCS conferences (to the point where some even spoke of them losing their BCS automatic bid), but additionally West Virginia played notably weak non-conference schedules…

2005: Wofford, East Carolina, Maryland
2006: Marshall, Eastern Washington, Maryland
2007: Marshall, Maryland, Western Michigan, Mississippi State

And don’t get me wrong… you certainly can’t ignore those Georgia and Oklahoma wins ? those were big. But it’s hard to ignore that they had a really easy path to get to those games in the first place.

Moving on… the standard we demand from Michigan is: championships. At the risk of opening up the ever-present “star-gazing” debate, we need to ask if a coach exists than can take a roster laden with 3* talent and compete for national titles with regularity.

So let’s look at the last ten teams to play for the national championship, and the collective star averages of their four classes prior to doing so:

2009 Alabama 3.79
2009 Texas 3.73
2008 Florida 3.85
2008 Oklahoma 3.67
2007 ULSU 3.74
2007 OOHI 3.64
2006 Florida 3.73
2006 OOHI 3.58
2005 Texas 3.77
2005 U$C 4.10

So, while you most certainly don’t want to use absolutes and say it can’t happen; teams to play for the national championship with a roster-wide star average any more than a hair under 3.60 are clearly outliers. I don’t believe we want to rely on being an outlier ? and for the most part Rich’s recruiting shows that he doesn’t want to rely on that either. So we simply can’t have more recruiting classes rated like the 2010 class if we expect to compete for championships.

Of course, there are those outliers who have advanced to the brink of the title game: Rich’s West Virginia team in 2007, Utah in 2008 and Boise State/TCU/Cincinnati this year. Interestingly, they have all shared one common trait: weak schedules ? something a Michigan coach will NEVER have, courtesy of games against OSU and ND every damn year and PSU in most years.

Think about it this way, if West Virginia has a dozen more 4* players on the roster, regardless of position, don’t they have a better chance to play over the Pat White injury in 2007? When LSU won the national championship in 2007, they had a 5* in Perrilloux to plug in after their QB went down, and they won the SEC title game with him. If Rodriguez had a 4* dual-threat QB behind Pat White, the odds are that they get by a sub-.500 Pitt team.

(While we’re talking about quarterbacks, many take it as fact that quarterbacks will develop into stars on Rich Rodriguez teams, citing the development of Shaun King and Woody Dantzler into Heisman candidates. But it’s important to note that Rodriguez developed both of them while he was an offensive coordinator, not a head coach. Typically, an OC is more hands-on in the development of a quarterback than a HC. Calvin Magee, a former TE, is hands-on with our quarterbacks now, and he has only shown he knows how to play with a RB at QB (Pat White). If you want to make the case that Rodriguez is a better OC than Magee, I’ll buy that. But that’s not his job now. And watching Tate Forcier get worse as the year went on was highly troubling ? even if we think (hope?) it was simply due to being a freshman.)

Right now, our roster-wide star average for next year is under 3.10… not even in the same stratosphere as the teams that have played for the last five national titles. Now, this is directly attributable to a large incoming class with a high quantity of sub-4* recruits and a large amount of attrition. And don’t get me wrong, it’s hard to blame much of this on Rich. But it still impacts upon his chances of success. We as fans seem to want to think that Rich can spin gold out of straw and make water into wine. But to win at the level we expect from our team, against the level of competition our team faces… the coach who can do that simply does not exist. No slight on Rodriguez, but no one else has been able to break into the championship game with a lower-rated roster, so there’s no logical reason to believe he can do it either.

So what can or should we look at as Rich’s responsibility? What, if any, are the red flags we have been able to observe from him thus far?

Any good organization, in any field, excels based on a strong attention to detail. There are many areas we have observed over the last two years where this staff’s attention to detail has been notably lacking…

-Poor tackling. Tackling is coachable. Yet Michigan has been systemically bad in this area for two years. And if you look at the star average and experience of the starting defenses the last two years (suspend your disbelief in the star system for a moment as necessary), the results fall well short of what you would expect. In 2008, our starting defense had a 4.10 (!!) star average and started five seniors, two juniors, and a pair of third year sophomores. Only 2 of 11 starters were short of their third year. If that defense is historically bad, it can only be coaching. Even this year, we started a pair of 5* studs (Warren and Graham ? and they lived up to it) and five more 4*. This does not seemingly jibe with any “cupboard was bare” argument ? although admittedly the depth and experience behind them was weak. And while it’s hard to deny that these last two years would have likely been Lloyd Carr’s two weakest rosters had he stayed, and he certainly did not leave the cupboard fully stocked, he did leave the cupboard with enough in it to make a meal…yet Rich’s staff has left us hungry.

-Fumbling. Among the many “pleasantries” espoused by West Virginia fans upon Rich’s departure for Ann Arbor, they told us to brace for fumble-prone teams They nailed that one. Look at Rodriguez’s 2007 team at WVU and his first two teams at Michigan:

2009: 13 (98th in the nation, out of 120)
2008: 18 (114th)
2007: 15 (105th)

And really, it’s the 2007 WVU team that is so compelling, because that was a senior Slaton and a junior White primarily handling the ball. And indeed, WVU fumbled away a national championship that year, coughing the ball up 10 times (losing 6) in their two losses. The only common denominator between Slaton, White, Threet, Sheridan, McGuffie, Minor, Brown, Forcier, Robinson… is Rodriguez and his staff. Avoiding fumbles is another fundamental that can be coached, and has been done so inadequately by this staff thus far. That this issue transcends his last two jobs over three seasons points towards it being a pattern.

- I remember fondly the “Lloyd can’t close” days on this board regarding Carr’s efforts on the recruiting trail. Well if Lloyd couldn’t close, then Rich seemingly can’t open. We’re looking at the third straight year of Rodriguez on the recruiting trail in December and January performing like Tiger Woods on Sundays (or at a Perkins) [admittedly not my joke, but a good one nonetheless]… the missteps borne of laziness for the rest of the year have been consistent, and again point towards a lack of attention to detail that is necessary for a high-performing organization. In that regard, this staff can’t seem to walk and chew gum at the same time. They can either coach their team or recruit…but not both. We have heard so many stories of disorganization at official visit weekends during the season. We have heard stories of losing contact with recruits - ones we clearly wanted like Cullen Christian - for weeks or months at a time. And in the early stages of filling a class, we seem very content to take kids who will commit regardless of need or where they fall on our staff’s “hot board”. I don’t know if Tony Drake or Drew Dileo will be awful or great at Michigan. What I do know is that we had four slot receivers in the previous two classes, plus we gave a spot to Kelvin Grady - and we usually only have one slot on the field at a time. Even if Dileo and Drake were 4*… they were dyed-in-the-wool Michigan fans who would have committed even had we offered late. Now we’re closing strong, have acute needs at other positions, and don’t have room for all of them because we picked two pieces of low-hanging fruit that we just did not need. It’s as though we’re walking the first 20 miles of a marathon and sprinting the last 6; you’ll get there faster and easier if you jog the whole way.

-Tom Lemming traditionally calls Michigan (and some other schools, I would assume) early in the process with a list of “high major” prospects who are showing some interest. This is pretty valuable to a coaching staff, as you can’t possibly know every kid all over the country who likes you, and Lemming casts a wider net by the nature of his job. So being alerted to a dozen or more really good players who want to hear from you is gold, Jerry, gold! When Lemming called this year… his call went unreturned. That’s unconscionable. And until recently, our staff wasn’t using Jim_S’s service as many others do ? and Jim offered it to them for free.

Examples abound of a lack of attention to detail. It doesn’t matter what you know about football or how persuasive you can be on the recruiting trail. If you haven’t hardwired attention to detail into your organization, you will be doomed to not maximizing what you have to work with.

Another quality of high-performing organizations is strong leadership, and this is another area where we have some examples of Rich coming up short.

-That he allowed the Purdue Week Mutiny to happen in 2008 is very troubling and was an early indicator that maybe he lacked the leadership skills to win at a place like Michigan. Scott Shafer came to Michigan fairly highly regarded after fielding the nation’s #11 defense in 2006 at Western Michigan, running the defense at Stanford that upset USC in 2007 and then he went to Syracuse this year and fielded the #38 defense at a program that has been moribund for a decade. Yet put in charge of a unit whose star average and experience pointed towards it being one of the best in the conference, if not the nation, Shafer failed. Given what he has done before and after Michigan, it’s hard not to conclude that perhaps Shafer wasn’t the main problem.

-Just as troubling were the circumstances surrounding the departures of Steve Threet and Sam McGuffie. In both cases, the player (and in Threet’s case, with his family) wanted to meet with Rich to clarify where they stood. In neither case did he take the meeting. In one case he simply let his consigliere, Gibson, handle it, and in both cases the handling of the situation played a role in the player’s departure. This type of dealing with players sends a poor message throughout the organization.

Leading Michigan is a much tougher job than leading West Virginia is.

On one level, football is football, but as a head coach - a CEO - you have instill your values across an entire organization, communicate your strategy and get everyone pulling in the same direction.This is not so hard to do when you're working at your alma mater in a small-town; where you are beloved and your credibility emanates from your being a favorite son. It's much harder to do when you come in from the outside, to a program in a major media market with all the scrutiny that brings, an "old money" football school perpetually on the national stage with a much wider array of stakeholders living in an entrenched legacy culture of which you have not been a part, with a bitter in-state rival just up the road, and two more titanic, historic rivalries on the docket every year.

It's a dramatically larger ship to steer, with a more complicated array of controls on the bridge; and when you separate the football knowledge from the ability to lead and manage a whole program, some people are not going to be up to making that career jump.

Bo Schembechler came in from the outside and re-built a national power in part because he was, innately, a great leader, and in part because he embraced the day-to-day manifestations of the Michigan legacy, for better or for worse. He inherited a facility that was crappy even for that era, but embraced it because it was Fielding Yost's facility. He wore the mantle of the Block M, as heavy as it can be, like it was a part of him. Rodriguez does not seem to be a leader in the way that Bo was, and the Block M seems to be either a weight around his ankle or a hurdle between he and building what he envisions as a "Rich Rodriguez" program.

Think back to when Charlie Weis took over at Notre Dame - it immediately touched a live wire to their offense and they went to two straight BCS bowls. We, as rival Michigan fans, mocked Domers' insufferable "Charlie and the Football Factory" “Return to Glory Again…No Really This Time” Kool-Aid drinking. And we rival Michigan fans actually turned out to be right. Well, look at us now. If we thought Domers were delusional for believing Notre Dame was “back” after 10 wins two years in a row, how crazy must we look to even the most neutral observers for expressing certainty and abundant optimism that Rodriguez is going to win here after 3-9, 5-7 and a seemingly endless succession of failures large and small, with red flags dotting the landscape like flowers in a field?

The bible tells us, and a humble scholar in East Lansing reminds us: the pride comes before the fall.

It seems we felt that, after three decades of never having a bad season, we were entitled to winning. So it was easy to think we needed a whole new house when all we needed to do was remodel the kitchen and re-carpet the bedrooms. But most people never considered the possibility that a new house might not be as sturdy as the old one.

Many Michigan faithful assumed that a new coach would simply augment what had been designed and built by Schembechler, and updated through the years by Moeller and Carr. But in reality, the end of that legacy meant that we were starting from scratch and the level of success we had come to take for granted was far from a guarantee.

If you place all the negatives and all the positives of Rodriguez’s first 24 months here on a scale ? and there are some positives that I have not mentioned, like the development of the wide receivers and the fact that one of our eight wins was against Notre Dame - there has to be a serious concern that what we may have done is hire one of the best offensive coordinators in the nation... to be our head coach. Not only is his ultimate success not inevitable, but it is growing more and more difficult to sidestep the idea that it may not even be likely.

12/02/2009 - 1:19am It is the duty of every

It is the duty of every patriot to protect his country from its government. - Thomas Payne

I will watch and root for Rich Rodriguez until the day he is chased out of Ann Arbor, but seriously I'm starting to worry about him. A lot.

12/02/2009 - 1:04am I wish what you said about

I wish what you said about football being 90% heart was true, because I would probably have started on varsity. Instead, I was 3rd string QB on the sophomore team. I would have traded in my captaincy any day for twenty pounds and a third of a second off of my forty time in a heartbeat.

Obviously Drew Dileo and DJ Williamson are infinitely better athletes than I, but athleticism is everything in football. Even if somehow Delaware State spent the next year sleeplessly practicing, watching film, and lifting weights (with none of the obvious detriments on their health), they would lose to the talent of Alabama (and probably quite badly).

If you were to take a look at the Rivals star ratings of last years top 15 draft picks, I'm pretty sure all would be four and five stars (though I don't have the time to check this). But recruiting is why perrenially good programs are perrenially good. They recruit the best athletes.

Scouts do a relatively good job evaluating character and work ethic. Five star recruits rarely fail to qualify academically. And while you do see your Clarret-style flameouts, scouts tend to mark down especially thuggy recruits.

Basically, I wish you were right. But you aren't.

12/02/2009 - 1:04am I wish what you said about

I wish what you said about football being 90% heart was true, because I would probably have started on varsity. Instead, I was 3rd string QB on the sophomore team. I would have traded in my captaincy any day for twenty pounds and a third of a second off of my forty time in a heartbeat.

Obviously Drew Dileo and DJ Williamson are infinitely better athletes than I, but athleticism is everything in football. Even if somehow Delaware State spent the next year sleeplessly practicing, watching film, and lifting weights (with none of the obvious detriments on their health), they would lose to the talent of Alabama (and probably quite badly).

If you were to take a look at the Rivals star ratings of last years top 15 draft picks, I'm pretty sure all would be four and five stars (though I don't have the time to check this). But recruiting is why perrenially good programs are perrenially good. They recruit the best athletes.

Scouts do a relatively good job evaluating character and work ethic. Five star recruits rarely fail to qualify academically. And while you do see your Clarret-style flameouts, scouts tend to mark down especially thuggy recruits.

Basically, I wish you were right. But you aren't.

12/01/2009 - 5:43pm Heck, even Bo's players

Heck, even Bo's players occasionally beat the mess out of a couple of innocent bystanders.

12/01/2009 - 5:43pm Heck, even Bo's players

Heck, even Bo's players occasionally beat the mess out of a couple of innocent bystanders.

11/21/2009 - 4:45pm We said that last year

We said that last year, and things our different. They are better. Today's game wasn't a spanking. The real question is, will things be different enough?

11/19/2009 - 7:29pm Yeah, I noticed the steaks

Yeah, I noticed the steaks thing. You are the first one to comment though. I just am tired of everyone lying the themselves like there is some sort of extenuating circumstance to justify two losing seasons. One I'll buy. But two, heck no.

11/18/2009 - 2:20am Michigan should hire Jim Harbaugh and hire him now.

This isn't the first place I've posted this, but I feel that it's pertinent.

Michigan should hire Jim Harbaugh and hire him now.

Contention One is Inherency:

1. Rich Rodriguez is not a good coach. If you still aren't convinced, my words probably won't help. Nevertheless, Rodriguez's second half collapses this year and last are proof of his ineptitude. That I know of, there are only a few ways to explain collapses-- bad conditioning, schemes so easily solved that a few halftime tweaks render them useless, a failure to adjust at halftime, and psychological/mental breakdowns. All of those are the coaches' faults. I'm sure you've heard, every week Rodriguez breaks a new record and shatters a steak (the two consecutive losses to MSU, the loss to a MAC team, the home loss to Purdue, the biggest deficit to Ohio State ever, the first losing season since 1967, the first bowlless season since 1974, the worst record in Michigan football history). I'm sorry. You can't explain that away.

2. Michigan will be no better next year with Rich Rodriguez as its head coach, and may actually be worse.If any one can give me a reason to believe next years defense will be any better with the loss of Brandon Graham, Steve Brown, and quite possibly Donavon Warren with Rich Rodriguez (who always seemed to let up lots of points to mediocre opponents) at the helm, I'd like to hear it. The offense will get better, but not good enough to solve for our dismal defense.

Thus the plan: The University of Michigan Athletic Department should fire Richard Rodriguez and hire Jim Harbaugh as its Head Football Coach.

Contention two is solvency:

3. Harbaugh is a FANTASTIC coach. Don't believe me? He took an 1-11 team and turned them into a Rose Bowl contender, not the way around like some coaches with alliterative initials. He is the only coach to beat Pete Carroll twice in recent memory, and he did it without a two-deep composed entirely of former five star recruits. He also beat Oregon, who two weeks ago seemed to be the best time West of the Appalachians (or the Rockies, depending on how good you think the Big 12 is). Harbaugh has succeeded epically in a conference that is ostensibly mediocre, but that went undefeated in bowl games last year, dismantling highly touted Big 12, Big Ten, and SEC teams.

4. Harbaugh is a Michigan man. Harbaugh played at Michigan in a legendary, distant era of Michigan football where 5-7 was NEVER an improvement, and when bowl games and wins over Illinois, Wisconsin, and Purdue were rights not miracles, where no one ever questioned Michigan's morals, when the prospect of losing to a MAC team was hilarious, consecutive losses to Michigan State was unthinkable, and bowl games, Big Ten Titles, and top five finishes were abundant. Harbaugh is the last great hope to restore this era and our impenetrable defense and ram the ball down your throat offense(though I'd take less Miles too).

5. If we don't get him, someone else will. How painful, cruel, and ironic will it be to watch Jim Harbaugh, arguably the greatest quarterback in Michigan history, dismantle the Wolverine defense from Notre Dame's sidelines? Harbaugh seems to be the favorite of many Domers and armor-clad Raiders fans. So we need to pull up our socks and get going.

6. If we do ultimately get Harbaugh, the sooner the better. Any longer, and Harbaugh needs to rebuild us as he built Stanford, finding replacements for mediocre, undersized players who only function in temperatures over 75 degrees. Harbaugh needs to coach Michigan before the Carr talent has all graduated.

So, on Saturday, I will sit down and watch the Michigan vs. Ohio State game. And for the first time in six years, the results will not pain me. I will sigh and force a smile as our defense turns Terrelle Pryor into a deadly accurate machine reading our defenses as effortlessly as Stephen Hawking reads Dr. Seuss, knowing that at a painful era of our lives is coming to a close.

11/18/2009 - 2:15am What irks me is I don't see

What irks me is I don't see the improvement to convince me that Michigan will be better next year. This may be the last year Harbaugh is on the market. I say go for him.