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11/21/2010 - 2:52am He had plenty of upperclassmen his first two seasons

and the defense was terrible. And this defense has plenty of upperclassmen and/or guys with significant starting experience.  The seconday is the one part that lacks experience, but unfortunately for us, the entire unit stinks. The defensive issues are much more than an issue of experience.Coaching is the issue.

11/21/2010 - 2:48am Not so...

Saban won 12 games his second year, Tressel a NT, Carr a NT in his third, Dantonio won 9 his second season, Meyer a NT in his second..great coaches win and win almost immediately.


A coach needs time if he is taking a Wisconsin circa 1990(Alverez) or a school like Eastern Michigan which has no recruiting base, no tradition, no fan support. Basically, you have to build the entire program which slows the process dramatically. That is not so at UofM where you have everything you need right off the bat to win 8 games. Facilities, fan support, brand recognition, tradition...UofM is perfectly set up to be an instant winner which is why so many have issues with RichRod. He frankyl ,looks like a guy in over his head at the high major level.


I think if he is to survive that he surrender the defense entirely to the new DC.Scheme, coaching staff, size of players, etc. That is the only way UofM can have a good defense under RR because he clearly has no clue what to do on that side of the ball.

11/21/2010 - 2:38am Empirical evidence

Yo want us to believe something that all available evidence says won't happen--improvement by UM's defense. It has, in fact, worsened over Rodriguez's tenure here. SO why then should believe that it will improve?


You have to provide facts to support your thesis that it will improve. Something, anything, of substantive value.

11/20/2010 - 9:49pm Where is this evidence that UM will be "lots better"

Offensively,yes, but defense and special teams are huge question marks. Strictly basing our opinion on evidence, one can say that UM will have a great offense, horrid defense, and so so special teams. What that translates to in terms of W's and L's is 5-7 to 7-5. In other words, mediocrity.


Any prediction other than that is based on pure conjecture.

11/20/2010 - 9:44pm You make a good point regarding HC establishing a tone

I think that is the problem.His tone is all offense, no defense. This is evident from his decisions regarding the defense. Why in God's name would you force your assistants on a DC? You have to allow a DC to make his own hires. Why would you run a finesse defense in a power minded conference. A 3-3-5 is great for a one week gameplan, but not as your base defense. It is a finesse defense schematically which then promotes a finesse MENTALITY.


If he wants to succeed here, he needs to follow Urban Meyer's plan. Handle the offense and all the other compotents of a program but leave the defense to your DC.  Let him decide the scheme, assistant coaches. The only think he should worry about is penalties because they can  impact the team as a whole.


One certainly has to question RR's decisionmaking ability. It was he who brought in these DC's. It was he who decide to not have a special teams coordinator. These fall bac on him because he is the CEO of the operation.The makeup of the program is what HE wanted. Thus, he has to be held accountable for the results that the program produces.

11/20/2010 - 9:34pm But at least UM got to Rose Bowl

What has UM gained by running the spread?

11/20/2010 - 9:32pm Well, for starters

UM did not gameplan for Appy State and UM still won 9 games that season including a win over a spread team in the Capital One Bowl. The 06' did get exposed, but they were 11-0 at one point. UM far more games with smashmouth than they are now. If you recall the 01' team. It too was young, but they somehow managed to win 8 games with a mediocre offense and defense---sorta like how Dantonio has managed to do in his 4 years.

Furthermore, the dominant team in the conference uses alot of smashmouth. OSU only has won 5 straight Big Ten titles during the period you say that the Big Ten was tougher.

Two spread teams won the NT.One did so with a less-than-stellar defense and they had Vince Young.UF won both of their NT's with great defenses.

UM is younger, but not inexperienced. Defensively, they have plenty of experience in their front 7. Offensively, most guys have played more than one season. The youth argument fades with every passing game.

Tackling, poor assignments, and bad angles are not experience issues. TThese guys have played football for years. They know how to tackle, how to pursue properly, their assignment in a scheme. It isn't difficult. Besides, they have plenty of experience. You act like they start 11 true freshmen who came in August. They do not.

Your argument also ignores the fact that their defense was horrible his first two seasons with experienced players.

11/20/2010 - 9:15pm I am tired of simplistic arguments

The defense--namely the front 7--is not that young. There are many guys who have been here several years. Yes, the secondary is painfully young and no one would expect that side to be highly effective. But thre front 7 does have experience.

Besides  these guys are football players. They have been playing the game for most of their lives. They should know pursuit angles, their assignment, how to tackle..this is basic stuff. This is football, not theoretical physics. It is not that hard to coach fundamentals--at least not for a good coach anyways.

Furthermore,T\the youth argument does not fly for defense as the defense was horrid for RR's first two seasons when they had experience in the secondary. That inconvenient fact is often left out--which is what partisans tend to do.Anti-RichRod often like to sugarcoat the difficulty of transitioning from a pro style to a spread and that is not right.

I understand that people desperately want the guy to win. I do too. But when you argue you cannot ignore, dismiss, or warp facts that  hinder your argument.

At this point, just looking at the evidence on the field--and that is all what any of us have to base our beliefs on--the "Fire RichRod" crowd has more ammuno than the Pro-Rod crowd. The on-the-field performances leave alot to be desired.

It is increasingly difficult  to see how he can win here when he has displayed no abiity to field a competent defense. Everyone knows that to win championships you need a defense. What in his three years leads anyone to believe that he will construct one? Blind faith is not a legitimate argument. You have to bring something tangible to the table. to support your argument.

The only conclusion I can make based off what I have seen for the past three years is that Rich Rodriguez has constructed a potentially dominant offense, an atrocious defense, and a so-so special teams unit. That is what the facts would tell anyone not in the thrall of RichRod's dynamic offense.

He will be back and I am not sure what to think. If Brandon forces him to dispense with his entire defensive staff and hire a guy who wil be permitted to bring in his own guys with his own scheme, than I think RR has a chance. If not, we are just delaying the inevitable. He will fail here.

11/20/2010 - 9:12pm The offense is potentially great

But nothing has happened defensively to suggest that UM will be nothing more than Joe Tiller's Purdue teams. I have no reason to believe that UM will be better than 8-4 under Richrod,

11/20/2010 - 8:24pm Explain why it taints the argument

That style of football won many, many  games in the Big Ten. RichRod's style has lost many, many games.

I happen to think that you can win with his offense, but that's based more on theory than anything we have seen in reality. No one has won consistently at a high level in the Big Ten with the spread. Purdue was medicore and OSU used a hybrid spread pro style as did PSU.Both also had strong defenses.

11/20/2010 - 6:59pm Flaw in your analysis

The Big East does not have the size and athletes that the Big Ten does, so your assertion that it works is not applicable to

11/20/2010 - 3:40pm Unfortunately, it is not just the secondary

The whole defense is a fail as is the special teams. Many of the offensive players have been in the system for 2-3 years. The offense is younger, but they do have experience.
<br>This is a program that has serious issues in year 3.

11/20/2010 - 3:36pm So it takes 5 years to build a decent program?

You clearly know nothing about college football. Mark Dantonio won 9 games his second year and 10 in his fourth.Tressel won a national title in his second year. Saban won 12 his second year.
<br>But Michigan, the school that has as many resources as anyone, needs 5 years.
<br>And here I thought UM was the place for the leaders and best. I guess I was wrong.

11/20/2010 - 3:30pm They were already down 21

when the offense started moving the ball. Where was the offense early on in those games?
<br>Just making a game competitive is nothing to crow about. A great or even good offense is there at the beginning, not just when you are desperate to score to get yourself back in the game.

11/20/2010 - 1:33pm You obviously do not

understand the concept of fair-weather fans.
<br>Fairweather fans only support the team when things are good. These people are supporting the team, but believe that the coach has to be fired because things are not working.

11/20/2010 - 1:28pm Well, behind the scenes things are great

<br>David Brandon

11/20/2010 - 1:26pm Three years in

and still no win over a decent opponent. Progress?
<br>Third time this year UM has fallen behind
<br>by at least 21 points at home. Progress?

11/19/2010 - 11:26am But the thing that matters most

is winning.7-5 is good enough for this season, but next year more is expected.
<br>The things he points to will be there, but will UM win enough for RR to keep his job? That is something only time will tell.

11/18/2010 - 7:54pm Moeller is elderly man

I doubt very much he has the energy to coach at this stage of his life.

11/13/2010 - 3:13pm Even bigger

because Bielema can actually coach.

11/13/2010 - 3:10pm Absolutely

Those boys played a helluva game.

11/13/2010 - 3:08pm Wispy has scored 83 on IU

Bielema is the biggest dick in the Big Ten.

11/13/2010 - 11:22am Every UM game since Memphis in 95'

has been televised. There was never a game I could not see because of lack
<br>of TV.( since 95' anyway)
<br>That said, I do like the Big Ten network. It is not as bad as people say it is.

11/09/2010 - 4:33pm I disagree

Poor coaching performance is far worse for the program than fans complaints. He should worry about that more than what fans say.I also think players are more sophisticated now. They know fans are not always rational.

11/08/2010 - 12:24am Is that you Millen ?

An extension for a guy who has produced the worst season, Big Ten record, and defenses in UM? An extension for a guy who was in charge when UM was placed on probation for the first time?
<br>It boggles the mind that you think that he deserves an extension.

11/08/2010 - 12:17am Not very powerful ammo

because the negatives still outweigh the positives. Poor record, bad decisions made in recruiting, NCAA sanctions applied to UM for first time, falling behind MSU in football....honestly, I do see how even a lawyer could successfully argue for RR with that track record thus far.
<br>Add to that the general lack of support for the man among alums and fans and it is still a near run thing that he keeps the job.
<br>So much had gone wrong--much of it
<br>not of his doing-- that assuming he us back us based on emotion more than logic.

11/08/2010 - 12:10am There are signs of greatness? What?

Horrid defense and special teams indicate future greatness to you? 0-8 vs MSU, PSU, and OSU indicate future greatness to you? 6 nonqualifers in the last class indicate greatness to you?
<br>At this point, a rational being could only say that only the offense us headed for greatness based on the available facts. The rest of the team can only be assumed to continue to be terrible because that us what they have been for three years.

11/08/2010 - 12:01am So if it just youth

than explain the first two years?
<br>You act like this is a recent problem with RR, when in fact it is not.

11/06/2010 - 11:46pm Tackling and assignment football is coaching

You can have the 11 greatest players on earth playing on defense and you still will not win if you do not tackle or play sound assignment football.Dorsey would make UM moe athletic, but that athleticism would be lost because of the crappy fundamentals.


You're right. It is Michigan and it is not acceptable. People mock that, but when you beat your chest about your greatness you better damn well live up to it. UM did not get to 850 wins by tolerating mediocrity. It may seem like cheesy bravado to you, ask any person who has belong to an elite organization and they'll tell you that this "never accept anything less than the best" ethos is big factor in establishing a tradition of excellence.

11/06/2010 - 11:40pm I'm sorry that you are so intolerant of different opinions

that you feel the need to engage in name calling.


There are certain facts out there that people will interpret differently. No need for name calling because you disagree with me.

11/06/2010 - 11:35pm 1/3 equals "almost half"?


11/06/2010 - 11:32pm Brandon is not going to admit the truth

Brandon reports to MSC and the Trustees. They in turn are the agents of influential alums. Therefore, Brandon HAS to be concerned with the opinions of the alums if he wants to keep his job.

You don't need 5 years to judge a coach. Bobby Bowden can say that---and I certainly cannot dismiss his opinion--but a bad fit can often be determined after a couple of years. Gerry Faust for one example.Bobby Williams is another. Bowden is also a coach, so his bias will always be in favor of a coach  no matter how bad the guy is. Should Marty Morningweg or Rod Marinelli have been given 5 years?

11/06/2010 - 11:26pm The problem with that argument is that

UM's defense has been terrible all three years RR has been here. And the makeup of the roster also falls to the coaching staff.  Yes, there have been some untimely departures. One cannot dispute that. But those have hit mainly the secondary. The defense is atrocious at all levels.


UM has had bad luck and bad coaching which has lead to the abomination that is the Michigan defense. The soft mentality of the defense did not come about as the result of guys leaving, nor do the continuous missed assignments or bad tackling. You can coach players to be fundamentally sound.


As for removing a guy after he makes a bowl. Well, remember that this is Michigan. You know "Leaders and Best".  Leaders and Best typically don't satisfy themselves with just barely making a third tier bowl in year three at a school with every resource needed to field a national title contending program.


Frankly, most Michigan fans do not appreciate the immense advantages that this school has. They think UM operates at the same level as say, MSU, when in fact, UM has MORE to work with. It is EASIER to win here than 99% of schools.

I sincerely hope RichRod works out, but this program needs some drastic changes if it is going to succeed.

11/06/2010 - 11:14pm I would expect ignorance from an Illini an

Because he does not follow Michigan.  NCAA sanctions, horrid defense all three years(therefore mitigating the youth argument), terrible special teams,  0-3 vs Michigan State, 5-16 in Big Ten play..yeah, I cannot understand why anyone would want RR fired.(rolls eyes)


Illinois is 2-1 vs Michigan under RR. I can see why he would  want RR back. Offense is just one third of the game. RR has failed in two-thirds of the game thus far in Ann Arbor.

11/06/2010 - 11:05pm Too many indicators of success?

Those are outnumbered by indicators of failure. Horrid defense all three years of his reign, special teams have gotton progressively worse, inability to beat MSU or PSU, an unusual amount of defectors from the progra, past recruiting class saw 6 kids fail to make it to campus...I'd say that there are a significant amount of indicators that would lead one to believe that he is going to fail here.

All RR has got right now is his offense. It is dynamic. But his defense and special teams are atrocious. There is little reason to believe that this staff will be able to repair the defense as it has not displayed the ability to field a competent defense the past three seasons.

11/06/2010 - 10:58pm Why would you be shocked?

If UM loss the next three games there is a very real possibility that he could be fired. I'd say iot would be 60-40 he stays, but no one knows how the people who really run the program--the boosters--feel.


David Brandon's job is owed to the wealthly alums. If they want RR gone, he's gone. That is how college athletics work.


I think what is likely to happen is that Brandon wil tell RR to fire the entire defensive coaching staff and hire a highly respected DC who will have complete control over the defense. If RR balks at that, Brandon fires him.

I like and feel for RR, but if he does not make drastic changes to his staff--meaning the termination of the ENTIRE defensive staff--than he should go. I sincerely hope he recognizes the problem is much more than Gerg and the 3-3-5.

11/05/2010 - 11:11am That is simply not believable

No AD fails to account for the wishes if the wealthy alumni for it is those people who pay for much of UM football has.
<br>Is it the sole determining factor? No, but their wishes definitely are considered. Brandon is the CEO and the wealthy alums are the investors. You simply cannot ignore the desires if those who
<br>fund you.

11/04/2010 - 7:33pm The only way RR should stay

is if the entire defensive staff is replaced.
<br>Forget this protect Gibson stuff, RR, your job is on the line and your boy is not getting it done.

11/04/2010 - 11:27am That is not possible

This defense is as bad of a defense that I have ever seen.You cannot worse that this inept group.

11/04/2010 - 11:20am USC still was far better

than anyone Richrod. Beating USC at SC with Stanford's then poor talent was an significant achievement no matter who started at QB for SC. Knocking that win us the tactic of a person who does not have the facts to make a good argument.
<br>Comparing a 6-6 Wisconsin team to a 11 win SC team makes your argument look even weaker. Plus, UM won that game @ home.

11/04/2010 - 11:13am They do?

See Saban, Meyer, and Tressell's 2nd year.He'll, check Dantonio's 2nd year.

11/04/2010 - 11:09am Rubbish

A good coach would solve it. Dantonio took an inept defense and made it competent at MSU.
<br>Keeping RR does not solve anything.He has displayed Millenesque ability to pick the wrong guy when it comes to defense.
<br>He has treated a ready- to- win program like it was EMU. The guy is in over his head.

11/03/2010 - 9:30pm Which begs the question

will RichRod permit a new DC to bring in his own assistants? At this point, I'd have to think the answer is an either/or type deal. Either you accept this or your ass is grass.

11/03/2010 - 12:02am I think most coaches are smart enough

to see that this a different circumstance. Not only has he failed to win at the school with the most wins, but he also got the program slapped with sanctions for it's first major NCAA violations. This is a very different case from ND.
<br>Furthermore, the longer UM let's this disaster of a regime continue the risk if long term damage increases.
<br>At some point you have to cut your losses.

11/02/2010 - 11:53pm That is an assumption

based on his brother coaching in the pros. Who knows with Jim.

11/02/2010 - 7:49pm Wrong

He has had three years to build an average defense.He had failed to do that.
<br>This is not quantum physics. Defense us knowing your assignment, doing it, and tackling.A good HC does not need three years to construct a competitive defense.

11/02/2010 - 4:23pm The problem with that thinking

is that this is RR's second hire as a DC. What makes you think he will make the correct choice on the third try?

11/02/2010 - 11:41am The problem for the youth argument

is that Michigan has had a terrible defense for three years. The problem is more than youth. It' s coaching from the top on down.

10/30/2010 - 9:26pm Epic fail

This describes this game and the last three years. I don't see how anyone can defend this coaching staff anymore. At some point, you have to see results and we just are not seeing it.

10/29/2010 - 1:30pm Honestly, I can not disagree with what

Whitlock says. That tragedy was one of gross negligence.I think Swarbrick should as well. His reaction is ridiculous.
<br>Someone died because these fools were not paying attention. That to me indicates a leadership that is not up to the responsibility of leading.