Sunday, 28 November 2010

MGoRecruit officially backs RR!

This might not be a popular view, but I'm officially backing Rich Rodriguez to keep his job in through the 2011 season, and here's why:

- Whilst it may not seem like it, Michigan is improving overall, 3 wins, 5 wins, 7 its rational to expect 9 in 2011, which is pretty good.

- The offense will be one of the best in the nation next year, and they're already pretty good. Yesterday Michigan just didn't finish drives, turnovers/penalties/dropped passes cost them badly, there will be less of this in 2011 which virtually all the starters back. Michigan only loses Perry Dorrestein, Steven Schilling and Martell Webb. Good players, but replaceable without a significant drop off in production.

- Assuming Mike Martin stays (which he should), then Jonas Mouton will be the only good defensive player leaving. Mouton has made some good plays this year, but he's made just as many bad ones too. Mike Jones will be back from injury to compete for that spot. Obi Ezeh also departs from the LB core, so depth will be poor, but production could improve if Kenny Demens continues to emerge.

- The secondary is young and hungry overall, but the two veterans will be back next year. Troy Woolfolk and J.T Floyd will both be back from injury and ready to step in. Woolfolk could switch back to deep safety actually, with so many young corners. Vinopal, Avery, Christian and Talbott will all be a year old, and a year wiser. Michigan will also have good depth at Strong Safety, with Kovacs, MRob, T Gordon and C Gordon competing for those two starting roles.

- Getting to a bowl game this year isn't just giving the players and fans one more game, its also giving them a load more practice sessions. Given time to prepare, the defense should be alright in the bowl game, unless they are against another quality offense like Wisconsin or OSU (doubtful). I expect them to win the bowl game.

- You'd also hope that he'd find a kicker by next season too, which has been a MAJOR problem this year. It cost them a lot of points against OSU for sure.

Note: If your reading this, and you attend or plan to attend the University of Michigan, and you think you can kick a ball through some posts from around 30-45 yards away, I urge you to contact the football team asap. 

- From a recruiting standpoint, firing RR would certainly not help the current class. It's not as if a load of players are just going to turn around and say, "oh yeah Michigan will be great again now, I'll go there". Michigan would lose a few commitments for sure, maybe someone like Dee Hart, who wants to play in RR's offense. 

- Also if he was fired, would there be even more players transferring...again? Some players on the roster might not fit in with the new system or agree with the new coach etc and might leave. Denard certainly wouldn't last long in a pro style offense, i.e Tyrelle Pryor year one and two.

- So in conclusion, the offense will be a lot sharper, better decisions etc from Denard, hopefully less dropped passes too. Which will result in more points, especially against the Big Ten teams. The defense will also be vastly improved, with experience returning in the secondary, and not many good players departing. An average Big Ten defense is possible! And to be honest, that's probably all they need to compete for the Big Ten title. Hagerup will be fine at punter, so if they find a Kicker, special teams could be average/good too.

This isn't how RR imagined his time at Michigan would go, but let's face it, he's been unlucky. Please don't comment on this saying he's a bad coach, because that's not true. In my opinion he's an offensive genius who thought he'd have better talent available on defense when he got there. Don't blame this season all on the 3-3-5 either, frankly Michigan would have been awful on defense with any system. Has he made some mistakes, yes definitely, and some bad ones at that. But he's also done a lot of good things at Michigan that go unnoticed. I hope Dave Brandon can see that there has been progress, at least in wins, and that he decides to give RR one more year. 

I'm still all in, go blue!


  1. I have to agree with you. Everyone is calling for Jim Harbaugh but we will lose alot of players to transfers if that happens. I believe that we have a legitimate chance to win the national championship in two years. We have an absolutely brutal schedule that year. Start of with Alabama in Dallas stadium and finish with Nebraska and Ohio St on the road but everything will be in place by then and our defense can only get better.

  2. I'm picking 2013 as our national championship year, firstly because if we add two wins every year like we've been doing, then in 2013 we'll have 13 wins including the Big Ten title game, which will likely put us at #1. This makes sense, because that year we will get Ohio State at home too, which is always easier, and Devin Gardner will be either a senior or RS jnr (depending on whether he gets medical redshirt).
    If someone guaranteed me a national title in six years at the start of RR's tenure, I'd have snatched it straight away, because Carr hadn't won one since 1997 (10 years), and many argue that the team was partly Gary Moeller's.

  3. You got to be kidding me. I really like your blog and respect your views/work, but there's no excuse for that pathetic performance at OSU. Offense sucks--only 7 points scored. I don't even need to go into defense. The crap that works in Big East doesn't work in the big leagues. Look at Miami, they were hot in the Big East and became just above average in the ACC. Same coach.

    Look at his postgame interview. All he does is make excuses and think about his own ass. He is a disgrace and a loser. Offensive genius? Is that why he only scored 7 points against OSU after 3 years?

  4. RR is one of the best offensive minds in the game, that's not up for much debate. Most fans who hate RR aren't upset about the offense, which is clearly one of the best in the Big Ten even with Sophomores at QB, RB, and leading WR. He certainly would have had more points against OSU if he had a Kicker, and yes, I know its his own fault he doesn't have a kicker. The offense also had to play a lot slower this week tempo wise, just to try and help out the defense.
    He can't be blamed for Denard fumbling in the red zone, or the wide receivers dropping passes. That's on the players, they've been taught ball security, they should know how to catch a ball. You also have to admit that OSU has a pretty good defense, but UM still put up over 350 yards on them. Could have had more but Denard dislocated some fingers...
    Sure the defense sucks, but they are young. Yes, thats an excuse, but its also fact. If you look at the top teams in the Big Ten, their starting lineups are full of upperclassmen.
    I understand your frustration, I knew my view was going to be in the minority right now. But I honestly believe that the program is moving forward, albeit at a slow rate, which is what really bothers everyone.

    Anyway, the season isn't even over, there's one more game to show everyone that progress is and can be made. Go blue

  5. Are you kidding me? National Championship?? Michigan can not kick a field goal, catch a pass or make a stop on defense. So give Rich and his staff another year to Beat Indiana and Purdue. He's not getting it done, they aren't getting better, they are making the same mistakes. Sorry guys, but people are turning the channel on Michigan. The problems they continually have can not all be related to talent, its coaching. In the business world, he's losing you money, and when that happens, the guy in charge gets fired. Hire Harbaugh and he will get the talent, don't worry. It's time for Michigan to start making money again...

  6. By the way, sorry I love Denard and how he has saved Rich Rod's job, but has he been in one of the big games for more than a half? The defense sucks because of the scheme and coaching, not because they are young and have no talent. 12 games now and they are still making the same mistakes. This is not the Michigan football I grew to love, and I can tell you the next generation is watching someone else play.
    That's why its frustrating to so many and that's why people are calling for a change.

  7. If you could bring Urban Meyer, OK, go get him. it will be very welcome. If you can't, please shut up, and just wail at least one more year. Fankly speaking, we do not have any other choice. Jim? Les? You kidding? Do you really wanna see a couple of years loosing season? I know RR couldn't bring us Conference Champ next year. However, I bet Michigan will get at least 8 wins next season, and go to Capital Bowl. Maybe it will be not enough. However, it absoultely much better than another loosing season. Please keep patience. What really we need to get is bring good DC like Casteel. Keep RR, but fire GR!

  8. I agree with you man...I actually got on radio and was critical of David Brandon for one thing...and that was for leaving it open to speculation about the coaching job. Let the man finish his contract...period. Recruiting will take a big step up in the next few weeks I believe and the fan base can not be up in arms and scaring these kids off...

  9. I realy enjoy your site. That being said I have to disagree with you about keeping a coach that is mediocre. Rich is a great offensive mind but not a great head coach. A great head coach would work with the talent he has and incorporate a scheme around them while recruiting "his" type of player not scrap the system and start from scratch. This was not done but it has been done at many other schools (Stanford, OSU, Nebraska, Alabama). As an ex-coach evaluating the games, improvement is not being made from game to game. The defense is young but they are NOT put in a position to succeed. There are many freshmen around the country that are having far better success than the freshmen at UM. The defense will not be better in the next 2 years because of philosophy not talent. Example: Wisconsin had the ball on the UM 5 yard line with a jumbo package to run the ball and UM defense ran a 3 man front, NOT GOOD. What happened to goal line defense? The ability to make scheme changes throughout the game has not been there. If UM does start over there are many offensive players that can transition to pro-style: OL, QB-Gardner, RB, WR, TE. You can run a pro-style spread offense. The right coach CAN come in and work with the talent that is there. The argument of starting over and rebuilding is false great coaches don't start over that is just an excuse for loosing games! The talent is there, at the very least the defensive coach need to be fired and a new defensive philosophy needs to be brought in. NO MORE 3-3-5 it doesn't work in the BIG TEN.

  10. Firstly: "Amid reports that Bill Stewart will retire as West Virginia's coach at the end of the 2010 season, Casteel was rumored to be a candidate for the Michigan Defensive Coordinator position."
    Casteel is a good DC for the 3-3-5 system, RR wanted to bring him to Michigan when he first arrived. If the above is true, then that should be good news for Michigan fans. Greg Robinson has never coached the 3-3-5 and it shows. WVU is the #3 defense in the nation currently under Casteel, and again, Yes, I do know the Big East sucks, but its still an impressive stat.
    If Casteel is available, GRob has to go.

    @ Steve: I said national championship in 3 seasons time, thats a long way away. Problems will be fixed by then, players more experienced etc etc. In the business world, he wouldn't get fired if there was progress being made, and there was reason to believe that the long term goals would be met. This is what Dave Brandon will be looking at AFTER the bowl game. There is progress, especially on offense, but the defensive progress is the problem. If RR brings in the right DC, he'll have all the pieces to the puzzle in the long run, which is why I think he should stay.
    The top two teams in the nation run spread offenses, and Michigan's has the potential to be better than them both over the next few years. A senior Denard Robinson with Roy Roundtree and an explosive running back (Dee Hart?) would be electric. It's not as if Oregon or Auburn has great defenses, they just have a few playmakers here and there. So in a couple years, if Michigan has a good (i.e above average defense) then we will certainly be competing for Big Ten and National titles.
    Also, I've said it before, and I'll say it again, there is NO coach in the country that could make a decent defense out of those players. When eight freshman see the field on defense, you can't expect to win the big games. Could someone like Urban Meyer have made a better defense out of them, probably yeah, but they would still have been a major weakness.

  11. @ Jp, I don't remember the Wisconsin situation your speaking of, but not changing to a goal line set there is pretty awful, I'll admit.
    As for starting over, I don't think Harbaugh could win more games than RR would next year, although obviously I can appreciate the fine job Harbaugh has done at Stanford. When RR arrived at Michigan, he had ONE senior on offense...Mike Massey, a tight end. The first year was always going to bad, so why not sacrifice a few possible wins if it will help further down the line.

    Michigan's main problem on defense is the youth, followed by GRob. Your right, he's not putting players in a position to succeed. Because he doesn't know anything about the system he's meant to be running. And that is RR's fault, he should have either fired GRob or stuck with a 4-3 setup. GRob fails to make any adjustments in games to the offenses, and that's a big issue. As for freshman playing better at other schools, yeah they probably do. But then again they probably don't have other freshman lining up next to them.

    Once again, I do understand where your coming from, I can barely watch games anymore without cringing at the defense. But there is light at the end of the tunnel, we just might be a year or two away from it. Go blue

  12. Wow, this post shows the ignorance of Michigan fans at its best or worst.

    It amuses me how UM fans act like little impatient toddlers in a dirty diaper with no regard to process and the future. The defensive starters right now are mainly freshman and sophomores!!!! It's the defense that is bad, not the offense. Make the coaching change at defense....that's what Jim H. did last year. People forget that Stanford had one of the worst defenses in the PAC-10 last year. With a new D-Coordinator and another year experience with Jim H.'s own recruits, they made the jump to becoming an elite team.

    Don't mess with the offense, especially with a running back the caliber of Dee Hart coming in. You won't have to worry about Denard getting injured so much next year with an elite running back. The backs that we have right now are average at best....

    Love your blog.......

  13. If we hire Harbough today we will not have a terribly long time to adjust to the offense. The o-line will be capable of running a pro style offense, we will be decent at running back and could possibly start Stephen Hopkins because of his size which will be adequate in a pro style offense. At receiver and tight end Roundtree, Stonum,Hemmingway, and Koger will have no trouble adjusting to the pro style offense, and while everyone says that Michigan lacks a Quarterback capable of running a pro style offense Harbough obviously doesn't agree as he offered Tate Forcier a scholarship out of High School.
    Also Devin Gardner has the size and arm strength to operate in Harbough's system. As for Denard Robinson, he would likely be used in a role similar to Brad Smith's for the New York Jets or Percy Harvin in his days at Florida. He could also be used at defensive back. Although offensively we will not take too long adjusting to this offense it will be far less explosive than it would be with Rich Rod next year. As for defense I think Harbough would do a slightly better job than Rich Rod would do next year. However either way the defense will be below average at best. So with Harbough we would likely be looking at a 6-6 or 7-5 record next year and a lower tier bowl game. However with Rich Rod 8-4 or 9-3 or even with a little luck maybe even 10-2 would be our final record. So, for at least the first year and probably the next 2-3 seasons Rich Rod would be a better option than Harbough. However, I do believe that there is no doubt that Harbough is the better long term solution. So, the question is, is it worth it to be mediocre again for 2-3 years in order to eventually return to the nations elite winning 10-12 games a season? Or would it be better to win around 8-10 games for the next 10 years under Rich Rod and not deal with the pain of being mediocre again. I think we should go with Harbough but I wouldn't mind giving Rich Rod at least one more year. However, it is definitely time for change at Defensive Coordinator.

  14. First of all, under Lloyd Carr era, Michigan was an average 9 wins team. He has not done with Wolverine as much as Jim Tressel has. Do you really beleive if Michigan got Jim Harbough, she would transform into a super elite program like OSU? No way.
    Second, do you really think Stephen of a decent RB? He is a mediocre at best. Do you really think Tate and Devin as Top class pro-style QB? Nobody thinks that. They cannot reach Andrew Luck's decency even when they are at senior.

    Frankly speaking, if Michigan got Jim as a new coach, Michigan would go throgh at least two years more gloomy season. Can you really endure the dark ear again? If you did, I am sure Michigan could reach the level of Lloyd Carr's at best.

    Finally, I wonder why so many people who insists they are true lover of Michian love Jim Harbough so much. As everybody knows, he is a betrayer. He hurted Michigan football program. Did they forget that? It is very weired.

  15. Joel, you make a lot of sense :)

    For "michiganfootballm&m", I believe that Harbaugh would have success at Michigan as a coach eventually, but I feel RR can achieve the same or greater success a lot sooner. I don't think Forcier can run a pro style offense that well, whilst he made of seemed like a good prospect out of high school, Forcier hasn't exactly been good throwing out the pocket at Michigan. As troy says, he's no Andrew Luck.
    Gardner is younger, and probably could be used a bit like Tyrelle Pyror is at OSU, mainly pro sets but give him the freedom to run every now and then.
    Troy, your being a bit harsh on Stephen Hopkins, he's been pretty good this year for Michigan considering he's only a freshman. He could make a transition.

    We have two possible situations, and here's my opinion on both. Firstly, we keep RR and I believe he leads the team to a 9 wins next year, and then 10-11 the year after.
    Secondly, we can fire RR and hire Harbaugh. With this approach I think Michigan falls to six wins next year with victories over W Michigan, E Michigan, San Diego State, Purdue, Minnesota and maybe Northwestern.

  16. @Benjamin
    I agree with your opinion. Yes, Tate is a decent running thrower. Unfortuntely, he is not a good poket passer. As for Devin, it is hard to compare him to Tyrelle. Devin is far behind Tyrelle.
    Stephen has size and speed. I know he is a competitive RB. However, he has a serious problem with ball security.
    I Michigan let RR go, she cannot win Minnesota. I am sure Michigan would have another loosing season.

  17. huh? "She cannot win Minnesota" Are you high?

  18. One would assume the sentence reads:

    If Michigan let RR go, he (Harbaugh?) could not beat Minnesota!