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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

TSN's Tom Dienhart Goes Out on Journalistic Limb

The Sporting News' Tom Dienhart went out on a journalistic limb with a story criticizing Lloyd Carr coached Michigan teams as being perennial under-achievers. According to Dienhart, no Big 10 team has more talent yet no Big 10 team is more disappointing year in and year out.

Wow. Groundbreaking stuff. Criticizing Carr after a 7-5 season. How does he have the balls to even type such words? I mean, one doesn't see 50 of those stories littering every U-M fan board in cyberspace. Hell, Dienhart could have taken the day off and simply cut-and-pasted from Rivals, Scout or any Fuck-You-Lloyd-Because-You-Don't-Win-Every-Game .org, .net or .com site.

Doubt me? Go try and find any pro-Lloyd threads out there. You have a better chance finding a Republican at a Hollywood fundraiser or some joker still running one of those FireJoePa sites which have suddenly gone silent on the heels of the Nittany Lions 11-1 mark in 2005.

Point is, Michigan fans need to take a deep breath. The sky is not falling. Really.

Before last season, Michigan went to back-to-back Rose Bowls. Yes, the Wolverines lost but keep those defeats in perspective. One of those losses was to a USC team in the midst of something like the third longest winning streak in NCAA history while the other Rose Bowl loss was on the last play of the game to Texas team led by a QB who absolutely shredded that same USC team even worse this past January.

Yes, 2005 was unacceptable. Totally agree. But it was an aberration. Even Dienhart mentions in his story that he "will give Carr and Michigan credit: They never have fallen on their keister like every other major program. USC, Ohio State, Tennessee, Texas, Alabama, Penn State, Oklahoma, Georgia, Miami, Nebraska, LSU, Notre Dame … all of those college football fat boys have had losing records at some point over the past 15-20 years."

Furthermore, Lloyd has totally revamped his staff in an effort to correct the mistakes of last season. So the maize and blue faithful need to relax. It's not as bad as the cyber parrots would have you believe, even those getting paid to write that the sky is falling.

(HT: HeismanPundit)


Anonymous said...

oh great TMZ, see'er of the future you have put my maize and blue heart @ ease.


anyone who thinks that an old dog can be 'tricked' out of his old ways - well, they must be blinded by rabies.

if a few coaching position changes (not really that new alltogether anyhow) is what you're hanging your hat on - that's the abberation!! but if it makes you feel better, then daydream.


Reed4AU said...

With the talent Michigan pulls they should always be top team at the end of the season. Although the sweatervest has had better recruiting classes lately, both programs get their pick of athletes from their area and can recruit from across the nation.

I realize Carr has always been a winner, but you can't tell me you wouldn't want some new hotshot to come in and give your program the kick in the pants it needs. If he loses 3 games and the 1 to OSU he's gone.

CrimeNotes said...

Amen, Yost.

Also, anyone who thinks Lloyd's job is in danger doesn't know a thing about how Michigan is run. Get hammered at a stakehouse: fired. Go 7-5 but don't do anything scandalous: you're safe. I agree with this approach. Other schools purge coaches like their programs are Central American banana republics in the '70s. (See, e.g. , Nebraska and Alabama). Lloyd will go when he wants to go, so deal. Otherwise, I think Rick Neuheisel is still on the market.

Jackwraith said...

Look, Dienhart's column is on a par with the rest of the crap that TSN turns out on a regular basis. This one is swimming in its own hyperbole when it suggests that Carr might be on the hot seat.

(Here's the Stephen A. Smith) HOWEVA, his opening point is valid: no team in college football does less with more than Michigan in recent years. Carr is not an innovator. He's an anachronism from college football's kinder, more innocent years... that never existed. You know, those years when assistant coaches weren't treated as expendable (when?); when football players weren't lionized (ok, circa 1910?); when people didn't bitch about stupefying losses... Carr doesn't like the modern game and his stubborn adherence to his 'own way of doing things' has made the program a punch line for an awful lot of jokes. When the idiots on College Gameday can sit there and reasonably wonder why Michigan performs so poorly in 2 or 3 games, season after season, it's hard to make a counter-argument with a straight face. Switching assistant coaches (returning Mike DeBord, of all people, to 'rejuvenate' the offense?) is not a solution, either.

Can't spell Lloyd without 2 "L's" said...

Agree with Crimenotes on the fact that Carr is not in any danger of being fired. None. My beef isn't so much with the 5 in the loss column (well, yeah it is), it's more with the way LLLLLoyd coaches more to not lose than to win every year, which almost always results in losing games they have no business losing. He is usually so paranoid about his players screwing up the game, that he goes and does it himself. Just once I wanna hear him say "Fuck it, let's go for it. Fuck it, let's blitz the hell out of 'em" with the game on the line. One of the more memorable Michigan plays of my lifetime occurred when Mo was Coach, in '91 going for it on 4th against Notre Dame, which won the game. No way in hell Carr makes that call, ever. Gawd, I'm rambling.

Yost said...

"Other schools purge coaches like their programs are Central American banana republics in the '70s." LOL!

Cock D said...

"Fuck it, let's blitz the hell out of 'em" with the game on the line"

So I take it that you are comfortable with the Minnesota loss, where, due in large part to an overly aggressive scheme, Minnesota busted that long-ass run?

Can't spell Lloyd without 2 "L's" said...

Cock D:

No, I'm not comfortable with that, because that was a TIE game at the time, and any dumbass could see Minny was playing for OT (well, except Michigan's coaches).

More like when they get super-conservative and let tOSU comeback and score 2 td's for the win after leading by 9 late in the game at home.

bouje said...

Cock D:
See there are times when you blitz and other times when you don't. It seems like the Michigan coaches don't know which is which.

I.E. Minnesota is running out the clock, DON'T BLITZ

OSU is going long and passing on every down, DON'T GO INTO A COVER 2 EVERY DAMN PLAY

I HATE THE COVER 2 and the PREVENT BS that we always play in the end of games. Never ever blitzing at the end of the game, its just retarded.

You've gotta mix it up, run some zone with some blitzes, hell maybe even do a ZONE blitz.

Hopefully things will change this year.

nico said...

Other schools purge coaches like their programs are Central American banana republics in the '70s. (See, e.g. , Nebraska and Alabama).

Three coaches in a year isn't normal?

Barry said...

As for the two Rose Bowls:

USC took us out behind the shed and beat the snot out of us. I was there. It was awful. We never had a chance.

Texas could have been beaten if we had a coach who understood that the clock will eventually expire unless those crazy new-fangled Time Out thingys are utilized.

Oh, and if the scouting report that read: "Texas only has one good player. You might want to contain him" was looked at before the game.

Will Lloyd be fired? Of course not. Is he a good coach? When he wins ONE important road game more than 3 hours away, and I'll think about it.

CrimeNotes said...

If Lloyd were a marriage, we're all at the stage where we're bored as hell, our eyes are wandering, and we're thinking about how nice it would be with someone else. (As a single guy, I'm just guessing.) The predictability and lack of adventure are getting old. We've heard our friend talk about the one who's really into blitzing and going for it on fourth, which seems so exotic and alluring that it blows our fucking minds.

But this is all dreamy-eyed claptrap. If we were all spazzing after the Alamo Bowl (I left some deranged comments on here condemning this blog's lack of primal rage) imagine a losing year with someone new, a Tressel-lite who can't control his players, or a rat fink Neuheiselesque social climber. Obviously a lot of you think Michigan can do better, but look to other storied and moneyed programs and see how they fared in transition. (Hello Bob Davie, John Cooper, Ty Willingham, Gary Barnett, etc. etc.) I suspect that whoever comes in after Lloyd will have an experience like Ron Zook's at Florida, and we'll all be bitching because things weren't as tight as they were under Lloyd.

I'd rather teach the old dog some new tricks than housebreak "some new hotshot" who's in and out after three seasons and a Sun Bowl.

Yost said...


You sure you're not married? I mean, I don't want to say you hit the nail on the head but...

Anonymous said...

yup, the nail that seals UM's coffin over the next 4-5 years - which is about how long i figure this whole argument will last before Carr does everyone a favor & simply can's himself.

but hey, this Buckeye is loving it!

Spartan Bob said...

If Lloyd went ten years without a single bowl win, would that justify a firing?

Oh, yeah. Bo did that. He must have sucked worse, right? After all, where was his national championship? After how many decades in the job? How many Rose Bowls did he lose? Am I the only person who remembers this classic line?:

"Bo can't win the big one"

College football is about coaching and stability. Programs that get those two right do really well, without fail.

Iowa stuck with Kirk Ferentz after he won 11 games in his first THREE years following his replacement of legendary Hayden Fry. Is that grounds for firing, or what?

Nope. He won 31 games his next three years.

Frank Solich followed a legend and won 38 games in the last four years before they fired him. The team won ten games his last season.

Callahan won just HALF that total the following year, snapping the longest current streak of seasons without a losing season in the NCAA. Last year, Nebraska won just eight games in the Big 12 North (aka "MAC light").

THAT would have gotten Solich fired, let alone the five win season the year before. Yet, Nebraska fans are talking about HOPE! Are Michigan fans ready to adjust their standards?

The record for most seasons without a losing record now belongs to Michigan, and is in the hands of Lloyd, the only man to win a National Championship at Michigan since Kim Jong Il's daddy was taking over South Korea. (Michigan State has TWO NC's since then, BTW).

Lloyd will surely stretch it another year this season. Three coaches since 1969 -- one fired over a brush with the law. That is coaching success. That is stability.

PLEASE fire him, Michigan. This Spartan can't wait. Throw yourself into a Nebraska or Pittsburgh type turmoil, wondering why all the victories vanished after you fired the "underacheiving coach."

Here's a message for you: THE SCREWY LOOKING HELMETS DO NOT WIN THE GAMES, and the silent, crabby fans don't get it done either. If you don't lose, it's because the guy calling the shots is doing something right.

Someday, from a low and lonely position, I dearly hope that you all look back and wonder about what you failed to appreciate. Bring it on soon.


Yost said...

Can't believe I'm going to say this but well said, SB.

Brad said...

can't spell lloyd-

Not to undermine your point, because it does have some validity, but Grbac audibled into that 4th down call against ND in '91. Moeller reportedly was going bananas on the sideline that Elvis did it, until it worked of course.

And Barry, regarding Vince Young, after seeing what he did all season last year (and dismantling OSU and USC along the way), I felt a lot better about our 2004 RB performance. No, we didn't tackle him well, but then who did?

tyrone butterfingers said...

Groundbreaking stuff, indeed. But I feel Dienhart needs to push the journalistic envelope a little futher. I think I'm going to e-mail him with the following story ideas:

"Peyton Manning can't win big games"

"The Yankees have a really big payroll"

"The Pistons should have drafted Wade."

Yost said...


Anonymous said...

Bo beat Woody. That's all there is to it.

CrimeNotes said...

Spartan Bob makes excellent points.

I hope that his comment -- clear, correctly spelled and confident -- inspires more Spartans to become literate.

Ben said...

I agree with SB.

All except the part about the "screwy looking helmets." I think those are good for 3-5 points a game against certain teams.

Spartan Bob said...


Right back 'atcha:

My inspiration for the previous missive was a visit to the 'comments' section in TSN bit about Lloyd. Almost without fail, through the first couple of days, the meanest of the 'Fire Lloyd' sribes posting were those with a command of the language that... well ...

...I'll be diplomatic and say that its refreshing to know that Sesame Street can still perform such a solid public service for so much of the vocal Michigan fan base. To put these folks in touch with the help they need, I'd suggest that the long search for a school mascot should end with a large yellow bird that could be encouraged to wear a blue sweatervest.

(And, on a more serious note, I too offer a tip of the hat for the dead-on 'banana republic' analogy re: coaching changes.)