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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Michigan & Texas: Two Peas in a Pod?

Peter over at Burnt Orange Nation takes a look at Lloyd Carr and the popular Internet-fueled perception that he is a coach that doesn't get as much out of talent as he should. He does this by comparing Carr to UT's own Mack Brown who was also thought of as someone wasting good talent in Austin...until about a year and a half ago. Now it's impossible to find someone wearing orange who will admit to ever not being a fan of Brown.

Good article, worth the read.


CrimeNotes said...

I really liked the Burnt Orange post and think it raises points that too often are neglected. Especially this:

Sure, you can't be inept, but when you're the head of a program like Michigan or Texas, there's as much to be said for being the "Head of State" for the program as anything else. Especially when you consider that Michigan and Texas are universities of academic esteem. You can't just take the Auburn route and do whatever you feel like.

Without trying to be overcritical or simplify the views of a lot of Carr critics, I sometimes wonder if they're divorced from the larger reality of Michigan as an institution and a program. As much as anybody, my weekend and weeks are laid to waste after a Notre Dame loss. But in the end I'd rather have a losing season than an ethical taint on the program or some kind of blockbuster off-the-field humiliation.

Is it an either-or situation? Obviously not. But, for example, the off-season news about shenanigans at USC (a school that academically I wouldn't place on par with either Texas or Michigan, but think of as a somewhat classy institution) seem evidence of a good tactical thinker who lacks judgment in how to manage his program.

What occasionally gets lost in the raw, irrational rage of another fourth-quarter breakdown is the football program being one piece of a large, delicate institution. I still think of Michigan basketball as the school's ugly stepchild because of the Ed Martin scandals. Carr's most severe critics seem to get distracted by any shiny new coach on the horizon without recognizing the significant liability attendant to 1.) integrating a new coach into the system (as in, Charlie Weis may or may not be Notre Dame's salvation, but were the Davie/Willingham years worth it?) and 2.) the questionable program-management judgment of numerous big-time coaches.

BaggyPantsDevil said...

Having had many college football conversations with Texas fans I can tell you that up until the 2005 season, their complaints about Mack Brown were much the same as the recent complaints about Lloyd Carr, he routinely loss to the one team they really wanted him to beat, he took top recruiting classes and molded them into teams that were merely good and never played for the mythical national championship, and his play calling was too conservative and predictable..

It’s such a fine line between stupid and clever.

jg6544 said...

Oh yeah there is! There's a guy on InsideTexas who goes by the name of Bevosboss who, I think, was pulling for USC last January because he had invested so much in his argument that Mack Brown could never win a national championship.

Anonymous said...

I read the Burnt Orange post. "97 isn't that long ago." Well the noble Texas blogger forgot to point out the fact that Texas played the number two team in the nation and was the undisputed champs. On the other hand, I bet Nebraska fans would have something to say about the legitimacy of Michigans NC. Bo Never won a NC and Carr will never win another.