Rants, comments, thoughts and funny - mostly funny - on all things Michigan and college football.

If you have ideas, tips, links or pictures for the blog, e-mail us at: MichiganZone at gmail dot com.

Thanks for checking out the M Zone. And if you enjoy the site, please pass the link on to a friend or two. We'd sure appreciate it.

Twitter: @MZoneBlog

Facebook/MZoneBlog

Best Of Tat and Tresselgate

M Zone Videos

Best Of MZone 2.0

Best Of The Original MZone

Tosu Favorites

MZone Archive

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Discuss


Much more to come on Monday. I'm just too drained, bummed, frustrated, INSERT SOMETHING ELSE HERE to think coherently right now.

30 comments:

Mike said...

I am going to leave that decision to Dave Brandon and others who know more about running a Division I program than I do. Not excited that Michigan has become Notre Dame though: constant failure and talks of who the next coach will be that will save our program.

surrounded in columbus said...

we're a long way from changing coaches at this point.

first, there are 4 games left. if they pull out 2 more wins, it's very unlikely that they'll fire a 7-5 coach.

i really wonder if they'll fire a 6-6 coach, either.

there's also an issue of money- dumping this guy will cost a small fortune at a time that money is not easy.

finally, we have a long history of being patient- look at the basketball program.

a little stoicism is in order- another movie quote- "part of the problem w/ being a patrician, is that there are times you are expected to act like one".

let's try to act like "Michigan" fans- a showing of our famed arrogance in the face of adversity; a little calm in the midst of disaster? let's not run around screaming & panicking.

let's stand on the deck in a dignified fashion; women & children first

phil said...

I was a “give RR four years” to bring back the Michigan dynasty, but I want this to be the last year. To lose is one thing but to see the lack of football fundamentals at this historic program is an indication that the coaching is severely flawed. I haven’t and will never blame the players. The product that is out on that field is entirely on the coach. 4 – 16 in the Big 10 REALLY? The simple laws of probability should have us up by at least 3 more games. Whatever magic RR had at WV didn’t make the trip with him. I don’t think one more year is going to suddenly make the difference. I know recruiting is important but don’t give me that “we don’t have enough 5 star players” excuse. There are plenty of teams that have 5 star players that aren’t making the grade too. You start with fundamentals and motivation and you build your own 5 star player. The Titanic has sunk, let’s get another ship builder and try again.

phil said...

SIC - I love your comments and I think you are very wise but your comment on "being patient - look at the basketball program" is supposed to sell me?

justthinking said...

"Whatever magic RR had at WV didn’t make the trip with him."

Namely, Jeff Casteel.

We need a Defense that can keep teams at 15 points per game average, to contend for Big Ten and National Championships. That's what I posted on Spawn before the season based upon 40 years of Michigan D's - and I've compiled numbers for the other National Champiopnship teams as well. All under 15ppg.

RR has created a great offense, capable of running an 80 yard drive on anyone in under 2 minutes -- with a raw quarterback.

Defense is running 5-7 true freshman. Kids just out of high school, who may have been studs on their high school team, but that doesn't translate to D1 stud a year later.

Get in a bowl game. Get the extra days of practice. Recruit kids who like to hit and get back at it this spring.

RR is hopefully staying to keep the O running at full speed, and to keep the O commits coming. Gerg will hopefully be looking for new digs, and our new D Coordinator may be the highest paid DC in the nation come January.

Question is, who do they find at any cost that can do the job with what we have, and who we have coming?

Bruce said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BARman said...

Doesn't it seem like watching the team, an overall reaction is "no discipline" (meaning basic football skills type thing)? If true, that rests squarely on RichRod. As the head coach, you set the stage regarding that whole atmosphere. I wonder if RR is one who would rather be liked by his players than feared? Ironic, as the right kind of "fear" always leads to respect and admiration anyway...

Tom C said...

When you're in a hole it's best to quit digging.

Phillip said...

Would Harbaugh even come at this point?

We know he loves the program... but what he's got going at Stanford isn't exactly a bad thing.

If Brandon is going to pull the trigger on RR, it can't be like the last coaching search. He'd better have somebody sewn up or we'll end up looking like absolute fools as an institution.

Mikoyan said...

Well here's my thoughts on the situation. If they fire Gerg and hire a new defensive coordinator, that would be stupid in my opinion because that will make 2 coordinators in 3 years. And given the product that he has on the field, I'm not so sure it's him because every so often I see the Michigan defense have fits of brilliance (a few 3 and outs here and there, stopping on first down for a loss, etc). I'm not going to blame the players for it. I think it falls squarely on the head coach.

The thing that bothers me is that the offense is looking pretty good (taking away the State game). So the part that people wanted Lloyd Carr to leave over is doing well. I would hate to see that go away. But then again, the team is stocked enough that a good coach can probably do something with it and it wont be quite like the transition from Lloyd ball to Rich Ball.

If they are looking to pull trigger, I seriously hope they get someone lined up before they do it. But it's kind of difficult with the game schedules and what not because I don't think they should be calling during the season. As for my list:
1. Possibly Harbaugh
2. Paul Johnson (former Navy guy who is now in Georgia)
3. His replacement at Navy (even though they lost to Duke yesterday...blah)
4. the Bo cloning project...:)

Andrew said...

numbing....just numbing

Andy said...

I don't think Brandon will only cast his eyes towards Harbaugh. While I am sure Jim would love a chance at this job, he does have a pretty sweet gig right now. Leaving Stanford is not an easy decision, just ask Tyrone Willingham.

I don't think Paul Johnson (Ga Tech) or Ken Niumatalolo (Navy) would be good choices -- their system is too one dimensional to work in the B10.

If was Dave Brandon.... I would look to Chris Peterson (Boise), Gary Paterson (TCU), Kyle Whittingham (Utah), Pat Fitzgerald (Nortwestern), or gulp, Darrell Hazell (Ohio State assistant head coach).

bigGexpress said...

There are only two choices in my opinion. Both named Jim.

1) Jim Harbaugh
2) Jim Tressel ;)

You know Andy, I never thought of Pat Fitzgerald. That wouldn't be terrible. I think he's less likely to leave Northwestern than Harbaugh Stanford.

Mikoyan said...

The other part of me wants them to look at an obscure coach at some Division 1AA or II school that wants a shot at the big time. Or perhaps one of the lower tier Division IA schools (eastern but not Ron English)

BaggyPantsDevil said...

It's time, homey.

I've had serious concerns that Michigan is headed in the wrong direction for a few weeks now but as bad as I thought it was I still thought Michigan could beat Penn State. I guess it's worse than even I thought.

My worst case scenario had been wins against Penn State and Purdue, a toss up against Illinois, a beat down against Wisconsin, and then the annual--for what now seems like 100 straight years--punch in the face from Ohio State.

Now, Purdue's a toss up with the rest of the games being bare-assed spankings of Michigan.

I can't even credit Rich Rodriguez with a great offense. Team with great offenses are Penn State (when they play Michigan), Iowa (when they play Michigan), Michigan State (when they play Michigan). Even UMAss looking pretty damn good on offense, when they played Michigan.

Correction, Rich Rodriguez does make great offenses, for opponents.

Tom C said...

Umm.... I don't think our offense is anything to brag about. No Denard = no production. Tate makes it work with smoke and mirrors. Denard doesn't have the touch on the deep ball, and Tate doesn't see coverages. Our running Backs havn't done much. We can't grind it out and keep our Defense off the field, or theirs on it.

surrounded in columbus said...

Phil
It wasn't a sales pitch. It was a warning. Don't be surprised if Brandon is more patient than we might like.

My sales pitch was for people to try to maintain a lil' composure (something the net doesn't really foster). I live amongst a million tosu fans. You know the only thing they enjoy more than watching us lose?

Watching us go to pieces over it.

Yost said...

I hear you, but there's no improvement, SiC. That's what's most galling. They're not getting better.

We played against a team that was basically a mirror of our '08 team and we made some 3rd string walk-on QB look like Cam Newton. And a running back who was averaging 64 yards a game coming into last night gained 150. And an offense that hadn't scored over 28 points vs. a D-1 school gashed us. And on and on.

At some point, patience wears thin. RR didn't take over at Temple. He took over a team that hadn't had a losing season since '67 and in "building a program" is fielding something that is getting smoked by any team with pulse.

surrounded in columbus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
surrounded in columbus said...

Yost,
just to be clear, IF this were an NFL team, and I was its owner, i'd have fired R2 last night before he left the locker room. i might have made him fly home commercial (though i'd have probably paid for his ticket, because i'd run a "class" organization, right?).

but it's not my team. and that's not the way Michigan does things. if one thing is clear after the last decade, it's that this administration makes its own decisions in its own time.

we aren't like other schools- influential boosters, rich alums, bloggers, MSM, and fans don't push decisions at michigan. Mary Sue & Brandon are going to address this w/ very little regard to "popular" opinion, just like they have everything else. And whether we like it isn't going to matter.

and that's a good thing. we aren't tosu or some SEC school where donors feel they can call the AD or President on the carpet over football games. the tail doesn't wag the dog here, and it's something to be proud of.

what i'm saying is, we can all blog & rant all we want, draft lists of potential coaches, and talk about what should happen all we like. but what's going to happen is that they are going to wait until the end of the season, wait until the NCAA issues its decision, and then make the call based on a lotta factors- our concerns over the W-L record being only one of them.

that said, no one should be surprised, in fact, everyone should be prepared, if this team finishes 7-5/6-6, and the NCAA decision is what we seem to expect it to be, that they bring R2 back for a 4th season.

changing coaches is both expensive and time consuming (ask ND). firing a coach w/ a team going to a bowl game is a very questionable call (even if it's the Pizza Bowl). and giving him another season amortizes the potential buyout by another year.

i'd have changeed coaches last night. but unless we lose out, i don't think we're going to do so for another year (or two).

Andy said...

OK SiC. I hear you and somewhat agree.

What happens when we land at 5-7 and no bowl game AGAIN?

The most damaging thing about the last two years hasn't been missing a crappy bowl game and getting spanked by a mediocre SEC team - it is the fact these young players have lost out on 2+ months of additional practices. That time is invaluable to rebuilding a down program.

Not making a bowl for three years at Michigan should be enough to get anyone fired. Add in the NCAA drama, the complete failure to win conference or rivalry games.

He is done. Done. Done.

surrounded in columbus said...

Andy
5-7 is easy. He's done.
7-5 is probably easy. He's staying.

6-6 is the tough one.

And they may still beat Purdue.

Bigasshammm said...

If we go 6-6 do we really want to go to a middling bowl game and probably get pantsed by a middling team from some "lesser" conference? Even 7-5 without a win over either OSU or Wisconsin and I'm saying skip the bowl game. Being .500 and going to a bowl game is embarrassing as hell. They shouldn't even allow .500 teams to bowl games and that's part of what's flawed with college football.

I'm done with it. Last night I was outside sitting at my firepit with the wife while they blew it in the second half. I couldn't watch anymore and frankly don't want to watch anymore. This has never happened until RR got there so in that the blame lies with him.

The offense is terrible. It's a one man show. I would hate to be recruited by Michigan right now if I played offense because I'd never make a name for myself. Denard is NOT a QB because he is not a leader on the field. Denard is a round peg in a round hole and aside from that when he comes upon a square hole he gets confused. True QBs need to know how to adapt and lead the team on the field and on the sidelines. I've seen that from Tate because he's been raised as a true QB. Maybe his skills aren't as good as Denard's but there's no reasoning that Denard at TB/Slot with Tate at Qb wouldn't be just as if not more explosive of an offense.

The defense
Lol

Fire him.
We're going to get obliterated in Dallas' billion dollar stadium.

surrounded in columbus said...

We're not gonna fire a 7-5 coach.

This isn't tosu & Earl Bruce.

srudoff said...

what about a 22-13 coach?

Andy said...

Right now, 22-13 sounds pretty good

Mikoyan said...

Before I responded again, I wanted to take a few deep breathes so that I could collect my thoughts and what not.

1. I do not think a quarterback that puts up 190 yards passing can be called a one man show since he has to have another person to pass to. Although the 190 some yards on rushing could do that. I'm not a big fan of a quarterback putting up those kind of rushing numbers because it seems like he goes out every game. That doesn't bode well for the rhythym of the offense.
2. I'm still on the fence about firing Rich Rod. I'm not sure if he is the right man for the program in the long term but then again, I don't think a coaching carousel is right from the program either. If Brandon is going to fire him, I hope he asks the question if he still feels that Rich Rod is the right man for the program long term. If the answer to that is no then he should get rid of the man and start new.
3. If we do start with a new coach next season, I don't think its going to be all gloom and doom. He will have two pretty decent quarterbacks in Tate and Denard. He will also have a pretty seasoned offense. As maligned as the defense is, they will be sophomores and juniors instead of freshmen and sophomores and that will make alot of difference.
3. If they do end up firing coaches (Gerg for instance), I hope they don't take half measures and just start cleaning house.

Bigasshammm said...

Why keep a 7-5 coach around another season? After 3 years you're saying it's ok to keep him because he showed improvement in 2 wins a season but again would only be 5-18 or so in the Big Ten in 3 years. Do you really think that 7-5 would stop the fire train next season? Why keep prolonging the misery when instead you can cut losses and try to right the ship?
You're not firing him over the overall record you're firing him for 5-18 in the BT. That's pathetic and Michigan has become the pathetic BT team under his coaching. He couldn't win a meaningful game at WVU and he can't win here. He's a good OC, a terrible head coach.

But I also agree that he shouldn't be fired unless someone is already ready to step in and take his place. So if Brandon contacts Harbaugh or someone else and they say yeah the job is mine then he's gone. If they can't find someone then you have to stick with him.

Feelin' Blue said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Feelin' Blue said...

Fuck no. After the 2007 OSU game, it had become apparent that Michigan was not going to reach the upper echelons of CFB again under Lloyd Carr. Lloyd himself would be the first to admit that he just didn't have the fire to keep coaching. Under Rich Rodriguez, I know this sounds ridiculous to a bunch of you, but there is still hope. The guy is an amazing offensive coach, the players seem to really like him and are extremely well-behaved off the field, and he respects Michigan tradition.

RR's problems come down to his managerial style. He has mismanaged the defense from day one. He should have never fired Vance Bedford or Steve Szabo, and he should have given Scott Shafer a chance to do his thing as DC. The defense is possibly going nowhere under Greg Robinson and the secondary has done shit under Tony Gibson, but 1) the secondary is all freshmen and 2) if RR just makes some staff changes and stops being so stubborn about defense, then is it that hard to imagine him winning?

Firing should be a last resort. If you view it as the solution when there is no hope, then fine, but I say that there is still hope. Just stop seeing termination as some proper punitive measure for embarrassing Michigan football. And please tell me that you people haven't forgotten how Jim Harbaugh threw UM under the bus a few years ago and has a DUI to his name.