Play like Messi.
Play like Messi.
I just put up my Michigan flag for the last time this season. Michigan is playing in a bowl game for the first time in the past three seasons. It may be Rich Rodriguez’s last game ever for the Wolverines, if the rumors are true. I hope he stays.
Give him his fourth season. Give him a chance to come back and coach perhaps the most exciting player in College Football. Let him at least tie his predecessor’s record of four straight losses against Ohio State. I look back at my expectations from the beginning of the year and they were met. They beat the teams they were supposed to beat and lost to the teams they were expected to lose to. The losses sting, but were not that suprising when you look at them.
You keep him because churn at the head coaching position should be avoided whenever possible. When you yank him out after three years you set a bad precedent: if the next guy doesn’t produce in three years you have to get rid of him, too. Rodriguez’s first year was a waste to begin with, not having time to get his players installed and the cupboards short stocked, if not bare. Also, now is not the time to abandon the spread, if you want to keep advancing to the highest levels. The majority of the conference champions are running some version of the spread. The two best teams in the country, Oregon and Auburn, are both shredding opponents with the spread. I fully support gutting the defensive staff and revamping that side of the ball. But you don’t need to fire the head coach to do that.
Plus, he is a good guy. He doesn’t put his star QB on the field in a must win game when he might have a concussion. He doesn’t let his kids go straight from prison back
onto the field. He doesn’t oversign recruits then kick scholarship players off the team without even talking to them face to face. When his only decent kicker or his essential backup QB breaks team rules, he sends them home, not let them play in the big bowl game and hold off their punishment until next year. Any rule or contract he’s broken has never hurt his kids.
Finally, the reasons you DO get rid of Rich Rod: although he increased the win count, he never pulled the big upset. The offense sputtered down the stretch. He gets too emotional and plays sappy Josh Groban songs for the team.
One last game this year. I want to see more.
ADDENDUM: it’s nearing the end of the Gator Bowl, and this performance makes it hard to see him staying around for another year. Get ready for the turmoil.
Win at all costs? Yeah, right. Call him what you will, but Rich Rod is a good guy.
So Michigan lost to Michigan State. Denard Robinson showed that he is not perfect, and is in fact a sophomore quarterback who has only started half a dozen games. The Bandwagon is suddenly much lighter than it was a week ago when Michigan was ranked.
Yes, it’s disappointing. But not unexpected.
Two years ago, the Wolverines won 3 games. Last year they won 5. This year they have already matched that total halfway through the season. They need just one more win to get to that elusive “bowl-eligible” status. In my mind, a “successful” season means 7 wins. 7 wins means Rich Rod gets at least another year to continue to work his system now that he has his players. I’d love for them to win more, but 7 in my mind is the minimum.
After Michigan went 5-0, I looked at the rest of the schedule:
Sat, Oct 9 vs #17 Michigan State
Sat, Oct 16 vs #15 Iowa
Sat, Oct 30 @Penn State
Sat, Nov 6 vs Illinois
Sat, Nov 13 @Purdue
Sat, Nov 20 vs #18 Wisconsin
Sat, Nov 27 @#1 Ohio State
To get to 7 wins, Michigan needs 2 wins out of those 7 games. Those “must win” games to me are the first two games of November: against Illinois and Purdue. If Michigan can take care of business in those two games, they will be all set. That leaves 5 games against MSU, Iowa, Penn State, Wisconsin and Ohio State– all probable losses when you look at them individually. But if they can steal one of those five, they can get to 8 wins. If they can steal two, they can get a nice post-season showing with 9 wins.
They already failed the first of the five attempts at stealing a win. But there’s still four more chances, and even if they fail those, they can get to 7 wins for a winning record and get to a bowl game.
Let’s cheer on our Wolverines and root for them to rise up against these strong teams. There’s a lot of football left to be played.
With football season gearing up, there is a lot of trepidation around Ann Arbor about the Michigan Wolverines. The last two seasons have been disappointing, to say the least, and defensive player loss before the season opener has put the bullseye square on head coach Rich Rodriguez’s back. I have heard many voicing their displeasure and dislike of the man. Personally, I like him because he has brought some fresh ideas and game play to the Big Ten and think deep down he’s a good guy. But I have a simple equation for all Michigan fans for this upcoming season:
If you consider yourself a Michigan Football fan, you should want coach Rodriguez to succeed. End of story. Why?
The most basic reason is that if he succeeds, it means the football team is winning games. Which I assume all fans can agree on, right?
The second reason is that he’s the DAMN football coach. New Athletic Director Dave Brandon has supported RichRod throughout the NCAA investigations into practice time compliance, saying “Rich Rodriguez is our football coach, and he will be our football coach.” While the man is in charge of the gameplan between the sidelines and training those young men, he deserves support of the fans.
But the biggest reason I think all Michigan fans should want RichRod to succeed is this: consider the alternative. Think of what happens to the program if there is another losing season: national ridicule, further reputation loss, and another regime change. What do you honestly think will happen if Les Miles or Jim Harbaugh (or some other 2nd or 3rd tier coach) comes in next year? Another 3 or so years of struggle and turnover as the new coach tries to get HIS players into HIS system. Another coach on the hot seat with something to prove. A precedent of “produce immediately or we will have to fire you too.” For goodness sake, look at the recent coaching changes at Notre Dame. Is that the process you want to model yourself after?
If you care about the Michigan football program, get out there and cheer and support the man. This year could be the difference between a longtime regime and years of turmoil.
Go RichRod and Go Blue!