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Posted on Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 6:22 p.m.

Patience? Entering Year 3, Rich Rodriguez in danger of running out of it

By Michael Rothstein


Dejected Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez, walks off the field after losing to Ohio State on Saturday.

Lon Horwedel |

Rich Rodriguez lingered on the field, his players passing him by. As he walked toward the Michigan Stadium tunnel for the final time in 2009, he glanced back.

He said he was searching for Ohio State seniors, trying to find a couple to congratulate and wish luck for the future.

As for Rodriguez’ future, it’s tough to tell how it will end up.

The second-year Michigan coach can turn to Year 3, Rodriguez’s second year a failure as the Wolverines will sit home in December and January again, watching bowl games promoted by odd sponsors like Valero - for the record, a gasoline company - on television instead of playing in them.

Yes, Michigan’s win total rose from 3 to 5, but the Wolverines finished tied at the bottom of the Big Ten with Indiana at 1-7. So to see Rodriguez, a man who looks, frankly, exhausted, is unsurprising.

College football coaches are often bold and confident. Humble is usually thrown around
for award ceremonies and conference championship lip service. Not in the case of Rodriguez.

“How many times does a man got to get humbled,” Rodriguez said after his team’s latest defeat, a 21-10 loss to bitter rival Ohio State. “I got humbled last year, been humbled before, will get humbled again. In this profession, there’s enough humility to go around for everybody.

“I’m sick and tired of being humbled.”

He’ll have to wait at least nine more months to lose that feeling.

That’s been the new theme at Michigan. Humility has never been something associated with a school whose motto is “Those who stay will be champions.”

Yet that is exactly what has happened with Rodriguez at the helm. The frustration comes through in every question about his job status, every explanation of what went wrong again and every time he preaches patience about building a program.

He has a point - successful programs aren’t built overnight. Except Michigan was a successful program before Rodriguez arrived in Ann Arbor.

Actually, the most successful program in college football history. Now, Rodriguez became the first Michigan coach to lose to Ohio State his first two times facing the Buckeyes.

“We’ve got to get better,” Rodriguez said. “We’ll beat Ohio State when we’re better than them. When we have a better team than them, we’ll probably beat ‘em. That’s, it’s as pretty simple as that.”

Right now, what Rodriguez is doing isn’t close. Ohio State won or shared the Big Ten for the sixth straight year. Michigan has now owned or shared one of the bottom two spots in the Big Ten for the past two seasons.

Patience should start to wear thin. Michigan made the same mistakes over and over throughout the second half of the season.

Some of that is on the players, but a lot of that is on the coaching staff. Michigan, from the beginning of the season to its merciful end, regressed.

As for Rodriguez, he points to what he sees daily in practice - something that won’t happen again until spring - as the reason for encouragement. He continues to explain his quarterback’s struggles away with using the youth excuse, although freshman quarterback Tate Forcier was in his 12th start, came on campus early and finished Saturday with five turnovers.

“Everybody’s got an opinion,” Rodriguez said. “Everybody has got an opinion on how long it is.”

Fair enough. Everyone does. Given this society's need for instant fulfillment, it’s the nature of things, especially at a place like Michigan where they suffer losing horribly.

Remember, this is a program whose fan base criticized former coach Lloyd Carr for not winning enough. Carr won a shared national championship, six bowl wins in his 13 years and never finished worse than third in the Big Ten. He never lost more than three Big Ten games and just once - in 2005 when the Wolverines were besieged with injuries - lost more than four games.

But Carr, according to some, didn’t win enough.

So when Rich Rodriguez asks for patience, again, it rings hollow. The West Virginia native deserves one more year to show progress, but with a new athletic director coming in, potential NCAA violations looming and a two-year bowl drought a reality, patience is gone.

Production is now what needs to be seen.

Michael Rothstein covers University of Michigan sports for He can be reached at (734) 623-2558, by e-mail at or follow along on Twitter @mikerothstein.



Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 3:01 p.m.

Poor Rich. Maybe should have stayed in WV. Sorry 'bout your luck.

Go Blue

Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 1:19 p.m.

Well said by many of you - Mr. R needs to, for once, do the honorable thing, and leave. He is poor, at best, as a leader and coach. He instills nothing positive in the team, he does not have the ability to turn the team towards being cohesive, well-tuned and organized. His lack of character is embarrassing and worse, that he points his finger in blame at everyone else or cries is akin to a child bully that has been caught and is being disciplined or the child having a temper tantrum. Let's take the off season to find a coach that fits and will do the job - it is clear Mr. R cannot. All the time in the world is not going to change that nor will all the excuses he can dream up. It will cost us far less to open the door and hand him one final check than all the money his being on board is costing us.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 8:37 p.m.

Hey miatamich: I am sure you made a mistake calling me out. I think calling out Obama on a football board is crazy, as I told that other poster, Jack. I don't personally care who created the country's problems--Obama is now responsible for them. Similarly: I think LC did NOT leave the cupboard bare so to speak, but even if he did, it's RR's job to take care of the players who ARE here and teach them, lead them, coach them, and improve them. He has failed in all manners of those principles. If he really believes that the last 3-4 Februaries were that bad, why did he take his sorry self from WV to MI? Why did he not know that BEFORE we were stuck with him? If it's that bad, let him pull a Sarah Palin and resign. He is clearly out of his element.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 6:30 p.m.

bluenella, I feel that calling for RR's firing IS supporting the program. The team is in disarray and RR is to blame. I want a coach that will come in here and clean it up and WIN without requiring 5 years to get 'his players' before he can do it. Ryan Mallett seems to be doing very well, thank you, in the SEC. However, apparently he passed TOO WELL to be in RR's "system." Urban Meyer did a great job with Chris Leak despite him not being his type of QB. It would also be nice to see the coach, win or lose, SUPPORT HIS D**N PLAYERS AND STOP BLAMING THEM!!! "We don't have talent...we're too small...we're too slow...we're too blah blah blah." Real motivator, I'm sure the players really rally around him. Coach the players up and be accountable, otherwise why the H**L is Michigan paying him 2.5 million dollars?!!! You're annoyed by whiny fans, I'm annoyed by a whiny coach and his blind fans who give him a free pass as he runs the program into the ground with zero signs of improvement.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 6:05 p.m.

"So when Rich Rodriguez asks for patience, again, it rings hollow." Really? Because what rings hollow to me is every whiney fairweather fan who doesn't support the hometown team. Win or lose, the team deserves our support, and by team I mean the entire team, coaching staff included. Those who pushed for Coach Carr's departure (including large portions of the Ann Arbor News' sports staff) shouldn't be so ready to jump on the Coach Rod-bashing bandwagon, as you have all season long. The team is very young and lacking in depth at positions, that we know. But what I do see, despite mistakes and losses, is a team and coaching staff that worked hard every week. What do I wish for in the new year? Some more height, some more defense, sure. But what I really wish for is a little more "Uferesque"-positivity and a whole lot less "Cartyesque"-negativity and snark.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 5:56 p.m.

I grew up in Ann Arbor, played jr. and high school football for eight years, and marched into U of M stadium with my dearly departed father countless times, long before it was called "The Big House". I am no fair-weather fan, I wear my colors proudly in the middle of PAC 10 territory now, and I have had to listen to people say "my condolences." for two years. I would like remind anyone who will listen, about football fundamentals. None of the professional sportscasters seem to be talking about it in relation to Coach Rodriguez. It is evident that football fundamentals are not being taught, or at least not well. Poor Tate Forcier, loaded with talent, is still carrying the ball one-handed on the run, like a loaf of bread, in the last game of the season. That should have been corrected before the season started. Most of the defense does not wrap around their tackles. These are just two examples. This is stuff that can be taught to any reasonable athlete, even if they never played football before. It's not getting taught at U of M anymorea sign of bad coaching. Fundamentals have nothing to do with learning a new system. They are the basics of football, and you can only build on top of them. Without them you have nothing. There is nothing wrong with loosing as long as you don't beat yourself. No fundamentals leads to beating yourself. The Wolverines beat themselves every time they lost. The other teams shouldn't even get ticks in the win column. Then there's discipline. Players arguing with coaches on the sideline on national television, and the coaches arguing back? What? That should never ever happen. Again, that's bad coaching. I had so much respect for my coaches, it's still hard to believe I saw this with my own eyes. I don't think Rich Rodriguez was the key to West Virginia's success. They finished 9-4 in 2008 without him. They are having a similar year in 2009. Do you think Bo Schembechler football is dead too? You'd better check out your old friend Jim Harbaough at Stanford then. He started as head coach there in 2007. He took one of the worst teams in the PAC 10 and made them contendersrunning a Bo style offense. He even beat USC with it this year. But once again, it's not about winning. It's about playing football you can be proud of. It's about getting beat by the other team, not yourself. As for the comments about "are any of you haters in shape"...please check yourself. As if Rich Rodriguez or half the coaches in football did not have pot bellies. Ha! They are not haters, they are concerned about their once proud team being taken over by a yahoo, who was hired by people that don't really know the game of football. Finally, isn't seeing the Ohio State fans holding a sign saying "We love you Rich Rodriguez!" enough already? They know the difference. They have a great coach.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 5:22 p.m.

If RR had inherited a program that was not previously successful then fans would be more patient as he puts together his program; however when a coach inherits a successful program then expectations are for him to continue where it left off at. The window is very small for non success. When fans and supporters see improvement then there is more patience with the program, however if Mich could have a least got into a bowl then that would have been a sign of progress. After 3 years any effective coach should have significant improvement. If not at leat 8 games next year then maybe its time to reconsider a new plan.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 4:08 p.m.

I am irritated with these Michigan journalists that keep saying the program was a "successful" program, the program was not broken,etc. The program was in reality a mediocre program. It was losing to Ohio State every year, losing non-conference openers (UCLA, Washington, Oregon (twice, and the second time was a real spanking), and of course Appalachian State, a 1-AA team. The team was losing bowl games regularly, Nebraska, Texas, USC twice. And losing to USC and Ohio State really showed the level of the program, which is average. Another sign of the program eroding was when Ronald Johnson, one of the highest rated recruits in the state of Michigan, went to USC instead of Michigan. Obviously, these intellectual and know-it-all writers are satisfied and perhaps ecstatic when Michigan beats the likes of Illinois, Northwestern, Indiana, and Purdue, and they no problem losing to Ohio State under Carr.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 2:36 p.m.

I am honestly ashamed...Who did you interview for your poll. It certainly wasnt those of us who were at the big house on saturday. I was disgusted with everything I saw this year. How did so many people from ohio state make it in the game today. If you are a ticket holder and you sold your tickets to a buckeye fan you should never be allowed into Michigan stadium for the rest of your life. Our house sounded like their house. There was so many OSU fans that they cheered from every section of the stadium. There wasnt enough of us die hards to drown them out..In our own building... Remember after the notre game game all of you idiots in the stands were cheering rich rodriguez over and over. After 2 wins you were ready to forgive him for destroying this program. He wiped his feet on our traditions, he disrespected coach carr, he keeps whining he has no talent. That is because they all transfered when they hired this joker. We actually lost a player who transfered to ohio state. He celebrated a win here on saturday. Wake up, MICHIGAN FOOTBALL IS BEING LAUGHED AT, disrespected and mocked.. If that is ok with you and you are willing for more of that in the future then jump on the bus for columbus. I would rather sit in the big house with 60,000 true fans than ever watch a game with any of you who sold your tickets....Rediculous


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 12:40 p.m.

It doesn't take an expert to see the trend. M's Big Ten Record 2003 7-1 2004 7-1 2005 5-3 2006 7-1 2007 6-2 xxxxxxxxxx 2008 2-6 2009 1-7


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 12:28 p.m.

Dear fair weather fans and armchair experts: Earlier this year you were aching for les miles..Anyone happen to see his brilliance yesterday? You're experts on cutting everyone down. OK so both of his freshman QBs have fatal flaws - never saw one post aching for sheridan, the QB he inherited. Look for a spirited competition for QB next year, with yet another touted freshman. The undersized defense played incredible, and while i'm not a greg robinson fan, they played a credible game. Unfortunately the stars in Tates eyes have been replaced with the deer in the headlights look, and I'm afraid that he may have suffered terminal damage in terms of long term success as a Wolverine. Don;t be surprised if he exits before RR. Face up to the fact that he inherited a neglected team. Now, he's half way to having a complete team on his watch - would be a major mistake to change now.. and lets not forget the crybabies that are being handed a quarter million dollar scholarship that whined to the NCAA about having to work hard.. boo hoo.. pay your 50K a year, work for your money, or get out of AA.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 12:04 p.m.

azwolverine....great post/comment that you made on a possible next year. However with that schedule, I see no more than 5 wins for this team at most...and yes, you are correct in that the Koolaid crowd would be crazy over that "improvement"... lol. It is about accountability now. The program is at the rock bottom now. Cut bait and move on UM. Get started with a better coach that has character. Nothing to lose now if you cut bait. The program is already a mess. Harbaugh would get this thing turned around asap due to his ability to play a more simplified system, get the most out of his players, play physical and disciplined cutting down on errors.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 11:40 a.m.

When someone is hired as head football coach, absent major NCAA violations or serious conduct violations (Gary Moeller?) he should be given sufficient time to demonstrate either he can or cannot get the job done. IMHO, two years isn't enough time and therefore on principal alone, Coach Rodriguez should be allowed to continue the job he was hired by the University of Michigan to do. That said, Rodriguez really needs to learn how to play the PR game much better. First and foremost, he needs to accept responsiblity for how things have gone under his leadership, rather than trying to blame current shortcomings on things that happened (or didn't happen) before he arrived, his players and/or their inexperience. Throwing players and former coaches under the bus doens't cut it, not by a long shot. A previous poster had warned against firing Rich Rodriguez too quickly like some other programs (including Nebraska) had done previously. I agree -- in part. I think some of the parallels between Nebraska and Michigan football programs of late are quite interesting. Wealthy alums at both schools were "tired of status quo", believing their teams were no longer competitive with the newer, more exciting west coast / spread offenses. In addition, nothing short of being a national championship contender every year was acceptable, as it was a birthright for fans of both programs. In the end neither Frank Solich nor Lloyd Carr left on their own terms. In Solich's final season in Lincoln, Nebraska started out 5-0 but then was blown out by Missouri, Texas, and Kansas State. New AD Steve Pederson was hired and famouly stated he would "not let Nebraska gravitate to mediocrity" and fired Solich prior to the bowl game, despite a 9-3 record. After years of winning 7 to 11 games, but not replicating the 1997 co-national championship, Lloyd Carr was encouraged to retire by influential Michigan alums/boosters. Pehaps a program has to stumble a bit before people realize and appreciate how good it was. Bill Callahan -- purported west coast offense guru -- replaced Solich at Nebraska. In Callahan's first season his team -- which was stocked with Solich recruits skilled at playing option football, not the west coast offense -- finished 5-6, ending the Huskers' bowl streak at 35 consecutive seasons. Rodriguez -- hired to bring UM into the 21st century with the "hot" spread offense -- also had a rough 1st season (3-9) with personnel on offense better suited to playing in another system. His second season as head coach at UM started off well (4-0) but finished poorly (1-7). For the record, the University of Nebraska didn't fire Bill Callahan until after he had completed 4 years as head coach of the Huskers -- and even then it wasn't until after then-newly hired AD Tom Osborne had an opportunity to closely evaluate Callahan for an entire season. Unlike most ADs, Osborne (255-49-3 with 3 national championships) knows a thing or two about the demands and challenges placed upon the head coach of a high profile college football program, so if anything he was more sympathetic and willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the embattled Callahan. At that point, however, Nebraska's program had been allowed to deteriorate to such a point that Callahan's firing was needed in order for the rebuilding process to start. Callahan never really embraced Nebraka's football traditions (including the famed walk-on program for in-state players and the blackshirts) and from the beginning he made too many changes that really made it difficult for people of the state to support him. Rich Rodriguez would be wise to learn from Callahan's mistakes, as UM football also has many traditions of its own. Even though I'm an Ohio State alum, it pains me to see Michigan's program in its current state. Sure, I'm enjoying our current success against TSUN (after UM similarly enjoyed years of success against John Cooper-coached OSU teams), but in the bigger (national) picture the Big Ten needs a strong, championship-caliber UM team. A strong Michigan program will force all of the other conference teams (well, except IU) to get better. And frankly, I'm tired of hearing how great the SEC is. Unfortunately, until all programs in the Big Ten improve, we'll continue hearing about how much better Florida, Alabama, and LSU are than teams from the Big Ten.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 10:56 a.m.

Valero? Do you find yourself drifting off to other thoughts mid-sentence often? Bill Martin has been great for the integrity of Michigan athletics and finances but his personnel decisions have been general poor. If you keep doing things the same way and expect change...yadda yadda.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 10:45 a.m.

"i'm tired of being blah blah blah, we'll beat them when we're better than them, blah blah blah" Guess what Rich, this is your team, you recruit, coach, and train these guys. This team isn't going to magically get better on it's own, it's YOUR JOB to make them better.

Navy MaiznBlue

Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 10:41 a.m.

As much as I want to see RR succeed here, and I do think he should get another year, 2 things yesterday p*ssed me off. First, the blitz call that Tressel totally owned our coaching staff on and scored the TD. How many times this year did our blitz attempts get exploited?? Then the Mike Shaw shove prior to the game...caught on national tv to be seen over and over again. Don't remember Bo/Mo/Loyd coached teams being so thuggish, or at least if they were, they were a lot more discreet about it. Anyway, go blue, and looking forward to a great Bball season!!


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 10:40 a.m.

Another season-NO WAY! Here is what Richie has done in 2 years. 1)Broke a long standing U of M bowl streak 2)No Bowl game 2 years in a row 3)Last place in Big 10 for the first time since 1962 3) Worst U of M record ever 4)2nd worst U of M record ever 5)Turned tradition of excellence into 2 years of pathetic. People this is the U of Michigan. This is U of Michigan Football. We should demand more! We don't sit around and wait to win here, we win every year. We should demand more. It has only been a couple years since Coach Carr took our Michigan team to Orlando and smoked the Florida Gators in there own back yard. Y'all wanted to run coach Carr out of town after winning 9 and 10 games year after year. Remember being upset about winning 9 games? Fire Richie and the rest of the bad coaching he brought from W.V. before we end up like Notre Dame. Bringing this lame duck back should not even be a consideration. Demand More! Our players deserve better! Go Blue!


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 10:31 a.m.

Jaxon, Here is my fear of what will happen next year. First of all, in his two years here, RR has started 6-2 when you combine the first 4 games over two years (2-2 '08, 4-0 '09). With that trend, I expect Michigan to start 4-1 next season (wins over UConn, UMass, BG, and Indiana) and a loss to ND and whoever their FIRST year coach is (hopefully not Harbaugh). The RR KoolAid crowd will be out in full force with "I told you so." Then MSU comes to the Big House with their completely mediocre program and coach. That gives Michigan a 50% chance of victory (although Dantonio has owned RR). Let's say they go 5-1 (if they lose to MSU again, RR should be fired on the spot!). Then with Iowa coming to town, they still have a shot (Iowa is not as good as their record, although Ferentz is a much better coach) but I see Iowa winning - UM 5-2. Next week @ PSU, UM gets smashed: 5-3. Now the wheels are coming loose. UM battles Illinois at home, the Zooker owns RR...5-4. On the road against Purdue, UM finally beats them to go 6-4. Wisconsin and OSU once again overwhelm UM and we finish 6-6, 3-5 Big Ten. We go to a bowl and the RR KoolAid crowd tells us it is tangible improvement so we've got to keep him. He stays on for another year and, woila! We've wasted four years just like Nebraska with Bill Callahan and close to ND with Weiss. Thanks for your support of the program KoolAiders.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 8:25 a.m.

This is a little early, but here's the 2010 season... L Sept. 4 CONNECTICUT L Sept. 11 at Notre Dame W Sept. 18 MASSACHUSETTS W in OT Sept. 25 BOWLING GREEN L Oct. 2 at Indiana* L Oct. 9 MICHIGAN STATE* L Oct. 16 IOWA* (HC) L by 35 pts Oct. 30 at Penn State* L Nov. 6 ILLINOIS* L Nov. 13 at Purdue* L Nov. 20 WISCONSIN* L are you kidding? Nov. 27 at Ohio State*


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 8:24 a.m.

Excellent post, uferdisciple. This decade (2-8 versus Ohio State) is just payback from the nineties when we dominated Ohio State. People have a right to be UPSET but not IMPATIENT. He's playing with FRESHMEN and SOPHOMORES people!!! The rest of the league has JUNIORS and SENIORS!!! Also, out of the small classes of juniors and seniors he DOES have, only a handfull have been good enough to fit his system! These guys will be much better. If you want to judge RR, judge him after his third season. My hunch is that his team will come out with a lot more maturity and fire next season. It would not surprise me if he posts 9-10 wins next season and a win over Ohio State AT their place. Bitter seasons like this make you very hungry and work harder. RR best comment during the press conference was when he said that just because your Michigan doesn't exclude you from growing pains, losing seasons, being humbled in games, restocking a bare cupboard of talent etc (paraphase). The guy only has 1.5 solid recruiting classes. When he has a solid crop year after year of HIS players coming in with juniors and seniors we will be better and this team will dominate once again. Until then we need to support him and give him a decent chance. If you can't you are an impatient fool!!! To keep his job next year, RR needs to have at least 9 wins-- and a win over Ohio State at Columbus will prove that he is a MICHIGAN man.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 8:24 a.m.

how many times a season can one schedule Delaware State?


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 7:54 a.m.

Now I know why the RR KoolAid crowd is so much on his side. They are cut from the same cloth as RR...they all make EXCUSES and NEVER hold RR accountable for anything. As far as they are concerned (and by 'they' I mean RR AND his KoolAid crowd), RR is 8-0 as the coach at Michigan. Lloyd Carr and the players are responsible for the 16 losses. What are these fans going to say when RR fails to win a national title, big ten title, OSU game, etc? I ask this because I GUARANTEE you that no matter how long he is here (which hopefully won't be past December), he will NEVER beat OSU, win a BT title, and certainly not even sniff a National Championship. When he is ultimately fired, will you all eat your words? No. You will simply make more excuses. It's what you and your "leader" do.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 7:43 a.m.

NE_PA, If I get out there, I'll take you up on that!


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 7:43 a.m.

I'm sure RR would love to have an experianced QB, one who completes 58.8% of his passes throws for 3,000+ yards throws 28 TD to just 6 iNT wins 7 games out of 11 with 3 of the losses coming to #1 #2 and #23 in the country, oh I forgot he had that guy and ran him out of town. Do I need to say more?? Oh I will to all of the UM slappies who said Mallet was a crybaby, mamas boy and would never be worthy of UM. Good Call!!


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 6:36 a.m.

heartbreakM: it's funny how you mention that Carr left RR nothing to work with, yet call Obama a loser. Do you think Bush left anything for him to work with? Do you expect a new president to turn things around in less than "one season"? You may want to consider taking a logic class.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 4:29 a.m.

uferdisciple, do you think Bob Ufer would support a Michigan coach that wears a red wristband on the Michigan sideline for the osu game?? this dude is a bozo with no understanding of Michigan Football WINNING Tradition. there is no way the bowl and winning season streaks should have ended to install this gimmick Iback formation, fake punt in your own territory, running plays out of the shotgun formation...and lastly, the goofiest play in the history on Michigan Football...the "spin-o-rama, bubble screen" on 3rd and 5 in the red zone vs. osu... rich red don't get it... Go Blue! v


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 4:26 a.m.

HeartbreakM....yeah, I was also disgusted by that "Februarys" Latest RR excuse. Screw that guy. What a jerk. He is nothing but hot air, excuses and posturing. He needs to go now.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 4:21 a.m.

Rich Rod = Lame Duck coach. NCAA violations may broom him out. No way this team has the worst talent in the Big Ten all of a sudden. "irregardless" (RR speak) of the youth of the team...this is Michigan and there is Talent there. (which is why they can hang with a conservative OSU team...talent hangs with talent regardless of scheme). RR is a freaking joke at Michigan. He needs to go now. Pray that someone with influence gets to Martin and Mary and the board and gets this loser out before he can do more damage to the program.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 4:16 a.m.

""After another unsuccessful year, I wonder one thing... why does it appear that every offensive pass play looks like a "broken" play?"" -- Anonymous... Interesting observation. Can't say it is fact it is spot on. A lot of that has to do with Tate not being tall enough in the pocket and needing to roll out all the time... but we saw that last year as well. Fact is that this passing game is not crisp at all...never has been and that is on the coaching. The run can only get you so far. Look at the stats in the Big Ten and they suck...this offense is average at best...toss in the massive turnovers and you get disaster. With a veteran OL this year and veteran backs...they should have been much much better. RR sucks. Pure and simple. He needs to go or else we will waste at least 1 more year of this trash.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 2:19 a.m.

I am sick and tired of the childish attitude of Michigan fans. Use your brains! We had virtually no chance of winning today without our oft-injured tailbacks: Minor & Brown. The most important player on the line, our center, didn't play either. Our freshman quarterbacks obviously wore down as the season progressed, but they showed plenty of promise along the way. Defensively, we played better than expected today. But it's obvious that we need to get better linebackers and secondary personnel--or our current personnel there need to improve. But here's the big picture. I well remember all you morons (and I don't use that term lightly) complaining year after year after year about Lloyd Carr, his predictable offense, & a defense that could never seem to even adequately defend against the spread. The back--to--back losses against Appalachia State & Oregon put you over the top. You wanted change! You demanded and screamed for change! 8 or 9-win seasons were simply not good enough anymore. You didn't in any way appreciate what you had, now you're getting exactly what you deserve---call it Carr's retribution. Well guess what, you got the change you wanted, and it's a big one. In case some of you forgot, Coach RR is one of the pioneers behind the offense you've dreamed of having since at least 1998--the spread--practically inventing it for Heavens sakes. He's had lots of success whenever he's been, including winning 2 BCS Bowl games, the first of which led to coaches from all over the country--including Jim Tressell--coming to W. Virginia to learn as much as they could about his offense. Had W. Virginia's all world QB not gotten injured during the last regular season of the season, W. Virginia would have won that game and played for the national championship---and Michigan never would have had a shot at him. Coach RR's mandate was clear the day he accepted the job. Install the Spread so that our offense becomes wide--open & unpredictable---with the potential to score on any given play--no matter where we are on the field. There was no in-between here. Coach RR made it clear that the spread was all he knew. If you wanted someone to coach to the strengths of remaining players while gradually installing a new offense over a few years, then AD Martin might as well gone for good--ole fashion Michigan continuity and signed one of Carr's assistant coaches to take over the reins. But that, of course, was totally unacceptable to you. Now that fans definitely got the type of change they demanded, they need to shut up and give this thing time to develop. The win/loss record obviously wasn't what we wanted, but deep down all of you know that lots of progress was made with very young players on offense--and at least the defense went out today with a bang! Fans, I implore you to stop being like the fans of Notre Dame, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Ohio State (especially right after losing to S. California & Purdue), and virtually every other school--who are all-too-ready to chop off the coach's head if they don't get everything they want right away. Show some character for a change--because that's what Michigan is all about--building character. If you can't help jumping off the ship when things don't go Michigan's way, then fine. But don't bother climbing back on the ship when everything's back on track. There's no place at the Univ. of Michigan for finicky, whiny backstabbers & brownnosers. You know, lots of so-called supporters abandoned Washington, Lincoln, & Grant when battles were lost--and plenty of them were lost. That's what the masses do. But they don't know any better. But if you're really a MICHIGAN MAN, you do know better--which makes your shipping off the ship extremely shameful & gutless, to say the very least! (For the record, I'm a Michigan grad and a loyalist who supported and believed in Lloyd Carr--win or lose--and now supports/believes in Coach RR---win or lose. I've always admired Michigan's great tradition on the gridiron--including having what--something like only 7 head coaches since 1900--and leading the nation in victories--absolutely amazing. Although players have and always will--like any college student--make off-season mistakes--we've always cleaned up our own messes---and how ironic it is that at the same time this so-called NCAA investigation is going on--regarding whether coaches deliberately made players spend more time than allowed on football during the off-season---the most embarrasing thing about the final years of Coach Carr--out-of-control players seemingly getting kicked out of school and/or arrested right and left--is now only a minor blip on the radar screen. Maybe keeping the players so busy with football and academics year-round isn't such a bad thing after all.)


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 2:03 a.m.

I thought from the very beginning that Rodriguez would not be a good "fit" for Michigan. I agree with the comment about being concerned if he can get any new young talent out of HS with everyone wanting him fired... who would want to play for a coach on the hotseat. After another unsuccessful year, I wonder one thing... why does it appear that every offensive pass play looks like a "broken" play?


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 1:21 a.m.

Jack Folks like you seem to think that Michigan only started playing football 2 years ago and the Idiot had to create our program out of whole cloth. This fairy tale that you guys keep propogating is so far off base, I just have to ask if you've ever watched football before, american football that is. First off, the group of kids that were left after the Florida game were enough to win 8 or 9 games with the next year, so the "no talent" argument is bogus. Now, after the Idiot got finished, you might make that argument, since he ran so many kids off, but there was certainly talent on that team. So, no we aren't "expecting miracles", we frankly would have been happy with him just maintaining the status quo, but he didn't do that. Ultimately, that is the problem and that is all on the hillbilly idiot.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 12:49 a.m.

Jack--what in the world does Obama have to do with Michigan football (other than showing how relatively unimportant Michigan football with the country's REAL problems). Sorry, sir, but you lose all credibility with such a fallacious argument.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 12:47 a.m.

I cant wait for this coach and this team to make all of you eat your words...Which you will....


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 11:39 p.m.

All of you expect a man to produce a winner when the prior coach didn't leave anyone to win with. Bill Martin is right you know, Rich and his coaches have only had one full recruiting class and you expect miracles. Why don't you listen to what the players said after the game. Mr.Rothstein, I hesitate to call you a sports writer, and the rest of need to show me just how many football games you played in, coached and big ten championships you have won. I'll bet the bunch of you voted for the really big loser--Obama. You make me sick, you are certainly not fans or sports writers--you are lame!!!


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 11:03 p.m.

Did anyone see RR's quote about how the last 3-4 Februaries have been subpar (paraphrase)? I am so sick of him throwing his players, the former coaches, the press, the fans under the bus for his own shortcomings. I am insulted that he could dare blame the last 3-4 Februaries for his own coaching shenanigans. Did any of the existing players sue his former employer WVU? Did Lloyd Carr coach the team these past 2 years and lose an unprecedented number of games? RR has to look in the mirror, look at the alumni etc and say "I have failed to do my job. I have not coached well, I have not prepared the team, and I have failed to deal with the team as it has assembled. I will continue to assemble a new team as all college coaches do, with the typical transition of graduating seniors, but I embrace these players and will make them better men and football players". Of course, he won't say that because it is beneath him. He is so NOT a Michigan Man. And by the way, a Michigan man is not defined on where you played football or coached before. A Michigan man is based on understanding how football is to be done at Michigan, a man of character, a leader, a competitor. All the things that RR is not. Hutch from softball is a Michigan man (so to speak). Tommy Amaker? More than RR, but couldn't get the job done. Red Berenson? Definitely. So, Mr. Rothstein: spare us the rhetoric about how he needs more time. RR has failed in 2 straight years, in a way worse than any previous coach has performed in 130 years at Michigan. Did the bottom suddenly fall out? Did any other team in the B10 suddenly get way better than Michigan?


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 9:57 p.m.

After watching the game today I've come to realize we can't win with Tate and Denard which means we'll be with a freshman again next year if he comes. Maybe Sheridan should have started, it sure would have been good to have RM, he's tearing the SEC up


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 9:39 p.m.

Mike - thanks for the reminder of the Lloyd Carr era. We didn't know how good we had it. It's all gone now.


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 9:35 p.m.

Chosen1 A loss to UConn is pretty much a guarantee. That UConn/ND game today was a good preview for the 2010 season. We'll lose to both those teams next year. That is if the Idiot is still here. AZ If you ever get out to NE PA, I'll have to buy you a beer.


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 9:34 p.m.

The problem with giving him one more year is it fair to the kids he is recruiting? What is he going to say when he sits down with them? If we do not win 9 games next year I will be fired? Why would a recruit want to come here knowing a coaching change will take place? He is a lame duck coach he needs to go now and bring in Harbaugh. 2-6 last year and 1-7 this year in the Big Ten is unexcusable. Their is no way that every other team in the Big Ten has more is the coaching.


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 9:06 p.m.

I agree. This article is spot on save for the part that he "deserves" one more year. Based on what? Two straight losing seasons and regression in the Big Ten? He may get one more year, but he has done absolutely nothing to "deserve" it.


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 9:01 p.m.

I totally agree with most of what I read but the flip side is, he is here now so I guess all we can do is honor his wishes.Give him EVERYTHING he needs for success b/c if he CAN'T pull it together and turn this situation around,he will not be our coach.The only variable is HOW MUCH TIME does he need to be successful?To get his players in the program where they learn/execute like veterans!That's the unknown.But one thing that IS KNOWN is that Wolverine fans and alum will not put up with seasons like these last two for long.Must improve vastly next season.C'mon Big Blue,this challenge can be met and overcome.Lets get it done.GO BLUE!!!


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 8:55 p.m.

Excellent article Mike. The only thing I will disagree with you on is that he deserves a 3rd season. He has done nothing to earn any more time, IMO.


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 8:53 p.m.

well we know notre dame will have a new coach....Hope our university is sure about Rich as they will probably lose out on one of the guys michigan fans want (kelly or harbaugh). As for me, give him the start of year 3 but if there is a loss to Uconn at home, or another upset to start the year then you have to pull the trigger as Rich needs to win 8-9 games next year at a minimum


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 8:50 p.m.

Thank goodness that train wreck is over until next season. Here is to Michigan's 4-8 season in 2010. I live in Ohio and everyone down here is laughing at Michigan. OSU played average at best today and still kicked the crap out of Michigan. I think this Michigan team is one of the worst teams in any major conference. Tate Forcier is the future of this program, OH OH!!!!


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 8:25 p.m.

I think Rich needs to take that English class yet again so he can learn the difference between humbled and humiliated. At least he can continue with the same recruiting strategy. Come to Michigan, current players suck and you can get lots of playing time early on. Start a freshman quarterback for the third year in a row. Rinse. Repeat.