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Posted on Sat, Oct 24, 2009 : 9:50 p.m.

Polish and poise - that's what the Michigan football team needs in final 4 games

By Pete Bigelow

Five days ago, Michigan safety Stevie Brown stood at a podium and talked about the Wolverines making an improbable push toward the Rose Bowl. “I have a feeling,” Brown said. “I don’t know if anybody else has a feeling, but I have this feeling. If we can win out, I think we have a chance that we might be able to make it to the Rose Bowl.” He clearly had overreached with the pronouncement, and everyone knew it. But it was hard to not appreciate his earnestness.


Michigan tight end Martell Webb misses a throw as Penn State's Brennan Coakley looks to tackle during Saturday's 35-10 loss to Penn State at Michigan Stadium.

Melanie Maxwell |

There stood Brown, an underdog if there ever was one, longing for the prized game he remembers from his freshman year, not afraid to step out on a very long limb. There stood Brown, against the odds and any sense of reality, believing big in Michigan. It’s hard to reconcile his steadfast optimism with what happened Saturday, when the Wolverines showed little fight in by far and away their worst outing of the season, a 35-10 loss to Penn State. The lopsided loss served as a reminder that, while last season’s 3-9 wreck might be in the rear-view mirror, there’s still an overwhelming amount of improvement needed before Pasadena is something more than a pipe dream. After watching the Nittany Lions dismantle Michigan in every conceivable way, postseason expectations can stop aiming for the Rose Bowl and start settling for any bowl. There’s no shame in that result this year. In fact, it’s a fine start for a program that missed the postseason for the first time in more than three decades last year. But if the Wolverines are going to scrounge a sixth win somewhere in their final four games to qualify, they must do some soul-searching. It wasn’t only that the Nittany Lions overwhelmed them in a straight-up battle of talent. It was the way they fell apart.

  • Rich Rodriguez and assistant coach Bruce Tall jawed at each other on the sidelines after a 12-men-on-the-field problem forced Michigan into burning a first-half timeout, and their bickering distracted everyone from the game.
  • On a crucial second-quarter drive, Michigan incurred three penalties that backed up the offense to the goal line, then snapped the ball out the back of the end zone for a Penn State safety. That gives new meaning to “three-and-out.”
  • Tight ends dropped four passes.
  • With a chance to score and the first-half clock winding down, Michigan fumbled on second down, then spiked the ball to stop the clock with 13 seconds left, wasting third down and forcing the Wolverines to settle for a field goal.
  • Michigan’s coaches insist on forcing Denard Robinson into games when he’s clearly not ready to play in the Big Ten. He turned the ball over twice in limited action Saturday.
  • It’s understandable why they they’re so tempted to utilize Robinson’s speed, but at this point, it’s fair to wonder if his confidence hasn’t taken enough of a beating and if Michigan would be better off if his turnovers occurred with the second string. During practice.
  • Michigan played such a vanilla defense Saturday, that Penn State quarterback Daryll Clark said, “A couple plays, they had trouble lining up.”
  • None of those shortcomings came because the Nittany Lions had more talent on the field Saturday. They came because the Wolverines need to show some patience and composure. They’re not Penn State yet, and that’s fine. No one expects them to be playing at that level halfway through Rodriguez’s second year of a big-time rebuilding project. But it’s fair to think the Wolverines should be more polished and poised by this point of the Rodriguez era. In the final four games of the regular season, that’s what they need to show on the field. Improvement won’t get them to the Rose Bowl. But it would be enough to get them a victory, get them into the postseason, and get them a badge of pride.

    It’d be enough to show everyone else on the outside just what it is that Stevie Brown sees in this team right now.

    Pete Bigelow is the sports producer for He can be reached at or at 734-623-2556.



    Thu, Oct 29, 2009 : 12:48 a.m.

    Michigan is going to a bowl game. Which game is not clear at this time. It does not really matter which bowl game because they will be ready to play. Warm, coached, healthy and ready. Iowa will go to the Rose Bowl and get their butt handed to them by USC. Ohio State will go to a BCS bowl against the SEC and get their yearly bowl bashing. So RR will salvage the dismal season with a bowl win and get ready for a much better season next year. Remember Michigan's Bowl win two years ago. Lloyd's team got beat up during the regular season and beat a good Florida team because they were healthy, having fun and well prepared. At the same time Ohio State and others were getting pasted in bowl games. No I'm not on drugs, Michigan will do it again this year. The skinny kid will be bigger, stronger and wiser next year. Playing with Michigan, I hope!


    Wed, Oct 28, 2009 : 12:58 p.m.

    Fresh121, What are you talking about? Florida has small fast guys? There offense sucks this year. They have no running backs or receivers. I think these are the guys you refer to as being track stars. They have the #1 defense in the country. They also run a spread, but they don't use a midget. They have a 250 pound quarterback. He is neither small or fast. He is their leading rusher though.RR's offense and personnel in no way reflects Florida's. Cut back a little bit on the chronic. You might find that you can complete a sentence.


    Mon, Oct 26, 2009 : 10:21 a.m.

    Heartbreak M., you have just said it best. RR has no loyalty, cannot adapt and is "trying" to recruit players to buy into and adapt to his system. His system reeks! He is a rogue coach, who has a pack of cutthroat, unprincipled assistant coaches, who look better suited to coaching at the community college level and I am being generous. Rick Leach(the man himself), blasted Carr for being stupid enough to hang with the Hawkeyes during the loss a few weeks ago. What is going on? Why is Carr even endorsing this balloonhead RR? I used to respect Carr and admired him, he has had to much of the bad kool-aid that is being administered in some circles. Please Michigan, stop the madness, when this season is mercifully over poop-can RR and get a real coach! This guy RR has bad Karma and "juju" written all over him...

    Do Better

    Sun, Oct 25, 2009 : 2:26 p.m.

    Why do u blame rich rod for Michigan lack of athletes?


    Sun, Oct 25, 2009 : 1:37 p.m.

    It's not all on Greg Robinson, though, imo. RR hired him, it ultimately falls on him. I can't think of his name, but the DC from Tennessee was available, I believe, when we hired Robinson. That guy always had great SEC defenses that helped Fullmer even when his offenses weren't producing. He was let go when Fullmer was fired and I was hoping we would hire him. Instead we got Robinson. Where did the Tennessee guy go? LSU with Les Miles. Who's playing better D? You decide. The hiring of coaches and coordinators is on the coach and so far we don't seem to have gotten it right. Beyond that, and this is just an opinion, but I don't know how good the defensive position coaches are. These are RR's guys, and they don't seem to be getting the job done with the D at any position. Shafer partly sufferred because of it last year, and Robinson may be suffering from it this year. The defense has just been in total disarray for two years now and I don't see any major signs of improvement.


    Sun, Oct 25, 2009 : 1:01 p.m.

    Scoot Florida has small fast guys on offense they play in the SEC witch is way more physical then the B10..they just have a big defense we have brandon G and they have 10 more players that good..all im gettin at is size isent all UF has small fast rb and fast wr and there ranked1..size isent everything its the people and coach..RR is no UM but rich rod can coach...we need a REAL defense cordnator sorry gregg...


    Sun, Oct 25, 2009 : 11:10 a.m.

    to be honest i am surprised we stayed in the game as long as we did. the offense, outside of the turnovers, seemed to move the ball when we did what we do best, quick plays and pounding the ball up th emiddle. once we did anything different than that it got pretty ugly. defense just got flat out beat. at thee nd of the day PSU just had a significantly better team. as we all knew coming into the game. no reason to panic. they arent ranked that high by accident. to tell you the truth when michigan got ranked for alittle bit this season they shouldnt have been. no way have we even remotly resembled a top 25 team. still have along ways to go but i was catching a glimpse of the west virginia team yesterday and it made me smile. THOSE are Rich Rodriguez guys. and im excited to see that kinda speed and talent at Michigan. in 2 years we WILL be in the championship.


    Sun, Oct 25, 2009 : 10:24 a.m.

    The thing that really concerns me is that this team doesn't improve over the course of the season. Last year was like this too, we regressed as the season went on and we are regressing again. IMO, this the signature of a suspect coach, or maybe, it's a gimmicky coach. Either way, people see this stuff on film and prep for it. Teams that have the atheletes to defeat it, do. We can only beat mediocre to bad teams as the season drags on because we do have better atheletes than them. They know whats coming too, but we can outquick them. So, to beat good teams at the end of the season, we must have far superior atheletes. I'm sorry, that's not going to happen against PSU, OSU, USC, FL, LSU etc. Once the "gimmicks" stop working, RR is out of ideas. I'm more than a little worried about where we're going.


    Sun, Oct 25, 2009 : 9:25 a.m.

    The land scape is changing, UF most of there kids are track stars..and im glad to see are program go from a rusty dusty Power I that was 100 years old and i dont care if LC beat some B10 teams he still lost all the big games his last few years...:henne hart long all semiors and still lose to Osu over and over LC was WAS a good coach but he underachieved a whole lot,all started when henne was a freshmen to see no emotion from LC after are hard losses to Texas and them Osu games we shoula won...and are defense always stunk it up when we played a good team...i love that RR is firey and yellin we need someone that so glad we blew are old system up it went as far as it could when henne and hart and long all senior starting 4 years andu still lose to osu orgeon..and why do we lose they have much more speed then us now were finally in the year 2009 and not playin football likes its 1989..its time to understand we were obviously behide the times and its gonna take time to catch up but RR in a few years we will be the fastest team in the b10..RR knows what it takes to win in the future...WE ARENT ND or any othet program that fires there coach right away after bs...give RR his 4 to 5 years to make us legit on the narional spotlight not just the b10 like Osu and the vest they win the b10 and get smoked in title games..why u think he got TP cuz u meed speed at qb..they bench there senior qb for freshmen TP cuz he can run and kinda pass lol..we are gonna be there soon give are YOUNG team sometime im sure u guys at 19 could of played in front of 100,000 people with no problem and with a ac sprain come on guys we as UM fans who bleed maze and blue must stick together with are team!!!!!!


    Sun, Oct 25, 2009 : 8:30 a.m.

    Great article. You hit it right on. Nice balance between realistic assessment and keeping a positive attitude. The team doesn't need whining and bellyaching. They need to know we are behind them and trust they will keep improving.


    Sun, Oct 25, 2009 : 8:17 a.m.

    This culture of it has to be a Michigan Man may also be a problem. Think about this, Since RR was not the 1st choice the better question is why didn't the other candidates want this job? Especially a Michigan Man in Les Miles? Maybe, just maybe they did not want the job because they knew that they were going to walk into a situation just like the one Coach Rod is in now? Maybe that culture of it HAS to be a Michigan Man hurts more than it helps? Please people, BO was great and no disrespect intended but doesn't anyone remember that he never could win the bowl game? This 3 yards and a cloud of dust thing worked in the BIG10 but not on a national picture. Tressel is starting to fall into the trap of thinking what works in the BIG10 works on the national scene. Sure he wins the BIG10, but what works for the BIG10 does not work for the bowls against elite teams. The entire nation thinks that the BIG10 is a weak conference, and our (entire Big10) bowl records don't defend us against that national thought. So this idea of hiring an inside guy is old. So you all mean to tell me that IF a guy like Bill Cowher, Urban Meyer, Pete Carroll etc were available. You would not hire them because they are not Michigan Men? Neither was BO people! Let's GO BLUE!


    Sun, Oct 25, 2009 : 7:45 a.m.

    rensational, PSU is STILL a mystery. They are not nearly as good as they looked today. I've watched them several times this year and the only time they've looked remotely this good was today. I'm sure they've made some improvement, but it also says a lot about how Michigan played...awful.


    Sun, Oct 25, 2009 : 7:29 a.m.

    Tater, UM has one winnable game left on their schedule. Illinois. Thats 6-6. The only reason they are 6-6 is because of the schedule. This team sucks! The coaching is horrendous. When you can't perform the basics, like centering the ball, you suck. You can't blame that on youth or talent. Thats coaching pure and simple. Kids are taught to center the ball in Peewees. Keep defending RR while the college football world looks and laughs at UM and the arrogant no talent coach.


    Sun, Oct 25, 2009 : 2:34 a.m.

    I'm not an RR fan, like some of the people here aren' was not really about RR. I do sadly think the season is lost when it didn't have to be because it's starting to seem clear that the injury to Forcier's shoulder is hurting Michigan more than people understand. That's the difference between Michigan being able to beat Notre Dame and then not beating Iowa or playing competitive with Penn State, and Forcier and/or the staff refuse to just have Forcier protect his shoulder/arm--no, he's out there diving and landing on it at LEAST twice in almost every game after injuring it in the first place, then coming up lame. His shoulder is not going to get right this season, and that's suddenly going to make it tough to compete in games I believe we otherwise would have been in until the end...even despite the defense. I think Michigan will beat Illinois because Illinois will beat themselves as they've done all season. Purdue? That's going to be a problem now that Michigan's offense is not any better than the defense. Forget Wisconsin and Ohio State now. That's 6-6 and a bowl, which, I don't care what anyone says--Michigan should have done better and could have done better if Forcier would take care of himself on the field. I'm also tired of hearing weather as an excuse, as well as watching teams have their coming out parties against Michigan while playing unimpressively the rest of the season (i.e. Illinois last year, Indiana and Penn State this season--yes, Penn State was a big mystery as far as how good they are, particularly on offense, until THIS game). Forcier has been in Ann Arbor since January, and the MSU game was was cold/snowing in Iowa the day of that game...last year, Michigan was a bunch of fumbling fools against ND in some point, these players are supposed to know/learn how to play in that stuff, or else they should have gone to Southern/California schools.


    Sun, Oct 25, 2009 : 12:26 a.m.

    Why do people keep mentioning Michigan having the most wins in college football? It's great to have that record, but how many NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS were won? That is the old 'Bo' mentality of only wanting to win the B10 and going to the Rose Bowl. Do you think Florida would rather brag about chasing 3 national titles in 4 years or being the winningest program? The elite programs don't consider their season a success unless they win the national title. And for many years Michigan has set their goals too low, and RR is trying to change that culture. Michigan has not been considered an elite program for at least 5 years because the game changed, and Michigan and the B10 did not. The elite teams emphasize speed and athleticism, and that is what RR is recruiting. Bo became coach when the game was changing and everyone eventually adapted and accepted him, even though he was an outsider. We should give RR the time to make Michigan football an elite program again and actually be a real contender for a national title every year. This coming from an alumni who wanted Carr to retire 10 years ago... GO BLUE FOREVER!


    Sun, Oct 25, 2009 : 12:09 a.m.

    Miami--you said that Henne's first season was turning point. I actually think it was the Minnesota game, when we were losing by a bunch, but still came back and won (Navarre was QB)--that was the game that I thought things were shifting. I think Henne and Hart's talent bought us time. I think if Carr were not so loyal to his assistants, and brought in outside offensive coaches to tweak his system, similar to what Belotti did at Oregon by bringing in their current coach (Chip Kelly) from New Hampshire. It was a brilliant move. Carr did so for defense with Ron English, but was always loyal to Parrish, Debord, et al. I think Carr's time to retire was around 2006 and he probably knew that, possibly contributing to his losing the edge and actually losing those games to App State, Oregon, etc. But he did NOT leave the cupboard bare as Rod has insinuated or others have said. All of these players were top recruits and need to be coached up. Except for the linebackers--Ezeh and Mouton seem over their heads and can't tackle for their lives. If Ezeh could tackle, he would have twice the number he does. He always seems out of position, as does Mouton. And let's not be so hard on Forcier. He is a competitor, and exciting. He has hit the wall with his injury and typical for most frosh in mid year. The season is long and hard, and now the weather is changing. Forcier is trying hard and performing well, even with mistakes. But I think his year is not going to get better until he rests for a few months.


    Sat, Oct 24, 2009 : 11:59 p.m.

    Miami and Saline: You guys (and tater) are drinking the same kool-aid. Rebuilding is what you do when the program has had a bottoming out. As far as I can tell--before Rodriguez became coach, the worst year we had was 6-6 in 1984 and 7-5 in 2006. Rodriguez took over after a poor 9-4 year, after losses to OSU, Wis, Oregon, App State???!!!, but beating Tebow and Florida in the Rose Bowl and showing grit. Rodriguez had never been into Michigan Stadium, was not familiar with the University of Michigan or its football players, and promptly went 3-9 including M's first ever loss to a MAC school and led the nation in 3 and outs. I don't care what players were coming back--all teams in college football have players graduate and attrition with coaching changes. It is Rodriguez's unfamiliarity with Michigan's traditions, with how to adapt to the existing players, and ultimately, his off the field distractions which is undermining him. I would be frustrated with his off the field stuff even if he were undefeated (though that would buy him time). But he has shown little to no leadership, little to no class, no adaptability, no loyalty (look at him leave WVU--his long time home for a place he had never been), and places his QB in harm's way every game. What do you want us to say? Give him time? OK. But he has dug his own grave in "rebuilding", because last I checked, MIchigan did NOT need it. Now if you want to talk rebuilding: let's talk MSU. Dantonio has done a nice job of it there--they were coming off years of inconsistency and poor records. But Michigan? Don't see it.


    Sat, Oct 24, 2009 : 11:49 p.m.

    One more thing before I sack out. Tressel sticks up for RR because he thinks RR is a punk coach. Tressel thinks RR is a joke and couldn't coach his way out of a "wet paper" bag. He can't recruit either. Hey RR, this ain't pop-warner football and this isn't NAIA footbal! Don't you get it hillbilly! You aree outta your league son! This is the Big-10, not the "big-east"! We don't recruit 215 defensive tackles and 205 pound linebackers. Your team is getting mauled because your formula is bad, much like you! Pete Carroll in his second year at SC' had a juggernaut, next year we will be fortunate to get invited to the Alamo Bowl. Go back to West Virginia, or wherever it is you slithered out from. You're just outmatched and outgunned. How did we ever beat ND?


    Sat, Oct 24, 2009 : 11:46 p.m.

    Miami, I thought Coach Carr played to conserative at times but that was a easy fix...remember the bowl game against Fla. That was all that was wrong a little tweak not a dismantling of a proven system. Think of Neb when they changed their system. The problem with giving him 4 years is recruiting. RR is recruiting players I do not think are suited for the Big Ten style as you see our lines are being dominated by teams the way we use to dominate them. When you recruit you are recruiting for 3 to 4 years in the future if he fails Mi football will struggle for years. Coach Bo knew this that is why he coach Mo ready to take over and also coach Carr to just run the system He knew they were not going to change the winning formula. By the way how did Coach Carr do in his second season at Mi? He just tweaked the system that was proven. You are right it does not matter what I think about the coach but I think if you are driving in the wrong direction you just don't keep driving and would'nt you agree 3-9 in the Big Ten is headed the wrong way?


    Sat, Oct 24, 2009 : 11:42 p.m.

    Polish and Poise? Yeah right.. We have one of the most pathetic and disoriented coaching staffs in division 1 football. They were an embarassment to watch as they began to self destruct on the sidelines with they "usual" finger pointing. I love Michigan football, don't you people get it, RR is a rotten coach! He sucks! Tate is a dreadful quarterback, he is slow, panics way to easily and throws a rotten ball downfield. His arm strength is a joke! This kid looks like an undernourished string bean! Hey RR, you need to recruit kids that way more than 160 pounds at QB, and while you're at it, try to remember Linebackers in the Big-10 conference don't normally weigh 205! Think McFly! I hope RR is canned unceremoniously when this debacle of a season is over. Go Blue!


    Sat, Oct 24, 2009 : 11:11 p.m.

    Lemansblue, I am as frustrated as you are about this brother! But as I said, it is what it is. Saying that you did not want to hire Rodriguez means nothing now. Does it? You said you would fire him at the end of the season. OK, fair enough. But I don't care if we hire Bill Cowher, he like any new coach will still have the same players. This team is not deep. Yet! Last season, is gone but quite frankly to talk about Toledo again means nothing now. But was it Rodriguez's fault for example that Mallet left? I don't think so. Mallet did not even give him or the team the chance. He just heard the word spread, and left! About Coach Carr, when you say you are sick of people blaming Carr for this. I never said that what is going on is on Coach Carr. I fully supported Coach Carr when he was here. But you have to admit, and it started with the Rose Bowl loss to Texas (Henne's Freshman season) that the last few seasons under Carr, this team was NOT performing up to the level of the talent. App state, the losses to Ohio State, the continuing bowl losses, something was happening to this program. Coach Carr had to go, simply for new blood! OK, if you did not want Coach Rod, that is fine. But like it or not, he is our coach for now. Personally, I support him and I would give him another couple of years. But that is me. If by his 4th season, he does not produce, then get rid of him! Let's Go Blue!


    Sat, Oct 24, 2009 : 10:56 p.m.

    Miami, Okay this is what I would do...I would admit we hired the wrong coach and fix it at the end of the season. I was against the hire from day one think about it. The system MI had worked for years why hire a guy that was going to change it? I am sick of people blaming Coach Carr for this. Coach Carr left the team with more than enough talent. Do you think the Toledo Rockets had more talent than Mi last year? RR dismantled the Mi system the records speak for themselves. Sorry in the real world you are payed to perform and RR is being payed well and 3-9 in the Big Ten is not performing would'nt you say?


    Sat, Oct 24, 2009 : 10:44 p.m.

    did you realy think mu was going to beat ps realistic


    Sat, Oct 24, 2009 : 10:40 p.m.

    Thanks guys! By the way, did anyone see the end of the Iowa-MSU game? What a great finish.


    Sat, Oct 24, 2009 : 10:37 p.m.

    but I do think that we should expect more than the team showed today midway through his second season. --azwolverine I agree, and today was ugly! BUT, consider this, we were an overtime away and a final drive (Iowa) away from being 7-1. It is what it is! You cannot have 5 turnovers like we did against Iowa and expect to win. Yet we were a final drive away from beating an 8-0 team. Denard like the article said, is not ready to play QB in the Big10, however what is Coach Rod to do? You have to play with the players that you have. I say next season Denard is not even a QB. But this is now and we have to just suck it up and move on. The turnovers in Iowa and even this game are killing us. Nobody can put that on the Coach. It is part of the growing process with such a young and NOT deep team. No amount of practices, drills, schemes, etc can turnovers be coached out of a team. It just can't. Let's be real M fans, 7-5 would be fine all things considering. We are not going to beat OSU, Period. And Wisconsin, maybe but doubtful. So Illinois and Purdue should be wins. But who knows? And LemansBlue, Ignorant? Ok Sir, what would you do? Get off of the, He (coach Rod) dismantled one of the winningest college football programs of all time How does that solve anything for the now? It is what it is! That is like folks who are still complaining and ragging about the App State game. What does that have to do with now? Complaining about this dismantling does NOTHING! Let's GO BLUE


    Sat, Oct 24, 2009 : 10:32 p.m.

    Great post AZwolverine


    Sat, Oct 24, 2009 : 10:29 p.m.

    mlivesaline, Who said those guys you immaturely ragged on are not supporting their program? They're simply giving their opinion on the team that they DO support after a completely disheartening loss. They're questioning the direction of the program because they care about it. If they didn't care, they wouldn't comment. This is a tough time for Michigan football, there are bound to be differing opinions as to what's going on within the fan base. The bottom line is, every Michigan fan just wants the team to win. Period. People are frustrated tonight, as are you, obviously. Asking questions and giving opinions doesn't mean they're "clowns" who are only fans when we're winning. They're fans NOW who aren't happy. No Michigan fan should be happy tonight. WE LOST! Get over it and stop going off on fans who care every bit as much as you do.


    Sat, Oct 24, 2009 : 10:27 p.m.

    Miami & Saline, That is too ignorant to respond to.


    Sat, Oct 24, 2009 : 10:19 p.m.

    azwolverine, amen.


    Sat, Oct 24, 2009 : 10:13 p.m.

    I was at USC when Carrol arrived there. USC was awful and extremely limited in their talent. In his first year, USC was a middling team that struggled to go 6-6. In his second year, they went 11-2 and blew the doors off Big Ten co-champ Iowa in the Orange Bowl. That's what great coaches do, imo. They take the talent they've got and make it work. They don't talk about getting players to fit their "system," they simply take what they've got and make it better. Meyer, Tressel...they also won big in their second years. I don't know that it's fair to compare RR to those coaches, but I do think that we should expect more than the team showed today midway through his second season. This is Michigan, for goodness sake. The season's not over, so he could still finish strong and put arguments like this to rest...right?


    Sat, Oct 24, 2009 : 10:10 p.m.

    mlivesaline has a very valid point. Let's assume Coach Carr stayed, and so did Mallet. Ok now who is new? Hart, Henne, Long, Maningham, etc are gone. It would have been an ugly season last year under Coach Carr too. Probably not 3-9, I agree. But nevertheless, not too much better. Consider too that last season, you had Carr's kids having to readjust to a whole new system, part of the reason for that dismal year. And for those who say that Coach Rod then never should have changed the system, well then when would it be acceptable to change it? This year? Then we would have gone through the same thing this year as last year. This is going to take time. Simple as that! For those who say FIRE ROD, then what? Any new coach coming in would have the same issues that Coach Rod has now. Young Team, Not deep yet, etc. Let's Go Blue!


    Sat, Oct 24, 2009 : 10:01 p.m.

    Disappointing Today? YES. Frustrating? Absolutely! Now, can we take a breath and put it into perspective? We are not ready yet to compete for the Big10 title, it is as simple as that. These are painful growing pains that we are just going to have to endure. Let's remember going into this season most picked us for 5-7. If, and that is a big If we can win 2 out of the final 4 games a 7-5 record is fine considering where we were last year. We are not a bad team, we are an INCOMPLETE Team. Another year under our belt and hopefully another good recruiting class, will help! And for those who complain that Coach Rodriguez does not recruit defense that that we are undersized, Come on! Do you honestly think that Coach Rod does not know that we are undersized? This is going to take some time. Simple as that! Let's GO BLUE!


    Sat, Oct 24, 2009 : 9:54 p.m.

    Lemansblue, I agree this was a dismantling of one of the most successful programs in college football. It took years to reach that high level and now it will be even more difficult to get back there.


    Sat, Oct 24, 2009 : 9:49 p.m.

    That game was UUUUUUUUGGGGLLLLLYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!! Clearly Michigan was not ready to play with the Big Boys. And just last night I said I believed Michigan could comepete with anyone. I stand corrected. No matter what, I feel the Wolverines will never be able to compete with the upper echelon of College football, until they learn how to recruit defensive players. I know that the offense put them in a bad situation today. But outside of one or two players, the defense is woefully lacking. The young and inexperienced offense tried to set the tone early. But the Michigan defense proved they would be unable to stop Penn State immediately. And is there any wonder the offense is inadequate? Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. I don't care how much the offense matures, if they continue to turn the ball over, they will continue to be a lower half team in the Big Ten. Nothing new, nothing schocking, just poor execution and poor football. I have to agree with the author of this article, Michigan looked scared, or they just plain quit. Maybe it was the inclimate weather that disrupted Michigan's concentration. Mooseman or what ever his name is, needs to remain on the bench. You would think he would have improved over his previous starts at center. What Michigan needs are more excuses, why they were beaten. Schedule more away games, then Michigan can blame their losses on the venue, or quite possibly shoddy officiating. Was that Forcier out there, or Pryor? I couldn't quite tell. At least it wasn't Tate's 16th game.


    Sat, Oct 24, 2009 : 9:44 p.m.

    No have it wrong this is not a rebuilding project. When RR was hired he dismantled a winning program that did not have a losing season in decades. This was totally a bad decision to hire this guy and let him dismantle the winningest program in college football history. For what? 3-9 against the Big Ten. This should of never happened.

    Jed I. Knight

    Sat, Oct 24, 2009 : 9:38 p.m.

    Motor City Bowl!


    Sat, Oct 24, 2009 : 9:35 p.m.

    Let's see 5 - 3, with wins over Delaware State, Indiana, ND, Eastern, and Western. We are 1 - 3 in the Big Ten. We still play Wisconsin in Camp Randall and OSU. No easy games left in 2009. Can we win 2 Big Ten games?


    Sat, Oct 24, 2009 : 9:22 p.m.

    Spot on, Pete, they should forget the Rose Bowl. Trying to get to any bowl is a reasonable goal at this point. That should have been the goal at the start of this season. But to get there, they will need to play better than they've played in Big Ten competition to date. If they don't, they'll be sitting home again watching MSU play. Forget about beating Ohio State. Focus on beating Illinois and Purdue. If they don't win both, they're probably not going anywhere.