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Posted on Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 8 p.m.

Gator Bowl defeat casts doubt on futures of Rich Rodriguez, Denard Robinson at Michigan

By Pete Bigelow


Tight end Kevin Koger and the Michigan football team had trouble explaining why they struggled so much Saturday against Mississippi State.

Melanie Maxwell |

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Asked if he thought the implications of a disastrous Gator Bowl performance would influence a decision on his future, Rich Rodriguez declined to answer the question.

“You’re asking the wrong person,” he said.

Asked if he thought he’d be coaching the Michigan football team again next season, Rodriguez repeated his response.

“You’re asked the wrong person,” he said, before adding, almost as an afterthought, “I do.”

But when it came time to explain what transpired on the field Saturday during a 52-14 loss to Mississippi State in the team’s first bowl game in three years, no one else could better explain.

“We did not execute,” Rodriguez said. “It sounds simplistic, but it’s very disappointing because the guys have a great attitude. But they made plays and we didn’t.

“They tackled better than us. They caught better than us. They ran better than us, and that’s unfortunate.”

That about summed it up.

In their worst bowl loss in school history, the Wolverines appeared as caricatures of themselves, exaggerating every strength and shortcoming exhibited throughout the 2010 season.

As they have throughout their 7-6 season, the Wolverines struggled in the second quarter. It’s the only quarter they’ve been outscored in this year, and Mississippi State outscored them, 21-0.

On offense, the Wolverines flashed signs. Denard Robinson looked indestructible early on, completing seven of seven passes and throwing for two touchdowns while ripping off runs of 24 and 22 yards, all in the first quarter.

On defense, the Wolverines allowed 485 yards Saturday. It was, incredibly, the ninth time this season the beleaguered unit allowed 400 or more yards.

Worst of all may have been special teams.

Two Bulldogs nearly plowed into punter Will Hagerup when Marvin Bure blocked his first-quarter punt. The Bulldogs capitalized with a go-ahead field goal that made the score 10-7.

Kicker Brendan Gibbons put the exclamation point on a dismal season, missing a 35-yard field-goal attempt in the third quarter, Michigan’s last gasp at establishing some momentum.

He finished the season 1-for-5 on field-goal attempts. Overall, Michigan kickers went 4-for-14 on the season.

One departure from the season's protocol - athletic director Dave Brandon, the right person to ask, was absent from his usual perch at the rear of Rodriguez's postgame press conference for the first time this season.

There were a few positive special-teams plays. Martavious Odoms returned from a six-game absence and sparked the Wolverines’ return game, enjoying two kickoff returns or 40 or more yards, and Junior Hemingway sprinted ahead for a 53-yard punt return.

But none of it mattered.

“We went out ready to play, and I don’t know what happened,” Odoms said. “We were playing hard, and they made plays. We didn’t answer the plays they made. I think that’s what happened.” Mississippi State converted all five of its fourth-down attempts. Michigan was 0-of-5 on fourth-down attempts. Mississippi State converted eight of 11 third-down attempts in the first half.

Michigan went 2-for-10 in the entire game.

“We didn’t come to play football,” said Robinson, who sounded as disgusted as ever.

Robinson rushed for 51 of his 59 total rushing yards in the first quarter. It was his lowest output in an otherwise breakthrough season.

Rodriguez’s future wasn’t the only one in doubt Saturday. Robinson, who is closely tied to one of the few college coaches who believed he could play quarterback, wouldn’t say whether he’d be back at Michigan should Rodriguez be fired.

“No response,” Robinson said, asked if he would return.

Defensive tackle Mike Martin said after the game that he had given “no thought” to whether he’d consider entering the NFL Draft as a junior. But no matter what happens with Rodriguez, he was clearly pumped about returning to Michigan.

“I’m excited about it,” Martin said. “This is my last year coming up, and I’m going to be that guy running out of the tunnel first. That’s surreal, and I’m excited about it and I’m ready to get working.”

Several of the other Wolverines said they were eager to get started on their off-season workouts. But their thoughts traveled back to Rodriguez, and the uncertainty around his job.

“That’s something that Coach Rod and the administration at Michigan have got to worry about,” Odoms said. “I mean, to lose like that is bad. All we can do is keep moving forward and trying to get better.”

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Pete Bigelow covers the Michigan football team for He can be reached at (734) 623-2551, via e-mail at and followed on Twitter @PeterCBigelow.



Tue, Jan 4, 2011 : 9:56 p.m.

Corrected, yes. Apologetic, no.

Mo the Educator

Tue, Jan 4, 2011 : 5:16 a.m.

I didn't see #58's second comment on the Rose Bowl, only the first one. I responded to that one. I stand corrected.


Tue, Jan 4, 2011 : 1:08 a.m. Your deletion of my rant has been duly noted.


Tue, Jan 4, 2011 : 12:43 a.m. I was a little acerbic in the post you just deleted but can I ask a question? The article was about Rich Rodriguez and his status at Michigan. You allowed Mo the Educator to hijack the forum and continue a rant on a person that last coached at the University of Michigan over 20 years ago. Incidentally, the deceased coach was never mentioned in the article. So I am at a loss trying to figure out what is and is not acceptable in this forum. I can tell you this: this forum is free but the Thursday and Sunday newspaper to which I subscribe costs me money. I'm questioning whether I should cancel my subscription (only about 3 months into a one year subscription). I won't argue over the remaining money. So, if you don't want to explain to an anonymous blogger this haphazard editorial oversite you will explain to a paying subscriber. And believe me, if I call to cancel you will know exactly who I am and why. Now that I am on my own rant.....the other day you had a big to-do about avatars. Now, I happen to agree with everything "3 And Out" has said. And I like the photo of the scantily clad girl. But as you stated avatars of scantily clad females are unacceptable. Furthermore, he admitted in one of his posts it was not HIS picture. So the next time you delete my post because I am coming across as harsh, remember: maybe I'm only defending the reputation of some dead guy who doesn't have the ability to defend himself.


Tue, Jan 4, 2011 : 12:29 a.m.

#58on the roster said: "We had no control over the voters, so our goal was to win every game and win the Big 10 and Rose Bowl. That we could actually play for." Mo the educator said: "@#58ontheroster If what you said is true, that Bo's goal was to make it to the Rose Bowl, then he accomplished that goal. I wish he had set the goal of actually winning it." What #58ontheroster said: "Mo- I did post that our goal was to WIN the Rose Bowl. I re-read my posts to make sure. Our goal was to win EVERY game, including the Rose Bowl." Mo, you appeared to have missed your opportunity to apologize for misrepresenting what #58 said.

Mo the Educator

Mon, Jan 3, 2011 : 10:21 p.m.

@ Murrow Ok, come on now. I've already stated that I never coached in Washtenaw County. I also stated that I watched Vincent Smith play in high school. I watched Brendan Gibbons, Martavious Odoms, Brandin Hawthorne, and Denard Robinson play in high school as well. I lived in AC's hometown (my adopted one) while I did so. I did all of this almost 20 years after I left Ypsi (where I grew up). This isn't, as my friend says, "rocket surgery": I grew up in Ypsi and lived most of the last decade in Palm Beach County. Everything I said, therefore, is true. @Beanie Wells I was just talking about small football players in the Big 10 in general, and small players at Michigan who handled the ball consistently in particular. If AC had 10 - 12 touches per game between offense and special teams, I figured that would be somewhat comparable to the 112 - 15 or so Hart would have got in Rodriguez' offense. The overall point being, I don't think Hart's size would have been a problem.


Mon, Jan 3, 2011 : 1:49 p.m.

LOL, because that Bo line of needing 5 years to build a program was being used by some RR supporters to argue that he should get more time at UM. It was funny then to hear them use it, but now it's 100 times funnier. LOL.


Mon, Jan 3, 2011 : 1:46 p.m.

I'm old Air Force probably same time you were in the Corps and the Air Force does emphasize family which is one of the things that makes it desirable and when you come home on a med evac. jet all you have is family. 58, I agree with some of your comments but let's keep it real some of the folks are using this site to attack character and that is downright wrong whether it's attacking another contributors opinions or RR and I'll lay you odds some of these kids will be tearing RR down after he's gone because they think it's fun, attacking a mans character is never right well almost never, women do seem to have that right.


Mon, Jan 3, 2011 : 12:31 p.m.

I have a great Bo story if you'd like to read it. Thank god I'm semi-retired or I wouldn't have time to spend on this on a Monday! Back in the early 80's I went to AA to meet up with my old buddy, Jim Mandich. He'd call me whenever he'd come up from Miami. We got there on a Thursday before the Notre Dame game. We went to practice and visited with Bo in the coaches locker room after. Ara Parsegian, the old ND coach, was there. He was doing the game on TV that week. (P.S. Ara is an old friend of Bo's. They were teammates under Woody at Miami of Ohio.) Bo had been defending the then coach of ND, Jerry Faust to Ara. He wasn't doing a very good job at ND. Bo said he needs at least 5 years to build a program. After Ara left Mandich asked Bo why he would be defending a coach from ND. Bo said "Do you want a winning coach in that program?" Bo reveled his ulterior motives in trying to keep Faust around!!


Mon, Jan 3, 2011 : 12:06 p.m.

I think what RR did was embarrassing. Plus, he put DB on the spot. You don't do that to your boss. I'm from a different era. I don't like it when individual players celebrate in the endzone. All that says to me is they're telling the crowd "look at me...look at me." They forget that they wouldn't have scored if it weren't for 10 other players. Also, there's too much trying to show up opposing players. It isn't enough to beat anyone anymore. They have to humiliate them, too. Whatever happened to sportsmanship? I'm not big on holding hands in crucial situations, or linking arms. If you need to do that then the team lacks a certain amount of manhood. You can keep the "family atmosphere" out of the team, too. If that's what you want, stay at home with your mommy. Don't come around men. Do you think the Marine Corps emphasizes "family atmosphere?" (I was a Marine officer after Michigan) NO! They emphasize brotherhood, just like Bo and Moeller and Carr did. This is a game played by men. Not mamma's boys. Like I said, I'm from a different era.


Mon, Jan 3, 2011 : 11:44 a.m.

#58, any thoughts on this years player's banquet? do you have an opinion on whether RR's performance brought the team together, especially with the bowl game ahead of them?


Mon, Jan 3, 2011 : 11:30 a.m.

When Bo came in he kept on George Manns and Frank Maloney from Bump's staff. The coaches he brought were good coaches and good guys. I still consider them friends today...especially Jerry Hanlon. As to whether a coach has your back...I have to honestly say I can't answer that because I never had a coach who used the media to instill discipline or blame players for a bad game. Both Bump and Bo considered that an in house problem. I never once heard either of them blame a player for something that happened on the field. Neither bad mouthed a player in public.

Matt Whale

Mon, Jan 3, 2011 : 11:25 a.m.

#58, this is off the topic but my dad played the clarinet at halftime for the '47, '48 team in the Rose Bowl so he got to see Bump Elliott playing.


Mon, Jan 3, 2011 : 10:56 a.m.

#58: I think your insights are great. That's a very interesting thing you said. I never felt that RR should have been hired, and I've made that clear, so my comments have a bias. I accept that. But I knew we were in trouble with him when he jettisoned nearly the entire connection to the prior UM football program when he was named coach. I did not realize it went even deeper than that, but it makes a lot of sense. I really thought that Loeffler or Campbell or even one of the D-coaches could have helped maintain continuity. #58, do you remember if Bo kept any of the old coaches or old guard around when he came in? Also, do players perform less for a coach who they don't feel has their back? To me, it would seem that the answer is "yes", but I never played. In my job, whether or not my boss has my back, I perform at the same level, but I would guess that in a team sport it's different. What do you know about that? Do the players feel that RR has sold them out by his constant criticism in the press?


Mon, Jan 3, 2011 : 10:12 a.m.

Having played football at Michigan, and somewhat of an insider because of that, I know a former Michigan player who was RR's position coach at UWV when he was a player. This person has been working in UM Athletic Dept for the last 10 years. He said he approached RR when he was hired and offered to guide him about Michigan and Big 10 football. RR told him in no uncertain terms to mind his own business, that he'll run HIS program the way he wants. I just learned this after the Ohio State game this year. Many of my teammates and I were in AA for the game. So, RR was offered the guidance needed to navigate the Big 10 and Michigan's traditions. He wanted no part of it. He was bound and determined to change Michigan into what he wanted. What he didn't count on was the resistance he encountered from former players and alumni. That's why there's such a rift at UM regarding RR.


Mon, Jan 3, 2011 : 9:44 a.m.

black canoe "I feel that RR has been the victim of "politics" since he came to UM. Usually when someone enters an arena from the "outside" there are staff who fill them in on "insider" information. He made some UM political missteps, but through no fault of his own. How can you be a Michigan Man when the insider information is withheld?" 1. If RR had wanted any "insider" information about UM he could have easily gotten it at any time. The man really didn't care about the traditions or the "ins & outs" of UM... he thinks the only way to do things is HIS way. 2. This is typical RR supporter stuff... it was the "politics"; it was all of the people that withheld the "insider info" from him; it was the press; it was everyone else but RR. RR is a big boy, stop making excuses for him. 3. Even IF what you wrote were true, RR still had 3 years to overcome all of this. If he had a clean program and a team that was at least more competitive than we have been, then he could have risen above all of the problems (which were all self made).

beanie wells

Mon, Jan 3, 2011 : 9:35 a.m.

@mo the educator: also, anthony carter was a wide receiver. weren't we talking about small running backs, or am i just confused?


Mon, Jan 3, 2011 : 9:13 a.m.

Regarding Dee Hart: Dee Hart wants three things: 1. He wants to play in the NFL 2. He wants to be the featured back in college on his way to the NFL 3. He wants to carry the ball at least 15 times per game to show his skills to NFL scouts. If RR stays at Michigan: 1. Dee Hart will NOT be the featured back 2. All his carries will be against a defense playing against the run and he will never be the first option If RR leaves: 1. Hart competes with Devin Gardner and/or Denard Robinson at least next year, and possibly the next four years for touches, with Hart being the second option. If Hart goes to Auburn, he is the second option behind Cam Newton for at least one more year. Probably not acceptable to someone who wants to be the featured back. However the next couple days unfold, I am confident that Dave Brandon will not let the vacillating whims of high school students determine the direction of Michigan football.


Mon, Jan 3, 2011 : 8:58 a.m.

Obviously only JH knows what he's gonna do but it's not always about the cash. Look at UM both hospital and university. Lots of folks who could make more in private practice/industry but stay in academics for the love of teaching/passing on information. Some of JH"s sound bites sound like he leans towards that, but again, only he knows (and of course i'm sure the Mrs. has something to say about it, lol)


Mon, Jan 3, 2011 : 8:27 a.m.

Okay boys boys and girls be nice. I'm not thrilled with small backs but they seem to be everywhere these days so why not have one of each. Actually, I think we did this year at Mich. to bad the big guy didn't fit more in the scheme of things. I hope Denard stays, with improvement I think he's an even bigger legend in the making. Anthony was so fast maybe he ran back and forth between Ypsi and Florida. As far as the Dee Hart situation I think that is a shame anyway you look at it and ya, he's small and who knows if he would have been a star or bust it's the facts surrounding that situation that makes it a shame. As far as Harbaugh goes San Francisco wants him as does Denver and he can make a ton of cash at both places, if he goes to Mich. he could get stability or get his career ruined.

Mo the Educator

Mon, Jan 3, 2011 : 2:18 a.m.

I agree that Schembechler had an incredible eye for talent. Big Blue was an NFL factory during his tenure. My second hometown (Ypsi being first) had a tiny kid that Bo had his eye on. A local coach, who is now in the state's HS hall of fame, told me that he said to Bo that he thought the kid was "too small to take the Big 10 pounding". Four years later, Anthony Carter became one of the greatest to ever wear the Maize and Blue. Dee Hart may not do a thing in college, or he may be the next Maurice Jones-Drew (though Hart's bigger than him). And football overall has gone to where even the greatest backs of our era have talented backups, because no one can really take that pounding. It would have been really interesting to see Stephen Hopkins (who is one of the biggest backs that I remember us having) split time with Hart in the backfield. And I say that having watched Vincent Smith for 4 years in HS and being a big fan of his, but knowing that he is not the answer at superback. I don't like to hear about #1-rated recruits decommitting and our star QB considering transferring. In this era, kids go to colleges because the coach sits in the living room with them and their family, they call, they text, the send FaceBook messages, and families send their "babies" off so to "Coach" to take care of them. Right or wrong, that's the way things are. If Rodriguez is fired, I hope he can salvage something out of this year's recruiting class and even improve upon it.


Mon, Jan 3, 2011 : 1:26 a.m.

I left the site to watch the Bears game. Unfortunately, they lost to the Packers. I read earlier in the posts that a poster believes that Bo had an advantage because he had the benefit of unlimited scholarships, while todays coaches have an aggragate of 85. That's wrong. The NCAA allowed 75 scholarships per year, but the Big 10 only allowed 30 per year. The reason is that many non-Big 10 univ. abused this. That is why the NCAA finally limited scholarships. They didn't care about parity. Don't forget that the first 7 years Bo was at Michigan, freshmen weren't eligible. Mo- I did post that our goal was to WIN the Rose Bowl. I re-read my posts to make sure. Our goal was to win EVERY game, including the Rose Bowl. To those of you who are disappointed that Dee Hart what. I'm tired of watching small backs who are very fast spend half the season on the bench because on injuries. I'm aware we had Jamie Morris and Mike Hart. They were exceptional, and they were 2 in 40 years. RR has his roster loaded with them. Recruting is hit or miss. The best coaches evaluate the talent and use those recruiting services only sparingly. Most recruits don't make it to the field, least not as starters. Why do you think each univ. has an aggregate of 85 scholarships when only 22 will start? Most recruits will not be heard of again after signing day. The most successful coaches evaluate talent better than others. Bo was a great talent evaluater. He had his dissapointments, but he also found talent in kids the recruiting services ignored. The one that comes to mind is Mike Kenn. No one recruited him. Bo had one scholarship left and decided to take a chance. Mike Kenn was a 2 time All American tackle who played for 13 years of pro ball. Bo always said that you can't evaluate a recruiting class until their junior year. Then you can see the impact that class had on the program.


Mon, Jan 3, 2011 : 12:09 a.m.

I am from Chicago, both before I went to Michigan, and since. I left the site because I watched the Bears play the Packers. Unfortunately, the packers won. Oh well... I have read some of the posts since I left earlier. One person said that this era is different than Bo's time because Bo had the benifit of unlimited scholarships. That's wrong. The Big 10 imposed scholarship limits on conference schools. While the rest of the NCAA were allowed 75 scholarships per year, the Big 10 allowed only 30 per year. The reason was abuse by various universities of the number. One prime example was Texas, that had a reputation of hoarding players and running off those who didn't perform by putting them through drills that were intended to be painful, not teach skills. They were called s**t drills. In the Big 10 one could only lose his scholarship for disciplinary reasons, or flunking out. This conference imposed rule lasted until the NCAA had enough of the scholarship abuse and limited them to 85 overall. One of the reasons you see such poor blocking and tackling in football today is coaches feel they don't have enough depth to risk injuries in practice. Where Bo imposed tough, contact practices emphasizing the fundamentals of blocking and tackling, today's coaches don't because of fear of injury. Mo...Of course Bo set a goal of winning EVERY game, and that includes the Rose Bowl. I'm surprised that a seemingly intelligent guy like you would read too much into what I didn't say, but implied. To those of you who are disappointed that Dee Hart what. I'm tired of seeing undersized players get beat up and spend half the season on the bench because of injuries. The small backs we have now came to Michigan with accolades, and we can see how that worked out. Jamie Morris and Mike Hart were the exception. That's 2 in 40 years. RR's team is loaded with them. Recruiting is hit or miss. Just because some recruting analyst gives a high school kid 5 stars doesn't mean that kid will live up to it in college. For the most part, the last time you will ever hear of most recruits from any university is on signing day. Why do you think a univ. has an aggregate of 85 scholarships when only 22 can start? Back when I was playing we had several H.S. All Americans that never advanced past the 4th string. We had guys who weren't recruited very heavily, or were walk-ons, who made All American. A successful coach is one who can evaluate talent more often then not. Every school has players who never see the field in their career.

Mo the Educator

Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 11:40 p.m.

@heartbreakM I don't believe that Jim Harbaugh is the answer if we need to win 9 games next year. I'm very critical of firing Rodriguez if we are not going to immediately improve. The school has to make a very important, critical decision on the HC: not everyone can come in here with spread option / 3-3-5 personnel and immediately meet the standard of "Big 10 championship and Rose Bowl appearance". I think that most of our fan base right now thinks 'anyone of us could outcoach Rodriguez, so we could hire anybody' or 'Harbaugh knows the program so he's the savior'. Neither one is true. Harbaugh hasn't been around Ann Arbor for about 25 years, and things are extremely different from when he was. For the 713th time, I am not a fan of Rodriguez, but I would rather see him stay than watch U of M go with a sentimental hire or hand the reigns to a mediocre, desperation hire if Captain Comeback goes to the NFL or stays in Palo Alto. @PortageLkBlu I'm not bothered by stepping on sacred cows - like the one where we pretend that Bo Schembechler's bowl record and other consistent losses to top-flight competition doesn't matter. Or the one that only someone from the Michigan football program should or could coach them effectively. I'm also not good at acting like Schembechler is the main reason that most of our fan base holds those two cows sacred. If you and I are the only ones making comments who think that 1) we actually COULD do worse than keeping Rodriguez another year and 2) Schembechler has an enormous, glaring weakness in his coaching record, so be it. Just like everyone else on here, I'm just submitting my opinions, not trying to be popular.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 11:39 p.m.

Hey Ed: you forgot to include how RR promoted Braithwaite to safety coach this year. Braithwaite was an RR crony from WVU who somehow got onto this coaching staff as a "staff assistant" (they were the problem with the probation, I think), and then promoted. When RR had a chance to get a proven safety/DB coach to improve our defense, he chose instead to not get input from the D-coordinator and brought in his own bad choice. But I suppose that was also forced onto him by 'insiders' trying to ruin him.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 11 p.m.

I think we are all in agreement that Bo was a great coach and a great guy. The times I spoke with him a couple times and he was always very friendly and approachable. Not sure though you can compare Bo's era to the present. As the play by play guys noted during the game, there is parity now and it is simply more difficult than ever to put great teams together year after year. Bo had the benefit for many years of unlimited scholarships. Now its 85 or so. It's different eras. We are seeing teams in the top ten now that were patsies in the past. Its all up to DB now. I never thought that game would be so lopsided. MSU got shellacked too. It would be great to get JH but anybody else is going to be just as much an unknown as RR. I don't care much for bowl games. Six weeks of preparation or six weeks of getting rusty from not playing for so long? I always thought that was why MI never did well in bowl games and the teams usually never looked as great as during the season. I don't care much anymore if its RR or someone else but whoever is coach next year better win at least nine games or we will be continuing this discussion in exactly 1 year. Next year should be better, at least it will be a more experienced team.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 10:56 p.m.

Mo, keep your posts coming and don't mind the character assassins they mean well their just frustrated. I hope Denard stays I think he will be a great all around QB this really is his first year Mo, you have to understand the degree of frustration normally fair minded folks have gotten caught up in the, fire all the bums syndrome. Unfortunately for RR this attitude could cost RR his job before he has time to complete his work although I think Mr Brandon might have something to say about all this one way or the other and it won't be because of impatience on the part of a few fans as those fans are learning. I will respect Mr Brandon's decision in part because I think it will be calculated and not at the whim of some overanxious, rash fans. I will agree with Mr Brandon because I believe he will make an appropriate decision based on his knowledge of the game and this particular situation and his business sense. I will not insult Mr Brandon's decision because I like to think I'm a fair minded person. With that said I hope he keeps RR.

black canoe

Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 10:53 p.m.

heartbreak, I agree Bill Martin should have filled him in. And yes I know all coaching staff were fired but one. I was not referring to coaching staff, but the rank and file staff who are around regardless of who is coaching. They know everything and could have made things more welcoming for the new guys. but as you suggest, Bill Martin could have made the difference. It should have been his responsibility.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 10:42 p.m.

Uh, black canoe: RR could not have had insider information because HE FIRED ALL THE OLD STAFF, except for Fred Jackson. And given how well he seems to have listened to anyone anyway, he would not heard it. But shouldn't Bill Martin have educated him some? A disaster in all aspects, but with no succession plan in place, this disaster was waiting to happen.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 10:34 p.m.

what bossfan23 said. love hearing the old stories from someone who knows :)

black canoe

Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 10:31 p.m.

I feel that RR has been the victim of "politics" since he came to UM. Usually when someone enters an arena from the "outside" there are staff who fill them in on "insider" information. He made some UM political missteps, but through no fault of his own. How can you be a Michigan Man when the insider information is withheld? It's unfortunate the nastiness of getting out of his previous contract made headlines and ruined the honeymoon. I'm not sure how this all fits together, but it seems to me there were folks who didn't want him from the get go and have conspired to get him out. we cannot go back to Bo's Camelot. he wasn't perfect, check the record info in previous posts. He and Woody were perfectly matched and the rivalry was exciting. we need to move on.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 10:28 p.m.

#58ontheroster, I hope that you come back on here to read all of the love and gratitude that is being sent your way. I would like to thank you for joining us and giving us a glimpse of life inside the ropes. Thank you for your tales of life with Bo. Thank you for your contributions to the program at UofM. Like many others, I remember watching the '69 win over OSU (I was 12 at the time) and consider it to be the greatest football game, at any level, that I have ever watched! Finally, thank you for (briefly) shutting down the resident expert on Bo's shortcomings. Even though it was brief, you had him on his heels. He went from, "Just like his football program, Bo was a good coach, but highly overrated," to "Bo won more games than anybody." Sadly, today he has returned to form, belittling the man that many of us adored, while trying to convince us that he loves this program. For an educator, he doesn't learn very quickly. Having been set straight by someone with first-hand experience, quite politely I might add, it would seem likely that he would take his mNC campaign and slink off into the sunset. Sadly, it hasn't happened. Please continue to join in when you can and know that any/all stories from your time on the roster will be welcomed!


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 10:07 p.m.

@Mo: You sound like 5-7 is the norm around here, and sound critical of desire to rid our university and team of the worst coach in its history. Well, it has been decades since anyone came close to being this bad, and in 3 years, RR has a losing record in B10 play, got squashed by a middle to low SEC team with no winning tradition, and has the worst fundamentals and defense in Michigan history. It seems that YOUR coach, RR, is responsible for 5-7, and not the university's standard.

Mo the Educator

Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 10:01 p.m.

That's exactly what we need: the best running back in the country decommitting, and our best player considering transferring. Thankfully, all we need is Jim Harbaugh, and miraculously, everything will be better. All you have to do these days is send high school football players a postcard with a picture of a big blue "M" on it and they'll come running. The coach is irrelevant. But we have to fire ours. [/sarcasm] Fire him, keep him, crucify him, hire Tony Dungy, no matter what U of M does, please let this debacle end quickly. Bring on more 5 - 7 football with our new coach not named Chris Petersen!


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 9:49 p.m.

@Edward R Murrow's Ghost Oh... I agree with you. I am not concerned about this loss, as I was not convinced another smaller back would work against the D's I watched M play this year. While DH is a great player, DR showed speed can be neutralized by B-10 (and SEC) defenses.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 9:48 p.m.

ERM, I think Stephen Hopkins the freshman #33 fits the bill as a RB that could take on a LB but he didn't play much as I recall. He is 230 lbs. Granted, most the RBs in RR's system are scatbacks. I know what you saying, though. Remember the Illinois game in 2009 when U-M has first and goal at the 1 yard line and couldn't score on four straight plays. That was frustrating.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 7:39 p.m.

Report: Top U-M recruit Dee Hart changes commitment to Alabama From The Detroit News:


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 7:38 p.m.

#58: Thanks for the great posts. And thanks for sticking it out for Bo. Got a couple questions for you. As one who has never played, I wonder how the players respond to a coach who has been like RR. Not in terms of losses and wins, but in terms of essentially saying that the players are not good enough, or that they are too young. Does that influence the play of the team? Does a player not WANT to play hard or listen to a coach like that? Or are the players above that and just play within the system regardless?

Larry Weisenthal

Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 6:30 p.m.

To #58: What a treat reading your comments on this thread! I was a 22 y.o. med student during the 1969 season. I went to every home game that year and every home game thereafter, through the 1976 season. You players may have had a high class attitude towards Woody going for 2 in 1968 (didn't someone ask Woody why he went for two and he said it was because he couldn't go for 3?), but we non-player students just hated that. It was the true beginning of the ohhowihateohiostate era. But THAT game! Morehead, Mandich, Craw, Taylor, Doughty, Dierdorf, and the hero of the game, little Barry Pierson I remember everything about that day and about that game. Anyway, I tip my hat to you, man. I've now got a new hero from that great team. The thing I want to say about Bo is this. Other than an early 40-17 blowout by Missouri that first year, Bo's teams were in every single game they played, right up until the end of the 4th quarter. Of course, they won most of those games. Bo's philosophy of defense first kept his teams in every single game they played, and he was famously conservative on the offensive side of the ball, as well (remember not only 3 yards and a cloud of dust but also "3 things can happen when you pass the football, and two of them are bad."). This philosophy did hurt him most, I think, in the bowl games. Bo didn't want to take chances; the other coaches went for broke and, more often than not, things broke their way. The other factor going into the relative lack of Big 10 bowl success has been the traditional 6 week layoff, between the formerly pre-Thanksgiving final games and the New Years bowl games. Anyway, Bo was the greatest coach in University of Michigan football history, considering the national competitive environment at the time. Michigan is a Big 10 school; the other Big 10 schools were the most important competition, and it never bothered me one bit to be the Champions of the West.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 5:43 p.m.

Mo, relax and have fun these boys and girls will try to get your goat if you let them. A lot of what you say is true and a lot of what they say is true, in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter much. Bo was a good coach that had trouble winning bowl games I'm sure that bothered Bo till the day he died. RR probably is a good offensive coach as many seem to think and the thing is we need a good defensive coach and RR needs to keep hands off of the defense and let the coordinator recruit the defensive kids. I just have fun on this site to me this is all just different folks opinions about this and that concerning the Mich. program. You see Mo I'm not concerned what others think of my opinions because I'm always right and I say RR coaches us 2011 or not. Happy New Yr.!


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 5:28 p.m.

Our next coach must find a way to keep Denard and to use him appropriately within a system. I know Harbaugh likes the pro style QB, but if he is truly a great coach, he will alter his offense to what players are already in place. For me, the bigger issue is going to be who will be the D coordinator? The new staff can't take a step back to 3-9 or worse, they must attempt to be around 6-6.

Mo the Educator

Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 5:27 p.m.

@ Macabre Sunset Uhh... what are you talking about? @PortageLkBlu Bo Schembechler is a legend in Ann Arbor, and was an incredible builder of young men. He also lost bowl games at an unacceptable clip. From moron to messiah, anyone can be critiqued. No one is above reproach. I have less problem with Schembechler and his overrated Michigan teams than I do with being a part of a fan base that is only concerned about bowl games when they feed their football-bloodlust for firing the coach. @a2citizen I'm pointing out the irony in the idea that a bowl loss should be a relevant part of the reason to fire Rodriguez, when we already had that precedent set decades ago. Of course Rodriguez has done plenty of other things that warrant his being replaced, but the bowl loss should be almost irrelevant for Michigan fans. I'm pointing out why, and you cannot ignore when that started and who was coaching when it did. Concerning my career, you're right: we'll see. I have no problem with critique, and I'm most critical of my own performance. You'd probably be shocked though, about what people have said about me as an educator. I'd guess I'm only half as terrible or irrelevant as you may assume I am! And Bo and I are in the same category as far as Washtenaw County coaches are concerned: neither one of us has ever been up for COTY there. (I wish you could see how hard I'm laughing about this. The idea that 1) my career is relevant or 2) I should somehow be compared to Bo Schembechler is funnier to me than it is to you. Truly.)


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 5:11 p.m.

Brandon's wishy-washy no decision on RR is killing UM football for several years to come. Dee Hart is now changing his mind and going to Alabama. Says he doesn't like the indecision at UM. Can't blame him. Stick with an organization that has decided to win.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 5:07 p.m.

Boys and Girls, we got black eyes yesterday, we got our butts handed to us, we got sent packin, we got spanked, we got humiliated, we got sent home with a note from the teacher, I think I about covered how I feel about this loss. Thank god for my faith in Mich and next year cause that was a beat down of epic proportion. Amen


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 4:57 p.m.

Truth be known, RR might and I wouldn't blame him why stay when you can build a better team at another school. Isn't there a Mich. boy at running back position at Alabama? How come Les Miles isn't already coaching in the big 10 and I would have thought Jim Harbaugh would have already been our head coach, lots of questions. Would the Alabama coach have touted a national championship last year (2010)at Michigan State. Can Harbaugh have the same success in the big 10 that he has at Stanford out here in rich recruiting grounds, maybe Mich. won't get back to prominance and don't forget, Wisconsin, Iowa, Penn State, Michigan State, Northwestern are not always going to be our door mats in the future oh, lets not forget Nebraska is coming to town.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 4:56 p.m.

Mo The Educator: If you read the article closely you may notice the subject is about Rich Rodriguez status as head coach. Bo Schembechler's name is never mentioned. Why you took this as an opportunity to "critique" Bo only you can answer. Your ensuing posts read less like a "critique" and more like an envious rant of an iconic figure, to which many readers have taken exception. But when you "critique" someone, you open yourself up to being critiqued. Forty years after you coach a kid you may be fortunate enough to have him defend your record (as #58ontheroster has so eloquently done). And 21 years after you finally hang up your chalk and eraser I wonder how your students/players would critique your performance. I mean, if they remember you. I'll admit you do have one accomplishment on Bo. He coached in Washtenaw County from 1969-1989 and never once won County Coach of the Year. Mo 1 Bo 0

Macabre Sunset

Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 4:52 p.m.

So, Mo, you're basically admitting that you know nothing about Big Ten football. Thanks for your comments. They add a lot (eye-roll).


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 4:40 p.m.

It is not the Coach, it is the Big 10 States (0 and 5 yesterday) The talent is either not in Michigan or it moves, just like in business and other disciplines. Michigan football and the Big ten will only compete when we have Big Ten states that can compete with the south and west states attitude of non entitlement and the non union way of life. If I was RR I would run as fast as I could to the south and not look back.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 4:40 p.m.

Excuse me ghost, did you say something? Mo, I agree with you about those bowl losses. One contributor mentioned that Bo's goal was, win the big 10 and was it, go to the Rose Bowl? It would seem to me that go to the Rose Bowl would mean win the Rose Bowl right? Well, I was one of those fans that live in Cal. and each year that Mich. went to the Rose Blow I often also went and was more often than not very disappointed. I can tell you that upon exiting the Rose Bowl there were many loud mean comments being made about Bo. Now if Bo's ambition was win the 10 and go to the Rose Bowl kind of a 50 50 thing well you do the math. Bo was a good coach in my opinion and back then I think we all agree the big 10 for the most part really was the big 2 with a few exceptions here and there. No one can understand why Mich. usually got their butts handed to them by USC when it's a simple answer, Mich. was out gunned some say out coached I believe outgunned. USC got the cream of the crop in Calif. Maybe RR is not the coach for Mich and to say RR might go elsewhere and build a championship team is only stating that he might turn Mich. around if we give him time and I believe he will if given time which could happen.

Mo the Educator

Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 4:27 p.m.

@azwolverine I admittedly have no real knowledge of the coaches you mentioned, so I'll take your assessment of them, and I understand your reticence. At the same time, I've watched Boise St (now living in a neighboring state) over Petersen's tenure, and I'm a believer in what he's done. I thought they were the best team in the country in 09-10, his teams have lost 5 games in as many years, and only one bowl game during that same period. I think he can, as Bum Phillips said about Bear Bryant, "take your'n and beat hiz'n and take hiz'n and beat your'n". I also think he can use the spread option/3-3-5 personnel we have and win with them right now. I'm a Harbaugh fan, but I don't think the same of him. And I really don't care about all of that "Michigan Man", promote from within/prodigal son stuff. Get us the best maker of young men who will win championships, period.

Tom Wieder

Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 4:27 p.m.

It's time for new leadership....for the State of Michigan. Obviously, Gov. Rick Snyder is a failure. Just hours after he was sworn in, Michigan's two leading universities lost their bowl games by a combined margin of 91 points. Recall him.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 4:04 p.m.

Mo "I do know, however, that comparing Big 10 records between someone who coached there for 20 years as opposed to someone who was in it for three is absurd." Mo, we don't need more than 3 years to see that RR is NOT a good Big Ten coach. That's all that is relevant here, his record at UM and in the BT. It is mind numbing that he has already lost almost as many BT games in 3 years as Bo lost in 21 years. What is absurd was your comment that there is little difference between RR and Bo, in your opinion. Now that is really absurd! "If Rodriguez had lost 2 games in three years, and won a mNC would that make him better than Bo?" Mo, you are not living in reality. Reality: Bo >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> RR


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 4:04 p.m.

Mo, Petersen is an outstanding coach, no doubt. He fits perfectly with the needs of Boise St. However, I would be very disappointed if UM selected him as their head coach. I live in ASU country and have seen first hand a supposedly top-tier coach from Boise St (Dirk Koetter) come in and bomb. Then, Koetter's replacement at Boise, Dan Hawkins, also did a fantastic job before getting hired at Colorado where...he bombed. Petersen is great where he's at, but based on the track record of Boise St coaches moving on to bigger schools, I wouldn't be excited about that hire.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 3:47 p.m.

@Macabre: I would say there is one elite conference--the SEC. The B10 is not so good. They beat up on each other and the weather and size makes it difficult to play week in and week out, but nationally, they just don't stand out year in and year out. (Look at the recent 5 bowl records). ACC and Big East: Weak conferences overall IMO. WAC:? Pac ten: Top 2 are usually outstanding, but otherwise, the teams are no better than any other middling conference. I just don't see any power conferences. The bowl games are all about matchups and some year they favor one conference and others not.

Mo the Educator

Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 3:45 p.m.

@ GettingBluer First of all, someone else brought up my coaching/teaching career. Schembechler's career makes mine look like something brown sticking to the bottom of his shoe. Second, for teachers, you have to be nominated for Who's Who. It means that some of my students took the time to acknowledge what I had done for them. Nothing more. That's important to me, but again, not "nationally competitive" or important to anyone else. The COTY for my county? The other coaches in my area thought I should win it. I'm appreciative. Schembechler is in the CFB Hall of Fame. Why are we comparing me to him again? Oh yeah: ad hominems. @#58ontheroster If what you said is true, that Bo's goal was to make it to the Rose Bowl, then he accomplished that goal. I wish he had set the goal of actually winning it. @MissionBrazil I don't know how you do an apples-to-apples comparison of Schembechler in his first 10 years and Rodriguez in his first 9. I do know, however, that comparing Big 10 records between someone who coached there for 20 years as opposed to someone who was in it for three is absurd. If Rodriguez had lost 2 games in three years, and won a mNC would that make him better than Bo? After just three years? @Murrow What your stats show is that Michigan almost always lost bowl games. After 17 tries, "losing close" 71% of the time just becomes "losing". Michigan beat the only other good team in the Big Ten, and lost to the best teams from other major conferences. Repeatedly. 1) I love U of M football (and winning) too much to concede that we can't win the last game of the season. 2) I don't want a new head coach if that person isn't as close as you can get to being guaranteed better than the one we have. 3) I'm not "drinking the Kool-Aid" on Jim Harbaugh, but I've got 7 different flavors labeled "Chris Petersen" that I consume regularly. 4) I don't take this comment section or myself very seriously, I just like to debate. 5) The Lions will win at least one playoff game next season.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 3:42 p.m.

RR is going to end up at Clemsom and his coaching style will probably be ok down there. Please help me out when RR took over the senior class was Henne, Long & Hart. The players who left early where Arringtion, Maningiham, Mallett, Boren and Threet. These are just a few of the players ran off let alone the ones he recruited who have now left the program. With this much turnover no wonder HE can't get the program moving in the right direction. Prior to yesterdays game on ESPN he sat down for a interview and was asked how do you fix whats wrong w/ the defense. He said he would rely on another good recruiting class. What that tells me he hasn't learned from his past mistakes. Keep trying to fix it with young players cuz that is how all great programs are built.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 3:36 p.m.

@Mo The Educator: "I brought up Michigan's bowl history because I don't think today's game should be a major reason for firing Rodriguez. He should be fired for the team's performance over the past 3 years." The Gator Bowl basically summed up his 3 years at U-M. It was a typical game under the Rich Rod era.

Macabre Sunset

Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 3:04 p.m.

We can't forget that when a Big Ten team plays in the Rose Bowl, it's a road game, plain and simple. I've been there. Washington was the opponent. There was a significant Michigan section, but that was an overwhelming Pac Ten crowd. USC plays its home games in that stadium. Yet many of those Bo bowls came down to the last minute, against the best the country had to offer. Bo never made excuses, he wanted to win those games. But he knew the path to success led through winning Big Ten games and winning in Columbus. And that's the tradition here. Yesterday ended a good run of Big Ten success in bowl games. It evens out over time. There are four elite conferences, and the SEC has been just a tad better than the other three over the last decade.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 2:55 p.m.

The Pittsburgh job is open. Maybe they can take Rich Rod off our hands. Pitt plays in the Big East, which is where Rich Rod excells.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 2:38 p.m.

"The most interesting part of Adam Schefters report that Elway has agreed to join the team -- a deal has been in the work for several weeks -- is that Elway will try to pursue Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh as head coach. Harbaugh is considered one of the top prizes available this offseason. He could also be pursued by his alma mater, Michigan. Elway clearly has ties to Harbaugh. The former Stanford and Broncos star quarterback is going to be honorary captain for Stanford during the Orange Bowl on Monday. So, Elway will have plenty of time to make his pitch to Harbaugh. "

Matt Whale

Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 2:20 p.m.

Okay, say Coach Rodriguez is fired and Coach Harbaugh comes here. If Harbaugh has the exact same record as Rodriguez, will we have the same discussion 3 years from know? Personally, I don't think so.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 2:11 p.m.

One of the amazing things about Bo was that 19 of his 21 teams ended up being ranked in the Top 20 or better. Plus the average ranking of those 19 teams was # 7 in the nation (even after some bowl losses). Now that is competing on a national level! And he did it throughout his UM career!


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 2:04 p.m.

Regarding comments that have been deleted. I think it's probably a server issue and not a censor.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 1:41 p.m.

#58: yeah deleted/removed comments are par for the course here- get used to it. I know other players/alumni who have also echoed the same anger. It is no surprise the 'bigger house' can't sell out all of it's luxury suites nor did fans show up in large numbers at yesterday's bowl game. This has been a very polarized hire from the very start and unfortunately, RRod never took a class in leadership or executive speaking and remained defensive by never accepting responsibility or ownership of the entire team. I believe a respected coach with honor who can truly inspire and motivate his team we will not get blown-out in rivalry games. Will not blame previous coaches or young players. RRod never realized that becoming a 'Michigan man' is not simply to ask for the title or even to win- it's a moniker that exhibits strong character who can lead others during the toughest of times. Our next coach may not win 9 games in his first two years. But as long as he leads our team with character and integrity and gets the best out of their team- then we will extend far more patience then we did with RRod.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 1:39 p.m.

Rodriguez isn't a fit at UM, and the school should probably just put the guy out of his misery. Still, a new coach isn;t necessarily the solution. The Big 10 is a train wreck right now. I wrote about it on my blog.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 1:26 p.m.

I guess my last comment was deleted. I don't know why. I'll try to revive it the best I can... Everyone forgets that Michigan was the winningest team in college football history BEFORE 1969. In 1963 they won the Big 10 Championship and beat Oregon in the Rose Bowl. In 1968, my junior year, we were 8-2. Our only Big 10 loss was to Ohio State, 50-14. My good friend and roommate, Jim Mandich, vowed that we'd never lose to Ohio State again. In 1969 we beat Ohio State in AA, 24-12. That was the beginning of the "Bo era." There was a question regarding how the old players feel about RR and the last 3 years. The short answer is : angry. It's tough to watch something you helped build and maintain be destroyed.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 1:22 p.m.

#58, i also enjoyed reading all of your commentary, thanks. If i were a former player of UM and now coach who would have the opportunity to coach my alma mater, i would jump on it if only for the sole reason to prove the last three years as a bunch of bunk. I think i would make it my mission to want to restore pride to the UM (and if i'm a competitor, want to show RR up). It's hard to wait, but that's all we can do!


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 12:57 p.m.

#58 Great insights from someone on that 69 team. I still remember where I was when I watched that game. It is my greatest UM football memory to date. I was 14 at the time. As for JH coming to A2, it is hard to determine what he is thinking. He for sure will have many options to choose from. I believe it will come down to the following: 1. As a former UM player on one of Bo's teams, how badly does he long to come back and coach at his alma mater? It is well documented how important Bo was and still is as an influence on his life and his coaching approach. He has made it known how much he loved his time at UM while a student and player. 2. JH thrives on challenges. Rebuilding the UM program into a B10 and national power would offer him that challenge. 3. JH loves rivalry games. He better than anyone understands the UM traditions and rivalries with OSU, MSU and ND. This is something the NFL or staying at Stanford can't offer JH> 4. Stanford can't offer the total package that MI can offer in terms of money, national prominance and other financial benefits that accompany being the HC at MI. 5. It it comes down to just money, then the NFL opportunities can most likely offer a bigger salary than MI will. However, in the NFL, it is only a business, nothing like coaching at your alma mater and becoming a living legend following in the footsteps of your mentor and hero from the past. I truely believe there is a realistic chance that DB closes the deal with JH and it becomes the "perfect marriage" between JH, DB and MI football.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 12:40 p.m.

It would be sad to lose Denard but his loss would be similar to losing Mallett when RR took over. It makes sense that he would want to be in an offense more suited to his abilities.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 12:28 p.m.

We _all know_ that AA/ U of M is INNATELY SUPERIOR and if the team and AA loses, then it must be the fault of someone else. U of M had _a singularly great coach_ for many years. Now, the university is just like all other teams- nothing special. Live with it. It is not going to change. Being in AA is not some kind of anointing. This coach filled the stadium with more butts than any other previous coach. That is the real metric.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 12:14 p.m.

Peter Apparently you are not up to date on things. Our current AD did not hire RR. The AD that made this blunder is gone and DB is the new AD that has the huge task of fixing this mess. So I question your knowledge of MI football and wonder if you are even a true supporter


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 12:13 p.m.

RR is as much a dissapointment as the other 4 coaches that got their ars handed to them yesterday. What is it about the Big 10 and bowl games? Time for the commish to get the troops together and figure this out. It once was about education and money and now it's only about MONEY! So if it is about money, let's do it right. Michigan and the Big 10 are suppose to be a premier league. Big 10 is a respected conference in Education, why not football? I send my kids to the Big 10 to receive a very valuable education. I want the whole package. I cannot live with average. Pride in an education is a must and pride in your sports programs is also a must. If your in, you gotta be all in! Get it figured out before Big 10 Football is the laughing stock of the NCAA! Denard is a great young man but not a leader of men. RR seems to be a very good offensive coordinator but a terrible judge of leadership and team spirit! I personally don't want to waste another year with average!


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 12:09 p.m.

#58 - thanks for your comments and rememberances today, an outstanding "article" within an article. At age 13, I sat with my dad and brothers on the field watching the '69 beating of Woody and OSU, it is one of my best memories. ERM Ghost - I vote you MVP for this season's entertaining and factually based comments...keep 'em coming, thanks!!!


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 11:52 a.m.

Have fun boys and girls, I'm headed to the Michigan basketball game today. Go Blue!! I'll read about the outcome of Brandon's decision later in the week, and leave the useless hand- wringing to you all.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 11:39 a.m.

@EightySeven Now this is an intriguing comment. While I am highly suspect that you could actually transpire, it would add an interesting element to this mess. Urban Meyer would not need to dismantle, and would easily be able to morph this spread variant into his own. Alas, I would rank this low on the spectrum of probability. As for JH, I am still not convinced he is coming to A2. While I would love to see it, I am not fully convinced. If it was BH, DB could announce now. He does not need to wait. Thus, I suspect we await on JH or outside chance LM. I have read rumors of 'other' coaches as options, but I give these small percentages of truth. UM cannot make the same mistake twice in a row, and MUST get it right this time.

Macabre Sunset

Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 11:35 a.m.

George, what is it like to see a record/tradition you were part of starting (the first winning Big Ten season in a string of 40) go by the wayside? Are former players angry about what Rodriguez has done to the team? You were probably on the field when I went to my first game at age 3. Michigan football has been part of my life. I'm sad seeing that era end. I can only imagine what it's like for the players and coaches themselves.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 11:27 a.m.

Good morning, everyone! At least today I can watch a winning football team...the Chicago Bears. I'm from Chicago, both before Michigan, and now. I've read the comments posted since I went to bed last night. 3And Out, too bad you're a guy. But I guess I kind of knew that and was pulling your leg! By the way, can I meet your girlfriend?!! As for Denard Robinson leaving...I don't recall that he signed a letter of intent to play at the University of Rich Rodriguez. He signed to play for Michigan, no matter who the coach is. When I played there was very little transferring to other schools. I guess because the dollars at the next level weren't that great. My old roommate and friend, Jim Mandich, was a second round pick of the Dolphins and only made $20,000.00, his first year. That's not a typo...$20,000.00. So players weren't as concerned about playing time. Yeah, we all wanted to play, but you realized by your sophomore year whether you'll go onto the next level. So we concentrated on our studies. (Did you hear that, Tate?) I've been a lawyer for 33 years in Chicago. Rich Rod's biggest failure in my opinion is his recruiting. He loves undersized, fast players, even in his choice of offensive and defensive linemen. (By the way, he has no defensive tackle commits yet this year.) And everyone wonders why so many of the players missed time this year with injuries. The other failure is the defense in 2008. He had 7 returning starters from a pretty good defense, and turned them into crap with his insistence on playing the 3-3-5 defense. The first D coordinator, Schaffer I believe, was fired and went to Syracuse to build a very good defense. Schaffer has not used the 3-3-5 defense at Syracuse. They went from 100th rated defense under Robinson, to the 26th best defense under Schaffer. That alone tells you something. Also, the cupbard was bare argument when RR got here is pure crap. It was bare because RR chased off a lot of talent...especially Ryan Mallett. How much better would Michigan have been if RR didn't play the 3-3-5 defense, and kept Mallet around? How much better would Michigan have been had he coached to the talent he had instead of instilling 100% his offensive and defensive schemes. Mallet saw his hopes of an NFL career going down the toilet. If you look at the Capitol One Bowl the previous Jan. you'd see that Chad Henne did well with the spread and wasn't a runner. My point is RR is the wrong coach for Michigan. He may go somewhere else and build a great program. So what. He isn't doing it here. For you people who don't want to go back to the old style of football...what has the new style gained us? At least the old style smash mouth football beat OSU, Wisconsin, Penn State and Iowa, as well as most everyone else, on a regular basis.

Go Blue

Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 11:12 a.m.

#58 - Thanks for the nostalgia - that game was my intro to UM football and remembering the game still brings tears to my eyes. The clock was running out and the field was packed, everyone trying to rip the goal posts down. The beginning of the Bo era. Truly an era of honor, strength and leadership. Bo lived on campus (as did most, if not all HCs, excluding current HC), not far from Fielding's old home, and he and his family were a strong part of and contributor to the community. His home was not new, not ostentatious, always welcoming. And, he was loved - rightly so, because he gave his all and devoted his life to his team. He was a leader. Oh yeh, then there's his game record - speaks for itself. One can always find so much positive and good in most of our past coaches............


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 11:03 a.m.

I'm not so sure Harbaugh will be the new coach. I have a belief it very well might be Urban Meyer. Yes he did just retire but the main reason besides his health was that he wanted to spend time w/ his family. I believe most of his family is from around the Toledo area. So this would allow him to spend a little more time w/ his family.

average joe

Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 10:29 a.m.

This bowl loss isn't a good reason to fire RR, but it was a lost opportunity for RR to save his job. Actually, the defenses that he put on the field in U of M uniforms the last three years is enough reason to get rid of the entire coaching staff.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 10:18 a.m.

@missionbrazil: Please don't be so harsh on Mo the Educator. Mo, much like #58onthe roster, was IN the arena. According to his posts, last year Mo won County Coach of the Year.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 10:11 a.m.

Great stuff # 58!


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 10:01 a.m.

Well I just read its the 9th time this year they have given up more than 400 yards,plus the worse bowl loss in michigan history.The team under RR has made history in a lot of negeative ways.I support a few of you's right to defend RR but I dont understand the logic.He is in way over his head and by his comments I think he knows that he himself is history.Thank goodness


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 10 a.m.

Mo "Rodriguez has 11 more seasons to win three more bowl games. If he does, he'll surpass Bo by 1. My money is on him to do better than that. Is Rodriguez a better coach than Schembechler? Ask me in 11 years. Right now? I don't think so, but I don't think the difference is all that great." Wow, some pretty wild stuff Mo. Let's help you figure out if RR is a better coach or not: * Bo lost his 18th Big Ten game in his 16th season... it took RR only 3 years to lose 18 BT games. * If RR stays 1 more season he could possibly reach Bo's CAREER total of losses in the BT (21 years) in his 4th year. (if he would have a 2-6 BT season) * In Bo's 21 seasons his WORST BT finish was 6th (5-4), and that year was a fluke season, because 1 other Bo team finished 4th, 2 others 3rd, and in the remaining 17 seasons we were 1st (13 times) or 2nd in the BT. * RR's BEST BT finish: 7th; 2-6, 1-7, 3-5 in the BT * Bo's winning percentage in the BT: an impressive.850 * RR's losing percentage in the BT: a very unimpressive.250 * Bo's overall winning percentage at UM: impressive.796 * RR's overall losing percentage at UM: unimpressive.405 * Bo's record vs OSU: 11-9-1 * RR's record vs OSU: 0-3 (lost by total of 76 pts.) * Bo's # of NCAA violations in 21 years: 0 * RR's # of NCAA violations in 3 years: 4 major violations * Bo # of bowl wins: 5 * RR # of bowl wins: 0 * Bo # of bowl blowout losses: 0 of 17 * RR # of bowl blowout losses: 1 of 1 * Bo's teams finished ranked in the Top 20 or better 19 of 21 times... the avaerage ranking was # 7 over 19 seasons. * RR's teams finsihed in the Top 25: 0 times * # of times RR beat a team that finished in the Top 25: 0 * # of times Bo did it: too numerous to count. You might be right, the difference is not all that great. LOL


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 9:58 a.m.

While everyone is beating up on RichRod, it bears noting that this whole process was the result of extremely poor management decisions and process on the part of Bill Martin and Mary Sue Coleman. Mr. Martin got out while the getting was good. Mary Sue got another hefty pay raise this year. I long for the day when high ranking UM officials will be held accountable for their bad decisions. Anyone know when hell will be freezing over?

The Ben

Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 9:25 a.m.

What I learned yesterday: It's not that RichRod's style "won't work in the Big Ten." It's that Michigan is a bad football team. Doesn't matter what conference they are in. The Big Ten is proving to be somewhat of a joke, relative to the national scene. RichRod's spread would have failed in any conference, even the Big East. The same Big East where he dominated with West Virginia. So, what is my point? My point is that I don't know how they can be THIS BAD! Did RichRod forget how to coach when he got here? Did all of the distractions do him in? Bad hires on the defensive side? I don't know. But the theory that his style "doesn't work at Michigan" is out the window. RichRod, somehow, just failed as a football coach. That's it. He failed.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 9:16 a.m.

Mo, right on finally someone with a real perception of the facts oh and by the way, the only reason Bo came to Mich. was because he did not believe Woody was going to retire anytime soon and vacate that job to him, Bo. Woody had previously told Bo to stay and when he, Woody retired the job Ohio State was his. I'll tell you what a Mich. man is, it's a coach that collects his pay check from Mich. Right now RR is a Mich. man. Some of you boys and girls need to get back to reality this is a business right down to the last hot dog sold or coach hired and if I could hire Les Miles or I could get Urban Myer I would take Urban Myer in a heart beat regardless of all that Mich. man bull. As a business you get the best man or woman that will afford you the best opportunity to succeed and longevity at that job and I think Jim is only half of that equasion.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 8:56 a.m.

Yikes! this outcome sure isn't gonna do anything for recruiting. It would have been better just to have stayed home this season than go out and get shellacked like that. Oy vey!


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 6:43 a.m.

Bob W wrote "I could never put my finger on it, or sum up my feelings about RR, but it came to me yesterday. Think back and mentally replay his interviews and press conferences. The man does not "inspire" nor does he seem "authoritative." How can someone like that 'lead?'" I don't think "authoritative" is a leadership quality, that is merely a "control the masses" personality defect. If one wishes to lead, the important things are insiration, vision, hope, belief, buy-in, and fairness. THEN you will have followers (you cannot lead without followers, you can only control non-followers).


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 6:37 a.m.

As for Denard leaving (if he does): I've enjoyed your play this season. It was the only bright spot in yet another dismal season. I did recommend to you earlier in the season when you were carrying the ball ~30 times a game and getting banged up, that you might want to look for another team where you'd survive a season. Before you make your final decision on what to do, you might want to talk to the new coach to see how your skills would fit in. I suspect you might be pleasantly surprised. Whatever you decide, I wish you good luck in the future.

Bob W

Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 6:29 a.m.

I could never put my finger on it, or sum up my feelings about RR, but it came to me yesterday. Think back and mentally replay his interviews and press conferences. The man does not "inspire" nor does he seem "authoritative." How can someone like that 'lead?'


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 6:28 a.m.

I'd been prepared to give RR one more year, as the record has improved each year, and I do partially agree that the cupboard was somewhat bare his first year. But 52 points? That hurts. I hate to judge based on a single game against a decent team, but there was absolutely no redeeming feature in that game. No offensive imagination from the supposedly offensive genius, even with the help of his perfect recruit. And then there's the kicking and defense - how can I make excuses for this any longer?


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 5:55 a.m.

Mo wrote: "I'm a pretty good teacher and coach. I'm not "nationally competitive". Not good enough at either one. I have made Who's Who Among American High School Teachers though, and I won county Coach of the Year last year, so in my own little places, I do alright."... Regardless, I still think that we have to make a wise a decision about the next coach. If it goes bad, we'll very quickly become Notre Dame. Remember them?" I hate to be a bubble burster, but as one (me) whose "made" "Who's Who Among American High School Students" and "Who's Who In American Business" -- they are only simple vanity publications designed to sell you copies of themselves. No one else buys them ("Who's Who XYZ") or refers to them. Not libraries. No one. I'm sorry. As for your other point. Isn't ND that team that WON their bowl game with their new, first year coach?

3 And Out

Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 4:22 a.m.

#58 oh a guy... but im very partial to brunettes... my pic looks like my girlfriend who is from Europe... i used to have down markers as my pic but this one is much better...! btw, I used to play strong safety and rather than walk on at Michigan and pay my way (Bos last years) I played at CMU... big mistake... shoulda played for Bo...oh well my loss.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 2:57 a.m.

I know i do!!! LOL Defense wins games and championships, unless you are OREGON and actually have the great offense that RR thinks he coaches!!! We played like crap the whole game, a lot of it might be the players fault. It's the coach though that is to be blamed for this beating, un- prepared and lack of hard practices led to this lost. nuff said can't wait to see what next year will bring us.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 2:22 a.m.

I played inside linebacker in a 5-2-4 defense. Now it would be called a 3-4-4 defense, which goes to prove not much changes in football. RR"s spread offense used to be called the single wing in the 1940s. I can't remember going against Dan Dierdorf in practice. He was a tackle and his primary assignment was the defensive tackle. I did go against Reggie McKenzie (All-American guard and Buffalo Bills All-Pro) in practice everyday. He was tough, but one always goes harder against an opponent than a teammate. I have a question for you. Do you look like your picture?

3 And Out

Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 2:05 a.m. more question if you dont mind: What was it like to go up against Dierdorf in scrimmages as a LB? :)

3 And Out

Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 2 a.m.

#58...thanks so much for the insight! You mentioned: "When he first arrived he said our main goal was to beat Ohio State and go to the Rose Bowl, which we did." That says a ton. First of all, to BE the must constantly be obsessed with BEATING the Best. Bo knew that and understood that benchmark to leading Michigan to the BT title. Secondly, Bo understood the rivaly and what it meant to this program in terms of focusing on a prize. Rich Rod has understood neither of these points and has passed the Buck (pun intended) on the Rivalry...stating that "all games are important" etc. And it shows..... and it shows..... Harbaugh will bring that emphasis back.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 1:47 a.m.

I disagree with you. Bo always told us that the mythical national championship was a popularity vote since there was no playoff or BCS games pitting #1 against #2. That's why it was called "mythical." We had no control over the voters, so our goal was to win every game and win the Big 10 and Rose Bowl. That we could actually play for.

Mo the Educator

Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 1:38 a.m.

@ #58 First of all, your perspective on who Bo Schembechler was is awesome, and I appreciate your sharing. I have no questions about who he was as a man, and how important he was in the lives of young men. He was also successful in pulling Michigan out of a sore period, and he won more games than anyone else. That said, he didn't win bowl games, and he didn't bring a mNC to Ann Arbor, as three of the previous four coaches had done. That doesn't make him a "loser" by any stretch - the winningest coach in the program could never be a "loser" - but it does mean that he set a precedent for no longer competing nationally. He beat MSU, OSU, and the rest of the Big 10 handily, and our fans came to hold that as the new standard instead of the previous one (being the best program in the country). As a maker of men, by every account, Bo was an A+ coach - and that is the most important measure. As far as making the Michigan football program into a perennial mNC contender, which he was also hired to do? He earns a B-.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 1:37 a.m.

We didn't hate Woody. We weren't going to lower ourselves to Ohio State's level. Our Captain, Jim Mandich, said in a post game meeting that we will never again lose to Ohio State. We just resolved to beat his ass in 1969. We did.

beanie wells

Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 1:25 a.m.

@#58ontheroster: how much did you hate woody for going for 2 in 1968?


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 1:23 a.m.

Bump was a mild mannered man who was demanding in his own way. I think I saw Bump lose his cool only twice in 3 years. Bump was a tough guy. 'He was an All-American halfback for Michigan's 1948 National Champions. He was also a Marine in WW2 and made several landings on hostile beachheads in defeating the Japanese. Bump was not fired. He decided he wanted to be an athletic director, so he gave up coaching. He was a product of the Fritz Chrysler influence at Michigan. My junior year we were 8-2 but lost to Ohio State 50-14. In January of 1969, Bo came in like a hurricane. Bo was boisterous, demanding, profane (at times), and energetic. He worked our asses off. When he first arrived he said our main goal was to beat Ohio State and go to the Rose Bowl, which we did. The easiest part of our week was the game. Tues. and Wed. practices were full contact nightmares. In Oct. we were hoping that daylight savings time would save us an hour of beatings, Bo had lights installed over the practice field and dashed those hopes. He had them installed overnight! At one practice, Bo got caught up in a play between the first team offense and the demo (scout) team. He was run over. As we all watched, he jumped up and proclaimed "It would have killed a lesser man," gaining cheers from the whole team. We loved Bo.


Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 12:56 a.m.

Long time follower of the board, and a first time poster. While this hire has baffled me for 3 years, I think the experiment is over. This is not M football. IMO there is no excuse for a 3rd year defense and special teams that struggled into the bowl game. We should be seeing improvement. While Oregon and Auburn run a spread flavor, each time also fields a great defense. Yes, you need players to execute a scheme. However, you also need coaches that can work with 'as-is' talent, and "coach" the players to another level. I watch how players evolve. This tells me how secondary coaches grasp the HC and/or OC/DC schemas. The offense this year was start-stop-start-stop, especially once the B-10 season started. If DB was hiring BH, I suspect he would not need till end of next week. By waiting till latter part of next week, we are awaiting word from either JH, or outside chance at LM. Go Blue and restore the M brand in football.

3 And Out

Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 12:52 a.m.

#58...BTW, if you dont mind, could you give us a couple of comments about how the transition from Bump to Bo went for you and the team? My father told me that the players really liked Bump and obviously your team had a ton of talent, considering all of the college HOFers that were on the roster. Was Bump just not as demanding of a coach as Bo was, was Bo simply a better motivator, better x and o's guy? What would you say was the difference that he brought to Michigan that may have not been emphasized before? Thanks!

3 And Out

Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 12:49 a.m.

#58, thank you for the insightful post...just looked you up on the 69' roster;) Congratulations on your historic win vs. tUOS. Agree with everything you said. Go Blue!

beanie wells

Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 12:41 a.m.

1969 = grrrr :(

beanie wells

Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 12:24 a.m.

@#58ontheroster: "If the other team can't score, they can't win." very good point to bring up. seems like miss st. applied that logic today. @mo: i'm going to have to disagree about the bowl game being a major factor in brandon's evaluation process. this is a game where the coaching staff had over a month to prepare and to get kids healthy. it was a chance to show the program is on the right track. it was a game against a quality SEC opponent... a chance to at LEAST display the offensive "genius" to the nation. instead, what did we see? an offense that sputtered and looked far from impressive (a disturbing trend that began when michigan started playing quality opponents), and a defense that continued its lack of competence. i think the bowl game summed up the second half of the season quite accurately. should it be the only factor in the decision to bring richrod back or not? no. BUT, this was richrod's one last chance to prove that the future looks bright, and he failed... drastically. to mr. murrow's point, michigan may have their share of bowl losses, but they DO NOT get blown out... EVER. anyone feel that the future looks bright? anyone feel that the program is on the right track? i would love it if you'd share some tangible evidence with those of us who disagree.


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 11:40 p.m.

You have Greg Robinson as a defensive coordinator...say no more. One year after Syracuse gets rid of him they go to a bowl and win...what a loser and he matches your coaching staff perfectly.

Matt Whale

Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 11:33 p.m.

Very good post DonBee. :-)


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 11:33 p.m.

@ #58: Thank-you for your perspective, George. I appreciate it.


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 11:23 p.m.

I've been reading comments on this site and I wish to say a few things. I haven't commented on this site before, but my credentials are that I was a senior on Bo's first team at Michigan in 1969. If you wish to check, I was #58. Back then it was true that a Big 10 team could only go to the Rose Bowl. What's also true is that no team could go 2 years in a row. In the 1970 Rose Bowl, we lost by a score of 10-3. However, Bo had a heart attack early that morning and was in UCLA Hospital intensive care while we played the game. Bo was our offensive coordinator (as well as HC), and we missed not only his play calling, but his inspiration. Even Woody Hayes sent Bo a letter after the game confirming his belief that we would have won had Bo been there. When Bo first arrived in Ann Arbor in Jan., 1969, he told us defense was the most important part of the game. "If the other team can't score, they can't win." RR is so in love with his spread offense that he has neglected the defense. That's evident from the last 3 years. That is his undoing. The greatest thing Bo did was have a signature win against a great Ohio State team in his first season. Bo and Woody often said that that game set the tone for the future of Michigan football. By saying that Bo's ability as a head coach is besmirched by his lack of success in bowl games is like saying that unsuccessful teams in the Super Bowl are a bunch of losers. Bo was a great coach, a great man with integrity and set in motion the next 40 years of winning Michigan football that we all love.


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 11:08 p.m.

For what it's worth, I consider Edward R Murrow's Ghost to be the real educator on this site! Not only are his posts educational, they are entertaining, enlightening, and totally lacking the arrogance that accompanies the "opinions" of at least one other contributor here. Even your attempts at humility or self deprecation lack sincerity, mo. a2citizen, I truly appreciate your posts also. Thanks everybody and have a great weekend!


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 11 p.m.

@Mo....fine, critique Bo. But remember. He's been dead for four years and hasn't coached in 21. He never did anything to embarrass himself, his family or the University of Michigan. I hope 21 years after your worm food people are still talking about you.

Mo the Educator

Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 10:46 p.m.

@a2citizen I'm a pretty good teacher and coach. I'm not "nationally competitive". Not good enough at either one. I have made Who's Who Among American High School Teachers though, and I won county Coach of the Year last year, so in my own little places, I do alright. No, I'm not Schembechler by any stretch, but that doesn't mean that I can't critique him. And I've had students who've gone to Ivy League schools and students that have gone to prison. I don't claim the primary responsibility for either group, but I've helped the former group get there and tried to help the latter group stay out of there. Regardless, I still think that we have to make a wise a decision about the next coach. If it goes bad, we'll very quickly become Notre Dame. Remember them?


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 10:44 p.m.

Mo the educator: Several of Bos former students have won national championships: Bill McCartney (1989) Lloyd Carr (1997) Les Miles (2007) He has had former students go to medical school (Stefan Humphries). One went to Harvard Law School (sorry, dont remember his name but I believe he was a receiver). Actually, several of Bos former pupils have risen to high levels of success. Dave Brandon and Jim Harbaugh come to mind. Again Mo.Im waiting for you to regale me with the successes of your former students. I guess Bo wasn't the greatest bowl coach....but his record appears to indicate he was one hell of an educator.


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 10:38 p.m.

It wasn't just Michigan that was bad. All five Big Ten teams that played bowl games today lost.


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 10:37 p.m.

To all the Michigan and Michigan State fans, my condolences. I expected that both teams would do well today. My New Years Wishes: To the Michigan Fans, a return to a 10+ win season To Ohio State, a loss to Michigan after a perfect season up to the Michigan Game To Michigan State and their Fans, another great season To Rich Rodriguez best of luck next year regardless of what happens. To Denard Robinson you had a great year, regardless of the coach next year, a great defense will make your job easier. To Jim Harbaugh, a choice of where he coaches next year and a great group of players to create his magic with To Mike Martin and Michigan's Defensive Players, a set of coaches who know how to create a real defense To EMU fans one more season for Coach English, he is making real progress. To the Michigan Recruits, a return to the storied teams of old to play on. To David Brandon, ear plugs, because no matter what he decides, some people will scream To the Big Ten, two more great teams to make the conference championship really matter.


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 10:31 p.m.

Out of nostalgia, I looked back into the old press reports when Moeller was forced out although he techincally resigned. For cause ostensibly, over a drunken episode at a Southfield restaurant, but it was understood that his two consecutive 8-4 seasons weren't considered up to par for the Wolverines. Also noteworthy his annual salary of 130k and a severance package of 400k. How times have changed in just 15 years.

Mo the Educator

Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 10:25 p.m.

@bossfan23 Rodriguez has 11 more seasons to win three more bowl games. If he does, he'll surpass Bo by 1. My money is on him to do better than that. Is Rodriguez a better coach than Schembechler? Ask me in 11 years. Right now? I don't think so, but I don't think the difference is all that great. Things are so different between the two eras though, so it's hard to say. @ Murrow and azwolverine: My criticism of Bo comes from the fact that he turned "not winning bowl games" and "competing regionally instead of nationally" into standards for my favorite football program. Fans now just want to beat OSU ans MSU, mNC be damned. If the Stanford Saviour returns (and you call me a "Kool-aid drinker"??) next year, goes 11 - 1 with a loss to OSU, and somehow gets us competing in the mNC game? I'll be the happiest fan we have.

Basic Bob

Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 10:23 p.m.

Both Rich Rodriguez and Greg Robinson will get the blame for the horrible defense. It seems likely that Robinson will get fired, maybe RR, too. But no coach will make this lackluster group of players any better. They were not out-coached. They were out-played.

Peter Finamore

Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 10:18 p.m.

I saw as much of the game as I could stomach - UM is 'unwatchable' especially for those of us who excpect integrity and excellence. I along with most of the responders here expect RR to be replaced -- I am one who never understood his hiring. I suspect that the problem must be resolved at a higher level than the head coach. The AD and review board needs to be held accountable for their gross failure and destruction of the UM brand. I suggest we start with a new AD.

Mo the Educator

Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 10:15 p.m.

@bossfan The title of this article connects today's bowl game and the future of the coaching staff. I've opined about U of M's history in bowl games, why it's that way, and a previous coaching staff. That's relevant. Clearly you don't like what I have to say. You are wrong about its relevance though, and about the mNC (you can search it yourself). And I call myself "the educator" because it's my career. If I was a postman, I'd be "Mo the Postman". I'm not on here trying to "educate" anybody, I'm just typing my opinion like everyone else. @azwolverine I brought up Michigan's bowl history because I don't think today's game should be a major reason for firing Rodriguez. He should be fired for the team's performance over the past 3 years, AND only if the school has a clearly better option. Without both, I think we're better keeping him. If anyone thinks I'm an "RR supporter", I'm saying, 'he shouldn't be fired if these conditions aren't met'. How "supported" would you feel if your boss (if you have one) wrote that on your next evaluation?


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 10:11 p.m.

Harbaugh has a DWI and all it took was one bad night to fire Gary Moeller. Why not fire Harbaugh before he arrives? At least, Hoke seems to be sober.


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 10:05 p.m.

All else aside, my heart goes out to the graduating Seniors. They came to Ann Arbor four years ago to play for the U of M and Lloyd Carr. As Freshman, they played in one of the greatest M-OSU games ever, then routed Florida, Urban Meyer, and Tim Tebow on New Years Day! Then, three seasons with rr (doesn't even deserve to be capitalized!)statistically (on defense)the three worst seasons in the history of this proud program, capped off by today's debacle. Sad!

Mo the Educator

Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 10:01 p.m.

@bossfan The title of this article connects today's bowl game and the future of the coaching staff. I've opined about U of M's history in bowl games, why it's that way, and a previous coaching staff. That's relevant. Clearly you don't like what I have to say. You are wrong about its relevance though, and about the mNC. ( And I call myself "the educator" because it's my career. If I was a postman, I'd be "Mo the Postman". I'm not on here trying to "educate" anybody, I'm just typing my opinion like everyone else. @azwolverine I brought up Michigan's bowl history because I don't think today's game should be a major reason for firing Rodriguez. He should be fired for the team's performance over the past 3 years, AND only if the school has a clearly better option. Without both, I think we're better keeping him. If anyone thinks I'm an "RR supporter", I'm saying, 'he shouldn't be fired if these conditions aren't met'. How "supported" would you feel if your boss (if you have one) wrote that on your next evaluation?


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 9:59 p.m.

@Mo: LOL!! Quite possibly, but my students have never had the same type of end-of-year results that Bo had! Please, regale me with the success of your former students. How many coached in a bowl game? (Two points for winning a bowl game, 1 point for losing a bowl game). Any Nobel prize winners? Anybody accepted at MIT? Bo was a real educator. Are you a coach?


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 9:49 p.m.

Mike Bush, Please proof read your comments before posting. your punctuation reminds me of of the past months i spent in the sub-sahara.


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 9:49 p.m.

So mo, are you saying that your students took their end of the year exams on national television and got a perfect score? In all seriousness, you don't strike me as a Michigan fan, but instead someone that likes to stir the pot. Which is it?


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 9:45 p.m.

Destroyed is the correct word in describing cry babys affect on Michigan football.

Mo the Educator

Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 9:43 p.m.

@ a2citizen "In Bo's defense, Big Ten schools were only allowed to go to the Rose Bowl for Bo's first six years at Michigan." True. He lost two of them. Then, when they opened it up and unleashed Big Blue onto the bowl scene, he promptly lost 5 in a row. "So, much like you feel Bo was overrated as a coach, you may be overated as an educator." LOL!! Quite possibly, but my students have never had the same type of end-of-year results that Bo had!


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 9:42 p.m.

YOu know, let's just suppose that RR comes back. (Don't cringe) He could go undefeated for the next 7 years in Big Ten play and not have as good of a record as the Vest. And does anybody think that the offense will really be better next year with the losses that we have on offensive line and lack of a real running game? It has been shown how to defend DR--just keep him under wraps and don't let him out. Make him beat you with his arm. You don't think teams didn't notice?


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 9:37 p.m.

If Bo was a, "good, but highly overrated coach, what does that make RR? On Bo's worst day, his teams would have killed RR's team, just like so many on the schedule so regularly do. You continue to amaze me: Bo won five bowl games in a decade and you are critical of him. RR wins nothing of significance and you defend him. What gives?


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 9:33 p.m.

I've been a die hard Michigan fan for a very long time and in the last three years I have never seen a coach destroy a program like Rich Rod. If the Athletic Director was smart he'd send rod on the first thing smoking. Michigan football is smash mouth football at its purest form. Rodriguez was a bad choice as coach from jump street. I love the Wolverines through and through and I can't stand to see my team at the bottom of the Big 10 when we were top dogs for so long. If anybody out there is listening to the fans FIRE this jackass and let's get back to the top where we belong.


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 9:30 p.m.

Mo, I hope you're not making the argument that RR is better than Bo, because the records will tell you otherwise. Further, criticisizing Bo doesn't make what RR has done any more palatable. RR stands on his own merits, and his merits are shaky at best. Bo was a great coach at UM, not only because of his record (194-48-5, 13 B10 titles), but because of his unquestioned integrity, loyalty, and dedication to the program. If you want to know what a true Michigan man is, look no further than when Texas A&M offered Bo a lot more money then Michigan was paying him to become their head coach. He turned it down because he didn't want to leave Michigan. That is loyalty. THAT is a Michigan man. Criticize Bo all you want, but he is a true Michigan man and built Michigan into the national power that most people recognize it as today. RR has done NOTHING to furhter the legacy that Bo left and that Moeller and Lloyd maintained. If you want to somehow argue that RR is a greater coach than Bo, especially at Michigan, that is an argument you will lose 100 out of 100 times.


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 9:29 p.m.

Hi mo, I see that you are still clinging to the "mythical" national championship phrase that you alone use. The way that you continue to defend RR makes me think that your name should be "Mo the enabler!" Just as you say that we can count on Michigan to lose a bowl game, we can count on you to come on here spouting something worthless, slipping your "m" in front of NC at every chance, and basically making me reconsider my belief that everyone is entitled to their opinion. I come on here essentially to read what everyone has written, except your posts, which stand out as irrelevant at best and inane at worst. Keep it up though. Like your name says, you are educating us on....what?


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 9:27 p.m.

"One departure from the season's protocol - athletic director Dave Brandon, the right person to ask, was absent from his usual perch at the rear of Rodriguez's postgame press conference for the first time this season." Was DB just not at his usual perch or was he not at the press conference at all? Why a change of protocol?


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 9:17 p.m.

@azwolverine look at hokes coaching record 47-50 3 wining seasons as a head coach.your gonna tell me he better than rich?if so anyone who would take hoke over rich is just wishing to see michigan go deeper in the hole than now you wont see 7 wins maybe 6.if hoke so great why wasnt he pursued by miami pitt flordia? now im not saying rich should keep his job i used to supprt saying its harbaugh if not hoke should be at the very very bottom of you replacement coach.when hoke name came up on college football live desmand howard laughed.

Mo the Educator

Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 9:11 p.m.

"Please tell me which bowl games Bo lost by more than 30 points? By more than 20 points? By more than 15 points? By more than 10 points?" The key word: lost. He didn't win one in his first 10 years as HC, and it took him the next 10 to win 5, two of those being the Blue Bonnet and the Hall of Fame bowl. He lost in bowl games. Repeatedly. And he fielded two teams in 20 years that legitimately competed for a mNC. Just like his football program, Bo Schembechler was a good coach, but still highly overrated.


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 9:08 p.m.

Mike Bush, Sounds like your talking about RR.


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 9:08 p.m.

Rodriguez should have been fired the day he hired Greg Robinson to run his defense. We couldn't get ole Greggo out of Syracuse fast enough - why Rich brought him on board is probably as big a mystery to you all as it was to those of us who saw him "coach" (if that's what you wish to call it) at Syracuse.


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 9:04 p.m.

Portage, I'm sure you want to see Michigan football win, just like the rest of us. However, what is it about RR that gives you hope for the future at UM? In 18 years as a head coach, he has only had 4 9+ win seasons to go along with 6 losing seasons and 8 mediocre seasons. He has done nothing different in his time at Michigan. Has the defense improved AT ALL in his 3 years? Are the special teams better? Does the offense compete against mid to top tier teams? The answer to all of those questions is NO. The offense that RR hangs his hat on and that his proponents use to justify RR's continued tenure at UM has failed miserably against the best competition. 17 points agains MSU? 8 point average in three games against OSU? 14 points (all in the first quarter) against Miss St? 0 points against Wisconsin in the first half? 7 points through 3 quarters against Iowa? Do you really think this team is prepared to breakthrough against the top teams in their current direction? If so, I don't understand it because the objective, visible evidence suggests otherwise. Michigan is spinning it's wheels going nowhere under the current staff, and a fourth year will only set the team one year further back in the ultimate rebuild that will need to be done after this RR debacle.


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 8:59 p.m.

hoke you kidding me.hoke is a joke rich is alot better than hoke/look at hokes coaching record it tells you that he is not a good football coach.its eaither harbaugh,miles or someone else besides the joke hoke. good luck to denard if you go with rich cant wait to see you getting the heismand somewhere else.hoke what a joke if thats our coach get you tix ready for the pizza pizza bowl some years and some we dont go bowling.


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 8:52 p.m.

If today's game doesn't scream out for a coaching change, nothing will. I wish Rich Rodriguez the best -- he seems like a likeable man personally. However, the bottom line is that he didn't get the job done on the field in three years with a 15-22 overall record and 6-18 record in the Big Ten. After the dust clears, his poor record and the horrendous performance of the defense during his tenure will be his legacy in Ann Arbor. Don't feel too sorry for him rhough -- he and his family will be well taken care of and another school that is a better fit for him will most likely hire him again.

Mo the Educator

Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 8:43 p.m.

Michigan losing bowl games is just par for the course; Bo set that precedent decades ago. So if they fire Rodriguez because today's game was the "last straw", it's an emotional decision. If they fire him because of the defense and special teams play or because he hasn't beat MSU and OSU, it's understandable, but risky. If they fire him because they feel that he can't win a mNC at Michigan AND because they have a coach in waiting who is hands down unequivocally capable of turning U of M into a nationally competitive program, then I'm all for it.

3 And Out

Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 8:42 p.m.

Thanks a2citizen... either Harbaugh or Hoke would be significant upgrades to our Head Coaching situation and both are better Head Coaches than Rich A. Rodriguez by a great margin.


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 8:36 p.m.

From America's paper of record.


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 8:32 p.m.

Sounds like some of you armchair QB's think RR will get fired, I doubt it, I think RR is back for 2011.

Mo the Educator

Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 8:28 p.m.

If Harbaugh comes in town and the first thing he does is run off the team's starting QB, that sounds like a horrendous way to begin a coaching stint. Sound familiar?


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 8:26 p.m.

What do you mean??? Doubts? RR has set many records while here. However....... MOST of them are NEGATIVE.. It is time to say goodbye and move on.


Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 8:25 p.m.

RR's legacy is now confirmed, worst coach in Michigan history. Fire the bum and send anyone with him that doesn't see why he has to go!

3 And Out

Sat, Jan 1, 2011 : 8:21 p.m.

Michigan football survived quite well for 130 years before Denard Robinson and "his coach" Rich Rodriguez. If Denard chooses to transfer after Rich Rod is broomed out....well good luck to you son, you seem like a good kid. But Michigan football will survive quite nicely without either of them...just as it did before them. As Bo said in his famous speech "no one player is bigger than the TEAM, the team, the team, the team" Go Blue. Today was a blessing in disguise as it finally showed the world (although a lot of us knew it long ago) how badly RR failed at Michigan.... and NOW....we will build up with Character and Cruelty (to our opponents), just like Wolverines do.