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Posted on Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 5:59 a.m.

John U. Bacon, author of book on Rich Rodriguez: Ex-Michigan coach will compete for national titles at Arizona

By Kyle Meinke


How will former Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez do at Arizona? One key will be to watch how he forms his staff.

Perhaps no one outside the Michigan football program better understands Rich Rodriguez, or his tenure with the Wolverines, than John U. Bacon.

The local author and instructor was embedded in the program for all three of Rodriguez's tumultuous seasons with the Wolverines, cultivated a personal relationship with the coach and captured those insights in his book "Three and Out," which has become a New York Times bestseller since dropping Oct. 25.

So, what does Bacon think about Rodriguez's hire at Arizona, which was announced via Twitter late Monday night?

"He'll compete for a Pac-12 title in as soon as three years, and national titles thereafter," Bacon said by phone Monday night from a book tour stop in Cleveland.


John U. Bacon on Rich Rodriguez: "I’m sure he learned a lot from his Michigan experiences."

John Shultz

Why does he think Rodriguez can do in three years at Arizona, a school without a strong football tradition, what he could never do — in fact, never came close to doing — at a national power such as Michigan?

It's simple: Arizona is not Michigan.

"I’m willing to bet, at his first press conference, he will not be asked if it's necessary to be an Arizona man to coach at Arizona," Bacon said. "In that sense, it’ll be easier for him."

By that, Bacon is alluding to Rodriguez's failure to overcome his lack of ties to Michigan, the divisive nature of his regime and the departure from tradition his era represented.

He did not have ties to outgoing coach Lloyd Carr, nor did he have ties to Carr's mentor, Bo Schembechler. Some in the program never could get over that, and it hurt him during his time in Ann Arbor.

Of course, Rodriguez didn't help himself much either, most notably on defense. The Wolverines got progressively worse during his three seasons, going from 67th in total defense in 2008 to 82nd in 2009, then bottoming out at 110th last season.

Michigan allowed 35.2 points per game last year, a school record.

The failures stemmed from his assistant hires. Rodriguez tried to lure Jeff Casteel, his defensive coordinator at West Virginia, to Michigan, but Casteel declined. So, Rodriguez hired a coordinator, Scott Shafer, of whom he had little knowledge. That lasted one season.

He then brought in Greg Robinson, but insisted the longtime 4-3 coordinator run his preferred 3-3-5 scheme from West Virginia. It never worked.

It is unclear who Rodriguez will hire for his Arizona staff, especially for defensive coordinator, but Bacon expects Rodriguez to learn from this mistake.

"Rich Rodriguez is not stupid," Bacon said. "I’m sure he learned a lot from his Michigan experiences. While it probably was a humbling experience for him, it probably ultimately made him a better person.

"If there’s one thing that would have changed Rich Rodriguez’s tenure at Michigan, it's probably making sure you get your first choice as a coordinator, running your system. I’d be very surprised if he does not insist on that, at whatever cost.

"That’s a mistake that both Michigan and Rich Rodriguez made in 2007."

While his defenses might have flopped, Rodriguez's offense was a hit once he had a quarterback to run his spread-option. The Wolverines were eighth nationally in total offense last year.

So, then, Rodriguez's first order of business, besides luring a capable defensive coordinator to Tucson, is recruiting a spread-option quarterback to run his system. That's what makes the timing of Rodriguez's hire most appealing.

By making the move now, Rodriguez can get an early start on recruiting. He has more than two months left before national signing day to cull players for his system — and most notably, a spread-option quarterback.

Rodriguez did not have that luxury at Michigan, and had to run the spread-option with pro-style quarterbacks Stephen Threet and Nick Sheridan. That led to a painful first season, when the Wolverines averaged only 20.3 points per game and posted a school-worst 3-9 record.

Bacon said Rodriguez would have been most successful at a school in the South, where he has stronger recruiting ties (especially in Florida), but that he also should be able to recruit to Arizona, which is near recruiting hot-beds Texas and Southern California.

The year off, which Rodriguez used to work as a CBS Sports analyst, also should help.

"I was in the coaches’ room the day he was fired, and he said, ‘Everyone says I should take some time off, but I don’t want to. I want to coach,’" Bacon said. "He never wanted a year off, although I’m sure it did him some good.

"The mistakes he made at Michigan are easy to fix, and I’m betting he fixes them."

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 11:56 p.m.

Good luck deserve better than you were at UMICH. If you people want to "beat on" someone, beat on Bill Martin. He is the one who has made us GOBLUErs suffer. His lackadasicle attitude in hiring a coach - coupled with his sailing trip in the middle of his most imporatant task as AD - doomed us for failure. Not to mention his retirement in the early RR days which was tantamount to Pilate washing his hands, and the magnificent fiasco of letting Lloyd linger around as a lightning rod (pardon the pun) for the anti-Rich subterfuge. Thanks Bill. You may know how to make a buck, but you are a sorry judge of character and people.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 10:39 p.m.

Wish him the best of luck. He'll have a shot there. I looked at their schedule this year and they're losing by about 10 points a week, but putting up points. 2 years ago they started 7-1 with a win against a very good/ #9 ranked Iowa team. Plenty of returning players, time to recruit, unconditional support of UA athletics, and a chip on his shoulder because of us, I bet he does very well there. Two years out and a UA v. UM Rose Bowl, I think its possible. I also think he gets UA to the Rose Bowl before we make it there, especially if Urban Meyer signs with OSU. And honestly, if that happened, I would laugh at all the RR haters that ran the guy out of town because he couldn't answer a question about being a "Michigan Man". And, here's a little insight into Michigan Men. I was at a UM athletic event about a month ago. I'm talking with several other former student-athletes (including football players) and Bill Martin walks in. One of them says he ruined our football program. They started talking about RR, how we should have hired someone from LC's crew, and the state of the program. The following question came up. You'd rather be 9-3 each year in the mediocre Big Ten, losing to OHIO each year (we're actually 3-10 since we won in 1997), and finishing between 12-17 nationally, instead of competing for a national title once every 4-5 years??? Guess what your MIchigan Men said??? How leaders and best of them.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 10:36 p.m.

Greetings all from Tucson. Rodriquez will have a running QB next year. A redshirt senior kid Matt Scott who is lights out and runs like the wind. He was a bad fit in Mike Stoops offense, and Stoops had Nick Foles who was rated in the top ten in most QB categories this year. You guys watch what happens. If Rodriquez is true to his word, he will use Scott to demonstrate to recruits what he is all about offensively and then look out Oregon and USC. We are glad to have Rodriquez. The past 10 years here hve been bloody hell football wise. We have been in the abyss. If he can build the program quickly he will receive sainthood status akin to that of Lute Olsen. Our problem will be how to keep him here. The key to all is money. Our biggest fear is Rodriguez builds the program to a solid winner and then some deep pocket school comes long and offers him stupid money. Arizona doesn't have stupid money and never will. the only way we hung on to Lute Olsen was because he loves Tucson and the majority of his family moved here. I see you guys are heart attack serious about your Michigan football and school. There are many of us who feel the same about Arizona. My hats off to you. Go Blue! See you guys in the Rose Bowl in a few years. Bear Down Arizona! Go Cats!


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 5:01 p.m.

I heard Rich Rod was going to coach at Penn State.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 3:16 p.m.

Who cares about the book cuz from what we have seen in the past 3 years, from the coach's mouth, is that RR as a HC is nothing more than an excusemaker. 1) Cupboard is bare 2) Not even Vince can fix this defense 3) Yadda, yadda RR also tried to take away the credit from Hoke prior to the start of this season with a couple of foolish "all about me" quotes. This is why the real Michigan men and women are totally sick of RR to this day. TiM


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 11:37 a.m.

No he won't. He'll be gone in 3 years like he was at Michigan. The Pac-10 is not the Big East. Rich Rod might compete back in that sub par league or in the MAC. The Big 10 ate his lunch. The Pac 10 will too and he has few ties recruiting wise out on the west coast. That talent is being snapped up by USC and Oregon right now. Rich Rod was and is a "gimmick" coach who doesn't appreciate or spend much time on defense. That will be his downfall yet again. Those kids will be confused with his gimmicks and they'll have to score 50 points a game to compete. 3 and outs that take 40 seconds off the clock aren't conducive to a good defense. I wish Rich Rod luck, but think he's over his head yet again.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 10:24 a.m.

Good luck RR, keep pressing on. I will root for him and hope the experience at Michigan makes him coach better and make him a better leader.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 4:55 a.m.

The more I read this stuff, the more comical it becomes. Some of you are so infatuated with RR, that you send your time commenting on him every chance you get. There are more comments on this topic than any other topic. Your hatred for RR is distracting you from the energy you should be giving to the current team and current coaching staff. Good luck RR, i wish you the best. Now I will turn my attention to our team here in Michigan. We have this sort of important game this saturday. Go Blue.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 4:23 a.m.

If you really read Bacon's book, raise your hand. And be honest.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 4:19 a.m.

What will really trouble U of M is when Rich Rod wins that championship in a game against them, beating their behinds using a bunch of 5'8" 155 lb slot receivers.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 1:47 a.m.

Who cares, and that goes for the article and all the accompanying comments.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 1:35 a.m.

When the WCiMFH fails at Arizonsa, will he blame Lloyd Carr, and will J.U.B. be their to write the fiction that confirms the story? Good Night and Good Luck

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 1:36 a.m.

Arizona. Fingers slipped on the keyboard. GN&GL


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 10:52 p.m.

I'm sorry, but all of you who denigrate the Big East conference that Rich Rod came from need to remember that the Big 10 went 0-8 in bowl games last year and as a conference, the Big 10 probably plays 3rd fiddle to the SEC and the Pac-12 right now. Conferences tend to ebb and flow in their ability to dominate, and the Big 10 has been stuck in low tide for several years.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 12:45 p.m.

Last year Michigan beat the Big East champ, Connecticut, which ended the season unranked. Michigan finished in 7th place in the Big 19. Yeah, the Big East is a real powerhouse of a football conference. GN&GL

Terry Star21

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 1:15 a.m.

Nice try, but your memory is much like your opinions. The Big Ten won three bowl games last year to finish 3-5. The Big Ten had the second best record to the ACC who had 4 wins. The Big ten had the most wins, two against BCS teams. The SEC wishes it could play third fiddle to the Big Ten. Check your facts.

Terry Star21

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 9:37 p.m.

I take great exception to the comments that our old coach never had a chance or the support he deserved. From the get go he was given a 'key' to Michigan football. From the day he arrived he was given a blank check to completely refurnish all the equipment in the weight/strength room, a brand new field house, and the best facilities of anywhere in the nation. The entire Big House cheered and supported him every game. He did himself in; looking in the parking lot for a kicker, embarrassing his defense (lombardi quote), telling us 'where almost there' and among a million other things - making the same critical mistakes game after game. He gave us our first football NCAA sanctions in 131 years. I could go on, could write a book; 'Three and good riddance', but I won't - I have moved on, everyone should too ! Yes, unfortunately after the fact there are many old coach haters, but I am not one because we gave him every possible chance - every possible support. Seriously, 'No chance, no support' - seriously ?


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 8:51 p.m.

Good luck, RichRod, you never had a fair chance here thanks to the inbred support structure you ran into the day you took the job. Brady Hoke is a better fit and has done a fantastic job, there is no doubt, but he got everything that RichRod didn't: full support and money for top assistant coaches being 2 major things plus he was fully steeped in what it means to be a Michigan man. Haters, RichRod is gone, show a little class and wish him well. He worked hard & genuinely tried to succeed, it's not like he was Matt Millen, collecting a paycheck while living in PA.

Terry Star21

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 8 p.m.

Why shouldn't we believe Mr. Bacon ? He wrote a book about the old coach's three years here which included the coach, Carr, Martin and Coleman - but whoops the last three wouldn't comment so it was all on the old coach's word. Great reporting, complete book, all the facts - why shouldn't we trust Mr. Bacon ?

Terry Star21

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 8:20 p.m.

Don't get me wrong, I liked the old coach and supported him 100% while he was here. I just got so tired of the same mistakes over and over, the pitiful defense (his lombardi quote), (Grobin music), (we were almost there), it was a nightmare. So when a book comes out, with support only from that coach - well, I have no respect for that book/writer. Fiction at best, national championship ? Fiction at best.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 7:45 p.m.

Good luck to the Arizona football program. I'm sure RichRod will raise them up...


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 11:37 a.m.



Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 8:43 p.m.

Oh I'm crying!!!

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 7:41 p.m.

I don't understand Bacon's confidence. Rodriguez failed because he stunk as a coach. He has one gimmick on offense, and he prefers to leave defense to his assistants. That may work to a limited extent in the Big East, where you can gain a lofty ranking on a much easier schedule. His gimmicks can dominate weak teams (as they did on occasion here). Good teams with elite college athletes can defend his offense. He has also shown he doesn't understand defense. And, worse, his ego doesn't allow him just to let the defensive coordinator coach the defense. The result of that combination was the three worst defensive seasons in Michigan history. Three years from now, Rodriguez will still be a .500 coach. Any national titles he sees, he will see from the stands.

Terry Star21

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 8:01 p.m.

And in four years he might be unemployed.

Stephen Landes

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 6:43 p.m.

I wish only the best for Rich Rod. In his short tenure at Michigan he brought in some very high quality young men. It seems the greatest flaw in his program was with the coordinators he hired to run the defense -- the success of the defense this year demonstrates that the players were capable, but the coaching was ineffective. I'm reading John Bacon's book and finding it interesting if sometimes uncomfortable to an alumnus who has always wanted to believe the best of Michigan. One thing that is crystal clear to me is that John's book is not a biography of any of the key characters in the "3 and out" story. While there is certainly biographical information about Coach Rodriguez this isn't a biography of Jim Duderstadt, Bill Martin, Mary Sue Coleman, Lloyd Carr or anyone else: it is the story of what happened when these personalities came into contact with each other for a brief period of time and how all the least desirable outcomes came to pass. The book isn't a referendum on the entire career of those people. All the wonderful things those people have done in their careers both at Michigan and elsewhere still stand regardless of how the Rodriguez years at Michigan worked out. Bill Martin's contributions to the success of the Michigan athletic department, the building program, and the rebuilt balance sheet still represent his great contribution. Lloyd Carr's national championship and Big Ten championships, coaching awards, and entry into Halls of Fame aren't tarnished by whatever may or may not have happened during the past three years. It would be a disservice to Michigan and to John's book to use the story of three brief years to tar the reputations of any of those involved. I can honestly say that I hope for the best for all involved including Coach Rodriguez. His inevitable success at Arizona will be the product of all that he has done and learned even in the crucible of football at Michigan.

Terry Star21

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 8:04 p.m.

Very nice, I liked what you said. Stephen, I didn't read the book - maybe childish reasons I don't know. Had everyone of those people commented for Mr. Bacon's book, I would have read it straight through.

lindsay erin

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 6:35 p.m.

*Throws John U. Bacon's book out the window*


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 6:23 p.m.

There is a fast increasing demand for psychiatrists in Tucson since the recent hiring of the "All About Me" HC. :)


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 5:36 p.m.

Good luck RIch Rod! Knock 'em dead! Until you play MIchigan...


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 5:26 p.m.

You need a great defense to compete for national championships (UM in 1997 as an example), and it's clear from the stats this year that RR didn't have a clue as to how to run a defense. Far better results with the same guys. Good luck competing with that 3-3-5 scheme.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 5:25 p.m.

JUB needs to find a second career at a comedy club. The WCiMFH inherited one of the nation's premier football programs on a campus where football is king, that had a national recruiting base, and that had a track record of sustained excellence (had not been below .500 in 40 years and had appeared in 30+ straight bowl games) and drove that program into the ground. So he is expected to succeed where Mike Stoops did not on a campus where basketball is king, that has trouble recruiting in the state of Arizona, and that has no significant history of success in football? Really? This "opinion" tells us exactly how much to value the piece of propaganda JUB recently authored. Good Night and Good Luck

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 8:44 p.m.

Thanks, Terry!! GN&GL

Terry Star21

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 8:07 p.m.

ERMG....hey buddy you are good, we think alike - but you are the better writer (by far). Good job !

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 7:42 p.m.

Bacon is normally a delicious accompaniment to any meal. This particular Bacon is long past his useful insight expiration date.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 7:02 p.m.

There has been nothing posted here for three years other that acusations completely bereft of any facts. Bacon's book is just more of the same. GN&GL


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 7 p.m.

Lorain Have you every been around a sports program at any level? I ask because "former coaches, disgruntled players and press" as well as annoyed alums, jealous faculty, and self important boosters undermining the coach's efforts are a fact of life in all of them. Any head football coach at any NCAA div-1 program, let alone a one that is consistently in the top 25, is going to have to successfully deal with all of those things and far more. Successful top 25 head coaches are paid millions for a reason.

Lorain Steelmen

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 6:21 p.m.

Ghost, you need to take a deep breathe and get a life. Just because Bacon has exposed your 'idol', Carr, you see the need to resort to personal attacks. Bacon was a lot closer to the program than you have been. You would be well advised to focus on the current team, and try not to undermine them. I sincerely doubt, that there is little new, in Bacon's book that wasn't previouly posted here, for the past three years. I had no doubt that RR would resurface at another D1 school, and he will do well there, as he will NOT have to deal with former coaches, disgrunteled players, and press, undermining his efforts. RR would NOT have been my choice here, three years ago, but I support the Michigan HC, and resent the usual MCC garbage, fequently applied to anyone who has the nerve to stand up for the UM program. It's time to move forward.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 5:20 p.m.

I agree with cgerben, so let's set the record straight. Bacon is not a professor. A professor is someone who holds a Ph.D., and it's my understanding that Bacon does not have a doctorate. Bacon may be a lecturer or instructor, but that does not make him a professor. By referring to him as a professor, you are giving him credentials and credibility that are unwarranted. Kyle, please update your story to correctly reflect this. The road to becoming a professor is steep and bumpy, and this is terrain Bacon has not traveled.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 5 p.m.

The PAC12 south is not particularly strong right now. It's certainly possible for him in 2-3 seasons to win that division and in so doing achieve a good enough record to qualify for a BCS game. Will he put together a team to compete with the LSUs or Alabamas? Probably not, but it won't be surprising by his third year to see AZ in the top 20 or 10.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 5:29 p.m.

That's a reasonable assessment. One quibble ... to get to a BCS he'd have to win the Pac-12 outright. I don't see how anyone can lose their conference championship and still get to a BCS. Particularly not out of the Pac 12.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:01 p.m.

"The mistakes he made at Michigan are easy to fix..." So why didn't he fix them when he was here, if they were so easy ? Because he couldn't fix them. He was not capable enough to fix them. It took Dave Brandon and Brady Hoke, plus a great new staff, to fix the mistakes and problems that RR caused. Good luck to Arizona ... you're going to need it ! Go Blue ! Destroy Ohio !


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 9:31 p.m.

And we are very glad that he has so much distance between he and AA, so he can figure things out.

Stephen Landes

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 6:46 p.m.

Sometimes one needs to have some distance from events in order to see one's mistakes and correct them. Try it sometime.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:56 p.m.

I have a little professional writing & editorial experience myself: after reading Three and Out, I'm most impressed with Prof. Bacon's intelligence and competence as a writer. Taken as a whole, the book is remarkably objective. In addition, many of the events described are just too complete to be anything but factual. Anyone who puts a writer's ambition up as a reason to disbelieve what they've written had better first read the work, have some understanding of what it takes write it and know at least some of the details beforehand. Bacon's book is a success on its own merits: which are considerable. Credit President Coleman for doing her job: after three years of unprecedented messiness on all sides: she found Dave Brandon and let him take charge. Now - almost a year later, we're seeing the results of Brandon's effort: we have a great coach who's a perfect fit for Michigan and who himself is producing almost unprecedented successes in terms of players and game results. Kudos to Mary Sue, Dave Brandon, Brady Hoke, to his assistants and to these great Michigan players. And best wishes to Rich Rodriguez and his family. What they put up with during their time here makes me ashamed. I'm sure Mienke and Bacon are right: RichRod will find success now that he's found a true home.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 4:49 a.m.

My mother-in-law is from West Virginia and if she is any indicator of the general sentiment in that state ... then Rodriguez's bridge is burned, bombed and plowed under. She *burns* with hatred for the man.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 3:03 a.m.

You are right that Bo left his home state and his alma mater. Can't argue. But did Bo leave months after signing a contract extension and pledging his long term commitment? Also, compare WVU to Miami OH. Miami is clearly a mid-level program, whereas WVU is a high level program, in a major conference (though we sometimes make fun of it), with ability to go to the championship. The comparison is there, and I can't argue with you on it, but it just struck me as wrong then, when RR came here. (Add to it, the shenanigans that took place, including not telling his team first, calling Terrell Pryor before telling his team, shredding documents, getting into a lawsuit, etc--it was all very ugly and sort of the opposite of what I'd have wanted, and a big betrayal of his home).


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 1:22 a.m.

@heartbreak-So are you saying a coach is wrong to leave his alma mater for perceived greener pastures if the opportunity exists? I seem to remember an number of great coaches leaving their alma mater for an opportunity at another school. Maybe you might remember a guy who used to coach at Michigan named Bo Schembechler? He left his home state of Ohio and his alma mater to come to Michigan.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 8:55 p.m.

Mr. Landes: I have read bits and pieces, but tell me where I am wrong? Is West Virginia his home or is it not? Is it his alma mater or not? He may have felt betrayed by Oliver Luck, but indeed, WVU is still his home (or was)

Stephen Landes

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 6:48 p.m.

heartbreakM -- read the book, then comment.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 6:10 p.m.

No, you are wrong in your last statement. The former coach left his true home. He will be wandering the rest of his career after he burned that bridge. His home is West Virginia (state and university). That to me is one of the biggest differences between coaches jumping jobs and him. He left his home shortly after signing a contract and pledging a commitment to the university, the players, the state, to come to a place he had no idea about, a place he arrogantly thought he knew better than. AZ may give him a place to settle down for a few years, but no, it is no home for him.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:53 p.m.

I think it is widely appreciated that John Bacon lost his objectivity with respect to Rich Rodriguez. However, I wish would stop perpetuating the myth that any significant number of Michigan fans/alumni held it against Rich Rodriguez that he did not "have ties" to Bo Schembechler or Lloyd Carr. Rodriguez himself seems to have been under that misimpression, but having no previous ties would not have kept him from becoming and being embraced as a "Michigan Man" (a term that started in the quite different context of Bo deciding that the basketball coach who accepted a job at another school just as the NCAA tournament began should be replaced by a coach who was not jumping ship). Rich Rodriguez was not a "Michigan Man" because he did not understand the Michigan (or Big Ten) traditions and ethos (e.g., witness his beginning his tenure by referring to the Michigan-Ohio State game as "one of the best" rivalries in college football compared with Brady Hoke's description of it as "the greatest rivlary in sports"). He also insisted on beginning a series of "new traditions" at tradition-rich Michigan and inflicted unnecessary damage on the team's performance by his lack of respect for what had gone before, coming in with the idea that he had to "rebuild" Michigan football. True, the previous year was a bad one for Michigan, starting with the loss against Appalachian State, but we ended 8-4 in the regular season and beat an SEC team (Florida) in our bowl game. Rich Rodriguez's BEST years at West Virginia were not much better than that. Now, Arizona DOES need rebuilding. So Rodriguez may well be able to significantly improve their prospects, especially with what he may have learned from his experience at Michigan, including the importance of defense and special teams.

1st Down

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 9:38 p.m.

RR was not a "Michigan Man" because he tore down a successful program, had to do things "his way", had character issues both in and out of football, constantly made excuses and blamed others in the media, was flakey and soft (Grobanfest), and most importantly LOST a ton of games at Michigan and was a poor coach overall. That is why RR never became a "Michigan Man" because he performed well below the standards of Michigan Men who came before him. No one else is to blame for RR's failures at Michigan. No One.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 6:07 p.m.

You said it brother!! (or sister)


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:37 p.m.



Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:49 p.m.

Based on the file photo chosen, it is apparent that the hatred (even among professional sportwriters) for RR continues long after his departure. This photo, probably snapped mid-sentence, looks like he just got pulled over for a DUI and is slurring his words. Of course, Blue's elitist fans always felt they were better than RR anyway.

Lorain Steelmen

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 6:09 p.m.

Theosu, actually the elitist fans were only one part of the problem, that Rodriguez faced. RR was undermined by Carr, who had his 'nose out of joint', when Martin did not follow Carrs' recommendations on his replacement. Add to that, the a fact that Carr had allowedth program to deteriorate, and left RR with basically 'nothing to work with'. Shortly after arriving, the pro-Spartan Freep, piled on, by turning a practice routine, that went back many years into a 'major violation'. All this made Tressel look like a genious. HE was NOT any such thing. But Tressel DID fit well, into the culture of corruption that has existed in Columbus for decades. That is why the buckeye faithful , like yourself, are anxious to get another scumbag in there, aka, Meyer.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:35 p.m.

Doesn't it bothers you that your cheating saint and your favorite opponent coach, RR, got broomed out and Luke (I'm in a Pickle) Fickell isn't ready to become a primetime time coach at the land of buckeyes. U will get UM (Meyer) as your coach after this wkd if not the bowl game. FYI, the NCAA did O-h-i-o a favor by airslapping Ohio's wrist instead of imposing a 2 or 3 year probation/suspension of the football program.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:30 p.m.

No, you are wrong. It is justified disrespect for RR, nothing more. Guess you missed RR's favorite rendition of Groban's song, "All About Meeeeeeeeeee".


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:39 p.m.

I am glad Rich Rodriguez landed on his feet. I wish him well. Let the man take his first steps at his new school before putting unnecessary pressure on the squad and the fans. Arizona needs to be a perennial 500 ball club first, and then maybe compete for a Pac 12 championship game well before winning any NC's in my mind.. He's not taking over a Florida program for gosh-sakes.. "We're Arizona for gosh sakes?" I don't think we'll see those words on any T shirts out there...


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:12 p.m.

+1 ... frankly, what Arizona fans yearn for ... what few football fans there are here ... is a team that plays consistent football. If Rodriguez goes 7-5, 8-4 with the occasional 9-3 peppered in there, he'll have a nice comfortable niche. They're a long, long, LONG way from competing for the Pac-12 and BCS.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:38 p.m.

"Of course, Rodriguez didn't help himself much either, most notably on defense." ummmmm yea? "He then brought in Greg Robinson, but insisted the longtime 4-3 coordinator run his preferred 3-3-5 scheme from West Virginia. It never worked." and that is the crux of RichRod. Arrogant, stubborn - even when wrong. Personally, I hope Mr. You Bacon is right - to a point and Richrod wins the PAC 12, only so Michigan can give the buffoon the smackdown in the Rosebowl that he has had coming for 4 years.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 5:59 p.m.

Revised from +1 to +11 EMG, how's that? :)

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 5:33 p.m.

+10. Don't be so chintzy, D21! GN&GL


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:28 p.m.

Totally +1


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:38 p.m.

"While his defenses might have flopped, Rodriguez's offense was a hit once he had a quarterback to run his spread-option. The Wolverines were eighth nationally in total offense last year." Here we go again. This myth of the 2010 Michigan Offense is like a cockroach that won't die. Against non-conference = 5th nationally Against conference = 15th nationally Against unranked teams = tied for 1st nationally Against ranked teams = 36th nationally In games Michigan won = 1st nationally In games Michigan lost = 16th nationally In September = 1st nationally In October = 18th nationally In November = 21st nationally In January = 56th nationally For heaven's sake ... the 2010 Michigan offense was very good early against lesser teams. It became progressively average as the season wore on and the schedule moved into conference and ranked opponents. It was mediocre at best against Mississippi State. That 2010 offense had absolutely no signature wins against respected defensive teams. You can blame that on Robinson being hurt ... well, players get hurt. If your offense is wholly dependent on one player then the responsibility is the coach's to protect that one player.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:57 p.m.

@MC5A2 -- "By that measure, Hoke's offense hasn't beaten anyone yet either." To a point you're correct. There was considerable concern about that if you think back to just prior to the Nebraska game. Failure to beat MSU and Iowa left this year's offense facing the same kind of scrutiny as last year's. That's why the win over Nebraska was so satisfying for many -- it provided a kind of "signature" win. Personally I don't think it was as solid a "signature" as some make it out to be. A very nice win to be sure. But Nebraska is ranked 42nd nationally (after the loss to Michigan) in total defense. MSU on the other hand is ranked 3rd nationally. A solid win over MSU would have been more of a "signature" win. Nowhere in my narrative above did I make any claims about this year's offense. I was simply refuting this notion that last year's offense was so dominating. It wasn't. It was good early against lesser teams. But it faltered laster against better teams. Here's the comparison for this year's offense: Against non-conference = 60th nationally Against conference = 33rd nationally Against unranked teams = 39th nationally Against ranked teams = 36th nationally In games Michigan won = 50th nationally In games Michigan lost = 97th nationally In September = 61st nationally In October = 16th nationally In November = 71st nationally In January = n/a What's missing from this analysis is a comparison of the top "total offense" teams last year vs. this. It could be last year was a down year for big offensive numbers while this year. For example, for the month of November Toledo leads the nation in total offense. There's a lot of lesser-named schools at the top of that list. It could be those schools are putting up gaudy numbers this year while last year they weren't quite so proficient. But I'm only speculating.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:27 p.m.

John U Bacon should dedicate his second book, "Hoke Is It" to the likes of you, Mr 1st Down, Heartbreak and the others.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:22 p.m.

By that measure, Hoke's offense hasn't beaten anyone yet either.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:30 p.m.

Brady Hoke is doing a great job and has the Wolverines at 9-2. However, if RichRod had been allowed to stay for his fourth year, I believe we would also be 9-2 or better. In fact, if Dave Brandon would have allowed him to spend the same kind of money he gave Hoke to hire a Defensive Coordinator like Greg Mattison, the Wolverines would likely be 11-0 right now. Lloyd Carr left Rodriguez a decimated roster and now RichRod's recruiting is finally paying off. Rich Rodriguez is a good guy with a brilliant football mind. Unfortunately, the Detroit Free Press and a group of backstabbing former players (who have no right to be called Michigan Men) made sure he would fail in Ann Arbor. If you don't know the true story, read Bacon's "Three and Out". Hopefully, Rodriguez will get a better reception in Arizona. As for Team 132, all of us should support our new coach. That's what a true Michigan Man (or Michigan Woman) should do. Go Blue and Beat Ohio!!

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 12:59 a.m.

@1st Down: Yeah, those darn facts just keep getting in the way of their fairy tales. GN&GL

1st Down

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 9:34 p.m.

Hey Ed... you may confuse these RR lovers with so much hard factual data...even more than they are confused as it is.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 5:47 p.m.

As for the pay of the DC being the reason for the defensive collapse: 1) I'm betting that Ron English's pay in 2007 was substantially less than that of either Scott Shaffer or Greg Robinson. English had the nation's 24th-ranked defense in his first year as DC. How, then, does pay have anything to do with the defensive disasters of 2008, 09, and 10? 2) Shaffer was very successful before he arrived and after he left (as DC at Syracuse last year, he had the #7 defense in the country in total yards allowed. UM, by contrast, was 110th). Whatever he was paid in 2008 before he was fired, Shaffer was the DC. To reasonable people, then, money had nothing to do with Shaffer's defensive failure. As for Lloyd Carr undermining the program, not even the chief propagandist for the WCiMFH, J.U. Bacon, offers any substantive evidence off anything that LC did to undermine the program. Nothing. And lacking that evidence, it is difficult to imagine how anything LC did had anything to do with the team's performance on the field. To put it a different way, those with a man crush on the WCiMFH frequently (if incorrectly) point to his explosive offense. Fine. So the WCiMFH appears to have developed that explosive offense despite whatever it is that Lloyd Carr is believed to have done. If that is the case, why was it not possible to have the same results with the defense and special teams? Do we really think LC only undermined the defense? The "Lloyd Carr caused it" doesn't pass the laugh test. These were RichRod's teams. They performed poorly. He was being paid good money to be their coach. The failure is his and his alone. Good Night and Good Luck

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 5:36 p.m.

"if RichRod had been allowed to stay for his fourth year, I believe we would also be 9-2 or better." Nonsense. To believe this fairy tale, one would have to believe that RichRod and his band of merry incompetents were somehow going to take the same group on defense and that had been 110th in the nation last year and make them, as of this moment, 14th in total defense and 8th in scoring defense. The reply to this inevitably is: "It was Scott Shafer's and Greg Robinson's fault." This response has two problems: *RichRod hired these two and presumably he was going to hire a new DC. Why, then, should anyone believe that he was going to get it right the 3d time around? *Scott Shafer's success before arrival and after departure suggests that the problem was not Scott Shafer. Given his access to the Michigan program, did John U. Bacon look into why Shafer was such a failure here? Nope, because that would not have reflected well on his boy. And as someone pointed out above, the improvement in the defense has as much to do with the offense as it does with Greg Mattison. Last year Michigan was 113th (out of 120 teams) in Time of Possession. This year it is 12th. Do I need to explain to those with a man crush on RichRod what that statistic means on the defensive side of the ball? Oh, and under RichRod the team averaged 32.7 points per game. At the moment, under Hoke and Borges, it is averaging 33.6 points per game. So much for the offense not being as explosive as last year's. There is no way we are 9-2 at this moment if the WCiMFH were still here. Good riddance. GN&GL


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:40 p.m.

Whitewash it all you want. RRod was an adult, he spent the money that could have gone to a more expensive DC on something else. His choice, his responsibility. Every sports program from jr high school to div 1 NCAA has politics. Deaking with politics is part of the job. He signed up for it, he failed at it. He was fired for failure. He may have a brilliant football mind, I have to little information to judge. Being a successful football coach requires a great deal more than a brilliant football mind. He did not have those other qualities and was a lousy coach. He may have learned from his failure at Michigan. Time will tell.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:24 p.m.

A2Blue, The facts don't agree with you, period. Why don't you ask every current UM player especially those on the defensive side. There was an article last week in here that some defensive players felt that they got no REAL coaching at all under the RR regime. GO BLUE!


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:07 p.m.


Lorain Steelmen

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:47 p.m.

Blue, excellent post, and right on the money. The last three years were disgraceful, as the Freep and the Michigan backstabbers, headed by former coach Carr, worked to undermine the Michigan football program.

Ron Granger

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:28 p.m.

'Everyone says I should take some time off, but I don't want to. I want to coach,' So go find a nice high school football program at your level.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:17 p.m.

Wow I smell hallucinogenic drugs in the air!!!! This is just delusional to think that RR will win a Pac-12 championship in 3 years or even competing for one!!! Just curious, how many yards is Tom Savage their starting QB going to rush for next year in the option read? HaHaHa or is RR going to transition a WR to QB hahaha. This is what Bacon was thinking when he made his comments! "Wait I know whats going to happen RR is going to start coaching a prostyle offense to fit the players on that roster! Uhhhhh wait no he is going to recruit guys to play his style of offense. Uhhhhh wait that will take Zona to the 2013 season before they have a running Qb and another 3 years before he is good enough to really do damage so wait uhhhhh let me rephrase my comments. RR will be competing for conference and NC titles in 5 years! ya 5 years that sounds good. Uhhhhh wait I forgot about the defense he waits til year 5 to start on that so it will take another 3 years, lets do some math here, uhhhhh ok new time table. He will be competing for titles in 8-9 years!!!! ya 9 years!" His conclusions are disjointed and have no merit! There are literally no recruits that are running QB's looking at Arizona in this next years recruiting class. So it wont be until atleast the 2013 class that he gets his guy if he can! He has major competition in Oregon in the Pac 12 for the best of the best! I think it was a bad move on his part again because it is going to take atleast 3-4 years to have a winning season at Arizona with his style of coaching let alone compete for a conference title! That fact of the matter is that RR has another coaching job and rightfully so. He did wonders at West Virginia. I think that is where his talents as a coach are best suited! To a conference that does not have a single team ranked in the top 25 right now! Go Blue!!!

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 5:49 p.m.

His record in his last 7 years was 2 games better than Lloyd Carr's over the same period in a much weaker conference than the Big 10 You are right, chiro. It takes a powerful hallucinogen to think that he was some sort of football god. GN&GL


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:43 p.m.

I'd argue he did NOT do wonders at WVU. He did well, but it was not a miraculous run. His first four years he was 28-21. He was 32-5 from 2005 to 2007 during the Pat White / Steve Slaton years. That's where the cult of Rodriguez was born. The Pat White and Steve Slaton offense was very good. It was matched by a Jeff Casteel defense who in 2007 was 8th nationally. It was the combination of those two things that allowed that 2007 team to approach the #1 ranking. Well, until that fateful Pitt game.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:14 p.m.

I read "Three And Out" which completely changed my understanding and opinion of Rich Rodriguez. I wish him the best, and am glad that both UM and RR can move on.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:06 p.m.

Good Luck RR. Thanks for recruiting and leaving Michigan with some great players who are now older, stronger and being coached correctly on defense. Your offense was exciting to watch, but the defense cost you your job. I hope you bring a guy and let him run the defense for you in Arizona. I agree with Bacon, Arizona will be in the top tier of the pac 12 in two to three years with USC, Stanford and Oregon. And I'll bet he gets them contending for National titles in 5 years. While the experience he had at Michigan was horrible for all, including himself, he will learn from it and be a better coach going forward. I wonder how the haters will feel if he gets Arizona to the Rose Bowl before we get there??????


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:20 p.m.

Michigan will get to a Rose Bowl before he is fired in 3-4 years!

Blu n Tpa

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:50 p.m.

A sign of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. AZ now has a coach that doesn't have ANY ties to the program, the school, the town, the state, or the conference but they expect success. All of his success was confined to one specific area of the country. His roots gave him credibility at WV but that's not as easy to move as furniture. Professor Bacon has hitched his professional wagon to the WCiMFH so what is he suppose to say? If he's not careful he will be moving southwest soon and he can take his fellow travellers with him. This is Michigan.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 6 p.m.

RW: A good coach can coach anywhere, even at Michigan. What we just had before this year was the opposite of that. Blu: Professor Bacon is looking for a sequel to his book. 7 and out. The story of failure in both sides of the Rose Bowl!! LOL.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:56 p.m.

Well then Saban was never successful at LSU and isn't at Alabama because he didn't have "roots" in the southeast? A good coach can coach anywhere.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:36 p.m.

I truly hope RR does well at Arizona. Things didn't work out well for him here; some of it was his fault, some not. I hold no ill will toward the man. We all make mistakes. I hope he's learned from the UM miscues. Most of all he has to realize that he'd better spend more time with the defense and special teams. Good luck, Coach. Maybe we'll play his team in the Rose Bowl someday.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:36 p.m.

In *NO* way is Bacon a "professor." At best he is a glorified lecturer grandfathered in by the athletic department, but this misnomer should be corrected in this story and in all descriptions of this, ahem, teacher.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:08 p.m.

and where do you, ahem, teach?


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:33 p.m.

Mr Bacon raises a lot of good points and although I have a lot of respect for him, the Pac-12 is a very competitive conference. It might be every bit as difficult to succeed in that conference as it was in the Big-10. I will be wondering how well his defense will do. Rich Rod inherited a solid defense when he came to Michigan, only to see it deteriorate to the worst ever. Recruitment will be different, mainly because of acedemic standards at U-AZ vs Michigan so he might do better over there. One thing of note is that when Rich Rod was hired at Michigan, his role was to maintain the winning tradition and then build on it. At Arizona, he will have to rebuild. That will require no less than three years. I wish Rich Rod well on at Arizona. It will be fun to watch from afar.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 5:58 p.m.

Agree with you. That is a big difference, though some members of the MCC think Michigan was empty and horrible before former coach came here. Michigan needed some tweaking, which is now happening. Not a revamp. AZ from the looks of things is an utter disaster, but does anyone in Arizona care? That alone will give him more time (though I doubt he'll succeed there unless he really changes his ways)


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:30 p.m.

Come on M-Live, this is a site for Michigan sports. I live in Ohio and this is where I go for updates. This is Michigan - Ohio week,enough about Rich Rod. I supported him while he was here but now he is gone. Give it a rest. This is Michigan! Go Blue stomp OSU!

1st Down

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 9:30 p.m.

As my acting coach calls it Upstaging: Putting a Lessor value (RR) in front of a Greater One (The Game and Michigan)


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:19 p.m.

+1 UM 31 O-h-i-0 Yes, 31-0


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:25 p.m.

Those Junior College transfers he will get at Zona will be the ticket, good luck Rich! He was always a cordial when I talked to him! Too bad it didn't work out here!


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 1:53 p.m.

Rich will be what Rich has always been--a scrapper who thinks he needs to cut corners to succeed. He'll again recruit thugs, he'll again cheat on NCAA rules, he'll again get caught--nothing new in the PAC-10 or 12, whatever they are these days. He'll be more successful because the PAC is weaker than the B1G; his tiny skill players will once again be able to outrun linebackers while they try to get a handle on the ball they're flipping around. No, he's not a big time cheater like Tressel; he's small potatoes, and belonged in the Big East.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:49 p.m.

"his tiny skill players will once again be able to outrun linebackers" Not so sure of that ... in Oregon the Pac-12 has seen what a fast offense can do. The Pac-12, like every conference, recognizes that athletic speed in the defensive secondary is important. USC's defense did a pretty darn good job of stopping Oregon's offense. That was a combination of things -- pretty good speed/athleticism in the secondary and a defensive line that was big enough and strong enough to get into the Oregon backfield and disrupt the plays. So the Pac 12 is not without some knowledge of spead offenses and is learning more and more how to defend against them. Oh ... and if you're a 5-star and you're looking to go to a spread team in the Pac 12 what's your first choice? Oregon. Second choice *might* be U of A now.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:26 p.m.

+1 However, I do pray RR becomes a better and more honest coach. TiM

Ed daggett

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 1:48 p.m.

Under RR Michigan would only pay a Defensive coordinator $238K annually with a one yr contract. Now M is paying up to $900K for D coordinator. M learned from their arrogant mistake of going cheap. To bad it cost the last coach & fans three yrs


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 9:31 p.m.

Regardless of bonus, compensation, etc... it shows how willing Brandon is willing to support Hoke. If we were willing to give Casteel an additional 5k a year and a two year contract RR would have had the D-coordinator he wanted.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 11:45 a.m.

Rich Rod didn't care about defense from day one. It was all about his gimmick offense which works in the Big East and their sub par talent but didn't in the Big 10. It won't in the PAC-12 either. Rich Rod is a terrible coach in my opinion. Why? Because his teams regressed during the season. They didn't "learn". Look at how Hoke has his guys improving game after game. That is what good coaches DO. With Rich Rod, it was all about "him". He was the focus, not the players and watching them make the same mistakes over and over and over again was maddening. Arizona will tire of this guy in 3 years and then he can go back to the Big East or to the MAC where he might have a chance with those offensive gimmicks and small defenses.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 12:57 a.m.

Scott Shaffer was successful before he arrived here and after he left. What does pay have to do with that? Come on, Ed. You've been making this absurd claim in a couple of threads. So answer the question. What does what he was paid have to do with Scott Shaffer's success elsewhere but his failure here? Inquiring minds want to know. Good Night and Good Luck


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:53 p.m.

Ed, who was it that chose the DCs? The Head Coach. They themselves, not Michigan, established their own market value. Who is responsible for bringing Mattison to Mchigan? Again, the Head Coach, not "Michigan". I liked RR but responsibility for the defensive collapse does rest with him, as credit for the vast improvement this year must go to Brady Hoke.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:17 p.m.

Dagget has a profoundly bias against Carr and Michigan Men and loves no one but RR.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:17 p.m.

That salary was normal for the big ten. Mattison gets 250k as a base, 500k for compensation packages and then has the ability to make another 150k in bonuses! So far he has deserved every penny! If we where going on success and player development basing someones pay then Greg Robinson should be paying the school and not getting a salary he was so bad!


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 1:46 p.m.

Coach RR came to Michigan and it did not work out - it happens; most coaching situations dont work. Yes, he could have handled things better. Yes, his schemes did not work - but he was hired by U-M ...hate on the AD for the decision yes, he ruffled feathers and had a few NCAA bumps but this guy, now that he is gone and moving on, deserves his chance the posters here, and on other sites, wishing him failure and worse, are borderline sociopaths he did not create a Penn State scandal, he did not do what Tressel did to OSU - he came here, tried and it did nor work and has moved on -- to hate him makes no sense - you dont have to wish him well, but you dont have to wish him worse either he has moved on -- why cant everyone else move on as well?


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 1:42 p.m.

Does it take an Arizona Man to coach at Arizona? That pretty much sums up the amount of needy support that Michigan alumni need, which Rich Rod wasn't quite the best at providing. Hoke is doing a pretty good job. Seriously. I hope someone asks that question in Arizona, just to show the stupidity of it.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 1:33 p.m.

What? Bacon is crazy. Probably just trying to sell a few more books here before we all forget about him forever. "If there's one thing that would have changed Rich Rodriguez's tenure at Michigan, it's probably making sure you get your first choice as a coordinator, running your system. I'd be very surprised if he does not insist on that, at whatever cost. "That's a mistake that both Michigan and Rich Rodriguez made in 2007." Uh, nope. Pretty sure Rich Rod CHOSE Robinson and then FORCED him to run a 3-3-5. Which was an epic failure. And it's ALL Rich Rod's fault. What a silly thing to say.... I don't get it. The number of pure coaching errors during big games here at Michigan is also too big to count on both hands. He simply made bad decisions, frequently. Throwing players under the bus (kickers), losing the trust and confidence of his players and assistants... Ugh, it was ugly. I hope he can find some success in the PAC-12, but tea,s like Oregon, USC, Stanford, and even Cal, Washington, and Az state are going to walk all over him... forever.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 11:49 a.m.

I like Bacon and his books and his radio show. But I think he got too close to Rich Rod and lost his objectivity. Rodriguez was paid more than anyone in the HISTORY of Michigan football and he blew his opportunity with his arrogance, his failure to teach, and his failure to put any focus on defense or special teams. It was ALL about his gimmick offense which worked in the Big East with their small defenses but got taken apart in the Big 10. The PAC-12 will eat his lunch too. The talent out there is better than the Big 10; a lot of Pro material. Plus, his recruiting ties are all out on the east coast. The west coast kids will get snapped up by USC, Oregon, Stanford, and Cal and he'll be left with the MAC type kids he recruited when he was here. 3 and out at AZ is my prediction.

1st Down

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 9:27 p.m.

Well said Ross. You addressed so many valid and true points here.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:09 p.m.

"Probably just trying to sell a few more books here before we all forget about him forever." Bingo! We have a winner.

Tom Teague

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 1:33 p.m.

There's no other place to make this comment, although it's strictly editorial: John U's photos on the home page are solarized for some reason. The photo on the jump is fine.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 1:28 p.m.

We'll see...I don't buy Mr. Bacon's sentiment here, but I bet I would say the same thing if one of my best friends took over a head coaching job, too.

Terry Star21

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 8:12 p.m.

In gotta feel he is just sticking up for himself and his book though - what a statement he just made !

dading dont delete me bro

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 1:23 p.m.

"...Ex-Michigan coach will compete for national titles at Arizona..." hunh? thought he would compete for one here a big blue too...


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 12:49 p.m.

Why bacon thinks that his buddy will compete for national championships is beyond me, unless he is just throwing one out there for publicity and support. He came to a school with a longstanding tradition of excellence and achievement and ruined it in a matter of 3-4 games. He is going to a school with no tradition, no history of winning or championships, and with a personal history of not succeeding. I think we could have given him 10 years and we would not have seen a change here. This myth of lack of support is not why he failed at Michigan. He failed because he did not how to coach. Does anyone honestly believe that the takeaways over the entire season are an accident? Does anyone in the MCC have an explanation why this years offense is actually more successful statistically than last year by the "offensive genius"? It all adds up to nonsense that bacon apparently believes. Finally, Michigan made a mistake by going way outside the Michigan lineage. You have a successful product, you need continuity. MBA 101. That is why they went to David Brandon. If you are not successful, then all bets are off for the next hire, but with success, Michigan hired wrong and the former coach proved himself to be way out of his league.

1st Down

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 9:23 p.m.

unless he is just throwing one out there for publicity This. Still need to sell more copies of his novel.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 8:52 p.m.

Hey 81: Bo was not inheriting a successful product at that time. Note that I said a successful product needs continuity to continue its success, but Bo came into a different situation. Michigan was very up and down in the 1960s and 50s, definitely second behind Bubba Smith, Duffy Daugherty and all of the sparties. But Bo was not a complete outsider, either--he coached against Michigan, knew all about Michigan, and knew of the importance of the M-OSU rivalry from the man himself (Woody). That is the big difference. My statement of his not knowing how to coach is based on 3 long and painful years at Michigan. I don't care what his record was before he got to Michigan (though I care a lot that he had absolutely no connection or knowledge of Michigan and/or the B10). His teams got worse in second half, his teams got worse in October and November, and his teams were bad after bye weeks (witness PSU loss last year to first time starter McGloin). No ball protection, no true running game, no pass rush. Need I go on? 6-18 says it all.

Terry Star21

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 8:13 p.m.

Very good heartbreak - I like !


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 7:43 p.m.

Your logic is wrong on 3 counts: 1. RR DID have a personal history of succeeding before coming to Michigan. Also, just because Arizona hasn't won a championship doesn't mean they won't. 2. The lack of support by Michigan WAS definitely a factor, but not the only one. Obviously, his lack of success was due to a series of problems. And saying he didn't know how to coach is absurd. There are many, many people around the college football world who thought otherwise when he was hired. 3. Just having a "Michigan lineage" is not a good reason by itself to select a coach. If you remember, Bo had no Michigan "lineage" when he was hired. In fact, you can argue the opposite too. Too much "lineage" can create inbreeding and the perpetuation of an outdated and stale system. Look what happened in the later Carr years. ( BTW, that's what they ACTUALLY teach in MBA programs)


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 6:51 p.m.

Explanation? More balance/diversity on offense. Not feeling pressure to score every possession (because we play defense). Better field position (because we play defense). More possessions (because we play defense). Ability to pound the running game (because we're not playng from behind all the time). RR's offense really struggled against good defenses and he had nothing to turn to when they stopped Denard. Borges just put up 45 on the defense that held State to 3 points.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:21 p.m.

Right on!


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:04 p.m.

"Does anyone in the MCC have an explanation why this years offense is actually more successful statistically than last year by the "offensive genius"?" Yes, I do. How about you're witnessing the players that Rich Rodriguez recruited having matured and performed better at their roles? Sorry, but RR knew something about football and play-makers, at least on the offensive side of the ball. He's going to have success in Arizona because he's a smart coach. Odds are he won't win a National Championship as Mr. Bacon is wildly proclaiming, but he's going to make that program competetive, which it isn't now.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 12:36 p.m.

we love you richrod......gooo blue..

Aditya Ezhuthachan

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 12:35 p.m.

@TrueBlueFan I appreciated Rich Rod's tenure at Michigan, felt he got somewhat of a raw deal, wanted him to succeed, but ultimately felt he wasn't the right fit and a change was necessary for all parties, but I'm mostly grateful that he took the Michigan Man stuff to heart enough to recruit and leave a locker room full of great young guys. Character people. Which I believe Rich really is. A caring coach who is an innovator and a great talent... but it just didn't work here. That said... objectively speaking: Arizona is a team that has never competed. It is more likely they never will (on a NC level) than that they'll likely be competing for them within 3 years. I like Bacon and I enjoyed the book, but it's certainly wishful thinking to say something like that. It's tough for Arizona to compete within the state itself with an emerging ASU much less pull the necessary talent out of SoCal and Texas as would be necessary with Colorado now in the footprint, TCU headed to the Big 12, Texas A&M headed to the SEC etc. I'm just saying it's more likely he won't be "competing" for national championships in 3 years than he will be. That's the objective take.

Blue Marker

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:10 p.m.

Yeah, what that guy said above. A lot less typing for me.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:07 p.m.

Reasonable ... sensible ... well said. U of A is a basketball school first and football second. U of A has to compete with USC, Stanford and Oregon for the top talent in California. U of A would have to compete with ... gosh, everybody ... for top talent out of Texas. There's not much top talent in Arizona itself. Getting Florida talent to go to Arizona is going to be hard. (a) The competition for Florida talent is fierce, (b) talent can stay relatively close to home and still go to proven top-tier football powers, and (c) for a kid who grew up in Florida a visit to Tucson will feel like a visit to the moon. The desert southwest is a shocking departure for someone who grew up in the lush southeast. Not so shocking for California kids ... but then the competition is USC, Stanford and Oregon.

1st Down

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 12:26 p.m.

BTW does anyone know what ever came of the multiple real estate fraud lawsuits that Rich Rodriguez was involved in? There were 3 as I recall, each separate incident alleging millions of dollars in fraud and defaults. Perhaps those issues are still being pursued in the legal system. Perhaps this has to do with Rich Rod needing a coaching gig so badly. Hopefully he will send a nice Christmas basket to Mr. Bacon, along with a card and some kickback money for painting him in such a positive light in his novel and hastening his hiring for the new gig. Go Blue. This is Michigan, and that was not.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 1:33 a.m.

I could care less about Rich Rod and where he is, but come on, do you know how many real estate deals went south with the hosuing bubble burstand are in litigation. That is such a tired attempt to discredit the guy.

1st Down

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 9:22 p.m.

Lets put this in to perspective: Could you ever imagine in your wildest dreams...Coach Hoke defaulting or committing fraud in 3 seperate million dollar real estate deals, including the sale of his home? Has Hoke ever been accused of anything, other than maybe eating an extra donut or two... our former HC RR had a slimy past outside of football... funny how Bacon doesnt address that.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 6:13 p.m.

Likely either settled or negotiating settlement to keep it out of the public light.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:19 p.m.

Good postings today, Mr 1st Down We don't hate RR but his penchant for sliminess at times. "All About Me...all about me...ALL ABOUT ME"


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 12:24 p.m.

And BTW, it wouldn't surprise in the least if Rich Rodriguez won Pac-12 and/or national championships at Arizona.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 6:11 p.m.

You see him being this successful based on what? His success in the Big East?? I know the Pac-12 plays a relatively similar style of football, but they do it much, much better than the Big East. My take on RR is that he should stick to being an offensive coordinator. He is remarkably adept in that capacity and could easily be one of the premier OCs in the country. Beyond that I think he's limited. He can't teach technique or fundamentals, make in-game/between-game adjustments, handle adversity, doesn't know how to help shape kids into young men, etc. etc. A good HC has to do all of those things well (see Brady Hoke).


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:02 p.m.

It would me. But time will tell.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 12:22 p.m.

The hatred and vitriol for Rich Rodriguez spewing forth on this board is pathetic. Listen to yourselves. Only a bitter, vindictive person would not wish someone well in their new endeavors and root for them to succeed. I feel like I'm watching the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. "...never competed in football for anything, and never will". Uh, what?


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:12 p.m.

Arizona will not win a National title with RR! In fact they will be a bottom dweller for the next 10 years because of what RR will do to their program. The elimination of any form of Defense will cost them dearly in the Pac -12! Its not vitriol trueblue, its reality! RR is a really poor head coach! He tried to revolutionize a style of offense that does not work against solid Defenses and then leaves his teams D out to dry because they are on the field for 80% of the game! But at the end of the day True Blue its pretty simple, at Michigan you need to win football games!!! RR did not, could not and was not going to because of his coaching style or the lack there of! If he won games he would still be the coach at Michigan. If he won a national title at michigan he would have been praised and herralded as a great coach. But because of his NCAA violations, lack of coaching ability, and outside moral and ethical indisgressions he is looked at as a sabateur of a great program!


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 12:21 p.m.

Nothing worse than a journalist interpreted as an objective, embedded sociologist, assumed to produce unadulterated "facts" afterward. So many people take his book for a mirror on the events of those 3 years, not the subjective interpretations of one dude. Bacon's book went through no peer-review process. People should be smarter about the information they take in.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 12:35 p.m.

And make no mistake about it - RR gave Bacon his book. Access is everything in such endeavors, and that was RR's call. Interpret the book with that knowledge.

1st Down

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 12:28 p.m.

good points... it is a novel of spin and fiction... perhaps entertaining to some who read it...but no more real than anything that Stephen King ever wrote, and certainly less creative.

1st Down

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 12:15 p.m.

just to give anyone who doubts 1st Down a little taste of Mr. Bacon's tall tales: In his novel, he claims that Lloyd Carr did not require his players to attend class during Rivalry Week: eeeennnnt .....! ...wrong! Proven wrong by multiple Carr players who have stated that this alleged "policy" of Carr's never, ever happened. Keep spinning Mr. Bacon. Unfortunately as you prop up your puppet governa... you damage the creditability of True Men of Character. Sad really....but hey ...more money in your pocket I suppose... everyone is motivated by something.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 5:53 p.m.

I have first-hand knowledge that Bacon is wrong. First hand, meaning I observed it--many times in fact. Meaning JUB's book is pure fiction and deserves to be placed in that portion of the library. GN&GL


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:26 p.m.

You got a source that the Carr allegation is wrong? Otherwise, you're just blowing hot air.

1st Down

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 12:10 p.m.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.... This is the funniest thing Ive read in a while. OK Mr. Bacon...well you have a NY Times best seller thanks to your muckracking over your commissioned-by-Rich Rod of course you are going to spin delusional tales about National Championships that your hero will bring to a school who has never competed in football for anything, and never will. Keep talking Mr. Bacon, you use up any real creditability that you have left (and yes there are several major proven inaccuracies in your novel, as you know.)


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 7:02 p.m.

Commissioned by Rich Rod? I do believe Mr. Bacon has a libel case on his hands.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:16 p.m.

you have an axe to grind. did RR fire you? did Bacon not give an autograph?


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:33 p.m.

1st Down, you clearly have not read the book.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 12:05 p.m.

trespass you are either Ill-informed or a person of Ill will. Rich is a pretty good coach that got very little support in AA from the beginning (reference Bacon's book). In the end it was obvious he was not the right fit but it pains me to this day to know that some elements of the UM family (and the FREEP for that matter) treated him as horribly as they did. I wish him best of luck and success as Arizona.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 5:52 p.m.

"reference Bacon's book" That's hilarious. As if Bacon's book somehow qualifies as non-fiction. And he cited to support his argument!


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:59 p.m.

Ok TrueBlueinOH ... if you (and your book reference) say so, then it MUST be true. LOL.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 1:22 p.m.

It is not misinformed that the NCAA ruled that RR was responsible for MAJOR violations. This is not open to debate. <a href=""></a> The same pattern as they found at WVU. This is a guy who can not handle the leadership it requires to run a clean program. He is the CEO of that program, and is responsible for these violations. What irks me is those that give the cheater a free pass AND the fact players get hurt by his violations, while he has zero punishment. How about no NCAA coaching jobs can be offered to any coach convicted a major rules violation.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 11:57 a.m.

Cheater while at West Virginia and cheater while at Michigan. I hope that Arizona is prepared for NCAA investigations.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:14 p.m.

You need to get a better understanding of the facts.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 11:38 a.m.

Good luck to him, I wish it turned out better here but he and his family will be better off.