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Posted on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 11:44 a.m.

It's not an easy call, but Dave Brandon should give Rich Rodriguez another year with the Michigan football team

By Pete Bigelow


One of the hallmarks of the Michigan football program is patience with coaches. That should extend to Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez.

Lon Horwedel |

The timing of Dave Brandon’s comment was conspicuous.

With fans and alumni pondering the job security of football coach Rich Rodriguez, it sure was noticeable when Michigan’s athletic director had a lot of nice things to say about the school’s basketball coach last week.

“John Beilein is, I think, the perfect guy for the University of Michigan,” Brandon told The Detroit News. “John Beilein is a stand-up guy. He is a winner, and he’s going to be a winner here. He’s just got to get the athletes to win championships.”

Maybe it was a coincidence - Brandon, after all, had been asked about state of the basketball program.

But Brandon doesn’t do or say anything without careful calculation.

So the comments seemed to carry additional weight this week when he offered nothing but a wait-and-see answer on Rodriguez following a 37-7 loss to Ohio State on Saturday.

Beilein received praise. Rodriguez received silence. That’s understandable. In three years under Rich Rodriguez, the Michigan football team has played the most abhorrent defense in school history, compiled a 6-18 conference record, been swept by Ohio State and Michigan State and committed major NCAA rules violations.

Those are the facts. They are not open to interpretation.

Whether they warrant firing Rodriguez with two years remaining on his original contract remains a murkier question.

Brandon has said he plans to evaluate the entire program, and that wins and losses are only one part of the equation. He has also said, “if you put all your eggs in one basket, you better watch your basket, and football is my basket.” No question, that basket has some serious holes.

From a financial perspective, they don’t threaten the long-term viability of the football program. This isn’t Minnesota or Indiana. The Big House still packs close to 110,000 people into seats every Saturday. Fans aren’t walking away from Michigan football.

Complacency among the fan base, though, isn’t a compelling reason to keep the third-year coach from West Virginia around.

So maybe this is: The second part of Brandon’s comment about Beilein - the “he’s just got to get the athletes to win championships” part - could apply to Rodriguez as well.

During his 3-8 debut season in 2008, Rodriguez’s spread offense looked inept without the right quarterback running the system. The offensive line was in tatters.

Two years later, the offensive line ranks as the best unit on the team as well as the deepest and best-coached. Michigan’s offense averaged 34.3 points per game and is sixth in the country with 500.9 yards per game.

All the vital pieces of that offense return.

Defensively, of course, is another story. The Wolverines set dubious records most points and most yards allowed in a single season in 2010. The unit hasn’t been competitive in games against the upper half of the Big Ten.

But the situation is not unlike the offensive situation of two years ago, and Rodriguez has demonstrated the capacity for a turnaround.

Excuse-making or not, there’s a lot of truth to Rodriguez’s pleas to note the seven true freshmen playing on the defense, six of which see significant time in the defensive backfield.

At the end of the 2009 season, Rodriguez had every reason to believe his cornerback depth would include Donovan Warren and Troy Woolfolk as his starters, J.T. Floyd and Justin Turner as key backups and high-profile recruit Demar Dorsey vying for playing time.

Floyd stayed on the field for eight games this year. The rest? Didn’t play a snap for a variety of reasons. That’s an incredible exodus to overcome.

Rodriguez has no doubt made mistakes on defense. He never should have fired Scott Shafer, should have done a better job recruiting high-impact linebackers and probably should have stuck with the 3-4 instead of switching to the 3-3-5 when he was short on defensive backs.

But he’s presided over a good defense before. In 2007, West Virginia finished the year ranked seventh in the country in points allowed. Given a more experienced set of players, he could do it again.

It’s not an easy call for Brandon.

Conceivably, he could squander another year on Rodriguez while watching two appealing candidates, Jim Harbaugh and Brady Hoke, accept new jobs elsewhere. A preemptive move is a consideration.

But will one more year matter when Brandon looks at a 10-year plan for the program?

Fundamentally, Michigan has been about patience. The trait is one of the hallmarks that makes Michigan unique, that makes it a destination school for coaches.

Every Wolverines football coach has gotten at least five years to prove himself since Elton Wieman only received two in 1927 and ’28.

As someone well-versed in and enamored with the athletic traditions of the school, Brandon knows that stability is part of the Michigan brand.

Rodriguez’s record has improved by two games per season every year. Risks aside, he deserves the same treatment others in Michigan’s coaching lineage have received.

Rich Rodriguez should get one more year to fix the Wolverines.

Pete Bigelow covers Michigan football for He can be reached at (734) 623-2556, via e-mail at and followed on Twitter @PeterCBigelow.



Tue, Dec 21, 2010 : 10:53 p.m.

It's a tough call. On the one hand, RR's record is abominable. A good coach goes with the strengths of his players, but he did not. From the first day RR insisted on his system, creating the mess of his first two years. Now, he has his system but the defense is a mess because of injuries, defections, etc. There is no clear case that next year will be better, but it might be. He did have good defenses at WV. On the other hand, what if Harbaugh is available and wants the job and is committed long term to Michigan? Thats tempting. The same thing could be said about Miles and others. Waiting until Jan to save $2.5 million makes sense. Wasting that kind of money would be criminal for a public institution. So, we shall soon see. I doubt if the results of the Gator Bowl game will matter.


Thu, Dec 9, 2010 : 6:21 p.m.

I didn't fall for all those tears Rodriguez had on tv out of all my years as a michigan fan, he's the only coach who has not won. He should take his big money, ( which is his only concern) and run!


Thu, Dec 9, 2010 : 2:33 p.m.

"My fellow Wolverine Fans, ask not what Coach Rodriguez can do for you -- ask what can you do for Coach Rodriguez." Hey 57-44, Coach Rich Rod gets paid over 2 million a year for a 3-9, 5-7 and 7-5 record, 0-3 against MSU and 0-3 against OSU, plus NCAA violations, RR should be responsible for whatever outcome. Rich Rod should be man enough to accept and shoulder responsibility! lol!

Tex Treeder

Thu, Dec 2, 2010 : 7:36 p.m.

Friday! Fire him Friday! That way I win the office pool.


Thu, Dec 2, 2010 : 6:19 p.m.

Replacing a proven loser is actually the easiest decision of any CEO. Replacing RR is one of the easiest decisions of Dave Brandon as a CEO. lol!

Lorain Steelmen

Thu, Dec 2, 2010 : 3:17 p.m.

Dan, It's time for the fair weather fans to stop berating RR, sell their UM tickets and start openly rooting to ssu and msu. Then you don't have to drive up to AA. Instead you can driv edown t C-bus and fight the crowds down there. Meanwhile, if DB DOES can RR, we end any pretense of committing to a five year rebuilding program, with any and all coaches, at UM, and just admit that we do NOT stand by our agreements. Heck, let's can DB, and just let the writers from the Frweep run the athletic program. I'm sure Mary Sue Coleman will appreciate all the help and support she'll get from Harbaugh with the U's academic rebuilding,as well!


Thu, Dec 2, 2010 : 3 p.m.

"My fellow Wolverine Fans, ask not what Coach Rodriguez can do for you -- ask what can you do for Coach Rodriguez."


Thu, Dec 2, 2010 : 2:47 p.m.

NO, NO, NO, Absolutely NOT! It's time to admit ex-AD Bill Martin's "underhanded" hiring of RichRod was a HUGE mistake and the D (and special teams) will NOT be improving any time soon. Announce his departure NOW, offer the job to Harbaugh (before he gets snapped up by the NFL) and let the recruits decide if they want to be part of the resurgence of the UM football program. IF Brandon does give RR another year, I personally vow to BOYCOTT Michigan FB and encourage all those who honor our great tradition to do the same! We've all suffered long enough (especially those of us living in Ohio)! :/


Thu, Dec 2, 2010 : 2:28 p.m.

Does anyone remember when the Lions had Morningweg (sp?) as their coach? When Steve Mariucchi became available, everybody got their panties wet and the Lions made what appeared to be a sure thing as the next (only?) great Lions coach that would lead us to the promised land. That turned out well. Might be the same movie.


Thu, Dec 2, 2010 : 11:34 a.m.

Thanks Ghost and, especially, 1bit, who hit the nail right on the head. Blame is precisely what everyone seems to be throwing around UM these days AND shirking. Of course, I remember that Bo was AD and the screwed up search process that followed Carrs announced retirement. I also remember the Les Miles fiasco. Was he about a new direction? Or succession? Head coaches, especially those with Lloyd Carrs accomplishments AND standing within the university community AND athletic department (for example, as associate AD until last summer), are, by their very positions LEADERS, whose performance, as 1bit correctly noted, includes having a good succession plan. Furthermore, Carr was neither fired nor forced out but left on his own will and time table. Indeed, if he let Martin talk him into staying on for another year, as you say, AND didnt provide for his assistants and his own succession, he certainly didnt drive a very hard bargain, still less show leadership, which, at the very least, rates as something he didnt do, if not abysmal failure. Then theres many so-called boosters and so-called supporters were unhappy with the consistent excellence of the Michigan football program. No, mere excellence was not enough. We needed to compete for if not win the National Championship every year. I certainly agree with the last sentence -- but only up to a point -- and not the rest. Carrs record his last years as coach were anything but consistent excellence: Last seven games vs. OSU, 1-7, including four losses in a row; last seven bowl games, 2-7, including four losses in a row prior to his retirement announcement; and, in his last year, a blow-out loss to Oregon, humiliating upset by Appalachian State, and yet another OSU beating. Then there is the cupboard issue, which has arisen occasionally in this thread. Even Carrs defenders acknowledge weaknesses there and that his recruiting slacked off the last two years, with some mentioning health problems or approaching retirement (or was it burn-out or obsolescence?). Outsiders like Chris Spielman, on the other hand, are less charitable: I think coach Carr, to be perfectly honest, left the cupboard bare in his last few years. I don't think they recruited the talent because you look at the upperclassmen that they have. They're all great kids. I had a chance to meet with a bunch of them. They practice hard, they play hard, and they're tough, but it comes down to one thing when you're talking about playing at a high level like Michigan is used to playing at, and that's talent. And they have zero on defense. One kid, the Martin kid. Other than that, a lot of guys would be nice little subs at Indiana." When one evaluates what Carr left, therefore, one is talking Appalachian State or nice little subs at Indiana, not OSU or bowl-opponent, still less national-championship, caliber. AND sinking, with little, if any, prospect of improvement. All of which were Carrs, not Martins, doing. As 1bit noted, theres a lot a blame to be passed around INCLUDING to Carr. And mookienation earlier expressed the issue most felicitously: Can we stop using the integrity argument already? It's not like Michigan has a great reputation around the country to begin with. I recall a certain someone named Ed Martin and a group of guys known as the Fab Five. Face it, we aren't--and never were--held in the same light as a Duke or a Stanford. We're closer to UNLV than we are to those programs. Stop acting like we suddenly look like a dirty program because of Rich Rodriguez. We already did. Whom did UM honor the other day? HOW was that, in any way, Bill Martins doing? And what did Jim Harbaugh say in 2007? Doesnt the mess go all the way back to Bo? Major reform, not finger pointing, is needed.


Thu, Dec 2, 2010 : 11 a.m.

Good article Pete. I completely agree. I also think the firing of Scott Shafer was a bit too hasty...but then again look how hasty people are being now. For the record I hate the 3-3-5.


Thu, Dec 2, 2010 : 7:18 a.m.

@Ghost You did use the word breathtaking! The program indeed was in shambles, but not due to anything Lloyd Carr did or didn't do. REALLY? There was pressure placed on Martin to hire someone who would take the team in a new direction. WHY? Martin went in a new direction. He hired a new coach with a new system WHY? When Bo announced his retirement the Monday after the 1989 OSU game, he made a big deal about how proud he was that he was leaving the program on his terms that the appointment of Gary Moeller would provide continuity for the program. Why didnt Carr do the same thing? Do you remember the notice he gave? Are those not things he did or didnt do? Just for example?


Thu, Dec 2, 2010 : 12:07 a.m.

Decision is very simple: Ask Coach to kick field goal. (can use any Michigan Football Player to help) If not kick field goal... he gone!


Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 8:29 p.m.

Thanks, Ghost! A tad, indeed. And you knew "Lorain," as well! So you also know that Carr did, indeed, leave the program a shambles -- but not cupboard bare. Which, of course, is no excuse for the current mess.


Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 6:34 p.m.

MGoBlog is little more than a RichRod propaganda agency? Really? How 'bout the following link? Just for instance. Why lower oneself to the level of "Lorain"? Remember her? Please keep it qualitative! We all greatly benefit from good, informative posts, which often are better than the articles they thread.


Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 6:14 p.m.

They said something like that last year, didn't they? And the year before? WHAT happened?


Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 4:47 p.m.

Not sure how RR supporters can blame LC for all of RR's failures. The only reason I can think of is because they are sort of like RR - blame everyone else instead of having some character and take responsibility for what has happened under his watch (ie: blame players, former coaches, assistant coaches,...). Most people probably would agree that it was time for LC to go, but the man did not bring down the UM program under his watch. He averaged 9+ wins per year, throughout his tenure (even the last 3 years) he averaged 3 losses per year. This is much better than RR (average of 5 wins and 7 losses). LC's Big 10 record was very good too: 5 1st place finishes, 4 2nd place finishes, and an average record of 6-2. RR cannot not even come close to LC's record - even his last 3 years. RR averages 5 wins and 7 losses overall, and his BT record is far worse: average of 2-6. LC Big 10 average: 6-2; RR: 2-6 The RR supporters are saying that RR's problems are due to LC's poor recruiting. Look at the recruiting class ratings (per for LC and RR and they do not support this argument: LC Recruiting Classes: RR Recruiting Classes: 2002: # 16 2008: # 10 2003: # 17 2009: # 8 2004: # 5 2010: # 20 2005: # 6 2011: # 27 (to date) 2006: # 13 2007: # 12 By the way, OSU/Tressel's last 6 recruiting classes 2005-2010: #12, #12, #15, #4, #3, #25. UM's recruting classes were actually rated higher than OSU's in 4 of these 6 years, which shows that Tressel has done more with the talent he had than LC's last 3 years, and he's done far better than RR's 3 years. The head coach is responsible for ALL aspects of the team & program, O, D, ST, recruiting, hiring assistant coaches... thus RR and only RR is responsible for the last 3 tough years.

Blueman Rick

Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 4:30 p.m.

My hope is that we do not re-live the Martin-Miles fiasco. If Martin hadn't dilly dallied around with Les, he would be on the UM sideline. Mallett would be QB, Boren would be anchoring the O line and maybe UM would be on the way to a BCS bowl. If Brandon has made up his mind about firing RR, I trust he has already contacted Harbaugh (and others). If he waits too long, RR could be here for another long, long year by default. Pray it ain't so.

Jay Allen

Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 4:04 p.m.

You know, just enough about this coach, that coach, etc. It sickens me to see people that are highly educated not using the tools of modern society to educate themselves before making ludicrous statements. Recruiting: According to: U of M was 20th in the Nation. Stanford was 26th. Only ONE - YES (1) other Big 10 Team was rated higher than UM. And for all of you PAC 10 haters, there were only 3 Pac 10 teams ahead of UM. Strength of schedule (SOS). This is where ALL of you stick your foot right where it belongs. This is a CURRENT weekly update of the S.O.S. Link: In the TOP 20. Yes, top 20 PAC 10 = 10 (All of the schools) Big 10 = ZERO Stanford = 6 UM = 30 So Stanford plays pansies? That right there ALONE shows all of you RR tree huggers the door. Next Question. All it takes is time to see the numbers for what they are. Just spewing UM's offense is all of that, Really? 7 pts against OSU and pathetic against other Big 10 teams when their STARTERS are in the game. When the 2nd team, 3rd team are in and they run up numbers, so what?


Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 2:04 p.m.

@ jalapenorancher Where have you been? Rodriguez cheated and brought sanctions and a three-year probation on to the program, marking the first time Michigan football has ever been in the NCAA's crosshairs. He forced the university, basically through a game of Chicken, to help pay for his WVU buyout. Rodriguez has his shady real estate dealings that ended up in a lawsuit. The NCAA is currently investigating his dealings while at WVU for similar allegations as the ones he was guilty of at Michigan. Over the last several years, when Michigan football has been discussed on ESPN, at least half the time has been about his lawsuit or his NCAA dealings regarding the sanctions. He's run the Michigan name and image through the mud. Wake up. Go Blue


Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 1:58 p.m.

So, Ghost...what do you think you proved in that rant? You basically affirmed my stance, and you retaliate the my words...that is funny stuff. I guess, since you seem to lack the insight...I will lay it out, first 3 years were Moeller's recruits. Rich Rod's first three years are Carr recruits. What is so hard to understand here? The defense is primarily made up of freshmen and sophomores...but you are right, he did have top recruiting classes, with an utter disregard for defense. Heck, even Mgoblue documented that. I also said, Carr was an 8-5 to a 9-4 coach...your argument helps that statement as you showed exactly what I said. Another point you made was how Carr stayed in the Top 25, and yes that needs to change, but until we get depth and some defensive get what we have here, a failure to play defense. As I said, we are entitled to our own opinions, and I am not saying you are wrong...I am simply saying I don't agree with you. I don't think Rich should stay much longer, but I also can't and won't put this on his shoulders. There is far too much evidence and documentation to rival that thought process, you just have to go look for it. Here,, now that is some pretty glaring stuff...and that article is why I refuse to blame Rich for the defense's poor play, and it has nothing to do with injuries. Had Carr done his job and recruited positions of need, then we wouldn't be in such bad shape. But, when you have to build your defense from Freshmen and Sophomores...because the upperclassmen that are left were relegated to career backup roles, you get what we have at Michigan, a train wreck of a defense. But I guess, no matter won't change your opinion, and that is fine by me. However, I wouldn't try to be cute and tell me to get my facts straight, when I am clearly on the level...and you seem to be reaching for reasons to get rid of Rod, no matter if they are correct or not.


Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 1:41 p.m.

By the comments from the "Fire RR" side, it is clear to see they have never played football or are anything more than ESPN couch watching coaches. 1. The offense is amazing and is not driven by 1 player. Anyone who has played knows that no matter how good 1 player is it takes a whole unit (reference the Lions taking top offensive draft picks) 2. Michigan overhauling to the spread is a proactive move and requires a transition. This isn't just a changing of the guards to another traditional UM system, it takes time. This crap about the spread not working? Tell that to App State, Oregon who dismantled Michigan. Ask Florida and LSU who massacred Ohio State. The difference between where they are and where we are is they system has been developed. We are competing with a JV team. You can't expect 18-19yrd olds to compete with 22-23 yr olds. 3.This whole load of RR lack of integrity? What is that based on? It must be him denying the Mealer family any hope, no, it must be putting Denard back in a close Illinios game when he was experiencing concussion sysmptoms, because he is win at all costs? oh wait, he didn't. Where is this lack of integrity claim that keeps coming up? 4. The RR haters have been looking for a reason to fire him since day 1. Same goes for the worthless reporting at the Freep who sent out on a witchhunt with the allegations that were proven to be a load of crap. Practicing 15 minutes longer because they didn't count stretching? I'm glad that Bo was never that tough on his players... Man, RR is a jerk... 5. I can't believe the state of complacency we had fallen into with the "good ole Big 10 system". We had top 10 recruits every year and were satisfied with 9-3, 8-4 seasons. But hey, we competed for the Big 10 title. Who cares? I want National Championships. The spread is the way to get there as the game has evolved. Michigan tradition isn't having power football although it was for a period. The game is evolving. Michigan tradition is WINNING. We need to adapt to what it takes to WIN. 6. Yes Defense needs attention. Firing RR throws the baby out with the bathwater and you're back to square one. We need a serious DC and let him do his thing. Look at Oregon, we have weapons on O to be as strong or stronger, and Chip Kelly has a DC who takes over. We need a new DC, not a new head coach. Before making uneducated points, think about them first. The spread is the way to go, RR is the brains behind it. If he continues to turn out mediocre seasons over the next couple years, then I'll want a new coach, but i don't believe a coach of RR's caliber will do that.


Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 1:23 p.m.

Just because Bama was in talks with RR, does not mean RR is a good coach. Remember, Bama also hired Mike Price away from Washington State University. How'd that month of coaching work out for Alabama? Only one thing to say to that... "ROLL TIDE!"


Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 12:58 p.m.

This will be a tough call, but some of these posts below just amaze me. How can some of you be called fans, when you don't even have a clue as to how we arrived at this point with our football program? Sure, Lloyd was a good coach...but the problems we face now are his doing! He failed to recruit defense. You can say kids left because of Rich Rod, but if they left because of the coach...then they weren't at Michigan for the right reasons. One of these posts states the decline of the defense, but you fail to show the loss of Senior leadership past year one...sure helps make your point when you leave the most glaring part of your argument, out. Also, it agitates me to no end when people say Michigan fans were greedy. It was time for Lloyd to go, his National Championship was with Moeller recruits, and when Lloyd had control...he was an 8-5 or 9-4 coach. Anyway, everyone is entitled to their opinion...I just wish if you were going to throw it around, you would at least get better facts to back it up, rather than your own insight.


Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 12:20 p.m.

Guys, I don't think RR is a bad Coach. Remember he was in strong talk with Bama. Yes he did under recruit on the defense. Lets look at this He has been there for three years, He is still playing with Lloyd Carr players. Which to me Lloyd did not do a great job of recruiting(He would get the top players out of Detroit) I think we give RR one more year. As for the basketball coach, NE HAS GOT TO GO! Michigan basketball can not get quality NBA type players in his system, West Virgina was not a big basketball school so that systems works. When you have 6-11 kids saying they are not going to Michigan because their style won't prepare me for the next level, that a problem!


Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 10:23 a.m.

Chill and the others, Actually the polls aren't part of AD Brandon's RR criteria list and i can only suppose what may qualify in no preferential order: 1) Alumni 2) Administration 3) Development of the UM team in general including the academic area. 4) Season ticket sales 5) RR's intergrity and character Lastly but not the least: 6) The wise posters in this forum (those who know the sad truth about RR). AD Brandon even would hire the Three Stooges to replace RR in a twinkling of an eye.


Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 10:07 a.m.

Robbie = Richie Keep try to spin it as much as you can and the Fire RR Now crowd have different reasons and winning isn't one of the reasons for some of us. It is how he conducts himself as a head coach and in motivating his players as well in coaching them up. I defer to more qualified posters like the Ghost, Macabre Sunset, 3 and out, Sherlock, RudeJude and more. The Fire RR Now membership list is at least 10 times longer than the IRS taxpayer directory. The polls are conducted over at Freep, Det News and more sites. Take two reality chill pills and call Dr Brandon in the morning and he will determine if you are worthy of being a UM fan or not.


Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 9:27 a.m.

@ PU MSU, Thomas Hunt A contract like the one Rich Rod had at WVU and has at Michigan are not moral contracts, which is why they include a buyout, an agreed upon penalty if the contract is not fulfilled by either party. Breaking the WVU contract was not immoral, the squirming out of the buyout, however, was. By pursuing Rodriguez, Michigan did nothing wrong. That Rodriguez basically forced Michigan's hand to pay a portion of his buyout (Michigan paid a portion in July, on the eve of the season to prevent the lawsuit from carrying over into the season), should have been enough of a sign for Michigan to realize what kind of sleaze they were hiring. Obviously, Michigan has since paid for hiring this guy, with losing seasons, missed bowl games, one win against the upper crust of the Big Ten, zero wins against in-conference rivals, loss of practice time, three years of NCAA probation and a partridge in a pear tree. It's time to move on. Go Blue

Elaine F. Owsley

Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 8:57 a.m.

And while we wait, how many good players will opt for other universities? What will we have when he's finally gone? Time to agree it was a bad mistake and move on.


Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 8:56 a.m.

@ Pete and the staff I have a suggestion for a reader poll. If Rodriguez is dismissed, it will be primarily be because of... a) Michigan's on-field performance. b) The self-imposed and NCAA sanctions, including three years of probation. I'm sure a lot of people would say a little of both, but I'm curious to see if the sanctions really matter to most Michigan fans. Thanks Go Blue


Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 8:55 a.m.

Thomas, Your argument has faults. RR has no character because he broke contract? Michigan came to him and offered him the job knowing he was under contract. I guess Michigan is a corrupt school.

Thomas Hunt

Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 7:52 a.m.

He should be fired. His character is extremely suspect. He broke his contract with WV and had the gall to get UM to pay (his fine)for his action in ditching WV for UM. This was a terrible lesson to give his players. The NCAA sanctions which may yet hit UM are icing on the sad tale of his tenure. His won loss record is, to my mind, less important though it leads to the same conclusion.


Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 7:36 a.m.

DB has decided even before the Ohio State game! lol! Now we will wait for JH's BCS bowl game. RR will also finish his teams bowl game before he gets dismissed. Goodbye RR! Take me home country roads to West Virginia! lol!


Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 3:51 a.m.

Hai guys! Most likely in the first week of Jan. we'll all be further educated. I'm offering year I don't think the defense will be significantly better, better yes but by leaps and bounds probably not. Enough to squeeze out yet another +2 win turnaround most definitely. We must consider the strength of the Big 10 conference this year, it's up, way up and the bowl season should prove that. 3, that's THREE Big 10 teams in the top 10. The conference is up this year, next year don't anticipate Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan State being the super they were this year. Give the man more time, Michigan will annually compete for Big 10 championships and the steady strain we are enduring will make the journey all the more worthwhile. That and if we can get Herbstreet to STFU. I seriously hope someone connected with the Michigan media can politely ask him to stop trying to sabotage Michigan's coaching business. /end wall of text Go Blue beat Mizzou!


Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 1:44 a.m.

Rich Rod said that the program is improving and that he needs just more time, when the media asked when would that be, RR said he does not want to say as he might get responsible for it. LOL! RR turned UM into a circus and then does not want to commit any signs of improvement? lol! Fire RR now! lol!


Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 12:38 a.m.

I think Brandon not coming out and supporting Rich Rod means he wants to make a move based on the performance and where the program is headed. My guess is he is trying to line up a coach he is comfortable with and if that doesn't happen Rich Rod will be back. Where he is back or not I hope the defense is much improved and we can compete and beat some of the top teams in the big ten. Being in the bottom half of the conference is not acceptable. By the way, I saw a quiz on facebook, "How would you fire Rich Rodriguez". It was pretty entertaining, check it out if you get a chance.

Blueman Rick

Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 12:37 a.m.

Nope. Absolutely not. Give this guy the gate.


Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 12:35 a.m.

Mi won many big ten championships and anyone who knows Mi football knew that their goal every season was to win the Big ten and go to the Rose bowl period. The great coaches we had never cared about a mythical National championship anyone ever here coach BO, MO or Carr say at the start of the season that their goal for the season was to win a NC? It was not their goal so why hold it against them? So I know that RR invented football and is the greatest coach to walk on earth so tell us about his undeafeated seasons and his NC season.


Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 12:34 a.m.

What he said: "Of course I'm ticked. (paraphrased) Do you want me to go sing Kumbaya with the crowd?" What he should have said: "Ohio State is our biggest rival and biggest game of the year. I feel really bad for the players who put their heart and soul into the game, and I feel that I let them down by not putting them into better position to win the game". ----- What he said: "(paraphrase) I did not realize what we had until after I arrived. We did not have any Hart, Henne, Long players and leaders". What he should have said: "It is our job as coaches to develop these players into the talents like Hart, Henne, and Long. With our poor record in the B10 and against our biggest rivals MSU and OSU, we as coaches obviously failed the players and we will double down and continue to work and coach them up so that we may help them reach their potential as their predecessors were able to" ---- Kumbaya gentlemen and ladies. This is all we need to know. RR will NEVER be a Michigan football coach (though unfortunately, he is a football coach at Michigan).

Robbie Webb.

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 11:58 p.m.

And to MSU fans, you guys could use a few wins, you're a little behind in the series. I would becarful about calling yourselves champs. You had one good season.

Robbie Webb.

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 11:54 p.m.

Still waiting for a Texas excuse, haters...


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 11:52 p.m.

The Big Ten Champs in EL say, "Five more years of RR!" couldn't have said it better. "Give the man a chance"- he's only lost to MSU and OSU 3 straight times! I mean, c'mon, He beat UConn, Bowling Green, ND, UMass, Indiana, Illinois and Purdue. What do you want?? Teams with a combined W-L record of 37 wins,44 losses, including 1 school that is a Division II school, UMass. He's earned another 5 years. The Big Ten Green and White champs back him all the way! KEEP RR! We love him! Go Green, Go White!

chill out

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 11:43 p.m.

D21, I like the politics idea. Checked out the poll on this site through the link in this thread. But I wouldn't put a lot of faith in a poll that is clearly an invite to the doom-preaching cranksters who actually think their "vote" means something. Must be 1,000 votes in that poll. And more than half say fire RR, although I bet many of the mindless turds that voted managed to do so more than once. And what, 500,000 alumni out there? Alert Dave Brandon at once, we have a decision. Nice hoops win by UM over Clemson tonight by the way.

Robbie Webb.

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 11:27 p.m.

There are some who don't like Rodriguez because he didn't win over night. They wanted to keep that old Michigan play book that worked soo well when competition got better (one championship in 50+ years). Can we fire the complainers who are clearly lost?


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 11:26 p.m.

Tru, Like your honesty I am glad you see the true state of the Mi football program under RR. Hoprfully he is gone. RR has turned Mi into a Big East team. All this Oregon talk is funny the top three teams in the Big Ten are all big physical teams the Big Ten is what we need to win and we are getting further away every season.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 11:23 p.m.

David Brandon needs to let Rich Rodriguez go and we need to bring in Harbaugh, if he's willing to come. People argue that the offense is better and it is somewhat (because of Denard), but the defense and special teams have gotten much worse and are very embarrassing. Rich isn't bring the top players in and the players aren't be taught fundamentals. Where's the mental and physical toughness?? Rich got in way over his head with the job - it's too big for him. Please, Mr. Brandon, let's end this experiment with Rich Rodriguez and move on.

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 11:19 p.m.

That's true. If more people here knew a lot about football, the polling would be 90/10 against Rodriguez. There are actually people here who think the spread is a specific offense rather than a vague concept that coaches can interpret in many ways.

Robbie Webb.

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 11 p.m.

D21, correction...the polls have shown otherwise on this site. That does not mean most of the fans want Rich Rod gone. This site has alot of people who aren't football smart by any means, so I'm not shocked by the poll.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 10:45 p.m.

Chilled out, Nice try in spinning something that isn't true as all polls have shown otherwise. However, you may have a bright future in politics.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 10:39 p.m.

1) Rich Rod's offense is a one man offense. Denard has saved his butt thus far with his other-wordly speed. His backs are too small and get injured too often to succeed in the big ten. We have never had as many concussions in the 50 years that I have been going to these games. 2) His defense is too slow and also too small. Time will not increase the speed of these freshmen and sophomores. The lack of speed and poor tacking was evident in the OSU game? I could barely watch.They could not even catch a lumbering tight end heading for a touchdown in the Notre Dame game. Again and again the lack of speed is startlingly evident. We did not recruit speed and talent on defense. Demar Dorsey alone was the only talent but even he would not be able to save this defense. 3) His special teams are atrocious. His kickers can't kick field goals or punt well. They don't have good returns on punts and kickoffs and Gallon has made too many mistakes to be on the field. He would never have been starting for any other Michigan coach. If these people were doing well in high school, then it has to be poor coaching. 4) He and his entire coaching staff does not get the importance of "The Game". With the recruits from both Michigan and Ohio down from the Schembechler era, and with his focus on Florida recruits, he needs to do a far better inspirational job in preparing the team for the game. He knew what a poor job defensive coordinator Robinson did last year. He wasn't able to turn it around. He knew how bad Robinson was before he was hired yet he still hired him. Our previous defensive coordinator went to Syracuse and their defense has now blossomed. I was a very strong supporter of Rodriguez until the last two games. His recruits will never be able to stop physical teams. His philosophy will not work in the Big Ten and will not work at Michigan. Running up the score on mediocre teams and getting blown out by good teams does not cut it. Statistics is for losers.He just can't win the big games. He will never turn into a Michigan man! Bigelow just doesn't get it that Rich Rod will never get it. Let him go!

Robbie Webb.

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 10:38 p.m.

Good coaches win with what they got? But Harbaugh gets a free pass because he had to work with Stanford talent? But I thought you said good coaches win with what they have? Way to go back on your own words. What about Texas this year? They WENT to the championship game last year. And they didn't even make a bowl game, and they're in a weaker conference. Haha! Guess injuries and youth do make a difference. You haters need to take a step back and look at our defensive roster this year and our entire roster the last two seasons. Everyone says Rich Rodriguez had eight returning starters on defense in 08, and if you look at the halftime scores, the defense kept us in it, the problem was the offense being so bad with walkons and young guys all over the field. 2009 injuries and youth took its toll and offense and defense. And this year, youth and injuries GALORE took it's toll, especially the defensive backfield. THe offense works, it's shown. Don't believe me? Fine, look at Oregon, who killed Stanford, by the way and beat the glorified coach you want to come here. And that offense is Rich Rod's.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 10:35 p.m.

Incredible season for a Sophmore QB, tho whole offense returns next year, it will be better then Oregons was this year... We need to hire Jeff Casteel, him and Rodriguez were dynamite at WVU...We need a new defensive scheme and coordinater, I think we can have an average defense next year (24 points a game) and the best offense in the history of mankind, and then... Michigan 77 Western Michigan 3- Way overmatched Michigan 45 Notre Dame 31- to slow on defense Michigan 87 Eastern Michigan 0- no comment Michigan 52 San Diego State 24- overmatched Michigan 66 Minnesota 14- overmatched Michigan 45 Northwestern 17- to small on defense Michigan 41 Michigan State 24- lose 11 starters Michigan 59 Purdue 6- overmatched Michigan 38 Iowa 17- lose to many starters Michigan 45 Illinois 24- could be tough Michigan 35 Nebraska 31- by late in the year we are a well oiled machine Michigan 38 Ohio State 31- lose to many starters Michigan 41 Ohio State 34 ( Big Ten Championship) Michigan 41 Alabama 27 - razzle dazzle em I have never seen a Offense with this many underclassmen and a first year Quarterback average 500 yards a game, next years offense will be incredible... Ohio State loses 7 starters on defense Be patient my babies...


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 10:30 p.m.

Giving Rich Rod another year is a mistake If UM wins 7 or 8 wins next year is that improvement from this years team? Why are the expectations so low for this guy. Lets look at next years schedule shall we. H-home A-away 1. WMU H W 2. ND H W-L 3. EMU H W 4. SDSU H W 5. MINN H W they replace Indiana 6. MSU A L 7. NU A L 8. PU H W 9. Iowa A L 10.ILL A W 11.NEB H L 12.OSU H L They start off 5-0 again But I just don't see them winning more than 8 next year. And That's being generous. I hope I 'm wrong but this finesse stuff don't fly in the big ten. What if they do bad and lose more than 5 games than hes fired then who do u bring in? Harbaugh the coach to get now if you don't get him now you miss Ur chance. Last year was his give him one more year and this was it 6-18 in Big ten no signature win. Sure Harbaugh won 8 games in his 4th year but 6 of them were in the PAC 10 this year he has 11 and 8 in conference play. And its STANFORD! If he can make a school like that a winner and go to the BCS than imagine what he can do here in Michigan.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 9:47 p.m.

Sorry, tzgoblue, the above article foresaw and already countered, in advance, ALL your points, which we keep seeing, again and again, including from you: "From a financial perspective, [the holes in David Brandon's frayed basket] dont threaten the long-term viability of the football program. This isnt Minnesota or Indiana. The Big House still packs close to 110,000 people into seats every Saturday. Fans arent walking away from Michigan football." As did P.T. Barnum, Brandon knows "There's one born every minute." If you don't like the ketchup-flavored cardboard UM serves, there's someone right behind you to take your place. There are many things to do on Saturday. Why don't you find ONE? As 7718 just posted: "Blah blah blah. Enough with this nonsense already!" Listening David Brandon?

chill out

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 9:41 p.m.

I have loved Michigan and Michigan football for 35 years. RR starting with an empty cupboard and two freshman quarterbacks that aren't at the school anymore resulted in a 3-9 season. The next season we started another two freshman quarterbacks. Now, two seasons later we are in a bowl game with one of the best offenses in the country. How is that not progress?? I remember the days when Bo would throw the ball 15 times all game, and we would be shocked if he ran a reverse. Look at the excitement we have now! And do any of you RR haters actually think the defense won't get better? Do you actually think that players that were hurt this year won't be back next year, and that this defense won't be improved with another year of physical and mental maturity? The man can coach and he has a proven track record, unlike Harbaugh. This mindless "lack of integrity" argument is based on his no-brainer decision that Michigan is a far better place than WVU (UM didn't know about or advise him on his WVU contract? please), and an NCAA investigation over a few hours a week of extra practice time that cleared RR. I have news for you haters. The VAST majority of UM fans DO NOT WANT TO FIRE RR. He is a good man and a great coach. It hasn't been easy, by his own admission. Nobody likes to lose. But we will be back, and when we are, we will have the great defense we have always had. We will have a dynamic and talented offense. And we will win.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 9:36 p.m.

This: Constance Colthorp Amrine Posted 4 hours ago Regardless of his record, I just don't think he has the integrity to be a Michigan coach. I don't like his mannerisms, poor sportsmanship, attitude, grammar or Kumbaya remarks. I'd rather see someone like Dantonio or Jim Tressel, and not just because of the winning records but because of their attitude and support for the young students who play the game.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 9:26 p.m.

Blah blah blah. Enough with this nonsense already!


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 9:05 p.m.

RR has done nothing as head coach to deserve another minute at Michigan. How many years does a coaching staff need to teach basic fundamentals? 3-9, 5-7, 7-5. Progress? Nonsense. RR doesn't get to set his own bar of success. The bar has already been set over the past 131 years of Michigan Football. He has failed miserably across the board, turned a once proud program into a third rate bottom feeder. The man should bow his head in shame. In the last 40 years, 479 games, Michigan had lost only 12 games by two or more TD's. Only 12 in 40 years! In RR's 36 games he's already lost 12 by the same margin. What else do we need to know? What else do we need to see? What has he done to deserve another year? What? What? What!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This conversation of stay or go is pure insanity.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 8:48 p.m.

I'm in favor of whatever David Brandon thinks is right for Michigan. I think he is a smart guy and whatever he does I will back. I don't think Rich Rod is a bad coach and I think that given time he can turn Michigan into a power with his system, the problem is that he isn't being given a chance by the majority of Michigan's faithful and never has. Is some of it his own doing? Yes it is. Some of it is not though. Here is a little food for thought. Everyone wants Jim Harbaugh as Michigan's coach, well in Harbaugh's first 3 seasons at Stanford he went 4-8, 5-7, and 8-5. If Michigan wins their bowl game, Harbaugh will have one more win at Stanford in his first 3 years than Rich Rod would have had in his first 3. Now, I know he is at Stanford and Rich is at Michigan and there is a big difference between the programs, but let's not forget how much of a different system Rodriguez ran than the old Michigan system. But why not give Rich Rod a 4th year? You can really judge a college coach in 4 years because his first true recruiting class will be Juniors then. You can win with a team full of Juniors starting, which Michigan will be next year. It's a whole lot harder to do with a team full of true sophomores. Long and short, Rich Rodriguez shouldn't have been hired at Michigan because of the system he runs, Michigan just needed a tweak, not a complete overhaul. That is on Bill Martin, not Rich Rodriguez, why wouldn't he take the Job? He is a very good coach and has proven that in his tenure at West Virginia and will succeed at another University if Michigan fires him.

3 And Out

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 8:12 p.m.

David Kaanan... you said "Rodriguez will sue the University for the larger, pre-2011 buyout of $4 million claiming that a deal was already made prior to his ouster." I agree that is very likely. Rich Rodriguez (and his advisors like Mike Brown) have shown themselves to be a) very litigious and b) unable to accept personal responsibility in the past. It is pretty clear that if David Brandon were to cut Rich Rodriguez right now, and refuse to pay the Buyout per the terms of his contract + the NCAA violations and hiring a staff member who lied to the NCAA (both dismissable without penalty to UM under RR's contract) then no doubt that Rich Rod and his litigious camp would be suing UM ASAP. Brandon is no doubt aware of this...and he is also no doubt aware that if he cuts RR now and pays $4mil....he will be paying $4mil to a guy who has done more damage to Michigan football than anyone going back to Harry Kipke in the mid 30s....and that would be beyond any rational principals. So...Brandon waits till Jan 1 and pays 2.5? Well if that happens...and Rich Rod and his ilk try to sue for the balance.... it will show you EXACTLY the type of people that this staff and his lackies are. The same people who balked at WVU, got involved in a messy lawsuit, got involved in 2 real estate fraud lawsuits, got involved in NCAA investigations at both schools, pointed fingers at everyone else but themselves for their 3 year failure, and employs an S and C coach who's basis from day 1 was to besmirch Mike Gittleson a veritible legend in S and C, claiming "we will have to move some weight around on these guys".... and how did that turn out Barwis? not so well....not so well... Time to go. 3 And Out Rich & Crew.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 7:37 p.m.

And many reasons not to. Including the mess UM has become. Of course, if UM is willing to reform itself, maybe there's hope. But where is the evidence that David Brandon not only WILL but has the capacity to do so? He should have acted FIRST THING; kicking the can down the road has done him and UM no good. Then there is the above article, which suggests the mess will drag on for at least a year, probably longer. Three (not two!) more years!


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 7:27 p.m.

People keeping saing that "Jim H will turndown the job offer so stop suggesting him." I can't understand that... He is a true leader, we want him in the state of Michigan, and while he may turn down the job offer we shouldn't stop calling for him out of doubt. He has many reasons to come home to Michigan.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 7:01 p.m.

Please tell me all this Brady Hoke talk is a joke?! Record at Ball State: 2003: 4-8 2004: 2-9 2005: 4-7 2006: 5-7 2007: 7-6 2008: 12-1 Record at San Diego St: 2009: 4-8 2010: 8-4 Seriously!!!! If at Michigan, he wouldn't even gotten past year 3. The only real decision now is Harbaugh or Rodriguez, period. Would there be transition, probably, but not like RichRod experienced. I say Harbaugh all the way if you can land him....if not, then stay with Rich for another season and see what happens. Anything else at this point is a reach and driven by fear/pressure from the big boys (Aka boosters/regents)!


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 6:57 p.m.

This just in: "Jim Harbaugh confirms he will not attend U-M football banquet" From Det News.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 6:56 p.m.

what is the timeline on the WVU ncaa violations case? could those results come into play with RR's contract?


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 6:44 p.m.

It is a honorable thing to wait for Jim H to coach his bowl game first prior to making an official request to interview him for the HC job. Bill Martin, the former AD, didn't do that the last time (RR was seen overlooking Sir LLoyd's shoulders from a distance at the FLA-UM bowl game in 2008). Brandon is no Martin as he certainly is no street panhandling beggar carrying a sign around, "Will Give You $$$ to Become our HC" as Martin did.

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 6:40 p.m.

If that offense had worked against the better teams in the Big Ten this year, I might agree with some of this crud. But Michigan scored an average of less than seven points in the first half in its five losses. This version of the spread isn't up to snuff, even under ideal conditions. The defense has been a disaster from day one. When it was stocked with talent, Rodriguez became the first coach to allow 300 points in Michigan history. When it was stocked with Rodriguez recruits, he became the first coach to allow 400 points. That alone warrants firing. Rodriguez was 3-9 in his first season, not 3-8. But the 6-18 in conference play is all we need to know.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 6:37 p.m.

Kanaan, This is what most of us has felt will happen yet time will tell. A2 staff, Harbaugh may be in town this Thursday night for the team's 25th reunion which RR will also attend. Can you cover that event and ask em a couple of nice questions? Thank you, A loval A2 reader, D21

charles mancherian

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 6:35 p.m.

Go Get Jim Harbaugh, a Michigan man!


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 6:31 p.m.

Pleeeeeese don't use the name of Bo or any of the other great coaches we have had in the same sentence as RR!! Even when we got beat it was with dignity and respect. RR has to go! Never should be there in the first place.I was at the last FL. game and Mr. Tebow was on his back so much you couldn't read his number. That was M defense and a lot of those players returned.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 6:31 p.m.

Thanks! Then you know I've been crying on Brutus' shoulder!


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 6:25 p.m.

Sorry Folks. This one is a done deal. Rodriguez will be released after the conclusion of the Stanford Bowl game - sometime the first week of January. This will ensure the Rodriguez buyout payment is only $2.5 million. Harbaugh will be named head coach most likely in the same press conference. Rodriguez will sue the University for the larger, pre-2011 buyout of $4 million claiming that a deal was already made prior to his ouster. This will have more consequences on the program than recruiting. Michigan will lose 3-5 recruits but gain 3-5 of the Stanford commitments - a push.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 6:24 p.m.

Sorry Folks. This one is a done deal. Rodriguez will be released after the conclusion of the Stanford Bowl game - sometime the first week of January. This will ensure the Rodriguez buyout payment is only $2.5 million. Harbaugh will be named head coach most likely in the same press conference. Rodriguez will sue the University for the larger, pre-2011 buyout of $4 million claiming that a deal was already made prior to his ouster. This will have more consequences on the program than recruiting. Michigan will lose 3-5 recruits but gain 3-5 of the Stanford commitments - a push.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 6:24 p.m.

Regarding our deleted posts: Like the TV character, Fox Mulder, said, "The truth is out there". GO BLUE and the A2 staff.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 6:23 p.m.

Pete, At least, it's better to feel like Mondale in '84, than it is to feel like Rodriguez in 2010! Thank you for the opinion and the opportunity to respond. Whatever happens, I hope it happens in the best interest of the program, the students, and the university.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 6:20 p.m.

Sherlock, Couldn't have said it better myself, lol. FYI, did see yours before it joined in with the rest of my deleted ones.

bill dunifon

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 6:17 p.m.

Your story reflects a naive and limited perspective on the Michigan tradition and Michigan heritage built so carefully and with such sacrifice by so many over the decades. Your benchmarks for illustrating RR's accomplishments would be appropriate if he were a first year coach. They make no sense under the current circumstances.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 6:10 p.m.

Exactly, D21. Where ARE the Freedom of Information requests and investigations? And where in the above article was there any mention of the WVU mess, the NCAA violations, the lawsuits against RR in South Carolina and Alabama, the NCAA violations at WVU, AND where Martin went, when he was the one who should have dealt with investigations against UM. Not to mention the excuses re the lack of talent on the team and the misrepresentation of the "offense" and the won-loss record this year. Also, see what happened to me when I pointed out who "Lorain" and what her "program" are? Same as happened to poor 'ol Brutus! It's all kinda like saying "the players who transcended eras said that they did not perceive any difference between the practice requirements under Carr and Rodriguez," when the Free Press reported otherwise -- and was roundly condemned in Ann Arbor, just as Harbaugh was for the comments he made in 2007. Truth need not apply here! Well, don't expect Harbaugh to come here unless UM agrees to clean up its act (unless he really is a hypocrite). At least the Ann Arbor News DID report that issue extensively. Thanks for that! We need much, much more of THAT -- not THIS!

3 And Out

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 6:01 p.m.

Pete B has been pro-RR from the start. Unfortunately it has been at the price of ignoring the terrible job that RR has done here. RR is a terrible fit and to keep him around next year will do more damage to the program than bringing in a better coach / better fit like Harbaugh would. Time to go RR.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 6:01 p.m.

To The OSU and others, Write letters (pretty archaic, isn't it?) or send email msgs to AD Brandon and UM. Your former coach, Earle Bruce, whom we helped sent out packing with a victory in his last game, said he can't believe what is happening with UM. We, with the help of this great A2 staff, will right the wrongs and restore our once great rivalry to new heights.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 5:55 p.m.

Here is what Brandon said according to this article: "John Beilein is a stand-up guy." I submit Rich Rod is NOT a stand up guy. He is a convicted cheater. Therefore, yes Beilein should have the opportunity to fix a program that was broken. The football program wa snot broken until this bozo came along. I can not in any way supporrt a cheater. Any respectable UM fan should feel the same way, but of course the kool aid drinkers will have an excuse. (all teams do it, it is equal to a speeding ticket, it was only a few minutes) Here is what I will submit that any prosecutor will tell you. Criminals rarely get caught the FIRST time they do something. They get caught because of a pattern of breaking the law. They also convict on what they can prove, and that is usually less than what actually occurred.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 5:53 p.m.

UM's leading tackler in the OSU game was an unrecruited walk-on. That is not a shot at Kovacs, he is an outstanding player. Is that the best we can do for defensive players in 3 years? What if Robinson had gone down in the first game? That is not a shot at Forcier but he not the threat that Robinson is. What more needs to be said? This program shows no indication of progressing.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 5:52 p.m.

Sherlock, By jove, you are right. I, like you and others, am aware of RR's financial investment shenanigans as well as the costly buyout of his WVU contract, but I like for the A2 to investigate further and find out the true legal cost under the Freedom of Information Act. Regards, D21 Watson


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 5:52 p.m.

Ohio State: 100 Michigan: 24 That's the Rich-rod era combined scores. Need help with UM trivia. Since satruday, the phrase around Columbus has changed from "That school up north" to "Those clowns up north." I heard (from a UM music grad) that "The Victors" was ORIGINALLY written as a circus march. Is this true? Does anyone know for sure?


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 5:44 p.m.

RudeJude, I haven't read the report, but as I understand it specifically found that the Free Press report exaggerated the issue and reduced the violation against Rodriguez personally. The investigation was prompted by claims that the team was practicing 40 hours a week (double the time allowed). As I understand it, the average excess time was found to be 20 minutes of stretching. I realize that the GAs going to offseason practices is a separate issue, but I always understood that the in-season hours was the main concern since it would affect academics. Also, the players who transcended eras said that they did not perceive any difference between the practice requirements under Carr and Rodriguez.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 5:44 p.m.

Better yet, the lawyer fees for rustling Diamond RichRod from West Virginia and for fighting their lawsuit, when all UM had to do was pay as his contract required and which UM ended up doing, as a court ordered. You won't find the details of that sordid tale on this website but have to go to West Virginia. The NCAA violations were on top of that -- AND Diamond RR's failed real estate schemes, also barely reported here. Even with ALL that (not even to mention RR's on-field "record"), Brandon can't decide what to do. That's because he wasn't brought in to clean things up but to help the UM administration weasel its way out of the huge mess it created for itself. And you won't find that reported here, either. Three (not two!) more years!


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 5:43 p.m.

Pete - dont worry about the hammering you are taking for a such a shallow assessment. The blindingly obtuse folks over at Mgoblog will make a comfy seat at the table for you. Those folks cherish statements such as "theres a lot of truth to Rodriguezs pleas to note the seven true freshmen playing on the defense, six of which see significant time in the defensive backfield" - that conveniently ignore RR's role in creating such that very situation. Oh, and having basically only Tater pleading your case is not a good sign either.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 5:42 p.m.

Wins and losses, wins and losses in the big ten, wins and losses against the top teams in the big ten, wins and losses against rivals MSU and OSU, NCAA violations, total classless behavior and comments on and off the field. All of these factors were on the negative with RR! Is Michigan Football better off with RR than with LC? Is Michigan Football better off now than it was 3 years ago? lol! It is a no brainer! Do you want Michigan to continue on with a program that is nothing but a circus? lol! If not then pull the lever that says "Fire Rich Rod!" lol!


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 5:32 p.m.

Pete, I wasn't aware this opinion article was written by Dave Brandon. I would say that by your stating Rodriguez deserves another season, or really two by what you state in the article about Michigan coaches deserving five seasons, that you imply the violations do not merit dismissal. "It's not that I don't believe they're offenses that merit dismissal..." Double negatives... So, you told us what you don't believe about the offenses, so tell us what you do believe. Forget what happened on the field this or the last three seasons, do you believe Rodriguez should be dismissed because of the violations? From what I've read on this and other media outlets, Rodriguez broke rules that were discussed at several NCAA Rules meetings that he attended and played the fool when the NCAA turned on the lights. Although he attended the rules meetings, the NCAA was unable to prove Rodriguez was explicitly made aware of the rules he broke (I guess he was out taking a restroom break the moment those rules were discussed at every meeting). Am I getting anything wrong? I have no doubt Dave Brandon has a better grasp on what happens at Michigan, as it is his job, but, after analyzing the few sources of information on the subject I have available to me, it seems naive to think this was all a big accident and misunderstanding. I believe in one of the articles on the website regarding the sanctions, the former WVU President rejected Rodriguez's request to use additional graduate assistants, fearing he would use them as proxy-coaches, like he was caught doing at Michigan, which is cited as one of the reasons Rodriguez chose to come to Michigan. That sounds pretty shady to me. I think Dave Brandon said the violations did not merit dismissal because it is technically true, just as after his first trial, OJ Simpson was technically not guilty of murder (sorry for the extreme example, I cannot think of a better one off the top of my head that illustrates my point), also, he is a man in a tough job who has a tough decision to make that will be greatly impactful for years to come. He has pressure from the university, fans and boosters to right the ship and quickly. He wants to keep as many options open, and Rodriguez still has some viability in Dave Brandon's eyes. Dave Brandon is a watchdog of the program, and I have no doubt the program will be free of further issues with the NCAA while Dave Brandon is present, but that does not change my belief that Rodriguez intentionally broke the rules to his advantage and played dumb when he was caught. I have no idea what it is like to have the pressures Dave Brandon has, but that is more than enough for dismissal in my opinion. Thanks for making the day interesting. Go Blue


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 5:30 p.m.

Hey A2, How about writing an article that argues for the dismissal of RR? Petey B, Actually, I was re-posting E.R.M. Ghost's excellent post and cannot take credit for it, smile. Sherlock, Way to go, dude. It is hard to gauge our AD Brandon until we find out in the near future first through his actions or non-actions. However, I do agree with the integrity part and which is why I was against his hiring (RR) at the start. I do wonder how much UM has paid for the attorney fees in defending themselves in the NCAA investigation brought upon them by RR.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 5:26 p.m.

How 'bout "Across the Field"?

Howard the Duck

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 5:16 p.m.

Lot of animosity here. Let's all hold hands and sing a chorus of Kumbaya!


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 5:15 p.m.

I read a columbus paper review of last Saturdays game that said that if Michigan gets rid of RR it would probably spell the end of OSU dominance of over Michigan. Gee what do our opponents know that we just don't seem to get? FIRE RR NOW!


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 5:15 p.m.

We've already seen who "Lorain" and what her program are.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 5:12 p.m.

Pete: I disagree with this column. On RRs evaluation: With a cool head I did my own ook back at 2010. In fairness, especially after the Woolfolk injury, and especially following the Williams, Segeusse, Turner, Dorsey debacles, I figured wed get 7 or 8 wins this year.. We did that, in RRs third year, I said MSU and OSU would be bellwether games. They were and are. Both games were utter trounce-ings! Though U Conn is resurgent, it is not a quality win. It is a disappointment that this year we had no wins in the mix among these games: MSU, Wisc, OSU, Penn State, IOWA. Not one. No wins against a big ten opponent 500 or better in the conference. Over three seasons, weve beaten just one of those teams, just once. I am reaching a conclusion that we cant beat tier 2 or tier 1 teams in the big ten! Because there is little to point to in term of progress against the tier 2s in the big ten.. I am losing all confidence it can ever be done with this staff. I see a lot of RR fans out there asking for more time and patience. From a historical perspective and standards by which to measure performance --- We were all very disappointed with Lloyd when he went 8-4 for 4 straight years having a national championship already behind him. In those years, with the exception of, I think, only one victory against OSU, Lloyds teams had no problem beating state, iowa, PSU, and MSU (the tier 2s). I am not waxing for Lloyd, just pointing out how low weve sunk and how many in the Michigan camp are re-setting the standards to a much lower bar. For those who think RR has..improved the team, lets play nice and give him another year, just remember back to the Carr days! We gave RR a big break after going 3-9 in year 1. By any measure of Michigan football standards, 6-6 in year 1 would have been barely acceptable, even with a system overhaul. Todays Michigan team is far beneath the standards we set for Carr and measured Carr, and the team is beneath any measure I can think of, given the history of The University of Michigan Football program and its traditions. I say its time for a change on Jan 2nd 2011. Many say it will take another 3-4 years to rebuild all over if we fire RR. So what! What are we giving up? Oh, and you think 12-0 is imminent next year? You think a new D coaching staff can turn it all around in one year with a new frosh class? You think a national championship is just right around the corner? We either suffer through endless years of not beating tier 2 big ten opponents, with an occasional decent year thrown in, or we are facing a rebuilding with a full set of new coaches. in a way, rebuilding is imminent either way we go. Let me remind folks -- We are the leaders and best, not the followers and just so so. I am sorry but we need to get back to higher standards. That performance bar by which we judge coaching quality needs to go back up. Way up.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 5:11 p.m.

There are now only two types of people here, those who want Michigan Football to succeed, fire RR(Michigan Fans) and those who want to see it fail by keeping RR (OSU Fans. Fire RR now! Michigan Football Forever, GO BLUE!


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 5:09 p.m.

Another slow news day at


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 5:07 p.m.

Actually, it took Dominos over ten years under David Brandon to fix the pizza he later acknowledged was ketchup-flavored cardboard. And you saw the above: "... will one more year matter when Brandon looks at a 10-year plan for the program?" Is that the answer? Seven MORE years of ketchup flavored cardboard? WHY were ten years necessary to replace Lloyd Carr? What was his record in 2007? 0-13? Big Ten cellar? There's a HUGE disconnect here!

Jay Allen

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 5:05 p.m.

@Tater. Please stop with the Harbaugh vs RR crud. That was yesterday or the day before. Please, instead of throwing MUD at all of the arguments, why don't you use your written skills and SHOW US ALL why RR should be here? You know, PROVE your point with substance. Not conjecture, rhetoric and meaningless comparisons.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 5:01 p.m.

offense doesnt work against top tier teams,no running backs and many fumbles all three years.Thats bad coaching.Cant get a dependable kicker.Thats not paying enough attention to recruiting kickers.Thats bad coaching.Blaming everyone else, thats bad character And the defense with no improvement or actually regressing.That speaks for itself.Yea he might win one more game next year but he will never take us to the next level.Dont waste another year on this coach.I dont think the AD will.He played here and he's a good businessman.You cant fool him.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 4:59 p.m.

TAM007, Very well said!


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 4:56 p.m.

So, people say that RR "turned around the offense in 2 years", so the same could hold true for defense. Fine, let's assume that's true. At that point, we will have a new QB learning the system, and it takes at least a year for a QB to become proficient in this system, not to mention the running backs, the line, etc. So really, when does this end?


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 4:50 p.m.

Pete...your article is an insult to any Michigan fans intelligence...OMG! We beat Florida, Carr's last game and returned and correct me if I'm wrong at least 8 Defensive players...RR changed their weight program and just about everything else, fired the entire coaching staff and gave us a pathetic 3 win season breaking every Michigan prized record in the books, I am getting so tired of camparing the likes of this WV wannabe Coach to the integrity, record and moral fiber of Bo, Mo and Carr...he is not a Michigan man nor is he smart enough to wear the cherished respected block M...just listen to him in his interviews, are his light on? Did we not learn anything from Notre Dame and the Weiss fiasco...Pleeese! Get this guy out of town, the sooner the better before he does anymore damage...Even Domino's knows a good pizza from a bad one! C'mon man, no more Rich Rodriquez! Nuff Sed.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 4:50 p.m.

Obviously, honesty, integrity, and excellence don't matter. Didn't you read? "Dave Brandon has said himself that the NCAA violations do not rise to a level that merits dismissal." That's all that is at issue here. And if we don't keep the guy, we'll be like Notre Dame, whose problem has nothing to do with the individuals they've hired as coaches. Anything else is a "personal attack" and gets censored.

Jay Allen

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 4:47 p.m.

Mr. Bigelow: Thats understandable. In three years under Rich Rodriguez, the Michigan football team has played the most abhorrent defense in school history, compiled a 6-18 conference record, been swept by Ohio State and Michigan State and committed major NCAA rules violations. Those are the facts. They are not open to interpretation. TAM007: Why go any further? Seriously? Less you forget the athletes brought in by RR that have arrested as well. No other UM coach in the HISTORY of this storied program has ever brought such shame. And you still wish to forge ahead? Mr. Bigelow: From a financial perspective, they dont threaten the long-term viability of the football program. This isnt Minnesota or Indiana. The Big House still packs close to 110,000 people into seats every Saturday. Fans arent walking away from Michigan football. TAM007: So your barometer is attendance? As long as the fans are coming, it is ok? Just last week Brandon said he wanted to head OFF a mass exodus of fans. He was trying to be proactive vs. reactive. And if you just judge the good and the bad by the butts in the seats, that would explain the Detroit Lions issues, huh? Mr. Bigelow: So maybe this is: The second part of Brandons comment about Beilein - the hes just got to get the athletes to win championships part - could apply to Rodriguez as well. TAM007: You assume that athletes want to come here and play for RR. Ask yourself this, why have two, not one but 2 starting QB's left? Why did a starting lineman go across enemy lines? There are others as well that have transferred too. And now that the program is the punch line to many jokes, you are naive to think that ANY top tier talent is coming to Ann Arbor. And I will say it AGAIN, if RR is the coach here next year, I'll bet you lunch that Forcier will NOT be here. Loads more to that....... Mr. Bigelow: Michigans offense averaged 34.3 points per game and is sixth in the country with 500.9 yards per game. TAM007: This is with over inflated numbers against: Indiana, Illinois, UMass, UConn, BGSU and ND. You know the sissy part of our schedule. Take the time (I already have done it) to pull those games OUT and then rank our heralded offense against the rest. And BTW, this "great offense" as you say scored SEVEN (7) points this past weekend. ie ONE Touchdown. Mr. Bigelow: Excuse-making or not, theres a lot of truth to Rodriguezs pleas to note the seven true freshmen playing on the defense, six of which see significant time in the defensive backfield TAM007: This is nothing more than a person using rhetoric and disguising it as something with substance. Ever play cards Mr. Bigelow? You play the hand you are dealt. You do not sit and wish you had other/better cards. RR is reaping what he has sewn. If you neglect one side of the ball, this is what happens. Not to mention the pathetic kicking game. UM went for it on fourth down EVERYTIME vs trying a FG. Forcier even punted once. All RR has done is make excuses for this and that and folks like you are buying into the rubbish. Mr. Bigelow: Fundamentally, Michigan has been about patience. The trait is one of the hallmarks that makes Michigan unique, that makes it a destination school for coaches TAM007: I cannot believe this got past the editor. Please, no pretty please, tell me WHEN the FOOTBALL program has went through lean years like these? Please. Include the NCAA Violations and the arrests. Then show me when UM had to be PATIENT just like you say. Please. Then and ONLY then will your "patience" innuendos hold any water. Mr. Bigelow: Rodriguezs record has improved by two games per season every year. Risks aside, he deserves the same treatment others in Michigans coaching lineage have received. TAM007: He "deserves" the same treatment? Again, when has ANOTHER UM Football coach pulled the stunts this guy has? He "deserves" what he gets. And as fans, we "deserve" a solid UM Football team that is not under NCAA Violations, athletes getting arrested and beaten by rivals for THREE straight years. So ya Pete, let's talk about "deserve". Mr. Bigelow: Rich Rodriguez should get one more year to fix the Wolverines. TAM007: It wasn't broke when he got here. It shouldn't need to be "fixed".


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 4:37 p.m.

Throw the bum out. Seriously. We're talking taxpayer money to pay a guy, who in his short tenure, has broke the rules, lied and managed to eliminate kicking from the U-M football playbook. He also has a bad attitude with the media. C'mon dude. And how much are we paying him? Whatever happened to integrity? Honesty? And excellence in coaching?


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 4:36 p.m.

All the comments about Michigan's offense are really blown out of control. The spread was rendered insignificant. Yes, michigan may have 500 yards of offense every game, but scoring was only possible with poor tackling teams. Much like "mouse" Davis' offense, it is ineffective on a short field. Also, the offense does not control the clock. You have a young defense out on the field for way too long. I'm not a Michigan fan, so I can say this,"Really?!" A program that was in the top 10 four or five years ago, and now this? A big east non conference schedule? I think the season speaks for itself. Anytime Michigan faces a DECENT program, they are shut down. For all of you talking about this explosive offense; it doesn't mean squat, when your team scores less, or gets stopped on the 25. 500 yards is just 500 yards, when your losing.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 4:26 p.m.

I hope he stays. This is a young team on both sides of the ball and they show their youth week in and week out. We knew their decimated defensive secondary and poor play in some other key positions would place the burden on the offense. The defense has been the worse I've seen ever but I witnessed "stops" more frequently toward the end of the year even against the powerhouse teams and expect improvement. Special teams have been a disaster. However, say what you will, but even with their youthful mistakes, the offense has demonstrated far more explosiveness and effectiveness in this season taken as a whole than I've seen during the past 36 years of attending Michigan football games. I expect they will execute the offense even better so that 500 yards per game will translate into an overwhelming number of points. Finally, I witnessed great frustration on the part of Michigan fans with Coach Lloyd Carr and there is no doubt that the transition from LC to RR was an absolute disaster and LC shares some of the blame. Regarding integrity and class, I could not have been more proud to have Lloyd Carr represent this university. He was exceptional. I will also say that I don't think it is fair to expect Rich Rodriguez or most football coaches to be as exceptional in that regard. We have observed him in action only under the most adverse conditions when I dare say any individual would be hard-pressed to keep his or her cool. I know we can say "wait until next year" for only so long, but I think the article was correct in advocating that Rich Rodriguez remain as Michigan's head coach for the 2011 football season.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 4:25 p.m.

Time for RR to go. should put up a survey form to guage opinion.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 4:22 p.m.

The defense under the last couple of years under LLoyd Carr was starting to deteriorate. You can't really blame RR for the lack of or poor recruiting done by his predecessor. I think U of M should honor the contract given to RR but I would not extend it. It is Rich Rods responsibility to recruit the right personnel to play and coach. The thing that bothers me the most is that there has been no improvement in the defense over the last three years.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 4:20 p.m.

One more year that is awesome maybe RR can go lie to the recruits you cannot have a lame duck coach in college football because of recruiting. He got us in this mess if he was so good we would not be here. Mi better be smart enough to go after Harbaugh now.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 4:20 p.m.

Little argument there! But isn't that what just happened? Got stuck in the muck again? Is the answer, then, to continue as is? Is that working? Is that question so hard to answer?


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 4:19 p.m.

Man, I am so tired of "The cupboard was bare." Michigan lost 6 players to the NFL draft in 2008. That was the 4th time they'd lost 6 (or more) players since 2000. Why wasn't the cupboard bare all of the other years? Maybe it was because the Carr program was ranked in the top 15 recruiting-wise year in and year out (according to, including the 4 years leading up to the Rodriguez hire - so he was always ready to replace the losses with new recruits. And no one's mentioned it, but recruiting is another area that RR is falling down in. Side note: For 130 years you could say "Michigan has always run a clean football program." If RR leaves a lasting legacy at Michigan, it's likely to be the fact that you can never say that again.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 4:17 p.m.

How many millions will it take to get rid of him?!! Like anyone else in the real world, he should be terminated based on his poor performance. I have never seen a college coach look and act so mean to his players. H mm... could it be that he is incompetent and he doesn't want his players to know?

Lorain Steelmen

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 4:16 p.m.

ERM Ghost...its' Lorain, not Lorraine. Lorain is a city in Ohio, west of Cleveland. Lorraine is a woman's name. The two are NOT the same. Steelmen is the nickname of a public school in Lorain. LHS was a D1 school, in the old Buckeye Conference. So get with the program......

Thomas J Schriber

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 4:15 p.m.

Can Michigan get a proven, "brand name" coach at this juncture? Michigan couldn't do that three years ago, after a couple of turndowns and the eventual midnight-hour hiring of a guy who had to (unethically?) break his contract (at a cost of $2.4 million to Michigan and another $1.6 million to himself) to take the position. If DB gives RR another year, do DB's chances of landing a "brand name" coach increase, or move in the other direction? Only time would tell. As a betting man, DB has to estimate the odds very, very carefully.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 4:15 p.m.

I was there in 1998 at the Rose Bowl when we beat WSU and were kings of the college football world. What a fall from grace. I think it is unrealistic for us to expect another national championship soon. Look at Texas and Florida this year. Both great teams last year now terrible (I know all of you are saying that is has been three years for us). However, our lackluster big ten record is what concerns me the most. I just cannot believe that the University of Michigan has defensive talent that is 109/120. We should have no problem recruiting better talent. I have to conclude that coaching is more relevant. These are grown up kids. They need direction and inspiration from coaching. Right now I think most of us would agree that we are not happy with the direction of the program. We have one of the most explosive offensive weapons in the league (DR) but don't forget that if he gets injured in the first game of next year where will we be? He has demonstrated that he is a great kid but injury prone. Do we really want to rely on Tate if DR gets injured? The point is that this style offense makes me nervous and while other teams execute it well those teams come and go from year to year. I think a run oriented offense like we have had in the past will give us consistentcy and bring us back to college football glory.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 4:09 p.m.

Can we stop using the integrity argument already? It's not like Michigan has a great reputation around the country to begin with. I recall a certain someone named Ed Martin and a group of guys known as the Fab Five. Face it, we aren't--and never were--held in the same light as a Duke or a Stanford. We're closer to UNLV than we are to those programs. Stop acting like we suddenly look like a dirty program because of Rich Rodriguez. We already did.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 4:03 p.m.

Somebody attacked Constance? Integrity, mannerisms, sportsmanship, attitude, and grammar? Isn't that the problem? Here, as well as at UM? Why did Bill Martin scuttle out the back door, anyway?


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 4:02 p.m.

Good article and I whole-heartedly agree. Seems like everyone is being totally unrational. The U of M team is super young on both sides of the ball. We were dominated by teams which featured mostly upperclassmen. Think how good we'll be on offense next year with almost everyone back and getting better. Think how much better the defense will be when these young guys get bigger and stronger over the off season. (We all know they can't get any worse.) I do think it'd be better if DB made his decision now though. If he gets rid of RR, do it now, rather than wait a month. The longer he waits, the more likely that RR is staying. No matter what, Go Blue!!!

Constance Colthorp Amrine

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 3:51 p.m.

Regardless of his record, I just don't think he has the integrity to be a Michigan coach. I don't like his mannerisms, poor sportsmanship, attitude, grammar or Kumbaya remarks. I'd rather see someone like Dantonio or Jim Tressel, and not just because of the winning records but because of their attitude and support for the young students who play the game.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 3:49 p.m.

Exactly, Ghost. Hang up the phone -- don't waste your time!

DaLast word

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 3:44 p.m.

I've tried to be supportive, I really have but I think this job is too big for RR and I think he underestimated it. The only way I would give him another year would be if there wer'nt any acceptable candidates out there looking to make a change.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 3:40 p.m.

We're watching!


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 3:40 p.m.

This is just a big mess that will take years to fix. College football is big business and recruiting the best football players is now impossible for the UofM. If you want to play big time football (or basketball) in the state of Michigan, you're going to go to MSU. Not the UM. It's a disheartening situation. We all wanted RR to succeed. We'd still like to see him succeed; but how is that even possible now?


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 3:35 p.m.

I did, indeed!


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 3:34 p.m.

We gave an inept governor 8 what is the problem with giving RR 4 years?


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 3:32 p.m.

What? An article about a contentious issue without a reader poll? I'll give RR until the end of his contract to see if he has what it takes. I did get a lot done at home these past two years without feeling compelled to devote my Saturdays to watching the games. I also wonder how many millions it would cost to fire him, considering it took several million to buy out his WV contract.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 3:29 p.m.

I hate to fire him and pay him anyway. If the decision is made to terminate him, however, it's best to do it soon and let the new coach get ready for next season NOW. Possibly, there should be a performance clause in future ooaching contracts-not based solely on wins and losses- but on how the team is developed. I personnaly don't believe RR has done such a great job overall. Denard Robinson would most likely have been a great player wihout him. djm


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 3:29 p.m.

I saw that, D21! Was sorry to see Brutus get the hook like that!


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 3:27 p.m.

He's already gone. Brandon is just doing things the right way. Harbaugh will lead this team for the next 25 years, with passion and with class. RR has neither.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 3:26 p.m.

Thanks, Larry! Maybe the truth will at last get through here.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 3:23 p.m.

I hope that Jim Harbaugh decides to come coach at the Big House. We want Harbaugh! We Want Harbaugh! And please fire the defensive coaches.... the defense was far worse in my opinion than the offense.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 3:22 p.m.

Exactly, D21 and Ghost!

Larry Weisenthal

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 3:22 p.m.

The only "improvement" for Michigan this year was the won-lost record, and that was illusory. The Illinois and Indiana games could very easily have been losses. Michigan didn't outplay either. The ND game would have been a loss, absent the ND starting QB getting knocked out. Purdue was depleted. UMass and BG were low level programs. The one and only "quality" win was over a slightly above-average UConn team, the first game on the season, in Michigan stadium. Against the 5 quality Big Ten teams, the offense was hardly a juggernaut and the loss margins against these teams was collectively the same this season as back in RR's first season, with Sheridan and Threet at QB. Whatever modicum of success the team had this year (and certainly whatever modicum of excitement) came from the play of a gifted prodigy who suffered intolerable physical abuse (including head trauma) from being unconscionably required to literally carry the load, all too often.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 3:21 p.m.

GO!!! I have never understood why the U of M likes to throw good money after bad. Yes wait until after 1/1/11 to save that million but GO he must along with the useless Defensive Coordinator. All RR does is make excuses and never take the blame on himself. The first year, yes he inherited those players, but after that it was his recruiting. In addition I am sick of listening to my husband go on & on about it. It would bring a little peace to A households.

Lorain Steelmen

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 3:21 p.m.

OK folks, hold the phone......UM's offense is ranked 5th in the country. Not bad for a guy that supposedly can't coach. Now let the guy work on the defense. In two years his defense may also be 5th in the country. In which case, he'll run off 5 or 6 straight NC's! And all these haters will suddenly be RR fans.... So lets' get serious, Brandon WILL keep RR here, because it is the sensible thing to do. But I figure DB will also require some changes be made to the D staff, coupled with some hard goals, for RR to meet. RR will be a party to the goal-setting, and I think he'll meet, AND exceed, those goals! But BD is NOT going to let a bunch of outsiders, with 'no skin in the game', dictate how he runs his athletic department. At the end of the exercise, UM will be positioned to play football in the modern era, rather than being stuck in the time warp that Lloyd Carr fell into. LC should have retired after the 2003 season. Meanwhile Miles and Harbaugh, who both have turned their backs on UM, can stay right where they are. Just like Boren, who left here when RR needed players to buy into the program, Boren was all about himself, rather than are Miles and Harbaugh. Editorial note; Bump Elliott was more like Carr than he was like Rodriguez. Bump created a 'country club' atmosphere here, that Bo had to reverse in '69. And just like Bo, RR has had to change that entitlement culture here....and it ain't a lot of fun, particluarly since LC left RR with little to work with. At least Bump left Bo with a strong group of returning players.

Go Blue

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 3:19 p.m.

Oh for pete's sake - enough is enough. After year 1, it was 'give him another year' then after 2 years, give him another year. Wake up and see the failure - both in coaching and as a leader for the men on the team. Another year, two, five, ten or twenty will not change the fact that there is no team spirit, no Michigan spirit, no leadership and no leader. Cut the losses, open the door and point to it. Let's get someone on board that has the passion, spirit and love of UM and can bring out the best in the team by being a leader. You either have it or you don't and sadly RR does not. He tried, we tried, its a failure. Time to move on.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 3:18 p.m.

Hello Edward R. Murrow's Ghost, Liked your viewpoint and am re-posting it if you don't mind: GoBluein_NEPA says that Pete forgot two things: RichRod's lack of integrity and his failure to put a winning team on the field. I agree entirely, but Pete has forgotten much more than that. 1) In 2007 the U of M had the 24th ranked defense in the FBS. In 2008, with seven returning starters, Michigan dropped to 57th. In 2009 it dropped to 82nd. At this moment the UM defense is ranked 109/120 FBS teams for the 2010 season. Not only has there been no progress on defense under RichRod, but the defense has become an embarrassment. And nothing in this man's coaching record at the UofM suggests that he is capable of turning this around. 2) Special Teams? Do I even need to go into the disaster that Special teams have become. Do I need to remind Pete of everyone in the Big House holding their collective breaths for extra points and then cheering derisively when one slips through the crossbars? Do I need to remind Pete that we are 4-13 in field goal attempts? Do I need to remind Pete that our field goal kicking is so pathetic that we have gone for it on 4th down when we've had no business doing so? Do I need to remind Pete that our punt returns average only 5.4 yards, our kick returns average only 21 yards, and that our opponents average almost ten yards per punt return? Do I need to remind Pete of the number of times we could not get a kickoff past the 15 yard line, or of the number of times that we kicked the ball out of bounds? Yes, RichRod has an integrity problem. Yes, RichRod can't beat any top-25 teams (only one in three years). Yes, he can't beat the best teams in the Big Ten (1-12 combined record against Wisc, Iowa, PSU, MSU, and OSU). But add to it the manifest failure that our defense and special teams have become, and there could be no better evidence that he must go. As for "It will take us three more years to become competitive if we fire RichRod": 1) So what? Given the evidence before us, there is absolutely no reason to think that the situation will improve substantially with RichRod in three years, much less in the last year of his contract. If so, it's time to cut our losses and go with a new coach. 2) Good coaches can coach the talent they have and even change the team's system entirely and be successful with players they did not recruit (Brian Kelly at Notre Dame being a prime example--changing a team's entire system while inheriting the former coach's recruits--and he will, at worst, match the previous year's record. There are many other examples). Any new coach worth their salt, whether Harbaugh or Miles or anyone else, will be able to adapt to the talent they will inherit until they can recruit the talent they want. That RichRod was either unwilling or unable to do this speaks to his manifest incompetence. We should not assume his replacement will be similarly incompetent. He is unethical. He is manifestly incompetent. He has turned the Michigan football program into a joke. HE MUST GO!! Good Night and Good Luck Folks and Petey B, just listen to the Ghost.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 3:17 p.m.



Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 3:03 p.m.

Petey B, Can you just delete your article so we won't be offended by it? :)


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 2:58 p.m.

"At the end of the 2009 season, Rodriguez had every reason to believe his cornerback depth would include Donovan Warren and Troy Woolfolk as his starters, J.T. Floyd and Justin Turner as key backups and high-profile recruit Demar Dorsey vying for playing time" That did hurt. I know the popular thing is to join the chorus of the got-have-it-now-dudes and fire the man. The part that makes me mad is how bad the kicking game is for a school like Michigan and I find myself on the fence. Overall, I agree with the article and think he will be given another year unless it is now or never for JH.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 2:54 p.m.

Incredible season for a Sophmore QB, tho whole offense returns next year, it will be better then Oregons was this year... We need to hire Jeff Casteel, him and Rodriguez were dynamite at WVU...We need a new defensive scheme and coordinater, I think we can have an average defense next year (24 points a game) and the best offense in the history of mankind, and then... Michigan 77 Western Michigan 3- Way overmatched Michigan 45 Notre Dame 31- to slow on defense Michigan 87 Eastern Michigan 0- no comment Michigan 52 San Diego State 24- overmatched Michigan 66 Minnesota 14- overmatched Michigan 45 Northwestern 17- to small on defense Michigan 41 Michigan State 24- lose 11 starters Michigan 59 Purdue 6- overmatched Michigan 38 Iowa 17- lose to many starters Michigan 45 Illinois 24- could be tough Michigan 35 Nebraska 31- by late in the year we are a well oiled machine Michigan 38 Ohio State 31- lose to many starters Michigan 41 Ohio State 34 ( Big Ten Championship) Michigan 41 Alabama 27 - razzle dazzle em I have never seen a Offense with this many underclassmen and a first year Quarterback average 500 yards a game, next years offense will be incredible... Ohio State loses 7 starters on defense Be patient my babies...


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 2:53 p.m.

Thanks, SeaEagle, loco123, and others! At least YOU can see through the thick smoke. But did you really expect anything different, given the track record? After all, this the "publication" that brought us "Despite loss, many Michigan football fans back coach Rich Rodriguez" and the individual who, following the desperate brawl for the bottom with Illinois, wrote, "Years from now, should the Michigan football program return to the ways that made it the winningest in college football history, historians may look back at this week as the one that resurrected it." Just for instance. Now we read that Diamond RichRod has two years remaining on his original contract. And UMs offense has become a turnaround just like the Illinois game So its not surprising to see NO MENTION of the NCAA violations, contract trashing, and coach rustling that have occurred since this scoundrel came to Michigan. They never happened and so dont need to be considered at all. If you want the truth on anything relating to UM or Washtenaw county schools or governments, you're going to have to look elsewhere.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 2:40 p.m.

Not one of your better efforts Mr. Bigelow. If your basis for giving Rodriguez another year is that Michigan has exercised patience in the past that is an extremely weak position to debate from. Rodriguez had demonstrated he can coach but it has been painfully clear and becomes more so with each passing day that he is not a good fit for the University of Michigan. And that is okay. That the two are mismatched does not reflect poorly on Rodriguez or Michigan. Both will land on their feet but a divorce is needed here. An amicable one would be ideal but if Rodriguez wont resign, he needs to be shown the door. Harbaugh, and possibly Hoke, loom as the mistress here and the longer this drags on the messier it will get. It's time for everyone to move on. If timing is the only issue holding change back, then mayne it's time to move the clock forward.

longtime AA

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 2:34 p.m.

Yes, there has been progress (at least, if we look at records and at the offense). The real question for Dave Brandon, both simple yet difficult, is whether the progress is leading to being the best of the second tier of Big 10 schools (Penn St, Illinois, Northwestern) or to competing and winning against the top schools (OSU, Wisconsin, Iowa, MSU and --now-- Nebraska. Not an easy decision, but one which will effect U of M athletics and finances for years to come. Good luck Mr. Brandon.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 2:25 p.m.

I agree, one more year with a real world Defensive Coordinator like Randy Shannon. RR has one of the most exciting offenses in college football. Recruit pro style defensive talent and you have a national championship caliber team. They make a dramatic improvement next year (9-3 or 10-2)and win the Big 10 the following year. The spread offense is well spreading like wildfire through college football. The two top ranked teams; Auburn and Oregon run it, Florida runs and and Ohio State has used variations of it over the years to best Michigan, Texas won a national championship running it, against a pro style USC team - many teams use this offense.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 2:24 p.m.

"Half the fun of Michigan football is pulling out comparisons from the way-back machine." That USED to be fun, now it is a must thanks to RR. But I'm sure next year will get better. Defense couldn't get any worse could it? Way back machine 2009: Defense couldn't get any worse could it? Way back machine 2008: Defense couldn't get any worse could it? Way back machine 2007: Defense couldn't get any worse could it?

Ken K

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 2:16 p.m.

Rich Rod plain and simple is just not the right fit for Michigan or the Big Ten.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 2:09 p.m.

@EV - Interesting that you compare RR to the one really bad coach Michigan has had in the last 110 years. Like Rodriguez, Elliot improved the team's record in his 2nd and 3rd years, before having losing seasons 4 of the next 6. And as you pointed out, Elliot's stay was prolonged in large part by factors unrelated to his ability to coach. The same is not true for Rodriguez.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 2:02 p.m.

It comes down to the answer to this question: Will RR improve this team next year (i.e., Beat his 7-5 and 3-5 BT Record). On the schedule next year is: Western Michigan, Notre Dame, Eastern Michigan, San Diego State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Michigan State, Purdue, Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, and Ohio State. WMU, EMU, MN, and PURD(Wins) ND, SDS, NW, IL (50-50 Chance of winning based on evidence to date) MSU, IA, NE, and OSU (Losses based on evidence to date) Hence his record will be: 6-6 Overall and 2-6 or 4-4 Big Ten Risk = Prob of Occurence X Consequences (prob of occurrence = High, Consequences = High (another failed year, lost revenue, and missed opporuinity to hire a better coach) Risk Mitigation: Fire Him ASAP


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 1:56 p.m.

@ Edward V. That is a good point, but I think it is not comparable - first for the reasons you point out. The integrity of Elliot was not in question (nor did UM post major NCAA violations). In short, the context, as you point out, matters, and was quite different. Thus, in context, we can see that the records themselves are not quite as similar as you claim. If we expand a little bit, we see that Elliot replaced Oosterbaan, who had previously posted 5-3 ('57) and 2-6 ('58) seasons. Elliot came in and went 4-5 ('59), 5-4 ('60), and 6-3 ('61), before going 2-7 in '62. Elliot appeared, in comparison (and everything is always 'in comparison') to be off to a good start, especially to Oosterbaan's previous season. Elliot appeared at first to be an improvement, something RR did not appear to be. That first impression likely bought him a few years in itself (the correlative is that if RR had won 5 or 6 his first season, we would not be having this conversation). Elliot also went on to post an 8-1 season ('64), 8-2 season ('68), as well as other less inspiring seasons (3-4-2 in 63). So, it appears Elliot did enough in comparison in the beginning, as well as posting a good season every now and then, to justify his retention. And I would argue that in today's context, with schedules these days, with the cupcakes - the 'guaranteed' wins, the expectation is that a coach should post wins of at least 5 or 6 a season. Couple that with the high expectations in this era at UM (RR was replacing Carr), it is not difficult to argue that RR hasn't, comparatively, upheld his end of the bargain.

Bob Smith

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 1:55 p.m.

I think they should give RR another 10 years contract. He needs time to develop his team. Remember he has been to a lot of BCS bowls as a coach(not). But hey, why not keep him in place State and OSU love an easy game- but so do Utah and App State.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 1:47 p.m.

SpartyinExile - be careful what you wish for. Think chess... not checkers. Bigelow - great article and points. DB has to think about how a decision like this will affect not only his legacy - but the university as a whole. We don't want to look like your lil' buddy Rothstein's favorite program ND and rip through coach's like diapers. It's a bad precedent and a terrible commentary on how you run your program. I mean at some point - those kind of revolving door programs become a reflection of the program's ineptitude to make committed decisions. Keep up the good work and give Rothy a Fiver and directions to Super Cuts for me...

Rob Pollard

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 1:44 p.m.

Agreed. Thanks for the well-thought out column.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 1:42 p.m.

"Bump had 5 mediocre seasons in 1959-1963,......" Comparing anything in 1959 to 2010 is pretty silly. There was more patience in 1959, it was a slower time. That is just the way it was, that's before we get into every other thing involving millions and millions cash.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 1:39 p.m.

Lets face it, we at Michigan are screwed. This clown RR will most likely get at least one more year and let me tell you it will be another bad year. Bad coaching will lead to : Offense: Bad (Will look good and stats overall high against the first 5 sub par schools we play) Defense: Awful (Won't matter who they get as the new DC, RR philosophy will kill any attempt to fix it) Special Teams: MIA (Better to invite people from the stands to suit up) Yes Virgina, for Michigan this year, there is no Santa Claus!


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 1:35 p.m.

I love how the violations and probation are barely mentioned in this article. Obviously, Pete believes they are not enough to merit Michigan firing Rich. I guess Pete believes Coach Rod when he claims he "misunderstood" the rules he broke that were discussed at the numerous NCAA Rules Meetings Rich attended, or maybe he believes that breaking particular, what some have called "misdemeanor" rules do not merit a firing, like those on the Rich-Bandwagon are so willing to turn a blindeye to. "Rich Rodriguez should get one more year to fix the Wolverines." I just wonder which definition of the word, "fix" Pete means? (From Merriam-Webster) 6c : spay, castrate Using this definition, I'd say Rich has already "fixed" Michigan, with a surgeon's precision. or maybe "3a : to set or place definitely" as in "Rodriguez will fix Michigan as a second-tier Big Ten team for the next decade." However you define "fix," Michigan would never have needed fixing if it weren't for Rich Rodriguez. He's let what once was a top-25 defense delapidate into an unrecognizable 3-3-5 due to, as the article suggests, poor defensive recruiting, the Special Teams is impotent on its best days, and Rich's offense is more akin to a bully in the school yard, able to steal the little kids' milk money (see the Bowling Green game) but gets swirlied by the kids his own size (see PSU, OSU, Wisconsin, Iowa, even by its Little Brother, MSU) Rich has only shown the football knowledge he has is limited to his unique spread offense and he rigidly keeps to it no matter the circumstances. See his first year, when he forced his system on a team ill-equipped to handle it. He has no ability to adapt to the situation, like a great coach does. He has also shown himself to be an uncharasmatic, verbally limited rube. To watch him speak after the Ohio State game was like losing to Ohio State for a second time. At best he is a forgetful, incapable yokel with a one-trick pony offense, at worst he is a lying, swindling con artist absent of any integrity...take your pick. Dave Brandon, end the error now. Michigan is better than this. Go Blue


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 1:29 p.m.

Please... let's keep Coach Rodriguez! Do not let ourselves get caught up in wasted emotion over college kids playing football, a mere Saturday afternoon diversion. As a punk-era group, The Jam, succinctly crooned all those many years ago, "That's Entertainment. La La La La." Also, as of November 3, the voters of Michigan have, by association, chosen to increase the timeliness and relevance of embattled leader Rodriguez.... That is, the Ann Arbor area has now become very lucky, indeed. It's not only home to U-M's football coach but also the the home turf for our state's Governor-elect! Rick & Rick! One 'Rick' generously donates profuse amounts of yardage and regular victories to needy big schools in Columbus, State College and East Lansing. The other provides large sums of investment capital to develop techologies and jobs for later shipping to other states and to Asian countries. We should rightfully feel proud that both benevolent charities are located right here. Come 2011, let 'Rickrolling 2.0' commence for double the pleasure! And we can always count on to support a local Rick.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 1:21 p.m.

@J Dean: Why would the hottest coach in all of football agree to be brought in as a DC for a coach that's prolly in his last year? that strikes me as a huge step down for someone who not only has Michigan possibly knocking at his door, but also NFL teams - to be an HC, not a DC.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 1:21 p.m.

"Every Wolverines football coach has gotten at least five years to prove himself since Elton Wieman only received two in 1927 and 28...Rodriguezs record has improved by two games per season every year. Risks aside, he deserves the same treatment others in Michigans coaching lineage have received" Seriously Pete - the logic here is so flawed that it is difficult to know where to begin. First, find one UM football coach who has done as poorly as RR has - and has been given this magical 5 years? In fact, find one D1 coach who has done as poorly as RR has done and then succeeded? Your assumption is that the University has an obligation to give a coach a certain amount of time, but the coach to do very little to keep up his side of the bargain. I find this a laughable assumption. Also, the assumption that stability will arise from keeping the current coach rather than replacing him is also laughable. We may keep RR and never have stability, just the same as we may replace RR and find stability within a year or two. I find the latter outcome more likely. Pete, please start to identify your assumptions and then work them out to their fullest before you build an argument from them. You may not look so silly next time.

Rhe Buttle

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 1:20 p.m.

Heck yeah, give RichRod another year to fail more, especially because of the "self-imposed probation". So recruiting will drop off and the team will be really bad, THEN bring in another coach. I've said before - RichRod has achieved his objectives. He wanted to eradicate the memory of Bo and change the image of the team. Both completed: who can remember the thrill of victory when we have the smell of defeat, and the image of the team is back to the '60s. (I remember walking in the gates at the end of the first quarter. No ticket needed, the ushers/ticket takers long since gone. Go to the north end zone and stretch out (lie down) on the seats because the place is empty.) Hey, the good news? They'll have to bring back Band Day soon; High School Band Day was instituted in the 1960s so they could have at least one game with the seats full of band members and their parents. Thanks Rich. We grandparents thank you for our band member grandchildren.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 1:18 p.m.

I don't see how this is a tough call at all. I suspect errrrrrrr hope DB is just delaying because the coaching landscape is in flux right now.

J. Dean

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 1:16 p.m.

Here's a notion nobody has brought up: how about bringing Harbaugh in as a defensive coordinator and telling Rich Rod, "Jim and Jim alone handles the defense the way HE wants"?


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 1:12 p.m.

"Not sure about RichRod, but if Greg Robinson is here next year, Big Blue is toast" I think RR will keep his job by using his southern charm (I mean he must have it to still have a job) and saying it was all Greg Robinson's fault and give him the boot.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 1:10 p.m.

I think this is a tough call. Personally, I have seen enough to justify canning him now, but I understand the argument calling for one more year. In any case, one more poor to mediocre season would definitely be the final "nail."


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 1:05 p.m.

"Fundamentally, Michigan has been about patience. The trait is one of the hallmarks that makes Michigan unique, that makes it a destination school for coaches." Ha that IS funny. It's a destination school becasue it's a major school with an endless supply of money. This is a very Ann Arbor statement though making Ann Arbor out to be differnt than other places without any actual proof. Do we really know how "unique" it is to have X many coaches over X many years? Of course not, but it looks good when you type it.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 1:04 p.m.

Not sure about RichRod, but if Greg Robinson is here next year, Big Blue is toast


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 12:57 p.m.

"Fundamentally, Michigan has been about patience. The trait is one of the hallmarks that makes Michigan unique, that makes it a destination school for coaches. Every Wolverines football coach has gotten at least five years to prove himself since Elton Wieman only received two in 1927 and 28." Seriously, Pete? Did you even look at the records? In the time between Wieman and Rodriguez, Michigan had 7 coaches. In their first 3 years they had a combined 20 winning seasons (and one losing season at 4-5). In those 3 years, 6 of the 7 coaches had at least one season with only 1 loss, and 4 of them had an undefeated season. These coaches were NOT given time to prove themselves - they came out of the gate winning. "Stability" isn't part of the Michigan brand; Winning and Integrity are. Stability has merely been a buy-product of hiring coaches with those two key attributes. There are arguments that can be made to keep RR for another year, but this insipid editorial doesn't make them.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 12:50 p.m.

Offense: Total Fraud/terrible. Defense: Terrible. Special Teams: Terrible. Off-field issues: Terrible. Yes, he deserves more time. Are you furreal?


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 12:47 p.m.

There is very little about RR's tenure that doesn't really stink...a lot. And very little has changed in three years. I think there are many, many more reasons to call a halt to the Great Rod-cession than to continue sitting with this stink. I'd feel differently if had a "The buck stops here" attitude...but he clearly and consistenly does not. More than anything else, I'm tired of him blaming other people and circumstances for his failures. A lack of accountability is closely tied to a lack of integrity.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 12:44 p.m.

the offense is a fraud. EMU scored more points against OSU than UofM did.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 12:43 p.m.

Oh my, what crazy thinking - what is wrong - I guess everyone in Ann Arbor is forgetting the class and tradition that we have been used to. I cannot think of ONE reason to keep this coach. And people speak so freely of getting Jim Harbaugh, he may turn down a job offer there at this time because of the mess. This current coach should be cleaning out his office, but don't be so sure you can grab someone of the character and class of Harbaugh, UM has slipped so since he was there, he may not take the call.

Do Better

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 12:35 p.m.

Everybody says this offense cannot work in the big ten but worked against michigan twice in 2007 and both games were at home.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 12:32 p.m.

Please, give him five years!

Aditya Ezhuthachan

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 12:29 p.m.

The biggest problem is that his biggest positive, "the offense" is actually a false positive. That vaunted offense is actually sub-par against good teams so far at Michigan. If you're going to give him one year you might as well give him two. Personally, I say you keep him unless Harbaugh wants the job. The ultimate lesson won't be that Michigan had to change with the times, it will be that Michigan fans should have been happy with what they had.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 12:26 p.m.

Silly argument. I agree with previous comments that say getting rid of RR is more than just wins or loses. He has no moral character and doesn't represent what Michigan stands for. Further more, he will never be successful in the Big Ten. His philosophy on players being smaller, but faster has never and will never work! Fire him now!!!


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 12:24 p.m.

"Two years later, the offensive line ranks as the best unit on the team as well as the deepest and best-coached. Michigans offense averaged 34.3 points per game and is sixth in the country with 500.9 yards per game." The problem with this is of course giving RR more credit than he deserves. Do you honestly think that Harbaugh couldn't come in and make DR run the ball every other play and generate a bunch of offense? Th8ink about it; they really have no big name star RBs or WRs, what they have is a freakishly gifted QB who when healthy is 2 times faster than everyone else on the field. So excuse me for not being impressed with "RR offense;" which is actually 1 person.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 12:24 p.m.

so if DB doesn't make the choice YOU want, he is weak???? LOL very good observation NoBowl4Blue, i wonder how many of his players noticed that too?


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 12:24 p.m.

This article is an insult to the intelligence of Michigan fans. There is no logic behind it and has no meaningful points to support the conclusion. "Every Wolverines football coach has gotten at least five years to prove himself since Elton Wieman only received two in 1927 and 28" Really, that comment as a foundation to make a key decision on the program that generates $$$ to give a free U of M education to hundreds of student athletes? We deserve better writing.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 12:23 p.m.

I think DB is brillant! He gets everybody to argue until they're "blue" in the face while he sits back and works behind the scene, doing what he's paid to do. It's the Wizard of Oz all over again. "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain"! DB's working all the levers but making no noise. But there may be a method to his blandness. Sometimes the silence can be deafening, like the total drop-off of supportive comments concerning the present football coaching staff. I think this is a case of what's not said is the most telling. I mean how easy would it be to just say, "I have major concerns with the football program but it's nothing that RR and I can't work out between ourselves". But, so far nada. It is my belief that there will be a new coaching staff come the new year and it will cause immediate, positive response from the Michigan faithful. But that's just me. Go Blue!


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 12:22 p.m.

Pete You forgot to the 2 most important traditions; Winning and Integrity. RichRod has not won and he got us into trouble with the NCAA. Those two traditions are paramount and supercede any implied tradition of giving coaches 5 years. If you do neither of the first 2, you don't EARN the last one. Brandon's a smart guy, he knows that keeping RichRod put's his rear end on the hot seat. He's not going to risk his career for a guy he didn't hire in the first place. If he was keeping RichRod, he'd have made an emphatic statement of support for his coach. Brandon's is working on an exit strategy and succession plan. When that gets done, RichRod's gone.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 12:22 p.m.

Oh boy now Peter is drinking the AA kool aid............


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 12:20 p.m.

Northside, Have you ever worked for the government? Im sure if you have you would realize that not all employees that work for the government are incapable of doing their jobs. In fact I bet the boys and girls kicking down doors overseas would not take your comment to lightly!

Lorain Steelmen

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 12:15 p.m.

If Brandon cans Rodriguez now, we will have much bigger problems than finding another coach. Brandon will demonstrate weakness, and that he is not up to the job. If he reacts to pressure from the media, noteably the Freep, he will be going back on the agreement between the university, and his coach, for a five year rebuilding program. (And the program WAS a shambles, thanks to Carr.) Even Bo got five years, when he came in, via verbal agreement with Canham. So far Rodriguez has demonstrated he can coach offense. And while the defense is too weak currently, the man is forced to play with 8 or 9 freshman on the two deeps! RR is a coach,(and a darn good one), not a miracle worker! In two years, he will have this defense turned around, and the team as a whole will be right where we all want it to be. Meanwhile the affluent, entitled alums, who have an inordinately high opinion of themselves, need to buckle it up, and display a little patience, and a lot of maturity. So far, I am much more ashamed of them, than I am of our kids, and coaches. This team is group of warriors, inexperienced, but dedicated, to restoring UM's greatness. Why can't we as fans, and alums, give them the support that they deserve. Go Blue! -- BSME '70 / MBA '72


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 12:14 p.m.

It's definitely a hard call to make for Brandon. We can all argue collectively on this site until we're blue in the face. But, ultimately, David Brandon has A LOT more inside information about how the coaches are doing than we all do. And I think his long background in business and football will enable him to make a good decision. That being said, I would support the decision to bring RR back as long as changes are made either to the defensive staff or the way Rodriguez is managing them. He obviously should have a REALLY good person running the defense and to keep his hands out of that side of the ball. I personally don't believe Greg Robinson is the right person for the job, but that's my opinion as an outsider to the program. Michigan as an institution made the decision to do a big switch over to the spread when they hired Rodriguez in late 2007. There's no way to reverse that decision. So, we either have to continue the transition - which should be MUCH better next year - or throw another 2-3 seasons down the drain and pick a new coach who runs a more traditional offense. We're probably better off with the first choice. The defense is another type of problem. Bad recruiting starting back in the last few Lloyd Carr years started the tremendous dive. But, the continued questionable recruiting on defense and high turnover of players has to be looked into by Brandon. There's been too many guys that have not made the grade academically or quit the team for whatever reason after getting here. More than historical I think. Then there's a lot of undersized players on defense that are not likely to ever see the field in the physical Big Ten. Add to that the inability of the coaches to find a solid kicker, and you have some serious questions. Again, I am assuming Brandon will make a good decision and I hope that the rest of our recruiting season goes well. But, Michigan will only return to being a good team when we can fix the defense.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 12:14 p.m.

Rich Rod is all about himself. He doesn't give a damn about UM or even the players. After another butt kicking from OSU to end the season Rich Rod focused on himself while the vest talked about his senior class and players. Rich Rod didn't said one thing about his players. He wasn't when he was hired and he certainly isn't now right for UM. To give him another year is a mistake period.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 12:13 p.m.

Great article Pete. Do you think Rich was pressured into firing Shafer - that some action had to be taken because of that first season and Rich didn't have the credibility to back Shafer, or was it more of a difference in philosophy? I would think that Rich knew Shafer's philosophy before hiring him - but coaching strategies can change? Would appreciate your thoughts if you have time.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 12:08 p.m.

For me getting rid of RR isn't about wins or losses. I'd like to see Michigan win, but I'd like to see it win or loss with class. People point out RR's improvements, however, they don't explain why the program sunk so low to begin with. The answer is RR is a one trick pony, it is the spread offense or nothing. A good coach would have evaluated the current talent and set up a system around that. RR threw away years of tradition to fix a system that wasn't really broken. You change systems over time, not all at once. Further, there was no excuses for the Michigan football program facing NCAA violations. I remember when one of RR's assistant coaches in his first year got into a verbal tussle with fans. In addition, people keep pointing to Michigan's defense as the problem. That supposedly has been the issue years one, two, and three with RR. I, however, see things slightly differently. When the offense and special teams can't get things done, the defense is going to get tired. Look at the last Ohio state game. The defense had two great opening stands. Then offense comes and gives the ball up, thereby putting more pressure of the defense. A good defense relies somewhat on having balance on offense and special teams. Michigan's offense for all it is supposed to be, could only score 7 points on Ohio State? come on. Michigan could have won many more games if it hadn't given up so many turn overs and had so many personal fouls. That problem has plagued Michigan all three years of RR's tenure. That is a result of poor coaching. If if RR started winning, it wouldn't get rid of the bad taste he left in some people's mouths. I say get rid of him now. With the NCAA violations, he surely is already in breach of his contract.


Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 11:54 a.m.

Rodriguez is a government employee and they simply can't do anything right. The team should outsource the head coach position to a private sector employee.