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Posted on Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 11:58 a.m.

Rich Rodriguez on his Michigan program: 'I thought we were on our way'

By Staff

How good would the Michigan football program have been in 2011 if Rich Rodriguez were still the coach?

A Big Ten title contender, says Rich Rodriguez.

In a Q&A session with college football writer Tom Dienhart, Rodriguez says the pieces were in place: key players on offense, an “entrenched” system, a kicking game addressed in recruiting and young players on defense that were going to be “a whole lot better.”

“I thought we were on our way,” Rodriguez said.


Former Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez. file photo

Rodriguez also answers questions about his coaching future, his relationship with West Virginia fans and the trouble at Ohio State. (Read entire interview.)

Some other comments about his time at Michigan:

On what he accomplished at Michigan: “I think we had made some steps offensively and gotten some things in place, and we had to fix some things on defense. We knew that. A lot of the guys would have been back and had more experience. The young kids who played as freshmen were going to be growing up and getting a whole lot better the next couple of years.

On why the defense struggled: “Everything I say now will sound like an excuse. But there is a difference between excuses and reality, and the reality was we had some misfortune with some injuries at key positions and we were playing a lot of young guys who were forced to play before they were truly ready.”

On if he's glad he didn't sign Terrelle Pryor: “I think he would have been a great player in our system. Denard Robinson was a great player in our system. Pryor had an outstanding career at Ohio State on the field. He won a lot of games, did a lot of good things. Some of those other issues, I don’t know what all is entailed in that. Did he make some mistakes? He certainly did. Has he learned from them? I’m sure he’s trying to put everything behind him and move on.”


Matt Dent

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 12:34 a.m.

We'll never know...but he was gradually making progress. I could see UM getting 8 or 9 wins this year if he was still around. I am guessing most UM fans would be very happy with a record like that for Hoke's first year.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 1:05 p.m.

Does anyone reading AA dot com really care about RR any longer? I don't think so. Better to use the AA dot com sports section for relevant NEWS articles.


Fri, Jun 24, 2011 : 12:59 p.m.

All you have to do is answer one question... If Rich Rod were still here, would we have been able to recruit as good a players as BH and staff have brought to Michigan thus far? Brady Hoke is a superstar on the rise. Go Brady, Go Blue!


Fri, Jun 24, 2011 : 11:26 a.m.

The short stay saga of Rich Rodriguez will probably forever be a sensitive issue to many fans of Michigan football. For many that were tired of the same old predictable style, good in the Big 10 and more often than not lose the Bowl game Rich was like the second coming. As Mich. fans looked around the country at the Texas, USC and even Boise teams Mich. fans became anxious for greener pastures after all, this is Mich. and we can recruit with the best of them. Mich. had always had longevity at the coaching position specifically since Bo started and Gary probably would have been here still except for some personal problems that got out of control one forgettable night years ago. The problem was that unlike other teams with coaching turnovers every 4or5 years Mich. never learned one very important ingrediant when hiring a coach. Regardless of a coaches success elsewhere if a coach is going to coach at Mich. just as importantly that coach has got to be the right fit. Rich was not the right fit. One specific that Rich did not get is that Mich. is all about tradition and that tradition is why Mich. does not need a mascot, Mich. tradition is their Mascot. I would go so far as to say that Bo was our Mascot during and after his coaching tenure. Ten years ago ohio sold their soul to the devil and now the devil wants his payment same thing happened at USC with Pete Carrol. Feel forturnate Mich. fans it could have been much, much worse and we at Mich learned our valuable lesson without to much damage at least compared to ohio. Rich will go on and more than likely have success elsewhere and whether Rich admits it or not he did learn some very important lessons. One of those lessons that I believe Rich learned is that college football especially at a school like Mich is more than just a business, it's about heart and soul and tradition and at a school like Mich that tradition has a pulse.

Lorain Steelmen

Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 3:50 p.m.

Harymary. Excellent post. I especially like your comments about UM being more than a business...its' a tradition. I hope Brandan thinks twice about legacy uniforms 'created', to sell, or a macot. In the end, all UM traditions start with the students, themselves. Not in the AD's office.


Fri, Jun 24, 2011 : 12:13 a.m.

I hate to say it, but RR is right. He was going to have a superior offensive team, his recruiting was going to be helped immensely by the near collapse in Columbus, and no football coach on any level has ever been so embarrassed by the failure of two critical components of his team -- kicking and defense. Unless he were dumb or insensitive beyond words, his defense would have made giant leaps forward. Am I glad he's moved on. Sure, like everyone, but his team would have improved.


Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 7:52 p.m.

Other than won-loss record: What were former coach's failing? Based on these discussions (which I have contributed to), it seems that we want a football coach who "gets it", and WFCIMH didn't pass that sniff test in my opinion. To me his biggest failing was poor preparation, from day one. Part of that poor preparation manifested itself in confusion on sideline and on field--both from players and coaches. Part of it was getting blown off the ball repeatedly despite adequate time to coach the team. Part of it was not adapting his "system" to the players who were here. Part of it was not in knowing the Michigan or Big Ten landscape. Lack of improvement year after year during the season also indicts his coaching style.


Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 5 p.m.

So far, I like what Coach Hoke is doing, I think Coach Hoke gets it. I personally think Coach Hoke is more football savy than some folks give him credit for. It's more than X's and O's, it's communication skills with very young men and it's being, in relative terms, a coorporate organizer not to mention public speaking skills and a good recruiter doesn't hurt either. Jim Tressel came across to me as very polished almost like a Hollywood actor you know, who is this guy when he's not acting, hell he could be anyone and come to find out, he(Jim) was somebody else. Coach Hoke strikes me like, what you see is what you get. Coach Hoke is my idea of what a football Coach should be, at least at Michigan. I don't think we're going to do a lot of razzle dazzle at you, I think you better make sure you've got your jock strap on right and we're coming at you and you better expect a lot of bloody noses. I wish we could wait a couple of years to play Alabama but it's 2012 and that game will most definately be a barometer for Brady in year 2. I probably would give Brady a pass in year 1 against ohio howerver, as that game is getting closer and all the negative stuff down there in ohio, I now think that that is a possible win. Also, the game is in Ann Arbor and I think, Brady is targeting that game like Bo did back in 69. Win or Lose I think our Mich. players will give that game their best shot and with few mistakes hey, it's a possiblility.


Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 3:12 p.m.

Rich Rod is not the only Michigan head coach to disappoint me. Bo did along with all the others. There will occasionally be off years. But yes, the Michigan Athletic Department was right in firing RR because of the horrible defense. And failure to beat Ohio and East Lansing State college is unforgivable. Hoke has thus far done all the right things. I am actually very proud of his accomplishments. His ability to recruit great players will make him a star. Brady deserves at least two years to take us higher, but I personally believe he will make it big time even in his first season. The defense will be better, but the offense is suddenly a question mark. The future will reveal how much we have improved since 2010.


Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 2:08 p.m.

I want wins! I'm tired of wasted opportunities going back 10 yrs. When I turn on my TV or pay exorbitant ticket prices on game day, I want wins. I don't want to hear how we're going to be better next year cause next year our QB could be injured, I want wins and I want them this year. I don't care about RR and what coulda, woulda, shoulda been for 2011, I want wins and I think the Big 10 is ripe for Mich. to sneak up on some unsuspecting teams that think a win over Mich. is a shoo-in in 2011. I want wins, This Year.


Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 6:28 a.m.

The man is simply trying to restore some of his reputation through talk like this. He can say what he wants about what "would have been" ... but those are fairly unconvincing arguments. Lots of coaches who didn't make the grade say things like that. All this is why my wish for this fall is not so much the season record, but the *way* Michigan wins or loses the games. "Improvement" will be best seen in fundamentals and the absence of mistakes. It's an old cliche, but it doesn't make it less true -- football is a game of blocking and tackling. Do those things right and in general good things will follow. Do them poorly and it's very difficult to field a consistently winning team. Which is why I am pleased with what I see and hear in Hoke. He seems to understand the importance of getting the fundamentals right. On that foundation a great team is built. Are fundamentals all that's required? No, of course not ... then comes a variety of other things: talent, coaching, creativity, strategy, etc., etc. But trying to layer those things on a team lacking in a strong foundation of fundamentals is like building a house on sand.

Blu n Tpa

Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 12:07 p.m.

The words of DonAZ, who like Moses, has travelled the desert seeking the truth, has enlightened us all. I dare anyone to dispute what he has written and how it relates to this Michigan team and these Michigan players. It's all about Coach Hoke and nothing to do with coach joke. TiM Go Blue!


Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 4:22 a.m.

Who cares what Whathisname says Bottom Line Period


Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 4:09 a.m.

"Everything I say now will sound like an excuse. But there is a difference between excuses and reality, and the reality was we had some misfortune with some injuries at key positions and we were playing a lot of young guys who were forced to play before they were truly ready." True. But the defensive coaching and game planning was poor on top of that. RR doesn't want to throw Greg Robinson under the bus and I respect him for that. RR's biggest mistake was not firing Greg Robinson after the Penn State game. RR is probably still our coach if that happened.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 2:19 p.m.

The second most favorite refrain of the MCC: if it wasn't Lloyd Carr's fault, it was Greg Robinson's fault. Let's allow some facts to enter into this favorite MCC myth. 1) The WCiMFH hired Scott Shafer, a rising star in defensive coaching ranks, to be the DC in 2008, but gave him no flexibility in the scheme he ran and forced him to have all of the assistants that the WCiMFH brought with him from WVU. Result: one of the worst defenses in Michigan history. Shafer gets thrown under the bus and is fired. 2) The WCiMFH then hired Greg Robinson and forced the scheme and assistants on him, too. Result: A defense that got progressively worse, resulting in 2010 in the worst defensive effort in team history, and a defense that was ranked 110/120 in the FBS. 3) In the meantime, Shafer went to Syracuse to be that team's defensive coordinator. Freed from the idiotic limitations imposed on him by the WCiMFH, Shafer's defense was 7th in the nation in total defense (for the slappies, 7 is a lot better than 110). The ONLY conclusion that can be drawn from this set of facts is that the defensive disaster that has been Michigan football for the last three years must be laid at the doorstep of the WCiMFH and was not the fault of either Shafer or of Robinson. But, just in case you are a slappy and want to ignore these facts, there remains a problem: IF the defensive disasters WERE the fault of Shafer and of Robinson, WHO hired them in the first place? And, after having hired two DCs who were disasters, why should anyone have any confidence that the WCiMFH was going to hire a competent DC? Again, I don't blame either Shafer or Robinson but, for the slappies who do, they need to answer the above question about the WCiMFH's apparent inability to hire a competent DC. But they cannot or they will not. Good Night and Good Luck

Blu n Tpa

Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 11:59 a.m.

Wait a darn minute here. How is firing the DC, who is forced to use the 3-3-5 defense by the WCiMFH, going to help Michigan stay competitve with Wisconsin, tsio, and MissST, offensively? I think the only way the WCiMFH keeps his job is if DB drinks whatever the MCC has been drinking. THE ONLY WAY!


Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 3:39 a.m.

they did beat U CONN but i read an amazing statistic about that of the 7th or 8th game last year U CONN scored more point in that game than they did in any other game to that point in the season whether they WON or LOST. Tells u exactly how terrible the Victors defense really was. Chew On That Rich Rod YOU LOSING EXCUSE MAKER.


Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 3:25 a.m.

stop trying to justify your ineptitude.can't see u ever being a consistent winner in Ann Arbor unless u play lesser calibre teams all year long.but then youn would get smoked in a bowl game. Just Quiet Down and GO AWAY.


Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 2:11 a.m.

GoBlue1984 2008, 3 wins 2009, 5 wins 2010, 7 wins Improvement every single year. There was no reason to think he wouldn't have had improvement in 2011 with all of the returning starters on offense and a less youth filled defense. It's really poor what Michigan did to him. Whenever I see this I think what about the 11 wins in 2006 and 9 wins in 2007 with LC. Why did we get to 3 in 2008? In 13 seasons Lloyd Carr had only one 7 win season and 6 seasons with over 10 wins! Let's get real here; this guy was a BAD coach! Good riddance and now shut up!


Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 1:59 a.m.

Are you guys' Michigan Football IQ's really that low, or are you pretending because you hate RR that much? TEST: Which UM Team preformed better - Carr's 2007 Team or RR's 2010 Team, and why?


Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 2:59 a.m.

Easy: Carr's 2007 team. Started with the worst loss in years, if not ever (though let's give App state props for their talent and mult championships, but still, game should never have been scheduled). Got even worse with Oregon shellacking. Then recovered, won a bunch of games in a row, had a chance to get to Rose Bowl but lost last 2 B10 games to good but not great teams. Beat Florida in Citrus Bowl which we were supposed to lose to Heisman Tebow. 2010: Beat Connecticut, proving former coach knew how to beat Big East teams. Went downhill from there, basically not showing up against PSU until too late despite 2 weeks to prepare, losing last few games by mult touchdowns, and losing bowl game in record fashion. Coached worst defense in team history. Despite injuries to key offensive players (Hart, Henne), Carr managed to stay competitive until the end and overcame a horrendous start. Despite injuries to key defensive players, former coach managed to get worse and worse while making excuses, and at the end of the season when the offense bogs down, the defense continued to worsen. Got blown off the field by B10 sized bodies. I vote for Carr's 2007 team, despite App State and Oregon.

Go Blue

Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 12:51 a.m.

De plane, de plane, look boss - de plane. We ARE on Fantasy Island, arent we? No, you say? We must be if RR thinks we "were on our way." Oh wait, on our way to what - yet another season of failure and embarrassment? That would be correct then.


Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 12:44 a.m.

Rich Rod might of had a better year. But, lets be truthful it is inexcusable to have a defense and a kicking game like he put on the field at a big time college football program. So goodbye. He will coach again and be successful at another program more suitable to his style. Now on to the future. Coach Hoke is an fantastic coach. Reminds me of a younger Bo. No fooling around with him. He is a fantastic recruiter and great judge of talent. He will probably have a so-so year this year. The defense still has a ways to go. But, look out after that. Regularly beating Ohio State and winning the Big Ten is just around the corner. Go Blue !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Terry Star21

Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 1:14 a.m.

towny, what was more inexcusable was the excuses, and things like asking the student paper for 'kickers' to audition - and three did, even one from the parking lot, etc., etc., etc.,....and everyone knows excuses weaken one and leave many doubts about one self.....look back good at Bo, Mo and Lloyd - no excuses and avoided the media or use quick short answers leaving people to wonder. I can see that coming with Hoke - and I'll love it


Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 12:39 a.m.

I don't understand the hostility towards Rich Rod. He was getting interviewed by a reporter. Of course, the reporter was going to ask questions about his tenure at MIchigan. Rich Rod didn't sound whiny nor did say anything bad about Michigan. Hence, let it go. It's a free country with freedom of speech. I love my college football as well, but an interview like this gets fans worked up, it just looks kind of pathetic. Do we really want to be like the OSU fan base?


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 10:20 p.m.

For once I agree with whatshisname ... he was exactly right when he said "I thought we were on our way". He was on his way ... out of Ann Arbor.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 12:35 p.m.

If he's on CBS, he won't be doing the Big Ten. He'll be doing the SEC. And he should feel right at home with that conference of cheaters. Good Night and Good Luck


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 11:14 p.m.

TS, I'm kind of hoping he gets a coaching job and we could play against him and one of his poor D's ... that could be fun.

Terry Star21

Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 11:06 p.m.

mission.....with his new commentator position you know it's just a matter of time before the Big Wigs of Media find a way to get him in a both covering a Michigan game.....that's what those kind of people live for....what a shame.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 9:44 p.m.

GB1984 wrote: "2008, 3 wins 2009, 5 wins 2010, 7 wins Improvement every single year. There was no reason to think he wouldn't have had improvement in 2011 with all of the returning starters on offense and a less youth filled defense." Ah, yes. Yes, football is just a matter of numeric progression. Hold the presses!!! Cancel the 2011 season!!! The UofM, due to the laws of numeric progression, will win 9 games!!! Now for reality: In 2010 the U of M lost 6 games: two by 10 points, the rest by 17 points ore more (17 points meaning that the UM needed at least three offensive possessions to tie or win). In other words, it was not even close to winning ANY of the 6 it lost. It won seven games. One of those games, against the powerhouse at BGSU, it won by 44 points. It beat the powerhouse down at Purdue by 11 points and U Conn by 20. Its other four wins were by 7 points or fewer. In other words, we were one defensive mistake (unthinkable, I know), one special teams error (also unthinkable) one turnover, one penalty away from losing four more games. So, rather than employ meaningless mathematical progression "model", a reasonable look at last year's record combined with the fact that under the WCiMFH, both defense and special teams got progressively worst would lead a fairly logical person to conclude that, if the WCiMFH had coached in 2011, the UofM would struggle to have a winning season. Good Night and Good Luck


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 9:41 p.m.

"The System" = Hillbilly football .. Bygones !! The News = A 5star de-commits from Fickel and o$u ,and is visiting AA !! Michigan Football for Michigan Men.. Hail TiM


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 9:40 p.m.

Leave Hoke and UM alone without trying to get credit for something that you didn't do. Hoke Is It!


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 9:38 p.m.

He was NOT A MICHIGAN man.

Terry Star21

Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 9:36 p.m.

PS sports fan, I think I saw that actual shirt and hat at the Goodwill Store - but it was faded Blue.


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 9:03 p.m.

RR's record is going to 8 and 4 for last season as Ohio State will have to forfeit their game with us for having 5 ineligible players on the field.


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 8:40 p.m.

Rich Rod was a one-trick pony. And his trick was an offense which wasn't ready for Big Ten prime-time -- because it guaranteed a beat-up quarterback. Also, Rich Rod got hung out to dry by Bill Martin, because when the NCAA came poking around, Martin blamed it all on Rich Rod -- when Martin was the most culpable guy. Rich Rod took the hit, while Martin slunk off.

Blu n Tpa

Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 9:07 p.m.

Yeah, and all he had to do was win and he couldn't do that. Case close.

Elaine F. Owsley

Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 8:15 p.m.

Don't the players have to understand that as well? If he's right, then what he had was a failure to communicate.

Terry Star21

Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 9:27 p.m.

Oh Elaine, you hit the nail on the head - lack of communication and direction and all coaches being on the same page ! Never have we "not" looked like a Michigan Football Team as much. The reason we won games and had sellouts is, like the Mighty Hoke says is "This Is Michigan" !

Hot Sam

Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 8:11 p.m.

'I thought we were on our way' And then the alarm went off...

Lorain Steelmen

Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 7:54 p.m.

To continue....the key 'going forward' for UM, and Brady Hoke, is to purposely, and effectivley, instill an 'edge' or 'attitiude' in his players. We've seen so far, that BH can recruit players...BUT....can he instill 'attitude'! I mean, that 'gritty', 'toughness', that, 'I want to win' 'commitment', that we all saw in Woodson, Steele, Griese, Marcus Ray, or a Mike Hart, or a Chad Henne. Michigan has to go way, WAY back, to 'tough kids', not undisciplined punks...there IS a difference. My problem with LC was, that he could never instill that attitiude, or 'passion', as Brady says. Sure there were years when LC 'benefited' from kids that already had that, but it was not something that LC cultivatied, the way Bo did! And that, my friends, is what it will take, for UM to get back to that perennial #1 to #5 program. A 'reputation' for being just, flat out tough! See, if Hoke can pull that off, then he can get by, with a 'pro style' offense, rather than a razzle-dazzle, point a minute, offensive circus. Of all the things I have heard from Hoke so far, the two that caught my attention, was the 'passion' for Michigan, and the 'responsibility' to the team. I hope he can do it..I really do. It's been a LONG ten years!

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 9:45 p.m.

Chad Henne: way way back to the year before the WCiMFH took the job. And then Bo rose from the dead . . . Good Night and Good Luck

Blu n Tpa

Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 9:05 p.m.

Oh, please don't continue today. Wait until next week. I'll be on vacation.

Lorain Steelmen

Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 7:57 p.m.

Speaking of Long....he's a perfect example of the kind of attitude Hoke needs to create!


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 7:44 p.m.

Let's keep in mind: it's the news media seeking to get eyeballs on the page which is behind this RR interview. is typical of this "method" of sports journalism. Naturally, dragged this over to their arena so we fans could have another opportunity to comment on Regrettable Rodriguez. We're in the 'Tween Months - 'tween football seasons. This is standard fare for this time of year. We are being primed for September (aka, the Blessed Start of Football Season).


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 7:37 p.m.

It is time to stop covering this poor excuse of a football coach. If would leave it alone we would also. No news here - find something of interest to cover.

Terry Star21

Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 9:21 p.m.

I agree - but applehazar, this is a media delight ! Look how much reaction and comments are coming - look for 100+ and maybe a record !


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 7:31 p.m.

2008, 3 wins 2009, 5 wins 2010, 7 wins Improvement every single year. There was no reason to think he wouldn't have had improvement in 2011 with all of the returning starters on offense and a less youth filled defense. It's really poor what Michigan did to him.


Fri, Jun 24, 2011 : 8:40 p.m.

All hail Edward, leader of the JBR Camp!

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Fri, Jun 24, 2011 : 11:27 a.m.

"Good Night and Good Luck before 7am... someone needs a watch." Just another example of the MCC not knowing what they are talking about. Google is a wonderful thing. You ought try it sometime. Good Night and Good Luck


Fri, Jun 24, 2011 : 10:45 a.m.

It's a little early in the morning for JBR Mr. Murrow. Good Night and Good Luck before 7am... someone needs a watch. Good Morning ;-)

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Fri, Jun 24, 2011 : 10:40 a.m.

What a unique concept. Forcing the guy who was in charge to shoulder the blame. Not Lloyd. Not the fans. Not the Freep. Not injuries. Not the alignment of the stars. Not the governor. Not Obama. Blame the guy who was being paid $2.5 million per year to coach the team. Yes, I blame the WCiMFH for the three-years of ineptitude he brought to the program. Thanks for teeing that one up. Next silly question? Good Night and Good Luck


Fri, Jun 24, 2011 : 4:14 a.m.

Motto of Edward R Murrow: "JBR" Just Blame Rodriguez.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 2:03 p.m.

Blu: 1) Don't hold your breath waiting for an answer. 2) Motto of the MCC: It's all Lloyd Carr's fault. Good Night and Good Luck

Blu n Tpa

Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 11:43 a.m.

What? So DB should have put on a cheerleaders outfit and rallied the players to win so the WCiMFH could have one less reason to blame others for his incompetence. When, in your world, is it the head coach's responsibility to get the team prepared to play a game? Still unanswered question: Who was the HC during the worst three years in Michigan Football History?


Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 4:27 a.m.

Terry -- regarding the bowl game, maybe the team found it difficult to rally around RR? After all, David Brandon provided no verbal support when rumors ran rampant about RR being a lame duck. The whole month of December was awkward to say the thanks to DB. I'm not saying it's all DB's fault, but he sure didn't make an effort when it really mattered to improve the morale of the team.


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 10:38 p.m.

Heartbreak certainly are correct, but it is not fair to compare teams from the 70s and 80s to todays teams. In those years a team could offer many more scholarships. Presently the field has been leveled a lot because of the limitations on scholarships. That is why schools like TCU and Boise State are so far up in the rankings.


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 10:24 p.m.

Hey Terry, Thanks for at least somewhat understanding my comment. With regard to the 54 point mention... every coach has a bad game. Llyod Carr lost to Appy State at home while Michigan was ranked #5. That seldom gets brought up anymore though...

Terry Star21

Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 9:18 p.m.

Well Go Blue, I hear you somewhat - but there is a lot more to Michigan Football than winning against poor teams. We will win more in the future I'm sure - but we will lose with pride and dignity and not by 54 points when everyone knows what play is coming next or when the defense has no clue !

Blu n Tpa

Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 9:03 p.m.

Defense, for one. Special teams for two. Same indecision on adjusting to other teams. Oh, you were just wishful thinking? Nevermind.


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 8:39 p.m.

HeartbreakM... I agree. It's poor what Lloyd Carr did. To leave the University of Michigan in such shape after all the support and love they had given him... really poor.


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 8:34 p.m.

1969-2007: no less than 6 wins (once). It's really poor what former coach did to Michigan.


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 7:20 p.m.

On the way out!

Larry Eiler

Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 7:15 p.m.

Why prolong what was done months ago ... and really right after RR started? Give it up and stop prolonging his failure. Good luck for future and go on with life.


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 10:12 p.m.

Terry: Thankfully, he will be on CBS and there should be no opportunity for him to be a commentator on any of our games.

Terry Star21

Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 9:11 p.m.

Problem is as a new college football commentator, we will be reminded of the past every time we see/hear him on the tube. You just know the college sports administrators are looking for the chance to pair him with a Michigan Football game. Another good reason Larry that I attend every game - won't be watching TV !

Lorain Steelmen

Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 7:11 p.m.

Here we go again! An article like this does nothing, but bring out all the RR haters. Ity's getting old! RR inherited a 'mess' from our 'ol buddy Lllllllloyd. (LC=The laughing stock of 'Buckeye Nation for the past ten years! Back to 2001.) RR went 3 wins (with no QB...thanks Lloyd!) then 5, then 7. So ,with a young defense 'growing up', sure, he probably would have 9 wins this year...maybe 10. but would that be considered good enough? No, if you're RR...yes, if you're Hoke. Since RR is gone now, I'll spend time supporting Hoke. But I just wish LC would move to Fllorida so he can play golf, year round. I do agree with those that believe 'championships are won with defense'. So I do like what Hoke is the end, he will need to create a 'culture of togetherness', (they used to call it 'The team, the team , the team'..around here), and a desire to do 'what it takes' to win. Carr could never do that, any more than RR did. If Hoke can 'energize' these guys, then he'll have a shot at it. I like what I see so far, from DRob, Martin, et al. I'll use Chas Woodson, in '97, as an exmaple of what I mean.....and his teammates, Gleen Steele, Brian Griese, et al. Those guys were making a statement. The statement? ...We are Michigan..and we don't like losing. We may not be 'pretty', but we WILL take names, and kick 'backsides'. Good luck to Coach Hoke...Intensity, Brady, will take you to no.43...and beyond Go Blue!

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 11:06 p.m.

A few weeks ago Blu and I had some fun setting all of this to "The Godfather," but I think "Return of the Jedi" might be more appropriate. Emperor RichRod: Welcome, young Murrow, I have been expecting you. You no longer need those. [uses the Force to detach Murrow's cuffs] Guards, leave us. [the Emperor's guards leave the room] I'm looking forward to completing your training. In time, you will call me master. Jedi Murrow: You're gravely mistaken. You won't convert me as you did Darth Lorraine. Emperor RichRod: Oh no, my young Jedi. You will find that it is you who are mistaken. About a great many things. Darth Lorraine: [hands Murrow's winged helmet to Emperor RichRod] His Wolverine helmet. Emperor RichRod: Ah yes, a Jedi's weapon, much like Darth Lorraine's Buckeye helmet. By now you must know that Darth Lorraine can never be turned from the dark side. So will it be with you. Jedi Murrow: You're wrong. Soon I'll be dead, and you with me. Emperor RichRod: [laughing] Perhaps you refer to the imminent attack of General Brandon? Yes, I assure you, we are quite safe from true Wolverines here. Jedi Murrow: Your overconfidence is your weakness. Emperor RichRod: Your faith General Brandon is yours. Darth Lorraine: It is pointless to resist, Murrow. Emperor RichRod: Everything that has transpired has done so according to my design. General Brandon's attack on Schembechler Hall will be easily turned away. I am quite safe from his pitiful powers. An entire legion of my best troops, tater and trueblue, awaits him. [mockingly] Oh, I'm afraid that I will still be head coach when the football season of 2011 begins. ********* But, as we all know, Darth Lorraine will eventually reject the dark side. Here's hoping that happens soon!! Good Night and Good Luck


Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 7:38 p.m.

I also think Johnny A2 makes an underratted point that, whilst an FBS team, Appy State weren't a bad team in any way shape or form, they'd won back to back FBS titles in the previous 2 years and won another that year. It was a loss and it shouldnt have happened, but it's not like the mountaineers were terrible.


Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 4:49 p.m.

Ghost, bringing up the way we finished all 3 seasons under whatshisname is a very good point. Every year started with everyone hoping that we would do well, then we started off well (against lesser teams), only to finish the season in a very disappointing manner. Losing 20 of the final 24 games over 3 seasons is terrible, at any university, but especially so at UM, the most successful program in the history of college football. Add in the way we lost, mostly by large margins, and it makes its even worse.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 1:41 p.m.

Blu: Don't ya know that all of the MCC's opinions are reality? I mean, after all, Lorraine swears to God that Bo rose from the grave to recommend that Bill Martin hire the soon-to-be WCiMFH. And ya gotta love the slappies who focus on Appy State. What they conveniently forget is that, after that loss Michigan, was blown out by Oregon. Starting 0-2 and with a season in disarray, Michigan then won 8 straight games, lost to OSU and to Wisky largely due to the fact that Henne and Hart were injured, and then defeated the defending national champion, who were led by the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, in a bowl game. Yep. The losses to Appy State and Oregon were bad. But the slappies' selective memories don't want to remember the rest of the story. By comparison, when the ship began to sink in 2008, 2009, and 2010, the WCiMFH showed no ability whatsoever to stop the bleeding (to mix my metaphors). 2008: 7 losses in the last 8 games 2009: 7 losses in the last 8 games 2010: 6 losses in the last 8 games. In those six games the U's opponents scored an embarrassing 250 points while the U scored 117. Average margin of loss = 20.5 points per game. Appy State was one game. But, with the WCiMFH, we see three years of sustained ineptitude and embarrassing losses. Let's face it: the MCC hated Lloyd Carr and they got the replacement they wanted. They will never recognize that they were wrong. Good Night and Good Luck

Blu n Tpa

Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 11:22 a.m.

tbf Didn't you mean to add, "in my opinion" to the last couple of sentences. Because in my opinion the Bowl loss to MissSt at the Gator Bowl was a hard one to top given the WCiMFH knew his job was on the line (and my family and I were in the stands), and he still stunk up the place.


Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 4 a.m.

johnnya2 -- Please stop. Lloyd Carr's team nearly lost, and probably should've lost, to Ball State (coached by Brady Hoke). Then we were sorely embarrassed by a Division-IAA team a short time later. Who besides the anti-RR crowd still talks about the Toledo loss? Three years later, the App State loss is a common topic of conversation at the national level. Sorry, but the App State loss takes the "Michigan Football's most embarrassing loss in history" trophy. And it ain't even close.


Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 1:58 a.m.

Yet that Lloyd never put UM on probation, and never had a losing record. If RR had gone 8-4 in his first two seasons he could have had support. This guy coached the most embarrassing loss in UM history. Toledo. App State was a VERY good football team. Toledo was a POOR MAC team.


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 10:35 p.m.

Blu, I recall that '97 coach was under a lot of scrutiny for the two prior 8-4 teams.

Blu n Tpa

Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 9:01 p.m.

Hey, who was the COACH for that "97 team that was committed to "no excuses"? Do you even have a clue?


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 7:04 p.m.

These answers to me are exactly what was wrong with him. He was not a "Michigan football coach". He was a "Michigan system coach". Look at how many times he said "system", and that was ultimately the maximum extent he could "coach". Football is a game of adjustments, of blocking, of fundamentals tackling, of position. In all of these areas, his "system" pretty much failed over the bulk of his time. The offensive stats were inflated against the weaker teams, but came down to earth against the more solid B10 and middling SEC team. His answers prove to me that he still can't admit how he failed. And his comments over Pryor? Sheesh. He should be thanking his lucky stars (as should all Michigan alums and faithful) that Pryor did not buy the "system".


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 6:51 p.m.

With the right defensive coordinator just maybe year 4 would have been the breakout year as long as that defensive coordinator had been in place 4 years ago when Rich started. Fact is, that did not happen so for Rich to say year 4 would have been the breakout year is just plain ludacrous at the very least. I have no doubt that Rich can coach offense but let's hope he learned that putting the defense on the back burner is not going to work especially in the, Big Ten. Rich is a stubborn man (hard headed) maybe next time Rich coaches, his wife can help him understand the importance of a defense, that is unless his wife enjoys moving from one job to another. I think what Rich is really trying to say is that he thinks that this year would have been a break out year for the offense, as far as the defense goes, I really don't think Rich gets it and if he does now, it's to bad that it had to be at the expense of the University of Michigan.


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 6:46 p.m.

"'I thought we were on our way'" Well, as we like to say in Ann Arbor, "Those who stay will be champions."


Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 1:54 a.m.

I knew he was on his way. On his way out of town


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 6:16 p.m.

Hey, the guy rewrote the record books here in jolly old Ann Arbor. -He has the most losses in 3 consecutive seasons of any coach in Michigan history. -His defense gave up more yardage than any Michigan team EVER. Forget about the records, he never figured out how to coach a defense. They just got worse and worse. And he didn't realize that he should hire someone who knew how to coach defense AND let them do it. I think that RR was a nice enough guy, but please have him stop talking about how good he was going to be in his next year. Move along. Nothing here to see.


Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 1:54 a.m.

Hey SemperFI, please allow me to give you a HOORAH! Sir! I do a lot of Contracting work with the Military out here in San Diego, they never make excuses, bless those Men and Women! They are my heroes!

EMU Pride

Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 6:16 p.m.

He needs to just go away ... I wish him no ill-will but the "shoulda-coulda-woulda" train has left the station we all know 2011 would have been a repeat of 2010 and 2009 they would score a zillion points against weak teams and win by one and then the power teams would expose them over and over again we all see this - but RR cant? Coach - just go away and quit campaigning that you were "close" --- either you will get a new job or you wont but talking about the season that wasnt is not the way to go about it


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 6:14 p.m.

Golly gee awhh shucks RR was that close, huh? This guy will not stop w/ all the excuses just walk away and enjoy life in Florida. I'm sure the offense could have put up 32 points a game but the Defense would still give up 35 points a game. He could have still used the good old excuse we are young on Defense.

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 5:18 p.m.

You can't contend for the Big Ten title if you ignore half of the game. It was more than a couple of injuries on defense. It was a coach who didn't understand and didn't care. All he cared about was record books. The offense also faltered in the second half of the season when it played the stronger half of its schedule and Robinson was beat up. That's inevitable because his offense subjects the quarterback to a serious beating. Try throwing a football accurately after week-after-week of 20 rushing plays. Your body won't cooperate.


Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 1:53 a.m.

If he only ignored half a game it would be bead, but this bozo ignored 2/3rds of the game. His defense was the worst in the Big Ten (and pretty low nationally), the special teams were even worse. The offense was middle of the road. A good defense (Miss State) showed them what happens when you try gimmicks. Hey RR, go away. We don't care what you think. You are prepping to convince some fool that any success UM has is because of you. That AD will be unemployed 3 years after he hires you cheating butt.


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 10:33 p.m.

Some good points, but the other day the 2006 M/OSU game was on. Troy Smith was a QB very much like DR. The ability for your QB to run like that is huge. Also recall Appalachian State and Oregon both with fast running QBs. DR was a sophomore last year. His play early, late in the season is not so bad for a sophomore, playing basically with a bunch of freshmen and sophomores. We will never know, but I am not sure anyone could have done much better with last years team.

Terry Star21

Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 9:05 p.m.

Good post !

Jake C

Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 5:06 p.m.

If anyone wants reason #1 why Rich Rodriguez isn't coaching at U of M anymore, this probably covers it: "Are you surprised by what is going on at Ohio State?" "I know some of it because we were close to the situation when I was at Michigan and part of the rivalry, the recruitment of Terrelle Pryor and all of that. "I think it's one of those things when you go in and investigate and sometimes you ask questions, you find out something else. It begs you to ask more questions and try to find out more answers. I think that's probably typical of a lot of the investigations that the NCAA does. When they look into something, they find out a few other things and they have to investigate it. That doesn't mean that all the answers are out there yet, but they are pretty thorough when they do their investigations. Everything is so covered nowadays, media-wise, with the Internet and everyone has cell phones and all that. I don't know if things are much worse than they were before, but they are more public. And I think you'll see more cases because things are more public. Everything they do is going to become public. That's the world that we live in today."" That sounds like an answer more fitting of a Miss America contestant than someone who was the head coach of the U of M football team for 3 years. Sure, blame it on "Cell phones and media and publicity and the world we live in today..." Embarrassing.

Blu n Tpa

Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 10:54 a.m.

It's called dumb-, unemployed-, please don't compare the WCiMFH to Coach Hoke- coach speak. If this is all he has to bring to college football on TV, I hope he has a good buyout on that contract too.


Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 4:16 a.m.

It's called coach speak. You don't get into specifics regarding other teams' business. Look at Hoke's comments. Very vague and very similar in content. Would you call Hoke's response regarding OSU "embarrassing"?


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 5:06 p.m.

always wondered if there is an equivalent of tv's 'sweeps month/week' at the AAnews. every so often our friends at dump a dead horse on the page and see how many times it will be kicked. this particular dead carcass is long since rigor mortised.


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 5:03 p.m.

Don't worry, Rich. While you did have an exceptionally crappy record at Michigan, fans won't be happy with Hoke either. Michigan fans think their coach should bring them national championships because they were a national power before WWII. It's not going to happen. Hey people, you know that white stuff you see on the ground every winter? That means you're not Florida, Alabama, etc.


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 10:27 p.m.

Its yet to be seen, but this will be a very interesting year. I thought RR should have gotten one more year, but under the condition the team had to go at least 9-3, a two game improvement from last year. And I expect to see that this year. Two losses were by ten points and the turnovers were a major issue in losses. I don't blame the coach for turnovers, especially with such young players. The scandal at Ohio State may turn out to be a big plus, if more players leave, or if five star players uncommit and go elsewhere. That said, the defense was so bad. The defense needs a huge boost and the HC is responsible. But I don't want Michigan to become MSU, firing a coach every few years. I want at least 9-3 a spanking of MSU and a win over OSU. Then I will feel a little better with Hoke. That overall losing record makes me a little jittery.

Terry Star21

Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 9:34 p.m.

mmppcc - I disagree. Michigan Football Faithful want a team that wins with pride yet loses with dignity. It's not all about National Championships - we look forward to a Saturday knowing we're seeing our dream team and that win or lose they will give us 100% effort and 500% entertainment. And the white stuff on the ground every winter - be careful not to get it in your nose.

David Vande Bunte

Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 7:59 p.m.

If you don't think a coach should win you national championships, don't you think your standards are too low? If you don't expect a lot, you won't get a lot.


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 6:23 p.m.

Yeah, Michigan is not the SE. So players don't have to do 2-a-days in 100 degree 100% humidity throughout August. Brady Hoke is the man that will bring Michigan football back to Big10 championships & put them in the annual hunt for the crystal trophy. He is one heck of a recruiter.


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 4:56 p.m.

Who is this guy and why is he talking like he knows something about Michigan football? Yawn!

Terry Star21

Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 4:33 p.m.

We heard this in 2008, 2009 and 2010 - why should we be surprised now. Fact is some of it agree with - we were on our way to becoming the best team in the nation against MAC teams, losing record teams and Division II teams. After three seasons we were making the same mistakes, coaches weren't on the same page, and we never looked like a complete football team - my gosh, in his last game the opposing defensive players said, "We knew exactly what (offensive plays) they were going to run" ! And defense - oh jeez don't get me started ! Fact is I, like a lot of other Michigan Football Faithful supported him 100% when he was here, he was Michigan - I didn't listen to the negative and paid no attention to what we as Faithful couldn't control. But hey, he is not here anymore, he is not Michigan anymore and we have all moved on - please sir, move on and don't talk Michigan Football anymore ! MgoBlueForTiM !!!


Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 4:20 a.m.

Whether you like it or not, Terry, Rich Rodriguez coached Michigan Football for three years. What he says about Michigan Football is relevant on a national level now and for many years to come. I think you'll need to "move on" first.


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 10:09 p.m.

great post TS21.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 4:31 p.m.

Whine. Snivel. Whine. Snivel. Someone hand the WCiMFH a crying towel while reminding him that he was the WCiMFH. Good Night and Good Luck


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 6:12 p.m.

haha... nevermind, I guess! Anywho, here's to looking forward to a new coach with a lot of promise and who has shown a lot of class!


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 4:25 p.m.

oh we go again.