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Posted on Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 5:58 a.m.

'Three and Out' is a behind-the-scenes look at Rich Rodriguez's tenure: It's drama, friction and football

By Jim Knight

John U. Bacon has rarely strayed far from the University of Michigan. He studied there, teaches there and frequently writes about it.

For the most part, his books about Michigan athletics have been uncritical and warm as he delved deeply into the history and traditions of Michigan football (“Bo’s Lasting Lessons,” and “A Legacy of Champions: The Story of the Men Who Built University of Michigan Football”) and hockey (“Blue Ice”).

That changes with “Three and Out,” an unflinching behind-the-scenes look at how the Michigan football program went 15-22 in three seasons under coach Rich Rodriguez and lost its status as one of the premier programs in the Big Ten Conference.


“Three and Out: Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan Wolverines in the Crucible of College Football” by John U. Bacon is scheduled to be released Oct. 25

Bacon, an Ann Arbor-based freelance writer, author, blogger and instructor, spent all three seasons embedded in the program. He was at team meetings, watched film with coaches, hung around practices and was in the locker rooms. He worked out with the strength and conditioning team, attended class with quarterback Denard Robinson and even went to a party with some players.

Outside of the players and the strength coaches, hardly anyone gets out of “Three and Out” unscathed. The three seasons were every bit as dramatic off the field as they were on, and the book is filled with day-to-day drama, internal friction and football.

Rodriguez, ultimately shown as a sympathetic character by Bacon, is confident in his vision and coaching abilities, open and charming to those who get to know him, but awkward with the media and naive about factions at Michigan.

The factions — and yes, Bacon writes, they truly existed — were evident from the start. Bacon writes of people in the Michigan family taking sides once Bo Schembechler died in 2006, well before Rodriguez's arrival.

After a five-chapter scene setter, Bacon cuts loose, starting with then-athletic director Bill Martin trying to find a football coach after Lloyd Carr retired following the 2007 season. Martin is portrayed as an unprepared, unsophisticated leader who offends his search committee, angers Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman and then has trouble working his new cell phone at a point when he’s needed most.

Carr is cool and distant. Regents can’t be trusted. Every member of the Michigan athletics program is convinced two reporters disliked Rodriguez, leading to a 2009 article that prompted an NCAA investigation.

Rodriguez, meanwhile, circles the wagons. He's criticized internally and externally for not being the undefined “Michigan Man.” Even a little thing, like his use of the word “ain’t,” draws criticism.

Top that with a lengthy NCAA investigation, an expensive buyout of Rodriguez’s contract at West Virginia and a Michigan defense that struggles to stop any team, and you have a simmering, stressed football coach.

When a form used internally at Michigan to document the practice hours of individual athletes became the focal point of a Free Press investigation, the university’s minimalistic response angers Rodriguez.

“Since when is telling the truth a bad idea?” Rodriguez asks aloud in Chapter 29. “Why are we so scared of the regents? Why are we so scared of the NCAA? Why are we so scared of telling the truth! For cryin’ out loud — we haven’t done anything wrong! They have the (expletive) forms! They’re not even required!

“And you want to protect them, at my expense? I’m always taking the hit. ‘Oh, he can take it.’ Well, I’m reaching my limit. And they seem to forget, I’m Michigan too! On my hat there’s a big block ‘M,’ and that stands for ‘Michigan!’"

It’s not all stress, investigations and yelling after losses. Bacon explores the close relationships the players form, and their dedication to Rodriguez is evident.

Here, we see Robinson, a shy but gifted athlete, suddenly gain national prominence that even includes Heisman Trophy talk. Robinson is hounded for autographs by fans and for interviews by the media, and he’d rather just go to class and play football. He’s balanced by roommate and fellow quarterback Devin Gardner, whose humor keeps Robinson loose. Gardner's ongoing teasing of Robinson is laugh-out-loud funny.

“Three and Out,” has plenty of surprising behind-the-scenes action, and it informs further the well-known moments from Rodriguez’s time at Michigan, starting with his stilted and rushed first press conference to his soul-baring rendition of “You Raise Me Up” at the 2010 team banquet, just weeks before he was fired.

“Three and Out: Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan Wolverines in the Crucible of College Football” by John U. Bacon. (438 pages, $27)

Jim Knight is the sports director at He can be reached at or 734-623-2551. Follow him on Twitter @JimKnight62.



Tue, Oct 11, 2011 : 7:53 p.m.

John U. Bacon's credibility is untouchable. He was so well respected in Michigan for so long, he was given unprecedented access to the Michigan program by Bo Schembechler. This book, "Three and Out", was supposed to document the transition to the spread by an old-school probram. After the first year, it became apparent to the author that there was so much more to write about and a story was evolving that needed to be told. There is so much information in this book that contradicts the public perception of Rich Rodriguez that it would make your head spin. There is absolutely no way even the greatest of spin-doctors could read this book and not come away with the notion that Rich Rodriguez was doomed from the start.

1st Down

Thu, Oct 6, 2011 : 4:53 a.m.

yeah ed... Lloyd was up there sitting in his darkened office at Schembechler Hall.. like the evil team owner in "The Natural" plotting against the RR regime.... yeah thats the tinfoil ticket

Ed daggett

Wed, Oct 5, 2011 : 2:59 p.m.

as a former player I have witnessed first hand LC undermining of RR! The school president/regents and athletic director were well aware of LC actions yet continue to employ him as an associate ad for $388 K annually! LC hurt RR, M football and the University of Michigan! LC actions are shameful and have cost Michigan millions of dollars. Where else in America would leaders keep there jobs with actions like this! RR is gone others should join him!

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 7:19 p.m.

Two peas in a pod. Slinging mud with absolutely no evidence whatsoever. Disgusting behavior. GN&GL

Lorain Steelmen

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 1:20 p.m.

Ed I share your disgust. As a fellow alum, I appreciate your post. It was obvious from articles here, what LC was doing. I never got close enough to observe it first hand, but I too, am amazed that the athlectic department, actually kept this guy on board, paying him a huge salary, while he worked to undermine the one program in the department that carries everything else. I hope LC will move to Florida.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Oct 5, 2011 : 5:50 p.m.

"as a former player I have witnessed first hand LC undermining of RR" You can, of course, provide specific examples, since you have allegedly witnessed it? Of course you can. GN&GL

1st Down

Wed, Oct 5, 2011 : 2:32 a.m.

Like the overwhelming majority of Michigan fans and alums. I supported RR big time the first year and desperately wanted success for him...but by the end of the year, I saw 5 ALARMING TRENDS 1) the team was TERRIBLY coached 2) the HC was constantly pointing fingers and making excuses...blaming others for his problems and trying to say that the "cupboard was bare" 3) the HC and his strength and conditioning staff were constantly promoting itself in the media... it was ALL about them and not about Michigan 4) Recruiting was down...they were recrutiing skilled players and ignoring the trenches. Good players were leaving the program due to hatred for the HC and his methods 5) the HC had many personal issues... several million dollar lawsuits against him.. narcissistic edge and lawsuits with WVU were all on him and his doing alone... Can you say CHARACTER ISSUES?????? do you see Coach Hoke having any of these issues????? any??? So yeah... please do not put words in my mouth...I totally gave RR the chance... he had support from everyone!!!! RR alone blew it. He was in over his head and he was a MAJOR FAIL at Michigan.


Tue, Oct 11, 2011 : 8:04 p.m.

You know, we have a pretty good o-line and d-line considering RR "recruited skilled players and ignoring the trenches". Oh, and "he had support from everyone!!!!!" - read the book. He absolutely, positively did not.

Nic schweigert

Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 4:33 p.m.

@ Loraine. The only black eye the program has is from the last 3 years of rich rods losing ways. Crying over a Justin bieber song at their banquet? Enough said right there

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Oct 5, 2011 : 5:52 p.m.

"I direct your attention to Ed Daggetts post below." You mean where Daggett, like Miss Lorraine, makes charges completely unsubstantiated by any facts? Just like the Republican noise machine: repeat a lie often enough, maybe you can get people to believe it. GN&GL

Lorain Steelmen

Wed, Oct 5, 2011 : 4:07 p.m.

heartbrreakM; I appreciate and respect your response. When I supported Miles(2) for the job, and more so, Harbaugh(1), I based my comclusions on their coaching ability. (In retrospect, Miles has behaved poorly in some matters calling into question his character.) Certainly, it was well known that Carr opposed Miles as well. We don't know about his opinion of Harbaugh. I direct your attention to Ed Daggetts post below. And I rest my case, realtive to Carr. I only 'called out' Carr, AFTER, he began to undermine the program. Not while he was coaching. As for Hoke I really like this guy. But I am still, 'not a respector of persons', and never wil be. I think Hoke is NOT duplicitous, as Carr was, and I think Hoke puts the kids, and the university, before self. He is refreshing after the Carr behavior. RR was NOT my choice, and I only meet him once, and obviously did not play for him. (Bit I HAVE talked to former coaches of current players, who have shared that the kids loved RR, and were loyal to him.) But as an outsider looking in, I have been appalled by the shabbly behavior by socalled UM fans.


Wed, Oct 5, 2011 : 2:46 p.m.

LS: Whatever. No amount of reasonable explanation will convince you. But to call me a frontrunner? Don't think so. In fact, there are times when you support the institution more than the individual wearing the hat because you believe in the ideals and what the place is about (which at michigan is about more than winning though winning is a big part of it). The one thing I have never heard you mention is 'character' which to me is where Hoke is totally the right guy. I personally like Les Miles, but some of the things that have gone on down at LSU would make me think that his character would not be a good fit at all for UM, even if we won a lot. The things that I objected to about former coach well preceded the time he decimated our program on the field, and most of it had to do with character. But there will be no convincing you, as long as he had the block M on his visor.

Lorain Steelmen

Wed, Oct 5, 2011 : 2:05 p.m.

Carr did not maintain a strong program. (Appy State being the last straw, in th edeterioration.) Nevertheless I strongly supported him as long as he was the headcoach. I have supported the HC here, since 1965, Bump Elliott. I know what I am talking about. But, after he 'retired', Carr worked to undermine the program, and was NOT 'honoring' the program. When his actions surfaced, I felt compelled that he needed to be called out on it. Carr WAS responsible for this mess. No one else. When the RR haters blamed the program's problems on the guy that was brought in to FIX those problems, I have to question both their sanity and their loyalty. It was RR that was wearing the M on his hat, at that point. And we should have supported him. Moeller, Hanlon, and leach did support him, as great examples of Michigan men. Carr did NOT. As far as RR goes, I have always supported him while he was the HC. (My personal choice would have been Miles, or Harbaugh...not RR, because I happen to believe in 'defense first'.). That does NOT qualify me as a RR 'lover', or MCC, but that, and similar distortions, have been leveled at me and others, who have had the 'guts' to stand up and say, that RR was not fairly treated, while here. And, in fact, that a facton with in the University actively sought to make SURE he failed. Comments otherwise, are pure fiction. Now we see John Bacon exposing these truths, and predictably, he is getting the same treatment, that I, and some other fans, have received for three years. These attacks were/are absurd. In short, 'that dog won't hunt'. Now you want us to believe that you'll support Hoke. Righttttt! You are what we used to call 'front runners, nothing more. You are not UM fans at all, but are much more like osu (or msu) fans.....simple frontrunners.


Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 9:04 p.m.

LS Just as you continue to criticize those who don't like the former coach questioning their loyalty to UM, you sure do spend a lot of time criticizing the heck out of Lloyd Carr. You hardly have a post where you don't dig out the old claims of cupboard bare, deterioration of program, etc. Well, if you are so dogged in your feeling that Carr messed the program up, I don't know how you could have put up with any of the antics of the last 3 years. As "bad" as it got under Carr, that was paradise compared to the shtick. Just the embarrassment to UM over the probation and the lawsuit when former coach got here were way over the line compared to anything UM got from Carr. Carr respected the university and honored it any way he could. And my dislike of the coach had nothing to do with hillbilly or whatever. It was all about being the wrong pick and questioning his loyalty to his own alma mater and the manner in which he left them--especially after signing a contract and proclaiming that he was a Mountaineer for life (so to speak, in 1/07 after turning down Bama). And then his actions turned me off even more. Not being snooty but rather, being realistic.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 8:02 p.m.

Pure fiction by the MCC's chief fictioneer. No facts. Just slanderous statements that have absolutely no basis in fact. GN&GL

Lorain Steelmen

Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 7:38 p.m.

You can't blame RR for the loss to Appy State, nor the fact that the cupboard was bare when he walked in here, nor the previous coach Carr, consuling Mallett to cut and run. No, the 'black eye' goes to those that undermined a coach here, while he was trying to rebuild it, from the from the weakened program he inherited. Mattison and Hoke were hired intially by Gary Moeller, not Carr. Had Mo been given the chance to stay on, he may well have groomed Hoke as his replacement, similar to his grooming by Bo Just think, we would have avoided the Carr deteriortaions entirely, that took place from 2002 to 2007. Hoke might have 5 years under his belt here, by now. I know when Mo was canned, Bo was out of town, (Traverse City I believe), on vacation, and had he been in AA, would have come to Moeller's defense. That as it turns out, was the first inkling we had of the anti-UM faction, within the university family. (The holier than thou crowd.) Moeller, a good and decent man, was treated poorly by the U. Little did we know that it would survive and grow, through Carr's regime, and re-assert itself, when RR came in. One of the greatest traits Hoke has, is his 'hands on' approach to coaching the kids. Check out where he is during pregame warmups. Not at the 50 politicking like Carr did.

Lorain Steelmen

Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 4:27 p.m.

Tru2Blu76...well said. I agree, Hoke and company have done an excellent job with the talent that they had to work with. The kids are a year older, and the experience has given them a leg up, in going to the next step. I like this team, and the way they have bonded with each other. I don't see the factions yet, nor the temper tantrums, of a Tate Forcier, for example. I hope Hagerup has gotten his head on straight again. Big Will Campbell seems to be making progress as well. We'll see, but I am hopeful. There is a long way to go, but this staff has done a first rate job of rebuilding the 'mentality' that the program needed. Hoke has the mindset, very similar to Bo, and ya gotta just love that. Right now they have a huge challenge at Evanston this week. Should be fun to watch this unfold. Go Blue.


Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 4 p.m.

Rodriquez recruits: sure, there are plenty of examples of good one and Denard is the gem in the current collection. But as Ghost says, he didn't seem to be able to do anything at all with players he inherited - contrasting starkly with what Hoke has done with these "unsuitable for Big Ten" players HE inherited! I for one am glad Mr. Bacon put in this effort and his book should serve to remind us that Behind the Scenes are things which we'd rather not discuss. I moved to Ann Arbor about 36 years ago and it wasn't long before I started running into snooty cliques whose members delighted in tearing down some vulnerable target. I'm sorry to see that this type of jerk is still around and still has ANY influence within U of M. Just to be clear: I was never the target of those jerks: but I observed their wolf pack behaviors a few times and was always disgusted by these phonies. I even sympathize with Rodriguez in that area. But the rest of his story means he was either the unluckiest man alive for 3 years or he had short comings as a coach.

Lorain Steelmen

Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 2:57 p.m.

Sadly, these kids of articles always seem bring out all the hated from the anti RR crowd. We all know the posters, Ghost, 1st down, aka, 3& out, brazil, et al. They were anti RR rom the first day he was hired. I suspect they just felt a Hillbilly from West Virgina was not 'good enough' to be a michigan man. Hard to believe that kind of mentaility would exist at a supposedly open minded school like this. They never stop to think that Yost also was from West Virginia, and that Bo himself, was from a Blue Collar town of Barberton, Oh, and that Hoke is also from a rough town, Dayton. Of course they all are nicer places than my home town, Lorain, Ohio. I understand that these posters probably never set foot at UM, but they want to be thought of as Wolverines. Lloyd is a bit harder to figure, but I suppose he felt, he should be given the right to name his successor. When that didn't happen his nose was out of joint, so he worked, behind the sceens, to make sure whoever it was did not succeed. This has been a sad chapter in UM history, and one that will leave the school with a black eye for years. Bacon's going public now, is a bit strange, but the truth, is the truth, and he is afterall a writer first, a UM prof second. My hope is, that over time these socalled fans will drift away, and we true UM fans can get back to supporting Hoke and the team.

1st Down

Wed, Oct 5, 2011 : 12:47 a.m.

Wrong Lorain. I supported RR big time the first year...but by the end of the year, I saw 5 ALARMING TRENDS 1) the team was TERRIBLY coached 2) the HC was constantly pointing fingers and making excuses...blaming others for his problems and trying to say that the "cupboard was bare" 3) the HC and his strength and conditioning staff were constantly promoting itself in the media... it was ALL about them and not about Michigan 4) Recruiting was down...they were recrutiing skilled players and ignoring the trenches. Good players were leaving the program due to hatred for the HC and his methods 5) the HC had many personal issues... several million dollar lawsuits against him.. narcissistic edge and lawsuits with WVU were all on him and his doing alone... do you see Coach Hoke having any of these issues????? any??? So yeah... please do not put words in my mouth...I totally gave RR the chance... he had support from everyone!!!! RR alone blew it. He was in over his head and he su-ked at Michigan.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 6:13 p.m.

One last thing, LS. This will probably get censored and, if it does, that would be unfortunate. When you are posting about the things YOU saw on the football field, there is no better poster on PERIOD. Your comments are insightful, they reveal a great knowledge of the game and, even if I disagree with them (which is very seldom), your posts represent reasonable conclusions based on what happened in the game. NO ONE BETTER. But when the topic moves to the former coaching staff, an entirely different on-line personality emerges. It is one that is not interested in facts, it is one that slanders anyone who deigns offer a different opinion (witness your class-based rant above), and it is one that frequently makes it up (again, witness your class-based rant above). I sure would like to see a lot more of the former version of LS and a lot less of the latter. You and I will never agree on RichRod. Never. But let's try to let the insightful fact-based LS post opinions on that subject? OK? GN&GL

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 4:42 p.m.

"They were anti RR rom the first day he was hired." Yes. As noted above, citing the statistics of the last three year = hate. And therefore, ignoring the statistics of the last three years = terminal case of man crush disease. That notwithstanding, I think that someone has a nearly equally fatal case of class consciousness in their efforts to explain their fetish for the WCiMFH as well as in their flights of fancy about why people were upset by the three-year disaster that was his tenure. Yep, had nothing to do his miserable record. It was all because he was a blue collar boy. Talk about living in an illusion! GN&GL

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 12:44 p.m.

OK--let's see if the MCC can follow this. It will be difficult because it will use facts and logic. As of this morning, the UM defense is #32 in the nation in yards per game and it is #4 in the nation in points per game. Sources: <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;rpt=IA_teamtotdef&amp;site=org&amp;div=IA&amp;dest=O</a> --and-- <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;rpt=IA_teamscordef&amp;site=org&amp;div=IA&amp;dest=O</a> The numbers DO NOT include the WMU game because they did not play the minimum of three quarters required for the stats (if not the game) to be official. But let's just spitball a little, shall we? At the point where the WMU game ended, WMU had scored 10 points and had gained 279 yards. Source: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> From where I sat, the WMU offense looked as it it was going to do nothing for the rest of the game. Indeed, it looked as if the WMU QB was going to be lucky to survive if the game went the full four quarters. But, just for argument's sake, let's pretend that the game went a full four quarters and that WMU ended up with 17 points on the scoreboard and 350 yards of total offense. If that were to have happened, and were those stats to be folded into NCAA stats at the links above, Michigan would have the #35 ranked defense in total yards per game and the #7 ranked defense in points per game. Question for the MCC: When, during the regime of the WCiMFH, did the Michigan defense approach this level of accomplishment? Note: Don't tell us about these stats being against powder puff teams. The same could be said about the first five games in each of the last two seasons. Note: Don't tell us about his incompetent defensive coordinators. 1) The WCiMFH hired 'em. 2) Scott Shafer's record before arriving in A2 and after leaving makes clear that he is a VERY good DC. We won't hold our breath waiting for a logical, fact-based answer from the MCC. GN&amp;GL


Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 11:45 a.m.

Three and out is what is was, it was all talk and no defense. To compare RR to Saban is pretty interesting because Saban never lost that many games at LSU OR MSU regardless of an off year. RR didn't just loose by three points, games were over by halftime. When Purdue becomes a rivalry, that's pretty scary. Three and out is a reminder for Michigan fans to humble ourselves on how bad it can be. This guy was a nightmare.


Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 3:28 a.m.

@ 1st Down - I thought you have been identified as the poster &quot;3 and Out&quot; in the past until the coach was fired. Perhaps you don't like the book and author because he appropriated your name for the title. This article has generated the most comments on this board in a while. I miss that old interesting posting action pre-firing, but the winning and coaching trend is certainly more fun on game day. I even recall &quot;3 and out's&quot; hilarious defense of his posting name as coincidence.

1st Down

Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 8:05 a.m.

&quot;First Down -- The Inspirational Story behind Brady Hoke and the New Michigan Wolverines Domination&quot; by 1st Down Coming soon to an online bookstore near you.

1st Down

Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 12:24 a.m.

It is unfortunate that Bacon went for the cash grab here... releasing this book during a rebuilding year for our program... and loading it with pro-RR and anti-Carr propaganda. Bacon is all about himself and not about The Team. Go Blue.


Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 2:22 p.m.

Or he had a contract with a publisher he was required to complete.


Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 11:59 a.m.

LOL! That will ruffle feathers!


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 10:10 p.m.

Rich Rod had a great offense. His problem was with the D, and yes some will say that the offense didn't work against good teams but it didn't have much of a chance with the D on the field most of the game.


Wed, Oct 5, 2011 : 9:15 p.m.

&quot;Rich Rod had a great offense....&quot; Until they played actual defenses in the Big Ten, then the offense was neutralized.


Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 11:56 a.m.

RR's offense was a one trick pony offense like he had with Pat White. What did that offense do in the Big Ten?


Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 2:53 a.m.

Oops--got Denard Robinson injured in nearly every game....


Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 2:52 a.m.

His &quot;great&quot; offense led the nation in 3 and outs in his first year. His &quot;great&quot; offense got Denard Robinson in nearly every game last year, and got Sam McGuffie repeat concussions 3 years ago. His &quot;great&quot; offense scored all of 14 points against Miss State, 7 points last year against OSU, 28 against Wisconsin, most in garbage time, etc etc etc. His &quot;problem&quot; was entire management of the team and coaching staff. Too often, players were confused, head coach was confused, assistants were fighting, players on sideline were not ready to come in, the team was disorganized. That is not coaching. That is bumbling, and the results showed. Jim Harbaugh had a great offense and great organization (at Stanford) and in 4 games at San Francisco, is doing much the same.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 1:24 a.m.

That &quot;great&quot; offense was, at best, mediocre when it encountered a well-coached defense. For example, EMU score more points against OSU last year than did UofM's &quot;great&quot; offense. GN&amp;GL


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 10:02 p.m.

I haven't read the book yet, but I've read the review by Jim Knight, and it's a great review. Thanks for sharing some of the themes with us.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 9:27 p.m.

Macabre Sunset asked for The OSU perspective, so here it is... 1) Your first 5 games were pretty much a &quot;cakewalk&quot; and anyone (including RR) could coach your caliber of athlete to a 5-0 start. 2) Your pounding of Minnesota doesn't really justify the magnitude of the jump in the polls. You're good. No doubt about that... but a ranking in the mid-teens is probably more appropriate. However, many factors impact the polls, including single losses. However, logic and reason ususally play little in the poll results. 3) Blue's alums clearly looked down their noses at RR from Day 1. After all, how could a hick that graduated from West Virginia be &quot;worthy&quot; of an elite school like Michigan? Furthermore, everyone north of Toledo seems to be in love with Hoke-mania (at least until the first loss.) 4) That being said, I think UM's program has turned the corner. Hoke is the &quot;real deal&quot; and can eventually restore Michigan to a place of prominence AMONG football best programs. Sadly, that may not be enough for the alums. They live in a world that thinks Michigan is inherently different and better. Nobody can fulfill that mandate because it just isn't true.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Oct 5, 2011 : 1:34 a.m.

LS wrote: &quot;many UM grads who believe that they are better than everyone else, looked down their noses at RR when he was hired,&quot; More fiction from the MCC's chief fictioneer. And this so-called UM fans needs to go to an OSU fan to finds support for that fiction. How desperate can they be? GN&amp;GL

Lorain Steelmen

Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 2:35 p.m.

'The osu' is right about one thing, namely, that many UM grads who believe that they are better than everyone else, looked down their noses at RR when he was hired, because he was from West Virgina. It's sad to say, but it is a 'black eye' that will stay with this program for generations.


Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 2:45 a.m.

OSU: Your program has problems much larger than anything you accuse Michigan of. Your players continue to get suspended for breaking very basic rules; there are no insitutional rules at OSU--the only rule is &quot;beat UM and the rest we ignore&quot;; the head coach lied to the NCAA and his own institution, and your own fine AD continues to lie his way out of that one by blaming the deposed coach. You can pick on UM all you want, but most UM fans/alumni/staff clearly knew that former coach was the wrong pick for the job. It was a desperation pick and he did not represent the school well, nor was he familiar with the school, its football and university history, or its athletic conference. He arrogantly thought he knew better than 125 or so years of Michigan history, and knew better than any existing staff. He was a failure in any sense of the word, and if there was any doubt, you can compare his first 10 months with Hoke's first 10 months. Former coach's problems were pretty much self-induced while Hoke has embraced the history, the expectations, and is not afraid to suspend star players if needed, even if it might cost him a victory. Heck, former coach's first Michigan action was to get it involved in a lawsuit with his old employer, where it was very clear that he reneged on a months old contract and he tried to get out of it. That is not &quot;looking down the nose&quot;. That is maintaining ethics, being accountable, and not embarrassing the university. Hoke will be fine through losses because he will lose with class just as he wins with class. And there is no doubt that he absolutely treasures this university, this job, and these players. (And look at the way his old players at SDSU treated him after the game last week--with tons of respect and admiration, unlike RR's old players who hated him for what he did).


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 10:15 p.m.

&quot;They live in a world that thinks Michigan is inherently different and better. Nobody can fulfill that mandate because it just isn't true&quot;. I think OSU has the same issue, they're going to be hunting for the best coach in the land after this season. OSU and their fan base won't stand for an average big ten team.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 9:42 p.m.

The fact of the matter is that Michigan now has a coaching staff that will get it done, where as the former staff was average at best. Anything positive this year is a bonus. I am a Wolverine supporter and have been my whole life, but the RR era was hard to watch. Here's to many big ten championships, GO BLUE.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 9:05 p.m.

I dont know what will happen the rest of the year and we are overated in the polls.But I can promise you one thing.In Hokes third year we will be light years ahead of where we were last year .Take that to the bank.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 8:44 p.m.

The difference is Hoke knows how to use Rich Rods players.Something RR didnt know

Macabre Sunset

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 7:18 p.m.

I'm not surprised to see all the worship here from OSU fans who like to tweak us from time to time. Rodriguez presided over the worst three-year stretch in Michigan history. Why would I want to read a book about it? The man couldn't coach.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 7:49 p.m.

Well said, MS. We may cross swords on other issues, but in this we are in complete agreement. We need to have a beer together sometime and discuss football, not politics! GN&amp;GL


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 6:58 p.m.

Honestly, what is wrong with some of you people. Are you all failing to remember that we were 4-0 in 2009 and 5-0 in 2010 BEFORE we played any good teams? Same boat this year. I'm no RR backer, but a UM backer instead, and this Hokemania speaks volumes about everyone's objectivity.


Thu, Oct 6, 2011 : 3:56 a.m.

Biggest difference between this year and last year is the defense. Nobody doubted that the defense was bad last year and it was bad because of Greg Robinson. Give Michigan an average defense last year and that team gets 9 wins.


Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 11:35 a.m.

With RR, his teams squeaked by weak teams and lose big with decent teams. Hoke's teams are not the same.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 7:33 p.m.

You are entitled to your opinion and speculation that a 2011 Rich Rod football would likewsie be 5 and 0. I did back Rich Rod and I thank him for recruiting fine young men to play for the Maize and Blue. Many of the players on this year's defense are now in their second year and should be better than last year, even under Rich Rod. Under Hoke and Mattison, they are several levels better. Let's see how well the Maize and Blue play on the road the next two weeks. That should resolve a lot of speculation on all of our part. I am confident about our chances.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 7:15 p.m.

There is no doubt that we are yet to hit the tough part of our schedule. But I suggest you look at last year's team and its inability to put away the powder puffs (e.g., UMass and Indiana) as but one example of the team's improvement. Yep, this team could collapse like last year's did (losing 6 of its last 8 games) and like the 2009 team did (losing 7 of its last 8 games). But I don't see that happening. The on-the-field performance is starkly better. Their conditioning clearly is better (shocking number of players under the past regime who clearly were completely gassed late in games). And this coaching staff makes in-game adjustments where the past regime made few if any. Frankly, this team has exceeded my expectations. I thought 4-1 was likely at this point in the season and 3-2 possible (SDSU is a solid team). Forgive us for being happy with the teams's success after three years of incompetent coaching. Good Night and Good Luck


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 6:30 p.m.

bacon's lack of credibility provides instant skepticism with this work. His paychecks are from the university...he worships at the altar of glenn schembechler and he's one of the michigan mafia that disliked rodriquez and favored hiring someone from the michigan family.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 6:48 p.m.

This is 110% inaccurate. If what you are saying is true the book would be against RR, which I have heard (and as the article indicates) couldn't be farther from the truth. It also says very little about your knowledge of Bacon as a person and journalist.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 6:19 p.m.

The main difference I see coming out of the blocks between Hoke's approach and Rodriguez's approach is that Hoke decided to work with what he found when he got here and craft his coaching around the players that he has. From the very start RR complained of not having the players he wanted to play his style of football, then insisted on forcing the issue. Hoke is proving to be more able to adapt in that regard, and, frankly, he comes across as less arrogant and abrasive than RR did.


Thu, Oct 6, 2011 : 3:54 a.m.

Who can't win with Denard and the returning #10 offense in the country? A better question is, who CAN win with Nick Sheridan and Steven Threet?

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Oct 5, 2011 : 1:32 a.m.

&quot;It's hard to do a lot of &quot;crafting&quot; around Steven Threet&quot; Not at all true. Threet transferred to Arizona State and was its starting QB in the spread offense last year--successfully so--until he suffered a career ending concussion. GN&amp;GL

Rob Pollard

Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 2:09 p.m.

It's hard to do a lot of &quot;crafting&quot; around Steven Threet and Nick Sheridan. By all accounts they were nice and upstanding young men, but they weren't (and didn't) succeed no matter what system they were in. If RR walked in with a junior Denard Robinson and a 2nd-year Devin Gardner, an experienced OL, etc, he would have suddenly become much smarter. That said, I wish Hoke and everyone well this season and hope they get 9+ wins. Unfortunately, 2012 will be the reality check as that schedule is probably twice as hard as this year's. The team could be better next year and only have 7 or so wins.


Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 11:33 a.m.

RR forced his offense to LC's players and then complained that he the cupboard was bare. lol

1st Down

Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 12:41 a.m.

well said. Rodriguez is a narcissist and it was all about him. That is why he commissioned Bacon to write this book about HIS program. It was always about promoting RR and not about Michigan.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 7:05 p.m.

Well said. It is Hoke's attitude and approach that has brought success and is the reason so many fans are behind him. It was RR's approach and arrogance that turned off some people, and ultimately his losing record that caused many people to want him to be fired.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 5:55 p.m.

The logic that the RR lovers are using that says that Brady Hoke is now winning with RR's players is the MOST important piece of evidence that proves that RR was a TOTAL failure in his 3 years here. Why could RR not win with the same players that Coach Hoke is now winning with ? Why could he only come up with an average of 2-6 in the B1G every year and a final record of 6-18 ? Why did these same players finish every year losing 6 of the last 7 or 8 games ? Why could we not beat OSU, MSU, PSU, Iowa, Wiscy, and even Toledo ? Because RR is (and probably always will be) The Worst Coach in Michigan Football History. Period. You cannot debate that his final 3 year record is the WORST ... you can try to make up excuses and try to rewrite history ... but you cannot debate the total failure of RR, based on his performance and record.


Thu, Oct 6, 2011 : 3:52 a.m.

RR won with these same players. Or is 7-6 not a winning record in your world?

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 5:58 p.m.

People with man crushes work in a different logical plane. Good Night and Good Luck


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 5:17 p.m.

Where is Theo? He hasen't commented on anything in a long time?

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 5:07 p.m.

I seem to recall that last fall, at a press conference, the WCiMFH infamously charged that Vince Lombardi could not coach the Michigan defensive team to success, a statement that both slandered the players and the guy who recruitted most of them. But, given the success of this year's team, it would appear one did not need the Ghost of Lombardi. They simply needed some competent coaching. Good Night and Good Luck

Lorain Steelmen

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 4:40 p.m.

Great posts by 'truebluefan' and 'lindor', sum up the situation well. Thanks for bringing sanity and some logical and independant thinking to this whole sorted history. Bacon story or no Bacon story. I have been openly critcized here, for advancing the same commentary. Whatever the MCC means, it is merely a way of denigrating another point of view. Unlike the anti-RR crowd, I am one of the few Michigan fans, that has supported the current UM coach (and program) since 1965. From Bump, to Bo, to Mo, to Lloyd, to RR, to Hoke. It is my belief that the current coach is entitled to the support of michigan fans while he is charged with running the program. For the first time in my, now 47th season, I was appalled by the efforts of the Carr led, anti -Michigan group, that enlisted the aid of the Freep, to assist in their undermining of RR. But lets' set the record staright, I supported RR while he was here, although I questioned his defensive abiliites, and his chances for success, WHEN he was first hired. I do believe that RR would have faired better, if Carr hadn't left the cupboard bare, talked Mallett into leaving , and not undermined RR's efforts for three years. Having said that, RR was treated shamefully while here, and is better off now that he's gone. The so called sophisticated, and loyal UM, anti-RR group is/was neither sophisciated, or loyal. It will remain a 'black eye' on this program, that transcentds whichever coach happens to be here at the moment. I prefer to focus my attention, and support of Hoke, and this team, which is the product of BOTH RR and Hoke. But I no longer believe the so called UM fans, who now want us all to think that they are 'true blue.' As Bo commented about Tressel, these so called UM fans, are nothing but 'snakes in the grass'. SO myu advice to UM fans id...let the past go. As UM fans we should be concentrating on the team and getting behind Hoke.


Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 11:32 a.m.

Carr left the cupboard bare? lol! Even Brady Hoke did something with the players RR could not coach properly.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 1:21 a.m.

Interesting how irrefutable facts = hating RichRod. Diagnosis: a terminal case of man crush disease. GN&amp;GL


Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 12:02 a.m.

&quot;Ghost and Brazil, need to let go of all this RR hatred&quot; I didn't write 1 word about RR in my response to your comment. I wrote about YOU !

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 9:41 p.m.

@mun: Don't confuse 'em with actual FACTS!!!! GN&amp;GL


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 9:27 p.m.

&quot;I do believe that RR would have faired better, if Carr hadn't left the cupboard bare,&quot; Michigan had 8 returning starters on defense that year. Not exactly bare.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 9:12 p.m.

But you are correct in one thing. The fan base will turn on Hoke if, after three years, his record looks anything like this: *6-18 in the Big Ten *0-12 against Big Ten teams with winning records *1-13 against MSU/OSU/PSU/Iowa/Wisky/ (and now, Nebraska) *Never finished higher than tied for 7th in the Big Ten *2-11 against teams that were in the Top 25 at the time the game was played *Winless against teams that finished the season in the Top 25. *Three straight seasons not in the Top 25 (had not happened since 1965, '66, and '67) *A defense that gets progressively worse over a three-year period. Admittedly this will be difficult to do, given that in 2010 we were 110th out of 120 teams in the FBS. *A mediocre offense against quality teams (e.g., EMU scored more points against OSU in 2010 than we did). *Worst bowl loss in Michigan history *2nd NCAA probation in Michigan history (since the WCiMFH brought on our first) Yep. If he &quot;achieves&quot; anything close to that record of failure, he will be in trouble, as he should be. But given the improvements I have seen over the first five games, I doubt that will be the case. But the MCC can keep a wishin' and a hopin' that Hoke will fail, as we know they are, as a way to justify their continued worship of the WCiMFH. GN&amp;GL

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 8:59 p.m.

LS: It is you who keeps repeating the old excuses for the failures of the WCiMFH. Can't wait for you to dig Bo out of his grave to explain how he supported the hiring of the WCiMFH. Don't want to talk history? Then I suggest you take your own advice. GN&amp;GL

Lorain Steelmen

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 8:48 p.m.

Ghost and Brazil, need to let go of all this RR hatred. It's getting really old. The rest of us have moved on. I know, for some time now, I have put it all behind me. And I suggest that you both do the same. Your quotes indicate that neither of you are ready to do that, but only want to keep digging open 'old wounds'. Carr allowed this program to degenerate. And yet still I supported him. But when he sought to undermine his replacement, he stepped over the line. While RR would not have been my choice, but once here, we all should have supported him. I don't consider people such as Brazil and Ghost as real UM fans. And I would NOT be at all surprised to see them turn on Hoke, in a 'new york minute'. Not sure what your agends are, but I don't have the time, nor inclination, to dig into it. LET GO, enough is enough!...... The rest of us want to post, on football.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 6:59 p.m.

You spent 4 paragraphs digging up the past and putting your spin on it, and then you say &quot;SO my advice to UM fans is...let the past go. As UM fans we should be concentrating on the team and getting behind Hoke.&quot; Way to set the example and show how to do that !

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 5:31 p.m.

LOL. LOL. LOL. &quot;Talked Mallett into leaving&quot;. Yeah. After the WCiMFH made clear, and quite publicly so, that Mallett did not have the skill set he wanted for his offense. And then, after Mallett left, the MCC proclaimed very loudly that he would have been useless to the WCiMFH and that he was no loss. It was only AFTER Mallett developed into one of the best college QBs in the country, and AFTER it was revealed that, having been rebuffed by the WCiMFH, Mallett went to Lloyd Carr for what turned out to be sage advice, that the MCC have decided that it might have been a good thing to have kept Ryan Mallett around. But, of course, because nothing is EVER the fault of the WCiMFH, it must be . . . wait for it . . . here it comes . . . . Lloyd Carr's fault!!!!!! Time for the MCC to start watching CBS on Saturdays rather than UM football. It's there that they will find the object of their desires. Good Night and Good Luck


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 4:18 p.m.

Happy MEANday to all. OHHHHH! Do You know the man crush crowd? The Man crush crowd, the man crush crowd? Do You know the Man crush crowd? They fired coach whatshisname!! MEAEAEAEAEAEAEAEANchigan football has crawled out of the muck, If y'all don't believe this, GN&amp;GL


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 3:50 p.m.

Yeah, and Bo won with Bump Elliot's players back in '69. How often do you hear that?


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 3:50 p.m.

We would be 5-0 right now with RR, and probably would have blown out ND instead of having the game handed to us - honestly we should have lost that game by 20. What is obvious this year.... Our offense has taken a set backwards. Denard hasn't had as many touches and his passing has been awful. This past weekend was the first time he passed fairly well and admittedly, most of the routes were short outs, similar to RR's schemes. We've started off slow in every game both on offense (never had that problem last year) and defense, but now we have the coaching on defense to adjust, something we never had last year. Our defense has actually kept us in games until our offense got comfortable. We've beat Eastern, Western, SDSU, Minn and Notre Dame - not much to rave about there in terms of toughness of schedule. We should win this weekend as well but I think it will be our toughest game to date. Im going to reserve my comments for two weeks until we head west to play a very good Michigan State team. It will be interesting to see what happens then... We win and Brady becomes the second coming, we lose and I'm willing to bet we start hearing &quot;this isn't Hoke's team yet&quot;. Which is an interesting because people seem to forget that Lloyd didn't exactly leave us in the best shape in terms of recruiting for RR's first year, whereas Hoke couldn't have it much better. What should have happened? Brandon should have kept RR for one more year and forced him to fire Robinson. That wasn't going to happen though because Brandon wanted him out. Now that we've got a &quot;Michigan Man&quot; in Hoke he is receiving unconditional support which probably amounts to a fraction RR received in the entire 3 years he was here. I've got a feeling this book is going to shed a lot of light on the situation and show how wrong RR was treated. Regardless, Go Blue!

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 7:32 p.m.

5) The defense is better. But there is no evidence that Robinson or his predecessor, Scott Shafer, were the problem. You've replied to my post above this where I have provided the details regarding Robinson and Shafer. Apparently not impressed with that, I guess. Oh well. Nothing was ever RichRod's fault. 6) A college football coach not treated fairly? A college football coach subject to sharp criticism? You mean the way far too many so-called &quot;fans&quot; treated and continue to treat Lloyd Carr? Golly Gee. Who'd have thunk it possible. I tire of hearing the excuses for the WCiMFH. He very much made his own bed when he arrived, and then blamed everyone else for the circumstances that he created. But I agree with you last: Go Blue GN&amp;GL

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 7:26 p.m.

lindor: 1) Whether or not you or I liked the offensive scheme, it seems to me, is beside the point. The question is results. And however boring the 7-yard out pattern might be, and however exciting it might be to watch Denard, the only thing that matters at 7PM on a Saturday afternoon is whether or not we won. And at that most basic measurement, the immediate past coaching staff presided over the worst three years in Michigan history. 2) Mallett drank? Say it isn't so. So did Brian Griesse. Mallett had an attititude? hard to believe. I'm certain that the vast majority of scholarship athletes at FBS programs, having been coddled for most of their lives and told they can do no wrong, arrive at college with very self-effacing and modest attitudes (sarcasm button off) 3) And our offense was going to do a complete 180 this year, but Hoke and Borges quickly realized that it could not, and they therefore adapted their offense to the talent they had. This is what good coaches do. It is not what the last coach did, and the result was disaster. 4) Whether or not our offense is better than last year is a matter of opinion. Let me tell you two measures that impress me: 1) fewer turnovers, and 2) more TOP. Both mean that a problematic defense spends less time on the field. Good coaches with problematic defenses adopt an offensive philosophy that keeps that defense off the field. Can't count the number of times over the last three years we went three-and-out and burned less than a minute of clock time. That's not happening now, and we see the impact on the defensive side of the ball. (continued)


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 6:26 p.m.

5) Defense is clearly better. Well coached and ability to adjust. Something that has been non existent the past few years. That was an easy fix though, fire Robinson. Brandon didn't want that because he wanted to bring in a &quot;Michigan Man&quot; that new about the history of the program. Well excuse me, but I'm not sure high schoolers, 20 years removed from the Bo era, have a clue what Michigan football was about. In fact, it most of us complained about how boring it became. 6) For what it is worth, I didn't like the RR hiring. I thought he was whiner ever since WVU lost their conference final to play for the national title. Regardless, he knew how to coach and was not treated fairly here. It was a witch hunt from day one. We'll all see that in Bacon's book. You can regurgitate stats all you want, but when you fail to be objective you lose all credibility.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 6:25 p.m.

@Murrow - Can't argue with your long lists of stats and never tried to. Take a look at how many players Lloyd signed to help rebuild our team in 2008, not so great a job. If Lloyd cared about the program at all he would have announced his retirement early so we could have built up that year's recruiting class, but he tanked. That didn't happen though because Lloyd and Martin don't get along. What you're missing.... 1) Mallett left because no one could stand him or respected him. He was arrogant, and worse, could be found at most campus watering holes any night of the week. And if I remember correctly, he wasn't so good that first year either and we had no other recruited QBs to step up. In fact we fell off at every position unlike year after year before where we just reloaded when recruiting. Whose fault is that? RR or Lloyd 2) Our offense did a complete 180 under RR. Changing personnel and teaching a new scheme take time, we didn't give him that. Not sure about you but I used to hate the 7 yard out on 3rd down when he had 10 to go. 3) We started off 4-0 and 5-0 in 2009 and 2010 respectively - much like this year. By your accounts Hoke is already a better coach than RR. Might be true, might not be. My point was it is still too early and we haven't beaten anyone. 4) Our offense is NOT better than it was last year. It has taken a step backwards. It isn't too far fetched to say we would have been far better under RR's system. What is clear so far is that Borges is trying to teach Denard to be a pro-style QB, solid footwork and mechanics, and it hasn't work out well. I can't believe how badly he has missed some throws. He's an athlete and you've got to let him play. That happened this weekend and he was on target.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 5:11 p.m.

Let me see if I understand your logic. Under the WCiMFH, the UM football program went: *6-18 in the Big Ten *0-12 against Big Ten teams with winning records *1-13 against MSU/OSU/PSU/Iowa/Wisky *Never finished higher than tied for 7th in the Big Ten *2-11 against teams that were in the Top 25 at the time the game was played *Winless against teams that finished the season in the Top 25. *Three straight seasons not in the Top 25 (had not happened since 1965, '66, and '67) *From 24th in the nation in defense in 2007 (Carr's last year), to 67th in 2008, to 84th in 2009, to 110/120 teams in 2010 *A mediocre offense against quality teams (e.g., EMU scored more points against OSU in 2010 than we did). *Worst bowl loss in Michigan history *1st NCAA probation in Michigan history And this is because the WCiMFH didn't get the support he wanted? Yeah. Stick to that story. Good Night and Good Luck


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 3:12 p.m.

Biggest difference between the Hoke era and Rodriguez era to this point is Hoke has received blind support both internally and externally. That said, Hoke has done an excellent job with RR's roster of 20 returning starters from a 7-win team. Add to that an all-star defensive coaching staff and you have the makings for a magical first season. My only doubt was how good the defense would be. Remember all that talk about how we don't have NFL caliber guys on defense and how our players can't win because they're not all 4- and 5-stars? The problem was Greg Robinson and nothing more. Sure, Rich hired him but he wasn't given the opportunity by Brandon to replace him. Pretty sure that will come out in the book. Rich was a dead man walking before the OSU game. Brandon blind sided him. Pretty sure this book will detail how the anti-RR faction sought to destroy Rodriguez from the inside. Of course, they weren't on the field coaching but there are rumors that they tipped off the Freep investigation. In other words, they tried their best to make life miserable for Rich. Petty people. And the 3-9 season just made their job much easier. I'm glad Rodriguez is gone, but not because he was a bad coach or bad person. I'm glad he's gone for his own sanity. That whole episode opened my eyes and made me despise these so called &quot;Michigan Men&quot;. I am extremely proud of Hoke for not using that ridiculous term.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 5:05 p.m.

&quot;Pretty sure this book will detail how the anti-RR faction sought to destroy Rodriguez from the inside.&quot; Yeah. I read that in the above review. Not. And surely the reviewer would have mentioned it because it would have brought thousands of hits to this website. What does he say? &quot;Carr is cool and distant.&quot; Gee. That's a shock. The WCiMFH has just fired Carr's entire staff save Fred Jackson, and he has run off nunmerous players Carr recruited. And then the WCiMFH very publicly complained about the &quot;cupboard being empty,&quot; a refrain picked up and echoed by the fetishists. So, yeah. Carr was cool and distant. And the only person to blame for that is the WCiMFH. But, then, he never to responsibility for anything, did he. GN&amp;GL.

Blu n Tpa

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 4:21 p.m.

Earned support. Respect is earned also. You can't take it, it has to be earned. Ego was your guys downfall. As for being blindsided, everybody who could read the paper, listen to sports on air, or follow a college football blog knew what was coming after another the end of year collapse by the WCiMFH. The fact that neither of you knew, well I'm glad I'm not that slow. He's gone because it was an awful coach. That made firing him that much easier.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 3:01 p.m.

I can't wait to read the book. While RichRod turned out to be a bad fit, and failed on the defensive side of the ball, it was shameful how he was treated by the press and some &quot;old school&quot; Michigan men&quot;. The personal attacks on his integrity and &quot;culture&quot; (the guy was from west Virginia) were wrong. One thing I liked about RichRod, , he bought speed to the Wolverines. Hoke, Mattison, and Borges are great coaches, and are making the best of RichRod's speedy recruits. If they had been the 'arrogant version of a Michigan men&quot; they would have benched Robinson and started Gardner because he is slower and taller. Short of that Borges would have Robinson taking the snap from under center every down because &quot;we are Michigan men&quot;. Hail to the Victors! Hail to SEC caliber speed! Hail to tradition and innovation!

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 2:42 p.m.

&quot;He's winning with Rodriguez's players!&quot; Which is something the WCiMFH could never do. Hence he was the WCiMFH. And hence he was fired. And your next point is . . . wait . . . wait . . . I can hear the MCC refrain now: It's all Lloyd Carr's fault. Good Night and Good Luck


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 9:25 p.m.

@lindor &quot;He's 5-0 with RR's players against 5 awful teams... &quot; At least Brady Hoke is dominating those teams (outside of Notre Dame). Rich Rod struggled to beat lowly Indiana, UMass, Illinois, and Purdue last year.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 7:34 p.m.

&quot;No one is going to argue with you about the D-coordinator hires made by RR.&quot; Unless you know the facts. His first DC, Scott Shafer, was enormously successful before arriving here and after leaving. His defense at Syracuse was #7 in the nation last year. This would cause a reasonable person to conclude that the defense's problems in 2008, the only year Shafer was here, had little to do with Shafer. Good Night and Good Luck


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 6:35 p.m.

He's 5-0 with RR's players against 5 awful teams... Let's see what happens this weekend on the road at NU and then at MSU. No one is going to argue with you about the D-coordinator hires made by RR... AWFUL... The answer wasn't keeping Ron English and I don't know what the answer is either. It could have been keeping RR for one more year and forcing him to hire a new DC like Mattison.... What are you going to say if we lose to MSU, ILL, OSU and Nebraska? RR's players? OUr offense has taken a step back, defense looks better, but not by much. I've had this same conversation the past 3 years - 4-0 (2009), 5-0 (2010), 5-0 (2011), but what happens from here forward will tell us a lot, especially about bandwagoners like you... Are you going to be asking for Hoke's head if we lose all 4 games? Are you going to say he needs more time, their RR's players... I want what is best for Michigan football, not just a Michigan Man as coach. That gets me nowhere besides telling my kids how our team used to play in the mid 80s and 90s.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 6:11 p.m.

@TrueBlue - if RR had had a single brain in his head, he would have kept Ron English instead of pulling the &quot;I'm replacing everyone with my cronies&quot; routine. That was his biggest defensive coaching error.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 4:48 p.m.

&quot;It was the incompetent DC that couldn't make it work.&quot; Talk about a history re-write. 1) The WCiMFH brought in Scott Shafer in his first year, some one thought around the country to be a budding defensive genius. The rest of the D-staff came from WVU. The result was disaster and Shafer was the fall guy who got fired. For more on Shafer's career, including a one-year turn-around of the defense at Stanford (not conincidentally, Harbaugh's first year there): <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> 2) Then the WCiMFH brought in the just fired Syracuse HC to be the DC with all of the WVU assistants. The result: things got even worse. 3) In the meantime, Shafer went to Syrcuse where he had the #7 rated defense in the NCAA last year. Source: <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;rpt=IA_teamtotdef&amp;site=org&amp;div=IA&amp;dest=O</a> So, which story do ya want to stick with?: 1) That the WCiMFH hired two incompetent DCs. If you like this story, there is no reason to think he was going to be any more cabable of finding a competent one. --or-- 2) That the common thread in the two DC's failures is the WCiMFH, the most damning evidence being Shafer's success both before arriving at the UM and his success after leaving. But then there is always the stock MCC answer, good for all occasions: It's all Lloyd Carr's fault. Time to watch CBS where you can worship your hero. GN&amp;GL

Blu n Tpa

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 4:12 p.m.

Do you guys just up vote each other? 1984, that's a great example using Facebook. Didn't he lose a few hundred MILLION DOLLARS in a lawsuit over how the company started? I like my comparison of the Titanic and the WCiMFH. Looked good, and run ok for a while but lack of strong leadership at the top, not planning ahead, and a flawed in design doomed it from the start. Thankfully no one was killed in the hiring of the WCiMFH.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 3:18 p.m.

Rodriguez assembled this offense. Rodriguez and staff recruited the defensive players that Cousin Eddie stated weren't B1G caliber. I'm pretty sure that the players are just fine and they'll show it this season. It was the incompetent DC that couldn't make it work. Too bad Rich didn't get a chance to replace Greg Robinson. Brandon blindsided Rich. BTW, Brandon went to bat for *Michigan* in that ridiculous NCAA investigation. He didn't care a lick about Rodriguez.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 2:57 p.m.

According to Edward if Zuckerburg were to be somehow fired from Facebook and Brady Hoke were hired, all of Facebook's success would be because of Brady (the guy currently leading the company). Nevermind that Zucerkburg built it from the ground up... let's just write him off completely (unless we're complaining about something related to Facebook). You BaHAAGG (Bo and His Assistants Are God Groupies) are getting worse and worse by the minute. All Hail Edward. King of the BaHAAGG. I'm going to go enjoy reality. Feel free to join me anytime.

Kommandant Klink 1

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 2:32 p.m.

Go Blue!! I trust John U. Bacon to tell it like it is.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 4:52 p.m.

Colonel Klink! You a brilliant man! MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEANchigan will return from the latrine! If y'all don't believe it go back to stalag thirteen!


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 2:30 p.m.

John U Bacon appears every Friday morning on 1050 WTKA in the 9 AM hour. He will also appear on the afternoon &quot;Big Show&quot; soon but there are no details as to when. For those interested, you can tune in. He also has his own &quot;Bacon Blog&quot;. Much anticipated book, a must read. The Rich Rob era will live on forever, just as the wounds from the &quot;Fab Five have never healed, for many. The Michigan Football program is making great strides back to prominence. The next two weeks will reveal as to how soon we will get there.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 2:28 p.m.

Michigan is 5-0 under Brady Hoke. Go Blue! Go Hoke! Yay!!! REALITY CHECK: He's winning with Rodriguez's players! This was the season that Rich Rod had high hopes for... he had something like 11 returning starters and a great deal of depth. Hoke simply CANNOT be judged on how he performs with Rodriguez's guys. It's like giving Les Miles credit for the national championship down in LSU after Sabin left... Anyone with a cursory knowledge of football could lead Michigan to 5-0 right now with the stocked roster Rodriguez left. Let's all stop being so naive!


Tue, Oct 11, 2011 : 8:02 p.m.

I love how Edward R Murrow's Ghost's only argument to anything is to invoke the &quot;MCC&quot; and insult people. He probably realized long ago that Rich Rod was screwed over and just doesn't want to admit he was wrong.


Wed, Oct 5, 2011 : 1:37 a.m.

What were the recruiting rankings of Michigan's past three years? Hoke and staff are challenging these guys to be as good as they can be. RR and Co. didn't do was about the spread plays in his hand and beating Purdue! How about Will Campbell!, who wanted him to play OT? 3 and out... He was a great coach for the punter! lots of game experience.


Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 6:56 p.m.

They are Rodriguez's players in name only. The linemen were smaller versions of themselves. The defense was clueless after three years of teaching a scheme neither defensive coordinator liked or understood. Rich Rod is a great offensive coordinator - until you play big guys who are just as fast as your quick, little guys. When that happens, the only team you can beat is Notre Dame.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 9:18 p.m.

&quot;Anyone with a cursory knowledge of football could lead Michigan to 5-0 right now with the stocked roster Rodriguez left&quot; Brady Hoke and Greg Mattison actually know defense, unlike Rich Rod and Greg Robinson.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 6:45 p.m.

@MRunner Again, no one argues our DC stunk and we needed someone new to coach them. But to the rest of your points.... 1) Any concern about our D against SDSU and Western is complete speculation, we can never know. Our offense would have been better in the same scheme so we would have put up more points against them than we did. 2) ND SHOULD HAVE rolled up 40-50 points against us. I'm under no illusions, we got lucky there. 3) We'd still be 5-0. Thats the reality.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 4:08 p.m.

The only people pining away for the WCiMFH are the fetishists who can't get over their man crushes. I guarantee that no one on the football team misses him and his drama queen antics. GN&amp;GL

Blu n Tpa

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 4:06 p.m.

I don't understand the word &quot;yay&quot;. And everything written after it. They can't be the WCiMFH's players because they sign a LOI to go to Michigan, not the University of Bad Defensive Coaching and No Special Teams. I'll tell you what. You go ask all the returning starter who they want to play for, Coach Hoke or your lost love. Anyone with a passing interest of this team knows the answer, so let's stop drinking the kool-ade. TiM Go Blue! (Tell uncle rod I said &quot;Hi&quot;.)


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 4:01 p.m.

Bo Schembechler won with Bump Elliot's players. Gary Moeller won with Bo Schembechler's players. Lloyd Carr won with Gary Moeller's players. Why couldn't RR carry on that tradition?


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 2:50 p.m.

Very good point about the roster stocked with Rich Rod's players. This to me makes Brady Hoke and his coaching staff more special, why? because in my view, the defense this year would have improved but not at this level. My fear is that under the Rich Rod defensive scheme, they would not have stopped Alex Carder, the WMU QB and we would have gotten beaten. The ND offense would have rolled up 40-50 points or we would have seen another 67-65 game. SDSU would have rolled up a ton of points and we might have lost. My take is Rich Rod would have had a 2 and 3 record season to date. I backed him into the Gator Bowl and then realized that worst would yet come....sorry but this is where I differ in opion.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 2:27 p.m.

John U Bacon appears every Friday morning on 1050 WTKA in the 9 AM hour. He will also appear on the afternoon &quot;Big Show&quot; soon but there are no details as to when. For those interested, you can tune in. He also has his own &quot;Bacon Blog&quot;. Much anticipated book, a must read. The Rich Rob era will live on forever, just as the wounds from the &quot;Fab Five have never healed, for many. The Michigan Football program is making great strides back to prominence. The next two weeks will reveal as to how soon we will get there.

Ron Granger

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 2:12 p.m.

Rich Who?


Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 12:04 p.m.

GoBlue1984 - Are you saying that Hoke will lose in November? The only way Hoke loses is if they copy RR style on both offense and defense.

Blu n Tpa

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 3:57 p.m.

1984 Aren't you the same guy who said we would miss the WCiMFH when Coach Hoke was hired? No? Or maybe the guy who still thinks the Titanic was 80% successful because it made it most of the way to New York?! I know, you're the &quot;spin&quot; doctor for political misfits.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 2:24 p.m.

Come November I'm sure we'll see &quot;Brady Who?&quot; ... gotta love the bandwagoners after a 58-0 drubbing of a team that lost to North Dakota State at home.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 1:39 p.m.

&quot;[Bill Martin] has trouble working his new cell phone at a point when he's needed most.&quot; I am assuming that refers to the Les Miles/Martin-on-a-boat thing... thank God. Not that the last three years have been pleasant but I think we're better off now than if Miles had been hired.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 1:32 p.m.

Who authorized John Bacon to hang around the football program? That will be a nice book to purchase to read about what went on during 3 dark years of Michigan football.


Tue, Oct 11, 2011 : 7:59 p.m.

Wow. &quot;Bacon in bed with Rodriguez explains the pro RR stance and the anti Carr lies.&quot; John U. Bacon is one of the most respected journalists in the country. The book started before the 2008 season, long before anybody knew how RR's teams would perform, and was supposed to be nothing more than a story about the transition of Michigan football to the spread offense. But of course, ignorance is king around here. No matter how impeccable the integrity of the journalist, if they try to convince anyone that RR wasn't the devil himself, they must have sold out... It's people like you who are &quot;disgusting.&quot;


Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 12:03 p.m.

Thank you for the info and reply Jim, nice preview of this book.

1st Down

Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 12:35 a.m.

ahh.... so Bacon in bed with Rodriguez explains the pro RR stance and anti Carr lies. Bacon is disgusting. There is a word for him that starts with a in P--ped out the Michigan program for a few bucks. not cool.

Jim Knight

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 1:36 p.m.

XTR: Bacon's agreement was with Rodriguez. The original plan was for the two to collaborate on a book on Rodriguez's first season with Michigan, but after a rough first year that idea was scrapped. After that, Bacon continued to have access, but it became his book.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 1:29 p.m.

I would rather forget about the last three years as fast as I can. I don't need a permanent reminder of this disaster on my bookshelf, stinking up the house.

Blu n Tpa

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 1:12 p.m.

There is sure to be some instilled sense of balance because the writer, who was given near total access to the program under the WCiMFH, might want to write another Michigan book in the future. To get that insider position again he has to offer &quot;reasons&quot; to lessen the mistakes made by the previous staff. Be too honest and he will find the &quot;Welcome&quot; mat has been pulled. To me it's as easy as this: Was Michigan well coached under the WCiMFH? Is Michigan football better off with the WCSiMFH gone? If you answered &quot;No&quot; and &quot;Yes&quot; then save your money for cold drinks for next Saturday's game. TiM Go Blue! (By the way, where are all those nay sayers who said Coach Hoke would need 3-5 years to turn this program around? I would love to actually see any former member of the MCC write that Michigan football is in better hands under Coach Hoke's leadership right now than it would have been in &quot;their&quot; guy.)


Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 1 a.m.

In an interview RR said he felt like a cook who made the meal and did not get to eat it. I would say it is more like a person who picked up the ingredients (players) and did not know how to make those flavors work in harmony to create a great meal. RR was a minor success in the Big East, though lost when he had the chance to win a big game. To invoke RR in the same sentence as Nick Saban is just stupidity. I guess Bob Stoops was a bad coach because he won with another coaches players. So did Urban Meyer. As did Saban, and Miles, and Carr, and Tressel, and the Auburn coach, GOOD coaches win in the first 3 years. As for running the spread offense. Imagine that, a coach who can adjust his offensive philosophy to work with the talent he is given. Unlike another one who would force an immobile QB to try to be something he isn't.

Blu n Tpa

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 4:35 p.m.

As already stated DRob was recruited to play QB AFTER the WCiMFH lost two other players. Roh was played out of positon for most of last year because of bad coaching. JK had to try out TWICE before making the team under the WCiMFH. DG might have lost a year of playing time because the WCiMFH wanted to make a point to Tate last year vs BG. A whole year so he could make a point? Yeah, that's insanely stupid for your &quot;cheating redneck who was run out of town&quot;. Is Michigan football in better hands, offense, defense, and special teams, under Coach Hoke than your guy? Yes or No? Come on, man up!

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 4:06 p.m.

Yeah. He's so brilliant and in such high demand among prestigious FBS programs that he couldn't get a gig after being fired. Which means Charlie Weis is more highly though of than the WCiMFH. LOL Yeah, he almost took the job at Bama. And everyone in Tuscaloosa is breathing a sigh of relief that they dodged that bullet. Again, time to watch your boy on CBS. GN&amp;GL


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 2:45 p.m.

If you think Rich Rodriguez is a failure then there's no hope for your sanity. The man was offered the head coaching gig at Alabama and he almost went to the National Championship with West Virginia (year after year he made them relevant). Yeah, he's a failure alright. Good morning and GOOD LUCK. You're gonna need the luck!

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 2:40 p.m.

Yeah, The WCiMFH had sooooooooooooooooo much success with those guys when he allegedly coached 'em. Now we have a football coach, not a self-indulgant wannabe. Let me suggest that the MCC need to quit watching UM football and instead they ought tune in the SEC on CBS. You ought be able to get your fill of the WCiMFH there. Maybe they can cut a deal with ABC and get Matt Millen in the same booth. Talk about two guys who were historic failures. GN&amp;GL


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 2:19 p.m.

Edward... you're always good for a laugh at least. I'm thankful we have Coach Hoke too... his recruitment of Denard Robinson and decision to give him a chance at QB in the spread was GENIUS! Oh, wait... Well, Hoke's recruitment of Craig Roh and decision to play him early in his career has really paid off... Oh, wait again... Okay, hmm... well how about Coach Hoke's ability to open up opportunities for walk-ons so that a guy like Jordan Kovacs could become a starter on D... wait, that's not right either... Well, getting Devin Gardner in the fold so that when Denard leaves we won't be left holding the bag... gosh, that doesn't seem to check out either. Who stocked this team full of talent then? It couldn't be that cheating redneck you all ran out of town could it? Enjoy your promising season Coach Hoke. Make sure to send Rich Rodriguez a big thank you card, too.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

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

And the MCC is heard from. A rational person not operating under the intoxication of a man crush would note: 1) Denard is having far fewer touches than last year, with the reuslt being that . . . 2) The offense is much more diverse and therefore much more difficult to defend 3) The offense has set up in a classsic I and has had success. The offense has set up in the diamond formation with Denard and Devin in the same backfield. Don't recall seeing that in the playbook last year. 4) The offense has a fullback. The full back has carried the ball. The fullback has caught passes. The fullback has done run blocking. Tell me: when in three years did the WCiMFH employ a fullback on anything other than goal line situations?, and then frequently with failure? 5) And then there's the defense. Yeah. They're RichRod's guys. Well, except for Martin, Woolfolk, and Floyd (arguably the three best players on the team), all of whom were recruited by Lloyd Carr. And except for Kovacs who, thank God, walked on. But yeah, they're his guys--and they're doing what they never did under the so-called &quot;leadership&quot; of the WCiMFH: playing defense. And this has helped the offense greatly because, for those whose visions weren't blinded by a man-crush, it was clear for the last two years that Forcier and Denard took chances they ought not have taken because they had no confidence that the defense could hold the other team. There clearly was a sesne that they had to score every time they had the ball. That sense is no longer there, with the result that the number of offensive turnovers has dropped precipitously. We're 5-0, playing better ball than at any point in the previous three years, and the MCC fetishists can't let it go. Disappointing but not at all surprising. Good Night and Good Luck


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 1:30 p.m.

Brady Hoke is running a spread offense and winning games with Rodriguez's guys... Les Miles won a championship with Nick Saban's players -- yes, it's technically Les Miles' championship because he was the coach, but you and I both know that title belongs to Nick Saban. The same is true for Rich Rodriguez with regards to Michigan's success this year. Every year under Rodriguez Michigan saw improvement in the win column. With all of the returning starters for this year Coach Rod finally had everything lined up... unfortunately he was fired by David Brandon because Brandon wanted one of &quot;Bo's guys&quot; to get the credit. It's cheap and it's low, but it's Michigan.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 12:54 p.m.

I look forward to checking it out of the library. I am curious to learn what resulted from such unfettered access to the football program.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 11:17 a.m.

Thanks for the book review. Though I have been publicly critical of the former coach and am happy that he is no longer coach, this book promises to be interesting read. We have all said what we think, but I think we should now reserve comment until we all read what Bacon has written.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 12:55 p.m.

One thing I will comment on, though, without reading the book yet is that there has been this notion that factions and others in the university who did not fully support the former coach were the reason for his failure. I do wish to quibble about that. It is always easy to blame others for your problems, and nobody coached Michigan to go 3-9 except the head coach and his staff. I do find it hard to believe that there was such a dramatic talent drop off after 40 years of continued success to have caused such a precipitous drop. And it continued for 3 years, though with some minimal improvement over those years. But what is clear from this year is that accountability, coaching, and knowledge of the place are immeasurable in terms of success. Did former coach get hung out to dry regarding the forms? From this review, it would seem so. But there was so much more to his failures than that. And his continued comments in the CBS spots show that, regardless of what Bacon writes.

Blu n Tpa

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 11:01 a.m.

Nice book review. The article is more of a promotional &quot;teaser&quot; used by local news during prime time so you will watch the news at 11 than informative. I get it, I just think it belongs in the &quot;Arts&quot; section of the Sunday edition instead of the Football section on Monday after a big win. (Big as in 58-0 over a weaker opponet) Plus 448 pages has to have enough filler to last an eight hour shift at the sausage factory. I would have titled the book &quot;Stranger Danger&quot; and tied in the childhood warning that we teach our kids and promotes the mindset that hinders anyone new to a group or organization. But in the end, about page 99, I would have finished with the WCiMFH simply did not have the background to coach an effective offense in the Big Ten. He lacked the leadership and organizational skills necessary to bend that that is Michigan football to his way of thinking. His biggest fault was ego, in that he ignored or misdirected the defense and special teams for years and thought no body would notice becasue his offense was so entertaining. I guess he should have remembered the pre-school lesson about &quot;Stranger Danger&quot;. Everybody notices the new person.

Blu n Tpa

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 5:08 p.m.

RWB Coach Hoke won't let this even come up &quot;in house&quot;. The players are already his and anyone not already buying in are most likely on their way out. I hope not because there are more lessons to be learned from this staff than just football. I didn't think anyone got &quot;hosed&quot;. He put himself under the spot light, so everybody noticed when he messed up. The results are all you need to know.


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 4:42 p.m.

Yes, don't want / need distractions like this about previous years right now as the team is poised to make a run at a very good season. Brady will have to deflect any media interest about this but he'll be very good about that. Also agree Rich probably got hosed a bit all along. I liked him and his forthrightness but the uncompetitive status of the team against top 25 teams made his continuation undefensible.