Tag Archives: Rich Rodriguez

Where Does Michigan Football Go From Here?

RichrodI’ve heard from a lot of Michigan fans regarding Michigan football since their loss to Michigan State on Saturday.  The most common question is, where does Michigan finish?

I’m not a genius but I think I can see where this is heading, I think it is heading for a New Years Day bowl and a nice improvement over last years disaster.  My Michigan fanatic buddies are freaking out because Michigan lost to MSU, most think there are 2 wins max left on the schedule and I couldn’t disagree more.

Just because Denard was sub par against MSU doesn’t indicate a collapse of the Michigan offense.

Michigan can and will beat Iowa on Saturday, remember that Iowa gave up 34 points to ASU a couple of weeks ago, they have problems of their own and won’t contain Denard Robinson.

MNext is Penn State who is awful offensively.  They are going through the same growing pains the Wolverines are experiencing but on offense and Michigan should win in Happy Valley.  I’ll take Michigan’s offense over PSU’s defense any day of the week.

Illinois is dangerous but not nearly as prolific as Michigan on Offense and Purdue is just garbage.

Additionally, Wisconsin doesn’t scare me in Ann Arbor.  I think Michigan wins 3 or 4 more games and finishes with 8 or 9 wins, which should place them in the Gator Bowl on January 1.

Michigan fans, Rich Rod is your coach, he isn’t going anywhere and at this point, he shouldn’t.  He’s changed the program and we are really close to seeing his vision of competing for National Titles realized.  He didn’t get stupid overnight and Michigan is on pace for a return to national prominence.

2011 should make all Michigan fans giddy with excitement.  The dark days are over and Michigan is ready to return to the national scene, they just need a couple of defensive players to mature and get healthy.


A guy who covered Rich Rod at Tulane weighs in on his Michigan experience.

University of Michigan "Block M"Image via Wikipedia

It was the morning Chris Scelfo was officially named the head football coach at Tulane University.

Green Wave offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez was in his office, one floor and about 50 feet from where the press conference was taking place. Rodriguez was crying right in front of a reporter.

My opinion of Rodriguez was always high. That day, it was even higher. Rodriguez badly wanted to coach his players. And, when he knew he wasn’t going to get that chance, he didn’t stick to a canned script. With Rich, what you see is what you get.

On the afternoon that Tulane beat BYU to finish off a perfect season, Rodriguez did an on field interview with Harry McCulla for ABC 26. When he and McCulla finished, Rodriguez was carried off the field by several players.

My points are these. One, many at Michigan will chuckle at Rodriguez’s display of emotion, but that is genuinely who he is.

Two, one of Rodriguez’s strengths as a coach is his ability to be very hard on players in practice, yet easily connect with many of them.

At many a Tulane practice, Rich Rodriguez would give quarterback Shaun King a tongue lashing. But King understood that if he did what his coach said, he would become a better player. It is because of Rodriguez that King went on to play in the National Football League.

So this week, when the Detroit News reported that Rodriguez and his staff were being investigated by Michigan for working players past NCAA mandated time limits, I wasn’t surprised.

Rodriguez is a very demanding person. He will get in your face and require more from you than maybe you thought possible. 

And he has one other “issue” that some at Michigan might find to be a problem.

Even though he hails from West Virginia, he sounds like he’s from the South. That’s right. At Michigan, a place that prides itself on diversity and respect for difference of opinion, there is a built in prejudice. Not only is Rodriguez not a “Michigan man,” but he speaks with an accent that clearly says ‘country.’

That’s why, when he was offered the Alabama job before Nick Saban, he should have accepted. He is a far better fit in Tuscaloosa or Baton Rouge than he will ever be in Ann Arbor. But if given time, he will win big at Michigan.

The haughties in Ann Arbor will never admit this, but Michigan football in the last years of Lloyd Carr was a mess. The loss to Appalachian State to kickoff the 2007 season ripped off a scab that had been growing for awhile.

Ohio State currently enjoys a five game win streak in the series, longest for the archrivals of the Wolverines in the series. And, anyone who has seen the Buckeyes against SEC teams in recent BCS championship games knows this: Ohio State is very good but not elite.

But they own Michigan because they have done a much better job recruiting and coaching. Rich will change that. He is recruiting speed for his spread offense and more speed and athleticism for his defense. Both items are often in short supply throughout the Big Ten.

If given time with his system and his players, he will turn the table on THE Ohio State University.

That’s if the politically correct police in Ann Arbor and/or the NCAA don’t get him first.

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Open season on Rich Rodriguez!

Image of Rich Rodriguez from FacebookImage of Rich Rodriguez

I just came across this scathing article by Jay Mariotti regarding “practice-gate” at The University of Michigan.  As I read the column I began asking questions.

Is Michigan really in “crisis?”  Uh, no.  While Rich Rod may have fractured a rule or two, I don’t see the NCAA blasting Michigan football for practicing too much.  It just isn’t sexy enough to throw the all-time winningest program in college football history under the bus.  It may be embarrassing for some but really, this isn’t about too much practice, it is about too little WINS!  Jesus, Ohio State didn’t even get sanctioned when Mo Cletus (Clarrett) got cars and money from boosters.

Why is Rich Rod hated by some MIchigan fans?  A 3-9 season aside, really, why is there so much contempt for Rich Rodriguez?  So he had a messy exit from West Virginia, who cares, it wasn’t any worse than Bobby Petrino squirreling out of town on the Atlanta Falconsor Nick Saben bailing on the Miami Dolphins.  Rich Rod doesn’t appear to be any more of a jerk than Lloyd Carr when things weren’t going his way.

Who are the “former and current players” who are determined to get Rich Rod?  This is the most damaging issue for Rodriguez.  Players talking to the press about an internal team issue is concerning on so many levels.  Either the players don’t like, don’t care or don’t give a damn what Rodriguez and his staff think, they’ll just take their case to the media.  Do you think that would happen under Bo or Lloyd? For years players at all Universities have kept their mouth shut about unethical stuff and recruiting violations, why would these players say anything about potential violations?  Because some of them are determined to get Rich Rod fired and yes, I believe they are being coached by the Les Miles crowd. There are deep divisions at Michigan over Rodriguez’s hiring and some won’t stop until the program is returned to “Bo.”  

Is there a conspiracy to get Rich Rod fired?  Yes, I think there is a undercurrent of former players and old blues who would like to see Rodriguez fired.  Face it, the old school Michigan fans wanted Les Miles, the former players wanted Les Miles, hell, who didn’t want Les Miles?  Don’t think for a minute that some former players and boosters aren’t trying theirdarnedest to get Rich Rod out of Ann Arbor.  In fairness, Michael Rosenberg is also in the camp that didn’t want Rodriguez hired.

Mariotti also took some cheap shots at Rodriguez.

“So it’s little wonder that Rodriguez, now being probed by a university administration that might bring in an outside investigative firm, nearly broke down and cried several times Monday while addressing the allegations. I didn’t know if we were getting Mike (“I’m a man. I’m 40”) Gundy or Roy (“I’ll cry if I want to cry”) Williams, but finally, he caught himself and passionately defended himself, Barwis and their conditioning program. Frankly, he looked like an embarrassment, a desperate man in his final months on the job.”

Sorry, I just didn’t see the same thing he saw today.  I saw a frustrated Head Coach, not an “embarrassment”  Why do Rich Rod detractors think he all of a sudden became a dumb, bad coach?  I have my doubts about him as well, but I certainly think his career suggests the guy knows how to win.

“Simply, this doesn’t look good for Coach RichRod, who again faces suffocating scrutiny as a season begins. He looked like a laughingstock last week when he said he’d play three quarterbacks in the season opener this Saturday against Western Michigan. Time was when Michigan would throttle a Mid-American Conference opponent by 50 points. Now, don’t be shocked if the Wolverines lose, as they did last year to Toledo. One of the quarterbacks, freshman Denard Robinson, doesn’t tie the laces of his shoes. Nor will the coaches make him, which suggests a dubious trip-over-the-laces scenario as Robinson is running toward the end zone.”

So, saying you have 3 QB’s makes you a laughing stock? Since when do we start believing anything that comes out of a college Head Coaches mouth?  When I saw that quote is looked to me like another “cutsy” quote to avoid answering the question….Who is the starting QB?

I personally don’t think the allegations will harm Rodriguez as long as he doesn’t repeat last season’s 3-9 fiasco.  However, all bets are off if MIchigan doesn’t play in the post-season.

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