Tag Archives: Rich rodriguez

Higher Learning Week 2

Michigan's late magic against Notre Dame brought back some old memories for Wolverine fans.

So what did we learn this weekend?

  1. Call this premature, but Michigan might be back. Sure there secondary is horrendous and their defense has issues upfront, but after that 35-31 thriller under the lights for the first time in the Big House it looks like Michigan might have it bearings underneath them to make a run at the Big Ten crown. Watching Denard Robinson lead Michigan to two go ahead leads in under two minutes showed that Michigan had its fight back after 3 punchless years under Rich Rodriguez. It reminded me of teams from Michigan’s past that fought until the end and never let any disadvantage seem to large. Credit first year head coach Brady Hoke who has instilled a toughness in Michigan that it hasn’t seen since the Lloyd Carr days. Hoke’s demeanor and teaching has Michigan looking good at 2-0 especially after Ohio State struggles against Toledo and Nebraska against Fresno State. If they can fix the problems in the secondary then Michigan could be a legitimate Big Ten contender and could make a run for the roses.
  2. Big teams are continuing to underestimate the little guy. Pittsburgh barely beat Maine, Ohio State had all sorts of trouble with Toledo, Kentucky didn’t put Central Michigan away until late, Clemson struggled versus Wofford, and West Virginia trailed Norfolk State at the half before blowing them out. I thought these early games were to be scrimmages for the big boys to get them ready for tough tests down the road. Big conferences are sleeping on their foes and it will catch up to them if they don’t start taking care of business. How can I take these guys seriously if they’re having trouble putting away teams with less talent than them?
  3. Oklahoma State should be watched and carefully. Their defense is suspect but the combination of Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon is just too much for teams to compete with. After their beat down of Arizona it’s clear that not many teams can stop them on the offensive end as they are just too potent to be contained and they are getting better. Weeden threw 3 interceptions in week one but against better competition he contained his mistakes kept the Cowboys wheels turning. We find out just how good the Cowboys are in two weeks as they head to College Station, Texas to face Texas A&M. that should be a shootout and give us a gauge as to where Oklahoma State is on the totem pole.
  4. Wisconsin is looking like the team to beat in the Big Ten. The transfer of Russell Wilson has changed the makeup of this team dramatically as they now have a good passing game to go with their dominant run game. Their competition hasn’t been too fierce in the early part of the season but they have taken care of business with ease. UNLV and Oregon State have been mere appetizers for the upcoming main courses that they will face at Ohio State and Michigan State. If they can keep the consistency in those games like they have in the past two then the Badgers might make a run for the roses in January.

    Justin Blackmon and the Cowboys are looking good.

  5. The Big East had by far the most disappointing weekend of any conference. Syracuse and Pittsburgh struggled to beat FCS schools and before West Virginia blew out Norfolk State they were down 12-10 at the  half. Also Cincinnati got destroyed by Tennessee and Louis lost to FIU at home. This week doesn’t get any easier as Syracuse travels to L.A. to face USC, Louisville travels to Lexington for the Bluegrass Battle versus Kentucky, Pittsburgh goes on the road to face Iowa and WVU heads to Maryland to face a tough Maryland team. if they go into those games like they did this weekend then it’s not going to be pretty.

 

THE GOOD

Oregon bounced back from their loss to LSU with a 69-20 romp over Nevada where the offense go back to business racking up 603 yards of offense including 376 total yards by Darron Thomas and 7 touchdowns.

THE BAD

Oregon State’s start to the season has been miserable. A loss to FCS Sacramento State was followed by a massacre at Madison courtesy of Wisconsin this past Saturday. Their next 3 are against Arizona State, Arizona and BYU. It looks like wins will be hard to come by in Corvallis this year.

THE UGLY

Tommy Rees’s fourth quarter fumble that prevented Notre Dame from taking a commanding 10 point lead at Michigan. That was so Bad News Bearish.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Trent Richardson, Alabama: 26 carries, 111 yards and 2 touchdowns in Alabama’s 27-11 win at Penn State.

EMBARRASSMENT OF THE WEEK

Matt McGloin's had better days.

 

Penn State’s passing game: 12-39 144 yards and 1 interception including Matt McGloin’s 1-10 stinker with 0 yards.

MY TOP 5

  1. Oklahoma
  2. LSU
  3. Alabama
  4. Boise State
  5. Wisconsin

HEISMAN TOP 5

  1. 1.       Kellen Moore, BSU
  2. 2.       Landry Jones,  Oklahoma
  3. 3.       Trent Richardson, Alabama
  4. 4.       Russell Wilson, Wisconsin
  5. 5.       Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State

On tap for next week are a couple of big ones in the top five including LSU versus Mississippi State, and the game of the week featuring Oklahoma taking on Florida State. Also Michigan State can add to Notre Dame’s misery in South Bend and keep an eye on the Boise State-Toledo matchup. The Rockets gave Ohio State fits last weekend and the Broncos shouldn’t sleep on them.


Rich Rod Had It Coming

Rich Rod's stay in Ann Anbor was a little less successful than his run in Morgantown.

Rich Rodriguez had it all. A great coaching job, a grip on the conference where his team resided, great recruiting and a nation of followers all backing him along the way showing him love.

He slated Georgia in Georgia when no one gave him a shot, he put another team in the Fiesta Bowl that took down Oklahoma in impressive fashion.

He was a king in his own domain at his Alma mater, then he got greedy.

He let his spat with the athletic director at West Virginia and lack of trust for the department cloud his judgement. He betrayed his legion of followers and skipped town to a school with similar colors and higher expectations.

He left behind a mess; lawsuits, hate, bitterness, all for a big pay day on a grander scale… and in the end Coach Rich Rod got what he deserved.

Rich Rod was fired by Michigan after three years of unheard-of disappointment at an institution that has only known success. He had a 15-22 record In three season in Ann Arbor. His best record was a 7-6 campaign this year, his best Big Ten record? 3-5 his year as well. His spread offense never brought the conference into the future like it was supposed to, but his defense set the school back decades.

He never beat Ohio State or Michigan State, his one bowl game appearance was a slaughter in the Gator Bowl at the hands of Mississippi State this year. He never was able to get the recruits to run his offense and therefore never had right tools to succeed.

In the end Rich Rod and the maize and blue looked like fools.

Once Michigan lost out on Les Miles who stayed at LSU after being coveted by the university in 2007 they tries to pluck every big name coach away in hopes of finding the right one. They got Rodriguez who was highly impressive at WVU and was the first choice at Alabama a year earlier (think they’re happy that they got Saban instead?).

They marveled at how he was able to find guys like Pat White, Steve Slaton and others to fit into his scheme. They saw the Sugar Bowl upset of Georgia, the fact that he had WVU in the national championship hunt late in that 2007 season and thought that he was the perfect hire to replace the much maligned Lloyd Carr who had disappointed the Michigan faithful so often.

Denard Robinson was one of the few bright spots during Rich Rod's tenure.

(it’s funny but looking back on it, maybe Michigan should never have been so pressed to force out a guy that won them a national championship, had them in the running for the Big Ten title every year, owned their rival Ohio State in he 90’s and always recruited well. They overreacted to the whole Appalachian State loss, which granted was bad but not apocalyptic like we thought it was, and decided to listen to the critics and fans instead of themselves. How many programs a Lloyd Carr as their coach? You get a guaranteed 8-10 wins a year, a New Years Day bowl game and you’re a contender for your conference crown every year. However this is Michigan, who now is suffering from Notre Dame syndrome where they feel that they are still a national power and that their tradition puts them in a position to feel snooty. So in turn they paid for being greedy as well. Wouldn’t you love to see a sign on your way into Ann Arbor that read “BET YOU DON’T HATE ME NOW!… LOVE LLOYD CARR”
and have it about 50 feet long on the highway?)

So now Michigan has to correct it’s error and it should start with a Michigan guy. Jim Harbaugh is the perfect candidate for the job because of his background and the job he’s done resurrecting Stanford. Also talks of Brady Hoke at San Diego State have come to fruition.

One guy that would love a call from Michigan is Les Miles. With all the heat he’s been taking at LSU he would jump at the chance chance to get out of dodge and back to the place of his playing days.

One thing is for sure is they have to wash away the stench of the Rich Rod regime. Rich Rod brought down Michigan and himself and has no one to blame but himself.

His inability to stop the opposing teams offense and kick start his own was his undoing. Would I hire Rich Rod? Not anytime soon. His poor judgement at WVU and disgraceful years at Michigan should have him blacklisted from most decent coaching jobs in the NCAA.

It’s a roughy lesson but Rich Rod had it coming for a long time. He had it all at WVU and he threw it away because he got greedy. Hopefully other coaches will learn from Rodriguez and won’t make the same mistake.