Graham's Bowl Season Thoughts: Rich Rodriguez Fired, Has UM Turned Into Notre Dame?

  • If you're like me, which for your sake I hope you aren't, you've been following the main story of this bowl season: Tandon Doss is leaving early for the NFL! GTFO! Christ, I'll bet he wished every game was against Michigan.
  • Sugar Bowl was a doozy! Fortunately for Ryan Mallett's wide receiving corps, he's going to the NFL to promptly forget about them, because if he stayed around Arkansas during the offseason, I'm guessing he would spend the first few months reaming their asses every day. I've rarely seen receivers play so badly in a big game. They made some tough catches, but more noticeably, they dropped about six balls, and not 50/50 balls. Just pure drops. 

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  • Rich Rodriguez is no longer the coach at Michigan, if you haven't heard. We've covered the pros and cons of Rich for the past year or so (pros: Grasps the spread offense, is a down to earth guy WHO GAVE OTE AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW!!??...cons: struggled recruiting, retaining, developing young men who want to play football for the University of Michigan, forced a weak 3-3-5 onto people who couldn't play, nor understand it) but one thing is for sure: He fissured the Michigan fan base worse than Edward and Jacob did to teens who watch the Twilight movies. Note: I don't quite understand the last Twilight comment which I made, nor have I seen the movies or read the books. But it felt right.
  • Rich leaves behind a twisted legacy. And I thought it would be fun to get all the points of view of what happened in one sentence so here goes nothing 1 2 3 4 KABOW..."Well Rich wasn't even the universities first choice in 2008 and Michigan gave him very little help PR wise even though they knew he would take shots in the media because of the leaving WVU controversy and subsequent lawsuit, so he can't be blamed for coming into Michigan on an already bumpy road but he can be blamed for focusing so much on changing the culture at Michigan because God do you really want to change a culture that's won more than they lost in 40 straight years but okay I know that the culture needed some modification, I mean the veterans didn't even have to practice anymore and the teams were coming out in bad shape APPALACHIAN f****** STATE, but did you really have to give the cold shoulder to Lloyd and make such a big issue of leaving Lloyd out of everything and HEY Ryan Mallett, you're telling me you couldn't have put him in any of your system plans, see now that seems inflexible and speaking of inflexible, forcing the 3-3-5 when it so obviously wasn't working against a power running conference doesn't seem like maybe a smart move, but you seriously cannot be blaming Coach Rod for the unbelievable dropout rate of the defenders he recruited, I mean Boobie C is going to jail and he was a monster 4 star recruit with unlimited talent...until he wasn't, and how would you have known that the local newspaper would turn on you and the program because they weren't allowed the access to Schembechler Hall that they really didn't even have anyways, and drag your name through the mud again and again and call it a victory when they pushed a couple schollies away from the University of Michigan because I agree Michael Rosenberg, young student-athletes should pay for your vain attempt at destroying a program an over-excited graduate assistant who waives a football on a stick, but Rich I think that you proved, yes you proved that the run focused spread "works" in the big ten, Denard set all kinds of NCAA records, and good ones too, not the bullshit ones, but the inability to build defenses and beat hated rivals and Purdue will haunt you forever and ever amen."
  • /phew
  • So who is going to coach at Michigan? I have no idea. And I know Jon and some others are going to take some shots at Dave Brandon this week because it seems like any acceptable road that UM needed to take these past four weeks hasn't been taken. And now we're left with no Rich, no Jim Harbaugh, and the pipe dream that is a Dan Mullen-type figure.
  • There was a great post on MGo from a commentator discussing UM Exceptionalism (see below). And then StoopsMyAss took a shot at Michigan's coaching job, claiming that the Iowa job is a better one than Ann Arbor can offer right now. So I guess we'll see if Michigan's legacy of huge crowds, huge endowments, power running football, cool helmets, and winning...is able to push the Wolverines back to the top of the Big Ten...or if Michigan turned into Notre Dame.

As I read these comments, I'm amazed at how much Michigan football has become a legend and no longer a leader

College football is radically different than when Bo walked the sidelines and had a handshake agreement with Don Canham. I wonder if Don would be happy to see what has become of college football since he definitely helped to create the marketing/entertainment beast it has become.  Heck, it isn't even the same as when Moeller dialed up a pass to Howard on 4th and 1. 

Rodriguez needs to go because I don't see how you can keep him. Forget about the arguments for or against improvement, at this point, he has no support, and is dead man walking. What recruits will come to Michigan right now except those intoxicated by the block M and the wings on the helmets? We're acting like an SEC school - it's never good enough and if a fan doesn't get the coach they want, before they even do one thing, they're written off - good luck ever getting the fans on your side. Tommy Tubberville took Auburn to a 13-0 season, and they still wanted him out at Auburn. This is the nature of the beast, and some of us (like me) don't want to accept it.

Gone is the stability of the program from Bo to Gary to Lloyd. Heck, can you imagine a fired coach ever being at a press conference like Bump. No, we can no longer imagine that a coach will be a coach for life at Michigan. After about seven years, no matter what he's done, we'll become impatient. Win a national title, you better win another or else. Win Big 10 titles but lose the Rose Bowl, not good enough. Win Big 10 titles and Rose Bowls but  never be in contention for a national title ... not good enough. 

We might hire a defensive minded coach, and then when the offense disappoints, or we don't score over 30 a game, some of the fan base will whine and when we replace the next coach, we'll cry for offense because that's the way the game is headed. (So will be the excuse). There will never be an identifying mark of our school, or any other major program again. This is the new world of college football.

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