FU, RichRod

I extend a middle finger to you:

According to WVU players, at a team meeting Sunday afternoon at the Puskar Center, Head Football Coach Rich Rodriguez announced that he is leaving West Virginia University to take over the football program at the University of Michigan.

Rodriguez left the meeting without talking with reporters.

Rodriguez’s wife Rita, was seen crying both before and after the meeting.

She did speak with reporters, but would not comment on what was said at the meeting.

Reports surfaced Friday afternoon that Rodriguez flew to Ohio to meet with Michigan about its open coaching position. The Sporting News reported Rodriguez flew to Toledo to negotiate with the Michigan representatives. The Detroit Free Press cited two sources who confirmed the meeting.

Bastard.

*** Update ***

The prick isn’t even coaching the bowl game. And the Steelers are sucking.

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74 replies
  1. 1
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Poison chalice.

    So, interim coach for the bowl, or a quick appointment?

  2. 2
    jon says:

    College football has only a few premier programs, and West Virginia isn’t one of them. Michigan sure as hell is.

    But I agree with you regarding “Bastard.” I hate the whole idiot game of meeting with officials, saying “no comment,” saying “I’m only going to comment on the game ahead of us,” screwing the “us” in that comment, and then moving on.

    I’d like to suggest that colleges write up contracts that actually matter, but we know that’s not going to happen. Having a coach barely try for the final year of a contract isn’t going to bring in that booster money so many colleges feel they need. And the coaches know that, so they can get away with anything.

    So in the end, I blame the lack of a playoff.

  3. 3
    fuddmain says:

    He’ll regret his decision when he watches Tebow and crew run roughshod over UM on Jan. 1.

  4. 4
    norbizness says:

    Well, to be fair, UM isn’t Middle Central Atlantic Florida A & M, who I think Florida played 8 times this year.

  5. 5
    redterror says:

    Hey, he’s just going where the “market” takes him. Isn’t that the American Way?

  6. 6
    Schianoturneddownthatjob says:

    … so who will win the Big East next year? I’ll spell it for you…
    R!!!!!!!!!!!
    U!!!!!!!!!!
    R!!!!!!!!!
    U!!!!!!!!!

    I hope you enjoyed WV’s brief ascendency while it lasted

  7. 7

    I hope he has as good a first year as Beilein’s having.

  8. 8
    rawshark says:

    Kick him in the junk John. Hard as you can. Skull fuck his kittens too.

  9. 9

    And I’m trying to figure out why gagging in the most important game in your school’s history makes you an attractive coaching candidate. Then again, R-Rod was, what, fifth on Michigan’s list?

  10. 10


    College football has only a few premier programs, and West Virginia isn’t one of them. Michigan sure as hell is.

    Really? Michigan? I think Michigan, like Notre Dame, has been getting by on undeserved reputation for a number of years now. I certainly wouldn’t put them among the elite programs in the country right now–nowhere near the top five, and probably not in the top 15.

  11. 11
    smiley says:

    Well, to be fair, UM isn’t Middle Central Atlantic Florida A & M, who I think Florida played 8 times this year.

    At least Florida beat Middle Central Atlantic Florida A & M (*cough* App State? *cough*).

  12. 12
    Svlad Jelly says:

    Money-grubbing piece of shit. I knew this would happen. I KNEW it. Right after that whole Alabama thing last year when everyone was all like, “yay,” I replied soberly, “yeah, he signed on for a whole nuther year — you realize we’re gonna go through this again next year, right?” Granted, I assumed he’d just fake the leaving to get another fucking pay raise, but there was always the possibility he’d jump ship. God forbid you be contented with a gig here in the cracker-ass mountain state and a million dollar paycheck every year. Bastard.

    I think I’m gonna be sick.

  13. 13

    At least Florida beat Middle Central Atlantic Florida A & M (*cough* App State? cough).

    And two of those teams are going to bowl games this year.

  14. 14

    Well, your Steelers appear to have ceased sucking.

  15. 15

    The prick isn’t even coaching the bowl game.

    Would you really want him around?

  16. 16
    Alan says:

    Great nail biter at Pittsburgh. I’m glad the Jags made it to 10-4. Way to go, Fred Taylor. I hope when football fans vote for the Pro Bowl they’ll consider Fred as a selection.

  17. 17
    mazzy says:

    Former West Virginia coach Don Nehlen, under whom Rodriguez played and was mentored as a coach, said this is an ideal move for Rodriguez.

    “I think it’s a great, great, great opportunity for him,” said Nehlen, who coached at Michigan under Bo Schembechler from 1977-1979. “I think it’s tremendous. There are very few Michigans. When you coach at West Virginia you walk on water in West Virginia, but when you coach at Michigan, you walk on water, period. There’s a difference. Some people around here don’t want to believe that.”

    If Don Nehlen thinks it’s a premier job, I’ll take his word for it.

  18. 18
    Kathy says:

    Sorry about that John. I have been a life long Michigan fan (my earliest memories are of my Father swearing at the TV.) However, I was really hoping we wouldn’t get a coach that way. They should have stuck with someone in the Michigan program. Firing Bill Martin wouldn’t be a bad idea.

  19. 19
    jon says:

    Incertius, I agree that Michigan has been coasting on reputation lately, but they are the winningnest college football program of all time. Sure, Notre Dame, Miami, Nebraska, and others (like Michigan) are not playing at a level that their reputations would suggest, but they are still elite programs.

    And West Virginia’s under-the-table system for paying student-athletes just cannot compete with those of the elite schools. Being a fan of an up-and-comer second-tier school isn’t so great: there’s that breakout year, followed by a few really good years, the attempt at a great year that doesn’t come to be, and then it all goes to hell when suddenly all the recruits say “West Virginia?” (or “Arizona?” or “Boise State?” or “Fresno?” et cetera.) Get used to it.

    And I repeat: none of it will change until there’s a playoff. Then the existing power structures, including the “elite” teams, can get some of the parity that has made all sorts of other college sports competitive and worth watching. College football is a regional thing, and that’s how too many people want it. Having a 16-team playoff would make these coaches able to stay put, make the entire country interested in college football even if you are from a second-tier team in the Pac-10 (you know, someone like me,) and put a whole lot of money and interest in a bunch of games that mean a hell of a lot more than the Weed-Whacker, Cheese-It and Cologne Bowl in San Antonio.

    Of course, a playoff will never happen until fans at West Virginia and other also-rans who get locked out of the big game demand a chance. As it is, the season is the season, post-season up to the semis, and the semifinal game all in one. And it’s bullshit. But we know all this already.

  20. 20
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    You have my sympathies John. Sorry to hear your coach pulled a Saban.

  21. 21
    dj spellchecka says:

    browns win. cincinatti, pittsburgh and baltimore [to miami, no less] all lose. good times.

  22. 22
    clone12 says:

    Well, I suppose if you require a coach, like the players, to sit out a year…..

  23. 23
    ThymeZone says:

    Guy takes a job at the most prestigious post in college football, and he’s a “bastard?”

    Hmpt.

  24. 24
    Antonius says:

    i don’t follow sports at all, so I don’t understand the feeling behind the post. I’d hate it if everyone called me a bastard because I took a lucrative new opportunity. I know it’s college ball, but it’s really a business, isn’t it?

  25. 25
    Seitz says:

    I certainly wouldn’t put them among the elite programs in the country right now—nowhere near the top five, and probably not in the top 15.

    You’re fucking crazy.

    In no particular order:
    U$C
    Notre Dame
    Oklahoma
    Texas
    Ohio State
    Michigan
    Alabama
    Florida
    LSU
    And tenth, I would say anyone from Tennessee, Nebraska, Miami, Florida State, or Penn State.

    Those are the premier jobs in the country. Michigan has won a national championship in the last ten years, and was right on the doorstep of playing for one last year. I’m not a Michigan fan (UCLA and Illinois), but if you don’t think they’re a top 10 program, let alone top 15, you’re on fucking drugs.

  26. 26
    PaulW says:

    On the bright side he’s not taking the Atlanta Falcons job…

    Coaches are fickle, and they have every incentive to shop around for coaching jobs and no penalties for doing so. If they were paid like regular college professors this might not happen as often. But that will never happen, football and basketball generates too much damn money.

    On the really bright side, if Leavitt goes nowhere then South Florida is gonna clinch the Big East next year! >:)

  27. 27
    wvng says:

    Imagine the Michigan players, getting a coach who bailed on his previous team just before they played a bowl game. Real confidence builder, lotsa character. It is hard to conceive of any circumstance where that would be appropriate, and it reflects horribly on both U Michigan and RichRod.

    John, I feel your pain. I don’t care much about football. But I do care about character, and RichRod has shown he has none in abandoning his players at such a time. I hope they show their character by winning the game, spitting in his face, and specifically dedicating the win to anyone but him.

  28. 28
    ThymeZone says:

    Jesus, what a bunch of whinebabies. Is WV so weak and lame that it cant find a good replacement coach?

  29. 29
    Svlad Jelly says:

    Dude, Rod isn’t just a coach, he’s the coach. The guy invented the Spread Option. Half the coaches in college football emulate him.

    And fuck all that “it’s a business” crap. He’s gonna pull multi-millions no matter where he works. When your looking at paychecks like that, you can start to take other things into consideration — like loyalty to your alma mater.

    Anyway, here’s hopin’ that the next guy can fill those awful big shoes!

  30. 30

    I would like to thank all of you for including my Huskers in the elite program discussion. But as an alumnus of that very fine institution they are not really an elite program right now. They are just a middle of the road Div 1 program. At best.

    Now that Callahan is out, and Tom Osborne is interim AD, and Bo Pellini has been hired as the new head coach we may yet return to our halcyon days.
    Husker Fans have very high expectations and expect the team to be in the mix for a National Championship almost every year. Anything else is just a decent year.

    These past few years have been nightmarish. But fear not. The Huskers still have plenty of talent, and now they have a coach. Give us 2-3 years and we’ll be competing for the National Championship.

    Heh. Heh. Did you like that link to Huskerpedia? The team may be down but the fans still rule.

    Here’s a little stroll down memory lane:

    # 1993, 11-1 record losing only to Florida State (18-16) in the Orange Bowl.

    # 1994, 13-0, beat Miami 24-17 in the Orange Bowl to win the national championship.

    # 1995, 12-0, demolished Florida 62-24 in Fiesta Bowl to win national championship.

    # 1996, an “off” year at 11-2, came within an eyelash of playing for another national title, beat Virginia Tech 41-21 in Orange Bowl.

    # 1997, 13-0, won third national championship (this one shared with Michigan) in four years with 42-17 victory over Tennessee in Orange Bowl.

    That made Nebraska’s five-year record 60-3 with three national championships and one extremely narrow miss (1993 against Florida State).

    I can go over the past 40 years but no one wants to read all those stats.

    When the Huskers return to “off” years of 11-2 we’ll back to where the Husker Nation expects it Football team to be. That is what I call an elite program.

  31. 31
    Darkness says:

    Kathy sayeth: Sorry about that John. I have been a life long Michigan fan (my earliest memories are of my Father swearing at the TV.)

    Wow, eerie, MY earliest memories are of my mother yelling at Schembechler on the TV (she wasn’t the swearing sort, but that was probably as close as she got). And when we got taken to a game… wow. The electricity of the whole place, and the tailgating just overtaking every open space. I loved it, and still get that tingly feeling when I get a chance to go back.

    Michigan is the winningest team, you can’t dispute that. They also have the largest stadium in the country, and one of the largest fan bases. I run into people often with zero affiliation with the state or the school, who follow the team (honestly I think it’s the helmets…) Michigan gets good bowls even when they don’t deserve them because people tune in and travel to watch it. An elite school is also a high demand school. Takes some cajones to step into those irrationally unreasonable expectations where a 3-loss season is a losing season and a 4-loss season is a tragedy.

    Rodriguez’s style of offense will be a switch, and it will be fun to watch how that gets implemented and how his recruiting will go.

    I wish RR the best of luck and expect that Mrs. R will like Ann Arbor. It’s a great little town.

  32. 32
    MC says:

    And tenth, I would say anyone from Tennessee, Nebraska, Miami, Florida State, or Penn State.

    Ten years ago, without hesitation, Miami would have been in the first part of the list, not in the also ran list. They’re slipping and in a few years, I wouldn’t be surprised if people talk about Virginia Tech as one of the elite programs in the country. When you combine a lot of creampuffs in the ACC and the fact that their fans travel really well so bowl committees love them, you’re talking about a team that’s going to get a lot of national exposure every year. They’re starting to put together a decent NFL pedigree beyond Ron Mexico, and when Beamer leaves, that might be “the” job in college football open that year (and I say this as an NC State fan)

    10-15 years ago, VA Tech football wasn’t much to talk about but I think there are good coaches that given the opportunity to VA Tech vs. Miami or VA Tech vs. Notre Dame, it’s not such an easy decision to make.

    The United States Military Academy and the University of Chicago were good at football once too…will we be saying the same thing about Notre Dame in the future?

  33. 33
    Jacek says:

    Wow, I hope this guy is good. I am a die-hard UM alum/fan, and this guy better be worth the aggravation. As to whether UM is an elite football school, come on. But, that being said, we definitely need a more innovative offensive minded coach to bring us into the modern era. Sorry for WVU’s loss…sucks for you guys.

  34. 34
    gogiggs says:

    So apparently RichRod was so bummed out about choking v. Pitt and missing the chance to lose to Ohio State that he jumped at a job that will allow him to lose to Ohio State every year. Well, hey, it’s important for a man to know what he wants.

  35. 35
    AnonE.Mouse says:

    John,would you leave West Virginia to teach at Michigan if you were offered a job there?

  36. 36
    IanY77 says:

    I don’t get it. TFA says that Carr is coaching the Michigan bowl game. If that’s the case, why isn’t RR coaching his team’s game?

  37. 37
    Seitz says:

    It is hard to conceive of any circumstance where that would be appropriate, and it reflects horribly on both U Michigan and RichRod.

    Gimme a freaking break. This happens All.The.Time. You think Florida feels bad about taking Urban Meyer before Utah’s bowl game? It’s the way college football works. Get used to it.

    I hope they show their character by winning the game, spitting in his face, and specifically dedicating the win to anyone but him.

    Yes, nothing shows character like spitting in one’s face.

  38. 38
    Kathy says:

    I hear you Darkness-you can’t possibly go to a game at Michigan Stadium and be immune to the electricity there. I even went to a couple of the Spring practice games and they were just as fun. When I was in college I was at the game where they first did the wave and Michigan got penalized for delay of game. Ann Arbor is a great place (I was even born there). I really hope that RichRod is worth the price we are paying for him, both financially and other wise. You might want to check out Mitch Albom’s column today on the Free Press web-site. He’s bringing up some of the points others are making here.

  39. 39
    Karol says:

    Business is business – I agree. But there is also something called integrity. He’s letting down his home state, his alma mater and his team before the bowl game for $$ – I would think Michigan would be a little concerned about the values this man has and whether he can actually be relied upon.

  40. 40
    "Fair and Balanced" Dave says:

    Great nail biter at Pittsburgh. I’m glad the Jags made it to 10-4.

    The Jags certainly seem to have the Steelers’ number. This
    is the third game in a row where the Steelers have lost to Jacksonville–and this time, the Steelers were beaten at their own game. I have to give credit where credit is due–the Jacksonville offensive line simply dominated the Steelers’ defense.

    The Steelers looked like shoo-ins to win the division a couple of weeks ago. Now I’m not so sure. I take little comfort in the fact that their two remaining games are against teams with abysmal records (St Louis and Baltimore).

    Even though Baltimore lost yesterday to the worst team in the NFL, the Steelers (who have a terrible road record this season) will be playing at Baltimore and I think nothing would make the Ravens happier than getting revenge for getting blown out in the first game and simultaneously denying the Steelers the Division championship and forcing them to enter the playofss as a wild card team (which would mean the Steelers would have to face the Jags in Jacksonville the opening round of the playoffs).

  41. 41
    AnonE.Mouse says:

    You’re aware that It’s A Wonderful Life isn’t a documentary,right Kathy?I’ll skip Albom’s column and instead pretend to read it,the way he pretends to attend sporting events he writes about.Mitch is just the guy to write about ethics.
    And you can’t be serious about hiring from within the program.There was no one who was major program head coach caliber(Debord?English?)on Carr’s staff.If you don’t recognize Martin spun straw into gold after the Miles debacle,your Michigan education is going to a terrible waste.

  42. 42
    Face says:

    Really? Michigan? I think Michigan, like Notre Dame, has been getting by on undeserved reputation for a number of years now

    What he said.

    Michicant is an also-ran. Deal with it, ‘Rines.

  43. 43

    Mister Cole, I offer you and your teams Mike Nolan. Help yourself.

  44. 44

    Seitz Says:

    Oh, look. Shredder changed his name again.

    If they were paid like regular college professors this might not happen as often.

    College professors change jobs fairly regularly. It’s why I moved around a bunch as a kid, until Dad got to . . . Ann Arbor, where he still is. Damned Wolverines.

  45. 45
    Ezert says:

    Um Dave, the Steelers wouldn’t play in Jacksonville in the playoffs. Jacksonville will get no home game cause they are a wild-card. They and the other wild-card (right now Cleveland) will play on the road against the three and four seeds. If Pittsburgh chokes they’ll play in San Diego probably. If not there then Cleveland.

  46. 46
    Buck says:

    A grad assistant handing the AD the letter of resignation?

    I have no problem with anybody improving their situation but damn. Seems like there should be right and wrong ways to do things.

  47. 47
    Vladi G says:

    Oh, look. Shredder changed his name again.

    Sorry, I was posting from my home computer, and I forgot the psuedonym I usually use here, not for privacy’s sake, but for consistency.

  48. 48
    Darkness says:

    What he said.

    Michicant is an also-ran. Deal with it, ‘Rines.

    A few down years just make the wins all the more pleasurable. Builds character and sorts the weak fans from the strong. Gosh where I am now, a down year = 20k people in the stadium, at most. Michigan is being carried through a low spot by its fans; the same reason Notre Dame is getting credit for still being elite. If you discount the fans, then sure, they’ve slipped, but I don’t think you can. When the stadium stops selling out, or even when the waiting list to pay $2k to even get on the list for tickets isn’t 10,000 people long, then they may be slipping.

    It would be nice, however, if the coach couldn’t make more than, say, the tenth highest paid professor. I’d be all for a NCAA rule in that regard. However much they offered RR, I’m sure it was too much.

  49. 49
    RareSanity says:

    As to whether UM is an elite football school, come on.

    Come on what???
    Michigan is the second best team in the 3rd or 4th best college football conference. This ain’t the 90s…

    Michigan would get beaten consistently by 40% of the SEC, 30% of the ACC, 25% of the Pac-10, and a couple of teams in the Big East…well before Rodriguez or that bastard Petrino (Falcons fan) left Louisville. But, If you don’t think Rutgers and South Florida give Michigan a run for their money, you are not being objective

    The Big Ten does not play speed football, it takes more to win nowadays than a bunch of big guys. Teams in the other conferences are just faster. So even if Big Ten teams try and pound with big lineman and big backs, the faster teams just outscore them and cause turnovers on defense. All that equals best team in the Big Ten getting blown out by the best team in the SEC…always. It happened last year, it’ll happen again this year.

    Do you actually think Michigan has a chance against the Urban Meyer, Tebow and company?

    Come on…

  50. 50
    Darkness says:

    So even if Big Ten teams try and pound with big lineman and big backs, the faster teams just outscore them and cause turnovers on defense.

    Um, isn’t this the reason they hired Rodriguez, since he would then recruit different players… just askin’…

    Let Florida come play that game Jan 1 AT Michigan and then I’ll lay some odds on you. Different styles of play support different kinds of weather, or hadn’t that occurred to you?

  51. 51
    Vladi G says:

    A few down years just make the wins all the more pleasurable. Builds character and sorts the weak fans from the strong.

    It hasn’t even been a couple of down years. They were four point away from playing for the national championship last year. How soon people forget.

    Again, anyone who thinks Michigan isn’t one of the top jobs in college football is on drugs.

  52. 52
    RareSanity says:

    Let Florida come play that game Jan 1 AT Michigan and then I’ll lay some odds on you. Different styles of play support different kinds of weather, or hadn’t that occurred to you?

    Well, if it were possible, one would take that into consideration. Unfortunately, there will never be a college football game, in the state of Michigan (or anywhere else that frigid), at that late a date unless it’s in a dome. Dome means no elements.

    That being said, if Florida had to play Michigan, at the Big House, in the elements, after Rich Rod has had a chance to recruit faster players…I would think that Michigan would be a favorite.

    Now, in reality, Michigan is playing Florida in Orlando, that means are going to get taken out to the wood shed. And, even after Rich Rod gets his people in, won’t guarantee that it won’t continue to happen. SEC schools play harder conference schedules during the year which prepares them better for what awaits them in bowl games.

  53. 53
    AnonE.Mouse says:

    Yeah,RareSanity,Rutgers and South Florida would give Michigan a run for their money-this year.Would they have given them a run a year ago,or 5 or 10 or 20 or 40 years ago and will they in the future?Anyone who’s been watching football more than the last 4 months knows that every so often small-time programs have big-time years or 2 or 3.Rutgers fortunes ride on their coach,who is widely speculated to be waiting for the Penn State job to open once Paterno runs the wrong stop sign.I’d also reserve judgement on South Florida-it will be interesting to see if they remain free of sanctions as they build a program surprisingly fast while recruiting against Florida,Florida State,Miami,the other SEC,ACC,and Big East schools,and the national programs(like Michigan)that shop Florida high schools.
    While your understanding of college football seems kind of simplistic,you’re somewhat correct about the speed thing,at least as it relates to conditioning.You really are naive if you think that WVU,South Florida,and Rutgers are getting more and better athletes than Michigan.Michigan’s S&C coach Mike Gittleson has been controversial for a long time around here.UofM has been one of the remaining few programs(Penn State is another)using High Intensity Training,widely considered outdated and ineffective.Rodriguez is bringing his S&C coach Mike Barwis with him,who is as respected for what he does as Rodriguez is as a head coach.It will be interesting to see what a year or two with Barwis does for the caliber of athlete recruited to Michigan.

  54. 54
    "Fair and Balanced" Dave says:

    Um Dave, the Steelers wouldn’t play in Jacksonville in the playoffs.

    Please go back and read my comments again. If the Steelers lose one of their remaining games and the Browns win both of their remaining games, the Browns would win the AFC North and the Steelers would go into the playoffs as a Wild Card team. If the Steelers end up as a Wild Card team, the most likely opponent would be Jacksonville and, most likely the game would be in Jacksonville.

    Because they lost on Sunday, the Steelers need to do as well or better than the Browns in the two remaining games in order to win the AFC North (since the Steelers swept the Browns, the Steelers would win the Division of both teams finished the season with identical W-L records). If the Steelers win the Division, they would play San Diego in San Diego and the last wild card team (most likely the Browns though the Titans still have an outside shot) would play the Jags in Jacksonville on the first weekend of the playoffs.

    The Steelers face the 3-11 Rams on Thursday in St Louis and should win unless they play the kind of hapless game they played against the Jets and Cardinals. They finish up the season on the 30th against the Ravens (a game I think has a lot of upset potential–I think the Ravens team the Steelers will face on the 30th will look more like the team that almost beat the Patriots last week than the team that lost to the Dolphins yesterday).

    The Browns two remaining games are against the Bungles on Sunday and the 49ers on 30th and they have a very good shot at winning both games.

    As I said, the Titans are still in the Wild Card hunt. They play the Jets on Sunday–a game they should win. They then play the Colts on the 30th–a game I would normally not give them much of a chance of winning. However, the Colts have already sewed up a first week bye in the playoffs and I wouldn’t be surprised if Tony Dungy decides to rest his starters or give them limited playing time, which would greatly improve the Titans’ chances.

  55. 55
    Punchy says:

    Again, anyone who thinks Michigan isn’t one of the top jobs in college football is on drugs.

    Holy shit, I’m aghast at this crap. Michigan sucked this year. They will next year, too. And the next. They’re not a good program (Lost to Wisky?), are far too slow (Oregon, anyone?), but are still given way too much undeserved props each year (Appy St?), even though they can’t beat the best teams (Sweatervest).

    Michigan, welcome to the lives of the Golden Domers. Too proud to acknowledge the obvious, only able to point to attendance and a coach’s salary as any objective marker of “dominance”.

  56. 56
    Darkness says:

    Now, in reality, Michigan is playing Florida in Orlando, that means are going to get taken out to the wood shed.

    If this season has been anything, it’s been unpredictable. So, we’ll see. That’s why you have to actually play the game.

    Back to the other topic: it just seems disingenuous to decide that hot-weather football is the only valid kind. The Big Ten plays in the cold half the season and then goes to a bowl in the heat and tends to do worse than expected. Well, big surprise. If we did it the other way for a round, the ACC would be understand what the issue was, but like you said, won’t ever happen. The trouble with switching styles of play just for the bowl game is keeping it from affecting conference success. It will be interesting to see. It will be the first big break from “3 yards and a cloud of dust”, that’s for sure.

  57. 57
    Vladi G says:

    Michigan, welcome to the lives of the Golden Domers. Too proud to acknowledge the obvious, only able to point to attendance and a coach’s salary as any objective marker of “dominance”.

    Yeah, that and the fact that they (ND) have the nation’s top recruiting class coming in next year. So there are a bunch of kids who still think they can be a dominant program.

    And again, how quickly people forget that Michigan was four points away from playing for the National Championship last year.

    They’re not a good program (Lost to Wisky?), are far too slow (Oregon, anyone?), but are still given way too much undeserved props each year (Appy St?), even though they can’t beat the best teams (Sweatervest)

    First, Wisconsin is not a bad football team. They haven’t been a bad football team since the early ’90s. Second, Oregon would be in the NC if not for an injury to Dennis Dixon, so I’m not quite sure what you think those losses prove, other than Michigan wasn’t great this year. Nobody disagrees with that. But people who aren’t total morons don’t change their opinions of “elite” programs every freaking year.

    It’s the same way in basketball. Kentucky is not good right now, but they’re still an elite program. They’re still a top job. Just like UCLA was coming off of the Lavin years, and lo and behold, guess who’s right back at the top of the college basketball landscape. One bad year, even two or three, is not enough to knock a team from that pedestal.

    Oh, and Lloyd Carr against the vaunted SEC? 5-3 in his career, with wins over Florida, Auburn, and Georgia.

  58. 58
  59. 59
    RareSanity says:

    Yeah,RareSanity,Rutgers and South Florida would give Michigan a run for their money-this year.Would they have given them a run a year ago,or 5 or 10 or 20 or 40 years ago and will they in the future?

    No they would not have given them a run for the money, but since all schools are now limited to 85 scholarships, the “big schools” can no longer horde talent. And with the onset of ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, Fox Regional Sports Stations that broadcast nationwide on cable, kids don’t just have to go to “big schools” to be on TV. Not only that, smaller schools bring out the list of players Michigan recruited last year and says, “You are completing against these guys from last year, plus whoever else they are recruiting this year.” Come to South Florida, its warm, 3 hrs from Miami, Our games are on ESPN, we are in a BCS Conference… and oh yeah, you play your freshman year. That’s a heckuva pitch to a 18 year old hormone excessive young man.

    So..no several years ago, they didn’t stand a chance, but the rules have changed.

    I’d also reserve judgement on South Florida…

    Agreed.

    While your understanding of college football seems kind of simplistic,you’re somewhat correct about the speed thing,at least as it relates to conditioning.

    Well, you will understand if I disagree with the “simplistic” characterization, In a comment you try to simplify to keep it pithy.

    Also, conditioning can play a part, but not that much. Conditioning can help explosiveness, stamina, general strength and recovery from injury but, conditioning ain’t gonna get you from a 4.7 to a 4.4. It can get you to a 4.4 from a 4.5, but that’s about it. It That is all fast twitch muscle fibers, only nature develops them.

  60. 60
    Darkness says:

    Michigan, welcome to the lives of the Golden Domers. Too proud to acknowledge the obvious, only able to point to attendance and a coach’s salary as any objective marker of “dominance”.

    Calm down, Dude. Just to restate what you are saying: Good coaches should only take jobs at small schools where the attendance sucks, no cares about football, and the school has no budget, and no sports history. Just making sure I’ve got this straight. The Michigan type of fan delusion as you imply it should be labelled, is what provides the resources (both monetary and psychological) to return a program to the top. I don’t know what’s so tough to grasp about that notion. Or what’s so negative about it, unless you hate football…in which case, it would be maddening (as it is for two of my football-loathing friends).

    Hiring RR sounds like the perfect fix for all your rants, BTW. ;-)

  61. 61
    Punchy says:

    It’s the same way in basketball. Kentucky is not good right now, but they’re still an elite program. They’re still a top job.

    What are you trying to compare here? The quality of the program, or the pay given to the coach of said program? I agree that Michigan is a “top job”–b/c they’re willing and able to pay +2.5 mill/yr. We disagree that Michigan is considered an elite program. I think it gets unfair, biased props each year, and much like ND, underperforms (with 2006 an exception). When’s the last time Michigan won a BCS game?

  62. 62
    RareSanity says:

    Back to the other topic: it just seems disingenuous to decide that hot-weather football is the only valid kind.

    It’s not the only valid kind. It’s the only kind that Big Ten teams can’t match-up against, and it is becoming more popular. Oregon runs a “warm weather” offense, Oregon is not a warm weather state. LSU does not play a “warm weather” offense…they run the ball and stop the run…you know Big Ten football. They are just faster and do it better.

    The trouble with switching styles of play just for the bowl game is keeping it from affecting conference success.

    Balderdash!! The teams only play one maybe two games where it is really cold. There is no conference championship. They play their last game in mid-November…the weather isn’t that bad during mid-November. Michigan can play any system it wants, it choses a style and players that are too slow to compete with elite teams.

    Oh, and Lloyd Carr against the vaunted SEC? 5-3 in his career, with wins over Florida, Auburn, and Georgia.

    What do you think happens if Carr is coaching Michigan against one of those schools in a bowl game this season?

  63. 63
    Punchy says:

    Calm down, Dude

    I’m as calm as can be. Just don’t try to sell me that Penn State is a powerhouse simply b/c they can sell over a mill tix a year. Size of stadium + faux prestige does not an elite team make.

  64. 64

    If the Steelers end up as a Wild Card team, the most likely opponent would be Jacksonville and, most likely the game would be in Jacksonville.

    If the Steelers go into the playoffs as a wild card, the only way that they could play Jacksonville would be in the AFC Championship game, if they both win twice. The Colts clinched the AFC South yesterday, which means that the Jaguars can only make it as a wild card. Good luck seeing the two wild card teams meet up.

    The idea of this being a down year for Michigan makes me laugh. Not that they haven’t been better, but there are a lot of people who need to come to grips with what a bad season actually means. Come up here to Gopherland, and I’ll show you a bad football team. I can reminisce about all of the other bad Minnesota football teams I’ve watched over the years.

    Oddly, Minnesota has one of the strongest overall sports programs in the country, right up there with Michigan, Stanford, UCLA and a few others. It just so happens that football and mens’ basketball are two of the sports where we’re almost never any good.

  65. 65
    Vladi G says:

    I agree that Michigan is a “top job”—b/c they’re willing and able to pay +2.5 mill/yr.

    Yeah, it’s all salary. Has nothing to do with having an enormous fan base, built in recruiting, tons of tradition, being the most victorious team in the history of college football. All of those things are completely unimportant, apparently. All that matters is what happened in 2007.

    Oh, and don’t look at the last ten years, either. Michigan has won 92 games in that time, while Florida, for example, blows them away with a whopping 93. Yet one of these schools is an elite program, and the other is ridiculously “not in the top 15”. Oh, and that doesn’t include their 12-0 season in 1997, nor does it account for the extra cash grab that is the SEC championship game.

    Lots of schools are willing to pay that much. Lots of schools aren’t Michigan.

  66. 66
    Mr. Ziffel says:

    What do you think happens if Carr is coaching Michigan against one of those schools in a bowl game this season?

    Uh, Carr is coaching against one of those teams in a bowl game this season. It’s called the Capital One Bowl, in Orlando, on New Year’s Day. U of M is playing a team called the Florida Gators. Are you familiar with their work? Do you follow college football?

  67. 67
    AnonE.Mouse says:

    I simplify it so you can understand it,RareSanity.
    To a large extent West Virginia and Rutgers and South Florida recruit kids who Michigan and other elite schools bypass.They bypass them because they are generally not as talented athletes coming out of high school.They don’t bypass them because they are fast.Some of these kids are diamonds in the rough who develop later.Some player’s skills are maximized by the system they’re in.You’re correct that state of the art S&C can maximize a player’s speed and quickness as well as strength relative to weight(which also effects speed).As good an indication of the “fast twitch muscle fibers” of the athletes attending particular schools are professional football rosters-the NFL doesn’t like slow.Among the top ten feeder schools for the NFL are the ‘fast’ southern schools Tennessee(42),Florida(37),Georgia(35),and LSU(34).’Slow’ northern schools among the top ten are the non-elite Notre Dame(40) and Michigan(36),as well as Ohio State(39) and Penn State(36).
    You’re also correct about scholarship limits,but that didn’t just happen yesterday.
    I’m not the biggest fan of Lloyd Carr-he gets less out of highly recruited elite athletes as any coach in the country(Rodriguez,on the other hand,seems to consistently get more out of less-I can’t wait to see what he does with the recruiting bonanza that is Michigan).In his defense,however,Carr’s teams have always had the most trouble with spread offenses(like Oregon and Appalachian State,and also including the modified spread that Ohio State runs).They’re hard to defend against when you don’t run the spread yourself and your players don’t practice against it.I don’t expect Michigan to be able to stop Florida’s spread either.On the other hand,it may be the first game in several months that both Hart and Henne(as well as Jake Long)are healthy,and Florida’s defense isn’t that good.
    By the way,until Rodriguez,Michigan has been pretty cheap paying their coaches.

  68. 68
    smiley says:

    Oh, and Lloyd Carr against the vaunted SEC? 5-3 in his career, with wins over Florida, Auburn, and Georgia.

    What do you think happens if Carr is coaching Michigan against one of those schools in a bowl game this season?

    Umm… he is. UM vs. UF in the bowl formerly known as Citrus on January 1. We’ll see.

  69. 69
    Darkness says:

    Punchy sayeth:
    I’m as calm as can be. Just don’t try to sell me that Penn State is a powerhouse simply b/c they can sell over a mill tix a year. Size of stadium + faux prestige does not an elite team make.

    Okay, we are down to numbers if you are going to pull into the argument the strawman that is Penn State.

    So, I took a quick jab at James Howell’s wonderful database and ran some numbers.

    Unfortunately the historical scores do not include the 2007 season, but do include the 2006 season bowls. So be it.

    I’m using this site to run the analysis Feel free to play with it yourself.

    So, the question is if you agree that Michigan and Penn State were once elite schools, then what length of slump should qualify one for removal from that league. Right? That’s a personal opinion, to each there own, but the raw numbers tell a different story than you seem to be telling.

    Personally, I think the time frame is longer than you probably think it is, especially since when we’re discussing MY team. That’s a given.

    Taking a 15 year window 1992-2006

    vs. conf %win total W L T

    Florida
    SEC 0.805 128 103 25
    ACC 0.500 19 9 9 1
    BigTen 0.500 6 3 3
    BigEast 0.333 6 2 4
    BigXII 0.000 1 0 1

    Lost in bowls to Big Ten teams Iowa, Michigan, and Mich State in 2004, 2003 and 2000 respectively

    Penn State
    ACC 0.800 5 4 1
    BigEast 0.750 24 18 6
    BigXII 0.750 4 3 1
    PAC-10 0.714 7 5 2
    SEC 0.667 6 4 2
    BigTen 0.616 112 69 43

    Note: lost to Florida jan 1 1998

    Michigan
    BigEast 0.800 5 4 1
    BigTen 0.767 120 91 27
    SEC 0.714 7 5 2
    SWC 0.667 3 2 1
    BigXII 0.571 7 4 3
    PAC-10 0.500 10 5 5

    Note: beat Florida Jan 1 2003

    Well, based just on these numbers, I wouldn’t count out Penn State yet. Florida looks dodgy, honestly, and a 10-year window only helps a little but you can run that yourself.

  70. 70
    Vladi G says:

    Using the sites that Darkness referenced, let’s take a look at the 1997-2006 records of Florida and Michigan (2007 not available yet).

    Michigan is 92-24 over that period, and 5-1 vs. the SEC.
    Florida is 87-32 over that period, and 3-3 vs. the Big 10.

    Interesting that Florida in that time has played no Pac 10 or Big 12 schools, while Michigan hasn’t played the ACC. Michigan also takes a big hit against the Pac 10, going 2-5. Their best out of conference record is against the SEC.

    Yet one of these programs is elite, and the other is not in the top 15.

  71. 71
    AnonE.Mouse says:

    Two of those five Michigan losses to Pac10 teams were to USC playing at home in the Rose Bowl.
    Michigan is probably one of the few non-elite football programs whose coaching search was a daily topic of discussion on virtually every national sports talk show.I expect West Virginia’s search for a coach will get the same coverage.
    Penn State is still an elite program.That anyone would seriously argue they aren’t is highly suggestive of that person’s ignorance.There’s a shitload of elite programs that hit rough spots-USC,Oklahoma,Alabama,Texas,Notre Dame,etc.All Penn State needs to get healthy is for Paterno to get the hell out of the way.

  72. 72
    redterror says:

    One more thing. So RichRod takes a better job when it is offered. At a better university, for more money. Good for him. Let’s say he hit a bad patch at WVU: A few seasons of 7-5, 6-6, 5-7. Do you think for a minute that the WVU administration would keep him while he turns things around? Nope. Where is that reciprocal loyalty that does not really exist?

  73. 73
    Ezert says:

    Dave, I did read your comments. You need to read mine. As I said, Jacksonville is going to the playoffs as a wild-card team. Therefore they will be on the road in the opening round. The only way they will get a home game in the playoffs is if they remain the five-seed, and play the six-seed in the AFC Championship Game. As it stands right now, if Jax and Pitt met in the playoffs the game would likely be in Pittsburgh again because the Steelers still have the inside track to win their division and get a home playoff game, whereas Jax is eliminated from winning their division.

  74. 74
    Craig says:

    Some people better read the Pittsburgh Gazette today. It appears the top donors at WVU are PISSED at the WV Admin for letting Rich go when he actually asked for so little to stay (and not even money directly for him)!

    If true, they really dropped the ball here.

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