Double Vision

Much like you, discerning Michigan fan, I've been playing out a number of scenarios in my head over the last few days. Asking a lot of simple questions with a lot of long and complicated answers. Should Greg Robinson be fired/demoted? If he is, who steps into his place? Does that improve or hurt our defense over the next 4 weeks? What will it take for AD Dave Brandon to make a change at head coach? When? Who would be hire to replace him?  Should we stick with Rodriguez simply because we're so invested in him? How much would firing Rodriguez set us back?

Lets face it, Michigan doesn't hire coaches every 3 years. It's not who we are. We're famous for "Those who stay will be champions". So why, I ask you, are Michigan fans so willing to part ways with Rodriguez after only 2 and a half seasons? I find this question both simply basic on many levels, and complex on so many others.

I see both sides, I really do. For the longest time I was firmly in the camp that wanted to stick by the coach, no matter what. And while I still think Rodriguez can win in Ann Arbor, I too am just as tired as anyone else having to wait for it. And let me just clarify, I DO NOT think that firing Rodriguez is going to solve anything. What's more, I DON'T think we're better off with anyone else. Jim Harbaugh is a great coach, but he's a great coach at Stanford. Stanford is not Michigan. And for as much as you think we'd be better off with Harbaugh or someone else, please consider that we currently have the #4 overall offense in the country.

2Oklahoma St.861542186.8645527.25710
5Boise St.747436117.6244515.86700

I'm sorry, but this can not be disputed. Rodriguez was hired to jump-start the Michigan offense. So far, that's what he's done. Rodriguez has created this...from scratch. Two years ago, we had Threet and Sheridan. Threet and Sheridan for crying out loud!

In 2008, we had the #109 ranked offense. In 2009, #58 overall.

Where does Denard fit into a Harbaugh offense? Certainly not at QB.
Also, consider the's likely that we'll bring back 9 of 11 offensive starters next year. We'll lose Webb and Schilling. But the rest remains intact. AND, we welcome in Dee Hart. I don't think losing Webb will be a factor, and losing Schilling will be a larger hit, but one that we can sustain with our current depth.

But I know what you're thinking. If our offense is so great, why aren't we willing more games? The answer is scoring. We're not getting any help from defensive turnovers, and special teams has been a constant work-in-progress...but without the "progress" part.

Look people, it's not sexy, but the answer to all of our questions is: Patience. Yes, that's it. Brian from mgoblog poses the 3 questions most concerning to him.

  1. Which football coach will give Michigan the best record in 2011?
  2. What about 2012?
  3. What about 2015?
And if really think about it, without the little devil sitting on your shoulder that wants you to burn things, the realize the answer to all 3 questions is Rich Rodriguez.

Fire Rodriguez, and hire any other coach, and you will all but guarantee losing records for the next 3 years. AND, we start to turn into Notre Dame. Let our cohorts in South Bend be the cautionary tale. Don't think the exact same thing won't happen in Ann Arbor if Rodriguez is let go after this season.

I'm not here to tell you how to feel. If you want Rodriguez gone, there's not much I can do or say to dissuade you. You're going to feel how you're going to feel. I know the frustration of watching this team struggle each week just like you do. But this is just me typing on a keyboard so I can justify having these thoughts brewing in my head for the last 4 days.

I am here to tell you that I don't want Rodriguez fired. I want him to stick around the continue to break records at Michigan. I want him to get a new defensive coordinator that can bring a sense of order and inspire this defense.

I said this two weeks ago and I'll say it today...our defense did not lose the Michigan State or Iowa games for us. Our lack of experience and youth was exposed in those games. We made stupid mistakes and turned the ball over too frequently. Of course our defense is bad, but we are going to be good enough on offense to overcome those defensive woes while we continue to get better.

Right now, our biggest goal is getting to a bowl game. ANY bowl game. I don't care with one. Because going to a bowl game gives you 15 more practices at the end of the season. That's 30 practices that we've missed out on the last 2 years. That's a huge disadvantage.

Make a bowl and beat tOSU. Those are the two rallying cries in Ann Arbor right now. That's all that's left that matters. I certainly hope that both of those things happen. If they don't, Brandon might not be able to fight off the horde much longer. They're having a fire sale at Ann Arbor Torch and Pitchfork. Lines are out the door. Another 7 loss season will not go over well with alumni/fans/players/coaches/media/the old lady next door that doesn't even watch sports.

It's going to be a very interesting next 4 weeks for the Michigan football program.


  1. "Fire Rodriguez, and hire any other coach, and you will all but guarantee losing records for the next 3 years. AND, we start to turn into Notre Dame. Let our cohorts in South Bend be the cautionary tale. Don't think the exact same thing won't happen in Ann Arbor is Rodriguez is let go after this season."

    OR...we become Nebraska, who went from national power with a "Nebraska" guy (Osborne). Brought in an NFL offensive guru (Raiders ex coach), then fired him and went back to a "Nebraska" guy in Bo Pelini. Took a year to go from horrible to ranked, and two years to go to top 10 caliber. Granted, I am not positive on the time frame or the coaches in between at Nebraska, but for every ND, there is another Nebraska. Plus I would argue that ND has never had a "ND guy" style as Michigan does.

  2. "Rodriguez was hired to jump-start the Michigan offense."

    Or was it to make it to the BCS Championship game, which is what I heard over and over when he was hired.

  3. I'm sorry, which nebraska guy had to come in and completely overhaul a system? We don't play downhill football anymore, but if our first 5 games can prove as a litmus, that isn't such a bad thing. So what if we are losing a few here and there, our entire #4 ranked offense is returning, and we might have something that resembles a defense next year. I would also like to point out one more thing: if you look at the analysis after each game, our offensive production is almost if not greater than those of our opponents. That would mean offensively we are on par. If we had a defense that was as on par, our offensive production would remain the same, and we might actually win. Don't just blame the head coach, there are clearly several *cough* defensive coaches that are much more detrimental to our program. FIRE THEM.
    Final thought: Rich Rod INVENTED the spread... the contemporary new style offense that's going to maintain us as a competitive program. Why on earth would you want to get rid of him? Downhill Michigan is dead.