"When Coach Rich Rodriguez gets his athletes, he will be a great coach."
"Lloyd Carr left Rodriguez without any good players; he's building from scratch."
"It's going to take two years (now three) to input his system at Michigan."
"After a three-win season, he will turn it around for next year. After a five-win season, he still needs one more year."
Quit defending Rich Rodriguez, he needs to be fired. Rich Rod had a great system that worked at West Virginia, but this is the Big Ten.
The Big Ten is smashmouth football with big, heavy athletes. Also, now Rich Rod needs three years? First he needed two. After Michigan lost seven games this season, now he needs three.
People, open up your eyes. Rich Rod is not ever going to work at Michigan.
Mistake No. 1—Letting the talented athletes go
Lloyd Carr left Rich Rod with three top-recruiting classes. In 2006-08, Carr's classes were ranked 13th, 12th, and 10th, respectively.
They included athletes such as Mario Manningham, Justin Boren, Antonio Bass, Brandon Graham, Obi Ezeh, Brandon Minor, and many more.
What did Rich Rod do with that talent? He let them go and never looked back. Rich Rod never fought to keep any guys that thought about leaving and did not even care once they were gone.
Rich Rod drove away Ryan Mallett, Mario Manningham, Adrian Arrington (who had an extra year of eligibility if he wanted it), Antonio Bass, Steven Threet, Marques Slocum, and Justin Boren, just to name a few.
Even with Nick Sheridan at quarterback in a new system, Michigan would have won more than three games if Manningham, Arrington, and Bass had stayed.
Bass would have been a great fit in the spread system because he can carry, catch, and pass the ball. He was the perfect fit at quarterback RichRod was looking for. Good job coach!
Mistake No. 2—Dumb decisions cost games
Yes, ifs are always an issue in football. When Michigan played Iowa this year, Tate Forcier was clearly not on the same page as the rest of the team. What did Rich Rod do? He left Forcier in until the very end of the game.
Then, along came Denard Robinson; cold, off the bench, to play the final series. He was on the same page as his receivers and had some nice passes, until the ugly interception to end the game.
Why not put Robinson in earlier and let him play comfortably? Michigan would have had a much better chance with Robinson than Forcier. Ditto for the Ohio State game.
In the Michigan State game, you are down by a point in the other team's house with them on their heels. Why not go for two to win the game?
This is Michigan, we are conservative. Michigan State would have not expected a two-point conversion. They were clueless as to how to handle Michigan towards the end of the game.
Instead of sending the game in to overtime to lose, instead of taking the chance and beating up on a team that was on their heels. It was Michigan's game to lose at that point and Rich Rod did.
Mistake No. 3—Not using your talent as you should
This goes along with the first one of not to letting the talent go, but when you have talent used to playing a certain way, combine their system and yours.
Rich Rod could easily have worked in the spread offense while still playing to a semi-pro style of football. He could have used long balls and nice passes to Arrington and Manningham to set up by the run. Then, he could have brought in Bass to change it up often.
When those guys leave and you have your freshman class come in, then convert solely to the spread. Michigan could have avoided a three-win season.
As for this year and their current talent, stop putting in Robinson just to run the ball. Early in the season, Robinson and Forcier would both make passes. Rich Rod let Robinson loose a little.
Then, he stopped Robinson from passing (unless the game was on the line). Everyone in the stadium knew Robinson would be running. Teams just put eight in the box and that was that.
Use the wildcat a little with Robinson and Forcier. Put both quarterbacks on the field and run some option plays. Could you imagine a wishbone with Robinson and Forcier? No one would know who is getting the ball. Then, you could have Mathews or Grady coming off the end and run a nice option, end around reverse.
Bottom line: Rich Rod has to go. The only reason Michigan had five wins this season is because of their lackluster schedule and Forcier not playing like a freshman. Look what happened when he showed his freshman roots.
Forcier put the team on his back for at least two of those games and came out victorious. The Notre Dame game was a miraculous win. The Indiana game ended on a controversial interception call. Take those two wins away and what do you have? The 2008 season.
Rich Rod does not deserve another year. He has done nothing to improve the program, nor will he. Send him out now while Michigan still has talent.
Bring in a coach like Brian Kelly or Jim Harbaugh, that can turn this program around.
Now is the time to get Kelly or Harbaugh. Kelly would leave Cincinnati for an attractive offer, unless they win the National Title (but we all know how much the BCS loves the Big East).
Harbaugh has verbally renewed his contract, but has not yet signed anything. Think he may be waiting? After all, he is a Michigan man that wants to return to his roots. Look at what he has done at Stanford with zero talent.
Please, Mary Sue Coleman, fire Rich Rod. The whole athletic department can be revamped after Bill Martin retires and you get a new football coach. If not, Michigan will continue to be the laughingstock of the Big Ten.