Michigan Football: Thursday Afternoon Musings

DJ WalkerCorrespondent INovember 4, 2010

One of my friends and colleagues said one of the dumbest things (in regards to Michigan football) I've heard in a while:
"You've got to remember—it's the Michigan AD's fault. Why they hired a guy with the WVU-style offensive plan in the smash-mouth Big Ten, I'll never understand."

Might it be because Michigan's offense is ranked in the top 10 nationally? Might it be because Michigan put up 500 yards of offense against one of the best defenses in the Big 10, if not the country?

BREAKING NEWS: Offense is not Michigan's problem.

Opposing offenses are averaging 118 percent of their average yardage against Michigan. A mediocre defense would be giving up about 85 percent (Michigan's best defensive performance of the season came against Iowa, holding them to 93 percent of their season average, and still managing to lose). If you like pretty charts, here's the metrics for those stats courtesy of tpilews from mgoblog.com.

Check out the full breakdown here.

I'm just glad it's not my call on who should be fired (getting back to the comment about coach Rich Rodriguez). People on both sides of the fence—that fence being the line between Rich Rod and Greg Robinson—have valid points.

On one hand, Greg Robinson has a couple of Super Bowl rings. On the other hand, so does Charlie Weiss. On one hand, Greg Robinson doesn't run the 3-3-5 and is possibly being forced to run it for Rich Rod's pleasure. On the other hand, he's hired to do a job, so he should be able to do it.

Brandon Graham voiced his support for Greg Robinson to annarbor.com but added, “It’s tough to see the boys struggling, knowing that Michigan, for all them years, was prided on defense. They just have to find that niche. The 3-3-5, I don’t think it’s a good look, especially for the type of stuff we see in the Big Ten.”

MGoFootball is looking for "Perspective" on this:

"Doesn’t it have to be coaching at this point? Denard [Robinson]'s great. The offense is fine. I have no complaints about the offensive performance on Saturday night. Maybe some beef with a couple play calls—like running Vincent Smith up the middle from the I formation on 3rd and 1. On defense though, it’s really, really hard at this point to say that the coaches are doing all they can do with the talent at hand. I don’t think I can buy that anymore."

I can't really say where I sit on the fence anymore. I'm leaning toward firing Greg Robinson, but every time I say that someone brings up a really good point about firing Rich Rodriguez. And then, whenever I start to listen to that somebody says, "well what about how good the offense is??" It's a never-ending cycle. As I said before, I'm glad it's not me making that decision.

In other news, people close to the situation are leaking info that the NCAA policy review board said, "Rich Rodriguez did not fail to promote an atmosphere of compliance," which is good news for the school. The NCAA will announce the official results of its findings as early as today. They still have yet to determine if the self-imposed sanctions the school enacted are enough. Apparently there's talk of an additional year of probation to bring the grand total up to 3 years.

Here's an interesting column from Joel Greer at Bleacher Report. It outlines some possible candidates as Rich Rod's successor, should the "need" arise. I don't think it's any sort of coincidence that the list is full of defensive coordinators.

And with that I'm done for the week. I leave for Michigan tomorrow with a friend on a trip that includes the Illinois game on Saturday. Said friend has never been to Michigan, let alone the Big House, so I'm hoping that I can show him a good time, including a "W" over Illinois.
Not that it has anything at all to do with football, but I'll leave you with this last link for the day.