Observations of Coach Rodriquez' Second Year at Michigan

Observations on Coach Rod's Second Year at Michigan-December 18, 2008 to December 27, 2009

1--Coach Rod's Record at Michigan

We follow up a 3-9 season with a 5-7 season, 8-16 overall, no bowl game for two years in a row after setting a NCAA record of 33 consecutive bowl appearances in a row and finish the year losing our final 5 games and being outscored in the second half of those games by a 106-26 to finish in a tie for last place in the Big Ten with Indiana. The only Michigan Head Football Coach to lose more than 7 games in a season (Harry Kipke was 1-7 in 1934 and 1936 and Bump Elliot was 2-7 in 1962). He has not one, but two 5 game losing streaks; the last time this happened was 1935-1936 under Harry Kipke. His Big Ten record in the past two seasons has been 3-13. Rich Rodriquez is the only Michigan football coach in the 130 year history of the program that has lost to Ohio State two years in a row since taking over as head coach. He is also 0-2 against Michigan State. These facts do not bode well for Coach Rod's record and leadership of the Michigan football program. He has support from President Mary Sue Coleman and Athletic Dirctor Bill Martin for a 3rd season, but unless his record substantially improves in 2010, it is expected that his tenure at Michigan will only last 3 years especially with a new athletic director in 2010.

Angelique Chengelis-Detroit News: Michigan Football: A Big House Divided

Bob Wojnowski-Detroit News: Radical Improvement will be Demanded of Rodriquez in 2010

Jamie Samuelson-Detroit Free Press: Michigan worse in 2009 than in 2008

Drew Sharp-Detroit Free PRess: Negative Storm at Michigan Not Fading

DAVETGC: Observations on Coach Rod's first year

2-Why are our players not "executing?"

I have watched, listened, re-watched and re-listened to all press conferences by Coach Rod this season and since he has been named the Head Football Coach at Michigan. Much rhetoric has been discussed relative to the players lack of "execution." The discussion seems to be stated repetitiously that players prepared for each game by watching the tendencies of the other team, drilled in practice to prepare for those tendencies, but when it came to "executing" in the game, they could not execute. So, I guess it is the players fault because they lack the size, strength, experience, speed, quickness or other physical attributes to "execute" in game situations.

Players execute when they are not only prepared physically, mentally and spiritually, but they also execute better when they are in the right environment. Coaches create that environment. The best example of that was Coach Carr's last game at Michigan in the Capital One Bowl. The players rallied around not only their final game as Wolverines, but Coach Carr's final game at Michigan. Coach Carr created not only a positive environment at Michigan for his players, but the players responded by playing their best for Coach Carr. The Michigan football team was not going to lose that Capital One Bowl to Florida, and they didn't because they played their best. Did they make mistakes in that game? Sure, they did; however, they were determined that they would prevail because of their team goal to win that game for Coach Carr and themselves.

From what I've observed in the Michigan football program over the past season and last two seasons under Coach Rod, he is not getting the players to perform their best and the players are not performing their best. There has not been a problem with their conditioning, but the lack of execution is a combination of a lack of strength, size, speed, quickness and coaching. One may have the best talent, but without the proper environment, the best talent may not achieve success. We are not achieving much success at Michigan currently in our football program. We have talented players who are not performing up to their capabilities and raising their level against our competition.

Some people want to argue that Coach Carr left the "cupboard bare" with talent. Those people don't want to accept reality and the fact that Coach Carr left talent, but Coach Rod and his "system" didn't embrace much of the talent so the talent left. Whether the players couldn't adapt to the coach or the coach couldn't adapt to the players, it really doesn't matter; the end result has been disaster for the Michigan Football Program.

Here is a ranking summary of 119 Division I team recruiting classes in the previous years:

Year Rivals Scout
2008 9 11
2007 10 10
2006 13 11
2005 4 1
2004 5 4

Last season's class (2009) was ranked 7th by Rivals and 10th by Scout and this year's class so far is ranked 14th by Rivals and 16th by Scout. Talent must be nurtured and developed. We have had significant losses of talent in our football program, and Coach Rod doesn't accept any blame or accountability for the loss of talent. Ryan Mallett, for example, is currently ranked #3 nationally in passing efficiency at Arkansas and may go to the NFL after this season. Had Coach Rod worked on keeping him during his transition, both the 2008 and 2009 seasons could have gone quite differently. One could say the same for Justin Boren who earned 1st Team All-Big 10 in 2009.

The 2007 team had enough talent returning to be ranked #5 nationally in the pre-season. The 2007 team finished #19 nationally with a 9-4 record and returned several starters including defensive line starters: Brandon Graham, Terrence Taylor, Will Johnson and Tim Jamison and returning linebacker starter Obi Ezeh, plus solid backups with John Thompson, Austin Panter, Jonas Mouton plus defensive backs Donovan Warren, Stevie Brown, Charles Stewart and Troy Wolfolk. Even the 2008 team had a pre-season ranking of #24 based on the returning talent. In the 2008 Preview Issue of The Wolverine, on page 150, it stated "Seven Starters return from a defense that ranked second in the Big Ten in both fewest points (18.5 per game) and fewest yards allowed (321.4 per game) in conference games, which could help U-M remain competitive." In fact, the article by John Borton, Transition Triumph or Trouble, begins with Defense as being the #1 reason why Michigan will win the Big Ten in 2008. Three defensive players were recognized by Coach Rod in Spring, 2008: Obi Ezeh, Stevie Brown and Ryan VanBergen for their leadership and potential. Only 7 of the 24 recruits in February, 2008 were defensive players and two of those players never made the 2008 roster. Of those 5 players, only one really contributed significantly to the 2009 team (Martin) and all five were originally Carr recruits. Following the miserable 2008 season when it was obvious we needed to sign a full class of 25 players, Coach Rod could only manage 22 signees and only 8 of those were defensive players. Only 2 of the 2008 group (Roh and Campbell) contributed to the 2009 defense. Coach Rod and staff have simply not developed players on the defensive side of the ball, and not emphasized defense enough as a recruiting priority.

2009: 50 Letterwinners and 16 starters returned

2008: 45 Letterwinners and 10 starters returned

3-Let's examine the coaching record!

2008 versus 2009: Lack of Michigan Defense

2008 Big Ten Rank NCAA Defensive Category 2009 Big Ten Rank
51st 6th Rushing 91st 10th
87th 9th Passing 67th 7th
66th 9th Total 82nd 9th
90th 10th Scoring 81st 9th
81st 10th Pass Efficiency 74th 7th
107th 11th Turnover Margin 112th 11th
35th 6th Sacks 72nd 10th

Decimated Defense-Part I Part II (Misopogon from MGoBlog.com)

Our defense is absolutely horrid. We have the worst defense I've observed since the early 1960's. We have 2 walk-ons starting (Kovacs and Leach), and 4 walk-ons in the defensive two deep (Heinager, Simmons). I have nothing against walk-ons, and I think it is great that they are contributing; however, we lack talent on defense. When Rich Rodriquez took over the Michigan football program in December, 2007, he had a critically important decision to make in a conference that plays "power football" and defense always has been the top most priority for teams to be successful and win championships. The question: Does he retain Ron English as defensive coordinator? Everyone knows the answer, he rejected English and he went to Louisville as their defensive coordinator, and is now the Head Coach at Eastern Michigan University. Coach Rod chose to hire Steve Shafer who did a fabulous job at Syracuse University in 2009, but he left Michigan as being blamed for our football program's demise and was forced to sign a separation agreement calling for his silence and no disparaging remarks. Coach Shafer was Coach Rod's final coaching staff hire on January 11, 2008

Now, we have hired Greg Robinson and a permanently installed a 3-4 defense. Now I can tell you that I like Greg Robinson, and I believe he is a good defensive coach that can help turn around our defense; however, even he has complained publicly about the emphasis being placed on defense with significantly fewer scholarships being allocated to the defensive side of the program. When Greg Robinson arrived, one of the first things he observed and has emphasized is tackling because he saw a team that was poor in tackling as all Michigan fans have observed. Our tackling wasn't perfect in 2009, we continue to miss way too many tackles; however, if one is honest, one could see improvement in tackling in 2009 from the 2008 team. I think Greg Robinson is doing the best he can with the personnel he inherited, Coach Rod's recruiting priorities as well as the defensive coaching staff he is working with (Coach Tall, Coach Hopson and Coach Gibson). Two of the three were candidates for the defensive coordinator position previously. It is too bad he was unable to convince one of his "inner circle" to make the move to Michigan, West Virginia defensive coordinator, Jeff Casteel, is a solid defensive coordinator.

All this being said, the record speaks for itself, 3 defensive coordinators in 3 years and one of the worst defenses nationally in the past two seasons. The blame and accountability for this falls directly to Coach Rod for poor decision making and poor emphasis and prioritization in recruiting, coaching, scheme, strategies, game planning and adjustments.

Please ask yourself these questions and answer honestly:

How many Big Ten teams play a 3-4 defense? (Answer: We are the only team of 11 teams).

How many defensive players have honestly improved in the past two seasons under Coach Rodriquez and staff? (Answers will vary, but not many)

Follow up question to that, did our defensive coaches help to improve our top players, Brandon Graham and Donovan Warren, bringing them to a "new" or next level? (Answers will vary, but many players are not coming to Michigan because the Rodriquez staff isn't sending as many players to the NFL)

We will not return to be an elite Big Ten or national power until we prioritize and emphasize defense again at Michigan, and prepare 24/7/365 for Ohio State like they prepare for us. Jim Tressel has been successful against us because he prioritizes and emphasizes defense and does something every week to prepare for Michigan because he knows it is the most important game on their schedule.

How many defensive backs have improved under Coach Gibson? My opinion is that J.T. Floyd, Michael Williams, Troy Woolfolk and others have not improved much and the lack of adequate coaching has been a problem. We constantly see our defensive backs and safeties with significant space while covering opposing wide receivers, and a lack success with press, man coverage. Even worse, we don't seem to call press coverage on defense from our coaching staff which displays a lack of coaching confidence in our player.

Let me cite a specific player, Brandon Smith. He came to Michigan after being recruited by Coach Carr and staff to be the next Strong Safety. In the Michigan Spring Scrimmage 2009 after a redshirt year in 2008 to learn the new defensive system, he was moved to Inside Linebacker. The coaches lost confidence in him at Safety and chose to change his position to linebacker rather than coaching him to the "next level" at the safety position; now he is back permanently at the safety position. Rumors on December 6 are now that Brandon Smith will transfer, sit out 2010, and have two years of eligibility for another football program where he'll have a better opportunity for his talent to be utilized.

I contend that this is an example of problematic coaching under Coach Rod, and one reason why we are floundering defensively. Of course, we haven't had a chance to see J.T. Turner, Vladimir Emilien, Thomas Gordon, and little of Teric Jones, but the defensive backfield has been poor under Coach Gibson over the past two seasons which tells me and should tell others that he is not what the program needs to develop our players. When we look to our previous coaches like Vance Bedford, Teryl Austin and Ron English, we definitely see a downgrade in coaching performance with our defensive backs.

How many linebackers have improved under Coach Hopson? My opinion is that Obi Ezeh, Jonas Mouton, Kenny Demens, Brandon Herron and others have not improved much and the lack of adequate coaching has been a problem. The move of Stevie Brown to linebacker has had its merits, but also its problems. He did lead the defense in tackles and was good on run support; however, he gave up many big plays and was picked on by many teams in the red zone for his weakness on pass coverage. Kevin Leach did improve, and has been a pleasant surprise; however, we haven't seen many other linebackers due to redshirt: Brandin Hawthorne, Isaiah Bell and little of Mike Jones except on kickoff coverage. None of our linebackers even made honorable mention All-Big Ten in 2009. Obi Ezeh made honorable mention All-Big 10 in 2008, but is not even starting at the end of 2009; that is definitely a step backwards. When we look to our previous linebacker coaches like Steve Szabo and Jim Herrman, we definitely see a downgrade in coaching performance with our linebacking. Coach Hobson didn't do a great job in recruiting, and hasn't brought us many recruits compared to other assistant coaches on the team.

Coach Hopson Off to Memphis as Defensive Coordinator

I don't think Bruce Tall has done a bad job given the fact that we've changed from a 4-3 scheme to a 3-4 scheme, that is a 25% loss of defensive linemen. I think we've seen improvement in all three linemen this year: Brandon Graham, Mike Martin and Ryan VanBergen. We see improvement in Will Heinager, Renaldo Sagesse, Will Campbell and Greg Banks. Coach Tall was only left with 8 scholarship defensive linemen to coach along with 4 walk-ons. One of those 7 was redshirted, Anthony Lolata, and he was almost moved to linebacker. The biggest problem currently on our defensive line is scheme, and the lack of size after changing this scheme. Ryan VanBergen is only 270 lbs. and he regularly sees 320-300 lbs. right tackles in the Big Ten facing him weekly. Our problems on the defensive line are historical, and I've even devoted an entire web page to the issue. We will not get the nation's best defensive linemen unless we change our scheme and priorites.


Now, let's look at the Offensive Coaches. My opinion is that Greg Frey is a good offensive line coach. One can see development and improvement of players over the last two years. Our net rushing offense was ranked 31st in the nation and 4th in the conference this year, and we'd have done much better were it not for the injuries to Brandon Minor and Carlos Brown. Our offensive linemen: Dave Molk, Steve Schilling, Dave Moosman, Perry Dorenstein, Mark Huyge and Patrick Omameh have all improved this year. We don't know much about the backups like John Ferrara, Elliott Mealer, Ricky Barnum, Rocko Khoury and redshirts Taylor Lewan, Mike Schofield and Quinton Washington; however, we can see that Coach Rod will keep significantly less offensive linemen than Coach Carr. Coach Rod emphasizes bulking up on wide receivers, running backs and quarterbacks and not offensive linemen like Coach Carr did. It was not unusual for us to have 20 of our 85 scholarships devoted to offensive linemen under Coach Carr.

Our wide receivers coach, Tony Dews, is a good recruiter, but he is not getting the job done in developing our wide receivers. Greg Mathews, Daryl Stonum, Martavious Odoms, LaTerryal Savoy, Kelvin Grady, etc. are not running good routes, do not improvise well, do not block well and are guilty of many drops. None of our receivers have made even honorable mention All-Big 10 in the past two seasons. It looks like Roy Roundtree may develop into a gamer, but apparently we are looking to recruiting to fix this position problem and have recruited 6 new wide receivers for 2010 while redshirting Cameron Gordon, Je'Ron Stokes and Jeremy Gallon. Erik Campbell was a far, far superior coach and Coach Rod chose to let him go to bring in one of his "inner circle" in Coach Dews. Coach Campbell did a super job at Iowa this year.

Our quarterbacks coach, Rod Smith, has done a decent job with the quarterbacks; it is not his fault they continue to turnover the ball so many times. Forcier accounted for 15 turnovers this season, 5 in the Ohio State game. Denard Robinson accounted for 7 turnovers, and as a team we had 28 turnovers; one of the worst in the nation and definitely the worst in the Big Ten. Last year, Steven Threet had 10 turnovers, Nick Sheridan had 4 and Martavious Odoms had 5 while the team had a total of 30. In 2007, Ryan Mallett had 9, Chad Henne had 10 and the team total was 25.

Our offensive coordinator and tight ends coach is Calvin Magee; our tight ends have not been impressive and have had many drops. Magee and Coach Rod run the offense, call offensive plays, schemes, plan and adapt game stategies and neither are doing a good job in my opinion. We have been the worst team in the conference and one of the worst teams in the nation in turnover margin over the past two seasons. We do not "take care of the football" as Coach Rod likes to say. Those of us who went through the Bo Schembecher era know that Bo would not tolerate this. People would simply not play if they turned the ball over. It is no mistake that Ohio State leads the conference in turnover margin, and no mistake that they've won the Big Ten title for the past 5 years as a result of stout defense and best turnover margin in the conference. They force turnovers and do not make mistakes, and that is why they prevail. Coach Rod wants to "play fast" and emphasize tempo and speed of the game while sacrificing ball control and minimizing mistakes. It is pretty obvious that both Coach Rod and Coach Magee want a quick strike offense capable of scoring on each and every possession. They discount power football and time of possession as a way of the past, but their way isn't working at Michigan. A spread offense only works when you truly spread out your opponent's defense and run them around so much that they are out of condition to compete in the 4th quarter with the game possibly being on the line or they are so far behind by the 4th quarter that they are now competing against your reserves. This is not happening at Michigan. Other teams are well prepared for our spread offense, schemes and game plans, and they are containing us with a 4-3 defense, can you believe it?

Questions: Is the Michigan "spread offense" really working? Is our offense really spreading out defenses? Is our offense difficult to prepare for and/or adjust to?

Special Teams

Of course, we don't have a designated special teams coach like most Division I teams do so there isn't much to analyze here other than the fact that special teams don't seem to be emphasized much by Coach Rod. We were blessed to have a great punter and net punting game due to All-American Zoltan Mesko and Bryan Wright has been a good kickoff returner; both these players were recruited by Coach Carr and staff. After a terrible first season on special teams in 2008 with fumbles and turnovers galore, we did improve some in 2009 on special teams; however, we are nowhere near the level of Ohio State, Iowa and other solid special teams. Our flyers need to improve significantly as well as our kickoff coverage. Hopefully, Brendan Gibbons will be a solid placekicker for 2010.


One of the things that has made the Michigan football program an elite program is an elite coaching staff over the years. Coach Schembechler and his staffs did not have a "weak link." It has been true under Coach Moeller and Coach Carr. We simply do not have this under Coach Rod. I'm sorry to be so critical, but to me the facts are clear. Coach Rod would never fire anyone in his "inner circle" to make the Michigan football program better. This "inner circle" has not proven to be Michigan Men yet. Wither Michigan Football Tradition?

Depth Chart for 2009 Michigan Football

4-Let's examine Coach Rod's recruiting record!

There are several issues that stand out to me in this regard. First, Coach Rod doesn't emphasize nor has he emphasized defensive recruiting enough and we have only had one player, Craig Roh, that Coach Rod has recruited see significant playing time on the defensive side of the ball over the past two seasons. Second, as I point out in the page below, he is only dedicating 38% of the total scholarship allotment of 85 towards our defense and our defensive recruiting is a sheer reflection of his priorities and philosophies as a Head Coach. He downplays the importance of defense, power football, time of possession, etc. that the Big Ten has built its foundation on. Ohio State has been successful in this last decade because they emphasize and prioritize defense first, last and always; they practice and prepare defensively like no other Big Ten team, and this is why they win Big Ten championships and are a BCS bowl team year in an year out.

Second, the turnover in players has been huge! The turnover includes decommitments, transfers, etc. I think Coach Rod has placed his recruits over players who were here previously that were recruited by Coach Carr and staff.

Third, Coach Rod has deemphasized recruiting in Michigan, and has prioritized Florida as his first preference. Michigan State is outrecruiting us in Michigan, and Central Michigan is close behind.

Please click on the web pages and/or links below for stories:

Coach Rod named in yet another Lawsuit

Rodriquez on "Hot Seat," More Like An Inferno

Victor's Rally Embarassing?

Brandon Graham Gives Coach Rod One Year to start Winning

5 Month NCAA Investigation results in Major Rules Infractions in Rodriquez Regime

Defensive Recruiting and Priorities in the Coach Rodriquez Era

Michigan Decommitments, Transfers and Resignations in Coach Rod's Era

The New Michigan: Football Recruiting has Changed in Michigan

National Football Recruiting 2010

Observations on Michigan Football Recruiting 2010

2009 Decommitments

Detroit Free Press: Defections Don't Faze Coach Rod

Tracking Rich Rodriquez's first recruiting class

Michigan Football Coaching Staff

All-Big Ten Conference in 2009

The team will be comprised of mostly Coach Rod recruits for the first time in 2010 so maybe this will help him. I calculate that a little over 62-64% of the team will be recruited or have walked on since Coach Rod took over. In 2009, about 50% of the team were coach Carr and in 2008 it was about 20% so this could help him. There are many of Coach Carr's recruits who feel they haven't been treated fairly by Coach Rod when it comes to playing time and depth chart since he has given preference to his own recruits in positioning. This has led to team dissension. Coach Rod tried to recruit the 25 players in his first two classes, but was only able to sign 24 in 2008 and 22 in 2009; those who contend that he has had limited scholarship players can only look to this and the fact that he has driven many players away from Michigan.

I don't want to sound completely negative when it comes to Coach Rod, and one example is his walk-on program. He has had numerous tryouts for non-scholarship players enrolled at Michigan, and has given these players plenty of opportunities for playing time. Coach Rod has recruited several players as "preferred" walk-ons, and held try outs twice a year to encourage talented players who are enrolled at Michigan to make the team. I think this is wonderful, and certainly much more than previous coaches have done at Michigan. Not to say that Coach Carr, Coach Moeller and Coach Schembechler didn't also encourage walk-ons, but Coach Rod does excel in this area.

Developing Depth Chart for 2010
Developing Depth Chart for 2011

5-Legal issues continue to be a big problem!

This includes public relations with the press and community at large.

5 Month NCAA Investigation results in Major Rules Infractions in Rodriquez Regime

NCAA Audit: Coaches Didn't Complete Required Logs

NCAA Letter of Inquiry

Rodriquez and 4 Others Sued for $3.9 Million

Rodriquez Linked to a Banned Clemson Booster

Michigan Wolverine Football and Basketball Issues/Scandals

6-What is the record of other new NCAA football coaches hired in the past two years?

As of December 24, 2009

NCAA Football Team Head Coach 2008 Record Bowl 2009 Record Bowl Win%
Oregon Chip Kelly n/a No 10W-2L Rose 83.33%
Georgia Tech Paul Johnson 9W-4L Chick-fil-A 11W-2L Orange 76.92%
Houston Kevin Sumlin 8W-5L Armed Forces 10W-3L Armed Forces 69.23%
Mississippi Houston Nutt 9W-4L No 8W-4L Cotton 68.00%
Nebraska Bo Pelini 9W-4L Gator 9W-4L Holiday 69.23%
West Virginia Bill Stewart 9W-4L Meinke 9W-3L Gator 72.00%
Clemson Dabo Swinney 4W-3L Gator 8W-5L Music City 60.00%
Navy Ken Niumatalolo 8W-5L EagleBank 9W-3L Texas 66.67%
Auburn Gene Chizik n/a No 7W-5L Outback 58.33%
Boston College Frank Spaziani n/a No 8W-4L Emerald 66.67%
Southern Mississippi Larry Fedora 7W-6L New Orleans 8W-5L New Orleans 57.69%
Bowling Green Dave Clawson n/a No 7W-5L Humanitarian 58.33%
Northern Illinois Jerry Kill 6W-7L Independence 7W-5L International 52.00%
Arkansas Bobby Petrino 5W-7L No 7W-5L Liberty 50.00%
Iowa State Paul Rhoads n/a No 6W-6L Insight 50.00%
Kansas State Bill Snyder n/a No 6W-6L No 50.00%
Hawaii Greg McMackin 7W-7L Hawaii 6W-7L No 48.15%
Army Rich Ellerson n/a No 5W-7L No 41.67%
Toledo Tim Beckman n/a No 5W-7L No 41.67%
Wyoming Dave Christensen n/a No 7W-6L No 53.85%
Tennessee Lene Kiffin n/a No 7W-5L Chick-fil-A 52.17%
Colorado State Steve Fairchild 7W-6L New Mexico 3W-9L No 40.00%
Purdue Danny Hope n/a No 5W-7L No 41.67%
Texas A&M Mike Sherman 4W-8L No 6W-6L Independence 41.67%
UCLA Rick Neuheisel 4W-8L No 6W-6L EagleBank 41.67%
Duke David Sutcliffe 4W-8L No 5W-7L No 37.50%
Mississippi State Dan Mullen n/a No 5W-7L No 41.67%
Baylor Art Briles 4W-8L No 4W-8L No 33.33%
San Diego State Brady Hoke n/a No 4W-8L No 33.33%
Syracuse Doug Marrone n/a No 4W-8L No 33.33%
Michigan Rich Rodriquez 3W-9L No 5W-7L No 33.33%
SMU June Jones 1W-11L No 7W-5L Hawaii 33.33%
Washington   Steve Sarkisian n/a No 5W-7L No 33.33%
New Mexico State DeWayne Walker n/a No 3W-10L No 30.00%
Utah State Gary Andersen n/a No 4W-8L No 33.33%
Ball State Stan Parrish n/a No 2W-10L No 16.66%
Washington State Paul Wulff 2W-11L No 1W-11L No 12.00%
New Mexico Mike Locksley n/a No 1W-11L No 0.83%
Miami-Ohio Mike Haywood n/a No 1W-11L No 0.83%
Eastern Michigan Ron English n/a No 0W-12L No 0.00%

At least 18 of these new coaches will have led their football teams and programs to a bowl game in 2009 as did 10 new coaches in 2008, and 8 coaches have been in bowl games two years in a row. Coach Rod ranks 28th (in a 7 way tie so as bad as 35th) of these 40 new coaches. Please remember that Coach Rod was our 3rd choice for Head Coach after Iowa's Kirk Ferentz and Rutger's Greg Schiano.

Look at how successful coaches like Bo Pelini and Paul Johnson have been in two years at Nebraska and Georgia Tech; they are in BCS bowl games and in conference championships. Ironically, both emphasize defense which is definitely not evident in the Michigan football program after two seasons.

Coaching Carousel 2010

Coaching Carousel 2009

Coaching Carousel 2008

According to Big Ten Football Historian, Brady2Terrell, since 1900, 47 coaches have begun their tenure with Big Ten teams with two losing seasons.  Of those 47 coaches:
*5 (10.6%) have won even a single Big Ten title;
*5 (10.6%) have finished their tenure with even a winning record;
*2 (4.3%) have won at least one Big Ten title AND finished with a winning record; and
*0 have won national titles

James M. "Jimmy" Phelan, Purdue (1922-1929) (32-22, no titles)
-Robert A. "Bob" Higgins, Penn State (1930-1948) (91-57-11, no titles, although PSU was playing a JV schedule at the time)
-John Pont, Indiana (1965-1972) (31-51, one Big Ten title)
-Hayden Fry, Iowa (1979-1998) (143-89, three Big Ten titles)
-Gary Barnett, Northwestern (1992-1998) (36-44-1, two Big Ten titles)
-Ron Turner, Illinois (1997-2004) (35-57, one Big Ten title)
-Glen Mason, Minnesota (1997-2006) (64-57, no titles)
-Kirk Ferentz, Iowa (1999-2008) (70-53, two Big Ten titles

Legendary NCAA Division I Coaches

NCAA Football Coaches: Legendary vs. Current

Big Ten Football's Greatest Coaches

One can draw their own conclusions, but my opinion is the same as last year, I want Coach Rod to be successful and hope he is successful; however, if one wants to depict me as not being "all in," so be it. It is difficult for a die hard Michigan football fan to be optimistic and positive about the current and future status of the Michigan football program with the record of Coach Rod since he has arrived December, 2007. I hope he goes 12-0 or at least 10-2 in 2010 and his 8-16 start will then be 20-16 or 18-18, but certainly less than a 6-6 season without a bowl appearance for three years in a row and a new athletic director would spell his final year as Michigan Head Football Coach in my opinion even though we gave him a 6 year contract.

Michigan Football Recruiting

Scholarship Situation for Michigan Football 2010

Observations on Michigan Football Recruiting 2009

Historical Perspective on Michigan Football Recruiting (1999-2005)
Historical Perspective on Michigan Football Recruiting (2005-2009)