I did a few of these for some opponents last year and I figure why not vent what I didn't care about during the Richie Era. I will say I was fan of the "idea". The idea that Michigan would be this fast spread and shred team. That we wouldn't be so predictable and stale. I really thought Rich was the best man to do that. It wasn't meant to be and this blog moved on the day Rich was fired but lets revisit the things that chapped my ass.
10. 3rd and STUFFED!
I lost count on how many times RR would send in the smallest running back(V.Smith more then not) and throw him into a power I. The play would get stuffed 90% of the time. Why ask our line and RB to do something that isn't its strength on some of the most important plays? Might as well run Denard...again. He was running 80% of the time anyway. Why not 85% and get the first down? It was just dumb.
9. Lets Be Real
I felt like sometimes that Rich wasn't himself most the time. Like the pressure to impress or live up a image in Ann Arbor kept him from ever being this larger then life leader that we all wanted. He never came off as on the edge or super confident liked I expected right when we hired him. Most his interviews were canned responses all the time and he seem defeated with all the downs that came his way. After big loses he would just repeat the same things from the loss before. I just never felt like we got the real Rich Rod. I never expected him to go up to the mic and say "what fuck do you want me to get out of Steven Threet?" but I expected more.
8. Hey Idiot.. DUH!
I think the fundamentals and football IQ that the team showed since Rich Rod took over down right sucked at times. Tackling looked worse every year. Some how Obi peaked as a RS Frosh and got worse since RR showed up. Botched punt return after botched punt return. Fumbles galore... Oh and twice last year after blocked FGs the team failed to realize that the BALL IS STILL LIVE! The other team would scoop it up and run in the other direction as the Michigan players seem confused. A lot of this may have been due to some of the position coaches which brings us to number 7.
7. Coaching Follies
Rich hired a "meh" DC from Stanford. He then fights with him every week and forces his will at Purdue as the team runs the 3-3-5 and is beaten on a hook and latter play. Rich fires the dude(who goes to Syracuse ironically and coach a pretty damn good defense) and hires a Orange Reject. Not many know how to take this hire but the dude does have killer silver fox hair. The defense takes a bigger nose dive as we switch our base defense every year. By 2010 the players are thinking so much on the field they forget they are playing football and it costs the team one win after another. A stuffed bear is used to motivate players and darkness falls on Michigan Stadium. Rich also refuses to fire coaches who are lacking. Many say they are his "buddies" and they keep their jobs even though the team is a joke at many defensive positions. Rich may have been screwed the day Casteel refused to follow him to Michigan.
6.MSU or EMU?
During the 3 games in which Michigan played MSU I couldn't tell if Michigan was playing a major rival. I could tell MSU was but Michigan just didn't bring any fire or passion to the MSU games like in the past. By the players body language I couldn't tell if they were playing MSU or EMU. They looked like they took it as just another game. I am not saying that is how the team took MSU but from this persons POV they lacked a lot of heat and intensity in this game. Michigan was 0-3 in these games. I now live in a bizzarro world where Michigan State beats us in football and we beat them in Basketball.
5. Fine get the hell out of here! Who needs yea!
This maybe more to that bad luck thing but Rich didn't have much time for players who were drowning. Rumors would spread that a player maybe leaving the team and then bam! The next day they were gone. I don't know all that went down behind closed doors but it just seemed 2nd chances or helping players turn it around wasn't something that was going on. Guys like Shawn Crable would have been gone in flash under Rich. Justin Turner one of his highest rated recruits was gone before the start of his 2nd season. Did Justin suck at coming to camp ready? Yeah. Could he have been used? YES. But that may have been a good call since he now plays intramurals brother. RB Austin White didn't even make it to camp his Frosh year. Does anyone else think this kid could have used another chance? He didn't even get his dorm assignment for god sake. This was another reason why the roster numbers were so low.
4.The dude didn't even pass 8th grade
Oh lets do it! Or lets not. As much as the fans wanted and welcomed Demor Dorsey he wasn't gonna get in. People slammed Michigan for not letting him in. Then word came of how bad his HS transcripts were. Every school wouldn't let him in. He didn't even get through HS. He ended up at some school for kids who can't handle HS. Why did Rich spend so much time recruiting a kid he had to know had no chance of getting into Michigan. I maybe missing some info that I missed where us and other schools were lead to believe that his grades were fine but if not then why waste so much time? The team had so many needs on that side of the ball. Now Demor is going to GRCC last time I checked and their credits do transfer to Michigan pretty easy. I have no idea what his motives are at GRCC but it may take a miracle if he ever ends up playing D1 ball someday.
3. Pssh! Red Shirts
You would have thought that Rich Rod thought red shirts were some mythical creatures who don't exist. He would burn players red shirts on special team plays, garbage time and refusing to play a certain pain in the ass QB ahead of Devin Gardner. There is no way Je'Ron Strokes should be a Junior right now. Devin Gardner should be a RS frosh. Will... The list goes on and on. This is the stuff I figured out how to manage while playing NCAA Football 2002 back in High School.
Rich just didn't handle the defense with care. It treated it like it was there to get the offense ready in practice and not stop anyone. I think he really thought at times they he could just out score everyone which of course is unrealistic. Hiring and firing DCs and changing schemes every year was huge mistakes. The players didn't know their head from their ass. I think they still don't but Hoke and Co. are working on sorting that out.
Spinner, 3-3-5, 4-2-5, death backer and all these cool names didn't mean shit. We could even go into why in the world is Roh playing OLB? Why isn't Demens starting? Why is Cam Gordan a safety? Why does our DC pick his nose? Why can Wisconsin run the same play 20 times in a row and we can't stop it? Why do I feel bad for Brandon Graham? Why can Penn States Red headed Steven Threet beat us? Why are the Zookers scoring 65 points? Why can't we stop the UMASS Roll out? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? The whole defense turned into a giant joke under Rich and it was really the main reason he was fired.
I didn't enjoy Riches Luck the most. Rich must have did something awful to someone above because the dude had one bad thing happen to him and the team one after another. It was was almost comical how bad news was just never ending. Like is this for real?
The Gods couldn't stand him being the coach at Michigan. They struck us with a corner back plague. Transfers left and right. They took our bowl streak and had a news paper start a witch hunt. It was Rich and his bad luck that has cursed Michigan for the last three years. I have no idea how Denard made it to Michigan without being struck my lighting or being contacted by god to join a monk church.
Like I said. I rooted for Rich and this isn't meant to just slam him(which it does). I could make a top 10 things I liked about the RR era as well. If anything it taught us how fast things change in college football and to never take for granted how good you might be and 9-3 or 10-2 isn't all that bad..
and we can now stop the "Well this is Michigan" shit. We can thank your bad luck to that Rich.