The blogosphere has had a few days to absorb another Michigan loss, and reactions are all over the place this week. Brian addresses once-and-for-all the question of “When can we fire Rich Rod?” He thinks an 8-4 year (possibly 7-5, depending on the bowl game) would save Rodriguez’s job, and he deserves the chance to coach next year before we make any rash decisions. I’m in full agreement on this one — with the defensive depth as thin as it is, and the offense being so young, it’s tough to pin too much of the blame of these past two seasons squarely on Rodriguez. We knew he needed time, and now we have to give it to him. In his postgame wrap, Brian does express the stress we all feel in dealing with the losing:
I’m burning out after two years of almost unrelenting misery, and looking forward to football season being over for the third straight year. I mean, when Michigan was down to Purdue in the second half, some fan ten or twenty rows behind me kept shouting “they’ve got no heart” over and over again as the guy in the row in front of me called for Rodriguez’s firing. Having a conversation about Michigan football right now is trying to remember that episode of GI Joe where Destro finds a secret ninja manual in a volcano*** that allows him to kill people with precisely-applied touches: if you can just remember where the red dots are you can spare everyone a lot of pain.
I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve wished with all my heart for a taser while standing in the student section during these past two years, and I’m obviously not the only one who feels that way. We need to give these kids (yes, kids) a chance — screaming “Forcier sucks!” (and yes, I’ve heard that several times) only serves to single you out as a blithering idiot.
Meanwhile, (the other) Brian over at Genuinely Sarcastic has emerged as a (relatively) level head throughout this whole mess. To the “Fire Rich Rod” crowd, he simply asks, “and do what?”:
Can you name a defensive coordinator who would do better with this roster? There just isn’t much to work with. When Robinson plugs one hole (run defense was solid against MSU and Iowa), another one opens (wide open receivers on playaction). He simply doesn’t have the talent or experience on that side of the ball to put together a sturdy unit in all phases. And the offense…well, remember what Beilein said about the roller coaster last year after Michigan basketball was BACK against UCLA and Duke? When you’re rebuilding, there will be ups and downs. Penn State and Illinois were downs. Purdue was an up. The offense did its job on Saturday.
He goes on to pick apart the notion that Harbaugh and Miles were ever totally viable candidates. Revisionist historians, beware, for Brian is ready to embarrass you.
Over at Maize n Brew, Dave gets the “most hilarious/sad emo quote of the week” award:
Still. Saturday could’ve been worse. A year ago I sat through a miserable downpour in 28 degree weather to watch Michigan lose to a Northwestern team they probably could’ve beaten. But Saturday wasn’t like that.
Saturday was sunny.
SCM has the full game breakdown over there, and comes to the same conclusion that any sane fan has realized at this point in the season:
If this team is going to salvage anything from this year, a year that brought joy for a whole month, then they’re going to have do it by out-gunning people. It is what it is, and it’s not going to suddenly change over the next two weeks of practice. So c’mon Blue, go out there and fight your hearts out.
Maize & Blue Nation gives us two ways to look at the game. Like them, I’m leaning towards option one:
There are two ways to look back at this game.
1) We played harder and looked much better on offense. Our defensive struggles continue, but those problems will take more time to fix. In the short term, this week…while still a tough loss, was still nice to see the team not give up like we did against Illinois. I think we still have a shot at a bowl if we can make some improvements and move forward.
2) Another week another loss. This time to another crappy team. Even though it was close, I don’t care, a loss is a loss. You can take your moral victories and shove it…I need real wins. Wake me up in 2010. I’m done.
For reasons passing understanding, I’m actually closer to camp 1.
Michigan Football Saturdays has beef with Rodriguez’s decision to go for it on fourth and ten (when Brown ended up getting called for a forward lateral and the Wolverines turned the ball over), thinking Michigan should’ve taken the points. I think that decision could have gone either way, and certainly don’t think it was a boneheaded one, but I can see where they’re coming from here.
Finally, UM Tailgate gets zen, and gives an impassioned plea for your continued support:
Michigan Football has been there for you your whole life. They’ve been there for you to lean on. Every Saturday, winning, making you smile, sending you to work on Monday with your chest puffed out, ready to point and laugh at lesser men. But now, for the first time, Michigan Football needs you to be there FOR THEM, to be patient FOR THEM.
We need to find that place again. I’ve got to find that place again. That place where I know we are going to win no matter what the odds, no matter what the situation. Miracles happen. Freshman can do amazing things. There are two games left…and I love being an underdog.
One recruiting tidbit from Rivals: they’ve released their category rankings for 2010 quarterbacks. Devin Gardner ranks second in arm strength (behind PSU commit and Orchard Lake St. Mary’s prospect Robert Bolden), and first in scrambling ability. This combination, I like.
On to basketball (HOORAY!). UM Hoops has your breakdown of the Wayne State game, and Dylan also gives his State of the Blog in Year Three (to which I give a hearty congratulations). Seriously, there’s no better source for Michigan basketball blogging out there, and Dylan is doing all this as a student, which is nothing short of remarkable. Head over there, and if you like what you see, strongly consider hitting the Donate button — he definitely deserves it.
Finally, The Blog That Yost Built has your hockey coverage after Michigan was swept by #1 Miami. Also, MVictors passes along an article from Andy Reid, editor of the Michigan Daily, who was kicked out of Saturday’s game for doing the “C-YA” chant while dressed in a giant chicken suit. I’m with Greg when it comes to the chant: I loved it when I was young, mostly because I wasn’t allowed to say any of the words, but as I get older (and lamer, apparently) I’d like to see it replaced with something less vulgar and more creative. Red Berenson has asked for us to stop, and at this point, we should do whatever Red asks.