Posted by Frazier
One of the things that may have driven us back to the blog was the disaster in Ann Arbor this year. It's stories like these that we would have a ball with. The whole Rich Rod thing was going to be a fascinating experiment in trying to mess with the ingrained style of a whole conference.
Turns out, Michigan played smashmouth, slow, grinding football forever because that's the style that allowed them to win football games. Maybe it wasn't so much a failure of imagination than playing to your strengths. Next year will be even more interesting as Rich Rod has had a full year to start getting his own recruits, and figuring out how to win with what he has.
If the Bear could you his'n and beat yours'n and take yours'n and beat his'n, then Rod proved he could take yours'n and lose to just about ANYBODY (including, miraculously, Toledo).
Anyone who complains that he didn't have his "personnel" is just making excuses. You play the hand you're dealt. Great coaches scheme to their strengths, and minimize their weaknesses. It was always going to be a down year, but a truly great coach would have found a way to make it work. Now you have to wonder if Rich Rod will ever figure it out up north.
All that said, he's taken a step in the right direction. By hiring Greg Robinson, Michigan is taking a step in the right direction. Robinson is a great example of the Peter Principle. He was a total and unmitigated disaster as a head coach. However, he's been a very good defensive coordinator for a very long time. Also, he never seemed to lose the respect of his players, who fought hard for him, even pulling the stunner against the Domers when it was clear his job was lost.
After surrendering almost 30 points a game last year Michigan needed to mix things up defensively. That effort was abominable, and Robinson should turn things around in short order. There's no guarantee that the Rich Rod experiment will work, but it looks like the Wolverines may actually be able to stop someone next year. That'll be a step in the right direction.