Monday, December 17, 2007

Michigan Gets Its Man

Congratulations to MGoBlog and Michigan fans everywhere.

And, welcome to modern football.

In hiring Rich Rodriguez from West Virginia, Michigan has landed the “godfather” of the Spread Offense. Urban Meyer credits Rodriguez as the inspiration for the offensive style Florida now runs.

Consider –

- In Michigan’s two initial losses this year, both teams were Spread Option type offenses (Appalachian State and Oregon). Appalachian State went on to win an actual national championship, and Oregon was contending for the MNC before Dixon was injured.

- Florida was the top scoring offense in the SEC this season (43.08 ppg). But hey, the Spread will never work in the SEC.

- Other Spread offenses include Hawaii, the top scoring offense in the nation this year at 46.17 ppg, Oregon, the top Pac Ten offense this year at 36.67 ppg (even counting after Dixon was hurt, and 5.42 better in ppg than USC), and of course West Virginia (top in Big East at 38.92 ppg).

- As we saw with Appalachian State, the Spread can be the great equalizer. As we are also seeing with Florida, when top flight talent is added to the spread, 40 plus point-per-game averages occur.

- Michigan offensively in 2007, even with senior laden offensive talent, was 68th in the nation at 26.08 ppg. The top scoring offense in the Big Ten this season was Michigan State at 34.08 ppg, 24th in the nation.

Michigan, like Florida, can and will get the talent to run the Spread to its fullest glory. In the offensively challenged Big Ten it won’t take much to propel Michigan to top offensive status.

Consider further that, over the past 4 years (according to and our own recruiting model) West Virginia was 44th in the nation in accumulated 4 year recruiting talent, with an average “Star” rating of 2.62. Michigan was 7th in accumulated recruiting talent, with an average “Star” rating of 3.53. Per Rivals, Pat White was a “3 Star” recruit , as was Steve Slaton.

Since then, both have been mentioned at one time or another as Heisman candidates.

Rodriguez was scoring big at WVU with sub-par talent – imagine what he can do at Michigan with top flight players? It’s hard to blame Rodriquez for wanting to find out (and, do so at a slightly more – shall we say “stable” – place than Alabama).

Let’s just say I’m glad my Gators are playing this Michigan team this year.

On a final note Michigan fans, just hope you hear the same tired nonsense we did that the Spread “can’t work” in a big time conference. See if they are still saying it when you lay 41 points on them (and that was without our current, Heisman winning quarterback starting).


Henry Gomez said...

I think that perhaps losing to App. State could prove to be a watershed moment for the Wolverines. It was the day they realized that they were in the middle ages.

JJ Gator said...

Lloyd Carr drew the wrath of Michigan fans long before the loss to App State IMHO; the fact that they didn't make it to the NC last year was deflating to their egos as well. The App State loss was more or less the final nail in the coffin.

It'll be interesting to see what Rich Rodriguez brings to Ann Arbor, especially if he introduces the spread offense which, if so, I'd be interested to see if that can REALLY work in the Big Ten. If he can get it to work and to his advantage, Ohio State and Illinoise fans better start wearing Depends (LOL)!!!!

Let's see how well he does, and if Michigan has finally found somebody who can live up to Bo Schembeckler's legacy. It's so hard for any team to try and replace a legend these days.

Mergz said...

Two more points to my original post -

1. Credit Michigan for "going outside the program" on this one. Too many richly traditioned schools get caught up in hiring "one of their own" even when better options exist. When Rodriguez wins at Michigan he will quickly become on of "their own".

2. Like we saw at Florida, it will take a little time. I would be very surprised if the talent to run the Spread is already in place. Patience.

Gator Duck said...

Exactly, Mergz. At least a couple of years. Like when Meyer came in at Florida. The first year, at least, the players will be like fish out of water. He will have to find a spread option QB and get the rest of the squad to adjust to the changes. Maybe things won't be as bad in terms of fundamentals as they were with the Gator players inherited from Zook, but change will take time.

JJ Gator said...

Good coaches find ways to win with the talent pool they have on hand, preparing that talent for gameday and having a solid gameday plan in place. With this in mind, Meyer was able to have a respectable season right off the bat at Florida once he got the team "de-programmed from Zookism" and set on his way of doing things in the pre-season, and likely Rich Rodriguez will do the same at Michigan. UM fans can rest assured that they have the right man for the job in place and that their football program will be in good hands going forward.

The Rodriguez hire couldn't have come at a better time for them considering college football teams are heading into the most intense recruiting period right now prior to National Signing Day. The Michigan AD likely covered his ass by getting RR hired in the time that he did considering just that.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but will Jimbo Fisher toss his hat into the ring on the W. Va. opening with the widening academic scandal at f$u?

JJ Gator said...

As far as the West Virginia opening goes I see Terry Bowden as the front-runner there; he seems to want the job according to media reports. Jimbo's most recent contract with the School Out West has a $2.5M buyout, and that pretty much puts him out of the market for any other team looking to replace a head coach.

Anonymous said...

The buyout is not an impediment. Rodriguez owes WVU $4M to buy out of his contract.

WVU could pay Jimbo and still net $1.5M.

Who would want Terry Bowden, an inept coach who looks like what one would expect if the Frisch's big boy mated with a bobblehead doll.

I don't think WVU will be fooled by Terry's excellent use of other people's recruits and inability to perform with his own recruits.

It would be wonderful if Fisher complete f$u's humiliation by bowing out 2 weeks after being named the "Coach in Waiting"...I can only hope.

Anonymous said...

Florida's success the past 2 years was a fluke. Now they are where they belong. In a weak, non-BCS bowl.

Henry Gomez said...

Florida's success the past 2 years was a fluke. Now they are where they belong. In a weak, non-BCS bowl.

Now that's the kind of well researched and thoughtful comment one would expect from an anonymous commenter on a blog.