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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 7/21/2008 5:37:31 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/21/2008 5:37:52 PM EST by Subnet]
www.fanblogs.com/michigan/007638.php

New Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez knows he has his work cut out for him to build a new legacy at UM, but one has to wonder if the Wolverine's bowl legacy is in jeopardy this year.

Michigan holds the current mark for the consecutive bowl game appearances with 33 straight bowl games. (The Husker fans in the crowd would be upset if I didn't mention that the record is held by Nebraska at 35 straight bowl games.)

Despite the implementing a new offense and defense, there's no question that Coach Rod intends to win. So, let's look at the Michigan Wolverines football schedule to see if the Wolverines streak is likely to continue... or snap in 2008.


UTAH - This game could make for a rude welcome to the Rich Rod era in Ann Arbor. UM opens as a 7 point home favorite, but... there's no question that the Utes are absolutely in this game. I think Michigan has more talent to put on the field, but Utah -- returning 17 starters -- will be better prepared and gets the win. LOSS. 0-1.

MIAMI OH - The Redhawks might come into Ann Arbor with some hope, but they won't leave with any as UM pulls to 1-1 on the season. WIN. 1-1.

@ Notre Dame - The Irish have to better than the were last year, right? Right? Although I will probably regret this one day... I think Notre Dame wins a close game, dropping Michigan. LOSS. 1-2.

WISCONSIN - For the first time in a long time, the Wolverines will be overmatched by the Badgers. LOSS. 1-3

ILLINOIS - Yes, the Illini made the Rose Bowl last season. That was last year... and the Wolverines need a win by this point (and I need to hedge a little) and get the dubya. WIN. 2-3

TOLEDO - Michigan rolls. Period. WIN. 3-3

@ Penn State - This could end up being a classic Michigan-PSU game, but I like Penn State in this one. LOSS. 3-4

MICHIGAN STATE - I think Rich Rod gets off to a good start against an in-state rival. WIN. 4-4

@ Purdue - This could end up being a trap game for the Wolverines, with a lot of emotion on the part of the Boilers as they try send Tiller out with a win against UM. I'm thinking upset here, but... I'll go with Michigan for now. WIN. 5-4

@ Minnesota - W. Count it. WIN. 6-4

NORTHWESTERN - Another W... maybe the last one of the year. WIN. 7-4

@ Ohio State - This one won't get ugly, but it might feel that way. LOSS. 7-5


So... from the looks of things, the streak should be safe, but it's not a certainty by any means. Michigan has a lot of talent, but no one can accurately predict just how quickly the team will gel. A couple of turnovers or breakdowns could turn a game I perceive to be a W into a loss.

If UM fails to make a bowl game this season -- which is certainly a possibility -- then the streak would likely pass to Florida State, who has an active streak of 26 straight bowl games.

So... while Rich Rod is trying to set a course for the future, he better watch his six. I know RR doesn't want to be the coach that snapped the streak.

-----------------------

Interesting. I hadn't thought of it, really.

It'd be nice to see Michigan beat OSU again, at some point in my lifetime.

I'm not sure what to make of our new coach. Mixed feelings abound.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:39:21 PM EST
Gee, what a schedule.


Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:39:39 PM EST
Herbstreit? Is that you?
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:41:33 PM EST
Only 3-4 decent teams on that schedule
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:42:00 PM EST
As long as the TV demographics favor Michigan being in a bowl, they will be there...

Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:42:25 PM EST
Fuck you Rich Rod! I hope you lose every game this season and then get fired by Michigan! Let's go Mountaineers!
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:42:53 PM EST

Originally Posted By alaman:
Only 3-4 decent teams on that schedule


You noticed.

And yet, it's still kind of an open question (despite the author's conclusion). Sad, isn't it?
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:43:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/21/2008 5:43:55 PM EST by HoustonHusker]
I'd like to see if Blue has the type of athletes that RichRod needs to run his offense. They always have talent, but I'm not sure it's the 'right kind' for his schemes.

There's no question their schedule is a no fun, but I'd expect them to get better each week as they become more comfortable with their assignments. The D is going to have to step up bigtime to compensate for the new O.

HH
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:44:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By Mojo_Jojo:
As long as the TV demographics favor Michigan being in a bowl, they will be there...



You think the coach's poll means that much? They'd have to be pressured into voting one way or another, unless you're convinced the computer models are massaged at will.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:44:44 PM EST

Originally Posted By Greggy_D:
Herbstreit? Is that you?


lol
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:45:43 PM EST
Typically weak Big 10 schedule, makes them easily bowl eligible.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:46:15 PM EST
WTF is this school up north of which you speak?

GO BUCKS!

Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:47:53 PM EST

Originally Posted By RayGunz2:
WTF is this school up north of which you speak?

GO BUCKS!



I'm an honorary Michigan resident.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:51:03 PM EST
Just for comparison sake, this is what a real season looks like....

Sat Aug 30 Hawaii
Sat Sep 6 Miami
Sat Sep 20 at Tennessee
Sat Sep 27 Ole Miss
Sat Oct 4 at Arkansas
Sat Oct 11 LSU
Sat Oct 25 Kentucky
Sat Nov 1 Georgia
Sat Nov 8 at Vanderbilt
Sat Nov 15 South Carolina
Sat Nov 22 The Citadel
Sat Nov 29 at Florida State
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:54:10 PM EST
I hope they make it into a bowl so they can beat the snot out of another SEC team.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:54:17 PM EST
I hope Rodriguez loses every freakin' game.
I'd root for U of Satan if they played Michigan.
If he somehow choked to death on a filet mignon up there in Michigan please bury him up there, we don't even want his corpse.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:56:09 PM EST
Even if they have a losing record, they will make it into the Motor City Bowl, Taco Bell Bowl, the Safe Auto Bowl or some other worthless Bowl created just for them.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:56:53 PM EST

Originally Posted By Subnet:

Originally Posted By RayGunz2:
WTF is this school up north of which you speak?

GO BUCKS!



I'm an honorary Michigan resident.



Just because you live in the DMZ doesn't mean you have to side with the enemy.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:57:55 PM EST

Originally Posted By Dr_Rockzo:
Fuck you Rich Rod! I hope you lose every game this season and then get fired by Michigan! Let's go Mountaineers!


[bobhuggins] oh, the irony [/bobhuggins]
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:57:55 PM EST

Originally Posted By GSPatton:
I hope Rodriguez loses every freakin' game.
I'd root for U of Satan if they played Michigan.
If he somehow choked to death on a filet mignon up there in Michigan please bury him up there, we don't even want his corpse.


Ya'll West By God Virginians are sore, I gather.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:00:02 PM EST

Originally Posted By newbushmaster:

Originally Posted By Subnet:

Originally Posted By RayGunz2:
WTF is this school up north of which you speak?

GO BUCKS!



I'm an honorary Michigan resident.



Just because you live in the DMZ doesn't mean you have to side with the enemy.


Depending on who you ask (and how drunk they are), I live in Michigan. Turns out, some folks are real die hards, and don't accept the outcome of the Toledo war. In some ways, I've found it to be worse than the normal Yankee/Rebel thing.

And I'm puzzled, really. Who the fuck wants Toledo, anyway?
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:02:17 PM EST

Originally Posted By GSPatton:
I hope Rodriguez loses every freakin' game.
I'd root for U of Satan if they played Michigan.
If he somehow choked to death on a filet mignon up there in Michigan please bury him up there, we don't even want his corpse.


Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:05:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/21/2008 6:07:38 PM EST by Subnet]
sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3469577



The most telling barometer of Michigan football lives on a Columbus Dispatch website. It's a counter that reads, "Days since Michigan's last victory over Ohio State in football." The tally will stand at 1,826 when the two rivals square off this Nov. 22.

It's been nearly 40 years since the Wolverines have felt this inferior to the Buckeyes. That was before Bo's reign, before Desmond and Woodson won Heismans, before Michigan passed Notre Dame as the NCAA's all-time wins leader. All this glory, without any of the typical grade-fixing scams or payola scandals, has defined the Michigan Man. It made him (and her) believe that only a disciple of Schembechler himself could lead this program, a program that has become itself, well, elitist.

Then Rich Rodriguez came to town. And he's, well, the opposite of elitist. Proudly so. In a few months, Rodriguez has torched all ties to his home-state school, irked rival Big Ten coaches, run off some players and sparked anger from a former star. Now, with UM's preseason starting Aug. 4, Rodriguez will finally get a chance to prove he was worth hiring.

An uncanny mix of in-your-face firebrand and aw-shucks charmer, Rodriguez uses his West Virginia twang to spin folksy stories that play well with recruits, their parents and the media. Like the one about the time he wanted to see Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven but let his wife goad him into The Crying Game. His punch line: "I haven't gone to the movies since." Or about how, at 24, he became the nation's youngest head coach, after his boss at Salem (W.Va.) College bought a bar and quit. He even chuckles while recalling how he lost that job a year later when the program disbanded.

But on the sideline, Rodriguez is as strongheaded as they come. As word spread that Rodriguez was leaving West Virginia to take the Wolverines job, Mountaineers safety Ryan Mundy, a Michigan transfer, started getting frantic calls. And Mundy told all 20 former teammates who called the same thing: "Be prepared to run. Everything's way more up-tempo. If you're not willing to bust your ass, you should leave. But if you stay, you'll love it."

To make Michigan over, Rodriguez brought in 20 staffers from Morgantown. His first order of business was gutting Michigan's strength program. Out went the machine-based system that had been in place for four decades. In came an Olympic lifting program (cost: over $1 million) geared toward improving core strength and hard-wiring bodies to make explosive movements. "Everybody, especially guys in their last year, was nervous," says fifth-year defensive end Tim Jamison. "We said, 'What's he gonna bring that our old program wasn't?'"

Skepticism comes with any coaching change, particularly at a winning program steeped in tradition. But the traditionalists seem to have forgotten that their hero, Bo Schembechler, didn't start out as a Michigan Man. He was a hot-tempered, foul-mouthed Ohio native whose résumé included five seasons in Columbus working for Woody Hayes. And, like Rodriguez, he took over a team that had been recently embarrassed by Ohio State. "When we came here, Michigan was the Izod school, the gentleman's school," says Schembechler's offensive line coach Jerry Hanlon. "And Bo said, 'Well, now they're going to be tough gentlemen.'"

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Rodriguez shares Schembechler's fiery side, although Bo never made people as mad as Rich has.

The historical parallel isn't lost on Rodriguez, who invited members of Schembechler's first team to speak to his squad. When former All-America linemen Reggie McKenzie and Dan Dierdorf detailed the radical change they endured—and later embraced—it stunned the current team. They told stories about how Schembechler, arriving right after a 50-14 loss to Ohio State in 1968, was adamant that no team would outhit or outhustle Michigan. It was then that he put up the sign that now hangs over the doors to the practice field. It reads, "Those Who Stay Will Be Champions."

Bo's boys talked about how they had started that winter with 150 guys and ended spring practice with 75. "They told us how it wasn't just guys who weren't playing who left," says Jamison. "There were some great players too. I was like, 'It won't happen here.' But then you start looking around, thinking, Who's gonna leave?"

As Rodriguez's rigorous workouts progressed, some players bailed. But the skeptics who stayed say they got faster, more explosive. New strength coach Mike Barwis, a former MMA fighter, also encouraged the players to loosen up. "Barwis likes you to be loud in the weight room," says Jamison. "All the time, high energy. He's brought more fun into it. He doesn't want you to be uptight."

Still, the new staff knew they'd get a better read on guys at Rodriguez's spring practices. The tempo change was dramatic. "If Bo could see these practices, he'd love it," says Jim Brandstatter, a lineman on the 1969 team. "It's eerily similar to the culture shock when Bo took over. They're being physical. They hit. They wear pads every day."

Among the new Michigan mandates: Practices double as conditioning (no walking—even linemen sprint into stances), and a QB is live in drills until he proves in a real game that he can handle pressure.

And like Bo, Rodriguez isn't shy about cursing, especially if someone doesn't hustle or makes the same mistake twice. "Rod cusses. A lot," says former NFL QB Shaun King, who played at Tulane when Rodriguez ran the offense there. "He takes some adjusting to. I hated his ass at first." Says Michigan wideout Greg Mathews, "You have to learn how to not take it personally."

Some couldn't. By the end of spring ball, Rodriguez says, 10 players had bailed, including starting guard Justin Boren, who openly lamented having to sprint to the line. On his way out, Boren said the program had lost its "family values." Then, the second-generation Wolverine transferred to Ohio State. "We're not in the business of running players off," says Rodriguez. "But at the same time, we won't lock the doors from the inside."

Besides, a more important question than "Who will stay?" might be "What will this team look like?" In the past decade—as an offensive coordinator at Clemson, where he had dual-threat Woody Dantzler, and as the WVU boss, with running QBs Rasheed Marshall and Pat White—Rodriguez was pegged as a spread-option guy. So it's easy to forget that King left Tulane as the NCAA's most efficient passer ever. Or that, before Dantzler came along, Rodriguez helped Brandon Streeter set the school mark for passing yards in a game. "I played for these great coaches—Mike Martz, Tony Dungy, Jon Gruden," says King. "Those guys are so stuck in their systems they aren't capable of adapting to their personnel. Rich adapts."

He'll have to. His top QBs, Steven Threet and Nick Sheridan, are unproven drop-back passers. And while Rodriguez has been an aggressive recruiter—so much so that Purdue's Joe Tiller and Ohio State's Jim Tressel blasted him for chasing verbally committed kids—he insists his offense will suit his roster. "People try to say we don't have anyone who fits our system," Rodriguez says. "But we're not forfeiting games."

Of course, anything short of that—as long as it involves actual W's and L's—might be preferable to navigating the code of the Michigan Man. Last May, another fire broke out. Braylon Edwards, the former UM star, called out the new coach for "breaking tradition" after Rodriguez gave the school's No. 1 jersey, which Edwards had endowed with a scholarship for a distinguished receiver, to a freshman DB.

During his public mea culpa, Rodriguez pled ignorance, explained that he didn't know the jersey had been promised to a receiver and added that no one would wear it this fall. "If I could fix all problems as easily as I fixed that one, we'd be in a good place," says Rodriguez. "I'm educated now."

Sounds just like a Michigan Man.




Maybe there's hope, yet.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:05:43 PM EST
And now a friendly message from an Ohio State Alumnus

Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:06:38 PM EST

Originally Posted By THOLL223:

Originally Posted By GSPatton:
I hope Rodriguez loses every freakin' game.
I'd root for U of Satan if they played Michigan.
If he somehow choked to death on a filet mignon up there in Michigan please bury him up there, we don't even want his corpse.




Look into the 48 hours before they got their present basketball coach, then read the above quote again, then realize what kind of person a WV fan really is.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:09:44 PM EST

Originally Posted By Another_Dude:

Originally Posted By Dr_Rockzo:
Fuck you Rich Rod! I hope you lose every game this season and then get fired by Michigan! Let's go Mountaineers!


[bobhuggins] oh, the irony [/bobhuggins]


Yeah how did Michigans basketball team do last year....oh thats right.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:14:21 PM EST

Originally Posted By Another_Dude:

Originally Posted By THOLL223:

Originally Posted By GSPatton:
I hope Rodriguez loses every freakin' game.
I'd root for U of Satan if they played Michigan.
If he somehow choked to death on a filet mignon up there in Michigan please bury him up there, we don't even want his corpse.




Look into the 48 hours before they got their present basketball coach, then read the above quote again, then realize what kind of person a WV fan really is.


WTF are you talking about?
And please elaborate on what kind of person you think a WV fan really is.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:14:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/21/2008 6:15:21 PM EST by qcka]

Originally Posted By Subnet:

@ Penn State - This could end up being a classic Michigan-PSU game, but I like Penn State in this one. LOSS. 3-4



What exactly is a classic Michigan-PSU game? Penn State isn't even a real Big Ten team.

GO BLUE!
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:20:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/21/2008 6:20:23 PM EST by Ryan1021]
I wonder how well Dick Rod is going to do in the battle for the golden pants.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:20:23 PM EST
One can only hope
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:21:30 PM EST
The Utah pick is right on. If the Wolverines come out flat they'll get their butts handed to them.

And just for the record, I'm a BYU fan.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:24:11 PM EST

Originally Posted By Greggy_D:
Herbstreit? Is that you?



Well played.

TXL
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:30:24 PM EST

Originally Posted By Praetorian55:
I hope they make it into a bowl so they can beat the snot out of another SEC team.


Yeah, that weak-scheduled, no-talent Michigan with a lame-duck coach marched down south and handed Florida a big fat loss, didn't they? Fared better than OSU did against the SEC, I reckon.

I don't know what to think about Rodriguez.....he's got a real challenge on his hands but I'm a Wolverine by blood so I'm going to be hopeful.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:38:36 PM EST

Originally Posted By Subnet:

Originally Posted By newbushmaster:

Originally Posted By Subnet:

Originally Posted By RayGunz2:
WTF is this school up north of which you speak?

GO BUCKS!



I'm an honorary Michigan resident.



Just because you live in the DMZ doesn't mean you have to side with the enemy.


Depending on who you ask (and how drunk they are), I live in Michigan. Turns out, some folks are real die hards, and don't accept the outcome of the Toledo war. In some ways, I've found it to be worse than the normal Yankee/Rebel thing.

And I'm puzzled, really. Who the fuck wants Toledo, anyway?


I've said all along Michigan can have Lucas County, but we keep Fulton and Williams Counties and Maumee River water rights, plus 25% of Michigan's Lake Erie water rights. I say this, but I don't think anyone is listening. hmmpp

On a side not, a kid from Wauseon named Elliott Mealer has committed to play up at Michigan (red shirt?) this year. He's been through some bad stuff recently. Link to a story in the Blade; LINK
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