Posts Tagged ‘Michigan State’

Rich Rodriguez was shown the door by Michigan after three very un-Michigan seasons.  A win in the Gator Bowl might have saved his job but, sadly for him, it didn’t happen.  Instead, the 52-14 loss to Mississippi State highlighted the terrible, young Michigan defense.  The 52 points given up by the Wolverines were the most ever for a Michigan opponent in a bowl game and the 38 point loss margin was also their worse bowl defeat.  Rich Rod was already teetering after the 37-7 drubbing at the hands of Ohio State in the regular season finale and the Gator Bowl performance probably made the Michigan AD’s decision a lot easier.

You're not from around here are you?

Rodriguez went 15-22 in his three seasons at Michigan.  The Wolverines didn’t make it to a bowl game his first two seasons.  Rich Rod went 0-6 against their biggest rivals, Michigan State and Ohio State. Ryan Mallet transferred as soon as Rodriguez took over for Lloyd Carr because the spread offense wasn’t his style. Justin Boren transferred to Ohio State because Rich Rodriguez and his staff didn’t make the team feel like a family, like Carr did. The football team was placed on probation for the first time in its history under Rodriguez. Rich Rod only recruited one 5-star recruit during his tenure at Michigan.

Those all sound like good reasons to fire Rodriguez but the worst thing about Rich Rod, and the easiest reason for the AD, was that he’s wasn’t “a Michigan man”.  I don’t think people outside of Michigan realize how much being “a Michigan man” means to the sheep in Ann Arbor. I believe that if a Bo Schembechler or Lloyd Carr disciple were at the helm during this period, he’d still be around.  Speaking of Schembechler and being “a Michigan man”, remember the 1989 NCAA Tournament? Then coach, Bill Frieder decided to take the Arizona State job right before the tournament. Frieder was supposed to finish out the season and then join Sun Devils. Then AD, Bo Schembechler didn’t take too kindly to that and fired Frieder on the spot and installed assistant Steve Fisher.  Schembechler said, “a Michigan man is going to coach a Michigan team”, and the fans in Ann Arbor ate it up.  Being “a Michigan man” is huge to Wolverine fans, especially in football.

Schembechler: The Patron Saint of Ann Arbor

What will become of Michigan now? Denard Robinson has been coy when asked if he’d return after Rodriguez was fired? Will Michigan look for a coach that runs the spread offense Rich Rod brought in or will they look for a coach that brings back the glory of three yards and a cloud of dust that was a staple in the good ol’ days of Wolverine football? Robinson is made for the spread offense. He might not be a good fit in a drop back passing scheme. Some names being thrown around are Jim Harbaugh (Stanford), Les Miles (LSU) and Brady Hoke (San Diego State). Harbaugh is “a Michigan man” but the NFL is going after him. Why would Les Miles, another “Michigan man”, leave LSU to take over a mess of a program like Michigan? Miles was Michigan’s first choice before they hired Rich Rod.

Whoever they get, this defense isn’t getting any better in one year.  This team is years away from being back.  What kind of recruits can Brady Hoke pull that Rodriguez couldn’t? Tate Forcier could take over if Robinson decides to go so that’s not that big of a deal. Plus, let’s not get too excited about Denard Robinson. He’s got talent but he’s a slightly better version of Woodrow Dantzler from Clemson. Who worked with Dantzler at Clemson? Rich Rodriguez. Rich Rod will be back on his feet before Michigan is relevant again. I don’t know why Pitt hasn’t snapped him up already. Rodriguez can coach. He just had a bad run in Ann Arbor. Good luck in your future endeavors Rich Rod.

 

God, I hate Michigan football!

Dear Reverse Oreo Followers, that means just you sittingpugs,

I am back from the abyss to rescue you from reading about Wrestle Mania.  Turns out, The Mark still considers it a sport. Anyways, if you know me, a few of the readers do, you know I have been in a dark place this week and half….I saw KU go down to NIU. Although, I will never say WE won the 2008 national championship or WE lost to NIU. I am still a huge fan of my home state team.

This article is about my denial…my denial to listen to The Mark or to believe the elements of the breakdown coming.  Bill Simmons has been the only one to mention this…he beat me to it…it’s the Sherron Collins Affect. Announcers love him, he played tough basketball, he is the winningest player in Kansas basketball history, he led a team minus 6 of the players from the national championship team to a big 12 title and sweet 16, but he is the reason Kansas lost and the reason this years team seemed so disjointed.

Lets break it down…..Kansas wins the 2008 National Title six players leave due to graduation or the draft. 5 are drafted. So whats left for KU is Collins and some what Aldrich. Cole had a great game in the semi-final which gave fans a glimpse of the future, but no one was expecting much from this team in 2009.  So there are zero seniors and one junior to speak of….Sherron…it became his team.  He battles! He carries a youthful team with potential but typically plays like at their experience level. He carries  them so much and so often that in the tournament last year other players are petrified to shoot, and it shows in their percentages and attempts. The role playing white guys (Reed and Morningstar) have no confidence in the one skill that lets them be on the floor (3 pointer) and Sherron only trusts Cole as a secondary scoring option. It was alright against North Dakota State, it was more than enough than Dayton. Then came Michigan State….Sherron muscling down the stretch…missing a key shot, then turning it over, then missing his one free throw. And the year is over.

Sherron and Cole stay, Kansas has an amazing recruiting class, all but one pretty much rode the bench this year, and the young guys have matured. Pre-season number one, potentially 3 All-Americans with depth and Tyshawn Taylor coming off a stellar summer as a leader in u19 international competition. Then the season begins:

-Tyshawn looks uncomfortable on the floor and like he doesn’t quiet fit in to a specific roll. Making him sloppy with the ball several times early and down the stretch.

Explanation:  Sherron has decided to be the team’s leader he must also being the teams point guard. He handles most of the offensive sets and has a high number of turnovers numerous times.

-Cole Aldrich doesn’t look like “Tournament Cole”, you know the one who had a triple double with blocks and a smooth hook shot.

Explanation: Many things a foot injury and family member passing away, but also his touches all year depended on how many offensive rebounds he could get, Sherron’s drive style offense created a ton on congestion in the paint. No room to get Cole the touches needed to wear down teams.

Xavier Henry disappears mid-season, January, making me believe Kansas has a shot to get him back next year. He disappeared so much that in the first K-State game, Self often went with the limited abilities to create their own offense of Morningstar and Reed over him. Giving into “Ok, we played these guys last year, all we have to do is give the ball to Sherron and let him do him.” That team looked like the tournament team from the year before, scared deferring to Sherron, turning the ball over trying to get it to him, didn’t we have two significant lower block threats? and an amazing wing player?  Atleast Sherron came through that time.

Explanation:  Xavier was not allowed to create because of Collins style of drive first-look second. I hope I can Thank Collins for that later.

Collins created all these problems because he had to be the leader, he had to be the scorer, he had to be the go to guy. A lot of people are blaming Self for this loss, for not letting his guys be the athletic guys they were against NIU. But this team was taken from Self a long time ago when it became all about Sherron.

Thanks for the memories, the wins, the good and bad, and for hopefully hurting Xavier’s draft stock enough that I get to see him in a Kansas Uniform one more year.

Notes:

Pre Bracket Final Four:

Syracuse, Kansas, Michigan State, and Kentucky.

The one odd one I pick sticks!

All Americans Still Alive:

John Wall, Eliminated: Elite 8

Evan Turner, Eliminated: Sweet 16

Wes Johnson, Eliminated: Sweet 16

Scottie Reynolds, Eliminated: Round of 32 almost Round of 64

DeMarcus Cousins, Eliminated: Elite 8.

Just saying…..

Thing to Watch Now:

The Pacific

Too Bad, It's Over!

Now that the Olympics are over it is time for me to officially start my commentary on the NCAA basketball season. In our group it has been discussed that there is not a clear cut group of number ones and even more so, number twos. Based on the rankings right now (which seeding is not based on), Ohio State would get a 2 seed with 7 losses, that’s right seven, and West Virginia would get the final one with 6 losses. Really? There’s something for The Blasian to write about right there.  Ohio State lost to North Carolina, Minnesota, and Michigan (plus their quality losses). Wow they deserve to be in the top 10 like I need to be treated for anorexia.

This season does not make sense, pre-season we had Kansas at one (ok they are still around there) and Texas and Michigan State at two depending on the poll. Texas fell apart! 17-0 and since? 6-7.

Michigan State  at 22-7 also lost to North Carolina to add to their 16-14 record, apparently they had two quality wins out of their 16. I will take them over the Buckeyes in the rematch.  But that’s the Big 10.

Pac 10? Are you out there? There is a chance that everyone in the conference could have double digit losses. A stretch maybe, but still a possibility. I guess Cal gets in, but it depends on who wins the PAC 10 Tournament, they might only get two teams in.  Is this really the conference that has: Stanford, UCLA, Arizona, and USC?

Count on him down the Stretch!

SEC basketball is back, kind of, not really, but they have Kentucky and Tennessee. Do not count on Kentucky when it matters though, I mean they have Calipari, the worse close game coach around. He called a timeout the other day giving the opposing team a chance for a shot to tie or win. Afterwards, Calipari said “It’s the dumbest Timeout, I have ever called!” (True) but what about timeouts you haven’t called  JOHN?!? He’s bad on both sides of the decision making.

Now I am not going to fill out a bracket and post it on Reverse Oreo. Come on, some secretary is going to fill out a bracket based on colors and mascots and get 75% correct.  So I am going to take my likely final four, before the bracket is out and after its out.

Pre-Bracket Final Four

Kentucky – out in the final four because of Calipari

Syracuse- They have been pretty consistent

Kansas- They have two big games to wrap up the season before the Big 12 tourney (KSU and @ Mizzou).

Michigan State- They are mature and the held Purdue to 44 pts over the weekend

All I care to remember from the KBL

Korean Basketball:  We have talked about how terrible KBL guard play and wondered out loud why they haven’t brought over a foreign player to run the show. This is further confused by the history of the league that once banned foreigners over the height of 6’8″, which has since been abolished. Yet they have never shown an interest in guards from outside Korea. Still a foreign concept here, and I am left more confused after watching the daily games.

I leave you with this video, enjoy

Salute

The Bearded Guy