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Westsider Rider

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Another Late Night

Since its the end of the month I've been working some crazy hours add that up with the cold I picked up on Sunday/Monday along with the horrible weekend that was and it hasn't been the best of weeks. Luckily it's almost over, the cold seems to be going away almost and I'll be ready for this weekend. I honestly don't know what to say about our collapse this year. Some people like to look at it the half full, like I used to be, and state that we are just a couple of plays away from being 4-0 and still being talked about one of the elite teams in the country. Some discuss that this has always been a problem at Michigan about September losses and how this coaching staff just can't cut it anymore. I'm somewhat in the middle but definitely more towards the half empty side. Coach Carr had one great year, 97 and those were not with players that he recruited, those are Coach Moellers players. Even with all-world Tom Brady at the helm, he had to split time with Drew Henson and we had 2 losses that year. Consider the year when we had 5 picks in the first 35 selections and we ended up losing 3 games that year, all these things are unacceptable. I'm ranting again about stuff I've already mentioned but I must say this again, part of me fears that if the way things run over in the Fort aren't changed soon we could be on our way to the decline that many of the traditional powers said they would never have, the Alabamas, Notre Dames and Penn States, even USC went through this years ago. Speaking of which a lot of people have been discussing Coach Carr's possible replacements and when that would happen. I highly doubt it happens this year although part of me wishes to suffer through one horrific year to see massive change around Schembechler Hall but that is very unlikely.

On that note I'll discuss my top three choices to take over Michigan after Coach Carr is done. We definitely need some new blood around the program and this is our chance to do it. I've seen suggestions for Glen Mason (hasn't proven he can pass the ball ever) to Randy Shannon (no HC experience) and after my initial thoughts and some other possibilities discussed here are my top three choices to take over the Maize and Blue when a change is made:

1. Jeff Tedford - he has worked wonders over at Cal, an academic institution with the same stature and prestige that Michigan carries and has done so in a short amount of time. He has shown he can play with the Big Boys (see USC games past few years) without the talent of them and has turned QB after QB into top NFL prospects, whatever happens once they get there is up to them. He knows about the academic part of the student athlete as well as having a lot of California based recruiting ties. Obviously problem one when it comes to hiring for Michigan, he has no ties to Michigan and another he has done a lot of re-tooling at Cal with JUCO talent which Michigan does not do, last one being Russell Shaw back in 96/97. However I believe that is more due to the fact that it was so tough to get kids to come to Cal when they were terrible. Now that they are doing well they've signed some very good talent including Elite 11 QB's Nathan Longshore and Kyle Reed and some game breakers at RB and WR, Marshawn Lynch and DeSean Jackson. Another underrated aspect of Cal has been their defense, minus the Holiday Bowl last year, they have had very good defenses that has been underappreciated across the country due to the success of his offenses. Definitely #1 in my book if we were to make a change.

2. Kirk Ferentz - has turned Iowa around from another doormat into contender. This year has not been as successful as predicted during the preseason but no one gets more out of less than Coach Ferentz. Walk ons turn into draft picks (Pete McMahon 6th round pick of the Raiders) and lightly recruited players turn into stars (Robert Gallery, Chad Greenway). He has the midwest ties that the program would want and has not had any NCAA problems as well. There was more I was thinking about before but it's late and I can't think of much else right now.

3. Brian Van Gorder - after reading T. Kyle King answer the question from the BlogPoll Roundtable this week his choice makes a lot of sense and would not be someone I disagree with as a replacement. He does have Michigan ties as he is originally from Jackson, MI and in addition he would bring a lot of Southern recruiting ties as well, something we lack as we are unable to recruit as effectively in the South. The other positive is that he is a defensive coach which is what Michigan fans have been complaining about for years with Jim Herrmann. He has a great track record on the defensive side of the ball and could start building a D with his experience and bringing more southern kids into Michigan which would make the foundation for a great team for years, as they say offense wins games but defense wins championships.

Although it won't happen for years, unfortunately, unless some change happens around Michigan we are going to continually come up second for recruit after recruit which seems to be the popular thing lately. It's like all the top 100 kids say "Let's put Michigan in our top 5 and then when we narrow down to a top 3 always keep them in there and give all the fans hope. When signing day comes we'll choose another team and tell them our second choice was Michigan." It's happened time and time again and it definitely hurts when a kid like Antwine Perez who is a position of need, somewhat closely located, and has a wide open depth chart looking him in the face and says It wasn't that difficult of a choice to make. I'll stop here for now with this rambling, there are probably some other great candidates I would endorse but that's all I got for now.

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