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Westsider Rider

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Is this the beginning of our decline???

I brought this topic up with some of my friends after last week and it seems like I may be right. Is this the start of our decline? Every major football power in the past 20-30 years has gone through a bad stretch where they had losing seasons and missed bowl games, everyone except for Michigan. USC, Texas, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Penn State, Alabama, and others have dealt with losing seasons. I'm sure none of the fans of the aforementioned teams saw their decline coming, much like no one could have ever imagined Michigan starting this season 0-2.

The coaching staff has been getting by with just enough. The Big Ten Championships and the Rose Bowl Berths have given the coaching staff a pass when it can be seen that Michigan has not been able to compete at the elite level the past few years. The coaching staff is too stubborn to make any changes into the modern era of football and we are seeing the problems that arise when that happens. Everybody knows the first play of any Michigan offense is run left, and when any true freshman receiver gets into the game it's a running play. Tendencies like this are easily picked up by any fan watching Michigan casually, you think opposing coaching staffs can't pick up on that while studying film for a living?

Changes must occur this offseason otherwise this will continue. This era of unlimited scholarships and huge talent gaps between teams is gone. No longer can the Michigan philosophy of line up and ram it down the opponents throat be implemented successfully. We have seen what happens when we try that against teams with the same or more talent than we have. As this season goes on there will be more and more talk about Coach Carr's successor and it is already heating up as there is talk all over the place about Les Miles due to his connections to Michigan. I'm sure more names will emerge, my choice is Jeff Tedford from Cal, there are also a lot of others that want Greg Schiano from Rutgers, or even some wanting coaches with NFL experience such as Jon Gruden or Bill Cowher which I find unrealistic but who knows. It will be an interesting week as Michigan faces Notre Dame with both teams 0-2 for the first time ever, and extremely desperate for a win. Mike Hart has guaranteed victory, let's hope this team can come through before it implodes.



  • I think we are in our decline and that it began a few years ago. As you note, the staff has been able to cover it up with Big Ten titles and BCS bowls. But the fact remains that the signs have been there, here is a non-exclusive list of examples: 3 straight losses to OSU; 4 straight bowl losses; consistently losing 4+ games per year; lack of overall defensive speed since about 1997; lack of a decent secondary since 1997; inability to stop a mobile qb since 1998; inability to stop a spread offense; no creativity on offense; no special teams coach or focus; yearly losses to teams UM should not lose to; and blowing games late when the team has a lead (Minnesota and Nebraska in 2005; at Washington and at UCLA back in 2000 or 2001).

    I think this season is pretty much over. The team looked lost, abysmal, confused, and like they gave up on Saturday. The defense is terrible. The supposed team strength, the offense, didn't do very well either. Coupled the offensive inefficiency with injuries, and it looks even worse. The only real hope I have now is that the downward spiral will continue and that even the most ardent Carr supporter will have to admit he has run his course. I hope that Carr and his entire staff will be gone at the end of the season. It is clear that changes need to be made, and made sooner rather than later. Martin needs to step up and show that he truly has the university, students, alumni and the football program's best interests in mind.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:26 PM  

  • it seems fairly certain at this point that Carr will retire at the end of the season. Bill Martin has proved that he is willing to do a national search with basketball and I would expect no different with regards to football. that means, of course, that the new coach will make his own decisions regarding staff and that cleaning house is a distinct possibility.

    as for the season, i hope it does not become a shambles, if only for the seniors (hart, long, henne in particular). also, i feel terrible for carr. regardless of how you feel about him, he did coach us to a national championship, multiple conference titles, and is a Michigan man through and through. although i won't shed too many tears when he retires, i do respect the guy and wish him well in his life after football. he did a lot for the university.

    By Blogger Andrew, at 11:31 AM  

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