Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Future

You could visit mgblog if you are interested in hearing repeatedly how inept Lloyd Carr is. And, Brian cetainly posts some engaging and thoughtful statistical based observations of Michigan football. But the crux of the site, and many other in the blogosphere is that Lloyd must go, that he should have been fired by now, that M could never be more than a mediocre team with Lloyd.

This is all bologna. The kind with green mold growing in the center.

Lloyd Carr has exceeded the win loss percentage of Bo. He is a great man. A great coach. His players past and present speak highly of the coach. He has brought consistent top flight receivers and quarterbacks to the program (with Loeffler). He's not perfect. Neither is Urban Creyer (who blew a lead last night to LSU). I should look at the blogs in FLA, I haven't yet. But were Brian writing on Florida, perhaps it's time to let Creyer go

Oh, and Pete Carroll, he should be fired. USC eclipsed Michigan's ASseD by losing to the fighting Harbaughs. They were 40 point favorites. Ok, the Fighting Harbaughs' arent DIAA, but, they probably have less talent. (they have high admission standards, remember). Obviously, the game of college football has passed Carroll bye bye.

Don't look now, but Michigan has as good a shot to win the Big 10 as OSU or Illinois. (Illinois -- wtf??) While I don't dislike ASseD and ODD less than anyone else, I'm willing to look at the big picture. At big 1o titles. At national championship contentions and victory. At last years run for undeafeted, and close loss at OSU. Does anyone even remember the 97 team? Did they wing the football over the whole field as did Terry Malone? Did they dazzle the opposition with statues of liberty? No, the ran the ball, and ran play action waggles. I suppose that's not enough to win anymore, though. Right?

There is always room for improvement. Our coaching staff is certainly not perfect. English outcoached himself in prep this year. He forgot about tackling. Forgot about position. Forgot that he didnt have a first round draftpick to call the D and run to the ball, etc. Make no mistake, English ran a complicated D scheme this year -- too complicated. He abandoned the basics in favor of complex schemes. I will agree that Lloyd has trusted English more than he should have. But, it you presume that Lloyd is retiring this year, as I do, it's not too surprising that an effort to allow he and DeBord a shot at the job with increased responsibility.

The arguments that Lloyd has stayed loyal at the expense of the program reeks of moldy bologna. Jimm Hermann was shown the door politely. So was Malone. English was hired. English was not a Carr croney. He was (and could still be) a highly touted up and coming coach. Carr didn't hire English as DC out of loyalty. Were that the case, Jim Hermann would still be DC (and maybe were he, the D would not have collapsed in games 1 and 2 this year).

The point is, many are simply to quick to judge on the last 3 games of last year and the first 2 of this year a man's entire career. With that aside, all signs are that Lloyd does want to, and will, retire following this season. Bill Martin will, and no doubt has already begun, conduct an extensive search. So who, will be on that list: Tedfore? Miles: certainly. Tergovich: probably. Cameron: possibly. Kelly, certainly will get an interview. Weis: not even Spot's can make enough wings for that guy -- no. Ferentz: not likely.

What about Gruden. Certainly. He may live out his desire, or Tampa's, this year. He's an energetic relatively young coach with instant credibilty. He has drafted and coached many a Michigan player. Would he entertain the offer? While at Dayton he described Michigan as his dream job:

While Gruden was at Dayton, he completed just six passes in 15 attempts and never threw for a touchdown. He did score three times carrying the ball in mop-up duty. The most action he saw was as a holder for extra points and field goals.

Filling out a questionnaire about his future back then, Gruden said he planned to be the head coach at the University of Michigan by age 39. As it turns out, the shortcomings he had on the field have been eclipsed by the way he has exceeded the norm as a coach.

Link here. Gruden is now 44. It may be time to move on. He's a just better than a 500 coach at the NFL level, (80-68) but has been to the playoffs 4 of 9 tries, and won a superbowl. For context, Pete Carroll was 33-31 before being fired by the Patriots in 1999.

If Lloyd retires, one of my first three calls is to Gruden.