Click for Ann Arbor, Michigan Forecast
Monday May 29, 2017
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
Print Comment E-mail

Low Expectations



One group was ecstatic. Early in the 2007 season, Appalachian State, a Division II school, had edged U-M in Ann Arbor using Rodriguez's very sexy spread offense. The following week, Oregon shredded Michigan with the Rodriguez Spread. For many fans, the humiliation only confirmed their conviction that Michigan football was shackled by stodgy and pedestrian ideas.

Rodriguez had championed the spread in obscure places--Salem College and Glenville State--before taking over as offensive coordinator at hapless Tulane and helping to lead it to a 12-0 season. At West Virginia, Rodriguez inherited a mediocre program and made it a national power. Michigan fans who considered Lloyd Carr's coaching too conservative looked for a similar transformation--and they expected it pretty much overnight. Add Rodriguez's avant-garde system to the Wolverines' abundance of talent, these optimists reasoned, and Michigan would roll.

I found that scenario to be somewhere between the curious and the lunatic. I just couldn't buy the assumption that four decades of winning seasons, from Schembechler to Carr, were somehow deficient, that the Wolverines' talent had been held back by unimaginative coaching. Yet it was the majority view, held by even the thoughtful and brilliant. Former Ann Arbor attorney Jon Rowe, for example, told me last year that the 2008 Wolverines "would go 11-1, at least."

Bookmark and Share
previous  ·  1 l 2 l 3 ... 9 l 10 l 11  ·  next page
all on one page
read more stories here -> Marketplace  l  Culture  l  Community  l  News

You might also like:

Crime Map
A clickable, zoomable map
Make America Great Again, by Tim Athan
Community Services - Gender and Sexuality
Coffee Shuffle
Burns Park loses-and gains-a micro-café
Sally Mitani
Restaurants with Senior Discounts
A clickable zoomable map
Photo: Otto and daffodils
Fork In the Road
Foremost leaves Broad St.
Sally Mitani
Shoe stores out and on the brink
And Burger Fi exits Tower Plaza.
Patti Smith
Conference Centers
Arbor Hospice Palliative Care
The Brain Injury Association of Michigan
A guide to senior living and services