Tag:Greg Robinson
Posted on: January 1, 2011 8:00 pm
 

Bowl Grades: Gator Bowl

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Mississippi State crushed an overmatched, undermanned Michigan defense, 52-14.

Mississippi State

Offense: Quarterback Chris Relf wore #36 in honor of teammate Nick Bell , who passed away this season after battling skin cancer. He most certainly represented Bell admirably today, rolling up 281 yards on 18-23 passing and throwing three touchdowns. Michigan's secondary essentially had no answer for anything MSU wanted to do on offense. The Bulldogs' rushing attack was good for over 200 yards, even though it only gained 3.5 yards a pop. But above all else, MSU scored 52 points and gave Michigan its worst bowl beating ever. Grade: A

Defense: The MSU defensive performance basically defined "bend but don't break" today; Michigan gained 16 first downs and over 300 yards of offense, but only scored 14 points (all in the first quarter) and gave the ball up twice -- not including the partially blocked punt that gave TCU the ball on the Michigan 29. Only Ohio State held the Wolverines to fewer points this year. Grade: B+

Coaching: Dan Mullen went 5-5 on fourth downs in this game. 5-5! These weren't do-or-die situations, either; Mississippi State did beat Michigan by 38 points, after all. His team stayed aggressive even after it was garbage time, shutting Michigan out in the last three quarters. Right now, Mullen looks to be worth every penny of the $10.6 million he figures to make over the next four years. Grade: A

Michigan

Offense: Michigan actually started the game on a roll, and led 14-10 at one point. Then Denard Robinson threw an interception, and things quickly went downhill. Robinson accounted for over 300 yards once again, but as per usual, the rest of the team didn't contribute much. Roy Roundtree and Martavious Odoms both looked solid at receiver, and both figure to be weapons next year. The Wolverines definitely missed Tate Forcier (ineligible) in the second half, when passing became the highest priority. Grade: B-

Defense: Statistically, this is the worst defense in Michigan history. This was Michigan's worst defensive performance in a bowl game ever. Greg Robinson should not only be fired, he should never coach defense in college football ever again. Michigan's defense was awful, wretched, putrid, horrific, horrible, and horrendous in every respect of the game. Grade: A new, worse grade than F should be invented and given to Michigan's defense

Coaching: Rich Rodriguez may have gotten himself fired with this one game. There were a litany of problems associated with Michigan's preparation and execution, as the 38-point margin would indicate, but let's just point this out: Michigan went 0-5 on fourth downs. Denard Robinson threw an incomplete pass on all of them. Robinson is the most feared rushing quarterback in college football this year; why is Rodriguez making him stand still and throw on every single fourth down? Use his legs, for crying out loud! Grade: F

Final Grade

This was not a good game for anybody but Mississippi State fans. It's great to see Dan Mullen breathe life into the historically inferior program, but it became quickly apparent in the second half that Michigan is just a mess. If it's Rich Rodriguez's last game on the Michigan sidelines, it's disappointing, but fitting. Grade: D

Posted on: December 22, 2010 6:56 pm
 

Assistant salaries: Who's overpaid? Underpaid?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

After earlier compiling a database of all 120 FBS head coaching salaries for the recently completed 2010 season, USA Today today released a look at the salaries of the nation's assistant coaches, all 907 of which are available for comparison here . Your highest-paid assistant: Texas ex-defensive coordinator Will Muschamp at $900,000 per year. The lowest amongst coaches actually drawing a paycheck? Leon Lett -- you remember him ! -- who's being paid just $12,000 to coach defensive tackles at Louisiana-Monroe.

Inbetween on the scale are some 900 other coaches (not counting those working at private institutions whose salaries are not public information). Ignoring certain obvious choices (yes, Greg Davis was overpaid, yes, Dana Holgorsen was a bargain), looking only at 2010 results, and making allowances for coaches in their first year at a new school, here's three choices for the country's most underpaid and most overpaid assistant coaches:

MOST DUE FOR A RAISE

Don Treadwell ($235,250), offensive coordinator, Michigan State.
Despite possessing few playmakers known to fans outside the Midwest, Treadwell guided the Spartans to a top-20 finish in yards per-play and offered his team an enivable balance with better than 2,000 yards rushing and 2,800 passing. He also took over for two games as interim head coach while Mark Dantonio dealt with a heart ailment, winning both. And he did all this for the cost of less than many SEC position coaches.

Jeff Casteel ($372,268), defensive coordinator, West Virginia. Casteel's not doing too badly for himself, salary-wise, but compared to what his fellow DCs are earning in the SEC, Big 12, etc., he's still a bargain. With virtually no nationally-recognized players and few star recruits, Casteel quietly put together the nation's third-ranked unit in total defense and third in scoring defense; the Mountaineers were the only defense in the country to allow 21 points or fewer in every game.

Tom Osborne ($220,000), special teams/tight ends coach, Oregon. Osborne put together arguably the best set of special teams units in the country, leading the Ducks to top 20 finishes in net punting and kickoff coverage, coaxing a 12-of-16 performance from his two kickers, and along with returner Cliff Harris creating the most dangerous punt return unit in the nation, one that racked up better than 18 yards per return and scored five game-changing touchdowns. The Ducks probably aren't in the national title game without him.

Honorable Mention: Manny Diaz ($260,000), defensive coordinator, Mississippi State; Pete Kwiatkowski ($259,520), defensive coordinator, Boise State; Al Borges ($205,000), offensive coordinator, San Diego State.

MOST DUE TO NOT RECEIVE A RAISE

Norm Chow ($640,000), offensive coordinator, UCLA.
That figure includes a $250,000 retention bonus designed to keep Chow in Los Angeles, but maybe the Bruins would have been better off being spared paying the nation's eighth-highest assistant's salary for the nation's 109th-best offense.

Tyrone Nix ($500,000), defensive coordinator, Ole Miss. For Nix's salary, the Rebels could have had Gus Malzahn, who earned the exact same amount this season from Auburn. Malzahn will earn quite a bit more next year, obviously, but Nix won't after overseeing a defense that utterly collapsed in the embarrassing season-opening loss to Jacksonville State and went on to finish 105th in yards allowed per-play.

Stacy Searels ($301,200), offensive line coach, Georgia. Offensive line coaches do very well in the SEC, with several topping the $300,000 mark. If we ignore the low-hanging fruit that was Steve Addazio's season in Gainesville, none had a more disappointing season than Searels, whose Bulldog charges looked to have the makings of one of the nation's strongest ground games at the close of 2009 and entered 2010 with as much experience (and talent, arguably) as any line in the country. Instead the Dawgs finished 10th in the SEC in rushing and middle-of-the-pack in sacks allowed (despite ranking 9th in passes attempted) as Searels wound up forced to juggle his lineup late in the year. Searels has done outstanding work before and likely will again, but 2010 wasn't his best moment.

Dishonorable Mention: Chuck Long and Carl Torbush ($350,000 each), offensive and defensive coordinators, Kansas ; Nick Holt ($650,000), defensive coordinator, Washington; Greg Robinson ($277,100), defensive coordinator, Michigan.
Posted on: December 3, 2010 6:57 am
 

Rich Rodriguez still wants to coach at Michigan

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Michigan held its annual banquet tonight, and while we were all tragically spared the awkwardness of Stanford coach (and potential next Michigan coach) Jim Harbaugh attending to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his Rose Bowl win at Michigan, the banquet provided its own special memories all the same.

As one might imagine, the chief headline-maker tonight was Rich Rodriguez, who was forced to speak on behalf of the team without knowing if he'd oversee another season at the helm of the Wolverines. Yes, he's at least got one more game with the team, as Michigan's headed to a bowl and AD Dave Brandon has insisted that RichRod's job will not be evaluated until the end of the year. But past that, who knows? Not even Brandon knows, in all likelihood, so it's certainly not worth listening to anybody who claims to have the answers already.

So it was up to Rodriguez to make his case for staying in Ann Arbor one last (socially acceptable) time, and while his decision to hold hands with his wife during a Josh Groban song probably came off as more awkward than anything else, his commitment to the program was never left unsaid.

"My name is Rich Rodriguez," he said at the end of the banquet. "I'm honored to be the head football coach at the University of Michigan. I hope you realize that I truly want to be a Michigan man. Thank you."

Now, a pedant would make hay out of the fact that Rodriguez said that he merely wants to be a "Michigan man" and not that he already is one, but rather than using that as proof that RichRod's not a good fit in Ann Arbor, we'll just point out that it's nice to see that he at least acknowledges that the title of "Michigan man" isn't self-appointed -- especially by someone who's spent three seasons with the program. Is that provincialism? Sure, but that's what just about every major college football program thrives on already, so at least RichRod's heart is ostensibly in the right place.

At the same time, whether Rodriguez plays inspirational songs in front of reporters or feels it necessary to deem himself a "Michigan man" or not probably pales in comparison to whether he fires Greg Robinson as defensive coordinator or not. PR campaigns matter only so much, especially when any regular Michigan fan can see RichRod's 15-21 record at Ann Arbor. The wins need to happen soon, and if the Wolverines can't win their bowl game this year, "next September" might not be soon enough for Michigan brass -- regardless of how much emotion Rodriguez showed at a team function tonight.

Posted on: November 27, 2010 2:54 pm
Edited on: November 27, 2010 2:56 pm
 

The Rich Rodriguez Watch begins now

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Let the Rich Rodriguez is getting fired rumors begin.  Well, okay, continue.  No, that's not right either.  Let's just pour some more gasoline on the raging inferno that has been Rich Rodriguez getting fired rumors.

Yes, the Wolverines have improved in each season under Rodriguez since his first year in Ann Arbor after taking over for Lloyd Carr.  They've even reached bowl eligibility this season.

Still, improvement is nice, but not getting destroyed by Ohio State is better when you're the head coach at Michigan, and so far Rodriguez just hasn't proven himself capable of that. Through three seasons, Rodriguez is yet to pick up a victory against either of Michigan's two rivals, Ohio State or Michigan State

It's one thing to get beaten by Ohio State, it's another to do so while seeing Michigan State earn a share of the Big Ten title.

So I don't think it would surprise anyone if Rodriguez is let go after the season, if not before whatever bowl game the Wolverines end up in.  Dave Brandon may be the athletic director at Michigan right now, but he's not the one who hired Rodriguez.

Rich isn't his coach, and you have to think the man Brandon would have his eye on is out west in Palo Alto, California.  That's where former Michigan quarterback Jim Harbaugh has built one of the best programs in the country with Stanford, and has done so while having to recruit the smart kids, not just the talented ones.

What's odd in this situation is that the Michigan fans may want Rodriguez gone, and even Brandon may want Rodriguez gone, but I'm not sure they have that much say in the matter.  No, I think it'll all come down to what Jim Harbaugh wants to do.

I have no doubt that Michigan will reach out to Harbaugh somehow, though it won't be publicly.  If Harbaugh gives the indication that he'll leave Stanford and come home to Ann Arbor, then Rodriguez will be kicked out the door quicker than a Greg Robinson defense can give up a touchdown.

If Harbaugh says no, then I think Michigan sticks by Rodriguez for one more year.  And waits to see if Harbaugh changes his mind.

Posted on: November 24, 2010 5:36 pm
Edited on: November 24, 2010 5:37 pm
 

No, Michigan is not about to fire Rich Rodriguez

Posted by Adam Jacobi

For some reason, word began circulating on Twitter that Michigan was close to firing Rich Rodriguez at the end of the regular season. Sounds juicy, and it's the type of story that plenty of people certainly want to be true. So here we go, now for the non-statement by Michigan, fueling even more suspicion that something's going down, and ... oh, I'm sorry, Michigan AD Dave Brandon has a different idea about how to handle this.

"Heard about a 'rumor' re: some 'big announcement' on Monday regarding M-Football," Brandon tweeted today. "Add it to the rumor rubbish pile! Happy Thanksgiving!"

That's a pretty forceful way to basically say "Shut up, Tom Dienhart ."

Now, perhaps this was all a ruse by the journalists perpetuating the rumor, hinting that they've heard something and bugging Brandon into issuing a statement one way or another. In that case, well played, everyone involved. But if not, and people actually believed Rodriguez was about to be fired, come on. If RichRod's job is in trouble, we're not going to hear about it from random chatter; it'll be from one of about four or five respected sources (including but not limited to CBS, ESPN, the AP, and mgoblog), because those are the people who are going to have access to the highers-up that make that call.

Moreover, it's probably plenty too early to give up on the Rodriguez Era just like that. Oh, Greg Robinson (and his furry puppet friend) deserve to be fired and that'll probably happen, but blowing the program up and starting from scratch again? That would be insane, and to the best of our knowledge, Dave Brandon is not insane.

 


Posted on: November 23, 2010 6:00 pm
 

Stuffed animal is Michigan defense's 'secret'

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

If you're a regular reader of college football blogs, by now you've probably seen the following video of Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Robinson rubbing the neck of Wolvering linebacker Kenny Demens with a stuffed animal of indeterminate species:



Since this week's Michigan opponent is only Ohio State and the Wolverines don't have anything else to talk about, the members of the Michigan defense were asked, you know, what was the deal . They decided, sadly, that the deal includes inside information that's too dangerous for the public at-large to know:

Defensive end Craig Roh was asked Monday whether the Wolverines keep a stuffed animal on the field.

"Are you saying there's an animal on the sidelines? Next question," Roh said, adding a chuckle.

Nose tackle Mike Martin was asked to reveal the story of the stuffed animal sighting.

"Nah, it's a secret," Martin said, smiling. "We can't. That's kind of our thing. That's the defense's thing. I can't talk about that. That's got to stay in our room, our little thing."

So the stuffed animal actually exists?

"If you see it, I guess it exists," Martin said, breaking into laughter.

It's just like that scene in Saving Private Ryan where Tom Hanks movingly refuses to tell Matt Damon about his wife, except for being college football players refusing to talk about why their silver fox of a so-fired defensive coordinator is buffing their necks midgame with a plush weasel. That's the only difference.
Posted on: November 5, 2010 8:45 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2010 8:51 pm
 

Insane Predictions, Week 10

Posted by College Football Blog staff

Every season, every month, every week, there are several outcomes and achievements that, frankly, nobody operating within reason would ever predict. Who could have predicted Nebraska would beat Florida for the 1995 title by 38 points, or that Boise State would pull off three late trick plays to knock off Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, or that Baylor would ride a huge performance by Robert Griffin to upset Texas OH WAIT JERRY HINNEN NAILED THAT. We're going to try capture that lightning in a bottle by making similarly absurd predictions every week. Are they at all likely to come true? No. Do we even believe the words we're writing? No. But if we make even one correct call on these, we will never stop gloating. Ever. As you can tell.

Highly Unlikely

Missouri finds itself in some trouble during the second half of their game against Texas Tech.  It seems Tommy Tuberville finally has things working on both offense and defense as the Red Raiders hold a 10-6 lead midway through the third quarter.  It's Missouri ball when Blaine Gabbert finally has the Missouri offense moving for the first time all day.  Then, facing a first and 10 at the Tech 17-yard line, a blitzing linebacker comes free on Gabbert's blindside and levels him. Gabbert coughs up the ball, it's scooped up by the Raiders, and taken back for a touchdown.  Gabbert gets happy feet for the rest of the game, short-arms every pass at his receivers' feet, and Mizzou never recovers.  Texas Tech goes on to win 20-13. -- Tom Fornelli

Severely Unlikely

Hawaii, feeling unusually frisky after beating Army and thumping Fresno State and Utah State all on the mainland, comes out for their game at Boise State wearing black leather Mad Max-inspired "(Road) Warriors" uniforms, complete with body armor and small spikes on their helmets. As a result, their pregame haka comes across as even more threatening and unnerving than usual, and the rattled Broncos wind up mostly standing around and watching as Bryant Moniz and Greg Salas connect for four first-half touchdowns and a 28-10 (Road) Warrior lead. Unfortunately, at halftime the officials convene and after a close perusal of the rulebook, declare Hawaii's uniforms totally illegal. The (Road) Warriors are told to either change uniforms or forfeit the game. They opt to simply go without uniforms, taking the field in pads, shirts, shorts, and cleats. The Broncos, unfortunately (for them), are nearly as unnerved by this as the Mad Max look, and fall behind 42-13 before a furious rally falls short, 42-41, handing Boise their first loss on the blue turf since, somewhat ironically, the last year Mel Gibson was considered cool. -- Jerry Hinnen

Well That's Just Absurd

Illinois storms into the Big House and Ron Zook continues his Zooker Redemption Tour with a 45-10 shellacking of the Michigan Wolverines. A wearied Rich Rodriguez answers a few questions at his post-game news conference before a familiar face stands up to ask a question. Why, it's Michigan athletic director David Brandon! Much to the annoyance of the collected media personnel, Brandon lobs a softball by asking Rodriguez to comment on his recent exoneration by the NCAA, which RichRod dutifully answers with the usual vague but positive coachspeak. At that point, Brandon responds that he doesn't actually care about the report, and that Rodriguez is fired, effective as of five minutes ago. RichRod exhales for the first time in three years. Defensive coordinator Greg Robinson is installed as interim head coach, but only so Brandon can have the pleasure of firing a coach and his successor in the same day; Robinson's tenure at Michigan ends seconds after it begins. Brandon then announces Jim Harbaugh as the next Michigan football head coach ... which comes as a total surprise to Harbaugh, who must then face the awkward task of declining the offer on account of his Stanford team's season not being even close to over. USC coach Lane Kiffin volunteers for the job instead, surprising nobody, and promises at his hiring the next day to "stay in North Arbor for years. That's what the 'N' in 'N. Arbor' means, right? North?" Michigan fans strain to avoid crying in public. -- Adam Jacobi

Posted on: November 1, 2010 3:08 pm
 

Rodriguez plan for improved D is more Rodriguez

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The CBS College Football Blog wrote multiple times last week that Michigan 's visit to Penn State was a make-or-break game for Rich Rodriguez and his much-much-much -maligned defense, which couldn't ask for a better scenario than having a bye week to prepare for the Big Ten 's bottom-ranked offense playing without its starting quarterback. As you know by now, the Wolverines broke in spectacular fashion , giving up 435 yards and 41 points to a Nittany Lion attack that barely scored that many points total (46) in games against MAC cupcakes Kent State and Temple .

Naturally, this was the cue for yet another round of recriminations and rumormongering out of Ann Arbor Sunday, with most of the whispers centering on the continued employment of defensive coordinator Greg Robinson and the rest of Rodriguez's defensive staff. So loud had the rumors become by Monday that Rodriguez had to be asked about them directly , and responded as you'd expect:

Rodriguez said he has not made any changes to his defensive staff. He said he first heard of the rumors about a half-hour before meeting with the media.

His reaction?

"Laughed," Rodriguez said. "We've dealt with quite a few (rumors) over the last few years, haven't we? That happens in sports and life in general. You deal with it, so I don't mind answering the question ...

"How does this happen?" Rodriguez said of the rumors. "I don't know how these rumors get started. Everybody is frustrated on defense, our staff is frustrated, but it's always a collective effort when you win, and a collective effort when you lose, collective effort when you play well and a collective effort when you play poorly."
That's not what Michigan fans hoping for Robinson's head -- or anything that might signal a change-in-approach from the current disaster -- would want to hear, but Rodriguez's next comment might be even more bone-chilling:

Rodriguez said Monday he intends to spend more time on defense the next few weeks.

"Because I probably should do that because we have more inexperienced players over there," Rodriguez said ...

"I have a critical view of everything — every coach, every player, everything in our program every day," Rodriguez said. "That's what we do. That's what head coaches do."
This would make sense if Rodriguez had more experience (does he have any?) in coaching college defense from something more hands-on than the head coaching position. Multiple Michigan bloggers have noted since the disaster in Happy Valley that the Wolverine defense's problem likely isn't that Rodriguez hasn't been involved enough; it's that he's been too involved, asking Robinson (as well as previous coordinator Scott Shafer , now enjoying a highly successful season under Doug Marrone at Syracuse) to run the unusual 3-3-5 defensive scheme operated by Jeff Casteel under Rodriguez during his West Virginia tenure. Neither Shafer nor Robinson had any prior experience with the 3-3-5 before being asked to run it by Rodriguez, however, and the results have been predictably muddled.

If this is indeed the root of the defense's problem, Rodriguez may be better served by going in the opposite direction, by fully ceding control of the defense to his coordinator and allowing Robinson to run whatever scheme and make whatever playcalls with which he feels most comfortable. No one can blame Rodriguez for making moves out of desperation at this stage, but Michigan fans have to be worried that in this case, Rodriguez's cure could prove to make even worse an already program-wrecking disease.
 
 
 
 
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