Today seemed like as good a day as any to resume blogging anyway, but the canning of U-M head coach and epic failure RichRod makes it even more auspicious.
First, the obligatory Spartan recap: Yes, I am aware that people wearing our jerseys wandered around Orlando and got hammered into the turf by Nick $aban’s minions. No, I did not watch the whole thing. In fact, I have yet to watch a single bowl game in its entirety. Call it a hangover from the regular season, which (as readers here know) I followed obsessively.
And speaking of Spartans, the basketball team is (as always) a work in progress. I’ll start paying serious attention later in the month, when we get deep into conference play. Yes, I know, we were supposed to walk on water and losing four games sucks rocks, but let us also recall that two years ago we suffered the double indignities of losing to both Northwestern and Penn State at the Breslin – the first loss to either team ever in that venue. We went on to dominate the conference and play in the NCAA finals. Who knew?
Ah, but enough about us, let’s sate our grief over the Big Ten’s humiliating bowl season by desecrating the corpse of Michigan’s football program.
Some may dispute my description of RichRod’s tenure as an epic failure, but there really is no other way to describe it. Indeed, to those few Skunk Bear fans that still stand by him (or hold his hand, singing Kumbaya or whatever), I ask this: How much worse would he have to be to get fired?
Worst single season record in school history? Check.
Worst bowl loss in school history? Check.
But let’s not be so negative. RichRod also accomplished a number of “firsts” in his brief Skunk Bear career:
- First loss to a MAC team in school history
- First NCAA violations in football program history
Let us pause and think back to that first disastrous season, when the immortal Wolverine bowl streak was on the line. RichRod brought it to its timely end.
Yes, he clearly left his mark, and the question us Spartan faithful are asking is: What more can he do for us?
It is my fervent hope that he gets a job in the Big East and takes Denard Robinson with him. That would really put the icing on the cake.
But the cake itself is plenty tasty. All of his apologists whining that Lloyd Carr “left the cupboard bare” are about to find out what an empty cabinet really looks like. No matter who is hired, RichRod’s successor is going to need years to replace the pint-sized midgets RichRod recruited.
Somewhere, right now, I imagine Lloyd Carr laughing himself silly. I would not be surprised if the more militant Skunk Bear faithful are not already forming a lynch mob to hunt down Bill Martin, who brought about this train wreck.
In fairness, he did have some high points. Beating Ron Zook, for example. No one ever does that.
Also, he managed to keep at least one of the school rivalries in positive territory, though Notre Dame gave him some help.
If nothing else, RichRod’s tenure exposed the pathetic hype machine that is the metro Detroit media complex. Despite the example of John L. Smith’s disastrous seasons, the sportswriters spent the last two Septembers arguing that because U-M was able to demolish Division III schools at home the program had turned some kind of corner and would have a winning season. Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson both got hyped for the Heisman before the team crashed and burned once it hit real opposition.
Whatever else happens, RichRod may rest assured that he has established a legacy that will not soon be forgotten.
UPDATE: Gotta love the way his firing was leaked, denied, and then confirmed the next day.
Stay classy, Michigan!