Sunday, October 12, 2008

Not As Big An Upset, But Just As Bad A Loss For UM

First of all, I don’t believe Michigan’s loss to Toledo Saturday was worse than the one to Appalachian State. Not even close.
That was one of the monumental upsets of all time. Regardless of sport or level. Mid-American Conference schools beat Big Ten teams quite often. You just don’t see a Division I-AA team defeating teams that are supposed to be in the Top Ten, like Michigan was at the start of last year.
But this is an indication of just how far the mighty have fallen and indictment on Rich Rodriguez.
With all due credit to Toledo, Michigan did every thing in its power to lose that football game. And it does come back to coaching. Or lack of it.
The personal foul penalties. The interception near the goal line. The fact both quarterbacks have regressed rather than made progress. How Toledo kept completing the same pass to the same player over and over.
Thing is, Michigan is stuck here. They have to give Rodriguez time. While it is disturbing this looks like a possible three- or four-win season with much better talent than that, you just can’t take his program and dump it into the garbage after one year, even if that’s where it belongs after these continual dreadful performances.
The only hope is that Rodriguez can cure this with time. Earlier in the season, that seemed certain. But to be honest, does that appear so clear anymore?
I mean, it is possible this guy is taking Michigan’s proud tradition and dumping it right down the tubes. It’s getting worse instead of better, isn’t it?

Random Thoughts

- OK, I've seen enough of Dan Orlovsky. Drew Stanton's upside is obviously much higher. The sooner the Lions play Stanton, the better. I thought the Lions offense was awful Sunday. The fact they were in the game against the Vikings was 100 percent about the defense.

- And I thought Manny Ramirez was on the downside of his career. He is by far the best player in baseball right now, and he is solidfying his spot as a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

- Does Johan Franzen have the scorer's touch or what? Wouldn't surprise me if he gets 40 goals this season. Doesn't seem like his hot playoff streak was a fluke.


Blogger Eric Chase said...

Pat - In reading you, and checking othe Detroit media outlets, am I missing a mention how of truly critical it was that Terrelle Pryor turned down UM.

I don't follow the Maize and Blue as closely as you, but it seems as if Rodriguez put way too many eggs in the Pryor basket, and now he's paying for it with horrific QB play.

I really believe that Rodriguez took the UM gig with the intention of bringing Pryor in, and immediately competing for the Big 10, thus making him look like he rode into the Big House on a white horse. Instead, his miscalculation has cost them what, maybe two or three years from even being a slightly over .500 team again.

2:32 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Eric Chase,
Landing Pryor obviously would have helped, but not necessarily been the cure. The fumbles, the big plays allowed, everything has gone beyond just the QB position.

5:25 PM 
Anonymous Travis said...


You are a phenomenal baseball writer/analyst, and I agree with much of your analysis, but your comment about Manny Ramirez being "by far the best player in baseball right now" is horribly off the mark. Great production in October over a small sample size is not enough to annoint Manny the top player over Alex Rodriguez or Albert Pujols. It simply means that Manny placing himself in the running for best offensive postseason performance ever along with Barry Bonds of the Giants in 2002 or Carlos Beltran of the Astros in 2004 (just to throw out 2 examples). Underrated and/or underappreciated for his time? Yes. One of the best right-handed hitters ever? Yes. First ballot Hall-of-Famer? Absolutely. Currently a better player than A-Rod or Albert? I don't think see how you can say that.

5:59 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Travis is wrong. Manny is thee best pure hitter that I have ever seen. Last night was the capper as he constantly worked the count and hit the ball all over the field. He can do whatever he wants at the plate. Albert and A-Rod are terrific players and obviously better defenders, but they don't strike the fear in me at the plate like Ramirez does right now.

9:49 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Statistically, A-Rod is the greatest player of all-time, but his lack of success in the postseason is a huge scarlet letter on his career. Pujols is great and clutch, but I don't think I have ever seen anybody have a two-month streak like this. If they pitch to him, he gets a hit. And it's not like the totality of his career isn't good.

10:01 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

A-Rod hasn't when it really matters. Pujols has. There is no right or wrong about it, really. Just depends on how you judge it. I think we can all agree Ramirez has been spectacular of late.

10:03 AM 
Anonymous Marty said...


That game was what I expected out of the Lions this year. Not a good team, but just slightly below average, with pretty consistent defence, and an inconsistent offense. If they were losing games like this throughout the year, I wouldn't have batted an eye, but the way they were completely dominated early on surprized the hell out of me.

Orlovski looked like he was overwhelmed in his first start, you could see it in his eyes. I can only hope that he calms down in this second start, because I doubt Stanton is ready to start. Stanton barely knows the offense at all, since he has been injured most of his short career.


11:08 AM 

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