Monday, November 08, 2010

Michigan fans can only take so much solace from Rich Rodriguez's "Fun Ball"

Can you lose for winning? I wouldn't go that far, but there is only a certain amount of solace Michigan fans can take out Saturday's 67-65 victory over Illinois.
Rich Rodriguez's "Fun Ball" is not going to win championships. It's more the stuff for Conference USA and flea bag bowl games.
Thought it was interesting how consistently Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit, during the prime time Stanford-Arizona ABC telecast Saturday, kept bringing up how they expect Jim Harbaugh to land at Michigan next season. At one point, Herbstreit flatout said it.
I don't see it as a lock. I see Rodriguez probably secure his position for next season with that goofball victory Saturday. Does that make it good news for Wolverines' fans?
The Wolverines should beat Purdue, which is devastated by injuries, this week. That makes the Wolverines at least 7-5 this season, heading into games vs. Wisconsin and Ohio State. I suppose the only wild card in this equation could be an utterly embarrassing loss at Ohio State.
Wonder what Jim Tressel would do in that spot. Would he pour it on? Rub it in? Or would he pull back under the guise of sportsmanship, knowing he'd keep what looks like a good thing for Ohio State going in Ann Arbor?

Random Thoughts

- Matthew Stafford is in his early 20s. None of his injuries have been remotely career-threatening. His career as an NFL QB is far from over. I believe some day Stafford will be among the best QBs, if not the very best QB in the NFL, and might even win a championship. But I believe it might be later in his career, after he gets over a rash of injuries, and perhaps with an organization other than the Lions. But I wouldn't sell this kid short. He is a rare talent. The Lions are so much better with him in there. And I think Shaun Hill is a good backup.

- The Pistons got two wins this weekend, in part, because embattled coach John Kuester stood up to his players. Rodney Stuckey has been a profound disappointment so far. He is clearly not becoming the team nor floor leader the Pistons envisioned. Good move by Kuester benching him for a game.

- The worst part about the Lions' loss Sunday was the way the crowd at Ford Field was letdown. It was Silverdome-loud....And a beautiful to see. Well, until the last six minutes and OT.

My latest column: "The beginning of the end of Jim Schwartz as Lions head coach?" http://theoaklandpress.com/articles/2010/11/08/sports/doc4cd73ee909783494020460.txt

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6 Comments:

Blogger Robert said...

Is this a "spread won't work in the B10" post, or a, "with this defense Michigan will never win a championship." Clearly, this defense won't win any championships in ANY conference, but "fun ball" which I assume refers to the spread offense can win titles. Auburn and Oregon are on a path to play for the national title and both of them play "fun ball."

12:12 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Lions continue to play relatively well but just shoot themselves in the foot.

Inexcusible that coaches call the pass at end of game.

Think about the data. QB out with inexperienced, cold QB Stanton under center. 3rd and 6. No Jets timeouts left, etc.

Who in heavens name, including experienced, expert coaches would possibly call a pass?

There's 3 things that can happen in this situation, good pass, incomplete pass or run.

Well the worst happened.

Also the Peterson late hit out of bounds was a rookie error that was inexcusable for an experienced player.

We lost 50+ seconds in that coaching error and with the Jets with no timeouts!

I was willing to excuse the early season penalties and mistakes as just young coaches and players.

But I'm starting to think that this coaching staff is making mistakes that shouldn't happen in the NFL.

Swartzy and coordinators need to take a remedial course in time management and probability analysis.

6:33 PM 
Anonymous Michael C said...

Very nice article in your link, Pat. That loss really was a tough one to take.

For once I was actually believing we could make the playoffs. Not this year, but maybe next year. I've never bought into the Lions making that kind of leap that fast, until yesterday when it looked like we had that win in the bag.

Then Stafford gets injured again ... then we blow a 10 point lead with 3 minutes left ... and it feels like the same old Lions again.

I still like the people we have in place. Schwartz's 3rd down call was atrocious, but at least he admitted it was a mistake afterward (unlike Bobby Ross when he went for 2 while down 4). I still think we're heading in the right direction. It just may take more time than it seemed like it would yesterday.

7:27 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Robert,
Good point. I watched Oregon the other day. They run through offense so quickly, almost too quickly. But I still believe more traditional offenses give teams the best chance - a long with solid defense.
Caputo

12:59 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Anonymous,
It was surreal how the ending of the game played out - like a perfect storm. The Lions must get it together better at the end of each half.
Caputo

1:00 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Michael C,
If Hill plays, and is reasonably healthy, the Lions can win some games. But not as much as with Stafford, they are so much better with him at QB, in my opinion.
Caputo

1:01 PM 

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