Monday, August 6, 2012

The Rich Rod Argument Is Denied

I knew when this blog got started that I would hear a lot of complaints from people. It’s part of the job.
But, my last post on The Little Brother Scale got a lot of reaction, mostly negative from the Wolverine fan base.
The biggest argument that was used was “You can’t count those games because Rich Rodriguez was a terrible coach.”
Well, I am sorry, but that argument doesn’t hold any water.
First off, he was your coach, point blank. He was hired by Michigan and most all of you, myself included, expected him to be very successful and to take the Wolverines to a new level of success on the national scale.
While it didn’t work out and he clearly didn’t fit into the Michigan persona, he was still the coach and lost all three meetings with Michigan State. You can’t change history.
Secondly, if you are going to play that card, you open the door for Spartan fans to fire right back with the John L. Smith and Bobby Williams claims.
Those two seemed as lost as any coaches on the sidelines and they resulted in a number of losses (some close, some not so close) to the Wolverines.
The point is, you can’t just decided which games count and which games don’t because of who the coach is. You hired the guy, you live with the results. The 2008-10 seasons happened whether you want to acknowledge them or not. And, your program is still affected by those seasons when it comes to player personnel.
Just like Mark Dantonio, Brady Hoke has to recruit a roster to his liking to fully turn the Michigan program into what his vision for it is.
I like what Hoke did with the Wolverines last year, but it is just one year. He still has to prove that the winning will continue.
Dantonio has led MSU to 9 wins or more in three of his last four seasons.
I am hesitant to say both teams have great coaches just because Hoke is only in his second year, but he seems to have the Wolverines back on track for success.
That makes this year’s MSU-Michigan game even more interesting.
What if the Spartans win? Will Michigan fans admit that MSU is the better team, or will there be another asterisk they want to attach to the game?
For State fans, does Brady Hoke scare you? Are you concerned that the four-game win streak was just an anomaly in time and now Michigan is back to take control?
My guess, and my hope, is that both teams will continue to be a national force that will produce impactful and exciting games year after year. I think that is when the rivalry is truly at its best.

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