It’s not Carr’s fault

FootballIt’s time for OSU fans to – (gulp) – rally behind coach Carr.

Now, before you take me outside and stone me, hear me out.

We’ve made our jibes at Carr, even had him as Tressel’s second banana from time to time, but we only mock that which we respect. The fact is that Carr has done a better job of coaching these past few games than what reactionary UM fans (and ESPN analysts) are giving him credit for.

For instance, in the past four games, Michigan has put up about 1600 yards of offense and scored almost 100 points. Three of the teams they’ve done this against have had excellent defenses (including two of the top five Ds in the country last year). They have a handful of future NFL draft picks – perhaps as many as three first rounders.

Of course, the problem is that the UM defense has given up just about 2000 yards and 150 points in these same four games. Yeah, yeah, “it’s been against all these spread offenses.” But Carr has faced and beaten spread offenses in the past. OSU fans will hate me for bringing up all those wide-open-spread-offense OSU teams from the late 90s that Carr had no problem with beating. He also beat a WSU spread offense for his title in 1997. He destroyed a highly touted spread-offensed Notre Dame team last year, (a ND team that was no doubt overrated, but still much better than I-AA App State).

At any rate, even if Carr is giving up a lot of points… does that automatically make him a bad coach? Rich Rodriguez of West Virginia has what is universally considered to be a pathetic, gimmicky defense, yet he is considered an up-and-coming star of Div. I-A. No, it’s not points and yards that matter, but wins and losses.

There’s no doubt that Carr is still effective in the non-tangible ways of being a coach; anyone who has watched Mike Hart’s post-game comments knows that motivation and leadership isn’t a problem in the UM locker room.

Sure, Carr is ultimately responsible as the “head” coach, and if he can’t fix the problem(s), he should be let go. But he’s earned a shot at trying to fix things. The first thing he should do is fire Ron English, who is primarily responsible for these recent losses. UM’s offensive schemes have been plenty good enough to win, but the preparedness & execution hasn’t been there on the other side of the ball.

So OSU fans should rally behind Carr. I have no problem admitting that this motivation primarily comes from a desire to keep the status quo in the modern “Scowler vs. the Sweatervest” era. Trust me, if they get rid of Carr, it’s going to be Tressel vs. Jeff Tedford or Les Miles, and no OSU fan would want that year in and year out.

However, I also say this as a Big Ten fan. This 1950s, ironman, baby boomer, buick-with-fins, asbestos-insulation-and-nuclear-testing-is-good-for-you, polio-vaccine-era style of football that Ron English is using is making a mockery of the Big Ten. Fall on your sword, Ron, so Carr can have an opportunity to hire a defensive coordinator that actually designs schemes and prepares athletes to play 21st century football.

Please don’t make us add “2007” to the MotSaG Carr tombstone:

LLLLoyd

 

Comments

  1. At the end of the day, Carr has been an overrated coach for a long time. I personally could care a less about firing him…

    Do…or don’t do it…give him a chance…or don’t.

    Either way…

    It’s fun to watch…

  2. bup bup bup says:

    we fired earle bruce for less. lloyd has had several chances to fix his program, and i think it’s time for michigan to clean house.

    this is the major difference between lloyd carr and jim tressel: a year ago Ohio State had a powerhouse offense, but an incredibly young and unproven defense that had what, 3 returning starters on defense? and all that team did was go 12-1, playing for the national chapionship.

    michigan this year found itself with a powerhouse offense, with very few returning starters on defense, and they promptly got destroyed in their first two games of the season.

    as much as i love beating michigan, they need to be somewhat decent for the rivalry to have meaning. lloyd carr has had his chances to right the ship, and he’s failed. it’s time for michigan to bring in someone who understands how the game is changing

  3. El Caballo de Sangre says:

    No, no, no, Mr. Monkey. Sorry, but you whiffed on this one.

    First off: Carr doesn’t deserve any credit for what Michigan’s been able to do offensively. If he approached his job the way Tressel does – being the “real” QB coach/offensive coordinator/caller of plays – you could say that, but he doesn’t so you can’t. And I’m not saying he should, he’s a defensive coach…but his involvement in UM’s offense is probably the same role as Tressel’s w/ OSU’s defense, which is to say, hiring a coordinator you like and letting him do whatever he does. Further, 350-400 yards and 25 points a game over the last four is pretty much what you would EXPECT for any four-game stretch from an offense that has Mike Hart, Chad Henne, Jake Long, Mario Manningham and Adrian Arrington (it might be gratuitous, but I’m also going to take issue with your assessment of the quality of the defenses they’ve faced during this losing streak – our D was obviously not as good last year as it seemed 11 games in, 32 points vs. ANY I-AA defense isn’t anything to be proud of, especially when you needed 34+, and I’ll bet Oregon doesn’t hold another team to seven all year).

    Second: to paraphrase Inigo Montoya, I do not think “spread” means what you think it means. Coop’s teams ran pro-style sets mostly. So do Weis’. The “spread” Michigan can’t seem to defend is the three-four-five wideout, spread-OPTION scheme, especially when it features a mobile QB (see Smith, Troy; Edwards, Armanti; Dixon, Dennis). At least part of this is directly related to their maddening insistence on trying to match up a WR in the slot with a linebacker – which is 100% on the coaches, and, since Lloyd’s a defensive guy, he has to get dinged for this because he hasn’t forced Ron English to stop making Chris Graham try (and fail) to cover WRs.

    Third: There are ABSOLUTELY all kinds of “reason for doubt that Carr is still effective in the non-tangible ways of being a coach” – 1-5 vs. OSU under Tressel, a four-game (?) losing streak in bowls, an 18-11 record (I think) for their last 29 games, and a totally uninspired performance by everyone except Hart this year…getting your team in the right frame of mind for big games is maybe the biggest “intangible” quality a coach can possess (remember how much we dreaded playing Michigan when Cooper was around – how you just knew no matter how awesome we were and how shitty they were, that we’d find a way to fuck it up?), and Carr doesn’t have it anymore. One loud-mouthed, defiant running back does not effective leadership make.

    Last: You said “if they get rid of Carr, it’s going to be Tressel vs. Jeff Tedford or Les Miles, and no OSU fan would want that year in and year out” – why the hell not? First of all, I’m with Snoop (on half of this anyway): Fuck Les Miles. He should accomplish something before he starts jabbering about USC, or about anybody. Plus Tressel made his Cowboys look BAD in the bowl game a few years back – and I know one game doesn’t tell us all that much, but still – we didn’t have even one entire actual QB for that game. Tedford? I don’t know much about him, but I know this: there’s not going to be any reason to wet our pants over Michigan year in and year out while we’ve got Tressel, no matter who’s coaching in A2. What’s best for us at this point is the same as what’s best for the Big Ten, and what’s best for Michigan: that Michigan has a program worthy of respect on the basis of something besides tradition and reputation. We need them to be awesome, and they haven’t been so under Carr for quite some time.

  4. El caballo & bup^3 –
    Some good points, there… thanks for sharing them.

    I disagree with the statement that we “fired Bruce for less… ” Bruce had losing seasons, as did Cooper. Plus, Cooper and Bruce had completely lost control of their teams… players with DUIs, jail time, getting ejected from games, etc.

    Carr is 14-6 in the past 20 games, which included 7 ranked teams.

    Sure, one of the reasons Cooper was fired was for losing to UM, but it took 10 losses to do it, where Carr has only lost 5 games to Tressel.

    Re: Miles and Tedford, they are “Tressel-style” coaches. Tedford has brought Cal back to respectability with the worst facilities, salary, recruiting conditions, and sub-par athletes in college football. Miles has done likewise in the competitive SEC (and he’s an ex-UM man), and he’ll probably play for the title this year. Anyone who thinks Tressel would beat guys like this as regularly as he beats Carr are a bit too overconfident, IMHO.

    Again, we want the status quo. We want UM to be good enough, but not great. We want Tressel to continue to beat Carr. We want revenge for all those awesome national champion-caliber OSU teams from the 90s that were humiliated by Carr. We don’t want UM to change coaches, we just want them to get a little better on defense so they stop humiliating the Big 10 with unexpected losses.

    If and when Carr gets fired, it should be for his losing to OSU for 15 years in a row, not his losing to I-AA App teams. It’s just not satisfying or humiliating enough for this OSU fan to let him go right now. UM fans must suffer for the same length of time OSU fans suffered (a decade at least) for things to even out. It’s only been five years since Carr started his descent; he’s still got another five years to go before “karma” has been equaled.

  5. I understand your points in this, but I still disagree your conclusion.

    Granted I don’t remember much about Michigan from the mid to early 90’s so maybe he was good back then, but in my mind Lloyd Carr has never been a good coach. I talked about it a little bit on my site, and I still can’t think of anything that Lloyd Carr has done that made him a good coach. He got a good gig and can sell his school to recruits. That’s it, he has had superior talent to a lot of schools for most of his career and now that there has been a shrinking in the parody that exists in college football he has been more readily exposed as a bad coach. Jim Tressel is smart, and that’s not just as a homer, he is a smart coach that knows X’s and O’s and Ohio State gets comparable talent to Michigan and look what happens when they go head to head. Heck look at Lloyd Carr’s record in bowl games or games of any consequence. It’s amazing he’s made it this far. As much as this pains me to say, but if he coached in the SEC he would have been fired years ago.

    I think if anything he has earned the right to retire at the end of the season rather than get fired during it.

    I would also like to point out this is a terrible conversation to be having. For us faithful Ohio State fans even if we win the big ten, this whole issue makes it look like we just conquered a bunch of retards. I don’t like it, as much as I like to talk RAW about Michigan this whole thing makes a crappy way to do it. Also if Wisconsin would have lost this weekend it would have been game over.

    http://oh-io.blogspot.com

  6. Friend of mine sent this and i agree:

    Dear Michigan Fans,

    What the hell is wrong with you, get your act together you are embarrassing the rest of the Big Ten schools who are trying to play this sport we hold so dear. Do not look at this letter as if it is from a gloating Ohio State graduate, look at it as a wake up call from the rest of the Big Ten. Appalachian State, ok, you guys got beat in a close thriller, it happens, we could have forgiven you if it stopped there. If it was just this one game, you would have had to deal with the App State tee shirts at the OSU vs Michigan game in November at Michigan. BUT NO!!!!!!!! You had to go ahead and get shellacked by Oregon AT HOME. You knew they were brining the spread offense, you knew what their quarterback could do, but did you guys do anything to prepare for it? NNOOOOOO!!!!!! Look at yourselves, you are playing like a bunch of sissies. There are two ways this season can go for you from here on out. Either the rest of your injury prone senior team will pull up lame for the rest of the year and prepare for the NFL and you will be lucky to finish with a above 500 record, OR you can clean yourselves up and try to look like the football team you should be. Either beat Notre Dame or do not come back home. It has been prepared that if you lose to ND, App State is going to replace you in the Big Ten, and you are going down to 1-AA.

    While some other Big Ten schools have had struggles with the first two weeks of the season, no one has looked as bad as the big bad team from Michigan. Fly your flags upside down for the week, wear brown paper bags over your head, and go cheer on your under performing team of synchronized swimmers

    Love,
    The Big Ten

  7. I would have to agree with what my friend sent me:

    Dear Michigan Fans,

    What the hell is wrong with you, get your act together you are embarrassing the rest of the Big Ten schools who are trying to play this sport we hold so dear. Do not look at this letter as if it is from a gloating Ohio State graduate, look at it as a wake up call from the rest of the Big Ten. Appalachian State, ok, you guys got beat in a close thriller, it happens, we could have forgiven you if it stopped there. If it was just this one game, you would have had to deal with the App State tee shirts at the OSU vs Michigan game in November at Michigan. BUT NO!!!!!!!! You had to go ahead and get shellacked by Oregon AT HOME. You knew they were brining the spread offense, you knew what their quarterback could do, but did you guys do anything to prepare for it? NNOOOOOO!!!!!! Look at yourselves, you are playing like a bunch of sissies. There are two ways this season can go for you from here on out. Either the rest of your injury prone senior team will pull up lame for the rest of the year and prepare for the NFL and you will be lucky to finish with a above 500 record, OR you can clean yourselves up and try to look like the football team you should be. Either beat Notre Dame or do not come back home. It has been prepared that if you lose to ND, App State is going to replace you in the Big Ten, and you are going down to 1-AA.

    While some other Big Ten schools have had struggles with the first two weeks of the season, no one has looked as bad as the big bad team from Michigan. Fly your flags upside down for the week, wear brown paper bags over your head, and go cheer on your under performing team of synchronized swimmers

    Love,
    The Big Ten

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