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  • Scruff_McGruff_ 10:47 AM on November 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Dan Mullen, Lloyd Carr, Michigan, Rich Rodriguez   

    On the Hot Seat With Rich Rodriguez 

    The Program
    The Michigan Wolverines are arguably the greatest college football program of all time. The numbers they have amassed over the years speak for themselves. They have the highest win percentage in FBS history (.736) and the most wins in FBS history (882). The Wolverines’ department of athletics claims 11 national championships with the most recent one coming in 1997. Michigan’s home stadium is unlike any other. Michigan Stadium is the largest football stadium in the country and the third-largest sports stadium in the world. When you see the winged helmet, the first team to come to mind is the Wolverines. The Wolverines are well represented in the NFL. Charles Woodson is the reigning defensive player of the year. Tom Brady has won three Super Bowls and a MVP award. Chad Henne is the starting quarterback for my Miami Dolphins.

     

    Will Michigan go get a man who coaches on a blue field?

    The seat he is on is a tad bit too hot for what he's wearing.

    The Coach
    Had Rich Rodriguez been hired 20 or 25 years ago, he would have a comfortable cushion to install his spread offense in Ann Arbor. Unfortunately for him, he was hired to replace Lloyd Carr in late 2007. With college football being the revenue generator it is, a coach has to win and win early. Lloyd Carr led Michigan to a bowl game in each of his 13 seasons at Michigan. Rich Rod is currently 0-for-2. Me personally, I do not blame Rodriguez for Michigan’s struggles. It takes time to convert from a pro-style offense to a spread offense. If he had gone to bowl games, the hot seat would not be as hot as it is right now. However, he went 3-9 his first season in Ann Arbor and only managed two more wins in 2009. He has the players offensively to win, but the defense is suffering in a major way. This season, the Michigan defense has allowed four of seven opponents to score over 30 points, giving up 38 to Iowa and 37 to FCS Massachusetts. Under Rich Rod’s watch, Michigan is on NCAA probation for the first time in the program’s history after spending too much time practicing. The alleged overages did not show on the field at all.

    The Short List
    I believe Rich Rod survives another year, but with a new athletic director in place Rodriguez’s tenure will more than likely be cut short.

    Lloyd Carr – Kansas State blew the dust off a 70-year-old Bill Snyder to lead the Wildcats in 2009. How difficult can it be to get a 65-year-old man to walk the sidelines of the Big House once again?

    Dan Mullen – Why am I offering OUR coach to go elsewhere? As much as I want to think Mullen will never leave Starkville until he wins a SEC West championship, there are greener pastures in the land of college football. Michigan just so happens to be one of the greenest pastures in the land. Mullen runs a variation of the spread offense, so the transition between regimes will not be as tumultuous as it was between Carr and Rodriguez.

    Jim Herrmann – Herrmann currently serves as linebacker coach for the New York Giants after holding the same position for the New York Jets. Before making his way to the pros, he served as Michigan’s defensive coordinator. He won the second annual Frank Broyles award for assistant coach of the year in 1997. Although he is not a Michigan alumnus, he has deep roots in the program, and his defensive background would serve the Wolverine program very well.

    Les Miles – As long as Miles is having an ounce of success as a head coach, his name will always be mentioned as a candidate for any Michigan coaching vacancy. His name surfaced as the front-runner before Rodriguez eventually landed the job. Miles has a national championship on his resume. His unconventional play-calling may rub some conventional football fans the wrong way and his clock management may be a bit suspect, but once he beats Ohio State, all will be forgotten.

    Chris Petersen – As with any position opening within the BCS conferences, this man’s name will be thrown in the hat. What he has been able to accomplish has been nothing short of remarkable.  If Boise State somehow sneaks into the BCS title game and Rodriguez gets canned, consider Petersen to be THE guy. He will have no reason to stay at Boise State.  He will have to prove he can play the big boys regularly and beat them regularly.

     
    • BigBrother 10:55 AM on November 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Dan Mullen will not be a candidate anywhere this year, so stop writing that. I think Peterson bides his time at Boise until UCLA or USC opens again. He’s a CaliGuy. A short list at Michigan has to include Jim Harbaugh from Stanford. Also look at Al Golden at Temple. If he does not get a fair shake for the Penn State job. Michigan fits.

  • Scruff_McGruff_ 2:32 PM on September 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Cam Newton, , Dan Mullen, Manny Diaz, , ,   

    Not Quite Yet Over the Hump 

    Chris Relf wasn't able to lead the comeback Thursday. His time will come.

    Last Thursday Mississippi State showcased the progress it made under second-year head coach Dan Mullen. ESPN showed the world how far we had come. At the end of the game, it was us coming up short again. MSU football has not been able to get over the proverbial hump quite yet. Mullen has made impressive strides in a short amount of time. We are no longer an automatic conference win but are from being the perennial doormat. Despite two early turnovers, we still had a chance to win the game on a last second drive. Besides the dropped passes, there is a lot to be optimistic about.

    HALFTIME ADJUSTMENTS
    In the first half, Cam Newton had his way with the MSU defense, outgaining the Bulldog offense by himself 146-125. Manny Diaz and staff made critical adjustments on the fly and held Newton to only 82 yards (22 of those receiving) in the second half. The MSU defense dictated when Newton would scramble. Even more importantly, after giving up 17 first-half points the defense shut out the potent Tiger offense. When it was time to make a stand late in the game, the defense came through on 3rd down and the ensuing blocked field goal.

    FLAGS, FLAGS, FLAGS
    MSU only committed two penalties for 25 yards: a personal foul that was a bit of acting on Auburn’s part and an illegal block. The two penalties are a far cry from the 5.6 penalties per game MSU averaged a season ago. To date, MSU is only averaging 2.5 penalties and 27.5 penalty yards per game. Dan Mullen wants his team to give “relentless effort,” and his team is giving that effort while playing disciplined football.

    NOT FOLDING JUST YET
    In years past, when MSU would go down by a double-digit deficit, we would fold when given the opportunity to make a comeback. We lacked the offensive firepower to score points in a short period of time, and the defense would eventually break from being on the field too long. With Mullen learning the spread offense from Urban Meyer, the Bulldog offense has the ability to march up the field gaining huge chunks of yards at a time. Coupled with Diaz’s high-risk, high-reward defense, MSU can put points on the board in a hurry.

    There are still some minor details we need to work on to become more consistent. We have been here before: where the MSU fan base thinks we are ready to make the leap into the next tier of SEC schools. When we get there, we usually take two steps in the wrong direction. If not this season, next season will definitely be the year MSU causes major hell for the other teams in the conference. That is the beauty of playing in the best conference in the country: every week is a chance to score a major upset and get the momentum that can carry you through the rest of the season.

     
  • maroonnation 4:25 AM on January 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Dan Mullen, Dylan Favre, ,   

    2010 Looks Bright For Bulldogs 

    By: Joe Cumberland

    Dan Mullen saw his first season at the helm in Starkville, Mississippi finish with a disappointing 5-7 record. A record that most around the country will look at and say “just another typical season at Mississippi State”. Fans of the

    Dan Mullen looks to build on his teams 5-7 record in 2010.

    Maroon Nation, however, see it differently. True, the record was 5-7, but the Bulldogs were just a couple of plays from 6-6 or 7-5. Even in the losses to such highly touted teams as Florida and Georgia Tech the team were in the games. The new attitude was evident each and every time the Dawgs took the field in 2009. Mullen brought his youthful enthusiasm and never say die outlook to a group of hungry young men, and a yurning fanbase. The result was a team that believed they could beat the best in the land, and a fanbase that on two occasions broke attendance records. The season ended with Coach Mullen raising the Golden Egg over his head. From day one the MSU head man preached the importance of winning the game versus ‘That School Up North”, and his team did it in dominating fashion. The Bulldogs performance in the 2009 Egg Bowl has many fans excited about 2010.

    GO AHEAD AND SMILE; THERE’S REASON TO BE OPTIMISTIC

    I’m not going to sit here and tell you that Mullen will lead the Bulldogs to a 10-2 record in 2010. I’m not going to tell you that our beloved maroon and white clad players will be in contention for a New Year’s Day bowl. Is it possible? You better believe it, but truthfully we are not there yet. We are, however, a team that could finish with a winning record. After our last trip to Memphis; I’m sure that Liberty Bowl officials would love to have us back.

    BREAKING DOWN THE 2010 BULLDOGS

    QUARTERBACKS

    With Tyson Lee graduating the Bulldogs will look for a new starter in the spring. Many fans held out hope that heralded junior college signal caller Cameron Newton would give a pledge to the Bulldogs and fill this need. Newton chose to give his signature to Auburn instead. Still, there is no need to worry. With three quarterbacks on campus and one of the nation’s most prolific passers on the way; the Bulldogs have options.

    After a strong showing in the 2009 Egg Bowl Chris Relf received much praise from the Maroon Nation. The Mississippi defense seemingly had no answer as Relf ran the option to perfection. The 6’3 235 pounder will be a junior in 2010 and looks to be a guy the staff will go to. There is no question that Relf can be a battering ram runner from the spot. The questions lie in his ability to pass

    Chris Relf could be a dangerous dual threat QB for Mississippi State in 2010.

    the ball. Relf posseses a strong, live arm and throws the deep ball well. The big knock on the Montgomery native is his accuracy in the short to intermediate passing game. If Mullen and company can deal with the inaccuracy issues and polish his ability to throw the ball then Relf could be the every down quarterback next season. That is unlikely though as right behind him is the talented gunslinger Tyler Russell.

    After redshirting his true freshman season Tyler Russell looks to see action in 2010. The Parade high school All-American spent 2009 on the sidelines learning the offense and adjusting to the speed of the college game. It has been noted on several occasions that in the last month of practice Russell looked “stellar” and that “the light came on”. Some have said that in the closing stretch the former Meridian Wildcat may have been the best quarterback on the team. Some seem to think that the nations top JuCo signal caller Cameron Newton signed with Auburn because he was told he’d have to compete for the job with Russell at Mississippi State. After seeing the 2008 Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year in action all during his senior campaign I can tell you that he is a natural born passer. In Tyler Russell you are getting a true leader, a man of faith and character, and an athlete that knows how to win. Will he be a Heisman contender someday? Who knows. I just know that I fully trust Tyler Russell with our future in his hands.

    Also on campus is walk-on Daniel Stegal. Stegal originally signed with Miami (FL) out of Greenwood High in Arkansas, but elected to sign with the New York Mets organization. After a couple of years playing minor league baseball he is in Starkville chasing his gridiron dreams once again.

    Joining the Dawgs in the 2010 signing class will be Mississippi’s 2009 Gatorade Player of the Year; Dylan Favre. The St. Stanislaus product broke seemingly every record in the books for passing in the state of Mississippi, and put his name in the national record books as well. Like Russell before him, Favre is expected to redshirt next season.

    That’s a look at what to expect out of the quarterbacks in 2010. For an in-depth look at who will be replacing Anthony Dixon and Christian Ducre check back tomorrow.

    As always feel free to comment on the story or email me personally at punterjoe@hotmail.com

    Join us on Facebook and Twitter

     
    • buzzardroostus 11:26 PM on January 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      As someone who lives in Meridian, married to a teacher at Meridian High, I’m very excited about seeing Tyler next season. I know Relf is improving, but I can’t imagine Mullen not playing to Tyler’s strengths in the pocket. Consistency at the QB position cost us 2 wins this past season. Tyler will make plays MSU has never seen a QB consistently make. Now if we can land a great Defensive Coordinator, and finish off this signing class with a bang, things will definitely be looking bright.

  • maroonnation 2:48 AM on January 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 1999 Peach Bowl, Dan Mullen, Discenzo Miller, Greg Byrne, Jackie Sherrill, Larry Templeton, NCAA prbation, Snow Bowl, Sylvester Croom   

    The Decade That Was Not 

    By: Demi Brown

    Like so many in the Maroon Nation, I welcomed in the 2000’s in the Georgia Dome watching the Mississippi State Bulldogs beat the Clemson Tigers 17-7 to win the 1999 Peach Bowl – no not the Chick-fil-A Bowl. The game was not yet over when the new decade began, and I figured that was as good of a sign as any that the Bulldog football program had finally turned the corner. We were regularly beating our biggest rivals (Mississippi and Alabama), we were signing a good number of highly recruited players, and we had a head coach in Jackie Sherrill that had the maroon faithful in full belief mode. We were beginning an entirely new decade with a victory.

    The year 2000 was capped off with one of the most memorable bowl games in Maroon Nation history. The storyline was perfect. Two Land Grant schools clad in the same colors, one in all maroon and one in all white, brought to relevance to the spite of their rivals by the same coach were facing off in Shreveport, LA in a snow storm. Wayne Madkin, Dante Walker, Discenzo Miller, Willie Blade, and Julius Griffith all had big plays to lead the Bulldogs to a 43-41 overtime victory over Texas A&M. Bulldog fans were excited. We were entrenched in an era of winning, and our program was where we had all wanted it to be for so long.

    And then, to quote coach Sherrill, “The bubble popped.” 2001, 2002, and 2003 saw the Bulldogs record a total of 8 wins and fall to the bottom of the SEC, a place we thought we had left behind. The NCAA and its principle investigator Rich Johanningmeier were camped out in Starkville (with or without “Xenareb”) and took 3 years to investigate 18 far-fetched allegations only to find that Sherrill and Mississippi State had committed no major violations. During that time, however; the NCAA was able to find enough to place the Bulldogs on probation for several minor violations (I am left to wonder what they would find at any school after a 3-year investigation). That time also proved significant as other schools were able to use the specter of NCAA probation against the Bulldogs on the recruiting trail.

    After the 2003 season, Larry Templeton made a splash with the hire of Sylvester Croom as head coach. As the first African-American head football coach in the SEC, Croom quickly brought a good amount of positive media attention to Mississippi State. The honeymoon was short-lived as the transition to Croom was not a smooth one. Croom tried to split his time between the Green Bay Packers, who were making a playoff run, and the Bulldogs. That decision cost him valuable time in putting together a staff and in getting in the homes of recruits. Early losses to Maine and Troy drew concern from the maroon nation. A successful 2007 season at 8-5 with a Liberty Bowl victory over Central Florida once again had the Bulldogs back in postseason play. Croom’s ultimate inability to put an offense on the field that could put points on the board in the SEC ultimately did in his administration. A 3-2 loss to Auburn and a 45-0 loss to Mississippi proved to be too much for Croom to overcome.

    A little more than a year ago, Dan Mullen took the helm of the MSU football program. Hired by State’s ninja of an Athletic Director Greg Byrne, Mullen brings with him years of coaching and winning with the vaunted spread-option offensive attack and has gotten the likes of Alex Smith and Josh Harris to the NFL. He has also coached Chris Leak and Tim Tebow to BCS national titles. He finished his first season 5-7 which could have easily been 7-5 if a couple of plays go the Bulldogs’ way. What is most impressive is that a year after the 45-0 debacle, Mullen led his troops to a 41-27 trouncing of  That School Up North.

    So, we sit here at the beginning of the “teens” with hope that our Bulldogs are ready to take some huge leaps forward. We ended the first decade of the 21st century with a 42-76 record. Minus a few seasons here and there, Bulldog football since the end of the Second World War has been a frustrating creation. After this past season’s loss to LSU – a game where the Dawgs were inches away from the upset – one of my friends sent me a text message saying, “It’s easier to kiss your own elbow than to be a Bulldog fan.” Of course, it was said in humorous frustration, a voice that many MSU fans speak. I like to think that there are always possibilities, there is always tomorrow – or next year; that our Dawgs will have their day, preferably many of them.

    To prepare myself for our glorious future, I often look to a quote from one of history’s greatest Bulldogs to inspire me.

    Never give in. Never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” ~ Sir Winston Churchill

     
    • midnightdawg 1:09 AM on January 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      How true is that reflection of the last decade or 2 of MSU football. Grew up a Dawg fan in the 80’s in MS, and never understood dad’s pessimism or frustration with MSU football until recently. Been a koolaid drinker for a long time, but reality hit hard last year. The feeling after this years LSU loss was the worst feeling I’ve had playing OR watching any game since 10th grade. Love the elbow analogy, gonna use that. The future looks bright, I’m pumped. Just hope Mullen is more than a bubble for us, and that we are more than just a stepping stone for him.

    • Big Dawg787 7:53 PM on February 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Who knows what Miss St’s record was for the 90s?

  • maroonnation 10:32 PM on November 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Dan Mullen, Varnado   

    The Maroon Nation Says … 

     
  • maroonnation 12:55 PM on November 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Dan Mullen,   

    The Maroon Nation Says … 

     
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