ESPN is reporting Lloyd Carr will announce his retirement on Monday. Hmm… as a Michigan fan… you just, after this year, kind of feel… uninspired. I thought he should have been let go after the Appy State game (actually at halftime). After the Oregon game, I would have thought he would step down out of respect for the program. Then, UM ran off eight straight wins against pedestrian opponents. There were some exciting moments: the Michigan State comeback win, and, um, well no others.
Lloyd Carr won a national champiship at Michigan. He won it early on in his career, and much like Tubby Smith at Kentucky, his early success doomed him. The Michigan Faithful expected too much. The ’97 championship team was loaded with future pros, and had experience everywhere. A lot of things have to come together to win a national championship; schedule, coaching, but most of all, experience. Experience was everywhere in that ’97 team. This Michigan team has/had experience at some positions (QB & RB), but didn’t in a lot (D-Line & O-Line save Jake Long). Picked pre-season top 5 in a lot of places, this team was destined to do poorly.
The thing about Carr’s teams is that they tend not to do well when expectations are too high. Two years ago, they were considered to be a top three team in the country. 7 wins, five losses, and a trip to San Antonio for a loss in the Alamo Bowl later, and they definitely were not ranked to end the season. It appears we may be on the same ride again. The “experts” predict that the Wolves may be back on the way to San Antonio, and disappointment is overwhelming.
Before moving on to the future of the program, the past needs to be reexamined. I mean, didn’t all of our history teachers in high school tell us this? How did UM go from being ranked so high in the pre-season, only to falter early and often? That kind of thing has to be attributed to the head coach. What does that mean about Carr? He’s older, and he probably doesn’t care as much as he used to. It’s not a good thing to hear, that your favorite football team’s head coach is hanging out with Russell Crowe during the summer when his ass should be recruiting.
They need to get a guy who was as in love with this job as Carr was when he first started. Carr loved Bo Schembechler. Carr loved UM football. A place like Michigan should stay with “Michigan Guys” as long as they can. Obviously, Les Miles is the top (and only) choice for this job. If they have to wait a while to get him, so be it. He knows he wants the job, and that’s all that matters. If he didn’t want the job, then there wouldn’t be a (double every other school in the country) million-dollar-plus buyout in his contract if he leaves for UM. The boosters in Ann Arbor are so anxious to get new blood at the helm, they’ll pony that up quicker than you can say, “Eight and four.”
Les Miles should be the coach at Michigan as soon as humanly possible. The dream scenario is for LSU to lose in the SEC championship game (to make this dream scenario even better for the writers of this blog, we’ll say they lose to Tennessee). With no national title on the line, Miles could go ahead and bail on the Tigers, and possibly take over for a bowl game. He would have a month with the team to put in his system, and the result in whatever bowl wouldn’t really matter.
I hope Lloyd Carr the best, I really do. He should really succeed coaching Russell Crowe’s Australian Rules Football team next year.
It’s the end of an era in Ann Arbor, and I really hope that means bad things for Jim Tressel and everyone who lives in the state of Ohio.