Monday, November 19, 2007
Lloyd Carr was/is awesome
When the U-M football team started the season 0-2, people who didn't know better were calling for Lloyd Carr's mid-season firing or resignation. For people with no sense of history or perspective (neither was ever going to happen), that was a classic knee-jerk, 24-7 news cycle response -- we have airtime to fill and, lacking facts (or a desire to discuss them), we will fill the airtime with opinion. Of course, paying attention to his assistants' contract extensions was a good indication of what truly was up. But, seriously, my response in mid-September was two-fold: those losses doesn't count more than any other loss (as non-conference games, perhaps less), and who would you get who's better? How many other active coaches have won a National Champtionship? Have as many 10-win seasons? Be in 4 out of 5 BCS bowl games? Has a 4-2 bowl record v. the SEC? So, they ended up one half-way decent offensive showing short of the Rose Bowl. . . and, in an unrelated move, Lloyd Carr retired today. The guy is truly unique as an academic football coach, hanging with Russel Crowe and quoting Pakenham Beatty at the top of his resignation press conference. How cool is that? As for his successor, I'm not the only one not sold on Les Miles, who has been a bit indiscreet in his comments and actions toward his alma mater's football team, even admitting to selling them out in last year's polls for an SEC team. It's easy to pine for the bright, shiny present like Miles; being able to find the overlooked gem with value -- like Bo in '69 -- fits U-M's culture. As for my favorites, if either can get out of their deals, if you want to go insider, I like Jim Harbaugh; if you want to go outsider, I always liked the great job Brian Kelly did at Grand Valley -- he could be very, if you will, Tressel-esque.