Rodriguez Licking His Chops

New Michigan man can run circles around Big Ten

Dec. 19, 2007

By Trev Alberts

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Trev Alberts is a football analyst for CSTV and
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You've got college football questions and CSTV football analyst Trev Alberts has answers and opinions. Each week Alberts will be answering questions and queries on the world of college football. So if you've got a question for Trev? Just ask him.


Bill Callahan tried to install the West Coast offense at Nebraska and failed, why will it work at Michigan with the spread? - Chris Cutter, Iowa




The spread offense has been proven to work at a number of different schools. Don't get caught up in the idea that it's a spread offense; it's a spread running offense. Rodriguez's teams can certainly throw out of it, but if you look at their stats, they are a running, physical team who tried to hit people.


I think there's this misnomer that current coaches who have a certain system in place don't know how to win with anything else. I think that hurt Paul Johnson where for years he ran the triple option at Navy, yet had a history of running an offense at Hawai'i that was pass-happy.


Effective leadership at the head coaching position is transferable. It isn't just one scheme. Rodriguez was smart enough to know they type of athlete he has in Morgantown and utilize the kind of guys he had like Pat White and Steve Slaton. It is not a guarantee that Michigan will exclusively do the same thing on offense. He can recruit a different level of athlete at Michigan than he could at West Virginia, not to put down the kids at West Virginia.


I do think there will be elements of the spread that will help Michigan compete in the Big Ten. And Rodriguez has got to look at Big Ten defenses, maybe with the exception of Ohio State, and say "I can run roughshod over this conference." You're guaranteed to win five games at least.


And he's not going to sell out on the current players; he'll install his offense gradually.


I keep reading stories about negative recruiting and schools trashing other schools. Some recruiters are trying to sway kids from Miami by talking about Bryan Pata and Sean Taylor's death. Is that right? Should this and can this stuff be stopped? - J.D., Florida


That would tell me an awful lot if I was a student-athlete that a prospective coach from another school used that in recruiting. I would stay as far away as I could from that coach. That tells me a lot about his character. That tells you about the depths coaches will go to in trying to get talent.


If you're presenting the kind of environment that you would be entering in and it's proven that Miami or USC or whatever school is located in an area where you might be subjected to more criminal activity, that's one thing. But to merely point out that a player had been killed while on the team would be putting yourself in a dangerous position. I think that's an unfortunate thing if it is indeed happening.


It won't be stopped, it can't be stopped and we've tried a lot of different things to try and curb the whole recruiting process. But it's a dirty game in and of itself and it will always be such.


Terry Bowden is interested in the West Virginia job. It's been 10 years since he's coached. A lot has changed since then, isn't that a long time to be out of the game? How could he be successful? - Winston, Charleston


I don't know Terry Bowden very well, but I don't think you can take away from him what he accomplished at Auburn that one year, but I think there are a lot of other things off the field that you must take into account. I can't imagine that would be the direction West Virginia would go in. I'm not saying he's not a good coach, but I do think when you're out of it there are elements that are changed.


There are just too many other candidates out there, including many minorities, who need to get a look.