Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Coaches reactions across the country...

There’s nothing too spectacular here. Just about every coach who was asked chose to cite Michigan’s loss as a cautionary tale for their teams. My personal favorite comes from Paul Johnson at Navy who I think would be a fantastic hire as Michigan’s next coach. Johnson has been asked about Michigan in his weekly press conference over the last couple years by people inquiring about how his style would work at a big-time school. Johnson has consistently stated that he adjusts his style to the players he has. Johnson’s comments probably appear a bit off-colored until you realize that he was poking fun at himself. Navy had an uninspired effort against Temple last week so he definitely wasn’t bragging about beating them. He also could have added to his last response, “I have proven that I can beat Jim Tressel. That is true, also.” Now that would have been off-colored. I love Johnson’s coaching ability and his personality. He doesn’t pretend he coaches in a “fort” and he isn’t fluent in double-talk. Anyhow, the other responses are bland but interesting nonetheless.

Paul Johnson, Navy

Wagner: Well, it looks like those Paul Johnson to Michigan rumors are going to start up again.

Johnson: Yep. They called me last night. It's a done deal after they saw our performance against Temple.

Wagner: After losing to Appalachian State I wouldn't be surprised if he (Lloyd Carr) was fired on Monday.

Johnson: I have proven in the past that I can beat Appalachian State. That is true.

Jim Tressel, Ohio St.

REPORTER: Have you had time to digest that Appalachian win?

COACH TRESSEL: I didn't get a chance to watch it. We watched Appalachian all week getting ready for Youngstown because Youngstown's last game was Appalachian and every time you watch the film you say, this is a good football team just like we were saying, Youngstown is a good football team. But as far as what happened and all the rest, I really haven't had an opportunity to do that.

REPORTER: Is it a stunning upset in your opinion?

COACH TRESSEL: I think it's an upset because I happen to think Michigan is very, very good and I think when all is said and done at the end of the season, Michigan is going to be very, very good. But it also tells you, Appalachian State is a good team. And maybe more people know that than used to, but Appalachian's good.

REPORTER: Are you glad Michigan lost?

COACH TRESSEL: Am I glad? No, I'm never glad when a conference opponent loses. You always -- outside of your game with them, you're always rooting for your breath then in the Big Ten.

REPORTER: Jim, is this a little bit of a black eye for the Big Ten? Big Ten went 2-5 last year in bowl games and lost two obviously high profile bowl games and then kind of this, there's people looking askance at the Big Ten because number five team in the nation loses to a playoff subdivision team.

COACH TRESSEL: Well, whether it is or isn't, we don't spend any time looking in the mirror or at those black eyes, we're just going to work. And I haven't given it any thought, it has no effect on what we're trying to accomplish. We're most concerned about what Ohio State does and of course we root for our conference, I was watching the end of that Missouri-Illinois game, thinking the Illini was going to pull it out. But that was September 1st. What's most important, black eyes heal well before November, and the Big Ten's going to be a good conference.

Mark Dantonio, Michigan St.

Q. What does Saturday's game in Ann Arbor mean to a coach as far as getting his players' attention and knowing that on any Saturday anything can happen in college football?

COACH DANTONIO: Well, I think first of all, I haven't watched that game, so I'm really not qualified to talk about it. That would be my approach there.
But just as far as an upset, I think there is a lot of parity in college football. Even if you look at the 1-AA level, and I was at Youngstown State for five years, and we were a pretty good football team. We had some guys who had come from Tennessee and South Carolina and such, so we had some pretty good players on that football team.

You know, emotion plays a big part of it. As soon as you start believing you can do something, sooner or later, you're going to keep fighting, and I think you'll have a chance, and probably that's what happened. They had a little bit of success early, and they started believing that they truly could do it. And of course, when you're the heavy favorites, I'm sure that you start tightening up a little bit when things start to happen.
You know, I'm quite sure that Michigan will bounce back. I think that Coach Carr is an excellent football coach and an excellent leader, and he'll rally his troops.

Q. Does it make your job any easier, getting your players' attention?

COACH DANTONIO: I would hope so. I would hope that just the win over Minnesota would open everybody's eyes, as well, and when they see the film they'll know why. There was precision passing and good protection, and they ran a hitch on defense. So it'll be a challenge, and things will get progressively more challenging as we go (through the schedule).

Bret Bielema, Wisconsin

QUESTION 5: Michigan got two first-place votes in the coaches poll, I was curious if you were one of those people who voted them number one, and if you had them in your Top-25 this week?

Bielema: Actually the Top-25 doesn’t have to be due until tomorrow because of the games that are played later, so we haven’t voted yet on the AP poll, or the Coaches poll, I’m sorry. I know this, as the season rolls on, I’m excited because they asked me to be a part of it, but I don’t have to reveal my votes until the end. I think Michigan is a good football team, I’ve been more impressed with Lloyd Carr over the past two years as I’ve gotten to know him as anybody, and to hear his comments on Saturday, I think it’s safe to say that Michigan will get that ship ready and righted in a short amount of time.

QUESTION 7: You mentioned being impressed by Lloyd Carr and how he handled that situation. Certainly from media, from fans, there’s been a lot of buzz and criticism for having that loss. Is there a lesson or reminder for you, your coaching staff, your program about what can happen, how quickly things can turn in a game like that for your team?

Bielema: First and foremost, I really don’t worry about anybody but Wisconsin, and I told that to our guys on Sunday. I knew the final result before the game on Saturday, but I chose not to mention that to the team in the locker room at all, because I know our guys were focused in on playing the game that we had in front of us. On Sunday, I always try to take an overview of what’s happening in college football, and taking things that we can learn from not by only witnessing it ourselves, but by seeing other people go through things, and the message that I said to our team was that anybody can play with anybody else on any given Saturday, and I think that our players were aware of the situation that I was talking about, but I even made a special point to the players to not comment on that situation, and I realized I saw one quote from one of our guys. But we worry about Wisconsin first and we’ll take care of the rest.

Les Miles, LSU

On if the Appalachian State game is a cautionary tale for other highly-ranked teams...

“I can only tell you that the men that represent Michigan are hard pressed to find a smile. I believe that they understand adversity and they will do the right things. I trust and am comfortable with what Lloyd Carr will have them do. It is not the first time, during many seasons there are times where you have to pick yourself up and play. I also understand that Appalachian State is a great football team. No one has to apologize for the style they are. They are a winning team and a national championship team. There is a constant reminder with any team that takes the field. If you are not ready to play your opponent, you suddenly become very even. If you don’t have intensity and a want to compete then suddenly you become very average. We understand that and all we need to be motivated for this week is Virginia Tech. Seeing Virginia Tech on film kind of wakes you up.”

Joe Paterno, Penn St.

Q: A lot of Penn State fans really take a lot of pride in rooting against Michigan. It sounds like there was a huge uproar out there whenever that game ended. What does that mean to you, that rivalry against Michigan and your fans reacting like that if Michigan loses?

A: Well I have a tremendous amount of respect for Michigan. Always have. In fact, one of the few jobs I ever really thought about taking when they hired Bo Schembechler - Don Canham offered me the job - and that would have been one of the few college jobs I would have though about taking. So I have a tremendous amount of respect. From the guy who really turned this whole athletic program around, Ernie McCoy, had been the basketball coach, assistant football coach, assistant athletic director at Michigan, he and wife had graduated from Michigan, his son was a Michigan graduate. So, I have tremendous respect for them and their program. I'm not rooting against them. When we play them I root against them, obviously. They've just played better. They played better than we have played. We had a shot at them two years ago and I debated whether to kick off or not and I kicked off and Breaston took the ball back to midfield and I've second-guessed myself on that one. But in all fairness to them, they came down the field and made some plays. I think the fans are - I don't know. You tell me what makes fans tick.

Chan Gailey, Georgia Tech

Q. Appalachian State beat Michigan. Did you hear that and what's your reaction to that?

COACH GAILEY: Yes, I heard it. I know Jerry and I know App State and I know what a great program they have. I'm just as surprised like everyone else in the country right now.
This just goes to show you, you'd better get ready every week, every team, every week; there are no gimmees in the world of football. And there's possible going to be some more of those during the course of the year. That won't be the only one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow, that joe pa comment was just.. um... wow.


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