Big Ten: Artis Chambers
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez held his post-mortem news conference Monday and addressed many of the issues on his growing to-do list for the 2009 season. He does expect more attrition on the roster but not a dramatic amount of departures. So far wide receiver Zion Babb, defensive tackle Jason Kates and safety Artis Chambers have left.
Still, he admitted not everyone has committed to the plan and the direction.
"As far as buying in, I think the majority of them have," Rodrgiuez said. "But there is a handful that still maybe question things themselves, maybe their confidence, their role, how they can contribute. And I think that's typical everywhere in a transition year. But it wasn't as much as maybe I thought. But, again, until it's a hundred percent, then you don't know what you have.
"Everybody, as we move forward, will be guys that play for Michigan first and foremost and believe in this program and this university, and if not, then they won't be playing for Michigan. It's as simple as that."
After his "get a life" comment was overblown in the days leading up to the Ohio State game, Rodriguez was asked whether he'd be more tight-lipped in the future. Thankfully, he doesn't plan to become Lloyd Carr Part II.
"It's a big boy world," he said. "So I understand that. I've been there for a little bit. It does make you I guess want to be a little more reserved at times. That's not my personality. I want to be open and honest and transparent I guess is the proper word. We'll be that. I'll continue to be that. Doesn't mean I don't get ticked off when somebody writes something that ain't true. That's what happens."
Other notable items from the news conference included:
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
There are no games on tap for a while, and most of the bowl-bound Big Ten teams are off this week. So news might be a little scarce around here. Or maybe not.
Here are some interesting nuggets from around the Big Ten realm.
- Penn State players agree with most of you out and would rather not see a rematch against Oregon State in the Rose Bowl, Bernard Fernandez writes in the Philadelphia Daily News.
"It still is remotely possible that the dominoes could fall just so and Penn State can make it to the Jan. 8 BCS National Championship Game in Miami. [Joe] Paterno and his players apparently have resigned themselves to the realization that that longshot won't come in, but it would be all right if they are afforded a chance to certify their status as an elite team, and that of the Big Ten as a top-tier conference, against the very best of the Pac-10. And that means USC."
- There were some anxious moments at times, but Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor blossomed this fall and, barring a major surprise, will be named Big Ten Freshman of the Year tonight, Doug Lesmerises writes in The Cleveland Plain Dealer.
- With a dreadful season behind him, Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez needs to evaluate his coaches, assess the attrition among players and start the process of turning things around, Michael Rosenberg writes in the Detroit Free Press. Another Wolverines player has left the team, as safety Artis Chambers is gone.
- Mark Dantonio admits Michigan State isn't an elite team yet, but a Jan. 1 bowl win could help the Spartans take the crucial next step, Andrew Mouranie writes in the Lansing State Journal.
"I'll be damned if we get beat by another 40 points again, I know that," defensive end Trevor Anderson said. "From a player's point of view, we will take about a month off and we'll prepare for whoever we play. We'll watch the film or whatever, get cussed out and go on from there."
- Some tough criticism for Wisconsin after it barely survived against FCS-member Cal Poly, courtesy of the Wisconsin State Journal's Tom Oates.
- Ron Zook insists that Illinois hasn't backslid. The statistics suggest otherwise after a very disappointing season, Stu Durando writes in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.