Ian's Reviews > Three and Out: Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan Wolverines in the Crucible of College Football

Three and Out by John U. Bacon
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's review
Nov 02, 2011

really liked it
Read from November 02, 2011 to February 17, 2012

Anyone interested to know just how Rich Rodriguez's tenure as Michigan football coach went so badly wrong will get a lot of the answers they're looking for in this book. If you followed the program closely during Rodriguez's three years, you'll probably find a lot of stuff you already know in this book. But Bacon's reporting serves as confirmation for many of the suspicions or widely held beliefs swirling around Michigan football during that time. He provides impressive insight into the politics and machinations behind the scenes.

However, I felt like the book wrapped up too quickly. Though you likely know how this story ended through following the news, I'm not sure that's an assumption that should have been made for the reader. Perhaps that's a result of Rodriguez limiting access to Bacon as his job security increasingly deteriorated, but the difference between the first-hand insight given earlier in the book and the dependence on scuttlebutt and second-hand accounts later on is notable.

A deeper look into the search for Rodriguez's replacement would also have been a bonus. For example, how did Jim Harbaugh slip out of Dave Brandon's hands? Was there more appeal to Brady Hoke than the fact that Lloyd Carr's former players preferred him as the new coach? But Bacon was presumably hired to follow Rodriguez, not necessarily the Michigan athletic department.

One surprise was how poorly edited the book was in places. There were several places where typos were glaring, and names were used inconsistently or incorrectly in sentences. I would guess that this was a by-product of pushing to get the book published as soon as possible, during college football season.

But I would certainly recommend this book to any Michigan football fan, even if the events reported might cause you to wonder if you've been rooting for the right people over the past 15-20 years.
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