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I'm listening to a LLoyd Carr interview and I have learned why Michigan is not gonna win National Championships. I will paraphrase but Carr basically says Michigan is playing for a Big Ten championship and Rose Bowl!!!! WTF how about playing for the NC. THIS IS THE REASON MICHIGAN HAS WON ONE UNDISPUTED NC SINCE 1948. They base their season on the Big Ten and the OSU game. IMO thats a jackass train of thought.

If I were coach the NC WOULD BE THE #1 GOAL. If your gonna set high goals you might as well set them as high as they will go. I'm glad we have JT and realize we have the upper hand on Michigan as long as he is at OSU.
You have to set goals that you can achieve. Winning the Big Ten and going to the Rose Bowl are respectable goals. If Lloyd seriously believes one loss will put them out of national championship conention he should refocus on what is achievable. That being said, I don't think an early loss counts you out and every team in the top twenty should be talking about winning out. I agree with you that Lloyd is way to conservative in all his actions to the detrement of Michigan. Wait - I take it back. He isn't the disciplenarian I would expect from a true conservative coach. (Yeah, Marlin hit him over the head with a bottle but it isn't like he slit his throught with the shards of glass. Besides, the man was a fan and honored to be smacked down by us...)

Win the next game.
Beat Michigan.
Win the conference.
Beat Michigan.
Go to a BCS bowl.
Beat Michigan.
Win a national championship.
Beat Michigan.
(off season)
#1 recruiting class.
take Michigan's recruits....

and repeat as needed

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Lloyd Carr is a tool, but he's right. The goals he set are ones that that team has direct control over. Your play on the field directly determines whether or not you win a Big Ten Championship and a Rose Bowl berth. The national championship is determined by voters and luck just as much as it is by the play on the field. You can't win a national championship if the voters don't like you. You can't win a national championship if certain other teams in all parts of the country don't stumble along the way. If you take care of your own house though, you can accomplish those goals and put yourself in mighty fine position to move beyond that. Jim Tressel does the same thing (or at least says so publicly). The best approach is to set your goals for things you can control.

Besides, what does Carr have to do with 55 years of history there? He's not responsible for all of those years of not winning NCs. Besides, he led them to the only one they have won in that period, and no matter how much you hate him, you gotta respect that.
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Tressel's stated goal for each season is to win the national title, not just the Big Ten title or to beat Michigan, because the latter two will have to happen anyway to achieve the first.
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Mili: After giving it more thought, I think I've seen it both ways. I think it's all a bunch of meaningless coachspeak, and they say one thing or the other based on whether they're trying to motivate or deflect pressure. I know JT has stated that the goal is to win National Championships, but I also remember several occasions during 2002 where he said that the goal was to win the Big Ten, and that the rest of it would take care of itself.

The greater point I was trying to make is that we should call Carr a jackass for being a jackass, not for his coachspeak. There's some truth to what the original poster said about selling your goals short, and there's some truth to what I said about focusing on the smaller goals along the way. The truly great coaches can strike a balance between the two.
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