“John U. Bacon found himself with the kind of access unheard of in modern athletics. The result is a remarkable book . . . [If] you are simply a fan of college football, or interested in big-time college athletics more generally, it is a fascinating read.” —The National Review
“A fascinating look inside the workings of a major-college football program. Rodriguez’s failure was everyone’s fault and no one’s. Unreasonable expectations combined with bad decisions and bad luck led to three bad seasons. Not acceptable at Michigan. Fine reading for college-football fans.” —ALA Booklist
“John U. Bacon’s Three and Out [is] an epic piece of reporting behind the scenes of a college football program going to hell.” —New York Magazine
“Rich Rodriguez never had a chance as coach of the Michigan Wolverines. He showed up with a glowing resume and got himself eaten alive. John Bacon’s account of Rodriguez’s epic failure is a cautionary tale for anyone who doesn’t realize that being a major college football coach requires one to be part CEO, part psychologist, part carny barker, and all crazy.” —Charles P. Pierce, author of Moving The Chains: Tom Brady and the Pursuit Of Everything
“College basketball has Season on the Brink. High school football has Friday Night Lights. Now college football has Three and Out, which takes you inside the locker room to show you what it’s really like to be a college football coach and player. If it surprised me—and it did—I’m sure it will surprise even hardcore fans. If you care about college football, you’ll want this book.” —Adam Schefter, ESPN
“John U. Bacon is one of the best reporters/writers of my generation. Three and Out proves it. It’s one of the most riveting non-fiction works I've read in years, in any genre. The eyewitness details from the locker room, the sidelines, and the most powerful offices on a college campus are breathtaking. Get this book. You will thank me.” —David Shuster, Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist
“When, several millennia from now, archeologists excavate American ruins as archeologists have done those of Carthage, they may be mystified by the Big House in Ann Arbor, Michigan. How did this 109,901 seat football emporium come to be connected to an institution of higher education? Or was the connection the other way? Without waiting 2,000 years, readers can join John U. Bacon on his eye-opening, and occasionally jaw-dropping, report on the weird world of college football.” —George F. Will
From the Back Cover
Sports fans invest great hopes and dreams into their teams. College football fans invest even more, I think, because of the stronger connection they feel with the school and the players. But I’ve never seen any fans ask more of their teams than Michigan football fans ask of theirs.
There are only two groups who are more devoted to the Wolverines, and demand more in return: the coaches and the players. They have the most to gain and the most to lose. They know the stakes. And they accept them—even embrace them. It’s why all of them, from Rich Rodriguez to Tate Forcier to Denard Robinson, came to Ann Arbor. Not to be average, or even good, but “the leaders and best.”
Anything less would not do.
This book explains how the coach and his team fell short—and what happened when they did.