further adventures in Jed York being unsuited for his position
Thank you for the warm thoughts last week! Hopefully you've had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and we all get to be thankful for another win today! At least the weather will be on the warmer side! Low pressure may still be off to the west in the Dakotas, but that doesn't mean the warm front isn't having an impact on us - temps have been slowly rising since yesterday and will generally continue to do so today as the front passes north. The warmer air is bringing more moisture with it, so expect some cloud cover and drizzly spots throughout the day as we reach the mid 40s. Overall, not too shabby of a day for November football!
If you're traveling to Columbus...
Starting the early morning hours with a few breaks in the clouds, but approaching mid-morning the clouds have really filled in and it's turned overcast. We'll keep most of those clouds around throughout the morning and walking into the stadium. Grab the exra layer to begin the day, with temps in the low 30s until closer to 10am, then we start edging our way closer to 40. Winds are out of the SSE at 10mph (leaves and small twigs blow around). Doesn't sound like much, but that little breeze is enough to put the wind chills to 30 - order that coffee hot (and maybe spiked)!
Our warm-up continues for the start of the game! 42 degrees for the start. The wind will be out of the south at 15mph (loose paper blows about, small branches sway), so it will still feel like 35 degrees. You might see a little brightness trying to make its way through the clouds, but don't expect much, and it won't last long if you do.
Pretty darn comfy for the end of November! Sitting at 45 degrees for the half with cloudy skies. We may have a little drizzle develop later in the second half, but it's only a small chance. Winds remain out of the south at a steady 15mph, but we'll see a few gusts up around 20mph here and there (white horses would form on the water, small trees sway). That means the annoying wind chill is still there too - but it will only drop that feels-like temp to 40.
Not too bad! (Hopefully that's what we're saying about the game too) 46 degrees outside leaving the stadium. We'll have overcast skies, and there is a slight chance for a little drizzle - that will stay with us throughout the rest of the day. If you're headed out on the town, temperatures stay fairly constant the rest of the afternoon and evening, slowly rising to the upper 40s by midnight. We do get rid of the few gusts we had in the afternoon, and for the remainder of the night keep south winds at 15mph. Sunday brings us another warm day with scattered rain showers, but we turn cold again Sunday night.
If you're staying in Ann Arbor...
A little cooler here despite seeing some sunshine early on in the day. Clouds move in across the area throughout the day, and we'll keep a chance for some drizzle or a passing light rain shower with us through the afternoon. By game time we're still in the upper 30s. Winds will be out of the south at around 15mph with gusts around 20mph (wind chill still feeling like 30). We make it to 40 in the early afternoon, but it takes until late-night for us to hit the mid 40s here.
Christina Burkhart is a meteorologist for ABC in Flint, MI. She grew up in Ann Arbor and associates Saturdays with Michigan football. Go Blue!!
Welcome to the third installment of "Yet Another CC Roundup!" (Part 1 and part 2.) In this edition, I examine several fringe candidates--a fuzzy category including low probability hires and those who should be low probability hires. As usual, there are 4 serious and 1 not-so-serious profiles included.
1. Bob Stitt
POTENTIAL UPSIDE: Everyone’s favorite fringe candidate is a bona fide offensive innovator--arguably this decade's Rich Rodriguez (at WVU). So at the least we’d probably run some cool plays that aren’t read pre-snap by literally everyone watching the game. In a best case scenario we could see an offense literally no one is prepared to defend (yet).
POTENTIAL DOWNSIDE: The Rich Rodriguez experience didn't travel well to Ann Arbor. And he, at least, came in with a record of success at a Big East school.
TRANSITION COSTS: High. We don’t run anything remotely resembling that offense, recruiting would almost certainly nosedive and attrition would be significant.
OVERALL DESIRABILITY: As an HC? Let’s be honest here—it’s low. Running a "blue blood" program clearly takes a lot more than schematic innovation; some of those things are invariably annoying and frustrating to us as fans, but it would be naive to pretend they aren't real. At the least Stitt would need several years to acclimate, and we’re just not that patient anymore.
CHANCES OF HIM COMING: Close to non-existent, unless we’re talking about a potentially open offensive coordinator position. Would he take that? I don’t know, but it’s the only thing we’d plausibly offer.
2. Greg Schiano
POTENTIAL UPSIDE: A more irritating, less sympathetic version of Iowa under Kirk Ferentz.
POTENTIAL DOWNSIDE: A more irritating, less sympathetic version of Michigan since 2013.
TRANSITION COSTS: Low. That’s something I guess.
OVERALL DESIRABILITY: Extremely low. Schiano only surpassed 10 wins once in eleven tries at Rutgers. Meanwhile, his two-year stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was an unmitigated disaster--marked by palace intrigue, backstabbing and frequent losses. As far as I'm concerned, Schiano may be the worst possible hire of all the discussed candidates.
CHANCES OF HIM COMING: If offered? A near certainty. But let’s just hope that never comes to pass.
3. Paul Chryst
POTENTIAL UPSIDE: Wisconsin! I mean, who does more with less in the Big 10? Plus now that he’s gotten some HC experience at Pitt, Chryst might be able to pull a Dantonio and implement something comprehensive, sustainable and well-suited to talent pool in the upper Midwest.
POTENTIAL DOWNSIDE: For the record, Pitt is not very good.
TRANSITION COSTS: Low. He runs an inside-zone based scheme on offense, would probably hire to fit personnel on defense.
OVERALL DESIRABILITY: Moderate. He’s a good fit in most ways, but again—Pitt. Granted, Pitt is a terrible job—even Todd Graham did poorly there. But Chryst hasn’t really shown any signs of genius once separated from Alvarez and Bielema either. Always possible he just called the plays at Wisconsin and so wouldn’t deserve much credit for the recruitment-and-development program that has driven their recent successes. He may be a great coach in the long-term scheme of things, but purely as a candidate for HC at this exact moment in time, Chryst feels like a poor man's McElwain to me.
CHANCES OF HIM COMING: If offered? High. But the chances we offer it to him are low to moderate. Chryst is either a backup plan or a backup to the backup plan. Or not on any sort of plan.
4. Bret Bielema
POTENTIAL UPSIDE: Wisconsin with a richer talent base: tough defenses paired with high scoring, inside zone-based offenses, producing lots of wins in the crappy Big 10. Wears headset while pointing.
POTENTIAL DOWNSIDE: Similar caveats about the Wisconsin experience being portable. They’ve built that machine over decades. Plus if you look at his record, the first three years look eerily like Hoke’s—do we have that kind of patience?
TRANSITION COSTS: As low as you can go. He runs an inside-zone based scheme on offense and knows how to get the most out of his defensive roster.
OVERALL DESIRABILITY: High for a fringe candidate. Regardless of how you feel about him personally, Bielema is a perfect fit for our personnel, and is another one of those “should be able to do what Hoke was supposed to do” type candidates (especially since, after declines in years 1-3 at Wisconsin, he then rattled off four straight quality seasons). In total, he coached 7 seasons at Wisconsin, and did this: 3/7 Big Ten Championships, 4/7 10+ wins and 6/7 ranked at the end of the year with a total winning pct of .739. His 1-5 record vs. OSU does give pause, but would we not kill for the rest right now? Plus he recruits and develops players very well, and now Arkansas has even won a couple big games in the SEC West--that makes him orders of magnitude more desirable than, say, Schiano. At the same time, it's hard to see us make a move for him if any of the marquee candidates are still in the mix.
CHANCES OF HIM COMING: Moderate. Tony Gerdeman argues that Bielema might plausibly look for a return to the Big 10, since paying him Hoke’s salary would constitute a big raise and the SEC West is impossible. Gerdeman also contends that Bielema would relish the opportunity to “stick it to Barry Alvarez” (for reasons that are unclear to me, but maybe it's true). On the other hand, this is just idle speculation on Gerdeman's part and there’s apparently the trifling matter of a $12.8 million buyout as well. So if we were interested, it would all come down to whether Arkansas wanted to fight to keep him (I think—help me out here if you know more about how these buyout things work).
POTENTIAL UPSIDE: He can run an offense, that’s for sure. Already has experience at two historical programs that feel the weight of history as well. Maybe third time’s the charm?
POTENTIAL DOWNSIDE: Those experiences were primarily negative.
TRANSITION COSTS: Short-term costs would be pretty low. Long-term? Don’t even ask.
OVERALL DESIRABILITY: Extremely low, due to T.O. effect, in which an undeniably talented and capable figure produces right off the bat but then begins to corrode the program from within. Added benefit of more time at Alabama potentially having that effect on Saban's program.
CHANCES OF HIM COMING: Low but not impossible. No one has ever mentioned Kiffin as a serious candidate at Michigan, but you just know he’s angling for another HC job, and there are only two good ones on the market this year (so far). This guy must interview well, because he’s got bad idea jeans written all over him. Thankfully Floridian weather is more visor-friendly.
Im going to be gone for the Thanksgiving holiday and won't get more than this done. I like how it turned out, but I always love feedback/suggestions. My heart's just barely in it this season, so I apologize for the drop off in wallpapers (Basketball WILL have a few ready before B1G Season). Even so, I HAD to make one for "The Game." Because OH HOW I HATE OHIO STATE...
GO BLUE. BEAT OHIO STATE.
16:9 Desktop (1920x1080):
Enjoy and GO BLUE.
As we gear up to face Ohio State in a few short days and as many of us gear up to face our families tomorrow and over this long Thanksgiving weekend, I felt this might be a good time to give a little thanks for having this space called MGoBlog.
Particularly in a fall like this one, when the football season has been disappointing to say the least, it has been even more important for myself and hopefully others to have a place where we can express that frustration and talk about the direction we would like our football program to take moving forward after a season which, on paper, will likely not end in a bowl of any kind.
Personally, this site has provided catharsis as well as some therapy with a dash of perspective over the course of this fall, and I would like to thank everyone here for that. It has been a rough stretch, but we are probably the top end of engagement as Michigan fans go and we do seem to keep ourselves involved regardless, and we should be thankful that this community has that sort of glue, if you will. I am sure that, as football faces a future with some likely changes in its leadership, not to mention the changes which have already occurred in the athletic department, we all essentially want the same thing – the success of the department and football, but really all of our varsity sports as well. Leaders and best throughout.
I know that many of us have expressed a bit of hope as well, now that basketball is getting off the ground for what looks to be another competitive and exciting season, that we will be able to balance our feelings about football with the promise of basketball. Hopefully, we can indeed do that and through the trials and tribulations of that season, we’ll be here just the same – rejoicing in one thread, commiserating in another, but a community through all of it. That’s the idea anyway. Sometimes, the basketball threads get a little testy, particularly when there is a frustrating stretch of play or a close loss, but I think the value in having this space to express thoughts remains even in those cases.
We’ve seen many analyses, many threads about coaching candidates and the like in the last couple months, all of it an attempt to understand Michigan’s position in the world, but all of it also being an expression of how much passion there is around Michigan athletics here. Good or bad, insightful or not so much, it comes back to the collective desire to see Michigan succeed. I am definitely thankful to be part of a group which cares as deeply as I do about this very thing. It is one of the things which makes MGoBlog something special and – as we have seen, powerful – in the Michigan blogosphere.
I would also like to thank the University itself for the education and opportunities it has afforded me in my life, but also the many people that I knew growing up – from my mother and so on down the line – who took the time to impress upon me the culture of Michigan and to show me just how special and institution it is. This blog also recognizes that, which is why it is so easy for me to hang around here even if, in the role of moderator, I sometimes seem as if I am about to tear my hair out or indeed someone else’s hair. It is because I know that we want the same thing at the end of the day.
Many of us here will sit down with our families this weekend and give thanks for this, that and the other thing, hopefully this space is somewhere on that list of “other things”. It will be for me as a place which has made a painful fall much less painful on many levels. Even if we don’t like our chances on paper on Saturday, I am sure we’ll cheer on our Wolverines all the same and, win or lose, we’ll congregate her after the game to discuss and dissect, but also to be around – even if virtually – folks much like ourselves.
Have an excellent Thanksgiving holiday, MGoBlog.
College basketball starts in earnest this week with a series of early-season holiday tournaments, where some Big Ten teams will face their staunchest tests so far this season. The destinations – Maui, NYC, Cancun, the Bahamas, Vegas – add an element of quirkiness that is singular to college basketball; fanbases from various corners of the country get to watch their teams play a few games in a unique environment over the span of a few days. It serves multiple purposes: teams get to go on vacation, often add quality opponents to their non-conference schedule, and practice quick turnarounds that they’ll later see in conference tournaments (and possibly the NCAA Tournament).
This week’s ten:
- First-round opponents
- Projecting second- and third-round opponents
- Five possible games I’d love to see
- James Blackmon, Jr. to the rescue
- Indiana wins a battle of extremes against SMU
- Tough opponents and expected losses
- Somebody rushes the court against Nebraska
- Penn State (barely) goes 2-1 in Charleston
- Chucker Watch
- Saluting Shannon Scott
* * *
1. First-round opponents
In an (admittedly arbitrary) order from most- to least-intriguing games. Rankings are via kenpom.com from late Sunday night.
- 17. Michigan vs. 30. Oregon (11-24, 9:30, ESPN3)
- 26. Maryland vs. 68. Arizona St. (11-24, 7:00, ESPNU)
- 38. Purdue vs. 55. Kansas St. (11-24, 2:30, ESPN2)
- 34. Minnesota vs. 47. St. John’s (11-26, 7:00, ESPNU)
- 40. Illinois vs. 144. Indiana St. (11-28, 5:00, FS1)
- 128. Rutgers vs. 86 Vanderbilt (11-28, 7:00, NBCSN)
- 101. Northwestern vs. 248 Miami (OH) (11-25, 9:30, CBSSN)
- 4. Wisconsin vs. 203. UAB (11-26, 7:00, AXS.tv)
- 14. Michigan St. vs. 198. Rider (11-28, 6:30, ESPN2)
Monday features some of the best early matchups, as Michigan, Maryland, and Purdue each face their first real tests of the season. The Boilermakers face former Illinois coach, Bruce Weber, and Kansas State to kick off the Maui invitational: the Wildcats are coming off of an upset loss at Long Beach State. Maryland draws Arizona St.; neither team has been seriously tested by weak schedules thus far and both teams are featuring plenty of new faces all over the court. Michigan plays the late game against Oregon – a team that’s replacing nearly everyone from last season.
2. Projecting second- and third-round opponents
By using Ken Pomeroy’s Pythagorean value for each of the teams in a log5 simulation, I found the probability that a given team would face a certain opponent in the second and third rounds of their tournaments.
3. Five possible games I’d love to see
- Michigan St. vs. Kansas – Even though this matchup would likely require both teams to win their first two games, there’s still a very good chance due to the overall weakness of the rest of the field (outside of perhaps Tennessee). Both teams lost in the Champions Classic this past week – MSU fell to Duke and Kansas was obliterated by Kentucky – and could use an early-season win over a blue-blood as a morale boost.
- Wisconsin vs. Florida – Wisconsin will almost certainly beat UAB, so a favored Florida team needs to beat Georgetown. This would be the third meeting in the past three years between the Badgers and the Gators: in the 2012 season, Florida ran Wisconsin out of the gym in Gainesville and Wisconsin replied with the boa-constrictor treatment on the return trip. This would be Wisconsin’s first big challenge of the young season.
- Michigan vs. Villanova – Regardless of the first-round outcomes in the Legends Classic, Michigan will find itself facing a formidable opponent the night after a contest with Oregon. Villanova gets the slight nod as a preferable opponent here because Michigan recently faced VCU (and the superb 2012 team dominated) and because Villanova lost just four games last year – two of which came in the form of blowouts at the hands of Creighton, a three-point happy team like Michigan.
- Illinois vs. Baylor – I’m high on the Illini and a matchup between backcourt transfers Ahmad Starks and Aaron Cosby against Baylor’s diminutive guard tandem would be fun. Illinois would need to prove that its presumably resurgent three-point shooting can hold up against Baylor’s bizarre sort of matchup zone that only makes sense to Scott Drew. Illinois would get open looks, and we’d see if they can hit them. Plus we get a rematch of this game.
- Purdue vs. Arizona – If nothing else, this would be an excellent measuring stick for A.J. Hammons and Isaac Haas; Purdue’s big men – particularly the frustrating and inconsistent Hammons – could have a great chance to prove themselves against one of the nastiest frontcourts in college basketball. A loss here would be expected (and not at all harmful), while a win would be the type of resume-builder that could propel the Boilermakers into the tournament come March.
[AFTER THE JUMP: running down the week that was in the Big Ten]