as everyone knows, the most conspicuous thing about this blog during the past couple of weeks has been the absence of THE KNOWLEDGE
THE KNOWLEDGE is the primary source of information on these very pages, and elsewhere, whenever a coaching search comes up or other information about the future is needed
so why was THE KNOWLEDGE absent?
you all, of course, know the answer by now
to prevent the biggest meltdown in the history of sports fandom by announcing who the next coach was going to be even prior to the firing of Rodriguez
the vast majority of M fans are extremely unhappy about this hire and especially the way the firing and coaching search was mishandled by a clueless Brnadon. the rest of the fans are just mildly unhappy
however, THE KNOWLEDGE is not prone to such emotions
once you know what the future holds, there is no reason to be anxious
a few months ago, in the aftermath of the Iowa loss, THE KNOWLEDGE left this blog for the season and promised to return in the offseason to cover the coaching changes that were to occur in the Big Ten
at that point, most people assumed it will be just Robinson that will be fired. THE KNOWLEDGE did not reveal the future to prevent chaos, as mentioned earlier
now that Hoke has been hired, what does the future hold?
THE KNOWLEDGE will reveal what will happen two seasons hence
coacing changes will occur both in Ann Arbor and Columbus
Tressel will "retire" and will be replaced by Urban Meyer in Columbus
In Ann Arbor, the new coach will be one-time Meyer assistant, Dan Mullen
thence a new Ten Year War will commence, similar to the Bo-Woody years
in the aftermath of a Michigan Nationl Championship, which results in Brady Hoke moving onto the NFL to coach the Lions (Hoke knows to move on once the summit has been reached)
as usual, THE KNOWLEDGE shall soar and bask in glory
leaving every doubter in a trail of dust
the decade of THE KNOWLEDGE has started
With a new coach for Michigan for the 2011 season, so like any reasonable Michigan fan (who am I kidding; we all are unreasonable), I had to figure out my expectations for Hoke's first year. Although our situation is still fluid (might have some transfers and still don't know DC and some position coaches), I think there is enough data for us to build a benchmark for Hoke to reach in his first year. Looking at where we stand, I think the perfect benchmark for our 2011 season will be Notre Dame's 2010 season. Let's breakdown the comparisions:
1) New coaches with different offensive philosophies - ND in 2009 was a pro-style offense with Weis, and ND in 2010 switched to a spread offense with Kelley. Michigan in 2010 was a spread offense with Rod, and it looks we'll be switching to a West Coast offense with a power run game. So both teams within first year of new coach had/will have radical change in the offense and philosophy.
2) Different defensive philosphies - ND in 2009 ran a 4-3 defense under Tenuta, and ND in 2010 ran a 3-4 defense under Diaco. Michigan in 2010 ran a 3-3-5 defense under GERG, and it looks like we'll be switching to a 4-3 or 3-4 defense. This is an assumption, but with the style of play common in the Big 10, I doubt Hoke will have a 3-3-5 defense and most likely will run a 4-3 or 3-4 (my guess is 4-3 since our DL is much better than our LBs).
3) Returning number of starters. In 2009, ND had 17 returning starters. In 2010, they had 15 returning starters. The key loss for them was Jimmy Clausen; Dayne Christ had minimal experience while playing garbage time in 2008. In 2010, Michigan had 15 returning starters, and barring any attrition, Michigan will have 20 returning starters for 2011. Michigan won't have a key loss if Denard stays. Michigan should benefit with so many starters and experience returning.
So comparing the situations, both teams had/will have completely different offensive and defensive philosphies, and the number of returning starters decreased a little for ND but increased quite a bit for Michigan. So next I thought I'd look at stats.
Total Offense - 8
Scoring Offense - 32
Total Defense - 86
Scoring Defense - 63
Total Offense - 61
Scoring Offense - 67
Total Defense - 50
Scoring Defense - 23
Analyzing the situation, the offense clearly dropped quite a bit but the defense actually improved quite well. Kelly lost Crist for most of the season and had to play an assortment of freshmen QBs, and plus with a new offensive system, it was reasonable to see a drop off in offensive production. On the D side of the ball, the switch to the 3-4 really paid off for ND as they really improved over the course of the season. Let's look at Michigan this year and analyze from there:
Total Offense - 8
Scoring Offense - 25
Total Defense - 110
Scoring Defense - 108
With the offense, I'm sure everyone is expecting a drop since we'll be implementing a new system that's more conservative than the spread-n-shred. For the D (ouch it hurts looking at those numbers), Hoke is defense first coach and will be focusing the most here, and plus a switch to a more conventional 4-3 (or possible 3-4) defense should help but we're still 2 years away from being an above average defense. Aiming for 60-70s range is reasonable.
In 2009, ND finished 6-6 despite a highly prolific offense. The defense was beyond terrible and ended Weis' career at ND. In 2010, ND finished 8-5, beating a decent Miami team in the Sun Bowl. ND started slowly in 2010 but finished off very strong. The offense dropped off but within another year or two I expect Kelly to have the offense humming at a very high level. Diaco did a good job with ND's defense in 2010 and should do well in the future. Looking at ND's recruiting class, their first year under Kelly is pretty good. Rivals has them ranked #18 in the nation; ND has done well in addressing their needs, especially in the trenches (ND was ranked #14 by Rivals in 2009). They lost some good commitments during their mid season swoon but have recovered nicely.
Benchmark for 2011 for Michigan:
Record = 8-5
Recruiting class = Top 20
With the amount of starters and experience that we have coming back, a losing season will be a huge disappointment. Yes, there will be changes in offensive and defensive philosophy, but ND underwent similiar changes as us and produced a solid season in 2010. Kelly was also able to maintain good recruiting and I expect it to improve in the following years to come. Michigan's 2010 class is decimated and Hoke will have to work hard to maintain our current commits and add a few, but in 2011 the Midwest will have a very strong talent pool (especially in the trenches), and if Hoke is to live up to his billing of an excellent recruiter, he must pull in a top 20 class that addresses needs for QB, RBs, LBs, DL, and OL. ND 2010 set the mark for us in 2011, and it's upto to Hoke to reach this benchmark. If he fails to do so, I fear Michigan is going to be in bad shape for many years to come.
This is a call for calm. I’m not a writer, and a one-time-only-before-now diarist. I’m writing today to call for calm and patience. Sure, Hoke may not be what we all wanted, but we won’t know for a while. It’s been well documented that Rich never got the support he needed, and whether that’s his fault or the alumni/boosters/NFLer’s fault is up for debate, it could be 50-50% for all I know on everyone’s part. What’s important is not to make the same mistake. Just because Rich didn’t get a fair shake doesn’t mean we should set Hoke up for failure as well.
I was (am?) a Rich supporter. I thought we had the chance to be Oregon within a year or two. Since that train has sailed (thanks Austin), it’s time to get behind our coach and our program, and my reason for doing so is people who are a lot smarter than myself (and probably you). First off, Dave Brandon seems to have botched this royally. But just 6 months ago we were all celebrating the “Pimp Hand” and watching Dave dominate the B1G discussions, seal up the game at Jerryworld, the Big Chill, setting up the ND Night Game… Dave has done some good things. He also was tapped to run Domino’s – a giant corporation, and then hired by the University to be AD. Brady Hoke has been coaching football for years, and just might know what he’s doing. Mary Sue is a smart lady, and she’s done some pretty good things for the University too – including the largest fundraising campaign ever, netting (IIRC) > $2 Billion. With a B.
My point in mentioning this is I’m an alumnus, 2009 Mechanical Engineering. I consider myself decently smart, and as we’ve seen from MGoBlog, this is a place for smart people who know sports (especially football) to discuss sports (especially football.) We often say that this is the best place on the internet for a myriad of reasons. The analysis and discussion found here is ridiculous. When my Dad (who played high school football) asked me to explain the Zone Read and how to defend it, I showed him some MGoBlog diaries. We get amazing analysis of recruits, breaking Michigan news, etc. all right here. But we are not more qualified than Brandon, or Mary Sue, or Hoke when it comes to Michigan football. We are fans. Some of us live and die with the Maize and Blue. Some of us even coach football – and I often defer to you when I have football questions. But none of us are Athletic Directors at a D-I university, much less one as great as Michigan. None of us are college football head coaches. A few of us (Mainly Brian) make their living discussing and analyzing college football, but for the rest of us, this is a hobby. If we were such great decision makers, coaches, etc. we’d be doing it for a living.
This may blow up and be awful. This may work. I’m not saying we should blindly follow the leaders – we can question them and be supportive at the same time. But for the time being, until we hear from Hoke, hear from the current players, see the spring game, let’s not cry DOOM for Michigan Football. Make no mistake, I’m not thrilled with the hire either, but let’s support The Team and see what all of these people can do. Brandon was hired for many reasons. Hoke was too. They're better at running and coaching college football than I am (and probably you are too). Let’s give them our support and see what they can do.
So after they announced the hire yesterday, I too was a little peeved. I called my father (who lives and works in Ann Arbor) to get a good feel for what was going on. He made some excellent points which got me off the ledge and onto the Hoke bandwagon. Brian seems to be bent on shooting himself and renouncing everything Michigan, but some of you might find this helpful.
1. The Little Things - His best point IMO, was about the little things. Do you remember when you didn't have to worry about the little things? Do you remember ever worrying about the punt returner catching the ball? Do you remember every worrying about a 25 yard field goal? How about kick coverage stopping the other team before they advance past he 30? Do you ever (In your entire lifetime) remember Michigan turning the ball over the most in the Big Ten?
Hoke will fix the little things. This guy is a detail oriented coach who is tough, challenging, and endearing. He learned from the best, and went out into the coaching world to learn more from experience. Those of you saying that "all RR needed was a good defense" were simply not correct. His special teams were the worst in Michigan history. His turnovers were abundant and devastating in all three years. There are so many fundamental things wrong with this team that we desperatly need to get back to basics. Hoke is the perfect coach to do just that.
2. Where's the BEEF? - I grew up with Michigan football. It means everything to me, and it has given me much more joy than it will ever give me sadness. Going to the Big House is my favorite thing to do - PERIOD. Since I was a kid, I watched Michgan's smashmouth style with glee. I loved seeing the opposing team give up more and more yardage as the game went on. I loved to see us dominate the other team, even though they knew what we were doing. Try to stop us, I dare you.
Hoke will bring back the physicality that has been missing from this team. We had no killer attitude, and no dominating presence. With all the amazing weight training and strength building, we never got to see the Barwis effect on our physical nature. I read that he loves Michigan and might stay. That would be fantastic, and I think Hoke will quickly learn to appreciate his ability to shape and mold players. They won't be focusing on speed and quickness now, as much as raw power and explosion.
Sitting there on New Year's Day I watched in horror as my favorite team was demolished and embarassed. My Mom was remarking that our team just "didn't look like a Michigan team any more." When the Wisc/TCU game came on, she was like, " That! That is what Michigan used to look like!" And she's right. We used to be a team people were scared to play. Not just because of the threat of losing, or the intimidating stadium. We were big and scary - the kind of team that gets off the bus looking like hell is on it's way.
3. A Fanbase united, Finally. - This might seem like it's not such a big deal, but it certainly is. We need our former players to stop saying things like "Lloyd Carr's Michigan." We need all the boosters, facutly, and especially all of you to get behind our new coach 100%. We really, really need Brian to get behind this guy because he is probably one of the most influential Michigan fans in the history of our program. There are so many things out of whack about this team right now that we really need someone to get us back on track.
Hoke isn't a glamour pick. He's not the "hot name" whatever that is. He is simply what we need at this time. I think David Brandon was hired to come in and fix our football program. He is smarter than most of us, and I watched him really get to know the coaches and players on this team. When I went to the Purdue game this year, I sat and watched him, Rich and Rich's son talk for 30 minutes. Most AD's don't even travel with the team for away games. (Esecially not by bus) Hoke is a proven coach that has turned programs around who are perrenial losers. Ball St. quickly went back to a bad school soon after Brady left.
4. Defense wins championships - Michigan fans now know this better than most. The last three years, we have seen why having a great offense isn't really that great. If you have a great defense, you will be in every game you play. Hoke will concentrate on running the ball and stopping the run. This philosophy works today, worked yesterday, and will always work in football. I know that the spread is fun to watch, and that the two teams in the title game this year ran the spread. It's all over college football because it works. That doesn't mean smashmouth football doesn't work, though. Any offensive scheme can be run successfully. In fact I could point out several championship teams in this decade that were as good as any spread team. Bringing the core values of what we all know to be Michigan football back to the Big House is what David Brandon did. I applaud him, and can't wait to see this team next year. GO BLUE!!!
Most of you will say, "TL, DR" - or something like that. But I'm writing this for the few out there that will have a bit of an epiphany like I did yesterday. I'm really looking forward to smacking other teams in the mouth again. Look at BH's stats from previous schools, he's not all about running the ball every play. Hell, we used to turn out NFL QB's like we were growing them in petri dishes. It's all headed back to us now. And who's to say that we can't throw some option in there as we're driving defenses into the ground? Bo ran some option back in the day, peeps.
The genesis of an exasperated and exhausted fan base, as retold through the headlines found on MGoBlog. The bolded ones are front page headlines, the others are MGoBoard material.
Forcier article in the Freep............Includes the following quote: “you really have to try to flunk out here. All you have to do is go to class, it’s not that hard.” Ugh.
CC: Harbaugh to Maryland
Zettel to Penn St.
MSU: Best team ever?
OT: Harbaugh’s energy, intensity, and must win attitude
Pryor, other Bucks pledge to return next season
CC: Schefter says “buzz around the league is JH to UM”
The call on RR is so close, it all boils down to this bowl game
Mike Martin going pro
Breaking: Tate Forcier ineligible for Gator
CC: Rich Rod to Maryland
Michigan wins 14th GLI
OT: San Francisco 49ers Interested in Stanford HC Harbaugh
Dee and Haha
Tate’s future with the team undetermined
MSU (ntMSU) stomach bug
Betting line down to +3
CC: RR to Pitt Rumor
The question I may not want answered: "Can anyone win with this team?"
97.1 just dissed MGoBlog
Dee Hart still committed to Michigan?
JH: Harbaugh watch Day 1
CC: Rosenberg contradicts self, ref: "Harbaugh unlikely to bolt"
CC: Harbaugh undecided
Harbaugh Turns us down?
CC: Why not Tom Bradly if JH says no?
Fox 2 just tweets Rich Rod fired.
Hello: Brady Hoke?
RB/DB meeting nearing Hour 3
Gruden, Harbaugh favored for SF post
Is there any way Brandon hasn't screwed this up, barring getting Harbaugh?
John Harbaugh: Jim "done" with Michigan
Rodriquez: Not Dead Yet, Technically.....where Brian writes "if Brady Hoke is actually hired small children should not read the site for a week following because every other word will be swearing. This is in no way a joke."
Open Thread: Michigan Football's D-Day
Chegelis: RR Fired
Coaching Search: It has begun
Harbaugh-49ers meeting today
Nothing left to do but drink
Rodriquez: Dead, this time for certain
Non-Hoke options: Extant--- includes Peterson, Patterson, Wittingham, Strong, Mullen, Fitzgerald, and Hoke.
Rumor: Harbaugh, Dolphins reach deal in principle
Fitz staying at NU
Dolphins decide to keep Sparano
A World Held Hostage: Day 2 - - "Seriouosly people, the Jim Harbaugh boat has sailed........until it hasn't (which it probably has).
Thursday Recruiting is in the dark
Unverified Voracity Dips and Batters
A World Held Hostage: Day Thee point One
Schefter: Harbaugh to 49ers
A Brady Hoke Supporter
A couple questions about Les Miles
Bill Martin supports DBs decision
Integrity is worth more than Les Miles
Official University job posting
Rogel's M-themed jet spotted at Baton rouge airport
Bill Chill final count: 104.073 - - according to Guiness World Record.
Dungy on PTI
OT: Texas hires Boise State OC
Schad: Patterson receives new contract extension @ TCU
Les Miles Buzz: High, and conflicting.
Frost to Auburn
What about Mike Singletary?
Dan Mullen reported in Baton Rouge Friday.
Auburn doesn't have room from Frost.
Why Rich Rodriquez was fired
Les Miles hired?
CC Rumor: Gruden interviewing?
Dominoes jet to Dallas?
Schad: Miles to interview with Michigan
More dong punching: Frost to UNC?
Brandon is in Dallas interviewing Miles and someone else.....
OT: Stanford interested in Boise's Peterson
Well.. Why not consider Steve Sarkisian?
Show 'Em the Money, Dave
A World Held Hostage: Mailbag
A World Held Hostage: Miles Drumbeat Update
Hire Dan Mullen: Keep Denard
Our plane is heading to Baton Rouge
Who is our choice after Brady Hoke?
Why Les is not more.
Moral Victory for MBB
EDIT....FWIW.....IMO....Reports indicate Miles to stay at LSU
Rumeal Robinson sentenced to 6 1/2 years for financial fraud
No Interviews today
Stoops offered coaching job?
A. Chengalis: Michigan, Miles expected to meet Tuesday
Dave Brandon in Dallas
Monty Python and the Unholy Coaching Change
A World Held Hostage: Day 5
Where in the World is David Brandon
Dear Diary Re-cues the coping mechanisms
Rosie (Rosenberg) doesn't see Mile->Michigan happening
Scout: K Goudis now a soft commit
Rivals Rumor: Gut Feeling it's Hoke
Miles and Michigan will meet
Schad on Twitter: LSU willing to pay for part of Les' UM buyout
Tiger Droppings hearing Miles to Michigan
A World Held Hostage: Day 6
Miles on Michigan
The Planes: They Meet
Peterson staying at Boise St.
D-Day Morning Open Thread
D-Day Mid-Morning Open Thread
D-Day Thread 3.0
Welcome to F5 Day
F5D: Circumstantial Miles Evidence in Two Parts
Alleva: I am pleased to announce that Les Miles will remain the head coach at LSU"
Miles to Stay at LSU
San Diego Union Tribune Reports Hoke in talks for Michigan job
The Worst Part About All Of This Is Hoke Rhymes with "Joke" And "Choke," Thus Providing A Steady Stream Of Hur Hur Hur Posts From Teenage Fans of Rivals
O/U on days til MSC requests Brandon's resignation?
Official: Hoke head coach
The Official: Please Stay Denard Thread
RR Haters: RR < Hoke?
ADC: Time for a change at the top
Hoke React, No Swearing
...and there you have it. Bottoms up.
[Ed-M: Diary bump for usefulness.]
Interesting tidbits from David Brandon’s meeting with the team yesterday – this was conveyed to me by a contact of mine (can’t say who it is and can’t say whether it is a player/coach/manager) etc., but much of this was rehashed on the rivals forum yesterday.
I was always a Harbaugh or RichRod gets a 4th year guy, but hearing stuff like this is very encouraging. I’ll try to keep this concise:
- I refuse to believe that Dave Brandon let his ego get in the way of this coaching search.
He said he interviewed big names from every conference and found that some "big names" clearly have themselves as their first priority, not their players or the program. This made his search a little easier.
- He knows exactly what's been said on blogs and such. Said he wasn't on either plane that we were tracking (hahahaha.) He knows some will love the hire, others will hate it. It's his job not to care.
- He did interview Harbaugh and Miles. Harbaugh told him straight up that he was NFL bound and gave him advice. Didn't offer the job to Les Miles.
- Everyone he spoke to referred him to Brady Hoke. Opposing coaches, former players, former coaches all said he should consider Hoke.
Michigan alumni really supported Hoke (Steve Hutchinson called unsolicited to say that "Brady Hoke was the best coach I ever had")
- Only offered the job to one man -- Brady Hoke. Called Brady yesterday morning and offered, Brady accepted immediately. Didn't even ask about money.
- Money isn't an issue. We'll pour as much money as it takes into this program to win. Football is the heart of our athletic department. Whether it's $200 million to the stadium or new video boards.
- Brady is very familiar with our team and the special athletes we have at certain positions. "He knows you very well by number, and he'll learn your names starting tomorrow"
- The team was overwhelmingly happy when he announced it. I don't know that you could expect differently though. Morale is high.
- Even Denard looked happy. Especially when they were prepping them for interviews and mentioned that Hoke will incorporate spread aspects in his offense. At this point I don't think attrition will be high.
- Team started chanting "Nike" towards the end. Dave Brandon laughed and said he doesn't break contracts.
Sounds like Michigan is on its way back.