here's one vote for "John Beilein's head in a Futurama jar"
Amidst all the speculation about WHO Dave Brandon might or might not be interviewing soon, I’d like to focus on this: If you’re Brandon, *what* questions would you ask potential HC candidates in a sit-down interview?
Here’s a few I’ve come up with – what would you add?
1) Let’s say I offer you the job. You now have XX days to complete the 2011 recruiting class. How do you plan on retaining current commits and convincing other potential recruits to commit to Michigan in such a short time frame? What’s your “pitch” to them about your plans for the future of the program, and why they should come to Michigan during this transition to a new coach?
2) What will you say to the current players in your first meeting with the team? How will you convince those who might be unsure about staying at Michigan that they should remain Wolverines?
3) How quickly can you put together a coaching staff? Which members of your current staff would you ask to come to Ann Arbor, and how likely are they to accept?
4) What’s the one (or two or three) thing(s) you would do immediately to bring about substantial improvement in our on-field performance, particularly against our “benchmark” peers? (i.e., ND, msu, Iowa, Wisconsin, Penn St., Ohio St.)
5) How would you adjust your overall approach to take advantage of the specific players/talent currently on the team?
6) How do you plan on uniting a divided fan base? What’s the first thing you’ll say to them if you’re introduced as the new coach?
This is getting awkward, but I suspect it should be over soon. I've pointed out that there are two recruiting dead periods left until signing day. We just started one today that runs to the 13th, then there's another dead period from the 30th until signing day. That leaves roughly 16 days depending on when the new coach is hired to recruit. So here's where we're at.
6'2", 175 lbs.
Greenville, South Carolina
Before the coaching change Hakeem was very high on Michigan, and was moving closer to a decision. He has decided that he will make his announcement on January 23rd at his high school, and will decide between Oregon, LSU, and Michigan.
Prior to the coaching change I would have told you that Michigan was in the driver's seat. It's hard to say now where they stand, and I'm not exactly sure yet where he'll be headed. Until a new coach is named nothing will be 100%, and depending on who is hired it could swing him one way or another.
Who's Looking Around
Michigan currently has 13 commitments, and as everyone has heard there's a decent amount of them trying to keep their options open. Before you panic and say we're 100% losing these kids you have to understand their position. It's a month away from signing day and spots are filling up fast. If they were to stay committed to Michigan and the new coach doesn't want to honor their scholarship offer, then they'd be hard pressed to find a new school. It's a gamble and an awkward situation for them. A lot of the recruits are going to say they'll keep their options open to cover themselves. Here's who is potentially open, or looking around.
- DB Dallas Crawford - As I reported the other day Dallas wants to come to Michigan, but is nervous about the coaching situation. He will be visiting Miami this weekend, and most likely USC at some point. If Les Miles is hired at Michigan that will help retain him.
- K Matt Goudis - Matt told me that he will also be visiting Miami this weekend (the 14th), and will take the trip even if a new coach is hired at Michigan this week.
- OL Jake Fisher - Jake has started to hear from some other schools like Notre Dame and even Oregon. He's not officially open yet, but he's keeping communication lines open just in case.
Who Could We Get
There has been a lot of speculation that Les Miles may be hired as the next coach. There have been a lot of questions regarding LSU's current commits, and if there would be any that would switch to Michigan in the case that Les Miles is hired. This is pretty hard to predict since their recruits don't want to talk about anything until it's official. Here's a few thoughts on the question though.
LSU currently has 21 commitments, and 15 of those prospects are from Louisiana. That right there will make it tough to pull some over to Ann Arbor, especially if LSU acts fast and hires a new coach to retain them. Here's probably the most realistic options that would consider coming with Miles. These aren't kids who would 100% come to Michigan, but that we would have a shot with.
- OL Trai Turner (6'5", 340 lbs, 4 Star) - Trai was being recruited by Michigan heavily before deciding to stay home. He was even at one point during the season thinking about taking a trip up to Ann Arbor.
- OL Jonah Austin (6'7", 305 lbs, 3 Star) - Jonah is a teammate of Trai's, and was also being recruited by Michigan. He originally committed to Houston, received an offer from LSU, and jumped on it.
- WR Jarvis Landry (5'11", 178 lbs, 4 Star) - Landry had a Michigan offer and would fill a potential need at the receiver position in this class.
- K James Hairston (6'1", 200 lbs, 2 Star) - If Michigan can't hang on to Matt Goudis in this class they might try to flip Hairston.
Besides those four it's tough to tell who at this point would be willing to listen. Like I said, this is obviously in the case that Les Miles is even hired. It's safe to say that the new coaching staff needs to jump on the recruiting trail either way, and there will probably be new names popping up all over.
- LB/WR Kris Frost surprisingly chose Auburn at the Army All American game. If you weren't in the liveblog you missed why that was significant for Michigan. About three weeks ago Frost had told me it was Michigan, that he was 99.9% sure, and that he had only applied to Michigan. He's planning on enrolling early and announced for Auburn. There's a chance that the Tigers may not accept his offer, and he's waiting to hear back from them still. LSU was one of his favorites before he announced, we'll see if Michigan can get back in it if Auburn denies him.
- WR Devin Lucien is set to announce his decision on January 30th. He has been anxiously awaiting a decision from Michigan on their new coach. Devin wants to set up his visit ASAP, and also make sure that his offer will be honored by the new coach. Michigan's in great position as long as there's a decision soon.
Cam Newton without a doubt will be tough to stop, but the firepower on the opposite side of the ball is equally as good if not better. I have to go Ducks 38- Tigers 35. I guess
I like Oregon's defense a bit more than Auburn even though the tigers have Nick Fairly who is a monster (can we get a guy like that?! This is MICHIGAN!!). Just wondering who people are taking tonight.
Here's what I don't get:
We hear all the time how football=religion down south. It's more than just a game or sport for them. It's a way of life. Hell, it's bigger than life or death We, us damn Yankees, don't understand.
But now we are being told -- including by some of our own -- that we are a rabid fanbase that, in expecting our football team to live up to its historical standards, expects too much and has made the HC gig on U of M an undesirable job.
Well... which is it?
I was listening to an ESPN writer talk (don't even care what his name was) on the radio the other day about the way RR was “badly” treated when he first came to Ann Arbor. And if we’re at all honest, the “base” was divided on RR. As someone, looking back, that was not in favor of the hire ... I was listening to a guy that had absolutely no idea about Michigan football telling me about Michigan football. (So in essence this is my response to him ... not the blog.)
So where was Michigan football before RR. In 2003, we did win the B1G Ten championship. In 2006, we are 1 play away from playing for the MNC. 2007 was a huge disappointment ... because it followed on the heels of 2006, yet we still kicked Florida’s ass. We were still only 10 years removed from a National Title. The “Michigan Man” as this ESPN dude continued to regurgitate is actually a direct quote from Bo, as he was referring to Coach Fisher taking over the BB team in 1989 ... yet that’s all we hear about now as to Michigan’s coaches.
So what was it about RR that split the base ? OK. I’m old. I am pre-Bo. I had issues with Bo because he rarely put a focus into offense or special teams. He loved defense ... he built his teams based on defense. Michigan football was “3 yards and a cloud of dust”. Not very exciting ... but almost always successful. We were lousy at punting and missed FG’s cost Bo at least 2 more Big Ten titles. But, had the bowl system been the same back then ... Bo would have played in 20 straight.
But the boring offensive style all changed when Harbaugh came onboard. Suddenly we had an offense ... what fun !!! But what happened after that was beyond what anyone thought ... Michigan became QB University ! After Harbaugh we had QB after QB get drafted into the NFL ... Harbaugh, Grbac, Collins, Grease, Brady, Henson, Navarre and Henne ( 8 QB’s in 20 years) ... and Mallett was in line to follow Chad. We ran a pro style offense, so NFL bound QB’s wanted to come to Michigan. Wide receivers knew Michigan was a good choice because of the QB. We were also producing an entire roster worth of offensive lineman that went to the NFL, again because we played a pro style offense. And yet, Michigan was still expected to produce a tough, very tough defense. We bitched about any season where we lost 3 or more games, and yeah Tressel brought osu back from the Cooper days (when we owned tOSU just as bad as we owned Penn State). So Michigan football had some maintenance issues in 2007, but the “machine” itself was not broken, ... and we still had offensive weapons returning.
So, to me, when Bill Martin hired RR it was the end of QB University. Michigan didn’t need to change the football system, we just needed someone to put new paint on it, wax it, shine it up and fine tune what Bo and Moeller & Carr had made Michigan. So that is why I was one of those “base” fans that was not in favor of the RR hire. I, like everyone else had no idea what would happen ... I still thought we would win football games, even important ones. ( FWIW – it is all ancient history now ).
Go Blue !