it's a major award
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.
I just finished reading a teriffic article about Greg Harden and his influence on the Michigan program.
The article gives great insight into a prominent staff member who had direct influence on our recent Heisman winners and championship season.
Please read the article to get a true sense of who this man is and what he means to the program going forward as his influence cannot and should not be over looked.
To me, one of the most important lines is the last -
Those who are champions will stay.
Desmond Howard -
I don’t know if I win the Heisman, if Greg isn’t at Michigan.
Tom Brady -
He will always be somebody I rely on for sound advice and mentorship, says Brady. He has helped me with my own personal struggles in both athletics and in life.
The Program Went Into Shambles Because He Wasn't A Big Part Of The Process
Michigan's new coach, Brady Hoke, won’t report directly to Harden. But maybe he should. After Lloyd Carr left the Big House sideline, Harden was marginalized. Most fans blame poor coaching and recruiting for Michigan’s football spiral. But some alums think Harden’s absence was just as damaging. If players like Brady and Howard didn’t get mentally stronger, how good would those Michigan teams have been? “That’s why the program went into shambles,” Smith says. “Because he wasn’t a big part of the process.”Will he return to his former place in the football program? Hard to tell. But the players who turned to him won’t stop now.
Funny how athletic director Dave Brandon scoured the nation for a leader of men, when in fact the best example might be down the hall. Hoke would do well to introduce his recruits to a Michigan Man who gave up on Michigan. Those players will sit down with someone who will bludgeon their bravado without curtailing their confidence. Greg Harden won’t go with the old Bo bromide: “Those Who Stay Will Be Champions.” But he will teach an even more powerful lesson that he took so long to learn himself:
Those who are champions will stay.
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.
Sorry if this was already discussed in a thread, (in which case mods please delete.) But I got to thinking about the depth at RB, and started to wonder, who (if anyone) will emerge as our feature back, particularly in light of the coaching change. I suppose this question could be asked for any position on either side of the ball, but:
Will new starters emerge? Will new stars shine?
Will we have a feature RB? Does V. Smith get buried on the depth chart? Does Stephen Hopkins stay at RB (yes please!), or does he move to FB... (BJ Askew?) Will Fred Jackson be brought back... should he be brought back?
Am I wrong in thinking Stonum and Hemingway have skill sets to succeed in either offense? Does anyone new (e.g. Ricardo Miller, Jackson) emerge?
What are your thoughts on these two or other positions?
/Procrastinating at work.
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.
I wanted another year for Rich Rod. But I kinda think that Rosenberg--god bless his annoying behind--nailed it on the Hoke hire: Brandon wanted Hoke all along, performed the necessary genuflections to Harbaugh and Miles, then got on with business, increasingly pleased. . . as the feedback came in. . . that he was doing the right thing.
A lot of what we saw, or thought we saw, was Kabuki theater.
In assessing RichRod's future, Brandon also had to consider what would happen if he succeeded. There were pretty good odds he WOULD win nine games last year. But what then? Would the atmosphere remain poisonous? Was the situation, behind the scenes, beyond redemption?
I disagree with Brandon's decision to fire Rodriguez, and I am very much with Brian when he says that the Hoke hire could have been made next year. But given the odds for Rodriguez's SUCCESS, I think Brandon may have decided he needed to pull the trigger now.
Meanwhile, I am more and more happy with the Hoke hire, and I hope that Brian comes around, too. Because he risks--as I said in another post--harming all he has worked so hard to build here. That doesn't mean not continuing to tell the truth as he sees it. But it does mean tempering the bitterest--sometimes brilliant--snark and giving the new guy a chance. The fact that players adore Hoke, that he's intent on their well-being, is huge for me. Success may not be immediate, but if Brandon is willing to outfit him with the best coordinators, a guy who manages the program well may be of pre-eminent importance at a big complicated place like Michigan.
Finally, Tate. Isn't there a chance he fits better in the new offense than Denard does? Or at least that he gets a chance to compete for the job? I would love to see both he and Denard in at QB sometimes next year. And as long as Hoke is willing to have an adventurous offense, I will be happy. It's the prospect that, like inbred children, we would retreat to deadly conservative playcalling as the rest of the world flowered into ten million variations on the spread that has scared me most.
Somebody cue up some video of San Diego's o and d, analysis of the coordinators Hoke's bringing with him. We've got work to do.