"The face of the operation is Briatore (referred to exclusively in the film by his colleagues and angry, chanting detractors as "Flavio"), an anthropomorphic radish who spends most of his time at QPR plotting to fire all of the managers."
So, I've already tried to explain my position on the Hoke hire, as a 40-year sufferer of Michigan FootBall Obsession Syndrome (MFBOS).
In short, I’m badly in need of professional therapy, if I’m to survive a reprise of Michigan Football past.
As a diagnosed level 3 MFBOS sufferer, part of my required therapy is to project the best and worst possible outcomes, and to analyze just how (un)important those may be to my life. I’m going for extra credit on this assignment, and interviewing “friends” and “acquaintances.” The aforementioned would be, as they say in the SEC, ya’ll. This being an educated, sophisticated, and sometimes harsh crowd, I’ve made the questions a bit more advanced than the usual multiple choice. There are two categories of questions. First, the very short essay questions – how do you stand on various aspects of Mr. Hoke’s history, as regards his future prospects? And second, Uniformed Wild Ass Guesses (UWAG) as to how Mr. Hoke’s past will translate. To limit the chaos of infinite possibility that I am informed is the primary feature of the internets, I will establish categories and baseline opinions from which to proceed. You may, as internet precedent has established, respond to as few as one or as many as all questions, or indeed, questions which I or no one else have ever asked.
Very short essay questions: please give your brief answers and scores to the upside and downside of Mr Hoke in the following categories. MFBOS Patient’s responses listed for reference.
Public relations - Upside:
Hoke is all in for Michigan. Would walk to A2 for the job. Uses Bo Schembechler-type words like Tough and Team and Prepared. Treats the idiots among “reporters” like the societal leaches they are. Has lots of support from former Michigan players, and almost certainly from Carr. Previous university and State of residence are not insane like West Virginia. Stays on message like George W. Bush.
Public relations- Downside:
His moronic boss explains the hiring like he met Hoke over a beer and thought he was a great guy. Rah-Rah Tough Guy act will get old real quick if his defenses perform down to historical levels.
Public relations overall: 8.5/10
It’s pretty easy to look good in an initial presser. Nonetheless, it’s obvious he’s well-liked by the local press, and unless there’s a very surprising skeleton in the closet, he’ll get the benefit of the doubt for a while, and avoid most of the public controversy of the RR era. And his persona will go over very well with most M fans. If he’s successful on-field, he’ll soon be known as “Bo Hoke”.
Staffing – Upside:
This is obviously hard to judge, because his current staff is far from complete. But we can draw some general conclusions. First, none of his staff hires has “blown up” and become a highly desired coach or coordinator at a higher level of competition. In other words, he hasn’t found the stars in waiting. Second, he’s shown a willingness to replace or change coordinators when circumstances demanded it. Third: his position as M coach gives him a chance to attract a different level of talent than he’s ever managed before, particularly on defense. We don’t know what will happen yet.
Staffing – Downside:
Staffing – Overall: 5/10
There is no indication that Hoke is a discoverer and developer of nascent coaching talent. On the other hand, he’s had some competent coordinators, and his M staff is incomplete.
On-field Track Record – Upside:
Both teams he has coached have improved steadily and substantially between the time he arrived and left. Has shown significant flexibility in choice of offensive and defensive schemes, based on coordinator and personnel. Offenses have outperformed defenses. Coach of the year in MWC last year. Short term, the combination of 9 returning starters on O and D, return of Troy Woolfolk, (hopefully) a competent kicker recruit, and better schedule are a setup for 9 to 9+ wins.
On-field Track Record – Downside:
Overall 47-50 record. Never coached BCS teams – has to coach now against Tressel/Kelly/Dantonio/Bielema/Ferentz/Paterno/Pelini. Defenses ranged from mediocre to very poor, especially against the run. Took a long time to build Ball State to respectability in the MAC, and program died from there. No recognition as a creative schemer on either side of the ball.
On-field Track Record Overall: 6/10
Gets the extra point over 5/10 because of the late improvement shown with both BSU and SDSU, and because of the signs of adaptability. Big question is the mismatch between his rhetoric and defensive track record.
Recruiting – Upside:
Sam Webb says he’s teh awesome.
And it’s not hard to see that, as a 17-year-old kid, you’re going to be pretty impressed with this guy’s adolescent levels of enthusiasm. Combine that with M’s still-high national profile, and the draw provided short term by the example of Heisman candidate Denard Robinson, and I’m quite optimistic about recruiting beyond this year, which might or might not be a crater.
Recruiting – Downside:
Has made his rep fetching 2-3 star kids in the MAC and MWC. Now has to recruit 3-5 stars in the Midwest, South, and West against all of the bigger names mentioned above and more. Welcome to the big time.
Recruiting – Overall: 7/10
Hard to judge this. Tressel would have scored better than Hoke as an on-field coach coming into OSU, but the most important thing that jumped OSU into a consistent national power was Tressel’s ability to recruit. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hoke become a Tressel-level recruiter. Matching Tressel in game-planning and in-game adjustments is another story, which only time will tell.
Purely numeric, UWAG category:
Chances of being Great: 1/10
Great being defined as: better than any M coach post ’74, beating OSU 2 out of 3 times, playing later than Jan. 1 as a birthright, playing in BCS championship game twice in 10 years. This is honestly more optimistic than I think is justified, but there is no doubt it could happen.
Chances of helping Dave Brandon keep his job: 7/10
Defined as: Winning 9 – 9.5 regular season games, beating OSU 1 out of 3, New Years or later Bowl almost always, no Free Press Jihad. 7/10 is a sign that I’m giving in to optimism.
Chances of failure: 2/10
Defined as: Hoke is in over his head – his defenses suck, he’s overwhelmed by the level of competition, and wins 7 or less for his last 2 seasons, despite a good beginning in 2011.
So, what do ya’ll think? My MFBOS therapist thinks I just need to think more realistically. Tell me, what is realistic?
Edit: The apparent Mattison hire substantially improves the outlook, obviously. It shores up the weakest area in Hoke's record. It also says something about Hoke that he could attract a person of this stature, and that he's (presumably) willing to turn over substantial control of part of his team to a high-profile guy outside of his coaching tree. This kind of hire would have been difficult to imagine under Carr, who had a different philosophy about development and promotion from within.
Do you think Denard places top 6 or higher in the heisman again next year? I think he does he's bound to improve as a passer and while his running yards might not be as high I can see him putting up around 700 yards with 2200+ passing. So I predict a top 3 finish.
During the final days of RR (actually, pretty much throughout his tenure) there was talk of people not supporting the coach. The local papers were out to get him, the former players were out to get him, shadowy figures within the Athletic Department were out to get him....you get the idea.
My question is......what does it mean to support the coach? More specifically...what was I, as a fan, supposed to do to support RR? I read MGoBlog. I watch every game on TV. I live in NC but traveled to A2 for the UConn game and Jacksonville for the Gator Bowl. Is that enough?
I just remember seeing a ton a talk about people not supporting RR and I never really knew what that meant. Did we need to yell at the TV louder? Buy more t-shirts?
Personally, I think that RR was responsible for his own fate and that was the case throughout his three years at Michigan. He ran the team his way and paid for it in the end. I don't think that any bloggers, newspapers, former players or AD personnel were the cause of his downfall.
As we enter the Brady Hoke phase.....what are the fans supposed to do for him that wasn't done for RR?
I just caught up with 4 star ATH Kris Frost. He told me has spoken to Brady Hoke, and that the Michigan staff will be coming down for an in home visit. He's not sure what the date will be, but it will be soon.
Frost hasn't heard yet from Auburn on whether or not they'll accept him. They told him they're waiting to see who goes pro to see if they have room. If they say no Michigan has a great shot.
Unfortunately Michigan is out of the running with California WR Devin Lucien. Chris Singletary called Devin today and said that Michigan will recruit him for defense, and Lucien doesn't want that. He said, "It killed my heart, because you know how I felt about Michigan." At one point Lucien had told me he was just waiting to make sure his scholarship would be honored and he would commit to Michigan. They told him this morning that they want him as a defensive back.
I was the guy who tried to tip RR and the recuiting staff to Dan Grochowski, of Rivervirew, FL HS class of 2011. I personally saw this kid kick FG's from 55+ in game and punt some 60+ in pre-game warmups. He is big like 6' 2" or 6' 3" and well over 200, I would guess 225/235 range. I called Michigan recruiting and filled them in. I also chatted up his brother several times during the season. I haven't seen anything more in the local press on him. Some links;
Apparently he has offers from the military academies...thats it. He has a good ACT and his brother says he wouldn't mind kicking in the big house.
So, if somebody would call this kid we might have a kicker. RR was talking to him before the OSU game.
I'm sure that a million mentally challenged would call in recruiting "leads" but is there a legit way to ID a potential recruit to the Staff without coming off like a tool or a crazed, uninformed fan?
LSA '92, current Florida HS Football Official.
This is my first post on this site. I have listened to Brian on radio and have read him on this site. It take it he is in the "rebellious" faction described on his post today. What is unclear to me re Brian is this. Did he think DB should have fired RR after OSU game and aggresively moved to hire Harbaugh, or was he ok with waiting until after Gator Bowl to fire RR but should then have aggresively gone after a Dan Mullen? Does he also think Hoke was DB's first choice all along, or does he think he hired him b/c he thought Hoke was the best he could do? Heaven help us if the latter was true. FWIW, I think I would have been most happy with Mullen.