frank beamer #1
Well, here we are: Day 5 of the national Coaching Search and nary a coach in site. Emotions have run high, beer and liquor supplies have run low, and livers have become cirrhosised (no, that’s not a real word, but whatever). However, I feel that as a fanbase we have been fairly cool, calm, and collect…okay, I’m just kidding. We’ve been acting like starving hyenas snapping at any and every scrap of information that comes our way like it’s a piece of meat.
Regardless, we all have opinions and we need to respect those opinions, even if we don’t necessarily support or agree with them. We are all in this tight spot together as fans, and while we’re all hoping that our own “Coach X” gets hired, we all need to understand something: we are all Michigan fans, and we NEED to support this team, this program, especially whomever the new coach happens to be [yes, even if it’s Brady Hoke].
Now, since everyone and their grandma’s gardener has an opinion about how Brandon is doing with this Coach Search or whatever (and it was requested by bklein09), I conducted a quick survey to gauge the feelings and opinions of the average MGoBlogger (which, I’m sure we’ll all agree, is FAR from average). Please to be enjoying the results!
[NOTE: There were a total of 263 responses for this survey, and no demographics were taken. Also, the chance that this survey is accurately representative of…ANYHTING are slimmer than our chances of getting Jim Harbaugh. Too soon?]
Question 1: Who is your current top coaching candidate for the University of Michigan?
Now it appears that the majority of the board wants Chuckie to be our coach, but everybody’s favorite Horned Frog, Gary Patterson is a not-too-distant second place. Les Miles’ sleaziness and potential propensity for rapin’ e’erbody out here may have held him back to a respectable (?) third. I will admit that I regret not being able to represent more potential coordinator candidates, but I didn’t want this pie to look like it was being shared at the Duggar’s house…
Anyway, there was an "Other" category and write-ins were welcome. A few weren't very realistic (Jim Harbaugh, Lloyd Carr), and a few were some guy named Rich Rodrigues. Others included Bo Pelini, Bo Schembechler (frowny face) and Mayor McCheese (that was me). That's about it. Take it FWIW.
Question 2: With Harbaugh off the board, should DB have fired RR?
Okay, I’m not gonna lie: I was shocked to see that 50% of MGoBloggers were opposed to firing RR with Harbaugh off the board, especially given the possibilities we may or may not probably have (or don’t) with LesGrudenHoke. However, it seems that the vast majority of people will be extremely pissed about the RR firing should we fail to land a “Big Name” coach, and since the definition of “Big Name” differs from person to person, this means jack-squat. Regardless, it appears that the majority of folks had this as their short list before the firing [in no particular order]:
1) Jim Harbaugh
2) RichRod with a new DC
Ladies and gentlemen, this is just another confirmation that life isn’t fair. Still, a quarter of you were not pleased at all with RR and wanted him gone no matter what, and if I’m correct in remembering, that number decreased from the December survey posted in December (redundant). However, that could be due to the meteoric crater known as the Coach Search. #takeitwithagrainofsalt
Question 3: Before the Coach Search, were you in favor of a RR firing?
Well, after seeing Q2, these results shouldn’t be too shocking. They’re pretty self-explanatory, and it’s interesting to note the changes from the almost 33/33/33 split seen in the December survey. It looks like those “Undecided” folks shifted camps, mostly to the “No” side of the fence. Again, Coach Search is a powerful force. Moving on!
Question 4: When should RR have been fired?
I’ll just state the obvious: NOBODY thought that RR should have been fired later than it was done by Brandon. Also, it should be noted that about 83% of bloggers feel that they would have chosen a different time to fire RR than Brandon. Maybe we should all band together and fill out a collective application when the next AD is being hired. As seen in the last 2 questions, people were not ready to let RR go (either at all or only if we couldn’t get JH), so the fact that 46% of respondents thought that RR shouldn’t have been fired this year is no shocker.
There is also a strong contingency that thought RR should have been fired after the regular season, which is understandable given the current Coach Search, if not wholly influenced by hindsight. Still, it would be interesting to see how things would be now had we fired RR after the OSU game and hired a new guy in December. Where’s that damn crystal ball?
Question 5: Should DB have fired RR without a replacement lined up?
Obvious results are obvious. Staring at them longer won’t make them change, just like how dwelling on the “what-if’s” and the “what-could-have-been’s” won’t change the spot we’re in (sorry, not trying to be preachy; I also have to tell myself this from time to time just to keep sane). Let's just agree to disagree with DB and keep chugging along.
Question 6: If you had known about the current Coach Search beforehand, would your opinion about firing RR have changed?
Okay, so the questions have gotten longer and the results have gotten..well, predictable. Still a third of the people would have preferred RR being fired despite the Coach Search, and about 44% of people would have still preferred to keep RR as the coach despite the Coach Search (very similar to 46% of people who weren’t in favor of a RR firing).
The interesting part is that the Coach Search seems to have swayed people more into the “Don’t Fire RR” camp from the “Fire” camp. Those that were Undecided before the DOOM-Kitty-Coaching-Apocalypse seem to have been pissed off so much (or saddened beyond belief) by recent events that they would have preferred to have avoided the whole thing altogether. Oh, and there was actually ONE person who changed their opinion from “Don’t Fire” to “Fire”, so if you see that person, kindly ask them “What’s your DEAL?!”
[NOTE: 8% of you need to get an opinion, seriously. These are scary times in which to be complacent.]
Question 7: How do you feel about DB's handling of the current Coach Search?
Being a GSI, I get this kind of question answered about me all the times, so I figured it was Dave Brandon’s turn. You’re all smart and I don’t need to spell it out for you, but then again, that would make for a boring diary. Sadly[?], only 20% of MGoFans approve of DB’s handling of the Coaching Circus, whereas more than double of you feel that DB is not handling this whole situation in a favorable manner. Seeing that, I wish I would have asked a short answer question as to what you would have done to improve the situation (I keed, I keed!). Oh, and we have more than a third of you who are spineless and have no opinion (I’m taking “Neutral” to mean “No Opinion”, “Not Sure” and/or “Undecided”). Seriously, these are the times where it’s okay to have an opinion.
[Okay, maybe I’m being too harsh on our Swiss fans here. I guess I could see how “Neutral” could also mean “Wait and See” or “I Couldn’t Have Done A Better Job So I’ll STFU”. My apologies to our Neutral friends. If I’ve offended you, there will be an application you can fill out for reparations in the form of one of my MGoPoints.]
Question 8: Assuming we return all the players we would have had RR not been fired (not counting recruits), what do you anticipate our win total being in 2011?
And now we come to the longest and obligatory question based solely on gut feelings, maize-and-blue tinted glasses and the reading of entrails: projected win totals for next year. I tried my best to break the wins into fair categories. I personally feel that this team has a 100% chance of being .500 at least, so I decided to give a wider range to the lower half of possible win totals. After we got past the “bowl-eligible” threshold, I decided to go by two wins, just to give a little wiggle room. I also felt that we should consider a bowl game since, given all too real and recent events, those count…BIG! I personally don’t like to guess an actual number until AT LEAST 6 months before kickoff (or we have a coach…whichever comes first, I guess), so I also included the “Won’t Guess” option for those like me.
A significant amount of you (14%) prefer not to guess just yet, making you the most rational people in the Michigan fanbase (which is like being the least insane person in a mental ward, so…yea). The majority of you (54%) said that you expect 8-9 wins next year, which to me says that we’re expecting improvement but we aren’t ready to make that leap into OMGBIGTENCHAMPIONS win totals just yet (either that, or we’re assuming that a coachless team run by a junior Denard can get ‘er done, which would be interesting to see). Interestingly, 24% of you felt that the team would either not improve, or worsen in wins next year. I would be willing to bet money that the majority of that faction says 7 wins, but pessimism can be contagious.
Just to clarify on this question, people were obviously/hopefully assuming that everyone who was expected to return actually does return (Martin, Roundtree, Smith, Denard, Roh, Koger, GERG…wait, scratch that!), and there were no assumptions on recruits, so this data is about as useful as a screen door on a submarine (which, ironically, we all probably feel like we’re riding right about now). Still, it was fun to guess, and we need to show our Magic 8 Ball some love from time to time.
Well, there you have it folks. I hope you enjoyed taking the survey and viewing these results as much as I had making it and writing this Diary (it was awesome to have a weekend without homework, but that won't last long). Please don't take these results seriously because: a) it was made by me, b) it was made on the interwebz, and c) Michigan football fans took it, and we're more unstable than Sybil.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, try not to break your F5 button, and here's to a potential coach being announced in the coming week [PLEASE GOD!]. Go Blue!
Assume, for the sake of conjecture, that Les Miles is announced as coach sometime in the next 96 hours. Does he bring his coordinators or is the next CC for coordinators?
Ladies, and gentlemen, I give you...
Mr. DAVE GROHL
I want to Admiral Ackbar this guy all the way to the top, but I need your collective help! Tell the student body, tell the alumni, tell Angelique... we can make this happen! GO BLUE?
How many people are so exhausted by this whole ordeal that they have now become more amiable to the prospect of hiring a coach they dislike simply because it means things are over? Perhaps this is all a diabolical plot by Brandon to have us feel defeated by everything so much that we don't question the hire and become united as a result.
I, for one, welcome our new Miles/Hoke overlord as long as it happens soon.
(fwiw I don't think DB has messed anything up - I believe it's the nature of these things to take as long as it has, relying upon the notion that the hire is announced by Wednesday)
There are a few qualities I'd like to have in our next head football coach at UM. Being a former player or assistant at UM isn't a set requirement.
1. The top quality is that I want someone who wants to be here, because it is UM, and wants to be UM's HC until they are fired or retired. I do not want someone who is seeing the opportunity as a stepping stone to their own "dream job".
2. Successful, even if at a smaller program or just as a successful OC/DC.
3. Understands the rivalries with tOSU and ND, and the lesser rivalry with MSU. Once they step on campus as HC, they had better make beating those schools one of their prime directives, particularly tOSU.
Nice, simple requirements for the next HC.
The candidates that I like, in no particular order:
Miles, Hoke, Venables, Patterson, and just because his name has been thrown out there and rumoured about, Gruden.
In trying to find an answer to that question, I did conclude proof that it does actually exist. However, and at the risk of committing blasphemy, using such rudimentary skills as logic and fact, your Michigan Man has nothing whatsoever to do with being a successful UM football coach and everything to do with being a student, fan and probably doesn't hurt to have graduated from that fine academic institution.
In reaching this conclusion, I merely looked at our glorious football history and matched the records of the head coaches with ties to the University and those that didn't. I could probably stop here because you probably know the rest. But for the few who don't, here is what I found.
Perhaps the first "Michigan Man" hailed from the great state of W.Va., understood not a damn thing about the University of Michigan, other than it's label as a "darn, fine school" that wanted to field a good to great football team. Needless to say, he did fall in love with AA and the university, and as to his task. Well it's pretty obvious he accomplished that. I mean he only made us the most feared football program in America and compelled Grantland Rice to come up with the now famous "Champions of the West" title we all hold so dearly. But was he a "Michigan Man" when hired?
The second man that might have earned this label coached under Stagg at University of Chicago but had a modicum of success there, prior to taking the job at Princeton. This caused great concern among the "Princeton Men" because he was the first non-alumnus to hold the head coaching job there. He merely took a team that had won one game the prior season and over his tenure there produced a record of 36 wins w/only 9 losses and five ties.
He then moved westward and took the helm at Michigan, again w/o any ties to the school as either a fb player or student. In fact, he never played college football at all. Stagg tagged him as his successor because of his "acute understanding of the game," and an "ability to bond with the young student-athlete."
Now at UM, a well recognized football power with Yost having laid the foundation for greatness, he had another similar task at hand. After the great Yost years, a not so famous gentleman by the name of Kipke took over and enjoyed great success early. However, after a nice run of five winning seasons, producing four conference champions and two NCs during that period, he finished up 1-7, 4-4 and 1-7 again. Fritz, COME ON DOWN.
Just like at Princeton, he returned UM to its former glory, but despite his outstanding winning % of .800, he had only one undefeated season and one NC, that being his final M team. He had done his job and the program was re-establshed as a national force once again. So, actually Kipke produced one more NC than did Fritz. Hmmmmm. Also, he authored the concept of two-platoon football, and just like Yost before him who created the position of linebacker and was first to utilize the forward pass as a major part of offense, were truly innovators in very sense of the word. Sounds somewhat similar to RR.
Now we begin the era of the true "Michigan Man." That was, of course Bennie Oosterbaan. How could he fail?. Up to that time, he was the greatest fb player in UM history and couldn't miss. Afterall, he was a "Michigan Man."
Inheriting Crisler's players, he finished his first seasons at 9-0, giving us back-to-back NC years. He followed that up with two successive Big Ten championship years, but would never have another undefeated record. In fact in his first season of primarily "Oosterbaan" recruits, he produced a W-L record of 4-5. He had some decent years, hitting above .600 overall, but his idea of a western recruiting trip was the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. He loved AA so damn much, he didn't want to leave it, even if it meant to sustain the program's lifeblood, recruiting. His final two years produced a record of 7-9-2 and his final year's record was 2-6-1. After 1950 w/Crisler's recruits, he never won another championship of any kind.
We follow that up with another "Michigan Man," one Chalmers "Bump" Elliot, who, just like Oosterbaan before him was a great UM player, but no fb head coaching experience. From 1961 trhough 1968 Bump resided over a pretty rough stretch, and finishing 4-5 his first season. But remember, this was with Bennie's players. He then experienced two straight winning seasons w/records of 5-4 and 6-3. But, and damn, this had to hurt, he finished 1962 at 1-7, '63 at 3-4-2, but finally got his only conference and RB championships in 1964, finishing up at 8-1 after demolishing OR in the RB. The very next year it was back to 4-6, a record he repeated just two years later, one year prior to his final season here where led by Ron Johnson, he enjoyed a fine 8-2 record, but alas again w/o a conference championship and going out with the stigma of the 50-14 loss to arch-rival OSU. He did one outstanding thing in those final few years, however. He recruited more future AAs in any five year period in Michigan History. Any caveats here? Oh yeah, we needed someone to take these tremendous athletes and turn them into the AAs they'd become. Let's get another Michgian Man, right? "Well, not so fast," as Corso like to say."
Our next head coach could hardly be described as a "Michigan Man," for the sole reason he came from (insert GASP here) fucking Ohio State and was mentored at Miami and in Columbus by none other than that feared General from the South, Woody "Fucking" Hayes. How the hell does this qualify as a "Michigan Man?" Easily, read on.
We all know what he accomplished here, and the records of Mo and Lo who followed him. So me thinks many of our fan base are confused about what constitutes a true "Michigan Man." I like to think of it as I described above, former player perhaps, definitely a "supporting" fan of the head coach, and as aforementioned, it's nice to cap it off with traceable lineage to the school itself. The others? Well, we can see by the above what the two "Michigan Man" accomplished throughout the '50s and '60s.
So based on my understanding of our great record that includes most all-time wins, highest all-time winning % and strongest all-time SOS, "Michigan Men" are described as those above. Rosenberg, btw, does not qualify because support for program is a must, especially under the most trying times. Any that attempts, either successfully or not, to undermine or sabotage the program, can in now way, fucking shape or form be labeled as such. He's just a "fair-to-middlin" reporter with lots of unnamed sources.
What about Yost, Crisler and Bo? Well, they were great Michigan coaches, who through their success on the field enjoyed what Bo liked to refer to as "the privilege of Michigan."
But, like all of you, we all have our own ideas of the criteria to actually be any and all things. These three are our greatest coache of all-time, none of which had a tie to the school prior to taiking over. You may qualify and label the term "Michigan Man " anyway you see fit.