to play football, not to play trumpet
Brian has unleashed the Bob Stitt genie - so off to google I went to research the man. Here is an interesting USA Today story from 2 years ago. File for use if there is a house cleaning at end of the year. Or for those more risk averse - just marry Kevin Wilson with Stitt as his OC with Greg Mattison as his DC in 2015 and let's call it a day. (asterisk this with "we have all the wrong players for such a system blah blah" counterpoint: "begin recruiting petroleum engineers immediately")
The best offensive mind you've never heard of was home Jan. 4, watching football way past his 7-year old son's bedtime. The Orange Bowl kept going later and later, the outcome long since decided, but Bob Stitt didn't want his family to miss a single snap. West Virginia just kept scoring and scoring, but even from 2,000 miles away in suburban Denver, Stitt couldn't help but feel a connection to one of the most important games of the season.
The Mountaineers eventually put up 70 points that night, running one play over and over that Clemson just couldn't stop. Stitt recognized the play immediately. He had invented it.
But we're gonna be Alabama and stuff...?
Alabama's traditional, straightforward approach may be the gold-standard formula for winning national championships, but there is undoubtedly a philosophical shift taking place in college football. More and more coaches are ascending the ranks from nontraditional backgrounds, bringing unique ideas and changing the fabric of the sport.
Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris, the nation's highest-paid assistant, was a high school coach in Texas as recently as three years ago. It took more than a decade of setting high school records in Arkansas before Gus Malzahn got a shot on the college level, where his wide-open offense almost instantly became the toast of the SEC. Chip Kelly spent 13 years toiling in anonymity at New Hampshire, honing an up-tempo system that has produced a 42-6 career record at Oregon. Hugh Freeze, a longtime high school coach in Memphis, blazed a trail of touchdowns from Lambuth, an NAIA school, to Arkansas State to a head coaching job at Ole Miss all in the span of four years.
And if you set out to discover who that next innovator might be, you'll invariably be led to a tiny engineering school nestled in the Rocky Mountain foothills where Stitt, 48, has built a consistent winner and done things offensively that programs like West Virginia, Texas A&M, Louisiana Tech and Cincinnati have borrowed.
Stitt says he'd be willing to move up as an offensive coordinator, but only if the head coach would give him total offensive control. It's not difficult to see why he's so well-regarded in coaching circles, especially by those who run wide-open offenses. At 6-3, Stitt is closing in on his 11th winning season in 13 years. In all but a few of those years, the Orediggers, who play in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, have ranked among the top-10 in Div. II in passing offense. This season, his sophomore quarterback Matt Brown is the nation's leading passer, throwing for 3,424 yards and averaging 34.5 completions per game.
Yes but Colorado School of Mines is full of big time athletes...
And all of this is happening at a school of 5,200 of engineering majors where the average ACT score is 29. His recruiting strategy is largely built around the school's petroleum engineering program, which plays well in Texas high schools.
Just like Borges...
At a place like Mines, which has almost no recruiting advantages, offensive creativity would be paramount. He didn't have receivers who could beat press coverage, so he became an expert on the back-shoulder fade pass. His offensive line couldn't block a quick nose tackle one on one, so he ran the option out of the shotgun, and it took a year for defensive coordinators to figure it out. He put in blocking schemes intended to give defenses false reads. He saved his best plays for red zone packages, figuring that his conversion percentage in those situations would be the difference between winning and losing games.
As Snowicane Sandy approaches the East Coast, this is your friendly MGoPSA:
PLEASE check out the latest warnings and forecasts. New York City public transit is shutting down at 7:00 P.M., and I understand portions of Manhattan and Staten Island are being evacuated.
As a reference, this is a shot of lower Manhattan showing the storm surge from Hurricane Donna in 1960. The storm surge for the upcoming storm is reportedly going to be higher (H/T @mattmfm):
I know Brian is currently looking for replacements, but when are Tim and TomVH officially done with this site? As we have not heard anything concrete, is there going to be a gap in Wednesday Recruiting, Big Ten Recruiting Class Rankings, Sunday Updates, etc. Yes this is a free site, but at the same time, loyal users should be informed as many of us check this site 50+ times a day. I would like to know if I will be reading a TomVH post tonight, or going to bed without this information from here on out.
Also, I for one would still like to follow their content and would like to know about their new positions. The type of work they will be doing is consumer based, so I don't feel asking this is out of line.
Mods feel free to delete if deemed uneccessary.
First of all, yes I am over "it", and fully supporting the program. Maybe the right way of expressing my feelings are that I am too exhausted by following the process, and am disconnecting from it as a coping mechanism. It's not ambivalence, but an act of will. Nonetheless, I think it's fair to have a discussion about Brandon, the recruiting impact that is unfolding from his timeline and ultimate choice etc. Yes, it's not the first time this has been put out there - it's probably the hundredth. This is not about RR. If you don't want to read any more about Brandon, please move on now.
D.Brandon, the legal pimp that shined during the NCAA investigation has shown a limited ability to think outside the family. He limited the talent pool available in his search through this artificial "Michigan man" filter, and it cost the program. I think he made this choice because he was unwilling to do a critical part of his job; working the political angles behind the scenes to "true up" the support of the program from various internal and external factions. Said pimp hand is now looking shriveled like Voldemort's. I think that, regardless of one's like or dislike of the the Hoke hire, we all agree on that. At a minimum, his timeline has led to issues that will surface about 2-3 years from now in the team's available ready-to-contribute talent pool.
Not to belabor it, but why can't Brandon execute a HC and staff change as competently as Florida? Are the fans of the Michigan program asking too much?
Turning to recruiting, I think that the TVH updates clearly show that recruits are not very excited about the new coaching staff (or lack thereof on the D side). This aligns with Brian's vocal concern about bringing in someone less proven to take the reins: this year's recruits seem to agree: the initial impression is that the program didn't exactly advance with the change. At a minimum, to bring some credibility, they had better bring in a star DC who is a recruiting beast to save this important facade. I don't know if Brandon and Hoke's egos can stand for anything out of the ordinary, but I know that the board contributors have floated many great names for DC, all with the "not going to happen" tag. The limbo and general lack of excitement is unhealthy for a program like Michigan. Florida did the HC change properly, and they didn't even go the hypothetical (I know it's done, yes I am over it, move on) path that I suggest below.
Personally, while I can't prove it, I suspect that a head coach hire of an NFL profile like a Gruden, Dungy or even a McDaniels (I know, any of these may or may not have been feasible) would have saved the recruiting year. I think that existing recruits would have "stuck", and new recruits would have been excited. With the current timeline allowed to Hoke until signing day, and the initial stature of the staff itself, this recruiting year is going to create a void similar to what the program experienced in Carr's last season. We all painfully know that there are still many holes that needed filling that will go unaddressed (LB, secondary, big outside receiver come to mind). A NFL head coach generally has a wider "network" to pull their staff from due to the progressive experience that led to their pinnacle. Add the NFL background as an obvious attractant for the HS kids, in particular for those with Super Bowl experience.
Sorry to babble on.
Yes, the new MGoBanner is accurate. Yes, mushroom clouds made more appearances this season than any other. Yes, all our base are belong to David Brandon's pimp hand now... but let us not forget how this season started. After more coaching turmoil and doom kittehs, think back to September 4th, 2010. Michigan WILL win the MNC again. Michigan WILL end The Streak. Michigan will put little brother back in his place. Impossible? Impossible is Nothing.