GERG is the creep in the corner who roofied my drink and told me I'd be happy he did by this time tomorrow.
"Jim's a tough guy and you can see his personality is all over this football team," Fitzgerald said.
There's a David Foster Wallace story from Oblivion in which a main character has an incredibly talented sphincter. He becomes renowned for pooping out beautiful works of art and it's all very confusing and revolting and weird and sad because that's the overall thrust of Oblivion. It's called "The Suffering Channel." You should check it out if you've always wanted to read a 90-page story about poop art*.
What I am saying to you is this: Brady Hoke is not entirely dissimilar from the talented Brint Moltke. The man poops magic. In this he is the exact opposite of the star-crossed Rich Rodriguez. Because we are (largely) not clinically depressed people trying to grapple with 9/11 we can leave out the existential dread. The man poops magic. Yay!
When Hoke took the job he brought some dudes with him and no one was that impressed since no one had ever heard of them, and then he asked Greg Mattison if he'd like to come back to college a year after he'd flirted with Florida and his defensive backs coach was going to be hired away. If you listen to Peter King, they really liked the defensive backs coach and didn't necessarily love the idea that their DC would constantly be flirting with a return to college. So they said "okay, you should probably go" instead of backing up the dump truck of money at his house. So now Michigan has a veteran defensive coordinator Urban Meyer says is "the best recruiter in the country" who can say "you == Ray Lewis."
When Hoke took the job Michigan State had barely had to fight for the top player in the state the past couple years because his coach had him ready to pick Michigan State a year before he signed. The guys responsible for that are no longer at those high schools and four of the top five players in the state are either from Cass Tech, best friends with the guys from Cass Tech, or Michigan fans. Michigan got all those guys.
When Hoke took the job Ohio State was the omnipresent Big Ten Death Star, scandal free since the arrival of Darth Tressel and merrily blowing Michigan's seasons to bits. There was no reason to believe it would change until Tressel entered his JoePa phase about ten years from now, which is when Hoke would be getting ready to retire himself. Then a lawyer inadvertently sent a photon torpedo down the exhaust hatch.
So. When Brady Hoke was hired I put up "We Are ND" which wait why link when you can embed:
This was both an opportunity to post "We Are ND" again and an editorial commentary on hiring an old guy with an indifferent career record instead of a young one who can plausibly be declared up and coming. At the time I thought Hoke was good to beat OSU maybe three times in a ten year career and then would give way to the next guy because he'd be 65 by then, and while this would be an improvement on the last decade there are several Southeast Asian prisons that would qualify as an improvement on the last decade vis a vis OSU.
A few months after Hoke's hire the two low-probability events above have transpired. Michigan's ceiling in this brave new world is now unknown. Or more unknown than "probably not as good as Ohio State," which wasn't exactly an axiom in the first place.
It's likely Ohio State will be searching for a new head coach soon, and the addition of Mattison not only promises defenses better than not only the Rodriguez-GERG debacles but those of the last half-decade of the Carr era when punt-and-strangle became punt-and-strangle-the-DC. Even if Tressel manages to survive he will take a heavy hit from the NCAA. His reputation is already in tatters. Michigan State's renaissance will be brief and quickly ended if in-state recruiting continues on the path it has this year, and Michigan already has the top guy in 2013 whispering in his classmates' ears about where they should go.
Meanwhile, Hoke has done a tremendous job to not screw it up. This is not a backhanded compliment. Not screwing it up is really hard. Greg Robinson: QED. Hoke knew and acquired Mattison; even if the Ravens weren't fighting hard having the temerity to ask or the knowledge he could get him is something. He has not lost any of the in-state locks to Penn State or Ohio State or Notre Dame or Michigan State and along the way he flipped two of the three guys Michigan State fans were banking on and probably the third if he can get his grades up. A wave of media and program adulation was waiting for anyone who could say "hi, I'm not Rich Rodriguez"; Hoke has turned large sections of Southeastern Michigan into lovesick tweens by saying "you're not Rich Rodriguez either!" He hasn't blown his layups, which is more than Michigan's head coach has been able to say for a while.
The prognosis now is much better than it was in January. Hoke will be able to shovel early missteps onto Rodriguez's grave—already the tallest mountain east of the Rockies—and ride out the awkward transition from the spread, at which point he'll have a roster full of guys who are qualified, a career record worlds better than Rodriguez's, and a talent advantage over his division opponents. From there it's a matter of grabbing that goddamn win over Ohio State and seeing what happens. It's hard for me to think we'll be as good as spread terror du jour in any particular year, but let's whine about that bridge when we get to it.
GERG is the creep in the corner who roofied my drink and told me I'd be happy he did by this time tomorrow.
The drunk driving analogy is far more apt for the 2007 coaching search, when we seemed to be genuinely flailing around before RR fell into our lap. This time, I think Brandon was much more in control of the process. I think he knew he had Hoke in the back pocket the whole time, which gave him the luxury of feeling out some other candidates (and also giving RR one final chance).
Much like Magnus said, you suggestion that the process was bad is based merely on your premise... but perhaps it worked out best for what DB had to deal with and the groups that needed addressed. Obviously, your premise is on the 11 class recruiting, which while important, could be less important to the long range goals...
And frankly, if some other coach did not want to be at UM or was not willing to come to UM earlier, then how would changing the process have helped it?
worked when Michigan wins a Big Ten Championship under Hoke. That being said, I can't think of a single thing I'm upset about during this off-season (Save for Stonum, though that's hardly Hoke's fault)
We admit the process actually worked when we we finish our Big Ten schedule looking like our offense (especially our QB) isn't befuddled in the first year of a new scheme (and maybe even we can haz a balanced running game), and our defense can at least hold major Big Ten opponents plausibly enough that we can stay in games. (Special teams: well that takes someone who can kick without choking in a game environment ...)
If Hoke and staff manage that - even if we only win 7 or 8 games with say a key win or two in the Big Ten for a change - then we start to think maybe this did work out OK.
Question: will all theses wonderful commitments stay committed if we a loosing season, and the love fest comes to a screeching halt?
Me personally - I agree Hoke has started on the right foot, and I am turning cautiously optimistic from wtf, but he has to land on both feet as the season, and particularly the Big Ten season plays out.
I expect some bumps in the road this year, but I'm not overly concerned about the upcoming season hurting recruiting at this point. Every guy is from the Midwest and many have connections with the rest of the class. Also, when we inevitably lose a game this year Auburn isn't close enough for a stretch hummer visit and Alabama won't be practicing on their high school field.
the hell out of the work you do on this blog, but let me help you here. What you're trying to say is you were wrong about Hoke, at least up to this moment in time. I understand wins and losses, let's see the team on the field, etc. but what Hoke has done since arriving is light years beyond "not screwing up."
Nothing says respect like "Stop being such a pansy and admit you were wrong."
To think I was just going to call you a narcissist before reading this article.
Not really, I think he's just saying Hoke has been very fortunate in things he has no control over and has done one thing right(hired a competent DC, we think).
Nothing that has happened thusfar can prove whether or not he's a good coach or not, that won't be until the fall, and probably not for 4 years or so when you can actually start to get an idea how good/bad a coach is. So far he hasn't screwed up any of the little things, some of which Rich Rodriguez did. I think that's what Brian is saying here. I think it's pretty obvious those "little things" are pretty important at Michigan, to the fans, media, and alumni. So Hoke not screwing those up is pretty important.
You can't see the wholel picture when it comes to a coach until he's been there at least 4 or 5 years.
I'm sure after two years Notre Dame thought they had their man in Charlie Weiss.
I agree with your general point, but I don't think Weis is a good example. The difference with Weis is that he had never been a head coach at any level before Notre Dame (nor had he even played college football). Hoke turned around two historically dismal programs. As upset as I was by the process, prior head coaching experience is one of Brandon's requirements that I had no issue with.
Ball State is extremely far away from being a dismal program and 1 good season doesn't turn a program around. Had he stayed and kept winning at those programs, that would be turning the program around. But feel free to keep going with your analysis.
Maybe not historically dismal, but mediocre at best. Before 2007, their last winning season was in '96. Going 7-6 and 12-2 after not having had a winning season in 11 years counts as a turnaround to me. But feel free to keep going with your douchebaggery.
I'm not the douchebag who declared a coach with a lower winning percentage than the football program's winning percentage "turned it around" there. Also, they had a .500 record the year before he got there and it took him 5 years to get back there. I just find it funny that you say it had been 11 years to get them back to having a winning record....when he was the coach for almost half of those years.
Okay dude, you're right. Brady Hoke deserves absolutely no credit for coaching Ball State to its first ever 12-win season and its best year since 1978. And the fact that they completely collapsed after he left also means nothing. Oh, and SDSU? They were also due for a breakout year, so Hoke doesn't get any credit for that either. But the sub-.500 years? Yeah, that was all Hoke.
I would think the fact that Ball State completely collapsed after he left would mean that he did not turn around the program (a dismal program apparrently). Unless you meant that he turned them around for 1 season and then left. That isn't quite the same thing though. It's ok....you said something that isn't really true and are trying to justify it by pointing to the only 2 good seasons Hoke has had in his 8 year head coaching career. I have hope he does well here at Michigan as well, but there isn't any reason to call Hoke a god for having a sub .500 record as a head coach. Good luck Hoke, now show it to us on the field.
Did I ever call him a God? I would have preferred Harbaugh like virtually everyone else, but that ship has sailed. I'm just trying to argue that: a) his resume, though not the most stellar resume you'd expect for a Michigan head coach, qualifies him for the job, and b) he's a better head coach than his career record indicates. You seem to be arguing against both points, which strikes me as an extreme position. The two good seasons that he's had were two of his last three seasons, and the performance of SDSU (which is a truly historically dismal program) this past year indicates to me that Ball State '08 was not a fluke. The fact that his first 4-5 seasons there didn't go well indicates to me that he's evolved and learned a thing or two over the course of his career.
Like I said above, I was disappointed when we hired Hoke (and I'm still upset at how Brandon went about his "process"). A coach with a sub-.500 career record should never be a first option for any program of Michigan's caliber. But I honestly can't find fault with anything he's done so far. It's particularly telling that two well-accomplished, in-demand coordinators were willing to join Hoke and lend some substance to the uncommon levels of praise that everyone heaps upon him. So all I'm saying is that there's no reason to think he isn't capable of achieving the highest levels of success at Michigan. And yes, no one can render a verdict until he's had at least a full season at the helm. But there are enough reasons for optimism in both his record and the way he's run the program thus far.
Both of his coordinator hires have been solid. Borges is kind of getting overshadowed by Mattison, but his track record is no less impressive. Any coach who was OC of an SEC team that went 13-0 and averaged over 30 points a game or a Pac-10 team that went 10-2 and averaged 40 points a game obviously knows a thing or two about offense.
then he is not being honest. ... Just having an understanding about what works at UM is doing something right. . . .
And is history is any judge, then wins will likely not be off the chart this year, cause well frankly, we still have a team that is not as big as it could be...But lets see how the team plays and competes and looks...before going see, told you so....
what would you list as evidence of Hoke doing way beyond "not screwing up?" IMO, he has done well reaching out to alums, and recruiting is off to a promising start. I would say that is performing up to expectations. That is what is expected of him, and he's doing well at that. But isn't wins and losses "and all that" really the only criteria we can use to determine whether he's doing more than than expected?
three of the worst years in Michigan history and three straight losses to Sparty, he has dominated in state recruiting in an unprecedented fashion, with more domination very likely on the way. I'd say that's well beyond what was expected before a game has been played.
but Brian needs to at least start giving Hoke some credit. Saying he "hasnt blown it" yet is a step in the right direction but this incessent love for RR and not wanting to budge toward Hoke is kind of irritating. Am I the only one?
You're not. Hoke had me at hello.
saying that hoke hasn't been a disaster is obviously not the same as "incessant love of RR." the two aren't necessarily related.
given the history of Brians past rants and obvious feelings toward both RR and Hoke, the two are not only related but go hand in hand.
"It's hard for me to think we'll be as good as spread terror du jour"
Hardly seems like he can go on analyzing one with his wishful thinking concept of the other, but it's progress.
he hasn't just not blown it, he's done very well as well. Brian's also right in saying "not blowing it is a big deal, and is actually very hard to do."
It's real easy to mess up as a football coach. I'd say at this point, not only is Hoke batting 1.000, he's also got some extra base hits already. Batting 1.000 is impressive in and of itself, but to do it with extra base hits and home runs? Real Damn Impressive
/an anology to my understanding of what Brian means
Hoke has done very well at a) uniting the fanbase for the most part, b) recruiting, c) repairing relationships with former players and high school coaches.
Nothing Hoke has done on the football field suggests that he will be more successful than Rodriguez. And it's obviously too early to determine whether he'll put a better product on the field than Rodriguez did. But our offense was terrible in the spring game, and the defense will probably be better, but we still don't know how much. If our defense improves by 20% and our offense regresses by 20%, then we haven't really got anywhere.
All the things he's "done very well" at don't really matter in the history books - those pesky things called "wins" and "losses." I don't think Brian has to "admit he's wrong" or anything of the sort until we see what kind of product Hoke puts on the field.
Extending my "Batting 1.000 analogy" It's still spring training, we won't see how he does in the big leagues until the team hits the field.
Well, we've already lost a few guys this off-season. AFAIK, the games haven't started yet, and players still have a few months to transfer.
So let's not jump the gun on saying "This was wrong" or "That was wrong." For all we know, 10 more guys could leave between now and September.
Ray Vinopal, one of our starting safeties from last year.
I'm not saying Brian's right. You're getting confused. I'm saying neither side is right. And you can't proclaim he's wrong when the season is still four months away. Well, you *can* but there's insufficient proof.
A starting safety leaving the program is 1,000% more concrete than your stance that "Brian's wrong about hypothetical things that haven't happened yet."
But never mind. You can just ignore the facts that refute your argument. That's always a good way to get your point across.
I consider you a troll and nothing more.
We don't need to wait four months to see that Brian really was wrong on his predictions.
Yes, we fucking do. Nothing has happened on the football field yet. Weren't YOU the one who talked constantly about wins and losses last year and how they were the only things that mattered?
For the record, I don't recall Brian ever predicted "calamity" for more than a single day.
In addition, if Brian DID say Denard was a "lock to leave," then him being wrong on that doesn't constitute your BRIAN SUCKS AT EVERYTHING EXCEPT BLOG WRITING LOLZ tantrums.
Ray Vinopal, DJ Williamson. And it's normal for players under a new coach to give him a chance and play through a year before making the decision to transfer.
Is Williamson definitely gone?
but its almost as if Brian is holding the "I told you so" card so all of us will have to bow at the altar of mgoblog saying that "we were wrong. We should've listened to Brian."
Its okay to give Hoke credit instead of condescending comments. Thats all I'm saying.
It always has and always will come down to wins and losses.
Well...why would he change his entire opinion (which was largely based on Hoke's sub-.500 career record) on a few months of recruiting and some high-energy press conferences? He SHOULD hold back the "I told you so" card until it's clear he was right or wrong.
Do you really want him to say he's not a big fan of Hoke, then say "Never mind, Hoke's awesome", and then revert to "Hoke isn't a good coach" if he gets fired in three years? Waffling isn't a good personality trait. People don't like it. Just ask John Kerry.
it's almost like some people think Brian WANTS Hoke to fail. I would put money that Brian wants to be wrong about his original opinion. The day we hired Hoke, I was furious (the sub-.500 record is not exciting). But I have since calmed down and have warmed up to the off-field aspects of the current regime so far. It still comes down to wins and losses though, and I'd be, as I'm sure Brian would be, happy to admit that our original feeling of Hoke was wrong.
He can't "admit he was wrong"...
...because he hasn't been proven wrong!!! I don't know why you can't understand that.
This is the absolute easiest time to say, "Haha, you were wrong!" because every off-season is filled with positive attitudes, hype, recruiting news, etc. Every spring under Rodriguez was filled with hope, and that hope withered once we saw the crappy defenses he put on the field. Hoke is creating buzz, too, but it's the OFF-SEASON. There are no losses or horrible performances to remind us that, "Uh, yeah, this might not have been a good choice."
because if Hoke does poorly, you'll probably flame up the entire MGoBoard with rants about how Rich Rod screwed up this program so badly that any coach would have a rough time.
That's fine. Nobody was asking you to hold your breath. What you're expressing here is a difference of opinion, which is much more acceptable than a black-and-white "You were wrong."
Unless Brian is really a Buckeye who's been masquerading as a U of M graduate and Wolverines fan for the past six years (when was MGoBlog founded - 2005?), then I'm pretty sure he'll be ecstatic if Michigan starts winning 10 games a year.
This is the nature of things. If Brian were a complete homer and thought every coach was the reincarnation of Knute Rockne, then his opinions would carry about the same weight as LeAnn Rimes on a moon landing.
(Hint: She's skinny.)
Let me fix that for you
"...then his opinions would carry about the same weight as LeAnn Rimes
on a moon landingwriting a paper on quantum physics."
There. All better.
But Brian's opinions are really no more valid than anyone else's opinions on here. They are just opinions from a guy who started a blog that has become popular to Michigan fans and because he was willing to take that chance and risk it, he brought us a good product and apepars to be able to make a living what many of us do for escape from our real worlds.
But taking that chance does not mean that somehow his opinions are more valid than the rest. And as you stated, it also does not mean that he should "admit" he was wrong. He offered an opinion, to which some (or perhaps many) disagree. Time will tell whether the decision by Brandon was right from the won/loss perspective.... And my guess is that it will take more than one year to get 10/11 win expectations to be realistic.
Brandon does, however, appear to have made a proper decision if uniting a large majority of the fan base and, more importantly, potential large donors was the objective. Just like getting former players more in unison is an important part. Having a more united team base is one part of helping recruiting. Wins bring another part. There are many parts to getting a continuing consistently strong program.
If we lose, the card comes out. If we win, who cares who said what...we're winning! Backing a guy and believing in him and watching him fail stings, whether one admits it or not.
" If our defense improves by 20% and our offense regresses by 20%, then we haven't really got anywhere."
And it appears correct.
This is MGoBlog. There really should be a lengthy, chart-filled Diary post examining "how far we'll get" if we improve 20% on D and regress by 20% on Offense. Your qualitative analysis has no value here.
/s (obvious, no?)
and completely ignore it. haha.
Last year, our 13 game schedule yielded us 426 pts for vs 458 pts against. A increase and decrease of 20% would yield us 340.8 for to 366.4 against, which is a slight uptick in advantage. If we look at total yards we see an advantage of 6353 yds for to 5860 yds against. Taking the same 20% increase and deductions would result in 5082 to 4688, which wuld be a negative result.
If either the offense or defense were mediocre last year, a 20% gain and loss would not be equal. But because our offense was so good, and our defense was equally bad, a 20% improvement and drop off would most liekly provide us with the same end result of 7-6. Thus the math checks out.
(and again your /s was hopefully as obvious as my initial response)
I almost think if Our defense got 20% better, it would help our team a hell of a lot more than our offense getting 20% worse would hurt it.