will keep people from bowling
Let's Go Bowling
11/23/2013 – Michigan 21, Iowa 24 – 7-4, 3-4 Big Ten
Ypsi-Arbor Bowl was demolished in early October.
MUSIC POST! HIT PLAY OR I KILL YOU!
I am one of those irritating people who believes the Big Lebowski is deep, man. I think this because of everything about it but mostly because of one particular scene. If you have not seen the Big Lebowski, you are about to be spoiled. Also, screw you you're a bad person and you deserve to be spoiled. What is wrong with you? You are bad and should feel bad.
Sorry. I am taking things out on people. I hip-checked an old lady into the frozen pizzas on Saturday because her earrings annoyed me*. That was wrong. I know that now. I will stop doing this posthaste.
The scene is the funeral. Because of miserable copyright bastards you have your choice of an official thing that cuts off before the crucial line or one with the volume turned way down. Here's the latter, turn up for hearings:
It is just so Dave Brandon that the Official Movieclips.com version manages to cut itself off before "Come on, dude… fuck it, man. Let's go bowling." Anyway.
At this point I simultaneously feel that I have to explain and that I have to explain that there's no point in trying. But fuck it, I'm talking to the guys who had the world's saddest tailgate before the season opener and came up to me at our event before the Notre Dame—another world—and were just so excited to be the world's saddest tailgate. They told me about their jury-rigged pancake plans for Notre Dame. They were engineers. That part is probably obvious. I loved them, and I feel badly for them. They're all 18 and probably don't know a damn thing about a movie that came out when they were three and Michigan was national champions.
I don't know anything about Buddhism but the Big Lebowski feels pretty Buddhist. The Dude comes into his apartment to a guy peeing on his rug and from that point on he's propelled through this rollercoaster over which he has zero agency. Literally everything he does in the movie is at the behest of someone else, and what little gestures towards doing something himself are quickly co-opted by the people he's doing them with. He picks up Walter to make the drop; Walter presses his underwear upon the dude and shoots up his car with an uzi. He has sex with Maude; Maude reveals that he acting as a living sperm bank. Etc.
The movie is a series of unfortunate events culminating in the death of Donny thanks to the bullheaded stupidity of Walter, who doesn't want to give up his fifteen dollars to some nihilists. That Donny dies as an indirect effect of that decision is the capper: your desires and actions are futile; you are subject to the random capricious whim of a universe that doesn't care about anything and if it was going to care about something it absolutely wouldn't be you. I don't have to spell the rest out for you. Sports! Fuck sports.
The thing about the funeral scene that kills me every time is the shoving rant from the Dude and Walter's scalded-dog reaction hug in the midst.
what THE FUCK does anything have to do with Vietnam?!?!
This is the guy with the Uzi who pulls a gun on the pacifist, and that is pious. It's a prayer for forgiveness. That kills me every time. And then the song. I mean.
I've probably mentioned this before, but in the aftermath of The Horror the one thing I wanted and needed to do more than anything else in the world was watch The Big Lebowski. I don't think I knew why at the time; it was my favorite movie but if you asked me why I wouldn't have been able to come up with much in particular. As I was watching it the whole Lebowski-Sports thing dawned, the lack of agency over your emotional state, the attempt to come to terms with arbitrary bullshit wreaking havoc on your emotional state, the lumbering oaf you've chosen to have far too much influence on your emotional state. I revert to it still, because at the end the Dude reaches out and clasps Walter to him, and fuck it, let's go bowling.
I have to tell you that I am at a low ebb right now.
3-9 was awful but had an element of fun in it in the same way Naked and Afraid does: holding my frozen hands to the pretzel machine and feeling guilty when I returned to the stands to find that I'd tried to heat myself so long I'd missed Michigan's first three-and-out of the second half. This is worse, six years on. It's lost its novelty, and now staring at the Armageddon that is the last week of the season is just Promethean fate. I can't imagine accidentally missing any part of this football season and thinking anything other than "stroke of luck, that." I don't see a way in which Michigan gets on Ohio State's level in the near future, and even plotting out Michigan State's level is pretty murky.
I also don't see a FIRE THIS TURDFACE solution. This is the culmination of a dozen different things, all richly deserved by everyone except the fanbase, and my belief is that the best course of action is to persist with this low-attrition, good-dude, quality-talent recruiting and hope that the blithering recedes as things go along. I hate this, because I know that any realignment towards an offense that I actually like will be met with a reaction equivalent to George Wallace hearing that they're integrating the schools, and that the burden of Michigan's past hangs over them in a way that Ohio State was perfectly happy to throw over before Urban Meyer even showed up. I also feel that Michigan will insist that it's anyone's fault but their own, and that the best we can hope for is 1997: an outlier.
This is massively enervating. We're staring down a 20-year period in which Michigan beats Ohio State like 4 or 5 times. Memories of when Michigan could claim equality are as fresh as Jim Delany's letter about how the SEC was a bunch of stupid poopy pants, and as relevant. This feels like a new order, right now. Inescapable.
Fuck it, dude. I'm going bowling. At 5 PM after Michigan gets its anatomy explored on Saturday, I'm going to Colonial Lanes on Industrial, which still exists, and I'm going to throw some balls in the general direction of some pins.
I can't stand bowling. I suck at it and there is nothing more frustrating than sucking at throwing a ball straight at things that aren't defended or even moving. Any time you fail to bowl you have failed to be a vaguely functional person. I hate bowling. So it is obviously perfect for Saturday.
If you promise not to talk about this year's football team, I would love for you to join me. I will tell you it is not your fault. You will tell me it is only about 5% my fault. It will not be a great time but I'm sick of staring at a computer screen trying not to check twitter. By God if I am going to be enervated it is going to be by not being able to throw a ball straight for a moderate distance. I'm done being enervated by sports, if only for just this moment.
In the moment where I take the ball down from its perch between my hand and my clavicle there will be a moment of beautiful, stupid hope that will persist past the results. And that moment will be enough to mitigate what follows.
Therefore I will bowl.
*[For the people who run the Children of Yost account: that's a joke, and your hat is unflattering.]
There is no other stuff, except the elsewhere section because by God ST3 and bronxblue persist. Goddamn if bronxblue doesn't nail it:
And yet, I still can’t find it in myself to turn off these games. I know why, of course: there are only 13-14 games a year, and when times are good or at least exciting there is nothing better to watch. And when the team isn’t that good (which, let’s be honest, started well before RR’s tenure made it official), the calcified memories of former greatness and the diminishing hope of a return keep me coming back. And despite the losses and the continuing sense that UM is still on the wrong side of history, I’ll keep watching and coming back to watch, even games like this when you could feel the loss coming after Iowa’s first drive of the 2nd half. And in all likelihood, my kids will love watching UM football as much as me, even when they realize that patch of missing hair isn’t because Dad was pranked. But this simply cannot end soon enough for me, and next week’s OSU game will likely get the background treatment as I shop online, listen to music, and otherwise tool around the apartment.
And ST3 goes with the Smiths, because yeah:
Stop me, oh, stop me...
Akron, yes Akron, records 8 TFLs
Stop me if you think that you've heard this one before
UConn, still winless as I write this, records 10 TFLs.
You are both champions, gentlemen. Thank you for your posts.
Also, if you want a graphical representation of the way Michigan's offense is going, dnak438 has your evidence. It is grim.
Not that I needed to tell you that.
Great write up. I get it. I disagree with almost everything, but I get it.
I don't see how this is worse than 3-9. I know there was hope then, but I've never been one to value hope at anywhere near a similar level to wins.
I think the difference is in having played. I will never stop caring, never stop watching. Losses will never stop hurting. Wins will never stop feeling like losses averted. Not even 3-9 could make me not care. Nothing can.
I'm also puzzled that a coach who has gotten Michigan to an 11-win season inspires no hope, but a coach that have us our worst season ever did. I suspect Brian and many others are also puzzles by this. The heart is a strange force.
It could be because I am a schematic agnostic. For this old lineman, offensive football is and will always be about blocking the men across from you.
Who sets up such an account?
And how have 10 points already been awarded?
Come on man. Where did I mention seniors or coaches winning big in year one? Where did I say a bad first season equals a bad tenure? You're fighting straw men. I say a lot of dumb things. Pick on those.
I didn't say he was toast because he was a bad coach who could not turn it around. I was certain he'd turn it around, because you can't go 3-9 forever.
What I said was he was toast in my eyes and in the eyes of guys I know because we believe coaching at Michigan is a privilege and 3-9 is probably enough to have that privilege revoked. I realize that's a provocative thing to say. I could be 100% wrong. Take issue with that, with what I said. Don't set up stupid false arguments.
I'd argue that, yes, it is a good thing that Brandon fired Coach Rod. If for no other reason that to unite the alumni base. What we had under Coach Rod was really ugly, and I don't think he would have ever overcome it.
Coach Rod recruited 3 linemen in 2 years. That's not good.
Are you drunk? I've read several of your posts today and I honestly don't understand any of them. Maybe it's just me?
LOL. I just wrote a long drawn out post and I think you just clarified it perfectly. If your O line is bad, then, well, the scheme won't matter much.
If you think 3-9 in 2008 is "our worst season ever"—what do you think 1934 was?
That's 1-7 with getting shut out five times, scoring a grand total of 21 points. Over the entire goddamn freaking season.
And included losing to MSU, Minnesota, and Ohio State by a combined score of 0-84.
2008 was indeed a crapfest, but asserting that it was our worst season in history—a very common notion among Michigan fans here and elsewhere—betrays a lack of historical knowledge about the prograrm that's bizarre.
...you'll certainly forgive/excuse someone for not recalling the 1934 season, won't you?
2008 was the worst season any of us have ever seen though. I don't believe that negates anything I've said.
And I'm not really even making an argument. I'm just kinda stating my opinion like Brian has.
I know you know football and I know you care, but that kind of statement is wrong on many levels. It presupposes that the opinions and arguments of those who haven't played--at least at a reasonably high level--have less merit. It presupposes that others here haven't played football--when some have played alot. It also presupposes that those who "played" tend to agree with you. You might be surprised. I did--and I often don't. I also believe your a little less "scheme agnostic" than you submit. All of that said, I appreciate your contributions---and, like you said, I get it--I just often disagree.
Well, that's why I said "I think". I could be wrong. It has happened before.
I don't think my opinion matters any more than others'. I will posit that our understanding of the inside of a program is better than that of those that haven't played. I don't follow recruiting, I don't know much about defense, there are a hundred guys who know a hundred more things about a hundred more things than I do on here. I just happen to know a lot about blocking.
As far as scheme, I am entirely agnostic. I have said elsewhere that I prefer a gap-blocking scheme because I like to watch it. But that is a tiny, selfish concern. I'd rather watch us run inside/outside zone exclusively if we win with it, despite the fact that I'd find it "boring".
"I also don't see a FIRE THIS TURDFACE solution."
You're right. What Michigan needs is stability. It may be six yards total offense for twenty seven minutes of a half, records set for rushing futility, and needing a miracle to beat Akron but at least it is consistent! Michigan should look forward to this type of stability into the future!
Rodriguez should have gotten four years at least, maybe five. He deserved a chance to get his recruits into place and show us what they could do. Firing him after only three years was a mistake and the wrong thing to do. He's gone, however, and I'm not crying over spilled milk.
What was wrong for Rodriguez is wrong for Hoke. He deserves at least 4 years, maybe 5, to get his recruits into place and show us what they can do. I'm not impressed with him as a coach thus far, but I'm willing to be convinced.
If Hoke thinks Borges is still the man to run the offense, fine. He's the guy in charge, he lives with the results.
Who said anything about Hoke? He is not the one I would get rid of...yet. However if he thinks keeping Borges is a good idea, then fire Hoke.
but I do need some definition. I'm not being snarky, but can someone tell me how we are 'blindly clinging to the past'? Is it in hiring Hoke because he had a Michigan background? Trying to revert to a ground game? Being 'Physical'?
I guess I don't see any of those things as bad in and of themselves. I'll lay my cards on the table. I'm not a fan of 'system' offenses. Being 'A Spread' team, whether its Oregon or RR seems to me to be way too specialized if that's all you do, the same way that being a strictly power I team would be. You're always hoping that the coach 'fits', or waiting for 'that special talent' that fits the system. I'm not against the spread or RR's offense per-se, but to me its like the Run & Shoot. Its great to have some Run & Shoot sets. It ends up being a negative overall if you are a 'Run & Shoot' team. One of the things that killed me over the past 10 years was Mooch trying to instill 'his' WC offense on the Lions, no matter what; and RR trying to make his offense work with us, no matter what. Nice guys. Good coaches overall. Fatal flaw to me. The elite teams (to me 'Bama, LSU, USC a few years back) don't sell their soul to one thing. They have a team that can run the spread, and a team that can kick your teeth in on the ground if necessary. Alot of it is due to good players executing a sane game plan. it doesn't have to be brilliant or avant guard.
This not to say that Borges/Hoke are the guys. A big flaw I see with these guys is similar (BY GOD WE ARE GOING TO RUN IT AGAIN!!!). But the potentially fatal flaw I see is the lack of development. I see DG regressing. I don't see Magnuson, Bosch, or Kalis going from bad, to okay, to pretty decent towards the end of the year. I just see them all struggling, every game.
I guess I just hear too much 'WE ARE BEING LEFT BEHIND' from people. Its like this magical thinking that if we just get some other lightnin' boy slick offense everything will be cured. Its grasping at straws. I heard it with the Lions all through the 90's. If Hoke and Borges/Whomever can make adjustments and our highly ranked talent starts developing and acting like highly ranked players, we will be successful. Elite year after year? Maybe. That's an extremely hard bar to get above. But good enough that we have an even chance of beating anyone, and a realistic chance of playing with and pulling out an upset on a 'Bama. Honestly, I'd be fine with that.
If they can't do it, then we'll tank. No matter what offense we run. A too light playside OT out of place running the read option is likely going to f*ck up the play just as badly as a too light OT out of place running Power I, unless your QB or RB is godlike.
I guess in the end, to me its the talent, the development, and the execution. And that is a major concern for me with this coaching staff. If we transplant the O line from some of my years ('91-'96) into this year, Borgess automatically looks better. Gardner likely spends less time on his back. Fitz probably runs alot better. Green has a chance to develop. We can go on and win a bowl game. MSU doesn't savage us physically. That doesn't make Borgess a great play caller, I'll leave that to those who analyze it more. But the team automatically looks at least competent. Right now, we have young guys who aren't getting better, and more young guys stepping in next year. That's alot of development that has to take place in just a few months to get these guys from bad to just pretty decent. And that's my huge worry.
Do we change right away? No. I agree with Brian. The coaching carousel at MSU did them no good. It won't us either. Do we change in two years? If we don't see any development we do. But then what? I didn't see coaches of Urban Meyers caliber pounding down the door to get into UM last time. What's to say they will if we fire Hoke in 2016? Whatever they do, if at all possible, my first choice is for Hoke to start showing he can really develop these kids. My second is finding someone who has shown he can at a Division 1 level if Hoke doesn't work out. Way down in last place for me is finding someone running a 'modern' offense.
One final thing: I dont' honestly remember from my college days (Mo, then Lloyd) Michigan being 'Elite' other than '97. We largely owned MSU and OSU, but the elite teams in those days were teams like FSU and ND. OSU under cooper (my favorite OSU coach) was kind of a paper tiger. It was a cast iron b*tch to beat ND, and the one time we played FSU they utterly destroyed us.
Really good post. The scary and accurate thing about your musings is revealed in two points:
1. This staff has shown NO ability to develop players.
2. Your observation about no one of Urban Meyer's caliber wanting the Michigan job last time.
Mediocrity and a dysfunctional culture have become part of Michigan's DNA, spookily mirroring the collapse of the auto industry and the state's economy.
1. frank clark, des morgan, jake ryan, devin funchess, and willie henry were all rivals 3-stars who have developed into functional big ten players or actual stars under this staff.
2. not to get too argumentative here, but who, exactly, was a) "urban meyer caliber" and b) actually available in 2010? les miles, i guess. who else? i'd seriously like to know who else you'd put on the list.
about those players. I guess I was expecting more (alot more) on the O line, RB's, and to a lesser extent QB's.
As to what coaches were available in 2010? The two biggest names mentioned were Harbaugh (no intention of coming) and Miles (no intention of coming). Neither of them was technically 'available', IIRC, both being under contract. I guess what I'm saying is that there wasn't much in the news, no sniffs, about other big name coaches, or even medium name coaches, going 'Whoa! Michigan! I'd totally bail here for there!' IIRC even Schiano at Rutgers was lukewarm.
To us the Meyer situation would have been if Harbaugh was as pro Michigan as Hoke is. But that wasn't the case.
To be clear, I don't disagree with the Hoke hire. I like alot of things about the guy. I really hope he turns it around. I'm just worried that our O line is so bad. And I'm terrified that not only is our O line bad, it seems statically bad all through the year.
i would actually have categorized both those guys as "available" at that point, in that if we'd really and honestly wanted, we probably could have gotten them. i also think that there were valid reasons not to try to get them, but that's just, like, only my opinion, man.
We can develop guys on defense, but I haven't seen much if any development from an offensive player, and certainly not enough to outweigh the massive regression I've seen. FWIW, I view Funchess as a physical freak who was a physical freak the moment he set foot on campus. That we're utilizing him better these days doesn't mean he's developed. He still can't block worth a damn.
Devin Gardner was a bad QB with no mechanics before Hoke got here. Jeremy Gallon was a little known WR who was best known for dropping punts before Hoke got here. Fitz Toussaint had his one good season as a collegiate athlete after Hoke got here.
I agree that this staff has not shown as much aptitude for offensive player development as defensive. I agree that the development hasn't been as impressive as we'd like. But there has been development all over the place. The problem is that our line hasn't had time to develop. The interior is just young. The issues have been compounded by the repeated shuffling, for sure. This isn't some excuse for the staff, so don't take it that way. It is a defense of some overlooked truths.
I should have been more specific.
This OFFENSIVE staff has not shown me anything. You cite Funchess as a developed player, but his blocking is suspect and the jury is still out on his hands, in my opinion. He is good because he is a mismatch, not because he has developed. What role they use him in in the future remains to be seen. Will they try to "develop" him as a tight end, or use him as a very large wide receiver. Either way, I don't think his development is that great (perhaps it can be, but I'm not convinced YET).
As for an "Urban Meyer caliber" coach, I would have liked to have seen us pony up the money for a coach that had a PROVEN record at a bigger school than San Diego State. Pinkel comes to mind as a possibility, though admittedly, he's not a flashy name in the same vein as Meyer.
A better way to state my point is that it's been my impression that historically (since Bo), Michigan seems very timid about "going outside the family" because the alumni want a "Michigan Man." In the case of Rich Rod, while he definitely created a good portion of his own problems, a fractured alumni support base was most certainly a contributor in his demise.
The problem I have is that since Lloyd took over the program, we have not exactly developed any coaches that have gone on to succesful head coaching gigs at name schools. Contrast that with the plethora of names that worked for Bo and went on to successful post-Michigan careers.
So, on the one hand, the alumni want a "Michigan Man," but on the other, those that meet that litmus test haven't exactly lit up the coaching world.
It's going to take an AD with REAL backbone to put up the money to hire someone from outside the family and give him the resources to succeed. Is Brandon that man? I don't know.
if you look at devin funchess and think anything other than 'star,' or at least 'star in the making'...man. i don't know what i can tell you.
i might suggest that maybe, just maybe, you might be starting from the premise that the current staff sucks, and therefore everything that happens (including a couple of bad drops by funchess on saturday) is further proof of that fact.
I'm trying to think of a bowl matchup we'd have a shot of winning. Projections I see are either Texas, Georgia, or Ole Miss. I don't think team 134 would have a shot against any of those teams. Texas has had its share of struggles but at least they know who they are and what they're trying to do.
It's a crying shame it's come the point where we fear low-level bowl matchups.
at the moment as I'll be attending my first OSU game on Saturday. My wife bought tickets for us as a Christmas present last year and I started a countdown calendar right away. I was fairly optimistic about this season despite my generaly glass half empty nature and the the concerns about the o-line. In August an 8-4 or even 9-3 season seemed very reasonable and beating Ohio at home didn't seem outlandish.
Reading about lots of people not showing up, selling tickets to OSU fans, the atmosphere in the Big House, etc has lowered my excitement level from a 6 year old on Christmas Eve to a 46 year old getting to sleep in on a Sat morning. I turned off my countdown calendar after the Nebraska game but now have a countdown to bowling with Brian so however the Game turns out there's something to look forward to.
Watching the team struggle this year and in recent years has been frustrating, sure. But each season also has its excitement and regardless of the ups and downs is something I will always look forward to. I admit some of the stadium experience has changed but I’m not sure if any of that would have impacted the development of my initial love for Michigan and does not significantly impact my love for it now.
Nothing beats the atmosphere of Ann Arbor on gamedays, the tailgating with other friends/fans/alumni, the nostalgia of visiting campus, and simply the overall sentiment that everyone is supporting the Maize and Blue. Not much has changed when you hear Carl Grapentine’s voice, the band taking the field, the excitement of the players as they rush the field and touch the banner, hearing the band play The Victors, or any of the countless other gameday traditions that make going back enjoyable.
In the end, it is still a group of student athletes that work extremely hard to represent the University we all passionately associate with, and for the most part represent it very well on and off the field. This is the reason I will always be excited for football season and is also the reason I plan on getting season tickets for the first time since being a student next year. Yeah the schedule isn’t great and we’d all like the team to be performing better, but I will always support the University of Michigan and sincerely hope (/know) most of you will be there this coming Saturday and next season. Win or lose, Michigan football has provided some of my greatest memories and I have no doubt will continue to do so.
Great Post. I like the cut of your jib!
Yeah, I'll know it's time to walk away for good when I don't feel the preseason excitement. Every August I have a hope, somewhere between faint and strong, that we'll win the Big Ten and compete for the MNC. A lot of seasons have ended in frustration, only to be gleeful again after Spring practice reports. Hope springs eternal.
That said, fire Borges.
and reflected on how strong we looked in our first two games. What the hell happened between ND and Akron? I wish I could go back in time and make everyone do the opposite of what they did that week.
We were strong when we were unknown. Once oppenents' DCs saw us, they learned how to defend us. Shockingly, Borges was then unable to adapt.
Everybody has film on every team in the country. Other offenses don't crater like ours has post-MSU. There have also been a ton of changes made by the coaching staff that you are glossing over.
After a game against UConn where Fitz ran for 120 yards on 24 carries (and Devin added roughly another 100 before sacks lowered his total), Jack Miller was benched, Graham Glasgow (where he's been ever since, despite a series of turnovers and drive-killing bad snaps) was moved from LG to center, and Chris Bryant replaced Glasgow at LG. We also installed a totally new formation and blocking scheme with the tackle over stuff. We beat Minnesota, then saw our RBs mauled by Penn State (though the rest of the offense functioned fairly well, with Devin picking up yards on the ground and through the air when we weren't banging our heads against 9 man fronts). That prompted another wholesale change going into the Indiana game. Kalis was benched and replaced at RG with Eric Magnuson. Bryant was benched and replaced by Joey Burzynski. Burzynski got hurt early in the game and was replaced by Kyle Bosch. That lineup lasted until this week, when Bosch was removed from the lineup and replaced by Eric Magnuson (moving from RG to LG) and Kalis reentered the lineup at RG. Who knows what we will see against OSU.
Our "best five" has somehow included 7 different guys at the three interior spots (despite only one injury, and that to a 6'1" walk-on). Two guys have been asked to change positions midseason (again at only 3 spots). And that doesn't include the various shifting and changing responsibilities the offense required from various alternate formations.
If there's a recipe for confusing young players and a pattern that indicates a coaching staff without a clue, that looks like it.
When you KNOW you have ZERO chance against Ohio..When you are DREADING the game its time to change EVERYTHING...I was a strong Hoke supporter but Im jumping off the bandwaggon...we were BAMBOOZLED by Hoke..Hes a MAC level coach ...in over his head...just stands there on sideline clapping his hands while the offense runs one STUPID play after another after another after another and expect the results to be different
I think Brian is spot on that we're behind OSU and MSU and it's not that close. There is very little to think this is going to work.
But, I think the Beilein analogy is still valid. Beilein had some success with Sims and Harris and got us fired up by making the NCAA tournament and winning a game. Then, things regressed and he had to do some soul searching.
A lot of the focus of the Beilein analogy is on the fact that he cleaned out a few coaches and replaced them with new blood. That is certainly relevant and, I think, necessary for Hoke to survive. But, the thing that is sometimes overlooked and in my mind much more important is that Beilein changed his approach on both ends of the floor. He took advantage of a 6'4" PG and implemented a ton of pick and roll and basically ditched the 1-3-1 for tough man to man to fit the strengths of his team and to match up better with the competition.
I think Hoke can do this, but he not only needs to evaluate and change some of the coaches, but needs to do some real looking in the mirror at some of his basic assumptions on how to succeed at this job. If he's unable to do that, he should be fired, because this current path seems to have very little chance of sucess.
But the question is whether a "managerial" coach like Hoke is capable of doing that. With Beilein's change from a 1-3-1, he was making a change to his own basic philosophy. It came to Michigan with him; it wasn't a "system" that another coach pressed upon him, or that he was convinced to run by someone else.
The "soul-searching" part, though ... Yeah, Hoke needs more than a little of that.
That's fair. Beilein is widely respected as one of the best tacticians in college basketball. Never heard anything remotely like that for Hoke.
I don't think Borgess is saying we have to run first. I think that's been Hokes desire from year one. Now, to give him (and Borgess) credit, for the first couple of years they didn't do that with Denard. They tried it, it didn't work, then they went back to a more hybrid offense.
This is the first year that they've tried to go more pro-set, as far as I can tell.
Will Hoke change? I don't know. I think it depends on whether his kids start to execute well, if he can develop them, and how they develop. If they end up being a team that can pass the ball like hell under Morris, I think he'll do that and let the run worry about itself. If I remember correctly thats what he did at SDSU.
I think that the development part is key. The Hoke story began with a good year, and some great recruiting. It will end if he and his staff can't develop them. That's my biggest worry.
People who are giving up: do you realize that the run of success from the '70s through 2007 was one of the most exceptional, maybe THE most exceptional run of sustained excellence in any sport in history? That Ohio State has had seasons of 6-6. 7-5, and 6-7 since 1999? That Alabama went 3-8, 4-9, 6-6, and 6-7 over that time?
It's depressing as hell to watch games like this weekend's. But giving up because the team doesn't give you everything you want all the time is pathetic.
Also, as someone who gets to go to one or fewer games a year — I hate "Build Me Up Buttercup" as much as the next guy, but the stadium experience with the band, the crowd and the team is still incredible, one of the best things in sports. Jesus Christ. Stop whining.
What does everyone expect? Texas in the 2000s? Texas fans would love that right now too. There are times things don't go right and it's not because of sinister incompetence or character flaws. It's because no one is perfect and the competition at this level is intense.
Really wish I could upvote this. I don't agree with everything Dave Brandon does, but I also don't feel like much of it impacts a lot of things about the gameday atmosphere that I've enjoyed my entire life and what I can see my nephews/niece continue to enjoy.
It is frustrating that a loss on a fall Saturday makes the following week more difficult, but I wouldn't trade my Michigan fandom for that of any other team. I understand everyone has their own way of being a fan, but in the end isn't the fun part of being a fan about supporting the team/university that we all identify with in some way?
The 70's were a period of dominance. From 1980 to 2007 Michigan averaged 2.98 losses per year (I counted the 3 tie year as 1.5 losses) In only one year, 1997, did we go undefeated. Beyond that we had a 1 loss season once in 1985 (plus a tie). Did we manage to avoid many 5 loss plus season, yes we only had two. We also had 8 four loss seasons over this period. This was a sustained run of not being bad as opposed to being excellent.
So overall we had 2 one or fewer loss seasons during a 27 year period. What about the other college football powers? Alabama had 3 – it was really a down era for them though they have had 3 more since 2007, Oklahoma had 5, Florida State had 8, Notre Dame had 4 and Ohio State had 5.
If we concern ourselves with our chief rival we see they have had 12 seasons with 2 or fewer losses since 1980 (36% of the time). Michigan had 9 seasons of 2 losses or less over the same time period (33%) If we narrow this to the Tressel/Meyer time period they have had 8 seasons with two or fewer losses over a 13 year period (61.5%). That same period saw 1 national title win, 2 more losses in the national title game all while playing in 8 BCS bowl games. Michigan is not even close to putting together this sort of sustained high level success since 1980.
I just don’t understand this obsession with playing “Michigan football” (power running with a pro-style offense) by a segment of the fan base and the athletic department leadership. This approach has not generated dominance since the 1970’s. Who cares if a coach has a Michigan connection or runs a style of offence that we like. Why would we restrict our coaching candidates with these criteria? All this does is hold us back. I am not saying we need to run the Oregon offense but we also do not need to stay trapped in the past as represented by the current staff offensive approach.
But those teams all had losing seasons during that stretch. We had 6-6 in 1984 and 7-5 in 2005. That's it.
They had higher highs, but lower lows. We didn't have a losing season for Christ's sake.
on what you are looking for. I can deal with some bad seasons here in there if it leads to some 11 - 1 or better seasons. My problem with Michigan Football for a long time (since the latter Bo years) has been that we are always good but never really come out on top. My years at U of M captured this best with 4 seasons of 8-4. We did have some great victories over OSU to ruin their perfect or nearly perfect which were a lot of fun. At the same time it was never our team playing for that perfect season.
As pointed out by Brian, 1997 was the rare exception. After awhile a team that always wins 8 to 10 games, but never 11 or 12, disappoints. It’s nice to not suck but nothing beats playing for a title. I suspect this is just as true for the players as it is for the fans. The Bo/Lloyd crowd always seemed too content with Michigan being competitive and having good seasons. Now that the Rich Rod experiment failed their belief in the old approach is only stronger and I fear we will be content with a bunch of 8-4 season with an occasional 2 loss season mixed in.
Personally I am not happy with this and if 5 years goes buy were you average 3 to 4 losses per season with maybe one 2 loss season mixed in it should be time for a change. Is this standard too high? Maybe, but how can you put together a string of dominance like OSU has put up if you don’t expect it?
Perhaps the new playoff system will change this and lead to higher expectations. I suspect anything more than 1 loss will keep you out of the playoff in most years. By that standard we would have played in two playoffs over that last 23 years. 1997 and 2006. Ohio State would have played in 7 and soon to be 8 over the same period.
If Hoke averages 3 losses per season over the next decade and does not lose more than 4 in any one year are you happy with that? What if we only make the playoff in one of those years and lose in the first game? Are you happy with that? I am not.
I honestly do not know how I'd feel in that scenario. I was just commenting on our unparalleled streak of 40-something years without a single losing season. I don't know how important that streak was, but it was certainly something.
I really miss the days of knowing that Michigan football does not suck. So, I imagine I'd be ok with 5 straight 3-4 loss seasons, so long as we beat Ohio 2-3 times and win 1-2 B1G. After I'm spoiled by the good 5 year stretch, then we'll talk about going undefeated and winning the national championship. First things first, I never want to suck again. It hurts, man.