Clark has played on special teams, just like Dymonte Thomas...although less often.
Mailbag: Plenty Of Sad Football What Now Stuff, Yost Back In The Day
Watch Michigan lose to Michigan State on Saturday was frustrating and somewhat difficult to put into perspective. We want to believe that the coaches are capable of understanding the strengths and weaknesses of their players so the players can successfully execute. We also have to have the right players. It seems that we are still not where we want to be in terms of talent, coaching and understanding. How far away are we before we have the right combination?
Let's just get to the big question first. Michigan is still staring at the crater where their senior class is supposed to be, and reeling from Rich Rodriguez's inept offensive line recruiting. The 2011 class is also not spectacular, as it was a few in-state true believers, Blake Countess, and guys with little recruiting profile thanks to Rodriguez's sinking profile and Michigan giving Hoke three weeks to pile ten guys in. The talent on this team is mostly underclass.
That will not be the case on next year's defense. A projected starting lineup:
- DL: Clark (Sr), Beyer (Sr), Pipkins (Jr), Henry (Rs So)
- LB: Morgan (Sr), Ross (Jr), Ryan(Sr)
- DB: Countess (Rs Jr), Taylor (Sr), Wilson (Jr), J. Clark (Rs So)
This defense is an okay unit still beset by personnel issues. Snaps at NT not given to Quinton Washington against MSU went to… Jibreel Black. Yup. 250-pound Brennen Beyer is now the starting SDE. Before that the existence of Black was the only thing separating the situation the SDE and 3TECH positions from the one Michigan is dealing with at guard: one sophomore with a middling recruiting profile (Bryant on OL, Heitzman on DL) and a pile of freshman who are still freshman no matter how touted. I expect Michigan's defense to take a significant step forward from good but not great to maybe great next year.
The situation on offense is much more frightening. Michigan hasn't been able to move snap one away from Fitzgerald Toussaint, which is an indictment of Michigan's recruiting or development or both there. Michigan hasn't had a QB who wasn't massively turnover prone since Borges arrived, and there are zero seniors on next year's OL. Does a starting line of Magnuson-Bosch-Glasgow-Kalis-Braden featuring four sophomores and a junior who is a former walk-on entice? No.
Michigan's probably a 9-3 team next year and then you're putting all your eggs in Shane Morris's basket at QB the year after. So… not for a while.
[After the JUMP: oh good the "when can we fire this guy" tag is back. Yost: not really Yost.]
I once asked you a question regarding what would it take you to abandon your support for Rich Rod. You were kind enough to post it and respond.
I'd like to ask the same question for Hoke and company.
All I look for as a fan is player development. I figure Michigan will win and lose, but as long as the players are developing and they put in a strong effort I am happy. I don't expect perfection or anywhere near it. The players are still kids and I don't lose sight of that fact like so many others. But I just want to see them get better as the year goes. Compare the joke State was on offense at the beginning of the year with a crap line and few highly recruited players and look how Dantonio develops them. There is a plan. There is clear training that the players absorb. He molds them. The players clearly improve as a unit. Does Hoke do that? Is there evidence of that?
I don't know for sure, but just like with Rich Rod I just don't see the development.
Yet I don't feel as critical toward Hoke as so many others do. I think it has to do with recruiting acumen. But the thought that Hoke can't develop his players has been nagging at me.
What's your opinion? Specifically, what would it take you to abandon your support for Hoke? Do you think the player development is there? Why has Sparty been able to develop lower ranked players on offense (ignore their great D for the purpose of this question) into a more consistent superior unit than Michigan?
Thank you -
If we're comparing things to MSU, Dantonio started out 7-6, 9-4, 6-7 and then had an 11-win, turnover-fueled season of fortune that ended with a 49-7 loss to Alabama. In year five is when they actually seemed like a double-digit-win team, nearly winning the Big Ten and beating Georgia in the Outback. Hoke got off to a faster start thanks to Michigan's own lucky-as-hell 11-win season but right now he's in a similar doldrums as the previous guy's crappy late recruiting enters their upperclass years. Dantonio had a similar attrition issue because just about the only good players in JLS's last class were JUCOs.
Dantonio was also hired in late November instead of January, giving him more time to assemble a first class that would include late pickups Kirk Cousins and BJ Cunningham. Michigan's QB from their first class was Russell Bellomy—slight difference there—and they took a pass on Devin Lucien. (Who has nine catches for UCLA this year, FWIW.)
It takes time to assemble a winning program when you're coming from a botched transition, and I'll take a pass on another transition just yet.
What would it take for me to want Hoke gone? A lot. Nothing that can happen this year. Michigan could get bombed five straight times to close out the year and it would still make more sense to forge ahead instead of try another transition. In that case I'd probably be advocating for some staff changes, but haven't we seen enough of what happens when you change course wildly after three years of trying something?
And assuming there's notable progress on the field from a team that is shedding most of the baggage associated with that disastrous senior class, I would advocate a fifth year. So much of what's going on now is Rich Rodriguez and Mike Rosenberg and Dave Brandon's fault.
Hoke's recruiting does buy him quite a bit in my book. He's stabilized the program with the 2012 class, which still has 24 of 25 guys on campus; this year's 27 is all present and accounted for, and Michigan is finally entering a year in which they are struggling to add 18 guys to a single class. He's winning recruiting battles with powers and managing his roster sensibly*. You can see the direction things are going in terms of retention and recruiting stars.
MSU guys are good because they're around all the time. MSU has reached Wisconsin levels of retention, redshirting damn near everyone and keeping almost all of them around for four or five years. Michigan has taken a step and a half towards that.
Are people developing? Individuals, surely. Clark is coming along this year; Beyer has developed; I like both ILBs; Wilson and Taylor are moving forward. Gallon's great, and Funchess is now a weapon even if he can't block. The DL has taken a step back but I'm liking Willie Henry a lot.
Some units are not. Michigan hasn't developed a tailback since… Chris Perry? (Mike Hart came fully-formed out of high school.) Fred Jackson's talent evaluation has been a running joke for years now and it gets less and less funny every year; Michigan has no one who can pick up a blitz and is getting zero from two touted freshmen. Thomas Rawls is a ghost even after Drake Johnson's ACL tear.
The offensive line is hard to judge because of the recruiting crater but has been handled awfully—IMO Michigan is better off if they just stick with Glasgow-Miller-Kalis across the front and hope, and every snap on which a guy flips to an unfamiliar position in practice is a waste of time. The tight ends have almost gone backwards in terms of their blocking and Michigan insisted on using them extensively for half the season; AJ Williams's suspension for the MSU game is like seeing Robbie Findley pick up two yellows in the World Cup. Special teams have also been a consistent disaster from dinosaur punts to erratic punters to Michigan's horrible return units.
If Michigan does end up in a spot where a shakeup is required—emphasis on required, as that's the only way someone's getting forced out—the heat would fall mostly on Funk, Jackson, and Ferrigno. And Borges, who in addition to the we're-stretch-we're-power-we're nothing executive decisions that have exacerbated the line issues has fielded a turnover-mad QB for the third straight year.
*[For the most part. Not taking a QB in 2013 was a mistake.]
Imagine it's January and Hoke has to break it to the players that Borges and Funk were sent off to frolic around a nice farm. Who are valid candidates for OC/OL that Michigan would be able to hire next year? Of course, we'd all love to have an Art Briles, Gus Malzahn, or Chip Kelly heading up the offense, but that's not happening. Who would choose to leave their current positions for the Michigan job? Loeffler? Matt Canada? Ron Zook (just kidding I know he was a defensive coach)? Lane Kiffin (maybe just kidding, but a total buttwipe)? Before we call for heads to roll, I think some nominations are in order.
This is not happening, man. Let's start with that. And I don't know anything about OL coaches; nobody knows anything about them except their OL coach, who they usually hate. As far as OC: given Hoke's predilections I wouldn't get your hopes up if they center around the Briles/Malzahn/Kelly axis. That has about as much chance of happening as Al Borges getting replaced by Tony Franklin again.
If I'm picking from realistic candidates who might be available, I'm looking at Nebraska's Tim Beck. He has an option system that's one coherent whole and has been the productive half of the Cornhusker outfit for the last few years without amazing talent at the helm. He is also likely to be a free agent after the year. You'd have to figure out if he can run a passing-oriented offense first since Shane Morris isn't going to be running around like a maniac. But this is all fantasyland anyway.
I know your mailbox is full with football questions but I have a a couple hockey related questions.
First, after watching the Tech series Nagelvoort is clearly a high caliber goalie saving 56 of 59 shots (95% save percentage). Early in the season Racine looked solid with a 93% save percentage in two and half games before going down with a groin injury. If you are Red, what do you with the goalie situation? Do you split series a la 2011 with Hunwick on Friday and Hogan on Saturday until one emerges? Ride the hot hand with Nagelvoort or go back to the presumed starter with Racine?
Second, I have been a student ticket holder for the past 3 seasons. I hear a lot about the "glory days" of Yost can you talk about what exactly made those years so much better? Are the cheers stale? Is it purely an attendance issue? Did the renovations take away from the "aura" of Yost?
Thanks for the insight.
Sir. I love you. You are the best.
GOALIE STUFF: Racine is on quite a streak himself; I think at the very least when he is ready to play you have to go to a platoon. A lot of teams have done this; I remember going back to ND and Miami stats when previewing them and noting that they had two goalies who had split the games near-evenly. You don't have that much data on either guy; it seems like at this point you should give each guy one game on a weekend until such time as it seems one of them has separated themselves.
This is an excellent situation to be in. I mean… last year versus this year.
YOST STUFF: Hey man I don't want to harsh on you. Those students who are in the building nightly singing O Canada the 10 minute mark are my guys. I love that. Hagelin flag, etc.
Back in the day the entirety of that side of the ice was students, and there were about 30-40% more seats available before two different renovations, both of which screwed over the students. The first added that overhang for people who like to spend lots of money to not attend hockey games. (You probably don't know this since you're directly under them but the club seat section is never more than 50% full. Never.) That instantly cut out 3-4 rows and made about 4 more crappy seats where you had to duck to see anything, and made a big chunk of the student section almost separate from the rest of the arena. I was back there one year. It was awful.
The second stripped out most of the glass-level seats and altered the row structure such that there is very little student presence behind either of the benches. Back in the day, the oldest, meanest students sat behind the opposing bench and said horrible things about the opposition on the ice such that it was a not-infrequent occurrence for the parents of those players to trundle back into the student section trying to punch someone. This was scary and ridiculously awesome. It probably couldn't last. It hasn't.
Combine that with hostility to the penalty box cheer (band playing over it, Red exhorting it to stop) and the student section has necessarily gotten way less weird and unique and awesome over the past decade. About 80% of this is on the athletic department, and about 80% of that 80% was the Bill Martin department. They looked at SI articles describing the student section's cheer as a blight instead of a treasure and reacted accordingly. They've been crapping on the students ever since. None of this is actually the students' fault, except insofar as they were unable to come up with completely clean cheers that would show up in SI.
(The other 20% was that season-ending game where the dancing spread to the entire section, and now the student section is a bunch of FUN PEOPLE who LIKE CANDY and LIKE DANCING and LIKE FUN instead of terrible twisted misanthropes taking their frustrations on life out on innocent student athletes. Some people.)
The cost is becoming apparent. These days the student section is probably a quarter of what it was at its heyday and the corresponding drop in enthusiasm is obvious. In the heyday you knew that it was a football Saturday because the game was relatively muted, and you knew that Michigan had lost when the crowd was barely alive; after Saturday's game there was basically no difference in crowd enthusiasm from Friday. Yost is just another arena now.
The part about Yost being just another arena made me want to start crying right here in public. I graduated in 12 and we definitely were a great student section in my experience. I loved Yost like it was my home. I really hope the concerns are unfounded and that Yost comes back at least somewhat to its former glory. Maybe the winning helps (I know I've been saying "what's football? I watch hockey" lately)
The student section at Yost this year is definitely a lot better than it was at any point last year, so maybe it is the winning that helps. Or it could be the bigger matchups (BU, BC, Umass-Lowell). But it's still nowhere like it was pre-renovation, your last year.
I would say a large portion of it is that they moved the students away from the boards, with only a couple sections allowing you to be down low. The sections behind the Michigan and away bench are visiting family and sponsors with the students not being allowed to sit there until the 12th row or something like that. I know we used to be the fourth row behind the Michigan bench so we could read Red's shootout cards. This also helped when the opposing team would call timeouts. When BU called a timeout, there was not much anyone could do.
In addition, I feel like general admission hurt the student section. Now the student section is everyone crowidng over towards the band side, and it's not spread out as much. It also is the same chants over and over with no creativity. And also bringing of as many flags as possible. The part about Yost I loved was the random things that the students would yell based on the situation, rather than preplanned routines.
And that is why I stopped buying student season tickets and just bum tickets in regular seats as much as I can. I will not in my 9th year now get there 30-60 minutes early to get a seat on the glass. Just not worth it anymore. And that is also why I hate Hunter Lochmann.
Man, as a student from 98-02 that had hockey season tix for 2 of those years and worked doing stats for the athletic dept in the hockey pressbox for another, I am incredibly saddened to hear that Yost is a shell of itself these days. Back then, I honestly thought hockey games were 1000 times better than football games (in part because I hated the noon football games that were the standard). I never would have thought that Yost would basically become Crisler, circa 98-02. This saddens me to no end.
MSU guys are good because they're around all the time. MSU has reached Wisconsin levels of retention, redshirting damn near everyone and keeping almost all of them around for four or five years.
This is an important point. MSU's defense currently starts six seniors, three juniors and two redshirt sophomores, so all 11 starters are guys who had been on campus at least two years before this season. That's quite a luxury.
I had season tickets for hockey as a student from 96 - 99 and I had gone to a few games before that.
It used to be the absolutely coolest place to be, and the student section was uproariously funny. Also, discounts for pizza at the Williams street location was great. Yay goals.
When they changed tickets from first come first serve to based on a series of ridiculous point rules, I knew it was the end. Then they doubled prices for season tickets. The student section changed quickly over those two years. People used to camp out for tickets. And then there started to be some empty seats and waning enthusiasm.
Man... those were some flipping fantastic years of hockey!
I miss JMFJ's dad doing the dance
I agree with that. It's just not the same now that it's done at every Michigan sporting event. It is real neat to see the crowd get into it though, but I miss the single guy that would do it and the uniqueness of that.
Yep. Can't believe everyone is ready to embrace mediocrity.
why have you left us? To close your eyes to what we have been witnessing for the past three years does not engender confidence in your analysis.
The best year Hoke and company had was his first year using primarily RR's players and hybrid system. A good deal of the success could be attributed to bringing GM.
His second year had a mix of RR and Hoke players. His record was worst than his first year.
His third year we have more of a mix of Hoke players than RR BUT the skilled position players are RR players. Yet, based on all what we have witnessed, the team by any measure is performing at a level far below his first two years.
The trend clearly is going in the wrong direction and to say it will get better is a pipe dream. When coaches take over a program in most cases their program improves year to year. Coaches that fail have programs that either remain stationary or regress from one year to another year. Invariable, they claim they have youth and lack of experience and they need more time. This is the typical death chant.
I have no doubt Hoke will be here for at least five years if not more. He will have a winning record in each of those years (the next two years have enough powder puff teams scheduled that it will be difficult for him to not to have a winning record). Nevertheless, it will not hide the fact of the deplorable state the Michigan football program is in and has been in.
You are a very knowledgeable football person and to read that you have adapted the death chant is very disappointing. Hoke is a good and decent man. But he cannot coach himself out of a paperbag.
The foundation of mediocrity is believing things will get better when facts do not support the belief.
When coaches take over a program in most cases their program improves year to year.
A good coach should improve the program overall, yes, but improvement in every year does not always happen. As noted above, Dantonio went 7-5, then 9-4, then 6-7 in his first three years.
We don't know what will happen with Hoke, but when you see how he is recruiting compared to the classes he inherited, you have to believe the program will improve. If he lands a top 10 class every year, and doesn't suffer much attrition, it would be hard for us not to be good.
Outside of Denard and Lewan a good deal of the team's best players were actually Carr holdovers.
Regarding the 8-5 season last year. Everybody is talking like that was a huge step back. Of the 5 teams we lost to 2 of them played for the NC, another was undefeated, and the worst one's record was 11-3.
Yup. Michigan had one of the toughest schedules in the country. And the Ohio State team they lost to hasn't lost since late November of 2011.
I haven't been there in ages. Please tell me the students at least heckle the other teams' goalie?
"You're adopted! Your mother didn't want you!" was one of the kinder things said to the opposing goalie, as I recall...
They'll do the name-sieve-name-sieve chant. As well as goalie-sieve-goalie-sieve. And also ugly goalie. But other than that, these last two years I haven't heard anything creative. I rarely ever even hear "Hey goalie, you're not a goalie you're a sieve, you're not a sieve, you're a funnel...etc." Someone correct me if I'm wrong. And definitely no phone "hey goalie, it's your mom, she says, you suck." Yost is a shell of its former glory and yes it is devastating. Once again I blame Hunter Lochmann, chief marketing officer.
What does the marketing arm have to do with it? Are they forbidding the students from chanting mean things?
This is a process that goes back over a decade. It really all started not with the fliers-on-the-seats/Red's grandkid thing, but when Athletics held the focus group meetings with the student section in 2004-5. I had tickets that year since I wasn't in hockey band yet, so I went, and participated in the surveys and emails that went back and forth between the group, Josh Richelow, and the Athletics folks (head by former Asst. AD Mike Stevenson).
Basically, they were trying really, really hard to shut down the CYA cheer. They kept saying they were absolutely OK with everything else, but the CYA cheer ending with "cocksucker" was too far. I tended to think they were just trying to find a middle ground and settle for CYA before they moved on to the smaller fish, because it was pretty clear they really weren't OK with the unpredictableness of the whole thing. Even beyond CYA, there was a possibility things could still go too far. Like what happened a few years later with the Kampfer incident.
They were also sick of the complaints from opposing parents, they were getting pressure from the NCAA, there was the issue about hosting NCAA tournament games and the formal complaints that were made after the last time Yost hosted (I can't remember which school, but one of them took issue with the language and intensity). This was in the era when campus sites were still in, and they were still applying every year. Or so they said.
There were threats made to the students. The big one I can really remember was that they were going to split the section in half (which they did) and put general tickets up the middle to try to break things up. They had already moved the parents to the other side of the ice, and put people in between the students and the glass behind the benches. They said as soon as "cocksucker" was permanently gone, they'd revisit it. Then they floated ideas like putting us all in the endzone, there was a whole survey with a bunch of alternatives.
So the students tried to fix it and it never stuck. So they pulled in the smaller guns to try to crack down. Halfway through the year, they started stationing ushers in the aisles every time a penalty was called, and if you kept going and said "cocksucker," they'd kick you out. There were a few really, really contentious weekends that year. Then they started asking the band to start playing as soon as they said CYA. Then they tried putting the student section under closer supervision by giving out t-shirts and semi-endorsing the idea of giving it a name. It was little pithy things that I think just added up, in combination with rising ticket prices and growing student apathy.
Really, like Brian said, this was all a lot more under the Bill Martin administration. By the time Brandon came in, a lot of the magic had already faded away. Now that the renovations are done and it's been given the tame version of the WOW experience (goal horn, etc.), like Brian said, Yost is just another arena.
I think there was a real miscommunication between the student section and the powers that be. You are correct that the only real problem was "cocksucker." The students saw it as "they are trying to stop us from doing the C-YA cheer" and the powers that be saw it as "everything else is fine as long as they stop using that one word." This didn't seem to be communicated very well from the administration to the students...
Of course, the reason for Yost's decline has nothing to do with the C-YA chant or the band playing over it or the goal horn. It has to do with the student attendance, with the useless "luxury" seating built over the student section (and the luxury patrons complaining about the band's volume resulting in the band being shrunk and moved), but most of all it has to do with the student section, such as it is, simply changing.
I'm reluctant to say much more, because one or two of the people in the student section are friends (and this criticism doesn't really apply to them), but the regular core of the student section no longer seems to be able to react to the game--they are there to react to the band. Each media timeout has its song from the band, each song has its own particular dance routine. It's nice, it's fun, but I hardly ever hear spontaneous heckling of the other team--it's formulaic, it's done on cue.
I'm sure it's fun for the people doing it, and that's what matters, I guess, but it's simply not the same...and unfortunately, there is no real reason it can't go back to the way it was, as long as the core "leadership" of the student section leads them back there.
You nailed it on the head with the react-to-band-versus-game thing. I often wonder how (and why) that same small group of folks next to the band have had student tickets for a decade now. I knew several of them to have already graduated when I was in school, and I've been out over five years now. Why do those people still have so much sway? Why can't they sit with the old folks already? (And what the hell is up with all the extra dance moves to The Victors? There's exactly one: It's a fist.)
I always laugh my ass off when the Athletic Department claims the luxury seating is "100% sold." They've been saying it since those things were put in, and Brian is exactly right, they're never full. Ever. And I definitely don't believe the line that "those people all have tickets downstairs, too." Bullshit. Yost is a venue that seats, what, 6500-7000 now? There's no way a few hundred people are doubling up and only using half their tickets. For a decade.
They definitely have been there well past their student days, last I heard they bought thru current students. I'm not sure what they did starting last year when they started being put on mcards, but I'm going to assume they just pay the validation. I can't fault them much as there a re a few of them that travel to the less well attended regionals which I can't say many others attend.
But yes it would be nice if the student section in general would stop dancing at every opportunity possible and start heckling. That's what being part of the crowd is being about, no? I've tried talking to a few friends in the student section about this but they're set in their ways. Thus, I won't sit in the student section anymore. The atmosphere isn't worth standing for anymore.
How much does the declining environment at hockey games have to do with a declining team? It's been good, but it's been a long while since it's really been dominant. Even the title game run from a few years back was more of a surprise than an expectation. That has to temper excitement at the games.
I am really bugged by the author giving more rope to Hoke then R^2 and I believe that is unfair. If 2013 turns into a bomb year, that in my opinion is far worse then 2010 because the 2013 schedule is so much easier. In 2010 Iowa, Wisc, and PSU were pretty good teams. In 2013 Iowa is a pale shadow, PSU is completely undermanned, and Neb is not remotely close to 2010 Wisc.
If you recall R^2 knew his neck was on the line if he could not fix the defense. So his last couple classes were dedicated to finding someone who could help in 2010 as there was going to be no 2011. Yet we blame him for being short sighted. Furthermore most of whom he recruited on defense were recruited for a different system then what Mattison runs. So again it makes sense R^2's defensive recruits either did not make it or transfered.
Hoke had the luxury of actually having QB's with experience, an easier schedule and in 2011 have the ball bounce the right way. He also had the good fortunte of not having the former aluni and coaching staff pull the rug out from him. So if year three bombs why do we assume everything is different. Did we not learn anything from ND?
My take is you should evaluate a coach a certain way. If you justify Willingham who was just as unliked as R^2 by the insiders and give the golden boy more leeway because everyone likes him you are a hypocrite.
The reality is Hoke is going to stay and if Hoke wants the most incompetants to stay he will get to keep them. The Big10 is so bad a flawed team with perhaps superior talent but failed scheme and player development can smoke & mirror through most seasons. The insiders will be happy as long as we muddle through victories against the bottom feeders even if OSU kills us every year.
If you recall R^2 knew his neck was on the line if he could not fix the defense. So his last couple classes were dedicated to finding someone who could help in 2010 as there was going to be no 2011. Yet we blame him for being short sighted
If those really were RichRod's thought processes, he was pretty short-sighted, because counting on freshman to save your defense isn't a very wise strategy. Anyway, given that we signed 27 players in 2010, why was it so difficult to add another couple of linemen? We had the room. As it turned out, a bunch of guys he signed didn't even make it to campus.
It really doesn't matter how or why RichRod didn't make OL recruiting a priority. It is what it is. Signing six OL in three years is going to come back to bite you in the ass. We could have anticipated this at the time.
As for Hoke, do you see any gaps, positiion-wise, in his recruiting classes? He seems to be recruiting a good mix of players across the board. With 85 scholarships, that's not that hard to do.
Coaches are paid to win, not make excuses.
Hoke gets more time because he's won. Yes, he also gets more benefit of the doubt because of he's not actively trying to say the least popular comments possible to the Michigan fan base. Yes he also gets more benefit of the doubt because he had a remarkable first year. Those benefits are not unlimited. If he does not win games, especially big games, he won't be here. He's earned more time so far.
Roh started for two years under Mattison (would have been 3 if we hadn't burned his redshirt). Washington has started for two. BWC played extensively one year and started another (again, would have been more if we hadn't burned his redshirt). Jake Ryan is going to be a 4 year starter at LB. So is Desmond Morgan. Jibreel Black has played extensively and is starting this year (think so, so much shuffling, but he's one of the main guys either way). Countess will be a 4 year starter. Thomas Gordon is a 3 year starter. JT Floyd was a 2 year starter. Beyer and Cam Gordon are key contributors to this year's team. And if you want to give RR credit for finding Kovacs, that is another 3 year starter.
The very solid defenses we've had for three years now don't happen without a bunch of Rodriguez recruits playing and not losing their jobs to hyped up youngsters.
He should have gotten 5 years of unconditional administrative support to build a team. Hoke should get the same, and luckily he probably will. We'll see if we're going 11-2 next year and/or the year after. If not and things don't change, then I'll be just as sick/angry as you seem to be.
Coach Rod should have gotten 5 years despite that record? Coaches get paid to win games, and not just ones in the future. I don't doubt that keeping him might have been better for the long term success of the program, but isn't there some point that a guy just loses too much? I think that's what happened. I don't think Hoke has come close to that threshold.
Mike Hart should replace Fred Jackson as rb coach. Bring back Loeffler to coach QB's again.
Not going to happen, but wishful thinking.
Scot Loeffler has done nothing of worth since leaving Michigan, do not want.
Agreed. Virginia Tech's offense stinks, and Loeffler didn't do anything at Auburn, either.
Echoing Brian: one love Dan.
I was at the game last Friday and it was my first time back to Yost in a few years ('10 alum) and I enjoyed the students as always. However, I found myself consistently more impressed with the handful of unabashed and hilarious tech students in the southwest corner. Don't take that the wrong way. I love Yost and I think only the students can be the change in the long run. Winning should help...but don't be afraid to original, ridiculous and absolutely cross societal lines of appropriateness. I did love the Arizona flag and giant Yost portrait fwiw. I used to tell people there was no better sporting event than a game at Yost but now, I'm just not 100% sure that's true anymore. That doesn't mean it can't be the case again.
the three road rival games and the bowl games are likley losses and there will be another PSU type giveaway game. Yes I know there is a lot of time before then and lots can happen but the reasons to be pessimistic far outweigh the reasons to be optimistic at this point.
I see three straight seasons of 5 or more losses which is just depressing as hell.
Brian's prediction about the OL is probably right, but what about an OL of Magnuson-Bosch-Glasgow-Bryant-Kalis? I know Kalis was recruited as an offensive tackle.
Brian's been saying that the whole coaching staff will almost certainly stay after year. I assume that's true, and I think it could be a bad sign for the program going forward.
We know Hoke's not an Xs and Os mastermind like Saban, Kelly, or Rodriguez. That's okay. There are more important parts to being a head coach, as RR proved. Recruting probably being the most important, which Hoke is doing great at. He's a head coach as recruiter/manager/delegator, which is fine. Some have maligned not wearing a headset during games, but I think it speaks to humility and prioritization, good qualities in a manager.
But isn't a key characteristic of being a manager the ability to evaluate and, if necessary, fire people? If Hoke isn't willing to at least consider sending people out the door when they're not getting the job done, I don't see how he can succeed with his coaching style.
I was hoping someone smarter than me could put together a correlation between previous years recruiting and that years record. I have always noticed that FSU had been getting great recruiting classes but was not seeing it on the field in terms of wins. Now they are undefeated and were 12-2 last year. I feel like michigan is on the same path. We are dealing with #21 and #20 recruiting classes right now (rivals) and a RR o-line debacle. We are 6-2 and have 2 previously great recruiting classes #5 and #7 with another on the way. Let's not jump off a bridge here.
2007 recruiting #21 2008 record 9-4
2008 recruiting #9 2009 record 7-6
2009 recruiting # 7 2010 record 10-4
2010 recruiting #10 2011 record 9-4
2011 recruiting #2 2012 record 12-2
2012 recruiting #6 2013 record 8-0
2007 recruiting #12 2008 record 3-9
2008 recruiting #10 2008 record 5-7
2009 recruiting # 8 2010 record 7-6
2010 recruiting #20 2011 record 11-2
2011 recruiting #21 2012record 8-5
2012 recruiting #7 2013 record 6-2
If someone would do all top 15 teams I think we would see a corilation with recruiting and wins. Hoke can recruit give him and his staff time. I hate losing too and I love screen passes ect but I needed to step back and look at the numbers
His teams play more games than that. Bo went three years without beating Ohio and didn't lose any other games. We kept him. He won the next three against Ohio.
I agree that beating Ohio is a measuring stick. But there are other games. So long as he wins a lot, he will stay. John Cooper got 12 years at Ohio, had a great program, but couldn't beat Michigan. Cooper contributed quite a bit to Tressel's early success, in that the program was in pretty damn good shape. Let Hoke give us 12 great (albeit disappointing years). He might have the chops to beat Ohio a few times. If not, after he has built the program up to 1990's era Ohio levels, let the next guy take over that solid foundation and see if he can get over the Ohio hump.
Since we have been focusing on how frustrated we are with the coaching staff I want to point something I really like. I know we have been frustrated with Borges, Funk, and even to a lesser degree Hoke. And, although we are also frustrated with the results of the defense, Mattison gets it. He recognizes the problems the defense is facing, he recognizes the need for improvement in specific areas, versus other coaches that tend to gloss over or fail to pinpoint any specific problem other than vague terms like "toughness" "physical play" or "bullied". Mattison discuses specific problems by specific players. For example when talking about Ramon Taylor he talked about how he had a nice interception and led the team in tackles, but he pointed out that some of those tackles he was pushed back versus pushing the ball carrier back. And, he pointed out that although sometimes the coverage was good, if he did not deny the receiver the ball it wasn't close enough and requires a higher degree of desire/competition.
This is one thing I really appreciate about Mattison. Hoke accepts the blame, but defends the kids, which I get, but it makes it hard to understand if he really admits the failure or the problem. Borges tends to ignore or diminish the problems alltogether. Mattison supports the kids and praises the effort, but is willing to call out specific plays and even players that need to do better while still taking accountability for it and gives specific ways to improve upon it and is open with how much time and the tactics he used to try and prevent it from happening in the first place. I just really appreciated that from his presser. This gives me confidence that when his guys are mature and playing they will be better versus Borges who I am still not sure on.
Most intense sports venues I have ever been to:
1. Yost ~1994-2001
2. Michigan Stadium, preferably in 1997, pre-renovation/Special K
3. Ohio Stadium
4. The Ralph, Grand Forks, ND
5. Yost 2002-2007
6. Every other sports venue I've ever been to ever.
7. Yost 2008-2010
8. Post-renovation, goal horn, Toyota Power Play, garish neon yellow and blue concourse, the OHL WOW Experience Yost
It's sad what it's become. And I know they're your guys and everything, Brian, but the CoY are a part of the problem. Remember, it was one spontaneous student section with one name, not a subgroup who have coopted all the cheers and fun while everybody else not in the cool-kids-club stands around and tries in vain to get in on the joke.
And cosign on the Blues-Brothers-Fest 2008/Everybody-Dance-Now comments. Missin u Mr. Johnson.
Yep CoY is a decent concept that tried to copy the Maize Rage, but one of the great things about Yost was how spontaneous everything was, especially the cheers. You'll be hard pressed nowadays to hear a unique cheer at any specific game.
I'm sure you remember how intense that BC game was in 05 (?). Compare that to the BC crowd we had this year. A whole new animal. Yost used to be an intimidating place to play, but I just don't see that anymore, and it's real unfortunate for the fans as well as the team.
That '05 BC game was positively insane. Maybe one of my top-5 all-time in about 20 seasons of going to Yost.
I can still hear the sound of the JMFJ's shot blasting that goalie's helmet off.
I was surprised after Montgomery left, Hoke did not want to hire a DL coach. I'm not sure if DB wanted to to be tight with budget and Hoke had to step in. Just seem like the DL is not developing. The interior of the OL has extreme youth but I'm worried Funk may not be developing them. Borges has shown he has no time to effectively coach his QB's. We need a QB coach like 2 seasons ago.
The defensive line may not be developing fast enough for some. But the line as a whole has been better than last season. The pressure metrics are up. Black has gone from average to good. Clark has gone from below average to average at least. Beyer has added pass rushing skills to his run support. Quentin Washington has been an All-Conference level player despite being an offensive lineman before Hoke got here. There are improvements everywhere, even if they aren't huge.
What part of the defensive line isn't developing? Quinton Washington is the only guy who hasn't taken a noticeable step forward.
have taken the Michigan coaching position. I think we would be undefeated by now and our only loss may be to OSU. Jim would have demanded more out of his players and coaching staff. Some times it takes a highly driven individual be a great coach. Some one who expect the very best from both his players and coaches. Overall, I think Hoke will turn our program around into a 2 or 3 loss per season team but I think we will still have problems beating good teams on the road and winning against Urban. I could see up being 10-2 and a very good football team in 2015 but we probably will not beat OSU and we'll probably lose to a team we should have beaten. But like Carr, Hoke may have a few of those magical season where every thing comes together, so I cannot rule out a NC over the next decade. But I think the LC level of a program is what DB desires. My prediction is Hoke will retire in 12 to 15 years with a record close to LC, probably not as many B1G victories but more cupcake wins, so the record will look close to Carr's.
Good comments. I have a hard time seeing Hoke ever beating Meyer. As much as I dislike Meyer he is driven to win and has no soul.
Harbaugh might have had a better record than Hoke, but if you think he'd have this team undefeated, you are a tremendously optimistic person who deserves nothing but great things in life.
When a sizeable portion of the program is sabotaging recruiting, "inept" has nothing to do with it. RR might as well have been trying to recruit kids in this region to EMU thanks to all of the "Michigan Men" telling coaches not to send their kids to Michigan.
Michigan is paying for Lloyd Carr and supporters being willing to sacrifice 5-7 years of Michigan football over a petty vendetta.
But if we were looking to make a change, Glen Mason or somebody just like him is the kind of dude I would want running the show on offense (assuming all the restricting political parameters in place).
If we want to run the ball from under center with the running back there was pretty much nobody better at making that happen. Can't even imagine stopping one of his teams with guys like Gardner/Funchess/Gallon to supplement the ground game.
Agreed. His Minnesota teams could run the s*** out of the football, and he did a great job of developing running backs.
He'd take the Ohio State game seriously.