I am so sick of people saying he deserves 5 years. No one gets 5 years. RR got 3. Not this year but he better be in Indy next year and competitive with the relevant players.
gambling establishment etc
"I passed your floor on the way up, and now I'm passing it on the way down, and I don't think I'll be taking this elevator again." - Daniel Keyes, Flowers for Algernon
There’s probably some degree of frustration on the team. Can you talk about the number of missed opportunities on the field?
“Yeah. You know, frustration because we lost as a team. Yeah. It’s a frustration that we all have. I have to do a better job coaching this football team. The effort was really – guys were working, guys were fighting, guys were doing things. Did we do them well enough? No. And that goes on me.”
Seven sacks this week. How do you keep Devin’s spirits up?
“His spirits will be up because he’s a competitor. He’s going to be sore, and that’s part of it. Again, I have to do a better job coaching.”
When you talk about coaching, we do have to ask about the play calling from Al Borges. Do you have to look at that much more closely this week?
“I like the play calling. I think we thought we could do some things and we didn’t.”
Did you hear the booing after some of those offensive plays?
“Well, that’s you know, that’s the way things are.”
What’s Thomas Gordon’s situation?
“He had a little bit of an ankle. He played on the punt team. We also thought Courtney [Avery] and Josh [Furman] could give us something. And Jarrod [Wilson].”
What did you think you got from the safeties?
“I think it was okay. I don’t know until I watch it.”
Negative 69 rushing yards over the last two games. How do you explain that?
“Well, it’s hard to explain, isn’t it? I’ve got to do a better job coaching those guys.”
MGoQuestion: What kind of adjustments were you hoping to make over the course of last week as well as during this game?
“Well, you always have a plan that you think is going to work, number one. We change the plan all the time every week. I think there were some things that we did pretty well. But there were a number of things that we have to do a better job coaching the kids on.”
Can you talk about not cashing in on the turnovers?
“Well, we didn’t. We just didn’t execute.”
It looked like Devin really struggled scrambling. Is he banged up?
“His legs and everything are fine. I don’t know if he took a shot over there near their sideline. I think it was the second quarter. I thought he was fine.”
Was there fatigue on defense during the last drive?
“I don’t think so. Because of the number of plays guys are playing? No.”
What do you attribute it to?
“I have to do a better job of coaching.”
You have blocking issues all across the board.
“I don’t know about all across the board, but there’s some blocking issues.”
Why is that not progressing? If anything, it looks like it’s regressing.
“I’ve got to do a better job of coaching, it looks like. We’ve got to do a better job of what we’re doing and look at what we’re doing.”
You said you did some things good and some things not good. What were some of the things that were good?
“That were better as a team? Well defensively after the first quarter they settled in. Did a good job. I think they were 6 of 16 on third down. Most of the third downs – you want them all, but the critical ones, we needed to execute a little better on.”
How much does it hurt to see the home winning streak end?
“Home winning streak, away winning streak, any winning streak, you’re disappointed when it’s not there.”
Taco played today. What did you like about him?
“He’s been fortunate enough that he’s been able to improve over the course of the year without having to take full time snaps in a lot of critical situations. We just like how he’s come along. It’s about the right time for him because of how he’s come along to play.”
Is interior defensive line where he can play more?
“That was all in the nickel packages, sub packages. He’s still an outside end, but he’s got the length and the size and as good of quickness as anybody. He’s pretty good inside when you get in the sub packages.”
You were able to generate some offense with some screens and quick passes. Is that something you have to look at more?
“Last week we had that different screen in that we thought was going to be pretty good, and [Michigan State] sniffed that one out pretty good. This new one today was hitters but not consistent hitters. It’s something we tried to do. We threw the rocket to Gallon the one time, hit the windows route one time in there. Some of that stuff, it helps you a little bit, but at the same time, there’s some of it that’s similar when you look at what they did and what we did.”
At some point, do you have to admit that you can’t run the ball and not beat your head against the wall?
“I agree. And yes, you can do that.”
Is Devin holding the ball too long?
“Well I think any time you have negative plays either way, and let me go back to [the previous question]. The negative plays are what kill you on third down. First down negative plays, we snapped the ball again a little high. That was a 10-yard loss, so now you’re second and 20. I think as you watch the tape, he may have held it too long once or twice. I think you also coverage-wise, you have to give them a little credit also. They did a pretty good job on some of the coverage things that they did with Gallon and Funchess.”
You said you needed to do a better job coaching. In what area specifically?
“Just … everything.”
How did you think the other young guys played on defense?
“Willie started last week and played well. Again, I think you get a chance to look at it and grade it and do all that stuff. I know Willie [Henry] made some plays again, which is a good sign. I think Taco forced the sack that Cam got. Did a nice job on a gain. Also did a nice job on a run play in there. Until you really look at it, it’s hard I think for you to make an evaluation that’s fair.”
You mentioned the negative plays that hurt you on third down. What do you attribute that to?
“Because we had negative plays on first down.”
Those have increased, too. What do you attribute it to?
“I think you attribute it to the opponent did a good job, and I have to do a better job coaching our team.”
Looked like the running backs struggled in pass protection.
“That’s something we’re trying to get fixed to be honest with you. Is it a concern? Yeah. It always is. Not tackling, not blocking, not covering. Not throwing the ball, not running good routes. All that stuff is concerning.”
Are you concerned that you’re running out of practice time because it’s November?
“No, because we have three opportunities left. Two of them on the road, one here. Would we like to have played better? Yes. Would we like to have run the ball better? Yes. Would we like to have done a good job on third downs? Yes. And we’ve just got to go to work and keep working at it.”
Did Nebraska bring more pressure than you thought they would?
“I thought they brought a little more.”
What’s the most important thing you need to do as a coach?
“Right now it’s this team being a team. From a staff standpoint and a team standpoint. I tell you, they practiced their tails off. Tuesday and Wednesday they gave as good an effort as any team I’ve been around. The physicalness with which they attack each other and compete. We have to keep doing that.”
I am so sick of people saying he deserves 5 years. No one gets 5 years. RR got 3. Not this year but he better be in Indy next year and competitive with the relevant players.
RR was also 15-22, opened with a school record 9 loss season, and made it to one bowl game (where we were blown to bits). Hoke is 25-10, opened with an 11-2 season and BCS bowl win, and has made it to a bowl 3 times in a row--narrowly losing to a talented SC team last season.
The comparison of RRs results to Hoke's is simply laughable.
that if we do go 6-6, get blown out by OSU, and go to a sh*tty bowl game and get beaten soundly, that well, the comparison would start to look a little more close than any of us thought possible...
He couldn't have set the bar any lower than he did in 2008.
The only reason Hoke gets more leash is because when he was hired, he said all the right things we wanted to hear. Rich rod could say more of the wrong things.
Progress was made this presser, although the "I have to do a better job coaching" means absolutely nothing because he's not really an x's and o's guy on either side of the ball so I don't know how he's going to help Borges/Mattison.
He's a football coach, of course he is going to keep some stuff on the inside. He isn't going to throw Borges under the bus in public, but he might be doing so privately.
Hoke is taking full responsibility for the coaching of his team here, as he said over and over again.
It's clear this team is close to a complete meltdown, it's Hoke's job to stay level headed.
Hoke is probably going to make coaching changes after the season, we should wait until next year for a clear verdict on Hoke.
I remember Clinton's third State of the Union, where he was all "America's play-calling has been unacceptable. We can do better, we must do better, and we WILL do better. I have made it clear to the the Secretary of the Offense that the wasting of America's first downs will not be tolerated in this administration."
Ah-ah-ahhhhh, no politics.
Sorry, couldn't resist.
Let's fire our coach every 3 years, worked well for Notre Dame.
fergodsakes = decide schematic advantage
1.) Fire Borges now! This must happen or we will lose recruits. It is actually possible to play call around a struggling OL.....(ie;Indiana) I truly think that this could be a great team with good O play calling and teaching, but not under some cocky jerk who blames the players.
2.) Fire Funk now! He obviously doesn't know what he is doing. Other teams have freshman and walkon's who can play the OL just fine.
3.) Fire Welman now! How can all of the lines be so week. With both the D and O lines doing so poorly there must be a strength and cond. issue.
4.) Hire a QB coach both Denard and Devin never reached their potential due to not having a QB coach. Borges' not being able to work with other coaches is another reason to can him (what he said regarding having a QB coach)
5.) Fire Borges now! Should have been done after he threw away last year's OSU game through pure stupidity! Didn't even pass the "man on the street test" on the play calling on that one.
Hoke is a good figurehead and recruiter, but that's it, so he needs the best assistants. Other teams hire the best not a bunch of MAC guys (WAC, whatever), that no one else wanted. Michigan can hire the best. If Hoke doesn't step up to these deficiencies than he needs to go. And my god the clock management is abysmal!!! I certainly hope that Hoke isn't responsible for that. Not playing the end of the 1st half and "leaving it in the hands" of the defense" is archaic football crap......Get Borges some diapers if he has to pee and can't wait until the half is over! Oh Yeh, we fired him, right????
I hope the plan for improvement isn't just "do the same things, but better." If things aren't working, it's the coach's job to change them.
People have noted that Hoke's style is to delegate. That's fine, but ultimate responsibility rests with him to get this fixed.
Seriously what do people expect him to say? Coach speak exists for a reason. Coaches and players go through media training. They're trained to give vague answers so as not to come across sounding like an asshole. Hoke saying "ya know.. Borges really stunk it up today" doesn't help anyone inside the locker room and im sure it wouldn't help with recruits. Within the coaching fraternity, he'd lose respect from his peers for doing that because if he felt like the plan wasn't good he could've handled that during preparation earlier this week. It wouldn't be a good representation of him as a coach or the university.
The team is not doing well, the coaching isn't good right now but get a grip. The answers you were looking for just aren't good answers outside of making MGoBlog users feel better, which doesn't matter all that much in reality. He said "I have to coach better", how is that not acknowledging that there is a problem? M fans think way too highly of themselves.
Has anyone stopped to think that Hoke's only good year was with Rich Rods guys and offense and it has been downhill ever since? Not that I was a Rich Rod fan...he had to go...but Hoke is on the same path taking the program down. If Borges isn't gone then Hoke and all of them should go. How hard is it for opponents to stop us when my buddies and I are calling the plays before we run them from the stands?
I thought 2012 was not that bad of a year, given that we played what turned out to be brutal schedule - the #1, #2 and #3 teams in the country, none of them at home, plus another top 10 team in the bowl and Nebraska when our QB got injured.
He seems to still beleive we are a B1G championship caliber team if we just execute. He thinks they just need to coach them harder, but with the same strategy. We are nowhere near that. We need to execute just to keep from imploding and moving backwards every time we get the ball. It's not the effort from the coaches that's the problem it's the wholesale scheme/philosophy.
Hoke needs to say listen, what we are doing isn't working. We are broken. We have a philosophy and a belief in what we want Michigan to be, but we are simply not capable of being that just yet. We have faith in our kids and they are giving their best effort, but we are young in key positions which keep us from doing what we beleive in as a style of play. So, instead we need to adjust and give the players a scheme they are capable of executing and then installing where we eventually want to go a little bit at a time. And then, actually spend all week drilling those few things we can do well and give up on the rest until the offseason.
All this is purely selfish and I know Hoke will never say this in public, but I hope he at least is saying it in private.
of seeing opposing running backs run through the smallest of holes full speed to get at least two or three yards. Then watch Fitz stop at the line do a side step dance move and lose two or three yards. Another thing that burns my behind is Devin sticking his hand out to blitzing line backers or D lineman instead of throwing the ball out of bounds, play over for no loss 2nd and ten. But Noooo he gets sacked because the said defender won't go away pushes his hand aside and tackles him for a ten yard loss 2nd and 20.
i'm all with the frustration, etc., but to point to a press conference as meaningful in any way, well, that's just silly.
he mostly said "gotta coach better" which is reasonable.
let's see what happens.
if the guys don't give up and play OSU to a close game, we'll probably all look at this differently. yes, i know, a bit optimistic...
"Has anyone stopped to think that Hoke's only good year was with Rich Rods guys and offense and it has been downhill ever since?"
you need to qualify that statement my friend. Hokes best year was '11 and the team was lead by a very small, but determined, group of upperclassmen few of whom (IIRC) were recruited by RR. Despite having some early offensive struggles, Michigan's OL gelled and was lead by the Rimington Award winner David Molk. Further, the DL was anchored in the center by Mike Martin, and RVB, two players who totally blossomed under Hoke and Mattison system and coaching.
The upperclassmen onTeam 134 are RR's guys, they were recruited in '09 and '10, and it is the weakness and deficiencies in those two classes that has Michigan (at least in part) in the situation it is in today. There are very few upperclassmen, especially on the OL.
people say things like "but in 2011 they were all RR's guys!" and completely ignore that no, they actually were not.
For the first time since 1962, I can honestly assert in all seriousness that the godforsaken Detroit Lions are a better team in a given season—2013—than the Michigan Wolverines.
Have we had some lousy Michigan teams in the recent past? Of course, but the Lions have always been worse; in 2008-09, the Lions were 0-16 and 2-14.
Am I saying that the Lions this year are a great team? Absolutely not, but Team 134 has sadly proven to be a burgeoning clusterfuck, a team whose players are trying their best but failing repeatedly, and who are being coached by men whose decisions are frequently inexplicable and whose achievements appear transitory.
Huh? They were legitimately better than us in all three RR years. From 2008-10, they went 9-4, 6-7 (4-4 in conference) and 11-2 to our 3-9, 5-7 (1-7 in conference) and 7-6.
Last year, OTOH, we finished ahead of them, both overall and in our division, and won the game, so how were they better?
I appreciate that he's obviously heard everyone and their Mom saying he only blames the players (does he read this blog FerGodsakes????), and is finally taking responsibility, but that "I've got to do a better job", tagline is very concerning. Sounds like DB or somebody told him to say it almost.
It also sounds like a man with no answers, that has simply given in to that he doesn't know WTF he's doing at this particular level of ball. Either that or he's being cynical, and really does blame the players. I underdstand that he's not going to be very forthcoming with the media on in-house matters, but he offers not a follow up statement to speak of after his little tagline, a tagline that almost requires a word or two of explanation, no? It's downright bizarre IMO and concerns the hell out of me.
I highly, highly, highly doubt that he'll be gone anytime soon, but he's coming apart at the seams and is showing a meathead/lineman type of loyalty and willingness to fall on the sword that you rarely see in a high level HC. DB can't be loving this. That's the good news for us.
PS...For those that still advocate for Hoke staying, ask yourself, do you really think this guy is leading the discussion as to what tactical adjustments can be made to fix what's wrong? Ever? No you don't. Now ask yourself who is...
Hoke has never been a coordinator prior to becoming head coach, so he's never been responsible himself for determining strategy and tactics.
That's not necessarily a crippling thing for a head coach, but it puts particular stress on the ability to hire absolutely top-notch coordinators.
I agree that it's not necessarily crippling, but your coordinators have to be uber competent in that case. At least one of his is not. Also, you don't have to be a coordinator to have the ability to guide strategy or to make tactical adjustments yourself. Seriously. If you're a B1G HC, and you lack that ability, then you are in the wrong place my friend. Frankly, after what we went through with RR,I'd say that taking the risk in 2011 of hiring a guy like that was not very smart. No 20/20 either. Especially with two, end- of the road coordinators that are both older than 50. Js
I think you need to be very careful about assuming that Hoke lacks intelligence or that Michigan is anything but Hoke's team. Personally, I don't think you, nor anyone, truly understands what is going on inside the program away from the cameras.
This is the first real adversity that Hoke has face since taking over the program. As Teddy Roosevelt aptly said, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
Let's see how the big guy handles this adversity. For all we know, this could be THE defining moment in Hoke career at Michigan. I have faith in him, and the players. They're struggling, no doubt. But, I think failure and struggle are the best teacher.
I have to give you props. On one of the darkest days of the board in recent memory you have definitely provided optomism where not many find any (me especially). I really hope, for all of our sake, that what you are projecting on Hoke is accurate and he does deal with this situation and doesnt just hope it goes away on his own. Obviously we see the future a bit differently but that's OK - I honestly hope you are right.
You win the mGrowOld "glass is half full" award for the night. Good job!
LOL Thanks mGrowOld, you crack me up!
I am, through a concerted effort, a very positive person.
Think about it this way. You're a college football coach, and you've landed your dream job, one that you want to be your last stop. You've taken over the program coming off an historic low. You unify the fanbase, you get an 11 win season in your first season, have a so-so/disappointing season in your second season, and seem to be on your way to another, even more, disappointing season. Do you just let it slip away, go back to the MAC and say, "I gave it my best shot..." Fuck no. Hoke is fighter, a guy that isn't going to just sit back and let his dream job be taken from him.
I am serious about failure and advertisty being a requirement for greatness. I think many people in here are totally selling Hoke short. I think 2011 was a blessing and a curse. I am not saying it wasn't fun, and important for the program and for Hoke. But, I think it deluded a lot Michigan fans into thinking that the situation was different than it was. In fact, I personally thought the situation after 2011 was going to be FAR WORSE. I've spent way too much time studying the Michigan roster -- it started in my defense of RR. I am 100% convinced that what Michigan is going through is roster/recruiting related.
I think Fitz was NEVER a good RB, but he benefitted from a decent/good OL (lead by Molk) and one of the deadliest running QB's of all time. Since that time, he's done absolutely nothing. I am not saying the OL has been great, but he's been totally useless. I remember one run in the MSU game in which, amazingly, MSU didn't hit him in the back field, and he actually had some running room. He stopped in the hold, sort of stood still and then lunged forward for a 4-5 yard gain. At least Green, on of his few carries, slammed into the hole, took on the LB, kept his legs moving, and fell forward for 4 yards against Nebraska.
What I am getting at is that in studying the roster (or lack there of) I feel strongly that the players Hoke inherited, for the most part, weren't very good, and it's become worse every year. Add to that the fact that there are so few upperclassmen, and you have what we're seeing.
Frankly, I am not surprised in the least as I completely and vehementy disagree with people that say, "we have more talent than..." or "we have more than enough talent..." No, no we don't. I am sorry to say that because I love the guys for their effort, but they're NO WHERE near the level that Michigan was used to, and it shows. I find it very telling how much better MSU is than Michgan right now. Most players on MSU's roster are from Michigan, and all those upperclassmen chose MSU over Michigan under RR. It's not like they were all guys that Michigan overlooked, like in the past. Whiners parrot this "Dantonio coaches up 2-3 star guys..." horseshit. They whine, "how could UCONN and Akron have more talent." Well, they do. If they didn't they wouldn't be able to push Michigan around. Again, sorry to say it, but it's the truth and if Michigan fans cannot get their minds around that fact, if they cannot see how bad things had become at the end of Carr's tenure and under RR, then you're in for a fuck ton of misery for a few more years.
Hoke is going to be great, you'll see. I think he need to shake up the OC, OL, and RB coaching, but he's got the pipeline open and flowing, and we'll be great, it's just going to take some time. Better hope that DB give it to him because if he doesn't, I fear for the future of this program. DB knows this, I am certain of that, and he's going to do the right things.
Res ipsa loquitur my friend res ipsa loquitur. So you think that Hoke & Co.'s coaching is so utterly deficient that teams like Arkon and UConn, given the talent differential that YOU seem to think is in place, could so substantially dominate Michigan? No chance. I've played too many sports to believe that it is coaching. It's talent, plain and simple and Michigan ain't got it, or if it does, it's almost all at the early end of the roster. Sorry dude, you can continue to believe in the "Michigan Myth" as I call it, but that myth was busted for me in 2008.
Go and check the recruiting for Akron. Check their record. Check how many wins they've had over the past few years. They DO NOT have the talent level Michigan has.
People were blaming talent for the defense when RR was here. Mattison came in and showed what coaching can do. Turned the defense from inept to competent in one year.
So why did they completely stuff Michigan's running game? Do you think Fuke is so blitheringly incompetent that he cannot coach these supposedly more talented Michigan OLinemen well enough to block the defense of one of the worst teams in the nation? You guys want to heap it all on the coaches because you're 100% convinced its not the talent level because this is Michigan, and we have more talent. Well, again, why the inability to block? Even if Funk was a soccer coach whose only qualification was that he skimmed a book on coaching OLine play you'd expect the more talented Michigan OL to beat up on Akron. I mean, there kids played OL in high school right? Did they suddenly forget how to block? Is the blocking THAT much different than what they did then? Did Funk suddenly forget all the technique he's spent a career teaching? You guys ask one to take a lot of leaps, and I'm not willing to take them. To me, the simplest explanation is that the guys just aren't that good. Can they get better, of course. But as I said, they're a "default" starting unit for the most part.
Sure we said the same thing about the defense in '10 then Mattison gets ahold of them and they improved dramatically. Well, first off there is nothing to say this '13 won't see the same improvement, and the talented players, like MM and RVB, improved but several did not because they weren't that good and no amount of coaching was going to make them so.
We don't know what's going to happen, that's what make it so fun. Many fans are shamefully writing off any chance of improvement, and are selling the players and staff short. They're not talented enough right now to push those teams around, and certainly not talented enough to deal with MSU's defense. Will they become so? I dunno, but I think they're in good hands and the future is bright. If you don't, so be it. Keep believing we're so superior to everyone and it MUST be the coaches and see what happens if you get your wish. Replace the OC, fine. Replace the OL coach if a sacrifical lamb is needed. Tell Jackson it's time to retire and hire Hart or Wheatley, great! But Hoke is going to bring Michigan back, you mark my words.
You are preaching to the choir. There are some people who are calling for Hoke but most of the board seems to be on the "let's get rid of Borges, Funk, and Jackson" bandwagon. At this point it is well documented that Borges has called a lot of stinker games and defenses know what is coming. He should be gone.
Jackson has been a great coach for UM but it may be time to get some new young blood since it's been a while since we've had a truly dominant back.
Funk I may actually be starting to question a little. The O Line is in shambles now sure but a lot of that is the youth of the line. They haven't gotten better as the season has gone on but I think the bigger question would be Lewan and Schofield. have they gotten better under three years of Funk? If so this may be some evidence to retain him but as you say the situation may require a sacrificial lamb.
You say a few years more of this but if we make good hires on the offensive side of the ball next year could start to already be a lot better. We will have three (hopefully) solid Hoke classes on the roster. In 2015 it will basically be entirely Hoke's team. I agree with you the future is bright if we make the changes. If we don't and keep all three of those coaches well it could be very bad. We will know in a few weeks and months.
is 0-8! Come on, dude. Get real.
Wow, I was admiring (although disagreeing with) your optimism about the team...up to reading about how highly you think of Akron and UConn. I now just take your view as a blind faith.
about Rodriguez's defense in 2010. They just were young/untalented/whatever and there was nothing to be done about it. Then Mattison came in and showed what a bit of coaching can do.
Youth and inexperience is part of the problem, no question. However, a decent coach would find a way to make some plays work despite that. The level of ineptitude we're seeing goes far beyond the players into how and what they're being taught and evaluated on.
Either the players are executing these plays in practice (which means practice is insufficiently rigorous at simulating game condidtions) or they're not exectuing them in practice (in which case, why the hell are they being asked to do it in a game?). Both of those conditions go straight to the coaching staff.
Stop kidding yourself that there's nothing the coaches can do.
My concern goes beyond the playcalling and talent. It' seems like there is little development on the offensive line. I predicted a rough start for the offense give the youth on the o-line and that they would develop as the year went on. Same thing with the QB position. It seems like that development is not happening and that falls on coaching. I'm concerned that Hoke won't have the cojones to clean house of his bros from SDSU and FJ on offensive side of the ball. Another thing that I've seen since 2011 is poor game management from Hoke, especially at the end of half. I hope Hoke proves me wrong and that you're right.
Another thought I had as I sit on megabus back to Chicago from Ann Arbor is if there is good chemistry between the offensive coaches. What do you think?
This is so fucking stupid it's off the charts. Akron and UConn do not have more talent.
Also, 1-aa teams did better against MSU and Nebraska than we did. Do they have better talent too?
Wouldn't be surprised if they did.
Again, another guy suffering from the "Michigan Myth."
Trust me dude, I know it's hard to believe. I grew up on AA, within earshot of the Big House. I started going to games in 1976, I was family friends with Bob Ufer and his family, I sat next to Coach Carr's wife and daughter for 5 years, I am a Michigan alum. Trust me, I know how hard it is to admit that the Michigan you think you're seeing ain't the Michigan it used to be, and it hasn't been since 2005. Sucks, but it's true.
Hoke knows what Michigan was, he was there at it peak in '97. He's bringing it back, but until it's there, it's going to be too frustrating to bear if you don't let go of your attachment to the Myth.
So intrigued by your post, Sten, going to have difficulty falling asleep tonight.
I am skeptical about you saying things like "Uconn and Akron's talent is better than michigans" because I don't think that's strictly-speaking true, and I don't think it's effective to just say "trust me" to the internetz.
However, I do think you have a good point here. People look at our roster and think we have talent oozing everywhere when the reality is the gap is not near as high as we think, not even by Michigan's previous standards under Carr (that we were bemoaning at the time because it still wasn't to the level of the OSU's and Alabama's of the world).
While I dont agree with your assessment of our talent level vs that at Akron or U Conn I do love that you are honestly and genuinely upbeat about the team and our prospects going forward.
You are a nice counter to the negative nancy's like me.
Here's how it broke down.
Michigan became "sick" as a program somtime after 1997, I'm not exactly sure when it began, but for whatever reason, Michigan didn't make key changes to it's techniques, facilities, and it started to get locked out of its most fertile recruiting ground, Ohio. It began slowly, almost imperceptably. Then 2005 happened, and Michigan suffered through three times the number of season ending surguries than it had historically. It was at this point that Carr wanted out, and things should have been changed, IMO. Carr stayed, but major and much needed rennovations didn't get completed, and Tressle basically put a fence around Ohio and kept Michigan out. Years like 2006 masked the issues, but they were festering just below the surface. I remember thinking that with Henne, Hart, Long, Manningham, etc. coming back, we had a legit shot at the NC in 2007. Then, THE HORROR!
RR comes in, and despite what anyone says, the cupboard was as bare as bare can be. 2008, like 2005 was a lost class. 2009's class, this season's 5th year seniors, was also weak and suffered horrible attrition. People forget it's not only the star power of the class that is important, but it is a staff's ability to redshirt (because they have ample depth) and to RETAIN those players that matters maybe even more. How many guys from the 2009 class are there on the roster today? 2010, another weak class with a pretty high level of attrition.
Hoke's first class in 2011 was weak due to the timing of the coaching change. Fortunately, the 2012 and 2013 classes have been highly ranked, and thus far they've redshirted en mass, and most have remained on the roster. Michigan is playing a lot of guys that just flat out aren't good, and if not for the roster/depth issues and lack of talented upperclassmen, would NEVER play for an historical Michigan team.
Building a quality roster, like MSU has done has very little to do with continually having "elite" classes. It has to do with getting guys to work hard, and keeping them in the program as long as possible. The attrition that Michigan suffered from 2005 onward, and especially from 2008 - 2010 is off the chart high, and is really what is causing the issues today. Hence, the "Michigan Myth." It wasn't there. People THOUGHT it was there, and they got impatient with RR because they refused to admit it wasn't there.
Now, I agreed with firing RR because he wasn't doing enough to rectify the backend roster issues that were the real problem. Hoke comes in, he and Brandon nail down the issue -- OL/DL recruiting -- and he gets to work refilling the roster with quality OL/DL recruits. In the mean time, he's dealing with a "default" roster. Sucks, and there are a long list of people to blame, but NONE of them are Brady Hoke.
As someone who has done countless media interviews, I would suggest not getting worked up over the repetitive non-responses. It's what you are trained to do. There is one thing missing that does concern me. There is absolutely nothing being offered up to encourage people there is an awareness of what could be done better. In a difficult (crisis, if you will) time like this, it is important to weave in a few statements which are confident building to go along with the platitudes for people to believe you really know what you are talking about. It doesn't require giving any secrets up, it doesn't require throwing anyone under the bus.
I really hope someone brings up the quotes from Nebraska's DE about knowing what was coming based on tendencies during tomorrow's press conference. I would really like to hear Hoke's and Borges' comments about that. That will tell you if this coaching staff really knows what is going on or not.
"I like the play calling"
Has he not been paying attention??? We have lost 5 games during his tenure exclusively because of play calling:
- 2011 MSU
- 2011 Iowa
- 2012 OSU
- 2013 PSU
- 2013 Nebraska
The difference between winning and losing in these games had nothing to do with talent or experience, it was all play calling. We could have won with who we had on the field.
The most frustrating thing In every one of these games was that they each had significant stretches of good play calling . . . good enough to win. But it was like there was an artificial quota on good play calling. That stretches of bad play calling were somehow required as part of some Frankenstein football mad experiment.
The strangest thing is that Borges actually does know how to call good plays that will work well with the players he has on the field. But he refuses to consistently do it, as if to call what works easily is somehow beneath him.
I used to make fun of Charlie Weiss at ND because you could always count on him to do something stupid to show how smart he was. Borges has a lot of that in him.
Al Borges is clueless about calling a complete game. It easy to "look" like you know what you're doing if the results are good ... but I conclude now that this has been, and will continue to be just dumb luck.
Crunch time - 4th quarter, tie game and BOOM - Nobraska muffs a punt. It is the BREAK of the game! So what does Borges call .... he simply repeats the lunacy of the PSU game. I was at PSU and I was there yesterday and I could not believe my EYES. The guy is FUCKING CLUELESS ... There are people in this world that when the moment is there - they make things happen. Al Borges AIN'T one of those people. I'm looking at the rushing statistics on the scoreboard (-20) and he calling for fucking running plays.
In any court in the land - this guy would be convicted of pretending to be an offensive coordinator.
Obviously your definition of "better" is different than mine.
I'm not going to enter the whole RR vs. Hoke debate which is starting to develop on this blog. I will provide some other perspective. Which fan base do you think feels better about their team and coaching staff right now, Michigan or Minnesota? Think about that for a while.
And we beat them 52-0 for homecoming a year or two ago. I think on head to head match ups the answer is easy.
If that's your coping mechanism, congrats. You have found the silver lining.