"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
Rumor Du Jour
...is that Ron English's departure is not a sure sign that Jim Herrmann is going to remain the Michigan defensive coordinator. Mutterings are taking place here there and everywhere. Most suggest that Herrmann will end up with the J-E-T-S jetsjetsjets (and Victor Hobson) as the linebackers coach.
In his stead? Well, three names are being tossed around (warning: what follows is total wild-ass speculation, voracity at its most unverified, literally a list of names nutballs on message boards have thrown out):
- Carolina Panthers DC Mike Trgovac. The least likely candidate comes with the most verification in the form of a Detroit News article that tosses his name out. I doubt this happens without a wink-wink nudge-nudge agreement that Trgovac will be the head coach when Carr retires, a la Bret Bielema at Wisconsin. Trgovac, a player under Bo, would be taking a pay/prestige cut to return to college. As someone who is beginning to build head coach buzz in the NFL, Michigan would probably have to knock socks off to get him back in Ann Arbor.
- Seattle Seahawks DB coach Teryl Austin, who served in the same capacity at Michigan from 1999 to 2002. Austin was an ace recruiter who really opened up talent-rich Pennsylvania, dragging Tim Massaquoi, Steve Breaston, Marlin Jackson, and Scott McClintock out of the state (plus a few others who didn't pan out), but he never could get Todd Howard to look for the freaking ball. I'd be somewhat leery of bringing back the guy who presided over 2000's notoriously dumbtarded defensive secondary, which was nicknamed the "Suspects" for good reason--by the end of the year they should have been named the "Convicts." Also, he just got pwned by Antwaan Randle-El. I'm just sayin'.
- Georgia Tech DC Jon Tenuta, who has been defensive coordinator at a bevy of D-I schools including Ohio State. Tenuta--OSU's DB coach from '96 to '99 and DC in 2000--got the boot when Cooper did, was immediately hired by UNC in the same capacity, and got poached the next year by the Jackets. Tenuta's D has kicked enough ass to get a team quarterbacked by Reggie Ball to the 7-5 heights that represent the AD-approved theoretical maximum for the Georgia Tech program.
Of those three, Tenuta represents the best combination of plausibility and palatability. His defense was 12th in total yardage in 2004 and 22nd in 2005. That's all the more impressive when you consider the Georgia Tech offense, a craptacular thing that ended up about 80th overall both years. He's been a college coordinator for going on a decade now, has recruiting experience in the south and Ohio (he's from Columbus), and going from Georgia Tech to Michigan would be a step forward in his career and possibly a stepping stone to a head coaching job.
Austin would be okay--he's the Pied Piper of Pennsylvania--but I still have night terrors thinking about that Todd Howard-led secondary. If "led" is the right term for it. I'm unthrilled by Seattle's pass defense over the past few years, too (Stats from Football Outsiders; low is good for defense):
- 2005 Pass Defense DVOA: 10.0%, 25th in the league.
- 2004: 0.7%, 17th in the league.
- 2003: 6.9%, 22nd in the league.
Is this the result of a crappy defensive line giving opponents time to throw? Uh... no. In '05 the line was #1 in defensive line yards and #6 in sack percentage. Strangely, the line was terrible in 2004, when the Seahawks had their best pass defense under Austin. Go figure.
Wither certified Boy Genius Scot Loeffler?
WTKA's WXYT's Doug Karsch declared him to be staying yesterday--yes, after WTKA declared him gone the day before. Whatever. There's also a Detroit News article with a direct quote from Loeffler:
"I am not leaving the University of Michigan," Loeffler said by phone Tuesday afternoon. "I am happy and perfectly content here."
Ryan Mallet, come on down.
Remember: all this speculation is guaranteed to be just as accurate as all that English-to-DC talk. See your bookie today!