to think that Tressel just got lucky with what he said that night at the OSU basketball game. Sure he came out and insinuated something to the tune of he will always remember the rivalry and they will beat UM in the coming years. 3 coaches later and an 1-8?? record, here we stand. I am not the highest on the hoke hire and I really want him to come out and say that we are going to focus on National Championships, but I will love this guy if he BEATS OSU. I just cannot stand those fans and that team.
1/11/2011 – Brady Hoke 1, Internet 0 – 0-0
I follow a blog called "Fund My Mutual Fund." The title should be taken literally: the guy running the blog wants you to pledge money so that he can get a mutual fund based on his stock picking method off the ground. He's done amazingly well on a publicly-tracked simulator, has sufficient pledges to break even, and is in the process of getting SEC approval after establishing a years-long track record. He's good.
He struggles when his method (technical analysis) is battered by external events that cause the stock market to veer from a well-established logical way of doing things, which is happening a lot lately thanks to Ben Bernanke. He responds to these events by publicly reminding himself the underlying fundamentals have changed, that logic means one thing when you're talking about five years and another when you're talking about five days and that even if the market goes up for stupid reasons it's going up. Here's one from this morning. He also lacerates the country's financial honchos in sarcasm-laden posts that get a little tiresome the tenth time you read essentially the same thing. He went to Michigan, too. He might be my Tyler Durden, or maybe I'm his.
A couple weeks ago I proclaimed there was a "zero point zero" percent chance that Brady Hoke was named Michigan's head coach because I assumed Hoke's flimsy resume was only acceptable to people who really truly believe that Michigan Men are Michigan Men who make other Michigan Men, who in turn create more Michigan Men until you enter a warehouse and it's like that terrible Will Smith movie with winged helmets.
My underlying assumption was that David Brandon was a cold-hearted corporatist who would tell someone to assemble a powerpoint about head coaching candidates and take the Michigan Man stuff as merely a relevant bullet point. I was wrong. Brandon is king of the Michigan Men, and my predictive performance has lagged the market.
Not much of consequence was said at yesterday's press conference to introduce Brady Hoke—that is the way of things—but at the very end Dave Brandon started pointing and became emphatic and the world rearranged itself:
That's the athletic director version of Kurt Wermers saying "not my kind of crowd." Rich Rodriguez never had a chance after the Ohio State game. Why David Brandon decided to go on with a dog and pony show even he admits was pointless should be a frustrating mystery, but it's not. People had to be placated. This program will eat itself alive if given half a chance.
So maybe Brady Hoke is the best choice. This organ transplant will not be rejected. Given time and an upperclass quarterback or two and a defensive staff that's not utterly clueless, Brady Hoke will quickly prove himself to be the one true Notriguez. He'll quickly improve the program and get Michigan back to being Michigan.
But I think the way this went down proves that all the things rivals say about Michigan are true. This is an unbelievably arrogant program convinced its past glories are greater and more recent than they are, certain outsiders have nothing to teach it. We will enter bowl games against opponents that say "boy, that Michigan just lines up and comes after you," and we probably won't win many of them. We never have, and trying to out-execute Alabama or Oregon seems like a tall order these days.
I hoped we could be block-M Michigan without that, that we could have an exciting, modern offense that pumped out Michigan Men and maybe shredded Oklahoma for 48 points in a BCS game. I hoped we could reboot the program, keeping the things we treasure about it but maybe leaving the dismal bowl record and recent inability to compete with Ohio State behind. For a lot of reasons we can't. We are who we are.
So, no, I'm not super happy. On the field I was done with Lloyd Carr, done with punting from the 34 and running the same damn zone stretch thirty times a game, done with the premise that it's only the players who have to execute on gameday. To me, getting back to being Michigan means going 9-3 and losing to Jim Tressel. I remember thinking "this is the year" every year growing up, expecting great things literally every season until Rodriguez showed up and Mallett transferred. I don't think that now, and I can't imagine feeling like that in the future. Sometimes having an identity feels like having a ceiling.
Non-Bullets Of Explanation
That said and true, this also. On the other hand, the past is not destiny. Jon Chait provides the best possible perspective:
Selecting a coach is a lot like selecting a recruit. The resume is the equivalent of a recruiting ranking. With recruits, a high ranking correlates with success, but a correlation is only probability, not certainty. Sometimes high-ranking recruits flame out, and sometimes sleeper recruits turn into stars.
While I'm down on the hire except insofar as it appears to be the only one that would get institutional support, Hoke could surprise people. He's in a great spot to immediately improve a team that returns damn near everyone and should profit from that momentum. Rich Rodriguez was always pushing uphill; Hoke has a much easier path to positive attention.
I didn't want to say this during the many fire-Rodriguez discussions because it seemed like the most cynical thing imaginable, but cutting Rodriguez loose right now sets the new guy up to look like 2006 Ron English after he replaced Jim Herrmann and inherited Woodley/Branch/Hall/Harris: a freaking genius. We'd find out during The Horror that he was not, but for a year the guy was untouchable. Hoke is going to get all the rope left over from the Rodriguez era and then some.
So, yes, the internet has overreacted.
I will swear now. The inbox is overflowing with pleas of varying levels of politeness to get behind Hoke, stop being so negative, etc. If you phrased it nicely, I appreciate the sentiment and the too-generous belief that I have any influence over the success or failure of Michigan's head coach. I'm not going to change my opinion overnight, however, and this remains a No Sugarcoat zone. No sugarcoat. I can promise that I'll go into the Hoke era looking for reasons he'll work out (you know, on-field reasons, not "Brady Hoke is the best human" stuff), if only because of human nature. His flexibility with Nate Davis and successful deployment of Rocky Long as a 3-3-5 DC gives me hope he's not a stick in the mud, and I'm sure Craig Ross is mailing him the Romer paper as we speak.
If you called me a hypocrite for not liking the hire when I didn't like the three years of shit Rich Rodriguez had to wade through when I haven't said one negative thing about Hoke that does not boil down to "does not have a thrilling resume," please fuck off and die. Especially people complaining about how constantly negative I am when I spent the last three years as the last guy on to die on Rodriguez Hill, as a commenter whose name I can't remember aptly put it. Double especially for people complaining like that a week after calling Rodriguez a "hillbilly" because "only hillbillies leave their alma mater."
What I am negative about is the Carr-era players—like the hillbilly guy above—whose loyalty to the program stops at the water's edge. Aside from one recent Harlan Huckleby outburst, the Bo guys either shut their traps or tried in vain to support the head coach at the University of Michigan. But I've made that point over and over again. (Mike "I support the head coach x1000" Hart is an obvious exception to this and should have been the model for his teammates.) The culture that made the last three years happen is petty and arrogant and utterly fails to live up to the Michigan Man ideal it pretends to espouse, and though I'm about a day from shutting up about it because even I'm tired of it I'm not backing off.
This will be fun. I hope everyone loves Jason Whitlock columns, because we're about to get a boatload of them. As Over The Pylon points out:
In a panicked desperate move, the administration at BSU freaked out and hired an in house coordinator to quiet the fans and hopefully maintain the momentum that was building. Michigan did much the same, only the “in house” became “Michigan experience” and the “maintain momentum” became “rebuild the program”. In BSU’s case, the failsafe went 6-18. Let’s hope for UM’s, Brady’s and everyone associated with the Wolverines’ sanity that the performance isn’t also duplicated, lest they become the target of one particular columnist with a national audience, a significantly close connection to the head coach, and a nicely sized ax that could always use some grinding.
Guh. Win, Brady, or we'll all suffer. Meanwhile, if you'd like a condescending lecture Dan Wetzel has you covered.
Carty on the dude. You can hate on Carty if you want but this is probably more interesting than anything that's been written about him so far:
The thing that separated Brady Hoke from most assistant coaches under Lloyd Carr was the confidence to be the same guy in a media interview as he was when the cameras were off. Michigan assistants never talked much in those days, and when they did, most of them were obviously concerned about saying something that would be met with disapproval by their boss.
Hoke wasn't very polished or made-for-television, something he poked fun at himself. He laughed a lot more than the other assistants did, at least in public. When he did do interviews, he asked more questions than most assistants and seemed genuinely interested in how reporters did their jobs. When a sensitive topic came up, he'd simply chuckle and say, "You know I'm not going to talk about that." He didn't shy away from criticizing players or performances when he had to. I don't ever remember him asking to go off the record or take back something he said, both common practices with assistant coaches at Michigan and elsewhere.
There are a couple more paragraphs to go along with the Ann Arbor News's entire republished archive of Hokemania.
Search fiasco: somehow still growing. I still think Jim Harbaugh was supposed to be Michigan's next head coach before he backed out sometime after it became clear the NFL wanted him badly, thus resulting in the month-long post-OSU limbo and panicked search, but seriously if Dave Brandon means what he says about not offering Miles the job he traded the opportunity to not obliterate Michigan's chances with a few key recruits for some PR. If this was going to be the result Hoke should have been hired two seconds after Rodriguez went out the door—there were no serious overtures made towards anyone else except maybe Pat Fitzgerald.
Elsewhere, Or The Best In Overreaction
My verdict on the Hoke hire depends somewhat on my view of the Lloyd Carr era. I liked Carr as a coach and as a representative of the University, but I wasn’t upset when he retired in large part because he had not done a good job of surrounding himself with top-notch coaches. It’s in this respect that he is no Bo. Bo Schembechler created modern Michigan football and one aspect of his greatness was that his coaching tree was excellent. Carr, on the other hand, doesn’t have a coaching tree to speak of. Thus, the two obvious candidates for Michigan’s head coaching position were Jim Harbaugh – a Bo quarterback whom Carr declined to hire when he was looking for a quarterback coach – and Les Miles – a Bo lineman/assistant whom Carr reputedly did not want as his replacement in 2007. If Dave Brandon’s much-discussed Process was designed to bring back a Michigan Man from Bo’s lineage, then that would have been fine because hiring a Bo protege can be done on merit. The fact that the Process produced the one sickly branch from the Carr tree is the reason why Hoke’s hire has been greeted by articles with titles like "Advice for the Despondent."
This team spent the last three years building something, and I spent the last three years not simply waiting for future glory but anticipating it. Times were certainly tough, but I could still see the payoff at the end. The top ten offense paired with what I still believe could have been a fast, havoc wreaking defense with a couple more years of experience and depth--and probably a new coordinator. It wasn't always easy to watch the games, and the losing streaks against rivals always hurt, but I could take the taunts and laughter from other teams fans because I believed. That belief wasn't ever there under Lloyd. It was always just an ominous feeling that the other shoe was about to drop.
Another bit was not happy after the hire, either, focusing mostly on the Les Miles discussion that does not and never will end up being an offer.
You know it‘s a bad decision when one’s first reaction to the news is to draw easy comparisons between Michigan football and the Big 3 Automakers decline and to scramble to the Wikipedia page for the Romanovs to confirm that yes, this moment fits perfectly within the arc of a decaying empire. The emptiness that follows, however, is a bitch.
For its part, Straight Bangin' is "paralyzed." That's probably for the best.
Touch the Banner surveys the team and attempts to find out who fits. Slot receivers have to be saying "WTF" to themselves. HSR wants Michigan Replay back, but I don't think that had anything to do with Rodriguez. IIRC the producer lost his job with the IMG switchover and owned the rights to the name and possibly the music. This totally happened 110 years ago.
Funkywolve you are probably right. Isn't it amazing how we remember history based on the context? They won therefore in my head he gauranteed a victory....
Totally agree with you bdneely. Beating the buckeyes will go a looong way to keeping Hoke alive....wait, did I just type that? I think I did.
Nija, you don't mean to sound harsh? Cuz you kinda don't sound all that sorry ;-) I'm not a Valenti slappy by any means. However, his comments that this was not a national search and we are going to slip back into the old ways are exactly what Brian expesses concern over and I agree with it. Of course, it is incredibly depressing when I agree with Valenti, hence the title of my post.
So if you prefer, I'll use her officially sanctioned turn of phrase:
"Mike Valenti is a fucking asshole with spooge on top, but I don't mean that in a bad way."
Brian, you must be the most optimistic guy in the universe, because it certainly appeared to many of us that each year we saw light at the end of the tunnel we were hit by the on-coming train. As for waiting for "the other shoe to drop", that became the inevitable curse of the past two, B1G seasons, particularly against teams that had, you know, a defense. Double if they had an offense with linemen bigger than the average Girl Scout.
I have told friends that while I'm not thrilled by the hire, and I absolutely hate the "process" to which Brandon professes he was beholden, I'm not going to hate on either of them. Hoke is already in a difficult-enough position, forced to bring a team back to a tradition of winning. How refreshing it would be if we were all back to a point where we were bitching because we'd "only" won 9 games, instead of epic meltdown because we'd lost 9!
And, you heard Brandon's speech -- he expects to win championships, not just a bunch of games. I doubt, then, that being perpetually at 9-3, with a 10% winning percentage against tOSU is going to fly, either.
Finally, in what alternate universe have you been living that doesn't know its been since 2003 that we had Big 10 Championship rings to bestow on our players, sweatshirts for Christmas and hats for our heads? That certainly wasn't Rodriguez's fault, entirely, but he couldn't beat Iowa, Penn State, or MSU in three years. While I genuinely appreciated what he was trying to do, and I absolutely despise the so-called "Michigan Men" who worked their asses off from Day 1 to get him fired before he'd even set foot on campus, that kind of performance is on him - alone. He had to be held to account for that kind of pathetic display, and Brandon did it.
And, you heard Brandon's speech -- he expects to win championships, not just a bunch of games. I doubt, then, that being perpetually at 9-3, with a 10% winning percentage against tOSU is going to fly, either.
History doesn't bear this out. We might grumble and gripe about no conference championships and 9-3 seasons, but we don't fire coaches over it.
For better or for worse, Brandon has hitched his wagon to Brady Hoke. If Hoke crashes and burns, then Brandon won't be far behind. If Hoke is able to manage more success than Rich Rodriguez did while still falling short of getting us back to perennial BIg 10 champions status, I think Brandon keeps giviing him rope, because it's his rope too.
neither do night games but things change, well as this coaching search has shown not everything changes
Your subject line is very intriguing . . . Has anyone actually had s-x while running? If so, link?
But the Italians were said to have plied their Olympic runners with sex before each event. Theory being that they'd get a shot of adrenaline and oxygenate their blood prior to the event. Evidently, that wouldn't include the cigarette afterward.
2003 was the last outright big ten championship. 2004 was the last time UM can say they were big ten champions.
Well, I too was skpetical that we would hire Brady Hoke. But, he's a heckuva coach to have gone 30-19 in his last four years at perenial last place programs. Heck, you could probably even make a decent case that competing in this season's MWC was a tougher chore than competing in the 2006 and 2007 Big East. Here's hoping Brady can win big with Denard and then Devin the way he won at BSU and SDSU when he good QBs at his disposal.
I'm here to come clean on a bet. I said when his name first got brought up that Hoke would never get hired here. So much so that I offered to host an MGoBlog tailgate before the first game next year.
I welcome our new Brady Hoke Overload. The qeustion is when and where are we toasting this new era? As promised, its on my dime.
(unless i lose all my dimes during March Madness, lol)
GO BLUE, GO BRADY, BEAT WESTERN
jamiemac loses money at the sports book? You're putting us on right?
I love Lloyd, loved Bo, loved the Michigan I grew up watching. But so help me God if BH becomes a replica of a bygone era of college football I will be beyond discourged and it will be a painful existence... Michigan and Michigan football is stamped on my goddamn heart. I will never stop supporting this team or going to games or being a fan. Ever. But I am D.O.N.E. with offenses that grow moss and teams that go 9-3 but "win a share of the B1G." I want adapability, innovation. I want a dynamic team. Iowa and Wisconsin and whoeverfuckingelse who play MANBALL and Michigan offense circa 68-07 have won exactly how many MNCs in the past two decades? 9-3 every year and the occasional 10 or 11 win season was great under Lloyd but I want National Championships Mythical or not.
3 yards and a cloud of dust is manly...sure. So is dropping 45 points on the world and bitchslapping the SEC. "Basketball on Grass" and "rock solid defense" are not mutually exclusive. See: Auburn this year, TCU this year, LSU most years, Florida in their MNC years, Alabama 09, etc. etc. etc. etc.
I am fully behind the program and Hoke but I will be fully pissed off if we return to boring, bland, slow.
Label this post Michigan Arrogance if you want but I don't care. Why do you even line up and play the games if you don't expect to win them all? Leaders and Best and Champions of the West should stand for a hell of a lot more than the B1G championship. We have every right as one of the greatest universities on the planet to expect the best.
No homo, as guys say here sometime. But Brian encapsulates my feelings almost peerfectly. I think it's great that Brian is able to say "I was wrong" and move on. I completely drank the RR koolaid and am not optimistic about our ceiling for the future, much like Brian. Carr had to go, and RR had to go. But the arrogance and hubris at Michigan are recognized and resented elsewhere, and this whole thing could spiral further down, a la ND. Sure, I hope Brady Hoke and Michigan return to winning ways. But there are also lots of questions in my mind.
OK. Tressel certainly wasn't Ohio States number one choice coming from a D2 school, which was something that ohio state was deffinitely NOT excited about. Pete Carroll had little to no college experience and was just coming off getting fired from the NFL. Stoops was relatively unknown at first. Oh yeahh.. Chiznik was 2-10 with Iowa state a few years ago now. And Im pretty sure I saw him on ESPN raising a BCS trophy this week. Point is let's stop discussing where he came from, whether or not he's the first pick, the guy we wanted and just get to supporting our coach. If your a true Michigan fan, your not going to be holding your head down low, not expecting this year to be the year. You support your team and look forward to what we can accomplish. Stop with all this horrible season foreshadowing nonsense.
I love how some of you take Brian's argument that Hoke shouldn't have been our next coach as some sort of declaration of war on the Hoke regime. If you have spent more than a day on this blog you would know that Brian is one of the most passionate, knowledgeable, and loyal Michigan fans around. Don't confuse displeasure with disloyalty. I have no doubt that as we move forward Brian will continue to be one of the most supportive Michigan fans out there. For any of you to think otherwise is just plain foolish.
Amen. Pointing out that Hoke wouldn't even be considered if he wasn't a "Michigan Man" - whatever that means - hardly makes one some sort of traitor. The simple fact is that by any other metric and criteria, Brady Hoke does not meet what M fans would want in their head coach (overall winning record, experience in BCS conference, history as a coordinator in a big program or NFL, etc.). As Brian said, if Hoke had went to Penn State and been a d-line coach before compiling a 47-50 record in non-BCS conferences he would not even have been considered.
Hopefully being a Michigan Man can offset some of the glaring deficiencies in his resume and this hire but I am extremely concerned about the future of this program. I would love being the equivalent of an Auburn fan that went ballistic when Czinick (sp) was hired and being negged to Bolivian when the Hokester brings the pain back to our opponents but that doesn't mean I need to take on faith that Hoke's M-ness will magically surmount the various challenges facing this program.
The people who are most exercised about the hiring of Hoke went into this "process" with expectations completely out of whack with reality. Michigan is not some NFL franchise where you can hire whoever you want. You cannot ignore the program’s traditions and history, you cannot ignore the program’s recruiting base in the Midwest, and you certainly should not use as your primary criteria whether the person runs one particular style of offense.
What the hell is wrong with hiring a person who has succeeded as a head coach in two previous stops, has deep ties to the university, has previously recruited successfully for that university and within that university’s recruiting base, and who, most importantly, will clearly work as hard if not harder to succeed than anybody else who could have been hired? I’ll take that every time over parachuting in the latest "hot name" without any ties whatsoever to Michigan.
His face swells up when he talks about the rivalry and winning it. While I was a RR supporter and had great hopes that the experiment would have worked and wins would have been produced instead of drama, there are some things I will not miss. I also will not miss the obligatory "who is on the hot seat" or "Michigan Man" chatter that has been in place for the last 3 years and would have continued ad nauseam. I will not miss holding my breath when we try to stop a run on 3rd (or 4th) and 1 or stopping a play action or when we are trying to catch a punt or kick a 30 yd FG.
RR was a former hot gf that was fun while it lasted, but wrecked your car and killed your dog (or killed your mom depending on how much you believe he tarnished the Michigan brand). He brought (or was subject to) too much drama, headache, and was ultimately unreliable and not marriage material. On to the next one that brings the necessary components to the relationship, stability, brand loyalty, back to basics, maybe not pretty to look at but hopefully can perform when and where necessary.
I like I, Robot!
At least we're on Whitlock's good side for the duration of Hoke's stay. The reason he's so hard on his alma mater dates back to their handling of Hoke's departure.
This really sums up my feelings on being a Michigan football fan. I'm roughly the same age as Brian and nothing hits home like this:
To me, getting back to being Michigan means going 9-3 and losing to Jim Tressel. I remember thinking "this is the year" every year growing up, expecting great things literally every season until Rodriguez showed up and Mallett transferred. I don't think that now, and I can't imagine feeling like that in the future. Sometimes having an identity feels like having a ceiling.
During the Bo and early-Lloyd eras, every year was the year. Usually, '97 being a glorious exception, that fell short later in the year. The transition away from that for me has been building since the early aughts. With Rodriguez, I always felt there was possible return to realistic title hopes each and every season. We never got there - and there are legitimate arguments that we couldn't with him - but I can't help feeling a sense of defeat. "We tried that modernization crap and it didn't work, let's go back to what's old and comfortable."
In three years, we'll probably be sitting here with three seasons of between 8-10 wins wondering whether Coach Hoke can fully lead us back to national prominence. And you know what, it won't be that bad either after suffering through the last three years, but I'll always wonder if the ceiling was higher under Rodriguez.
and I'm surprised Brian Cook doesn't remember this, the reason that Michigan Reply does not exist, is that Rich Rodriguez refused to tape the show on Saturday night to air Sunday morning. That is what led us to the Thursday night show so generic.
Rodriguez' refusal to do that show, in turn led to the demise of the Michigan Reply soundtrack. One of the great tracks in all of music (for those of you who can remember it).
I for one would be happy to get Brady Hoke back on Michigan Replay. I suspect Brandy is right there with me.
But Brandy has some major logistical issues with flying to Lions games anyway, squeezing in a Saturday night taping as well wasn't his cup of tea. Though listening to him groggy reacting to another Lions turnover was entertaining.
tv shows on Saturday nights was because he wanted to spend that time with players and recruits.
I count it as a mark of Bo Schembechler's vastly underrated media-savvyness that he did that show that way, and a mark of Rich Rodriguez's coaching intergrity that he did not.
For the record, there are almost no other coaches in the country who do weekly show tapings on Saturdays.
And Matlock, too!
I would certainly slingbox into the Michigan Replay if they brought it back, but wow, they do need to freshen it up a little bit, it was kind of Hokey.
To put the last 3-4 years in perspective using the mutual fund analogy: more risk = more reward.
First, I find it kind of ironic how the football program has, in a way, resembled the stock market circa 2007-2010.
Specifically, the stock market first showed signs of trouble in the summer of 2007. At the same time, the football program showed its first sign of severe volatility the weekend of the horror, which was September 2007. Both remained volatile throughout the remainder of 2007. Furthermore, in 2008 the stock market and football program alike, declined dramatically from where they were the previous year(s): Michigan 3 wins down from 9 in 2007, meanwhile, the stock market lost roughly half its value.
However, the stock market and the football program reached its low point soon after and began to recover in the spring of 2009. For the fans, I think the first glimmer of hope was obviously the debut of the weapon of choice (Tate for those who don’t remember) in the spring game of 2009. In 2010, both slowly regained some momentum and showed “progress” to getting back to where they once were. Neither has made it yet.
Now, for the fund analogy, I think most Michigan fans are risk averse. Therefore, they would like a blue chip fund, S&P fund, or a bond fund, something that will lower the risk to the down side but will not outperform the overall market returns when times are good. On the other hand, some fans, including myself, are willing to take more risk now in order for greater returns in the future similar to an emerging market fund.
I like to think of RR as an emerging market fund in the sense that when times are bad they were really bad but when the returns started coming they would be really good (like MNC good). On the other hand, I think of Hoke as a safe choice or someone that will lower the downside risk but will not outperform the overall market (NCAA) while maybe winning a B1G championship here and there but no MNC if you will.
Lastly, thanks for your work Brian. It was a great read and mirrors many thoughts I have.
Brian, well said. RR was a disaster in so many ways, but he gave us hope that there could be a better day coming. the worse part of the Hoke hire is the capitulation to reach higher and instead settle to be what we used to be.
For all the revisionist historians, do you remember that last misserable years of the Lloyd dynasty? Do you remember having a top 5 recruiting class as seniors there were pre-season top 5 and promptly lost to Appalachian state? Do you remember the predictable offense and bend but don't break defense that often broke. Remember the hopelessnes of knowing that it would never get better because of the guy leading the program.
Don't get me wrong, I have always supported the program and will now. But I sense we "settled" for above average instead of striving for exceptional. Let's be honest, we hired an above average (on a good day) coach. We did not hire a great coach. Even his advocates use words like "he's solid". Wow, solid, that is exciting. Lloydball here we come.
I will support Hoke, but he needs to win. It is nice that he is a"nice guy". It is helpful that he is a Michigan man. None of it matters if he only returns us to the mediocrity we had become. I wish we aspired for more.
Hoke refused to even conceed after like 4 questions that he even aspired for a National Championship.
So if we are really successful, we rework the program again, broom recruits and rebuild over only to achieve mediocrity in a few years. I for one, am hopeful, but not very excited about any of this. I feel we have given up on greater dreams and that is the real shame..
One of the better posts by Brian. Generally I agree with his sentiments - Carr era was good but you got the feeling that we were always so close yet so far away; things started to slip towards the end, then Rich Rod tried to reinvent our stone Flinstones type wheel into a modern Perelli with the (in hindsight) predictable growing pains.
slipping meaning last two years of Carr we were in the National title hunt until the end in 2006 and in 2007 we beat the defending National Champion on their turf with their Heisman winner (not to mention it was a team from the dreaded SEC for which apparently everyone has given up hoke that we can participate.
So let me understand. Michigan Football was a cesspool of mediocrity until RR came along and turned things around? And the only thing between RR and a string of National Championships, not-withstanding the historically bad defenses and special teams, was that failure of ex-players to join the coach in a Josh Grobin sing-along.
All I need to do to buy that version of events is ignore the record and my lying eyes. Seems to me that the ex-players treated RR about the same way that RR treated Ryan Mallett. Running Ryan Mallet out was the act of a man placing his ego over the good of the program and pre-shadowed an epoch fail.
>>Running Ryan Mallet out
Everyone say it with me: Mallet wanted to leave before RR was ever hired.
Also do you think a 6 ft 7 , 240+ pound QB, who is not a good runner, is a good fit for the spread? It's obvious why Mallet left.
The below shamelessly taken from another poster, thnx TennBlue
Mallett had decided to transfer before the end of the season before Rodriguez was hired, largely because he had really wanted to be at Arkansas in the first place but didn't want to sit on the bench behind Mitch Mustain. He tried a season at Michigan, didn't like it, and was on his way back to Arkansas.
Rodriguez tried to talk to him several times about staying, but Mallett wasn't interested.
I've heard Brady Hoke publicly state that he'll fit the style to the players, the Seniors. He publicly put the players first. I don't recall RR making that same play for Mallett or anybody else. In fact he seemed pretty disdainful of the old school talent. You know - they kind of guys who ended up going to MSU and kicking our ass.
It doesn't really matter if Mallet wanted to leave. I want to leave my wife some days - but I never do because she keeps being nice to me. My point is; RR acted for all the world like he didn't give a rat's ass if RM left A2. In retorospect I'd say that was pretty stupid on multiple levels.
As for all the talk on these boards about how at least RR made them feel hopeful; in psychiatry that's called a subjective act of longing - it's typically a weak stand-in for reality.
There's this handy thing called "google," so you don't have to rely on what you "recall" about why Mallett left. You can, for example, read what Mallett himself said about why he transferred:
I just felt forced out, not by any person, but by the system . . . I just don't think me and his system . . . it just doesn't fit.
His mother added:
(Rodriguez) was saying all these things may come to pass. But Ryan didn't want to take the chance of it not happening.
That article also confirms that there was one in-person meeting and two phone calls between Rodriguez and Mallett before the transfer. But hey, at least Mike Rosenberg agrees with your version:
Rodriguez said he wanted Mallett to stay. I'm still not convinced that he did.
Also do you think a 6 ft 7 , 240+ pound QB, who is not a good runner, is a good fit for the spread? It's obvious why Mallet left.
It's also obvious that Rodriguez had no intention of adapting his schemes to the personnel he inherited (including the other quarterbacks). He may have half-heartedly talked to Mallett about staying, but it's pretty clear he didn't want him as his quarterback (someone else has posted here that Rodriguez never met with Mallett face-to-face, he only talked to him over the phone).
This was a mutual parting, in my opinion.
Brian's article does a better job at explaining how I feel about this than anything I could have said.
The criticisms of the way Brian has analyzed this situation strike me primarily as the same type of fan that is angry that you have dared to stand during the game at the stadium: Pollyanna-ish blue hairs that are unable to process negativity about their beloved program.
is that he seems to want to be at no ther place than Michigan. You have to love that fromt he man. If there was one thing that I never could trust from RichRod, it was that I never knew if he was here to stay. Brady Hoke is here to stay!
I agree wholeheartedly. This is one of the best posts I have read in a long time. More than anything right now, I feel resigned. Do not misunderstand me, I will vigorously support this team, this coach, and this program for as long as I have the voice to do so, but right now I feel like we have thrown in the towel.
I have to agree 100% with Brian on this one. Hopefully our offense isn't super boring like it is in the NFL or Wisconsin. I have the feeling that Hoke will make us average. We probably won't be beating OSU regularly for awhile, and we might a win a bowl here or there.
WTF, how was Wisky's offense boring when they put up 65+ 3 times this year. I don't care what O you run as long as at the end of the game their are more points in the Michigan column than the opposition.
You picked 65, they were over 70 in each of the big ones. For comparisons Sake here is the common opponent and the score from Wis/Michigan
- Michigan State 24/17
- Ohio State 31/7
- Iowa 31/28
- Purdue 34/27
- Indiana 83/42
That is a fairly sizable advantage over Michigan.
WISCONSIN? GOD FORBID WE GO 11-1 AND BEAT OHIO STATE
I thought Wisconsin had a pretty incredible offense this year.
They put up 70 points plus 3 times this year and 9 games over 30 points. By comparison, this year our offense put up 30 points in only 6 games.
First off, we haven't seen Hoke play one offensive down and people are already talking like its back to 3 yards and a cloud of dust. He has said he will tailor his offense to the players he has now and will gradually change to a pro-set. I guess my thought is that there are more than one way to skin a cat, and any offense can win big given good personnel and a D that can stop people.
I just don't recall how we got to a point where Carr was considered boring and ineffictive and RR was going in the right direction. He set the bar so low in year 1 and year 2 that yes of course we could show improvement in year 3. From 9-4 with Carr in 2007 to 3-9 in year 1. I know, I know... people have exhaustively listed the reasons for the drop off in Y1, and Y2 and then even Y3.
Still if we went 3-9 next year with Hoke after a 7-6 year, no one will be lining up to offer any excuses.
First of all I want to ask Brian if this blog supports Firefox, I've been trying unsuccessfully to log on for the last few days with Firefox and finally am able to do it with Safari.
I have to agree with Brian. It isn't Brady Hoke I dislike, it's this whole disingenuous hiring process that we just went through.
Yes, RR had to go after that Gator Bowl fiasco. I was resigned to that fact, even though, I thought RR had promise and given enough time might have built us up to an exciting fun football team to watch.
Then when Brandon said in his press conference that he would pay "market" rates for a head coach, it was like as if the skies opened up and that finally, we were going to get a winning established head coach that would take our program to the next level. Even though I didn't understand the level of Harbaugh-love that the fandom expressed, I could have lived with JH. And Les Miles. And for all the Gruden-lovers out there, although I thought some were a bit off-kilter with the Gruden-love, I could have respected even that choice had Brandon made an offer because it was outside the box.
But Hoke? Come on. As many others have pointed out, he wouldn't have rated a first look if he were not a "Michigan Man" or more likely, one of Lloyd Carr's assistants. Funny how that worked out, isn't it? We didn't get one of Bo's quarterbacks or one of Bo's assistants, but we got one of Lloyds????
Personally, I was hoping we got someone like Gary Patterson. And for all the bashing about how the Mountain West Conference is a second-tier conference, TCU beat Wisconsin, the Big Ten co-champions. And oh, we got a coach from the Mountain West Conference, and he isn't even the best coach in that conference.
I grew up in Ann Arbor and graduated from U of M in 89 and grad school in 92. I've been a long-term supporter of the program and the team, and I will continue to do so. I sincerely hope that the team does well this season. However, the events of the last 2 weeks have really left a bad taste in my mouth.
There's a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth on this board that Hoke = Lloyd.
First of all, just because he coached for Lloyd does not make him Lloyd, any more than Tommy Amaker = Coach K.
But, even if Hoke is similar to Lloyd in the sense that he runs an under center drop-back Pro-I offense, is that so bad?
There were really two Lloyds: 1990's/early 2000's Lloyd and mid 2000's Lloyd.
1990's/early 2000's Lloyd kicked some ass . . . OSU ass, Big 10 ass, SEC ass, BCS ass, even MNC ass. Those were some quality teams. We were then what OSU is now, which is not a bad thing to be.
By the mid 2000's, Lloyd did indeed check out a little. He was ready to be done, by his own admission. For some reason, that seems to be the Lloyd regime that folks on this board are remembering instead of the earlier one.
Lloyd in his prime was very close to the ideal. Yes, we would have liked to see a little more flexibility and dynamic play calling. And the modern era of CFB will demand that from Hoke.
But if what we get out of Hoke is something that approximates Lloyd in his prime with just a little bit more flexibility (Lloyd's Captial One Bowl/Florida offense instead of Lloyd's Rose Bowl/USC offense) then I'm a happy, happy guy.
What a compelling read. Great job. I apprecitate your honesty and sincerity in a time when both are scarce and of course your analytical insight.
Thanks for the Fund My Mutual Fund link. I bookmarked it already. For some interesting and entertaining socio/economic commentary I would like to recommend James Kunstler's "ClusterF*ck Nation" blog.
press conference sold me on Brady Hoke.Also willing to work with what he's got,brillant.GO BLUE!!!