somehow we're only 124th
The Woodsoning. Ten years ago Saturday, Charles Woodson became the first primarily defensive player to win the Heisman. Ten minutes of why:
I wonder if this was a prime galvanizing moment for the ridiculous SEC provincialism. Peyton didn't win! The media must be against us.
Redshirts. A couple people have emailed asking exactly who did and who did not redshirt this year; let me point you to "Nick the Greek Blog," which is probably not run by that Nick the Greek, for the answers. The only guys to get redshirted this year: LB Brandon Herron, RB Avery Horn, OL Mark Huyge, OL David Molk, DE Ryan Van Bergen, S Michael Williams, and TE Steve Watson... is that right? I swear I didn't see LB Marell Evans out there.
You guys [Iowa] have John Wienke visiting this weekend. Lives 20 miles from Champaign. Not recruited heavily by Zook because Wienke is a traditional drop back passer, but he is talented. Michigan commitment right now, but he is looking around.
FWIW. Losing Wienke would be irritating but not devastating with Threet around.
Relive the Horror! Unsurprisingly, Appalachian State is in the I-AA championship game. Their opponent, as a reader points out?
No, not Michigan. Delaware. This is entirely creepy, of course, and the game will no doubt end 34-32 when Delaware's senior captain DE/LB (ND transfer Ronald Talley?) messes up the most basic football strategery and gets a potential winning field goal blocked.
A second reader also points out: if App State and Ohio State win their respective national championship games, Michigan will have lost to two different national champions in the same year. Has that ever happened before? Someone call up the Duke SID and find out.
Desperate! I'll say! (H!IKM.) Felicity Huffman on the picket line:
Etc.: The Realests say "what about Jim Leavitt?" The MZone and Maize 'n' Brew take issue with this blog's anti-sailing stance, or at least the stridency of it; NYT -- not exactly a rock of journalistic integrity -- on Schiano w/ Harbaugh non-candidacy reiteration.
I've long since discarded the idea any information can be considered solid in the ever-shifting sands of a coaching search, especially one as schizophrenic as Michigan's, but... yeah: several previously reliable people have told me that Mary Sue Coleman has gotten directly involved with the search and there exists a solid offer out to one Les Miles.
I was debating whether or not to mention this -- the fear of things falling apart and Miles talking about his damn strong team while talking about misinformation on MGoBlog, etc. -- but when I guested on EDSBS live to talk about the coaching search, Orson was not only unsurprised that Miles was still a possibility but named the exact hypothetical salary hypothetically offered on hypothetical Friday, $2.5 million dollars. So it's not exactly top secret anymore. Yesterday morning Sam Webb and Michael Taylor were discussing it on WTKA, too. A secrets go, this one is pretty open.
The set of things that seem most likely to be true at this time:
- Miles has an offer for $2.5 million a year.
- He's got a few days to consider it.
- The main hangups appear to be assistant pay and the role of Carr in his program.
- Martin has been at least partially usurped.
Thing which seems completely implausible but given the sailboat thing cannot be ruled out -- nothing can be ruled out anymore:
- The anti-Miles faction in the AD is pushing Brady Hoke heavily.
Thing as of yet undetermined:
- If Miles will accept the offer.
So there you go.
Thanks to a helpful reader, I tracked down the Dan Patrick podcast with the Les Miles interview. First, a clarification: Miles did not say "I was loyal to Michigan, Michigan was not loyal to me." Dan Patrick said that later.
First, the relevant section of the Miles interview:
The Free Press transcript was from a portion of the interview replayed on the third hour of the show, in which he hammers at Miles for this Michigan provision in his contract. Miles seemed confused by the questioning, and with good reason: Patrick misunderstands the provision completely. He thinks it's an out like the one Urban Meyer supposedly had for M/ND/OSU; it is not. There is an extra punitive buyout in Miles' contract if he accepts the Michigan job. So his Tough Questions about it make no sense.
There is some buzz that Michigan, pressured by fans and former players, is finally talking to Miles seriously, but this interview doesn't seem to be a "please hire me, please" plea like it was reputed to be.
Angelique Chengelis throws out a surprising name:
Apparently Michigan has branched out and contacted at least one NFL coach about its vacant coaching job.
New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, 43, did hear from individuals connected to the Michigan search, according to a source close to Payton.
"They've expressed interest," the source said, referring to U-M. "There was interest in Sean using 'unofficial' intermediaries."
Initial reaction: there's no way. If Michigan can't put together a financial package impressive enough to pry someone out of Rutgers there's zero chance they pick off an NFL coach who still has a job.
HT: Quo Vadimus.
Update: Apparently Michigan didn't contact Payton or, more likely, the agent is lying. Likely moot in any case.
Update II: Payton denies any interest in M. It's dead, Jim.
|2||Ohio State (15)||23.6||1.4||1|
|5||Southern Cal (1)||20.4||2.0||2|
|22||South Florida||lass="pollppb"> 5.0||3.9||2|
Total Ballots: 40
An amazing split in opinion for the last poll of the year. Bloggers choose the same national championship game as the BCS at large, but pick LSU #1 by a tiny margin over #2 OSU. Ten first place votes of 40 go to Oklahoma, Georgia, USC(?), and Hawaii(?!?!).
Unfortunately, extracurriculars are still down... hosting issues and it's kind of busy in Michigan land. I should have them up for the final poll in January.
FOR GOD'S SAKE STAY UNDER THE ROCK!
If you insist on coming out, a recap of events to date:
Meanwhile, Miles was on the Dan Patrick Show this morning; there are unconfirmed reports Miles said "I was loyal to Michigan, but they were not loyal to me." If he said that... I mean, whoah. Unfortunately this might have been misheard; the Free Press has a transcript of portions up but does not include the line.
|Head Coach, Boise State|
|OC @ Boise State||2001-2005|
|WR coach @ Oregon||1995-2000|
|QB Coach @ Portland State||1993-1994|
|QB Coach @ Pitt||1992|
|UC-Davis QB, 1983-1986.|
For some reason, Chris Petersen keeps getting brough up as a candidate for a Profile In Heroism by emailers and commenters. I will oblige, though it's just because he might have the best nickname outside of "OBC" in the coaching ranks: Papa Smurf. But, lo, he appears to be an attractive candidate.
At 43, he's beaten Oklahoma in the BCS and run up a 23-2 record. Before he was head coach, he coordinated the crazy effective Bronco offense to consistent success. And there was Trick Play Fiesta 2007, which endeared him to college football fans everywhere.
There's not much of a historical baseline to compare here, but what exists will be discussed in the "potential catches" section. In sum: Peterson's maintained, not built, the Boise legacy of WAC dominance. And really, how hard is it to dominate the WAC? If you can lose to one of the worst teams in the Pac-10 by two touchdowns, then house the rest of your conference, chances are that says more about San Jose State than it does Boise State.
None of these things are states!
Xs and Os Proficiency: As Boise State's offensive coordinator since 2001, Petersen has a wide array of shiny numbers to his credit; these can be seen at right. Boise gets guys in space against overwhelmed linebackers and eats them alive; the results against the rest of the WAC have been consistently devastating.
Petersen would be most welcome as an offensive coordinator.
Recruiting: A N/A; two years at a school in Idaho does not provide much in the way of info.
Potential Catches: Beating WAC teams is no great accomplishment, and Petersen stepped in to a situation ready-made for winning. Boise only moved from I-AA in 1996 and, after a rough first couple years, immediately established itself as the WAC power. BSU's worst year since a 4-7 1997 campaign was Dan Hawkins' first season, when the Broncos went 8-4. The rest of Boise State's existence as a I-A program: 10-3, 10-2, 12-1, 13-1, 11-1, 9-4.
This consistent success launched both Dirk Koetter and Dan Hawkins to BCS level jobs. Koetter was totally mediocre at Arizona State and was fired after six years; Hawkins is in his second year at Colorado -- too early to tell. But Petersen is not a Schiano or a Tedford who built up one of college football's doormats, he's just a guy who managed to not screw up Boise State's evident institutional advantages over the rest of the WAC.
This is not Urban Meyer, who turned around Bowling Green and Utah in record time. This is a guy who walked into success and has maintained it.
Relative Compensation: I think we could probably swing it.
Would He Take The Job? Yes.
Overall Attractiveness: No. If Oklahoma tackles that guy on the hook-and-ladder last year we are not having this conversation. Two years as a head coach at a place set up for success does not a Michigan candidate make.
Is he better than the idea of Hoke or Interim English? Yes. If Michigan really screws up this search 100% -- and they're on their way -- Petersen would be somewhere on the C list of guys who would obviously take the job if offered. But God, what a fiasco that would be.
Better that Debord? Several times better.
This Schiano thing bothers for two reasons. One, he turned it down. Dammit. Two, Martin met with Schiano for like five hours yesterday and immediately offered him the job. Or something of that nature:
Schiano called the team to the Hale Center at 7 a.m. and told them he "still had work to do" at Rutgers. Schiano looked physically exhausted and said "this was a hard decision," according to a member of the football staff who was in the meeting.
The member of the football staff requested anonymity because of the private nature of the team meeting, but said Schiano looked "tired, beaten up and physically exhausted." He said the Michigan job was Schiano's if he wanted it, but the job was never officially offered.
Is this an offer? Technically not, but functionally yes. (I wonder if this is what happened with Ferentz, too.) In a few hours with a guy Martin knows way less about than Miles he managed to offer an obviously good candidate the Michigan job. A week ago he couldn't manage to offer an obviously good candidate the Michigan job... and lost the one guy who was all but certain to take it.
So now what? Schiano's out, Ferentz is out twice, Miles is (probably) out, and Brian Kelly is allergic to cats and Carr is demanding his pet Siamese Wuffles be appointed offensive coordinator. Or something. Jeff Tedford would probably say "thanks, but no" and Michigan is looking at... who? Brady Hoke or an interim Ron English? Someone shoot me. If it comes down to that, there's one clear choice: make a run at Miles. If that requires firing Martin, then fire Martin.
What about that contract he just signed? Well:
Beyond that, publicly released details about the contract have not changed much. He will be compensated for winning the SEC championship last weekend, a victory that will push his base salary to the top three in the league, about $2.8 million.
And his salary will move into the top three nationally â€” between $3.2 million and $3.5 million â€” if LSU wins the BCS national title on Jan. 7 against Ohio State.
The buyout to leave for Michigan, $1.25 million, reportedly remains unchanged.
It would be a considerable outlay to get Miles, but not prohibitive. But who's left? Michigan has prissily narrowed the field of acceptable candidates considerably, alienated the most natural fit, and is left without options. The fanbase and football alumni are outraged. And it's because Sailboat Bill is either totally incompetent or duplicitous. Does it matter which?
Schiano is being talked to:
Rutgers football coach Greg Schiano met with Michigan athletic director Bill Martin "for quite a while" Wednesday in New York City to discuss the Big Ten school's coaching vacancy, according to a person who speaks regularly with Schiano. Though no official offer has been made, according to the person, one could be forthcoming. The person requested anonymity because he is not at liberty to speak for Schiano.
Some numbers on his situation:
A year ago, Schiano turned down a reported $2.2 million annual offer from Miami, where he served as the school's defensive coordinator prior to coming to Rutgers seven years ago. Schiano then signed a four-year extension through 2016 that will pay him $1.7 million annually.
Though Rutgers recently saw its ambitious $100 million stadium expansion plans stall, only to be jump-started slightly by Gov. Corzine's personal pledge of $1 million, the setback isn't believed to be the driving force in Schiano willingly listening to another major school's offer for the second straight December. It's the lure of Michigan.
That Miami offer from last year is higher than I expected, which bodes unwell for Michigan, so unwell that Pat Forde says the courtship is already over:
Two days after flirting with the Michigan job, Rutgers coach Greg Schiano has decided he will stay in New Jersey.
Jason Baum, Rutgers' assistant athletic director for football media and public relations, said the school would release a formal announcement later on Friday.
ESPN's Joe Schad reports that Schiano told athletic director Robert Mulcahy he will remain at Rutgers, a source close to Schiano said Friday morning. Schiano spurned a chance to go to the University of Miami after last season.
|Head Coach, Rutgers|
|DC @ Miami||1999-2000|
|DB coach with Chicago||1996-1998|
|DB coach @ Penn State||1991-1995|
|Linebacker at Bucknell from 85-88.|
It's a testament to the Rutgers program that Greg Schiano is going to be the only guy with a losing record profiled in this series or considered for major jobs across the country. Previously, Rutgers was known for two things: winning the first ever college football game 6-4 against Princeton in 1869 and losing every game since.
Stassen data for the ten-year stretch before Schiano's hiring:
Schiano, like Ferentz, walked into a nightmare situation and suffered greatly his first two years. In 2001 and 2002, RU was 3-20 and no one thought much of hiring a guy who had been defensive coordinator at Miami for all of two years, but things began to turn around in 2003. Rutgers went 5-7 that year; the next year they struggled to 4-7 but managed to down Michigan State along the way, providing endless schadenfreude to Michigan fans. So thanks for that.
Things got seriously turned around the next year, when Rutgers went 7-5 and got to a bowl game for the first time since the Richard The Lionheart administration, losing a tight game to Arizona State. 2006 was the 11-2 year with the Louisville upset that saw Rutgers seriously enter the national championship discussion before clunking an ugly game away to Cincinnati and coming up short against West Virginia in an overtime game that would have sent them to the BCS. Schiano won no fewer than five coach of the year awards. In 2007. When Wake Forest won the ACC.
This year, the question was "can he do it again?" The answer was "no, not really." Rutgers slipped to 7-5. Their destination this offseason: Toronto.
Xs and Os Proficiency: Schiano's brief tenure as an defensive coordinator was successful, but at the time Miami was busy being a juggernaut with first round picks everywhere. The "2000" at left was a mark Schiano put up as the Miami defensive coordinator.
At Rutgers, things have been different. Obviously. Until the 2006 breakthrough, Schiano's defenses had been between mediocre and wretched. Again: Rutgers. Even during the past two years, the Scarlet Knights have been light on the surefire NFL beasts. Last year's Loiusville game was my first real exposure to the idea of Rutgers as a real program, and it was relevatory. It looked like all eleven guys on RU's defense were about the same size, like a high school team was going up against one of the best offenses in the country, but a lot of slashing through gaps and cleverly disguised blitzes held Louisville down long enough for Ray Rice to pound forward for the winning yards. It's anecdotal, but when all you have is a seven-year-old monster D and a lot of talentless chaff in between, anecdotes are all you've got.
It's not a sure thing, but I believe Schiano defenses at Michigan would be consistently very good to great.
Recruiting: Recruiting at Rutgers was largely a matter of begging MAC leftovers to consider a "BCS" team, if only in the most technical sense, for most of its existence and well into Schiano's tenure. Aside from the occasional local guy who likes mom's cooking, it's been a parade of two-star recruits for Rutgers. Even now, things are a little bleak: the bounce you would expect after a program-establishing 11-2 season consists of Rivals 250 OT Art Forst and another four-star defensive tackle from New York among just eight commitments, all of them from New Jersey or New York.
But there is a perceptual shift. Michigan's pursuing three recruits from Rutgers' neck of the woods this year and each has named the Scarlet Knights to be Michigan's primary competition. Michigan won the battle with Marcus Witherspoon and JB Fitzgerald and leads (or at least did lead before Carr's retirement) for Brandon Smith, but Rutgers is a real player for the New Jersey kids who usually flee the state en masse. And, man, Schiano's following Fitzgerald around in a helicopter.
Recruiting's mostly about energy, not personality -- do Ron Zook and Charlie Weis seem like guys you want to spend four years around? -- and Schiano has that.
Potential Catches: The very idea of having a head coach from New Jersey conjures up images of the Great White Fail at Notre Dame; other than that Schiano seems pretty clean. The major concern is that Schiano's had one year that could be considered even slightly successful by Michigan standards, that being 2006 and hasn't proven he can operate a program on an elite level, but there's exactly one candidate out there you can't say that about and Les Miles is quite the longshot at this point.
Relative Compensation: Rutgers made a major outlay to Schiano after 2006's 11-2 campaign and has invested in facilities upgrades with an eye towards making the program a consistent p
ower, but Schiano remains relatively cheap. Rutgers reworked his contract in February, bumping his salary up to $1.5 million a year; Michigan can afford far more than that and Martin continually makes noises that Michigan will be offering in the mid-twos. Can Rutgers afford that? Maybe. They're under fire for investing in the football program at the same time the university faces a major budget crunch, so they'd be faced with increasing their outlay even more or potentially watching their investment to date go belly up. 50-50 they would find the money to hold onto him.
Would He Take The Job? Maybe? It's hard to imagine the coach at Rutgers turning down... well... anyone, but Miami made a run at Schiano last offseason and got shot down. That could have been a money thing, though. Miami's pathetic fanbase can't sell out the Orange Bowl even against big names like Virginia Tech and the 'Canes ended up settling on defensive coordinator Randy Shannon, a guy no one was pursuing and came cheap.
Another reason Schiano might have stayed: he had no particular affiliation with the Miami program. Schiano was raised in New Jersey and has spent most of his life in and around the Midwest and Northeast. Check the table above: Schiano was DC at Miami for two years. This ends his career south of Chicago. Or maybe State College. I don't have longitudes handy. So it's possible he looked at Miami's offer skeptically. A petulant, disloyal fanbase that expects national titles or bust, a mediocre contract offer, and a move thousands of miles away from home? No thanks.
Michigan's fanbase is marginally less petulant and vastly more loyal, the school is closer to home, and the money will be better. So there's a chance. But the persistent rumor out there is that Schiano's content at Rutgers and dreams of being a Bowden or Paterno-esque program patriarch; the other rumor out there is that he's waiting for JoePa to beam home so he can take the Penn State job. It might be a tough sell.
Overall Attractiveness: Schiano would be one of the few guys out there Martin could plausibly hire in the wake of the Miles fiasco without enraging the Michigan fanbase. You can't even call his job at Rutgers a "resurrection" or a "rebuild," since both those terms envision a Rutgers program that, you know, existed before Schiano's arrival. It did not; Schiano created one out of whole cloth. If you believe the program desperately needs a breath of fresh air, Schiano is a good bet to bring it in.
He's also enticingly young. Michigan's looking for a guy with extensive head coaching experience, which mostly constricts the search to guys in their early to mid fifties; Schiano is just 41. If he works out Michigan gets 20 years instead of 10.
What doubts exist are because of the Rutgers thing. Yes, he has seven years as a head coach. But how much data can we glean from the first four? Not much. So we're left with one shining example of the poor rising up and some decent-for-Rutgers seasons around it. But to get a guy like Schiano you have to move now, before he has that second season or that third season that proves to both him and the university that this is not a fluke and he becomes even tougher to pry out of New Jersey. He's a risk, yes, but he's also a guy with huge upside; he would be an A- pick.
Better that Debord? YES YES A THOUSAND TIMES YES