You should be happy about that. If there is a direct correlation between "MICHIGAN SPRING GAME HYPE VIDEOS" and "WOLVERINE DEFENSIVE SUCKITUDE," I am severely excited about the 2011 defense.
Changing my opinion on the Hoke hire
It seems most posters are really down on the spring game because of our offenses ineptitude with all of what 10 or so basic plays? You want to talk about a vanilla gameplan...sheesh.
What I saw when I watched the game was a defense that...wait for it...had some basic fundamentals. They were actually taking angles to the ball carrier. They were swarming. Dare I say it? But they actually were breaking down to make tackles instead of lunging at the ball carrier.
My excitement couldn't be higher. Perhaps I am drunk on Blue Kool-Aid but what the hell, why not?
I agree with the "wait and see" approach, but the comment of "the stars seemed to have aligned for him" makes it sound like he is incapable of success based on his own merits and has no control over the programs success.
In the Program, and not a coach. Then you root for each coach (barring ever hiring one who's a dirty cheater doing players wrong), but you want the program to succeed no matter who's at the helm. Over the long haul, even the most successful guys are going to leave. They kept playing after Bo retired. And in September, they'll do it after Rich. And someday, after Hoke too.
I'll wait to see what happens on the field in a real game situation. Until then, I'm actually pleased with this hire. When the winds tell you to go one direction, sometimes the best long term solution is to tack another way. I'll just tuck in the back of my mind that many coaches who have long and successful careers were initially panned by the critics when they were first hired. I mean who the heck was that Bo guy anyway? However, given that he started at generally woofers of teams and turned them around within a couple years bodes well for his future, I think. I also think that he is at the pinnacle of his coaching career so if he has success, he probably wont be shopping for another job so we may have him for a while. So we'll see.
This is another wait and see. I'm not sure I have the patience to give Hoke 4 years, but we can't make a decision either way yet.
So far, so good in recruiting. Let's wait and see what the games look like so we don't prejudge like we did with Rich Rod.
I was fine with Rich Rod until the Bowl game to be honest. I was one of the "on the fence" folks in regards to him. Mainly because I feel it takes longer than 3 years to make a judgement on a coach. We should at least give a chance for the freshman he first recruited to play as seniors. So I'm in the "at least 4 years if not 5 years" boat on a coach.
I will say that I was at the point where I knew it was time for RR to go (after the OSU game) but when Hoke was announced I was less than enthusiastic to be honest.
However, from the time he stepped on campus he has been winning me over. I wasn't as impressed as others with the assistant's he hired other than Mattison. Frankly I found them to be somewhat underwhelming. As for Hoke, though, he has been outstanding. The way he finished last years class and moved into this years has been incredible and he already has a big committ for 2013.
I am not too proud to admit when I am wrong and I can say that in this case I certainly judged Hoke far too harshly originally. Again, we know he hasn't put a team on the field yet, but I am waaayyyyy more optimistic about what he brings to the table now than I was previously. Plus, as many have noted...he "gets" it. It is nice to see someone bringing that fire back into the tradition of what is UM football.
Brady...not that you read this, but if by some miracle you do I am sorry for the way I judged you previously and I am very excited to see what you can do with this team this coming season.
I should also say that I was never anti-Hoke either. As the coach of my favorite team I got behind him right away, I just was thrilled by the hire. Now I am behind him and thrilled to be there!
" I just was thrilled by the hire"
recruiting should have a double check yet. If we were grading recruiting speed or regional recruiting then yes, double check. My concerns:
- We are not a regional team. We can't adopt a strategy of just "lock up the Midwest" and compete nationally. That's MSU's strategy and it doesn't work. We can take their players and hurt MSU (which is nice), but I'm more focused on getting the best players no matter where they are from. Hoke and co have not shown they can recruit beyond our borders yet. That doesn't mean they don't have the ability, they just haven't shown the ability yet. I'll give this an incomplete.
- I think we are overrating our current recruits a tad. They are certainly the best of the best in Michigan, but the recruiting services are pegging them at above-average to good nationally. It could be that everyone else is underrating them but it's more likely that we as fans are the ones that are overly optimistic. Every fan does this every year, though, so no big deal.
- I'm worried that we are adopting the failed RR recruiting strategy of 2009 (I think) where RR pushed kids to commit early, only to suffer mass decommitments later. No hard evidence really except for recruits saying a lot of similar things about wanting to get it done to lock up their spot and worried about positions filling up, etc. Have to wait until signing day.
- Just like RR focused too heavily on signing offensive players early on, it seems we are doing the exact opposite right now. I hope future classes have a bit more parity.
It will be very interesting to see what Hoke does with the remaining spots. They will tell the story. It's clear we have what is worth getting from this area. If we fill up the remaining spots with highly-rated national recruits then most of what I said above is moot. If we instead fill out the class with the remaining talent left in Michigan I'll be worried that our recruiting classes won't look so good in future years where Michigan isn't producing a lot of talent.
For this year, I'll wait and see how our class stacks up nationally on NSD. There's far too many variables to declare Hoke a recruiting success already.
I think this is Hoke's recruiting strategy:
We're not going to be able to sign the top 25 players in the country, only a team with insane in-state talent like USC, UF, or UT can bank on that happening. For everybody else, you fill your class with good players who fit your system and try to land a couple great ones.
So, Hoke is filling our "good" player slots with midwest talent because they are the most-likely to commit to Michigan. With half our class locked up with solid players, he can now spend the next year swining for the fences, brining in only the best national talent.
I think by signing day, you'll see this class add a couple high 4* or 5* players and it will look, rankings-wise, like a typical Carr class.
Hoke commits Russell Bellomy and Chris Barnett laugh at your #1 concern.
I don't think you want to use Hoke's hybrid class as a measuring stick for how well (or how nationally) he recruits.
Wile, who may be our most important recruit.
I think you are badly underselling the job this staff has done so far. They have exceeded all reasonable expectations, especially considering the head start their rivals had.
They have put themselves in a perfect position to fill out the class. Locking up so many solid players already is putting pressure on their other targets to decide. The fact that so many are from MI and OH is a positive. They won't be under pressure to reach for local players just to establish their presence, something that wouldn't have surprised me a few months ago. Early commits are typically local (other than QBs). I expect our recruiting map to change quite a bit before NSD.
before Michigan can get back to being a great national recruiter. Minds can be changed close to home and the midwestern recruits can be gotten, but to get back to national success, it usually takes game success first. There are very few circumstances where this isn't the case (USC comes to mind recently). If Michigan wins under Hoke, I fully expect it to happen, but they have to win first.
That being said, I like what Hoke has done so far.
My heart was pretty cold and stoney to the hire of Hoke initially, but he formed a small crack in that stone when he got up at that podium and said things like, "we would have walked here" , "you want to win 'em!!" (in reference to rivalry games), and "This is Michigan for God's sake". Since then, everything he has done has worked that crack open bigger and bigger, and if he (and more importantly his corrdinators) can coach as well as they recruit, i am sure that crack will split wide open and i will get a gushy with man love for Hoke.
Still, the win/loss columns are still 0-0, so I am going to remain a bit cautious and guard my heart a bit more until I see some really good results. I will be really interested to see what this team looks like come fall practices.
Of course, he was almost certainly going to be getting a nice raise from his position at SDSU. This, in my opinion, is more fluff than substance. A coach with his record at the schools he coached at wasn't going to be in a position to negotiate. Hoke was always simply going to take what was offered, as he should have. If Brandon were to have offered anything above the bare minimum for what is appropriate for the head coach at Michigan, it would have been a mistake.
and say things like "he was almost certain to get a nice raise". Uprooting one's family and moving across country on faith is another matter entirely - the difference between talking the talk and walking the walk, as it were.
That's the nature of the college coaching profession. College coaches constantly uproot their families for better opportunities. Hoke really wannted this job, he campaigned for it, I understand and appreciate that. But to put anything into the idea that he didn't care what his contract terms would be is just silly. He wasn't in a position to negotiate and the job was one that almost anyone in his shoes would have jumped at. The fact that he didn't settle on terms before agreeing isn't all that surprising or important.
Hoke was virtually guaranteed to double his SDSU salary by jumping to the Big Ten. And so he did; from about $700,000, to about $1.7 million.
And as far as his "choice of assistants" went, Michigan had finally, belatedly, agreed to pay what was needed to attract top Coordinators. Don't take that from me; Dave Brandon has said as much.
I just got finished saying above that Brady Hoke is a nice guy who in no way deserves any lack of support because of the Rodriguez firing. But once again, there's a certain level of irrational Hoke-love that has no basis in reality. Hoke has done fine in recruiting. No one can doubt that. And as far as I know, Rich Rodriguez hasn't recruited one single guy for our 2012 class, right? But there are a few names I can recall -- Demetrius Hart, Anthony Zettel, Kris Frost. It isn't as though Michigan just started recruiting when Brady Hoke returned to Ann Arbor.
To be fair, Zettel commited to PSU before RR was fired, and Frost never committed.
I know you're big on "evidence" to support your claims, so I think we can agree that we can't really credit those two to Rodriguez.
That said, I'd agree that Rodriguez's recruiting was not his problem - it actually started out quite well. What became obvious, however, was a nasty combination of poor results, epic transfer rates of highly-rated players, and generally shitty press (some of which was out of his control) was impacting his recruiting. I don't think it's deniable that his '10 class was worse than his '09 class, and this '11 class was off to a worse start than '10.
I think you're mostly right. No arguments.
Recruiting in the midst of an NCAA investigation was brutal. I'd call as my first witness in that regard Dee Hart's mom.
Recruiting the state of Michigan the last couple of years was a difficult proposition, with so much in-state negativity, and some graduating hs classes that may have been subpar. Also, some of the few good recruits were coming out of places that have been historically hostile to anything maize and blue.
This topic could easily steer us off into the ditch of "Rodriguez versus Hoke" which is inevitably unproductive territory. We both know that.
I think we're in agreement, actually. My only point was that Rodriguez's recruiting seemed to be declining - which isn't really an indictment of his recruiting in my mind, but more the situation he had found himself, regardless of how you think that situation was created.
And, regardless of whether or not it was RR's fault, the simplest way to repair the program's image and give recruiting a shot in the arm was to change coaches. The athletic director's job is to do what's best for the program, whether or not it's "fair" to the coaches involved.
Gets it: check.
I wanted Harbaugh and made no secret of that from the Penn State loss forward. When that looked like a no go, I wanted Rodriguez back. IMO, the Gator Bowl totally eliminated that as an option. However it went down, it did.
I posted yesterday that people in San Diego thought Hoke's coaching abilities and ability to create excitement program wide, were his best attributes. The recruiting was not considered bad, but he hadn't been there long enough to judge. I feel like he will handle all areas well, but we will have to see how it goes.
It's about Big Ten Championships and I want to be competing for one this fall. If we aren't, I am not satisfied and Hoke is accountable for that failure. The great thing is he wants it that way and isn't afraid to say it. This is Michigan.
offensive assistants? One DC does not a team make. If we score more than 20 points per game this fall, I'll be pleasantly surprised.
Borges has won the top coordinator in the nation award once or twice, and this group collectively coached a very successful offense last year.
It may not start out amazing, but it seems like they can coach.
Recruiting is fine, and I've been pleasantly surprised so far, but these aren't the classes that can just come in and automatically win nine games. I'm going to wait and see to see how they play on the field before I change my opinion from "highly skeptical" to something else. This guy has a lifetime <.500 record, after all.
I cannot wait for Hoke to kill the "OMG look at the sub .500 record" on his own this year, but since we're all up for misleading records (because who in the world can pull a winning record at Ball State):
Rich Rod from 2008-10: 15-22.
Hoke-A-Mania from 2008-10: 25-13.
Answer: Apparently the three coaches immediately prior to Bill Lynch. This is just an annoyance I have, but Ball State hasn't historically been a bad football school. In the 27 MAC seasons prior to Hoke's arrival, they managed 5 MAC titles and 1 Mac-West co-title. Not great, but certainly not awful. They had 15 winning seasons, 10 losing seasons, again not great, not awful. The only truly atrocious stretch was a 1-21, two year span under Lynch. They then recovered to go 16-18 over the next three seasons before Lynch was fired and Hoke was hired. The second worst stretch of Ball State's MAC existance was Hoke's first three seasons (10-24).
There may be plenty of reasons that Hoke struggled outside of his one good season at Ball State (maybe too young/inexperienced his first couple seasons, maybe deep rooted issues from the Lynch era, etc.). But lets stop saying that Hoke couldn't win at Ball State because nobody ever wins at Ball State. It just isn't true. Ball State was an above average, even if only slightly, MAC program, from a historical prespective, before Hoke arrived.
Well for him to kill the sub-500 record this year we'd have to go 8-5 at least, so yeah, I hope he kills it too. I don't care about RR, that's not what this was about. I just prefered more successful coaches to Hoke, like Gary Patterson for example.
I thought Rodriguez would fail unless he could turn around the poor W-L against conference big boys. He did not.
Hoke was an unknown to me but started to win me over with his press conference. He closed the deal with his recruiting blitz to finish the 2011 class. To me, he instantly became THE CLOSER. Nothing I've seen since has changed my view.
So, yeah. I changed from skepticism to enthusiastic support. He is THE CLOSER and I believe he will close out the big boys, starting this fall.
Yea, recruiting has been good. That's impressive for a guy with no real track record to go on.
I echo the Ron Zook sentiments. We'll see how he does come game time. I'm hopeful.
Basing anything off the spring game is a tragic tale of LULZ. EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE thinks their offense sucks at the spring game. Go read EDSBS's review of the florida spring game or any of the readers review of any spring game from their team. ITS ALL AWFUL.
at the time of the RR hire, my thoughts were "ok, not what i was expecting, but we will see how this goes, hopefully it goes well since i have been all in since birth." as things went, it was difficult from the beginning and ended rather poorly.
at the time of the hoke hire, my thoughts were "ok, not what i was expecting, but we will see how this goes, hopefully it goes well since i have been all in since birth." as things have gone, this seems like it is going to be fun.
i wish i could look back and say "they should have done this..." but really there were no good options at the time. hopefully, everything is stronger moving forward, so i would say i am more encouraged than i expected to be at the time of the hire.
Coach Hoke won me over at his fisrt speach. I thought then that he seemed like a genuinely great guy that cared about Michigan and the players on the team.
I think that there is a misnomer out there that you are either in Carr/Hoke camp or the RR camp. I think there is no problem in supporting all of them. I really loved the way Carr coached with his dictionary and intellectual approach (also he was coach during my most formidable Michigan football rooting years 98'-03'. I think coach Rod is a great guy who got somewhat of a raw deal, but also created his own issues, but in general was a genuinely good guy who brought in a great batch of players and truly showed he cared about his players. I am not embarrassed at all by the way he represented this University. And I think Hoke is and has done, everything that he can do right in his short tenure.
I think we are lucky to have the coaches we have had, and to have coach Hoke.
As an aside, I really did not want Miles and am glad we did not go that path. While I was originally very much for Harbaugh, I think we actually ended up with the better guy. Although this may be my Maize glasses always thinking everything we get or have is better than the alternative. The Grass is always greener on our side of the fence at the big house.
I am a horribly biased judge of my Michigan team and coaches. I remember arguing with people to look at Carr's overall record and average wins per year when they argued he was over the hill and boring (as well as spouting off about passing extravaganzas and crazy trick plays in Bowl games).
I defended RR through all of his defeats and "scandals" as a good guy who ran the program with integrity and spouted off UFR offensive stats and returning defensive starters for the next year.
And now I find myself defending Borges' offense in the spring game as just the players working on stuff they were bad at, as well as an offense the defense needs to prepare for, and that the offense will look much deifferent in the fall.
And I always seem to believe we can win atleast 10 wins. I realize I am not going to give you a true honest assessment of Michigan, but god forgive you if you disagree with my Maize colored view. Ha!
A united UM with everyone trying to succeeed is formidable. UM divided and looking to push their agenda, is mediocre. As simple as that. Hoke will be fine, as long as the UM Machine supports him.
However he has done well so far, I am yet to say he is a great recruiter (he has not left michigan and ohio yet and he has yet to show us he can pull elite talent at the skill postions on offense). The point is, just like Rich Rod couldn't win with just his spread, Hoke needs to score points to win.
Furthermore, he has yet to prove he can win on the field. He still has a record under .500. This has not changed since the hire. While everyone wants to act like the spring game didn't happen, it did and we looked bad. You can say it doesn't matter but look at PSU last year (their fans knew QB would be a problem following the spring game).
I was no huge Rich Rod supporter and only didn't like him getting the boot because of DRob and the fact that I believe every coach should be given 4 years.
All this being said, I am 100 percent behind this team, its coach, and its players and will always be.
Slicing the numbers differently
Comparing the first 4 years of their careers, they both had rocky starts.
In the first 4 years of their careers they have had similar (bad) records. Hoke 15-31, RR 13-24-2. In the last 5 years they have had pretty similar records. Hoke 37-26, RR 36-25. The big difference is that Hoke has not stayed around once he has had a good season. He thus has not demonstrated an ability for sustained success, and has also not benefited from the wins that come with that sustained success.
Another set of numbers that I think are important are 25-13 and 15-21. Hoke's vs RR's records in the last three years. I am much less concerned that it took several years for Hoke to learn how to win than I was that RR hadn't shown that he could put together a Big 10 caliber defense or find a Big 10 caliber running back. While my hat is off to RR for giving Denard a shot at QB, I think there are many coaches who could have done at least as well as RR has over the last three years.
For me, the proof will be in wins and losses.
I don't like not follow recruiting with any great interest since the general fawning and hero-worship of 16 year old kids by adults seems creepy to me at best.
So far, Hoke has performed very, very well as the UM coach. I like his demeanor, approach with the press, discipline approach with Stonum, his love for Michigan and his general disdain for all things ohio. So far, so good. However, he will be measured by wins and losses in the end. No evidence either way on that for him as a head coach at Michigan, yet. My expectations are high though, especially offensively. And...just beat frickin' MSU already.
As for the process of hiring a new as conducted by Dave Brandon? I think the criticism of that process is warranted and generally spot on. IMHO, that could've been handled much, much better.
I think the existance of Harbaugh had a huge influence on the proccess. I don't think that the Hoke transition would have been as well recieved if the Harbaugh box wasn't checked. I think it is unrealistic that there is much that Brandon could have done to change that. I also think it is quite possible that Harbaugh was in fact the first choice. I know that many think that even if that is true, Hoke could have been brought on as plan b more quickly. I think that Brandon knew he'd have to do a lot to provide Hoke a good reception and that effort could not start til after the Harbaugh option was addressed. I think there is a good chance that in the period that many people on this board think he was wandering around cluelessly, he was in fact quite focused on laying the groundwork that Hoke has benefited from. I think much of this board was myopically focused on 2011 recruiting while Brandon was focused bigger picture. He traded off a couple 2011 recruits to set Hoke up in a situation where he could do better in 2012 recruiting and better with retention of current players. Note that I said all of this in an earlier post before we had seen any 2012 recruits, so this is not some post hoc ratioalization.
This is ridiculous. Recruiting double check? Please point out ONE recruiting success we've had thus far (Hint: you can't, as Brady Hoke hasn't had the oppurtunity to coach a season, let alone a game). I'm all for Michigan being the best team in the nation, but lets not heap all of this hope onto Hoke just yet.
First off, how many of these 12 commits (including Morris) would've committed to Rich Rod at this point? Can you honestly name one?
Second, James Ross is a huge get. So are Ojemudia and Funchess. Those are kids at schools where Michigan had problems getting in the door. And need I bring up getting Frank Clark from Glenville?
Also.....getting Bolden secures a pipeline to Colerain, lest you remember his uncle is coach and father the AD.
Finally, the words of Chris Wormley's coach at the clinic - "We've heard more from Michigan the past 3 months than we had the past 3 years, and I have a player there (Koger) and one they want (Wormley)."
So yeah, Hoke is doing his job and doing it exceedingly well. But, be negative if you need to.
Tallking about recruits we are getting now, who "never would have committed to Rich Rod at this point..."
And then to top it off by saying, "be negative if you need to..."
Talk about a needless, gratuitous, pointless, baseless cheap shot. You are today's winner. Why just leave it at, "Brady Hoke is doing some very good recruting..." when you can take that one extra step off the cliff, and add "...recruiting, that Rich Rodriguez could never have done."
YOU, jg, ARE A PERFECT EXEMPLAR OF WHAT WILL KEEP MICHIGAN DIVIDED. Rest assured, David Brandon and Brady Hoke won't be happy about continued sniping at Rich Rodriguez. It's not what they want to hear. It's not what they are saying. You're part of the problem at this point, not the solution.
If people defending Rich Rodriguez is what pisses you off, then I hope to keep you pissed off forever.
But you can be negative if you need to...
Now now. Show some discipline Section One. Earlier you conceded that these arguments go nowhere. Go ahead give in to the urge to rip RR a new one. You will feel much better.
As for me, I will try to be good. If I say anything good about Hoke, I will make triply sure to say something exemplary about RR. Whaddya say?
I did. Lack of discipline on my part. I don't regret typing it. I don't take any of it back. I just shouldn't have hit "Save."
None of that refutes the main point that we haven't seen these kids play a down yet. Rich Rodriguez recruited classes ranked pretty high as well, yet we had so many not pan out. That's still a real possibility. Your merit as a recruiter is your win/loss record, and until these kids come here and play we won't know anything.