I didn't like the hire when it happened, but I'm a UM fan first and foremost so I decided to just wait and see how Hoke would do. So far he certainly hasn't disappointed and it shouldn't be long till we return to tough, physical defense and consistently competing for Big Ten Championships.
Changing my opinion on the Hoke hire
I was / am in the same boat as you.
I think we're going to need a bigger boat.
Ha yeah probably.
Got any more room? lol
More than anything else. Every recruit that visits says the same thing as well as their parents. It seems that people really like this coaching Staff. I have a big crow in the oven for any else who would like to join me for lunch.
Where can I store my gear?? :)
Whether intentional or unintentional.
I think we are going to need the Love Boat.
I hated the hire "on paper". Since then, this man has said all of the things that I needed to hear in his various interviews. I'm hoping that he now can recruit the talent to this top-flight program that will produce sustained winning, which is not what his overall record shows at Ball State and SDSU, where you can't attract this caliber of talent.
I will simply to go back and light a candle next to my RR bobble head doll, say three prayers to the Harbaugh shrine and eat grass from my Les Miles chia-head since I can't be content with our current coach no matter how great of a job he is already doing.
While I agree Hoke has been impressive with just about everything so far (especially recruiting), we haven't seen his team in action on the field yet (I don't count the spring game). I'm really excited to see what the final product looks like in the fall (at least the 1 year final product).
Also, with respect to recruiting, I remember reading something right when he got hired talking about how Hoke was in on kids at SDSU that they had no business getting to visit. While he might not have been landing them, that at least gave me some optimism of his recruiting abilities. So far he has exceeded expectations on that front.
It's a great start to recruiting, but we still need to land a truly elite player or two in order to complete the class. Hoke's excitement about the program has certainly helped land Michigan kids, which is nice, but will it translate to 5-star type players on a national scale?
In my opinion, the hire should be judged only on wins and losses. My expectations on this front has been raised from when the hire was first announced, based mostly on assistant coaching hires, but it still has to translate to the field, which is no sure thing. This year is vitally important. We lose talent in key places next year (DL, WR) without a lot to replace them going into a brutal schedule (ND, OSU, NEB on the road, Bama virtually on the road). Then in 2013, we're going to be heavily relying on the last two classes, that were arguably the weakest rated classes in recent memory. This is the year to win 10 games and continue Hoke's early momentum. Lets hope he can do it!
Also important: right now all the buzz around the program is positive (a good part of that is Hoke's own doing of course) but how will Hoke handle adversity? The recruiting so far is great, but will they all hang around if we lose a few big games this year? How will he handle negative press?
He's doing a great job so far (better than I expected), but he has a ways to go before we reach a final verdict.
I'd add player development, but yeah... so far so good.
I'll just say it: Loved the hire then, knew you all would come around about now.
I'm not saying you're like this, but the only one of my Michigan fan buddies who loved the Hoke hire at the time also enjoyed referring to RR as "Dick Rod" and said things like "the spread will never work in the Big Ten" and "check out this Freep article."
And there are people who loved RR that despised Lloyd Carr and (to this day) believe that he tried to sabotage the program.
Conclusion: some people are just weird.
I'm still pissed at Fielding Yost.
He knows why.
The trifecta of stupid:
- "the spread will never work in the Big Ten"
- "check out this Freep article"
And this guy is both your "buddy" and a putative "Michigan fan"?
Call me naive but I supported Dave Brandon's "process" and liked the Hoke hire. I also supported RR from the beginning to the end and loved Lloyd Carr. I guess I just support whoever becomes coach but I also trust Dave Brandon. I don't how I would've felt if Les Miles was hired though.
I would add that after the 3rd OSU drumming, I was ready to move on and was surprised at Brian and Mgoblog's collective tolerance and unwarrented support of RR's regime. The coach was down in the mouth, the defense was in shambles, and the entire team lacked spirit by the end of each season.
I was jacked that Harbaugh would take the job, and less than excited about Hoke at first. That said, I would have taken Hoke over RR straight up after the bowl game and probably after OSU.
Don't take this the wrong way, but until football is played we don't know much. Ron Zook is a great recruiter. That hasn't been that great by way of results.
That said, as far as what Hoke has had the opportunity to do he's been the perfect hire. I really hope this trend continues, and I bet it will.
I think we're saying the same thing. I have no idea (hence the question marks) how he'll do at the last two categories but he's knocking the ball out of the park in the first two IMO. Which leads me to be optimistic he'll do the same in the last two.
So far so very good. That's all.
Were you excited when Cullen Christian committed? How about when we got Ricardo Miller*? What did you think of Patrick Omameh? And so on.
I'm happy recruiting has been good so far, and that we've gotten a bunch of three to four stars, many of whom also seem to be solid citizens, with no likely clunkers in the bunch. It seems like it should be a lower-reaches of the Top 10 class. But it's WAY early to even say "the precincts have reported in and it's a landslide" about recruiting before they have even played a down.
I will not know if Hoke is a good hire until at least three years from now, if not more, unless he does incredibly well (e.g., wins a Rose Bowl this year or next) or incredibly bad (e.g., Denard regresses markedly and D is not much improved). There was a funny post on EDSBS the other day about "Your coach makes a terrible book cover" which had an image of Ty Willingham for the book "Return to Glory." Willingham was a man of integrity who had some initial success, but ultimately was not a success. It's good to be excited, but let's play some football before we decide someone is or isn't good at being the HC of Michigan.
*(BTW: I'm not writing off R Miller; I just remember how excited we were when we initially got him ("one of the best in Florida!"), and he hasn't had an impact yet and looks not to be the world-beater we'd hoped).
I agree with everything you stated above. Can we just wait and see how they perform on the field? All this other stuff is just" fluff" cause we really don't know how any of these guys will play out nor do we know if Hoke & Co. can get us back to winning the conference.
Then what should we talk about until September...
Do you know of any great teas I could try?
How about those royals?!
Where are the good places in Pennsylvania for cheesesteaks?
(1) Earl gray. Hot.
(2) I think Prince William is a bit snooty. Oh, baseball...
(3) Throw a rock in Philly, you'll hit one.
On the same note, Clemson would have 7 straight national championships...
is that he is PASSIONATE about the program. He genuinely believes in the Michigan program and system.
And that passion will rub off on the players and fans.
He is ... a Michigan Man.
A coach who is a great cheerleader for his school can make a big difference. I think Lou Holtz, for example, was a successful recruiter at ND because he genuinely believes that ND is the greatest place on earth. That sort of enthusiasm obviously isn't enough by itself but it sure helps.
and blind eye Holtz turned towards the thug life and steroids that were going down at ND at the time also helped.
he would've walked from San Diego to Ann Arbor (and meant it) to take the job, I really felt like we had the right guy. Let's be honest, Harbaugh and Miles are about themselves, first and foremost. I don't question their fondness for Michigan, but it's clear that Hoke LOVES Michigan with the kind of passion we have as fans. He probably thought about returning to Michigan often, if not daily, while he was at Ball State and SDSU. The guy landed his dream job and he's going to take advantage. If he can coach even half as well as he recruits, we're going to be back in a big way.
I can't wait to see the O and the D for that matter. ND will be very telling but not back breaking. Recruiting is going well... there can be no question.
The other side of the coin has yet to drop. We will not see the benefit of any of this recruiting class for a couple years. Hoke will have to make something happen here these next two years with the guys he has. This means making a spread O pro style with spread players. The D has to work with developing the players we have. It's "telling" that GMAT is talking playing time with his recruits.
Regardless of how well it is going. - there is going to be transition and bumps on this road.
Although I too am extremely pleased with the start to the Hoke era, I think it's definitely too early to pass judgement as to whether he was the "right" hire. In fact, I believe that sometimes you still can't judge a hiring even after the coach leaves. I don't consider Rodriguez to be a failure by any means; more of an incomplete.
However I will say that I am pleasantly surprised by Hoke's immediate success on the recruiting front. I just wish we hadn't had to take a step back on offense in order to take steps forward elsewhere.
While you might be right, isn't it also too soon to pass judgement on whether or not we've taken a step back on offense??
Not if you were at the spring game...
I guess you've never seen any other teams' spring games.
The ones where record breaking returning starting QBs light up defenses that were historically bad one year earlier? Yea, I have seen plenty of those.
It's one performance, and an early one.
Could have sworn I asked you not to comment on any of my posts. Yep, I remember asking that.
I love when people take 25 plays in a touch football game and want to get butthurt.
Also, I love when His Dudeness gets sensitive.
when people neg comments that disagree with their view just for the hell of it.
I guess my father was right when he told me some people are perfectly happy going through their entire lives being complete assholes.
Was that Dad's self-awareness, or was he just setting you up to accept your future?
The offense was really really bad like Sheridan/Threet bad. I realize they only had 15 practices, but they did have the playbook for four months. A lot is going to depend on what Borges does play calling wise. Without the constant threat of the run, I'm afraid of what Denard's passing stats are going to look like. He didn't run all that much in HS and only completed roughly 45% in his three years as a starter and only 43% as a senior with 500+ yards rushing. If he has similar stats this fall I doubt he is still starting at the end of the year.
It looks like Denard is not all that comfortable stepping into the pocket as he is being rushed and this may have to do with his height. He also needs to prove that he can go through his progressions and hit the third or fourth option which he wasn't required to do last year. He'll be required to read the D and make adjustments at the line which will also be new for him. We know from last year that he doesn't seem to like to scramble on called passes. I know Denard will put in the work, but IMO he is not really a good fit for this offense, but that doesn't mean he can't be successful.
While true, it is still too early to pass judgement. This was discussed here and in many other places (including by Borges himself). They approached the spring game as a practice where they focused on working on things they are not very good at yet. Makes some sense. We'll see.
This is exactly why the user gen content on this site sucks now. This is an insightful comment that is actually pretty spot on and now it is hidden because some derp thinks it is anti-Hoke or some bullshit. Seriously, go back to your shanties.
You can adjust the thresholds on what gets hidden. I have mine set to see anything regardless of user moderation. Just to avoid what you talk about above.
My new favorite pic meme for awhile, I think.
Don't want this taken the wrong way, but I just want us to win. I really don't care what his stats are.
You should have been way more concerned by the 2010 spring game when Denard was gashing the defense.
You would expect that Denard would have a little bit of trouble without Lewan and Molk in front of him, when the team was specifically NOT running plays based on his strengths (geez, Borges might be smart enough to hide successful plays or not run ones he knows will work), and where Denard was forced to read progressions against a defense which knows exactly what he's going to run?
But hey - you get nervous about Denard's 25 plays in a game of touch football.
You have to be with the hire so far, I do not like the way everything was handled, however; I love the way things are going…
Based on your criteria I feel very confident that Hoke will be successful in the last 2 parts of your list because I think they are all in direct corelation with each other. If you hire a good staff and can bring in good, smart recruits then game-planning and halftime adjustments are just that much easier to make and execute.
team. I was despondent for a day or so until I remembered that I *like* Hoke's brand of football. After watching him hire, watching him recruit, and watching him point, I'm sold. Seeing the way he has drawn in the former players is icing on the cake. I would say I can't wait for the season, but I want to watch hockey for another month.
I was in RR's camp until the bowl game. Like many RR supporters, I thought the extra practices would be just what the doctor ordered to correct some issues and get things straightened out on both sides of the ball. When I saw that the extra practices had resulted in the same sort of regression that we had all witnessed all season, I stopped thinking that more time would cure the problems and was ready to see him go. While initially unsure of the Hoke hire, I was at least happy about his enthusiasm and comments like being ready to walk to Ann Arbor and not even discussing salary. I love Michigan and want its coaches to feel the same way. I don't know whether RR felt that way or not, but Coach Hoke certainly does, and his kind of enthusiasm is definitely contagious.
"When I saw that the extra practices had resulted in the same sort of regression that we had all witnessed all season, I stopped thinking that more time would cure the problems and was ready to see him go."
This. Not only do I agree that the bowl game debacle was decisive, my personal (evidence-free) theory is that Brandon thought so, too. Before the bowl game, I think Brandon's list of coaches for next year looked like this:
1. Jim Harbaugh
2. Rich Rodriguez
After the bowl game, I think it was:
1. Jim Harbaugh
2. Coaching search!
And if so, who can blame him? A bowl game is a test of coaching ability in a way that regular-season games aren't always: you have time for your team to get healthy, you have time to gameplan for a specific opponent, and you have time to focus on whatever issues your team has been struggling with. It was a very, very discouraging comment on the direction of Rodriguez's program that the team he put on the field didn't just get beat, but wasn't competitive.
I can't say that I was initially excited about the Hoke hire - it felt like a compromise - but he's exceeding expectations right now.
I can't think of a misstep he's taken yet.
While, it didn't take me this long to come around (I was sold after the press conference), I am in complete awe of what he has been able to accomplish so far. I was a huge RR supporter sad to see him go, but am thrilled at the direction the program is headed. The final 2 precints will be the truly telling factors, but with the staff he's brought in and the returning talent, I don't think it'll be long before the product on the field is producing what we as fans want to see.
I will admit I didn't know too much about Hoke pre-hire...but after seeing the presser I was sold. He just seems like the kind of coach that can inspire kids to be their best both on and off the field (dang it Stonum).
It is hard to admit that you may have been wrong. It is nice to see that you can and that I think Hoke is making some good strides in getting Michigan back on the winning track.
I guess that
God did not make Brandon barely two-legged and leave it to the internet to make him rational*
*to paraphrase John Locke
So far he has had success in the state of Michigan, which is great, but I don't think the Ohio kids have had offers from OSU. So he hasn't won a major recruiting battle yet for top tier talent. We're not gona win big ten titles without getting some quality out of state talent in, which he may do, but hasnt yet. I do support him and think he'll be a better fit for us, but he hasn't proven to be a national recruiter yet and that's what you need to be a top team.
For my part, it is quite easy to reconcile two things:
1. Rich Rodriguez was treated despicably when he was in Ann Arbor. He shouldn't have been released. But he was released, and that is a fact.
2. Brady Hoke is a nice guy who is going to do his best and it would be churlish for anyone to hold Brady Hoke responsible for the bad treatment that Rodriguez received. Just as surely as Rodriguez was fired, Hoke was hired, and so deal with it. Dealing with it, with a smile, is even better.
And I think this is pretty close to where I am. I liked RR and thought he mostly got a pretty raw deal. I love Michigan, though, so I hope that Hoke will do well. I'm glad all the naysayers have suddenly found their love for Michigan again but I've learned that what happens on the field is of the utmost importance for everyone. So I'm waiting to see how Hoke does on that score.
It's nice that he seems to be grabbing the best 3 and 4 stars in Michigan and making a good grab at some in Ohio. I'll start feeling wowed by his recruiting when we close a big-time class, which won't happen for another 8 months or so. A lot can happen, as we've all seen.
"He shouldn't have been released"
Do you really think that it's coincidence that the three worst defenses in Michigan's 100+ year history were on RR's watch?
Do you think that it's coincidence that all six of Michigan's losses were by double digits (and four of them by three or more scores)?
Do you really think that it's a coincidence that Michigan's spotless compliance record was stained on RR's watch?
It would have been hard for somebody to come in and do a WORSE job over a three year period than RR did. I understand that he had some things stacked against him (although the Decimated Defense theory is completely overblown). That's no excuse for the excessively bad results on the field.
I'm not saying that he'd never have a BT Championship caliber team at Michigan. What I am saying is that he failed to such an extent over a three year period that Brandon had no choice. He not only should have been released.....he HAD to be released. I wish him luck at his next stop and hope that things work out better for him.
"... Decimated Defense theory is completely overblown ..."
Details, please. Please.
Look, I agree that he did a lousy job of playing his hand of cards, but I think it's silly to act like he was playing with a full deck. Look at the last three NFL drafts.
One problem that RR had was his staff. Coach Hoke was allowed to spend a lot more on his assistant salaries (or at least one of them), and that makes a difference. As I recall, RR's defensive coordinator made about $1M less than Coach Mattison. If RR had been given a bigger budget, he may have been able to convince, for example, his defensive coordinator from WVU to join him and actually had someone on his staff who understood the defense he wanted to run. While I agree that after the bowl game he probably had to go, I also agree with Section 1 that he was treated badly and not given the best possible opportunity to succeed.
This seems to be the newest hypothesis why RR failed. Alas, it does not stand up under examination. Let's set the record straight: RR's assistants were making market-level salaries. They were not underpaid by any stretch of the imagination. Moreover, there is zero evidence that RR ever asked for more money for his assistants and was refused. We have been cheap when it comes to some sports (basketball comes to mind) but never football. We have never skimped on our cash cow. We spent more money on coaches' salaries than all but a small handful of programs nationwide. We also spent a million bucks fixing up the weight room when RR requested it - and of course, spent $226M to fix up the stadium.
BTW, since Mattison makes $750K, how could GERG have been getting $1 million less? You think he was paying us to work here?
Everyone knows RR wanted to bring Casteel, who, instead, elected to stay at WVU. As to salary differences, I had some recollection of reading that Coach Mattison would be making $1.2M, but the actual amount, per the FOIA request, is that he has a base of $250K, will make another $500K and can get a bonus of another $150K is we win the Big Ten championship, for a total of $900K. Sorry I was off by a little, as were you, but I view this as a blog, not an opportunity to engage in online research; judging from the number of points you have, it must be more like an occupation to you. My guess is that if Casteel had been offered something in that range, he would have spent the last three years in Ann Arbor. For approximately $200K, we got GERG.
My guess is that
So...yes, a hypothesis.
My guess is that if Casteel had been offered something in that range, he would have spent the last three years in Ann Arbor. For approximately $200K, we got GERG.
Wow, complete speculation. Did you forget that RR fired a perfectly capable DC in order to hire GERG? Claiming that RR mismanaged the defensive side of the ball b/c the AD wouldn't open the wallet not only has absolutely zero evidence to back it up (other than GM's salary vs. GERG's salary, which really doesn't prove anything), it also breaks down completely when you try to explain that having the worst defense in the history of the school as a result of paying market price for assistant coaches. What a crock.
I am surprised at the life of the "Mich didn't pay enough for RR's assistants" pro-RR red herring. Funny how that wasn't considered an issue while Carr was a coach.
Silly that Brian gave it credence but I think that was during his late season/coaching search blue period. The tone here is far more rational, hopefully he continues to pull out of his funk.
There's no evidence to me that RR cared much about the defense beyond his attachment to the 3-3-5. His style was all about offense and from most accounts, that's what the emphasized in practice.
I was "all in" for him, but the end I had decided that Bo was right when he said "Defense Wins Championships!".
Sure, let's look at the last three drafts:
Terrence Taylor (D) - 4th round
Morgan Trent (D) - 6th round
Brandon Graham (D) - 1st round
Zoltan Mesko (S) - 5th round
Stevie Brown (D) - 7th round
Jonas Mouton (D) - 2nd round
Steve Schilling (O) - 6th round
Michigan has had seven players drafted over the past three years. Five of them were defensive players. Tim Jamison, Donovan Warren have also made NFL rosters (and Will Johnson has been in the mix) That gives you 7-8 guys from the 2008 team that has had at least one year of experience in the system and went on to make money in the NFL. Do you think that Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, MSU or Purdue could say that? The talent level certainly wasn't as deep as it has been in the past....but it wasn't exactly a MAC caliber defense.
Its amazing that RR apologists will point to slightly below average, or average talent and coaching salaries to explain the worst defense in history of the school.
"...but it wasn't exactly a MAC caliber defense."
If you are referring to 2008, OK. If you are referring to 2010, it had a ways to go to even reach MAC caliber. It was an embarrassment.
By chance, I watched the entire Poinsettia Bowl game - it was on when I was doing a home project. SDSU's play was impressive against a favored Navy team. This is the only Hoke-coached game I've ever watched so no expert, but I really liked what I saw on the field from the Aztecs and if we play Big Ten ball with that same intensity then I think we're in good hands with Hoke.
As one of the very, very, very few vocal Hoke supporters on this board BEFORE he was hired, I must say that even I am impressed and he has well exceeded the high expectations that I had for him. Sure, we are still more than 3 months away from his team taking its first snap, but to date, he had done great things to lay the foundations for years of great M football.
Using your buckets:
Coaching staff - Mattison was an obviously amazing hire. But, look beyond that - it looks like Funk may be as good a recruiter as Mattison and Hoke, and the players seem to love the guy. Ditto the S&C guy, who several players have said great things about. Hoke built a solid staff of coaches that understand B10 football.
Recruiting - obviously, Hoke is on a mission to take every single high 3* or higher recruit in the midwest and he might just accomplish it. MSU boards are melting down over his recruiting prowess. While some have complained that we are not getting the "best national talent" - i.e. not enough 5* or high 4* guys, what Hoke is doing is rebuilding pipelines so that in future years, when top talent comes from the midwest, we will have the inside track. Smart long-term move. He is also launching a direct attack on Sparty, taking talent from even their usual pipelines. This directly weakens a team that we will play every year, by relegating them to CMU level talent. Smart move.
He definitely gets incompletes in game planning and halftime adjustments, but I will say that if he coaches as well at Michigan as he did last year at SDSU, we will be in great shape.
Also, let me add another important bucket - unifying the fanbase. I don't want to get into a discussion of what happened during RR's tenure - it is in the past and until Bacon's book comes out, we all know very little. But, the fanbase was fractured when he got here. In a single presser, and in the months since, Hoke has done a masterful job of bringing the base back together, and also bringing back the former players who are a critical link to our "storied" past. Another really smart move.
Hoke is awesome, and in coming years, all of those who said "I can't believe that DB took us through The Process only to end up with this Hoke guy" will realize that DB made an amazing hire.
I'm excited about all the legendary quotes he's sure to provide us over the next few years. I already love "This is MICHIGAN, for God's sakes"
Admitting that you are wrong is a very important part of developing and progressing.
I wish RR would have admitted that forcing the 3-3-5 was wrong.
Also, 12-wins at Ball State and S.D.State in a bowl game make me think that he will be pretty good at #3 and #4 come September and beyond
"Assistant coach selection: check
Recruiting: double check
Game planning: ?
Halftime adjustments: ?"
you forgot Step 5: profit
I have to admit I wasn't a big fan of RR. His first year really hurt him in my eyes when he didn't try to adapt the U of M prgram to something more becoming of the talent that was here when he took over. It seemed he was hell bent on implementing the spread. If anyone remembers, but Lloyds last game against Florida, we implemented a pro-style spread that was pretty damn affective. Seems to me had RR looked to be a little more flexible that would have done him worlds of good.
No need to belabor the past. Hoke has come in a blazing. I love the approach the coaching staff is taking to the talent, and how they are attacking the recruiting world for the talent that fits what they want to do. I am super excited for the future again.
I am going to guess that if RichRod could have had the 10 starters, 5 of whom were drafted into the NFL, he lost coming into his first year, he could have run whatever offense he wanted and been successful. Returning 1 offensive starter who was a redshirt sophomore (who, by the way, was the only guy drafted from the offense in the 3 years since RR took over) is not a recipe for offensive success. We weren't going to win many games that year no matter which offense we ran
I was a big RR supporter until the bowl debacle, after that I was neutral in retaining him. While I initially found the Hoke hire uninspiring, I am becoming cautiously optimistic for one important reason. Wile RR is a very good coach, he failed to be a good executive and failed to put competent subordinates in a position for them to succeed. There is hope that the opposite will be the case for Brady Hoke.
Regarding recruiting, realize that there is a lot of time between now and the day a player can sign an LOI. While things are encouraging, a lot can happen between now and then, and not one play has (or can) sign on the dotted line. The way the football season proceeds can have an effect on things.
A lot is going to depend on what Hoke and his staff do with the talent on hand the next 2 years. Its great to get excited by all the recruits verbally committing to Michigan, but none of them are going to have any impact on any game played the next 2 seasons.
What up BD? I usually agree with you and today is no different, however I am much more bullish than you in regards to Hoke. Of course I was too bullish on RR so what the hell do I know.
Great recruiting, great assistants, great media coverage, Hoke the great concillitator!!!
aawolverine as well). Us old guys got to stick together around this here blog.
During most seasons, I have a lot enthusiasm for the team and their prospects. Last season was no different, but the final 6 games did dampen my outlook for the team somewhat. But after watching the bowl game and what Mississippi State did to us (can you recall any game from the past that left you with
Bo never emphasized special teams much, but how far back do you have to go to find a unit as bad as they were this past year? I think I recall 1 year we had a kicking game that went something like 5 of 17 in FGs, but at least we had Anthony Carter retuning punts and kickoffs!
I am heartened that you are bullish on Hoke; I have to admit, the more I hear what others (especially his peers and those he has worked with) say about him, the more comfortable and confident I am in the hire. Not a cross word about the guy. Jesus, all these people can't be wrong about Hoke, can they?
No. I've been mad after games, elated, relieved, vengeful, sad...the gamut I'm sure. But that's the only one I just ended up not caring. It became....eh, this again? I was paying more attention to MGoBlog than the game by the 3rd quarter. And I never miss a minute of Delaware State. And that's when I kind of went from Harbaugh or keep Rich, to this just might not be working out. Unsure a whole off-season of hot seat rumors, negative recruiting and coverage, being the butt of jokes was something a coach or a program could survive. It might have been more merciful to let him go. But in any regard, a program can handle people getting mad at it, for losing or whatever, as long as they're showing passion. When disinterest sets in, then a program's in trouble. And that bowl game may have pushed us over that hill.
After that bowl game, and I watched all of it, I just could see the team getting much better with the coaching staff as it was composed. With his future at Michigan on the line, and RR knowing it, we got that bowl game.
Why did Rodriguez succeed at West Virginia but fail at Michigan? Jeff Casteel? Departmental factions? Bad press? Lack of talent? Stiffer Big 10 competition versus the Big East? Any or all of the above? Regardless, after that bowl game on the heels of the second half of last season, with so much personally on the line, I felt the chances for success with Rodriguez as head coach were small.
to liking this hire. I was excited about the spread as much as about RichRod, and I think it's a mistake to assume that this team will win big this year. But in future, I am increasingly convinced, Michigan will field great teams again. I see Hoke as a little in the Bobby Bowden mode, as exemplary of the wider culture as of the football team. I think he could develop that kind of wider following among the fan base, and that could be a very good thing for Michigan AND the state--even MSU, if it forced them to field a cleaner program. Let's all just remember there are going to be some bumps, and not bail on this guy in two years if we haven't won the B10 championship.
Assistant coach selection: check
Recruiting: double check
Game planning: ?
Halftime adjustments: ?
That and, you know, coaching...
I will say that the spring game was awful. I was there. We looked like shit, but it is very early.
I have a wait and see attitude with the hire, but the stars seemed to have alligned for him so far which is a nice change.
Last time I fully invested in a coaches success he was given three seasons and was fired after his best one. So I am going to judge Hoke by his production on the field.
Note that i said "maybe". I'm just thrilled that in the two areas he has had a chance to get a grade in they get high marks in my book so far. And that is exponentially better than i expected. I wouldn't worry too much about the spring game - they ALL suck if you ask me.
Yes, they do all suck. But some moreso. I notice we haven't seen a hype video front-paged with clips from this year's spring game...
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.
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.
"but lets not heap all of this hope onto Hoke just yet. "
Um, of course we are going to heap all our hope on Hoke. He is the coach. Who else are we going to heap our hope on??
Unless you are suggesting that we live an existence without hope; with some sort of deep realization that we suck and always will. That would make you something other than a fan, wouldn't it?
Even if Hoke had zero recruits, was gaining negative press, and otherwise doing an awful job as of now, we would still hope he succeeds as the coach. Perhaps the phrase "but let's not believe he is the next Fielding Yost just yet" would work better...
Hope was the wrong word, meant - and should have typed - hype.
I didn't like the Hoke hire either. But he is saying all the right things and recruiting like a madman. Hopefully he can do just as well in games.
During the "process" I was very frustrated and certainly felt the program needed a sexy hire and Hoke was anything but. I felt his recruiting at the other schools (though - consider the difficulty in getting top talent to Muncie) was poor and while he turned those programs around, it seemed that doing so wasn't as difficult since the competition those schools faced was meh.
It took me about 3 days to start to like the hire. The staff he has assembled has impressed me greatly, the rally from the alumni in support, and recruiting is looking outstanding. At this point the on-field product would have to be pretty bad to upset me.
I'm not writing to bang on RR, because I supported him and thought he did a number of very good things. I still cannot, however, forgive anyone that stuck to a sinking 3-3-5 ship.
I hope the offense doesn't take a huge step backward and I hope the defense does take 3-4 steps forward (sorry, should I say 4-3 steps?).
There will be bumps in the road, but at this point I highly doubt there's another coach out there, save perhaps Harbaugh, that could have done a better job in 4 months. I hope he doesn't get stale like I felt Carr did his final few years, but if he can beat OSU 50% of the time, re-establish a dominance over that school near Okemos, and win more than half the battles with ND (while beating the remaining "teams they should beat") I will consider myself very happy.
Oh, and can he help us get our bowl record over .500? Please?
Was still supporting coach Rodriguez until the end of the first quarter of the bowl game. Then the need for change was a slam dunk.
While Hoke was not my first choice I was willing to trust in his track record of turning programs around. We are seeing the benefit of this now with recruiting and improved PR.
While the wins will be important, I think we will not see the real results until 2014. I am not saying we will not see plenty of wins but we will be going through a change in style of play and elevating the quality of our recruits.
Overall I think we are watching the implementation of.a.long term plan for success, not a short term plan. Our patience will be tested but I think we are on our way back with Hoke and staff.
I can't recall reading a single negative statement about Hoke made by relevant people who have dealt with him, notably other college coaches and especially high school coaches. Sam Webb has spoken at some length about the latter category; he has his finger on the pulse of HS recruiting as accurately as anybody I know not named TomVH, and he'll tell you that the reception of HS coaches to Hoke is night and day different from what RR encountered. Webb says it wasn't anything that RR was doing wrong; he worked Michigan and Ohio hard as well, but there was a sizeable contingent of coaches at the prep level who just never warmed up to the guy. Certainly the losing in Ann Arbor didn't help things.
Hoke's roots in Ohio and his long-term relationships with area coaches at all levels are paying off massively. I also think he's benefitting from the perception that he represents a return to the best successes of the Carr era; there was a huge pent-up demand for UM all along, but the trials and perceptions of RR & Co artificially depressed the sales, so to speak. Hoke found himself in the perfect position to open up the spigot full-blast, and he's taken full advantage of it from a sales perspective.
It appears for now that Brandon was prescient. I'm curious to see the reaction when we lose our first close game to a rival. Will the knives that have been sheathed since the hire was announced come out for Brady then?
There are always people who don't like something, and want more, waiting to pounce. A first National Title in 50 years wasn't enough for some, and they'd come out of the woodwork with every loss (still do). Bo had to deal with "old-fashioned, boring offense, can't win the bowl game...". And a segment of people will never be satisfied (one of the reasons Spurrier left Florida).
And another, probably overlapping segment would rather be right than have the program succeed. And all some good recruiting means is that they're hiding the knives behind their backs. But they're still sharpening them.
I'd say you become safe if you've won multiple national titles, but guys like JoePa and Urban Meyer would disagree that it exempts you...
I was a RR supporter until the bitter end, and I think Hoke is doing a fine job laying the foundation for his type of team
Not to take away from Hoke or the successes he's having, but I think it may be overlooked just how crucial it was for Brandon to open up his wallet to get these assistants. He gave Hoke the ability to hire people that RR and Carr probably could not have gotten. And these are the guys who are truly reeling in the recruits.
So while my judgement on hoke is reserved until I see the team on the field, and while I was not happy with the way the coaching search went down, I think that the decision to get top notch assistants was terrific.
I will just state at the outset, I like Hoke as a person, but I don't think he was the right hire. I'm not saying he can't possibly be successful, I'm just saying that he isn't the coach that I think has the highest probability of that happening.
I think we opened the checkbook and got the DC we should have been after 2-3 years ago and that is spot on, but other than that I am not unduly impressed with the rest of the assistant coaching staff or the OC thus far, but that is a judgement that quite simply will remain a ? until we see the results on the field.
Recruiting I think is going okay, however this again is a ? that can only be judged after 2-3 years and is a function of player development as well.
My overarching concern about the new regime is simply whether or not the philosophy/scheme is going to work. I have a lot of doubts that a 'manball, blow them off the ball' type of approach will work in the modern era of college football. I think it will work against Purdue and Northwestern nearly all the time, it will work against Wisconsin half of the time and not very frequently against more elite teams like OSU and/or a nationally prominent bowl opponent. I think there is plenty of evidence to support that opinion in retrospect looking at previous M teams and other teams like Wisconsin that employ that type of approach. I know many disagree with that and that is fine, only time will tell. However in looking at the bigger picture beyond single-season results, I think there is a longer term cycle involved where a program needs to recruit, scheme and prepare to compete on a national basis in order to produce an elite program and that is vastly different than gunning to compete for B10 titles. Furthermore, I have to say that I also just find the entire approach boring to watch and that I can't remember ever being less enthused about an upcoming football season, or actually 2-3 seasons. I can't escape the notion that by next year the program will be well on its way to re-establishing itself as an above average midwestern program that settles in around 9-3 each year with the occasional 8-4 or 10-2 outlier where we have to pray at the end of each year for a favorable bowl match-up against a nationally competive team that won't be able to scheme circles around us.
Put it this way, show of hands please for anyone at this point that is looking towards the Alabama game in 2012 with anything but complete trepidation at being in a high profile game against a powerhouse opponent stacked with talent? I don't think it is realistic to think you are going to blow Alabama off the ball, in fact it is much more likley going to be the other way around.
I hope it can work, I will support Hoke in his efforts to make it work, but in the end I will apply the same standard to him that was in effect previously.......3 years, no excuses.
I am still not convinced that especially after a year in a new system Hoke's offense is going to be that much worse and I think our defense will be much better. Obviously this is all opinion, but since RR has never had a good Michigan defense or red-zone offense, the counterfactual is also opinion.
Alabama is probably coming too soon for us, no matter who the coach was.
But they're an interesting example. Because it seems like that's what we're modeling ourselves after more. Not even so much the offense (Which is pro style similar, yes...but I still contend that any offense will work if done really well with good players), but with the defense. Being a defensive oriented team. We may not be able to consistently get the offensive skill position players that populate those other states, so the answer is to build a hellacious defense. (And that's something that was even slipping in the later Lloyd years). And win with that. No, I don't think it'll be ready by September 2012. But I don't really think our offense was going to tear them up, either, vs. that defense.
But maybe that's just me; I'm a defensive guy, and still think that's the way to win. Run whatever offense you want, but give me a defense that terrorizes the opposition.
Furthermore, I have to say that I also just find the entire approach boring to watch and that I can't remember ever being less enthused about an upcoming football season, or actually 2-3 seasons.
I think the hire is suppose to bring excitement, but more importantly wins. I really don't care if it is boring, if it can win. I hope you are wrong. I like Hoke, reminds me of that uncle who doesn't remember your name. I have an uncle like that who is wildly successful. I understand what you are saying, but let's jsut wait and see.
The more I think people have forgotten, since we haven't seen it for awhile, how exciting truly great DEFENSE is. Sure, '97 was great because of the winning, but we had the consistently loudest crowds I've ever seen way before anyone really thought a National Championship was possible (it had been a little while...we were just glad to get out of September without a loss). The offense was boring, but man, going out there knowing no one was going to score on you, and your defense was going to mess some people up...to me, THAT was exciting. More energy and fire than I've seen for Denard, Henne and Hart, Brady, Wheatley, AC...any of them. A truly hellacious defense is about as fun as it gets. I hope we're building another.
"Put it this way, show of hands please for anyone at this point that is looking towards the Alabama game in 2012 with anything but complete trepidation at being in a high profile game against a powerhouse opponent stacked with talent? I don't think it is realistic to think you are going to blow Alabama off the ball, in fact it is much more likley going to be the other way around."
So "man ball" CAN be successful at the highest levels (I give you.... Alabama).
I also look forward to the day when we can just evaluate Hoke as Hoke and not Hoke vis-a-vis Rodriguez. Not that the OP was doing that necessarily. These conversations just seem to always imply that by supporting one coach you are saying another was lousy. I liked Carr. I liked Rodriguez. I am starting to really like Hoke.
I also think we should really be speaking about the Hoke-Mattison hire, because I think they were brought in as a package and the benefits we are reaping are almost equally shared between the two.
I recall the search when Carr stepped down. Lots of big or "hot" names were contacted, then we settled for RR. I gave RR my support, and wanted him to succeed. While he was in limbo leading up to the bowl game, I really wanted him to have 4th year. This way we would not have to go through HC, and O & D system changes again. Just fire GR, pay the money for a great DC, and let RR handle the offense.......
UNLESS we could get Harbaugh.
I still can not fathom why Harbaugh would want any job other than UMHC. Once it came out that he was not "All in for Michigan", Hoke was the obvious choice for me. Lots of compelling arguments for him prior to the hire, but the best reason for the choice was his love for the University, the Football program, and the position itself. This is his Dream Job! He is not looking for a stepping stone, a current opportunity, or a bargaining chip for more money. Is there any other coach out there who loves UM more, or will put forth more effort for the football progame? Will Hoke want to go somewhere else if he becomes extremely successful at UM? NO & NO!
Yes, wins and losses will be the ultimate evaluator, but for this moment in time we have the HC who gives us the best chance for long term success. Give Hoke time, and I believe another long bowl streak will arise, the B10 Championships will be back, and UM football will be a National Powerhouse again.
AFTER dealing with Harbaugh? Probably getting the...."I don't know what I want to do...I love Michigan....but I want to coach the pros....and Stanford is great too..." (and maybe Miles too), having Hoke saying "Michigan is the greatest job in the world" probably sounded really good to him at that point.
I'm going to start checking people for goatees around here...
But unlike some in here, I'm not going into "I told you so mode"....because we really don't know yet, and won't for years. (Unless things are awesome or awful really quick). And even then, it still might be unsure ("we're doing well, but could be doing better..."). But Brady has a lot of respect in college coaching and Michigan circles. So all you can say is give him a chance. Because 0-0 means wins and losses. Don't freak out on a whole career after our first loss, or declare us national championship bound if we beat ND. Natural single game frustration and/or excitement are to be expected. But like Brian said through much of season 2 of Rich, and over the summer, no one is getting fired/hired for awhile. So lets see how it all plays out, and hope we're back on track to being Michigan again on the field. And the first way you do that is talent. It's not signing day, and this class isn't complete. But there's nothing wrong with being glad we're doing as well as one could expect to this point.
And it's always nice to see that when the pain wears off a little, most people can have an open mind and give people a fair chance.
I wonder how our defensive recruiting would be if we didn't have Mattison?
when it stops being a comparison between UM coaches past and present and merely becomes a comparison against the external enemies - specifically OSU and MSU.
Right now, I like what Hoke is doing to MSU in recruiting. What excuse is there for MSU? Three straight wins against UM on the field and it is unable to secure the top talent against Hoke and Company before a game is played - and some being projected MSU leans?
Now recruiting against OSU in Ohio will be tougher and likely will take more on the field performance, but judging today....and not fretting about tomorrow, I smile.
I'm still not overly impressed. Recruiting has been good thus far, linebackers are the new slot receivers.
Hoke still has to prove himself on the field and that is something that he has not done on the field yet in his career. I know walking into the situations at Ball State and SDSU were far from great, but other than one special season, he hasn't shown much.
I'm reserving judgement until after the season, unless things get ugly fast.
His previous opinion hasn't been invalidated yet though. Hoke hasn't won any games here.
I was a huge fan of the RR hire and still thought it could work until the bowl game. looking back i think i wanted it to work more than i was confident it would work. sitting in the stands with my 6 year old daughter at her first MICH game. Amazingly she was still cheering till the end not even looking at the score. I on the otherhand had my head in my hands for the last half of the game like all the other MICH fans around me in stunned silence. I hated that this was her first game but i don't think she minded. all of a sudden during that game, watching the players just basically give up, i knew i too wanted RR gone - like immediately. some people just fit in some places, and some don't. I remember a long time ago Magnus made a comment that he didn't like it when a coach on the sidelines hung his head or had that fustrated look on his face. True or not, i think this does affect the people around you. You want your leader to look confident no matter what. Imagine if your platoon leader acted like that during a firefight.
BH on the other hand; I was upset at the hire but then talked myself off the ledge after seeing him talk. He has that "it". That certain personality that puts you at ease. Someone you really want to root for - the "good guys". Hopefully this will translate into wins on the field. I would like to take my daughter to another MICH game, but this time give her a chance to see her cheering actually work.
I was very unhappy with "The Process." But I like Hoke.
I thought Brandon was a complete dick to let a Michigan head coach twist in the wind in public the way he did at the end, even though by then I didn't care if RR was let go or not. If he didn't know that he was going to fire RR after the OSU game, I'll eat my shorts. He should have cut the man loose to find another opportunity early on.
I would guess that Brandon thought that by waiting to fire RR, he was giving Harbaugh time to finish his bowl game without a lot of controversy, because for whatever reason he felt JH would come to Michigan. But truth be told, Harbaugh's kind of a dickhead himself, and made Brandon cool his heels in public for a while as well. Karma.
But I had a good feeling about Hoke, and still do. So far, by all measurables, he's doing an excellent job.
As to the higher-star recruits, I think it's far too early in the recruiting process to make any judgments, as those kids often wait until much later in the season to make decisions. The 3 star recruits know they need to commit early to avoid the chance of having their position already filled.
Obviously, if he doesn't win, it won't matter that he's a great guy. I think UM will be a pleasant surprise this year, because like some others, I think you win with defense, and that ours will improve as the season wears on. I think we'll be feeling pretty lousy after the Notre Dame game, and things will look a bit disorganized until the team has a few games under its belt under the new systems. But once the B1G season starts, there will be a better feeling.
I wanted hoke again...............
For those upset about the hiring process, the only thing I didn't like was waiting till after the bowl game....I thought that was kinda bogus, but other then that the process itself that Dave Brandon had was very good. I didn't see anything changing after the bowl game, no defense was going to magically show up against miss st after the season this staff had and after the osu game I didn't care who was the coach, they needed to go.
Hoke is a great hire and has done everything the right way from the outset. He also was a great hire due to his familiarity with bigten, midwest/ohio/pa/mi/ill recruiting and even better he was on the staff that had won bigten titles and a national title...he brings familiarity to michigan, he brings great success back with him from before and turned horrible programs into winners. It just speaks volumes........
Perhaps since you were a RR supporter, then you neglected the fact that Hoke has managed to depolarize the Michigan family (by most accounts anyway). As you have already exemplified, most skeptics are changing their mind, and he has the public support of previous Michigan players and staff.
I will admit that Harbaugh was my first choice. I thought that he would make the coaching transition quick while reduce/eliminate any current player defections and bring in top recruits in the future; both of which Hoke and Co. have been able to do so far in overwhelming fashion.
I always thought Harbaugh would be risky since he does have those NFL aspirations, but I am content that Hoke will make his stay at Michigan for the long haul, since there's no place he'd rather be.
I am pleased with the direction of the program and also that you and others are changing their mind about Hoke.
...but he hasn't won a single game as the Michigan coach. Suppose he goes 3-9, 5-7, 7-6 will you think it was a good hire then?
I freely admit I was happy about the hire. It literally was his dream job and he seems to be able to coach. As such, I suspect he'll work that much harder to keep his dream job and do well. It starting with surrounding himself with people who are experienced and well qualified for their position.
RR was in over his head from day 1. He's a great OC, but was a work-in-progress as a Head Coach having only had real D1 experience in a Big East that had contemplated dropping football at one point. A historic job like Michigan and a few other programs is not a place for on the job training.
RR will do great at Clemson next year and Hoke will begin our new era of dominance in the B10. It's good to be a Michigan fan!
It was a stupid firing and a stupid hire. That being said, Brady Hoke can transcend DB's stupidity and arrogance by doing a great job. I am very impressed with what he is doing so far, but they haven't actually played a game yet.
The defense will be in great shape; we all know that. If Hoke can avoid being LCII on offense, the team will be fine. But for this team to ever have a chance at a National Championship, it will have to develop a hybrid offense. Nobody wins it all without spread elements anymore except Alabama, who recruits 125 kids for every 85-player cycle.
I'm still not sold, but I do know that Hoke will get the five years any coach deserves to get his system in. I really hope he succeeds, becuase I don't know if I can take another five to ten years of rebuilding.
Up until the bowl. Fiasco I was supporting RR, after that I knew the writing was on the wall and he could no longer be retained. Kinda sad because I badly wanted to see his offense reach it's full potential, that said I don't think it ever would have. But that's all in the past.
When the process was on going Brady was the lt guy I wanted and when it was announced I was quite upset. But all it took was that first press conference and I was sold on the man. He lives and breathes Michigan, that's all I need to know until I see what he can put on the field. The recruiting has been lights ahead of what RR or even Carr ever did so I am very giddy with excitement.
For the New Guy with a bumper crop of talent emerging from Michigan & Ohio H.S. in the offing, Tressel self destructiing and all oars in the water pulling together in rhythm.
As someone who has sat on boards for non-profits and has had the opportunity to be part of the decision of hiring chief executives, one thing that has to be recognized is that institutions have phases that they go through and each phase has the right kind of leader. Institutions that survive over the long term go through cycles from birth through adolecence, adulthood and then old age. Each era has leaders that suit the issues and concerns of each phase. At birth an organization is about a vision, a core idea and has a more entrepeneurial feel. With Bo that core idea was better athletes winning through superior execution [as opposed to offensive gimmics or creativity]. That core idea remained through the Carr era. As it grows and matures it begins to deal better with developing the people it needs to implement the core idea as well as develop the structures and traditions needed to support that idea. Eventually, though, the institution begins to ossify and the vision is greadually lost and it just keeps on keeping on. That is where Michigan was with Carr. Coach Carr was a stable figure who was asked to manage the end of a long era that began with Bo. Malaise had take over the program.
But the unfortunate thing is you cannot just turn back the clock on an organization. Eventually if an instituion is to survive it must die and be reborn with a new vision. This is what happened with Bo. It might preserve something of the old, but it might not either. In that regard, RR was the perfect guy for what Michigan needed. It needed to die and be reborn. He had a core vision. Spread the field, make the quarterback a run/pass threat, play fast, and work till you puke. He injected new energy, new ideas, a new philosophy. Even though he put to death the old era, there were many who resented what he was doing and did not support it. He did appear to trully appreciate how ossified the old system was. without realizing it he ended up violating one tradition after another. Coupled with not winning and his time here was doomed to failure. Even though he put to death the old structure, he never managed to give birth to a new life cycle of the organization that could survive like the Bo legacy. The Rodriguez era arrived still born.
Coach Hoke arrives as a figure who understands the old structures. He has a knack for saying the right things because he was part of the old dying order. Some might have prefered sexier picks, such as Harbaugh [ambitious and ready to throw Michigan under the bus to advance his career at Stanford] or Miles ["corrupted" by the SEC], but Hoke is a humble figure who seems to genuinely have the interests of the school, the program and its athletes ahead of his own career ambitions and he seems to have a grasp of what is needed at the moment. He evokes fuzzy and non-descript images of "Michigan Football" while imprinting them with his own unique stamp.
From what I can see of the Hoke vision he sees Michigan as school that plays "tough" [yes we all love that word], that values technique and fundamentals over scheme and the growth of young men ahead of any "system." He seems to have embraced the dirty word "family values," [its like the "N" word around here] making it a big part of his launching point, without ever using the words. He has captured enough of the old for his vision to feel essentially "Michigan" in character. Yet if feels new and not just a warmed over version of what Carr presided over. He has had early wins by hiring excellent co-ordinators, especially Mattison. His "molding young men" approach seems to be a hit on the recruiting trail. Now all he has to do is demonstrate that he can win football games. He has less of defined "system" than did RR, but his vision is there and it is at once refreshingly new and yet respectful of the past. We shall see, but for now, I like what I see. I think he has a very good shot of building an enduring legacy here at Michigan very much like Bo did beginning in the 60's.
One could argue that Michigan was not ready for the changes RR brought, and that the old guard and old ways were not going to die so easily. If someone like Mike DeBord or Ron English were promoted to head coach and put up the records that RR did, then the table is set. But following the success of Carr, perhaps the attempted "rebirth" came a little prematurely and met with too much resistence.
I loved the hire right away because I knew we were getting a guy who wants to be here and only here. Once he left Ball State he made it clear to San Diego State right away that he was committed to them unless the Michigan job opened. I didn't even realize at the time that he had been with the team before but after I found all this out I saw how his team played and wow he must be doing something right.
Even though I thought he'd do good he has still exceeded my expectations in recruiting and doing it the right way for Michigan staying with homegrown talent in the Midwest for the most part. Excited for the future.