I was thinking about how important this game is for Michigan this Saturday against MSU. Not only is this game important in regards to Michigan winning the Legends division, but also a measuring stick in the progress that Hoke has made since being hired. This is Hoke's third season at Michigan and historically a good coach at a school like Michigan that has tradition, great facilities, and deep pockets is enough time to build a super power. That being said it is not like Hoke walked into a perfect scenario. The team he inherited lacked depth up front and was built to run a system that didn't match what coach Hoke wanted to implement. It looks like Hoke has finally been able to build some depth up front, but the players are young and raw. Personally, I think the program is heading in the right direction. Dave Brandon should allow Hoke to coach for the duration of his contract as long as Michigan wins 9 games and is competitive with MSU and OSU. Now in year five if Michigan has not won a Big Ten championship then it will be time to look for another coach. The team will be loaded with talent and experience in 2016 for a new coach to step in and succeed immediately.
If Michigan loses to Michigan State does your confidence in the direction that the program is heading change?
It's one game.
Useless posts from you are as reliable as the sun setting.
Well, it is one game after all and doesn't define the season or direction of the program. If M loses to MSU and beats Ohio, no one will give a shit about the MSU loss.
That wasn't the case in 2011.
One game doesn't determine where a PROGRAM is going. Maybe a season.
Talk about overreacting.
Except for the part where if we lose to MSU we 95% likely to miss out on the Big Ten championship game since MSU will be two wins up with the tie breaker in hand. This game is more important than the Ohio game this year because if we win this, we can then lose to Ohio and possibly still get redemption by winning the Big Ten Championship over them the next game.
One game doesn't define the program, but it can and will define this season. Even if we win, we have a tough road to travel to get ourselves into the B1G Championship Game. Lose on Saturday and we have virtually no chance.
You whining, complaining and crying about someone who posts on an internet message board is as reliable as the sun setting.
Pot meet kettle.
People should lay off Wolverine Devotee. I'm not sure why he seems to get singled out all the time as a "bad poster" when he doesn't seem to attack anyone. At worst, he's a little overexuberant about Michigan apparel.
Anyway, I agree with him - one game can only tell us so much.
I think people get him confused with Wolverines Dominate.
I was pretty bad last year. I posted stupid and offensive things and got Bolivia'd a few times. I've cleaned up my act on here, on my twitter and in life really.
People don't like me on here because I am annoyingly posting quite a but. For a long time this was my only means of social life, as sad as it sounds.
Also, I think age has to do with it. Young people's (I'm 18) opinions aren't respected. I've seen how a lot of them have been treated on here. That's why I was very reluctant to reveal my age on here.
Kind of ironic since people are fawning over the plays of kids my age in the team and kids younger than me's decision on where to attend college.
SHOULDN'T YOU BE FOCUSING IN CLASS RIGHT NOW?!
\boss walks in, frantically close all windows
\\start writing jibberish on a notepad to look busy
\\\glance up, "Oh hi. Didn't see you come in. Been so busy doing... things..."
\\\\Boss leaves, re-opens blog
agreed. the chicken little mentality on this board is nauseating.
My sense is that on Saturday evening DG and the offense are going to East Lansing and going to ride the lightning and the defense is going to blow shit up. You do remember the vaunted Notre Dame defense and the oooh scary Hanibal Lecter mask wearing single number having super frightening DT's, their experienced secondary and Tom Rees? Seems things worked out okay that night?
Also seems that team did happen to defeat Sparty. Enough with this bs and chicken little syndrome. I am well aware of the comparison x doesn't equal outcome y that invariably follows anyone who doesn't go full MLive of late. But really I am comfortable that Michigan puts at least 28 on Sparty and that will be more than enough.
Simply for your use of the phrase "ride the lightning."
Eh. Hoke had a Cinderella season that built his credibility up for the fanbase, and he didn't really start rebuilding until last year. We're going to go through a three- or four-year period of growing pains after Hoke's inaugural season before we even resemble a consistent team.
There are definitely things I'm not pleased with right now--particularly coaching-wise--but I think that in a general sense, we're going in a positive direction as compared to a few years ago.
That said, many people on this board want results now, and I can't blame them. But we are still winning (somehow) even with these serious growing pains, so I think that yes, we are going the right direction, win or lose on Saturday.
On the other hand, if we lose out, or if we lose all but 1 or 2 remaining games on the schedule, then we are going the wrong direction.
I agree with your points that we are in a building phase and I think growing pains is a perfect term. I have looked for a long time at 2015 and beyond as the target year(s) when everthing should be rolling.
the first two years, and that's serving to place more pressure on him now. We knew this team would struggle, but without Hoke blundering the time management against PSU we're undefeated now, approaching this game with more confidence. That blunder placed the spotlight on Hoke's easygoing, perhaps not quick-thinking style.
I think there is a lot of pressure here, myself. Not that Hoke should be under any threat of job loss if we get beaten, but for me it will tend to emphasize two hard facts of current football life:
1) MSU has come to field perennially strong football teams under Dantonio, in much the style that Hoke aspires to.
2) You've got to give a credibly coach quite a bit of time--four-five years, pushing half a decade--to see if he proves out. That's a huge but necessary investment. It may or may not work. It may mean 8-4, 9-3 teams a lot of years. That could be Michigan's ceiling. That could be incredibly good in the grand scheme of things (I thought it was under Carr, loved Carr, and was still driven crazy by the conservatism). You could also fumble around for quite some time to come a la Notre Dame. . .
the feeling many long time Michigan fans have. Personally, I am convinced Hoke is the wrong man for the job. But it is DB call and he will not act until we sink below being a middle tier football program which where we are now.
We cannot beat a top ten team and barely beat clearly inferior teams scheduled to inflate our win lost record. When Bowden of Akron said that after the first quarter he thought his team could beat Michigan that speaks volumes as to where are program is.
If you haven't seen improvement then you haven't been looking for it.
QB - Fundamentally speaking, DG has taken great strides. To say he is Denard II is wildly inaccurate. The only similarities between the two is that they are both African American and both good athletes. Outside of that they are very different, and Gardner has progressed into a much better throwing QB.
RB - Much of it is OL, but I have seen Fitz progress from season to season. Progression at RB is a little more slight than other positions, because a lot of it is natural. But I've seen Fitz progress year to year, and I've already seen Green progress quite well this year.
OL - Hasn't progressed as I'd like, but it's not to say they aren't progressing. It's slower than desired though, I won't lie there.
TE - Agree on wait and see. Asking a lot from young guys with no experience ahead of them.
WR - Have made drastic improvement from Rich Rod to now. Much better routes, better understanding of defenses, I think the WRs have improved.
DL - If you haven't seen players on the DL improve since Hoke got here, I don't know what to tell you. The past two years have seen players take giant leaps. This year, you are seeing a more steady progression from young guys - a lot of young guys - and they individually are getting better and doing their assignments more consistently.
LB - Same can be said as DL. Maybe the improvement hasn't been as obvious or as sudden, but these are young players that have looked better year to year than what they were before.
DB - Taylor has improved, but is inconsistent. Countess has certainly improved in his time here. The safeties? Yeah, I'd say they are more consistent overall and have done a good job of improving for the most parts.
Yes, the team needs to keep improving, and it's disapointing seeing them occasionally take steps back. But don't let a step back cloud the fact that players are often taking two steps forward. I'm not saying the amount of improvement has been optimal or as fast as I'd like it to be, but to say the team is regressing is far from the truth.
Sorry SC . . . You did a better job arguing that post. I just happened to be typing at the exact same time.
And I'm glad to have the support either way. It's a long post, I've often been a minute late when responding myself. No reason to apologize in the least.
Space Coyote should be added to mgoblog staff
Insufficient meme production. Not enough snark. Could risk making boss redundant.
I am having a hard time seeing you lack of development angle, personally speaking. It kinda seems like you are just being an irrational loudmouth. Let me lay out my counter-argument.
QB - First year starter with a Top 10 QBR metric. The guy played WR most of last year. And the Denard amazing you speak of was better in the RR regime because plays were literally designed around him by a coach who specifically focused on maximizing the threat of QB run. The passing formations, lanes, concepts, etc were completely different. A new coach changes a player-like-that's effectiveness immediately. Just a fact of nature.
OL - Interior is 3 FR (true or RS) however you cut it. Remember when we were laughing at MSU's offensive line last year struggling to get an NFL-ready back like Bell yardage. They were young (in terms of starts), partly due to replacing injuries, which resulted in an offensive gameplan of hoping Bell fell forward after contact in the hole for postive yards.
DL - Greg Mattison took Mike Maritn from physical specimen to NFL-ready beast, turned RVB into a strong DE / DT hybrid, got something out of Washington and Campbell, made Roh a viable blitzer, and has brought out JMFR. That is, litterally, the opposite of your point. With the talent this group has - upper classmen without high ratings - and young guys in the 4-5 star range it is impressive what Mattison has developed this far. Maybe you forget GERG and the poorly managed 3-3-5.
DB - You are replacing a do-it-all walk-on success story with Kovacs. Your only true starting CB from last year is Taylor. Avery has only ever been used in spot duty or due to injuries. Which, speak of that, Countess didn't play last year. It is great to think people jump right back up after a severe injury. But, it takes time to get speed, breaks, timing back together. Mattison has put him in positions to be successful until he is 100% back to his old lock-down self. The saftey play has been very good, IMO. The only thing we are seeing is a couple freshmen (Stribling, Douglass, Hill) get beat over the top by either really good throws, bigger / better WRs, or hurry-up tempo.
And before you even argue the recent kicking game struggles, remember the tire fire that was Gibbons pre-brunette-girls.
I'm glad DB won't fire him for three years.
Also, please get off National Championship head football coach Lloyd Carr's ass.
No coach in the history of the program had a higher ceiling than Lloyd Carr.
Urban came to a good football team that had been readymade for his style of football, Hoke had to start from -gagillion. Ohio State, like it or not has been the premier program in the Big Ten for over a decade and Michigan has not. 2011 may have been a down year win/loss wise for Ohio but that was a good football team that had 4 of its best players suspended for the start of the year and underperformed. It still had loads of legit All-Conference, All-American and NFL talent in each and every class. Urban Meyer inherited a Big Ten Dynasty, Hoke was hired to fix the worst three year span of football we have had in 50 years. Ohio State has been a better football team than us since year two under Tressel and Llyod couldn't catch up and RR didn't have a snowball chance in hell of making it look respectable. Hoke is taking it to Meyer on the recruiting trail and we've hit about dead even there. The reason we haven't seen it on the field is because Ohio State tripped in 2011, Urbs just had to pick them up again. From 2008-2010 (you can maybe even include some of Carr) we dug ourselves a crater and if you think anyone one in the country is better for the job at Michigan than I've got some land to sell you
Listen to yourself. You have settled for mediocrity. OSU coming from Tresselball was in no way tailormade for Urban. Urban is a motivator and an X's and O's guru. Hoke has gotten the Jimmys and Joes but I have yet to see a damn thing from the Xs and Os as far as in game coaching. It seems to me that the farther away we get from RRs players, the worse off oir team is.
Why is that?
Instead of an OSU one?
Because, yes, Braxton Miller doesn't fit Urban's system at all....he's a Tresselball QB all the way.
And you realize the juniors and seniors on this team you're saying is getting worse ARE RRs players, right?
Im saying the less RR players on the team, the worse off the team looks. Why is that.
Player development? X's and O's?
How was a guy like Brilles able to take an all time doormat at Baylor and implement an entirely different/new system and ball so hard year 2? A cupboard that was bare for 50 years...shit recruits...and he has turned around a culture of losing. He does not have the imherent advantages that a Michigan does. Any Joe Blow can recruit to Michigan (or Bama or OSU or USC) but it takes a coach to develop talent.
Come up with the same lame excuses all you want...I will not accept being mediocre.
Rarely are holding themselves up to that same standard in their own lives.
You're all over the place with the RR players. And your Art Briles point is nonsense. He's in year 6 at Baylor. They "balled so hard in year 2" to the tune of 4-8 and 1-7 in conference. Until this year he's lost less than 5 games there once; and that year still lost 3, finishing 3rd in the conference. But I guess you'll accept that kind of mediocre.
Winning that BCS bowl was the worst thing that ever happened to Brady Hoke.
No, it was the best. Now people actually buy into him.
My point was more along the lines of how it created unrealistic expectations. That senior class was very solid in the BCS season. Now we're seeing the results of the dearth of OL recruiting at the end of the RR regime, and the lack of playmakers who are upperclassmen. People can look at the 11-2 season and point out the regression, but that's disingenuous when you consider what the depth chart looks like.
Along the offensive line right now, we are starting a true freshman, a walkon, and a redshirt freshman. On defense we have as many sophomores getting PT as we do seniors, and several freshmen have seen the field for significant time too. When you look at these facts, MSU should win the game. I'm not saying they will, but they have much more experience than us on the field.
And mine is that it bought him time. He doesn't care that we bitch about him online. He's not feeling pressure in the way we're imagining.
Well said, gentlemen. Both very good points.
+1 heartwarming concordance?
Bought him time? Guy was locked in for five years post RR tire fire either way.
Not if he created his own tire fire his first few years. If he finished in the bottom half of the Big Ten each of his first three years, I'm pretty sure he would be out looking for a new job.
I'm not so sure if they have more experience on offense then UM does. Gardner has more starts than Cook. Fitz has more starts than MSU's rb. I'm guessing Dileo and Gallon have more starts then MSU's wr's. Didn't MSU have to break in 3 new starters on their oline too? And I'm pretty sure they don't have a pre-season 1st All-American on their oline.
Perhaps not on offense, but we were the second most inexperienced team in the B1G going into the start of this season. That is not a recipe for success. Also, MSU may be breaking in new linemen, but they're not a hodgepodge of freshmen and walkons. They're mostly upperclassmen, which is significantly different.
Edit: As of January, we are the LEAST experienced team in the B1G.
Were Countess, Fitz and Ryan included as returning starters? If not, that means UM now has the same amount of returning starters as MSU playing this Saturday. If you take Maxwell out as a returning starter for MSU, UM would actually have more returning starters playing this Saturday if Dileo is a go.
What good is winning recruiting battles if you're not winning on the field?
Exactly. Wisconsin and MSU have been competititve in the B1G with far less talented rosters. If you're not winning and developing then who hares?
Hoke's big recruiting classes are freshmen and sophomores right now (and high school seniors). Despite that, a lot of those players are already big contributors. I don't think there is much evidence that Hoke has failed to develop young players.