I agree with a lot of what you posted. That beng said, all of the bolding of random words is kind of freaking me out...
I did not make this headline up
I agree with a lot of what you posted. That beng said, all of the bolding of random words is kind of freaking me out...
Despite the discussions I was getting into yesterday, my overall view of the program's direction is positive. I more or less really only have issues with Borges and the offensive line; I think there is way more going positively for the program than not. Losing to MSU sucks*, but even with a loss this weekend (and possibly paired with an OSU loss) Hoke is still on a very cold seat, in my opinion.
*Point of clarification: I think the MSU match-up is pretty even (UM's good D v. a terrible MSU O, MSU's aggressive D v. UM's turtling-prone O, UM's talent v. MSU's tendency to outplay their talent level against UM), I could easily see it going either way. I think OSU is the heavy favorite, and though The Game hasn't really been kind to UM in the past decade, anything can happen in the Big House.
I don't factor game results into my appraisal of the program. s/
My confidence in the direction this thread is headed is pretty low.
So, far Hoke has shown he can recruit at an elite level.
The rebuild began in the Bowl game in January, and really during Spring football. The Notre Dame game sent all of our expectations through the roof.
I think we can learn some things about Hoke's game management this year, and player development this time next year, but you really won't be able to judge Hoke as a worthy UM coach until Jabrill Peppers is a Junior.
Barring a complete and total meltdown or crazy circumstances (i.e. major violations or something similar) this staff has my support through the 2015 season as it stands. We have been in flux and unstable since 2007 and I'd rather not take a Notre Dame-esque wander through the wilderness of college football for 20 years.
There is no shame in losing a road game to a rival. Now if we look disorganized and unprepared then I'm looking directly at Hoke. We won't have to worry because we're gonna kick a little sparty ass.
This thread is taking me down...
Long answer: No one game defines whether a coach gets fired or not. RR didn't get fired because MSU(NTMSU) blew them out. He got fired because he was a combined 15-22 in 3 years, especially bad in Big ten play, and winless against MSU and OSU. The Gator Bowl was a culmination. Obviously he was dealt a tough hand and was judged unfairly, but even with the caveats his staff had plenty of failures in that span.
This game against MSU isn't culminating anything. Hoke and his staff certainly seem to have a weakness for road games, but let's not act like they've never won on the road or been competetive in the road losses either. I want the team to be competetive, and I want Borges and Hoke to be aggressive in their gameplan, because they know damn well that MSU's defense is gonna be aggressive.
Argue whether it's fair or not, but coaching in today's college football is evaluated on results. Hoke has had results...his first two seasons were already better than RR's best year here. Hoke needs to get results for these road games of course, but we're not anywhere near the point that we can fully judge his staff for these road games against good competition, because the sample size is still small (you can probably even withold the Neb game last year based on losing your QB mid-game).
Also, I hate hypothetical questions. I ask a simple question...why isn't there a thread asking what a win would do for the confidence of the direction this program is heading? I bet you Sparty lurkers/trolls are laughing their asses off at this thread. It's pre-game schadenfreude. Come on guys, the game hasn't even been played yet. And we're asking each other "WHAT IF THE SKY FALLS? HUH? WHAT THEN?"
A coach's record is a blanket statement for what they have done, not what they will do. No athletic director would simply fire a coach because, after x years, the coach has fewer wins than they'd like, where x is a positive integer. Even if the fans care about record after x years, the athletic director doesn't care what the fans think unless the fans stop donating and/or buying tickets. That wasn't happening in 2010.
Now if the athletic director was to look at the future, see a coach with a tendency to mismanage the defense + special teams trying to recruit with toxic atmossurrounding him (due in part to his record, but it started before he played a single game), then he may predict the coach will win less in the future. Then he'd be more inclined to fire them. Bottom line: a coach is fired because of their perceived performance in the future, not because of their record accomplished in the past.
For clarification, I think you're correct in saying it's too early to judge Hoke.
I'll try my best at an analogy. Bear with me please.
I just had a new home built this summer. Picked a reputed general contractor who talked a great game. Had sub contractors lined up to do the work for him that all came highly recommended with impeccable references. He used nothing but the best materials and best drawings.
What a clusterf**k. I'd go to the job site and find contractors tripping over each other, one group blaming another for the issues I would find - and there was the GC over in the corner with a bewildered look on his face. One sub would do something just to have it undone b/c another sub had to get in that same are to do their work. Every sub was so busy concentrating on his portion of the build they would ignore the other subs and their workload/requirements. They all worked beside each other without someone in charge stepping back and looking at the situation as a whole.
I see this team like my house was built. We are working with some of the best raw materials you can get but as long as the general isn't making sure his subs are all rowing in the same direction and working together, it’s just a big discombobulated mess. I see it on TV and in person.
Like it or not – the most successful HCs tend to be the most involved in every aspect of the team – almost bordering on control freak levels – but as I said - on all levels and aspects of the team. Brady needs to be involved in every aspect of the team; not only one and I feel that is not happening.
That why it annoys me when I see Brady pick up the headset only when we are in trouble. Stay on top of the situation from the start and maybe we wouldn't need those head set moments to begin with.
Personally, I do not like the fact Brady coaches the DL. I do not expect my GC to swing a hammer and I do not want my HC coaching a position – it means his time an attention is not being spent on the team as a whole. Hire someone competent to do that work for you and ensure he is doing it right – that is your job as a HC.
I think that is why we have not improved as the season has worn on. Brady and Co. had all summer to plan and prepare for the first couple of games. So – the result is we performed well in the first couple of games since we acted like a cohesive group.
But now – once the schedule has become increasingly fast paced and the turnaround between games is compressed, Brady cedes too much autonomy to his coaching staff to prepare for the upcoming games as they see fit. They in turn look at the micro level versus the macro. I watch the team and it seems the coaches and coordinators are all working from their own set of ideas of what they feel they need to do and/or accomplish.
This is not a formula for success long term.
And good analogy re:home construction. You are correct-the best HCs are the ones who are really involve in every aspect of the team (see Saban, Meyer). I think Brady's laid back approach is nice when it comes to recruiting but it is not working well developing a consistent team performance. He definitely needs to take control of the team and staff and be involved in everything. While more stressful, it certainly will be more successful.
Some people seem confused about how many of us could get so caught up in "one game". It's not just one game though. I think the thought process is if UM loses this game most feel like it will be tailspin and they will only win 7...maybe 8 games this year.
So it's not simply one game...it's the reprocussions we expect from the loss. Mark my words if UM drops this game they will then lose to NU, Iowa, and OSU and will finish 7-5. If they win this weekend they only lose to Iowa, adn then it's a toss up for osu and they finish with 9 or 10 wins.
Those of saing "this one game is so important" sort of see a downward spiral if this game is lost. hell if they lose to MSU and only drop one more and end up 9-3 I won't be concerned with the direction of the program. But I don't see it working out that way...
... I readjusted expectations to be 8-4 or 7-5. I'm still sticking with that even with how bad Nebraska and NW look. MSU is the deserved favorite in this game. They are simply a more consistent team and have shown the ability to out game plan us over the past several years.
1-1 vs. Ohio and sparty. 2-1 vs. ND. BCS win. Undefeated at home. Recruiting is best it's been since early 2000's.
Brady Hoke isn't going anywhere and that makes me very happy.
Sometimes this fan base makes me sad.
We are clearly moving in the right direction. The whole league being week argument is well noted though. If the B1G is so weak now I get the feeling that the majority of fans see these games as obvious must wins, not only because they are a rival, but because try are one of few legit measuring sticks within the league. F we lose a close game then I see no reason to jump ship. Then again, a terrible offensive performance could be detrimental to Borges' future seeing how fans now know the o is capable of putting up big numbers; the majority coming from some kind of spread formation and not manball. Manball has not come instantly for us, but it's transition will either ruin or solidify this staff.
No, the direction of the program is solid and encouraging as Hell. But depending on the game plan it will either solidify my overall opinion of Borges as an OC or cause me to rethink my general negative impressions of HIM long-term.
While I will be disappointed with a loss, and joyous with a win, the outcome of this game will have no effect on my confidence. Since the beginning of the season I've said that Michigan could run the table or go 7-5 depending on the progress of the Oline. With the likely result dropping 2 or 3 games.
Admittedly I did not expect the team to be juggling Oline personnel seven games into the season, but it is what it is.
I also am well aware that nothing is "simple" when it comes to coaching a football team at this level, especially a team with so much youth and inexperience.
A win at MSU wouldn't improve my confidence, either.
Overall, I feel like there are a few elite football teams and a few really bad programs, but the majority of college football looks damn near equivalent to my eye. To the point where, if the same teams played more than once a season, I'd expect most to split the wins and losses. I can't determine anything with those odds, let alone the direction of a program.
Losing is disappointing, but it's not like Michigan is getting blown out in games under Hoke (excluding Bama), which would likely lower my confidence level. So far, M isn't some easy team to beat, and that's enough for me at the moment. And you have to admit, good coaches like Kelly, Spurrier, Meyer, etc. all looked seriously stressed squeezing out those single digit wins against Michigan, so Hoke doesn't appear to be very far behind his peers. Of course, I'd like to see the coaches and players improve, but a loss isn't going to cause me to sharpen my pitchfork.
Back in 2010 the Big10 was actually a decent conferences. OSU, PSU, MSU, and Iowa were all solid teams. Fast forward today. One could make the case that the Big10 may be the worse BCS conference. If we were playing a traditional Big10 schedule I could accept a 9-3 or 10-2 record. However, the reality is the Big10 minus a couple teams is MAC+. There are few teams that you can really measure yourself against. One of those teams is MSU.
In my opinion this is probably MSU's last hurrah as a large number of unheralded recruits who overachieved cycle out. It is possible that Dantonio is the Beilein of football. We will see next year. However MSU is one of the few teams that can actually measure up even close to Michigan. If we lose resoundingly to MSU then we are a lot farther from relevence even if we clean up on the rest of the cupcakes. If we lose a hard fought and close game I will not worry so much. A bad loss implies a smoking by OSU. With 3 losses we get to play a good SEC team and most likely get smoked again. 9-4 with bad losses against anyone decent would not make me feel good.
I keep hearing all of these youth excuses. Yet many of the teams we struggled against are also just as thin and young. It is excusable to expect a frosh Olinemen to struggle against lets say Iowa or Wisconsin's defensive front from 2010. It is another to see them get stuffed by Akron or UCONN. Also the expectation of 5 star freshmen is much different from others as it is presumed they can dominate. Marice Clarrett as a freshmen RB was the keystone that allowed OSU to win a NC. Almost every key win was set up by a signiture Clarrett play. Yet our 5 star RB can't even make the field. OSU has multiple first and second year starters on their Dline. Yet our most highly regarded Dlinemen Pimpkins is a backup to a starter who only gets snaps against non spread teams. The tag on Kalis when he came out of HS was college football ready. Yet he seems to be going backwards.
My basic rule for recruits is if you have 5 stars it is expected that you are good enough to compete for starters minutes unless there is a 5 star ahead of you. Perhaps show flashes of brilliance but be inconsistent. 2nd year you are showing flashes of domination and are not a weak link and are a solid starter. Year 3 you are dominanting. For each reduction in stars drop a year. It is reasonable in my opinion that a 3 star in a big time program not really contribute to year3 presuming one year of red shirt.
My other big problem is the constant reversion of the staff to stick with their orthodoxy of football. There is no reason why what happened at Indiana should have also happened to PSU. The mark of a great coach is to maximize the talent on the team. Tressel was a power ball disciple also. But when he realized he had a great spread QB and the dropback passer was not working so well he embaced the strengh of the team which was a mobile QB and 5 solid receivers. Gonzalez, Ginn, Robinski, and Hartline all had NFL looks.
I remember the RichRod games against MSU. The third year was particularly disappointing, and convinced me we were in trouble.
Not sure if "turning points" really exist, but if they do, rivalry games (and perhaps bowl games) could serve in that role.
Turning point games can be quite positive too - think of the Lions' recent win. I suspect (though who knows as of now) that this may drive them to great heights.
I'm hoping for a hard-fought victory this weekend. If Hoke and co. pull that off, I think we'll all be pretty damn happy with the program, regardless of how we played against Akron or even PSU.
My confidence in the direction of the program has already been shaken because of the way we've started this year. I don't doubt the program is heading in a better direction than it was from 2007-2010. But I don't think we're improving as rapidly as I had thought. Also, I admit to harboring some doubts about certain positions in the coaching staff, and I have certain systemic concerns caused by various program policies. Still, so much better than 2007-2010.
This is Hoke's third year and if we lose, then Hoke will have a losing record against Sparty and we have play at Sparty again next year.
Plus it pretty much assures we once again won't be playing for a B1G championship. Hoke and the players themselves have said that they are playing for championships and not meeting that goal constitutes a failure.
Why should we as fans, have a lesser standard?
Has he learned his lesson yet? There is no reason to believe that this team can run the ball consistently against a defense like MSU considering the lack of success against far less talented units. Win or lose I hope to see players put in a position to succeed. Shorter quicker passes to build Devin's confidence and get him in a rhythm, and throwing on 1st down would be helpful. MSU is too fast and aggressive to think this O-line will allow 5-7 step drops. Michigan has a special athlete under center and if we can utilize his skillset and force a defense to defend against the pass/run option it will put tons of stress on the defense, Devin should be rolling out often and running when it presents itself. If Borges' gameplan is centered on a running game with the running backs and 5-7 step dropback passes, forget it! No chance in hell against this MSU defense.
the "3rd year coaches win championships" argument has no relevance to Michigan.
Every single one of those successful coaches inherited a team that can accurately be described as well recruited and talented but poorly coached. At the risk of offending people, the 2008-2010 Michigan teams do not qualify as that. Hoke is playing freshman all along the line, the defense will finally have a plethora of upperclassmen next year, and Devin will have over a year and a half of experience as a full time starting QB. If Michigan struggles to win 10 next year, then we can hop on the fright train.
our DBs are not ready for heavy blitzing and being on an island. We should win but if we lose it will be on Gardner turnovers and our defense letting yet another team play point to point with us like they have. I see us losing 2-3 more if we lose.
For MSU less so, except on the "OMG rivalry!" side of things.
I think Sparty can lose to Michigan on Saturday, then win out the rest of their games vs. NU, NW and Minny and still arrive at the title game. MSU would no doubt get a ton of help from Iowa, Nebraska and Ohio vs. Michigan.
Meanwhile, Michigan's margin for error gets tighter. UM cannot afford another loss right now to MSU, because of Nebraska, at Iowa, at NW and Ohio games in sequence.
Either way, I'm not sure it matters given what we now know. Whoever wins the Legends division is simply going to have the privilege of getting smoked by Ohio in the title game.
will just further cement my opinion of which direction the program is heading. Not change it.
So everyone here who says MSU is just one game it and doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things...
So if we were to beat OSU this year and snap there 24 game or whatever win streak I GUARANTEE every last one of you would say that was a program win. A sign that Hoke "gets it" and that the program is in the right direction. We all would bc its true.
But if we lose to MSU this week then "its ok, its just one game". "it wouldn't mean anything or be a sign". "the loss wouldn't cause me to question any coaches".
You can't have it both ways.
and btw, based on the Big 10 format, the MSU game IS bigger than the OSU game. UM needs this to make the Big Ten Championship. You know that game Hoke always talks about and says anything but is a FAILURE. We lose this game and its next to impossible to even PLAY in the B10 title game much less win it. This IS the biggest game of the season and will clearly set the tone for the final stretch.
But neither the MSU or OSU games will be his first as Michigan's head coach. He's coached 33 games and won 25 of them. One game should not change ones opinion of the coach when there is a pretty good sample size with which to judge.
And I disagree with one of your premises. I don't think anyone who currently thinks the coaches are not the right ones would change their mind after beating Ohio. But the people who think we have the right coaches will use it as evidence to support their mindset. Just like a loss to MSU is not going to change the minds of the pro-Hokers, but it will be used as ammo by the Others.
Pre-season I figured this was a 10-2 or 9-3 team, with a loss AWAY at MSU one of the more likely culprits. Midseason I reconfigured expectations, and started thinking of this as a 9-3 or 8-4 team, with a loss AWAY at MSU still one of the more likely culprits, but if anything, moderately more likely than it seemed before.
We can win this, but I don't think we are as likely to win as we are to lose.
If we win, though, I'll go back to thinking of us as a 2 or 3 loss team.
I always love reconfiguring expectations like this. Going in I thought 9-3, and damn it, I still expect this
Very few of the players who Hoke actually recruited are upperclassmen. The upperclassmen on this team (who number much fewer than what Michigan is used to) are all either survivors of RichRod's recruit-hemorraging final classes or part of the hybrid 2011 class that didn't even crack the top 20. Hoke only has two full recruiting classes under his belt, which were ranked #7 and #5 per Rivals.
I know it's frustrating, because this program was a rock of stability for most of its existence and yet it seems like we've been in transition mode forever. And yes, everyone hates the fact that there has been a significant gap between Michigan and Ohio State for quite a while (minus the '11 season). But the personnel issues that this program has faced dating back to the late Carr era are well-documented. Carr started to tail off in the latter half of his career and the (perhaps reactionary) RichRod hire turned out to be an epic blunder from which the program hasn't yet fully recovered. That's why we are where we are. Final judgment on Hoke can only be rendered when we've cycled through one full class of Hoke recruits.
than it provided Rodriguez. You typically need 4 to 5 years to recover from the previous admin and buid up your own. Getting pissed off and grabbing pitchforks at year 3 (UM will probably finish 7-5 to 8-4) just increases the likelihood of travelling down the infamous Baylor experience. Patience.
Coach Hoke and the staff deserve more time based on their perormance in the first 3 years. I also agree that the team is relatively young and the players still have room to develop, but it should not be overstated. There needs to be some progress this season. If the team loses and takes a nose dive, it will definitely diminish his prior accomplishments.
Even though I think he needs time, I think it is worth noting that Hoke's best season was his 1st with Rich Rod's players. RR was not afforded the opportunity to coach seniors because of the horrible performance in the Big Ten, against the main rivals and trainwreck when they got into a bowl game.
It's must win for me. Hoke has to show the team is in a position to win the league title in year three with a mix of his guys and RR guys. You can't let State bitch slap you around. Especially when you bade your entire coaching mission state as: Be Physical!
We're gonna have to spread the field and pass to win this one, there will be no running on this defense not even by Gardner.
We could have played hard, had no turnovers, and still lose, say 23-21.
Or, we could play terribly and lose big.
Almost worst, we could play terribly and still win. (unlikely.)
Of course, like all Michigan fans, I want to see us win. But to lose a close, well-played game on the road is vastly different from losing a blowout because a game was called poorly and the team wasn't put in the position to succeed.
To answer your question directly: a loss to MSU will NOT cause me to lose confidence in the direction the Michigan program is heading in. I believe we're heading in the right direction, and we will see this more in 2014, and see it completely by 2015.
i think it would be more important in how we lose. if UM gets embarrassed, that could be a problem. if we lose a close hard fought game, i don't see big problems. sparty is pretty good, and they are at home. but let's just win and start our typical win streak against sparty.
Here's the kind of perception about Michigan that I find troubling, a quote from today's Washington Post's Feinstein article on the top four teams:
"Here's another possible twist: Alabama and Oregon are far more likely to lose than Florida State or Ohio State. The Buckeyes play no one - and that includes Michigan - the rest of the season (italics supplied)."
While I think we are certainly someone, how does being perceived as no one affect recruiting, bowl invitations, etc.?
Brady Hoke called his team inconsistent - this isn't my value judgment, though I said exactly the same thing here after PSU. It's my belief that inconsistency is a sign of coaching problems.
This team may not be perfectly loaded with talent on defense, but it certainly has what it takes to slow MSU's offense down, if a Purdue can do it.
The offense clearly is potentially explosive, and despite MSU's defense, has the ability to score points; maybe not as many as it does against lesser defenses, but two or three touchdowns are not out of the question. And with a decent defensive effort, Michigan should be in the driver's seat.
So it seems to me that the difference between winning and losing this weekend is on the coaching staff. Getting the team mentally prepared, physically prepared, and put in a position to win is what coaching is about.
I'm fine with a close game, or even bad breaks causing a loss. But with this team, it's pretty obvious when they aren't being put in a position to win. And if it's that, yes, I will further lose confidence in this staff.
agree on all accounts.
is also a sign of youth
That is board would be completely unreadable if not for Space Coyote. I'm not sure how he keeps doing it.
MSU has to win it to control their own destiny. If they lose to UM Saturday, then MSU will requierd help from others to beat UM to get to the title game.
If Michigan loses Saturday, then reaching the title game is probably gone bye-bye, but they can go out and wreck other people's pathetic BIG10 seasons (and maybe Ohio's aspirations) with malice aforethought.
I'd like UM to win this rivalry game because I think the seniors deserve it.
You can pretty much throw out anything from before the Rich Rod era in regards to Hoke's teams because it is no longer relevant. People can look around the counrty and in this conference at other teams doing things well but the fact is Michigan is not at that point yet. In 2011 we had a strong senior class that took this team, put it on their backs and carried it to a Sugar Bowl, we had a senior class that hadn't beaten a Big Ten rival and refused to lose. That were also a TALENTED senior class and you can talk about Player Development all you want but talent and stars (which measure talent to a degree) matter. This is a program with very little stability and program direction right now and that means we have to create whole new one which takes years, not a season and a half. 2011 was the outlier, starting last year we started the rebuiling phase, Hoke wants to take us right back to what we where before, what Bo molded this program to be, a Huge, Tough team that plays extraordinary defense and can run the lights out of the ball because of a fantastic line. We were the definition of MANBRAWL. That is what we where for almost 40 years before a sizeable section of the fanbase grew tired and weary of conservative play calling and losing to Ohio and called for a change. The administration answered and Rich Rodriguez and riding in on a white horse to change the program and make it more exciting for fans. He basically made Michigan into a bad Big 12 team, an all offense and spread oriented team that can't stop anyone to save their lives. During his three years he effictively destroyed almost every bit of identity Bo Schembechler, Gary Moeller and Llyod Carr had built for almost 40 years save for one senior class that survived the devastation. RR seemingly targeted everything that made Michigan great and demolished it. He took a great defense and made it the worst we have ever seen, he took one of the most productive OL factories in football and deprived it of nourishment (recruited almost no one), he reversed MANBALL, and it took him three years. So when Hoke came in, he had to reverse what RR had done. Some changes happened rather quickly like the defense becoming respectable, but some take time, like rebuilding the OL. That takes at least 3,4 maybe even 5 years depending on how players pan out and are developed. OL is like no other position on the football field, I don't care what training you've had in high school it is "Lion's winning a Championship" rare to have a guy come in and start right away, ESPECIALLY without EE. It has happened before and probably will again but I wouldn't bet the farm on it. On the OL you have to have every single person execute their assignment or you get nowhere offensively, which is what has happened the last two years. 2012 we had basicaly 1/2 an OL on the interior 3 spots, this year we've improved to 1 1/2 if your generous. Basically we have no guards on this team and we have RR to thank. OL need about 3 or 4 years in most cases to develop which is why they all redshirt. If you think that's an excuse then take Glasgow, if he was anywhere near this good last year he would have played. But, more likely he improved leaps and bounds from last year as OL are wont to do and now he is one of the best we have. ALL of our line should be on this path but roster needs have forced otherwise. We need to be patient, once the OL comes around and matures, then we will have our team back. Until then no amount of firing and complaining in the world will fix our football team.