But I think this didn't need to be a new thread. It might be better if you recast it as a Sunday afternoon discussion thread and just throw in your thoughts incidentally.
Snowflakes re: our coaching staff
Talk of returning to former glory makes us sound like Notre Dame. Which sucks.
And they are playing for the national championship, so what's your point?
Of course Hoke is the right guy. That should go without saying. Borges on the other hand......
Agree re the overall assessment on Borges. He kind of got the RichRod buzzwhip, in that he did not have the weapons he wanted to run the offense he is most comfortable with, due to the smaller, faster, quicker types RichRod recruited. The offense probably overachieved most of last year, and perhaps underachieved most of this year. That may marginally improve with Gardner the presumptive starter, but two things give me pause: Gardner not playing QB after Denard got hurt in the Nebraska game, and the Paleolithic playcalling in the second half of the Ohio game. In the latter, he turned what could have been historically fun (Gardner and Denard in the same backfield!), into something all too predictable and dull.
in the backfield. He can't throw and can't pass protect. That kinda limits what you can do with him. The Gardner-Robinson backfield is fun IF Denard is healthy enough to throw because then you have the threat of two guys burning you over the top.
This is what pissed me off about Borges gameplan. He never adjusted once OSU realized Denard was not going to pass.(Fickell outthought himself here. Denard hadn't shown the ability to pass in the Iowa game. He should have stuck with treating Denard as a RB until he showed that he was able to throw.)
In the post game presser he said he was fine and could throw. He said it incredulously as if the person asking the question was off.
So, someone is not being forthright.
And judging from what people witnessed in pre-Iowa I have a hard time believing improved that much in one week.
I thought that they would leave Denard in as more of a distractor. Because when he's in the game, defenses will flock.
Mattison and recruiting = best parts of the program right now.
Borges = I want to see what he's like next year before I call for his head. But he's in a decidedly more uncomfortable place than Mattison and Hoke. Really depressing play calling yesterday.
Hoke = Probably needs to check up on the offense a little more. RR wasn't given a pass by people for his horrific defense, Hoke shouldn't be given a pass either. He needs to be able to make the tough decisions if it comes to that in terms of the other coaches. However, I do remember reading the anecdote from Ball State, where Hoke's DC wasn't getting it done (Mark Smith, the current LB coach at Michigan) and instead of firing the guy Hoke just stepped up and basically became co-DC.
That being said, there's something about Hoke that makes me really like him as HC. And he feels like the perfect fit for Michigan. It's not necessarily a statistic thing or even a reason thing, it's a feeling. Maybe not the best way to judge this sort of thing, but it is what it is.
that Denard could throw the ball but it just wasn't called.
That'll buy more time/options than a blocker trying to stop the tOSU rush with their ears pinned back.
As far as time management, it seemed a willful decision to go into the half without scoring. It was, in my view, poor judgment on the part of the coaches but not mismanagement of the type where they were trying to score and just screwed up with taking too long or not getting out of bounds.
The timeout before going for the 4th and 3 was really stupid. Catch the D off guard and it might work. Calling timeout first was a mistake, as was the play call itself.
but he still produces Top 10 teams. That's one aspect of the package that a coaching staff brings to the field.
An OC's ability to identify/create the weakness in the opponent and attack it is, however, one of the OC's core functions. Borges left DRob on the bench for the last drive, fergodsakes.
1. I agree with your comments about Hoke, but my question is - is he sharp enough to make the hard decisions and lead us to glory, or will he always be outcoached by Meyer? I vote against another Carr era.
3. I don't like coaches that can only coach with "their" players. Why can't he coach smarter with the limitations he has to deal with in any given year, and why can't he coach less turnovers? Ohio went from crummy to 12-0 in one year!
4. Your comment about skill players is right-on. Is it a reflection on Borges?
OSU is still filled with the great classes Tressel recruited and Braxton Miller is perfect for Meyer's system.
You also forget that Hoke won 11 games in Year One-- one less than Meyer.
I understand your point, but weren't we 10-2 int he regular season to Ohio's 12-0? Two games back?
We definitely played a harger schedule last year (and this year) than they did this year. In a 4-loss season, we ended up playing both teams that made the NCG, and the only other undefeated team outside ND. And, Brasky could be a 1-loss Rose Bowler when it's all said and done.
I agree wholeheartedly. The lack of success on offense, and our major struggles on the road on offense lay at the feet of stubbornness, and that's inexcusable. Our kids showed they can be successful, but the OCs preferred scheme yielded poor results with them. Borges, too, has demonstrated that he can run plays that suited their strengths, yet he chose to rely heavily on plays that consistantly didn't work, or had a low chance of success. That difference this year has been night and day. If Al only knew how to run one type of offense I'd say "wait and see, we'll be better once he gets his guys," but he's shown plainly he can run multiple looks, yet refuses to use what has been repeatedly proven to work in favor of doing things his way instead, regardless of how epically it fails. Never has that been more clearly demonstrated than in Columbus.
The problem to me is that you can't do a little of everything and yet that is how Borges approached the marriage of his offense with Denard's skills. Stanford and Wisconsin run power really well because they spend a ton of time running it in practice and then do it throughout games. Then they are able to install wrinkles and counters to what the defense does without getting out of their comfort zone. The same goes for Oregon with read plays. The QB makes those kinds of decisions all the time in practice and can run that shit in his sleep.
The last two years we have tried to do a little of both. We've seen the struggles in the power/conventional run game. And in the read/option game we basically have one option (inverted veer) or simple designed runs for Denard. We don't see the intricacies or counters and Denard hasn't gotten to where he knows instinctively exactly where to go with the ball because he isn't practicing those reads throughout every practice and running them throughout every game. Then you also have the problem of grafting a passing game onto run-game principles that call for a different approach if they are going to work best.
In retrospect, we either should have gone all read-option or all under center WCO with Denard prompted to scramble. Doing a little of both made us excel at neither.
Going forward, this shouldn't be a problem. Hopefully Kalis and Co. are running power in their sleep and that fixes everything. With the defense we have coming back and the easier schedule, the offense really just has to approach competence and avoid turnovers for us to have a big season.
There's alot to be said for that. Also have to question the dogged reliance on the strength of our interior offensive line as the lynchpin of our offense. They've been famously bad this year, running right past guys in run blocking, and regularly getting blown off the ball, and letting free defenders in despite even numbers, yet we made them the focus of our running game, especially in critical downs. We had occasional luck with them, and flashes of good play, but they were consistantly overmatched all season long. So why make our offense hinge on them so regularly? You'd think Al could see they weren't able to do what he asked of them, and were even the weakest link on our offense, and work around them, but no. Smith in on every 3rd down, too. He's not a power back, and he's a poor blocker in the pocket. Too many times linebackers got in free to the qb for a sack or to hurry the throw, even though Smith was standing right there, yet from the 1st game through to the last game we lived and died by Smith up the middle or in protection, our interior offensive line, and our qb's deep ball accuracy. Basically the 3 weakspots on offense were focused on heavily by Al this year, and in big games.
I agree with your comments about Hoke, but my question is - is he sharp enough to make the hard decisions and lead us to glory, or will he always be outcoached by Meyer?
I really don't think Meyer made any remarkable strategic moves yesterday. It's possible for both coaching staffs to have a bad game. OSU started four (!) second-half drives in our territory and scored six points. That is some absolutely brutal redzone offense, and even more inexplicable given their big edge up front. Despite an enormous edge in field position, they allowed an outmanned Michigan team to hang around all half until they finally converted a 3rd down (their only conversion of the half) at the end, on a Kirk Ferentz-esque inside handoff on 3rd and long.
ideally suited to Borges' favored offense. We take the field with the players we have.
Use them in a way to maximize production, dammit.
Still in full support of Hoke, and I agree that Borges should be given more time, in large part because I do not want to see the coaching carousel that hampered the team under RR.
I don't think anyone is claiming that Borges should be given more time to get his players so much as we don't want to boot the guy and hire a spread zealot OC that won't know what to do with our shiny new monster OL recruites and bowling-ball RBs. Gardner, Morris and Bellomy are all decently mobile, but are definitely pass first, scramble second; not "designed run" guys. And we really don't want to end up with another DeBord or worse (GERG Davis).
Borges has huge glaring flaws in that his lizard brain screams for plays that don't make sense and usually don't work with our current roster (I-form on short yardage, bombs down the field, jump balls). When we have the players for those plays it would be a disaster to switch to an OC that wants us to run the QB Oh-Noes without a racecar at QB or sweeps without mountain-goat blocking WRs.
1, 4 & 5: Hellz yeah all around. Mattison and recuiting especially. Skill players are often highly sought after which can cause ego issues, but while we haven't (yet) pulled in the Treadwell and Greens of the world we're still raking in solid 4-stars even at WR and RB. Once the lines become experienced NFL factories it doesn't take super-elite skill players to move the ball. We have elite QBs (Gardner, Morris) and have been pretty good about developing other positions. It's not like 4-starts are automatically "worse" than 5s either, they're just less likely to be elite players at the college level. Hoke + Mattison = win!
2 & 3 are probably related, though I think it's Hoke that controls the time outs and the bigger meta-game decisions (going to it tooth and nail vs play it safe). I felt like the 2-minute drill was less of a problem last year and that we've strangely collapsed this season. I'm not sure who that's on, but they should feel their chair getting a little warmer. The rest of my Borges rant is up top. I'm only for replacing Borges if we can get someone top-notch, but most of those are probably pipe dreams (Paul Chryst for example).
Kliff Kingsbury took a unnanimous 3 star qb into the SEC West in his first year with A&M and is the frontrunner for the Heisman trophy, now. He almost ran the table with only losses to Florida and LSU by a combined 8 points, also beating Bama in Tuscaloosa, albeit after a very tough road win for them. He's only 33, and his last job was coaching an Air Raid type offense at Houston, plus he makes about half what Borges will next year. A&M could also stand to lose him, as their HC Sumlin is also a successful OC.
You have to think about the fit. Do we want an OC with an Air Raid background to coach personnel (in the 2012 and '13 classes) probably better-suited for power football?
Given how our defense is coming along, I don't think we need the offensive flavor of the month coaching us. We need a guy who is adept at moving the chains and producing lengthy, soul-crushing drives.
I just want an OC who can develop talent, and who can beat the best defenses in the country. He took an average RS freshman he just met and had great showings against Florida, and LSU, and beat Bama, and will likely win the Heisman, now. That's good enough for me. He is a versatile coach. At Houston he adapted to the gunslinger QB on the roster and aired the ball out, and at A&M he took what the SEC West gave him, and ran a more spread like offense with his mobile qb.
Houston and A&M are both spread-based teams; A&M uses the QB as more of a runner than Houston does, but philosophically they are not that far apart. Whether that's what we want going forward, I don't know.
I want our OC and HC to be completely on the same page, so our offensive schemes fit the personnel we want to recruit. I'm not certain if that's the case right now, and I'm not sure hiring a spread guy would help.
If I hear one more person say Hoke doesn't have the players for "his" system, I'm going to scream!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hoke doesn't have the players for "his" system. Scream away...
"That's total BS and you know it", Urban Meyer.
Lloyd Carr scared away what little talent RR had coming back. Remember 3 walk ons starting on defense? How about 15 players under the scholarship limit? Hoke faced none of these obstacles.
ALL THE CREDIT should go to Mattison. Hoke is a wonderful "inspirational leader", but lets face it, he is not much of a game coach........and Borges has been a disaster. 75 yards of total offense in the second half against OSU? How about 4 games with no touchdowns? With one of the best players we have ever had, Borges produced one of our all time worst offenses.
Your average 14 year old with significant video game experience would manage timeouts better, would not forget to have a second QB ready to back up your injury plagued starter and would not have kept trying to run up the middle (and get stuffed) on big plays.
I'm not the biggest Borges fan in the world, but why do you cite only his second-half performance? In the first half we had 21 points and 200+ yards. You have to factor those in the analysis, too. Even in the second half, we consistently got into 3rd and short, which meant that we were doing pretty well on our first two downs. We were catastrophically bad in short-yardage, though. Borges's short-yardage calls were bad, but not everything else was.
I think a lot of people here are overrating the talent we actually have. People are railing at a staff that has gone 19-6 despite having not too many elite pro prospects. We certainly do not have the kind of talent on the OL and DL that we usually do.
The problem is he ran two very different looks on offense in that game. He finally ran the offense we've been dreaming about in the last game or two, and it worked very well, then instead of continuing down the path to victory, he abandoned it, and reverted back to the plan that regularly gave us such stellar offensive under-performances as 2011 MSU, 2011 Iowa, 2012 Bama, 2012 ND, 2012 MSU, and 2012 Nebraska, where the talent of our players alone busting plays wide open wasn't enough to overmatch our opponents defense.
Sorry to rehash, but this "statistical perspective" you expound seems a little overrated when looking at Al's play-calling throughout The Game and this past season (or two, even) as a whole, wouldn't you agree?
We had two big plays in the first half that I still deem were forseeable and more or less defensive flukes on Ohio's part. In the second half, we managed to only get to our own 48 yard line. It's honestly embarrassing and flat out unacceptable.
Your critique of our talent is somewhat accurate, however. And while I most definitely do not see our talent (even on the OL) as being god awful, I sure as hell don't want to use the excuse that "our OC would be significantly better with elite talent". This statement is just as transparent as Borges' playcalling, and IMO, is a weak cop out.
I like the overall record, but it is just simply not indicative of good coaching. On the offensive side of the ball. Too many close losses due to the underutilization of our personnel. Elite talent or not, coaching is the cornerstone to overall, preparative success.
Well, I feel like David Molk over Elliot Mealer would probably have gotten us 2-more wins. :D
Pretty much agree with everything in the OP.
Part of me thinks it's unfair to judge Borges at this point because he doesn't have his players in place. On the other hand, having watched our offense for the past 2 years, there doesn't appear to be much of a plan in place. In RichRod's first 2 years, the offense blew, but you could see some signs of progress and what they were trying to do and by year 3 the offense was very good.
Similarly, you can definitely see the plan on defense under Mattison and you can even see players on defense tangibly improving from week to week. On offense, who has improved from last year to this? Gardner definitely, but everyone else has either stayed the same or appeared to regress.
I highly doubt Borges will be let go, I just wish we were seeing more improvement from the players on offense as well as some kind of visible plan/philosophy/method. By the end of the Carr era I was disheartened because I could tell what the offensive play was just from looking at the way they lined up (anybody else remember the fullback telegraphing the direction of a run by shuffling left or right pre-snap?). I've seen too much of the same thing this year to give me any great hope for the immediate future.
On his previous and somewhat short stints at 5 different places?
for his offense. If your QB doesn't fit your offense that impacts what you can do. (See: Sheridan/Threet)
That doesn't excuse the horrendous playcalling in the 2nd half yesterday, but it does explain in part some of the problems UM has had the past two years.
One of the biggest problems I have with Borges is his history. His history does not suggest that the offense here will show progress. His best success has been a first year in which he inherited senior first round RBs and a senior first round QB, all of whom someone else recruited and coached. The longer he stays, the worse his offense becomes. He cannot recruit or develop talent. Even at SDSU, he was not the QB coach who developed Lindley (who didn't break a 60% completion rate in the MWC with Borges' "system"). Unfortunately, he is our new Greg Robinson. The only arguments I seem to see being offered in his support could apply to all failing coordinators: (1) they are in the business, you are not, therefore your criticisms are invalid; (2) it is the lack of talent, not coaching (what Mattison continues to do with our shallow defensive corps put the lie to this); (3) give him multiple years to implement his system with his players (though he has apparently never been able to get in "his players" or "his system" anywhere except in the aforementioned first year at Auburn with senior first round picks Jason Campbell, Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown). Using the logic of Borges' defenders, it would be equally prudent to re-hire Greg Robinson. If anything, Greg Robinson has more bright spots on his long resume than Al Borges does.
I'm not sure I could add anything after reading your wonderful, well thought out post, but I'll give it a try:
1) Hoke really loves Michigan.
2) Mattison is a pretty good DC.
3) We lost yesterday but if we would have scored more points we would have won.
4) We have a good field.
5) I like our stadium.
6) Ann Arbor is nice in the fall.
7) Santa Claus is coming to town
8) Somone left the cake out in the rain
We haven't struck out at WR/RB yet. There is still a couple months until signing day and Treadwell and Green are still on the board, I'm not worried.
Treadwell is not coming here.
And I'd be surprised at this point if we got Green.
biggest problem i have is that Borges will not hold himself publicly accountable. at least Denard had the guts to do so.
What good does "public accountability" do? Does it help you win games? Fans get wrapped up around the weirdest things.
I couldn't care less what Borges tells Heiko next press conference, as long as he is making the right changes behind closed doors.
Unfortunately, I don't think he does. When he said that Bellomy was prepared for Nebraska, I think Borges might have believed it. A good coach would have said, We didn't do enough to have our team ready -- that falls on us. When asked about whether he'd save anything for Ohio, he could have said something clever (e.g., If I did, would I tell you?) and actually have something ready for the Game, instead of showing every new idea in a blowout against Iowa. When asked if he would do anything different after the Alabama game, he might have recognized that his game plan did not work, and at least admit that. Instead, he wouldn't change a thing. Failure hasn't prevented him from being repeatedly hired, so there are no negative consequences in his mind. It wasn't that he was wrong; it's that reality refused to accept the correctness of his vision. I suppose the only comfort we can take is that he is employed in a field where stubborn refusal to adapt to reality only results in lost football games and secondary effects in terms of other people's professions. If he were in the military or medicine, the immediate negative repercussions of his approach would be much more dire.
I don't think any of that matters. We see on the field what the product is. Nothing he can say in a press conference can change how the team looks on the field.
I don't think anyone is debating that Hoke isn't a good coach for UM. Mattison is a stud. The issues are at OC and, to a far lesser extent, special teams. I thought Borges was the weak link when he arrived because I remembered those mid-2000 Auburn teams being pretty meh on offense once Campbell left, and I didn't think his offensive philosophy was creative enough to out-class teams of similar talent.
I kind of think we give Borges a pass until he has a couple years with his players on the field. Right now he's trying to run a pro-style passing offense with a terrible o-line, a mediocre set of running backs, on scholarship tight end who is thin as a rail, and an average wide receiving corps. Yes, the I-form pounding was stupid, but in a few years I think that will be a given to pick up that one yard once the manbeast OL classes are older. While a lot of the focus yesterday was on Borges, the fact of the matter is that we got utterly mauled in the trenches. Even Oregon's offense looked like crap when that happened to them against Stanford.
Agree. The O-line is subpar this season. Missed block assignments - not blocking to the whistle. We don't have any punishing North-South backs. A Wheatley, Biakabutuka, Powers, Hart type of guy the gave the defense two people to worry about and could block blitz.
Denard or Devin - it's a one man show. The defenses that beat us just blitz constantly. Our O-line and backs can't pick these up.
Hoke - Doing a good job, but may need to get a bit more involved in offensive playcalling.
Al - Im keeping my fire Al Borges emotions bottled up until next year. If the questionable play calling rears its head as much as it did this year then his head shall role. The fact that he doesn't recruit also bothers me a tad. It certainly would be nice to have an OC who can pull in talent at skill positions on offense. Look at our classes, loaded with elite trench players ...... which is credit to Mattison, Funk, and Hoke.
Mattison - great
Hoke is the PERFECT coach for this program and Mattison is a defensive genius. It's going to be scary to see what this team is like once they get their type of player in there.
A lot of the younger guys will be seeing more and more playing time. This is one reason why I am optimistic about next season. The easy schedule combined with improvement in overall defensive talent should make for a 10 win and Big Ten title-contending team.
that will be the borges excuse next year.
Borges's principal sin in my opinion is not putting his players in the best position to succeed. I believe he knows how to do this. (See first half) Then in the second half he runs between the tackles at 4 critical times; i.e. the weakest part of our game into the strongest part of their game. That is putting our players in the worst position to succeed. What is going on here?
Yea worst position possible! I'll never understand what Al was thinking with those runs up the gut with Denard. Get Denard to the edge where Ohio's poor tackling was ALL day. Very confused with the 2nd half play calling.
"But, I am concerned about hoke's inability to land premier skill position players (other than Morris). We keep striking out at WR and RB and it is going to continue to hurt us. What's the issue here?"
He's only had one recruiting class and we have no clue yet if Darboh and Chesson are good or bad. Wait a few years before we say this is an issue.
had roughly 2 full recruiting seasons and the offensive skill recruiting is underwhelming at best. Sure it is still early, but this bears watching.
He is almost through his second full class. If he misses on Greene and treadwell, he will have failed towns a single elite (by rankings) player at either position in 2 classes. Given out gapingly wide open depth chart at both positions and the general media love for hoke and Michigan, this is a concern as he should be able to sell instant potential playing time.
Eh, I'm not concerned. Hoke is definitely the right guy for the job. Just because Borges cant fit his system to his players doesn't mean he's a bad coach - he could be really good at doing one thing well
Ultimately, I think it comes down to the talent level. Attrition and poor seasons are going to make it hard to catch up but if this coaching staff can bring in two top 5 classes after what happened in 08-11, imagine what they'll do after a couple of years of fairly strong performances.
We weren't able to beat more talented or more stable programs but the teams we should beat, we did soundly. Good things ahead
The one constant that gives me comfort right now is Brandon. As much as we complain about uniformz / rawk musik / etc. you have to admit the man seems dead-set on putting a strong product on the field in both MBB and football, and the incompetence of the prior AD seems to be a distant memory. I think long-term if a coordinator or position coach isn't working out, he's going to be willing to commit whatever resources needed to make it right. If Borges continues to flail, you can bet your ass he's going to throw 3/4 of a million dollars/yr at getting the problem solved ASAP. Let's see if it comes to that.
Maybe you forgot, he hired Belein? Or that he oversaw the decision to and beginning stages of revamping the big house?
RichRod didn't work out, but honestly, who really saw that coming? The guy was successful everywhere else before he came here.
My point isn't that Martin was an utter failure. Re: Rich Rod, I liked the hire at the time, but isn't it pretty widely accepted that the AD was extremely negligent during the search process and botched it pretty badly? Also isn't Brandon responsible for Crisler renovations and most of the new practice facilities, and the Hoke hire? Before getting Beilein Martin also presided over several basketball head coaching failures, don't forget about that. My point more broadly here is, our AD seems much more engaged than the last one and more determined/likely to put and keep a top tier product on the court/field in basketball and football. And as a corollary, I'm not worried about some short-term struggles from one of our coordinators. Do you disagree with that?
With 750K we might be able to pull great coordinators away from head coaching jobs. Like Paul Chryst (currently at Pitt), or one of Boise's former OCs (they're now at Texas and Florida, which haven't benn great, so idk).
A big part of my frusteration with the "Fire Borges" talk is that I don't know who anyone expects to be a better fit, or just better in general... Of the guys we have a snowballs chance in hell of hiring without dropping head coach wages (at lower-level football schools, but still) I can't think of anyone who'd be a better fit. And Hoke's likely to be very defensive of Borges. For better or worse it'd take some heavy leaning on Brandon's part to oust Borges with any speed... Which should be okay since we're starting to accumulate the round pegs for Borges's round hole offense... If he can't win with those it'll be time to find someone who can.
I think hoke has a good eye for talent. I believe every WR he brings in has the potential to be a good receiver for us, no matter their ranking based on high school achievements. I mean one of our best receivers this year was our second string qb. Hoke's bringing athletes in. I think he can teach them enough to be successful
We went 8-4 this season, but we lost to the 2 teams that are most likely going to play for the National Championship, a third team that would be in the National Championship conversation, if not for NCAA sanctions, and a likely Rose Bowl participant. We had a better season than our record suggests. We were in every game other than Bama, and although we're not going to the conference championship, or a BCS bowl, I think that we did pretty much as well as most of us expected to do. I think that we can definitely compete with whatever team we play in our bowl game, and this team will end the season on a positive note. The coaches are bringing in killer recruiting classes, and Devin looks like he'll be a beast next season. This team is heading in the right direction. I know we would have killed for an 8-4 season in 2008. Hoke is the man for this program, and I trust him to make this team into a powerhouse. Go Blue.
Agree to disagree. I have no doubt The combination of Hoke and Mattison can turn UM into an elite defensive school again...heck, maybe even an awesome OL school ala Wisconsin (meaning - an NFL factory for OL). But I am very skeptical about UM ever being an offensive juggernaut under Hoke and I think he has a serious problem recruiting and landing skill players. Moreover, in games, we are getting outcoached. Urban Meyer owned Brady Hoke yesterday in nearly every facet of the game.
I am all for giving Brady time and I am by no means calling for his head. I am however calling for him to manage the team. By that, he needs to sack Borges and hire a competent OC to complement Mattison.
Mark Smith is the one to keep an eye on, I think. Frey got Lewan playing at a high level as a freshman with only one year of HS Oline experience, Molk obviously developed into a Rimington winner, Omameh had a very promising sophomore campaign, Dorrestein and Huyge turned into serviceable players after not being very highly regarded. Since then Lewan took a step forward and then a step back, Omameh turned from an asset to a liability and Barnum and Mealer as 5th year seniors didn't cut it. Even if Lewan comes back next year we'll have a very young line with little depth. If the line is serviceable Smith will have proven his chops, if it isn't Smith hasn't earned the benefit of the doubt.
He's the linebacker coach. If he's coaching Lewan and ten O Line we should be worried.
Oops meant Funk obvs. Mark Smith gets all the points.
Judge him after another year or two. The guys that were here were recruited for zone blocking, Rich Rod guys. Not the maulers he is recruiting now.
Well the bloody Mary's have kicked in already. Madonna just won a tight reelection bid. Whoo
Mark Smith = LB coach
Darrell Funk = OL coach
There is this cool website that has all the coaches and their profiles. I think it's called mgoblue.com.
Perhaps Hoke should get Borges down on the field so he can maybe keep the play calling "on message."
Overall, Hoke is doing a great job recruiting. I have no doubt that the defensive side of the ball will remain in good hands as long as Mattison is at the helm. And our O-Line talent will be superb. Our problem is that, aside from Morris, Hoke has as of yet been unable to land any elite offensive skill position recruits. Yah, I know stars don't mean everything, but we need to be able to land the Laquon Treadwells or the Derrick Greens of the world, otherwise we will always be playing catchup to the elite teams of the country.
As we've learned from MSU, you can't win on defense alone. My worry going forward is that we won't be able to surround Morris with the kind of talent we'll need to compete consistently as a top 10, maybe top 5 team.
Just curious; has Hoke ever let a coordinator go? He doesn't seem to be the type to do this, barring egregious circumstances.
I believe he let a few guys go after his first couple of seasons at Ball State.
pro style talent going into a spread talent = distasterous
spread talent transforming into pro style should = out to being productive
I was concerned when Al rejected the notion in a previous presser of Denard calling a play while injured. He dismissed it as if only he could make a play call. With Hoke off a headset for 90% of the game, no one is ideating or debating his calls from my perspective. Like an employee with middling results, Al needs more "supervision or support" to achieve top performance.
Outstanding play callers string together a long set of plays to manipulate the defense throughout a game. Al hasn't achieved this standard except maybe the Neb last year.
At this point after TD shutouts and big game implosions, someone should be offering play recos or entire series combinations for Al to tweak or think ahead - like a QB coach.
Hoke, Kelly, and Meyer started at roughly the same time in the same leagues.
In 10 seasons Hoke has three top 25 wins, 0 top 16 wins, and has never won a conference championship at any level.
In 11 seasons Urban has two national titles and two other undefeated seasons and 5 conference titles.
In 10 seasons Kelly has won 3 conference championships and gone undefeated twice.
Hoke's recruiting has been great, but he must have top coordinators to be effective, not good ones, great ones.
Ball State was the equivalent of EMU when he took over.
Meyer coached at BGSU and Kelly at CMU. CMU in particular is a traditionally strong program in the MAC. In fact, they rank in the top 25 for all time wins. BGSU has 10 MAC football championships. They also are located in Ohio and the abundance of talent that comes with that.
Conversely, Hoke coached at Ball State in the state with the weakest high school football in the Midwest and in a program with poor history in football.
Meyer took over for a solid coach at Utah. Ron McBride built the Utes into a solid mid-major program. Meyer deserves credit for taking that program to another level, but it is not like he took over a crummy program.
Kelly took over for Mark Dantonio at Cinncinnati. Dantonio, like McBride, left a decent program for Kelly. There was no major rebuilding job for Kelly here.
Hoke was only at SDSU for two years. SDSU had middling success with Ted Tollner and Marshall Faulk in the early 90's, but their history is largely mediocre. Hoke won 9 games in his second year.
Your facts are true, but they also are misleading. Blaming Hoke for a lack of top 15 wins in 8 years at SDSU and BSU is unfair. At smaller schools opportunities to play such teams is limited and those opportunities are often against teams with significant advantages in talent.
Finally, can you point to me the great upsets Kelly and Meyer had at their stops at mid-major schools?
OSU, ND and Alabama do not have equal talent to us - they have more. Nebraska might be equal to us, if we were at full strength.
That Hoke managed to paper over our thin depth and win 11 games in 2011 doesn't mean he can do that every year. We are nowhere near a typical U-M team in terms of talent from 1 through 85.
The darn line graph that shows our "mature" talent shortage (at least based on recruiting site rankings ) cannot be ignored. It's also frustrating to know the gap will exist for a couple more years.
Great coaching and good fortune (injuries, TOs) can mitigate the gap like last year, but talent is crucial.
Hopefully our recruiting revival will keep us a perennial top 5 candidate in the coming years.
OSU fan here. Serious question: At what point does Hoke get blamed for your inconsistencies on offense in addition to the blame everyone on this board puts on Borges?
Obviously Borges was brought in to call the plays. Hoke, more than most coaches, seems to be completely hands-off in that department (doesn't even wear a headset during the game). At what point is it on Hoke for not stepping in and overruling Borges during the game on some play calls or for not getting more involved during the week in practice when the offensive gameplan is being created?
A specific follow-up question is: From what you guys know as fans of UM, is it ultimately Hoke's call as to personnel decisions on offense or does he defer that decision-making to Borges as well? In other words, was it Hoke who ultimately decided to move DG to WR and Bellomy to 2nd string behind Denard? Was it Hoke who ultimately decided to move DG back to QB and Denard to a non-QB role?
Thanks in advance for your knowledgeable responses.
Borges I give him one more year. His second half game plan yesterday was the absolute worst I have ever seen. I'm being critical on him but I'm not coming for his head or anything. I just think we give him one more year and then determine if he is good for our program.
you tell me Borges has been terrible for 2 years but your still not ready to get rid of him... how many years of terrible does one need? I am shocked at the number of people who insist on paiting an 8-4 season in a medioce conference as a "good season"
Here's my reason for not dumping borges:
First, look at most of the better offenses in cfb. What do they have in common? Ok, talent. Bit what else? Consistency of coaches. We all know by now the results of flipping D coordinators under rr. Coaching changes have their costs so if we can avoid it, we should.
Second, it is hard to judge Borges until he has a chance to implement his system and under his types of players. From this year and last, all we can say is that Borges is crappy at coaching the spread and coaching players that don't fit a pro-style system. But, these seasons are no indication of how he will perform with pro-style players playing in a pro offense.
Our 2011 offense averaged 33 ppg and scored more points on OSU than any team since Fritz Crisler's era. That was far from a terrible offense.
This year's wasn't as good overall, but still, to average 30 ppg given the significant injuries is not that bad. We had some bad individual games, and the OL did not develop like we were hoping, but all is not lost.
not having devin ready in lincoln when " whole season depended on it"
offense that could not score any TDs nebraska/ND/msu
offense shut out in second half of ohio game
is hoke the mirror image of RR?
RR thought defense was something the other team had that he coached against. hoke thinks offense is something borges does that he watches.
Can we have a head coach that is involved with offense, defense and special teams?
I have been a huge Hoke supporter, but I don't like his lack of involvement in the o. He has said repeatedly that he speaks to Borges once per week to go over the game plan. Given that the offense is where we have struggled, I am disappointed that he has not taken on more of a role there. The whole "I'm a defensive line coach" thing is great, but he isn't just a DL coach.
Does it really take Hoke, Mattison and Montgomery to coach 4 DL? I'm glad the DL is a priority for this staff as it can neutralize an opponent if played at a superior level. Montgomery is regarded as a fine position coach with potential for DC/HC. He has 2 Sr, 1 RJr and 1 So starting - not a greenhorn group.
Meanwhile, we have lapses on offense while Borges gameplans, coaches QBs by himself and calls all the plays. Grad Assis help is always a big factor. The scheme and play calling need more input, based on the observed results.
Maybe Borges has too much on his plate?
That added a bunch to the discussion.
You must have a lot of time to have gone into a thread that you have no interest in, and to then take the time to post that you don't care.
I want to see what Borges puts together for the bowl game. This will be a good game to evaluate him on. He has a whole month to prepare for it. The whole game needs to be put under a microscope. I dont care if its not his playets. You coach what you have and you put people in the right positions to be most successful. Win or lose the game plan must be flawless. Hoke better have good clock management. Borges must pass this test before he gets another year. As for recruiting elite offensive players, Borges isnt helping it out any.
First, Borges is not getting fired after this season, regardless of the outcome of the bowl.
Second, I am not sure how indicative the bowl will be of next year. Many coordinators ate great in bowls with a month to prepare, whereas they are less great on only one week's prep.
Third, he is still going to be coaching players in the bowl who lack real talent (OL, RB,WR, TE) and who do not fit his system. We can't evaluate him properly until we see what he can do with some 6'1" receivers, a quality thumping back and a decent OL.
every poster that is not part of the cool aid drinking, everyone gets a medal, be proud of losing 4 games crowd?
It's not the X's and O's, it's the Jimmys and Joes
Hoke has recruited zero elite athletes at the skill positions. Hoke has put together solid classes but is seriously laking game changing athletes.
And I get it, Hoke recruited Morris.
I love hoke and everything that he has done. And I agree with him that the game is won in the trenches. A great OL can make an average qb and rb look very good. But, to be really great you need elite talent at other positions, as well. we are in a conference with Ohio, which also gets great line men. To regularly beat them, aside from great lines and defense, we will need to have top WR and rb talent, as well. In particular with rb, a great rb can put a team on his back to march down field.
I want the skill guys too, and I think they will come (or maybe some are here - are we writing off Darboh and Chesson already?). But what we really, really need are linemen, and this staff is loading up on them. Have you noticed how Iowa keeps plugging in walk-ons and whatnot at tailback after all the injuries and still has a functional running game? That comes from having a good OL.
Maybe it didnt come out right but what im trying to say is on evaluating Borges its not about the win or lose its whether we can say after the game, "Borges did a good job calling the game and most of us could agree that the best talent is on the field at their best positions. Like not running Denard up the middle with a terrible oline or leaving Devin Gardner off the field when Denard is on the field. The beauty of 3rdthe down and short is having the option of passing or running which makes it so unpredictable so lets not put denard in there on 3rd and short and expect to fool the defense. If Borges REALLY thinks that he is fooling the defense then we got major issues.
My voice is still recovering from screaming at Borges in the second half, but:
1. The total score of the last two Michigan/ohio games is 61-60 in our favor.
2. 21 points is the most points UM has put on the board in Coumbus since 06.
3. Besides 2006, our total points in Columbus since 02 have been 9, 21, 7 and 7, so this was our second highest point total during our winless streak in Columbus.
4. From 2007 to 2010, Michigan's grand total against ohio was 27 points (including 3 points at home in 07 and 10 points at home in 09).
I know there are arguments that this is not a great Buckeye defense and neither was last year's (but both also are not horrible and still have some quality athletes) and that some of those offensive totals were the result of Henne/Hart being hurt and Rich Rod square-pegging Threet/Sheridan into a round hole. However, you have to give some credit to 21 points on the road with an offensive line that is far from dominant (not to mention the turnovers). The offense is not horribly coached, but the playcalling in the second half needed to be better yesterday.
Am I still pissed at Borges? Yes. Does he deserve some credit for our increased scoring against ohio? Yes. Is he the offensive equivalent of Greg Mattison? No. Can he get the job done next year and beyond? TBD.
I see bad decisions being made by Borges when it comes to play calling. There are a lot of plays you could run in different scenarios but there are plays you DO NOT run in certain scenarios. If you run a lot of the bad plays all the time then you have someone that cannot lead an offense.