Sorry, too long of a post to comment...other than this comment.
A Unified Theory of Al Borges (and the offense)
take your pea-brain and GTFO
You're mighty tough.
seven paragraphs and some bullet points are just too damned hard to digest. We have come to this at mgoblog.
Clearly not too hard, just don't have the patience to read long posts like these.
But you felt the need to share your short attention span with the rest of us.
One of the best thread posts on here in a long time. Interesting, well-thought out, insightful. Kept me fully captivated the whole time. I think I like his version of mgoblog better than yours.
And I agree, OP. The coaches have decided to run manball down our throats until we get it, not the defense's, even daring them to stop it, just to challenge out players in the "gimmee" games. That's why the only game we didn't do it was against ND. I'm beginning to think you may be right.
But don't you think they would have told Lewan to go pro last year if they wanted to do this?
Yes Lewan didn't come back to help the team practice!
I think they want Lewan here to show the younger guys the ropes and also as a motivator/leader.
I think they want him here because he's a f'king All American player at tackle. They aren't "keeping him around" for inspiration; he's the best linemen they have by a country mile. You don't tell those guys to go to the pro or return just to inspire a bunch of kids who probably won't ever be as good as him.
of course, that, too. But they're not going to tell him, "Taylor, next year we are going to be phasing in a new scheme and we're going to be using our games as "extra practice time" so we think we'll lose more games next year. If you want to win a B10 championship, that's probably not going to happen, so go pro."
The problem is that the 'Dumb Borges' personality has been dominant for three seasons, this isn't the first time that its appeared. 'Smart Borges' has only ever really come out against ND.
No. You are overthinking it. Year three should be year three. Borges has shown me nothing in three years. The offense still has no identity.
I don't buy your "smart Borges" theory. Borges had all game to do what you're saying. He only "sacrificed a win" by continuing to do it late in the 4th and in OT. It makes a lot more sense to assume that Borges is simply terrified of Devin Gardner and wants to avoid turnovers at all costs, to the detriment of everything else.
Putting aside the shitty playcalls and Borge's murky 3-year record.... in the game immediately after akron and uconn, isn't it completely justified to be afraid of DG?
wasn't the game immediately following akron and uconn the minn game? with zero turnovers?
It makes a lot more sense to assume that Borges is simply terrified of Devin Gardner and wants to avoid turnovers at all costs, to the detriment of everything else.
This, and also a lot of faith in Gibbons.
Something else to add to the Smart Borges theory: I don't there's any reason to believe that the spread --> manball transition should be especially easier than the manball --> spread transition. Some extra complexity to the spread, perhaps. However, you're still trying to get your players to do new things and approach the game differently.
I think there's a lot of merit to the idea that Hoke and his staff saw Rich Rod try the rip-the-band-aid-off approach and decided it wasn't conducive to their longevity. So they're taking the change a lot slower. Which in turn puts Year 3 a little behind what it might have been, but the fanbase doesn't immediately revolt either.
but Borges is making this team far worse than could/should be...your theories are just that: theories...and unlike gravity, Borges hasn't done jack-shit to prove that his "Smart Borges" gameplans work worth a dam against even mediocre defenses
It's a hypothesis, at best. One that I don't agree with, btw.
you are very correct
I'm with Herm Edwards on this one. You play. To win. The game. (not just The Game)
There are only three things you need to know about Borges offense:
First, he blatantly tips what he is about to do by alignment and/or personnel, allowing opponents to adjust their defense against it by overplaying it.
Second, he has no counter to react against the overplay.
Third, he will not take what the defense is willing to concede.
That is a recipe for a clusterfuck.
This is the best summary I've seen of the problems with the Borges offense. Although the bubble screen thing is been talked about ad nauseum, the fact is we are absolutely terrible at getting the ball in the hands of Gallon, or Toussaint, in the open field where they can make plays.
I still don't know how you throw a screen out to Gallon, he gets 13 yards, and you never touch that play again. Yet, you run Toussaint 27 times for essentially nothing. Also, where the heck are the RB screens in this offense? That was a bread and butter play for UM for years, an easy completion for your QB, and gets your running back the ball without a brick wall to run through.
and we probably get a big gain out of it. You're right; it used to be a bread and butter play for us.
as Brian said in the podcast, "all of these things are because that way of playing football makes you a pussy."
This one is awesome.
I literally LOL'ed at this as my students were working during class. Well done.
Don't you think WINNING would be the ultimate key to "long-term success"?
You win more games, you recruit better, you slowly impliment your system...etc etc
Sacrificing wins makes no sense. Pound the rock in spring and fall camp....if you're not going to be successful "revert" back to a different approach.
I am really sick of hearing about the running backs going 27 attempts for 27 yards. That was just Toussaint.
Green had 3 carries for 1 yard, so the running backs actually had 30 attempts for 28 yards.
So yeah, we had that going for us.
Ah, I'm soaking in the irony that the OP will most likely be the first head coach fired in the NFL this year.
We'll keep the "Should He Stay Or Should He Go?" thread below, and this thread for other observations, but I am thinking that might be the cap on Borges threads. I don't see where people are doing much more than venting or speculating at this point, and we don't need endless threads for it.
I'd buy the "smart Borges theory" if we were spending the game grinding out 2-3 yards a carry from iso, power, and other man-blocked interior runs. That's what predictability in the name of maximizing game reps for our future identity would look like.
But we aren't - we added a lot of new stuff (zone stretch, pistol, "tackle over") that doesn't directly apply to the BIG TEHN POWAH MANBALLLLL model. Why do that, unless you're flailing to find an identity that you've yet to nail down?
Did you already forget GERG? I'm sure if you search, there is a "Smart Gerg" theory somewhere on MGoBlog.
The problems with your theory are:
1) Hoke and every single player talk about winning the B1G Championship.
2) Do you think Lewan came back to basically be a practice helper or to win every game?
3) Fitz is not a manball type RB (and can't passblock, IMO), but he could be successful in a spread scheme (see 2 years ago).
4) Lining up Lewan and Schofield does not have anything to do about next year, as both kids are gone and Michigan won't have 2 Sr. NFL players on the line at the same time to replicate this.
As beaten to death on this board, the offensive creativity inclusive of 1) allowing for and encouraging audibles at the line 2) 1st down play selection and 3) tempo are all not there which is minimizing your basic advantage as the offense to control the content of the game.
Is people claiming that Borges isn't even trying to call plays or form a game plan to win the game. You can disagree with what he does, that's opinion, that's fine. There is a defense for it, more than most will admit, but it's fine to have an opinion. Complaining about play calls or not having types of plays, understandable, sometimes misguided on some things, but understandable.
Claiming the guy isn't trying his best to win. Claiming he's throwing in the towel like he doesn't care, like he's not competitive, like he's a guy that isn't invested in the outcome. Give me a break. Don't act like the guy doesn't care about his job, don't go that road. Don't act like he's not gameplanning every game to win. Because it's idiotic and demeaning. No one gets to this level if they feel that way about coaching, absolutely no one. It's not just insulting to Borges, it's insulting to other coaches that are trying or have tried to make a living being a coach. I take it as a personal insult when people say that, because it becomes an indirect shot at me, whether you believe that or not.
EDIT: this isn't really directed at the OP, but some of the comments and what is being said between the lines in a lot of these comments and posts.
It's not that Borges doesn't want to win. It's that he prioritizes the gameplan over offensive productivity. It's not that he doesn't want to win--obviously he does. It's that he wants to run a certain gameplan and wants that to be the way that we win.
I know you've called people out for cherrypicking examples that fit the Borges hate theme, but whatever, I'm gonna do it again:
It was 3rd and 1 in the fourth quarter, I forget the exact position on the field and time remaining, but yeah, 3rd and 1. We've already had a whole game's worth of sample size to determine what has and has not worked in the game. What has worked? Devin running from pistol, and the passing game is moderately improved. What hasn't worked? Running from I-form up the gut.
Now, a coach that prioritizes winning over gameplan will choose the play that is most likely to succeed. He would choose literally any play other than a run from I-form up the gut. Or else...that coach is...bad.
A coach that wants to win by following the gameplan? It's the only way he chooses to run from the I-form up the gut. And, as we all remember, that's what Borges chose. And, predictably, it failed.
So to me, you really have to hope that Borges is stubborn and wants to follow the gameplan. Or else, you pretty much just have to conclude that he is a bad coach.
And I respect this idea, don't get me wrong. I've talked about it with Meyer against Northwestern a bit. Sometimes you have to take what the defense is giving and sometimes you have take what you want. Sometimes Meyer goes too far one way and I agree that sometimes Borges goes too far the other. But I don't think it's as simple as you're making it out to be.
I dunno man, the "execution is the only big problem" was much easier to swallow after OSU 2012 and Akron.
But 30 RB carries for 28 yards... Yeesh.
It's just certainly the biggest in my mind.
throughout a game does the execution have to be that much of a problem before the coach says, "We have to execute something else." Shouldn't it filter through to a coach's expectations of success during a game? That would put some responsibility back on the coaches, unless our team/players/youth really is that bad we're without in-game options, and have nothing to do but try the game plan again and find a different player the next week if it doesn't work.
As to your statements above, of course Borges is trying to win. I did get the distinct impression that he was using Akron and then UConn to give our players time to test their manball and see if they could manhandle weaker opponents with it. What surprised me is we kept forcing it in later games when it wasn't working.
"Claiming the guy isn't trying his best to win. Claiming he's throwing in the towel like he doesn't care, like he's not competitive, like he's a guy that isn't invested in the outcome. Give me a break. Don't act like the guy doesn't care about his job, don't go that road. Don't act like he's not gameplanning every game to win."
I agree, and I think it falls under the rubric of Hanlon's Razor -
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
While I love the optimism...haven't we seen Al get more experimental with lesser competition? Like CMU this year, we opened up in shotgun and ran no-huddle. If they wanted to experiment wouldn't that be a better environmet to do so with less risk involved?
Can't we talk about UNIFORMZ already?
When the OC cannot trust the Qb to execute the scheme neither Smart Borges or Dumb Borges would apply. It's the difference between Newtonian and Quantum Physics where Newtonian Physics breaks down.
As long as the Qb is auditioning for a role in Turnover Santa:The Movie neither theory of Borges works. Manning camp would seem to be one of the biggest wastes of time and money there is IMHO.
Devin Gardner isn't the answer at QB. It's tough to call a game with a QB that can't read defenses and makes bad mistakes. The kid has played some games now, went through Spring, training with QB coaches and has played in 6 games this year and it's the same thing over and over.
This is just a shit sandwich period.
Next year I have no idea what they do. They bring in any QB guru and or an OC, I don't think you will see a change in Gardner. Great athlete, below average QB with a horrible passing motion. Also the kid might have his degree and all but it doesn't look like he has much of a football IQ. Coaches are to blame but Devin could have called a timeout just as easy as anyone else out there late in the game.
It's a complete mess, maybe they wait and see what if anything Borges can do with Shane. That's they type of kid they have wanted all along. Sucks that we'll have to go through a shit 2014 and find out in 2015 but that's what is going to happen I think.
My question to those asking why don't we do what we're good at is: what the fuck are we good at??? Borges has extremely limited options when the Line of scrimmage gets pushed 2 yards into our backfield on every run and pass play. The man can't set up any part of his game plan because phase one is always fucked from the start! Everyone accepts that the Oline is awful but proceeds to refuse excusing any smidgen of culpability from Borges. I don't care what offense you run, when the OL is playing this badly, you're not going to be successful.
Throw it up to Funchess a la Hemingway 2011. Although actually I think Devin is a pretty good pressure and a lot of the mistakes result from the pressure he has to face every single play. Throw the ball to your weapons/playmakers/whatever term you want to use (Gallon, Funchess, and Dileo) and see what happens. The front sevens of our opposition get tougher from here including games I know all of us dearly want to win (MSU and OSU).
Basically, we have tried to make Manball (pounding it up the gut and blowing the opposition off the line) the centerpiece of our offense and it has failed. Miserably.
We need to try something different and the reason people keep talking about it is because there may still yet be time to do a minor course correction. Don't eliminate Manball but invert it with the throws to the outside like our guys said on the Podcast.
Just please Borges don't be stubborn running our RB futilely into the backs of our Oline when they are solutions that can be implemented right now.
the o-line obviously is the main concern. but what is borges doing to mitigate this problem? run it up the gut 25-30 times; the main weakness of the offense. wouldn't a better philosophy to hit quick passing routes? this would mitigate the pass protection issues and get DG more into a passing flow. then, if the D starts playing their CBs close to the line, you can counter with fly patterns to funchess or gallon. or if the D starts dedicating their safeties to defend the pass, you can use fitz at that time. it's not a new phenominon to set up the run via the pass. it really isn't rocket science.
Borges coached some very good offenses. I mean explosive, efficient ones with a lot of balance in passing and running at Portland St., Boise St., Oregon, UCLA and Auburn. What's happening now seems uncharacteristic, like he's playing scared and overconservative.
There are a lot of things that Borges seems to be holding off on, like the short passing game involving real TEs, screens to RBs, that used to be really hard to defense at UCLA (Skip Hicks, De'Shaun Foster)
Raming guys like Vincent Smith and Toussaint into the line of 8 or 9 just seems very unlike Borges.
Run shotgun, roll out the quarterback, attack the edges with screens and option, anything to GTFO of the way of the DL that is overpursuing and killing your inside.
Just once I'd like to see a fucking center screen pass with all these opposing DLs crashing in.
unlike in physics where the macro/cosmological laws of physics seem opposed to micro/atomic laws, thus necessitating two theories that are not unified, that is not the case in football.
Learning on the field is not exclusive to winning games and in the PSU loss, as well as the Akron/Uconn 'almost losses', we should have been able to run an offense effective enough to get ahead by a comfortable margin, then if there is a learning mode to switch into....do it then. No coach is going to sacrifice wins one year for potential wins next year....
There is no such thing as "Smart Borges", because smart OCs call plays that win you games. This isn't the NFL where you know you'll have Drew Brees or Adrian Peterson in your backfield for 4-5 years, or Calvin Johnson deep and Orlando Pace as your tackle. You can build an "identity" for your team as much as you want, but the goal must always remain to win with the talent in front of you because you constantly have to replenish it, especially at key positions. Borges sticking his head in the sand and dreaming of an NFL offensive line and two first-round RBs and an accurate QB throwing to pro-style WRs isn't an offensive philosophy; it's stupidity. I know Brian and co. will point to games where Borges called a "great" game, and I'll counter that even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once and a while. He's never been my pick for OC, and along with Funk I question if either of them should be in these capacities come next season.
I'm not sure comparing theories on Al Borges to 9/11 is really in the best taste.
If the ChiTown banning extravaganza proved anything, it's that several of our fearless leaders have absolutely no sense of what is or isn't in bad taste.
I can see some "manball" practice, but 27 times in a game that looked to be close from early on doesn't seem to make sense. "Practice" during games to set up long term success would be okay, but only on a limited basis until the game is in hand.
I very much like this theory, and giving the coaches some credit in general. Regarding important games, I would throw in ND, which would seem to be a datapoint in Borges's favor.
Now, for the tackle-over stuff, I think it makes a lot of sense to deploy it for the two-game Minny/Penn St. stretch. Its a totally sensible gameplan against Penn St. in particular who are thin at the linebacker position. However, it would very much be a datapoint against the coaching if we continued to see it this year.
I think another factor behind running non-optimal plays partway through the season is that we want to hide plays from Michigan St. and Ohio. Make them prep for weird stuff, and then throw something completely new that they haven't seen. There are only so many times we can reinvent the offense during the season, and it makes sense to try to have some stuff off-film going into those games.
For example, it would make a lot of sense to me see this team turn into a short passing team that utilizes the strengths of Gallon, Dileo and Norfleet in those games. But if that (or some other direction) is coming in the future, we don't want it on film yet, so it should stay in the barn against inferior opposition. Furthermore, if that is the plan, then you don't want to be throwing lots of bubbles, because you don't want to see press coverage on every play.
some of you like to forget that Borges called some pretty good games here, too. "Smart Borges doesn't exist!" is an insult to Borges as a coach of football. Obviously it does. OSU 2011...Nebraska 2011...South Carolina 2012...ND 2013...those were pretty good games on offense against good competition. He's had other good games, but apparently he doesn't get any credit for UTL I even though people bring up last year's Nebraska debacle as if it's OK to ding Borges on the fact that Denard got injured and Bellomy was the backup at the time. And I guess it's OK to completely ignore that Borges did pretty well thrusting Devin in at QB midway through the season. The OSU game last year was a debacle on offense in the 2nd half, but people so soon forget that Brian was praising Borges in week 2 this year/
That, to me, is where the GERG comparison breaks down. When did GERG ever call a good game defensively at Michigan? Ever?
Every game better be a good game or you need to be replaced. I can't stand hearing this "He's called some good games" crap. What would you say if you were in the hospital and your doctor misdiagnosed a routine problem you and you died. Then in court his defense is I've made some good diagnoses during my career just not that day. you wouldn't be satisfied with that and his ass would lose the lawsuit.
Borges has clearly underperformed here. This is Michigan and there is not room for his "bad games."
He is not getting it done.
"Maverick, that was some of the best flying I've seen yet.... Right up to the point where you got killed."
To borrow (steal?) the movie's next line (spoken by Iceman in his pre-fat days):
"Al, it's not your play calling, it's your attitude. The opposing defenses are dangerous, but right now, you're more dangerous. Dangerous and foolish. You may not like all of the fans complaining about you, they may not like you, but whose side are you on?"
Surely you must mean Borges - Smart Theory ....
or BS Theory for short!
I am amused by the fact that this site treats Schembechler as a god and crucifies Borges. Al Borges is a far more creative coach than Schembechler or any of his assistants were back in the day. The tradition of Michigan is to run into a 7 or 8 or 9 man front, take your lumps early and wear down the opposition. I spent many a Saturday in my youth watching far less creative efforts than that versus PSU last Saturday. It always caught up to Schembechler at some point in the season.
Yep. Football today is just like the 70's and 80's.
My theory is simple:
Offense goal is to score as many points as possible.
Defense goal is to prevent the opponent from scoring as much as possible.
Special teams goal is to give the offense the best field position as possible.
Turnovers are implicit to all three conditions. Offense is the only facet of our game that is not using this theory. They are not playing to maximize points. Quite frankly I don't know what they are playing for.
does not mean what you think it means.
You play to win the game!
We can talk smart Borges or Dumb Borges all day.
Some people have pointed out that he has called some really good games and we have all witnessed some really bad games.
We are a major college program. I don't understand how we can have about as many bad game calls as good game calls. He makes alot of money at Michigan. I would understand a few times that he would make some calls that didn't fit what all of us would want, but to have that many is just really hard to handle.
"He makes alot of money at Michigan."
"Borges -- who is in his second year on Brady Hoke's Wolverine staff -- is the highest-paid offensive coordinator in the Big Ten, and the third-highest in the country."
Does ANYONE think Al Borges is the best OC in the B1G? Third best in all of college football?
I've followed UM for 35 years and I do not mince when I say Al Borges is probably tied with Purdue's and Illinois' offensive coordinators for last place in the BIG, and probably near 100th on the D1 list. He must go come year end.
Why not? At Ohio State, Urban calls the plays, not OC Tom Herman (the same kind of arrangement Rich Rod had with Calvin Magee), so there's no reason why Herman should be paid more than Borges. Outside of Ohio State, which other school in the Big Ten should have a higher-paid coordinator? Nebraska's OC Tim Beck doesn't have anywhere near as impressive a resume as Al Borges does. At Penn State, Bill O'Brien calls the plays and doesn't even have a dedicated offensive coordinator. Wisconsin couldn't run a two-minute offense with an entire quarter at its disposal, so there's no way their OC Andy Ludwig should be making more than Borges. Iowa is coached by Kirk Ferentz, who gets off on punting. Northwestern has a good offense, but do you really expect a school like Northwestern to break the bank on paying its offensive coordinator? So who else is there? Hoke has never been a coordinator before, which is why he delegates so much responsibility to his coordinators. That's why they're so highly paid.
You've just presented a number of explnantions for WHY Borges is paid more, even though he isn't deserving.
I was more interested in actual justification for his pay.
How is your theory in anyway consistent with Hoke's often stated overriding philosophy that the be all and end all is BIG championships, and all else is failure?
Bullet point number two of "Smart Borges," if true would be the most damningly myopic and wilfully ignorant of all.
There are many ways to skin a cat, and Borges chooses to attempt it with glue and more fur.
I dont care about a theory...I just want to fucking win
There is no fucking way Borges, Hoke and Co had a strategy meeting and decided this approach. The goal is to win now and develop for the future. To win B1G Championships.
Al is a guy that develops his plan for each game, scripts out plays and when it works he looks like a genius... But when it doesn't he has shown 0 ability to adjust because he is either incapable or too stubborn to deviate from his plan.
Bro, you're like a guy mincing between the brand of two or three tires in a mile high tire fire. Singling out Borges' playcalling is just the tip of it. What about the fact that in three years, he has yet to install one successful element of his pro-style game?
QB pocket passer - Derp
RB running load - Derp
Mauling offensive line - Derp
Mauling tight ends - Derp
Over the top receivers - Derp
What has been the only thing to keep Michigan in games against, wait for it, mighty Akron, UCONN and half-scholarship PSU that got blasted by mighty Indiana? A mobile QB, oh yeah, the quality Borges is recruiting AWAY from.
The man is an utter failure in every facet of his job, from play calls, to coaching up QBs, to offensive line play, to things as fundamental as getting plays in with time enough for check downs, and even the check dows are woeful the few times they happen.
He is an utter failure. He must go at the end of this year, and I expect the imminent losses to MSU, NW and Ohio will hopefully sway Hoke to make the change.
All of your criticisms of things Borges has not yet developed have a 4-5 year lead time. How can those personnel recruiting issues be his fault right now? The players of the first full Hoke recruiting class are now redshirt freshman
Because Borges has never called a terrible game against a rival..... except half the time aka every tough road game. People say throwing bubble screens wouldn't fix things, but if Al gave Devin a check for the bubble or even the quick screen, it would make what Al wants to do easier. Al is dumb. Brady may be dumb. I'm sick of this team underachieving, especially offensively.
I think the original points by the OP are insightful. However, even if this year can be viewed like a "Year One" building process to fully establish the power manball game moving forward, it still doesn't change some very obvious in game calls he should have made. See the picture that has been shown around everywhere of the first drive in OT when they have 9-10 in the box and a bubble screen/short out was not thrown. Power running into the box at that point is not just establishing an identity when it matters most to win a game, it is just stubborn. First and foremost should always be the motivation to run the play to help get the win
"perhaps the coaches are willing to sacrifice some wins this year to be better in the long run. "
Doubtful. In the words of the great Al Davis, "just win baby". Coaches want to win. They want to win now. Because if they don't, fans go crazy and they get fired.
"Am I a rube for thinking that Smart Borges theory might be true?"
yes. 27 runs 27 yards
Coaches never sacrifice wins for anything. Win now and keep your job. Win less and update the résumé.
I sort of agree because of the fact that we looked so good versus ND and the fact that we followed a similar pattern last year and showed a few great games against higher level opponents. So, it wouldn't surprise me that we are purposefully being predictable because we are trying to instill principles and work on what needs work and only change/adapt when the game is on the line and/or neccessary...hence the difference between the first and second halves at PSU. But, the problem with this theory is that next year will be better. Why will next year be any better? Our o-line will be worse by my account. Granted the interior line will be a year older and more experienced, but we replace our only two capable players on the line...our tackles with more young/inexperienced guys. Next year's o-line will be even worse IMO. Hopefully Gardner's development will improve, Funchess will still be Funchess, Darboh is back and adaquately replaces Gallon, Butt develops, and either Chesson develops or Harris is ready in year one. It makes sense that a guy the recruiting calaber of Green should be good in his second year. The defense should continue to slowly trend upwards, especially with Ryan healthy, Peppers arriving, hopefully Pipkins healthy, and another year for our young guys. But, man the o-line next year looks bad. Until the 2013 o-line class is in year three (2015) man ball simply won't work.
nope. don't buy it.
Let's start at the top. Does anyone think that Dave Brandon is a savvy athletic director, capable of competing with more experienced ADs at big time schools? He has no prior experience whatsoever as an AD. He's a marketing guy. He was in the coupon business and later the pizza business.
Zero professional career in athletics until taking over one of the most prominent AD jobs in the country. Zero experience. I don't know about you, but I want a CEO job that pays a million a year and requires no prior experience in the field!
A pizza mogul wasn't exactly what I was hoping for in an AD for my university.
Does anyone really think that his hire of Brady Hoke was as strong a hire as the one made in Columbus?
The OSU AD appointed a temporary guy, while he waited for Meyer to be available. That was smart. Yes, they lost a few games in 2011, but look what they gained!
What did Brandon do? Instead of giving RR another year, so he could find a great hire, he rushed into taking an unproven guy who was available and loved the school. Look, I really, really like Brady Hoke, the person. But does anyone who is not sipping Blue kool-aid truly think that Hoke will be as successful as Meyer?
How long did OSU have to wait for Meyer to build his program? Two years? Three? No. They went undefeated in year one, and they still haven't been beaten. To think that we are going to beat them this year is at best wishful thinking.
In Hoke's third year, we have a team struggling to get one freaking yard on a run play for an entire game. One yard per play? Come on. Smart Borges? Dumb Borges? How about Living in Dreamland Borges?
Michigan almost lost to Akron. Michigan almost lost to UConn. Michigan lost to a depleted PSU squad. The away record for all three years is poor.
I love Hoke. I want to see him remain in coaching. Just not here.
I can't stand Dave Brandon. But no one's going to remove him until he wants to retire. So we have what we have. Brandon's tied to Hoke.
Michigan keeps hiring former businessmen because putting up buildings is what the University does. Raising money is what the University does.
Playing great football is what the University used to do.
Hoke is not ever going to replace one of his guys.
This is a great comment and also extremely depressing.
I'm sad about it, too, mostly for the kids on the squad who are very talented, and at least on the offensive side of the ball, may not reach their potential.
Look at Wisconsin's continued success since Alvarez was appointed AD there, not only on the football field, but in other sports. And they haven't missed a beat changing coaches twice! He's an excellent athletic director, and was a proven commodity when he was promoted. And that school was perhaps the worst football program in the B1G before he coached there.
Louisville (!) has great success with their programs.Tom Jurich had success as an AD at two smaller schools. He was a proven athletics director, and is quite savvy. Michigan hasn't had a guy like that since Canham, and I say that since Bo didn't last very long as an AD. He simply wasn't built for that job.
Gene Smith was the AD at three schools before going to OSU. He knew the game when he started.
Dave Brandon stepped into our program as a completely untrained rookie. His idea of an athletics program is that of a salesman. Why did he get the job? Well, for one thing, he was instrumental in hiring the University's president as a Regent. He raises money. His job was a reward, not a forward-thinking move to bolster the University's athletics programs.
I'm sorry to say it, but if you want to know why our program hasn't been up to the levels of OSU and some of the other elite programs, you have your answer.
OSU didn't hire a temporary guy waiting for anyone. They did because of how late THE SCANDAL broke and who would be available at the time. That you're crediting an AD for overseeing a scandal and having to replace their highly successful coach because of it is kind of mind-boggling. The fact that they lucked into one of the two best coaches getting out of Dodge for nebulous reasons and then coming out of "health-mandated" retirement after only one year (who also happened to have big state ties) wasn't some master plan as much as happenstance.
The fact that he went undefeated has a lot to do with being a good coach. It also has a lot to do with having more talent than anyone else in a really bad conference. There was no building to be done. They had one bad year when the program was in complete turmoil, and then bounced back to right where they were before. If anything, if the team was really that good you should have great confidence in Hoke because they almost beat that great team down in their place.
And would you really want Meyer, and all his player arrest and other shady baggage? Because if you do, you're only really a fan of wins and loses, and not the Michigan Program.
You're underestimating what goes on behind the scenes to get a guy like Meyer.
Funny thing is, I'm not seeing a lot of "shady baggage" with Meyer at OSU, any more than any other Big Ten program. We've had plenty of players arrested for a variety of misdeeds in recent years.
Yes, I'd be happy to have Urbz as a coach here, but that's not going to happen, so it's rather a moot point. What I'd like to see is an elite coach on his level.
Do you think Hoke is elite on that level?
I'm a Michigan alum, married a Michigan alum, have contributed to the school, and have had my children graduate from the University. I also guest lecture at the University.
I'm in a far better position to judge for myself how I feel about Michigan and it's athletic programs than you are.
Don't presume to tell me what I am, or am not, a fan of.
But he has a track record at Florida that you'd be ignoring, and that was when you'd be hiring him. And I think people who really value Michigan's program value doing things the right way and not just hiring the best mercenary for the job.
Do I think Hoke is on a level where the only other coach probably better than him is Saban? No. But if you aren't getting Meyer or Saban, who are you hiring that's on that level? Jim Harbaugh isn't on that level yet, though he could have been/or will be. At least you're hiring a guy who still has a chance to come close to that, instead of a guy who's already proven he's not that.
And no, I don't think it's that difficult to get a guy looking to get back into coaching when you not only have one of a small handful of elite jobs, but also one of his dream jobs available. Was he going to wait two more years for jobs at Texas and USC to open up when he had no idea if those would be available any time soon rather than his one chance to coach his homestate team? Please. Behind the scene workings that would have been tough would have been Brandon getting him to agree to the job so soon after he "retired" like you wanted, because Meyer would have looked even more ridiculous.
Because as long as you run against bad numbers you won't be successful. Watch Alabama and LSU (this year). They don't run against 8 in the box. LSU did last year and the OC got replaced. Their offense is much better this year. How about calling plays that the team is capable of executing to build confidence in the young O-line? How about not giving the seniors a couple of losses they shouldn't have? If your theory is in fact correct Hoke should go along with fat Al and promote G-Matt to head coach.
I think Al is just a bad coach and that may be why he never had an elite job before. I don't consider Auburn elite. He also got canned there.
I buy that Borges and Hoke are trying to develop an offensive identity around a pro style offense, and I'm ok with that. And if he wants to get up two scores and then run power to develop the team, I'm OK with that.
But I can't buy that Borges risks winning games for extra power practice reps.
IMHO, the major possibilities are:
1) Borges has not developed the players to run the kind of plays Brian and Ace want to see, and now he doesn't have confidence that they can do it. (Unprepared Borges).
2) Borges knows something we don't, and accurately believes that our players are even WORSE at running the plays that Brian and Ace want. (Helpless Borges).
3) The team could run a short range passing attack in place of half the power runs, and would be successful, but Borges doesn't. (Dumb Borges).
4) Brian and Ace are wrong, and Borges is correct that you can't run a modern college football offense and win. (Smart Borges).
I'm comfortable ruling out (4), but am open to the other 3.