So, much has been made about Brian "the God" Kelly and his coaching abilities, which has led many to consider him the "Best Damn Coach in the Land" (couldn't resist, sorry). While i have been utterly impressed as many of you have by Mr. Kelly, i have also noticed he has not always been a dominant coach in his career.
In particular, what i'd like to focus on is on BKelly's performance at CMU (19-16, 54% win%), where he barely maintained a winning record over the 3 years he was there. In fact, the current coach at CMU, over a similar 3 year span, has amassed a better win% than BKelly ever accomplished [CMU 8-6 (2007), 8-5 (2008), 9-2 (2009 to date) = 25-13 (66% win%)].
I would argue that at the end of 2006, it would of been difficult to make the argument that BKelly would perform as well as he has at Cincy. In fact, it can be argued that back in 2006, BKelly was a mediocre coach not cut for coaching at a bigger conference (coming from the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to the MAC).
Obviously, those who saw something in Kelly new better and provided him the opportunity to perform at a bigger stage in the Big East, where he has excelled. The point here is that even good coaches have droughts, and there are many reasons for why those droughts occur, some of which are invisible to the lay person's eye. As a social psychologist i know many reasons for why the first instinct is to point fingers at what is observable (coach and players) and thus perceived as responsible for any change in W-L records even though situational factors (recruiting, lack of depth, etc) can drive much of what is actually happening (thank you Misopogon). So while we continue to ponder what lays ahead for our Wolverines, lets continue to keep in check our tendency to make the fundamental attribution error.
Brian Kelly, 19 yrs head coach - Total W-L Record: 169-57 (75% win%)
Grand Valley State: 118-35 (77% win%)
Central Michigan: 19-16 (54% win%)
Cincinnati: 32-6 (84% win% thus far)