...what a fluke!
Winning the Sugar Bowl was the worst thing that ever happened to Michigan football
Is that you say it will be your last
Good riddance a-clown.
Can you go away too?
I didn't think it was that bad. Btw, if you're going to insult someone at least go all the way. Abbreviations are for pussies. See what I did there?
But the excitement is starting to wane and the ring is a long way from being paid off. I apologize to those of you who are happily married for the crude analogy.
I don't think anyone's saying that firing staff members will solve all our problems. But it's a good start.
Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio is making $1,959,744, which ranks 51st nationally and ninth among Big Ten football coaches in total compensation, according to USA TODAY Sports’ annual analysis of majorcollege football coaches pay. Dantonio could earn up to $650,000 more in bonuses. Michigan’s Brady Hoke is making $4,154,000 in total compensation this season and ranks eighth nationally. Hoke’s pay includes a $1.5 million retention bonus that he would earn if he’s the coach through Dec. 31.
Alabama’s Nick Saban is first with a total compensation of $5,545,852, followed by Mack Brown of Texas ($5,453,750) and former Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema of Arkansas ($5,158,863). Former Central Michigan coach Butch Jones of Tennessee is fourth at $4,860,000, followed by Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops ($4,773,167).
Ohio State’s Urban Meyer is sixth nationally and first in the Big Ten at $4,608,000. LSU’s Les Miles is seventh at $4,459,363, followed by Hoke and Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz ($3,985,000). Hoke, who made $3,046,120 in compensation last season and ranked third in the conference behind Meyer and Ferentz, also could earn up to $550,000 more in bonuses (starting with $85,000 for a bowl).
The other Big Ten coaches: Penn State’s Bill O'Brien (No. 14, $3,282,779), Nebraska’s Bo Pelini (No. 18, $2,975,000), Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald (No. 41, $2,221,153), Purdue’s Darrell Hazell (No. 43, $2,160,833), Wisconsin’s Gary Andersen (No. 47, $2,120,823), Illinois’ Tim Beckman (No. 60, $1,700,000), Indiana’s Kevin Wilson (No. 66, $1,291,220) and Minnesota’s Jerry Kill (No. 67, $1,200,000).
Are you tossing that out for a discussion on value for the money spent?
Dantonio is massively underpaid, at least relative to other conference coaches.
What Dantonio is lacking in money, he's given elsewhere. He's already been guaranteed a spot in the Athletic Department once he decides to stop coaching.
That's a lot of money for an inferior product. The only way the fan base has any real say is to force the hand of the AD by not buying anymore gear or attending the games. Once the money starts to dry up changes will be made.
That's the road I'm travelling. It's the only thing I can do to try and get Brandon's attention that this is unacceptable.
Whatever you think of DB, I think he cares enough about the product that he doesn't need empty seats to alert him to the weekly embarrassment. Do you think he's content to field a .500 team as long as sales don't drop off? I think the guy's got more pride than that.
Consider me part of the crowd that thinks the insistence of having a "Michigan Man" as head coach is dumb, but I am glad our AD was a player under Bo. I highly doubt DB is going to put up with this product for very long before demanding changes.
ever done to come off as anything other than a money grubber? Every act he has done ever seems like it was to maximize money.
If you want to take that angle...shitty team = not as much money.
Well firing RR immediately and retaining Beilein were pretty good choices from an athletics standpoint, I'd say.
That'll show 'em.
Oh wait, what you're actually doing is making the players suffer, and the program long term.
What you're saying is that with the money we spent on Hoke we could've spent on a higher quality coach (Dantonio, Anderson make less)?
This post is a pretty big refutation of how I thought the AD just did not want to spend money. Now I know what the problem is: they do throw money at the problem, just not very efficiently. Someone should go tell the kids their tuition is expensive because we spent millions on a bad coach.
Someone should go tell the kids their tuition is expensive because we spent millions on a bad coach.
That would be a lie, since the AD actually contributes to the school's general fund, not vice versa.
Right, so if they paid Hoke less they could have contributed more. So in fact it is not a lie.
It doesn't work that way. The amount the AD gives the general fund is fixed.
Our previous AD didn't want to spend money. Which is why RichRod didn't get Casteel. We now have some of the highest paid assistants in the B1G.
Even though Brandon has spent a butt-load of $$$ on coaching, there's still cash laying around for sky writers....
You should convert this comment into a thread so we can watch all the Negative Nancy's try to contribute scholarly to the overall conversation under false pretenses.
Kirk Ferentz. 'nuff said.
Name one of those teams.
Being Charlie Sheen or just plain old winning a game is never a bad thing, unless you're the Vikings.
Id have to say that season and game helped with recruiting but did set high expectations too soon for Hoke and co...i still think he is your answer. But truthfully you need a big time big name but none are really available right now.
So, because we changed coaches, we should temper our expectations for 4 years?
That's absurd. Wisconsin changed coaches this year and they are arguably a BETTER team.
Auburn changed coaches, has 3 underclass offensive line starters (Including Alex Kozan), and has a top 10 rushing offense in the nation.
It is not unrealistic to assume a program with the largest fanbase, the largest stadium, and top 5 in revenue could be able to compete for a Big Ten Title EVERY YEAR.
Expecting less is settling for less than we have the potential to be. To be anything except the best is unacceptable.
Need no more excuses. Get out of the mindset of recruiting and develop now
I don't really like how people say, "Oh, because we're Michigan and the tradition we should be good always". Nothing is guaranteed. Just because we are huge in terms of money and support does not mean that we would be the best. Just look at Stanford, Michigan State, and Baylor: three teams that are not traditional football powerhouses that are great a football.
Our success is not guaranteed and the failure of staee is not guaranteed either. Setting for less might end up having to be acceptable: Michigan might actually one day go the way of the Ivy Leagues: great academic school with minimal sport ability (except for basketball) that used to be amazing at football.
A program collapse is not impossible, nor is a return to elite inevitable. Just like every other program, to reach elite levels, effort must be put in. I'm convinced that winning isn't exactly #1 on Dave Brandon's list, however.
Theres a difference between tempering expectations and accepting this flaming tire fire of an offense.
I said nothing of tradition. I spoke of infrastructure. When you have the infrastructure that Michigan has, there are no excuses for not being a perennial top-15 team. You can attract the talent, you can pay the coaches.
I think that with long-term sucking (ever since the last year of the Carr era, we have been pretty mediocre by Michigan standards), the program can be ground down. With so much awfulness recruits are driven away, good coaches are not willing to come, and nobody really wants to watch the football games. Just ask Yale: they used to be pretty good back in the day.
There is a spiral of death that can happen to this program if the AD's are not on top of their games. To avoid it, like you said, we probably need a high-level coach.
Expectations might someday be lowered so far that our favorite sport becomes college basketball. Don't be too surprised if it happens. The infrastructure is not something that can withstand the beating it is taking now.
Let's not go overboard here. It was just two months ago that we beat ND under the lights in front of an all-time record crowd and electric atmosphere, with tons of recruits watching.
It sucks that we've lost three games, but it doesn't have to mean it's the end of the road for the program.
And did anyone see who made those two interceptions for Pitt?
Your post inspired me to find this article:
about how a 3-9 team changed the O Line coach and now feature a back avg'ing 102 yd/gm playing in the SEC with a very young offensive line (as has been mentioned in this thread).
Money quote: "No matter how many players Arkansas was putting in the box, it didn’t make a difference. Auburn’s line held — and more often than not, drove defenders clear out of the picture."
I don't know a ton about Auburn, but keep in mind, we won 11 games two years ago and rushed for a ton of yards, too. Whether they can keep it going longer than we did remains to be seen.
As for Wisconsin, they're the 3-time defending B1G champion so it's not really a fair comparison. Of course they're going to be good.
I do think that, under normal circumstances, Michigan should contend for the B1G title every year. But we're not yet under normal circumstances. The huge lack of upperclassmen at several positions illustrates this. Having just nine guys on the team left over from the 2010 class (originally 27) hurts. That's not to say that the coaching (especially on the offensive side) is optimal, of course. I think the problem is a mixture of inexperience and coaching.
two years ago we had veterans on the offensive line. auburn is a top 10 rushing offense with the same youth issues we currently have. The point is they adapt and find ways to succeed given their constraints.
If you think Michigan needs certain circumstances in order to win, then youre going to accept a losing team for many many years. a great team can win under any circumstances.
Again - let's see if Auburn actually keeps this up or is just a flash in the pan this season. That program has been all over the map the last decade: undefeated in 2004, then bad, then national champs in 2010, then bad, now good again. Who knows what to expect with them?
You can spout out clichés like "a great team can win under any circumstances" but when you don't have many upperclassmen, it's hard to have a great team in the first place. (Again, I am not saying the coaches are blameless, but the inexperience is adding to the problem.)
auburn's long term success is irellevant. theyre winning now. under the same circumstances you claim are the reason for our lack of success. Demonstrating our real issue is with the coaching.
And we have won how many B10 championships, national championships and had an undefeated season since 2004? I can say as a true "Michigan Man" not being as good as a 2nd rate SEC school like Auburn over the last ten years is a complete and utter failure by our administration and institution.
Hell, when your own Heisman winner WR is dogging on your alma mater on College Game day and Buckeye slappy Kirby piles on and says no team has regressed this year more than Michigan, this isn't just an execution issue. This is really some fucked up shit going on in AA.
And not one of those teams listed had anything close to the disasterous recruiting classes that RichRod had. This isn't basketball.
The Sugar Bowl gave the program some much-needed publicity that propelled us on the recruiting trail. Without it, we might not have had a chance on Hand and Peppers.
On the other hand, if we didn't win it/go to it, we might still be suffering from the disappointment of the RichRod era.
I might be wrong here, and Brodie can correct me if I am, but I think what he is arguing is that we still are - in some regards both significant and not so much - suffering from the disappointment of the previous staff and that the ripple effects of mistakes made there affect this team now. It isn't an excuse for subpar performance in certain aspect of the game, but it serves as part of the explanation. No one is saying that you should expect less than the best, but expectations also require context - more context than wins and losses.
That's how I interpreted this anyway.
Now back to not posting again.
Yes but coaching is a significant factor at this point. Remember how when Mattison took over the defense certain players mysteriously improved? It matters.
the worst thing that happened was Yost.
And maybe then Schembechler.
Without those dudes, expectations would be nice and low.
Maybe it raised expectations, but it also probably paid dividends in recruiting. We haven't reaped the dividends so much yet, but should in the future.
You know, the first thing I was going to say when I saw this was "you are a complete moron". But honestly, to an extent, you are right. I always think we're better off winning rather than losing (I know, I'm a revolutionary), but I actually really like your point about unrealistic expectations. I think it caused us to think the transition would be easier than it really ever could have been, and now that we're finally making a (very rough) transition, it's causing what looks like an implosion. Note, i'm not saying I'm happy with the way Borges is calling things - I really don't think he's doing a particularly great job. But at some point, we were bound to have a rough season, and unfortunately it's been worse than most of us expected, and everyone is losing their minds, pretty much.
What rebuild? This is year 3. We should be progressing.
Even though they're operating with 9/27 kids signed in 2010? And two of the grand total of four OL taken in 2010 & 2011?
Recruiting failures are something you can lob at a team in Week 1. Player development failure is something you lob at a team in week 9. We've seen constant regression from week to week. That's not a recruiting problem. It's a coaching problem.
Actually scratch that... this is horrible logic. This isn't the NFL where you have a couple good drafts and then sign the big franchise LT and boom Super Bowl. We're dealing with teenagers here... even the best recruiting class needs three years to fully develop.
May be the worst thing to happen to this program. I know this is an exaggeration. But the team has not been the same since Bo died.
I agree 11-2 year one was the worst thing that could happen for Hoke. Because the lunatics who don't realize this program has been decimated by the poor recruiting in some areas, their expecations are insane.
That 2011 season though was something I'll never trade. Probably the best season since I was very young in 2003.
So, we should not have been blinded by the Sugar Bowl and an 11-win season in our prospective outlook for the program, based on your retrospective, 20-20 hindsight.
Ok. Great post. Thanks for the heavy-handed pedantry. You are indeed smarter than the rest of us.
2012 wasn't that bad of a season, given that
- We lost in one-score games to three Top 10 teams
- We were about to take the lead on Nebraska when Denard was injured
- and lost to Alabama.
Sagarin team ratings
While it's true that the impact of the 2010-2011 recruiting class talent vacuum is at its peak right now, we shouldn't have fallen this far.
Bo used to say, "Identify what is wrong, and fix only that." I think it's safe to say that the O-Line is what is wrong. Hoke & Co are drawing down capital this year. Next year, Hoke needs to see marked O-Line improvement, even with the loss of Lewan and Schofield.
Seeing as Sagarin keeps changing his formula (and in one case without telling anyone) that isn't a very good argument to support your point.
I can think of a number of things that qualify as 100% worst thing ever in Michigan football. Winning the Sugar Bowl isn't one of them.
I would probably put the shaft that the Big Ten athletic directors gave forty years ago to Team 94 as number one.
Losing to App State would be number two.
Every time we lost to Moo as a tie for number three.
I e-gree with your post 100%.
2. our fanbase has had stupidly unrealistic expectations since 2011, the weight of which could potentially crush the on-going rebuild.
Yes, being competitvie is a totally unrealistic expectation. Not getting beat down by MSU is totally unrealistic. Dominating teams like Akron and UConn is totally unrealistic. Beating a weak team like Nebraska at home is totally unrealistic. Get your head out of your ass.
POW! BOOM! BLAM BLAM! POW! NEEAAARRRRRR KATURRRRSH!!!!!!
We get it. Let people vent and don't spend all day telling others their views aren't right. Seriously, spend some time off the board.
The problem is you clearly don't get it.
You've made your points clearly. In about 20 posts a thread, every thread, all morning. We get it already.
The problem with your post is that we have been competitive in just about every game since 2010. 2012 Alabama was bad, and 2013 MSU was bad. Are there any other Hoke games where we were straight up blown out?
This is true...but seriously come on youre michigan. The big ten is down has been for awhile. Being just competitive isnt michigan! Maybe the expectations are unrealistic but this is big time big money college football its a business. Look at tv contracts...hokes salary. Screw competitive...win
If compeitive is all you require, then I just dont know what else to say to you. Plus, you just ignored the rest of my post.
Competitive is the point that was brought up. We have been competitive. I want more than competitive, but the team with the least returning starters in the B1G should be expected to face some bumps. This is especially true when the offensive line is in the condition that it's in. Personally, I didn't want to fire Rodriguez when we did, becaues I think he was rebuilding, but that does not matter now. Now Hoke is rebuilding, and I think we should give him the time he needs. Many coaches have struggled in their early careers and turned out well.
They are 8-2 UM has a worse record than them. Wow. Michigan is the worst team in the B1G. Think about that.
I thought about that, but then if you go back through the numbers, it is not statistically true at all. This honor would be Purdue's to lose this season. We're definitely not in the same world of hurt that West Lafayette is. If we're going to think about it, let's do it in three dimensions, please.
But does anyone think we would beat Minnesota if we played them again next Saturday?
I would not want to face them now. There is no D1 team I would feel confident about facing. Something good better happen before App State.
I'm having a tough time accepting a BCS Bowl game win as the worst thing to ever happen to Michigan football. However, I would've accepted:
A 7 year losing drought to Ohio
Losing 5 of the last 6 to Sparty
The hiring of RR when there were so many better candidates
I think you get the point!
though maybe you were going for the shame angle...
time for a blood test.
What if they won the national title that year? I think the OP would NOT say it was the worst thing that could have happened...
I don't agree at all.
The fanbase ALWAYS has unrealistic expectations.
They also have REALISTIC expectations - like not regressing week to week.
I agree with Brodie.
I understand the point you are trying to make but the problem I have with this year is the very obvious fact that we are just straight out-coached on offense every game and our players are showing zero improvement. I don't think winning or losing the sugar bowl would change that fact
The Sugar Bowl season wasn't bad. People just need to manage their expectations and remember that football is a sport and sports can be totally random sometimes.
You are right. Firing Hoke now is a really bad idea. We have to give him two more years. I am as pissed as anybody and was yelling, "fire his sorry as...." but after cooling down and recognizing the amazing recruiting job he is doing I changed my mind. This team is just not what we thought it would be. That doesn't mean we won't be great. For now we need to wait.
Coaches never see major success three years into taking over a top tier program that's recruited in the top 20 every year, especailly when they play in possibly the worst of the major conferences (and no AAC isn't a major conference).
I wholeheartedly disagree, and believe that App State was the worst thing that ever happened to this program.
But I get your idea....
You make a good point there's no doubt the sugar bowl gave us unrealistic expectations but regardless the offense should have been better. -60 yards rushing over 2 games is the worst I've ever seen. It's not just the statistics the play calling is horrible. This will still b an issue even if the team improves
Les Miles at OSU: 9-3
Les Miles at LSU: national champions.
Urban Meyer at Florida: 9-4 (aftering winning title in year two)
Jim Harbaugh at Stanford: 9-4, improved every year.
Hell, Jerry Kill's 8-2 in year 3 at Minnesota.
I don't expect to be Alabama in year three, but we have better recruiting than everyone in the conference except Ohio State. Saying that we shouldn't expect to at least compete for a division title in year three is ridiculous. Rich Rod got fired for a season like this and he was improving every year. We basically fired our coach without a good plan B if our top choice didn't come to Ann Arbo three years ago and now we're stuck in a position where we can't make a change. The program is in idle.
What is so mindlessly rediculous about posts such as this and blind apologists is that Hoke himself would disagree with you all - he set the expectations of winning a Big Ten title every year. He has said this numerous times. And he would agree that we have fallen well shy of those expectations. The apologists need to get their collective heads out of the same ass. I do not think Hoke should be fired, not by a long shot. That would be awful for the program. But changes need to be made.
I have lost some passion for Michigan football, there's no way around it. Here's why: Michigan has great men to lead the program. HOWEVER, they coachspeak about "Putting players in positions to win" and "Becoming a Michigan Defense" and "Techniqur" blah blah blah. They the. Do the EXACT OPPOSITE of what they talk about.
But what I'm shocked about is the lack of development of our young players! This concerns me the most and is why I question the current coaching staff and am now bleak on the future of the coaching staff. Sure the natural think is to say, yeah give them another couple years. But it looks as if we will finish at 6-6 and my fear is they may only get back to 8-4 in two seasons.
The only young players who haven't developed are the offensive linemen. That's not cause for an entire staff to be removed IMO.
The only young players who haven't developed is the whole offense. That's not cause for an entire staff to be removed IMO.
Fixed it for you
So Chesson hasn't developed? Gallon is the same as in 2010? Gardner is still throwing three picks a game?
I don't think most people are mad that we are losing its the way in which we lose that is the frustrating thing. If the team was playing well but the other team is just better that's not a bad loss. The reason people are frustrated is because we are the worst running team in the FBS. We settle for field goals when we get the ball deep in the opponent's territory. The other team stacks the box and we run a small RB right into it or we run long slow developing routes.
Yes, we do have a lot of youth on the line but we aren't the first team to start redshirt freshmen. Nebraska's back up linemen did a fine job and they aren't nearly as good as our line could be.
I'm not one of those guys that is all about firing Hoke because I think that sets us back even father than we are now but, there needs to be changes on the offensive side of the ball. Whether it's getting new offensive coaches or our coaches spending all off season studying and getting better we need to get better offensively.
If for some reason Hoke isn't the guy, let him have 5. He is killing it in recruiting.
Let the next guy hit the ground running.
is pretty pointless, take the wins, but realize that you lucked out and all is not perfect.
I think a larger problem was that Dennard's skills (and to be honest his weaknesses) masked a lot of this teams problems . . . perhaps even from the coaches.
I also think it's hilarious the amount of posters on here that are trying to blame 90% of this problem on RR!
He didn't leave a lot of O-line bodies, but If these coaches are worth anything, then they would have seen what was left within the first month, and then coached what they had & what they recruited.
The fact that they recruited heavily indicates they noticed, but near the end of your 3rd year even a complex position like O-line should show talented youngsters progressing much better.
Have we had a slew of catastrophic injuies to decimate the o-line? No. Are we playing a freshmen QB (you know the type that has career games against us)? No.We have talented skill players.
Defenses find our offense easy to figure out, thats telling.
Is RR at fault for 10-12 yard cushions by our DBs? Is RR at fault for Hoke the D-line coach doing such a poor job with that unit as well?
Plenty of other teams are playing youth at many positions, they adapt.
I'm all for giving Hoke a year #4 as long as he's willing to face the reality of making a change and booting Al.
If he's too stubborn, well thats telling as well.
The title of your post makes anything you wrote in your post completely untrustworthy.
Obviously, it is both. But I think it is more talent than coaching. Year 1 showed that the coaching is decent. How do u explain such a big improvement from RR's last year to Hoke's first year. I think the worst thing that has happened is the high recruiting accolades that UM received that caused the unrealistic expectation. If Michigan got the 30th ranked recruiting ranking, I dont think we would be that disappointed. The past two recruiting class could hv been overrated!
Hoke's first season was against possibly the easiest schedule in decades, if not ever. We played one ranked team at home and they were ranked 19th. We still lost 2 games. It's hard to believe that Rich Rod, with Denard as a junior, wouldn't have been able to get to 10 wins. Would the defense have been worse? For sure. But, the offense would have been much better, Rodriguez had improved every year.
if we are to speculate on an RR defense in a hypothetical year four, we should allow for DB to give RR a Mattison-level piggy bank to hunt for a top-level DC in the interest of giving RR a level hypothetical playing field. I am sure RR realized defense was bad at least as much as Hoke understands offense is bad.
Why would RR hand-cuff his DC to the scheme he wanted? If it is for the same reason that Hoke/Borges are handcuffed to the 0.97-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust offense (which did work well for Woody Hayes in the '50s and '60s, before the Rose-Bowl dark ages descended on Manball in the '70s, consigning it to no more than regional relevence), then it is because that scheme was relevent to how the team practices on both sides of the ball and what he needed was someone who could make the scheme he relied on as head coach succeed. As in, well enough to make his over-all scheme succeed.
Actually, to be fair, my memory of those years was that, in big games, the O was constantly putting the D in a bad position, giving them a short field to defend, failing to answer scores, not staying on the field and for the wrong reasons, etc. The D ended up with bad numbers, but I often had the feeling that the failures on D started with failures in the O.
I don't know if RR could have pulled it off at some point with the current coaching budget for coordinators. A change in D was absolutely mandatory to even discuss a year four, because it is not clear the team was growing more positive in outlook despite the improving record over the first three bad but not incomparably bad years (9 losses was a record, but the '34 and '62 seasons were still worse on a percentage basis).
I thought it was a bad decision to let him go after year 3 because of the horrible face the Michigan community showed through those 3 years and because I thought 3-and-out was a Notre-Dame type thing to do and might come back to haunt UM. Starting a real coaching search for '12 while giving RR a fourth year to field a junior QB in his scheme and a first-tier budget to look for a DC would, I think, have left M in a better position to look for a solid replacement if RR hadn't had a decent '11 and maintained his pace thereafter. Having given him a chance, UM could seek a replacement without going all Notre Dame, just as OSU had done in '87 and '99 and as UM did after Elliot's 8-2 season in 1968.
At this point, M has to give Hoke 1-2 more years, at which point I don't know what replacement choices there will be absent a striking turnaround from the post-Minnesota profile this team has shown us.
that is the legacy of our previous coaching staff.
Give it 2 years - we'll be back.
I know it sounds like something we've been saying the past 10 years - but with coaching continuity I think it is very much possible with the kind of talent coach Hoke and co are bringing in.
Back to what exactly? 8-4 seasons like before? We are not an elite program.
Despite our coaching change, we have outrecruited everyone in this conference besides OSU (who is crushing us in recruiting by the way, which is why I don't get this "Hoke is master recruiter" meme).
The Big Ten is atrocious. You shouldn't need to have Stanford's Oline to score a touchdown against a team that Wymoning and South Dakota State gashed on the ground.
If "always next year" is the cubs mantra. Then "give it two years, will be back." Is Michigan's
to any marked degree, but as continuing to fuel them. Realistic or not, because there are a lot of variables out there, expectations are pretty high for the average Michigan fan.
You are spot on.
Nope. I originally thought 8-4 maybe 9-3 before the season. But this team is barely squeaking by UConn (0-8) and MAC (akron 3-7) teams, with piss-poor play-calling and blown assignments that you have to blame on coaching. And it's the same problems every week, with no fix.
that it increased expectations to an unreasonable level. However I think most of us agreed this year would be kind of tough with many predicitions in the 8-4 range, which is still possible. What we couldn't invision is that in year 3 of the Hoke/Borgess/Mattison era is that this team would be resembleing the same roaring tire fire of the Rich Rod years in certain areas of the team.
I'm on board that RR's recruiting of offensive linemen was the primary reason we suck so hard, jesus 3 olinemen left out of 6 his last 3 years. Thats negligent. But what nobody talks about is that RR left us one QB who is really just a great athlete trying to be a QB behind an awful offensive line, hardly any WR's of substance and hardly any RB's left from his classes. So yes the depth chart is a problem and I'm sure the coaches and fans like myself were hoping we could scrape through and get to the years where we have more than 9 players in a recruiting class of 27 stick around and get their degree.
But, I forget what part of the game it was, Michigan lined up for a 2nd and 15 with Gardner under center, I was of course livid and then Hoke called timeout. I was hopeful that it was the point Brady looked out at the field saw the formation and said 'what the F is this Al' and would put a stop to it. We called a flipping timeout and came back out and ran the same god damn play. That is just stupid play calling at its worst.
How the hell is it unreasonable to not expect a team to go two straight games with negative rushing yards. Regardless of any excuse you want to throw out there, that shouldn't happen. Nebraska's rush defense coming into the game was giving 5+ yards a carry on the season, with some of those games coming against what should be less talented teams than UM.
Also is it unreasonable to expect even a tiny bit of improvement throughout the season? Not only has this team not made improvements, but they have regressed instead.
Nobody was expecting this team to win a national championship, but it was not unreasonable for this team's goal to be to reach the Big Ten title game. That goal is completely gone with three games still left in the season. If some people want to continue to bury their head and the sand, and try and claim unreasonable expectations or make other excuses that is of course their prerogrative, but back in reality the rest of us will wonder what the hell has gone wrong with the team this year.
Changes most likely need to be made on the coaching staff, whether that means an entire clean of the offensive staff or a more limited change such as letting Funk go as o-line coach is of course the million dollar question. Just don't try and shield the coaching staff behind nonsense about unrealistic expectations, when that is clearly not the case. This is a 6-3 team that could easily be 3-6, despite playing a weak schedule and in a garbage conference. You can't sugercoat that.
It's a bit over the top to call it the worst thing that ever happened to Michigan football, but it certainly did create unrealistic expectations. As much fun as the first season was, I had an uneasy feeling the entire time about fan reaction to coming seasons, which were likely to be less fruitful.
It seems like we have been a more-often-than-not tire fire of a team since the 2007 Rose Bowl. Looking back on it, to me, that beatdown combined with the subsequent Horror and Oregon debacle really signaled a turning point for this program. I really don't think most Michigan fans are unreasonable. When you are paying a coach near as makes no difference Nick Saban money, you want results. Instead we have massive regression on almost all fronts.
- The players deserved it. Guys who stuck with the program after being redshirted during Carr's last year, who sat on the bench during the loss to App State and the win over Urban Meyer, Tim Tebow, and the ESS, EEE, SEE in the What's-In-YOUR-Wallet Bowl, who might have seen SOME playing time during 3-9 and saw most of their development under a coach they hadn't imagined playing for and then saw THAT coach dismissed after the asskicking in the Gator Bowl, those guys stayed through it all and became, as Bo's sign says, "champions"...of the Sugar Bowl. I hear the rings you get for winning one of those BCS games are pretty sweet...the last group of Michigan Men to win one played with Tom Brady. That was a long damned time ago...like, last CENTURY, even.
- The fans deserved it. A lot of the players aren't necessarily Michigan fans until they get their scholarships confirmed. It's different for the fans. A lot us are born into this. Others find their way in through different means. But once we're in, it's pretty much for good. And for those us who have been around long enough to remember when things were good, sitting through the times when things were bad was no damned fun at all, What other program could, within ten years, go from winning the MNC to losing at home to App State? Could go from owning its biggest rival in one decade to winning TWICE IN THIRTEEN YEARS (forgive me, I'm counting 2013 already) the next? We haven't had a lot to cheer about as the state of Michigan's program has descended to where we find it today...the Sugar Bowl, as imperfect as it was, was a nice reprieve; it was fun watching the team (the team, the team) win a bowl game that was actually worth buying the T-shirt for. It made getting housed in the Gator Bowl the year before worth it.
- The coaches deserved it. And not just Brady Hoke. If you were a RichRod supporter (I was), seeing the players that he recruited and coached during his time here succeed in what would have been his fourth year vindicated your faith in the notion that yes, he actually DID know what he was doing when he got them to sign on the line which is dotted. If you weren't a RichRod fan, you were able to say with that much more conviction that he was wrong for Michigan because Hoke was able to take his players and win with them in a way that RichRod couldn't. And of course, Hoke deserved something that would give HIS critics pause, as a number of fans (our dear blogmaster included) did NOT want to see Hoke get this job.
Now. There were A LOT of crazy-assed, flukey things that happened to make 2011 the year that it was. Start with Ohio State and the tattoos, costing them their coach and their star QB. The coach they got stuck with was without a doubt the most incompetent man to run that team since the Great Depression. That was as close to the 2008 Michigan squad as OSU will ever get. Then you have the complete insanity of the Under The Lights game with ND, the ending of the Northwestern game (Denard is obviously a very religious man, but the number of prayers he threw up that were answered favorably that year make you believe that he was indeed favored by the Creator), and then you had to have the BCS and the NCAA conspire to give everyone the ESS, EEE, SEE rematch between LSU and Alabama in the title game that no one save Alabama fans really wanted, opening up the Sugar Bowl for a team that finished 2nd in a weak conference (see West Virginia's result against Clemson in the Orange Bowl that year for further clarity) to play another team that didn't EVEN finish 2nd in its conference (and yes, Kirk Cousins' tears still taste as sweet as Sugar). Michigan not only made it to a bowl they may not have deserved to be in, but they also got dawn to play the one team that they probably had the best chance to beat. Naturally it didn't come easy and there were a whole new set of bizarre plays that resulted in the win and after all was said and done and a more careful analysis was made, it turns out we really didn't know that much about the state of the Michigan football program after all.
Still, I'll take it. The way things are going lately, it doesn't look like we're going to see a season as good as 2011 (flukes and all) happening for Michigan football for a loooooooooooong time.