Why else would people keep leaving the Micigan (sucks!) program?
I'm enjoying the tears with an Allagash White. Join us, wont you?
Since every email I've gotten in the last few days is titled "Boren" or "Justin Boren"...
Not really. Well, maybe. I don't know, really. But certain things become clear as Borens continue to talk to people in the paper. One: dad isn't that bright.
"We wanted to have this go away quietly..."
This is best accomplished by publicly bemoaning the erosion of family values in the program. (Insiders indicate that Rodriguez had an odd policy where a player could not practice unless he brought a used, preferably fur-covered condom to Oosterban.)
Two: they're looking out for number one.
"...but we didn't want people to think he's a quitter or couldn't handle the system."
So there you go. Sell out the program because you're worried about the public perception. Congratulations. The public perception has changed from "that's weird and disturbing" to "oh, they're just assholes." (Perception, mind you. I have no evidence to suggest that Justin Boren is an asshole except for the fact that he's enormous and plays football. His dad, on the other hand... I think it's clear that all the stuff in the media is the product of the supposed adult; Justin probably just wants to go somewhere and play.)
It sucks that Boren hated the new staff so much he wanted to transfer, and that's his prerogative. A multi-day campaign of offense against the University when the only statement it issued on the matter was a factual "Boren has left the program" is grounds for excommunication. Stone the witches!
The difference. This, from a Notre Dame blog, is too perfect:
Clearly, Rich Rodriguez is an Unmitigated Jerk
Why else would people keep leaving the Micigan (sucks!) program?
I'm enjoying the tears with an Allagash White. Join us, wont you?
In three brief lines they've encapsulated everything about internet Notre Dame fandom that is hilarious and deranged. You've got the juvenile name alteration, the "I am drinking, this is what I am drinking, I am so cool" name drop, and, of course, the walleyed inability to perceive anything wrong with a 3-9 program. Clearly, one player who bothered to stay for spring practice deciding he's going to leave is unshakable evidence. It's way better evidence than, say, four midseason transfers of kids you recruited during your third year with the program. Keep on reachin' for the stars.
There is one point incidentally made here that troubles: the looming specter of Weis-like incompetence hovers over the departure, blotting out the sun. True sophomore starting guards do not generally transfer away from what one presumes is a short jaunt to the NFL.
What Rodriguez has that Weis does not is a track record of head coaching excellence spanning seven years at West Virginia in which his used, preferably furry condom policy turned a bunch of overlooked recruits into a two-BCS-bowl winning juggernaut of confusion, speed, and knives. Until such time as Rodriguez has failed to reproduce that success at Michigan he has scoreboard against all critics that predict his failure.
There is obviously a chance that Michigan has chosen... poorly and that Rodriguez will see his coaching career end in a brief, damp squeak. This is a nonzero risk, especially with the culture shock he is bringing to the program. There is always a nonzero risk. Michigan has minimized that as much as possible by acquiring a wildly successful college coach.
Ohio State, 2001. This was Jim Tressel's first year, during which they went 7-5, and only got to 7-5 because John Navarre turned in the worst half of football by a Michigan quarterback since... uh... probably 1984 or something. Since them, Tressel has had some modicum of success.
Something good. Brief excerpts from a few different "Boren" titled emails:
Please tell me things are going to get better for UM football.
Can you please write a post about some good news?
Needless to say, I'm terrified. What if Michigan only wins like 3 games next year, a la Weis-e-coyote? The horror (as you would say).
A reader to the rescue:
I just wanted to say something about the whole Justin Boren situation. Now I understand that a lot of "Michigan Men" are freaking out about this, or have turned bitter towards this kid, but let me explain how getting rid of these kids that aren't committed to the "new" Michigan regime will benefit us in the long run.
From 2004-2007 I worked for the BYU football team. Gary Crowton was the head coach at BYU when I started working there. Gary Crowton is a really nice guy and a pretty good offensive coach, but he wasn't a very good head coach. His problem was that he was too much of a "player's coach" meaning that he let the kids run the team. The offense loafed around during practice and didn't work hard. Crowton's DC was a young guy named Bronco Mendenhal who believe that you can compensate for lesser talent by working harder than your opponent. So the team was split, the offensive players were lazy, while the defense was hard working and intense. Not only did the defense work harder, they cared a lot more about the game and team.
After the season ended Gary Crowton was fired and BYU hired Bronco Mendenhal as the new head coach. Within a week of announcing Mendenhal as head coach, a handful of players decided to transfer because they didn't like Bronco's "style". Bronco worked his players harder in the offseason than they had ever worked before. When spring practices began 15 players had either transfered or quit the team...15!!!!! Once again they didn't like how Bronco was working them too hard. Bronco's intent was to get rid of all the players that didn't want to be there. He needed and wanted players who would commit 100% to the program and the system. Once he got rid of those players, the team quickly came together and fought for each other. They all knew that everyone was working just as hard as everyone else.
Now I do understant that there is a huge talent disparity between BYU and Michigan, but the results for BYU has been better than expecte. They have gone 11-2 each of the past two years. I attribute their success to Bronco's hard nosed no-nonsense approach with his players. He did not lose any sleep crying over the transfer of the #1 QB prospect in America Ben Olson (UCLA), but focused on his team and prepared his team no matter who was playing. I see RR doing the exact same thing. Michigan needs players who are going to work hard and be 100% committed to his system and work ethic. This transition has been relatively smooth compaired to other coaching changes around the country. We must remember that Michigan hasn't gone through this process for almost 40 years and we all know how that turned out. Go Blue!!
Carr, for all his positives, had started checking out the past few years. You could tell. More of the burden of leadership fell to the coordinators, one of whom had already proven he can take an above average MAC program and turn it into a zombie gerbil apocalypse. The results were obvious on the field, and off of it. 2008 is going to be a detox year, but things will improve.
That's a nice headstone. I feel like singing. LSU's AD continues to whistle past the graveyard, but as he does so he's saying some nice things about Les:
"I don't think this is a real money issue, No. 1," Bertman said. "This guy's more family-oriented and more community-minded and â€” this is my word â€” nobler than most of the coaches that I've dealt with.
"I think that this guy wants to come to work every day and feel comfortable. I think the people that he wants to come to work every day and feel comfortable with are on his side 100 percent of the time."
Standard AD-speak, perhaps.
Odds. These are always sucker bets, but an oddsmaker's view on the next Michigan coach:
Les Miles, LSU coach -- 2/1
Kirk Ferentz, Iowa coach -- 9/2
Mike Trgovac, Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator -- 5/1
Brian Kelly, Cincinnati coach and former Central Michigan and Grand Valley coach -- 6/1
Ron English, U-M defensive coordinator -- 6/1
Bret Bielema, Wisconsin coach -- 7/1
Bobby Petrino, Atlanta Falcons coach -- 10/1
Jon Gruden, Tampa Bay Bucs coach -- 10/1
Jim Harbaugh, Stanford coach and U-M alum -- 10/1
Bill Cowher, ex-Pittsburgh Steelers coach -- 15/1
Field (all others) -- 2/1
The credence you give this should drop precipitously as you scan down the list and find Bret Bielema (AFAIK the only reason anyone ever mentions him is that Dienhart keeps pushing him as a candidate) and Harbaugh, but for whatever it's worth. Since there's no Debord, I declare it worth one million dollars.
Right, speaking of... a Detroit News article on how Michigan will interview the coordinators has some downright laughable stuff from Debord on his term at Central:
"The way I defend that is, I will say this: We went in there, we put a culture together just like Michigan, we were, it's nothing against the kids, but we weren't as talented as we wanted to be," DeBord said. "When they won the championship, those were with sophomores, juniors and seniors that our staff had recruited. We had taken a program that was at the bottom of the conference, and we elevated it recruiting-wise to go win the conference championship.
"I know what the record is, but I also do know where we started and what ended up happening and what is still happening."
Maybe this would be slightly plausible if Debord had been forced out at CMU, but he did not. He packed up his 12-34 record and quit, quit like a little girl whose piano lessons are too hard. CMU's AD and president on Debord:
University President Michael Rao said he believed one of the reasons for DeBord's resignation was his dislike for many of the public relations functions of the job.
"He kept talking about how he didn't like the lunches and the public relations," Rao said. "It was really getting to him. I was kind of surprised." ...
Rao said he had two 30-minute conversations with DeBord prior to his resignation, in which DeBord expressed the exact sentiments.
"He said the losses over time were really getting to him," Rao said. "He also talked about whether he really wanted to be a head coach. He felt an assistant coach role was probably more of a fit for him." ...
Athletics director Herb Deromedi also met with DeBord multiple times before the resignation.
"He came to us and told us that he would resign," Deromedi said. "What we attempted to do is to meet with him and ask him to reconsider. We had met at his home several times, but he was fairly certain."
Mike Debord packed up his stuff and went home because he couldn't handle the PR and the losing. A few years later he "put a culture together just like Michigan," which is true if the reporter omitted "specifically, their offense against Ohio State" but completely ridiculous otherwise. The one silver lining in this turd sandwich of a season is getting this guy the hell away from Michigan's football program.
Dienhart what? Latest from Tom Dienhart:
Another factor: The Michigan assistant coaches have guaranteed deals, which means the new coach might be forced to work with the current staff. Will that be a deal-breaker for some candidates?
Yes, the assistant coaches have guaranteed deals. The guarantee, however, is that they will be paid in 2008, not that they will work for Michigan. It might be a bit expensive to shuffle the staff out wholesale, but if a new coach wants most of the guys out the door there's no reason it won't happen. The most likely scenario is that a few staff members are retained (Campbell and Stripling seem the most likely, maybe Loeffler and English), but only a few.
Not news, but there's an article. Jim Harbaugh has a realistic perspective on his prospects for the Michigan job:
"As far as the opening they have, the Michigan people will do a great job in selecting someone to carry on that tradition," Harbaugh said. "It's not going to be me. I am happy where I am."
As mentioned before: next.
Additionally evasive. Brian Kelly does not sound like a man married to Cincinnati:
Would Kelly be interested?
"From my standpoint, it's similar to all the questions relative to the bowl games," Kelly said Monday during the Big East's weekly coaches' conference call. "Our focus is on Syracuse. That's the most important thing. Any speculation relative to bowls and jobs, we've got plenty of time for that after the Syracuse game (Saturday).
"The focus for me and my football team is going to be on getting nine wins for the first time since the 1950s. Job speculation and all those things, we've got plenty of time to do that after this weekend."
Ferentz Miles falls through, he would be an excellent fallback plan.
Recruiting stuff. Dann O'Neill reiterates his Michigan commit...
"My decision hasn't changed. Not one bit," O'Neill said Monday evening, the same day Carr held a press conference announcing that he would step down as the Wolverines' head coach after 13 seasons in charge. "Michigan is still the right fit for me, a school that I've always wanted to go to. They're my dream school and that hasn't changed."
...in another article; he sounds completely solid. He also has some news on another OL commit:
"Elliot Mealer (an offensive lineman from Wauseon, Ohio) is one guy that I stay in contact with quite a bit, and he's staying put too," O'Neill said. "Actually, I don't think anyone is changing their mind. Everyone is still on board."
The Free Press has a more negative quote from Boubacar Cissoko:
"I was kind of surprised," Cissoko said of Carr's retirement. "I was looking forward to playing for him. I got to weigh my options, take my visits and see who the next coach going to be
and go from there."
Cissoko, who's 5-feet-8, 171 pounds, said he would try to set up visits to Tennessee, Illinois and Penn State to start the week after Thanksgiving. He said he still was leaning toward attending U-M, but he wanted a backup plan in case he wasn't wanted or he wasn't fond of the coaching hire.
"Bring in a new coach and a new staff.....they might kick you to the curb, so that's something you got to look after," Cissoko said.
Same article from Toledo's Kevin Koger:
"Just pick a guy that's all about winning, because all I want to do is win," said Toledo Whitmer tight end Kevin Koger, who insisted he still was firmly committed to U-M.
Realistically, we won't know who's committed and who isn't until we know which assistants are being retained. If English stays that would help.
One guy who seems a major threat to bolt: Sam McGuffie. Facts about Sam:
I hate to say this, but McGuffie is 50-50 at best.