|6 days 22 hours ago||(No subject)||
|1 week 18 hours ago||Harbaugh and Hackett||
I'll say this: Hackett could not have done any better in pursuing Harbaugh than he has. The offer is as generous as reasonability could possibly allow, the timing is perfect (49ers are out of the playoffs and the NFL can't yet contact JH), and it was kept relatively secret until the offer was made--at which poing either Harbaugh's agent or someone else was going to leak it anyway.
If we don't get Harbaugh, it won't be because we blew the process. It will be because Harbaugh simply was never going to come.
Here's my bold prediction: Either Dan Mullen or an elite name (think Bob Stoops, John Harbaugh, Sean Payton, Jim Mora) will be the next coach at U-M if we don't get Harbaugh. I guarantee you a back-up plan is in place, and that it's with a name that most of us would be satisfied with, if not downright pleased. This will be done by 12/29, and we'll probably know with reasonable certainty by 12/25.
|1 week 1 day ago||A 3-4 year turnaround that||
A 3-4 year turnaround that may not even be in Oakland that long. The Raiders could be heading back to LA.
|1 week 1 day ago||I laughed out loud and||
I laughed out loud and immediately thought of Weird Al's "Word Crimes." Perhaps a chart could assist Mr. Kawakami in his future twitter endeavors:
|1 week 2 days ago||We'll see||
It's only been three years since we won a BCS bowl. We beat Florida in the 2008 Capitol One Bowl. We went to the 2007 Rose Bowl. While we haven't won the conference since 2004, This program has still had some bright spots and plenty to celebrate.
I am willing to bet that every member of Fern's class will win a B1G title and/or a New Year's bowl.
THOSE WHO STAY WILL BE CHAMPIONS
|1 week 3 days ago||Those Who Stay Will Be Champions||
I wish Ferns the best. He seemed like a great guy destined to be a very good player. We don't know all the circumstances surrounding his decision, and he needs to do what he feels is best for him.
We are loaded at LB, and the next coach will make sure the cupboard stays fully stocked.
Those Who Stay Will Be Champions!
|1 week 3 days ago||O-Line||
Perhaps most encouraging, the 2010 O-Line (which was dominant) was entirely composed of three-star players. Not a single four-star in that group. Of course, they were all juniors and seniors...
|2 weeks 21 hours ago||Current roster||
The current roster is loaded. This is not a "rebuilding" job like RR and Hoke faced. While finding the right QB may be a challenge, there is an excellent defense, RBs, O-Line, and plenty of receiving talent.
Other than QB, safety is probably the only position at which you can even make an argument that help is needed.
Ohio State just won the B1G with a back-up (during the season) and a back-up's back-up (in the championship) playing QB.
This Michigan roster is ready to compete now.
|2 weeks 21 hours ago||I'm not his buddy, guy||
I'm not his buddy, guy
|2 weeks 1 day ago||Get well soon!||
Please send your friend the following card and my best wishes.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||Doubt it||
Gary Anderson left Wisconsin because they won't let him recruit the way he wants to and they won't pay his assistants.
Barry Alvarez will keep that program from reaching its potential by being a cheapskate.
As for OSU having anything to do with it...now Anderson is at a low-level Pac-12 team and has to compete with Oregon, USC, UCLA, Arizona, ASU...it's not better than the B1G West, which may be the easiest Power 5 division in all of college football.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||Not what he said||
No, he said he was afraid losing to Urban 4/5 times would cost him his job.
The fact is that the TEAM (if not the program) is in very good shape--loaded with talent that was coveted by top programs across the country.
A coach that wouldn't want a top-tier salary with resources for top-tier assistants, some of the best facilities in the country, the Big House, and the Michigan brand to recruit to...that's a coach I DO NOT WANT.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||EXACTLY||
His reserch "confirmed" what he wanted to hear...have you ever heard of confirmation bias?
This looks like a pretty meager search, and the "secrecy" aspect only succeeded because the people of Nebraska don't know what Eichorst looks like. The whole thing sounded pretty lame, and resulted in hiring a 61-year-old who has won fewer than half of his games in the last five years at a program he spent 12 years building.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||Nebraska||
It looks like Eichorst just hired Riley because that was "his guy." I don't think they went to the trouble of looking at the field.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||Yikes||
I read the article hoping to find some cool technique or clever gamesmanship. What I learned was that if you're the AD at Nebraska and you wear a baseball cap, no one will notice you.
This is exactly how I hope Hackett does NOT conduct his search--a personal fixation on a candidate. Do your research, interview, and get references. Work with a search firm. Do it right, even if it take a little time.
But if Jim Hackett walked into DTW wearing a baseball cap, I have ZERO doubt that the press would be on it and the "secret" search would be blown. And if Jim Hackett just hires a guy because he liked him 12 years ago, I would be furious.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||Interview and references||
I know some people will disagree with this, but it's true: Urban Meyer's coaching genius is not in his system (which tons of schools run). It's in his ability to communicate with his players, inspire them, and get them to do what needs to be done. If you read interviews with former Urban players, they basically say, "Coach Meyer got me to do things I didn't think I could do."
Chip Kelly's success is similar. While both use a scheme they believe makes it easiest to develop players and win games, it's not like they are using plays that other teams aren't using. They are simply better at getting their players to succeed.
Onto Tom Herman...my thoughts on this search have evolved quite a bit over time. Herman would be, IMO, the best coordinator we could hire. I would certainly put him behind the following candidates:
I would probably put him behind these guys:
In the case of an OC with no HC experience, we at MGoBlog don't get the benefit of the most important pieces of the puzzle: the interview and references. If Herman comes to the interview with a plan--one that would have to include how he can win without his type of QB on the roster--and how he can build a program that can beat MSU and OSU, the most important piece being WHO CAN HE HIRE on his staff, then he could vault to the top of the "Plan B" guys. Players, coaches, and even some administrators will have a feel for how much this guy contributes to the success of a program, and if he's really good, he'll bring some damn good coaches with him.
This might sound ridiculous, but I have real concerns about Warriner (Kansas?) and Herman leaving OSU the same year--they'd be trying to poach some of the same coaching talent.
This is a long-winded way of saying, I really like Herman, but would need to see a good plan to be excited about him, and wouldn't be pleased with the hire until I saw his staff. That said, I would assume that if he was hired, he had produced a good plan with a good staff, and I would be hopeful...but I wouldn't feel great until I saw the staff, especially the DC.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||Possible||
I don't Harbaugh has told Hackett he's sure he's taking the job. But even if he has, Hackett should be looking for back-ups in a just-in-case scenario or in an effort to take pressure off of Harbaugh.
What I will disagree with is your second point: if Michigan is now looking for other options, they won't be caught with their pants down if Harbaugh says no. If we were not looking around, I'd be more convinced Harbaugh was the guy but more worried that if we didn't get him things would fall apart.
There is ZERO downside to looking around right now, even if Harbaugh has said yes (in principle). There is tremendous potential downside to NOT surveying the coaching landscape...as I said above, you never know what will happen, even if Harbaugh has said yes.
If you were the AD and Harbaugh had given you a verbal agreement, would you look around? I know I would. One thing I have learned running a business is that it's never done until it's done. Hackett knows that, too.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||Coaching Change||
CC = Coaching Change. It's an MGoBlog tag for everything related to firing/hiring coaches.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||IMPORTANT||
ThadMatt--I think your shark-horse avatar needs to have wings.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||I hope so||
To be clear, my post was not a prediction that Jim Harbaugh will be hired (though that would be my guess). The point is that Harbaugh (or some elite NFL guy) is still enough of a possibility that the risks and costs of waiting are acceptable. Hackett understands risk--his press conference proved that. He's not going to wait a minute longer than he has to, and the longer we wait, the more likely a blockbuster hire becomes.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||Even public statements mean little||
Brian is right on--no one really knows anything. The best we can do is attempt to decipher the intentions and desires of the players by examining what is actually happening. But never forget that even flat denials can be meaningless:
That was December 21, 2006. Saban was hired at Alabama January 4, 2007. In the interim, he actually said he wasn't going to talk about other jobs for the next five years.
My point is that what is happening is far more important than what is being said. Here's what's happening:
Unlike the 2011 fiasco, each day we wait is an indication that there is going to be a blockbuster hire. If Hackett wanted Herman--or even Mullen, Miles, Stoops, Whittingham, Richt, Mora, etc.--the machine would already be moving. The fact that we don't have a coach or any indication of aggressive negotiations indicates that we are waiting on the NFL...and probably Jim Harbaugh.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||Because you need to have Plan||
Because you need to have Plan B, C, and D ready if Plan A doesn't work out. Hackett is not going to put all his eggs in one basket.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||Patience||
While I want a coach hired YESTERDAY, the reality is that there is no reason to rush. Unless another top tier candidate on the Stoops/Payton level has definitively said they'll take the job AND that they will only take the job if they get it soon, then a Harbaugh ultimatum is just silly.
We are the last premier college job on the market. We have no competition from other colleges, and no one in the NFL can sign Harbaugh without working out a deal with the 49ers. There is no rush.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||+1||
Wish I could give you more for a cogent GGGR reference. One of the all-time greats.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||Divergent||
We are obviously still in the divergent phase, and I have ZERO problem with U-M reaching out to a candidate like Cutcliffe. There is nothing wrong with checking to see if he's even a possibility.
FWIW, I seriously doubt he gets the job, or even interviews. We will have an elite coach in A2 next year, I am certain of it.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||Stoops||
While Oklahoma was a passing spread for years, the past two seasons have seen a decided shift towards the run:
OU ran a ridiculous 1,211 plays in 2010, and this year will be the first in a long time they run fewer than 1,000. To put that in perspective, Michigan did not run 1,000 plays under RR and haven't run more than 893 since Rodriguez left.
My point is that Stoops runs a HUNH spread, but they seem content to emphasize their strength, rather than commit to being an air raid. What's amazing is that they run from the spread, but rarely use their QB--only 89 (17%) of 526 rushing attempts have come from QBs this year. Compare that to 179 (30%) of 587 for Ohio State QBs.
Stoops wants an efficient, HUNH offense, even if it's not an air raid. That his team has run effectively from the spread with minimal QB usage is certainly a hopeful sign since our roster has QBs that really aren't all that spectacular as runners, though Morris is underrated. FWIW, I believe Morris' best chance of success is a system much like OU's.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||(No subject)||
|2 weeks 3 days ago||BWHAHAHAHAHAHA||
I dare you to try to name five jobs better than Michigan in the B1G. Or even two. And our coaching hire will prove it.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Harbaugh||
Brother John might be even better, but hasn't proven in college the way Jim has.
Sean Payton would be an amazing hire. While he doesn't have any history as a college HC, he did some good things in the college ranks in the 90s. He also has a superbowl ring.
Bob Stoops would be good, but I would rather have Harbaugh. Patterson would be a great hire. Mark Richt is another guy that would be a great fit.
Mora is a notch or more below all these guys, as is Mullen. But I believe we will land an elite name this time around, and no one I've discussed in this post seems outside the realm of possibility.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Nope||
Go back and watch those games again. We were in the shotgun in 2011 about 80% of the time. We ran inverted veer A LOT.
Yes, Hoke failed to get out of Denard what RR certainly could have, but there is no doubt that the offense largely featured Denard in a quasi-option game that was run primarily from the shotgun. There are notable exceptions--Iowa 2011, Notre Dame 2012--that were disastrous and memorable, but Denard was not under center all that much, especially in 2011.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Nailed it||
Stanford is used as an example of a power running game above, and they are a pro-style passing game.
That said, you are correct: Harbaugh used some of the same principles the spread uses to design his offense, but in very different ways.
Stanford stacks the line of scrimmage and the QB literally counts the defenders on either side (left/right) of the center. Wherever the defense is weaker, they can run that way, and use traps and whams to bring more blockers to that side. By using heavy personnel with tight splits, he forces the defense to either load the box--leaving the passing game open--or keep safeties back. He also forces the defense to use heavy personnel, which, as you said, is NOT the norm in today's game.
I have zero doubt that he would continue to adapt these concepts to personnel. He finds a way to give his team the upper hand...that's what good coaches do. At the same time, he'll use these power concepts and "change the math" at the LOS by using traps and whams, which are basically plays where blockers come from unexpected places to open holes for runners.
Even though he uses a pro-style passing attack, his formations do challenge defenses to make clear pre-snap choices that can reduce the complexity of reads in the passing game. His QBs, by my observation, are usually throwing to the first option and not being asked to do as many progressions as a Borges QB, because he's using motion, play action, and pre-snap reads to tilt the field in his favor.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Will cover||
The switch to a spread-to-run would be tough, but it's not like we have world-beaters at QB right now anyway.
I will answer this in more detail in part two, but the biggest missing pieces right now for spread-to-pass are WRs and scat-backs.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Awesome post||
A no-nonsense piece with great attention to detail and the work ethic to make it happen. (I'm assuming Alex is white).
Seriously though, this is great writing and spot on.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Ridiculous, and not credible||
|3 weeks 19 hours ago||Despite what many on this||
Despite what many on this board think, UCLA is a step below Michigan.
Michigan is one of the best jobs in the country, and UCLA isn't even the best job in LA (that would be USC). Also, Michigan is a much easier path to the CoFoPo than any school in the PAC-12 south, which may be the 2nd-best conference in football. And maybe he just doesn't see eye-to-eye with the UCLA brass.
I think his style of coaching is also better-suited to the B1G.
All that said, I have no idea who Cowherd was talking about, just guesses.
|3 weeks 19 hours ago||Double post||
|3 weeks 19 hours ago||Bert||
I never believed he would take the Nebraska job. The dude is arrogant, and wants to prove he can win in the SEC. He's only leaving that job for a perennial NC contender, IMO.
|3 weeks 19 hours ago||AGREE||
I don't think Malzahn has any desire to leave Auburn, nor should he. Especially for a school in the north.
Mora, Stoops, or Richt.
|3 weeks 19 hours ago||Strictly rumor||
Cowherd is reporting a rumor to generate interest in his crappy but catchy (the 674 threads on his comments are proof of that) show.
That said, I do believe one or more premier candidates will be added to our current list:
|3 weeks 20 hours ago||Disagree||
It's going to be blue and khakis.
Everything else is true.
|3 weeks 20 hours ago||So what?||
His buyout is only $2 million. I think it's Stoops, Mora, or Richt.
|3 weeks 20 hours ago||Put up a list. Morris to SMU||
Put up a list.
Morris to SMU seems like the best so far, but I like McElwain. I don't get Riley to Nebraska...you traded 9 wins for...9 wins but nicer?
That's a head-scratcher. I thought Nebraska was going Frost or Narduzzi, and I think both would have been better choices than Riley, who's a good-but-not-great coach.
|3 weeks 20 hours ago||See below||
Roster fit (offensively) is a serious issue, but I think the other criticisms are invalid.
Don't believe everything you read.
|3 weeks 20 hours ago||Agree w/Brian, but...||
Brian is completely on point in his assessment here. Mullen is a very strong candidate, and, in my mind, stronger than the two guys who have already been hired.
When Mullen was first brought-up, I was skeptical. Brian (and in fact the whole MGoBlog staff, it seems) is a spread zealot, and there is a confirmation bias with spread gurus, which Mullen certainly is.
I turned to research. What I found was that Mullen is not only an offensive coach, but understands and values defense with surprising acumen for a guy I though might just be Spready-Spread-McSpreaderson.
Next, I watched press conferences and sideline video. Mullen has a strange shoulder posture that makes him look passive; he is not. He seems honest, demanding, and clear when he communicates.
My conclusion is that this guy is not only a good coach, but a decent human being, and that he has the humility required to improve on his methods. At 42, he is going to be A LOT better at coaching before his career is over.
That said, it's not all roses here. There are some very real concerns, despite the fact that Mullen is, IMO, the most qualified guy of the "up-and-coming" names (this means removing coaches of powerhouse programs and the NFL, like Harbaugh, Miles, Stoops, Malzahn, etc).
As Brian pointed out, it's taken quite some time ro reform the MSU squad into a competitive SEC West unit. Yes, they are the Indiana of the SEC West, but Mullen will NOT have a QB that fits his system on the Michigan roster. He will NOT have WRs that fit his system. We are an impatient fanbase, and I fear the time required to get Mullen's system in full swing (likely 3-5 years) may be too painful for a frustrated fanbase to endure.
All that said...I don't think U-M offers Mullen the job, though I do believe he would be a good hire and I do believe he would accept the job. If it's not Harbaugh, I think it's a name we haven't spent much time considering. Bob Stoops? Jim Mora? Mark Richt? Those would be my guesses.
I will say this: I am not even slightly concerned that we are going to secure a dynamite candidate, and, to be honest, I think Mullen is a worst-case-scenario--which is amazing because I believe Mullen would be a good, if not great hire.
|3 weeks 1 day ago||All Hog indeed||
|3 weeks 1 day ago||Awesome||
Love this stuff.
There is a very real possibility that the new coach could have Hoke-like success his first season (assuming there is not too much attrition); the schedule sets-up nicely as well. I will be disappointed if we don't beat either MSU or OSU next year, regardless of whom we hire.
I'm tired of waiting.
|3 weeks 1 day ago||TRUE||
I'm not sure where Brian is coming from here; perhaps it's just his gut. Here are the facts from this season:
Dee Hart - 1,254 rush yds; 6.71 YPC; 16 TDs
Garrett Grayson - 3,779 pass yds; 9.8 YPA; 32 TDs/6 INTs; 171.26 rating (#2 behind Mariota)
Rashard Higgins - 1,640 rec. yds; 18.43/catch; 17 TDs
CSU is far from a one man show, and there are at least two players that you could argue are having a bigger impact on offense than Dee Hart. McElwain built an offensive juggernaut at a terrible school, averaging 35.9 PPG, 7.21 YPP, and 497.8 YPG.
While his success as an HC has only been at CSU, he couldn't have done much better than he has, and it's been far more than just Dee Hart contributing to that success.
|3 weeks 1 day ago||It's a lot more||
It's $137.5 million. LINK
|3 weeks 1 day ago||Agree||
To be clear, I don't think Stitt has a chance of being hired. I do think he is the type of coach Hackett is looking for. I brought him up more as a perspective shift than a likely possibility.
I would not bet on Stitt getting hired.
|3 weeks 1 day ago||I agree||
Unfortunately, we live in a world where hurting peoples' feelings seems to equal having bad character. Harbaugh, like Bo, is honest to a fault, and will not sacrifice honesty in order to be sensitive. This is most definitely seen as a character flaw by many people, especially those who like to be coddled.
FWIW, I have zero issues with Harbaugh's character, although I do think his competitiveness gets the better of him sometimes.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||Hoke's Legacy||
This speaks for itself:
|3 weeks 2 days ago||Miles is out||
Hackett spent A LOT of time talking about the importance of character in his presser. With that tone set, I think Les Miles is off the table. I don't see how he'd be able to defend that hire. With all of Miles' rumored offenses, some of them are sure to be true.
The board seems overwhelmingly supportive of Miles if we can't get Harbaugh; I believe today's press conference means we should start looking for another option that will make us happy.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||Captains guess||
Gardner, Ryan, Kerridge
|3 weeks 2 days ago||Awesome||
Brady should be invited and I hope he goes. Hackett nailed it--Hoke embodies the character and integrity Michigan requires from its HC. He has done an admirable job helping young men grow into the Leaders and Best of tomorrow.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||Thank you, Coach Hoke||
As I posted after the MSU game, I believe Brady Hoke is a great man who is just an average coach. To succeed at Michigan, you must be a great coach.
All the best to Coach Hoke and his family. I have no doubt that great things are ahead of them.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||Agreed||
I would love to get Malzahn, but I don't think there is any way Auburn lets him go. People who just look at his salary and say, "We could get him!" should take a look at the Hugh Freeze situation.
Auburn isn't letting him go, and I don't think he'd like to come north anyway. But if we could get him and add a top-notch DC...I would be overjoyed.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||Results are posted||
In the other two polls, results have been posted. Miles won both.
I will post the results of this poll tomorrow. Poll closes end of today.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||How would he fit our personnel?||
Patterson runs a defense (4-2-5) based almost entirely on speed (not size) and a spread-to-run HUNH offense.
I like Patterson and would be satisfied with the hire...but he does NOT fit our current personnel.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||2014 OL||
I don't think the OL regressed in any aspect this year. I don't think it was very good, but 2013 was a tire fire, and this year's OL did a MUCH better (still bad) job in the run game and the pass game.
We improved, but still didn't get to average, which would probably be our destination next year if this staff is retained.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||*clapclapclap*||
I agree with almost every word of this post.
Hoke should be gone already; that he isn't is a sure sign of an AD that doesn't get it. Every day Hoke stays employed is another tacit acceptance of the mediocre results we've experienced the last three seasons. Was not Florida classy, even in their early firing of Muschamp? Was not Nebraska classy, even in firing a guy who can't win less than 9 games? Hell, even if Hoke is going to be kept, today is the day to announce it. Waiting is ridiculous, and smacks of incompetence. Shouldn't Hackett have had his review complete, save for the OSU game? How long does it take to add one more loss into the equation?
Unlike 2008 and 2011, there are the pieces of a good football team here. The sooner we can establish who will be leading these young men, the better. We should have already made the statement that the current guy--no matter how likeable and honorable--is not good enough to be the head coach of the Michigan football program.
The clock is ticking, and we look dumber every minute.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Here you go||
I like my subs like I like my women -- hot and Italian.
|4 weeks 6 days ago||Jim Harbaugh||
Is not your pal, friend.
|5 weeks 1 day ago||+1||
For FTFP. Bunch of click-baiting hacks...I never go over there anymore, because I don't want to encourage their ridiculous behavior.
My boycott of the FP continues indefinitely.
|5 weeks 2 days ago||Ian Rapaport||
FWIW, Rapaport also posted this:
I believe this is true, but I seriously doubt that Sarah Harbaugh would torpedo any move back to the midwest, where she is from. The Bay Area is nice, but a happy husband is nicer. Also, she clearly has a good sense of humor:
|6 weeks 13 hours ago||Nailed it||
Well done, sir.
The NCAA (and school in general) has done itself a great disservice by disconnecting sports from education. While sports are rightly differentiated from academics, they are certainly a valid, empowering component of education.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I learned more on the field in college than I did in the classroom. No, I'm not a professional athlete. But I double-majored in International Relations and Theatre and I don't do those either.
"Student-athlete" is a stupid and redundant term. Athletes are students--even the pros have to be constantly learning and honing their craft. And athletics are part of education, just as surely as law, business, or medicine.
That we view sport as an entirely different class of education is societal mistake; while I would never argue that football = English literature, I would be just as foolish to argue that philosophy = engineering.
There is no doubt to anyone who has ever been a serious college athlete (I'd like to think I'm in that category) that the field and the classroom are complimentary, not competitive. Yes, they are different disciplines, but they are both part of education, and I believe they are both indespensible to a complete education.
My kids will play sports. Whether they like it or not, whether they excel at them or not, they will play, just like they will have math classes whether or not they like them or excel in them. I believe educating mind, body, and character helps us grow into more complete human beings, and sports can do all three in a unique way. When coupled with the rigors of classroom learning, I believe athletics help create a comprehensive foundation for effective, lifelong thinking and decision-making.
And it's worth saying again: This was an awesome post, Brian. Thank you.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Just can't see it||
I don't see how this team wins out. We're just not that good.
But even if we do, it's time for a change at HC.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||So true||
It's hard to find a clip of a Stanford running play where there wasn't a pulling guard (when Harbaugh was there) and when you do, it's usually a FB ISO play.
Power O, Pin-and-Pull, Traps and Whams...ALL...DAY...LONG.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||MSU||
I cannot possibly root for either team, but if you're asking for a prediction, I'm going with MSU by 3-7 points. OSU has not played anyone this year, and they've still lost to Va Tech and nearly lost to Penn State. MSU has played Oregon (and lost) and beat Nebraska in addition to thumping everyone else.
|7 weeks 6 min ago||Brian||
I love the UFRs. I know it seems almost pointless this season (or perhaps worse), but this is content that I truly love to digest each week, and very much appreciate. It's stuff like this that keeps me coming back to the blog and buying HTTV.
Please keep it up, and here's hoping next season is more fun.
|7 weeks 19 hours ago||1987 Rose Bowl||
The irony of that game--a 15-22 loss to Arizona State--is that it was none other than John Cooper coaching the Sun Devils. He would later become my favorite Ohio State coach in history.
|7 weeks 20 hours ago||All of the points||
I think Hoke is a great guy, and I wish he had succeeded here. But I'm not sure you could find a clearer case of a guy that needs to be fired. I am shocked at how many posters are advocating for "one more year" if we can't get a Harbaugh.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||Your list||
Might be better than mine. I pretty much agree, though I also believe John Harbaugh is close to a sure thing.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||40 time||
I improved my 40 time by 0.2 seconds in college through strength, form, and flexibility training. You can definitely get faster in college.
That said, I reached my ceiling and still wasn't very fast. Some people just have it; I had a buddy who ran in the 4.3s and never trained.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||Mullen||
The guy took the worst team in the best division in football and turned them into average or better, and now has them as the #1 team in the country.
Perhaps even more impressive, he's coaching great defenses to go along with his solid offense. Top it all off with his midwest ties and realtionship with Urban, and he's a pretty attractive candidate.
Who looks better (not named Harbaugh)?
|7 weeks 1 day ago||Yeah||
McElwain is between tier 2 and tier 3 for me...but the steady improvement at CSU is extremely impressive, and he has a strong resume besides, including some midwest ties. I think he's ready, but he's no slam dunk.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||Thanks||
I'd put him in Tier 3, but I agree he should be on the list. I'm just not sure he knows enought about running a college program, and I'm not sure if he wants to be in the NFL as a HC.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||Youth and scheme||
Sure, youth and a scheme change are challenges. But the #107 scoring offense in the country?
It's one thing to be bad, it's another thing to be nearly ineffective. With the talent we have, there is NO excuse for our offensive production. Even Rich Rod's first season--when there was far, far, far less talent--was 99th in scoring offense.
Teams with far worse OC's and far less talent are out-perfoming us. There is no excuse for that.
We are 10 weeks into the season, after having a full spring and summer and fall camp to digest the changes. We are still pathetic on offense. There is no excuse for that.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||Eh||
Gallon wasn't lightning fast, but he was definitely fast. He ran a 4.49 at the NFL combine (zero fakes out of five). His top gear wasn't the fastest, but his quickness was amazing.
|7 weeks 2 days ago||Joke||
While this is obviously a joke, we could do a lot worse than Schiano.
|7 weeks 2 days ago||Futility and failure||
It's no secret that I like Coach Hoke. It's also no secret that I think he should be fired, no matter what happens with the remainder of the season. Consider this: we have the 107th-ranked scoring offense in the NCAA. We are one spot behind Miami (NTM), one of the teams we blew out because they were galactically bad.
Coach Hoke should not get fired for being unlikeable, immoral, or failing to graduate his players. That our record is so poor and the team shows no (or few) signs of fracturing is a testament to how well he takes care of his team.
Coach Hoke should, however, get fired for fielding futile offenses that closely resemble RR's futile defenses. In 2010, we averaged 6.75 yds/play. The problem is that we also allowed over 6 yds/play. In 2011, the average dropped a bit to 6.23 yds/play, and we held our opponents to 5.23 yds/play. In 2012, we were down to 6.07 yds/play, allowing just 4.93 yds/play. The decline continued in 2013 despite two massive offensive outputs (Indiana and Ohio State) when we averaged just 5.44 yds/play and gave-up 5.29. Now? In 2014, we are averaging 5.38 yds/play while we cede 4.76 yds/play.
See a trend? The offense has gotten less efficient each season, and is now at the point where, immediately following a huge blow-out victory over Indiana, we are still ranked #107 in scoring offense.
The big question: WHY?
Nuss is regarded as one of the top offensive minds in the country. I will bet anyone any amount, any time that Nussmeier goes on to have a very good career as an OC and probably even HC after he is done at Michigan. He is not the problem. (It's possible Borges wasn't the problem either)
I agree with Brian: the assistants are NOT getting the job done, and Hoke is not holding them accountable or creating an atmosphere where attention to detail is paramount. Wisconsin fired their O-Line coach mid-season, and turned things around almost immediately. Michigan has been far too patient with Funk, not to mention Jackson, Ferrigno, and even Hecklinski. The offensive staff has not been able to get the players to execute their assignments, and therefore they should be canned, along with the HC that has kept them employed.
That we have MNC-winning coordinators on both sides of the ball tells you that we have adequate football knowledge to be at least competent in all phases of the game. Unfortunately, our offense is a wreck, and shows no sign of lasting progress. Given that we now have an OC known for grooming excellent QBs and getting the most out of his talent, it's plain to see that the final variables are the HC (whom we know is not that involved on offense) and the offensive assistants, who appear to be culpable.
|7 weeks 2 days ago||BiSB||
While Jim Harbaugh is probably my ideal coaching candidate, spread-to-pass seems like the most fun scheme to me.
That said, I agree 100% with BiSB. I DON'T CARE. Whatever works, man. Move the ball and score points. We are currently living in some sort of hellish hell-world where Michigan State is the #5 scoring offense and we are the #107 scoring offense. Plz make it stop.
|7 weeks 2 days ago||Conspiracy theory||
Is it a coincidence that we just started running some classic Harbaugh wham plays this past week?
|7 weeks 2 days ago||We can haz Harbaugh?||
|7 weeks 3 days ago||Hello!||
Welcome to the family! Kate approves!
|7 weeks 3 days ago||Happy Birthday Coach!||
|8 weeks 2 days ago||Please, don't ever, ever,||
Please, don't ever, ever, ever rate '14 Hoke. Please.
|8 weeks 2 days ago||Good find||
Seth, what's the basis for giving Jim Harbaugh a "1" in offensive and defensive execution?
Stanford was #5 in oFEI in 2010, and #6 in dFEI. They were #2 in overall FEI, only behind Auburn. They were #6 in dS&P and #3 in oS&P, overall #5.
Hard to execute much better than that, especially when you consider they weren't loaded with anywhere near the talent of some other top teams.
|8 weeks 2 days ago||Recruiting||
No, his players are not engineers first. I live near CSM and can tell you that Stitt actively recruits football players in Texas and tries to convince them to become engineers.
Believe me, he's not out recruiting engineers to play football. It's the other way around.
|8 weeks 2 days ago||Rodriguez||
Was the best possible candidate at the time. He was known as THE innovator of the zone read/spread to run offense and had turned around one of the worst programs in college football.
There was no better choice.
RR's failure is a combination of factors--his arrogance/obsessiveness about his offense put the defense on the back burner, and when he finally realized he needed to fix it he never hired a guy who knew how or who fit with his philosophy. Just as significant, the university and the alumni never supported him fully.
RR is one of the best coaches in college football, and anyone who says otherwise is just not paying attention to facts.
|8 weeks 2 days ago||Nailed it||
I think you nailed the essence of it, if not the title. RR's questionable recruiting did have some negative consequences for our program when a handful of guys he tried to bring in didn't make it.
|8 weeks 2 days ago||I heard||
It was spray-painted green and "SU" was added to the end of it.
|8 weeks 2 days ago||Awesome & Stitt||
Seth...this is awesome. I think you've put together good metrics for a quantitative rating system. Thanks for the work.
Stitt is probably overrated by a couple of points, since his success is the most difficult to translate to top-tier football, but I'm picking nits.
This is great stuff, and I appreciate it.
|8 weeks 3 days ago||Mike Hart||
What about "Where's the threat?" from MD?
The disrespect goes both ways, and the MLive article is right: it's petty and unnecessary.
The fact is that MSU has been kicking our ass, and so our little stunt looks ridiculous, while MD's antics only pass because he's winning. When the tables turn again--and they will, soon--MD should learn to shut the hell up.
|8 weeks 4 days ago||Good stuff||
Great post. While we may agree on the quality of Hoke's character, there is no disagreement on the quality of his performance.
The program is a mess; Bradon and Hoke need to be excused.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||He should not be back||
I upvoted you because I am glad to learn about the high respect for his character, but he should not be back next year, for the same reason a math professor who is a good man should not continue to be a professor if he can't help his students learn math.
Hoke should be fired, even if he is a high-character, likeable guy. He is not good enough at his job.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||Someday soon||
Before 2015, you'll feel a lot better.
|8 weeks 6 days ago||Not sure||
If this means you like or dislike...
|8 weeks 6 days ago||Eh||
A pretty good summary of the program, and the conclusion that this all rests on Schlissel's shoulders is spot on. That said, I have a few quibbles:
We've past the point of no return. The ONLY way keeping Brandon has a good outcome for Schlissel is if the football team turns around dramatically in 2015. That means waiting at least another full year and enduring constant niggling from students, alumni, and fans about the state of the program. And even that outcome seems highly unlikely.
Even if there are some compelling reasons to keep Brandon--he hasn't done EVERYTHING wrong--the expediency of removing him makes too much sense for Schlissel, who can't afford to submarine his own agenda by betting on a hated figure like Brandon and a sub-par coach like Hoke.
TL; DR: Schlissel is smart enough to see he'll have to deal with this issue for another year if he doesn't remove Brandon now. And, IMO, if we lose badly tomorrow--by 14 or more points--it's the final nail in an already tightly-sealed coffin for AD and HC alike.
|8 weeks 6 days ago||We covered the spread!||
|8 weeks 6 days ago||Beat State||
I want it to be like this:
But feel more like this:
|9 weeks 1 hour ago||YES||
|9 weeks 2 hours ago||That Poem||
double post fail
|9 weeks 2 hours ago||That Poem||
|9 weeks 21 hours ago||Can't tell you||
I've never said I don't want Narduzzi b/c of a lack of HC experience, but not having experience as an HC is certainly a negative. You'll notice that I'm not too excited about ANY coordinator.
There have been lots of coordinators that couldn't hack it as HCs, both in college and the NFL:
And those are just the coordinators-turned-HCs that failed last season.
As for Narduzzi, I believe he's one helluva defensive coach, and that he may do well leading a program somewhere. I also think he's an MSU-loving, arrogant sonuvagun who might crash-and-burn. DO NOT WANT. That said, I understand why some people do want him to be considered for the job--he has an amazing track record of success as a DC.
|9 weeks 1 day ago||My dream off-season||
Here is the best possible off-season, IMO:
All of these are actually possible, if not probable.
But if I can't have all that, then getting Dan Mullen as HC would be freaking fantastic. And I would want him to bring Geoff Collins (DC) with him. And yes, I would prefer this over Les Miles.
Here's my list (in order of CURRENT preference):
There is a BIG gap, then these guys are other names I'd be happy with:
And here are the more fringe guys I wouldn't rebel against:
And, finally, the guys I'd be grumpy with but would reserve judgment:
|9 weeks 1 day ago||FALSE||
Dan Mullen's defenses at Miss. State have been better than his offenses.
This is the first year his scoring offense has out-performed his scoring defense, and both are damn good.
Mullen would, IMO, be a very good hire. I don't think he's a Jim Harbaugh homerun, but he would be a very good hire.
|9 weeks 1 day ago||Great post||
A few things:
It would be interesting to see if he has the desire to coach at a big school that's not his alma mater (WVU). If Holgersen gets hired by a big school this offseason, I think Doc ends-up at WVU--where he stays until he retires.
|9 weeks 2 days ago||Chris Webber timeout jokes||
Still too soon for me.
On Hoke, BiSB nailed it. That is all.
|9 weeks 2 days ago||Welcome!||
Welcome to the family, Mr. Tice. Can't wait to see you kick a game-winner.
|9 weeks 3 days ago||Funny?||
Are you trying to be funny? No personal ties? Let's see...
Just becuase he didn't go to U-M doesn't mean he doesn't have personal ties. Yeesh.
|9 weeks 3 days ago||Straw man||
Who said scheme doesn't matter? Not me. Not Chip Kelly.
|9 weeks 3 days ago||Trying||
"Schemes and play calls don't win games, Execution wins games." –Chip Kelly
They are certainly trying to run an offense that makes sense, sets itself up for easy yards, and takes advantage of the defense's weaknesses.
But they can't seem to do it.
Schematically, I have no complaints. That the coaches can't get superior athletes to execute their assignments is confounding. I really thought Nuss' would be able to make some headway in that department--it appears to be the exact opposite.
We are using QB runs, counters, pop passes, quick slants, WR screens, RB screens, IZ, OZ...this is a good scheme, rife with constraints and deceptions. We can't execute it.
By this point in the season, if these coaches were good at their jobs, we'd have seen some major improvement. Look at how far JT Barrett has come in half a season.
Most of the pain is on the O-Line...PSU showed us that even a great player like Hack can't be effective behind pylons.
Funk must go. Wellman must go. Jackson must go. Ferrigno must go. Hecklinski has been okay...Hoke? Gotta go.
Borges deserved his firing; we hired what many believed was the best OC in the country to run a MANBALL scheme. I think we can now see that it really isn't the play calls--it's the execution, and yes, that is on the coaches.
|9 weeks 3 days ago||We should hire the most||
We should hire the best coach for the program. Period. I don't care if he's coached for a rival or not.
PS - negged OP for being in favor of Tressel...liars and cheaters are NOT good for the program
|9 weeks 3 days ago||Sometimes, you just have to use your eyes||
I really don't care what the FEI and S&P+ ratings are; I've watched both teams, and our offense is going to have a tough time scoring points on MSU.
That said, I agree with BiSB--these metrics aren't really very accurate until the whole season has been played. That's the problem with metrics--they only measure the past.
HOWEVA, I do believe this year's MSU squad is MUCH more beatable than last year's outfit. But I think Vegas has the line about right.
|9 weeks 6 days ago||Thanks||
I appreciate the addition. There is some great stuff here.
I see Claeys a bit differently.
First, I think as a coordinator, you can't give him the same score you give the HC--he doesn't have control of a program. Claeys is more of a "B" the way I've been grading. He's had success everywhere, but not as a HC and is just now playing with the big boys.
Second, on Michigan ties, he's probably more like a "B" on my scale. Some solid ties to the area, but none to the school.
Recruiting is closer to a C/C+. Claeys did not recruit Hageman or Vereen. His coaching is clearly pretty good, but he didn't recruit them. Minnesota is doing a little better on the recruiting trail now, and he deserves some credit, but he hasn't shown that he's a great recruiter at this point in his career.
I think a C/C+ is about right for Claeys on Chances/Loyalty. If he wants to be a HC and is offered the Michigan job, he would have to take it. Kill, if he's the man of honor I believe he is, would actually tell him to take the job. And I think he would stay awhile. But does he want the job? Does he want to leave Kill? I'm not sure.
"Demeanor" is about how the coach carries himself, how well he presents, and if he appears to be a good motivator. Claeys would rate as a "C" here, as his folksy chub is strikingly similar to Hoke...I don't think fans would like that one bit. He clearly gets the most from his players, though.
Three Phases is probably correct at a B--which would be very high for a strictly defensive guy, but Claeys has operated as HC on a few occasions, and deserves credit for that.
Roster Fit is most definitely an "A", although he'd prefer a QB who can run, I think.
Overall, he's closer to a 2.81 (B-), and that's being a bit generous. I do not have ANY interest in him as a HC at this point in his career. I'd like to see him have success running a program first.
|10 weeks 13 hours ago||FALSE||
I know you said it's your opinion, but last year the staff probably substituted TOO much. Every position on defense rotated like crazy--even the secondary--and the O-Line was a revolving door. We never established a RB. Other than DG, Gallon, and Funchess, the line-up was in a constant state of flux.
These guys aren't afraid to substitute. You still see it on the D-Line, and some in the secondary. They've rotated LB less this year, but that's just about it.
|10 weeks 19 hours ago||You forgot one measure||
Success of the football program.
But here are a few others, and they are at least somewhat measurable:
If these aren't part of the AD's evaluation checklist, there's a problem.
|10 weeks 21 hours ago||FWIW||
Our offense is #67 in oFEI and #48 in oS&P.
This would suggest that our offense is actually mediocre, not awful.
It would also suggest that S&P is WAY better than FEI, amirite?
|10 weeks 1 day ago||Good stuff, Brian||
Thanks for the post--great stuff.
While revenue is an important measure of an AD's success (money matters, whether we like that or not) it's pretty damning that Brandon's success in that department is just okay. Given the messes he's created elsewhere, I'd say it's time for Dave to go.
|10 weeks 1 day ago||Recruiting||
Herman gets the best grade I would give a coordinator. He's a great recruiter by reputation, but would he be as good without Urban Meyer behind him? We don't really know. He wasn't pulling in 5-star players at Iowa State.
An "A" grade is reserved for HCs that have proven to be the best in the country.
|10 weeks 1 day ago||You know what assuming does...||
|10 weeks 1 day ago||Yes||
But he has also admitted a desire to be a HC.
|10 weeks 1 day ago||Hope you're right, mostly||
I would not support the Les Miles hire, even if he won lots of games. I do not trust him.
Harbaughs or Mullen are basically the best-case scenarios. I think they are possible, but I'm not betting the house we get one of them.
|10 weeks 1 day ago||Thanks||
Did not know that. Thanks for the info. That does certainly give him stronger ties to the area.
|10 weeks 1 day ago||No||
I think Bielma has the job he wants: an SEC team he can turn around.
|10 weeks 1 day ago||AGREE||
I wholeheartedly agree.
The issue here, however, is not that he's religious, but that he's asking his players to join him in his faith. He tells them God blessed them, and tells them to give the glory to God.
Being religious is one thing. Telling your team they won because God blessed them is another.
|10 weeks 1 day ago||Bud Foster||
Should we be considering this guy for our CC? The way he used the double-eagle front against Ohio State was awesome. That was an RPS win, for sure.
|10 weeks 1 day ago||THIS||
I did not think it was possible to like Denard more, but that story is amazing. He deserves all of the success he has had, and more.
|10 weeks 1 day ago||Yes||
|10 weeks 1 day ago||Video of full speech|
|10 weeks 2 days ago||Hip Hip!||
|10 weeks 2 days ago||Just one factor||
Roster fit needs to be included because fans are impatient. If it takes a new coach four or five years to build the roster he needs to be successful, chances are good that he won't be coaching the team by the time his players are developed enough to win.
While I agree that we should find the best coach--regardless of how his philosophy fits the roster--the reality of college football today is that success is demanded in a short period of time, and being able to have success with the existing roster is a must.
|10 weeks 2 days ago||Hope||
Is my current strategy.
|10 weeks 2 days ago||Hoke and Brandon||
If they both stay, I think we'll see more heads on the staff roll. Possible casualties:
I also believe it is possible, if not likely, that Nussmeier leaves. I don't think he'll be fired, though.
|10 weeks 2 days ago||Ace||
I think his team would be winning the Draftaggedon thing at this point.
This was a great post, Seth. Thanks for some reading material during the bye week. I've been hoping to hear about Brandon's pink slip for two days, and I'm afraid we've missed our window. He might be safe after all...
|10 weeks 2 days ago||#53||
That is about right; there may be 52 better teams in the country right now.
Hard to believe Penn State is ahead of us. It's actually pretty damning that we're so low with the talent we have.
What's surprised is that our OFEI is not as bad as expected--we are 67 there. But our DFEI? Yeah, we're #50(!). We're even better in S&P - 48th on offense and 23rd on defense (ahead of FSU, Wisconsin, and Ohio State).
What we thought we be good is just okay; what we think is terrible is just worse than mediocre.
Yay, I guess?
|10 weeks 3 days ago||Last of the HCs||
A look at the remaining HCs I'll be covering, unless a new name pops up. Dave Doeren has eliminated himself.
Next up will be coordinators and fringe candidates.
|10 weeks 3 days ago||I don't disagree||
Here is a good way to say this: I believe Schiano would be an upgrade over Hoke. I do NOT believe that Schiano is an elite coach, and I don't think he's the best man for the job.
But the best man for the job may not take it, and I think Schiano could be a very good coach for Michigan. I don't WANT Schiano. I would be okay with Schiano.
I'm not just grading coaches I want. I'm grading the possibilities.
This post was NOT an endorsement of Greg Schiano. He's probably about 10th on my list; but I wouldn't throw a tantrum if we ended-up with him.
|10 weeks 3 days ago||Schiano.||
As I said, I don't view Schiano as a homerun by any stretch of the imagination, but he did pretty darn well at a school that has some serious issues.
While his start at Rutgers was awful (a school that hadn't had a winning record since 1992), his last six years he was 49-28. Hoke never had sustained success like that, and the Big East, while bad, is better than the competition Hoke faced. Schiano coached in the NFL for three years. He was also a DC at Miami (YTM) and coordianted the #12 and #7 defenses in the country in his two years there--and he achieved the #7 defense playing the 12th-toughest schedule in the country.
And let me ask you this question: Can you imagine Bill Belichick asking Brady Hoke for advice? What about Urban Meyer? Schiano has worked with both the Patriots and Ohio this off-season, and is widely regarded as a defensive guru. He has a clear defensive system and a sharp football mind. He is highly demanding of his players.
Again, I don't think anyone would mistake Schiano for Jim Harbaugh, but he's a guy who seems to fit Michigan's culture and is very, very different from Brady Hoke in virtually every way. Brady Hoke is delegator, Schiano is a micro-manager. Hoke is a rah-rah position coach, Schiano is a detail-oriented coordinator. Hoke is patient with development, Schiano is highly demanding RIGHT NOW.
I'm not going to tell you that you should like Schiano, and I'm certainly not going to guarantee that he's a success at Michigan. But he's nothing like Brady Hoke.
|10 weeks 4 days ago||Geography||
Yeah, to me, these are the states in the South (culturlaly):
Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri (most of state), Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia (some of state), West Virginia.
But geographically, Kentucky is just south of Indiana and Ohio...hardly south. In the summer, Kentucky averages a datime temperature of about 87 degrees. 23 degrees in the winter. Does that sound like the south to you?
Just having fun, though--Kentucky is DEFINITELY in the "South"
|10 weeks 4 days ago||Short answer: Because people||
Short answer: Because people want to hear about them.
Longer answer: While significant HC experience seems like a prerequisite to us, the fact is that you just never know. A guy with loads of coordinator experience could knock the AD's socks off in an interview, and who even know who our AD will be?
I'm leading with the guys with HC experience, and Stoops popped in early because he's been hot.
|10 weeks 4 days ago||Good stuff||
I like it, though I agree that some of the metrics seem to be overweighted. Still, a great place to go for a quick quantitative look at each guy.
I'll keep doing my write-ups to compliment yours.
|10 weeks 5 days ago||Not MSU. That is asking for||
Not MSU. That is asking for trouble.
I would guess Northwestern.
|10 weeks 6 days ago||Mostly fine||
I appreciate the well-thought-out piece, but believe you're building strawmen with your arguments and that you really get to the meat of it here:
First, the players do deserve our support, because they bust their butts for Michigan every day. As many have noted, this does NOT look like a team that has given-up--it looks like a team that is disorganized. That falls on the coaches and AD, not the players.
Seth's post this morning was right on: players feed off of crowd energy. This is why winning on the road in college football is hard.
An organized petition by season-ticket and box holders in the off-season to boycott makes some serious sense: it sends a message right to the wallet, which even Brandon would have to listen to. But a mid-season cadre of folks not sitting in their seats won't communicate anything to a group of people who have demonstrated they won't listen to what they don't want to hear. The tickets are already bought and paid for, and the few scraps that remain are financially insignificant. What I'm saying is that I believe your premise is vastly flawed: a handful--or even a fistful--of empty seats won't send a message to Brandon or the university. Showing up and chanting fire Brandon will.
Going to the game wearing a "Fire Brandon" shirt, getting "Fire Brandon" cheers going during the game every now and then, and actually showing up and showing displeasure will communicate MUCH more loudly to the power that be: the President and Regents. If you're not there, they don't know why you're not there. If you're there and tell them why you won't come back if they don't change things, that seems MUCH more effective to me.
I was once an LA Clippers season ticket holder (2002-2003 season). I went to 41 of 43 (including preseason) games in a season that saw the Clippers go 27-55. In late January, I went to the game with buddies and, as the game was finishing, we all put on the traditional paper bag masks with "FIRE GENTRY" emblazened on both sides. We were on the news that night. Gentry got fired in early March. I'm not saying our paper bags did the job--but what I will say is that Staples Center was mostly empty all season, and no one would have noticed if we stopped showing up. Almost everyone noticed our stunt. And yes, after the season was over, we sent another message by not renewing our season tickets, as did many others, and that had an even bigger impact on the Clips.
It's also an unfortuante fact that people will complain just to complalin; if you demonstrate that you do indeed support the university and players by showing-up, your displeasure registers with other people who love and support the university. Perhaps the best shirt would read: "Go BLUE! Fire Brandon!"
But like you said, it's America, man. Do what you want.
|11 weeks 1 hour ago||All-time great post||
Thanks, Seth. That was one of the best-written, best-argued posts I've ever read, and it has helped me reconsider some of my positions.
Well done, sir.
|11 weeks 20 hours ago||Good stuff||
What did you think of McElwain? Is he animated at all on the sidelines? Dude looks just about dead in his press conferences, which last F O R E V E R.
|11 weeks 20 hours ago||Mattison was right||
The offense was good enough to win this game. The missed PI on Chesson on a 3rd down and the DERP on Darboh's conversion at the end of the game cost us some probable points, but hey, that stuff happens.
It's still not smooth: the receivers are not getting open and the QB is not accurate. The running game appears to have taken a step forward, and did so without a gimmick. Hooray?!
We need improvement in both the running and passing game if we want to have a chance against PSU (and a shot at a bowl game).
|11 weeks 22 hours ago||Offense||
If we don't turn the corner this week, that corner ain't turnin'.
We need a W against PSU to salvage any hope of a bowl game.
|11 weeks 1 day ago||Did not know||
Just read; Gundy is now squarely in the "Do not want" list. Thanks.
|11 weeks 2 days ago||My feelings on EVERYONE||
Like (as of right now):
Not ready yet:
Don't want (reason):
|11 weeks 2 days ago||A few things, but mostly RESULTS||
I don't think Hoke is inept, though he has made some pretty awful decisions. I don't think Mattison and Nussmeier are inept, either. I think--if they keep coaching after they leave--this whole crew will go on to have success.
Michigan is one of the two most difficult places to win in all of the country. Here's why:
Only Notre Dame faces a similar cadre of demands, and they are not as attached to "old-school" play styles as Michigan is. They were willing to innovate.
As for Hoke et al., here are what I perceive to be the biggest challenges:
While it's too early to judge Nuss, the rest of the offensive staff has failed to develop the copious talent on the roster. The defense is good, but lacks the innovation to take the step to great.
"Execution" failures happen because coaches can't get their players to do the right thing. That is absolutely a failure of coaching. I don't think these guys are inept, I think they are better suited to reclamation projects where instilling a winning culture is enough to move the needle from 3 wins to 9 wins. That doesn't cut it in the Power 5 world.
Our staff's shortcomings, the lack of precision in a college football landscape dominated by it, and the stubborn adherence to principles of the past are holding our program back. It's time to move forward. #CC
|11 weeks 2 days ago||Why||
Why would Nuss leave 'Bama just to go somewhere else where the HC dictates how he calls the game? I'm not buying it. If Nuss left Saban to get away from the control freak, I'm sure he made certain he would be able to do his own thing at Michigan.
Sorry, you can't blame Hoke for everything.
|11 weeks 2 days ago||Stitt||
I am going to CSM game later this month, and will post an update with pictures.
I feel Stitt is WAY too much of a gamble as HC, but the guy deserves a shot as an OC, and he deserves it now.
|11 weeks 2 days ago||Half-true||
Non-competes come whenever a lawyer drafts one. They tend to be pretty weak documents, but I, for example, have a non-compete that says I won't work for any other firm in my industry for two years if I leave my current company voluntarily. This is not uncommon.
Enforcing them is another issue entirely.
That said, I highly doubt Herman has any sort of non-compete in his contract.
|11 weeks 2 days ago||Poorly-worded||
The OP saw Bo as an innovator; he was arguing that Bo's ability to adapt and change is what made him great. I was writing from his persepective, not mine, so the post is a bit unclear. Sorry.
|11 weeks 2 days ago||Summary||
|11 weeks 2 days ago||Summary||
|11 weeks 2 days ago||OP just dumped a box of these on my screen||
|11 weeks 2 days ago||Slow down||
|11 weeks 2 days ago||NOT apples to apples||
ND 2013: 71st rush defense
ND 2014: 9th rush defense
MN 2013: 55th rush defense
MN 2014: 35th rush defense
Mat, you are not comparing apples to apples. Both of these defenses are much better than they were last year against the run.
There has been improvement. Is it good enough? No. But there has been improvement. Nobody is endorsing the coaching because of it--it's not good enough. But it's better than last year.
|11 weeks 3 days ago||Todd Graham||
I like his resume, I worry about his cultural fit at U-M.
|11 weeks 3 days ago||Good suggestion||
I am tending away from quantification becuase of the extremely high degree of subjectivity here--normally that is my preference.
I will try it in part two and see how it goes. Thanks.
|11 weeks 3 days ago||McElwain is not someone I'm||
McElwain is not someone I'm excited about, either.
That said, he took over an AWFUL team and has turned them around. They were 3-9 in 2011 (year before he arrived) and, since have gone 4-8, 8-6, and now are 4-1. They have gone from scoring 21 ppg and allowing 31 ppg (-10) to scoring 34 and allowing 23 (+11). The recruiting has picked-up.
He would need a great defensive coordinator, but I think we could do a lot worse than McElwain. He's got midwest connections and knows how to gameplan. Is he a home run? Hardly.
FWIW, I actually think Doug Nussmeier will be a more successful HC someday. I don't see McElwain's passion, though I'm sure it's there.
|11 weeks 3 days ago||AGREE||
I also think giving glory to God would go over like a lead balloon in Ann Arbor.
|11 weeks 3 days ago||Disagree||
I appreciate the suggestion, and, yes, this is obviously a guess, but I think it's key to evaluating a candidate.
It's not heavily influencing the overall grade, FWIW.
|11 weeks 3 days ago||Agreed||
MacIntyre might turn out to be a good coach, but so far, not so good at CU.
I live in Denver and hear quite a bit about him; they think he will resurrect the program here. The problem is that they are 2-4 and just barely beat UMass and struggled against Hawaii. Of course, they followed that up with close games against Cal and Oregon State, but they are a LONG way from being good.
I don't think he's a realistic candidate at this point, and he has no midwest ties.
|11 weeks 3 days ago||Bo/Pragmatist||
I'm a mix of these two. Hoke said all the right things, but hasn't delivered any of them. I'm not comitted to MANBALL tradition, but want to see Michigan win the right way--with frequency and integrity.
Brandon needs to go.
I will NOT back whoever is hired by the university, and I'm not "Harbaugh or bust." I'm open to possibilities, but obviously would love Jim or John (not Les).
|11 weeks 3 days ago||Thanks||
I will add him to the list. I do think he's a candidate.
|11 weeks 3 days ago||I agree||
For the players, I agree Harbaugh is an "A" in the demeanor category. However, he also has to deal with an AD, athletic department, university, alumni, etc. While he seems to be always right, other people don't like to be told they're wrong.
That's why I gave him a "B".
|11 weeks 5 days ago||Yes||
Yes, it stings. But now it stings in that "I pretty much expected this but I still hate it" kind of way, instead of the "WTF??!! I CAN'T BELIEVE WE'RE LOSING TO UTAH" kind of way.
To me, this season will hereafter be dubbed The Season of Infinite Disappointment
I expected a near-great defense and a capable offense. We have neither.
|11 weeks 5 days ago||Changes inside one minute||
The rule, I believe, is that the play clock resets and clock runs (if it was running) unless you're inside one minute in the first or second half. It is a stupid rule, and needs changing. NOW.
|12 weeks 1 day ago||Witch-hunt , etc||
I like Brady Hoke. Always have, always will. I think he's a genuinely good man who knows how to build character and that he loves his players.
There is absolutely NO doubt in my mind that Hoke did NOT believe that Morris was concussed or in any real danger. I do not believe that Brady would knowingly endanger any of his players.
There is also absolutely NO doubt in my mind that the situation was mishandled. That is mostly on the training staff, IMO, and ultimately the AD. But I don't believe the Head Coach is completely innocent, either.
A more aware coaching staff--or to go even broader, football program--would not have allowed Saturday's mess to happen. I mean that on all levels: of course the Morris thing, but also offense, defense, and special teams. The Morris thing is NOT, IMO, damning of Hoke's character, but rather the leadership of the program in general, of which he is near the top.
I also believe it's entirely possilbe that the subsequent bumbling with the press may actually be all honest mistakes--and I'm pretty sure that's as bad or worse than lying. If they were going to lie, you'd think they'd have been much more clever about it.
And that's really, the problem, isn't it? It's completely believable that the systems failed, the communication failed, and the execution was poor. Because that is exactly the product we see on the football field.
These kids love each other, their coach, and hard work. They play with passion, and I do believe they are a family. But they are a family with extremely flawed leadership that lacks the attention to detail and precision to make them successful.
Brandon should be fired immediately, and with prejudice. If Hoke can win out or have just one more narrow loss and the team turns it around, I like the guy enough to give him another season--he's put great coordinators around him, though I seriously question some other staff members (Jackson, Funk, Wellman, Ferigno). That said, I really don't see how this team wins out, or comes even close. 7-6 or 6-6 or 6-7 are all fireable offenses; even 8-5 (unless the losses are extremely close and to great competition and one of them is a bowl) should also be a death knell for Hoke's tenure.
Which is like saying, if you can get that bus that just fell off that cliff to not only land safely but be in good enough shape to get back up the mountain, then everything will be okay. I'm not even sure it's possible, and it's even less plausible.
|13 weeks 20 hours ago||Correct me if I'm wrong||
I thought a waggle was when the QB rollout went the same direction as the handoff (as in the play above), and a bootleg was when the QB rolled the opposite way.
Michigan used to run the "naked" bootleg, meaning no blockers for the QB on his rollout away from the run action, to great effect. The TE would start to zone block with the line then peel off and was often W I D E open. That was definitely the play in '97.
|13 weeks 1 day ago||Harbaugh||
This is the reason I wasn't as excited about Harbaugh when we hired Hoke: it was obvious that he wanted to coach in the NFL. He's a great coach, but if he was just going to show up on his way to the NFL, I wasn't interested.
Now, if he ever does come home, it will be because he wants to finish his career at U-M. I doubt it will happen, but if it does, I'd be grateful to have him.
|13 weeks 1 day ago||Part of the Problem||
The press just doesn't get it. There was exactly one good question in the entire session, about how to counteract Minnesota's strong run defense.
The MGoQuestion was good, but needs to be directed at Nuss.
If you're in that room, stop trying to find a backdoor to getting Hoke to talk about the QB situation. It's not going to happen. There are other interesting things to talk about, and I have to say the media is performing no better than the U-M offense at this point.
|13 weeks 2 days ago||This might be my favorite||
This might be my favorite post ever.
|13 weeks 3 days ago||Hope||
Is our only remaining strategy.
|13 weeks 3 days ago||Cowherd||
Is an idiot. This guy said he would stake his reputation on Lane Kiffin being a great coach. I guess his reputation is fired.
I listen to him sometimes, but he just tries to stir-up controversy to get listenership.
As for the "scout"/whomever quote, here is my rebuttal:
Every player on that list has made not just incremental improvement, but quantum leaps since Hoke's arrival. Yes, it's defense-heavy. Yes, there are no offensive linemen. Believe me, I'm not calling Hoke a developmental genius. But to say there is no development? That's a stupid quote from a stupid "scout" that will never be named because he has no credibility OR just saw what he wanted to see.
I guarantee you several guys off the above list make an impact in the NFL.
|13 weeks 3 days ago||Thanks||
Thanks, I am glad you enjoy the content.
Hope is all I have. Nussmeier is an accomplished coach and he has some talent to work with. Next week we shouldn't have to score too many points to win. But if we don't improve quite a bit before Rutgers, it could get pretty ugly.
I think MSU's defense is considered (or was the last few years) to be nationally elite. But I agree--our crappy conference skews the truth. All the more reason our offense should be able to move the ball...hope is all I have.
|13 weeks 3 days ago||I think everyone agrees if||
I think everyone agrees if this ship gets turned around we'd be happy. Yes, Nuss has only been here for a few months, but he's had immediate turnaround results (to some degree) everywhere he's been.
It has to get better, and it has to get better fast.
|13 weeks 4 days ago||"Pre-Season" is over||
I am a Michigan fan and I will root for a turnaround as hard as anyone. I love this team. I love our players. I think Mattison and Nussmeier are great coaches. Winning a B1G championship, even in a down year for the conference, would be amazing.
We're running out of variables. We have talented players coveted by the top programs int he country. We have top coordinators that have had success at every level of football. Yes, we're still young. Yes, the cupboard was pretty bare when Hoke arrived, especially along the lines. But at this point, there are very few potential goats:
I get it. We have a new offensive system, and a very different defensive system. These are tough things to adapt to, although the defense looks pretty damn good. I understand that Hoke was only left with a few usable pieces (we only have 11 seniors on a roster of 115). But in year four, even if you're not a dominant team, you should be consistently executing your vision.
This team doesn't look a year way from being great. They look like they'll never be great. I hope I'm wrong, but even if you aren't yet dominant, you should be consistently competent.
Again, I hope this team turns the corner. I hope we're B1G champs. I hope we demonstrate competence the rest of the way. But these problems don't look like they can be fixed in three practices per week. These issues look like they are built into the program right now. I'm rooting for Hoke, but I'm Brandon, I'm also ready with a back-up plan.
|13 weeks 6 days ago||My favorite diary||
And I think we may see some 4-3 under, as you suggest. Utah hasn't seen much 12, 21, or 22 personnel, but they will tomorrow (I think).
|14 weeks 3 days ago||Missed the point||
I think you missed the point. Of course football is hard. The field is a classroom, and life is hard.
Michigan seems to lack the precision and cohesiveness that lead to the appearance of ease on the field. I played through college, then coached at the high school and collegiate levels. I know the game is hard.
My point is that we seem to make it harder than it has to be. That we are missing whatever ingredient takes you from very good to great. The frustrating thing is that we seem to have great players and great coaches (or at least coordinators) and we still look far short of our potential.
Teams like Baylor, A&M, OSU, FSU, Alabama, Auburn...they can make it look so easy, even against good opponents. We make it look harder than that against bad teams.
I've played and coached with great teams; there were games and even stretches of games where it seemed like all we could do was win. When was the last time you felt that way about Michigan football?
I want that feeling.
|14 weeks 3 days ago||
|14 weeks 5 days ago||Add||
The dropped fourth down pass, all the yards they lost on silly penalties, and the wide open deep ball.
The score of this game accurately told the story of the play on the field, unfortunately. The blueprint for beating our defense is obvious.
|14 weeks 5 days ago||Concerns||
This defense, IMO, doesn't have many problems, but they are big problems and they are in the secondary.
Countess gave-up another easy slant (on fourth down) and got lucky with the Miami player dropping the ball. TV called it "great coverage," but giving up the inside is unacceptable.
Lewis was beaten on a deep post and we were saved by a bad throw and an even worse adjustment to the pass.
Right now, our coverage is just not very good. Peppers and Lewis look capable, but not great. No one else can seem to play man. The safety help has been average, at best.
I'm afraid Utah is going to tear us up.
|14 weeks 6 days ago||Press coverage and coaching||
Dude who played college football that says our CBs are coached poorly has NO idea how our CBs are being coached.
The truth is that almost anytime you get beat on a play in football it looks like your technique was poor. Watching the film, it looks like Countess is trying to play with proper technique, but Will Fuller is quick and fast and stuff and doesn't make it easy to jam him at the LOS.
What does seem clear is that Countess is not built for press man. But you're being either ignorant or malicious if you're claiming that Manning doesn't understand the basics of press coverage, even if he wasn't a CB coach before this season. Even if you make the assumption that Manning has no idea what he's doing, Mallory is still there, Mattison is still there, and those guys aren't going to let Manning coach the CBs into futility.
Honestly, I put more of the blame on Mattison for sticking with what wasn't working for too long; it was clear early on that Countess and Hollowell simply couldn't execute against the ND players. But believe me, the U-M coaches all understand the basics of press coverage.
|15 weeks 1 hour ago||Hilarious||
I love you, BiSB. Wait, did I type that out loud?
Another great write-up that had me LOLing at my desk. I needed that. Thanks.
|15 weeks 1 hour ago||Amen||
|15 weeks 2 hours ago||There is a good team in there...||
In last year's ND game, Jeremy Gallon was the difference. He accounted for 3 of the 4 receiving TDs (other was Dileo) and 184 of the 294 receiving yards. He got open almost every play, and he got open quickly.
Of course, the '13 ND game also had Good DG show-up, and this year's version was...not Good DG. Even though he had more time to throw (although the pocket wasn't always clean) he looked more rushed and was far less accurate. To be fair, he probably looked better than Denard did in South Bend two years ago.
Let's remember that only six of last year's ND completions are still on this roster. The DG to Gallon connection was a big deal, and Funchess, while the more talented player, isn't the same route ninja and doesn't have the same telepathic relationhsip with DG. We need a quick little bugger or a TE to step up as DG's safety valve this year; that just isn't what Funchess does.
There are lots of negative things to say about Al Borges, but he did know how to get WRs open. Unfortunately, he didn't know how to draw-up a play that gave DG enough time to find those WRs. I'm ceratinly NOT implying that Nuss isn't good at this, but this year's receiving corps is going to take a little time to develop chemistry with DG and the new system.
The blocking, on the whole, was far better this year. Other than Gallon, the biggest difference in the two ND games was that DG went from Superman in '13 to Lois Lane in '14. He needed help this time around, and Gallon wasn't there to give it.
On the whole, I'm much more concerned about the CBs inability to cover anyone than I am about the offense. It will come around.
|15 weeks 2 hours ago||Rule #18 of gambling||
Since gambling means you'll eventually have to bend over, better follow rule 18 too:
|15 weeks 1 day ago||Revealing||
With Hoke, you have to really search the quotes to find something, but this was interesting:
This question and answer was pretty good, IMO. Hoke identified two things we did poorly against ND: tight man coverage (Countess and Hollowell) and a failure to limit Golson's throwing lanes. Now, I'm not sure how much more the DL could actually have done while still trying to pressure Golson, but we sure did blow a bunch of chances to get off the field by giving up slant routes.
|15 weeks 1 day ago||CBs, Mattison failed in a big way||
Reading the UFR and watching again, it's clear just how much of this game was decided by one-on-one matchups where UM simply could not hang with ND's athletes.
Countess cannot play press man against an elite WR; Will Fuller is an elite receiver. Hollowell is another smallish guy who just could not compete with ND's athletes.
Golson's throws were on target and his WRs were getting separation. What's disturbing is that almost all of the damage was pre-snap reads to the first option...that means your pass rush has no chance of getting home. He was picking out Countess and Hollowell and ate them alive.
I have to agree with Greg Mattison here: he waited WAY too long to adjust the scheme. Countess was obviously out-matched (as was Hollowell) and we needed to throw more curveballs at Golson to at least make him think. Most of this damage is on one or three step drops from shotgun where Golson only ever looks at one target. It was just pitch and catch.
Bad game for the CBs, and bad game for the DC.
|15 weeks 1 day ago||No phrases||
It's not phrases that will help him, it's game experience in the system and Nuss' coaching afterward.
Until players see their mistakes on film and recognize what they missed, they often repeat mistakes. If DG is capable of improving, I'm confident Nuss will find a way to make it happen.
Utah will be a good test for us before the B1G season starts.
|15 weeks 2 days ago||Notre Dame and Predictions||
While it's unpopular in today's society (and certainly in the blog world) to do anything other than overreact, I think Brian's guarded optimism is probably the closest thing to true here.
Last year's ND game proved a couple of things:
Retrospectively, DG's performance might have been the game of his life (Ohio being the only competitor for that title) and he could not replicate it with opponents having recognized that #2 was indeed very true and DG can't repeat his superhuman feats if he's on his butt.
Of course, we all believed #2 would improve, and that the rest of the team could carry the water until that happened. We were wrong.
This year's game revealed, I thought, some very different (and some not so different) things:
The good news about this year is that the O-line alread looks better than the '13 iteration, and that #2 and #3 are very fixable. Why is #3 more fixable than last year? Because Doug Nussmeier is a QB whisperer and has worked wonders with every player he has coaced at that position. As for #2, game situations are the best teachers, and playing press man against a live opponent will help us learn.
Last year's coverage was hung out to dry by a pretty pathetic pass rush; this year's pass rush needs a little help from the coverage to defeat the three-step drop (or one step drop from shotgun) plays that make a sack darn near impossible.
What I'm saying is that I still see a team with the potential to be very good, though not great. 9-3 remains very achievable, and 10-2 is not out of the question, nor is an appearance in Indy.
All that said, if MSU and OSU smoke us like ND did, I will be looking for some significant off-season change.
|15 weeks 4 days ago||We will know soon||
Is this a clueless coaching staff? We will know soon.
This game was a game-changer. Losing to ND in a hard-fought contest would have been palatable, and even acceptable. But getting hammered in that fashion indicates deep, troubling problems.
That said, we are still in the first year of a new offense and defense. If these guys can coach, we'll be much better at playing pressure defense and the IZ/spread hybrid offense by the time we travel to MSU and OSU. We must show well in both games; we need to win one.
Nussmeier and Mattison are accomplished coaches. Hoke can recruit, his players love him, and seems to be a genuinely good man that is teaching his players life lessons. With two good coordinators and some good talent, even a few boneheaded decisions by the head coach shouldn't be able to tank the team.
I really don't know what's going on. Maybe Notre Dame is really good. Maybe we are on our way to being really good in the new schemes. Maybe Mattison, Nuss, and Hoke are all overrated.
Whatever the truth is, it will be clear by this season's end. Like it or not, Brandon will have a big decision to make if things don't go well.
I am and have been a Hoke supporter, but I am also a believer in accountability. If this boat doesn't get turned around to the tune of competing for the B1G championship game, it's time to consider a replacement.
|16 weeks 5 days ago||Big Lebowski||
Great movie, and a great line.
But you used it inappropriately...I think that's where the negging comes from.
|17 weeks 1 day ago||Congratulations!||
Also, great post.
|17 weeks 1 day ago||AWESOME||
I loved the background on Nussmeier, as well as the IZ breakdown and the over/under comparison.
I did not like the elaborate SCOTUS opening. It was fine for a paragraph or two, but then it was just too long for a football preview.
Despite that niggling flaw, this is an amazing piece of free content for which I am very grateful. +1 to you, sir.
|18 weeks 1 day ago||Agree, but...||
The important thing is that the QB, RBs, and the O-line know where the potential pressure is coming from (ie, who the O-Line isn't going to block).
Having a system in place where all of those parties understand that is essential. It doesn't much matter who makes the call, IMO.
FWIW, I don't think the QB IDs the MIKE in RR's offenses, and they do just fine.