somehow we're only 124th
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|8 hours 10 min ago||He'd have to have a pretty||
He'd have to have a pretty impressive stint here to be in line for an Ivy League job down the road. Let's hope he's that good.
|8 hours 50 min ago||My freshman year our team was||
My freshman year our team was a juggernaut (despite three inexplicable ties) and we went onto win the Rose Bowl. I became a football manager the next year, one of the "perks" of doing the job (which doesn't pay anything) was being awarded a varsity letter and "getting to go to the Rose Bowl." We were coming off 5 straight conference titles and it was basically a foregone conclusion we'd be there again with an offense featuring Collins at QB, Wheatley, D.A., Amani, Merc, et. al. And a D that had Irons, Steele, Law, and host of other major players.
|1 week 2 days ago||You sure?||
|1 week 6 days ago||not quite||
Muschamp "stepped down" nearly two weeks ago... and if we wanted another Brady Hoke equivalent, I'm sure we could get it done in short order too.
|2 weeks 6 hours ago||"Michigan Man"||
I wish more of the national media would pick up on the fact that, as Hackett explained, the whole "Michigan Man" reference Bo made was simply to indicate that Bill Frieder had basically announced that he was now an "Arizona State" man, and, therefore, someone who worked for, and was dedicated to Michigan would be the basketball team's coach in the tournament.
The meme that followed (as an undercurrent through the 90's but becoming a full fledged "concept" with Rich Rod's tenure) that a "Michigan Man" somehow had all of these "virtues"(virtues that EVERY school claims they represent; loyalty, integrity, honesty, a sense of fair play, etc...) as well as some level of "connection" to the school, was an invention that took on a life of its own. Believe it or not, Ohio State alums (who include individuals such as Bo Schembechler and Gary Moeller) believe that OSU also stands for all of the things that are good and decent in the world.
When the first "process" of hiring a new coach was getting underway, the whole "Michigan Man" thing was being bandied about in the media a lot, but it had a positive context that made me feel pretty good. After the way the term was used (and over referenced) to undermine Rodriguez, it took on a rediculousness quality that we now have to separate ourselves from; OFFICIALLY even. It's too bad.
For a while there, the whole "Michigan Man" thing was pretty cool... then it became a parody. The national media, as is par for the course, doesn't grasp these nuances and tries to paint everything with too broad a brush.
|3 weeks 5 days ago||That's pretty much true across the board...||
I think every individual who has a significant association with a college football team makes it a matter of weird alpha dog pride to be merciless toward any individual who would dare to sully their domain with the symbols or colors of a rival.
I remember Mike Gittleson going APE SHIT at a fellow student manager for wearing green in the weight room at Schembechler Hall... LIME GREEN... IN THE SUMMER... WHEN NO ONE ELSE WAS THERE. The kid literally just stopped in to do a favor for a coach and was wearing some t-Shirt that he picked up volunteering somewhere while in high school, and Gittleson went berserk. There were like four of us in the entire building and the shirt in no way, shape, or form, resembled the green MSU uses(or any of the variations they throw out there every 2 years). It was one of many realizations I had about the "even mindedness" of people whose entire existence begins and ends with "big time college football."
My brother-in-law shared a similar story from when he was on a recruiting trip to Iowa and some kid came through the football building wearing a shirt that had some red on it. Football dudes are touchy about that stuff.
|5 weeks 6 days ago||Jabrill doesn't||
Jabrill doesn't strike me as the kind of kid who wants to sit out a year due to injury, then sit out another due to transfer. He wants to play 3 years and get to the league, and he wants that three years of playing to begin ASAP. Seems to me that staying put is his quickest path the the NFL.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||Although I wouldn't be shocked||
Although, I wouldn't be shocked if he's not. There are plenty of coaches who don't believe that it's worth the time and effort to steal signs and would rather focus that energy into cleaning up their own calls.
Coach Moeller was OBSESSED about having practices watched and signs stolen, but he didn't do it himself. I always got the impression that he was worried that if you started relying on the other team's signs it could become a crutch, plus, if the opposition figured out that they've got you looking, they can hook you and then change something up at a crucial point and gash you. Stealing signs is a chess match that some coaches think just isn't worth the hassle. I've heard more than one coach say that stealing signs ended up backfiring.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||Jeff Long||
Jeff Long would still be my first choice. He's just a solid, heady, "get's it" kind of guy.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||Need to fix the Spaziani||
Need to fix the Spaziani stats. He started in '09 at BC and hence only coached 4 years.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||He specifically said||
it WASN'T cheating. Pointing out that Bo would die is just making a point about how the game has evolved. He wasn't whining, he just notes that it causes some frustration. I swear, sometimes we're just LOOKING for reasons to rail a coach.
|6 weeks 5 days ago||33-0 DeWitt over Tecumseh in 2nd half.||
33-0 DeWitt over Tecumseh in 2nd half.
|6 weeks 5 days ago||Gotta admit||
I've been upset with Dave Brandon for at least 2 1/2 years now. Just really disliked the way he came across, the "band thing" when we went out to Dallas, the skywriting thing, the seat cushion thing... all of it. I so wanted him gone and was thrilled to hear that it was happening today.
But when I actually saw the end of the contract posted, with his signature there... I really felt bad. I mean, I'm glad we're moving forward, but a real sense of empathy took hold at that moment. It must have been so hard for him to put his name to that.
Say what you want, but I think we all know that he really did want what was best for the department and he wanted all of our sports to thrive under his leadership. He took the job with the best of intentions. His vision for what was "best" didn't match what many of us had in mind, sometimes he was WAY off the mark, but I do feel bad for the guy.
I know, I know, he's rich and all that... but I'm sure that this job was never about the money for him. It wasn't all altruistic, I mean, I think he was in a desparate hurry to "leave his mark" on this place; maybe have a building named after him. But I also think he truly thought he was always putting Michigan first. Gotta be tough to basically get "asked to leave" by a place you love, a place you call home.
Still looking forward to the future without him though...
|6 weeks 5 days ago||All I would point out to him||
All I would point out to him is that without "non-athletes" who are interested in sports there are no "athletes" to play them.
|6 weeks 5 days ago||Well... I mean...||
If he's willing to risk Bolivia...
|7 weeks 23 hours ago||Bill Martin||
did Brandon's job before Brandon, and I had occassion to see a few of the emails that were sent his way when the basketball team wasn't doing so well. I also saw his responses, and I can tell you this, he didn't get snarky. Martin had standard responses along the lines of "we appreciate your comments... we appreciate your passion... rest assured we share your concerns... we are working hard to make our program live up to the standards we have here at Michigan..." so on and so forth.
I don't care how "hard" the job is, I don't care how "stupid" some fans can be, as the AD, YOU are the professional, you are the one hired to bridge the gap and hold things together, and you are the one who is supposed to handle your business with dignity.
If your AD can't keep his composure and take the high road when disgruntled fans start venting, then its perfectly legitimate to wonder whether or not he's cut out for the job. The point of all this isn't that being the AD of a major university isn't easy (DUH! That's why he gets paid the big $$) It demonstrates that he's really out of touch with what his job entails.
The fact that he'd even engage in this type of back and forth sends a strong message about not only his lack of professionalism, but his ability to keep his head and make smart decisions. The point is further underscored by the fact that he did this via E-MAIL... REPEATEDLY. I mean, did he seriously think these would never come out? Brian has a few, JUB apparently has a few, it doesn't take much to bring them all together.
Even if we were to assume that he just isn't much for professionalism and decorum, you'd think that a sense of self preservation would have made him go "wait... should I really say something like this to a fan in an email?" The fact that he wrote these things, then hit "send" says a lot about not only what he thinks of himself (he clearly believes he's the most clever man in the room), but of his ability to evaluate a situation and handle it appropriately.
These emails not only emphasize how out of touch he is, but they reinforce the opinion that he is not a very good decision maker. You read these emails and you think "yep. Sounds like the kind of guy who would think that trolling MSU with sky writing would be a good idea... and then would think that denying it after being caught red-handed is also a good idea."
|7 weeks 1 day ago||Jump that shark! Yeah!!||
Jump that shark! Yeah!!
|7 weeks 1 day ago||Plus||
simply saying you have a "policy" by which you delete emails after a certain amount of time doesn't always fly either. You have to have a reason for such a policy, and it better be a somewhat compelling one. "We're running out of space on our hard drive" doesn't fly anymore.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||Uhhm,||
WD wasn't privy to the other emails that demonstrated the authenticity of his. Only Brian and the crew could have done this. Plus, WD is just a dude posting on a blog. If he had to go to this extent to "vet" something that he, himself, had 100% faith in, then he just wouldn't have posted it and this whole fiasco would have stayed burried.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||This is true||
But the burden would be on the department to demonstrate that this policy was implemented as a basic matter of practice, for a legitimate reason, and not to circumvent FOIA (including potential future requests). Depending upon the judge, that could be a tough hill to climb. What are they going to argue? They were running out of server room?
I've seen judges who do not accept that argument because the defendant was unable to demonstrate that the policy was related to any practical purpose, other than to establish plausible deniability. Especially when the practice of when to destroy emails differs from the practice of when to destroy, say, inter-office memoranda.
I mean, you're right, there's more to it... but at the same time, "its our policy" doesn't get anyone off the hook without a serious, plausible reason for the policy; especially in circumstances where "the policy" also, conveniently, happens to allow the entity to deny FOIA requests.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||"I am WD"||
I picture him proclaiming that as MR. ROBOTO winds down in the background...
...not sure why...
Anyhoo... you shouldn't have taken such a beating WD. As I've posted elsewhere, there were plenty of reasons to give you the benefit of the doubt. Wish I'd spoken up.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||As they say...||
therein lies the rub. There are so many variables to being at the top of any profession. Read "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell. It really touches on how much success and failure comes down to variables that we simply can't control. The movie industry goes through CEO's at an alarming rate, and, on the average, none seem to be much better, or worse, than any others... but the industry is still convinced that there are people who can predict the relative success or failure of a movie 3 years before its even made.
Top line coaches come in all shapes and styles. Some "nice guys" have made it, like Bill Snyder or Dick Vermeil. Some are successful because of, or in spite of, their total dickishness. Some are a genius on one side of the ball and are smart enough to surround themselves with top notch assistants. Some are big picture guys. There is no one "tell" when it comes to identifying a guy who can captain the ship of a big time college football program. Some say Nick Saban would be successful no matter where he is, he's just that good, but recall that he left MSU because he didn't believe he could compete nationally there. He knows it has to ALL COME TOGETHER. The school, the coach, the circumstances, the situation... it all has to align if you want to have a string of success and not be a school that rises and falls every few years, or worse, never rises at all. Bo+Michigan+Canham = SUCCESS. But that was far from guaranteed at the time.
The most you can do is reduce the variables, find candidates with qualities that appear to replicate other successful coaches, pick the one who strikes you as the best fit, and roll the dice.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||I stayed out of it||
But gave WD the benefit of the doubt myself... mostly because the athletic department never came out and issued a denial after Olbermann mentioned it. To me, if it was 100% untrue, they would have issued some kind of statement. Instead they kept quiet, so I figured it was probably legit.
The fact that a FOIA request turned up doesn't always mean a whole lot, but for some reason a lot of people took that as "proof" that the email was a fabrication. The first thing I thought was "well, all that means is that they're deleting emails."
Likewise, if I'm in WD's shoes, how else do I verify something? If I know for a fact that my source is legit, say it is my aunt, or dad, or someone I implicitly trust (or someone I know simply isn't savy enough to fake it) then I wouldn't "vet" it either. I mean... whats the point? You know what you've got. Besides, if you don't trust a guy when he says his info is "legit," why are you going to trust him when he says "I vetted it, and it's still legit?" As Ace, et. al. have shown, there is no way to prove "beyond a shadow of a doubt" that it was authentic. The best you can do is show that the FOIA denial proves nothing, and then demonstrate that the email is in-line with other things that are out there from DB and isn't an obvious fake. Only a place with that type of knowledge and resources, like this blog, could have done that anyway.
Damn... now that I look back on this, I feel bad that I didn't speak up.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||Thanks.||
I don't post often, as you can tell, but when I do, I try to be thoughtful.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||Not sure who||
Not sure who this is directed at... if you're referring to my post (maybe you're not), all I can say is I've never had any personal interaction with Dave Brandon, so I don't know if he is, or isn't, a nice guy. Word is that he's not, at least not always, but I'm not speaking from personal experience there. I know Hoke is, from personal experience.
DB may be a "nice guy," I don't really know. Both he and Hoke have "bungled" things. Hoke, bungles beacuse he's in over his head, DB bungles out of hubris. Brady makes mistakes when he has to come to decisions on the fly, DB and his group have the time to THINK about the moves they make, and then bungle them any way... and then lie about them... then ignore the fallout... then offer up lame half hearted explanations which usually involve placing some of the blame elsewhere.
Say this about Hoke; we may not think he's being candid enough at press conferences, but the first words out of his mouth are always "I take full responsibility for that." He never pretends that someone *else* paid the sky writers, or someone *else* miscommunicated with the corporate partner, or says "nu uuh, we never banned seat cushions... oh wait, I mean, we never MEANT to ban them..."
|7 weeks 1 day ago||I think Wojo nailed it||
This article was spot on, at least he captures the sentiment from my perspective perfectly. Some folks want to bash Hoke, but he doesn't deserve that. A critique, however, is fine, and it is legitmiate to say that this is simply too big of a stage for him; especially when things start to spiral out of control. It's easy for things to go bad fast at a place like Michigan, much more so than a Ball State or SDSU, because the expections are so much higher and demands are so much greater. While in some respects you have more margin for error here given the "cache" of the school, which brings in more talent and resources; but on the flip side of that, once the negativity gets rolling and the downhill momentum starts picking up speed, it takes some serious know-how to reverse things. This was the first time in his career that Brady was faced with a series of problems hitting him all at once at a place that doesn't "let things ride" for very long. He wasn't up to the task. Gotta call it for what it is.
However, I reject the notion that Hoke can't be a "great guy" if he doesn't show some occassional "dickishness," a-la Dantonio or Kelly. Hoke is who he is. "Dickishness" just isn't something that's in his DNA. We can debate all day about whether or not having a bit of "prick" in your personality is required to be successful at the highest levels (Bo certainly had it, so did Lloyd), but "great guys" don't have to also be surly on occassion, and they can be appreciated for being fundamentally decent, even if that means they don't have what it takes to win at the "big time" schools.
I was a student manager during Hoke's first year back in '95. Mattison had been the "boss" of the student managers until he was promoted to DC after Coach Mo was shown the door. Hoke was awesome to us. Unlike Mattison, who gave us our orders (through the senior manager) and sent us on our way, Hoke actually "talked" to us as a group... asked us how we were doing, whether we needed anything to make our jobs easier. Mattison was a nice enough guy, but he, like so many other coaches, was so laser focused on his own responsibilities, that the managers were generally treated as a set of tools to keep things running. We knew we we're doing okay if we weren't getting noticed (kind of like O-lineman). Hoke, though, approached it differently. He took the time to make us feel important, and when we did our jobs effectively, he let us know. The only other coach that really took the time to connect with us was Lloyd. All of the coaches were decent to us (save maybe Bobby Morrison, although he grew on you after a while). Freddy J and Les Miles, especially, would joke with us, chat with us, but only Brady and Lloyd actually told us that we really "mattered" to the team and reminded us that how well we "executed" made a difference.
To tell you the truth, I cringed when Coach Hoke was hired. I genuinely like Brady. You can't help but like him. He's not just a great guy, he's an AWESOME guy. But, I never felt like he possessed the mental accuity, that "CEO" quality, that was required to be a HC at the highest level. (Whether or not he could be enough of a "dick" on occassion wasn't something I thought of.) Back in the day, I figured he'd eventually find a defensive coordinator gig and live out his life flying under the radar at some school like Washington State or Rutgers. But then had some success as a head coach, said all the right things at his initial press conference here, pooped gold his first season, and I became hopeful. If he could hire the right coordinators and get Michigan rolling enough that they we could basically just stay the course and "maintain," maybe we'd be alright.
Well, it started unraveling in multiple ways and, unfortunately, he wasn't able to stop it. Now, my biggest fears have been realized. I feel bad for the players, I feel bad for us fans (GOD it sucks living in the Lansing area right now) but I also feel VERY, VERY bad for him. This was his dream job and he desperately wanted to come in here and reestablish this program. Not for "him," but for us, for MICHIGAN.
What sucks about all of this the most, for me personally, is that I'm passionately in love with a sport where, more times than not, the pricks survive and the good, decent guys get eaten alive, usually by their own fan base. Based upon his decency as a human being, alone, Brady Hoke deserves to be considered the next Bill Snyder while guys like Urban Meyer should be sitting between Lou Holtz and Mark May on Saturdays pontificating on what Jimbo Fisher should be doing with Jameis Winston.
Unfortunately, being a good, decent person, alone doesn't make one a great head coach at this level. Brady probably never should have been hired. But we can't blame him for taking the job (although we can blame Dave Brandon for extending the offer) and we can't blame him for being what we always knew he was. His game management and ability to develop players is fine when everything goes like its supposed to... unfortunately when things start going south he doesn't quite have the accumen to staunch the bleeding, at least not at this level. I'm as dissappointed as anyone that he isn't "better" at this, and Brandon probably shouldn't have hired someone who didn't have a track record of not just building up a program, but managing one through tough times and high expectations. Again, though, that's on DB. But one thing I think we can all agree on is that it was nice knowing that he wanted to be here and genuinely loves our school. He's no Lane Kiffin.
So, let's wish him well, send him off, and hope that this athletic department has learned something.
The big lesson? I guess it's hire a coach who isn't "quite right" in the head. Outside of Bill Snyder, they seem to be the only ones capable of thriving in these elite jobs.
|7 weeks 2 days ago||Baffled||
Personally, I'm just baffled by the whole stake thing. I get the motivational thing, but all week Hoke had these guys clamped down, mouths shut, focus on the game... the message seemed crystal clear. And then, BOLDEN of all people?! He doesn't strike me as the kind of guy that is all... I dunno... STUPID about stuff like that.
I'm not sure what else Hoke could do. I mean, he's clearly in over his head, too big a stage, blah blah blah, no question there. But the players still listen to him, they don't discount him or second guess him or talk behind his back. It just seems so ODD that they'd run out there and put a tent stake in the turf. Take away the whole contrived "DISRESPECT" card that Sparty is always going to play (I thought Baumgardner had a pretty good article on this) overall the gesture just seemed I dunno... WEAK.
It's like the players listen to him, but have also adopted his habit of not really thinking things through.
|7 weeks 5 days ago||Oh goddamint.||
|7 weeks 5 days ago||I loved how the helmets||
I love how the helmets back then appeared to have been base painted in maize with the blue over top so when the "battle scars" started accruing it revealed maize scratches underneath.
I remember as a kid thinking thaty you could guage how "tough" the other team was by how much maize they were able to reveal under the blue by the end of the game. To my kid brain, that was how you measured the worthiness of your foe.
|8 weeks 5 hours ago||So...||
You're saying... there's a chance?