I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
|2 days 1 hour ago||4th year as coaches||
In the fourth year of Hoke/Borges/Funk, you still will not be able to attribute any blame to them? Even if they cannot coach up, for instance, one of the highest ranked guards in the country as a recruit, in his third year under these coaches? Might as well give everyone a perpetual pass -- RR is to blame for all problems forever. On the other hand, Auburn fired Scott Loeffler (OC) and Gene Chizik (head coach), who led Auburn to a 0-9 SEC record last year, and in year one of the new regime, they are 7-1 in the SEC, ranked #3 in the country, and have the 5th best rushing offense.
|6 days 21 hours ago||Any clues?||
Any clues who Michigan has in mind for OC?
|1 week 1 day ago||Coaching and Indiana||
Doesn't surprise me to see Indiana, with OL Coach Frey, well above the trendline in all of your charts. I hope we have an excellent OL Coach and OC next year to coach up all the talent we have on our roster.
|1 week 6 days ago||Bowl game||
Is that a possibility? I don't know enough about the picking priority, etc., to tell if that could even happen.
|1 week 6 days ago||Our old coaches||
Early in the second quarter, Arizona has 13 first downs (and 21 points) on the 5th ranked Ducks, using a QB that did not get a FBS, FCS, or Division III offer out of high school.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Why we aren't yelling at Mattison||
We aren't yelling because Mattison took one of the worst defenses in the country and immediately turned it around. It has been a top 20/25 outfit ever since. No excuses that he needs five years of recruiting his kinds of players, etc. Moreover, Mattison has a track record of success, which, while not a perfect indicator of future success, is a better sign than a track record of failure.
It appears that you would like to use scoring offense/defense as your indicator of whether a coach is performing well (as opposed to total offense/defense, or FEI). Even cherry-picking this statistic, which helps Borges (as opposed to total offense), here is his track record (this includes the year prior to his arrival as well as his years at each stop):
Year Team Total
2000 Cal 80th
2010 Mich 25th
In the Pac-10/Pac-12, regression.
In the Big 10 (at Indiana), steady regression.
In the SEC, after catching lightning in a bottle with two first round RBs (seniors) and a first round QB (senior), all developed by a previous coach, three years of steady regression.
In the Mountain West, one good year (2010).
In the Big 10 again, regression. (Yes, the scoring offense number at 39th so far isn't as bad as 57th last year. I do not think we will be scoring as many points on Ohio State as we did on CMU or Indiana. We have one TD in regulation the past three games.)
Given that we are willing to pay an OC enough to put him in the handful of highest paid coordinators in the country, we can find people with better resumes (i.e., track records of success, rather than regression). There were threads earlier that threw out a handful of names. Personally, I would love to see Hoke and Brandon take a chance on someone like Bob Stitt. But if you want to emulate Stanford (and we swung and missed on Harbaugh and his staff), why not go after Bloomgren? Or how about Charlie Taaffe (who makes a quarter of what Borges does? Or Sean Kugler, about whom Chris Peterson apparently said: "There's absolutely no question that he's the best football coach I've ever been around." (Kugler was assistant head coach with Peterson at Boise State in 2006, when they went undefeated.) He's making $280,000 as head coach of UTEP. He could coach his son and the rest of the blue chips we brought in, who look confused under Funk and Borges. We have plenty of preferable options to our current situation.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Wisconsin under Bielema||
Bielema took underwhelming recruiting classes and won the conference numerous times, making it regularly to the Rose Bowl. Those who lack our "clear naivety of organizational dynamics" would prefer more regression under Borges (who has not made it to the end of a fourth year anywhere in the past dozen years, being fired from Cal, Indiana, and Auburn) to actual success on the field?
Also, "flush[ing] a lot of QB recruiting"? We foolishly passed on taking any QB one year; Borges has done a really fine job of coaching up Bellomy and Gardner; and while I hope Speight turns out to be a star, he is a consensus 3 star recruit.
When you are willing to pay an OC enough money to make him top 3 in the country, you don't need a successor lined up when you realize that the one you have now is not only not elite, but is below-average. His offenses have regressed here, just like they did at Cal, Indiana, and Auburn. Given that we are now willing to write a big check for an OC, we could use that money this offseason to bring in someone who is worth it.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Huh?||
Akron's players are better than ours? It seems like you are saying that anyone with more career starts is better than someone with fewer. I will happily line up 3 and 5 star recruits with little experience taught by competent coaches against Akron (whose very good coaches are working with players who largely did not receive offers from AQ teams). (Akron's 2011 recruiting class had one 3 star recruit, nine 2 star recruits, one 1 star, and 13 recruits with no stars.)
Moreover, I thought that Hoke defenders' main point is how well he recruits. If recruiting ranks do not matter (because only experience does), why are we paying $4M to this head coach?
Our players are not the problem. We have seen what the defensive staff can give with all levels of recruits, helping individuals who have largely struggled get better. We have also seen what this offensive staff does. Based on my understanding of Borges' history, I think we have been set up for regression and disappointment.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Little talent on offense?||
We have (1) a returning LT that would have gone top 5 in the NFL draft; (2) a second or third round RT; (3) a senior QB who was a top recruit; (4) the top RB in the nation in last class, according to some scouting services; (5) the #1 guard from 2012, etc., etc. We don't have the talent to beat Akron or UConn by more than fluke and a prayer? We may not be able to get anything out of these players due to our coaches' ineptitude, but to think that we have "little talent on offense" is hilarious to the 100 (or more) other FBS teams that would trade their offensive rosters for ours in a heartbeat (provided they would have an opportunity to coach them up). Take a look at the roster of the teams that are beating us, or that we are beating with goal-line stands at the end of games, and reconsider.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Hoke doesn't fulfill the criteria||
He was clearly referring to Urban Meyer. Meyer took a 2-9 Bowling Green team, and immediately turned it around, going 8-3 in year one and 9-3 in year two.
Both of his years at Utah, he won the conference title and the bowl game, going undefeated in year two (and taking Utah to a top 5 ranking).
Hoke has never won a conference title, even in the MAC or WMC. He inherited a Ball State team that went 6-6 under Bill Lynch, and spend the next four years below .500. His fifth year they went 7-6. Lightning struck in year six, but even then, Hoke's ranked Ball State team was soundly beaten by Turner Gill's team in the MAC championship.
We hired a .500 coach with no conference titles to his name (and he still does not). He is a good recruiter, helped reunited the fanbase, and will always be incredibly dependent on having excellent coordinators underneath him if his teams are going to succeed. We do not have an excellent offensive coaching staff, including OC.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Michael Cox under Hoke/Borges||
Michael Cox was also an option available to the non-RR coaching staff we have in place now (in Cox's senior year). Cox was given fewer carries by Hoke/Borges (zero carries in 6 game appearances). I'm glad he has found a place on the Giants' roster, and I wish him the best, but let's not turn this into a RR criticism. (Cox also averaged 3.6 yards per carry at UMass, with a season long of 32. So it's not like he lit the world on fire in his final year (on a weak team, admittedly).)
|3 weeks 3 hours ago||Thank you Desmond||
In the end, this will ultimately be Dave Brandon's decision. The more he hears from former players (Larry Foote, Ryan Van Bergen, Desmond Howard), the more likely he will cut the cord. As a marketer, he also must realize that with a new OC he can sell hope, and he needs that hope to keep getting preferred seat donations, to support recruiting, etc. (Right now, all anyone can see is regression, which has been Borges' staple for the past 15 years.) Furthermore, Borges had no Michigan ties. He wasn't a coach under Carr, etc. Hopefully Brandon realizes that the Michigan brand he holds so dear can't take another year with this offensive staff.
|3 weeks 23 hours ago||Chant||
Can we get a "Fi-re Bor-ges [clap, clap . . . clap, clap, clap]" chant going? Pretty hard to misconstrue that.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||Screen plays?!||
Screen plays?! Your answer is screen plays?!
(Said in Jim Mora voice, paraphrasing Al at recent press conference.)
|3 weeks 3 days ago||"Great track record"?||
Those halycon days at UCLA were actually 1997 and 1998. In 1999, UCLA and Borges averaged 20.9 ppg.
He had one year at Cal (2001), in which the team went 1-10. The offense averaged 18.3 points per game (105th of 117). Everyone was fired.
He then had two years at Indiana under Gerry DiNardo (2002 and 2003), in which the teams went 3-9 and 2-10. In 2002, they averaged 21.5 points per game (95th of 117). In 2003, they regressed, averaging 14.8 points per game (115th of 117).
Despite that, somehow he was hired by Tuberville at Auburn. He inherited a roster with redshirt senior QB first round pick Jason Campbell, senior RB first round pick Cadillac Williams (5th pick overall in 2005), and redshirt senior RB first round pick Ronnie Brown (2nd pick overall in 2005). With those pieces in place (and those players having been developed for three to four years by others), the 2004 Auburn offense ranked 18th of 120. With each year of Borges at the helm, it regressed: 30th in 2005, 56th in 2006, and 85th in 2007. Borges did not make it to the bowl game in 2007.
He did not coach in 2008.
You'll see a similar regression at Michigan: 27th in 2011, 58th in 2012. (I expect the Iowa and Ohio State games to lower our averages this year as well.) We are putting up 100 yards fewer per game. Our yards per play have regressed each year: 6.8 in 2010 (under RR); 6.2 in 2011; 6.1 in 2012; 5.6 in 2013 so far.
People who know more about football than I do can argue whether he makes the right calls, but the players keep messing things up; whether his offense would work in a perfect world, but recruiting or youth or something else is to blame; whether as someone in the field, he must be given five years at a stop to try to make things work, etc. I simply would like people to know his actual background. Just like when people say Hoke inherited a cratering program at Ball State and turned it around, when in truth, Ball State had gone 6-6 the prior two years under Bill Lynch, and Hoke spent four years trying to get back to .500, and went 7-6 in his fifth year.
Anyway, typing out these statistics is my form of running Touissant up the middle 27 times. Doubt it is having much effect, but feel compelled to do it anyway.
[Note: I see that you are saying he is not working out at Michigan, so I am not arguing with you; I would simply like more people to know more about his record.]
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Bill Stewart||
After RR left WVU, they went with a non-Xs and Os guy who really loved the school and the state and their tradition (and was reportedly a good guy). A man who wouldn't need a map to the campus. Amazingly, his three year record will likely match or eclipse Hoke's. Yes, Bill Stewart went 9-4 each of his seasons as WVU's head coach. Note, he even shared a conference title, something our coach never has.
|3 weeks 5 days ago||Ball State turnaround||
2000 5-6 (Coached by Bill Lynch)
2001 6-6 (Coached by Bill Lynch)
2002 6-6 (Coached by Bill Lynch)
2003 4-8 (Coached by Brady Hoke)
2004 2-9 (Coached by Brady Hoke)
2005 4-7 (Coached by Brady Hoke)
2006 5-7 (Coached by Brady Hoke)
2007 7-6 (Coached by Brady Hoke)
He inherited a .500 team from Bill Lynch. For the next four years, Hoke could not get them to .500. In his fifth year, he went 7-6. He had one fluke season in his sixth year.
If, after the 7 win 2010 Michigan season under RR, Hoke had gone 4-8, 2-10, 4-8, 5-7, and 8-5 in five seasons at Michigan, would you consider that a "turnaround"? I do not think that the term "turnaround" can apply to what happened at Ball State under Hoke.
|3 weeks 5 days ago||"Look at Auburn for example"||
Auburn brought it one of the best modern offensive minds (Malzahn) and a new OL coach, etc. Dave Brandon and Hoke have consistently taken the position that such offenses lead to weaker defenses. The coaches that could bring us into modern era college football might also need a "map to Ann Arbor," another huge strike for Brandon. Probably better to simply watch Auburn football if you want to see offensive competency. Watching the Brandon/Hoke/Borges/Funk/Wellman ensemble put together an offense is kind of like watching your relatives in an awful community theatre play. It's painful, they apparently don't realize how bad they are, and there are much better forms of entertainment out there, but because of familial ties, this is how you will be spending your Saturday. Our Town for the win.
|4 weeks 16 hours ago||"And is better"||
Like those new annoying commercials "And is better," it sure would have been nice to have excellent offensive coaches AND excellent defensive coaches.
With Mattison, we immediately became a top 20 defense, and have consistently stayed there (or close thereto). No mention of needing some new recruits, no blaming RR's lack of recruiting on defense, no issues of "youth/inexperience," etc. Excellent coaching, immediate and consistent results. Those results were also consistent with Mattison's sustained excellence and success at high level positions, and the demand for him in coaching circles.
On offense, after jumping 50 spots from 2008 to 2009, and then jumping another 50 spots to a top ten offense in 2010, we regressed to a top 50 offense in Borges' first year, and regressed further in his subsequent years. Again, this is consistent with his one year stint at California (everyone fired), his two year stint at Indiana with Gerry DiNardo (3-9 first year, 2-10 second year), his four year stint at Auburn (consistent regression, until fired before bowl game). He did have a good year in the Mountain West in 2010, where SDSU played all of one game against a BCS automatic qualifying (i.e., major conference) team.
Unfortunately, it looks it is going to take Michigan longer to learn from history this time around, and it will be a shame if by the time we bring in excellent offensive coaches we don't have Mattison around anymore. And is better.
|4 weeks 2 days ago||Coaching||
Hard to tell why no one has pointed out a big difference between 2012 Auburn and 2013 Auburn, and the significant improvement they have made: they brought in excellent offensive coaches (Malzahn and his OL coach) in 2013. Unfortunately, it looks like we will be saddled with Borges at a minimum for next year, and probably Funk and Wellman as well. Anyone who is familiar with Borges' history, frankly, cannot be optimistic about that fact. (E.g., his best year at Auburn was his first, when he inherited senior, first round NFL talents that others had developed for years. As time progressed, his offenses regressed.) In fact, the trajectory of his Auburn offenses over time and his Michigan offenses over time is more similar than we would like to admit.
|5 weeks 17 hours ago||What they inherited||
Meyer inherited a 2-9 Bowling Green team (2000). His first year, Bowling Green went 8-3 (2001), and the next year they went 9-3 (2002).
He then inherited a 5-6 Utah team (2002). His first year, Utah went 10-2 (2003), and the next year they went 12-0 (2004).
Three times in six years in the SEC (admittedly the toughest conference right now), his team went 13-1. He won two national championships.
He has won his first 20 games for OSU, and the comparison of how OSU and UM dealt with Penn State speaks volumes.
Hoke inherited a Ball State team that had gone 5-6 the previous two years (2000 and 2001). It took six years before Hoke had a team break .500 at Ball State (7-6 in 2007).
He had 4 win and 9 win seasons at SDSU. (His successor has had 8 win and 9 win seasons.)
He has never won a conference championship.
He is undoubtedly a great recruiter. (If you go back and read clippings from his hiring, this is what his brother points to as his greatest strength.) He is neither an offensive nor defensive genius, which he is the first to admit. He (and Brandon's willingness to open the purse strings) brought in a top-notch DC. He also attached himself to Borges and Funk. As a delegator, his success will rise and fall with the quality of the coaching staff he brings in.
To attribute the relative success of the two coaches to one snapshot of recruiting ranks or a "culture of success" seams a stretch. Other coaches are having more success with less talent. Furthermore, to the extent that we want to attribute success to a "culture," there is an argument that Meyer, as someone with the highest level of success previously (conference championships and national championship), can foster that culture, while Hoke, who has never experienced even a conference championship, cannot.
All of this is a long way of saying that while Hoke may be the right person for the job (great character, reunited the fanbase and the factions within the program, priorities aligned with Michigan values), he really isn't on the same level as Meyer as a coach. For the success of the program, I hope he has some metric that he is using to evaluate his coaching staff, and that he does not put loyalty to them or a softness on personnel issues (nobody with a heart likes to fire someone who is loyal, but simply not talented or good enough for the job) above the welfare of the program. E.g., how bad does the line need to be (with multiple NFL-level seniors, 5 star redshirt freshmen, etc.) before Funk is replaced? How many 27 for 27 games against opponents that OSU decimates (by taking what the defense is giving) need to occur before Hoke decides that Borges is limiting the upside of this program? I'm not saying I know the answers, but if there are not metrics in place, we might as well say that coaching does not matter and that whoever Hoke hired at his first stop should be with the program forever. That seems extremely narrow-minded.
|5 weeks 6 days ago||Head coaching record||
"A record is a reflection of one's coaching acumen."
This is Hoke's 11th year as a head coach, and RR's 20th year. RR has a better win percentage over his much longer tenure. RR has 8 conference championships; Hoke has none.
Brandon paid more for a quality DC (Mattison) than he paid the DC and OC combined under RR. Almost immediately, UM went from one of the worst defenses in the country to a steadily good defense ever since (even in the first year, without "Hoke's guys").
On the other hand, our offense has steadily regressed from the heights of 2010.
If, after watching the Akron, UConn, and PSU games this year, you think we have built an incredibly sturdy base of a program, especially on offense, that is your right. Others, who have seen what Borges has done throughout his journeyman career, or the lack of OL development under Funk, see things differently.
But given your original statement regarding coaching acumen, you may want to tone down your comments on RR and Hoke. (Or, at least until Hoke catches up in the win column, wins a few conference titles, etc.)
|7 weeks 3 days ago||Indiana||
You offer a lot of great analysis, which I am not taking issue with, but there is at least one thing that is worth pointing out about Indiana. They have our old OL coach. In the wake of the past four games, a number of people have tried to excuse our OL performance because we (a) are too young/inexperienced, and/or (b) don't have enough talent. Indiana/Coach Frey had to start two true freshmen last year - one at LT and one at G. Both were three star recruits, and combined they had one non-Indiana Big Ten offer offer among them (to Illinois). Given what Indiana is accomplishing with young, inexperienced, and relatively lightly regarded recruits, this idea that Funk and Borges need 4 years of coaching up 4 and 5 star talents before we can expect competent line play is crazy, in my opinion. (Not saying you are arguing that, but a lot of Borges/Funk apologists appear to be.)
|7 weeks 4 days ago||Our old OL coach was very good||
Greg Frey is an excellent OL coach. He took two true freshman 3 star recruits at Indiana last year (only one other Big Ten offer among both of them - to Illinois), and started them at LT and G. Both earned Freshmen All-American honors. Imagine what a good OL coach could do with guys like Kalis (RS Freshman 5 star). Our problem is not youth, inexperience, or talent, because a lot of teams are doing a lot more with a lot less.
|7 weeks 4 days ago||Coach of the year||
I believe his teams would rather win a conference title than have Hoke win an award -- something they have never done in any of his stops in any conference. (For the record, I am fine keeping Hoke, but as a cheerleader/CEO/recruiter type, he needs to surround himself with great assistants. Borges and Funk are not great assistants. Given enough regression, and Borges' history is a repeated story of regression, the great recruiting will suffer.)
|7 weeks 5 days ago||"Great O-line coach"||
If Hoke honestly believes that he has a great o-line coach, it is far more likely that we will go through another full purge in 3-4 years after the bloom of the 2011 season and the "This is Michigan" speeches wear off. Hoke is admittedly a CEO, great recruiter, face of the program type coach. If he cannot surround himself with quality coordinaters and position coaches, we are doomed. Hopefully he is just saying this to keep the public and his team calm, but if he and Brandon cannot see that they have a Greg Robinson/Tony Gibson level problem on one side of the ball, we should expect 2010 type results going forward (with a slight adjustment for better recruiting, until those recruits realize they will be wasted if they are being coached by Borges and Funk).
|7 weeks 5 days ago||A good coach can do much more||
You want examples? Just look at the team we are playing this week, which has our old O-line coach. Last year he was forced to start a true freshman at LT and a true freshman at guard. And they weren't blue-chip, 5 star recruits. No, he had two 3 star guys -- one with one other Big Ten offer (Illinois), the other with only MAC offers. Both earned freshmen All-American honors. The LT allowed two sacks all year, the other true freshman none. Indiana was second in the Big Ten in total offense. This idea that coaching does not matter, and that only teams with upperclassmen four and five star talent can show any competence is crazy. Most teams in the country cannot fathom the talent we have to work with. What this offensive staff (especially Funk, but throw in Borges and the S&C guys) does with that talent is awful.
|7 weeks 6 days ago||Let Dave Brandon know||
Let him know how what we cares out ($ to Michigan) will be affected by the product on the field put out by Borges and Funk. (Don't even think about the possibility of Hoke going anywhere.) His email address is dabran (at) umich (dot) edu. I just re-read my email exchange with him from 2010 when rumors on Hoke started to surface. You'll be surprised -- you are likely to receive a response.
|8 weeks 1 day ago||Points per game||
Arizona was 15th in the country last year in points per game. Michigan was 57th. But if you think Al Borges and Daryl Funk have had better success and are better offensive coaches that RR, you are entitled to that opinion. I disagree. As I said, I am not defending his defenses, which were awful. The criticisms I was responding to were about his offenses.
|8 weeks 1 day ago||I'm not defending his defenses||
I understand that his defenses here were awful, and maybe they will always be awful. Criticisms on the board here tonight were about his offense. Say what you will about his defenses, his recruiting, his sideline demeanor, etc., but to think his offenses do not work, are only relevant "in 2003," etc., is wrong, in my opinion. I still wish we could couple Mattison's defense with an excellent modern offensive mind, with recent sustained success at the college level (run focused spread or pass focused spread). And I have my doubts that we will have the sustained elite recruiting (Alabama now, or USC a few years ago) needed to rely on simply beating opponents based on talent and size advantages on offense.
|8 weeks 1 day ago||RR's offense||
Not that any RR haters care at all about facts, but in his first year at Arizona last year, his offense was ranked 7th in the country in yards/game, with a 60 yd/game improvement over a very good 2011 number. (We were 79th - the Al Borges regression in full effect. We had been 8th in the country in 2010, and regressed to 42nd in 2011 in Al's first year.) RR is playing a QB who was a zero star, zero offer (even from Division II and Division III schools) kid. We make excuses because our 3 and 4 star recruits only have had a couple years under Funk. Say what you will about the weakness of the Big East, the Oklahoma team his WVU team beat, etc., but our current staff's first Big Ten conference title will be their first conference title ever. (I.e., none during the stint in the MAC, and none during the stint in the Mountain West.) Okay, resume your RR bashing.
|9 weeks 6 days ago||Wisconsin line||
Aren't they starting two or three new linemen this year, including a sophomore? And are they not coached by an OL coach who has been there less than a full season?
|9 weeks 6 days ago||Coaching||
Unfortunately, the idea that great and bad coaching has an effect on play is accepted when it comes to Mattison and Gibson, but not when it comes to Funk. I don't understand it.
|9 weeks 6 days ago||He could aim||
He could aim for squeaking out wins against Akron and UConn, regressing offensive stats, and apologists who say he needs 4 or 5 years to get many 4 star upperclassmen coached for years by Funk. Oh wait, that's what your dear leaders are saying.
|9 weeks 6 days ago||Regression||
If Borges' big success this decade is his second year in the Mountain West, let's consider his second year at Michigan:
2010 (last year pre-Borges): 488 yds/game (Nat'l rank: 8)
2011 (first year): 404 yds/game (Nat'l rank: 42)
2012 (second year): 383 yds/game (Nat'l rank: 79)
To me, this is regression. (And this is putting aside 2013.) As I said, reasonable minds can disagree about Borges. Some people may think he is a very good OC. When I look at this career, including his times at Cal, Indiana, Auburn, and Michigan, I reach a different conclusion. Given that Hoke is an excellent recruiter, Mattison is a very good DC, and Brandon loves Hoke, it's likely we will have Borges (and maybe even Funk) for many years, with good (but not elite) teams and mediocre to good offenses at best. In other words, a very clean program (with likeable coaches) that has a lot of 9-4 years. This may remind you of another period in our history.
|10 weeks 2 hours ago||Borges' past is filled with success?||
I think reasonable minds can disagree on that. (Supporters will point to his inaugural year at Auburn, in which he had a senior Jason Campbell and two first round RBs. Detractors will point to various other stops, and the regression his offenses experienced at every stop, including Michigan so far.)
|10 weeks 5 days ago||Experience v. coaching||
If experience were all that mattered, why did Wisconsin fire its new OL coach last year after two games (including a narrow victory over an FCS team), after which it went on to win the Big Ten championship? (Wisconsin's OL coach from 2006-2011 is now an OL coach in the NFL. Does anyone really think Funk could get such a job?)
Experience is of course preferred, but if that were all that mattered, Tony Gibson-coached upperclassmen would be world-beaters. I do not think that is how it works.
|10 weeks 5 days ago||Are we really young?||
I keep hearing how this is a young team, and we need to give Funk, etc., a couple more years. Our depth may be young, but let's look at the starters.
Tackles (Lewan and Schofeld) are seniors. LG is a redshirt sophomore; C is true sophomore; RG is redshirt freshman.
Tailback is a senior.
(WIth this line and tailback, under Borges and Funk, we are 118th in the country in tackles for loss on offense.)
Our QB is redshirt junior (I assume that the medical redshirt is official). Our top two receivers (Gallon, Dileo) are seniors. Jackson is a senior.
I don't think anyone here is panicking about the D because we have excellent coaches on that side of the ball and haven't had dismal numbers or performance, like we have on the O. But even there, the two Gordons, Black, and Washington are seniors.
In short, this is not the young team that people seem to think it is.
|10 weeks 5 days ago||True freshmen 3 star starters||
The point wasn't that Indiana is the epitome of what we should aim for -- we recruit at a much higher level, for instance. The point was that our old OL coach had to play two true freshmen all season last year, both of whom were 3 star talents with almost no other Big Ten offers. Yet those two guys received post-season accolades (e.g., All Big Ten honorable mentions, etc.). I just do not understand this mindset that it should take four or five years of Funk coaching 4 or 5 star linemen before they learn how to pull, etc.
|10 weeks 6 days ago||True freshmen playing||
What's your take on two true freshmen (3 star recruits no less) playing all year last year on the OL for Indiana under Coach Frey, and doing quite well?
|10 weeks 6 days ago||Funk and years of waiting||
Take a look at what Coach Frey did with two true freshmen 3 star guys at Indiana last year. If Coach Funk's name was Gibson, would we really be giving him a four year pass? If you cannot judge a coach by how his players play under him, why does anyone ever get hired or fired? Why do coaches move up the ranks, or get demoted? Hoke's a great recruiter, great for the program, love Coach Mattison, but I cannot see how someone can rationally defend the work Funk has done with the OL over the past two and a half years (and would suggest that we really need four or more years to really find out whether he can teach linemen how to pull).
|11 weeks 4 days ago||Coaching||
Funny what our old OL coach is doing with true freshmen, 3 star talent at Indiana. Why every position coach under Hoke gets a permanent pass is beyond me.
|11 weeks 5 days ago||Funk v. Frey||
What's depressing is that Coach Frey (now at Indiana) took two true freshman 3 star talents last year, started them all year as true freshman, and both won a bunch of accollades (Big Ten All-Freshman, All-Freshman All-America honorable mentions, etc.).
|11 weeks 5 days ago||Thinking about Indiana||
I think about Greg Frey.
Took one 3 star true freshman last year (#83 OG, with offers from Indiana and Illinois), who then received: "FoxSportsNext.com/Scout.com Freshman All-America first team member ... received honorable mention All-Big Ten from the league's coaches and media ... CollegeFootballNews.com Freshman All-American honorable mention ... ESPN.com Big Ten All-Freshman team ... 247Sports.com honorable mention All-Big Ten ... BTN.com honorable mention All-Big Ten Freshman team."
Took another 3 star true freshman TE (with offers solely from MAC schools and Indiana), who then received (as an OT): "honorable mention All-Big Ten from the league's coaches and media ... CollegeFootballNews.com Freshman All-American honorable mention ... ESPN.com and BTN.com Big Ten All-Freshman team ... 247Sports.com second team All-Big Ten."
Does anyone honestly believe we are getting that kind of production with the talent we have from our coaches on offense?
|27 weeks 2 days ago||One reason||
In ten years of head coaching experience, he hasn't produced a conference champion yet (in MAC for six years, MWC for two, B1G for two). Yes, ice cream, healed the Michigan family, amazing recruiter, etc., but conference championships are a pretty decent measuring stick.
|27 weeks 5 days ago||Hoke hasn't won a conference championship ever||
In his sixth year at Ball State, he took a 12th ranked (nationally) Ball State team to the MAC championship against a Turner Gil-coached 7-5 Buffalo team, and Ball State lost by 18. Ball State's last conference championship was in 1996 under Bill Lynch (later of Indiana).
|28 weeks 2 days ago||First round RBs||
Remember that the only time in the past decade plus that an Al Borges team won its conference was when he had two upper classmen first round draft pick RBs and a first round QB on the roster.
|50 weeks 2 days ago||Borges and WRs||
When high school WRs look at our offensive coordinator, what successful WRs do they think of? Did someone flourish under the Gerry DiNardo/Al Borges combo, and if so, does any high schooler know about it?
|50 weeks 6 days ago||No||
No one here -- even the RR defenders -- has said Casteel is "Mattison but good at coaching defense." Casteel had a pretty good track record at WVU This is his first year at Arizona, and they apparently were starting five walk-ons on defense at times this year.
Everyone here, including the RR defenders, loves Mattison.
What many folks don't love, however, is that we have gotten a WCO re-tread who has a history of regressing offenses at each of his stops. (Yes, we hired Gerry DiNardo's OC. Glad we saved that money and kept our Manball philosophy alive.) This was the first time in over forty years we had three games in which we didn't score a touchdown, if I remember correctly. And that was with a senior Denard Robinson, who holds many of the all-time leading Michigan offensive records.
Look at what RR's first year Arizona team did offensively, and then look at our slide in all offensive categories from 2010 to 2011 to 2012. If you do not understand why some of us still wish we had a RR offense (or a Sonny Dykes or Kliff Kingsbury or Chip Kelly, etc. offense), instead of Big Al's, I don't know what to tell you. By what metric is Al Borges doing well here and showing progression? By what metrics did he show progression at Auburn, Cal, Indiana?
Since you appear to like numbers, here are a few:
National Rank in Total Offense (Michigan)
National Rank in First Downs/Game (Michigan)
It appears we are sacrificing a lot just for a few quips at post-game press conferences. I suppose it all depends on what you value more.
|1 year 2 days ago||Everyone is better than Bielema?||
If we take off the maize colored glasses, under what objective criteria is Hoke a better coach than Bielema? I mean, Hoke seems like a better human being, but he hasn't even won a conference title yet (in any conference -- MAC, MWC, B1G). Bielema has done a pretty fine job at Wisconsin.
|1 year 1 week ago||Zen riddles and defending Borges' offense||
When we are ranked 81st in total offense, 99th in first downs, and had three games without scoring a touchdown (for the first time in over forty years), does there really need to be a name to our offense? Is that really hampering the ability of the teams we are facing?
|1 year 1 week ago||Trends that cause optimism||
Michigan's national rank in first downs per game: 22nd in 2010; 50th in 2011; 99th in 2012. I am as optimistic about our offense under Borges for a third year as I was about our defense under Greg Robinson for a potential third year. (Borges' 2004 year at Auburn gives me as much hope as Greg Robinson's 2004 year as DC for Rose Bowl winner Texas or Greg Davis's 2004 year as OC for Rose Bown winner Texas: almost none.)
|1 year 1 week ago||Potential good news?||
We're bringing back coach Frey?
Interesting fact #1: we were 13th in the nation in rushing in 2010; Arizona is 15th this year
Interesting fact #2: SDSU has gotten steadily better in rushing with the departure of Borges and Funk: 48th in 2010; 30th in 2011; 16th in 2012.
But let's blame the personnel. Obviously coaching only affects results on the defensive side of the ball. When it comes to offense, you need four or more years to judge results, right?
|1 year 1 week ago||Borges word of the day||
I thought it was "sinecure"?
|1 year 1 week ago||Agreed - Talent is there||
Amazing how at the beginning of the season, we are incredibly worried about the lack of talent on defense, yet the coaching from Mattison and Hoke always seems to turn underperforming players into overperforming players.
When the opposite happens on the OL -- highly ranked upperclassmen regress -- we start blaming the lack of talent, and say that Borges and Funk will need four years to get their players and system in place. Of course, Borges and Funk have never had success in year four anywhere, but let's not let facts and history get in the way of blind hope.
|1 year 1 week ago||Borges as QB coach||
For the record, I am not a fan of Borges and have not been from the start. I believe the only "QB development" that any Borges defender can point to in the past decade is year one to two at SDSU with Ryan Lindley. It is worth noting that at SDSU, there was a separate QB coach, who had played under Don Coryell. Again, I don't think anything with Borges (e.g., adding a QB coach) is the answer, but I don't think many people realize he was not the person coaching Lindley. The record of his QBs at every other stop he has had the past decade plus give me further reason to doubt that we will see positive strides made at the QB spot or anywhere else on the offensive side of the ball.
|1 year 1 week ago||Our offense versus ND going forward||
What gives you reason to believe that MIchigan's offense going forward will be as good or better than ND's?
I admit that I have not been a fan of the Borges hire from the start. Our total offense ranking has gone from 8th in 2010 to 42nd in 2011 to 81st in 2012. Having studied his past failures as places like Indiana, Cal, Auburn, etc., we are getting the regression that I expected.
Hoke admittedly has no role in our offense (a defensive version of RR), so we don't need to debate the Hoke v. Kelly angle (which would not favor Hoke).
I would love to have optimism about our offense, but see no basis for it. The fact that Borges doesn't recruit just makes the comparison to Greg Robinson uncanny. What logical reason is there to believe that we will be able to be as good or better than ND on offense with this offensive coaching staff?
|1 year 1 week ago||Moving up vs. being fired||
Surely you recognize the difference between moving up in positions (e.g., from ND to Florida to a very good NFL team) and bouncing around multiple locations, being fired, not coaching for a year, and ending up in the Moutain West after your last position was in the SEC, right? Greg Robinson also held a lot of positions, and has more success on his resume than Al Borges. There is a reason why Greg Robinson was not in demand when RR hired him. There is a reason why Al Borges was not in demand when Hoke hired him.
|1 year 1 week ago||It might show he got it||
Unfortunately, I don't think he does. When he said that Bellomy was prepared for Nebraska, I think Borges might have believed it. A good coach would have said, We didn't do enough to have our team ready -- that falls on us. When asked about whether he'd save anything for Ohio, he could have said something clever (e.g., If I did, would I tell you?) and actually have something ready for the Game, instead of showing every new idea in a blowout against Iowa. When asked if he would do anything different after the Alabama game, he might have recognized that his game plan did not work, and at least admit that. Instead, he wouldn't change a thing. Failure hasn't prevented him from being repeatedly hired, so there are no negative consequences in his mind. It wasn't that he was wrong; it's that reality refused to accept the correctness of his vision. I suppose the only comfort we can take is that he is employed in a field where stubborn refusal to adapt to reality only results in lost football games and secondary effects in terms of other people's professions. If he were in the military or medicine, the immediate negative repercussions of his approach would be much more dire.
|1 year 1 week ago||Good fits at his other stops||
One of the biggest problems I have with Borges is his history. His history does not suggest that the offense here will show progress. His best success has been a first year in which he inherited senior first round RBs and a senior first round QB, all of whom someone else recruited and coached. The longer he stays, the worse his offense becomes. He cannot recruit or develop talent. Even at SDSU, he was not the QB coach who developed Lindley (who didn't break a 60% completion rate in the MWC with Borges' "system"). Unfortunately, he is our new Greg Robinson. The only arguments I seem to see being offered in his support could apply to all failing coordinators: (1) they are in the business, you are not, therefore your criticisms are invalid; (2) it is the lack of talent, not coaching (what Mattison continues to do with our shallow defensive corps put the lie to this); (3) give him multiple years to implement his system with his players (though he has apparently never been able to get in "his players" or "his system" anywhere except in the aforementioned first year at Auburn with senior first round picks Jason Campbell, Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown). Using the logic of Borges' defenders, it would be equally prudent to re-hire Greg Robinson. If anything, Greg Robinson has more bright spots on his long resume than Al Borges does.
|1 year 1 week ago||What he had to work with...||
Did the personnel at his disposal change significantly from the first half of the game to the second? Did something happen that forced his hand into running up the gut again and again without success in the second half?
Also, the defensive coaches took a D line that everyone rightfully worried about pre-season and worked wonders. Our O line continues to regress (even Lewan). Just as Mattison and Hoke might be good defensive coaches, maybe our regression on offense has something to do with our coaches.
|1 year 1 week ago||New favorite statistic to show offensive regression||
Relying on a couple big plays to keep things close, without the ability to move the ball.... I looked at our first downs per game today, and it's my new favorite statistic to show how much we are regressing under Borges. (I admit that I have never been a Borges fan; I wish we had brought in someone else to complement the excellent Mattison.)
2010: 22nd in country
2011: 50th in country
2012: 93rd in country
Being familiar with Borges' long history (we hired Gerry DiNardo's OC -- hooray!), I don't see this ending well.
|1 year 1 week ago||A new era for Michigan, ND, and OSU||
"This is Michigan"
Means offensive dark ages
Rivals do not lose
|1 year 1 week ago||Congrats to Denard.M||
My all-time favorite Wolverine. So sad to see him not out on the field (as RB, with Devin at QB) during the last drive against OSU as a senior. I realize he missed a block earlier, but taking him out of the game completely, except for telegraphed runs in which we removed Devin, was madness.
|1 year 1 week ago||We were beaten by a better team||
When we played Alabama, we were beaten by a better team.
|1 year 1 week ago||First downs||
After hearing last night how RR wants to score a certain number of first downs per game, and after they pointed out on the broadcast today at the half how most of our yardage came on two plays, I looked at our first down totals over the past couple years. The stats are even more depressing than our regression in total offense (yardage):
2010: 22nd in country in first downs/game
2011: 50th in country in first downs/game
2012: 93th in country in first downs/game
Al Borges is our new Greg Robinson.
|1 year 1 week ago||All is trending up?||
Unless we wish to gauge things by hopes and dreams (Borges plus a junior Shane Morris will be great!), the offense is not trending up. We have steadily and significantly declined from 2010 to 2011 to 2012 on offense -- be it total yards, first downs, etc. Al Borges might be more entertaining at press conferences than Greg Robinson, but his effect on the offense is similar to Gerg's on defense -- steady and significant regression.
|1 year 1 week ago||O-line and Coach Funk||
Serious question here -- doesn't this (Lewan's regression) cause you concern about Coach Funk? Obviously the interior line has been problematic all year, but with even Lewan regressing, I'm worried that we simply took a significant step back in coaching on the offensive side of the ball in 2011 (with an obviously significant step forward in coaching on the defensive side of the ball). Given that Mattison's staff continues to make something pretty good out of what we thought was nothing special, the results on the other side of the ball are very troubling to me. I'd be interested in other people's thoughts.
|1 year 1 week ago||Personnel excuses||
Each year, we have pre-season worries about personnel on the defensive side of the ball. With very good coaching (Mattison), those worries/limitations are overcome.
The exact opposite happens on offense. As we regress further on offense, instead of looking to the coaches, we simply start blaming the players (many who had success prior years).
|1 year 1 week ago||Bona fides||
Apparently, to some posters, the only person smart enough to assess Al Borges and the "progression" he has made with this offense is a former pizza CEO. Since you are not a former pizza CEO, your mention of our regression in all relevant offensive areas over the past two years is meaningless. Your discussion of Al Borges' failures over the past decade plus is superfluous. It is affront to the tradition of this great program that you might point out we are now 93rd in the country in first downs, and 67th in total offense. It strains credulity to legitimately query why it always seems that Mattison is able to get so much out of players and positions we have concerns about pre-season, while the offense shows new problem areas (which should be attributed to talent, despite being in the program for years). In other words, please stop thinking -- the pizza guy has this covered.
P.S. Please change excellerate to accelerate, and I will sign.
|1 year 1 week ago||Beating USC||
Of course, a Michigan coach has beaten USC recently -- unfortunately, it was after he had been fired by Michigan. I admit that I sometimes watch Arizona just to see what their offense does. There was an interesting point made last night -- RR has a goal of how many first downs he wants in a game. I had never focused on that before. (I've seen our regression in terms of total yards, etc.) I just looked -- we were 22nd in 2010, 50th in 2011, and are now 93rd in 2012. Al Borges is our Greg Robinson. I hope we can put a competent OC together with Mattison, who won't be here forever.
|1 year 1 week ago||Criticism of GERG, Tony Gibson, Al Borges, Darrell Funk||
There was plenty of criticism of Greg Robinson during the RR era, with Dave Brandon ultimately deriding even our wins in shootouts, like the Illinois game. Rightfully so -- we had a putrid defense. This is despite the fact that Greg Robinson has some achievements on his resume, like two Super Bowl rings and a Rose Bowl win.
Now, we have hired an OC that washed out after his time in the SEC, has never lasted anywhere, whose QBs have shown largely shown steady regression and an inability to crack 60% completion rates (because he believes in very high risk, high reward vertical passing). We haven't fully regressed yet, but we're getting there. We've gone from 8th in the country in total offense in 2010 to 42nd in 2011 to 67th in 2012. Al Borges is the offensive Greg Robinson. Yes, he has a few nice things on this resume, like Greg Robinson. But there is a reason why Greg Robinson was not in demand when RR hired him. (RR needed someone cheap, and the person coming in had to be okay with little stability.) There is a reason why Al Borges has bounced around, including not working for a year after being let go from Auburn, and ultimately ending up in the Mountain West. We don't need to overthink this. It's like investing in companies that disappoint because they have to turn around. No, they don't. If we want to succeed on offense, we should invest in coaches that have shown a consistent ability to achieve success in college football in the recent past. (The game has changed since the '90s.) That will cost us more than Borges costs us. Also, Hoke/Brandon believe that imposing your will on offense is critical -- e.g., Hoke's comments regarding defenses being soft if they see spread offense in practice. I really wish that 1950's mindset would die. Were Urban Meyer's defenses at Florida soft? Will his defenses at OSU be soft?
Hoke does not know anything about offense. That's fine. But bring in an OC who does, fergodsakes.
|1 year 1 week ago||A career of failure and regression||
He has failed everywhere he went. Notice how when OSU noticed we were playing soft on the corners, they would throw quick passes for 5-9 yard gains -- i.e., taking what the defense is giving you. We failed at running up the middle all day, but Borges/Hoke/Brandon think Michigan football/MANBALL is about imposing your will. Doing the same thing over and over again when it fails every time is insanity, especially when there are other options. Dave Brandon got the OC he deserved, and he is seeing the results. Someone should let him know when his next marketing meeting is over that OSU is not going to be going back to an interim coach anytime soon, and though we have added Maryland and Rutgers to the B1G, this isn't the MWC. We can do better than an OC that has bounced around for two decades and ended up at SDSU.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Facts and evidence||
Earlier in the thread, you say (in response to Borges criticism): don't let facts and evidence get in the way of good internet spleen. Now you claim that Michigan was top 20 in yard and points per game last year. With even a little research, you would know that that is false.
2010 (RR): 488.7 Yards/game -- 8th in nation
2011 (Borges): 404.7 Yards/game -- 42nd in nation
2012 (Borges): 378.1 Yards/game -- 82nd in nation
We also were not top 20 in points per game last year.
The overwhelming facts and evidence of Borges' long career show failure and regression. Is it perfectly linear regression? Of course not. But his offenses have by and large not shown improvement at his various stops this century, be it in the Pac-10 (Cal), Big Ten (Indiana), or SEC (Auburn). So we are left with the "progression" of the 2010 Mountain West team in which a NFL-drafted QB managed to complete 57% of his passes. Furthermore, the QB of that team (Ryan Lindley) was coached by SDSU's QB coach, Brian Sipe (who studied under Don Coryell himself). Based on the historical evidence we have, the likelihood that Borges will be able to develop a successful offense in the Big Ten and develop a QB who will be able to throw the very high risk, high reward long balls with slow developing plays that Borges embraces is just not very high. There is a reason why so many other teams on the college and pro level have embraced high-percentage plays and up-tempo offenses. And there's a reason Nick Saban is worried about those kinds of offenses (complaining that teams shouldn't be able to play that fast), and not worried at all about the offense Borges would like to create.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Unless three first round pick seniors (1 QB, 2 RBs) transfer...||
Unless we are blessed with transfers of three first round picks who happen to be seniors (and were thus developed by a different staff) at QB (like, for instance, Jason Campbell) and RB (Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams), we will never have the personnel in which Borges has achieved success in a big six conference this century. I am not optimistic that we will be getting those three transfers any time soon.
Meanwhile, when Holgerson started at West Virginia, he was able to use that personnel pretty well. RR, in his first year at Arizona (which won all of four games last year), has used that personnel to go 5-3 so far and put up 39 points on a ranked USC team, 59 points on a ranked Wisconsin team, 35 points on a ranked Oregon State team, and 48 points on a ranked Stanford team. (That offense is now ranked 4th in the country in yards per game and 20th in points per game.) Meanwhile, our offense statistically regressed last year (80 fewer yards per game, for one), and has now taken regressed further. There is no reason to expect anything but further regression next year. Borges supporters say we should be patient for year 4. Yet the only place at which he has lasted four years this century reveals a story of consistent regression. (Year one he enjoyed the three senior first round picks in the backfield.) I am interested to hear of other major programs who are moving to a WCO and achieving success.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Borges is omniscient||
What is interesting to me is that given Borges' omniscience, and the fact that he called the Alabama game perfectly (wouldn't change a thing), and had Bellomy prepared mentally and physically (no question), the teams that he coaches always seem to have so much execution and talent regression. I mean, even regression in the two years at Indiana under Gerry DiNardo. He must be the most unlucky person on the planet, given his prowess at playcalling and coaching, to be forced with the failure and regression of his offenses. It's like all of the players and fate are conspiring against him. Everywhere he goes, he keeps getting it right, and the kids keep getting it wrong -- he's the anti-John L. Smith (MSU rant).
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Indiana||
I haven't watched them play, but they put up 30 against Navy, 27 against Michigan State, 39 against Ball State (in the loss you mention), and 49 against Ohio State. Does Indiana have more talent than Michigan on offense? Do they have more highly recruited and talented OL than we do? I find that hard to believe. But they do have our former OL coach, and they likely have better coaching in general on offense. Moreover, Indiana is putting up with these numbers starting a true freshman at QB. Yet people are saying that years of QB regression or stagnation are excusable in Borges' offense, and we should wait until a chosen one receives years of tutelage in his arcane system before we evaluate. I think the years of failure and regression at Borges' previous stops bode ill for us, and we are seeing ample evidence of that right now. We can dance around it, and make excuses, and say things like: he's been doing this for year -- did he forget how to coach? I would say this our current regression is consistent with his previous coaching stints, and Greg Robinson had far more ammunition to make the argument that previous successes (four Rose Bowl wins, two Super Bowl wins) should drown out recent failures.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Borges' WCO||
How many college teams in major divisions in the past decade have had success with an "Air Coryell"/vertical offense that you think Borges wants to implement? (I assume you will grant me that Borges' 2001 Cal team, his 2002 and 2003 Indiana teams, and his Auburn teams (putting aside the first year, inherited team with seniors Jason Campbell, Ronnie Brown, and Cadillac Williams) do not qualify as successes.) I just do not see the model we are aiming for, or the reason why his offense will show progression here, when it has shown regression at every other stop. But I'm interested in your take on WCOs, as it obvious that Hoke/Brandon would rather eat glass than admit that a spread offense could be "Michigan football."
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Borges needing five years||
I understand your concern, but there seems to be little or no factual support for the idea that Borges' offenses at a location improve over time as he gets "WCO personnel" into the program (and they start the long learning process that the WCO apparently involves). In the past decade, he lasted one year at Cal (everyone was fired), two years under Gerry DiNardo at Indiana (in which the team regressed from 3-9 to 2-10 and the offense regressed from 258 points to 178), four years at Auburn (with steady regression, the pinnacle being his first year, in which he inherited a team with a first round pick senior QB and two first round pick senior RBs), and two years in the Mountain West (with a year of unemployment). Even if we are going to swear off spread offenses, and presumably Run and Shoot offenses, can we not find an OC who offers the style that Hoke/Brandon want who has had success implementing it at other schools?
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Against a good D||
What does a good D have to do with Nebraska this year? Other than their success defeating the Borges WCO No Bubble Screen Everyone Was Prepared I Wouldn't Do Anything Different Offense (TM; (c) 1998), Nebraska has allowed Ohio State to put up 63, Wisconsin 27, Northwestern 28, UCLA 36, and Southern Miss 20. Southern Miss is 0-8, in Conference USA, and their third highest point total this year is against Nebraska. Even Rice held Southern Miss to fewer points than Nebraska did.
Our offense, like nearly all Al Borges offenses throughout his career, is regressing. Even from his first year under Gerry DiNardo at Indiana (2002 -- 3-9 record, 258 points of offense) to his second (2003 -- 2-10 record, 178 points of offense), his offense regressed. I do not see anything in his long history to suggest that his offense will improve -- the great weight of history suggests strongly the exact opposite. Heck, Greg Robinson had more impressive historical successes than Borges.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Yes||
Yes, it bothers me. The inability to move quickly (call it a two-minute drill, but even down two scores with 7 minutes left in more than one game, we cannot even manage a slighly above-our-average temp), the burning of a timeout near the beginning of each game (this time it came slightly later than usual), the wasted timeouts at the end of the half. Nearly everything about our offense is "not optimal."
If we somehow end up with a first round pick at QB (say, Jason Campbell) and two first round picks at RB (Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams), and they develop under another staff, and then Borges "coaches" them as seniors, then I think we have a chance to be competitive at an elite level. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening in the next fifty years.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||YPG||
80 yards less per game is equivalent? Hmmmm.
Borges' teams regress. That is what they do. His high water marks in this century include his first year at Auburn, in which he inherited (didn't develop) a first round QB, two first round RBs, etc. (afterward, regressiona and then unemployment); and arguably his year 2 in the Mountain West, in which he developed his QB into achieving a 57% completion rate. Those are his successes. Greg Robinson's also long career has far more highlights than Borges'.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||QB development||
Isn't the bigger problem that Borges' "system" takes years to implement, and he hasn't shown the ability in the 21st century of developing a QB? As I understand it, his supporters point to (a) the 2004 Auburn team, in which Borges inherited a first round QB, two first round RBs (!), and various other NFL talent; and (b) the 2010 Mountain West SDSU team, in which Lindley, coached by Borges, managed to complete 57% of his passes. Compare that to, for instance, Texas A&M this year. Consensus three-star prospect and redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel is completing 64% of his passes with a 16 to 6 TD to INT ratio. I don't see the reason why years 3 through 5 of Borges will be any different at Michigan than it was at his other stops: regression and failure (though many places he never lasted to year three).
It's the same thing with this board's newfound claim that our OL isn't very good, and therefore isn't very talented. Our former OL coach is now at Indiana. Somehow they are managing to put up 27 points on Michigan State, 29 on Northwestern, 49 on Ohio State. Does anyone think that Indiana has recruited more talent than Michigan? We've seen what good coaching does with the same players on the defensive side of the ball, and are willing to (rightfully) praise Mattison for the work he has done. And it is logical to expect that -- he has had success at the highest level in the past and is highly sought. But now that we are experiencing regression with the same players on offense, a regression that most of Borges' teams have experienced throughout his tenure, why can we not recognize that Borges has not had consistent success, much less at the highest level, and his system isn't being implemented at any of the elite programs? The New England Patriots are not talking to Borges to learn how to run our incompetent two minute drill or painfully slow developing plays.
What is even more depressing is that we might wait until 2015 to see any change in the offensive coaching. Denard helps mask Borges the rest of this year. Next year will likely be a train wreck, but Borges will get a pass -- almost no one will expect Borges to have developed Bellomy or Gardner, and Morris will only be a true freshman. There will be some natural bounce in 2014 -- will that get Borges a fifth year?
|1 year 5 weeks ago||No one is arguing for a 3-3-5||
Yes, we all love Mattison's defense. Is it a moral imperative that we must tie a great defense to a terrible offense? Given that the Humme/Leach/Holgerson/et al. offense can be implemented in weeks (not 3 to 4 years), and show great success quickly, and the same to some extent with respect to spread teams like Arizona (coming off a 4 win season, now putting up huge points on USC, Washington, Ok. State, and Stanford), might we want to think about something other than Al Borges, who hasn't established a consistent, successful offense anywhere in more than a decade? What are we hoping for -- his accomplishments in year 2 at Indiana? Year 3 at Auburn? Year 4 at Auburn? Year 1 at Cal (there was no year 2, etc.)? Which of these is the thing we hope will occur?
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Our OL||
Either Borges or Funk deserve most of the blame for our OL not performing. Look at what our former OL coach has accomplished with Indiana's OL. Are you telling me that he has more to work with at Indiana than we have here at Michigan? Just as our supposedly poor defensive players turned around quickly with competent/very good coaching, it is possible for things to change the other way. I don't know why people simply want to give Borges and the offensive assistants all a pass, because of one positive season in the Mountain West (against abysmal competition), or a 2004 Auburn team with first round picks in the complete backfield.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Regression is the norm||
If you look at the Borges' results at his various stops over the past decade, regression or failure is the norm. Cal, Indiana, even Auburn -- his best year was the first, in which he inherited a first round pick at QB, two first round picks at RB, etc., etc. From there, downhill. To every person who is saying it takes 3 or 4 years for Borges to get his system in place, please name a place where that has occurred. Borges' history is one of consistent regression. (And Lindley's 57% completion rate 'success' is, well -- if that's a success to you, and you think we will get W-L results like that in the Big Ten instead of the Mountain West, good luck.)
|1 year 5 weeks ago||QB regression||
Actually, we have a much larger sample size to look at. How did he do in years 2 - 4 at Auburn -- any QB progression? Two years at Indiana -- any QB progression? One year at Cal (canned before he should show any regression). Even in his second year in the Mountain West (where he landed after the SEC), his pro-caliber QB didn't muster a 58% completion rate. Yes, he has been in the football community a long time. But he has not been very successful, and his QBs and teams have not shown progression during his stints. Greg Robinson had two Super Bowls and a college national championship on his resume. Does that mean we could not criticize his defenses? I just don't see why people hope for something different from Borges when his history tells us he is not going to do well here long-term.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Position coaches||
Yes, position coaches should be evaluated and rewarded if they are good, and let go if they are not. This seemed like a fairly constant theme during the RR years. I don't seem why all of the assistants we brought over from San Diego State and/or Ball State should get a lifetime pass. We can see what good coaching has done with a ragtag group on defense -- the discipline, coordination, sound fundamentals, employed in a scheme that provides them a good opportunity for success. Not sure what positives we are seeing from the coaches on the other side of the ball.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Unemployed offensive coordinators||
All of us had at least as much OC work during 2008 as Al Borges (after his run at Auburn).
And plenty of posters have lasted here on this blog longer than Al has lasted at any job in the past two decades.
But this truly has become like Hollywood. It doesn't matter if you've directed 10 crappy movies; if you once made one that did fairly well, and other people have hired you, then you must not be that bad. Can I get a Greg Robinson amen?
|1 year 5 weeks ago||It seems he never has the right players||
Other than his first year at Auburn, when he inherited a first round pick at QB and two first round picks at RBs, he has a decade and more of failure with (the wrong) players. Perhaps instead of waiting for a once in a generation talent windfall that Borges might not screw up, we could find an OC who has not regressed or failed at every job he has had? Funny how Holgerson in year one at West Virginia, RR at Arizona, etc., etc., are able to show good first years (and showed progression in offense at their former stops), and Al seems to get a pass as we wait for the next Jason Williams, Cadillac Williams, and Ronnie Brown trio to show up so we can witness the Gulf Coast Offense. Why don't we go after Gerry DiNardo, one of Al Borges' bosses in his many and varied journeyman career, while we are at it? Surely with the right players Gerry DiNardo would have had success.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||RR's Wildcats||
They also put 48 points on Stanford, 59 on Oklahoma State, 35 on Oregon State, etc. (besides putting 38 on and beating USC, which Michigan hasn't done ...). Anyone who has watched RR's first year offense in Arizona and our second year offense with Borges can only weap for our team (and post negative posts, like I do).
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Does football still require the part where you have the ball||
And try to score points? Do we still have the laser screen hating, WCO maestro in our booth? Then yes. Sad as it to see it, considering what we have seen Denard, Roundtree, Lewan, etc. do in more capable hands.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Borges' sort of talented||
Agreed, and unfortunately, I think the only time in the past decade that Borges has managed to "coach" a QB to a 60+% completion rate was when he inherited two first round draft picks at RB and a first round draft pick at QB. Should that occur at Michigan,yes, Borges might be able to not screw that up. How often, though, can we expect to have a full backfield of first round picks, and might we want a coach who can succeed with slightly less than once in a decade (or more) talent? Somehow, the talent he had at Cal, Indiana, the rest of his years at Auburn, etc., etc. were not sufficiently his type of talent. I don't see how this works out well for us.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Al and pro-style passers||
You don't need to wait to see Al fail with pro-style passers. Just look at his track record.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Please, God, no.||
Instead of going to Jurassic Park and looking for some Paleolithic football DNA to re-animate, can we hire an OC who runs a modern offense and has had recent success? Someone from the Mumme/Leach/Holgerson/Dykes/et al. tree?
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Genius||
This is what I do not understand. Given his awful record of regression/failure, why do people think Borges is some sort of "offensive genius"? I keep posting his record of failure and regression, going back to Gerry DiNardo's teams, among others. Heck, Greg Robinson has a better resume.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Stud RBs, etc.||
If history is a guide, if we manage to obtain two first round RBs and a first round QB, and those players develop under a different OC, Borges will then be able to call one season's worth of games before regressing again.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Regression||
Considering your user name, I would have thought you would have researched Al's history. It is the story of regression:
UCLA - 5 years - regression (peak was year two or three)
Cal - 1 year - whole staff fired
Indiana - 2 years under Gerry DiNardo (awful)
Auburn - 4 years - regression (peak was year one, with first round draft picks QB Jason Campbell, RB Ronnie Brown, and RB Cadillac Williams on roster; steady regression after year one)
2008 - unemployed
Even Ryan Lindley at San Diego State never reached a 58% completion rate under Borges.
History isn't a perfect guide to the future, but why should we be expecting anything but regression under Borges?
|1 year 5 weeks ago||OL drop-off||
To what do you attribute the regression in OL play? This is another very disconcerting development.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Overachieving on defense||
I don't think it is a coincidence that great, highly sought out coaches like Mattison turn out to lead parts of the team that overachieve. And, unfortunately, I don't see any reason to think Borges' offense will turn out any different than his other, underachieving offenses.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Rich Rod||
He has taken an unranked Arizona team that won 3 games last year, and put up 39 points against USC in a win (eclipsing all of the points Lloyd Carr's teams put up against USC in two Rose Bowls), and 48 against Stanford in his first season. Make-shift O-line? Are you telling me that Michigan's O-line is worse than the OL of Southern Miss, Northwestern, etc. (all of whom had more offensive success against Nebraska)? A good OC with our talent, including the probably the best dual threat QB to ever play college football, could do so much. There is a reason (actually, many reasons) why other college football teams are not trying to replicate the WCO of Al Borges.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||60+% completion rate||
I won't bother to pull all the numbers like I have in the past, but Borges' QBs have more often than not failed to achieve 60%. It somewhat feels like Hollywood, where even though a director's movies have done poorly for the most part, the fact that others have hired him allows him to keep getting hired.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Exactly||
Even 0-8 Southern Miss put up 20 points on Nebraska. We weren't on pace for that, even with Denard. My snowflake: look at Borges' history. His offenses have regressed at every stop, and he has never sustained success anywhere. He was unemployed for a year, and landed in the Mountain West after being in the SEC. There's a reason why he isn't highly pursued, versus Mattison, for example. And considering Meyer's success at each stop and the fact that his team (in his first year) hung 60 on Nebraska, I am very concerned if the Brandon/Hoke long-term plan is to win 12-10 slugfests (with a slow motion two-minute drill) as a matter of course.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||I hope you are wrong about Hoke||
I was very concerned when he came in, based on his sub-.500 record, etc. I hope he can be a good CEO type coach, with excellent coordinators doing their job. Everything I have seen has confirmed my fears about Borges. Landing Mattison was a coup. I hope Hoke and Brandon have the good sense to abandon Borges before too much damage is done (no later after year four?), and I hope Hoke can be a good CEO type coach.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Regression||
Considering the regression that QBs and offenses enjoy under Borges (at least, at all of his previous stops), not sure that three 4 star players would matter.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Your snowflake||
And what did you see with Denard in that would suggest to you we would even put 20 points on Nebraska, like the 0-8 Southern Miss team did earlier this year (the worst offensive showing against Nebraksa before our West Coast Offense came calling)?
Anyone who has looked at his history realizes that Borges is the weak link in the hiring we did post-RR. Why is Mattison the highest paid coordinator in the Big Ten? He's excellent, and good programs want him. Why has Borges never lasted long at any stop, with a move from the SEC to unemployment for a year to the Mountain West? They are who we thought they were
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Year 5||
Borges has never made it to year 5. Would love if Hoke cut the slow bleed short, but he'll probably not make the move any earlier. The question is whether Brandon opens the checkbook and is open to bringing in someone who is not a "Michigan Man."
|1 year 5 weeks ago||OL blocking||
Don't you think our offensive coaches should be responsible for the regression in the OL? We recognize the positive effects of Mattison and Hoke on the DL and D, yet we give Borges and his crew a pass as we regress further and further on offense. To make sure this post is voted as Flamebait, which all criticism of Borges seems to get, take a look what the Arizona offense (off a 3 win season) did to USC today. Nebraska hasn't allowed fewer than 20 points to a I-A team all year (and that was to an 0-8 team). Because Borges has been a coordinator for a long time (e.g., for Gerry DiNardo -- most people forget), people seem to think he is good. He has never lasted at any stop.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Versus USC||
RR's first year, unranked Arizona team just put up 39 points on and beat USC (which beats our total output in our two Rose Bowl losses to USC under Carr with ranked teams) and you still feel the need to hate? Maybe Arizona can pine for Al Borges, and a two minute drill that gets off three or four WCO plays.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Iowa's two minute drill||
Much like Chip Kelly and Brian Belichick sharing notes in the offseason, I have to believe Iowa's coaches came to Ann Arbor in the offseason for pointers.
|1 year 6 weeks ago||Not that OT||
Looking ahead, Borges has never been at one place more than 4 years. I've seen some posters suggest that we could "bring home" Loeffler. I'd love to think we could start looking outside the pool of individuals with previous ties to Michigan, but I think Brandon would give an OC with Michigan ties significant preference.
|1 year 6 weeks ago||Clock management and tempo||
For those on the board who simply will not entertain a criticism about Borges' playcalling, the WCO, etc. -- does his clock management really seem up to snuff? How about our ability to get plays off in a rapid fashion when we need to (late in the game today, down two scores against ND)? I'm watching Arizona put up 52 points on Washington (which held USC to 24 points last week) right now. Even when we absolutely need to move quickly, we cannot (under Borges) move as quickly as AZ does as a matter of course. (Feel free to add other modern offenses if the RR connection makes you see red.) I understand Borges and Hoke want to be a ball control offense, etc., but when we need to move the ball quickly, what is the advantage of being unable to get plays in quickly? And as an aside, doesn't the fact the Patriots are interested in what Oregon is doing (in terms of up-tempo, quick plays), and that Saban is complaining about it suggest that it might be a good idea to learn how to play quickly at times?
|1 year 8 weeks ago||Great article||
Everyone should read this article.
Putting aside the desirability of the WCO, one of my biggest concerns coming from the Notre Dame game was our inability to speed up in the fourth quarter when we were down two scores. From Saban's comments about the speed of play, to New England's no-huddle and Belichick's meeting with Chip Kelly, to the success of Oregon, to teams like West Virginia, Baylor, etc. (Mike Leach coaching tree), to even RR at Arizona now (48 points on Stanford with record pass attempts and pass completions in a Pac12 game), it seems clear that the ability to move quickly on offense and to limit defenses from substituting and getting into complex schemes is a significant advantage. I don't get the sense that Borges recognizes this or can coach it well.
|1 year 8 weeks ago||RR and records||
Pretty surprised to see that in RR's sixth game at Arizona, RR's QB just set the single game PAC 12 record for attempts (69) and completions (45), completing 65% of his passes for 491 passing yards against Stanford. Arizone put up 48 points as a team against a Stanford team that held Barkley et al. to 14 points and 254 yards through the air. Like you said, he has his faults, but some of the stuff he does with offense is pretty special.
|1 year 9 weeks ago||Talent, etc.||
Is LSU's offense really something to emulate? And yes, USC and Alabama have had success using old school, pro-style offense approaches. Do you think we will be able to consistently recruit at Michigan the level of talent of the top two programs in the country -- one located in Los Angeles and the dominant program in Southern California and the other a traditional power in the South, with multiple recent national championships, a coach who talks about how his AD, and the school president, etc., etc. recruit, and that will medically redshirt any four star talent that doesn't pan out? I would rather adopt an offense that is not so dependent on having a top 3 recruiting class year in and year out.
|1 year 9 weeks ago||Five years||
I realize that I will be negged, etc., but Borges has never lasted five years at any place, and his offenses have generally (note my use of the modifier, though I realize that this will still lead to vitriol) regressed during his tenures at various places.
And while I will be further negged, etc., for anyone who has watched West Virginia, Baylor, etc. (amazing the success of the Leach coaching tree) recently, it's very difficult, if not impossible, to see the advantage of Michigan trying to win on a national level with Borges's WCO in modern college football.
|1 year 9 weeks ago||We won't commit theft||
Well, we won't rob defenses of these opportunities. Even down two scores with five minutes left, we will huddle and slowly proceed to our next play. (Yes, the tempo from the Notre Dame game is still killing me.)
|1 year 9 weeks ago||This is too funny||
Arizona puts up 35 points and 545 yards on Oregon State, in their 4th game under RR. (Arizona was 4-8 last year.) Wisconsin put up 7 points and 207 yards on Oregon State this year. And we're moving to that MANBALL, Wisconsin, 1990s UCLA offense with Borges, right? (Not the 2002-2003 Borges Indiana offense, or the 2005-07 Borges Auburn offense, etc., etc.) Watching the good offensive teams today, did any West Coast offenses stand out to you?
|1 year 9 weeks ago||Modern offenses||
Watching WVA and Baylor earlier, and Arizona and Orgeon State tonight, is anyone else depressed at the thought that we simply will not have a modern offense with Borges? The tempo, high efficiency passing (Lindley didn't complete 60% of his passes; neither did McNown his senior year; add in the Indiana QBs and steady decline at Auburn), etc. How many years are sufficient to judge his performance at Michigan? If we have four years of steadily declining offensive results, will we bring in someone new, and would Hoke/Brandon hire someone without Michigan ties? Would we ever experiment with someone like a Holgerson/Art Briles/ Sonny Dykes/ Leach, or would we hire someone who believes in MANBALL (see Hoke's comment about a spread offense hurting the defense who practices against them)? Who are the good up and coming OCs having success with that type of style (if they exist)?
|1 year 9 weeks ago||Borges defenders||
Why do none of the Borges defenders here address the points being made? Three of his four years at Auburn showed regression, not progression. Indiana was a dumpster fire. Even McNown regressed as a senior (nearly doubling his interceptions), and Lindley never came close to completing 60% of his passes.
The Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl in 1998 and 1999 and Texas won the 2005 Rose Bowl with Greg Robinson as DC. Therefore Greg Robinson is infallible and must succeed once he gets his guys in place, right? It's not like Al Borges is a Lloyd Carr man -- I do not see why he gets the free pass.
|1 year 9 weeks ago||Quantum leaps?||
Congratulations on your sophisticated analysis, which apparently consists of calling someone "butt-hurt." What was Lindley's completion percentage under Borges? Did it ever break 60%? (Answer: No.) Don't let facts get in your way. How much "quantum improvement in performance, year over year" did McNown show under Borges? His interceptions nearly doubled from his junior to senior year (6 to 11), and his completion percentage fell back to 58 percent. And this is the one, 15 year old astounding success (the improvement from sophomore McNown to junior McNown) that you are hanging your hat on? How did his QBs at Indiana, for example, do? (Those teams under Gerry DiNardo went 3-9 and then 2-10. Don't even think about a 60 percent completion rate.) I suppose those were successes as well?
|1 year 10 weeks ago||The Borges touch||
Look at the regression made by the three year starter at Auburn under Borges' tutelage. Senior year numbers: under 60% completion, 9:13 TD:INT ratio (worse year in every category). Considering that the schools he has coached at in his 20+ year career of bouncing around generally get worse under his watch, why are Hoke fans thinking Borges will make things better? You don't get promoted from the SEC to a year of not coaching to the Mountain West. We didn't pay big bucks to lure away a successful coordinator, like we did with Mattison.
|1 year 10 weeks ago||Fourth-year QB, etc.||
History has given us a QB who started for three years under Borges (at Auburn). His senior year he completed less than 60% of his passes, had a TD-to-INT ratio of 9:13, and put up worse numbers in all categories compared to his junior year. (And worse numbers in almost all categories compared to his sophomore year.) Given Borges' history of teams and QBs doing worse over time under his watch, why are people surprised that Denard is not making progress?
|1 year 10 weeks ago||Third year starting QB||
By the way, in his fourth (and last) year at Auburn, Borges had a third-year starting QB. That QB made less than 60% of his passes, and had a TD-to-INT ration of 9:13. He showed regression in all of the statistical categories (Yards/Attempt, etc.) from his junior year, and in nearly all categories from his sophomore year. Why do people think things will get better with Borges? They haven't at any stop he has been at for any length of time.
|1 year 10 weeks ago||Some of the best want to work for him||
Regaring "some of the best want to work for him" -- I agree that the phrase applies to Mattison, and I'm certainly glad Hoke+Brandon's newfound checkbook made that happen. But it's hard to see how some of the rest of the staff would qualify.
How did Borges fare in his stint at UCLA, especially in 1999 and 2000 (after years to implement his system)? His two years (and five wins) at Indiana? Did he develop the offense at Auburn, showing improvement year over year? When he had a senior QB at Auburn, who had started for 3 years, was he showing the hallmarks of a well-coached QB in a well-designed offense? Or was this senior completing less than 60% of his passes, with a TD-to-INT ratio of 9:13? After being let go from Auburn, he doesn't work for a year, and then ends up in the Mountain West. Hoke was the right person at the right time to unite the Michigan football community, but let's be honest about Borges.
Putting aside everything else about Saturday, do those who think Borges is doing a tremendous job at OC believe that the drive with 6 minutes left down two scores reflected a well-coached, effective up-tempo/2 minute drill type offense? Modern teams run much faster as a base, yet we could not speed up even when we needed to.
I realize that we found some amber with the 1997 UCLA offense DNA in it, and thought re-animating it would be an inexpensive, MANBALL way to get Michigan back to being Michigan, but sometimes it just pays not to fight evolution.