rundown of Michigan's riser
|21 weeks 6 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?
|22 weeks 4 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.
|24 weeks 1 day 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.
|25 weeks 8 hours 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?
|25 weeks 2 days 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.)
|25 weeks 3 days 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?
|25 weeks 3 days ago||Borges word of the day||
I thought it was "sinecure"?
|25 weeks 3 days 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.
|25 weeks 3 days 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.
|25 weeks 3 days 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?
|25 weeks 3 days 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.
|25 weeks 3 days 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.
|25 weeks 3 days 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.
|25 weeks 4 days 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.
|25 weeks 4 days 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.
|25 weeks 4 days ago||A new era for Michigan, ND, and OSU||
"This is Michigan"
Means offensive dark ages
Rivals do not lose
|25 weeks 4 days 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.
|25 weeks 4 days ago||We were beaten by a better team||
When we played Alabama, we were beaten by a better team.
|25 weeks 4 days 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.
|25 weeks 4 days 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.
|25 weeks 4 days 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.
|25 weeks 4 days 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).
|25 weeks 4 days 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.
|25 weeks 4 days 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.
|25 weeks 4 days 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.
|25 weeks 4 days 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.
|28 weeks 6 days 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.
|29 weeks 2 hours 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.
|29 weeks 10 hours 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).
|29 weeks 1 day 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.
|29 weeks 1 day 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."
|29 weeks 1 day 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?
|29 weeks 1 day 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.
|29 weeks 1 day 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.
|29 weeks 1 day 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'.
|29 weeks 1 day 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?
|29 weeks 2 days 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?
|29 weeks 2 days 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.
|29 weeks 2 days 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.)
|29 weeks 3 days 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.
|29 weeks 3 days 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.
|29 weeks 3 days 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?
|29 weeks 3 days 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.
|29 weeks 3 days 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).
|29 weeks 3 days 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.
|29 weeks 3 days 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.
|29 weeks 3 days 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.
|29 weeks 3 days 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?
|29 weeks 3 days 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.
|29 weeks 3 days 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.
|29 weeks 3 days 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?
|29 weeks 3 days ago||OL drop-off||
To what do you attribute the regression in OL play? This is another very disconcerting development.
|29 weeks 3 days 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.
|29 weeks 3 days 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.
|29 weeks 3 days 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.
|29 weeks 3 days 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.
|29 weeks 4 days 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.
|29 weeks 4 days 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.
|29 weeks 4 days 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
|29 weeks 4 days 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."
|29 weeks 4 days 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.
|29 weeks 4 days 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.
|29 weeks 4 days 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.
|30 weeks 2 days 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.
|30 weeks 4 days 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?
|32 weeks 1 day 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.
|32 weeks 3 days 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.
|33 weeks 10 hours 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.
|33 weeks 11 hours 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.
|33 weeks 4 days 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.)
|33 weeks 4 days 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?
|33 weeks 4 days 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)?
|33 weeks 4 days 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.
|33 weeks 5 days 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?
|33 weeks 5 days 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.
|34 weeks 13 hours 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?
|34 weeks 1 day 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.
|34 weeks 2 days 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.