somehow we're only 124th
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|18 hours 27 min ago||Blessed Saint Bo, intercede for us...||
Seriously, haunt Jim in his dreams or something. Program hasn't been the same since the week you died and we lost Football Armageddon to the Buckeyes in 2006. Coach Harbaugh can bring us back.
This whole thing is making me batshit crazy...
|20 hours 42 min ago||ThoseWhoStay vs. Henson/JeffMoss||
I'm taking these ThoseWhoStay tweets w/a truckload of salt, despite Brian's more positive take on this guy (whoever he is) yesterday. That said, if you believe his stuff, there are two scenarios here which can't both be true:
#1 - The scenario that Gregg Henson and Jeff Moss have pushed for a long time now, and that has been echo'd with all the other "IT'S HAPPENING" chatter emerging from various Michigan "insiders" lately, which Brian has also picked up: Harbaugh is essentially in the bag already and has had some sort of understanding in place w/Michigan for a while now, and it's just a matter of letting him finish out his NFL season and keeping a lid on all this so it doesn't look like he's bailing early on his current team. The only reason he doesn't come back is a last-minute change of mind/he "flakes."
#2 - The ThoseWhoStay/pessimistic scenario -- There was some initial contact/guaging of interest back in November, and Harbaugh either said "no" or said "I can't address this during a playoff chase, focused on my team now, I'll get back to you later." 49ers are eliminated, and now things start in earnest, Michigan approaches him with a firm $8mil/year offer, which is higher than whatever vague numbers they discussed during the initial contacts. Harbaugh is genuinely undecided, has real interest in the Michigan job, but it's more 50/50 and not nearly the "IT'S HAPPENING", essentially done-deal scenario other "insiders" are pushing.
I'd like to believe #1, but tend to think #2 is closer to reality.
|2 days 20 hours ago||So hard to know what to think right now||
It's HAPPENING. It's not happening. ARGH.
Based on everything out there to date, we can saw we KNOW these things ONLY:
* Harbaugh is Candidate #1A, B, and C for Michigan, and he has a significant offer from us (money/years/control) already on the table
* Harbaugh does have at least SOME interest in the job. There's too much positive chatter from too many people for the "he's not interested AT ALL, he's never leaving The Shield" camp to be 100% right. If he truly had no interest whatsoever, he'd have let Hackett know by now, and Hackett would have found a way to leak that info through Webb or others to get the fanbase to calm down
What worries me is all the loose talk that this is a done deal. I'd sure like to believe it, but I think it's just as likely Harbaugh is very interested but still making up his mind -- hell, his 49ers' season really only ended on Sunday, and if he's the coach and competitor we all think he is, he was focused like a laser on trying to get his guys into the playoffs again ("leaders eat last," etc.). As Brian has been at pains to point out, even Harbaugh is dealing w/imperfect information at this point -- he doesn't know yet how many other NFL teams are interested in his services, and how much money and personnel control they're willing to throw at him, how much they'd have to give the Niners in draft picks in a trade, etc. He might be strongly inclined to come back to A2, yet still want to know exactly what he's turning down before giving Hackett an ironclad "I'm in."
I don't think we learn anything more definitive until Dec. 29th, and I'm almost willing to avoid this board and all other sources until then for the sake of my sanity. (Ah, who am I kidding, right?)
|3 days 18 hours ago||What does an offer "competitive with the NFL" look like?||
Harbaugh is making about $5 mil/year with SF. Payton and Carroll are the highest paid NFL coaches at $8 mil/year, w/Belichick just a notch below at $7.5 mil. Presumably, any NFL team that wants to take a run at Harbaugh not only needs to offer him some degree of personnel control (if not a dual coach/GM job), but also money somewhere close to those guys (who probably deserve a little more than JH, since they've won Super Bowls). And knowing crazy billionaire NFL owners, someone will probably offer him more, say, $8 million.
Meanwhile, the top 5 in college looks something like this (http://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/salaries/):
Saban: ~ $7.1 million; Dantonio: ~$5.6 mil; Stoops, Sumlin, Strong - all ~ $5 mil; Then you have Urban Meyer at $4.5 and Miles just a shade below that.
I can't imagine Harbaugh -- who's got NFL experience and took his team to three straight conference title games and a Super Bowl -- would accept not being the highest-paid coach in his own conference, but I'm also not sure Michigan can pay him more than Saban. So we're looking at something like $6 to $6.5 million. Is that enough to convince him to leave the NFL? I sure as hell hope so.
|3 days 21 hours ago||"Do you want to be your brother, or be Bo?"||
I like the way you framed this appeal to Harbaugh, and hope if he's wavering b/w the NFL and Michigan and Hackett has to put on a little pressure to force a decision, he'll say something like this -- "Sugar water" vs. "change the world."
It really comes down to what's most important to Harbaugh. Does he want to be a "legend"? He's much more likely to achieve that at Michigan -- resurrecting his alma mater's football program back to dominant status, vanquishing Dantonio and Urban Meyer, winning Big Ten titles and Rose Bowls and maybe a NC. That's a great story.
Or, does he want to be recognized as a "great coach"? i.e., rather than being Bo 2.0, would he rather be Bill Walsh 2.0 -- someone who won at Stanford and then won multiple Super Bowls, and is recognized in the conversation about greatest football minds at the highest (i.e., professional) level? You can be a great, great college coach, e.g. Nick Saban, yet I'm sure there will always be people in the NFL who sniff at Saban's collegiate success rebuilding Bama b/c he didn't succeed in the NFL. How much would that bother Harbaugh, an ultra-competitive guy?
Here's hoping the chance to make a difference in young men's lives and restore a proud football tradition in Ann Arbor appeals more to Jim than the chance for a couple Lombardi trophies...
|6 days 16 hours ago||That was the more interesting part of the Ray interview to me||
His analogy of the search firm and the advisory committee to a real estate agent and trusted friends/people who live in the neighborhood, respectively was helpful and cleared up some uncertainty on my part:
Point being, the search firm is finding out what "houses" are on the market, and the advisors like Ray, Griese et al. are only a sounding board; Hackett is the guy buying the house and is free to accept or reject their advice as he sees fit.
I have a lot of confidence in Hackett from what I've seen so far. I'm hopeful that at the end of all this, we'll know that we gave Harbaugh our best shot, and if we don't get him, we'll get another good coach.
|6 days 20 hours ago||Late to the posbang||
Wish I could upvote the Lion King gif more than once, that was fantastic.
Here late for the posbang scraps -- I'll take whatever I can get. Been a rough couple weeks; me, my wife, and our three kids (including an 11-month old) have all had some nastily stubborn chest crud stuff. We're all slowly back on the mend; I've been sustained over the past week by cough syrup and constantly F5ing this site for CC news. Here's to good health and HARBAUGH!
|1 week 1 day ago||Would be the one coordinator I'd take the risk on as HC||
A risk, yes, but the upside here is really high, as Brian explains well. If you can't get an experienced head coach home-run hire, then I think Herman is the way to go.
In the previous searchbits thread, I see people assuming that the longer we have to wait to hire someone, the more likely it's an NFL guy we're waiting for, whether Harbaugh or someone else. But wouldn't we need to wait for a guy like Herman too? His team's in the playoff, and presumably he wants to see that through before taking a new job. Point is, I don't buy this argument that a longer wait automatically = current NFL guy.
|1 week 1 day ago||Good God, this is awful||
I can't believe Marcus Ray's on the "search committee." If this is the kind of thinking driving our coaching search (it's certainly the thinking that drove the hiring of Hoke) we are in deeper s--- than I thought.
If we don't get Harbaugh, and aren't willing to look at someone like Hermann, I fear we will end up envying Florida for hiring McElwain (who was one of my favorite Plan B types).
|3 weeks 3 days ago||One of my favorite UM performances ever||
I was a sophomore at the time, and enjoyed every minute of that game.
It's too bad he was hampered by injuries in the NFL, he would've had a great career.
|3 weeks 6 days ago||I second this - we shouldn't limit ourselves like this||
There are good coaches out there who don't happen to have Michigan ties. We need to find the best coach who will get Michigan football back to winning games, and I frankly don't give a crap if he has "Michigan ties" or not; I just care whether he knows what the hell he's doing.
Harbaugh's obviously choice 1, 2, and 3, because he'd be the perfect combination of most qualified on-the-field coach and someone guaranteed to heal (for a while, anyway) the stupid factional rifts in the program that emerged when RichRod was here. But if we can't get JH, I hope we're open to other non-Michigan possibilities. Presumably, an "outsider" this time around, like Mullen, will benefit from seeing what went wrong here for Rodriguez... and also presumably, the Carr-era turds who never got on board when RR coached here now regret their role in undermining a coach who's proven to be a winner everywhere he's been, pre- and post-Ann Arbor, and will give the next "outsider" the benefit of the doubt.
|3 weeks 6 days ago||Don't forget Spike!||
He was also part of that class along w/Nik, Mitch, Glenn, and Caris -- some dubbed them the "Fresh Five" w/ a nod toward the Fab Five. Even Spike, the supposed afterthought in that class, will turn out to be a damn solid four-year contributor in a four-year stretch that already can boast multiple Big 10 titles, an Elite Eight appearance, and a Final Four/national championship runner-up -- and he's still got two years to go. Hell, the kid almost won the title game against Louisville singlehandedly!
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Just adding to all the thank you's above||
Great post, Brian. Lots of good thoughts in the thread as well. The whole situation is just sad.
The basic point Brian's getting at here was perhaps most memorably expressed by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn:
“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Not sure I understand the Gregg Henson hate around here||
Stipulated: I don't know the first damn thing about him as a sports-talk radio guy, and maybe he's a raving lunatic on air and/or a complete jerk in real life; I have no idea. The first I've heard of him has been in recent months w/all the speculation re: Brandon's job status, and our collective ongoing Harbaugh obsession. But I've been following his website and Twitter for the past couple of months, and he was pretty damn on the spot w/r/t info on Brandon's job status, and has generally been careful, as has Brian here, with distinguishing what he knows for certain from what he is hearing from reliable sources but can't confirm. He also seems (and sure, "seems" doesn't equal "is") pretty well connected both with people in or associated w/Michigan's athletics department, and with former teammates/associates of Harbaugh. Based on everything I've seen so far, if Henson says there is serious interest on both sides (Harbaugh and UM) in making Jim Harbaugh the next coach here, I'm inclined to take it seriously -- not as a slam-dunk, but as a good sign nonetheless.
If I'm wrong to do so, can someone explain why? (I'm genuinely curious; if Henson's been totally wrong about something like this in the past, etc., let me know.)
|4 weeks 6 days ago||A&M tradition = kissing after touchdowns||
I come from a family of Aggies, and I remember that one of their traditions is you get a smooch from your wife/girlfriend after every Aggies touchdown (maybe field goals too, I don't recall). No wonder they love Sumlin's offense so much down there...
Anyway, if you're at all romantically interested in your roommate, that might be a good A&M tradition to explore. Just sayin'! :-)
|5 weeks 1 day ago||Yep, McElwain's the no-namer to get||
If we have to resort to a "no-name" hire, he's the best fit and someone I'd be reasonably confident could turn things around. Fit: he was Bama's OC before Nussmeier, and did a fantastic job; runs a pro-style but is also willing to spread things out a bit. The offensive philosophy transition would be minimal. Turnaround -- as LightTheLamp notes, he has totally turned around a moribund Colorado St. program. In a couple weeks, they'll probably be 12-1, with their only loss at Boise St.
Yes, he has a gigantic buyout, but c'mon man -- you gonna stay at CSU for the rest of your career, or have a chance to resurrect one of the most storied programs in college football? If he wants to come, Michigan will figure out the buyout.
|5 weeks 3 days ago||Way to go, Shoelace||
This was the perfect outcome for me as a Cowboy fan and a Michigan grad -- Cowboys get the win but Denard still shows his quality. As LSA mentioned above, the Jags were really smart to drop the whole "offensive weapon" schtick and just let Denard learn to be a RB; I think lots of scouts compared him to Antwan Randel-El and hence saw him as a WR/space player in the NFL, but with his outstanding vision, cutting ability, and burst, RB is obviously his best spot.
|5 weeks 6 days ago||That was ... disturbing||
Ah, the 1980s... The hair! The spandex! (And the Alan Thicke sighting at 2:25 is just the icing on the cake.)
What fitness fad from today will look similarly ridiculous 25-30 years from now?
|5 weeks 6 days ago||All the bangs||
|6 weeks 18 hours ago||This is more about discretion than about ID'ing good candidates||
Anyone connected to Michigan athletics already has a fairly good idea of who the potential candidate pool should be for both the AD and the football coach positions. As others have mentioned above, the main reason you hire one of these firms (whether for the AD search or coaching search) is to keep your fingerprints off the whole thing, at least until the point when you've zeroed in on your top candidate, know there is mutual interest, and can start direct talks/negotiations. It gives both parties (Michigan and potential coaches/ADs) plausible deniability -- statements like "No, I haven't been contacted by Michigan" or "No, we haven't contacted Coach X" become true, at least in a lawyerly-literal sense, when you use a third-party intermediary like this.
Someone above said a high-profile school like Michigan shouldn't need this; actually, our high profile is all the more reason a headhunter/search firm is a good idea. Among other things, I'd guess it can help prevent coaches (and their agents) who aren't really interested in the Michigan job from leaking to the media, "Hey, Michigan approached us about their job!" just to wring a fat new contract/extension out of their current employer.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Bang it all||
|7 weeks 2 days ago||Thanks for this post||
Thanks for the firsthand insights on Coach Hoke. Great perspective here from someone who actually knows Hoke better than 99% of the people reading/posting on this board. Wish one of the mods would front-page it or bump it up to a diary.
The consensus seems to be that Brady Hoke is a great guy who just isn't cut out to be a successful coach at a power/blueblood program like Michigan. The interesting question -- one that can help guide the search for his successor -- is "Why?" What quality, exactly, is Hoke missing? Is it some quality (Gitback mentions a CEO quality of "mental acuity") that is independent of whether he's a nice guy? And if so, how do you define it, and determine whether a potential coach has it? (Success as a coordinator? Reputation for X-and-O's mastery? Demonstrated ability to turn around broken units/programs? Proven ability to make halftime adjustments?)
Or is it that Hoke doesn't have some Type-A "jerk" quality that's unfortunately necessary to succeed at this level, and thus his "niceness" is part of the problem? (The Beilein example would seem to disprove the "we need an asshole to have a successful head football coach" argument...)
|8 weeks 22 hours ago||Can't be Green||
Really doubt a broken collarbone is a career-ender.
|9 weeks 6 days ago||Don't get your hopes up re: a Brandon "resignation"||
It's fun to read all this speculation about what Schlissel's practice visit means, the Gregg Henson stuff, etc., but color me skeptical that a Brandon departure is imminent (i.e., within the next week or even before the end of the football season. Brandon has a huge contract to go along with his huge ego; he's signed through 2018 and the buyout to fire him this year would be $3 million, unless you could fire him immediately for cause, e.g., getting caught with hookers or overseeing NCAA rules violations in the AD. That's a big chunk of money to just write off because you want the guy gone posthaste. Even if Schlissel manages to convince Brandon to accept a face-saving "resignation" with a less expensive negotiated buyout, that sort of thing takes time to put together.
I want Brandon replaced as much as anyone, but I don't think it can happen this fast. Maybe I'm wrong? I'd like to be, but I'll won't believe he's out until I see it happen.
|9 weeks 6 days ago||What happened to Heitzman?||
"They want a blocking TE" -- yes -- "There is really no other option than Williams that fits what they want." What about Keith Heitzman? What the heck happened to him? Wasn't the whole point of moving him from DE back to TE to provide some much need depth and competition for Williams for the "hands of stone, only there to block TE" role? I don't think he's hurt -- the team website has him participating in all six games (presumably just special teams). I'd like to see if he could do a better job blocking than Williams, if the coaches insist on having a non-catching threat TE on the field so much.
|10 weeks 22 hours ago||This is my fear as well||
Schlissel's idea of "culture change" may very well mean a broader de-emphasis of the athletic programs at Michigan. And frankly, all the craziness on campus and in the media after "Concussion-gate" might confirm his initial instinct that athletics plays an outsized role at this great university and that it all needs to be toned down. Everyone who thinks Michigan should just back up a Brinks truck with $6 million/year to Harbaugh's house needs to remember that Schlissel might well consider it ridiculous to pay a football coach so much money.
|10 weeks 23 hours ago||Thanks for this great post||
Would nit-pick a few things that others have already mentioned above, but overall this is fantastic and summarizes well how the fan/alumni discontent goes well beyond the inferior performance of the football team. It's unfortunate the crescendo of discontent w/Brandon has coincided with the football team reaching rock bottom, because that makes it easy for him and the media to just spin it as "the fans/students are just mad about the losing." The losing is a problem, yes, but the issues go much deeper than that.
|10 weeks 23 hours ago||Can't get Patterson out of TX (and remember TCU drug bust?)||
First off, thanks again for these write-ups, alum96 -- great stuff. I didn't realize Patterson was still that (relatively) young.
We should definitely kick the tires on Patterson, but I don't think we get him out of Texas. Some guys are just not about moving up to the next rung on the ladder, and even a huge salary increase probably doesn't pull him out of Ft. Worth now. With all of Patterson's success at TCU, surely he's entertained serious inquiries from more prominent football programs w/HC vacancies, and turned them all down. We know he turned down $2 million a year from Minnesota after the 2006 season, and presumably he's rejected bigger/better offers since, particularly after TCU went undefeated in 2010. (And if Dave Brandon didn't put out feelers to Patterson after firing Rich Rod in Jan. 2011, just because Patterson lacks midwest ties, that's appalling incompetence. Interestingly, TCU's narrowest win that year before the Rose Bowl was a 40-35 nail-biter at home against San Diego St., coached by none other than ... Brady Hoke.)
Now Patterson has the benefit of coaching in a Power 5 conference without having to jump to a different school -- so why should a guy who's obviously very happy where he is jump to a (struggling) program in a worse conference? The "Michigan" name appeal only goes so far. Plus, he doesn't really even need to go outside his own state to recruit good players.
Even if Patterson was interested, another factor might turn off the Michigan powers-that-be -- TCU had a big drug scandal a few years back. It went well beyond the football team on campus, but four players were arrested for dealing as part of the bust, and the drug use on the team was probably much wider than that. (One of the arrested players claimed to an undercover officer he was not worried about failing a team-wide drug test because there “would be about 60 [other players] being screwed.”)
|10 weeks 1 day ago||STITT DOESN'T HAPPEN HERE||
I like your out-of-the-box thinking, Brian -- desperate times call for desperate measures, etc. But Stitt ain't happening at Michigan. It's too big a risk, and too tough for an AD (Brandon or his successor) to sell to a restive fanbase that you're elevating a guy from an obscure engineering school named the Colorado School of Mines(!) to head coach at Michigan. I respect what Stitt's done, and he seems like a good guy, but that's too big a leap.
As others have mentioned on this thread, the comparison to Beilein is also really unfair to Beilein. Yes, Beilein also spent many years toiling and succeeding as an innovator at small schools. But he had a much longer track record of showing he could compete directly with the Big Boys. He made the semifinals of the NIT at Canisius(!), for heaven's sake, and guided a 14-seed Richmond team to victory over a 3 seed in the first round of the NCAA tourney. And we all know what he did at W. Virginia in a very tough Big East, and the tourney runs he made there.
|10 weeks 1 day ago||This made my morning||
Trying not to bother my cubicle neighbors at the office while laughing so hard... thank you, Phyllis from Mulga, Alabama, you just made my day.
I love how Finebaum just sits there blankly and lets her speak her mind, too -- that adds a whole other level of humor to the clip.
"COW-TURD... THE DYNASTY IS NOT OVER! KISS ... MY ... BUTT!! ROLL TIDE!!"