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|1 day 23 hours 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.
|5 days 9 sec 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.
|5 days 1 hour 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!
|1 week 1 day 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?”
|1 week 1 day 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.)
|1 week 4 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'! :-)
|2 weeks 2 hours 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.
|2 weeks 2 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.
|2 weeks 4 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?
|2 weeks 5 days ago||All the bangs||
|2 weeks 5 days 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.
|3 weeks 5 days ago||Bang it all||
|4 weeks 1 day 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...)
|4 weeks 6 days ago||Can't be Green||
Really doubt a broken collarbone is a career-ender.
|6 weeks 4 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.
|6 weeks 4 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.
|6 weeks 6 days 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.
|6 weeks 6 days 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.
|6 weeks 6 days 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.”)
|6 weeks 6 days 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.
|7 weeks 2 hours 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!!"
|7 weeks 2 hours ago||Gallon missed almost all of training camp w/an injury||
It was a little mysterious, because I never could find out what Gallon's injury actually was, but he was out until basically the last week of the Patriots' camp. Hard to make a team when you're not on the field to show your skills, no matter how much the Patriots current crop of receivers may stink. Kinda surprised they didn't stash him on their practice squad at least, but maybe they had more pressing needs on their roster.
I am surprised the Colts didn't sign him after his tryout there. Hope Jeremy sticks with it -- I agree with everyone here, the young man has the talent to play a solid role on an NFL team somewhere; just needs the right opportunity.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||I want to think positive, but...||
... I just can't be positive when I contemplate what the final score will be when our team leaves East Lansing this year. You know Dantonio will show no mercy.
|7 weeks 6 days ago||Lots of good stuff in this thread||
I think some realism in re: to the possible speed of Brandon's departure is in order. Everyone can see Hoke will be gone no later than December, so everyone's worried that Brandon will still be around then to bungle the next hire. Alas, USA Today's "Big Lead" blog has a good piece on how difficult it'll be to remove Brandon quickly:
|7 weeks 6 days ago||Interesting idea, but no thanks||
Hue Jackson is a pro guy now -- hasn't coached at the college level in almost 15 years.
|7 weeks 6 days ago||Good analogy||
You made it bi-partisan and only used politics as an analogy for a larger point, and it's a good point.
It's theoretically possible Schlissel might be so alarmed at the outsized role athletics plays at UM and colleges in general that he really tries to downgrade the athletic program at Michigan, but that's pretty damn unlikely. Too many forces -- alumni, Regents, donors, media -- would be all over him if he tried that. More likely, as S FL Wolverine predicts, is that Schlissel eventually tries to replace Brandon with someone competent (so he doesn't have to THINK much about the athletic department), but even more, someone who respects the idea that athletics is not the end-all, be-all of the University of Michigan, and who tries to (within reason) tone down the rampant commercialization and hucksterism instituted by Brandon. I think we'd all be happy with that.
The real question is, will Schlissel (and the Regents) know a good AD when they see one?
|7 weeks 6 days ago||We need a guy w/HC experience||
Jeremy Pruitt is certainly intriguing, given his success at Alabama and Florida State (and presuming he continues it at Georgia this year). But we need a "sure thing, slam-dunk" hire, and I'm just not sure a guy who's only proven to be a great coordinator but hasn't yet run a program is a risk we can take right now. That's my concern about Pruitt, Chad Morris, Kirby Smart, Phil Montgomery, Narduzzi, etc. One or more of these guys will turn out to be a great head coach someday, but I think our first choice must be somebody who's run a program. As Hoke shows, HC experience is no guarantee either -- but the real warning sign with him was he'd never been a coordinator anywhere and demonstrated X and O's proficiency. Ideally, you find a guy who's currently a successful HC, even if it's not at a Power 5 school, but also has had some success as a coordinator at a Power 5 program.
That's why Jim McElwain intrigues me so much. Dude clearly did a great job as Bama's OC, and he has that big-program experience under Saban, and is now proving what he can do as a head coach at Colorado St. Even meets the "Midwest ties/experience" criteria, having spent a few seasons in East Lansing.
|7 weeks 6 days ago||Why am I not surprised...||
... that someone with the handle "Double-D" "likes the Hot Babez" on Magnus's site? :-)
|8 weeks 1 day ago||Bad time to have a wet-behind-the-ears President at UM||
I do think all of us on MGoBlog, in the midst of our collective outrage/disappointment at the current state of our football program and athletic department, need to check our expectations about how fast heads will roll, even after something as apparently bad as the handling of Morris last Saturday. UM is a big, bureaucratic institution, and even in our lightning-fast social media age, such institutions always move slowly (and consequently, end up looking terrible). And on top of that, Schlissel's been here what, a few months? And he has admitted to being an academic who knows little about sports. (An aside -- shouldn't this be at least a medium-level consideration when hiring a new UM president? But I digress...)
Yet everyone here seems to expect Brandon and Hoke to be fired immediately. Schlissel has barely had time to learn who Dave Brandon IS, much less make any sort of determination about whether he's the best long-term fit for the job. Sure, he's getting LOTS of indicators and feedback now, but Schlissel is still in the drinking-from-a-firehose phase of his job.
So, what's reasonable to expect? No moves on the AD front for a while. Schlissel might now be getting the idea that a change is required -- but that's just the first step. If you fire Brandon, who's your interim AD? Does Schlissel (or the people advising him) have anyone lined up for that? (Lloyd Carr? Someone else?) And then you have to start a search for the new permanent AD. You and I know names like Warde Manuel and Brad Bates, but my guess is Schlissel doesn't even have a short-list of potential Brandon replacements yet.
Hoke getting fired before the end of the season is more plausible, if only because Brandon might need to placate the masses. But I'd still say it's better than 50/50 that Hoke lasts through the end of the season, with Brandon firing him after the OSU game and announcing a new coaching search.
Not the scenario people want right now, I know, but I'm afraid it's the one we're going to get. I'm as upset as anyone, but we need to be realistic about how fast change can happen.
|8 weeks 1 day ago||Good post||
I don't think Butch Jones is leaving Tennessee after a couple years of rebuilding, just to go to another blueblood program where he'd have to start a rebuild all over again. And if you're trying to poach a coach from another "blueblood" program, you should probably only bother for a guy who's a slam-dunk, not someone on whom the jury's still out.
Still, a competent AD will at least make inquiries and "kick the tires" on guys like Jones. Do we have a competent AD?