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- First, RR recruited a very different style of player, looking for small and shifty dudes for the spread game, reaching out to a different kind of player.
- Second, RR was particularly bad in recruiting for the OL, and this is the single biggest factor.
- Third, the defense was atrocious under RR, with terrible defensive coordinators. No-one on defense in their right mind would come to Michigan.
- Hoke coming in only in mid-January completely hamstrung him with the first recruiting class. I do not blame that on Hoke.
- 1979 Michigan vs. Indiana. I was a Junior, had decent seats, and was dejected as we anticipated a loss in the last few minutes. The stands in the student section were emptying out, and my two roommates had already left the stadium. I chose to stay til the bitter end. I was rewarded with the single most electric moment I ever witnessed in a game.
- 1993 Rose Bowl vs. Washington. At the time, I was a pastoral intern at a church near Pasadena. On Christmas morning, the church I served gave me three tickets to the Rose Bowl. That was the best adult Christmas gift I ever received. (I still have the blue Pasadena street sign "Michigan" that someone gave me with the tickets.) Going to the parade in the morning, and to the game in the afternoon, a glorious win, is something I'll never forget.
- 1985 Michign vs. Notre Dame. This was a night game in South Bend, the first time I ever was on a game road trip. This was the beginning for Lou Holtz. I went to the game with a fellow mgoblogger and a few others, but this was before cell phones were common. Somehow, I was separated from my friend, who had the tickets. What a disaster. To this day I don't know why, but the lady at the will call window took pity on me. Somehow, she had a ticket in the Michigan player family section that she just gave me, gratis. It was an awesome seat. Michigan hung on to win a nailbiter of a game on the road. I never did see my friend that night (although we've been to games together since.) But it was an extremely memorable game.
- How he meshes with coaches,
- How they plan to use him.
- The defensive scheme and how it fits (4 - 3, 3 - 4, other.)
- How he relates to his future fellow teammates
- How the depth chart is (within reason . . . you're only an injury away from starting,)
- How the academic programs meet his needs.
- How his family feels.
|14 hours 26 min ago||I'll take the blame for that||
Don, that's my fault. The problem is that I quoted way too much, and couldn't just cut and paste the whole article. In Snyder's article, it adds the following:
As a U-M freshman he played little, until breaking out with a five-tackle game with an interception in the Sugar Bowl. Many expected his instant greatness as that dominant defensive line graduated.
Instead, that off-season he was arrested for stealing another student’s computer and pleaded guilty to second-degree felony home invasion. That led to a one-game U-M suspension from coach Brady Hoke.
The implication in the quote from the article you use above is that Clark has stayed clear of off-field trouble after being disciplined for the incident you reference.
|15 hours 18 min ago||Stupid hot seat grumble mumble complain||
I fully agree with the OP, and think this hot seat nonsense is ridiculously overblown. Obviously, in the 4th year, expectations are greater. And obviously the buck stops with Hoke. And we expect Michigan to compete for the Big 10 Championship, as Hoke does himself.
But I really believe that blame can be placed on the recruiting cupboard being rather bare under the preceding coach, both Carr & RR. RR was hurt by both the pipeline not being full, and by recruiting for a different stype of game.
Hoke has been hurt in multiple ways.
Starting in 2015, Michigan should have both depth and experienced upper-classman in both the OL and DL. I can't remember when or where, but the mathlete or someone like him (Seth?) have done extensive analysis looking at who can come in and succeed immediately as a freshman. The numbers of true freshmen (even redshirt freshmen) starters who are solid is particularly bad on the OL, DL, and at QB.
You can blame Dave Brandon for many things. However, I strongly believe that he will give Hoke the time he needs to succeed. If Hoke just has a mediocre season, that will buy him next year, when he'd be on the hot seat. My personal belief is that the record is 9 - 3 this year. Not satisfactory, but certainly not some stupid "Hot Seat."
|17 hours 16 min ago||Turd, great observation||
Turd, you make a great observation. I am very thankful that Frank Clark was given another chance by Hoke. I have done plenty of stupid things in my life, as all of us have. The scrutiny the athletes are under is intense, and with social media, is much worse than it was years ago.
I fully support coaches (whether here or with rivals) who work with giving their players a second chance and helping them to succeed in life. I don't want to get into a debate about any particular situations, but I think we should give some grace to coaches of competitors who aren't immediately evicted from the team on the basis of boneheaded decisions.
|17 hours 46 min ago||Shaara based movies||
So, I haven't seen "Gods and Generals," which was pretty universally panned. But it is worth seeing "Gettysburg," a pretty good movie starring Jeff Daniels (in the role of Chamberlain.) Watching the movie right after reading the book, you could see numerous pieces of dialogue that come straight from the pages of Killer Angels. The movie also helps somewhat with getting a better sense of the land.
|18 hours 1 min ago||I'd probably start at the beginning||
I'd probably start at the beginning. I'm a bit of a junkie for this kind of history. I actually listened to all of them as books on tape, which is a great way to spend hours in the car. The thing I like about the books is the maps, and really studying them and understanding them. As regards the maps, my major recommendation is to spend time on the land. Go to Gettysburg, and some of the other battlefield sites, if you can. There are a number of sections in Killer Angels about the ground. If you've ever played paintball, or capture the flag on a slope, you'll have a better sense of how important it is to have a good position. Next on my list is to watch Ken Burn's PBS series on the Civil War (partially inspired, IIRC, by Killer Angels.)
In a different vein, I am now reading collected writings of George Washington, which gives a fascinating picture of who he was that is often lost (or shaded) by various biographies.
|18 hours 41 min ago||Great book||
Glad you enjoyed it. I'm actually re-reading it myself, and enjoying the book more the second time (picking up details I missed before, especially after spending time in DC and Virginia and Pennsylvania this summer.) Regarding other books by Shaara, remember that his son is also an author, and continued the series after his father's death. Shaara's son is good, but not quite as good as his father, in the prequel and sequel to Killer Angels.
|18 hours 44 min ago||Wow, just wow||
I guess this shows that I've not been at the blog quite as much: this is literally the first time I've seen Mrs. StephenRKass. A pleasure to meet you. What a wild experience. I have been, FTR, on a service trip (Hurricane Sandy,) then vacation in Manhattan and Brooklyn and Virginia (visiting daughter in Navy south of DC,) and just back from a glorious week in the U.P. in the Les Cheneaux Islands area. Now catching up at work. Still addicted to the blog, but I don't much like posting from a Samsung Galaxy.
|19 hours 19 min ago||My thoughts exactly||
That was what I immediately thought too. I would gladly chip in a couple bucks for a flight and a hotel room, but I'm sure that is completely impossible. I can see why some people from challenging circumstances stay close to home: otherwise, it would be close to impossible for friends and family members to ever see them live at a game.
|19 hours 24 min ago||Ha! Mrs. StephenRKass indeed||
(EDIT: Meant to be in response to Hail 2 Victors.) Thankfully, for me at least, things have been great at both mgoblog and touch the banner (thank you, Magnus,) so I rarely scroll past anything that's offensive to anyone. Mgoblog has the Mrs. StephenRKass seal of approval.
Although, the bigger issue is how much time I spend following Michigan, and sports in general. I'm cutting back, but it is hard. I actually ran into an mgoblogger at a conference who recognized me from my nametag. That was wierd.
Regarding being a football fan in general, and time spent with that instead of your spouse, I realize that my daughter and son-in-law are dealing with the same thing. She is in the Navy, and he is a huge football fan, following multiple games every weekend from mid-August all the way through the Super Bowl. (more of an NFL that NCAA fan.) Anyway, I told him it was too bad she couldn't schedule her deployments to run from late August through January. That way, he could just work, sleep, eat, watch football, and play videogames. Perfect life for a 20 year old male. I don't know that either of them were amused.
|1 day 13 hours ago||Thanks for your hard work||
Thanks much, Seth, and I'll add my condolences to the pile. I'm sorry at your loss. When my mother died back in 97, I found that the grieving went on, and it was little things long after her passing that brought her remembrance to my mind . . . seeing an empty box in the garage with her handwriting on it from sending the kids Christmas gifts. Or getting a whiff of the perfume she wore. I'm sure you will have bittersweet remembrances of your Dad, and I'm sure some of them will come with your Michigan football family traditions.
As regards HTTV, it will come when it comes. I'm looking forward to it, but that's all. Personally, I don't need the second copy autographed, but $50 seemed like a nice round number. My only bone to pick was I thought we were going to have a few t-shirt options besides the photobomber. Well, we all can use a shirt to schlep around in for chores and the like.
|1 week 6 days ago||Not surprised||
Irritating, but not surprised. Now, I will say that I much prefer the kind of recruiting that Hoke is doing than negative recruiting. I like what Michigan stands for, and I like the direction the football team is going in. I know that all the Michigan coaches have to bite their tongues and bide their time while waiting for the lines to gain experience and waiting for the recruiting to catch up.
I do think that negative recruiting is always going to be there in college. What is incredible is how blatant it is at Ohio State. It is always better to sell yourself than to denigrate others. When you focus on the positive, recruits can fill in the blanks with the negatives of other situations.
What I find fascinating is what I see as almost desperation on the part of Ohio State's coaching staff. Here's what I mean. If you are in a position of strength and health, you can stay above the fray. There is no need to be negative. The knives and the mud come out when you perceive someone as a real threat. I wonder if Urban is worried that Michigan will be improving quickly, becoming a real threat to Ohio State's dominance.
This whole account reminds me of something I've seen in dysfunctional families. When someone bad mouths someone else to your face, you can bet the house that they'll be bad mouthing you to someone else when you're not around. I can't help think of some catty sorority girls who are always dissing and disparaging others. When you're confident in who you are and your position in life, this kind of behavior isn't needed.
|2 weeks 15 hours ago||I like noon starts||
I understand the point of view of some students who like 3:30pm games. However, as a student, I always liked noon starts . . . it felt wonderful to start the day with the stereo blaring the Michigan fight song, and there was something about walking along to the stadium at 11am that just felt right. And yes, you were done in time for dinner, a nap, studying, and evening activities if you wanted.
Now, living in Chicago, a noon start allows me to come in Friday night, walk around a bit in the morning, go to the game, have an early dinner afterwards at Zingerman's or the like, and be back home by 10 or 11pm. (As a pastor, It is pretty much impossible for me to go to a late game, unless it is in Evanston, South Bend, or maybe Madison.)
I believe that TV Networks drive the start times, and that as Michigan continues to improve, we will see very few noon start times in the first two months of the season. (there will always be more in November, because of the cold, the weather, and the dark.) I'll cherish the few early games there are.
|2 weeks 15 hours ago||Interesting conumdrum||
I have an interesting conumdrum. Typically, either Brian or Seth or others have posted a request for questions to ask at these kinds of events. But since I'm already at mgoblog enough, it is odd to think of asking the board for questions to ask . . . Brian. Thoughts?
Nonetheless, since I missed the meet and greet in Chicago with Hoke et al earlier this summer, I'm thinking of going to this event instead. Although, I think I might register as "John Smith."
|2 weeks 5 days ago||So many choices . . .||
What a horrible, wonderful question. Trying to pick a favorite game is like being asked which of your kids you like best. Still, there are three that stand out for me.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||Thanks for the link||
I read the article this morning. With Angelique writing it, and more on Brock and Barwis, how can you go wrong? This is always a great story to read about, and see the continuing progress.
As an aside, this is a wonderful example of someone taking a challenging situation (the firing of RR, and all his staff including Barwis,) and making the most of it. I never have once heard of Barwis complaining or whining . . . he just moved on in a very positive way.
|6 weeks 5 days ago||Definitely would love Nik with the Bulls||
Definitely would love Nik with the Bulls. Being in Chicago, that'd mean I'd get to see him on TV all the time. It also means that we'd have a lot more Michigan fans rooting for Chicago. It would also put Nik on a team competing in the post-season regularly. And if Rose stays healthy, a team competing all the way to the Finals. Lastly, Chicago is good enough that Nik wouldn't have to do everything, but just be a great complement to the whole.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Please read eleven warriors assholery article||
Ace linked to the eleven warriors article on assholery. You need to go there now. Given your post, it is on your required reading list.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Civil War & JL Chamberlain||
Fascinating news, regarding Newsome's study interest and favorite figure. Thanks for sharing this info.
So, for those who are interested in more on Chamberlain: There is an excellent novel in the genre of historical fiction, entitled The Killer Angels. The author is Michael Shaara. JL Chamberlain is the major protagonist in the book. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf described it as "the best and most realistic historical novel about war that I have ever read." The book has been required reading, at various times, at OCS, West Point, and has been one of two novels on the Army's reading list for Officer Professional Development.
Shaara's son Jeff followed up his father's novel with a prequel, Gods and Generals, and a sequel, The Last Full Measure. Since we're in the off season, I'd strongly recommend reading or listening to the three books, especially if you're on vacation road trips. (This is a much better way to spend time than listening to the soundtrack of Frozen, or a lot of the other stuff you might normally listen to.)
Both The Killer Angels and Gods and Generals were made into movies, but the latter received poor reviews.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Thompson, MSU, & Recruiting Rankings||
Glad to hear Michigan is in it with Thompson. I think most of the comments have already been made. I guess the thing I really would want is for Thompson to land in the best fit for him. This isn't rocket science, but it involves:
All of these things come together, and there isn't always a perfect match. One program is stronger in some areas, another program is stronger in others. Magnus has often commented on a prospective recruit that he is really good in a particular way, but not a good fit for what Michigan is doing.
Having followed recruiting at mgoblog for several years, it strikes me that there is a frenzy with the hunt, the chase, the courting of a recruit. Then, a recruit is signed, and in more than a few cases, is buried on the depth chart and the bench, rarely heard from again. Yes, I want Michigan to have the best players possible, and to win out against MSU and OSU all the time. But really, I want these players to go where they fit well, and have a place they can shine. That's where I want Tyriq Thompson to end up, and I hope he figures that out well.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Tempted to comment||
I'm tempted to comment, but that would definitely go into the "TMI" category.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Great article||
Thanks for the link . . . I loved the article, and am not surprised that Angelique Chengelis was the author. I am rarely disappointed by what she writes, and you could say that I am a fan of what she does. (It actually would be interesting if Ace or someone in the know would write a small profile on her.)
Regarding Hoke and his father, I had heard some of these things before, but this definitely filled in the picture. It brought a smile to my face. I guess I especially found it interesting that in his last week of life, John Hoke encouraged Brady to be less competitive with his family. Competition is an interesting thing. You play hard, and play to win, but there's a time to set that aside.
I have a 13 year old adopted son who I love dearly, but who really needs structure and discipline. It is always a tough balance to love him, but also to discipline and provide a framework for future success. I hope to do as good a job as John Hoke did in raising Brady.
Oh, and I think Brady Hoke is a fine coach, has a great staff, and want him to continue at Michigan a long time. I really hope he has a minimum record of 8 - 4, to at least keep his detractors at bay one more year. We're not quite there yet, because of the offensive line especially, but also the DLine, an everything jelling. If we improve this year, I could really see 2015 being a great year, reestablishing Michigan football for a long time.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||enjoyed your insider posts||
I really enjoyed your insider posts as regards Hand. However, I don't recall ever reading your thoughts on how things finally ended, with Dashawn going to Bama. You may not know the answer, but I'd love to hear your perspective. Was there something Michigan could or should have done differently? Obviously, Alabama has more success, and some players fit better in one setting instead of another. Still, I was disappointed Hand didn't end up in Ann Arbor.
|7 weeks 2 days ago||Different Suggestion||
So, my suggestion is different. You have plenty of questions to ask DB & Brady Hoke listed above. Some serious, some snarky. But I'd recommend a different tactic. The lines for Brady and DB are always going to be long, and they're both pretty practiced at non-answer answers. I'd focus on looking to ask someone else questions. I'd look especially for Nuss, Mattison, or even better, Funk. If you can find out who will actually be there, and you have some prepared questions, you might get better answers. Fred Jackson was at the Chicago event last year, and I had an awesome conversation with Laura Hoke. If you can find Jackson, or Funk, or Laura, or another football/basketball assistant, and you're prepared just a little bit, you are much more likely to be able to have a real discussion. Hoke especially, but also DB, have to really keep the line moving, and they've got their patter down cold.
|7 weeks 2 days ago||He gets the scheduling question all the time||
When I asked DB about this last year, he gave boilerplate about how far in advance you need to schedule games, and that he was working on some marquee type home and homes.
I would ask the following:
"Have you worked on scheduling a "home and home" with any of the following teams: USC, Stanford, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Texas, Georgia, Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Washington, South Carolina, Missouri, Clemson, Texas A & M?" You may need to have the list of teams in front of you.
The point is, I think that many Michigan fans would accept a home and home with any of the above teams. I don't really want, on the other hand, a home and home with Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, etc., let alone a MAC snacky - cake.
If DB answers "yes," I would followup asking about likelihood (probably or not proable) and timing (how many years before we see this happen?)
|7 weeks 2 days ago||Agree with this question||
But in many ways, what's done is done. More pertinent to me would be what it would take to change it. That is to say, I would ask, "Are you doing anything to have future schedules alternate MSU & OSU as home games?" If the answer is yes, ask, "What are you doing to change this? What would be your guess on the probability that this could change? If it could change, when do you anticipate this happening? 5 years from now? 10 years?"
|7 weeks 2 days ago||Actually ask about this||
Actually ask about this. I'd love to see if he takes ownership for this philosophy. So, ask something like,
"The statement "If it ain't broke, break it." has been attributed to you. Would that attribution be accurate? Do you still agree with this, or would you change this statement in some way?
|7 weeks 5 days ago||Oh Ryelly?||
Oh Ryelly? Your comments are half-baked. But still tasty.
|7 weeks 5 days ago||"Shared Tradition"||
Yes, to Njia's comments. "Shared Tradition" is a very brief phrase that encapsulates much of this discussion. When I went to games, I had a sense of sharing something with alumni and thousands of others stretching back for generations. This is increasingly being lost. Admittedly, traditions change, times change, things change. But we still long for a sense of shared community, shared values, and for being part of something bigger.
I took my boy to a White Sox game last month. We had a good enough time, but there was little sense of community or "shared tradition." There were fireworks, there were batting cages for the kids, there was a speed gun to see how fast you could pitch. And yet, you didn't have the sense of being part of something that stretched back in time.
For a positive sense of "shared tradition," I talked to a fellow Michigan Alumni who was at the graduation of his nephew from West Point a couple weeks ago. West Point is a place that drips tradition. You realize, this was where Robert E. Lee, and Ulysses Grant, and Pershing, and Patton, and Eisenhower, and countless others, spent four years. You sense the community in the "long grey line." You sense how all graduating officers have such a strong, strong sense of "shared tradition."
This is the kind of thing that we want, and that is draining away. It is almost as if Michigan football were on life support, and Brandon was applying leeches in the firm belief that this would heal things. Ok, maybe that image is over the top. And maybe more than Dave Brandon is to blame. But I wish there was a way to move forward, successfully, without desecrating the traditions and community so many of us Michigan grads identify with so strongly.
|7 weeks 5 days ago||You may be partially right about Disney . . .||
But we skipped it when in Florida for a week. Our 12 year old twins were thrilled with Universal Studios, Sea World, and days at the beach, swimming, fishing, at the pool. Disney priced themselves out of our market. I remember talking to a Disney chef about how all Disney food is priced 20% above market rates, because they have you captive.
This is about how I feel regarding Michigan football. Between the 5 hour drive drive and the price gouging, for a game with a lousy opponent, with overpriced tickets, where you can't bring in a seat cushion, or sealed bottled water, or a full size camera with a zoom lens, when I can watch the game in comfort, with DVR, so as to start an hour after kickoff and skip through interminable commercials, run to the fridge for a drink, have my legs up, and go to a clean bathroom with no line, it gets less and less attractive to have the "gameday experience."
The gameday experience for me involved the smell of brats on the grill, and buying a half gallon of fresh cider, and the drum line, and walking in to the stands, with the band playing gloriously, and a group of brass roving around after halftime, and the band eating crates of fresh apples, and the smooth sound of the announcers, and seeing scalped tickets ranging from $5 to $50, and cheering some other sports champions or long gone alumni announced for some honor during halftime. Some of those things still happen. But some of it is eclipsed by the glitz and the noise and the corporateness and shininess of it all.
I live in Chicago, and I've never been to a Bears game. I mean, I'll watch them on TV, but I'm not spending what it costs to go. Now, the Bears are starting to look like a comparable value and experience to going to a Michigan game. And I'm not happy about that.
|7 weeks 6 days ago||Happy Day||
It is great to have Ty Isaac on board. I really don't care whether the NCAA gives him a waiver or not. Having said that, I'm all for him playing, if he is the best back, should he be cleared by the NCAA to play now.
I also love the sense that Michigan is not slacking in recruiting. I really am looking forward to this coming season.