chance of bowl: 13.6%
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- they'll keep stability in the program (e.g., keep attrition down and recruits in the class)
- they know something about college football and are very good recruiters, which is helpful for a guy (Harbaugh) who's a terrific football coach with no college experience
- they seem to be building a pretty good defense
- you're close with them, trust them, and want to work with them
- whereas you'd typically worry about the former head coach undermining the current head coach, Hoke really doesn't seem like a guy who would do that
- the players like and trust them, they're good influences, they'll keep some stakeholders happy, etc.
- you get to work with a guy you like
- Hoke: you're probably much more natural and happier in a non-head coaching position
- Hoke: you're one of the few high-profile head coach who seems humble enough to accept a demotion... especially at the school you love with the players/"sons" you love
- Mattison: you're probably not real excited about packing your bags and starting a new job at age 65, so if you want to keep coaching for a bit, this is probably the place
|1 hour 29 min ago||incompetence != bad person||
incompetence != bad person
|1 hour 32 min ago||And about that email that||
And about that email that you're looking to verify...
Is that something that, if true, makes most of us here kid-on-Christmas-morning happy, kid-on-way-to-dentist sad, or none of the above?
|2 hours 37 min ago||Grantland had a really||
Grantland had a really interesting article on him. His personality isn't one that screams "killer instinct" (like maybe Kelly's or Harbaugh's personality). On the other hand, he's obviously an extremely sharp, creative guy. I'm curious to see what happens with him at Oregon and really don't have a good guess. Even if he's not Chip Kelly, there's plenty about Oregon that I'd love to see here.
|3 hours 9 min ago||Too soon||
|3 hours 12 min ago||I see two paths to winning on||
I see two paths to winning on Saturday.
The first involves creativity on offense, Gardner's accuracy being on, Gardner staying in the game, stretching MSU's defense to deal with Funchess downfield, holding our own with turnovers and special teams, and crossing our fingers that bad Connor Cook shows up.
The second involves firing DB on Saturday. That's probably easier.
|3 hours 26 min ago||He doesn't have to be itching||
He doesn't have to be itching to leave. Maybe he just thinks, "Eh, maybe it's time to try something new" or likes the idea of recruiting in Florida. Or maybe he actually is itching to leave and most of the world just doesn't know about it (e.g., Rodriguez at WVU).
If I were AD, I'd start by reaching out to almost all of the superstar candidates, even if it's very improbable that they'd want to come. Who cares if you hear a, "sorry, not interested," especially when just one guy saying "yes" could net you a stunningly good coach. After the Harbaughs, my first calls would be to guys like Stoops, Helfrich, Mora, Sumlin, etc., just to be sure that you aren't ruling out any potential home run hires because you wrongly think they'd have no interest.
|3 hours 37 min ago||Come on, you really think||
Come on, you really think that Jim Harbaugh's resume is similarly thin? The guy had two 11-1 years at San Diego, built Stanford up steadily from nothing to stable powerhouse, and then went to the NFL and instantly resuscitated the 49ers, where he's 40-14-1 and been to three NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl over the course of three seasons.
Spare me your "Michigan Man" bullshit. That's about as stellar a record as you'll see for a potential college coach, let alone one who's only 50 years old. I don't think Jim's coming - and I'd be happy with Mullen - but Harbaugh's credentials far exceed Mullen's.
|4 hours 43 min ago||Mullen's credentials are not||
Mullen's credentials are not nearly as golden as some around here are saying. Coming into this season, Mullen was 2-21 against ranked opponents (with 14 straight losses). Mississippi State or not, that's bad. He was getting heat from MSU fans and didn't have anything resembling the sparkle that he has now.
I think Mullen's a good coach who would be a good hire, but he's nowhere near Harbaugh's class when it comes to credentials. Not many are - and we might not have a realistic shot at any of them - but Mullen is a guy who is about to have a chance to capitalize on an exceptional season (with a new job) after several pretty good ones. His typical season is much more in the neighborhood of 7-6 (3-5 in the SEC) - with a terrible nonconference schedule - which, in fairness, is still pretty good for MSU.
Again, likely a good coach, but this year is an extreme outlier for him.
|20 hours 48 min ago||Part of the question is||
Part of the question is whether universities are forcing or coercing students to study something they don't want to study (or avoid classes that they want to take). I'm obviously not for telling athletes that they need to major in kinesiology if they want to major in physics. Any athlete who wants to major in physics absolutely should be able to do so.
On the other hand, if you're arguing that football players generally should have the same distribution of coursework and majors that the broader student body has, then that's going to have consequences that probably won't be good for the football players. (I don't think that's what you're saying, but I'm a little unclear on your argument.) As a whole, football players probably don't want to take the same courses that other UM undergrads want to take. And on average they'd probably end up with much lower GPAs than their non-athlete peers if they took the same courses. That's partly because of time availability and partly because of credentials. Even if Michigan won't accept minimum qualifiers, there's a lot of space between minimum qualifiers and the typical, non-athlete Michigan undergraduate. If you want a football team that performs just as well in just the same courses as non-athletes, you're going to have to radically change the academic requirements for Michigan football. Maybe that's a good move - I'm not sure - but it certainly would keep some current players out of UM and would have serious consequences for which athletes we can and can't recruit.
More generally, I also think we disagree about what it means to get a "legitimate college education." A lot of people believe that college kids don't really learn much in class. My impression is that you don't have to take the toughest classes at UM in order to get a stellar education. In fact, taking classes that mean something to you and are appropriately difficult for you probably produces more learning - and a more "legitimate" college education - than cramming to get through classes that you hate and might not persist through. And a college degree is a big deal - and a really valuable signal on the job market - even if a kid hasn't taken the most rigorous courses that his university offers.
To repeat myself, I think sham courses are awful and every player needs to be encouraged to pursue whichever academic program he/she wishes. At the same time, I think it's fair and honest to acknowledge that football players aren't the same as other students. They have more obligations and (generally) more modest academic credentials. It's not unreasonable to think that they might not want and benefit from the same courses as others in their universities.
|23 hours 30 min ago||What UNC did was extreme. I'm||
What UNC did was extreme. I'm thinking more along the lines of what Harbaugh said about Michigan. Take, for example, Michigan Engineering. It's hard. I can't imagine how hard it would be for someone who's also managing training, practice, and game schedules, especially if that student didn't have the academic credentials of other UM undergrads. Expecting athletes, as a whole, to take the same courses as non-athletes seems like it's setting them up for failure.
Two caveats. First, the UNC thing (e.g., the total sham classes) is bad. Second, you obviously want to be sure that athletes can go for a rigorous academic program if they'd like.
|23 hours 37 min ago||I get the concern about||
I get the concern about what's happening at UNC, but at the same time, if many/most of your student-athletes wouldn't have been accepted to the school on academic merit, and if their sports saddle them with far more outside-of-work responsibilities than non-athletes, why should we expect them to enroll and succeed in the same courses as non-athletes?
The New York Times headline called this a "shadow curriculum" for athletes. As long as those athletes do well after college - and I have no idea whether (and where) they do - it's not clear to me that it's terrible if athletes generally take different, less rigorous classes. Sham classes are a problem, of course, but in cases less extreme than UNC, I think there's more ambiguity here than meets the eye.
|1 day 1 hour ago||It's not that simple. UM and||
It's not that simple. UM and MSU can't be great at the same time if they're both recruiting the same types of players, both recruiting heavily from the state / immediate region, and both mediocre or worse with identifying, developing, and using talent. In that situation, there isn't enough talent to go around.
But there are a lot of ways out of that problem. If Michigan recruits nationally while MSU recruits locally, if either school develops and uses talent as well as MSU's defensive coaches have recently, if the schools run entirely different systems that use different types of personnel, etc., then you can get around the talent shortage problem. For example, if our team were playing up to its recruiting profiles right now - and we're obviously not having a recruiting problem - then there would be two very-good-to-great programs in the state. It's far from impossible for it to happen; it's just a little unlikely at any given moment.
|1 day 4 hours ago||Also think about the level at||
Also think about the level at which Sam is likely plugged in. He's plugged into the coaching staff and maybe some folks in the athletic department more generally. He's almost certainly not plugged in to the president's office, the regents, etc. They're the ones who best understand what's going on here, and it seems very unlikely to me that Sam has his ear in on those conversations. He might hear about what the coaches are chatting about, but even that could be completely detached from what the actual decision-makers are thinking.
|1 day 21 hours ago||But with Notre Dame it's not||
But with Notre Dame it's not true. Kids applying to Michigan don't necessarily think about applying to Notre Dame. It didn't even cross my mind, honestly, and I think I might have been accepted. Partly that's because I'm not Catholic. It's probably true that ND is harder to get into than Michigan, but the two schools aren't coupled like Michigan and MSU are (for reasons of geography, religion, tuition, etc.).
On the other hand, most kids applying to MSU either also apply to Michigan or would apply to Michigan if they thought they'd get in. It's a completely different situation. Similar to ND, Michigan and OSU don't have this academics thing going on, because I don't think many kids growing up in Ohio want to go to Michigan. OSU fans hate us because they're fucking crazy, not because we associate ourselves with a really good university.
|1 day 21 hours ago||I think I agree, but in the||
I think I agree, but in the absence of party affiliation, how would those election outcomes realistically be determined? Most people don't spend time really learning about candidates, so they rely on cues like political party and endorsements to help them figure out which candidate they probably would like if they really looked into it. Political party is obviously pretty flawed / peripheral when it comes to understanding how someone would behave in a job like university regent, but I wonder if you'd get winners based on who has a nicer last name, distributes more/prettier lawn signs, appears on the ballot first, etc., if people couldn't rely on political party.
The best-case scenario would be the public truly learning about its candidates, but that's not about to happen, so I'm not sure which is the least bad alternative.
|1 day 21 hours ago||Ugh||
The fact that you can't see past politics to have a healthy perspective on life doesn't mean that everyone else has that problem.
|1 day 22 hours ago||And how about... (3) If you||
And how about...
(3) If you want leftist, I'll show you leftists, and not one of them is a Democrat.
|1 day 22 hours ago||This post is probably a good||
This post is probably a good reflection of why it's best to just avoid politics in this endorsement kind of way (and more generally). Another way to handle this kind of thing, Brian, is to offer a few candidates opportunities for Q&As and skip the endorsement. Hopefully the better ones would look better in their responses, and politicians have a habit of avoiding conversations with people they think will make them look bad. There'd probably be a lot to learn if someone refused a conversation about open meetings and the like.
|2 days 21 min ago||There's also an academics||
There's also an academics side to this. The reality is that many MSU students would have gone to Michigan if they had gotten in, and the reverse of that is not true. When you're 18 (or any other age, for that matter), it's shitty to have someone tell you that you're not good enough to go there, so people naturally resent those places. Plus, even if they didn't apply, most MSU students/alumni have to deal with a more widely held opinion that they would have gone to Michigan if they had been up to it.
MSU is a perfectly fine school, so I'm not shitting on their academics. But there's no doubt in my mind that this is part of why they seem to hate us so viscerally when our response to them is more eye rolls than hatred.
|2 days 2 hours ago||Nor should it be Schlissel||
Nor should it be Schlissel who makes that decision. If I were an AD, I'd be pissed if the university president made his own decisions about when to fire coaches, whom to hire as replacements, etc. That's the AD's job.
Brandon needs to be fired before Hoke. That's partly so the new AD can make the call on Hoke and partly because there's no reason to restrict the new AD's flexibility by having him step into a situation with no coach and an panicky need to get one ASAP.
|2 days 2 hours ago||Great, well framed post,||
Great, well framed post, Brian. Thank you. I like this as a way that blogs can communicate gossip with some transparency and discretion in a way that more formal news sources can't (and probably shouldn't).
It's especially nice to see you rein in the Carr conspiracy theories. They've been getting a little more ridiculous than usual lately.
I'm not the first to suggest this, but I, too, would be interested if you've heard anything about John Harbaugh. There has seemed to be more chatter about him than Jim, but I don't know if that's totally baseless.
|2 days 14 hours ago||For me, the Brandon question||
For me, the Brandon question is basically a litmus test. I'm just done with the guy. Maybe, maybe if he could pull off a Harbaugh then I could stomach him for a little while longer, but I'm really sick of the guy. And I think it's almost inconceivable that a Harbaugh (or anyone near that level) comes to work for him.
|2 days 14 hours ago||I posted something similar as||
I posted something similar as a baseless, likely-to-be-incorrect prediction a little while back. I personally think that DB is gone, so that wasn't part of my prediction, but in the (unlikely) dream scenario that John Harbaugh actually becomes our coach, you can tell this story:
If you're John Harbaugh, you keep Hoke/Mattison in the program because:
If you're Hoke/Mattison, you consider staying because:
If the John Harbaugh thing happens - which I think is a huge, huge "if" - then I don't think a scenario that has Hoke or Mattison staying is implausible. And honestly, if this somehow helps us get John Harbaugh, I think most of us would be fine with it, no matter how frustrated with are with the coaching right now.
|2 days 17 hours ago||Yeah, when it comes to||
Yeah, when it comes to Dantonio, it's one thing to resist claims that we need a "Michigan man" coaching Michigan. It's another thing to want to hire a guy whose existence is built upon a profound, unyielding, unhealthy hatred of us. I'll pass on that one.
|2 days 22 hours ago||No problem with it at all.||
No problem with it at all. In fact, among a sea of guys who aren't standing out to me right now (aside from the Harbaugh types), Tom Herman certainly deserves some background research.
Personally, I'd say no Tressel because he's Tressel and no Dantonio because he's Dantonio, but if Meyer wanted to come (he doesn't), I'd let him write his own check.
|2 days 22 hours ago||I agree (with your last||
I agree (with your last couple of posts). In fact, my guess is that there's a guy out there right now who basically knows - because he's been told - that he's going to be the Michigan AD soon.
I like that Schlissel didn't fire DB immediately after the protest, just because I think that's the wrong message from a new president. Being deliberate is good. Now is the time, though, because the AD needs time with this. You can't fire Hoke before DB, because any athletic director should feel like he's allowed to make his own decisions about who's coaching his teams, and there's no reason to restrict an AD's flexibility like that. So fire DB soon, give the new AD time to look into his options and make sure there's a move out there this year that makes firing Hoke the right move, and then let the new AD be the one to remove Hoke and bring in the next guy.
|5 days 17 hours ago||Seriously, the people who||
Seriously, the people who declared 2014 a great year for UM sports - in February - need to be punched in the balls. I can't remember, but I might be one of them.
|5 days 18 hours ago||Thank you. If this is the||
Thank you. If this is the reference - and is it? - the OP shouldn't get people's hopes up like this. This fanbase is in an emotionally vulnerable state.
|5 days 18 hours ago||(No subject)||
|5 days 22 hours ago||A suggestion that you can||
A suggestion that you can take or leave:
Since you've already posted all of these, maybe it'd make sense to create one new forum diary that links to the other 14 diaries and contains any overarching thoughts or observations that came to you while doing this?
I'm thinking that might be a way to give context/analysis to these and show people where they are without burying any other diaries that people are working on.