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|3 weeks 3 days ago||Thanks coach Hoke||
I wil miss your loyalty, your integrity, your humility, and your ability to bring quality student-athletes to Michigan.
Hope you leave with your head held high and love of Michigan intact. Best of luck.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||Class||
|3 weeks 4 days ago||OOC counts||
To me, Baylor deserves to get screwed because they chose to fill their schedule with crap. If there are consequences, then hopefully we will see much better OOC schedules.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||not only Smith||
Alex Smith was considered a complete bust until JH came to the Niners and somehow fixed a terribly broken QB. He was also QB coach for the Raiders when Rich Gannon became a star and led them to the SB - that Gruden guy had something to do with that.
Harbaugh can turn one of our guys into a good-enough QB, and we have just the weapons he can use - improving line, solid stable of RBs, including some who can catch the ball. Pass catching TE's, and big WR's. If he could incorporate Peppers and/or if Harris and Chesson can stretch the field a bit, our offense could be fine.
Not elite, but fine.
Combine competent offensive coaching with a solid D and some fierce willpower, we could have a pretty damn good team next year.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||It was indeed 55-21||
But the best part was Harbaugh going for 2 when Stanford scored to get to 48, a la Woody - 'because I couldn't go for 3'.
Stanford got the ball back and scored again to break half a century.
JH understands rivalries.
|5 weeks 11 hours ago||This story, if accurately||
This story, if accurately descrbed, sours Mullen in my mind as a viable canditate - but that doesn't mean he hasn't been remarkably successful at MSU.
He's the most successful coach in school history.
IMO, the two most difficult places to succeed in college football may be Miss St and K-State.
Crappy #2 schools in their state, with long history of losing. Lightly populated states competing against schools in football hotbeds. MSU has won exactly 1 SEC championship - in 1941.
Snyder is an absolute genius, and Mullen has turned the Indiana of the SEC into a team that's competitive in the SEC west.
And yeah, both Snyder and Mullen embarrassed us in bowl games.
|5 weeks 11 hours ago||agree 100% M-Dog||
It's absolutely reasonable to expect more from a leader and an institution than a high school kid. And yes, a 17 or 18 year old is still a kid.
I admire Hoke's recruiting ethics. He won't back out of a commitment, and he expects the same from the recruit. He asks kids to finish looking around before they commit to Michigan - and eliminates the risk to the kid with a track record of honoring the school's commitment,.
Furthermore, he does his homework regarding eligibilty and admissions - I really like that there aren't any battles with admissions or last minute surprise non-qualifiers.
If only he were as good on the field...sigh.
|5 weeks 3 days ago||MSU||
JH is, of course, first choice.
That said, Mullen would be a great consolation prize. He's a really good coach.
Yes, as an obsessed college football fan, I've watched quite a few Miss St games. To me, they resemble LSU - big, tough, physical, with inconsistent offense and very tough defense. LSU has been 'lucky' as long as Miles has been there - at some point one has to concede there's more to it than luck. I feel the same way about Mullen; his players believe in him and his program.
Interesting for you to compare him to RR, since he slaughtered him/Michigan in the infamous Gator Bowl - Mullen's second year at MSU.
What he's done there is remarkable. Miss St has been a crap program forever. They have won exactly ONE SEC championship - in 1941, and have the lowest all-time win percentage in the conference. They are Indiana.
Anybody that can get that program to challenge Alabama and LSU is pretty damn good IMO.
|5 weeks 3 days ago||Coaches move||
It's an occupational necessity. Rare are the coaches who remain at one place for more than a few years, and Harbaugh's prickly personality does not lend itself to long tenure.
My hope is he comes here, kicks ass for a few years, then returns to the NFL to win his SB.
|5 weeks 3 days ago||Conference champions, OOC||
I really hope the committee adheres to their stated preferece for conference champions and competitive non-conferece scheduling.
On paper, Baylor/TCU and Miss St. are close, yet Miss St played 4 tomato cans OOC, and probably won't even play in their conference championship game.
A tournament with half the teams from the same conferece proves nothing.
Next in line - OSU, assuming they win out.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||damn good coach||
IMO he would be a really good plan B hire.
I respect the way he's continued to build Utah's program. When they joined the PAC Utah didn't have the athletes/size to compete every week against better competition - he's upgraded their talent level and the results are showing.
He seems like a high-integrity, no cheating type, and he's been willing to adapt and make some interesting coaching hires.
While Utah is in a major conference, Michigan would be a big career step up. Utah is basically Rutgers - a school that's excited to finally be playing with the big boys (admittedly with more success in recent years). I think he would have to seriously consider an offer to coach Michigan.
|7 weeks 6 days ago||'07 Harbaugh||
Sure, in hindsight it's obvious JH would have been a great hire back then, but his entire head coaching experience conisted of a few years at University of San Diego.
Don't confuse that with San Diego State. USD is an FCS school that plays in a conferece with Evansville and Campbell. No athletic scholarships.
That said, JH did a great job preparing himself to be a coach. Even when he played with the Colts, he was an unpaid assistant for his dad at Western Kentucky, and his first assistant job was turning Rich Gannon into a pro-bowler and Super Bowl QB.
I don't know where people get the idea JH doesn't like Michigan. He was probably disappointed that he didn't get the job before, and he's famously irascible, but he is obviously, deeply blue.
|8 weeks 16 hours ago||wish list||
I'm not knowledgeable or connected enough to weigh in on specific candidates, but my wish-list of characteristics include...
- experience/skill in athletics administation
- understands the University of Michigan is a premier institution of public education, not a cheap consumer product
- stops the sleazy corporate 'partnerships' and endless commercialization
- respects and listens to students, alumni- all alumni, not just big donors - and supporters
- prioritizes effectve and efficient administration over profit maximization
- creates a fun, affordable environment for football and all sports
- hires competent, ethical coaches
- to throw a bone to DB, continues efforts to improve facilties and raise profile of non-revenue sports
Hire that person, please.
|8 weeks 16 hours ago||Louisville plays in||
Papa John's Stadium. He also re-hired Petrino.
I agree Jurich is competent, but no thank you.
|8 weeks 17 hours ago||Late to the party...||
West coast and all - but what a great way to start the day. I agree with SFBlue - I hope he leaves quietly and graciously. If so, best wishes to him - and good riddance.
|8 weeks 3 days ago||exactly||
i gotta give you props, baloo - that perfectly sums up our athletic director.
|8 weeks 3 days ago||thick skin||
you're a good - and certainly prolific - writer. if you hope/intend to let the world read your words, accept that you will never please everyone. criticism, both constructive and otherwise, is part of the deal.
i enjoy your writing. welcome back.
|8 weeks 3 days ago||man, i can't wait for that||
man, i can't wait for that day....please come soon.
|10 weeks 1 day ago||this is my favorite thread in a long time...||
I’ve been dreaming of the day when we could realistically consider a post-Brandon athletic department.
1. Stop treating the University of Michigan like a cheap commodity. As a marketing guy, I’m appalled that Brandon calls his cheap stunts and short-term thinking “branding”.
2. Stop using every space, surface, form of communication as an opportunity to sell ads. Michigan is a public, not-for-profit university. We are not “the Chobani/Coca-Cola/Arby’s University of Michigan”. Sheesh.
3. No more bumblebee uniformz. One alternate uni was fun; now it’s just stupid.
4. Stop gouging students, alumni and supporters. The goal should not be to maximize profits. Charge enough to break even with an efficiently run athletic department.
5. Improve the in-game environment. More band, less rawk, fewer ridiculous flyovers, etc. No advertisements, even for selling UM facilities.
6. Cater to fans by providing plenty of free water and allow sealed bottles into the stadium. Lower concession prices and improve quality.
7. Work hard to book a schedule full of interesting, competitive match-ups. Real opponents.
8. Treat students, alumni and supporters with respect. Ask, and listen. Make sure the best interest of students is always considered.
This is a long list, but I could go on and on…
|15 weeks 4 days ago||I don't agree||
I don't agree that Harbaugh is insulated from outside pressure with the 49ers.
First, he's got an equally arrogant, egotistical GM in Trent Baalke. Second, NFL coaches are required to deal with reporters much more regularly than college coaches.
With the niners, he's got reporters from the entire Bay Area, plus national media outlets to deal with. An NFL team has much more media exposure than any one college team.
As far as workload, there's not an NFL coach that works fewer hours than a college coach. It's the ultimate meatgrinder.
Pressure? He's made it to 3 NFC championships and a Super Bowl in 3 years, yet there's still lots of talk about his job being in jeopardy.
Willingness/ability to recruit is a legitimate factor, as is wanting to coach at the highest level. However, I think for an emotional, rah-rah type like Jim Harbaugh, his personality would work better in a college environment. There's a limit to how long pro athletes will tune in to that kind of stuff.
I don't know if it's possible to get him, but I also don't agree with those who say it's impossible.
|15 weeks 4 days ago||Shaw...||
I like Shaw as a person and leader, but his in-game coaching is highly suspect.
Stanford punted from USC's 29 AND 32 yard line last Saturday. The announcer (don't recall who it was) said he'd never seen anyone punt from inside their opponent's 30 before.
Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it...
|15 weeks 5 days ago||Harbaugh and 'niners||
Living out here, it's been clear for awhile that Trent Baalke and JH do not get along. It's also amazing to hear all the rumblings of dissent, considering how good the 'niners have been from the day he became the coach.
Harbaugh has had spectacular success in every coaching stop. Stanford was a train wreck when he completely transformed them into the Stanford we now think of as perennial title contenders. Even more comparable to our situation, the 'niners dynasty was just a fond memory pre-Harbaugh.
He also loves Michigan. There's a show on the local sports network here called "Peruball", about Harbaugh's annual trip to Peru to do charity work in a poor community down there. While all the orphans were given 49ers gear, when it's JH's turn to sing, he busts out "Hail to the Victors" - and whenever they play sandlot football games ("Peruball"), his squad is always the "Blue Team".
He and his family clearly love living in the Bay Area (hard not to, especially if you have $$), but if his current gig does go south, I think he might just consider coming home - to fix a lot of things.
|15 weeks 5 days ago||Beating Ohio||
was the best. First and only time in a loooong time. i know, i know, Fickell, Tresselgate, bla bla, but man it felt good to beat them.
|16 weeks 15 hours ago||ND wants one game...||
on the west coast every year, so keeping both USC and Stanford (both home and home) makes sense. It's just like we should be playing OSU and MSU at home in alternating years - scheduling consistency.
That said, it's f-ing ridiculous that they are ending this rivalry. I hate ND much more than Staee, and will miss these games.
|16 weeks 2 days ago||All their talk about||
All their talk about "national footprints" and "regional rivalries" is crap. ND wanted to dumb down their schedule.
There's no way they are giving up USC or Stanford - too important for national exposure and west coast recruiting.
They looked at their "locked in" games - UM, MSU, USC, Stanford (+ Purdue and Navy), and decided that adding 5 ACC games would be too difficult, especially if they use their remaining games for matchups against good teams from other regions.
Compare their 2014 schedule to 2015:
2014: - 6 really tough games (in my estimation) - Michigan, Stanford, AZ State, USC, FSU and Louisville. Their 3 "easiest" opponents are Rice, Purdue and Navy/NW. If they had kept MSU on the schedule, it would be brutal.
2015 - only 4 difficult games (IMO) - Texas, USC, Stanford, and Clemson. Their cupcake games next year are UMass, Temple and Wake Forest.
Sure, schedules are made in advance, and teams' fortunes rise and fall, but clearly ND wants to position themselves for more wins. Sadly, they bailed on one of their 2 biggest rivalry games.
|16 weeks 2 days ago||Thank you||
Brian, I really enjoy these features - always learn something. While I'm at it, thanks Space Coyote and ReadYourGuard, you both do a great job of explaining concepts without too much indecipherable jargon; I appreciate that.
I've come to really appreciate Morgan; his presence is as comforting as a warm blanket on a cold day. You know he's gonna be in position, and his grunt work makes everyone around him better.
That said, I feel our new defensive scheme and attacking philosophy is finally suited to effectively combat spread offenses - hooray! I hope Mattison finds ways to unleash JMFR, but even if he's less impactful, it's still a positive and necessary change.
|16 weeks 3 days ago||Megatron was unbelievable in college||
It's hard to defend "greatest college receiver ever" statements, because different eras, opponents, teams, etc. but Calvin Johnson was the most amazing college receiver I've ever seen (caveat: I never saw Jerry Rice play in college).
Reggie Ball was the least accurate passer I've ever seen. He completed 44% of his passes as a senior - even though his primary target had a catching radius the size of, well, Megatron. Unlike rag-armed Sheridan, Ball could chuck it; he just had absolutely no idea where it was going.
Their strategy was simple - Ball rolls out, heaves the ball randomly to Johnson's side of the field, Johnson somehow comes up with the catch.
The closest comparison I can make of how dominant he was despite a poor fit to progam is AC. Carter's genius forced Bo to throw the damn ball, against every Woody-honed instinct in his bones.
GT with Ball as QB was a horrible fit for Johnson, but his talent was so immense you couldn't help but see it.
|17 weeks 1 day ago||I hope||
...you're not a gambler.
A&M unstoppable - wow. Sumlin is an offensive genius.
|17 weeks 4 days ago||Great work - completely disagree||
I’ve always enjoyed a well-written piece that elicits strong opinions. Brian, you are an excellent writer, and this is a beautiful piece – and I could not disagree more strongly with most of it.
First, the present: Maybe living in California leads to wearing rose-colored sunglasses, but I feel cautiously optimistic about this season, and almost giddily enthusiastic about the future. The OL problems are baffling, but that roster is loaded with quality depth everywhere. I don’t recall the last Michigan team featuring fully 10 guys who seem poised for break-out seasons. Sure, it won’t happen for all, but there are a bunch of budding stars on this team.
Now let’s look back:
"2008 had an obvious explanation and novelty; 2010 was GERGtastic but man I can't get that mad at a season containing the 2010 Notre Dame game."
That’s your opinion, and you’re entitled to it, but wha? I’ve been addicted to Michigan football since the magical ’69 game; that means I’ve been around long enough to experience life’s ups and downs – relationships, jobs, you name it. About the only things I could absolutely count on were family, friends - and Michigan football. 2008 shattered that, and it hasn’t been the same since.
No Michigan team should go 3-9. I was chasing the sun in Europe in the fall of ’84, blissfully unaware of the 6-6 disaster (ah, those simple, pre-internet days). It was impossible for me to imagine a Michigan team that couldn’t muster a winning season.
Transitions, “bare cupboards”, blah, blah - 2008 was an unmitigated disaster.
Yeah, last year kinda sucked, but while many here have apparently erased them from their memory, I recall some real highlights. Despite the worst play ever, Devin’s game against ND rivaled Vince Young against USC (and us) as the greatest QB performance I’ve ever seen. I get to attend only one game per year, and saw a pretty convincing rout of an ok Minnesota team. We fought OSU to a dead heat, and damn near pulled it out.
That leads me to two of your thoughts about perspective:
"We've learned that it's worse—so much worse—to know that you have absolutely no chance to score points than to have absolutely no chance to prevent them"
'We' haven’t learned that. This 'we' never felt more hollow after a win than 67-65.
"This Is Michigan is fiction. This Is Michigan has rarely meant anything better than 9-3 since the 80s ended"
Again, your opinion is valid; I completely disagree. To me, This is Michigan means a team that wins most of the time, but just as importantly, it’s a team that doesn’t cheat, whose players attend and pass classes, that plays hard every down, and that never quits. 9-3 is a .750 winning percentage – is that good enough for me? Hell yes it is. Sure, the occasional amazing season is a treat, and it’s nice when those wins include our rivals, but how spoiled is a fan base that expects to win more than ¾ of its games, especially while trying to play by the rules in a cesspool of corruption?
In 2009, Michigan beat exactly one BIG team. In 2010 Michigan won 7, but got clobbered by every decent BIG team, and for the first time in all the years I’ve been watching, they quit – both against OSU and in the din of cowbells. C’mon, you knew it, I knew it, even he knew it – RR had to go. He lost his team. Michigan flat gave up against our biggest rival. It doesn’t get worse than that.
This year is gonna be fun. I'm as excited as a kid on Christmas Eve - visions of touchdowns dancing in my head!
|29 weeks 3 days ago||mesmerizing and hilarious||
I couldn't help but notice that "grannyhookup.com" was just above MGoBlog in popularity at the moment I checked..
These web stats are like crack to me. Once I start looking, I can't stop.