Coaches' timeouts are worse. Basketball teams should get one, full stop.
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|2 weeks 1 day ago||In general appeals to||
In general appeals to authority are not to people whose production is under scrutiny and meassurement. Trusting the coaches is not an appeal to authority it is a recognition that you are acknowledging that the people you are deferring to must produce. The product of the "authority" is being tested on a weekly basis. It's hardly lazy to acknowledge that the coaches have forgotten more about football than the vast majority of us will ever learn and that they are under incredible pressure to produce.
I find people who believe that they have sufficient knowledge and expertise to ignore the life long tests faced by the coaches arrogant and annoying "please stop it".
Feel free to object all you like but the razor cuts both ways. I respect the hard won knowledge that Brian has acquired and acknowledge that he knows far more than me, but he is not a coach and under most circumstances I'm going to trust the coach's opinion over Brian's.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||Rape these days is often a pretty gray charge||
I make no excuse for a rapist, but I think it is important to let a court weigh the evidence before assuming a charge is fact.
If, in fact, Gibbons raped anyone then he deserves the full sentence that a court imposes upon him. Perhaps he is guilty, perhaps not and until the various police reports and other sources of information are tested in a court of law, or until Gobbons pleads to something, he is granted the presumption of innocence.
Colleges have moved ever more quickly to equate accusation with guilt. The preponderance of the evidence is not "beyond resonable doubt", and as the guys at Duke have proven, reasonable doubt is a far fairer test.
So at this point, Michigan expelled a student who has yet to be tried let alone convicted of anything. Assuming that no one who contributes to this blog witnessed anything surrounding the event that resulted in this charge, none of us know what happened.
So how about we let the legal process run its course and when it concludes we can all rationally discuss the evidence that comes to light. Until then we'll all be better served by taking a deep breath and waiting.
|6 weeks 2 days ago||I'm responding to others who replied to this comment||
When I was growing up 21 was the age of legal adulthood. For any number of political reasons that became 18, and did so shorlty before my 21st birthday. This notion that once someone is legally an adult their parents and mentors are supposed to adopt a handsoff policy and cast them adrift to sort life out themselves is simply horse shit.
I understand that sometimes, sadly, parents may not have their child's best interests at heart, but most of the time they do. It would be nice if life reflected the current PC notion that once your child crosses some magic age they are able to understand the real world consequences of life altering decisions, but most of us understand life does not work that way.
Parents can and, assuming they have no selfish agenda of their own, should continue to provide guidance to their maturing children after, perhaps long after, their son's or daughter's 18th birthday.
The theory was that at 18 young men and women were educated and informed enough to behave as adluts. Adulthood is far more about self sufficiency, than education and information and we as a nation have seen that play out.
It's funny really. Eighty years ago sixteen year olds were living on their own, getting married, providing for and raising families. Now "children" may stay on their parent's heath insurance policies until they are 26 years old, even though they are legally adults at 18.
tl;dr - Good parents judge how well their children are dealing with maturing in life regardless of some legal age boundary, and that is a good thing.
|7 weeks 7 hours ago||I rather think that Hoke would have already visited||
if the coaches talking with Damien thought it would have helped. Keep in mind that Hoke is the person who fired Damien's friend and favorite coach. Were I Hoke, I'd probably give the emotions around that fact time to settle down before I had any personal contact with Damien.
|7 weeks 19 hours ago||This is so very simple.||
This is so very simple. Michigan should not recruit athletes for the University's various sports programs who are not academically prepared for Michigan's freshman course work. Period. Regardless of stars or 40 times. Athletes should meet the same requirements as any other incoming freshman.
Given the workload of a varsity sport I have no problem with the athletic department arranging for tutors and special study support to help them, but they should meet the same entrance requirements as any other student.
The theory and the history is that Michigan can compete for the students who are both excellent academically and athletically. I realize that limits the talent pool. So be it.
Trying to provide remedial education when the student in question has to commit between 20 and 30 hours a week toward a varsity sport cheats the student in so many ways.
|7 weeks 2 days ago||Well maybe not||
If you think that Nussmeier and Hoke have until 2016 to get things turned around and that winning the Big Ten Championship is the bar of success then there is a good chance that Nussmeier is gone by 2017.
If Hoke doesn't get it done he and his staff are gone so Nussmeier is swept out with the rest of the staff. If the team wins the Big Ten Championship, there is a very good chance that it makes the playoffs. Getting Michigan to the playoffs is more than good enough for Nussmeier to pull a head coaching job somewhere attractive enough for him to leave.
It's hard to construct a scenario in which the teams performance is good enough to keep Hoke and his staff around that doesn't put Nussmeier in a position to get snapped up as a head coach.
|7 weeks 2 days ago||To hell with all this...||
It would be great to snatch a top quality running back in the 2014 class. I understand that recruiting is a pipeline of young men some of whom will under perform, some of whom will meet expectations, and some of whom will surprise all of us.
I also understand that in an ideal world, or maybe just in a sane world, Michigan will recruit a soild or maybe outstanding RB prospect in every recruiting class. I understand why building that kind of depth is important.
This year Michigan may not get that guy, which would suck at many levels, but we are looking at a team with an amazing amount of talent. A lot of young talent. Now the coaches have to season their players and either this year or next we'll all see an enormous resurgence.
|7 weeks 6 days ago||Thanks for the education!||
Posts like this and the discussion in the comments really are a big part of what sets mgoblog apart from other sites.
Much appreciated to all contributors.
|7 weeks 6 days ago||It's not just starts...||
it's also snaps. How many of those guys who never started before this season had never seen the field before this season?
Pure speculation, but, given the margin of many of Alabam's wins the last couple of seasons, I'd wager they all had played substantial minutes in mulitple games before this year.
Also were any of these guys red shirted? If so that's one or two more years of S&C than an RS Freshman.
|7 weeks 6 days ago||Consider class size...||
So far Ohio has 21 in its incoming class and Michigan has 16. It doesn't offset that advantage completely but class size does have an impact.
|8 weeks 1 day ago||The whole meme about Nussmeier making changes to his staff||
has worn thin. It's Hoke's staff. While Hoke surely consults with his coordinators about his choices in hiring, Brandon has made it very clear that Hoke hires and fires. This is in accordance with his contractul responsibilities.
If Brady is dissatisfied with an offensive assistant and Nussmeier says "Brady I have a guy that I think is perfrect" you can bet Hoke will listen, but ultimately Hoke will assess if that guy fits and make the decision to present the hire for Brandon's approval.
I did not expect Borges to be released because I thought it unlikely that a better or comparable alternative would be available. Nussmeier became available and Hoke quickly moved to make a change. It is certain that Nussmeier and Hoke discussed the offensive staff before the decision to hire was made. I would expect that if Nussmeier and Hoke agreed that futher staff changes were needed Hoke would move with the same decisiveness and those changes would already have been made.
Hoke met individually with each member of his staff before announcing that Borges was being terminated. It is hard to imagine that those coaches did not ask Hoke about their jobs. We may see further changes down the road, but at this point I have to believe that it is very unlikely.
|8 weeks 1 day ago||As a guy whose been shooting since I was 12||
I laughed my ass off.
|8 weeks 2 days ago||Without a doubt Morris played a heck of a game||
which should make all of us feel a lot more comfortable about QB depth. That does not mean that Shane is Michigans's best option at QB. While I favor a QB competition, I have every expectation that Devin will start in 2014 and if the line just raises their blocking the tiniest bit, will exceed everyone's expectations.
|8 weeks 2 days ago||Upvoting you for changing your avitar||
and moving on.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||Nussmeier's compensation is probably about keeping him around||
The worst thing for the offense would be for him to be here one season and bolt for a head coaching job. Without seeing his contract this is all idle speculation. Once we get to see specifics we may learn a great deal more about the thinking behind his package.
As for Al's pay. As I recall, after the 11-2 season with the Sugar Bowl win other programs were sniffing around him. His stock was pretty high at that point and the bump was defensible and didn't draw much negative comment even here.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||Read Hoke's contract||
the amount will have been amended since it was written, but Hoke is allocated a pool of money to hire his staff. Hires must be approved by Brandon, but the funds for staff compensation is part of Hoke's budget and under Hoke's control. Obviously Brandon was and, since Nussmeier's contract is not finalized, still is involved in determining Nussmeier's compensation but ultimately the funds available for staff in Hoke's budget will be increased to cover Nussmeier.
Hoke hired Nussmeier.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||Almost provably false||
If Borges quits he does not paid for the last year of his contract. The offical announcement of his depature stated that he would get paid and provided the amount subject to offsets. If the terms of Borges' contract in this regard are the same as Hoke's, which is generally part of the boilerplate, then, under the contract, the University does not have the option to pay him.
While it's possible that Al quit and through the goodness of its heart the University amended his contact so they could buy out the remainder of his contract. It seems pretty unlikely.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||It is a safe bet that Hoke||
It is a safe bet that Hoke and Nussmeier came to a pretty full understanding of what offense they were going to run before Nussmeier got the offer. Both of them said as much in the press conference.
Anything can happen but the odds are that the offensive staff is safe. You also don't want to destabilze recruiting anymore than is absolutely necessary. How many key recruits are Funks?
|8 weeks 6 days ago||First of all Nussmeier does not have hiring authority||
Certainly he and Hoke discussed the offensive staff during the discussions preceeding his hire, but Hoke hires and fires and all of the assistants report to him. I'm sure that the offensive position coaches take direction from the OC but Hoke is their boss.
It may have been coach speak but Nussmeier spoke repeatedly about integrating INTO the existing staff. He also stated that he looked forward to working with the offensive staff and mentioned all of them by name.
Did Nussmeier make deal with Hoke to bring someone in? We'll have to wait and see, but at this point that is purely speculative.
|8 weeks 6 days ago||The need for two years is possible even probable||
for the reasons stated. Maybe it will call come together, but changing offenses is disruptive. You expectations are not those of the people making decisions about the program and Hoke and Nussmeier will get at least through 2015.
It is highly doubtful that Nussmeier would have taken the job if he was given that long.
|8 weeks 6 days ago||If this decision did not originate with Hoke||
the program is in big trouble. I have no doubt that Hoke and Brandon discussed all of the staff with regard to the 2013 season and the program going forward. I think that it is a near certainty that discussions about releasing any of his staff were put forward by Hoke.
Hoke's contract flatly states that hiring and firing is his responsibility with Brandon's approval. Hoke is also responsible for managing all aspects of his staff. He is held accountable for their conduct with regard to University and NCAA rules. Those were the terms under which he accepted the job and those terms allow him to make guarantees to his staff in which they can have confidence. If Brandon is dictating how Hoke manages his staff, then Brady is head coach in name only. No one can successfully run an organization with the kinds of pressures and work loads that exist in the Michigan football program as a figurehead and both Brandon and Hoke know it.
As the team's record has deteriorated, the notion that Brady is some charicature of Fred Flintstone and Oilver Hardy has gained traction. It's not true. Various commenters here have described the difficulty of ever rising to any head coaching position at any level of college football. Barring nepotism, brain dead good fellas don't get to be head coaches in D-1 football. Brady had what it took to get here and he didn't forget it when he stepped through the door.
Someone earlier commented about Brady's compensation. One reason for his level of compensation is so that he can afford to resist direct interference from management and walk if he deems it necessary to protect the level of autonomy that he believes is required to successfully do his job. He just got three years of deferred compensation. He can afford to walk if he is not allowed to run his staff in accord with his contract. Which is the reason that Brandon would never put Brady in that position and Brady would never allow Brandon to feel he had no choice to do otherwise. This also invalidates the notion that Brandon forced Nussmeier on Hoke. Brandon would have replaced Hoke with Nussmeier instead.
Until the timeline of Nussmeier hiring process leaks we won't know when and how Michigan found out about his availability. At this point the most likely scenerio seems to be that once he knew Nussmeier was looking, Hoke, with DB's agreement, took the initiative to explore things with Nussmeier. Once Hoke decided Nussmeier was a fit and Brandon agreed and was willing to open his wallet and did the deal, the decision to release Borges was made by Hoke again with Brandon's approval.
I've fired close collegues some of whom are good friends, one is arguably my best friend. I've been fired by close collegues and by friends. Firing someone with whom you are close is not difficult because of the personal relationship, but because of the desire to be very sure that firing them is the right course of action. You never want to fire someone casually, but level of introspection is greater when you know the person well and view them with deep respect. When Hoke said that he respected Al both as a coach and more importantly a person it wasn't coach speak.
While being fired is a very personal experience, in a case like this it happens for impersonal reasons. It is something that comes with the job. Once Brady decided that it was best for the program to make the change actually firing Al was the easy part and both men probably went out of their way to make it as easy for each other as possible. Note that Al has not had one bad word to say publically about any of this. Like him or hate him, so far he's been a class act all the way.
|9 weeks 42 min ago||A couple of points||
First: It is a virtual certainty that offensive staffing would have come up during the hiring discussions with Nussmeier. Unless you don't plan to give your OC input into hiring offensive position coaches, exploring his thoughts and ideas about staff is simply part of evaluating him for the job. I would not be surprised if these discussions were specific to each offensive coach.
Second: There has been a lot of speculation here that Nussmeier is a "short term" hire, and is someone who will leave in 2 or 3 years for a head coach position. If that is true you don't want him bringing in guys who are loyal to him and will follow him when he leaves. A mass departure among the offensive or defensive staff is almost as disruptive as a new head coach. Assuming that Hoke does indeed plan to finish his career at Michigan, he needs a staff that is loyal to him and the program.
If Funk's or Jackson's jobs are in jeopardy due to Nussmeiers arrival, that is already known to Hoke (and Brandon) and probably would have been part of the individual discussions that Hoke had with staff prior to the announcement.
|9 weeks 2 hours ago||Barring a losing season Hoke's safe until 2015||
I think that Nussmeier is an outstanding hire, but it still means installing a new offense in 2014. It means that Gardner gets his 3rd QB coach. It means the way the game plan builds on prior calls will change. The coaches here can speak to probable blocking changes, but one would think blocking will change as well. The philosophy of the program will remain the same but its implementation will be different.
So the offense is a crap shoot in 2014, it could get much better, or stay about the same, or, if the learning curve is an issue, get worse.
Hoke and Nussmeier will get at least through 2015 to get the new offense rolling. I'm hopeful, but at this point a wait and see approach to 2014 is prudent.
In some sense I guess that might mean that defensive improvements are more important, because Mattison's system is stable and the players have fewer adjustment to absorb to take the next step.
|9 weeks 2 hours ago||Thanks Al||
The man was well paid, but the pay bump that put him near the top came after the Sugar Bowl win. He came into a difficult situation and devoted himself to the program, the team and his players. In other words he was a good solid coach. We can argue about the degree to which he was responsible for the short comings of the last season, but under extreme pressure he conducted himself with grace and poise to the credit of the program. The production wasn't there, but Al remained professional to the end.
Good luck where ever you land Al.
|9 weeks 5 hours ago||Funk did not work for Borges||
He did not report to Borges through to Hoke. Funk works directly for Hoke. Certainly Funk worked with Borges in a collaborative fashion, but it was not a boss to employee relationship.
|9 weeks 6 hours ago||It's no so simple as having the new OC bring in some guys||
If Hoke and probably Brandon think that replacing Funk is necessary to fix the offensive line then he'll be released. If not then he'll get another year. Was Funk a successful recruiter? What is the impact of releasing him on recruiting? The more the OC change tirggers additional changes through the coaching the more its impact is like a head coaching change. Given the state of the transition, you want to replace ONLY those coaches who also must go, and minimize the disruption. For this reason you want any other coaching changes to happen ASAP.
While the wording of the comment was kind of murky, apparently Hoke met individually with each coach before Al's termination went public. It is a safe bet that each coach asked about his job. Hard to believe that Funk didn't ask. If Nussmeier has been given the green light to replace specific members of the offensive staff, Hoke would have told them. Staff chemistry is a tricky thing.
It is important to remember that all the assistants directly work for Hoke not the coordinators. Nussmeier certainly has input on offensive coaching changes, but the decision will remain Hoke's with Brendon's approval.
|9 weeks 18 hours ago||It's only shady if Borges didn't know in advance||
At this level, at least in the corporate world, unless there is malice involved, the guy getting fired knows about it well before the announcement.
Given what we know about Brady's relationship with Borges, it is certainly possible even likely that he told Borges this was coming. If Al's replacement is announced tomorrow, it is a virtual certainty that the hiring decision was a done deal before this was announced.
|9 weeks 18 hours ago||Wow - I view this decision with both hope and concern||
First of all thank you Al Borges. Without a doubt you did your best under difficult circumstances depsite the results you deserve respect for your considerable efforts on behalf of the Michigan football program. If it is your desire to continue coaching may you land on your feet in an excellent program.
I've repeatedly said that only Hoke and Brandon had the necessary information to make these kinds of decisions. In a perfect world Hoke made this decision without pressure in consultation with Brandon. A head coach's autonomy with regard to his staff selections is important and needs to be respected. I would be concerned should it prove that Brandon leveraged Hoke about retaining Borges.
I'm hopeful that Brady and Brandon have already identified a replacement OC and have sorted out all the various issues involved in making this change. I'm hopeful that this will prove a positive change to the program. For the record not every option out there is a better choice that Al, and this selection at this point in the transition is critical.
I am concerned about the impact on recruiting and the impact on the players of installing a 3rd offensive system in four years. I'm concerned on the impact on the rest of the staff and their chemistry.
Coaches are paid to make the tough decisions and there is no doubt that this was a difficult and risky call on Hoke's part. However it turns out Hoke deserves our respect for his commitment to doing what he thinks is best for the program.
|9 weeks 1 day ago||It is possible to be realistic without being negative...||
Saying things like no chance if Borges is coaching or no chance if this staff remains intact or assuming that the line is doomed until coaching is changed may or may not be someone's "realisitc" opiion but it is also expressed in a very negative way. In essence it says "I've given up and no amount of conflicting data matters".
As for 2012, every time I speculate on an upcoming season I always add the caveat "assuming no critical injuries". Had Denard been injured in the last 30 seconds of the Nebraska game I have little doubt (although no one will every know) that Michigan wins that game. If you want to blame the coaches for moving Gardner to WR and relying on Bellomy I'm fine with that. I thought it was a high risk decision at the time. We'll never know where Gardner would have been in his progression as a QB had he been taking QB snaps all through the 2012 season. Coaches get paid to make difficult decisions maybe we'd have lost a different game or two without Gardner at WR, maybe we'd have beaten Nebraska, Ohio, and SC if Gardner had been the back up and taken over from Denard with more QB practice under his belt we'll never know.
What we do know is that 2013 was the first year that the coaches were willing to attempt to change the offensive philosophy to what they intend to run going forward and that the transition was far more difficult that most if not all of the fan base expected. I'd have loved the opportunity to have sat down with Hoke and Borges the week before the first game and get an honest answer of their expectations for the season. It's another thing we'll never know.
Was this the correct year? Should the coaches have waited? Should they have attempted it in 2012 or 2011? Like I said coaches get paid to make difficult decisions and I can see arguments on both sides of all those questions and many others.
While I don't give the coaches a pass because of roster problems, I also don't think it is an excuse to say that they were a major contributor to 2013 and to a lesser extent 2012. The impact of Molk's injury in the sugar bowl revealed just how important he was to the ability of that offense to run the ball. Denard's and other injuries and the impact of the roster on 2012, cause me to discount the meme that, at this point, the fall off in the record consistutes a meaningful trend. It may but the data are a little to slim for me.
Seven regular season wins in 2014 would, in my opinion, show a disturbing trend and while I doubt it would cost Hoke his job, I would expect a pretty substantial shake up in his staff to result.
I think that my view of the team is realistic. I indicated that in my opinion there are no safe games next season. They can go anywhere from 4 regular season wins (highly unlikely in my opinion) to undefeated (probably more unlikely).
I expect modest improvement in the overall play of both lines. I don't expect either line to be dominant or maybe not even good in 2014. Yes they could get worse, they could get dramatically better, but the odds, given the importance of game experience on the lines, favor modest improvement. When I say that the typical response is "not with these coaches" or "these coaches have not shown they can coach". Specific examples that run against that meme are summarily dismissed. GIven what we've seen in the last three seasons, there are reasons to support either argument, but an unwillingness to acknowledge that either side is supportable is inherently negative. A view that is unrelentingly negative or positive is pretty much unrealistic on its face.
I'm also one of the oldest contributors here and have followed Michigan football far longer than many of you have been alive. This was a difficult season but I've been through far worse. One thing that is very different this season compared to the real stinkers of old is the tire fire that was buildable only because of the internet. I suppose the internet also allows us all to build a equally dramatic tower of expectations in the fall, a tower that provide plently disappointment to fuel the tire fires when things go wrong.
Having to make astonishingly vituperative statements to the target's face or in person to those who don't share that view, tended to moderate the tone of the fan base in disappointing seasons. That damper does not exist in these forums and as such piling on is both popular and easy. Cheap shots at coaches, who are almost certain to be coaching here next year is pointless negativity at this juncture. Disappointment and disagreement with the coaches and their decisions expressed in a civil fashion creates a far less negative and more realistic atmosphere and allows for discussion of other points of view.
|9 weeks 1 day ago||How many times was Shane sacked?||
While hardly stellar the line did seem to block better in the last two game than during the middle of the season. My expertise in assessing line play is pretty suspect, but do you think that saying they "weren't any better whatsoever" is accurate?
We can agree that they failed to make sufficient progress to turn the season around, but the notion that zero progress was made seems to ring false.