CC: Brian's Hopes for Helfrich Are Improving

CC: Brian's Hopes for Helfrich Are Improving

Submitted by alum96 on October 3rd, 2014 at 5:21 PM

[I am poking some fun at Brian in the headline of course]

Well the Mark Helfrich / Scott Frost advocates for UM coach(es) should be pleased - the Oregon fan base is very unhappy with them, not just for last night but the WSU game as well.  So it should be quite easy to overpay and draw them to the Midwest since it sounds like Phil Knight won't be overly eager to stand in the way of raising Helfrich's salary up from $1.8M to oh $6M (Brandon style!). 

Did some skimming of quite a few Oregon boards and they are calling Helfrich very bad names - he has lost Chip Kelly's innovation, the players are not coached as well, the run game is dying, better recruits but worse results, adjustments at halftime are no longer there (guess they forgot the MSU game quickly) etc. Media is piling on as well. 

Many here accuse Shaw of just riding Harbaugh's coattails.  That stuff goes away after about 2 years IMO - Shaw is in year 4.   Helfrich on the other hand is on full suspicion of riding coattails.

To be fair Oregon's OL is a huge mess right now but for those of us who watched the game last evening, that was a total domination on both lines of scrimmage and you just can't win when your lines stink.  Oregon's coaches are now saying Mariota is not 100% either.

Anyhow some sampling from various stories I skimmed - this is from the media, not even the fans comments which as you can imagine are much more negative:

But what we don't know and can't yet see is whether Oregon's coaching staff has what it takes to keep the Ducks program at the level they inherited it.  Gone is the Chip Kelly edge and creativity on offense. Absent are Nick Aliotti's gambling and guts on defense. The overall performance was sloppy. All that was familiar from the most successful Oregon era ever on Thursday were some of Kelly's leftover players and that signature "O" at midfield. That's "O" for obsolete, right now.


The Ducks could not overcome a poor performance on both sides of the ball, puzzling play calling on offense and a lack of effective adjustments on defense. The ire in the stadium, and I'm guessing in your living room, turned toward the Pac-12 Conference officiating. As if it were the officials calling that bland game plan, failing for the second consecutive season to have Oregon ready to play against a more inspired, better-prepared, willing-to-go-for-it-all bunch coached by Rich Rodriguez.


It was a mismatch, alright.  Not the players. The guys in the headsets. Arizona exposed Oregon, especially after some careful halftime adjustments, piling up 13 third-quarter first downs.


It's coaching that I now wonder about most at Oregon. Oregon has lost its mojo. I can see it. You can see it. The NCAA football selection committee can surely see it. Can Mark Helfrich's staff regain it? Or are they in over their heads?

No 100-yard rusher, again. A pass-happy offensive game plan, again. Five sacks. Two fumbles. Amid all that, suddenly, a decision by Helfrich on a critical second-half drive to put the ball repeatedly in the hands of freshman running back Royce Freeman and that beleaguered offensive line instead of relying on Mariota. "It's on me," Helfrich said.


There were suspicions last season, even with a 10-2 record and an Alamo Bowl, about whether the program had taken a giant step backward. Losing to a BCS-bowl bound Stanford program you could live with, but losing at Arizona? Now losing to Arizona twice straight? Helfrich is now 3-3 in his last six Pac-12 games. He's 8-3 overall in conference play. Kelly's conference record in four seasons: 33-3.


Right now, the University of Oregon shouldn't be worried about whether it can climb with one loss back into the national playoff hunt. It should be worried about whether the coaching staff has what it takes to keep Oregon as relevant as it should be.  Kelly took Mike Bellotti's program to four straight BCS bowl games. He played for a national championship. He made no apologies, and no excuses. He didn't walk off to the NFL, he swaggered away.  There is nothing innovative about Oregon right now. Nothing edgy. Nothing mysterious. They're solved, totally and completely. Not from a talent standpoint, but from scheme.

Not good

When Chip Kelly took the Ducks to the national title game in 2011, only one player was drafted off that team: linebacker Casey Matthews in the fourth round.  And I think most never expected Helfrich to be the next Chip Kelly. It's clear Kelly is a once-in-a-lifetime coach, a guy whose vision and style is changing the game, but I'm not sure anyone expected this kind of slippage.   And yes, there has been slippage. Major slippage.

Yada yada

..the Ducks have become a very sloppy unit. Undisciplined. Bone-headed mistakes. Schematically out of position. And that, is coaching. To their credit, after Knight left, the Oregon coaches stepped to the microphones and owned their performance.

Sounds familiar

I don't understand the bonehead mistakes the Ducks continue to make under Helfrich. For the most part, I think Oregon recruits a high-character athlete. These are smart kids, and from my limited interaction I believe these are good kids. But under Helfrich, silly personal fouls were a problem last season, and again this season we are seeing lapses in judgment.

Regardless, it's far too early to say Helfrich's job is on the line. But discipline, both in conduct and execution, are major reflections of a coach, and right now, those are two areas the Ducks are lacking.

EDSBS writes Dave's emails for him

EDSBS writes Dave's emails for him

Submitted by dnak438 on October 3rd, 2014 at 2:58 PM


I laughed out loud (yes, I'm old) so many times while reading this beautiful piece by Ryan Nanni over at EDSBS:

My favorite bits:

FROM: [email protected]
RE: Texas A&M-Mississippi State

If you think football's more important that handbell choir syncopation, by all means. Those bumpkins couldn't jangle out a rudimentary version of "Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming" if their miserable lives depended on it

P.S. Kevin Sumlin eats burritos with his hands. It's repulsive.


FROM: [email protected]
RE: LSU at Auburn

Have we considered a second disinformation campaign spreading negative rumors about Leslie Miles, and thus eliminating any insurgency campaign supporting those who wish to see him reigning o'er Schembechler Hall? This is spitballing, but consider:

--Waited three hours in an 18th century wardrobe just to slap Lloyd Carr at an antique store 
--Engaged in sex with Gary Moeller's wife, AND did not fill out the appropriate paperwork with the Big Ten Conference prior to the liason
--Is from Ohio (we have documentation to support this, I believe?) 
--Has only read the prose version of The Iliad. No, this is too far. Forgive my momentary lack of scruples.

Does not wear a tuxedo while enjoying games of chance such as "bin-go" or "swim-ming"

Is that true about Les Miles only having read the prose Iliad? That IS terrible. Les didn't take Great Books as a freshman? Give me Lattimore's translation or give me death. 

Athletes, coaches from other sports send Michigan Football off

Athletes, coaches from other sports send Michigan Football off

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on October 3rd, 2014 at 2:42 PM

This is outstanding.

Fans, coaches and athletes on other Michigan teams all lined up in Glick Field House and held a surprise send-off for the team. I'll call it The Victors Send-Off.

In the bottom left picture, Carol Hutchins appears to be hugging Greg Mattison. 

Beilein and Berenson were there. 

Fans line up to send off Michigan's football team at Schembechler

— Claire Bryan (@claireab320) October 3, 2014

Reactions from players:


Omg much luv MAC (Michigan athletic community)

— #H1TP (@GreatGlasby) October 3, 2014

Love the support from everyone! #goblue

— jake butt (@JBooty_88) October 3, 2014

What's your line?

What's your line?

Submitted by canzior on October 3rd, 2014 at 2:38 PM

I'm thinking this is possibly because I'm not a Michigan Alum, but I'm not so moved by what's going on.  2 things have affected my opinions of "fandom."  

1. MSU 2010, 34-17 loss, hanging out in the locker room after the game with the players, Odoms hurt his leg, was on crutches and laughing and joking. Denard didn't play well (AT ALL) and was smiling and taking pics...I was bummed....and they weren't.  I thought to myself, why should I care, more than they do?  My life isn't markedly worse when they lose.  

2. My (former) obsession with reading everything on this site.  And I had to remind myself, that not only do I care about who the President is at a school I do not attend, I am just as interested in the women's softball team, basketball team, gymnastics, hockey, or the volleyball team.  All I care about is 3 hours on Saturday.  That might make me a shitty fan, but it's certainly made me a happier one.  

It's similar to how I feel about celebrities.  Their personal life doesn't interest me, their work does...and I think that ties into the NFL issues a few weeks ago.  How much do you really care about what goes in the personal lives of players?  And if you care, why?  Do you care about everyone's personal life or just those who are famous?  These questions I've asked myself and it all comes back to this:  This is entertainment!  I believe it should bring some joy, and for me, when there is no joy, there is no reason to be so involved.  So I'll continue to watch the games, regardless of record, but my former favorite pasttime of reading MGO will likely halt until the conversation gets back to more of the on-the-field product and less of the things I'm not so interested in. 

But to each of you, your personal investment in Michgian football goes how far?  And what's your line?

LA Times Article Takes Aim At Top-Heavy Coach/AD Salaries, Uses M As Prime Example

LA Times Article Takes Aim At Top-Heavy Coach/AD Salaries, Uses M As Prime Example

Submitted by MGlobules on October 3rd, 2014 at 1:19 PM


"He wasn't a highly-sought commodity, and his salary at San Diego had been $700,000. Brandon's crackerjack negotiating skills got Hoke for a bargain-basement price of just shy of $3 million a year. Mary Sue Coleman, then the university president, pulled down a bit more than $600,000, as the highest-paid president in the university's history."

The author goes on to quote Jonathan Chait: "I would really like to see an economics textbook try to explain the negotiating dynamic here."…


Some Rutgers Data

Some Rutgers Data

Submitted by alum96 on October 3rd, 2014 at 12:45 PM

I know it is unfashionable to talk about the actual football games anymore but I thought this Mlive story by Nick B provided some insightful data points.  Unfortunately most of it is bad for UM fan.  But let me go rogue and talk some Rutgers - UM football.

Gary Nova is Gary Nova - true he is a wild and crazy guy.  But fun fact by mlive

MLIVE: Gary Nova threw five interceptions in the team's loss to Penn State last month, but has been better since. He threw for four touchdowns last week and has had just 10 incomplete passes over the last two games.

Rutgers best offensive player Paul James tore his ACL and obviously that hurts them.

MLIVE: Desmon Peoples (5-9, 175) has a different look to him, but Justin Goodwin has stepped in to rush for 186 yards over the past two weeks. So is the dropoff really that bad?

Who does Nova throw to?

MLIVE: The Scarlett Knights are pretty much a one-man show at wideout. Leonte Carroo has 25 catches for 475 yards and 5 touchdowns. Only one other player has 10 receptions (Janarion Grant).

Rutgers DL is sorta scary.  They have a 5 star (#11 in the country) on there, but he is not even their leading sack man.  Someow they have developed a 2 star class of 2013 RS freshman - he has 5 sacks already. Doom.

MLIVE: The Scarlett Knights lead the country in sacks with 21. Freshman Kemoko Turay leads the way with five on his own. The Scarlett Knights put pressure on the quarterback from a lot of different areas

At least we have our DL who will pressure Nova?

MLIVE: Rutgers quarterbacks have only been sacked six times this season. The group isn't dominant by any stretch (No. 58 in rushing offense), but at least it's not a growing problem.

Rutgers has a very nice player at LB

MLIVE: Steve Longa is one of the best linebackers in America. He had 123 tackles last season and is arguably Rutgers' best player.

Rutgers does sorta suck in their defensive backfield.  But even that is sort of skewed by facing Mike Leach.  And you need a QB who can deliver the ball, has time, and is accurate to take advantage of said weakness.

MLIVE: Rutgers is one of the worst teams, statistically, against the pass this season with 278.4 yards per game allowed. However, it gave up more than 500 against pass-happy Washington State in week one. And since then, the Scarlett Knights have only allowed one passing touchdown. One. Christian Hackenberg threw for more than 300 yards against this team.

At least their punting game sucks (our horrid punting in 2014 has been overshadowed by so many other on/off field issues; it's been a huge weakness) - but not noted in the MLIVE piece - but noted by Ace and mentioned in the PSU game, Rutgers has blocked more kicks than any team in America since 2009.

MLIVE: Rutgers kicker Paul Federico is 6 of 8 on the year, and he's made 14 of his last 18 kicks. Good. Not great. Neither Rutgers punter (Tim Gleeson or Joseph Roth) has been great average-wise, as the Scarlett Knights are punting at less than 40 yards per kick. So, again, there are some struggles here.


This was going to be a challenge even if we were playing decently.

Current QB's Thoughts on UM Fans

Current QB's Thoughts on UM Fans

Submitted by FreddieMercuryHayes on October 3rd, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Brian Cleary, walk on RS Soph QB, has a Hot Take on the UM fans (via his twitter):


Easiest thing in the world is to abandon others and tell the world how much better youwould be in their situation. It takes courage to stand by someone and remain loyal because you believe in them regardless of the popular opinion. I know you think your history as a Michigan fan somehow makes your opinion relevant, but it doesn't. I love Coach Hoke, Dave Brandon, DG, and the rest of my teammates, and I'll stand with them until the end.


I understand you get frustrated with fan criticism. But goodness gracious. Once again, the people who pay hard earned money, invest thier time and emotion into the supporting the program are not cash dispensing robots. They are people. People who don't like to be treated like cash dispensing robots. When you treat them as such, they will walk away and spend that time and emotion with people who treat them like people and not robots. Their opinions are most definitely important.

Maybe I've been missing this kind of thing in the past, but between former players and now current players, there's a serious disconnect between the program, the athletic department, and fans.  I mean none of the current vitrol is directed at the players.  Yet somehow they think that whatever the AD does to fans is good.  I don't get it, but it makes me feel even less a part of the UM community which was the source of my fandom in the first place.

EDIT:  I should clarify: when it comes to things like player performance, no the fans' opinions don't really matter.  But when it comes to how the AD presents the university to the world, or the policies that directly affect the fans, then yes, the fans' opinons are probably the most important.

UPDATE: Cleary seems to have clarified with the following statement in response to a fan asking if he didn't want the fan to show up for games anymore:

no sir. Passion from the fans is great, but your opinion on who is or isn't doing their job won't change how I feel about my team

Which, great, I'm glad that no matter what is happening you're staying with your team; I don't think anybody is going to be angry about that.  I still have to say that fans' opinions on whether Brandon is doing his job is still very relevent. 

OT - Article about how Alabama Offense is becoming more Spread

OT - Article about how Alabama Offense is becoming more Spread

Submitted by Drew_Silver on October 3rd, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Its an article form USA today (so its easy to read)…

You can't escape the 'spread' offense in today's game.  Its everywhere

Not trying to knock our OC and our coach, but its really hard to be a staunch supporter of 1 ideology. (insert your lebowski nihilist jokes here) unless your ideology is move the football


basically Kiffin is adapting to his players:

The Crimson Tide's offensive transition shouldn't surprise on another level. Blake Sims is a dual-threat quarterback, a sharp departure from the pro-style passers Alabama has had since Saban's arrival. Jacob Coker, the Florida State transfer who competed with Sims for the starting job, is also more mobile than previous Alabama quarterbacks.

To accentuate Sims' abilities, the Tide is running the zone read and rolling the pocket, among other things.



New York Times CFB Fan Map

New York Times CFB Fan Map

Submitted by Tulip Time on October 3rd, 2014 at 11:14 AM

The New York TImes just came out with a cool interactive map that breaks down which team each county in the U.S. roots for.  If you click on the map it should pop up.


There are a bunch of interesting things in here. For example:

  • There are more Michigan fans in the Columbus area than there are Ohio State fans in Ann Arbor
  • Northwestern doesn't crack the top three in any county in the state of Illinois
  • Michigan is number 3 in Chicago behind Notre Dame and Illinois
  • Auburn and Alabama are not nearly as even geographically as I would have imagined

What else can you find?

CC: ESPN's Haney thinks Miles should be UM's next coach.

CC: ESPN's Haney thinks Miles should be UM's next coach.

Submitted by wahooverine on October 3rd, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Nothing new but Haney suggests Harbaugh and Miles are the best candidates (duh) but Miles is the more practical, and logical option.

"And when the time comes, LSU coach Les Miles -- not Jim Harbaugh, or anyone else -- should be the first and only call. For one, Miles is established enough that he wouldn’t feel unsettled if an AD were named after his hiring. He wouldn’t feel pressure from that office the way others might.

Miles is being dismissed in some circles because of his age. But he’s 61, not 71. And he’s a young 61, at that.

If a "brand" such as Michigan got 10 or so years from Miles, wouldn't that be more than sufficient given the recent run of turnover and turmoil? The "30-year college coach" isn't a thing anymore, right? We can agree on that. Take what you can get, and a decade is gold.

After the rumblings in 2007 and then again in 2011, this could finally be the right time for Miles to return to Michigan, where he got his start as a GA in 1980. Someone close to Miles told me last fall that he could see him heading back to UM, for his "last job." Coaches are buying it, too.

"I would think Les would try to get Michigan this time," a Power 5 head coach suggested this week by text."
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