CC: Scott Frost

CC: Scott Frost

Submitted by MichiganSports on October 2nd, 2014 at 3:18 PM

He hasn't been at the helm of the Ducks playcalling long but in his first season he set the team record for points scored and the previous high was done in a 14 game season. He knows both sides of the ball and has actually now coached as both a DC and OC. He seems to have the presence of a HC and is becoming a hot name around the country. When it looked as though Pelini was on his way out, most Nebraska fans were all on board for their former QB. So it would be cool to steal him away while we have the chance. 



Dave Brandon watches film w/coordinators WITHOUT Hoke

Dave Brandon watches film w/coordinators WITHOUT Hoke

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on October 2nd, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Saw this roll across my feed. These guys have 59,000 followers and are followed by some prominent people like Angelique, Bogenschutz and Bob Stitt(!).


The strangest thing I’ve heard about Dave Brandon is that he watches film on Sundays with the coordinators individually (without Hoke).

— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) October 2, 2014

If now isn't the most necessary time to play this, I don't know when is.

Coach Nussmeier ... Offensive Perspective

Coach Nussmeier ... Offensive Perspective

Submitted by Indiana Blue on October 2nd, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Like a huge number of Michigan fans accross the world, the announcement of Doug Nussmeier gave me true confidence that our offense would never again ever wear a "27 for 27" tag.   And while we haven't sunk to that level (as of today), I think we are collectively at a loss why the offense hasn't shown really any spark in 2014.

When it was announced that Coach Nuss would be on the sidelines during the games, I initially thought that was odd, but agreed with the notion that this would give him direct contact with whoever he needed to talk with to straighten out those "occasional" miscues.  We are 1 game shy of the first half of the regular season, and in my mind I am seriously questioning Coach Nuss remaining on the sidelines.

Anyone ever sat in the first 10 rows at Michigan Stadium?  Awesome experience, you can "feel" the game ... as long as the game is right in front of you.  When the play is at either end - you typically watch the snap, then gaze up at the jumbo-tron to actually see the play - which sucks because the real advatage of being in the stadium is that you see the entire field, not just what the TV director shows America.

Again, maybe it's just me - but I believe its time for Coach Nuss to go upstairs into the booth.  It's a totally different perspective.  There is no way he can see how the opposing secondary is responding to our shifts, man in motion, or even passing route coverages from the sideline.  How about blitz packages?  There is a reason the vast majority of OC's are doing their job from the pressbox.  Something needs to change ... and perhaps Coach Nussmeier's move upstairs will give him a new view of what needs to change.

Go Blue!


CC: Why no love for Mike Leach?

CC: Why no love for Mike Leach?

Submitted by LJ on October 2nd, 2014 at 1:57 PM

In the discussion of myriad coaching candidates on this board and the main page, there has been nary a mention of Mike Leach.  What gives?  Pros:

  • Awesome, fun to watch offense that throws it 60 times a game and racks up yards by the hundreds
  • Turned a historically mediocre Texas Tech program into a perennial winner in a brutal division
  • Has taken Washington State, maybe the least-advantaged Power 5 school in the country, to a bowl game in year 2, and has come inches away from beating Oregon in year 3 (also outgaining opponents in their other losses)
  • Press conferences would be hilarious
  • Would absolutely take the job

I know there's the whole Adam James concussion thing, but it seems pretty likely that was a witch hunt conducted by a crazy administration.  And we seem to have no problem overlooking shady business when it comes to Gundy or Miles.  What gives?  Is it just the cultural fit thing again?  It seems like he should at least be in the big bag of names being tossed around.

META Request to our Fearless Leader Brian - UFR for Defense

META Request to our Fearless Leader Brian - UFR for Defense

Submitted by alum96 on October 2nd, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Dear Fearless Leader,

I realize you are a busy man this week and I realize looking at game film is nearly pointless at this point since... welp.

There is no reason to look at offensive film v Minnesota at all, just burn it.  But I am deathly curious what  the f*** happened to our defense this week.  Rush defense was supposed to be this team's strength.  A respectable but average/middle of the road Big 12 TCU team held Cobb to under 50 yards and decimated Minnesota in an efficient manner.   We have much higher rated players than TCU, who are not all "young", with a highly respected DC - and we sucked.

I realize that offense affects defense but this team was getting gashed early in the game before it was apparent DOOM was the only play the offense could run.  So it's too easy to blame it all on the offense sucking all life out of the defense - this was not a defense that wore down as the game went on, it was an uninspiring effort from play 1. We gave up more yards to Cobb about 7 minutes into the first quarter than TCU did the entire game despite our "very strong rush defense".  And this was with Taylor and Wilson back on the field. 

If you could carve out some time to explain to us what the hell happened to this side of the ball prior to Gary Nova-ball it would be much obliged.  If not, I understand. Thank you sir.

Why I want Brandon to hire the next coach

Why I want Brandon to hire the next coach

Submitted by massblue on October 2nd, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Here is my case why is it is better for DB to hire the next coach and then step down.

Schlissel has no experience with big time sports. He may select an AD with little background in big time sports.  I believe the AD hired by Schlissel will be asked to bring a clean cut coach who is not going to embarrass the school.  I do not think the mandate would be to go out there pay as much as you want and hire a dynamic coach that can win.

For example, if Jim Kelly, Urban and even Harbaugh were available, I do not believe the next AD would hire them -- too risky for Schlissel.

If DB is still around to hire the next coach, then I believe he will do whatever he can to bring a winner and money will be no problem (or almost).  The next hire will be his legacy and he is as competitive as the next guy and will want to be remembered as a winner. 

I think the best scenario would be for DB to stay for another year, bring a winner and then step down.  I am very worried that the next AD would select a very conservative coach from a small time program (e.g., Ivy league).


Edit: My reference to Kelly, Urban or Harbaugh meant as examples of on field winners with some off field issues.

[Redux] Coaching Candidate - James Franklin

[Redux] Coaching Candidate - James Franklin

Submitted by alum96 on October 2nd, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Let me put this comment right at the top of the piece since some readers misunderstood my analysis of Charlie Strong.  I am NOT writing this piece under the view UM can, will, or should hire James Franklin from PSU. 

As the boards have been going through a list of potential candidates, there is a lot of angst over who was missed in the past so I thought I'd do a review of the 2 big hires last year - Charlie Strong & James Franklin to see how they'd compare to current candidates.  In that spirit I will review them as if we had an opening after the 2013 season and do a similar format as other coaching candidate reviews.  The other big hire of 2013 was Steve Sarkisian but he was sort of a USC or bust candidate and his Pac 12 record is not much different than say what a Dan Mullen is performing.

Here is my piece on Charlie Strong - who again I am NOT implyig UM can or will hire from Texas.

We also took a look back to Sumlin (in relation to Todd Graham) in this piece if interested.  Sumlin and Strong actually have some parallels in that both only had 4 years of HC experience before a big name came calling and before their HC experience they were at a major university for a good amount of time.  Sumlin was at A&M in 01-02, and then Oklahoma from 03-07.  Strong was at Florida from 02-09.

(again this is written as if he has just completed his last year at Vanderbilt, and we have an opening)

"2014" candidate.... James Franklin, age: 41


James Franklin has raised some eyebrows by helping lead a quite horrible Vanderbilt football program up from the dredges of the SEC (East - the easier division) to a very respectable status.  Vanderbilt is a highly respected academic institution as well, which would help in his case for the open UM job.  Before becoming a head coach he was an offensive coordinator at Kansas State and Maryland; and before that he was a WR coach at multiple spots.

Unlike the other hot candidate this year - Charlie Strong - Franklin does not have a background at strong football schools as he rose up the ranks.  I will also show below his stint as a coordinator is nowhere near as impressive as Strong's, even adjusting for the schools he coached at.  However, he is fiery, outgoing, a type A, with a big personality that has a lot of intangibles that you look for in a head coach.  He is also known as a very strong recruiter at Vanderbilt.  He does bring some baggage points with his public views on how he judges assistant coaches and similar type items.


Recent (10 years) coaching background

  • 2005:  WR at GB Packers (this is his only NFL stint)
  • 2006-2007:  OC/QB at Kansas State - in his mid 30s
  • 2008-2010:  OC at Maryland - in his late 30s
  • 2011-2013:  HC at Vanderbilt

Analysis:  James Franklin moves around a lot; in a span from 2005 to 2011 he had 4 jobs.  Many UM fans seem to penalize young up and coming coaches for being aggressive and changing jobs to move up the ladder quickly ("job hoppers") but I don't.  Franklin also got his first coordinator job very young, similar to Dave Doeren.

Obviously Franklin came up on the offensive side of the ball - which is ironic, because his strength at Vanderbilt was defense not offense.  Which makes me wonder if his defensive coordinator at Vandy (Bob Shoop) is the key man in Vandy's operation. 

In terms of Big 10 footprint, Franklin is not super strong - unless you count Maryland as part of the Big 10 footprint.  Franklin does have a lot of experience on the eastern seaboard which I do believe (between NJ and Virginia) is going to be a massively important area for a Big 10 coach over the next decades as the Midwest population shrinks.  Vanderbilt is in Tennessee so perhaps you can make a stretch and say he has some exposure to at least Ohio.  Like Dan Mullen, he was born in PA so he gets "Midwest cred" for that I suppose.



Caveat for results ----> (a) nothing exists in a vacuum (b) as a coordinator you can benefit or be penalized if your HC is good or bad or average (c) injuries or graduation can change your results dramatically in any 1 year.  This is the type of stuff you'd research as an AD staff on every potential candidate.

I will break down his results at 3 time frames - OC at Kansas State, OC at Maryland, HC at Vanderbilt

(1) OC at Kansas State

Upon first glance at his coaching progression I was VERY happy to see Franklin had experience at Kansas State, thinking he was touched by one of the best coaches in the NCAA the past 2 decades - Bill Synder.  He who not once but twice created an excellent program at KSU - a wasteland of football.  But alas, upon closer inspection Franklin was at KSU in that period of time between the two Snyder eras - under Ron Prince.  Downer.   That said any guy getting a OC job at a Big 5 conference job at this young age is a positive.  Below is the chart of Franklin's results in his 2 years at KSU along with the year before he arrived (2005).

  W/L Tot Off Tot Def
2005   45  
2006   85  
2007   40  

There is nothing special or unspecial about Franklin's short stint.  2005 was Snyder's last year in reign 1 at KSU and had a 45 total offense ranking.  2006 was a big drop with Franklin but allowing for first year adjustments it is difficult to penalize someone too much.  And by his 2nd he had KSU right back to where it was ranked under Snyder.  So we'll give this an average at the 40,000 foot point of view.

Now what Franklin can call as his claim to fame is the early development of future NFL QB Josh Freeman.  Freeman came to KSU in 2006 and took over the job with 8 games to go.  In 2007 Freeman threw for over 3000 yards as a sophomore which is quite impressive.  So Franklin had that in his back pocket.

(2) OC at Maryland

In 2008, Franklin returned to Maryland where he had been a WR coach in 2000-2004.  This was a reuniting of Franklin with Ralph Friedgen who started his career early at Maryland with a boom (10-2, 11-3, 10-2 his first 3 years) before settling into a pattern of mostly average seasons the rest of his time there.  By the time Franklin returned to Maryland the program has become entirely middle of the road in the ACC.  Let's see how he did with the offense in his 3 years versus the prior year (2007).

  W/L Tot Off Tot Def
2007   92  
2008   68  
2009   102  
2010   80  

All in all - uninspiring.  In Franklin's first year he did provide some decent improvement, taking the 2007 tire fire offense and making it average.  But then the 2009 offense fell right back into a tire fire.  (Maryland was 2-10 that year)  2010 was not much better.  There is nothing here to excite.  What's strange is Maryland as a whole was not bad in 2008 and 2010; they were 8-5 and 9-4 those 2 years, but it must have been more due to defense.

I am not a Maryland football fan so I dont know the entire back story but after 2010, Friedgen was fired after a 9-4 season and a #24 AP ranking.   Randy Edsall was hired away from UConn... instead of James Franklin.  Which makes sense as Franklin did not have much of a track record to stand on. 


(3) HC at Vanderbilt

Per Wikipedia, Al Golden and Larry Coker were leading candidates for the open Vanderbilt job.  Guz Malzahn was offered the job and turned it down.  So Franklin was sort of the 4th choice.   People who support Dan Mullen say Miss State is a nearly impossible job to do well at.  Well Vanderbilt must be like Miss State... except with academic standards.  A very difficult place to build a winner. 

Let's see how James Franklin did at his time at Vandy and how he stacked up versus the prior year (2010) with Robbie Caldwell; currently the OL coach at Clemson.

  W/L Tot Off Tot Def
2010 2-10 110 93
2011 6-7 98 18
2012 9-4 80 19
2013 9-4 93 23

We can see at the top level immediate improvement at Vandy in W/L in 2011 and then an astounding 9 wins in 2012 and 2013.   The offense was a tire fire when Franklin showed up and remained so during his 3 years.  I mean 90ish is horrid.  Where the bread was buttered was defense - fantastic statistics especially in the SEC conference where teams are subjected to an array of talented skill players on offense.  I consider a "20" ranking in the SEC to be "8-10" in the Big 10 when adjusting for the slog that is Big 10/MAC offenses which is what most Big 10 defenses face for 10 of their 12 games.

Now this does bring up a question to me - Franklin was an average to mediocre OC for the prior 5 years.  His offense continued to suck his 3 years at Vandy.  That is 8 years of offense between "suck" and "average".  Did he suddenly turn into a defensive guru in 3 years?  Or was his DC the man behind the machine?  I have no idea.  I did do some quick research on his DC who is named Bob Shoop - and is a very bright man who graduated from Yale.  Before latching on with Vandy, Shoop was DC at William & Mary.  He also had a very bad stint as a HC with Columbia in 2003-2005.  Without being inside the walls of Vandy football one never knows in this situation who is the key to one side of the ball being so good... but it is an interesting question.  However, if Franklin were to be hired at UM, one would want Shoop to come along.  Because whatever they did together, it is working.  And leave the OC at Vandy!

The overall record obviously improved so let's look at some key results in Franklin's 3 years:

Analysis of wins and losses

The 2011 Commodores were 6-7, and 2-6 in the SEC East.  Considering how bad the team had been the prior year that's a very good improvement.    Wins that year were against:  Elon, UConn, (2-10) Ole Miss, Army, (5-7) Kentucky, and (6-7) Wake Forest.  So no world beaters there but again - this is Vandy coming off a 2-10 year.  Losses were to 5 eventual ranked teams (Arkansas, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, Cincinnati) - all expected. Florida was only 7-6 that year but still was an expected loss when you consider the difference in athletes.  The only "bad loss" was to a 5-7 (1-7 SEC) Dooley led Tennessee; but that game in OT.  All in all, Vandy found a way to beat bad and mediocre teams and aside from Tennessee they lost to teams they should have.  The Georgia, Florida (a down Florida), Cincinnati and Arkansas losses were also within 1 TD so that is a bonus - that's the benefit of good defense.

2012 Vanderbilt finished 9-4 (5-3) and ranked in the top 25 - the first time they had done that since 1948!  This was their first winning record since 1982.  So this is Gary Barnett at Northwestern type of achievements.  All 4 losses came in the first 6 games so Vandy finished off 2012 with great momentum.  Losses were to 3 eventual top 10 teams (South Carolina, Florida, Georgia) and Northwestern who finished top 20 (10-3).  So in terms of quality of losses you won't find a better 4 losses for any team in the country.   And the South Carolina game was only 4 pts while the other games were not quite as close.  Now on the flip side the SEC East was not great that year - the 3 top teams were all teams Vandy lost to.  The other 3 - Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky were all bad outfits.  This was Missouri's first year in the SEC, between them they went 3-21 in he SEC.  Vandy also had crossovers with 3-9 Auburn, and 7-6 Ole Miss so it was a very favorable schedule as far as SEC schedules goes.  But again this is Vandy fergodsakes.  NC State was beaten in a bowl. 

2013 was very similar to 2012 with a 9-4 (4-4) record.  Two losses were to eventual top 10 teams (Missouri, South Carolina) and another loss was to top 20 Texas A&M.  The other game to a decent Ole Miss team.  Again this was a favorable schedule - Florida stunk under Muschamp, Georgia was 8-5, Kentucky was Kentucky, and Tennessee was 5-7.  Vandy must play Wake Forest every year because all 3 years at Vandy Franklin played Wake Forest and won.  The season closed out with a win versus an ok 8-5 Houston.  So quality of wins was not super - really it was Georgia and then beating up on a lot of bad SEC teams plus Wake Forest, Houston, and 3 baby seals.  The losses made sense altough the defense did get blown off the field by A&M and Missouri (>50 pts given up each)



James Franklin is an interesting candidate but surely not a home run...or even a triple; Charlie Strong's resume looks a lot better from this set of eyes.   He does have Josh Freeman's first 2 years at KSU as a feather in his cap but the performance at Maryland was wholly uninspiring.  Despite rising up the ranks on the offensive side of the ball he has no great offenses like a Sumlin or Graham has had.  That said, what he did in terms of W/L at Vanderbilt is very similar to what Gary Barnett did at Northwestern but Franklin did it in a much shorter time frame.  Now to be fair most of Franklin's wins were not against the best competition in the SEC or out of conference but's Vanderbilt.  Recruiting improved significantly under Franklin as well.  

The key to Vanderbilt's resurgence was defense - which is not Franklin's apparent background.  So an open question sits out there as to if Bob Shoop is the grinder behind the scenes while Franklin is the face.  That is not necessarily a bad thing per se, unless Shoop gets offered a HC opportunity down the line - then if Franklin is not the key behind the defensive performance you could have serious issues.  Also Franklin does have some "PR" issues with some of his public statements the past few years.  And his Big 10 footprint outside from "being born in PA" is not great - however he does have good East Coast presence.  Winning at a strong academic program might also make Dave Brandon look very closely at Franklin.  Franklin is also a very assertive, outgoing, personable type who you can see as a sensible "face" for a major program so on the intangibles measures, Franklin would score well.

Dave Brandon & Roger Goodell: Who deserves more heat?

Dave Brandon & Roger Goodell: Who deserves more heat?

Submitted by IncrediblySTIFF on October 2nd, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Who do you think has handled their respective controversy better?

I would argue that Goodell has done a worse job at handling his issues: First, he chose to allow a star player to get off with a light punishment for knocking out his fiancé, after, he claims to not have seen the video or even been aware of its existance.


Poll: How much did this week change your opinions on our leaders?

Poll: How much did this week change your opinions on our leaders?

Submitted by gbdub on October 2nd, 2014 at 11:43 AM

The biggest debate on the board these days seems to be between the pitchfork posse and the "you wouldn't care if we were winning" brigade. Now that we've had a couple days to process things, I thought I'd propose a poll to inject some data into the discussion. What would you do to Hoke and Brandon if we were a winning team? Please try to be honest. I'll keep things open until Rutgers kickoff, then try to whip up a diary with the results.

EDIT: Changed the thread title to be a bit less inflammatory. Basically I'm just trying to get a gauge on how much this particular incident moved the needle for everyone, since we're arguing back and forth and no one's gotten any numbers yet.