Al Borges Fired

Al Borges Fired Comment Count

Ace January 8th, 2014 at 5:54 PM


File photo

Per the Athletic Department, offensive coordinator Al Borges has been fired. Here's the entirety of the press release:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan head football coach Brady Hoke announced today (Wednesday, Jan. 8) that offensive coordinator Al Borges will not be retained for the 2014 season.

"Decisions like these are never easy," said Hoke. "I have a great amount of respect for Al as a football coach and, more importantly, as a person.  I appreciate everything he has done for Michigan Football for the past three seasons." 

Prior to joining U-M in 2011, Borges was a member of Hoke's staff at San Diego State in 2009 and '10.

The Wolverines will begin spring practice on Feb. 25 and finish with the annual Spring Game on Saturday, April 5, at Michigan Stadium.

The fallout will be covered in exhaustive detail in the coming days. One interesting candidate—coincidentally, from Borges' former school—is rumored to have been contacted by Brady Hoke regarding the now-open position, according to coachingsearch.com:

A source tells me that Brady Hoke has reached out to UCLA offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Noel Mazzone and at least one NFL assistant, though Mazzone isn't likely to leave for Ann Arbor. 

Mazzone runs an "uptempo no-huddle spread," according to Chris Brown (Smart Football); even if he's not interested in the job, moving in that direction would certainly please the people who write for this here blog. As for recruiting, it's unlikely the class of 2014 will be affected much, if at all, and there's plenty of time to make up any lost ground in the 2015 class. Again, we'll have much, much more on this in the coming days.

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One Frame At A Time: Best Of 2013

One Frame At A Time: Best Of 2013 Comment Count

Ace December 31st, 2013 at 4:14 PM

2013 may have ended on a sour note (or several), but that doesn't mean it's not worth looking back at some of the highlights of the calendar year—especially, say, a few choice moments from March and April. While I've almost certainly omitted several worthy candidates, here are my picks for the 20 best (unedited) MGoGIFs of 2013.

If you'd like to peruse all of this year's GIFs, here are links to my Flickr sets for the 2012-13 basketball season, 2013 football season, and 2013-14 basketball season. Since Flickr is pretty cumbersome, you must click on each still frame, then right-click on the still frame and hit "view original" to see the actual animation. Alternatively, you can journey through the "one frame at a time" tag on this here blog.

Since it was difficult enough just to narrow this down to a list of 20, these GIFs are presented in chronological order, and you can vote for your favorite at the end of the post.

DANCIN' DENNIS NORFLEET (January 1st)

Because no MGoAnything is complete without some Norfleet.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the GIFs]

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Fickle

Fickle Comment Count

Brian November 26th, 2013 at 12:51 PM

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It is a media tradition to hammer at flailing coaches with frowny-face serious questions about how hard everything is on the players and coaches and such because they have to put up with this howling pack of fans. And I try not to get exercised about anything that comes out of that, just like I try to roll my eyes and move on at every article about a triumph in the face of The Critics. Coaches arrive at press conferences at one goal: to get out without saying something notable. When they do say something notable, it is a mistake.

But I'm pissed off anyway. Hoke fielded a question about what is going to be a sea of red in Michigan Stadium:

"You know, people are fickle," Hoke said. "That's just the way it is. That's the world we live in."

This is of course horseshit. It's horseshit on the level of "we need to run a pro-style offense so we can stop Big Ten offense," i.e., the greatest and grandest horseshit in all the world. Hercules is required to shovel this. The big reveal from the last 20 years of media development is that fans are the only people left who aren't fickle. They can't stop watching, and what's more they can't stop watching live with all those lovely commercials interspersed. Fans submit themselves until they have commercials memorized. Until they are legendary.

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In all other areas of television consumption I go out of my way to avoid commercials, going so far as to not watch recent seasons of shows I like until they arrive on Netflix. It will be four years before I see the Patton Oswalt filibuster in context. This is why every time a rights deal expires, networks treat the newly single package of games like it's the last cabbage patch doll on Black Friday.

Meanwhile, the people in charge have decided to test the edges of that fandom with an explosion in ticket prices. Paul Campos:

Here’s the price of a regular admission (not student) University of Michigan football ticket over time.

(All figures are in 2012 dollars, rounded to the nearest dollar. I couldn’t find 1970 and 1980 so I substituted the nearest available year).

1900: $27
1910: $48
1920: $29
1930: $41
1940: $45
1950: $34
1960: $35
1969: $38
1981: $30
1990: $35
2000: $47

This year a seat on the 15 yard line is 129 dollars with the PSL, almost three times as much as it was in 2000 and almost four times as much as it was in 1990, in constant 2012 dollars.

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Ryan Field was half Michigan fans, for some reason [Bryan Fuller]

In Michigan's specific case, they have beaten Ohio State once in the last nine years and are two-touchdown home underdogs. They are getting gouged on ticket prices in an unprecedented fashion. The athletic department has made it absolutely clear that it has no loyalty to them with "dynamic pricing" that only goes one way. Up.

There is a breaking point for even the most zealous fan. I'm the guy with the blog that's his career and I'm at mine. The only reason I am going on Saturday is because I would feel shame at not going. Absent the weird moral imperatives of fandom, I would be doing anything else. Like bowling, which I hate.

Everybody in blue in that stadium—and it will still be a majority, probably—is paying for the privilege of having their heart punched. Unlike you, they are not getting three million dollars to watch Michigan shuffle around like a syphilitic pig who thinks everything's a truffle. Collectively they are in fact giving you those three million dollars. Collectively they built the stadium you play in and the opulent locker rooms you dress in.

So take your "fickle" and shove it. Angry, sure. Impatient, sure. Because we are locked into this thing we do every week that we pretty much hate. We do so out of a sense of loyalty that the program goddamn well doesn't reciprocate with its 500 dollar waiting lists and worst access level in the country—the team that is going to stuff you in a locker on Saturday has open practices in front of the entire student section—and scheduling goddamned Appalachian State because the athletic director thinks it's cute. Any reasonable person would look at the recent history of Michigan football and go do anything else. We're here because we're locked in.

You? You've got a buyout.

It is not the fans' fault that this program is awful to be a fan of. It's not Rich Rodriguez's fault. Anyone who sells their ticket for whatever they can get—currently 60 bucks and dropping from 80 yesterday—is only making a logical decision to not get punched in the soul dong on Saturday.

I'll hate them all the same, but half out of envy this time. They are no longer mindless wallets. They don't give a crap if Brady Hoke calls them fickle, and don't write articles on the internet about it. They are logical people.

The reason Michigan Stadium is going to be half-red on Saturday isn't because of "the world we live in" except insofar as it contains a Michigan football team that people at Abu Ghraib wouldn't show prisoners.

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Monday Presser Transcript 11-25-13: Brady Hoke

Monday Presser Transcript 11-25-13: Brady Hoke Comment Count

Heiko November 25th, 2013 at 4:40 PM

"And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. 

Opening remarks:

"Thanks for coming. This is one of the weeks in football where if you are passionate about the University of Michigan or passionate about Ohio, which is exciting. We are excited. We had a chance to get together as a team. It's such a great rivalry that we’re very fortunate to be able to play in and to be able to coach in. This is a week that gets everybody involved: media, fans, all those people. Everybody has an opinion, which is good. It's good for the game because the game is talked about. It's going to be a lot of fun on Saturday to play the football game."

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Wednesday Presser Transcript 11-20-13: Brady Hoke

Wednesday Presser Transcript 11-20-13: Brady Hoke Comment Count

Heiko November 20th, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Bullets:

  • Quinton Washington and Jibreel Black have been splitting snaps situationally. QWash could get more snaps against Iowa because of Iowa's offensive style.
  • Hoke is disappointed that Taylor Lewan wasn't an Outland Trophy finalist.
  • Justice Hayes's future is at slot receiver, but he'll do some spot duty as a third-down back.
  • The Borges transcript will be up tomorrow morning because I am forever delinquent.

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Opening remarks:

“Really good practice yesterday. The energy level, the execution of things was really good on both sides of the ball. I’m real proud of what the kicking game did last week. We need to do the same thing this week, only we want to see if we can get a little more out of the return game. Some of that was predicated by wind and everything else, but we though the kicking game was something that we wanted to improve. The young guys on that team have continued to improve. That’s helped us a lot in a lot of situations, but we’ve had a good week so far.”

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One Frame At A Time: Northwestern

One Frame At A Time: Northwestern Comment Count

Ace November 19th, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Despite watching this approximately 457 times, I'm still in utter disbelief that this worked. Things required to have this happen:

  1. Jeremy Gallon immediately pitching the ball to an official.
  2. That official rugby-tossing the ball to the umpire.
  3. The umpire placing the ball down and getting the hell out of the way.
  4. FIRE DRILL LINE CHANGE.
  5. Drew Dileo, barely in the frame when the camera zooms out, realizing after a split-second hesitation that he must sprint to the right spot and slide into position.
  6. Jareth Glanda snapping the ball at the last possible moment so the line doesn't draw a flag.
  7. Brendan Gibbons marking off his steps at warp speed, then drilling a 44-yarder despite still moving backwards at the snap (which is legal, as covered in today's mailbag).

100% complete insanity, indeed.

If you're wondering about the identity of the guy in the black jacket running around like a manic behind the goalposts, that's Greg Dooley of MVictors. Livin' the dream, Greg.

[The rest of the Northwestern game in GIFS after THE JUMP, including Brady Hoke RAWKING OUT, Devin Gardner sacrificing life and rib, Derrick Green truck stick, and more angles of the miraculous field goal.]

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Monday Presser Transcript 11-18-13: Brady Hoke

Monday Presser Transcript 11-18-13: Brady Hoke Comment Count

Heiko November 18th, 2013 at 6:32 PM

Bullets:

  • The bubble screen was praised. I may or may not have been there for it. I may or may not have been crying inconsolably all day as a result.
  • Devin's left arm went numb during the game. Had to call timeout to get feeling back in it. Should we be concerned? Should we stop offending Angry Michigan Ulnar Nerve Hating God?
  • Fitz missed practice time last week because of a concussion. He'll be back this week. 

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Podium

Opening remarks:

“Thanks for coming out. You know, it was a game where I think our defense really kept us in the football game, and I thought from the overtime, the offense started making a couple more things happen down in the red zone. That’s one thing both offense and defense we have to continue to work out. The red zones. Those haven’t been as good as we’d have liked them to be. But offensively I thought we started doing some nice things. We started the games, after the kickoff, we drive down, we have to do better in the red zone. We kicked the field goal, but we have to do a little bit more with it. We were 0 for 10 at one point on third down, which is not a number we want. It will be better. But the two backs, I think Derrick [Green] and De’Veon [Smith] did a nice job, averaged 4.4 yards per carry between the both of them. I think Devin [Gardner] had some form of running the ball 17 times. Had five sacks. Probably seven or eight called runs, and the rest of them called scrambles. He threw 43 times, did a nice job. We’ve got some that we dropped, and got some that we need to be a little more accurate and read through a little more.

“But at the end of the day, two things: Gallon jumping on the ball on the punt late to save time. It was a smart football play by him. And then I can’t give enough credit to – I told you after the game, it was one of the best team plays I’ve seen. When your field goal team gets on the field and guys on offense get off the field. I thought [Drew] Dileo, where he was, ran a vertical route on the other side of the field, and his effort to get there and slide in and hold. Gibby not really having a chance to go through his normal kicking procedure. Jareth Glanda, you can’t say enough about his snaps … But that whole team and the team getting off the field did a tremendous job. Gave us an opportunity to keep playing and win the game in three overtimes.”

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Unverified Voracity Judges 70s Mustaches

Unverified Voracity Judges 70s Mustaches Comment Count

Brian November 14th, 2013 at 11:31 AM

Here's something to read as you wait for Hand to make you self high-five or send you further into your depressive tailspin.

STEP AWAY FROM THE GROBAN. Okay yeah don't ever talk to a Michigan player about anything but this is a flashback I do not need right now.

Brady Hoke: Fans who want to bash players via social media 'need to get a life'

At least this time there won't be a moronic media backlash against an obviously correct and appropriate sentiment about douchers on the internet who take their frustration out on players. So at least we've got that going for us. Someone make sure that Mike Rosenberg has still been run out of town on a rail. (He what? He got a job where? As a janitor? Oh. Well, the world is a terrible place.)

The Daily has compiled Ace Williams and other 16 year olds having hissy fits at Gardner on Twitter. While it's getting tiresome every time someone points out that racists, idiots, and the 16-year-old-pretending-to-be-Oxford-attending-face-gel-model Ace Williams have access to the internet, yes, all of these people should be shot into the sun. But I think a lot of people should be shot into the sun. I don't think we should put me in charge of the Which People Go On The Rocket Into The Sun committee.

TOP FIVE PEOPLE GOING IN THE ROCKET INTO THE SUN

  1. Sepp Blatter
  2. Fred Durst
  3. Jonathan Franzen
  4. Whoever popularized quinoa
  5. Bill Hancock

Q: Where is Al Borges in that line?

Aw man he doesn't deserve to be burned into a crisp. Don't ask me about this in the immediate aftermath of a muffed punt.

Last. Michigan is now dead last in tackles for loss allowed.

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This is amazing. For once, your perception that thing X about your team being the greatest or the worst is accurate. Savor this moment. (Forget about all of this immediately using whatever techniques or substances required to do so.)

Stop thinking about that think about this.

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if they called it "Bovember" I would be required to do it by law

Steve Sapardanis rates Michigan mustaches of the 1970s. Why didn't I do this instead of the UFR? Because I am dumb. I am beyond dumb.  Anyway, here's Sap's greatest mustache of all time:

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That's Jon Giesler (1975-78), who is obviously an offensive lineman.

Booing. Michigan Stadium booed during the Nebraska game. I disapprove of this at all times, but at least this time it was blazingly obvious that the fans were booing two runs into the line for nothing that everyone in the stadium knew were coming and would not work. That is coach-directed, and of a different tenor than the stadium-wide hissy fit early in the Rodriguez era. But hey give the media a chance to write a story about it and they will, asking everybody about it about six times. Even, uh…

Obviously, everyone is entitled to their opinion,” [Desmond] Morgan said. “It’s a little bit disappointing, I would say. The guys in this building are the guys in this building. We’re together. We’re not too concerned about the outside influences, whether the fans are up or down.”

…the defense! File under trying too hard.

Resume thinking about misery. So… yeah. "Line Yardage" is a metric that chops out everything over ten yards and relatively discounts yards from 5-10 in an effort to see which offensive lines are doing the best at getting yards under the assumption that most of the stuff after about five yards is not on them.

You're probably thinking that Michigan isn't doing too well in this stat. You are correct.

Worst single-game Line Yardage average in 2013:
1. Michigan (vs. Michigan State): -0.53
2. Oregon State (vs. SDSU): 0.11
3. Michigan (vs. Nebraska): 0.47
4. Miami (vs. Va. Tech): 0.57
5. North Texas (vs. Georgia): 0.58

Georgia State got a better push against Alabama than Michigan got against Nebraska.

That seems un-good. That's appalling, is what that is. Against Nebraska of all teams Michigan checks in with the third worst line yards number of the season, right on the heels of… ahem…

*losing an average of a half yard on actual run plays against MSU once you cut things off at ten yards*

UNGOOD

SUBOPTIMAL

SMELLS LIKE A PANICKED POSSUM

OH IT IS REALLY JUST FOUL

How it's going. The first data on college basketball's fouling crackdown is in. Drumroll…

So scoring is up, but it doesn’t appear there’s much contribution from a change in the way game is played. It’s almost all due simply to more fouls being called in lieu of turnovers forced. Whatever adjustments teams make to avoid committing fouls have yet to take place.

It's ugly out there right now. Hopefully we'll see adjustments and fewer fouls, except in Wisconsin's case, where I hope every single Badger fouls out in the first seven minutes. If you're a Michigan fan or just a fan of basketball that doesn't look like two pigs fighting over an onion, quotes like these are infinitely delicious:

Colorado State coach Larry Eustachy was quoted as pointing out that if someone pays to see Celine Dion in Vegas, she doesn’t foul out at intermission. In an article about the new defensive rules, USA Today quoted coaches, most notably West Virginia’s Bob Huggins, in various states of dismay regarding the changes that make the use of hand-checks, arm-bars and defensive jabs illegal. In a preseason press conference last week, Xavier coach Chris Mack said, “I think they stink.”

And closer to home:

"You're not going to believe what happened," Izzo said on his radio show Wednesday. "I got home last night, and I walked in the house, and my wife was sleeping, so I gave her a kiss on the forehead. A referee blew his whistle and gave me a technical."

A BWAHAHAHAHAHA was heard emanating from the MGoUndergroundLair.

Come on, baby needs a  new All-American center's back. The latest on McGary's back, which needs to come back if Michigan is going to go back to the promised land. Back.

“For the first time now he’s done some workouts,” Beilein said. “He’s had more repetitions in practice over the last 10 days. He’s had repetitions and he looks very good and we’re going to continue increasing his repetitions.”

McGary’s on-court workouts are still limited to non-contact, individual work, according to Beilein.

Previously, McGary was essentially limited to shooting drills.

That's… that is still rather alarming. It sounds like there's little chance he comes back full strength for a while yet.

Line revamp #2. Hockey! Hockey. Michigan's putting the lines in a blender again with a bye week to work on business. The new configuration, according to the Daily:

  1. Di Guiseppe – Copp – Motte
  2. Guptill – Compher – DeBlois
  3. Nieves -  Lynch - Moffatt
  4. Selman – Hyman – Allen

#3 is a guess; the article doesn't really mention it. It would be odd to see Lynch center those guys but Michigan has too many scoring wings to put them all on lines with scoring centers. Hypothetically, anyway. Hypothetically, they have scoring wingers. To date they've been sort of scoring.

So far it seems like they just are who they are and will remain so no matter how many lines are thrown in the Cuisinart.

In other news: Racine is ready to come back but Berenson won't name a starter until the weekend and Mike Chiasson will continue playing in place of injured Kevin Lohan.

Old Yost, man. Follow up to that mailbag question about why Yost isn't what Yost was: here's a clip from a 1999 playoff series against Bowling Green that Michigan Hockey Net unearthed.

Bob Gassoff couldn't play hockey worth a damn but he was kind of like a living program-wide hype man. Flip ahead to 4:30 and just see how many people there used to be in the student section. This was before the overhang and before the most recent seat-stripping renovation; in the same space there are probably twice as many people. What did you do, Bill Martin? Why did you kill that so you could put in some seats for boring people who barely show up?

Etc.: If you haven't noticed I've given up on Ace Williams radio silence since yobs like Bill Simonson are citing him as a credible source, this blowing up my inbox and making various players on Michigan having to tell everyone they know they're not transferring. New policy: repeated statements about his lack of credibility.

Daily on Jon Falk. Daily on the long history the NTDP freshmen have with each other. Is Darryl Funk a witch? Here is a Grape Nuts commercial featuring Biggie Munn. Borussia Dortmund is the best, man. John Kryk on the 1973 vote to send OSU to the Rose Bowl.

QUINOA IS TERRIBLE.

Comments

Monday Presser Transcript 11-11-13: Brady Hoke

Monday Presser Transcript 11-11-13: Brady Hoke Comment Count

Heiko November 11th, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Bullets:

  • pew pew.

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"Peace for our time."

Opening remarks:

“Obviously very disappointed. We all are. After the outcome of Saturday’s game, we need to make sure we’re finishing and doing all the things we need to do. As a coaching staff, that’s always where it starts. It starts with me. We have to do a great job of repping the things we’re going to see, which we have been. We do a great job of the details, the fine things you want to makes ure you go over. And as a team, we have to make sure we understand each and every plan. We started this thing in January with this football team. In June we inhereited the freshmen guys. Their work ethic has been exceptional. We have to translate that we do well in practice on the field, and we will do that.”

How difficult is it to plan for and execute an offense when the offensive line is struggling?

“Everyone’s going to point to the offensive line, but really it’s all of us. It’s not just them. It’s not fair. It’s never one guy, one thing, in anything in life, unless you’re golfing. I guess that would be you. In a team sport, it’s not that way. All 11 parts have to be working in the same direction. Offensively, defensively, and then you could say all 115 parts that are on this football team … it’s all of us. This has always been a ‘we,’ ‘us,’ and ‘ours’ football program.”

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Nebraska Postgame Presser Transcript: Brady Hoke

Nebraska Postgame Presser Transcript: Brady Hoke Comment Count

Heiko November 10th, 2013 at 5:08 PM

"I passed your floor on the way up, and now I'm passing it on the way down, and I don't think I'll be taking this elevator again." - Daniel Keyes, Flowers for Algernon

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There’s probably some degree of frustration on the team. Can you talk about the number of missed opportunities on the field?

“Yeah. You know, frustration because we lost as a team. Yeah. It’s a frustration that we all have. I have to do a better job coaching this football team. The effort was really – guys were working, guys were fighting, guys were doing things. Did we do them well enough? No. And that goes on me.”

Seven sacks this week. How do you keep Devin’s spirits up?

“His spirits will be up because he’s a competitor. He’s going to be sore, and that’s part of it. Again, I have to do a better job coaching.”

When you talk about coaching, we do have to ask about the play calling from Al Borges. Do you have to look at that much more closely this week?

“I like the play calling. I think we thought we could do some things and we didn’t.”

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