Coaching vacancies and Toledo's Matt Campbell

Coaching vacancies and Toledo's Matt Campbell

Submitted by Blazefire on October 30th, 2015 at 8:32 AM
This is a little OT because it in no way refers to Michigan, but I thought this article on Matt Campbell at Toledo and his future was interesting.… Being from Toledo myself, I can tell you that at 500K he can live like a guy making 2M in some expensive city, so I'm not sure the money matters too much. Also, he notes that he already has a big time job. I don't know if I can argue that. It's not Michigan, but honestly, ask yourself; who gets more respect when they come to town these days? Toledo or Illinois.

Roger Craig praises Harbaugh (again)

Roger Craig praises Harbaugh (again)

Submitted by The Geek on May 10th, 2015 at 12:26 PM

Saw this in the local rag this morning (LINK): 


Former Davenport Central football star Roger Craig was back in the Quad-Cities recently and noted that all of his old teams seem to be in transition right now. Davenport Central, the University of Nebraska and the San Francisco 49ers all have made recent coaching changes.

Craig was especially disheartened to see Jim Harbaugh leave the 49ers to become the head coach at Michigan. “Harbaugh is the guy that built the culture there …’’ he said. “We weren’t any good for about 10 years before he got there. We were in a dark hole. He took us out of the dark hole and gave us light.

I’m really afraid they’re going to go backward now.’’ Craig said he liked Harbaugh because his players played hard, like they were “starving’’ for victory. “You have to play like you’re starving. Not hungry. Hungry isn’t good enough …’’

Craig said. “When you’re starving, you’ll do whatever is necessary to get your food. You want your players to play like they’re starving.’’

Happy Mother's Day, and Go Blue!

CC: Ranking player development

CC: Ranking player development

Submitted by stubob on December 5th, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Inspired by this Bill Connelly post at sbnation about Nebraska, I wanted to look at the upcoming coaching change in terms of developing talent, and exceeding or underperforming expectations. In the article Bill asserts that comparing performance ranking to recruiting ranking is a reasonable way of determing performance.

So I took that theory and applied it to Michigan's past coaches, some of our leading candidates, and our competition to see what I could see. I tried to use the most recent tenure as possible, to show comparisons relative to each other. One thing that stood out early was that almost every coach underperformed expectations, but with most of these coaches recruiting at top-10 level, it would be hard not to. Without further ado, here's what I found.

Michigan Men

Let's start at the very beginning, it's a very good place to start.

coach school years recruiting avg f+ avg +/- career recruiting average career f+ average career +/
Hoke Michigan 2011 26 9 17      
Hoke   2012 6 20 -14      
Hoke   2013 4 37 -33      
Hoke   2014 20 58 -38 14 31 -17
Rodriguez Michigan 2008 11 73 -62      
Rodriguez 2009 12 58 -46      
Rodriguez 2010 17 47 -30 13.33333 59.33333 -46
Carr Michigan 2004 6          
Carr   2005 5 12 -7      
Carr   2006 9 6 3      
Carr   2007 8 28 -20 7.333333 15.33333 -8

Not much we don't already know. Carr started tailing off, Rodriguez improved from a terrible start, and Hoke has fallen off after an outlier of a start. One interesting way to view this would be year-by-year, since obviously Carr's last year preceeds Rodriguez's first, etc.  Michigan's recruiting has been very good, except for Hoke's first class, which still almost ended up top-25. Performance has been great (but not exceptional) to, well, I don't need to remind you how bad 2008 was (worst of any analyzed here).

The Contenders

coach school years recruiting avg f+ avg +/- career recruiting average career f+ average career +/
Harbaugh Stanford 2007 44 66 -22      
Harbaugh   2008 45 58 -13      
Harbaugh   2009 18 31 -13      
Harbaugh   2010 24 6 18 32.75 40.25 -7.5
Mullen Miss St 2011 34 49 -15      
Mullen   2012 22 62 -40      
Mullen   2013 25 33 -8      
Mullen   2014 35 5 30 29 37.25 -8.25
Patterson TCU 2011 30 18 12      
Patterson 2012 29 31 -2      
Patterson 2013 35 44 -9      
Patterson 2014 42 4 38 34 24.25 9.75
Miles LSU 2011 8 2 6      
Miles   2012 14 10 4      
Miles   2013 6 17 -11      
Miles   2014 2 14 -12 7.5 10.75 -3.25
Pelini Nebraska 2011 16 28 -12      
Pelini   2012 30 19 11      
Pelini   2013 22 39 -17      
Pelini   2014 36 25 11 26 27.75 -1.75

Yep, Stanford went from underperforming to outperforming expectations, even as recruiting improved. Performance went from average to excellent, and recruiting went from above average to good. That's pretty good performance in both categories, and will be hard to beat for the candidates we've selected.

At this point, I couldn't decide whether to order by who's best or who's most likely to accept if offered. Since we're all dreaming at this poit, I decided to go with who's best.

Dan Mullen started off with above-average recruiting, and improved some, but not much of the last four years. But the performance improvement is amazing. His team went from average to elite in two years. How much regression would we expect next year? Well, their four year average is about 37, offset against an upward overall scoring trend.

Gary Patterson is pretty much the poster child for over-achieving. Recruiting in the mid-30's, with teams outperforming by almost 10 spots. It's easy to see why people are trippig over themselves to see what he'd do with a top-10 recruiting clss. Recruiting hasn't gotten much better, but he's been there for so long, and competing against Texas and everyone else for recruits, it's tough to imagine them rising much higher than they are. Performance had been sliding backwards until this year, but still inline with expectations overall.

Next up, somewhat surprisingly is Bo Pelini. I was somewhat surprised that Nebraska fired him, especially after winning their last game, but the writing has been on the wall since the open-mike comments last year. Pelini has performed about inline with expectations or better, which was a little surprising. I didn't realize how far down Nebraska was in the recruiting rankings, which does explain their performance a bit. Recruiting in the mid-20s, performance in the mid-20s, trending improvement. We could certainly do worse.

The Hat. Looks like the consensus on him is pretty accurate. Great recruiter, good on the field, trending downward. Now, part of that is due to their great class this year, which would indicate a potential bounce-back coming, but that's what the numbers say now. Still only -3 relative to expectations, which seems pretty good.

The Competition

coach school years recruiting avg f+ avg +/- career recruiting average career f+ average career +/
B Kelly ND 2011 9 13 -4      
B Kelly   2012 18 7 11      
B Kelly   2013 5 26 -21      
B Kelly   2014 11 34 -23 10.75 20 -9.25
Meyer OSU 2012 5 14 -9      
Meyer   2013 2 9 -7      
Meyer   2014 3 3 0 3.333333 8.666667 -5.33333
Saban Alabama 2011 1 1 0      
Saban   2012 1 1 0      
Saban   2013 1 2 -1      
Saban   2014 1 1 0 1 1.25 -0.25
Muschamp Florida 2011 12 34 -22      
Muschamp 2012 4 4 0      
Muschamp 2013 3 48 -45      
Muschamp 2014 9 39 -30 7 31.25 -24.25
Dantonio State 2011 32 11 21      
Dantonio   2012 33 15 18      
Dantonio   2013 37 6 31      
Dantonio   2014 25 15 10 31.75 11.75 20

Obviously Muschamp isn't competition any more, but I included him to compare with Hoke. Florida had better recruits, but has been unable to do much with them, 2012 excepted. As a result, he comes in with a score between Hoke and Rodriguez, and, not surprisingly looking for a new job.

Urban Meyer is improving a loaded OSU team, from underperforming to meeting expectations in just three years. They've had top-5 recruiting classes, and the performance is starting to match. No reason to expect otherwise next year, unless the coordinators get poached (please, everyone poach their coordinators).

Nick Saban, well, what is there to say? Number one recruiting classes all four years, number one performance all four years. Technically that's five years of recruiting, since so many recruits don't make it to campus, but those are the numbers I have. Newsflash: Alabama is good, has been good, and probably will be good.

Brian Kelly at ND was a bit of a surprise. I didn't realize how far down their performance was. Next year could be make-or-break for him, and if their performance continues to slide, I'm not sure where he would wind up next. I was actually considering him as a possible candidate, but after looking at the numbers, I'm not convinced. We know he can recruit, but seems to be having trouble putting it on the field

Finally, Mark Dantonio. Tip of the hat to you, you crazy nutball. Recruiting in the mid-30s, top 15 performances. That's pretty clear evidence of outperforming expectations.


So after looking at year-to-year performance, I charted the overall relative over/underperformance of each coach. Here's the result.

So, what does all this tell us? Well, it's easier to outperform expectations when you're lower in the recruiting rankings. If you have a top-10 class, there's not much room to outperform. It's really about meeting expectations at that point. Harbaugh is the only coach I profiled with consistent improvement, but as far as our best available candidates, can you believe it's Dantonio, Patterson, and Pelini?

CC: BERT turned down Nebraska

CC: BERT turned down Nebraska

Submitted by JeepinBen on December 4th, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Adam Jacobi (noted Iowa writer and fan-of-horses) has been retweeting other folks that would be in the know. Nebraska offered the job to Bielema last night, was turned down, and thus the Mike Riley hire. Interesting stuff. I wonder if Bert sees more long-term success at Arkansas? Or just didn't want to jump around?

EDIT: original tweet was from analyst Gil Brandt @Gil_Brandt

Crowdfunding site to lure Harbaugh to U-M

Crowdfunding site to lure Harbaugh to U-M

Submitted by RB's Mustache on November 24th, 2014 at 3:13 AM

A crowdfunding website,, is attempting to convince Harbaugh to take the Michigan job by offering to donate all funds raised to the charity of his choice. The only condition is that he must take the job by February 11, 2015. Otherwise all funds will be refunded. All donations are tax deductible. They've raised over $3,200 so far.

The site hopes to raise $1 million with their slogan, "Show Jim and Sarah there is no place like Michigan." and "#HireHarbaugh"

Patronicity describes itself as "a localized crowdfunding platform based in Michigan which focuses on Building Vibrant Communities." The two guys behind this particular cause are UM graduates Ali Husain, the "Hire Harbaugh project leader," and Chris Blauvelt, the founder and CEO of


CC: Sam Webb sees change coming

CC: Sam Webb sees change coming

Submitted by dnak438 on November 22nd, 2014 at 11:33 PM

Nothing revolutionary but I thought it was worth pointing out that Sam Webb doesn't "see a scenario" in which Hackett doesn't make a change at the end of the season:…

EDIT: quotes for those who don't want to load the video:

Yeah, I think that this loss, just...really undercut Brady. I think it undercut the retention chances that he had. ...

I just don't see a scenario at this point with this loss where Jim Hackett looks at it and says he's gonna not make a change. ...

That's not based on anything I've been told... I think this game kinda, I think it does him in.

CC: Brett McMurphy says Mullen, RR not being considered for FL job

CC: Brett McMurphy says Mullen, RR not being considered for FL job

Submitted by LJ on November 17th, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Link here

Surprised this hasn't made the board yet.  Just based on one guy's "sources," but this has been picked up by the major media, and obviously could have implications on our ability to get Mullen should we go after him.

CC: Gary Moeller

CC: Gary Moeller

Submitted by Darker Blue on October 26th, 2014 at 6:20 PM

This is what I think should happen: 

Brady Hoke should resign tomorrow, Gary Moeller should be called up to finish the season out. I realize he's 70 + years old, but who cares. This move would allow a MICH guy to finish out the season while the new AD can get to work on getting James P. Hardballs to come coach  here. Hell maybe Moeller could get these kids to play like they mean it. 


I will now post this and accept all of your negs. MICH

Good-bye to a Great Man

Good-bye to a Great Man

Submitted by Ron Utah on October 25th, 2014 at 8:18 PM

The End.

Embracing Mark Dantonio for an extended congratulatory message, I have little doubt that Coach Hoke whispered something graceful, complimentary, and kind.  I also think he said something else.

Few things make Mark Dantonio smile.  He is the grumpy cat.  But beating Michigan has always been one of them.  That's why it was surprising to see Dantonio look so distraught after today's win.  The interviewer had to ask him if he was happy, and, finally, Dantonio smiled.  He was so aware of his unusually grumpy (even for him) face that he said, "It may not look it, but I'm happy."

I believe Coach Dantonio--who has proven himself to be one of the nation's best college football coaches--was actually sad.  Not about beating Michigan (he'll always relish that) but about the final postgame handshake with a man he wants to hate but simply can not.

"Real recognize Real"

I believe Brady Hoke is a great man.  Despite not being able to produce a coherent offense in four seasons at Michigan--even with an MNC-winning OC--he has still continued to reel-in top talent on both sides of the ball.  This, in my opinion, is almost wholly attributable to his genuine love for the young men he coaches.  He cares about them as people, not just as football players.  He is concerned about their character, not just their statistics.  When Jabrill Peppers committed to U-M, he said, "Real recognize real," referring to the sincerity of the coaching staff.  I unreservedly agree completely with John Beilein: Brady Hoke is the type of man I would want to coach my son.

The Shane Morris concussion issue did not make me doubt Brady's concern for his players' well-being.  It wasn't a coach who didn't care about a player's health; it was just another symptom of a coach who couldn't manage the myriad details involved with running the winningest program in college football.  If Brady knew there was any real possibility of Shane being seriously injured by playing, he would not have played him.  That wasn't the problem.  The problem was he didn't know; he wasn't aware, and that problem has extended to field on too many occasions.

Brady's last UTL was a win

It's a small miracle that this team continues to play as hard as it does.  The defense, once again, played with heart and character against an extremely efficient MSU offense.  Their never-say-die attitude lasted well into the fourth quarter.  The whole team fought tooth-and-nail to squeak out a win against a below-average Penn State team.  I believe this Michigan team, like all teams, reflects the attitude of their leader: high-character, high-motor, high-intensity...and imprecise.  Over and over today small things made big differences: passes just a bit off, receivers dropping the on-target efforts, runs just a bit too impatient, a quarterback feeling pressure when there was none, a tackle just missed.  These are not new problems.  It's not youth, it's imprecision, and it has plagued our team (and especially our offense) since Hoke's arrival.  And these small things have added-up to big numbers in the loss column.  And so Hoke must go, and I am calling for his replacement as loudly as anyone.

But let's never forget that this man's character was enough to inspire Greg Mattison to come back to Michigan from the Ravens.  This man was charismatic enough to lure Doug Nussmeier to Michigan.  This man is genuine enough to pull-in the highest average recruiting class  in the country, even though he can't win at Michigan.  Let's always remember that while Coach Hoke did not cut it on the scoreboard, that his integrity is an example of what a Michigan Man should be.

Denard Robinson's mythical talent, combined with freakish turnover luck, was enough to propel MIchigan to an 11-2 season and a Sugar Bowl victory.  And let's give credit where credit is due: Hoke and Mattison field competent defenses, and, with more time and a developing team, I think Brady could probably keep Michigan in bowl games for the foreseeable future (after this year).  But that's not good enough.  That's NOT Michigan.

Chris Spielman--somewhat surprisingly--said it well: "I believe Brady Hoke is a good man and a good football coach...but the results aren't good enough."  And I believe that part of Brady's message to Mark Dantonio tonight wasn't just congratulating him; it wasn't just genuine admiration of how well Dantonio runs a team (in almost the exact way Hoke would like to run his team); it wasn't just well-wishes for the rest of the season.  It was good-bye.

I think Brady Hoke knows his time is up.  I think he told Dantonio as much tonight after the game.  And I believe that Brady Hoke is such a good man that even Mark Dantonio, who hates all things Michigan with an immeasurable, dyed-in-the-wool passion, was nearly brought to tears by a Michigan Man's farewell.

I'm excited about the possibility of a Harbaugh, or even someone not quite as perfect.  I'm eager for a coach that is demanding, detail-oriented, and relentless in his pursuit of victory.  And while I'm quite certain we can and must find a more capable coach to lead our program, I'm just as sure we won't find a better man than Brady Hoke.

I wish him and Laura all the best.