Michigan Player(s) plant spear in Spartan Stadium during pre-game

Michigan Player(s) plant spear in Spartan Stadium during pre-game

Submitted by MGoBender on October 25th, 2014 at 7:49 PM

Apparently, per all the Twitters, some Michigan player(s) planted a spear on the block S during the pregame.

Does Hoke have any control over his team?

This is apparently why Dantonio went for the last touchdown (way to take the high road, Mark).  But still, if there was ever a time to not disrespect your rival, it was before this game.

EDIT: Some Tweets:


"Them putting a spear in a field before the game is not a product of their team but their program." - Dantonio on the UofM Pregame spear.

— Rico Beard (@RicoBeard) October 25, 2014

Connor Cook was clear, last TD was because MSU felt disrespected before game. Said a UM player stuck a spear in field before game

— Matt Charboneau (@mattcharboneau) October 25, 2014

Buddy just asked me if Dantonio ran it up because of Nussmeier's reaction but just heard UM players speared the S. That would explain it

— Jeff Riger (@riger1984) October 25, 2014

And worst of all:

Hoke said he was somewhat aware that one his players put a spear in the ground before the game but "not fully aware"

— Mark Snyder (@Mark__Snyder) October 25, 2014

Perhaps, not worst of all. This seems dubious, so please be untrue:

According to the #MSU players, they saw a #Michigan players throw a spear down on their field during the national anthem.

— Rico Beard (@RicoBeard) October 26, 2014

Final Edit: Appears to not be on the block S. Here's the .gif

BTN video can be found here:


Finding the Best Leaders for the Leaders and Best

Finding the Best Leaders for the Leaders and Best

Submitted by michelin on October 8th, 2014 at 4:59 PM

IMO, since Bo left, UM has often looked not at the strength of its leaders but their weaknesses.  So, it has often chosen opposite, new leaders who lack these weaknesses, but who often also lack the strengths of their predecessors.  And that has led to serious problems.

Consider first coaching.  UM went from the defensively-principled, tough-as-nails Bo to the offensively-minded Moeller.  But Moeller was perceived to have an alcohol problem, which he reportedly refused to get help for.  So (regardless of the truth or falsity of this perception), UM turned to a man they perceived as more principled and intelligent Carr.  Yet, when Carr’s record began to plateau, he was called too old and predictable.  So, UM turned to the inventive spread-coach, RR.  But his defensive incompetence then made UM go the opposite way.  So, now UM is back to a defensive-minded but offensively disorganized Hoke. 

In choosing its AD, UM also has seemed to choose each succeeding leader as the opposite of his predecessor.  For example, under the cloud of scandal, the aggressive fund-raiser, Roberson was replaced as AD by his opposite: the less profit-minded, more flamboyant and humanistic Goss.  Then, after Goss led the UM AD to the brink of financial ruin, UM chose the opposite once again: a quiet, out-of-touch financier named Martin.  Ill-equipped for the myriad public relations disasters during the hiring and demise of RR, however, Martin himself was then also was replaced by a dramatically different type of AD: the publicity-seeking brand-maker Brandon.  His public relations campaign seemed to work wonders at first.  But the obsession with publicity and profit ended up making UM look far worse.

So what can we learn from the past forty years of UM’s athletic leadership choices?  Most clearly they have taught us what not to do—that is, just choose the opposite type of leader from the one you have now.  It does not work for very long.  Why?  When you choose a leader, he fills his program or department with one type of student or employee.  But if you then fire him and choose just the opposite type of leader, there is no growth in the program.  It is like putting matter together with anti-matter.  If they collide, what do you get?  They annihilate each other in a violent explosion.  In an organization, that means turnover, disorganization, and chaos.

So, no matter how angry we feel sometimes, we should learn from past experience.  We should recognize not just the bad in our past leaders and seek their opposites. We should also recognize the good in our past leaders, then search for new ones with their best characteristics.  The toughness of Bo, the fire of Moeller, the inventiveness of RR, the intellect of Carr, the likeability of Hoke.  The decision about whom we should choose now I leave to others, who are far more knowledgeable than me.

But IMO, only if we seek to see the Best in our own past Leaders can we hope to find the new Leaders and Best.

Scenario: what happens if we win-out?

Scenario: what happens if we win-out?

Submitted by MGoRob on October 7th, 2014 at 1:28 AM

I'd like to propose this scenario and get a general discussion back . My buddy and I were arguing about Hoke's future and we couldn't agree. So what say you MGOBLOG nation?

The scenario (as unlikely as it may be) :

Hoke and company win out. This means we beat Penn State under the lights. We beat both Sparty and Ohio on the road. We thus finish 8-4 and and likely second in our division as the winner of the MSU/OSU game will likely finish with only one conference loss. In this scenario would Hoke keep his job?

I argued yes. He would have beaten both main rivals on the road. Won 6 straight. And more importantly finished with 8 wins which we kind of assumed from the beginning of the season that's where we'd end up.

My buddy argues nothing can save Hoke due to concussion gate.

My rebuttal is time heals all wounds and if he wasn't fired immediately there's still a chance. Plus there's no home run coach lined up to succeed him.

Humor me and chime in.

edit: I should mention that this was initially sparked by the topic of whether Hoke really is a "dead man walking" or if we are all just saying that because we want it to be true.  We were trying to come up with a scenario in which he would keep his job and this, and only this, was my conclusion whereas my friend thinks nothing can right the ship. ...  and I'll let everyone on the secret, we posted this to actually prove a point as well.  We've noticed how deplorable this MGoBoard has become and were taking 'bets' on how many downvotes and negative, asinine comments we would gather by morning.  All this despite having a CLEAR, LEGIBLE title, so if the topic didn't interest you, one could not click on it.  So yeah, I guessed about 80% negative comments.  Seems I'm pretty close.

Brandon and the Headset (or lack thereof)

Brandon and the Headset (or lack thereof)

Submitted by Tuebor on October 6th, 2014 at 4:09 PM

This is not an apology of Dave Brandon's actions as AD.  Raising ticket prices with this 2014 schedule was a bad idea and I doubt he plans on keeping them the same price next year with both MSU and OSU coming to Michigan Stadium.  Changing the student seating policy from assigned seating to general admission to super fan assigned seating over the last three years was a bad idea.  Brandon should have made the change to general admission and stuck with it IMO.  Bad ideas have consequences in the corporate world so they should in Athletics as well.


Brandon has to realize the terrible optics of the situation when you say you are going to "improve communication on the sideline between the coaching staff and medical staff" and your head coach refuses to utilize a coaching tool used universally at all levels of football for the past 30 years. 


We hear about how Brandon sits in on film review sessions and gets a copy of game plans from coaches.  To me these are signs of an obessive AD who is micromanaging those he chose to work beneath him.


If Dave Brandon has so much control over Hoke and the football program, how come he can't get Hoke to wear a headset? 


CC: UM Job Search Watch

CC: UM Job Search Watch

Submitted by WineAndSpirits on October 5th, 2014 at 3:00 PM

This post is predicated on the concept that all open, or theoretically soon to be open, positions at the University must be posted. Maybe the later is wishful thinking...

Unfortunately, you are out of luck for athletic department or coaching jobs, unless you are:

  • a volunteer coach (Women's Lacrosse)
  • a video coordinator (Men's Lacrosse)  
  • a temporary personal trainer
  • athletic facilities assistant

Go see for yourself:


 I've done a little research, and I'm unable to confirm whether either Hoke, Brandon, or Nussmeier's jobs were ever posted.

So, any of you potential coaching or AD candidates, just move along. There's nothing to see here... yet.

CC: Bacon: Hoke likely to stay until December, Brandon's status less certain

CC: Bacon: Hoke likely to stay until December, Brandon's status less certain

Submitted by dnak438 on October 1st, 2014 at 5:08 PM

After talking with knowledgeable people, I am more convinced that Brady Hoke will survive the season, and less convinced Dave Brandon will.

— John U. Bacon (@Johnubacon) October 1, 2014


Of course, there's always the Brandon Exception: He might decide to depart on his own. Still more questions than answers, however. We'll see

— John U. Bacon (@Johnubacon) October 1, 2014


To clarify, as things now stand, I believe UM's Hoke will remain and be evaluated in December. Brandon's future less certain.

— John U. Bacon (@Johnubacon) October 1, 2014

A "Insert College Name" Man

A "Insert College Name" Man

Submitted by Finance-PhD on September 30th, 2014 at 2:06 PM
This is not another rant about how Hoke needs to go. Instead I wanted to address the concept of a Michigan Man as coach. When you think about Michigan, for many (like me) the thoughts are of Bo. When I think of tOSU, I think Woody. When I think USC, I think John McKay. When I think Alabama, I think Bear. Now it is no surprise that those guys were coaching at the same time. Iron sharpens iron as they say. Those guys all retired from their schools and left a big pair of shoes for the next person to fill. 
I decided to look at coaches and see how they handled the transition. To not go too far into the past and to not cherry pick “my guys” I decided to look at who was coaching in 1936 since that was the first year of the AP poll. Seems sufficiently arbitrary for me to avoid cherry picking and the schools were in the middle of some coach’s run. Therefore they don’t actually all start at the same year but that shouldn’t really matter given how I do the evaluation. 
To see how special those coaches are I looked at three different measures. I look at the overall winning percentage, at the conference winning percentage (as that was THE measure before the BCS made cross conference so much more common), and the tenure. To make the scale the same I have the tenure as a percentage of the longest serving coach in that time frame (roughly 80 years). These are the NCAA numbers so some coaches will be much lower than the on the field results. I can go back and find that on the field numbers if anyone thinks that will really matter. 
These are radar graphs with the green line showing the overall percentage, the blue line showing the conference percentage, and yellow showing the tenure percentage. 
Naturally I am starting with Michigan.
List of Michigan Coaches
This does not require too much discussion here as most on this board will know the relationship between Moeller, Carr, and Hoke with Schembechler. Everyone I think also knows Schembechler ties (or lack thereof) when he took over. 
Here is a look at tOSU
Woody Hayes was clearly an Ohio guy and got an MA from there while he coached at Denison. Bruce was his assistant and kept the ship afloat for the most part but since he wasn't winning championships they let him go. John Cooper was Tulsa/Arizona State with no ties but since he couldn't beat Michigan they set him packing. Tressel was an assistant under Bruce so clearly he had some ties at least in theory back to Hayes. Fickell was a stop gap and went back to being DC once they hired Urban. Urban was also an assistant under Bruce. 
Clearly OSU has been going back to the well when hiring coaches but I don't think the decision for Urban was because he was an "OSU Man" but because he was a proven winner at Utah and Florida.  
Here is ND (naturally there is no conference record there)
ND wanted Devine when they hired Parseghian so after Parseghian resigned they hired him from Green Bay. He was viewed as not Parseghian enough and even after he won a national championship he had fans putting "Dump Devine" bumper stickers on cars. Faust was a guy that was super successful as a HS coach and hired to replace Devine. When he didn't win they went with Holtz. Faust was not fired though strangly enough. Holtz didn't have ties to ND as far as I know and he really turned around the program winning another NC. Bob Davie was an assistant under Holtz and that turned out to be a disaster (maybe someone will see if that ever really works). Tyrone Willingham was really more of a stop gap and didn't find any traction.  
Charlie Weis attended ND and had some connections and was one of the worst coaches I recall seeing. He took the job because they wanted Urban but he had taken the UF job. 
Kelly was an outsider and we all know what he has done. 
Getting out the Midwest, here is USC
Robinson was an assitant under McKay. He did two stints (I put them together above) basically helping out "his" team. Tollner was the OC under Robinson and never did much but one Pac 10 championship. 
Smith was the first hire in basically forever without a USC tie. While he was very successful he had a down year and was fired after that. Hackett had been a USC assistant but he was not as successful at Smith (whom they had fired) and so he was shown the door after three years. 
Pete was an outsider (well his daughter played volleyball at USC at the time of his hire) and his hire was not embraced. He was viewed as too far removed from USC and college football coaching. Clearly he turned things around (although we know how the hammer came down as he left to go back to the NFL). 
Kiffin was a former assistant that was a placeholder. I think they really brought him in because no one else wanted a high profile job with hard sanctions. Orgeron was also an assistant and took over when Kiffin was fired. 
Sarkesian was a long time OC and position coach at USC so clearly they will go with the guys they know more often than not. 
And just because here is Alabama
So how does this compare to a fan base that still wears houndstooth because of a dead coach's hat?
Ray Perkins had played under Bryant at Alabama. He never won the SEC in his 4 years and he left to go back to the NFL when the opportunity arose. Former teammate with the Colts, Bill Curry, took over after having revived the GT program in the ACC. Curry shared an SEC title, went to bowl games every year, but was fired because he didn't beat Auburn. He had the highest winning percentage after Bryant until Saban but that wouldn't help him keep his job. 
Stallings played under Bryant at TAMU, coached under Bryant at Alabama and coached against him in the Cotton Bowl. During his six years, Alabama played for and won one NC and won 5 SEC West titles. Because of the Antonio Langham incident in 1995 the program an hobbled. I always think of John Mark, his son, and get a bit misty remembering his love of life. 
Mike DuBose played under Bryant and had coached under Bryant, Perkins, and Stallings. He had a few years before a sex scandal (combined with a loss to Auburn) took him down. An NCAA investigation also put Alabama again under sanctions. 
Dennis Franchione took over but jumped ship for TAMU when that job came available. He was replaced by a player under Perkins named Mike Shula. Shula obviously was in a bad situation with the NCAA sanctions of bowl games and scholarships so I view his tenure much like that of Kiffin at USC. A placeholder under sanctions ended and new coach could be hired. 
Everyone knows the story of Saban not going to Alabama, then going to Alabama. He had no ties and Alabama seems to be better for it. 
So what is the big take away?
All of the big teams above seem to favor getting a coach with a connection to the program and it is even better if that connection is to a particular coach that was very successful at that program. Sometimes that will pay off but we do not often see that. Outsiders are no guarantee to success either as you see many times where outsiders came in and were also fired. 
Should Michigan hire a Michigan Man? Sure. As long as what they are hiring is a person that runs a program that builds boys into men, beats OSU, wins the Big 10, and does all that while staying away from NCAA violations. In short, the best model for success is get a great coach and doing things the right way and for the right reason. That will show him to be a true Michigan man in the model of Bo even if he has never heard The Team speech. 

An open letter to the next Michigan coach

An open letter to the next Michigan coach

Submitted by JeepinBen on September 29th, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Congrats! You're the new head coach at the University of Michigan! It's a wonderful university with a rich academic and athletic history. The product on the field was a tire-fire in 2014, but you know that. Hopefully you're good enough at "coaching football" even if you don't know "The Victors" yet.

You should know that there are 2 parts to coaching Michigan - being a good football coach and knowing how to bullshit/placate your base. I'm hoping you're proficient at the former and that's why you're here. In terms of the latter:

You'll get asked about being a "Michigan Man". Here's how you should answer that: 'When Coach Schembechler said that "A Michigan Man should coach Michigan" he was referring to a basketball coach shopping his services. Why anyone would want to leave this great university is beyond me. I'm here because I want to be here. I'm here to help make this the greatest football program in the country and I'll put 100% into that every day. I don't know the words to The Victors yet, but I know I'll hear them after every Touchdown and Turnover, so I'll be hearing it often. My staff will start every meeting with it and we will embody everything that this great university stands for.' (If you've got a  tie to Michigan history, use it here. Say you're from the same area of WV as Yost... sigh...  or if you coached at Miami like Bo, or something)

You'll get asked about former players. There are some high profile ones who are varying levels of happy with the program. To them you should say: "Any former player is welcome to my office any time I'm not with the team or preparing for a game. I'm creating an "Alumni Day" every fall when we welcome back any and every former football letterman during a game, in addition to the flag football game as part of our spring game. If any former letterman wants to attend a game, give me a call. Between myself and the AD we'll get you to the games that you need to go to. If you have a legacy recruit - a son, younger brother, cousin - no questions asked they will be offered a preferred walk-on spot here at Michigan. We have to make decisions that are best for the program and if we, as a staff, have scholarships available we'd love to offer them to your legacy.

You'll get asked about wearing a headset/coaches in the booth/on the field. Say that you have to balance communicating with your players and your staff and if you ever have an issue with either you'll change your behavior.

You'll get asked if this is an elite job. Answer "Yes. Winningest program (hopefully still :-( ), The Big House, glorious history and the best damn uniforms in sports. Michigan has all the tools to be an elite program and I'll to my best to win every single game we play every year."

You'll get asked about the B1G being Big tehhhhhnnnn "The B1G has a glorious history in football, but as a conference we need to do better in our non conference slate. There's no reason why every program in this conference can't commit the resources and personnel to be the best conference in the country. We are doing that at Michigan and hope everyone else does as well."

You'll get asked about Michigan State - say that you've got all the respect in the world for them, they've been doing great recently, and that you want to beat them by 20 every year.

You'll get asked about Ohio State - say that you've got all the respect in theworld for them, they've been doing great recently, and that you want to beat them by 50 every year.

You'll get asked a bunch of other bullshit. Realize that you could go 14-0 and win every game by 20. There will be Michigan fans who are upset because you didn't win by 30, or didn't score a point-a-minute, or your QB didn't "look" right, or you weren't as angry as they remember Bo being, or you yelled to much, or because you said that Zingermans is delicious but overpriced.

Don't worry about these people.

Worry about coaching the team, keeping them healthy, punting not-like-a-dinosaur, and winning some games. I hear that fixes everything.