3 videos from today of Jim McElwain:
On going from being a head coach to an assistant, and on Don Brown:
On the WRs:
On how he and Jim Harbaugh met for this job:
3 videos from today of Jim McElwain:
On going from being a head coach to an assistant, and on Don Brown:
On the WRs:
On how he and Jim Harbaugh met for this job:
Bit of fluff, though a very nice story, and it's the offseason. Looks like McElwain took a pretty sizeable hit on his home's sale price so that a family with disabled kids could afford the place, which is well-suited for their needs (link).
How 'Bama was 'Bama recruiting when McElwain coached there and how good was his offense with that level of talent? How does that compare to Michigan's talent-level? There's plenty of hand-waiving going on, so I thought I'd look into it.
Chart: 'Bama Starters and 247 Ranking + OFEI Rank
|2008 Starters||2008 Composite Rating||2009 Starters||2009 Composite Rating||2010 Starters||2010 Composite Rating||2011 Starters||2011 Composite Rating|
|Mike McCoy, WR||3||Brad Smelley, FB||3||Preston Dial, FB||3||Brad Smelley, FB||3|
|Marquis Maze, WR||3||Marquis Maze, WR||3||Marquis Maze, WR||3||Marquis Maze, WR||3|
|Andre Smith, LT||5||James Carpenter, LT||4||James Carpenter, LT||4||Barrett Jones, LT||4|
|Mike Johnson, LG||4||Mike Johnson, LG||4||Chance Warmack, LG||3||Chance Warmack, LG||3|
|Antoine Caldwell, C||3||William Vlachos, C||4||William Vlachos, C||4||William Vlachos, C||4|
|Marlon Davis, RG||3||Barrett Jones, RG||4||Barrett Jones, RG||4||Anthony Steen, RG||3|
|Drew Davis, RT||2||Drew Davis, RT||2||D.J. Fluker, RT||5||D.J. Fluker, RT||5|
|Nick Walker, TE||4||Colin Peek, TE||3||Michael Williams, TE||4||Michael Williams, TE||4|
|Julio Jones, WR||5||Julio Jones, WR||5||Julio Jones, WR||5||DeAndrew White, WR||4|
|John Parker Wilson, QB||3||Greg McElroy, QB||3||Greg McElroy, QB||3||AJ McCarron, QB||4|
|Glen Coffee, RB||3||Mark Ingram, RB||4||Mark Ingram, RB||4||Trent Richardson, RB||5|
Chart: What of Michigan?
|2017 Predicted Starters||2017 Composite Rating|
|Kekoa Crawford, WR||4|
|Ben Mason, FB||3|
|Nolan Ulizio, LT||3|
|Ben Bredeson, LG||4|
|Cesar Ruiz, C||4|
|Michael Onwenu, RG||4|
|Juwann Bushell-Beatty, RT||4|
|Zach Gentry, TE||4|
|Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR||5|
|Shea Patterson, QB||5|
|Karan Higdon, RB||3|
On its face, it looks like McElwain accomplished some impressive things at 'Bama with less talent than Michigan has presently, at least based on ratings. Year one of McElwain was especially impressive because 'Bama's OFEI ranking was 67th when he came in. Also, especially if Patterson starts, Michigan would have the same number of 5-star starters as 'Bama's teams did during McElwain's tenure (though none at OT). Finally, I think Michigan of present and 'Bama during McElwain have similar quality defenses.
Maybe McElwain isn't so bad? I know this is looking at data from a long time ago, but he seemed to do a great deal with less talent than he'll have at Michigan. Also, I was very conservative about Michigan's talent pool (no Black listed, for example), so I may even be understating that talent edge.
On the other hand, any improvements in talent really depends on what was a 'starter' at 'Bama. I'm not sure about that. Also, this was years ago, and perhaps arguments can be made about the game passing McElwain by. There's also something to be said of integrating his concepts into Michigan's current system, and whether there will be a transition cost associated with that.
Jim McElwain: “Their guys were bigger and stronger. They whooped us. Plain and simple.”
“I thought we had a good plan obviously. As it turned out, the plan was pretty well foiled by getting whooped.”
"“They physically took it to us. They beat us every which way you can. We never had an answer."
Also, InsidetheGators with an assessment of Michigan's play today:
The early Gainesville sun peeks through mini-blinds at the Florida Gators’ team meeting room. Players, mostly dressed in shorts and hoodies, lounge nervously amid many empty seats. Soon the rear door swings open, and the ruffled figure of JIM McELWAIN angrily stalks into the room.
Jim McElwain: Gentlemen. One of you has betrayed the Gators.
Jim McElwain: /moving slowly through the assembled players/ One of you reported your teammates to the police. One of you...is a traitor!
Jim McElwain: Teams are built on trust! Teams are built on respect! One of you has betrayed that trust! One of you has forfeited that respect! Who…is the traitor? Who is it?!
Jim McElwain: Was it you, Lamical Perine?
Lamical Perine: What? You trippin.
Jim McElwain: Oh, am I? You’re the second-string running back. You had every incentive to turn in Jordan Scarlett to the police. He goes down, and that means you’re number one. That means you get the glory. Couldn’t beat him for the spot, so you squealed to the cops. Isn’t that right, Mister Perine?
Lamical Perine: Yo, man, that’s some bullshit. I don’t know where you even come up with that.
Jim McElwain: Hmm. Perhaps it was you, Malik Zaire! /points finger
Malik Zaire: Me? Why you think I would do something like that?
Jim McElwain: I don’t know. Maybe because Felipe Franks beat you out for the start, and this is your way of getting back?
Malik Zaire: Yeah, okay. I mean, “fuck no!” But if that’s what you think.
Jim McElwain: Hmm. A defensive player, perhaps? Was it you, David Reese?
David Reese 1: Huh? What? Wasn’t me, coach. /simultaneously
David Reese 2: Huh? What? Wasn’t me, coach. /simultaneously
Jim McElwain: You middle linebackers are always threatening the running backs, talking about all the ways you’re gonna mess them up. Maybe you finally found a way to make good on one of your threats.
David Reese 1: Nope, nope. Uh-uh. Not me, coach. /simultaneously
David Reese 2: Nope, nope. Uh-uh. Not me, coach. /simultaneously
Jim McElwain: I see. Not you, either, huh? /to the whole room: I say again, one of you has done this! Will no man admit your betrayal? I assure you right now: confess, and there will be no repercussions. I will sign your transfer request to Florida Atlantic this afternoon.
/all hands go up
Jim McElwain: Wait, what?
Random Player 1: Oh, hey coach, you know I didn’t do it but if you’re saying I can transfer…
Jim McElwain: Put that hand back down!
/RANDOM PLAYER 1's puts hand down
Jim McElwain: Alll of you!
/remaining hands go back down
Jim McElwain: I’m serious here. Who really did it?
Jim McElwain: No one. Okay. You leave me no choice. Nussmeier!
/DOUG NUSSMEIER, seated in the back of the room, rises and walks out the door. He returns a moment later wheeling in a large metal frame with a five-foot shark dangling from a hook at the top of it.
Jim McElwain: Gonna have to give y’all the ol’ shark test.
Random Player 2: The shark test?
Jim McElwain: Yes. Ain’t nobody ever taught you about the shark test? It’s real simple. You see, everybody here who is loyal to this Florida Gators football team is gonna show it by lovin’ this here shark.
Random Player 2: What?
Jim McElwain: That’s right. You see, if you’re not willing to love a shark for your teammates, then we’ll know we can’t trust you.
Random Player 2: That’s crazy.
Jim McElwain: Is it? Well maybe it is. But to catch a mole, you gotta be crazy like a mole.
Random Player 2: Man, it’s “crazy like a fox.”
Jim McElwain: Whatever. Okay, who’s first? Any volunteers?
Jim McElwain: No one? Nobody wants to stand up and prove his loyalty to his teammates?
Random Player 1: This is fucked up, man.
Jim McElwain: Alright. If there aren’t any volunteers, then I’ll have to start calling on people. Del Rio! You’re first.
Luke Del Rio: What do you want me to do, coach.
Jim McElwain: You heard me. I want you to love this here shark. Give it a good one. Prove your loyalty to the team.
Luke Del Rio: When you say, “love the shark…”
Jim McElwain: I mean love the shark, boy. You remember those recruiting visits we put you on? That kind of lovin. Just with a shark.
Luke Del Rio: Hey, I don’t…I mean…
Jim McElwain: So you won’t do it?
Luke Del Rio: Look, man—
Jim McElwain: We’ve found the mole! Luke Del Rio has betrayed his team!
Jim McElwain: You’re off the team, Del Rio. It’s for your own protection. Shall I sign your paperwork for FAU? Or are you more of an East Carolina guy?
Luke Del Rio: I ain’t even gonna answer that.
Jim McElwain: Okay. Who’s next? Who will be the first to prove his loyalty to the team?
Jim McElwain: Am I gonna have to start calling out names again? Prove your loyalty!
Jim McElwain: Seriously, look—whoever goes first gets a nice clean shark. Trust me—you don’t want to go second and then it’s…ewww.
Random Player 1: Why the rest of us have to go? You already found the mole.
Jim McElwain: Oh, it’s way beyond that now. Prove your loyalty, Gator!
Random Player 1: Sheeeit.
Jim McElwain: CeCe Jefferson! You’re next. Don’t let me down.
CeCe Jefferson: If that’s the way it’s gonna be, well, I’m out, coach.
Jim McElwain: What do you mean, “you’re out?”
CeCe Jefferson: I ain’t going anywhere near that shark. So if that’s how it’s gonna be, you can sign my transfer. Miami Hurricanes okay?
Jim McElwain: So, there’s two moles!
Random Player 2: Man, you ain’t even found one mole.
Jim McElwain: I found two! Two men put to test, both confessed their disloyalty. Do we have any others? Are there any more among you who would sooner abandon your team then simply make sweet love to this pretty little shark?
/remaining players raise hands
Jim McElwain: None of you will prove it. None? An entire room full of quislings! I should have known.
Random Player 1: Look coach, getting’ it on with some shark ain’t got nothing to do with being a loyal teammate. I ain’t the mole, but I still ain’t gonna do nothin’ with that shark.
Jim McElwain: Alright. Well if I can’t trust a single one of you, then you may as well all stay. Del Rio! Jefferson! You’re still on the team. We leave for Dallas this afternoon. But you all just remember: I’m watching you. Dismissed!
/team shuffles out. DOUG NUSSMEIER remains behind
Doug Nussmeier: Very effective speech to the team, sir. They seem very fired up now.
Jim McElwain: /removing hand from his belt/ Oh, you’re still here?
Doug Nussmeier: Was hoping we could go over the game plan for Michigan, if you have a moment.
Jim McElwain: Uh, yeah. I’ll be free in about fifteen minutes. I can stop by your office. Is that okay?
Doug Nussmeier: See you then, sir. Things will turn around, I guarantee it.
Jim McElwain: Uh, yes. Thank you. Thank you. I’ll see you in 15. Seriously, thanks.
/Nussmeier walks toward exit door
The board's choice for our new head coach is pretty clear: Jim Harbaugh. But who comes in second?
It turns out that's also pretty clear:
Les Miles won the board poll by a hefty margin, garnering an even 49% of the vote. The runner-up, Dan Mullen, mustered barely better than half that number (24.79%) and from there it's a steep drop to any kind of third place. Here are the results, followed by a few thoughts:
I would attribute the lower number of votes to yesterday's news--before the confirmation of Hoke's meeting with Hackett, the votes were coming in much, much faster, but the board got understandably focused on other things by the afternoon. That said, the trends were clear: Miles stayed around 50% the entire time, and Mullen was always the clear runner-up in the 25% range. Tom Herman was a bit surprising as the #3 choice, even if he was dead even with "other."
Jim Hackett's press conference was flawlessly executed. That said, he built an idealistic picture of a coach that's going to be awfully hard to find. It seemed he weighs on-field success and character about equally, and even Jim Harbaugh has plenty of detractors in the latter category. Don't get me wrong--if Harbaugh wants the job, he's got it. But Hackett's focus on integrity is going to give the media lots of excuses to try to dig up dirt and question his commitment to character.
For that reason, I strongly believe that Les Miles will NOT be considered a serious candidate for the job. If all you know about Miles is that he has been extremely successful in CFB's best division, you only know some of the story. Les has been the subject of many rumors of scandal and impropriety over the years, and, while I'm sure not all are true, there is plenty of ammunition for the media to throw in Hackett's face should he hire Les, creating another press-fueled shitstorm the university does not want.
Our #2 guy isn't without warts either. Dan Mullen's recent scholarship withdrawal from QB Chason Virgil--whom Mullen had asked to enroll early and is just a few days from graduation now--didn't please the recruit's coach:
Chason Virgil -35 tds/6int passing -8td rushing. One of the best young people I've ever coached -only flaw was trusting "coach" Mullen.— Coach Jeff Neill (@neill_jeff) November 21, 2014
Tom Herman seems clean so far, but he hasn't run a program yet. Todd Graham switches jobs more than Taylor Swift switches crushes. McElwain also looks clean, but is a front-runner for the Florida job. Schiano has his detractors--though more in the Harbaugh vein of abrasive intensity--and most people don't even know who Craig Bohl is.
What I'm getting at here is that I believe it's likely that there is a candidate who has a good shot at winning the job that we are not currently considering. A good point was made by a poster last night that Bob Stitt might be a better fit for Hackett's criteria than many names we've on which we've fixated. Here's a good place to learn a bit about Stitt. He makes no secret about his desire to coach at the top level.
I have no idea who it might be, but it may be time for us to think outside of the names we've gotten used to in the past few months. Then again, it may just be Jim Harbaugh.
The AD change has happened, and most everyone expects a coaching change to follow. I don't know about you, but my views have evolved quite a bit since the whole CC bit started in earnest after Minnesota. Most of that change has been the result of research into the candidates, but some has also been feelingsball.
I'm curious to see what everyone else thinks. Here's my current opinion, broken into tiers:
Jim or John, I'd be equally ecstatic with either. Jim is the proven college HC, John is the nicer guy with the SB ring.
These are the guys that I believe are the best candidates not named Harbaugh.
Guys that make sense, I guess, but I would not be pumped about.
If I didn't put a name on the list, I'm not currently interested. What does the board think?
"That's like trying imagine the distance to the sun," I said, responding to my wife asking me if I thought I could run a 2:37 marathon. "It's so far away from me, I can't even conceive of it." For the record, I have run two marathons. And both took me longer than 4:13.
I have said before and will say again: I love Brady Hoke. I think he's a great man, a great leader, and, to echo John Beilein, exactly the kind of man I'd want to coach my son. But he's not winning, and so he needs to go. Being a great man that can't get the right results isn't good enough in his chosen profession. That said, I expect he'll have success at whatever small school lands him, should he decide to keep coaching.
But at this point, imagining a scenario where he keeps his job is like trying to imagine me finishing a marathon in 2:37. Is it possible? I suppose so. Intense training, diet, and time commitment might make this achievable. But that objective is SO far away...
Is this guy a fit?
And so it's time to start seriously thinking about the next head football coach at the University of Michigan. I have endeavored to put together a somewhat comprehensive list of candidates. To be clear, I absolutley believe ANY of these names are possible hires. No coach will ever say publicly, during a season, that he is open to switching schools or changing jobs. It sends the wrong message to your staff, players, and fans, even if it's true. So here's the list, with brief pros and cons of each candidate. You can take these names and google them to learn more; as we get closer to the actual search, I will return with more detail on potential candidates. For now, we'll do simple letter grades of seven categories: Track Record, Michigan Ties, Recruiting, Chances/Loyalty, Demeanor, Three Phases, and Roster Fit, with a final OVERALL grade. I will do six coaches in Part I, but will follow-up with many more soon.
Jim Harbaugh, HC 49ers
John Harbaugh, HC Ravens
Les Miles, HC LSU
Todd Graham, HC Arizona State
Jim McElwain, HC Colorado State
Craig Bohl, HC Wyoming
Coming soon: Dan Mullen, Scott Frost, Teryl Austin, Pat Narduzzi, Greg Schiano, Gary Patterson, Bob Stitt, Chad Morris, Mark Hudspeth, Kirby Smart, Tom Herman, Doug Nussmeier, Matt Wells.