(ESPN RUMOR) Potential Coaching Moves

Submitted by robbyt003 on November 24th, 2013 at 5:14 PM

LINK ($$$)

 Following the Wolverines' loss to Iowa on Saturday in which it was outgained 407 yards to 158 by the Hawkeyes and blew a 21-7 halftime lead, Michigan is 7-4 and Brady Hoke is approaching hot-seat territory. Some coaches I spoke with this week said, at the very least, he will likely have to part ways with offensive coordinator Al Borges. (If Michigan does open again, either this year or next, one trusted college football source suggested that LSU coach Les Miles could finally head home to his alma mater. “I’ll bet that’s where he goes and retires,” the source said.)

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An Angelo's Addict

November 24th, 2013 at 5:21 PM ^

I would very much hope that the rumor is true about Borges departing. Fix the offensive problems and a lot of these problems go away. We have Hoke recruiting high level talent and as a CEO type coach he needs an expert OC to run the offense, time for Al to leave


November 24th, 2013 at 6:22 PM ^

Oh not the qb who would rather take a 10 yard loss over throwing the ball away. or having a young interior o line? or the qb who doesn't throw receivers open? the interceptions and fumbles are all Al's fault too? People keep talking about bad schemes yet they have been so simplified to help the lack of talent. What more could Borges do? Little inside info for you, no matter what play is called it will not work if your players dont have the ability to execute


November 24th, 2013 at 6:32 PM ^

Everything you have said does not explain why the offense has regressed.  None of these explain gaining a mere 6 years in the second half of Iowa game (ignoring the last drive).  Your excuses may explain why we are not #1 through #6 in total offense in BIG, but cannot explain what we are dead last and dead last in the entire country in terms of negative yards.  This whole arguments about young interior O line is getting tiring.


November 24th, 2013 at 11:06 PM ^

You act as though Devin holding on to the ball to long or running backwards is the root of the offenses problem or can't be fixed. It can! The coaches should have sat Devin on the bench for a drive or two. Let him know it's unacceptable. Hold him accountable. But you know why Borgess or Hoke didn't? Because Borges just calls plays and sees what happens and a few of those times Devin holding on to the ball paid off in a big play allowing Michigan to score and win taking pressure off of both coaches. If Gardner is the problem of the offense then that is also lack of coaching not having your 5 star quarterback ready to take over for him. I think most fans knew this year would be tough. I actually thought the team could lose up to 3-4 games this year, but it's the way they lost them and lack of improvement.


November 24th, 2013 at 11:55 PM ^

It became clear to me during the Akron game exactly what was wrong with Gardner and what he needed. And honestly, I think I could've done it, from my wrestling coaching experience. Gardner has all the tools to be incredibly successful. He's a freak athlete. His skills didn't change; his thoughts did.

He is weak mentally and needs to KNOW he is the best athlete on the field. What happened during Akron after the first bad drive was he was broken mentally. His game remained there for weeks. That's why he wouldn't attempt passes the rest of the game after the interception and why he didn't for the next couple games.

Gardner doesn't need someone to teach him better technique. Not primarily. He needs someone in his ear whispering, "You're a stud. You're the qb for Michigan. No one can touch you. When you walk on that field you make plays happen. No matter what just happened, you're in control of this game because you're Devin freakin' Gardner. And you CAN'T lose."

Gardner needs to be coached to win the mental game, which is the hardest competitor in every sport, and that is the game he's been losing most weeks. THAT is what a good qb coach would recognize, what some bum who knows little about football but has coached championship athletes and teams in another sport can see, and what he would do. Gardner's game could turn around if he were coached to mentally take his competition to their breaking point and never reach his. It's a paradigm shift that eliminates fear.


November 24th, 2013 at 11:34 PM ^

When every fact adduced to your argument turns out to be wrong it's a bit embarrassing to then say the facts are irrelevant and the argument holds anyway.

Five offensive starters weren't four stars. Two of the starting linemen were on the scout team last year and one was in high school, as was the tight end that's getting most of the playing time now that Funchess has moved to receiver. And as was the running back that's now getting most of the carries even if he isn't the nominal starter.

Wisconsin's fourth- and fifth-year three-stars are better than our four-star freshmen. As were our fifth-year three- and two-stars last year. That's the way it works, it's a rare player that's ready to go at FBS level straight out of high school--you could put an all-star team of the best 22 high school players on the field and they'd get their clocks cleaned by even a poor college team.

We had two years of abysmal recruiting, though it didn't show up so much in the recruiting rankings because those are based on average star-level. The assumption, I suppose, is that everyone wil use up all their scholarships and will have the sense to make sure they've got sufficient numbers in every position group.

We didn't. And now we don't. Barring a lot of transfers, which Michigan has never made easy, there's no quick fix. It's like Navarre's freshman year, or Sheridan/Threet, except at several positions at once.



Westside Wolverine

November 25th, 2013 at 12:24 AM ^

I was referencing the offensive players, but you are making my point for me. Compare the talent of our defense and offense and then view their respective results.

So the answer is three including a fullback (not may FBs are four stars), four if we trot out that new fangled three wide receiver set with Dileo? Funchess was a 247 composite four star.


November 25th, 2013 at 1:11 AM ^

The 2008 offense, which was so rightfully pilloried for a lack of talent:


  • Kevin Grady
  • Stephen Schilling


  • David Moosman
  • Cory Zirbel
  • Brandon Minor
  • Carlos Brown
  • Greg Mathews
  • Toney Clemons
  • Steven Threet


  • Carson Butler
  • Tim McAvoy
  • Junior Hemingway
  • Vince Helmuth
  • Mark Ortmann

Better receivers if you go by recruiting rankings, and in quantity. Three quality running backs, all experienced.  The only issues were at TE and FB, which weren't going to matter much in RR's offense anyway, and there's two three-stars on the line instead of a walkon, which is probably a wash.

That's pretty good. Iowa would kill for that kind of talent.

Why did we go 3-9 again?

(Mostly because of inexperience, obviously.)

Westside Wolverine

November 25th, 2013 at 8:19 AM ^

No, we went 3-9 because RR didn't know how to use the talent that existed on the team. A good coach can maximize the players that are part of the team. Jim Tressel was a master of that. He won with Craig Krenzel and Troy Smith, two vastly different QBs. If RR was a good coach we could have won more games with Threet, instead he force that square peg in a round hole and told everyone to have patience. In the same manner, Borgess is forcing this team to play his style when that probably isn't the best maximization of talent.


November 25th, 2013 at 9:31 AM ^

That was the right choice on Rich's part. He was a successful coach because he'd designed a very successful offensive scheme. He's one of the greatest offensive innovators ever, right up there with the guys that designed the wishbone and the T and the single wing. Bringing him on and telling him "we have to win NOW so you have to scrap all that" would have been insane, given the youth on the team. It was time to make the transition right then, when you're breaking in a lot of new guys anyway.

And it worked. Two years later that offense was a thing of beauty and if it hadn't been for all the other catastrophes--the defensive meddling, the awful recruiting--no one would have cared any more about '08.

Westside Wolverine

November 25th, 2013 at 9:49 AM ^

What happens when you cannot recruit the players that fit your scheme or the ones you recruit don't pan out or are injured? Occasionally going 3-9 or 5-7 with a couple of 10 seasons here and there is ok at West Virginia our Arizona but this fan base requires more consistency.

RR could have transitioned his offense with Threet and still fully implemented it when Denard arrived. I think this strategy would have probably won a few more games during the black hole years and allowed Dave Brandon to keep him one more year. But because he was an offensive genius and his system was superior, he felt he could make any players work in his system.


November 25th, 2013 at 10:06 AM ^

That was Hoke/Borges's strategy--they ran spread stuff for Denard and made the transition slowly, putting a lot of it off for a couple of years. That too was probably a rational choice; they could see on the depth chart that it was the third year that they'd be breaking in all the new guys so that was a good year to target for implementation.

And I guess it's sort of worked--it's been ugly at times but we've somehow gotten through it \without a single losing season.

As far as RR's concerned, I don't think he thought he could make any players work in his system. I'm sure he knew that first year was going to be rough. But his players had to learn it sometime and there was no point in putting it off.

Westside Wolverine

November 25th, 2013 at 11:03 AM ^

The point is that inflexibility will lose games and cost coaches jobs. Hoke/Borgess want to run manball with a team that is not best suited for it. I respect that Borgess was somewhat flexible for a couple of years but he needed to find a way to win with the team he has now. I know the interior of the line is young but he has coached for 30+ years, he must have seen some strategy that can minimize that shortfall. He is the third highest paid offensive coordinator, not some guy who was a GA two years ago. Expectations were high for Borgess and Mattison one had succeeded with the talent that he has (and helped recruit it) and other has faltered.