Attrition Watch: April, 2014 Edition Comment Count

Brian April 29th, 2014 at 10:47 AM

With Signing Day and spring practice in the rearview mirror, Michigan's roster should remain basically intact until fall and possibly beyond. With the media cottoning on to the enormous hole in the roster created by the last Rodriguez and hybrid Rodriguez/Hoke/Process classes, it's time to update Attrition Watch.


A last look at Rodriguez's first full class. Starter-level contributors are italicized; (sometimes projected) NFL draft picks bolded.

Jeremy Gallon Notre Dame v Michigan t_KSci4A6c1l[1]JUSTINTURNERARMY09150[1]SPT-umfootball11p-lewan-hoke[1]

Jeremy Gallon, Justin Turner, Taylor Lewan

Played Out Eligibility: Will Campbell, Craig Roh, Denard Robinson, Vincent Smith, Brandin Hawthorne, Jeremy Gallon, Taylor Lewan, Quinton Washington, Michael Schofield, Cam Gordon, Fitz Toussaint, Thomas Gordon, Brendan Gibbons

Didn't Take Fifth Year(1): Mike Jones.

Transferred for PT (3): Vlad Emilien, Je'Ron Stokes, Isaiah Bell

Academics/Not Being Nice (3): Justin Turner, Tate Forcier, Adrian Witty

Injury (1): Teric Jones

Left Football: N/A

This class lost a little bit of its luster every time Toussaint tried to pick up a blitz, but this is still a class you can do excellent things with as long as you surround it with other talent. It features two bookend NFL tackles, the season receiving yardage record-holder, Denard Robinson(!), and six to eight other important contributors. Your 11-2 blip is built around these guys.


DOOOOOOOOOOM! Your Freep class.


Dorsey, Gardner, Vinopal

Enrolled (3): Devin Gardner, Jake Ryan, Will Hagerup

Did Not Take Fifth Year(2): Richard Ash, Jordan Paskorz

Played Out Eligibility(4): Jeremy Jackson, Drew Dileo, Jibreel Black, Courtney Avery.

Transferred for PT (6): Ricardo Miller, Cullen Christian, Marvin Robinson, Carvin Johnson, Jerald Robinson, Ray Vinopal

Academics/Not Being Nice (5): Demar Dorsey, Antonio Kinard, Austin White, Davion Rogers, Conelius Jones

Injury (3): Terry Talbott, Terrance Talbott, Christian Pace

Left Football (3): Ken Wilkins, DJ Williamson, Stephen Hopkins

Nothing miserably bad has happened to this already miserably bad class since August. Will Hagerup has hung on to a roster spot; Ash departed after getting his degree, as did Paskorz. That leaves three of 27 players on the roster, including the starting QB and most dynamic player the defense has.

That is of course horrendous, and about 80% of the blame should  be heaped upon Rich Rodriguez. Rodriguez struck out on tight ends and OL left and right during this period, compounding that issue with some horrible talent evaluation—of the guys who left early, only Ray Vinopal has made any kind of impact at a BCS school.

Baumgardner's article comes with a depressing Big Ten retention rate chart showing Michigan at the bottom at 26%; three teams are tied at 40% for next worst: Minnesota (coaching change), Penn State (holistic program implosion), and Indiana (coaching change, is Indiana). No one else has lost more than half their class; Northwestern leads the way at 82% with MSU second.



Frank Clark 50 pounds ago, Chris Barnett, Tony Posada

This was the hybrid RR/Hoke class in which Hoke found himself with three weeks to pile ten guys in. Late Hoke pickups are denoted with H.

Enrolled (11): Justice Hayes(H), Brennen Beyer, Raymon Taylor(H), Blake Countess, Delonte Hollowell, Frank Clark(H), Desmond Morgan, Russell Bellomy(H), Keith Heitzman (H), Jack Miller, Matt Wile(H)

*[Bryant actually committed after Hoke was hired but had been favoring Michigan so long that Rodriguez deserves the credit there.]

Transferred for PT (2): Tamani Carter(H), Thomas Rawls(H).

Academics/Not Being Nice (2): Chris Barnett(H), Kellen Jones

Injury (2): Antonio Poole(H), Chris Bryant.

Left Football (3): Chris Rock (basically: is walk-on at OSU now), Greg Brown, Tony Posada.

Rawls and Bryant are added to the dead list here; the Bryant departure leaves the OL count from the 2010 and 2011 classes at a whopping one, Jack Miller. Rawls was a signing-day reach who represented Peak Fred Jackson as Michigan scrambled after the process; Bryant was a three/four star borderline OL who needed to take a lot of weight off, much like Posada. Posada showed up for a cup of coffee; Bryant couldn't remain healthy enough to stay on the field, though he did start a few games in the middle of last year.

While this class is better than its predecessor it represents the bulk of the seniors on the roster. That's a problem when you've only got 11 of them and one is an offensive lineman. An attrition rate of 45% that could still go up is middling at best, something Michigan could not afford after the 2010 crater.


Redshirt sophomores and juniors.


Funchess, Henry, Kalis

Enrolled: Dennis Norfleet, Sione Houma, Amara Darboh, Jehu Chesson, Devin Funchess, AJ Williams, Kyle Kalis, Blake Bars, Erik Magnuson, Ben Braden, Ondre Pipkins, Willie Henry, Matt Godin, Mario Ojemudia, Tom Strobel, Chris Wormley, Joe Bolden, Royce Jenkins-Stone, James Ross, Terry Richardson, Jarrod Wilson, Allen Gant, Jeremy Clark.

Injury(1): Kaleb Ringer.

Michigan still has all but one guy from Hoke's first class on the roster. The departure, Kaleb Ringer, had microfracture surgery and transferred to a lower level to play.

At this point there have to be a couple guys teetering on the edge of a transfer because they can't get on the two-deep—that kind of attrition is the sign of a healthy program, not a diseased one. It's worth noting that was Michigan super, super paranoid about bringing in anyone who looked like an academic risk in this class. That seemed like a reaction to the previous two recruiting efforts; now it appears to be just their standard.


Enrolled: 27 of 27.

Nobody from Hoke's second class has exited after one year.


Enrolled: 7 of 16 with the rest pending. There haven't been any whispers of academic issues except with kids Michigan ends up not getting, so it's likely the class arrives intact.



April 29th, 2014 at 11:00 AM ^

fyi - Looks like there some typoes with the numbers for 2010 class..states 4 returning but only lists 3, also states 1 not playing 5th year but lists 2


April 29th, 2014 at 11:00 AM ^

as if M is in an odd predicament where it can bring enough elite recruits to keep the 2/3* types on the 3/4 deep thus causing some to transfer, but not enough elite recruits where a few busts are permitted. I sense a familiar situation with Texas, except they get a little more elite talent (I have no clue how they end up with so many busts...too much Texas HS hype?).

The Iowas/MSUs of the world can have their 2/3* types stick around for 5 years because they have playing time right on the horizon throughout their college careers. 

No real point here but thinking out loud at how Michigan is lacking in 5th year guys when open scholarships are available.


April 29th, 2014 at 7:42 PM ^

the problem with Texas is that they had Andrew Luck, RGIII and Johnny Manziel among others in state at the QB position and whiffed on all of them.  They never got an adequate replacement for Colt McCoy after he graduated, that led to an inept offense and that affected the win column and then reruiting and it all sort of imploded from there.  If there was one good thing you could say about RR is that he evaluated and recruited the QB position pretty damn well, his Achilles heel was on the line of scrimmage.  Texas will be back sooner rather than later with a good coach in Strong and arguably the most talent rich state in the country.

marco dane

April 29th, 2014 at 11:02 AM ^

Outside of JMFR...tell me the other 4th and 5th year guys Hoke will have next year who under ANY coach would be draftable?? 

Maybe 3 guys out of those classes and all are middling draft choices except maybe JMFR. No one else even comes close. Is it Hoke's fault that the talent level he inherited??

Space Coyote

April 29th, 2014 at 11:39 AM ^

I would say DG has the skill at QB to be drafted to play QB if he continues progression and his OL performs better for him. If not, he likely has enough ability to be a late round WR pick. But your point about the 2010 class stands pretty well despite that.

EDIT: And I agree partially with the poster below as far as classes post-2010. I could see about 5 guys from the 2010 and 2011 class get drafted if things go well, and 2012 has the potential to produce quite a few if they develop.


April 29th, 2014 at 11:02 AM ^

"2010 - Your Freep Class"

That really puts the situation in context now doesnt it?  Not only did their hatchet job help destroy Rich as HC, that gaping hole of missing senior players (especially on the line) is now threatening Hoke's.

The Detroit Free Press "investigation" - the gift that just keeps on giving.


April 29th, 2014 at 11:19 AM ^

He was certainly done wrong by the Freep.  Still, media jerks who out for themselves aren't new phenomena.  No other M coach in my lifetime would have gotten stuck in the position RR did with the "investigation".  He had no control over the media and not enough control of his own team.  He had no coherent response to the reports themselves.  I don't typically like the idea of a "fit" for a job.  I find most successful people bring what they have adn it's good so the job melds around them.  That said, RR was never going to work out here.  May he find success in the desert.


April 29th, 2014 at 11:23 AM ^

Calling it the "Freep Class" in one person's nickname, not likely shared by a ton of others.  If "80% of the blame" falls on RR, it also seems like even Brian doesn't really buy the nickname.  In any event, whatever the reason that so many kids didn't pan out, the effect of the RR years is that our roster was left in (much) worse shape than one weighted down by PSU's child rape sactions.  Maybe (as some here would suggest) RR is indeed a great coach, but it's hard to argue anything but that the overall effect of his tenure here (reasons for failure aside) was disasterous.


April 29th, 2014 at 12:12 PM ^

While Rodriguez undoubtedly bears a good chunk of the blame for the state of the roster today, we're still also suffering from the lack of attention paid to recruiting by Lloyd his last few seasons at Michigan.  Seems incredible that 7 years after Lloyd's retirement we are still feeling some of the ripples of what he left behind.


April 29th, 2014 at 12:33 PM ^

Seems kinda hard to put any portion of the blame on a coach 7 years removed, but I'm sure there is some ripple.  Just seems like a coach doing a decent job with recruiting and retention should be able to get things back in order within 5 years max (full cycle + red shirt year).  Even a lack of attention would be better than the roster, decimated without sanctions.


April 29th, 2014 at 12:35 PM ^

A former Bo player told me when it was happening, that Lloyd let recruiting slide the last few years....  I wish those who are informed here, can elaborate.... I thought it was due to the Jai Eugene and Les Miles,  parkinsons thing.....    either way, Rodriguez still inherited plenty of talent like Martin, RVB, Mouton, Brown, etc.... the cupboard wasn't bare at all...


April 29th, 2014 at 9:10 PM ^

The Day Lloyd Carr left the job.... he left the following:

1) Starting QB

2) 2 WRs that ended up in the NFL

3) A returning TE with speed and skills

4) The entire offensive line

5) 2 RBs with extensive playing time and skills.  One inside guy, one outside guy.

6) Back up QB

7) Punter who played several years in the NFL

8) The entire starting DL, including a first round DE

9) 2 returing starters at LB

10) 2 returning starters in the secondary and several others with experience



the Myth that Lloyd left the "cupboard bare" is just that.

BTW... My 11-2 team was made up of Lloyd's last remaining guys: RVB, Martin, Molk, Junior etc etc.

but thats just me.  I only look at the facts.  Whatever happened after Lloyd Carr left, is not on him.  Its just not.  So lets end this madness.  Thank you.

turd ferguson

April 29th, 2014 at 12:45 PM ^

I just looked this up on Rivals.  If I did it right, here are Lloyd's last few years:

2004 - #5 class overall, #3 in mean rating
2005 - #6 class overall, #10 in mean rating
2006 - #13 class overall, #6 in mean rating
2007 - #12 class overall, #10 in mean rating

Recruiting rankings don't tell the full story, but I have a really hard time with the "Lloyd stopped recruiting well" explanation.  That's more than enough talent to win with.


April 29th, 2014 at 1:45 PM ^

Of course, rankings don't really tell the story of how well you're filling your needs. RR started his tenure with a big hole in defensive talent, particularly in the secondary. This contributed to losing, which contributed to hot seat rumors, which contributed to lousy recruiting. So in that sense you can say there are "ripples" of Lloyd, and there probably will be until the 2011 class departs.

Notice that I carefully used the word "contributed" and not "caused".


April 29th, 2014 at 2:27 PM ^

Actually the defense had plenty of talent and depth in 2008. Graham, Taylor, Johnson, Jamison, Mouton, Ezeh, Thomspon, Warren, Trent, Brown and Harrison. Plus you had a young but talented Martin and Van Bergen making contributions. The offense was a problem (especially QB and O-line) but the defense in his first year had a lot of potential.


April 29th, 2014 at 2:47 PM ^

That is true to an extent, but that defense also proved to be a bit of an underperforming one once guys got on the field.  Graham was the only real standout; giuys like Mouton, Brown, and Warren had different levels of success but that was still one of the worse units UM had recruited up to that point, at least in terms of their ultimate performance.

But yeah, the team RR got wasn't full of superstars.


April 29th, 2014 at 2:15 PM ^

Except for a handful (literally) of gems/very good players, it's a mess. Not as big a mess as the 2010 class, but a mess nonetheless. Future (not) greats like Eugene Germany, Marques Slocum, Mister Simpson, James McKinney, Justin Schiafano (all alleged 4 stars) are all over the list. There's more where that came from.

You would figure if you truly have two Top 10 classes, that would give you a lot of NFL players, right? Well, out of the 42 players, there were basically four: B Graham, S Brown, M Manningham and Z Mesko. Two a freaking year.

The 2009 class alone (which certainly was not good overall) has four or five by themselves: Lewan, Schofield, Gallon (who will all get drafted), plus Denard and Will Campbell.

The really unfortunate fact is UM has been screwing up in recruiting for close to a decade. We've had our moments, but not enough sustained ones to be a top program -- which is why we haven't won a B1G title (and forget national relevance) in basically a decade.

Hopefully things will go our way this year and we can keep moving forward. If we have another coaching change, we likely will be looking at another mess for years to come.



April 29th, 2014 at 2:54 PM ^

He has made precisely one NFL tackle. He was wildly overdrafted, everyone thought so at the time, and through injuries/lack of suffiicent talent, he essentially hasn't played yet and I would be surprised if he ever did (he didn't play at all last year).

You are right about Schilling -- I knew I had forgotten someone, so Schilling brings it to 5 players, i.e., the same amount of NFL players in 2 classes as 2009 had in one.

The 2006 did have more depth, but my point still stands: we have been doing below what we need to be in recruiting for almost a decade now. Sometimes well below, but typically below. This unfortunately isn't new.


April 29th, 2014 at 2:21 PM ^

It wasn't Lloyd's recruiting it was a complete system change. If we had hired Les Miles and ran the pro-style offense (with Mallett, Minor, Stonum etc)  I'm sure things would have worked out much better. If someone needs to be blamed its Bill Martin for hiring a guy that ran a system that did not fit the players we had. It takes time to go from pro to spread especially if you don't have the QB and lineman. It worked out for Urban at OSU because they ran a hybrid with Pryor and then he got the perfect QB for his system in Miller. Remember what they looked like with Bauserman under center... 


April 29th, 2014 at 11:09 AM ^

that whomever Gardner's backup is get significant playing time this year.  The 2012 and 2013 classes will combine in 2015 to create a 2 deep with actual legitimacy... they'll just need competence under center.  The is the most encouraging football news I've seen in awhile (and it's just a reminder of what we're all aware of).  Go Blue.


April 29th, 2014 at 11:14 AM ^

Looks like that leaves the numbers with 81 scholarship players (9 with eligibility expiring after this season).

Walk-on scholarships for 2014?: I know G. Glasgow and Kerridge were given scholarships last year so are likely to get one this year. if they give the other two out also, it looks like candidates would be Burzynski, Ryan Glasgow, Kenny Allen, and JJ McGrath.

Scholarships for 2015 recruiting class: If we assume that Kerridge/Glasgow will continue to receive scholarship while here, then that would leave only 11 available scholarships (as of now) for 2015 class.

Obviously there will be some attrition (maybe even Funchess leaving for draft after 2014), but 11 scholarships as a starting point for 2015 class is tough to manage.

yossarians tree

April 29th, 2014 at 12:56 PM ^

I love pointing this fact out, especially to MSU fans who are gleefully on Death Watch for Brady Hoke (ahem, Dick Valenti). Yes, Brady Hoke's 7-6 third season was a huge disappointment, but let's not forget that Dantonio was 6-7 in year three and they had a major off-field blow-up as well (I believe that was the frat boy beat down year). Dantonio now has the keys to the kingdom for life, but he is about 7 years in and has true program depth. Hoke is going into year 4. The difference is that the mess Dantonio inherited was business as usual at MSU. At Michigan our mess was every bit as bad as the one John L. Smith left for Dantonio, but we did not want to believe it or we just didn't recognize it because we hadn't seen it in decades.

Mr Mxyzptlk

April 29th, 2014 at 11:21 AM ^

Seems like stability to the program arrived with Hoke.  I hope we actually follow through and give him a chance to rebuild the program.  Otherwise we will be rebuilding for another 3-4 years if we get rid of him after this year.


April 29th, 2014 at 11:52 AM ^

Dave Brandon's got a big check book. It would be important, in order to maintain donor money, stadium revenues, service university financing on the luxury suites etc. to hire a "name" if Hoke has to be replaced. 

Michigan could certainly offer Top 5 money to any coach they targeted. Of course, they'd have to actually target that level of coach (see Miles, Les or the disgruntled 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh...he of the alleged trade rumors with the York family).

FWIW, *if* Brandon determined to replace Brady Hoke after the season it would have to be that level of "name" coach or Brandon would need to be looking in the mirror, himself.

Space Coyote

April 29th, 2014 at 12:21 PM ^

But I'm looking at the Athlon coaches ranking, and in the top 25 I'm only seeing 7 coaches (Art Briles - 5, David Cutcliffe - 15, Les Miles - 9, Todd Graham - 19, Mike Gundy - 20, Gary Pinkel - 22, Gary Patterson - 23) Michigan would have a legit shot at.

Art Briles, Todd Graham, Mike Gundy, and Gary Pinkel are all significantly different and would likely cause attrition. None of those guys are really likely anyway (Briles is entrenched at Baylor, Graham a Rich Rod disciple, Gundy seems happy at OSU and if Rich Rod had issues at Michigan Gundy would be crazy to come aboard, and Pinkel is in the SEC at a school that has had recent success).

David Cutcliffe would fit well, but inspire pretty much no one (75-73 record to date, if people ignore circumstance with Hoke, they'll do the same with Cutcliffe at Duke). Miles is as unlikely as he's ever been. Patterson's stock is dropping and he still seems to like TCU quite a bit if he's still there.

So then you're stuck going outside the top 25, at guys like Riley (Oregon St), Mike Leach (not happening), Hugh Freeze (equally not happening), Dan Mullen (no thanks), and a few other guys ahead of Hoke in the rankings that aren't going anywhere (Sweeny, Golden).

So at that point Michigan is looking at a rising star like Hudspeth (UL Lafayette) or Lembo (Ball State), or Craig Bohl (Wyoming, previously ND State), none being the splash people want to make. Some names like Fedora (UNC) or Cryst (Pitt) could work in better circumstances, such as at Michigan, but again, how much of an upgrade are we looking at in these cases, or is it just change for change?

So then what? FCS or DII coaches with success? Adam Dorrel, Paul Winters (Wayne St), Tim Beck (Pitt St), Beau Baldwin (Eastern Washington)? These aren't guys with Tressel level success or roots in the area for the most part. They aren't established enough.

So now you're stuck looking at the NFL or at cooridators. Harbaughs aren't likely. NFL Coordinators are likely few and far between, especially ones without attachments to the school, so unless there is insider info, that shouldn't be expected. Narduzzi isn't coming to Michigan. Pruitt? Smart (how much of him is Saban, and how much is Michigan willing to be like Saban)? And hiring coordinators is risky business typically given to mid-level programs.

The point being, there isn't a can't miss option if people want to go that way. Any way this team would go in the event Hoke is dismissed would stir the pot, particularly with how attached many of these players and recruits are to this staff.


April 29th, 2014 at 12:49 PM ^

I think Nuss would be an extreme long-shot.  Seems to me if we play poorly this year it will be because the offense struggles and it will be hard to promte the guy in charge of the struggling offense to HC regardless of whose "fault" it is.  And if the offense clicks we probably have a pretty good year and the heat is off Hoke.

Everyone Murders

April 29th, 2014 at 1:05 PM ^

I agree that Nussmeier is a potential option, but it's a really interesting conundrum.  If Nuss excels and the offense performs really well out of the gate, then Hoke is safe.  If Nuss bombs, then he's not a viable option.  If Nuss does just OK in 2014, with signs of real improvement, then this could be a realistic option.

In any event, saveferris makes a good point.  Coach Nussmeier needs to be on any list of potential candidates.


April 29th, 2014 at 1:26 PM ^

Good list.

I am not saying Hoke will or will not be fired but if in theory he was fired in 10 months you will have the exact same comments we had last 2 times around where we were "a year late" in terms of some great candidates being available the prior year.

Both Franklin at PSU and Strong at Texas fit the profile of what you'd want in a coach - a young-ish up and comer with perhaps not the greatest Midwest roots but at least East Coast roots who did very good things at a high mid major / low BCS (Louisville) or academically strict (Vandy) BCS team in a rough conference, both without great histories in football.

I have no idea if either of these men will do great at Texas and PSU but they fit the exact profile of the type of guy you take a chance with if you are not going to go recyle an old name. 

I do think Gundy would be an interesting choice as he does well at OK State - they are perennially in contention for a title with 2 big wigs in their conf (Texas, Oklahome) and have not taken that last step but he gets his teams far.  I have no idea if he is a cultural fit however and it seems at Michigan for football at least that is almost as important as coaching acumen.  And yes, based on the last 2 coaching searches we cannot even assume a coach wants to be here just because it is Michigan; I was a bit surprised at the "no's" we received for a guy like Schiano but in retrospect maybe he had his eye on the NFL.

Space Coyote

April 29th, 2014 at 1:49 PM ^

I really like Strong. I really like Hoke too, but Strong was the guy I was pulling for at the time. Anyway, like you said, that doesn't ensure he'll do well at Texas. In fact, there appears to be a case of Strong getting the Rich Rod treatment at Texas, where if he isn't successful right away he'll be turned on if he isn't already. But he was probably the best fit at Michigan, and yet people at Texas still think they should have done better. Fans are rarely satisfied with the hire, especially in college football.

I believe Hoke is the right guy, so by no means am I looking at that list and seeing guys I want. But I do look at that list, look at the realistic options, and to me I don't see the justification for people already trying to push out Hoke. If he has a bad season in '14 we can talk, otherwise give him '15 and we'll go from there. Michigan will always find a coach; it's just that it's likely that if they do find a different coach, there will still be a lot of people that think "we should have done better."


April 29th, 2014 at 2:14 PM ^

Thank you for that analysis, Space Coyote.  It certainly makes me rethink the this year is a do or die position I have been taking.  That said, I think Tim DeRuyter from Fresno St. would be the best rising star hire we could grab as he is a defensive minded guy who runs an offense that makes a pro-style QB successful, but I think the resume is still too thin.

Otherwise Brandon could go to one of the Harbaugh's and say I learned my lesson and here is the checkbook, let's talk.  That is, admittedly, a dream scenario with no connection to anything approaching reality, but every once in a while it's nice to think of having a program where the Athletic Director is not regarded as the Jerry Jones of the Upper Midwest.


April 29th, 2014 at 4:04 PM ^

When Bo got hired at UofM, he wasn't exactly a household name.  Certainly not a top 25 HC. Yet he was identified and offered the position by Don Canham.  I wonder if there are any Bo-type coaches out there who currently are under the radar. 

I think what got me enthused about RR was that he had developed an offense that was new, innovative, and successful.   He was certainly high profile, yet he failed here.

If Hoke doesn't make it, I would like to see UofM take a chance and go after a younger coach who has all the right attributes to be successful herre for a long period of time.

I don't know how one identifies that person, but Canham found a way to do so. 

Space Coyote

April 29th, 2014 at 4:31 PM ^

Bo took over a pretty well established program from John Pont, another Miami (OH) grad. The program had actually been consistent since Sid Gilman days in the mid-40s. From Sid Gilman (went on to coach and win a natty at LSU), it went to George Blackburn for one season (he moved on to Cincy), then to Woody Hayes for two seasons (on to OSU), through Ara Parseghian (who went on to Northwestern and later Notre Dame where he'd win two natties), John Pont (moved on to Yale), and then Bo. Pretty much Miami was pushing out coaches like few other programs in history.

Anyway, few programs at the mid-major level are anything like that anymore, because it's so hard to compete with the big schools and remain consistent at lower schools. The few that have had long standing success have had coaches move on and prove not as successful elsewhere. So exact situations like that don't really exist anymore.

But, if you're looking at hiring based on a somewhat similar criteria, I think that's generally what Brandon tried to do with Hoke. Hoke had enough success for Brandon at previous stops with the way he turned around two programs, but it was surely more about identifying the person with the hire. Whether Hoke works out or not, I generally don't have a problem with that approach at a program like Michigan, which has a big enough name. We saw Alabama and Notre Dame in recent years flame out time and time again with big name coaches by their standards. Now, Saban and Kelly are both really good coaches, so finding guys like that works as well, but coaches at many other places weren't worse coaches elsewhere before getting an opportunity at the big time.

My point is, I guess, that it's hard to put too much stock into previous stints. Every coach at every stop has its own story. Rich Rod isn't a bad coach because of Michigan. Moeller wasn't a bad coach because of Illinois. There is so much luck, outside factors, factors going in, trends, etc, that play into everything. All these coaches are good coaches with a few that stand above the rest, but there is a reason that Athlon ranking changes drastically from year to year. Looking for the right person for a program, in my opinion, is just as good or better than hiring the hot coach of the month. It's what brought Bo to Michigan, it's what allowed him to hand the program off to Mo, and then to Carr after that. It rings true at MSU with Dantonio (who was the right person for that job, even more than Saban), it rings true at OSU with Woody and Tressel, it rings true all over.


April 29th, 2014 at 5:11 PM ^

Big name who has won a national title and has a great record against his rivals (9-5 against UT and 12-3 vs OSU). Midwest roots from Ohio, played in the Big 10 and is a defensive minded coach. You pay him big time money plus give him the chance to go up against Urban in the best rivarly in all of college football... you just never know.