Dear Diary Declares Dear Day or Deer Day Comment Count

Seth November 14th, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Foote in mouth. Larry Foote claimed, forgivably inarticulately, that Michigan's problem is we don't recruit enough kids who are used to a tougher road. I found a site that will take places in a spreadsheet and plot them on a map, and did so with the 2001 (Foote's and my senior year) and 2014 rosters, minus non-Kovacsian walk-ons. Yes there are errors still. Go ahead and zoom in.

Yellow is 2001; blue is 2014. Fullscreen

It sometimes does weird things like put Warren, Michigan, in the Upper Peninsula and I am fixing those one by one as I spot them. Findings:

  • Lloyd had four guys from the Memphis area while Hoke did much better in Southwest Ohio. That's where those guys are from.
  • Carr was able to penetrate deep into SEC country while Hoke has only managed to pick around the edges.
  • Hoke gets more kids out of private schools and magnet schools (e.g. Cass Tech) than Lloyd did. This is because when I was in high school the big prep programs weren't recruiting as much as they do now, so talent wasn't as concentrated.

The differences are minor and speak less to changes in Michigan recruiting than general trends. It all amounts to mostly nothing.

Off the top of my head, the players Michigan has who come from 1% means are Wilton Speight, who's a redshirting freshman right now, and Matt Wile, who burned his redshirt because of Hagerup and waited patiently for three years behind a guy who probably shouldn't have been on the team. Foote's starting QBs were Tom Brady from a nice place in California, and John Navarre from Cudahy, Wisconsin, which is suburban Milwaukee on the Lake Michigan coastline. Meanwhile Devin Gardner went to Inkster, which doesn't even exist anymore. If Foote had been 13 years younger it's likely he'd have been picked up DCD (Mo Ways), OLSM (James Ross) or Cass Tech. Talent comes from all over; Michigan's talent comes from where it used to.



Bye week is wife day, as per Six Zero's family tradition. The espoused among us are encouraged to move back from the football for a moment and pay service to whatever your weird marital tradition might be. If she'd like you to lose an entire Saturday to outlet stores, that's rough, but she's worth it. If your wife would rather just get random butterflies from you and spend Saturday helping you rake leaves, then you're married to the bestest in the westest. Congratulations only me.

[Jump: on the Wisconsin coach we can't steal and the LSU one we probably shouldn't]

See-See. The coaching candidates this week were Gary Andersen and in favor of Les Miles. Stealing Wisconsin's coach is probably less likely that stealing LSU's. Arkansas pulled it off, true, but we haven't seen what happens if Barry Alvarez puts up a fight, which I expect he would. Minnesota is one type of program; Wisconsin is another.

On Les, I don't think his coaching ability has regressed, or that anyone is saying that, so alum96 is arguing with a straw man a bit. The knock on Miles is that his natural regression with age will probably come in five years, and it could take three seasons just to get Michigan competitive; this isn't Nick Saban's roster he's inheriting, and these days LSU's recruiting advantages are at least on par with Michigan's, and retention advantages that exist there simply don't fly in Ann Arbor, however you think they maybe should. So the max upside is he finishes a Hall of Fame career coasting at his alma mater, with lots of downsides.

I couldn't get all the purple out.

I don't like that distribution. I do like the potential for a former Urban Meyer assistant with 20 years of coaching left in him who turned Mississippi State into something because he'd be working with more here than he has there (with the noted exception of tougher academic standards).

It hurts to hurt. Analysis of injuries in the Big Ten this year has Michigan and Purdue way ahead of the pack in starts lost. MSU and Iowa and Illinois are the unreasonably healthy ones. He added a "[season preview by Phil] Steele" column, which are the players who were lost for the season; this affects Maryland mostly.

Don't watch without hope. The difference between hope and no hope is whether you've DVR'ed it:

For various reasons (read: 1-year-old kid and new, time-consuming job), I've been watching the bulk of this year's B1G conference games on DVR.

Now, the negative of seeing the games hours later is that I'm watching it a bit more dispassionately; I know the outcome, so like in wrestling when you know the finish, you aren't as drawn in by the close finishes. It also means that I know Gardner isn't going to "turn it around" after a couple of bad passes, that he isn't going to start hitting his receivers in stride or stop locking onto them as soon as they break the huddle. Instead, I have to settle in for 3+ hours of poor mechanics, off-center throws, and a guy who looks lost out there trying to not bungle away a game that Northwestern keeps trying to hand over.

"He'll get the next one" is a thing my brain constantly inserts whenever something goes awry. If you take that away…

The boxscore says otherwise.

Northwestern was 10 of 20 on third conversions to Michigan's 1 of 12. How in the heck did we win this game? Oh, yeah, that's right, we were playing Northwestern.

What if channels that broadcast sports only put things like "Northwestern was 10 of 20 on third down conversions to Michigan's 1 of 12" instead of the final score. Those who don't care to watch the game will get a sense of what occurred, and have their apps (often produced by those same channels) to get the score. Those who are planning on watching the game on DVR don't have to hold a hand over the scroll or whatever, and once in awhile there will be some nice surprises.

Too many games. If Michigan beats Maryland next week the season extends to a bowl game. If we don't, it ends Thanksgiving weekend.

Etc. Yards per play vs. points differential.

Best of the Board


Via WH. Purdue must hate this guy.


There was a proposal for this to be the anti-Muppets. Like when Michigan wins a M00N game.

Etc. Tosh.0 with a right-on rip on ESPN. Baseball vs. MSU at CoPa. Happy hunting season.

Your Moment of Zen:




November 14th, 2014 at 1:18 PM ^

Guys... it wasn't just the banana that deserves credit.   Countess booking over with the man-in-motion was just as important as Clark's angle off the edge... even if he wouldn't have slipped there was no where to throw the ball, and, even if he was able to cut up field to find space to throw then Beyer would have blind-sided him.

All 11 guys and the banana executed perfectly.


November 14th, 2014 at 8:13 PM ^

The thing about that final play is the coaches did a really good job of preparing the defense for that particular play. It takes great scouting to know that's a go to play for NW in short yardage situations. Then to have everyone execute perfectly, really shows the preparation this coaching staff has put in.


November 14th, 2014 at 1:23 PM ^

by Larry Foote are...kind of off base.   They remind me of something similar that Paul Hornung said when ND was struggling under Charlie Weiss something to the effect that ND didnt recruit certain players.  Its interesting that teams like Wisconsin, Minnesota and Nebraska just to name a few teams in the BgTn historically have not attracted recruits from urban areas and seem to do consistently well year in and year out.  I think the debate about M is more about what you do with the talent you have.  Clearly Michigan has talent and the underachieving is more about whether recruited players fit the system at M, are they motivated-if not why not,  are they being developed-if not why not...etc.  All things that have been exhaustively discussed and tend to point to issues among the coaching staff.  Whether the players are from urban, suburban or rural areas is kinda puzzling.    Not sure what he is suggesting but I think his comments are erroneous.


November 15th, 2014 at 12:06 AM ^

This is a ridiculous post, and I am so tired of hearing the argument that Michigan doesn't develop its talent, instead of the argument that Michigan HAS NO TALENT. Look at the number of players we sent to the pros under Lloyd as opposed to RR and Hoke. Look at the way we used to physically dominate teams under Lloyd, particularly up through 2004. Your point about Lloyd being able to recruit in SEC country says it all. Maybe Foote's point about guys being from a "tougher road" is misstated, but the point is that Lloyd was able to nationally recruit talented players who went on to be talented pros. Our 2000 team probably had 12-15 pros on it, and went 9-3 i think. We rarely, if ever got dominated physically by another opponent. Guys like Hutchinson, Jansen, A-Train, Manningham, Terrell, Brady, Henson, Perry, Long, a name a few, were clearly studs when they came in as freshment. Did Michigan develop them well, maybe, probably better than the current squad, but when you get physically pushed around by Minnesota, Utah and Rutgers, it speaks volumes about the base level of your talent, not the coaches ability to develop talent. It's just incredible to me that people think Michigan has talent, but just doesn't develop it well. When you go from consistently sending 4-6 guys or more to the NFL in the first 6 rounds to possibility of 1 or 2, it says a lot. Nick Saban would not be better than 6-4 with this team. its about recruiting, not development....look at the way OSU, Bama, FSU, and others have maintained their level of excellence despite freshmen quarterbacks, new offensive lines, etc. people continue to make the point that 'we have a top 5 or 10 recruiting class." Who cares if everyone person with a brain can tell that the derrick green's of the world, despite being a 4 star recruit, does not have same talent TJ Yeldon. Recruiting should be based on the skill of your freshman after one season, not based on regional recruiting evaluators who trump up recruits to pander to the fan base.


November 14th, 2014 at 1:27 PM ^

Have always recruited hard. they were recruiting hard in my day which was barely post leather helmet. They are recruiting hard as I type. 

When you were in high school Seth, you just didn't notice.

Eye of the Tiger

November 14th, 2014 at 1:49 PM ^

What's the basis of this argument--keeping in mind you said "max upside" not "likeliest scenario?"

Coaches who "naturally regress" at the end of their careers often do so because certain practices become institutionalized at their programs over time, making them path dependent in significant (and often deleterious) ways, and causing "drift." Lloyd Carr, Mack Brown, etc. This doesn't necessarily extend to a coach moving to a new program late in his career, and who is brought in specifically to take a talented but underperforming/underdeveloped roster and unlock its potential. (And Michigan's roster/recruiting potential may not be ex-Saban LSU's, but it's certainly good enough to win 9-10 games/year in a bad Big 10, as opposed to the not bad SEC--given the right player development.)

So I just don't see how Les Miles isn't a massive upgrade over what we have right now. Is he my ideal candidate? No--that would be Jim Harbaugh. But I think Miles would be a much better candidate that you are giving him credit for being.






Stringer Bell

November 14th, 2014 at 2:06 PM ^

Agreed, also I don't see why Miles would "coast" while coaching his alma mater, which is reportedly a job he's wanted forever.  If he gets the job, not only would he work wonders with the talent on the current roster, but he would load the cupboard for the next coach with all of his recruiting success.  Miles isn't choice #1, but he's a damn good fallback to have in case we don't land JH.


November 14th, 2014 at 8:18 PM ^

Seth I was wondering on the third down conversion numbers how many of NWs first downs came on thier last two drives? At the end of that game we were trying to burn as much clock as possible because as soon as we got the lead they wanted to shorten the game. Did u want to see the O on the field at the end we were as likely to have a turnover for a score as the O was ably to burn the clock. So why not let NW burn the clock.


November 14th, 2014 at 2:33 PM ^







anything else is 2nd best and could happen, but I would like to see OFFERS MADE and ACCEPTED or REJECTED by MICHIGAN MEN.  I doubt they would say no.


You think Harbaugh or Les Miles would say no to MICHIGAN.  THEY GAVE THEIR SWEAT AND BLOOD AT MICHIGAN.  They will NOT say no.




November 14th, 2014 at 2:37 PM ^

Agreed.  We can debate whether his natural regression is the most likely scenario, but there's very little evidence to support that coasting is the "max upside."  Seth certainly didn't make such a case.  It is not mind-blowingly fantastic to imagine that an older coach who finally gains his dream job could be rejuvenated and put in extra effort.


November 14th, 2014 at 1:59 PM ^

I have a theory on why we are seeing more injuries than most other teams:


I think they are engaging in excess stretching, and I would like the NCAA to look into it.


November 14th, 2014 at 2:05 PM ^

In response to:

Northwestern was 10 of 20 on third conversions to Michigan's 1 of 12. How in the heck did we win this game? Oh, yeah, that's right, we were playing Northwestern. 

I suspect that's how fans at Minnesota, Utah, Iowa, Rutgers etc. react when they beat us knowadays. It must take a lot of the shine off the accomplishment of beating us when we are so statistically and optically bad. 


November 14th, 2014 at 2:23 PM ^

Uh, NO and HELL NO to Gary Anderson.  WTF is wrong with you guys?

Leave it to MGOBLOG to try to research LARRY FOOTE's statement.  LMAO!  Team needs to MAN UP and get some toughness.  My flag football team has tougher guys on it!  LMAO!  UM needs BAD ASSES like PEPPERS (and L HALL, WOODSON etc). to come in.  Recruit BAD ASSES.  Not pussies!  LMAO MGOBLOG...


LET ME GO OVER FOR YOU AGAIN IN REALITY:  GO AHEAD AN OFFER THE JOB TO THESE GUYS IN THIS ORDER.  (Side note: I know I could land one of these three if given the job.)  Shlissel call me and I'll do it for free....




4. or some coach from WISCONSIN or COLORADO STATE. Give me an effing break!  This would be the most epic fail hire of ALL TIME!  LOSER





November 14th, 2014 at 2:40 PM ^

Disagree that it will take three years to be competitive again. Michigan has many returning players that will be a year older, The running back position will probably have two new additions and will be stacked. Offensive line will be older and better. Defense has plenty of depth with Morgan returning plus secondary will have Peppers opposite Lewis.  Whoever the new coach is, will just have to solidify the QB position. Open competition between at least three.  Young QB's have been successful in college. No reason why Michigan can't do the same. They should be able to be competitive for the title next year.


November 14th, 2014 at 3:05 PM ^

I'm having a hard time buying in.  Other than this year he has gone 5-7, 9-4, 7-6, 8-5, 7-6 at MSU.  While I hear the "he has less to work with", his team was far ahead of the team Hoke inherited if you look at the bowl game in 2010.


November 14th, 2014 at 4:31 PM ^

that the 5 years previous to Mullen arriving, the records are: 3-8, 3-8, 3-9, 8-5, 4-8. It's not like he had anything to work with. He took a program with no historical success at a wide scale level and turned them into the #1 team in the country.


November 15th, 2014 at 3:37 PM ^

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