By This Grainy Screenshot We Will Curse Thy Name

Submitted by Brian on September 22nd, 2014 at 11:51 AM

9/20/2014 – Michigan 10, Utah 26 – 2-2

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[GIF via Ace]

We have a grainy screenshot that symbolizes the demise of the Carr era. It's a zone stretch against Ohio State on which every Buckeye has slashed through the Michigan line.

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Michigan would trundle to fewer than 100 yards of total offense. Chad Henne's shoulder was separated and he was still the best available option because the only other was a freshman version of Ryan Mallett who fumbled 20% of the under-center snaps he took and got in screaming matches on the sideline. That's because the quarterbacks recruited after Chad Henne were Jason Forcier and David Cone.

By the time that Ohio State game rolled around Michigan had desperately talked Alex Mitchell out of retirement so they could start him. In that context that shot is barely surprising. And then Carr went out and beat Tim Tebow, because nobody got off the mat like Lloyd Carr.

We have just received the grainy screenshot that will symbolize the demise of the Hoke era.

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As you've no doubt screamed into a pillow about already, there are ten men on the field as Utah returns a punt for a touchdown. I'm not sure that even matters since two of them are within 30 yards of the guy when he catches the ball.

This site has been complaining about the punting since Hoke's hire, and it has cost Michigan dearly in two losses—Ace Sanders also returned a punt for a touchdown in South Carolina's last-gasp Outback win—and seen Michigan dawdle at the bottom of punt return yards ceded the last two years.

Worse than the yards given up has been Brady Hoke's approach when challenged about it. Never has he given a justification that's even remotely plausible. Once he said he wasn't comfortable with it. At the time I said this was a crappy answer, and it remains a crappy answer:

MGoFollowup: What’s your opinion of the spread punt formation vs. the traditional punt formation?

“Uh, we don’t use it.”

MGoFollowup: Is there a rationale for that?

“I think, you know … I’m more comfortable with what we use. That’s the rationale.”

When pressed a couple weeks ago he said "I don't want to talk about it."

As we get more data about Brady Hoke's tenure that seems less like an isolated crappy answer than the whole damn thing. Anybody with a spreadsheet and an ability to tell up from down could have put compelling evidence of the spread punt's efficacy in front of Hoke's face. Maybe they did.

It wouldn't have mattered. Brady Hoke isn't defending it, so you can't argue back. "We don't do it because we don't do it" is an unassailable position. It is not a rationale.

So it goes. Michigan has settled into a pattern of doing nonsense things, from everything on offense last year to the punting to their continuing, shocking inability to go faster than a waddle. That stat from last week about how Michigan was faster than only Army amongst D-I teams is astounding. Michigan had spent an entire half down three scores, and their tempo was still nationally worst. These things all come from the head coach.

When Michigan goes down by ten, it's over. Lloyd Carr isn't walking through that door. You want to talk leadership and toughness? Leadership turns a mob into an army. And Michigan is no army.

-------------------------------------

The worst thing is I don't really feel that bad. My main problem at the moment is the fact that I have to write this column, and then somehow eight more, and analyze a team that is unlikely to go anywhere and talk about a coach who is 95% dead man walking. I bet you can't wait for "Yup, Almost Certainly Still Fired: Episode VI". Here is the otter.

henri-the-otter-of-ennu

HENRI THE OTTER OF ENNUI: this does not break the record for earliest appearance

I fired off some hot takes in the stands, as did large numbers of the people around me, but once I was out of the stadium it was like "okay, now I can go do something else."

I even watched football after! A Michigan loss is supposed to be a weekend-ruining event that makes the idea of watching more football an impossibility. Now it's not a big deal, possibly because I don't recognize whatever Michigan is doing as football. I cannot be reminded of Michigan when turning on Clemson-FSU because Clemson and FSU aren't playing sludgefart.

I know this isn't an aging and maturing thing because 1) obviously and 2) I almost died just a few months ago when Kentucky hit that three-pointer. There's just nothing there to care about. So you show up, and you shrug, and you get annoyed, and then you go home. Sometimes you get wet. Meh.

It was appropriate that Hoke's downfall came amidst a biblical deluge. The Hoke era started with one against Western Michigan. The game was over when the lightning came, but I stayed. A bunch of students did, too, roaring and chanting. When the game was over the stadium was still half-full.

There was no thought of that Saturday. Everyone except the players' parents, Utah fans, and the clinically insane cleared out as soon as the stoppage was announced. Maybe half of them had already exited before the lightning hit.

When Michigan returned to play in front of the obligated and deranged, it looked like the future had finally been created.

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[Bryan Fuller]

Take the cosmic hint.

When Can We Fire This Guy Section

There is still a small (very small) chance that Michigan pulls its collective head from its collective rear and gets to 9-3, at which point a transition is probably not happening. Anything short of that and it's goodbye. Hoke is at the point where you extend or fire him and you can't extend a guy who went 8-4 in the worst Big Ten ever, presumably went 0-3 against major rivals, had at least two humiliating blowouts starring coaching incompetence.

But please don't bring up a midseason canning. Those are reserved for severe breakdowns of authority. Most importantly, firing Hoke now erases any chance there's a new athletic director by the time Michigan embarks on a coaching search.

Awards

10566201464_87532d4f9c_zJohn Beilein Being Good At Coaching Points Of The Week.

#1 Jourdan Lewis had an outstanding game, chasing things down that other people screwed up and hunting Utah wide receivers like they were weakened alpacas.

#2 Willie Henry scored Michigan's only touchdown and was part of a forceful Michigan defensive line.

#3 Devin Funchess powered through an obvious injury to bring in a number of spectacular catches and would have had an even more impactful game if Gardner was not having one of the worst games of his career.

Honorable mention: Ryan Glasgow, Frank Clark, Brennen Beyer.

Epic Double Point Standings.

7: Devin Funchess (#1, APP, #1 ND, #3 UT)
5: Jourdan Lewis (#2 MIA, #1 UT)
4: Willie Henry(#2 ND, #2 UT)
3: Derrick Green(#1 MIA)
2: Devin Gardner (#2, APP)
1: Ryan Glasgow (#3, ND), Brennen Beyer(#3 MIA)
0.5: Kyle Kalis (T3, APP), Ben Braden (T3, APP)

Trey Burke Against Kansas Of The Week.

For the single individual best moment.

FAT GUY TOUCHDOWN

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mr henry this is an internet meme it's not my fault please don't destroy me [Fuller]

For all the good it did. ESPN briefly gave Michigan 12 points they were so astounded, which should be the FAT GUY TD rule.

Honorable mention: Nope!

Epic Double Fist-Pumps Past.

AppSt: Derrick Green rumbles for 60 yards.
ND: Nothing.
MIA: Derrick Green scores a goal line touchdown without being so much as touched.
Utah: Willie Henry FAT GUY TOUCHDOWN.

imageMARCUS HALL EPIC DOUBLE BIRD OF THE WEEK.

Worst. Event. Ever. This Week.

Miami takes back a punt 66 yards after Michigan obliges with a line drive punt and two gunners. Oh, and they only put ten guys on the field.

Honorable mention: Interceptions. Fumbles. Hellacious rain. Everything.

PREVIOUS EPBs

AppSt: Devin Gardner dares to throw an incomplete pass.
ND: Countess nowhere to be found on fourth and three.
Miami: You did what to Funchess now when?
Utah: lol ask Brady about punt formations again

[After the JUMP: woo! naw just kiddin'.]

Offense

Thing you'll remember not very fondly about the Hoke Era #1: Quarterback handling. Denard Robinson regressed. Devin Gardner appears to be regressing. Their random guess at a quarterback their first year turned out to be a bad idea, and then they skipped a quarterback the next year. Shane Morris is still just a sophomore but early returns are alarming, and he's not a redshirt freshman because of the baffling decision to not take a QB the year before him.

The most important position on the field was fobbed off to a guy with a negative track record, who proceeded to do what his track record always said he would.

Thing you'll remember not very fondly about the Hoke Era #2: "trying" to come back into a game by huddling with ten minutes left. Michigan literally huddled with ten minutes left down 16 points, twice in a row. On plays where they did not huddle, Morris was still snapping the ball with 8 or 10 seconds on the playclock. Tempo has always been a disaster under Hoke, and always will be. This goes well beyond run of the mill dinosaur ball into Ferentz-level clock atrocity.

But they can sneak it now. Wave your tiny flags.

Thing you'll remember not very fondly about the Hoke Era #3: the f-ing punting. But I already addressed that and this is the offense section.

Thing you'll remember not very fondly about the Hoke Era #4: allergy to sense. Michigan kept checking whether Denard Robinson was a pro-style quarterback, found out the answer was still GOD NO WHY EVEN ASK THIS, and then resumed grudgingly deploying him on the ground for ludicrous efficiency. Presented with even the vaguest semblance of a pro-style guy they have just about completely excised the idea of a quarterback run. When they have Devin Gardner.

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juuuuuust a bit outside [Fuller]

No defense this time. Gardner was terrible. This throw to Funchess got criticized because he was "triple covered" but the play was there to be made; Funchess caught a ball way behind him only to see a defensive back a couple yards out of position rake it out. That was typical. Gardner missed, and kept missing, and continued to miss.

Sometimes he made bad decisions, like on the interception that sealed his benching. Mostly was just missing his guys. I know that some folks on twitter and Spielman took shots at Funchess on the slant interception that he tried to grab with one hand, but even if you think his effort there was substandard the fact remains that a slant was well outside of the comfortable catching radius of the biggest wide receiver in the country. A slant. That is a simple throw to put on the guy's numbers and it was botched.

Ace and Nick Baumgardner have both suggested that he was so short and wobbly with his throws that they wouldn't be surprised if Gardner was hurt in some way. I'll have to take a look myself. In the absence of evidence that will not be forthcoming the obvious conclusion is that Gardner just sucked. I don't know man. You expect people to progress, and they certainly do on the defensive line. Other places not so much. The Peter Principle is real.

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[Fuller]

Not the answer. Shane Morris came in and looked like a true sophomore who missed his senior year of high school and spent his freshman year getting anti-coaching. He is not the answer right now; he's going to have to be next year but one of the reasons we have been downplaying the idea that Morris would replace Gardner is that he is even more turnover-prone. He's your only backup QB who's even vaguely viable this year. Good planning.

Offensive line: a step back. This game felt a lot different than the Notre Dame game, where holes were there to be had. In this one it seemed like there was a winged helmet chasing a Ute back to the backs or QB, and that when Michigan was getting pounded at the line it was because there wasn't anything there.

Defense

WELP. They had one bad drive to start the second half and were otherwise somewhere between great and very good, again holding an opponent under 300 yards only to end up on the wrong side of a blowout.

You could argue that the defensive performance in the Notre Dame game was deceptive because the game got out of hand by halftime; that is not an argument you can apply here. The defense gave up a net 12 points, and three of those came on a 14-yard drive. That is an outstanding performance.

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[Fuller]

Hello Mr. Lewis. Jourdan Lewis had a breakout game, tracking down the Utah screen that was the large bulk of their first-half production and single-handedly saving four points. He was over the top of all attempted fade routes even though he was going up against a couple of good wideouts, and he had a couple of pass breakups. It was a statement outing. He should be a starter until that proves to be a mirage, if in fact it ever does.

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Glasgow jammin' things up real good [Fuller]

Ryan Glasgow's probably just good. Utah returned their lead back, QB, and three OL from a high-quality rushing offense that averaged 5 yards an attempt last year; Michigan held them to 3.3 even after you remove sacks. This is a team effort of course but it all starts with the nose tackle and there is a reason Glasgow is fending off all challengers.

Safety issues. Michigan's sole touchdown ceded came on a mesh route on which no one was particularly close to Utah's best receiver. That felt like a safety issue with the corners bailing deep, and Michigan was down to Jeremy Clark and Dymonte Thomas at that point—the only scholarship safeties on the roster. Thomas has supposedly been erratic in practice and I wonder if forcing him into action was the cause of some of those problems.

But yes also factor that in to the defensive performance: Michigan is down their best safety while giving up 12 net points.

Ross reclaims his job. Have to wonder what the coaching staff saw in Royce Jenkins-Stone that caused them to make a switch at the SAM spot; RJS blew a couple plays against Miami in his first extended playing time and Ross made a couple against Utah.

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[Fuller]

They were a little fortunate. Michigan got RPSed hard on the above wheel route that featured Mario Ojemudia making a valiant but futile attempt to cover a 30-yard wheel route. The ball would zip through the receivers' hands. That'll happen.

SIDE NOTE: check the attendance in the upper section above. There's another three sections to the left of your picture that were similarly empty.

Here

Best And Worst:

Worst-est:  This is Michigan Football

For Dave Brandon and Brady Hoke, this is the perfect embodiment of football.  No, not the losses, but that's secondary.  To both of them, this brand of Michigan football is a perverse homage to a bygone era in football when men were men and you won because of grit and heart and having institutional advantages over smaller programs due to years of recruiting tactics, demographics, and inertia.  It's stupid punting formations, always huddling without any sense of urgency, the 100k attendance record, and wringing every last possible dollar out of a fanbase that for decades was all too happy to do so if you stroked its ego and won 8 or more games a year.  The Michigan that we all see on the field isn't what most of us want, but it's what the hive mind in Schembechler Hall thinks is good for business in Ann Arbor, and so nobody with the power to change it wants to right the boat.  And that's a f'ing tragedy, because the lights are going out and Jack ain't coming to put UM on a door until the rescue party arrives.

Michigan isn't what it was, and "what it was" was never how a certain subset of the fanbase, including apparently this administration, remembers it.  I know it is blasphemy to question the "fabled" history of UM football, but since the 1940s Michigan has been the definition of a high-level "plugger", the type of team that won games by showing up and beating the teams they should and losing to the teams they should by following a simple script.  And yet as the game kept changing, Michigan remained its anachronistic self, buffered somewhat by this conference's stupidity-sealed bubble that talks about competing nationally while the University of Kentucky out-recruits everyone not named Michigan, OSU, or Nebraska and hiring every mediocre MAC coach with a pulse while the rest of college football laughs and points.

Inside The Box Score relates things a nine year old said during the game:

"That doesn't help at all."
* Referring to Nussmeier's decision to run the ball on 2nd and 22. The play gained zero yards. BRING BACK BORGES! (/ducks for cover.)

"Another huddle? Really?"
* Seriously, my son actually said that. I don't think he reads MGoBlog, and I hadn't said anything about tempo or huddling. So if a 9-year old can watch Utah succeeding with pace, watch Michigan plodding along, and gets exasperated at the huddling, why can't Brady figure this out?

jhackney has a column as well:

Tonight, The Utes brought a thorough spiritual cleansing to Ann Arbor in unusual style.

Instead of arid air or peep stones, They brought a torrential downpour that cleaned out the already depopulated Big House and a long moment of clarity for Michigan, its coaches, and fans. Shortly after Hoke and Mattison got done arguing over who executed getting off the field least, the team was in the locker room for over an hour to sit there and realized that they were down 16 points to a vastly mediocre team.

Elsewhere

Need a pick-me-up?

HSR on the Mandate of Heaven:


I think it's very hard to see positives in a loss when you're soaking wet.  It's even harder when you misplace your keys for 45 minutes in the Liberty Square parking structure*.  But, at some point, when in the cold and the wet, you realize that the team you love is in a treadmill of despair and ineptitude, and what's worse, you don't see a way out.

The graphic above is a simplified version of the dynastic cycle as understood in ancient China.  When you teach World History, you become very familiar with imperial decline.  Football empires are not that different.  You change a few words in that graphic, and well, it's very clear that it can apply to college football programs as well.

Nussmeter didn't go so well. MVictors with a timely Bump Elliott interview. Sap's Decals:

Devin Funchess – There is an old Canadian Hockey saying about getting or giving a “Hotel Dieu Pass” to or from one of your teammates. That means your inaccurate pass caused one of your teammates to get laid out and lit up, to the point where they have to be taken off on a stretcher and taken to the local hospital. (Hotel Dieu is a common Canadian Hospital name.)

image

What that pass did, aside from Funchess taking a wicked shot, was jack up Utah even more. When you get a freebie to lay out one of the stars from the other team, you have just incited the feeding-frenzy to begin. So while it was just one incomplete pass, it was MUCH more than that. It was Utah’s cue to come after Michigan for more. I commend Funchess for staying in the game and making two huge catches after that hit. Devin Gardner, you owe Funchess a dinner, and an apology.

Compare and contrast Nebraska enthusiasm to Michigan.

Kickoff at Michigan:

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Those are not students above the concourse, those are the ex-student tickets that Brandon is trying to sell for any price.

MGoVideo:

The saddest thing on Saturday wasn’t anything that happened on the field. It was the Michigan sideline. I didn’t mind Hoke and Mattison going at it. I was glad to see them both fired up. But the players on the sideline all looked like they just wanted to go home. They looked like they’d quit. Then the rain came and 100,000-ish quit. In the end, some say the band played their full postgame show in an empty stadium, but nobody knows for sure.

It wasn’t that long ago that the chance of getting struck by lightning while watching Michigan football seemed, well, fair enough. Lately, it isn’t worth the risk.

Touch The Banner:

Are injuries a problem? I feel like injuries are a problem. I know every team goes through injuries, but it seems that Michigan's star player(s) get hurt every year. Devin Funchess got hurt in the second game and was still limping around in this one with an ankle injury that may linger for a while. Starting tight end Jake Butt is playing less than the ideal number of snaps because of his ACL recovery. Jabrill Peppers got hurt in week one, missed the Notre Dame game, and seemed to disappear for a stretch this game. Starting cornerback Raymon Taylor got hurt against the Fighting Irish and has yet to return. Both guys who were presumed to start at safety - Jarrod Wilson and Delano Hill - have missed extended time due to injuries. "Starting" linebacker Desmond Morgan has missed the last couple games, too. I would not say that the Wolverines have been devastated by injuries, but they aren't at full speed, either.

Mattison and Hoke had it out late in the first half. The issue:

There stood Brady Hoke, his arms folded and nearly 10 yards away from defensive coordinator Greg Mattison. They both looked away as if they were high school students who wanted nothing to do with each other.

The Michigan head coach had pulled Mattison back before he yelled, “get off the f-----g field” and the pair argued with each other.

He called it a “discussion,” but that’s probably not what having dinner looks like.

Cumong man:

Numbers: Michigan now 4-8 in last 12 games, outscored by 50 points in first half of 8 losses

Little things.

Comments

Bob The Wonder Dog

September 22nd, 2014 at 12:35 PM ^

But I do appreciate both, particularly the UFR's. It's good to know who is doing well and who isn't.

I'm a relative newcomer to Michigan football; started following in 2010, and so am probably not as traumatized/disconnected as some, as I haven't really experienced the "good" times. I do love football, though, and I love that this blog takes such a analytical approach to its coverage. For better or worse, I am bonded to these players, and want to have as good an understanding as possible as to how they are doing.

NYWolverine

September 22nd, 2014 at 2:31 PM ^

That's got to be the worst part of this for the bloggers; that this AD has single-handedly so repulsed the Michigan fan-base - which Brian astutely observed only required consistent winning seasons, ego-stroking, and 1-3 rivals beaten a year to come out 115,000 at a time on Saturday - that even the super-fans are hanging it up. 

I think a major difference between the Chinese dynastic empire cycle and that of college football, is the decision making doesn't come from the mob itself, but from those who control the purse. The purse-bearers may feel pressure, but they don't look to right the ship immediately. Instead, they think of ways to keep dollars coming in spite of their atrociously off-course ship. They certainly don't appear to pay attention to the ship crumbling to shit. And as they proceed to sail a piece of shit year after year, instead of at least making it sea-worthy, they gild the shit. 

Saturday's rainstorm washed away the paint. It made it so wet, in fact, the old turd entirely disintegrated.

Michigan football - due primarily to Dave Brandon's indulgence in gilding Michigan in "Tradition" and "Michigan Men" and "Legends", etc. - essentially to wring dollars from shit - may most ironically find itself having to re-brand itself after this season for those exact reasons. It feels to me like Penn State a litte bit after "Paternoville" was shattered.  

I'm not saying Michigan is identical to Penn State, at all. But when you reach a crossroads, no matter how you come to it, your choices are similar. Michigan's choice is to continue waving the Bo banner in spite of itself - which includes Bo's former player Dave Brandon managing the fleet and his coaching choice Brady Hoke at the helm of the flagship - or rebuild. 

I don't know what Schlessel and the Regents will do. They could realistically review Dave Brandon on his P/Ls, and rubberstamp the administration's approval of it's AD's numbers. Or Schlessel might investigate the mob's dissatisfaction with the AD's "Domino's Pizza" approach to branding the "M". If the latter uncovers a lightning rod, then Schlessel may very well decide to can Brandon, which I would suspect seals Brady's fate.

In that case, my sense is the Administration takes a lengthy look at itself in the mirror - which it will have to do while its flagship is sinking - and make some gutcheck decisions. I am anxious of the consequences of making such decisions in the midst of discontent.

If I'm a Regent or the University President today, I'd be walking around campus with members of Michigan's past transition teams. I'd be asking, in spite of the coach of your team, what was this university's athletic department about? Spend some time at the historical museum, and get a bead on how past successful ADs and coaches innovated and shepharded the program, while queing the school for athletic success on the biggest stages. Research how the best programs were able to continuously indoctrinate school spirit into the students, not disenfranchise the fans, and be successful. Research how comparable programs do it. Offer a degree of innovative, but structured, autonomy to the new AD. Set ground rules to support the tradition of Michigan athletics without ambiguity, but don't center those rules on just one era.

Embrace the students first and foremost. 

oriental andrew

September 22nd, 2014 at 3:41 PM ^

Michigan has one of, if not THE greatest blogger communities out there amongst college footballdom. In recent years, we've seen the UM blogging community wane and now it must just feel like an exercise in futility. I truly do appreciate the likes of MGoBlog, Maize n Brew, Hoover Street Rag, Touch the Banner, The Big House Report, MVictors, Maize and Blue Nation, Maize and Go Blue, and even you, Hokeamaniac (most of which I have on my feed reader). 

PhilipVU94

September 22nd, 2014 at 2:36 PM ^

I suspect many of us would actually prefer to see a UFR of games coached by some of the top coaches who viably might take the Michigan job. (And not just dream candidates like Harbaugh; midmajor stars, too).

I mean, yeah, it's unseemly for the media to assume the incumbent's out the door after four games but we all know that's where this is headed. In some ways tracking would have as much relevance to the future of this program.

samsoccer7

September 22nd, 2014 at 12:05 PM ^

Brian hit the nail on the head with "A Michigan loss is supposed to be a weekend-ruining event that makes the idea of watching more football an impossibility. Now it's not a big deal, possibly because I don't recognize whatever Michigan is doing as football."

That's exactly how I, and other diehards I know, feel about Michigan right now.  Prior to, say, 2010 I used to get so upset with a loss and binge drink Saturday night (or not go out at all) to make myself feel better.  Then I'd avoid ESPN and other sports things for almost an entire week until the next game came up.  This lasted shortly into the RR era.  But now?  I just don't feel the pain as much.  It's actually the saddest part for me about this whole thing.  I don't get as excited and I don't get as disappointed.  I wish I had those old feelings back, where a loss was rare and we had to move on and improve.  This doesn't feel the same and I just wish it did.  Nothing short of Harbaugh or Miles (not happening on either front) is gonna bring that back for me and I hate to say it.

ChuckieWoodson

September 22nd, 2014 at 12:15 PM ^

Exactly.  I was sitting on my couch with the wife about an hour after the game and said essentially the exact same as what you just laid out.  Numbess/indifference/self-preservation mechanism, whatever. 

Interestingly enough, I find Hoke's inability/pure ineptitude about the punt scheme much similar to RR's beloved 3-3-5.  Personally, the Utah game was my "RR PSU game in 2010".  The final straw.  I really, really wanted Hoke to succeed.  If it wasn't blatently obvious he's not the guy for the job before, it is now. 

Chunks the Hobo

September 22nd, 2014 at 12:44 PM ^

Same for me. I was at the game and stayed until they told everyone to clear out. I never once yelled or got upset, just made grim jokes to my friend and then we went home to dry off, eat some brats, drink beer, and watch teams on TV playing football and not sludgefart.

CompleteLunacy

September 22nd, 2014 at 1:18 PM ^

PSu 2010 was the first time I really felt like RR just wasn't going to succeed at Michigan.

Utah on Saturday was the same. A loss I could accept...but a 16-point home loss to a 5-7 team last year, and when your defense played valiantly too? Nope nope nope. Not in year 4.

I remember post-PSU game thinking RR would have to do something remarkable to regain confidence...like beating OSU. I feel the same way with Hoke...he needs to get his team to beat MSU or OSU and finish with just 1 loss in conference. And definitely no more blowouts. I just don't see it happening though. 

flashOverride

September 22nd, 2014 at 1:05 PM ^

I had a party bus to ride Saturday night. Pre-2008 that loss would have taken the wind out of my sails to such a degree I'd have been dreading the bus. Couldn't wait to get on Saturday night. Was not letting the bullshit performance I've become so accustomed to even ruin dinner, much less the rest of the night. And it was a damn good one!

I Like Burgers

September 22nd, 2014 at 1:16 PM ^

I had the opportunity to go to our city fair on Saturday.  On any other Saturday in years past, I never would have done this.  Michigan games were something you built your weekend around.  But things are bad enough that I paused the game on Tivo after the punt return TD and left to go to the fair.  The game was still very much up in the air at that point.  I figured best case scenario, I come back and watch the win on Tivo, but if they lost, no biggie.

Didn't even realize what a departure from years past that was until now.  And this Saturday won't be any different.

Magnum P.I.

September 22nd, 2014 at 3:23 PM ^

I had an engagement that my wife had planned at 6:30, so I had to stop watching the game right after Utah went up 20-10. In years past, I would've been a mess pulling myself away early, rudely checking my phone every two minutes and trying to sneak away for a TV. I just didn't care this time (or since UConn last year, really). Checked in at 7:30 to see that we'd lost, and just shrugged and went back to conversation.

Used to feel like Christmas every fall Saturday . . . 

BornInA2

September 22nd, 2014 at 3:33 PM ^

That started to die the day after RR was hired and he fired the entire staff, except Fred Jackson, for seemingly no apparent reason.

It fell into a coma and was taken off life support the year we went 3-9.

Do I want us to win? Yes. Is it a weekend-altering event and cause for my wife to find all manner of errands to run Saturday evening and all day Sunday if we lose? No, not any more.

And honestly, that's a good thing. It's college football: A game played by a bunch of teenagers. It's not healthy for it to be that life-altering for me.

Alton

September 22nd, 2014 at 4:43 PM ^

What, was Mr. Rodriguez going to coach with Mr. Carr's staff?

I have news for you:  when Michigan hires its next coach, unless it is somebody currently on the staff, that person will fire the entire staff with maybe one exception.  Just like Mr. Rodriguez did, just like Mr. Hoke did.  That's the way this business works.

Alton

September 22nd, 2014 at 6:57 PM ^

But that's not how it works anywhere, ever.  Show me one school that hired an active head coach from outside their coaching tree after a retirement where the new coach kept the previous coach's staff.  Just one.

No serious coaching candidate would consider a job opening for even one second if they were told they didn't have the ability to bring along their current staff.

 

Gulogulo37

September 22nd, 2014 at 9:40 PM ^

Exactly. Rich Rod's problem was not letting go of the previous staff, if anything he should have let Jackson go too, and if he had kept English as the DC, everyone would have groaned. The problem was what he did moving forward.

As others have mentioned, it really is amazing how much Hoke's tenure parallels Rich Rod in terms of how Hoke has mishandled the offense much like Rodriguez mishandled the defense.

M-Dog

September 22nd, 2014 at 4:19 PM ^

I am usually very grumpy after a Michigan loss, a fact that does not go over very well with my wife.  

On Sunday morning she asked "are you over the Wolverines' loss yet?"  Instead of my usual "Just give me my space, it will wear off over time", I blurted out "Of course, that's their problem.  I have my own problems."

I surprised even myself at my detachment.  I usually take a Michigan loss personally.  But I had no attachment at all.  It was like watching Iowa or Illinois lose a game.  I was just an observer of somebody else's debacle.  Then I went on to other things.

  

winterblue75

September 22nd, 2014 at 12:12 PM ^

That picture of vast rows of emptiness above the student sections makes me hate so many people for this downfall. I hate Lloyd Carr for taking off the last few years of his coaching career. I hate Bill Martin for not being prepared when Lloyd retired and for screwing up the initial coach search. I hate RR for not having a defense and being stubborn. I hate Brandon for the process, screwing up another coach search, and for noodles, and for sky writing, and for his general apathy towards fans that aren't green and have $100 printed across their foreheads. I hate Hoke for not having an offense and being stubborn. This fucking sucks.

ijohnb

September 22nd, 2014 at 12:52 PM ^

on something in this spectacular rant that I just realized on Saturday.  I mean I realized it one piece at a time but not in its totality until now.  I don't like Michigan football.  Not that I don't like watching them lose, just that I don't like the product as a whole.  I hate Rawk music, I don't think football games should have air shows, I don't care for Beyonce and really don't want her opinion on the big screen, sky writing over East Lansing is pathetic, legends jerseys(and other not legends jerseys but numbers of historical signficance and what is the difference and you see what I mean) being given to players for acheiving things BEFORE they acheive them is ridculous and straps players with expectations they can't meet and also erodes the memory of the legendary player, our alternate uniforms are horrible, our night games have names and different "editions." 

This program bears no resemblence to the one I once loved.  Watching Michigan lose to Utah did not hurt that bad, I have seen that script plenty of times.  Realizing that I can really never "watch Michigan" again did hurt quite a bit though.

howmuch

September 22nd, 2014 at 1:07 PM ^

I used to live down south and recently moved back to the Detroit area. Talking to some of my friends from Michigan that still live in the south, they couldn't watch the game on TV because ESPN choose to show something else, rightfully so I think in hindsight.  I saw several posts on the message board about people around the country trying to find the game on TV.

It occured to me that people living outside the region, even if they want to still watch these games, can't. Michigan is irrelevant to the rest of the country now. That's got to hurt the athletic department's overall income somehow.

kvnryn

September 22nd, 2014 at 1:27 PM ^

The game was on nation-wide, either on ABC or ESPN2. I live in the south and was able to watch it on TV until the delay. ESPN2 did not air the game after the resumption of play (however it was available on the WatchESPN app), so maybe those are the complaints you were reading/hearing. But your post kind of implies that the whole game wasn't on TV, which isn't true.

rlew

September 22nd, 2014 at 1:57 PM ^

There was a problem with the broadcast in the Atlanta area (and possibly others).  They screwed up the regional coverage such that ABC and ESPN2 were both showing Texas A&M vs. SMU.  This continued until some point in the 3rd quarter when the complaints must have finally bubbled up to the people who fix these sorts of things.  At that point, the UM game became available on ESPN2. 

Kalamazoo Blue

September 22nd, 2014 at 1:26 PM ^

Coach Beilein is always willing to learn and adapt to make his team more successful. Coach Hoke (and RR before him) is stubborn (as noted several posts above) on indefensible issues. And his stubborness will play a big part in why he'll probably lose his job in a few months.

Mpfnfu Ford

September 22nd, 2014 at 4:56 PM ^

Had worked brilliantly at West Virginia, and the problems Arizona have now on defense relate more to being in a superb offensive conference and being the Pac 12 equivalent of Purdue as far as program strength, local available talent, etc. 

He shouldn't have forced Michigan DCs to coach something they didn't understand. He shouldn't have had to make due with replacement level DCs at a place with the available money that Michigan had/has, but yanno, gotta be nice to the Minnesotas of the world and not make the Big 10 coaches salaries too high for everyone to be able to afford a new golden gilded wrestling mat or whatever the hell this conference spends money on instead of football.

snarling wolverine

September 22nd, 2014 at 5:53 PM ^

Even if what you say about Casteel/Arizona is true, insisting on the 3-3-5 when he didn't have Casteel and didn't know how to run it himself was very stubborn/foolhardy of RichRod.

Also, don't forget that he initially had a pretty good DC in Scott Shafer, but he undermined him in only half a season - which may have been part of the reason why there were no takers better than Gerg after that.