Could he keep his job?
You can't twirl a dead cat anymore without hitting someone claiming, "if Brady Hoke wins out he could keep his job." If you ignore the fact that at no point has this team even competed with a competent team, there is still too much against him, right? If somehow the stars align and a UM team that was embarrassed in New Jersey can beat an OSU team that will probably be favored by 20+, Hoke is still gone, right?
I'm terrified that all this smoke about him still having a chance means there's fire. The last thing UM needs is to have Hoke Wayne Fontes his way into another chance. Pleases just tell me that a New AD means a new coach and I can enjoy watching Drake Johnson run roughshod over NW.
-Dylan [Ed: not that Dylan]
It's worse than that, actually: there are a number of people asserting crazy things about what happens if Michigan squeaks into a bowl game.
First, that is not likely. Michigan is a dog to a Northwestern team that just got blitzed by Iowa, and they'll probably be a slight favorite against Maryland before being a two-TD dog against OSU. Going to a bowl at all is a 30% proposition.
Even if Michigan finishes the season "strong" I can't imagine Hoke returning for a thousand reasons we've all seen. The major one is what happens to the season ticket base. It has to take a significant hit if Hoke's back, and with Brandon expanding his expenses even more rapidly than he expanded Michigan's revenue that could see Michigan dip into the red. That's not tenable.
Neither is Hoke. Without a miracle upset against Ohio State this year's resume consists of wins over some of the worst teams Division I has to offer and comprehensive blowouts against any team with a pulse. In year four, with an offense that is more experienced than Ohio State's.
Are we going back to the Duderstadt attitude?
What's up mgoblog,
I have read a lot about " be careful what you wish for" in terms of firing Dave. I think all football fans agree that we need to pay our coaches competitive salaries and Dave was on the same page.
It has been discussed most recently by Sam Webb that Schlissel has little interest in paying a coach top dollar.
Do you think there is some truth to this or do you think this is just speculation.
I am worried Michigan will hire a decent coach and be content with 8-4.
Mike V in CT.
I don't have much to go on in this department and I don't think many people know what's going on inside Schlissel's head. But: I seriously doubt that Schlissel is going to say anything to his athletic director about appropriate salaries as long as the department stays in the black. He's a doctor and a biology professor; he's going to look at numbers and do the thing that makes sense.
Since one of the best ways to keep the department in the black is to hire a real good football coach, I doubt a couple million a year is going to make or break M's ability to get the right guy.
If there's anything resembling a reconfiguring of priorities I would expect it comes in the academic component of the athletic department. That's something I forgot about in the previous mailbag when I was searching for good things Brandon did—under his watch Michigan pulled out of the Rodriguez transition APR disaster and graduated literally every senior FB player under Hoke. I don't think an emphasis on getting plausible students is going to have a ton of impact since Michigan is avoiding borderline guys already.
Michigan might scale back some of the more extravagant building projects for non-revenue sports, but I'm of the opinion that's a good thing. Palaces make some sense for the revenue sports because they, you know, generate revenue. (And those are all done anyway.) Adding permanent maintenance and debt service costs to the U's bottom line puts more stress on the fans to provide money and reduces Michigan's ability to get quality coaches in all sports.
[After THE JUMP: student attendance against Indiana, turnaround timeframe, WHYYYYY]
I would like to know your take on the student attendance at the Indiana game. Was the lack of attendance following Brandon's resignation indicative of ongoing anger with the program? Or do you think it had to do with post-Halloween lethargy?
Second, do you think our win was in part due to a burst of energy follow a positive change in our athletic program or merely because Indiana is just a bad football team?
Brandon's exit didn't change many of the fundamental facts presented the students on Saturday: they were hungover, it was surprisingly cold, Michigan is not a good football team, and the game they were watching was not a good football game. Also only 12,000 of them have tickets this year.
Hell, I was seriously thinking about leaving in the fourth quarter. The entertainment value here is not real high, and even the normal reason to hang around and watch a game like Indiana—it might give you some information about how Michigan will be the rest of the year and possibly next year—is a really weak one at the moment.
Michigan won because Indiana is really really bad, especially without a QB.
How quick can this turn around?
I keep hearing you suggest that whomever the coach is, we should expect a four year rebuild. I can't help but feel this is a classic situation of the new coach winning with the old coach's players. The roster is full of scholarship players. There is a huge number of four and five star players entering upper class men range. I especially expect a huge bump from the offensive and defensive lineman entering that range. Are these players damaged from the disorganization that has plagued the team? Were there really that many swing and misses?
I don't think I've said this is a major reclamation project. Rodriguez had one. Hoke had one. The next guy is walking into 9 or 10 returning starters on offense and a defense that returns seven starters plus Morgan and Peppers. Unlike both of the previous transitions, the new coach will have double-digit offensive linemen.
I do think it's likely that Michigan had some swings and misses amongst its touted offensive line class; otherwise they would not be starting a true freshman at LT. Still, a new good mean coach can get production out of these gentlemen quickly. A look at the roster suggests the year two breakout that successful coaches tend to have is very plausible.
As long as he finds a QB, that is.
I know for some its a forgone conclusion that Hoke will not be
back after this season. I have no problem with this as he has simply
failed to develop players, and most of all, regressed every year.
That being said, I have one question. Why?
What do you see our successful opponents doing when you watch on film, that we are not doing. Specifically, is there a fundamental flaw that you see
when watching hours of video that our team possesses that could only come from our coaches? I'm not talking about Gardner and his footwork, or the O-line/running backs failing to pick up yet another A-gap blitz. We know they fail at these things, we know that the running backs don't hit the holes. But why?
I don't know if I am even asking my question correctly. What is it at the molecular level that has prevented this team from learning from their mistakes? Is the system too complicated? Too simple? Too archaic? If Chris
Spielman can predict a run or pass play based on some obvious mannerisms by the MSU RB, why couldn't Hoke pick up on this from the hours of video he watched? I know you don't have access to the team practices (unfortunately), and I know you are not a football coach, but is there something specific you see that makes you think our players are being taught incorrect things?
I wish I had an easy answer. For Rodriguez there was an easy answer: he hired two guys who didn't know a 3-3-5 from a hole in the ground to run his defense and his assistants hated the idea of running anything else. (Here's a what-if-the-Nazis-won-WWII counterfactual: what if Rodriguez installed Tony Gibson as his DC on day 1.) That paired with Mallett's departure and the dearth of talent left from the Carr regime put him behind the eight ball and he could not recover.
Hoke is a more complicated nut to crack. I do think it says something about something that the coaching staff came in swearing up and down that they were going to run power down the opponents' throat and have gone to an inside zone oriented system in year four. In year one, they ended up running the inverted veer wrong but got bailed out by Denard being Denard and OSU being down to a seriously injured freshman edition of Ryan Shazier.
At no point have they settled on a thing to be, and the things they wanted to be only grudgingly took advantage of the fact that they had some super fast QBs.
Yes, they're too archaic. Jeff Hecklinski told Sam Webb that "speed can be taught"; a glance at this year's WR corps suggest that's not actually true. They've assembled an offense with very little speed and insisted on running a bunch of tight ends onto the field when for most of the Hoke regime they've been more likely to blow a block than make one. They've heavily preferred their biggest backs despite serious performance issues; they have a vision of their program that is hard to make work unless you're Alabama. (Yeah, Stanford. Stanford and…?)
That's one issue, but the bigger one is that it seems like everyone is sloppy. Hoke's making bonkers decisions on a weekly basis. WRs run bad routes, OL blow by their assignments, RBs miss holes, safeties take terrible angles. The most likely explanation to me is that Michigan is poorly structured from the top down, with a lack of—I'm sorry to use this #hottake—accountability with various assistants.
The mission statement.
The AD's customers are the student-athletes. The mission statement is 300 + words long and does not mention students, alumni, fans, community or state. Dave Brandon was just doing his job.
Obviously this is dumb. More importantly, it seems to not be how Schlissel conceives of the Athletic Department's role. Do you know how people change a mission statement here? Do people within the AD take the mission statement seriously?
Mission statements are never taken seriously by anyone except the committee crafting them, and as soon as they're done torturing the English language past its breaking point they forget about it too. That does provide a great deal of insight into the department's attitude.
Here's what the mission statement should be:
"The University of Michigan athletic department strives to graduate its athletes, win games, and provide a kick-ass fan experience at a fair price."
RAP LYRICS INDICATING SUITABILITY OF PURPOSE [MichiganTechHuskies.com]
Mel Pearson tha god?
@mgoblog For your mailbag: M Hockey has basically sucked since Mel Pearson left. Is there a direct correlation?
— A2 Torch & Pitchfork (@A2Torch) November 2, 2014
I think so.
I mean, I kind of thought so when Pearson went to Tech and they immediately went from punching bag to pretty decent. The year before Pearson arrived in Houghton the Huskies were 4-30-4(!), and the previous two years had seen the Huskies win 5 and 6 games. Pearson helicopters in; they immediately go 16-19-4, their best season since 2005-06, and they've hovered slightly under .500 since. Before Pearson, MTU's had two seasons of 10+ wins since 1999-00.
This year they're going full Mullen. They're 6-0, having swept LSSU and Ferris on the road before blowing Michigan's doors off in a series that was 10-3 total goals. Meanwhile, Michigan has fallen off the map and is facing down what may be their third straight year without a tourney bid of any variety.
By the end of this year or next—Berenson is scheduled to retire after 2014-15 but has made noises about getting out early if he thinks he's not getting it done—Pearson is going to look like a strong candidate for any college hockey job, let alone the one he helped drive to great success. Age is the only drawback—he's 55 currently.
Pearson's biggest obstacle to the Michigan job is in Massachusetts, where UMass-Lowell coach Norm Bazin has done even more incredible work. The year before his arrival UML went 5-25-4. They hadn't been to the tournament since 1996. In Bazin's three years UML has been to the tourney every year,—doubling the number of bids in the history of the program—won their first-ever Hockey East title, and gone to their first-ever Frozen Four. He's in his fourth year there and he's already won HE coach of the year twice and national coach of the year once. Possible difficulty: Bazin's a UML alum.
Even if Bazin doesn't work out, if the worst you can do is Mel Pearson you're gonna have a good coaching search.