The Team

Submitted by Brian on January 13th, 2011 at 1:27 PM

1/11/2011 – Brady Hoke 1, Internet 0 – 0-0

I follow a blog called "Fund My Mutual Fund." The title should be taken literally: the guy running the blog wants you to pledge money so that he can get a mutual fund based on his stock picking method off the ground. He's done amazingly well on a publicly-tracked simulator, has sufficient pledges to break even, and is in the process of getting SEC approval after establishing a years-long track record. He's good.

He struggles when his method (technical analysis) is battered by external events that cause the stock market to veer from a well-established logical way of doing things, which is happening a lot lately thanks to Ben Bernanke. He responds to these events by publicly reminding himself the underlying fundamentals have changed, that logic means one thing when you're talking about five years and another when you're talking about five days and that even if the market goes up for stupid reasons it's going up. Here's one from this morning. He also lacerates the country's financial honchos in sarcasm-laden posts that get a little tiresome the tenth time you read essentially the same thing. He went to Michigan, too. He might be my Tyler Durden, or maybe I'm his.

A couple weeks ago I proclaimed there was a "zero point zero" percent chance that Brady Hoke was named Michigan's head coach because I assumed Hoke's flimsy resume was only acceptable to people who really truly believe that Michigan Men are Michigan Men who make other Michigan Men, who in turn create more Michigan Men until you enter a warehouse and it's like that terrible Will Smith movie with winged helmets.


My underlying assumption was that David Brandon was a cold-hearted corporatist who would tell someone to assemble a powerpoint about head coaching candidates and take the Michigan Man stuff as merely a relevant bullet point. I was wrong. Brandon is king of the Michigan Men, and my predictive performance has lagged the market.


Not much of consequence was said at yesterday's press conference to introduce Brady Hoke—that is the way of things—but at the very end Dave Brandon started pointing and became emphatic and the world rearranged itself:

That's the athletic director version of Kurt Wermers saying "not my kind of crowd." Rich Rodriguez never had a chance after the Ohio State game. Why David Brandon decided to go on with a dog and pony show even he admits was pointless should be a frustrating mystery, but it's not. People had to be placated. This program will eat itself alive if given half a chance.

So maybe Brady Hoke is the best choice. This organ transplant will not be rejected. Given time and an upperclass quarterback or two and a defensive staff that's not utterly clueless, Brady Hoke will quickly prove himself to be the one true Notriguez. He'll quickly improve the program and get Michigan back to being Michigan.

But I think the way this went down proves that all the things rivals say about Michigan are true. This is an unbelievably arrogant program convinced its past glories are greater and more recent than they are, certain outsiders have nothing to teach it. We will enter bowl games against opponents that say "boy, that Michigan just lines up and comes after you," and we probably won't win many of them. We never have, and trying to out-execute Alabama or Oregon seems like a tall order these days.

I hoped we could be block-M Michigan without that, that we could have an exciting, modern offense that pumped out Michigan Men and maybe shredded Oklahoma for 48 points in a BCS game. I hoped we could reboot the program, keeping the things we treasure about it but maybe leaving the dismal bowl record and recent inability to compete with Ohio State behind. For a lot of reasons we can't. We are who we are.

So, no, I'm not super happy. On the field I was done with Lloyd Carr, done with punting from the 34 and running the same damn zone stretch thirty times a game, done with the premise that it's only the players who have to execute on gameday. To me, getting back to being Michigan means going 9-3 and losing to Jim Tressel. I remember thinking "this is the year" every year growing up, expecting great things literally every season until Rodriguez showed up and Mallett transferred. I don't think that now, and I can't imagine feeling like that in the future. Sometimes having an identity feels like having a ceiling.

Non-Bullets Of Explanation

That said and true, this also. On the other hand, the past is not destiny. Jon Chait provides the best possible perspective:

Selecting a coach is a lot like selecting a recruit. The resume is the equivalent of a recruiting ranking. With recruits, a high ranking correlates with success, but a correlation is only probability, not certainty. Sometimes high-ranking recruits flame out, and sometimes sleeper recruits turn into stars.

While I'm down on the hire except insofar as it appears to be the only one that would get institutional support, Hoke could surprise people. He's in a great spot to immediately improve a team that returns damn near everyone and should profit from that momentum. Rich Rodriguez was always pushing uphill; Hoke has a much easier path to positive attention.

I didn't want to say this during the many fire-Rodriguez discussions because it seemed like the most cynical thing imaginable, but cutting Rodriguez loose right now sets the new guy up to look like 2006 Ron English after he replaced Jim Herrmann and inherited Woodley/Branch/Hall/Harris: a freaking genius. We'd find out during The Horror that he was not, but for a year the guy was untouchable. Hoke is going to get all the rope left over from the Rodriguez era and then some.

So, yes, the internet has overreacted.

I will swear now. The inbox is overflowing with pleas of varying levels of politeness to get behind Hoke, stop being so negative, etc. If you phrased it nicely, I appreciate the sentiment and the too-generous belief that I have any influence over the success or failure of Michigan's head coach. I'm not going to change my opinion overnight, however, and this remains a No Sugarcoat zone. No sugarcoat. I can promise that I'll go into the Hoke era looking for reasons he'll work out (you know, on-field reasons, not "Brady Hoke is the best human" stuff), if only because of human nature. His flexibility with Nate Davis and successful deployment of Rocky Long as a 3-3-5 DC gives me hope he's not a stick in the mud, and I'm sure Craig Ross is mailing him the Romer paper as we speak.

If you called me a hypocrite for not liking the hire when I didn't like the three years of shit Rich Rodriguez had to wade through when I haven't said one negative thing about Hoke that does not boil down to "does not have a thrilling resume," please fuck off and die. Especially people complaining about how constantly negative I am when I spent the last three years as the last guy on to die on Rodriguez Hill, as a commenter whose name I can't remember aptly put it. Double especially for people complaining like that a week after calling Rodriguez a "hillbilly" because "only hillbillies leave their alma mater."

What I am negative about is the Carr-era players—like the hillbilly guy above—whose loyalty to the program stops at the water's edge. Aside from one recent Harlan Huckleby outburst, the Bo guys either shut their traps or tried in vain to support the head coach at the University of Michigan. But I've made that point over and over again. (Mike "I support the head coach x1000" Hart is an obvious exception to this and should have been the model for his teammates.) The culture that made the last three years happen is petty and arrogant and utterly fails to live up to the Michigan Man ideal it pretends to espouse, and though I'm about a day from shutting up about it because even I'm tired of it I'm not backing off.

This will be fun. I hope everyone loves Jason Whitlock columns, because we're about to get a boatload of them. As Over The Pylon points out:

In a panicked desperate move, the administration at BSU freaked out and hired an in house coordinator to quiet the fans and hopefully maintain the momentum that was building. Michigan did much the same, only the “in house” became “Michigan experience” and the “maintain momentum” became “rebuild the program”. In BSU’s case, the failsafe went 6-18. Let’s hope for UM’s, Brady’s and everyone associated with the Wolverines’ sanity that the performance isn’t also duplicated, lest they become the target of one particular columnist with a national audience, a significantly close connection to the head coach, and a nicely sized ax that could always use some grinding.

Guh. Win, Brady, or we'll all suffer. Meanwhile, if you'd like a condescending lecture Dan Wetzel has you covered.

Carty on the dude. You can hate on Carty if you want but this is probably more interesting than anything that's been written about him so far:

The thing that separated Brady Hoke from most assistant coaches under Lloyd Carr was the confidence to be the same guy in a media interview as he was when the cameras were off. Michigan assistants never talked much in those days, and when they did, most of them were obviously concerned about saying something that would be met with disapproval by their boss.

Hoke wasn't very polished or made-for-television, something he poked fun at himself. He laughed a lot more than the other assistants did, at least in public. When he did do interviews, he asked more questions than most assistants and seemed genuinely interested in how reporters did their jobs. When a sensitive topic came up, he'd simply chuckle and say, "You know I'm not going to talk about that." He didn't shy away from criticizing players or performances when he had to. I don't ever remember him asking to go off the record or take back something he said, both common practices with assistant coaches at Michigan and elsewhere.

There are a couple more paragraphs to go along with the Ann Arbor News's entire republished archive of Hokemania.

Search fiasco: somehow still growing. I still think Jim Harbaugh was supposed to be Michigan's next head coach before he backed out sometime after it became clear the NFL wanted him badly, thus resulting in the month-long post-OSU limbo and panicked search, but seriously if Dave Brandon means what he says about not offering Miles the job he traded the opportunity to not obliterate Michigan's chances with a few key recruits for some PR. If this was going to be the result Hoke should have been hired two seconds after Rodriguez went out the door—there were no serious overtures made towards anyone else except maybe Pat Fitzgerald.

Elsewhere, Or The Best In Overreaction

Braves & Birds:

My verdict on the Hoke hire depends somewhat on my view of the Lloyd Carr era.  I liked Carr as a coach and as a representative of the University, but I wasn’t upset when he retired in large part because he had not done a good job of surrounding himself with top-notch coaches.  It’s in this respect that he is no Bo.  Bo Schembechler created modern Michigan football and one aspect of his greatness was that his coaching tree was excellent.  Carr, on the other hand, doesn’t have a coaching tree to speak of.  Thus, the two obvious candidates for Michigan’s head coaching position were Jim Harbaugh – a Bo quarterback whom Carr declined to hire when he was looking for a quarterback coach – and Les Miles – a Bo lineman/assistant whom Carr reputedly did not want as his replacement in 2007.  If Dave Brandon’s much-discussed Process was designed to bring back a Michigan Man from Bo’s lineage, then that would have been fine because hiring a Bo protege can be done on merit.  The fact that the Process produced the one sickly branch from the Carr tree is the reason why Hoke’s hire has been greeted by articles with titles like "Advice for the Despondent."

One bit of Maize 'n' Brew:

This team spent the last three years building something, and I spent the last three years not simply waiting for future glory but anticipating it.  Times were certainly tough, but I could still see the payoff at the end.  The top ten offense paired with what I still believe could have been a fast, havoc wreaking defense with a couple more years of experience and depth--and probably a new coordinator.  It wasn't always easy to watch the games, and the losing streaks against rivals always hurt, but I could take the taunts and laughter from other teams fans because I believed.  That belief wasn't ever there under Lloyd.  It was always just an ominous feeling that the other shoe was about to drop.

Another bit was not happy after the hire, either, focusing mostly on the Les Miles discussion that does not and never will end up being an offer.

I have no idea how I got to Hashiell Dammit, but if you reference Straight Bangin' in your post well, that's old school:

You know it‘s a bad decision when one’s first reaction to the news is to draw easy comparisons between Michigan football and the Big 3 Automakers decline and to scramble to the Wikipedia page for the Romanovs to confirm that yes, this moment fits perfectly within the arc of a decaying empire. The emptiness that follows, however, is a bitch.

For its part, Straight Bangin' is "paralyzed." That's probably for the best.

Touch the Banner surveys the team and attempts to find out who fits. Slot receivers have to be saying "WTF" to themselves. HSR wants Michigan Replay back, but I don't think that had anything to do with Rodriguez. IIRC the producer lost his job with the IMG switchover and owned the rights to the name and possibly the music. This totally happened 110 years ago.



January 13th, 2011 at 2:44 PM ^

In the event you were soliciting examples, this Rodriguez supporter graduated from Michigan in 1997 and had both a grandfather and father that attended as well.  I grew up watching Bo's teams (including Jim Harbaugh) and enjoyed watching 2 Heisman trophy winners and celebrated a national championship season in Pasadena on January 1, 1998.  There may be "bigger" fans that me, but I like to think I rank right up there with the most die-hard fans . . .


January 13th, 2011 at 2:59 PM ^

I didn't mean to imply that you were questioning credentials.  I just posted in case you wanted a real-life example of the converse of your theory.  Jesus, if I thought the past 2-3 years was as good as it gets it would be much more difficult to be a fan today, even with all the inbreeding I had (yikes, that did not sound good at all!).


January 13th, 2011 at 2:56 PM ^

I remain a huge RR fan and have been a Michigan fan since Bo was hired.  I attended UM from 1977-81.  Rodriguez and his attitude toward the game reminded me so much of Bo.

I'll never understand what exactly happened that made Rodriguez go belly up.  I desperately wanted him to succeed and would have gladly given him 4 or 5 more years to straighten things out.

Beyond that, I have no idea what "tradition" you're referring to.  Michigan's greatest coaches have been complete outsiders with no previous ties to the school or state whatsoever.


January 13th, 2011 at 5:30 PM ^

Except I was a freshman in 82.   I was so excited by the Rodriguez hire that my kids still break into "peanut butter jelly time" when they sense I'm really happy or excited about something.  I was looking forward to some serious pbj with Rodriguez and vainly thought he'd get his fourth year to show some real development.  I also thought he fit well in the Bo lineage (conferred by position, not birth) and fully expected Michigan fans (of all people!) to embrace an exciting rushing offense.  I've been mostly surprised by my fellow alums & fans over these past few years, I guess.


January 13th, 2011 at 2:29 PM ^

I didn't care for Brian's appearance on TKA at all today, but this was an outstanding piece. I just wish it ripped into that POS Lloyd Carr more explicitly.


January 13th, 2011 at 2:29 PM ^ lasting POSITIVE legacy of the RR era is the fomenting of the expectation of a high-powered, explosive, MODERN offense at Michigan from everybody from Brandon on down.

Let's take the blinders off. Hoke might be one step back AND two steps forward.

Foote Fetish

January 13th, 2011 at 2:34 PM ^

I think when one has spent the last three years invested in this change to the spread, and wading through the mire of losses and negativity but still seeing progress towards having that insane destroyer-of-worlds offense, to have all of that collapse under the weight of all of the negativity is traumatic.  Especially now that people are pleading for patience for this new known/unknown coach: to go where?

With Rod, there was a goal and it was Denard being the terror of football fields everywhere.  Yes, the defense was horrendous.  But we could rationalize that pain by telling ourselves that every year has been better than the last, that Rich had done it before, and if we could just wait it out and fix that defense and keep improving on offense then we could have what we were told we would get. 

But the program ran out of patience.  Was it the Michigan man thing or just the losing?  I would like it to be just the losing, because 'Michigan man'  has lost the original meaning for me and now just suggests a bitter reminder of elitism and arrogance, but all of the rhetoric being thrown about makes one pause.  I don't want to hear "Michigan Man."  I want to hear "Here's why this works."

And with Hoke?  I suspect he'll get that patience, because of lineage and general affability and his refusal to say Ohio State.  I just wish I knew where we were going and why.

But, of course, I'll support Hoke, because (a) I can't help myself, (b) what the hell else am I suppose to do when I love this team and this university so much, and (c) who knows?  Maybe it works great.

So, I guess, we'll see.  But for now, I'm mostly just tired and looking for some sign (something other than the Michigan Man thing) of what's to come.

Foote Fetish

January 13th, 2011 at 2:51 PM ^

I don't think "blind" anything can exist on a site where every play is broken down, detailed, explained and then judged for effectiveness.

I believe most of your RR supporters (I include myself) supported him because they desperately wanted the experiment to work.  It's not because they are part of some cult of RichRod lovers that move from school to school following his career.  The underlying desire was that Michigan wins, and often.  Eventually the desire to see that happen will overcome everthing else and we'll be rooting for Hoke.  Unless he doesn't win and win often, in which case I might just quit the internet.

I'll always be kind of bitter at how everything went down, but next September I'll be watching Michigan - not Rodriguez - hoping that everything works out.


January 13th, 2011 at 2:38 PM ^

Brian, thank you for continuing to be thoughtful and honest, even as the new loyalty hounds refuse your indulgence in a grieving period.  Do not mind them.

You nailed it with this post.

Not to go over the top on you, but I have been reading loads of DFW non-fiction lately and this has the same wit, perspective, and observational acuteness.  You are a true Michigan fan, and not just a great sportswriter--a great writer.

Having said all that I will now go back to treating you like a fellow fan instead of a saint.  But it needed to be said.


January 13th, 2011 at 3:01 PM ^

To take the best thing Brandon has said in over a month (I know, the list is short) and highlight it as a negative....maybe you're not part of my kind of crowd. Shockingly, the program is for the players, not for the fans who turn on them in a second for anything, but usually losing, or bloggers whose only dream is to see exciting offense, baby! (Forget any other parts of the team...they don't exist).

 "boy, that Michigan just lines up and comes after you,"

Had you totally zoned out after the Bowl Game, and missed that the MSU players were saying how predictable our offense was, and how they knew exactly what we were going to do? Or did that not fit your preconceived notion that a system creates predictability? 

Maybe you should be less concerned with scoring 48 against anybody, and more worried about giving up 52 to anybody. Because it's really sounding like you want to be entertained more than win, Sidney Deane. Because you continue to put your head in the sand about the defense. (OK, great, we're automatically going back to piss poor offense...even though SDS scored more points than we did....and we were automatically going to get magically better on defense, just by switching defensive coordinators....for the 3rd time...right). You wanted us to play like West Virginia, but recruit like Michigan. Instead we recruited like West Virginia, and played like....I'm not sure what we were doing with 2/3's of the team.  But at least I like that you're being honest that while you may have had some like for the things Lloyd the man did, as a football coach you were never just HATED it. As much as those who didn't like Rich's style on the field hated it (How dare they like MANBALL). Except of course, Lloyd had much better results.

It's funny that you now think you don't have any influence on how the football program does. That was not your view under the previous regime. From the WTKA thread:


"None of this helps. Dave Brandon is an adult and won't be swayed by talk radio, so all speaking out like that does is provide another PR hit against the program. It's juvenile. Suck it up and wait until this year is over."


I guess you can determine how "hypocritical" you think that is. From your reaction, I'm guessing you don't have much of an argument beyond the laughable "I haven't said anything negative about Hoke other than his resume"....other than the insulting picture at the top of your Blog.  Proof is in the pudding. Or starting wholesale rumors with nothing based in fact that "Denard is gone. Denard is gone" by saying it enough times.  Or automatically trashing his assistants before you even know what they're instituting. And "tickling his belly", which was a knock on the media, but a not so veiled fat remark. (Not "patting him on the head"? You write for a living, words have meaning. And we get yours). And every other passive aggressive thing you've said all week.

I'm not sure if Wetzel's is a condescending lecture. But yours sure was.


(And how long before someone takes the I, Robot picture and paints winged helmets to it?)


January 13th, 2011 at 3:07 PM ^

In just over an hour, you've managed to put together a missive that deliberately misses the point of nearly every sentence Brian wrote.  It would've taken me days to do that.  And as a bonus, your post is written as though entirely ignorant of the large body of Brian's work that gives context to what he wrote today.  Apparently you've just arrived here and already managed to rack up 30k-plus points at this insufferable, condescending blog.


January 13th, 2011 at 3:11 PM ^

I respect your opinion and I think it has merit, but for all the complaints you have about how this site has addressed the coaching situation, the vitriol you have directed at Brian (and by extension anyone who agrees with his sentiment) is just as depressing.

The problem I have had with the past few years has been the knee-jerk response to lump people into "pro" or "anti" something if they voice any displeasure.  I hated how people who disagreed with the RR hire were framed as "anti-UM", and I tried my best to not neg or discredit legitimate arguments they made throughout the years.  I also disagreed with the sentiment that agreeing with how RR coached the program lumped you into "slappydom", as if an intelligent person couldn't be happy with the offensive progress and still be disappointed with how the defense and special teams were run.

We should be above this, and yet this blog has certainly displayed many of the more unsightly elements of this fanbase's psyche.  Carr was a good coach but toward the end definitely trailed off, and no amount of "he won B1G titles in 2004" will change that.  RR tried something new, and I definitely think he made numerous missteps along the way, but was also hamstrung by factors not completely under his control.  He should have been given another year, but I totally understand why a switch was made.  I also think there was a faction of the fanbase that openly wanted him to fail, which is not what I'm sensing with the new hire (no matter how much you may think Brian is leading the charge).  I think Hoke is a decent guy with a mediocre coaching record who could be a great leader  and definitely wants to be here but, based on past performance, will return UM to the last couple of years under Carr - beat the scrubs, lose to OSU about 1/2 the time (at least until Tressel leaves), have a sub-.500 record against good OOC opponents.  I still support Hoke because he is the coach, not that he gives a crap how I feel, but that doesn't mean I'm "sticking my head in the sand" or simply being contrarian because man isn't it fun to speak to power. 

Those are my opinions, and I will respect yours even though I don't totally agree.  This blog is best when discourse rules, not the finger-in-the-ears dismissiveness you claim some are displaying while you too dig wax from your ear canals. 


January 13th, 2011 at 3:15 PM ^

Boy, this hire sure has united the fanbase!  Probably the most important aspect of the hire (other than the obvious getting a good coach part) has not been met.  At least not yet.  C'mon Hoke, say and do the right things to unite the masses.  Its on you now because Brandon sure as hell didn't help you out on that front!


January 13th, 2011 at 3:23 PM ^

Lloyd had better results because he inherited better players and was able to leverage that to good recruits over his career.  Rich Rod had the exact opposite - he inherited a completely bare cupboard and a program that was on the decline and the butt of the conference after losing to a Div II team at home the previous year!! And when Rich Rod got here, he didn't even get to see HIS players get to their JR year.  How can you seriously make that comparison.

LC took teams that were consistently stocked with NFL players and underachieved - again and again when the games mattered the most.  He pulled great talent DOWN.  How do you explain losing to APP STATE, at home no less, with a team that has almost half its players in the NFL right now?  If LC had been amenable to change, the kind he finally acquiesced to during the Cap 1 Bowl, he would have gone out a multiple NC winner.  That is why people don't like LC< because he turtled when the game was on the line and wouldn't great talent thrive.

Meanwhile, RRod left Michigan in much better shape and turned B Graham into a 1st round pick and an unknown sophomore into a record setting QB in his first year as a starter.  We are a young team and the future was looking up with Rich Rod.  Now I feel nothing but dread again - just like with LC.


January 13th, 2011 at 2:57 PM ^

...but the picture I want to change it to is not on this computer.

[EDIT: Picture of DB removed.]

I completely understand Brian's post.  I almost feel like Michigan has retreated from trying to be great at football, as long as we can be good consistantly.

What I can't get over is how I could not see this coming.

This is all about pleasing the older-timer alumni and season ticketholders.  People on the "blogs" may be numerous, but we don't hold enough coin to be listened to.  People have filled Michigan stadium for decades looking for good, not great football.  They take pride in "toughness" and duoble tight ends...because we are the manufacturing midwest!!  These people (and other alums) are typically older and have more disposable income.

They will love the Hoke hire.  I have not talked to one person over 40 who isn't crazed about it and I haven't met anyone under 30 who is actually excited.

Michigan football, more than anything is a business.  Hire an old UM football player who runs businesses and this is exactly what you get.  We live off of "history" and "nostalgia." Not change, the future or excitement...but safety from the fear of looking horrible even if that means never being great.

This is it.  It doesn't get any better for us.


January 13th, 2011 at 3:14 PM ^

I am 23 and I love the hire. How can you say Hoke will keep us from ever being great? He hasn't coached a game yet. When Lloyd Carr was hired would you say he was going to ever keep us from being great because he was never even a HC, or looked at as a long term awnser. Before you say we were always really good before Carr but never great, He won us our only NC since the forward pass was invented, had us in the Big Ten title hunt almost every year including winning quite a few. RR's best season was worse then Carr worse season so I don't wanna hear how we were on our way to winning a bunch of NC. And the he needed to get his guys here argument, I don't wanna hear it. Saban, Meyer, Chizik, Tressel, and Miles won the NC within the first 3 years of taking over.


January 13th, 2011 at 3:40 PM ^

I think he will be a good coach.  I think we will compete and win Big Ten titles.  I also think that we won't be winning any National Championships with him. 

As for RR, first, he was hindered unlike any of those other hires.  Which one of those was thrown to the press by insiders who wanted practic-gate to get out?  Which ones had almost zero support from the old regime and/or admin?

Anyway, we could have gone with some one else who had the capacity to win National Championships.


As for your age, maybe there is something to be said for "age being a state of mind."  Do you find yourself agreeing with mroe conservative, older folks about politics and such?  Or do you consider yourself young and liberal?


January 13th, 2011 at 3:52 PM ^

As for age I seldom agree with the old timers, I hate the Michigan man meme and was excited when RR was hired. I agree 100% that RR had every thing going against him right out of the gate, but that would have gone away quick if he had been winning. Gene Chizik was met at the airport by Auburn fans telling him they didn't want him and talking shit, I doubt you will find one Auburn fan now who doesn't love him. We all knew the RR transition would take some time, but if he would have brought his system in a little more gradually we could have been 6-6 minimum his first year. I know we were young and he didn't have his type of players, but we still should have won the Toledo, Northwestern and Purdue game that year. Starting 6-6 would have led to alot less turmoil then 3-9 did.


January 13th, 2011 at 3:35 PM ^

...I did not like 2006.  We were similar to MSU this year.  A paper tiger.  As soon as we faced a really good BIG TEN team, OSU, we lost.  Then it turn out that the BIG TEN was below the other conferences (after both OSU and Mich got trounced). 


And you realize...good, not great.  That is what we were.


(Plus, it set us up for a top 5 ranking and the Appy State overconfidence issue the next year.)


If 2006 is the ceiling of this program, we should just stop sending the team to any bowl games.

los barcos

January 13th, 2011 at 2:54 PM ^

is like the big 3 automakers than under rich rod it was a nice, fancy mustang without any wheels.  


god, reading this blog sometimes i think we went 15-22 under lloyd carr. if "modern" football is one of the worst ranked defenses and special teams, then sign me up as someone who doesnt want it.


January 13th, 2011 at 3:54 PM ^

The concept of class never goes out the window. You're either classy or you're not. Telling people who disagree without to 'eff off and die' is not classy.

A good policy is to aim higher than the lowest common denominator. But I doubt that generates the same amount of pageviews.


January 13th, 2011 at 2:58 PM ^

You and I are in 100 percent agreement on everything you just said.  I am sooooo anti Lloyd Carr.  I honestly believe he was behind the submarining of RR and in turn our program for the last 3 years.  I used to be a huge LC supporter but not anymore.  I cant wait till we get all of those LC cronies out of their postions of power (save Hoke, we need you buddy, and i dont believe he had anything to do with RR, Hoke is a good person and should have been the DC that we hired for RR year 4) so that our program can move forward, and be succesful, and not only set our sights on Rose Bowl wins but National Championship wins


January 13th, 2011 at 3:04 PM ^

Must be fun on Rodriguez Hill watching that Gator Bowl over and over and pleading for one more year.

I'd love to know why anyone thinks having Lloyd Carr's players love him would have made a difference in RichRod's tenure. It means absolutely nothing. They don't recruit. They don't gameplan. They don't coach. They had nothing to do with that abysmal Gator Bowl.

It's only fair to judge him by one thing: the on the field product.


January 13th, 2011 at 3:15 PM ^ don't need support as a head coach.

You honestly think that RR wouldn't have benefited from less pressure?  Less pressure created by NCAA allegations that were "guided" to the Freep by insiders?  Less pressure by having the vocal support of former players and coach Carr?  You don't think that would have allowed Rich Rod to focus better?  You don't think that the pressure scared away potential defensive coaches who did not want to get run out of town with RR?  Hell, who knows what Carr would say when other coaches reached out to him to find out about Rodriguez.


Also, many people have already mentioned how the visual and vocal support of former players is going to help Hoke keep players on the team and help build up a recruiting buzz.


If you really believe your post, you must be the mayor of Idiot City.


January 13th, 2011 at 3:50 PM ^

Typical Mgoblog response these days. Overreact. Blame Lloyd Carr. Call someone an idiot.

"Hell, who knows what Carr would say when other coaches reached out to him to find out about Rodriguez."

Ummm. Under what circumstances are potential defensive coaches calling Lloyd Carr to find out if they should work for RichRod? And who are these magical coaching wizards who could turn this squad around with a wave of their wand?

This is a bottom line business. These coaches are paid millions to deal with massive amounts of pressure. RichRod picked his coaches. He recruited the players. He coached the team.

This blog and its unrelenting snark about the 'Lloyd Carr illiuminati' has created a legion of oversensitive emo simpletons.

It was RichRod's job to win football games. He didn't win enough. The fault lies at his feet. He didn't recruit enough defensive playmakers, he didn't guide his defensive staff properly, he didn't prepare his roster to succeed. The end.


January 13th, 2011 at 4:20 PM ^

So, you only can process Wins and Losses?  Everything else is too complicated for you?  Or it isn't part of the bottom line?


So, seeing Rich Rod show progress of 3, 5 to 7 wins each year must mean you think he was on the right path.  Brandon said it would all be about progress.  Well, according to the narrow universe you live in, that is progress.


What are you going to do, look at some factors other than win/loss?


So, are you a hypocrite or do you think Rich Rod made progress over his three years at Michigan?


January 13th, 2011 at 3:16 PM ^

So we should read nothing into how the former players have rallied around Hoke then?  Becuase, hey, they don't help with anything either.

And if Hoke goes 6-7 this year because of massive attritition or injuries, then I'm going to judge him as at least as bad a hire as RR becuase at least RR went 7-6.  Context means something, and ignoring what one guy started off with compared to another is a diservice to everyone.


January 13th, 2011 at 4:15 PM ^

Yes. Don't read anything into former players rallying around the program. It has very little to do with the actual outcome of this hire. Brady Hoke's success will be determined by his actions. His recruiting. His coaching. His gameplans. These things will determine how Michigan fares.

For a blog that seems to place a great deal of importance on empirical thinking, it's users sure spend a tremendous amount of time whinging about things you cannot measure.

Attrition and injuries are things you can measure, so you should absolutely use them to create the 'context' around which Hoke will be judged. On the other hand, debating the merits of 'support' and 'goodwill' and 'former players love' is a fools errand.