Unverified Voracity Bids Brown Adieu Comment Count

Brian October 24th, 2011 at 5:07 PM


Sponsor thanks. You may have noticed the banner on the left side from Park and Party, which is a local startup that organizes gameday parking. You can reserve a favorite spot, which allows you to get up after 5 AM without ceding your precious swath of green space. Hit their Purdue parking availability to reduce the number of things that can go wrong on gameday.

BONUS: checking them out also opens your Beveled Guilt valve.

Hardly knew ye. Freshman CB Greg Brown has left the football team. Brown was the first commitment of the 2011 class and enrolled early but evidently fell behind Countess and Taylor; with Rodriguez and Tony Gibson no longer on campus he may have felt he was never going to get playing time.

Michigan isn't likely to feel much impact from Brown's departure; they still have the aforementioned freshmen plus Tamani Carter and Delonte Hollowell and are bringing in a couple of corners this year. Best of luck wherever he goes (obviously Pitt).

By my count that brings Michigan up to 25 scholarships in this class. With three players set to enroll early and a couple guys not likely to return for fifth years, they may already be able to take this class to 28. If they aren't, they almost certainly will be by February. With Jeremy Clark losing his grayshirt that leaves Michigan with five slots for two WRs, another OL, a RB, and a wildcard who may or may not be CB Yuri Wright.

In another world. Wolverine Historian has posted a video of the '89 Purdue game that is derived from press box video sans announcers:

As a result there's a bunch of sideline stuff you wouldn't see in a normal game: band jumping around, cheerleaders doing different cheerleader stuff, etc. Also plenty of triple option.

Side note: man, the skill guys in that game. Hoard, Boles, Howard, Alexander, Calloway. Not bad.

Vintage picture pages. MVictors has a shot of the Detroit Times explaining some Mad Magicianry against Pitt:


Why did newspapers stop doing this? The analysis isn't amazing but surely 60 years later someone at a newspaper should be able to explain an inside zone. (BONUS: there is now a "1947 pitt" tag.)

The Baconing. An excerpt from Three and Out hits the Detroit News, this one about the coaching search. The first one. Prepare your sailboats:

About a week after Carr's announcement, Martin told his hand-picked search committee that Tony Dungy was his favorite candidate. Dungy had played high school football for Jackson Parkside, a half hour from Ann Arbor, but turned down Bo Schembechler to play for Minnesota. His Indianapolis Colts had just won the 2007 Super Bowl the previous winter. Exactly why Martin thought Dungy might be interested in Michigan, however, is a mystery.

The committee then briefly discussed Brian Kelly, who had just finished the 2007 regular season at Cincinnati 9-3 while graduating 75 percent of his players. But Kelly had a well-earned reputation for being unpleasant — even basketball coaches had strong opinions about him — and Martin made it clear he was not a serious candidate.

What was most striking about that first meeting, however, was the number of candidates they barely discussed, if at all: Mike DeBord, Ron English, Jeff Tedford, Rich Rodriguez, and even Les Miles, the committee's first choice. "Bill didn't want him," recalls Ted Spencer, the director of admissions and a committee member. "I have no idea why. He never gave us a reason."

Four years ago Dungy was 52 and therefore plausible if he actually wanted to keep coaching, but he didn't and Bill Martin didn't know this. The guy's a broadcaster and everyone in the world expects Carr to go out with Henne/Hart/etc. Call him?

There's much more at the link. It basically confirms the conventional wisdom that the coaching search was a fiasco run without much of a plan. Strange compared to the Beilein hiring, which had a bunch of plausible candidates and secured its first public option instead of getting turned down by the guy at Rutgers.

Former AnnArbor.com sports guy Jeff Arnold has a review-type substance* at Yahoo that contains one of many WTF moments in regard to the absent Lloyd Carr:

It is Carr who calls Rodriguez to gauge his interest in becoming the Michigan coach. And that call takes place only hours after the conference call with Miles. "Even if you haven't thought about it," Bacon reports Carr saying, "you should think about it now."

Readers are left to infer that Carr had a big role in picking Rodriguez, who took the job days later without setting foot on the campus. But then Carr, whose strong objections to Miles are documented early in the book, holds a team meeting after Rodriguez is introduced as the Wolverines' new coach, informing players he will sign their transfer papers if they want to leave.

Things go downhill from there.

*[Which oddly suggests that Robinson wouldn't have made it as a QB in Bo's offense. Moeller or Carr, sure, but Bo ran the option. He would have installed Robinson at quarterback ten seconds after he arrived on campus and threatened to deport anyone who suggested he move.]

No reason. Facepalm guy thread gem:


That is a long torso.

Phew. People are reporting that Jon Merrill is going to stick it out:

@HockeyProspect: FWIW, been told that Jon Merrill is staying at U of M and will not be signing with Plymouth. #Michigan #NCAA #OHL

That comes from the junior side of the aisle so is likely sourced from Plymouth. That is likely to be solid.

In less good hockey news, Shawn Hunwick got ejected from Michigan's game against NMU and his replacement let in a number of softies en route to a loss; the next night Michigan could only manage a tie. (They did win the shootout. That only applies to CCHA standings. For NCAA purposes it's a tie.) Their (wholly ridiculous) time at #1 has come to an end.

The Oversigning Bowl. On the podcast last week I mentioned that if I was athletic director* Michigan would not have signed up to play Alabama at any juncture because it's stupid to take a knife to an oversigning fight. With the LSU-Bama game of the year already in hype mode (both teams have this week off), Ramzy states the obvious:

The storyline that probably won't make it anywhere near the national discussion is that Saban and Miles each play the recruiting game with a stacked deck: For every four players that almost every other program in the country admits to school, Alabama and LSU each take in five.

While it won't happen, the discussion of oversigning should be one of the storylines for this particular game. LSU and Alabama should be ranked at or near the top of the polls, and every year - not just in 2011.

Both programs have top-tier head coaches and both schools - unlike the one in Columbus - are at or above the Southeastern Conference's pay grade for proven assistant coaches and coordinators. Baton Rouge and Tuscaloosa are practically required to be on every elite high school recruit's list of possibilities.

But what ensures that LSU and Alabama should be among the elite of the elite is that both have installed a system that gives them significantly less recruiting risk than most of their competitors in recruiting.

Oversigning recruits every year has given both schools built-in second and third-chances where talent acquisition is concerned. They get refunds on their bad bets, and their depth charts are proof that it works.

It's stupid to play a team that gets to look at 25% more players than you do over the course of a recruiting cycle. If you have to in a bowl game you have to but if I'm looking for an opponent it's not going to be one with an inbuilt advantage due to skeeziness. That goes double when you're coming off the attrition/recruiting problems Rodriguez left Michigan.

*[hoo boy, that's an alternate universe right there.]

Etc.: Create your own periodic-table-themed Denard Robinson tshirt.


M Fanfare

October 24th, 2011 at 5:19 PM ^

As conservative as Bo was, he was not above changing his system. Michigan ran the option under Bo until he had two players--John Wangler and Anthony Carter--who necessitated a change to a pro-style system.


October 24th, 2011 at 5:23 PM ^

I think that Bo recruited Grbac, but the Machigan's place as a factory of more-or-less prototype pocket passers at QB (Grbac, Collins, Griese, Brady, Henson, Navarre, Henne, etc.) didn't really take off until Moeller became HC. 


October 24th, 2011 at 5:49 PM ^

A great Bo story about "the quarterback factory"

Wayne Maddox recalled Bo Schembechler sitting in his living room in Bedford, Tex., watching "Monday Night Football" on television.

Schembechler was there to recruit Maddox's son, Tommy, to play quarterback for Michigan.

Then Schembechler heard Dan Dierdorf, whom he had once coached, say on TV: "Jim Harbaugh is from that great quarterback factory, Michigan."

Wayne Maddox said it was a facetious remark but it got a response
from Schembechler, who said, "I'm going to kill that Dierdorf."




October 24th, 2011 at 5:25 PM ^

wow, i really hope that Carr really didn't offer to sign transfer papers before RR had even got to meet the team....if so wow.

No one can defend that even the most loyal RR haters cant defend that one. Talk about cutting off the new coach at the knee's.



October 24th, 2011 at 6:05 PM ^

So as the coach who stepped down you dont think it is important for the former coach to encourage kids to see what they think of him instead of you know basicly saying get out while you can?

Just doesn't make sense to me....not like RR wasn't willing to throw it all around the field.....see Tulane 97 and shawn king.


October 24th, 2011 at 6:48 PM ^

We don't know that Carr didn't suggest they stick it out or that he encourage transfers.  He had a relationship with his guys, and if they felt elsewhere was better for their future, he'd help them with that.  A lot of guys sign up to play for a particular coach or group of coaches.  I don't have any problem with this.

Michigan Arrogance

October 24th, 2011 at 7:32 PM ^

A lot of guys sign up to play for a particular coach or group of coaches.  I don't have any problem with this.


IDK, every time Carr spoke about recruiting, it was alll about recruiting kids who wanted to play for Michigan. Those last 3-4 years, too much BS was floating around about his retirment. His response was that he's "telling kids to come play for Michigan" and "selling the U"


was that total bullshit? apparently. in which case, I place a bit more blame on Carr for not recuriting guys who wanted to play for Michigan. Mallet is the typical example.


October 25th, 2011 at 11:25 AM ^

No doubt I'm glad about that too.  And we all like to think that every kid who signs with us is doing it because of the University and the Program and not because he fits the offense the best or he had the best shot at PT.

I'm as glad as you that Denard stuck around.  Had he not, though. it would have been tough to blame him. 


October 24th, 2011 at 5:42 PM ^

It's a problem when you have one the finest academic institutions in the world with one of the most storied programs, frequent Rose Bowl trips, and largest stadium, and you're going after the #54 player in Ohio.  

Sweet recruiting RR. 


October 24th, 2011 at 5:57 PM ^

You're an asshole.

Brown was on of the most sought after DB's in Ohio after his junior season. He failed to develop further. He committed like a year early. This failure to develop came after his commitment.

This was partially noted in the first response to your douchetastic comment about Brown.

He was a young man who committed to Michigan because he wanted to go to Michigan and play football. Things did not work out for him. He's seeking a transfer. 

Perhaps rather than "He sucks and never should have gotten on campus" we should be saying "Too bad things didn't work out, Thank You for trying to improve the tire fire that U of M's football program had become.



October 24th, 2011 at 5:49 PM ^

Hopefully, Bacon can fill the gap between the time that Carr (allegedly) pushed RR for the job and days later when Carr (allegedly) began undermining RR. Without more info, the tales don't make sense.

One thing that's interesting is the lack of focus with Martin's search. Many fans of RR have remarked here that Michigan wanted to switch offensive styles to the spread. I wonder if Martin even knew what the spread was. Seems like he would have hired anyone and didn't care about any of the guts of the game.

Section 1

October 24th, 2011 at 6:46 PM ^

But I urge you to read the book for yourself, as I am sure you will.

That is one of the reasons that upon my own reading of the book, my reaction has been, "Gosh Carr was something of a jerk," and not "Gosh, Lloyd Carr was a monster and all bad things can and must be blamed on Carr."

I really don't know.  And moreover, it has been one of the reasons why I say; write your book, Coach Carr, if you want to be understood.  And answer some questions.  Because "silence" has been Carr's most glaring sin as far as I am concerned.


October 25th, 2011 at 9:22 AM ^

From the excerpt published in the News today, it really seems like Bacon dropped on the ball on this fairly important question.  He digs deeply into Carr reaching out to RichRod.  He explains that it was Carr who suggested RR to Michigan.  Then, he skips over the what-happened-in-the-middle and digs into Carr's meeting with the team, player reaction, assistant reaction and MSC reaction.  

Carr doesn't need to tell "his side" of that story (although it would certainly shine some light, it doesn't seem to be the way Carr has ever dealt with media).  Did Bacon ask RR what happened?  MSC? Assistants?  Anyone?  To me, that's a glaring omission.  It's like reporting on a car wreck by saying, "John Doe got into his car at 8am this morning.  Now, here's a picture of his burning car at 8:30."


October 24th, 2011 at 9:20 PM ^

Let's see: "hey Rich come on up and coach at Michigan" (this surprises me though because Lloyd = anti-spread in my mind)

Then: "guys, you're like sons to me. I will sign a transfer if you want me too"

Rich: "hey Lloyd, wtf on the transfer papers? All of your staff is fired save one. In the Lion King, the monkey says the past doesn't matter"

I think I see an outline of how the rift occurred ...

Section 1

October 24th, 2011 at 10:13 PM ^

When you count ALL the football department staff, Rodriguez retained many, many more than he discharged.  All the office staff; all of Jon Falk and his staff.  He basically only discharged the people for whom he had direct replacements coming with him from WVA.

The story of how people were discharged is an unhappy one that is in the book.  Covered very candidly and, I think, fairly for all concerned.

The numbers of staff that were kept and discharged by Rodriguez is nearly identical to the numbers of staff that were kept and discharged by Bo Schembechler.  Back in the winter of '68, Don Canham asked Bo to retain all of Bump's staff and Bo refused.  This time, Bill Martin asked Rodriguez to keep the Carr staff and Mary Sue Coleman told Martin that he musn't insist on that.


October 24th, 2011 at 11:24 PM ^

I think it's pretty obvious.  Here is how it went in Lloyd's mind:

"Holy crap, the committee is really seriously considering Miles!   I better come up with someone else for them to consider quick, since I hate Miles.  I know, I'll reach out to Rich Rodgriguez.  He was pretty sought after by Alabama last year and the committee will have to take him seriously over Miles.  They will never hire him though.  He's an outsider.  Then I can push for DeBord, English, or maybe even Hoke."

Then, the committee takes RR seriously.

"Uh oh, what have I done?  They are actually going to give Rodriguez a job!  He doesn't even know the word dictionary, much less how to use one.  This backfired.  I guess I can tell my players they can leave if they want.  Rodriguez will be gone in no time, then they can hire Hoke."


October 24th, 2011 at 5:50 PM ^

teams that consistently oversign by a lot (I'm just guessing, but that's approximately correct) and 120 teams in the NCAA? Why don't the remaining 110 teams just say no to oversigning? If it were that big of an issue, the 110 teams that don't oversign (or oversign by 1-2 guys) would tell Bama and LSU NO.


October 24th, 2011 at 9:19 PM ^

and thus the SEC can't (won't?) pass any meaningful reform. If the SEC keeps doing it, it doesn't really matter what the rest of the schools want.

It's not like the NCAA is a solid bloc of schools in the first place, which you may have noticed any time discussion of postseason play comes up. It's more like the House of Representatives, with athletic dollars standing in for population. The equivalent of Texas and Florida (or something like that) says whatever, we're doing it, screw the rest of you. New England can dislike it and it doesn't matter; they don't have the votes to ban it.


October 24th, 2011 at 6:16 PM ^

Thanks for that 1989 embed. Tony Boles was a joy to watch on the field. Seemed like he was floating effortlessly (albeit, quickly) past everyone around him.

Then a knee injury, and it was over.

That was my senior year, and I went to the Rose Bowl (standard home win for USC and road loss for Michigan).

Today, this caused me to look him upon Wikipedia. If you're looking for an excuse to be depressed, read his entry there.



October 24th, 2011 at 8:45 PM ^

I was trying to remember when.  I was surprised he was in the Purdue game in November.  I had thought he went out earlier.

That Rose Bowl was tough, even though just a rematch from the year prior, because without Boles, we really only had one runner.  Hoard as Bunch was more of a blocking back.  I also dont think Taylor was a good enough passer whereas the year before Demetrious Brown played in the Rose Bowl. I am still dismayed that Taylor didnt throw the ball on the last play of the game and instead took a sack.  Although the holding call on the punt was the turning point.


October 24th, 2011 at 6:39 PM ^

Looked pretty ridiculous in terms of experience and talent:

1st String: Michael Taylor - 9 Sr.

2nd String: Elvis Grbac - 15 So.

3rd String: Demetrius Brown - 7 Sr. ('88 starter and Rose Bowl veteran)

4th String: Wilbur Odom - 13 Jr. (Top High School QB in 1986, Chose UM over Texas, finished career at Angelo State)

All of these guys were pretty talented, but none of them were as fast and dangerous as Denard Robinson.

I think if Denard Robinson would have been a freshman back in 1987 (1st year w/o Jim Harbaugh), he would have beaten out Demetrius Brown and Michael Taylor for the starting spot. 




October 24th, 2011 at 8:02 PM ^

Brown was kicked off the team before the season started for academic reasons.

I'm pretty sure Taylor would have started the Rose Bowl the previous season had he not been injured.  But Brown ended the season beating Illinois, Ohio State and then USC in the Rose Bowl.  Had Brown stayed on the team, I think it still would have been a dual quarterback thing with Taylor which was the norm in 87 and 88.


October 24th, 2011 at 8:56 PM ^

He led the team to a come from behind win against UCLA that year (on the road in the Rose Bowl).  Taylor was hurt.  Taylor was more similar to Denard than the Grbac/ Collins/ Griese /Brady /Henson /Navarre /Henne 18 year stretch.  Although Taylor wasnt nearly the runner that Denard is although he probably was a better passer. 

Demetrious Brown looked awesome some games and then sometimes was ridiculously bad, throwing lots of picks.  I almost think he threw 6 picks at MSU in 87 in a 17-11 loss.


October 24th, 2011 at 7:06 PM ^

what was uppermost, methinks, in our coach-before-last's mind. Hatred, or just determination not to have an awful person take the reins. But what happened between the phone call and the team meeting? 

Is it possible this is being construed as more evil than it was? Maybe Lloyd just geniunely felt every player had the right to think it over, go if he wanted? After all, some of them were not likely to be comfortable in a very different O. 

Dunno, just trying out theories. Such a huge deal was made about each offense requiring such different players. I'm probably ignorant, but I'm still not so convinced the difference is so great--ideally you want size AND speed, right? (Of the "cupboard was bare" theory--yes--I am convinced. So was Bacon.) 

P.S. Brandon is irresponsible to say he won't read the book, and to diss it. Probably feels he needs to protect people, from Mary Sue to Lloyd. But by god, the institution needs to learn from its mistakes. 


October 24th, 2011 at 7:23 PM ^

Brian had a board META post that he was looking into why collapsed posts weren't opening when you click them and why the page reloads when you moderate a post. The temporary fix (if you like reading collapsed posts) is to decrease the point threshold of viewable posts to -1; this is right below the 'Comment Viewing Options' label above the first comment.