Unverified Voracity Is Not Tony Orlando

Submitted by Brian on December 18th, 2015 at 3:57 PM


Mattison has been around the block [Eric Upchurch]

Defensive coordinator bits. Michigan isn't in any rush to fill the spot since they know what they're doing for the bowl game (it'll be Mattison) and they don't have any urgent recruiting to do (Chris Partridge is on the road temporarily and it's a dead period through the New Year).

For a while it seemed like the main guy was Stanford DC Lance Anderson, who admitted contact with both BYU and Michigan early last week. BYU is currently looking for a Mormon to coach their team after the departure of Bronco Mendenhall, and Anderson fits the bill. So does Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo (a name I will force Ace to pronounce if it ever comes up on the podcast), but that flirtation apparently came to an end yesterday. Anderson would be a guy on the ensuing shortlist. And even if he's not:

Anderson's track record is short and Michigan's flirtation with Harbaugh's former Stanford personnel mostly serves to get them raises. Moving on, then… to… people? I guess?

I haven't gotten any intel on the search, sadly, and so much of what others have said has mutated so quickly or proven to be false that I don't think anyone has a good read. Sam Webb brought up Wisconsin DC Dave Aranda as a possibility. Aranda has a very good track record save for a certain game against Ohio State last year, so that's a mixed blessing right there.

Colorado DC Jim Leavitt is working his way back into college coaching after an Incident that got him fired from his post as the USF head coach. An Oklahoma fan laid out the case for Leavitt in January, when the Sooners were looking for coaches on D:

Everywhere coach Leavitt has been, he’s been successful. He was the co-defensive coordinator with Bob Stoops at Kansas State, where they managed to take a pitiful defense and turn it into, statistically, one of the nation’s best. He then went on to the University of South Florida and built the program from it’s infancy as an FCS program to a Big East conference FBS program. The success he had at South Florida, including at one point being ranked number two nationally, has not been anywhere close to repeated since his departure.

Leavitt was offered the Alabama job multiple times before Nick Saban eventually landed in Tuscaloosa. He was offered head coaching positions at multiple major FBS programs and turned them all down to stay at South Florida.

Leavitt landed with Harbaugh in San Francisco after the Incident, and is a quality coach.

huge_avatar[1]And I'll continue to advocate for Houston DC Todd Orlando*, a former Wisconsin linebacker who has been very successful in stints at Utah State and Houston. That he was Tom Herman's top choice to be DC is also very appealing—this is a gentleman selected by a top spread guy.

Todd Orlando is not pictured at right. But if he was, oh man.

*[Oddly, Orlando and  Aranda were at Utah State consecutively. Someone hire that guy to be a head coach. Oh right Wisconsin tried that and he ran away.]

Thanking ushers with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. Jim Harbaugh doing Harbaugh things:

They got the people who stand on the seats in the IMG section to not do so for the OSU game this year, so I would also like to thank the kind lady who did that.

Filling in a LTT-shaped hole. Michigan has offered Texas grad transfer Jake Raulerson. Raulerson got his degree in three years and has two to play, so he would help fill in one of the gaps left by the six-man 2012 OL recruiting class dwindling to two. Raulerson has seen a fair bit of time:

He started five games on the offensive line for Texas as a redshirt freshman and played twelve total games in 2014 for the Longhorns. He was a four-star prospect out of high school and was the 116th ranked overall player in the 2013 class coming out of high school. Alabama and UCLA are among the other programs he is believed to be considering.

At 6-4, 295 he is most likely a center but could play either guard spot as well. He is (obviously) a high-academic kid, and would immediately compete to fill the spot Glasgow is vacating. He would also be around in 2017, when Michigan loses Magnuson, Kalis, and Braden.

Raulerson would not count against the cap of 28 players the Big Ten imposes on recruiting classes, so if Michigan thinks they'll have a spot there's no downside.

RichRodding in progress. Meanwhile, poor damn Charlie Strong. Strong is two-thirds of the way to the full RichRod. Strong:

  • is probably a good coach, possibly a very good one
  • got a primo college job despite no previous connections to it
  • inherited a brutally bad roster thanks to the previous coach staying on a couple years too long
  • attempted to install a culture radically different from the existing one
  • lost a lot of games his first two years
  • lost whatever questionable support there was for him in the first place thanks to the previous bullet
  • made a bunch of panicked coaching moves after some bad decisions on the side of the ball opposite his specialty
  • died a thousand recruiting deaths as a result.

In related news, Texas offered TX DT Chris Daniels yesterday. Daniels commits… tonight. Probably not to Texas. As of right now the Longhorns have zero (ZERO) of the top 20 recruits in the state committed, and two of the top 50*. That is a long way away from the Mack Brown days when Texas would lock up 15 of the top 20 before the previous year's signing day.

*[They are crystal ball favorites for four of the remaining six uncommitted players but much of that feels like the same kind of momentum that saw Jordan Elliott a Texas CB favorite weeks after he publicly announced Michigan was his leader. Michigan is in on two of those players, OL Jean Delance and LB Dontavious Jackson.]

Etc.: Congresspersons acquire free tickets to college sporting events. Jabrill Peppers is Naughty By Nature's nephew? Did we know this? Ann Arbor best college town, put it on the mantle next to all the other ones. Illinois promotes Ryan Cubit, son of Bill Cubit, to OC. Michigan pays its assistants a lot. Smart Football back and popping. Citrus advanced stats tale of the tape.



December 18th, 2015 at 4:24 PM ^

Another factor in favor of Jim Leavitt as DC is that he fills the need for a LB coach... and fills it with authority. His was LB  coach for JH with the 49'ers and turned them into a fearsome group.

Furthermore, we all want to stop  Urban's offense, and Leavitt was able to stop Rich Rod when he was at his spread & shred height at WVA... and he did it with 2-3* USF talent.

He is also 59, so likely to stay around for a while and give the defense some stability.  Aranda and Orlando are both great but young and on the way up...


Go Blue Eyes

December 18th, 2015 at 4:37 PM ^

Texas doesn't have any commit in the top 20 in their state?  Wow have they fallen.  I remember, it seems just like a couple of years ago, that they would have everybody locked up almost immediately.  I think they are going to have a longer road coming back than we did because they have much more instate competition and they don't have a "Jim Harbaugh" ready to step in. 

Maybe, Tom Herman? 


December 18th, 2015 at 5:49 PM ^

Then I would have gotten together all of my friends and said, "Hey everybody, look at the f*ckin' stupid piece of shit future man who thinks he's from the f*ckin' future" and then me and my friends would have started pelting the f*ckin' future man with snowballs until we knocked him out and then we would stand over him and say, "Hey future man, if you were really from the f*ckin future you would know that you were gonna get your ass beat with snowballs!" Then we would laugh and point.


G Money

December 18th, 2015 at 4:40 PM ^

Old record still plays well here.

Rich inherited a team most felt would be "bad". Like an awful team. But if you recall, in the pre-RichRod days, "bad" and "awful" was 8-4, maybe 7-5. No one expected the bomb Rich ignited.

And while Rich was praised for the doing well at WVU (after V Tech, Miami left) for having done it will recruiting classes not ranked highly (that's fine, "he develops talent well" was the thought), the same criteria was thrown out the door when assessing him at UM. He came to UM with highly rated classes preceding him. From a coach that had been there for over a decade (so, no reason to expect significant changes in his recruiting).

No one doubted that he had a great defense to work with, but most doubted he would lead UM to some of the worst 3 defenses in Michigan history.

Then there is his record. That little thing: 15-22, and if you include teams that had a semblence of a pulse, it gets pretty ugly.

He oversaw the biggest negative turnaround in modern college football history (winning % of coach before, and his winning %).

But wait, there's more!

His recruiting! While defenses after him thrived, and the offense was good for one year, slowly, we were depleted of OL. Hoke's last 2 years, how many upperclassmen OL did we have? I don't know of any offense that had as few total AND upperclassmen on OL as Michigan. Thankfully, his recruits have been rinsed out of the program (bless their souls) and you see now what Hoke has left Jim (much better in the trenches and elsewhere).

He's not a "bad" guy. But the "oh, he just wasn't given a chance" only goes so far. Happy he's in Arizona. Had some great nail-biters last year that ended well and gave him some props. He won at Arizona with big WR's, and accurate qb's. Wish he would have learned that less at UM. This year... not so good. You'll get to see soon.


December 18th, 2015 at 4:49 PM ^

Leavitt to Jim to help keep great defense in AA. 

Other posters have mentioned how he was able to stiymie the WV offenses when RR was there.  Mayhaps he would be able to do the same to one Urban Meyer.  




December 18th, 2015 at 4:53 PM ^

Not really on topic with anything in the post, but there's been a lot of talk about players from Michigan transferring out (just as a usual thing that happens when a new coach takes over). Is there a time this usually occurs? It seems pretty quiet on that front thus far. After the bowl game? 

MI Expat NY

December 18th, 2015 at 5:08 PM ^

Any time after finals end, but I'd guess most would stay through the bowl game.  Might as well get all that sunshine and swag after a hard season of football.  

I would also guess that the less unsure one is of a destination, the earlier the transfer announcement comes.  Nobody wants to wait to long into a spring semester to get started at the new school.  


December 18th, 2015 at 5:19 PM ^

I actually think Texas is a pretty likeable program. Of all major programs, theirs has the most similarities to Michigan: large public university, excellent academics, huge stadium, enormous revenues, huge TV draw, great tradition, recent struggles, national championship-winning coach who stayed on too long, etc. They've also managed to keep their NCAA compliance record fairly clean. 


December 18th, 2015 at 10:44 PM ^

it's a city of nearly a million people with the metro being nearly 2 million people. It's also the state capital of Texas and home to some major corporate presences. 

Of course, UT plays a major role in influencing the vibe of Austin but it's not really comparable to much smaller and much more university-dependent Ann Arbor.

Austin IMO is more the Texas version of Portland, OR i.e. big city with a hipster vibe you otherwise may find in college towns

And while Austin is very liberal compared to its environment, that's not just because of the university but also because public sector employees tend to be Democrats and IT workers are more liberal than the average as well.


December 18th, 2015 at 6:19 PM ^

Texas is my 2nd favorite state and UT is basically my 2nd favorite team (not that I really care what happens to anyone when it doesn't affect Michigan) but I just never really realized until seeing it all together what a mirror image they are of us about 6 years ago. Fortunately for them they got rid of their Dave Brandon before he got to replace their Rich Rod. And Tom Herman may very well be their closest thing to Jim Harbaugh.