A World Held Hostage: Day Three Point One

Submitted by Brian on January 7th, 2011 at 1:25 PM

Turns out I have less than I thought I did after reviewing items, but the remainder…

Other people are on planes. So. It's that time again:


It's not a coaching search without people tracking a plane they think might have Dave Brandon in it and pointing out that Phoenix is somewhat close to Jim Harbaugh but not too close, right, so probably they're definitely meeting in Phoenix at an Applebee's wearing big Groucho Marx noses so no one recognizes them, right?

A point in the conspiracy theorists' favor: the plane is registered to Domino's Pizza and spent the new year hanging out in Jacksonville watching Michigan get crushed by Mississippi State. Since then it's done this.

  1. Wednesday, 5 PM: Headed out to Latrobe, PA.
  2. Wednesday, 10 PM: flew from Latrobe to Chicago.
  3. Yesterday, 1 PM: flew from Chicago to Phoenix

What does this mean? Eh… probably that someone other than David Brandon is using the plane for purposes related to the business of Dominos. But it's a coaching search so you get Flight Aware. These are the rules.

But wait! There's more! Another plane suspiciously not registered to anything related to the University of Michigan—"Unknown Owner"—has been flying places. A reader relates its progress:

  1. Willow Run flight left for Miami midday 1/4 when firing "reported" but supposedly not made (Mary Sue Coleman or other agent leaving)
  2. Miami flight scheduled to Van Nuys, CA on 1/5 and does go, but makes previously unscheduled stop in Lubbock (?). Timing is 2 hours post firing presser. Could be to finalize plan, get gas, time up the following #3, or who knows. Only on ground 47 minutes. Arrives in Van Nuys at 5:09 pacific (Ross in tow to make help make pitch?)
  3. Gulfstream flight from San Jose, CA lands in Van Nuys at 5:52 pacific (Harbaugh?)
  4. Flight from Miami to Van Nuys leaves for Palm Springs at 5:57 (easy switchover for "Harbaugh" w/ a private aircraft) stays night there.
  5. Miami flight departs for home (Boca airport) at 10:05 A.M on 1/6
  6. Next flight out of Palm Springs at 10:11 AM is private plane to Monterrey Peninsula airport--less public than San Jose airport and 60 miles south of Palo Alto--lands at 11:03 AM
  7. 49ers meet w/ Harbaugh today in undisclosed location - he flies somewhere else or drives somewhere between SF and airport to meet 49ers.

This is all bats and obviously means Mike Leach is the next coach. Stop in Lubbock, people. Mike Leach.

But wait! There's actual information possibly worth reading! So… as mentioned the sudden reversal in the Harbaugh story now lends some credence to the old acquaintances/teammates from yesterday who were predicting Harbaugh to Michigan in the face of the Twitter army. I'm still a little leery that the only thing out there other than this site that says M-to-Harbaugh isn't dead is John Elway's random opinions on the radio, but…

  1. Solid source says Harbaugh and Brandon will speak today. There is a separate, extremely fuzzy and probably untrue rumor that it's happening in Phoenix.
  2. Another says Ross spent most of his time with Harbaugh badgering him about taking the Michigan job, not making him richer than Stephen Ross, and that Michigan is "still in the game" but Andrew Luck's dastardly desire to get a degree isn't helping.

As of 1:30 PM on Friday 1/7, there seems to be a chance.

Hat. Despite my antipathy for Miles—it's a sign of the fanbase's vast desperation that people are trying to talk themselves into the guy—I'm duty-bound to report that a southern correspondent reports that LSU fans are rumbling about losing Miles shortly after the Tigers play A&M tonight. These are fuzzy indeed.

There is also a random thread on Tiger Droppings saying players think Miles is gone as well because in private he's been "much more melancholy," which what the hell does that mean?

I've repeatedly stated the reasons Miles makes no sense—repeat "he will be sixty in three years" if nothing else works for you—and there's an element of wishful thinking around the reports since losing Miles to Michigan would resolve the great idiot/genius debate surrounding him. 

Hoke. Endorsed by Jason Whitlock.

Patterson: door not exactly closed. This seems like a guy who will at least listen:

"No, I haven't been contacted," Patterson told 105.3-The Fan. "I've got a great job here.

"TCU has a chance to be maybe the No. 2 or No. 1 team (next season), depending on what poll, in the nation. Maybe we are one of those people (elite programs) now. That's what I've been trying to build the program to get to. Michigan has a great tradition and is a great university. I'll cross that bridge when I get there."

Someone talk to him, yes? I mean, seriously. Someone contact him.



January 7th, 2011 at 1:41 PM ^

The 49ers office I believe is in Santa Clara not SF. So Harbaugh wouldn't likely meet in SF. SC is pretty close to PA.
<br>That said, I'll believe he's the coach when he's the coach.


January 7th, 2011 at 5:21 PM ^

Honestly he's surprised me in that he's not the douche he has been at UT and USC last time. He seems to have developed a small personality too. However, he's CLEARLY still learning on the job. That's just unacceptable at a place like SC. he's a great evaluator of talent but he's very hot/cold as a playcaller and really blew it this season at the end. There was no reason on gods green earth to lose the Nd game. Worst called game I've ever seen against an atrocious Irish team. Also blew it against UW. His dad has been a bitter disappointment as well. It was not fun getting to watch USC and UM field the two worst third and long defenses of all time


January 7th, 2011 at 1:47 PM ^

Is Chuck Martin. Former head coach at GVSU, now an ND asst. Impeccable coaching record at smaller school. Excellent recruiter. Sounds like Tressel. He's at least as good as the others (Hoke) out there.


January 7th, 2011 at 2:42 PM ^

and still not the same resume. Martin has 5 solid years at a DII school, following the program that Kelly built, and nothing else. Maybe he can recruit (at DII? at ND?), but so can a lot of other people with higher-level coaching experience.

Kelly has 13 years at the same school, building it up to a DII power, then 3 years at a MAC school, kind of building it up; 3 years at Cincinnati with excellent results, although they've collapsed this year so you can't really tell if he was a one-class wonder or what, and then ND. (And that's why Martin's at ND now, probably Kelly doing him a favor to make him more visible to DI programs.)

Tressel has 15 years of I-AA experience, building YSU into a I-AA power that slowly collapsed under his predecessors, and then the OSU stuff.

The jury is out on Kelly: the Big East doesn't seem quite as strong as perhaps its AQ status would suggest, and of course we just had a Big East coach. Tressel had longer, arguably better experience at a higher level and was still a question mark when he arrived, at least outside Ohio. I'm not sure Brandon is in a position to take that kind of gamble. (Then again, maybe he's not in a position to take any kind of gamble ... too bad coach hiring is always a gamble.)


January 7th, 2011 at 2:50 PM ^

Distances depend on where you are located. Glendale is mostly west of Phoenix. Of course boundaries out here look about the same as congressional districts.
<br>Anyhow to a more salient point - Do you know how nice Scottsdale is this time of year? It's the only time this desert is nicer than MI IMO.


January 7th, 2011 at 2:54 PM ^

DB does indeed have a vacation home in Scottsdale. My fiancee's parents have a place in the same neighborhood. Of course, I'm not sure what this adds to the conspiracy theorizing. Hopefully not that he's interested in some Bill Martin-style R & R? The neighborhood does have a half-dozen world-class golf courses.


January 7th, 2011 at 2:52 PM ^

I believe you are right. Who in their right mind would want to endure this mess? Even though Rosenturd says its still a premier job, its aholes like him who ruin it for any potential bright, young potential coaches who aren't "Michigan Men". That leaves us with few options and those who said "just go get Harbaugh" better get used to mediocrity for the foreseeable future.


January 7th, 2011 at 2:37 PM ^

Has anyone mentioned McDaniels in the search?  Young, exuberant, Midwesterner with a family lineage in OH coaching.  Although an offensive coach, he’d be able to bring in an excellent DC.


January 7th, 2011 at 2:45 PM ^

no no no no no no no no. No to anyone from the Belichick coaching tree. Granted, total failure at the NFL level doesn't mean he'd be a failure at the NCAA level, except that he seems to have jumped in over his head and made a lot of changes without any idea of what he was doing ... exactly not what's needed here.

Go Blue Eyes

January 7th, 2011 at 2:37 PM ^

If Brandon is able to land Harbaugh I will be the first one to 1) say I was wrong about him and 2) start the slow applause that results in a crescendo of applause and cheering.

True Blue in CO

January 7th, 2011 at 2:39 PM ^

with exception of LaTrobe.

Chicago - Met with Fitzgerald in person

Arizona - Central to quickly go to either California, Boise, or Dallas

In town for MNC game to announce decision

st barth

January 7th, 2011 at 2:40 PM ^

After reading on SI about how TCU managed to use their undersized defensive players to stuff Wisconsin, I absolutely want him here if he will come.  Better choice than Haraugh in my opinion.  He has won a Rose Bowl!  How many available coaches have done that?

As for Les Miles, I don't really want him here...but I could warm to it if he comes.  He's been successful and somehow his brand of craziness just might work in the bizarre environment that M football has turned into recently.  But at his age I don't think he is the long term solution and I wouldn't be surprised if Brandon's tenure as AD outlasts Miles's as coach.


January 7th, 2011 at 2:42 PM ^

Assuming most of the Michigan faithful have chosen life after RR as opposed to holding their breaths for Jim the best name that appears to be reasonably in play is TCU's Gary Patterson. No question. The biggest thing he doesn't seem to have are direct midwest ties. Oh wait, he's a nationally recognized coach who will draw interest from recruits everywhere (just hopefully not too much from 5'9 receivers who weigh 155 lbs.) And, though not a Michigan Man, whatever that means anymore, he seems smart enough to get that you need to approach Ohio State, MSU, et el. differently than "every other game on the schedule" (paraphrasing Rich). In all other regards he is the most qualified and appears to have the smarts, and the mental toughness not to let the pressure wear him down. 


January 7th, 2011 at 2:43 PM ^

Maybe I am missing something but I don't think UM owns planes. They essentially lease planes, service, and pilots from a local company but I am not sure if we have actual planes assigned to us. I know that the Health System does not own planes so I would be pretty sure the University doesn't. I could be wrong.

S.G. Rice

January 7th, 2011 at 2:47 PM ^

Wait a minute, flight trackered plane to Latrobe, PA?

Could it be?  Most famous resident of Latrobe?



(and maybe Brandon's bringing back a few hundred cases of Rolling Rock too)

Do want.