Reasons you should chill out. (Especially Brian)

Submitted by michiganfanforlife on January 12th, 2011 at 9:51 AM

So after they announced the hire yesterday, I too was a little peeved. I called my father (who lives and works in Ann Arbor) to get a good feel for what was going on. He made some excellent points which got me off the ledge and onto the Hoke bandwagon. Brian seems to be bent on shooting himself and renouncing everything Michigan, but some of you might find this helpful.

1. The Little Things - His best point IMO, was about the little things. Do you remember when you didn't have to worry about the little things? Do you remember ever worrying about the punt returner catching the ball? Do you remember every worrying about a 25 yard field goal? How about kick coverage stopping the other team before they advance past he 30? Do you ever (In your entire lifetime) remember Michigan turning the ball over the most in the Big Ten?

Hoke will fix the little things. This guy is a detail oriented coach who is tough, challenging, and endearing. He learned from the best, and went out into the coaching world to learn more from experience. Those of you saying that "all RR needed was a good defense" were simply not correct. His special teams were the worst in Michigan history. His turnovers were abundant and devastating in all three years. There are so many fundamental things wrong with this team that we desperatly need to get back to basics. Hoke is the perfect coach to do just that.

2. Where's the BEEF? -  I grew up with Michigan football. It means everything to me, and it has given me much more joy than it will ever give me sadness. Going to the Big House is my favorite thing to do - PERIOD. Since I was a kid, I watched Michgan's smashmouth style with glee. I loved seeing the opposing team give up more and more yardage as the game went on. I loved to see us dominate the other team, even though they knew what we were doing. Try to stop us, I dare you.

Hoke will bring back the physicality that has been missing from this team. We had no killer attitude, and no dominating presence. With all the amazing weight training and strength building, we never got to see the Barwis effect on our physical nature.  I read that he loves Michigan and might stay. That would be fantastic, and I think Hoke will quickly learn to appreciate his ability to shape and mold players. They won't be focusing on speed and quickness now, as much as raw power and explosion.

Sitting there on New Year's Day I watched in horror as my favorite team was demolished and embarassed. My Mom was remarking that our team just "didn't look like a Michigan team any more." When the Wisc/TCU game came on, she was like, " That! That is what Michigan used to look like!" And she's right. We used to be a team people were scared to play. Not just because of the threat of losing, or the intimidating stadium. We were big and scary - the kind of team that gets off the bus looking like hell is on it's way.

3.  A Fanbase united, Finally. - This might seem like it's not such a big deal, but it certainly is. We need our former players to stop saying things like "Lloyd Carr's Michigan."  We need all the boosters, facutly, and especially all of you to get behind our new coach 100%. We really, really need Brian to get behind this guy because he is probably one of the most influential Michigan fans in the history of our program. There are so many things out of whack about this team right now that we really need someone to get us back on track.

Hoke isn't a glamour pick. He's not the "hot name" whatever that is. He is simply what we need at this time. I think David Brandon was hired to come in and fix our football program. He is smarter than most of us, and I watched him really get to know the coaches and players on this team. When I went to the Purdue game this year, I sat and watched him, Rich and Rich's son talk for 30 minutes. Most AD's don't even travel with the team for away games. (Esecially not by bus) Hoke is a proven coach that has turned programs around who are perrenial losers. Ball St. quickly went back to a bad school soon after Brady left.

4. Defense wins championships - Michigan fans now know this better than most. The last three years, we have seen why having a great offense isn't really that great. If you have a great defense, you will be in every game you play. Hoke will concentrate on running the ball and stopping the run. This philosophy works today, worked yesterday, and will always work in football. I know that the spread is fun to watch, and that the two teams in the title game this year ran the spread. It's all over college football because it works. That doesn't mean smashmouth football doesn't work, though. Any offensive scheme can be run successfully.  In fact I could point out several championship teams in this decade that were as good as any spread team.  Bringing the core values of what we all know to be Michigan football back to the Big House is what David Brandon did. I applaud him, and can't wait to see this team next year. GO BLUE!!!

Most of you will say, "TL, DR" - or something like that. But I'm writing this for the few out there that will have a bit of an epiphany like I did yesterday. I'm really looking forward to smacking other teams in the mouth again. Look at BH's stats from previous schools, he's not all about running the ball every play. Hell, we used to turn out NFL QB's like we were growing them in petri dishes. It's all headed back to us now. And who's to say that we can't throw some option in there as we're driving defenses into the ground?  Bo ran some option back in the day, peeps.

Comments

profitgoblue

January 12th, 2011 at 10:05 AM ^

I appreciate your positive thinking and I want to buy some of what is making you a believer.  That said, each of your assessments are mere conjecture at this point.  Call me a skeptic or pessimist but, for me, the proof is in the pudding (or something like that).  I want to see the "little things" actually improve, the defense actually improve (without simply getting healthy), and the offensive stars be properly utilitzed before I truly buy into the Hoke tenure.

And, to be honest, I think every single offensive lineman would be extremely insulted to read that you do not believe they are "smash-mouth" linemen and essentiall call them soft.  They are just as big as the average lineman and just as strong.  The only difference is that they are arguably quicker.  That is a positive, in my book.

JeepinBen

January 12th, 2011 at 10:07 AM ^

Until then let's chill out. We can't see improvement until the spring game and then the fall, lets make our judgements then.

But I agree with you on the Linemen. They're going to be dominant in any scheme/etc. They're maulers. and they're huge. That Meme needs to die

michiganfanforlife

January 12th, 2011 at 10:44 AM ^

That isn't a spread play. That is a QB Iso - which is a play you will see a different version of several times next year. However, in the traditional I-formation you use a fullback to isolate the Mike linebacker in the hole and the QB isn't the guy taking a pounding. This play you have pegged to show us zone blocking is not that at all. RR had a few plays like this in the offense. The problem is that when you smash your QB straight at the defense he gets hurt.

Another thing about finesse/spread teams vs. smashmouth teams. In a spread team, your QB is everything. If he gets hurt you are screwed. In a smashmouth team, the next guy comes in and continues to run over people (See John Clay getting hurt this year).

Hardware Sushi

January 12th, 2011 at 11:16 AM ^

You still argued we don't play smashmouth football. Maybe be a little more open to the opposing opinion.

My jury is still out so I may end up on the "Woohoo Manball is back!" side of things, but you're making it reallllly tough. Most of your examples are abstract and worn out.

We need to be tougher? It's OK if our quarterback gets hurt in this system versus a spread? The former players like him so we should be happy? WTF are you talking about?

How do you define tough by any reasonable measure? You can't and that's why it's easy for lazy people to use it as a reason. And I sure as hell didn't want Henne or Navarre or Henson to go down when we were playing 'smashmouth' football. Additionally, how much does it matter what former players think? I don't care...former players are, of course, going to look back on the late 90's at Michigan with fondness because it was the pinnacle of a great 20 year run and they were in college. I'd say the same thing if we had a shitty position coach that was a nice guy and I didn't play that position if we're winning. I still fail to see what Jon Jansen and Steve Hutchinson have to do with evaluating a DL coach's ability to be a head ball coach.

I'm really annoyed by your posts as I read more of them.... At this point, I wouldn't mind you being a wisconsinfanforlife.

Hail-Storm

January 12th, 2011 at 11:38 AM ^

He's actually a running back.  I think the comparison you are trying to make is that when Henne went down his senior year, Mallet came in and nothing changed.  This compared to when Denard would go down, and Tate could never keep the offense going.

Or, maybe, the QB is key in all systems and it is important to have good backups in case of injury.  That if QB's werne't that important, than people wouldn't be so concerned with trying to get a prostyle offense to attract pro QB's. I mean, smashmouth football means that it doesn't matter whether its Tom Brady or Nick Sheridan handing off the ball.

I'm guessing the frustration is that there are all these false meme's out there about RR and the team he assembled. We have planty of size all over the field. In fact, our defensive line is bigger than the 1998 line that held Ron Dayne to 80 yards.

So, yes, we get it, RR is gone and Hoke is in, and we need to support the new coach. Hoke supporters would do well to consider the same support of the players currently on the team, instead making papaer tiger arguments about their toughness and size.

robpollard

January 12th, 2011 at 10:09 AM ^

It's good to accentuate the positive, and I also think Brady Hoke will do OK.  Like 8-4 or so OK, for however many years he is here.  However:

1) Special teams: you do realize SDSU special teams stunk last year, right? "San Diego State is averaging just 19.7 yards on kickoffs (107th place; UM was was 67th) and 6.7 yards on punts (93rd place; UM was 67th). And the Aztecs have been very shaky on kickoff coverage, giving up 26.1 yards per return."
http://www.suite101.com/content/poinsettia-bowl-2010-navy-vs-san-diego-…

They did have a good field goal kicker last year - so what?  We had a good/decent FG kicker in 2008 and 2009.  Unless you have some story from Hoke on how he specifically coaches kicking, I'm afraid head coaches have little to do with kicker's success.

2) You can talk about defense winning championships.  Sounds good.  Hoke has NEVER won a championship in 8 years a head coach.  Not in the MAC; not in the MWC.  There is zero evidence that, as a head coach, he can win a championship.

If you're comparing his hire to Bo or Tressel, like some have (i.e., "hey, those guys were unknown when they were hired"), both had won multiple championships pre Michigan/OSU.

It sounds like you're trying to go back to your childhood, when Michigan was big & tough, and could stomp the App States of the world.  Unfortuntaely, those days have been gone for over a decade.  There's a reason Carr's "big & strong" Michigan teams went 1-5 in his last 6 games against OSU and typically lost against top nonconf and bowl opponenets: we still thought it was the 70s and 80s, when Michigan would clearly have more talent and could just "outtough" the guy in front of them.  With the 85 scholarship limit, you've got to have something more, e.g., a scheme which is hard to defend, not predictable.

We surely will smack some temas in the mouth again.  Our team should be good next year w/ all the returning starters. Unfortunately, there will be plenty of teams on offense who will say, "You know what - I'd rather run by you than through you" and we'll grasp at air as we say, "Man, why can't we be that fast & dynamic?  And why do we usually lose in bowl games?"

 

michiganfanforlife

January 12th, 2011 at 10:31 AM ^

1. Special teams were never this bad, EVER. You cannot convince me that we won't improve in this area. Mickey Mouse is a better Special Teams coach than RR.

2. Championships. You mean like when Hoke was our Defensive line coach in 1997? When we WON THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP? I know he wasn't the head coach, but expecting him to win a national championship at Ball St or SDSU is a little silly. And when Ball St. was 12-1 he did win his conference.  His defense in 1997 gave up less than 3 yards per carry. Compare that to the last three years.

3. You are right that times have changed. You can't just show up and beat teams (baby seal U) anymore. This doesn't mean that the smashmouth style doesn't work. Ever watch Wisconsin? What was there record this year? Oh, what was that? They beat OSU? I don't know any Michigan fans that think beating OSU is important...

robpollard

January 12th, 2011 at 10:47 AM ^

1. I just showed you stats that Brady Hoke's special teams were demonstrably worse than this year's "never this bad, EVER" UM special teams.  Your conclusion: he will automatically make them better.  OK.

2. Brady Hoke has 8 years as a head coach, including six years in one spot.  We are hiring him as a head coach.  That's what matters. If we were bringing him in to coach DL, we can go off what he did a decade ago in that position.

He did not win his conference in 2008.  The MAC has a conference championship game (i.e., for the "championship.")  He lost it 42-24 to a 7-5 Buffalo team.

3. Wisconsin is a great example of what I'm talking about (though they typically play much easier nonconf than we do). On the high end, we'll lose to either MSU or OSU and also in the Rose Bowl; that's v good, but not elite.  In a typical year (and you can look at Wisky's long-term record), we will (hopefully) go 8-4 or 9-3 w/ Hoke.  In other years, we'll go 7-6. 

I was aiming higher than that w/ whomever our coach was going to be, but apparently Lloyd Carr, late vintage, is what some people want to aspire to.

Back to the future.

michiganfanforlife

January 12th, 2011 at 11:01 AM ^

1. SDSU could kick a field goal longer than an extra point. We could not. End of story -your stats mean nothing compared to this simple fact.

2. I know that you don't like the hire, and that I can't change your mind. I don't think that being critical of this situation right now is helping anything. In fact, it's hurting our fanbase because other people are agreeing with you and getting mad. What does that help? Why cry over something you can't control? I wrote this to help just a few people see that this could be a great hire, and that getting behind our new coach is the most important thing here.

3. I like making points with numbers behind them. They feel more official.

Hardware Sushi

January 12th, 2011 at 11:00 AM ^

I respect everyone's right to an opinion but you should make sure your facts are correct before rebutting someone else's opinion.

Ball State didn't win the conference in 2008 when they went 12-2. Ball State lost to Buffalo in the MAC Championship after starting the season 12-0.

Whether the idea that a coach needs to win championships before coming is up for debate, the facts are not and should be correct if you're going to be an ass in your response.

ehatch

January 12th, 2011 at 10:23 AM ^

1. I do believe that one of RR's biggest sins was completely ignoring special teams, that and his completely botching the defense.  I will need to see evidence that Hoke will fix that (not saying it doesn't exist).

2. Argh.  I hate this argument.  From 69 to the late 80s, Michigan had a mobile quarterback and ran the triple option.  I don't think it is that far removed from what the spread is today.  We realized after getting our arse kicked in the Rose Bowl by Washington that we needed to get faster and not get only the BEEF.  We then slowly morphed into a pro-style offense and that seems to be the only thing that people remember about 'being Michigan'.  Also, Wisconsin lost that game.  To the team with the smaller faster athletes. 

3. RR was never embraced.  I don't know why.  I was excited.  I thought he would move the team in the right direction.  He seemed to rub people the wrong way, however.  The media and seemingly people within the department were setting up numerous obstacles.  Not to mention the high rate of transfers.  But to say Hoke will unite the fanbase seems like a stretch.  He seems more divisive.  Most fans hate the hire.  Maybe he will get more support within the organization and the media will love him.  I love Michigan football and hope that I am wrong about the hire and will never be more happy if I am wrong. 

4. I agree Defense wins Championships.  RR botched the defense there is no way around it.  I don't know if he meddled too much or not enough.  Probably both.  Was dead set on running a 3-3-5 even though we didn't have the personnel or a coach who knew how to run it.  Then focused on gettting his offense up to speed before focusing on getting the players to play defense.  Yes this defense was young, but he had 3 years why was he still starting 6 of 8 freshmen in the backfield.  Hopefully Hoke can turn the defense around. 

erik_t

January 12th, 2011 at 10:30 AM ^

From whence does this "Brian seems to be bent on shooting himself and renouncing everything Michigan" asshattery stem? Honestly? Is no critical thinking allowed in the fanbase? Is one not allowed to look at an overall losing record and say "I hope this works, but it doesn't look promising to me and I think we probably could have done better"? Why do we conflate this sentiment with something like "RAR THIS IS A HICK, NOT A MICHIGAN MAN! HE GAVE SOME DUDE A CERTAIN NUMBER! I GIVE UP ON MICHIGAN FOREVER! HATEHATEHATE"?

michiganfanforlife

January 12th, 2011 at 10:36 AM ^

First of all I like that word. Second, you might want to hit "home" on the upper left and read the post Brian put up about not using swear words. It is a long rant about why we are doomed, why DB needs to get fired, and why Hoke is a bad choice. It is not like Brian's usual posts, and I hope he comes around on this one.

Bill in Birmingham

January 12th, 2011 at 10:50 AM ^

You make some valid points, but I am tired of the rants about Brian's so-called rants. DB made a big point about "national search" and "money is not an object" and "blah, blah, blah." He then insults our intelligence by saying Hoke was the only person offered the job. He may not have offered the job to Miles because of some of Les' issues. I get that. I prefer Hoke to Miles. But to say he didn't "offer" the job to Harbaugh? Sorry I call BS. He can do all the semantic tap dancing he wants, but I will never believe that. As for Coach Hoke, Brian appropriately said this is not his fault. A lot of us feel that way. He is our coach and I support him, even if I think this is a less than optimal decision. I will certainly support him more than the haters supported RR.

As far as Brandon though, my level of trust is zero. The great and wonderful pimp hand is as great and wonderful as the Wizard of Oz. Instead of trying to beat Texas and Alabama, Brandon is reaching for making us competitive with Wisconsin. Coach Hoke will have my support. Mr. Brandon will not.

BiSB

January 12th, 2011 at 11:27 AM ^

1. . . .Hoke will fix the little things. This guy is a detail oriented coach who is tough, challenging, and endearing. He learned from the best, and went out into the coaching world to learn more from experience.

There is a logical fallacy known as "begging the question" or "assuming the argument." Basically, an argument that relies on its conclusion to prove its conclusion. Michigan had a problem with special teams.  Brady Hoke is the right hire, because the Michigan will be better in special teams.  And why?  Because Brady Hoke will fix them.  You don't give any reasons that they will be better (how in the hell is being "endearing" a cure for fumbles? What does "learning from the best" have to do with kicking field goals? And what the hell is "learning more from experience?"). You simply restate the conclusion.  IF Hoke can fix special teams, that will be an improvement.  But if William H. Macy could fix special teams he would be an improvement, too.  But without a REASON to expect such results, it doesn't make him the right hire.

 Since I was a kid, I watched Michgan's smashmouth style with glee. I loved seeing the opposing team give up more and more yardage as the game went on. I loved to see us dominate the other team, even though they knew what we were doing. Try to stop us, I dare you. . . .

. . . My Mom was remarking that our team just "didn't look like a Michigan team any more." When the Wisc/TCU game came on, she was like, " That! That is what Michigan used to look like!" And she's right. We used to be a team people were scared to play.  Not just because of the threat of losing, or the intimidating stadium. We were big and scary - the kind of team that gets off the bus looking like hell is on it's way.

Finally, a citation to some authority; your mother.  Yes, I understand Michigan looks different than it used to.  And I too used to enjoy watching Jake Long destroy people.  But does that make the old way empirically better?  There is a reason that so many schools have gone to spread offenses; they have been proven to work just as well, if not better, than pro-style sets (a point you make later in your piece).  What you are essentially arguing is that nostalgia is a sufficient reason to not respond to the trends and realities of modern college football.

We need all the boosters, facutly, and especially all of you to get behind our new coach 100%

I'm getting sick of hearing this already.  It's true, but that statement is ALWAYS true.  What killed RichRod wasn't rumblings of concern about the transition right after the announcement; it was the persistant drumbeat of three years of ridiculous contrived 'scandals.'  It was the Jihad.  It was the continued ShredGate story.  It was the "family values" meme.  Hiriing the guy doesn't make him suddenly off-limits to criticism just because we realized that shitting all over the last guy didn't help things.  Besides, if DB was 100% behind Hoke, why did it take this long to hire a guy he could have had at any point? Do you think the world doesn't already know that we really wanted Harbaugh?

A Fanbase united, Finally

We need to unite because Hoke was brought in to unite the team?  That makes no sense.  That's like saying "you must enjoy this taco, because I bought it thinking you'd like it."

Hoke is a proven coach that has turned programs around who are perrenial losers. Ball St. quickly went back to a bad school soon after Brady left.

Hoke is a 47-50 coach who took five years to turn around Ball State (in the MAC, mind you). And the fact that they went back to being a bad team indicates that he had a good year, and didn't "turn the program around."  A team doesn't implode like that when a departing coach has developed a solid foundation.  When Urban Meyer left Utah, they remained very good for several years after he left.  THAT is the sign of a program-builder.

If you have a great defense, you will be in every game you play

Agreed.  IF Michigan's defense improves, Michigan will be better.  See also: William H. Macy.

Hoke will concentrate on running the ball...

Michigan finished 13th in the country rushing the ball last year.  SDSU was 46th.  Michigan had the 2nd leading rusher in the NCAA.  We were doing okay with the "running" thing.

...and stopping the run

William H. Macy.

 I know that the spread is fun to watch, and that the two teams in the title game this year ran the spread. It's all over college football because it works. That doesn't mean smashmouth football doesn't work, though. Any offensive scheme can be run successfully

But, you just got done talking about the importance of smashmouth football because that's the way Bo did it.  This "leverage blocking," zone read crap isn't intimidating to people who are used to MANBALL.  Now you're saying that we must make this change because other styles work also?  I haz confusion.

---------------------------------------

Look, I hope Brady Hoke works.  But every argument I have heard thus far is a variation on a theme; "X is a problem with MIchigan, and Hoke will fix X.  Therefore, Hoke is a good hire." I think psychiatrists refer to this as "projecting."  But at this point, all we have to evaluate is his history.  And his history is one of a coach with a 3 winning seasons in 8 tries in mid-major conferences.  He has zero conference championships and only one divisional title.  He's had one double-digit winning season.  And his best season was marked by getting blown up in the conference championship game AND the bowl game.  Can he be good?  Sure.  But give me evidence, not platitudes and buzz words.

michiganfanforlife

January 12th, 2011 at 12:32 PM ^

your analysis of my argument. You're right, there's not a ton of facts in there to back up my points. Nobody can look into the crystal ball and say that they know what will happen. I'm simply trying to talk people off the "sky is falling" ledge.

Scroll up to the top of the page and look to the left. It says, "DOOM."

That is BS, and everyone is freaking out right about now. I guess instead of trying to get people to feel better about this hire (I felt better after this argument was presented to me) I should have just posted: Fire DB, Fire Sue, we're all gonna die, Hoke is the worst coach they could have possibly chose, Holy fuck my hair is on fire!!!!!

Wolverina

January 12th, 2011 at 4:52 PM ^

I'm Michiganfanforlife's mom....Hi.   I'd say that projecting is all anyone can do right now, right?  Hoke's a Michigan man, that's a fact.  He's all about the team, that's a fact.  This is not a stepping stone job for him, pretty much a fact.  He's turned around some programs - fact.  HIs players love/loved him - fact.  He's already shown more emotion for Michigan in his press conference than Rich Rod displayed in three years.  Look on the bright side!